Reviewed by Colin Polonowski
Emulation of Atari computers is not new. However, if you want effective and powerful emulation you do need to take a look at the latest batch of releases.
For gamers we now have PaCifiST, for those who want to emulate a multi-tasking Atari we have both MagiCMac and MagiCPC whereas for colourful high resolution work there is Gemulator. So, where does TOSBox fit in?
Firstly, it isn’t really suitable for running games - the emulation doesn’t cover the much of the hardware side of the ST. In fact, TOSBox was written to make as much use of the PC hardware as possible enabling a faster environment. You can run TOSBox in resolutions up to 1024x768x16 colours - as long as your PC’s graphics card and monitor can handle it.
Thankfully, GEM software runs remarkably well. Even programs such as NVDI run almost flawlessly meaning you can get even faster displays! When compared to the average Atari, TOSBox is remarkably fast. I have run Papyrus, CAB 1.5 and 2(Demo) and Imagecopy without problems for weeks.
Setting up TOSBox requires the editing of a configuration file, but it’s not as bad as it sounds as the file is well commentated. You also require a TOS image which as we’ve said in previous issues is a bit of a legal grey area as TOS is a licenced operating system.
Although it is no substitute for the real ST, TOSBox does allow you to use your Atari software with ease and with the minimum of fuss.