Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

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Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

No BUS expansion slot
39
26%
Keyboard design
9
6%
Usage of FAT (MS DOS) filesystem
1
1%
TOS
1
1%
ACSI port
19
13%
Video subsystem
42
28%
YM chip for audio
20
14%
Other
17
11%
 
Total votes: 148

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby nativ » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:53 pm

No agreed with the data/audio mix. Unless you count avr type files and mods pre loaded?
There's a D2D St software somewhere? (anyone got a link?)
I was lucky enough to have a CD drive for my Atari in 1997! As you say only Simlaris games!
How about Jaguar Cd on the falcon? (Surely none of the coders have produced code so mind busting that it won't work to some degree?

Always go for a 64MB game that fit's on a cheapish SD card for Satandisk compatiblity? At that size it might even be Hard Drive installable! 64MB 4MB STe only games ?!!

Ha ha ha? Pong maybe?
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:21 pm

Well, he hardly have motivated artists to help with 150K games. And you want to fill 64MB? Harhar
BTW. most PC games using this size factor of data are boring (because this data is all prerendered movies) and no action...
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby nativ » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:32 pm

Why not? A fully feature packed softwares!
Maybe it will prove too hard, maybe new techniques created? Old ones used in new ways?
prerendered faux pas!reminds me of awesome!
What I mean is a well implimented multi loader as used in Final Fight? or Robo Aleste (Mega Cd) Audio direct, enemy waves loaded during play?
So the action never gives up, in technicolour!
Even a game like Virus might benifit from loading extras maps during gameplay? (is like Com and Conq. on the PC?)

What artists do you need for a 150k prod?
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:28 pm

Going offtopic, but 150K is the typical size for Paradize games.
Those contain 4-5 DEGAS pictures of graphics (logos, fonts, sprites, tiles, etc) 5-6 SNDH tunes + code
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby bullis1 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:55 am

simonsunnyboy wrote:Going offtopic, but 150K is the typical size for Paradize games.
Those contain 4-5 DEGAS pictures of graphics (logos, fonts, sprites, tiles, etc) 5-6 SNDH tunes + code


I very much admire optomized filesize. I think many game releases for ST these days are great in this respect, but they do tend to be puzzle games (which are simpler in design and scope). Don't get me wrong, I love puzzles though :)

The smartest use of CD-ROM multimedia: adventure games. The ST is capable of games like Gabriel Knight for example. There are already many similar games on ST. However, Gabriel Knight used 14 megabytes for the non-speech version and it doesn't have any FMV. It was a pain in the ass installing that game from floppy, and it was even using HD disks. Imagine what that experience would be like on DD floppies. Yikes! Imagine the disk swaps if you didn't have a hard drive! An adventure game on ST with spoken dialogue? That would be a nice use of CD-ROM (or hard-drive space if you've got it).

Even if you're game is only 20 megabytes or so, it still benefits from CD-ROM thanks to using only 1 disc, and that it loads much faster (even on a 1X drive).

This is an interesting topic but I don't think it really belongs in this thread anymore. If people agree, then maybe a mod could move the CD-ROM related posts into their own thread? Maybe people have already said all they want on the topic anyway.
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby Rat boy » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:42 am

You kill off the CDi as 'poo', but then wonder how the Atari would be if it was more like the CDi....I still use my Cdi to this day. Obviously people were using their Laserdisk players to watch DVDs then..oops no - thats what the CDi did, as DVDs hadnt been invented yet..remote control internet access at the TV??? PC's are still struggling with that to date!

And disregard the 3DO as a 'console only' ?? I sometimes think that there is life on Mars, due to the narrowminded views expressed. :roll:

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:00 am

bullis1 wrote:
simonsunnyboy wrote:Going offtopic, but 150K is the typical size for Paradize games.
Those contain 4-5 DEGAS pictures of graphics (logos, fonts, sprites, tiles, etc) 5-6 SNDH tunes + code


I very much admire optomized filesize. I think many game releases for ST these days are great in this respect, but they do tend to be puzzle games (which are simpler in design and scope). Don't get me wrong, I love puzzles though :)


You don't seem to realize how many effort even a small game with proper design requires. Noone those this for profit and all day on the ST. It takes ages as noone of us can spend weeks and weeks solely on a game for the ST. We have a life, family, some have kids .... It's free time we all offer for fun and we have the fun too. But this automatically means projects just can't be large.

