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8-Bit 'TOS'


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I was talking about pulling out some of my old disks on the Atari Museum on Facebook, when I mentioned a program I found years ago called 'TOS'. Basically, it was a simple graphic user interface for the 8-bit computers that allowed the joystick to be used to do some simple functions. I don't have a working 8-bit compatible mouse or trackball to see if it works smoother with those.

I'm not sure where I got it or who wrote it. There's not much info in the program itself.

Under Desk: Basic, Boot, Info (TOS, v1.0, for public domain, © 1985)
Under File: erase, protect, unprotect, rename, format SD, format DD
Under view: Directory on screen, directory on window
Under Options: Request on, request off

If anyone has any information where this came from, please let me know.

By the way, the attached screenshot is from within an emulator running as a 130XE, but it originally was running on my stock 800XL using DOS 2.5, a stock 1050 and a standard joystick. I haven't tested it with any other DOS versions, drives or machines.

I've attached an ATR file with just the TOS program on it if anyone want to try it. It does require you to load DOS first, but apparently will work with or without BASIC. My original disk had other... er... unlicensed software on it.


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This is TOS XL, a type-in listing from the german Atari Magazin, published in issue 1/1987. The program is by Marc Ebner, it looks good and does some DOS functions (DIR, erase, protect, rename, format,), alas it loads/executes almost nothing. Looks like you have a slightly modified version, i.e. the info about the author has been removed in your version and replaced with the words Public Domain.


If I remember correctly, the Format SD means 90k, alas the Format DD does not mean 180k but only 130k (DOS 2.5 style, so it will not work with any other DOS). The type-in listing was full of Data lines and created this OBJ file in the end. Many segments of the ML file are contiguos and can be appended into fewer segments (your file also contains several redundant segments 1A1A-1A1A after the Run adress)...


Many readers of Atari Magazin complained, that this GUI loads almost nothing and so a patch appeared in issue 2/1987 (think one version of TOS XL should act like DOS and load only DOS files, while the other/modified version should act more like a Gamedos and load Gamedos files; in my eyes both versions did not load many BAS or ML programs, they only looked good and that was all)...


Attached you will find the long type-in listing (with the Data lines), as well as the patch and the two TOS XL versions...


P.S.: TOS XL works only with a joystick, not with a mouse or trackball (unless you patch or modify it or add some drivers for mouse or trackball support)...


Edited by CharlieChaplin
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Cool, thanks! I never knew were it came from (I'm sure I got it off a BBS, or during a 'swap meet'), so I didn't know its history. It was an interesting 'proof of concept'. Stuff like this makes me dream of a world run off Atari XL based technology instead of windows. ^_^

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