Only betas?

Problem with the site? Got a suggestion? Got feedback? Post here and the staff will discuss it with you.
AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

Hi,

When this site says 'Beta', does it only mean versions marked specifically as beta, or does it mean any prototypes? I'm asking because I know the word beta is often used to mean prototypes in general, but I think beta is actually a specific phase in the development of a software product.

Thanks.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

"Beta" here is used as a generic term for all pre-RTM releases, which includes prototypes, alpha builds, milestone builds etc. Different companies define their development phases differently so there's no uniform way of defining each phase. Some just call it pre-release, developer, beta, alpha, pr, dr and so on and so forth.

The more specific you can be when you name a release the better, but if there's no exact definition by the developer then just "beta" will do fine.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

Well, it seems I've been spending too much time on The Cutting Room Floor :). There, the generic term is 'prototype' and I believe you can only call it a beta if it actually is a beta, as opposed to an alpha or pre-alpha or whatever.

I do have some prototypes, but I don't think it's anything you'd want (they're prototypes of games that are on the various versions of Windows/Microsoft Entertainment Pack). I also have some demos that are also prototypes, but am I right in assuming you're only interested in prototypes of full games?

Thanks.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

Well, you can use our database and see if we have them, but if they are betas of retail software then they are interesting. Same goes with betas that are demos, we have a section for that too.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

mrpijey wrote:Well, you can use our database and see if we have them, but if they are betas of retail software then they are interesting.
I don't think Microsoft/Windows Entertainment Pack games were sold standalone, so I don't think they count?
mrpijey wrote:Same goes with betas that are demos, we have a section for that too.
That's interesting. You mean that demos (of retail games) that were released before the final, full game (and are therefore prototypes) can go on the FTP server? I think the ones I have can be obtained on archive.org. I didn't think that's the sort of thing you want?

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

They were sold separately as boxed editions.

And yes, if the demos are of an earlier revision or build than the store version then they are acceptable. Again, we have a separate section for them in the DB and FTP. And they can be acceptable from archive.org if they are indeed verified to be pre-RTM editions and complete, unmodified and fully working (to the extent the beta allows).
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

mrpijey wrote:They were sold separately as boxed editions.
No, I'm referring to the individual games, not the packs.
mrpijey wrote:And yes, if the demos are of an earlier revision or build than the store version then they are acceptable. Again, we have a separate section for them in the DB and FTP. And they can be acceptable from archive.org if they are indeed verified to be pre-RTM editions and complete, unmodified and fully working (to the extent the beta allows).
What constitutes sufficient verification that they are pre-RTM editions? I have a demo of one game and two of another. They are all definitely pre-RTM. I even looked at the executable files with a hex editor, and they have what I presume are build dates and that sort of thing.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

The individual games were not sold separately no, but the betas are still betas so they should be fine.

Well, compare build numbers or compile dates etc with the RTM builds and you can fairly quickly see if the demo has the same version as RTM, or if it's earlier etc. Or you just post your findings here and let the community take a look at it.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

mrpijey wrote:The individual games were not sold separately no, but the betas are still betas so they should be fine.
I think I got them from some website that has since died (and I don't think archive.org works).
mrpijey wrote:Well, compare build numbers or compile dates etc with the RTM builds and you can fairly quickly see if the demo has the same version as RTM, or if it's earlier etc. Or you just post your findings here and let the community take a look at it.
The two games are Gearheads (I also have the full game complete with box and manual) and Theme Park (I also have the CD version of the full game).

Gearheads

Demo - No build date (I thought there was one but maybe I was imagining things...) but it was last modified on 16 February 1996.
Full game - 23 May 1996 (I assume it's a build date) and I think it was released in June 1996.

Theme Park

Demo 1 - 22 December 1993 (right before a string saying "COMPILED BY" so it's presumably a build date)
Demo 2 - 19 March 1994 (same as above, and also the readme says that the Year end screen isn't yet finished)
Full game - No build date but was last modified on 14 June 1994 and I think it was released in the summer.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

Looks good to me then. You could also send up the full games along with them and we can add them to the collection as well.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

mrpijey wrote:Looks good to me then. You could also send up the full games along with them and we can add them to the collection as well.
It looks to me as if you may already have Theme Park? (I know you don't have Gearheads)

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

Yes, but there has been many editions released so perhaps you have one that isn't on our FTP? Take a pic of the disc so we can compare it.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

Image

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

That's a different one than we have, so it would be great to archive that.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

Is the actual game any different or is it just the packaging?

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

That I don't know until you upload it, but your disc has a different artwork, so it may be a different version or different print.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

I'm not aware of any other builds (but that doesn't mean there are any). Is it possible for me to check?

As for the other stuff, do I upload them directly to their correct folders?

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

No, you can't upload directly to the folders as any uploads needs to be processed by me. Just use your personal account and upload it there, and I will check it as soon as possible.

As for checking, you can download the game yourself and do a comparison if you want. But the disc artwork is different, so it's not a bad assumption the data on the disc may differ too.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

mrpijey wrote:As for checking, you can download the game yourself and do a comparison if you want.
Well, I tried, but I couldn't get the rar file to open. Both WinRar and 7z just freeze when I try to do so :(. I have no idea what could be wrong. :-?

Do I upload the demos as-is? I was about to do so when I thought I'd better check that I don't need to do anything with them first.

Overdoze
User avatar
FTP Access
Posts: 1694
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:28 am
Location: Slovenia

Re: Only betas?

Post by Overdoze »

Was the download interrupted before completion by any chance? I'd try redownloading it.
All roads lead to Neptune™

KRNL386 - my site about retro computing | My site about Windows 1.0 | My blog | 86Box Manager | LeakDB - list of PC OS warez leaks

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

Still freezes :(. I also had this problem after archiving my WordPerfect for the upload. It seems my computer for some reason doesn't like mdf files... :? No idea what to do about it...

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

Well, something is broken with your system, so it's nothing with our releases.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

I even tried booting in safe mode, but WinRAR and 7z still freeze when I try to open an archive with a mdf file in it (I haven't tried it with smaller ones). I may have to ask for help elsewhere as this has me completely stumped...

AdamP
FTP Access
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Only betas?

Post by AdamP »

AdamP wrote:I even tried booting in safe mode, but WinRAR and 7z still freeze when I try to open an archive with a mdf file in it (I haven't tried it with smaller ones). I may have to ask for help elsewhere as this has me completely stumped...
Of course, now that I've said that, 7z suddenly decided to co-operate... :? I extracted the mdf file and compared it with my CD, and they appear to be identical.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 8178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Only betas?

Post by mrpijey »

Alright, but please do upload a scan and dump of this anyway if possible. Since the artwork is different the ringcode will most likely be too, so it's worth preserving either way.
Image
Official guidelines: The Definitive Guide to BetaArchive :: Abandonware
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

Locked