Should we start a software archiving project?

Started by gctwnl, May 30, 2010, 01:47:18 pm

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gctwnl

I have all this software for NeXT, mostly on floppies. When checking one of these i had in my collection (Pages 1.5.1), the first disk I tried to read had CRC errors. Not so strange, the floppies are old. So, I am planning to save as much as I can as soon as I can.

But that triggerred me. Before all this data is lost, should we not start an archive project for all the disk images we can recover? Basically, that means that people start using dd to image their floppies and CD's and we store them somewhere on the net.

If people are willing to image their floppies and send them to me, I can put them on a server somewhere. CD images would need to be made available for downloading.
NeXT Collection pictures: http://bit.ly/wdltRI

kb7sqi

Quote from: "gctwnl"I have all this software for NeXT, mostly on floppies. When checking one of these i had in my collection (Pages 1.5.1), the first disk I tried to read had CRC errors. Not so strange, the floppies are old. So, I am planning to save as much as I can as soon as I can.

But that triggerred me. Before all this data is lost, should we not start an archive project for all the disk images we can recover? Basically, that means that people start using dd to image their floppies and CD's and we store them somewhere on the net.

If people are willing to image their floppies and send them to me, I can put them on a server somewhere. CD images would need to be made available for downloading.


It's been a while since I've had time to do much w/ my NeXT these days, but I did recently start powering things back on.   Bad thing is I haven't had time to revive the failed drive in my Sparc 5 which I was using for my web server.  Luckily most things were backed up.  :wink:   Anyway, as far as archiving software, it'd be great to see someone else take on this project.  For the longest time, I let everyone use my sftp server to uploaded/download stuff.  But it got to the point, that everyone one was constantly downloading, but no one took the time to post a mirror, etc.  Anyway, if you'd like access to everything I have on my sftp server, I'd be happy to give access to one or two people ONLY.  I'm not re-opening the sftp server for everyone.  Sorry folks.  I don't have time/bandwidth for everyone anymore.   Please drop me a pm.  I'd like to chat w/ you sometime about some of the software you have.   Thanks.  Take care.

Steve

tomaz

I have been slowly archiving the CDs and floppies I have. I've also been trying to acquire a working MO drive to do the same with my magneto-optical disks containing pre-3.0 versions of NeXTstep (attempting to recovering multiple copies of ODs so as to recover the original content in case some MOs were overwritten, degraded or used with the write-protect tab off).

As much stuff is still copyright, I'm not sure this can be put on a public ftp server, but MD5 checksums can be. This way, if several of us are attempting to do the same, we can compare our MD5 sums to ensure our media scans were correct. I attach the link to my MD5 sums below (I have not yet had the time to scan all my software titles in, so some are not included there).

NB not only floppies but CDs also degrade (I'm not sure if this is due to scratches which could be repaired or for another reason). For archival purposes, I always read every CD several (>=5) times and compare the multiple reads - often, the reads do not agree, indicating a problem with the media.

In my archive, I have scanned both the /dev/disk<n> and /dev/disk<n>s0 partitions on a Mac OS X machine. The iso image is in the s0 partition; I never investigated the format of the larger (full) partition. I would be interested to hear what information it contains if anyone has looked into this.

If you see any media not on my list which you have and which is still readable, I would most likely be interested in acquiring it from you, and will pay a decent price for it, for the purpose of scanning it and adding it to the archive.

My archive is redundantly stored, on a server in an air-conditioned UPSed clean room, together with MD5 checksums and all the redundant stores are periodically checked to see files still match the MD5 checksums and any files which do not are restored from redundant copies.

I would be happy to make the scans publicly available once the relevant copyrights expire (or if someone is willing and able to obtain the necessary consent of the copyright owners).

http://www.tomaz.name/next/DiskMD5sums.rtf

gctwnl

It is often very hard to find the people who own this stuff, much of it is more or less abandoned. I contacted Andrew Stone from Stone Design and he is willing to provide licenses for free even. But finding people is one, getting permission is neigh impossible. You end up in the legal departments of large companies like Oracle (for the Lighthouse stuff Sun bought) and Apple (for all NeXT stuff), etc.. For these people, it is by far the most cost-effective to say no and be done with it.

