Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:38 pm | Post subject: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
Library Director
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:46 am
It feels kind of odd spotlighting a program I haven't gotten to run yet, but I want to draw attention to Ashton-Tate Framework 1.0. The Framework office suite is historically notable as the first all-in-one office suite for IBM PC compatible computers. It was originally created by Forefront Corporation for Ashton-Tate and first released in 1984. It has a built in word processor, spreadsheet, database, outliner, graphing, and telecommunications. Framework provides a text-based "gui", including windowing and menus and all of the different components behave in similar, consistent ways.

Download library page here:
https://winworldpc.com/product/framework/10

Image

But more relevant to this specific version, it is copy protected using laser-holes/damaged area. What that means is that even a Kryoflux or SuperCard Pro can not copy it!

I have not tried running it from the original disks yet, because I am not too keen on letting it write back to the originals.

Since I am running short on time right now, I will let the fine folks here have at it and see what they can come up with.

Image

The master and master backup both have a small circular "bad spot" over the innermost track on the first (bottom) side. Plotted graphically, this bad area can be "seen" in the stream dump as an area of noise.

The bad spots on the master and backup are at slightly different locations relative to the index. This means it could know the difference between the two. The executables on each disk are encrypted, and the executables are different on each disk.

It could be that each executable has been "calibrated" specifically for every disk. There was some recent discussion on the Kryoflux form about another title that might do something like that. In that case, just making the sector "bad" would not be good enough. It would have to be "bad" at exactly certain byte locations. In that case the software would read the bad sector and compare what it wrote for known good bytes.

I did try writing a disk and placing a scratch over that sector. It came out looking similar on a Kryoflux dump, but the software still stuck its nose up at it.

The software requires that the original disk be in the drive and not write protected when the program is run, even if the program files are copied to a hard drive. A flyer included in 1.0 suggest that the next version (1.1?) would still be copy protected but permit hard drive installs without a keydisk.

On top of that, these disks look rather low quality. I have a hard time imagining they would have lasted long even when new.

Not sure about Framework II since we don't have that, but Framework III is not copy protected.

Off the top of my head, I am not aware that the PCE emulator can simulate bad sectors. Perhaps someone else can find a trick that would make it work.

Copy II PC NoGuard claims to support Framework, but it did not seem to work with these disks. I suspect its support is actually for Framework 1.1, not 1.0. That will not duplicate the disk, but would serve as an uprotect to make it run.

So, what do you folks think?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:07 pm | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:24 pm
Wow, this is very rare program with laser-holes copy protection.

Yes it can't be copied by KF/SCP/TC too.
(The Enhanced Option Board was needed. But this was very expensive than Deluxe Option Board or Trans Copy Board.)

PCE still doesn't support these copy protection.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:00 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:59 pm
My DOSBox-TC (unofficial) supports that "Prolok" protection scheme. Basically, physical damage on the medium will manifest itself as a series of weak bits during reading, and since no protection will overwrite its own weak bits during the keydisk check, physical damage can simply be emulated by not updating weak bits during a non-formatting write operation.

Convert the Kryoflux stream files to .TC format using "flux2tc --consolidate track00.0.raw disk1.tc", and the same for disk 2. Mount the resulting image files in DOSBox-TC (using the default machine= type, not machine=cga) using "imgmount a disk1.tc disk2.tc -t floppy", making sure that the .TC image files are not write-protected and that "core" is set to anything other than "dynamic", then run "A:" and then "FW", pressing CTRL+F4 at the license screen to insert disk #2 before pressing ENTER to advance.

There is something weird going on at the license screen that may prevent the program from working on an AT. Basically, the program seems to expect the word at 0013:0002 to be zero, which is the case when using a PC or XT BIOS, but not when using an AT BIOS.

(This is the second laser-hole-protected disk that I have encountered. The other was a Chinese cheating utility named "Game Buster" which adorably prints "FUCK YOU ! THIS IS NOT THE ORIGINAL DISK ! YOU HAVE COPIED THE PROGRAM!" if the keydisk check fails, which of course does not happen with the current DOSBox-TC. :))


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:02 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:44 am
Cool !!
Now we have a working emulator for Laser Hole protection.
Thank you very much, NewRisingSun.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:48 pm | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
Library Director
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:46 am
Very nice! Awesome work.

Here are a few quick screen shots:
Image

Splash screen, Framework 1.00.

Image

It even runs graphically in CGA mode.

Image
At a glance anyway, the editor seems to support displaying bold and italic formatting, but not different font sizes. Similar to Word for DOS.

Image

It is an all-in-one program that includes word processor, spread sheet, database, graphs, telecommunications and even a programming language.

Image

Built in help too. The desktop seems quite a bit influenced by the Mac.

Image

The message at exiting. Back up your disks? Riiiiiigh.

