Author Topic: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.  (Read 10516 times)

Offline SuperFred

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The Trail of Tears
Project Goal: Migrating 264 Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X

Summary: It works! But it is going to take a million years to complete the project. ;)
Current Challenge: Troubleshoot occasional type 2 errors and make overall process easier.

The Approach:
Step 1 Install SVP Demo with bundled OMS X.X onto Blueberry G3 running Mac OS 9.1. (done)
Step 2 Install Unitor family of drivers to run emagic MT4 hooked up to Emu Proteus 1. (done)
Step 3 Configure OMS by not clicking serial or printer port and allowing it to search for devices so that it will talk to MT4 USB midi interface. (done)
Step 3 Test if SVP Demo will open Vision 1.4 files and play them. (done)
   Note it asks me to find the OMS studio setup file used to create the sequence file and if I want to make it current. I do. It asks me to remap some missing hardware. I do. The sequences play without problem.
Step 4 Replace SVP Demo with SVP PPC. (done)
Step 5 Export opened Vision 1.4 file from within SVP PPC and export it as SMF 1. (done)
Step 6 Move using Firewire drive to Mid 2010 27"iMac and import to Logic Pro (done)
Step 7 Wonder why rackmount Proteus sounds so much better than Logic's EXS24 using Emu's Proteus samples and why after so many years Logic is still not as good as Vision was for composition. (ongoing)  ;)

Current Issues:
Some songs create type 2 errors when trying OMS is trying to make their legacy studio setups current.
I tried turning off extensions.
I tried increasing the RAM to SVP.
Neither approach worked.

I would welcome any suggestions on how to debug the Type 2 error!
Thanks, and thanks to the forum for providing the links below that were essential.

How to install the SVP Demo and Studio Vision Pro PPC here:
http://vision.agektmr.com/Tips/en/Install.html
http://vision.agektmr.com/Tips/en/Install2.html

All of the Opcode software here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20090211171448/http://opcodeusers.com/opcode/vision.html

emagic mt4 drivers
http://web.archive.org/web/20020603152527/http://www.emagic.de/english/support/download/toolsmac.html

Stuffit available here:
http://my.smithmicro.com/stuffit-updates.html

Offline GaryN

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 08:39:44 PM »
OK… Let's try to unpack this.
Old files, long gone studio setup, reopening them with newer version of SVP, and you get occasional type 2 errors (which I assume bomb the operation and force a restart?)

Let's suppose the issue is OMS is getting lost looking for something that existed back then and is no longer present. Why? 'Cause you gotta start somewhere…

First:  Do the songs that trigger the errors ever open after retry, or do they absolutely crash every time? If you can get one to open, look for a difference in the original instruments in the setup between the "bad" song and a "good" one. OMS may be looking for the setup file in what is now a "bad" place to look. I know that sounds weird, but it may lead somewhere…

Second:  Where are your "new" OMS prefs? They should be in a folder inside an OMS folder inside the system folder - NOT inside the system folder preferences folder but just inside the system folder itself. This really smells to me like your general trouble area. Like the OMS pref / setups on certain songs (at a certain point in history) were located somewhere that was OK then, but OMS can't find now. Again, I know that's kinda vague, but hopefully you get the idea.

If the "bad" tunes absolutely will not open without a crash, you need a different approach. Try these, if you haven't already, in more or less this order:

1. A newer version of OMS. Preferably from the same era as the version of SVP. That will most likely be 2.3.8
2. Decreasing the RAM to SVP - I KNOW that sounds insane, but I swear it has resolved more mysterious SVP issues than you would believe possible. (Not holding out a lot of hope here though, this really looks like an OMS issue.)
3. Try to open them in SVP without making the setup current, if that works and it opens, save the song as a SVP file, THEN try reopening and exporting.

Now we're getting more frustrated - take a break. When you come back, try this:

4. Create an OMS studio setup file from scratch that matches the original setups from the 1.4 era. Create and enter instruments manually as needed since they're not there anymore for OMS to detect. If necessary, lie to OMS and tell it there are instruments connected to an interface on the modem and/or printer ports - note this will cause OMS to put up a screen at startup saying it can't find the alleged interface which you can then tell it to ignore and just open anyway. You don't care because you just want to make an exportable SMF, not play it. But first:

5. Create a new SVP setup file using the fake OMS setup. When you next try to open a "bad" file, start SVP first, then try to open a "bad" file.

