Revamp: Disk Cracker 4.0
If you are here just to look at the program, choose the C Revamp .d64. It is faster, it allows escaping most commands via RUNSTOP, and it is more likely to recieve updates. The BASIC Revamp .d64 includes both regular and compiled files.
- C Revamp (d64), (source) see README.md for tools needed
- BASIC Revamp (d64), (source) see README.md for tools needed
Disk Cracker 4.0 was the first program I encountered that was a hybrid of BASIC and machine language. It was a useful sector editor, but its hybrid design solved the problems I was learning about in school-- how to have a structured, well commented, and easily maintained program without sacrificing speed. It also had some flaws I wanted fixed, so revamping it became my first of many hybrid projects.
Disk Cracker has an odd data window, being 6 lines of 38 characters plus a 7th with the remainder. It isn't ugly, but it tends to obfscate data. A 32x8 rectangle improves clarity of a surprising amount of data. It has commands for going forward and backward by sector, but doesn't know when to change tracks. It also lacks history related forward/backward commands. It's frustrating to be jumping through a file, find exactly what you are looking for, but the next sector is already loading... a way back is crucial. Once, when trying to remove a game's protection, I encountered an offset-based encryption. I decided Disk Cracker needed a way to alter the entire sector by a fixed amount.
I updated DC in 1988 and there it sat, mostly finished, until 2017 when I discovered cc65. I decided to implement it in C, but first I wanted to polish the 1988 hybrid version, which I did. I also stumbled across C64list which I used to finalize the program. This is a mixed blessing. While I like the format that the BASIC source has become, it now lacks a certain nostalgia wrt the wonderful methods I used in the 80's to structure programs. REM statements, ":" characters for extra whitespace, and the almost absurdly simple main program. Now the BASIC is just a crunched version of C64list .txt file. It seems to have lost something in that process.
Here are two screenshots of the revamp (Both C and BASIC versions look the same). You can see that the Disk Cracker track 18 sector 1 is much easier to digest because of the 32x8 window. The second image shows one of the alternative color schemes that mimics Disk Cracker.