Feature Request :: OpenCBM :: CbmCtrl.exe download/upload

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Thomas Winkler

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Jan 17, 2021, 7:35:52 AMJan 17
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Hi 

We are working on a new 1541 board with 1MB RAM and 512KB Flash memory.

Download and Upload of memory works fine using download and upload function of CBMCTRL. But it is very very slowly.

It would be nice to have an UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD using other transfer methode like S2 or PARALLEL.

OpenCBM is great!

best regards
Tommy


ruben...@gmail.com

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Jan 17, 2021, 8:15:57 AMJan 17
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Hi,

Sounds good.

Do you have more info and pictures?

Op zondag 17 januari 2021 om 13:35:52 UTC+1 schreef oe7...@gmail.com:

Thomas Winkler

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Jan 17, 2021, 8:36:20 AMJan 17
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Spiro Trikaliotis

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Jan 17, 2021, 8:55:08 AMJan 17
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Hello Tommy,

* On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 04:35:52AM -0800 Thomas Winkler wrote:

> We are working on a new 1541 board with 1MB RAM and 512KB Flash memory.
>
> Download and Upload of memory works fine using download and upload function of
> CBMCTRL. But it is very very slowly.
>
> It would be nice to have an UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD using other transfer methode
> like S2 or PARALLEL.

It is partially implemented in the samplelibtransf program
(opencbm/sample/libtrans/, and the library in opencbm/libtrans/). In
fact, I was working on that before the XU1541 and XUM1541 came to light.
They needed so much attention that I did not have enough time to work on
the libtrans anymore.

Features:

+ works with s1, s2 and parallel on parallelport (XA1541, XM1541,
XP1541)

+ fixes on the protocols s1, s2 and parallel (they did have race
conditions; I do not remember all the details)

o partially works with SRQ on 1570 and 1571 (git branch libtrans_srq)
with a XUM1541 device.
I wrote partially, because I have reliability problems which I am
currently working on

- works very slowly with s1, s2 and parallel on USB based cables
(because the bit banging is done on the PC, not on the USB device)

- no interface yet. The program can only download ROM and upload it
again (and compare it if the upload was correct if compiled with the
right parameters)

I think this is the right step into the direction you want.

How do you plan to access the RAM and ROM? Do you have some banking?

> OpenCBM is great!

Thank you.

Having said this: You do not happen to have the missing sources for the
transfer functions of imgcopy (i.e., s3) at hand? ;)

Regards,
Spiro.

--
Spiro R. Trikaliotis
https://spiro.trikaliotis.net/

Thomas Winkler

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Jan 18, 2021, 4:21:15 AMJan 18
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Hi Spiro

> How do you plan to access the RAM and ROM? Do you have some banking?

This Board can emulate many hardware Speeder like Professional-DOS, Turbo-Access (including RAM DIsk), Dolphin, ...

So it has different working modes for each Speeder. And also a mode for creating your own Software called SuperRAM-DD.
In this mode you have 8KB RAM at $4000 with banking and 8 KB Flash at $6000 with banking.
The whole Flash memory can be written by tools from a C64 or a PC with OpenCBM.


> Having said this: You do not happen to have the missing sources for the
> transfer functions of imgcopy (i.e., s3) at hand? ;)  

missing sources??
I don't remember exactly, it is too much time gone since I worked on OpenCBM.

After working on XUM IEEE-488 code I did some changes on OpenCBM including S3, D82COPY and IMGCOPY.
I gave this code to someone to upload it in GIT, so I thought it is all clear and save???

Have to look on old external USB Harddisks, maybe there is an old backup of this stuff ...


best regards
Tommy














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Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 7:58:14 AMJan 18
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Hey Tom,

have you looked at the super card plus board (sc+) from cbmstuff?

this is a modern ram board for the 1541 and 1571 which has all the functions of the original ramboatd

I just thought that before trying to reinvent  the wheel you might want to take a look at whats out there.

Dan

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Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 8:01:55 AMJan 18
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Tom,
ok I'm confused, is this a jiffydos alternative?

right now it seems to be a weird amalgamation of ramboard and jiffydos...

sorry for the last message, maybe you could clearly explain the purpose of your project?
what is it this board will do, exactly?

thanks,
Dan

Thomas Winkler

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:12:32 AMJan 18
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Hi  Dan 

> have you looked at the super card plus board (sc+) from cbmstuff?
The SC+ board is great, I have one since many years.


> ok I'm confused, is this a jiffydos alternative?
No. 
Jiffy DOS is a Software Speeder.



> ... maybe you could clearly explain the purpose of your project?
> what is it this board will do, exactly?

