Jump to content
hueyjones70

ST software compatability

Recommended Posts

No.  It would be like asking if mid 1990's VGA software will run on a CGA system from the 1980's.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a nutshell, the Falcon has a 68030 processor as opposed to a 68000 processor in a standard ST.

 

The 68030 has an enhanced instruction set, so anything written specifically for the Falcon will not work 

on ST's with a 68000 processor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it is not mandatory to use new instructions for 68030, and that will not result in some significant performance loss.

The real reason is usually usage of some graphic mode not present on ST(E), maybe DSP ...

Speed could be much lower on ST too, but that depends from used instructions in code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there anything available for the ST that serves a function similar to the Sdrives for 8 bit machines?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, hueyjones70 said:

How about downloading software, is there something comparable to ATR files.

Yes. .ST files are like .ATRs on the 8-bit. STX files are the equivalent to ATX files on the 8-bit. 
 

If the ST program is in a zip file, you may need a program like MSA converter (Windows) or zip2st (UNIX Shell script included with Hatari emulator) to convert the zip file to something you can use directly on the ST using a Gotek or Goex. 
 

However, I haven’t owned an ST for decades (no room now) so one of the people who had one of these devices can tell you if you can use the ST files directly without converting it to an ST image first. 
 

Bob C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't 'convert' zip file to 'something' usable on ST . It's called unpacking, depacking, extracting ...

Actually, what could be really interesting here is LFN (long file name problem) - especially because I see lot of ST SW releases with small letters for instance. If you copy such files straight to your Atari media - hard disk, Flash card, floppy, floppy image (ST, MSA) that can cause problems.

TOS is not ready for something what appeared first with Win95, so 10 years later.

Total Commander can be very useful in it (and many other things).  Configuration, Options, Uncheck 'Use long names' . But only temporary, while dealing with copy, transfer on Atari media. Then check on back.  This will convert small letters to capital in file names, and shorten it to 8.3 (what may need manual post correction).

" ... one of these devices can tell you if you can use the ST files directly without converting it to an ST image first. "  - SD card " 🙂

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of these questions seem extremely basic, no insult to you hueyjones70, so I was prepared to refer huey back to the topic for newbies, like the one back in the 8-bit thread. Imagine my surprise when I realized that we didn't have one here in the ST forums. I can't believe someone hasn't put something like that together yet. If I get the time this fall/winter, I may start putting together something similar and model it after the thread in the 8-bit forums. What do you guys think? I'm sure it would prove useful for new users like hueyjones70 and others.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, darwinmac said:

Yes. .ST files are like .ATRs on the 8-bit. STX files are the equivalent to ATX files on the 8-bit. 
 

If the ST program is in a zip file, you may need a program like MSA converter (Windows) or zip2st (UNIX Shell script included with Hatari emulator) to convert the zip file to something you can use directly on the ST using a Gotek or Goex. 
 

However, I haven’t owned an ST for decades (no room now) so one of the people who had one of these devices can tell you if you can use the ST files directly without converting it to an ST image first.

Also ST can read MS-DOS formatted disks,  so I would use tools that formatted an MS-DOS 720K disk image, and copied ST files to that.   However, I've noticed that MS-DOS formatted disks work better in newer TOS versions (like 2.06) than they do in 1.0.  The older TOS versions often show weird phantom files on those disks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I think the UltraSATAN is the closest: https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=48

For the Atari ST, I would recommend a hard disk solution all the way.  I really don't have much occasion to use original disks at all these days; it requires a special effort to play disk originals, there is never any necessity.  The support for the PP driver and the hard disk library is outstanding (in fact, PLM gets very upset if people don't provide regular bug reports for his games).

 

The Amiga is the complete opposite.  I found WHDLoad very unreliable and I attribute this to the lack of standardisation for Amiga memory upgrades - too many chefs and too many ways to skin the cat means one person's 8MB A1200 is very different to another person's 8MB A1200 (an STe takes standard PC SIMM modules).  I'm much more at home with my A600, a PCMCIA adaptor and a ton of floppy disks.  It's so easy to copy ADFs over on the Amiga compared to the ST which requires a PC with an internal disk drive and a load of parameter settings - there is JayMSA but that's limited to MSA files which tends to be shareware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, bfollowell said:

A Gotek or a Goex drive will replace the floppy drive.

