The Atari 520 STTOS 1.0 with the GEM user interfaceScreenshot of GEM (Desktop)

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Atari ST

The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was commercially popular from 1985 to the early 1990s. It was released by Atari in 1985. The "ST" allegedly stood for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 32-bit internals with 16-bit external buses. more...

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Another theory is that ST really stood for "Sam Tramiel", Jack Tramiel's eldest son.

Overview

The Atari ST was a notable home computer, based on the Motorola 68000 CPU, with 512KB of RAM or more, and 3.5" floppy disks as storage. It was similar to other contemporary machines which used the Motorola 68000, the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga. Although the Macintosh was the first widely available computer with a graphical user interface (GUI), it was however limited to a monochromatic display. The Atari ST was notable, being the first computer with a fully bit-mapped color GUI. It had an innovative single-chip graphics subsystem (designed by Shiraz Shivji) which shared the full amount of system memory, in alternating clock cycles, with the processor, similar to the earlier BBC Micro and the Unified Memory systems that have become common today. It was also the first home computer with integral MIDI support.

The ST was primarily a competitor to the Commodore Amiga systems. This platform rivalry was often reflected by the owners and was most prominent in the Demo Scene. Where the Amiga had custom hardware which gave it the edge in the games and videowork market, the ST was generally cheaper and slightly faster at basic operation. Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports it enjoyed success as a music sequencer and controller of musical instruments among amateurs and professionals alike, being used in concert by bands such as Tangerine Dream. In some markets, particularly Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and Desktop publishing work.

The ST was later superseded by the Atari TT and Falcon computers, and ST technology was used in the creation of the Atari Jaguar video game console.

Since Atari pulled out of the computer market there has been a market for powerful TOS-based machines (clones). Like most "retro" computers the Atari enjoys support in the emulator scene.

Origins

Atari had created two released machines in the form of the Atari 2600 console (also known as VCS) and the various Atari 8-bit based home computers. Both of these lines were created around the 6502 CPU and included a number of additional chips assisting this rather basic, but cost-effective CPU in providing graphics and sound. In fact the 8-bit machines had originally intended to be the replacement for the 2600, but they were later reengineered as home computers.

As Atari grew and the management was shuffled by Warner (their parent company), the creators of the 2600 and 8-bit machines eventually got fed up and left. A group of them led by Jay Miner formed a small think tank called Amiga in 1982 and set about creating the third generation machine, this time based on the much more powerful 68000 CPU.

During this time, the home computer market started to slow down, and the video game market underwent the great video game crash of 1983. Warner management decided to "get out" and started looking to sell Atari outright. Meanwhile many of the same effects were in the process of decimating Commodore International. An argument involving Commodore's chairman and largest shareholder Irving Gould, and Jack Tramiel ensued over development of a new 68000 system, resulting in Tramiel's immediate departure from Commodore in January of 1984.

Tramiel immediately formed a holding company, Tramiel Technology, and brought in a number of ex-Commodore staff to continue his project to develop a new, high-performance home computer. While this team, led by Shiraz Shivji, worked on the design, Tramiel discovered that Warner Communications wanted to sell Atari Corp. Tramiel purchased Atari Corp, mainly for the overseas manufacturing and dealer network. The design team considered "one-upping" the Macintosh by using a full 32-bit chip, namely the NS32032, but in talks, National Semiconductor couldn't supply the numbers, or price, the project needed. In retrospect this proved to be lucky, a prototype built on the NS32032 proved to be slower than the 16-bit 68000.

The basic hardware design quickly "gelled" into a form that was almost identical to the ST that eventually shipped. The design used off-the-shelf parts where possible. Disk drive support was provided by the WD1772, a standard Western Digital chip, and sound from a Yamaha YM2149, a clone of the common but fairly basic General Instruments AY-3-8910. Serial, MIDI, and other I/O functions were provided by standard Motorola chips. The custom chips included a memory controller, the simple "Shifter" graphics chip, a DMA controller, and the "GLUE" interrupt handler.

At about the same time, Amiga were desperate for a buyer or investor, and the "Warner owned" Atari had paid Amiga for development work (see: "TOP SECRET: Confidential Atari-Amiga Agreement"). In return Atari was to get one-year exclusive use of the design. Atari was also working on a "high-end" 68000 based machine at the time, so it is not clear what their intentions for the Amiga design were.