The MeGALoDOS Board has not only 8KB RAM like this SC+, it has 1MB RAM.
You can hold up to 5 disks in your 1541 with MeGALoDOS Board.
You can read GCR native data of all 41 Tracks (not only one in SC+) and write it back to another disk (read once, write multiple).

This board can fill every memory space with RAM instead of mirroring other ranges.
For example 2KB RAM from 0x800 to 0x0FFF, from 0x3000 to  0x3FFF and every other 8KB block.

But it also has 512KB Flash Memory to hold many different 1541 Kernals and DOS Extensions.
It is possible to anable SC+ ROM at $1000 so it looks like a floppy with SC+ Board.

And it can native emulate the Boards of well known Speeder Boards like Professional DOS.
So you have one Board for many purposes.
You can switch simply between Jiffy, Speed-Dos+, Dolphin DOS, Turbo Access, Prologic DOS, Professional DOS and some others.
The current OS and other states (write protection, speed, track ...)  are displaydon a little OLED display.



The Hardware is finished and running fine.
We are working on Software to support this wonderful board.

To program an empty Flash memory I'm using OpenCBM Upload.
But uploading 512KB take 20 minutes.
I know, it was not designed for such a purpose, a normal 1541 only has 2KB RAM.
Other OpenCBM Tools use different transfer code (s1, s2, par ...) to speed up ... this is why I asked for same feature for upload and download.
 

best regards

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:22:54 AMJan 18
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Tom,

uh, jiffydos is a chip, one in the drive, one in the computer (?)

your disk copying claims will only be valid if you can make an image and duplicate old versions of paperback writer.
with certain versions there are at present no ways to backup or image these disks.

I have an original of practically every version ever made.
would love to see if your solution can do anything.

it's scary that in this day and age we still don't have the technology to make archival backups of these disks.

the originals aren't going to last forever.

I have every software and every hardware duplication/imaging solution available, and none of them can touch these disks, and that includes zoomfloppy, 21 second, scp+, etc
the maverick parameters (use with ramboard) don't work on my disks either :(

the protection on these disks is really nasty.

any way I can get or try out your device?

Dan

Alexander Oberhuber

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:38:08 AMJan 18
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Dan Gahlinger wrote at 15:22 18.01.2021 :
>Tom,
>
>uh, jiffydos is a chip, one in the drive, one in the computer (?)
>
>your disk copying claims will only be valid if you can make an image
>and duplicate old versions of paperback writer.
>with certain versions there are at present no ways to backup or
>image these disks.

I'm the guy (one of the very few) who cracked Paperback writer, so
why don't you ask me for a backup instead? :)

Regards,
ATT

Thomas Winkler

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Jan 18, 2021, 9:47:54 AMJan 18
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> uh, jiffydos is a chip, one in the drive, one in the computer (?)  
Yes.
This two chips are only simple EPROM.
In an EPROM you can store Software like Jiffy-DOS.  :-)


> I have every software and every hardware duplication/imaging solution available, and none of them can touch these disks, and that includes zoomfloppy, 2  
Maverick is good, but you need to know it using right ...
With SC+ and a rotary speed knob you are able top copy nearly all disks (with the right software).

But it is much easier to do ot with a device like Cryo Flux (there are some on market).



> any way I can get or try out your device?
It's not mine.
Fardware is made by Tommy-NRW from Forum-64.

And it is under development.
I don't know when it is available.

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 10:21:13 AMJan 18
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On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 9:47 AM Thomas Winkler <oe7...@gmail.com> wrote:
This two chips are only simple EPROM.
In an EPROM you can store Software like Jiffy-DOS.  :-)

If you're going to be that pedantic, then every chip is just software :) 
   
Maverick is good, but you need to know it using right ...

Maverick (with ramboard) is pretty dirt simple,
load it up, select the parameter, load,
follow the instructions, switching disks a few times.
there's no secret sauce here ?
 
With SC+ and a rotary speed knob you are able top copy nearly all disks (with the right software).

that won't work on any of these disks. the problem isn't speed, it's that the track is non-standard,
the gcr headers are all wonky and in the wrong place.
None of the copiers work because they expect track headers to be in the correct location,
and at least make some semblance of sense. these are neither.
Index hole synchronization won't work either because they didn't index off the hole when the mfg created the disk.
So while you can image the entire disk with say super card pro, you have to manually "rotate" the disk image
until the track aligns properly.
that's a whole barrel of no fun.
 
But it is much easier to do ot with a device like Cryo Flux (there are some on market).
 
Kryo-flux is junk! 
If you read the documentation it has a statement about how it's not designed to copy anything with copy-protection.
and I can say that it can't touch any of the paperback writer disks we have,
nor was it able to copy any other disk I tried.

