[Coladam] Transferring ADAM tape/disk images to physical media

Frances and/or Richard Clee cleechez at tamcotec.com
Sun Aug 5 00:06:43 CEST 2012


Yes, Megacopy was made by Sid Carter, in several increasingly 
sophisticated versions. I have an early one but not sure my software is 
still readable any more.

The problem with Sony and Memorex tapes was that they were slightly 
longer than the tapes made for Coleco by Loran, so at times Megacopy got 
confused and didn't format them properly. I am also told that the tape 
deck copy method produced tapes that worked satisfactorily initially but 
were prone to premature bit rot - but remember that is hearsay from 
someone who still has lots of datapacks (new, original) he wants to sell.




On 8/4/2012 9:06 AM, Rich Drushel wrote:
> On Sat, August 4, 2012 12:10 am, Kevin Powers wrote:
>
>> Couldn't you just put the DDP in a standard tape deck, connect the "LINE
>> OUT" from the tape deck into the "LINE IN" of the PC, and record the sound
>> using any wave audio recording software (e.g., Audacity, which is free)?
>
>       To duplicate a DDP with a standard dual (audio) tape deck, you must
>
> (1) drill holes in the DDP shell to fit the alignment pegs in the tape
> deck;
>
> (2) drill holes in the audio cassette shell to fit the alignment pegs in
> the digital data drive; and
>
> (3) duplicate both of the DDP, to get both tracks.  I.e., rewind both tapes
> to the beginning, dupe to end; flip both tapes over, dupe to end again.
>
>       I've done this (long ago, mind you), and it works.  If you wanted to
> get WAV files of a DDP, all you'd have to do is step (1) and then play each
> side of the tape out.  One track would be "backwards" as a linear sound file,
> though.  The DDP drive rewinds bi-directionally, but read/write are only in
> one direction.
>
>       Coleco were evil and specifically designed the DDP shell to not
> fit into an audio tape deck.  They wanted you to buy pre-formatted DDPs.
> Thus, they did not have to make available an end-user DDP formatting utility
> (ala Disk Manager for 160K floppy disks).  The tape stock in the DDP is
> specifically for digital audio, even though good audio tape stock (Scotch,
> Memorex) works.  Of course, nobody is making even audio cassettes now.
>
>       I have accumulated somewhere in my pile of ADAM stuff what purports to
> be a true tape formatter (i.e., it doesn't copy the low-level formatting,
> but writes it directly).  I never had a chance to try it out.  There was
> something called a MegaCopy that was sold to do this; this may be what I
> have.  Dale Wick might know more.
>
>       When I first got the 6801 source for the DDP firmware, I was hoping
> that there was low-level format code in there somewhere; but no.  There is
> probably enough info in the code to figure out how to write a format-capable
> version; however, I think it would have to fit within the internal ROM/EPROM
> address space of the 6801/68701.  I believe that some of the I/O lines needed
> for an external ROM/EPROM (as in the floppy disk board) are used already.
> Check the schematics at
>
>       http://drushel.cwru.edu/schematics/
>
> and the 6801 assembly listing at
>
>       http://drushel.cwru.edu/6801/tape6801.lst.pdf
>
> The latter is also interesting for the presence of a byte flag DISAB_0 that,
> if set, makes it impossible for the drive to write to block 0 (i.e, the boot
> block).  Thus, you couldn't make your own bootable tape applications.  Extra
> evil.  Fortunately, the flag is not set.
>
>       *Dr. D.*
>


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