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PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state #95503 08/14/14 07:07 AM
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Kaede Offline OP
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Hi,

I tried to use the ct486 driver a bit yesterday, to eventually realize that 99% of the typical MS-DOS games for PC archived on the Internet seem to be a mixed bag of cracked games and pre-installed games.

Could it be that MS-DOS games for PC are not properly preserved at all to this day because cracked and preinstalled games "just work", even though Amiga software (except rarer software, I guess) seems to have been processed very carefully ?
I spent some time googling and reading boards but could not find much.

Related: is there some kind of master list of "to be (properly) archived" software ? I cannot say I could contribute -because I do not own that many software- but I would be very curious to check it and share it, too.

Last edited by Kaede; 08/14/14 07:16 AM.
Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Kaede] #95504 08/14/14 09:50 AM
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Malice Offline
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Most PC games on 3.5" floppy employed some form of password protection either manual, code sheet, code wheel. Where you would find a password or codes to enter in. most of these types of protection could be cracked relatively easy and clean without affecting game play. Cracked versions were more convenient even if you have original copies of games.

If some form of preservation project gets under way i've got a decent collection of PC originals.

Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Kaede] #95506 08/14/14 10:24 AM
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Lord Nightmare Online Content
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You should talk to SketchCow on IRC about this.

LN


"When life gives you zombies... *CHA-CHIK!* ...you make zombie-ade!"
Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Kaede] #95508 08/14/14 11:59 AM
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R. Belmont Online Content
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PC games are frequently found preinstalled because that's the form DOSBox works best with. Which is very unfortunate for actual preservation.

Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Malice] #95509 08/14/14 12:30 PM
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Haze Offline
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Originally Posted By Malice
Most PC games on 3.5" floppy employed some form of password protection either manual, code sheet, code wheel. Where you would find a password or codes to enter in. most of these types of protection could be cracked relatively easy and clean without affecting game play. Cracked versions were more convenient even if you have original copies of games.

If some form of preservation project gets under way i've got a decent collection of PC originals.


As I've said before, both are interesting to preserve, I imagine we could employ some scripting (lua?) with hooks into the debugger, driven by something similar to the cheat system to bypass a lot of the codewheel type protections without modifying the code.

(along with install scripts to automate that etc.)


Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Haze] #95510 08/14/14 01:37 PM
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Malice Offline
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Haze are you thinking something like setting a CPU flag at the right moment to simulate a correct code or password?

Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Kaede] #95511 08/14/14 01:41 PM
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For look-up-the-word protections it would be possible for the lua script to figure out from RAM what word it wanted and look that up in a .txt copy of the manual included in the softlist zip.

A little more advanced than a gameshark code smile (and probably more workable for protected originals).

Last edited by R. Belmont; 08/14/14 02:00 PM.
Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Kaede] #95512 08/14/14 03:38 PM
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Al Kossow Offline
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Originally Posted By Kaede

I spent some time googling and reading boards but could not find much.

Related: is there some kind of master list of "to be (properly) archived" software ? I cannot say I could contribute -because I do not own that many software- but I would be very curious to check it and share it, too.


I have been arguing for a database of known copy-protected software for years, even if it doesn't describe what that protection is.

Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: Kaede] #95514 08/14/14 04:11 PM
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Kaede Offline OP
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^ There are a few threads/posts of this kind at VOGONS, such as this one. I have found another yesterday but did not keep the link and cannot seem to find it again.

Re: PC 3.5" floppy games preservation state [Re: R. Belmont] #95515 08/14/14 04:32 PM
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Haze Offline
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Originally Posted By R. Belmont
For look-up-the-word protections it would be possible for the lua script to figure out from RAM what word it wanted and look that up in a .txt copy of the manual included in the softlist zip.

A little more advanced than a gameshark code smile (and probably more workable for protected originals).


In 99% of cases the game is going to know what it wants and be comparing it to some value probably already in RAM (but maybe scrambled) so you wouldn't even need the .txt file. If they load a file to check AFTER you've entered the information, that would be tricker because it won't be in RAM at the time of the request, but I suspect that's not the most common case.



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