I published (formally illegally) the NeXT Hardware Diagnostic Tools in 1998. At that time, given that situation, I turned it around. I made it the most cost-effective for such departments to condone it. I explained it in the following document.

ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/comp/next/DIAG/NeXT-HW-Utilities-README.rtf

I assume they are OK with it as they will not get any damage from this (it is not still being sold, etc.) and I make it cost effective for them to condone it.

Nobody ever complained in 12 years time.

I still think that, while not formally correct, it is a decent and pragmatic way in these cases for which copyright is a hindrance more than something that copyright holders will want to enforce or spend time on.
NeXT Collection pictures: http://bit.ly/wdltRI

balrog

I'm willing to help any time. I have a bunch of my own software (and TONS of documentation), much of the software on optical disks and floppies, and paper documentation. I'm slowly scanning the docs and trying to dump the disks but my optical drive is broken. Oh well.

I'm willing to help out with any efforts to archive software and documentation. Drop a PM anytime.

Thomas

I found a CD (Neue Horizonte) in my stack that I got in 1997 from DART Software.
It was released shortly after the merger.
The CD contains a load of software for NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP from the following companies:

- Black&White (NXFaxInstaller)
- Cube (2D CAD, office software, a DOS & MAC to NeXT font converter and a Tiff to EPS converter)
- DART (office, database & web applications)
- FirstClass
- IPC (JetPilot, ScanOmatic and a bunch of other several free)
- iXpoint (QMS printer driver for TCP/IP networks)
- Lighthouse (I suppose everyone here knows them and their software)
- Systemix (SafetyNet)
- vhf (mostly electronics related CAD/CAM programs one of them a PCB layout application)

Several of these companies are from Germany and some might be less known in the US.
Unfortunately many apps will only fully work with a license code and those may be hard to come by these days.
But there is also a bunch of other useful free software.

If someone has a FTP site where I can upload it ... (size of ISO file is 570.2 MB)
NeXTcube with NeXTdimension - OPENSTEP 4.2
NeXTstation TurboColor - NeXTSTEP 3.3
NeXTstation mono

cchaven

Quote from: "tomaz"I have been slowly archiving the CDs and floppies I have. I've also been trying to acquire a working MO drive to do the same with my magneto-optical disks containing pre-3.0 versions of NeXTstep (attempting to recovering multiple copies of ODs so as to recover the original content in case some MOs were overwritten, degraded or used with the write-protect tab off).


A few years ago I was trying to do this same thing, making copies of the original NS MO distribution disks to a Pinnacle Micro MO drive.  I still have all the disks, though I'm not sure of the current state of any of my NeXT MO drives.  I do know that on some of the very early versions of NS I had issues with the copies not wanting to boot.  I don't recall the versions right off hand, but there were some 0.8, 0.9 and 1.0 MO disks involved.  I could always dig out the Pinnacle and an OS X based Mac with SCSI and make DD images of the copied ODs.
NeXT Cube, \'040/25, MO, 2.88 floppy, 1GB HD, NeXTDimension with 32MB, NS 3.3, N4001 17" Megapixel monitor, N4000A mono monitor, NeXT N3010 CD-ROM

Rob Blessin Black Hole

Quote from: "Thomas"I found a CD (Neue Horizonte) in my stack that I got in 1997 from DART Software.
It was released shortly after the merger.
The CD contains a load of software for NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP from the following companies:

- Black&White (NXFaxInstaller)
- Cube (2D CAD, office software, a DOS & MAC to NeXT font converter and a Tiff to EPS converter)
- DART (office, database & web applications)
- FirstClass
- IPC (JetPilot, ScanOmatic and a bunch of other several free)
- iXpoint (QMS printer driver for TCP/IP networks)
- Lighthouse (I suppose everyone here knows them and their software)
- Systemix (SafetyNet)
- vhf (mostly electronics related CAD/CAM programs one of them a PCB layout application)

Several of these companies are from Germany and some might be less known in the US.
Unfortunately many apps will only fully work with a license code and those may be hard to come by these days.
But there is also a bunch of other useful free software.

If someone has a FTP site where I can upload it ... (size of ISO file is 570.2 MB)
Hello Thomas: If you are still there , I would be able to ftp this cd to our archive site! Best regards Rob
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93