Atari 8-bit Utilities


Updated: 22 November 2008

Pavel Machek made an initial attempt at communicating with the Atari through an SIO2PC cable using Linux's serial port drivers. He came up with a simple floppy emulator. I rewrote that to add a bunch of features: The only technical reference I've found online for programming SIO devices is Chapter 13 of the Atari System Reference Manual.

DISK: A sector editor and much more

Updated: 27 February 2006

Back in the mid 80's, I wrote a sector editor in BASIC. Over several years, I incorporated additional features and tools, as well as re-wrote various routines in assembly language for speed. I should have released it back then, but now I've gone back through it and added a few extra features. I also re-worked all of the assembly language code.

I released version 3.0 on 5 September 2005. Since then, I've added a few features and bug fixes, and re-written some of the assembly.

Features include

Download it with the full Assembly sources: disk-4.0.atr

Binary load file analyzer

This program will tell you all about your binary-load format Atari files, and even clean them up if there are specific problems. It runs under DOS and Unix.

Disk image format conversions

Want to convert between DCM and ATR? Want to turn an ATR disk image into individual files on your native file system (even creating subdirectories for MyDos images!)? Or convert a directory full of files back into a disk image? Well, check out these programs:

Binary load menu

Use this as an autorun.sys file, and you'll get a directory of all your binary-load files. It's designed for use with MyDos, and it supports subdirectories. File selection is done with the joystick. It was written in BASIC, and compiled with ABC. It relies on the DOS XIO command for binary loading, so it should load anything that DOS will load (though DOS 2.0S doesn't support that XIO).

Read Atari disks in a PC drive

I haven't had much luck with this, but apparently if you happen to have the right controller and drive, you can use these to read standard and enhanced-density Atari disks on your PC.

I expect you'll get about the same results under Linux with the following: The above example is for 1050 enhanced disks. With my 1.2M drive, it reads the first 40 bytes of sector 1 correctly, then returns garbage for the rest of the disk. For true DD disks, change the setfdprm to sect=18 and ssize=256; also change to bs=256 for the dd command. For SD disks, change the setfdprm to sect=18 and fm=1; but don't expect it to work; most PC controlers won't do single density (FM vs MFM).

Write your own SIO2PC programs

Someone gave these to me, and I haven't had time to do much with them. If you're interested in writing programs that work with SIO2PC, you'll probably find them quite useful. (I was hoping to write a menu program that would run on the Atari and let you change disk images on the PC, but never got around to it.) Oh, and here's what I believe to be the latest version of SIO2PC:
Visit my homepage