Thousands of shareware floppies

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FelixTheKid
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Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by FelixTheKid » October 24th, 2012, 11:34 am

I recently bought about 3,000 3.5" floppy disks containing shareware from the late 80s to early 90s, all downloaded from BBS's. I believe these disks were used to create shareware distributions on 5.25" disks, but the 3.5" disks themselves are unlabeled and look more like "dumps" with no rhyme or reason. E.G., a lot of work to transfer!

I've transferred about 100 of these out of nostalgia and curiosity. 99% still work. There is some cool old stuff on there I'm donating to textfiles.com, but I wanted to know if there was enough interest or need in the community for old shareware games and programs to justify spending more time doing this.

Last night I was dumping some of the older ones from the late 80s and they were .ARC archives that I could not open. I tried two different current shareware unarchivers that supposedly support that format and neither could do it.

Anyway, I'd be happy to share my findings if there is an interest. Otherwise I'm tempted to sell these on eBay or to a local floppy recycling company for $0.05.

If anyone lives in the Southern California area and wants to help transfer, let me know!

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MrFlibble
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by MrFlibble » October 25th, 2012, 3:02 pm

Wow, this sounds like a very awesome find! Thanks for your willingness to share it with people!

Wikipedia suggests that PKWare had ARC handling tools at some point. Also, some quick Googling of cd.textfiles.com found an utility to unpack ARC files: UNARC.COM

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leilei
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by leilei » October 25th, 2012, 9:41 pm

UniversalExtractor's handy for that

FelixTheKid
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by FelixTheKid » October 25th, 2012, 11:52 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome. I found a program called Filzip from 2006 that seems to work fine on those old ARC files and runs in Windows 7 to boot.

I was transferring more disks tonight and just stumbled on some ancient game collections which I've attached here. A lot of them are BASIC games. You know they're old when they are described in ways like:

Code: Select all

PACKGAL  COM  Version of Ms. Pac-man, doesn't need graphics card
Hope you find something new--in an old way--and fun in these!
Attachments
USCX.zip
(1.59 MiB) Downloaded 145 times

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Hallfiry
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by Hallfiry » October 26th, 2012, 8:09 am

You should be happy that it's "only" floppies.
Ripping more than 500 CDs and uploading them isn't much fun either :D

Greetings from KultCDs.com :)
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

FelixTheKid
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by FelixTheKid » October 26th, 2012, 10:27 am

Hallfiry wrote:You should be happy that it's "only" floppies.
Ripping more than 500 CDs and uploading them isn't much fun either :D

Greetings from KultCDs.com :)
I feel your pain, although have you tried lifting a box with 1,000 floppy disks in it? Ouch!

I have about 15 .NET POWER (?) magazine cover disks from 1996/97. Is that of interest to your project?

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Hallfiry
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by Hallfiry » October 26th, 2012, 10:54 am

FelixTheKid wrote: Greetings from KultCDs.com :)
I feel your pain, although have you tried lifting a box with 1,000 floppy disks in it? Ouch![/quote]
I think I can roughly imagine it :D
FelixTheKid wrote: I have about 15 .NET POWER (?) magazine cover disks from 1996/97. Is that of interest to your project?
Sounds great :)
I'll give you ftp access via PM ;)
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

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leilei
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by leilei » October 27th, 2012, 2:24 pm

You don't happen to have floppies containing those unresolved games linked in the signature do you?

Sharp Shooter could be on any of those shareware floppies from the late 80s...

FelixTheKid
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by FelixTheKid » October 27th, 2012, 5:00 pm

leilei wrote:You don't happen to have floppies containing those unresolved games linked in the signature do you?

Sharp Shooter could be on any of those shareware floppies from the late 80s...
I will look. I've only transferred about 200 out of 3,000 floppies, and most everything is in a ZIP or ARC archive, so the only way to determine contents is to extract everything since 8.3 file names are not a good guide for archive contents.

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MrFlibble
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by MrFlibble » October 27th, 2012, 5:37 pm

FelixTheKid wrote:the only way to determine contents is to extract everything since 8.3 file names are not a good guide for archive contents.
They didn't put FILE_ID.DIZ in archives back then?

FelixTheKid
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by FelixTheKid » October 27th, 2012, 7:24 pm

MrFlibble wrote:
FelixTheKid wrote:the only way to determine contents is to extract everything since 8.3 file names are not a good guide for archive contents.
They didn't put FILE_ID.DIZ in archives back then?
Actually those aren't all that common until, I think, the latter years. Regardless, I will just extract everything and use FileLocatorPro, an awesome tool.

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leilei
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by leilei » October 27th, 2012, 8:41 pm

Sharpshooter could be a "SHARP", the other could be a "XENON"

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DOSGuy
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by DOSGuy » November 11th, 2012, 7:41 am

I'm interested in anything from http://www.classicdosgames.com/missing.html, but any really old Soleau Software games would be especially interesting.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

FelixTheKid
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by FelixTheKid » November 11th, 2012, 5:39 pm

DOSGuy wrote:I'm interested in anything from http://www.classicdosgames.com/missing.html, but any really old Soleau Software games would be especially interesting.
Hi, is this the right file for "Scramble 1.1" from the missing list? https://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJa ... NE9wSHNUQw

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DOSGuy
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Re: Thousands of shareware floppies

Post by DOSGuy » November 11th, 2012, 8:42 pm

It sure is! Thanks!
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

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