Archive-name: csas-faq/part2

Welcome to! Please read this FAQ before posting a question
to, since a lot of common questions are answered here.

Thanks to David Paschall-Zimbel	( for 
compiling most of this FAQ.

Entries are dated by the last change. ??.??.?? means they were last changed
before the dates were added.

The following is an index of the questions answered in this part of the FAQ.
For easy access to a particular question, search for the tag surrounded by
colons (i. e. :GNU:). Questions marked with '*' are new or changed.

 WEL      Welcome to
 ARCS     How do I deal with Archived files (.ZOO, .ARC, .LZH)?
 MSA      Some info on Magic Shadow Archiver
 CLI      What Command Line Interpreters are available?
 ERR      What does TOS ERROR nn mean?
 GDOS     What is GDOS, and where can I get it?
 GNU      What GNU software is available for the ST?
 HAM      Where can I find Ham Radio software for the ST?
 LANG     Public Domain/Shareware languages...
 MINIX    Is MINIX available on the Atari ST?
 MINT     What is MiNT?
 XWIN     Is there a version of XWindows for the ST?
 DEMOS    Why won't demo x run on my machine?
 PAINT    What is the format for [x] paint program data?
 PD       Where can I get Public Domain/Shareware software?
 MAIL     E-Mail file servers
 FTP      Anonymous FTP servers
 TEX      Is TeX/LaTeX available on the Atari ST?

:WEL:   93.06.11
Welcome to

This newsgroup is devoted to discussion about 16 and 32 bit Atari micros.  At
present that includes the Atari 520ST, 1040ST, Mega ST, STe, STacy, Mega STe,
TT, and Falcon. There are also emulators for the Apple Macintosh and IBM
PC/XT/AT available.

Most of the people who read this newsgroup are technically oriented.
The newsgroup serves as a resource for Atari users ... feel free to
contribute to the discussions.

Associated newsgroups include:	! uuencoded binary programs  ! technical programming/hardware topics   ! uuencoded/shar sources

:ARCS:   93.06.11
How do I deal with Archived files (.ZOO, .ARC, .LZH)?

Files ending with suffixes .ZOO, .ARC, .ZIP and .LZH are archive files.  They
are binary files which may contain one or more other files in a compressed 
format. Archive files usually take up less disk space, and for this reason have
become quite popular for transferring large files via modem.

In order to extract the files from an archive file, one must use an archive
program.  Here are the correspondences:


A few hints for first-time users:

* Most archivers will give a short summary of commands if invoked with no
* If in doubt, to extract a file, copy the archiver to the directory that the
  file is in, and run the archiver with the arguments 'x [filename]'.
* If you have TOS 1.4 or higher, and/or a CLI, you can avoid copying the
  archiver by just changing the current directory to where the file is. See
  TIPS for a tip on how to do this from the desktop on TOS 1.4 or higher.
* Read the documentation for the archivers you use, they will almost certainly
  answer all your questions. Documentation is usually included in both the
  source and binary distributions (such as zoo21bin.zoo).

These programs are all available via FTP from the atari.archive server, in the
/atari/archivers directory.  Recommended files are:

	arc602.ttp   - version 6.02 of ARC, includes features to archive
		       subdirectories and also include comments with files.

	arc602.arc   - contains documentation.  UnArc using arc602.ttp.

	arc521e.arc  - older version of ARC.  Used mostly by those who want
		       speed, better compression, and don't care about
		       archiving subdirectories.  UnArc using arc602.ttp.

	lharc.ttp    - version 2.0 of LHARC.

	lzh201i.lzh  - Thomas Questors lzh utility.  German documentation.
		       UnArc using lharc.ttp

        stzip22.lzh  - STZip, with GUI interface

        unzip41.lzh  - Old version of unzip

	zoo21.ttp    - version 2.1 of ZOO

	zoo21bin.zoo - ZOO archive includes documentation. UnArc using

:MSA:   93.06.11
Some info on Magic Shadow Archiver
(This was provided by Chris Herborth)

MSA Archives

The Magic Shadow Archiver (MSA) is a disk archiving program that allows
an entire disk to be compressed into one file for transmission.  The
Magic Shadow Archiver (in shadow.[arc?|lzh?|zoo?] on in ~/Archivers) creates .MSA files, which are
often compressed using a normal archiver, such as zoo or lharc.

