Atari-8-bit FAQ - September 26, 2009

Message-ID: <atari-8-bit/faq_1255410233@rtfm.mit.edu>

X-Last-Updated: 2009/10/12

From: Michael Current <michael@mcurrent.name>

Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit

Subject: Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: 13 Oct 2009 05:04:03 GMT

 

Archive-name: atari-8-bit/faq

Posting-Frequency: 60 days

Last-modified: September 26, 2009

 

               Welcome to the comp.sys.atari.8bit newsgroup!

 

 

                           Atari 8-Bit Computers

 

                      Frequently Asked Questions List

    ___________                                             _______________

   | ///////// |               _____________               |  |||||||||||  |

   |___________|              |             |              |  ||_______||  |

   |______/////|              |____[---]____|              | / _________ \ |

   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | LLLLLLLLLLL L |

   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | LLLLLLLLLLL L |

   |__[_____]__|              |__[_____]____|              |___[_____]_____|

       130XE                       800XL                          800

    ___________                                             __---------__  

   | ///////// |                                           | /  _____  \ |

   |___________|               _____________               | / |_____| \ |

   |______/////|              |____[---]____|              | ___________ |

   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | ========== =|

   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | ========== =|

   |__[_____]__|              |__[_____]____|              |___[_____]___|

        65XE                       600XL                         400

    ___________                                             _____________

   | ///////// |         ___________                       |             |

   |___________|        |/// /      |                      |             |

   |______/////|        |// /       |  /\___________       |=============|  

   |LLLLLLLLLLL|        |/O\        |\/ |LLLLLLLLLLL|      | LLLLLLLLLLL |

   |LLLLLLLLLLL|        |-----------|   |LLLLLLLLLLL|      | LLLLLLLLLLL | 

   |__[_____]__|        |____O_O_O_O|   |__[_____]__|      |___[_____]___|

       800XE                        XE                          1200XL

            

Additions/suggestions/comments/corrections are needed!  Please send to:

 

                  Michael Current, michael@mcurrent.name

 

Copyright (c) 1992-2009 by Michael D. Current, and others where noted.  Feel

free to reproduce this file, in whole or in part, so long as the content of

that portion reproduced is not modified, and so long as credit is given to

this FAQ list or its Maintainer, or the author of that section reproduced

when given.

 

This document is in a constant state of development and comes with no

guarantees.  If you see any problems, I need to hear from you!

 

The latest version of this document is posted to the following Usenet

newsgroups every 60 days:

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Known mirrors of the latest version of this document:

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   http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/faq/preamble.html (Multipart ed.)

 

You may also request my latest working version at: michael@mcurrent.name

 

    **********************************************************************

    *  For other 8-bit Atari related FAQs please see the "Welcome FAQ":  *

    *    ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/atari-8-bit/welcome                 *

    *    http://faqs.cs.uu.nl/na-dir/atari-8-bit/welcome.html            *

    *    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/welcome/                   *

    **********************************************************************

 

UPDATES SINCE PREVIOUS POSTING:

2009.09.26 6.9 added link to advice on cleaning drive heads

2009.08.31 11.1 Mario Bros. versions clarified

2009.08.21 5.1 the 1030 was by Penril

2009.08.09 1.11 substantial 6502 discussion revision

2009.08.06 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.11 late-run 400/800 include the SALLY 6502.

 

 

 

Subject: 0.1) Table of contents

 

 0.1) Table of contents

 

     The Computers

 1.1) What is an Atari 8-bit computer?

 1.2) What is the Atari 400?

 1.3) What is the Atari 800?

 1.4) What is the Atari 1200XL?

 1.5) What is the Atari 600XL?

 1.6) What is the Atari 800XL?

 1.7) What is the Atari 65XE?

 1.8) What is the Atari 130XE?

 1.9) What is the Atari 800XE?

 1.10) What is the Atari XE video game system?

 1.11) What are SALLY, ANTIC, CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, POKEY, and FREDDIE?

 1.12) Why do the ANTIC Modes start with "Mode 2", what about 0 or 1?

 1.13) What is the internal layout of the 8-bit Atari?

 1.14) Who designed the Atari 8-bit computers?

 1.15) What issues surround NTSC vs. PAL vs. SECAM computer versions?

 1.16) What are the pinouts for the various ports on the Atari?

 

     Video Display and Sound Speakers

 2.1) What video display devices and speakers can I use with my Atari?

 2.2) What is artifacting?

 

     Mass Storage

 3.1) What are the Atari 410, 1010, XC11, and XC12 Program Recorders?

 3.2) What other cassette recorders can I use with my Atari?

 3.3) How do I run a program from cassette?

 3.4) What are the Atari 810, 815, 1050, and XF551 Disk Drives?

 3.5) What other floppy disk drives can I use with my Atari?

 3.6) What kinds of 5.25" floppy disks can I use with my Atari drives?

 3.7) What can I do to extend the life of my floppy disks?

 3.8) What hard drives were designed for my Atari?

 3.9) How can my Atari utilize my PC's or Mac's storage drives?

 3.10) How can I use SD/MMC cards with my Atari?

 3.11) How can I use a USB flash drive with my Atari?

 

     Printers

 4.1) What are the Atari 820, 822, and 825 Printers?

 4.2) What are the Atari 1020, 1025, 1027, and 1029 Printers?

 4.3) What are the Atari XMM801 and XDM121 Printers?

 4.4) What other printers can I use with my Atari?

 4.5) How can my Atari utilize my PC's or Mac's printer?

 

     MODEMs and networking hardware

 5.1) What are the Atari 830, 835, 1030, XM301, and SX212 Modems?

 5.2) What other modems can I use with my Atari?

 5.3) How can I my Atari utilize my PC's modem/network?

 5.4) What networking hardware is there for the Atari?

 5.5) How can I connect my Atari to a high-speed/Ethernet network?

 

     Hardware interfaces

 6.1) What is the Atari 850 Interface Module?

 6.2) What is the Atari XEP80 Interface Module?

 6.3) How can I use a SCSI/SASI device with my Atari?

 6.4) How can I use an IDE device with my Atari?

 6.5) Can I attach an ISA card to my Atari?

 6.6) How can I use a USB device with my Atari?

 

     More hardware

 6.7) What are the power requirements for my Atari components?

 6.8) What accessories did Atari produce for their 8-bit computers?

 6.9) What preventative maintenance can I do on my Atari system?

 6.10) What graphics tablets were produced for the Atari?

 6.11) What light pens were produced for the Atari?

 6.12) What light guns were produced for the Atari?

 6.13) What paddles were produced for the Atari?

 6.14) What voice/sound synthesis hardware was produced for the Atari?

 6.15) What sound-digitizers/samplers were produced for the Atari?

 6.16) What sound-enhancement upgrades were produced for the Atari?

 6.17) What MIDI enhancements are there for the Atari?

 6.18) What graphics enhancements are there for the Atari?

 6.19) What types of memory upgrades are there for the Atari?

 

     Core software: OS, BASIC, DOS, Modem handlers

 7.1) What versions of the Atari Operating System (OS) are there?

 7.2) What other operating systems have been produced for the Atari?

 7.3) What is the ATASCII character set?

 7.4) What is Atari BASIC?

 7.5) What are Atari DOS I, DOS II, DOS 3, DOS 2.5, and DOS XE?

 7.6) What are MyDOS, SpartaDOS, and other popular DOS versions?

 7.7) How do I modify Atari DOS to support more than two drives?

 7.8) Are there Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for the Atari?

 7.9) What should I know about modem device handlers?

 

     Software

 8.1) What programming languages are available for the Atari?

 8.2) What cartridges were released for the Right Slot of the 800?

 8.3) What games support 4 or more simultaneous players?

 8.4) What programs run only on the 400 and 800 models, and why?

 8.5) What programs use a light pen or a light gun?

 8.6) What programs have a trackball mode or support a mouse?

 8.7) What programs use paddle controllers?

 8.8) What programs have a CX85 Numerical Keypad mode?

 8.9) What programs use: Touch Tablet or KoalaPad/Animation Station?

 8.10) What kinds of extra RAM and RAMdisks can be installed?

 8.11) What programs support more than 64K RAM?

 8.12) What programs require more than 64K RAM?

 8.13) What voice/sound synthesis software is there for the Atari?

 8.14) What programs support stereo and upgraded sound?

 8.15) What games support online action via modem?

 8.16) What programs support Atari computer networking?

 

     Working with Atari files: Compression, File formats, Copying

 9.1) How can I work with .arc files on my 8-bit Atari?

 9.2) What file formats for entire disks/tapes/cartridges are there?

 9.3) How can I copy my copy-protected Atari software?

 

     Interoperating with "modern" computers

 10.1) What programs can log in to other computers via modem?

 10.2) What programs can I use to host a BBS on the Atari?

 10.3) How can I read/write Atari disks on an MS-DOS PC?

 10.4) How can I read/write MS-DOS PC disks on my Atari?

 10.5) How do I transfer files using a null modem cable?

 10.6) How can my PC utilize my Atari disk drive?

 10.7) What about interoperating with the Apple Macintosh?

 10.8) Are there 8-bit Atari tools for the Commodore Amiga?

 

     Timeline

 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform?

 

 

 

Subject: 1.1) What is an Atari 8-bit computer?

 

Based in Silicon Valley in the U.S.A., the company known as Atari produced

a line of home computers from 1979 to 1992 often referred to collectively as

the "Atari 8-bits," the "8-bit Ataris," the "400/800/XL/XE series," etc.

 

The computers included the 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL, 65XE, 130XE, 800XE,

and the XE video game system.

 

Notable home computers that were introduced before the Atari 400/800:

1977: Apple II, Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 (Model I), Commodore PET

 

Notable home computers that were introduced after the Atari 400/800:

1979: Texas Instruments TI-99/4

1980: Commodore VIC-20, TRS-80 Color Computer, Osborne 1

1981: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, IBM PC, Sinclair ZX81 / TS 1000, BBC Micro

1982: Kaypro II, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64

1983: Coleco Adam, MSX

1984: Apple Macintosh, Amstrad CPC

1985: Atari ST, Commodore Amiga

1987: Acorn Archimedes

 

In marketing their computers to the public, Atari always had to contend with

their company history and reputation as a maker of video games.  While the

8-bit Atari computers in their heyday were technically quite comparable if not

superior in the worlds of home and business personal computing, they also live

up to the name "Atari" with a huge library of video games which were often

outstanding for their time.

 

The 8-bit Atari computers do not use the same cartridges or floppy disks as

any other Atari platforms, such as the 2600 Video Computer System (VCS), the

5200 SuperSystem, the 7800 ProSystem, or the ST/TT/Falcon computers.  All of

these but the 5200, however, do share the same joystick/controller hardware

port.

 

The 5200 SuperSystem is actually nearly identical to the 8-bit computers

internally, yet cartridges for the 5200 and the 8-bit computers cannot be

exchanged, primarily due to the physically different cartridge ports.

 

Here are some of the performance specifications of the 8-bit Atari computers:

 

CPU: 6502B (most 400/800) or Atari SALLY 6502 (late 400/800 and all XL/XE)

 

CPU CLOCK RATE:

       NTSC machines: 1.7897725 MHz

  PAL/SECAM machines: 1.7734470 MHz

 

SCREEN REFRESH RATE:

      59.94 Hz (NTSC machines) or 49.86 Hz (PAL/SECAM machines)

 

GRAPHICS MODES:

ANTIC  GTIA    CIO/BASIC     Display     Resolution        Number of

Mode # Mode #  Graphics #    Type        (full screen)     Colors/Hues

----------------------------------------------------------------------

  2               0          Char         40 x 24            1 *

  3               -          Char         40 x 19            1 *

  4              12 ++       Char         40 x 24            5

  5              13 ++       Char         40 x 12            5

  6               1          Char         20 x 24            5

  7               2          Char         20 x 12            5

  8               3          Map          40 x 24            4

  9               4          Map          80 x 48            2

  A               5          Map          80 x 48            4

  B               6          Map         160 x 96            2

  C              14 ++       Map         160 x 192           2

  D               7          Map         160 x 96            4

  E              15 ++       Map         160 x 192           4

  F               8          Map         320 x 192           1 *

 +F       1       9          Map          80 x 192           1 **

 +F       2      10          Map          80 x 192           9

 +F       3      11          Map          80 x 192           16 ***

  * 1 Hue, 2 Luminances

 ** 1 Hue, 16 Luminances (GTIA); or, 1 Hue, 8 Luminances (FGTIA)

*** 16 Hues, 1 Luminance

  + require the GTIA/FGTIA chip. (1979-1981 400/800's shipped with CTIA.)

 ++ Not available via the BASIC GRAPHICS command in 400/800 version of OS.

 

(See a separate section in this FAQ list for a discussion of the "missing"

ANTIC Modes 0 and 1.)

 

GRAPHICS INDIRECTION (COLOR REGISTERS AND CHARACTER SETS):

Nine color registers are available.  Each color register holds any of 16

luminances x 16 hues = 256 colors.  (Four registers are for player-missile

graphics.

 

Character sets of 128 8x8 characters, each with a normal and an inverse

video incarnation, are totally redefinable.

 

PLAYER-MISSILE GRAPHICS:  (byte height and OR corrections from Piotr Fusik)

    Four 8-bit wide, 120 or 240 byte high single color players, and four

    2-bit wide, 120 or 240 byte high single color missiles are available.

    A mode to combine the 4 missiles into a 5th 8-bit wide player is also

    available, as is a mode to OR colors or blacken out colors when players

    overlap (good for making three colors out of two players!)  Players

    and missiles have adjustable priority and collision detection.

 

DISPLAY LIST:

    Screen modes can be mixed (by lines) down the screen using the Display

    List - a program which is executed by the ANTIC graphics chip every

    screen refresh.

 

DISPLAY LIST INTERRUPTS (DLI's):

    Other screen attributes (color, player/missile horizontal position,

    screen width, player/missile/playfield priority, etc.) can be adjusted

    at any point down the screen via DLI's.

 

SCROLLING:

    Fine scrolling (both vertical and horizontal) can be enabled on any

    line on the screen.

 

SOUND:

    Sound is monaural/monophonic (one channel output).

 

    Up to 4 separate simultaneous voices can be produced, configured as one of

    the following:

     - 4 voices, each with one of 256 unique frequencies/pitches

     - 2 voices, each with one of 65,536 unique frequencies/pitches

     - 1 voice with one of 65,536 pitches and 2 voices with one of 256 pitches

 

    Each voice may be produced with one of 8 available "noise" settings/

    polynomial-counter combinations, commonly called "distortion" settings.

