Question about Making Tapes

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videofx
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Question about Making Tapes

Post by videofx » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:01 pm

I appologize if this has been asked before. I have 3 questions:

1. How do I take a UEF or cassette file and make a tape I can use with my real Beeb.

2. How can I make a backup of my original tape?

3. Since Cassettes are sequential, is there a way to convert tape to disk?

Cheers in advance!

Fraser
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by Fraser » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:21 pm

For number 2 you could download CSW Viewer and follow the guidelines about recording a cassette and then it can be converted to CSW format. MakeUEF will convert CSW to UEF.

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paulv
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by paulv » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:06 pm

For a lost of cassettes you won't need to do this in the not too distant future...

Support in MartinB's UPURS project for UEF files is coming along nicely. At the moment it's still in beta and I can't speak for Martin but I get the feeling a first release of UPURS with tape support will be forthcoming in the not too distant future...

Some links about the project...

http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3114

http://www.retro-kit.co.uk/UPURS/

Paul

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MartinB
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by MartinB » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:40 am

Paul wrote:I can't speak for Martin but I get the feeling a first release of UPURS with tape support will be forthcoming in the not too distant future...
Yep, won't be long now :D

(Assuming you and t'other Martin stop finding bugs :roll:)

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BeebMaster
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by BeebMaster » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:13 pm

I usually keep out of tape-related topics, but I thought today I'd ask the question that always comes to mind when people talk about tapes, UEF, MP3 files, CDs, price of Acorn tape decks on E-Bay etc:

How come there is still so much demand for tapes, either real or emulated? Hasn't everything been converted to disc (or flash or whatever) by 2012?

I've very rarely used tapes since I threw away the Speccy +2, I've never really had the need for them with Beebs. The last time I used a tape with a Beeb was several years ago to convert the software for the Cumana Touchpad to disc, and I can't think of any other bit of software I've wanted to use which has only been on tape.
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nOmArch
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by nOmArch » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:14 pm

My lightpen software only comes on tape, which reminds me I must get that converted now I have a cassette deck.
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

videofx
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by videofx » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:05 pm

I was asking because I am new and there is so much Beeb software on cassette. I don't know if it has already been converted to disk. If everything has been converted to disk, then yes I have no need for a cassette.

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:35 pm

Still interesting to read all about this ...

I've got a few tapes and I'm curious about (a) how they worked in the old days (b) how you get them into an emulator and (c) maybe, just maybe, have a play with moving stuff off tape onto something more modern (and trying to understand the copy protection in the process.) Suspect I won't have the time!

I *think* most of the tapes I possess have been long moved to disc versions or are already available, so it's just for fun ...

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by videofx » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:21 pm

I don't blame you. I would like to know how the tapes work also. I already have a cassette recorder that will work with the Beeb. I just need a cable and thats only 10 quid. It would be educational to learn how to get the files off the cassette and onto disks :)

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by davidb » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:35 pm

videofx wrote:1. How do I take a UEF or cassette file and make a tape I can use with my real Beeb.
I used uef2wave recently to record the contents of a UEF file onto a cassette for testing. There's also FreeUEF.
3. Since Cassettes are sequential, is there a way to convert tape to disk?
If all the files are named differently, and all are legal file names on DFS/ADFS, then there shouldn't be a problem simply dumping all the files to disk. You may need to remember which one should be loaded first, or otherwise make a note of their original order.

On the Electron, the Slogger disk interfaces often came with T2P* ROMS (T2Peg400, T2P3, etc.) that allow files on cassettes to be stored in a ROM filing system-like file on disk, which stores them in sequence. I think that's probably not a widely used technique for BBC cassettes.

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:39 pm

But - completely from (rusty) memory - one issue with the tape software is that it might assume that it has PAGE at &E00 ... but if you've got DFS then PAGE will be &1900. (From what I've seen, there are many many fine ways around this, I'm just talking about back in the day ...)

