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Encyclopedia > Atari ST
Atari ST (family)
Type Personal computer
Released 1985
Discontinued 1993
Processor Motorola 68000 @ 8 MHz
Memory 512 kilobytes (512×210 bytes) or 1 megabyte (1×220 bytes)
OS Atari TOS

The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was commercially popular from 1985 to the early 1990s. It was released by Atari in 1985. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two",[1] which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2807x1908, 2216 KB) This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2. ... The Motorola 68000 is a 32-bit CISC microprocessor core designed and marketed by Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector). ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to the decimal 1024 bytes (2 to the 10th power, or 1,024 bytes based in the binary system). ... In computer science a byte is a unit of measurement of information storage, most often consisting of eight bits. ... ReBoot character, see Megabyte (ReBoot). ... Atari ST GEM desktop The Operating System (TOS) was the operating system of the Atari ST range of computers. ... Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... This article is about a corporate game company. ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... The Motorola 68000 is a 32-bit CISC microprocessor core designed and marketed by Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector). ...

Contents

Overview

The Atari ST was a notable home computer, based on the Motorola 68000 CPU, with 512 KB of RAM or more, and 3½" floppy disks as storage. It was similar to other contemporary machines which used the Motorola 68000, the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga. Although the Macintosh was the first widely available computer with a graphical user interface (GUI), it was limited to a monochromatic display on a smaller built-in monitor. The Atari ST was the first computer with a fully bit-mapped color GUI. It had an innovative single-chip graphics subsystem (designed by Shiraz Shivji) which shared the full amount of system memory, in alternating clock cycles, with the processor, similar to the earlier BBC Micro and the Unified Memory systems that have become common today. It was also the first home computer with integral MIDI support. Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... The Motorola 68000 is a 32-bit CISC microprocessor core designed and marketed by Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector). ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... The abbreviation KB can refer to: Kilobyte (kB), equal to 1,000 bytes, or Kibibyte (KiB), equal to 1,024 bytes. ... Random access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data storage used in computers. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Amiga is the name of a range of home/personal computers using the Motorola 68000 processor family, whose development started in 1982. ... A graphical user interface (GUI) is a type of user interface which allows people to interact with a computer and computer-controlled devices which employ graphical icons, visual indicators or special graphical elements called widgets, along with text labels or text navigation to represent the information and actions available to... The BBC Microcomputer System was a series of microcomputers and associated peripherals designed and built by Acorn Computers Ltd for the BBC Computer Literacy Project operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation. ... MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is an industry-standard electronic communications protocol that enables electronic musical instruments, computers and other equipment to communicate, control and synchronize with each other in real time. ...


The ST was primarily a competitor to the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga systems. This platform rivalry was often reflected by the owners and was most prominent in the Demo Scene. Where the Amiga had custom processors which gave it the edge in the games and video market, the ST was generally cheaper, had a slightly faster CPU, and had a high-resolution monochrome display, ideal for business and CAD. The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Amiga is the name of a range of home/personal computers using the Motorola 68000 processor family, whose development started in 1982. ... The demoscene is a computer sub-culture that came to prominence during the rise of the 16 bit micros (the Atari ST and the Amiga), but demos first appeared during the 8-bit era on computers such as C64 and ZX Spectrum. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ...


Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports it enjoyed success as a music sequencer and controller of musical instruments among amateurs and professionals alike, being used in concert by bands such as Tangerine Dream and 90s UK dance act 808 State. The UK electronic music duo Liquid Bridge [1] used four Atari ST computers in their live performances in the late 1980s. Two ST machines were equipped with Steinberg software for MIDI sequencing and two STFMs were connected to video projectors to provide a visual accompaniment to the live set. The visuals were programmed using Jeff Minter's Colourspace and Tom Hudson's CAD 3D software suite by keyboard player Brian Cosgrove. Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... In the field of electronic music, a sequencer was originally any device that recorded and played back a sequence of control information for an electronic musical instrument. ... A controller is a person or device that exercises or attempts to exercise control or influence. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. ... 808 State is also a nickname for Hawaii, derived from its telephone area code. ... Steinberg is a German musical equipment and software company. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... Jeff Minter at Assembly 2004 Jeff Yak Minter (born in Reading, April 22, 1962) is a British computer/video game designer and programmer. ...


In some markets, particularly Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and Desktop publishing work. A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. ... “CAD” redirects here. ... Adobe InDesign CS2, one of many popular desktop publishing applications. ...


The ST was later superseded by the Atari TT and Falcon computers. Atari TT030 Computer The Atari TT was the fastest system that Atari ever built. ... The Atari Falcon030 The Atari Falcon was Ataris final computer product, more specifically named the Atari Falcon030 Computer System. ...


Since Atari pulled out of the computer market there has been a market for powerful TOS-based machines (clones). Like most "retro" computers the Atari enjoys support in the emulator scene. Atari ST GEM desktop The Operating System (TOS) was the operating system of the Atari ST range of computers. ... DosBox emulates the familiar command line interface of DOS. An emulator duplicates (provide an emulation of) the functions of one system with a different system, so that the second system behaves like (and appears to be) the first system. ...


Origins

Tramiel Technologies

At Commodore International an argument involving Commodore's chairman (and largest shareholder) Irving Gould and Commodore founder Jack Tramiel ensued over Tramiel's desire for his sons to take more active executive roles within Commodore. The argument resulted in Tramiel's immediate departure from Commodore in January of 1984. Commodore, the commonly used name for Commodore International, was an American electronics company based in West Chester, Pennsylvania which was a vital player in the home/personal computer field in the 1980s. ... Irving Gould (?-2004) was a Canadian businessperson credited with both saving and sinking Commodore. ... Jack Tramiel (born 1928) is a businessman, famous for founding Commodore International, manufacturer of the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga home computers, and later President and CEO of Atari Corp. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ...


Tramiel immediately formed a holding company, Tramel Technologies, Ltd., and began to visit various US computer companies with the intention of purchasing a company. Tramiel visited Mindset (run by Roger Badersher, former head of Atari's Computer Division) and Amiga where Tramiel told Amiga staff that he was very interested in the chipset, but not the staff. Tramiel set his chief engineer - Shiraz Shivji the task of developing a new low-cost, high-end computer system. The original design considered using the NS32032, but in talks, National Semiconductor could not supply the chip in the numbers or price that the project required. In retrospect this proved to be fortunate as a prototype built on the NS32032 benchmarked slower than the 16/32-bit 68000. A holding company is a company that owns part, all, or a majority of other companies outstanding stock. ... The 320xx is a series of microprocessors from National Semiconductor (NS, Natsemi). The 320xx processors have a coprocessor interface which allows coprocessors such as FPUs and MMUs to be attached in a chain. ... Categories: Electronics companies of the United States | Companies based in California | Corporation stubs ...


The project, codenamed "RBP" for 'Rock Bottom Price', began to form between April and July 1984 into a design that was almost identical to the ST that eventually shipped. The design was a combination of custom chips and commonly available parts in a highly integrated single-board design, fully equipped with standard and custom ports.


Amiga contract

Prior to the introduction of the ST, Atari's computer division developed and sold a line of home computers based on the 6502 CPU with a set of custom VLSI processors - ANTIC (DMA), CTIA/GTIA (Graphics), POKEY (AUDIO) and PIA (I/O)from 1979 through 1982 as the Atari 400 (16K) and Atari 800 (48k), in 1982 Atari introduced the 1200XL which was too closed a design and was replaced with the 600XL/800XL series. Atari prepared several high-end computers for introduction in 1984, but these were cancelled when the Tramiels took over Atari. Several months prior to the release of the ST line, Atari released its 65XE (64K) and 130XE(128k) computers to replace the XL series 6502 8bit computers. Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating integrated circuits by combining thousands of transistor-based circuits into a single chip. ...


