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Atari 8-bit Programming Utilities DOS Editors Software Documentation

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#1 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:53 AM

I'd like to announce opening up of a website I've been working on over the last few months. It's dedicated to programming, DOS, utilities and other serious (non-game related) software, documentation, and other resources. Most of these resources are available at other sites around the web as well, but the presentation, organization, and some content is unique; and some of the resources you'll not find together elsewhere. I'll also be using it to house documentation updates that I've done quite often (adding bookmarks and improving cover pages, etc.), which I'd formerly hosted at these file-sharing sites that seem to come and go from month to month. So it'll be a permanent location for those resources.

 

The site is more focused on quality and interesting software, rather than quantity, OSS being one of the main focuses. Right now I just have enough content to get things started, but I'll be adding more content as time goes by. Some textual content is incomplete (section descriptions, etc.), and some graphics are just placeholders for the moment. So they'll be other changes to the site besides adding content in the future as well.

 

If anyone has suggestions or resources that they think might fit into the scheme/concept of the site, please feel free to speak up / contribute.

 

Check it out here: Serious Computerist


Edited by MrFish, Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:33 AM.


#2 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:36 AM

I've been meaning one day to do PC based stuff like memory maps etc.  On Plus4.com there's a spreadsheet that has memory maps, graphics and other hardware documentation for the C= Plus/4.  To have similar for Atari would be great.

Also reference cards, I've had a laminator for some time so want to do some quick-ref cards.

 

If/when I get around to that, I'll let you know.

 

The Plus4 file, zipped Excel spreadsheet.  Allow Macros to execute for it to work properly:

Attached File  svs_rom_map_v1-5.zip   146.49KB   217 downloads



#3 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:56 AM

I've been meaning one day to do PC based stuff like memory maps etc.  On Plus4.com there's a spreadsheet that has memory maps, graphics and other hardware documentation for the C= Plus/4.  To have similar for Atari would be great.

Also reference cards, I've had a laminator for some time so want to do some quick-ref cards.

 

If/when I get around to that, I'll let you know.

 

The Plus4 file, zipped Excel spreadsheet.  Allow Macros to execute for it to work properly:

attachicon.gifsvs_rom_map_v1-5.zip

 

Nice reference. I'll definitely be into housing resources like that for the Atari in the future. I've already planned to add some general reference material like that, as well as possibly adding subsections (and additional navigation menus if needed for sections that get large enough).



#4 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:10 AM

Maybe ask Avery if you can mirror his copy of Altirra Hardware Reference Manual.

Also maybe some VBXE stuff, stuff for other upgrades.  It can be a real chore chasing up docs for these things, as they all tend to have their unique 1 or 2 sites each you need to dig through.



#5 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:24 AM

Maybe ask Avery if you can mirror his copy of Altirra Hardware Reference Manual.

 

I thought about doing that, or at least having a pointer to his site.

 

 

Also maybe some VBXE stuff, stuff for other upgrades.  It can be a real chore chasing up docs for these things, as they all tend to have their unique 1 or 2 sites each you need to dig through.

 

I actually was already thinking of creating a sister-site -- accessible from the current site -- dedicated strictly to hardware and such related reference material.



#6 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:29 AM

It's great that there is a new site for all this information. I considered setting up a site myself a little while ago but decided against it in the end due to the amount of time required.

 

However, how will it work so that effort isn't duplicated with the AtariWiki? https://atariwiki.or...sp?page=Content

.. as you're two sites with similar ambitions, though yours seems to have more downloads and I guess is more centralised as to who can amend the site.

 

Ideally the two sites could encourage each other. Perhaps some articles could be on both sites?

 

On a funny note, I went down to the local KMart the other day and got some nice glossy printed reference cards done (though they lost one of them). I'd downloaded the picture as an image and used their photo processing place for them. The lady said, "Ooh, all this computer stuff, nobody has ever printed anything like this before".



#7 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:59 AM

It's great that there is a new site for all this information. I considered setting up a site myself a little while ago but decided against it in the end due to the amount of time required.

 

Initial design and coding does take some time, but once it's done it's fairly easy to build up. The slowest part right now is finding out and double-checking meta-data accuracy and accuracy between resources.

