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Shazbot
August 30th, 2013, 05:43 PM
Just found and I'm trying for a 520ST. IF I happen to land it, it'll only be the base unit + PSU. Unknown what specs it has (RAM, etc). But there are no drives or any other devices with it.

Any ideas what sort of drives and devices are usable with that? And how much, generally?

Shazbot
August 30th, 2013, 06:01 PM
I should expand that. I've seen lists of peripherals, but nothing like "This will run with it, but not those" kinds of things. Basically, all I'm after is drives and the odd software title. Not much into gaming, more of a productivity aspect. And maybe either a printer, or port adapter for a standard printer (if applicable).

Al Hartman
August 30th, 2013, 06:20 PM
You can use IBM PC Standard Printers and Modems on it. You'll need to hit eBay or Best Electronics for a mouse and floppy drive. Once you have a floppy drive, I can help you with software, though you can download images and write them to 720k disks with any PC.

You'll need a monitor. I have cables for $14.95 shipped, that I had made up and will allow you to use the ST in color modes with any Composite display. Depending on the unit, it might have an RF modulator to attach to a TV.

If you can find a disk drive port to 34 pin IDC Connector Cable (I have one, but got it a long time ago), you can use any 720k 3.5" floppy drive on the ST.

Here are some useful links for software:

https://sites.google.com/site/stessential/
http://www.z80.eu/stsoft.html

Shazbot
August 30th, 2013, 06:20 PM
Found drives. Now for printing...

[edit] Looks like we'll be doing business. Over the past couple days browsing, I've found that, with the exception of a few occasional miscreants, this place is a family - I'm big on loyalty. Everyone's eager to help. I think that, with what I've found, you and I will be talking extensively once I land it. (And if I don't, I'll probably choose an ST anyway, because an Amiga is quite a bit more pricey than an Atari.) And if I don't get this one, I'll find another.

Good links. lol

Al Hartman
August 30th, 2013, 07:08 PM
Basic is not built-in. The computers came with it on disk, which I have for you.

I'll make you disks if you just send 3.5" DSDD blanks and a return pre-paid shipping envelope. Or, I can make images onto my Dropbox which you can download and write to floppy disks.

Here is a hardware hack page:

http://atari4ever.free.fr/

Shazbot
August 30th, 2013, 07:33 PM
Based on what you've supplied so far just from those links and what you've offered...

I'd like a configuration set up where I can use an SCSI drive. (I have a Syquest 44MB that still runs like new - and other SCSI drives.)
Dual floppy drives, using the adapter you mentioned. I have the 3.5" drives, and can improvise a case/PSU for them.
I have a 15" VGA LCD monitor with an adapter I use to push Composite (and others) into VGA for it. I'd like to use that monitor if possible.
That latest link shows how to upgrade RAM. I'll up this to 4MB. Should be enough to start off with.

I have a bad habit of adding RAM to my machines when they're not meant for it. lol

The picture shows it has Composite out, but if I can adapt a higher res to the VGA monitor, the better off I'll be.

Al Hartman
August 30th, 2013, 08:52 PM
You will need to find a SCSI adapter for the ST. I have an AdSCSI adapter that attaches to the Atari Hard Disk Port and lets me use any SCSI drive.

But, you might be better off getting one of these: http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=94

You will probably have to make the floppy cable as I don't know who is making them right now.

A Composite Cable will give you the two color modes, there is another Atari to VGA cable that gives you the hires B/W mode. You can find those on eBay, or find the pinouts on-line.

An Atari-ST can only be upgraded to 2.5mb max due to a limitation of the MMU.

That connector you think is composite is actually an RF out for a TV.

Al Hartman
August 30th, 2013, 08:54 PM
Finding an AdSCSI can be difficult, as they don't come up often on eBay.

I found this modern replacement, but can't vouch for it.

http://shop.inventronik.de/store/17

Al Hartman
August 30th, 2013, 09:11 PM
Here is the AdSCSI info. I have the adapter called "The Link."

http://www.icd.com/atari/

I wish Atari had just put a plain old SCSI adapter on it.

