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vladitx



Inscrit le: 19 Déc 2007
Messages: 22

MessagePosté le: Mer 19 Déc 2007, 21:39    Sujet du message: just joined Répondre en citant

Bonjour/Bonsoir everyone,

Sorry for not speaking French, but I hope my primitive English will suffice to communicate.

Joined this forum by idea of Toinet. I have too many Apple2-related projects in the queue and too little time, but I still hope to finish some of them eventually. Wink

My practical experience covers only ][+ and //e Bulgarian clones known as "Pravetz" and almost no peripherals due to regional peculiarities.

Code:
Apple ][ Forever


P.S. Hi Deckard!
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toinet
Site Admin


Inscrit le: 15 Juin 2007
Messages: 2928
Localisation: Le Chesnay, France

MessagePosté le: Mer 19 Déc 2007, 22:03    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Добър вечер Vladimir,

Welcome to that wonderful forum owned by JPL, master of the Logic State Sequencer (LSS) which may interest you a lot for your disk II (really)low-level project.

I'll be delighted to discuss protection methods with you but, please note that JPL knows (a lot) more than me about them as he understands it as the LSS level, which I don't. I am a 6502 code reader Wink

Jean-Pierre, the room on your site dedicated to the different protection methods should be translated Wink

Merry Christmas,

antoine
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Jeu 20 Déc 2007, 13:11    Sujet du message: Re: just joined Répondre en citant

Hi Vladimir,

welcome on our small A2 newsgroup,

vladitx a écrit:
I have too many Apple2-related projects in the queue and too little time, but I still hope to finish some of them eventually. Wink


We *here* are all in the same situation Wink

Some of the works in progress:

- french version of the A2 FAQ (Jean-Pierre)
- inventory of his (crazy) A2 collection with pictures+doc+disks (Jean-Pierre)
- HOW TO : crack A2 software (Jean-Pierre & Toinet)
- full explaination of the disk II drive mechanisms (Jean-Pierre)
- Brutal Deluxe's legacy (Toinet & Oz)
- EDD/SST source code for Merlin 8 (Toinet + Jean-Pierre + Deckard)
- Sleep an entire night (Deckard)
...

vladitx a écrit:

My practical experience covers only ][+ and //e Bulgarian clones known as "Pravetz" and almost no peripherals due to regional peculiarities.


I thought you were waiting for a disk II drive sent from Germany by one of your friend...

JM
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vladitx



Inscrit le: 19 Déc 2007
Messages: 22

MessagePosté le: Jeu 20 Déc 2007, 17:29    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Hi all,

My pending projects are like this, sorted in the order they should be completed:

1. diskette imaging
2. disk drive + diskette emulation, MCU + SD flash (optionally +USB)
3. CPU 6502 emulation
4. making my emulator RA2 mimicking bare Apple ][/][+
5. adding few peripheral cards
6. expand to //e
7. same emulation transferred to FPGA

Each new step mostly requires some previous.

Several days ago I also tried software decoding of NTSC signal, but still nowhere close to having results.

@JPL+Deckard: I hope you join our protection-related email discussion with Toinet.

@Deckard: that drive never arrived, but recently I got a hold of Hong Kong one, half-height. Still haven't time to try it.
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 0:00    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

vladitx a écrit:
Recently I am spending some time on the problem and so far have setup of a simple board with MCU that controls directly the Disk ][ drive and samples the data for many rotations. Sampled stream is sent via USB to PC. Capturing DSK-style images is done already as a trivial task, but some analysis is being worked on. Final goal is making images (like Disk2FDI) but tuned specially and only to the Apple2.


IMHO the only way to preserve A2 software is to find a solution which can be used by all the disks owners without additional hardware.

JM
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 0:35    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

vladitx a écrit:

toinet a écrit:

A.2 Translation nibble change
There is a standard table to convert nibbles to bytes, some change the table values => Indoor Sports


Same. But won't even a normal sector copier (like LockSmith) copy this?


If your read routine doesn't have the same "nibbles to bytes table" than the original disk, your dsk will be full of bad bytes and will never boot...
You have to extract the original table for deciphering correctly the original disk.

JM
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 0:52    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Disks with track number $23 (and directory on it).
Programs which check dongles (e.g. few bytes of the eprom of a specific card, or a device connected to the joystick port, ...)
Unformatted tracks.
Duplicated track number in headers (but not the same datas).
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vladitx



Inscrit le: 19 Déc 2007
Messages: 22

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 1:09    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Deckard a écrit:
IMHO the only way to preserve A2 software is to find a solution which can be used by all the disks owners without additional hardware.


