Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

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scarybeasts
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Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by scarybeasts »

Hi,

I've noticed a growing interest in people archiving their disc collections -- this is great!

The Acorn Preservation Team has put together a document to help people archive their discs with best chances of success. There's various tips on what we've learned from our own archiving efforts, as well as advice on how to deal with failing discs, copy protection, fingerprinting, etc.

I've attached the document here as a PDF and will update it as there are improvements. Feedback is very welcome!

[last updated: May 16th, 2021]


Cheers
Chris

p.s. anyone wanting to view / comment on a live version of the doc can do so here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-6a ... -zI24/edit
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AcornPreservationTeam_ArchivingDiscs_210516.pdf
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Last edited by scarybeasts on Mon May 17, 2021 4:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
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MartinB
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Re: Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by MartinB »

For reasons of balance, although UPURS didn't even make Appendix A, on behalf of myself and countless delighted UPURS users across the last decade, can I just note that other disc imaging, recovery and archive tools are available.... :)
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scarybeasts
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Re: Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by scarybeasts »

MartinB wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 8:48 pm
For reasons of balance, although UPURS didn't even make Appendix A, on behalf of myself and countless delighted UPURS users across the last decade, can I just note that other disc imaging, recovery and archive tools are available.... :)
Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like we should add it to the next revision? I don't have a UPURS so I'd need a quick few sentences of blurb on it, ideally including: where to get one; how it works; any preferred usage mode or command / instruction.


Cheers
Chris
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daveejhitchins
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Re: Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by daveejhitchins »

scarybeasts wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 8:52 pm
MartinB wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 8:48 pm
For reasons of balance, although UPURS didn't even make Appendix A, on behalf of myself and countless delighted UPURS users across the last decade, can I just note that other disc imaging, recovery and archive tools are available.... :)
Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like we should add it to the next revision? I don't have a UPURS so I'd need a quick few sentences of blurb on it, ideally including: where to get one; how it works; any preferred usage mode or command / instruction.


Cheers
Chris
I can supply cased Electron UPURS interfaces :D if it's of interest?

Dave H.
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MartinB
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Re: Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by MartinB »

Thanks Dave and Simon but actually, I’m going to pass on document inclusion.

I still get a steady stream of UPURS enquiries, not via Stardot but mostly as ever from the article on Paul V’s site that Simon linked. I always encourage folk to make their own cable and rom but sometimes people don’t have the skills so then I’ll reluctantly offer at cost because I certainly don’t make any money from supplying cables etc, quite the opposite in fact but like us all, I’m here to help.

I happened to get two almost simultaneous enquiries last week and had agreed to make up both cables when yesterday, I got the following email (snipped obviously for privacy)....

Code: Select all

I was just reading a document from Facebook by the Acorn Preservation Team and they suggest
special methods are needed to correctly recover data from old discs. As you know, mine are my old
university BBC Basic program and data discs and I just wanted to confirm that your system will be
ok for me to use as its not one of the methods recommended by the people above.
The point being, if people decide to self-appoint as an official-sounding body, they need to be careful how and where they choose to present because folk are easily influenced and if said body issues advice that bulldozes all else aside, there can be consequences. So, I wasn’t best pleased at having to reassure someone about whether UPURS is ‘suitable’ and indeed, if he now has any problems at all which may be quite unrelated, the seeds of doubt are already sown.
When I later read the document (I don’t use FB as such, just follow a couple of groups), it did indeed sound as if one ignored the advice at one’s peril and even when it did mention alternative methods, it sounded unconvincing.

Anyway, I’m not part of the 'APT' and I’ve already employed the normally tongue-in-cheek recourse of noting that ‘other systems are available’ so I’ll just leave it like that and there’s no need to add UPURS to the document, it will doubtless continue on its own merits 8)
philpem
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Re: Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by philpem »

It's probably fair to say the Archiving Tips document is intended for a situation where you have no idea what's on a disc, it might be valuable, it might have been badly stored -- you can't guarantee that you'll get a second chance, so you need to get the image on the first go. (Wabash disks being the most notorious "needs special handling" case and IMHO fully justified of a 'get in touch before you put these in a drive!' clause)

If you know you have a data disk with no copy protection or weirdness and you're 100% certain of that, then you can image the disc with nearly any tool. Beebimg, Xfer, Imagedisk/IMD, UPURS, and so on would all get you the data, provided the drive and the machine are in good working order.

Grabbing the files with XFER will get you your data back -- imaging the disc at sector level will get the deleted data back too -- imaging at flux level (or analog level) gives you a lot of extra tools if the disc fails to read correctly.

Perhaps there's a need for the document to have a preface -- if all you want to do is recover a data disk which has been stored reasonably wall, you can use just about anything...
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scarybeasts
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Re: Publication: advanced disc archiving guide

Post by scarybeasts »

Thanks all for the feedback. I've updated the PDF at the top of the thread.

Key changes:
- Try to better separate out physical disc handling from disc reading tools.
- Make it clearer that for some common situations (e.g. a data disc), any disc reading tool should serve well.
- Make the overview more use-case based and provide better signposting.


Cheers
Chris
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