My name is Brian and I'm 45 years old. I live in Los Angeles. I just recently picked up an Atari Falcon 030 and want to reintegrate into the Atari community. 27 years ago (1985) I picked up my first 520ST after graduating high school. In my sophomore year, I upgraded to a 1040. As a commercial art and broadcast design student, I wanted a machine of my own to do desktop publishing and 3D computer animation with. Back then I couldn't afford a Mac and PCs were just inadequate for graphics unless you really splurged and got a Targa board. Talk about expensive. The Amiga was a possibility, but I started school in 85 and the Amiga was slow on being delivered, it was more expensive by nearly a grand, and there seemed to be a lot of problems with it. In hind site, the Amiga actually turned out to be the better "3D animation" machine than the ST, but my 1040 did well enough to get me through school and I used it to create art for my senior art show. I mainly used Antic's "Cyber" family of products.
Fast forward a couple of decades. Today I work in the film industry doing previsualization. I work mainly on Macs and PCs with Autodesk software. (Interestingly enough CAD 3D is actually the grandfather of 3D studio Max....but I regress). I'm in the midst of a transition in my work and I'm actually working for Autodesk designing software for animation production based off my experience. This actually leaves me with a little more time than when I was working for the larger VFX studies like ILM. Feeling the nostalgic pull of retro computing, I decided to explore my roots and purchase a machine that I was curious about back in the early 90's ... the Falcon 030.
I have a stock Falcon with 4MBs but it has been upgraded with a 500mb IDE hard drive. The original owner had MagicC installed but I'm considering upgrading it to MiNT. My goal with the Falcon is to play a few old school games, maybe get into a little music composition, soak in the overall Atari nostalgia, and try to dig up any paint tools and 3D tools I missed out on after switching over to Macs. Maybe if I'm feeling adventurous, see what I can make with those old tools today.
I have some questions for the community:
1. I have to upgrade the Falcon's NVRAM. There's lots of threads out there... which is the best?
2. Suggestions for upgrade storage options? What works best? Compact Flash drives? HxC floppy emulator? Use the Falcon's SCSI port?
3. Which paint packages would you suggest I look into? I'd like something that really takes advantage of the Falcon's color palette.
4. How about 3D? We never seemed to get anything other than CAD3D did we? I see some potential ray tracers out there...which work?
5. What upgrades would you do to a stock Falcon? Finding a CT60/63 seems impossible...
6. What the best method to transfer software to the machine from a PC or Mac?
Here's my website if anyone is interested.