ST_INIT - The Atari Initialisation Program
ST_INIT is a program designed to sit in an AUTO folder, providing useful
booting facilities. When the ST is booted, ST_INIT reports the memory
and floppy disk drive configurations. If 2 drives are reported, then you
are given the option of booting from drive B. Press 'B' to boot from the
B: drive, any other key boots from A:. If B: is selected, the program
displays a message to PRESS RESET. Hit to cancel this action, or
hit the RESET button to boot from drive B:. This option is particularly
useful if, like me, you have a 1/2Mb internal drive and a 1Mb external
drive. If there is only one drive available, or any other key than 'B'
is pressed, then ST_INIT continues normally.
The next action is to report the current system time and date. MS-DOS
style time/date set options follow. This is a no-frills time setter,
designed to take a minimum of time to set. This is in reaction to the
various Public Domain time setters available, which, though otherwise
nicely done, take an age to set. Enter the time, and then the date, in
the format specified, or just hit to leave it unset. The new
system time and date are then confirmed.
ST_INIT then looks for the presence of the Public Domain monitor protect
utility NIGHT, in the AUTO folder. If found, you will be given the option
of activating or deactivating this utility. Depending on your response,
NIGHT will be executed or ignored when ST_INIT finishes. For this reason
it is important that NIGHT is inserted into the AUTO folder AFTER ST_INIT.
NIGHT is a highly reccommended utility by Moshe Branner, available from
the ST Club PD Library.
Next ST_INIT searches the root directory of drive A: for desk
accessories. If none are found then this is reported and ST_INIT
terminates. Any desk accessories found are displayed on the screen in the
form of an activation table. You can now select which desk accessories
will be loaded when the Desktop comes up. Active accessories are shown
highlighted. Move around the table using the cursor keys, and toggle the
active/inactive state of an accessory with the space bar. When you've
selected the accessories you want - hit to exit. After any
further AUTO programs have run, the Desktop will appear with the selected
accessories loaded. A quick way of exiting ST_INIT without any accessories
loaded is to hit .
Throughout, ST_INIT doesn't require specific input - to default to the
last configuration you used, just keep hitting .
Finally, ST_INIT chooses a desktop configuration from a number of
possibilities. This allows different DESKTOP.INF files to be used,
according to screen resolution. To set up alternative desktops: in high
resolution, arrange the desktop to taste, save the desktop, then rename
the resulting DESKTOP.INF file to DESKTOP.HI. Repeat for medium resolution,
renaming to DESKTOP.MED. ST_INIT will rename the appropriate file to
DESKTOP.INF on bootup. Any existing DESKTOP.INF file is given precedence.
This process is completely transparent, so it may be ignored - ST_INIT will
cope with any combination of .HI, .MED, and .INF files.
The best way to use ST_INIT is to keep a disk purely as a System Disk, to
use whenever you boot the machine. Create an AUTO folder, put ST_INIT
inside it, followed by NIGHT, if you require it, and any other AUTO folder
programs you use. Put all the desk accessories you have (or as many as
you can fit) in the top-level directory of the disk. Arrange the desktop
to your favoured format, then save it. Remember you can have High and
Medium resolution versions of the desktop.
You now have an ST system disk!
You can, of course, put subsets of all this on other disks you want to
boot from - eg. word-processors, compilers, etc.
ST_INIT works in both High and Medium resolutions - on colour systems it
automatically forces medium resolution for its own use, but a medium res
desktop.inf must be on the disk for the desktop to appear in medium res.
ST_INIT was written in GFA Basic by Simon Walker/Bulletproof Software 7/88.
Source code is available, details from:
Comments, bug reports, and suggestions for improvement welcome.