Questions tagged [file-format]

Relating to the encoding format of data within files.

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HP TSB program stored format

The internal representation for a HP TSB Access program is detailed in the 'Sources and Listings' Documentation ref 22687-90020. This describes (pages 5-28 & 5-29) how string variables, simple ...
hptsb's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
646 views

What binary format did QuickBasic use for BAS files?

I found some very old floppy disks. I sent them to a company to restore the files and they were still retrievable! Next to old games and simcity save games I found some .BAS files. Some of the names I ...
Dirk Boer's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
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Document format for a DOS word processor where control commands begin with a dot

I successfully achieved the reading of several 5.25″ old floppies. They contain old documents from a retired lawyer. For the memories, we want to read them correctly, nevertheless, I don't find which ...
David Sosa's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
250 views

Open an RSRC "sound file" from a Mac OS 6/9 application

I have been looking in the files of this 90s Mac game MacSki, made by D. Cook. Using Infinite Mac emulator, I've been able to open it and make it work quite well (some keyboard issue, well). We obtain ...
Luc's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
374 views

Help identifying format of old tape backup

I'm recovering data from old QIC backup tapes for an acquaintance, which I do by dumping the raw data in Linux, and decoding the files from it using my own scripts, which handle several standard ...
Dmitry Brant's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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is there a tool to convert .dsk to a .rom file? [closed]

So over the span of about 2 months I've been trying to get a USB drive together with all the tools to run an old game my uncle made. It was make for a really old computer(I think like a TRS-80 or CoCo ...
Rowan Barker's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the purpose of the ‘overlay number’ field in the MZ executable format?

Many materials covering the layout of MZ executables (RBIL, for example, and even a comment in MS-DOS 2.0 source code) describe the word at offset +0x1a as the ‘overlay number’, with the value zero ...
user3840170's user avatar
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5 votes
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Which document format is this? (.MAN/.STR/.TAB/.IND)

I have these files, which were all in one .zip: DPMANUAL.MAN DPMANUAL.STR DPMANUAL.IND DPMANUAL.I01 DPMANUAL.I02 DPMANUAL.TAB DPMANUAL.TXX They are supposedly a manual (for DataPerfect). The file ...
Tomas By's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
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How are the extra BASIC keywords of the Timex Sinclair 2068 that the ZX Spectrum didn't have encoded?

I've read that the BASIC of the Timex Sinclair 2068 is a superset of the BASIC of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum with a few extra keywords. The extra keywords are: DELETE delete BASIC program lines, FREE ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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Can MAME save to cassette tape formats other than WAV? [closed]

MAME seems to be extremely unintuitive to use and extremely poorly documented. But it supports a ton of machines, some of which I haven't found other emulators for, so I've been persevering with it ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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Does the .sna snapshot file format for Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulators support a 16k variant

I'm playing with emulator and file format programming again. One of the common game snapshot formats for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum is the .sna format. I know it comes in a 48k format and a newer 128k ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
595 views

What are these compression types in the ARC file format?

The file format of the SEA ARC compression tool, also used by the PKWare PKARC tool, allowed the following compression types: Packing (RLE encoding) Squeezing (static Huffman coding) Crunching (LZW)...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
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What tape format did the Nintendo Famicom Data Recorder use?

I just learned from a YouTube video that in Japan there was an add-on for the original Nintendo Famicom console that included a keyboard (HVC-007) and compact cassette tape player & recorder (HVC-...
hippietrail's user avatar
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19 votes
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Why does the default base64 encoding use forward slash /? [closed]

As anyone who has been bitten by using base64 instead of base64url is quite well aware, the "original" base64 alphabet uses alphanumeric, +, = (both perfectly cromulent URL characters), and ...
DeusXMachina's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
271 views

Commodore / Apple II GEOS Document Cross-Platform Compatibility

As I have never used Graphic Environment Operating System (GEOS) on an Apple II (only I on a Commodore 64), I have always wondered were the documents created (from programs such as GeoWrite and ...
GrapefruitIsAwesome's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
553 views

What is the TPG file format used in the PlayStation release of Zork I?

I'm looking at the Japanese releases of Infocom games, curious to understand how the engine works. Four games were released for the PC98, one of which added graphics for the rooms (Moonmist). Later, ...
christopherdrum's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did INI files work in a different way on Windows 3.x than today?

