Q: Where do I download the games from?
You can get back images for games you have contributed, games for which can be proven you own the originals, or games that the publisher has said can be redistributed. Otherwise, we cannot legally redistribute the games, as we are not the copyright holder. Most of the games we have preserved already have existed on the internet in other forms for over a decade, but still we cannot open up any sort of legal implications.
Q: Why should I help you? You're just hoarding the ROMz!
If you feel that way, you shouldn't. Do a little research on me. There are other teams that contribute and therefore have access to the collection, such as GameBase64, HVSID, Stadium64, and the various tape and compilation sites, so the data is also contributed for use in those projects.
Q: How do I use the images I get back?
All modern emulators work with provided G64 images, which are a raw representation of the GCR data on each track. There are some tougher protections that won't run due to the inexact way 1541 emulators work. There are also some images that work on the emulator that can't be put back on a real disk.
Q: What equipment and/or cables do I need to dump my disks?
You need a 1541, 1541-II, or 1571 disk drive and an XAP1541, XEP1541, or XMP1541 cable. This cable has both the standard IEC connector as well as the direct parallel connection to the VIA chip inside your disk drive. You can build them yourself using the guides on Joe Forster's Pages or purchase them from his shop. Note with the latter that you still have to solder in the parallel cables to the VIA chip inside your drive, but the cables are top quality and you'll save a lot of time.
Q: You already have all the games I own in your database. Should I bother to redump them or send them to you?
Yes! There are many different reasons.
* Not all disks even with the same publisher, region, and disk label have the same protection. The disk we have might be a different version, from a different region, from a different mastering run, or from an alternative publisher (like a budget release). The disk we have might even be bad and we don't know it yet.
* Commodore's checksum for DOS sectors is not strong (it's a simple rolling XOR) and prone to flag a sector as good when it is not, and heavily protected disks are even worse since they don't even have these checksums. This can happen on old disks that have deteriorated and caused some of the flux transitions to weaken. The only way we have to verify that an image is "good" is to compare it to other dumps of the same exact disk.
We are working on a tool to create CRC32 checksums of just the actual data on the disk without regard to sync, gaps, and bad GCR runs. This will help verify and compare images going forward.