      (There are actually only 6 distinct combinations of 3 poly-counters

      offered, but one of the poly-counters has 2 available settings itself,

      resulting in 2 additional noise settings for the total of 8 available.)

 

    Each voice may be produced at one of 16 volumes.

 

    Direct control of the position of the speaker cone is also available, with

    4-bit (16 position) resolution.  Known as "volume only mode" on the Atari.

 

    A fifth "voice" is produced as a separate signal by the internal speaker

    on the Atari 400/800.  This is typically used only for keyclick and

    buzzer.  In XL/XE systems these sounds are output as part of the normal

    monaural audio output signal.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.2) What is the Atari 400?

 

Released along with the 800 in 1979, the 400 was the low-end model of the two.

The only 8-bit Atari with a membrane keyboard rather than a full-stroke

keyboard.  One of the few 8-bit Ataris lacking a composite monitor port.

Originally released with just 8K RAM, but most were sold with 16K RAM.

 

Atari sold the 48K RAM Expansion Kit for the 400, which required a little

soldering, to dealers only.

 

Most Atari 400 machines include a standard 6502 microprocessor, but late-

production units use a revised CPU Board that features Atari's SALLY 6502.

 

On the 400, joystick controller port #4 is the only port that supports a light

pen or light gun.

 

Features unique to the 400/800 models:

  - Four controller (joystick) ports

  - Internal speaker for keyclicks and system buzzer

  - Memo Pad mode

  - +12 volts on pin 12 of the SIO port

 

Boot options:

   Memo Pad

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer.

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

 

Versions of the Atari 400:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) version

     - TV Channel switch: (2 - 3)

     - CTIA (early production) or GTIA (most)

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version

     - TV Channel switch (channels vary by country)

     - GTIA

 

Rare variation of the 400:

  o  At least some of the few Atari 400 units (PAL) sold by Atari in France

have been reported to include a built-in peritel cable.  PICTURES, ANYONE???

http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62346&st=25

 

Atari marketing used the trademark, The Basic Computer, as an alternative name

for the 400 from 1981-1982.

 

The 400 was made in the USA (early production) and Hong Kong (later

production).

 

Production of the 400 ended in May 1983.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.3) What is the Atari 800?

 

Released along with the 400 in 1979, the 800 was the high-end model of the

two.  The 800 is the only 8-bit Atari with a Right Cartridge slot, in addition

to the Left Cartridge slot as present on all 8-bit Ataris.  Originally

released with just 8K RAM, many were sold with 16K, later on 48K was standard.

 

The 800 is also the only 8-bit Atari with a four-slot modular design, where

the first slot holds the CX801 (CX801-P for PAL machines) 10K ROM module, and

the other three slots hold combinations of CX852 8K or CX853 16K RAM modules.

 

Jason Harmon writes: (12 Feb 2004)

"..the early ones had plastic cases on the ROM and RAM modules, and had two

thumb tabs to remove the cover to access the modules.  Later model 800s had

48K standard, and to improve cooling Atari installed them without the cases

but put a small plastic strip across the tops of the cards to hold them in

position.  These machines also lost the thumb tabs and have regular screws to

secure the cover over the memory slots."

 

Most Atari 800 machines include a standard 6502 microprocessor, but late-

production units use a revised CPU Board that features Atari's SALLY 6502.

 

Features unique to the 400/800 models:

  - Four controller (joystick) ports

  - Internal speaker for keyclicks and system buzzer

  - Memo Pad mode

  - +12 volts on pin 12 of the SIO port

 

Boot options:

   Memo Pad

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer.

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

 

Versions of the Atari 800:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) version

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

     - CTIA (early production) or GTIA (most)

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version

     - TV Channel switch (channels vary by country)

     - GTIA

 

Rare variation of the 800:

  o  At least some of the few Atari 800 units (PAL) sold by Atari in France

have been reported to include an 8-bit DIN monitor port.  PICTURES, ANYONE???

http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62346&st=25

 

The 800 was made in the USA.

 

Production of the 800 ended in May 1983.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.4) What is the Atari 1200XL?

 

Introduced as a big brother to the 400/800 in 1982 and shipped in 1983, the

1200XL was the biggest single step forward in development of the 8-bit Atari

platform.  Innovations in comparison to the 400/800 include a full 64K of RAM

and a newly revised and expanded 16K Operating System.

 

The 1200XL is the only Atari to feature two LED indicator lights (L1, L2).

Normally they are both <OFF>.  L1 <ON> means the keyboard is disabled.

L2 <ON> means the new International Character Set is selected.

 

Keyboard enhancements introduced with the 1200XL include the new [HELP] key as

well as four programmable functions keys ([F1], [F2], [F3], [F4]).  Clicks and

system beeps output through the built-in speaker on the 400/800 are heard from

the television or monitor speaker on the 1200XL.

 

  1200XL Function key effects, redefinable:

     [F1] Cursor up          [SHIFT]+[F1] Cursor to upper-left corner

     [F2] Cursor down        [SHIFT]+[F2] Cursor to lower-left corner

     [F3] Cursor left        [SHIFT]+[F3] Cursor to start of physical line

     [F4] Cursor right       [SHIFT]+[F4] Cursor to end of physical line

 

  1200XL Function key effects, non-redefinable:

     [CONTROL]+[F1] Keyboard enable/disable (console keys unaffected)

     [CONTROL]+[F2] Screen display enable/disable

     [CONTROL]+[F3] Key click sound enable/disable

     [CONTROL]+[F4] Domestic/International character set toggle

 

A few features from the 400/800 are lacking in the 1200XL.  Most prominently,

the 1200XL has only 2 controller ports, and no Memo Pad mode.  Also, the

1200XL lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5 on the Monitor port, and

lacks the +12 volts on pin 12 of the SIO port.  Furthermore, the 1200XL is the

only Atari that lacks the +5 volts on pin 10 of the SIO port.

 

Boot options:

   "ATARI" rainbow logo/graphics demo screen

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

      - Press [HELP] from the "ATARI" logo screen to access Self Test program.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer.

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

 

Box: "A Step Into the Future"

 

The 1200XL was only produced in an NTSC version for North America.

 

Production of the 1200XL ended in June 1983.

 

According to 1200XL serial number analysis by Karl Heller (2007), about

105,000 1200XL units were produced in total:

   o From Mid March to late May USA production was about 78500 units in not so

     sequential order.

   o From early April to late June Taiwan produced about 26000 units in

     perfect sequential order.

   AtariAge thread: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=107234

 

Scott Stilphen mentioned this 1200XL easter egg on 10 Feb 2006:

   On 1200XLs, if you select 'all tests', when it gets to the keyboard test

   it'll type out the programmer's name.

 

1200XL visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/1200xl/

 

 

 

Subject: 1.5) What is the Atari 600XL?

 

Released in 1983 as a replacement for the 400, the 600XL is the low-end

version of the 800XL.  The 600XL/800XL include most of the features of the

1200XL, minus the 4 Function keys, the 2 LED lights, and the "ATARI" logo

screen.  But both the 600XL and 800XL have the Atari BASIC language built-in.

In addition, these two systems offer the Parallel Bus Interface (PBI),

providing fast parallel access to the heart of the computer.  The 600XL has

16K RAM.

 

The Atari 1064 Memory Module expands the 600XL from 16K to 64K RAM.

 

Boot options:

   Atari BASIC (Rev. B)

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Self Test program

      - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

        installed and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer. 

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled

      - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

        powered disk drive.

 

Box: "Feature For Feature, Your Best Value"

 

Versions of the Atari 600XL:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by

     Atari, Inc.

     - No Monitor port

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by Atari, Inc.

     - Includes Monitor port, but this lacks the separate luminance and

       chrominance video signals

     - No TV channel switch

 

Rare variations of the 600XL:

  o  Some late-model 600XLs were sold with 64K RAM.  These may have only

appeared in Canada.  The box had a round gold foil sticker reading:

"64k Memory -- Now with a full 64k of memory built-in."

 

5 different types of 600XL/800XL keyboards were nicely documented by Beetle

here: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105170

 

The 600XL was made in Hong Kong and Japan.

 

Production of the 600XL was discontinued by July 1984.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.6) What is the Atari 800XL?

 

Released in 1983 as a replacement for the 800 and 1200XL, the 800XL is the

high-end version of the 600XL.  The 600XL/800XL include most of the features

of the 1200XL, minus the 4 Function keys, the 2 LED lights, and the "ATARI"

logo screen.  But both the 600XL and 800XL have the Atari BASIC language

built-in.  In addition, these two systems offer the Parallel Bus Interface

(PBI), providing fast parallel access to the heart of the computer.  The 800XL

contains 64K RAM.

 

Boot options:

   Atari BASIC (Rev. B or Rev. C, see below)

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Self Test program

      - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

        installed and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer.  

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled

      - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

        powered disk drive.

 

Box: "More Memory Means More Power"

 

Versions of the Atari 800XL:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by

     Atari, Inc.

     - Monitor port lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

     - Atari BASIC Revision B

     - Made in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

     - Some internal pics:

       http://atarinside.dyndns.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=74

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by Atari, Inc.

     - Monitor port lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5

     - No TV channel switch

     - Atari BASIC Revision B

     - Visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/800xlpal/

     - More internal pics:

       http://atarinside.dyndns.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=73

     - Made in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version, produced fall 1984 by Atari Corp.

     - "800XLF" motherboard

     - FREDDIE memory management chip

     - Earlier production: Monitor port lacks the chrominance signal on pin 5

       Later production: chrominance signal is present on Monitor port pin 5

     - No TV channel switch

     - Atari BASIC Revision C

     - Made in Taiwan.

 

  o  SECAM (France) version, produced fall 1984 by Atari Corp.

     - "SECAM ROSE" motherboard

     - FREDDIE memory management chip

     - FGTIA, paired with the PAL ANTIC

     - Monitor port has unique pinout, 6 pins instead of 5;

       includes composite video but not chrominance nor luminance signals

     - No TV jack

     - No TV channel switch

     - Internal color/monochrome switch

     - Atari BASIC Revision C

     - Visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/800xlsecam

     - More internal pics:

       http://atarinside.dyndns.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=15

     - Made in Taiwan.

 

5 different types of 600XL/800XL keyboards were nicely documented by Beetle

here: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105170

 

Production of the 800XL was discontinued by 1985.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.7) What is the Atari 65XE?

 

Introduced in 1985 as a direct replacement for the 800XL, the 65XE is a low-

end version of the 130XE.

 

The 65XE offers 64K RAM, and includes the FREDDIE memory management chip.

 

The 65XE does not include the PBI port as on the 600XL/800XL, but many 65XE

machines include the similar (though physically incompatible) Enhanced

Cartridge Interface (ECI).

 

Boot options:

   Atari BASIC (Rev. C)

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Self Test program

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

        installed and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. 

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [Play] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [Return] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

        powered disk drive.

 

Versions of the Atari 65XE:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) without ECI port (common production)

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

 

  o  NTSC (North America) with ECI port (uncommon/rare late production)

     - NTSC 130XE motherboard

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version without ECI port (uncommon early production)

     - No TV channel switch

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version with ECI port (common later production)

     - (Identical to 800XE)

     - PAL 130XE motherboard

     - No TV channel switch

     - Reports of some 65XE machines previously labeled as 800XE machines

       and vice versa.

 

  o  PAL (Arabia) version

     - "65XEN" motherboard

     - ECI port

     - No TV channel switch

     - Arabic localized OS

     - More info: http://www.savetz.com/vintagecomputers/arabic65xe/

     - Visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/65xearab

 

(The 65XE was not marketed in France.)

 

The 65XE was made in Taiwan (common) and China (late production).

 

 

 

Subject: 1.8) What is the Atari 130XE?

 

Released in 1985, the 130XE is the high-end version of the 65XE/800XE.

 

The 130XE offers 128K RAM, and includes the FREDDIE memory management chip.

 

The 130XE does not include the PBI port as on the 600XL/800XL, but it does

include the similar (though physically incompatible) Enhanced Cartridge

Interface (ECI).

 

Boot options:

   Atari BASIC (Rev. C)

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Self Test program

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

        installed and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. 

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [Play] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [Return] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

        powered disk drive.

 

Versions of the Atari 130XE:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) version

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version

     - No TV channel switch

 

  o  SECAM (France) version

     - FGTIA; PAL ANTIC

     - No TV jack

     - No TV channel switch

     - Color/Monochrome switch

     - a distant image of the rear of the unit, middle unit pictured here:

       http://www.silicium.org/images/catalog/atari/atari_3xe_culs.jpg

 

The 130XE was made in Taiwan (common) and China (late production).

 

 

 

Subject: 1.9) What is the Atari 800XE?

 

Introduced in 1985 in markets including Germany and Eastern Europe as a

direct replacement for the 800XL, the 800XE is a low-end version of the 130XE.

 

The 800XE offers 64K RAM, and includes the FREDDIE memory management chip.

 

The 800XE does not include the PBI port as on the 600XL/800XL, but it does

include the similar (though physically incompatible) Enhanced Cartridge

Interface (ECI).

 

Boot options:

   Atari BASIC (Rev. C)

      - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Self Test program

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

        installed and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. 

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [Play] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [Return] to load and run cassette program.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled

      - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

        powered disk drive.

 

The 800XE was produced in a PAL (Europe) version only:

     - Identical to common PAL 65XE version with ECI port:

       - PAL 130XE motherboard

       - TV channel switch: some include it, some do not

     - Reports of some 800XE machines previously labeled as 65XE machines

       and vice versa.

 

Some images of the 800XE:

http://www.silicium.org/atari/800xe.htm

 

Jindrich Kubec writes, "The problematic Chinese 800XEs with GTIA problems were

manufactured in 1992."

 

The 800XE was made in Taiwan (common) and China (late production).

 

The 800XE was last manufactured in 1992.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.10) What is the Atari XE video game system?

 

In a change of marketing strategy, Atari introduced the new XE video game

system in 1987.  The XE System is a true 8-bit Atari computer system.  It

offers the convenience of a detachable keyboard and built-in Missile Command

game, while offering 64K RAM and full compatibility with the XL/XE computers.

FREDDIE memory management chip included.

 

The full XE Video Game System package included Keyboard, Light Gun, joystick,

and the Flight Simulator II and Bug Hunt cartridges.

http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/systems/xegamesystem.jpg

 

Also sold separately:

  o  XE System Console with joystick

     http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystem1.jpg

  o  XE System Keyboard with Flight Simulator II cartridge

http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystem3toetsenbord.jpg

  o  XE System Light Gun XG-1 with Bug Hunt cartridge

     http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystemgun2.jpg

 

Boot options:

   Missile Command

     (a) With XE keyboard not connected:

         - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk

           drive.

     (b) With XE keyboard connected:

         - Hold down [Select] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

           inserted and no powered disk drive.

   Self Test program

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge

        installed and no powered disk drive.

   Cartridge

      - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted.

   Cassette

      1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. 

         (System buzzer sounds.)

      2. Press [Play] on the program recorder.

      3. Press [Start] on the XE console to load and run cassette program.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled

     (a) With XE keyboard not connected:

         - Hold down [Select] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

           powered disk drive.

     (b) With XE keyboard connected:

         - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive.

   Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled

      - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in

        powered disk drive.

 

Versions of the Atari XE System produced:

 

  o  NTSC (North America) version

     - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3

 

  o  PAL (Europe) version

     - No TV channel switch

 

  o  SECAM (France) version

     - FGTIA; PAL ANTIC

     - No TV channel switch

 

The XE System Console was made in Taiwan.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.11) What are SALLY, ANTIC, CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, POKEY, and FREDDIE?

 

Portions of this section are based on the "System Overview" Section, written

by Atari's Cris Crawford, of Atari's De Re Atari (Atari#APX-90008).  The full

text of De Re Atari: http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/

 

The internal layout of the Atari 8-bit computer is very different from other

systems.  It of course has a microprocessor (a 6502), random-access memory

(RAM), read-only memory (ROM), and a peripheral interface adapter (PIA,

CO12298/CO14795, a standard 6520).  However, it also has three special-purpose

large-scale integration (LSI) chips known as ANTIC, one of CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA,

and POKEY.  These chips were designed by Atari engineers primarily to take

much of the burden of housekeeping off of the 6502, thereby freeing the 6502

to concentrate on computations.  While they were at it, they designed a great

deal of power into these chips.  Each of these chips is almost as big (in

terms of silicon area) as a 6502, so the three of them together provide a

tremendous amount of power.  Mastering the Atari 8-bit computers is primarily

a matter of mastering these three chips.

 

 

6502/SALLY  Central Processing Unit (CPU)  --  6502B (400/800,most):CO14377

==========                     SALLY 6502 (400/800,late)(XL/XE,all):CO14806

The Microprocessor Unit (MPU), typically (and less-precisely) described as the

Central Processing Unit (CPU), in most Atari 400/800 computers is a standard

40-pin 6502 microprocessor.  More specifically, most Atari 400/800 computers

use a 6502B, which is a standard 6502 rated for a maximum operating frequency

of 3 MHz.  The 6502 was designed by Chuck Peddle and Bill Mensch for

MOS Technology in 1975.  In addition to MOS Technology, the 6502B has also

been produced by Synertek and Rockwell.

 

Late production 400/800 computers and all of the Atari XL/XE computer models

(plus the Atari 5200 and 7800 game systems) contain Atari's customized

version of the 6502 chip, known (eventually) as SALLY.  The innovation of the

SALLY 6502 is the addition of the HALT' signal on pin 35.  The SALLY 6502 also

has a second R/W' signal on pin 36 (in addition to pin 34).  Pins 35 and 36

are not connected on a standard 6502.

 

The Atari's second microprocessor, ANTIC, must routinely interrupt the 6502 in

order to utilize the processor bus for itself for direct memory access (DMA).

HALT' on the SALLY 6502 facilitates this system design.  Atari's earlier

implementation of the same functionality in the 400/800 with the standard 6502

requires a series of 4 additional chips that are unnecessary in computers

designed for the SALLY 6502. 

 

Note that before finally adopting the name SALLY, Atari briefly referred to

their customized version of the 6502 by the name, "6502C".  The Atari SALLY

"6502C" is not to be confused with the standard 6502C, which is a standard

6502 rated for a maximum operating frequency of 4 MHz.

 

6502.org "the 6502 microprocessor resource": http://www.6502.org/

 

 

ANTIC --  400/800/1200XL,NTSC:CO12296        400/800,PAL:CO14887

=====     600XL/800XL/XE,NTSC:CO21697          XL/XE,PAL:CO21698

(The XL/XE PAL ANTIC is also used in SECAM XL/XE machines.)

ANTIC ("AlphaNumeric Television Interface Controller" --FD100001 Rev.02 p.1-8)

is a microprocessor dedicated to the television display.  It is a true

microprocessor; it has an instruction set, a program (called the display

list), and data.  The display list and the display data are written into RAM

by the 6502.  ANTIC retrieves this information from RAM using direct memory

access (DMA).  It processes the higher level instructions in the display list

and translates these instructions into a real-time stream of simple

instructions to CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA.

 

ANTIC(NTSC) C012296 techical documentation by Atari:

http://www.retromicro.com/files/atari/8bit/antic.pdf

 

 

CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA  --  CTIA(NTSC):CO12295       GTIA,PAL:CO14889

===============       GTIA,NTSC:CO14805   FGTIA(SECAM):CO20120

CTIA = "Color Television Interface Adaptor" --FD100001 Rev.02 p.1-10

GTIA = "Graphics Television Interface Adaptor" --FD100001 Rev.02 p.1-10

FGTIA = "French Graphics Television Interface Adaptor" (mc's guess)

 

The CTIA, GTIA, or FGTIA is the television interface chip.  ANTIC directly

controls most of the operations of the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, although the 6502 can

also be programmed to intercede and control some or all of the functions of

the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA.  The CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA converts the digital commands

from ANTIC (or the 6502) into the video signal output.

 

In addition to its basic television/video interface function, the

CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA performs color-luminance control for the entire video signal,

player-missile control, and both priority control and collision detection

among player-missiles and the background.  The CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA also reads the

controller port trigger inputs, it reads console keys (Start/Select/Option),

and it controls the built-in speaker in the 400/800.

 

Early North American NTSC 400/800 models shipped with CTIA.  Later NTSC

400/800 models, all PAL 400/800's, and all NTSC XL/XE and PAL XL/XE systems

include GTIA.  SECAM 800XL, 130XE and XE game systems include FGTIA.

 

The GTIA is backwards-compatible with the CTIA, with the GTIA simply making

available three additional graphics modes (GTIA Modes 1-3).

 

Jerry Jessop adds:

  "The very first proto systems did have the GTIA, but it had some

  problems and was not released in the consumer version until 1981.  The

  GTIA was completed before the CTIA."

 

The FGTIA is software compatible with the GTIA.  However, in GTIA Mode 1 the

FGTIA can only display 8 distinct luminances, compared to the 16 distinct

luminances that can be displayed in GTIA Mode 1 by the GTIA.

 

The NTSC CTIA/GTIA were designed to interface with the NTSC ANTIC.

The PAL GTIA and the FGTIA were designed to interface with the PAL ANTIC.

 

Whether CTIA or GTIA/FGTIA is installed can be determined by observing what

happens as a result of trying to enter a GTIA graphics mode.  In Atari BASIC,

at the "READY" prompt, type POKE 623,64 [RETURN].  If the screen blackens, you

have the GTIA or FGTIA chip.  If it stays blue, you have the early CTIA chip.

 

Technical documentation by Atari:

GTIA(NTSC) C014805: http://www.retromicro.com/files/atari/8bit/gtia.pdf

FGTIA:

http://ftp.pigwa.net/stuff/collections/nir_dary_cds/Tech%2520Info/FGTIA.PDF

 

 

POKEY  --  CO12294

=====

POKEY (name derived from POtentiometer and KEYboard) is a digital input/output

(I/O) chip.  It handles such disparate tasks as the serial I/O bus, audio

generation, keyboard scan, and random number generation.  It also digitizes

the resistive paddle inputs and controls maskable interrupt (IRQ) requests

from peripherals.

 

POKEY Technical documentation by Atari:

http://www.retromicro.com/files/atari/8bit/pokey.pdf

 

 

FREDDIE  --  800XL(late),XE(all):CO61922/CO61991

=======

According to Atari's design specification, the "Freddie RAM" Memory Control

Unit (MPU) is a custom LSI chip providing dynamic RAM (DRAM) control

functions.  It replaces a number of small-scale integration (SSI) and medium-

scale integration (MSI) transistor-transistor logic (TTL) parts, including a

custom delay line.  FREDDIE multiplexes 16-bit RAM addresses from the

processor bus into 8-bit row and 8-bit column addresses for direct use in the

DRAM, and it generates row and column DRAM address timing strobes.

 

FREDDIE was initially designed by Atari Inc. in 1983 as chip that would cut

production costs for future XL computers.  FREDDIE was finally incorporated by

Atari Corp. into late-production 800XL computers and in all XE computers

systems.

 

"FREDDIE" or "FREDDY"?

Atari technical documentation consistently uses "FREDDIE" while Atari end-user

documentation (Owner's Manuals for all XE systems) consistently uses "FREDDY."

This FAQ List adopts the original convention from Atari's technical

documentation: "FREDDIE"

 

FREDDIE technical documentation by Atari:

www.atarimuseum.com/ahs_archives/archives/pdf/computers/8bits/freddie-mcu.pdf

 

 

 

Subject: 1.12) Why do the ANTIC Modes start with "Mode 2", what about 0 or 1?

 

This section started by: Laurent Delsarte.  Thanks also to Alphasys.

 

Actually, the ANTIC graphic mode numbers are directly used as instructions

in Display Lists (DL), to request the display of several lines of a specific

text or graphic mode.  For instance, the instruction "2" (for "Mode 2") in an

ANTIC Display List requests 8 scan lines of "text 0".

 

But the instructions "0" and "1" already have other meanings in an ANTIC

Display List program:

  "0" means "display one blank line"

  "1" means "jump to location"

 

and to be comprehensive, 16 (hex: 10), also means something special:

  "16" means "display two blank lines"

 

Consequently, the first ANTIC mode is the "Mode 2", and the last one is

"Mode 15".

 

Here is the context of the full ANTIC display list instruction set:

 

 Instruction   BASIC   Scan   Pixels  Bytes  Comments

Decimal   Hex   mode   lines   line   line

 

Blank Line instructions

  0        0     --       1     --     --    1 blank line

 16       10     --       2     --     --    2 blank lines

 32       20     --       3     --     --    3 blank lines

 48       30     --       4     --     --    4 blank lines

 64       40     --       5     --     --    5 blank lines

 80       50     --       6     --     --    6 blank lines

 96       60     --       7     --     --    7 blank lines

112       70     --       8     --     --    8 blank lines

 

Character Mode instructions (text modes)

  2        2      0       8     40     40

  3        3     --      10     40     40    Not supported by OS

  4        4     12       8     40     40    400/800: Not supported by OS

  5        5     13      16     40     40    400/800: Not supported by OS

  6        6      1       8     20     20

  7        7      2      16     20     20

 

Map Mode instructions (graphics modes)

  8        8      3       8     40     10

  9        9      4       4     80     10

 10        A      5       4     80     20

 11        B      6       2    160     20

 12        C     14       1    160     20    400/800: Not supported by OS

 13        D      7       2    160     40

 14        E     15       1    160     40    400/800: Not supported by OS

 15        F      8       1    320     40

 

Jump instructions (three bytes long)

  1        1     --      --     --     --    JMP -- jump to location (creates

                                             one blank line on display)

 65       41     --      --     --     --    JVB -- jump and wait until end of

                                             next vertical blank (VBLANK)

 

Optional Modifiers to the above Character or Map Mode instructions:

                           add     add

                         decimal   hex   bit

Vertical scroll             16      10     4

Horizontal scroll           32      20     5

LMS Load Memory Scan        64      40     6

 

Optional Modifier to the above Blank Line or Jump instructions:

DLI Display List Interrupt 128      80     7

 

More details of ANTIC display list programming can be found in the book

"Mapping the Atari", Appendix 8

http://www.atariarchives.org/mapping/appendix8.php

 

and also in the book "De Re Atari", Chapters 2, 5 and 6

http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chapt02.php ANTIC and the display list

http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chapt05.php Display List Interrupts

http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chapt06.php Scrolling

 

 

 

Subject: 1.13) What is the internal layout of the 8-bit Atari?

 

ASCII art by Thomas Havemeister.

 

                  ->

+---------------------------------------+

|          +---------------+            |

|          |CPU/SALLY(6502)|        +-------+

|          +---------------+     <- |  I/O- |

|                  |     +----------|release|

|                 +-+    |          +-------+

| +---------+<-   |p|    |               |

| |   MMU   |-----| |    | <-+---------+-|----------+----------+

*-| memory- |     |r|    *---|   PIA   | | (trigger)|Controller|====\

| |managment|-----|-+--------| (6520)  | |+---------|   Ports  |====/

| +---------+<-   |o| -> |   +---------+-|-+  <-->  +----------+

|                 | |    |               |||           |    |

|   +-----+       |c|    | <-+---------+ |||           |(light pen/light gun)

|   | RAM |<-A/D  | |    *---|  ANTIC  | |||           |    |

*---|8-128|-------|e|----|---|(2nd CPU)|---------------+    |

|   |Kbyte|->D    | | -> |   +---------+ ||| +--------------+

|   +-----+       |s|    |       ||      ||| |

|                 | |    | <-+---------+-|||--------+(screen)

|  +-------+      |s|    *---|CTIA/GTIA|-|+| |      |

|  | Atari |<-A   | |----|---| /FGTIA  | | | | +----------+   +-----------+

|  | BASIC |------|o| -> |   +---------+ | | | | summary  |===| modulator |

*--|8 Kbyte|->D   | |    |               | | | |connection|===| ^^^^^^^^^ |

|  |  ROM  |      |r|    | <-+---------+ | | | +----------+   +-----------+

|  +-------+      | |    +---|  POKEY  |-|-|-+      |(sound)        |

|                 | |--------|         |-|-|--------+               |

|  +-------+      |b| ->     +---------+ | +----------+             |

|  |AtariOS|<-A   | |                 |  |            |             |

*--|10/16Kb|------|u|                 +--|----------+ |         tv/monitor

|  |  ROM  |->D   | +-----------------   |          | |         **********

|  +-------+      |s|              | |   |          | |

|                 | |              | |   |          | |

|                 +-+              +-+   |          | |

|                  |                |    |          | |

+--------------*---|------------*---|    |          | |

               |   |            |   |    |          | |

             +-----------+    +-----------+    +------------+

             |ParallelBus|    | Cartridge |    |   Serial   |

             |Interface/ |    |   Slot    |    |Input/Output|

             | Enhanced  |    |    ROM    |    |    (SIO)   |

             | Cartridge |    +-----------+    +------------+

             | Interface |          |                |

             +-----------+          |                |

                   |                |                |

        - memory expansion    -cartridge with   - disk drive

        - Z80 card             programs         - printer

        - 80 char card         (games , dos )   - modem

 

NOTES

 * RAM: 400: 8K or 16K standard

        800: 8K, 16K, or 48K standard

        600XL: 16K

        1200XL/800XL/65XE/800XE/XEgs: 64K

        130XE: 128K

 * ROM: 400/800: 10K (OS)

        1200XL: 16K (OS)

        XEgs: 32K (16K OS + 8K Atari BASIC + 8K Missile Command)

        all other XL/XE: 24K (16K OS + 8K Atari BASIC)

 * CPU: 400/800(most): 6502B

        400/800(late),XL/XE: Atari SALLY 6502

 * 800 includes two Cartridge Slots, all others include one

 * CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA: Most: GTIA.  Early 400/800: CTIA.  SECAM XL/XE: FGTIA

 * 400/800 have 4 Controller Ports, all others have 2

 * PBI is on 600XL/800XL only

 * ECI is on 130XE/800XE/later 65XE only

 * Some late XE's use a 68B21 for PIA; PIA is 6520/6520A on all others

 

 

 

Subject: 1.14) Who designed the Atari 8-bit computers?