Jay Miner, one of the original designers for the custom chips found in the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit of machines, tried to convince Atari management to invest big money into creating a new chipset and console/computer idea. When his idea was rejected, Miner left Atari to form a small think tank called Hi-Toro in 1982 and set about designing this new chipset. The company which was later renamed Amiga started selling various video game controllers and games while it developed its "Lorraine" computer system. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Amiga Corporation. ... The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, was the first successful video game console to use plug-in cartridges instead of having one or more games built in. ... An Atari 800XL, one of the most popular machines in the series. ... This article is about the institution. ... Amiga Corporation was a computer company formed in the early 1980s as Hi-Toro. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ...


During development, Amiga had run out of capital to complete the development of its Lorraine chipset, and the "Warner owned" Atari had paid Amiga to continue development work.[2] In return Atari was to get one-year exclusive use of the design. Atari had plans for a 68000 based machine, code named "Mickey", that would have used custom chips, but details are sparse.


The following year, Tramiel discovered that Warner Communications wanted to sell Atari, which at that point was losing about $10,000 a day. Interested in Atari's overseas manufacturing and world wide distribution network for his new computer, he approached Atari and entered talks. After on again/off again negotiations with Atari in May and June of 1984, Tramiel had secured his funding and bought Atari's Consumer Division (which included the console and home computer departments) that July. Warner Communications, formerly Kinney National Company, was the parent company for Warner Bros. ...


As more executives and researchers left Commodore to join Tramiel's new company Atari Corp. after the announcement, Commodore followed by filing lawsuits against four former engineers for theft of trade secrets. This was intented to in effect, bar Tramiel from releasing his new computer. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


One of Tramiel's first acts after forming Atari Corp. was to fire most of Atari's remaining staff and cancel almost all ongoing projects in order to review their continued viability. It was during this time in late July/early August that Tramiel representatives discovered the original Amiga contract.


It turned out that Amiga was supposed to deliver the Amiga chipset to Atari on June 30, 1984. The Amiga crew, having continuing serious financial problems, had sought more monetary support from investors that Spring (one of which had been Tramiel and his TTL, which ended quickly given his desire to replace nearly everyone at Amiga). Having heard rumors that Tramiel was in closed negotiations to complete the purchase of Atari in several days -- at around the same time that Tramiel was in negotiations with Atari - Amiga entered in to discussions with Commodore. The discussions ultimately led to Commodore wanting to purchase Amiga outright, which would (from Commodore's viewpoint) cancel any outstanding contracts - including Atari Inc.'s. So instead of Amiga delivering the chipset, Commodore delivered a check of $500,000 to Atari on Amiga's behalf, in effect returning the funds invested into Amiga for completion of the Lorraine chipset. Seeing a chance to gain some leverage Tramiel immediately used the situation to countersue Commodore through its new (pending) subsidiary, Amiga, which was done on August 13, 1984. He sought damages and an injunction to bar Amiga (and effectively Commodore) from producing anything with that technology. The suit tried to render Commodore's new acquisition (and the source for its next generation of computers) useless and do to Commodore what they were trying to do to him. June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A Motorola 68000-based computer with various TTL chips. ... is the 225th day of the year (226th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Meanwhile at Commodore, the Amiga team (according to conversations by Curt Vendel of Atarimuseum.com directly with Dave Needles of Amiga and also with Joe Decuir of Amiga) was sitting in limbo for nearly the entire summer because of the lawsuit. No word on the status of the chipset, the Lorraine computer system or the team's fate was known. Finally in the fall of 1984 Commodore informed the team that the Lorraine project was active again, the chipset to be improved, the OS developed and the hardware design completed. This delay bought Atari several additional months in 1985 to release Atari STs to Atari User Groups in June 1985 and to go into full retail sales of the Atari 520ST in September of 1985.


In March 1987, the two companies settled the dispute out of court in a closed decision.


This chapter is used on Wikipedia with permission from http://www.atarimuseum.com


The operating system

With the hardware design nearing completion, the team started looking at solutions for the operating system. Soon after the buyout, Microsoft approached Tramiel with the suggestion that they port Windows to the platform, but the delivery date was out by about two years, far too long for their needs. Another possibility was Digital Research, who were working on a new GUI-based system then known as Crystal, soon to become GEM. Another option was to write a new operating system in-house, but this was eventually rejected due to the risk. // An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... Digital Research, Inc. ... GEM (Graphical Environment Manager) was a windowing system created by Digital Research, Inc. ...


Digital Research was fully committed to the Intel platform, so a team from Atari was sent to the Digital Research headquarters to work with the "Monterey Team" which comprised a mixture of Atari and Digital Research engineers. Atari's Jim Tittsler was Atari key OS engineer overseeing "Project Jason" (aka - The Operating System) for the Atari ST line of computers. The name came from the original designer and developer, Jason Loveman. Tim Oren has a an article describing the history of the project, from his series "Professional GEM."

CP/M-68K was essentially a direct port of CP/M's original, mature operating system. By 1985, it was becoming increasingly outdated in comparison to MS-DOS 2.0; for instance, CP/M did not support sub-directories and did not have a hierarchical file system. Digital Research was also in the process of building a new DOS-like operating system specifically for GEM, GEMDOS, and there was some discussion of whether or not a port of GEMDOS could be completed in time for product delivery in June. The decision was eventually taken to port it, resulting in a GEMDOS file system which became part of TOS (The Operating System). This was beneficial as it gave the ST a fast, hierarchical file system, essential for hard drive storage disks, plus programmers had function calls similar to the IBM PC DOS. Screenshot of Atari TOS 1. ... CP/M was an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. ... Instructions on how to use the directory command. ... Atari ST GEM desktop The Operating System (TOS) was the operating system of the Atari ST range of computers. ... IBM PC (IBM 5150) with keyboard and green screen monochrome monitor (IBM 5151), running MS-DOS 5. ...


Debut of the ST

The design shipped in June 1985 to Atari User Groups and then in September 1985 for general retail sales as the 520ST. The machine had gone from concept to store shelves in a little under a year. Atari had originally intended to release versions with 128 KB and 256 KB of RAM as the 130ST and 260ST respectively. However, with the OS loaded from floppy into RAM, there would be little or no room left over for applications to run. The 260ST did make its way into Europe on a limited basis.


Early models shipped with TOS on disk, but were designed with ROM sockets to make for easy upgrading to the future ROM based TOS. These became available only a few months later, and were included in all new machines, as well as being available to upgrade older machines. By late 1985 the machines were also upgraded with the addition of an RF modulator (for TV display), a version known as the 520STM. Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... An RF modulator (for radio frequency modulator) is a device that takes a baseband input signal and outputs a radio frequency-modulated signal. ...


Atari had originally intended to include GEM's GDOS (Graphical Device Operating System), which allowed programs to send GEM VDI (Virtual Device Interface) commands to drivers loaded by GDOS. This allowed developers to send VDI instructions to other devices simply by pointing to it. However, GDOS was not ready at the time the ST started shipping, and was included in software packages and later ST machines. Later versions of GDOS supported vector fonts. A device file or special file is an interface for a device driver that appears in a file system as if it were an ordinary file. ...


On the plus side, the ST was less expensive than most machines, including the Macintosh Plus, and tended to be faster than most (external link: price comparison). Largely as a result of the price/performance factor, the ST would go on to be a fairly popular machine, notably in markets where the foreign exchange rates amplified prices. Indeed, the company's English advertising strapline of the era was "power without the price." In fact, an Atari ST and terminal emulation software was much cheaper than a Digital VT220 terminal, which was commonly needed by offices with central computers. The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... A terminal emulator, terminal application, term, or tty for short, is a program that emulates a dumb video terminal within some other display architecture. ... The DEC logo Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the computer industry. ... The VT220 was a terminal produced by Digital Equipment Corporation from 1983 to 1987. ...


Description

Housing

The Atari 520ST
The Atari 520ST

The 520ST was an all-in-one unit, similar to earlier home computers like the Commodore 64. By the time the 520ST reached the market, however, consumers demanded a keyboard with cursor keys and a numeric keypad. For this reason, the 520ST was a fairly large and awkward computer console. Download high resolution version (2560x1920, 632 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (2560x1920, 632 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Commodore 64 is the best-selling single personal computer model of all time. ...


Adding to this problem was the number of large cables needed to connect to the peripherals. This problem was addressed to some degree in the follow-on models which included a built-in floppy disk, though this addition resulted in the awkward placement of the mouse and joystick ports to a cramped niche underneath the keyboard.


Early 520ST owners became accustomed to the "Atari Twist" and the "Atari Drop" service procedures. "Atari Twist" seemed to help discharge built-up static electricity (Atari soldered-down the metal shielding to fix the problem) while the "Atari Drop" appeared to help re-seat chips which may have become partially unseated over time.


The case design was created by Ira Valenski - Atari's chief Industrial Designer.[3] The ST was basically wedge shaped, with a series of grilles cut into the rear for airflow. The majority of the machines had keyboards with soft tactile feedback resulting in a "cheap" feel, with rhomboid function keys across the top edge. The original 520ST design used an external floppy drive; the 1040ST-style case featured a built-in floppy drive. The power supply for the early 520ST was a large external brick while the 1040ST's was inside the machine.

Atari 520ST ports
Atari 520ST ports

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2951x1215, 389 KB) Summary Schnittstellen des Atari 520ST Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Atari ST ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2951x1215, 389 KB) Summary Schnittstellen des Atari 520ST Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Atari ST ...

Port connections

The ST featured a large number of ports mounted at the rear of the machine.

Atari ST mouse
Atari ST mouse
    • MIDI ports (5-pin DIN)
  • ST-specific ports:
    • Monitor port (13-pin DIN)
    • ACSI (similar to SCSI) DMA port (for hard disks and laser printers)
    • Floppy port (to add a second floppy drive)
    • ST cartridge port (for 128 KB ROM cartridges)

Because of its bi-directional design, the Centronics printer port could be used for joystick input and several games made use of available adaptors that plugged into the printer socket, providing two additional 9-pin joystick ports. RS-232 (also referred to as EIA RS-232C or V.24) is a standard for serial binary data interchange between a DTE (Data terminal equipment) and a DCE (Data communication equipment). ... It has been suggested that DE-9 be merged into this article or section. ... For a history of the Centronics interface, refer to the Centronics page. ... It has been suggested that DE-9 be merged into this article or section. ... Joystick elements: 1. ... It has been suggested that DE-9 be merged into this article or section. ... Image File history File links Atari_st_mouse. ... Image File history File links Atari_st_mouse. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Two-way communication is a form of transmission in which both parties involved transmit information. ...


Atari initially used single-sided disk drives that could store up to 360 KB. Later drives were double-sided versions that stored 720 KB. Due to the early sales of so many of the single-sided drives, almost all software would ship on two single-sided disks instead of a single double-sided one, for fear of alienating early adopters. ST magazines wishing to cater to the entire audience while still supplying a large amount of material on a single cover disc had to adopt innovative custom formats to work around this problem. Another sticking point was that while the Atari double-sided drive could read IBM-formatted disks, IBM PCs could not read Atari disks. This was a formatting issue that was later resolved by third-party software formatters and TOS upgrades (1.4 and higher). A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... Diffusion is the process by which a new idea or new product is accepted by the market. ...


STF and STFM models

Atari ST 1040
Atari ST 1040

Atari later upgraded the basic design in 1986 with the 1040STF (also written STF). The machine was generally similar to the earlier 520ST, but moved the power supply and a double-sided floppy drive into the rear of the housing of the computer, as opposed to being external. This added to the size of the machine, but reduced cable clutter in the back. The 1040 shipped with 1 MB of RAM, and the same design was also used for the new 512 KB 520STFM, which replaced the earlier models in the market. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that comprises a circular piece of thin, flexible (hence floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic wallet. ...


The 1040ST was the first personal computer shipped with a base RAM configuration of 1 MB, and when the list price was reduced to $999 in the U.S. it became the first computer to break the $1000/megabyte price barrier, and was featured on the cover of Byte Magazine. However, the ST remained generally the same internally over the majority of its several-year lifespan. The choice of model numbers was inherited from the model numbers of the XE series of the Atari 8-bit family of computers. A limited number of 1040STFs shipped with a single-sided floppy drive. The front cover of the April 1981 issue of BYTE (Vol 6. ... An Atari 800XL, one of the most popular machines in the series. ...


Mega models

Initial sales were strong, especially in Europe where Atari sold 75% of its computers. Germany became Atari's strongest market, with small business users using them for desktop publishing and CAD.


To address this growing market segment, Atari came up with the ST1. First debuted at Comdex, 1986, it was received favorably. Renamed the Mega, this new machine included a detached high-quality keyboard, stronger case (to support the weight of a monitor), and internal bus expansion connector. The upcoming SLM804 laser printer would not come with a processor or memory, reducing costs. It would attach to the Mega through the ST DMA port and have the Mega computer render the pages. Initially equipped with 2 or 4 MB (a 1 MB version, the Mega 1 would later follow), the Mega machines would complement the Atari laser printer for a low-cost desktop publishing package. 1993 Apple LaserWriter Pro 630 laser printer A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics on plain paper. ...


A custom blitter co-processor was to be included to speed the performance of some graphics operations on the screen, but due to delays it was eventually released on the Mega 2 and Mega 4 machines. Developers wanting to use it had to detect for it in their programs because it was not present on all machines. However, properly-written programs using the screen VDI commands could use the blitter seamlessly since GEM API was a higher-level interface to TOS. A Blitter (acronym for BLock Image TransferrER) is a chip that specialises in bitmap data-transfer using bit blit methods. ... An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface that a computer system or program library provides to support requests for services to be made of it by a Length. ...


Later models

For about the first four years, no major design changes in the ST platform took place as Atari focused on manufacturing problems and distribution. In computing, a platform describes some sort of framework, either in hardware or software, which allows software to run. ...


ST enhanced

In late 1989, Atari released the STE (also written STE), a version of the ST with improvements to the multimedia hardware and operating system. The STE featured an increased colour palette of 4096 colours from the ST's 512 (though the maximum displayable palette of these without programming tricks was still limited to 16 in the lowest 320x200 resolution and even fewer in higher resolutions), Genlock support, and a graphics co-processor chip called Blitter which could quickly move large blocks of data (most particularly, graphics sprites) around in RAM. It also included a new 2-channels digital sound chip that could play 8-bit stereo samples in hardware at up to 50 kHz. Two enhanced joystick ports (EJP) were added (two normal joysticks could be plugged into each port with an adaptor), with the new connectors placed in more easily-accessed locations on the side of the case. The enhanced joystick ports were compatible with joypads from Atari's Jaguar console. RAM was now much more simply upgradable via SIMMs. Despite all of this, it still ran at 8 MHz, and the enhanced hardware was clearly designed to catch up with the Amiga. Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about a corporate game company. ... Genlock (for Generator Lock) is a common technique where the video output of one source, or a specific reference signal, is used to synchronize other television picture sources together. ... A Blitter (acronym for BLock Image TransferrER) is a chip that specialises in bitmap data-transfer using bit blit methods. ... The Atari Jaguar is a video game console that was released in November 1993 to rival the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a powerful next generation platform. ... 30- (top) and 72-pin (bottom) SIMMs. ... MegaHertz (MHz) is the name given to one million (106) Hertz, a measure of frequency. ...


