Wednesday, January 18, 2006

News: Magic in the Works

Carl J. England, CoCo Programer, is working a little magic for the CoCo. He has created a copy program, called "Magic," that can copy those ancient copy-protected disks. Mr. England reports that tests have gone very well, and he's busy adding some routines that will possibly copy the disks to virtual disks. Here's hoping that addition works out as well! No word on a release, yet, but I have to admit it's an exciting project that could rescue a lot of that old code for the future.

Mr. England was kind enough to take a moment, answer some questions and offer the following on the program and it's operation:

You just run the basic program and it loads the m/l routines that do most of the actual work.
[Magic] asks for the source and destination drive numbers (does require two drives--would be possible, but much too cumbersome to do this with a single drive system). It then checks to see if the destination disk is write-protected. If it is the program will abort. It then checks to see if the source disk is write-protected. If it is not, you are given a warning and a chance to abort (so that you can cover the write-protect notch). Thought that it would be a good idea to let people know that their disks were vulnerable--didn't want my program to accidentally erase valuable disks.

(I didn't cover the notch on most of my disks--actually beginning to erase them; making too many copies while writing this program!)

After answering the source and destination prompts, the program copies the source to the destination. It takes about the same amount of time that it takes to format a disk (the destination does not have to be formatted because "magic" formats the tracks as it goes.)


Anonymous said...

Hi CaptCpu,

Nice intro for the new 'Magic' program by Carl, And yes, I have had the pleasure of using it, tested it on a few of my Disks, it is excellent value, when it is put on the Market, And it is Quick, takes the same time to format a disk, which is 40-50 secs, to backup a disk, So go out and buy it, worth every cent.
BTW, It will be a even better program , If Carl can make it copy a copy protected disks to a PC disk image, I can see this program being a top usage Utility by other coconuts.
And this was a program , not even supposed to be possible on a coco computer, Imagine if Carl and Sockmaster were to work on a coco project together, both their minds on the 1 project, skies the limits.

Ps Captcpu, had to post it anonymous, I have forgotten my password again, It's me Briza. hope to catch you in the coco 3 chatroom 1 day.

CaptCPU said...

I'm waiting anxiously, as well. I don't actually have any copy protected software, that I'm aware of. But being able to archive CoCo disks to DSK format and burn them to CDs in a quick and painless manner would be worth paying for! Of course, having the copy utility as well sure won't hurt :)

briza said...

Hi Captcpu,

Good or Bad news first, Which 1, Okay good stuff 1st, Carl has finished the New Magic to Pc converter, He tried it on all his copy protected stuff, Only 1 Failed to work, And that was Cbasic3, Which isn't bad, when you think about it, So that is the only bad news, The Magic worked, So that means he tried it on Z-89 , the sundog System Games, And it worked, it copied them to a virtual dsk image, and you could play it in the emulators.
So all the games stuff worked, and only 1 utility failed, and that was cbasic3.
So that should be good news for Coconuts out there.
Soon it will be marketed, if you can get a copy, buy it, it is worth it, I have been testing it myself, So I guess we should all Kneel down and bow to the King of copy protection breaking, 1 word for Carl, A geniuses.



briza said...

Hi Captcpu,

Yeah Magic does work great, I tried it with my games, it worked like a charm, Gave Cbasic3 ago, It's not the program Magic, that is the problem, It's the Cbasic3 program, It seems to trash the memory locations in the emulator, I guess we need David Keil to have a look at it, He wrote the emulator, so He'll be able to find the Fault, and get Cbasic3 to run in the emulator.
So Captcpu, you get a chance, buy the program Magic, it is amazing and it's not slow, it is quick for the amount of data it moves.