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NuY

I'm back + advice on modern A8 storage

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Been a while since I logged on, hope everyone's okay!

 

I've resurrected my A8s in the last few days after a lead took me to Shapeways where I bought some 1020 gears which I'm sure I've been after for about nine years...

 

Anyway, I've not really kept tabs on everything in the A8 scene in recent years, so I'm not sure what the current state of mass storage is. I have an ancient but still working SIO2SD, have things moved on from this?

 

Ideally what would be nice is something similar in function to a 1541 Ultimate II; specifically:

 

  • Cartridge form factor
  • On screen disk browser/selector
  • OSD that appears at a button press on the cart (or key combo)
  • SD/USB support
  • Cart emulation via .bin/.crt image
  • No soldering required (soldering irons hate me and ICs fear me)

The 1541UII does a ton more stuff of course but those are the ones I find supremely useful on the breadbin. Is there anything similar that fulfils all or most of these for A8s?

Edited by NuY
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Welcome back! Check out the first message in the "Topic For Newbies" that is pinned at the top of this forums' page 1.

 

Here is a link for a pdf of the current state of A8 storage options from that topic to get you started:

 

A8 loading devices.pdf

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Welcome back, always nice to see an old face come back..

 

Paul..

Ta Paul, kinda figured you'd be around still :grin:

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Check out Topic for newbies Loading devices comparison table (scroll first post a bit).

 

 

Welcome back! Check out the first message in the "Topic For Newbies" that is pinned at the top of this forums' page 1.

 

Here is a link for a pdf of the current state of A8 storage options from that topic to get you started:

 

A8 loading devices.pdf

 

Thanks gents, from that guide it looks like AVGCart does most things in my wishlist, however the PDF mentions restrictions on ATR writes - is there more info on this?

 

Also, are there any details on the buttons on it? I can see that one is reset of course, does the other bring up the cart UI in a similar manner to the 1541UII?

 

Lastly, if disk access is (I assume) intercepted before it hits the SIO port, does this prevent real SIO devices being used at the same time as the AVGCart?

 

Ta

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Regarding AVGCart, second button is for disk change.

Multicarts are carts so, depending on models, they have no or low compatibility with ATR disk images.

As written on Topic for newbies, it is important to know what you really need.

If you have a PC near to your Atari, a cheap and very good solution C64 doesn't have is SIO2PC-USB: 100% compatibility with XEX (the majority of software is available in that format) and ATR.

Multicarts load faster but can't replace SIO solutions (but as written the majority of software is available on XEX format so it can be read by many multicarts).

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Just get an Ultimate 1MB and a SIDE2 cart. This combo does EVERYTHING and then some. You'll want this eventually, so just save time and money and get it now :)

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I bought the UNO Cart first because I thought that it would be able to handle *most* everything that I wanted to run on my XL. It really does do that job very well. However, at a later date I also purchased a SIO2SD and was a little surprised to find that this is the device that I actually use more than all of the rest. I think that this is because it "feels" the most like using a floppy disk drive. Growing up, my main imput device was a 1050 and I didn't actually own any A8 cartridges. So the SIO2SD gives me the most nostalgic feeling experience of all the newer choices that I have available to me now. The multi-carts are faster, of course, but the SIO2SD really is my go-to.

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Thanks for the input everyone. As cart ATR R/W is not fully realised as yet, I've decided to get an S-Drive Max and an AVG cart.

 

As a side note, I'm curious about replicating the functions of the 1541U; specifically:

 

1. Would it be possible to build a cart with an SIO interface poking out of the top? For anyone unaware this is the method the 1541U uses - theres a port hanging off it to connect a cable from it to the C64's disk drive port

2. Similar to above, is there an ability to interrupt whatever the Atari is doing at the press of a button (like the reset button) so the cart takes control and shows a UI?

 

Note, the above is not intended to start a C64 vs Atari war, recent threads show there's been enough of those :) I'm genuinely curious as to whether the above are actually possible or if hardware limitations prevent them.

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If you'll buy an SDrive Max, pay attention to the fact it needs a power supply, it needs a modification if you want to connect it in chain with a real disk drive and the on screen loader shows filenames in 8.3 format (apart the one highlighted).

