34 votes

How can I recover the contents from an Amiga HDD using modern Linux?

You should be able to use the Amiga hard drive directly on your Linux computer (provided it still has IDE support). Linux also understands AFFS (Amiga Fast File systems), at least once AFFS support ...
  • 28.8k
34 votes

How long will floppy disks maintain data integrity?

Can you take these disks off the shelf 30 years later and still expect to read their data? Yes. Although we all experienced floppies fragility, the magnetic media in fact is one of the longest-...
  • 469
29 votes

How do I find out the REAL title of a given video game?

I commend your desire for accuracy in software preservation. How am I supposed to know what a game actually was officially called? This presupposes the existence of a single, official title. That ...
  • 10.6k
27 votes
Accepted

How long will floppy disks maintain data integrity?

There are a few factors: Quality of media. Storage environment (i.e. climate controlled versus humid attic). How many hours of use did the disk experience. Assuming little-to-no use, it probably ...
  • 14.4k
23 votes
Accepted

Rescuing data from old audio cassettes

There's so much to go wrong in a cassette mechanism that it's amazing they worked at all. can you adjust tape head azimuth? Misalignment is responsible for a lot of sound problems. how clean are your ...
  • 17.6k
19 votes
Accepted

Is there any way today to recover/dump 2M disks?

In my experience, your best bet to read 2M/2MGUI disks is to find an old PC with a built-in floppy controller, and run either DOS (with 2M and 2MGUI) or Linux (with Mtools, which supports 2M formats) ...
  • 98.3k
18 votes

How can I convert Epson escape codes to a more usable format?

If you can get your output to a file using redirection, then you can use the Linux open-source project called dotprint to convert the file into a PDF document for printing on a modern printer, viewing ...
  • 57.6k
18 votes
Accepted

How can I take an image of a 50-pin SCSI hard-drive

If "a more modern machine" includes systems with ISA, PCI or PCI Express slots, it should be easy enough to retrieve the data from the drives. You'll need a SCSI adapter (known as a host bus adapter, ...
  • 98.3k
18 votes
Accepted

Make a BASIC TAP file readable on Linux

listbasic, from the fuse-emulator-utils Debian package: $ listbasic rainbow2.tap 10 REM Rainbowtype 2.0 20 BORDER 0 30 PAPER 0 40 CLS 50 LET b=0 60 BRIGHT b 70 INK 7 100 REM ...
  • 17.6k
17 votes

How can I copy files from a Compaq Deskpro?

There are three basic ways: a) Get a LAN card and setup a workgroup with all drives shared and access whatever needs to be backuped to your new machine. This is quite dependant on installed software. ...
  • 178k
16 votes

Can special tools recover data from floppy disks when Windows Explorer fails to do so?

It sounds like some blocks on the disk (particularly the ones containing directory information) are okay, but some (containing some file data) are not. This is a data recovery situation. If you boot ...
  • 16.1k
15 votes

How long will floppy disks maintain data integrity?

The short answer is that they will retain data integrity as long as they do. Floppy disks have a number of enemies: Moisture, corrosion, mildew, deformation of the physical media, degradation of ...
  • 1,029
13 votes

Is my opened floppy disk useless now?

If the surface of the disk is not dented, kinked, torn or otherwise damaged, you may be able to recover the data on it. Considering that five and a quarter floppies are long outdated, one can guess ...
13 votes

Old Conner IDE hard drives that are mistakenly detected as being 2TB, how do I connect to and image them?

You’re running into compatibility issues with very old drives. In this particular case, your drives are new enough to support the ATA “identify device” command (which is how your hwinfo input includes ...
  • 98.3k
12 votes

Where can I donate my old Computer Shopper Magazines to make sure they get scanned and shared?

My writing career began in 1992 in Computer Shopper (in an article about using user groups for tech support), and I have a huge fondness for the magazine. I was also one of the sysops on the ZNT:...
12 votes

What should be the waveform for ZX Spectrum tapes?

Those variable amplitudes looks like electronics problem like failing caps somewhere along the way (recording/playback) or unshielded too long cables or partial remagnetization or even HW bug (some ...
  • 6,916
10 votes
Accepted

What is the history of data compression tools on personal computers?

The story is told in this 1988 usenet post by Paul Homchick: Some time went by and it was a CP/M world, and diskettes were bigger. In 1981 Richard Greenlaw released SQ and USQ, based on Huffman ...
10 votes

How long will floppy disks maintain data integrity?

From something I read just the other day on the news: "We regularly read floppy disks from 40 years ago and they are as good as new," he said. [someone at The National Museum of Computing at ...
  • 417
10 votes

What should be the waveform for ZX Spectrum tapes?

Check this Spectrum tape interface: Pulses A 'pulse' here is either a mark or a space, so 2 pulses makes a complete square wave cycle. Pilot tone: before each block is a sequence of ...
  • 9,446
9 votes

How long will floppy disks maintain data integrity?

When recently imaging my old Amiga disks, dating from 1989 until about 1993, approximately 80% of them read first time without error, another 10% needed a few retries to get all the data off, 9% had ...
  • 9,430
9 votes
Accepted

Finding byte boundaries in floppy disk MFM bitstreams

But this seems kinda weird, as it means that all the fill data which appears before the sync byte is unreadable; Aeh ... ok, but then again, why do you want to read it anyway? The fill data is what ...
  • 178k
9 votes

Is there any way today to recover/dump 2M disks?

I'm not sure if this is technically possible for the disk format you are asking about, but there is an open source project by David Given called FluxEngine that has been trying to read all kinds of ...
  • 8,476
9 votes

Were there any filesystems support tag based key-value pairs before the 90s?

BeOS used extended attributes heavily. In OS/2, REXX scripts are tokenised into extended attributes, and all sorts of things like icons and whatnot used them. There were a decent arrangement of tools ...
8 votes

Make a BASIC TAP file readable on Linux

TAP files are basicly memory dumps of whatever is saved. In this case the tokenized BASIC program. Check here for a format description. It seems that the simplest way would be to load it into an ...
  • 178k
8 votes

Were there any filesystems support tag based key-value pairs before the 90s?

I'll admit to not quite understanding their jargon, but it looks like IBM's AS/400 (1988) and to a certain extent, System/38 before it (1978) relied on object or database-style single-level storage ...
  • 17.6k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the optimal way to store retro computing paraphernalia (games, consoles, accessories, books) on display at home?

What is the optimal way a typical home user can store all these items, on display, to preserve them in their current state for future generations? Keep them in low temperature, dry and dark ...
  • 178k
7 votes

Were there any filesystems support tag based key-value pairs before the 90s?

The Sinclair QL's file system has a 64-byte "File header" providing metadata for the file. Among system-owned fields like modified/access dates, file length, type and name, it also holds 8 ...
  • 28.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Were there any filesystems support tag based key-value pairs before the 90s?

It would be remiss to neglect the original Mac HFS with its core support of the Resource Fork. A normal Macintosh file had two forks: the data fork, and the resource fork. The resource fork was a key/...
  • 11.1k
6 votes

How can I convert Epson escape codes to a more usable format?

I use QPCPrint (as mentioned above) on my PC, but have also released my own ESC/P2 to PDF convertor - https://github.com/RWAP/PrinterToPDF, written in C, which is designed to run on Linux
  • 61
6 votes

Make a BASIC TAP file readable on Linux

There is a Windows program called ZX-Editor that runs perfectly well on Debian (via Wine). Simply open the .TAP file, and save a .BAS file. It allowed me to extract this: # BAS file "rainbow2" ...
  • 17.8k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible