TOS Bugs, Patches and revisions

TOS Bugs, Patches and revisions

Post by Neil Forsy » Sat, 23 Jun 1990 16:39:09

>Er, I'm not going to fork out $100 every month for a new version of
>the OS. The solution I prefer is for Atari to make up a "master patch
>of patches" that you can use with ANY rom version and takes it up to
>the latest level. So if a user reports a strange problem, you say
>"What version of the master patch are you running?" If it's the curent
>one, then you know EXACTLY what they have, despite the ROM. There
>would be no excuse for the user to not upgrade (it's free).

>I suggested it, but Atari didn't like it. C'est la vie.

Well I second Greg's suggestion. We have a lab full of TOS 1.0 and so I have
wanted a 'panacea' ROM patch for a long time. Sure I'd prefer the unbugged
ROMs but until we upgrade the lab we could use the patch. The patch should
only fix bugs and not add features (eg. Move File, Skewed Disk Format etc)
else some people would never buy the ROMs. It should also take its patches
from a file and only install the ones needed.

With regard to bugs in TOS 1.4 and TOS 1.6, I recall Ken Badertscher some
time ago calming our fears about a rare bug that hit Leonard Tramiels HD
and set back the release of TOS 1.4.

>Date: 8 Mar 89 08:12:44 GMT
>Organization: Atari Corp., Sunnyvale, CA
>In point of fact, it was a very unusual bug, and to his immense credit,
>Leonard is such a perfectionist that he would not allow TOS 1.4 to be
>released even with such a obscure, rare bug in it!

I'm sure we all appreciate that, but once TOS 1.4 was released some not so
obscure bugs were found and although Atari have since released patches they
seem to have no plans to fix the ROMs and re-release them.
Some people have also cast doubts on the efficiency of the patches too.

TOS 1.6 was released in the ROM of the STE with bugs that Atari did feel
deserved an unbugged re-release. Do we 1.4 owners not deserve the same?
I suspect that Atari feel that the Medium Res bug, although trivial, is more
important because it's a visible one. "Hey look, I'll show you a bug!"

It is sad to think that TOS 1.4 is now available in the UK over one year after
it was finished. I would have been nice to have at least gained something from
the delay like bug fixes.

The TOS ROM versions situation currently looks like this:-

Version: 0.0
Machine: 260-520 ST
Size: 64K
Release date: Unknown (and unimportant)
This was the first ROM. It's sole purpose was to supply just enough BIOS
calls to enable RAM TOS to be loaded from disk. Nice picture though.

Version: 1.0
Machine: 520-1040 ST
Size: 192K
Release date: 20th November 1985
Initially available on disk as RAM TOS this is the original buggy OS
(I call it BUG TOS :-) It is believed most of the bugs seem to have been
DRI's fault.

Version: 1.2
Machine: 520-1040 ST(FM), Mega ST
Size: 192K
Release date: 22nd April 1987
Changes: A few minor bug fixes plus a few new features (mainly BLiTTER support
for Mega ST's)

Rainbow TOS
Version: 1.4
Machine: 520-1040 ST(FM), Mega ST, STacy
Size: 192K
Release date: 6th April 1989
Changes: Major bug fixes plus many more new features. Some bugs were left in
for compatibility reasons. New ones appeared. Called Rainbow TOS because of
the rainbow colours in the fuji logo from "Desktop Info" menu.

Rainbow/STE TOS
Version: 1.6
Machine: STE
Size: 256K
Release date: 29th July 1989, 17th October 1989
Changes: Essentially this is TOS 1.4 with new features added because of
larger ROM space and enhanced hardware. The TOS 1.4 bugs were fixed.
It was re-released because of desktop.inf med-res bug.

Version: 2.0?
Machine: TT
Size: 512K
Release date: Unknown at present
Changes: Rumoured to be major improvements and new features. This is probably
the most bug free ROM version to date (whatever it is).

It begins too look like TOS 1.4 is the end of the road for the ST, Mega ST and
STacy portable. The STE gets one more bite at the cherry with a possible
TOS 1.8 and the TT looks set to get all the future improvements in 2.0 and


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