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About Xebec

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  1. Are there any mods available that allow you to add the enhanced joystick ports to a Mega STE?
  2. +1 for VCF East 2019 - this was an amazing day! I enjoyed the classes on Friday, but came back Sunday and really loved both the Joe Decuir keynote (lots of great details on the technical genesis of the Atari 8bit computer line), and also the amazing amounts of Ataris on display. Joe gave a shout out to Jamie Lendino which was great (awesome book), and also talked about wanting to create a book the technical genesis of the Atari 400/800 (sandwiched by existing VCS/Amiga books). Joe seems like a true and humble gentlemen - great guy! Summary: Terrible weather, 2 hour drive for wife and I, but WELL WORTH IT - we had a great time!! "John and Jen"
  3. Just came back from VCF East (2019), and Joe Decuir referenced this processor in his keynote.. he said they (Atari) bid out the work to create a 16-bit version of the 6502 but they decided it created too much risk for the release schedule. This was sent out for bid in 1977 (!) not later -- so at least at some point during the design phase of the A8 they were thinking 16-bit. I plan to email him and ask a bit about this, he referred to it as the 6509 though he admitted he had less than 3 hours of sleep from the flight over to NJ the night (morning) before.
  4. Great topic! I used my 8-bit from ~ 81/82 (5 year old kid) as a main computer, even for a year or so after we go our 520ST In 1986. (USA). After that, I'd go back occasionally to the 8bit, and even transferred a bunch of games to the ST to try ST Xformer for emulation (too slow sadly, later I understand why ). I went PC In late 89-1990 - same story with the ST, and about 1 year later, I spent 99% of my time on the PC. I kept a 520ST and 800XL unpacked and ready to play; and over the next 4 years, the 8bit got all of my spare time (not the ST). For the ST the non-usage came because my Supra drive died* - and going back to floppy just didn't do it for me / I had played out the ST games pretty well at that point. Unfortunately i also leant a 1040ST With 2-3 boxes of floppies to someone and have never been able to find their contact info. . In August 1994, US Marshals came to seize my (pirate) PC BBS (DeadBeat BBS); but the 8-bit and ST stayed out and ready for usage. I didn't actually get back 'online' until 1996 - (just stayed away from computers for 18-24 months after that experience); but I was playing Alternate Reality and some other games on the 8bit occasionally. I actually played the 8bit occasionally (both through emulation, and occasionally real hardware) through about the years 99-01, packing it up (and the ST) around 2001. They stayed in boxes at the parents during my apartment years and even after I bought my house, finally come out of the boxes maybe 7 years ago or so. I still have my original Atari 800 and 800XL though i'm not sure which is which since I have a few of each :-P. As for the ST not getting love -- Little Green Desktop (LGD) or atari.st kept me 'in the ST scene' once emulation got decent on PC in the late 90s / early 2000s. That website holds a ton of nostalgia for me because it allowed me to run the ST the way I really remember it ("with a hard drive"), and I eventually fell in love with that platform again. Big kudos to whoever created and maintained that site - it was awesome checking out releases after I left the ST scene in ~ 1990. *I wish I still had that harddrive mechanism for the ST (threw it out) - I'd actually pay someone to recover the data now.. wrote a lot of scripts with my father, etc for BBS Express ST!, then later ran FoReM for better HDD usage / file transfer protocols. (FoReM was ugly though vs BBS Express imo ). I threw away almost all of my ST floppies but still have a selection of 8bit floppies.. I wish I had discovered the Amiga back in the day; I only saw Rogue on an Amiga 1000 and assumed the platform was nothing special. I did pick up an A500 and A1200 in 2012 or so before prices started skyrocketing -- but they're keepers now.
  5. Great reply six! #1 makes a lot of sense.. makes the computer 'easier to use' for anyone. And the 400/800 was pretty friendly.. #3 - great list; was reviewing. The HP-IB Is interesting though it doesn't carry power for peripherals like SIO/USB, The other two (1986 and "early 1990s") standards do carry power though.. good finds and thank you. Thanks!
