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-   project.SPS (was CAPS) (http://eab.abime.net/forumdisplay.php?f=45)
-   -   Acorn Archimedes Software Preservation (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=43299)

vanpeebles 14 March 2009 20:27

Whoops I deleted your PM on youtube. Thanks the PM its a problem thats been eating at me for a while and I've brought it up on Acorn forums with no success. The main problem is games with copy protection. Some of my Acorn games date back to the late 80s which is long time for the media.

What I know about Amigas I can write on a postage stamp although I own a CD32 with an Amiga add on box. Cheers guys!

MarkYoungIW 14 March 2009 20:48

Basically SPS have created a method that stored the magnetic data from the discs in a file (IPF). That way you have a copy of the disc that will never degrade and contains absolutely everything off of the discs. They are working at having it included in Arculator and also there are a couple of hardware projects that allow you to use the IPF's with the actual hardware. One of these is HxC Floppy Emulator and the other is Cyclone20 which is being developed by people on this forum as we speak.

I think probably a good start would be to list what you have, and if possible what installs on HD. Naturally cracks are important to as for instance, I brought E-Type, it got dodgy, but was copy protected, so it would have been nice to have been able to crack it to install it to my HD.......which in fact I managed to do in the end.

There are a few more Arc users on here, and like I have been saying, any one you think may be able to help, rope them in. Naturally preserving the original media in the form of IPF's is extremely important, but being able to easily use the software too, perhaps by modifying it to work from hard drive is also important!!

Thanks for coming over here and looking. I know nothing about the Amiga either. Never even owned one, although friends did, but they seem alright(ish) on this board!! ;)

vanpeebles 14 March 2009 21:21

Ok here are my originals! This will be a list in progress as I have quite a few! My youtube collection is only around half done, I've been in between PC's and TV cards for a while. Plus my A3010 has been play acting :guru

Chocks Away + Extra missions
Saloon Cars Deluxe + Extra missions
Birds of War
Stunt Racer 2000 + Extra Tracks
Star Fighter 3000
Black Angel
Cyber Chess
The Dungeon
Sensible Soccer
Guild of Thieves
Pandoras Box
Galactic Dan
Wolfenstein 3D
Simon the Sorcerer
Alone in the Dark
Chopper Force
Mig 29
Premier Manager
Sim City
Sim City 2000
High Risc Racing
Enter the Realm
Magic Pockets
Hero Quest
Break 147 and Superpool
Haunted House
Rick Dangerous
Cannon Fodder
Dune 2
Lotus 2
Chuck Rock
Flight Sim Toolkit
Krisalis Champions

I've got a good few more but need to rifle through my cupboards to remember them. I also have some on CD compilations including an Acorn User one that released a number of commercial games on it.

MarkYoungIW 14 March 2009 21:36

Wow, thats pretty good going for a start!!!

Think the only one more original I have to add to that list that I have is Quest for Gold.

mr.vince 14 March 2009 22:09


Originally Posted by MarkYoungIW (Post 523888)
I will be getting images of my originals to you as soon as either the Cyclone20 is ready, or I get hold of an amiga.

I think we probably agree its in everyones interest to pursue both methods!!

Although its nice for all of us to be able to run the IPF's either through emulator or HxC on the original machine, its also sensible to install to HD as when you get the machine out for a quick game of Elite or the likes the less setting up, the better!!

I dont know for sure, but would all Acorn titles have been authored through proper disc duplicators!? Software houses like 4th Dimension seems to be the work of one man, so wondering if those titles would have been done in that manner?

I absolutely agree with you. Why play from disk if you can play from HD? Just from the preservation point of view, there is no chance to verify that the HD install is complete. And you really don't want to end up at level 9 of 10 just to find out that something from the HD install is missing.

On the Amiga or in WinUAE emulation people just use WHDload, and install the games from the IPF if necessary. So they know the data is original, but still benefit from the option of playing from HD (or at least an installed version in a HD image file for UAE).

So please just do keep your disks for another few weeks dry & cool. I assume C20 will be ready in no longer than two or three months (just guessing here but...), or you could get an Amiga if you don't want to wait...

MarkYoungIW 15 March 2009 12:35

Naturally dont really want to wait, but with the Cyclone20 being cheaper, and killing two birds with one stone as it will provide floppy emulation as well, it seems the best bet.

Not only that I dont imagine many Archimedes games owners wanting to post there very precious discs to anyone, so as we track down owners of various titles, we can always post the Cyclone20 to them instead so they can image the discs themselves.

It regards to WHDLoad, can someone give me a quick run down how it works!? I am guessing it is just a virtual drive, which understands the IPF lib, and replaces DF0 while its running!? Perhaps worth mentioning to Tom Cooper and seeing if he fancies a go at this too while getting Arculator up and running for IPFs.

