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Incognito - Now's your chance!

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2 hours ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

I think you missed the irony.  The machine itself is 40 years old.  The dos is less than 10 years old.  What's old?

 

🙂

 

Jeff

LOL! I make this point all the time when people start talking about getting new upgrades instead of using old upgrades I already have on hand. I've been told I need to go with an sram alternative rather than still use my "obsolete" Atarimax Rambo 256/512K upgrade and get away from drams for whatever reason. And I say, um, so my 15 year old Rambo upgrade that uses original drams is "obsolete" and I should just toss it and get something new or a few years old to install in my "obsolete" 37 year-old computer? That's just one example of many. If it works and I own it and it does what I need it to do, why should I by something newer to do the same thing? If it has other bells and whistles I want on the upgrade, that's different.

 

Now once I installed a PBI in my 1200XL, I did revert it back to 64K after I got a Syscheck 2.2 board and actually got an extra 64K out of the deal (512K vs. 576K total). But I did it since I was going to use the Syscheck on my new PBI for diagnostics and OS's I didn't have on the 32-in-1 already(this was before I knew how to reprogram the 32-in-1), so why waste 512K of external memory because I have 512K internally? But the Rambo upgrade still isn't getting tossed, it's going into another 1200XL without a PBI. That being said, for future upgrades for Atari's with a PBI/ECI, I think the best way to go these days are the external memory-no fuss, no muss. So I won't be buying internal memory upgrades of any kind anymore except for those machines without a PBI, if I don't decide to just give it a PBI.

 

Rambo compatible upgrades that still use dram are still available for Dropcheck at BitsofThePast and Atarimax (if you ask, it's not listed on the site). I think only Dropcheck's would be cheaper than an sram upgrade from others now though.

 

Besides, I still use SpartaDOS 3.2f/g for certain older things that aren't compatible with any version of SDX. If it does what you want or need, it's not obsolete to you. A very subjective term indeed.

 

I remember a CNC operator at a company I worked for about 25 years ago complaining about the "obsolete" CNC machines the company still used. I said they don't seem to be obsolete to me (or the company) if they can still use them to make money.

 

To me, obsolete is just a word invented by sales and marketing to sell you something you don't need and they want to convince you that you do need it. I run my company everyday with equipment that would be called obsolete by those who manufacture those types of equipment. 

 

Sorry for such a long reply to such a short post, but I feel the same way about the term "obsolete" as @DrVenkman feels about making Dupont connectors. ;) I hope I have at least entertained some people.

Edited by Gunstar
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Well. I've apparently done something wrong.

 

When I try to boot with Incognito in, it mostly shows a black screen. One time, I got the Atari blue and then the flash of what looked like the color of the incognito BIOS and then it went black.

 

When I remove the incognito, put the 74ls42 chip back in, unhook the P5 connector, put a ROM board and a RAM board in, I can get it to boot to memo pad, but sometimes, (especially if I wiggle the interlock switch), it will black out and sometimes it comes back and other times, it doesn't.

 

I've lost the will to trouble shoot further for now. And before I do, I was hopoing someone could answer some questions that will make it easier.

 

Q1: Do the two jumper wires and the replacement of the resistors have any impact on the operation if you go back to stock components? In other words, to completely undo incognito, do you have to remove those jumpers and replace the resistors back?

 

Q2: If you do not do that, what does (or doesn't) the computer do?

 

Q3: If you put an incognito in a stock 800 with the ribbon cable connected in place of the 74ls42 chip but no jumpers, no resistor swaps and nothing connected to P5, what happens?

 

I have other 800's but answers to these questions will (i hope) make trouble-shooting easier.

 

Thank you, everyone!

 

-Todd

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Okay, I am (mostly) done. :)  And yes, I replaced that god-awful connector from Lotharek, but it was mostly out of necessity. I decided there just wasn't enough slack for Pins 1 and 6 going off to the CPU board. So I made longer wires for those while I was at it.

 

I have two relatively minor issues -

 

1. The ATR swap button "hack" that Candle came up with and Jon shows in his video is incredibly fiddly. I have it installed and I've got the light-pipe insert filed sufficiently to move freely but getting it to reliably toggle the button is tricky; that may or may not be related to the fact that my structural support standoff still needs fine-tuning. I'll work on all of that in the next week or so. Work is about to go nuts this week so it will probably be a few days.

 

2. The HDD activity light is not, in fact, active. I'm not sure what's up with that. I followed Candle's installation guide exactly, and yes, I've verified the LED is installed in the correct orientation and is working; both LEDs will illuminate when I test them with my meter in diode mode and have the probes oriented correctly. And the new power LED is nice and briiiiiiight. I've verified continuity all the way from the LED solder point to the Incognito header cable when it's plugged in. Again, I'll worry about that later in the week or next weekend.

