About certain HD adaptions...

A section to cover all the different problems encountered by running game x on system y! Whether it's as simple as a non-STE compatible game through to h/drive installable games. Discuss them all in here.

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About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Marakatti » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:32 am

As some you already know we've added links of HD-adaptions on a specific game pages on Atarimania.

There are Klaz's adaptions which are enjoying an excellent reputation for a reason. But as we want to be as neutral as possible I've also added links to Ppera's site. D-Bug will also follow when I get my linklist ready. Are there others we should add?

Now I know there are a people who suffer a raised blood pressure right now, but try to be calm ;) Excluding Klaz of course both of them are known to be not that polite when it comes to a history of this forum.

There has been a lot of talk about Ppera's adaptions. Personally I haven't got that much problems with the adaptions made by him, so my opinion of his work differs a lot from general. There are a lot of rumours about adaptions wiping HD's etc...

What makes me wonder a bit is that everyone seems to be against that guy. Basically people usually get good criticism and bad criticism, but when it's only one sort, well something is usually wrong. So are people more against him or his work? If it's the first one, are his adaptions that incompatible or am I just lucky to still have my HD alive?

I know this might be a bit sensitive subject, but let's try to keep it professional ;) What I'm looking here is facts with a description of what has happened, not rumours please, just to make sure the Atari ST software history will be correctly written.

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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Marcer » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:21 pm

For my own memory, I got a whiped Drive when i was tryin his adaptions.. Maybe i did something wrong with them as I didnt read the
descriptions, I just runned the .prg files... as I was quickly testing for my own project.. after that I stopped to test his softs.

Then also he didnt like i used his softs within my project so i started to skip them out.

But everyone is welcome to have their own view. I did something wrong probly. no more or less..

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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby NGF » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:10 pm

I don't see how they could wipe out HD's? Sure they are harder to get to work on emulators but I don't see anything wrong with these patches. I haven't tried them much but for example Dungeon Master works great and is a great HD adaption from what I can tell..
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby DarkLord » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:46 pm

Well, I was using some of PPera's stuff and had a data loss "event". I've
got to say though, I can't absolutely point to his work because this was
on an original Satandisk (not Ultrasatan) and it was about the time the
message thread was going where other people were occasionally losing
data on the Satandisk. On top of that, it only happened *once* on one
single card and never happened again. My own personal gut feeling is
that it was the Satandisk random problem and not PPera's software. But
it did happen. Once.

Now, with all that in mind, PPera's Ultima 3 HD patch is the only one I
ever got working right on my STacy, so I'm going with a thumbs up. :)
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby sh3-rg » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:59 pm

There's two ways to look at it...

You can go by the word of all the many people who have suffered at the hands of his 'adaptations', those who have disassembled his code & seen what batshit crazy stuff he does in there (& have seen their stuff butchered and incorporated into his 'own' stuff as well, btw) or you can go by a hunch, plain ignorance or a generally warm fuzzy feeling that all these reports are just a huge coincidence or a mass conspiracy...

One path leads to the truth, the other will no doubt lead to you cursing and wishing you backed up your drives more often :lol:
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby wongck » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:54 am

If it is a Satan disk, then you can separate it from your "other" stuff by dedicating that SD card for the PP games.
So no real lost if it chews the SD, you make another dedicated one for it. :mrgreen:

It would be a lost if no one uses those great work that he have done on the games. :angel:
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Dal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:54 am

I'm with Wong here. Any unofficially modified software for any platform will always carry a certain degree of risk from the user's perspective. Regardless of where a crack came from, it is best to run it in an environment that mitigates the risk to a level you feel comfortable.

I run HD modified games much the same a Wong: on a dedicated SD card that is replicated on my NAS drive. If something nasty happens, then I've just lost 2 minutes of my life initiating a restore. The only exception to this would be klaz's where the Exit to Desktop function lends itself to running in a proper desktop environment. Again, a backup strategy is key.

For people with legacy hard drives, it may not be this easy, but there are solutions:
Replace the drive with SCSI-IDE-CF?
Use a second hard drive?
Buy an Ultrasatan?
Forget HD adapted games and get a floppy emulator?
Backup over serial or ParCP?
Just accept the risk?

