TOSECdev Forum

TOSEC Project => General Discussion => Topic started by: kafiend on August 04, 2010, 07:07:04 PM

Title: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 04, 2010, 07:07:04 PM
Hi, all,

Is there any chance that a forum post coud be made of systems/dats that are not being maintained at all so that myself and others could volunteer to work on them?

Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: TKaos on August 04, 2010, 09:37:36 PM
If one really want to help he could just work on trying to find correct dates in the Atari ST DATs, there are tons of (19xx) marked files because it seems like the old renamer was too lazy to search for correct dates, it's one of the biggest unmaintained DATs in the project and could really need some nice people to help.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: PandMonium on August 04, 2010, 11:30:36 PM
Hi there,

Like TKaos said, there are several ways people can help out, trying to improve the existent dats or helping one of the currently active maintainers. It also depends on what you want to do: spend some of your time checking existent datfiles to fix errors and add new sets can consume a lot of time and not be the ideal way for you to start. Other options consuming less time could be for spend some hours from time to time launching existent sets to find correct dates, scene groups names and abreviations and other info that is really valuable for us.

Anyway, if you really want a list of dats i could point out the ones with the older versions, there are a couple that are really old, back to 2004 and 2005. Many may be only small systems with few sets and so there is not much to change but i'm sure that a good number of them may use old TNC rules wrong or miss valuable information.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 05, 2010, 07:24:02 PM

I'll have a go at the Atari ST dates as suggested.   I will do a few and show the changes to get some feedback.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 05, 2010, 11:54:43 PM

Basket Manager (1990)(Simulmondo)[cr MCA].st
Basket Manager (1990)(Simulmondo)[cr MCA][a].st
Basket Manager (1990)(Simulmondo)[cr MCA][a2].st
Bill Palmer (1987)(-)(fr)[cr STCS].st
Cap'n'Carnage (1993)(Energize)[cr Awesome].st
Championship Run (1991)(Impulze)[cr Empire].st
Cricket Captain (1989)(D&H Games).st


If this is right let me know about your procedures for making wip dats and uploading them etc.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: TKaos on August 06, 2010, 12:03:31 AM
Looks good so far and seems to be all correct, for WIP DATs you can contact PandMonium, he'll show you where to upload. :)
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: PandMonium on August 06, 2010, 01:15:13 AM
Seems good so far!
Looking at other sets using the same title in our dats (Basket Manager) i could find hits on C64 and Amiga:
Code: [Select]
Basket Manager, The (1990)(Simulmondo)(en-it)[cr F4CG]

Basket Manager, The (1990)(Simulmondo)(en-it)[cr Softwar]
Basket Manager, The (1990)(Simulmondo)(IT)[cr ACC - Defjam - CCS][no cracktro]
Basket Manager, The (1990)(Simulmondo)(IT)[cr PDX]

... knowing nothing about the sets, i guess the game was released for various systems. If that info is indeed correct i guess ", The" could also be missing from the title (if it appears on the atari st sets) and maybe the Italy country flag too. Obviously, other sets information should not be taken as correct because many times it is not (as you just discovered :)). C64 sets have lots of mistakes and Duncan is currently taking care of it (although it is an huge job).

About the procedures, to create wip dats you use any method you find better. If you are careful enough you can make the changes in the dats with some text editor and save it with updated headers and name.
On the other hand i guess most of the renamers prefer to have the sets and rename the zipfiles (and in many sets the romfile inside the zipfile), when you feel you did a good amount of work, just create a datfile using dir2dat function of clrmame for example and upload it.
Your dats will be later checked by someone and included in the current wip ones, waiting to be released some day :P

There are other details or hints that other renamers might give you, that's all from me since i don't rename.

As a final note, if you like you can help in other ways too. Picking the sets you gave, most of the old renamers are not around anymore and i've no idea of what "MCA" represents. According to our info, it might be the abbreviation for a German scene group named "The Magic Cracking Association", or at least that's what happens with Amiga. For STCS i have no idea and so on for the others, you might want to help me out in this too by providing me the information (and a screenshot), just like TKaos and mai do, you can check one topic from mai named Amiga Scene Groups around here. I will give you more details about this part if you want to help with it too. If not, fixing existent sets is already a great contribution :)