The STE models initially had software and hardware conflicts resulting in some applications and games written for the ST line being unstable or even completely unusable (sometimes, this could be solved by expanding the RAM). To make matters worse, the built-in floppy disk drives could not read as many tracks on a floppy disk as the built-in floppy disk drives on older models. While this was not a problem for most users, some games used the extra tracks as a crude form of copy protection and as a means of cramming more data onto the disk, and formatting as many as 86 tracks on an "80-track" disk was a common space-expanding option in custom formatting utilities. Furthermore, even having a joystick plugged in would sometimes cause strange behaviour with a few applications (such as First Word Plus). This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... “Computer Games” redirects here. ...


Very little use was made of the extra features of the STE: STE-enhanced and STE-only software was rare, generally being limited to serious art, CAD or music applications, with very few games taking advantage of the hardware as it was found on so few machines. Quality did, however, seem to substitute for quantity, as the coders who took advantage of the new abilities used them to their fullest.


The last STE machine, the Mega STE, was a STE in a grey Atari TT case that ran at a switchable 16 MHz, dual-bus design (16-bit external, 32-bit internal), optional Motorola 68882 FPU, built-in 3½" floppy disk drive, VME expansion slot, a network port (very similar to that used by Apple's LocalTalk) and an optional built-in 3½" hard drive. It also shipped with TOS 2.00 (better support for hard drives, enhanced desktop interface, memory test, 1.44 MB floppy support, bug fixes). It was marketed as more affordable than a TT but more powerful than an ordinary ST. Overview The Atari Mega STE was Ataris last ST series machine. ... Atari TT030 Computer The Atari TT was the fastest system that Atari ever built. ... The Motorola 68881 was a floating-point coprocessor chip that was utilized in some computer systems that used the 68020 or 68030 CPU. The addition of the 68881 chip added substantial cost to the computer, but added a floating point unit that could rapidly perform floating point math calculations. ... A floating point unit (FPU) is a part of a computer system specially designed to carry out operations on floating point numbers. ... VMEbus is a computer bus standard originally developed for the Motorola 68000 line of CPUs, but later widely used for many applications and standardized by the IEC as ANSI/IEEE 1014-1987. ... LocalTalk is a particular implementation of the physical layer of the AppleTalk networking system from Apple Computer. ...


The 68030 machines

In 1990, Atari released the high-end workstation-oriented TT (32-MHz, 68030-based TT030). Originally planned with a 68020 CPU, the TT included improved graphics and more powerful support chips. The case was a new design with an integrated hard drive enclosure. Atari TT030 Computer The Atari TT was the fastest system that Atari ever built. ...


The final ST computer was the multimedia Falcon (also 68030-based, operating at 16 MHz, but with improved video modes and extensive custom chip provisions, particularly high-quality audio DSPs). Although 68030 microprocessor was capable of using 32-bit memory, the Falcon used a 16-bit bus which impacted performance, but also served to reduce its cost. In another cost-reduction measure, Atari shipped the Falcon in an inexpensive case much like that of the STE. After-market upgrade kits were available that allowed the Falcon to be put in a desktop or rack-mount case, with the keyboard separate. The Atari Falcon030 The Atari Falcon was Ataris final computer product, more specifically named the Atari Falcon030 Computer System. ...


Released in 1992, it was cancelled by Atari the following year. In Europe, C-Lab licenced the Falcon design from Atari and released the C-Lab Falcon Mk I (the same as Atari's Falcon except for some slight modifications to the audio circuitry), Mk II (as Mk I but with a 500 MB hard disk) and Mk X (as Mk II but in a desktop case).


Aftermath

In 1993, Atari cancelled development on the ST computers to focus on the Jaguar. Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... The Atari Jaguar is a video game console that was released in November 1993 to rival the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a powerful next generation platform. ...


Following the exit of Atari from the computer market, Medusa Computer Systems manufactured some powerful 3rd-party Atari Falcon/TT-compatible machines that used 68040 and 68060 processors, based around multimedia (particularly audio, but also video), CAD and office uses. The Motorola 68040 is a microprocessor from Motorola. ... The Motorola 68060 is a 32-bit microprocessor from Motorola, and is the successor to the Motorola 68040. ...


Despite the lack of a hardware supplier, there is a small active community dedicated to keeping the ST platform alive. There have been advancements in the operating system, software emulators (for Windows, Mac & Linux), and some hardware developments. There are accelerator cards, such as the CT60 & CT63, which is a 68060 based accelerator card for the Falcon, and there is the Atari Coldfire Project, which aims at developing an Atari-clone based on the Coldfire processor. Milan Computer of Germany also makes 68040 and 68060-based Atari clones that can run either Atari TOS 4.5 or Milan Computer's MultiOS operating system. The Motorola 68060 is a 32-bit microprocessor from Motorola, and is the successor to the Motorola 68040. ... The Atari Coldfire project is an effort to develop an Atari ST clone based around the more advanced Coldfire processor. ... The Motorola Coldfire is a 68k architecture microprocessor manufactured for embedded systems development by Motorola (now Freescale Semiconductor). ...


Software

Music / Sound

The ST's low cost, built-in MIDI ports, and fast, low-latency response times made it a favorite with musicians.


The ST was the first home computer with built-in MIDI ports, and there was plenty of MIDI-related software for use professionally in music studios, or by amateur enthusiasts. The popular Windows/Macintosh applications Cubase and Logic Pro originated on the Atari ST. Another popular and powerful ST music sequencer application, Dr. T's KCS, contained a "Multi-Program Environment" that allowed ST users to run other applications, such as the synthesizer patch editing software XoR (now known as Unisyn on the Macintosh), from within the sequencer application.[2] Even today some people (such as Fatboy Slim) are still using the Atari ST for composing music. Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Logic Pro is a MIDI sequencer and Digital Audio Workstation software application that runs on the Mac OS X platform. ... Fatboy Slim (born Quentin Leo Cook on July 31, 1963[1], also known as Norman Cook) is a British big beat musician. ...


Music tracker software was popular on the ST, such as the TCB Tracker, aiding the production of quality music from the Yamaha synthesizer ('chiptunes'). ModPlug Tracker in Fast Tracker 2 colors mode Tracker is the generic term for a class of software music sequencers which, in their purest form, allow the user to arrange sound samples stepwise on a timeline across several monophonic channels. ...


An innovative music composition program that combined the sample playing abilities of a tracker with conventional music notation (which was usually only found in MIDI software) was called Quartet (after its 4-note polyphonic tracker, which displayed one monophonic stave at a time on colour screens).


Due to the ST having comparatively large amounts of memory for the time, sound sampling packages became a realistic proposition. The Microdeal Replay Professional product featured a sound sampler that cleverly used the ST cartridge port to read in parallel from the cartridge port from the ADC. For output of digital sound, it used the on-board frequency output, set it to 128 kHz (inaudible) and then modulated the amplitude of that. Replay Professional was a sound sampling product for the Atari ST. It came out in 1988. ... An analog-to-digital converter (abbreviated ADC, A/D or A to D) is an electronic circuit that converts continuous signals to discrete digital numbers. ...


