General Project News
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 05/25/2013 @ 10:41)
Subject: NIBTools build 587
I have put up the latest binaries with a number of fixes from the last months.
All the tools now mostly deal with half-tracks natively, so it is no longer a special case. You may see them when converting to/from G64, but if they are unformatted they will not take up space in the image.
This allows games with half-tracks to work in newer versions of VICE. In the past, VICE (<2.3) ignored half-tracks and just didn't increment the data buffer, so track 34 = track 34.5. Since the SPS fixes, it works like it does on a real drive now (well, without the crosstalk) so previously converted fat-protected games may not load. You can reconvert your files with -F(x) to fix this. That command will take track number 'x' and create a 3-track wide fat track from track 'x', which will allow the protection to pass in newer emulators. This does not allow you to write a fat track with a real 1541 drive, as that is impossible. You can get lucky sometimes where the crosstalk is enough to pass, but it is rare, even with IHS.
nibconv now creates "standard" G64 files, which can have a different maximum track lengths, speed zones, and missing (unformatted) tracks. In the past, the files were created to work with older versions of VICE (pre-2.3) that did not allow anything except hard-coded files that were exactly 42/84 tracks of 7928 bytes. Newer versions of VICE have fixed this, so this has been corrected.
Also, it is possible on certain types of protected tracks that a cycle will not be detected. In this case nibconv would just cram as much of the track as it could in the 7928 bytes it was allowed. Since newer versions of VICE calculate the density based on the track size, this can break certain protections. To avoid this, you can use the -Cxxx switch when converting, where 'xxx' is the RPM of the drive motor to simulate. Standard is 300, which will truncate any data that could not be written by a 1541 at 300RPM spindle motor, which VICE will detect as the standard density.
You will have to use older versions of nibconv if you still want to use older versions of VICE.
Arnd Menge has added a patch to the drive code to help with USB timeouts on ZoomFloppy when detecting the density on certain types of corrupted tracks. This is incorporated into the main build now.
He has a new method that may be later released with new ZoomFloppy code, which is still under testing.
The DOS version is only for straight, old DOS. (parallel port)
The "OpenCBM5" version is for OpenCBM >= 4.99 (ZoomFloppy)
The "OpenCBM4" version is for OpenCBM 4.0-4.2 (parallel port)
C64 Preservation Project
Register your C64 today - [link] Discuss this entry
Posted By Nate (on 12/25/2012 @ 14:46)
Subject: Merry Christmas 2012!
As with many of you, the C64 has a lot of association for me with Christmas. I first got a C64C with GEOS on Christmas 1986, 26 years ago. I had been programming the VIC-20 for a long time but it was limited and even magazines had stopped supporting it after 1985.
Hope you and your families have a great holiday!Discuss this entry
Posted By Alex G (on 09/25/2012 @ 15:47)
Subject: Well I did it...
I finally got exhausted and did what I could. I am giving up my entire collection. I had been sending Pete original scans over the past year and a half (with large gaps in between), but I didn't realize you guys were only looking for .nibs until the end. Sorry for that. I was going to ask if any of these originals with no copy protection were needed and go back and do .nibs (some are not in the DB, and I kept asking why they weren't showing up after I submitted them), but I got in a packing mood and I've packed them all up now. Hopefully they go to a good home!
---AlexDiscuss this entry
Posted By Farulosonoth (on 04/14/2012 @ 11:42)
Subject: Greetings from The Dark Wizard
I have heard of this project before, and was interested. But recently one of your members Hyper Active has purchased a Defender of the Crown from me on ebay I guess in an attempt to create one of your special images with all the Copy Protection in tact.
Apparently there was a problem with side 2. Sorry about that.
Now, I am no programmer, or hardware developer by any means, I am a desktop support technician who's first machine was a C64. Just so you know my background.
I have been perusing the forums and when you guys are talking about nibs, and flux capacitors, I have no idea what your talking about. But, I do have a very keen interest in preserving these disks for the purpose of playing the games later and also equally important when our alien masters return, or when acheologists 3000 years from now excavate some ruin, they will see that we did actually used to play games that challenged our minds and not just the drivel that is being made these days (some of which I do play *hangs head in shame*)...
Ok anyway, got off on a rant there, Just stopping by to say high, I have a large collection of original C64 disks, 100's of titles, some multiple copies (I have other formats too like Amiga, older IBM PC etc... I know you guys arent concerned with that, just throwing it out there) So if you guys are searching for a particular title, let me know.
These forums are kind of different to navigate so if you really want to shoot me a quick question, it might be best to email at email@example.com. I'm not sure how often I will be checking in.
I am more than willing to help you guys in any way that I can.
Farulosonoth - The Dark Wizard.
PS. Check out my radio station at www.rpgradio.com, I play a bunch of Computer Role Playing Game music even a few sparse tracks I created from some C64 games. There arent alot of those, but a few sprinkled in. Discuss this entry
Posted By Joe Bucci (on 01/08/2012 @ 10:09)
Subject: 'Personal' News
Nothing "Earth Shattering", but I am in the process of introducing myself to the 'Macintosh' World.. Yes, I got a Mac Net-Book for Christmas and I must say, I'm enjoying the 'Learning Curve'.
One of the first things I did was to put VICE for Mac OS X on it! - It *seems* to work fine!:) Like I say, a little "poking" around was needed to set it up properly.. But, it's run everything.. So far! :)
I also put "Mini vMac" on here as well.. I've got a couple of old "Mac" Apps I like to play with! :) All in all.. I'm "Liking" it.. a LOT!
That's it! - Of course, I'll keep my Windows PC.. Everyone NEEDS one!.. But, I *am* diggin' the Macintosh for 'personal' stuff!
