Full Version: Notes on backing up Digital Solutions titles (Paperback & Pocket series productivity)
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Greetings all,

I hope you, your families, and colleagues are healthy. We're OK here in the epicenter (Kirkland, Washington).

I have recently been occupying myself with making preservation images of original Paperback and Pocket series (Filer, Planner, Writer) disks that I have collected over the years. I was particularly interested in making a preservation image of Pocket Writer 3 for the C-128. I spent close to 10 years looking for an original on eBay... I assume that fairly-few copies of PW v3 were sold, since it was released fairly late in the C-64/128's life.

In any case, I wanted to share that I was able to make functioning .g64 images of all of the v2 disks with SCP, using default settings (Index mode, no half tracks). This applies to Filer, Planner, and Writer, C-64 and C-128 versions. (The v2 series programs were sold as flippies, with the C-64 version on one side and the C-128 version on the other.) So, 3 x 2 = 6 images in total.

Writer v3 for the C-128 was a bit of a different story. Many, many thanks to Jim for jumping in and tweaking the raw flux dump to create a working .g64. Jim -- perhaps you could say a little about what you did? Many thanks also to Dan G. for re-connecting me with Jim and encouraging me to dig into the project. Smile

Also, I have some of the v1 products but, so far, have not been able to get a clean read from those disks. It may be that those disks have decayed. Jim took a look at said there was a waveform pattern to the flux, which can indicate either dirty disk / heads or bad disk. I inspected the disks and didn't see crud and made sure the heads were clean...


Greetings. Jim mentioned the following to me in a PM:

Quote:The protection for Pocket Writer 3 is the exact same that has been used since day one on the original Paperback Writer. When creating a .g64, the SCP software attempts to find the write splice for each track and there are cases where a write splice (which is a 'smearing' of the flux data when the write head turns off and the magnetic field collapses) just so happens to create a flux bitcell that is valid. Almost (but not always) this is an invalid bitcell time and easy to spot.

So, in your case with Pocket Writer 3 it has a few tracks where the software can't figure out where the write splice is so it just uses the end of track, which happens to be in the middle of valid data and the copy (or .g64 conversion) will not load.

What I did was manually copy each track using the editor/analyzer so that the disk was 'indexed', which means that the start/stop point of the track occurs on the index pulse.

Most all commercial disks are produced this way and INDEX mode is a simple way to copy/convert just about everything made. Once I made an indexed disk, I made a .g64 conversion using INDEX mode (because I know the disk is indexed, because I did it myself!) and it made a perfectly good .g64 conversion.

Thanks, Jim!