UPDATE: GEM Documentation

Posted: October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

More documents have been added to GEM Programmer’s Documentation, including a scan of the OSS Personal Pascal v2 reference manual, which I believe has not been available on-line until now. Thanks to Fujiman for scanning his originals!

OSS Personal Pascal was one of the most GEM friendly programming languages on the ST, and was also well documented. The manual has a huge section on GEM calls and how to structure GEM application code.

DOWNLOAD LINK: OSS Personal Pascal v2: Reference Manual (PDF 12.7mb)


I started work on this project a long time ago, but after a long hiatus, some of the work was lost in a hard drive failure. This project is now restarted and active, so check back here for updates.

The project will be a functional translation of Expresso, the wysiwyg HTML editor released in French by OXO systems. Translation is being carried out in Interface v2.30.

And here’s a screencap of progress, for those interested in such things…. Google, the answer to all of life’s problems?


GEM Programmers Documentation

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

I am compiling a selection of resources useful for the GEM programmer that are either hard to track down, scattered around, or not available at all. Where possible I have compiled them (or recompiled them) into PDF documents for readability and printer friendliness.

This is partly for my own reference to consolidate everything into one space, but I hope it will also be of use to others looking to experiment with GEM development.

You can find the documentation in the link at the top of the page for GEM Programmer’s Documentation.


So, having some free time after my exams, I’ve decided to think of what projects I’d like to work on for the TOS platform. My firstt ask is really to get back in coding in general, since it’s been over 10 years since I’ve done anything, and that was with 8-bit Atari Basic, and ST Basic, neither being notable for encouraging a structured approach.

I have been playing around a little with GFA Basic, and that has helped give me some discipline at this area, but there is a long way to go, especially in dealing with Resource Editors, and linking them to GFA code, not something I’ve ever dealt with before.

Nonetheless, here’s a few of my ideas: Read the rest of this entry »


So, as it has come to moving house (albeit only accross campus), I was faced with the startling realisation of just how many DVDs I have. To save space, I long ago decided to discard keeping the individual cases in favour of bulk folders – with the benefit that several hundred DVDs now fit on half a shelf. However, it was only when running through them, making sure that everything was present and correct for moving, just how difficult it was to find anything in paticular. There was no system. Time then, to undertake that most loathed of tasks, creating a digital catalogue system for my movie collection, yay! Just like being back on the first year of my Software Engineering course many years ago…

To make the task a little more paletable I decided to create and run it on the TT, using Phoenix. And this made me think just how much I do use my TT as a daily system. Most of my university assignments are written on it, using Papyrus X. Scanning and image editing for same asignemnts is done using GT-Look2 and Photoline. Graphing of data is handled by 3D-Calc, and Phoenix handles my inevitable database requirements. So, how does a standard Single TOS setup on a stock TT meet those requirements in 2012? Read the rest of this entry »

One of the best things about the TT is that it has both internal and external SCSI as standard. Given that ACSI-SCSI host adapters for the ST now cost more than the ST itself, that is no small benefit. Although many modern Atarians take the view that SCSI is no longer that useful, since SCSI hard drives are now relatively rare and more expensive than IDE devices, and SCSI ZIP drives have been replaced by ACSI SD card readers such as the UltraSatan. However, when it comes to scanners (and to some degree, CD burners) on the Atari, SCSI is still king. There is no USB TWAIN support on the Atari platform at all. So, if you need to do image editing on Atari, SCSI is a godsend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Commendations to Comrade Rupert of ST Freakz! He has a supply of fully compatible HD 1.44mb drives that are “plug n play” compatible with all Atari TOS systems, including that obscure beast, the TT. The drive in my TT was sadly rather unhealthy.

I initially swapped it out with that from the STe which worked fine, but 1) left the STe with no drive, and 2) meant the TT only had a 720k DD drive instead of 1.44mb HD. Since, unlike on the PC, floppy disks still play an important role on Atari systems, that is not very helpful.

Rather than refurbishing old drives, Rupert’s offering is a brand new drive but assured to be completely compatible, being recognized either as HD or DD depending on what type the system supports. However, the fascia that comes with the drive is that of the standard PC types, with a rectangular eject button and flat rather than lipped face. Thus, to mount it in the stock TT case the eject button needs to be filed down to avoid snagging on the case (meaning the disk wont be read).Even with this though, the drive leaves a frankly ugly cosmetic appearance, since the lip on the Atari drives covers up the raw edges of the mounting point. I asked Rupert if it would be possible to swap the fascia over with that from the dead Atari (actually a customised Epson) drive. He informed me that you couldn’t, and on examination the mounting lugs for the two models are in different locations.

However, not be deterred it turns out there is a rather “hack” method of re-using the original fascia to create a pretty good aesthetic result that does still work a treat:

 So, here’s the how-to: Read the rest of this entry »