Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Jul 2017 19:05 UTC, submitted by leech
OSNews, Generic OSes

Back before MiNT became officially supported by Atari Corp, there were a few attempts at adding multitasking on the Atari ST. One of them was Geneva, a multitasking environment that was very light on resources and worked on a standard ST. NeoDesk is a desktop replacement that works well with Geneva.

Quite a long time ago there were some questions posed to the writer of these great software packages, Dan Wilga, in an attempt to see if the source could be opened. After a successful petition caught the attention of Wilga, he explained he still had his Atari TT030 sitting around, with the source code for a version that was never released.

Sadly, one of the hard drives with some of the required code to build everything was damaged, and it was too expensive to have the drive fixed. Thanks to a member of the Atari community, the drive has been fixed, and this should mean we're going to see open source releases of Geneva and NeoDesk soon. New builds are being tested, and they will be released soon - followed by the source code.

This is amazing news, and a fantastic example of software conservation. Thanks to OSNews reader Leech for pointing this story out and writing the first two paragraphs of this story so I had an idea of what was going on!

Order by: Score:
Comment by judgen
by judgen on Thu 6th Jul 2017 00:52 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

NeoDesk.. i had almost forgotten.
Kinda funny that the 1993 release looks so much better than Windows 10 in every way.

http://pcdesktops.emuunlim.com/pictures/emulators/steem.jpg

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by judgen
by Jondice on Thu 6th Jul 2017 03:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by judgen"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Not sure what Steem is (an emulator I assume), but I'll hazard a guess that you meant Windows 1.0 and not Windows 10 ;) . Then again, maybe not - to each his own...

Edited 2017-07-06 03:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by judgen
by Kochise on Thu 6th Jul 2017 09:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by judgen"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Well, considering that the GEM (1984) was already superior to Windows 1.0 (1985) and even 2.0 (1987) much not evolved much afterward, it was quite good and usable.

Of course it lacked drivers support that would allow Atari users to buy some fancy hardware like printers, scanners, external hard drives. The choice was limited.

NeoDesk added color icons before it was cool (original GEM only support BW icons).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by judgen
by cb88 on Thu 6th Jul 2017 13:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by judgen"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

The problem with windows 10 ... is that it isn't good or usable. It practically requires an SSD to not act like a complete sloth...

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by judgen
by grandmasterphp on Thu 6th Jul 2017 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by judgen"
grandmasterphp Member since:
2017-05-15

Total bullshit. Sorry mate.

1) Everything seems slow when you have SSDs
2) Running it on a normal HD seems to be okay for me.

Also SSDs are now cheap and realiable.

Software and hardware moves on.

Edited 2017-07-06 14:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by judgen
by JLF65 on Thu 6th Jul 2017 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by judgen"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem with Windows 10 is it's trying to make your PC look and act like a phone. If Windows Phone failed, what in the hell makes them think people want it on their PC??

I get it! Someone dedicated to *nix went deep undercover decades back to play the long game. Now that they're in place, they have a chance to sabotage Windows by making it look and act like the one thing MS made that failed utterly! Sneaky! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by judgen
by henderson101 on Thu 6th Jul 2017 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by judgen"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

The problem with Windows 10 is it's trying to make your PC look and act like a phone.


Errr.. no. I have a Windows phone running Windows Phone 10 and a few PC's (mac book, desktop, Surface 2 Pro) running Windows 10, and one Linx 8 tablet still on 8.1. I can do a direct comparison. The 8.1 tablet is more like a phone OS than Win 10 Pro ever was... The PC version of 10 is actually so much less like a phone/tablet OS that it makes using the Surface 2 pro I own a lot more annoying than under 8.1. In 10 I have to specifically switch to "tablet mode", otherwise I'm dumped in to the desktop. I have to manage windows in desktop mode. The windows button on the tablet activates the start menu, which is more like the classic one. I'm really not seeing this as a phone OS scaled up at all - if you do, I might suggest you adjust your glasses a little? :-P

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by judgen
by Megol on Thu 6th Jul 2017 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by judgen"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

The problem with Windows 10 is it's trying to make your PC look and act like a phone. If Windows Phone failed, what in the hell makes them think people want it on their PC??


