Initial examination follows:
AriX wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:47 pm
Off the bat - I believe the Sneak Prevue binary is the file called "vd". It's probably compressed like ESQ. I don't remember how we decompressed that one (I think perhaps it was PowerPack 4.0-encoded). Would love any help in popping it open!
Also, I haven't been able to get the software working yet, as when you fire it up it just prints out "Fo" and stops.
From looking at the strings you posted, the only one that starts with "Fo" is "Font fail"
Looking at the System ADF, there are two fonts available, both ColorFonts. CSTriumvirate
(which is normally the name of a Compugraphic outline font) in size 101, and Helvetish0
in sizes 22, 24, 26, 28, 31, and 33. The strings listed only contains Helvetish3, Helvetish4, and Helvetish5. Perhaps renaming/duplicating the font to one of those names may get further?
There are two scripts in S:, startup-sequence
(or what I will call "s-s" and "s-c" for the rest of this post). s-s contains the following, and from this it is obvious that it is intended to require a 2.0 or newer Kickstart:
Code: Select all
Echo "TV GUIDE NETWORKS, S N E A K P R E V U E"
version >NIL: graphics.library 36
echo "** **"
echo "** PLEASE STAY TUNED **"
echo "** **"
echo "** Error: 1.3 ROM **"
echo "** **"
echo "2.0 ROM detected - running SetPatch2.1"
While s-c contains one line:
I do not see a script called "res" anywhere on the disk, but it is possible it is a script that the software would create. There is a temporary file in T: that might be old, it's called Command-0-T01
(which is one of the temporary filenames that the Execute command uses when running scripts), which contains the following:
Code: Select all
echo "PREVUE NETWORKS, S N E A K P R E V U E"
Many of the files in the root are text files (except for vd, sts, and ColorText, and ADF Opus gave me checksum errors when attempting to view the latter two files). Even with the errors, it did extract a file for sts, and there are strings visible near the end, but it has the same initial binary as vd, so I think it may still be packed, will investigate further.
STS must have been some sort of dialup service offered by Prevue as part of this system. There are two separate configuration files found, sbs.cbm
. The content of sbs.cbm
is listed below:
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Welcome to the Prevue STS Host system
DeviceName = serial.device
DeviceUnit = 3
BaudRate = 19200
AutoLogOff = 0
TaskName = vd
ErrorLog = PROGDIR:STS_Error.Log
LogTrimKB = 1
ReadBuffer = 16384
ZModemFlags = OY TN AY KN
is identical, except instead of using Commodore's serial.device, it's using UVSerial.device. sts.psw
seems like it would store a password to connect to STS, and on this ADF contains 55TBIRD
.ini files? For an Amiga program? That's a new one. Sneak.ini
must be an overall config file, at the top it has a comment ;Sneak.ini Version 95289
appear to have screenmode settings for different modes of the program? They seem to be able to set up different screen configurations, with different individual screen positions. To fully understand this requires a bit of understanding of Amiga Intuition screens (as in, the draggable screens like Workbench or other application screens, with menu/title bars and containing windows, etc). The terms View
, and Rastport
are relevant. A View
is basically the overall screen configuration, and only one View can be visible at a time, but programs can change between Views. Within each View there is one or more Viewport
. A Viewport is basically the structure containing the data used to represent each screen, including it's physical position (in addition to the user being able to drag Viewports if there is a title bar, applications can position them fairly arbitrarily outside of a few hardware restrictions). Each Viewport also has a Rastport
, which is basically a pointer that is used to do direct rendering to a screen outside of the normal Intuition window structure (such as applications like ESQ and VD would do).
A_Screen.ini sets up two different Views to switch between, with three different Viewports, but only two of them are visible at once (one of two 640x400 Viewports near the top of the screen, centered horizontally above one 704x55 Viewport near the bottom). These screens are all 8 colors (3 bitplanes). I'm not as knowledgeable on Sneak Prevue as I am Prevue Guide, but if there is a mode with static information at the bottom and the top half changing between two different displays, that's probably what this was for.
N_Screen.ini is simpler. It also has two Views, but each only contains one 640x400 Viewport, also positioned the same as the ones from before. They are also 8 colors. I do remember there were full screen displays for movie times that were overlayed on top of a background, that's probably this.
The S_* and W_* files seem to be full of comments, and are really too big to include in a forum post. There is also a nearly identical copy of S_TYPES called 9S_TYPES which only has five lines of difference, perhaps some sort of temporary or backup file?
C: contains a very basic Amiga command folder. I see they were still using UVEd. Also wondering why there's a SetPatch1.3 present, perhaps an older version of the software ran on 1.3? I know the black grid often ran on 1.3.
DEVS: contains three different serial devices, one of which likely confirms a board identification I made almost nine years ago
is a slightly modified serial.device from 1.3, the only modification is the internal device name. UVSerial.device
is "UVSerial.device 1.275 (6.6.94)" which likely drove some of their hardware. serial.device
is not a stock serial.device however, it is "A2232 driver 33.11 (22 May 90)". So now we know for sure they used the A2232 7-port serial board at one point.
L: is nothing special.
LIBS: contains copinit.library
, libraries required to support programmatic control of a connected Digital Creations SuperGen genlock. We know they used their own genlock hardware for ESQ, but perhaps they used SuperGens for Sneak?
Extracting the whole contents of the ADF to a folder, for comparison to the zip contents, gave me a crap ton of errors. I'll definitely be running the disk through DiskSalv just to get an error report if nothing else. Right away, I notice that 1994Label is missing sts.cbm, has the same sts.pw, a few differences in S_PFG and S_TYPES, the W* files are at least the same exact filesize.
The data disk seems to be similar to the .dat files on the Prevue Guide disk, in that it would most likely be any downloaded data for currently active promotions.
files seem to be some sort of ordering. I'm going to take a stab and speculate that these files are involved in mapping out what's where on the Laserdiscs, whether video segments or still background. The first line of each file corresponds to the last five characters of the filename, and I'm guessing was their versioning system for this data, or perhaps a region management system.
seems to be a mildly binary file. It contains the following (ASCII and binary are directly concatenated, and only separated by spaces here for clarity):
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g20 <0x04> 200209701:00 <0x13> 200230000:00 [no linebreak here but adding one for clarity]
g30 <0x04> 200209705:00 <0x13> 200230004:00
seems to be an error log.
seems to map movie titles to internal IDs of some sort.
contains the text "SL2596" and based on our experience with the Prevue Guide software, I'm gonna go ahead and assume this is the select code.
seems to be a timed playlist type of setup, with timestamps that go up to just over five hours in SO9B347.dat, and nearly six hours in SO9C060.dat. SO9C060.dat also references Cablevision so I'm assuming these disks came from a Cablevision headend?
is a three-byte file containing a CRLF followed by 0x1a. No clue lmao.
All of this was analysis done without opening an Amiga emulator lol.