GEM in 2018 ?

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exxos
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GEM in 2018 ?

Post by exxos » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:28 am

Actually branch from's thread viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1049

Talk about PC has more power and of course a lot easier to use Internet, use devices such as printers etc easily.. Aside from that what else is there..

Obviously the ST as a massive software base already. GEM may be simple but does the job but can of course be replaced by more advanced desktops. Eventually we will have better resolutions with faster machine to run all software..

Of course with so many people annoyed with Microsoft and Windows and moving to more linux based machines like ubuntu, A free OS to browse the Internet, do emails etc easily. Of course GEM is 30+ years old.. So have to be a little fair here as well..

I think there is no real reason why GEM could not be used in 2018. If you have a machine with enough power and a rich software base then you almost have everything you need.. Actually only need powerful PC's to run bloatware in windows.. I mean GEM in 8MHz can open a window from floppy faster than my PC could every do. Of course hardware also to blame here.. The point is I can boot up my ST and format a floppy in under 60 seconds.. My PC takes around 5 minutes to work out if there is a lobby in the drive or not.. And often cannot make up its mind.. So PC isn't always best in all cases.

Of course we don't have modern browsers, video players and all that. But really why does GEM need to compete with this anyway ? After using a PC for a long time, GEM desktop or alternative desktop can do all the tasks my PC desktop can... only thing I really miss in GEM is right click menu for copy paste :lol:

If we have a simple system like GEM which has a decent amount of CPU power and resolution and addons like hard drives USB, LAN etc.. And I think it is more than enough potential to be useful in 2018.
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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by Steve » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:20 pm

Just FYI Netsurf can be classed as a modern browser for GEM as it is fully up to date. What you're suggesting sounds a lot like Beekey:
https://sites.google.com/site/emaappsar ... eavailable
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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by Petari » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:40 pm

Considering floppy: there is no floppy port in newer PCs - about last 6-8 years. And nobody missing them, except retro freaks as us :lol: I have it in now 9 years old ASUS MBO, and it works still fine. With Windows 7. With normal speed - what means same speed practically as on Atari, because it is determined by disk rotation speed. You do something wrong, or there is some problem with drive, less likely controller. Or maybe just there is head misalign between PC and Atari drive, so they read each others writing harder. What PC floppy controller really can not is hyperformat, and disk formatted by FastCopy Pro fast flag on. All it was discussed and reasons are well known.

PC is certainly not best in all cases. Or Windows. But there is one thing in what is common with PCs and Ataris in 80-es: best power/price ratio.
I will not go here in OS discussion. That's mostly pointless. I tried little older Linux, with it's Firefox, and that was very bad - older Firefox version had lot of problems with new pages. And that's only some 8 years ! GEM is just too far behind. You compare something what is max 500 KB with new OS-es, which are 500 MB . Not to mention that no multitasking of GEM. There is only some kind of beta. Why no Mint or Linux68K ? There is distro what you can install as bootable PC OS, just can not remember it's name.
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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by IngoQ » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Funnily there was a GEM Version for DOS which was released as freeware by Digital Research in 1999 under the Name of FreeGEM. There is a more or less current distribution based on FreeDOS with the name OpenGEM:

http://www.opendawn.com/opengem/

Of course this lacks a software base...

And then there is Aranym: https://aranym.github.io/

Edit: Just realised, that Aranym is included in BeeKey/BeePi
Ingo :geek:

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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by KyleB » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:48 am

How much PC Gem software was actually released? I know Amstrad PCs bundled it, but I never find anything for it.

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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by Acsi » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:26 am

I have GEM running on my Atari PC3. I’m only aware of GEM Write and GEM Paint as far as dedicated GEM Software though.

http://www.ataripc.net/pc3-8088/media/gem-desktop/

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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by Petari » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:19 am

Let's face it: GEM for PC was not success. And it is not developed in last 2 decades + . Even Atari people, who wanted some better OS, GUI, Desktop went on other solutions - MagiC, Mint ...
There is BeeKey for PCs https://sites.google.com/site/emaappsar ... anymonakey
But that's basically Linux with Aranym, can run Hatari ... I tried Internet with it - and that was not something what I want to do instead some better ways.
Making some new version of GEM - wait, there is such - EmuTOS, updated regularly. That could be ported to Intel CPU too. After that 'trivial' task, you need 'only' to add mentioned things: LAN, USB, Internet browser, maybe FTP ... Ah, and maybe driver SW for every popular motherboard, expansion card (like video) .... So, I think that team of 20 people can do it in some 20 years. Sorry, I'm sarcastic, but this is SW, and that needs much more time than HW.
And whatfor ? Hmmm, I forgot to mention multitasking .
All in all, GEM in 2018 = real Ataris, some old PC, emulators. Use Linux if can not stand Win. I used all it - Linux from 1995, for instance.
There is 2 kind of people: one thinking about moving to Mars after here becomes too bad, the others thinking about how to keep this planet habitable.

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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by exxos » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:29 am

There are a lot of "simple "OS's appearing on various platforms and hardware, GEM is a lot more advanced than those. Point being in the right situation anything can be a successes. We have huge software base for TOS/GEM already which is huge advantage. Sure running windows 10 as a PI is stupid, running simple linux box is huge good idea.

I think there is room for hardware like ST's running GEM. Its more advanced than some are using today. PI is good for getting stuff done easily, and gets people into hardware and software, but thats all cheating and lazy IMHO. Next step real computer system , maybe even Z80 based as proper starting point, or maybe ST with its 68000 CPU.

Sure GEM is useless for lots of things, but can say that about any platforum, need the right combination of hardware and software and support. Maybe topic isn't ideal for using GEM for modern PC tasks.. sure can't compete with windows. Though GEM/TOS/68000 based systems can and a proper machine with already rich software base.

We need to think forward a little. such systems need new blood to continue, and we need to be positive and find ways to make system interesting to new people.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by IngoQ » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:32 am

Might be an interesting project to set up a Linux based machine with XFCE Desktop and have it TOS/GEM themed. If you'd put this in a similarly Atari themed case, maybe even in an original one, this could be a very cool and usable machine. If you combine this with an emulator or Aranym, it would be a hybrid.
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Re: GEM in 2018 ?

Post by arf » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:45 am

Acsi wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:26 am
I have GEM running on my Atari PC3. I’m only aware of GEM Write and GEM Paint as far as dedicated GEM Software though.

http://www.ataripc.net/pc3-8088/media/gem-desktop/
Adimens (relational database, available for Atari, PC, FlexOS, all with GEM as GUI).
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