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I cannot agree more with Steve's direction to pull the old, backward-compatible code from SR and push 6.x into an area where modern mass storage is the target of the tool. While it is all very interesting and nostalgic, the telemetry, if Steve could pull it, would likely give a clear story as to the targets being rescued by SR.
The main reason for this would actually be those needing the backwards compatibility would be able to use the 6.0 release to achieve their goal and I am sure the speed/performance gains are not as important to them given the drive capacity they are likely running with.
The performance will make SR more of a preventive maintenance tool rather than a tool to try to rescue a drive with this performance
As Steve enjoys occasionally discussing on SN, there are ways to use hardware to send messages... maybe SpinRite could be modified to speed up and slow down its drive accesses in specific ways so that it sends out "All your bits are belong to you!" (This was meant as humour if that is at all unclear.)
Using a limited form of telemetry wherein drives' Spinrite-obtained statistics are stored locally could be valuable over time. I think that was discussed in these forums or on Security Now! recently.
@Steve With such a large change to SpinRite 6.1 by pulling out all of the code to support legacy technology should you bump the Version number as well... Maybe to ver 7.0... pushing whatever you intended 7.0 to be to 8.0 or maybe follow what many software companies are doing now days by naming the version the year / Q... (SpinRite21Q4).