Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

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Lardo Boffin
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Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by Lardo Boffin » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:57 am

I'm sure we all do this anyway but recently I saw a copy of the BCPL stand alone generator for sale 'tested and working'. As this is something I am looking for I decided to bid but knowing it's a somewhat complex process to use I was curious how it was tested. So I asked.

'Have you tested this by building a runtime program?'

'No. I just tested that it booted up.'

I then explained that all that proves is that the catalogue tracks work and the rest the of the disc could be corrupt and asked if he could test it by doing an *BACKUP (as this will read all sectors and do a like for like copy therefore proving the disc is intact) but he said no it was already with his people to be packed and shipped. In fairness to the seller he said it could be returned if faulty.
But this is still a hassle for everyone.

Obviously the *BACKUP process won't work with copy protected discs but this one probably isn't.

Games should be easy enough to test - do they run? But utility or language discs etc are a whole other matter.

So just thought I would share that one.

Lardo
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by Lardo Boffin » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:07 am

This is a seller with a lot of excellent feedback by the way not a newbie or obvious scam artist.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
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JonC
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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by JonC » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:46 pm

Lardo Boffin wrote: Games should be easy enough to test - do they run? But utility or language discs etc are a whole other matter.
Got to be careful with that one for the games that load data in stages as you progress. You might not find that corruption until near the end! :shock:
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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by Lardo Boffin » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:13 pm

JonC wrote:
Lardo Boffin wrote: Games should be easy enough to test - do they run? But utility or language discs etc are a whole other matter.
Got to be careful with that one for the games that load data in stages as you progress. You might not find that corruption until near the end! :shock:
Good point and a well made one!

I think the key overall is to ask how they tested the disc. Apply a little common sense and that will give you an idea of whether it actually works or just appears to.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
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EtchedPixels
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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by EtchedPixels » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:17 pm

JonC wrote:
Lardo Boffin wrote: Games should be easy enough to test - do they run? But utility or language discs etc are a whole other matter.
Got to be careful with that one for the games that load data in stages as you progress. You might not find that corruption until near the end! :shock:
We used to do that with the anti-piracy on some of the later games we did. Nothing like someone discovering the pirated version won't load the third part of the game ;-)

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:20 pm

EtchedPixels wrote:
JonC wrote:
Lardo Boffin wrote: Games should be easy enough to test - do they run? But utility or language discs etc are a whole other matter.
Got to be careful with that one for the games that load data in stages as you progress. You might not find that corruption until near the end! :shock:
We used to do that with the anti-piracy on some of the later games we did. Nothing like someone discovering the pirated version won't load the third part of the game ;-)
So the pirated version ran the first two parts but not the last? That's so evil it is beautiful!
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by poink » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:59 pm

Lardo Boffin wrote:So the pirated version ran the first two parts but not the last? That's so evil it is beautiful!
Some games have done that particularly beautifully. They have a fairly simple protection upfront to stop someone making a copy with *BACKUP or the usual disc copying programs, which helps convince people that the game has been cracked. Then the main protection modifies the game slightly to make it impossible to complete (eg., in Repton you might add an extra rock to a level).

From an anti-piracy perspective, the best part of this is that you can end up with people muddying the waters by claiming it works for them, because few want to admit they just can't get past a level others can.

And then, of course, there's Earthbound on the SNES - not least waiting until late game...then deleting all your saves and crashing.

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Re: Take 'tested and working' discs with a pinch of salt

Post by Lardo Boffin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:25 pm

Depending on which version of DFS they have you could always get the seller to do *VERIFY and that (possibly protected discs aside) should prove whether whole disc is ok.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
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