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Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge STe (11.04.2021 - 15:30 Uhr)

Fans of arcade-style racing games will be familiar with the Lotus trilogy. The three racing games in pseudo-3D style were a success in the early 90s, especially on the Atari ST and the Amiga. The split screen was already included in part 1. At that time, however, it was no longer common to develop on the ST and port a game 1:1 to the Amiga. The original Lotus did not make use of the STE hardware.

Now there is an extended version for the STE, strongly inspired by the Amiga Lotus. First of all, the Blitter is now heavily used, road, roadside objects and cars are calculated by the Blitter. Also the mountains in the background are now handled by the Blitter. All objects move more smoothly across the screen now. The extended color palette of the STE is used. The sounds of the engine and the sound effects are samples, plus there are ST chip tunes.

Officially supported are the 1040STE and the Mega STE (also in 16 MHz mode). On STs with Blitter the game also runs, but there the gradient in the sky is limited to the ST color palette and there are no sound samples. Download at Atarimania.

(mj)

More News

EmuTOS 1.1 released (09.07.2021 - 20:25 Uhr)

The EmuTOS team has released version 1.1 of the alternative TOS compatible operating system EmuTOS today. The update mainly offers improvements in the AES and BIOS, in addition two more languages are supported with Turkish and Hungarian.

For the first time, the free operating system supports the DSP of the Falcon, so it is compatible with many programs that required the new features of TOS 4. Also included is support for color icons and colored windows, the former visible for example in the game NoMess or HypView. The developers also improved support for Nova graphics cards and added interrupt-driven I/O for MFP and TT-MFP serial ports.

Finally, the new languages led to another change: The 512K ROMs also contain only one language from now on. The more than a dozen language versions would otherwise lead even the "big" ROM to its capacity limit.

(mj)

EmuTOS

Crackers I: The Gold Rush is being shipped (18.04.2021 - 16:59 Uhr)

Software piracy in the 80s and 90s is the subject of the latest work by Marco A. Breddin (Borders trilogy). It deals with the groups and people of the cracker scene, who mostly appeared under pseudonyms for good reason. The "end users" knew the cracks, which were passed on through many channels.

Unlike Borders, the development of the Atari ST does not serve as a hook and former crackers of the 8-bit scene and the Amiga also have their share. However, the list of celebrated groups reads like a Who's Who of the ST cracker scene. Readers can look forward to lots of background information and a generously illustrated book, which is currently shipping for supporters of the crowdfounding campaign.

Those who missed this campaign can currently order the 336-page book for 35 Euros in the Microzeit store. A follow-up title is already being planned.

https://www.microzeit.com/atari-store-1/crackers-the-gold-rush-1/

(mj)

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge STe (11.04.2021 - 15:30 Uhr)

Fans of arcade-style racing games will be familiar with the Lotus trilogy. The three racing games in pseudo-3D style were a success in the early 90s, especially on the Atari ST and the Amiga. The split screen was already included in part 1. At that time, however, it was no longer common to develop on the ST and port a game 1:1 to the Amiga. The original Lotus did not make use of the STE hardware.

Now there is an extended version for the STE, strongly inspired by the Amiga Lotus. First of all, the Blitter is now heavily used, road, roadside objects and cars are calculated by the Blitter. Also the mountains in the background are now handled by the Blitter. All objects move more smoothly across the screen now. The extended color palette of the STE is used. The sounds of the engine and the sound effects are samples, plus there are ST chip tunes.

Officially supported are the 1040STE and the Mega STE (also in 16 MHz mode). On STs with Blitter the game also runs, but there the gradient in the sky is limited to the ST color palette and there are no sound samples. Download at Atarimania.

(mj)

Last shipment of Atari hardware arriving soon! (01.04.2021 - 19:22 Uhr)

Another ship from Asia is expected in Rotterdam soon, with a cargo that Atari fans have been waiting for a long time, more precisely: for over 25 years.

Atari never had a good hand with deliveries by ship, numerous launches had to be postponed, delivery promises had to be shortened. "A ship will come" was also mocked in ST-Computer. But it was always only a matter of a few weeks or months.