Magic Shadow is notoriously bad when used on a 1/2 meg ST and only one
floppy drive.  Its disk access and memory use are very badly thought
out, and could result in over 160 disk swaps when unpacking an 80 track,
double-sided disk.

Due to the fact that it was the _only_ disk image archiver around for
quite a long time, Magic Shadow is the de-facto standard for creating
disk images of computer demos and other pieces of software that cannot
be easily compressed as files.

Because MSA files are disk images, they can only be used to recreate a
floppy disk.  There is (currently, see below) no way to extract the
files from an MSA archive without writing it to a floppy disk.

Magic Shadow works perfectly with any legal TOS floppy format, even high
density disks found in modified STs and most MegaSTes and TTs.

Chris Herborth ( at work, at home,
C.HERBORTH on GEnie) is writing a much more efficient MSA extractor,
called UnMSA.  UnMSA will minimize the number of disk swaps, and speed
decompression considerably.

Daryl Richards (no email address, yet) is working on an MSA-Mounter,
which will allow someone to unpack an MSA archive to RAM or a file on
a hard disk.  This uncompressed disk image will then be added to the
system as a logical drive (much the same way a RAMdisk adds a drive to
the system).  MountImage on the Mac is an example of the way MSA-Mounter
will eventually work (MountImage is so good, you can install new
versions of the Mac OS using floppy disk images stored on your hard

There is yet another MSA archiver now, called MSA II, by Phillip Lang.

:CLI:   ??.??.??
What Command Line Interpreters are available?

There are a large number of Command Line Interpreters for the Atari ST.
Some of the more popular ones include:

	gulam	  the 'classic' cli, somewhat UNIX in flavor

	BASH	  GNU Bourne Again Shell

	ksh	  Korn Shell - available under MINT

	gemini    MUPFEL is the shell used by the gemini environment

        master    MS-DOS/Unix mixture, shareware.

	okami	  a German shell with many useful utilities built in

	pcommand  an MS-DOS-like shell

	csh	  C-shell, standard on Unix

	tcsh	  Enchanced C-shell - available under MiNT

Check atari.archive under /atari/cli or /atari/mint, or check one of the
other FTP sites for files.

:ERR:   ??.??.??
What does TOS ERROR nn mean?
What do the bombs on my screen mean?

The information below was written, in part, by Darryl May, and posted on
GEnie in January (of ????) by John Townsend.  The original also appeared in
the June 1988 issue of _Current Notes_ (122 N. Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA
22170). It has since found its way to me, and is being posted to as a service to readers.

Alan Pratt wrote to tell me that the basic information may be correct, but
that it cannot be dubbed "official" unless it originates, on paper, from
Atari.  This makes sense, as electronic communications are easily
modified, even accidentally.

Roland Waldi provided information regarding the difference between TOS and
GEM return codes which appears to be correct.  The tables have been modified
to reflect his information.

    The following is an unofficial list of the errors that can appear
while you are operating your ST computer.
          Error description         return code      alert box #
             OK (no error)....................0
             Fundamental error...............-1
             Drive not ready.................-2
             Unknown command.................-3
             CRC error.......................-4
             Bad request.....................-5
             Seek error......................-6
             Unknown media...................-7
             Sector not found................-8
             No paper........................-9
             Write fault....................-10
             Read fault.....................-11
             General error..................-12
             Write protect..................-13
             Media change...................-14
             Unknown device.................-15
             Bad sectors on format..........-16
             Insert other disk..............-17
             Invalid function number........-32............1
             File not found.................-33............2
             Path not found.................-34............3
             No handles left................-35............4
             Access denied..................-36............5
             Invalid handle.................-37............6
             Insufficient memory............-39............8
             Invalid memory block address...-40............9
             Invalid drive specified........-46...........15
             No more files..................-49...........18
             Range error....................-64...........33
             Internal error.................-65...........34
             Invalid program load format....-66...........35
The last code is the infamous "TOS error 35"!

