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Newbie guide to various PC<->Atari interfaces?

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I've seen the post here with very brief descriptions of the various ways to get software onto the Atari:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/176545-topic-for-newbies/

 

However, I was wondering if there is a decent thread/blog/wiki/etc. detailing the pros and cons of each device and piece of software.

 

I think there may be some newer options not listed there, and from what limited amount I currently know, it seems some may need slightly modified systems. I'm trying to learn as much as possible. I just started listening to the Antic podcast starting at episode 1, and just listened to episode 5 where they detail one of the SIO to PC options which got me seriously thinking about this.

 

I am currently getting back into using my 400 and 800, and am trying to figure out what would be the best first purchase.

 

All I currently have is a 400, 800, and a 410 and do not have a disk drive nor any disks. I would think with one of the modern USB or SD methods that a disk drive wouldn't be something I'd need to get right away.

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Thanks for reading my Topic for newbies.

The first post is always up-to-date.

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I've seen the post here with very brief descriptions of the various ways to get software onto the Atari:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/176545-topic-for-newbies/

 

However, I was wondering if there is a decent thread/blog/wiki/etc. detailing the pros and cons of each device and piece of software.

 

I think there may be some newer options not listed there, and from what limited amount I currently know, it seems some may need slightly modified systems. I'm trying to learn as much as possible. I just started listening to the Antic podcast starting at episode 1, and just listened to episode 5 where they detail one of the SIO to PC options which got me seriously thinking about this.

 

I am currently getting back into using my 400 and 800, and am trying to figure out what would be the best first purchase.

 

All I currently have is a 400, 800, and a 410 and do not have a disk drive nor any disks. I would think with one of the modern USB or SD methods that a disk drive wouldn't be something I'd need to get right away.

 

If you have a PC, then I would highly recommend the SIO2PC-USB option as your first choice. It will instantly give you an easy method to get software into your A8. And it will also prove useful in other ways, even if you later get an SD device or a real floppy drive. And if you are like me, once you use one of these you'll never want to use a standard floppy drive again (not unless you are archiving floppies).

 

- Michael

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Thanks for reading my Topic for newbies.

The first post is always up-to-date.

Thank you for putting together that resource. The item I was thinking I didn't see listed was The!Cart.

 

From what I can gather, the SIO2XXX options work with stock systems, but the carts may or may not require hardware system modification. I guess it'd be nice to make a table of the options and what systems they work on, what software they can run, etc. Perhaps I could create such a table, but I don't have the knowledge base to do so right now.

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If you have a PC, then I would highly recommend the SIO2PC-USB option as your first choice. It will instantly give you an easy method to get software into your A8. And it will also prove useful in other ways, even if you later get an SD device or a real floppy drive. And if you are like me, once you use one of these you'll never want to use a standard floppy drive again (not unless you are archiving floppies).

 

- Michael

Thanks, I'm definitely leaning that way.

 

I currently don't have a disk drive or any disks. While I really like the idea of getting a real floppy drive, trying to get a fully working drive for a decent price, and building a library of working floppy disks seems like more work than it's worth. I'll be keeping my eye on craigslist for deals. Even if a drive isn't working, if I can get it for cheap enough, it may be worth it. I have no issues fixing electrical or mechanical issues if parts can be had.

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Also, why does the main AtartAge page not have a section on the top left for the 8 bit line? It looks like there is a section for all the consoles, and a similar wiki for the 8 bit would be nice. Or does it exist and I have somehow overlooked it?

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Thank you for putting together that resource. The item I was thinking I didn't see listed was The!Cart.

 

From what I can gather, the SIO2XXX options work with stock systems, but the carts may or may not require hardware system modification. I guess it'd be nice to make a table of the options and what systems they work on, what software they can run, etc. Perhaps I could create such a table, but I don't have the knowledge base to do so right now.

In fact UNO Cart is missing too.

 

My original idea was to make a post with answers for newbies not a post with all A8 upgrades.

For example, if a newbie asks for a solution to easily load games, I would not reply "buy an U1MB card and a SIDE2 cart, open your Atari, do some soldering, perhaps flash firmware, load games".

I'd rather say to him "buy a SIO2SD, perhaps a version without case to save money, insert all games into an SD card, load them with on-screen loader". Or a SIO2PC-USB, if he has a PC nearby.

 

But your idea of a table is interesting and I will think about it.

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I've heard users give just about every reason possible for why they choose their particular tool of choice. For instance some people have limited space living in a condo or apartment so they want to keep their Atari footprint as small as possible. Others may have an entire room dedicated to vintage computers so a fully buffed system is their poison.

 

IMHO, I would stay away from any floppy disk drives unless you are trying to reproduce a complete system. The shortest distance between two points and probably least costly would be SIO2PC of some flavor. You may decide SIO2xx is a good'nuff solution and stop there. All the other solutions are literally crazy good. I'm particularly enamored with anything that gives you internet connection somewhere in the string. By that I mean anything above sneaker net floppies to get software to the Atari. You could get away with using a DOS 8088 machine as a server *BUT* it is a pain to get software on it. More modern machines, USB thumb drive, current machine with built in connection to the Internet much easier to use. There is even a Bluetooth solution that plugs directly into the Atari so you can use your cellphone to get software off the internet and simulate a disk drive with the same.

