CopyMate, MyCopyR, U.S.Copy / utilities / public domain

From: Michael Current (aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/21/91-03:49:14 PM Z

From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Subject: CopyMate, MyCopyR, U.S.Copy / utilities / public domain
Date: Thu Nov 21 15:49:14 1991

Reprinted from Current Notes, Vol. 11, No. 7, September 1991

CopyMate, MyCopyR, and U.S.Copy

A Survey of 8-Bit Disk Copiers

By Ken Wickert

     As the 8-bit VP for my usergroup (ACE of Syracuse), I copy quite a few
disks, so I look for the fastest way to do it with the highest reproduction
accuracy.  The problems I've encountered are mostly with the Atari "enhanced
density," the default density format with DOS 2.5 on a 1050 drive.  Atari
called it "dual density," the term I'll use in this article.
Disk Densities
     Single density disks format as 40 tracks of 18 sectors each with 128 bytes
per sector for a total of 720 sectors (40x18) and over 90 kilobytes (720x128)
on one side of the disk (see table).  Dual density disks format as 40 tracks of
26 sectors with 128 bytes per sector for a total of 1,040 sectors and 130
kilobytes.  Double density disks format as 40 tracks of 18 sectors each with
256 bytes per sector for a total of 720 sectors and 180 kilobytes.  (True
double density on a 1050 requires a hardware upgrade, such as ICD's U/S
                                     Total   Bytes/    Total
Disk Format    Tracks    Sectors   Sectors   Sector    Bytes
Single Density     40         18       720      128   92,160
Dual Density       40         26      1040      128  133,120
Double Density     40         18       720      256  184,320

     Many disks I receive are in dual density format.  I use it myself, and as
I've not encountered any problems except for copying, I continue to use it.  I
seldom use true double density because not every 8-bit owner has an upgraded
drive that can handle it, thus limiting the number of people with whom I can
share programs or data.  So, if you have a disk you want to copy and share with
a friend--great!  that's what PD is all about!--you'll probably want to look
for a sector copy utility to do the job.  Plain old DOS just takes too long.
     Now the fun begins.  You might just assume you'll get an exact copy using
any sector copier.  Surprise--you might not!  I've made this error several
times.  If you use _CopyMate 4.3_ or 4.4_, you may not notice it misses the
middle of the road density completely.  If you don't know you have a dual
density disk, you'll have a copy of the disk, but only up to the 720 sectors
formatted in single density.  (Remember, there are 1,040 sectors on a dual
density disk.)  If the source disk isn't quite full, your copy probably
contains all that was on the original.  However, if the source disk was
completely full, your copy will be incomplete.  You might not even realize it
until you try to boot up the copy, only to discover executable files or
valuable data are missing.
     _MyCopyR_ is a good sector copier and will sense proper density of single,
dual, and double density disks.  Most of the time, anyway.  The exception is
when it's used on an Atari XF551, where it most always senses Single.  Why? 
Well, I wrote to the author of _MyCopyR_, Glenn Smith, and the letter was
returned unopened and unable to forward.  Then I tried to leave him E-mail on
CompuServe, only to be notified he no longer subscribes.  Probably the hope of
an upgrade or update is gone.  _MyCopyR_ properly senses density on a stock
1050 drive and on the Indus GT drive.  (Note: the Indus GT drive won't write in
dual density.)
     Ed Hall, an erstwhile Canadian 8-bitter up in the Northwest Territories,
claims he discovered quite by accident that _MyCopyR 2.1_ will correctly sense
dual density on an XF551 if you use the following procedure.  Press [START] to
initiate copying; as soon as a few sectors hae been read, abort by pressing
[OPTION].  Then press [START] again, and this time _MyCopyR_ will get it right. 
You'll see the disk is being read in dual density.  Not very elegant, but it
works.  Of course, you have to know ahead of time that your source disk is
formatted in dual density.
     I would like to use _MyCopyR_ as my permanant copy program because it
gives me the option to get a disk directory before and after use.  This is
important when doing a lot of copying as you can lose track of your work.  The
directory makes it easy to check your place.  Without this feature, you have to
back out of the copy program and go to DOS to get the directory.  The _MyCopyR_
DOC file states it will work with a memory-upgraded machine.  However, it
requires two passes using dual density, so I recommend using two drives since
disk swaps are required when you have only one drive.
     _U.S.Copy_ by E. Reuss is by far my favorite copying program, despite the
fact that you can't check the directory of a disk.  Key features are that it
works properly with my RAMBO upgrade and shows the RAM available on screen.  It
doesn't always sense dual density on the XF551 drive, but it does on the Atari
1050 and Indus GT drives.  You really only need one drive.  _U.S.Copy_ only
needs to read the source disk once and is the best for making multiple copies
of dual density disks with an extended memory machine or a 130XE using single

     The above copy programs are stock items in the catalogs of many 8-bit PD
and shareware distributors who service our "Twilight Market."  They will
correctly copy a disk regardless of the memory of your 8-bit, but you must know
the density of your source disk before you begin.  They will also correctly
copy _Print Shop_ icon disks (which use a custom format single density).
     I download quite a few files from GEnie or CompuServe.  After insepcting
the downloaded files, I'll assign them to individual disks.  I use a file
copier for this task.  There are several file copiers available for use with
the Atari DOS's (such as the COPYFILE selection in AtariDOS 2.0s or 2.5).  Disk
density isn't usually a problem since you format the destination disk yourself
before converting it to your specially configured copy.
Michael Current, aa700, 8-bit Atari SIGOp    -->>>  go atari8  <<<--
The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is the Central Atari Information Network
              Celebrating 12 years of 8-bit Atari computing!

Return to message index