A good example is Turrican Ressurection - a very very ambitious project which doesn't gets finished any soon. Unseen Menace just like others has to do other things as well.
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby bullis1 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:44 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:You don't seem to realize how many effort even a small game with proper design requires. Noone those this for profit and all day on the ST. It takes ages as noone of us can spend weeks and weeks solely on a game for the ST. We have a life, family, some have kids .... It's free time we all offer for fun and we have the fun too. But this automatically means projects just can't be large.


Actually, I do realize full well. I just didn't want to type at lenght about it at the time I made that post. I have made some small games in the past (breakout clone, Wolf3D clone) that took a few months to complete. I have also been working on a larger game for PC for the last 9 years! I'm not even going to mention my various smaller projects that never got completed.

When I said that puzzle games were small in scope, I was comparing to large commercial games like RPGs or platformers. Obviously there is a big difference when you don't have a big team, time or budget! Like I said, I really like your releases and I can sympathize when it comes to the development process.

Rat boy wrote:You kill off the CDi as 'poo', but then wonder how the Atari would be if it was more like the CDi....I still use my Cdi to this day... bla bla various insanity... disregard the 3DO as a 'console only' ?? I sometimes think that there is life on Mars, due to the narrowminded views expressed.


I honestly can't tell if your legitimate or if you're constantly trolling :?
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby sh3-rg » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:01 pm

bullis1 wrote:I honestly can't tell if your legitimate or if you're constantly trolling :?


Honestly you can't tell? I think it's fornicating obvious.

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby KiwiArcader » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:23 pm

The horizontal scrolling on the Atari was utter crap compared to the Amiga and after comparing the two I went with Amiga while the father-in-law stuck with the Atari ST as he had a midi keyboard so I got to use both. Nowadays I have forgiven Atari for that ... mellowing with age I guess :-)

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby m0n0 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:47 pm

I voted for "No BUS expansion slot", because if there would be an expansion slot, it would be more easy to temper the other problems... :cheers:

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby Willsy » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:06 am

I thought long and hard before posting. I didn't vote for anything.

The reason is that in my opinion, the Atari ST is an absolutley incredible design, when one considers what the original engineers did, in the time they had. What they came up with was amazing.

We must remeber that Tramiel knew what was coming from Commodore (the Amiga). Of course, Commodore didn't design the Amiga, Jay Miner did, Commodore just bought them, but Tramiel KNEW what was coming, and in classic Tramiel style, got the best out of his engineers and produced the Atari ST in record time. IIRC the ST was designed in around six months. The very first model (external disk drive) wasn't so great (I used to sell them as a 16 year old YTS slave!) but the later models with built in floppy were good. I'm also impressed with the continuing models that they released over the years - they continually refined the basic ST - STFM, STe, Megas, Falcons etc.

Also, we must remember that standard systems that we take for granted now (IDE, SCSI etc) just did not exist back then, or, if they did exist, they were not popular (or cost effective) in the market place that Atari were aiming at - which was basically home and small office.

I also think GEM was a work of art; again, developed for the 68000 in a very short time - Once again, Tramiel knew what the Amiga had, and knew he had to get something special put together quickly. I really think the Atari team did an amazing job. Really amazing. We must remember that the Amiga had some 6 years of development before Commodore even saw it!

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby goochman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm

Id have to go with the Monitor/Resolution.

Way back SCSI and IDE were not all the rage on all systems. Having an ACSI port was good enough.

However - those proprietary monitor connections and screen refresh coupled with lame resolution/color depth has caused issues long term.

We can easily fix the SCSI HD issue these days - but find a monitor/cable that can connect my Mega 2 ST to something I can buy these days - good luck....

Not to mention Id love having the ability to get 800x600 on my ST - mono or not.

