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View Full Version : The LisaTerminal Twiggy Disk Hunt


MacBytes
May 15, 2007, 02:30 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: History
Link: The LisaTerminal Twiggy Disk Hunt (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070515153016)
Description:: The Lisa 1 with original dual Twiggy drives is pretty rare. The Lisa Twiggy diskettes are also pretty darn rare. But an unserialized LisaTerminal Twiggy diskette? THAT'S something you won't find at your local garage sale.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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shamino
May 16, 2007, 10:22 AM
I'm not familiar enough with the Lisa to understand the issue here.

They talk about an "unserialized" disk. Were Lisa applications locked to a single system's serial number after installation or something? Or is there something different going on?

And will the act of testing the disk on the buyer's Lisa 1 end up serializing the disk, making it useless on other systems?

macmothership
May 16, 2007, 10:42 AM
Yes, exactly. When a Lisa application disk is installed for the first time, the serial number of the Lisa video ROM is written to the disk, making that disk forever specific to that machine.
VintageMicros is seeking a disk that has never been used to install to a machine. This is the last of the original Lisa 1 Applications not yet preserved on stable media, which they are attempting to do.
If a disk they recieve has been used to install on a different machine, it won't work on theirs, and will be returned to the sender in the same condition it was received.
If it can be installed ("unserialized") then they are trading that disk for the Lisa system, and that is what will be shipped to the sender of the disk.

I hope that clarifies!

shamino
May 17, 2007, 08:12 AM
Yes, exactly. When a Lisa application disk is installed for the first time, the serial number of the Lisa video ROM is written to the disk, making that disk forever specific to that machine.
Have there been attempts to simply remove the serialization from an already-installed disc?

It would seem to me that, if someone can attach a Twiggy drive to a different kind of computer (or if a complete disk image can be made), it shouldn't be that hard to revert it. Especially if some former Apple/Lisa employees could contribute. I can't imagine the encryption (if any) being very complicated by today's standards.

Or does that undermine some point of the media-preservation project?

macmothership
May 17, 2007, 08:42 AM
This is how it was explained to me.

"Many of us have been down this road for Twiggy disk deserialization. It is all a dead end. These disks don't deserialize like the 3.5 disks. It takes a double headed Twiggy Drive to read them...I have a friend in Des Moines, an electronics tech, who has been working on this problem for over 10 years. He has built test units to download the Twiggy Contents as ASCII data. He has searched and searched for the key to all of this. He is light years ahead of anyone else and has still not cracked it...This software is FAR too rare to screw around with."

Looks like right now the only way to preserve an unserialized copy of the software is to find an original unserialized disk, and make a copy before completing the installation.

shamino
May 18, 2007, 09:49 AM
I understand all you wrote. I'm just surprised that none of the original Apple engineers have come forward to assist. I would think that the people who designed the serialization scheme would know how to undo it.

Of course, the engineer(s) involved may not care enough to bother.