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Hatari: An Atari ST/STE/TT/Falcon Emulator (tuxfamily.org)
110 points by njn 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 42 comments

If you're interested in playing with an Atari ST but don't want to install anything, there's an in-browser emulator on my website here: https://jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js/atari-st/

IT HAS LOGO ON THE FLOPPY DISK!!! You wonderful, wonderful person! Aaaa the busy-bee icon!

Was the high resolution screen that I remember really that low?

If you ran it in monochrome it was noticeably higher https://sites.google.com/site/stessential/control-panel-repl...

Monochrome was that insanely high 640x400 resolution.

You could do a hardware overscan tweak and get over 800x480. I seem to recall I ran at 832x600 most of the time.

That's so cool. There's a few old programs I'd love to see but since it's been over 30 years I can't recall their names.

- A music composer that took advantage of the MIDI ports. Connecting the software to synths etc would allow the Atari ST to not only control the synth, but also to record the music in note form as it was played.

- A BASIC interpreting environment. Noteworthy for no reason other than this was the place where I wrote my first program ever.

- A desktop publishing application with similar functions to the early Pagemaker.

> A music composer that took advantage of the MIDI ports.

Cubase or C-Lab Notator.

> A BASIC interpreting environment.


> A desktop publishing application

This may be Calamus. Interesting fact: "an Atari Desktop Publishing system consisting of an Atari Mega ST computer, mono hi-res monitor, SLM804 printer and desktop publishing software cost less then an IBM or Apple laser printer alone." [1]


Timeworks Publisher ST was another desktop publishing app for the ST.

Plenty of ST BASICs mentioned here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_BASIC_dialects

Atari ST MIDI stuff, with screenshots: http://www.atari-music.fddvoron.name/timidi.htm - Cubase was the famous one, but since the ST had MIDI ports built in there was no shortage of others.

Masterscore? Wasn't too much into MIDI back then.

GFA Basic was a popular Atari ST replacement

Calamus? Although it never struck me as horrible as PageMutilator.

PageWrecker was actually pretty cool - did lots of school newspapers (legit and underground) back in the days...

Steinberg pro 24, or Cubase. as studio-class software. Usually hooked up to akai s900/s1000 samplers, and Yamaha DX7s If it was notation, then C-Lab Notator

GFA basic or Hisoft basic (along with the many other dev languages that Hisoft had)

Calligrapher in the UK, Pagestream, Calamus.

I believe the BASIC interpreter was TrueBasic: https://www.truebasic.com/atari

And probably PageSteam for the the desktop publishing app.

Not sure on that MIDI composer.

The most famous BASIC environment was the incredible GFA Basic.


I thought Omikron BASIC [1] was even better

but both were really awesome compared to what existed on other platforms back then. In particular, I liked their documentation. Those were great times for documentation (not just BASIC, also TOS, GEM etc from that time more than today's. Either there were more qualified tech writers per product, or the products were simpler ... or maybe just nostalgia.

[1] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omikron_BASIC

Ah yeah, I forgot about that one too. I had switched to True Basic at some point and completely forgot about GFA.

I built a full CAD-CAM environment in GFA that lives on to this day as the core of a lathe / mill combo with integrated software. It was an incredibly productive environment, the whole thing clocked in at 50Kloc and a few thousand lines of assembly code to make it run very fast.

I wrote my first basic on a BBC, but at home I had STOS on an STE. I loved it at the time too.

I remember going through lengths to make my old Atari ST look like a Mac. I installed the Monaco font and wrote a program, in assembly, to draw rounded corners on the screen like the Mac had. Now I sit on a MacBook Pro and I am trying to run Atari ST on it. Full circle.

Nice, had an Atari 800XL, then a 512STfm, and then I was one of the 3 people who purchased a Falcon 030.

Learned Atari basic from a 2 page leaflet that came with my 800XL when I was 8, then progressed through True Basic and GFA Basic.

This sounds exactly like me, except I didn't make it to the Falcon. I always wonder if I should have gone C64 > Amiga, there just always seemed to be more stuff available for them. I did love the ST though.

This is awesome! I wish I had kept my old ST disks haha.

Apps I remember:

Revenge of the Mutant Camels remains one of the best games ever.

Calamus was also a great piece of software that predated Pagemaker for many years.

Heroes quest, police quest series of games.

There was an animation/tweenijg app for animation that blew me away.

