Many owners may get more than they bargained for after upgrading to the newly available STE. At least one major software application has been found to be entirety incompatible with the machine, and there may be many more.
As ST Format went to press, Mandarin Software discovered that their highly popular STOS games creator refused to work with the STE. STOS program disks crashed or simply wouldn't boot and games written using the program refused all attempts to run them. “We found that STOS just wouldn't work with the STE,” said Mandarin spokesperson Peter Lee. The company have produced an upgrade about to be released into the public domain which will enable STOS to operate successfully win the STE. “Old STOS products will be upgraded said Lee, “the patch should also allow games written with STOS to work properly too. We've tried Games Galore (the recently released compilation of some of the best STOS-produced games) and it worked 0K.”
However, the problems doesn't end with STOS. Public domain libraries are finding that many of their demos, utilities and games are producing strange results. “I've found a moderate amount of incompatibility with the demos,” complained Mike Goodman of the Goodman Public Domain Library. Some of the well-known demos such as the Union demo won't even boot.”
Goodman estimates that around 50% of demos, music and graphics programs won't run on the new computer. One main item experiencing incompatibility is GFA'S mono emulator which is a staple of the library. there are two mono emulators explained Goodman, ''the GFA which appeared on the Cover Disk of ST Format and the Mid west emulator. Many programs will work with only one or the other, but the GFA doesn't work properly with the STE.” This means that users who previously relied upon the GFA mono emulator to run their PD will not be able to make use of the software with the STE. Mike Goodman can confirm however, that other GFA products work perfectly; “I've tried other stuff and it’s fine.”
There's also a problem associated with booting the STE in medium resolution, Earlier versions of TOS enabled users to save their desired screen configuration as a Desktop.inf file which, if placed on the boot-up disk, fired up the ST into medium resolution. The STE however, effectively ignores the Desktop.inf file and boots into either low or high resolution depending upon the display attached to the machine. “I've found that desktop accessories requiring a medium resolution boot-up give an accessory not loaded message, and the STE boots into low res.”
Atari UK confirmed the medium resolution problem saying that as no commercial software booted into medium resolution anyway, the problem was minimal. However, the company is looking hard at other incompatibility complaints.
Format will endeavour to keep you informed on developments.