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carmel_andrews

The Atari 1090 expansion...was it a missed opportunity

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Considering the 'semi' closed design of the original 400/800 and the 'very' closed design of the XL and later systems, especially compared to the likes of the PC and Apple systems (and I suppose even the BBC systems, which where similar to apples approach)

 

The likes of the 1090 expansion would have opened up new markets and probably lots of doors for not just Atari, but also hardware developers and most importantly Atari 8bit users, after all, remember the sort of money hardware comapnies & developers were making of the back of the apple II (and compatibles) and similarly for the PC (which is still happening)

 

Look at it this way the way of upgrading an A8 would have been a lot easier, the upgrades would have been slightly cheaper compared to a pc or apple II equivalent and most importantly both the XL and the 1090 could have come on the market for a lot less then buying a full(y) decked out apple 2 (or compat's.) and similarly for a PC

 

And not only that the expansion possibilities could have been endless as the technology would have got better, not only that you could effectively turn the Atari into any sort of platform, as any processor upgrades or OS upgrades could be done via a 1090 expansion card, effectively taking the A800's concept of plug in OS or Processor replacements a step further, as both the 800's OS and CPU were on replaceable 'boards' as i recall

 

 

Not only that as computer graphics and audio subsystems got better, you simply took out your old gfx board/sound board from the 1090 and just stuck in the latest gfx/sound system, just like a pc...and similarly for advances in i/o systems like Sasi, Scsi, Ide/EIDE, Sata/firewire/USB etc (so your'e not just limited to Atari SIO...not knocking the Atari io system, but the 1090 would have opened up doors in new io forms) plug in modems/network adapters and printer interfaces (does away with the 850 if you know my meaning)

 

 

Also, a800/400 users need'nt have missed out as Atari could have done some sort of expansion bus to PBI convertor (since the a800 did come with an expansion bus/connector so i'm told) and xe users wouldn't have missed out anyway as there are ECI-PBI convertors available anyway

 

It would also have cut down the idea of constantly re doing the A8 design, as there were not really any technological advancements to go with the re done A8 designs, apart from various tweaks to basic and os a different bankswitching location an extra specialist chip (freddie) and the implementation of an addit. character set/self test thing (replacing memo pad), but these aren't exactly 'technological advances' as such, morelike additions or 'cosmetic improvements'

 

Essentially, the 1090 could have been Atari's way of competing with the likes of the PC directly, the advantage being that you don't need to open up the computer (like you do a pc) you just remove the top from the 1090, take out the old card and stick in the new card...and even better, unlike a pc, apparently you wouldn't have needed to constantly install drivers for this card or that card, so effectively, an xl (or xe) with a 1090 would have been Atari's 'PC' but without windows/ms dos etc

 

 

Now whilst I realise that at the time the original 1090 was being developed, Atari was run by clowns/morons that didn't understand the product they were trying to sell/market as well as a lack of understanding of the technology Atari and it's products were founded on and use of technology (i beleive at the time the analogy was 'an Atari game or whatever is just another coca cola or another pair of jeans'.i.e another consumer product) however in order for this device (the 1090) to have been given 'development approval', the so called 'management' at Atari must have seen a glimmer of the commercial viability or possibilities offered by something like a 1090...After all, i am sure if commodore had come out with something like a 1090 for either the vic 20, c64 or the original pet/cbm type systems, I am sure that Warners/Atari's attitude towards this device would have been very different and would have released the 1090 regardless

 

And thinking of the possibilities of a 1090 alike device used with the xl/xe or similar and if commodore had come out with a similar device for it's 8bit systems, would the PC have been as popular as it is now, if it were competing with an xl/xe and 1090 combo (albeit vastly updated...incl os and processor etc)...bearing in mind that a computer is more then just an OS

Edited by carmel_andrews

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As I get older, the meaning of timeframes change. A period of 5-10 years doesn't seem like the eternity it did then. Even in a best-case scenario the A8 was probably living on borrowed time in the mid 80s. There was definitely two tiers at that time, the residual 8-bit market at the low end, and the 16-bit market. Most people look at the rise of 16-bit computing as the only thing going on. If you read the computer mags at the time, you'd think that the 8-bits no longer existed. That wasn't the case because that leap to 16-bit computing came at a heavy price to consumers. The pricepoint of new PCs didn't get down to where 8-bits were in the early 80s until the late 90s. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who waited a long while before making the leap. In the early days, PCs especially were not very attractive to Gen Xers used to good graphics and sound, nor were the monochrome Macs.