Also, some unofficial information via Alan Pratt:

  Notably, you should add -48: ENSAME (not the same drive, occurs when
  you call Frename and the two names you give aren't on the same drive),
  and -67: EGSBF: you can't use Mshrink to GROW a block of memory.

     Those bombs that appear on your screen are error messages from
 the 68000 micro-processor.

          Description                     of bombs
             Reset: Initial PC2...............1
             Bus Error........................2
             Address Error....................3
             Illegal Instruction..............4
             Zero Divide......................5
             CHK Instruction..................6
             TRAPV Instruction................7
             Privilege Violation..............8
             Line 1010 Emulator..............10
             Line 1111 Emulator..............11
             [unassigned, reserved]..........12
             [unassigned, reserved]..........13
             Format Error....................14
             Uninitialized Interrupt Vector..15
             [unassigned, reserved].......16-23
             Spurious Interrupt..............24
             Level 1 Interrupt Autovector....25
             Level 2 Interrupt Autovector....26
             Level 3 Interrupt Autovector....27
             Level 4 Interrupt Autovector....28
             Level 5 Interrupt Autovector....29
             Level 6 Interrupt Autovector....30
             Level 7 Interrupt Autovector....31
             Trap Instruction Vectors.....32-47
             [unassigned, reserved].......48-63
             User Interrupt Vectors......64-255

:GDOS:   93.05.05
What is GDOS, and where can I get it?

GDOS stands for Graphic Device Output System (at least that's what my copy of
STart, volume 1 number 1 said...)

There is a newer version, called SpeedoGDOS, which should be available
commercially from Atari.  It is currently included with AtariWorks, and some
Falcon packages.  SpeedoGDOS uses scaleable fonts - you do not need to create
a font file for every point size. There are desk accessories which allow you
to manipulate available fonts, and also CPX programs for the newer Atari
Control Panel.  For those who only have limited memory, a newer version of
GDOS is also included with the distribution.  For those with investments in
older bit-mapped GDOS fonts, they may be used with the new version of GDOS or
used as bit-mapped (ie. non-scaleable) fonts within SpeedoGDOS.

You can get a copy of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About GDOS (and
more)" by Douglas N. Wheeler from the atari.archive server.  The file is

There is a German version of GDOS available from the atari.archive server.
The file is /atari/utilities/amcgdos.arc.

Currently, there are no truly public domain sources for the GDOS system files
or font files (at least those supplied by Atari).  You can get these files
with many commercial programs, such as Degas Elite, WordFlair, etc.  You might
also want to check your local user group to see if they received a copy of the
WordFlair demo program (also available on GEnie).  The demo program appears to
have the GDOS system and font files.

In the UK The ST Club (2 Broadway, Nottingham, UK NG1 1PS. Tel 0602
410241, Fax 0602 241515)  is a licensed GDOS distrubutor:
Catalogue No's:
GDOS-A Driver + Fonts 9-pin
GDOS-B Driver + Fonts 24-pin
GDOS-C Installed system for Opus (9 pin)
GDOS-D Opus 24-pin
GDOS-E FontGDOS + drivers
GDOS-F 300dpi printer fonts

Disks 2.95 pounds each.

:GNU:   93.06.11
What GNU software is available for the ST?

The Free Software Foundation C compiler, commonly known as GNU C (or gcc) is
avaiable for the Atari ST.  The minimal memory required to do any useful
(i.e. beyond 'hello world') programming is 2 megabytes.  A 4 megabyte system
is recommended.

There is an extensive archive of the latest GNU C programs via anonymous FTP
on atari.archive.  GNU C is also available at most European FTP sites. The
latest version of GCC available for the ST is 2.4.2, this version includes
built-in support for C++.

