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General Category => NC100, NC200, PCW, PDA600 - the rest of the Family! => Topic started by: Siorah on 16:36, 12 April 13

Title: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Siorah on 16:36, 12 April 13
hiya guys, I've just got ahold of a load of 3" floppies which were used on the PCW, and well, would like to archive them if possible before they get wiped and formatted...


The issue is i have 62 of them.


Any volunteers/ideas?



Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: robcfg on 23:30, 12 April 13
If no one nearer is able to do it, and you don't mind sending them to Spain, I'll archive them as soon as possible and return them to you.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: robcfg on 19:27, 16 April 13
Nobody else up to the challenge?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Gryzor on 20:26, 16 April 13
I don't have a PCW... those are 360kb/side, aren't they?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: robcfg on 20:40, 16 April 13
I don't have a PCW... those are 360kb/side, aren't they?

As far as I know, they should be same as 6128's. the PCW 9000 series had double sided drives.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Gryzor on 20:42, 16 April 13
If they are, I guess I can do it; never handled PCW-written disks, but if they can be copied by some CPC copier, sure, very simple to do it. Add me to the list.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: TFM on 23:17, 16 April 13
A bit offtopic, but related...
 
Is there a kind of main PCW software ressource?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:25, 17 April 13
Nobody else up to the challenge?
I don't have the time or resources to help.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: robcfg on 17:07, 17 April 13
A bit offtopic, but related...
 
Is there a kind of main PCW software ressource?


I'm working with Habi in creating a nice PCW Wiki, but dumping, scanning and uploading to the web takes a lot of time. I hope we have something you can take a look to soon!
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: TFM on 19:01, 17 April 13
Let me know how we can contribute :)
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: robcfg on 22:48, 17 April 13
Let me know how we can contribute :)

Sure!

I'm creating a style guide so that we get a uniform look, and then you'll all be welcome to create articles and upload content there.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: MacDeath on 21:42, 21 April 13
Can't it be dumped with a PCW (or even CPC or Speccy+3...) with both a 3" disk drive and a HxC floppy disk emulator?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: fano on 23:15, 21 April 13
Can't it be dumped with a PCW (or even CPC or Speccy+3...) with both a 3" disk drive and a HxC floppy disk emulator?
The best way is to use a PC+FD1 and Samdisk.If nobody owns this, i can do this with mine (or better , someone else get half and me other half)
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Cholo on 00:02, 23 April 13
Im guessing you can use a Kryoflux board as well. I have my trusty old Kryoflux+FD1 and a "wrapper" version of Lord of the Rings - Game One (its my one and only pcw game  .. "my precious" .. hehe!).

As i dont have a PCW, i have really no way to test it but i did do a quick MFM scan (like i do with the cpc discs) and it reported back with crc ok on side A (and unformatted side B) so i guess it ok and error free. So if the game hasnt already been dumped i can upload a kryoflux dump if you need?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: MaV on 16:39, 06 June 13
A bit late but nevertheless:

I reactivated my Joyce and did a test with its disks.

You can dump PCW floppies on the CPC with a HxC as B drive by using Discology (for example). You need to insert a dummy PCW floppy image on the HxC, and you have to make sure that the "structural" data of the image (e.g. sector id, at least in my case) is the same on the floppy and on the image of the HxC. Only then will you succeed in copying the floppies, otherwise the HxC will not write the data though it is still pretending to. You do have to check the resulting image file to be 100% sure. As a last step you need to convert the HxC image file to the usual dsk-format with the HxC floppy emulator software.

A bit complicated but it works, and needless to say that copying CF2DD are out of question because the CPCs don't have such a drive.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Gryzor on 21:02, 09 June 13
But how do you "make sure" that the structure is the same?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: MaV on 00:55, 10 June 13
Good question.

For standard format the answer is easy: Check in advance what kind of disk you want to copy (System, Data, IBM) and insert an empty dummy disk with the same format into the HxC.

Specially formatted disks are another thing altogether. You'd have to read the complete disk info (sector-id, no of sectors per track, gap, etc.) save it "somewhere" and prepare a file on the PC or SD-card, and then copy the disk. That somewhere is the problem as anything that is not done directly on the HxC is much too complicated.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Cholo on 21:39, 12 June 13
@MaV: Thanks for the info mate!

