<>==> About Wacko Software <=<>=>

Wacko Software are a group of people who produce freeware and shareware and was set up in 1988 by Andrei Ellman, Kris Tooke, and Patrick Montgomery (nowardays, Andrei is the only active (well sort of active) member). At first, most of our programs were developped for the Atari ST using STOS Basic, but since then, we have moved onto other platforms and development languages. We also used to run a Public Domain software Library for the Atari ST called "Wacko Software" (1990-1992).

Wacko Software was founded on Sunday 11th September 1988 by Kris Tooke. Andrei joined the following day (which was when he first heard the name Kris had given us), and Patrick joined a couple of days (or weeks?) later (although he didn't do anything until April 1989). The name Wacko Software came from WAK which stood for Workbench Andrei Kris. Workbench was the name Kris wanted to give our first program which he had started to program in GfA Basic (he had just learned how to implement drop-down menus). He knew that it was the name of the Amiga operating system, but his attitude was So what! There's never been anything for the ST called WorkBench. Andrei wanted to call it MiniBase, but we eventually agreed to call it WackoBase. Work on WackoBase was halted towards the end of October when Andrei started to work on Galactic Prison, although we did work on it a few more times after that. Once we finished Battlepod, Kris and Patrick became less active, and it was mostly (in fact, nearly allways) Andrei who did things for Wacko Software.

Wacko Software is yet another venture of Why Not. Wacko Software is one of Wacko Industries's industries.

As for who does what...

Andrei Ellman:
Poor old Muggins here does everything nowardays (and did nearly everything when everyone else still did anything). He is best at programming, but ends up doing most of the graphics. He began his computing experience on the Atari 8-bit and then moved on to the Atari ST in 1988 when he started to learn GfA Basic before he learnt STOS. In 1992, Andrei became less active when he went to York University to study computer science. After University, Andrei spent two and a half years trying to get a job in the computer games industry. Finally in 1998, he worked for Criterion, and then Runecraft. In 2002, Andrei left Runecraft so as to work full time on Wacko Software. Andrei now develops software using Allegro mostly for the PC. He also used to run our Public Domain software library. The Wacko Software web pages were written entirely by Andrei.
Kris Tooke:
Does a bit of everything - whenever he can be bothered (which is rarely). He had access to a laser printer, but only used it when he didn't forget. Kris thought of the name 'Wacko Software' and designed the first Wacko Software logo (which resembles the current logo). Started to learn GfA Basic on the Atari ST, (which was his first platrorm). He now owns a Macintosh.
Patrick Montgomery:
Did the music for Battlepod (and drew the rock for 3D Ski) in 1989, but has not done anything since then. Patrick owned quite a few computers before he went on to the Atari ST. He has long since moved to the PC.

There now follows an incomplete list of all the programs we have written over the years. There are screenshots available for some programs, and you can download some of our programs.

If you have any comments/suggestions about this page, or about any of the programs mentioned here, then please leave some feedback

<>==> About the programs <=<>=>

Most (but not all) of the programs are downloadable in some form or other. If you want to download something for a specific computer or OS (Operating Ststem), only downlaod programs with the appropriate platform-logo.

Some programs are just available for one or two platforms, and some are available for many. A platform could be the hardware required to run the program (which make of computer), or it could be which operating system is required, or it could be a combination of both.

Some programs come as a sourcecode distribution, or the sourcecode is included with the program. The sourcecode icons indicate which language/library the sourcecode is available for. Use the guide below to find out which platforms the sourcecode can be compiled for or executed on.

A sourcecode-distribution can count as a platform if it can be compiled for that platform (or interpreted on that latform). If there is not already a pre-built version for that platform, it may be possible to compile the program for the platform you want to execute it on.

Note that the icon for the sourcecode only means the sourcecode is available. Programs built using the language/library of the sourcecode where the sourcecode is not available do not have the relevant sourcecode icon (although the description will mention if its been written using that language/library). For a list of programs written using that language/library, see the relevant Programming information page (if there is one).

It is also possible to emulate one platform on another to get programs for one platform to run on another incompatible platform. For that, you need an emulator that runs software for the target platform on your platform. Here is a list of some recommended emulators.