If you can get it to work !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a bead on an Atari ST with internal Gotek drive. I have other systems with Goteks or equivalents, but I find them a bit of a pain to use. I'm debating about that ST, but think I'd prefer a regular internal drive to give me more flexibility and then figure out how to make the UltraSATAN work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, English Invader said:

For the Atari ST, I would recommend a hard disk solution all the way.  I really don't have much occasion to use original disks at all these days;

Agree with you 100%, but also if like me you have lots of disks (not games) that I used that have programs I've written and

documents, you still need a way to get them on to your hard disk if you don't have a floppy drive.

 

As I can't get my GOEX to work, which was going to be my solution, had to try get my floppy drives working, thankfully

I did manage that and have got quite a bit of stuff onto my HD, for Images I download I use FloImg102 to make working

floppies 

Edited by TGB1718

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say that for me reading all this in year 2020 - about 'floppies are still best solution', then really very beginner questions about how to transfer floppy files or even floppy images to hard disk, and like is little shocking.

I had my first hard disk with Atari ST in 1992, and that was far from being among first people using it. It was really not hard to get how to transfer regular files from floppies to hard drive. If you know about sub directories, file name rules (8.3) it should be clear. I guess younger people is confused because today long file names, diverse floppy image formats, Windows restrictions, etc.

And I started to copy files from floppies to that hard disk, including games, to make playing easier, saving original disks. Sometimes, or better said in most cases it was not enough - needed some corrections to make it work from hard drive. Or lot of corrections, work, and even more RAM - using RAMdisk to store disk data. I had 2.5 MB then, and that was enough to hold all 4 floppies of Microprose F1 (with some packing) and have enough RAM for game self. Yeah - ideal thing - no need for constant disk swap. Just one example, probably best one from games I dealt with then.

Around 2000 I started with imaging all my floppies (including Sinclair Spectrum ones), and did it mostly with DOS programs under Win 98, 2000 .

Have all it still, wrote on CD ... 

Things became harder with newer Windows versions, like XP, and their limited floppy driver. Old DOS SW was not usable anymore. Then I made FloImg - not so much for making floppy images, but to be able to write DL-ed images to floppies.

And some years later it became obsolete too - new PCs don't support floppy drives, except USB ones, which are almost useless for retro computing.   And drives, disks are more and more in bad, useless shape. That's why HW floppy emulators (HxC, Gotek ...) are now so popular.

Or hard disks, and rather Flash (SD) card based mass storage, working like classic hard disk considering OS. For me later is clearly much better solution - normally,  having almost 3 decades practice. And lot of SW working  well from hard disk. And some SW, what likes to work from drive A: only. There is no ideal (or as some would like 'best') solution. All them have their ups and downs.

Virtual Floppy, Floppy Image Runner - fast, easy to use, but not everything works, needs corrections, and that might be very hard to solve.

In case of  games best chances are with older cracks.  Good thing is that lot of, actually most of quality games are already adapted for hard disk run.

 

HW emulators:  more compatible than Virtual Floppy, but still not 100% of SW works - copy protections, some weird formats. Usage may be not so easy, especially with multy floppy SW.

 

Real floppy drives, disks: harder and harder to find it in good condition. Problems with writing images on disks - newer computers don't support floppy drives at all, USB is very limited with formats supported ...  And if want to copy your original games, other SW copy protection will make you spending some money on specialized floppy copy device: SuperCard Pro .

 

Back to compatibility: Not that you can not run Falcon games on ST, you can not run all ST games on your ST 🙂

Yeah - TOS version compatibility problems, RAM size problems - most silly case is when game runs only with 512 KB or 1 MB, but not with more RAM 🙂   And what helps in such case (beside some 'nice' words to coders) ? Only changing game code, or running some special SW what will make machine to act as it has less RAM, not really elegant ...

