Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

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Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Paradroyd » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:31 pm

Here's an off the wall question...

As you may or may not know, there's a package that you can buy called Amiga Forever Essentials. Among other things, it contains pretty much every Amiga Kickstart ROM for every version of Amiga ever released (and maybe even a few NOT released). They are all properly licensed, but most importantly (to me, at least), you know exactly what they are, which model machine they're for, and everything else about them. Is there some equivalent for Atari ST ROMs?

I don't even know where most of my TOS ROM files came from originally, and they all have generic names that don't really describe what they actually are other than a supposed version number. Even if they did, there's no guarantee that they're named properly. I think a lot of the problems I have with ST games comes from not using the ROMs that I think I am. Alternatively, I guess if there's a list of MD5 values for the valid ROM files someplace, I could use that to figure out what's what, but it'd be nice to be able to just buy something that's not outrageously priced that already contained them all with accurate, descriptive file names.

Does such a thing exist?
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Gryzor » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:40 pm

I think TOSEC packages are quite accurate and reliable?
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Eero Tamminen » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:50 pm

You don't need that many TOS versions for games. v4.04 for Falcon, v1.62 for STE and v1.04 for ST. And maybe v1.0 for few rare/ancient badly-coded floppy-only games.

Of the v1.x versions you may need US and e.g. UK versions because some very rare games may be NTSC/PAL dependent. With the v4.04, you may need to switch between VGA and RGB monitors because some games support only one of those.

And many games are memory dependent:
* Don't work with 4MB, or even more than 512k
* Need 1MB or more
* Don't work with HD driver because they assume memory used by one is unoccupied

There are also other incompatibilities with resident programs. I would suggest getting HD fixed versions of games if possible, those typically have also TOS version fixes (some STOS games input handling worked only with specific TOS version).

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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Paradroyd » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:55 am

Thanks for the ideas. I found some pretty good, clearly labeled sets.

The main problem I had was that the ones I had didn't say whether they were European or US. Now I have Both UK and US versions of all of the important ones. The TOS for Falcon is pretty much irrelevant here because it's for MIST, and I'm pretty sure there's never going to be any way to do Falcon on MIST. Also, unless I'm missing an option somewhere, there's no way to do less than 4MB on MIST.

Getting the hard drive patched games is a good idea. I think I ran across a site a while back that had a bunch of those. I kind of do the same thing for old games on newer Amiga hardware with WHDload.

Thanks again.
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Gryzor » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:30 am

Paradroyd wrote: Also, unless I'm missing an option somewhere, there's no way to do less than 4MB on MIST.


Yeah, I think I requested 512kB/1MB a while ago to troubleshoot my compatibility list but nothing came of it...
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:21 am

Here is my opinion about all this: in Amiga waters there is much more "money making" even now, 20 years after machine is stopped being produced. Talking about making money from SW, not HW, of course. So, you need to pay VHDload license, while Atari solutions of hard disk fixed games are free - and I may say that even more work is invested in them in many cases - since we have statesaves, what exist not in VHDload. There are some other cases too.

I don't think that today anyone needs to pay for some Atari TOS ROM content. Formally, it is still copyrighted, but nobody cares about - otherwise they would remove ROM dumps from sites holding them. It is stored ZIPped, so no real chance to get it corrupted - ZIP (or any other common archiver) has own "MD5" :D Naming is OK on sites I visited.

And here is my story from the past, before Internet: year 1992 - I read in magazines about TOS 2.06, so I wanted it. Could order from Germany for some 200 DEM. That was actually not possible - they ship not outside Germany, so thing would cost me even more money and time. Then I saw advert from Atari HW "guru" in Belgrade - he offered to build it in ST for aprox. same price. I called him on phone, and asked to send me ROM content on floppy, and that I will pay him 30 DEM for that. He refused, and said that only thing what he does is to upgrade Atari with it, for 200 DEM. I said then him that it is too much for it, because he pays not licence for that ROM. And that I will get it soon for free. And it was so - in 3 weeks I DL-ed it via some BBS :D

In any cases, we have similar thing - there are sites with Atari essentials, even if not called exactly so. Even can spend some money on SW if want :D
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:36 pm

Gryzor wrote:Yeah, I think I requested 512kB/1MB a while ago to troubleshoot my compatibility list but nothing came of it...