I am dealing with an application that still uses INI files for configuration. I wanted to make a temporary change to an INI file, but the result was not what I expected. Let's say the original INI ...
Thomas Weller's user avatar
10 votes
0 answers
228 views

Which versions of StuffIt introduced backwards-incompatible changes to the file format?

In order to help people who want to integration-test tools which shell out to The Unarchiver's lsar and unar utilities, I'm trying to build a legally clean repository of test archives in StuffIt SIT ...
ssokolow's user avatar
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44 votes
5 answers
9k views

Why didn't C++ specify filename extensions?

Apparently even today there is no single "official" standard for C++ file extensions. There are just common conventions. To me this stands out as an anomaly... file extensions are heavily ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
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1 vote
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What is the easiest way to access/convert Lotus NSF files?

I would like to read some .NSF files (preferably on Linux). Converting to PDF is ideal, but anything else that uses modern formats (e.g. XML) is fine. When I google "nsf viewer" I get many ...
Tomas By's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
6k views

How can I tell whether a DOS-looking exe. requires a 32-bit CPU to run?

Is there some simple method for determining if a DOS (or OS/2, or Windows etc.) binary (.exe or .dll) is 16-bit or 32-bit? The Linux file command just says "executable". I want to ...
Tomas By's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
169 views

Compucolor 2 emulator CCEmu's `.ccvf` disk format

This Compucolor 2 emulator uses disk images with the file extension .ccvf. Here is an example file. I would like to understand how to interpret that format. I understand from the documentation that ...
Cactus's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
420 views

What does it mean when "The Good Old Days" have several seemingly identical downloads for the same game?

This happens for numerous games. If I search, for example, for "Spear of Destiny", I get this: https://archive.org/details/TGODFloppyCollection?and%5B%5D=spear+of+destiny&sin= Four ...
Geramiah's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
422 views

What is this Intel Hexadecimal-like file format in this Tiny BASIC dump?

I am looking at this Tiny BASIC dump which seems to consist of two sections, the first being a list of symbol addresses, and the second one containing Intel Hexadecimal records with a leading space: ...
Cactus's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
1k views

Where and when did the ".s" suffix for assembly-language source files originate?

The closest I was able to find on StackOverflow is What are .S files?, in which no answerer addresses why we use .s for assembly. (And .S for preprocessor/macro assembly; and gcc -S to produce ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Any tools (that actually work) for viewing PDF files in FreeDOS?

I recently installed FreeDOS on an old laptop and then transferred some dosbox based GOG games I own to the FreeDOS installation. The problem is the manuals for these games is in PDF format and I ...
old_school9999's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
187 views

Has anyone heard of SCHEMA page layout tool?

I've found a text formatting tool, under the name of SCHEMA, which would accept an input language like *RED *0STA*NN*RG*1RL*0MCS1 20 *3/ *MDLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, *MDconsectetur adipiscing elit, *...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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What floppy disk format and layout and what disk image format are used for the Coleco Adam?

I just found out that emulators for the Coleco Adam use a disk image file format with the DSK file extension. This is a very very overused extension on many different disk formats. Though a few DSK ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
308 views

What is the *BEAST* event-recording software grammar?

I recently recovered a data-set my father (a biology professor) recorded at UC Berkeley in the 90s on Stickleback mating behaviors. He says the data was recorded using the "open-source BEAST ...
Max von Hippel's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
353 views

Do the Tandy CoCo and the Dragon 32 & 64 use all the same disk image file formats?

Tandy's TRS-80 Color Computer "CoCo" and the Dragon 32 & 64 were very similar but not clones and not the same. Floppy disk versions used totally different DOSes and disk layouts. Both ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Understanding the DMK disk image file format used by TRS-80 emulators

DMK is a low-level disk image file format used by TRS-80 Model I & Model III, Tandy Color Computer, Dragon 32 & 64, and MSX emulators. It's capable of representing copy-protected disks and all ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
201 views

Opening a .zbd file

I have a .zbd file from my military service with sensitive information on it from 2004. I have downloaded the ZoomBrowser from Canon, it does not recognize it as a file. I downloaded the Zebedee ...
Mark Saluta's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I programmatically determine whether an Apple II .dsk disk image is a DOS .do image or a ProDOS .po image?

I'm interested in working with the most common Apple II disk image file format, .dsk. (I only programmed these machines briefly in Basic around 1979-81 and have not been in the emulator scene, so I'm ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,626
3 votes
1 answer
472 views

Do TRS-80 Model I and Model III load and execute /CMD files using specific memory addresses?

