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Good resource for learning alternate OS, Roms


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In the 80s I had stock XLs. I have a Rev C 800xl I'm messing with with SIO2PC thru USB and may get an U1MB upgrade. I've only seen cursory glances at terms like Omnirom, SpartaDos, TurboDos, etc. These upgrade boards talk of multiple rom/OS switching and I am new to alternate 'Basics' and "Dos'es".

 

Is there a good comparison guide or feature list (or video I missed) that helps demystify some of these software things? I'd like to know about features that can push an XL and don't know the questions to ask. :) SpartaDos is built in to some upgrades- does this make the others unnecessary or do they still have features SpartaDos does not?

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If you are interested in alternate operating systems (that is Atari's term for firmware), look for QMEG from Stefan Dorndorf.

 

As for various DOSes, there are two main families (Atari DOS 2-like family, SpartaDOS-like family).

 

Atari DOS 2-like DOSes have a tendency to have a smaller memory footprint and mostly basic functionality. They seem to be all alike.
Some of them are menu driven, some of them are command-line driven.

 

SpartaDOS-like DOSes, such as SpartaDOS and BW-DOS are not simplistic and adopted some advanced concepts used by MS-DOS on PCs. For example installable device drivers, relocatable executable files, batch files.

 

Others can suggest alternates OSes and DOSes that might be worth exploring.

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