Holler back - I'll cross my fingers for ya…

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 11:22:30 PM »
thanks for offering your expertise gary!

Offline SuperFred

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 11:54:30 AM »
Thanks Gary,
I really appreciate your suggestions.
I'll give it a try and let you know how it works.
Thanks,
K

Offline SuperFred

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 06:38:08 PM »
Hi Gary,
So first, thanks again for the suggestions.
I really appreciate it. I spent the evening diligently trying them out. I did not succeed.
I think you are on to something that there is something in the particular studio setup of some of the old files that makes SVP crash.  That said, I haven’t managed to crack it.

So I tried the different ideas you suggest, summarized here:
First:  Do the songs that trigger the errors ever open after retry, or do they absolutely crash every time?
It crashes every time. Oddly, the “SVP Demo” opened them but SVP PPC won’t. The problem is that the demo does not allow exporting SMF files.

Second:  Where are your "new" OMS prefs? They should be in a folder inside an OMS folder inside the system folder - NOT inside the system folder preferences folder but just inside the system folder itself.
Yes, the are in System Folder/OMS Folder/OMS Preferences

If the "bad" tunes absolutely will not open without a crash, you need a different approach.
Ok! :)

1. A newer version of OMS. Preferably from the same era as the version of SVP. That will most likely be 2.3.8
Installing 2.3.8 fails in the middle of installation saying an unexpected error occurred installing the Proteus 2000. :-(

2. Decreasing the RAM to SVP
Same result.

3. Try to open them in SVP without making the setup current
Type 2 error
 
Now we're getting more frustrated - take a break. ;D True that.

4. Create an OMS studio setup file from scratch that matches the original setups from the 1.4 era.
In trying this it hung while searching for drivers after I clicked the modem and serial ports.

5. Create a new SVP setup file using the fake OMS setup. When you next try to open a "bad" file, start SVP first, then try to open a "bad" file.
See above.


I tried creating a fresh OMS setup that approximated what I thought might have been the configuration tied to the old files that are crashing. I remembered I used an Emax II on the modem port in addition to the Proteus 1 on the serial port. I tried doing a setup that used the MT4 over USB but told it there was a Proteus on port 1 and an Emax II on port 2.

Upon launching SVP PPC it asked:
Make a new set of instruments from the output devices and channels in the current Studio Setup?
Instruments which are currently in use and custom instruments (for example with bold face names that you typed in) will be preserved. This operation is not undoable.
[]Always make from Studio Setup which I left unchecked. Check this to remind you to update your instruments whenever the current Studio Setup changes.
[Don’t make][Make]

I tried [Make]
And left the []Always...box unchecked.

SVPPPC launched without problem.
I opened one of the files that have been working without a problem.
OMS threw a dialogue box:
The patches “All Proteus” do not match those in your current setup.
[Don’t][Make Current]

I chose [Don’t]
OMS: Would you like to keep patches that are saved with “All Proteus”? If not “All Proteus” will be permanently changed.
[Go Back][Change][Keep]

I chose [Keep]

This file that had opened in the past without problem opened again without problem.

I now tried opening a “bad” file.
When the File/open dialogue opened I left []Use setup instruments unchecked.

OMS threw a dialogue box:
The patches “All Proteus” do not match those in your current setup.
[Don’t][Make Current]

I chose [Don’t]

OMS: Would you like to keep patches that are saved with “All Proteus”? If not “All Proteus” will be permanently changed.
[Go Back][Change][Keep]

I chose [Keep]

It threw a type 2 error and had to reboot the machine.

I tried variations including:
checking the
  • Use setup instruments in the File Open dialogue
[Make Current} in the patches don’t match dialogue
(At this point OMS reported: In order to make the names in “All Proteus” current please be sure to manually load these patches into these devices: (It displayed two icons, one was the icon of the Proteus 1 instrument from the OMS current setup, the other icon looked like the icon of an OMS document and had the name of one of the old OMS setup files (from v1.4) called “All Proteus/Proteus 1”.

It once again threw a type 2 error.

Summary:
I feel like I have tried the permutations of the different choices available.
Would I be a quitter if I just worked to actually recreate the original hardware environment the files were built under? (get Vision 1.4 running on a MacClassic under OS7 using a serial Midi interface) and try it there?  :-[

Offline GaryN

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 12:16:13 AM »
After all you've been through here, I would be the last one to consider you a "quitter". Anything but!

