"The American government is making nuclear weapons like there's
"THE ATARI COMPENDIUM" BY SCOTT SANDERS
Errata Sheet: 11/1/1993
Part 1 of 3
(Foreword by Michael Noyce)
When "The Atari Compendium" was released a couple of years ago I
immediately purchased a copy. Okay, my parents bought it for me
as a Christmas present <grin>. Anyway, it was a real god-send.
Never before had all the offical Atari developers documentation
been gathered into one comprehensive volume.
However, it soon came apparent there were many mistakes, errors,
and omissions that needed correcting, and that is what these
three errata 'sheets' do.
Originally one file, I have split it into three distinct parts.
The first part (this file) is the original errata released by
Scott Sanders. The second part was compiled by Mark S. Baines, of
"Profile" fame, from various sources (credited after each
correction). The third part is a collection of corrections
extracted from "ST Applications".
I haven't changed the contents in any way other than
reformatting the text for the ST NEWS page viewer and tidying up
the presentation a bit.
Finally, I would like to thank Mark S. Baines for supplying me
with the original file and for his permission to reproduce it
here. In fact he says you are encouraged to spread this
information as much as possible.
1.3 (The 260/520/1040ST)
The original ST computers contained a 320x200x16 mode, a
640x200x4 mode, and a 640x400x2 mode (not 640x400x1 as stated).
The MegaSTe has three serial ports, not two (one is shared with
The TT has a 1280x960x2 mode (not 1280x960x1).
The Falcon030 may have a 2.5" IDE drive installed, not a half-
height drive as stated.
GEMDOS derives its heritage from CPM 68k (not CPM 86k).
2.4 (GEMDOS Directories)
Each sub-directory contains a directory named '..' which refers
to its parent directory. In addition, each sub-directory contains
a directory named '.' which refers to itself. The root directory
contains neither of these files.
2.5 (Disk Transfer Address)
The DTA structure is never defined. It is as follows:
typedef struct _dta
(Actually, the DTA structure is defined (as above) in section
2.64 - Fgetdat() - MN)
2.17 (Signal Table - SIGABRT)
The last sentence in this table entry should be "It is
unrecommended that you catch this signal."
2.23 (GEMDOS Time & Date Functions)
TOS 1.02 is incorrectly referred to as 1.2. Any references to TOS
1.2 should be considered references to TOS 1.02, likewise with
TOS 1.04 or TOS 1.06.
2.38 (Dcntl() - FS_INSTALL entry)
The structure fs_descr is defined without the portability macros.
'WORD' should be substituted for 'short' and 'LONG' should be
substituted for 'long'.
2.51 (Fchmod() - table)
The definition 'S_IRUSER' should be 'S_IRUSR'.
2.54-2.58 (Fcntl() - table)
Several constant definitions for the cmd parameter of Fcntl()
were omitted. The correct constants are (note: TIOCSTOP was
documented, but the constant listed was incorrect):
2.77-2.78 (Fsfirst() and Fsnext())
The DTA structure was never defined. See the note for page 2.5
Pexec() mode 6 is available as of GEMDOS version 0.15.
3.4 (System Startup)
The Fuji logo and hard disk spin-up delay occurs on all TOS
versions past 2.06, not just 2.06 and 3.06 as is stated.
3.8 (Searching for a Cookie)
The example code references the cookie structure members 'cookie'
and 'value' as 'c' and 'v' rather than by their full name.
3.11 (_MCH cookie)
The ST Book '_MCH' cookie contains a value of 0x00010008.
3.12 (FSMC cookie)
The value field of the 'FSMC' cookie contains a pointer to a
structure with information about the current version of GDOS as
typedef struct _gdos_info
The structure member gdos_type will be either '_FSM' for FSMGDOS,
'_FNT' for FONTGDOS, or '_SPD' for SpeedoGDOS.
The structure member gdos_version contains the currently
installed version of GDOS with the major version number being in
the high byte and the minor version being in the low byte.
The structure member gdos_quality is initialized to 0xFFFF to
indicate that printouts will be processed at the 'default'
quality setting. Applications may change this value to 0x0000 to
force GDOS drivers to output in DRAFT mode or 0x0001 to force
GDOS drivers to output in FINAL mode. The variable should be
restored to 0xFFFF after each print.
3.13 (BIOS Devices)
The Mega STe supports devices 6, 7, and 9 as Modem 1, Modem 2,
and Serial 2 respectively. Reliable use of BIOS serial devices
other than the ST compatible device #1 on a Falcon030 requires
the use of the TSR program "FPATCH2.PRG" (available from Atari
Developer Support) or a TOS version >4.04.
3.31 (Setexc() - table)
The vector number for TRAP #1 (GEMDOS) is 0x21.
4.16 (The Serial Port)
No mention was made of the Mega STe's serial ports. They bear the
same functionality as serial ports on the TT except that there is
no Serial 1 port on a Mega STe.
The Falcon030 contains an MFP chip, however, it is not used to
control any of the serial devices.
The Falcon030 requires "FPATCH2.PRG" or an installed TOS version
greater than 4.04 for Bconmap() to work as expected.
4.xx (DSP functions)
Most of the DSP functions contain an incorrect function opcode in
the 'Binding' section of the function reference. The correct
opcode for all DSP functions is properly listed in the 'Opcode'
Dosound(-1) returns a pointer to the sound block of the currently
playing sound or NULL if no sound is currently being played. This
feature is broken in MultiTOS 1.00-1.08.
Mode 0 of EsetGray() causes the low 12 bits of a palette entry to
be interpreted as a TT color. Mode 1 causes the low eight bits of
a palette entry to be interpreted as a gray value between 0-255.
The correct binding for EsetPalette() is:
buf should be a word-aligned pointer to a buffer large enough to
hold one complete track (not sector as stated).
The correct binding for Kbrate() is:
Offgibit() bit #7 toggles SCC A between the Serial 2 and LAN
ports on a TT.
For each bit of mask that is set, that bit will be toggled.
Rsconf() with a speed parameter of -2 will return the last set
baud rate on TOS 1.06 or TOS 1.04 with "TOS14FX2.PRG".
If any parameter of Setscreen() is -1, then the value is left
Sndstatus() is available when bit #2 of the '_SND' cookie is set.
4.96 (Soundcmd() - table)
The sample rates generated by using a TT compatible prescale
value with SETPRESCALE are incorrectly identified in MHz rather
The function pointer taken by Supexec() was not properly
prototyped. Supexec() takes a pointer to a function accepting no
arguments and returning a LONG.
VgetRGB() is available when the '_VDO' cookie contains a value of
0x00030000 or higher.
The opcode for VsetMask() is 92 (0x5C).
Vsetmode() should be VsetMode(). In addition, a value of -1 for
the mode parameter will return the current mode setting.
5.10 (The IKBD Controller - Kbdvbase())
The chain of events that occurs when an IKBD event is generated
is incorrectly documented. When an interrupt occurs on either
6850 chip (IKBD or MIDI), the following chain of events happen:
1. The system interrupt handler installed in MFP #4 is called.
This routine determines which 6850 caused the interrupt.
2. If the MIDI 6850 caused the interrupt, midisys() is called
immediately. midisys() checks the MIDI control register for
either an error condition or a data byte. If a data byte is
available, it is placed in the low byte of d0 and sent to
midivec(). If an error occurred, vmiderr() is called.
3. If the Keyboard 6850 generated the interrupt, ikbdsys() is
called immediately. The ikbdsys() handler checks for an error
condition or the availability of a data byte. If an error
condition exists, vkbderr() is called. Otherwise, the
ikbdsys() handler reads data byte(s) as necessary to form a
complete 'packet' depending on what generated the interrupt
(joystick, mouse, or keyboard).
4. If the ikbdsys() handler receives a keyboard make or break
code, it handles the packet internally. Otherwise, the
address of the packet is passed to statvec(), mousevec(),
clockvec(), or joyvec().
