The Atari800MacX emulator is the best way to get going with Atari 8 Bit emulation on your Mac OSX system. It’s easy to get started, but you may encounter a glitch when loading disk images. Not everyone experiences this problem, but I did on my Mac OS X Yosemite machine. Here’s what I did to overcome it.
Follow the basic instructions to download and install the emulator. Make sure to locate all the necessary OS roms needed to operate all of the emulation options. You can locate them by simply Googling the names of the files. The files you need are:
You’ll want to make sure you have those in place in the OSRoms directory that is provided by the emulator install.
From there, you’ll want to locate your first disk image. There are many emulator rom sites out there, some of questionable quality, but many that are stellar, high quality and easy to use. Find them easily with a simple search in Google for “Atari 8 bit roms” and download your favorite title.
Downloaded Atari 8 bit roms are actually “disk images” with a file extension of .ATR and they go in the “Disks” directory provided by the emulator install.
When attempting to start up emulation of a ROM images, I was encountering difficulty. I would insert a rom disk image into drive D1 and perform a coldstart, but I wouldn’t see anything on the screen. I managed to overcome this problem by following these steps consistently:
1 – Activate the DISABLE BASIC button. This ensures that you’ll boot from disk when the emulated Atari system starts.
2 – Watch for activity on the disk drive in the Atari Media window. You’ll see sectors being counted on the disk drive when it boots for the first time.
3 – If you see no activity on the screen, change the screen scale in the Atari Media window. For example, change the screen scale from 1X Scale to 2X Scale. Upon change, you’ll likely notice your game/program is actually loading.
4 – Be mystified by the strange glitch, but get over it and enjoy your experience.
Atari800MacX is a terrific emulator produced as a result of a generous donation of time by a hardworking individual. Please visit their website at http://www.atarimac.com and consider donating if you use and enjoy their software!
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