I had a guy from Europe send me a kryo-flux image that supposedly worked, it doesn't. :(

Super Card Pro makes Kyro-Flux look like a cheap crappy toy (which it is!)

We have an image of the disk, but no way to make a workable disk from that or a g64 from it,
due to the rotation issue.

> any way I can get or try out your device?
It's not mine.
Fardware is made by Tommy-NRW from Forum-64.
And it is under development.
I don't know when it is available.

He (or they) must need beta-testers (heh), I'll see if I can contact them,
thanks,
 
Dan.

Pontus Berg

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Jan 18, 2021, 10:58:00 AMJan 18
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Den mån 18 jan. 2021 kl 16:21 skrev Dan Gahlinger <dgah...@gmail.com>:
 
With SC+ and a rotary speed knob you are able top copy nearly all disks (with the right software).

that won't work on any of these disks. the problem isn't speed, it's that the track is non-standard,
the gcr headers are all wonky and in the wrong place.
None of the copiers work because they expect track headers to be in the correct location,
and at least make some semblance of sense. these are neither.
Index hole synchronization won't work either because they didn't index off the hole when the mfg created the disk.
So while you can image the entire disk with say super card pro, you have to manually "rotate" the disk image
until the track aligns properly.
that's a whole barrel of no fun.

I am not sure if this is the right forum for the discussion, but given that no moderator has stepped in, I will give my perspective.

Eons ago (at some party in Denmark - around 1990), I had a longer talk with Jes Sorensen (Scratch/Triangle) over Paperback Writer and his view was that you could copy it using a normal c64 based nibbler. He had a highly workable copy that was done on the native machine, and made one for me that worked just fine. I picked up the disk and tested it right now, but it no longer works I'm afraid, even if I am positive it once did. If the reason is digital rot or the fact that I tested it on an Ultimate64 and a 1571 (where both can be reasons why some absurd protection makes it not work with alien hardware). I am well aware that it has silly aspects of the protection, like the print routine checking the volume register.

But I do understand that you seek a working digital representation of the original and not a crack.

/Pontus

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 11:08:04 AMJan 18
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I think it's all very much "on-topic"
one of the primary goals of zoomfloppy and its purpose in life is the preservation, archiving of these disks everyone has that are slowly dying of disk rot as you say.

as for nibbles, you have to understand that it's a LOT more complicated than most people realize.

it is true that certain versions of paperback writer could indeed be copied with a software nibbler!
this is true!
I had one version that had half tracks that a bubbler handled without breaking much of a sweat.

you have to realize that they changed copy protection almost constantly, different versions use different copy protections.
and even changed on the same version from one disk to another.
there is no chance a nibbler will even touch most of the protections on most of the versions.

no nibbler on the planet can handle non standard track markers that are also in the wrong location. can't be done

to this day no one seems to know why a word processor of all things had the toughest copy protections ever devised...

and I've even spoken to one of the developers of the product.

v-max is easier to copy by a long shot.

I have multiple originals of lots of versions, many of them are still rot free.

but they won't be for long.
I want to preserve these while I still can..

Dan

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RETRO Innovations

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Jan 18, 2021, 11:14:23 AMJan 18
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On 1/18/2021 9:57 AM, Pontus Berg wrote:
I am not sure if this is the right forum for the discussion, but given that no moderator has stepped in, I will give my perspective.

Given the low-ish volume of content in the discussion in general and that all of us in here tend to span our interests over hardware and software, and the archival aspect of the current discussion, I'm not passing judgement.  I do think, if the conversation delves into minute details on the board or OpenCBM, it should probably move to a separate HW discussion area (board technical details) or the opencbm mailing list (for OpenCBM detailed discussion).

Jim

Thomas Winkler

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Jan 18, 2021, 11:14:48 AMJan 18
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> Eons ago (at some party in Denmark - around 1990), I had a longer talk with Jes Sorensen (Scratch/Triangle) over Paperback Writer and his view was that you could copy it using a normal c64 based nibbler.  

You cannot copy everything with a C64 based nibbler without extra hardware.

The problem is the fixed clock of 1541 drive (four fixed clock variants only).
Depending on the rotary speed the length of the track varies and that is the point.

While reading a track clock is synchronized by flux changes (variable clock).
While writing a track you can only choose one of 4 fixed clock for shift register.

You need a software which counts the number of bytes on each track.
The copy disk should have same track lenght after writing track.

If track length is less than original (track is too big) you must slow down the rotary speed.
If track length is too larges you can make a trick with more SYNC Bytes.
But some protection counts the number of SYNC Bytes also, so ...
... only secure methode is to vary the rotary speed.