Here is a guide to the different platforms and sourcecode distributions our programs are available for:

*Atari 8-bit* Atari 8-bit:
Atari home computers of the following models: 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL, 65XE, 130XE, 800XE, XEGS

*Atari ST* Atari ST:
Atari home computers of the following models: ST, STF, STM, STFM, STE, TT, Falcon

PCs running DOS (usually, this is MS-DOS). Will also work on PCs running the follwoing versions of Windows: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME. It may run under Windows 3.1 too, but it is recommended to go into DOS (without Windows).

*PC-Windows* PC-Windows:
PCs running versions of Windows 95 or above, such as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10. This platform is also refered to as Wintel.

*Allegro Sourcecode* Allegro source:
The program can be compiled for any platform fow which Allegro is available (currently the following platforms: DOS, Unix (Linux, FreeBSD, Irix, Solaris, Darwin), Windows, QNX, BeOS and MacOS X). The sourcecode is in C or C++.

*STOS Basic Sourcecode* STOS BASIC source:
The program can be compiled for the Atari ST using STOS Basic or run on the STOS Basic interpreter on the Atari ST.

*GfA Basic Sourcecode* GfA Basic source:
The program can be compiled for the Atari ST using GfA Basic or run on the GfA Basic interpreter on the Atari ST. Currently, only one of our programs is written in GfA Basic and it uses version 3.

*Atari 8-Bit Basic Sourcecode* Atari 8-bit Basic source:
The program can be run on the Atari 8-bit computers using the built-in BASIC. Currently, only one of our programs is written in Atari 8-bit Basic.

If there is no version of the program for the platform for which you want to run the program on, then find an emulator in the emulators section.

*PC-Windows* Note: If you haven't a clue what we're talking about here, or if you still don't know which version to download, you probably want the PC-Windows version and should only download a program if you see the *PC-Windows* icon (although sometimes, programs with the *PC-DOS* icon may work as well).

<>==> Screenshots <=<>=>

*PICTURES* We have provided some screens shots of our programs in action. Whenever you see the '*PICTURES*' label or icon, you can follow its link. You will be taken to the part of the screenshots page with the program who'se picture picture-link you just followed.

Those of you with text only browsers can follow the link whenever they see the text '*PICTURES*' and you can then download the pictures for your viewing pleasure later on.

Or alternatively, you can follow this link and go up to the page with all the pictures.

<>==> Downloading <=<>=>

Whenever a title is a link, it means that you can download the program. Following the link will lead you to the part of the downloads page where you can chose which version of the program you want, and which location you want to download the program from. Chose the location that's nearest to you. If you cannot connect, or its busy, then try another location.

Or alternatively, you can follow this link and go down to the page with all the downloads.

<>==> Artificial Insanity programs <=<>=>

The STOS Gamescomposer

Platform: *Atari ST* *STOS Basic Sourcecode available* Version: 1.80m+    Date: 1989-present

"The Games idea creator [sic] comes up with some bizarre games ideas for the seriously brain dead programmer. Sort of useless really."

That was what was said of The STOS Gamescomposer in the Public Domain software reviews section of ST Format magazine (#18 - January 1991). The disk (that also included The STOS Slideshow) scored 15%. Make of it what you want, but we luv it!!!

If you've just got STOS (or any other programming environment) and you've run out of ideas, then press RETURN for an idea. Generates amusing game ideas from hundreds of parts of sentences.

The idea originally came from an article in MAD Magazine that allowed you to create a game idea by inserting parts of sentences into a template. To automate this process, The STOS Gamescomposer was written. At first, it included all the original sentence-parts from the article, but was soon expanded with sentence-parts we (mostly Andrei) thought up ourselves.

One of Andrei's two A.I. (Artificial Insanity) programs (the other being The STOS Re-writer).

Comes with sourcecode in STOS.

A UNIX rc version of this program has also been written.

There exists an online version of this program — The Gamescomposer online. You will find TGC here along with more information.

This program has got easter-eggs.

The STOS Re-writer

Platform: *Atari ST* *STOS Basic Sourcecode available* Version: 1.02f    Date: 1990-present

This is the other of Andrei's A.I. programs and so far the best A.I. (Artificial Insanity) program he has written. This program can re-write texts by filling in certain points with a noun, verb, adjective, etc. from its vocabulary in an appropriate blank place in the text. Sort of like an automated game of Madlibs. Comes with lots of texts in the form for the program to add words to. Very surreal, amusing, thought provoking, and inspiring.

