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Old 23 December 2002, 00:21   #1
fiath
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: South East / UK
Age: 42
Posts: 1,930
C.A.P.S. - RELEASE TIME (A Christmas prezzie to all)


NO GAMES ARE, OR EVER WILL BE, AVAILABLE FROM THE CAPS SITE

Yes, finally. We are there. The first C.A.P.S. release is done. The game "Wizard Warz" is the rarest we knew of and now it is no longer (except in physical form).

So...

CAPS, The Classic Amiga Preservation Society, has been working for two years to preserve original Amiga games. It was all started by the author of Abandoned Places I & II, now the founder of CAPS in April 2001. He was generally fed up seeing his and other ex-Amiga authors games being cracked, hacked and generally messed up - even including seeing author credits being replaced by things like "cracked by Quartex!". All this to make the games into a form that is not tied to the physical copy protected media.

But not only that, many Amiga game collections are "dying". TDK themselves are quoted to have said that a floppy disk's lifespan is only around 5-10 years, but most Amiga games are older than this! Magnetic media like floppy disks eventually suffer some form of "bit rot", where the particles on the disk loose their charge and floppy drive hardware can no longer determine if a bit was a 0 or a 1.

The only way people have been able to "repair" their disks was to replace it with a "cracked" copy, which may have had bugs introduced while removing the protection, but almost all have "intros" added by the cracking group, this really ditracts from the game and is not really in the spirit of preservation.

Is anybody really surprised when old Amiga games companies will not let their games be freely download from the net? They are damaged goods!

CAPS wants to preserve the originals for the future. This may be a time when the Amiga games companies of old, allow them to be distributed, or it could be when the copyright runs out. Either way, if CAPS get's it's way - at least we all will have the choice when the time comes.

So, to get to the point, CAPS have now developed the technology to read *any* protection or disk format that has been found by them so far, and they have developed a "abstract digital recording medium", the "Interchangable Preservation Format", or IPF, to allow these disks to be preserved how they were always meant to be found: guaranteed unmodified from the original mastering and error free. They come complete with all the copy protection that existed on the physical disk. In fact, the technology is not really tied to the Amiga, in the future it could be used to preserve other systems games, like PC, Atari ST, Mac, or even C64 disks!

The aim of CAPS is to preserve every single Amiga game that can be found. They themselves own several thousand games, and the thought of not being able to play them in the future is what really drives them.

Now the time has come to actually releasing the games that have been contributed by CAPS and by others to the community. Support for the images has been added to WinUAE (http://www.winuae.net), and CAPS have started working on a "re-mastering" solution to write the images back to disk for those people who would like to fix originals that have already suffered bit rot.

However, no images will be available from the website, as CAPS are only providing the technology and are not an Amiga games download site. The only game available to download is Abandoned Places 2 - because the author is the founder of CAPS and has provided it to the Amiga community. Hopefully people who own the games will be able to get hold of them, and the legal Amiga games websites can host whatever games they they have permission for.

So, if you happen to have any original Amiga games and are willing to help, why not contact CAPS so they can provide you will the tools to preserve your Amiga games for the future!

WW is one to cross off your list Twistin' ?

NO GAMES ARE, OR EVER WILL BE, AVAILABLE FROM THE CAPS SITE

Last edited by fiath; 23 December 2002 at 00:58.
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