 

So the process of giving incrementally more and more expansion to an A8 might have added a few years to its viability, and I certainly would have appreciated it at the time, but in the end you're dealing with a platform that doesn't allow CPU expansion. That puts a really hard limit on how far it could go. The 6502 was a dead-end until the 65816 came out, which was really too late because engineers everywhere had already glommed onto the 68K. By 1984 the designers of the 2600 and the A8 had already prototyped the Amiga, and that was going to break backwards compatibility even if Atari had sold it.

 

The same sort of problem befell the 68K machines when Motorola was no longer able to keep up with Intel, forcing Apple to make a rough transition, and helping to push the Amiga and ST off the stage.

 

The only thing you really take with you from hardware upgrade to upgrade is your software. And now we're at a point where it can all be emulated in software anyway.

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The 1090 was just a means to allow more than one expansion device to be plugged in, little more.

 

As it happened, practically nobody developed PBI addons in the day, so I doubt the presence of the 1090 would have made much difference.

 

As for competing with the PC - doubt it. Once the '286 clones were out it was just about game over.

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I see an interesting parallel with the TI99, the PEB (expansion chassis) was so big heavy and expensive that very few users actually bought one. Assuming the 1090 was much more reasonably priced, once you bought the 1090, then the boards to make it useful, it would probably have sold about as well as any other PBI device at most. I do agree that, in theory, it would have made the Atari much closer to the likes of the PC and Apple. I think the biggest missed opportunity is that the 1090 and sweet 16 weren't released together in 1982, which would have made parallel bus expansion "out there" earily on and less of a mystery.

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As for competing with the PC - doubt it. Once the '286 clones were out it was just about game over.

 

Depends on the segment. As far as I'm concerned, PCs didn't get appealing to me until 8-bit graphics cards started coming out and games like X-wing arrived on the scene. But as far as the BUSINESS of computers go, the PC was a huge moneymaker because of the switchover from mainframe to PC computing in the office. At that time, I couldn't care less about them with their CGA graphics and internal speaker bleeps and bloops. People tend to forget how much of a step backwards the PC was due to the combination of the spartan hardware and Microsoft's lame operating systems. ISA cards, config.sys, IRQ dipswitches. Windows 3.1 task-switching. Windows 95 16-bit kernel with its segmented memory model. Yuck. It wasn't really until Windows NT/2000 that the PC was in any way state of the art across the board. If you want to compare the 8-bit to any OTHER 16-bit platform maybe you've got a case, even the monochrome Macs, but the PC was very lame for most of the waning days of the 8-bit unless you liked to do nothing but fiddle with QBASIC and LOTUS 1-2-3.

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A few thoughts that I would like to share and please feel free to point out the inaccuracies.

 

First, a lot of people compare the A8 to the PC at the time which really is the wrong way to look at it. That was not reality back then. The A8 "competed" and I use that loosely, with the Apple II and II+ (already somewhat entrenched in certain areas by at least two years by the time the 800 really came to market [the IIe wasn't out until 1983]), the TI99, V20, C64 (later in the game), and so on; all "appliances" for the home user. The PC was a business class machine, cost a lot more than the appliances of the time and didn't compete with the home market, as that was for all the "toy" computers. To be fair, compare that to the PC-Jr... the home version, which was horrible. Also, the A8 really wasn't massively deployed until late 1980 anyway.

 

The A800, in a general sense, had the same expansion capabilities as the Apple II, but the II was designed with the idea of most of its components as expansion cards. (I forget if the II had its video and audio processing on a card or the motherboard, in any case, they were easily augmented by the original design). The AppleII was a progression from the hobby kit Apple I. Also, people at that time believe the Apple II to be a "serious" computer compared to any of the things coming from "Game companies". It was also seriously more expensive.

 

The 1090 probably was designed to address the closed architecture of the original A8 design and allow for some future growth and compete with the likes of the Apple II and the TI99 and it's expansion box. Btw, that TI99 expansion box was damn sexy and I so wanted one. The 1090 was an after thought on how to capitalize on a market. It is left up to the reader as an exercise to compare the dates of its design and that of the XL line (not including the 1200XL, which is just a cost reduced A800 on a single board with some design improvements to the OS and the HW, but she is a yar machine.)