In addition to the sound sampling functionalities, the availability of software packages with MIDI support for music composition and efficient sound analysis contributed to make the Atari ST a forerunner of later computer-based all-in-one studios.


Applications

Also popular on the ST was professional desktop publishing software, such as PageStream and Calamus; office tools such as word processors (WordPerfect, WordWriter ST and others), spreadsheets and database programs; and various CAD and CAM tools from amateur hobbyist to professional grade, all being largely targeted or even limited to high resolution monochrome-monitor owners. Adobe InDesign CS2, one of many popular desktop publishing applications. ... ... WordPerfect is a proprietary word processing application. ...


Graphics programs such as NEOchrome, Degas & Degas Elite, Canvas, Deluxe Paint, and Cyber Paint featured advanced features such as 3D design, animation. One paint program, Spectrum 512, used palette switching tricks allowing the maximum number of colors to be displayed on-screen at once (up to 46 in each scan line - the STE never had a Spectrum4096, but other more minor applications filled this speciality niche, one even going so far as to trick the shifter into displaying a maximum 19200 colours). Welcome screen dialog Deluxe Paint (DPaint) is a bitmap graphics editor originally created by Dan Silva for Electronic Arts (EA). ...


3D computer graphics applications (like The Cyber Studio), brought 3D modelling, sculpting, scripting, and most important, computer animation (using delta-compression) to the desktop. Video capture and editing applications using special video capture 'dongles' connected using the cartridge port - low frame rate, mainly silent and monochrome, but progressing to sound and basic colour (in still frames) by the end of the machine's life. 3D computer graphics are different from 2D computer graphics in that a three-dimensional representation of geometric data is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. ... Computer animation is the art of creating moving images via the use of computers. ... Delta encoding is a way of storing or transmitting data in form of differences between sequential data rather than complete files. ...


Software development

The Atari ST had a wide variety of languages and tools for development. 68000 assemblers (MadMac from Atari Corp, HiSoft's Devpac), Pascal (OSS Personal Pascal), Modula-2, C compilers (like Alcyon C, Lattice C, Megamax C, Mark Williams C, GNU C, Aztec C), LISP, Prolog, Logo and many others. Hisoft Systems was a software company based in the UK, creators of a range of programming tools for microcomputers in 1980s and 1990s. ... Modula-2 is a computer programming language invented by Niklaus Wirth at ETH around 1978, as a successor to Modula, an intermediate language by him. ... Lattice C (according to its author, Lattice Corporation) was the first C compiler for the IBM PC, in 1982. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of programming language compilers produced by the GNU Project. ... For the programming language, see Lisp (programming language). ... Prolog is a logic programming language. ... Logo turtle graphic The Logo programming language is a functional programming language. ...


The initial development kit from Atari included a computer and manuals. At $5,000, this discouraged many from developing software for the ST. Later, the Atari Developer's Kit consisted of software and manuals (no hardware) for $300. Included with the kit were a resource kit, C compiler (first Alcyon C, then Mark Williams C), debugger, and 68000 assembler (plus the non-disclosure agreement).


The ST came bundled with a system disk that contained ST BASIC, the first BASIC for the ST. However, due to its poor performance, users favored other BASICs, such as GFA BASIC, FaST BASIC (notable for being one of the few programs to actually be supplied as a ROM cartridge instead of on disc) and the relatively famous STOS, a cousin of AMOS on the Amiga, and powerful enough that it was used (with a compiler, opposed to its usual runtime interpreter) for the production of at least two commercial titles and an innumerable host of good quality shareware and public domain games. Atari ST BASIC (or ST Basic) was the first dialect of BASIC that was produced for the Atari ST line of computers. ... GFA BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language, by Frank Ostrowski. ... The STOS BASIC loading screen STOS BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language implemented on the Atari ST computer. ...


Even novelty tools such as SEUCK were available. ShootEm-Up Construction Kit (aka SEUCK) was a construction kit for the Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari ST published by Sensible Software in 1987. ...


Games

The ST enjoyed success in gaming due to low cost, fast performance and colorful graphics.


Notable individuals who developed games on the ST include Peter Molyneux, Doug Bell, Jeff Minter, Jez San, James Hutchby, Dimitri Koveos and David Braben. The first real-time 3D role-playing computer game, Dungeon Master, was first developed and released on the ST, and was the best-selling software ever produced for the platform. Simulation games like Falcon and Flight Simulator II made use of the enhanced graphics found in the ST machines, as did many arcade ports. One game, MIDI Maze used the midi ports to connect with other machines for interactive networked play. Games simultaneously released on the Amiga that had identical graphics and sound were often accused by computer game magazines of simply being ST ports. Peter Molyneux OBE (born 1960 in Guildford, Surrey, UK) is a computer game designer and game programmer, responsible for well known God games Populous and Black & White, among others, as well as Business Strategy games such as Theme Park and most recently, The Movies. ... Douglas Andrew Bell (born February 24, 1961) was a computer game developer from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. ... Jeff Minter at Assembly 2004 Jeff Yak Minter (born in Reading, April 22, 1962) is a British computer/video game designer and programmer. ... Jeremy Jez San OBE (born 29 March 1966) is a game programmer who founded Argonaut Software as a teenager in the 1980s. ... David Braben is a computer programmer, known for writing the Elite series of hugely popular computer games of space exploration and space trade and also for making Zarch for the Acorn Archimedes (considered to be the first true solid 3D game of all time). ... Dungeon Master was the first 3D realtime action computer role-playing game. ... The Falcon line of computer games is a series of simulations of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft. ... Microsoft Flight Simulator is a flight simulator program for Microsoft Windows, marketed and often seen as a video game. ... Screenshot of MIDI Maze (Atari ST) MIDI Maze was an early first person shooter video game for the Atari ST developed by Xanth Software F/X, published by Hybrid Arts, and released around 1987. ...

See List of Atari ST games and Category:Atari ST games.

The following is a List of Atari ST games. ...

Utilities / Misc

Utility software was available to drive hardware add-ons such as video digitisers. Office Productivity and graphics software was also bundled with the ST (HyperPaint II by Dimitri Koveos, HyperDraw by David Farmborough, 3D-Calc spreadsheet by Frank Schoonjans, and several others commissioned by Bob Katz, later of Electronic Arts). 3D-Calc is a 3-dimensional spreadsheet program for the Atari ST computer. ... Bob Katz is an audio mastering engineer who is known for his influential textbook on audio mastering[1] and his recording of jazz and classical music. ... EA redirects here. ...


There was a thriving output of public domain and shareware software which was distributed by, in the days long before public internet access, public domain software libraries that advertised in magazines and on popular dial-up Bulletin Board Systems. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... Look up shareware in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Remarkably, a modest core fanbase for the system, supporting a dwindling number of good quality print magazines, survived to the mid 90s and the birth of the modern, publicly accessible internet as we know it. Despite the limited graphics, memory, and temporary hard storage capabilities of the system, several email, FTP, telnet, IRC, and even full-blown graphical world wide web browser applications are available and usable on the ST.