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1. Would it be possible to build a cart with an SIO interface poking out of the top? For anyone unaware this is the method the 1541U uses - theres a port hanging off it to connect a cable from it to the C64's disk drive port

 

 

No, but with a $18 SIO2PC-USB or $6 DIY SIO2PC-USB you can connect Atari to the PC that emulates disk drive with 100% compatibility. Unfortunately such a cheap thing doesn't exist for C64, I would gladly buy it.

 

EDIT Above reply not on-topic, I didn't understand the question.

 

It doesn't exist but I think it would be possible.

For example, an AVGCart that connects to SIO port.

You would be able to load files from cart or from emulated disk drive.

It seems a good idea.

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Thanks for the input everyone. As cart ATR R/W is not fully realised as yet, I've decided to get an S-Drive Max and an AVG cart.

 

Since you already have an SIO2SD device, you don't really need the SDrive, unless you want to load tape images.

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Since you already have an SIO2SD device, you don't really need the SDrive, unless you want to load tape images.

 

Can the SIO2SD device load copy-protected ATX files from the A8 Software Preservation Initiative archive? :)

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Can the SIO2SD device load copy-protected ATX files from the A8 Software Preservation Initiative archive? icon_smile.gif

 

Touché. :-)

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Can the SIO2SD device load copy-protected ATX files from the A8 Software Preservation Initiative archive? :)

ATX format files are what I mainly use my SDrive-MAX for. I generally go to my SIO2SD for ATRs and XEXs.

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ATX format files are what I mainly use my SDrive-MAX for. I generally go to my SIO2SD for ATRs and XEXs.

 

Why continue to use two different devices?

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Why continue to use two different devices?

Partially because I haven't modded my SDrive-MAX yet so that it can communicate with the SIO chain. Partially because I like the SIO2SD on-screen menu better. Partially because I enjoy utalizing each device with their own idiosyncrasies. I am actually thinking of getting one of alsp's new passthrough SDrive-ARMs just because. I certainly don't need a new input device; I just like them.

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If you'll buy an SDrive Max, pay attention to the fact it needs a power supply, it needs a modification if you want to connect it in chain with a real disk drive and the on screen loader shows filenames in 8.3 format (apart the one highlighted).

 

Good to know, thanks.

 

The one I have my on ebay (oit of stock currently) shows that it is powered from the SIO bus, but there is a jumper inside the case to enable external power...?

 

My intention is to buy an SIO extender from Lotharek so that end of chain issues finally disappear!

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Since you already have an SIO2SD device, you don't really need the SDrive, unless you want to load tape images.

 

 

 

Why continue to use two different devices?

 

For my own desires, the SIO2SD is getting a bit long in the tooth, and is awkward trying to browse disk images and directories from the LCD screen, as I frequently swap disk images around without powering the machine off - this led to the question about whether there is a cart device with freezer that would take you to the cart UI instead of powering down. In addition, the one I have is uncased (despite the fact that FJC offered to build me a case 10 years ago :D), slides around all over the place as it has no traction, and buttons the bare PCB are fiddly. Given the above, a cased S-Drive Max is definitely the way to go for me.

 

When I finally get an S-Drive max I shall retire the SIO2SD.

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I think that you don't want or don't have the place for a PC near your Atari.

Otherwise PC screen is way better to browse hundreds of files than SIO2SD tiny display or SDrive Max bigger screen but with 8.3 file names.

Moreover with SIO2PC you don't have to transfer files from PC to memory cards, all the files are in one place, always up to date, for emulators, programming and real Atari.

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I think that you don't want or don't have the place for a PC near your Atari.

Otherwise PC screen is way better to browse hundreds of files than SIO2SD tiny display or SDrive Max bigger screen but with 8.3 file names.

Moreover with SIO2PC you don't have to transfer files from PC to memory cards, all the files are in one place, always up to date, for emulators, programming and real Atari.

 

Yep, I already have an Atarimax SIO2PC along with a registered copy of APE, but I only have one PC in another room now. I agree SIO2PC is an excellent solution for the reasons given plus more (Atari 1020 emulation!) but I've grown away from the idea of needing a dedicated PC to use as a storage device.

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