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Posts posted by danwinslow

  1. 1 hour ago, TGB1718 said:

    @candle thanks, I'll give it a go tomorrow.


    btw. I built this way back when :) don't think PBI devices existed then 😵

    If I was doing this today, it would be far simpler, maybe use an Arduino type device.

    I've been really hoping someone would build a breakout board for the PBI/ECI, something that could be easily interfaced with from the digital IO pins on an arduino or similar. We could probably do some cool stuff, and probably much faster than going over SIO.

  2. Yes, it's very clean inside. Blue dip switch. The spindle and the rotating cap are free to spin, but...

    So, I saw what Doctor was talking about as the 'shaft', which is a little silver shaft with a circlet clamp on it. I pushed it up through the hole, and re-attached the circlet, but it is so short it wound up compressing the spring almost entirely, which didn't seem right, but whatever. Then I undid some of the screws at the far end of the lift mechanism (which is actuated by a little cam on the front disk lock switch) so I could get a bit of free motion to slip that little cap under the arms of the lift mechanism. At that point it should have maybe worked but what happens now is it clamps WAY too tight down and will not spin with the drive mechanism anymore. So, there's something that I don't understand/didn't do right. There were about 4 spacers under the end of the lift mechanism next to the edge of the case, I suppose to give it height, that I may need to put back in. I was trying to get it ready to sell, but that looks dim at this point.

  3. Hi Doctor, thanks. I think you might be talking about the front lift up panel. I am talking about the actual rotator cuff that engages the disk. It's the spring beneath the gold (colored) lift mechanism. Or, at least, if we are talking about teh same thing then I don't even know it :)

  4. So, I went ahead and popped the top off. Looks like there is a spring coil in the middle that has become detached from the lift mechanism, on the underneath of the lift. There is also a shot of the lift mechanism more from the top that is a little clearer. I don't see a clean way to get the lift off of the hooks. Any suggestions?



    • Thanks 1

  5. Hi Folks -

    I have a very nice looking Indus drive that seems to have a problem. I was trying to test it, and I found I was unable to insert a disk. The top rotator cuff (the one with the little indentations in it) seems to be stuck in the down position, blocking any attempts at inserting a disk. Any advice? I don't have any issue opening it up but don't really know what to look for in particular.




  6. i think this is a great idea, and would buy several. As others have said, UAV and a hdmi output would be good, I'd like to see a fixed up PBI/ECI especially if it had buffering and some kind of a pin-out or cable socket such that we could interface things more easily. More ram is a great idea...not sure why we wouldn't just go to 1MB but any RAM expansion beyond 128 would be great.

    • Like 2

  7. if you look at the load structure for atari binaries, you will see that it is composed of segments preceded by a header that indicate the location to load to, the length, and whether you want to execute something after load. CC65's linker configuration can allow you to specify these segments in your output, or you could create them manually in some kind of post-compilation script.
    I think people usually use things like the cassette buffer as places to move/relocate small bits of code manually after having loaded them into a more usual location. There are a few places you can more or less count on, but the memory layouts for various atari hardware, OS's, and DOS's can be kind of variant, and unless your plan is to only emit programs that take over the whole machine, I think a optimization strategy that counts on lots of little bits and pieces being consistently unused across the board might be difficult to generalize.

  8. 19 hours ago, Mark2008 said:


    Usually at this point I have conversation that goes something like - OK I've read the article but I still have some questions.

       Are you sure you read it?    yes, I really read it.
       But are you sure you read it? yes.
      Really?   OK I SCANNED IT!!



    Well, the handler INTERFACE is simple, but behind it can be very complicated of course. It's just kind of a standard example of abstraction, which is so common now we don't really even notice it. But at the time, it was a revolutionary step for a home computer, absolutely ahead of its time.

  9. 10 hours ago, tschak909 said:

    I'd honestly LOVE for somebody to take what we've done for #FujiNet, and adapt it for PBI. It may take some creative work, but as has been proven in another thread, while the #FujiNet firmware code does use a LOT of ESP-IDF, it can be ported off the ESP32 (and has been shown running on x86), so even if it's not feasible to glue an ESP32 onto an 8-bit data bus (I think it is, it'll need a competent hardware engineer to work out the glue), it can be put on something else, while maintaining the API we've managed to create.


