Disk format auto-detection

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OCMoe
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Disk format auto-detection

Post by OCMoe »

Hi!

I'd like to propose an disk format auto-detection mechanism. I'm not talking about discovering every format on earth. All the regular, unprotected variants, however, should be easy to distinguish.

As a use case, I am currently archiving all disks that contain something useful for our exhibition. Note that this is not (just) about preservation. For that, I'd always use -i0. I'm talking about self-produced disk. They contain documents or BASIC programs written by previous owners who donated a machine including their own working environment, even including their own modified OS (CP/M came with full source code). You probably get the idea. We want to extract the contents of these disks so that we can use them for future projects.

All this includes a terrible variety of FM/MFM formats across all combinations of sector sizes, single/double-sidedness and track counts (think CP/M, where every machine had about 4 native formats plus all the foreign ones it could also read/produce), not including such niceties like C-128 CP/M disks which may not be MFM at all but good old GCR. With 3.5" disks, there is the Atari ST series, the MSXens, various typewriters and not-so-much-PC-compatibles, and the PC with its regular and "super-formatted" disks. When we hook up an 8" drive (which we will do at some point), the (M)FM format mess will only increase.

These are just variations of well-known disk formats (-i3 through -i9), they can be detected quite easily. I'm doing it simply by trying all parameters until I get a "MFM: OK" or similar.

Given that I know my way around source code quite well, I'd implement it myself / donate a patch, but, well, the source, you know? ;)

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IFW
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Re: Disk format auto-detection

Post by IFW »

Please see here for the current discussion regarding this request:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=51

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IFW
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Re: Disk format auto-detection

Post by IFW »

As for real archival and preservation, I highly recommend the following threads, but there are probably more:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=53
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=58

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OCMoe
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Re: Disk format auto-detection

Post by OCMoe »

Thanks for the pointers. I'm amazed you didn't use the forum-typical "use the search function" answer :)

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IFW
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Re: Disk format auto-detection

Post by IFW »

Why would I? ;)

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OCMoe
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Re: Disk format auto-detection

Post by OCMoe »

It's the standard answer you get on forums for asking the obvious. Even more so since one of your pointers is a sticky. Typical forum-rudeness (or being-annoyed-by-ignorant-newbies-ness). With this forum, there's not even much to search through. Even worse, I've read those topics before. Just not thoroughly enough.

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IFW
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Re: Disk format auto-detection

Post by IFW »

Hopefully it won't be the standard on this board... :lol:

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