Andrei has got some texts re-written by this program on his things page.

Comes with source in STOS. There might someday be an online version of this program.

<>==> Games <=<>=>

*PICTURES* Galactic Prison

Platform: *Atari ST* *GfA Basic Sourcecode available* Date: 1988

This is the only game we've written in GfA Basic (we didn't have STOS at the time). Andrei decided to write the game when he saw a news-item in ST User magazine (November 1988) that announced that there would be a Games Workshop at the Atari Christmas Show where a panel of household names in entertainment software would assess any games brought along, and consider marketing any exceptional titles. At the time, there was only four weeks left until the show was due to start. Seeing this as a chance to get noticed by the games-industry, he set to work immediately.

Andrei was just getting used to the ST then, so he thought it looked OK when he was writing it. The sprites were flickery, and the gameplay slow and repetitive. The idea was that you had been trapped in a large prison, and by buying and selling comodities with the other prisoners (while avoiding all the dangers that lurk in the corridors between the different trading posts), you could bribe the prison guard to let you free if you obtained enough money. The game is a lot worse than it sounds.

In November of that year, Andrei finished the game just two days before the show. He took this game to the Games Workshop at the Atari user show in Alexandria Palace in London (which was a lot of effort back then, considering he lived in the Netherlands). This was shown to representatives of various software companies - all of whom wouldn't publish the game. ST User magazine (February 1989) did mention that One visitor even traveled from Amsterdam to have his game assessed in their Atari Christmas Show report. At least, he got mentioned somewhere. He also had the opportunity to show off the game on the large screen there and attracted quite a crowd. When Andrei got home and played with the game, he discovered a bug that made it crash. He's just lucky that he lost early on in the game when he demonstrated it.

Comes with sourcecode in GfA Basic v3. This is a GfA Basic 3 sourcecode-distribution that comes with a redistributable GfA Basic 3 runtime environment.

This game has been released in the Public Domain, but we haven't uploaded it to an FTP site (but we will if you ask us)

*PICTURES* Battlepod

Platform: *Atari ST* *STOS Basic Sourcecode available* Date: 1989

Our first STOS game, and only game that has involved all 3 members of Wacko Software (Andrei (STOS programming and re-doing what everyone else did), Kris (graphics), and Patrick(music)). This was Wacko Software's entry for the 1989 STOS gameswriter of the year competition. The game didn't even make it into the finals (we've still got our rejection letter). We nowardays don't want to talk about this. In fact, the game was never even released in any form (although a sub-game called 3D Ski was later released).

The idea of the game was similar to Galactic prison, except that you had to be able to afford to repair your spaceship (called a Battlepod) so that it could take off (it could still roam the planet). Inside the bases on the planet, you could try to find different trading posts (Sometimes, you had to play a sub-game called 3D Ski in order to trade). The journey between the trading posts was done in 3D (but it was SLOW). Overall, this game represents everything that could possibly be bad about a game. According to Why Not folklore, this generated a new set of nicknames for the 3 authours.

Comes with sourcecode in STOS. This is a STOS sourcecode-distribution that comes with a redistributable STOS runtime environment. However, the runtime environment does not work on STs with TOS versions greater than 1.02 (1.2) (such as the STE). This can be remedied by either replacing the run-time environment, runing the game from within STOS, or compiling it.


Platform: *Atari ST* *STOS Basic Sourcecode available* Date: 1989 (released by itself in 1991)

As this was originally intended to be a subgame of Battlepod (a game within a game), it is played in a small part of the screen only. The game isn't actually 3D, but at least you get to ski.

You race 2 opponents on some ski paths, but you must take care not to collide with rocks, fall off the edge, or take a path leading to a dead end. You could go faster and gain more points by looking and smiling at the audience and basking in their cheering like the egomaiac that you are, instead of seeing where you were going, but navigation would be more difficult if you do that. In Battlepod, there was a construction set for 3D Ski which never got released (it might someday be released, or who knows, we might even release Battlepod). This is the only one of our released programs that has any work from Patrick (he drew the rock).

Comes with sourcecode in STOS.

*PICTURES* Alienation

Platform: *Atari ST* *STOS Basic Sourcecode available* Date: 1990

Don't ask about the title. Andrei couldn't think of anything better.

