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I'll make this a separate topic. I have just about all Syntauri software, I think, but some floppies have partially bad files, and stuff needs to be copied to new disks. At one time, I figured out how to defeat the copy protection and get Metatrak 5.0 onto my hard disk. I can probably piece together working disks from backups, but if anybody knows what the protection scheme was, it would help.

 

I have Metatrak II and 5.0, alpha PLUS, A Capella Systems Music Editor, Computers & Music's Fast Metatrak, C & M's The Interpolator, and Simply Music.

 

For the Decillionix DX1 card, I have EFFECTS and EFFECTS II, Midi-Madness, P-DRUM, SPLASH, SPARKEE, FIRE ORGAN, and KALEIDO-SOUND. Some of those may not be DX1-specific programs, but things I used in conjunction with it while "VJ"ing 25 years ago. Back then it was called "computer graphics improvisation" and audiences didn't know what to expect. :lol:

 

There's a couple of binders of ALF diskettes. Lots of Apple II music and noise turned up on this archaeological expedition to the barn.

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Awesome collection you have there!

 

I'll see about going back to some of the old Computists I found online as well as anything in the myriads of the Copy II+ software and Softsmith disk copy documentation I have around here.

 

It's been a long long time since I had the jailbreak a piece of 5.25" software :0

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t's been a long long time since I had the jailbreak a piece of 5.25" software :0

Me too! SInce I really don't want to clone a copy-protected disk, Locksmith and the like aren't too useful. Somehow, I read the protected disk and wrote the files to a standard disk. I remember tools for such shenanigans, but they and my memory of how to use them are pretty dusty. :D Once upon a time I was pretty good at this, since I wrote games and copy-protection tools for Activision, Sega, and other publishers. Unfortunately, I don't have those tools or the source code for them, since turning over all copies of such was part of the contract. :(

 

I need to scare up a keyboard for my old Apple ][ or more likely a whole machine as a parts donor / replacement. I tried to set up the Apple][ last night and half the keys are dead. The old keyswitches are falling like flies. It also failed to boot the first time. Apparently one of the 2716 EPROMs has lost its programming. I used to wonder how long an EPROM would hold a program, since they are rated for 10 years typically. This is the first bad one I've come across that still had a sticker over the erase window. Time to dig out the ROM blaster and see how many bits lost their charge, or if the whole chip died. So - 20 years at least! But it's a reminder that there are millions of tiny capacitors whose leakage will disable our computers eventually. Wonder how long the flash memory in this Mini will last? Should we be reflashing our BIOSes every few years as a precaution? 8-o

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So YOU perhaps are to blame for that blasted 1/4 tracking and spiral encoding???

No. Those tricks were likely to fail on non-Apple+Shugart floppies, since they depended on the momentum of the stepping motor and head positioning disk. I usually used non-standard RLL encoding, odd checksums, and blank, truly erased half-tracks, since a nybble copier couldn't duplicate those. My game-DOS also was missing any write code, catalog, or VTOC, since most games didn't require them, and smaller-faster is better. My DOS was about 1K in size, leaving more room for game stuff in RAM.

 

The way to catch one of my games was to use the old integer Apple][ monitor (* prompt), break at some starting point, write all of RAM to cassette tape, reboot and move DOS into the alternate bank of the language card (High DOS), load your cassette of the game back into RAM, and save it to disk. Then using a debugger, find the starting address and edit that onto the file. As long as the game fit entirely into RAM, you had it. If it had to access the disk, you were SOL, because the game code itself went to a specific point on a disk to read, rather than loading a file. Remember, I didn't have a file system set up. It didn't stop the real pirates, but it kept the kiddies honest. }:)

 

If some wiz at Sega couldn't copy the disk with a store-bought super copy program, that was good enough. There's no such thing as 100% uncrackable DRM.

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Got it working! Located a ][ Plus in working shape, and put the stuff in it. I've been going through the diskettes checking each one for read errors, locating backups and duplicates of files on working disks, and I think things are pretty well recovered. I'll post some MP3 recordings to .me in the next day or two. Nice sounding synth, but the music editing capabilities are near non-existant. If you can't play it on the keyboard, there's no note editor to fix a mistake, no quantization, and you can't punch in and out, either. Like the ALF, when things get really busy, the music slows down because a 1 MHz 6502 can only do so much. Wish it had MIDI, but that hadn't been invented yet. If it did, I could clean up my playing in Vision. ;) The last version has crude MIDI out capability, but no MIDI in.

 

Biggest problem is some of the vinyl diskette holders in the 3-ring binder have gotten gummy over the years. Fortunately the goo doesn't seem to have gotten on the disk surfaces.

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Yes POST MORE PLEASE! GREAT STUFF!!

 

Just started listening and already Lens 2 makes me want to drag out Dungeons and Dragons and Immortal GS!!! Or at least the chord structure sounds very familiar to those soundtracks.

 

chord structure.. ack.. Maybe I did learn something from the torture of that SoundChaser ear training software after all.

 

EDIT: Okay, Peter Gunn just made it to my IPod :) Very good work!

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  • 4 months later...

There's a bit of renewed activity on the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup on the AlphaSyntauri and Soundchaser systems

 

It would be wonderful to have the full set of demos songs & software for the ALF sound cards.

 

I took pictures of my Mountain Computer board set, which was usable with either the AlphaSyntauri or Soundchaser

keyboards - the keyboards required a separate interface card.

 

Photos are on flickr (two now, more later)

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhyre/tags/soundchaser/

 

:approve:

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Was checking 8bit sound and fury and alas even they don't have the Passport TurboTrax software I need for my lovely Wenger (Passport) Soundchaser system. I have the ever annoying chord training software and the system works and sounds great, but the main sequencer floppy came in unreadable through many many attempts to get it readable.

 

This is the system that uses the MX-5 Synthcard instead of the Mountain Computer cards.

 

Any help greatly appreciated.. IF I can ever get this system in free play mode, maybe I'll record something and post it up.

 

Thanks once again for any help tracking this down!

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