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Posts posted by Knimrod

  1. 23 hours ago, netcoord99 said:

    FYI !! . The E-80 is a pirated copy of the ACE80 cartridge software and anyone attempting to use, promote, or sell it is in violation of copyright laws. 

    This is not true and a despicable attempt to tarnish the reputation of a true Atari pioneer who still actively supports this hobby..  🤬

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  2. 5 hours ago, ClausB said:

    A friend and I did fun stuff with the 8741 microcontroller on the ISA bus. One project was a MIDI out board. Another was an X-Y galvo mirror controller for laser light shows. He did a show in San Francisco and met Woz there!

    I still have that controller Claus.   It performed perfectly at the Gala opening of the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose back around 1990 I think.  Woz was a benefactor there and was in attendance wearing a white tuxedo with children's hand prints in all different colors.  Very down to earth guy.  We got a chance to talk and he was impressed with our homebuilt laser light show controller.  He also signed your book "Hackers" by  Stephen Levy at which point it then became my book....which I also still have. ;)

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  3. I loved the commentary on Star Raiders development.  Until then, my PC exposure had been a Sinclair ZX-80 which I built and learned to program on.  I was looking to move into something with more power and that's when I met Claus.. :)  When Claus demonstrated Star Raiders for me, I was blown away.  I had never seen anything like that before.  That was definitely a major selling point for me.  

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  4. How Atari took on Apple in the 1980s home PC wars


    Forty years ago, Atari released its first personal computers: the Atari 400 and 800. They arrived in the fall of 1979 after a prerelease marketing campaign that had begun the previous January when the company unveiled the machines at what was then called the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.


    Then as now, “Atari” was synonymous with “video game,” and the new machines packed more technological potential than any game console at the time, with custom graphics and sound chips, support for four joysticks or eight paddles, and the ability to play games on cartridge, cassette, or disk. At launch, one of the machines’ first games, Star Raiders, defined cutting-edge home entertainment.


    And yet Atari initially marketed the 800 and its lower-cost counterpart, the Atari 400, as “second-generation” PCs—productivity machines with enhanced graphics and sound capabilities over the 1977 holy trinity of personal computing: the Apple II, Commodore PET, and TRS-80. The company intended them to crunch home budget numbers just as often as they simulated space battles.


    Idiot-proof and rugged, Atari’s Home Computer System machines (I’ll call the platform “HCS” for short) represented a huge leap in consumer-friendly personal computing. Unlike many PCs of the time, the Atari machines exposed no bare electronics to the consumer. Unique keyed connectors meant that all of the machines’ ports, modules, and cartridges couldn’t be plugged into the wrong places or in the incorrect orientation. The 400 even featured a flat spillproof keyboard aimed at fending off snack-eating children.


    And due to restrictive FCC rules that precluded the open expansion slots on the Apple II, Atari designed a suite of intelligent plug-and-play peripherals linked together by a serial IO bus that presaged the ease of the much-later USB.




    • Like 8

  5. Probably some multifunction RAM / I/O board for the PC-AT on my desk at Meridian Instruments, I don't remember. More interesting were the peripherals we developed in the late 80s. An ISA to S100 extender and S100 boards: Z80 based stepper motor controller; ADC / DAC interface, for our scanning laser microscope. Later we made ISA versions of those boards and dropped the S100 box.


    We also made some peripherals using the 8048 microcontroller: a laser controller with serial port; a parallel printer buffer; a focus motor controller; a variable pinhole controller; a bus mouse interface. The 8041 variant was useful as it could connect directly to the ISA bus with very little glue logic. We used it for hobby projects: a MIDI output port; a scanning mirror controller for laser light shows. It was the Arduino of its day. Good times!


    Don't forget the metabolic urine analyzer with MIDI output for playing music to metabolic profile... :) Cool stuff!

    • Like 1

  6. No... The discussion is about the sio2sd.xex on-screen loader. This feature does not appear to work on the 800 as stated in the thread you mentioned (which is also the thread I posted above).. However, the SIO2SD unit itself works just fine as a drive emulator if the image is selected from the SIO2SD buttons first.

  7. IIRC, there were a couple of these that appeared about the same time. I remember one (in Antic) I think that had a very impressive demo where the the windows popped open and closed all over the screen. Pretty impressive stuff. Microsoft probably copied the idea... :-D


    So we ultimately owe all the neat Windows stuff to the Atari 8-bit... ;)



    Nice try but I think that distinction goes to Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). The Xerox Alto GUI in 1973 (followed by the the "STAR" workstation GUI in 1981) "inspired" Apple and Sun to do their own GUI which ultimately inspired Microsoft to do Windows. Many people assume Apple invented the windows type GUI but that's not the case. Indeed, many of Apple's great "innovations" were bought, borrowed or stolen from somewhere else. ;)

  8. This reminds me of a joke I once played on my boss. I wrote a BASIC program that simulated the PC-DOS command screen, except that, whatever you typed, it would display FORMAT C: and then WARNING ALL DATA WILL BE LOST. PROCEED (Y/N)? When you pressed any key it would show FORMATTING... and read some disk file to make the light blink. While he was at lunch I ran the program on his PC and waited. When he got back I quietly called in my cohort to watch the fun. My boss started typing and mumbled "what the..." Of course he typed N to no avail and then jumped out of his seat and yelled NO!!! My cohort and I were laughing by then when he reached for the power switch and shut it off in mid-access. My laughter stopped and my eyes grew wide. Oh-oh. I hoped that didn't trash the disk! He was pretty sore all day but no harm done in the end.

    OMG!!! As your "cohort", I remember this! We snickered over this for days... :twisted:

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  9. That was about 30 years ago? :) I remember a few things. I remember being amazed at how ledgible a 4 pixel wide character set could be. I remember burning EPROMs and assembling cartridges. I remember choosing a company name that started with the letter 'A' so we would be listed first in any new product or company listings in the magazines (it worked!).. My best memories are of forging a life-long friendship and working relationship with Claus who I still think is a flat-out genious with computers and digital electronics. :D


  10. I struggled with this too before buying. What's your time worth to make up an enclosure and fit it all together? I wound up buying the cased version and am very happy with it. The fit and finish is spot on and it does indeed look professionally manufactured as a consumer product. If the case color matched the console, even Atari would have been proud to call this their own. Well worth the extra $$ IMHO.. :)

  11. Mine takes some finesse to line the two metal tabs lined up to slide in. It takes a little down pressure on the lid to make it happen but I suspect all may be a little different.. When properly in place, I don;t see any big gaps and it looks as expected aesthetically.



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