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The Icon Bar: General: Archimedes Software Preservation Project
 
  Archimedes Software Preservation Project
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Jon Abbott Message #120548, posted by sirbod at 08:31, 9/6/2012
Member
Posts: 563
ANNOUNCEMENT:

The Centre for Computing History and The Archimedes Software Preservation Project will be combining efforts to preserve original copies of Archimedes software in both physical and digital form.

The Centre for Computing History are a non-profit registered charity based near Cambridge and as such are keen for donations of software, hardware and more importantly money and corporate sponsorship to expand. If you feel you can help, please donate or put the museum in touch with companies prepared to sponsor them in their efforts. The museum has a vast collection of hardware and software and has expanded rapidly since its creation. Having outgrown their current facilities, they are expanding to an open museum in Cambridge, aiming to be open early in the new year.

The aim of the Archimedes Software Preservation Project is to provide publicly available images of all legacy Archimedes software, in it's original protected state, along with the means to mount the images on both physical and emulated hardware. In addition to the disc media, boxes, manuals, artwork etc will be scanned and made available along with metadata.

ADFFS is the initial first step along this aim and is continuing to be expanded as new disc protections are encountered. If you wish to help the project, by donating software or providing images / scans or getting involved in development, please contact myself.
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Jason Togneri Message #120549, posted by filecore at 10:15, 9/6/2012, in reply to message #120548

Posts: 3867
preserve original copies of Archimedes software in both physical and digital form

to provide publicly available images of all legacy Archimedes software, in it's original protected state, along with the means to mount the images on both physical and emulated hardware
Good luck with that. I personally think this is a fine goal, although if you read through similar threads on this forum, you'll see that others may disagree. I wish you success and I believe that projects like this will represent the future of RISC OS as a viable platform.

Here are some links to a few manuals and other info that I have in electronic format:

http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/diggers/ - manual
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/hauntedhouse/ manual and clue sheet, plus walkthrough
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/karma/ - manual
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/timemachine/ - clue sheet
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/flashback/ - a dubious inclusion but it's all I have

The clue sheets for HH and TM are the official ones sent by 4D as per the offer in each game's !Help.

EDIT: added links.

[Edited by filecore at 12:46, 10/6/2012]
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Philip Webster Message #120551, posted by pwx at 10:29, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120549
Member
Posts: 227

Here are some links to a few manuals and other info that I have in electronic format:

http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/diggers/ - manual
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/hauntedhouse/ manual and clue sheet, plus walkthrough
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/karma/ - manual
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/timemachine/ - clue sheet
http://www.filecore.net/riscos/games/flashback/ - a dubious inclusion but it's all I have
I have boxed copies of Karma, Diggers and Flashback - I could have the boxes scanned. Probably the only one worth doing is Karma, as Diggers and Flashback both have generic multiformat boxes identical to the Amiga ones.

The Karma box is plain black with a red/yellow Taijitu and the word 'KARMA' in white underneath. I suppose some photos of the 'unboxing' might be of historical interest, along with a scan or photo of the floppy disk label.

As soon as I get around to having a working, fully assembled machine, I'll be happy to help with disk imaging, as it's something I need to do anyway for the boxes and boxes of old floppies in my spare room that need backing up before the young 'un gets at them.
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Jason Togneri Message #120552, posted by filecore at 11:07, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120551

Posts: 3867
Any Acorn-specific parts of the Flashback manual would be good (controls listings, etc). My inclusion is just a hand-drawn list of the symbols and codes to be able to play the game! My friend and I made it as a quick-reference guide so as to not have to flip through the manual all the time.

I should have a full boxed copy of Karma somewhere, but I think it's in the UK at the moment and I'm not, so it will be a while before I can check.
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Jon Abbott Message #120553, posted by sirbod at 11:27, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120551
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Posts: 563
I have originals of Karma and Diggers, so they're covered. Diggers - can you confirm the manual, just below CONTENTS is states "LOADING INSTRUCTIONS for A1200/A4000 Diggers" - ie its the Amiga manual.

Jason's manual seems Arc specific. I've yet to figure out how to get it running, it seems to use a video mode nothing supports - either physical or emulated. Any ideas? I tried the 50Hz/100Hz change, which makes no difference.
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Philip Webster Message #120554, posted by pwx at 11:37, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120553
Member
Posts: 227
I have originals of Karma and Diggers, so they're covered. Diggers - can you confirm the manual, just below CONTENTS is states "LOADING INSTRUCTIONS for A1200/A4000 Diggers" - ie its the Amiga manual.
I'll have a look at the Diggers manual at the weekend. I think it came with a photocopies addendum sheet with Acorn specific instructions - will double-check when I open the box. I have 2 copies (from job-lots of Acorn games) so I'll know for sure when I check them out.