My best assessment now:

There's something not kosher with the Proteus driver and its relationship with the current setup. The OMS 2.3.8 Proteus fail is indicating a compatibility issue that wouldn't BE an issue if any of the software involved was being maintained and updated. The problem would have reared its head and Opcode would have fixed it in an update.
My best wild guess is SVP PPC, and / or OMS 2.++ which didn't exist before OS 8 ( or thereabouts - not sure, but definitely not during OS7 ) are having issues locating or interfacing with all old things Proteus from system 7. There's probably nothing you can do to fix that.

Oh well…

Nah, just kidding. Let's simplify here. You're just trying to export recorded MIDI data to a SMF to move to a new app. You don't need the actual Proteus stuff working or anything, really - just the data, and you can actually open the files in the SVP demo - SO…

Assuming the save operation works in the demo:

Why don't you open them, change the instruments to something else NOT Proteus and as simple as possible, then resave the file as a different copy, and try opening THAT in SVP. Maybe that will work. If it wants to change the instruments to match the current setup, let it. All that's going to do is match the tracks to whatever's currently on that MIDI channel. It may ask you to locate patch files that no longer exist. Just cancel your way through all of that.  Again, you don't care what the instrument actually IS, you just want the MIDI in a SMF. You can always change names back later in Logic. Your objective is to just get the MIDI out.

If THAT doesn't work…

Then there's the last resort idea you had… If you have the Mac Classic and interface etc. and can run the old files on it, maybe you can resort to playing the files out to the other computer in real time and re-recording them. Yeah, that would be a pain in the ass - that's why it's the last resort, but it will work if nothing else does.

Good luck, holler back.

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 12:48:38 AM »
cant u install Vision 1.4 on mac os 8.6 or 9.x ?
i heard from someone that u could do this.. in fact im pretty sure the installer file is on the board here somewhere

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2368.0
i documented that this version is from 1993 in the above thread..

ok maybe im mistaken..
and its vision 1.02 that was posted here
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2132.0

would locating a copy of 1.4 help?
if it was possible to install + run 1.02 it must be possible to do the same with 1.4

i also documented that there was a version 1.4 for windows 3.1 aswell
http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=520.0

heres an ebay auction that lists vision 1.4 on 2 3.5" floppies
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Opcode-Vision-Galaxy-OMS-software-on-3-5-floppy-disks-MIDI-sequencer-for-Mac-/141711926113
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 01:01:37 AM by chrisNova777 »

Offline SuperFred

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 04:21:12 AM »
Hi Guys,
Thanks again for following up!

Chris, I set up a saved search on ebay to watch for Vision 1.4 install disks.
I do have install disk 1 (of 2) of Vision 1.4 so if I can get my MacClassic operating, I think I can get Vision 1.4 to launch. If my old machine won’t operate (the capacitors were flaking out last time I tested it) I am not sure if I’ll be able to get it to install on another machine with just one disk or due to install counts or something. Maybe I could swap hard drives with another machine or something.  :-\

Gary, unfortunately, the save functions don’t work in the Demo.  :(

Although one more idea popped in my head. I installed OMS 2.x.x (i can't remember the version exactly but it is not the most recent and comes as a part of the demo installer and then replaced the demo app with SVP PPC.

When I tried to install OMS 2.3.8 it fails as I mentioned.

That said, I did manage to install 2.3.8 on my Mid 2010 “27 iMac running sheepshaver. I wonder if I could delete everything OMS manually from my G3 and then manually pick all of the parts out of the sheepshaver install and then transfer them via a Firewire external drive and manually install OMS 2.3.8 by putting each component in by hand.
Sounds fragile and likely to screw something up...but what are weekends for?  ;)

Thanks again guys. I'll keep you posted.
K

Offline GaryN

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 04:31:07 PM »
This is nuts!

There's not one really good reason I can think of why this should be happening.

I'll tell you what, I'm willing to try this if you're OK with it: Stuff one of these *&#8)^# files AND one of the "no problem" ones into a .sit and send them to me.
Let's see what happens on my system. either it will just work fine or it won't, but at least I'll have a better view of all this.
Either way maybe we'll learn something…?

Send to: Gary@Opcodesupport ha ha (Don't you wish?)

