The DGS compilation
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
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 www.dgs.clara.net
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?
- 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.
Yearly disk 1, originally sold with the
- 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
- 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
The CD is not
designed to auto-run and works fine both in
a PC and Apple Macintosh.
Opening the file,
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.
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
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
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.
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
As if by magic
the page appears in Windows Notepad, here you
can either read it, save it or print it out,
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
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
Dean Garraghty Software
/ $15 / 15 (Full version)
/ $10 / 10 (Lite version)
value for money
- Easy to
- Good variety
awkward to access
- No PDF reader