Obviously it will hugely depend on what you are trying to do/get off tape, but I remember that being one of challenges ...

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MartinB
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by MartinB » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:46 pm

The following covers the basic Tape to Disc procedure but makes a few assumptions, the significant one being that the tape program isn't significantly protected. It will work for most tapes and demonstrates the principle....

Set up your tape deck on a Beeb+DFS with a formatted disc in Drive 0 and maybe do a test load of something else from tape to check levels and such. When sorted, put the source tape in the deck and rewind. The program on tape may be in several parts or there may be several programs so the procedure will repeat until the end of the tape.

Referring to the screenshot below and always using Mode 7, start at the *TAPE and follow the example but changing the names of the program(s) and the numbers to those that appear. You should be able to clearly see which relates to which from my example. The *I.* is just to confirm that the program has saved to disc correctly. For each part, just loop back to the *TAPE and repeat until the tape is finished. Note that the 2000 is the only fixed constant, all the rest will vary with the program or program parts.

(If you think the program might be used on a 2P then include the preceding 'FFFF's as they appear.)

To run the program from disc, just follow the tape instructions but do bear in mind (as Richard has pointed out) that assumptions about PAGE being $E00 for tape may prevent the program from running.
t2d.png
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richardtoohey
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:51 pm

... and one possible way around the PAGE issue was to load the program into screen memory (or at least let it "overflow" into there), and then write a small relocater program to copy it back down to &E00 after loading (hence the screen "corruption" that you see on some titles.)

Ah, happy days ... memories are coming flooding back! :D

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by videofx » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:09 pm

I take it then with DFS loaded there is no * command to change the memory location to E000 automatically?

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:45 pm

Change the memory location?

This is entirely from memory, BBC B with DFS 0.9.

No DFS - PAGE is &E00.

With DFS - PAGE is &1900.

You can't load a file in E00-1900 because that is DFS work space, so you have to load it higher (or if the file is small enough, you might be able to squeeze it in at &0900 ... if my memory is correct!)

So you load the file at &1900, and it is long enough and runs into screen memory (e.g. &3000 in MODE 2)

You no longer need DFS, so you now need to copy down the file from &1900 to &E00 ... how would a * command be able to do that? How would it know how many bytes to move from where to where?

It looks like there were a number of solutions after my time - DFS replacements that left page at &E00 ... so the above is just history ...

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by BeebMaster » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:47 pm

PAGE increases to &1900 on a BBC B because the DFS requires the extra memory as workspace. Generally with each filing system you add, more of the user RAM is used up: PAGE increases a bit more if you add Net, even more with ADFS as well, and again with Teletext and IEEEFS etc.

I think there is an "E00 DFS" by a third party, not sure how compatible it is with the usual Acorn one.

There isn't a * command available to a standard BBC B with the Acorn DFS to re-locate a file whilst it's loading. Certain utility ROMs (such as ADT) have * command which can load a file and then shift it to begin at a different location, usually along the lines of *MOVE or *MLOAD or something, but even then I think the file has to be loaded somewhere in RAM first and then moved (as opposed to being buffered) so you might still end up overwriting some vital location in memory just to get it loaded in the first place.
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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by MartinB » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:20 pm

If one is new to Beeb tapes and transferring to disc etc., I think it's a much better learning process to go through the basics as I posted and get a feel for how it all works at the fundamental level. If you skip the foundations and dive in at the deep end with automatic PAGE shifting transfer proggies you'll miss out on some good understanding that reads across to so much other stuff in the Beeb world. One step at a time would be my humble advice :)

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Re: Question about Making Tapes

Post by videofx » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:42 pm

Martinb,

I agree. My Beeb with second processor will be here Thursday so I will be learning from the begining. I have already started reading eveything on all the Beeb sites. Its awesome that there is so much documentation scanned and available! With the help of everyone here I will get this figured out! :)

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