I second that, but what if this is impossible on the Apple2?

Deckard a écrit:
Disks with track number $23 (and directory on it).
Programs which check dongles (e.g. few bytes of the eprom of a specific card, or a device connected to the joystick port, ...)
Unformatted tracks.
Duplicated track number in headers (but not the same datas).


Nice addition. Those disk techniques should be covered by the imaging/emulation.

Was there any software sold with dongles?
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vladitx



Inscrit le: 19 Déc 2007
Messages: 22

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 1:11    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Deckard a écrit:
vladitx a écrit:

toinet a écrit:

A.2 Translation nibble change
There is a standard table to convert nibbles to bytes, some change the table values => Indoor Sports


Same. But won't even a normal sector copier (like LockSmith) copy this?


If your read routine doesn't have the same "nibbles to bytes table" than the original disk, your dsk will be full of bad bytes and will never boot...
You have to extract the original table for deciphering correctly the original disk.

JM


Right, it's enough that the table covers one more nibble and it will render simple copy unusable.

I'm going to refine the techniques + imaging/emulation possible problems soon and post into a dedicated thread.
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 10:07    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

vladitx a écrit:
Was there any software sold with dongles?


mainly professionnal softwares.

1 of them: V43e (a program *written in pascal UCSD* which drives a knitting machine and uses the special 3.5" controler as a dongle - made by Eicon Research, a company from UK).
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Ven 21 Déc 2007, 10:54    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

vladitx a écrit:
Deckard a écrit:
IMHO the only way to preserve A2 software is to find a solution which can be used by all the disks owners without additional hardware.


I second that, but what if this is impossible on the Apple2?


"impossible"?
You're refering to which contrainsts?

Without this feature, disks are lost.

JM
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vladitx



Inscrit le: 19 Déc 2007
Messages: 22

MessagePosté le: Sam 29 Déc 2007, 21:25    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Deckard a écrit:
"impossible"?
You're refering to which contrainsts?

Without this feature, disks are lost.


First few problems that spring to mind are:

1) Inability to sample fast enough. Consider the following fragment:
Code:

 LDA $C0EC
 STA $2000
 LDA $C0EC
 STA $2001
 LDA $C0EC
 STA $2002
 ...

That's about the fastest sampling one can do on 6502 and it's slower than the required 4us/pulse.

2) The disk controller's sequencer (LSS) does funny things to the timing of bits 7-6 and also skips all zero bits after MSB is set.

3) Inability to sample uniformly. With code like the shown above you'll quicky run out of memory and changing memory banks will introduce timing "gaps" in sampling.

4) Insufficient memory (on stock ][ or //e). You need to sample quite some revolutions to analyze the data.

5) Even if certain configuration has enough memory (and somehow first problems are solved in a clever way) the analysis is a very time consuming process - you have to determine track length, disk rotation variation, weak pulses, etc.

6) To keep track images synchronized you must determine a "reference" spot on certain track, then image the other tracks with regard to the spot. This sounds too easy but is a pain to implement.

7) Final "output" of imaged data - how? My clones don't have serial output, so only choice left is splitting and writing data back onto (many?) diskettes again.

Despite I sound overly pessimistic, if someone wants to give it a try I'd be willing to help.


P.S. Should we move this to a separate thread named "Problems in imaging diskettes on Apple ]["?
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Inscrit le: 29 Mar 2007
Messages: 350

MessagePosté le: Jeu 24 Jan 2008, 13:22    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

vladitx a écrit:
Was there any software sold with dongles?


I've read yesterday in an old 'Creative Apple" book that at least 2 BASIC compilers (1 is the well-know SPEEDSTAR) used dongle.

Users had to plug a dongle in the joystick port. 1 of the dongle was chainable with a genuine joystick.


JM

http://boutillon.free.fr/Forum/Creative_Apple_Hayden_Compiler.jpg
http://boutillon.free.fr/Forum/Creative_Apple_SpeedStar.jpg
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JPL
Site Admin


Inscrit le: 12 Mar 2007
Messages: 165
Localisation: Issy les Moulineaux / PARIS

MessagePosté le: Ven 25 Jan 2008, 12:26    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

CORP too Wink
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vladitx



Inscrit le: 19 Déc 2007
Messages: 22

MessagePosté le: Mar 29 Jan 2008, 2:30    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

Very interesting, thanks! Just out of curiosity, do you have idea what was inside the dongle? MCU or something simple?
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