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MiNT Computing!

Here are some suggestions to maintain future support of Atari/C-Lab/Medusa/DirecTT - MiNT
related computers.  I will be making an attempt to learn C and Python to get into programming.	
Any comments are highly appreciated.  Thanks.

							Peter Ross

Enhancing the software library for MiNT programs for Falcon/TT/Ste and
Mac. Minimum requirements ATARI: STe DMA sound, 4096 minimum palette
simulated on ST using Photochrome code, JagPad support (possible
creation of parallel port based JagPad/16bit sound I/O adapter for non
Falcon AtariÕs and ADB jagpad adapter for Macs), full support of LAN port
using a protocol developed to work on both Mac and AtariÕs via the LAN
port and AtariÕs , PCÕs, and Amigas via the parallel port.  With used Falcon

X Windows for all 68k 8megs and up.
Create MacMiNT-X so that all Macs can be running X-Windows and MiNT
programs.  Create UNIX SOUND SYSTEM (USS) for STe/Mac sound systems.

Games and Education
For gaming, have Demo crews create the NES and SEGA-CD emulators for
ST and above and the SNES emulator for Falcon.  Create them as TOS
programs allowing them to work with any of the Atari/MiNT system GUIÕs
via TOSWIN.  For educational and international software support, a MSX
emulator would be created.  Gameboy emulator would be a desk accessory
for all Atari computers especially monochrome systems.

Desktop Video
Create Amiga 500 emulator for STe and above.   This allows use of 
Desktop Video creation software on STeÕs, TTÕs, Falcons especially for
PAKed STeÕs.  Again as a TOS program.  This is just until enough new
programs are ported over to MiNT from Unix source and new original
programs take form.  Minimum system:  STe.

Media Format Compatibility
Enhance Floppy and HD formatting system to support add in modules. 
Allow user to choose which disk formatting system he wishes to use
while having the ability to mount any of the supported formats such as 
TOS, Mac, Unix.

Automatic Document Loading and Conversion
Change Whatis.prg into a system level device that allows automatic
document loading via pipes.  Will be enhanced via loadable modules.
Full support for all TOS/GEM/X-Window/Mac/PC/Amiga file types.  
System first tries to identify prog by extension if it exist, then it uses
whatis.dev as a last resort.  Basically, the idea is to move away from the
old DOS extension methodology.  When a file type is not recognized, the
system brings up a dialog requesting the user to identify the file type 
and to suggest which program should be used to open it and which to print

Development System 

Create MiNT/MacMint cross development system.  Allow for an improved
AES such as XaAES or OaSIS for MacMiNT.

The development system would be based on Python for MiNT and would
include libraries for Enhanced Gem and Mac resource objects.  The 
compiler would allow the user to choose which systems to compile for
TOS/MiNT and/or MacMiNT.  Computer types such as Falcon/Ste/TT/Mac
would have system specific library files to better optimize system
performance.  A built-in system diagnostic would test newer versions of a
particular library file to compare itÕs performance to itÕs predecessor to
determine if the new version should replace the previous.  If so, a dialogue
box would appear asking the user to confirm the replacement of the old
library file and whether the old one should be saved as a bkup file.


 STÕs and STeÕs would be supported via sound I/O cartridge.  Inside the
Library/Multimedia directory there would be support files for various
multimedia formats, such as  JPEG, GIF89a, AVI, WAV, AVR, MIDI,GM, XGM
There will be support for autoplaying CDÕs and CD-ROMS.  Future support
for the DVD format is inevitable.  The Falcon will be the best bet for most
Multimedia programs since it easily attaches to VCRs.
Software to support DAT backup drives to allow them to play audio DAT
using the computerÕs sound system.  MPEG/AVI/QuickTime movies could be
sequentially stored on DAT for auto playback via computer especially on 
4 to 8 gigabyte DAT tape.  The would be great for the Falcon, as it can be
used to store movies, tv programs etc. digitally for archiving.
A cartridge for video digitizing, TV, Radio tuning (Media Cart) could be
created for the Falcon.  A device would be created for the digitizing
camera which would  allow a video and or audio to be digitized and
immediately copied to Hard Drive, DAT or Recordable CD.  The TK scripting
language would be used as the global scripting language.  This would allow
the user to easily create scripts for recording TV/Radio programs to be
automatically saved to a storage device at a given time.

