Floppy disks are rapidly aging, and archivists are working hard to preserve what data is left. This has led to the development of advanced floppy controllers capable of capturing the raw flux data from disks. [bzotto] was experimenting with the Applesauce archival hardware, and had some fun with the tools.
The result is a highly esoteric Easter egg. [bzotto]’s Picturedsk tool takes a bitmap image as input, and imprints that image into the magnetic flux of the disk. Thus, when viewing a dump of the disk’s magnetic flux on an archival program, the hidden image will be revealed. As an extra treat, it also writes a 1-bit version of the image to track 0, along with a barebones Apple ][ program to display the image and implore the user to investigate further.
It’s a fun hack that we could imagine being used as part of a game at a retro computing con, when we get to go back to those of course. We’ve seen Applesauce used before, too. If you’ve got your own archival projects on the go, be sure to let us know!