In short: Please help us keeping the project alive! There’s so much left to do...
Since the start of the project in 2001, much has happened. SPS has become a well known institution among game collectors and computer enthusiasts. IPF, the Interchangeable Preservation Format, is now established as the one to use for the original, unmodified gaming experience of computer games made for the Commodore Amiga. We have preserved more than 3,000 games so far, with new dumps coming in every day, and we expect this number to explode with multi format support. This means Acorn Electron, Apple, Amstrad CPC, Archimedes, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, BBC, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, MSX, IBM PC, PC-8801, Sam Coupe, Spectrum, and many others supported.
With the project expanding beyond the scope of the Commodore Amiga, the use of Amiga machines for dumping has become a problem. A second problem is the hardware, which is dying, because capacitors or batteries start leaking, etching away traces on PCBs and rendering chips unusable because of corroded contacts. This legacy hardware isn’t going to be around forever.
To overcome these problems, we have started developing a high definition flux imager for USB, called KryoFlux. Developing hardware with state of the art components is quite expensive, not counting the thousands of man-hours it takes to write good, reliable code that will work in the field and not only in a lab. While this project is far from finished, it’s already so much finished that a public beta will be available very soon.
KryoFlux will be free for private, non-commercial use. If you look around, you won’t find another combination of dumping hardware and software that is free. Why is that? Maybe it’s like that because selling things to the retro community is a business that is viable. We think that preservation of computer art and software in general is too important to keep anyone from dumping by charging for the bridge which enables access to old media. We think it is ok to lock out those who do charge, and to charge those who do this for a living (e.g. data recovery companies), so we have chosen to restrict everything that is not private use. It won’t hurt to have those who profit from the technology help further fund the project for the long term.
What more would we want to do? A computer museum? Maybe. Our goal is to keep this project alive. It’s in fact sad to see that we can’t do all these things full time, because we all have daytime jobs to secure our income. Some of us have jobs that would allow us to take unpaid vacation to some extent, from time to time, but how can you do this if you have to pay your bills? Some would even be willing to give up what they are doing now, to build up an international preservation approach. With the right tools, to make sure that items preserved are preserved the right way, unchanged and unaltered. Until today, our members have donated more than EUR 20,000 for this project. Several other individuals have donated as well, which is great and which we are very thankful for. You know, who you are. Thank you!
So if you like what you have seen, if you do play the games we preserved from the containers we created with the software we are providing and would like to see more games preserved or are waiting for KryoFlux being ready for release: please help! If you can give a dollar, please do. If you can afford more, we won’t say no. Please don’t do away with the opinion that others might be donating as much - they might think the same, too. Everyone can help, and the smallest donation helps for sure.
Please remember: A game not dumped today, might be gone forever. Prices for rare items increase every day and the games left are not going to be around for ever. Moisture and heat won’t help either. Who knows how many “last copies” have been thrown away because they were mould-infested? It’s evident that collectors, gamers and retro enthusiasts in general must work together quickly to make sure those gems from yesterday, joyful childhood memories, don’t fade into oblivion. Who else can make sure that generations to come will know when and where computer gaming really started? And wouldn’t it be nice if they could actually play the games instead of only reading about them?
If you would like to help us on our software preservation crusade, you can do it using the link below. If you would prefer we used your donation for something in particular, please state this with your donation.
Thank you for your support,
The Software Preservation Society