Author Topic: Micro Display V3.0  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline tjohnson

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Micro Display V3.0
« on: 23:34, 13 December 20 »
I have this old PCW disk, is this programme readily available?  I can't read the program side properly, I think it's corrupt with age, the side B seems better.  Some dumps attached.  Maybe someone can get something working from it.



Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #1 on: 00:10, 14 December 20 »
Its for PCW MicroDesign files.

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #2 on: 00:24, 14 December 20 »
I got some other floppy disks here with .mda files, are they PCW microdisplay files.  Looks like some graphics files judging by the names, any idea how to load them?

Offline ComSoft6128

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #3 on: 00:36, 14 December 20 »
.mda files were the main file type used/generated by MD2 PCW, the MicroDisplay program creates a slideshow for these.

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #4 on: 00:43, 14 December 20 »
Ah right, I don't appear to have Microdesign for PCW and I can't find anywhere to download it, would be nice to see what these images look like!

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #5 on: 00:54, 14 December 20 »
Hello,

I've had a look at the image file.   What were you trying to do with this disk?

This disk does not appear to be a normal PCW disk, or even a normal CP/M disk.   There does not seem to be any normal directory.  There does seem to be software on the disk, so it might boot if booted, but I cannot promise anything.

The details in the formatting data suggest that it is a 40t disk, and the tracks do seem to go up to #40, but the size of the image is quite a bit less than a 40t image should be.

If you put this disk into a booted machine, I'm sure it will do nothing.  Or, I'd be very surprised if it DID do anything.   If it does boot, it will be into it's own system, nothing to do with CP/M.

The label on the disk refers to instructions for copying the disk being on side 2.   This suggests that it's a non-standard format.   I've not bothered to look at side 2 which might be normal?

Geoff

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #6 on: 01:15, 14 December 20 »
MicroDesign disks are copy protected. You need a tool that can cope with copy-protected disks (dsktrans in libdsk can do this, if the -md3 option is used).

MicroDesign itself has been PD for the last 19-odd years (I posted the announcement to csa8) so here are the copies of the DSK images I have.

Alternatively, if you can get the .MDA files off the disk images and onto your host computer, NetPBM can convert them to current formats like PNG:
Code: [Select]
mdatopbm file.mda > file.pbm
pnmtopng file.pbm > file.png
« Last Edit: 01:34, 14 December 20 by JohnElliott »

Offline ComSoft6128

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Offline tjohnson

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #8 on: 03:50, 31 December 20 »
MicroDesign disks are copy protected. You need a tool that can cope with copy-protected disks (dsktrans in libdsk can do this, if the -md3 option is used).

MicroDesign itself has been PD for the last 19-odd years (I posted the announcement to csa8) so here are the copies of the DSK images I have.

Alternatively, if you can get the .MDA files off the disk images and onto your host computer, NetPBM can convert them to current formats like PNG:
Code: [Select]

mdatopbm file.mda > file.pbm
pnmtopng file.pbm > file.png


I tried with the -md3 option and got something about disk rejected by driver when I tried to write it to a floppy.  I was hoping to run it on my PCW which has a standard cf2 drive.
« Last Edit: 11:25, 31 December 20 by tjohnson »

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #9 on: 11:43, 31 December 20 »
@JohnElliott I got a bit further once I use a: rather than /dev/fd0.  However it fails on track 2 saying "reading : no data".  I then tried it on v1.5 version and that fails in the same place saying "input file cannot be converted to dsk -- edsk format is required" followed by "reading : no data"

Offline JTN

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #10 on: 13:27, 31 December 20 »
The "-md3" option of dsktrans and friends doesn't currently understand how MD3 copy protection works on single-density, single-sided discs, like the one you have. So, effectively, it does nothing. The usual symptom of trying to transfer such a disc is complaints about track 3 of the program side. As it happens, I just sent in a patch for this, but it may take a while to emerge in a release.

What's your goal with this specific floppy? Since it looks like a master disc (and is currently write-protected), I doubt there's anything on it that is not also on the working 720k "mdisplay.dsk" that John Elliott already posted. Certainly the demo files on your (successfully imaged) side B ("microdisplay demo.dsk") are basically the same as on JCE's 720k disc (which contains both program and demo files).
I doubt there's anything exciting going on on the program side. (I don't know why your image lacks directory tracks -- I think it must be an imaging error, as other Creative discs had a normal directory, and hid the copy-protection track with a directory entry called something like MDY.0.)

It looks like you have a setup that would work to image non-copy-protected floppies, so you should be able to image your other floppies containing MDA files, and use the tools already mentioned to convert those to something more modern. Or you can use JCE's "mdisplay.dsk" in an emulator like Joyce to browse them:
 

* microdisplay_demo.png
(11.27 kB, 800x600 - viewed 107 times)


(It looks like your imaging process is creating "extended DSK" files. These are currently slightly awkward to use in Joyce, due to another bug, whose fix will hopefully be published in due course. But with Joyce 2.2.13 at least you can work around it by explicitly selecting "Extended .DSK"  on the "Advanced..." menu whenever you load the disc image. Or you can use "dsktrans" to convert to regular DSK, if you have it. I did the same with my collection, but on reflection I don't think the features of extended DSK are important for preserving most PCW discs.)

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Micro Display V3.0
« Reply #11 on: 16:20, 31 December 20 »
The "-md3" option of dsktrans and friends doesn't currently understand how MD3 copy protection works on single-density, single-sided discs, like the one you have. So, effectively, it does nothing. The usual symptom of trying to transfer such a disc is complaints about track 3 of the program side. As it happens, I just sent in a patch for this, but it may take a while to emerge in a release.

What's your goal with this specific floppy?
I'm using a PC with a 3.5" drive and it fails on track 2 with the option .md3 option not with a the Amstrad 3" drive :)  The only purpose was to see it running on an actual PCW.  I can often spend time doing pretty pointless stuff like this just to see if I can get it to work.  The image file was supplied by John Elliot in the earlier post, my image was completely corrupted, the disk is bad.