By May Tramiel had secured his funding, bought the remains of Atari from Warner for a very low price, and set about re-creating his empire. One of his first acts was to fire practically all of Atari's highly respected engineering staff, and cancel almost all ongoing development. The Amiga crew was upset, and soon entered discussions with Commodore that led to them purchasing Amiga, and quickly cancelling Atari's license. Tramiel was furious, and the resulting court case lasted for years. Finally, it settled out of court, the details of which remain secret.

Work thus continued with the design started at Tramiel Technology. With the basic design complete, the team started looking at solutions for the operating system. Soon after the buyout Microsoft approached Tramiel with the suggestion that they port Windows to the platform, but the delivery date was out about two years, far too long for their needs. Another possibility was Digital Research, who were working on a new GUI-based system then known as Crystal, soon to become GEM. A final possibility was to write a new system in-house, but this was eventually rejected due to risk.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Atari 520 1040 St Stf Stfm Mega St computer Tos 1.04 Rainbow 6 x rom chip set UkAtari 520 1040 St Stf Stfm Mega St computer Tos 1.04 Rainbow 6 x rom chip set Uk $22.06 Kraft Tripletrack 3-button trackball - Commodore 64/128/Amiga, Atari St/400-1200Kraft Tripletrack 3-button trackball - Commodore 64/128/Amiga, Atari St/400-1200 $85.99
Atari Qc-1438S Monochrome Monitor for Atari St computers 1992Atari Qc-1438S Monochrome Monitor for Atari St computers 1992 $49.00< 00004000 /span *Tom+* Usb Mouse/Joystick Adapter for Commodore C=64 / C=128, Amiga, Atari St/Tt*Tom+* Usb Mouse/Joystick Adapter for Commodore C=64 / C=128, Amiga, Atari St/Tt $34.97
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Moon Patrol Atari 1040 St/Ste Disk Damaged BoxMoon Patrol Atari 1040 St/Ste Disk Damaged Box $29.95 Dr T's Atari St 4 Op Deluxe Fm Editor Librarian for Dx21/27/100, Fb01,Tx81Z 1988Dr T's Atari St 4 Op Deluxe Fm Editor Librarian for Dx21/27/100, Fb01,Tx81Z 1988 $74.99
1985 vintage 1st Word Processor Atari St computer word processing program manual1985 vintage 1st Word Processor Atari St computer word processing program manual $19.99 Atari St Computer Start Magazine disks 14 floppy discs. Tested, works.Atari St Computer Start Magazine disks 14 floppy discs. Tested, works. $8.49
Gfa-Basic Programmer's Reference Guide Volume 1 - Atari St - Ste Tt030 FalconGfa-Basic Programmer's Reference Guide Volume 1 - Atari St - Ste Tt030 Falcon $16.00 Gfa Basic Book (with disk) - Atari St - Ste Tt030 FalconGfa Basic Book (with disk) - Atari St - Ste Tt030 Falcon $14.00
Fast Desktop Organizer by Migraph for Atari 520/1040/St New Disk NibFast Desktop Organizer by Migraph for Atari 520/1040/St New Disk Nib $19.95 Amiga Atari St Amstrad Usb Floppy Disk Emulator Gotek HxC beige w/8Gb Usb keyAmiga Atari St Amstrad Usb Floppy Disk Emulator Gotek HxC beige w/8Gb Usb key $47.29
Img Scan + Image Scanner Cartridge - Seymor-Radix - Atari St - Ste Tt030 FalconImg Scan + Image Scanner Cartridge - Seymor-Radix - Atari St - Ste Tt030 Falcon $40.00 Vintage 1985 Atari 520 St owner's user's guide manual hand bookVintage 1985 Atari 520 St owner's user's guide manual hand book $9.95
Sleeping Gods Lie for Atari St New Disk NibSleeping Gods Lie for Atari St New Disk Nib $29.95 Vintage Atari 520 St Computer System Works and Needs CleaningVintage Atari 520 St Computer System Works and Needs Cleaning $140.00
