Those of us who are old enough may remember the heyday of the first text adventure game genre. Magnetic Scrolls, based in London, was an early pioneer company that produced games for the first Amiga and Atari ST platforms.Fast forward to 2017 and [Hugh Steers], The original co-founder and core developers of Magnetic Scrolls have formed an initiative to revive and re-release the original game on a modern platform. Since DEC MicroVAX, which was originally used for development in the 1980s, is not uncommon in retro computing circles, and media containing source code is found in someone’s attic space, reviving the game is not a difficult task.
First, he needs Restore a copy of the original source code from the backup tapeBut there is a problem. The original rotten tape uses an unstable polyurethane-based adhesive to stick the oxide material (used to store data) on the back strap, and this adhesive can absorb water for many years.
Until you try to read the tape, and then you stumble on the so-called Sticky Shed SyndromeSecondly, you may find that a small amount of oxide layer on the tape comes off, covering the reading head, rollers and guide rails in the complicated tape mechanism. This can quickly cause it to become sticky and jammed, which may chew the tape and permanently damage it.
This situation is further exacerbated by the behavior of the DEC TK50Z tape drive, which requires shuttles through the entire tape as part of its normal operation.
A temporary solution is to bake the tape in an oven to remove moisture and reduce stickiness so that it can safely pass through the drive. Then there is only the problem of oxide shedding. The TK50Z drive was replaced with the TZ30, which reduces the shuttle of the tape, but the key is to use a simple hack to allow IPA to clean the head between the read channels. This is enough to prevent problems and allow enough data to be read from the tape to recover the code of several games in preparation for the re-release process.
Video display after break [Rob Jarratt] Complete the data recovery process.