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winSTon - a ReView by Calico Cat - February 08,1999 by Calico Cat
Calico Catis an independent author writing for EmuViews.
Computer emulators don't usually get the same attention they used to in our community;with the advent of successful arcade projects like MAME and Raine, and the meteoric rise ofconsole emus like Zsnes and DBoy, it's easy to forget that there are truly great emulatorslike WinSTon 0.2 that deserve every bit as much praise. Atari ST emulation has made greatstrides in recent years, with others like PaCifiST (DOS) and now E.C.H.O. (DOS) each doinga great job in certain areas -- but if you want the whole package, with ease-of-use, powerand great support, I'd recommend WinSTon 0.2 for Win95.
Unlike some earlier Windoze 32-bit emus that tended to be pretty slow on most systems,WinSTon really kicks out the jams: my own P90 runs this emulator at impressive speeds, evenwith complex arcade games and system-twisting routines coursing through it. I can run manygreat titles like Black Tiger and Rodland at 65-90% full speed, and barely notice the lagthere is, and basic Gem desktop operations are wonderfully smooth. The onscreen layout isclean and simple, with basic functions only a click away, and it looks GREAT -- even theprogram window looks like an Atari ST, complete with working drive LED. Full MS/Windowsdisk support is a given, and as Jose mentioned in his piece the other day, you can use theMakeDisk utility to convert old ST disks to a PC-readable format; I have already converteddozens of my old disks successfully this way, with no problems. The entire WinSTon setuptakes up only 2 meg of space, including the TOS ROMs you'll need to operate the system onstartup -- these do not come with the software, of course.
Because of the hard work and devotion of many ST emulator authors and siteops, thereare a number of fantastic support sites available for the TOS images and thousands of greatgames and utilities; the best by far is run by the siteop/owner of the WinSTon page, at The Little Green Desktop is one-stop shopping for all yourAtari ST emulation needs; all the TOS ROM images are here, two massive software archiveswith several thousand commercial game images to download, online support and tutorials atevery turn, even bulletin boards and full magazines to peruse at no cost, just like theemulator. Everything about this website is classy and simple, from the newbie-friendlydesign to the quick-loading menus, and you'll quickly find yourself spending a lot of timejust poking around to see what new things you can find, and learn. The homepages for bothWinSTon and PaCifST are at the fatal-design site too, and this makes getting into Atari STemulation a breeze compared to most other systems -- if you had an ST and miss it, or haveone in mothballs like I do, this program (and website) are an absolute must! And, if younever had the pleasure of this system the first time around, I'd definitely recommend itfor emu buffs and game fans alike.. no worries of IDSA crackdowns in sight, and a world ofgreat software at your fingertips. WinSTon 0.2 is a great, simple introduction to freewarecomputer emulation, and a real blast for anyone who misses their little green desktop!

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