[GTALUG] [GW-C] Re: Anyone on the list know what I need to read ancient Apple disks?

Stewart C. Russell scruss at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 13:26:04 UTC 2015

On 2015-01-05 05:49 PM, D. Hugh Redelmeier wrote:
> (The Atari ST was a lot faster booting because more of its OS was in
> ROM.  On the other hand, the OS didn't advance very quickly or very
> much. 

The Atari ST was a bit of a disappointment in that it needed a disk to
boot. It didn't do much with that disk: just checked to see if it had a
boot sector, and if not, started vanilla DR GEM on top of TOS. If it
hadn't had that requirement, the OS would've booted instantly.

(I still have a tiny soft spot for Atari STs, because of the University
of Strathclyde's rather quirky approach to computer acquistion. All of
the Mechanical Engineering department ran Atari STs/ATWs* when I was
there, so much of my early lab work was done on a crisp B&W Atari
display and horrid squodgy keyboard. Hey, it was better than the CompSci
group who decided that everyone should have a Sinclair QL [68008,
multitasking, weird Microdrive floppy tape drives, hugely buggy] a few
years before. I'm sure they are still finding store rooms full of
ancient QLs in Glasgow.)

> The original Amiga had almost all the OS in RAM because they
> knew it wasn't yet mature.)
Everything after the A1000 had most of the OS in ROM, though the system
got a bit sprawling with AmigaDOS 2.0 and later. The A1000 had a
separate RAM page for the Kickstart "WOM" information, since early
versions were quite buggy. I was rather fond of the old Tripos-based
AmigaDOS, which did pretty nifty multitasking in a system with no MMU.

Since I spent so much time writing about Amigas, I sometimes toy with
getting some vintage hardware — but then I realise I can emulate it
perfectly in my browser …


*: Yes, we had a couple of Atari Transputer Workstations. They were very
cool, but almost impossible to program applications for.

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