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Page 6 Issue Disk 78B, What the 0x82?

Posted by Atari_Ace, 18 August 2018 · 16 views

Another badly damaged Page 6 issue disk is 78B.  I first noticed the VTOC and directory sectors had damage.  A very peculiar damage, the 2nd byte of each sector was always 0x82.  In fact, for the entire disk, the 2nd byte of every sector is 0x82.  This disk is not in a happy place.
Still, we can (mostly?) fix this.  Fixing...

Page 6 Issue Disk 55A, restoring the MENU

Posted by Atari_Ace, 16 August 2018 · 23 views

The Page 6 Issue Disks are an excellent collection of Atari software you can find at http://page6.org .  The integrity of the disks is generally good, but I've found some disks with issues.  Issue Disk 55A in particular is badly damaged, but we can try to at least partly fix it.
Sectors 232-235 and 642-706 are marked in the VTOC as free (...

DOS 1.0 files, they're out there

Posted by Atari_Ace, 12 August 2018 · 46 views

In looking over the ACE of Columbus disks, I originally thought disk acec027b.atr had some problems, but it turned out, it simply had something I hadn't seen before, a DOS 1.0 file on a DOS 2.0 disk.  You can see this by using the -dir command we wrote in the past.00 42 039 004 DOS     SYS01 42 014 043 INFOBITSBAS02 40 080 08...

ACEC Disk 016A, or one byte isn't as good as another

Posted by Atari_Ace, 11 August 2018 · 35 views

In my initial examination of the ACE of Columbus disk archive, I was able to fix acec068b.atr by borrowing a couple of sectors from acec016a.atr.  This restored a Rubik's cube program, but if you compare the two files, they aren't the same.
As discussed in the past, BASIC files start with 14 bytes of pointers, then the variable names...

The ACE of Columbus D.O.M. archive, part 1

Posted by Atari_Ace, 10 August 2018 · 37 views

Back in the 1980's, hundreds of Atari user groups formed throughout the United States.  One of them, The Atari Computer Enthusiasts of Columbus, Ohio preserved the majority of their newsletters (which you can find on archive.org) and their "Disks of the Month" (342 images which you can find on the Pooldisk under the directory ACE).  Just like th...

Fixing Bellcom disk D068_A, The Nephew

Posted by Atari_Ace, 08 August 2018 · 40 views

Bellcom disk D068_A is the first disk in the Bellcom archive I've examined where the damage is substantial.  This is the first disk of a four disk graphical adventure from Germany, "The Nephew".  The Bellcom catalog exclaims: "I had this unique game translated into English because I knew you’d want it."  All the sectors from 952 up ar...

Bellcom disk 397, a (Turbo)BASIC puzzle

Posted by Atari_Ace, 07 August 2018 · 42 views

At this point I've fixed a lot of Bellcom disks, and now find the remaining ones are going to have to wait until I find another source of the damaged content, or some manual work on my part.
Disk 397 is a good example of the latter.  It is missing sector 228, which is the first sector of AUTORUN.BAS, which turns out to be the Autocrostics prog...

Bellcom Disk Fix Potpourri

Posted by Atari_Ace, 05 August 2018 · 42 views

Today's blog entry is going to be a bit dull, since it's just all the easy to fix Bellcom disks.  No new Perl code is needed, these can all be fixed with the techniques described in past entries.  In fact all of them involve just patching a single sector from another disk.  The hardest part was finding the disks with equivalent content, but...

Fixing Bellcom disks 450, 655, 656; more 8-bit picture goodness

Posted by Atari_Ace, 04 August 2018 · 50 views

After the epic efforts to restore GIRL6 in the last two posts, I thought I'd tackle the remaining damaged pictures in the Bellcom archive.  We start with disk 450, which has the title screen from Zaxxon ripped from the game, but unfortunately the first sector of the MicroPainter picture is gone.  No problem, we can rip the 125 bytes from the gam...

Bellcom disk 481, part 2, or flipping bits for fun

Posted by Atari_Ace, 02 August 2018 · 51 views

In the last post we partially restored the first sector of Girl6.pic by splicing in some data into the RLE stream to represent 160 zero bytes.  But we have a slightly different version of the picture, so in principle we can completely restore the picture from that and some ingenuity.
First, let's expand out the first column of GIRLJ.PIC (our m...

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