Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

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Mikerochip
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Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Sat May 04, 2019 10:31 am

Many of the magazines at the time came with floppy disks with demo and full commerical software on them.

Most had lovely labels, and some even featured copy protection to prevent casual copying!

Since I couldn't always afford new games, or had access to new games, the magazines were a great source of information, games and programs.
Many publications went out of their way to secure exclusive software (Game demos, full commerical games, PD software, and lots of other programs too!)

Many similar sites for different formats preserve both the scans of the magazines and dumps of the disks!

Some of my fondest memories with my Atari ST are because of the cover disks.
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by marakatti » Wed May 08, 2019 8:25 am

Hi Mikerochip,

Actually most popular of them are already available in our ST games database, but in a bit different way.

These links provide info on the game demos and a few commercial game distributed on them. Download includes the whole coverdisk as it was released in the golden years.

All game demos in our database:
http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_at ... 4_S_G.html

ST Amiga Format:
http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_at ... 1_S_G.html

ST Format:
http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_at ... 8_S_G.html

STampede:
http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_at ... 3_S_G.html

The One / The One for ST Games:
http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_at ... 3_S_G.html

I'm in a middle of getting the ST Action game demos online in the near future too. Utils section is unfortunately still very much in WIP because i mainly work on this ST project software side alone these days.

Cheers,
Marko
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Mikerochip
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Wed May 08, 2019 5:29 pm

Hi Marko!

No problem!
I saw that you had disk games, but not the original images. It's actually the original images I'm mostly interested in, since there were software on there that didn't appear anywhere else, not just games!

To help you with ST action, I uploaded all 58 ST action disks to your FTP. (Well, 56 of 58)
(Including the undumped disk 41 with Lure of the temptress demo)

Just last week, I updated, tested, verified and replaced where necessary, all the ST action dumps, and named each disk correctly with the issue, year/month, disk number and disk contents.

I'm missing 2x disks still, but I've just bought one of those, and am waiting for it's delivery.
I've verified 14 of the 56, and am just about to dump another 15.

I'm talking to the TOSEC guys about cleaning up their ST section too, since they have millions of duplicates that are just the same data, but 80 or 82 or 84 track disks, all with the same data.

I've also uploaded scans of the disks and manual pages for the Tandy Discovery Pack, and a few other disks and boxes that you don't have. (A few budget mirrorsoft titles, and such)
I'm missing 3x disks from the Tandy pack, but it's quite rare, and hard to find.
(It's a copy of the Atari pack i think)

Hope that helps!

(Oh, and, Prince of Persia, the Hit squad version, lists the controls as joystick only, it should be J + K)
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by marakatti » Fri May 10, 2019 7:45 am

Sounds brilliant! Many thanks. I've also noticed that many of the ST Action disks floating around the web are corrupted so it's great to have verified versions of these finally soon :)

Majority (but not unfortunately all) of our game demos are actually full coverdisks, especially Stampede, ST Format and The One. I never want to rip games out of them when possible because they lose their originality by doing it.
Because i also plan to add all the app demos and utils to our database in the future, i have those disks already uploaded to speed up the process.
Source of the ST Format disk dumps is Exxos, Stampedes are from some old CD-ROM i found and The One disks are either dumped by myself or found along within the magazine scans.

I'm in a middle of doing what i call a "Five Years Healt Check" for the ST commerical games database to improve the data quality and accuracy. Been already updating over 1000 commercial games records with the latest information from manual and magazine scans when available, but Prince of Persia keyboard option seems to have slipped out of my attention. Too many nights reading those manuals i guess :D
Thanks for pointing it out, it's fixed now.
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Fri May 10, 2019 11:41 pm

Ah, ST Action are dogs!

They put copy protection on their cover disks, with, I think, it's sole purpose being to prevent you making a perfect copy of the disks.
So, I've make copies of these disks in Kyroflux Free, as CTRaw, and then, converted the usable data to .st disks.

The disk format that the SoftPress guys released to allow people to make decent enough copies of their disks, if it has a known copy protection layout (mostly for use in emulators)

It's not as accurate I assume as SuperCard Pro or the real Kyroflux, but, it's much smaller. (And can only be played on emulators). To write back to disk, it needs to be converted to .ipf format first.

