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!

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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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: 4 Floppies
by leech on Fri 7th Jul 2017 02:53 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by feamatar on Fri 7th Jul 2017 09:20 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by JLF65 on Fri 7th Jul 2017 14:35 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: 4 Floppies
by kovacm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 08:39 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by feamatar on Fri 7th Jul 2017 09:26 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by jockm on Fri 7th Jul 2017 15:09 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by Odwalla on Sat 8th Jul 2017 17:56 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: 4 Floppies
by Odwalla on Sat 8th Jul 2017 13:41 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 4 Floppies
by Earl C Pottinger on Sun 9th Jul 2017 02:44 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 Parent Score: 1