I found this interesting page:

http://www.spiny.org/atari/popsel/ATARI_ST_IDE_INTERFACE_V2_00/double_sided_version_1_4/

Shazbot
August 30th, 2013, 09:17 PM
Yeah, I couldn't identify the symbols on the casing due to the light angle. But since it's RF, I might just plug it into my main PC's TV card when just tinkering, and direct monitor use for major projects. I'm already enjoying the heck out of this thing just researching. :)

The memory upgrade papers I found say 4MB max - but if there's conflicts with hardware, 2.5MB it shall be. Better safe than sorry. So the 512KB is lower, right?

Found the VGA cable, but nothing about the adSCSI or floppy yet. (Most pages are blocked from here at work ("games") so I'll have to look more tomorrow for it.)

Al Hartman
August 30th, 2013, 09:48 PM
I was incorrect in saying that there is a 2.5mb limit to the RAM.

If you remove the existing 512k and replace it with a 2mb bank, then you can have 4mb. The limitation was because the previous RAM upgrades did not ask you to remove the original 512k bank. You can only have 2mb per bank of RAM.

Oscar
August 31st, 2013, 03:41 AM
Found the VGA cable, but nothing about the adSCSI or floppy yet.

For mass storage, I can really recommend the Ultrasatan (http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=94)from Lotharek. Dual SD card drive that connects to the ST hard drive port. With the right hard disk driver (the one from Putnik (http://atari.8bitchip.info/pphdr.php)is perfect, newly developed and costs 10 euro) you'll be able to fill the SD card with files on your PC, stick it in the ST, and run with them straight away. It's an infinitely more comfortable way to get vintage software on your ST than bringing up a SCSI drive. You'll be swapping floppy's forever to bring software to the ST.


Regards,

Oscar.

NathanAllan
August 31st, 2013, 04:35 PM
Since you are looking into the ST mysteries, look and read about ghostlink (or ghoslink), it was a serial port program that let you connect to a newer PC to get programs and files back and forth. I played with it, it was quite useful for me once. I love the ST series, my favorite is my plain jane 520ST with no internal drives. Love that thing.

Shazbot
August 31st, 2013, 04:43 PM
Yeah, that's kinda my thing, really. I want to boost the RAM, and use ample video, but beyond that, I try to stick to the parts of the time. Floppies, SCSI, and perhaps (as I learn more about it) modem or networking, if available. Biggest thing is I wanted something I never saw before. Learn something new (to me). I'd forgo the SCSI if I could find (and afford) a decent hard drive for it.

This is NOT to say I won't get an SD gizmo, but at the moment, I'd rather stick to contemporary devices. Things like that are for later on.

I figured since the Amiga is still too pricey, the TRS-80 oldies are too, the Atari seemed the best bet. Transferring data shouldn't be a problem. I've already downloaded and installed some tools, so my main PC is ready. Just waiting on the auction end and another paycheck. lol

vwestlife
August 31st, 2013, 04:46 PM
If your Atari ST has a built-in RF modulator, that also means it has composite video output through the large round monitor port. The quality still isn't great, but it's better than the RF, and on a good TV or monitor, is actually good enough to give you readable 80-column text. You'll need a cable like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271268845573

http://i42.tinypic.com/2hqz1fs.jpg

http://i40.tinypic.com/157gqwh.jpg

Shazbot
August 31st, 2013, 04:50 PM
When it comes to TV outputs on my stuff (Commodores, TI, etc) I generally use my main PC's TV card. Pipes into a window on my XP desktop.

But for things with higher res outputs like that, I have a 15" LCD that seems to display anything I throw at it. I have a converter that takes S-Video, Composite and something else I never bothered to identify, and turns it into a VGA signal. Not much loss, and quite clear, so I'm hoping it will do well.

This particular 520ST I'm trying to get has RF output, but looking at the back of it, the pics have bad lighting angle, so I'm not certain what the other ports are yet. (Can't focus on the symbols.)

Al Hartman
August 31st, 2013, 04:53 PM
If your Atari ST has a built-in RF modulator, that also means it has composite video output through the large round monitor port. The quality still isn't great, but it's better than the RF, and on a good TV or monitor, is actually good enough to give you readable 80-column text. You'll need a cable like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271268845573

http://i42.tinypic.com/2hqz1fs.jpg

http://i40.tinypic.com/157gqwh.jpg

That's the cable I sell, and that's my 520 ST. :)

(That's my auction)

Shazbot
August 31st, 2013, 05:07 PM
I've added that cable to my watch list just now, btw.

And you need to test that IDE card. heh

Al Hartman
August 31st, 2013, 08:16 PM
This particular 520ST I'm trying to get has RF output, but looking at the back of it, the pics have bad lighting angle, so I'm not certain what the other ports are yet. (Can't focus on the symbols.)

From right to left looking at the rear of the ST:

ASCI Hard Drive Port
Floppy Port
RS-232 Port
Parallel Printer Port
Monitor Port
RF Out
Midi in
Midi Out
Power

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Atari520ST_Interface.jpg

vwestlife
August 31st, 2013, 09:13 PM
FYI, not all Atari 520STs have only 512K RAM. My 520ST (early model with no built-in floppy drive) was actually a 520ST+ model which was factory upgraded to 1 MB of RAM with piggybacked RAM chips. Some 520ST+'s are indicated as such on the label, while others are not.

And I sure wish I had one of these to go along with my 520ST+...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3277/2376515667_9229c31cc6_b.jpg

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2106/2377363248_73efc0402f_b.jpg

All that clutter of the external drives and power supply bricks was the reason why I sold it and got a 520STFM with a built-in floppy drive and power supply... but the "520 Station" sure helps contain those parts within an attractive enclosure.

Al Hartman
September 1st, 2013, 05:33 AM
Nice!

Wish I had one too!

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 10:59 AM
Oddball question: How many floppies can an ST control? And can it run 5" floppies from other Atari generations?

Al Hartman
September 1st, 2013, 11:31 AM
I would say 4, as there are only 4 drive selects available.

No, you can't use drives from the 8 bit line.

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 11:42 AM
I can live with that. So with 4, I could have, say, two 720K and two 1.44MB. Not that I would right away, but it's just an idea. I'll probably just end up switching them out rather than run both pairs.

Trying to get all my ducks in a row for when the auction's over. 6 hours left. Praying against any snipers like a madman right now. lol

vwestlife
September 1st, 2013, 01:05 PM
The Atari ST series needs aftermarket modification in order to support 1.44 MB floppies. The only machines Atari shipped from the factory with 1.44 MB support built-in were later models of the Mega STe and TT and the Falcon.

I think Atari may have released a 5.25" floppy drive for the ST series for use with IBM PC emulation, just like Amiga did. If not, then I'm sure aftermarket vendors did.

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 02:08 PM
Ah. Well, it narrows it down. I can deal well with two floppies. So if I win this 520ST, these are what I'll be looking for next.
The video is taken care of, thanks to earlier links. But these will be following.
Adapter to use two "standard" floppies with it (or two genuine Atari floppies cheap)
I'll expand the RAM internally to 2.5MB (easier and less headaches. Plenty to work with.)
Standard parallel printer adapter or cable.
An ASCI interface/enclosure for a drive - I can supply drives out of my parts piles. If it happens to be an SCSI adapter, so much the better.

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 03:56 PM
90 minutes left. Almost pissing myself in excitement here. lol

Al Hartman
September 1st, 2013, 04:22 PM
On eBay?

I see some 1040ST computers ending...

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 04:28 PM
I would've gone after a 1040st, but I'm on a limited budget this pay period. Yes, on eBay.
Kinda broke actually. After paying for it - so long as no one exceeds my max bid - I'll only have about 8 bucks left to my name till next payday. lol

But it's worth it to me. 56 minutes left. ;)

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 05:26 PM
GOT IT!

