Atari ST TT Falcon

Welcome to Atarimania's ST-section!

What you see here is the start of the biggest Atari ST / TT / Falcon030 software database in Atari history. So far we've been working hard on the games section, and work has already started on the utilities and the demos sections too. Browse the database and you will find information about the games and who made them, screenshots, reviews and much more, as well as original dumps. Because it's our goal to make it as complete and accurate as possible, we urge you to do the following: if you own rare Atari ST games, please send us pictures and we will add the titles to our database. Also, if you own good quality scans of boxes, adverts or magazines, please let us know.

But first, a little bit of history:

The Atari ST was born in 1985 after Commodore's Jack Tramiel left CBM and bought the Atari home computer division from Warner. He and the designer Shiraz Shivji had one goal in mind: To create an affordable and yet powerful computer for homes and small offices.

With an original price of 999 dollars including a high-resolution monitor it was half the price of its closest rival, the Macintosh Plus. The Letters "ST" refer to the machine's internal architecture (Sixteen/Thirty-two bits) and its operating system TOS, which stands for The Operating System. The ST-line saw upgrades almost every year. From the world's first 999 dollars per megabyte machine, the 1040ST (1986), to the true 32bit beast, the Atari TT (1990) and Atari's last home computer Falcon030 (1992). The bestselling model was the 520STfm (1987) with it's built-in double sided disk drive and tv-modulator.

However, the Atari ST-series was a lot more than just a great games machine. It was seen as a great alternative in business use to replace the Macintosh or IBM-compatible computers, especially in Germany. The ST's strongest area in the business world was desktop publishing (DTP), thanks largely to Calamus and Atari's own laser printer. But the major breakthrough was in the music industry. In the early 90's, 1040s or Mega ST's were the primary machines in music studios around the world thanks to their built-in MIDI ports, rock solid timing and professional software, like C-LAB's Notator or Steinberg's Cubase. Their most popular appearance, in front of 2.5 million people, was July 14th 1990, when Jean Michel Jarre used 11 Mega ST4's on stage in Paris at la Defense -concert.

The easy to use GEM interface, affordable price and the idea of being a great all-around home computer were the major selling points for the first 16bit home computer that put the graphical user interface in homes to stay. Whether you wanted to play great games or start your own business, the ST-line offered something for every budget.

Truly "Power Without the Price".

Different ST-models (Home or small business):

520ST: 8MHz Motorola 68000 with 512k ram, single sided 360kb disk drive and the first version of the TOS operating system, either on disk or in ROM. Can only be used with RGB- or Atari's monochrome-monitor. Some very old games and applications only runs on an original ST.

1040ST: Upgraded version with one megabyte of memory.

520STm: ST with built-in TV-modulator.

1040STf: ST with built-in double-sided 720k diskdrive.

520/1040 STfm: The most popular ST-model. Has both built-in 720kb disk drive and TV-modulator. TOS 1.02 (or 1.04 in later revisions).

520/1040 STe: Marketed as the ST for the nineties. Improved color palette (16 from 4096 colors), blitter chip for hardware scrolling, digital 8bit PCM stereo sound and easy to upgrade SIMM RAM up to 4mb. Very little supported by the games industry, but titles like Obsession or Star Dust really show what it is capable of. Rainbow TOS 1.06 or 1.62.

Falcon030: Latest and greatest of them all. 16MHz 68030-processor, 32MHz DSP-coprocessor, optional FPU, true color graphics processor (VIDEL), up to 14mb of memory, internal IDE hard disk, 1.44mb disk drive, 16bit 8-channel stereo sound, SCSI and a blitter. TOS 4.0x. The real Amiga-smasher. Very rare, and regularly sells for over 250 euros on Ebay at the time of writing. Only a handful of commercial games were released, mainly by Atari or Silmarils.

Business models:

MegaST: Standard STfm in a desktop case with a detachable keyboard. Later revisions include blitter chip. TOS 1.04.

MegaSTe: 16MHz Atari STe in a TT-like desktop case with TOS 2.0x and detachable keyboard. An optional FPU, VME bus for expansion cards and a hard disk. Later models include 1.44mb floppy drive.

STacy: Portable STfm with high resolution display and an optional built-in hard disk.

TT030: The real powerhouse for desktop publishing. 68030 32MHz and FPU in desktop case with detachable keyboard. Up to 16mb of memory, built-in hard disk, SCSI and VME-bus for expansion cards. TOS 3.0x. Up to 1280x960 pixels with graphics-card and dedicated 19" monitor.

ST Book: Very rare portable ST with high resolution display.

C-LAB Falcon: Manufactured under license from Atari. Has upgraded audio and SCSI hard disk. Later models ran on 32MHz.

Different display modes:

Low 320x200 pixels, 50/60Hz, 16 colors from palette of 512 (4096 on (Mega)STe/TT030). Most used resolution for games and painting applications.

Medium 640x200 pixels, 50/60Hz, 4 colors from palette of 512 (4096 on (Mega)STe/TT030). Offers the ability to use serious applications (when supported) on color displays. Also supported by some games, mainly text adventures.

High 640x400 pixels, 72Hz, monochrome. Needs a dedicated monitor (SM124, SM144 or VGA-display with adapter). Mostly used for serious applications. Games from Sierra and Lucasfilm usually work in monochrome.

RGB For Atari Falcon true color modes from 320x200 to interlaced 640x400.

VGA TT030 or Falcon non-interlaced 640x480 resolution up to 256 colors (16 on TT).

Enjoy your visit!

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