3,400+ 8bit games - preserved!

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3,400+ 8bit games - preserved!

Post by mr.vince »

It started with improving the compatibility of floppy emulation of the famous Commodore 64 emulator Vice, to give it extended G64 support to load many images properly without any user interaction or patching of the data. From there we got more involved with the wonderful C64 community, especially Pete Rittwage's excellent C64 Preservation project, and together we've been working behind the scenes on something very special.

Softpres.org has now been updated with a list of more than 3,400 fully verified, properly preserved original titles in pristine condition for Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Commodore Plus/4, Apple II, PC and Atari 8-bit platforms. Hundreds of hours were necessary in a joint effort with contributors and platform specific experts from all over the world to get a hold of dumps which were then analysed with our new chain of tools, the SPStudio* framework.

See for yourself: http://softpres.org/games

The addition of the most popular and widespread 8-bit platform, the Commodore 64, marks an important step for Softpres. We now aim to preserve all versions for all platforms so budget versions, collections, cover disks, promotional disks and magazine disks are more than welcome.

So don't be shy - please consider offering your original disks for preservation.

Enjoy. If you like it, please consider donating. Thanks!

The Software Preservation Society

*) SPStudio allows us to accurately verify that a disk is unmodified, professionally duplicated, or otherwise in such condition as it was when it was sent to a retail market. It requires excess knowledge of the various media formats used on these platforms to correctly decode and verify that the data is free from any unintended errors. Please understand that this is a time consuming process with an important priority on first having the fragile data checked and preserved before it is too late. Later on this verified good data can be used to produce such formats as IPF or G64 for general use.
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Re: 3,400+ 8bit games - preserved!

Post by sncboom2k »

This is awesome. Hats off to Pete whom I've provided nibs to for years and continue to do so. Hats off to the KF team and the SPS. I greatly appreciate the effort. I'll continue to supply images where ever possible. Thinking I see one now not listed in the SPS page ;) Upload coming.
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Re: 3,400+ 8bit games - preserved!

Post by haynor666 »

Any fo these dumps are actually released and sent to dumpers ?
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Re: 3,400+ 8bit games - preserved!

Post by IFW »

Yes, of course.

There are two parts to the answer:

1, Contributors already have their images and can use them - as they submitted them in the first place.
Unlike the CTRaw images originally, stream files can be used by contributors converting via DTC. By now many emulators can run CTR images as well, although you should be aware that there is no guarantee whether they work correctly or at all and of course they are a lot bigger than IPF images since they are just sampled data and timings.
A significant amount of images we are talking about here are for 8-bit Commodore platforms, especially C64 and they are all KryoFlux stream files.
All the contributors can use stream file images as is: simply convert them to the extended G64 format generated by DTC. This is mostly automatically done by the host software, so anyone can just do it really, in some cases additional parameters are needed to get a "clean" image though.
The extended G64 format then can be rewritten back to disk using DTC (including verify function!) or can be used in at least VICE, maybe other Commodore emulators as well by now.
Most images simply work.

2, There will be IPFs as well for completeness, although they were not a priority for two reasons:
a, G64 Ext images work for a huge number of games already, and the image files are not as large as say Amiga images are.
b, Quite lot of work had to be completed before IPF support could be added to the library as well as the analyser software.
These are mostly done by now, so what we really need is finishing User Defined Formats in the host software, adding IPF output as an option, and adding GCR support to the decoder library. There were lots of blockers before any of these tasks could be completed, but with the release of the new v3.50 host software most of these are resolved now.
I also want to make sure it's generic enough, as many other platforms used GCR to some extent, and ideally all of those should be at least partially covered by the updates. Since DTC covers a a lot of platforms, I (hopefully) already have enough data to come up with something satisfactory in terms of platform coverage, but I really want to get it right - or at least as good as possible given the various constraints of the different platforms.

TLDR: Yes, IPFs will be available for all of these as well, but you can use your existing images already. :)
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