 

Section credits: Jerry Jessop, Scott Emmons, http://www.digitpress.com/,

http://www.atarimuseum.com/

Special thanks: Mr. Doug Neubauer (via James Finnegan); Mr. Gregg Squires

 

Atari 400/800 ("Colleen") hardware engineers:

Steven T. Mayer     - early system design, overall plan

Joseph C. Decuir    - ANTIC logic design, early system design, overall plan

Jay G. Miner        - System architect (became manager of development of both

                      VLSI custom chips and OS software), overall plan

Douglas G. Neubauer - POKEY logic design (also wrote: Star Raiders)

George McLeod       - CTIA/GTIA logic design

Ronald E. Milner    - early system design

Francois Michel     - ANTIC design

Mark Shieu          - POKEY chip design

Steve Stone         - POKEY layout design

Steve Smith         - Technician for ANTIC and GTIA

Delwin Pearson      - Technician for POKEY

Kevin McKinsey      - 400/800 case design

 

Atari 400/800 Operating System software engineers:

David Crane         - OS design, programming

Larry Kaplan        - OS design, programming

                      (also wrote: Video Easel, Super Breakout)

Alan Miller         - OS design, programming (also wrote: Basketball)

Harry B. Stewart    - consultant, OS design

Gary Palmer         - worked on the I/O portion

Ian Shepard         - disk drive functions

Michael P. Mahar    - Revision B fixes

R. Scott Scheiman   - Revision B fixes

 

Atari 1200XL (Sweet-16/"Elizabeth"/"Liz") computer hardware engineers:

(Atari NY Lab, then W.C.I. Labs, 300 E 42nd St, New York NY)

Steven T. Mayer     - Head of NY Lab, then Chairman and CEO, WCI Labs, Inc.

Gregg Squires       - Project Manager (previously of Racal-Vikonics)

Robert (Bob) Card   - Principal Engineer (previously of Racal-Vikonics)

Steven Ray          - Critical Electronics Layout Designer

                      (previously of Racal-Vikonics)

Joel Moskowitz      - Mechanical Engineer

Philippe des Rioux  - project engineer

Glenn Boles         - project engineer

Henry Dreyfuss Associates - Early case design concepts

Risa Rosenberg      - Secretary to Gregg Squires

 

Atari 1200XL computer hardware engineers: (California)

Regan Cheng         - XL case design

 

Atari 1200XL Operating System ("Z800" revs 10, 11) software engineers:

Harry B. Stewart    - External Reference Specification

Lane Winner         - ?

R. Scott Scheiman   - Handler Loader

Y. M. (Amy) Chen    - Relocating Loader; International Character Set

Mike W. Colburn     - Self Test

Richard K. Nordin   - ?

 

Atari 600XL/800XL ("Surely"/"Surely Plus") computer hardware engineers:

?                   - ?

Regan Cheng         - XL case design

?                   - FREDDIE

?                   - FGTIA

 

Atari 600XL/800XL Operating System ("Surely OS" Revs 1, 2) software engineers:

R. Scott Scheiman   \

Richard K. Nordin   --- Support PBI and on-board BASIC

Y. M. (Amy) Chen    /

 

Atari Corp. 800XL and XE systems hardware engineers:

Jose A. Valdes      - (at Atari from October 1979 - August 1989)

Ira Velinsky        - designer of the XE game system

 

Atari Corp. XE Operating System (Revisions 3, 3B, 4) software engineers:

?                   - ?

 

 

 

Subject: 1.15) What issues surround NTSC vs. PAL vs. SECAM computer versions?

 

Some quick definitions first:

 

NTSC: "National Television Standards Committee"

TV signal standard used in North America, Central America, a number of South

American countries, and some Asian countries, including Japan.

  o  525 lines per frame

  o  60 half-frames per second (interlaced) = 60 Hz

  o  Complete frame refreshed 30 times per second

 

PAL: "Phase Alternation by Line"

TV signal standard used in the United Kingdom, most of the rest of Europe,

several South American countries, some Middle East and Asian countries,

several African countries, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific island

countries.

  o  625 lines per frame

  o  50 half-frames per second (interlaced) = 50 Hz

  o  Complete frame refreshed 25 times per second.

 

SECAM: "Sequentiel couleur avec memoire"

TV signal standard still used in France, the former USSR, and some African

countries.  Until the 1980's SECAM was the standard in eastern Europe,

including East Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

  o  625 lines per frame

  o  50 half-frames per second (interlaced) = 50 Hz

  o  Complete frame refreshed 25 times per second.

 

While the above draws a clear distinction between NTSC and PAL/SECAM, a

further discussion of the NTSC/PAL/SECAM color encoding systems will help to

distinguish between all three standards.

 

=-=-=-=-=

This discussion by Laurent Delsarte (2008.12) (with minor edits by mc).

 

First of all, it is important to remind that NTSC, PAL and SECAM are all

color encoding systems.  They are used in conjunction with older standards

for the base monochrome signals--the old standards that were used when all

the TV sets were still black & white.

 

In other words, the first televisions standards, referenced with letters

(M/B/G/I/K/etc.), were used to broadcast pure monochrome, black & white

images.  The NTSC, PAL and SECAM standards were then introduced to add a

specific color signal to colorize this pure monochrome signal.

 

When the color was introduced, the idea was to remain compatible with the

existing old black & white TV sets, so that these old black & white TV sets

would still continue to be able to display the image (but in black & white,

obviously).

 

In the television world, the black & white image, also known as the

monochrome signal, is called the "luminance" ("Y" for short); whilst the

color information is called the "chrominance" ("C" for short).

 

For every dot defining the image, the "luminance" states how intense

(ranging from pure black to pure white) the dot is.  For every dot defining

the image, the "chrominance" states what is the color of the dot (within

the limit of the color palette that the color standard allows).

 

In the Atari 8-Bit world, the "luminance" notion can be understood if you

use the standard Graphics mode 9: you have just one color at your disposal

(say, white), and all you can do is draw graphics using 16 intensities of

white (ranging from pure black to pure white).  And the "chrominance" notion

can be understood if you use the standard Graphics mode 11: you have 16

colors at your disposal, but they all have the same intensity.  You control

the color, but not the brightness of the color.

 

To display a black & white image, the "luminance" ("Y") signal is enough.

To display a color image, the "luminance" ("Y") and the "chrominance"

("C") signals are needed.  When a black & white TV set receives a color

signal, it uses the "Y" signal as usual and remains unaware of the existence

of the "C" signal.  When a color TV set receives the same color signal, it

processes both "Y" & "C".

 

In practice, the chrominance ("C") is transmitted with two separate

signals, "U" and "V". Now you probably recognize the familiar "YUV" acronym

you've surely seen in discussions related to TV signals.

 

To simplify, PAL & SECAM signals are quite similar, except that they use a

different way to transmit the "U" & "V" signals ("chrominance").  PAL

transmits "U" & "V" together, then the same "U" & "V" information again but

slightly differently, to increase the accuracy.  SECAM transmits "U" then

"V".

 

The way that PAL vs. SECAM handle color is thus very different but since the

black & white TV standards were quite similar across Europe (625 lines / 50

Hz), a PAL TV set is very likely to be able to display a SECAM video signal

(and the other way around), but in black & white (because it can decode "Y"

but not "U" nor "V"). 

 

The situation is totally different with NTSC vs. PAL.  Although they are very

similar in the way they handle color, they are based on totally different

black & white TV standards (625 lines/50 Hz for PAL, 525 lines/60 Hz for

NTSC).  You have to remember that, by design, the 50 & 60 Hz display refresh

frequencies were based on the mains (household electric power supply)

frequencies: 110v 60Hz in USA and 220-240v 50Hz in Europe.  Up to the mid-80s,

devices that were able to handle both 50 & 60 Hz video signals were very

expensive.

 

Nowadays (2009), almost any PAL TV set is able to display a 60 Hz NTSC video

signal.

 

While it often enough to distinguish between NTSC/PAL/SECAM, in practice each

color encoding system has been combined with multiple earlier monochrome

broadcast standards.  Thus, to fully specify the broadcast signal standard

used in any given country, both color system and base monochrome system is

indicated.  Common examples: NTSC M, PAL B/G, SECAM L.  A more complete list:

 

 NTSC M   : USA

 NTSC J   : Japan

  PAL B/G : Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Netherlands,

            Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Suisse, Algeria, Turkey, Ghana,

            India, Israel, New-Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.

  PAL I   : United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong.

  PAL D/K : Romania, China, Burundi, Cameroun, etc.

  PAL M   : Brazil.

  PAL N   : Argentina, Uruguay.

SECAM L/L': France, Monaco

SECAM B/G : Greece, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, etc.

SECAM D/K : Bulgaria, C.E.I., DOM TOM, etc.

 

In France (Europe), in the early 80s, it was possible to buy "SECAM" devices

(TV set, VCR, etc...) or "PAL/SECAM" devices; the latter - being able to

process both SECAM and PAL signals - were more expensive.  For instance,

"PAL/SECAM" TV sets were popular among movies addicts (owning high end

equipment such as PAL LaserDisc players, etc) and for people living close to

a PAL-broadcasting country (at the Belgian border for instance, to receive

the PAL Belgian French-speaking programs).  Last but not least, some

companies did manufacture some PAL-to-RGB "video translators" devices, to

convert a PAL signal into a universal RGB signal, that most SECAM TV sets

were able to accept as video input.  These PAL-to-RGB "video translators"

were quite useful to display PAL signals (from various home computers,

including PAL Atari XL & PAL Commodore 64) on SECAM TV sets.  The models

manufactured by "CGV" (the company still exists, www.cgv.fr) were very

popular and widely available in the computer shops.

(actual pictures available: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/cgv-pvp80.zip )

 

Consequently, in 1984, Atari France was not afraid to distribute PAL 600XL

& 800XL computers in a SECAM country (although it could increase the total

cost of the solution).  Indeed, it would have been dangerous to ignore this

market, where other US competitors were already present and successful

(Commodore 64, Apple II, etc).  The French owners of the PAL Atari XL

computers had two choices:

- Use a PAL/SECAM TV set

- Buy a PAL-to-RGB converter, and use a common SECAM TV set

A couple of months later (Q4, 1984), the SECAM Atari 800XL computers were

finally available.

 

It is worth noting that in the early 80s the Atari 400 and 800 models had

also both been officially distributed in France, but only the PAL models,

and only in specialized computers shops.  Consequently, they were more

difficult to acquire, very expensive and limited to wealthy amateurs.

 

=-=-=-=-=

Piotr Fusik writes (3/06):

   In Poland we had PAL Ataris, which was a problem in the time

   of SECAM.  You could connect a PAL Atari to a SECAM TV, but there was

   no color and (IIRC) no sound.  The solution was to buy an inexpensive

   converter mounted inside the TV, so the TV supported PAL in addition

   to SECAM.  This was quite popular, because the VCRs were PAL, too.

 

=-=-=-=-=

In some ways the specifications of the hardware in the 8-bit Atari computer

are closely linked to the specifications of the television signal standard

used in the market where the machine was designed to be used.  Thus there were

different versions of the Atari computers produced for different markets,

based on the TV standards used in those markets:

 

 NTSC versions: 400,800,1200XL,600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XEgs

PAL B versions: 400,800,600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XEgs

PAL I versions: 400,800,600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XEgs

SECAM versions: 800XL,130XE,XEgs

 

NTSC computers contain NTSC versions of the ANTIC and CTIA/GTIA chips;

PAL computers contain PAL versions of the ANTIC and GTIA chips;

SECAM computers contain a PAL version of the ANTIC chip, and the FGTIA chip.

 

=-=-=-=-=

So with all that out of the way...

 

What are the software compatibility issues surrounding all these different

NTSC/PAL-B/PAL-I/SECAM versions of the Atari 8-bit computers?

 

 -- PAL B and PAL I computers differ only in the TV channel frequencies used

by the RF signal produced.  So in terms of sofware compatibility, all PAL

Atari computers are indistinguishable.

 

 -- The FGTIA is designed to be 100% software compatible with the PAL GTIA.

This fact, along with the fact that SECAM computer models include a PAL ANTIC,

mean that the PAL and SECAM versions of the Atari computers are completely

software compatible, but with one practical exception: in GTIA Graphics Mode 1

(BASIC Graphics mode 9), while the GTIA can display 16 distinct luminances,

the FGTIA can only display 8 distinct luminances.

 

Thus the situation essentially simplifies down to just two sets of Atari

computers that may have potential software compatibility issues between them:

 

NTSC computers vs. PAL/SECAM computers

 

=-=-=-=-=

What might happen if you run a software program designed with an NTSC Atari on

a PAL or SECAM Atari, or a program designed with a PAL or SECAM Atari on an

NTSC Atari?  There are a number of possibilities:

 

1) The program may run faster or slower than intended.

