KryoFlux: Justification

A question was raised about exactly why we are spending all this effort on KryoFlux if we already have a disk imaging solution using Amiga computers, which made us realise we had indeed not actually explained it.

There are various reasons, which we will try to detail here.

1) This system has a far better sampling resolution, 41 nanoseconds of sampling resolution compared to 2 microseconds on the Amiga - 48 times the resolution!

  • The Amiga is locked into a sampling resolution of either 2 or 4 microseconds. For many platforms this is perfect, but it won’t work (without modified hardware) for C64, older Mac systems, or anything using speed zones.
  • The only thing that the Amiga FDC does is keep cells within the pre-selected cellsize. So anything that does not fit will be split up. Normally this does not matter, but again, you don’t want that to happen if you want to do data recovery on otherwise unreadable data. This should allow us to recover bad disks that we had given up on using Amiga-based disk imaging.

2) The Amiga drive has to be very carefully aligned and must run almost exactly at 300RPM to work. The RPM of the drive of the target system must match the dumping system, as transforming the bit stream is not possible using Amiga-based dumping. This is part of the reason for the system verification process that we go through with contributors.

3) Imaging disks for other systems is made easier without having to resort to hardware hacking. For example, the adjusted bit cell size on C64 disks, or adjusted speed zones used in older Mac systems.

4) With a dedicated system, there is no need to cut down on any features. If we want to increase the capabilities in the future, we can just add them. The Amiga-based solution is necessarily “bare bones”.

5) It’s entirely more convenient; Disk imaging will be much quicker, and there will not be the often awkward problem of transferring the files from Amiga to PC.

6) An Amiga-based disk imaging system is not exactly “mobile”.

7) Our Amiga disk imaging tool requires an Amiga with a 68020+ CPU. This is a legacy system, and it is only going to become more and more difficult and expensive for people to get. In some countries, such as Japan, these are almost impossible to get hold of without huge postal costs.

8) The Amiga is suitable for imaging disks for a variety of platforms, but it has traditionally a hard sell to people working on preservation for those platforms.