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  1. #21
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    Actually, I am lucky in that I had both Amigas and Ataris way back in... crikey... I had just started colledge so that was 20 years ago!!!

    Anyway, the ST v the Amiga at the time sure, GEM was poor... It was close to being fowl Im not going to argue that one out, and it was very bland compared to Amigs WorkBench, but like the amiga, GEM has developed. It is absolutely nothing like it used to be... Or rather to be fair, the replacement desktops you can get for the Atari, might at first glance, look like GEM, they are far, far from it.

    Sure, the AES is still GEM based, the VDI is still GEM based, but the whoel OS is nothing like it.

    My preferred O/S on my Ataris is MAGIC ( v6.2 )
    My preferred Desktop is JINNEE ( v2.5 )

    Now, both of these are still commercial, however a very popular free OpenSource O/S is MiNT... It seems that the preferred Desktop for MiNT is THING.


    Both MiNT and Magic are fully preemptive Multitasking OSes and both have completely left the standard GEM years ago in the dark ages.

    MiNT is based on UNIX originally and since Linux has taken a foothold in the PC world, MiNT has also developed too... For example, an Atari running MiNT, can use any combination of Atari, Windows, or Linux partitions as it feels like, it can also run a great deal of Linux, or rather "X" based softwware, and this is alongside the Atari software... Kind of like users who run Linux, can use WINE to run Windows programs, but this is an Atari running Linux programs without the need for wine, plus as I said, it can use Linux, windows and Atari partitions just fine.

    Magic can use FAT16/FAT32 Partitions and Atari Partitions but not linux/minix ones.

    To say that Ataris these days is still using GEM is just like saying the Amigas all use the classic WorkBench from the A500 - its a complete lie and quite frankly ridiculous and just stupid to even consider it.

    When I show people my Atari, they call me a liar and say its a Mac or a PC but they cannot accept that its an Atari.

    Too man ypeople seem to assume that all Ataris are the ST but like the Amiga has changed from the A500, the ST has also changed too!

    ---

    Yes, GEM is restrictive right out of the box, but then so is WorkBench.

    GEM is only meant to be a GET-U-Going Setup, this is where replacement Desktops come into it ,and which is why there are so many of them, much like Linux.
    I myself as I say prefer Jinnee, and I will give you a handfull of perfect examples... AS this is how I have mine setup.

    I right click on a WAV file, a Contect menu pops up... I can

    CONVERT ( to a number of other Sample formats, or maybe MP3 or OGG )
    MAKE MONO/STEREO
    Simply play it back with some other program ( I have setup GEMJING )
    Plus the other thigns such as DELETE etc.

    I have set up scripts to do similar thigns with other filetypes such as converting or opening up various PICCIES etc...

    All with tiny scripts

    I have written tons of the most useless junk, but there is almost nothing that I cannot do with any file all from the Desktop, and all in just a click or two.

    No, I have to openly admit however, that the built-in GEM on all Ataris is not very nice at all, and I think I stopped bothering with even trying to use the built-in GEM sometime around 1990 and even before that I never cared for it.

    Thats one area the Amiga really was better, but really guys, the replacement desktops left the Amiga behind in almost every respect because they did exactly what the original GEM failed to do.

    So, check out JINNEE or its older version EASE - both of these can use Windows, Linux or MAC Icons and both are fairly customisable, Jinnee with its scripting even more so.

    In terms of Power, there is nothign in them even today... Both the Amiga and the Atari I am sure, both have clones, some based around the 680x0 up to wherever that is now? - and both have clones based around teh coldfire project which are what 300MHZ?