 

In order to work with the different timings of the NTSC and PAL/SECAM video

signal standards, components of the NTSC versions of the Atari computers run

at slightly different speeds than they due on PAL/SECAM Atari computers.

 

The CPU clock rate of the PAL/SECAM Atari computer is slightly slower than

that of the NTSC Atari:

       NTSC machines: 1.7897725 MHz

  PAL/SECAM machines: 1.7734470 MHz

Software timing that is based exclusvely on the CPU clock rate would thus run

nearly 1% faster/slower on the opposite type of Atari.  This effect, while

small, can be significant in applications that are computation- or timing-

sensitive, such as music players, or in any programs designed to simulate real

time.

 

The screen refresh rate of the PAL/SECAM Atari computer is considerably slower

than that of the NTSC Atari:

       NTSC machines: 59.94 Hz

  PAL/SECAM machines: 49.86 Hz

Software that operates as a Vertical Blank Interrupt (VBI), that is, software

that is repeatedly executed during the times between screen frame refreshes,

is thus executed at considerably different frequencies on NTSC machines vs.

PAL/SECAM machines.  Based on this effect alone, a VBI programmed on an NTSC

machine would run 16.8% slower on PAL/SECAM machines.  Conversely, a VBI

programmed on a PAL/SECAM machine would run 20.2% faster on NTSC machines.

  (59.94Hz-49.86Hz=10.08Hz ; 10.08Hz/59.94Hz=16.8% ; 10.08Hz/49.86Hz=20.2%)

These calculations ignore the above-mentioned CPU clock rate differences,

which would also come into play.

 

2) The program may exhibit some sort of "screen flickering" effect.

 

The ANTIC display list is the software program responsible for the video

display, horizontal scan line by horizontal scan line.  There are 262 lines

available in the (non-interlaced) NTSC video signal, while there are 312 lines

available in the (non-interlaced) PAL/SECAM video signal.  If software written

on a PAL/SECAM machine sets up an ANTIC display list that is made up of more

scan lines than are available in the NTSC video standard, the program will

exhibit a "screen flickering" effect if run on the NTSC Atari.

 

3) The system may crash.

 

The different CPU clock rates and the different screen refresh rates between

NTSC and PAL/SECAM machines combine to lead to a difference in the number of

CPU clock cycles that occur during the vertical blank (VBLANK-- the period

during which the CRT beam returns to the top of the screen).  This makes for a

difference in the number of CPU clock cycles that are available for software

to be executed as a vertical blank interrupt (VBI).  Available CPU clock

cycles per VBI:

  PAL/SECAM : 35468 clock-cycles/VBI

       NTSC : 29829 clock-cycles/VBI

(source: http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/megazine/ISSUE5-PALNTSC.html )

Thus, software programmed as a VBI on a PAL/SECAM system will crash an NTSC

system if the VBI cannot be executed within the fewer CPU clock cycles

available per VBI on the NTSC Atari.

 

4) The colors displayed by the program are not what was intended.

 

When utilizing ANTIC graphics modes 2, 3, or 15, NTSC Atari computers exhibit

unique color artifacting effects that are not present on PAL/SECAM Atari

computers.  (Artifacting is discussed elsewhere in this FAQ list.)  As a

result, software that utilizes one of these high-resolution graphics modes can

appear to be using very different colors on NTSC machines in comparison to

PAL/SECAM machines.

 

Also, the additional color frequency generation circuitry present in PAL/SECAM

machines produces a color palette that is similar to, though different from,

the color palette of NTSC Atari computers.  These differences are subtle

enough that they are generally not problematic.

 

5) The program may explicitly refuse to run on incorrect hardware.

 

Software may be designed to determine whether the Atari is NTSC or PAL/SECAM,

and refuse to run if the hardware present does not match what is expected.

 

6) The program may not load correctly at all.

 

This would mostly likely result from copy protection techniques based upon

precise hardware timing associated with disk drives, cassette recorders, or

components of the computer itself, where the timing was not anticipated to

vary depending upon NTSC vs. PAL/SECAM hardware.

 

According to Jindroush (2/26/02), two examples of programs that run on NTSC

machines but not PAL/SECAM machines as a result of timing-based copy

protection techniques (probably based on vblank timing) are Transylvania and

The Quest, both by Penguin Software.

 

7) The program may run fine on both NTSC and PAL/SECAM machines.

 

Either the differences are too slight to matter, or the software may be

sophisticated enough to detect NTSC vs. PAL/SECAM hardware, as described

above, and act accordingly.

 

An example of a program that alters its behavior depending upon detection of

NTSC versus PAL/SECAM is Ghostbusters by Activision (checks the GTIA type).

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

How can software determine whether it is running on NTSC or PAL/SECAM

hardware?

 

Several techniques are available to programmers, as follows:

 

(1) On XL/XE systems (not 400/800 systems), the OS provides a flag called

PALNTS at decimal memory location 98 (hex: $62).  PALNTS indicates whether the

CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA has reported itself to be NTSC or PAL/SECAM, where 0 means

NTSC, or 1 means PAL/SECAM.  In Atari BASIC, enter "? PEEK(98)" to determine

the value of the PALNTS flag.

 

(2) An approach which works on all 400/800/XL/XE systems is to use the same

method used by the XL/XE OS to set the value of the PALNTS flag described

above.  That is, to read and interpret the "PAL" memory flag, decimal location

53268 (hex: $D014).  The value of PAL is provided by the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA chip

itself.  Meanings are:

  Bit 1-3 clear (xxxx000x) = PAL/SECAM

  Bit 1-3 set   (xxxx111x) = NTSC

(Proper interpretation of the value returned by PEEK(53268) in Atari BASIC

would thus be a bit of a programming challenge.  This is left to the reader!)

 

(3) Software may determine NTSC or PAL/SECAM by determining how many scan

lines are being generated by ANTIC.  The NTSC ANTIC generates 262 scan lines,

while the PAL ANTIC generates 312 scan lines.  (This technique is utilized by

the "Numen" demo by Taquart, which refuses to run on an NTSC ANTIC.)

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Bottom line:

 

Software written for NTSC machines (North America) will (almost) always work

on PAL/SECAM machines (Europe), but software designed on PAL/SECAM machines

sometimes won't work as intended on NTSC machines.

 

Replacing the NTSC ANTIC chip in an NTSC Atari with a PAL ANTIC changes the

screen refresh rate to 50Hz, allowing most of the PAL/SECAM-only European

software to run on a North American NTSC Atari.  However, make sure your

display device can support a 50Hz PAL signal first!

 

North American Atari users might also obtain and use real European PAL or

SECAM Atari machines, with the same caveat concerning the display device.

 

 

 

Subject: 1.16) What are the pinouts for the various ports on the Atari?

 

Controller Port (male jack)(4 on 400/800, 2 on all others):

      1         5

       o o o o o

        o o o o

       6       9                      trackball (CX22) meanings:

1. (Joystick) Forward Input-  -  -  -  -  X Direction

2. (Joystick) Back Input  -  -  -  -  -  -X Motion

3. (Joystick) Left Input -  -  -  -  -  - Y Direction

4. (Joystick) Right Input  -  -  -  -  -  Y Motion

5. B Potentiometer Input

6. Trigger Input/Light Pen/Light Gun Input (400 supports a light pen or

7. +5V                                      light gun in port 4 only)

8. Ground

9. A Potentiometer Input

 

Serial I/O (SIO)/Peripheral port (male jack)(all machines):

         2           12

          o o o o o o

         o o o o o o o

        1             13

1. Clock Input             8. Motor Control

2. Clock Output            9. Proceed'

3. Data Input             10. +5V/Ready (1200XL lacks +5V thanks to current

4. Ground                     limit resistor R63.  Replace R63 with a jumper

5. Data Output                wire to enable +5V on this pin on the 1200XL.)

6. Ground                 11. SIO Audio Input

7. Command'               12. 400/800: +12V ; XL/XE: Not Connected

                          13. Interrupt'

 

Monitor port (female jack): (all but 400, NTSC 600XL, SECAM 800XL,

3 o     o 1                  SECAM 130XE, XEgs)

   o   o

 5   o   4

     2

1. Composite Luminance (except PAL 600XL: Not Connected)

2. Ground

3. Audio Output

4. Composite Video

5. Composite Chrominance (except 1200XL: Not Connected; PAL 600XL: Ground;

                          all but very late-production 800XL: Not Connected)

 

Monitor port (female jack)(SECAM 800XL, SECAM 130XE):

THIS PINOUT REMAINS QUESTIONABLE.  STILL LOOKING FOR DOCUMENTATION FROM A

NON-WEB SOURCE.

   5       1     1. +12V 5mA max (Select - held at +5V to cause the TV to

    o  6  o                       switch to this video source)

       o         2. Audio (High Level - amplitude about 6 x regular Audio -

    o     o                unused by Atari-distributed Peritel cable)

   4   o   2     3. Audio

       3         4. Composite Video

                 5. Ground (common for audio & video)

                 6. +5V 100mA max (UHF power modulator -

                                   unused by Atari-distributed Peritel cable)

 

     The standard video cable provided by Atari France with every

     SECAM 800XL (? and 130XE ?) has the male 6-pin DIN on one end, and a

     standard male Peritel connector on the other end, with this pinout:

 

     2. Audio (right channel, from port pin #3)       _20_________________2_

     4. Ground (for audio, from port pin #5)          \ o o o o o o o o o o |

     6. Audio (left channel, from port pin #3)     (21)\ o o o o o o o o o o|

     8. +5V (Select, from port pin #1)                  19------------------1

     17. Ground (for video, from port pin #5)           

     20. Composite video (from port pin #4)

 

Power (female jack)(all but 400,800,1200XL):

    7     6        1. +5V

     o   o         2. Shield

  3 o     o 1      3. Ground

     o   o         4. +5V

   5   o   4       5. Ground

       2           6. +5V

                   7. Ground

 

Cartridge Slot (present on all machines; Left Cartridge Slot on 800):

     A  B  C  D  E  F  H  J  K  L  M  N  P  R  S

     o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o

     o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o

     1                                         15

 1. S4' Chip Select--$8000 to $9FFF  A. RD4 ROM present--$8000 to $9FFF

 2. A3 CPU Address bus line          B. GND Ground

 3. A2 CPU Address bus line          C. A4 CPU Address bus line

 4. A1 CPU Address bus line          D. A5 CPU Address bus line

 5. A0 CPU Address bus line          E. A6 CPU Address bus line

 6. D4 CPU Data bus line             F. A7 CPU Address bus line

 7. D5 CPU Data bus line             H. A8 CPU Address bus line

 8. D2 CPU Data bus line             J. A9 CPU Address bus line

 9. D1 CPU Data bus line             K. A12 CPU Address bus line

10. D0 CPU Data bus line             L. D3 CPU Data bus line

11. D6 CPU Data bus line             M. D7 CPU Data bus line

12. S5' Chip Select--$A000 to $BFFF  N. A11 CPU Address bus line

13. +5V                              P. A10 CPU Address bus line

14. RD5 ROM present--$A000 to $BFFF  R. R/W' CPU read/write

15. CCTL' Cartridge control select   S. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock

 

Right Cartridge Slot (800 only):

     A  B  C  D  E  F  H  J  K  L  M  N  P  R  S

     o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o

     o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o

     1                                         15

 1. R/W' CPU read/write late         A. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock

 2. A3 CPU Address bus line          B. GND Ground

 3. A2 CPU Address bus line          C. A4 CPU Address bus line

 4. A1 CPU Address bus line          D. A5 CPU Address bus line

 5. A0 CPU Address bus line          E. A6 CPU Address bus line

 6. D4 CPU Data bus line             F. A7 CPU Address bus line

 7. D5 CPU Data bus line             H. A8 CPU Address bus line

 8. D2 CPU Data bus line             J. A9 CPU Address bus line

 9. D1 CPU Data bus line             K. A12 CPU Address bus line

10. D0 CPU Data bus line             L. D3 CPU Data bus line

11. D6 CPU Data bus line             M. D7 CPU Data bus line

12. S4' Chip Select--$8000 to $9FFF  N. A11 CPU Address bus line

13. +5V                              P. A10 CPU Address bus line

14. RD4 ROM present--$8000 to $9FFF  R. R/W' Read/write

15. CCTL' Cartridge control select   S. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock

 

Parallel Bus Interface (PBI) (600XL and 800XL only):

 1                                                                       49

 o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o

 o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o  o

 2                                                                       50

  1. GND Ground                    2. EXTSEL' External Select

  3. A0 CPU Address bus line       4. A1 CPU Address bus line

  5. A2 CPU Address bus line       6. A3 CPU Address bus line

  7. A4 CPU Address bus line       8. A5 CPU Address bus line

  9. A6 CPU Address bus line      10. GND Ground

 11. A7 CPU Address bus line      12. A8 CPU Address bus line

 13. A9 CPU Address bus line      14. A10 CPU Address bus line

 15. A11 CPU Address bus line     16. A12 CPU Address bus line

 17. A13 CPU Address bus line     18. A14 CPU Address bus line

 19. GND Ground                   20. A15 CPU Address bus line

 21. D0 CPU Data bus line         22. D1 CPU Data bus line

 23. D2 CPU Data bus line         24. D3 CPU Data bus line

 25. D4 CPU Data bus line         26. D5 CPU Data bus line

 27. D6 CPU Data bus line         28. D7 CPU Data bus line

 29. GND Ground                   30. GND Ground

 31. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock   32. GND Ground

 33. NC Reserved                  34. RST' Reset output

 35. IRQ' Interrupt request       36. RDY' Ready input

 37. NC Reserved                  38. EXTENB' CPU External decoder Enable

 39. NC Reserved                  40. REF' Refresh cycle

 41. CAS' Column Address Strobe   42. GND Ground

 43. MPD' Math Pack (FP) Disable  44. RAS' Row Address Strobe

 45. GND Ground                   46. LR/W' Latched read/write

 47. 800XL: NC. 600XL: +5V        48. 800XL: NC. 600XL: +5V

 49. Audio input                  50. GND Ground

 

Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI)/Expansion port (130XE, 800XE, & later 65XE)

     A B C D E F H

     o o o o o o o

     o o o o o o o

     1           7

A. Reserved                  1. EXTSEL' External Select

B. IRQ' Interrupt request    2. RST' Reset output

C. HALT' Halt CPU            3. D1XX' Chip select at area $D1xx

D. A13 CPU Address bus line  4. MPD' Math Pack (FP) Disable

E. A14 CPU Address bus line  5. Audio input

F. A15 CPU Address bus line  6. REF' Refresh cycle

H. GND Ground                7. +5V

 

Keyboard Port (XE System console only):

           1               8

            o o o o o o o o

             o o o o o o o

            9             15

1. KR2 Keyboard Response   8. K2 Keyboard Scan

2. K3 Keyboard Scan        9. Ground

3. K4 Keyboard Scan       10. Not Connected

4. K5 Keyboard Scan       11. Ground

5. KR1 Keyboard Response  12. Not Connected

6. K0 Keyboard Scan       13. Trigger 2

7. K1 Keyboard Scan       14. 5 VDC

                          15. 5 VDC

 

 

 

Subject: 2.1) What video display devices and speakers can I use with my Atari?

