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Best way to archive old floppies (on a modern Mac?)

LaPorta

Well-known member
Please try to do it on period hardware, because you should be testing it on old hardware anyway if possible.

Macintosh Garden is full of System 6 and 7 software that people have wrapped up in archives that won't uncompress on computers that run those system versions. Its a pain, I have to keep a Pismo to hand to recompress files stuffed with more recent OSX versions of Stuffit, or the Archive Zip option in MacOS X. I used to /only/ have an SE in the house retro mac wise so it was even more of a pain.
This is very important. Nothing more infuriating than getting a .sit over to a System 6 Mac, and then not being able to open it because it was made under OS X and you didn't know it. I use either one of two formats: Disk Copy 4.2, or if an archive Stuffit 1.5. Anything can open Stuffit 1.5 archives, and even System 6 Macs can straight mount DC42 images with the appropriate software. Compressing things into ZIPs or later Stuffit just stinks and makes it hard on people.

As for the initial question, I have just started using my AppleSauce to make archive copies of things. For garden variety stuff, it is a very easy way to make Disk Copy images on your current Mac. That is very easy: attach your external SuperDrive (or 800k drive), use the modern AppleSauce software, and it will spit out a DC42 image. No intermediate machine necessary. You can also make Flux-based .A2R images. It is very difficult for the casual user to just write these back to a new floppy, however (Shadowgate, for example, has thrown the cadre of disk-crackers into a search for how to crack it and duplicate it, requiring different reads. They are still stumped as of this writing, and I am awaiting them to have free time to get it right!). Once they figure it out, they actually have to tell you how to set the start sectors of the disk before it is written back: far more low-level stuff than I will ever understand, so I am totally dependent on them.

The only stumbling block is the price: be willing to shell out almost $300 for the AppleSauce. I didn;t buy one till I sold a bunch of my stuff for that reason.
 

Phipli

Well-known member
This is very important. Nothing more infuriating than getting a .sit over to a System 6 Mac, and then not being able to open it because it was made under OS X and you didn't know it. I use either one of two formats: Disk Copy 4.2, or if an archive Stuffit 1.5. Anything can open Stuffit 1.5 archives, and even System 6 Macs can straight mount DC42 images with the appropriate software. Compressing things into ZIPs or later Stuffit just stinks and makes it hard on people.

As for the initial question, I have just started using my AppleSauce to make archive copies of things. For garden variety stuff, it is a very easy way to make Disk Copy images on your current Mac. That is very easy: attach your external SuperDrive (or 800k drive), use the modern AppleSauce software, and it will spit out a DC42 image. No intermediate machine necessary. You can also make Flux-based .A2R images. It is very difficult for the casual user to just write these back to a new floppy, however (Shadowgate, for example, has thrown the cadre of disk-crackers into a search for how to crack it and duplicate it, requiring different reads. They are still stumped as of this writing, and I am awaiting them to have free time to get it right!). Once they figure it out, they actually have to tell you how to set the start sectors of the disk before it is written back: far more low-level stuff than I will ever understand, so I am totally dependent on them.

The only stumbling block is the price: be willing to shell out almost $300 for the AppleSauce. I didn;t buy one till I sold a bunch of my stuff for that reason.
If you use old versions of stuffit (4 and older of standard), you need to bin hex it too, because the older sit format used resources which are stripped away on PCs / web servers.
 

Crutch

Well-known member
Thanks for the advice about AppleSauce, @LaPorta. I will check that out.
Shadowgate, for example, has thrown the cadre of disk-crackers into a search for how to crack it and duplicate it, requiring different reads. They are still stumped as of this writing, and I am awaiting them to have free time to get it right!
Does this mean nobody has figured out the copy protection of Shadowgate at all, even in software? Or just that nobody has been able to duplicate the original disk?
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
They know what kind of protection it is, they just don't know quite yet how to get it to duplicate onto a disk yet properly. So, the protection has something to do with certain areas of the disk that are written with some sort of speficic code or repetitive track or something (I really don't understand it) that needs to be in an exact order. Shadowgate checks for that, and if it isn't just right, either crashes or resets the computer. Just how exactly to write that out, where to start the disk, etc, needs to be figured out by them. I wish I understood it better: to me, its like "start at the start and end at the end", I don't see why its more complex than that (like making a photocopy of an image), but apparently it is. So, yes, I have successfully made a flux-level image of the disk, but they have not figured out how to write it to another disk yet: that is the issue. They may need a re-image of the original disk, or to compare it to one that I make of a spare floppy to make sure it is just right. That is where the hang up is.

To answer your second question: obviously there are cracked copies of Shadowgate out there (any copy you can download from the Macintosh Garden, etc, obviously have been so they can be copied). Someone figured it out a long time ago. The goal here was to get a true representation of the original software, complete with copy protection, duplicated and to be able to make a real, physican floppy of it. They can do it: the copy-protected Balance of Power (another Mindscape title) that I have had a different scheme, but they were able to figure that out and now I have a floppy copy that in all manners behaves like a legitimate, original copy: the copy protection scheme passes muster with the program and it starts correctly. I think of it kind of like a work of art original in all ways: like if you had copies of the Mona Lisa, but just had some plain-jane frame around it. Sure, you can enjoy the painting, but it doesn't preserve everything that was there historically. Having the protection intact may seem trivial to some, but I find it intriguing to have every part of it functioning.
 
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