And for only $30. Plus shipping. Someone up there likes me. lol

Al Hartman
September 1st, 2013, 05:30 PM
Good deal!!!

Shazbot
September 1st, 2013, 05:41 PM
That's why I was in a near panic. They don't usually go that low.

After this one's up to snuff, my next project is either a PS/2 late model, a 1040ST, or a Mac. Tried to stay away from Macs for years, but...it's time to check them out.

Al Hartman
September 2nd, 2013, 10:54 AM
If you go to Dave Dunfield's Site: http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm

Download his Imagedisk utility, then go here: http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img54306/system.htm

There is a zip file with the disks that come with an ST. It has the BASIC interpreter on it. You can find the manual online if you hunt around a bit.

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 03:16 AM
Now I got people telling me not to put any stock in a 520, because it's supposedly glitchy and doesn't work right.

Way I see it, so much the better. That way when I get another later model, I'll have learned more ways to tweak and fiddle with it. I have no intention of getting rid of this thing any time soon. The more I learn about it, the more excited I get.

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 05:30 AM
I think that at the time, the Atari ST was superior to a PC and the Mac. But, Atari couldn't market it's way out of a paper bag.

vwestlife
September 3rd, 2013, 06:07 AM
I think that at the time, the Atari ST was superior to a PC and the Mac. But, Atari couldn't market its way out of a paper bag.

The ST series was very successful from around 1985 to 1987... there was no color Macintosh yet and the ST was cheaper than the Amiga, so it took an early lead. But then Atari got distracted by the video game wars, and they spread themselves too thin. In the late '80s, Atari had an incredible amount of platforms they were supporting: 2600, 7800, Lynx, XE Game System, XE computers, ST series, STe series, Portfolio, PC series, and even the oddball ATW-800 Transputer Workstation.

Agent Orange
September 3rd, 2013, 06:37 AM
I think that at the time, the Atari ST was superior to a PC and the Mac. But, Atari couldn't market it's way out of a paper bag.

Personally, I never made the Atari scene. However, my son did, and used to 'moonlighted' as a graphics designer for one of his local tv stations back in the day. He claimed that at the time Atari was the de facto tool for that purpose.

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 06:38 AM
I like my 520-ST, and if I can get the AERCO RAM upgrade working again, and find the docs so I can upgrade the board from a 512k expansion to 2mb or 4mb, I want to do it.

I even have the PC-Ditto software to emulate an XT on it. I need to win an ADSpeed CPU speed-up if one ever becomes available. Somewhere, I have a 68010 processor and a socket for this board.

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 09:52 AM
After I "get done" with this, the next one I plan to get - and I know they're rare and pricey - is the Falcon030. (Or one of those higher-end units.) Once I get one, then I can use this one like I did my C128, 64, C16 and VIC-20. Have one to leave original, and one to modify.

I have to admit, the only reason I don't plan to get an Atari 8-bit (130XE and lower) is the keyboard layout. I still look for one and if it's cheap enough, I still might, but it would have to be an upper model. 1200XL or better.

Looks like I'm on a roll again. Once I start on a "family" I just keep rolling with it. Having already got my Commodores, now on to Atari, and maybe something else after that. Amiga perhaps, or early Mac. Mac still makes my skin crawl, but still...lol

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 10:42 AM
Well... Keep an eye out for a Spectre GCR cartridge for the Atari ST. It will let you run Mac OS 6.08 on the ST. It will also read/write Mac 800k Disks on Atari Drives.

Rumors are if you search for "Aladin Atari ST", you can find an old software only Mac Emulator for the ST.

I also have PC Speed, and I just found the disks for another PC Emulator for the ST (Can't think of the name).

A Magic Sac will also give you Mac Emulation, but Spectre GCR is better and faster.

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 11:45 AM
Hey Shazbot...