Also, if you notice, the Disk 41 of Lure of the temptress is in CTRaw format only. It needs the copy protection to run.

Disks 14, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 51, 53, 55, 57 are from real disks.
I'll update once I get more disks.

Also, some of the disks, I've added a second or third disk, so, 30, and 30a, 56a, 56b etc.
Disk 30 is the original, but 30a contains the demo that's compressed on the original disk. (And I've labelled it as such)
There are 10 of these, but I could only get 9 to work. The Saint Dragon demo wouldn't write on an emulator. (My ST's are broken atm!!)

Interestingly, some of the real disks boot into medium res, but, at least one of the demos *needs* low res. So, some of the disks floating around the internet are fixed, and boot the same disk in low res.
I guess, a mistake by ST Action.

And, just to say, I've tried out, loaded and played every game on every disk, so, even if it's not 100% verified against an original, each demo on each disk seems to be fully playable.

Also, have you any plans to include the scans of the disks/labels of the coverdisks?

I would like, too, to dump things like the The One & Zero disks as .IPF or similar files, so, the one file can be used on the ST/Amiga/PC, rather than having 2 dumps of it, one as .st for the ST and one as an adf for the amiga. (And none for the PC! that I can see anyhow..)
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by marakatti » Sat May 18, 2019 8:14 pm

That's a great job, thank you!

Yes i've pretty much like to upload the scans aswell. But because i don't want to steal stuff from other websites i've waited if someone has the original disks or if i get them myself somehow.

Many of my The One, ST User and ST Reviews disks unfortunately has been destroyed with marker pens by the previous owners, so they are not suitable for the job. ST Format disks are the only ones in a good condition because i was a subscriber back in the day.
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Sat May 18, 2019 10:44 pm

Hi Marco!

Ah, that's great to hear!

Ok, so, I'll upload my scans.
In a few cases, I've used my (limited!) skills in Photoshop to clean up the images too.

Here's my list so far:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

Each magazine has it's own tab.
I have the word Link in the Disk or label scan if I own the disk.

Dfrsilver is looking at my ST Action scans this weekend if he can, and will convert any that are good (and unmodified) into .ipf files. Hopefully they're ok!

I haven't scanned everything yet, since it's slow going, as you probably know yourself ;)

And even slower still, if I edit the scans.

I scan in 6 disks at a time, with a pretty decent Epson scanner, @950 dpi.
(I use epson scan, with most of the options turned off. I'm looking into VuScan, but it's a bit down the road)


I have about half of the ST User, half of the ST Action, 60% of the ST Review and 40% of the ST Format library (excluding subscriber disks).

And I'm planning on getting a few more of each in the next little while! :)

And then, dumping and scanning them!

I also have the Assembler tape from Quality software btw, for the 8bit, but, no way of dumping it!
I have a tape drive for the 65XE, and SIO-PC. Is there any way I can dump it from the machine itself?
I don't own any other tape drive at all!
But it does seem to be on the Archive.org
https://archive.org/details/AssemblerQualitySoftware
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Fri May 31, 2019 12:22 pm

Hi again!

I see you posted some of my scans to the site! Woo! Lovely to see :)

A few small corrections though:

The War Machine scan is from the budget game, (which you don't have an entry for!) not the players premier retail release. (It's the Smash 16 budget release)
I have the box for this too, I'll try and scan it next week.
ie not this: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 10807.html

The Hotshot scan is from the 16-bit pocket power, with the blister pack, rather than the full release also.
this one: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 21024.html

Also, Plutos is from the Micro-Value release.

And Bomb Jack is also Budget!
http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 21930.html

And, I've scanned a few more disks. And made a few more edits to the disk images too, and I've just uploaded those.
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by marakatti » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:07 am

So that went well then :mr.green:

Thanks, i'll fix them when i get back home :)

The War Machine is an actual Smash 16 release. Now that i took a closer look at it, there's no Players Premier on the ST or Amiga. The name in the title screen originates from the C64 release, which was one of the Interceptor Group's 8-bit labels. At least that's what i found from Moby Games C64 scans and doing a cross-reference research from the most accurate 8-bit databases.

