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ScuzzBlog: Diaries January 2019

Entry 7th January 2019: Post 01: Dave Haynie - DiskSalv

Dave Haynie - DiskSalv

So who is this guy Dave Haynie ....

Dave is the Ace Rimmer of the Commodore world... ' What a guy '

This is a man that took his calculator apart and programmed the thing.
He phoned endless telephone numbers in a region just to try and track
down a computer he could use online. He obtained the blueprints of
a monitor just so he could build his own composite for a black and
white TV. And his first computer was a Exidy Sorcerer that cost him
$1000. He was at college in 1969 where he learned Pascal and worked
for General Electric where he was expected to work on space shuttles
and weapons. One of his reasons for leaving was the military work.

He met Bil Herd at Commodore who took an immediate liking for the
guy and hired him to work with the low end group.

He started work on the TED for the Plus/4 and C16. Jack Tramiel at
Commodore had become troubled by the Sinclair products being sold
by Timex. The desire was to create a low cost Commodore for $100.
The idea was to run the TED next to the 7501. He was aware of the
C116 rubber chiclet keyboard coming out of Germany and the C232
Japanese Plus/4 and 264. He was put in charge of the CV364 which
was cancelled. So even before he got to the C128 he was well versed
in a whole range of machines at Commodore.

He worked on the development of the C128 and recalls the issues of
fonts when trying to use C64 mode. His view being that the C64 was
actually working with broken mechanisms and the C128 would find
them out. And so the C128 was modified to accommodate the C64 issues.

He was at CES in 1984 with the C128 where he first came into contact
with the Amiga team. Though the hardware was hidden behind a curtain.
Dave had spent the show trying to stop users unplugging the C128s as
this was causing real issue with the hardware. Dave met with Dave 
Needle from Amiga and commented on the tower they had mounted on 
the video.

Dave had been made aware of the Black Zorro prototypes which he had
restricted access to the ROM kernel book. Little did his colleagues
know but he snaffled the book and photocopied it. So enthusiastic
was he.

Being part of the 8-bit team and aware of the changes happening they
made one last pitch to build Z8000 high end machine but was scuppered
and Dave was moved to the A500. At this time Dave was very active 
on the various computer groups hosted by people like CompuServe. 
In that summer of 86 before his move the 8-bit team developed the 
C256 and the Commodore 900 Z8000 project lead by George Robbins 
and Bob Welland. Aim to build a 16-bit computer running Coherent 
by Mark Williams. The unit was working pretty well and used a black 
and white windowed system. Sadly the C900 was cancelled.

The teams were transferred to the Amiga. Whilst the Amiga 1000 was 
a good machine it was proving too expensive to make. So one of the 
first challenges was to integrate all the support of the Agnus into 
one chip the Fat Agnus. Dave was assigned to the 500 but after a 
short time it was obvious that George didn't want to give that project 
up so Dave was moved to head the A2000 team. So from being low end 
he was now thrust into the high end on to the 2000.

And the rest is history.

My aim here wasn't to dwell on his time on the Amiga as that isn't 
the purpose of this thread. I simply wanted to understand a little 
more of how Dave got to the Amiga and what possessed him to create 
DiskSalv. At the time he had been working on the C128 though obviously 
involved understanding the Amiga. He had some disks and they had 
become corrupt. So he asked for a tool to enable him to salvage the 
disk. I believe he was recommended Disk Doctor but found that a bit 
restrictive. So I sense he reverse engineered the whole software 
and then came up with his own personal software.

The software became very popular and eventually he was selling the 
thing shareware. After a while Commodore wanted to incorporate the 
software but because of rules preventing the purchase of software 
from employees they kinda wanted him to give it away. Instead he 
released the product as a commercial application and made quite a 
bit of money doing so.

He recalls the super new look to the Amiga OS at 2.0 which basically 
was created to take advantage of the new monitors now being used, 
and decided to upgrade DiskSalv to look more modern on the new system. 
And so he released DiskSalv 2 which became the commercial version.

When last speaking about DiskSalv he was threatening to release the 
source code to allow a new version to be created for larger discs. 
Not sure if he did or not.

I guess that whilst Dave had an incredibly creative and successful 
career at Commodore he will sadly be remembered most for the videos 
he made the last few days of Commodore known as the Deathbed Vigil. 
I will not sadden this thread by commenting on such. Just go see them 
for your self. It was good someone recorded the last days.... or not.

I know that machines like the 256 were at one time in Dave's possession.
There was only one made in plastic and three in total. He has, I 
know in his time had some most incredibly valuable machines and hardware 
in his hands. For me instead of a photographic record of the last 
few days I so would have loved for someone to have picked the whole 
lot up and taken it safely into store. Especially the AAA boards 
and the like. As a collector it's sad to see the tomb ravaged and 
destroyed. The hardware for the Amiga 4000T that was simply thrown 
away is heartbreaking. So for me if I could do one thing it would 
have been to go round with Dave on that last day and half inched 
everything he photographed and stored away for future generations. 
Such a shame.

As to DiskSalv well that has saved my life so many times you cannot 
believe. I love disk/disc management and the structure and workings 
of disks/discs. They hold a very special place in my life as I have 
always wanted to record my mind. And the closest I have ever been 
able to get to my brain is that stored in a computer. The primary 
storage mechanism for me has always been disk/disc and will continue 
to be so for the remainder of my life. So when having at your disposal 
the salvage and repair tool that can rebuild your brain from tiny 
fragments has to be for me a work of genius. Dave may have been 
many things in his life but to me he is yet another of one of those
characters that truly impacted on me in the most significant of ways. 
It was because of him that I did not lose that which I had treasured. 
Seems odd that he videoed the death of his world and yet could not 
save it. Shame there wasn't a Commodore salvage button with his software.

Well done Dave.... go have yourself some Macadamia Nuts.

PS I wrote this whilst listening to Dave's interviews. I apologise 
if I didn't quite get some of the content right. It wasn't intentional 
and feel free anyone to correct me where I got it wrong.

You can find DiskSalv on Aminet or various Amiga cover disks.

Dave Haynie and DiskSalv

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Last updated 7th January 2019

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2019