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Old 19 February 2017, 03:40   #21
idrougge
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Originally Posted by absence View Post
My impression is that Kryoflux dumps can show if a professionally duplicated floppy has been modified in a computer. As such, a library of variously modified images in ADF format (which lacks all the low-level data) isn't necessary to establish if a dump is good or not. Just dump the available Workbench 1.3 floppies with Kryoflux and check if they've been written to, and the painstalking work of comparing dates and modifications isn't necessary. Except for rare stuff where all the available floppies are modified of course.
You're asking people to do things they can't do. I have (access to) a big collection of original software but no Kryoflux.
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Old 19 February 2017, 11:14   #22
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Isn't that problem relatively easy to solve though? I understand that not everyone who has original floppies will want to buy a Kryoflux, but if preservation was a conscious effort in the community, it's quite easy to transport floppy disks to someone who can dump them. Compared what the MAME community does for preservation (ship arcade boards around the globe, send chips to professional decapping plants, etc), it's sooo much easier and cheaper to dump Amiga software.
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Old 19 February 2017, 12:33   #23
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Originally Posted by absence View Post
Thank you for the insight. I've written software to convert WWarp dumps of copy protected floppies to extended ADF format, so I'm well aware that producing IPF files from a flux stream isn't a simple automatic process. I also agree that releasing a tool that attempts to hide the complexity in order to let laymen convert to IPF without understanding what goes on would cause more harm than good. A tool for analysis would be useful for learning and research however, especially if people can be taught how to identify modified floppes.

If almost nobody has the technical skills to produce IPF files, it's better to share that knowledge and get other technical people who understand copy protection involved. What if the Istvan guy you mention gets killed in a traffic accident? I'm sure it's possible to work in a way where outsiders assist with the heavy lifting, and SPS can review the work and have the final say in whether it's good enough for an official release. If they worry about poor third-party releases, they can even cryptographically sign their own releases to remove any doubt about authenticity.

There's also the problem of SPS being very opaque. It's good to hear they have a flux dump of Killing Game Show, but how can the public know? It's not listed on their page. Are both PAL and NTSC versions dumped? Similarly, regarding the games that triggered this thread in the first place, does SPS have flux dumps of more versions of Lotus 2 and 3 as well? An up-to-date list of secured flux dumps would be useful, even if it takes another 15 years for them to be converted to IPF.
i have personally submitted (and i'm not the only guy) the psygnosis games with their special encoding. this means Nitro, Killing game show, OBitus, Armour Geddon in their pal releases. But i think that we also have the ntsc versions (i'll ask them confirm).

About the kryoflux board, it's clear that you need to have one in order to dump. a stream dump can only be done with a kryoflux board. This means that if a collector has a lot of software, he must buy a board to dump his disks, there's no other options.....
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Old 19 February 2017, 13:00   #24
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
You're asking people to do things they can't do. I have (access to) a big collection of original software but no Kryoflux.
You can try Kryoflux free http://forum.kryoflux.com/viewtopic.php?t=797
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Old 19 February 2017, 13:15   #25
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I've dumped Nitro and Battle Squadron in NTSC

You don't actually need a KF board if you still have an 020 or higher Amiga, the KF Free dumping tool can still be used on those machines to dump your original 3.5" disks, whether they are Amiga, Atari ST, IBM or Mac but NOT HD Disks, no idea if an Amiga HD drive can be used for HD Disks as I don't have one! The caveat is you need somewhere to store the dump (HDD/CF CARD/USB) and some means of uploading it to SPS either on an internet connected Amiga or transferring to another machine with internet connection!

SPS have also said that a forthcoming update to DTC will allow user generated IPFs via scripts, but you still need to know the encoding of the original disks and how to describe them, so even that is not going to help 99.9% of KF users preserve their disks unless a script is written by someone who knows the format of the disk.

The only tool I can think of that can currently make 'unnoffical' IPFs of Amiga disks is Keir Frasers Disk-Utilities for Linux. The drawback is every game that he's supported has had to be analysed and the disk format described correctly for it to create an IPF, which takes about an hour or so of time to do, and he doesn't have much time nowadays to add new formats as other work commitments/interests take priority, and also because it's a 'hobby' project!
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Old 19 February 2017, 14:41   #26
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Originally Posted by absence View Post
Isn't that problem relatively easy to solve though? I understand that not everyone who has original floppies will want to buy a Kryoflux, but if preservation was a conscious effort in the community, it's quite easy to transport floppy disks to someone who can dump them. Compared what the MAME community does for preservation (ship arcade boards around the globe, send chips to professional decapping plants, etc), it's sooo much easier and cheaper to dump Amiga software.
The Amiga community just isn't that dedicated, and I doubt the arcade emulation community would be if all that their work rendered was a different checksum.
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Old 19 February 2017, 14:42   #27
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I have, but I doubt that my drives would survive dumping a thousand disks that way, not to mention the time wasted.
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Old 19 February 2017, 14:43   #28
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Lots of good information appearing in the thread!

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Originally Posted by dlfrsilver View Post
About the kryoflux board, it's clear that you need to have one in order to dump.
I wasn't saying disks could be dumped without a Kryoflux, but the owner of the disks and the owner of the Kryoflux doesn't necessarily have to be the same person. People without a Kryoflux can mail disks to someone who has one, or even drive there if it's not too far. That kind of collaboration happens all the time in the MAME community, since not everyone has the equipment to dump ROM chips. Although it seems floppies can be dumped without a Kryoflux board by using the Kryoflux Free tool for Amiga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryB View Post
so even that is not going to help 99.9% of KF users preserve their disks unless a script is written by someone who knows the format of the disk.
Technical users who are interested can learn these things! It's not necessary to sit idle and wait for some wizard to show up and put a holy script in your lap. If you can program and understand how floppy drives and copy protections work, you can analyse the format and come up with a script yourself. Yes, it would be unofficial, but it sounds like the cat's already out of the bag with Keir Fraser's work.