One ship, however, showed up in the Atari accounts as a total loss: The Ppallijuseyo had departed with the last hardware production on board - the goods would have brought Atari urgently needed capital for the Jaguar. However, the ship did not live up to its name.

Scholars are already celebrating the slowest ship of all time as a silent time capsule. Filled with pallets of Falcon 030 computers, gray power pads, several hundred TTs and 8281 ST Books, the supplies Atari dealers have been waiting 30 years for are finally arriving. We at ST-Computer are also happy to welcome back our old advertisers.

So Atari fans can now create a free spot on their desk for the coveted Falcon 030 or the ST Book. The Ppallijuseyo is currently heading for the Suez Canal, queue position 260.

Update: This is of course our April Fool's joke. While there have always been ships with STs and TTs eagerly awaited, to our knowledge there has never been a lost ship. However, it would not have surprised anyone at the time.

(mj)

EmuTOS-Snapshots: 512KB ROM splitted, new 1MB ROM (18.03.2021 - 21:41 Uhr)

The snapshots of the free operating system EmuTOS indicate the direction of development. For the 512KB ROM - multilingual in the Falcon - this means: giving up multilingualism. This is for good reasons.

Responsible for this is actually a welcome development: EmuTOS is available in more and more languages, among them recently a Turkish translation. Compared to the Falcon TOS there are three times more languages to choose from - and at this point even the 512KB ROM reaches its capacity limit.

Through the now implemented splitting, there is again about 200KB free space in the ROM. But there was also a ROM released with all languages, which weighs a whole megabyte. Atari itself has not built such a ROM size into any ST. The EmuTOS team points out in the readme that the 1MB version cannot be used by Atari hardware and is currently only compatible with Hatari.

(mj)

EmuTOS

Minipos: Point-of-Sale-System for the ST (25.01.2021 - 00:39 Uhr)

That's how it started in 1985/1986: There was little software for the Atari, so a lot of software was created for personal use - and then the Atari served well in accounting or in the store. Very few of these programs were published, or developed into more general solutions.

MiniPOS is reminiscent of this time, but was not created in 1985, but 35 years later. The program was written in HiSoft Basic and since more than half a year it is actually in daily use in a bicycle store.

The program is available including source code on Github.

https://github.com/winterhard/minipos

(mj)

Songbird announces 2D RPG for Jaguar (20.12.2020 - 20:06 Uhr)

Pessimistic Jaguar fans look at the screenshots and wonder when this game was released for the ST. Kings of Edom, however, is not an ST port, but a new development for Jaguar. Both visually and gameplay-wise, the title is definitely retro: In 2D optics, the player descends deeper and deeper into the dungeon. There are role-playing elements, but Kings of Edom is primarily a true Rogue-like game. Players can therefore expect randomly placed treasures, traps and enemies. The game is scheduled for release in Summer 2021.

https://songbird-productions.com/2020/12/14/its-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-part-2/

(mj)

AtariAge starts presale for new VCS and 8-bit games (17.12.2020 - 22:19 Uhr)

Once a year AtariAge dumps a whole bunch of new games into their store, usually with high quality packaging. This year there were a few delays and the shipping will also be next year. As many as 13 games for the VCS2600 are launching, one each for 5200 and 7800, and two for Atari's 8-bit computers. Prices range from $40 to $50, and shipping is from the US.

  • Avalanche (2600)
  • Cannonhead Clash (2600)
  • Dare Devil (2600)
  • Deepstone Catacomb (2600)
  • Hugohunt (2600)
  • Ms. Galactopus (2600)
  • Ninjish Guy in Low-Res World (2600)
  • Panic! Rooms (2600)
  • Robot City (2600)
  • The End (2600)
  • Tower of Rubble (2600)
  • Venture Reloaded (2600)
  • Zoo Keeper (2600)
  • Magical Fairy Force (5200)
  • Dragon's Cache (7800)
  • Adventure II XE (400/800/XL/XE)
  • Scramble (400/800/XL/XE)

(mj)

AtariAge

C-Compiler AHCC in version 6.0 (11.12.2020 - 01:42 Uhr)

There is again an update to report, namely to AHCC, the C compiler and editor based on Sozobon, which is compatible to a large extent to Pure C. AHCC is getting closer to this standard with this update. An interesting footnote is that now for the first time all included binaries have been compiled with AHCC and not Pure C. As usual AHCC is available as source code or compiled for 68000, 68020+ and Coldfire.