 

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IMG_2399.JPG

 

IMG_2385.JPG

 

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I like the new color Incognito logo on the menu screen, that is cool.

 

I've decided I'll do the ATR swap button even though I doubt I'll use it much, if at all, at least until I can no longer keep my drives and floppies working. But I'm going to mount a switch for it elsewhere and not mess with the LED light and turn it into a button. I can have a switch hidden out of the way, but accessible and I can tie in my internal RGB LED lighting to work with it as the new LED on the power board works. My whole 800 will flash or come on, set to a certain color when the switch is toggled. 

 

By your example, @DrVenkman , I will also forego using Lotharek's connector and just use my peel-away ribbon cable single Dupont connectors. I can keep the right number of connectors attached to each other so it will be even cleaner with one small cable, than the separate wires with the connector Lotharek supplied anyway.  

 

It's ironic how things work out with life, isn't it? With you having to wait 20 days for your Incognito, and I receiving it in less than 14 days, yet I haven't had the time to get started on it and you are nearly finished! But it just worked out that I was ready to move into my new house and so have been busy with that, and it may be another week before I even have my new workbench setup and everything set there to get started! I'm shooting for sooner than that, but Murphy's law always has a way of popping up on me. My Murphy's law experience today was that I was planning on getting everything at least moved in, if not unpacked, but my mother called and her computer was "broken" and she had to have it right away, so I spent the morning replacing the hard-drive, cleaning the PC out of dust and I had to replace a broken fan, which is what probably cause the HDD to fail!

 

Edited by Gunstar

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1 minute ago, Gunstar said:

I like the new color Incognito logo on the menu screen, that is cool.

Just for clarity, that's the very old, original (circa 2012) BIOS screen. Jon's BIOS is much cleaner and feature-packed. I'll be flashing the board later tonight or tomorrow. 

 

Good luck with your Incognito install though, whenever you get around to it. :) 

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Yes, then I guess I've seen Jon's BIOS and you are right, except that it lacks that colorful 'Incognito' which I think is cool. Otherwise, yes, it's nicer looking overall and as you say, much more feature-packed. I'd just never seen the original without Jon's BIOS before I guess. So I thought Jon's BIOS menu had been redone, I was too mesmerized by the picture you posted of the color Incognito name, that I didn't bother to look closer at the pitiful (compared to Jon's) menu below.

Edited by Gunstar

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2 hours ago, toddtmw said:

Well. I've apparently done something wrong.

 

When I try to boot with Incognito in, it mostly shows a black screen. One time, I got the Atari blue and then the flash of what looked like the color of the incognito BIOS and then it went black.

 

When I remove the incognito, put the 74ls42 chip back in, unhook the P5 connector, put a ROM board and a RAM board in, I can get it to boot to memo pad, but sometimes, (especially if I wiggle the interlock switch), it will black out and sometimes it comes back and other times, it doesn't.

 

I've lost the will to trouble shoot further for now. And before I do, I was hopoing someone could answer some questions that will make it easier.

 

Q1: Do the two jumper wires and the replacement of the resistors have any impact on the operation if you go back to stock components? In other words, to completely undo incognito, do you have to remove those jumpers and replace the resistors back?

 

Q2: If you do not do that, what does (or doesn't) the computer do?

 

Q3: If you put an incognito in a stock 800 with the ribbon cable connected in place of the 74ls42 chip but no jumpers, no resistor swaps and nothing connected to P5, what happens?

 

I have other 800's but answers to these questions will (i hope) make trouble-shooting easier.

 

Thank you, everyone!

 

-Todd

I think this might be as easy as going back to the beginning.  The Incognito, in default configuration, shows a black screen at start, for the better part of 5 seconds, then gives the blue-screen Atari boot screen.  When you save a config, you will have chosen whether to use the logo or not on startup.  Chose and save.  The problem is now resolved?

 

Basically, have you tried waiting at that black screen for more than 5 seconds?

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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7 minutes ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

I think this might be as easy as going back to the beginning.  The Incognito, in default configuration, shows a black screen at start, for the better part of 5 seconds, then gives the blue-screen Atari boot screen.  When you save a config, you will have chosen whether to use the logo or not on startup.  Chose and save.  The problem is now resolved?

 

Basically, have you tried waiting at that black screen for more than 5 seconds?

 

Best,

 

Jeff

Okay. Thanks. 
 

I tried it again. I did 2 things differently. I moved it off my anti static mat, which kind of conducts electricity and I didn’t push the interlock switch so hard. 
 

so now, it does the Atari fart twice and boots to Sparta dos. 
 

if I push the interlock harder it goes black. Maybe I’m flexing the power board. 
 

okay. I think I might be in business and can work on the drive switch another day when I have more time. 
 

thanks again!