My Windows 10 (without hack or 3rd party updates for looks) looks like - Windows! Not like a phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by judgen
by leech on Thu 6th Jul 2017 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by judgen"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Not sure what Steem is (an emulator I assume), but I'll hazard a guess that you meant Windows 1.0 and not Windows 10 ;) . Then again, maybe not - to each his own..


Steem is indeed the 'STe Emulator'.

Personally I like Hatari a bit better, though each have their own benefits over the other.

The big difference between Neodesk and Windows 10 is that Neodesk can run comfortably in 2mb of RAM. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by judgen
by Kochise on Thu 6th Jul 2017 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by judgen"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Requirements for Windows 10 are basically the same than Windows 7. Just the network bandwidth throttling is a bit weird due to telemetry.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by judgen
by moondevil on Thu 6th Jul 2017 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by judgen"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Android and ChromeOS require more bandwidth for telemetry.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by judgen
by Megol on Thu 6th Jul 2017 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by judgen"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

The problem with windows 10 ... is that it isn't good or usable. It practically requires an SSD to not act like a complete sloth...


Use Windows 10 - otherwise your writing gets really incoherent.

Not that it isn't for other reasons. Windows 10 isn't slower that e.g. Windows 7 for normal use even on HDD. I've experienced working with the same hardware with the same HDD first with 7 and then 10 on the same day when updating it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by judgen
by Odwalla on Fri 7th Jul 2017 13:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by judgen"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You need to score some beholder eyes.

Reply Score: 1

4 Floppies
by Earl C Pottinger on Fri 7th Jul 2017 00:03 UTC
Earl C Pottinger
Member since:
2008-07-12

Question: Is the ST limited to two floppy drives or can it take more?

The reason I ask is early on I had my Amiga 1000 using four floppy drives and it made multitasking a lot easier since I could have the system files on one drive, the extras like utilities, extra fonts, scripts on another and still have two drives free for programs and data.

And by the way Microsoft Word for the Amiga was spread over four disks and needed a lot of disk swapping to use if you only had one or two drives - it was a pig of a program.

Edited 2017-07-07 00:04 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: 4 Floppies
by leech on Fri 7th Jul 2017 02:43 UTC in reply to "4 Floppies"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I found an adapter just recently that allowed more than an external / internal floppy drive. Thought I saw it on eBay, I'm guessing someone snagged it, but it did allow a passthrough.

These days I think most people either get an UltraSatan, MiniCosmos, or a Floppy Emulator.

The first one is a hard drive replacement that can use two SD Cards, the second can be a hard drive and I think it does virtual floppies, and of course the HxC Floppy Drive or Gotek Drive will work for the last one.

Edit: The Discovery Cartridge allowed a 3rd and 4th drive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_drives#cite_note-faqs-1

Edited 2017-07-07 02:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: 4 Floppies
by leech on Fri 7th Jul 2017 02:53 UTC in reply to "4 Floppies"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Question: Is the ST limited to two floppy drives or can it take more?

The reason I ask is early on I had my Amiga 1000 using four floppy drives and it made multitasking a lot easier since I could have the system files on one drive, the extras like utilities, extra fonts, scripts on another and still have two drives free for programs and data.

And by the way Microsoft Word for the Amiga was spread over four disks and needed a lot of disk swapping to use if you only had one or two drives - it was a pig of a program.


Was it released on the Amiga? I know it was released as Microsoft Write for the Atari ST in 1988, but I don't see it on the Wikipedia entry for the Amiga. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Word

It is only 1 disk on the ST, though maybe it had limited fonts there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by feamatar on Fri 7th Jul 2017 09:20 UTC in reply to "RE: 4 Floppies"
feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

fonts were provided by gdos. and that is the cool part because with later gdos versions you have fancy vector fonts, type1 and I think even truetype is supported.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 4 Floppies
by leech on Sat 8th Jul 2017 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 4 Floppies"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

fonts were provided by gdos. and that is the cool part because with later gdos versions you have fancy vector fonts, type1 and I think even truetype is supported.