(mj)

Henk Robbers

In honor of Ostrowski: GFA Editor 3.70 (09.12.2020 - 18:42 Uhr)

Today would be Frank Ostrowski's birthday, the creator of Turbo Basic and GFA-Basic. In honor of Ostrowski, Lonny Pursell has officially removed the "beta" suffix from the GFA Editor. In addition, the development system now presents itself by its version number as the legitimate successor of the legendary Basic.

GBE 3.7 offers about 500 new commands and functions, including all previously missing AES/BIOS/XBIOS/VDI/GEMDOS calls. MiNTNet, LDG, STiK and the protocols Font, DHST and AV are supported. There are also some general additions, inspired by HiSoft BASIC, GFA PC or by various developers who worked with GBE in the last years.

GBE was created because GFA Basic does not run well in multitasking. The editor runs exclusively with multitasking systems, but is also suitable for writing games and demos. Latest example for a GFA program created with GBE: Randomazer.

(mj)

Lonny Pursell - ENCOM

EmuTOS 1.0.1 with Falcon fix (06.12.2020 - 12:18 Uhr)

Compared to EmuTOS 1.0 there is only one change: On an Atari Falcon with 4 MB RAM, when using the 512k ROM version of EmuTOS, a Nova graphics card was erroneously detected. This caused a panic during boot, preventing the use of the 512k ROM version of EmuTOS 1.0 on such a machine.

(mj)

EmuTOS

LynXmas 2020 Game Jam (01.12.2020 - 00:50 Uhr)

Please warm up the Assembler and C-Compiler, because Lynx developers are again invited to participate in a contest. The contest is organized by Atari Gamer, AtariAge, ejagfest and SillyVenture - both will not take place this year. There are only fifteen days left to develop something that "puts a smile on the face of the players". The Itch.io site is a bit more specific: the game should have a theme appropriate to the season, be less than 32 KB in size and play on a single screen.

https://itch.io/jam/lynxmas2020

(mj)

GEMGUILib for Nana C++ (30.11.2020 - 23:43 Uhr)

These are posts that cause head shaking for those who have had the "pleasure" of writing a GEM application: The demand to simply put the GEM user interface on a new operating system substructure - which is not a good idea, because GEM stems from a completely different era.

With GEMGUILib you can at least pretend to. The library uses the Nana C++ Library for the design of user interfaces and is roughly oriented on the look of TOS 4.x/MultiTOS. So there is a reunion with alert boxes, 3D buttons and window widgets with shading. In practice, such an app feels more like an application that pretends to be a GEM application - but there were plenty of those on the Atari, too...

https://github.com/emartisoft/GEMGUILib

(mj)

Hatari 2.3 released (29.11.2020 - 11:24 Uhr)

The ST/E/TT/Falcon emulator Hatari has been updated. The release notes of version 2.3 are long, but most of them are small changes or bug fixes. A major change is the revised Blitter emulation, which should come closer to the original. There were fewer changes in the Falcon emulation, although some demos (Electric Night, E.K.O. System) now work better. Hatari 2.3.0 is available with its own intro and precompiled for macOS and Windows 32/64 bit, other systems should follow in the next weeks.

(mj)

EmuTOS is learning color icons (28.11.2020 - 22:23 Uhr)

After the release of version 1.0, the free operating system EmuTOS is making rapid progress: For the first time color icons are supported by the 256 and 512 KB version of EmuTOS in the current developer version. The built-in desktop EmuDesk does not yet benefit from this, but programs that do not use their own routines for color icons do. These are for example Holger Weets GEM game NoMess, but also HypView in version 0.40. Atari once introduced color icons with AES 3.3 (TOS 4.x), together with further extensions (submenus, popup menus, 3D look).

