Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

General No-Intro related discussions.
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Uhimahj1
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Joined: 21 Apr 2020 19:26

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by Uhimahj1 »

Hi!

I noticed No-Intro doesn't have a section for Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes. Would this be useful for anyone? I notice there is a section for Spectrum +3 Disks, but Tapes would be by far the biggest part of the library. It looks like C64 Tapes are included already. There are a few great sites that catalogue Spectrum Tapes, e.g. TZX Vault, World of Spectrum and TOSEC. The former two are based around distribution and exclude any publishers who object. For preservation purposes it would be nice to Dat/Redump everything to No-Intro standards.

Thanks,
Paddy
Hiccup
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Joined: 09 Oct 2015 11:29

Re: Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by Hiccup »

I think its a good idea, if there is no equivalent database on another site.
relax
High Council
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Joined: 27 May 2008 17:52

Re: Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by relax »

On a related topic, the prototype BIOS for Sinclair ZX Spectrum was recently dumped.
http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/ ... Prototype/
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Macarro
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008 18:55

Re: Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by Macarro »

I'm drifting a bit but please also take a look at https://tsx.eslamejor.com/, they took the concept of .tzx tape dumping format and extended it to allow compatibility with MSX tapes.

(Never bothered to read too much technical data for .tzx format so I don't know how accurate it is to store all data contained in a tape but I think I remember it allowed to store data in different formats --e.g. a raw memory dump which shouldn't be considered a proper dumping at all--. That should be an issue to consider when creating a database that only contains proper dumps)

EDIT: There is another problem with .tzx format; it allows meta-data blocks (publisher, year, price...) which can be located at any position in the file. I'm pretty sure there are tools to remove this information but I created my own one a couple of years ago, please let me know if you need it.
imulilla
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Jan 2021 22:20

Re: Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by imulilla »

Hello, I introduce myself, my name is Israel Mula, "imulilla" in social networks. I am from Seville (Spain) and I am part of the MSX to TSX tape preservation group that you mentioned earlier.
I also consider that it is necessary to catalog the tape dumps. In the case of TZX / TSX there is the concept of "Data hash" (both the "Data Hash" and the "File Hash" are given on the web) which is calculated only taking into counts the data blocks, ignoring the informational blocks; Romcenter already has a plugin that returns the "Data Hash".
On the other hand, I would like to suggest that the tapes, diskettes and images of the different editions of the programs be supported in the DAT. I give you an example:

<game name="007 A View to a Kill" isbios="no">
<description>007 A View to a Kill (1986)</description>
<edition name="domark">
<tape name="007 A View to a Kill (1986)(Domark)(en)[!][RUN'CAS-'][v0.8b].tsx" size="70991" filecrc="1e3e137c" datacrc="880cf782" status="good" />
<rom name="A View to a Kill.rom" size="70667" crc="0FB02AB5" md5="5e65bb56200873403b6948b9d8cd5c0d" status="good" />
<img name="A View to a Kill - Full Cover.jpg" size="494207" crc="D0AAAE46" md5="c39a995b4a09e7dc98e373e5580f6515" status="good" />
</edition>
<edition name="erbe">
<tape name="007 A View to a Kill (1986)(ERBE)(en)[!][RUN'CAS-'][v0.8b].tsx" size="70991" filecrc="1e3e137c" datacrc="880cf782" status="good" />
</edition>
</game>
Hiccup
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Re: Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by Hiccup »

I think this data could be added to datomatic, if it was provided. Any additional metadata would also be appreciated.
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Macarro
Posts: 29
Joined: 06 Jun 2008 18:55

Re: Sinclair ZX Spectrum Tapes?

Post by Macarro »

Morning, Imulilla

Although I'm not an expert, I think there is a bit of confusion in that sample .dat content. "<game>" tags were designed to contain multiple ROM files of the same version like in MAME, not different versions of the same game. For the later you can use the "cloneof=" attribute. You can check out that either in MAME .dats or in No-Intro P/C xml files.

On the other hand, I disagree with storing the cover in the same set as the dump. There are many caveats:

1. It's not actually part of the dump.
2. It's no verifiable, different scans of the same source material will produce different hashes.
3. The same game can be released with different covers.

I think that covers and other physical media ideally should be part of a completely different project and they should be related with the hash of the game dumps so you can have one-to-one, multiple-to-one, or one-to-multiple relationships between them.

Regards
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