 

I've had something like this in mind for years. Part of the drive recently is that I wanted to learn HTML/CSS, since I'd never done anything beyond basic stuff before; and I wasn't (and never have been) interested in using a WYSIWYG editor. So this is all hand coded, which you'll probably notice pretty easily (compared to other sites) if you pop open the sources. I've also always conceived a site that is fairly light on graphics, and is nothing but HTML/CSS (no Java, JavaScript, etc.), as I think too many sites are way too heavy on the net; even considering that most folks have a fast enough connection these days. It's just a personal dislike of mine.

 

 

However, how will it work so that effort isn't duplicated with the AtariWiki? https://atariwiki.or...sp?page=Content

.. as you're two sites with similar ambitions, though yours seems to have more downloads and I guess is more centralised as to who can amend the site.

 

Ideally the two sites could encourage each other. Perhaps some articles could be on both sites?

 

Although they'll be some duplication, I don't really see any conflict here, because my goals are quite a bit different. I'm not looking to house everything and anything non-gaming. I have a fairly narrow range, and more so because I'm not even going to attempt to cover any of the categories in any type of exhaustive manner. AtariWiki is a great site, and I look at them as more of a complete resource for my site at this point. I've already exchanged some material directly with them. My site is organized differently though, and will contain some material that they're not covering. So I look our two sites as being complimentary, and alternatives, in the same way that you have places like Fandal, Atarimania, and AtariOnline. They're duplicating material too, but depending on what you want one site may be preferable to the other at a given time. I definitely know which site I need to go to when I want a particular piece of software or information. At this point I'm also not really sure how much I'll limit the site, but I'm definitely not going for something comprehensive as AtariWiki.

 

 

On a funny note, I went down to the local KMart the other day and got some nice glossy printed reference cards done (though they lost one of them). I'd downloaded the picture as an image and used their photo processing place for them. The lady said, "Ooh, all this computer stuff, nobody has ever printed anything like this before".

 

I'll bet she hasn't seen anything like that before, and probably won't again, unless it's from your hands.


Edited by MrFish, Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:52 AM.


#8 bf2k+ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:39 AM

Very Nice!



#9 fujidude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:52 AM

It's great that there is a new site for all this information. I considered setting up a site myself a little while ago but decided against it in the end due to the amount of time required.

 

However, how will it work so that effort isn't duplicated with the AtariWiki? https://atariwiki.or...sp?page=Content

.. as you're two sites with similar ambitions, though yours seems to have more downloads and I guess is more centralised as to who can amend the site.

 

Ideally the two sites could encourage each other. Perhaps some articles could be on both sites?

 

On a funny note, I went down to the local KMart the other day and got some nice glossy printed reference cards done (though they lost one of them). I'd downloaded the picture as an image and used their photo processing place for them. The lady said, "Ooh, all this computer stuff, nobody has ever printed anything like this before".

 

As time goes on, sites on the internet come and they go.  It would be a shame if there was a no (or little) overlap policy adhered to, and then one day one of the sites vanishes without a chance to re-home the content somewhere else.  I'm not saying it would happen, but that kind of thing does happen all the time.



#10 griz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:36 PM

Nice site. I like the clean, simple design. The more Atari sites the better, and I like your idea of quality over quantity.

 

If you are learning html/css, I have a few suggestions :

 

- I'd go straight to html 5.

- Rather than using html for presentation (example : <br><br><br>) I would use CSS. It's best to seperate content from style.

- I'd avoid using frames. Web developers have been trying to banish frames from the world for years (though sometimes they're still needed).

- I would add width and height attributes to your IMG tags.

- Use this : https://validator.w3.org/to see errors in your underlying code.


Edited by griz, Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:37 PM.


#11 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:26 PM

What a Beautiful, Clean, and well organized layout! I love it!

 

There is just the right blend of images and CSS to really make it pop. I give it 5 smiley faces  :grin:  :grin:  :grin:  :grin:  :grin:

 

- Michael



#12 FifthPlayer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:30 PM

The Serious Computerist "Resource" page lists several Compute! books.  It has "Inside Atari Basic", but it is missing "Inside Atari DOS".  I don't think this page can be considered complete without it.



#13 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:05 PM

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

 

 

Nice site. I like the clean, simple design. The more Atari sites the better, and I like your idea of quality over quantity.

 

I'm glad to hear you say that about the design, because those are two of the things I'm trying to achieve.

 

 

If you are learning html/css, I have a few suggestions :

 

- I'd go straight to html 5.

