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Old 28 February 2014, 23:39   #1
fryguy
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Kryoflux vs SuperCardPro?

I'm thinking of getting one of these, to dump my original games for use in an emulator but also to be able to write them back to floppys.

Which is the better one?

I have a feeling the software for the Kryoflux is more complete ?

I'm mainly going to use it with Amiga and C64 floppys. But i might also want to dump more obscure disks like Apple][ and Compis.
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Old 01 March 2014, 12:31   #2
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KryoFlux - software in development since 2009... plus the previous 8 years in Amiga preservation.
Obviously, my view is biased
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Old 01 March 2014, 13:42   #3
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Kryoflux !
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Old 01 March 2014, 14:20   #4
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Tough choice....

I'd say SuperCopy Pro. Simply because the data you capture can be used "Today" and not 5-10 years in the future.

With an SCP you can make your own PROTECTED disk image and use it straight away with an emulator which supports SCP format.

With Kryoflux you cannot do that for PROTECTED formats. You have to make a STREAM dump, send it to SPS and they sent you back an IPF image, but this can take weeks sometimes years.

The amount of Amiga IPF releases from SPS has dwindled. It is far far less than the number of raw dumps people have provided in recent years. I have seen lots of posts saying they provided dumps with absolutely zero feedback. Not good.

JimDrew is making bugfixes to his work open and quickly. People are making and sharing SCP dumps on a regular basis. Emulators are adopting the SCP format. There is no doubt that Jim Drew of SCP is a smart guy and very enthusiastic about his project. But being very smart he is quite arrogant that he knows exactly what he's doing and no-one can tell him anything.

Saying that the SPS/Kryoflux team were quite arrogant at the start, all closed source and mysterious. They have mellowed and become more open in the last few years.

But.... which format is being adopted more in Emulators? IPF format? or SCP format? I don't know. IPF is very widely used in Amiga emulators. But less so on other platforms. It has barely scratched the surface in Atari ST world where the STX (PaSTi) format is king and SCP is catching up.

Which format is less likely to have images with "dirty disk" errors in them?

Well IPF images are "proven" to be unmodified and good quality captures as they are released only by SPS.

SuperCopyPro images can be made and distributed by anyone with no quality check. But high quality analysis tools free to the public are being produced to help users determine the quality of their dumps.

Last edited by alexh; 01 March 2014 at 14:41.
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Old 01 March 2014, 14:46   #5
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If you want quality software KF. Simple as that.
I'd rather not comment on JD's knowledge on anything related to magnetic recording... but I'd say good luck with that...!
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Old 01 March 2014, 17:34   #6
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Can people use KF to image original game disks (presumably protected) and use these images directly?
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Old 01 March 2014, 19:02   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
With Kryoflux you cannot do that for PROTECTED formats. You have to make a STREAM dump, send it to SPS and they sent you back an IPF image, but this can take weeks sometimes years.
I think it would be quite straightforward for emulators to support reading stream dumps. Whether any emulators currently have that capability is another matter.

I've figured out most of the ".raw" dump format used by the ctprog imaging program, so it would be possible for an emulator to support that type of raw dump too. The missing part is figuring out how to decompress the timing data. That would likely be quite simple for someone who knows more about data compression than I do; ctprog probably uses some kind-of-standard algorithm to compress the data. Copy protected disks which have varying density like Rob Northen wouldn't work without the timing info.
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Old 02 March 2014, 07:34   #8
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AlexH,

Yes, they could. We however encourage people NOT to use stream dumps/raw dumps directly.
1, They can't be compared at all; it's simply impossible without throwing massive computing power at it (like we already do when pre-processing the data for IPF files). You will end up with hundreds of dumps with the exact same game and you will never ever know whether it's a different version than another or not.
2, They require quite some processing, which is not suitable for emulators on embedded systems.
3, You will never ever know whether they are fully good or not - unless you play them from beginning to the end.
4, You will never ever know whether they are original authentic data, something cracked/patched (by parameter copiers etc), or even a personal backup.
5, You CANNOT correctly write these back to disk, it's simply rolling the dice. Disk duplication never ever worked on unknown data, anyone saying otherwise has never had anything to do with duplication.
With old disks like these it's very likely that you read good data from a track here and there and you can merge these together by clever algorithms taking into account keeping the original gaps etc correctly. This is how IPFs are done. If you are hoping to get a good read in a single revolution from an old disk for all of the tracks... good luck with that. It did not happen in 2001, when preserving for CAPS started, it won't happen now, when disks are 13 years older...

