View Full Version : Playing SAP music files on real 8-bit HW?

July 17th, 2009, 08:01 AM
I recently had some time to get my SIO2PC converter and software working with my Atari 800XL, and was reminded through playing some games how cool the 4(?)-channel audio sounds on the Atari 8-bit computer line. I found and downloaded the ASMA (SAP music archive) to listen to on the real hardware...but I can't seem to find much information online about how to go about playing them on anything except modern hardware with modern OSes.

Growing up with Apple ][+ and Tandy CoCo2, I'm not used to this menu-driven DOS stuff, but I have been able to back up and boot my version 2.0S and 3 Atari DOS master disks (using the 2 real floppy drives I have in my SIO chain) and boot MyDOS from over SIO2PC. (I'm running SIO2PC on a modern Ubuntu Linux server - it's a little clunky, but I can't bring myself to set aside space for a dedicated Windows box in the dungeon right now.)

I've created a MyDOS .ATR image with a few .SAP files on it and can get a file/directory/catalog listing of the SAP files on said ATR image - note that I cannot get a file/directory/catalog listing when using DOS 2.0S or 3. When I try to load particular files using the appropriate MyDOS menu options, I get an error 180, IIRC. So how am I supposed to load these SAP files? Is there a special application I need? I thought I read somewhere that these are self-executing...

As a corollary to this, if I'm supposed to use one of the Atari DOSes, how do I get the grayed-out Atari DOS filesystem choice from AtrUtil to work? My only current choices are None or MyDOS.

Last, but not least, am I just being silly and need to setup some sort of menu-driven loader that runs at boot for this particular SAP filled ATR image?

Thanks, everyone, for any suggestions you might be able to provide.

July 26th, 2009, 12:12 PM
I thought I would post a followup in case there are others who someday want to do the same thing. I don't have this resolved yet, but I'm slowly getting things figured out.

There is sapemu (2 different versions) for folks who have a memory upgrade on their real Atari 8-bit hardware. I don't, and actually, I can't even run this in the Atari800Win PLus emulator w/o having a 320k "Rambo" or "Compy" upgrade or better enabled. That said, once I do get sapemu to run in the emulator, I get no audio, although if I look in the assembly language monitor and do a trace, I see it executing code (perhaps looking for vsyncs for 1/50 second PAL timing?). The bummer here is that even with a stock 130XE, it seems that it's not feasable to run sapemu. For those who _can_ run it, it can be found here:

http://asma.atari.org/bin/sapemu.zip (old version)

http://epi.atari8.info/ (new version)

Having spent some time studying the SAP file format:


I'm slowly coming to realize that stripping the header and writing the code to call out the executable pokey-programming player code shouldn't be too hard...

Does anyone know where I can find unsap.pl? I can't imagine it would be hard to recreate - but I figured why reinvent the wheel.

Also, for those folks who need an Atari DOS primer, one of the usuals over at AtariAge has posted lots of useful stuff, here: