At this time, there are two STOS fixers available (with numorous versions), the latest version of each is called STOS Fix 3. However, neither of these is perfect. One, by Robert Quezada, only fixes the STOS program for the CURRENT version of TOS, thus making it necessary for the end user of the program, not the author to fix the program - this seems rather unprofessional. The other (so I am told - I don't have it), from Goodmans PDL, is only available from Goodmans, and is not available via FTP on the internet. Also, it places an advert for Goodmans PDL on any STOS program fixed with it -again, not very professional.
So, the solution is the Generic STOS Fixer. This fixes a STOS program for any 8 versions of TOS (unfortunately, at this time there are 14 versions, not including MagiC). Which versions are used is determined by the DEFxxxx.DAT files in the same directory as GENFIX.PRG, where xxxx is the TOS version number, and also the settings if you have used the GEM interface.
Supplied with this program are DEFxxxx.DAT files for all existing TOS versions from TOS 1.0 through to 4.92 except TOS 3.05 (if anyone has this version, and has a joystick, please get in touch - I would like to obtain this versions.) Which files are omitted is up to the person fixing the program.
It is no longer necessary for authors to fix their programs with this or any other fixer before release - they should simply install my new patched loaders for the interpreter and compiler (BASIC207.TOS and COMP_207.PRG) before they compile their software. Generic STOS Fixer is now only needed if the author did not do this before releasing their software.
One interesting point is that if a STOS program is fixed for TOS 2.06, then it appears to work under GEMulator - the ST emulator for the PC made by BraSoft. I am currently in the process of trying to establish if STOS will run under STonX - the ST emulator for Unix machines (eg Linux, SGI's, Sun's etc.) After the success under GEMulator, I suspect that it will work.
This does NOT start a GEM based version, and may well corrupt the screen if running under MultiTOS if not installed as a TOS application
To actually perform the fixing process, select the 'Fix' button, and select the program to fix with the file selector. Hopefully, it should now fix the program. Once the fix has been completed, there should be a copy of the program with the file extension renamed to .123 and the original program should now work with the specified OS versions. (see notes on compatibility below...)
However, before fixing it may be necessary to select which versions of TOS are to be fixed for. To do this, select 'OS Versions'. This will bring up a second dialogue.
In the scrollable list on the left are shown all of the DEFxxxx.DAT files found. Any filename shown in white on black is selected, and will be used when fixing - to [de]select a file, click on it with the mouse. Up to 8 files may be selected at any one time.
The 'default' file is the one which STOS will use if the required file is not found. TO set this, line the file which you wish to be the default with this line, and press the sideways arrow.
'Cancel' will restore the settings to the previous values, and 'Ok' will accept any changes made. It should be noted that any changes will NOT be saved, and so may need to be done every session. Also note that all changes except for the 'default' file are made imediately, so fixing without closing this dialogue will use the new settings except for 'default' which will be as set previously.
The default settings for this should be OK for general purpose - if there are more than 8 DAT files (12 are distributed with this release), then as many OS versions excluding TOS 1.1 and 4.92 are selected as is possible. These two are omitted as they are very rare. The default file is selected to either be the first OS version found, or if there are any 4.0x versions, this is chosen. This is because the tables for 4.01, 4.02 and 4.04 are all identical - thus, it is a waste of space to include all 3. With the default settings and files, TOS 1.0, 1.02, 1.04, 1.06, 1.62, 2.05, 2.06 and 4.01 should be selected. As 4.01 is the default, 4.02 and 4.04 should also be operative.
You CAN use this program to fix the BASIC206.PRG program which launches the STOS editor - simply fix in exactly the same way as any other STOS program.
You CAN use this program to fix the BASIC206.PRG program which launches the STOS editor - simply fix in exactly the same way as any other STOS program. Also, if you fix the COMP207.PRG file in the compiler folder, all programs compiled will be fixed for this set of TOS versions.
Also, programs which have been packed will not be fixable - use NewDepack from Sinister Developments to decompress the program. (this program is no longer in development as SD. have left the Atari scene. However, Mike Watson of Sinister Developments is prepared to try and answer any questions via email. at the address firstname.lastname@example.org)
Programs which use extensions may still not work after being fixed - check the Falcon compatibility section below for more details.
I cannot guarantee that all programs can be fixed. However, if after fixing it successfully works on your machine, it probably works under all OS versions that you have specified. If STOS Fix 3 by R.Quezada does not fix a program, it is highly unlikely that this program will have any more luck.
The things to consider with regard to the Falcon are:
Maestro, Control, Extra, Ninja Tracker, Falcon (obviously), Compact, Blitter and Compiler.
The Missing Link works, although a couple of commands do not - namely the music/sample playing routines. Also, the 'P STOP' command causes the keyboard handler to go a little mad (like the key repeat bug...). Other commands (such as 'rasters') also do not appear to work 100%. I will have to test this fully...
The STE Extension, and any other STE extension probably work on the Falcon, although there are slight differences in the way hardware scrolling works, and also the lowest frequency provided on the STE DMA hardware (6.25khz) is not valid, and will not generate any sound.
The following extensions do NOT work on the Falcon, and so should be avoided.
STOS Tracker (the one that uses .ABK files).
Dont forget that your program will run faster on a Falcon, so just because it works doesn't mean that it is playable. This is a problem which I have no answer to. All I can say is if speed makes a difference, it should definately be playtested on a Falcon.
As mentioned above, you cannot fix a program twice. This is due to the method which is used to identify a STOS program - it will patch the wrong part of the file of a program already fixed. This may be changed in later versions (but I think this is unlikely).
Under MagiC GenFIX will not get a correct name under the desk-menu like MultiTOS - this is because I am following Atari's documentation and checking for AES 4.0 for this functionality - not AES 3.99. As I do not have MagiC (and do not intend to buy it) I refuse to gaurantee that this program will work under MagiC, as the programmers are not following Atari's documented functionality (to quote Andreas Kroeme in a recent usenet discussion - "Atari didn't always do things the best way". So? They set the standard for the OS on *Atari* computers, so if you are writing a *compatible* OS then FOLLOW THE STANDARD. [rant off])
Also, there is no waranty that this program will work - explicit or implied. This program directly modifies program files - thus there is a potential for programs to be damaged - you fix programs AT YOUR OWN RISK. Always run this program on a backup.
Although this program is Freeware, any donations are welcome, and would be gratefully received. :-)
|Original fixer code (in STOS)||Les Greenhalgh|
|C implementation||Anthony Jacques|
|DEFxxxx.DAT files created by||STOS Fix 3, by Robert Quezada|
Thanks to everyone who sent me the DEFxxxx.DAT files so that I could build up a complete collection... (excluding 3.05).
70 West Avenue, Oldfield Park Bath Bath and North East Somerset (or simply BaNES) BA2 3QD Englandemail: email@example.com WWW: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/jacquesa/
24 Park Avenue Rudloe Manor Corsham Wiltshire SN13 0JT England
Anthony Jacques, 11/2/96