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15658Re: [midatlanticretro] Isepik (Icepick)

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  • Ray Sills
    Dec 14, 2009
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      Isepik is a combination of software and a hardware gadget that plugs
      into the cartridge port.
      It has a ROM on board (IIRC) that can be switched on after the target
      program is running in the C64. I suspect it makes the switch after a
      video interrupt, or something like that.

      Anyway, once the gadget is in control of the machine, you can dump
      the RAM contents on to a floppy disk, using a standard 1541 drive.
      And, you'd be able to then load -that- disk directly with the drive.
      And (again IIRC) you would not need the Isepik to run that disk.

      The company asserted that it was not a tool for piracy, but making
      legitimate archival copies of software you own. Right.

      73 de Ray

      On Dec 14, 2009, at 8:22 PM, Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman- wrote:

      > Ray Sills <raysills@...> writes:
      >> Somewhere in the bowels of MARCH's collection of "stuff" is an
      >> "Icepik"
      >> or two. That was one of those gadgets that would let you freeze an
      >> operating program, and then make a RAM dump on to a disk. On
      >> reloading
      >> -that- disk, you jumped right back into an operating program.
      > Interesting. Can you elaborate some on this "Icepik"'s
      > implementation?
      > Such a tool would be very difficult to use on today's processors, even
      > if you DID manage freeze and dump, and restore from said dump. States
      > of CPU caches, instruction lookahead, virtual memory translation
      > tables
      > and multi-proccessor and interprocessor interrupts and interlocks
      > would
      > cause no end to the headaches of trying to resurrect a system from
      > some
      > snapshot. Perhaps such a thing is doable on a small system with a
      > mini-
      > scule memory space but it's incredibly complex in today's larger
      > systems
      > with huge virtual memory address spaces. Hell even 4GB is a lot of
      > mem-
      > ory to read in. If there's an external processor available
      > (control or
      > monitor or console) it's easier. There's simply too much trampling of
      > the system's memory if trying to use the system CPU to fixup all
      > that's
      > read in. Such a feature was implemented in VMS V6. but then abandoned
      > due to the complexity as newer features were added -- external storage
      > controllers for one. The feature was called "snapshot" and "fastboot"
      > for anyone interested in googling it.
      > --
      > VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS
      > (dot)COM
      > "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
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