During my work experience I have often felt how frustrating it is when you read a manual and most of the time it just tells you what you can configure in a dialog or property sheet. The key thing missing is usually: what is the practical need beyond certain features or configuration options? In which scenarios are these relevant?
Well, I suppose we don’t find these things documented properly as it appears that the relationship between a certain feature and the requirements that brought it into the application is lost along the way.
For this reason, I decided to sit and spend some time documenting some of the restoration works I did and requirements I had when I introduced new features in TAPClean Front End.
Two examples just to give us all an idea of what I am talking about: the TAP File Editor and Graphical Analysis Tool. You can save a TAP file excluding files from the initial TAP that was analysed. Which files would one want to exclude? “Unrecognised files”, somebody will answer. But which ones exactly? “Small blocks of roughly 30-40 pulses”, they might add. “Yes, possibly”, I would say. However, the logical sequence here is that once a TAP file is cleaned and doesn’t get 100% recognized, but nearly there, we might start looking at where the unrecognised blocks are and how they look like in the Graphical Analysis Tool.
As example, in the case of Flashload you can often see that turbo blocks have been mastered to tape without first letting the tape motor speed settle. Graphically, this results in an initial oscillation of the pulse lengths.
Once you actually see this, you can confidently exclude these anomalies within the TAP File Editor. Well, in order to allow users to see this, I added the Graphical Analysis Tool in TCFE and the cross analysis feature using which users can select a file and jump to its graphical representation quickly.
This way of excluding unrecognised blocks is both responsible and denotes interest in the delicate subject of cleaning and preserving, along with a very effective use of TCFE.