- Rather than using html for presentation (example : <br><br><br>) I would use CSS. It's best to seperate content from style.

- I'd avoid using frames. Web developers have been trying to banish frames from the world for years (though sometimes they're still needed).

- I would add width and height attributes to your IMG tags.

- Use this : https://validator.w3.org/to see errors in your underlying code.

 

I suppose you're suggesting HTML 5 because it's the future. In general I agree with that, because eventually some things in 4 that aren't being carried over to 5 may not be supported. I've paid attention to that as I've designed, but this design basically grew out of a simple design that I started with, having little background. The good thing is that my main reference ended up being w3schools.com, which always gives tips on what won't be carried into HTML 5, etc.

 

My site started off as all HTML, but then -- as I started learning all the benefits of CSS -- all the formatting got migrated over to separate CSS documents. So you will find that my formatting is all in a main CSS doc, and then the menu code has a local CSS definition section <STYLE> </STYLE>, and the banners have their own separate CSS document. You won't find any <BR><BR>... in my code, except in content sections where it's needed for hard-breaks. In fact the only place it's needed is where the icons have their filenames that need to be broken to equal out some of the formatting. All other spacing is defined in the CSS documents, to space between the various sections/elements.

 

I read about some of the frames controversy before and during the site's creation. In fact, there are many things that I dislike about how frames have been used down through the years (particularly frames with their own scrollbars, which I can't stand). I also know the alternatives and how to achieve the same layout that I have (now -- I didn't when I first started out) without the use of frames. I did an evaluation of my site (after its creation) in light of what I later learned, and came to the conclusion that there were some distinct advantages to using frames as well as some disadvantages.

 

So I do know how to convert my current site to eliminate frames, but I won't be doing it. I may switch over to not using them on my next site. The main advantages I see to using frames are: code separation and less code duplication (in this particular instance). The frames being: Menu, Banner, and Content -- I don't have to look at menu and banner code while I'm working on content. Additionally, menu content doesn't need to be duplicated across each content page -- it's defined once in it's own document and that's it. Each different banner needs it's own doc though, so there is no code savings there.

 

Also, it was an exercise for me in working with something a little complex to begin with, and at least getting to grips with how it all works (frames that is). I actually carried it a step further than most people would too -- based on my design idea -- because I reference multiple framesets in order to have a single link open up two frames simultaneously. Achieving this was somewhat of a curiosity, and I used it all as a tool for learning. In my eyes, I can see no great advantage to losing the frames, other than to satisfy current trends.

 

I don't think my current application of images will derive any benefit from specifying width and height attributes for my IMG tags. But I can look into it a little further. Is there a reason you can give -- considering my application -- that it would make it a benefit, or is this just a measure to pass standard validation?

 

Thanks for the link to the validator, I'll check that out. I hadn't really looked into anything like that yet.


Edited by MrFish, Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:19 PM.


#14 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:10 PM

The Serious Computerist "Resource" page lists several Compute! books.  It has "Inside Atari Basic", but it is missing "Inside Atari DOS".  I don't think this page can be considered complete without it.

 

I agree 100%, and I've planned to add it from the beginning -- as well as many others -- just haven't gotten to it yet. The resource section was the last thing added, and it's quite possible it will have its own section, rather than just a sub under "Home". Then I can have different subsections under "Reference", for various categories of materials.


Edited by MrFish, Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:12 PM.


#15 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:03 PM

So I do know how to convert my current site to eliminate frames, but I won't be doing it. I may switch over to not using them on my next site. The main advantages I see to using frames are: code separation and less code duplication (in this particular instance). The frames being: Menu, Banner, and Content -- I don't have to look at menu and banner code while I'm working on content. Additionally, menu content doesn't need to be duplicated across each content page -- it's defined once in it's own document and that's it. Each different banner needs it's own doc though, so there is no code savings there.

 

Another way to separate content, is to use PHP to construct your site on the fly. I built a website for a business about 8 years ago, where I used PHP to create the page by grabbing the various elements (Header, Navigation Bar, Left column, Middle column, and Right column). And I still used CSS to create the styles used in each. Then I created a few PHP Functions, with the coolest one being to automatically create the navigation based on what content was placed in a series of folders on the site. So in other words the folder names would show up as navigation tabs, and the html files contained within would appear in the drop-downs. This made it easy to create, move or delete content, never having to worry about updating the navigation. Since all the eye candy around the content was done by PHP includes, the content itself could be a very simple html file created by any webpage editor, or even in a text editor. The idea kind of grew, and I added other PHP Functions that only required simple calls from within the content page to insert pictures, captions, and links. The reason behind doing it this way was to make it easy for the owners of the company to modify content, without having to know anything about html, css, or javascript. In fact the content could be nothing more then a simple text file renamed as *.php or *.html, no coding required what so ever.

