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Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:34 pm
by Andrew
Another idea would be to temporarily install a 3.5" floppy drive in the Spectrum 128 instead of the 3" drive.
Copy MDV to 3.5" disk -> on PC use Anadisk or Teledisk to create a disk image -> use Spectaculator to copy files from disk image to mdv image (if you are not happy with having the backup on a disk image)
Should be faster than using an audio cable and not so prone to errors

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:46 pm
by stephen_usher
Andrew wrote:Another idea would be to temporarily install a 3.5" floppy drive in the Spectrum 128 instead of the 3" drive.
Copy MDV to 3.5" disk -> on PC use Anadisk or Teledisk to create a disk image -> use Spectaculator to copy files from disk image to mdv image (if you are not happy with having the backup on a disk image)
Should be faster than using an audio cable and not so prone to errors


It's a "Toastrack", not an Amstrad abomination. :-)
IMG_1601.jpg

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:20 am
by Martin_Head
Another possible solution.....

Copy the Microdrive files to an audio cassette. Then use one of the programs available on line, to convert the audio cassette into something like a TAP file. And if you ever need to, just convert the TAP file back into an audio cassette.

You could also create a WAV file of the cassette, and just use that to recreate a cassette if needed.

You could even bypass the audio cassette alltogether. By connecting the PC's Line in/out into the Spectrum mic/ear sockets.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:51 pm
by stephen_usher
That's effectively what I'm doing, but it's saving the attributes of the file as well:

https://youtu.be/v6WyxAybOpA

Basically direct Microdrive to virtual Microdrive copy via memory and audio cable.

P.S. I'll want to extract the data files from the virtual Microdrive and manipulate it on other machines, such as creating a modern image file from screen dumps etc.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:54 am
by Martin_Head
What about 'microdrive2image' here http://www.worldofspectrum.org/utilities.html#disk on World of Spectrum.

Mdv2Img is a tool to transfer and recover raw microdrive cartridge image from a 48K ZX Spectrum to PC consisting of two separate binaries. The first one (mdv2img.snp) is transferred via spxfr/IF1 from the PC and installed on the Speccy (autorun BASICS/Machine Code combo). This one generates cartridge images which are transferred via IF1 to a terminal program (Termite etc.) on the PC. The second one (mdv2img.exe) runs on the PC (any x86 platform will do) analyzes raw cartridge images and tries to recover various errors before outputting a standard microdrive image (.mdr format) that Gerton Lunter's WinZ80 Spectrum emulator understands


Does this sound like what you are after.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:20 pm
by stephen_usher
In the end the "copier" program on the IF1 demo Microdrive turned out to be very useful.

I bootstrapped by loading the utility onto an emulated Spectrum (Spectaculator) on the PC, "*move"ing the copier basic program and code to the virtual tape recorder and then playing them into the real Spectrum and loading them. I ran it there, "*move"ing from cassette to Microdrive and replaying the data from the virtual cassette. So I now had the program on Microdrives at each end.

Swapping the cables other so that it was now in the "Mic" port I could set the emulator to load from audio rather than a virtual cassette, put a new virtual Microdrive in the emulator and use the wildcard version of the "*move" command to act as a server. '*MOVE "c";;"" TO "m";1'

Now, on the real Spectrum I load the "*move" software, swap to the cartridge I want to transfer and type: '*MOVE "m";1;"" TO "c"'

The software then catalogues the drive, reads each file into memory and "saves" them to the cassette interface one by one. The "*move" on the virtual Spectrum loads them into memory and saves them to virtual cart one by one.

The only problem is if you have files with bad sectors as the whole process stops at that point and you have to then push them over one by one.

At the end of the transfer of all the files just break out of the command on the emulated Spectrum and start again for the next cartridge.

I managed to copy all my carts, even most of the files on the most poorly of them. So, job done.

Thank-you all for the suggestions anyway, even though I didn't use the ZXNet/QLNet in the end. I'm sure this will be a useful resource for people in the future.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:17 pm
by martyn_hill
Hi Stephen

Wow - you showed great determination!

Your little problem has set me thinking about the whole Spectrum 'fileserver' thing... I've got some ideas that I'll put in to action in a little while.

Until I can crack the NET reliability issue between a BBQL and the Spectrum, any success will rely on a Q68 in place of the QL.

Watch this space (but don't hold your breath!)

M.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:54 pm
by stephen_usher
Well, there was no other way to back-up the data from the Microdrives. With the degree of bit rot over the last few years I'm not sure how much longer MDV carts are going to last.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:31 am
by Chr$
Excellent post. I just happened to discover a piece of Spectrum software the other day on Microdrive cartridge that seems to be MIA. As it was only the one program (in Basic with some code in a REM) I was able to use the *move feature in the copier program (had that on cart too) and save it to "cassette", which was actually Audacity on a netbook. Played the resulting WAV file to a Spectrum emulator and then saved it as TAP/TZX.

Re: QL Net server to back-up Spectrum files?

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:51 am
by vanpeebles
stephen_usher wrote:
Andrew wrote:Another idea would be to temporarily install a 3.5" floppy drive in the Spectrum 128 instead of the 3" drive.
Copy MDV to 3.5" disk -> on PC use Anadisk or Teledisk to create a disk image -> use Spectaculator to copy files from disk image to mdv image (if you are not happy with having the backup on a disk image)
Should be faster than using an audio cable and not so prone to errors


It's a "Toastrack", not an Amstrad abomination. :-)
IMG_1601.jpg


Post of the month right there! :lol: 8-)

What is the machine under the monitor?