This game is a re-make of the Atari 8-bit game Mr.Robot (with some differences and enhancements). It is a bit slow and flickery but still playable. This game was written for a competition for the STOS section in New Atari User magazine to try and write a game that resembled a game on the Atari 8-bit. This didn't win anything. This is a platform and ladders game where you have to collect the pills and avoid the monsters and negotiate obstacles. The game includes a construction set so you can make your own levels. We think that this is the first playable game we have written.

Comes with sourcecode in STOS.


Platform: *Atari ST* Date: 1991

At last, a Wacko Software product that has been reviewed favourably by the press (although being the first eight-player game for the Atari ST might have helped).

A conversion from the Atari 8-bit version of the game Mazewar. The main difference is that up to EIGHT people can play simultaneously (although you can ge the computer to play some of the tanks if you don't have eight players). The idea of this game is to negotiate your way around a maze and shoot your opponents. Some walls can be shot several time before they disappear (when such a wall is shot, it explodes, killing any nearby tanks), and some walls cannot be shot at all. When a tank is shot, it leaves a grave behind (which explodes as well when shot) and re-spawns elsewhere. Points are gained whenever you shoot something, and are lost when something shoots you.

When Andrei wrote this game, in order to test its extra-joysticks capability on the Atari STE, instead of buying an STE joystick adaptor (which allows two joysticks to be plugged into one of the two analog joysticks present on the Atari STE) from a shop, he decided to build his own. Even though the adaptor he built fitted into the STE joystick port, the STE's case was an obstruction, so Andrei had to saw a larger hole in the side of his STE (fortunately, the rest of the STE survived). Andrei did use a pre-built paralell-port joystick adaptor but that did not stop him from including instructions for how to build one as part of the Mazxewar package.

On the Atari ST, The MAZEWAR ST logo is more colourful on the STE/TT/Falcon than on the standard ST due to the extra colours.

You need an Atari STE or Atari FALCON to be able to use 8 joysticks (the extra ports on the sides). Otherwise, you are restricted to 4 joysticks. Comes with instructions on how to build the nescesary adaptors.

Written using STOS.

For some source-code in STOS BASIC (that can easily be converted to other languages) for the Atari ST that lets you use the extra joysticks (both the two paralell-port joysticks and the four STE joysticks), as well as instructions for building the joystick-adaptors, see the Extra Joysticks section of the STOS programming page.

*PICTURES* Line Crash

Platform: *Atari 8-bit* *Atari 8-Bit Basic Sourcecode available* Date: 1984
Platform: *Atari ST* Date: 1992

This is similar to Tron/Lightcycles where you have to trap your opponents in a beam of light by forcing them to crash into either your beam or somebody else's. The vertical dimension of the playfield can be adjusted. Up to EIGHT people can play and the computer can play some droids as well. FAST! ADDICTIVE! WICKED!

On the Atari ST, there is an overscan routine so that it can be more than 200 pixels high.
The LINECRASH logo is more colourful on the STE/TT/Falcon than on the standard ST due to the extra colours.

You need an Atari STE or Atari FALCON to be able to use 8 joysticks (the extra ports on the sides). Otherwise, you are restricted to 4 joysticks. Comes with instructions on how to build the nescesary adaptors.

Atari ST version written using STOS.
Included with the ST Version of the game is a smaller version of Line Crash that was written using just one line of STOS BASIC! For more details, see here.

Atari 8-bit version comes with sourcecode in Atari 8-bit Basic. This is a sourcecode-only distribution. The Atari 8-bit version is just a mere shadow of the ST version, as it is a lot slower, does not have any AI, and it is only for two players.

For some source-code in STOS BASIC (that can easily be converted to other languages) for the Atari ST that lets you use the extra joysticks (both the two paralell-port joysticks and the four STE joysticks), as well as instructions for building the joystick-adaptors, see the Extra Joysticks section of the STOS programming page.

*PICTURES* Video Games I v.0.5

Platform: *Atari ST* Version: 0.5    Date: 1992
Platform: *PC-DOS* Version: Alpha 3a    Date: 1996-present

Play 3 classic games simultaneously on one computer with one Joystick. 3 games (Pacman, Pong, and Space-Invaders) are played at the same time. The games each take up a full screen, and are in either red, green, or blue. When two colours (games) overlap, the colours are mixed to generate the resulting colour, so it looks like all 3 games are translucent. It is possible to play all 3 games at once with one joystick, but you can also disable the graphics of the games, as well as adjust their brightness. A bit slow, but an original twist to three old games (ie. play them all at once). The Atari ST version of this game was a bit hurried because Andrei was about to leave for University (hence the v.0.5). The PC-DOS version was written some years later.

