The Atari Preservation Society

Most of you may know of my deep seated affection for this 12 year old computer. 1985 was the year of it's release, and never has so much been squeezed out of a 16 bit architecture! Graphics, sound, midi and games, wonderful, glorious games!

This site will be about many different aspects of my life with the Atari ST. As this page evolves, I will add resources for those who knew her, and info and tribute for those who did not. I hope to let those who didn't have the pleasure of knowing this little box a sense of what the ST is like through screenshots and comparisons. If you're looking for game console, 8 bit or Falcon stuff, check out my links page. Otherwise, read on....

The Story So Far

1040 STBeing college going poor folk, my brother and I talked my dad into going "halves" with us to buy an Atari 520ST (Sixteen Thirtytwo) with a DSDD drive, 12" color monitor, 512k RAM, no hard drive and a couple of programs for about a grand. It could do MIDI right out of the box, which I loved and it was about half as much as a Mac, or IBM, which didn't include color video or midi. We thought it was the bargain of the century, even Toys R Us were selling them (and C64's!). Music and games were the order of the day, and all was right with the world. Eventually, my brother inherited that computer and in 1987 I bought a MegaST4, with 4 megabytes of RAM. This was 6.4 times more than Bill Gates said that anyone would ever need... and it had fast color graphics, midi and 3 channel audio in a world that was still loading DOS from 5.25" floppies. As you can see, it looks like a chunky, color Mac, but notice the drives all have letter names and see the IBM style path C:\DESKTOP\ in the top bar of window.

TOS Desktop


What is stands for no one knows, but "The Operating System" is really cool, a hybrid between Mac and IBM worlds. In fact, G.E.M., the Graphic Environment Manager, was produced for DOS machines for a while (though the PC version has changed since then and is no longer compatible). So, you got a Motorola 68000 (Mac, Amiga, Atari) chip with an OS that combines IBM and Mac concepts. This means there was software that came converted from both Intel and 68k worlds to the ST. There are still things that I wish my Mac would do like my Atari, like changing sort order in the file selector. The basic system was easy to use, fairly powerful and pretty darn stable - nary a crash in these 12 years. But it took a company named CODEHEAD to really crank up the ST to full speed and usefulness.

Click on one of the links below to learn more about this cool, underated computer.

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