8" floppy project

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sun Aug 8 23:45:47 2004

On Sun, 8 Aug 2004, Scott Stevens wrote:

> On Sun, 8 Aug 2004 21:34:24 +0100 (BST)
> ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk (Tony Duell) wrote:
> > > > But as a file-format geek, I always thought a central part of the
> > > > nut to crack was a metafile format. Archiving real-world antique
> > > > floppies means some of them are going to have bad sectors. (Let's
> > > > leave copy-protection errors aside for a moment.) You need an
> > > > archiving file format that can record the fact of the known error.
> > > > It would also be handy to have a way to store corresponding info
> > > > such as a description of the disk's contents, as if you'd be
> > > > able to store the label along with the archived disk image.
> > >
> > > This already exists since more than 10 years now and is called
> > > TeleDisk,
> >
> > As far as I know the format of a Teledisk archive file has never been
> > officially documented. IMHO that makes it totally unsuitable to use as
> > a portable archibe format. And I don't think it covers things like GCR
> >
> > recording, sectors with headers recorded at a different density to the
> >
> > data, hard sectored disks, and so on.
> >
> > > also try AnaDisk to analyse foreign disks, both programs can be
> > > found everywhere on the net.
> >
> > Only if you happen to run an MS-DOS PC.
> >
> Not to start a flame-war, but we're talking about methods using various
> equipment to archive and/or analyze foreign diskettes. 'Running an
> MS-DOS machine' amounts to having one somewhere in the shop you can use
> for this kind of specialized work. If you detest Microsoft, use DR-DOS
> or FreeDOS or any of the alternatives. Obviously nobody (or barely
> anybody) 'runs' an MS-DOS machine as a primary workstation in this day
> and age. It would make sense, though, to recognize that a machine like
> that is useful for a few occasional purposes and not 'boycott' them for
> some high-and-holy reason.

Tony's point is very well taken, and you seem to have missed it, and
substituted something else that Tony did not even imply.

First of all, a pure DOS computer is a VERY handy tool to have around. At
least it is for me. There's a lot you can do with a simple DOS box and
some good tools (like ProComm for example).

But to use Teledisk as the de facto standard for archiving floppy disks
would be an awful mistake, not the least of which is because Teledisk, as
Tony rightly pointed out, does not deal at all with GCR disk formats.

Any format that is going to be adopted as the de facto standard for
archiving disks (and other media) must be able to handle ANY format, and
must also be OPEN, DOCUMENTED, and most importantly, NON-PROPRIETARY.

I think this is pretty much what Tony said.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
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Received on Sun Aug 08 2004 - 23:45:47 BST

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