Welcome to the Tape Preservation mine!
Tapes was one of the first real portable media that made life more easy when it came to transfer expensive data. Tapes were not only used to capture Computer Games, it was a broad Media for much more and affordable to home users, aswell. However tapes won't last forever, due the Data is slowly getting weaker and weaker due the magnetic fields are getting less and less powered. This is why it's so important to preserve tapes now and do it properly! Because sometimes you might just have a few tries before the actual tape is getting destroyed.My Tape or shall I say "Turbo Tapes" era was pretty short, due the fact I was quick to get a Floppy Drive to my C-64, most because I had a VIC-20 and yep got the VC1541, Printer etc. Was very lucky to know some technicians who "leant" me the Floppy Drive and Printer and yes they never wanted it back(Yes I did ask!). Anyhow this was very nice but as most of my friends couldn't afford a Floppy Drive, I was stuck to tapes too. To be able to "Swap Tapes". I had tons of Tapes laying around but somehow I always managed to save the content to Floppies before I got rid of the existing Data or well put new games onto the Tapes for "further use". Very soon I also started to realize the complexity of Tapes. It wasn't always too easy to just "Load and Save". Nope sometimes you had to align the tapehead to get things to work. Most of my friends didn't know how to do this 100%. They more or less went the random way and just made things worse! I wanted to know how to do this better and save time. I read some articles and documentations how the Tape (C2N) Device worked and if there was a way to Sample the Data from the Tape. I spent some days and was able to write a tool called, "Listen To Tape". It was very simple. It took the Data Signal from the tape and stored it in the SID register. That way you could head the actual Data Signal from the Tape. I also made the screen flicker ($D020), to get some visual effects as well. The latter version I also could plot the Signal to the VIC and get visual lines. Now, this is a bit annoying when speaking of "Preservation", because "years" later I really wish I had that program but somehow I can't find it. But yes, I know it's still there on ONE of them many floppies I still have!
Games and Loaders
One of the first things about Tapes that really caught me was the Loading Music and Loading Picture. That was both stunning and beautiful, most of the times. Somehow it was one of the reasons for me to buy original games, to get the it all. How many times didn't we stop the Tape to sit down and listen to the "Green Beret Loading Music", well I did that loads of time or, "Rambo Loader". Then the jawdrop came when System 3 released. "The Last Ninja". That was it! No matter how fast it was cracked and all that jazz. To own the original was something special. When the screen started to change colors(part of Cyberload) and when the snake-ish square pattern thing flashed, the scroll text and yeah the music. Oh, that was it, that was totally it! and Yes it was also here my interests in Tape Loaders started to make ground. Out of the blue, Turbo Tapes filled with games started to drift away a bit. The realization to what was behind a Game and get the Original Tape, was a bit more now. The journey to get more Original Games got me really good. and I started to see and hear some Games loaded differently than other games. Some had special colors, some had a specific sound(Novaload). While some just flashed the screen in a cool way(Flashload). It started to make sense that different Software Developer used their own Loading Systems! How cool wasn't this. Now the games took another dimension and the carving began to dig out how a loader worked and why the sound from Tape did sound different from Loader to Loader. The mysterium grew on me really heavy! At this point my knowledge wasn't at any chance at that level. It was a big confusion. and It wasn't just "Save Tape To Floppy Disk". Well it was possible, but no way to reload it from Floppy. Stranded in frustrations my mind did not give up and the urge to crack the door just got bigger. I did some test and tries on my own to "Freeze and Save" games, in different stages. To disassemble the states and see what was going on. Most of the times it just made my brain even more confused than it already was, but it did not stop me! By manipulate the source code, different things occurred and what happened was I just enabled different triggers and traps that made the Game not working or behave odd. Those results were incredible fun to watch and pick apart. There was something about it that just made me want to know more. Some years later I decided to make videos about Loaders. I hooked up my C-64 and began to capture different Loaders, from my own Original Tapes. This felt somehow to go back to the abandoned mine, pick up where I left and try to complete the task I wasn't able to finish!
Preserve for the Future Generation
With all this in the backpack I both want to complete my own tasks but also save the legacy to the next generation before it's too late!
TRUE Tape PRESERVATION and FINE Data ARCHAOLOGIE!