 

I've never heard anyone say they are sorry for getting a SIO2xx cable even if they ultimately ended up getting something more sophisticated later.

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I second or third or ... the SIO2PC -- USB. There are several to choose from, but I'm incredibly fond of APE. There are a couple of $ issues with it, namely the software and the hardware are proprietary. RespeQT (sp?) is a worthy second, but APE has more features than the others. It also has the best GUI (IMO). Or, you can go inexpensive and use an RS232 version for very little money, including using the "free" version of APE. APE will run with virtually any processor that runs Windows XP thru W10. No W95,98, etc.

 

http://www.atarimax.com/

 

Infinitely more useful than real disk drives (unless you have an actual disk in your hands!

 

BTW, here's a picture that I love -- Win APE (RS232) running on a ~75 MHz Pertium 1 Libretto mini-laptop. Has a 7" screen.

 

-Larry

post-8008-0-24850300-1487267643_thumb.jpg

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You'll find the options each have use cases suited to them. It largely depends on what you want to do. I have AtariMax MyIDE ][ and use it mainly for loading games, though you can boot to DOS with it and use it as a hard drive. SIDE2 is another great one.

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sio2usb is going to hands down give you the most flexibility. Yeah you'll need a computer, notebook, netbook etc but you can emulate not just cartridges and floppies but actually emulate hardware too if you felt so inclined. Personally my preferred is Atari Max's sio2pc.

 

Cartridges are nice if you plan to travel with your machine and are only interested in emulating (mostly) cartridge titles.

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sio2usb is going to hands down give you the most flexibility. Yeah you'll need a computer, notebook, netbook etc but you can emulate not just cartridges and floppies...

 

I think you mean SIO2PC (USB). SIO2USB is a different animal.

 

Also, you can't emulate cartridges with an SIO2PC.

Edited by MrFish

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I think you mean SIO2PC (USB). SIO2USB is a different animal.

 

Also, you can't emulate cartridges with an SIO2PC.

That sounds like an excellent thing to elaborate on in a newbie thread. What's the difference?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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That sounds like an excellent thing to elaborate on in a newbie thread. What's the difference?

 

SIO2PC (USB) is just a version of SIO2PC that connects via a USB port rather than a serial port. You can find out more about SIO2PC devices in the general thread for newbies.

 

The link for documentation about the SIO2USB device in the newbie thread is dead. So you can get a some info here: SIO2USB announcement.

Edited by MrFish

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SIO2PC (USB) is just a version of SIO2PC that connects via a USB port rather than a serial port. You can find out more about SIO2PC devices in the general thread for newbies.

 

The link for documentation about the SIO2USB device in the newbie thread is dead. So you can get a little info here: SIO2USB announcement.

Exactly.

Link replaced!

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SIO2PC (USB) is just a version of SIO2PC that connects via a USB port rather than a serial port. You can find out more about SIO2PC devices in the general thread for newbies.

 

The link for documentation about the SIO2USB device in the newbie thread is dead. So you can get a some info here: SIO2USB announcement.

Thanks for the link. I read through it, and maybe I'm a bit slow, but it seems like it does the same thing. The link at the bottom of the page you linked to goes to a German site, so until I get home on a PC, I'll not be able to translate it.

 

 

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Thanks for the link. I read through it, and maybe I'm a bit slow, but it seems like it does the same thing. The link at the bottom of the page you linked to goes to a German site, so until I get home on a PC, I'll not be able to translate it.

 

 

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I added another English link for SIO2USB and links for The Cart! and UNO Cart.

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Thanks for the link. I read through it, and maybe I'm a bit slow, but it seems like it does the same thing. The link at the bottom of the page you linked to goes to a German site, so until I get home on a PC, I'll not be able to translate it.

 

They do have some things in common, but the SIO2USB relies on its own firmware for features and USB flash drives for storage, whereas the SIO2PC uses software that runs on your PC and can access files from any device connected to your PC (including networked resources, such as file servers). SIO2PC software can therefore be more capable and flexible, but is only as portable as the PC that you're attached to with the device.

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I swear I've emulated cartridges with mine *shrugs* maybe they were converted to atr.

 

Must have been because I don't even think you can emulate a cartridge over SIO. All the devices I know of are going through the cartridge port.

Edited by MrFish

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They do have some things in common, but the SIO2USB relies on its own firmware for features and USB flash drives for storage, whereas the SIO2PC uses software that runs on your PC and can access files from any device connected to your PC (including networked resources, such as file servers). SIO2PC software can therefore be more capable and flexible, but is only as portable as the PC that you're attached to with the device.

Ok, that makes sense, it's like an SIO2SD but with a USB drive instead.

 

 

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I have almost all of the newer Atari Interfaces, see if you have missed anything Philsan to add to the Sticky list

 

Just check my signature

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I'm looking to use an old, throw away Android phone as the server for my SIO2PC device. Hopefully it'll give the same functionality and footprint of the SIO2SD device, but minus the price

 

 

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