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View Full Version : Happy birthday ATARI ST !!! *01/1985



1ST1
January 8th, 2015, 12:59 PM
It was Winter CES 1985 in Las Vegas, exactly 30 years ago, when ATARI demonstrated the ATARI ST for the first time!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ATARI ST !!!!

22085
The picture shows my ATARI 520ST+ with 2x SF314 and SH 204 20 Meg drive.

Rick Ethridge
January 8th, 2015, 04:52 PM
Indeed!

1ST1
January 12th, 2015, 12:30 PM
Photos from our ATARI exibition: http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/album.php?albumid=264

cheesypig
February 9th, 2015, 05:34 PM
Happy Birthday too your Atari ST!! :D

tipc
February 13th, 2015, 05:07 PM
one of the, if not the, coolest computer of the 1980s. I've never owned one! except for a tattered 1040stfm I . . . DON'T HURT ME PLEASE . . . threw out recently. I get into these funks and start chucking stuff. I really don't know what got into me. Nothing saying it ever would have worked again. I also threw out 1 mono and 1 color monitor. All the cheesy people go around the town in these parts cutting off electrical cords and accumulate them to bring to the scrappers. Those monitors probably hadn't seen a lot of use even.

Anyway, if I ever built a retro computer from the ground up, it will look like a cross between the Atari ST and the Sega Yeno SC-3000, which is smaller and not all that different. I used to have 3 Segas until I had them no longer. I bought them from Australia. So this retro unit would primarily look like an ST, but would be bigger, and could be black (like the Sega), or perhaps green or blue, either on the medium side. Internally it may have a 68000/CF processor, but for sure would have an 80188 or something similar. Maybe both! In any event it would be fun.

SiriusHardware
February 18th, 2015, 09:27 AM
I . . . DON'T HURT ME PLEASE . . . threw one out recently. I get into these funks and start chucking stuff. I really don't know what got into me. Nothing saying it ever would have worked again. I also threw out 1 mono and 1 color monitor. All the cheesy people go around the town in these parts cutting off electrical cords and accumulate them to bring to the scrappers. Those monitors probably hadn't seen a lot of use even.

...I expect we'll be seeing you pretty soon in 'Despicable Me 3'... :(

SiriusHardware
February 18th, 2015, 09:37 AM
Still nursing along my original (bought 1987?) STFM which has had a couple of faults recently but has been nursed back to health.

I've also got an STe which has a ... hopefully not too difficult-to-fix fault at the moment. To keep both of these going for the forseeable future I recently invested in an Ultrasatan SD card 'drive' to replace my original ST hard drive which only failed quite recently after working faultlessly for more than 25 years.

Through a contorted process involving a Linux PC fitted with a SCSI card and the PC Atari ST emulator HATARI, I was able to extract the content of the original HDD and transfer it onto an SD card from which I can read it using the Ultrasatan.

Hopefully, it'll all keep going for another 30 years...

Unknown_K
February 18th, 2015, 01:14 PM
I have a 1040stf with mono and color monitors in the basement lab. Mostly I fire it up to play 1942 from a single floppy. If I ever get a MIDI keyboard I will hook it up to the ST and get a HD for it (that's what I wanted the mono monitor for).

Scali
February 18th, 2015, 11:08 PM
Ah, cool! Yea, the Atari ST is slightly older than the Amiga 1000, which has its birthday later this year.
While I was primarily an Amiga user in those days, I am also an amateur musician, and I bought an Atari ST 1040STe for use with Cubase. I still have it, and last time I tried, it still worked.

tipc
February 21st, 2015, 05:53 PM
...I expect we'll be seeing you pretty soon in 'Despicable Me 3'... :(

The movies I watch are few and far between, so I don't get the (presumed) humor.

But I admire a man that keeps his computers forever. I kept my very first for only about 2 weeks . . .

tipc
February 21st, 2015, 05:54 PM
and incidentally was the Vicki (portable Victor 9000/Sirius 1) sold in the UK? I happen to have 1.

circuit
February 22nd, 2015, 06:52 AM
Why is the majority of Atari ST gear not collectible at all?

Sure, the Falcon and STacy etc, but the regular gear fetches nothing on the secondary market.

Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased, it means I can indulge my interests at a low budget :-)

But why is the Amiga so revered while the ST is sidelined? It can't simply be a case of tech-specs because if it was only down to technical superiority things like the Sinclair or Apple II wouldn't be popular either!