Maybe 512k/1MB and 2MB is something i should implement next ... i actually don't have an idea how many games suffer from this. Are there many?
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Eero Tamminen » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:43 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Maybe 512k/1MB and 2MB is something i should implement next ... i actually don't have an idea how many games suffer from this. Are there many?


Hatari compatibility list mentions only few things that don't work with 4MB:

512k only:
* http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... _9415.html
* http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 11330.html

<4MB:
* http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=14739

But I'm pretty sure there are more, Hatari compatibility list contains only programs with which Hatari has had problems at some point.

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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby AtariZoll » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:53 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:
Gryzor wrote:Yeah, I think I requested 512kB/1MB a while ago to troubleshoot my compatibility list but nothing came of it...


Maybe 512k/1MB and 2MB is something i should implement next ... i actually don't have an idea how many games suffer from this. Are there many?


Yes, there is pretty much. And not only originals, some cracks are made just to add to that list :mrgreen:
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Paradroyd » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:06 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Maybe 512k/1MB and 2MB is something i should implement next ... i actually don't have an idea how many games suffer from this. Are there many?


This is kind of a grey area for me. I don't know the ST well enough to know how much of an issue it is, but if it's anything like the Amiga, there's a lot of old stuff (mostly within the first year or so of the first Amiga's release) that would only work with 512K of memory. This might be due to the fact that the custom chips could only access chip RAM (hence the name) and early programmers made a bunch of assumptions because almost no one had memory expansions yet that extended beyond chip RAM. Seems like it might be less of an issue on the early STs, but again, I don't really know the machine well enough yet to know.
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby Gryzor » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:26 am

I think the problem might lie mainly with cracks, really...
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:34 am

Paradroyd wrote:
MasterOfGizmo wrote:Maybe 512k/1MB and 2MB is something i should implement next ... i actually don't have an idea how many games suffer from this. Are there many?

This is kind of a grey area for me. I don't know the ST well enough to know how much of an issue it is, but if it's anything like the Amiga, there's a lot of old stuff (mostly within the first year or so of the first Amiga's release) that would only work with 512K of memory. This might be due to the fact that the custom chips could only access chip RAM (hence the name) and early programmers made a bunch of assumptions because almost no one had memory expansions yet that extended beyond chip RAM. Seems like it might be less of an issue on the early STs, but again, I don't really know the machine well enough yet to know.


Atari ST MMU chip could access 4MB at very first versions, in 1985. But most of machines were sold with 512K in begin, and in very rare cases people expanded over 1MB . So crackers, and even programmers, developers had such machines. They tested on what they had available.
But that's not excuse for bad coding and not reading documentation.
Typical case of bad coding is to write some pattern in RAM above 512KB in increasing order, and when reading from loc. matches not written value stopping test, and write that address as phystop (first address after last valid write). However, if try to write to $400000 and above, bus error will be generated, and SW will crash . That happens only with 4MB RAM in machine. But there are cases when it fails even with 1MB .
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:50 pm

Ah, that's exactly the info I need. Bus error is always generated above 4mb even with less ram?

What about the values read back? Do they mirror existing ram? Or is the bus left floating?
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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby npomarede » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:37 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Ah, that's exactly the info I need. Bus error is always generated above 4mb even with less ram?

Hi,
yes you get bus error above 4MB, whether you have 512, 1 or 2 MB.
What about the values read back? Do they mirror existing ram? Or is the bus left floating?

In case of bus error, you don't get any value back.
When reading non existing ram < 4MB, there's no mirroring, you will get "random" data, most likely the latest data that was on the BUS, so in many cases it will be related to the program running in RAM and trying to read non existing RAM.
This will depend on the instruction used to read the RAM and the number of bytes of this instruction. This will often be the latest prefetched word used to decode the next instruction.

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Re: Amiga Forever Essentials equiv. for Atari ST / TOS

Postby alexh » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:09 pm

AtariZoll wrote:you need to pay WHDload license, while Atari solutions of hard disk fixed games are free WHDload.

It is an OPTIONAL trivial donation which keeps the main developer's hardware going.

Without a WHDload license you get a small nag screen every time you play a game which lasts for 10-seconds or so.

FYI, We (I) really do appreciate all the work you've been doing. And so does my MegaSTe. (And less extent Falcon030)


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