November 9, 2014 – Tom Thiel of Cosmic Software OK’s Downloads

November 9, 2014 – Tom Thiel of Cosmic Software OK’s Downloads

Tom Thiel, sole owner of Cosmic Software, has given permission to make available Cosmic Software files for download. Those links are now live and include:

   • BoskOne v1.51

   • Defense Penetrator

   • Morgoth (Model I and 4)

   • Outland (Model I and 4)

   • Rally Racer

   • Star Cresta

   • Stellar Warp

If you search for cosmic as the publisher on the Software Search page, the downloads are live

Thanks Tom!

May 19, 2014 – Catweasel Tools Updated to 4.5 (Unofficial)

May 19, 2014 – Catweasel Tools Updated to 4.5 (Unofficial)

George Phillips has completed his work on updating Tim Mann’s Catweasel Software. Although it is numbered v4.5, it should be considered “unofficial” in that it is up to Tim Mann as to whether he wishes to accept the changes or not. The meat of the changes are:

• The ‘-j’ option which re-uses good sectors from previous track reads to replace bad sectors. The idea being that a successful read of a track can be obtained in the face of inconsistent failures. For example, you might read a track once and get sector 5 failing. Then sector 11 failing the next time. But my merging the two reads you’ll get the full track.

• Additionally there’s ‘-y’ which is something David Cooper wrote to prompt for more retries when a track has used all of its retries up.

• Ira wrote code to detect when the 2nd side of a diskette is in MS-DOS format and ignores it if it doesn’t match the format of the first side. This is for when trying to read a TRS-80 formatted single-side diskette that used a pre-formatted MS-DOS diskette.

• Finally, there is a ‘-D’ which dumps the raw track reads to individual files. While primarily used for debugging purposes, it also could be of interest in terms of preserving data more precisely and archiving bad data in the hopes that improved bit stream translation algorithms can recover it at some later date.

The ‘-j’ option has been fairly extensively and we’ve gone through a number of bug-fixing rounds to get it where it seems quite robust and reliable. And, most importantly, useful. There have been many cases where it manages to get the data off a diskette where many retries fail to get the perfect track.

March 22, 2014 – Catweasel Software Mods Progressing

Despite not even having a Catweasel card, George Phillips has made amazing strides with modifying Tim Mann’s Catweasel software to output the BEST track read instead of the LAST track read. He is toying with the idea of actually repairing bad sectors based on bytes which are read differently, bringing a far higher level of granularity than I would have hoped. Stay tuned, and thanks George!

March 17, 2014 – New DMK Utility and Raspberry Pi Virtual Floppy Drive

Alan Page has created a utility which will view and edit DMK images as well as allow for side-by-side sector and track comparison of two DMK’s. It works on single, double, and mixed density DMK’s. CRC’s are updated with changes. Downloads can be had at Alan’s Blog Page

Alan is also developing a virtual floppy drive based on the Raspberry Pi which can, among other things, use a raspeberry pi and his add-on board to read real TRS-80 disks into DMK images. Alan’s trials, tribulations, and explanations can be found on his Raspberry Pi Virtual Floppy Drive pages.

January 20, 2014 – Space Battle

January 20, 2014 – Space Battle

Rick Papo has taken a look at the copies of his game, Space Battle, and has figured out that they suffer from issues based on some copy protection he had inserted in the code (to prevent saving another copy to tape) and that USR routines were different under disk basic. While the 1978 and 1979 versions of Space Battle remain posted, it is the 2014 version which Rick advises is the one to use.