While would you want all of THAT mess? Wouldn't you are better off with games that are known to work as much as the original and are proven to be originals and error free...?
Oh wait you can: it's called IPF.

Trust me, it would have been a HELL LOT EASIER to just let people use raw dumps and be done with it in 2001 (!!!).
We do care about preservation - and see above the problems with raw dumps. Anyone saying you otherwise is a snake oil salesman, nothing more and cares nothing at all about preservation or even the quality of your backups. The only interest is to have something out the door with a software that can be written in 2 weekends at most in visual basic.

Mark_k,

See above.
It's not like emulator authors can't have access to CT RAW format, but they DO understand these problems.
And no, everything in CT Raw was custom designed at the time to be able to run that speed on 68020+.

And here is a list of the largely unknown IPF format as supported by emulators:
IPF:
WinUAE
Spectaculator
Caprice
SimCoupe
Steem
Hatari
Winston
MESS
EMU
+probably others released or in development I can’t even remember…

As for using that other raw format... I highly recommend this thread where the reality has been exposed, but there are tons of those in various forums...
http://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=51253

Regardless, we had a poll on our own website about future development and using stream dumps and using custom format scripting (like Trace used FreeForm) were popular items.
So upcoming releases of KF software will move towards those territories.
Despite this, using stream dumps WILL come with huge warnings both in manual and in the program explaining to the user why it is not a good idea in general, unless having fun for a few minutes

Additionally, if you REALLY want to use stream files, as is:
HxC
A new emulator PC-E, see the below thread:
http://forum.kryoflux.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=765

Last edited by TCD; 05 March 2014 at 10:06. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 02 March 2014, 10:56   #9
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Kryoflux vs SuperCardPro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Can people use KF to image original game disks (presumably protected) and use these images directly?

As IFW posted... There are various converters around for Stream, and eg HxC also supports them.

So yes, can be used today. Direct copies made with SCP have the usual generation loss issues. You can as well use Cyclone, Synchro Express or any other direct copier.

Oh, and here's an excerpt from a newsletter we sent out on Feb, 14th. I've just put it up on the forums (http://forum.kryoflux.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=790).

Quote:
DTC Scripting & IPF creation

That's one of the major requests that came in shortly after the very first release, but it also means a bucketload of work. Some time ago, we started a poll on our forums to find out about how new platforms and formats should be supported.

We have opted to go for for the second place of the poll. The first place would have meant adding more formats statically. Since reverse engineering the original recording scheme can be very time consuming, this would mean setting priorities and not being able to support certain platforms - for years! The upcoming scripting host links into the heart of DTC, thus enabling you to define your own formats. This means while we continue working on KryoFlux, the community can independently create and share format descriptors. This brings in huge flexibility and speed. It is also the way floppy disks were replicated back in the good old days, so it is a proven concept.

It will also bring user created IPFs. Our format is already standard for authentic and verified Amiga, PC, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC and Spectrum preservation and supported by various emulators. Since IPFs are scripted, whatever needs to be added, can be put in. This means IPFs can store whatever data you may have, even the most sophisticated recording scheme violations - mostly used for copy protection. This is long term preservation as it should be.
This means User-made IPFs, with the same quality we can achive. These scripts can be shared and modified, cloned, turned into new ones. Basically the best of both worlds. Perfect, verified archival copies, no need to submit to us - as you have noticed we're totally swamped. Keep in mind, we are not a paid institution, but everything we do is done in our spare time.

Last edited by mr.vince; 02 March 2014 at 14:07.
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Old 02 March 2014, 19:55   #10
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Just my opinion, but I'd recommend vendors avoid trying to make other vendors look bad..
I see 2 realistic outcomes..
1: The people who love product X will still love product X and the people who love product Y will still love product Y.
2: People will lose respect for both vendors, but mostly the one "accusing."

