Archive for the ‘Good Bloggy!’ Category


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? (more…)

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useful, since SCSI hard drives are now relatively rare and more expensive than IDE devices, and SCSI ZIP drives have been replaced by ACSI SD card readers such as the UltraSatan.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.


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: (more…)

I’ve been spending time over the last week or so getting my “new” TT sorted out. When it arrived my first job was to give the interior a clean and remove the RF shielding (early revision TT’s featured an aluminium RF shield rather than the spray on “paint” on the inside of the plastic case). I like to remove this as it serves no useful purpose whatsoever, but does cause heat build up (even though the TT has fans, the RF shield inhibits cirulation of air and prevents convective cooling) and also makes access to the system easier.  (more…)

Welcome to the homepage of PuppySoft! Here you can find information and files for all of my current software efforts on the Atari TOS platform, and musing on future projects.  (more…)