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DreadStorm
March 16th, 2008, 01:42 PM
As I stated in my introduction post, I'm a big fan of Apple II, Commodore, and PCs. But...I've always beed curious...

What are the details of an Atari 1040ST? What can it do, and what can be added to it?

I remember reading about them way back, when the "Computer Shopper" magazine was twice the size of an encyclopedia. But hardware and software capabilities, I have no idea. "An' it looks so purty too!" heh

-DreadStorm (Wayne)

Yzzerdd
March 16th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Well, I know one thing I did with my 1040ST--Sold it for $225 complete with color monitor and books. I know they have built in MIDI capabilities, and I hear they were rather popular in music studios back in the day. If you need a monochrome monitor for yours, I have one I need to get rid of.

--Ryan

ahm
March 16th, 2008, 02:00 PM
What are the details of an Atari 1040ST? What can it do, and what can be added to it?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_ST

DreadStorm
March 16th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Okay, I read the Wiki, but I don't have it yet. Now I'm torn. I always liked the Gem Desktop for DOS. I don't own it yet, but a neighbor just offered it to me for $300. If I get it, my prospecting for a new 486 board to complete my network goes unfinished. If I don't, I miss a chance to get this piece of ingenius gadgetry (and learn something new).

Grrr....decisions, decisions....

mbbrutman
March 16th, 2008, 02:14 PM
Some words of advice:
Use Google before posting. A search of Atari 1040ST brings up a lot of information. Most machines are well covered somewhere.
Pick a better subject line so that people know what they are going to read.

DreadStorm
March 16th, 2008, 02:47 PM
Sorry about that. Will do.
But as far as Google, I tried, and got a whole lot of information that said very little. The WIKI above proved far more useful. But unlike most, Wikis are generally the last thing I think of, but it helped. Lesson learned. heh

mbbrutman
March 16th, 2008, 03:01 PM
When I searched using "atari 1040st" the Wikipedia entry was the first link.

Searching for obscure information is most of the fun - enjoy ...

tezza
March 16th, 2008, 03:02 PM
An Atari ST is something I'm considering adding to my collection, if just to balance it against the Amiga. They were both occupying the same market niche at the time.

I wouldn't pay to much for one though. Here (New Zealand) they seem relatively common and go for about $50 - $80 bucks. (about $40 - $65 US).

DreadStorm
March 16th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Okie. I think I'll hold out then. Completion of one project is a bit more important than starting 3 or 4 more beforehand.

carlsson
March 17th, 2008, 02:11 AM
This thread wants to be moved to the Atari section.

A better question for discussion would be "What can an Atari 1040ST do that other computers of that era didn't?", or perhaps "Give me a good reason to buy an Atari ST today". Both are subjects that might be touched on other web pages, but most certainly not covered by the Wikipedia article since Wiki is about facts, not feelings.

barythrin
March 17th, 2008, 09:29 AM
Did your neighbor offer you Gem for $300 or the Atari and something for $300? Either sound a bit more expensive than I would think they're currently worth although I guess with a bunch of peripherals and manuals it could maybe go that high.

- John

carlsson
March 17th, 2008, 09:52 AM
Maybe it ain't a 1040ST, but rather a Falcon? :-P

DreadStorm
March 17th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Good point. Can you tell I'm new here? <grinz>

I'll ask both questions, and perhaps expand on them.
1) What can an Atari do that others can't? Can I add hard drives, or perhaps interface with other devices like I can thru the User Port on a Commodore? ("POKE/PEEK xxx,yyy" or some such)
2) Feelings aside, technically, what would be the best argument for getting a 1040ST next payday?

barythrin: He only showed me a box with the main unit and it's required cords, etc. A joystick was in it. Anything else, I couldn't see.

Yzzerdd
March 17th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Now that I can help you with--but just a little. I can't help convince you to buy one other than this--Imagine the gaming possibilities with that thing; It has a good color pallete, and has great sound capabilities. Now for the other part: I don't know what it can do that is special, but I do know you can add an external HD. Mine used to have one, but I think you have to get one specifically for the machine. It was a 50MB or so and sat in a 1.5" high housing big enough to fit a monitor on top of.