To: Gary@ModernBluesRecords.com

Offline SuperFred

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 05:00:57 PM »
Hi Gary,
Thanks for being so generous.
So I copped out. I got ahold of a stable Mac Classic II running Mac OS 6.0.8L. Hooked up an old Macman Midiman serial interface to a Proteus.
I installed OMS 1.1.3 from old floppies.
Installed Vision 1.4 and......
It works AND opens the problem files.
Who knows?
But again, thanks for your generosity. I will email you one of the problem files just for fun, but don't worry, I will now be working through the 260 plus files and exporting the 10-12 sequences in each of them until...well who knows when. I'll also send you a picture of the scene of the crime. :-)
Thanks again,
K

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 05:12:32 PM »
i bet its totally because of the oms version.
or perhaps its to do with the MT4 interfaces OMS driver..
http://web.archive.org/web/20020603152527/http://www.emagic-mirror.com/pub/drivers/u8omsdrv.sit
it may have some differences between the way it works and the older interfaces that would have been used at the time
of vision 1.4. remember thats emagic writing a driver for opcodes OMS..  presumably primarily for use with logic + the mt4
+ oms.. not vision!!

kzb; if u could share some photos of your mac classic running vision 1.4 for educational purposes that would be really cool
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 01:58:14 AM by chrisNova777 »

Offline SuperFred

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 08:32:17 PM »
Hi Chris!
Here you go!
K

Offline Philgood

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 02:21:05 AM »
Lovely vintage piece. Cool that it gets a job done after so much time.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline mrhappy

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2015, 06:05:08 AM »
Now THAT is bringing back some memories!!😁

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2015, 01:54:51 AM »
any chance of you creating a disk image of the vision 1.4 installer?? so that we can check out if it works on mac os 9

Offline SuperFred

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 08:23:18 AM »
Hi Chris,
I could be wrong, but I don't think it will work.
The install disk says it counts the number of installs.
Now, when I tried to install it to my MacClassic the install disk failed, but I had the application backed up on an external drive.
When I installed OMS (from floppy) and then dragged the application from the external drive to the MacClassic it works - BUT - it asks for the key disk to be inserted. When I insert the floppy key disk (the one that would not install) upon request it runs fine.
I could be wrong, but I don't think I can create a disk image of a key disk that it will recognize as such.
Does that make sense?
Thanks,
K

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2015, 11:57:43 AM »
mactron, would it be possible to duplicate the "master" or "key" authorization disk? somehow?

Offline MacTron

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2015, 01:20:21 PM »
mactron, would it be possible to duplicate the "master" or "key" authorization disk? somehow?

May be. It was done in some cases, back in time ...
I'm not following this thread, but may be you can use EZvision 1.0 that works in Mac Os 9.22 and don't need Authorization diskette.
Please don't PM about things that are not private.

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2015, 02:14:14 PM »
i thought u would have more technical knowledge with regard to how the authorization from floppy works...

and what tools one would use to attempt to make a working copy of it.

i guess i can ask on macintoshgarden.

Offline DieHard

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 03:53:29 PM »
Chris,

Back in the day I owned (and used regularly) a Copy2PC Board that was basically a hardware controller board that connects to the floppy drive and duplicated all forms of advanced copy protected floppies for MAC and PC.

We would dupe the virgin "Key Disk" floppies and then use the copies to decrement install counts

I lost it in my move over 12 years ago, But it was very cool :)

Quote
...CPS also offered a hardware add-in expansion card, the Copy II PC Deluxe Board, which was bundled with its own software. The Copy II PC Deluxe Board was able to read, write and copy disks from Apple II and Macintosh computer systems as well.


Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Point_Software

*** UPDATE ***

OMG, I found one on ebay... here it is :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Central-Point-Deluxe-Option-Board-COMPLETE-IN-BOX-Transcopy-Copy-II-PC-ISA-/171848855699?hash=item2802fd7093
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 07:44:33 AM by DieHard »

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2015, 05:24:43 PM »
looks like its an ISA card
300$ ouch

Offline GaryN

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 05:27:31 PM »
Maybe this will help.

The early floppy copy protection on Opcode disks was developed by PACE. It allowed you to copy / install the app to your HDD and authorized it. There were two allowable installs on the floppy - the intention being that you should always have a spare in the event of a drive crash. The app would also run unauthorized as long as you had the original floppy on hand at launch.