Must keep this thread alive while we are waiting for Cyclone20. Dont want people drifting away!!

mr.vince 15 March 2009 13:14


Originally Posted by MarkYoungIW (Post 524192)
Have had a look through WHDLoad and a bit confused. Looks like it just patches on the fly when you load the ipf into it. So it looks like he is writing a patching script for every piece of software, to HD install it.

WHDload has slaves for every game installed. A slave enables you to run the corresponding game solely from HD, even if it is a trackloader game, requires an older version of Kickstart etc.

What I wanted to say was that I can imagine such a thing happening for Arcorn software as well. The good thing is that you start with a fresh, unodified game, which is then modified in the process. So you actually always have the choice - run from floppy or run from HD. In both cases it's based on the same version of the game.

I just wanted to point out why having a verified original disk image for preservation is the way to go.

- Chris

MarkYoungIW 15 March 2009 13:35

I agree totally with you Mr. Vince. I have seen a lot of badly cracked games over the course of time, so having a perfect copy to resort to is definately the best way forward. And naturally in time when there are no longer the copyright implications we have currently, people will be glad that groups such as SPS had the forsight to preserve the games perfectly rather than a stack of badly cracked stuff floating about.

As I see it, for the Acorn side of things what needs to be done is:-
  • Originals preserved (currently IPF seems the best way)
  • Something along the line of WHDLoad being created for the Archie (with this though, the already cracked software is worth cataloguing as it should cut down on some of the scripting work for the installers)
So for anyone from the acorn side of things just joining us we are waiting for Cyclone20 to be finished so owners of original archimedes software can use this to image their original discs then send their raw images to SPS who will create .ipf images which then can be used with Cyclone20 or HxC Floppy Drive Emulator so that the the original Archimedes computers can continue to use the software in the same way they did before without the need for the Physical (ageing) floppy disc media, and also soon, they will hopefully be able to be used with Arculator in the same way that acorn .adf files currently are, only unlike .adf, they will contain all the information needed for their copy protection to run completely intact.

Also for everyone who owns a hard drive installed version of their software, it would be good to list this too, as further down the line no doubt something will be made to run all the software from hard drive, and already patched copies will hopefully help cut down on some of the work needed. Anyone with patched copies who is worried about posting on the board that they have them, please feel free to PM. Although we all know its legal to patch your own copies for your own use, I think we all still feel nervous about someone jumping on us for doing it.

IFW 15 March 2009 21:54

Very nice summary :)

Just wondering: how many commercial games have been released on this platform?

MarkYoungIW 15 March 2009 21:58

If the database here is correct then there was 323, although as vanpeeble brought to my attention, there were more than 1 version of a few of them.

Lets hope we can get as near to all of them as possible!!

MarkYoungIW 15 March 2009 22:29

Well, pressure is on then!! I have loads of stuff to upload too, so moving in the right direction!!

mr.vince 15 March 2009 23:26


Originally Posted by IFW (Post 524334)
Very nice summary :)

I can only second that! :great

mr.vince 16 March 2009 09:52

Hi guys,

would you mind moving the... erm... not so legal ROM discussion somewhere else? :) To be honest, I don't want to judge about this, but this is a thread in project.SPS...

Thank you!

(Done! - Interceptor)

(Always good to keep things clean & tidy! :) - mr.vince)

MarkYoungIW 16 March 2009 16:15

Yeah, think thats fair enough!! Probably a good idea to remove the TOSEC links etc.

Basically we are looking for people to list their originals so we know who to contact for imaging of the discs to be sent to SPS.

It is also useful to know ways of installing others too though, so I think its safe to document how to install originals, or if anyone knows of originals that have been installed (like I did in my first list.).

But like Mr. Vince says, we are not trying to encourage the illegal distribution of copyrighted software here. Just is preservation!!

rygar 16 March 2009 22:42

What about this project?

mr.vince 17 March 2009 09:14

They don't offer copyrighted material for download, do they?

MarkYoungIW 17 March 2009 11:55

acornpreservation is aimed at the 8bit machines (BBC/Electron), so not really applicable here.

Basically he seems to specialise in data cassette images.

With regards to copyrighted stuff on his site, god knows!! I know BBC software seems to circulate freely round the net without anyone complaining, but thats not to say there isnt stuff amongst his file packs.

As Mr. Vince is trying to say here. What we are looking to do with this thread is compile a list of originals that people own, so it can be imaged to IPF. With regards to the HD installs we are looking for known ways of installing, so if you have something that is installed to HD let us know, but naturally we are not distributing these installs, just the method used so that others with the originals can do the same.

Please though, anyone with an Archimedes interest, keep popping back to this thread as we will let you know as things progress. And if you know of anyone with original, get them to come here and list what they have!!

