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Questions About the ST


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#1 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 7:37 PM

Lately, I've been looking into purchasing an Atari ST. Before I do though, I want to know a few things. Do I have to get an Atari floppy drive or will any external floppy drive do? I also wanted to know if its possible burn an Atari ST game onto a blank floppy disk from a normal computer and run it on an ST. Please answer my questions if you can. Thanks.

#2 MrMaddog OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:08 PM

The early 520/1040 ST's did require an external disk drive. All the later models STfm/STe/Mega's have them built in. You can format a floppy disk on a PC (DOS format) and the ST can read them. Make sure you use real Double Density disks (DD) and not the High Density ones. To transfer the games from the .ST images on a floppy, you'll need STDISK which you can get from here: http://www.softpedia...ls/STDISK.shtml

#3 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:19 PM

The early 520/1040 ST's did require an external disk drive. All the later models STfm/STe/Mega's have them built in. You can format a floppy disk on a PC (DOS format) and the ST can read them. Make sure you use real Double Density disks (DD) and not the High Density ones. To transfer the games from the .ST images on a floppy, you'll need STDISK which you can get from here: http://www.softpedia...ls/STDISK.shtml


Can't you use the "cover the notch" trick to make them a lower density?

#4 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:59 PM

You can, but HD disks use a thinner oxide coating on the surface so 720K format on 1.44 Meg floppies tends to be unreliable on 720K drives.

As a temporary means to transfer data it can be fine though.

#5 Official Ninja OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 6:25 AM

Did any 1040 models not have an internal floppy?

I think the best model for someone new to the ST is a 1040 STFM. It has the floppy built in and has composite video at the monitor port as well as RF.
So it can be easy to make a cable to use composite video or at the very least RF. Also having composite video allows sync on composite with many RGB -> VGA up-scalers.

They can be hard to find though... at least in the US.. a 1040 STf (no m) Would work well but would need an Atari monitor to use.
A cable would need to be built for other RGB monitors. I found the STf did not work with many up-scalers as they need that sync on composite.

#6 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 5:29 PM

The early 520/1040 ST's did require an external disk drive. All the later models STfm/STe/Mega's have them built in. You can format a floppy disk on a PC (DOS format) and the ST can read them. Make sure you use real Double Density disks (DD) and not the High Density ones. To transfer the games from the .ST images on a floppy, you'll need STDISK which you can get from here: http://www.softpedia...ls/STDISK.shtml

But do you have to get an Atari brand floppy drive or can I use any external?

#7 Official Ninja OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 5:49 PM


The early 520/1040 ST's did require an external disk drive. All the later models STfm/STe/Mega's have them built in. You can format a floppy disk on a PC (DOS format) and the ST can read them. Make sure you use real Double Density disks (DD) and not the High Density ones. To transfer the games from the .ST images on a floppy, you'll need STDISK which you can get from here: http://www.softpedia...ls/STDISK.shtml

But do you have to get an Atari brand floppy drive or can I use any external?


Not any external, they have to have been made for use with the ST.
The most common are made by Atari but there was also a few 3rd party drives.

#8 ParanoidLittleMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:21 AM

Lately, I've been looking into purchasing an Atari ST. Before I do though, I want to know a few things. Do I have to get an Atari floppy drive or will any external floppy drive do? I also wanted to know if its possible burn an Atari ST game onto a blank floppy disk from a normal computer and run it on an ST. Please answer my questions if you can. Thanks.


I would suggest that go on STE instead ST. It is very compatible with all ST SW too (even if some people did not realise that). And all STEs have internal floppy drive.
Expanding RAM in some ST is nightmare. In STE it is very easy, thanks to sockets.

Considering writing floppies for ST(E): you can do it with some PC equipped with internal floppy drive - not USB !
Then may use SW specially made for Windows XP and later: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php

What others suggested: 720K - only good for limited count of SW.
ST2DISK is for DOS, not usable in newer Windowses. And I have better experiences with MAKEDISK - another DOS only program.

And what you consider as "normal computer" ? Answer me if you can :-D

#9 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:55 PM


Lately, I've been looking into purchasing an Atari ST. Before I do though, I want to know a few things. Do I have to get an Atari floppy drive or will any external floppy drive do? I also wanted to know if its possible burn an Atari ST game onto a blank floppy disk from a normal computer and run it on an ST. Please answer my questions if you can. Thanks.


I would suggest that go on STE instead ST. It is very compatible with all ST SW too (even if some people did not realise that). And all STEs have internal floppy drive.
Expanding RAM in some ST is nightmare. In STE it is very easy, thanks to sockets.