I noticed that your ST didn't have a mouse. You will need a mouse. Atari mice aren't cheap. If you have any PS/2 Mice, you can buy this kit, build it up, and "Bob's your uncle."

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-KMTech-MKII-Amiga-Atari-ST-TT-Falcon-PS-2-Mouse-Adapter-Kit-DIY-/111154784857?pt=UK_VintageComputing_RL&hash=item19e1576a59

I just bought two, because I need one for my Mega ST, and one for my Amiga 500.

I've been abusing my Credit Card, because I also bought a set of "Rainbow TOS" ROMs on eBay. they cost $35 shipped, but by the time I bought EPROMS and could get to program them, this was just a little more expensive, and it's done.

Rainbow TOS fixes some bugs, and makes the ST disk format compatible with MS-DOS (the old format was close, but a bit different) and speeds up the system a tad.

You can also use EMUTOS which can load into RAM, but you need a 1mb or better machine.

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 12:50 PM
You found the one I was getting? Yeah, no mouse. I bookmarked that.

I got the RAM already - loads of it. Just looking at the instructions for installation and saving them. No sense getting all into it right now until it arrives.

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 04:07 PM
You found the one I was getting? Yeah, no mouse. I bookmarked that.

I got the RAM already - loads of it. Just looking at the instructions for installation and saving them. No sense getting all into it right now until it arrives.

Are you doing the 4mb upgrade?

It's a lot of work. But, let me know how it goes.

vwestlife
September 3rd, 2013, 05:05 PM
Rainbow TOS fixes some bugs, and makes the ST disk format compatible with MS-DOS (the old format was close, but a bit different) and speeds up the system a tad.

I had no trouble exchanging data between my 520ST+ with TOS 1.0 and my PCs as long as I formatted the disks on a PC first. If I formatted the disk on the ST, the PC couldn't read it unless I ran ScanDisk or some other disk repair tool on it and let it repair the FAT.

vwestlife
September 3rd, 2013, 05:32 PM
I have to admit, the only reason I don't plan to get an Atari 8-bit (130XE and lower) is the keyboard layout. I still look for one and if it's cheap enough, I still might, but it would have to be an upper model. 1200XL or better.

The 1200XL was the most-hated Atari computer when it was first released... but now it is the most valuable and sought-after of the 8-bit line, due to its rarity, superior keyboard feel and layout, and room for internal expansions (due to Atari's plans for an internal modem and speech synthesizer in the 1400XL model, which never got released).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m0LdMI7tIE

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 05:42 PM
Al: I plan to do only 2.5 to start. Might do the other later if needs demand it.

Vw: That would explain why I never saw but one the past year or so, since I started looking. Maybe a 130XE, then? At least those are still available, somewhat.

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 06:04 PM
About that mouse adapter. I have PC Serial mice crawling out my ears. Wouldn't it be easier to adapt one of those instead of a PS/2?

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 06:13 PM
About that mouse adapter. I have PC Serial mice crawling out my ears. Wouldn't it be easier to adapt one of those instead of a PS/2?

Not for me. But, there are instructions about how to do that. With this adapter, you still have use of the PS/2 mouse for another system if you need it. Also, this adapter works for the Amiga too.

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 06:18 PM
Same folks sell one already built, so I bookmarked that one instead. It would cut down on the clutter, and can use it with my KVM switch.

Al Hartman
September 3rd, 2013, 06:54 PM
Same folks sell one already built, so I bookmarked that one instead. It would cut down on the clutter, and can use it with my KVM switch.

I saved a few bucks by buying the kit, which I can easily assemble.

Shazbot
September 3rd, 2013, 07:20 PM
Eyes are failing though. Haven't gone to get checked yet. lol

Al Hartman
September 28th, 2013, 05:53 PM
Hey Shazbot...

I noticed that your ST didn't have a mouse. You will need a mouse. Atari mice aren't cheap. If you have any PS/2 Mice, you can buy this kit, build it up, and "Bob's your uncle."

