Preservation - that's the name of the game

A forum about Atari protected floppy disks analysis, preservation, emulation, tools

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:17 pm

If a game disk is not protected then would you still PASTI it or just do a .st image?

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Postby Mug UK » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:34 pm

If it's not protected at all then personally I wouldn't do a PASTI. However, Ijor would disagree in that all originals need to be preserved - protected or not.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby ppera » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:58 am

muguk wrote:If it's not protected at all then personally I wouldn't do a PASTI. However, Ijor would disagree in that all originals need to be preserved - protected or not.


What 'preserved' means?

Example: Flight Simulator II - unprotected. ST ot MSA image is perfect for getting exact image. Or we should not trust to regular floppy CRC checksums?

Someone mentioned some M5 proofsums - It has nothing with how image is made.

Can Pasti image all floppies? - Still testing is only way to be (almost) sure that image is good and usable.

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:34 pm

P-P-Pick up a PASTI Ppera!! :lol:
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Postby Klapauzius » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:37 pm

Aha - now we finally know what ijor is doing nowadays.... ;-)
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Postby ijor » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:01 pm

ppera wrote:
muguk wrote:If it's not protected at all then personally I wouldn't do a PASTI. However, Ijor would disagree in that all originals need to be preserved - protected or not.


What 'preserved' means?


Preserved means that we are certain enough (yeah, not a very precise term, too long to elaborate here) that the image is absolutely mint (not damaged and not modified).

Example: Flight Simulator II - unprotected. ST ot MSA image is perfect for getting exact image. Or we should not trust to regular floppy CRC checksums?


You shouldn't. The CRC doesn't tell you if the sector was modified or not.

Can Pasti image all floppies? - Still testing is only way to be (almost) sure that image is good and usable.


Almost all of them. See the sticky topics that list those that are known to have problems.

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Postby ijor » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:02 pm

Klapauzius wrote:Aha - now we finally know what ijor is doing nowadays.... ;-)


Klaz! So glad to hear about you. Time for those Readysoft titles, some Pasti images are waiting for you :)

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Postby Klapauzius » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:20 pm

ijor wrote:Klaz! So glad to hear about you. Time for those Readysoft titles, some Pasti images are waiting for you :)

I'm not quite ready for Readysoft yet. ;-)
Still in semi-lurker mode, with much too little time left to devote to Atari stuff. But there will be better days. :)

Anyway - glad to see you back ijor! :D

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Postby Mug UK » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:29 pm

Glad to see you both back (Ijor & Klaz) :)
Last edited by Mug UK on Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby ppera » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:34 am

ijor wrote:You shouldn't. The CRC doesn't tell you if the sector was modified or not.


??? Does it means that Pasti has some detection that original content of floppy is modified?

I doubt that it is possible in all cases. I just talk about beeing sure that floppy is correct readen. Is it modified depends on me (owner), and how me/he keeps his disks.

I don't want to underestimate Pasti, just to clarify some things: how can you be sure in some cases is it protection or just read error?

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Postby ijor » Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:12 pm

ppera wrote:??? Does it means that Pasti has some detection that original content of floppy is modified?


Yes.

I just talk about beeing sure that floppy is correct readen.


I know, but you were also asking/talking about "preserving". Making a correct/working copy and preserving are two different things.

Is it modified depends on me (owner), and how me/he keeps his disks.


You might know how you kept your disks, most user don't know or don't remember. Actually, most people has no way to know because they bought the software as already used in the first place (and you have no way to know what previous users did).

I've seen cases where the disk was obviously modifed but the owner could swear he bought it brand new and he kept the disk write protected all the time. In some of these cases the disk was not just "modified", it was completely overwritten with a crack or with a "skeleton key" patch.

I don't want to underestimate Pasti, just to clarify some things: how can you be sure in some cases is it protection or just read error?


The standard user imaging tool can't usually know for sure, and won't tell you, if the disk is damaged or modified. Verification is done as a post processing and is a rather complicated process. Sometimes it is simple, sometimes it is not.

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Postby ppera » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:10 am

ijor wrote:
ppera wrote:??? Does it means that Pasti has some detection that original content of floppy is modified?

Yes.
I just talk about beeing sure that floppy is correct readen.

I know, but you were also asking/talking about "preserving". Making a correct/working copy and preserving are two different things.


Even if user formats track(s)? Explanation please...

Define preserving.

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:11 am

Keep up the good work Mug, soon I won't need to Pasti any and you will have saved me the cost of a Satandisk :wink:

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Postby Mug UK » Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:31 pm

Unfortuantely Wacky Racers (unless I've got a 2nd original) can't be preserved due to the previous owner being a muppet and immunizing their original disk with UVK (hi! Richard Karsmakers!) :)

I could understand if the game was infected with a virus - but it probably wasn't and the previous owner panicked.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby PaulB » Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:52 pm

ppera wrote:Define preserving.


