Version 1.17

To make sure you have the NEWEST version of APE, check the APE HOME PAGE at

Also see the ProSystem Users Manual and the APE Warp+ OS InfoPage for current information!

December 16th, 2000

Steven J Tucker
3978 Brookside Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44111 USA

Written by Steven J Tucker

Copyright (c) 2001 by Steven J Tucker


The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE) is a advanced serial application that emulates an entire
subsystem of atari 8 bit peripherals using your existing or purchased APE cable.

APE has been created in the idea that anything a real, physical SIO device can do,
APE can do better, faster, and at far less cost than the real peripheral!


For additional information on licensing the Atari Peripheral Emulator, see the end of this document,
the Ape Online Order Form, ORDER.DOC (included in the APExxxD.ZIP distribution), or contact:

Steven J Tucker
Voice (216) 577-8329
3978 Brookside Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44111 USA

Electronic Mail to:
(if mail to this address fails, please e-mail


The Atari Peripheral Emulator, the Ape Pro System program and image format,
this document and all other portions of the APE archive not the property of
third parties are the copyrighted property of Steven J Tucker

Distribution of registered versions of this product is a violation of copyright law. You may use the unregistered version of this program for a 30 day free trial period. If after 30 days you wish to continue using APE you MUST purchase it or remove all copies of the software from your system.

The author makes no representations or warranties with respect to the contents hereof and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. Further, the author reserves the right to revise this publication and to make changes from time to time in the content hereof without obligation of the author to notify any person or organization of such revision or changes.


Without my written permission, no version of APE, past or present, may be included on any CDROM or other software compilation that is intended for sale, with or without profit to the seller. The shareware version of APE may not be sold for any amount, except a media charge not to exceed $5 US, without my written permission. The registered version may never be distributed in any form, and any licences received are non-transferable.

Written permission can be obtained only by submitting your request along with your product content listing, and sale price to:

Steven Tucker
3978 Brookside Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44111

The shareware version of APE may continue to be freely distributed between private parties without charge (including personal web pages), and by online archives and BBS systems, without charge.


Ordering Information Disclaimer
What is APE? What Hardware is Required?
Can APE be multitasked? What SIO Hardware does APE emulate?
Why use APE? The PRICE Factor
About Shareware Registration Benefits and Unregistered Restrictions
Installing and starting APE Starting with APE
Command Line Options & Status Screens Keystroke Commands and emulator functions
[1-8] Swap Disks [A] XFD/DCM -> ATR Image Converter
[B] Load/Save Block Configuration [C] Create New Disk Image (ATR)
Formatting your disk images w/ Atari DOS
w/ MyDos w/ Spartados
[F] Find Images _[F]ind Search Results
[H] Help Menu [L] Load ATR/PRO Image
Using PROTECTED (PRO) Disk Images [Q] Quit Program
[R] Release (unmount) ATR/PRO Image [S] Set ApeLoader / PC-Mirror Drive
Navigating your PC filesystem w/ the PC MIRROR [T] Toggle Emulation
[U] Ultraspeed/APE+ Toggle [V] Multitype text file viewer
[W] Write protect image [Y] Playback Digital Cassette Image
[Z] Configuration Menu   Misc Configuration Options
  Core APE Configuration   Atari & PC Printer Setup
  Default Path & Quick Macro Setup   Advanced PC Com Port Setup
  APE+/Ultraspeed Setup Using Your PC MODEM with APE as R:
Using Your PC Printer with APE as Px: APE FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Getting Technical Support Program history & revisions
Order Form Building the APE Interface Yourself
Building the APE Pro System Interface Yourself  



Thank you for trying the Atari Peripheral Emulator! You've taken the first step to making your Atari 8 Bit computer more enjoyable and useful!

APE is an advanced serial application capable of emulating an entire subsystem of devices on the Atari 8 Bit SIO bus.



APE talks to the SIO bus of your Atari 8 bit home computer using the Ape Interface Cable (or SIO2PC cable). This serial device provides the hardware required to convert the voltage levels present on the Atari SIO bus to levels compatible with the PC serial port.