Good luck and don't hesitate in contact me.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: TKaos on August 06, 2010, 01:24:36 AM
Well "Simulmondo" seems to be a an Italian publisher so giving the game the flag (IT) would be correct, I gave kafiend a website in PM to check Atari ST images, the same website I use mainly for Atari8bit software, it's a very good site with country codes and everything else that you need to rename all correct, if he really like to work on it we can expect a huge change in Atari ST DATs. ;)
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 06, 2010, 06:34:06 PM
MCA is The Menacing Cracking Alliance - a child/split group of Elite
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: PandMonium on August 06, 2010, 06:37:20 PM
Great :D
I'm leaving now but hope i can add that in the weekend, if not i'll be back on monday. Keep up the good work :)
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 06, 2010, 09:50:07 PM
Heres a list of ST scene crews from - I made a doc of it just in case the site vanishes.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: PandMonium on August 10, 2010, 12:20:19 AM
Thanks again, i didn't know the link and it is useful indeed. Nonetheless, it helps but does not solve all our problems :P
This all started with Amiga groups, to discover what so many abbreviations meant (like "MCA"), over the years renamers used abbreviations that were not used by the groups, created some new ones or used the same one to different groups. We wanted to catalog and use only the ones that were shown by the groups ingame, like your images for MCA.

The same idea was extended to other flags content in order to improve our information, getting a picture, information and so on that confirms groups, sceners and all that :P

Enough talk, i used your link to check some groups but i still have lots of questions, for A:

I still miss pictures for most, like 007, 42-Crew, and all

Some fast unformated list of groups/sceners/errors that show on Atari ST, groups used in these sets (the ones starting with A) can not be find on that site :P
Code: [Select]
Atari ST - Games - [ST]
Leavin' Teramis (1990)(Thalion)[cr 16-bit Crew]
Rocket Ranger (1989)(Cinemaware)[cr 16-bit Crew]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]
221B Baker Street (1987)(Datasoft)[cr A-HA]
Time Runner (1988)(Red Rat Software)[cr A-HA]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]
Crash Garrett (1987)(ERE)(fr)[cr A.C.B.S.][one disk]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]
International Ninja Rabbits (19xx)(Micro Value)[cr Cynix][h Absu]

Ace = scener - The Ace ??!&GroupID=&GroupName= ?
Atari ST - Games - [ST]
Space Quest - The Serien Encounter v1.1a (1986)(Sierra)[cr Ace]

confirm: ACF = abbreviation =
Atari ST - Games - [ST]
Action Service (1988)(Cobra Soft)[cr ACF]
Kid Gloves (19xx)(Millennium)[cr ACF][t]
North Sea Inferno, The (19xx)(Magic Bytes)[cr ACF]

Atari ST - Demos - [ST]:
Mathematica (1992)(Aura)[m Aeon]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]
Star Trap (1988)(Loriciel)(fr)[cr Aldo][one disk]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Armour-Geddon (1991)(Psygnosis)[cr Alien][t][one disk]
Ghouls 'n' Ghosts (1988)(U.S. Gold)[cr Alien][t +2][one disk]
Hero Quest Extension Pack - Court of the Witchlord (19xx)(Gremlin)(M5)[cr Alien]
Mr. Heli (1987)(Irem)[cr Alien][t +2]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
No Buddies Land (1991)(Expose)[cr Alone Cracker] is the same as C64 and Amiga alpha flight?

Atari ST - Applications - [ST]:
Aladin v1.3 (1987-05-31)(ProficomP)(de)[cr Alyssa]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Duck Tales - The Quest for Gold (1990)(Disney Software)(en-fr)[cr Empire][m A.C.S.][t]

Angels of Darkness or "Angel of Darkness"? Abreviation = AOD?
Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Gunship (1987)(MicroProse)[cr Angels of Darkness][one disk]
Power Struggle (19xx)(-)(de)[cr AOD]
Tetris (1987)(MirrorSoft)[cr AOD]

Animal Mine picture - lots of demos, 4 cracks

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Arkanoid (1987)(Imagine)[cr Anit-Satanist]
Typo? Anti-Satanist?

