14 May 2009

Atari ST RIP

It has been a while since my last posting. For one a ST->GFA32 porting project came across which turned out to be not portable after all. It gave me an opportunity to actually use an Atari ST again, put a floppy disk in its built-in disk at the side and listen to those cranky noises when it loads. Wow, I actually thought I missed it, but I didn't. In my mind those Atari ST days have became more romanced than they were. The magic of the Atari ST lies in its innovative OS (GEM), but the innovation was magic because this was never seen before in those days.

The Atari 1040ST still stands next to me and each time I enter my room and I look at it, I don't long for those days anymore. The last years I seriously concerned buying an old Atari ST for the sake of old times. However, now it is here, my memories have vanished and are replaced by those that made me take the step to MS-DOS and Windows. The only thing that remains are the heartbeats I recall having when I first got GFA-BASIC to work and produced my first GEM program. I think these beats were the loudest ever heard as a result of a piece of software I created. That must explain romancing the Atari ST. For me, the most valuable lesson learned is to let the Atari ST rest in peace.


  1. Cher Sjouke Hamstra

    J'écris des programmes depuis très longtemps en GFA-Basic, 16 puis 32 bits.
    Je m'en sers toujours même sous Vista !
    Je vous remercie pour maintenir ces quelques sites qui continuent à diffuser
    ce merveilleux langage qu'est le GFA.

    Voici ce que j'ai fait avec ce langage (entre autres...):

    Merci beaucoup et continuez !

    Jean-Robert Sédano

  2. I recall the Atari ST very well. Maybe my memory misleads me but what I came to appreciate most was the stability of the OS. By 1990 I was writing programs for the Atari, Amiga and PC and always developed the program on the ST and then ported over.

    The combination I came to dislike most was GFA 16 and Windows 3.1. It was absolutely hopeless! Breathe on it and it crashed. Almost any error in your code crashed the entire machine. Initially I blamed GFA and gave up and returned to DOS but when Windows 95 came out I tried GFA 16 again I found things very much better. Still typically Windows with it's instabilities but usuable.

    Thanks for setting up this site, Sjouke. I've been using GFA 32 for some years now but a copy with the German help file. Not speaking a word of German I used Internet translators when I needed to read the explanations and syntax which led to many mind boggling times. I've now downloaded the English help file and am extremely grateful for that.

    So, thanks again,

    Mac Howard

  3. Anonymous23/6/13

    You can still re-live your ST moments now days with some very good ST emulators and not have to fuss around with clunky old floppies. Most of them allow access to the native file system they run on, making importing and exporting files a breeze. They offer access to larger resolutions and speeds your 1040ST could only dream of, even network access on the host system.