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Atari ST appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Retro Gaming and Vintage Computing' started by RevBillyG, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. RevBillyG

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,319

    Location: Neths

    Hey folks.
    So do we have any Atari fans about? Yeah, I know that Amiga was technically a superior machine, but I was always an ST fanboy :)
    At the time of my first purchase (a 520stfm) it was £100 cheaper than the Amiga, had more games and they were cheaper too.
    I believe this was the pack I first purchased:
    [​IMG]

    After a few years the STFM died (bad ram upgrade killed it) so a 1040STE was its replacement. This is still working to this day despite being a bit yellow now and having lived in the attic for the last 15years.
    All the floppy disks work too :)

    Had hours of fun playing Geoff Crammond's Formula One Grand Prix, Starglider, Jimmy White's Snooker, the Killing Cloud etc

    Also, totally by chance I discovered the built in MIDI ports. Well, that totally opened up a new world for me.
    Linked up to 2 MIDI keyboards (one as a controller and another as a toner generator as it's MIDI functionality wasn't so good.) all plugged into a Tascam Porta 07 (still have that too :))

    Always wanted a Falcon, but there were horribly expensive and the PC was staring to make a rise.

    Anyone else want to share some thoughts/memories about these great old machines?
     
  2. picnic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 14, 2009

    Posts: 1,645

    I bought a 520ST as soon as they came out at the PCW show in London. Ended up with a Mega 4 which is still in the loft although I've not powered it up for a long time. Got the official Atari hard drive for it to which I upgraded by adding a 2nd drive. I wonder if that still works.
     
  3. Firestar_3x

    Caporegime

    Joined: Mar 11, 2005

    Posts: 28,415

    Location: Leafy Cheshire

    Got a 520STE for Christmas just after release along with the games power pack and ram upgrade (iirc), some 28 years later the machine is still going strong and sat in the games room in prime of place.
     
  4. DrBombcrater

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 18, 2008

    Posts: 622

    Location: UK

    The 520STFM was my very first 16-bit system, lots of fond memories there.

    My computing journey started way back in the mists of time with a ZX81 and I owned a Spectrum +2 when the ST and Amiga hit the market, both of them just blew me away. I'd already spent some time using the original 128K Mac and contrary to the huge hype around it as the first 68000-based GUI system, I found it an underwhelming experience to say the least. The 1-bit video system and poor sound, the sluggish, unstable OS, and most of all, the endless disk swapping. Dear god, the endless, mind-numbing disk swapping.

    When the ST arrived in Britain I got to play with one and was hugely impressed; it was everything the Mac should have been. Except for the sound chip (which didn't bother me much as I was used to it from the +2, and I always liked the AY chip's sound) everything about it appealed to me; excellent graphics, fast performance even with a single floppy, and the Gem UI that I just loved right from the start. I really appreciated the ST's looks, too; I don't think Ira Velinsky was capable of designing a bad looking computer. But I was young and poor at that point and couldn't afford anything 16-bit.

    By time the STFMs became available I had saved enough money to get one. My friends were all buying Amiga 500s, but for all the Amiga's jaw-dropping graphics and sound capabilities I wasn't sold on it. Watching an A500's floppy grind away for far too much time before booting into a desktop that looked like it had been drawn in crayon by a 2-year old reminded me far too much of the Mac. So I got a 520STFM and had a ball with it. Taught myself 68K assembler and did tons of programming, and wasted far too much time playing Carrier Command, Starglider, OutRun, Super Hang On, etc . I remember the terror of eventually soldering in all the chips to do the 1024K upgrade.

    But after a couple of years I realised how much better games were starting to look and sound on the Amiga as developers got to grips with it. So when a friend-of-a-friend made me a good offer for the ST I agonised about parting with it, but in the end decided to let the ST go and ordered an A500 with an external hard drive. When the Amiga arrived I plugged it in and was greeted with this weird purple screen... I'd been sent A500+ with Workbench 2.04, the machine Commodore hadn't officially launched and nobody knew anything about. No crayon-GUI for me!

