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Al Kossow
November 15th, 2012, 08:52 AM
I have been working since the summer on trying to recover Don Maslin's boot disk archive and
have not been able to locate the files on any of the systems that I have had access to. Does anyone
have any contacts for people who knew Don that would know exactly which machine he might have
had them on? I suspect it would have been a Windows PC, since they would have been too big to
have been stored on a CP/M system.

Micom 2000
November 15th, 2012, 04:58 PM
I was in contact by email with Don and he sent me several disks and also some programs. I'm sure he had a MS$ machine. Don like myself was very much active on the classic computer site, which had a large archive. There must be many friends there who might have known his setup.

Lawrence

Al Kossow
December 6th, 2012, 11:36 AM
I succeeded in recovering Don's archive from two sets of archives from
1995 and 1997 last night. The contents are in a 263mb zip file that can
be uploaded from http://ul.to/2k0ycsh9 until Dec 10, 2012.

NobodyIsHere
December 6th, 2012, 02:57 PM
Al,
Congratulations. This is hugely great news for the vintage computer community.

I don't think it is possible to exaggerate the importance of the Don Maslin boot disk archive.

I had truly thought it was lost forever -- a tragedy similar to the burning of the library at Alexandria.

Seriously. This is indescribably huge. Congratulations and please accept my gratitude. What a great Christmas present!

:-)

Andrew Lynch

Chuck(G)
December 6th, 2012, 03:04 PM
Got it, Al--and burned onto a CD-ROM.

Thanks!

I take it that Don relied on the actual media for hard-sectored or whacky-encoded disks.

barythrin
December 6th, 2012, 03:34 PM
Quite an accomplishment. Great work Al! Now if only it could be hosted and contributed to somewhere. Perhaps at least a wiki entry could let folks know what files are in it... actually now that I think about it this would technically make a great torrent (self hosted by hobbyists). I feel bad saying that but my intent obviously isn't about IP it's just an argument on how to not lose this in the future.

Al Kossow
December 6th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Quite an accomplishment. Great work Al! Now if only it could be hosted and contributed to somewhere. Perhaps at least a wiki entry could let folks know what files are in it... actually now that I think about it this would technically make a great torrent (self hosted by hobbyists). I feel bad saying that but my intent obviously isn't about IP it's just an argument on how to not lose this in the future.

I sent Gaby email about it, it may end up at http://www.gaby.de/ecpm.htm.
It is going to be part of the Computer History Museum's permanent software collection as well

So far, only 3 people have downloaded it. I didn't realize how much they throttle unregistered users.

Sadly, the only posts about this on comp.os.cpm are people complaining it is too difficult to download.

Al Kossow
December 6th, 2012, 05:45 PM
Got it, Al--and burned onto a CD-ROM.

Thanks!

I take it that Don relied on the actual media for hard-sectored or whacky-encoded disks.

That seems to be true. I noticed entries for Northstar, but no image data.

gslick
December 6th, 2012, 06:14 PM
I downloaded it OK. Took longer than watching the entire video of the Australian guy dismantling the IBM drive though.

What was the trick to recovery this collection? Did it turn out to be stored on those backup tapes which are pictured in the download?

Al Kossow
December 6th, 2012, 06:34 PM
I downloaded it OK. Took longer than watching the entire video of the Australian guy dismantling the IBM drive though.

What was the trick to recovery this collection? Did it turn out to be stored on those backup tapes which are pictured in the download?

The short story is that CHM has been working with Don's niece to try to preserve part of his collection. I went down in July and picked up
all of the media I could find, but at that time I couldn't find the machine that would have held the disk images that Don had said that he
had created. Another CHM staff member was in San Diego over Thanksgiving and went over to the storage unit and found three more boxes
of media. One of them had the tapes. Once I was able to figure out what they were recorded with (a 40mb Irwin floppy tape using EZTAPE)
and after I replaced the tension band, it was obvious that they were the backup tapes for his archive machine (which turns out to have
been called Aardvark). I was able to recover the C: partition but it took a bit of messing around with the versions of EZTAPE on C: before
I was able to recover the multi-tape backup sets from D:, which was where the images were.