Surely preserving means exactly that. Preserving the data on the disk exactly as it was written from the factory when it was new.

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Postby Mug UK » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:04 pm

That's exactly how I see "preserving" as well. Even if it means messing around with PASTI to get a working image - it's worth doing.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby ijor » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:36 am

ppera wrote:Even if user formats track(s)? Explanation please...


Yes, it is normally possible to detect that a track was reformatted. Again, sometimes is easy, sometimes is not. It depends on how the disk was originally recorded, how the user reformatted the track, and how the image was produced.

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Postby ijor » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:38 am

muguk wrote:Unfortuantely Wacky Racers (unless I've got a 2nd original) can't be preserved due to the previous owner being a muppet and immunizing their original disk with UVK (hi! Richard Karsmakers!) :)


Immunizing the original disk is not that uncommon, unfortunately :(

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Postby ppera » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:04 am

PaulB wrote:
ppera wrote:Define preserving.


Surely preserving means exactly that. Preserving the data on the disk exactly as it was written from the factory when it was new.


I don't see where is here need for Pasti in case of FSII...

Actually, FSII will work from any media, just need all (unchanged) files.

Making ST or MSA will give us little more: exact pos of files on certain format media. Irrelevant in case of FSII, but image is not moch longer as sum of files, and is easy to use.

What will Pasti give to us in case of FSII? For me, only slower work and limitation to PC. Because format is closed, we can not know additional informations what Pasti image stores. In any case, from ST or MSA + DSK RAW, etc. formats we can making exact copy.
What is exact copy in this case? Certainly not floppy of same color and exactly same magnetic surface...
Preserving for me means that we keep digital record of all relevant parameters. In case of floppy it is it's content, and nothing more.

Protection is part of content, and if no protection we can decrease information amount - otherwise said, format of image itself is some kind of information.

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Postby ijor » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:42 pm

ppera wrote:I don't see where is here need for Pasti in case of FSII...
Actually, FSII will work from any media, just need all (unchanged) files.
Making ST or MSA will give us little more: exact pos of files on certain format media. Irrelevant in case of FSII, but image is not moch longer as sum of files, and is easy to use. What will Pasti give to us in case of FSII? ...Preserving for me means that we keep digital record of all relevant parameters... otherwise said, format of image itself is some kind of information.


I was going to reply technically, but I doubt it is worth at this point. So I would only say the following: Some of us have a crazy idea. To preserve as many ST releases as possible, as close as possible to the original disks.

We know that many will not understand our goal, won't share it, don't agree, won't contribute, or even dislike it. We don't claim it is the only way, the only valid way, or the only good way.

Most unprotected disks will work out of an ST/MSA image. Many will work just by copying the files. The files on some data disks are identical to other platforms, so you could just copy the Amiga (or even PC) files.

You can also use cracks and menus. And actually somebody once claimed that cracks are a better preservation method. And you know what, I do not disagree completely. Everybody is free to interpret the exact meaning of preservation.

But this subforum is about Pasti, so if you want to claim about not using Pasti for preservation, please do it somewhere else.

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Postby belboz » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:50 pm

Can a Pasti image of a non copy-protected disk be written back to disk with a normal ST/STE?

Or do you have to have a Discovery Cart or Cat Weasel?

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Postby Mug UK » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:08 pm

belboz wrote:Can a Pasti image of a non copy-protected disk be written back to disk with a normal ST/STE?

Or do you have to have a Discovery Cart or Cat Weasel?


Oooh .. tricky one there. I guess, if it's unprotected and more importantly Ijor releases a write-back tool for people to play with then it should be possible to do this. All depends on what extra information is stored in the STX files and as to how the tool interprets that information.

You'll definitely need the h/ware though for when you start doing the protected stuff.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby ijor » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:15 pm

belboz wrote:Can a Pasti image of a non copy-protected disk be written back to disk with a normal ST/STE?


Yes, but currently there is no direct method. You'll need to create an ST/MSA image first, then use your favorite tool to write back the ST/MSA image (in the ST or a PC).

One way to produce an ST/MSA image is to run a copier like FcopyPro under Steem. You copy from a Pasti image into an ST/MSA one. The only caveat is that the ST/MSA disk image must have already the same geometry.

One of the tools I was working (before I had to make a break on all the Atari development stuff), was to do that conversion automatically.

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:40 pm

Now that's wierd, my mind is playing tricks on me here as I definitely didn't start this topic 8O

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Postby Lautreamont » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:42 pm

ppera wrote:Because format is closed, we can not know additional informations what Pasti image stores.

Beyond that, Pasti depends on a healthy and motivated Ijor to maintain it,
like all the "non-free" projects (Steem, PaCifiST, makedisk ...).

Their fate is enough to say that with only one shaman left,
I fear that the "preservation tool" is close to extinction itself.


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