Atari Mega STE dedusted

Today I want to share my Atari Mega STE with you. This Mega STE was my first really professional Atari. My parents bought it around 1992/1993. Before using the Mega STE, I owned an Atari 1040 STF with 1 Meg RAM and an external 88 MB Quantum LPS Hard Disk (ICD Hostadapter). The Mega STE featured:

  • MC68000, 16 MHz with Cache
  • 4 MB RAM
  • 105 MB Quantum LPS 105 Hard Disk
  • TOS 2.05
My ATARI Mega STE 4
My ATARI Mega STE 4

 

My software setup was (thanks to 4 MB Ram!) Mag!X 2.0 (now MagiC), Gemini and NVDI 2. It was a real work horse and a strong competitor to the current PC systems (386 SX and DX, also with 4 MB RAM and 100 MB Hard Disks). Despite the up to 40 MHz CPUs of PCs, the Atari was still faster, because of his slim and efficient programs like Papyrus.

When moving on to PCs later (Pentium 60), I kept using it, but when I bought my Milan in 1998, it was obsolete, and the upcoming Internet age does not let it come back for a long time. At least, I didn’t sold it and cleaning up my storage room, I become feeling very happy about this piece of my own history.

The Badge even has the protective foil attached!
The Badge even has the protective foil attached!

 

Altough I now own a top of the notch Falcon with CTPCI, CT060 and so on, I was eager to see it running again. After hooking it up to my original first SM124 from 1988 I started the Mega STE and  it welcomed me with Mag!X 2.0, Gemini and a well known Desktop. Even the arrangement of the Icons was familiar. Unfortunately it seems that I had formatted the disk some time ago and only partly restored the data on it. Most Icons and Apps do not work.

So what to do, to revive the Mega STE?

  • Install MagiC 6.2
  • Install NVDI 5
  • Install jinnee 2.5
  • Upgrade Hard Disk Driver
  • Get some network working

Before installing new stuff I wondered how to transfer files to the Mega STE. The Falcon, ready for Internet access is located in my office and Floppy Disks are no alternative, because all my other computers lack a disk drive. Fortunately I found STING on the Mega STE and an old ROM-Port Adapter by Elmar Hilgart. Although I would have preferred a NetUSBee or NetBee for network, I was glad that the ROM-Port Adapter was still on the hard disk.

ROM-Port Adapter with Pocket LAN
ROM-Port Adapter with Pocket LAN

 

Copying all install files to the Mega STE was a nerving and time-robbing thing. The ROM-Port seems to be a bit faulty, because transfer rates were only 5 kb/sec maximum. So first I copied the Netusbee driver to the Mega STE and changed the network adapter to a NetBee. But transfer rates were still low. I am going to check the ROM-Port solderings.

NetUSBee and NetBee's
NetUSBee and NetBee does not boost the transfer rates. ROM-Port faulty?

 

Another problem was the low disk size. 105 MB is not very big and even for ATARI users it might be a bit small. Downloading packages, extracting them and installing software needs some decent space. So I am going to upgrade the hard disk as well. I just bought a 9,1 GB SCSI drive from ebay and a 68-pin<->50-ping SCSI Adapter. Original 50-pin drives are really expensive these day – crazy!

I will keep you informed of the Mega STE’s progress.

 

 

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