Note that most GNU documentation comes in TeXinfo format. Documentation in 
this format can be fed into TeX for printing. It can also be processed by
Emacs' texinfo to make an info file, which can be viewed on-screen with
Emacs' info mode. These two functions can also be performed by the
standalone programs 'texinfo' and 'info' (on atari.archive as /atari/tex/

The following can be found in the /atari/gnustuff/tos directory of
atari.archive: (Note: all of these have Unixmode and MiNT support)

BASH		Bourne-again shell
BISON		Yet another YACC (Yet Another Compiler Compiler)
COMPRESS	Compatible with Unix compress
DIFF		Compares files; PATCH does the inverse
EMACS		Extreme editor :-)
Fileutils	Unix file utilities
FLEX		Lexical analyzer, like Unix lex
GAWK		AWK report generation language
GCC 2.4.2	C, C++ compiler
GDB		GNU debugger, with source level C support
Ghostscript	Postscript clone
GROFF		Text formatting system
GREP		Regular expression search, like Unix grep
MAKE		Like Unix make
MAKEINFO	Stand-alone system to process .info files
PATCH		Changes files from diffs; DIFF does the inverse
PROF		Profiles executable code
RCS		Revision Control System
SED		Stream editor
Smalltalk	Smalltalk; object oriented language
TAR		Tape archiver like Unix tar

:HAM:   ??.??.??
Where can I find Ham Radio software for the ST?

Plenty of Ham Radio software is available for the Atari ST:

        Morse code
        Radio Teletype (RTTY)
        Packet Radio (W0RLI BBS and K9AQ TCP/IP)
        Satellite Tracking
        Color Slow Scan TV (SSTV)

For more information contact the Atari Microcomputer Network:

        Newsletter Editor -     Gil Frederick, VE4AG
                                130 Maureen Street
                                Winnipeg, Manitoba
                                R3K 1M2  Canada
        Program Librarian -     John Adams, KC5FW
                                17106 Happy Hollow
                                San Antonio, TX 78232
        Tune into the weekly net Sundays 16:00 UTC on 14.325 MHz.

John Langner, WB2OSZ

:LANG:   93.10.18
Public Domain/Shareware languages...
(This section is getting an overhaul, but I don't have the time to finish
the overhaul right now... Sorry, check back next month.)

There are a large number of programming languages available for use with the
Atari ST.  Programmers seem to flock to the Atari ST, and if you know of a
language, you can probably find it, or an equivalent, for the ST.

68000 assembler/disassemblers: a68, turboass, 
cross assemblers (z80, 6502, 68xx,8031/80xx)
Little Smalltalk

Check the atari.archive server under /atari/languages.  Most other archive
sites will have a language directory which you can also check.

:MINIX:   ??.??.??
Is MINIX available on the Atari ST?

MINIX is a UNIX-like operating system for the IBM PC, XT, AT, 386,
and PS/2, as well as the Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and
later in 1991, Sun SPARC.  It is available with all the source code for
the entire operating system, the libraries, and nearly 200 UNIX-like

Demonstration disks for the IBM PC line and Atari ST are available for free 
via anonymous FTP for people on the Internet.  A Macintosh version will be
online soon.  (If you can't wait, see below.)

To get a free demo disk and the manual, use ftp to connect to ( and look in pub/minix/demo.  The READ_ME
file describes the contents of the directory and how to use it.  Be sure to
fetch and read this first.  It contains important information.

If you don't have FTP access, you can buy the demo disk package from Prentice-
Hall for $10 by calling (201) 767-5969 or FAX (201) 767-5625.  Please DON'T
ask me to send it by email.  I have quite enough work already thank you.
The ordering numbers for Prentice-Hall are:

  - MINIX 1.5 IBM demo disk         (0-13-582768-x)  (in stock now)
  - MINIX 1.5 Atari demo disk       (0-13-582792-2)  (in stock now)
  - MINIX 1.5 Macintosh demo disk   (0-13-582784-1)  (in stock now)

Please note that although the demo disks are available for free on line,
MINIX itself is copyrighted software and is not available on line.  The
demo disks are also copyrighted, but permission is hereby granted to 
upload and use them for evaluation purposes. The READ_ME file tells how 
MINIX can be ordered.