    Both have graphics cards, the atari very much seems to be based around ATI, I myself have an ATI RAGE but I have only last week bought myself a 4xPCI Slots adapter which has built-in driver support for the ATI 7000 and 7500 cardsso that will help out in not needing a VGA Switcher

    Both can use Extra SoundCards, I could use a Creative SBLIVE or AUDIGY and aparently the XFI too ( What for? ) but I myself see absolutely no reason to bother and I am perfectly happy with the OnBoard stuff and an FDI unit for the Optical Audio

    I have a mate who lives up the road, who is an Amiga fanatic... We both have laughs at each other in the pub, Me at his Amoeba and him at my TiTTy ( I also have An Atari TT too, that he calls my titty although the falcon is the real beast ) and we have both realised somehting... Both the Amiga and the Atari are NOTHING like we thought they were... He could not believe that my Atari could do half the thigns it could and many things it can do taht the Amiga could not, but again, his amiga can do this that my Atari could not, and in both cases, we both agreed that this was only down to the fact that our software list was limited and that they are both more than capable of doing anything that we wanted them to... Within reason!

    Atari Emulation:-

    Nah, I got to be completely honest with you, but Atari Emulation is really only based around the ST, and even then, its really only for playing back the old ST games.

    This is somehting thats lacking massively if you ask me.

    A few EMualtors to try are STEEM, SAINT, PacifiST, NoSTalgia, GEMulator My favourite I suppose )

    Annoyingly even the ones like STEEM do allow vistual screen modes, they still dont allow more than 16 Colours - Im not up on emulators though... Never seen a need to since I have the real thing.

    Oh, and of course UAE also emulates the ST too!

    Ok, so they will only emulate the shitty ST screen modes, but at least if you get them up and running nicely, you can install Magic & Jinnee or even MiNT & Thing and then once you see them running, you will see just how far the Atari really has come...

    ---

    Oh, one more thing before I go... Here is a great trick to show people that no other computer platform does... As far as I know anyway...

    I use Magic & Jinnee as I said.

    Now, lets just say that I am working on a WebPage of some description...

    I select VIEW SOURCE, and my HTML Editor comes up... I use QED Text Editor ( Bit like NotePad I suppose )

    I start typing, and automatically, in the background, I can see the webpage changing... AS I type!!! - Cool.

    The changes I am making in the source code, are automatically beign sent to the HTML Viewer.

    WOW, ok, what about Pictures then? - I choce to view the picture instead, and then I do summat to it, and the picture on the WEBPAGE gets changed to!!! - Sweet or what?
    Sod it, I didnt want to do that, no problem, I just dont save it and bingo, the picture goes back to how it should be!!! - Windows does not even do that... Full control of all programs and full interaction with each other even though they are not in any way linked to each other!!!

    I suppose you have to see it to understand, but its somehtign that no one else has ever seen before or since except those who have a proper Atari.

  2. #22
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    I've not used them but I have seen many screenshots and read quite a bit about the replacement OSs and desktops for the ST. Definitely a huge and impressive improvement over GEM and as you say it is hard to believe they could be running on the same platform.

    However have you seen or used the more recent versions of the Amiga's Workbench, now called Amiga OS? A classic amiga running Amiga OS 3.9 or a PPC Amiga running Amiga OS4?

    Even the 1991 Workbench 2.04 was a huge leap forward from the older more limited Workbench 1.3 that was included with the A500. But even 1.3 showed up GEM.

    Personally from looking at the alternative OSs for the ST, they are a huge improvement, but still not up to the standard of a well customised Amiga!

    Plus you forgot to mention one little detail. The ST's hardware is far inferior to the Amiga's and that will never change. he he.

    BTW, the comments about live editing between applications is very interesting and possibly the one saving grace of your fight for the ST in this thread. Although, while not system wide, Adobe/Macromedia applications on the PC/Mac are cross linked with live editing possible between them. And Dreamweaver allows live preview of pages as they are developed.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  3. #23
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    For me the only experiance i have of Atari computers is through the hatari emulator for OS4 and that can only really emulate the ST and STE so i'm stuck with GEM. It's great to hear that the Atari's are still developing and still have just as many nutjobs as the Amiga community does.
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  4. #24
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    That is very true. These days both platforms are mostly used by existing enthusiasts and it is great to see dedicated users still trying to squeeze as much as they can out of them.