 

The Atari 8-bit computers produce a single video signal and monophonic audio.

 

The 400/800 models also produce some sounds (primarily the keyclick and system

buzzer sounds) by way of an internal speaker.

 

Most 8-bit Atari computers put out their video and audio signals in two

places:

 

1) Television cable (400/800) or jack (all XL/XE but SECAM 800XL, SECAM 130XE)

 

This provides an analog Radio-Frequency (RF) signal carrying both video and

audio.

 

The Atari's RF signal may be used on a television that:

  - Supports use of an external RF antenna (normally for viewing over-the-air

    TV broadcasts)

  - Can decode an analog television signal (NTSC or PAL or SECAM, matching the

    version of the computer)

  - Has a tuner that can additionally tune to the necessary TV channel(s) used

    by the Atari

 

If the television has a speaker then it should support the Atari's sound

output as well.

 

All NTSC (North America) Atari 8-bit computers make the RF audio/video signal

available on a choice of two television frequencies, selected with a physical

switch located on the back of the computer (on the side of the 800):

  - 55.25MHz video/59.75MHz audio (TV Channel 2 in North America), or

  - 61.25MHz video/65.75Mhz audio (TV Channel 3 in North America)

 

PAL (Europe) Atari 400/800 computers also make the RF audio/video signal

available on a choice of two television frequencies, selected with a physical

switch located on the back of the 400, or on the side of the 800.

 

PAL 400/800 computers intended for use in "PAL I" countries (UK) use:

  - 607.25MHz video/613.25MHz audio (TV Channel 38 in the UK)

  - 615.25MHz video/621.25MHz audio (TV Channel 39 in the UK)

 

PAL 400/800 computers intended for use in "PAL B" countries (Europe) use:

  - 55.25MHz video/60.75 audio

    ` TV Channel 3 in Western Europe

    ` TV Channel 2 in Eastern Europe (approx.)

    ` TV Channel 1 in Australia (approx.)

  - 62.25MHz video/67.75MHz audio

    ` TV Channel 4 in Western Europe

    ` TV Channel 2 in Eastern Europe (approx.)

    ` TV Channel 1 in Australia (approx.)

 

PAL (Europe) Atari XL/XE computers make the RF audio/video signal available on

a single television frequency.

 

PAL XL/XE computers intended for use in "PAL I" countries (UK) use:

  - 591.25MHz video/597.25MHz audio (TV Channel 36 in the UK)

 

PAL XL/XE computers intended for use in "PAL B" countries (Europe) use:

  - 62.25MHz video/67.75MHz audio

    ` TV Channel 4 in Western Europe

    ` TV Channel 2 in Eastern Europe (approx.)

    ` TV Channel 1 in Australia (approx.)

 

SECAM (France) Atari XE Game Systems make the RF audio/video signal available

on a single television frequency:

  - 591.25MHz video/597.75MHz audio (TV Channel 36 in France)

 

Other than the frequency of the RF signal produced, there is no difference

between the "PAL I" and "PAL B" versions of PAL Atari computers.

 

If your country is not included above, Wikipedia has a nice table of

television channel frequencies used around the world that you may find

helpful for determining the channel to tune your TV to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_channel_frequencies

 

** NOTE: MC has worked with limited reports to determine the channels used

** around the world.  I would greatly appreciate any corrections/additions to

** the information provided here!  In particular, I'm looking to verify the

** actual RF signal frequencies produced by the Atari.

** The above frequency values are only taken from the channels reported to be

** used in various countries.

 

Accessories needed (typical setup):

  a) RF Cable / TV Video Cable, a proprietary cable for Atari XL/XE computers

     The input end is a phono plug that plugs into the Switch Box/

     Television jack on the computer.  The output end is a phono plug that

     plugs into the TV Switch Box.

 

     The 400/800 models have no Switch Box/Television jack.  Instead, there is

     a cable that comes out of the back of the computer.  This cable carries

     the RF signal.  The output end is a phono plug that plugs into the TV

     Switch Box.

 

  b) TV Switch Box

     This includes a phono jack for RF signal input from the Atari, input

     connector(s) for your TV/cable/satellite antenna, and 75- and/or 300-ohm

     output connector(s) for connection to the antenna input on the

     television.

 

While the display quality of the RF video signal may be adequate, the quality

of the video provided at the Atari's Monitor port is noticeably superior.

 

2) Monitor port

 

A proprietary 5-pin DIN (SECAM: 6-pin) Monitor port, which along with the

audio signal actually provides two video signals:

 

  a) Composite video

 

  b) Y/C Video, also known as S-Video:

     separate composite luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals

 

The separate chrominance/luminance video signal is noticeably superior to both

the RF television output and the composite video output.

 

Monitor port exceptions among Atari computer models:

-the 400, NTSC 600XL, and XE game system lack the Monitor port.

-the SECAM 800XL and SECAM 130XE have a different, 6-pin Monitor port that

 provides composite video but not separate chrominance/luminance signals

-the XE game system includes a phono Monitor Video Jack providing the

 composite video signal, and also a phono Monitor Audio Jack providing the

 audio signal.

-The 1200XL, PAL 600XL, and 800XL(all but very late production) lack the

 separate chrominance signal at the Monitor port, and the PAL 600XL also lacks

 the separate luminance signal at the Monitor port.

 

Any video display monitor that supports composite video input (this generally

includes modern televisions) should be able to display the Atari's composite

video signal.  Monitors with built-in speakers for audio support, and monitors

with support for separate chrominance/luminance video inputs, are preferred

for use with the Atari.

 

Commodore produced many monitors with separate chrominance and luminance

inputs, making them popular with Atari users.  Lonnie McClure provides this

list of suitable Commodore monitors:

 

  1701, 1702, 1802, CM-141, 1080, 2002, 1902, 1902A*, 1084**, 1084S**

 

  * The 1902A used a DIN connector for chrominance/luminance, which makes

  cabling a bit more of a problem.  The composite and audio connectors are

  standard phono jacks, however.

 

  ** The 1084 and 1084S had more than one version. Some used the a DIN

  connector for chrominance/luminance connections, like the 1902A, while some

  used standard phono jacks.

 

  The 1902 and 1902A are very different in appearance. The original 1902

  shares the same slightly rounded front case design as the 1080 and 2002,

  while the 1902A is has a rather square case design, and was manufactured

  by Magnavox (as were some of the 1084 and 1084S versions).

 

The pinout for the Atari Monitor port is in the pinouts section of this FAQ

list.

 

The typical Atari monitor cable includes the male 5-pin DIN connector on one

end, and two phono plugs on the other end.  One of the phono plugs will carry

the monophonic sound signal, and the other will carry the composite video

signal.  Atari's own CX89 Color Monitor Cable is of this type.

 

You may find an Atari monitor cable where the video signal carried on the

second phono plug is not the composite video signal, but is rather the

composite luminance signal.  These cables are for use with monochrome

composite video monitors (usually green or amber).  Atari's own CX82 Black

and White Monitor Cable is of this type.

 

The ideal Atari monitor cable includes 4 phono plugs at the output end,

carrying the sound signal, the composite video signal, the composite

luminance signal, and the composite chrominance signal.  Only the best

composite monitors include separate chrominance and luminance inputs.  When

the separate chrominance and luminance connectors are used, the composite

video connector is not used.

 

There is no real standard for colors for the different monitor cable

connectors.  It is safe to identify them by trial and error.

 

The separate composite chrominance and luminance signals that the Atari puts

out comprise what the world has since come to call Y/C video or S-video.

S-video connectors are normally Mini4.  It is possible to build a cable, or

purchase several adapters, that can allow you to utilize the separate Y/C

signals generated by the Atari with a television (or other display device)

that provides a standard S-video Mini4 input jack.  This is the ultimate

display option for the 8-bit Atari.  Clarence Dyson has a nice page about

such a project at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/svideo.html .

 

A "video scaler" or "up-converter" is an adapter that will accept an input

video signal such as RF, composite video, or s-video, and output a conversion

of the signal as a standard VGA video signal.  With such a device, the 8-bit

Atari can be used with a standard PC VGA monitor.  Examples:

 

 - AV Toolbox manufactures several suitable adapters, listed at:

   http://www.avtoolbox.com/upconpage.shtml

 

 - Ambery markets their "Ultra Video to VGA Converter", see:

   http://www.ambery.com/vitoxgacoscs.html

   and other suitable, more expensive Video to VGA/RGBHV Converter Scalers:

   http://www.ambery.com/vitovgcosc.html

 

 - Earlier popular devices included:

   - Cheese Video Box from AV Toolbox

   - JAM!! from AIMS Lab.

 

Some people report good results viewing the Atari computer's video signal

through a PC using a TV/video capture card.  Wikipedia's article about such

devices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_capture_card

 

SCART - an acronym for Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorecepteurs

et Televiseurs - is a 21-pin universal connecting cable/socket system used for

audio/video components in Europe.  The cables transmit RGB, composite video,

S-Video, mono and stereo sound.  SCART, which is also known as PERITEL, EURO

AV BUS and EUROCONECTOR, is common throughout Europe, particularly in France,

England, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.  SCART is also very popular in

the Russian Audio Video market.  It is possible to interface the Atari's

composite video signal, along with the audio signal.  DGS sells such a cable,

see: http://www.dgs.clara.net/

 

Two current sources for Atari monitor connectivity products:

  More Than Games produces "A8 A/V BOB", an audio/video breakout box featuring

  phono jacks for composite video, chrominance, luminance, and mono audio; it

  also features an s-video jack providing chrominance and luminance.

  http://morethangames.a8maestro.com/proda8/adv-eh0101.htm

 

  Vintage Computer Cables produces Atari monitor cables designed for use with

  televisions, plus an Atari S-Video cable.

  http://www.vintagecomputercables.com/

 

 

 

Subject: 2.2) What is artifacting?

 

The term TV artifacts refers to a spot or "pixel" on the screen that displays

a different color than the one assigned to it.  --De Re Atari, p. D-1

 

There are two different types of artifacting associated with the Atari.

 

The first type is considerably more intuitive.  Color cathode ray tube (CRT)

televisions and computer displays generate color by exciting red, green, and

blue phosphors arranged in either an aperture grille pattern (vertical wires)

or a shadow mask pattern (triads of dots).

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture_grille

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_mask

The density of the phosphors defines the "dot pitch" of the display device.

If a video signal source defines a spot or pixel that is smaller than the dot

pitch of the display device, then accurate color cannot be reproduced by that

display device in that precise spot.  This type of artifacting is relatively

minor with the Atari because of the relatively low resolution of Atari

graphics modes in comparison to the dot pitch of CRT display devices.

 

NTSC Atari computers exhibit a considerably more profound type of artifacting

than the above.  The following is from Atari's De Re Atari, Appendix D:

"Television Artifacts": http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chaptD.php

Appendix D is credited to Atari's Lane Winner with assistance from Jim Cox.

=-=-=-=-=-=

This section discusses how to get multiple colors out of a single color

graphics mode through the use of television artifacts.

 

The ANTIC modes with which this can be accomplished are 2, 3, and 15.  ANTIC

mode 2 corresponds to BASIC mode 0, ANTIC mode 15 is BASIC mode 8, and ANTIC

mode 3 has no corresponding BASIC mode.  Each of these modes has a pixel

resolution of one half color clock by one scan line.  They are generally

considered to have one color and two luminances.  With the use of artifacts,

pixels of four different colors can be displayed on the screen in each of

these modes.

 

A simple example of artifacts using the ATARI Computer is shown by entering

the following lines:

  GRAPHICS 8

  COLOR 1

  POKE 710,0

  PLOT 60,60

  PLOT 63,60

 

These statements will plot two points on a black background; however each

pixel will have a different color.

 

To understand the cause of these differing colors one must first understand

that all the display information for the television display is contained in a

modulated television signal.

 

The two major components of this signal are the luminance, or brightness, and

the color, or tint.  The luminance information is the primary signal,

containing not only the brightness data but also the horizontal and vertical

syncs and blanks.  The color signal contains the color information and is

combined or modulated into the luminance waveform.

 

The luminance of a pixel on the screen is directly dependent on the amplitude

of the luminance signal at that point.  The higher the amplitude of the signal,

the brighter the pixel.

 

The color information, however, is a phase shifted signal.  A phaseshifted

signal is a constantly oscillating waveform that has been delayed by some

amount of time relative to a reference signal, and this time delay is

translated into the color.

 

The color signal oscillates at a constant rate of about 3.579 MHz, thus

defining the highest horizontal color resolution of a television set.  This

appears on the screen in the form of 160 visible color cycles across one scan

line.  (There are actually 228 color cycles including the horizontal blank and

sync, and any overscan.)

 

The term "color clock" refers to one color cycle and is the term generally

used throughout the ATARI documentation to describe units of measurement

across the screen.  The graphics mode 7 is an example of one color clock

resolution, where each color clock pixel can be a different color.  (There are

microprocessor limitations though.)

 

Atari also offers a "high resolution" mode (GRAPHICS 8) that displays 320

pixels across one line.  This is generated by varying the amplitude of the

luminance signal at about 7.16 MHz, which is twice the color frequency.

 

Since the two signals are theoretically independent, one should be able to

assign a "background" color to be displayed and then merely vary the luminance

on a pixel-by-pixel basis.  This in fact is the way mode 8 works, the

"background" color coming from playfield register 2, and the luminances coming

from both playfield registers 1 and 2.

