Tag Archives: cosmosex

Using high res on my Atari STe with the CosmosEx and a wire

This image shows a CosmosEx screencast of an Atari Mega STe in high resolution.

Throughout my Atari ST-owning life, I have only ever owned Atari’s color monitor, the SC1224. It can display two of the ST’s video modes: low resolution (320×200, 16 colors) and medium resolution (640×200, 4 colors).

The Atari also had a 640×400 high resolution mode, but it required a different monochrome monitor.

I never had one, but recently I came across some high-res software I wanted to test. What to do?

I immediately thought of the CosmosEx and its “screencast” function, which lets me see and control my Atari Mega STe remotely via a web browser. I thought: what if I turn off my monitor, so the ST doesn’t know what sort of monitor is attached, and then run it remotely via the CosmosEx screencast function?

I tried this idea, but alas, it didn’t work. The “ST High” option remained grayed out among the “Set screen resolution” choices.

So, I asked on atari-forum, and AdamK pointed out that the ST detects the presence of a monochrome monitor when the MONO DETECT signal is connected to the GROUND.

I looked up a fantastic wiring diagram of the Atari Video Connector, and found that pin 4 is MONO DETECT, and pin 13 is GROUND.

This photo shows a wire connecting pins 4 and 13 of the Atari Video Connector, tricking the Atari into thinking a monochrome monitor is attached.

I decided to try connect these two pins with a wire. But first, I copied CE_CAST.PRG into the AUTO folder on my boot drive to make sure the screencast function would be available since my monitor would be disconnected. (I normally load CE_CAST on demand, rather than boot with it, since it can conflict with programs.)

Make sure that CE_CAST.PRG is copied into your AUTO folder first.

After that, I disconnected the monitor cable, inserted the wire, rebooted the Atari, then launched the screencast webpage in a browser on my Mac.

Voila! It booted into monochrome!

This is awesome. The screencast can be a bit stuttery, and the mouse is hard to control, but it works! Best of all, I didn’t have to buy a second Atari monitor.

Web browsing on the Atari ST with a CosmosEx

This screenshot shows CAB rendering my personal website. This instance of CAB is running on an Atari Mega STe.

Probably the best retrocomputing purchase I’ve made in recent years is the CosmosEx, a cool peripheral for Atari ST, STe, TT, and Falcon computers.

Soon after I bought it, creator Jookie added “screencasting”, a feature which lets you control your Atari remotely through a web browser. Amazing!

Around that time, Jookie was also working on a replacement STiNG-compatible internet driver. The idea was to provide TCP-IP to the Atari through the CosmosEx. Internet apps which support STiNG, such as CAB, the Crystal Atari Browser, would “just work.”

Fast-forward to this week. I decided to see if Jookie ever got the drivers were working. Turns out he did!

Keep reading to see how I set everything up.

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Hatari, Lantronix, and CosmosEx: My quixotic quest to play “Thieves Guild”

Allow me introduce you to the “Thieves Guild Emulator,” a graphical front-end client for the Atari ST BBS game “Thieves Guild.”

(Update: I have replaced the original video I posted with a new version that includes the game’s sound effects, as well as some gory combat)

It took me a long time to reach the point where I could make that video. In this blog post, I’m going to explain that journey. I’ll also tell you a bit about the game itself. In fact, maybe that’s where I should begin.

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