    The license for #FujiNet is GPL 3.0, which, we interpret as:


    * STEAL IT



    (The 3.0 version of the license states this even more explicitly)



    I think so too. The fact that there's no hardware interface is a problem. If someone could make some kind of interface where, for instance, the IO pins on an SBC could directly talk to the PBI...that would be helpful. Something kind of general purpose. I don't know much about hardware, so maybe it's a dumb ask, but if there were such a thing I'd buy one and see what I could do.

  10. 11 hours ago, Alfred said:

    This. I think people seriously overestimate the number of good systems level coders available for things like this. Want to know why there isn’t a version of say Action! that runs on Rapidus and has a VBXE display, try looking in the mirror and asking why *you* haven’t done it. I bet there isn’t ten guys like Drac030 on here and they already have their own pet projects. Then, after you’ve written a few hundred thousand lines of assembly language, you tend to lose a little of the old enthusiasm.


     I get that lots of people just want to load their multicart and Joust all day, and that’s great. But before you bemoan the lack of a decent version of SPF/PC for the Atari you need to understand that unless somebody *you* steps up and does something, it ain’t going to happen. The days of a commercial software house writing code for this platform are long gone. KMK is busy, you’re going to have to find someone else. And not Rybags either, I think he’s busy too.

    This is true, software is much more effort than hardware usually.

    Although, if someone were to make, say, an adaptor board for the PBI/ECI that would let you directly interface with it using a Raspberry or something similar, I would probably take a whack at trying something.

  11. 13 hours ago, MrFish said:

    I'm talking about the recent past too. If the 1090 had been sold, things being done in recent years would have been drastically different.


    Well, true enough of course. The recent past is always different if the less recent is. But even without the 1090 I'm surprised is what I'm saying, not that that the 1090 is/was useless, or wouldn't have made a difference. I agree that if the 1090 had been made there could have been a bunch more stuff. But even as things are, I mean, it seems like we could have made effectively our own 1090 or something similar.

    12 hours ago, MEtalGuy66 said:

    The lack of a proper buffered expansion bus on the atari 8bit platform means that anything connected to the data bus skews the bus capacitance/timing all to hell and creates flakiness & instability.  That is the problem with developing for PBI. The PBI standard, itself is very straightforward. 


    This is not a unique problem n the 8-bit world. The C=64 is in no better shape in this respect.  It was all about cost reduction..  


    Hmm. That's interesting. Is that why they dropped the 1090? I doubt it, they usually had lots of other dumber reasons than that as to why they did things.

  12. 1 hour ago, MrFish said:


    I'm saying that because the 1090, which was intended by Atari to be the primary means of utilizing the PBI bus, never came to market, people/companies generally sought other means of providing upgrades for the XL/XE machines. If the 1090 had existed, companies making upgrades would only need to produce cards that would fit into and work with it. Without the 1090, it was then a companies task to not only bring the upgrade, but also an enclosure, and other necessary electronics and hardware. There's a lot less investment risk in a single board that fits into a 1090 compared with a stand-alone upgrade product. Even today, most upgrades that utilize the PBI/ECI are missing an enclosure; and many people aren't interested in having a bare board laying around on their desktop.


    Ah. Yeah, I was mostly talking about underutilization over the recent past. We've seen a lot of amazing stuff done, but very little (that I know of) utilizing the PBI/ECI.

  13. 4 hours ago, MrFish said:

    Mainly, due to the 1090 never reaching the market.


    Not following that completely. Do you mean that the PBI is too hard to develop for, and the 1090 would have taken care of those difficulties? Are PBI handlers a lot harder to write?


    Anyway, seems to me that the amazingly capable folks around here could handle it. For that matter, if somebody decided to go ahead and build something like the 1090, some kind of board that exposed the signals and had maybe some RAM of it's own for handlers and some slots/pinouts, etc., that would be useful and I know I'd buy one. There's a chicken/egg problem there, since there's no general reason to buy one without a useful device on it, but if someone were to produce a development board maybe that would get things rolling.  Even just something with some handler Ram and pinouts designed to hook up to Arduino or Raspberry PIs would be cool. SIO is cool and you can do a lot with it, but it's not the fastest thing in the world. Using up the cart port is relatively easy but kind of a pain one way or the other. 

    • Like 1

  14. 3 hours ago, Stephen said:

    Keep in mind, it's not just about speed either.  With SIO storage and serial modems, you cannot be receiving data and saving it to disk like you can with a PBI solution.

    Good point. All in all, the PBI seems to have been really underutilized, and I'm not sure why.

    • Like 1
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