SiriusHardware
February 23rd, 2015, 01:33 PM
The movies I watch are few and far between, so I don't get the (presumed) humor.

But I admire a man that keeps his computers forever. I kept my very first for only about 2 weeks . . .

The main character in the 'Despicable Me' animated films is a mock Bond-Villain. (Oh wait, you might not even get that reference if you really don't watch films!). Anyway, the kind of person who would destroy a perfectly good Atari ST. ;)

Not only my Atari ST, but almost every other computer in my retro collection was bought new by me originally. The only computer I ever sold when it was still contemporary was my Amiga 500, but only because I had a friend who desperately wanted one.

tipc
February 23rd, 2015, 04:38 PM
oi it was already destroyed when I got it. I think the internal disk drive was there, but it was dangling, and something caused me to leave it behind (IIRC). I may still even have the power supply somewhere. But alas the rest has been discarded.

tipc
February 23rd, 2015, 04:46 PM
Why is the majority of Atari ST gear not collectible at all?

Sure, the Falcon and STacy etc, but the regular gear fetches nothing on the secondary market.

Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased, it means I can indulge my interests at a low budget :-)

But why is the Amiga so revered while the ST is sidelined? It can't simply be a case of tech-specs because if it was only down to technical superiority things like the Sinclair or Apple II wouldn't be popular either!

the A1000 was a flop. The 2000 was an impressive looking machine (which likely helped to shed the Commie's game machine rep) w/multitasking and expandability. I couldn't stand the higher-res interlaced modes. O/w I might have bought one.

1ST1
February 23rd, 2015, 10:36 PM
You are funny, you are talking about destroying ATARI STs and Amiga on ST's birthday-thread. No positive reminds on that interesting machine? By the way, I have all the ST machines from 260 ST to TT & Falcon, even Stacy & ST Book and the most of the original peripherials (external floppy drives, harddisks, laser printers).

Scali
February 24th, 2015, 03:47 AM
the A1000 was a flop.

Commercially, yes. Technically it was virtually identical to the A500/2000 that came later, and DID gain widespread popularity.
The A1000 is a revered machine now (because the Amiga has now made its name), and has become reasonably valuable/collectable.

vwestlife
February 24th, 2015, 04:23 AM
Why is the majority of Atari ST gear not collectible at all?

Sure, the Falcon and STacy etc, but the regular gear fetches nothing on the secondary market.

Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased, it means I can indulge my interests at a low budget :-)

But why is the Amiga so revered while the ST is sidelined? It can't simply be a case of tech-specs because if it was only down to technical superiority things like the Sinclair or Apple II wouldn't be popular either!

The Mega and STe models do fetch good prices, at least here in the USA. The more common 520ST and 1040ST go for "only" about $100, but that's far from being worthless. And that's a good thing for collectors, since you don't need to spend a fortune to put together an ST system -- and with its PC-compatible floppy disk format, downloading and writing disk images is a breeze, unlike the Amiga's proprietary disk format.

Unknown_K
February 24th, 2015, 05:32 AM
The ST series is very collectable but only the later machines command decent money because they are rare (MEGA ST, Falcon). I have no data on reliability and production figures between the Amiga and Atari ST to get a feel about how many are still left running.

1ST1
February 24th, 2015, 07:12 AM
The ST series is very collectable but only the later machines command decent money because they are rare (MEGA ST, Falcon).
Here in Germany the situation is like that:
260 ST, 520 ST, 520 STF, 1040 STF mostly less than 50 Euros, sometimes free of charge, rarely more than 100 Euros because there is something special upgraded (PAK, PC-Speed), interesting peripherial in the packet or Cubase/Notator dongle/software/manual
1040 STE about 70...130 Euros, sometimes more if there are interesting things in the packet like above
Mega ST 1..4 50...100 Euros, mostly the 1MB & 2 MB machines have been upgraded to 4 MB. Mostly there is already a Megafile harddrive in the packet. Also here upgrades, interesting peripherial in the packet or Cubase/Notator dongle/software/manual can rise the price a lot
Mega STE about 200..250 Euros, Also here upgrades, interesting peripherial in the packet or Cubase/Notator dongle/software/manual can rise the price a lot
TT 030, mostly not less than 300 Euros, if they are well upgraded (memory, harddisk), special graphics card for example Nova, Matrix, Crazy Dots can increase price a lot, double price is possible.
Falcon 030, mostly not less than 300 Euros, if it has been upgraded with CT6x and so, then unaffordable
Stacy, with a lot of luck less than 200 (depending on working condition), mostly about 300 or more
St Book, non working ones 300..400, working ones 750..1200. Very rare (only 1000 pcs have been produced)

