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Tempest

Atari 800 with Incognito or XL/XE with MyIDE II?

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I've been giving some serious thought as to if it's worth keeping my Atari 800 with Incognito around or if I'd be better off getting a MyIDE II and using one my various XL/XE models. I really only play cartridge games and a handful of disk based titles. I don't do anything too exotic with my system so I don't need extra power or memory. So that being said, I have a few setups that I can go with:

 

1. Atari 800 with Incognito - This is what I'm currently using. It's way more power than I need, but Incognito and SIDE are really nice if a bit hard to use.

 

Pros: Great keyboard, classic computer shape, the computer can be told that it's any configuration (400/800, XLXE, 48K/256K, etc.), S-Video output without a mod.

 

Cons: The problem with this setup is I can't play any ROM or CAR files, only XEX and ATR files. There are several cartridges that I don't have XEX's for and I can't use a MyIDE II or other flash cart on the 800 (MaxFlash does work, but it only supports 8K ROM files).

 

 

2. Atari XL with MyIDE II - I have at my disposal a decent looking 800XL and a minty looking 600XL.

 

Pros: Decent keyboard, few compatibility issues (most of which are patched by now), the ability to play most if not all roms and ATR images from MyIDE II

 

Cons: I'd have to get my 800XL S-Video modded and if I went with the 600XL I'd have to get it S-Video modded AND add more memory. If I went this route I'd probably go with the 600XL since it's basically new and if you're doing one mod you might as well do two.

 

 

3. Atari 1200XL with MyIDE II - The wildcard! I have a heavily modded 1200XL that I was thinking about using. It has the PBI port mod, Video Mod, a memory expansion (controlled by a switch), 32 in 1 OS mod, XE MMU, APE interface port (serial), and some timing mods done by Bob1200XL that *should* make it work with just about all the games (there are still some screwy ones like the cartridge version of Summer Games). This 1200XL is tricked out!

 

Pros: The 1200XL looks awesome! It has a great keyboard and the cartridge port issue shouldn't be a problem if I'm only using the MyIDE II.

 

Cons: Even though Bob did his best, there are still some compatibility issues and I don't know how bad they really are (I only tested XE cartridges). Even with the video mod, the output isn't as good as my 800 (but better than the 800XL).

 

 

4. 130XE or XEGS with MyIDE II - I'm not sure why'd want to do this. The 130XE keyboard blows and the XEGS has those damn pastel buttons! Give me a reason to use these!

 

Pros: the 130XE has 128K which is nice I guess, The XEGS has the detachable keyboard which could be handy.

 

Cons: Nasty keyboard, ugly looks, pastel buttons! The 130XE also has its cartridge port on the back which is annoying.

 

 

I'm not sure what direction to go. I'm leaning towards the 1200XL or 600XL. The 1200XL probably needs some RetroBright, but is in good shape (are those keycaps black and white or black and off white/cream?). The 600XL is minty but requires some modding, The 800 with Incognito is in super nice shape except for the corner which broke and had to be fixed (can't see the crack unless you look REALLY close). Any suggestions would be helpful.

 

Also, if I were to sell the 800 what would that go for? I know 800's are kind of in demand right now and the Incognito is pretty popular.

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If I'm informed correct, MyIDE can not work on Atari 800; even with Incognito. I can not explain in English why that is. Perhaps someone else.

 

It is a hardware related thing, something that you could make visible on a strobe.

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If I'm informed correct, MyIDE can not work on Atari 800; even with Incognito. I can not explain in English why that is. Perhaps someone else.

 

It is a hardware related thing, something that you could make visible on a strobe.

Right. There was a fix that was being tried but I don't think it was 100%. The other problem is that the MyIDE II would stick out the top of the 800 so the door would have to be disabled.

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I think you'd be happiest just getting one of the SIO2SD drives that are around. Fully compatible with each and every system you have. That's the route I took with my XEGS that's on my TV. It has a 2GB SD card and every game I want to play. I just need to find out why Summer Games doesn't like it. :-)

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If you play cart games, MyIDE II is probably the way to go (with an XL). Especially if Incognito and SIDE prove "hard to use" (I'm interested by this, since 120,000 man-hours were spent making it as easy as possible :D ). 1200XL has stinking video (unless you do both a PAL mod and ClearPic mod, which seems to brighten things up), and is the number-one candidate for VBXE. 800XL with Supervideo or similar is quite usable, meanwhile, no compatibility issues, and keyboard should be sufficient for gaming and casual use.

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If you play cart games, MyIDE II is probably the way to go (with an XL). Especially if Incognito and SIDE prove "hard to use" (I'm interested by this, since 120,000 man-hours were spent making it as easy as possible :D ). 1200XL has stinking video (unless you do both a PAL mod and ClearPic mod, which seems to brighten things up), and is the number-one candidate for VBXE. 800XL with Supervideo or similar is quite usable, meanwhile, no compatibility issues, and keyboard should be sufficient for gaming and casual use.

