The DGS compilation CD-ROM

by Matthew Preston


For those who have never heard of DGS, Dean Garraghty Software will seem only a new addition to the MyAtari magazine. However DGS has been going some years now and after many years of trading, Dean has decided to release a bulk of his software on one CD. The cost is £10 plus postage and in these days of cheap shareware I consider it to be an excellent price for what you get. A few years ago I must have paid £10 for a single piece of software, now I have a complete collection at my fingertips ready to be used in an emulator.

I ordered my CD from Dean's web site at on a Sunday evening and paid using PayPal. Imagine my excitement when I received the CD only a few days later. Now that's what I call service! The CD is a home-burned one, using a high quality Kodak CD-R and presented in a professional looking jewel case listing the software on the disk.

So, what exactly do you get for your £10 then?

  • Digi-Studio - A complete sampled sound music suite for the Atari 8-bit, written by Dean Garraghty.
  • Issues 1-14 of the News-Disk on-disk magazine in .atr and .dcm format.
  • News-Disk Yearly disk 1, originally sold with the News-Paper.
  • Issues 15-19 of the News-Paper magazine in PDF format.
  • Issues 20-26 of the News-Disk magazine ready to be printed out from an Atari.
  • PPP (Power Per Post) Games - Rubberball, Bombi, Minesweeper and Glaggs it!
  • Quick V2.2 and V2.1 - A relatively new programming language for the Atari that can be compiled to machine code and is based on a modular system.
  • Quick Ed character set editor.
  • Quick support disks 1 and 2 - Modules and samples of software made for the Quick language.
  • Screen Aided Management (SAM) V1.25i - A complete 80-column working environment for the 8-bit which you have to see it to believe!
  • SAM Budget, Designer and Utility extensions - Plug-in's for SAM.

The CD is not designed to auto-run and works fine both in a PC and Apple Macintosh.

[Screen-shot: Contents of DGS CD-ROM]

Opening the file, ReadMe.txt, reveals a short copyright notice and some brief instructions for using the CD. I would suggest you just browse around and take a look at the different pieces of software that are available.

To read the magazines you will need a PDF reader. Acrobat Reader is free and I was surprised that a free distribution was not included as it is quite a download if you have not already got it. This and the fact that the News-Paper magazines have been scanned two pages at a time in book-matched sequence are my only moans really. However, by scanning them in such a manner, it does simplify things a bit for printing a full sized version of the magazine. The scans are of excellent quality and have been done a quite a high resolution. As a result, they look great printed out, just like an original.

The games manuals have been produced in the same way as the magazine and as such are easy to use when printed out, plus they too look great, being scanned versions of the original printed material.

The documentation for most of the other software is in a text PDF format, not only does it make it easy to read on a PC monitor, it means that you're getting a first generation print when you do a hard copy of the manual for let's say, Digi-Studio. Very professional looking indeed.

I have tested all the software on the CD and have not found any errors. They all work fine under Atari800WinPLus, even Digi-Studio with the sampled sound and transfer to 5 1/4 inch floppies perfectly (as explained in my emulation series in MyAtari).

Access to the magazine issues 20 to 26 is a handled differently. They were originally produced on floppy disk to print out from your 8-bit and included a printed cover. A small reader is included on the virtual disk to read the magazines, but this is a little messy. If you haven't got a real 8-bit with a printer you could be stuck, however, it is a simple job in transferring the pages to your PC, I'll show you how;

First start up Atari800WinPLus with a DOS 2.5 virtual disk. Go to the settings menu and tick the box to print to notepad. You can print directly from the emulator but I have experienced some problems.

[Screen-shot: Atari Settings in Atari800WinPLus]

Swap this disk image for the DGS magazine virtual disk (NDP20.ATR and list its directory). Now this is the clever bit, open Notepad on your PC. Go back to the emulator and choose a page you want to look at or print. Use the copy file function and select the page you want but copy it to the printer using the P: command, the following picture should makes more sense;

[Screen-shot: Output from Atari800WinPLus]

As if by magic the page appears in Windows Notepad, here you can either read it, save it or print it out, much easier.

The software on this CD is cracking. One of the best is Quick Ed, an Atari 8-bit character editor written in the Quick language. You can use a joystick, ST mouse and best of all, an Atari Touch Tablet. Dean has included a PDF scan which, when printed out, slips under the cover of the touch tablet and you can use it to directly edit and control the software. Very slick and years ahead of its time.

[Screen-shot: Acrobat Reader displaying Touch Tablet PDF]

Picture of the touch tablet overlay in Adobe Acrobat.

All in all the CD is good value for money as you're getting nearly £100 of software for just £10. That's what I call a bargain! Coupled with the fact that it would take nearly a week to download it to your PC on an average modem makes it a very attractive offer.

NOTE: Due to legal reasons, the full version of the DGS compilation CD-ROM is not available in Germany, Austria or Switzerland as DGS does not hold a license for PPP in those countries. However, a lite version is available containing just the DGS products which costs $5 less (which can be purchased in any country), see DGS web site for further details.



DGS compilation CD-ROM


Dean Garraghty Software


£10 / $15 / €15 (Full version)
£6 / $10 / €10 (Lite version) 


  • Excellent value for money
  • Easy to order
  • Good variety of software


  • Magazines awkward to access
  • No PDF reader on disk



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MyAtari magazine - Review #1, September 2002

Copyright 2002 MyAtari magazine