A few weeks ago there was even an Hades with 68060 ATARI TT clone in eBay germany, which stayed "quite cheap" for a bit more than 400 Euros...

circuit
February 24th, 2015, 07:14 AM
The Mega and STe models do fetch good prices, at least here in the USA. The more common 520ST and 1040ST go for "only" about $100

Yeah, maybe I'm looking at it from a Europe / UK perspective - they fetch way less than that over here. And I'm always able to buy the more obscure items at a good price from Germany (for some reason!)

circuit
February 24th, 2015, 07:14 AM
Here in Germany the situation is like that:
260 ST, 520 ST, 520 STF, 1040 STF mostly less than 50 Euros, sometimes free of charge, rarely more than 100 Euros because there is something special upgraded (PAK, PC-Speed), interesting peripherial in the packet or Cubase/Notator dongle/software/manual
1040 STE about 70...130 Euros, sometimes more if there are interesting things in the packet like above
Mega ST 1..4 50...100 Euros, mostly the 1MB & 2 MB machines have been upgraded to 4 MB. Mostly there is already a Megafile harddrive in the packet. Also here upgrades, interesting peripherial in the packet or Cubase/Notator dongle/software/manual can rise the price a lot
Mega STE about 200..250 Euros, Also here upgrades, interesting peripherial in the packet or Cubase/Notator dongle/software/manual can rise the price a lot
TT 030, mostly not less than 300 Euros, if they are well upgraded (memory, harddisk), special graphics card for example Nova, Matrix, Crazy Dots can increase price a lot, double price is possible.
Falcon 030, mostly not less than 300 Euros, if it has been upgraded with CT6x and so, then unaffordable
Stacy, with a lot of luck less than 200 (depending on working condition), mostly about 300 or more
St Book, non working ones 300..400, working ones 750..1200. Very rare (only 1000 pcs have been produced)

A few weeks ago there was even an Hades with 68060 ATARI TT clone in eBay germany, which stayed "quite cheap" for a bit more than 400 Euros...

Yes I love buying from eBay Germany, some real bargains as long as I don't mind the non-UK keyboard :-)

Unknown_K
February 24th, 2015, 07:50 AM
From my understanding the last generation of ST's were mainly sold in Europe before the IBM PC took over because of price. By the time the last ST's and Amigas were made the US market was going heavily for Macs and X86 PCs.

vwestlife
February 24th, 2015, 10:23 AM
From my understanding the last generation of ST's were mainly sold in Europe before the IBM PC took over because of price. By the time the last ST's and Amigas were made the US market was going heavily for Macs and X86 PCs.

In the USA, the Atari ST series was mostly used by musicians, due to its built-in MIDI. Even after Atari stopped making computers in 1993, some companies continued to make Atari-based "turn-key" MIDI systems, until PCs took over.

The Mega ST was also briefly popular for desktop publishing, because Atari bundled it with a low-cost laser printer -- at the time, PCs didn't have enough graphical power and Macs were way more expensive.

njroadfan
February 24th, 2015, 06:27 PM
Calamus and Pagestream seemed to have a niche portion of the desktop publishing market. Both were listed as the "killer app" to have working in Atari ST emulators back in the day. Of course everyone knows that Cubase was the grand daddy of all DAWs despite the ST originally coming with somewhat basic sound capabilities. Its also interesting that MIDI sequencing didn't catch on in the ST's competitors in the same way as those systems were an adapter away from having MIDI I/O (the Amiga, Apple IIgs, and Macintosh serial ports could natively do MIDI with an appropriate adapter).

I'm still after a STe to complete my collection of 2nd gen. home micros. A Falcon or Mega machine would be nice, but the pricing is a bit nuts.

1ST1
February 25th, 2015, 09:57 AM
Calamus still exists. It is still maintained for Windows, Mac OS ... and ATARI ...! The trick is, that all platforms run the same code, on PC and MAC it comes with a transparent ATARI emulator which runs seamless that you will not remember a difference. Anyhow it uses all capabilities of the PC/Mac. Last release of Calamus was in December 2014, and you can upgrade to it from any version (even 1.0x on ST) if you have a matchcode for just 99 Euros. You also can copy the ATARI native code out of the installation folder and transfer it to your ST/TT/... and work there with it. See www.calamus.net .