 

Just something to think about as you get more into this. But don't get me wrong, I like what you have done thus far  :thumbsup:

 

- Michael


Edited by mytekcontrols, Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:05 PM.


#16 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:11 PM

- Rather than using html for presentation (example : <br><br><br>) I would use CSS. It's best to seperate content from style.

 

Oh, I did forget one other place where I'm using <BR> too -- although it is basically the same, as in being for hard breaks in content. I use one in between the icons and the icon names. The reason this was done was to facilitate having a HOVER -- and a single link -- for both elements, by putting them in the same cell. I formerly had them in separate cells, where no break was needed. But then there was no way to combine the hover and link, and I thought it wasn't very intuitive to have them separate, as they both referred to the same file. So hence the <BR> was needed to keep them on separate lines and have it work the way it does.



#17 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:46 PM

Another way to separate content, is to use PHP to construct your site on the fly. I built a website for a business about 8 years ago, where I used PHP to create the page by grabbing the various elements (Header, Navigation Bar, Left column, Middle column, and Right column). And I still used CSS to create the styles used in each. Then I created a few PHP Functions, with the coolest one being to automatically create the navigation based on what content was placed in a series of folders on the site. So in other words the folder names would show up as navigation tabs, and the html files contained within would appear in the drop-downs. This made it easy to create, move or delete content, never having to worry about updating the navigation. Since all the eye candy around the content was done by PHP includes, the content itself could be a very simple html file created by any webpage editor, or even in a text editor. The idea kind of grew, and I added other PHP Functions that only required simple calls from within the content page to insert pictures, captions, and links. The reason behind doing it this way was to make it easy for the owners of the company to modify content, without having to know anything about html, css, or javascript. In fact the content could be nothing more then a simple text file renamed as *.php or *.html, no coding required what so ever.

 

Just something to think about as you get more into this. But don't get me wrong, I like what you have done thus far  icon_thumbsup.gif

 

Thanks Michael, I appreciate hearing your thoughts, and compliments, especially since you've done some work professionally.

 

Interesting application, or maybe this is not an uncommon use of the technology? Using PHP would of course go against my general design philosophy. I can see how something of that nature would have helped your owners out, rather than needing to call in a developer every time they wanted to change something. I certainly have nothing against scripting in general, as it can be very useful, and I've used scripting languages quite often on my local machines. I guess my main concerns are: document size, performance, and complexity -- not that your application here sounds unmanageable.

 

Another interest I have in code/technology trimming is in regards to the GUI. Eventually they'll be a desire to have a web browser running on it, and then file size, performance, and low-tech will be a necessity. I'm not saying my website would be Atari-ready as it, but it becomes an easier conversion when things are already fairly tight. I suppose in the scenario you described above, it wouldn't be too difficult to remove the PHP, at the cost of easy modification for the non-technical user.


Edited by MrFish, Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:18 PM.


#18 David_P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:51 PM

But where's DOS 3?  :-D



#19 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:16 PM

But where's DOS 3?  icon_biggrin.gif

 

In my trashcan next to the desk! :D



#20 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:19 PM

 

Interesting application, or maybe this is not an uncommon use of the technology?

 

Not completely uncommon,and it does take advantage of some of the power available with PHP.

 

 

Another interest I have in code/technology trimming is in regards to the GUI. Eventually they'll be a desire to have a web browser running on it, and then file size, performance, and low-tech will be a necessity. I'm not saying my website would be Atari-ready as it, but it becomes an easier conversion when things are already fairly tight. I suppose in the scenario you described above, it wouldn't be too difficult to remove the PHP, at the cost of easy modification for the non-technical user though.