--Ryan

tezza
March 17th, 2008, 09:48 PM
Good point. Can you tell I'm new here? <grinz>

I'll ask both questions, and perhaps expand on them.
1) What can an Atari do that others can't? Can I add hard drives, or perhaps interface with other devices like I can thru the User Port on a Commodore? ("POKE/PEEK xxx,yyy" or some such)
2) Feelings aside, technically, what would be the best argument for getting a 1040ST next payday?

barythrin: He only showed me a box with the main unit and it's required cords, etc. A joystick was in it. Anything else, I couldn't see.

Well, it depends on what you are collecting computers for. I would imagine it would do nothing that modern day (even old modern day) computers couldn't do better. However if you were interested in it for historical purposes, nostagic reasons or just wanted a "different" system to play with then it has some value.

DreadStorm
March 17th, 2008, 10:04 PM
I'm one of those weird guys that has a hunger for knowledge. I love to learn. I'm at the point now that I know all I want to about PCs. (the modern bloat-hogs) I remember much about the Apple II (and would like to get another one someday). And I have a c-64, which is approaching a certain level of boredom. Getting something new would be awesome, as far as learning. But I like to tinker too, and real-world interfacing is my crown, as far as learning a new 'puter goes. I usually spend between 6 months to a year on a single machine, learning all I can about it.

Unfortunately, I confess some don't even interest me. Macs, Linux-based machines hold nothing for me. Things like this would be a challenge, as well as a learning experience - primarily because of the limitations (graphics, memory, new CPU architecture, etc).

tezza
March 17th, 2008, 10:31 PM
I see where you are coming from. You want to take old stuff to the very limit. Not my interest as I perfer them "original", but I can see the challenge of maxing them out would be an attraction to some.

Not sure how easy an Atari ST is to tinker around with as I don't own one and even if I did, my technical knowledge of computers and their inner workings is somewhat superficial.

A computer is a computer though, and with enough technical knowledge I guess you could get anything jumping through hoops higher than it's meant to.

Good luck with the project(s).

Micom 2000
March 22nd, 2008, 11:39 PM
Well as a long-time ST afficionada. I would say the STs were special. There is an amazing amount of software available for it, much of it free. While it did use GEM as it's graphical interface it's much beyond the old DRI DOS version. Like the Amiga it had a great coterie of addicts and still does. One of it's attraction to musicians was it's built-in MIDI interface and many professional musicians used it (Logins and Messina, among others). As a result there is a vast amount of sequencers, trackers, etc, available for it. While it didn't have a large color pallette, you could do some amazing things graphically with it.

It was not geared to the business community, altho it had many of the DBs and accounting programs, as well as professional Publishing programs that surpassed most of the MS programs then available. It geared itself to the home user and the many games available for it surpassed the MSDOS ones. It had the GUI and OS in ROM so the Ram memory was for the applications. MSDOS disks could be read by the ST and ST programs downloaded from BBS's or the internet were easily transferred.

It's drawbacks were that it had a an expanded memory limitation of only 4 megs except in the STE model and a low 8mhz speed which because of the built-in ROM was better utilized and in real time was still faster than an AT. It's HD port based on the Motorola processor had a proprietary version of SCSI for which you had to have an adapter to use non_Atari SCSI HDs. The 16 color limitation could also be a problem but there were some amazing programs which circumvented that to some extent. While there is now browser and Internet programs available for it, they can't compete with more modern technology.

I would not pay more than $80 for a Stock ST altho with desired peripherals it could go well beyond that. An STE would go for over a hundred, a Mega-4(meg) for under $150, a Mega STE for under $200, and a Falcon for under $300. That's my own valuation. YMMV.

Lawrence

DreadStorm
March 22nd, 2008, 11:52 PM
I decided at the last minute to go ahead and grab it - if for nothing else than to learn something new. Granted, I now know I spent far too much on it, but it's not the first time I jumped before I measured the depth. <shrug> This thing is still sitting in a box, it has a 5.25" floppy and a printer. Several books, a box of disks, and little else (joysticks too).

I guess the best question to ask at this point is this:
Commodores have a "User Port" and a Cartridge/Expansion slot.
IBMs/Clones have expansion card slots.
Apples had expansion card slots.