Personally, I have not yet suffered data loss as a result of playing hd adapted games from pp, dbug or klaz. That said, if anyone has examples of cracks that seem to have caused problems, post up some details (hard drive driver used, identity of the crack, TOS version) and if I can replicate the environment, I'll give it a test.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby christos » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:22 am

Every piece of software that writes to the hard disk has the potential to cause a problem. It's just a matter of how likely that is too happen. I've never heard anyone complain for data loss from either D-Bug or Klaz - and I certainly haven't - but I have heard that for PP stuff. OK correlation may not equal causation, but the fact that there is occasional data loss when PP adaptations are used and not when D-Bug or Klaz ones are used, implies that either there is a problem with them or that they don't work well with some setups even though the underlying cause might very well be something else.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Klapauzius » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:52 am

Dal wrote:The only exception to this would be klaz's where the Exit to Desktop function lends itself to running in a proper desktop environment.


I'd rather sit on the fence here. ;-)
So I'll just add that many D-Bug patches as well as most PP adaptions have an exit-to-desktop key as well.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Dal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:59 am

Klapauzius wrote:
Dal wrote:The only exception to this would be klaz's where the Exit to Desktop function lends itself to running in a proper desktop environment.


I'd rather sit on the fence here. ;-)
So I'll just add that many D-Bug patches as well as most PP adaptions have an exit-to-desktop key as well.


Noted.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby sh3-rg » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:33 am

Oh I admire the logic - it's OK to run potentially harmful software from a SD as it's easy to restore or 'buy some new hardware to limit risks'... throw in 'solder a few wires' and you have the golden triforce! :D

Well, furry muff if they were called sd-patched-games-with-the-potential-to-bork-the-whole-device-adaptations, but they're called something to the effect of 'HD-adaptations', are they not?

It's just a shame d-bug got so pissed off with everything as their next-generation of patch stuff had the potential to really ignite ST-game playing in a way other efforts such as STOT couldn't quite manage. Well, ST gamers loss is Jaguar gamers gain I guess...

I read the original post again "just to make sure the Atari ST software history will be correctly written" - well, the aftermarket warez side of things maybe but bah, does any of that really matter anymore? Play the games, take whatever risks you're happy with, it's about as important in the grand scheme of things as any other time-squandering endeavour we choose to poo out lives away on :D
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Dal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:37 pm

sh3-rg wrote:Oh I admire the logic - it's OK to run potentially harmful software from a SD as it's easy to restore or 'buy some new hardware to limit risks'... throw in 'solder a few wires' and you have the golden triforce!

Hmmm yes. Kinda... But then we are dealing with 20+ year old hardware. Personally, I get a kick out of implementing this gear into a vaguely modern world so while my ideas may seem convoluted or the proverbial "sledgehammer to crack a nut", they make sense within the context of how I like to manage hardware and systems (as is my job in "real life"). Different people use their machines for their own retro 'kicks' - It's all just having a bit of fun and sharing experiences/knowledge, isn't it??

sh3-rg wrote:Well, furry muff if they were called sd-patched-games-with-the-potential-to-bork-the-whole-device-adaptations, but they're called something to the effect of 'HD-adaptations', are they not?

True - but a simplistic view in my opinion. Without putting too fine a point of it, these are purely games that have been hacked in order to cheat whatever loading/saving routines are used. Whichever way you cut it, they will read and potentially write data to/from the mass storage device (hard disk/SD/CF). It *could* be that the methods used my some people may be superior/inferior when compared to the techniques used by others. The fact remains however that anyone who releases 'HD adapted' (or 'HD adaptationed' ;)) games certainly gets my utmost respect and kudos for doing so.

As a user of these games, I'm extremely grateful to those people but as a precautionary measure (and to be fair, not just because of adapted games), I like to have a backup of my stuff. And, if I'm completely honest with myself, if I run a piece of software on my Atari (official or otherwise) and something goes bang, I don't really have any cause to bitch about it especially if it's been created by somebody in their free time for the benefit of the community. If there's a fundamental and demonstrable flaw, then of course this should be highlighted to the person responsible and they may choose whether or not to fix it (again, in their spare time).

But some kind of witch hunt on a one-off? That doesn't sit well with my conscience.

Yes, PP may have upset a few people, but he's no longer on this forum and I wouldn't like to see this thread descend into a slanging match against someone who isn't here to defend himself.

sh3-rg wrote:Play the games, take whatever risks you're happy with, it's about as important in the grand scheme of things as any other time-squandering endeavour we choose to poo out lives away on

Yup - completely agree.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby wongck » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:07 am

Greatest risk is not a patched games destroying the HDD but.... the Atari failing to boot up due to old age :-(
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby Marakatti » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:11 pm

sh3-rg wrote:It's just a shame d-bug got so pissed off with everything as their next-generation of patch stuff had the potential to really ignite ST-game playing in a way other efforts such as STOT couldn't quite manage.