Calamus 1.09N Atari St New in Binder/Manual in SpanishCalamus 1.09N Atari St New in Binder/Manual in Spanish $19.95 Impossible Mission Ii Atari 1040/520 St New Epyx Disk with Yellow BoxImpossible Mission Ii Atari 1040/520 St New Epyx Disk with Yellow Box
Gfa Basic Compiler 2.02 for Atari 1040 St New 3 RingGfa Basic Compiler 2.02 for Atari 1040 St New 3 Ring $19.95 Mouse Atari St/Tt New Mint Converted from AmigaMouse Atari St/Tt New Mint Converted from Amiga $29.95
Wordflair with Gdos for Atari 520/1040/Mega/Tt St New Word ProcessorWordflair with Gdos for Atari 520/1040/Mega/Tt St New Word Processor $19.95 Nigel Mansell's World Championship for Atari St New NibNigel Mansell's World Championship for Atari St New Nib $19.95
Easy-Draw V2.3 By Migraph for Atari 520/1040/Mega/Tt St New Graphics/DraftingEasy-Draw V2.3 By Migraph for Atari 520/1040/Mega/Tt St New Graphics/Drafting $19.95 Rainbow Tos 1.4 Atari St/Stf/Stfm & Mega St New 2 ChipRainbow Tos 1.4 Atari St/Stf/Stfm & Mega St New 2 Chip $35.00
Tower Toppler for Atari 1040/520 St New DiskTower Toppler for Atari 1040/520 St New Disk $19.95 Weird Dreams for Atari St New NibWeird Dreams for Atari St New Nib $19.95
Degas/D.E.G.A.S Elite for Atari 520/1040 St New NibDegas/D.E.G.A.S Elite for Atari 520/1040 St New Nib $29.95 Atari St Basic Sourcebook And Tutorial Manual 1986Atari St Basic Sourcebook And Tutorial Manual 1986 $11.99
Vintage Atari 520 St Computer Power Supply Co70099-3Vintage Atari 520 St Computer Power Supply Co70099-3 $98.00 Yolanda: The Ultimate Challenge for Atari St Nib NewYolanda: The Ultimate Challenge for Atari St Nib New $29.95
New Atari 520 1040 St Ste Mega Tt Falcon 030 computer keyboard Ic chip C070122New Atari 520 1040 St Ste Mega Tt Falcon 030 computer keyboard Ic chip C070122 $6.60 Tt 2 Meg St Ram Upgrade for Atari Tt no boxTt 2 Meg St Ram Upgrade for Atari Tt no box $100.00
Renegade - Atari St - Mastertronic 3.5"Renegade - Atari St - Mastertronic 3.5" $2.83 Basic to C Atari St/Stacy/Tt Abacus #11 NewBasic to C Atari St/Stacy/Tt Abacus #11 New $19.95
Vintage Atari 520St Computing Gaming System w/ Sm124 Monitor + Games & More!Vintage Atari 520St Computing Gaming System w/ Sm124 Monitor + Games & More! $329.99 Man Hunter I: New York By Sierra for Atari St Nib NewMan Hunter I: New York By Sierra for Atari St Nib New $39.95
Atari 1040St, Sc1224 Monitor, Printer, Manuals, Accessories and Disks, TestedAtari 1040St, Sc1224 Monitor, Printer, Manuals, Accessories and Disks, Tested $1,799.00 Atari 520St Computer Owners Manual 1985Atari 520St Computer Owners Manual 1985 $12.99
1985 vintage Neochrome Art & Design Program 0.5 Manual Atari 520St computer book1985 vintage Neochrome Art & Design Program 0.5 Manual Atari 520St computer book $19.99 Ldw Spreadsheet Atari 520/1040 St/Ste NibLdw Spreadsheet Atari 520/1040 St/Ste Nib $29.95
Multi Tos for Atari St/Falcon/Tt/Mega/Ste New Ds DiskMulti Tos for Atari St/Falcon/Tt/Mega/Ste New Ds Disk $25.00 100 Ss/Ds/Dd Atari St & Commodore Amiga Diskettes Sold As Blank100 Ss/Ds/Dd Atari St & Commodore Amiga Diskettes Sold As Blank $76.50 Was: Previous Price $90.00
Band in a Box Professional Edition Atari St Nib MidiBand in a Box Professional Edition Atari St Nib Midi $29.95 Death Sword by Epyx for Atari 1040/520 St New DiskDeath Sword by Epyx for Atari 1040/520 St New Disk $19.95
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Prices current as of last update, 08/14/17 12:48am.

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