ScuzzBlog: Diaries January 2021

Entry 9th January 2021: Post 2: Cracking stuff - CrossDOS, Checkmate and X-Copy.

Cracking stuff - CrossDOS, Checkmate and X-Copy.

When perusing the pages of Amiga Format from 1990 I could not help
but sense a mood of bad boys wanting to break the rules. More a
case of cracking into other domains, platforms and territory as a
way to expand the usefulness of the Commodore Amiga. This was the
era of bedroom programmers, of games crackers and hardware nerds.
Not content with Amiga festivals these guys frequented user groups
and parties and were keen to share in their efforts. Some of which
were less than encouraged by Commodore.

Three cracking reasons:

Cracking the platform - CrossDos may have looked innocent enough but
if emulation was seen as simply just a way to enjoy PC software then
the good folk at Commodore couldn't be more wrong. CrossDOS gave
the Amiga community access to PC hardware, software and download
facilities that were not available on the Amiga. It also allowed
Amiga users to piggy back onto kit from maybe their place of work to
access data and files that could be useful to the Amiga. Later it
would serve to transfer files downloaded via the internet and PC
systems for use on the Amiga. It opened the door to a much wider
world than Commodore ever imagined would be dipped into.

Cracking the case - With the 1500 came the warning to Commodore that
the community was ready to crack the Amiga hardware and put it in
more suitable and spacious enclosures. So troubled were Commodore
of this third party product that they basically told them to stop.
It also spawned Commodore's own Amiga 1500. But the die was cast and
once Commodore was out the way the practices developed during these
early days allowed the platform to continue way after Commodore
had gone pop.

Cracking the disk - A guy once told me that to be successful you have
to understand the rules and then learn to break them. I am not going
to suggest that piracy and copy protection is something you should
applaud, but I have always seen the responsibility for protecting
products as that of the developer. When someone cracks the code then
its time for the development team to step up their efforts. Eventually
the tit for tat fighting meant we all benefited from refined and
very useful product. Whilst X-Copy and Action Replay do not promote
themselves as disk crackers, they certainly allowed users to develop a
better understanding of disk and file structures which in the long run
has helped preserve valuable software and games today

So a big well done to all those that pursued the bad boy life in
those early days cus without them we wouldn't have learnt how to
adapt to use software and hardware from other platforms to further
the life of the Amiga. We would never have preserved the catalogue
of games and software that otherwise would have been lost when
companies went bust. And we would not be able to feed those other
alternative platforms and emulators that stimulate and entertain
new and existing users today.

Good on yah !!

Cracking stuff - CrossDOS, Checkmate and X-Copy.

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Last updated 9th January 2021

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