Does anyone have a copy of the 'Pon' games? These seem quite rare - I have never seen one for sale on eBay, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen a disk image of them either.

From the screenshots in magazines they didn't look fantastic, but are probably worth preserving anyway.
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Michael Drake Message #120555, posted by tlsa at 11:44, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120554

Posts: 1093
Does anyone have a copy of the 'Pon' games? These seem quite rare - I have never seen one for sale on eBay, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen a disk image of them either.

From the screenshots in magazines they didn't look fantastic, but are probably worth preserving anyway.
I don't remember these at all. Have you got any more information on them, or links to screenshots?
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Jason Togneri Message #120556, posted by filecore at 11:50, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120553

Posts: 3867
I've yet to figure out how to get it running, it seems to use a video mode nothing supports - either physical or emulated. Any ideas? I tried the 50Hz/100Hz change, which makes no difference.
Hmm, I've had it running in the not-too-distant past, but I don't remember whether it was emulated or on the RPC. I can have a check at some point and see.
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Jon Abbott Message #120557, posted by sirbod at 12:45, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120556
Member
Posts: 563
Out of the 200+ games I've taken screenshots of over the past few weeks, there's only a few I've yet to get working:

1. Adventures Classic Compilation vol.1 & 2 (Topologika)
2. Arcade 3 (Clares Micro Supplies)
3. Diggers (Millennium Interactive)

Issues are:

1. Poor coding in the protection, which writes over page 0
2. Poor coding in the protection, which causes the machine to crash
3. Non standard video mode
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Jeffrey Lee Message #120558, posted by Phlamethrower at 13:42, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120557
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15054
Diggers is certainly very difficult to get working on newer machines. I think I eventually got it running on my StrongARM, but without sound. Since that wasn't very good I just gave up and turned to running it under emulation. I'd suggest you do the same, but I have a feeling you won't listen wink

I think I've still got a copy of the hacked around version that I managed to get running, so I can probably dig it out for you when I get home.
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Jon Abbott Message #120559, posted by sirbod at 14:29, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120558
Member
Posts: 563
I've tried it on two RISC PC's, under Arculator, RedSquirrel, 3 versions of RISC OS and 4 CPU's.

Did I miss anything?

!Intro hangs, if I run !RunImage it asks for disc 2 and then hangs after reading it. It's obviously doing something dodgy as it also crashes RedSquirrel at this point.

I'll put it down to sloppy coding.
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Philip Webster Message #120560, posted by pwx at 14:56, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120558
Member
Posts: 227
Diggers is certainly very difficult to get working on newer machines. I think I eventually got it running on my StrongARM, but without sound.
I don't recall ever having problems with it on my own SA RPC. Which version do you have? (it displays a version number on the main menu screen)

Mine is version 1.00 - or at least the original copy I had is. I have 2 more, boxed copies which I purchased in game collections from eBay when reconstructing my (foolishly sold-off) collection. I'll be able to pick these up at the weekend. I also have a HD install of my original copy on the RPC's new SD card, which was recovered from my original hard disk. It isn't hacked in any way.

I'll test it for you when I get a chance.

Edit: add v. number


[Edited by pwx at 15:11, 11/6/2012]
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Philip Webster Message #120561, posted by pwx at 15:01, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120555
Member
Posts: 227
'Pon' games
I don't remember these at all. Have you got any more information on them, or links to screenshots?
'Pon' and 'Pon in Winterland' feature a what Micro User described as a 'mutant cornflake'. It appears to be some sort of puzzle/action game involving coloured tiles that have to be set to particular states while avoiding enemies.

'Pon in Winterland' is a winter/Christmas-themed sequel to the original. From memory I think I saw it in the issue of Micro User that also reviewed TwinWorld, Bug Hunter in Space, and Chocks Away Extra Missions (the magazine cover had a montage of all of these games).

This would date it at around December 1991.
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Michael Drake Message #120562, posted by tlsa at 15:12, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120561

Posts: 1093
Interesting. I see they're listed on both

http://glacoras.net16.net/archimedes.html

and

http://glacoras.110mb.com/archimedes.html
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Jeffrey Lee Message #120563, posted by Phlamethrower at 15:20, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120560
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15054
Diggers is certainly very difficult to get working on newer machines. I think I eventually got it running on my StrongARM, but without sound.
I don't recall ever having problems with it on my own SA RPC. Which version do you have? (it displays a version number on the main menu screen)
According to this thread, I possibly have version 0.97. I'll check when I get home (and see whether the version I'm running under emulation is an original copy or still slightly hacked around).
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Philip Webster Message #120564, posted by pwx at 15:41, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120562
Member
Posts: 227

http://glacoras.net16.net/archimedes.html
Does anyone know the maintainer of this page? I sent a large set of corrections and updates via the email link a couple of months ago and never heard anything back.
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Philip Webster Message #120565, posted by pwx at 15:42, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120563
Member
Posts: 227
Diggers is certainly very difficult to get working on newer machines. I think I eventually got it running on my StrongARM, but without sound.
I don't recall ever having problems with it on my own SA RPC. Which version do you have? (it displays a version number on the main menu screen)
According to this thread, I possibly have version 0.97. I'll check when I get home (and see whether the version I'm running under emulation is an original copy or still slightly hacked around).
I'll double-check mine from the HD install ASAP.
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Jon Abbott Message #120566, posted by sirbod at 15:50, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120564
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Posts: 563
Would you like to update my master spreadsheet? Drop me an eMail if you do.