If you want to follow the MINIX discussion, read the comp.os.minix
newsgroup, which is quite active and has almost 50,000 subscribers.

Have fun!

Andy Tanenbaum (

:MINT:   ??.??.??
What is MiNT?
MiNT is a free multitasking operating system extension for TOS. It is somewhat
like BSD Unix from the programmer's perspective. MiNT can run up to 1 GEM
program along with a lot of character-based programs simultaneously. MGR
and MW2 can both put multiple terminal windows on screen, and bgacc can
put a number of terminal windows on a GEM screen. MiNT and lots of stuff to go
with it can be found at

TOSWIN is the new replacement for bgacc: it provides lots of nice features like
variable fonts, menus, selectable window gadgets, etc. GEMTERM is a similar
package (it's not part of the standard MiNT distribution) modelled after TOSWIN
and XTerm.

A somewhat interesting note: MiNT is now the kernel of Atari's multitasking
OS, MultiTOS. Originially MiNT stood for 'MiNT is Not TOS', but it's now
'MiNT is Now TOS'. :-)

:XWIN:   93.03.01
Is there a version of XWindows for the ST?

There actually is a port of XWindows to the ST now, although it is pricey.
Here's the (slightly hacked up) announcement for it:

X/TOS/window/server and X/TOS/window/server/color
        X/software Michael Gehret
        X/TOS division
        Marktstrasse 8
        W-8944 Groenenbach
        TEL: +49 8334 1411
        FAX: +49 8334 6245
        email: xtosinfo@xsoft.uucp
        Atari Mega ST, STE, TT
        68000 to 68040
        2 Mbytes (4 Mbytes recommended)
Operating System:
        TOS 1.4 or higher
        Atari mouse
                monochrome 640x400x1,
                monochrome 1280x960x1 (TT, SM194)
                monochrome 640x400x1,
                monochrome 1280x960x1 (TT, SM194)
                color 320x200x4
                color 640x200x2
                color 640x480x4
                color 320x480x8
Ethernet Card:
        Atari Card (Mega or VME bus)
        Riebl/Wacker (Mega or VME bus)
        Biodata BioNet 100 II (DMA port or VME bus)
Network Software:
        Atari/Riebl/Wacker ANS TCP/IP
        Biodata TCP/IP
Disk Space:
        none (two floppy disks, may load fonts from second disk or font server)
        full X11 Release 5 implementation
        Shape, Multi-Buffering, MIT-SUNDRY-NONSTANDARD extensions
        PEX extension optional
        support of font server protocol
        support of X Display Manager Protocol
        access control support
        compatible to OSF/Motif and OpenLook
        high performance (more than 32,000 Xstones on TT)
        fast cursor tracking
        backing store and save unders support
        size of virtual screen limited by memory only, automatic panning
        X/TOS/window/server/color supports all video modes at the same time,
                including dynamic visuals
        loadable key maps (xmodmap format), full support for European keyboard
        3-button mouse emulation with Atari 2-button mouse
        may run parallel to GEM (switching with hot key), configurable multi
                tasking priorities
        about 50 fonts supplied

:DEMOS:   ??.??.??
Why won't demo x run on my machine?

90% of the time, if a demo does not run on your American ST, you probably
need to be in 50Hz mode to use it. Get a program like 50hzboot.prg from
atari.archive to allow this.

:PAINT:   ??.??.??
What is the format for [x] paint program data?

There is a periodic posting of ST Picture Formats, edited by David Baggett.
The file is on the atari.archive server under /atari/graphics/picfmts.doc.

:PD:   93.06.11
Where can I get Public Domain/Shareware software?

There are FTP sources and a
mail server.  You can also try the commercial on-line services such as
GEnie, CompuServe, Delphi and Bix.

Using FTP, most files should be retrieved in BINARY format (at least those
ending with the suffix of .ZIP, .ARC, .LZH, .ZOO, .PRG, .TTP, .TOS)

Mail servers encode files.  You will need a program called 'uudecode' in
order to change files ending with the suffix .UUE (or .UAB, .UAC, etc.)
into their original form.

