begin with the name: STE is for S ixteen T
hirtytwo E nhanced . The exact or even the vague date when the
STE was first planned is unknown to the author. Surely the success
of Commodores Amiga played quite a role in the improvements integrated
into the STE.
The first facts I have, is the introduction in the market
in the year 1989. By that time the technical specification where
not amazing anymore with Amigas around for several years. Also there
was quite some trouble with some developers who
were not satisfied with the new hardware. They
started to attack the STE in interviews, even before
it was sold. All in all it was a hard time to get
into the market for the brother of the ST.
a planned 256 colour mode was dropped by Atari, presumeable because
the 8 Mhz machine was to slow to cope normal workflow in that resolution.
The main hardware differences to the normal ST were:
- 4096 colour palette
- DMA 8 bit Stereo-Sound with
up to 50 khz digisound replay
- two additional Joypadports (for Jagpad)
- graphic coprocessor chip Blitter.
to upgrade SIMM based memory (up to 4 MB)
standard ST datas are:
1/2" disc drive
320x200 at 16 colours, 640x200 at 4 colours
and 640x400 at 2 colours
models a user could buy were the 520 STE with 512kb
and the 1040 STE with 1 MB. An 4160 STE existed
only for developers and had 4 MB memory.
operating system is TOS, the versions in the
STE were 1.06 and 1.62 (RainbowTOS). Later
also TOS 2.06.
many STE were sold is at the moment not known.
Atari advertisment from 1989 (klick on image to
site has no commercial intention. It is dedicated to the old Atari
computers and has nothing to do with the new Atari-Label owned by
Last update 12.07.06