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Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103784 01/24/16 12:42 AM
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it's possible for the ACTUAL protected ones (Elite, Southern Belle etc.) that the disk dumps we have don't even contain the information required to properly handle the protection. This was true for many computer dumps done with old formats that only represented disks on a 'content of sectors' level.

actually cracking the software should be an absolute last resort tho..

ideally those disks should be dumped to a high standard, like is being done for many other platforms, and again MAME and the floppy emulator should be able to interpret that information and accurately simulate what would have happened with the real disk.

cracking the software means you're no longer running the original code, and if the programmers were smart enough to add additional layers of protection around that (and they often were - see the extensive posts 4am makes about some apple 2 games) could result in other more subtle issues with the games.

but yeah, I'm going to say that the ones you can write back to a standard floppy, and actually work are not protected, at least not unless the writing software is trying to guess missing protection data and writing it when it writes the disk (which would be kinda gross)

so there are probably multiple issues in play here.


Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103785 01/24/16 01:36 AM
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Just to confirm every game on that page works on a real original Einstein when copied back to a 3" disk and run using original hardware. That would make me think the disk dumps are complete and not missing any data, but as you said other\multiple issues in play. I am sure I have even heard of disks which purposely had bad sectors as a copy protection method.

I know at least one (Sord\CGL) M5 cart dump was modified to work with MESS\MAME, so did not think this was unheard of to get games to play.

I am happy to help in all I can, but technically getting the games to work is beyond my skill. I am still hoping someone can solve at least the Konami Four Games Pack to get it working in MESS\Mame which I am sure will then lead to clues of how to get it working on real hardware with a modified version of firmware on the SD card device (which is called the "EinSDein"), as it stands the games do not work in MESS and some are also missing from MESS and I think the preservation is important, even though it is a minor system. I am also guessing this is one of the few systems where a handful of games cannot be played due to protection or other issues.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103786 01/24/16 01:37 AM
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I've downloaded the Elite disk, which is in DSK format, also used for Amstrad CPC/PCW, Spectrum +3 and alike, and run it through DiskImageManager, a program to check the structure and content of such files.

This is the disk geometry:

Format Amstrad PCW/+3 DD/SS/ST
Sided Double (Successive)
Track mode Double
Tracks/side 0
Sectors/track 0
Directory blocks 0
Reserved tracks 254
Gap (format) 71
Gap (read/write) 42
Sector size 0
Block size 0

I see that the dsk is marked as double sided when there's only one side, maybe that's the problem.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103787 01/24/16 01:41 AM
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Quote:
I know at least one (Sord\CGL) M5 cart dump was modified to work with MESS\MAME, so did not think this was unheard of to get games to play.


If that's happened, whoever did it is going to get their ass banned if they still exist. That is *never* how MAME/MESS operate. We fix the emulation, not the software.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: R. Belmont] #103788 01/24/16 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted By StarshipUK
I know at least one (Sord\CGL) M5 cart dump was modified to work with MESS\MAME, so did not think this was unheard of to get games to play.


Please tell us which it is, we will flag it as BAD_DUMP in the software list if not remove it entirely. If you remember any others, please let us know. If you know who did it, tell us.

This is not good.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103789 01/24/16 02:50 AM
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I'm not aware of any modified M5 dumps on the softlist, there was one that was modified back then due to an unsupported bank switch (Mahjong), but only the correct dump was added to the soflist and the driver was updated to support the proper version afterwards.

If you are talking about some other game then please let us know which one, Ola can probably dump it again as he owns all carts.

Personally I don't see any harm on having cracked or modified games in the softlist as long as they are clearly identified as so.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: ssj] #103792 01/24/16 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted By ssj

Personally I don't see any harm on having cracked or modified games in the softlist as long as they are clearly identified as so.


as I've said before, nothing wrong with documenting them in the softlists, in many cases doing so can be interesting and it's our duty to do so, but as far as the dev team are concerned it isn't the approach *we* should be taking when trying to fix things, we should always be trying to fix the emulator, not fix the games to work with the emulator, so we shouldn't be the ones cracking the games.


Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103798 01/25/16 12:15 PM
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Yes, it was Mahjong I found which said it had to be modified for MESS: http://hem.bredband.net/olaa/
Not sure about the PAL modified ROMs either and their difference.

I could be wrong but I am guessing if you figure out how the disk protections are working that would then allow you to make changes to Einstein floppy emulation, if it is possible. The fact that you can't use a HxC floppy disk drive, these images and an original Einstein show there is something complex and strange happening, and more likely to do with floppy emulation rather than the machine itself. I always thought the HxC was an identical floppy device to the original found in the machine, but obviously was wrong.

Perhaps at the end of the day it would just be best then to document the problem and what is known so far until someone has the time to look at the floppy emulation of the Einstein in MESS to resolve the problem, although I am guessing the problem was already documented somewhere anyway to be looked at.

Just trying to help, but seems like I am causing trouble so I am just going to apologise and leave here for now, with the hope that one day someone will find time to solve the problem using whatever method works for the few Einstein enthusiasts still out there.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103808 01/25/16 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted By StarshipUK
Yes, it was Mahjong I found which said it had to be modified for MESS: http://hem.bredband.net/olaa/
Not sure about the PAL modified ROMs either and their difference.

Yeah that's not the version added to the softlist, the PAL modified ROMs are created so you can run the games on actual M5 PAL machines and are also not included in the softlist.

Re: Tatung Einstein Disk Protected Games [Re: StarshipUK] #103809 01/25/16 11:20 PM
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Quote:
I always thought the HxC was an identical floppy device to the original found in the machine, but obviously was wrong.


The HxC emulates a floppy drive, the same as MESS does. So it's not totally shocking it has similar limitations. That said, given the images have enough data to reproduce a working game it should be possible to fix both in MESS and via firmware upgrade to the HxC.

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