Micom 2000
December 6th, 2012, 08:49 PM
An amazing effort Al ! Like most I figured they were lost forever. If there is a hereafter Don must have a tremendous grin on his face at the moment. The download was tabbed as taking 1 hour 25 minutes. I figured what the hell there were times in the old days when there were much smaller files which took that long. At the moment 27% of the file is downloaded with hi-speed DSL, I started it at about 11:20 and it's now 11:45. Download time was greatly overestimated, I'm averaging 190 kb/sec. I thank you.

Finished at 12:45. They slow it down more later in the download. They seem to achieve this by repeatedly stopping and then restarting. Oh well. Glad to get it.

Unknown_K
December 6th, 2012, 09:07 PM
I succeeded in recovering Don's archive from two sets of archives from
1995 and 1997 last night. The contents are in a 263mb zip file that can
be uploaded from http://ul.to/2k0ycsh9 until Dec 10, 2012.Did he archive anything after 1997?

Chuck(G)
December 6th, 2012, 10:57 PM
Quite possibly--I stayed in email contact with Don up until his death and he was always working on something.

Tor
December 7th, 2012, 02:03 AM
I'm downloading it too. (I'm mirroring quite a lot of stuff all the time, having seen too many archives disappear temporarily or permanently)

-Tor

NobodyIsHere
December 7th, 2012, 03:11 AM
Sadly, the only posts about this on comp.os.cpm are people complaining it is too difficult to download.

Al,
Obviously anyone complaining about recovery of the Don Maslin boot disk archive has no idea of the miracle that has just happened.

There have been a lot of dumb comments posted on comp.os.cpm but these are "hall of fame" quality stupid.

I have no doubt that the archive will spread far and wide now that it is out. Hopefully we'll never lose something like it again.

I rank it up there with the SIMTEL, WUARCHIVE, and Walnut Creek collections although unique because it focused on the all-important boot images.

Have you had any luck digging out the hard sector formats? I am sure there are plenty of Northstar and Vector Graphic diehards just drooling at the possibility of those gems resurfacing.

Thanks and have a happy holidays!

Andrew Lynch

smp
December 7th, 2012, 03:11 AM
I am downloading it right now.

Thanks a million, Al, for your great effort on this!

smp

Al Kossow
December 7th, 2012, 07:12 AM
Al,

Have you had any luck digging out the hard sector formats?

I suspect he made copies from the originals as they were asked for.
The physical media has not survived very well between the time spent in his garage and
the time in an uncontrolled temperature/humidity storage unit (it was 100+ degrees and
humid when I was there in July). I have spent some time since then trying to make new
images from the old media with OK but not 100% success. There is a whole box of
Northstar floppies, I didn't see very many Vector disks, but I haven't dug deeply into what
CHM might already have.

Jimmy
December 7th, 2012, 08:59 AM
I am downloading it now, please accept my thanks for all the hard word and persistence. What a great save.

billdeg
December 7th, 2012, 11:22 AM
SCAN IT before you use it! Stoned Monk Virus was on some of the files.

So much great stuff, my head is going to explode. They've been talking about this archive for 10 years being lost? It's been a while.

geneb
December 7th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Al, thanks for going to the effort to recover those tapes.

The Library at Alexandria comment is pretty accurate.

g.

Trixter
December 7th, 2012, 06:12 PM
Al, thank you for your perseverance in retrieving Don's archive.

shirsch
December 8th, 2012, 05:20 AM
SCAN IT before you use it! Stoned Monk Virus was on some of the files.

Just scanned the entire thing with latest, up-to-date Symantec. No hits.

Chuck(G)
December 8th, 2012, 09:09 AM
Symantec anti-virus knows about Teledisk files? Really?

shirsch
December 8th, 2012, 10:05 AM
Symantec anti-virus knows about Teledisk files? Really?