Alrighty, finally got around to dump the Lotr PCW disc. Attached the MFM dump file and it appears to be 40 tracks long and error free. Hopefully someone can make something from it. Also it looks like to boot the game youll need to load a cpm disc first (like on the cpc ish)  ;)
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:19, 13 June 13
Has anyone tried this under CPC CP/M +?
I wondered that if it is CPM compatible (and therefore work on CPC) or if it uses some PCW features?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:24, 13 June 13
where is there a description of the mfm file format?
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: MaV on 11:27, 13 June 13
@Cholo: Brilliant! Another game saved for posterity! :) Thanks a lot!

Is the MFM-format readable by the HxC? I have no experiences with it. If so, I'll check the game out in the evening.

@arnoldemu: Most probably it will use PCW features, since the game uses graphics (and I doubt that it uses GSX). I'll try to test it in the evening.

Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: robcfg on 11:47, 13 June 13
Thanks Cholo!


When I have a little time, I'll be adding it to our new PCW Wiki, and make a tutorial/style guide so everyone can enter info on it.


Cheers!
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Gryzor on 20:25, 13 June 13
PCW Wiki? What's that? :)
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Cholo on 21:07, 13 June 13
About the MFM format: alas donno the specs but it should be a common format. The Kryoflux MFM -i4 format is indeed compatible with the HxC and its actually possible by using the "load raw image" to load a DATA format CPC disc directly into it. Girv posted the correct way to load a DATA disc in here (post 24) including the correct options:
Image 3" floppy disks for emulator (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/emulators/image-3%27-floppy-disks-for-emulator/)

Ive tried that myself and it still works .. with CPC DATA format discs .. even though the software has been updated and the options has a newer layout and all that. Once loaded you can even save it back to Data DSK. Trouble is that the Lotr disc is in some PCW CPM format + im 90% sure it isnt compatible with my 6128 as well.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: MaV on 22:30, 13 June 13
I was about to post the DSK- and HFE-file about one hour ago, but got stuck with playing the game. :D

This gave me the chance however to reread the other thread and notice that the mfm files are created with no interleave, so I converted the disk with no interleave as well.

I was mistaken regarding the graphics in the game. I think I mixed it up with The Hobbit on the CPC. :( The game is text-only as far as I can see.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: arnoldemu on 15:15, 14 June 13
Game does run on cpc6128.

Game assumes taller screen, so the border is drawn wrong.

it seems to write some control codes, and these don't work so the display is a bit broken, but it doesn't crash.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: MaV on 15:33, 14 June 13
Thanks, arnoldemu. I was trying to test it on the CPC but fell asleep right before the screen and woke up at 2am to haul myself to bed.


The control codes seem to be the common problem with customised CP/M programs on the CPC and the PCW (and other CP/M computers). I've had the same with Turbo-Pascal, Wordstar and dBase II. A list of corresponding control codes would be helpful.

Does a CPC version of LotR exist?

Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: arnoldemu on 15:45, 14 June 13
Thanks, arnoldemu. I was trying to test it on the CPC but fell asleep right before the screen and woke up at 2am to haul myself to bed.


The control codes seem to be the common problem with customised CP/M programs on the CPC and the PCW (and other CP/M computers). I've had the same with Turbo-Pascal, Wordstar and dBase II. A list of corresponding control codes would be helpful.

Does a CPC version of LotR exist?
I think it does but it's not cpm based, so unlikely to help you here I think.

I was hoping to find the info on the control codes but I couldn't find them, perhaps they are possible on the cpc with some com program loaded before.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Bryce on 16:42, 14 June 13
http://www.genesis8bit.fr/amstrad/game-rom/amstrad-game.php?prog_id=2715 (http://www.genesis8bit.fr/amstrad/game-rom/amstrad-game.php?prog_id=2715)

Bryce.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Gryzor on 20:52, 14 June 13
Nice loading screen...
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:29, 17 June 13
John Elliott was very helpful, he provided a link to the +3 CPM Terminal Codes which he says should be a superset of the pcw ones:

Spectrum +3 CP/M Plus manual (http://www.worldofspectrum.org/Plus3CPMManual/appendix3.html)

I know CPM2.2 provides a limited set of control codes - it's in the disc rom. Don't know about CP/M plus on cpc.
Title: Re: need help with archiving PCW floppies
Post by: Cholo on 20:13, 18 June 13
Thanks MaV for the conversion & testing  ;)

The CPC does indeed have a version as well. Hard not to remember buying the big box version the price was like £2 .. + £9 in postage as it includes the book, manual and at least 2 tapes. Cant recall seeing a disc CPC version for sale though. The big tape version is quite common though and is put up quite often on ebay etc.