Screenshots

Screenshot of GEM (Desktop)
GEM (Desktop) Neochrome 1st Word STZip
Atari/Digital Research (1985) Dave Staugas (1985) GST (1985) Vincent Pomey (1994)
Screenshot of MIDI Maze
Dungeon Master MIDI Maze Populous Xenon 2 Megablast
Mirrorsoft/FTL (1987) Hybrid Arts (1987) EA/Bullfrog (1989) Bitmap Brothers (1989)

More screenshots can be found on the Atari ST Games page. screenshot Atari ST GEM (Desktop), made myself. ... screenshot Atari ST Neochrome, made myself. ... screenshot Atari ST 1st Word, made myself. ... screenshot Atari ST STZip, made myself. ... GEM (Graphical Environment Manager) was a windowing system created by Digital Research, Inc. ... This article is about a corporate game company. ... Digital Research, Inc. ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ... screenshot Atari ST Dungeon Master, made myself. ... screenshot Atari ST MIDI Maze, made myself. ... screenshot Atari ST Populous, made myself. ... screenshot Atari ST Xenon 2, made myself. ... Dungeon Master was the first 3D realtime action computer role-playing game. ... Screenshot of MIDI Maze (Atari ST) MIDI Maze was an early first person shooter video game for the Atari ST developed by Xanth Software F/X, published by Hybrid Arts, and released around 1987. ... Xenon 2 Megablast is a computer game originally produced for the Amiga and Atari ST, and later converted to the PC, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Acorn Archimedes and Game Boy platforms. ... Mirrorsoft was game software publish in the United Kingdom it was owned by Mirror Group Newspapers. ... FTL Games (Faster Than Light) was the video game development division of Software Heaven Inc. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... EA redirects here. ... Bullfrog Productions was a UK computer game developer that was founded in 1987 by Les Edgar and Peter Molyneux, and was one of the entrepreneurs of video gaming. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... During the age of the home computer, computer games were an important part of the software landscape. ...

Technical specifications

All ST's were made up of both custom and commercial chips:

  • Custom chips
    • ST Shifter "Video shift register chip" — Enabled bitmap graphics using 32 KB of contiguous memory for all resolutions. Screen address had to be a multiple of 256.
    • ST GLU "Generalized Logic Unit" — Control logic for the system used to connect the ST's chips. Not part of the data path, but needed to bridge chips with each other.
    • ST MMU "Memory Management Unit" — Enabled physical memory access up to 4 MB. Maps out the memory space in the ST.
    • ST DMA "Direct Memory Access" — Used for floppy and hard drive data transfers. Can directly access main memory in the ST.
  • Support chips
    • MC6850P ACIA "Asynchronous Common Interface Adapter" — Enabled the ST to directly communicate with MIDI devices and keyboard (2 chips used). 31.25 kBaud for MIDI, 7812.5 bps for keyboard.
    • MC68901 MFP "Multi Function Peripheral" — Used for interrupt generation/control, serial and parallel port. Atari TT030 had 2 MFP chips.
    • WD-1772-PH "Western Digital Floppy Disk Controller" — Floppy controller chip.
    • YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" — Provided 3-voice sound synthesis, also used for floppy signalling and printer port control.
    • HD6301V1 "Hitachi keyboard processor" — Used for keyboard scanning and mouse/joystick ports.

The abbreviation KB can refer to: Kilobyte (kB), equal to 1,000 bytes, or Kibibyte (KiB), equal to 1,024 bytes. ... This 68451 MMU could be used with the Motorola 68010 MMU, short for memory management unit or sometimes called paged memory management unit as PMMU, is a class of computer hardware components responsible for handling memory accesses requested by the CPU. Among the functions of such devices are the translation... Direct memory access (DMA) is a feature of modern computers that allows certain hardware subsystems within the computer to access system memory for reading and/or writing independently of the central processing unit. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with AY-3-8910. ...

ST/STF/STM/STFM

As originally released in the 520ST:

  • CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 8 MHz. 16-bit data/24-bit address bus.
  • RAM: 512 KB or 1 Megabyte
  • Display modes (60 Hz NTSC, 50 Hz PAL, 71.2 Hz monochrome):
    • Low resolution - 320×200 (16 color), palette of 512 colors
    • Medium resolution - 640×200 (4 color), palette of 512 colors
    • High resolution - 640×400 (mono), monochrome
  • Sound: Yamaha YM2149 3-voice squarewave plus 1-voice white noise mono soundchip
  • Drive: Single-sided 3½" floppy disk drive, 360 KB capacity when formatted to standard 9 sector, 80 track layout.
  • Ports: TV out (on ST-M and ST-FM models, NTSC or PAL standard RF modulated), MIDI in/out (with 'out-thru'), RS-232 serial, Centronics parallel (printer), monitor (RGB or Composite Video colour and mono, 13-pin DIN), extra disk drive port (15-pin DIN), DMA port (ACSI port, Atari Computer System Interface) for hard disks and Atari Laser Printer (sharing RAM with computer system), joystick and mouse ports (9-pin MSX standard)
  • Operating System: TOS v1.00 (The Operating System) with the Graphical Environment Manager (GEM) WiMP (Windows, Mouse, Pointer) GUI

Very early machines included the OS on a floppy disk due to it not being ready to be burned to ROM (Like the Amiga 1000 had) This early version of TOS was bootstrapped from a very small core boot ROM, but this was quickly replaced with (expanded capacity) ROM versions of TOS 1.0 when it was ready. (This change was also greatly welcomed as older ST machines with memory below 512 KB suffered, as GEM loaded its entire 192 KB code into RAM when booting the desktop). Having the OS loaded from disk was due to Atari (and Commodore) trying to rush the machines to market without ironing out all the bugs in the OS. Soon after this change, most production models became STFs, with an integrated single- (520STF/512 KB RAM) or double-sided (1040STF/1024 KB RAM) double density drive built-in, but no other changes. The next later models used an upgraded version of TOS - 1.02 (also known as TOS 1.2). Another early addition (after about 6 months) was an RF Modulator that allowed the machine to be hooked to a colour TV when run in its low or medium resolution (525/625 line 60/50 Hz interlace, even on RGB monitors) modes, greatly enhancing the machine's saleability and perceived value (no need to buy a prohibitively expensive, even if exceptionally crisp and clear, monitor). These models were known as the 520STM (or 520STM). Later F and FM models of the 520 had a built in double-sided disk drive instead of a single-sided one. The Motorola 68000 is a 32-bit CISC microprocessor core designed and marketed by Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector). ... MegaHertz (MHz) is the name given to one million (106) Hertz, a measure of frequency. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to the decimal 1024 bytes (2 to the 10th power, or 1,024 bytes based in the binary system). ... ReBoot character, see Megabyte (ReBoot). ... The AY-3-8912 was a 3-voice sound chip designed by General Instruments. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... RS-232 (also referred to as EIA RS-232C or V.24) is a standard for serial binary data interchange between a DTE (Data terminal equipment) and a DCE (Data communication equipment). ... Centronics logo 23 June 1986 Centronics logo 1971 Centronics Data Computer Corporation was a pioneering American manufacturer of computer printers, now remembered only for the parallel interface that bears their name. ... REDIRECT RGB color model ... A photograph of a sign in grayscale The same photograph in black and white Monochrome comes from the two Greek words mono (μωνο, meaning one), and chroma (χρωμα, meaning surface or the color of the skin). A monochromatic object has a single color. ... Direct memory access (DMA) is a feature of modern computers that allows certain hardware subsystems within the computer to access system memory for reading and/or writing independently of the central processing unit. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... // An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... Atari ST GEM desktop The Operating System (TOS) was the operating system of the Atari ST range of computers. ... GEM (Graphical Environment Manager) was a windowing system created by Digital Research, Inc. ... The A1000, or Commodore Amiga 1000, was Commodores initial Amiga personal computer, introduced on July 24, 1985 at the Lincoln Center in New York City. ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... An RF modulator (for radio frequency modulator) is a device that takes a baseband input signal and outputs a radio frequency-modulated signal. ...


