Gadgets by Small

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David Small

Gadgets by Small, Inc. is a hardware addon company started by Sandy Small and Dave Small. Gadgets by Small is well know for making an Atari behaving like an Apple Macintosh, i.e. it makes emulators. In additional to Mac emulators, it also produced some software and had in it's pipeline a Super ST (SST) accelerator for the Atari ST.

In 1986, David Small teamed up with Joel Rosenblum, an old friend who was also a computer programmer, to start Data Pacific, the company that would handle marketing and sales of the Magic Sac.

Gadgets by Small lost a law suite to INTEGRATED ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, a Colorado corporation, which forces it to declare bankruptcy in 1994.

Magic Sac

Emulates a Mac Classic on an Atari ST or TT computer. Released through Data Pacific in September, 1986.


Gadgets by Small designed the Spectre Mac emulator and allowed the Atari ST to use many Mac programs which were not hardware dependent. It may be also called Spectre 128. Merlin Group designed an interface card (Megatalk Board for Atari ST Computers) for the Atari which supplied it with much of that hardware, allowing it to use Mac MIDI, networks, printers, hard drives, scanners and more.

Spectre GCR

The Spectre GCR required the owner to purchase a set of official Apple Macintosh 128K ROMs and the Macintosh Operating System 6.0.8 disks. This avoided any legal issues of copying/pirating Apple's software. The emulated Mac had a screen of 640x480, instead of the 512x384 that the Mac Plus sported. The device is 20% faster, and has a 30% bigger screen than a Mac! The Spectre GCR plugged into the cartridge slot, and modified the frequency of the data to/from the single-speed floppy drive of the Atari ST, thus allowing it to read Macintosh GCR format discs which required a multi-speed floppy drive. The emulator runs best with a high-resolution monochrome monitor, such as Atari's own SM124, but will run on colour displays by either displaying a user-selectable half of the Macintosh screen, or missing out alternate lines to fit the lower resolution colour display.

Although Spectre GCR would run in 1MB of memory, 2MB or more was recommended.

Compare screen of Mac & ST

Spectre GCR Documentation

SST 68030 Accelerator for Atari ST Computers

Gadgets by Small designed an accelerator card for the Atari ST line of computers. The design was a system that far exceeded anything available for the Atari at that time. The unit replaced the original 16 bit, 8 megahertz microprocessor with a 32 bit unit at up to 40 megahertz. The board also supplied up to 8 megabytes of 32 bit wide memory, and a math coprocessor


Magazine References

  • STart, volume 3, issue 6, p51-52 (Review)
  • STart, volume 3, issue 7, p17-18 (Review)
  • STart, volume 4, issue 2, p47-49 (Review)

External Links

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