Interceptor Group had a tons of different 16-bit labels (Pandora, Players, Smash16, Fun Factory...) The War Machine on ST / Amiga also share the same manual which kind of confirmes the publisher label. At the time of creating the record there was no other material available than the ST screenshot for research. That's were the error originated from. Good that you've pointed it out. One error more fixed :)

For the rest, it's pretty hard to tell the versions sometimes. Many releases used so many different disk styles, especially the Pocket Power stuff. Prism Leisure released stuff in so many different ways. They had cardboard boxes, they had plastic boxes, they had Pocket Power boxes...
I have around dozen of them and some came with sticker labels, some without, some releases even used both, different coloured disks etc...

Not to mention the "clever" Ebay sellers who mix disks and boxes from various releases, sometimes even putting a compilation version in the retail box. It's sometimes impossible to tell without having the actual box in your hands...

And yes, every EDOS release is a budget one, a kind of anyway. I just haven't labeled them as a budget versions. That's because the duplication scheme was very different from the "normal" budget releases which came straight from the factory, instead of being duplicated in front of a customer. I would liked to label them as "Software on Demand" versions, but our version field don't have space for that :|


Also, do you have more info on the Micro Nav Simulation. I can't find anything about it from internet...
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by marakatti » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:02 pm

I've been browsing the ST Action disks you sent me and have found some games not working straight from the dumps.

Here's some which raised questions under STeem emulation. Maybe they just released messed up disks, but maybe you know better...

Disk 08 - Viking Child, Cadaver, Pyramax | Boots to a corrupted menu where the Pyramax line only reads "Max"

Disk 10 - Ran Xerox | won't run from the disk, works when copied out of the SIDE2 folder to a fresh disk

Disk 15 - Dominion | Bombs out in both STF and STE mode

Disk 17 - Pro Tennis Tour 2 | crashes after loading the title screen, copying to another disk has no effect

Disk 20 - Seems to be "missing" SIDE2 folder. Was the original really like this? 320 000+ bytes used

Disk 24 - Super Space Invaders | Won't work from SIDE2 folder, for some reason one of the datafiles is in side 1. After copying files from SIDE2 and the extra datafile to a new disk the intro works.

Disk 27 - Fire Force | Bombs out in both STF and STE mode

Disk 29 - Baby Jo | Won't work from the SIDE2 folder. Works partly after copied to a new disk. Demonstration crashes with 2 bombs when about to show the Home? level demo.

Disk 32 - James Pond Robocod | SIDE2 version crashes

Disk 50 - Crashes with File not found error on the GEM desktop

Any help is much appreciated, thanks :)
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:32 pm

Hi Marko!

Are you sure you're browsing my disks?
I tried each and every one of my disks under hAtari before I uploaded them, and all games (I think bar Disk 27) worked perfectly.

I checked Disk 20, and it's 720k.
Also also Disk 50, and it loaded fine in hAtari.

I don't use SteemSSE too much.

But I got the latest version from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/steems ... DevBuilds/
The 3.9.4 Win32 D3D version.

I'm using it in STE mode, with TOS 1.62 UK, 4MB of ram.

In the file manager, I've "Use Pasti for all disk operations" turned on.

And, I've just checked Disk 20, and all 3x demos load fine.
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by marakatti » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:36 am

Yes it was a directory called ST Action (1988), featured TOSEC naming and also the files you've been kindly decompressed to run from the extra disk images.

Maybe i had some network error while downloading them from the FTP. I'll recheck and also try them on on my real ST to verify.
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Re: Can I ask if AtariMania will ever contain floppy disk images?

Post by Mikerochip » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:50 am

Hmm, I don't think a network error would account for that: You'd get an error decompressing the .zip files if there were any problems.

But, just to remind you: Only disks 14, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 51, 53, 55, 57 are from real disks that I own.
The rest I've taken from TOSEC disks, and checked against any other disk dumps I can find.

I just bought disks 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 44, 46 and I'll be dumping those this and next week. (It's taking ages to clean them. I have all the disk scans done though).

The disk with Super Space invaders, I'm not sure about the animation, but, that's one of the disks I bought, so, hopefully we'll figure out how it came originally.
If the intro was on the other side, I'll make a stand alone disk for that one too! :)
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