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6 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

Okay. Thanks. 
 

I tried it again. I did 2 things differently. I moved it off my anti static mat, which kind of conducts electricity and I didn’t push the interlock switch so hard. 
 

so now, it does the Atari fart twice and boots to Sparta dos. 
 

if I push the interlock harder it goes black. Maybe I’m flexing the power board. 
 

okay. I think I might be in business and can work on the drive switch another day when I have more time. 
 

thanks again!

The interlock switches only work reliably if you don't stroke them too far.  If you have the case off, you can do just that.  The switch will fail at a certain pressure and travel that is prevented by the design of the plastic rod and guide integrated with the case top.  It may be no fault at all when you've reassembled the machine.  In fact I think it more likely than not.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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Just now, Jeffrey Worley said:

The interlock switches only work reliably if you don't stroke them too far.  If you have the case off, you can do just that.  The switch will fail at a certain pressure and travel that is prevented by the design of the plastic rod and guide integrated with the case top.  It may be no fault at all when you've reassembled the machine.  In fact I think it more likely than not.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

You are exactly right. I can make it fail by pressing hard. I was thinking you couldn’t press to hard. Clearly you can. 
 

I’m so happy. Thank you again!!!

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@toddtmw you keep referring to the interlock and issues when pressing it, is it to obvious for me to ask if you have looked closely at the interlock switch for cold solder joint or cracks in the solder and made sure the switch is itself secure and working right? Because even if you are pushing so hard you may be flexing the board, that should't create the issue you speak of unless flexing the board is creating an open circuit around the interlock switch due to what I said above.

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3 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

You are exactly right. I can make it fail by pressing hard. I was thinking you couldn’t press to hard. Clearly you can. 
 

I’m so happy. Thank you again!!!

well, then never mind what I said above, I have never known of this issue! I was thinking you couldn't press too hard either! Thanks for the info @Jeffrey Worley !

Edited by Gunstar
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Just now, Gunstar said:

well, then never mind what I said above, I have never known of this issue!

I haven’t tried this on other 800’s. I did notice it when I undid the install. It would black out when it was at memo pad. 
 

it could just be a bad connection with this one. I’ll keep playing with it. 
 

if anyone has one open on the bench and wants to try it let me know. 
 

also, keep in mind, the power board doesn’t sit flat when it’s open like this, so I could also be stressing the pins in the connector between the power board and the motherboard. 
 

I’m just glad that my soldering seems to have worked. I’m not the best solderer, but it’s not like I’ve never done it. This isn’t a very complicated install, so I was hoping I didn’t mess this up. 
 

thanks again for the great support of this community!

 

Todd 

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I always put something under the power board when out of the case, for support. usually some of the foam used to hold IC's, it's generally firm enough. (like the nicely sized foam pads that the Incognito was packed in)

Edited by Gunstar
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4 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

I haven’t tried this on other 800’s. I did notice it when I undid the install. It would black out when it was at memo pad. 
 

it could just be a bad connection with this one. I’ll keep playing with it. 
 

if anyone has one open on the bench and wants to try it let me know. 
 

also, keep in mind, the power board doesn’t sit flat when it’s open like this, so I could also be stressing the pins in the connector between the power board and the motherboard. 
 

I’m just glad that my soldering seems to have worked. I’m not the best solderer, but it’s not like I’ve never done it. This isn’t a very complicated install, so I was hoping I didn’t mess this up. 
 

thanks again for the great support of this community!

 

Todd 

I just worked through 5 800's, repairing, refurbishing, and upgrading, and I've just recently experienced first-hand these seeming pitfalls.  My fear is fresh still of the time I decided to watch the black screen for a GOOD WHILE, and see what happened, nose cocked for the smell of dreaded magic black smoke, only to see the friendly Atascii characters on an Atari-blue screen.  I was relieved and pleased, good guess for me and it didn't occur to me to share the experience til' I recognized my own situation in his. :-0  It was scary.  Glad to help!

 

Same thing with the interlock.  It revealed itself longer ago, pre-Incognito, when the machines were just out of thier first bath in 40 years...  I had to take a good look at the interlock switch, and made the realization.  Never thought to share  that either, but it is so, for the whole of the 800's, and probably the 400 as well, since it has a similar interlock.

 

 

 

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So. Once I get this thing back together and attach a keyboard, how do you get to the bios screen?


is there like a users manual for using incognito?

 

thanks. 

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12 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

I haven’t tried this on other 800’s. I did notice it when I undid the install. It would black out when it was at memo pad. 
 

it could just be a bad connection with this one. I’ll keep playing with it. 
 

if anyone has one open on the bench and wants to try it let me know. 
 

also, keep in mind, the power board doesn’t sit flat when it’s open like this, so I could also be stressing the pins in the connector between the power board and the motherboard. 
 