 

The problem is that in practice the color and luminance signals are not

independent.  They are part of a modulated signal that must be demodulated to

be used.  Since the luminance is the primary signal, whenever it changes, it

also forces a change in the color phase shift.  For one or more color clocks

of constant luminance this is no problem, since the color phase shift will be

unchanged in this area.  However, if the luminance changes on a half color

clock boundary it will force a fast color shift at that point.  Moreover, that

color cannot be altered from the transmitting end of the signal (the ATARI

Computer).

 

Since the luminance can change on half color clock boundaries, this implies

that two false color, or artifact pixel types can be generated.  This is

basically true.  However, these two pixels can be combined to form two types

of full color clock pixels.  This is illustrated below:

 

  TV Scan     |                      |                     |

  Line        |<---1 color clock---->|                     |

              |                      |                     |

              |           |          |          |          |

              |<-1 pixel->|          |          |          |

              |           |          |          |          |

 

 Luminance         0           1           0          0   1/2 cc pixel color A

  (0=off,          1           0           0          0   1/2 cc pixel color B

   1=on)           1           1           0          0     1 cc pixel color C

                   0           1           1          0     1 cc pixel color D

 

Note that each of these pixels requires one color clock of distance and

therefore has a horizontal resolution of 160.

 

The colors A through D are different for each television set, usually because

the tint knob settings vary.  Thus they cannot be described as absolute colors,

for example, red; but they are definitely distinct from each other, and

programs have been written that utilize these colors.

 

=-=-=-=-=-=

The actual colors seen depends upon the tint setting of the NTSC display

device, and also upon the version of the NTSC Atari computer used, as pointed

out by Bryan on Oct 7, 08:

 

  It's well known that different models produce different artifact colors.

  The 800 produces Blue/Green, the 1200XL produces Green/Purple, and the other

  XL's produce Blue/Red.  The reason for this doesn't lie with GTIA, but

  rather with the delays inherent in the different video buffer circuits.

  When you start modifying the video circuits, you slightly alter the time

  alignment between chroma and luma and the artifact colors change.  The TV's

  decoder will be synched to the colorburst supplied by the chroma signal, but

  artifact colors are produced by changing the luma level at the 3.579 color

  frequency which the NTSC Atari models are inherently set up to do.

 

A classic example of a game that utilizes color artifacting on the NTSC Atari

is the Broderbund game, Choplifter.  2nd example: Drol, also by Broderbund.

 

More information about artifacting on the Atari 8-bit computers:

 

"Atari Artifacting" by Judson Pewther. Compute! #38, July 1983, p. 221:

   http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue38/096_1_ATARI_ARTIFACTING.php

   or from Compute!'s Second Book of Atari Graphics:

   http://www.atariarchives.org/c2bag/page193.php

 

"GRAPHICS 8 In Four Colors Using Artifacts" by David Diamond. Compute!'s First

   Book of Atari Graphics:

   http://www.atariarchives.org/c1bag/page203.php

 

 

 

Subject: 3.1) What are the Atari 410, 1010, XC11, and XC12 Program Recorders?

 

The Atari Program Recorders provide storage and retrieval of programs

and data on cassette tape.  In addition to the digital track that stores

computer data, a second audio track is provided to play music or voice

as the program runs.

 

Data transmission rate: 600 bits per second.

Data storage capacity: 100,000 bytes per 60-minute cassette.

Track configuration: 4 track, 2 channel (digital data and audio track)

 

410 Program Recorder

- early Japan version had a carrying handle

- most versions made in Hong Kong

- 410a--Taiwan version

- built-in SIO cable - must end SIO daisy chain

- power - plugs directly into wall (most versions)

- "410 P" version (rare).  Karl Heller writes:

  "It came in the white 410 box with an Atari yellow/orange paper slip

   stating which power supply to use with it."

   See also: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39615

 

1010 Program Recorder

- Chelco version has Stop/Eject, then Pause buttons

- Sanyo version has Pause, then Stop/Eject buttons

- two SIO ports

 

XC11 Program Recorder

- has a built-in SIO cable and one SIO port

 

XC12 Program Recorder

- built-in SIO cable - must end SIO daisy chain

 

Upgrades for the Atari Program Recorders

========================================

Andreas Koch writes:  (2004.05.24)

  - turbo 6000: a turbo tape enhancement built in the former GDR (German

  Democratic Republic); it worked with 6000 Baud and required special

  loading/saving programs that were available as disk-files and also as

  cartridges;

Information on the Turbo 6000 Baud Interface and the Chaos Loader:

http://www-user.tu-chemnitz.de/~sgl/atari/turb6000/turb6000.htm

 

  - turbo 2000: a turbo tape enhancement built in Poland or the former

  Czechoslovakia; it worked with different speeds (ranging from 600 Baud

  to approx. 9600 Baud?) depending on the program itself and the transfer

  program; also required a special loading/saving program, available as

  disk-files and cartridges;

For more information on the Turbo 2000 (T2000) and SuperTurbo modifications

to Atari program recorders, with speeds up 9600 baud, see

http://jindroush.atari8.info/aturbo.htm

 

  - rambit turbo tape: a turbo tape enhancement built in the UK by Richard

  Gore and sold by Microdiscount (Derek Fern); it worked with 9600 Baud

  and came with some special software on disk; Microdiscount also sold

  many of its own commercial programs (Zeppelin games, etc.) on Rambit

  turbo tape...

 

 

 

Subject: 3.2) What other cassette recorders can I use with my Atari?

 

Firstly Atari themselves put out several more obscure models beyond the

410/1010/XC11/XC12, generally only known in eastern Europe:

 

XCA12 Program Recorder     -in same case as XC12...Poland

CA12 Program Recorder      -in same case as XC12...Poland

    image: http://membres.lycos.fr/romualdl/images/atari/ca12.jpg

XL12 Program Recorder      -XC12 w/slight changed design. Czech/Slovak/Poland

    box seen here: http://jpecher.sweb.cz/pic/sbirka.jpg

XC13 Program Recorder      -XC12 which was "T2000 ready". Czech/Slovak/Poland

 

Unlike other microcomputer systems of the time period, only Atari-specific

cassette tape recorders could be used with Atari 8-bit computers.  Several

such peripherals were produced:

 

Compu-Mate Computer Data Recorder by General Electric (GE, G.E.)

- 3-5148A (unit) / 3-5156 (box)

- "Extend the versatility of your home computer. Atari/Commodore Compatible."

- IFM Interface Module: Atari Computer compatible included

- 1st data cable: Data Recorder <-> IFM Interface or Data Recorder <-> C64

- 2nd data cable: IFM Interface <-> Atari computer SIO connector

- No second SIO port - must be at end of SIO chain.

- Battery operated or uses an external power supply

- switch on the bottom, Atari or "All other computers".

- partial source: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=128505

 

Phonemark PM-4401A Data Recorder

- near clone of XC12

- power - plugs directly into wall, (240v, 50Hz) and has a captive power lead

  in addition to the SIO lead.

- source of info:

  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phonemark-Atari-Data-Recorder.jpg

 

Datamark XG12

- absolute clone of XC12

- info source: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=128505

 

 

 

Subject: 3.3) How do I run a program from cassette?

 

To run an Atari BASIC program from cassette:

 

1. Place the cassette in the recorder.

2. Press REWIND of FORWARD, if necessary, to bring the tape to the position

   where the program is located.

3. Boot the computer to the Atari BASIC READY prompt.

4. There are several possibilities for the next step, depending on how the

   program was saved, and whether you want to run the program or just load

   it into RAM.  Enter one of the following four commands:

   a. CLOAD                       loads programs saved with CSAVE

   b. LOAD "C:"                   loads programs saved with SAVE "C:"

   c. ENTER "C:"                  loads programs saved with LIST "C:"

   d. RUN "C:"                    loads&runs programs saved with SAVE "C:"

 

] Relative efficiency of the three cassette tape recording techniques:

] CSAVE/CLOAD - short inter-record gap - fastest speed - tokenized files

] SAVE "C:"/LOAD "C:" - long inter-record gap - middle speed - tokenized files

] LIST "C:"/ENTER "C:" - long inter-record gap - slowest - straight ATASCII -

]                        tape actually stops in between block reads/writes

 

5. The computer will "beep" as a signal for you to press PLAY on the recorder.

6. Press the RETURN key on the computer keyboard, and the program will load

   into the computer.

7. Press STOP on the recorder when loading has finished.

8. Unless you entered RUN "C:" above, now enter the command: RUN

 

To run a machine language program from cassette upon startup:

 

1. Place the cassette in the recorder

2. Press REWIND of FORWARD, if necessary, to bring the tape to the position

   where the program is located.

3. Turn on the computer while holding down the START key.

   If your computer has Atari BASIC built-in, hold down both the START key and

   the OPTION key.

4. The computer will "beep" as a signal for you to press PLAY on the recorder.

5. Let go of the START/OPTION button(s).

6. Press the RETURN key on the computer keyboard, and the program will load

   into the computer.

7. Press STOP on the recorder when loading is complete and the program is

   running.

 

 

 

Subject: 3.4) What are the Atari 810, 815, 1050, and XF551 Disk Drives?

 

Section includes contributions by Andreas Koch, TXG, KMK

 

The Atari Disk Drives provide storage and retrieval of programs

and data on 5.25" floppy disks.

 

==> Atari 810  ---  a 5.25" floppy disk drive

The least common denominator for the Atari.  One mode of operation:

1) Single-Sided, Single-Density--

  FM   40 tracks  x  18 sectors/track  x  128 byte/sector  =  90K capacity

The 810 drive has only one drive head, so it can only read/write to one side

  of the disk.  The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by

  inserting the disk into the drive upside-down.

19.2Kbps transfer rate.  288RPM.

The 810 includes a 6507 microprocessor.

Shipped with DOS I (1980-1981) or DOS 2.0S (1981-1983)

earlier MPI version- push button door opening for disk access

later Tandon version- lift door, like a garage door disk access

two SIO ports

Production of the 810 ended in May 1983.

accessories from Atari:

CX8100 Atari 810 Blank Diskettes (5 per box)

CX8111 Atari 810 Formatted Diskettes II (5 per box)

CX8202 Atari 810/815 Blank Diskettes (5/box, certified for double density)

 

Third-party upgrades for the 810:

810 Archiver -- copy many copy-protected programs

810 Fast Chip by Binary  10%-40% faster

810 Turbo (810T) by Neanderthal Computer Things (NCT) -- double-density,

                track buffering, speed comparable to Happy 810 Warp Speed

Happy 810 -- Happy Backup, Warp Speed 52Kbps, 18 sector buffer

 

==> Atari 815 Dual Disk Drive  ---  dual 5.25" floppy disk drives in one unit

Were produced (all hand-built), but are very rare.  One mode of operation.

Per drive:

1) Single-Sided, Double-Density--

  MFM  40 tracks  x  18 sectors/track  x  256 bytes/sector  =  180K capacity

The two drives in the 815 have only one drive head each, so each drive can

  only read/write to one side of the disk.  The reverse side of a 2-sided

  "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the disk into the drive upside-down.)

19.2Kbps transfer rate.  288RPM.

The 815 includes a 6507 microprocessor.

Shipped with DOS 2.0D

MPI mechanism version- push button door opening for disk access

Tandon mechanism version- lift door, like a garage door disk access

The 815 was designed by Paul Mancuso and Levon Mitchell. (Atari History Museum)

accessories from Atari:

CX8202 Atari 810/815 Blank Diskettes (5 per box, certified for double density)

  Stephen Knox writes (12/28/02):

  I believe the story on the 815s was Atari didn't want to release them due to

  severe QA problems with the drive but they had so many preorders they had to

  release something.  I think they filled the preorders and then cancelled the

  model - Most of them got returned due to problems.

 

==> Atari 1050 Dual-Density Disk Drive ---  a 5.25" floppy disk drive

Same as the 810, plus Dual-Density capability.  Two modes of operation:

1) Single-Sided, Single-Density, 90K, 810 compatible

2) Single-Sided, Dual-Density, otherwise known as "Enhanced Density" because

  it is not true double-density--

  MFM  40 tracks  x  26 sectors/track  x  128 bytes/sector  =  130K capacity

The 1050 drive has only one drive head, so it can only read/write to one side

  of the disk.  The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by

  inserting the disk into the drive upside-down.)

19.2Kbps transfer rate.  288RPM

The 1050 includes a 6507 microprocessor.

Shipped with DOS 2.0S (1983), DOS 3 (1983-1985), or DOS 2.5 (1985-1988)

DIP switches:    Black & white left: Drive 1

            Black right, white left: Drive 2

            Black left, white right: Drive 3

                Black & white right: Drive 4

 

Third-party upgrades for the 1050 (all add a true SSDD 180K capability):

 

1050 Duplicator       SS SD/ED/DD "read 18 sectors in the time normally for 1"

  (Duplicating Technologies (DT))

  sources(Jim Patchell)http://www.oldcrows.net/~patchell/atari/duplicator.html

 

Happy Warp Speed and compatible:

-------------------------------

Happy 1050            SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed 52Kbps, 36 sector buffer,

  (Happy Computers)   Happy Backup. also read/write 180K 5.25" MS-DOS floppies

CheerUp Upgrade       SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed 52Kbps (Happy clone)

  (Happy Computers, converts 1050 Duplicator to Happy 1050)

Hyper Drive (Chaos! Computers)

                      SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed 52Kbps (Happy clone)

 

UltraSpeed and compatible:

-------------------------

US Doubler (ICD)      SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed (US) 54Kbps, sector skewing

Mini-Speedy           same as Speedy 1050, but without displays & speaker

  (Compy-Shop, now ABBUC)

Speedy 1050           SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 70Kbps  8kB buffer,

  (Compy-Shop, now ABBUC)  DOS, copier, track & density displays, beep speaker

  http://www.mia-net.org/speedy.html

Super Archiver (CSS)  SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 54Kbps (US Doubler clone)

Super Archiver II(CSS)SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 54Kbps (US Doubler clone)

SuperMax 1050         SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 52Kbps

Super Speedy          upgrade for Mini-Speedy, same specs but adds switches

  (Compy-Shop, now ABBUC)  and an LED display

 

 

1050 Turbo and compatible:

-------------------------

1050 Turbo            SS SD/ED/DD Turbo speed 68.2Kbps

  (Bernhard Engl, 1986) Backup software (name?). option: printer interface

Top Drive 1050        SS SD/ED/DD Turbo speed 68.2Kbps (1050 Turbo clone)

TOMS Turbo            upgrade for 1050, LDW/Indus, and CA-2001:

                      adds 1050 Turbo speed (68.2 Kbps) and IBM densities

 

Add support for multiple above enhancements:

--------------------------------------------

I.S. Plate            SS SD/ED/DD Ultra/Warp (USD/Happy clone)

  (Innovated Software)

Lazer 1050            SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed and UltraSpeed 54Kbps

                      (USD/Happy clone)

TOMS Multi            upgrade for 1050, LDW/Indus, and CA-2001:

                      adds 1050 Turbo (68.2 Kbps) and UltraSpeed (54 Kbps),

                      and supports IBM densities

 

Rich Mier professes:

You've been plugging and unplugging the SIO cable with the 1050 power pack

plugged in, right?  That's a no-no.  Most of the time it's okay, but about 1

in 10, 20 times, it will blow out 'U-1'.  It's a CA/LM 3086 I.C. at the right,

rear of the main board.  A 14 pin DIL chip.  Actually it is an array of 5

transistors.

