Some remarks, this thread has a lot of incacciracies...
1) Re: The Falcon's confusing history - Postby bid » 29 Jan 2017, 21:38
Falcon Microbox was planned - according to different sources - 030 or 040 based, it's not clear. The rumors I heared about Microbox in about 1992/93 was 030. The difference to the 030 sparrow we know and have is that it has full 32 bit architecture.
The confusion maybe comes because there was a second one, and that really was 040 and a bit bigger, and that was called Falcon 040.https://www.maedicke.de/atari/hardware/falcon040.htm
Both of these were designed by Atari Dallas.
The Falcon 030 we know seems to be based on Mega STE design, enhanced by 68030, better video chip (videl) and DSP. It's hard to see when looking at the known FX-1 Sparrow prototypes, but I have read somewhere that with Falcon design they started by adding daughter board to Mega STE board for testing the new chipsets.http://www.atari-computermuseum.de/falcon030.htm
(FX-1 Sparrow pictures)
STylus/STpad, I have seen it once on Atari Messe, was a prototype, but they told it was ready for production. Maybe they decided against it as software was still not ready for pen computing. Also Momentus (Shiraz Shivji) failed on this software issue. The biggest step ahead at that time was a pen computer by Compaq with "Windows 3.11 for pen computing", I tested one of these in 1994, but Microsoft again needed time until Windows Vista/7 where touchscreen system really was useable.
2) by calimero » 30 Jan 2017, 13:22
TT RAM is 16 MHz only. The whole TT was 16 MHz design. First TT prototoypes given to external developers were 16 MHz 68030. The 32 Mhz clock was then add as daughter board on the original 68030 CPU socket. The first regular sold TTs were like that, and later that daughter board was integrated into the mainboard. The jump from 16 to 32 MHz was necessary to compete with Commodore Amiga 3000, as just before it's release they have speed up the A3000 from 16 to 25 MHz.
3) Postby calimero » 31 Jan 2017, 21:27
The ST was lightyears ahead of DOS machines because of it's Motorola 68000 CPU, instead of crappy 8086. Software side, if you take away that crappy 8086 segment memory adressing crab, a system running MS-DOS with GEM 1.0 was very similar to ST. There even were a few PC which could do 640x400 monochrome graphics like ST: The Olivetti M24. And there was a M24SP, with four times more memory on the graphics card, it could do 640x480 in 4 bitplanes. All components of BIOS,XBIOS,GEMDOS,VDI,AES,Desktop have their similarities on a PC running MS-DOS and GEM, if you compare BIOS,XBIOS,GEMDOS system calls, they have the same number and functionality as on a PC in BIOS,DOS. By the way, both, TOS and MS-DOS have a lot of similarities with CP/M function calls, which makes converting software between TOS,DOS,CP/M easier.
4) Postby calimero » 01 Feb 2017, 12:58 and by calimero » 02 Feb 2017, 00:12
The Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW 800) was something completely different from ST lineup. It was designed as a system for academic use, toooooo expensive for the masses. It was running Helios as operating system, posix compatible, using X window with some window manager as graphical user interface. Totally incompatible to TOS machines. Helios was a special OS similar to Unix, specially designed for Transputer processors. But it used a modified/enhanced Mega ST as "IO-board". That TOS running IO-board served as "storage system", keyboard and printer interface. Also Commodore experimented with that, using Amiga 2000 as IO-system. But there was also the idea, I don't know how far it got, to put a small version if the ATW into a Megafile chassis to attach it to Mega ST machines through DMA as a "computing accelerator", maybe for number cruncher, etc.
5) Postby bid » 02 Feb 2017, 10:35
DRI/Kildal was not firstly ripped off by Microsoft/MS-DOS. Microsoft just bought MS-DOS from another Seattle based software company, it's original name was Qdos. (Q stands for Quick'n'dirty). (This was necessary as MicroSoft sold an operating system for 8088 to IBM without having one.) It was by design that Qdos/MS-DOS was very close to CP/M system calls, that software easily could be converted from CP/M to Qdos, to have very quick a big software base. TOS originally was designed as a CP/M for 68K with GEM ontop, but instead of CP/M68K as the base, DRI decided to make GEMDOS close to MS-DOS. This is because they did not made GEM for ST first, they made it for IBM PC, which was running MS-DOS. So with having GEMDOS it was easier to adapt GEM to ST. So we have to be thankful to Qdos/MS-DOS to have folders and FAT and not that crap CP/M filesystem with very limited number of files per disk... So what we have - and we call it the ST - is - software side - a IBM compatible PC based on Motorola CPU. In old time I was very happy about this, because for school and university I had to develop some software for PC, without having a PC at the beginning. SO I wrote it on ST in C or Pascal, tested it until it's logics works fine, and only with little changes I could compile that for DOS as well. Commercially this was done - as far as I know - only one time, the other way arround. There was a company, which's name I have forgot. But they converted that way their MS-DOS + CD-ROM based software called "Wer liefert was" (Who delivers what) from MS-DOS to ST. This was a database which contained manufacturers and their products, and you could search for product and you got an adress where to buy it. That software runned in text mode on ST. ATARI presented it proudly on CeBit 1990 as one of the first CD-ROM based applications for ST.