(mj)

EmuTOS

ST-Computer 07/2020 - Now as a PDF! (22.11.2020 - 20:45 Uhr)

It's time, issue 07/2020 of ST-Computer is now available as a PDF for download. The highlight of the issue is a comprehensive overview of hardware extensions that can be purchased regularly in online stores. Meanwhile, developer Thomas Ilg delights friends of hectic puzzle games with his Randomazer. Anticipation is the most beautiful joy namely for a pandemic-free future, in which ejagfest and OFAM may take place again. These and many more topics in the current issue.

(mj)

ST-Computer: Aktuelle Ausgabe

ejagfest 2020 cancelled (12.11.2020 - 12:17 Uhr)

The ejagfest 2020 was already cancelled on September 20. The reason is of course the Corona pandemic and the associated protective measures, which are problematic for indoor events. In particular, events like ejagfest and HomeCon thrive on the fact that many like-minded people stay in one room, exchange ideas and play together. Hygiene concepts similar to some retro flea markets - one-way traffic with a lot of distance between the booths - would not be feasible. Whoever would like to support ejagfest with a small amount of money can do so via eBay and Amazon partner links on the website.

(mj)

European Atari Jaguar Festival (ejag)

Songbird acquires rights for further games (13.08.2020 - 23:49 Uhr)

The publisher Songbird has acquired the rights for three more titles. Among the classic brands Ishido has been added, known from different systems - for the ST there was unfortunately never an official conversion. Differently than with Skweek and Battlemorph Songbird may convert Ishido to other systems.
Quadromania and Sky Raider will get a new edition. Both games have already been released, either on module or as ROM. The Songbird versions with the additional title "Redux" will be enhanced with better music and graphics, playable revisions and EEPROM support. Quadromania Redux and Sky Raider Redux should be released this autumn. Xump and Biniax 2 have been postponed from 2019 to 2020. As almost standard for recent homebrew releases, all titles will be released as a curved-lip module, like most Atari modules. Further Lynx announcements are likely: The handheld console is experiencing a real revival in the last years.

(mj)

Songbird Productions

LED backlight for Portfolio (01.08.2020 - 23:51 Uhr)

There are many mini PCs, but none has such a loyal fan community as the Atari Portfolio. One of the most famous names in the pofo scene was Stefan K├Ąchele, who offered a retrofittable backlight for the Portfolio in 1995. Similar kits for HP's palmtops and the Apple MessagePad Newton 2000 followed, and with backlight4you this has become a whole online store that supplies hobbyists with the individual parts.
25 years later he put together a new backlight kit for the portfolio, a modern version based on power-saving LEDs and an especially thin light guide body. For the first time, different light colors are available: warm white, green, orange-yellow, red and daylight white. An installation service is currently not offered. The price depends on the quantity purchased, an LED backlight kit for personal use costs just under 30 euros.

http://www.backlight4you.com/

(mj)

COPS without WDIALOG (20.07.2020 - 17:50 Uhr)

CPX modules are indispensable for configuring Ataris. Unfortunately, the only open source CPX server, COPS, has one disadvantage: It depends on the operating system extension WDIALOG. But now there are efforts to eliminate this dependency from COPS, and the updated version is part of the FreeMint snapshot builds. Developer Thorsten Otto points out that certain CPX modules that require MagiC or WDIALOG functionality will still depend on these two programs.

COPS appeared as an alternative to Atari's XControl and is compatible with its CPC modules. Additionally, COPS has its own CPX format with variable window size, the CPXe modules. The latter did not catch on like the other modular alternatives (EPXE and HPG). zControl was more oriented towards XControl, Freedom2 combined an alternative file selector with a CPX server. However, the source code of these two programs was never released.

https://freemint.github.io/

(mj)

Texel is open source (09.07.2020 - 20:50 Uhr)

Thomas Much has released the source code of his spreadsheet Texel. Texel was the last and also most modern spreadsheet for the ST, with variable line heights and support for vector fonts. A special feature was the extensive support of OLGA (also by Much): With OLGA and a suitable second application, graphics and diagrams could be integrated into Texel (picture: integration with ArtWorx). The program could be remote controlled via the GEMScript protocol. The last version released was 2.2, but a small update to version 2.30 was still in beta testing. The spreadsheet was developed with a modified version of Pure Pascal.

https://github.com/thmuch/texel

(mj)

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