I’m just glad that my soldering seems to have worked. I’m not the best solderer, but it’s not like I’ve never done it. This isn’t a very complicated install, so I was hoping I didn’t mess this up. 
 

thanks again for the great support of this community!

 

Todd 

I don't want to encourage anyone to be sloppy, but you can disconnect the colored wiring harness, the one from J2 that has all the solder connections you made, and turn the machine on.  It works to a large degree, how large I don't know; with nothing done but plugging in the Incognito and plugging it's ribbon cable into the vacated 74ls42 socket.  The two connections, to Antic, are to give antic-mode DMA?, and the others are pretty self-explanatory.  I think they would mostly be used by the PBI connector on the Incognito.  I may never know if I made those connections correctly.

 

 

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Well, I got a bee in my bonnet after the first beer and decided to update my board. Thank you so much, @flashjazzcat! Jon, your work is utter genius. So delightful to have my beloved Colleen running on par with her younger U1MB-equipped siblings. :)

 

D0E1FB0D-60C0-4A5E-91D5-EB3E025C8BBC.jpeg

 

5F0C733C-D487-48C2-A6BE-AB1C46543C7B.jpeg

 

50C53BC8-1DA9-441C-B462-ED04B0A8D65A.jpeg

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31 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

So. Once I get this thing back together and attach a keyboard, how do you get to the bios screen?


is there like a users manual for using incognito?

 

thanks. 

The BIOS screen is accessed by holding the ATARI LOGO key, in the lower-RIGHT most area of the keyboard, and pressing the Reset Button.  This is in replacement for the Help+Reset of the XL/XE machines to performa the same function on the U1MB.  The U1MB and the Incognito are kissing-cousins in the user-interface.  Under the hood they may be very different, but to the user, the Incognito presents itself very much like the U1MB does to the XL/XE user.

Edited by Jeffrey Worley
Lower-Left? I'm an idiot.

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42 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

 

 

50C53BC8-1DA9-441C-B462-ED04B0A8D65A.jpeg

Nice ATARI beer glass! I have an ATARI beer mug myself...can you see where the print is screwed up on the middle 'A' in ATARI? The 'R' and 'I' should be shifted to the right one more pixel!

20191103_195624.jpg

Edited by Gunstar

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3 minutes ago, Gunstar said:

Nice ATARI beer glass! I have an ATARI beer mug myself...

20191103_195624.jpg

Oh, I missed that, his clear glass has the Fuji.  Nice.  Took your black one to get me to look twice.

 

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Yes, the frosted Fuji on his glass is sort of "Incognito." ;) My Mug is temp-sensitive, it's all black until a cold Brewski is poured in! So mine is truly "Incognito" until it's cold.

Edited by Gunstar
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28 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Well, I got a bee in my bonnet after the first beer and decided to update my board. Thank you so much, @flashjazzcat! Jon, your work is utter genius. So delightful to have my beloved Colleen running on par with her younger U1MB-equipped siblings. :)

 

 

D0E1FB0D-60C0-4A5E-91D5-EB3E025C8BBC.jpeg

50C53BC8-1DA9-441C-B462-ED04B0A8D65A.jpeg

5F0C733C-D487-48C2-A6BE-AB1C46543C7B.jpeg

The Ingog.rom file is incognito.  The Nogos one is the same as incog without the Graphica Operating System installed.  This can leave more cart area for Spartados X custom space.

 

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1 minute ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

The Ingog.rom file is incognito.  The Nogos one is the same as incog without the Graphica Operating System installed.  This can leave more cart area for Spartados X custom space.

 

Yep, I know. Ain't my first rodeo, cowboy. ;)  I've been updating my U1MB-equipped machines with Jon's excellent work for a number of years now.

 

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2 hours ago, Jeffrey Worley said:

I just worked through 5 800's, repairing, refurbishing, and upgrading, and I've just recently experienced first-hand these seeming pitfalls.  My fear is fresh still of the time I decided to watch the black screen for a GOOD WHILE, and see what happened, nose cocked for the smell of dreaded magic black smoke, only to see the friendly Atascii characters on an Atari-blue screen.  I was relieved and pleased, good guess for me and it didn't occur to me to share the experience til' I recognized my own situation in his. :-0  It was scary.  Glad to help!

 

Same thing with the interlock.  It revealed itself longer ago, pre-Incognito, when the machines were just out of thier first bath in 40 years...  I had to take a good look at the interlock switch, and made the realization.  Never thought to share  that either, but it is so, for the whole of the 800's, and probably the 400 as well, since it has a similar interlock.

 

 

 

FYI, no interlock open-circuit here when applying force.

 

I guess you will have to press it REALLY hard for it fail?

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