Option 3, someone "realizes the error of their ways," is really unlikely, regardless of how "right" you believe you are.

Now, that's not the case when you are just informing people about the features they might not have known about or even correcting people about misinformation about your own product.

But once one side starts doing the "Ah, gotcha; look how bad he is," they lose..
IMHO

That said, I own a Kryoflux and think it's great.. The only consumer issue I have is the creation and availability of IPF images, but that is improving...

The SuperCard looks to be an interesting product, and with some of the features (like direct 1541 attachment) looks to be more consumer friendly oriented.

I think it's great both products are here for us as users...
Love my Kryoflux tho.. ;-)

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Old 02 March 2014, 21:45   #11
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Totally agree - but let's make one thing absolutely clear: it was not anyone from KryoFlux or SPS who said the other product was totally inferior etc... the negative campaign/discredit style "advertising" was totally JD's idea, and he delivered in spades... it's his MO for all of his products. Just do a google search.
in fact spent months saying that, even at places like CommVex... (and you can find "reference material" in droves in other forums).
If that never happened, we would have no problems whatsoever.
Maybe this is perfectly normal to do in the US, but over here in Europe, it's not exactly...

As they say: what goes around comes around.

We would never ever think about pointing out problems with being a "fancy Synchro Express" at this day and age (which is yes, nothing more than an uncertain backup method), if that thing would not be willfully compared to KryoFlux.
If spreading FUD happens we are in our right to point out that it's a completely different product and WHY - I see no reason to lie down and just say, sure... we did that for a while, but that got old by now.
Someone has spent over a year spreading FUD about KryoFlux.
It's perfectly natural to point out why that's FUD.

...so if anyone is concerned about point (2) as very well pointed out by desiv - feel free to agree with that and buy a KryoFlux

Last edited by TCD; 05 March 2014 at 10:07. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 02 March 2014, 21:59   #12
desiv
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Quote:
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Totally agree
Good to hear... Nice to see people able to take the high ground... er..
Quote:
Originally Posted by IFW View Post
- but let's make one thing absolutely clear:
OK, so you totally agree it shouldn't be done, and then continue it?
Of course, your side may be right, but as I mentioned, I don't think that's the point..
Quote:
Originally Posted by IFW View Post
Maybe this is perfectly normal to do in the US, but over here in Europe, it's not exactly...
Well, I see a smiley, but I'm not sure how this became a U.S. versus Europe thing??
I wouldn't think you would speak for all of Europe, and I would hope you would realize that J.D. doesn't speak for all of the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IFW View Post
As they say: what goes around comes around.
Yes it does..

Probably won't be buying or recommending any or your products..
Nothing against the hardware, just my choice of who to buy from / recommend.
(Not that I think that's a big deal.. ;-) One guy on the internet with no cred.. Just my choice as a customer..)

Again, I don't own any J.D. products. I do own yours. And like it.
I won't say anything bad about it..

Have a good one..

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Old 02 March 2014, 22:11   #13
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You got it all wrong...

It's NOT an Europe vs US thing.

Just none of us being from US can understand why this seems to be perfectly normal to do for someone else who happens to be not from Europe.
However, I did hear about some intense "advertising" between competing products over there (maybe just in the past?) so I am not certain whether this is then semi-accepted form of advertising your product or not.
Please feel free to tell me as I am genuinely interested - maybe what has happened would not be considered as pure insults over there; I simply have no way of knowing as I haven't been raised in the US.

So is this specific to some vendors or more like "casual fun"?
As I said this is genuine interest, to understand better.

desiv: the moral high ground was NOT taken by KryoFlux at all.
But I don't think we should accept how things go, unless someone can confirm that it's somewhat normal. (see above)
Then I wouldn't care anymore.

Last edited by TCD; 05 March 2014 at 10:07. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 02 March 2014, 22:31   #14
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Product functionality is important and the difference between a good product and a great product is the after-market support.

I was lightly involved in the earlier days of Kryoflux and even went as far as to send some exotic disk images to be analyzed. Not only did I get everything sorted out or answered when I asked a question but I also got excellent support when I had issues with some of the very early software.