Steve Jobs never was a good software or hardware engineer, no idea what he did when he worked at Atari in early days. Woz designed Apple I and II, others designed the other Apple computers. Jobs was good on other areas, visions, ideas and marketing. Seen so, I wonder a bit how the Tramiels could be successfull at all, specially Jack, at Commodore and Atari, they were no teccies, they did not have visions, they didn't understand their computers, they did not have talent in marketing. The only thing Jack T understood is, that it is powerfull and it could be sold cheaper that the competition. Computers for the masses, not the classes; Power without the price; these were the Tramiel slogans of Commodore and Atari.
MIDI on ST was stable not because of TOS/GEM, but because that computer was only doing one thing at the same time, playing midi data... Cubase and Notator use their own "drivers" to do midi over the 6850 interface chips, without using and BIOS, XBIOS routines. Those inaccuracies, latencies and so came only later on multitasking operating systems, Windows for example was never designed for accuracy in realtime applications. Amiga-OS also was not good for midi-latency when you run other software in parallel. And Windows had to "virtualize" (generalize) software midi interface woth drivers to different hardware midi interfaces. This is exactly the same what Microsoft later made also with DirectSound, DirectX and so on to virtualize sound and graphics interface that any game can use any sound card and graphics card in optimal way without knowing the real hardware. Today Midi latency in Windows is Ok as the systems are more than fast enough.
6) Postby AdamK » 02 Feb 2017, 11:45
GEM is quite nice, it is quite open for future developements and all layes are exchangeabe without influencing clean programmed software. It could have become what Windows and Mac-OS is today. If you compare AmigaOS, it did not have that flexibility as some important parts were not modular, the equivalent of VDI and AES on Amiga was one thing, so for new graphics card support you had to replace all of that by new one, the situation only changed with 3rd party software Picasso. The big problem of GEM was, that DRI and Atari did not support real Multitasking early enough, PC version never, Atari only after 3rd party introduced it (Magic, Geneva, MiNT), before MiNT was used to create MultiTOS late as 1992. Amiga-OS and Windows were able to multi task from the beginning. (But, yes, also MacOS did not from the beginning.) Imagine, MiNT came 1990-82, at the same time the Linux kernel arised. Both are quite similar in some view points, imagine if later MiNT kernel would have been merged with Linux kernel with some TOS compatibility layer, imagine that and what Atari could have done with that if there had been someone like Steve Jobs with ideas, visions and good marketing... (Ex marketing manager of Atari germany told me 3 years ago: In that time, Commodore and Atari wanted to held a meeting together with Apple to discuss how to cooperate in some way to compete with Microsoft, Apple refused to meet, imagine what could have happend... Hätte, Hätte, Fahrradkette.)
7. Postby AdamK » 02 Feb 2017, 11:45
Atari and Commodore was mainly not "dead in water" because of generally bad systems. They were too weak in ideas, visions, developers and money to compete against the trend setting army of Microsoft, Intel, Creative Labs, 3DFX and all these taiwanese hardware manufacturers which made more and more powerfull systems for low costs. The peoples where moving from ST and Amiga to PC because it was Power without the Price, Atari's slogan, because PC became Computer for the masses, not the classes, Commodore's slogan. Suddenly Wintel was technology leader. The Wintel-industry took over Atari and Commodore strategy, but based on many many companies full of talents. The money came from all of those business PCs they sold, while Atari and Commodore mostly sold their machines to home users. Because of low funds both did not made the necessary big steps, but both were on they right way but they started earlier as Wintel all these trends (Jaguar graphics chipset was simple 3D accelerater long before 3dfx came out with Voodoo).
by calimero » 02 Feb 2017, 18:54
There was more than one industrial use Atari compatible, they offered (VME) bus systems dor ST or complete 19 inch rack ST compatibles...
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GTI Rhothron GmbH
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1000 Berlin 45 6650 Homburg (Saar)
3K Computerbild GmbH IBP Elektronik GmbH
Sassenfeld 71 Lilienthalstr.13
4054 Nettetal 1 3000 Hannover1
9) by calimero » 02 Feb 2017, 19:04
ST and Amiga were both rushed too fast to the market. It was a race between Commodore and Atari, to be the first, to beat the other. This race was won by Atari, Commodore just started to takeover with the Amiga 500. But both, early Amiga-OS and TOS were quite buggy. Amiga had a lot of guru meditation with kick earlier than 1.3 while TOS 1.00 was quite unreliable on harddisk operation, TOS needed a lot of patches and fixes until the end. On Amiga another early difficulty was that developers first had to learn how to clean design software on multitasking system, so often some application shot down others or the whole system as it thought, that it has the whole machine for itself. Software developers for Atari had to learn this as well when Magic, Geneva and MiNT/Multitos came up. A lot of ST software did not learn this until the end.
Power without the Price. It's not a bug. It's a feature. _/|\_ATARI
1040STFM in PC-Tower (PAK68/2, OvrScn, 4 MB, 1GB SCSI, CD-ROM...) * 2x Falcon 030 32GB/14MB+ScrnBlstrIII * 2x TT030 73GB/20MB+Nova * 520/1040STFM * 520/1040STE * 260/520ST/+ * some Mega ST * 2x Mega STE 500MB/4MB+M.CoCo * Stacy * STBook * SLM605 * SLM804 * SLM605 * SMM804 * SH 204/205 * Megafile 30/44/60 * SF314 * SF354 * 5x Pofo * PC3