Protected disk images project: Seeking beta testers

WinSTon, Nostalgia, MSA Converter, FloImg, Makedisk and all the others.

Moderators: Mug UK, Moderator Team

ijor
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:52 pm
Contact:

Protected disk images project: Seeking beta testers

Postby ijor » Sat May 29, 2004 8:01 pm

Seeking beta testers with a Discovery Cartridge made by Happy Computers, and access to a fair amount of original ST copy protected disks.

Project for handling copy protected disk images. Tools for producing images, preservation, writing images back to disk, using the images under emulators.

The package supports different hardware, *including* a plain ST. Different capabilities are available depending on the hardware. But currently I'm seeking *only* testers with a Discovery Cartridge. Send me a private message if you have one and are interested.

Fiath
Atari User
Atari User
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:17 pm

Postby Fiath » Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:27 pm

Sounds interesting... :)

Did you know that we at CAPS will be turning our attension to the ST (and PC, and etc...) very soon?

User avatar
Mug UK
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 11210
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:16 pm
Location: Stockport (UK)
Contact:

Postby Mug UK » Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:00 pm

Due to some diligent purchases, I'll be happy to make up some original images for you guys as I'm sure many others on here will do (well, those with real Atari's.....)
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

ijor
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:52 pm
Contact:

Postby ijor » Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:15 pm

Fiath wrote:Did you know that we at CAPS will be turning our attension to the ST (and PC, and etc...) very soon?


With all due respect, I don't think an Amiga is the best hardware for imaging ST copy protected disk. Besides, the tools I'm developing, while similar to CAPS in some ways is different in many aspects. For example, anybody will be able to make his own images using his own ST and use them right away.

But will be great for the users to have more than one package handling copy protected disks. At the moment we have none. So I'm glad to see CAPS working on ST.

Furthermore, there is a lot of room for cooperation. For example, an ST with a Discovery Cartridge can image Amiga disks much more precisely than you can do with an Amiga itself. And it can even write them back to disk. On the other hand, we can already benefit from much of your work. Manuals, for example, most games have exactly the same manual for both platforms.

I wouldn't like this thread to extend on why/how an Amiga is good hardware or it is not for imaging ST disks. We can talk about this in private messages/email if you want. Or if others are interested, I don't mind to talk about this in public, but please open a new thread.

Jorge

ijor
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:52 pm
Contact:

mini-faq

Postby ijor » Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:22 pm

I didn't want to give much details about this package while it is not yet available. But after some questions I received I decided to compile the following mini faq:


The package is a set of tools that basically:

- Make file images of ST copy protected disks.
- Write back the images to a physical disk.
- Allow the use of the images under an emulator.

What is the Discovery Cartridge?

Is a device made by Happy Computers in a ST cartridge form.
It was designed to read and write copy protected disks and foreign
formats, such as Mac, Amiga, etc. The cartridge was discontinued
long ago. I have no relation to Happy Computers. Don't ask me how
difficult or easy is to find it, where to buy it, or how much it usually
costs. I don't know.

So the only way to make the images is with the Discovery Cartridge?
Can't I make images on my standard ST ?

The Discovery Cartridge is the best hardware for making the images,
but the tools work in different platforms with different hardware. And
yes, that includes a plain ST.

Will I need to send the images to some kind of post processing?

No, you will be able to use the images you make immediately.

Can I write back images to disk with a plain ST?

No, you can't. Most copy protected disks were designed in such a way
that this is not possible. That's why they are copy protected.

Ok, but a few copy protected disks can be copied with software,
will I be able to write back the images of such disks with a plain ST?

The tools don't support write back on a plain ST, and currently there
are no plans for developing this.

I don't understand, how can I make the images on a plain ST but I
cannot write them back to disk ?

Making an image is very different than writing back the image on
a physical disk. Actually, the protection is precisely based on this
asymmetric read/write capability of the end user hardware.

Will I be able to use the images under Winston open source version?

Yes. But some programs in the unmodified original form don't run
under Winston. This is not directly related to the copy protection on
the disk. But it is because of the software side of the protection, which
sometimes uses CPU features not strictly emulated by Winston (such as
prefetch). Some programs do run fine. I am running the original version
of Dungeon Master flawlessly under Winston.

These images load slower under an emulator? If so, how much slower?

It depends on the program. Some programs can load as fast as an
unprotected disk. Other ones require stricter timing and will load
slower. But newer emulators implement an auto "Fast forward during
disk access". So it would be possible to load them very fast in real
time terms.

User avatar
Brume
Red eyes
Red eyes
Posts: 4101
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2002 10:16 am
Location: France
Contact:

Postby Brume » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:05 pm

We'd be glad to help you: We own a lot of original games. We could gather more than 500 games...
Unfortunately I don't have the Discovery Cartridge. Maybe does someone of Atari Legend' team own it?
It's a shame I can't help atm, your project looks promising.
Good luck :wink:

Brume / Atari Legend.

Fiath
Atari User
Atari User
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:17 pm

Postby Fiath » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:52 am

ijor wrote:I wouldn't like this thread to extend on why/how an Amiga is good hardware or it is not for imaging ST disks. We can talk about this in private messages/email if you want. Or if others are interested, I don't mind to talk about this in public, but please open a new thread.


I can understand that. :)

I have opened the new thread here:

http://www.atari-forum.com/sutra20939.html

ijor
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:52 pm
Contact:

Postby ijor » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:59 am

Hi Brume,

Brume wrote:We own a lot of original games. We could gather more than 500 games... Unfortunately I don't have the Discovery Cartridge. Maybe does someone of Atari Legend' team own it?
It's a shame I can't help atm ...


If somebody has a Discovery Cartridge that would be great. But you still can help anyway. As noted, the tools also work on a plain ST. I didn't ask for testers with a plain ST, because they are easy to find. But it is not easy to find together 500 original games ! :) So anybody with hundreds of originals is very welcome as a tester. Will write you a private message with more details.

Hibernatus
Atarian
Atarian
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:45 pm

Postby Hibernatus » Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:50 pm

Great! Too bad i sold most of my games each time i wanted to buy new ones. I still have a few, but some of them are dead already :(
Do you think i could use your tools on my Falcon? :) It works better than my ST which lacks a few keys and a mouse port :/ And it's easier to use with my hard drive and high density PC compatible disks. btw, does anyone know if the Falcon was able to read all copy protected ST games?

ijor
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3163
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 7:52 pm
Contact:

Postby ijor » Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:32 pm

Hibernatus wrote:Do you think i could use your tools on my Falcon? :) It works better than my ST which lacks a few keys and a mouse port :/ And it's easier to use with my hard drive and high density PC compatible disks.


Sorry, probably not. I don't know much about the Falcon, but there are a few things that they will surely break. I'm afraid you will need to use your wounded ST :)

Hibernatus wrote:btw, does anyone know if the Falcon was able to read all copy protected ST games?


You mean just read, or actually run them ?

Again, I can't be very specific about the Falcon. But many protections will break just for running under a 68030, and others just because the processor is faster.

I'm not sure which FDC (floppy controller) the Falcon has (anyone knows ?). So is possible that you won't be even able to read some protections.

User avatar
Stefan jL
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1235
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 3:21 pm
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Postby Stefan jL » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:19 pm

damn i just missed a Discovery Cartridge on a swedish auctionsite called Tradera.

although the auction winner was called Silver Surfer so i guess Atari legend team got it :wink:


Social Media

     

Return to “Other emulators & tools”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests