(Note: not every tool mentioned in this FAQ is already released).
What kind of tools VAPI provide?
There are imaging tools for producing the images. Emulation helper tools for running
the images under emulators and simulators. Write back tools for writing back the
images to a physical disk. Preservation tools and developer tools.
The tools run on an Atari 8-bit computer?
No, all VAPI tools run in a PC (or in other platforms). An Atari computer is involved only
when running VAPI images with a SIO2PC cable. Some imaging tools require an Atari
drive, but not an Atari computer.
Are PRO images supported?
No. They are not supported in any way because they are not documented. They will
probably be supported when and if documented.
Are weak/fuzzy sectors supported?
Yes, they are fully supported. All type of on-disk copy protections are supported.
Which hardware is required for making VAPI images?
A 1050 enhanced drive. Currently, Happy, Speedy and Duplicator enhancements are
supported. In addition, there are specialized imaging tools using a PC Catweasel card
or an ST with a Discovery Cartridge.
How much time it takes to image a disk with an enhanced 1050?
About the same it takes to read a disk with the Happy Backuper software, usually even
less. No disk swapping is required of course, and no time is spent writing. So imaging a
whole disk is much more quicker than copying a disk with the Happy Backuper. It is
even faster when using the more advanced hardware like the Catweasel or the
Do I need to use an original Happy?
No, anything 100% compatible is good enough. If you can run Happy software then
more than likely it will work with the VAPI tools.
Can I write back the images to physical disk with an enhanced 1050?
Yes, but not every image. The write back capabilities are more or less the same as
with the original Happy software. Most of the limitations are in the hardware, not in the
software. As a general rule you will be able to write back any disk that the Happy
software can copy.
Can I image disks that the Happy software can't copy?
Yes, you can image virtually every disk, even those that the Happy can't copy.
What is the Discovery Cartridge?
The Discovery Cartridge was the product made by Happy Computers for the ST. As
the Happy 1050 it can copy disks that you can't without special hardware. But
technically is very different. The Discovery Cartridge is much more powerful and can
copy virtually any type of disk.
What is the Catweasel?
The Catweasel is a PC card manufactured in Germany. It is not very different than the
ST Discovery Cartridge. But it is manufactured still today.
Can I use the Catweasel or the Discovery Cartridge to write back those disks
that an enhanced 1050 cannot?
Yes. They use a completely different hardware, so they don't have the limitations that
a 1050 enhancement normally has. They can write back every atari disk that I know.
Can I run the images under the popular Windows based emulators?
Can I run the images with a real Atari computer?
Yes. You need a "standard" SIO2PC cable.
Can I use my favorite SIO2PC software?
Not currently. A mini SIO2PC software is provided with the VAPI tools. It is by no means
a full fledged program like APE or SIO2PC. I hope those tools will eventually support
VAPI images. Developer tools are provided that make extremelly easy to add support
for VAPI images.
The tools support only Windows? What about Linux?
The emulation helper tools support Linux as well.
Are the tools PAL or NTSC compatible?
The imaging tools don't work with an Atari computer, only with a 1050 drive. The drive
is the exactly the same for both systems. So there is no PAL vs. NTSC issue affecting
the VAPI tools themselves. Some VAPI images might, of course, require a specific
hardware or emulator setup.
Which are the most heavily copy protected titles?
This is a very subjective issue. But three of the most heavily copy protected disks
probably are: Alternate Reality The City (Datasoft), Syncalc (Synaps) and Super