Jump to content

Photo

The Atari 1090 expansion...was it a missed opportunity


40 replies to this topic

#26 wood_jl OFFLINE  

wood_jl

    Quadrunner

  • 6,910 posts
  • Location:West TN, USA

Posted Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:34 AM

I used to be all about getting a detached keyboard for the A8. Now it doesn't matter as much and I think the integrated keyboard is a bit more retro feeling.


Ha ha! I'm exactly the same way. Used to wish for "Commodore 128D style" A8, and was so bored with the keyboard/computer combo back in the day, totally wished for Mega ST in the 16-bit dept. Now I love the XL/XE and the original 520ST (no drive) is my favorite ST because its form reminds me of the 8-bit days.

#27 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

carmel_andrews

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 13,297 posts
  • Location:from somewhere, anywhere and no where

Posted Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:23 AM

I used to be all about getting a detached keyboard for the A8. Now it doesn't matter as much and I think the integrated keyboard is a bit more retro feeling.


Ha ha! I'm exactly the same way. Used to wish for "Commodore 128D style" A8, and was so bored with the keyboard/computer combo back in the day, totally wished for Mega ST in the 16-bit dept. Now I love the XL/XE and the original 520ST (no drive) is my favorite ST because its form reminds me of the 8-bit days.






Ha ha...the lucky one with a c=128d...what are the drives like, are they any better then the standard c64 drives

#28 tregare OFFLINE  

tregare

    Moonsweeper

  • 312 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:32 AM

The same sort of problem befell the 68K machines when Motorola was no longer able to keep up with Intel, forcing Apple to make a rough transition, and helping to push the Amiga and ST off the stage.


Actually... Apple went from Motorola 68K to Motorola PPC, then to Intel x86.

and it wasn't a matter of Motorola keeping up with Intel. I have a 1.25GHZ G4 mac mini that will smoke a 3.4GHZ X86 PC. the mini has 1GB ram and the PC has 3GB (ok, 4 but 32-bit windows can't use it all)

Apple was getting hit by smoke an mirrors, PC manufacturers are great at propagating the MHZ Myth. (that clock speed is the end all be all of performance measurement) a well architected 1.25GHZ CPU and system board can run circles around a 3.4 GHZ chip that is not as well architected and optimized.

#29 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

flashjazzcat

    Quadrunner

  • 14,610 posts
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:52 AM

I used to be all about getting a detached keyboard for the A8. Now it doesn't matter as much and I think the integrated keyboard is a bit more retro feeling.


Ha ha! I'm exactly the same way. Used to wish for "Commodore 128D style" A8, and was so bored with the keyboard/computer combo back in the day, totally wished for Mega ST in the 16-bit dept. Now I love the XL/XE and the original 520ST (no drive) is my favorite ST because its form reminds me of the 8-bit days.

Well really we have the best of both worlds with the XEGS and the XL/XE. I was tripping over myself to get the XEGS with the separate keyboard, but now that I have one it's all a bit of a muchness. Fully kitted out 600XL would be best of all.

#30 Subby OFFLINE  

Subby

    Moonsweeper

  • 259 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:23 PM

While expansion chassis have their issues, I'm hopeful modern methods will overcome.
I think above it was mentioned that we could build a new motherboard, new CPU, new I/O, new O/S, and I was reminded of an old joke.
Museum curator tracks down the original hatchet George Washington used to chop down the cherry tree. The current owner was an old guy who said he had been using the hatchet all his life. The curator remarked that it was in excellent condition for being over 250 years old. The old guy said that it had held up really well, he'd only had to replace three heads and four handles.

(was that too obtuse?)

That said, I could really dig on a chassis with a plug in SpeedDisk, memory expansion, etc.

#31 frogstar_robot OFFLINE  

frogstar_robot

    Dragonstomper

  • 755 posts

Posted Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:32 PM

While expansion chassis have their issues, I'm hopeful modern methods will overcome.
I think above it was mentioned that we could build a new motherboard, new CPU, new I/O, new O/S, and I was reminded of an old joke.

(was that too obtuse?)


I like the idea but that is a lot of expensive ambitious work. I like the idea of a mini ATX board with sockets for the A8 chips, a GOOD video output circuit, a memory expansion, and facilities on board for super easy VBXE and 65816 upgrades. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for such an item to be designed or that I could afford it if it were.

A resurrected 1090 all by itself is ambitious. Many things that plug into the PBI assume they have it to themselves and even the ones that don't won't be physically standardized cards that will mount in a expansion cage or recased A8.

Probably the best we can hope for is a 1090 like board that will accept existing PBI devices. You could then choose whether to recase it with an existing A8 motherboard as a daughtercard or turn it into an expansion chassis. Myself I'd go for a pizza box style case tall enough to accommodate the largest common PBI devices. That way gravity tends to hold them down. Then use adjustable press fit brackets to keep them there. Another nice thing about recasing is that it becomes much more feasible to use signals that aren't supplied by PBI/ECI/Cart. It would be a hardware hacker's dream at any rate.

#32 EightBitWitch OFFLINE  

EightBitWitch

    Star Raider

  • 59 posts
  • Location:Munster, NDS, Germany

Posted Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:34 AM

I think, when we would be hold the A8 compatible, then we dont think about a internal place for 65816. i think it were better to think about a CoProcessorboard fpr the 65816 (by full Speed) with this own Memory (SRAM) and a DMA-mechanism for Datatransfer form/to the A8. I think the 1090 had a Busmaster-Slot, that can get control over the Systembus.

The physical standard of 1090-Cards are fix (see: http://www.atarimuse...otos/cards.html).

When we think about a new revision of a PBI-Extension (with new/smaller physical dimensions as 1090-Style), then it must be in the PBI/1090-Standard, like the OS support it. Otherwise we have to write a new OS.

For easier extension the A8 we can redesign the A8-PCB to a Busplate based System like the german "NDR-Klein-Computer" with separates Cards for CPU, Memory, Video and so on. All significant Signals (more as the PBI expose) so are easily reachable.



Valerie

#33 Rybags OFFLINE  

Rybags

    Gridrunner

  • 16,145 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:47 AM

I got doubts about bus-mastering, insofar as the Atari internally. There just isn't the right signalling on the PBI to allow it.

About the only way an external device could do DMA is to hold the CPU in /RDY, having previously disabled all DMA on Antic. Then the /REF signal could be monitored and should work since Refresh would be the only RAM access happening internally.

But, that could be sufficient. On a PAL machine you have a minimum 72 scanlines of offscreen area, that translates to over 7200 cycles per frame where a PBI device could do it's thing. More than enough to fill the entire 64K several times in a second. Of course, it means some internal software intervention, but the VBlank NMI occurs just where needed for that anyway.

Even if they'd only supplied a HSync on the PBI, that could allow some access every scanline due to certain cycles never having DMA occurring on them.

Edited by Rybags, Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:48 AM.


#34 EightBitWitch OFFLINE  

EightBitWitch

    Star Raider

  • 59 posts
  • Location:Munster, NDS, Germany

Posted Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:09 AM

We need an extended PBI-Standard with extra Signals. We could design it in a way, so that old PBI-Devices can connect correctly, and new Devices can use the extra Signals, like ISA-Bus with extra VLB-Bus (VESA Local Bus) in a PC of the 90s.

#35 frogstar_robot OFFLINE  

frogstar_robot

    Dragonstomper

  • 755 posts

Posted Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:16 PM

We need an extended PBI-Standard with extra Signals. We could design it in a way, so that old PBI-Devices can connect correctly, and new Devices can use the extra Signals, like ISA-Bus with extra VLB-Bus (VESA Local Bus) in a PC of the 90s.


It would be an interesting mod on existing A8s at any rate.

#36 EightBitWitch OFFLINE  

EightBitWitch

    Star Raider

  • 59 posts
  • Location:Munster, NDS, Germany

Posted Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:25 PM

... and when we loop-out (out and in, when not needed closed by a Jumper) the Signals between ANTIC and GTIA, they are needed by VBXE, then we have the possibility for an external VBXE-Device.

Edited by EightBitWitch, Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:13 PM.


#37 oky2000 OFFLINE  

oky2000

    Stargunner

  • 1,947 posts

Posted Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:25 AM

I used to be all about getting a detached keyboard for the A8. Now it doesn't matter as much and I think the integrated keyboard is a bit more retro feeling.


Ha ha! I'm exactly the same way. Used to wish for "Commodore 128D style" A8, and was so bored with the keyboard/computer combo back in the day, totally wished for Mega ST in the 16-bit dept. Now I love the XL/XE and the original 520ST (no drive) is my favorite ST because its form reminds me of the 8-bit days.






Ha ha...the lucky one with a c=128d...what are the drives like, are they any better then the standard c64 drives


In 128 mode of course they are, they don't use 1541 C64 drives internally you know. The external 1571 drive is also much much faster than most 5.25" drives in GCR burst mode too ;)

As to the original story, well this was all ending at the time of Jack purchasing Atari so it was doomed, Jack wanted a modern 16bit machine to relaunch Atari, and he created a colour macintosh for 1/3 the price. Not quite what Atari fans wanted but as far as development costs go there was not spare cash to pimp up old 8bit technology and it isn't as sellable as a brand new 'better than a Mac' machine to potential new customers. If there were enough 8bit customers then WB would never sold Atari.

Nice dream but the reality is it never works, if people want an Apple II or IBM they will buy a cheap clone of one not spend 300% more on an add-on card. This is why the Amiga PC bridgeboards of any flavour are very rare today....people didn't want to spend the price of a PC on a card and some HD/FD drives to plug into an Amiga 2000....so they went out and bought a cheap PC for less. This would be a very small market and would have made no difference to WB Atari's fortunes.

#38 UNIXcoffee928 OFFLINE  

UNIXcoffee928

    Stargunner

  • 1,177 posts
  • Location:Sosaria, USA

Posted Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:15 PM

Anyone with a deep interest in hardware, and Jay Miner's computer architecture concepts should become a member of the Natami Project:

http://www.natami.net

We're designing a next generation Amiga, and there is some very cool stuff going on over there. The machine is now running, implements the Native Amiga Chipset, and is many times more powerful than the last of the Amigas.

The Natami will be an "Alternate Platform", and it will give you a system that is fully backward compatible, while providing the resources to utilize modern computing applications. It has a strong following, and is by no means vaporware. There is a lot of current development work going on, with regard to new Amiga software, and the OS known as "AROS" is a full Open Source re-implementation of AmigaOS, with the flexibility of easy modification & maintenance.

There are now a number of Hardware projects that are Amiga/AmigaOS oriented, however only the Natami implements the native chipset, and is an extension of Jay Miner's vision.

A beautiful thing about all Amigas is the Atari 8-bit emulation, which can use standard 5.25" Atari-formatted disks, with no additional hardware (aside from the drive itself), due to the very flexible disk controller in the system.

I find the Natami project to be a very fascinating place, to hang out & learn & discuss all kinds of tech stuff. There's a lot of really talented engineers & computer scientists there, working in all corners of the globe, to bring the world a New Amiga. In a lot of ways, it really reminds me of when GNU/Linux was first being put together, lots of great camaraderie & work going on toward a common goal.

Despite all odds, and all of the Naysayers who said that "it couldn't be done"... The Amiga is rising from it's grave. A lot of us were left out in the cold when the company folded, and the Amiga was orphaned. A lot of us despise what has happened to computers, in general. The Natami is a chance to build a system, from the ground up, and to address the needs of people like us, who want a great system to hack on.