Diggers - never gets to the home page, I just get a blank screen.
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Jason Togneri Message #120567, posted by filecore at 20:19, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120559

Posts: 3867
I've tried it on two RISC PC's, under Arculator, RedSquirrel, 3 versions of RISC OS and 4 CPU's.

Did I miss anything?
Apparently so. Running perfectly here, right now, on VA5K with RO3.11, 16MB RAM. The game is version 1.00 (04-Mar-94) and as far as I can tell is the same as the original (no patches, modifications etc).

I also still have recollections of it running on my RPC, but I get the "Screen mode not available" messages when trying. I wonder if an MDF hack would do the trick?

Edited for version.

[Edited by filecore at 21:10, 11/6/2012]
diggers.jpg 660x511 236.5KB
diggers.jpg
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diggers2.jpg 660x511 176.8KB
diggers2.jpg
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diggers3.jpg 660x511 152.6KB
diggers3.jpg
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152.6KB

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Jeffrey Lee Message #120568, posted by Phlamethrower at 20:47, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120567
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15054
After doing some digging I've managed to track down what seems to be an original copy of the game before I started hacking around trying to get it to run on my RiscPC. Although the file timestamps have been lost, the sizes match up with the ones I listed in the thread I linked to earlier.

Running it reveals that it's version 1.00 (04-Mar-94). However in both Arculator and ArcEm it crashes after the Millennium logo. On RedSquirrel (set to A5000 emulation) it runs, apart from the music tempo being off.

The copy of the game which I had been previously been using under emulation (and works fine with all emulators, AFAIK) seems to be based around one of my attempts at patching the game to run, or is quite possibly based around a pre-patched copy that (IIRC) Alex Macfarlane Smith sent me. Certainly I've removed some of the RiscPC patches in order to get it running under Arc emulation. This patched version also reports itself as being version 1.00 (04-Mar-94).

[Edited by Phlamethrower at 20:50, 11/6/2012]
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Jon Abbott Message #120569, posted by sirbod at 22:01, 11/6/2012, in reply to message #120568
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Posts: 563
My !RUNIMAGE is dated 06-Mar-94

Can only be memory or module related then. It doesn't have any modules on the disc - implying no dependencies.

EDIT: Managed to get the start page up, which says "1.00 (04-MAR-94)...it then hangs

EDIT2: Now have it prompting for disc 2, after changing discs...it hangs

My guess is it's doing something dodgy memory wise in page zero, which may explain why emulators don't like it.

Incidentally, I got this far by hijacking OS_Module 8/9 (RMTidy / RMClear) as these were crashing some of the RAM based modules.

EDIT3: The reason it hangs...
It sits in the following loop:

.&BFD0
LDR R14, [R12, #284]
CMP R14, #0
BNE &BFD0

It's waiting for an interrupt driven process to update memory, which never occurs. The only vectors it claims are ByteV and EventV, hijacking the VSync.

Bypassing that loop results in SWI unknown.

[Edited by sirbod at 19:59, 12/6/2012]
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Matthew Thompson Message #120598, posted by Matt at 15:49, 15/6/2012, in reply to message #120554
Member
Posts: 11
I have originals of Karma and Diggers, so they're covered. Diggers - can you confirm the manual, just below CONTENTS is states "LOADING INSTRUCTIONS for A1200/A4000 Diggers" - ie its the Amiga manual.
I'll have a look at the Diggers manual at the weekend. I think it came with a photocopies addendum sheet with Acorn specific instructions - will double-check when I open the box. I have 2 copies (from job-lots of Acorn games) so I'll know for sure when I check them out.

Does anyone have a copy of the 'Pon' games? These seem quite rare - I have never seen one for sale on eBay, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen a disk image of them either.

From the screenshots in magazines they didn't look fantastic, but are probably worth preserving anyway.
Yes, I have both Pon games, although i'm not sure if the discs work anymore, it was a great little game, they are very rare now, you had to guide Pon round the screen and turn all the tiles a certain colour.

Preservation of Archimedes games is something I would like to see happen, I think it is such a shame that virtually all the games have disappeared and simply don't exist anywhere. A 32 bit version of Stairway to hell needs to exist to preserve these games.


