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:
>> 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!