Author Topic: Proton - Tape copier  (Read 2421 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ssg

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Country: tr
  • NOP
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 25
Proton - Tape copier
« on: 22:44, 19 December 12 »
There was a tape-to-tape copying software called Proton. It was one of the good ones which could copy binaries below &170. (even the ones at &40 if i recall correctly). It didn't put too much delay when writing header unlike speedcopy ii. It had a full screen interface which showed header values.


I remember that it was written by someone called Uwe Schaefer. I liked that software a lot but I couldn't find anything about it on the web (except my own content). Does anyone remember or even better have the software and possibly know the guy?

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.366
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3059
  • Likes Given: 5566
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #1 on: 15:48, 20 December 12 »
I think there was a topic on tape copying software before, but can't find it, so I need to ask again: why would you need specialised software instead of a double-tape recorder?

Offline db6128

  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 316
  • Country: gb
  • We don’t speak 8080 in this house.
  • Liked: 71
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #2 on: 16:26, 20 December 12 »
I guess maybe it allows verification, checksums against errors, rebuilding the bitstream if the source cassette is degrading (but not yet unreadable), and so on?
[The owner of one of the few existing cartridges of Chase HQ 2] mentioned to me that unless someone could find a way to guarantee the code wouldn't be duplicated to anyone else, he wouldn't be interested.
Did he also say things like "My treasureeeeee" and is he a little grey guy?

Offline ssg

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Country: tr
  • NOP
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #3 on: 22:44, 20 December 12 »
I guess maybe it allows verification, checksums against errors, rebuilding the bitstream if the source cassette is degrading (but not yet unreadable), and so on?

good cases, but no. Proton didn't do any of those (except catching read errors of course):

1) I didn't have a double-deck for a couple of years. And when I had one, head fine tuning could have created annoying read error b's.
2) Granularity with double-deck is terrible. I tended to put many games on a single 90mins tape, did compilations using saving many files one after another. Such software is good for copy-paste action.
3) Can't copy one side to another (or even to the same side) with a double deck when needed :)

Offline db6128

  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 316
  • Country: gb
  • We don’t speak 8080 in this house.
  • Liked: 71
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #4 on: 20:39, 22 December 12 »
From what you’ve said, it sounds as though it reconstructs the stream onto the destination tape rather than simply copying it acoustically, which would make the fixing of errors (that are currently surmountable but might eventually become unrecoverable) a handy side-effect.
[The owner of one of the few existing cartridges of Chase HQ 2] mentioned to me that unless someone could find a way to guarantee the code wouldn't be duplicated to anyone else, he wouldn't be interested.
Did he also say things like "My treasureeeeee" and is he a little grey guy?

Offline ssg

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Country: tr
  • NOP
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #5 on: 12:25, 23 December 12 »
From what you’ve said, it sounds as though it reconstructs the stream onto the destination tape rather than simply copying it acoustically, which would make the fixing of errors (that are currently surmountable but might eventually become unrecoverable) a handy side-effect.


That's right. It used firmware block load/save code which worked on "very long block 2" kind of loaders too. No turbo copying though.

Offline Johnny Olsen

  • Supporter
  • CPC6128
  • *
  • Posts: 239
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 162
  • Likes Given: 311
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #6 on: 14:57, 23 December 12 »
You could used AMSBACK instead - it's a very easy to use copy program.

http://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&num=5111

Offline Cholo

  • 6128 Plus
  • ******
  • Posts: 517
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 105
  • Likes Given: 117
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #7 on: 21:46, 23 December 12 »
Yup, when it comes to handling tapes there is really no other way than using a good tape handling program. A double cassette player does have its uses as well .. mainly to do 1-1 copies of some protected games .. but so much can go wrong using your (usually quite old & used & cheapo quality) double cassette player that its much better to use a copy program and your trusty Amstrad with its quality cassette recorder.

Handling unproteced "block"s and "record"s a program has nearly unlimited uses :)
Aka: copying blocks or records, rearranging, un/protecting blocks, load speed changing, changing block length, Re-attempting to read weak data, disc <> tape, renaming, cat'alogue'ing and finding importent info about the data (like type, lenght, loading address, executing address, record sync etc).

There is also modern uses like pc -> tape transfters. People usually fail or get a lot of errors trying to record over software from their pc -> tape recorder. If you instead use a "car-cassette adapter" you can send the audio directly into you 464 and "capture" the data using the copy program. Should a block fail to be read on the first go you can resend the audio again untill it checks thru. Finally you can save back the data to a real tape on your 464 and so making a high quality error free backup.

Anyways, i can highly recommend JL-Copy for file copying:
http://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&num=5268

Havnt ever met a file that JL-copy couldnt handle. I assume the program does something noughty and hides in screen memory or similar to make it able to handle those giant files. Pretty automated and works "generic" with both block and records (no need to specidy name or rec sync). Shows the usual file information and can un/protect (change the hide bit in basic files) files. "Quick save" does that thingy where it squeezes all the blocks into just 2 blocks. JL-Copy also came on the Amstrad Action covertape no. 22 (Issue 88, January 1993) so you might have it already on physical tape.

at Johnny: thanks for the link i had totally forgotten about Amsback. I guess Amsback & JL-copy does pretty much the same things but its nice to have both. Cant believe i havnt though of Amsback in 20 years.
« Last Edit: 13:48, 24 December 12 by Cholo »

Offline ssg

  • Supporter
  • CPC664
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Country: tr
  • NOP
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Proton - Tape copier
« Reply #8 on: 13:41, 24 December 12 »
Thanks for suggestions. Even back then there were too many tools for tape copying (even I had written one, IIRC which fit into BE00-BF00 range, so could use all the memory). Very few worth using though. I remember something called "xfer" (it was french), "speedcopy ii". I think "locksmith" had tape copying support too.



My main reason was mostly to look into the chance of bumping into the author of Proton. This forum surprised me a lot about nostalgia :)


Amsback looks interesting it looks like it keeps it's own code in the screen buffer to conserve memory, is that right?


JL-Copy looks good as well.