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How people are used to pirate the Retro software

Forgive me for teaching how to make an illegal pirated copy of the software after reading the above title. I'm sure I'm not going to walk on the board because this article is for information only. As a programmer, I understand that software piracy can harm companies, so I don't recommend it. Lots of good software can be downloaded for free, especially if you don't need all the features of expensive software. This article explains how people use software from retro computers such as Spectrum and Atari ST.


Spectrum and C64 software have been added to cassettes that are inserted into data recorders (or tape recorders) and can load a command, such as load, into memory. These computers relied on a series of sounds that were never pleasant to listen to because they were terrible sounds. It often takes ten minutes (especially for Spectrum 128k) to load when it crashes, that is, you have to reset the volume and start again. In the case of low recording, the game cartridge usually has a copy on the other side.
Most people could copy these games using a dual-cassette on-board hi-fi system. By placing the original cassette on the first deck and pressing "play" and placing an empty cassette on the second deck and pressing the "play and record" button, you can get a perfect copy. You can buy cassette tapes to save data such as C15, which allows you to record up to fifteen minutes. Some would use C90 to allow them to store many games at once.

If you had no access to two cassette decks, you could use the software. You can use "007Spy" on Spectrum, which allows you to load the entire game into memory and then back to an empty cassette. Some games have been loaded in different ways, such as pulsating (or click-on) loaders, used by many Ocean Software games. This has led to the release of other software that can handle these loaders. The average Spectrum game would consist of a short code (the header), a loading screen, and the main code. This standard loader is easy to copy.

When Spectrum 128k was released, it came with a built-in diskette drive. Because only the number of games on the disks was released, they used methods from tape to disk. The standard loader was easy. All you have to do is paste "" to get into the editor code and save it to a +3 disk (save "a: programname"). It then puts the loading screen into memory (loads the "screen name" 30000 code) and saves it to a +3 disk. Finally, do the same with the main code and add the loading commands to the main header code.

For more complex loaders, "007 Trans-Master" was used to convert files to a standard format, so they could be saved to +3 disks.


The Atari ST and Amiga computers were a great thing to place your hands on hundreds of free software and don't have to pirate commercial software. There were many Public Domain Libraries (PDL) who distributed free software for disk and postage as well as distribution work. The actual software is free and ranges from demos to games and images to music files. With a shareware method, we can also pay a small subscription fee to get extras for the full software and licensed program where PDL offers a small commission to the original contributor.

The Atari ST software was typically copied with compressed disk copiers such as Fast Copy, while Amiga uses the popular "X-Copy". However, some discs were protected, so you had to use different, more efficient copy software.


Software publishers used a variety of production forms to prevent copying, such as the more complex Spectrum loaders. Other methods require the user to write a word or letter from the manual before entering the game or choosing a series of colors or symbols from the book to match the screen. Some games allow you to think that you have copied them until you have played them for so long and that there is some nasty surprise. The "Beast Shadow" game turns the screen upside down on certain levels.

This led to the growth of cracker groups, such as the famous "Pompey Pirates" at Atari ST, who penetrate into the game and remove copy protection. Several games (hacked and packed) were then released to a single floppy disk that was passed on to different users.


The struggle between software publishers and pirates is continuous and people always want free software if they know. The old retro software can be downloaded free of charge from various websites for those who want to live the old days again, so they have little need to copy the originals. I'm not going to tell you how to copy the latest PC software. I only wrote this article to explain how people use backups of their software for older systems. I found that there are plenty of free and costly software available for the PC and I ask you to use it instead of resorting to piracy.

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