a few questions about .ST files

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thu
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a few questions about .ST files

Postby thu » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:17 pm

I finally got the hardware working with the help of DrCoolZic's excellent guide. Now I've got a few questions about .ST files. (Sorry for so many questions. It seems most of the people here already know how to do all this and I haven't been able to find clear answers. Hopefully they will be easy to answer.)

I've got ACSI ID 0 set to SD, ID 1 set to CE_DD, and the rest set to off. I'm trying all these .ST files from the shared network drive.

1. Are .ST files sort of like the MAME games where the ROM files are created for a certain version of MAME and may not work in others? I mean, is an .ST file an .ST and it doesn't matter where it comes from or do I need to get them from a specific collection or website?

I had downloaded a large collection of .ST files a while back and only 1 out of 7 I've tried worked. CE_FDD wouldn't load 2 and the rest would just quit to desktop right after launch. Just wondering if I have the wrong set or if I just haven't found the correct version of each game yet.

2. Do most games need a restart of the Atari so they can boot from the floppy image or can they be launched by double-clicking the program file?

Maybe that is why the .ST files didn't work? I was double-clicking everything?

3. What is the proper way to launch multi-game .ST files with an "auto" folder?

I tried 4 or 5 games by downloading them through CE_FDD. They were the ones with several games on one disk. I tried double-clicking the program in the "auto" folder and the screen would go white with flashing colored lines as it unpacked the files and then it would quit to the desktop.

I then tried restarting the Atari with a floppy loaded. "A Little Green Desktop" screen would flash for less than a second and then usually the disk's menu screen would actually show up with the list of games. I would choose a game and then it would just quit to the Atari desktop. Couldn't get any of them to play.

Not sure if I'm doing it wrong or if that is a sign something else is wrong.

4. I'm still waiting to hear back from petari about his PPDRIVER I bought, so I haven't actually tried it yet. Once I get the driver and set up the SD to boot as a hard drive, can regular .ST files be copied to the SD card and then loaded through CE_FDD?

I've been reading through various threads about SD cards and UltraSatans and they made it sound to me like the only games that would run from a SD hard drive were those specially fixed for a hard drive.

Any help on these would be appreciated.

Hippy Dave
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby Hippy Dave » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:18 am

A .ST file is a standard Floppy Disk Image consisting of the data from sequentially numbered sectors. The data can be written back to a similarly formatted floppy disk (with the same, or different interleave factor). The image starts with the first sector of the first track of the first side, and ends with the last sector of the last track of the second side (side 0 = bottom side = first side).

AtariZoll
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby AtariZoll » Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:25 pm

ST files are simple floppy disk images, which contain only sector datas in order. There is no info about floppy geometry, what may cause problems. I suggest you to try MSA images if possible - they hold disk geometry.

"I'm still waiting to hear back from petari about his PPDRIVER I bought, so I haven't actually tried it yet. Once I get the driver and set up the SD to boot as a hard drive, can regular .ST files be copied to the SD card and then loaded through CE_FDD? "

I'm on sending PM to you - but forum is damn slow again. There is some problem with e-mailing, as I posted SW in Wednesday.
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Gryzor
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby Gryzor » Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:28 pm

I think thu's initital question has to do with compatibility.

No, disk image files are not software-dependent. However, games might run or not depending on the ST version you've got. It'd help if you told us (or uploaded somewhere) what precisely you tried to run and under what configuration...
Reality is that, which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. --P.K.Dick

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thu
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby thu » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:03 pm

Thanks for the info on the .ST files. I was wondering if these game files might be wrong to use on the Cosmos since they come with emulators. But from the replies so far, it doesn't sound like there are different kinds of .ST files.

I've been trying .ST files from a large torrent collection I grabbed a while back. It is the "Atari ST TOSEC & GamebaseST" collection. Inside it are two separate collections. One is "Atari ST TOSEC (2009-09-01)" and the other is "GamebaseST 3.1d". I've just tried games from the TOSEC collection so far. There is also a "D-BUG" set and a collection of emulators. I did see the "D-BUG" set is the hard drive fixed games.

I've got a STf. I upgraded the TOS to 1.04. I have no idea how much memory it is. So far, I've just tried them over the shared drive from a Windows machine. The PPDRIVER is on its way now, thanks Peter, and I'll get the SD card and USB card set up soon and try some games from there.

I'll try some games from some different places. Maybe I haven't found the cracked versions yet? I did see some of those games have 4 or 5 different versions and I haven't tried them all. I also have a collection called "Atari ST - Games (TOSEC-v0.24_CM)". And a few smaller sets from a long time ago. It's not a huge deal if I can't get it fully working. I'm mainly just after a few of the games we used to play back in the day like Blood Money, Puffy's Saga, North & South, and a few others.

I also just picked up a 520STm. I'll try the Cosmos on it with the TOS upgrade. Maybe my STf is just being flaky.

AtariZoll
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:42 am

In case of Atari there may be diverse causes why some game works not. TOS version incompatibility is one of most frequent reasons. TOS 1.04 should be pretty much compatible, though. Older cracks may work not on newer TOS versions, then there are some which need 1MB RAM min. You will see how much RAM you have as soon as try some of hard disk adapted games - where RAM size is shown at start. If it is only 512 KB you are in trouble - running from SD card requires 1MB min in most cases.
Here may find floppy images with some plus data about compatibility and other things:
http://atari.8bitchip.info/ASTGA/astgam.php
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:04 am

I might be wrong (Jookie correct me?) but I also believe that the CE_DD driver might cause problems with some games.
Therefore once you have your system set up with PPDR you should try to test the game without the CE_DD driver loaded as it seems to resolve some issues.

thu
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Re: a few questions about .ST files

Postby thu » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:00 am

Thanks AtariZoll and DrCoolZic. I've got the PPDRIVER now. I'll get that setup and play around with it some more and check out that compatibility list.

It is probably just a matter of finding the right .ST file. I know I ran into that problem with a similar product for the Apple II as the Cosmos. I would always have to try a few different images before I found one the Apple liked.

I'll also take a look at the Kryoflux. That way I can image the disks that I know for sure worked on my machine.


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