HOW TO

Maximum PC - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - –NICK PEERS

Em­u­late the Atari ST on your Pi; se­curely delete data with Eraser; man­age a project us­ing Trello; de­sign an es­ports team logo.

YOU’LL NEED THIS

RASP­BERRY PI The credit-card sized PC costs as lit­tle as $35. YOU’LL AL­MOST CER­TAINLY RE­MEM­BER the late ’80s, when the eight-bit com­put­ing revo­lu­tion grad­u­ally gave way to the rise of 16-bit ma­chines. Atari and Com­modore stood at the fore­front of this revo­lu­tion, with the Amiga even­tu­ally win­ning out. But for a while, dur­ing the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Atari ST ran it close. And thanks to the bril­liant Hatari ( http://hatari.tux­fam­ily.org), you can now res­ur­rect the ST (and its suc­ces­sors) on your Rasp­berry Pi. 1 FIRST STEPS

You need a desk­top en­vi­ron­ment to run Hatari—we’re us­ing Rasp­bian PIXEL. The lat­est ver­sion of Hatari uses SDL2 to ren­der graph­ics, so you need to en­able the OpenGL driver, not­ing that it’s still ex­per­i­men­tal, and may be slightly un­sta­ble. It also means Hatari re­quires a Pi 2 [ Im­age A] or bet­ter to run op­ti­mally. >> To en­able the driver, open a Ter­mi­nal win­dow, type

sudo raspi-con­fig and hit En­ter. Se­lect “Ad­vanced Op­tions > GL Driver > GL (Full KMS) OpenGL Desk­top Drive with Full KMS.” Re­boot when prompted.

>> From here, in­stal­la­tion is sim­ple: Open “Pi > Pref­er­ences > Add/Re­move Soft­ware,” type “hatari” into the Search box, and you’ll see one hit—se­lect this, and click “OK” to in­stall it. Once in­stalled, open the “Pi > Games” menu, where you’ll see two en­tries: “Hatari” and “Hatari UI.” Choose the former op­tion, where you’ll im­me­di­ately come across a mes­sage about not be­ing able to load a TOS file.

>> TOS is the Atari’s op­er­at­ing sys­tem, and comes in a range of re­vi­sions and ver­sions, de­pend­ing on which 16-bit Atari ma­chine you’re try­ing to em­u­late. Tech­ni­cally, you should sup­ply this your­self, but thank­fully the hard work of ob­tain­ing any ver­sion of TOS has been done for you.

>> Be­fore pro­ceed­ing, a quick note about le­gal­i­ties: When run­ning em­u­la­tor soft­ware, it’s as­sumed in most cases that you own the orig­i­nal com­puter as well as any soft­ware you play on it. From a le­gal stand­point, you should re­ally honor this, but prac­ti­cally speak­ing, there’s noth­ing but your con­science pre­vent­ing you from run­ning what­ever you like, even if it’s no longer buried away in your base­ment some­where. 2 IN­STALL TOS

Let’s be­gin by ob­tain­ing TOS for Hatari. Open your web browser and head to www.atari­world.org/ tos-rom, where you’ll find ev­ery sin­gle ver­sion of TOS, from the orig­i­nal 1.0 re­lease up to TOS 4.92 for the Atari Fal­con. Which one do you need? It de­pends on what you’re plan­ning to em­u­late. The orig­i­nal STFM model, which cov­ers most bases, runs best on TOS 1.4, but you may want to down­load TOS 1.02 for some older games. Those em­u­lat­ing the STE—which was ca­pa­ble of bet­ter graph­ics [ Im­age B]— want TOS 1.62, while TOS 2.06 (both STFM and STE) is a good choice when copy­ing lots of files via the ST’s GEM desk­top.

>> A word to the wise: The TOS 2.06 ROM file has the wrong per­mis­sions as­signed to it—you need to right-click the IMG file af­ter ex­tract­ing it, and choose “Prop­er­ties > Per­mis­sions.” Make sure “View Con­tent” is set to “Any­one,” and “Change Con­tent” is set to “Only Owner,” be­fore click­ing “OK,” and copy­ing the file across.

>> If you’re de­ter­mined to stay on the right side of the law, and have no Atari gather­ing dust in the at­tic, try EmuTOS in­stead (http://emutos.source­forge.net/en). It’s a free ver­sion of TOS that can run on phys­i­cal com­put­ers via floppy disk, as well as your new Hatari em­u­la­tor, but note that it’ll be hit and miss what games and soft­ware you’ll be able to run on it.

>> When it comes to down­load­ing your ver­sion of TOS, choose the “English US” link. A zip file is saved to your Down­loads folder, ready for use shortly. You now have all the el­e­ments that you need to start con­fig­ur­ing Hatari it­self. The four-step walkthrough on page 61 re­veals the key steps you need to fol­low.

3 DOWN­LOAD FLOPPY DISK IMAGES As things stand, your Hatari setup is now a fully func­tional Atari ma­chine—the only thing miss­ing is soft­ware. Most games come on floppy disks, and once again, the painstak­ing process of con­vert­ing ST floppy disks into im­age files, rec­og­niz­able by your Pi, has been done by oth­ers. All you need to do is lo­cate and down­load these images, which come in MSA, ST, or STX for­mat.