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-KMTech-MKII-Amiga-Atari-ST-TT-Falcon-PS-2-Mouse-Adapter-Kit-DIY-/111154784857?pt=UK_VintageComputing_RL&hash=item19e1576a59

I just bought two, because I need one for my Mega ST, and one for my Amiga 500.

I just built these up today. They were dead easy...

I haven't tested them yet.

Al Hartman
September 29th, 2013, 10:18 AM
Tested the Atari Adapter, and it works perfectly! Though it needs a joystick extender as the connector doesn't fit into the port because of the metal "ears".

Micom 2000
October 25th, 2013, 08:42 PM
About that mouse adapter. I have PC Serial mice crawling out my ears. Wouldn't it be easier to adapt one of those instead of a PS/2?

I'm an old ST fan and collector, and an Atari 8-bit fan too which grew out of my obsession for the ST. Great to see this involved coverage on the forum. What first attracted me to the ST was it's use by many top US musical artists. The ST was for some time the top music computer. More-so in Europe where it dominated the market. Some of it's attractiveness was the MIDI connectors. Sam Tramiel took over Atari after he was forced out of Commodore, he also had the chance of taking the Amiga development department with him, but blew it. Later on Amiga was the ST's biggest competitor. Tramiel also had a thing, that the bucks were in the proprietory connectors which hampered Atari sales. The Falcon was an amazing machine, Dobbs used some of it's stuff for the NEXT. But Tramiel basicly abandoned it after bad marketing policies. He then went for the bucks in dropping the line and selling off it's extensive patents.

There were many mice and other devices which had a switch to make it usable for both STs and Amigas. I seem to remember there was only one pin which made the difference. Hacking the PC mice wasn't worth the effort because they were quite dissimilar.

Micom 2000
October 25th, 2013, 08:57 PM
Well... Keep an eye out for a Spectre GCR cartridge for the Atari ST. It will let you run Mac OS 6.08 on the ST. It will also read/write Mac 800k Disks on Atari Drives.

Rumors are if you search for "Aladin Atari ST", you can find an old software only Mac Emulator for the ST.

I also have PC Speed, and I just found the disks for another PC Emulator for the ST (Can't think of the name).

A Magic Sac will also give you Mac Emulation, but Spectre GCR is better and faster.

I've got a couple of Magic Sacs. To my knowledge MAC forced him out of business and then he developed the Spectre. The Magic Sac also has an Apple Mac processor on it.

Micom 2000
October 25th, 2013, 09:00 PM
Personally, I never made the Atari scene. However, my son did, and used to 'moonlighted' as a graphics designer for one of his local tv stations back in the day. He claimed that at the time Atari was the de facto tool for that purpose.

There are some great ST graphic programs. Amiga stole that market with the "Toaster" tho.

Micom 2000
October 25th, 2013, 09:37 PM
Hey Shazbot...

I noticed that your ST didn't have a mouse. You will need a mouse. Atari mice aren't cheap. If you have any PS/2 Mice, you can buy this kit, build it up, and "Bob's your uncle."

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-KMTech-MKII-Amiga-Atari-ST-TT-Falcon-PS-2-Mouse-Adapter-Kit-DIY-/111154784857?pt=UK_VintageComputing_RL&hash=item19e1576a59

I just bought two, because I need one for my Mega ST, and one for my Amiga 500.

I've been abusing my Credit Card, because I also bought a set of "Rainbow TOS" ROMs on eBay. they cost $35 shipped, but by the time I bought EPROMS and could get to program them, this was just a little more expensive, and it's done.

Rainbow TOS fixes some bugs, and makes the ST disk format compatible with MS-DOS (the old format was close, but a bit different) and speeds up the system a tad.

You can also use EMUTOS which can load into RAM, but you need a 1mb or better machine.

