Author Topic: So many ST models  (Read 4165 times)

Offline retromod

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2014, 13:41:53 PM »
Quote from: "WiggyDiggyPoo"
Instructions don't mean compatability, at least on my A600 or A1200 I never has to do anything more complicated than loading a previous kickstart. My PC on the other had was constantly making me muck about with installation and drivers.

Neither platform was ideal but the PC wasn't the rosy home of development you're making it out to be (-;

well most users are only bought an amiga and used the builtin OS version and disks accomplished with the system. Not all of them were nerds. So I can only report what we decided (and it was a real big publisher) not to release games for Atari ST or Amiga due to minimal business opportunities on the second half of those device lifetime. It was bad seeing that you complete a game and then it is not released/published at all, luckily I wrote it in a way to simple port it to other platforms.

The PC was the upcoming platform for games a few years later. And sure there was an increasing demand for games. It was the pre VGA area with 80286 and 80386 machines, having a 10MB harddisk with Adlib Soundcard. Far behind the Amiga or Atari ST possibilities but the masses decided to pick it up.

Whereas the device politics of Atari and Commodore were not really straight forward. I remember the Transputer and Unix nonsense (from economic point of view) together with the CPU card crap which finally lead exactly to that situation where the installed base drifted into different directions.

Regarding the programming: I enjoyed using the Atari ST to edit source codes as it offered several windows allowing me having the source code of platform A in windows A and the convertion to platform B in windows B. The monochrome monitor was ahead of it's time. There was no really helpful editor on Amiga side without allowing to burn down the system resources. Specially as the highend mode was not useable on PAL machines due it's flickering. I used a flicker reducer and reduced brightness nearly to zero to be able to work in that mode. The ed was ok but have not the luxary of the tempus editor on Atari ST. As the Atari ST offered PC disk compatibility it was a small step to use the code for a direct compilation on the target PC machine or via tool on the Amiga side. Aztek C on Amiga side was great but loading it and install the whole environment into ramdisk was time consuming always with the risk that that disk was destroyed by this stupid disk format of the Amiga outside of the drive specs (how many games were lost that way?).

The Megamax C on Atari ST side was great, too but both can't offer the same luxary than the Microsoft Quick C development environment. Text based but powerful, quickly loaded and with all kind of help systems you'll missed on Atari or Amiga side.

if you have ever seen how games were delivered by home-programmers and specially the source code, you'll want to kill all of them  :70:
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Offline WiggyDiggyPoo

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2014, 14:52:10 PM »
It's funny you should mention the ST/PC disc compatibility - I remember someone trying their   ST copy of Nitro on a school RM Nimbus PC and it getting at least as far as the title screen....

Loading a previous kickdown wasn't really that nerdy, all I knew as a kid was with some old games I had to put my 'kickdown' disk in first before they would run, its only in the last few months I've discovered it's actually loading a different version to RAM (-;

If I has the room I'd get an ST I think, they certainly have enough different about them to warrant it.

Offline retromod

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2014, 15:57:56 PM »
Quote from: "WiggyDiggyPoo"
It's funny you should mention the ST/PC disc compatibility - I remember someone trying their   ST copy of Nitro on a school RM Nimbus PC and it getting at least as far as the title screen....

Loading a previous kickdown wasn't really that nerdy, all I knew as a kid was with some old games I had to put my 'kickdown' disk in first before they would run, its only in the last few months I've discovered it's actually loading a different version to RAM (-;

If I has the room I'd get an ST I think, they certainly have enough different about them to warrant it.

the secret is to format the disk on pc side then use it on the Atari ST. This works all the time. But not reverse!
with the right tool you are also able to read/write it on amiga side.
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Offline AmigaJay

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2014, 18:16:11 PM »
As you probably know there were plenty of dual format disks for games both Amiga/ST disk and Amiga/PC too, there was even a few Tri-format disks with all 3 formats on 1 disk! 3D Pool was one of them!
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Offline WiggyDiggyPoo

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2014, 19:18:20 PM »
The game box was definitely labeled IBM Comp/Atari - that's why we were trying it!

Tri format disks sound a bit mad, imagine that these days with a PS4/XOne/Wii game lol

Offline retromod

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2014, 10:09:31 AM »
Quote from: "AmigaJay"
As you probably know there were plenty of dual format disks for games both Amiga/ST disk and Amiga/PC too, there was even a few Tri-format disks with all 3 formats on 1 disk! 3D Pool was one of them!

As most of my games were written in C it was possible to deliver one disk with PC and Atari ST version on it. Finally I only recompiled it with the system specific highspeed libraries so I was able to port such games within one hour to another target platform (gfx and sound is on another page of course). each port was about $2000  8)
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Offline MadCommodore

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2016, 14:45:38 PM »
There is one ST variant missing on that list, even if it was never produced or sold, the all in one Atari response to the Amstrad PCW series of machine. It was going to be an all in one in similar design to the PCW  machines based on a 512k ST and mono monitor boxed together with an external keyboard and Atari 24pin printer.

As for Amiga being as simple a case as OCS/ECS (which I presume you mean 512kb and 1mb Chip RAM and not ECS/OCS Denise which did nothing useful for game programmers) for games compatibility, no just NO!

For a start there is 3 revisions of Agnus and 3 revisions of Denise on top of that there were games that only ran in Kickstart 1.2 and some that only ran in Kickstart 2.04/2.1. Add to that some 1mb games would only work on an Amiga 500 with 512kb expansion in the trap door and not an Amiga 1000 with 512kb Zorro expansion or 1mb A2000 (Ghosts and Goblins original version released was one that annoyed me, you own 2 Amigas and it only works on the freaking A500 grrrr).

Using an Amiga (and during the 1980s I had an A1000 and A2000 and my brother had an A500 from Batman pack) was nothing simple at all. Which is also why so many people have trouble getting games to work on WinUAE emulator. It's not the emulator at all, people just forgot there was more than OCS/ECS to deal with and some games really didn't like it due to bad coding.

Still it was light years ahead of DOS computers of the 80s/90s, you need a Computer Science degree to get PC DOS games of the Amiga 1200 era to work, trust me on this (I had a 486 and a Computer Science degree) lol. Anyone who bought a DOS/Win 3.x kludge for the home and told you it was a home computer was telling lies! haha

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2016, 03:43:36 AM »
Its also worth noting that for the vast majority of the ST's life, there was only the ST FM (and later the STe also) available, with or without 1 meg RAM upgrade.  (And of course the Megas & TTs for business users).  It was a very simple choice.

Those earlier machines with single sided drives / without drives / without built in TV modulators were only available in the first year or so of the machines life.

Offline zapiy

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Re: So many ST models
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2016, 16:14:12 PM »
Thanks for the info guys, very informative read.
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