The idea for the game originated from the way the Atari ST's screen -memory is laid out. It is laid out in bit-planes, so by choosing the paettes in such a way as to map pixel values resulting from mixed bitplanes to mixed primary colours, the colours automatically mixwhen they overlap. The PC's screen memory is laid out in a more chunky format, but as the PC is a lot faster, just a simple OR'ing of the pixel-values is used.

This is what is known as a '3-game-player'.

Atari ST version written using STOS.

PC-DOS version written in C using Allegro.

See also the Video Games I entry in the Allegro.cc depot


Platform: *Atari ST* Date: 1994

Pacman for up to EIGHT players. As well as chasing or avoiding ghosts and eating pills, you can shoot missiles at the other players.

You need an Atari STE or Atari FALCON to be able to use 8 joysticks (the extra ports on the sides). Otherwise, you are restricted to 4 joysticks. Comes with instructions on how to build the nescesary adaptors.

Written using STOS.

For some source-code in STOS BASIC (that can easily be converted to other languages) for the Atari ST that lets you use the extra joysticks (both the two paralell-port joysticks and the four STE joysticks), as well as instructions for building the joystick-adaptors, see the Extra Joysticks section of the STOS programming page.

*PICTURES* Chickens

Platform: *PC-DOS* Version:    Date: Ongoing...
Platform: *PC-Windows* Version:    Date: Ongoing...

A puzzle game involving chickens, evil ducks, complicated junctions, and lots and lots of coloured eggs! It even comes with a built-in level editor so you can make your own levels you can play and share with others.

You must guide your chickens from one end of a spaghetti junction of pipes to the end of the level while avoiding the ducks. The Chickens can lay eggs in four different colours, and you have to guide the right colour of egg to the right colour of incubator to hatch.

The junctions consist of ordinary pipes, interchanges, command blocks, and other obstacles. The main control the player has over the game is the ability to switch the paths of some of the pipe interchanges by moving the cursor over the interchange and pressing a button, so that the player can guide everything to where they want it to go. The player can also release eggs that are being delayed.

Some of the interchanges have a red pipe running underneath them. If at least one object is passing through this red pipe, the state of the junction changes to its changed state and does not revert to its unchanged state until the red pipe is empty again. This makes it possible to construct things like logic-gates out of pipes 'powered' by a stream of ducks' eggs (usually supplied from the ducks' eggs taps). These can be combined to create computational logic circuits such as AND/OR/NOT gates, adding-machines, etc.

The DOS version runs in DOSBox.

Chickens has its own homepage at http://software.wackonet.net/chickens

See also the Chickens entry in the Allegro.cc depot

<>==> Demos <=<>=>

*PICTURES* Joseph's Holiday

Platform: *Atari ST* Date: 1992

A one screen demo Andrei wrote in STOS during the summer of 1992 to help pass the time while he was bored waiting for University to begin. Originally, Andrei was hoping it would be a screen in somebody else's STOS Mega-Demo, but after a year, it was released on its own.

The demo has some soundchip music and some very amusing VU meters (ie. singing people cleaning themselves in bathtubs). This demo also features waving flags as VU meters, graphics made using KOZMIC, 48 onscreen colours, and a very philosophical and silly scroller. This is more a work of art than something to show off the machine like most ST demos, so its definately worth looking at to find any interpretations.

Written using STOS. If you ask nicely, we will give you the STOS sourcecode if we can find it.

*PICTURES* ChromaPlas

Platform: *PC-DOS* Version: 0.95    Date: 2003-present
Platform: *PC-Windows* Version: 0.95    Date: 2003-present
Source-code distribuion: *Allegro Sourcecode distribution* Version: 0.95    Date: 2003-present

ChromaPlas is a demo / screensaver that takes the old-skool demo plasma-effect and applies the plasma to various channels of images in different colour-spaces. The result is a psychedelic looking swirl that resembles the image. It started off as little experiment into applying plasmas to colour-space components and grew into a fully-fledged project. As far as screensavers go, it is a somewhat trippy screensaver. Chromaplas has many settings giving you the ultimate in tweaking power.