/CMD files on the various TRS-80 Model I and III OSes are machine code command files. They seem to have some internal format but not really a file header. They often start with 01 02 and then a 16-...
hippietrail's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
244 views

What is the layout of the directory track on a TRS-80 Model I/Model III disk?

I've decided to add support for some more classic Z80 computers I used to use to my Ghidra modules, and the first Z80 systems I used were the TRS-80 model I and model III. I've found documentation ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
596 views

What is the format of the static libraries shipping with legacy Microsoft C for DOS?

I have installed Microsoft C 5.10 on DOS 6.22. It created a 'LIB' directory with static libraries to link against. Now I need to extract the symbols and the code for the functions from them, but can't ...
neuviemeporte's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
236 views

Are the last 4 bytes in .SCL disk image files for Spectrum clones meaningful or spurious?

I recently added support for .scl images files to my Ghidra module which already supported .trd images. They are both representations of TR-DOS floppy disks as used mainly on Spectrum clones from ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,626
23 votes
1 answer
4k views

How did large .COM files work?

An MS-DOS .com file is just raw code/data without header, thus no linking information, and was limited to be loaded into just one segment (64kB). That's the reason corrupted binaries would print "...
DarkDust's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
946 views

What file formats were used for binary executable files on later Sinclair ZX Spectrums?

The last official version of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was the +3, released after the company was owned by Amstrad. It included a 3-inch floppy disk drive as used on other Amstrad computers. But even ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does the .z80 emulator-snapshot format have separate fields for the 8-bit refresh register and bit 7 of R?

I've been looking at the .z80 file format for Sinclair ZX Spectrum games. Most docs discussing the format include pretty much this wording: Offset Length Description -------------------------...
hippietrail's user avatar
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22 votes
8 answers
4k views

Do the holes in Jacquard loom punched cards represent input data or program code?

I think they represent data because I feel it is a mechanical machine which is fully configured and the holes decide only that the thread related to each hole must be moved or not. Thus the holes ...
user42757's user avatar
  • 369
8 votes
1 answer
845 views

What's up with the ASxxx and the "CoCo Disk BASIC binary format"?

The ASxxxx assembler system is a multi-platform assembler that supports a lot of different CPUs, including Z80, 6800, 6502, 6809, etc. I'm intending to use it to build software for a variety of ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 25k
5 votes
2 answers
824 views

How can I extract game data from Nitemare 3D files?

I am trying to reverse engineer an old Wolf3D style Dos game named "Nitemare 3D". I can get a raycasting engine with directional sprites running pretty easily using SDL2, but I have no experience with ...
BBQGiraffe's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

IBM mainframe classic executable file formats

Most modern platforms have pretty well-defined file formats; e.g. Windows uses PE, Linux and BSD - ELF (previously a.out), macOS - Mach-O, AIX - XCOFF and so on. What were (are?) common executable ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
5k views

How well known and how commonly used was Huffman coding in 1979?

Infocom's Z-Machine, designed in 1979, compresses text using a basic 5 bit code which is not very efficient in practice, achieving maybe a 1.5:1 compression ratio. Huffman coding would be far more ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
641 views

What was the format for .OBJ files produced by M80.COM for CP/M?

When DOS released in 1981, the assembler that came with it produced .OBJ files that were OMF format. However there was a predecessor to it, M80.COM that ran under CP/M and also used .OBJ as the file ...
dgnuff's user avatar
  • 277
10 votes
1 answer
737 views

What are the best file formats for backup & emulation of retro game CDs? And why?

In other words, what are some factual, non-subjective reasons why you might choose (or avoid) a certain file format ? (For example, disk usage, audio accuracy, emulator compatibility, etc). I'm ...
Nikolaii99's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
650 views

Opening or converting GFA Basic files to something readable?

There is a bunch of GFA BASIC for Amiga files (the source code for Blender's ancestor, Traces, downloadable here: http://zgodzinski.com/blender-prehistory/) that I would like to peek at. Despite my ...
François Beaune's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
292 views

Cross-Compatibility of UCSD p-Machine Versions?

I currently have Apple Pascal (and Fortran, and PILOT) running on an Apple IIgs emulator on Windows. As near as I can tell, it's UCSD p-System II.something. I also have a DOS-hosted UCSD p-System, IV....
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 1,318
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I debug a Mac OS Classic application?

I have a Mac OS Classic application (a game) that I want to "debug". It has data files in a unique format than I am attempting to reverse-engineer. I've made some progress with a hex editor, but ...
Greg Kennedy's user avatar