Spiro Trikaliotis

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Jan 18, 2021, 11:53:47 AMJan 18
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Hello Tommy,

* On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 10:21:03AM +0100 Thomas Winkler wrote:
> Hi Spiro
>
> > How do you plan to access the RAM and ROM? Do you have some banking?
>
> This Board can emulate many hardware Speeder like Professional-DOS,
> Turbo-Access (including RAM DIsk), Dolphin, ...
>
> So it has different working modes for each Speeder. And also a mode for
> creating your own Software called SuperRAM-DD.
> In this mode you have 8KB RAM at $4000 with banking and 8 KB Flash at $6000
> with banking.
> The whole Flash memory can be written by tools from a C64 or a PC with OpenCBM.

But what do you expect from the upload? Do you pre-configure the floppy,
then do an upload to a specific area, then re-configure it, then upload
again, and-so-on? Or do you expect/need more from the tool?

> > Having said this: You do not happen to have the missing sources for the
> > transfer functions of imgcopy (i.e., s3) at hand? ;)  
>
> missing sources??
> I don't remember exactly, it is too much time gone since I worked on OpenCBM.
>
> After working on XUM IEEE-488 code I did some changes on OpenCBM including S3,
> D82COPY and IMGCOPY.
> I gave this code to someone to upload it in GIT, so I thought it is all clear
> and save???

The xum1541 implementation of s3 seems to be lost (or I am totally blind
that I do not find it). I wanted to contact you before, but time was
short, and then I forgot it.

I am not sure if everything else is there, so a complete backup might
help.

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 1:29:48 PMJan 18
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You cannot copy everything with a C64 based nibbler without extra hardware.

I don't think you understand how copying works,
people copy entire disks with nibblers, without any extra hardware all the time.
in fact, the majority of disks can be copied this way.
 
The problem is the fixed clock of 1541 drive (four fixed clock variants only).
Depending on the rotary speed the length of the track varies and that is the point.

While reading a track clock is synchronized by flux changes (variable clock).
While writing a track you can only choose one of 4 fixed clock for shift register.

You need a software which counts the number of bytes on each track.
The copy disk should have same track lenght after writing track.

That is only ONE method of protection, certainly not all of them, and certainly not the majority.
And you're overlooking the problem with these paperback writer disks completely.
All of what you said depends on the software (or software/hardware solution) depending on
having the start of track marker at a fixed position on the disk, and be in a standard format.
Neither of these conditions is true in the case of these disks.

So the copied track comes out in exactly the same length as the original,
but the bits have been "rotated", so they are no longer in any usable order.
the copied track will never work. the bits need to be shifted, rotated to the proper position.
but that proper position is unknown - it's trial and error for the most part.

A copied track with the track starting at the wrong position is completely useless.
same with a track that's been copied using the wrong start of track markers.
these disks use both of those tricks. 

 If track length is less than original (track is too big) you must slow down the rotary speed.
If track length is too larges you can make a trick with more SYNC Bytes.
But some protection counts the number of SYNC Bytes also, so ...
... only secure methode is to vary the rotary speed.

yeah, that's what the guys developing the IHS nibbler thought, except it doesn't work.
these disks don't use that protection, so those methods are completely useless.

The one disk I did copy with a regular nibbler (no hardware) used half-tracks,
but that was the only protection it had, thus a regular nibbler without hardware works perfectly.

The c64/c128/1541/1571 have more copy protection schemes than there are stars in the sky.
there is as yet, no one solution that covers them all,
and there are some (like some of these paperback writer disks I have) that NO solution works for (yet)

I recommend you read the books "Inside Commodore DOS" and "Anatomy of the 1541"

Dan.

Thomas Winkler

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Jan 18, 2021, 1:56:34 PMJan 18
to ZoomFloppy Users
Hi Spiro


> But what do you expect from the upload? Do you pre-configure the floppy,
> then do an upload to a specific area, then re-configure it, then upload
> again, and-so-on? Or do you expect/need more from the tool?  

Currently I am busy with Code to flash the firmware in this 512KB Flash Memory.
I have uploaded 8KB into RAM and start a Code using U3 to flash bank by bank.

I saw it is slowly and I tried to make CBMCTRL -t parallel ... 
But then I recognized only normal IEC transfer is supported.

My workaround is to upload a Diskimage using D64COPY and start flashing using USR Files (& command).
This has a good performance and works also for C64 User without OpenCBM

But I am testing Track read and write Code.
So I do UPLOAD whole G64 data to Track Buffers.
This is not very fast ...


> The xum1541 implementation of s3 seems to be lost 

Maybe Nate has a copy of this.
I thinks I have sent him my code to upload to GITHUB cause I had no access.