There are many different ways of enjoying ChromaPlas. When using it as a screensaver, you may set it to grab the desktop image and apply the plasma to it. If you've been staring at your screen too long, it will at first look like either there's something wrong with the monitor, or there's something wrong with your head - until you remember its the ChromaPlas Screensaver. As well as the desktop image, any picture in JPEG, PNG, BMP, LBM, TGA, PCX format may be used. The program even has a built-in image that can be used to best experience what the different effects can do. And of course, you may view the plasma on its own so you can see the plasma in its naked plasma-ness. By adding a funky palette effect to the plasma, it looks ... erm ... funky.

What ChromaPlas does is to split the image into its component channels with respect to a chosen colour-space. Then, it creates a greyscale plasma and adds the plasma value (which can be either positive or negative) to the chosen colour-space channels of the image. There are 3 colour spaces supported by ChromaPlas: RGB, HSV, and HLS. RGB just splits the image into its Red, Green, and Blue channels. HSV and HLS are the more interesting colour-spaces...

Currently, the PC-Windows version is a screensaver, and all other versions are standalone apps.

As well as pre-compiled versions, the sourcecode in C which uses the Allegro library is also available to download, so you can compile it for any platform that Allegro has been ported to.

The faster the PC, the better the framerate and the higher the resolution possible at a given framerate. To get a better framerate on slower machines, instead of using the image / desktop resolution, use a custom resolution, and decrease the resolution to get the program to run at a higher framerate.

See also the ChromaPlas entry in the Allegro.cc depot

<>==> Other programs <=<>=>

The STOS Slideshow

Platform: *Atari ST* *STOS Basic Sourcecode available* Version: 1.04    Date: 1989-present

Displays a series of Degas and Neochrome pictures in a variety of interesting ways (both in the way that the picture appears (transition effects between two pictures) and what happens to it while it is being displayed). You can either display images from a disk-drive or load the images into memory and have a memory based slideshow. The latter is useful if you want to show off your artwork on a computer that is on display somewhere. Last updated in 1991.

On the Atari ST, the STE/TT/Falcon makes use of the extra STE colours to create a black and white image with more levels of grey when displaying the image in monochrome.

Comes with sourcecode in STOS. Comes with a few sample pictures.

<>==> Programming information <=<>=>

*STOS Basic Sourcecode* STOS

Here is Wacko Software's STOS programming page.

*Allegro Sourcecode* Allegro

Here is Wacko Software's Allegro programming page.

<>==> Help, advice and other useful stuff <=<>=>

Problems, problems, always problems...

Life isn't always tickety-boo, but here to help you with all those little niggles you may encounter is the "Help, advice and other useful stuff" section.

This section contains advice for un-zipping the programs, getting them to run, and links to programs you might find useful, and some general troubleshooting. Note that these programs were not wrtten by Wacko Software and are not part of Wacko Software. They are just here to help you along, and you will find pointers to them here.


Q: When downloading an item, stuff gets printed to the browser screen instead of a file being downloaded.
A: Either the browser or the web-server is not properly configured for the type of the file. Instead, try using the save link as... option (or the save target as... option on lesser-quality web-browsers) to save the item to a file.

Q: The file I want to download does not download.
A: Every so often, a FTP site may temporarily go down, be taken offline permanently, moved to a different URL, or it could move the file to a different directory, or even remove the file altogether. We at Wacko Software cannot always keep up with changes in FTP sites. If you find a link will no longer work, then let us know and we'll look into removing it (or changing it). In the meantime, try downloading the file from a different URL.

If you are having trouble accessing any site, your Internet connection may be down. All you can do is either prey or scream at your Internet Service Provider (we recommend the former).

Q: The file I just downloaded appears to be corrupt or not a valid file of its file-type.
A: Maybe your Internet connection or the server hosting the downloaded file went down partway through the transfer, or you do not have any programs installed to handle the file-type. For the former, please see the previous answer. For the latter, please see the next answer.

Q: What do I do with all those file-types?
A: Files of the following types .ZIP, .LZH, .ARC are archive-files. These are like a compressed package that contain several files. You need an archiver-program to extract files from archives. See the Programs that you may find useful section to find out how to extract files from them.

