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The Atari 1040ST was introduced in 1987. It is based on the Motorola 68000 16/32-bit microprocessor running at 8 MHz. The keyboard and motherboard are included in one plastic case, as was its predecessor the 520ST. On the right side of the case is a built-in double sided, double density 720 kilobyte floppy drive.
The 1040ST comes standard with 1 MB of RAM and 196 kilobytes of ROM memory. On the left side of the case are two 5 pin round DIN plugs for MIDI in and MIDI out connections. There is also a 40 pin cartridge slot for plugging in ROM and game cartridges. Under the keyboard on this side are two 9 pin D-plug ports for plugging Joysticks and there are two more 9 pin D-plug ports, one of which doubles as a mouse port under the front of the keyboard. The keyboard has 94 keys and have an excellent feel to them.
On the back of the case going from left to right is a standard 25 pin D-plug serial port for connecting a modem, next an industry standard 25 pin D-plug centronics parallel port for connecting any standard printer, next is an Atari hard disk port using a 19 pin D-plug, a 14 pin round DIN plug to connect an Atari serial external drive, an RCA type plug for an RF modulated video signal, A 13 pin round DIN plug to connect an Atari RGB monitor, the on/off switch, and a reset button.
The 1040ST has three video modes: A 640 x 400 x 2 monochrome for text base programs like word processors, a 640 x 200 x 4 color high resolution mode, and a 320 x 200 x 16 color medium resolution mode. The 1040ST has a pallet of 512 colors to choose from, although on later 'enhanced' versions such as the 1040STe, introduced on November 13, 1989, the color pallet was increased to 4096 colors.
Although the video capabilities of the 1040ST were good, its audio capabilities are where the computer really shines. It has a built in sound generator supplying 3 separate voices and also contains a built in MIDI interface making it possible to connect your computer to a variety of electronic instruments and state of the art sound studio equipment. All for less than $1000 dollars!
The OS was called TOS (some say for Tramiel Operating System) and is burned into ROM for fast loading. The desktop was written by Digital Research Inc. and called GEM. This was a icon driven GUI similar to the MS Windows environment of that day.
This exhibit is a 1040STe, the 'enhanced' version introduced on November 13, 1989, and is displayed with an Atari SC1224 12 inch RGB monitor, an infrared wireless mouse, and a Supra 20 MB hard drive. It was purchased locally at a thrift shop and added to the museum on July 19, 1999.
|Microprocessor||68000||Standard on system board||1 MB|
|Clock speed||8 MHz||Maximum on system board||1 MB|
|Bus type||Atari proprietary||Maximum total memory|
|Data bus width||16-bit||Memory speed and type|
|Address bus width||24-bit||System board memory socket type|
|Interrupt levels||N/A||Number of memory module sockets|
|DMA channels||N/A||Memory used on system board||dynamic|
|ROM size||196k||Internal disk and tape drive bays||1 - 3.5 inch|
|Optional math coprocessor||Standard floppy drives||1|
|Parallel port type||centronics||Optional floppy drives:||yes|
|RS232C serial ports||yes||* 5 1/4 inch 160k|
|Mouse ports||yes||* 5 1/4 inch 1.2MB|
|UART chip used||N/A||* 3 1/2 inch 720k||yes|
|Maximum speed||N/A||* 3 1/2 inch 1.44MB||no|
|CMOS real time clock||no||* 3 1/2 inch 2.88MB||no|
|CMOS RAM||no||Hard disk controller included||no|
Video & Graphics
|Graphics Processor||Sound Interface device|
|Screen size - Col x Rows||80 x 25||Sound generation||3 voices|
|Resolution - Colors/High||4/640 x 200 pixels||ADSR capable|
|Resolution - Colors/Low||16/320 x 200 pixels||Built in MIDI interface||yes|
|Max colors||512 (4096 enhanced)||Programming language|
|Sprites or Missiles||Built in language|
|Built in M L monitor|
|Total adapter slots||1||Number of keys||94|
|Number of 8/16/32 bit slots||0/1/0||Upper/lower case||yes|
|Keyboard cable length||N/A|
|* Height||2.75 inches||Operating voltage @ 60 Hz||120 VAC|
|* Width||18.75 inches||Maximum power supplied||95 watts|
|* Depth||11.5 inches||Power supply output - volts|
|* Weight||9 pounds 7 ounces||Power supply output - amps|