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Spaced Cowboy

Gauging interest in hardware expansion box

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I am interested in the project, watching from a distance. Price may be too much for me. This upsets me, as I do not wish this to be taken as thinking the project is "ripping us off". far from it. But it is likely more than I can afford.

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you're interest window is way too short..... have ready to go for bonus, holiday, and tax refund time and see what you get as a response...

 

 

Fairy nuff. I'm not exactly familiar with this sort of thing - I guess I can't expect everyone else to have the same level of enthusiasm that I have for it :)

 

In any event, I'm still planning on going ahead, and I guess we'll all see how it turns out...

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I could be very interested even at that price. 80 column mode built in to the VGA, or just a scaler to map Atari modes to VGA resolutions? Have to be ready to purchase before I go into fixed income mode. It sounds like everything I always wanted Atari to deliver before they sold out to Jack.

 

 

The VGA can in theory be pushed to 1920 x 1080, although that's at 30Hz. Having said that, I'm currently running my Mac mini at [email protected] and I love it :)

 

A more likely top-end resolution is 1024x768 @ 60Hz, which could just about squeeze in 16 bits per pixel for a true-colour display. Certainly doing 640x 480 isn't a big deal, and whether you get a true 80 cols or not will depend on the mode the system is in. If we're simply a display for a loaded game or what-have-you, you want it to emulate 320x200, so pixels will be doubled to get the resolution.

 

 

I also see it being possible to extend the E: device to be 80 cols, and running at true 640x480 (Hey, if the XEP80 can do it, so can I), and possibly even higher.

 

I'm am VERY interested. I just finished doing a PBI mod to my 1200XL, which I now use my Syscheck 2.2 board on, but the REAL reason I did the mod in the first place, besides because I could, was in expectation and hopes of Dropcheck from Bit's of the Past would finish and produce the 1090XLR talked about here on AA and on her site, though it seems like things have stalled on it for now? But this is the first time I've heard of your box. I don't know how much the 1090XLR would cost if delivered, but I think that's for a box without actual expansion cards from her, and those one would buy from 3rd parties, like TH_FF was to be working on a version of Syscheck for it I believe? The price does seem a bit high here, but I understand what you are getting for it, I'm just not sure if I need it all. It makes it tougher to know for sure if this is a separate project from Dropcheck's 1090XLR, since it seems some people were already working on cards for it, will developers support two different expansion boxes?

 

Both seem to be pretty up in the air, ATM, so I stick with VERY INTERESTED for me at this point, and I'll wait and see which pans out first, and/or the costs options of both expansion boxes when the time comes closer to their possible production. And as The Doctor said, it also depends when it's available and if I have the money, I often miss out on lots of cool stuff because these two things don't align with each other.

 

 

The two projects are different - Dropcheck's version would (I think) be cheaper. I don't want to put words in her mouth, but my *impression* is that it is more true to the original 1090 box, so any additional functionality would be on the cards plugged in, not as part-and-parcel of the board.

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Isn’t it cheaper to hook up a laptop ?

 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't see how hooking up a laptop (how, exactly, by SIO ?) is a comparable end-result.

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I reckon he means you are basically building a pretty powerful ARM based computer to which the Atari is just a fancy slave/terminal?

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I reckon he means you are basically building a pretty powerful ARM based computer to which the Atari is just a fancy slave/terminal?

 

 

Well, that depends on the software, right ?

 

I mean, the computer is whatever does the work the user wants it to - if the ARM side is handling peripheral chores only (which is the intention), then it's not a computer, because (running the software written for it) it's not Turing-complete. I mean, sure, you could write different software for it, and it could be more powerful than the 8-bit host, but frankly I could do the same with the microcontroller in my 'fridge.

 

Could I make the Atari side into a glorified keyboard/joystick interface ? Sure.

 

Will I ? No.

 

That's not to say I might not take advantage of the STM chip for some things, but at the end of the day the programs will be running on the 8-bit. With a little help from its friends...

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With that said there is no reason it couldn't be used as the memory manager in some fashion for our 8 bit just as has been done for so many other 8 bit machine, then some of what the do with add on memory devices is also possible for the 8 bit. If we know who accesses what at a certain point we might even get away with stuffing the bus or feeding Antic etc. while the cpu is halted, there are some possibilities there where the expansion could feed the chips in the Atari... That would certainly still be the Atari being used and not a replacement by any means... why do you think the pbi bus existed? and the ability to enable disable packs and halt chips is there. I think Spaced Cowboy is right on target :)

This is part of the reason a combined XL/XE PBI/XE spec was to be needed and worked on... having been discussed and knocked about in threads already

Edited by _The Doctor__

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To be fair to foft, It was him that pointed out to me that /REF can be controlled externally. I have made sure to have both /HALT and /REF have independent direction control in the design. If the Turbo-Freezer could do it, then I think we could too, and the FPGA ought to be fully capable of characterizing the existing cadence of how Antic controls the bus so it ought to be able to insert its own /HALT or /REF bus transactions.

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To be clear, I did not state my own opinion, hence the question mark. I guess Level42 will chime in to tell us if I "read" him correctly. :)

 

That said, I have a slight feeling that your project is suffering from feature creep. I think I'm more partial to the 1090XLR idea. Just a ribbon cable and an expansion board bay, similar to how many MSX slot expander setups are these days.

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