Sometimes, archives are in self-extracting format. In the case of PC-DOS, they are in .EXE format. Execute the EXE in the directory where you want to place the files and the files will extract. You may then delete the downloaded EXE after the extraction. In the case of PC-WINDOWS, they are also in .EXE format, but they now have an installation wizard (currently, none of the Windows programs have such a thing).

Q: I cannot get the program to run.
A: Are you running it on the right platform? Does your system meet the program's requirements? If the answer to either of these questions is 'No', then you will not be able to run the program on it. However, you can use an Emulator to run a program meant for one platform on another platform.

Q: I cannot get an Atari ST program to run.
A: Are you running in the right resolution? Are you using a colour monitor? Most programs require a colour monitor to work, although the STOS Gamescomposerand the STOS Re-writer work on monochrome monitors as well. Most of our low-resolution programmes (all of the ones written in STOS) can be launched from a medium-resolution desktop, but just in case this isn't so, switch to a low-resolution desktop first.

If it is a program written in STOS, and you are running on a new TOS version (>1.62), you may need to fix it (most of our STOS programs have already been fixed, but there may be one or two that haven't yet been fixed). To do that, use the Generic STOS fixer 1.4. See the Programs that you may find useful section for more details.

Some programs have trouble running on 4 megabyte STs. To fix this, there's a program or two that make the ST think it has less RAM. MAKE MEM comes in two flavours - Make 512 and Make 1024 (we recommend the latter). Using one of these programs to make a 4 megabyte ST think it has less RAM solves the problem. See the Programs that you may find useful section for more details. If using an emulator, make sure the memory of the emulated ST is less than 4 megabytes. Apparently, there is a patch for 4 megabyte STs out there that fixes this problem without reducing the RAM too much, but we cannot find it at present.

Q: I cannot fix a program written in STOS using the abovementioned Generic STOS fixer 1.4 program.
A: The executable .PRG file probably needs to be depacked. To do that, see Various Depackers. See the Programs that you may find useful section for morte details.

Q: I cannot get a PC program to run.
A: PC's are right little buggers...

Firstly, have you got the right operating system? The PC programs on this website usually require either DOS or Windows, but if the Allegro sourcecode is available, it can be compiled for more platforms such as Linux and BeOS.

As for the PC, there are somany different flavours that it's hard to give much advice, but anything less than a '386 will not run our software. We recommend a Pentium class machine or above, but a few of our DOS programs could probably get away with a '486 or maybe even a '386 in extreme circumstances.

Q: I cannot get the source-code to compile.
A: Have you got the right library/language installed? Does your compiler or run-time environment support the library/language? Read the instructions for the library/language and the compiler. If you find you cannot get it to work for your platform, consider the answer to the I cannot get the program to run question.

Q: The mouths next to the section-headers have a pink or purple background.
A: You are viewing this page with a web-browser with poorly-implemented support for .PNG transparencies. Get a decent web-browser! While this page is designed to be viewed on any browser, web-browsers with a buggy implementation may display the odd glitch here and there. You can either hope the developper of your browser releases an update, or switch to a decent browser.

Q: Why is the Wacko Software website laid out the way it is?
A: I'll leave that one as a riddle for you to solve. To verify your answer, you will have to modify one of the HTML files in the Wacko Software web-site to see if you are right. But that still leaves an extra puzzle - why did the HTML file need to be modified in the first place? The answer to that lies in the effects of the change (which also shows an alternative interpretation of the system that it was modeled on).
Hint: Visualising the layout of the website and the relationship between the elements might make you see what we've modeled the site on.

Q: Aw shoot! I've got toomany of them there darn troubles. Please can you help me.
A: Make sure you've thoroughly searched this troubleshooting guide, the instructions that came with your download, and the instructions for everything else that's involved in the pipeline. If this still does not solve your problem, then let us know.

Programs that you may find useful



*Atari ST*

*Atari 8-bit*


Use an emulator to run software built for one platform on another platform.