 

The 8bit line of CPU's was already on its way out by the time the XL line made its debut in late 1983. The 8086 was out for several years, the 80286 was the new norm for the PC, and the 68000 was picking up momentum in a lot of areas, it too having been out for a couple of years. Even at that time there were four camps: 1) The "business" users of Intel x86 architecture (8088,8086,80286), 2) Apple users (which fell into "education"), 3) Workstations and Unix systems (MIPS, 68000, etc), and 4) all that plastic toy stuff at home. The latter stuff, if you noticed, was dieing off everyday, especially after the video game crash of 82/83. [Technically there was the Radio Shack crowd too, but I digress]

 

 

"The same sort of problem befell the 68K machines when Motorola was no longer able to keep up with Intel, forcing Apple to make a rough transition, and helping to push the Amiga and ST off the stage."

 

A small nitpick. Apple had many transitions, going from the 6502 era, to the 68000 era, to the PowerPC era, to the Intel era. The Intel transition just occurred a few years ago, long after Amiga and ST passed their growth stage. Apple did a great job of backward compatibility with the MAC OS, as did Microsoft to a lesser degree. (MS, made sure old programs still ran, Apple made sure old programs ran on new chips but eventually transitioned the user away onto new OS architectures, MS is just now doing that with W7).

 

Back then I never even heard of the 1090 box unless it was in Compute! or on CompuServe, but I sure did hear about the 1450XLD. I would also like to state, in my opinion, that the 1200XL was a good computer and not the mistake it is often claimed to be. Sure, the 1200XL had a backlash in the media somewhat because of incompatibility issues (which still exist in every other XL mind you), and the lack of the ability to use any existing expansion modules at all (which you still couldn't use on any other XL). So, in reality, what was the real reason for Atari ditching the 1200XL and going with the 600/800XL line? Cost and perception probably.

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I think Visicalc was faster on the Atari 8-bit than it was on the first PC. I know that Atari Basic wasn't a lot slower than the PC at the time. I did a FOR/NEXT loop on the IBM that wasn't any more than twice as fast.

 

The big boomer for the business PC came when they got PC3270 cards and access to the mainframe.

 

The 1090 wasn't all that useful without a real memory controller. You can't build a serious machine without DMA and cache and interleave and such. (hmmmmm... sounds like a Project) (let's see... use DIMM for main memory, with SRAM for cache, a couple of DMA channels from CF cards, a DMA for ANTIC/GTIA...)

 

Bob

 

 

 

As for competing with the PC - doubt it. Once the '286 clones were out it was just about game over.

 

Depends on the segment. As far as I'm concerned, PCs didn't get appealing to me until 8-bit graphics cards started coming out and games like X-wing arrived on the scene. But as far as the BUSINESS of computers go, the PC was a huge moneymaker because of the switchover from mainframe to PC computing in the office. At that time, I couldn't care less about them with their CGA graphics and internal speaker bleeps and bloops. People tend to forget how much of a step backwards the PC was due to the combination of the spartan hardware and Microsoft's lame operating systems. ISA cards, config.sys, IRQ dipswitches. Windows 3.1 task-switching. Windows 95 16-bit kernel with its segmented memory model. Yuck. It wasn't really until Windows NT/2000 that the PC was in any way state of the art across the board. If you want to compare the 8-bit to any OTHER 16-bit platform maybe you've got a case, even the monochrome Macs, but the PC was very lame for most of the waning days of the 8-bit unless you liked to do nothing but fiddle with QBASIC and LOTUS 1-2-3.

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The PC was a business class machine, cost a lot more than the appliances of the time and didn't compete with the home market, as that was for all the "toy" computers. To be fair, compare that to the PC-Jr... the home version, which was horrible. Also, the A8 really wasn't massively deployed until late 1980 anyway.

 

I have to second Bob. A lot of this is marketing spin and/or how IBM wanted it perceived. For awhile the market was open and things were unsettled. The PC XT had the advantages of card slots and IBM engineers that could think of productive ways to use them (to shore up the business machine image among other things). They used that advantage and the rest is history. But it could have been different. I think I've even read that IBM considered buying the Atari 8 design to use as their PC, but the deal didn't close. It could have worked but of course it would have needed card slots and/or the next rev would have had to had them (the Atari version of a PC AT / 286).

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The holy grail of the early 80's was the emergence of an open enough standard to allow lots of manufacturers to produce standardized compatible hardware. That was never Atari or Commodore or Apple's goal. It wasn't IBM's goal either, but they messed up. :) There was never any hope for closed platforms or home computers to become "standards." Closed architecture systems of this kind eventually evolved into the game consoles of today, and only Apple has kept any semblance of a closed architecture (though really Apple just makes commodity parts machines like anyone else now and masks it by using good build quality and a closed OS.)

