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NEOchrome v1.0 showing the color-cycling waterfall from 1985
NEOchrome v1.0 showing the color-cycling waterfall from 1985
Original author(s)Dave Staugas (programmer),[1][2]
Jim Eisenstein (programmer),[3]
Jerome Domurat (User Interface Designer)[4][5]
Developer(s)Atari Corporation
Initial release1984; 35 years ago (1984)
Stable release
Written inAssembly
Operating systemAtari ST
Typebitmap graphics editor

NEOchrome is an early color bitmap graphics editor for the Atari ST computer family.[3][6][8] It was written by Dave Staugas, a programmer at Atari and co-author of the ST's operating system.[9] NEOchrome allows hardware-supported color cycling to give the impression of animation. A color-cycling waterfall, created with NEOchrome, was one of the iconic images of the early Atari ST.[10][11]

Following in the footsteps of MacPaint and the Apple II version which was renamed Mouse Paint, both released in 1984, NEOchrome uses the then-novel representation of painting tools by icons (in addition to other GUI elements).

A pre-release version (v0.5)[6][12] was included with the system disks of the first STs.[6] A proper version 1.0 arrived later, and was bundled with several versions of the ST. Although not officially public domain, this version was often treated as such, and was never actually sold.[6] As a result of this, NEOchrome enjoyed a relatively high level of popularity within the ST community, even in the face of more advanced packages such as DEGAS Elite and Deluxe Paint.

NEOchrome Master[edit]

Although there were no further official versions,[6] an unofficial revision called NEOchrome Master was released by the Atari demo scene group Delta Force's Till Bubeck[13][14][15](Programmer of The Return of Medusa) in the early 1990s.[16]

NEOchrome Master was built by disassembling the binary program "NEOchrome 1.0". The resulting source code was uncommented and hard to read. But it could be assembled back into the same binary program as before. This allowed the author to extend the program.[17]

Many extensions were built into the program and various version were released to the public.


  1. ^ Dave Staugas, AtariAge, Programmer for Atari 2600 Cartridges, Krull(1983) and Millipede(1984)
  2. ^ Dave Staugas (Atari)'s list of works: Hover Strike, Rampage
  3. ^ a b An interview with Dave Staugas and Jim Eisenstein creators of NeoChrome. Inside Atari, By Mark Jensen, page 8–10, Atari Explorer - Volume 7 Number 2 (1987-03)(Atari Explorer Publications)(US)
  4. ^ User Interface Designer - Jerome Domurat, Atari Corporation; Sunnyvale, CA 11/81 – 07/86, ...Also defined the feature set and interface to the NEOchrome paint program.
  5. ^ Page 4, NEOchrome version 0.5 manual
  6. ^ a b c d e f NeoChrome, Alive 10
  7. ^ NEOchrome was distributed as part of the Atari 2600 / 7800 Development System
  8. ^ Review:NeoChrome, By John J Anderson, Page 18–20, Atari Explorer - Volume 7 Number 2 (1987-03)(Atari Explorer Publications)(US)
  9. ^ ...Dave Staugas, who ported the text blit and later wrote the ST's NEOchrome paint program..., 3 Years With the ST, An exclusive look inside Tramiel's Atari, by Jeffrey Daniels, START VOL. 3 NO. 1 / SUMMER 1988
  10. ^ Randelshofer, Walter. "Atari ST Animations".
  11. ^ OpenSourcedGames/Atari-7800 GitHub, 5/26/89, Memo: Julie Wade, Atari Corporation, ...I suggested that to Dave Staugas who ..... This was to supersede [sic] the method provided at the outset of the project which uses NeoChrome and "NEO2S". NeoChrome is excellent, but the "NEO2S...
  12. ^ Page 6 Atari Users' Magazine - Issue 28
  13. ^ Scener:Chaos Inc. Also known as: Till Bubeck, Demozoo
  14. ^ ...if you still can draw with the great NEOchrome Master (thanks to Chaos Inc. AKA Till Bubeck for improving this great piece of software)..., AN INTERVIEW WITH HEINZ RUDOLF, Alive 5
  15. ^ Till Bubeck(Germany)...a.k.a. "Chaos Inc.", coder in Delta Force (DF)...Famous for: NeoChrome Master, Atari Scene and STNICCC News
  16. ^ Files (Pixel painters), Dead Hackers Society
  17. ^ What's new..., NEOchrome Master Manaual, Alive 9

External links[edit]