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby StickHead » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:01 pm

I plumped for the spongy keyboard. I love everything else about my STs. :D
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby dlfrsilver » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:30 pm

One thing i really hate on this computer is the crap, bad, utter cheap plastic used for the keys and casing. It's falling in parts, that's the sign of bad plastic quality :evil:

The keyboard is too fragile and the internal PSU heats up too much.
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby DarkLord » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:30 pm

StickHead wrote:I plumped for the spongy keyboard. I love everything else about my STs. :D


and that's "fixable"... :)
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby StickHead » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:33 pm

DarkLord wrote:
StickHead wrote:I plumped for the spongy keyboard. I love everything else about my STs. :D


and that's "fixable"... :)


How so? Eiffel? Spring install?
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby DarkLord » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:33 am

Yep, either one of those routes offer an improved keyboard or feel.

Well....if by "spring" you mean the TT-Touch kit, yes. I've installed those in a couple
of ST's and my Falcon. Much better than stock.
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby wongck » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:39 am

DarkLord wrote:Yep, either one of those routes offer an improved keyboard or feel.

Well....if by "spring" you mean the TT-Touch kit, yes. I've installed those in a couple
of ST's and my Falcon. Much better than stock.


Whoa come mon guys.
That's the trademark spony ST keyboard that you're talking about.
Without that I would rather use an emulator. :roll:
mmm.... miss that ST keyboard feeling :mrgreen:
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby StickHead » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:05 pm

:lol: You may be right, Mr Wong.
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby swapd0 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:48 pm

Looking at some specs of atari 8bit i don't know why the st video system is so simple. They should include some hardware sprite, scroll and more flexible video mode. If you could change between planar and chunk mode that would be great.

About the STE they should include the Lynx blitter...

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby nativ » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:46 pm

by swapd0 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:48 pm

Looking at some specs of atari 8bit i don't know why the st video system is so simple. They should include some hardware sprite, scroll and more flexible video mode. If you could change between planar and chunk mode that would be great.

About the STE they should include the Lynx blitter...

I suppose the Falcon is more of a an ST and XE combined?

If you could change between planar and chunk mode that would be great.

Is this possible with the DSP?
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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby galahad » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:03 pm

I voted for video hardware.

My attitude toward the ST has mellowed quite considerably since I first owned one in 1988.

The most unforgivable thing about the ST's design was the gave it a decent CPU, and then hampered it a lack of hardware. Considering the success Atari had with the XL/XE series, its unforgivable that they didn't incorporate some of the basics like hardware sprites.

I'm not fussed about the 512 colour pallete, the Amiga was a bit erroneous in its 4096 colours.

the other thing that bothered me that although the YM chip can produce some pleasing sounds, that it wasn't better than the C64's SID chip was pretty stupid!

The ST should always have been the STE right from the begininng, Tramiel knew what Commodore were going to release, and whilst its quite amazing he managed to get the ST cobbled together as quickly as he did, Atari engineers actually had much grander plans for the ST series, which Tramiel vetoed.

The ST could and should have been better.

So in conclusion, the biggest flaw? Jack Tramiel!

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby Shredder11 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:01 pm

Rat boy wrote:You kill off the CDi as 'poo', but then wonder how the Atari would be if it was more like the CDi....I still use my Cdi to this day. Obviously people were using their Laserdisk players to watch DVDs then..oops no - thats what the CDi did, as DVDs hadnt been invented yet..remote control internet access at the TV??? PC's are still struggling with that to date!

And disregard the 3DO as a 'console only' ?? I sometimes think that there is life on Mars, due to the narrowminded views expressed. :roll:


My best friend bought a CDi player back in 1994, I think it is a 470 model but I would have to check. Quite a nice little unit although it had a few drawbacks like not being able to play audio CDs with mixed content, i.e. added video files or CDRW discs. Anyway we could never find much software or audio/video for it but recently I downloaded a 168GB torrent of stuff, probably everything and the kitchen sink. I've also been reading a forum thread about a possible emulator being developed by some of the forum members, one a previous Philips CDi software writer. The thread is here http://www.bannister.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=54354&page=1

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Re: Biggest flaw in Atari ST's design

Postby wongck » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:10 pm

galahad wrote:So in conclusion, the biggest flaw? Jack Tramiel!


Not so sure, without him may be there will not be an ST :? :roll:
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