Multimedia software would allow the user to create DVD CD masters of
music, DATA, and movies using a Falcon, Media Cart or Expose and a DAT
Tape drive.  Perhaps an Apex Media for DVD can be created.  Hopefully
someone will release a DVD CD Drive for the Jaguar for higher capacity
more life like games.

Device drivers must be made to support VCR serial Control-S and L.
CGI: Computer Generated Imagery must be supported to encourage the
creation of more animation/multimedia oriented tools.

Infra-Red or RF wireless Remote JagPads can be created.  JagPad, Atari 
Mouse and Logitech three button mouse would be primary mouse

Future Falcons would have to have the MFP serial port brought out for use
with Logitech three button mouse.  Blitter must be DMA capable.

Stereoscoptic glasses should be re-released. The storage capacity of CD,
Hard Drive and DAT makes it a worthwhile consideration for 3D movies,
games and virtual reality.

Speech Synthesis

Speech synthesis should be created using the STE DMA/Mac sound to allow
the computer to read back textual, wordprocessor, e-mail, fax, dialogue
box information in a user specified voice.

The user should be able to sing, hum or play an acoustic instrument  into
his computer and have the result converted to MIDI data allowing the user
to quickly create music using any sequencer software.  General MIDI file
format should be playable on STe/Falcon sound hardware without the need
of any external synthesizers.

Usefulness Factor

The obsolescence of a computer system is based on two major factors, one
is the easy of completion of task and the other is the usefulness of the
computer.  The Magic Sac and Spectre Mac emulators added usefulness to
the early STÕs and MegaSTÕs.  Most programs at that time would run on
Sac/Spectre equipped STÕs, thus increasing itÕs usefulness factor.  
Emulators would help to maintain the usefulness of STe and higher Atari
computers.  Few programs utilize the multitude of features on the Atari
STe/TT and the Falcon.  

Being that the Atari and Commodore computers and known for being able
to connect to television sets and use low cost joypads/sticks.   It makes
quite a bit of sense to concentrate efforts on providing emulation of
gaming systems.  The Sega CD system is an ideal system to emulate on ST
computers because, the joysticks are about the same, CD-Roms are easy to
come by and they both are based on Motorola 68k processors.  The Falcon
could easily emulate a SNES which would enable a rich selection of games
including Donkey Kong Country to run on the Falcon in rich 256 color and
stereo sound.

There are many more programmers available for the Amiga platform than
for the Atari platform.  MiNT and MacMiNT allow quite an assortment of
Unix-type tools for Atari and Mac computers.  If MacMint is introduced to
more Mac users via creating an MacMiNT-X complete installation, then
there will be more people who know and will develop software for MiNT. 
New programming tools are available for MiNT in the form of Python and
others.  Being that the gaming market is PRETTY small for Falcon/STe
users, if Sega CD and SNES emulation where available for these systems,
that particular niche can be filled.  The usefulness factor is increased.


Create tools for Internet servers etc.  Create ÒPowered by MiNTÓ LOGO.
Create Falcon specific formats for fast realtime video conferencing using
QuiKCam for Mac, Expose, Vidi for Falcon.  Create Voice E-mail: highly
compressed audio data .  Athena, Grail and Mosaic should be supported to
encourage more newcomers to the OS.  A central distribution site needs to
be created with message centers with complete technical documentation
on STe/Mega STe/TT/ and Falcon as well as pertinent information on
various Mac hardware and protocols.  A developerÕs message center would
be created to allow developers and budding developers to share knowledge.
A permanent MiNT irc channel would be created .  The web page would have
a listing of the latest versions of the programs, best Desktop of the Week,
and top 50 programs for MiNT.  A search engine would be available to help
users find Niche market and specific software.  Java should be ported to
MiNT as well.