by Martin Bann



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Original package includes interface cable

Copyright 1988 M.D. Bann and PAGE 6 Software

TARI-TALK is a communications package developed by Martin Bann and PAGE 6 Software that will allow Atari 8-bit owners who have purchased an Atari ST to transfer files from an Atari 400, 800, XL or XE to the ST. Although primarily developed for transferring text files TARI-TALK can be used to transfer all types of file including BASIC programs. TARI-TALK does not of course convert programs in any way to run on the ST, however it will allow BASIC programs to be transferred so that the user may convert them as far as possible to run with suitable BASICs on the ST. TARI-TALK contains all you need to transfer any data from an 8-bit Atari to the ST. No further interfaces are required.

TARI-TALK is published by Page 6 Software

Copyright 1988 by Page 6 Software and Martin Bann

All rights reserved



TART-TALK consists of two program disks and a cable which connects the joystick port of your 8-bit Atari to the MIDI IN port of your ST. Simply plug the joystick connector end of the cable to joystick port 1 of your 8-bit Atari and the other end of the cable to the MIDI IN port at the side or rear of your ST.


With the 8-bit machine switched off insert Disk 1 into drive 1 of your system and switch on the computer. The program will load and run and will present a menu of options on screen.

Insert Disk 2 into drive A of your ST and either switch on the computer or double click on TARITALK.PRG. The receiving program will run and present a menu of options on screen.


The menus each present similar options with the 8-bit menu sending various files and the ST receiving. Three options are available for different types of file.

1. BASIC LISTed Files

This option is intended for the transfer of BASIC programs in a form that can be loaded into programs such as ST BASIC and then modified for use on the ST. TARI-TALK will convert the ATASCII non standard carriage return (ATASCII 155) to the ASCII standard carriage return (ASCII 13) and will also add a line feed command after the carriage return. Programs to be transferred with this option must be in LIST format. If necessary LOAD appropriate programs before using TARI-TALK and LIST them to disk with suitable filenames.

Start by selecting option 1 on the ST. Messages will be presented advising how much memory is available and indicating that any non-ASCII characters will be shown as dots on screen. The true value of the character received is however stored in memory. The ST is now ready to receive data although you may return to the main menu if required by pressing any key.

Next select option 1 on the 8-bit. There will be a small delay the first time an option is selected as the program selects the appropriate machine code data for that option, before a directory of the files in drive 1 is shown. Use the SELECT and OPTION keys to choose which files you wish to transfer, finally pressing START when you are ready to send. The screen will clear and the message 'Set up ATARI ST to receive DATA' will appear. As the ST has already been set up to receive just press RETURN and the file will be transmitted. The program will be shown simultaneously on both screens as it is transmitted and received.


This option is similar to the above except that it assumes that line feeds have been inserted by the word processor used and thus the only conversion is ATASCII 155 to ASCII 13 representing carriage returns. Tari-TALK can transfer any type of file and control codes used In your document will be transmitted as they stand however they may not load into the word processor used on your ST. If you have problems using a file transferred with this option it may be necessary to resave your file in ASCII format or print files to disk first and you should consult the manual of your word processor if you have any doubts.

Transfer of the file Is simply made by selecting Option 2 on the ST and Option 2 on the 8-bit and then following the procedure outlined above for transmitting a BASIC program.

If you find that the document when loaded into the word processor used on your ST lacks line feeds then Option 1 of TARI-TALK can be used to transfer the files and add line feeds.


Option 3 Is used to transfer any type of file where no conversion is required. All characters will be transmitted as they are, however it should be understood that certain characters used on the 8-bit Atari do not appear on the ST and a certain amount of conversion to equivalent ASCII characters will be made by the ST itself. Any file for which there is a directory entry on the 8-bit machine may be transferred with this option including text, picture and other data files as well as SAVEd BASIC and machine code programs, however the usefulness of transferring such programs will depend on your programming abilities or the availability of suitable conversion programs on the ST. The procedure for transferring files of this type is similar to that outlined above under options 1 and 2.


Whichever option is selected the message 'TRANSMISSION COMPLETE' will appear on the 8-bit screen once data for a particular file has been sent. On the ST two checksums will appear at the end of the data received, with a warning should these not match. These checksums are generated separately by the 8-bit and ST machines and should be identical if the transmission was successful. A prompt will appear asking if you wish to save the data received and if the checksums agree you should answer 'Y'. If the checksums are not identical answer 'N', which will return you to the main menu, and try the transfer again.

If you wish to save the received data ensure that a formatted disk is in the appropriate drive and use either the 8-bit filename shown by answering 'Y' or enter a suitable filename in standard ST format via the GEM selector box that will appear if you answer 'N'. Once the file has been saved you will be returned to the main menu on the ST and if you have selected other files to send you must select the appropriate item 1, 2 or 3 to send the next file.

Although errors have been trapped as far as possible it is wise to ensure that you have sufficient space on the disk beforehand particularly if a large file has been transferred.


You should by now have successfully transmitted your first file to the ST. If you have selected other files from the 8-bit system, select the appropriate menu item and press START on the 8-bit to send the next file. You can continue to transfer files or simply switch off and transfer more files at a later date.


TARI-TALK has been extensively tested and should present no problems, however it is possible that component tolerances used in some machines may differ and if you find that you are unable to successfully transfer files please contact PAGE 6 Software giving a full explanation of the problem so that we may try and assist by modifying the program to suit your machine.

The only difficulty you might encounter is when checksums differ widely and this is caused by not selecting the same menu items on both machines. If you find that the checksums do not match, go back to the main menu on the ST and ensure that you have selected the correct type of data to receive.

WARRANTY: The disks and components of TARI-TALK are guaranteed against faulty workmanship or defect for a period of 12 months after purchase and will be replaced free of charge if the original disk(s) or components are returned to PAGE 6 Software, P.O. BOX 54. STAFFORD, ST16 1DR with an explanation of the problem.

COPYRIGHT: The TARI-TALK programs and cable design are copyright of M.D. Bann and PAGE 6 Software and the programs may not be copied or duplicated in any way other than for the personal use of the purchaser as expressly outlined herein. The TARI-TALK programs and cable may not be sold or distributed by any unauthorised person or loaned by any person or company in exchange for a fee. The original purchaser may dispose of the package providing that all back-up copies and documentation are disposed of at the same time.

BACKUPS: PAGE 6 Software is not copy protected in any way so that the most flexible use may be obtained by the purchaser. The purchaser may make back-up copies as appropriate but is requested not to pass copies to any other person. PAGE 6 Software is intended to provide continuing support to the 8-bit Atari by providing programs that are unlikely to be available elsewhere. By their very nature the programs published wilt not sell in large numbers and the effect of unauthorised copies is thus more damaging. Please respect the authors rights and encourage programmers and PAGE 6 Software to continue to support the 8-bit Atari by ensuring that unauthorised copies are not distributed in any way. If you feel that a program is worthwhile please encourage others to purchase their own copy.