Normally I don't hold Copy od hosted Code on my PC, it makes no sense.
But I will look into my old archives, not sure to find something ...   :-(


Best regards









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Spiro Trikaliotis

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Jan 18, 2021, 2:59:37 PMJan 18
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Hello,

* On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 01:29:08PM -0500 Dan Gahlinger wrote:
> > You cannot copy everything with a C64 based nibbler without extra hardware.
>
> I don't think you understand how copying works,
[...]
> I recommend you read the books "Inside Commodore DOS" and "Anatomy of the 1541"

Personally, I do not like this attitude. Can we try to be a little bit
more technically and "a little bit" (or even more) less personally?

Having said this, I am sure that Tommy does not need to (re-)read these
books. He has shown in the past that he absolutely knows the inner
working of these and other drives.

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 3:07:41 PMJan 18
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Spiro

that wasn't to Tommy.
it was to the other person that dropped into the middle of the convo.
Tommy is great! no probs there
the other guy, not so much.

that being said, agreed.

people should start new threads not hijack others

Dsn

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Pontus Berg

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Jan 18, 2021, 4:01:22 PMJan 18
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On Mon, 18 Jan 2021, 21:07 Dan Gahlinger, <dgah...@gmail.com> wrote:
Spiro

that wasn't to Tommy.
it was to the other person that dropped into the middle of the convo.
Tommy is great! no probs there
the other guy, not so much.

Was that me?

I wasn't aware there are multiple versions of Paperback writer. It sounds silly expensive to make multiple permutations of the protections, but I have not seen the original so I couldn't tell.

So it might just be that that particular version that could be easily copied using a nibbler.

And I am well aware that there are protections that can be read in the c64 but needs alien hardware to write it.

/Pontus

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 18, 2021, 5:14:37 PMJan 18
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Pontus, nah I'm just upset your last name isn't "Pilot" (maybe you've heard that joke, it's not very good)

Anyhow, yeah, basically every version of that software had different protection,
and sometimes different on different disks of the same version, it's a real pain.
there are some that have no means to copy (or image) as of yet,
no software or hardware can do it - at present.
various people are working on it, including me, so hopefully sometime soon.

I had one disk that had half-tracks that a nibbler handled just fine, but it was a total surprise.

I hope Sprio/Jim find the S3 code for zoomfloppy, technology will advance.
and I hope Tommy and the other guy get their solution going,
Plus some other solutions coming, hopefully this year.

eventually we'll have an "all in one" solution. at least I hope :)

Dan.

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Pontus Berg

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Jan 18, 2021, 6:53:47 PMJan 18
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Den mån 18 jan. 2021 kl 23:14 skrev Dan Gahlinger <dgah...@gmail.com>:
Pontus, nah I'm just upset your last name isn't "Pilot" (maybe you've heard that joke, it's not very good)

No pun intended but that one few over my head ... ;-)
 
I hope Sprio/Jim find the S3 code for zoomfloppy, technology will advance.
and I hope Tommy and the other guy get their solution going,
Plus some other solutions coming, hopefully this year.

eventually we'll have an "all in one" solution. at least I hope :)

As per your understanding of KryoFlux (which you already ruled out as not cutting it) and Super Card Pro (which you praised) - the fact that none of them seemingly doesn't pull the job of at present time, is that software or is the hardware also not enough for the job? Would you say that the format(s) used can be represented inside the specs of the G64 format or don't we have any save format that can even handle it's seemingly extra terrestrially complex format ...

Alex (as per previous discussion) did crack it on native hardware, but I wouldn't mind having a look at it once I have concluded the present project. But for that I guess I need a working G64 or some other format that the emulators can eat. 

One hope might also be Luigi. He is working on reading and analyzing disk on Flux level. His blog is quite readable.

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 19, 2021, 11:43:40 AMJan 19
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No pun intended but that one few over my head ... ;-)

I told you it was horrible, the only "good" reference for that is Monty Python movies, and those are great!
 
As per your understanding of KryoFlux (which you already ruled out as not cutting it) and Super Card Pro (which you praised) - the fact that none of them seemingly doesn't pull the job of at present time, is that software or is the hardware also not enough for the job? Would you say that the format(s) used can be represented inside the specs of the G64 format or don't we have any save format that can even handle it's seemingly extra terrestrially complex format ...

well this is exactly what a FLUX image is for, really. But they don't work with emulators or debuggers at all.
the information is possible to store in a g64, that's not the issue.

it's that for whatever reason, a lowly word processor for the c64 uses the most difficult copy protections ever devised.
And it's precisely because it's a word processor none of the big name hackers have gone after it.
If it had been a block-buster game, it'd be a whole other story, we'd have it done long ago. 

Alex (as per previous discussion) did crack it on native hardware, but I wouldn't mind having a look at it once I have concluded the present project. But for that I guess I need a working G64 or some other format that the emulators can eat. 