So, to sum up this is where we are at.

MarkYoungIW 18 March 2009 12:26

Getting itchy feet!!

Considering buying the board from


And wiring it like LuigiDifraia has here.


Reason I would do it this way is if things are still to change, then there is no resoldering down the line if things do change, and also could then use the board for something else afterwards.

Only thing is if I have it, I still dont know what to do with it yet!!! Have skimmed through the thread, but couldnt see if it can it create raw dumps yet?

Seems apt that to rescue Archimedes software we are looking at using an Arm powered board.

Matt 18 March 2009 20:33

Hi -- Brief intro as this is my first post: back in summer 2006 I made images, using whatever worked on Linux at the time, of every Acorn disc I had. Some of these images (mostly games) are, of course, no use because of copy protection. I asked on Usenet about distributing some "old" things, and had at least one private reply warning me against doing so. I was also told many of them were available anyway.
I still have the ADFS images on my PC though.

The originals are all stored at my parents' house, so I don't have easy access to them.

Here's a 'tree -d' of what's on my PC (i.e. list of directories, which is mostly a list of titles, there are 363 ADFS images in here, although 133 are magazine cover discs):
├── art
│ ├── 1st-software
│ ├── art-machine
│ ├── artisan
│ ├── artworks
│ ├── digital-symphony
│ ├── illusionist
│ ├── perspectives
│ ├── render-bender
│ ├── revelation-image-pro
│ └── techtile
├── cad
│ ├── 2d-parametric-cad
│ ├── autosketch
│ ├── cadet
│ ├── techsoft
│ └── topographer
├── dtp
│ ├── desktop-publisher
│ ├── easiword
│ ├── fireworkz
│ ├── genesis-plus
│ ├── impression
│ │ ├── impression
│ │ └── style
│ ├── pipe-dream
│ ├── poster
│ └── start-write
├── education
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-dinosoars
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-driving-test
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-french
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-junior-essentials
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-maths
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-maths-algebra
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-maths-essentials
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-science-essentials
│ ├── 10-out-of-10-spelling
│ ├── fun-school-2
│ ├── fun-school-3
│ ├── musicbox
│ └── sherston-demos
├── games
│ ├── anagram-genius
│ ├── arc-pinball
│ ├── asylum
│ ├── break-147-superpool
│ ├── chess-3d
│ ├── chocks-away
│ ├── chuck-rock
│ ├── crystal-maze
│ ├── crystal-rain-forest
│ ├── drifter
│ ├── e-type-ii
│ ├── holed-out
│ ├── iron-lord
│ ├── james-pond
│ ├── lemmings
│ ├── lemmings-2-the-tribes
│ ├── mad-professor
│ ├── nevryon
│ ├── oh-no-not-more-lemmings
│ ├── pacmania
│ ├── pandoras-box
│ ├── repton-3
│ ├── sensible-soccer
│ ├── sim-city
│ ├── spheres-of-chaos
│ ├── starfighter-3000
│ └── stunt-racer-2000
├── magazines
│ ├── acorn-user
│ │ ├── 1993
│ │ ├── 1995
│ │ ├── 1996
│ │ ├── 1997
│ │ ├── 1998
│ │ ├── 1999
│ │ └── other
│ ├── archimedes-world
│ │ ├── 1992
│ │ ├── 1993
│ │ ├── 1994
│ │ ├── 1995
│ │ ├── 1996
│ │ └── other
│ └── other
├── music
│ └── rhapsody
├── other
│ └── amazing-mazes
├── programming
│ └── programming-tools
├── public-domain
│ ├── archangel
│ └── skyfall
├── riscos
├── science
│ ├── orrery
│ └── satcom
└── utilities
├── killer
├── notes
├── pc-emulator
└── risc-os-discs

I think I have a few more titles (back at my parents' place), given to me when people were throwing it out. I don't know what they are offhand.

I'll keep an eye on this thread, and once everything's coming together I can dig out the discs and re-image as necessary.

MarkYoungIW 18 March 2009 20:51

Many thanks for posting Matt. Basically SPS are preserving all original titles in an IPF format (which is soon to be added to Arculator), and it stores all the Magnetic flux data from the disc, so it contains a perfect copy.

Very soon there will be a device called Cyclone20 that will plug into a PC via USB and be capable of making raw images of the discs which can then be sent to SPS for IPF creation. Once the Cyclone20 is ready to go, I am more than happy to send mine to you, for you to image you originals for preservation (this goes for anyone with Archimedes originals).

At the moment you can image your discs with an Amiga 1200, but unless you already have one, they are an expensive option.

Thanks once again for coming over here.

Will contact you in the next couple of days regarding some other Archie related bits and pieces.

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