These machines were great substitutes for amigas of the day.

While Calamus was indeed a great piece of software (IIRC, Linotype-Hell actually sold a very high-end printing system using an Atari ST and Calamus as the control system for a Linotype Imagesetter), it did not predate PageMaker. Aldus PageMaker came out in July 1985; Calamus DTP came out two years later, in July 1987.

Calamus -- at least as a brand -- outlived PageMaker, though! Invers Software, the owners of Calamus, shut their doors only last year, but the web site is still up; a macOS descendant of Calamus called "iCalamus" appears to still be in active development, under relatively new owners (who are longtime Macintosh developers).



There was also for a while a native Windows NT version of Calamus (they even had Alpha et al versions, if I remember correctly) that was quite good; I used it to make money for quite a long time, and although by now I guess there must be something that approaches its functionality (haven't followed DTP world in years), at the time it had features that Quark or Adobe couldn't touch.

I think the NT -- well, later Windows in general, I guess -- version is the one that kept going until 2018. I'd always heard good things about it, but was over on the Mac side of the world with PageMaker and later InDesign. (While I'm still over in Macworld, when I need to do DTP-ish things these days, they tend to be in LaTeX, so I never actually looked up iCalamus, although I feel like I should give it a test drive sometime.)

It well might have been. I was beta-testing it the North American publisher (and got it for free, although they made quite a bit off me on Calamus SL and plugins for Atari TT030 I had before), even for a while after they sold to... Roxio was it? I can't even recall by now, but development was done in Europe.

They did some really nice things with virtual objects, being able to zoom in down to a printer dot, stochastic rasterization and all that.

There were some other very high-end packages for Atari as well --Didot, Retouche Pro, TMS Cranach. For some reason European developers really went wild developing professional-level DTP software for Atari with some very impressive results. Too bad Tramiels didn't do much to support them...

Appreciate the clarification about Pagemaker, reading your post reminded me about Aldus :)

I might have to look up the Mac version

Note that you can have a fully open-source retro experience by using EmuTOS (a free operating system for Atari computers) with Hatari: https://github.com/emutos/emutos

I have a box of about 200 disks for this, and I've been keeping that old Atari ST alive and in use. Looks like it's time to convert once and for all. Just added a floppy disk drive to my Amazon list, here we go.

Hatari was also the starting point for "Previous", the NeXT Computer emulator, and some code has been submitted and included from that project for 68030/040 MMU functionality.

I remember running Ultima 6 and installing - using the hard disk option - to a RAM disk. My friend had a 4MB RAM expansion. I was basically having a 2MB hard disk in RAM!

I'd load the whole of U6 from 4 floppy disks, then fire it up and play, and when done, I'd save my position and copy it all back to the 4 floppy disks!

What helped were 2 things:

    *Utility to format disks to high capacity
    *Fast shareware disk copy utility

Wow, brings back memories. All the software I wrote for the ST, the voicemail system I wrote for the Falcon, working on MiNT / MultiTOS. Fun times.

I'd really love to boot up Spectrum Holobyte's Falcon again, but with the CPU clock goosed up so it could get higher framerates...

I wish the Amiga had a similar development community.

Unlike EmuTOS, AmigaOS is still closed, proprietary code.

Unlike Hatari, we've got winuae (windows-only) and a bunch of feature-cut, special purpose and/or abandoned ports to other platforms.

Wouldn't it make more sense to add support for this machine family to QEMU? 68k cpu emulation is already included in QEMU, all it needs is general support for the platform itself.

Systems like the ST and Amiga used custom HW chip sets for things like graphics and sound. It is not just about emulating the CPU.

Yes. More importantly, for game and demo compatibility you need to tie HW chip emulation on cycle level with the CPU. QEMU would get more on the way than help.

Hatari predates QEMU. It started in 2001.


I never had an Atari ST (stayed with Commodore to the bitter end, plus Tandy happened soon after) but I am glad someone out there is dedicated to keeping these 16/32-bit computers alive.

Heh, I had a similar path, starting with a Commodore 64 (where I learned Basic out of a magazine), moved on to an Atari STE, then onto an Olivetti (Tandy was big around the same time). Makes me feel very nostalgic :`)

Tandy happened well before the Atari ST.

I long for the ability to increment/decrement values with the left and right mouse buttons, particularly in Cubase.

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