Correction: He cracked one SPECIFIC version of it. that's quite different from cracking it all together,
as mentioned, it uses different protections on almost every version and even different on the same version.
 
One hope might also be Luigi. He is working on reading and analyzing disk on Flux level. His blog is quite readable.

I'll definitely check that out. Flux is a whole other level of understanding of magnetic media.

And note to Spiro if he's watching: Pontus is the one that I think would benefit from a review of those two books,
to help give him a better understanding of all this stuff.

Wasn't there a book on copy protections? If not, someone should start a kickstarter...

Dan. 

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 19, 2021, 11:52:20 AMJan 19
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Alex,

We want true images/copies, not cracked versions.
there are cracks for some on CSDB, but none for the versions I have.
Our goal is to preserve it, that's what archiving is about.

I'll send you off-list, maybe you can help explain the protection and we can figure out how to make a copy/image.
it's so annoying that nothing will touch this stuff, parameter disks don't work, very aggravating

thanks,

Dan.

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Pontus Berg

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Jan 19, 2021, 12:38:10 PMJan 19
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Den tis 19 jan. 2021 kl 17:52 skrev Dan Gahlinger <dgah...@gmail.com>:

I'll send you off-list, maybe you can help explain the protection and we can figure out how to make a copy/image.
it's so annoying that nothing will touch this stuff, parameter disks don't work, very aggravating

 Parameter disk and cracking is the same, with the exception that a parameter disk sets no intro on the main file. The copy is different than the original as some one cracked the original and made the patches needed into a parameter.

/Pontus

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 19, 2021, 12:56:33 PMJan 19
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I'll send you off-list, maybe you can help explain the protection and we can figure out how to make a copy/image.
it's so annoying that nothing will touch this stuff, parameter disks don't work, very aggravating

 Parameter disk and cracking is the same, with the exception that a parameter disk sets no intro on the main file. The copy is different than the original as some one cracked the original and made the patches needed into a parameter.

Using a crack and using a parameter disk is much the same - although a cracked version already has the fix applied, and a parameter is something you have to apply using a tool like Maverick.
cracking a game is MUCH harder than just using a parameter disk, the actual cracking is incredibly difficult and complicated,
you have to figure out what the protection is, how it works, and how to create a work-around for it, then apply changes, and ensure that they work.

Normally that's enough to "crack' a piece of software, but in the case of Paperback writer, different versions use different protections,
so the crack or parameter won't work on the other versions, meaning you have to figure out the crack and design it for each one.

That's why there's only one Jim Brain, or one Spiro, or one Nate - these things are not easy to do, otherwise everyone would be doing it.
Even back in the day when hacking groups were prolific, not everyone was or could crack software, far from it.

Most of regular users like yourself have to be content with watching these groups release software.

those books I mentioned would help you, then learn some Hex, some M/L, learn GCR and that's only scratching the surface.
Debugging code to figure out a crack is tedious work.

the easiest crack of all perhaps (maybe) is changing one byte in the program to a "NOP" M/L operation,
bypassing the protection check. that didn't work often
or changing the hard-coded password in the program to be whatever you want, in some cases.
then you had to learn the ascii values and what they were in hex.

But at this point, I'm with Spiro - this needs to move to its own discussion thread.

Dan.

RETRO Innovations

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Jan 19, 2021, 2:07:25 PMJan 19
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On 1/19/2021 11:55 AM, Dan Gahlinger wrote:
I'll send you off-list, maybe you can help explain the protection and we can figure out how to make a copy/image.
it's so annoying that nothing will touch this stuff, parameter disks don't work, very aggravating

 Parameter disk and cracking is the same, with the exception that a parameter disk sets no intro on the main file. The copy is different than the original as some one cracked the original and made the patches needed into a parameter.

Using a crack and using a parameter disk is much the same - although a cracked version already has the fix applied, and a parameter is something you have to apply using a tool like Maverick.
cracking a game is MUCH harder than just using a parameter disk, the actual cracking is incredibly difficult and complicated,
you have to figure out what the protection is, how it works, and how to create a work-around for it, then apply changes, and ensure that they work.

I think Pontus is being misunderstood.  I believe he's stating that a parm copy and a crack end up being the same, in that the copy protection is bypassed, but the crack typically has an intro.  The parm disk is just the end result of someone's previous hard work of figuring out "what the protection is, how it works, and how to create a work-around for it, then apply changes, and ensure that they work"condensed into a set of pokes and writes to disk to perform those actions already known to work.


But at this point, I'm with Spiro - this needs to move to its own discussion thread.

I'd concur, though Pontus should be allowed a final response, as I think he's more knowledgeable about cracking and such than it may at first appear. 


