Section I: Permitted Releases and Agreed Rules ---------------------------------------------- Before you plan on packaging up a piece of software for release, please make sure that it complies with the guidelines for acceptable releases. These rules were agreed upon through a meeting with a number of the top ISO release groups, which include: CIFE, RiSCiSO, and RAZOR ISO. 1. Starting February 1st, nothing older than one month will be released. Requests for older software is independant. 2. No utilities whose ISO size totals under 100 megabytes will be released. 3. No console (PSX, etc) titles are to be released by PC groups. 4. UNIX releases will be sent only to sites that want them, and when released, should not be done so under an official group name. 5. No BETA releases of ANYTHING. Requests are independant releases. 6. Nukers: Will nuke "Betas, Unix, or Consoles." Unless the release is directed to a separate directory, or the upload is a request. 7. All RAR's will be listed as ".001 -> .0xx" as opposed to ".RAR -> .RXX", for the directory listing's sake. RAR is the official standard. Section II: Image File Creation ------------------------------- Use CDRWin (Windows graphical front-end) or DAO (DOS based) by Golden Hawk Technology (see www.goldenhawk.com) to create a ".bin" (sometimes called ".raw") file image of the CD-ROM with a corresponding text ".cue" file. The .bin file that CDRwin generates is a massively large file. It is equivalent to the number of bytes of data on the CD-ROM you are copying. So typically the .bin file itself will be between 600 and 700 megabytes. That file contains a bit-by-bit image of the CD-ROM, which includes all data tracks, audio tracks, and header information. The file is unreadable and in binary, therefore you must use front-end software (such as CDRWin or WinOnCD) to manipulate the binary file. The technical format of the .bin file is a 2352 unscrambled full sector scan. It is sometimes also interchanged as a .raw file (.bin can be renamed to .raw and vis versa). The format 2352 is a standard image format that other software can read, such as WinOnCD. Note that the .bin/.raw format is not compatible with the .iso format generated by Adaptec's EZ-CD Pro. The current version of CDRwin is 3.3E and it is commercial software. UCF has cracked the program and created a "serial key maker" to generate the serial numbers. You'll need to download the file "ucfcdr3e.zip" which contains CDRwin 3.3E with the Key Maker (DAO33EKM.EXE). That file is available in a number of different locations. The ".cue" file is a text file which contains mappings of data and audio tracks from the .bin file. CDRWin automatically generates this file. The .cue file is necessary when using CDRWin to burn the .bin image onto blank CD-ROM media. The .cue file is not necessary if you use a program such as WinOnCD which simply reads the .bin file and doesn't worry about placement of audio tracks. However, when packaging your release, be sure that you include the generated .cue file into the archive. The .cue file looks something like this: FILE C:\PATH\YOURFILE.BIN BINARY TRACK 01 MODE1/2352 INDEX 01 00:00:00 Note that CDRWin automatically prepends your path of the binary file into the .cue file. So you will need to edit the .cue file and remove that path. Removing the path is necessary because end users who will be using CDRwin to burn the .bin image would then be required to place their .bin file in the same path you are using (either that or they would need to modify the .cue file themselves). So instead, please edit the .cue file and change "C:\PATH\YOURFILE.BIN" to just "YOURFILE.BIN". *** NOTICE: If the CD-ROM does _not_ contain either audio tracks or the program is not Macintosh compatible, then you may use Adaptec's EZ-CD Pro or Deluxe software to create a single ".iso" format image. The .iso format is compatible with many software packages, but the downside is that it does not support audio tracks or macintosh data. Some CD-ROM programs say "This CD-ROM works with both PC and Mac," if your CD-ROM says that, then you must use CDRWin to capture the Macintosh data - otherwise, it becomes a PC only image. The way you can tell if your CD-ROM has audio tracks is simply to take the CD-ROM and put it into a normal stereo compact disc player. With your stereo hit play and see if you hear music. If you hear music, then the CD-ROM has audio tracks and you must use CDRwin to create a .bin 2352 image, otherwise you'll lose the audio tracks. If your disc doesn't have audio tracks and isn't a "mac/pc" cd-rom, then feel free to use any program which generates .iso formatted image files. Please do not use any other format other than .bin/.raw/.iso at any time. Section III: Archive Creation The fastest and most efficient archive program is RAR. Once you have used CDRwin to create your .bin and .cue files, or EZ-CD Pro to create an .iso file (*** see note above), then you want to use RAR or WinRAR to break up the image file into workable pieces that can easily be spread on the Internet. If you try and upload a 700 meg single file to an FTP site, you're going to have trouble. If your connection dies in the middle of the connection, you're screwed. Some FTP programs have resume features, but it usually doesn't work, therefore we advocate using RAR. You can find shareware versions of RAR and WinRAR by searching the web, it is available everywhere. Here are the rules for using RAR: -- If possible, use the maximum available compression. However, if you are racing a release, or you simply don't have the time to wait for maximum compression, then use default to light compression. This all depends on how