    For me is highlights just how little today's computers are being pushed in comparison. Imagine what could be squeezed out of a PC if it were really pushed to its limits. Instead a games developer will just write for a faster graphics card and CPU to save development time.

    About the only platforms pushes as far are games consoles, where the fixed hardware introduces similar restraints as the life of the platform progresses and developers try to get more and more from them.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  5. #25
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    In regard to ST hardware being inferior, this is true when it comes to games but not serious applications. I was a music major way back when laser printers had very little or no RAM so it took FOREVER on my Amiga to print a score. My ST would print the first page almost immediately because of the DMA port. Also, without the MIDI ports being standard, the Amiga didn't have the music software I needed. From a musician, desktop publishing and student's point of view, the hardware was better on the ST hands down (except for games of course).

    I can see why people would think the A500 had better hardware than the ST because of the hardware sprites, colors, etc., but when it came time to actually get some work done, I had to be more realistic.

  6. #26
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    Hi quackmore and welcome to classicamiga.

    Great opening post to make on an Amiga board to get the juices flowing! It might be years on but the ST vs Amiga debate continues, even though we all know full well how much more advanced Amiga hardware was compared to the off the shelf components that made up the ST.

    The STs hardware was very inferior to the Amigas. The ST has to process everything though it's CPU, whereas the Amiga's identical CPU has the backup of a custom chipset of other dedicated chips that can be called on to process graphics, blitter, music, disk access etc... leaving the CPU to get on with other things.

    The graphics and audio capacities of the Amiga were far ahead of the ST (and anything else at the time). Graphics software things like 3D bitmap editing and 3D rendering were far ahead of anything the ST could manage, and many other areas of productivity software were just as far ahead of anything the ST could manage.

    As you mentioned, the ST to do well in two areas of productivity software... MIDI sequencing and DTP. The ST enjoyed DTP due to Atari building in the monochrome hi resolution screenmode that tied in with a dedicated Atari monitor. This was far cheaper than Apple Macs at the time so quickly became a poor mans systems for DTP. However DTP software did exist on the Amiga too, and it wasn't any worse that ST DTP software. Pagestream for example was a great DTP program on the Amiga.

    The other, MIDI sequencing, was entirely down to Atari building in midi ports. The Amiga was just as capable of the same music tasks, but you needed to buy a MIDI expansion that connected to the parallel port. Developers seemed to miss this point and due to the ST getting Cubase the rest is history. The Amiga enjoyed MIDI applications such as Bars and Pipes but once the STs were in the recording studios it was game over for MIDI.

    Now a music mod tracker. That is a whole different thing. No other system at the time could compete with a decent MOD tracker, composing 4 channel stereo 8-bit music tracks using real audio samples sounded great, and the mod tracks still sound great today. The ST hardware couldn't compete with that. With its 3 channel mono yamaha chip. Atari tried to fix this with the 4 channel stereo added to the STE, but that was late into the ST life.

    Your final point about harddrive and laser printers is a fair one to some degree. The ST enjoyed the fact that Atari also made laser printers so they obviously built an Atari specific connector in with direct support for their own printers. They were always going to give that an advantage. Commodore in contrast didn't really made printers in the way Atari did, but then laser printers were not really commonplace back then anyway. The inclusion of the HD port was also an interesting one. However remember that the Amiga A500 had a full side expansion slot that allowed full CPU accelerators to be connected, as well as SCSI HDDs, more memory, CD-Rom drives etc... making the Amiga far more expandable than the ST.

    I'm afraid that ST owners can argue until they are blue in the face, but the truth is that the Amiga hardware is far more advanced than that of the ST, and it only enjoyed MIDI and DTP superiority due to a couple of extra ports included on the ST. Hardware wise it wasn't even close.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  7. #27
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    Thanks for the warm welcome and in depth reply!

    I think everything you've said is pretty accurate and I agree with everything except "more advanced" statement. Keep in mind, those ports/interfaces WERE considered advanced hardware back then.