STE

As originally released in the 520STE/1040STE:

  • All of the features of the 520STFM/1040STFM
  • Extended palette of 4,096 available colours to choose from
  • BLiTTER chip for fast movement of large data blocks around memory
  • Hardware-support for horizontal and vertical fine scrolling and split screen (using the Shifter video chip)
  • DMA sound chip with 2-channels stereo 8-bit PCM sound at 6.25/12.5/25/50kHz and stereo RCA audio-out jacks (using enhancements to the Shifter video chip to support audio shifting)
  • National LMC 1992 audio controller chip, allowing adjustable left/right/master volume and bass and treble EQ via a "Microwire" (3-bit serial) interface
  • Memory: 30-pin SIMM memory slots allowing upgrades up to 4 MB Allowable memory sizes including only 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and 4.0 MB due to configuration restraints (however, 2.5 and 3.0 MB are unsupported and have compatibilty problems). Later 3rd-party upgrade kits allow a maximum of 14MB, bypassing the stock MMU
  • Ability to synchronise the video-timings with an external device so that a video Genlock device can be used without having to make any modifications to computer's hardware
  • Analogue joypad ports (2), with support for devices such as paddles and light pens in addition to joysticks/joypads. The Atari Jaguar joypads and Power Pad joypads (grey version of Jaguar joypads marketed for the STE and Falcon) can be used without an adaptor. Two standard Atari-style digital joysticks could be plugged into each analogue port with an adaptor.
  • TOS 1.06 (also known as TOS 1.6) or TOS 1.62 (which fixed some major backwards-compatibility bugs in TOS 1.6) in two socketed 128 KB ROM chips.
  • Socketed PLCC 68000 CPU

A Blitter (acronym for BLock Image TransferrER) is a chip that specialises in bitmap data-transfer using bit blit methods. ... A sound chip is an integrated circuit (i. ... PCM is an initialism which can have different meanings: Phase Change Material Pulse-code modulation, a way to digitally encode signals representing sound and their video counterparts Potential Cancer Marker Communist Party of Mexico Plug Compatible Manufacturer Power-train control module, a computer in a car which controls the car... 30- (top) and 72-pin (bottom) SIMMs. ... This 68451 MMU could be used with the Motorola 68010 MMU, short for memory management unit or sometimes called paged memory management unit as PMMU, is a class of computer hardware components responsible for handling memory accesses requested by the CPU. Among the functions of such devices are the translation... Genlock (for Generator Lock) is a common technique where the video output of one source, or a specific reference signal, is used to synchronize other television picture sources together. ... The Atari Jaguar is a video game console that was released in November 1993 to rival the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a powerful next generation platform. ... The Atari Falcon030 The Atari Falcon was Ataris final computer product, more specifically named the Atari Falcon030 Computer System. ... Atari ST GEM desktop The Operating System (TOS) was the operating system of the Atari ST range of computers. ... PLCC stands for Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier. ... The Motorola 68000 is a CISC microprocessor, the first member of a successful family of microprocessors from Motorola, which were all mostly software compatible. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ...

Models

A number of machines were released in the ST family. Here they are, in rough chronological order after the original 520ST:

  • 520ST+ - Name for early 520STs with 1 MB of RAM, but without floppy disk
  • 260ST - European name for the 520ST with 512 KB. Used after the release of the 520ST+ to differentiate the cheaper 512 KB models from the 1 MB models
  • 520STM - a 520ST with a built-in modulator for TV output
  • 520STFM - a 520STM with a newly redesigned motherboard in a larger case with a built-in floppy disk drive
  • 1040STF - a 520STFM with 1 MB of RAM and a built-in double-sided floppy disk, but without RF modulator
  • 1040STFM - a 520STFM with 1 MB of RAM and a built-in double-sided floppy disk with RF modulator
  • Mega ST (MEGA2, MEGA4) - 1040 with 2 or 4 MB of RAM, respectively, in a much improved "pizza box" case with a detached keyboard. Early models did not include the BLiTTER chip; most did. Included a real-time clock and internal expansion connector.
  • 520STE and 1040STE - a 520STFM/1040STFM with enhanced sound, the BLiTTER chip, and a 4096-color palette, in the older 1040 style all-in-one case
  • Mega STE - same hardware as 1040STE except for a faster 16 MHz processor, in the TT case
  • STacy - A portable (but definitely not laptop) version of the ST. Originally designed to operate on 12 standard C cell flashlight batteries for portability, when Atari finally realized how quickly the machine would use up a set of batteries (especially when rechargeable batteries of the time supplied insufficient power compared to the intended alkalines), they simply glued the lid of the battery compartment shut, and soon discontinued the machine.
  • ST Book (later version portable ST), vastly more portable than the STacy, but sacrificing several features in order to achieve this - notably the backlight, and internal floppy disc drive. Files were meant to be stored on a small amount (one megabyte) of internal flash memory 'on the road' and transferred using serial or parallel links, memory flashcards or external (and externally powered) floppy disc to a 'real' desktop ST once back indoors. The screen is highly reflective for the time, but still hard to use indoors or in low light (the idea of a switchable green LED backlight seeming not to have inspired the Atari technical department as it did many wristwatch manufacturers), it is fixed to the 640x400 1-bit mono mode (not even greyscale emulation of colour in low res is offered), and no external video port was provided. For its limitations, it gained some popularity as being the most utterly portable 'real' computer of the day (slim, light, quiet, reliable, and with a long battery life, even by today's standards for all 5), particularly amongst musicians already used to using the original computer and perhaps having lugged a STacy or even a full ST + Monitor + accessories rig on tour.

A pizza box is a cardboard box in which pizza is packaged, usually for take-out or pizza delivery. ... Overview The Atari Mega STE was Ataris last ST series machine. ... A Portable computer is a computer that is designed to be moved from one place to another (in other words, it is a computer that is portable). ... An ultraportable IBM X31 with 12 screen on an IBM T43 Thin & Light laptop with a 14 screen A laptop computer, or simply laptop (also notebook computer or notebook), is a small mobile computer, which usually weighs 2. ... Four double-A batteries In science and technology, a battery is a device that stores energy and makes it available in an electrical form. ...

Other models

  • Atari TT030 — new machine based on the Motorola 68030 processor running at 32 MHz, in yet another new case design with a detached keyboard. Capable of high screen resolutions with better colour palettes and addressing more memory, with optional onboard hard drive (slotting onto the base as a second, smaller box). Popular with CAD and DTP communities of the time for its sheer graphical capability (its high resolution only recently having become a common size on modern PCs) and processing speed.
  • Atari Falcon 030 — another 68030 based (albeit only 16 MHz) machine like the TT, but in the STE-style case (yet again) with further upgrades to the graphics and sound, a Motorola 56000 DSP for CD-quality sound recording and processing, multitasking OS (on disk) and a LocalTalk port for networking. Last computer made by Atari.
  • Medusa 040, Medusa 060, Hades 040, Hades 060 — 3rd-party Falcon/TT compatible machines manufactured by Medusa Computer Systems.

Atari TT030 Computer The Atari TT was the fastest system that Atari ever built. ... Motorola 68030 Processor from a Macintosh IIsi The Motorola 68030 is a 32-bit microprocessor in Motorolas 68000 family. ... The Atari Falcon030 The Atari Falcon was Ataris final computer product, more specifically named the Atari Falcon030 Computer System. ... The Motorola 56000 (56k) is a family of DSP chips produced by Motorola from the 1980s on, still continuing to be produced in more advanced models in the 2000s. ... A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor designed specifically for digital signal processing, generally in real-time. ... LocalTalk is a particular implementation of the physical layer of the AppleTalk networking system from Apple Computer. ...