 

Atari, Commodore, Tandy, TI, Coleco, Spectrum, Apple (II series), etc. never had any path to becoming mainstream or future proof. Even the mighty Amiga was doomed by the time it launched. The only hope for them would have been to license their integrated chip set for use in clone computers and possibly beat the likes of AdLib/Creative in introducing an ISA sound standard or perhaps even beating IBM/ATI/Paradise/Video 7 in introducing a successor to EGA.

Edited by FastRobPlus

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Considering the 'semi' closed design of the original 400/800 and the 'very' closed design of the XL and later systems, especially compared to the likes of the PC and Apple systems (and I suppose even the BBC systems, which where similar to apples approach)

 

The likes of the 1090 expansion would have opened up new markets and probably lots of doors for not just Atari, but also hardware developers and most importantly Atari 8bit users, after all, remember the sort of money hardware comapnies & developers were making of the back of the apple II (and compatibles) and similarly for the PC (which is still happening)

 

Look at it this way the way of upgrading an A8 would have been a lot easier, the upgrades would have been slightly cheaper compared to a pc or apple II equivalent and most importantly both the XL and the 1090 could have come on the market for a lot less then buying a full(y) decked out apple 2 (or compat's.) and similarly for a PC

 

And not only that the expansion possibilities could have been endless as the technology would have got better, not only that you could effectively turn the Atari into any sort of platform, as any processor upgrades or OS upgrades could be done via a 1090 expansion card, effectively taking the A800's concept of plug in OS or Processor replacements a step further, as both the 800's OS and CPU were on replaceable 'boards' as i recall

 

 

Not only that as computer graphics and audio subsystems got better, you simply took out your old gfx board/sound board from the 1090 and just stuck in the latest gfx/sound system, just like a pc...and similarly for advances in i/o systems like Sasi, Scsi, Ide/EIDE, Sata/firewire/USB etc (so your'e not just limited to Atari SIO...not knocking the Atari io system, but the 1090 would have opened up doors in new io forms) plug in modems/network adapters and printer interfaces (does away with the 850 if you know my meaning)

 

 

Also, a800/400 users need'nt have missed out as Atari could have done some sort of expansion bus to PBI convertor (since the a800 did come with an expansion bus/connector so i'm told) and xe users wouldn't have missed out anyway as there are ECI-PBI convertors available anyway

 

It would also have cut down the idea of constantly re doing the A8 design, as there were not really any technological advancements to go with the re done A8 designs, apart from various tweaks to basic and os a different bankswitching location an extra specialist chip (freddie) and the implementation of an addit. character set/self test thing (replacing memo pad), but these aren't exactly 'technological advances' as such, morelike additions or 'cosmetic improvements'

 

Essentially, the 1090 could have been Atari's way of competing with the likes of the PC directly, the advantage being that you don't need to open up the computer (like you do a pc) you just remove the top from the 1090, take out the old card and stick in the new card...and even better, unlike a pc, apparently you wouldn't have needed to constantly install drivers for this card or that card, so effectively, an xl (or xe) with a 1090 would have been Atari's 'PC' but without windows/ms dos etc

 

 

Now whilst I realise that at the time the original 1090 was being developed, Atari was run by clowns/morons that didn't understand the product they were trying to sell/market as well as a lack of understanding of the technology Atari and it's products were founded on and use of technology (i beleive at the time the analogy was 'an Atari game or whatever is just another coca cola or another pair of jeans'.i.e another consumer product) however in order for this device (the 1090) to have been given 'development approval', the so called 'management' at Atari must have seen a glimmer of the commercial viability or possibilities offered by something like a 1090...After all, i am sure if commodore had come out with something like a 1090 for either the vic 20, c64 or the original pet/cbm type systems, I am sure that Warners/Atari's attitude towards this device would have been very different and would have released the 1090 regardless

 

And thinking of the possibilities of a 1090 alike device used with the xl/xe or similar and if commodore had come out with a similar device for it's 8bit systems, would the PC have been as popular as it is now, if it were competing with an xl/xe and 1090 combo (albeit vastly updated...incl os and processor etc)...bearing in mind that a computer is more then just an OS

 

Its not too much a missed opportunity, all you have to do Carmel is, what ever PBI devices you develop, make sure you provide a PBI PassThrogh so another PBI device can be connected. What device did you have in mind???

