Home Page of TeraDesk 4


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Project history

TeraDesk (Tera Desktop) is an open-souce alternative desktop for the 16-bit and 32-bit lines of Atari computers. Its development was started in 1991 by Wout Klaren; development was paused in 1994 at version 1.41.

In the autumn of 2002 TeraDesk was made Open-Source under GPL as version 1.42, and Henk Robbers took over the task of maintenance which soon resulted in the publishing of TeraDesk 2.0 and TeraDesk 2.1

In December 2002, after an exchange of ideas about possible upgrades of TeraDesk, Henk kindly invited me to participate in its further development. The first result of that cooperation was TeraDesk V2.3 in March 2003. After that, we worked together on TeraDesk V3. Many improvements, optimizations and other changes were made.

When Henk decided to move on to other matters, he asked me to finish what was required to publish TeraDesk V3.0 and possibly continue its development; I have tried to do that to the best of my abilities, but Henk's assistance was sorely missed... Since the release of TeraDesk V3.0 in December 2003, the development has been continued mostly by me. However, Henk has lately made a valuable contribution by adding to the source code the capability to compile a Coldfire- specific version.

Developers' goal is to maintain TeraDesk as a small, simple, fast and reliable desktop, which is to be functional in the modern multitasking environments and all flavours of TOS-compatible operating systems, and yet to keep, as much as reasonable, familiarity with the original TOS desktop, and be undemanding enough to be run on any 16-bit or 32-bit Atari computer, clone or emulator, even the machines with the small amount of RAM and old versions of TOS. In all aspects, it should be better than the original TOS desktops. It is not intended to be a direct replacement for the excellent but resources-demanding desktops like Thing or Jinnee, but instead is designed to be used where disk space or system memory and speed limitations (or price) make the use of those other desktops impractical (e.g. TeraDesk's size and memory usage is currently only about 1/3 to 1/2 of Jinnee's in a similar setup).

System requirements

Tera Desktop can be used on any Atari ST series computer and their offspring like TT, Falcon, Hades, Milan or emulators, with at least 512 KB RAM. It also runs nicely on Aranym, and a Coldfire-specific version exists as well. It uses about 200 to 300 KB of memory (depending on the complexity of the configuration- the more icons and filetypes defined, the more memory is needed). Minimum screen resolution is 320x200 pixels, but use of higher resolutions (at least 640x400 pixels) is recommended.

TT-RAM or Alt-RAM, if installed, is recognised and used by TeraDesk.

Although TeraDesk can be run without the aid of a hard disk, the use of one is strongly recommended.

TeraDesk works with all existing versions of TOS, but it is very much more useful with versions 1.04 (also known as 1.4) and above. It works with EmuTOS. Since Version 2 TeraDesk works well in modern multi-tasking environments, such as MiNT with XaAES, MyAES, Atari AES 4.1, N.AES, and also with MagiC, TOS with Geneva, etc. It can be run with memory protection.

Current version

Current version of TeraDesk is 4.06. This release adds to TeraDesk the capability to sort directory items in the case-insensitive way when running on a file system that enables case-sensitive filenames.

TeraDesk 4.06 binary :   All files needed to run Tera Desktop V4.06; Three executables are included: one is good for all single- and multitasking environments, The other (smaller, with reduced AV-protocol support, limited to FAT filesystem and with some other noncritical but size-saving limitations) is suitable for single-TOS only and is recommended for machines with small amounts of RAM. The third one is for Coldfire systems. Hypertext documentation, basic sets of monochrome and colour icons, and a sample configuration file are included. Users are encouraged to create their own, more extensive, icon sets and configuration files.

TeraDesk 4.06 source files :   Complete source tree of Tera Desktop V4.06; to be compiled and linked with Pure-C 1.1 (except that the Coldfire-specific version -must- be compiled and linked with the 68020+ version of AHCC). Source text of the hypertext documentation is included. Source of the AHCM memory allocation system developed by Henk Robbers is included by a permission of the author (a newer version can be downloaded from here; it may be noted that it will produce a somewhat larger program size). This TeraDesk source archive also includes a text document with comments intended to help people translating TeraDesk to other languages.

History of changes in TeraDesk 3.* and TeraDesk 4.* :   A listing of changes made throughout the development of TeraDesk 3.* and TeraDesk 4.*; PLEASE READ THIS (at least the section refering to the newest release) before upgrading from a previous release of TeraDesk.

New after this release :   A list of new features, improvements, bug fixes, etc. which were made after the current release and will be available in the next version of TeraDesk.

Nationalized versions of TeraDesk

Some people have kindly undertaken to translate TeraDesk resource files, hypertext help/manual and other related documents to other languages. The results of their work are located at ftp://kurobox.serveftp.net on port 3021:

German translation by Lars Schmidbauer
Italian Translation by Lodovico Zanier
French translation by Jean-Christophe Beumier, Robert Siani and Lodovico Zanier
Russian translation by Dima Sobolev
Russian translation of the hypertext manual by Dima Sobolev



Updated on November 9th 2014;