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Zogging Hell

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  1. Are these game disks? Often these are copy protected so the contents will show as garbage if you try and read them from the desktop - they require autobooting, so insert the disk immediately after switching on (might be telling you how to suck eggs here so apologies if so ). If not I would ask if you have you recapped your PSU? It could be a PSU power issue, as the floppy will often show faults in that case. The other possible issue is one of your disks is seriously covered in gunk, and that having tried it in both drives you have got some of it on the drive heads. I would pull back the metal cover on any floppy you buy these days and check the disk for obvious crud - you may need to clean the drive head if so, the disks can also gently be cleaned with distilled water and a q-tip. If you have another computer with a floppy drive I would take a disk you don't care about, format it on the other machine to ascertain it is good, then try and format it on the ST. If you can format it double sided with no errors then the disk is likely to be good, and the drive.
  2. I had one of those, it should actually work, although I found on one of them, that the switch didn't switch very well and required a lot of wiggling to get it into Atari mode.
  3. All Atari computers are at heart single tasking, you have load a new operating system from disk (rather than the basic OS in ROM memory) to get multitasking at all. Not so much cracks, as if you look at the keyboard connector, there are pins that go into the motherboard through little holes filled with solder. The pins should be fixed solid by the solder but if any of them can move, there is a loose connection and this can lead to mouse problems.
  4. On my TT keyboard the mouse port failed in a similar fashion to the failure on the normal ST keyboard (i.e. solder joints broke loose). I bodge fixed it initially by pushing some cardboard under the port (into the keyboard) which pushed the port pins back in contact and worked for quite a while like that, you could check by pushing up the mouse connector when it is plugged in and try and use it. If you are handy with a soldering iron I would open it up and check the socket with a multimeter for continuity. If it is broken, then you will need to resolder the joints between the socket and the circuit board. Just to further what Paranoid said, unless you are running a multitasking system like Magic (which does need a shutdown option as processes can be running in the background), the TT is still at base a single tasking operating system (desktop accs aside), so there are no background task that you may not be aware of accessing the disk that may need closing which would require a shutdown to avoid corruption. Basically if you are doing something and accessing the disk then don't turn it off. If you are not, then neither will anything else be, so you can simply flip the switch.
  5. I have the ezflyer which I did for a short while use as a boot drive on an Atari Mega. Basically operation is the same as for a hard drive on the ST, so you could follow the same guides as one for installing a scsi drive for example. You will need to set the drive id no using the button on the front (of the second one) and you can't hot swap the drive, so it will appear to the ST like a fixed drive. Basically plug the drive into the DMA port using the 'Link' adaptor, then use a hard disk driver program to partition the drive and install a boot sector. All Atari hard disk software should work fine with it. Once on the desktop use the install desktop icon option to install icons for each of your partitions then save the desktop. I did find with the older STs the Syquest did need to be warm booted (i.e. you need to reset the ST after turning it on) before the drive was recognised as a boot drive. I found it reasonably fast in operation, its not fast enough to direct to disk recording, but it is faster than the old Megafile Atari hard disks. I'm not sure what the disk speed requirements are for Bad Apple (or is it a space issue?), but if will run from the old Megafiles, it will definitely run from this.
  6. I think many of the Bubblejets from that period have an epson dot matrix emulation mode iirc, you can probably switch to that using the DIP switches on the printer (if it is old enough to have them). Then you can choose an Epson compatible printer - I think the Bubblejets have a slightly non standard 360dpi output, which matches 24pin dot matrix printers well, but if not you could try a 9pin version, you just wont get the same resolution. The Star NL 10 was also Epson compatible iirc so that is probably why you are getting output. I think the page feed thing is something to do with a control code (this might be controlled from the page setup menu option). I vaguelly remember lots of people having problems with this in magazine answer sections. I would also check you page length as if it is too long it can also cause a page feed as the page runs onto the next one. If you can find the Epson FX 80 print command list then you should be able to track down the offending code line easily enough.
  7. Does the drive spin the disk when it is placed in it? Have you got the floppy cable in the right socket (there are two on the back of the drive)?
  8. There is a list and photos of a lot (all maybe?) of the motherboard revisions here. http://www.atari-wiki.com/index.php/Atari_ST_motherboard_revisions A diagnostic cartridge might also be a good idea, once you have recapped the PSU (or replaced) as Paranoid suggested.
  9. I don't know whether your VGA cable has an audio out? If it does and you press a key and get a beep (keyboard click) or repeated beeps if you hold down the key the ST is probably ok, but the cable might be a problem. The disk drive is quite likely to be faulty at this point. You could try using a floppy disk cleaner to try and clean the heads, or do it yourself if you are happy to open the drive and clean the heads with isopropyl and a q-tip or similar.
  10. At least one Atari monitor had stereo speakers afaik, but the monitor output is in mono even on the STe I believe, so presumably you needed to hook up the RCA jacks somehow to get it to work on that model.
  11. Ah that explains my very quiet key clicks (I thought I was going mad). Seriously though, a contrast icon!?!?! I had twiddled that wheel many times with no visible effect on the picture and as it was on my serious ST I hadn't noticed it controlled volume.
  12. The original ST and STM don't have joystick ports on the keyboard itself as Atari had the ports in a sensible place on the early release, so if you have one of those you will need to find a specific keyboard I think, as from a physical perspective at least a 'newer' STF keyboard won't fit. STF, STFM and STEs (and even Falcons) should be fairly easy to source a replacement for as the keyboard is the same. I don't know if the keyboard will work if you remove the joystick ports, presumably it just as some additional circuitry to complete the port circuit, but whether there are connector differences where the keyboard attaches to the motherboard I'm not sure, I seem to recall the connector was different (longer I think), but I haven't opened my early STs for nearly a decade. If you glue the broken bit back in position you could repair it by scratching back to the tracks on either side of the break and using conductive paint to bridge the gap if you don't want to get soldering and using copper wire on the go.
  13. Pure guess as I'm not familiar with the company that made this, but it looks like a accelerator card, probably for boosting the system bus and overclocking the CPU. What's it plugged into and where are the wires going? The easiest way to check would be to run something like Gembench on Lo and Hi and see what the difference is.
  14. I suppose a recap (on the drive) might be in order if you really want to get it going. But I would also recap your PSU if you haven't done so already. Really though unless having the original is necessary I would probably go with Paranoid's advice.
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