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Introducing an Atari 8-bit Archiving blog


Allan

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I thought I would start a blog about my archiving work for the Atari 8-bit computer system. Not only to highlight all the great Atari 8-bit material on Atarimania.com and other places but also to see if I could get others more interested in archiving Atari 8-bit media.

 

I've been archiving Atari media for years. I helped to archive a bunch of books and magazines on www.atarimagazines.com and www.atariarchives.org a number of years ago. At that time, due to a slower Internet, most of the stuff was turned into HTML. Today the Net is faster for people so archiving material in PDFs is preferred. The PDFs look great on todays tablets, which work great as a high tech manual next to your Atari computer as you use one of the thousands of programs that were/are available.

 

I do most of my scanning with my Imac and my Epson Perfection 1200 Photo scanner which includes a document feeder which can scan about a 100 pages at a time. I use Vuescan9.0 scanner software which has a lot of useful features. One problem with scanning with a document feeder is you have to do the odd pages first and then the even pages. This presents two problems. One is how to sort them. The other is how to reverse the order of the even pages which needs to be done first. I use a program called 'Combine DPFs' to do both.

 

Of course to use the document feeder the pages have to be seperated. If the document is in a loose-leaf binder or has a spiral binding you can just seperate the pages and put them back together after. If not, you have to destroy the binding. It's tough to do that for a number of reasons. Many of the books and documents I have had to buy. Some haven't been cheap. Then I have to destroy them in order to put them through the document feeder. If I don't do that though, it takes a long time to scan stuff. As bunch has I'd like to not destroy the bindings of these docs, I'd rather do that so everybody can use these Atari documents. If the pages are too smooth, my document feeder will not scan the pages correctly so then I have to use the flat bed part of the scanner. At least then, the document isn't cut apart.

 

Why....

 

I like contributing to the classic computer/videogame community. I'm not a great programmer although I like to program. I'm not a great artist though I like to draw. So I figured I would contribute by archiving stuff to the Net so that everyone can have access to this stuff. I like history and love Atari so this sort of thing appeals to me. I also like doing this because I can archive a book or manual in a couple of hours and post it. I don't get a lot of free time. Plus it's hard for me to start something for a short bit and then pick it up a few days later. Doing something start to finish in a night is a lot easier to do.

 

What I'm working on....

 

A lot of stuff but tonight I just posted the entire package of Atari Microsoft Basic II. I recently picked up the whole package. There are three manuals, a cart, a disk, and the box. The disk was bent and would not autoboot but I was able to copy the files to another disk and then to an ATR. The cart was already copied by another Atariage user. I had already scanned the larger of the three manuals so I just had to scan the two small manuals. Since they were only about ten pages each and in color, I scanned them without cutting them up. Plus scans of the box, cart and the disks were done. Then everything was posted.

 

Some of the other stuff I have scanned and posted this week are the APX manual of Atari Program-Text Editor, the manual for BASIC XE, manuals for Atari 825 80-column Printer Operators manual and the first Atari 810 DIsk Drive Operators manual.

 

Also this week the Atariage member Fadix scanned and posted to Atariage a few rare docs including the last Atari-published Demopacs which is about programming the Atari Touch Tablet. Now all twelve Demopacs are on Atarimania.com. Also a couple of other short docs including extra info on Atariwriter and Atari Macro-Assembler. Another Atariage member, Low.blow, scanned the first version of OSS BASIC XL manual which includes a nice tutorial by Bill Wilkinson. These were posted in the past couple of nights.

 

In the future I hope to not only get into what I am scanning but more into the process itself. And also I should put this out there that if anybody has any request for archiving anything in particular, and if anybody has anything they want to sell, loan, donate, or if they want to help in scanning, I'd love to hear from people about it.

 

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