 

Ralph

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(sorry for my bad english)

 

I think a 'new' would be a good idea. It was in no time as today so easy to make new Hardware, and it no more to expensive to make a PCB for a external PBI-Device. The to high cost, to make professional PCB for Extensions in in little Editions, was the matter for Piggy-Pack build-in Memory-Expansions like that form the German "ATARI-Magazin". You only must buy the DRAMs and TTL-ICs (RAM was very expensive in the 80s) and a little bit of cable.

Today, professional PCB in little Editions are not the Problem, see the very nice and new external 320KB RAM for XL.

 

I think, when we extend the 1090-Concept by a SIO-Bridge (SIO-Cable from Computer in to 1090) and install a SIO-HUB in the 1090, then we have a very nice Expansion-Unit for many of existing Extensions (PBI and SIO), and for all in the future.

We can have Sound-Subsystems, new Gfx-Subsystems (VBXE is a great internal device) - in the 80s i think about to connect a monochrome Hercules-Card or 8 Bit VGACard over the PBI, and i was not the only one. We can have a USB-Subsystem for actual Hardware, that mus a µC-Driven System, that have build-in the Software-Driver to access the USB-Devices so it could be easy to access a USB-Device from the A8.

We can have very fast Storage-Subsystem, redesign the SIO2SD-Devices to the access via PBI. And also we can have Co-ProcessorCards with dual-ported Memory, so we can have a Lightspeed-Like-A8.

 

We have a big chance today ....

 

 

Valerie

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...redesign the SIO2SD-Devices to the access via PBI.

Something I've been thinking about. However, Candle's SpeedDrive will be a CF/IDE Hard Disk/SD card reader all in one, so it'll do the same job and be more versatile than a parallel "PBI2SD".

 

The other expansion options sound extremely interesting, though.

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Something I've been thinking about. However, Candle's SpeedDrive will be a CF/IDE Hard Disk/SD card reader all in one, so it'll do the same job and be more versatile than a parallel "PBI2SD"

 

You'are right, Candle's SpeedDrive is a great job (i read the threat at the moment). I had not know this Extension. I'm not actual on the international "A8 who is who", because i have have a longer break in my A8-Works. First Contact in 1981.

Edited by EightBitWitch

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The Apple II was able to include very useful slots because it was not a TV-connectible device (out of the box) and was thus not subject to the most stringent FCC rules. The 800 is a pretty good example of the shielding required for a TV device.

 

The 1090 was supposed to improve the usefulness of the slots while making the computer itself easier to manufacture. By putting the slots in a peripheral, it probably circumvented some of the FCC issues as well.

 

The problem is, maybe one out of ten people who buy the computer will go on to buy an expensive add-on other than a basic storage device.

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Candle's SpeedDrive is a great job (i read the threat at the moment). I had not know this Extension. I'm not actual on the international "A8 who is who", because i have have a longer break in my A8-Works. First Contact in 1981.

Along with his Ultimate 1MB upgrade (which will include an RTC chip and on-board DOS), SpeedDrive is one of the most desirable devices I've seen (along with VBXE). Candle seems to have almost every base covered. If you've been absent from the Atari for a long time, you have some fascinating reading to do. You'll find the hardware threads are mostly off the front page at the moment, since you've arrived at a quiet time. I've been trying to help Candle in some small ways with the firmware for the SpeedDrive, but progress is slow and he seems to be awfully busy at the moment. No doubt about it, though: these upgrades will be worth waiting for. icon_smile.gif

Edited by flashjazzcat

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The Apple II was able to include very useful slots because it was not a TV-connectible device (out of the box) and was thus not subject to the most stringent FCC rules. The 800 is a pretty good example of the shielding required for a TV device.

 

The 1090 was supposed to improve the usefulness of the slots while making the computer itself easier to manufacture. By putting the slots in a peripheral, it probably circumvented some of the FCC issues as well.

 

The problem is, maybe one out of ten people who buy the computer will go on to buy an expensive add-on other than a basic storage device.

Huh, a post that pulls me out of 'stealth' mode.

 

Sidecars don't seem to ever work out. The TI99's is odd beast if you ask me. That transformer weighs a ton, and while it had some devices, it didn't seem to be that popular. The Amiga 1000's sidecar was produced in such small numbers you could call it vaporware. To me the significant extra expense of the box ("I have to pay how much for that empty box?"), the biggest problem with these boxes is the interfacing. That's pretty much what killed the Amiga 1000 sidecar. We all just waited for the Amiga 2000. (Man I wanted that sidecar! <sigh>)

But these days things are a bit different, aside from the aforementioned connectivity issues, these being hobby projects, practicality isn't really an issue.