Cubase is amazing... On our ATARI exibition here in Germany in January 2015 I have installed an TT with 19 inch monochrome monitor and let it run Cubase (and Calamus). There were visitors looking at the machine, they never seems to have seen a working ST/TT before, and they were sitting in front of that program and could not close their mouth. They were so surprised to see a Cubase from 1992, they didn't knew it's origin was on the Atari. But they felt immediatelly home as they used (as musicians) the current version of Cubase on Mac or PC, user interface absolutely the same except that it is only black&white. They didn't miss allmost any function and they were surprised that it could run so smooth on such a little (MHZ; RAM) machine. I told them that it also works fine on a 1040, that surprised them even more.

SiriusHardware
February 25th, 2015, 01:55 PM
Cubase is amazing... On our ATARI exibition here in Germany in January 2015 I have installed an TT with 19 inch monochrome monitor and let it run Cubase


I have recently been spending time and money to keep my STs running and replace their recently failed HDD with a modern solution.

If I had to give just one reason why this is, it would have to be Cubase 2.

I keep trying out PC midi sequencers but there has never been anything to beat my veteran Atari ST (2.5MB RAM) and Cubase 2 for sheer smooth running and rock steady MIDI timing. Curiously enough, I never got on with PRO24 or even Cubase 3, which seemed very buggy to me. But ST Cubase 2 is still the absolute pinnacle of wonderfulness nearly 30 years later.

1ST1
February 25th, 2015, 10:13 PM
My Cubase 3.1 runs nice. But I have the dongle. There are some cracked versions arround and I was told that they are a bit instable. During the exibition I also have met two persons still using their STs with Cubase and Notator for the same reason as you. One of them even does his own software on GFA basic to control his synthesizers.

SiriusHardware
February 26th, 2015, 10:02 AM
To be honest, it was probably an 'unofficial' version of Cubase 3 that I tried out, so that would explain my unjustifiably poor impression of the software - but for purely amateur / hobby use, it would have been much too expensive for me to afford the proper version. I had already bought PRO24 (second hand) and Cubase 2.

I still use a little bit of MIDI software that I jointly wrote with a friend many years ago. All it does is download the song data from a particular type of music keyboard and save it to disc, or the other way around: From disc to keyboard. The keyboard in question had a pretty good multi track song recorder built in, but it could only hold one song at a time - to start a new tune you had to wipe the previous song. The keyboard was, however, capable of sending its entire memory contents out as a MIDI 'system exclusive' dump, so our software was specifically tailored to capture dumps from that keyboard.

I still have one of those keyboards, so I still need the software, so I still need my Atari STs to keep running for another 30 years or so...

tipc
February 26th, 2015, 03:23 PM
You are funny, you are talking about destroying ATARI STs and Amiga on ST's birthday-thread. No positive reminds on that interesting machine? By the way, I have all the ST machines from 260 ST to TT & Falcon, even Stacy & ST Book and the most of the original peripherials (external floppy drives, harddisks, laser printers).

If you read earlier, you'll see where I said it was one of the coolest if not *the* coolest machine of the 80s. And that's coming from someone who never owned a working one! What higher compliment could I give?

I've never heard of a 260ST. What in blazes??? What about that one model which had a monitor built in? I saw one on eBay years ago for beans, but passed it up.

Do you have any Atari PC compatibles? There was one model on ebay.canada, again, years ago, which occupied, unless I'm delusional, a bog standard IBM clone vanilla case.

How does the quality of that 19" monitor compare w/say typical Mac 2 page monitors (Radius amongst others)?

vwestlife
February 26th, 2015, 06:52 PM
I've never heard of a 260ST. What in blazes???

The 260ST was only sold in Europe, and despite the model number, it actually has 512K of RAM.

Paraphrasing an Atari-Forum post about it, the 260ST was originally supposed to have 256K of RAM, but the price of DRAM dropped, so Atari was able to put in 512K and sell it for around the same price that a 256K machine would've cost a few months earlier. But Atari had already had the "260ST" badges made, so not wanting to waste the money, they still used the badges until they had run out.

Some very early 260ST's actually did have only 256K of RAM, but those were demo machines that should not have been sold to the general public. And since the 260ST only existed very early in the ST's life span, most 260ST's left the factory without TOS in ROM (since the chips were not ready yet), so you had to load TOS from disk, with this very colorful bootloader:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1jscTrkeso