When I set up my own SD-HDD solution based on the wonderful ACSI2STM project, I found the hard drive was becoming corrupted pretty soon after setting it up. I thought it might have been my dodgy soldering or something funny about the way I had everything set up. Turns out I simply hadn’t heard about Bad DMA. A local Atari enthusiast meetup later and a solution was proposed; swap the 68000 chip for a newer, lower power and subsequently less noisy version.

It worked!

I never noticed it growing up but I see it now, TOS is profoundly flakey. My ST has a TOS 1.62 ROM built in and it does not play nice with hard drives.

There’s a simple solution to this, use the wonderful open source EmuTOS instead. Now I’m not resourceful enough to go writing EmuTOS to a flash ROM but my ST does have enough RAM that I can easily get away with loading it up from the hard drive.

It’s been a whole number of years since I owned an Atari ST. Well over 20. In my youth I (and by “I” I mean “my family”) had two, both of which packed in after some time, the last kicking the bucket in the mid to late 90s. Ever since then I’ve longed to have another, even as I moved briefly to the Amiga before joining the PC train in 1999.


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