>> There is a wide range of sites of­fer­ing images—Google “Atari ST ROMs” for a long list. If you can cope with the fact that it’s French (Chromium will of­fer to trans­late the pages for you), we like www. plan­etemu.net/roms/atari-st-games-st in par­tic­u­lar. You’ll find some games are listed sev­eral times, based on who’s sub­mit­ted the images—try one, and then down­load an­other if it doesn’t work.

>> As with ROMs, floppy disk images are down­loaded in zip for­mat, so you need to ex­tract them first. Then you’re pre­sented with files in .ST or .STX for­mat (as­so­ci­ated with Hatari, so you see a nice floppy ST icon to help iden­tify them). These can be stored any­where on your hard drive, but we rec­om­mend set­ting up a ded­i­cated folder— “atarist,” say—in­side your home folder for easy ac­cess. 4 PLAY ST GAMES There are two ways to load floppy disks into Hatari. The sim­plest thing to do is sim­ply browse to the folder con­tain­ing your disk images, and dou­ble-click the .ST or .STX file. Hatari launches us­ing the con­fig­u­ra­tion you’ve saved un­der hatari.cfg, and then—af­ter a pause that can be quite lengthy—the fa­mil­iar green ST desk­top ap­pears, or the game au­to­mat­i­cally loads. Dou­bleclick the A drive icon if nec­es­sary, fol­lowed by the game file to start load­ing it.

>> If you plan to play a game that comes on two floppy disks, it’s eas­ier to start things off in­side Hatari it­self: Press F12 to bring up the con­fig­u­ra­tion screen [ Im­age C], and click “Floppy Disks.” Click “Browse” next to “Drive A” to load disk one into drive A, then re­peat with “Drive B” for disk two. Leave “Auto Insert B” se­lected, then click “Re­turn to Main Menu,” fol­lowed by “OK.”

>> Keep an eye on the sta­tus bar at the bot­tom of the screen, which should hope­fully in­di­cate the floppy disk is still load­ing. It can be a slow process; one way to speed up load times is to tick “Fast Floppy Ac­cess” un­der “Floppy disks” in Hatari’s con­fig­u­ra­tion. An­other is to switch to Fast For­ward mode—press AltGr-X to speed things up slightly. Press it again to re­turn to nor­mal speed. Once done, the game’s main screen should ap­pear, and it’s then a case of nav­i­gat­ing it with your mouse, key­board, or game con­troller.

>> To set up the lat­ter, press F12, and click “Joy­sticks.” From here, you can se­lect whether to dis­able the port, use a “real” joy­stick, or de­fine the keys used to sim­u­late the joy­stick, namely up, down, left, right, and fire [ Im­age D]. Up to four ports can be con­fig­ured—two reg­u­lar ST joy­sticks, plus two ad­di­tional STE-only joy­pads.

>> When it comes to us­ing a real joy­stick, any game con­troller that’s plugged in and rec­og­nized by your Rasp­berry Pi should be im­me­di­ately vis­i­ble—our wired PC/PS3 Gioteck con­troller was de­tected in­stantly, for ex­am­ple. As you’ll have seen when defin­ing keys to sim­u­late a joy­stick, ST joy­sticks were ba­sic, and only sup­ported four di­rec­tions of move­ment and one fire but­ton—use the ana­log stick and the top fire but­ton to em­u­late the joy­stick, while the sec­ondary fire but­ton em­u­lates the space bar key. 5 CRE­ATE YOUR OWN BLANK FLOPPIES If you’re try­ing soft­ware that ap­peared on mag­a­zine cov­er­mount disks, chances are that it was com­pressed to en­able more con­tent to be placed on the disk. You’ll need to ex­tract it to a sep­a­rate “disk”—we’ll cover hard drives in a mo­ment, but if you sim­ply want to run the soft­ware from its own vir­tual floppy im­age, click “Cre­ate Blank Im­age” on the “Floppy Disks” con­fig­u­ra­tion screen. Leave the de­fault set­tings—80 tracks, nine sec­tors, and two sides—as they are, give your floppy a la­bel, then click “Cre­ate.”

>> Next, choose where to save the floppy—your de­fault folder is best—and again name it for the game you plan to copy to it. Click “OK,” then “Back,” fol­lowed by “Drive B:” to insert it into drive B. You can now ei­ther copy the com­pressed file across be­fore dou­ble-click­ing it to un­pack the game, or use the cov­er­mount’s own pro­gram to ex­tract the files to the new disk. Be warned: It’s slow. 6 BE­YOND THE BA­SICS As things stand, you now have a fully work­ing Atari ma­chine, run­ning at de­cent speed. If all you’re

in­ter­ested in is re­liv­ing past glo­ries, you should have all you need to play games on your Atari. But you can push the en­ve­lope fur­ther….

>> First, look be­yond the ST as a mere gam­ing ma­chine—it was also renowned as a mu­sic-mak­ing tool, and as the games mar­ket waned, ma­jor apps con­tin­ued to be de­vel­oped, from video edit­ing and word pro­cess­ing to desk­top pub­lish­ing. Visit www.plan­etemu.net/ ma­chine/atari-st, where you’ll find a wider range of ti­tles, in­clud­ing demos, mag­a­zine coverdisks, and public do­main re­leases.