Probably not, but it understands virus signatures. I was just trying to make the point that I doubt anyone needs to worry about these files conveying anything evil.

Chuck(G)
December 8th, 2012, 10:58 AM
Not per se, but if any of these files are PC-related boot disks (I haven't looked at the entire collection), they could well have viruses that won't be detected until the data is extracted. One thing that I've noted is that very few antivirus programs can recognize a signature in an LHARC-compressed file, for example, much less any less-common image format.

The best procedure would be to extract each file and then scan the result for a signature.

Trixter
December 8th, 2012, 02:40 PM
F-Secure for DOS *does* explicitly support teledisk files. (At least, it did in the mid 1990s.)

Chuck(G)
December 8th, 2012, 03:32 PM
Interesting that they never asked me about it.

Trixter
December 8th, 2012, 04:50 PM
They reverse-engineered it, which is how I came to learn the "extra" teledisk compression mode was LHARC ;-)

Chuck(G)
December 8th, 2012, 05:44 PM
You do know, that certain versions of Teledisk offered password encryption, don't you?

Not that I care--we haven't owned Teledisk in over a decade. :)

Trixter
December 8th, 2012, 06:19 PM
IIRC, all reverse-engineering was performed from images floating in the wild. I guess we never came across any password-protected images.

Jorg
December 8th, 2012, 07:41 PM
I've re-zipped the archive with 7zip (117MB now) and uploaded it here
http://www.2shared.com/file/nOY2UTeB/maslin_archive.html
archive is encrypted with pw vcfcpm

Maybe it makes for a quicker download.

I could add some images for the Yodobashi Formula 1 to it, not sure if I could use a PC to create images of these cp/m disks?
Would any image program do?

mgarlanger
December 8th, 2012, 09:41 PM
I suspect he made copies from the originals as they were asked for.
The physical media has not survived very well between the time spent in his garage and
the time in an uncontrolled temperature/humidity storage unit (it was 100+ degrees and
humid when I was there in July). I have spent some time since then trying to make new
images from the old media with OK but not 100% success. There is a whole box of
Northstar floppies, I didn't see very many Vector disks, but I haven't dug deeply into what
CHM might already have.

Did you see any disks for Heathkit computers?

Chuck(G)
December 8th, 2012, 10:05 PM
There should be HDOS and CP/M hard-sectored floppies in the collection, if I recall correctly. But the images won't be there, for obvious reasons. He's probably got the soft-sectored versions as imiages, however.

billdeg
December 9th, 2012, 05:30 PM
Probably not, but it understands virus signatures. I was just trying to make the point that I doubt anyone needs to worry about these files conveying anything evil.


OK, the check this file, (for example):
G:\vintage_computers\Maslin\maslin_archive.zip->AARDVARK_Tape_Backups/25jul96/sydex/dos/pc-7000.td0->(TeleDisk)

All copies of pc-7000.td0 in this archive (there are three) are infected with stoned monk.

I always check PC files from 85-95 with a highly suspicious eye, I rarely find a collection of user disks without Stoned Monk, if you look hard enough. This was a highly pervasive virus.

Bill

jackrubin
December 9th, 2012, 06:18 PM
Thanks Al (and Jorg)!! Great holiday gift to the vintage computer community and Don's memory.
Jack

smp
December 10th, 2012, 03:27 AM
OK, the check this file, (for example):
G:\vintage_computers\Maslin\maslin_archive.zip->AARDVARK_Tape_Backups/25jul96/sydex/dos/pc-7000.td0->(TeleDisk)

All copies of pc-7000.td0 in this archive (there are three) are infected with stoned monk.

I always check PC files from 85-95 with a highly suspicious eye, I rarely find a collection of user disks without Stoned Monk, if you look hard enough. This was a highly pervasive virus.

Bill

I can confirm Bill's finding. This morning I pointed my scanner at the archive, and the three files popped up as containing "Virus:DOS/Stoned."

I can also report that those three files were the only ones that showed up as potential threats.

smp