:MAIL:   ??.??.??
E-Mail file servers

Spud holds all of the /
postings.  If you aren't reading these two newsgroups, you should consider
doing so.  You may obtain uuencoded files as e-mail.  You can obtain a
help file by mailing a message to, with
the main body of the message being the word 'help'.

The atari.archive server is mentioned many times in this article.  It contains
a multitude of Atari ST PD and shareware programs.  If you don't have access
via FTP you can obtain many of the files via e-mail.  You should first obtain a
help file by mailing a message to, with the main
body of the message being the word 'help.'.  If you are from a uucp site,
please enclose this statement also 'path host1!host2!....', where
host1!host2!... is your path. Please read the help file completely before you
ask questions, and then send any you may have to 
Any questions about the archive or specific files go to (or,,, or :-)

This is a UK public domain archive, available to sites within the UK via
via JANET.

This is a german public domain archive. This only has

Same place as above, but this one carries other software than just and (or uunet!mcsun!hp4nl!ruuinf!mail-server):
send the following message

    send ATARI-ST/index


The path command can be deleted if we receive a valid from address in your
message. If this is the first time you use our mail server, we suggest you
first issue the request:
    send HELP


Mail messages with the contents HELP will bring you some usage information
and GET PROG-A16 FILELIST will provide you with a list of files.  Subscriptions
to INFO-A16 are also available on this server.  INFO-A16 is a digest of 
messages from

:FTP:   93.05.05
Anonymous FTP servers

Note:  The generally accepted practice for FTP use is as follows:

	1. Limit access times to non-working hours.  This is usually 6-8 pm
	   to 8-9 am LOCAL time.  LOCAL time means local to the computer
	   you are accessing!  For example, 4 P.M. in Minneapolis, Minnesota
	   is 10 P.M. in England, and 10 A.M. in Germany is 4 A.M. in New

	2. Once you connect, issue the following commands at your FTP

		user anonymous
		<YOUR e-mail address should be entered at the Password: prompt)
		cd <to the appropriate directory>

	3. Limit downloads, especially across the ocean.  Remember, there are
	   other people who are using the same lines as you.

Atari FTP sites (the list is -not- exhaustive)
----------------------------------------------	[] (available to UK users via JANET)

  Note:  Access is a bit different for this archive site, use the following:

	user pdsoft
	pdsoft (at the Password prompt) [] []

This site has a mirror of in /computing/systems/

:TEX:   ??.??.??
Is TeX/LaTeX available on the Atari ST?

The TeX/LaTeX typesetting programs are available on the Atari ST.  Check the
atari.archive server under /atari/tex.  Fonts and device drivers
(including one for the Epson 9-pin printers) are available on the
atari.archive server.

The latest version of TeX (3.14) has recently been made available on the
atari.archive server.  The files are in a subdirectory of their own.

Graham Higgins recently wrote a message in indicating the
minimum files needed to get a working TeX/LaTeX system up and running on the
Atari ST.  He said:

	You'll need, at minimum:

	The binaries for LaTeX/TeX :StTeXBin
	The style files		   :StTeXSty
	The font macros            :StTeXTfm

        If you want to screen-preview, you'll need screen font files (showdvi)
	If you want to print locally, you'll need printer font files (dvifont)

	Allow 5Mb.

For a step-by-step article on setting up Tex and LaTeX, send an e-mail request
to  Be sure to mention 'tex.setup'.

There is also a complete, ready-to-install distribution called CS-TeX. The 
latest version, 4.0, is available at atari.archive: /atari/tex/cs-tex-4.0.
This consists of 8 disks full of TeX stuff, plus an installation program
that takes care of the details for you.

Hope you liked the FAQ. If you have comments,
suggestions, more material, etc., mail me at

Thanks to David Paschall-Zimbel	( for 
compiling most of this FAQ.

                        Steven Ourada
Steven Ourada ---
"have no faith in constitution, there is no bloody revolution"
                 -- The Police

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