My Latest Catch

Since I have moved from Germany to Malaysia, my collection of old games and systems grows a lot slower. However, I managed to get an ATARI 520 STfm for RM 125 (~ 30 Euro). It came with SC1224 color screen and Megafile 30 harddrive. Unfortunately the harddrive cable and the mouse was missing. An original ATARI ST mouse is already on its way from Australia, but very difficult to get that damn harddrive cable. The ST can be operated without mouse, using the keyboard, so I played around with it a bit. The condition is quite good, the pictures shows how it looks after dis-/reassemble to clean it properly. The screen is small and seems to lack a power switch(?!). Wasn’t the GEMĀ  (TOS) operating system a real beauty? In the standard low resulution, the green/white colored desktop looks even compared to a C64 with Geos – really ugly! But my first thought was “Wow, it really looks like Geos”.

As you can see in one of the pictures below, I managed to write an image file to a floppy disk – to play Tom & Jerry. Not the greatest game, but for unknown reason its the only disk the ST was able to read. All the images I have downloaded are in the “.ST” format. Different solutions are available to copy them from Linux or Windows back to a physical floppy disk. My first attempts with FloImg were not successful at all. What I can recommend is OmniFlop. It comes with an own floppy driver and supports an incredible amount of formats. After writing Tom & Jerry with OmniFlop to a DD disk, the ST booted the game without complaining. Then only drawback with OmniFlop – it can not work with USB floppy drives!


Now I am starting to wonder, what might be on that Megafile drive? Without a cable or a proper “workaround”, the question would remain unanswered. But everybody who is interested in retro comuter and collecting know, that sometimes you have to look for uncommon ways to get things working. After giving up, looking for a cable, I started to search for the DB19 pin connector in any electronic online shop I know – without success.
Its not easier to get, than the cable itself. So I decided to rather build my own DB19 connectors, abusing two DB29 and cut them. It was easier than I thought, to disassemble them. Once I get back from work tonight, I will finish the job.

Another remaining problem is the floppy drive. For some reason it refuses to read double sided disks, but it is a double sided drive. Strange! Cleaning the heads didn’t help.

Hopefully tomorrow, I can show some screenshots regarding the content of the Megafile.

Cliffhanger until tomorrow, for everybody else than me, who is curious?

On the right picture the result of my cruelty to two male DB25 connectors.
After removing the casing, some pins and cutting them.

Leave a Reply