View Full Version : Atari 520STE

September 10th, 2012, 12:56 PM
I just got a free Atari 520STE from a friend. It has no screen so I bought one on Ebay. Up until now, I have not used any vintage Atari computers before, so I was wondering what is a good use for an Atari 520STE and what to even expect when I get my screen in. Do I need a hard drive? Do I have to get some form of an OS on Ebay? What kind of OSes were made for the 520STE? Is there some form BASIC built in?

September 10th, 2012, 06:44 PM

September 12th, 2012, 07:27 PM
A good use for an STE is to trade it to me!! I'll give ya a 1040STF for it! :)

Seriously... the OS is built into the computer. Just turn it on and you're there - it's an OS called GEM that also made an appearance on the PC. It's somewhat similar to the Amiga Workbench screens in look and functionality.

As for the monitor... you don't have to get an Atari ST monitor. Here's a cable (http://wiki.classicamiga.com/Atari_ST_to_Commodore_1084S_monitor) you can make that will let you use a Commodore 1084 monitor, for instance. If you don't mind Black and White images, you can even wire it up and use a VGA monitor (http://www.atari-forum.com/wiki/index.php?title=Atari_ST_VGA_Cable_Procedures) quite simply for the Hi-Res display.

You'll find that there were two video modes that the ST used: hi-res mode (great for text/applications/midi work for which the ST was famous), and Color mode (most games used this). Most Atari ST people used two monitors, one for each mode, and used a Monitor Master to switch between them. These days, if you've one of the Ambery or Gonbes RGB converters, you can also just use them in-line with a normal VGA monitor and have full functionality.

Note that where logicsays.com is referenced, that site no longer exists as the owner, maintainer, and all around cutie-tech-girl Allison who ran it died tragically last year. I mirrored the page on my site (http://www.classiccomputers.info/mirrors/logicsays.com/index1), as have several others around the web. The Atari->VGA reference is here. (http://www.classiccomputers.info/mirrors/logicsays.com/atari/index.html)

Also note that if you've a Multisync monitor or another true RGB-capable monitor, you can adapt her Color ST->SCART cable to be an RGB cable, as the SCART lead has the necessary pins for R,G,B, and S necessary.

Besides midi applications, the ST had alot of great games and software. Most of it running from floppy, however. There are hard drive solutions out there - SCSI solutions from back in the day as well as more modern (and expensive) IDE solutions, and IIRC, even CF solution (Atari SatanDisk (http://afs.atari.org/satandisk.htm) comes to mind). What you do with it is up to you, but know that the STE models are generally the most desirable of the all-in-one ST systems, with the next most desirables being the Mega series and, of course, the 68030 Atari Falcon.

And I was serious about the trade... not that I expect you to take me up on the offer :)