Ah, wasn't aware that Write supported GDOS. I am pretty sure the early programs I had at the time did not. Weirdly, my first ST was a Mega STe with 2mb of RAM, but it wasn't until after I upgraded to 4MB that I started really playing with some of the OS level things. Ah, Ultima 6 out of a RAM disk! Now THAT was fast!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by JLF65 on Fri 7th Jul 2017 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE: 4 Floppies"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

I used Word 6 for Mac running on a Mac emulator. That was a decent word processor. It was all downhill from there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 4 Floppies
by kovacm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 08:39 UTC in reply to "4 Floppies"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

Microsoft Word for ST was called Microsoft Write and it was unusable piece of shit.

Atari ST have much better text processors then DOS or Windows.

One of them, Papyrus, is still in development and it is zillion times better than Microsoft Word/Excel/Access in every single aspect. Check it here: http://papyrusauthor.com

---

Regarding floppys: I used ST with one floppy for long time and I did not see any problem: OS was in ROM, you could pack bunch of programs on single floppy disk. Packing usually make programs starting faster.
Later, when memory become cheaper and we install 2.5MB of RAM, then we use RAM disk for storing programs and quick access.
And later, when new OSes (Geneva, MagiC, MiNT) become available for ST and 4MB become usual, then you would load complete OS from floppy in memory and work whole day.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by feamatar on Fri 7th Jul 2017 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE: 4 Floppies"
feamatar Member since:
2014-02-25

I disagree, Microsoft Write was cool: It supported file paging, so on a 512K machine you had a chance to open a 8MB document; add RTF support, and SpeedoGDOS, and a piece of software from 1987 can create good looking documents that can be opened in OpenOffice in 2017.

And to compare it to Papyrus is unnecessary as that came years later.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 4 Floppies
by kovacm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 4 Floppies"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

I said that there were many other, better, programs for text processing on ST, including Signum, Protext (german version, not UK), Tempus, STeve... all this programs are much more then type writer emulators.

Signum can write nice formulas and support even right to left writing, Protext can do calculations and macros, STeve... well can to ANYTHING ;)

Papyrus come later, but I mention it because it is still in development and it is better than today Microsoft Word/Excel/Access so people should definitively check it!

Here you have bunch of ST software: http://milan.kovac.cc/atari/software/?folder=/TEXT

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 4 Floppies
by Kochise on Fri 7th Jul 2017 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 4 Floppies"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Replace Excel and Access ? Are you damn serious ? Papyrus is good, but I compare the new "Author" revision more to yWriter than anything else.

As to Microsoft Word, it was just like Wordpad on 3.1 or XP. Good enough, regarding the capabilities of the first line of ST (512K mem, matrix printers, ...)

Then Calamus arose...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: 4 Floppies
by kovacm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 4 Floppies"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

Yes, Papyrus is much better than Excel and Access combined - it is zillion times easier to use and it is true software for secretaries!

Wherever I introduce Papyrus, all users at first are reluctant to use it, but as time pass they realize how much more Papyrus can give them then Microsoft Office. Once they embrace Papyrus they never go back to Microsoft.

Microsoft Office should be for secretaries but it is not.
People use it as smart-typewriter machine. With Papyrus Base anyone can store, retrieve and combine data. It is super easy.

Papyrus have just enough spreadsheet capability and btw if you need something more of spreadsheet than Quantrix is right tool, not Excel (although I am really impressed when someone make 300MB Excel file - people simple do not know for other tools than Microsoft Office which is really a crime!).

If you compare Papyrus to yWriter then you have no idea of what Papyrus is capable ;) if you know, then you will not ask me if I am serious when I compared it to Excel and Access.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: 4 Floppies
by Kochise on Fri 7th Jul 2017 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: 4 Floppies"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Regarding how I interfaced Excel to remote Access database using VBA scripting, I'm not really sure Papyrus could compete with that. And yes, 300MB excel files were not uncommon in production use. Not sure an Atari can handle such massive data workload.

Btw, I used Papyrus (crippled version) to print my first CVs. Had to use all CAPS to avoid character mirroring.

Then I bought a PC and all my previous limitations (speed, memory, storage, driver, ...) are gone. Plus the 'access' to a whole new (astronomical) scale of software library. Not counting in emulation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: 4 Floppies
by leech on Sat 8th Jul 2017 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: 4 Floppies"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Interesting, does Papyrus have a Linux version? I see they're saying that soon they should have a MacOS and Windows version.