>> As the num­ber of ti­tles grows, you may get tired of hav­ing to press F12 to swap floppy disks around. Use AltGr-D to swap disks, fol­lowed by AltGr-R to per­form a warm re­set, or AltGr-C for a cold re­set. Al­ter­na­tively, why not con­nect a vir­tual hard disk to your ST? The box­out below re­veals the sim­plest way to add a sin­gle 80MB ACSI hard disk. You can du­pli­cate this blank im­age file to cre­ate mul­ti­ple hard disks, but you can only con­nect one at a time.

>> An­other op­tion is GEMDOS, which en­ables you to mount a folder on your Rasp­berry Pi’s stor­age as a vir­tual drive, mak­ing it eas­ier to copy files di­rectly to the drive from your Pi stor­age. Note, how­ever, that you’ll ei­ther need a ded­i­cated hard disk driver, or you’ll have to ac­cess the drive us­ing EmuTOS, which sup­ports GEMDOS na­tively.

>> If you find your­self get­ting into an old game or two, you may want to know how to save your progress. If the game it­self has a save op­tion, you could al­ways cre­ate a blank floppy im­age, as out­lined ear­lier, and insert it into drive B. Al­ter­na­tively, you could use Hatari’s own mem­ory snap­shots fea­ture, which are ob­vi­ously quicker.

>> Start by press­ing F12 and se­lect­ing “Mem­ory.” Click “Save,” type a suit­ably de­scrip­tive file­name (with the al­limpor­tant .sav ex­ten­sion), and click “OK.” Re­turn to your game, press­ing AltGr-K at any time to up­date the saved file with your lat­est progress, or AltGr-l to reload your last saved state.

>> You can also snap screen­shots at any point—press AltGr-G to take a screen grab in PNG for­mat. Press AltGr-A to record an AVI movie (you’ll see the “Rec” but­ton turn red in the Hatari sta­tus bar), and press it again to stop record­ing. Fi­nally, press AltGr-Y to start and stop record­ing your ST’s sound. All recorded ma­te­rial can be found in your home folder.

>> By de­fault, your Atari ma­chine em­u­lates a colour RGB mon­i­tor, which en­ables you to switch be­tween low and medium res­o­lu­tions. To run high-res­o­lu­tion pro­grams, such as DTP soft­ware, press F12, click “Atari Screen,” then se­lect “Mono” [ Im­age E]. 7 MIDI FOR MU­SI­CIANS The ST was a big draw for mu­si­cians, with its built-in MIDI ports, and was used by ma­jor artists, in­clud­ing the likes of Queen for TheMir­a­cle. If you have a USB-to-MIDI cable, you can hook up a MIDI key­board to use with the likes of Cubase [ Im­age F].

>> First, you need to ver­ify your cable has been de­tected by Rasp­bian. Open a Ter­mi­nal win­dow and type:

$ lsusb

>> You should see your MIDI adapter listed. Now type the fol­low­ing, which should ver­ify at least one MIDI port is avail­able:

$ aplaymidi -l

>> If they’re avail­able, open Hatari, press F12, then click “De­vices.” Click the two “Browse” but­tons un­der “En­able MIDI Em­u­la­tion,” and point them to which­ever MIDI en­try ap­pears un­der /dev/snd. Check “En­able MIDI Em­u­la­tion,” and restart your vir­tual ST.

>> If you don’t have a MIDI de­vice, try a soft­ware MIDI syn­the­sizer. First, in­stall Vir­tual MIDI Pi­ano Key­board (search “Pi > Pref­er­ences > Add/Re­move Pro­grams” for “vmpk”). Next, launch QSynth from “Pi > Sound & Video,” fol­lowed by VMPK. In VMPK, se­lect “Edit > Con­nec­tions,” click the “Output MIDI” con­nec­tion, and choose “FLUID Synth” to con­nect the two. Hit the vir­tual keys, and you should hear sound to ver­ify it’s work­ing. Open Ter­mi­nal and type: $ sudo mod­probe snd-vir­midi $ acon­nect -i -o

>> Make a note of the client num­bers, and then type the fol­low­ing:

$ acon­nect <sender> <re­ceiver>

>> Sub­sti­tute < sender> with the client num­ber of VMPK Output, and < re­ceiver> with the client num­ber of the first Vir­tual Raw MIDI port. Now re­peat the com­mand, but this time sub­sti­tut­ing < sender> with the Vir­tual Raw MIDI port, and < re­ceiver> with the Synth In­put port—like this, for ex­am­ple: $ acon­nect 128 28 $ acon­nect 28 130

>> Now open Hatari, press F12, click “De­vices,” then point it to­ward the cor­rect con­nec­tion. Check “En­able MIDI Em­u­la­tion,” and you should be able to use your vir­tual syn­the­sizer to in­put mu­sic into se­quenc­ing soft­ware like Cubase, while lis­ten­ing back through QSynth. Job done!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.