Somehow - and we never could figure out how at the time, the auth would write (increment) to the HDD and decrement the floppy, You could could de-authorize your HDD at will which would decrement the HDD and re-increment the floppy. This was mandatory before defragging your drive or migrating to another. In fact most of the time, the second install on the floppy was used because the owner would forget to uninstall the app before running Norton or some such utility.

Many people tried, but with at least with the tools readily available at the time, no one (at least that I know of) ever found what was being written to the HDD or removed from / altered on the floppy. Many tried various methods of cloning each, and they all failed to maintain the authorization. Even doing a bit-by-bit comparison of original and cloned floppies was fruitless. They appeared identical but the clone simply wouldn't work. You therefore couldn't just run off copies - either new or used up… they just wouldn't work.

On the other hand, Opcode was well aware that the system was a pain in the ass and was extremely cooperative about replacing used-up floppies to their registered owners - at least up to the point where it would start to smell like you were authorizing all of your friends drives too…

Offline GaryN

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2015, 07:23:36 PM »
ADDENDUM

The Central Point board IS the answer. The question now becomes:

1) What will it take ( $$ ) to put together an IBM machine + drive to install it into?
2) Where will you find the un-decremented floppies to copy from since you still won't know what the actual scheme is and it's very unlikely you'll be able to restore a "used-up" floppy, although you might be able to generate a working clone that will function as a key disk - BUT
3) What will you use for a drive? Now we're right back to the unavailability of 800k USB drives and the functionality of "converted" floppy copies and / or disk images is untested and therefore unknown.

My head hurts…

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2015, 05:40:55 AM »
wait.. u mean the disk would stop working if u installed from it too many times??? that doesnt even make sense..... t

the company is defunct now.. so how is there disks that still work?
or are they all used up at this point ? :D

the copy protection was removed from SVP by opcode themselves in 1999 and made public.. or was that just for the latest version 4.5.1?

in all this time noone ever cracked the floppy protection on 1.44mb floppy? are u kidding me?

Offline MacTron

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2015, 07:53:06 AM »
i thought u would have more technical knowledge with regard to how the authorization from floppy works...

and what tools one would use to attempt to make a working copy of it.

I don't know the exact procedure. Now a days we have a lot of tools, DiskCopy, Shrinkwrap ... etc.
But remember, sometimes the main point isn't the copy procedure, but the restore procedure, as in the ASR trick.
The main problem nowadays is to find old Sony SuperDrives and floppy disk in good shape.
... and remember that you can use a PC with the Mac formatted 1.4 floppies and the appropriate software.
Any way, you probably will find this work already done. I'll take a look, if I found something I'll post it.
Please don't PM about things that are not private.

Offline DieHard

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2015, 08:00:42 AM »
OK... maybe this will help....

There are a few reasons that the "Software Solutions" for duplicating copy protected floppies would not work as compared to the copy2PC board (which was a hardware solution); AFAIK the hardware duplication board solution had 2 major advantages, it could read "hard errors" that the OS and other programs could not read correctly and reproduce the magnetic error pattern on a new floppy... these "Hard errors" were really not errors at all... they were the implementation of the copy protection scheme.  Secondly, the copy2PC board could read data present before the normal track area and past and then write it, this was similar to "Overburning" with an optical drive... basically to write beyond the normal specifications.

I remember it like yesterday, the Copy2PC Board was the ultimate weapon, we NEVER fould a Key disk that we could not dupe :)

Offline GaryN

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2015, 05:07:29 PM »
  Secondly, the copy2PC board could read data present before the normal track area and past and then write it, this was similar to "Overburning" with an optical drive... basically to write beyond the normal specifications.


I remember yesterday too… very little beyond that however!

We suspected at the time that somehow data was being read and written "out of bounds" on the disks and that was why nobody could find any difference in a non-functioning clone - the difference was essentially invisible to the user. We were also puzzled by the idea that in order to make that work, you had to somehow force a normal user's drive to read and write outside the normal limits.

This scheme was there from the very beginning. I had it on Opcode DX-TX and Roland D editors that pre-dated Galaxy that I ran on my first Mac Plus under System 6.

The whole thing became moot when SVP Free was let out of the cage. Remember Chris, this thread started because you wanted a working copy of Vision 1.4…

supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2015, 06:48:19 PM »
I remember it like yesterday, the Copy2PC Board was the ultimate weapon, we NEVER fould a Key disk that we could not dupe :)

thats pretty hardcore
i wish i knew that info back in the early 90s
how much was the damn thing back then??

