2. Software

2.1 Where can I get W@r3Z for the Atari ?

Software piracy is an illegal activity. Participating and promoting it is considered an offense on most newsgroups, and comp.sys.atari.st readers certainly are opposed to it.

The recent availability of some very good emulators (see section 1.4) has resulted in wide distribution of disk images of copyrighted software. This activity is also illegal.

If you still wish to ask for pirated software, do so at your own risk, but be aware that you will receive flames and complaints to your domain administrator that might even lead you to lose your internet account, not to mention general discredit and maybe even more trouble.

See also section 1.4.2 on TOS ROMs.

2.2 Where can I get regular software ?

There are not many of these left. There are several lists of the last survivors at the following locations:
FTP stands for 'File Transfer Protocole'. It's a means of transferring files across the Internet. FTP servers are places where all sorts of files can be found. Some FTP servers maintain Atari software available to all users.

To use FTP servers, you need an FTP client program or a web browser. Here is a little file that teaches you how to use command line FTP clients. Graphical clients or web browsers use the same principles, but are just easier to use :

There are lots of freeware and shareware programs available for the Atari ST on FTP archive sites. There are also too many FTP sites that hold Atari software to mention here, so you should rather refer to the following lists that are regularly updated: Do not forget that shareware (and sometimes freeware) means that you have to register the software if you use it regularly. Please do so as this is an encouragement for programmers to continue developing for the Atari platform.

2.3 What application software is available for Atari ?

There is no integrated "MS Office"-like package for Atari, except maybe the defunct Atari Works. The most popular commercial Word Processors are Papyrus, Protext, Sting, Le Redacteur. WordPerfect was also once available on the Atari platform. The latest supported office software is currently :
Ever since Atari launched the first laser printer under US$2000, DTP and graphics have been one of the platform's major strengths. Although some of these program will run on an 8Mhz ST, they are usually designed for more powerful machines.
Because the Atari has had built-in Midi ports since it's earliest days, it has been used in studios and on stages all over the world as a professional system. The star programs are:
This topic is covered in Section 4.2 of this FAQ.

2.4 Can I upgrade my operating system ?

The ST's operating system, TOS, is on ROM chips on most STs. Only the a few of the earlier machines had TOS 0.99 on disk. Upgrading your TOS means replacing the old ROMs with new ROM or EPROM chips.

TOS 1.2 (1.02) came on 6 chips, TOS 1.4 (1.04) came on either 6 or 2 chips. All later versions came on 2 chips. TOS 2.06 is the latest version that can be used in an ST(e/f/fm). TOS 3.xx is for TTs and TOS 4.xx is for Falcons. These two are highly hardware dependent and cannot be used on other machines. Here is a quick list of the main TOS versions from Atari:

Upgrading TOS from a 2 chip version to a newer 2 chip one is quite simple, provided you change two jumpers on the motherboard (W102 and W104). The instructions on how to do this can be found here : For upgrading old 6 chip TOS machines to TOS 2.06, look here: Plans for a TOS 2.06 board can be found here: Otherwise there are a few TOS upgrade boards available as well as Double-TOS boards allowing you to switch from your older TOS to 2.06 with an extra switch. This is to bypass compatibility problems with older programs.

There are also third party replacement operating systems such as MagiC and Geneva (TOS-like multitasking systems) or MiNT and Linux-68K (UNIX-like systems).

Atari ST Quick FAQ - v2.9a - bales@online.fr