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iwakurarein's picture
Joined: 2019 Jul 23
Thread for discussion of the diskettes in my possession. Possible internal Apple disks.

See there. Watch the Youtube videos. For anyone else interested, an explanation is below.

Calling winterlast and jkheiser.

Basically, I have come into possession of around 10 failing MFS format 400K diskettes, all with extremely early software from the original Macintosh. The previous owners claimed that one of them worked at Apple in 1983 as a programmer while in college. Indeed, there is very early software and a few things have date stamps from Dec 1983 (The original Macintosh released in January 1984.)

Some of the disks have been imaged on my Macintosh SE with DiskCopy 4.2, and others are too badly damaged for this to be possible. However, the majority of the contents have been copied off by myself using a FloppyEmu, onto a HD20 format hard file. I rebuilt the stuff I saved into .dsk and .image format images using HFV Explorer and Mini Vmac, for the unimageable disks. The .images and .dsks have been redundantly backed up across my personal storage, on about 10 different drives and flash sticks, as I retrieved them using HFV Explorer so they are safe, on modern NTFS partitions. Once I determine the IP status of some of them, and some of the applications (Particularly ALICE- Through the Looking Glass prototype- read about that game on Wikipedia), I will release them here.

Unfortunately, some of the diskettes are too badly damaged to image. DiskCopy 4.2 gets stuck toward the end of the read master floppy process, I hear two louder access noises from the drive, and usually it spits out the disk and fails, with an error code (-71) (I/O error) or (-72).

I actually got 20+ diskettes but some were overwritten by the former owners and they contain later files from personal use of the machine. Just stuff like resumes from MacWrite, kids school reports, MacPaint art, and things like that. Most of the files have date stamps from 1986.

If anyone wants to post a link to this thread on Reddit, m68k forums, AppleFritter, etc. please go ahead.

This is simply a thread for any interested parties to discuss findings concerning the nature of the disks:

Questions I need answered definitively and confirmed:

Are they really from Apple? Discuss/prove why or why not

For the ones without the "Public Domain" original volume label (this includes the ALICE application particularly), can I release them?

Do all the floppies that were imageable contain the original volume label "Public Domain" at the end of the disk in the copy of the MFS volume table at the second to last block at the end of the diskette?

Please discuss. Thank you.


nil0bject's picture
Joined: 2012 Nov 14

if you can upload them somewhere, someone may be able to help you. thanks for contributing!

Jatoba's picture
Joined: 2018 Apr 16

For the ones without the "Public Domain" original volume label (this includes the ALICE application particularly), can I release them?

As far as this website's "ten-year rule" goes, I believe so. Since all those floppies and their files are many decades old, I think all of them would be more than welcome. For those that could be imaged with DiskCopy 4.2, that's perfect, but the contents of the remaining disks that could not be fully imaged still are, also, of interest.

jkheiser's picture
Joined: 2009 Aug 17

You can share these images. There’s no practical risk of getting into any trouble. Alice has been widely available for some time, so an earlier version would cause no stir. Apple Computer simply does not care about decades-old software.

iwakurarein's picture
Joined: 2019 Jul 23

Thank you everyone, and especially jkheiser.

Quoting personal communication from someone else here:

"Yes, the published game along with the two unfinished versions are
available on .dsk images in a single MacZip archive:

(The game's creator, Steve Capps, even downloaded it from the Garden
10 years ago to use in Mini vMac and left an appreciative comment. I
can't emphasize enough that there is nothing dangerous about uploading
software this ancient. Even on the few occasions when a company has
wanted something removed from the Garden, they just sent a takedown
notice to the admins and the admins took it down.)

A page at the Cutting Room Floor wiki for cut video game content goes
in-depth about the differences between the Alice prototypes and the
final game. Since your copy has a lower-case "alice" on the title
screen, it should be closer or identical to the earlier version."

He has inspected the version of Alice on my disk and compared it to the others, and says its identical to the earliest known prototype.

Other things he has told me have also convinced me it is okay to release them here, which I will eventually. The comments you all have made have convinced me as well. Thank you.

I had not been involved with classic Macintosh emulation since 2000 or so; and I know Apple can be particularly litigious. They certainly were back then, even: especially containing machine ROM files. It is good to know that they don't care about stuff this old anymore.

Also, that same user discovered this:

"So far, the bad news is that your version of Alice is identical to the
first known prototype. The good news is some of the other finds are
unique to my knowledge, like a debug version of Johan Strandberg's
Daleks and an October 1983 prototype of Macintosh Pascal, when it was
known as "Instant Pascal.""

Anyway, he will pour through what I have and I have asked him to make notes for release: mainly documenting anything special like that or previously unseen on the internet.

I want to release these disk images the correct way, with screenshots, and in multiple formats (.dsk, .image., shrinkwrap, and maybe more) and include exact file sizes as well as CRCs for each) unless you guys think thats overkill.

Let me know what you think.

iwakurarein's picture
Joined: 2019 Jul 23

First release.

iwakurarein's picture
Joined: 2019 Jul 23

To anyone still interested, check out my profile.

I have released some of the disks for anyone interested to analyze, pass around Reddit or, etc. Today I have done five releases, and three of them are some of the actual disks (including the ones with Alice and "talk demo"/MacTalk).

Assuming I am not counting wrong, I have seven more to go.

I will proceed to release these over the coming days, but it takes about an hour per disk going by the format I've established for the ones so far.

Please let me know if you have any issues with any of them, the best way to contact me is to post in my guestbook.

Thank you. -よろしくお願いします