How exactly?
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby DarkLord » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:11 pm

wongck wrote:Greatest risk is .... the Atari failing to boot up due to old age :-(


I think a few of us "older" Atarians are suffering from the same problem. :)
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby nativ » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:12 pm

Marakatti wrote:
sh3-rg wrote:It's just a shame d-bug got so pissed off with everything as their next-generation of patch stuff had the potential to really ignite ST-game playing in a way other efforts such as STOT couldn't quite manage.

How exactly?


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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby wongck » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:45 pm

DarkLord wrote:I think a few of us "older" Atarians are suffering from the same problem. :)

By that I hope you mean getting out of bed in the morning.... and getting to work.<groan>
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby DarkLord » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:43 am

wongck wrote:
DarkLord wrote:I think a few of us "older" Atarians are suffering from the same problem. :)

By that I hope you mean getting out of bed in the morning.... and getting to work.<groan>


Yeah, that too...lol :roll:
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby colinr » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:55 pm

It should not be too much of a problem to get *most* games to run from hard drive.

The easiest and safest method would be to load the entire game data, either single disk or multi disk into RAM, however, the physical machine would need to have sufficient RAM to hold the data in the first place, this is not too much of a problem on emulators.

I actually used this method when I did the (legitimate!) conversion of the Lotus Turbo Challenge Trilogy on the Amiga CD32.

The only other option would be to write hardware level file loaders (as most games were sector loaded and load at such a low level that they would destroy the OS) to directly load each file as and when required - Something that I would not fancy attempting after nearly 20 years absence from the scene!

If anyone wants any games converted (using the RAM approach) drop me an email and I will certainly see what I can do, ideally the game should not have a save game option (high score tables can easily be removed).

I actaully ended up working for Rob Northen, removing his copy protections, along with other protection systems, and compressed multi disk games onto fewer disks on behalf of the copyright owners. I was also responsible for adapting MonST to Toxic MonST, although this was renamed to Toxic by The Alien of the Pompey Pirates.

The Atari ST is a distant memory for me, but I would like to get back into 'doing stuff' just for nostalgia now!

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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby colinr » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:00 pm

It should not be too much of a problem to get *most* games to run from hard drive.

The easiest and safest method would be to load the entire game data, either single disk or multi disk into RAM, however, the physical machine would need to have sufficient RAM to hold the data in the first place, this is not too much of a problem on emulators.

I actually used this method when I did the (legitimate!) conversion of the Lotus Turbo Challenge Trilogy on the Amiga CD32.

The only other option would be to write hardware level file loaders (as most games were sector loaded and load at such a low level that they would destroy the OS) to directly load each file as and when required - Something that I would not fancy attempting after nearly 20 years absence from the scene!

If anyone wants any games converted (using the RAM approach) drop me a mail and I will certainly see what I can do, ideally the game should not have a save game option (high score tables can easily be removed).

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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby bullis1 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:43 pm

colinr wrote:The easiest and safest method would be to load the entire game data, either single disk or multi disk into RAM, however, the physical machine would need to have sufficient RAM to hold the data in the first place, this is not too much of a problem on emulators.

I actually used this method when I did the (legitimate!) conversion of the Lotus Turbo Challenge Trilogy on the Amiga CD32.
...
If anyone wants any games converted (using the RAM approach) drop me an email and I will certainly see what I can do, ideally the game should not have a save game option (high score tables can easily be removed).
...
The Atari ST is a distant memory for me, but I would like to get back into 'doing stuff' just for nostalgia now!

Welcome to the board. How did I miss this earlier? You know I was just thinking that Lotus III - Ultimate Challenge (my favourite in the series) has no good modern HD fix that I'm aware of. It might exist from way back when but I've been playing various floppy versions over the years. It really seems that you of all people would be the perfect person to make a cracked hard-disk version of this game. Maybe add some fixes/tweaks to take advantage of 16mhz machines too if you want a new challenge.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby nativ » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:01 pm

Lotus Turbo Trilogy on the Falcon! :D 8) 8) 8)
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby NGF » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:04 am

Lotus III runs from HD with PP's crack. Doubt it runs on 030 machines though.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby bullis1 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:29 pm

NGF wrote:Lotus III runs from HD with PP's crack. Doubt it runs on 030 machines though.

Yeah I just saw this version today. I haven't tried it yet but maybe I'll finally do some gaming this evening.

That said, it would still be very interesting to see colinr return to the board and talk about this.
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Re: About certain HD adaptions...

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:17 am

All 3 Lotus games appeared here: http://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd.php
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