[vcf-midatlantic] It Takes a Federation or The Tale of the Atari Mega STe

Ethan O'Toole telmnstr at 757.org
Mon Jun 27 17:24:37 UTC 2022

ASCI2SD for the win. Can't wait to see what Fujinet does though.

 		- Ethan

On Mon, 27 Jun 2022, Alexander Jacocks via vcf-midatlantic wrote:

> Thanks so much to all of the folks that contributed to this!
> - Alex
> On Sat, Jun 25, 2022 at 10:05 PM Adam Michlin via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
>> Hi Everyone,
>> We have a new exhibit in the Mid Atlantic Museum at InfoAge. Here's
>> the back story.
>> A few years ago, Bill Lange was kind enough to reorganize the Atari
>> collection in the warehouse. He also provided plastic bins for most of
>> the equipment, inspiring the ongoing project to protect as many
>> artifacts as possible in plastic bins. During his work, he found a
>> lonely and dirty Atari Mega STe that needed some love and care.
>> Bill repaired the machine and we put it on display in the museum, but
>> something was missing...
>> You see, we are always looking for ways to demo machines and
>> especially ways that involve something other than productivity
>> software and games. We were reminded that the Atari ST was well known
>> for its MIDI prowess, having MIDI built into the core of its
>> architecture. A music demo, now that would be cool...
>> Lessons were learned along the way. The Atari ST can use a color
>> monitor or a higher resolution B&W monitor. Some programs work
>> properly only with the higher resolution B&W monitor, particularly
>> Cubase, which was to be the highlight of the demo. Luckily, we have
>> both monitors, so that problem was solved. It was fun trying to figure
>> out which USB floppy drives played nice with the 720K FAT (MS-DOS but
>> old school MS-DOS) file system. Oh, and Cubase is *really* picky about
>> what directory it is installed in.
>> Thus the quest was on to get the machine doing MIDI. An external
>> Yamaha MIDI box was donated. A period correct Tandy speaker system
>> (thanks to Dean Notarnicola!) was borrowed. And a live music demo was
>> all but ready. We just needed music, or so we thought.
>> Frustratingly, this was not to be as the hard drive decided it didn't
>> want to play nice anymore. Ugh! In swoops Pete Fletcher, though, who
>> took the machine home, repaired it, and moved heaven and earth to get
>> a solid state solution (good luck getting an Ultrasatan from Europe
>> these days, but a different solid state solution was acquired). Just
>> this morning, Pete delivered the Mega STe in perfect condition full of
>> all sorts of goodies for demonstration and we have the first external
>> MIDI demo in the history of the VCF MA Museum.
>> Stop by to see and hear it yourself. Send us your favorite MIDI file
>> and we can put it on the playlist.
>> Thanks to Bill, Pete, and Dean. All three of you helped create
>> something none of us could have done alone. It truly takes a
>> Federation.
>>        -Adam

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