much time you have available to sit around. Higher compression will save a LOT of hard drive space, but it can take a very LONG time, even on a fast Pentium-II processor with 64 megs of ram. -- Use 15 megabyte segment splits. Thus, you want to break that 700 meg .bin file into smaller pieces, each of size 15 megabytes. -- Turn *OFF* solid archive mode. In both WinRAR and DOS RAR, solid archive mode is defaulted on. You must go into preferences and turn it off. For DOS RAR you must turn solid mode off as well by using the menu options or command-line options. In either case, be sure that you are not creating a solid archive, because if you do, the FTP sites will not be able to test the CRC integrity of each of the individual 15 meg segment file. -- Include the .bin, .cue, (or .iso) and "risciso.nfo" inside the RAR archive. Be sure that you have filled out the risciso.nfo file to include all of the details of the release, including how many CD-ROM discs it is, a general description of the program, any necessary OEM or serial numbers, and any other details you like (keyboard shortcuts, game hints, web site to see screen-shots, etc). Section IV: Filename Convention Rules ------------------------------------- So that everyone is happy for both the users of DOS, Windows, and UNIX, please follow these simple guidelines for naming the archive files for your package. -- Please limit the filename of your RAR archive to 8 characters, try to name the program in a few characters. -- Please use only letters and numbers, and no spaces. -- If you have multiple CD rom's, you will want to include the disc number in the filename. For example, if you have Sierra Pro Pilot, which may be 3 CD's, a good filename will be: ppilot-1.xxx for the first CD-ROM, and ppilot-2.xxx for the second CD-ROM, and so on. When the RAR program asks you to enter the first filename, put on an extension of .001, that way the next file will be .002 and then .003, and so forth. This will help the traders a lot in counting files. If you use ".rar" as the extension for the first filename, then the second filename will be .r00 and .r01, and that will cause confusion for the traders and for yourself. When you use .001 for the first file, then it will be much easier to check that you have all of the necessary files uploaded to the site. Section V: Uploading the Archive -------------------------------- Before you start thinking about uploading your RAR files, please run a quick CRC test on each .0* file to check the validity of the archive. Ensure that you didn't run out of hard drive space during the archive processing which could result in bad files. Use the command "rar -t filename" to test the file. Under WinRAR, there is a graphical user interface to step you through testing of the archive. Once you have authorization to upload the release, log into your directed FTP site. Change into the directory where new CD-ROM images are uploaded to. If your release consists of only one CD-ROM, then create a directory whose name identifies the release. First upload the risciso.nfo file into the directory. Even though the risciso.nfo file is included inside your RAR archive, some sites do not yet have the ability to extract NFO files from RAR archives. Next, create a subdirectory within your named directory that indicates to the traders what the last file of your set is. So, lets say that you created a .001/.0XX archive, where XX counts from 01 to 37. The last disk in your set is then 37, or YOURFILE.037. For example, lets say you are uploading Wing_Commander whose last disk is "wing_c.037". To help the traders, please do the following: "mkdir /ISO/Wing_Commander/END_AT_037". This notifies the traders that the last disk or end disk in your Wing_Commander directory will be disk 037. This empty END_AT_0XX directory is merely a flag that greatly assists the traders, they definately appriciate your help in this regard. Now, proceed to upload each 15 meg RAR segment file into that directory. Once you are done uploading and have verified that all files are properly Now, proceed to upload each 15 meg RAR segment file into that directory. Once you are done uploading and have verified that all files are properly on the site, create a subdirectory within your directory that says "COMPLETED" to let the traders know that the release has been fully and completely uploaded. Before creating the "COMPLETED" directory tag, please double check that all files have been properly uploaded and there are no bad or partially uploaded files. If your release has multiple CD-ROM discs, then create a subdirectory within the name subdirectory to encapsulate each disc. Here is an example if I were uploading Sierra's Pro Pilot: mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD1 mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD2 mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD3 Then indicate the last disk of each archive to assist the traders: mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD1/END_AT_040 mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD2/END_AT_038 mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD3/END_AT_042 Then upload the proper 15 megabyte segment files into their corresponding directories, whether it be CD1, CD2, or CD3. Once each disc is finished, create a subdirectory: mkdir /ISO/Sierra_Pro_Pilot/CD1/COMPLETED indicating that disc 1 of Sierra Pro Pilot has been successfully uploaded. These flags will greatly assist the traders. If your transfer ever dies or the site runs out of space, notify the administrators. Once space has been cleared, remove any bad RAR segment files and/or overwrite them to continue the upload.