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Atari ST picture conversion

August 11, 2015

It’s somewhat easy finding modern software able to read ancient data formats (note, “somewhat”). It’s often more difficult finding the opposite – conversion from modern formats to older ones.

When I’ve wanted to edit graphics using modern software (GIMP) and convert it to Atari ST I’ve so far used the excellent Netpbm package. The steps have involved converting my image in GIMP to use a colormap of suitable size, save the image as a .ppm file and then use ppmtopi1 to (finally) get an Atari ST compatible low resolution image in “Degas” format, a popular image editor back then.

This weekend I grew somewhat tired at all those steps – and additionally I wanted to convert an image to the Atari ST medium resolution format (.pi2). There’s no such application in the Netpbm suite.

It’s not completely plug’n’play, but here’s a link to PNGconv, a project I just published to Github. It’s a Java program that takes any input format Java understands (JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF .. ) and outputs as Atari ST low/medium/high (.pi1/.pi2/.pi3).

I’m probably the only one who’s ever going to use it, but you know what they say about programmers. We’ll happily spend hours now making sure we’re spending “less” hours somewhere down the road ;)

 

 

XKCD: Automation

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