Author Topic: Flux images of Authorization Floppies  (Read 710 times)

Offline d97

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Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« on: September 02, 2022, 07:34:32 AM »
Hi all - Iím not really sure if this post will be of interest but, on the off-chance that it might be, I figure it couldnít hurt to post.

I recently picked up a greaseweazle and started using it to archive authorization floppies for some of the software that I have kicking around.

Iím really new to this idea - although, from what I understand, it has been around a while - and  if Iím understanding things semi-properly, the greaseweazle reads a diskís magnetic flux information and then writes it to an image file.  The resulting image file can then be written back to a floppy making - again, if I understand things - a perfect copy. 

I had a couple of unused authorization disks kicking around.  One was for Emagicís ZAP (not the most useful of utilities these days) and the other was for Digidesignís Masterlist v1.2.  (I actually cracked the shrinkwrap on this one).

The greaseweazle will write to .hfe, .img and .scp file types.  From what Iíve seen, the .scp file type takes a 1.4 meg disk and creates a whopping 70+ meg image of it.  As of now I havenít experimented with anything other than the .scp format.

So, I made images of both disks and then wrote them to a generic floppy.  I authorized a computer using the floppy and then brought the same disk back to the greaseweazle and re-wrote the original image to the disk.  I was able to successfully use it to authorize another computer. 

Iím not sure if there are other tools that allow us to do this and, really, most of the stuff that we want to use is available anyway but, it was an interesting process to go through.

If youíre not familiar with the project, the greaseweazle is open source and I think it was made by the same person who created flashfloppy .  The units seem to be available from around $25 to $35.  Itís a command line interface but itís pretty straightforward to use.  You can find the source and builds on github.

Iíve attached zipped and stuffed versions of the two disks that Iíve made and, if I make any more, Iíll attach them as well.  I actually think the .zip versions will be more useful if you want to play around with this because it requires a modern computer to hook up the hardware.

My feeling is that this is not really going to be of much use - especially because it requires a specialized piece of hardware to write the disk images - but I found the process interesting and figured it couldnít hurt to post.

Since the zipped / stuffed files are around 20 megs each, I'll split the attachments into multiple posts.  I'll start with masterlist.

D.

Offline d97

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Masterlist .sit
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2022, 07:36:00 AM »
Here's the .sit file

Offline d97

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Emagic ZAP (zipped)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2022, 07:40:39 AM »
Here's the .zip file

Offline smilesdavis

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2022, 07:48:51 AM »
you are a god. everyone should be doing this for all vintage audio floppies before the last one dies. i will buy a grezewezle and join in.
Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (AGP) w/Giga Designs G-Celerator G4/1.467 AGP/133 (5-1214Q) / Marathon G-rack with G4 500 (AGP) Sonnet Encore 1.8Ghz / 2x Power Macintosh G4 933 (QS2002) / 3x Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.25 (MDD 2003) / 1x Apple PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) / 2x Apple Mac mini G4/1.42 / 1x Apple Mac mini G4/1.5

Offline d97

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2022, 08:36:18 AM »
Actually, it's not that much of a process.   :D

Once the stuff is hooked up (I have a greaseweazle v4), it goes pretty quick.  My only (probably pointless) worry is that something will be lost in the file decompression process.

I'm pretty sure that I only have a couple more authorization floppies but wish I could find some of the old MOTU disks.  Mine are long gone.

Offline IIO

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2022, 10:21:14 AM »
as a collector i find the idea interesting.

otoh i wonder if it would not make more sense to just extract the key files (where possible) and build an installer app who writes a copy of the keyfile into HDD without counter / removing it from the place it came from.

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Offline DieHard

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2022, 10:47:47 AM »
Quote
The greaseweazle will write to .hfe, .img and .scp file types.  From what Iíve seen, the .scp file type takes a 1.4 meg disk and creates a whopping 70+ meg image of it.  As of now I havenít experimented with anything other than the .scp format.

Quick Points to think about..

1) When I use to use a copy2PC board (as mentioned in other threads) there was no "saving of the image.  It was also a hardware solution and simple created a duplicate of all copy protected disks both mac and PC.  For the archiving of images, we need some input on the best file type to save old mac diskettes.  I have always used the "img" format when saving images in the PC world with a product called "winimage" (for non-copy protected diskettes) and the IMG files were the most universal.

2)  At this point, if you are remotely interested in this solution I recommend getting to it ASAP.  Even "shrink-wrapped" disks are beyond there life expectantly and don't be surprised if many 20+ year old diskettes are not readable at all.  Even in a good storage environment, the magnetic imprints on these diskettes are getting real weak.

3)  Please feel free to attach images to posts for others who buy the technology, I will make a "sharing" topic now :)

DONE... http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=6492.new#new

Offline macarone

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2022, 11:20:20 AM »
>I recently picked up a greaseweazle and started using it to archive authorization floppies for some of the software that I >have kicking around.

I vaguely remember that there was exactly a SINGLE version of Disk Copy, version 6.3.2 that was able to read, save as an image file and both copy the image file to another floppy as well as mounting it as a floppy.

Has anybody tried this simple solution?


Offline DieHard

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2022, 11:42:43 AM »
Quote
I vaguely remember that there was exactly a SINGLE version of Disk Copy, version 6.3.2 that was able to read, save as an image file and both copy the image file to another floppy as well as mounting it as a floppy.

