Steven Seagal's Atari ST Web Site



"The Shifter Man"

  Coming soon! Features, fixes, hacks, etc. for Steem SSE 3.5.4

It will be a quick release because of some bugs in v3.5.3...






- Bugfix crash in very large display size on some systems.

- Bugfix option 'Pasti only for STX' could make Steem treat pasti images as
native on loading a snapshot.

- Bugfix drive internal variable "motor on" (European Demos OVR V).

- Bugfix (useless) feature STE HIRES HSCROLL wasn't available (oops).

- Bugfix VBL jitter (Japtro).

- 'Cold reset & run': reset IKBD buffer (Transbeauce 2).

- Bugfix drive complete command on empty drive (European Demos "insert B").

- Bugfix ACIA timing when not using true 6301 emu (Sapiens).

- Bugfix display 400x278 interpolated scanlines shift.



Basic Emulation Info


  New status info in the tool bar, pretty handy too: ST model, TOS version, available memory.

It doesn't waste any screen "real estate" where it is.  Drive info stays as it was (OSD).

I've already been "inspired" by Hatari for many things, but in this case I would say it's just natural for an emulator to display such information.

  Update: new version, mixes better with the GUI, some more info.  

  And a new 'SSE' option for that:  

  Notice the options have been rearranged. "Drive track info" in SSE page, when it's
checked the drive led of 'OSD' page is suppressed.

Now we have space for more new options...

  Update: with the name of the current game in the status bar. In compensation, it won't scroll anymore on the bottom of the screen (OSD option).  

  Just an idea, not sure it will stay so.  
  Update: because some names can be long, Steem will display it only if it deems the window is big enough.

Update: name optional


Display sizes


  Here they are, the new display size options.  
  384 x 270 normal
400 x 278 max fullscreen
412 x 280 max overscan
416 x 286 max plasma
  Depending on the program, one or the other size will be better. Generally the smallest is sufficient.

The sizes count only for border effects in colour mode.

Steem displays what's inside the video RAM even at the end of the borders, regardless of blanking or plane shifts introduced by the "stabiliser" overscan technique on a real ST.

  Update: see below, Overscan  

Wake-up states


   Normally you'll use this option only if the display of some demo isn't
correct without. You don't need to understand all technical aspects
to use the option, of course.

The option has become much more complicated, with 4 states instead of 2.
It is that complicated on the ST.
  | Steem  option    |              Wake-up concepts           |
  |    variable      |                                         |
  |  WAKE_UP_STATE   |   DL Latency  |     WU     |      WS    |
  |                  |     (Dio)     |    (ijor)  |    (LJBK)  |
  |   0 (ignore)     |      -        |     -      |      -     |
  |        1         |      3        |   2 (warm) |      2     |
  |        2         |      4        |   2 (warm) |      4     |
  |        3         |      5        |   1 (cold) |      3     |
  |        4         |      6        |   1 (cold) |      1     |
  WAKE_UP_STATE is just the Steem option.
DL is a latency electronically measured by Dio (atari-forum) between two
signals, 'DE' and 'LOAD', in cycles.
WU are the two wake-up states first found by ijor.
WS are the more detailed "wake states" found by LJBK.
They're in a strange order for "historical" reasons.

The "Bee" demos by LJBK will recognise WS1-4, and the demos will behave as
expected in all WS.

Emulation of those states is still not complete.

Needless to say, Steem is leading the way for this issue.


Better display: VSync and Triple Buffering


  Your eyes don't deceive you! This may look like some big features for a point release, but there are some limitations, you're lucky if you can take advantage of VSync (I do!), read further.  
  - New option "VSync".
This gives you the best display provided your monitor has the correct
refresh rate (50hz/100hz for most programs).
Combined with 'Interpolated Scanlines' this should give you the best
experience of the great game Goldrunner in window mode on LCD screen.
This should work in window mode as well as in fullscreen mode.
This consumes some CPU power (but not as much as Triple Buffering).

This could interfere with "Compositing" (Desktop Window Manager) in Windows
Vista and 7 in window mode. In Windows 8 you can't disable Compositing!

- New option "Triple Buffering".
This may be useful to eliminate "tearing" or "ghosting", at the price
of high CPU use.
This should work in window mode as well as in fullscreen mode (stretch
mode only).

"Compositing" (Desktop Window Manager) in Windows Vista and above makes
this option useful only in fullscreen mode, in window mode there's already
no tearing.
This illustrates that those display problems may also be handled at driver
or OS level.

Overscan size



  Below if a screenshot of the Level 16 fullscreen on an actual Atari ST (from )  

  Below is what I believe to be the a partly correct rendering of it. Forgetting the right border for a while (HBLANK and stabiliser effect are not correctly done), let's focus on the left border.  

  In this version, the 4 leftmost pixels of the line are displayed.  
  In the version below, they're not.  

  Some details, like group of pixels in Z on the top left of the screen, don't seem right in the second, shifted version. It seems wrong to shift away 4 pixels of the left border. So in fact we would have 52 real bonus pixels for this effect, not 48 as was generally assumed. In current beta, option 'Hacks' determines whether there's a shift or not.


  Here, with 412 pixels displayed it's closer for the right border, not quite right yet:  

  This has the benefit of a more balanced display of some demos.  
  Overscan #6:  



  But with 412 pixels, the right border is cut anyway (think we miss just 1 pixel now, this is also so on the Level 16 screen):  



Now with 413 pixels instead of 412:


  It's faithful to the screenshot at any rate.  
  And that other pic:  


Who's that girl?


Disk Manager


  Right click on image name on the right of the drive icon to see the full name in case it was too long.  

SSE Options page


  He he I added an icon + version info while there's some remaining space. It's fancy, just an exercise in Windows programming.  

Other improvements

  - Save WU state with snapshot, reset on switch STE/STF

- No line +2 when Shifter destabilised: Darkside of the Spoon STE
(choose one of the wake-up states to remove flicker)

- 'Shifter panic': swap good/bad bands to be more like screenshot of
Omega Full Overscan.
Shifter panic is only WU2, by choice, to limit options.
Omega works in WS2, Death of the Left Border in WU1 (at least, in

- MegaST4 option: preselect monochrome.

- Internal:
Reordering of shifter tricks analysis, refactoring.
Some tests for shifter tricks now handled in a state machine-like
manner, not looking for specific switches anymore => better emulation,
more performing tests.
Debugging and removing some hacks related to "wake-up" and wake-state".



Hey where's the beta?



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