"Later! - Booch!Discuss this entry
Posted By ghoshy2011 (on 11/30/2011 @ 19:48)
Hi just a quick message to say Hi to everyone and wish you all a happy christmas and new year nice to meet you, and im just working out how to get my CBM 64c games uploaded by connecting my CBM 64 to my pc. plus my amiga games aswell.. :) chat soon.. Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 11/27/2011 @ 16:27)
Subject: New nibtools release and Happy Holidays!
Well, it's that time of year again and the Christmas demos are up on the c64preservation site. :)
I've released a new version of nibtools today- not a huge release, but a requested feature for the tinkerers. You can now change the extra capacity margin settings with the -m switch during writing.
In older versions, it was automatically a more aggressive setting of 5, but newer versions were 10. The size of the track is measured several times internally and the largest difference is added to this number.
Just -m by itself will have no safety zone at all other than the maximum measured capacity difference, which will surely result in some tracks overwriting the start of their own track data. So, use this only for tinkering with certain protection tracks. Putting a number after '-m' adds bytes to the safety zone.
Not using '-m' at all still produces the old behavior of measured+5 bytes.
Background: We are writing track data that is essentially a circle and "destroys it's start" if you write too much data, so we have to be careful not to write too far. These drive mechs are old, and most are belt driven, so there is a needed safe zone of 5-10 bytes, typically. Non-belt driven drives (1571, and some 1541-II) are more exact and may work fine with no safe zone.Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 04/11/2011 @ 22:33)
Subject: New/Fixed Protection Handlers
BanguiBob (or a contact of his that remains unnamed) made protection handler for Rapidlok that identifies and aligns the tracks when converting all RapidLok titles (except odd Law of the West RL1).
Also, I updated the PirateSlayer protection handler so that it bit-shifts the tracks for emulators automatically when converting with "-pp".
Discuss this entry
Posted By hyper active (on 10/11/2010 @ 07:20)
Subject: bye bye 1541
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, my 1541 drive suddenly decided to give up the ghost about an hour ago, the latch just suddenly came loose and now it's like a useless toy. Hopefully my computer guy might be able to work another miracle by fixing it. If he can't, well.. Let's cross that bridge when we get to it.
It's a bit of a shame because I was just on the verge of getting Acro jet working too. Previously I wasn't able to get it to load past track 21, but changing the skew to 1 fixed it, and I was able to load it further and make it to track 29.Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 10/01/2010 @ 21:48)
Subject: 3,000 titles (5,200 disk sides) reached!
Thanks to everyone for help in reaching this milestone. We have over 3,000 titles consisting of over 5,200 disk sides archived in about 6 years.
It gets more difficult every day to find new disks we haven't archived, but it happens, so keep them coming. I know there a lots of educational, application, and utility titles out there we haven't seen yet. :)Discuss this entry
Posted By Nate (on 09/16/2010 @ 14:21)
Subject: ZoomFloppy to be demoed at ECCC 2010
Jim Brain and I will be demoing the ZoomFloppy, a new device for accessing Commodore floppy drives from a PC via USB. The firmware, known as xum1541, has been available since fall 2009 for those who want to build their own board, but the ZoomFloppy is the first device that will be a complete product offered for sale.
The ZoomFloppy has a number of features beyond simple disk access, which is implemented in OpenCBM. It can also nibble protected disks using a parallel cable and nibtools. It is software-upgradeable and some very interesting but secret features are planned for the future.
I am bringing a laptop with nibtools and a 1541 with a parallel port installed. It has a batch file that automates the process of nibbling. Attendees can just plug in a USB stick and hit a key to get an image of their floppy.
So bring your rare floppies to be backed up. All images will also be sent to C64Preservation.com for archival unless you request otherwise.
[link] [link] Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 07/31/2010 @ 11:07)
Subject: nibtools version announcement
Due to various problems reported with newer versions of nibtools, I've rolled back all the code to the last (hopefully) known stable version - 0.7.6. I've merged a few of the known good changes done since then (fillbyte support) but removed all the newer changes/tweaks to track cycle detection and density detection that caused so many issues.
This needs to be stabilized mainly for Nate to work on the ZoomFloppy, and for those kind members who are imaging disks again after a long break.
Anyone using a newer version than 0.7.6, please delete the executables and download the version on the site. Any images you have created are probably good, but conversions to G/D64 from those images could be faulty.
As always, thanks to everyone who is testing and reporting bugs. I've found it's an exercise in futility to tweak the code to support a new foreign image without breaking support for some of the 1000's before it. :(
C64 Preservation Project.Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 07/29/2010 @ 19:46)
0.8.7 has been released. It fixes an issue where a single timeout will kill the current track read instead of retrying properly.Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 12/28/2009 @ 14:16)
Subject: All my disks are failing!
Well, it is finally happening. I think we are nearing the end of the MTBF shelf-life of blank floppies manufactured in the 80's.
I have boxes and boxes of unused "Scholastic", "Inacomp", and "Syncom" disks and nearly all of them have errors out of the box. :(
They did all mostly work 10 years ago or more when I got them from auctions, and stored in a good environment for all that time. I noticed that I didn't seem to be able to write/read good images lately and thought at first I had munged something up in NIBTOOLS, but no... They won't format on any of my drives anymore, and fail at different points during the process (repeatable).
Nobody is still making new 5.25" DSDD floppies anymore, are they? I fear we may be at the end.
Discuss this entry
Posted By Pete Rittwage (on 09/05/2009 @ 21:53)
Subject: NIBTOOLS Release 0.6.0
See nibtools page for latest release. Mostly just bugfixes. Better density detection for some 1571 drives, and updates to the nibscan comparison tool.
Discuss this entry