  6. Just a few questions -- 1. Why was the SIO plug 'so large', and not something more compact like the 9-pin joystick connector? I know SIO needs 13-pins instead of 9, but just curious if there is an electrical reason why it's substantially larger. 2. Was there ever any consideration for making a version of this for Amiga Lorraine - as SIO (daisy chainable, smart devices, with 5V/12V power for low power devices) is awesome. I'm guessing either SIO was patented, or "Lorraine is a gaming system" (though so was the original design of the Atari chipset). 3. Are there any other computers with a SIO / USB type functionality, prior to actual USB on PCs from the mid/late 1990s? Thanks John
  7. LOL, i just l literally logged into AtariAge to post "Did Atari ever do any serious work to extend the Atari 8-bit chipset?", after having not been on here for months.. Besides this paper explaining the design.. and the Amy chip being made and 'bolted on', was there anything else like this to extend the A8 chipset capabilities, intended for mass production in the future? I assume everything just stopped when Miner and friends left?
  8. 2600 --> 800 --> 520ST. I remember when my dad first switched the BBS to the ST (BBS Express 850 Pro --> BBS Express ST!); I really didn't (originally) like the ST BBS so I spent the time switching everything back to the 8bit confusing callers of the board. A week later my Dad reset it to the ST . Later I "got" the ST, wrote a few BBS Doors with my Dad and went on from there eventually to PC. I had a great time with the ST when it matured, but when it launched vs. the relatively mature 8-bit -- my heart stayed with the 800 for a very long time. Sadly the only time I ever saw an Amiga 'back in the day' was an Amiga 1000 playing the game Rogue, and also with the original terrible colors of Workbench 1.0. Rogue didn't show off any Amiga capability, and the GUI -- being a young kid and not knowing much, seemed less polished than the ST's was on a monochrome monitor.. Of course now I have an A500 and an A1200 with some upgrades.. next to a Mega STE .
  9. I'm torn on which config to request for Sophia -- I'm in the US, so is it just safest to ask for a '1080' config and hope it scales with any modern tv/monitor thrown at it?
  10. I don't think it'll work without an additional circuit due to the fact that Atari's 6502 "SALLY" has a 'halt' pin/function that the standard 6502. The 6510 does not appear to have this HALT Pin either. The exception might be the 'early production Atari 400/800' machines which actually used a regular 6502C and had the circuitry on the board instead of the CPU. https://www.atarimax.com/jindroush.atari.org/achsally.html Description 6502 is the heart of the computer. It's based on MOS Technologies 6502. While the 400/800 models contain a generic 6502 CPU, all of the XL/XE models contain Atari's customized 6502C chip. 6502c has an extra line called HALT. It is controlled by ANTIC which it uses whenever it needs the /jindroush.atari.org/data/address bus. The HALT line must be pulled high for the chip to work. Early 400/800 NTSC computers used a standard 6502 and 4 additional chips to stop the processor when ANTIC needed the busses.
  11. Here is the plain CEC (not CEC-"Expansion") http://finapple.hho.fi/finapple/index.php/2017/06/09/cec-i-china-education-computer-part-1/ There are two models that i am aware of (Apple II clones that is) made by the Shaanxi Province Computer Factory and Huaming Computer Co. – CEC-I – made in beige and red colors – CEC-E – made in beige color, more rare of the two. 6502, 1 mhz, 64k ram (2 x 64kx4), 32KB ROM (seems pretty big), PAL video. Here's a white CEC-I from that same site: http://finapple.hho.fi/finapple/index.php/2017/08/22/cec-i-beigewhite/ Looks like the CEC-E Is CEC-I with additional disk / accessory ports on the back..
  12. Perhaps a silly question - but is the "Floating Gate" in A.R. The City a reference to floating gate transistors? i.e. you're inside the machine now?
  13. ALERT! ALERT! .. What a great game! Thank you for this awesome port!
  14. hahaha excellent picture! I'm pretty sure mine was a Maxtor Some generic SCSI card though later upgraded to a WD FASST-2..
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