Yet another newbie post!

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dr_bob
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Yet another newbie post!

Postby dr_bob » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:17 am

Hi there , its another one of those long newbie posts ..{groan!}

First of all some thanks , I've been messing around with emulators and old consoles etc for years , and I'd finally picked up an ST (a 520STE with an extra 512 dimm added) off a mate who had'nt used his in years.I'd had an Atari back in the old days , but it was an 800xl ,so stuff like T.O.S. and .prg files where all very new to me.
Anyway I was trying to transfer some .st files I'd found on the net , to floppy so as to get them working on the real ST.Of course I hit a brick wall as soon as I started trying to get them working.I couldnt get the disks formatted so that the ST could read them , or if I could,the software extracting the st file to disk didnt like the floppy and would try and reformat it..doh!!
I managed to come up with a limited way of doing things
by formatting floppies under windows 98 with the "format a: /f:720" command , then using the wonderful MSA converter
http://msaconverter.free.fr/index-uk.html to view the MSA/ST files contents and then (dont laugh) saving! the files to floppy , recreating the folder structure on the floppy while I did.Of course since an awful lot of menu disks and the like are formatted in sizes larger than 720 , this didnt work too well.
But thanks to threads like the ones below (and more but I cant seem to find some of them this morning)I was able to come up with the split MSA method of transfer and its been working nearly flawlessly so far

http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... hlight=msa
http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1301

I did something like this:
(I'm including the whole thing here on the off chance its some good to other future ST newbies!)

Formatted 2 disks (I ended up using a combination of DD and HD disks)
under win98 with this command: format a: /f:720 (possibly a HD disk formatted in the ST would work as well..I think one of the disks I've used was done this way , not certain though)

Downloaded and installed the MSA converter from here
http://msaconverter.free.fr/index-uk.html

Downloaded msa_2_3+.prg ftp://ftp.lip6.fr/pub/atari/Archivers/msa_2_3+.prg

Renamed msa_2_3+ to msa.prg
Ran Msa converter , went to Outils-options and changed the language to english, closed and restarted it (makes it a bit easier to read if English is you native language).

Ran MSA converter again , went to tools-convert a disk image-clicked on the green plus sign under add source files , selected the st file for the image I wanted to use , then set number of files to 2 , and unticked compress zip and finally clicked the ->MSA button, once the program had finished I closed it.

This creates 2 files , if your orginal was called demo disk.st , there'll be 2 new files called demo disk1.msa and demo disk2.msa
I then copied demo disk1.msa and msa.prg to one disk (disk 1)
and then demo disk2.msa and msa.prg to the 2nd (disk 2) its not really nessacary to copy the msa.prg to both but I did.

I then booted up the ST with disk 1 in the drive, and double clicked on A then double clicked on msa.prg .

Once it loaded I selected the msa file (I clicked the box that said noname.msa and selected demo disk1.msa)
I ticked the format disk box and unticked protection (not sure what protection is for , can someone let me know)
I then clicked the file to disk button , and then ok.
The ST copied the data from the msa file and then asked me to put a blank disk in , I did , we'll call it disk 3 (I used a HD disk with some tape over the hd detect hole ) and clicked ok .It then formatted/copied the data (up to sector 40 on both sides I think)

When it was finished I put took out disk 3 and but in the disk 2 .I selected the msa file (by clicking on the msa file listed and selecting the new one on the a drive, and again clicked on file to disk.The program mentions that data will be overwritten , click ok

The program then copied/formated again , this time seemingly sectors 41-80
(this is the part that threw me for ages , as I assumed it always formatted the whole disk , so was turning off the formatting option on the 2nd msa half..this left me with weird errors and half working disks.So leave it on eh? :) )
When it was finished I rebooted the ST with disk 3 in the drive, and it worked

The only problem I found was that some I'd get the odd formatting error along the lines that it could only work with up to 10 sectors? I'm guessing the msa imag was from a disk formatted with 11+ , so I'm guessing you have to use an ST tool to preformat the disk to size and then run msa.prg as above only without the formatting ticked.