    A couple of years later I met the guy who bought my ST again and was horrified when he told me he'd killed it by spilling coke on it. That was a sad end to a good machine. I'm slowly re-buying all the old computers I didn't keep hold of when I was young, so I think there'll be another ST on my desk at some point.
     
  5. SkeeterUK

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 24, 2005

    Posts: 14,082

    Location: North East

    I don't have my 520st anymore but I got some games for it buried in my cupboard which I ain't touched since putting in there about 2001.

    There was one game I liked playing at my grandparents house as they had one called Amazon, a text adventure with some graphics. Don't think I played it much but thought the start was good.
     
  6. HippoTank

    Associate

    Joined: Apr 27, 2018

    Posts: 33

    I love Atari ST - i had these "educational" games which were really fun (and hard). Mostly logic games.
    Vindicators was a fun game, and also some James Bond speedboat game.. I still have them all
     
  7. darkgen

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 8, 2005

    Posts: 2,024

    Location: London, UK

    Aye; my father bought me an STFM pack with 23 games, which the old spunger bled out a game to me every other weekend! Certainly an upgrade from the Acorn Electron and 48k rubber keyed Spectrum!

    Like others; it's yellowed somewhat and I have ho idea about operational state considering its been up in the attic for 25 years!
     
  8. Robdav

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,531

    Location: Reading, Berkshire

    I had a 520STFM back in the day. Was always an Atari Fanboy having had a VCS, 800xl and then the ST. I don't remember what I did with it but I sure would have liked to have it now :(
     
  9. spudbynight

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 8, 2006

    Posts: 6,557

    Location: Hove, UK

    Got a 520STFM in 1987. Loved it.

    I remember as a child having a choice to buy either Oids or Dungeon Master with my pocket money. Oids was £19.99 and Dungeon Master was £24.99. Oids had received better review scores in magazines so I went with that instead. :(
     
  10. jellybeard999

    Soldato

    Joined: Feb 7, 2004

    Posts: 7,223

    Location: Co Durham

    I had an Atari ST. Got rid of it many years ago, probably around the time i got a Playstation. Wish I kept it tbh.

    A quick google suggests I had the power pack and maybe the superpack - but I'm not sure. I suspect parents got it 2nd hand or in a clearance deal or something when I was young, as it would have probably been around 1990 I got it.

    R-Type, IkariWarriors, Gauntlet, Nebulus, Bombjack, Buggy Boy, Beyond The Ice Palace, Overlander and Double Dragon were my favourites from the top of my head

    http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=468
     
  11. Housey

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Feb 21, 2006

    Posts: 24,575

    Location: England

    [​IMG]

    Mine
     
  12. RevBillyG

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,319

    Location: Neths

    That looks brand new :)
     
  13. SkeeterUK

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 24, 2005

    Posts: 14,082

    Location: North East

    Do you think Atari st games would sell for good money or just pennies. Pretty sure I've got a few boxes ones in good nick unless bugs have eaten through lol.
     
  14. gazzaa

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 6, 2004

    Posts: 1,078

    Location: leicester

    Can remember getting our 520stfm for Christmas 1989 was a big upgrade coming from our acorn electron.
     
  15. One Vision

    Hitman

    Joined: Dec 8, 2015

    Posts: 813

    ST was great games machine. Kick off i preferred on here to the Amiga, ST was faster and the goalies on Kick Off 1 on Amiga have the worst AI ever you can score on every run up.
    Geoff Crammonds F1GP as well i did 95 laps on that once on true realism mode on Hokenheim, sat there for ages, crazy stuff!
     
  16. picnic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 14, 2009

    Posts: 1,645

    Lightweight ;) Some of did a whole season of full length races at max realism :D

    Sadly still playing car simulations to this day although not retro ones just now.
     
  17. Robdav

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,531

    Location: Reading, Berkshire

    So I'm considering getting an ST after reading these retro threads. It's be near on 30 years since I had one so can someone "remind" me of what I'd need to get a decent setup going??