[Coco] Found lots of Coco Tapes... (Al Hartman)

Al Hartman alhartman6 at verizon.net
Mon Jul 4 20:11:45 EDT 2016

That's a lot more work than I am able to do.

But, I am planning to read the tapes into a program like Audacity.

The whole point is that these programs don't exist anywhere else. If they did, I wouldn't need to try to bring them in.

-[ Al ]-
On 7/4/2016 7:00:45 PM, Andrew <keeper63 at cox.net> wrote:

I wonder if it wouldn't be best to take a high-quality recording of the
tapes to a lossless digital format (even a standard .WAV file would work).

The reason for this is many of these old tapes might actually get
destroyed or suffer further degradation just by playing them, so doing
this as the first step might be the most prudent. You might do well to
search the internet for information about conserving such old cassette
tapes; be sure to make note in your searches and any discussions about
the type of tape used (if that can be ascertained), because conservation
methods might be different for different types (ie, ferric oxide on
mylar, etc).

The first thing to do is to take what information you already know of
the tapes (ie - what they contained), and research every archive you can
think of or own to make sure you aren't duplicating any efforts; the
tapes and software you have may have already been transferred, so there
wouldn't be any need to do the same thing over again, unless you want a
person audio copy for nostalgia or other reasons, perhaps.

Them, if you can stabilize the tapes to the best of your ability,
without damaging the recording, before making a digital copy, that might
be best. Also make sure your tape playback equipment is in good and
proper running order. First make sure the record and playback functions
are in top shape - speed, etc - by recording a frequency test to the
tape, then playing it back and analyzing it using a computer. If you
don't know how to do this, or what to use, find someone who does. Once
you know that your system is working perfectly, adjusted properly, and
is clean (ie - cleaning of the tape heads, etc), then get a new tape (if
you can find a "new-old-stock" 30 or 60 minute tape, that would be best
to use), and try saving a program to it, and re-loading it. See how many
times you can do this in a row successfully, and keep track of things,
and note issues. Hopefully, you'll get 100% - but you might not. Keep
making adjustments until everything is "top notch".

Then start recording the old tapes. If you think they'll survive it, you
might want to fast-forward and rewind the tapes to "re-seat" and tighten
the tape on the reels so that it will flow from reel-to-reel without
binding in the player (and potentially leading to "eating of the tape").
When you make the recording, do it in a single long pass for each side.
Make multiple backups of the file (stick the copies on thumb drives, and
on some cloud-storage site like Dropbox or Google Drive). Be sure to
have a naming system convention for the files, and stick with it, and
document each file (ie, which tape it belongs to, what files it
contains, etc).

Once you have all the files, then go through them tape by tape, and
split the recording up into individual "programs". Your audio software
may be able to do this automatically (it might be able to do it as you
digitize the audio the first time through). Once you have the recording
made and backed up, then you can try to re-load them onto the CoCo
through one of various methods. Rewind the original tapes to the
beginning, and store them in a cool, dry, dark place (in the cases, if
you have them).

I hope the above will help in your efforts. Good luck.

Andrew L. Ayers
Glendale, Arizona

On 07/02/2016 10:17 PM, coco-request at maltedmedia.com wrote:

> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 02 Jul 2016 18:00:07 -0400
> From: "Al Hartman"
> To: ""
> Subject: [Coco] Found lots of Coco Tapes...
> Message-ID:
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> I found my old Coco Tapes! A quick list of what I found (from memory) were:
> Spectrum Voice Pak Software (3 tapes)
> Term-Talk for the Spectrum Voice Pak
> Charit for the Green Mountain Lowerkit
> Several light pen tapes
> Micro-Term for the MC-10
> Trek-Trek game
> Lots of Dragon software (can't remember names)
> Edtasm on tape (think this is already in the library)
> Disk to tape
> Tape Copy Program
> ...and a few more I can't remember...
> Any suggestions regarding the easiest way to get these tapes into files the Coco users can use?
> Anyone live near Keansburg, NJ who might want to come and help me transfer all of these to a Coco Disk, or a Virtual Disk on an emulator for uploading?
> I think I have everything we'd need.

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