Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 2 NO. 4 / SPECIAL ISSUE #2


Graphics And Music: Where to Get Them

by Gregg Pearlman

When it comes to ST graphics and music, the best place to look is online, on such services as CompuServe and GEnie, or local bulletin board systems. You'll find a wealth of professional-looking sights and amazing sounds. Users frequently upload their own graphics and music files, but often they upload files found elsewhere. such as a BBS. Someone digitizes Donna Rice with Color Computereyes, edits the picture in DEGAS Elite and uploads it to a BBS; someone else downloads it, then uploads it to a graphics library in the Atari 16-bit hardware forum on CompuServe -where perhaps hundreds of people download it and then upload it to other boards, GEnie, Delphi or other online services.

The online service most familiar to the START staff, of course, is CompuServe, home of ANTIC ONLINE, Antic Publishing's electronic magazine.

You've logged onto CompuServe. At the TOP Page, type GO ATARI16 for the Atari 16-Bit Forum. Once in ATARI16, wait for a "Function:" prompt. Then type "ln" for a list of data libraries available. At the next Function prompt, enter the number of a graphics or music library (About the only way to know which download libraries have music or graphics is to look for yourself, as these change frequently) At the "DL n!" prompt, type "bro" to browse the files-to see what there is to download. If you want a particular type of file, be it DEGAS, NEOchrome, Spectrum, MIDI, etc., then at that DL prompt type "bro/key xxxx," where xxxx is a keyword to search on.

Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth, digitized with Navorone
Industries' ST Scan, converted to RLE format,
and uploaded by Antic Online to the Atari
16-bit forum on CompuServe.

After the file information, keywords and brief description of each file is the following prompt: (R D M) ! Enter R to Read a text or RLE (Run Length Encoded) file, D to Download the file, or M to return to the previous Menu.

If you log onto GEnie, at the TOP page enter 5 for Computing. Then enter 2 for the Atari Roundlables, and 2 for the ST RoundTable. Then enter 3 for the ST libraries, and 8 to set the library, which gives you a list. For graphics, choose 5 (Graphics & Art), 10 (Demos) or 12 (Adult Library). For music, choose 11 (Music). On the library page, enter 2 for a file directory; 3 to search the directory, or 4 to browse the files. Then just follow the prompts.

Here's just some of what you'll find in the graphics libraries:

  • DEGAS or DEGAS Elite pictures: converted from Amiga, Macintosh or even Atari 8-bit formats, or made with CAD-3D 2.0. Or videotape, laserdisk or still life images digitized with Computereyes, MichTron's Realtizer or Hippovision. Or freehand drawings of all kinds. Often these files have been archived, meaning that several files have been compressed and strung together, thus saving you download time (and money).
  • Images created or to be viewed with Spectrum 512.
  • Images scanned with Navarone's ST Scan.
  • Animations done with the Cyber Studio, Animator ST or Make It Move.
  • Pictures in Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), found only on CompuServe. GIF lets you exchange high-resolution graphics between your ST and several other types of personal computer.
  • Program and utility files, such as data library listings, graphics conversion programs, documentation and printer drivers.
What are all these pictures of? Everything. Spaceships. Digitized Renoirs and Gainsboroughs. Fractal landscapes. Celebrities such as Christie Brinkley; Sheena Easton, Jessica Hahn and Darryl Hannah's sister. not to mention Charlie Chaplin, Rita Hayworth, Max Headroom and Bugs Bunny.

Music files include voice/configuration editor/librarians in compiled GFA BASIC, songs done with Electronic Arts' Music Construction Set and Activision's Music Studio, digitized sound effects (including voices for the Star Trek game) and archived files containing songs that play while you run other programs. Many songs are specifically for particular synthesizers, such as the Casio CZ-101.

As with the graphics, the choice of songs covers all the bases. If you're not interested in Bach or Mozart, there's always St. Elmo's Fire's love theme, Rick Wakeman's Six Wives of Henry VIII, the Beatles, or original compositions.

There's plenty of MIDI and other music files for the downloading in the Atari Base BBS, the ST Programs area on the Delphi information service and such MIDI-specific systems as Hybrid Arts' MIDI World Network BBS and the TACE BBS in Temple, Texas, which serves the Temple Area Computer Enthusiasts. But don't forget your local BBS, either.

If you'd like to see more articles like this, circle 226 on the Reader Service Card.

Gregg Pearhnan is Assistant Editor of Antic.


  • CompuServe. Inc., 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd., P.O. Box 20212. Columbus, OH 43220. Voice phones: (614) 457-0802; (800) 848-8199.
  • GEnie (General Electric Network for Information Exchange). General Electric Information Services Co., 401 N. Washington St., Rockville, MD 20850. Voice phone: (800) 638-9636.
  • Delphi, General Videotex Corp., 3 Blacksione St., Cambridge, MA 02139. Voice phones: (800) 544-4005; (617) 491-3393.
  • MIDI World Network (Hybrid Arts' BBS): (213) 826-4288.
  • TACE BBS (Temple Area Computer Enthusiasts): (817) 778-2506.