Considering writing floppies for ST(E): you can do it with some PC equipped with internal floppy drive - not USB !
Then may use SW specially made for Windows XP and later: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php

What others suggested: 720K - only good for limited count of SW.
ST2DISK is for DOS, not usable in newer Windowses. And I have better experiences with MAKEDISK - another DOS only program.

And what you consider as "normal computer" ? Answer me if you can :-D

Basically, I consider a normal computer to be any computer from the twenty first century.

#10 ParanoidLittleMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:41 AM

...
Basically, I consider a normal computer to be any computer from the twenty first century.


Surprise ! I expected 2 letters: PC . But actually, there is a lot of computers capable to 'burn' 800KB floppy. :-o

#11 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:41 AM

Does an Atari 520STfm have a built in power supply? I'm thinking about purchasing one from B & C ComputerVisions.

#12 Official Ninja OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:27 PM

Does an Atari 520STfm have a built in power supply? I'm thinking about purchasing one from B & C ComputerVisions.


Yes. Only the smaller 520 with no floppy drive had the external supply.

#13 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 6:09 PM

One last question. I noticed the games I downloaded from Atarimania are close to one Megabyte in size. Would that fit on the type of discs I need?

#14 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012 11:59 PM

Some 520STfm have the single-sided (360k) floppy, while most late ones (I think) have double-sided. Make sure you ask before you buy!

#15 mimo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012 2:14 AM

Just to be sure before you buy.
If you are going to write St discs on a PC, you CANNOT use a USB floppy drive, it must be a built in drive connected directly to the motherboard.
you will need a program called floimg to write the St disc images to disc.
I believe that the disc images on atarimania are the wrong format for writing back to disc with floimg, you will need to look elsewhere

#16 ParanoidLittleMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012 6:04 AM

...
I believe that the disc images on atarimania are the wrong format for writing back to disc with floimg, you will need to look elsewhere


Most of images on Atarimania are in STX format (Pasti), which can not be written onto floppies. Usable only with emulators - Steem and Saint. But there are some games in ST or MSA format, what is noticed by DL link. Then you can write them with FloImg. Just be prepared that many of such have 'manual protection' :) .

#17 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:26 PM

Unfortunately, I have another problem. I can't seem to find reliable NTSC versions of Leisure Suit Larry 1 or Prince of Persia, two of my favorites. Also, is it possible to just change the format of the games from Atarimania to ST and run them on an ST?

#18 ParanoidLittleMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:56 AM

Unfortunately, I have another problem. I can't seem to find reliable NTSC versions of Leisure Suit Larry 1 or Prince of Persia, two of my favorites. Also, is it possible to just change the format of the games from Atarimania to ST and run them on an ST?


You can not 'change format to ST' . Nor convert. Look for cracked versions - there is many site with. For instance:

http://www.thegamearchives.com/

Reliable NTSC versions ? Most of games have no separated NTSC (or PAL) version. Best is to have TV or monitor capable to run at 50 Hz.

#19 TheAtarianGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:40 AM

Thanks for the help. When I get my ST, I might start another topic with a link to an unboxing video.

#20 Thorsten GŁnther OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:01 AM

If you are going to write St discs on a PC, you CANNOT use a USB floppy drive, it must be a built in drive connected directly to the motherboard.
you will need a program called floimg to write the St disc images to disc.


There is a workaround for this issue, though, yet AFAIK only for Windows: convert the .ST to .MSA using MSA Converter 2.1, check that the file size is less than 720K (MSA Converter can split the disk image if necessary), then write it to a DOS formatted DD disk ('format a: /n:9 /t:80' from the command line). Write the Magic Shadow Archiver to another (or, if enough space is left, to the same) DD disk after unpacking it first. Load the Magic Shadow Archiver on your ST. Unpack the disk image(s) to yet another DD disk. Clumsy, slow, but works anytime, even with those 11 sector disks that no PC can write.

Thorsten

Edited by Thorsten GŁnther, Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:02 AM.


#21 mimo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:51 AM

There is a workaround for this issue, though, yet AFAIK only for Windows: convert the .ST to .MSA using MSA Converter 2.1, check that the file size is less than 720K (MSA Converter can split the disk image if necessary), then write it to a DOS formatted DD disk ('format a: /n:9 /t:80' from the command line). Write the Magic Shadow Archiver to another (or, if enough space is left, to the same) DD disk after unpacking it first. Load the Magic Shadow Archiver on your ST. Unpack the disk image(s) to yet another DD disk. Clumsy, slow, but works anytime, even with those 11 sector disks that no PC can write.

Thorsten


Thanks for the detailed work around. I may get to try it some time, but my old old old lap top is still churning out floppy discs :)




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