Like I said, I've done similar work with WWarp images, and would be interested in poking around at more advanced formats. I'm sure there are others in the same situation. People who have experimented with writing WHD slaves or cracking have potentially useful knowledge. The problem is that there are generally no flux dumps available for the public to have a go at. I don't have a Kryoflux, an Amiga, or any floppy disks, and most of the dumping is going on almost behind closed doors. According to the Kryoflux Free forum post, they have 10,000 raw flux dumps. That's quite a lot more than the number of IPF releases! Where are they? It would be quite useful to have something like TOSEC for flux dumps. (And to preempt the forum police, that's not a request for IPF releases by SPS.)
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Old 19 February 2017, 14:52   #29
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
The Amiga community just isn't that dedicated, and I doubt the arcade emulation community would be if all that their work rendered was a different checksum.
You'd be surprised. It's important to understand why the checksum is different though. It's not useful to collect images with different checksums if it's because someone has written to the floppy. But you have to know which of the checksums is from an unmodified disk to know which images to throw away. I wonder why the Amiga community is less dedicated to preserve their legacy as you say.
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Old 19 February 2017, 14:55   #30
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I saved and checked last year over 200 games missing on SPS, but mainly in German language... Problem is there are no people in the SPS team left taking care for Amiga.
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Old 19 February 2017, 14:58   #31
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The Amiga take on preservation has always gone hand-in-hand with piracy, and the tried and true methods of cracking has served its purpose of preservation well, whereas IPF images are quite useless if you want to play a game or run an application. The problems with SPS, flux images and IPF compared to the immediate usability of a WHDload slave or an ADF makes "proper" preservation more of an academic endeavour.
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Old 19 February 2017, 15:00   #32
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I saved and checked last year over 200 games missing on SPS, but mainly in German language... Problem is there are no people in the SPS team left taking care for Amiga.
they are very busy. I know that Istvan is still coding for the new tool coming.
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Old 19 February 2017, 15:22   #33
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the tried and true methods of cracking has served its purpose of preservation well
I strongly disagree, as having a cracked version of a game does not preserve the unmodified original at all. Lots of cracks were poorly done and had bugs, or stuff left out because of disk space, and lots of the circulated floppies (and subsequent ADF files added to TOSEC) have minor data corruption "thanks" to X-Copy's idiotic doscopy+ mode which conceals read errors by recalculating the checksum from the corrupt data. Is that how we want Amiga software remembered? Some of the worst cracks have been redone in recent years, probably from original disks that were luckily still available.

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IPF images are quite useless if you want to play a game or run an application.
How can it be useless? The whole point of an IPF image is to document the content of the original disk with enough detail to be indistinguishable! It renders a crack superfluous, except for parts unrelated to disk access, like manual checks.
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Old 19 February 2017, 15:28   #34
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they are very busy. I know that Istvan is still coding for the new tool coming.
Hope there will be still disks and people left helping them, when the tool will be ready. I am frustrated, invested over 100 hours of pure work without a feedback or coming together.
But SPS/IPF is still the only good standard, because it is working.
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Old 19 February 2017, 15:41   #35
idrougge
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I strongly disagree, as having a cracked version of a game does not preserve the unmodified original at all. Lots of cracks were poorly done and had bugs, or stuff left out because of disk space, and lots of the circulated floppies (and subsequent ADF files added to TOSEC) have minor data corruption "thanks" to X-Copy's idiotic doscopy+ mode which conceals read errors by recalculating the checksum from the corrupt data. Is that how we want Amiga software remembered? Some of the worst cracks have been redone in recent years, probably from original disks that were luckily still available.
Yes, there were good cracks and bad cracks. Some games were more difficult than others, but a 100 % copy is still just a step towards making the necessary crack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by absence
How can it be useless? The whole point of an IPF image is to document the content of the original disk with enough detail to be indistinguishable! It renders a crack superfluous, except for parts unrelated to disk access, like manual checks.
How do you write an IPF to floppy without buying a Kryoflux? Can you install a WHDload slave from an IPF?
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Old 19 February 2017, 16:29   #36
absence
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How do you write an IPF to floppy without buying a Kryoflux?
I see what you mean. That's only a problem as long as there still exists working floppy drives and Amiga hardware however. That won't always be the case.

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Can you install a WHDload slave from an IPF?
Yes, I think RawDIC supports IPF images. Often slaves don't support cracked versions anyway.
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Old 19 February 2017, 16:39   #37
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WinUAE can be used to install an IPF image using WHDLoad (if the version is supported), then you can transfer that install to your Amiga provided you have the means to do so and you have WHDLoad already installed.
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Old 19 February 2017, 16:43   #38
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The slave installers can read IPF disk images directly instead of floppies, no need to use WinUAE.
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Old 19 February 2017, 16:56   #39
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You still have to get the IPF onto your Amiga, might as well install under WinUAE and transfer that.
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Old 19 February 2017, 17:04   #40
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You could also just download a pre-installed slave for additional convenience. The point is that IPF images aren't useless just because you need hardware to write them to physical floppies, but we're wandering off topic. The important part is preservation of the original data in the first place.
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