I absolutely share in the enthusiasm for new-fangled devices, for old computer (and game consoles, too!).
When I was living in Anchorage, I knew several people who had Atari computers - although not nearly as many as Apple and Commodore. When "the world went PC" (or Mac!) I was the only holdout. I had sold part of my Atari computer collection (which I regret) and the drives I had left all had issues. "The Internet" wasn't popular (esp. the WWW) and I was the only person I knew who still had an interest in the A8. Unfortunately, nobody was even remotely interested in working on my stuff. How bad was the Atari life, before Atariage!!!
Because I didn't know anybody who still used A8 and no AtariAge, it was very sad. I didn't know about SIO2PC until it was very old. As a matter of fact, when I learned about AtariAge I learned about SIO2PC and it was then that Steve at Atarimax (what a fantastic guy) told me that he was developing the USB version, so I waited for it.
The Atarimax USB SIO2PC is the device that "reeled me back in" to Atari8.
Although SIO2PC was old hat to some, it was new to me, and this was (about 2007) when RS232 serial ports had been dropped from the laptops, and a laptop was the only computer I had. I was instantly hooked. It was like a dream-come-true - to have **RELIABLE** fast storage and make the PC serve up the Atari. No more bad disks, and "Warp Speed" (or even standard speed) with zero seek time!!
From there, I've been pretty much an addict for the new technology that makes the old computers' storage reliable
, as well as convenient and fast. Next, how about getting rid of the PC tether, and how about some of this new tech for some of the other machines I shoulda/woulda/coulda ended up with.
Although I was a wall-eyed A8 fanboy who (before the onset of at least some maturity) ignorantly turned his nose up the other systems, I later-understood that the Apple and Commodore computers would probably have served me well and pleased me, too. The modern tech makes it very easy (and reliable) to explore these machines, now!
The fact that you can download the entire software library (pretty much) for all of these machines complements the new technology, rather impressively. I'm referring to the ability to painlessly (and reliably) use disk images. You would have had to either buy or copy these physical disks, and they'd number in the thousands, when
Now that you can download the entire run of your favorite computer magazines (another absolute dream), there's an almost endless quantity of stuff to explore. Read old ads and reviews, then locate the disk image and try it out.....ANYTHING. Totally impossible (unless you grew up wealthy) in the old days.
After getting hooked, here's my modern devices which give me almost unlimited enjoyment:
Atarimax USB SIO2PC and APE software for A8
Atarimax Flash Cartridges for A8
Sdrive (Sdrive NUXX, specifically) for A8
SIO2SD (bare, cased by Lotharek, cased Micro version by santosp)
1541 Ultimate for C64 (this is a particularly impressive product)
HxC SD-card Floppy Emulator (on the Atari ST, and Amiga 500 - very impressive for both)
CFFA3000 for Apple II (although I don't have Apple II yet)
I also have a collection of A8 enhancements that I'm unable to install.
I was never a huge console gamer, in the old days. However, the flash memory devices make it easy and practical (in very
recent times) to check out all the stuff that I missed, and knew little or nothing about. I am impressed with:
Harmony Cartridge for Atari 2600
PowerPak for NES
Atarimax SD cartridge for Colecovision (edit: forgot this! Have too many devices, evidently)
Master Everdrive for Sega Master System (finally! SG-1000 games easily on a real machine!)
Everdrive MD for Sega Genesis
Super Everdrive for Super Nintendo
Everdrive 64 for N64
With all of that stuff, there's no realistic way I'm ever going to have the time (or lifespan) to actually check out everything. It's difficult to get bored, now! This stuff wasn't exactly free, but for the sheer quantity of exploration it permits, it's really a huge bargain for your entertainment dollar.
I really love this stuff! Sorry I went on so long!
Edited by wood_jl, Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:20 PM.