We Need You! (April 23, 2008)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Howdy folks,
I bought a new deck for transferring VHSes to DVDes for the EA mission (two boxes contained VHSes) and I've spent Saturday playing with it. W e now have as-high-quality-as-possible transfers of:

* Wing Commander Academy, 13 Episodes
* Savage Dragon, Episode "Endgame"
* Wing Commander Movie EPK
* Wing Commander IV German Raw Footage - Reel 7
* Wing Commander Movie Rough Cut (4/7/98)
* Wing Commander Movie Rough Cut (7/11/98)

I'm going to spend tonight transferring the rough cuts a few more times, since I have to send those two tapes back to their donor. Jetlag recommended doing several passes.

The WCAs look amazing - much nicer than the DivXes. I'm glad I bought nice tapes all those years ago!
 

Blaster

Rear Admiral
Does this mean we’ll be able to download higher quality versions of the WCA episodes from the CIC soon?
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Data recovery costs either per megabyte or per medium. You might opt to restore not the files, because you couldn't read them, but all te raw data blocks. 0's and 1's.

The tapes, if well-preserved, should all still be capable of allowing you to produce the data stored on them, but this depends on how many times they have been used.

You might try your first five hits on google that turn up on data recovery, most of them have a no-cure-no-pay procedure.... meaning you'd only pay shipping costs if they can not solve your problem.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
The Syquest was put in the mail yesterday! Hopefully it arrives intact (I put a shitload of bubblewrap around the thing but that was the largest box we had at work that wasn't obscenely too big).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The Syquest was put in the mail yesterday! Hopefully it arrives intact (I put a shitload of bubblewrap around the thing but that was the largest box we had at work that wasn't obscenely too big).

You mean you found something at work that *wasn't* obscene :)?
 

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral
mythic004t.jpg

WHOA! If you have that many boxes, at least one of them could contain backed-up source code!! :eek:
 
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Mr.Smiley4

Spaceman
Oh, 9 Track? Sorry to say, but you are so fucked. If NASA is having problems finding the right 9 Track drives for their backed up data, you're going to have lots of problems finding the ones you need.

I actually have a SyQuest drive, but it's the 88mb variant (SQ5110). According to Wikipedia though, it's SQ5200C compatible (200 MB). Do you need any more? Because I have don't have any more tapes for it, and it's been sitting in my basement for years.

EDIT: BTW, my brother made a Linux program last year specifically for backing up 3.5" floppy diskettes. It does matter how big they were originally formatted, they just need to be IBM formatted. He might be able to change it depending on how the diskettes were formatted, but I don't know for sure.

Also, for backing up VHS tapes, you might also want to try different VCRs. Each VCR is different, and therefore will have different up and downs. Just make sure the VCRs you use are Hi-Fi Stereo too. Try to also limit the passes you do, because VHS tapes loose a little quality every time you play them. Also, how are you transferring them to DVD? Are you using a DVD recorder or something? Please explain so we can help you if you're doing something wrong by accident.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I actually have a SyQuest drive, but it's the 88mb variant (SQ5110). According to Wikipedia though, it's SQ5200C compatible (200 MB). Do you need any more? Because I have don't have any more tapes for it, and it's been sitting in my basement for years.

You may want to keep it handy in case the drive I sent doesn't work out. I sent the 44 mb model (which also can read 88 and 200 MB carts). LOAF should have mine by the end of the week but I don't know if he can test it until later on.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Oh, 9 Track? Sorry to say, but you are so fucked. If NASA is having problems finding the right 9 Track drives for their backed up data, you're going to have lots of problems finding the ones you need.

Ahhh -- but I've got a $600 tax credit, so I have a bigger government budget than NASA. :) No, I really wasn't holding in to much hope of reading the 9-tracks -- there are only two of them and they aren't labeled... so they're both the hardest to get at and the type of media with the lowest priority.

