Spectravideo X'Press Lives!
Well I managed to retrieve my Spectravideo X'Press machine out of storage and initial inspections have the machine showing no outward signs of damage.
Next after finding a suitable video cord and hooking it up to my processor (connected to a plasma none the less!) the familiar blue screen appears and after a short floppy disk seek I am presented with the main Basic screen. Picture stability looks very good!
Next after hunting around further I find the container of 3.5" floppy disks containing all of my applications and source code. Placing one labelled 'Electric Adventures Finished Titles' in the drive I press the reset switch and the machine cycles through the boot process once more, but after a longer disk seeks ends up at the main Basic screen. Mmm not so good.
I try a few more disks with the same behaviour each time, definitely not good. Why have I left this so long?
Next I hunt around the house to see which machines have floppy disk drives, and I find much to my amusement that I have eliminated all of the drives bar one attached to one of the machines in my daughters room. Much to my relief I can get directory listings from about half of the disks in the box.
I splash out a get a new external USB based floppy drive for my laptop, as who knows how old and dirty the drive that is attached to the old machine is. Using some sample disk recovery software it looks like I should be able to recover most of the titles between the different copies lying around. I also have the Spectravideo 5 1/4 disks as the next line of backup for most titles (they have a longer magnetic shelf life), as long as the hardware still works that is.
I also have found a 3 1/2" drive on eBay that I have ordered to try and get the drive in the actual X'Press working as well.