Update: More Original Code Disks Found!

posted in: Devlog, Nostalgia | 6

The last two weeks have been a flurry of archaeology!

First, a fan found a Mac Diskette With the 1984 ChipWits Source Code. While we were researching and discussing how to read old Mac-formatted disks, Doug Sharp, the original creator of ChipWits, recalled where he was keeping the original Commodore 64 disks with all of the original code to the game! He mailed them to me to see if I could recover them.

Original Code 5.25" Disks for Commodore 64 ChipWits!
Original Code 5.25″ Disks for Commodore 64 ChipWits!

He included a surprise, which was a full set of diskettes for the original code of the Mac version as well!

Original Code 3.5" Disks for Mac ChipWits!
Original Code 3.5″ Disks for Mac ChipWits!

This is an amazing archaeological find. I’ve ordered some hardware off of eBay to see if I can recover some of these disks.

The first is a genuine 1541 Commodore 64 Disk Drive, which I already received. The drive came with a USB XoomFloppy adapter so the data can be read by a modern PC.

Commodore 64 1541 Disk Drive
Commodore 64 1541 Disk Drive

Turning on the drive and listening to the gentle whir of the motor brings back so many memories.

As far as the Mac diskettes are concerned, I learned that Mac used a proprietary sector layout to allow them to increase the capacity to 800 KB per disk, which makes them unreadable using modern drives. I ordered a PowerMac G3 WallStreet, which is a bridge system that still has a 3.5″ diskette drive that can read original Mac disks and also has a networking stack. I have not received all the components for this yet, but I’ll make an update post when I do.

I can’t want to see how much of the data can be recovered, and what surprises we’ll unlock!

6 Responses

  1. Bill Zwicky

    Sweet, I hope the Xoom works for you. Last time I imaged 1541 disks, I had to use a C128 to copy from 1541 to 1581, a Linux laptop to image the 1581 disks, and DirMaster to untangle the mess.

    FWIW, D64 file (whole-disk image) is the best way to archive these due to the peculiarities of C64 file formats.

    DirMaster is highly recommended for getting files in and out of D64 files.

    Greaseweazle and Kryoflux are good options if the real 1541 fails you, though you’ll need a PC floppy to use them.

  2. Dan Awesome

    You might look into something called “Applesauce” https://applesaucefdc.com

    Looks like they haven’t updated recently, but there are accessories that might be useful or older drives if you get your hands on some original hardware.

    • Mark Roth

      Thanks, Dan! We were able to make some great progress using a device called The Greaseweazle. Our attention has turned back to the new game, but we will post about our progress in the coming months. Thanks for your suggestion! AppleSauce was, indeed, another solution we were considering.

  3. Alan

    Upon the 128k Macintosh, my students loved Chipwits!
    Thank you for re-engaging
    Kindest thoughts

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