My internet provider isn't the cheapest in the world but their technical support and staff excel at their jobs and roles.

Everyone's criteria is different but this is my reasoning and thoughts.
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Old 03 March 2014, 00:52   #15
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Negative advertising is generally frowned up in the USA also, and bad-mouthing your competitors is generally rude.

However, it is not illegal, and many disreputable businesses do it.
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Old 03 March 2014, 01:12   #16
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Negative advertising is generally frowned up in the USA also, and bad-mouthing your competitors is generally rude.

However, it is not illegal, and many disreputable businesses do it.
not to mention American politicians!!
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Old 03 March 2014, 08:49   #17
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r.cade, I assume you are not addressing KryoFlux here...
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Old 03 March 2014, 10:21   #18
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Whatever is judged 'best', thanks to these new affordable technologies many people can enjoy DIY read/write floppies on a modern computer OS, so now this discussion is somewhat like previous Ford T or Lada owners arguing whether a modern BMW or Mercedes is a better car!
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Old 03 March 2014, 15:30   #19
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Quote:
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r.cade, I assume you are not addressing KryoFlux here...
Uh, no. It was clear who began the negative campaign.
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Old 05 March 2014, 07:24   #20
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I pointed out the facts between products. If that's a negative to someone, then so be it. I really don't care too much about "preservation" (sic). However, SuperCard Pro has a superior capture resolution compared to KryoFlux (fact), it uses superior capture hardware for the signal edge detection (fact), so it does make a more accurate representation of the original - a fact that is disputed by the Kryoflux team who believe you can't tell the difference, when clearly you can. So, SuperCard Pro does a better job of "preserving" the original contents of a disk, including any problems the disk might have - like defective media. A program verifying a disk and letting you know it is defective is not going to magically make your defective disk work. A bad disk is a bad disk, and other than cleaning it (which you should probably do anyways) there is little that you can do to fix it.

I wanted something that would make WORKING disk copies TODAY. 99.99% of the people just want a working copy of their original disk, while that elite .01% wants it verified against other known samples as well. People just want to make an image of a disk and use the image to create a working disk later. That's really about it. SuperCard Pro does that.

There are several programs that already support .scp image file format (which was released to developers early on so they could support it). HxC's floppy emulator supports .scp files, so you can read and write .scp images, converting them from/to numerous other disk formats. Aufit supports .scp images for verifying Atari ST dumps. SAMDisk is getting updated to support .scp images, and I am working with the FPGA Replay project adding flux level support for it. Other emulation authors have obtained the SDK and image file format from me, so we will see in the future how many more programs are added.

To be frank, I was going to write some code for the KryoFlux board but the KF team was less than friendly about it, telling me that I didn't know anything about disk copying. I had a news flash for these youngsters, I started writing tape and disk copiers in the 70's. It was part of my daily business until about 2001. There is nobody on the KF team that has been doing this longer than me. It's certainly no secret that I produced dozens of commercial disk copiers (both hardware and software) for the PET, C64, and Amiga. I was also involved with the Option Board project when I worked at Central Point Software. So, due to the KF team's attitude I decided to make my own hardware and software and offer it to public. You can thank them for this product becoming available.

My goal was to make a tool that people could use immediately and to create an openly available image format that could be adopted by emulation authors (which I also am - EMPLANT, FUSION, PCx, AII, ACE, etc.) to provide the lowest level possible so that 100% of everything on disk could be used just like the real deal.

So, hundreds of boards (in 22 different countries so far) later, I think I am on my way to reaching my goal, but there is still a lot left to do. The SuperCard Pro can be a floppy drive emulator (like HxC), and I have a 1541 emulation that it am working on. SuperCard Pro can be a stand alone device too. It doesn't need a USB port to copy disks, so there are some neat microcontroller based projects that will be released as open source add-ons. I have always developed my products based on the feedback from the public, so any ideas you might have, I would certainly like to hear from you.

For more information on SuperCard Pro and other products, please see my website: www.cbmstuff.com

Last edited by JimDrew; 05 March 2014 at 07:57.
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