'V-Max versioning'
Author:Lord Crass (guest: search)
Date: Tue, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 03:06 ( . )

How did you come up with the version numbers for V-Max, Pete?

Just curious as it doesn't really match with the versions they used to use "back in the day". For example, you have the following titles classified as V2:

Defender of the Crown
Rocket Ranger
Into the Eagle's Nest

Yet Sinbad and Rocket Ranger are a very different version of V-Max than the other two. They use the newer sector format that starts with the $64 byte and can only be copied with parallel or 8k drive RAM. Maverick refers to these as V2. No version number is ever given for DotC or Eagle's Nest, but I'm guessing it would be a V1 style. Here's the major differences I've noticed between versions:

V0? - V-Max loader track can be anywhere and can be easily copied. Copy protection relied on additional checks from a standard bag of tricks. eg. Star Rank Boxing (both versions), Superstar Ice Hockey, GFL Championship Football, Disk Busters 2, Disk Maker Plus.

V1? - Loader now on track 20 which can't be copied without hardware. CBM DOS sectors. Frequently used the additional header/density/sync checks. eg. Defender of the Crown, Gradius, Into the Eagle's Nest, Paperboy, Bop'N Rumble, Sidearms.

V2 - New V-Max custom sector format ($64..$46 header). Entire disk requires additional hardware to copy, no simple cracks. Earlier tricks no longer used. eg. Rocket Ranger, Three Stooges, Bad Street Brawler, Gauntlet: The Deeper Dungeons, Take Down, Sinbad.

V3 - Another new V-Max custom sector format (header is 7 x $49 bytes followed by $EE, variable sector size, sector ends with a byte that has bit 7 stripped, typically $7F). Track 20 loader changed and much more convoluted (runs in job queue area from $0001-$005B). Track 20 loader seems to be reloaded before loading each file. I still need to comment the loader disassembly. eg. Rastan, Renegade, Felony (Thunder Mountain), Road Runner.

V4 - Optimized V3 sector format. Reduced to 4 (sometimes 5) $49 bytes at start of sector. Otherwise seems the same. I still need to disassemble the loader on this one. eg. Operation Wolf, TV Sports Football, Zoom!, Alien Syndrome.

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--* V-Max versioning
4/12/2011 @ 08:10--Pete Rittwage

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