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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:05 am 
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According to what I see here: http://www.acornuser.com/acornuser/index/ind4.html, the April 1995 issue of "Acorn User" was the first to have a CD included.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:36 am 
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what file(1) reports is:

Code:
/home/pigi/dload/INFORM: RISC OS archive (ArcFS format)


and I don't figure how to unpack/unbundle/whatever..

EDIT: on the other point, that the 1995/04 AU CD being the first the lead came from history.txt in the sources of wedding by James Neil, whose, as quoted above, points to a 1994 CD, and specifically says also:

Quote:
Version 1.10 (approximately 20/7/96) - using a more up-to-date compiling
package from a 1995 AU disk. Also, quotes and a title page added. New
problems arise - !Zip2000 crashed if the player attempted to use my own
home-grown LOOK UP command so I had to disable it, and because PRESS TWO (or
any number in word form) ON CONTROLLER crashed both interpreters, I had to
catch this with a 'multi' keyword in the grammar section, which tells the
player to use number form for buttons, but it looks rather strange.

Version 1.20 (31/7/96) - using compiler and library from AU's CD ROM 1996.
Works with !Zip and !Zip2000, Deborah's movement code improved, all look up
commands work, 'press two on controller' works, when books are removed from
library they can't be collected again, ... and the large help menu from the
previous two versions has been 'suspended' because of an error somewhere in
the compiler which gives an obscure error message if the game text exceeds a
little over 70,000 bytes.


However, dunno if there's something useful in the AU '96 release of Inform 5

EDIT 2: there's a most important thing:

now I have treated this file with strings(1) and there's a perhaps interesting thing:

Code:
  +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
  |            Inform: A Compiler of Infocom-Format Games               |
  |                                                                     |
  |                        by Graham Nelson                             |
  |                                                                     |
  |                                                                     |
  |                           Fifth Edition                             |
  +---------------------------------------------------------------------+


that is, AFAICT, the fifth and final edition of the pre-DM1 manual, (and indeed, an eyeball scan reveals differences with DM1), so at least something is recovered, perhaps ?

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:40 am 
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https://github.com/mjwoodcock/nspark is a working unpacker for arcfs.

What we find is an Inform *executable*, not source code. Oops! And executables for Zip, and z-code files of Advent and Curses. ("Release 12 for Acorn User / Serial number 940604")

There's the Inform manual -- that's the header you see in the previous comment. Also a set of library files (Grammar, Parser, VerbLib) dated 3/7/94. We may have those already; I'll check.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:53 am 
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This library is not quite the same as http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/infocom ... 940612.zip , but the differences are small. It's missing some comments and a few small (one-line) bug fixes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:07 pm 
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so, in the end, we have recovered only the release 5 of the pre-DM Inform manual ? better than nothing, I think <disappointed>

Hope you upload it in the Inform5/manuals/

Tnx for the link to the arcFS unpacker; perhaps deserve to be placed in if-archive/tools

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:33 pm 
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DavidG wrote:
According to what I see here: http://www.acornuser.com/acornuser/index/ind4.html, the April 1995 issue of "Acorn User" was the first to have a CD included.

The August, September, and October 1994 issues of the magazine came with cover disks (3.5-inch floppies), which also contained some early Inform software, though nothing that hasn't already been mentioned or linked to in this thread, I don't think.

The disk-images have been found, and I've extracted the Inform software and attached it here, just for completeness:

Attachment:
File comment: The software from the three cover disks
InformArch.zip [477.28 KiB]
Downloaded 10 times


Attachment:
File comment: AU August 1994
Untitled.png
Untitled.png [ 92.51 KiB | Viewed 313 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: AU September 1994
Untitled3.png
Untitled3.png [ 78.17 KiB | Viewed 313 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: AU October 1994
Untitled7.png
Untitled7.png [ 112.45 KiB | Viewed 313 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:41 am 
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It's sad to think that some or all of this may have been lost forever... Things move so fast that sometimes we forgot to preserve things.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:41 am 
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What do you suppose "Inform v1258" is supposed to represent?

Code:
Welcome to Adventure!

ADVENTURE
The Interactive Original
By Willie Crowther and Don Woods (1977)
David M. Baggett's 1993 reconstruction, ported by Graham Nelson
Acorn User Edition
Release 1 / Serial number 940604 / Interpreter 1 Version F
(Compiled by Inform v1258)

At End Of Road
You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you
is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.

>

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:06 am 
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Inform 1258 is a version of Inform 5.2, I think. For comparison, see http://ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archiveXinfocomXcompilersXinform5XsourceXold.html


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