Commodore Artist Save Files

History and Preservation Issues

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Bill_L
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Commodore Artist Save Files

Postby Bill_L » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:00 pm

Hi All
It's been a long time since I was here last - 2005 or thereabouts! (I used to be billlagr. And STILL haven't found a manual for that speech synth cartridge!)

Anyway, going through some old boxes and I found a tape that has some drawings done in Commodore Artist. I specifically remember doing them with a friend.
I would love to be able to retrieve them. I have VICE and Commodore Artist, so I was thinking that perhaps I could record the drawing save files as a .WAV then convert them to a .TAP and attempt to load them into CA. I'm not sure if that would work though, as the save files aren't "normal" programs.
Thoughts anyone?

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Mike
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Location: Munich, Germany
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Re: Commodore Artist Save Files

Postby Mike » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:48 am

Welcome back to Denial, Bill! :)

Bill_L wrote: I have VICE and Commodore Artist, so I was thinking that perhaps I could record the drawing save files as a .WAV then convert them to a .TAP and attempt to load them into CA. I'm not sure if that would work though, as the save files aren't "normal" programs.

That's probably the first time I've read from someone who actually used CA to draw stuff. :shock:

Yes, your method should work without any foreseeable problems. At first you'd probably need to check for the optimal volume, but as soon as the *.tap gets recognized in VICE, you're essentially home free.

If you're interested in having your picture files ported over to MINIPAINT, just post the *.tap files here. :mrgreen:


Edit: I've found out, that - unfortunately - CA doesn't save the choices of background, exterior border and auxiliary colour along with the file, so I chose to set the default colours CA uses (background=white, border=blue, aux.=yellow) instead. The foreground colour info is retained, though. If your choices of the 'global' colours are different from the default, you can fix them up in MP with Ctrl-1, Ctrl-3 and Ctrl-4.

Bill_L
Vic 20 Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:51 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Commodore Artist Save Files

Postby Bill_L » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:46 pm

That's probably the major problem, the tape itself is 35ish years old so it will be interesting to see how it holds up.

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Mike
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: Munich, Germany
Occupation: electrical engineer

Re: Commodore Artist Save Files

Postby Mike » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:03 am

Whether they have been stored 10 years or 35 years shouldn't make any difference, as long as that was done in a room with moderate climate, i.e. not too big temperature changes, not too dry, not too wet. Preferably in a cardboard box (not plastic), so there's at least some air exchange possible.

...

In hindsight, if CBM had equipped the BASIC extension of Super Expander with a GSAVE and GLOAD command compatible to CA save files, and had those files have the 3 global colours stored with them, we would have had a viable standard picture file format from that time on. And a big incentive for people to buy both cartridges - provided they were interested in graphics applications at all.

At least, the pair MINIGRAFIK and MINIPAINT truly delivers in that sense. :mrgreen:

FWIW, here's the proposed import program. You'll need to run it with at least a +8K RAM expansion, and under MINIGRAFIK:

Code: Select all

1 POKE55,128:POKE56,51:CLR:INPUT"SAVE AS";N$:SYS57809"",1,1:POKE780,0:SYS65493
2 FORT=0TO3199:POKE13184+T,PEEK(4096+T):NEXT:FORT=0TO199:POKE37888+T,PEEK(7296+T):NEXT
3 POKE36878,112:POKE36879,30:POKE646,8:@ON:FORY=160TO191:@2,0,YTO159,Y:NEXT:FORY=0TO9
4 FORX=0TO19:A1=4352+192*X+16*Y:A2=13184+16*X+320*Y:FORT=0TO15:POKEA1+T,PEEK(A2+T):NEXT
5 NEXT:NEXT:FORP=-1TO0:GETA$:P=A$="":NEXT:@SAVE(N$),8:@RETURN

Note: during load, the screen memory gets overwritten. That's normal and shouldn't give you any worries. Also, after load, the picture bitmap is first copied to a save memory range. That incurs a wait time of roughly half a minute before the actual conversion takes place. When the conversion is complete, after a key press, the result is stored on disk with the name given at the prompt "SAVE AS?".

I have tested the program with some colourful doodles done in CA. The conversion results load fine into MINIPAINT. :)
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