Preserving device firmwares?

Whether it's Mire Mare or a BASIC tape you found in the attic, it needs to be preserved digitally. Post here and experts can help to do so.
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pak21
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Preserving device firmwares?

Post by pak21 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am

Is there interest in listing / hosting device firmwares - for example, the Spectranet hardware itself is listed, but not the firmware, without which it's pretty useless. At least in the case of the Spectranet, the firmware is open source so could happily be redistributed. See also the various DivIDE / DivMMC firmwares: ESXDOS, ResiDOS, FATware etc.

A vaguely related subject would be some of the test programs developed by emulator authors like fusetest (obvious disclaimer: I wrote it) or Patrik Rak's fantastic z80test.
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by Einar Saukas » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:05 pm

pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
Is there interest in listing / hosting device firmwares
Yes!

pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
for example, the Spectranet hardware itself is listed, but not the firmware, without which it's pretty useless. At least in the case of the Spectranet, the firmware is open source so could happily be redistributed.
If the source is hosted at a major site like Sourceforge or Github, then I will store the link in ZXDB. This way, we will never need to worry about outdated sources.

However if the source is available from a temporary link, then I prefer to store a copy in another repository for ZXDB, so there's no risk of losing it.

Do you have the link for Spectranet firmware?

pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
See also the various DivIDE / DivMMC firmwares: ESXDOS, ResiDOS, FATware etc.
The same applies here...

pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
A vaguely related subject would be some of the test programs developed by emulator authors like fusetest (obvious disclaimer: I wrote it) or Patrik Rak's fantastic z80test.
ZXDB contains tables "tools" and "toolfiles" to store information about emulators and related tools, but they are still incomplete. Current plan is to finish organizing download files from recent games first, then we will take care of cross-platform tools afterwards.
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by Guesser » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:48 pm

The spectranet sources are in a subversion repository which, for some time has only been accessible via websvn browser because the DNS entry no longer works. http://spectrum.alioth.net/svn/listing. ... path_trunk_
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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:04 am

pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
Is there interest in listing / hosting device firmwares?
Absolutely. A year or so ago, I was looking for the Currah µSource firmware and finally managed to find it on some obscure website as part of a larger BIN file. The file wasn’t exactly 16K, so I had to spend quite some time trying to figure out the entry point to split the µSource from the rest. It worked, but boy was it hard.
pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
A vaguely related subject would be some of the test programs developed by emulator authors like fusetest (obvious disclaimer: I wrote it) or Patrik Rak's fantastic z80test.
Also a good idea. When I was investigating the floating bus on the +2A/+3, I wrote a few tests. Then Hikaru came up with another great one. Both proved to be crucial in discovering and fully describing the floating bus's behavior, which lead to Mark Woodmass implementing it in SpecEmu.
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by pak21 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:25 pm

Einar Saukas wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:05 pm
Do you have the link for Spectranet firmware?
Guesser's already pointed to the SVN repo; the not quite latest (r570 vs r576) firmware is available from the Spectranet downloads page. I'm sure Dylan would help get stuff fixed up if there were interest in the Spectranet.
pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
See also the various DivIDE / DivMMC firmwares: ESXDOS, ResiDOS, FATware etc.
The same applies here...
Those ones are of course somewhat trickier as I don't believe they have a clear policy on redistribution. It may be that all we can do is to create records for them in the database.
pak21 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:30 am
A vaguely related subject would be some of the test programs developed by emulator authors like fusetest (obvious disclaimer: I wrote it) or Patrik Rak's fantastic z80test.
ZXDB contains tables "tools" and "toolfiles" to store information about emulators and related tools, but they are still incomplete. Current plan is to finish organizing download files from recent games first, then we will take care of cross-platform tools afterwards.
I may not have may myself entirely clear there - fusetest, z80test etc are perfectly normal Spectrum programs. You load them in from a tap file and they run on the Spectrum, producing some output. I don't see why they'd be treated any differently from (say) Manic Miner in being listed as just another Spectrum program.
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by pak21 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:29 pm

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:04 am
A year or so ago, I was looking for the Currah µSource firmware and finally managed to find it on some obscure website as part of a larger BIN file.
I don't think that's problem that ZXDB or Spectrum Compuing is going to solve - as far as I know, there is no permission to redistribute the µSource firmware so it's not going to appear here.
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:09 pm

pak21 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:29 pm
there is no permission to redistribute the µSource firmware so it's not going to appear here.
I am aware of that. Nevertheless, it would be helpful to have a consolidated repository for firmware that can be freely distributed.
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by Einar Saukas » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:41 am

pak21 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:25 pm
I may not have may myself entirely clear there - fusetest, z80test etc are perfectly normal Spectrum programs. You load them in from a tap file and they run on the Spectrum, producing some output. I don't see why they'd be treated any differently from (say) Manic Miner in being listed as just another Spectrum program.
Ops! Sorry, my mistake. I will add entries for both in the next ZXDB update!
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:30 pm

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:09 pm
pak21 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:29 pm
there is no permission to redistribute the µSource firmware so it's not going to appear here.
I am aware of that. Nevertheless, it would be helpful to have a consolidated repository for firmware that can be freely distributed.
Even if there is software/ firmware where permission cannot be obtained, an attempt should be made to archive the files. But obviously those could not be distributed.

Mark
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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Preserving device firmwares?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:38 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:30 pm
Even if there is software/ firmware where permission cannot be obtained, an attempt should be made to archive the files. But obviously those could not be distributed.
Hear, hear.
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

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