Wow, the price is certainly good for the mouse converters. I've settled on my Mega 4 for ST kicks and am likely way behind in my once extensive knowledge. Checking out the EMUTOS program and the programs it supports is scary. It seems to support the "STE" or better machines not the standard STs.. Hell even keeping my MS-hit machines functioning these days (trailing edge W98 or XPs) I find difficult. My Mega4 does support "Notator" and a bunch of old ST stuff I have on disk, I'm not especially into gaming and ST has a bunch of usable programs which are fun to use. One of it's lacks was it's tentative approach to the internet, but I believe that was overcome, even if one has to use a more powerful computer to do it.

Micom 2000
October 25th, 2013, 09:48 PM
I had no trouble exchanging data between my 520ST+ with TOS 1.0 and my PCs as long as I formatted the disks on a PC first. If I formatted the disk on the ST, the PC couldn't read it unless I ran ScanDisk or some other disk repair tool on it and let it repair the FAT.

If I remember correctly there was just a very small bit of code at the beginning of the MS disks which differentiated it from the ST disks.

Oscar
October 26th, 2013, 07:48 AM
Hi,


I've got a couple of Magic Sacs. To my knowledge MAC forced him out of business and then he developed the Spectre. The Magic Sac also has an Apple Mac processor on it.


Originally Posted by Al Hartman Rumors are if you search for "Aladin Atari ST", you can find an old software only Mac Emulator for the ST.


Actually, Spectre 128, like Magic Sac and Aladdin, is a pure software emulation of the Mac. The only thing on the cartridge is the Mac ROMs.

Spectre GCR added a bit of hardware so you could read original Mac GCR disks, not just the Spectre's own disk format. That was really important at the time, but much less so after Macs started to have HD floppies. There was a "tweener" disk format that could be read by both Spectre and HD Macs.

You can download a software-only (does not need the cartridge) version of Spectre at the bottom of this page (link) (http://obsolescenceguaranteed.blogspot.ch/2013/04/atari-st-ultrasatan-spectre-mac.html). It really makes the ST into a superior Mac Plus!

Regards,

Oscar.

Al Hartman
October 26th, 2013, 08:55 AM
I don't recommend the software only pirated Spectre 128 as it is buggy. I have a GCR Cartridge, and I use that.

David left Pacific Data due to disagreements, not because "MAC forced him out of business." There is a discussion on an Atari site where David discusses why he left Pacific Data and started "Gadgets by Small," and why that business folded as well.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/9183-spectre-gcr/#entry87382

Oscar
October 26th, 2013, 09:32 AM
I don't recommend the software only pirated Spectre 128 as it is buggy. I have a GCR Cartridge, and I use that.

The only difference (except for the missing GCR reading capability of course) is that the ROM image now resides in RAM. I've not noticed any difference in compatibility with the original cartridge, having tried around 100MB of Mac software I used back in the day...

I do wish I had the real Spectre cart again, though, for old time's sake. But they are very hard to find these days. So for ST owners who want to try Mac emulation, the software-only version is the perfect solution. You can even hook up a Mac's SCSI hard disk and Spectre will work with it straight away. It was truly a brilliant piece of code!

Regards,

Oscar.

vwestlife
October 26th, 2013, 05:00 PM
Sam Tramiel took over Atari after he was forced out of Commodore, he also had the chance of taking the Amiga development department with him, but blew it. Later on Amiga was the ST's biggest competitor.

Actually that was Jack Tramiel... Sam was one of his sons. Jack did take some Commodore engineers with him when he left, and he later got sued by Commodore, because they said there was no way he could come up with the Atari ST so quickly without relying on some trade secrets stolen from Commodore.

Jack then counter-sued Commodore, because the Amiga development team originally had signed a $1 millon contract with Atari (prior to his ownership of the company) but turned their backs on Atari when Commodore offered them a better deal. Eventually Jack's lawsuit against Commodore was settled out of court, and as part of the settlement, Commodore withdrew their lawsuit against him.

Al Hartman
October 26th, 2013, 05:10 PM
I think the ST is a great computer in it's time. A shame that Atari couldn't market it's way out of a paper bag.