Also, exiting seems to crash the emulator?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:52 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:59 pm
SomeGuy wrote:
The message at exiting. Back up your disks? Riiiiiigh.
Well, they only mentioned data disks.:mrgreen:
SomeGuy wrote:
Also, exiting seems to crash the emulator?
The Prolok protection code completely messes up the interrupt vectors 0 to 4, and copies the Program Segment Prefix (PSP) to a new location. Framework exits by jumping to offset 0 (and its Int 20h instruction) of this copied PSP. All the DOS documentation states that Int 20h requires CS to point to the actual current PSP (not to a copy of it), but does not mention what exactly happens if it doesn't. It turns out that what happens is that DOS just terminates the program as if the copied PSP were the actual PSP, but does not set the new current PSP value to the copied PSP's "child PSP" field if the old "current PSP" value is different from the value CS had when Int20 was invoked. :geek:

In other words, Prolok's terminate program handler relies on a rare undocumented quirk of MS-DOS, which is why DOSBox' emulated DOS did not handle that correctly. I have uploaded a new version that does handle it correctly. But you can always boot real DOS and run Framework from there (type "boot dos20.ima disk1.tc disk2.tc", then press CTRL+F4 to switch to Framework disk #1 after DOS has finished booting).


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:09 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:24 pm
Now, Ashton Tate Framework 1.0 works on PCE (updated version) thanks to author of PCE.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:30 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:24 pm
ibmpc5150 wrote:
Now, Ashton Tate Framework 1.0 works on PCE (updated version) thanks to author of PCE.
Do you have a link to this version and the source code that accompanies it?

_________________
Latest releases of the IBM PC emulator known as "The Virtual Computer Collection" can be found here:
https://winworldpc.com/winboards/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8699


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:36 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:24 pm
@SoftPCMuseum

Sorry, It is impossible to show the method without agreement of author of PCE.)
(I received it by Private Email and this is not public.)
I recommend to contact to author of PCE if you want.

This program works on PCE now, but it is impossible to use normal converted image from KF or SCP.
(It needs to fix the image manually.)

I recommend to use DOSBOX-TC if you want to run it without fix.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:36 pm | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:24 pm
ibmpc5150 wrote:
@SoftPCMuseum

Sorry, It is impossible to show the method without agreement of author of PCE.)
(I received it by Private Email and this is not public.)
I recommend to contact to author of PCE if you want.

This program works on PCE now, but it is impossible to use normal converted image from KF or SCP.
(It needs to fix the image manually.)

I recommend to use DOSBOX-TC if you want to run it without fix.
I was specifically asking for PCE not because I actually wanted to run it myself, but so that I could implement the support for this type of protection in my own emulator which uses PCE's floppy disk emulation.

Also, I thought that PCE was released under the GNU Public License, which would mean that any changes made to it would also be released under the same license, and would likewise be freely redistributable as a result.

Normally I would contact him, though since people right now seem to be ignoring me, if it's someone who accomplished anything like that and since I'm largely an outsider here, I just naturally assume that they would ignore me completely for that reason (because I'm not on their "contacts" list).

But since you're apparently a close contact with him, then it would be greatly appreciated if you could ask him whether he would be interested in contacting me about it. I could even send you my email address if you want to send it to him, so that he could contact me privately from there. At least then he would be far more likely to respond to my requests, since he would know that I actually had a legitimate use for this feature.

_________________
Latest releases of the IBM PC emulator known as "The Virtual Computer Collection" can be found here:
https://winworldpc.com/winboards/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8699


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:05 pm | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:24 pm
@SoftPCMuseum

Anyway, I can't share the converted image.
But you can download it new PCE version.
http://www.hampa.ch/pub/pce/pre/pce-201 ... -win32.zip


P.S. Please do Not quote whole sentence to me in the next time.
(Whole quote irritated me.)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:38 pm | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:24 pm
ibmpc5150 wrote:
@SoftPCMuseum

Anyway, I can't share the converted image.
But you can download it new PCE version.
http://www.hampa.ch/pub/pce/pre/pce-201 ... -win32.zip


P.S. Please do Not quote whole sentence to me in the next time.
(Whole quote irritated me.)
Thanks for sharing. I already suspected that it was being made available on the "hampa.ch" server that way (since versions of PCE had often been shared that way in the past), though now I know for sure that it's actually there and available to download.

Also, sorry about the long quote - I only posted it that way so that you would easily see which post that you were responding to. I'll try to keep down the quote size next time.

_________________
Latest releases of the IBM PC emulator known as "The Virtual Computer Collection" can be found here:
https://winworldpc.com/winboards/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8699


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:38 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:44 am
ibmpc5150 wrote:
Sorry, It is impossible to show the method without agreement of author of PCE.)
(I received it by Private Email and this is not public.)


There is no secret. Hampa changed PSI format. He added chunk "WEAK" to PSI format and modified related source code.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:42 am | Post subject: Re: Software Spotlight - Ashton Tate Framework 1.0
 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:24 pm
@coolhaken

>There is no secret. Hampa changed PSI format. He added chunk "WEAK" to PSI format and >modified related source code.

Well, you really don't know the secret exactly.
That is Not related with secret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

Search for:
Powered by phpBB
2003 - 2016 WinWorld