Part of the beauty of the system is that it is a fully re-configurable computer, implemented via FPGA, which will allow for full system hardware mods that can simply be downloaded directly to the computer. It is a remarkable device, in many ways, and seems to be blazing the trail to the Future of Computing, by utilizing this technology.

Any coders who miss the "old days" should also get involved, because this system is going to let you break free from the endless Windows/Mac/Linux cycle. It is both "a retro platform" & "a new platform", simultaneously.

Hope to see you there!

#39 EightBitWitch OFFLINE  

EightBitWitch

    Star Raider

  • 59 posts
  • Location:Munster, NDS, Germany

Posted Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:51 PM

I think that i little bit off topic ...

... but it is a nice Project.
What is the Target-Group. General Consumers - No, for that market it would be to expensive (relation Performance/cost) and i think it is to slow (90MHz on the top???)for actual Application like Video-Editing/Compressing like i do it with VirtualDub or viewing (HD-)Live-TV via Internet.
For Amiga-Fans it is a nice Project, with fresh Hardware and fresh ideas. But also here are the costs important.

In this Threat we discuss possibilities to extend the actual A8-System by historic Concepts (PBI and 1090) and low cost, i don't know a Extension for A8 that cost more than 150€ (i think VBXE2 and SIO2USB are the most expensive Parts). No one think about use A8-System for daily or productive Work, all/most have PCs (Intel MAC is for me also a PC) with running Linux/Mac OS/Windows on it. We bring the A8 to use actual Storage-Systems, because FloppyDisk become very expensive (10 pcs of 5,25" Disks could more expensive as a SD-Card up to 2GB) and it is not so easy to share Data over the Internet - ok, the 1050-PC Interface or SIO2PC make it possible. We love this old System (it's our Baby), and put only little improvements to it, so we can recognize it every time as our good old A8. The VBXE2 is that improvement that are very near at the border what we do it and nevertheless we see a A8 on the Desk.


Valerie
(I hope everybody can understand it, my English are bad and i don't like use the Google-Translator, because the results are more bad than my writings)

Edited by EightBitWitch, Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:52 PM.


#40 Rybags OFFLINE  

Rybags

    Gridrunner

  • 16,145 posts
  • Location:Australia

Posted Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:37 AM

They had new Amiga motherboards at a computer fair I went to a few months back.

From memory, something near $800 for the faster one ~800 MHz and about $120 less for the slightly slower one.

Really, you'd have to be a diehard to fork out that kinda cash - although both packages were inclusive of CPU and RAM.

#41 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

flashjazzcat

    Quadrunner

  • 14,610 posts
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:37 AM

In this Threat we discuss possibilities to extend the actual A8-System by historic Concepts (PBI and 1090) and low cost, i don't know a Extension for A8 that cost more than 150 (i think VBXE2 and SIO2USB are the most expensive Parts). No one think about use A8-System for daily or productive Work, all/most have PCs (Intel MAC is for me also a PC) with running Linux/Mac OS/Windows on it. We bring the A8 to use actual Storage-Systems, because FloppyDisk become very expensive (10 pcs of 5,25" Disks could more expensive as a SD-Card up to 2GB) and it is not so easy to share Data over the Internet - ok, the 1050-PC Interface or SIO2PC make it possible. We love this old System (it's our Baby), and put only little improvements to it, so we can recognize it every time as our good old A8. The VBXE2 is that improvement that are very near at the border what we do it and nevertheless we see a A8 on the Desk.

I fills me with glee to know that there are actually a few people out there using the Atari 8-bit for productive work (and there are). Some people actually prefer the uncluttered environment, and life is made a whole lot easier by convenient data transfer to and from the PC. A few upgrades are pretty near-the-knuckle as far as purism goes, but the best add-ons are contemporary without blighting the character of the machine. Software has moved with the times, and I suppose hardware must too. I was out of the Atari scene for a decade, but I couldn't have picked a better time to return. There is still a lot to be done! Posted Image

Edited by flashjazzcat, Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:38 AM.





0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users