Has anybody tried this simple solution?

To clarify, we are talking about "Copy Protected floppies".  These diskettes are NOT in a standard format since there are "invisible" data areas that prevent the user from making a simple copy.  Diskcopy works great for normal mac floppy diskettes, like an old data disk or standard program install, it will NOT image an audio plugin diskette that utilizes an authorization/decrement install approach

Offline smilesdavis

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2022, 12:01:16 PM »
diehard you mentioned disk ii pc you worked on with a special unrestricted bios. there is a deluxe version on ebay for 200 quid. is greazewesle superior?
Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (AGP) w/Giga Designs G-Celerator G4/1.467 AGP/133 (5-1214Q) / Marathon G-rack with G4 500 (AGP) Sonnet Encore 1.8Ghz / 2x Power Macintosh G4 933 (QS2002) / 3x Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.25 (MDD 2003) / 1x Apple PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) / 2x Apple Mac mini G4/1.42 / 1x Apple Mac mini G4/1.5

Offline DieHard

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2022, 03:29:53 PM »
diehard you mentioned disk ii pc you worked on with a special unrestricted bios. there is a deluxe version on ebay for 200 quid. is greazewesle superior?

I have not tried the "greazewesle" yet... but it is reported to make a perfect image, no deluxe version needed, it looks like the real deal

Offline IIO

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2022, 04:07:21 PM »
itīs the opposite of gotek. :)

https://amigastore.eu/894-greaseweazle-v4.html

then, as one option, lets you read data no matter the filesystem, similar to how disk editor programs do it.
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Offline d97

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2022, 06:03:02 PM »
The one thing that I've been thinking a little bit about is the fact that the technology archives everything - bad sectors and all.  A friend of mine was archiving something from an 8bit computer and it made a perfect copy of a bad disk.  The original only partially worked and, as you'd expect, the copy only "partially worked" in the same way.

Just something to think about, I guess.


Offline smilesdavis

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2022, 01:45:32 AM »
we are deep into forensic drive imaging territory love it..we need to create a master spread sheet
Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (AGP) w/Giga Designs G-Celerator G4/1.467 AGP/133 (5-1214Q) / Marathon G-rack with G4 500 (AGP) Sonnet Encore 1.8Ghz / 2x Power Macintosh G4 933 (QS2002) / 3x Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.25 (MDD 2003) / 1x Apple PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) / 2x Apple Mac mini G4/1.42 / 1x Apple Mac mini G4/1.5

Offline smilesdavis

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2022, 01:46:27 AM »
itīs the opposite of gotek. :)

https://amigastore.eu/894-greaseweazle-v4.html

then, as one option, lets you read data no matter the filesystem, similar to how disk editor programs do it.

once every floppy 1985-1997 has been collected here as image. the gotek will be precious for emulating all floppy images at once
Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (AGP) w/Giga Designs G-Celerator G4/1.467 AGP/133 (5-1214Q) / Marathon G-rack with G4 500 (AGP) Sonnet Encore 1.8Ghz / 2x Power Macintosh G4 933 (QS2002) / 3x Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.25 (MDD 2003) / 1x Apple PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) / 2x Apple Mac mini G4/1.42 / 1x Apple Mac mini G4/1.5

Offline d97

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2022, 11:25:13 AM »
Right now, I'm just using it in the most basic way possible but here's how I'm doing things.

I'm powering the gw (version 4) from the usb ports of an older Macbook pro and powering a standard 1.4 meg pc floppy drive via a power brick that could be used to power an ide drive & a molex cable.  (These images are web-stock but I'm using something similar).

You need to have Python 3.7+ on your machine.  I installed the gw software via pip:

python3 -m pip install git+https://github.com/keirf/greaseweazle@latest

(All of the install stuff is detailed very well on the github pages).

Then, since I am using a cable without a twist to connect the gw to the floppy drive, my read command is this:

gw read --drive b masterlist2.1.scp

If I were using a floppy cable that had a twist / flip, it would (should?) be --drive a

It reads the disk and puts the file in my home directory.  (I could specify file locations in the command line, too but I haven't bothered).

To write it to another floppy I just use:

gw write --drive b masterlist2.1.scp

Since the file stored in my home folder, I don't need any /here/there/ file information.

If I understand things correctly, mac 1.4 disks don't require any other flags in the command line but I think things are more complicated if you are working with 400k or 800k disks.

It will write to a bunch of different formats (.hfe, .img, etc) but I think we need to use .scp for copy protected stuff - at least that's what I've been told.  At some point I might experiment with the other formats but I think the .scp has the raw flux readings.

I'm sure things are basically the same on Windows.  I just haven't done anything on my windows machine.   There is another piece of software called "flux engine" that works with the gw hardware and can handle other disk formats that the gw software doesn't.

Offline smilesdavis

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Re: Flux images of Authorization Floppies
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2022, 02:50:11 AM »
can anyone compile this in a program? im bad with command lines
Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (AGP) w/Giga Designs G-Celerator G4/1.467 AGP/133 (5-1214Q) / Marathon G-rack with G4 500 (AGP) Sonnet Encore 1.8Ghz / 2x Power Macintosh G4 933 (QS2002) / 3x Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.25 (MDD 2003) / 1x Apple PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) / 2x Apple Mac mini G4/1.42 / 1x Apple Mac mini G4/1.5

 


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