All in all, this needs really lot of time, experimenting, communicating with other users. And sometime simple thing: reading what is written by authors 🙂

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ParanoidLittleMan I appreciate what you say, but please remember some of us are coming back into the Atari scene

after many years of absence and have not seen a lot of the developments that have taken place to help us "move with the times".

 

For me, I only got my hard drive just before I stopped using the ST's as my work dictated using a PC and unfortunately all my

Atari gear (8 bit included) was consigned to the garage for over ~25 years.

 

Started pulling them out last year, 8 bits first and had so much fun upgrading etc. that I decided to resurrect my ST's as well,

for some reason, they didn't fair so well as the 8 bits, so only just got my STE fully working and still to fix memory problems

on my 520 STM. But enjoying every moment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The things are that with Atari ST it is way much more complicated with some 8-bit computer from 1978-1985. Those 8 bitters did not have any hard  disk support, no even some decent filesystem in their OS, if it can be called it at all. There were basically functions to load and save simple files from/to tape. By some were some simple floppy load/save functions.

The 16-bit era started around 1980-81 - IBM PC. And it introduced much more than new type CPU. Then was Apple with Lisa, Macintosh, and of course own, proprietary OS. Some standards were in process to be used widely, and filesystem is one of it. Based on CPM in big part. Floppy, hard disk formats - FAT12, FAT16 ...

Then big manufacturers of mostly computers intended for playing - Atari and Commodore joined the 16-bit club. There were some 'exchanges' of projects, boss around 1984. And then we had on market Atari ST and Amiga 1000, almost in same time. Now is clear that both were pretty much 'unpolished' in their first revisions. Amiga more, and the reason was complete new OS concept + expensive video, gaming support in HW.

Yeah, Amiga was gaming and video oriented, while Atari ST was designed as cheaper, multi purpose machine.  + ST went on OS using established FAT12 and FAT16 for storage.  That self is much harder to understand than some tape based storage.  And when it appears that there are some differences between PC DOS FAT12/16 and TOS based - and it is not endianess (TOS supports Intel CPU compatible low endianess for compatibility) , but some little differences on by me really unexpected places - then things really become hard to follow and understand. To add here, that TOS is done mostly by DRI, company who invented CPM. So, no wonder that went on those FAT filesystems. Well, for me is really hard to understand why they needed some 4 years to make internal floppy formatter to produce DOS compatible floppy format. Only couple bytes in MBR - that's all what was needed. Here to add that actually TOS floppy support is much better than what is in DOS of that time - very flexible, supporting diverse sector/track values. And yes, 800 KB (or 400 for SS drives) became most popular. Even 880 KB was possible, at price of slower work and lower reliability. And as everything has it's good and bad sides - it has bad ones too. Those who got used to call DD DS floppies '720 K' floppies may get confused when see 800K at same physical disk  🙂

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, TGB1718 said:

If you can get it to work !!!

 

21 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I have a bead on an Atari ST with internal Gotek drive. I have other systems with Goteks or equivalents, but I find them a bit of a pain to use

 

I just got a Gotek for a 486 PC, and it worked perfectly.   Are they just hard to use with STs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, zzip said:

I just got a Gotek for a 486 PC, and it worked perfectly.   Are they just hard to use with STs?

I bought a GOEX, maker says made specifically for ST, but I can't get it to read any images and that's

on an STE and an STM, the maker wasn't much help just saying sometimes they just won't work

on some machines, I tried it on a PC too, but still no joy (but that may be config issues).

 

The maker did say to post it back for checking, but may not be worth the postage costs from UK to Czeck Republic.

Overall very disappointed in the product though others have had no problems I believe. 

 

At first I thought it was my ST's as neither would read "real" floppy drives, but that turned out to be the floppy's

I spent some time fixing them and now have 3 fully working floppy drives, so not a problem with ST's

 

Edited by TGB1718
Update

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, zzip said:

 

I just got a Gotek for a 486 PC, and it worked perfectly.   Are they just hard to use with STs?

 

Not really, at least not in my experience. I've installed Goteks in three different ST machines and used FlashFloppy and HxC firmware, and had no issues whatsoever with any of them. They all worked flawlessly.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...