Atari ST - Applications - [ST]:
STraight Fax v2.10 (1993)(NewSTar Technology)[cr Anti-IAAD Group]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Troubadours (1988)(Lankhor)(fr)[cr Arcadian]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Wild Streets (1990)(Titus)[cr Arnaud]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Borrowed Time (1986)(Interplay)[cr Arthur Dent]
Space Quest - The Sarien Encounter v1.1a (1986)(Sierra)[cr Arthur Dent][m Blue Soft]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Planet of Lust (19xx)(Free Spirit Software)[cr Artis of Nasty]

Atari ST - Educational - [ST]:
Petit Lecteur, Le (19xx)(Carraz Editions)(fr)[cr Atari Legend - MJJ-Prod]
Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Scoop Junior (19xx)(Generation 5)(fr)[cr Atari Legend - MJJ-Prod]

Atari ST - Applications - [ST]:
Atari Works v1.207 (1993-07-22)(STP Electronics Ltd.)(fr)[h AtariCD][needs GDOS]
Fastcopy III (1990-01-13)(Backschat, Martin)(FW)[m AtariCD]
Loader Construction Kit v1.93F (1993-07-05)(Pixel Boys)(fr)[m AtariCD]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
1943 (1987)(Probe Software)[cr Replicants][m Atariforce]
20000 Lieues Sous Les Mers (1988)(Coktel Vision)(fr)[m Atariforce]
Advanced Rugby Simulator (1988)(Codemasters)[cr X-Factor][m Atariforce]
Asterix (1987)(Coktel Vision)(es)[m Atariforce]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Great Giana Sisters, The (1988)(Time Warp)[cr Atariking][50-60 hz]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Ange de Cristal, L' - Get Dexter 2 (1988)(ERE)(M4)[cr Atarilegend]
Antago (1990)(Art of Dreams)[cr Atarilegend]
Batman - The Movie (1989)(Ocean)[cr Atarilegend][t]

Atari ST - Compilations - Games - [ST]:
Macadam Bumper (1986)(ERE)(M4)[cr ATOR] & Psion Chess (1986)(Psion)(M6)

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Cap'n'Carnage (19xx)(Energize)[cr Awesome]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
BMX Simulator (1988)(ECS Distribution)[cr Axel Follet]
Buggy Boy (1988)(Elite)[cr Axel Follet][no title screen]
Eco (1987)(Ocean)[cr Axel Follet]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Mad Show (19xx)(Silmarils)(fr)[cr Axxess]

Atari ST - Games - [ST]:
Technoball 2 (1991)(TLK Games)[cr Sunset - Ayoros]
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 10, 2010, 07:48:45 PM
Taking just one of those titles (2 versions same game) that had previously caught my eye and which had raised questions I wanted clarification on.

Mad Show (19xx)(Silmarils)(fr)[cr Axxess]

Its unstated if he cracked it personally, the name Bladerunners is on the trashcan.  Is that an insult? or an indicator of membership?
I did have a quick look at the amiga dats and theres a few in there from Axxess - maybe the same group.

However, in the naming convention its not really clear what flag should be used for "spread" - take note of the screenies  - is it p for pirated by? or is there something else that covers distributed by?

The second version of mad show Mad Show

(19xx)(Silmarils)(fr)[cr Bladerunners]

The crack is by MCA see screenie, though Bladerunners "present" it.

Note: MCA and Bladerunners were both part of Elite

The same point comes up tho.  is it [cr MCA p Bladerunners] ??

Also both contain (fr), the game was released in France and I have been switching (fr) for (FR) where I know what country a game was released in on the basis that Country trumps language. This is correct?

currently these images are named

Mad Show (1988)(Silmarils)(FR)[cr Axxess]
Mad Show (1988)(Silmarils)(FR)[cr MCA]

Until i get clarification on extra flags for games "spread by" etc.

 Anyway, until now I was focused on removing (19xx) from games and tidying up the names as I went through those.  From your comments on list of groups I guess you want me provide you screenies of all the groups and clarification of abbreviation as I work through the dats in more detail?

Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: PandMonium on August 10, 2010, 09:07:08 PM
Good post,
I don't want to force you to work on something you don't like. You should find what you like most (or is less boring :P), if you find it easy to provide infos about groups while doing your renaming, great!
About your question, there is no flag for spread and i don't know what renamers use to do. There are already a lot of flags and you can use more than one group (eg [cr Group1 - Group2]) or leave that info out. Maybe other renamers can give you some hints on what they do in those cases.

IMHO, (an inexperienced opinion), one of the reasons for not having a "spread" flag is that, most of the times that info is not something that identifies the image itself (i guess). Many times sets were hacked and the name of the other group appears ingame saying "spread by", so i suppose an [h], [m], or other flag might be used. On the other hand, me and you could both pick a set hacked by TBT for example and spread it on 2 different places/zones (some PT community for me and other for you). In these cases, the set was spread by both of us but it was exactly the same, just with an extra nfo added for instance, the set hashs would collide and the spread information would be something related with the release/distribution and not the setfile/romfile itself. Is this possible? :P

Just my 2 cents

Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: kafiend on August 10, 2010, 10:41:58 PM
I think little is boring as far as TOSEC is concerned.  

