Coleco SmartBASIC V1.0

A Coleco ADAM Blog

Digital Archeology


Sometimes I like to look inside of old software, disk / tape images, etc and see what is inside that is not visible when it is run. To do this you need a program that will allow you to view the actual data on the tape or disk.

Using an ADAM or The ADAMem Emulator:

The easiest way to start exploring inside the data is to use File Manager (FM) by AJM Software. When you start FM:

  1. Smart Key (SK) IIĀ  for Media Functions
  2. SK IV for Edit Block
  3. SK I to choose the drive you are using
  4. SK III and then enter in block number 0 to start at the beginning. FYI: Tapes have 256 blocks (0 – 255) and disk drives have 160 blocks (0 – 159)
  5. Press Return

You will now see the actual data. Each block of 1024 bytes is separated into 8 sectors (0 – 7) that hold 128 bytes each. You can move through the sectors using by pressing HOME and the up or down arrows. This is hard to do in the emulator but works easy on the ADAM. To move to a different block Use Control + up or down.

Using the internet and images:

If you want to just use the internet to explore you can using your browser and a website called HexEd.it and an image. It is best that you use a tape image (.DDP) since disk images (.DSK) are interleaved where as tape images are not. Using the website HexEd.it you would upload the tape image and then you can scroll through the data and look for interesting this.

Exploring Super Donkey Kong Junior:

If you open up this tape (or image) and go to block 0 – sector #3 you will see the names of the programmers who created the game.

Super Donkey Kong Jr. File Manager

 

Super Donkey Kong Jr. HexEd.it

Exploring Flash Facts Trivia:

Flash Facts Trivia is a support tape for the Flash Facts program. If you look in it you will also find data in blocks 0. This contains the programmers, designers and even the address of where they worked.

Flash Facts Trivia File Manager

 

Flash Facts Trivia HexEd.it

 

Interestingly if you use Google maps to see where the address 999 Quaker Lane South West Hartford, CT 06110 is you will see this:

Google Street View

 

I am going to assume that the area has been redeveloped since 1984.

There is a lot of other interesting things you can find in old images if you look. Let me know if you try this and find things in the comments.


Categorized as: Digital Archeology



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© William "Milli" Hicks