 

Ahh now I see where you are going with this, and why you didn't want it to get too 'heavy' code wise. But this is exactly where PHP scripting can help. Keep in mind that unlike javascript, PHP is a 'server-side' scripting language,so it doesn't run on the client (browser) side of things. As far as the client is concerned, all they see is an html page. It is the PHP running on the server that has put that html together and served it up so to speak. So you have the power of the server at your disposal, and it doesn't matter how strong or weak the browser side of things are in this regard. In fact you can have the PHP serve up a page specifically geared towards a given browser. So in the case of using your Core-I7 Intel machine, it would serve up high resolution graphics, but if it detected that you were running the Contiki browser on an 8-bit it would use alternate low rez graphics and perhaps a simpler web page design. So not only would you not need to remove the PHP code, in this scenario it could be a great benefit to have it in place.

 

But if you are like me, my aging brain only has so many cells that can be put into play, so learning more languages and/or applications can be rather taxing (sometimes I just want to sleep). Just file this one away, but keep it in mind, since it might help you with what you are trying to do.

 

- Michael



#21 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:21 PM

But where's DOS 3?  icon_biggrin.gif

 

...or here, in all its loathsomeness: Atari DOS 3.0


Edited by MrFish, Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:21 PM.


#22 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:34 PM

Ahh now I see where you are going with this, and why you didn't want it to get too 'heavy' code wise. But this is exactly where PHP scripting can help. Keep in mind that unlike javascript, PHP is a 'server-side' scripting language,so it doesn't run on the client (browser) side of things. As far as the client is concerned, all they see is an html page. It is the PHP running on the server that has put that html together and served it up so to speak. So you have the power of the server at your disposal, and it doesn't matter how strong or weak the browser side of things are in this regard. In fact you can have the PHP serve up a page specifically geared towards a given browser. So in the case of using your Core-I7 Intel machine, it would serve up high resolution graphics, but if it detected that you were running the Contiki browser on an 8-bit it would use alternate low rez graphics and perhaps a simpler web page design. So not only would you not need to remove the PHP code, in this scenario it could be a great benefit to have it in place.

 

But if you are like me, my aging brain only has so many cells that can be put into play, so learning more languages and/or applications can be rather taxing (sometimes I just want to sleep). Just file this one away, but keep it in mind, since it might help you with what you are trying to do.

 

Yes, you're right, being server-side is the big advantage -- or allowance -- there. So it could be beneficial in that case, rather than a hindrance, unless the server would be an Atari also. ;)  I guess the lower-tech alternative is having separate CSS docs for each target -- which is basically what's done for smart phone and tablet targets.

 

I don't think it's so much the aging of my brain, as it is the time it takes to learn yet another language. I suppose the more you learn the easier it gets to adapt to new ones. But then you may be less likely to master the languages you know if you spread yourself to thinly.



#23 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:41 PM

 

 I guess the lower-tech alternative is having separate CSS docs for each target -- which is basically what's done for smart phone and tablet targets.

 

Yep that should also work, and since you are already working with CSS, should be fairly easy to implement and preserve brain for other endeavors ;) .

 

- Michael



#24 griz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:34 PM

Html 5 is actually cleaner and simpler than Html 4 as you don't need to use all of it's features. I thought I'd spare you further complexity than is needed and yes, it's a more modern standard.

 

Frames can get in the way when people bookmark your pages and are generally being discouraged these days. "Responsive design" (as they call it) is when your site adjusts to multiple platforms (desktop, phone, tablet, etc). That's tricky with frames.

 

I've been using php/html/css/js for more than a dozen years professionally; it's been my bread and butter. If I get a chance perhaps I can write a few tutorials for you on my website. Your simple site is a perfect candidate to be a modern, responsive site that's easy to maintain and works everywhere. I'm only trying to teach and help, please don't think you need any changes whatsoever. Your site is looking great as is.

 

If your site contains errors or doesn't conform to standards, it's position in Google will be lowered. The Width and Height attributes for IMG tags are required to conform to the standard as you pointed out, but also if they are not specified you get "Popping". That's when the content of a web page jumps all over the place as it's resized to fit the images as they are loaded in. If the web browser knows ahead of time (the dimensions of the images), the page loads without popping. For what it's worth, this isn't even noticeable on your site, just a good habit to get into.

 

Glad to know DOS 3 has a place on your site. I know it's crap, but it's nostalgic. Thanks for the hard work, I appreciate it.



#25 fujidude OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:59 PM

 

...or here, in all its loathsomeness: Atari DOS 3.0

 

DOS 3 was the 1st one I used on the Atari.  Came with the 1st 1050 I got.







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