In fact I think that TOSEC as an "IDEA" can only gain plaudits as time rolls on because its intention is just the preservation of snapshotting a largely unregulated and undocumented segment of computing history.  

It's implementation as far as making sure the information provided in the file name says "ALL" that can be said about the actual file will always be problematic but still worthy of the attempt.

So don't worry about asking me to do stuff I might not like.  It's stuff that I am interested in and I like people to come up with questions I might not have thought of and also projects that should be done.

For a newcomer like myself, TOSEC has been going for years so new people like myself are joining a "conversation" in the middle. :P  It enables us newcomers to help you better when we can enter into dialogue like this :)


I temporarily seperated the files in the ST and STX game dirs with a quick search for (19xx) and have almost finished what I would call a cursory look at fixing dates and other resulting stuff as It came up.  Now my interest is raised (curse you tosec!) I want to look at the whole Atari ST dats and work through them.

If theres specific tasks that you want me to do while looking at the files ie. documenting the groups via screenshots then just tell me to do it and let me know where to upload the resultant files.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: TKaos on August 11, 2010, 01:56:59 AM
Yes there's nothing like a "spread" flag, the only flag I ever used if I didn't know if it was cracked because someone just wrote his name there was [h] and I think it's enough, no need to add more flags eventhought I have some ideas for new flags.
Title: Re: Helping us help you
Post by: PandMonium on August 11, 2010, 05:06:31 PM
I guess we should have a couple more documents and guides on our faqs to help new members to contribute, renaming, checking and improving existent dats.

Trying to give a brief introduction:
As you known, TOSEC is a project with 10 years now, with the purpose of creating databases to correctly identify software images, creating what you called a nice history of past systems. To achieve this, over the years dats were created using a naming convention (TNC) to store the information on the setnames.
Due to several reasons, the correctness of these dats was always far from perfect, greatly varying between different systems. Whether it was due to TNC changes that were not updated in various dats, renamers not following all rules, lack of ways to check if those rules were being followed, renamers that focused on adding new media and so on, the result is what we have now. It is a great project but still there is much space for improvement. TNC rules are now +- enforced, at least we can detect when something is broken and most of these cases are fixed. The remaining problems are all related with the content of the flags.

As said, long ago, many sets were added with very little info, making it possible to add tons of sets, using only 19xx and no publisher name, or leaving out all other flags even it there was enough information to fill them. As you already verified, with a few more checks it is possible to find the dates, publisher names or to add countries and other information.

Currently this is our main goal (or at least mine :P). To improve our dats increasing information for each set, some systems are already really complete but many smaller or not updated for long are not. To do this i try to provide info and tools, complementing the dats information with some extra info that can't be stored there. That is why i asked for information about groups, sceners, persons and publishers and so on. Knowing what is valid and invalid will help us fix it now and in the future but also provides valuable extra info.

Currently we focus more on scene groups and sceners, publisher lists are way bigger unfortunately.
If you like you can keep working on it while you're renaming and i will provide you extra information you might find useful. Currently, on Atari ST - Games - [ST] from the last release, 317 different scene groups were used. For all other Atari ST dats the total used is 382, of which 9 are invalid and need to be fixed, 12 are valid and i miss information for all others.

Continuing on Atari ST - Games - [ST], some infos:
Code: [Select]
Sets: 4948
ZZZ-UNK: 49 (1,0 %)
Unk Year: 237 (4,8 %)
File Types: 2 (maybe there are some sets using .ST and others .st, was expecting only 1 here)
Language flags: 749
Dif Languages: 7
Country flags: 0
Alternate: 1080 (22,0 %)
Alt Desc.: 3
Bad Dumps: 294 (6,0 %)
Bad Desc.: 1

It would be better if all ZZZ-UNK sets were properly renamed, all years were discovered (if available, with month and day). Maybe many of the language flags should be instead country flags. Also, as usual there is an high number of alternates and bad dumps, it would be good to have a descriptor if possible instead of just [a2] [a3] ... [a200] but i know this part is harder, unfortunately for some systems the alts were just changed by emulators that alter the rom content or by someone just to increase the number of 'garbage' floating around.

Anyway, feel free to help us and make part of the project too :)