I mean I've seen other threads debating the practicallity of cases or whatnot, I guess my point is this, "Who cares as long as it's fun!"

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Sidecars don't seem to ever work out. The TI99's is odd beast if you ask me. That transformer weighs a ton, and while it had some devices, it didn't seem to be that popular. The Amiga 1000's sidecar was produced in such small numbers you could call it vaporware. To me the significant extra expense of the box ("I have to pay how much for that empty box?"), the biggest problem with these boxes is the interfacing. That's pretty much what killed the Amiga 1000 sidecar. We all just waited for the Amiga 2000. (Man I wanted that sidecar! <sigh>)

 

I have to agree. They are awkward, they tend to mess up the workspace, and their connectors are frequently flaky.

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Sidecars don't seem to ever work out. The TI99's is odd beast if you ask me. That transformer weighs a ton, and while it had some devices, it didn't seem to be that popular. The Amiga 1000's sidecar was produced in such small numbers you could call it vaporware. To me the significant extra expense of the box ("I have to pay how much for that empty box?"), the biggest problem with these boxes is the interfacing. That's pretty much what killed the Amiga 1000 sidecar. We all just waited for the Amiga 2000. (Man I wanted that sidecar! <sigh>)

 

I have to agree. They are awkward, they tend to mess up the workspace, and their connectors are frequently flaky.

 

Perhaps instead of a sidecar, recase the Atari together with a PBI daughterboard. Run everything with a modern switched power supply in the case. You lose the classic Atari look that way but it would be way more practical. Another problem with sidecars is they tend to be vulnerable to bumps. You have this big heavy thing on a long edge connector with only spring force and friction holding it all together. If the A8 motherboard and daughterboard are securely bolted in a case then you can have proper cards that are screwed into the case as well. So we have something that is compact, secure, and can properly power everything without cords all over the place.

 

The one tricky bit is something would have to be done about the keyboard. Either convert the existing keyboard into a detachable unit or incorporate some form of adapter for modern keyboards.

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The ultimate would be a 1450-style case with a drive on the right and slots occupying the internal space on the left.

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Sidecars don't seem to ever work out. The TI99's is odd beast if you ask me. That transformer weighs a ton, and while it had some devices, it didn't seem to be that popular.

 

* jumps on the dead topic *

 

The TI is an interesting case when discussing a 1090 style box.

 

The TI started with sidecars to add memory, disk drives, printers and speech as well as other options.

 

As more units were added, the user had to locate another power socket, but also enough desk space to accommodate an ever widening machine.

 

In the end TI scrapped the side-car solution and replaced it with a 1090-style Peripheral Expansion Box, which placed everything in a single unit. Estimates state that 1 PEB was sold for every 10 consoles. While convenient, it made expansion expensive, as the user had to purchase the pricey, bulky and noisy PEB before they could add extra memory, a disk drive or the RS-232 interface options.

 

I find it interesting that for the TI-99/2 and TI-99/8 machines, TI planned a Hexbus solution of intelligent peripherals that no longer needed the PEB. The Hexbus solution sounds a lot like SIO.

 

Maybe Atari got it right in 1979.

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The ultimate would be a 1450-style case with a drive on the right and slots occupying the internal space on the left.

 

I vote for this solution, it could be a very nice modern Case. Combined with a detachable Keyboard or/and a PC-Keyboard-Connector let my dreams come true. It could the next evolution stage of A8. On the Diskdrive-Place we could place Candle's Speeddrive or another Storage solution like SIO2xxx.

 

 

Valerie

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My choice would be for a Mega-STE style case that can double as monitor stand and external PC keyboard storable underneath.

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I used to be all about getting a detached keyboard for the A8. Now it doesn't matter as much and I think the integrated keyboard is a bit more retro feeling.

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Look at Commodore's 128D and 64SX, that very retro, but have a Keyboard with cord.

 

 

Valerie

 

 

PS. I hope the C-Word is allowed here ;)

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Hello guys

 

The 1090 was about as big as a CRT monitor, but nowadays, everything can be made a lot smaller. So a "sidecar" doesn't have to be very big. In the space a BlackBox or MIO would fit in, you could place a new version of the 1090 and have more slots then the 1090 had.

 

sincerely

 

Mathy

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