'Hard to use' was a poor choice of words on my part. I just hate fiddling with removing the cover to add roms to the CF card and then having to hold down key combos to get to the loader or to configure the system. It's not that they're hard to use, more like they're more of a hassle than I need since I don't use most of the Incognito options like built-in SpartaDOS and those various memory mods. For all the options crammed intro the Incognito it's pretty easy to configure things.

 

The 1200XL has a ClearPic mod (I think that adds S-Video as well). I'm not sure what the PAL mod is (PAL video compatibility?). Eventually I'd like to get a VBXE, but they're kind of pricey.

 

My 800XL is kind of grungy, so if I went that route I think I'd just mod my 600XL. I guess I'll have to play around with the 1200XL and see how well the compatibility issues were fixed. If it's not up to snuff I'll go with the 600 or 800 XL.

 

MyIDE II does disk games too doesn't it? I suppose they'd have to be one sided otherwise how would you flip it?

 

 

I think you'd be happiest just getting one of the SIO2SD drives that are around. Fully compatible with each and every system you have. That's the route I took with my XEGS that's on my TV. It has a 2GB SD card and every game I want to play. I just need to find out why Summer Games doesn't like it. :-)

How does the SIO2SD compare with something like MyIDE II? I used a SIO2PC cable for awhile and it worked pretty well.

 

Summer Games (cart version) didn't like my 1200XL even after I had it modded. I think the program does some funny things.

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I own the original SIDE and pretty much just use it to load .XEX files. I am not a fan of SpartaDos and am thinking that maybe that is why Tempest thinks that it is difficult to use.

 

I cannot speak for him, but I know I just prefer the more traditional Atari DOS's.

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I own the original SIDE and pretty much just use it to load .XEX files. I am not a fan of SpartaDos and am thinking that maybe that is why Tempest thinks that it is difficult to use.

 

I cannot speak for him, but I know I just prefer the more traditional Atari DOS's.

Personally I don't like using any of the Atari DOS's. I like plug and play (or plug and load in the case of disks). I've fumbled my way through SpartaDOS, but I've never found a use for it since I don't do anything other than play games on my Atari (I do my non-gaming stuff on my Apple IIe).

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@tempest

 

The ATR handling is poor on MyIDE on a stock Atari. But if you use the MyBIOS in ROM (which you can put in one of the OS slots of Incognito/Ultimate 1MB) you'll notice that MyBIOS can boot a giant amount of disk based titles. Even swapping is possible (using a certain key combination).

 

There always will be titles that do not run, but a lot titles do.

 

But as said... I am not sure MyIDE ][ will work on Atari 800. I have seen that topic too about the fix, but from what I have heard: this fix does not work on all atari 800's.

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Liking SpartaDOS X or otherwise isn't really an issue regarding Incognito. You can use any DOS you choose with the hard disk and the XEX loader has nothing whatever to do with DOS.

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@tempest

 

The ATR handling is poor on MyIDE on a stock Atari. But if you use the MyBIOS in ROM (which you can put in one of the OS slots of Incognito/Ultimate 1MB) you'll notice that MyBIOS can boot a giant amount of disk based titles. Even swapping is possible (using a certain key combination).

 

There always will be titles that do not run, but a lot titles do.

 

But as said... I am not sure MyIDE ][ will work on Atari 800. I have seen that topic too about the fix, but from what I have heard: this fix does not work on all atari 800's.

So how bad/good is the ATR handling then? What makes it not to swift?

 

ATR's don't really have me too worried, like I said I have a SIO2PC so that takes care of most things.

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@Tempest

 

Well it is not real ATR handling, since you have to put the ATR's in the image slots of the myide partition. You can do this with a PC tool or you can do it on the atari itself by loading the entire disk once. (When you have put it into the image slot you are done ofcourse, it is a one time operation).

 

What does not run: everything with illegal OS jumps, and everything with custom SIO routines. With other words: most demo disks do not run, and most other stuff does. If you have a collection of ATR disks which are actually containing binaries with a high-speed-sio boot menu: those disks won't work, since those loaders force the atari to use the high speed sio loader. This is a problem that occurs with more harddisk interfaces.

 

Everything that forces the atari to use High Speed Sio gives problems.

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Since you are into cart stuff also have a look at The!Cart: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/215811-thecart-new-128mb-flash-cartridge/

 

Simply speaking this is a multi-cart with 128MB of flash and the ability emulate most of the common cartridge types (plain 8k/16k carts, XEGS, MEGA, Atarimax etc).

 

JAC! wrote a really great PC program to manage the contents on the cart and a nice cartridge selection menu for the Atari. Basically you just drag your CAR/ROM files into your workbook, export it to ATR files and then update your cart via SIO. The software also does incremental updates so it's quite quick to add a few CARs.

 

The!Cart also works with an Atari 800 if you make the cartridge slot XL compatible (connect the PHI2 signal instead of RAS), but the cart is a little bit too long so the lid won't close.

 

You can find more details and ordering information on Wolfram's (mega-hz) website: http://www.mega-hz.de/Angebote/THE!CART/THE!CART_EN.htm

 

so long,

 

Hias

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@Tempest

 

Well it is not real ATR handling, since you have to put the ATR's in the image slots of the myide partition. You can do this with a PC tool or you can do it on the atari itself by loading the entire disk once. (When you have put it into the image slot you are done ofcourse, it is a one time operation).

