Task: Explore SpartaDOS X on an Atari 8-bit Computer
Needed: Altirra or Atari 8-bit computer with 64k of memory
Time: 15-30 mins
I have previously posted about the different Disk Operating Systems (DOS) which were available back in the 1980. These are fun to try. SpartaDOS is on this list and was one of the few which had a command line interface. Interestingly, SpartaDOS was picked up in the 1990s and 2000s by the Atari community as part of the SpartaDOS Upgrade Project with numerous new version released including version 4.49 released in April of 2020. SpartaDOS X is still command line and includes an enormous number of commands making it an extremely powerful way to interact with the Atari 8-bit computers. This utility has been compared to MS-DOS in its function and feel.
Because the program is so comprehensive it takes up quite a bit of memory. You need a machine with 64k of RAM to try it out and really need 128k so you have enough RAM left over to run programs. For this reason, SpartaDOS is ideally used in conjunction with an Atari 130XE or an earlier computer with an upgrade such as the Ultimate 1MB. In fact, the Ultimate 1MB comes with SpartaDOS pre-installed with an option to boot to it on powerup. This is the best way to take full advantage of SpartaDOS X.
You can download SpartaDOS X here. Note there are a number of options for the type of hardware or mod you expect use it on. Options include Ultimate 1MB, Maxflash, SIDE, Altirra, and Incognito.
Manuals and documentations can be found here.
The extreme functionality of this updated DOS is well worth the time to explore. Note that the user’s guide is nearly 300 pages in length. This is a serious DOS!