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The TOS/GEM Desktop


Direct from the Atari Historical Society's archives comes another priceless find.  We have been able to copy the original sources for TOS 4.04 as released on the Atari Falcon030.  It is available to download below in ZIP format.


While we have endeavoured to copy all available data from the source disks some of the files were too spurious to convert.  All of the sources that could be migrated are included in the file provided. There is wealth of inside information on AES, CP/M, NVDI and TOS in general in the ZIP file, many programmers will now get a lot of answers to questions on TOS previously unknown, so even though there is a small chunk missing, the greater amount is priceless.  We hope it proves useful to future TOS/GEM projects.


Brief History: Atari made a huge leap forward with the design of the Falcon, and with it a new version of The Operating System (TOS).  Utilising GEM as the standard interface, this had also been reborn with constant revisions ever since the original team responsible for porting the original code to the 68000 platform for Atari headed to Digital Research in 1984.  That team had only months to rewrite existing code and translate a working version of GEM for TOS for the new ST project, which was going to be shown for the first time at Comdex in January 1985.


The Atari Monterey Group


Atari sent most of its top software engineers to the Digital Research facility in Monterey, California, where they translated the PC based Intel code into working 68000 code (It is rumoured that Digital Research kept the Atari owned Vax mini computer when the project was finished...).  Although Atari finally decided to use the GEM product from DRI, other products were discussed and most note worthy of these was a possible implementation of the new Microsoft Windows but unfortunately(?) for Microsoft, they could not develop a version for Atari within the timeframe required (so "upset" with this decision, Microsoft even threatened Atari that no MS products would be developed for the ST - Microsoft did release MS Write (1.0) for the ST, a very poor implementation, perhaps done so on purpose!).


Digital Research Building Monterey


Atari continued to develop TOS/GEM from 1985 until 1993 when all computer projects were cancelled at the company.  The last official version of TOS/GEM was version 4.04 for the Falcon030, although version 4.92 was leaked out, this was a beta developer version which was going to integrate the multitasking software called "MultiTos".


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