    So the Amiga had more advanced graphics & sound hardware, and the ST had more advanced hardware which pertained to music and DTP.

    The problem with the whole "debate" thingy is that these were not similar computers, they both had their strengths and weaknesses. Anybody who can honestly say that one is better than the other in every single way possible, hasn't really thought it though.

    It's funny if you think about it, we wouldn't even be having this discussion had Commodore installed those few cheap interfaces on the A500... Or, if Atari would have used the Amiga design in the first place which I heard they were supposed to do.

    I've gotten rid of most of my Amiga's and Atari's, I still have 1 1040ST and 1 A500. Although I still have my Falcon CT60, I just sold my A4000 to a friend. Neither of them have been used in years (aside from booting them up) I'm sad to say.

    So, I hope by frequenting this and other boards, I'll get motivated into getting back into things instead of just sitting on my PC laptop.

  8. #28
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    Had Commodore included the additional ports the ST had then yes...it could be very different and the Amiga might have also ruled the recording studio, which would have left the Atari where? Dead in the water.

    I personally don't view a few extra ports as meaning the ST had more advanced hardware. The Amiga could easily gain these ports by using relatively inexpensive expansions. What made the Amiga far more advanced over the ST was the internal hardware design which was 10 years ahead of any other computer.

    It had much better memory handling than the ST, and even an A500 could be expanded to 9MB. Plus expansion port built in for the direct expansion of CPUs, HDDs, more ram etc... which was hard to do on an STFM for example. But the true killer feature of the Amiga design has to still be multitasking. Right from the first A1000 in 1985 the Amiga had fully hardware mulitasking, meaning many programs could be loaded at once and all running at the same time. No other computer could do that at the time, or for many years. Look at the Mac for example. It couldn't multitask at all until OSX came out! But the Amiga took that ever further. Not just being able to have multiple programs running at once, but also each running in their own screen with its own resolution and colour depth, with each screen stacked up one behind the other, and the ability to pull down the screens between each in realtime. Even modern PC graphics cards can't do this.

    Any advances in multitasking and other additional features the replacement OSs and desktops have on the ST are all software based. The Amiga does this at the hardware level. And some aspects of this are still considered advanced even today.

    The ST's internal hardware is by comparison very primitive and a bit if a joke.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  9. #29
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    Wasn't a case of Atari supposed to be using the Amiga design.
    Jack Tramiel was offered it but he didn't see the need for a 16 bit computer at the time.
    Commodore got second pick so to speak.
    Atari then did a U turn and tried to play catchup.

    If Jack had been a bit more forward thinking, I don't think m$ was have had the easy ride to dominance they have enjoyed.

    No early days of competiton between the Atari and the Amiga could have given a bigger lead in the computing race.

    The same arguement could also be laid at the door of Commodore.
    The AGA machines were a cut down version of what the engineers had developed and want to produce.
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  10. #30
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    Well, the Amiga is the true successor to the Atari 8-bit systems as both were designed by Jay Minor. It was only when Atari refuses to accept Jay's idea to develop a new chipset for a 16-bit system that he left Atari and formed Hi-Toro to design the chipset himself. Atari then tried to buy back the rights to the Amiga, and even partly funded its development. But we know what happened next.

    Therefore the Amiga is the true 16-bit Atari, although I don't think it would have been as good had Atari won and taken over development of the Amiga. The OS for one probably would have suffered. Although Atari might have added MIDI ports and possibly some other Atari specific ports.

    I still think Commodore securing the Amiga was the better outcome. But we will never know what might have been different has Atari secured it instead.

    I also agree regarding the AGA chipset, but that is later in the life of the Amiga. The A1000/A500/A2000 was the true original Amiga, and that delivered what Jay wanted at the time. The AGA chipset should have been released much sooner. Wasn't it ready when the A3000 was released? Or soon after. And the AAA chipset would have changed Commodores future I'm sure. But that is all in the past and impossible to change now. Atari made bad development decisions with the on going development of the ST, just as much as Commodore did with the Amiga.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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