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Old 15 May 2002, 20:25   #1
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Floppy disk Can't we just simulate protection?

Isn't a typical protection routine just code looking for certain encoded data that may not be there do to copy loss? If so, why can't someone program a layer in WinUAE to send the right "answers" to the protection routine? I'm thinking along the lines of a parameter copier function that deceives rather than cracks the original code.

This is a naive question because I do not understand the insides of disk copy protection, but I'd to hear why this isn't possible. With all the hard work the CAPS project is doing, it seems to me there would be vast technical resources to help accomplish this. Then again, once CAPS figures out everything, it won't need to be done.
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Old 15 May 2002, 21:57   #2
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Well actually I can't see what this couldn't be done but I have to ask why would you want to in the first place

The one thing that CAPS is trying to do with their project is to preserve the title(s) along with any and all the copy protection intact. This is great for preserving originatl titles for real Amiga's but EMU's that's a different story altogether.

I know that there are copy protection shcemes that cause problems even on real Amiga's so my thinking is why not remove the copy protection so that this title can then run on said machine and if it so happens to be able to be run on an EMU too then so be it

Also I think it would eat up way too much resources trying to emulate copy protection within an EMU. But that part I'll leave to Toni for a better answer
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Old 17 May 2002, 11:37   #3
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At least it will go much faster than CAPS ... *crouches due to possible flying objects over his head*
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Old 17 May 2002, 17:52   #4
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Anything is possible, but frankly, I just don't see the merits in it.

Consider that UAE does need a ridiculously powerful system to do an A5oo justice, and is it perfect? The answer is no.

Whilst UAE is pretty good, sound issues, plasma issues... there are more issues with UAE than that, that need addressing to make it more compatible, without introducing more bugs.

UAE needs to have existing bugs removed first, and maybe when thats done then it might be an idea, as it stands, UAE really doesn't need to impose anymore bottlenecks.
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Old 17 May 2002, 21:26   #5
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Well, I think the point with CAPS is that the disks are preserved and archived for future use whatever the purpose - the images could be used to repair bad disks or for emulation. IMHO it is a very good thing to have original disks and not cracked versions. I think it promotes a view of anti-piracy which copyright holders may look upon and decide it's a format they'd prefer their software to be in for download from approved sites. I think it'll be like "purifying" the Amiga TOSEC collection, for want of a better description.

As for simulating protection, one solution could be to have per-game configuration files with manual codes etc. that the emulator can automatically enter, this would be quite easy but would require the emulator to go into "automatic" mode for a short period to move the mouse/provide input. For the "authentic" feel, the emulator could have an HTML (say) rendered window next to the screen in the GUI to navigate games/manuals. That's the way I'd prefer I think and it wouldn't be too difficult to implement. Now, code wheels are another story, but interactive versions of those would be cool!

Obviously by the time the CAPS project has matured sufficiently for distribution of tools/games, PCs will be an order of magnitude faster. The fact is, more power will be required to brute-force emulate the hardware accurately at the bus-cycle level, there's no question about that. A more intelligent "JIT" would decrease the requirements somewhat but not at the expense of accuracy. There's always soem reason to have to upgrade hardware...
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Old 28 June 2002, 13:48   #6
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What an interesting thread I missed.

Anyway, AFAIK Toni still plans to add support for CAPS images into WinUAE. Actually, he did plan to put in a generic format (probably similar to the CAPS one though for obvious reasons) so that all current disk formats load into that "internal" format.

He did plan to support (normal) ADF's internally too for performance reasons - so they will be mostly unaffected.

The idea behind all of that is to make the current bugs in UAE more apparent by looking at stuff that does funny things with the hardware - copy protection - thus hopefully making it more accurate as a whole.

I think Toni himself said this here somewhere - it should *help* with the remaining bugs - not hinder.

(Take all of this with a pinch of salt - unless you hear this from Toni himself - I do not know what his current plans are - this was a while ago)

Unfortuately, as we have always said - many many CAPS images will not work on current emulators. You really need emulation down to the CPU microcode level - but I guess that is not going to happen any time soon (if anybody is planning to do this - please contact us!) as well as emulating bus conflicts & bunch of other stuff.

But as happened with C64 emulation - they are mostly there now AFAIK - it just took time.
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Old 28 June 2002, 16:50   #7
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Sorry - I should make it clear that Toni is waiting on *us* to supply information on supporting images in UAE, not the other way round - it is just that we are not quite ready yet!

Last edited by fiath; 28 June 2002 at 17:03.
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