Pontus Berg

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Jan 19, 2021, 2:31:42 PMJan 19
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2021, 18:56 Dan Gahlinger, <dgah...@gmail.com> wrote:

Most of regular users like yourself have to be content with watching these groups release software.

I have cracked 250+ games and is also council member of one of the leading group. I run that group since 30+ years. I KNOW how to crack both disk and tape. Please read what the poster posts.

My most recent release was Alternate Reality - The city.

Pontus Berg

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Jan 19, 2021, 2:36:10 PMJan 19
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2021, 20:07 RETRO Innovations, <go4r...@go4retro.com> wrote 

I think Pontus is being misunderstood.  I believe he's stating that a parm copy and a crack end up being the same, in that the copy protection is bypassed, but the crack typically has an intro.  The parm disk is just the end result of someone's previous hard work of figuring out "what the protection is, how it works, and how to create a work-around for it, then apply changes, and ensure that they work"condensed into a set of pokes and writes to disk to perform those actions already known to work.

This is exactly my point. A parameter is a crack packaged into a patch to the copy program.
But at this point, I'm with Spiro - this needs to move to its own discussion thread.

I'd concur, though Pontus should be allowed a final response, as I think he's more knowledgeable about cracking and such than it may at first appear. 

Thanks. I might have stretched with with a reply to both your main and Dan's, but I promise to retract from the discussion with this post.

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 19, 2021, 2:36:23 PMJan 19
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we've both been part of the scene since the early days.

so can you crack the protection on all these different versions of paperback writer?
every version has different protection. painful.

we should chat offline or new thread.

note: I owe go4retro $20

Dan

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Pontus Berg

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Jan 22, 2021, 11:22:08 AMJan 22
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Dan,
 
As per your understanding of KryoFlux (which you already ruled out as not cutting it) and Super Card Pro (which you praised) - the fact that none of them seemingly pulls the job of at present time, is that software or is the hardware also not enough for the job? Would you say that the format(s) used can be represented inside the specs of the G64 format or don't we have any save format that can even handle it's seemingly extra terrestrially complex format ...

well this is exactly what a FLUX image is for, really. But they don't work with emulators or debuggers at all.
the information is possible to store in a g64, that's not the issue.
 
(Fixed a logical error in my sentence above)

But what is the issue? If the G64 format WOULD be able to support it, it's either that the hardware isn't capable of reading, that the software processing the stream is flawed or that the converter to G64 is flawed. Any idea which it is?

it's that for whatever reason, a lowly word processor for the c64 uses the most difficult copy protections ever devised.
And it's precisely because it's a word processor none of the big name hackers have gone after it.
If it had been a block-buster game, it'd be a whole other story, we'd have it done long ago. 
 
Alex (as per previous discussion) did crack it on native hardware, but I wouldn't mind having a look at it once I have concluded the present project. But for that I guess I need a working G64 or some other format that the emulators can eat. 

Correction: He cracked one SPECIFIC version of it. that's quite different from cracking it all together,
as mentioned, it uses different protections on almost every version and even different on the same version.

I don't understand what you say here. If Alex cracked one version he cracked it. You don't have to crack every possible permutation of the protection if it to have cracked it. What's the definition of cracking if it's not making a working version where the protection is gone, from the version at hand?

CSDb lists six version - one even by Steve Punter. (though only Alex's, Scratch's and Steve's versions are downloadable - the other's a claimed crack). The others listed are for sure amongst the ones who should be able to pull it off.

 
One hope might also be Luigi. He is working on reading and analyzing disk on Flux level. His blog is quite readable.

I'll definitely check that out. Flux is a whole other level of understanding of magnetic media.

And note to Spiro if he's watching: Pontus is the one that I think would benefit from a review of those two books,
to help give him a better understanding of all this stuff.
 
I have only cracked some 250+ games (including Pira Slayer boot on native hardware), and would say I know my way around the lame 2Kb of 1541 RAM. But the way I do it I tend to see the flux layer as a black box. I only need to be able to interface it and extract the data. Not actually understand how the flux layer works. 

Something for your collection (taken a few minutes ago)

Nowadays I tend to use a PDF [1] as searching in it is so much easier. I have the other book as well.

Wasn't there a book on copy protections? If not, someone should start a kickstarter...

There has been several. And you also have https://c64preservation.com/ - especially the documentation over Rapidlok is quite useful.

Dan Gahlinger

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Jan 22, 2021, 11:40:12 AMJan 22
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On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 11:22 AM Pontus Berg <pon...@berg.to> wrote:
But what is the issue? If the G64 format WOULD be able to support it, it's either that the hardware isn't capable of reading, that the software processing the stream is flawed or that the converter to G64 is flawed. Any idea which it is?