 

What does not run: everything with illegal OS jumps, and everything with custom SIO routines. With other words: most demo disks do not run, and most other stuff does. If you have a collection of ATR disks which are actually containing binaries with a high-speed-sio boot menu: those disks won't work, since those loaders force the atari to use the high speed sio loader. This is a problem that occurs with more harddisk interfaces.

 

Everything that forces the atari to use High Speed Sio gives problems.

I seriously doubt I'll be running demos or anything like that. I'd be running common games like Jumpman or Summer Games. Of course there's nothing that says common games don't make illegal OS jumps or use custom SIO routines. Then again, I always have SIO2PC which seemed to work with just about everything I threw at it.

 

 

Since you are into cart stuff also have a look at The!Cart: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/215811-thecart-new-128mb-flash-cartridge/

 

Simply speaking this is a multi-cart with 128MB of flash and the ability emulate most of the common cartridge types (plain 8k/16k carts, XEGS, MEGA, Atarimax etc).

 

JAC! wrote a really great PC program to manage the contents on the cart and a nice cartridge selection menu for the Atari. Basically you just drag your CAR/ROM files into your workbook, export it to ATR files and then update your cart via SIO. The software also does incremental updates so it's quite quick to add a few CARs.

 

The!Cart also works with an Atari 800 if you make the cartridge slot XL compatible (connect the PHI2 signal instead of RAS), but the cart is a little bit too long so the lid won't close.

So what does The!Cart offer over MyIDE II? They seem pretty similar.

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So what does The!Cart offer over MyIDE II? They seem pretty similar.

More cartridge types. IIRC MyIDE II only supports 8k and 16k ROMs (plus it's own "native" format up to 512k), The!Cart also supports XEGS and Atarimax up to 1MB (8MBit) plus several other types. So you can use most of the existing CAR files and Atarimax images without any modification.

 

so long,

 

Hias

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yes Hias is right. The!Cart runs it all. It is a very powerful and versatile cart. Only downside is that it is a read-only device of course (well ok, it can be re-programmed, but I mean: you can run a live file-system on it)

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yes Hias is right. The!Cart runs it all. It is a very powerful and versatile cart. Only downside is that it is a read-only device of course (well ok, it can be re-programmed, but I mean: you can run a live file-system on it)

So can The!Cart or MyIDE II run games from disk that write to the disk then? I'm pretty sure the more complex games wrote stuff to the disk itself.

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So can The!Cart or MyIDE II run games from disk that write to the disk then? I'm pretty sure the more complex games wrote stuff to the disk itself.

 

The!Cart: no

MyIDE: yes, but not from FAT32 partition. The ATR's you put in the image slots are R/W (well the ATR's that actually do work, like described earlier in this thread). Note: MyBIOS is in image mode Write Protected as default, so when you actually have to save data to those images, you have to disable write protection with the right key combo.

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Best choice would be an 800XL/1200XL with U1MB, SIDE II, and The!Cart. That covers pretty much everything... :)

 

My 800XL/1200XL are both U1MB, in fact I pulled the 32in1 and the 256K mods from my 1200XL to move up to the U1MB.

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I can confirm that U1MB with Side // is a very powerful combination.

 

I stopped using that (at this time) since I concentrate on external solutions. But if you don't mind modding your Atari you might want to consider remowilliams advice. It's a good advice.

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U1MB. I'm not familiar with that one. I'll have to do some research.

 

My 1200XL is pretty heavily modified at this point, I'm not sure what putting in another mod (or taking some out) would do.

 

 

EDIT: Ok, so it looks like the U1MB is an Incognito board for the XL/XE line (same sort of functionality). A 1200XL with an U1MB and SIDE would be neat, but it would be basically what I already have with my Incognito 800.

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A 1200XL with an U1MB and SIDE would be neat, but it would be basically what I already have with my Incognito 800.

 

True, except with an XL you can use The!Cart.

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True, except with an XL you can use The!Cart.

That true. Something to think about anyway. Of course getting a U1MB, SIDE, and The!Cart would be kind of pricey. I'm probably best sticking with my 800 and hoping that SIDE can support .ROM and .BIN files sometime in the future (or working XEX files for all the games are made).

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That true. Something to think about anyway. Of course getting a U1MB, SIDE, and The!Cart would be kind of pricey. I'm probably best sticking with my 800 and hoping that SIDE can support .ROM and .BIN files sometime in the future (or working XEX files for all the games are made).

 

Well if carts are your number one priority you should definitely go for The!Cart. It's amazing to have basically every cart game (and lots of disk conversions) on one device.

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Well if carts are your number one priority you should definitely go for The!Cart. It's amazing to have basically every cart game (and lots of disk conversions) on one device.

Yeah that's true. The!Cart and my 1200XL would be nice.

 

So let me see if I understand how The!Cart works. Is it a cart that stores a bunch of rom images and flashes one them to the cart when needed, or is it more like the AtariMax flash carts where you flash a bunch of games to the cart and choose the one you want from a menu?

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