CP/M disk conversion: 22DISK and Sydex

Most recent revision dated Aug 21 2009. In 2008 this material was moved from my S-100 and CP/M Web pointers page. Corrections appreciated. - Herb Johnson

In Jan-Feb 2002 there was some (newsgroup) comp.os.com discussion of the well-known Sydex diskette analysis MS-DOS programs ANADISK and 22DISK. The discussion included suggestions that Sydex no longer offered those products for free evaluation via download. I searched the Web and made contacts. Ultimately I recieved a communication New Technologies, Inc. or NTI which claimed they obtained commercial rights to Sydex products and that they offer their version of them at commercial prices, in the context of data security and forensics. AnaDisk is listed on their site as a forensics tool.

In mid-2003, a colleague of mine recieved an email from "Sydex Product Information" which said: "22DISK was removed from shareware distribution and support some years ago. It is still available from Sydex, as a commercial product. Our price is US$100 per copy, plus shipment charges." Contact that reference for current details." The SydexWeb site at that time specifically refered people to New Technologies. Inc for 22DISK and ANADISK products.

In late May 2004, there was further news posted in Usenet newsgroup comp.os.cpm, regarding Sydex products and activities. Gaby Chaudry, who operates the well-known CP/M licensed archive Web site reported that she was contacted by Sydex Inc. and urged to "remove the downloads of Anadisk, CopyQM and Teledisk, as well as the extended 22DISK definitions file" from her Web site. She was not ordered to remove 22DISK, presumably the early distributed "shareware" versions with their original, smaller definition files. The announcement and discussion of it is available in the comp.os.cpm newsgroup as subject "Sydex tools" for late May 2004. Gaby says there that the apparent basis for asking removal of the three programs was "they are now commercial software for forensic use" and previously sold to NTI. She also said "they did not prohibit the distribution of the other Sydex products which have not been bought by NTI, as e.g. 22disk or 22nice." She also said that (at some unspecified time) she was quoted $100 US per copy of Teledisk from NTI, even in 100 quantity.

There was comp.os.cpm discussion at that time, about how to create, archive and distribute disk definitions created independently of Sydex's registered versions. Also there was discussion of related disk analysis and conversion tools, with specific Web links. In 2005 there are still occasional discussions about these former Sydex products.

I confirmed in 2004 (and in Dec 2005) that the Sydex.com and NTI Web sites mentioned above are still in operation. Others reported in 2004 that NTI officers include either former or current employees of Sydex. I found in 2004 that more than one Web site which once had Sydex "shareware" software for download, now no longer had the programs named above.

I'm not a lawyer and I have no QUALIFIED opinion about these issues. However, it seemed to me (and I posted this in 2004) that it's hard to consider these products are "abandonware" as the developers of them and their companies are active and interested and even selling related products. They are also apparently not "public domain", because as "shareware" they were freely DISTRIBUTED but with specific rights noted in the documentation as regards to redistribution, first use and licensing for additional use.

Subsequently in Nov 2005, I was contacted by Charles Guzis, president of Sydex and the author of these former Sydex program, who reviewed my information above. His email, quoted with permission, says that Gaby Chaudry was not permitted to distribute registered copies of former Sydex products or disk format files which were sold to NTI. But to his knowledge, distribution of EVALUATION versions (his emphasis) was not prohibited. Sydex can't sell AnaDisk, TeleDisk or CopyQM, he says, but they continue to support previous registered users of those products. Sydex also has some new products that are available, and continues to offer support services for media conversion. (A look at sydex.com in Dec 2005 shows they provide software development and data recovery services, but apparently not software for use.)

Additionally, he informed me that NTI's stake in the former Sydex products was "spun off" to Breakwater Technology of Seattle WA. The NTI Web page shows these products as available as of late Nov 2005 from NTI, but as an "Armor Forensics division" in Florida. There is a Breakwater Security Web site showing Seattle offices but referring to "NTI Breakwater" under their "data forensics" services.

Regarding use of Teledisk with new formats, during a July 2004 Web search for Teledisk, I found a useful Web site. Will Krantz has a Teledisk Web page dated year 2002. It covers the history of the product and he's analyzed the methods and formats used. He's created a C program, provided on the site, to perform similar tasks. Will references yet another program TDCVT, written by Sergey Erokhin which also does disk to file conversion.

Further work on Teledisk was done by Dave Dunfield, who also developed a means of diskette imaging. Check my CP/M boots disk section for details.

In July 2009 there was a discussion in a Heath/Zenith email list, about using high-density 3.5" diskettes at double-density data rates. I asked Chuck Guzis, formerly of Sydex Inc and a data recovery specialist, for his experience and views. Here's Chuck's discussion about use of high-density 3.5" diskettes versus double-density; and about media quality

Contact information:

Herb Johnson
New Jersey, USA
To email @ me, see see my ordering Web page.

Copyright © 2009 Herb Johnson