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Old 25 June 2012, 00:44   #61
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Well, finally, here is some better news.

A brief summary of what I have achieved over the last few days:

Despite still having captured nothing but corrupted rubbish from Disk Block 116, I think I'm on the brink of recovering the Calc program.

The closely matching data I found for Disk Block 116 in the Advantage Disk 2[a] image in TOSEC turned out to be from the English version of the Calc program.

Initially, I estimated the degree of closeness of these blocks of data by noting that the next block of data on each disk differs by only four bytes.

And so it has proved to be. After many, many captures from the Office Disk's Block 116 I have established the likelihood that the bulk of the replacement data I am using is correct and that there are just four bytes (the same number of discrepancies as in the next block) which do not match.

I appreciate that it would still take a huge amount of effort to establish the correct data for these four bytes using a brute force method, but I can now conduct a fresh analysis of the captures I have made so far to predict them on a maximum likelihood basis, plus I may yet find a disk drive which can read that block more effectively.

The Graph program on the Office disk also has a data block which closely matches Disk Block 116 (though not quite as closely as the English Calc program's), and there is also an English version of the Graph program in the Advantage Disk 2[a] image in TOSEC. This program has a five bytes discrepancy between the Portuguese and English versions both in the relevant data block and the next one, and both files are intact!

I intend to do some comparisons between the Portuguese and English versions of both the Calc and Graph programs, to see if I can discover the reason for the discrepancies, which would probably enable me to establish the correct data for the four bytes in Disk Block 116 without any guesswork.

Last edited by prowler; 25 June 2012 at 00:50.
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Old 28 June 2012, 14:48   #62
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Is there no end to your bag of tricks? Nice work.
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Old 29 June 2012, 00:53   #63
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I have made some more progress since then.

In fact, I have just this minute completed my first iteration for the data in Disk Block 116, which I can't wait until tomorrow to try out, so I'll be firing up the emulator before I go to bed tonight!
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Old 29 June 2012, 22:32   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post
I have just this minute completed my first iteration for the data in Disk Block 116, which I can't wait until tomorrow to try out, so I'll be firing up the emulator before I go to bed tonight!
Well, just before 01:00 this morning, I tried the Calc program from the Office disk image with four new bytes pasted into Disk Block 116 and it loaded up fine! (No Guru! )

However, it's not fixed yet. The program hangs when cancelling the Open file dialog box, and the emulation resets when quitting the program.

So, now it's time to get some fresh data using a few more drives...
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Old 02 July 2012, 00:41   #65
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Nice work as always. Can't wait to test as soon as it's ready.
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Old 16 December 2017, 21:45   #66
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A necro, but with permission from prowler! Just found this software in a mangled box, buried amongst some old Amiga stuff I blagged over a decade ago I have more disk images
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Old 16 December 2017, 22:10   #67
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Thanks for resurrecting this thread, indigolemon!

Disk images received with thanks.

Will start comparing them with the most up-to-date disk images from this project tomorrow.

Will post more news then.
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Old 18 December 2017, 22:00   #68
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I have found my backup copy (some 100MB!) of all the files I downloaded and generated in connection with this project, which is extremely fortunate because the original harddrive failed within weeks of my last work on it.

It is taking me a while to get my head round this lot again after more than five years and that is why I had nothing to report last night.

Indigolemon, the disk images you sent me may well be suitable for submission to TOSEC as they are, since you dumped them with no errors, but I have to tell you that if your disks contain the same software featured on HymnsomniaK's, then there is surprisingly little in common between the two sets of disks when compared on a block-for-block basis, so it would be wise to check the originality of every file on your disks before submitting them.

The next step will be to check the discrepancies (if any) between the files on your disk set and HymnsomniaK's.

I have PM'd HymnsomniaK to let him know that his thread has been resurrected, but it's been some three years since his last activity here and I have no way of contacting him by email, so I'm not sure whether he'll respond.

I'll have a better idea where this project will go next when I've completed the file comparisons.
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Old 19 December 2017, 01:31   #69
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Nice work prowler! I must confess to having never used this software, so I'm unsure what should be on the disks, however they are original and write protected (I assume therefore the original owner hadn't tampered with them) so would hope they are correct. Will need to see if I can get any of the software to run.
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