Atari STart Magazine Cover Disks

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STart Editorial introducing the Heidi Format

STart magazine ran from Summer of 1986 to April/May 1991. It usually used single-sided disks, but in November of 1989 they switched to a double-sided format but using a special bootsector that made them look like single-sided disks.

This is called the "Heidi Format", and they explain it in an Editorial note. Instructions on how to use these disks are on page 64 of the November 1989 issue.

The last issue using the format was April 1990 (Vol 4, No 9) as explained in another Editorial Note

But the end result is that these disks are double-sided, but disk imaging software may mistake them for single-sided. This happened when all the STart disks were imaged, so existing collections of the disks are actually missing half the content.

The menu screen of a Heidi disk


The affected disks

Thanks to the help of Ian Muttoo in loaning me their disks, I've been able to archive all the affected disks.

They're now available on the Internet Archive.

Method: I imaged the disks on a PC disk using a Kryoflux, then used Disk-Analyse to convert the stream files into ST files.

I used Steem Engine 3.2 to create backups and extract their contents.

The December 1989 disk had a bad sector in the first track of the second side, but this seems to not have affected extraction.

I'm not certain if the archive format used (ARC) has checksums, or if it just produced corrupted output.

Issues affected:

Date Volume/Number Affected? Reimaged yet? Notes
October 1989 & earlier Vol 4 No 3 No Not needed
November 1989 Vol 4 No 4 Yes Yes The first issue affected.
December 1989 Vol 4 No 5 Yes Yes
January 1990 Vol 4 No 6 Yes Yes
February 1990 Vol 4 No 7 Yes Yes
March 1990 Vol 4 No 8 Yes Yes
April 1990 Vol 4 No 9 Yes Yes Last issue to use the Heidi Format
May 1990 - April/May 1991 Vol 4 No 10 - Vol 5 No 7 No Not needed

External Links: