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About bbking67

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  • Birthday 06/04/1967

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    Osgoode, ON, Canada
  • Interests
    Atari Stuff, Fender Guitars and Amps
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    Lords of Conquest
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  1. bbking67


  2. Ive purchased an r3 and screen that are supposed to be compatible... are there detailed instructions on hooking up the SIO cable? I saw a reference to having a diode and I cant seem to find a proper tutorial with schematic.
  3. Well $250 for a hard drive is 1985 would have been a steal. Im sure I paid way more in 1987 when I bought my MIO.
  4. My school used a Corvus with a multiplexer (for Apple II) in 1982. I think that's a more realistic use case. Not many Atari users were going to have one of these systems.
  5. The first hard drive system that was available in quantity was really the ICD Muti I/O. It was still a pretty expensive device and it was only a host adapter. You still needed a SCSI hard drive. In the early days of the MIO, most people would purchase a common hard drive like the ST-225. the ST 225 was a 20MB MFM hard drive, so a SCSI controller like the Adaptec 4000A was needed. I seem to remember that the combination was around the same price as the ST-225N which was the native SCSI version of the drive (The MFM SCSO controller had the advantage that a it could support two MFM drives.) Later which RLL controllers and drives were available, storage capacity jumped... I had a 20MB drive, followed by a 65MB RLL (which was effectively the same platter as the 40MB MFM). The Black Box came a couple of years later, but was very similar in terms of capabilities. In my opinion, the ICD Multi I/O was an incredibly useful device: It included a persistent RAM disk (the MIO could remain powered when the computer was off and keep its contents intact), a printer buffer, standard serial and printer ports as well as the SCSI host adapter. It was intended to have an 80 column display (mine has the port, but it doesnt work), but this was not delivered in the end. You have to keep in mind that a simple 20MB setup with the Multi I/O was around $1000 in the 87-88 timeframe, if not more. Big money for most Atari users. But ICD had the DOS required to make it work well on top of everything else. Everything was developed with SpartaDOS in mind. The biggest issue with the hard drive is that there were many software programs that were either not compatible with SpartaDOS, or were not "reentrant" in that you had to shut off the computer and reboot. ICD also had the R-Time8 which supplied the useful real-time clock as an alternative to setting the time with every sub-sequent reboot. But unlike the Corvus (which interfaced via joystick ports if you can believe it), the MIO provided excellent performance and usability for XL/XE users. I have no experience with the ATR-8000, but it predated the MIO for sure and did not have the same kind of performance as was available through the parallel bus. I always read about people using 8" floppies on them, but certainly it would have supported disk systems.
  6. Yes as long as there is no assistant manager involved. :-)
  7. You really want to use XEX and ATR anyway... dealing with protected images is a pain. There isnt anything which has not been made available in these formats, so just seek these out. because the other formats are protected you cant easily convert them either.
  8. So out of all these I'd say the Roklan Deluxe Invaders (which incidentally is an *official* port of the arcade game) is the best one. I always hated the Atari 8-bit version. 5200 version is only slightly better. This is one case where the VCS versions is way better. In spite of the VCS Space Invaders not being very faithful it's fun and the variations a pretty fun.
  9. I recommend the 800XL... especially socketed. A stock 130XE is also pretty nice, but not socketed so repairs are challenging. The biggest drawback of the 800XL is the video quality. If you can get a fixed unit that would be the best. The Westphal units are probably the best way to go... 256K is pretty sweet.
  10. The adapter that allows PC floppy drives is the ATR8000... use of SCSI disks was achieved (back in the day) with an ICD Multi I/O or CSS Black Box. You cant easily convert from disk image to tape (why would you want to if you have floppy drives)? I'd recommend getting a modern device for storage there are many options like SIO2SD. SIO2SD is exceptionally straightforward and requires to modifications to the system. I don't think there ever was an official Atari Pong for the system... The atari can use Epson compatible printers with an RS232 adapter, so that makes things far more flexible. Atari branded printers are rare and some are also RS232. Good luck, and you'll to know how to boot things properly (disable BASIC by holding OPTION at boot time for example).
  11. Yeah Bobterm pretty much is the way to go... 850 Express was the best program for years until Bobterm came aklong... Bobterm is very much inspired by 850 Express. There is a Cartridge version of Express which is machine language (850 Express was written in Action!). I've not used the cartridge Express personally, but I believe that it expands on the featiure-set of 850 Express (and all the other versions of Express)
  12. I used to work for a retailer who sold the BASF diskettes in the early 80's. The ones I bought were labelled with brown and a brown sleeve. Let me tell you that these disks were horrible in spite of BASF being a supposed "premium" brand. I'm no cork sniffer and I bought lots of no-name disks and most have held up rather well. The BASF disks were purged long ago. One thing that I was told is that they improved the disks later (BASF was bought by Kao-Didak at some point as well), So some BASF disks could be okay, but not the brown ones. I had good success with Fuji disks and I had a friend who swore by Dysan (I never bought these personally).
  13. Is there a list of bootable disk menu programs with screenshots? I used a number of these in the 80's and into the early 90's and I'm interested in what is out there... I recall having a small program to write the bootable sectors to the disk for a couple of these. Im pretty sure we all used some of these... I think some were published in magazines like Antic and ANALOG. It would be very useful to have the best of these programs somewhere (I know it probably has already been done).
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