Looking for the Content of the "Computer-Lernkurs" C16 Cassette

Robat

New Member
Feb 10, 2020
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Essen, NRW, Germany
Hello.

I recently bought an old C16 Set on ebay (see picture), which accordingto the c64 wiki was sold in Germany around 1986 as Commodore Computer-Lernkurs Basic-Programmiersprache and in England as C16 Starter Pack - The Total introduction to home computin.

It seems that I was lucky enough to get the complete package with working hardware, all the documentation and even a joystick with an adapter. The only problem is the cassette: Somone had put tape over the write-protection and decided to record his own "Hello, World!" programs onto the cassette. :-(

So my question is: Does anyone have an MP3 recording of this cassette or can anyone tell me, where I can download it (if it's legal)? I'm hoping that it's possible to record the MP3 back to the cassette to restore it to it's original state.
 

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May 22, 2019
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That is... awful. Have you done any Google hunting for the C16 Starter Pack TAP files?

What you'll likely find (if they are out there) are TAP files. TAP files are basically an encoding of the raw tape data - so you have to play them back through a special player to re-create the audio waveform.

The tools should be available in the VICE distribution at https://vice.pokefinder.org/
You might also look at WAV-PRG at http://wav-prg.sourceforge.net/
 

Robat

New Member
Feb 10, 2020
7
0
1
Essen, NRW, Germany
Yes, it really is awful. I wonder what that person was thinking. My guess is that he or she was just to lazy to go out and buy a new tape.

Thanks for the tip with the "TAP" files. I actually found a german website that seems to have the correct files for download (I don't know if there's a difference between the german and the english cassette):

I'm not entirely sure, that these are the correct files for the tape I have, but since I also have the original book, that came with the computer, I think I will be able to find out. :)

Now I only have to look into those programs, and if everything goes according to plan, I will have the original tape back. (y)
 
May 22, 2019
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Nice. =)

you can try the TAP files in the C16/Plus 4 emulator in VICE before writing them out to tape. Let us know how that goes.
 

Robat

New Member
Feb 10, 2020
7
0
1
Essen, NRW, Germany
Okay. After spending the whole evening yesterday trying to copy the files to the tape I learned a few things:

- The TAP files from the Webpage work in the emulator. The Programs have german text, which means, there is a difference between the english and the german version
- I looked into the basic-book, that came with the package, but it doesn't seem to mention the tape, so I was not sure if these are the correct files for the package
- For some reason Lection 4 had PRG files instead of TAP files, so I first had to convert those
- When converting TAPs to Audio I should have made sure to select "to wave file" or at least not have had my speakers at a high volume when pressing OK (my poor speakers... :-/)


After having converted all the files to WAV files and from there to MP3, I copied them to my usb drive and used my cassette player, which can play from usb and record to tape, to copy those audio files to the tape. The copying worked fine and I have often used this method for music tapes, but for some reason the C16 wouldn"t load the programs. In fact it didn't even find a file, it just got stuck on this blank screen that shows up after pressing play.

I repeated the process with the original WAV files (until then I didn't know my radio could play WAV files), but it got the same result.

After this I decided to try to convert those WAV files back to TAB and try loading them in the emulator, which worked fine. Then I uses that same radio to record the content of the tape back to the usb drive and convert this file back to TAB. This file could not be loaded in the emulator.

So my guess is, that the cassette player is somehow processing the audiofile before recording it to the tape, so that it is no longer possible to read it as a file. My next Idea is to find a different cassette recorder, so that I can record the audio directly from my computer and try that.
Or, since I'm waiting for my SD2IEC to arrive, I could save all those tap files to discs with the emulator, then load those discs with the real C16 and then save it back to tape.

Of course another possibility would be that the tape is just to old, but to my ears, the files sound okay. Do you have any other ideas what I could try? ^.^

Also I fast forwarded the whole A side of the tape and then tried to load the first thing from the B side and it worked. So apparently the genius who recorded over the original content at least didn't destroy the whole tape. Since I have only tried copying the first Lection, it's possible that at some point on the A side the original programs start again. Is there a way to find out if that is the case?