In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful, the supreme creator and sustainer of all that exists...
Hi. My name is Ken Jones. I have been an atari 8-bit user since 1984. My first machine was an 800XL with two 1050 drives. I still have it. There's a picture of it in my Gallery, if I'm not mistaken. I was about 11 years old when I bought this machine from Sears for $35.00 (on clearance).. The first 1050 came as a christmas present from my parents (after much begging on my part), and the second was purchased second hand from an individual that I met through BBSes or user group meetings, I can't remember which. I have two brothers who are a year younger than me (yeah, they are twins) who were Apple II guys. They inherited my Stepfather's Apple IIe when he "upgraded" to a Laser 128.. From early on, we were all three very interested in programming, and there was alot of competition between us as far as coding ability. By the time I reached my early teens, I knew my way around both platforms reasonably well, and was constantly running into memory and storage constraints in my coding endeavors. Having very limited funds, the best I could do at the time was to upgrade my 800XL to 256k (via ICD RAMBO XL) and install ICD US DOUBLER upgrades in both 1050s. This increased the scope of what I could do coding/resource-wise, but I remember always wishing I could afford two things: 1)a real ATARI 130XE (I wanted separate ANTIC/CPU access to extended RAM) and 2)an ICD MIO with a hard disk.
My father's field was avionics, so by the time I was 16 or so, I was fairly proficient with a soldering iron, and most types of test equipment. I chose to study automotive technology, and got a job working as a mechanic. By the time I was 19, I was master certified through ASE, had several hundred certifications through General Motors, and was working as a Transmission Repair Technician/Master Mechanic at a BUICK dealership. It was about this time, that I was able to purchase my first AMIGA computer. Throughout my career, I have worked at various GM dealerships, European Import Specialty shops, and Industrial Powertrain repair companies. At my current job, I do System Administration/I.T. Consulting for a Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealership.
Over the past 20 years, I have repaired, upgraded, bought, sold, traded, etc. More ATARI 8-bit and AMIGA equipment than I can remember. I now own 3 atari 130XE machines, and several ICD MIOs. In my spare time, I do repairs & upgrades for people (mostly 130XEs and XF551s these days) and build brand new MIOs for people.
There are several people whom I collaborate with fairly often and who have helped me on various occasions:
Sergio Larrondo (WareRat) is a fellow atari guy with as many years experience as I have (we are about the same age) who has a Masters Degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He has/does develop(ed) more indepth ORIGINAL hardware designs for the ATARI 8-bit than anyone I know. He is responsible for all of the firmware enhancements to the MIO that have been made in the last few years, as well as much of the diagnostic/testing/debugging approach used in the hardware reproduction.. Truthfully, there is no way I'd be building MIOs today without his selfless donation of countless hours, and continued dedication to the project.I have known him for several years now, but I wish we had met about 15 years earlier than we did.
Bob Woolley (Bob1200XL) is a hardware/coder guy that has come up with all kinds of ingenious modifications, add-ons, and entire expansions systems for the ATARI 8-bit throughout the years. He has given me advice on more than one occasion, so I need to mention him. He's a really nice guy, and a really smart guy. And to anyone who's been in the ATARI scene for any number of years, his name needs no introduction..
Steve Carden is the co-author of BBS EXPRESS PROFESSIONAL, and the author of REALDOS, SPARTADOS 3.3 pro, and various other BBS programs and system utilities. He currently sells TCP/IP EXPRESS BBS software and the CSS MULTIPLEXER system (originally developed by Bob Puff). This guy has been coding ATARIs since the early 80s, and has known or worked with 90% of anyone who has had any recognition in the atari software market. He has provided me with all kinds of indepth information, documentation, source code, etc. We would not be advancing the MIO project beyond it's original specs without the wealth of rare and invaluable information that he has provided..
Lastly, Id really like to thank ALBERT, the admin of these forums, because this Forum has enabled me to coordinate more and better things than I would ever have dreamed possible. I have met, conversed, and dealt with more quality people on here that I would highly reccomend to anyone else, than I have by any other medium Ive ever been able to employ.. This is definitely the PREMIER atari website, and ANYONE who is seriously into the atari scene should be a member.