[Edited by Matt at 15:55, 15/6/2012]
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Philip Webster Message #120599, posted by pwx at 20:43, 15/6/2012, in reply to message #120598
Member
Posts: 227

Yes, I have both Pon games, although i'm not sure if the discs work anymore, it was a great little game, they are very rare now, you had to guide Pon round the screen and turn all the tiles a certain colour.
It's worth having a crack at imaging these. Also getting photos/scans of the box and manual.

I'm planning on picking up some of my old games this weekend, so I can get started on some sort of preservation activity in the coming week.
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Jon Abbott Message #120600, posted by sirbod at 21:13, 15/6/2012, in reply to message #120598
Member
Posts: 563
Yes, I have both Pon games, although i'm not sure if the discs work anymore, it was a great little game, they are very rare now, you had to guide Pon round the screen and turn all the tiles a certain colour.

Preservation of Archimedes games is something I would like to see happen, I think it is such a shame that virtually all the games have disappeared and simply don't exist anywhere. A 32 bit version of Stairway to hell needs to exist to preserve these games.
The aim of this project is to bring all the missing games back, there are around 300 currently missing. A website will be available, as soon as I can find someone to design and manage it, for the time being, I'm collating all the scans and images.

Quite a fe people have already contacted me, and supplied images, so a big thanks to those that have already helped out.

Drop me an email about imaging, if you'd like to add these - both are on the missing list.
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Matthew Thompson Message #120606, posted by Matt at 22:25, 15/6/2012, in reply to message #120600
Member
Posts: 11
I still have my collection of Acorn games, it includes Eterna, Coin Age, , Superior, Minerva, 4D, Krisalis, and a lot of obscure games too.

I'm not sure about how you do images and all that, but I am more than happy to contribute if I can do so.

How do I email you, I can't see how to do that, unless i'm missing the obvious?
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Jon Abbott Message #120610, posted by sirbod at 10:00, 16/6/2012, in reply to message #120606
Member
Posts: 563
How do I email you, I can't see how to do that, unless i'm missing the obvious?
It's cunningly hidden in the ADFFS help file:
jon at jaspp dot org dot uk

Let me know your machine spec and the list of original software if it's not too much trouble.

[Edited by sirbod at 14:11, 27/9/2012]
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David Boddie Message #120616, posted by davidb at 14:36, 16/6/2012, in reply to message #120600
Member
Posts: 111
What about other types of software, like educational packages, productivity tools, system discs, development tools, etc.? The announcement didn't specifically mention games, so I imagine you want to collect these types of software as well.
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Jon Abbott Message #120617, posted by sirbod at 15:35, 16/6/2012, in reply to message #120616
Member
Posts: 563
Everything is open to preservation, we're just starting with the games as due to the protection it's somewhat more complicated.

Most apps can be captured as ADF's with Dimager or ADFimage and won't require my imager or Kryoflux etc.

If you want to preserve your apps, you'll need the to do the following:

1. Create ADF's of the floppies
2. Scan both sides of the floppies as a JPG
3. Scan and OCR all manuals into PDF
4. Scan the box, including all sides that have images or text on them
5. Photograph any extras, such as dongles etc
6. Where appropriate, Create some PNG snapshots of the app in action at native resolution (ie under emulation is the best way to do this)

Scans should be at 300x300 DPI
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Philip Webster Message #120632, posted by pwx at 09:10, 18/6/2012, in reply to message #120617
Member
Posts: 227

If you want to preserve your apps, you'll need the to do the following:

Picked up the following at the weekend:

2 copies of "Diggers"
Paradroid 2000
Minotaur
Hoverbod
Guile
Guild of Thieves
The Exotic Adventures of Sylvia Layne

- all boxed, with manuals.

Sadly the front cover of Sylvia Layne is UV-faded - presyumably it was shop stock left in a window. My own copy (now sold) was in far better condition.

I spotted 'Worra Battle' while I was in the attic. I don't know anything about it - presumably it's a tank simulator of some sort.


As a quick aside, I think it's important for original, non OCRd scans to be made available. I know of at least 1 Acorn preservation site that only has OCRd copies, and the fonts are all wrong - Trinity/Times instead of the standard Acorn font - Bodoni.

Either that or make an effort to get the fonts and formatting spot-on.

Edit: typo

[Edited by pwx at 14:47, 18/6/2012]
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Jon Abbott Message #120633, posted by sirbod at 13:04, 18/6/2012, in reply to message #120632
Member
Posts: 563
Have "Minotaur" and "Diggers (All Archimedes version)" covered. If you have the RPC version of Diggers, that one is missing.

Best get scanning then wink

Acrobat can OCR with the original font, the output is indistinguishable from the original. If you drop me an eMail, I'll send you an example.

[Edited by sirbod at 13:45, 18/6/2012]
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The Icon Bar: General: Archimedes Software Preservation Project