I actually have a SyQuest drive, but it's the 88mb variant (SQ5110). According to Wikipedia though, it's SQ5200C compatible (200 MB). Do you need any more? Because I have don't have any more tapes for it, and it's been sitting in my basement for years.

Hey, yeah -- it can't hurt! Any equipment people loan us will be sent back as soon as the project is over. I saw 44MB, 88MB and 200MB disks while I was there.

EDIT: BTW, my brother made a Linux program last year specifically for backing up 3.5" floppy diskettes. It does matter how big they were originally formatted, they just need to be IBM formatted. He might be able to change it depending on how the diskettes were formatted, but I don't know for sure.

That might not help here... I've been talking to the guys who ran Origin's Creative Services department and they say that the SyQuest drives are most likely Mac formatted. We've dug up a PowerMac 7300 for them, though!

Also, for backing up VHS tapes, you might also want to try different VCRs. Each VCR is different, and therefore will have different up and downs. Just make sure the VCRs you use are Hi-Fi Stereo too. Try to also limit the passes you do, because VHS tapes loose a little quality every time you play them. Also, how are you transferring them to DVD? Are you using a DVD recorder or something? Please explain so we can help you if you're doing something wrong by accident.

Great, I'm flying blind with most of this stuff :) We currently have two methods for transferring tapes -- one is to use a Canopus ADVC-300 analog/digital converter to connect a VCR (Hi-fi, 4 head, S-Video out) to a Firewire input. The other quicker option (which I've used with good results recently) is one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015ADR1I -- record the video to a dual-layer disc with the highest quality setting and then rip the DVD later. Obviously we'd like to do things in as close to best quality as possible, but we're also looking at four working days total to access the material at all. If there are fifty VHS tapes, we have to do some planning for speed (most are *probably* short interviews - some will be raw game footage).
 

Mr.Smiley4

Spaceman
It's all good in the hood so far then. Also, about the SyQuest drives: Do you have the software for them? Cause I don't have mine. See: my dad bought it at a garage sale years back, and we most likely threw the software away for ours since my mom made us dump all of our old computer equipment back in 2001. All we had left was a big box of 3.5" floppies we backed up and threw out last year, and I don't think the driver software was on any of them.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I was able to locate some of the drivers a week or two ago. Although I have no idea what I did with the links. Syquest was back online up until 2003 it looks like. There are some "generic" drivers that I found that I think will work with the models we've got. Otherwise we'll have to hit up a lot of classic mac forums and hopefully find a donor.

EDIT: I FINALLY have internet at my new house. Moving can be such an awful, awful thing.
 

Lofwyr

Spaceman
For the sysquest Drive:
it depends on the interface, but no driver needed:
- if SCSI, find some cheap PCI-Card and a cable (don't forget the terminator), it will be recognized as "removable media", no matter if it's format is readable (using Linux will give you far more options than plain old Windows ;)
- if IDE, same but with other cable - here it may be recognized as "fixed disk media"

The 9-track is a bit tricky, but the tapes NASA is having problems with, are much older - 9-track was used for over 20 years to exchange data in commerce, it stopped, as far as I know, 8 years ago, or even less.

So, the raw data should be readable, the logic format OTOH...

Best to read all those media on an operating system, that doesn't mess with the data (unix, linux, ...) - but never with windows.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Yes, the package is here, thank you very much. I haven't even opened it yet, though, I've been exceptionally busy this week (hence the lack of CZ posts).
 

Darkmage

Vice Admiral
linux for filesystems

take a linux machine in anyway. One thing I've noticed linux is ridiculously good at is reading data from almost anywhere, especially old obscure formats. I don't know whether or not older linux would be more or less helpful with it but I've found a ton of file systems supported under linux including amiga disks, apple formats both new and old, ibm mainframe filesystems and even the 3do opera disk filesystem. Another tool in the belt is always a good thing.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Howdy gang,
We've just heard some news: it sounds like this is going to happen at the end of June or in the first week of July. Hurray!
 
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