Welcome to the most kick-ass of all websites dedicated to the Atari ST.
The Atari ST was the first 16/32 computer available at a reasonable price.
It was built around a Motorola 68000 microprocessor and made of cheap,
sometimes outdated, off-the-shelf components like the WD1772 floppy disk
controller (no side control!), the HD6301 "intelligent keyboard", or IKBD,
that also handles joysticks and mouse, the YM-2149, or "PSG" sound chip,
the infamous MC68901 MFP (Multi-Function Peripheral), and some custom
Atari chips, like the DMA (direct memory access), the GLUE, the MMU, the
video shifter... all hastily patched together and rushed to market, because
Commodore had just stolen the Amiga from Atari.
Considering the way it was designed, it did fairly well against the Amiga.
The machine had many downsides, yet some fantastic programs (apps, games,
demos) were made for it.
The most was drawn from each of its chips, which became almost legendary:
the video shifter, the Yamaha sound chip, later the blitter... the Atari
The system was run by a stable and intuitive graphic user interface (GUI)
controlled by mouse, the GEM.
Anybody with some competency could code in C and other languages some serious
applications for the ST (games were coded in assembly), that would be more
user-friendly (windows, menus, dialogs... like today) and powerful than on
the PC (stuck with poorer Intel microprocessor, text-mode display, keyboard
It also featured a very good flicker-free monochrome display, which for
professional use was more important than fancy eye-killing Amiga high
It wouldn't have taken so much to be a serious competitor to the Mac and
Maybe Atari didn't tackle the right market. Anyway it's done, and now we
have thousands of great games not to mention the demos.
To run this all on your much faster PC, you need an emulator and files
containing images of the content (ROM, disks...).