Offline mrhappy

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2015, 12:57:01 AM »
$159!

History

In 1981, a little-known company called Central Point Software released a nibble copier for the Apple ][ called Copy ][ Plus. Overnight, it shook up the industry. Never before did a user have so much control over the data on their machine. Copy ][ allowed the user to do anything from file management to making perfect bitwise copies of copy protected software diskettes.

Copy ][ was a massive success. In 1983, Central Point released a similar utility for making disk copies on the IBM PC called, aptly, Copy II PC. It was a vast improvement over the DISKCOPY command that was shipped with DOS. But, it could only do so much, due to the IBM PC's floppy controller hardware being asymmetric in nature (it can read much more information from a disk than it can write). Hence vendors would custom-format floppies to put information in the readable but not writable area, making it uncopyable by the IBM PC hardware.

Enter the Copy II PC Deluxe Option Board. Released in 1986, it is probably one of the most unique pieces of hardware ever produced for the PC platform. It is a simple board that is installed in between the floppy disk controller card and the floppy drive. Its function? To place the floppy drive completely under control of the Transcopy software that it shipped with, enabling the drive to do everything that the protection vendors were counting on PC drives _not_ being able to do.

Central Point charged $159 for the Option Board when it was released, and the boards flew off the shelves faster than they could make them. Central Point was an overnight household name in geek circles. When vendors released new protections, Central Point issued updated Transcopy software to handle the new schemes.

edit: They also purposefully removed some functionality in later releases due to pressure from the companies whose software was broken by the Option Board. Thus earlier versions of Transcopy may copy software that later versions will not. Thanks Trixter.

Nearly immediately, the PC diskette protection business came to a grinding halt. How could you make a profit when it's costing people practically nothing to completely undercut your business? Protections shifted from disk-based schemes to documentation checks, serial numbers, registration keys, and port dongles. By 1990, nearly all diskette-based copy protection had disappeared forever.

The result was disastrous for Central Point. Demand for the board ceased once new software no longer had disk-based protection. In 1989, Central Point stopped manufacturing new Option Boards, and in 1990 closed out the stock at $100 apiece. In 1993, Central Point (and its PC Tools and CP-Backup franchise) were swallowed by Symantec. The thrill ride was over.

Epilogue

One legacy remains today from the Option Board and from Central Point Software, the gutsy little software vendor who defied the desires of an entire industry, and against the wishes of its megacorporate brethren, gave users the power they wanted over the software they owned.

edit: Actually this isn't entirely true; in the end they caved into vendors' demands, and removed some capabilities from later versions of Transcopy, as Trixter points out. See this BBS post, sent by aw79 (thanks!)

If it weren't for the Option Board, we might still be dealing with keydisks and booters today. Who knows?

Of course, we still have media-based protections today that, while inconvenient, are easily defeated by commodity hardware. Any kid in the world with a decent CD burner can copy any protected disc out there. So the issue of protected software is almost not even an issue anymore.

The Deluxe Option Board will forever haunt vendors of copy protection malware; a marvelous feat of engineering and ingenuity that it was. Central Point saw a need for something, and in the truest of American tradition, fulfilled it, even having their legs broken for it.

The Option Board proved once and for all, and is still a reminder in the DMCA-threatened time of today, that no matter what draconian and proprietary barriers are put in its path, fair use will always conquer, as human ingenuity knows no bounds.


supernova777

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2015, 03:44:57 AM »
interesting - thanks guys  ;D

Offline DieHard

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Re: Migrating Vision 1.4 files to Logic Pro X via Studio Vision on Mac OS9.
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2015, 12:27:43 PM »
My Old company was a Central Points Re seller and we re-sold a bunch on the Deluxe versions... and YES, I remember specifically that the software was changed (copy-write pressures as described above) and was "limited" they also had a newer BIOS rev that I believe was also more limiting; we, of course used the full blown version and the original board for personal tech use :)

As one last side note (which may be obvious to some)... the DOS version of the software which launched the duplication was NOT format specific, the board copied the diskette as a perfect mirror image, so basically we used it to copy BOTH Mac and PC floppies, I even used it to copy a propriety diskette from and embroidery machine that was neither PC or Mac

 


Offline macStuff

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« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 10:05:58 AM by macStuff »