*Atari 8-bit* emulators

*Atari ST* emulators
Note: If you are having trouble getting the programs to work, it is recommended you use TOS 1.62 (or 1.06) as the TOS. If that does not work, try TOS 1.02 (1.2)

*PC-DOS* emulators

*PC-Windows* emulators

<>==> The Future of Wacko Software <=<>=>

Andrei 12-2-95

As for the future, I may write some games in 68K assembler (as well as in STOS), or leave the Atari ST altogether (its a pity that the only decent computers in terms of software availability and quality games are in the region of 1000+ smackers. Nowardays, its either a console that doesn't let you program any games which leads to your brain turning into a vegetable, or a hideously expensive buisness machine that's a nightmare to program. I liked the days back in 1988 when for £399.99 you could get a 'home computer' that came with 24 free games, had a large selection of serious software, and for only £29.99, you could get STOS and let your immagination run loose. These days, its either a 'personal computer' (expensive!) or a 'games machine' (games only, no shareware. This means that consoles do not produce original concepts), and not both. That's why I still like the Atari ST). However, here are some games that are either just ideas, or have been worked on. The ideas look a lot more impressive than what I've done so far. It will be a long time before even a single one of these ideas is realised. I am currently in my final year of University and have little time left over. LIFE IS TOO SHORT!

Andrei: UPDATE 2-12-95

At the moment, I'm working on a game for the PC which is a a bit like Lemmings with sphaghetti junctions. More information as it becomes available.

Andrei: UPDATE 22-7-03

Wow, that's a long time without an update. To cut a long story short, I have left my job in the games-indistry to work on a game of my own (go figure!). It is the abovementioned "Lemmings with sphaghetti junctions" game, and the game refered to as "Balls" that I mentioned below. It is called Chickens. For a sneak preview, look here Nowardays, I program in C / C++ using Allegro.

In the pipeline

* = Currently working on (active).
+ = In the pipeline (Not enough time at the moment, will be done 'eventually').
- = Completion very unlikely.
(An aditional @ indicates that this has already been worked on a bit).

@- WackoBase
This is the program that was being worked on when Wacko Software was being founded in 1988. Andrei and Kris were trying to write a database program in GfA Basic. Before this was called Wackobase, Andrei wanted to call it Minibase, and Kris wanted to call it WorkBench. Andrei came up with the idea of integrating some games with the main components (you play the game to use the program) to it to make using it more fun (this philosophy has been used in educational software, so why can't it be used in buisness software). The program was last worked on in 1989. Andrei had by then become a STOS programmer and no longer used GfA Basic and Kris had become too lazy to do anything.

+ Making re-makes of the following games from the Atari 8-bit.
@+ Alleycat
+ Whomper Stomper
@+ Pharoah's Curse

@+ Aqua Ski
An improved 3D Ski.

@+ Line Crash 2
Work on this was actually stared on the ST before Line Crash was written for the ST. This is similar to Line Crash, but you have to complete an obstacle course, as well as deal with various puzzles. Will have a construction kit. Kris drew some of the graphics

@+ Big Tetris
Tetris on a screen so large it has to be scrolled.

@- An updated version of Galctic prison.

- An updated version of Battlepod

+ 8 player game based on Joust
This is Joust, but there are eight players. The human-controled players are chickens, and the computer-controlled players are ducks. This is Andrei's first known game-idea in which the chickens are the good guys and the ducks are the bad guys. This chickens vs. ducks thing might have influenced Chickens.

@+ Balls (working title)
Will probarbly be written in 68K assembler. Guide some balls down a set of tubes to their correct destination. Similar to the Atari 8bit game Gumball. Another eight player game.
Actually, this game-idea, combined with the chickens vs. ducks idea and a bit of egg-laying shenanigans thrown in for good measure evolved into Chickens. Chickens will be just a one-player game, but future versions of Chickens may support multi-player modes.

@+ Alienation +
An improved version of Alienation.

+ Other versions of Video Games
Combining other sets of games (eg. play Breakout, Asteroids, Centipede, and Donkey Kong simultaneously, or play Frogger and Tetris simultaneously), or even re-writing the first version.

- STOS Talespin
Andrei once had the idea to write a Talespin clone in STOS which had the ability to integrate the programs it produced with STOS. Andrei does not think he will ever do this, and besides, he thinks that someone may have already written such a thing.

+ Perhaps a few demos as well...

<>==> Links to other sites <=<>=>

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For more links related to specific programming platforms, see the links sections of the Allegro programming page, and the STOS programming page.

<>==> Feedback <=<>=>

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Last update: Sat 26 Jan 2019