The great Atari 800xl file format mystery!

All discussions about the Atari 8bit range of machines.

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Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 3:44 pm

The great Atari 800xl file format mystery!

Postby seastalker » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:29 am

A Startpage search engine search will show many different Atari 800xl file types. I will simply ask, what format should my games/files be in for simple and most compatible usage on:

1. A real Atari 800XL (via Lotherek type device)
2. A MIST computer
3. Various PC and consoles running Atari 800XL emulators.

Current files are pretty much .atr and .exe for carts. Do I need a file conversion program or can say .exe games just be renamed to .xex or something similar? I should add that if possible, I wish to combine multi-disk and or multi-sided games into one file that can auto-switch when a game prompts to flip/switch disks if possible. Thanks!!

Atari freak
Atari freak
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:58 am

Re: The great Atari 800xl file format mystery!

Postby jruark56 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:55 pm

The common usage for disk images is to use .atr format. Carts are more normally shown as .bin images instead of .exe, though I have seen a good number of carts as .exe
Be careful with changing to .xex. This extension is most typically used for stand alone executable programs. If you have one of these that uses .exe, you are safe just renaming it to .xex.
I am not aware of any current way to combine multi-disk games onto a single .atr and auto-switch to the appropriate next disk. For emulation work, it is no real hassle to simply insert the requested disk into the virtual disk drive and then respond to the program prompt. On real hardware, one would just use the physical disk requested like we did back in the day.
Russ Ruark Jr.

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