Aside from pre-defined ports on it, does it have some sort of "general use" port or expansion slot on it? Just asking for a little bit of a heads-up for when the time comes. Oh, and what would it have for programming?

Obviously, I haven't unpacked it from the box, I don't yet have room to set it up. :) I'm cleaning out a spare bedroom to start setting things up in, and when I'm done, all my 'puters will be in there (including my PC network). That way I can return my garage to a shop like it once was.

Oh, and Carlsson, I just looked up the Atari Falcon030 - this ain't that, but GOD I wish it was. LOL

Micom 2000
March 23rd, 2008, 01:00 AM
One thing you do need is a mouse. The floppy drive uses Double Density disks. There are many programming systems including Atari Basic. While it does have a cartridge slot there are no expansion slots for it. Most peripherals were external. It uses a Motorola 68000 so it is much more capable than the 8-bit Commodore. It is more comparible to The Amiga or Mac.

Lawrence

DreadStorm
March 23rd, 2008, 01:44 AM
Okay. I have 2 serial mice left, and about 15 PS/2 mice. Or is there a proprietary kind? I briefly flipped thru the box just now, and there's no mouse in it.

I wonder if the parallel port is "standard" - if it is, I got my method of interfacing. heh

carlsson
March 23rd, 2008, 02:34 PM
The mouse is proprietary, but electronically similar to IBM bus mice, I believe. The pinout is quite similar to the Amiga mouse, but not close enough to be interchangeable. Some 3rd party mice however came with a switch on the underside so they could be used with either an Amiga or an Atari ST.

Micom 2000
March 25th, 2008, 12:00 AM
As Carlsson says they are proprietary to the ST but an Amiga mouse will work by reversing the leads on 2 of the contacts. I have one mouse wich has the switch for Amiga or Atari ST.
I don't know the electronics which differentiates them from a MSDOS or PS/2 mouse but in many years on the Atari ST usenet group I have never seen anyone who mentions successfully doing a conversion of a MSDOS mouse. I'm sure I have the pinouts for the Atari ST mouse someplace in my archives and I remember trying an Atari 8-bit Trackball on my ST but it moved very slowly. Perhaps a Commodore mouse could also be converted, but just as only an IBM type joystick can be used on an IBM I think there are some basic incompatable electronic issues involved in the signal input between the IBMs and the Ataris just as there are in the monitors of each. ISTR there might be a keyboard control one could use but I think that required a program to assign directional issues to keys.

Lawrence

carlsson
March 25th, 2008, 07:12 AM
Although off-topic for Atari/Amiga, this page seems to make a serious attempt of explaining bus (Inport) mice, serial mice and PS/2 mice:
http://ps-2.kev009.com:8081/ohlandl/parts/mouse.html

Another option is to get a PS/2 mouse adapter. I know they exist for the Amiga, so it is highly likely that they exist with the Atari ST pinout too. It is a small device that will convert the PS/2 signals to the quadrature signals the computer expects.

Look here: 20 UKP including world-wide shipping
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140218346481

There may be other sources to buy from, who can offer better price. I just grabbed the first hit I found on Google.

DreadStorm
March 25th, 2008, 09:52 PM
GOD, you guys are a wealth of information! :)

barythrin
March 26th, 2008, 12:42 PM
Didn't someone here modify an Amiga mouse to work on the ST not that long ago (or maybe long ago)? I thought they had to do something weird with the size of the connector as well as that pin swap? From what I remember it was like it could work but didn't quite fit correctly.

Still, cool that you picked it up. It will be interesting to see what you can do with it. I can't recall if I have one or not.. I think I picked one up by accident (it may be a 1200XL that I have actually) once thinking it was something else that a friend was using for a midi controller. I had to find a power supply for mine seperately but I don't think I ever hooked it up to test it. Most of my stuff is for the 400/800.

carlsson
March 26th, 2008, 04:05 PM
Yes, I remember the extra large hole on the Atari ST mouse connector. I talked to a friend about it, and we looked at his 520ST and 1040ST's. The computer itself has a standard DB9, while the plug on the cable has an oversized hole. It makes me wonder if certain ST models were equipped with a non-standard DB9 jack to prevent 3rd party manufacturers of mice, but on the other hand not a single joystick would fit as well. As long as the connector on the computer looks like it should, all normal plugs should also fit, me thinks.