From what little I looked at recently, I think I'd rather write something in Atari Works than MS Office, which is overly distracting with all it's UI weirdness.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by jockm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE: 4 Floppies"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

Papyrus, is still in development and it is zillion times better than Microsoft Word/Excel/Access in every single aspect.


Funny I don't see a spreadsheet module in Papyrus, nore a database agnostic front end with scripting...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 4 Floppies
by kovacm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 4 Floppies"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

Funny I don't see a spreadsheet module in Papyrus, nore a database agnostic front end with scripting...

There is no special or separate spreadsheet: you simple made table in document and populate it with data from database.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 4 Floppies
by jockm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 4 Floppies"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

So database agnostic? Scripting? If you can't say both of those things then nowhere near a replacement for access

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: 4 Floppies
by Kochise on Sat 8th Jul 2017 03:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 4 Floppies"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Come on, forget it, on Atari there was as much standard as there was of programs. The only common denominator was raw text file, and this could even be screwed up with extended characters (accents, msdos graphic chars, ...)

So if you bring database format and scripting language on the table, there's no hope you can get something working anytime soon. And speaking of soon, archive.org shows that papyrusauthor is stating to "Release soon" since 2014.

http ://web.archive.org/web/20141029092633/http://papyrusauthor.com:80/

http://aaxnet.com/product/papyrus.html

Edited 2017-07-08 04:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: 4 Floppies
by jockm on Sat 8th Jul 2017 05:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: 4 Floppies"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

My comment was in regard to kovacm's assertion that papyrus was better than Access. He was comparing apple's to oranges, and looking through nostalgia tinted glasses.

I am sure it was an awesome app, so was Ami Pro for Windows — for it's time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: 4 Floppies
by Odwalla on Sat 8th Jul 2017 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 4 Floppies"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

Tables in a document are not a spreadsheet. Unless I can craft complex formulas to aggregate data from various locations and process them, out to quite a large number of decimal places if necessary, then whatever Papyrus offers is not a replacement for a spreadsheet.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by Odwalla on Sat 8th Jul 2017 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE: 4 Floppies"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

Papyrus is a dedicated package for writing novels. While it resembles and behaves like a general purpose word processor it is a program for a vertical market. Saying it is 'a zillion times better' than Microsoft Word is both illogical and uninformed. It is, quite probably, better than Microsoft Word for the particular task of writing a book. It can't compare to Word for all of the other general word processing tasks that aren't related to writing a novel.

Reply Score: 1

RE: 4 Floppies
by Odwalla on Sat 8th Jul 2017 13:41 UTC in reply to "4 Floppies"
Odwalla Member since:
2006-02-01

And by the way Microsoft Word for the Amiga...


Microsoft never released any productivity software for the Amiga. You may be confusing it with Maxon Word.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by Earl C Pottinger on Sun 9th Jul 2017 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE: 4 Floppies"
Earl C Pottinger Member since:
2008-07-12

Looks like you are right and I was confusing WordPerfect for Word.

Sorry, I am getting old and if you can forgive me for messing up the word processing programs.

Reply Score: 1

Alternative alternatives
by Horsefly on Fri 7th Jul 2017 05:45 UTC
Horsefly
Member since:
2016-05-26

Geneva and Neodesk were cool and all, but Magic and Ease were where it was really at!

Now that combo on a Falcon made my Windows friends jealous ;)

Reply Score: 1

More Info
by johntdaly on Fri 7th Jul 2017 07:01 UTC
johntdaly
Member since:
2012-07-27

Does anybody know what license the code will get? Is the license compatible with EmuTOS? What language is the code? C or ASM or something else?

Reply Score: 1

RE: More Info
by JLF65 on Fri 7th Jul 2017 14:37 UTC in reply to "More Info"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Something that old? Probably a mix of assembly and some old form of K&R C. The first C compilers on the Amiga were ports of a few K&R C compilers for the Atari ST.

Edited 2017-07-07 14:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 11:12 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

@Kochise "It lead me to embedded software R&D…" - Mikro?
http://www.dadhacker.com/blog/?p=1000

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kovacm
by Kochise on Fri 7th Jul 2017 14:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by kovacm"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Long story short... no.

Reply Score: 2