In the case of Kyroflux it's impossible to say which part is broken, or if several parts of the process is broken. I don't have the patience to work on that, maybe someone else can.
In the case of Super Card Pro, it's reading properly, it's creating the flux image correctly, it's the next parts where the problem exists.
as I said I firmly believe it's caused by multiple sync marks, and the software using a sync mark that's not in the expected "location"
thus why I've mentioned "rotation". And please no jokes about how the disk rotates itself when it spins. :)
My mechanic hates it when I mention that out about my tire rotation.

I don't understand what you say here. If Alex cracked one version he cracked it. You don't have to crack every possible permutation of the protection if it to have cracked it. What's the definition of cracking if it's not making a working version where the protection is gone, from the version at hand?
 
what I said still holds true, he cracked one specific version. so yes he cracked it. but there are still lots of other versions uncracked.
I'm looking over his work and the others on CSDB to see if I can find any common elements
I firmly believe that there must be common elements.

CSDb lists six version - one even by Steve Punter. (though only Alex's, Scratch's and Steve's versions are downloadable - the other's a claimed crack). The others listed are for sure amongst the ones who should be able to pull it off.


 that's were the six versions comes from, thanks for the reminder, I'll be checking those out.
there have to be common elements. (well, the probability is high)

One hope might also be Luigi. He is working on reading and analyzing disk on Flux level. His blog is quite readable.

yeah, I'm trying to find a way to download or buy this "cbm flux studio" but I can't seem to find it.
 
I have only cracked some 250+ games (including Pira Slayer boot on native hardware), and would say I know my way around the lame 2Kb of 1541 RAM. But the way I do it I tend to see the flux layer as a black box. I only need to be able to interface it and extract the data. Not actually understand how the flux layer works. 

yes, we've covered this, no need to rub salt in that wound.
I already owe go4retro $20 for this. lol 
My apologies on that, again.

Something for your collection (taken a few minutes ago)

Nowadays I tend to use a PDF [1] as searching in it is so much easier. I have the other book as well.

Wasn't there a book on copy protections? If not, someone should start a kickstarter...

There has been several. And you also have https://c64preservation.com/ - especially the documentation over Rapidlok is quite useful.

Yeah I went to that site, it's not what it used to be. or I'm missing something.
There used to be an interface you could search for the title of the software and it would tell you the protection used.
that's what I'm thinking a book would good for.
sounds like it's in need of a kickstarter.
You'd be WAY more qualified than me to write such a book. and I'd fully support it by the way!
 

that's my second favorite, only second to "Anatomy of the 1541" -


there's a c64 debugger (a few maybe) for windows/mac/linux that are really excellent!
But I'd love to see one that does the c64 the way they do, and in a separate window show the DRIVE memory and process counter, as well.
It's the only way to really know what's going on.

I'll give you $100 to write it. :)

Dan.

Pontus Berg

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Jan 22, 2021, 4:46:37 PMJan 22
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I'm a bit busy at the moment but picked up the last piece. C64 Debugger gives a realtime debugger view of computer and drive on one of its views.

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Nate Lawson

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Jan 22, 2021, 6:16:28 PMJan 22
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> On Jan 18, 2021, at 11:59 AM, Spiro Trikaliotis <an-zoomfl...@spiro.trikaliotis.net> wrote:
>
>
> * On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 01:29:08PM -0500 Dan Gahlinger wrote:
>>> You cannot copy everything with a C64 based nibbler without extra hardware.
>>
>> I don't think you understand how copying works,
> [...]
>> I recommend you read the books "Inside Commodore DOS" and "Anatomy of the 1541"
>
> Personally, I do not like this attitude. Can we try to be a little bit
> more technically and "a little bit" (or even more) less personally?
>
> Having said this, I am sure that Tommy does not need to (re-)read these
> books. He has shown in the past that he absolutely knows the inner
> working of these and other drives.

I agree. Tommy contributed the IEEE-488 code for the ZF and has a lot of knowledge of Commodore drives. Please don’t assume what anyone on this list knows or not, and let’s keep the tone positive.

In general, this thread has gone off topic for the ZF into general protection schemes. Perhaps move it offline?

Thanks,
Nate

Nate Lawson

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Jan 22, 2021, 6:18:45 PMJan 22
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> On Jan 18, 2021, at 8:53 AM, Spiro Trikaliotis <an-zoomfl...@spiro.trikaliotis.net> wrote:
>
> The xum1541 implementation of s3 seems to be lost (or I am totally blind
> that I do not find it). I wanted to contact you before, but time was
> short, and then I forgot it.
>
> I am not sure if everything else is there, so a complete backup might
> help.

I am pretty sure I have it. Will try to dig it up tonight.

-Nate
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