PC compatible

  • Atari PC-1 - IBM XT compatible but with more colors, RS-232 and printer port built-in. Only one expansion port. Too well-made, more expensive than other PC-clones.
  • Atari PC-5 - 386sx PC-compatible, but with less expensive components.
  • Atari N386SX - Laptop (rebranded from SOTEC). Built-in 40 MB hard drive.
  • Atari Portfolio - PC XT-compatible subnotebook (as seen being used by John Connor in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Designed to easily link up and transfer data with STs using a parallel cable and simple software.

Atari Portfolio The Portfolio converted to a toy robot for the 2005 Vintage Computer Festival. ... Sony VAIO model C1 subnotebook A subnotebook is a small and lightweight portable computer, with most of the features of a standard notebook computer but it is either substantially smaller or lighter. ... Terminator 2: Judgment Day (commonly abbreviated T2) is a 1991 movie directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Robert Patrick. ...

Transputer

  • Atari ABAQ, or Atari Transputer Workstation — A standalone machine containing modified ST hardware and up to 17 transputers capable of massively parallel operations for tasks such as ray tracing.

There were also some unreleased prototypes: Falcon 040 (external link) (based on a Motorola 68040, new case and slots), ST Pad (A4 (Letter paper) sized pen-operated portable ST computer, handheld and with an unlit monochrome LCD screen derived from the ST Book, forerunner of modern tablet PCs), and the STylus (Apple Newton-style palmtop). The Atari Transputer Workstation (also known as ATW-800, or simply ATW) was a workstation class computer released by Atari in the late 1980s. ... The Motorola 68040 is a microprocessor from Motorola. ...


Peripherals

  • SF354 - Single-sided double-density 3½ floppy drive (360 KB)
  • SF314 - Double-sided double-density 3½ floppy drive (720 KB)
  • SM124 - Monochrome monitor, 12" screen, 640x400 pixels, 70hz refresh
  • SM147 - Monochrome monitor, 14" screen, no speaker, replacement for SM124
  • SC1224 - Color monitor, 12" screen, 640x200 pixels plus speaker
  • SC1435 - Color monitor, 14" screen, stereo speakers, replacement for SC1224 (rebadged Magnavox 1CM135)
  • SM195 - Monochrome monitor, 19" screen for TT030. 1280x960 pixels. 70hz refresh
  • SH204 - External hard drive, 20 MB
  • Megafile 20, 30, 60 - External hard drive, Mega ST matching case
  • Megafile 44 - Removable cartridge drive, Mega ST matching case
  • SLM804 - Laser printer, connected through ACSI DMA port, used ST's memory and processor to build pages for printing
  • SLM605 - Laser printer, connected through ACSI DMA port, smaller than SLM805

Trivia

  • The standard 8x8 pixel graphical character set for the ST (the main in-ROM "font" for GEM, and text-mode TOS operations) contains, following all the standard numbers, letters, symbols and accented characters, four unusual characters. These can be placed together in a square, forming a basic but recognisable facsimile of the face of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, the supposed founder of the Church of the Subgenius.
  • Jack Tramiel chose to include the Hebrew alphabet with ST's ROM character set because of his Jewish heritage.
  • Russel Hobbes, the cartoon drummer of the band Gorillaz, has an Atari ST in his room on the Gorillaz website.
  • The Fatboy Slim album "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" has an Atari ST in the large foldout picture of Fatboy Slim's studio.
  • Highly acclaimed IDM artists Mike Paradinas and Luke Vibert started out writing music on Atari STs.
  • Mike Oldfield's album "Earth Moving" stated in its sleeve that it was recorded using an Atari ST and C-Lab MIDI software.
  • In the Paris performance of Jean Michel Jarre's album "Waiting for Cousteau", musicians have attached Atari ST machines with unidentified MIDI software to their keyboards, as could be seen in the TV live show and video recordings.

J. R. Bob Dobbs J. R. Bob Dobbs is the figurehead of the Church of the SubGenius. ... J. R. Bob Dobbs The Church of the SubGenius is a postmodern religion, originally based in Dallas, Texas, which gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s subculture, with a large presence on the Internet. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Gorillaz is a virtual band created in 1998 by Damon Albarn of Britpop band Blur, and Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl. ... Fatboy Slim (born Quentin Leo Cook on July 31, 1963[1], also known as Norman Cook) is a British big beat musician. ... Intelligent dance music (commonly IDM) is a genre of electronic music derived from dance music of the 1980s and early 1990s which puts an emphasis on novel processing and sequencing. ... Mike Paradinas, who works primarily under the name µ-ziq (pronounced like the word music), is a British musician in the field of electronic music. ... Luke Vibert is a Cornish recording artist and producer known for his work in many subgenres of electronica. ... Michael Gordon Oldfield (born May 15, 1953 in Reading, England) is a multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music and more recently dance. ... Jean-Michel André Jarre (born August 24, 1948 in Lyon, France) is a French composer, performer and music producer. ...

References

  1. ^ The Future of Atari Computing. STart Magazine (December 1989). Retrieved on 2006-06-23.
  2. ^ TOP SECRET: Confidential Atari-Amiga Agreement. Atari Historical Society (November 1983). Retrieved on 2006-07-23.
  3. ^ The Atari Microbox. Atari Historical Society. Retrieved on 2007-05-28.

STart Magazine was a spin-off computer magazine started by ANTIC magazine. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... May 28 is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

The following is a List of Atari ST games. ... The Spectre GCR was a hardware add-on to the Atari ST computers that plugged into the cartridge port. ... The Atari Demo Scene can probably be traced back to a group called The Exceptions (TEX for short) who created a series of music demos (enhanced with a bit of scrolling text and some nice rasters) in 1987. ... The demoscene is a computer art subculture that specializes itself on producing demos, non-interactive audio-visual presentations, which are run real-time on a computer. ... The original Amiga 1000 (1985) with various peripherals The Amiga is a family of personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation. ...

External links

History

General

The machines

Free Emulators

(there are also commercial emulators)

Open Source Emulators

  • http://stonx.sourceforge.net - First Unix/X11 emulator
  • http://castaway.sourceforge.net - Ported to several handhelds
  • http://hatari.sourceforge.net - Works on Linux, Mac OS X, handhelds etc. Emulates ST(e) and partially TT and Falcon
  • http://aranym.org - Atari clone as an emulator, can run m68k Linux
  • http://emutos.sourceforge.net - internationalized GPL version of TOS ROMs (based on Open Sourced GEM sources Caldera bought from Novell in 1997 along with DR-DOS)

Software

  • http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/ — The Atari section of the University of Michigan software archives.
  • Ultimate TOS Software Index
  • 3D-Calc freeware spreadsheet for Atari ST
  • PageStream desktop publishing for Atari ST
  • Cyber Studio : pre-history of Autodesk 3D Studio and Discreet 3ds max

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM, U of M or U-M) is a coeducational public research university in the state of Michigan, and one of the foremost universities in the United States. ...

Hardware

  • HwB: Atari Mouse/Joy Connector

3rd-Party Manufacturers

  • Medusa Computer Systems — Manufacturers of the Medusa 040, Medusa 060, Hades 040, Hades 060.
  • Milan Computer website — Manufacturers of the Milan 040 and Milan 060.

Lists of links

  • Atari Web Links

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