By the way, a 1200XL has nothing to do with the ST series. It is rather the next step above 800XL (released prior to it, I think) and the only (?) Atari 8-bit computer not available in a European (PAL) version. That is, we had 400, 800 and then 600XL, 800XL, later on 65XE/800XE and 130XE.

Micom 2000
March 26th, 2008, 04:10 PM
The 1200xl is an 8-bit Atari unlike the 16-bit ST. You should be able to use most of the software for the 800 on it. Don't know about the power adapter, but in the Atari 8-bit FAQ there's an extensive section on the various power adapters for them.

Lawrence

Neopeius
March 28th, 2008, 12:39 AM
My first computer was a 1200XL. I still have it and it still works though they keyboard is flaky. Atari 800 power supplies are different from those for the XL series and are not interchangeable.

fred333
April 2nd, 2008, 06:51 AM
I did not know that they were not interchangable.

NathanAllan
April 2nd, 2008, 11:59 AM
I hooked upan atari standard joystick to the mouse port once on my ST and it moved the cursor one pixel for each tap in that direction. Figuring that, you could in theory put a small capacitor on the pins that are for that direction and basically get multiple taps out of that. I am thinking a db9 adapter cord that plugs into the mouse port and has the capacitor inline from the joystick. Kind of like a turbo control, but for the joystick and not the buttons. I might try this myself, as I have all the hardware here with me. Again, in theory. This would be a neat thing to have, seeing Atari mice are getting really scare.

Nathan

Anonymous Freak
April 2nd, 2008, 03:10 PM
Can I ask a dumb question?

Yes, but you'll probably get a dumb answer! :p




Back in high school, I had a teacher whose motto was "There are no dumb questions, only sarcastic answers." I'm pretty sure he ripped it off from a comedian (it sounds very George Carlin-esque,) but I've never been able to (or really desired to,) find out for sure.

NathanAllan
April 3rd, 2008, 01:42 AM
I've asked my buddy Joe, and he corrected me. A cap won't work in this instance. But a 556 timer chip will. I'm gonna see what I can whip up. I just realised I have an Ace brand joystick that can be my donor, with lots of room inside the base. Thinking first, parts after, who knows what comes next.

Nathan

DreadStorm
April 20th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Bad news. Machine's a dud - I looked at it, but can't identify much of anything that might cause the problem.

My fault, I suppose, for not testing before buying. But I'm not giving up on it just yet.

NathanAllan
April 20th, 2008, 04:45 PM
I just re-read the thread, but I didn't see a definite model for the machine you picked up (unless I missed it somewhere). Time to troubleshoot? Does your have an external power supply, or is it a newer model of the family (with a built-in power supply)? If it doesn't look like it's been mistreated, then there might not be much wrong with it and can get it fixed (if not do it yourself).

Nathan

jens
July 4th, 2008, 09:37 AM
First of all:
You can move your mouse curser by pressing Alt + the arrow keys, and insert and clr Home will be your mouse buttons.
Additionally pressed Shift will slow down your movements.

Second:
If you didn't already, open the ST, take any chips possible out of their sockets and reseat them.
This procedure might be everything that's needed to get an ST machine to work again.

Good luck.

TroyW
July 4th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Now that I can help you with--but just a little. I can't help convince you to buy one other than this--Imagine the gaming possibilities with that thing; It has a good color pallete, and has great sound capabilities. Now for the other part: I don't know what it can do that is special, but I do know you can add an external HD. Mine used to have one, but I think you have to get one specifically for the machine. It was a 50MB or so and sat in a 1.5" high housing big enough to fit a monitor on top of.

--Ryan
The Atari ST series was pretty poor for gaming when compared to the Amigas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5ic3Fy-tVY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XASnGpemk_M

GEM was also very limited compared to Workbench, but was entirely ROM based on most Ataris, so it did load quicker.

Really, the only reason the Atari ST series survived as long as it did was the built-in MIDI, otherwise it would have gone the way of the dodo before 1989 or so IMHO.

I know lots of people loved the Atari ST series and thought they were superior to the Amigas, but I've never seen exactly how they were superior, if someone could enlighten me I'd appreciate it very much. :)