Handler vectors may be altered by modifying the structure whose
address is returned by Kbdvbase() or by using Mfpint() as
5.22 (Falcon030 Video Modes)
The Falcon030 is capable of producing a wide variety of video
modes. The table represents those accessible from the Desktop
The sample code contains an error. Replace the lines:
if(_AESglobal == -1)
menu_register( ap_id, menu_title);
if(_AESglobal == -1)
menu_register( ap_id, menu_title);
6.30 (The Desktop Window)
Calling wind_get( 0, WF_WORKXYWH, ...) will return the size of
the desktop work area minus the menu bar (not WF_PREVXYWH as
The _aes binding should list the arrays _addrin and _addrout as
being of type '.ds.l', not '.ds.w'.
appl_init() may return a value of -1 which indicates that the AES
failed to initialize the application. GEM applications may not
make any AES or VDI calls unless appl_init() succeeds.
The type parameter will be filled in with the value 10 to
indicate the current system shell.
These functions require a patch (available from Atari) to work
under TOS 1.0.
evnt_button( 0x101, 0x03, 0x00, ... ) may be used to wait for
either the left or right mouse button. This method works with
evnt_multi() as well.
6.65 (evnt_mesag() - table)
The AC_OPEN message contains the menu identifier returned by
menu_register() in msg. msg is unused.
Each line of an alert may be as many as 30 characters long (not
40 as is stated).
If you remove a menu with menu_bar(), all attachments are cleared
and must be reset upon reenabling the menu.
The MENU structure is missing a member. It should be defined as
typedef struct _menu
mn_keystate is unused with menu_attach() but is used to return
the current keyboard state in menu_popup().
rsrc_rcfix() is available as of AES version 4.0 and higher.
The last sentence of the 'Parameters' section should be: "The
first BYTE of the command line indicates the length of the string
which actually begins at &tail."
6.138 (shel_write() - table)
shel_write() mode 1 should have a wisgr paramater of 0 to launch
a TOS application or a wisgr parameter of 1 to launch a GEM
6.145 (wind_create() - table)
The SMALLER attribute shows the correct mask but an incorrect
bit. The correct bit is 14.
The first sentence of page 6.156 should read:
As of AES version 4.0, you may logically OR a mask of 0x0100 to
either BEG_UPDATE or BEG_MCTRL.
7.4 (VDI Device Identification Numbers - table)
The "MEMORY.SYS" driver should always be assigned to device #61.
v_clswk() closes a physical workstation.
v_opnvwk() opens a virtual workstation.
As of SpeedoGDOS version 4.20, this call will return the a
modified font index for GDOS bitmap fonts to avoid conflicting
with outline font indexes. The index will be added to 5000 for
The version of Pagestream shown is actually 2.2, not 2.1.
11.15 (The File Menu)
If a menu item 'Recall' appears, it should appear between the
'Open' command(s) and 'Save' command(s).
11.23 (Application Software)
The '_IDT' cookie does not contain any information that could be
used to determine a nation's currency symbol. Use the '_AKP'
cookie if present (or the OSHEADER if not) to determine the
country for which this version of TOS was compiled (and thus the
Applications (like entertainment software) should place any
data/configuration files in a sub-directory of the application
folder. Only directly reveal those files which the user may have
to launch or manipulate.
B.6 (Memory Map)
The SCC vectors are present on a Mega STe.
B.7 (System Variables)
The availability of system variables depends on the installed TOS
version, not the computer as might be implied by the layout of
the table. The columns next to system variables were shaded based
upon the release of TOS which is most often associated with that
computer as follows:
Computer TOS Version
ST 1.00 or 1.04
Mega ST 1.02
Mega STe 2.0x
This system variable is valid on an ST as well (it will simply
This vector is jumped through with the keycode contained in the
low byte of d0.
The operating system ROM's moved to this address as of TOS 1.06.
This block of memory extends to 0x00FEFFFF, not FF7FFFF. The
memory between 0x00FF0000 and 0xFF7FFF is reserved for the
The MFP is present on a Falcon, however it is not used for serial
C.6 (Image Compression)
.IMG files do not always contain a vertical replication count at
the beginning of every scanline.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.