Anyway being a newbie I've a few questions :) :

The STe I've got can read HD disks once they've been formatted on the ST or formatted as dd 720 disks on the pc..Is this normal?.(The Floppy drive was never modded according to the previous owner).

Is the TOS version upgradeable? (without having to replace a rom on the ST).Is it worth it (not sure which version I have).

Will a standard (i.e. digital not analogue) joystick work in the a/b joystick ports on the side of the STe (as opposed to the 2 ports underneath where the mouse connects)if I use a male/female 9 pin adaptor?

Is there a scan of the UK/US 512/1040 STe Manual online?

Wow this is turning into a long post!!

Anyway just wanted to say thanks to all of you here for the help I've gotten from reading this board :)

cheers !

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earx
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Postby earx » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:52 am

hi,

i think the tos roms in the ste are replacable by tos 2.06. tos 2.06 is really nice btw, but some games/demos may not run. there is also a tos switcher option (between the old 1.6 and 2.06), but they are probably hard to find.

the joy ports at the side are not compatible with the normal 9 pin things. they are intended for the (digital!) joypads of the atari jaguar (=console).. i think some modern games (like the ones by Reservoir Gods: good stuff :)) can use them.

the STe has a DD floppy drive. it can't handle HD formats. HD upgrade kits were, but are probably rare today.. you can maybe try the atari-workshop (google for it) or ebay..

about the manual scans i have no idea. maybe someone else here knows?

have fun with the STe! :)

dr_bob
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Postby dr_bob » Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:29 pm

earx wrote:hi,

i think the t

the STe has a DD floppy drive. it can't handle HD formats. HD upgrade kits were, but are probably rare today.. you can maybe try the atari-workshop (google for it) or ebay..


have fun with the STe! :)

cheers earx!
...thats the weird thing , the STe I got from a mate can format and use HD disks (as 720kb disks)! I know this as a/ it came with a load of used HD disks , and b/ I've formatted and used some myself..weird huh?

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Postby Mug UK » Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:57 pm

Not sure but I think I might have an STE manual .. can't remember if the 2nd one I got off a mate a while ago had one with it.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby smiley smile » Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:00 pm

I always thought that when you use a HD floppy in a DD drive it will work, but the information stored on the disk will be more prone to corruption and the data won't last on the disk as long.

If you want a website that sells the HD kits, and possibly the tos chips go here: http://www.cps-electronics.co.uk/web/clearance.asp

I found the guy quite helpful.

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Postby ijor » Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:14 pm

smiley smile wrote:I always thought that when you use a HD floppy in a DD drive it will work, but the information stored on the disk will be more prone to corruption and the data won't last on the disk as long.


This is correct. But if you are going to format them in the PC (or in any HD drive for that matter), then you must cover the "density" hole.

dr_bob
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Postby dr_bob » Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:33 pm

cheers for the help all!
I'd seen mentions regarding HD disks on the STe , but none of them spelled it out in plain english.

:)

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:14 pm

If your STE has a "standard" floppy drive, then it can use HD floppies if the second hole opposite the write-protect is covered, and the floppy is formatted in ST or PC format to 80 tracks 9 sectors etc, or other better ST formats.

Even better English:

HD floppy work with STE? - YES.

That is the limit of my understanding of the English language, and of the STE and HD floppies..

Hope this helps!

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Postby smiley smile » Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:38 am

Whats so special about the STE standard floppy? I've always been led to believe its a standard DD floppy drive.

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PaulB
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Postby PaulB » Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:29 pm

It is a standard DD double sided drive. The STE's TOS 1.62 and TOS 1.4 in STFM's allows formatting of IBM compatible disks so that a windows pc can read and write to them whereas earlier TOS wasn't IBM compatible. It's literally only the 'DOS xxx' line in the bootsector that makes it different from the earlier TOS format anyway. Other than that there's nothing special about an STE's floppy drive.


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