This device hooks directly to the SIO port of your atari computer, and to the serial port of your PC compatible computer. No interface or other additional hardware is required!

Plans for building this device yourself are found at the end of this document. The 2 chip version requires $20-25 of parts, some not commonly available. The newer one chip version of this device requires only commonly available parts and can cost between $10-20, depending again on the cost of parts in your area.

Assembly and testing of this device takes 2-3 hours. If you have no soldering experience I suggest you pick up a book on electronics and practice before attempting final construction.

If you do not wish to make the interface yourself, I can provide a completely assembled and pre-tested serial unit for you. See ORDER.DOC for details, or ORDERING INFORMATION at the end of this document. Also, anyone purchasing the hardware from me will receive a $5 discount on the more robust REGISTERED version of this software.

PC Hardware Required

APE is compiled using 808x compatible instructions, and will run on most any machine from an XT to a Pentium II with a serial port and at least 200k of free DOS memory. A 286+ class machine with a hard drive and disk caching software (Norton Speed Drive, MS Smart Drive, etc) are recommended to get the very best performance. You should have WRITE BEHIND CACHING turned ON when using APE w/ disk cache software.


APE is designed to operate under MSDOS or MSDOS compatible operating systems that allow exclusive control of the system by a single task . APE requires very precise timing for its serial core functions, and may fail to function if operated under 'time sharing' operating systems such as Desqview, Windows 95, etc. Some users however have reported success under these operating systems with high end pentium class machines.

This is not a shortcoming in APE. The Atari SIO bus was designed to talk to devices that were always ready to respond, and to respond within a strict time frame. When you system takes time away from APE for other applications, the time critical handshaking operations between APE and your Atari become desynced, and IO operations may fail.

Even systems like Windows 95, which claim to give 'idle sensitive' control of the system to DOS applications can still fail. This is because the OS layer of these applications continues to slice time away from APE for its own housekeeping functions.

If you wish to try running APE under Windows95, first run APE under a clean dos boot to see it work properly. After seeing how it should work, you will have better luck evaluating your success under windows.

To boot to a real dos session with Win95 installed, press F8 BEFORE your system boots and select Command Prompt Only. When you do try running APE in a Win95 dos box, set idle sensitivity under Properties to its lowest setting, and window type to Full Screen.

APE can also be run under Linux DOSEMU.

Instructions for running APE under dosemu 0.60:

  1. In the dosemu-60.x/serial directory, edit the file ser_defs.h and change the following values:
  2. The line #RX_READ_FREQ. Change the value shown to 19L.
  3. The line #MS_MIN_FREQ. Change the value shown to 19L.

  4. This will change how often dosemu updates the serial port status registers for your dos box. We need FAST updates.

  5. In /etc/dosemu.conf, emulate ONLY ONE SERIAL PORT. Comment all the other ports out. If you enable 2 or more ports things get choppy as it takes longer to update the serial registers.

  6. (Re)compile dosemu and install it, run it, and run APE.

APE should work OK for you. I have /dev/ttyS0 emulated, with 'sillyint' set to off. Setting sillyint to the IRQ of your serial port might yield some improvement if you still have trouble. The higher the priority you give 'dos', the WORSE ape runs. If you set the priority with renice to say '14' then APE runs so good even APE+ 56kbps 3X ultraspeed works.


APE emulates the following devices, commands and addressing modes.

Basic SIO Commands Supported


Buying or building this interface, and purchasing the REGISTERED version of APE will be one of the the best investments you can possibly make in your Atari computer.

APE is an investment in your Atari 8 bit, securing your data and ability to make use of it for years to come. APE provides extraordinary hardware emulation at a SMALL FRACTION of the cost of real hardware devices!


For less than the price of a SINGLE 'refurbished' 1050 disk drive from one of the few remaining atari 8 bit dealers you will receive all the following:

Ape does ** NOT ** erase and reuse your PC hard disks, it stores data in 'disk images'. Disk images are regular PC files (like this one) that mimic the size and format of a real Atari disk. They may be as small as 90k, the size of a Single Sided/Single Density 810 disk. And as large 16 megabytes, 65,535 DOUBLE DENSITY SECTORS.