Thread: Amix in WinUAE
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Old 20 June 2013, 13:44   #57
mark_k
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I don't have the TOSEC zip files (yet) so can't comment on them specifically. Could you post a listing of the zip file?

Some general tape drive points:
- Logically, a tape consists of an arbitrary sequence of data blocks and filemarks. Each data block can be any length (subject to limitations of the drive and/or SCSI card etc.). The SCSI standard allows block length up to 16MB.
- Typically, a file is stored as a contiguous sequence of data blocks, followed by a filemark to indicate end-of-file. Usually all blocks in the file would be the same size. To indicate the end of recorded data (i.e. end of the last file) it's common for applications to write two filemarks, but that isn't required.
- Block size is important. If you write a file to tape using the wrong block size, a program which tries to read it using smaller read commands will fail. With the Amix tape however, judging from strings in the installation program, the installer would work with any block size up to 256KB.

I did dump the files from my Amix tape many years ago, but back then I didn't know much about tape drives so can't say for sure what block size(s) the Amix installation tape uses. But it's not critical. The first file which the installer reads might have a different block size.

What commands does the installer initially issue to the tape drive? That would give you an upper bound on the actual block size used. (E.g. if program issues a variable-length READ command with size 32KB, it expects the data block length to be 32KB or less.)

I don't have the files I dumped myself handy right now, but I do have an "AMIXTAPE.zip" file.

The first file on the tape is a cpio archive containing a plain text file which describes the rest of the files. The order of the remaining files on the tape is as given there. Judging by the sizes of files in the AMIXTAPE.zip archive, all are multiples of 512 bytes. So most probably files on the AMIX tape were written using 512-byte blocks.

Code:
pkg=core size=22620	name="Amiga Unix essential components"
pkg=bsd size=3404	name="Berkeley compatiblity package"
pkg=Cdev size=21220	name="C Development system"
pkg=lp size=4482	name="Lp print spooler"
pkg=man size=14032	name="On-line manual pages"
pkg=net size=6300	name="Networking commands and daemons"
pkg=public size=10062	name="Public domain utilities"
pkg=sysadm size=13402	name="System administration utility"
pkg=terminfo size=4772	name="Support for non-Amiga terminals"
pkg=text size=3280	name="Text processing tools"
pkg=uucp size=1570	name="Uucp networking software"
pkg=Xcore size=16958	name="X Window System essential components"
pkg=Xbasic size=11020	name="X Window System basic components"
pkg=olcore size=8468	name="Open Look"
pkg=Xtras size=14806	name="X extras"					opt=y
pkg=Xdev size=5184	name="X Window System development tools"	opt=y
pkg=oldev size=3468	name="Open Look development tools"		opt=y
pkg=conf size=6378	name="Kernel configuration package"		opt=y
pkg=emacs size=11948	name="GNU Emacs editor"				opt=y
pkg=games size=4672	name="Games"					opt=y
pkg=amigasrc size=2650	name="Amiga source code"		zcat=y	opt=y
pkg=pubsrc size=112732	name="Public domain source code"	zcat=y	opt=y
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