 

Unplug the power pack from the 1050, then unplug the SIO cable.  Power can be

ON on the CPU.  The problem has to do with the secondary winding of the Power

Pack.  Remember, the problem only occurs 1 out of 10 - 20 times that you do

it, not all the time.

 

It doesn't really matter if the 1050 Transformer has power on or off, it

'Might' happen if plugged into the 1050.  It is really bad on 810's.

 

One thing, if the system has been turned off for, oh say, 5 - 10 minutes it

won't matter.  By then all the capacitors should be bled(sc?) to 0 volts.

 

==> Atari XF551  ---  a 5.25" floppy disk drive.  Four modes of operation:

1) Single-Sided, Single-Density, 90K, 810 compatible

2) Single-Sided, Enhanced-Density, 130K, 1050 compatible

3) Single-Sided, Double-Density, 180K, Percom & other 3rd parties compatible

In the above 3 modes, the XF551 reads/writes to only one side of the disk.

  The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the

  disk into the drive upside-down.  But note:

    Chinon-built XF551--CANNOT read/write/format disk backside if the disk has

      no 2nd timing hole

    Mitsumi-built XF551--CAN read/write disk backside if the disk has no 2nd

      timing hole, but CANNOT format the backside without the 2nd timimg hole.

  The two types of XF551 drives are externally identical.

4) Double-Sided, Double-Density--

  MFM  80 tracks  x  18 sectors/track  x  256 bytes/sector  =  360K capacity

In this double-sided mode, the XF551 utilizes a 2nd drive head to read/write

  to the 2nd side of the disk.  The XF551 writes "backwards" to the second

  side of the disk, when compared to a two-sided "flippy" disk with SSDD 180K

  format on each side.

High speed 38400 bps burst mode usable only with SpartaDOS X, SuperDOS 5.1,

  TurboDOS, DOS XE, and patched SpartaDOS 3.2.

Rotation rate: 300RPM.  Since all other Atari-specific drives run at 288RPM,

  this results in rare compatibility issues.  Specifically, these commercial

  disks do not load in, and can be damaged by, the XF551:

  - Flight Simulator II (subLOGIC)

  - Blue Max (Synapse)

  - Bank Street Writer (Broderbund).  Conflicting reports about this one.

8040 cpu +  external ROM or 8050 cpu with internal ROM

Shipped with DOS 2.5 (1988-1989) or DOS XE (1989- ).

DIP switches:    Both dips down: Drive 1

            Left down, right up: Drive 2

            Left up, Right down: Drive 3

              Left and Right up: Drive 4

The key engineer/designer of the XF551 was Jose Valdes at Atari

Third-party upgrades for the XF551:

CSS XF Single Drive Upgrade--3.5", 720K floppy drive replacement

                       also read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks

                       see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFsingdrup.htm

CSS XF Dual Drive Upgrade--add 3.5" drive w/o losing the 5.25" drive

                       also read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks

                       see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFdualdrup.htm

CSS XF551 Enhancer--overcomes sensor for index hole, create flippy disks

                         see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XF551enh.htm

CSS XF Update--replace drive OS, adds UltraSpeed

                         see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFupdate.htm

Hyper-XF--available for 5.25" or 3.5" floppy versions; uses sector skewing

aka          and UltraSpeed (but no track buffer!); can use disk partitions

HyperXF      (2 on 5.25", 4 partitions on 3.5") with mixed Densities (S/E/D)

             or standard 360Kbytes (5.25") / 720Kbytes (3.5"); can

             theoretically read/write ST/PC 720k disks (software is missing!)

             OS created by Stefan Dorndorf/Germany;

http://ftp.pigwa.net/stuff/collections/nir_dary_cds/Pictures2/035%20Hyper%20XF.jpg

XF-Speedy--replaces the 8040 CPU with a 65C02 + ROM + Memory

 

 

 

Subject: 3.5) What other floppy disk drives can I use with my Atari?

 

Major contributors to this section: Glenn M. Saunders, Tomasz M. Tatar,

James Bradford, Konrad M. Kokoszkiewicz, Don Schoengarth, Andreas

Koch, TXG/MNX

 

SD=Single-Density, 90K/disk side

ED=Enhanced-Density, 130K/disk side

DD=Double-Density, 180K/disk side

 

SS=Single-Sided (drive has only one drive head, so it can only read/write to

                 one side of the disk.  The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy"

                 disk may be used by inserting the disk upside-down.)

DS=Double-Sided (one of 3 possible data-mappings, see below for details)

 

Printer port=has a standard DB25 parallel printer port,+ maybe a print buffer

Master=includes drive controller, can add additional,non-Atari-specific drives

 

Top transfer rate is 19.2Kbps unless stated otherwise.

 

Floppy disk drives designed for the 8-bit Atari computers:

Atari 810            SS SD

Atari 1050           SS SD/ED

Atari XF551          DS SD/ED/DD, 38.4Kbps burst mode

Access Unlimited ATAR88-1

                     SS SD master

Access Unlimited ATAR40-1

                     SS SD/DD master

Amdek AMDC I         SS SD/DD uses "flippy" Amdisk III 3" disk/carts,

                     printer port, master

Amdek AMDC II        SS SD/DD dual drives, printer port, master

AS SN-360            DS SD/ED/DD

Astra 1001           SS SD/DD, printer port

Astra 1620           SS SD/DD dual drives

Astra 2001           SS SD/DD dual drives

Astra Big-D          DS SD/DD dual drives

Astra The "One"      DS SD/DD, printer port

B&C 810              SS SD, optional Happy Warp Speed 52Kbps

Concorde C-221M      SS SD/DD master

Concorde C-222M      DS SD/DD master

CSS Floppy Board, for the Black Box, master, support PC 720K and 1.44MB 3.5"

                     drives, support PC 1.2MB and 360kB 5.25" drives,

                     also read/write 5.25" and 3.5" MS-DOS disks

                     see: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/floppy.htm

Flop Roznov pod Radhostem VD 40 F

                     SS SS/ED/DD, XF551 compatible, printer port

                see: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=99716

High-Density Disk Interface (HDI) by Erhard Puetz. a PCB, master

                     connect up to 4 standard PC high-density drives

Indus GT             SS SD/ED/DD, Synchromesh mode usable with SpartaDOS X

                     and DOS XL only.

                     72Kbps under SpartaDOS X, 37Kbps under DOS XL. Z-80 cpu

                     option: RAM-Charger 64K RAM + software, for CP/M support

Karin Maxi           PBI/ECI device, master, WD1772 + 2KB driver ROM

                     DS formats use PC-standard 'head-first' mapping

L.E. Systems LEDS5-01

                     SS SD/DD master, 134.4Kbps, 800 only

                     CP/M expansion: 4MHz Z80, 64K RAM

L.E. Systems LEFDC-04

                     SS SD Four drives, copies a disk in 22 secs, 800 only

L.E. Systems LEFDC-08

                     SS SD Eight drives, copies a disk in 22 secs, 800 only

LDW Super 2000       SS SD/DD, 19.2Kbps or 67Kbps. Indus GT clone

                     "Logical Design Works"

   image: http://membres.lycos.fr/romualdl/images/atari/super2000.jpg

LDW/California Access CA-2001

                     SS SD/DD, 19.2Kbps or 38.4Kbps

                     Indus GT/LDW Super 2000 clone

   image: http://membres.lycos.fr/romualdl/images/atari/ca2001.jpg

LDW/California Access CA-2002

                     DS SD/ED/DD,19.2Kbps,70Kbps w/SpartaDOS

Micro MainFrame MF-1681

                     SS SD/DD, printer port, 4K to 54K printer buffer,

                     hard disk firmware included, master, Z-80 CPU w/ 16K to

                     64K RAM for CP/M, TRSDOS, MaxiDOS A, and OASIS.

Micro MainFrame MF-1682

                     dual drives version of MF-1681

Percom RFD40-S1      SS SD/DD, master

Percom RFD40-S2      SS SD/DD dual drives, master

Percom RFD44-S1      DS SD/DD, master

Percom RFD44-S2      DS SD/DD dual drives, master

                     (80-track RFDs hinted at

                     http://www.atarimagazines.com/v1n2/newproducts.html)

Percom AT88          SS SD, master

Percom AT88-S1PD     SS SD/DD, printer port, master

Percom AT88-S2PD     SS SD/DD dual drives, printer port, master

Rana 1000            SS SD/ED/DD, stand alone disk formatting

RCP 810              SS SD

San Jose Computer Special Edition 810

                     SS SD, optional Happy Warp Speed 52Kbps

Spider               SS SS/ED/DD,XF551 compat,printer port,only 70 protos made

                see: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=99716

SWP ATR8000          4MHz Z80, 16K RAM, RS-232, master, printer port

               or    4MHz Z80, 64K RAM, RS-232, master, printer port, CP/M 2.2

                     options:  128K or 256K CO-POWER-88 with MS-DOS; CP/M-86

TOMS 720             DS SD/ED/DD/ID/QD/ST

                     printer port, MYDOS 4.5 on ROM, 68.2Kbps

                     Intel 8085 microprocessor

                     SS/SD - 40 tracks, 18 sectors, 128 bytes/sector = 90 kB

                     SS/ED - 40 tracks, 26 sectors, 128 bytes/sector = 130 kB

                     SS/DD - 40 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes/sector = 180 kB

                     SS/ID - IBM S-9 - 40 tr, 9 sc, 512 bytes/sector = 180 kB

                     DS/DD - 40 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes/sector = 360 kB

                     DS/QD - 80 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes/sector = 720 kB

                     DS/ID - IBM D-9 - 40 tr, 9 sc, 512 bytes/sector = 360 kB

                     DS/ST - Atari ST - 80 tr, 9 s, 512 bytes/sector = 720 kB

                     1050 Turbo speed and UltraSpeed

                     Optional RS-232 port

TOMS 710             features same as TOMS 720, plus:

                     - also has TOMS Navigator (like Norton Commander) on ROM

TOMS 360             features same as TOMS 720, except:

                     - no support for 720K formats

Trak AT-1            SS SD/DD master.upgrade: printer port+4K/16K buffer

Trak AT-D1           SS SD master, printer port, 4K print buffer.upgrade:16K

Trak AT-D2           SS SD/DD master, printer port, 4K printbuffer.upgrade:16K

Trak AT-D4           DS SD/DD, printer port, print buffer

Trak Champ           SS SD master

Trak Champ2          SS SD/DD master

Trak AT-S1           SS SD/DD slave

Viatronic Brno VD 40 SS SS/ED/DD, XF551 compatible, printer port

XFD601 (Jacek Zuk)   DS SD/ED/DD 70kbps,Top Drive,Synchromesh,UltraSpeed,

                     XF551 compat.

                     http://atariki.krap.pl/index.php/XFD601

XFD602 (Jacek Zuk)   DS SD/ED/DD dual drives,70kbps,Top Drive,Synchromesh,

                     UltraSpeed,XF551 compat

                     XF clones with indus GT speed, but have a FAST and TURBO

                     mode. The Fast mode is the same a INDUS GT and turbo is

                     also INDUS GT only works with SpartaDOS X. There is a

                     jumper for Fast/Turbo.

                see: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=113924

                 or: http://atariki.krap.pl/index.php/XFD602

 

While any standard "slave" drive will work with "master" drives listed above,

the following are slave drives marketed specifically to Atari users:

Access Unlimited ATAR88-A1 SS SD slave

Access Unlimited ATAR40-A1 SS SD/DD slave

Concorde C-221S      SS SD/DD slave

Concorde C-222S      DS SD/DD slave

Percom RFD40-A1      SS SD/DD slave

Percom AT88-A1       SS SD/DD slave

RCP 100              DS SD/DD, slave

RCP 200              DS SD/DD dual drives, slave

 

The following information is taken from the documentation for HiassofT's

WriteAtr program, http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/

 

Double-Sided drives for the Atari may use one of three different drive-

mapping possibilities.

   * Most double-sided Atari disk drives:

     First fill tracks 0-39 (or 0-79) on the first side, then switch

     over to side 2 and again fill tracks 0-39 (0-79 for 3.5" disks).

 

   * The XF551 first fills track 0 on the first side. Then it

     fills track 1, then track 2, ... up to track 39 (on a 5.25" disk)

     or 79 (on a 3.5" disk). Then it switches to side 2 and fills

     the disk in reverse order (starting at track 39/79, then 38/78,

     ... til it has reached the end of the disk at track 0).

 

   * The third possibility is the standard in the PC world, but on the Atari

     it's possibly unique to drives connected via the Karin Maxi interface.

     If your Atari disk drive uses this mapping, it first fills

     track 0 on side 1, then track 0 on side 2, then seeks to track 1,

     again first fills track 1 / side 1, then track 1 / side 2,

     and so on, until it finishes with track 39 (79) / side 2.

     The drive switches the heads (sides) first before switching

     the track.

 

 

 

Subject: 3.6) What kinds of 5.25" floppy disks can I use with my Atari drives?

 

Russ Gilbert writes:

If you're talking standard computer store, you can't use those 5 1/4" disks.

I mean you can't use high density disks.  They must be double density to use

with the 1050.  Almost all double density 5 1/4" disks have a hub ring, high

density disks don't have the hub ring.

 

RHamiIton5 elaborates: (5/12/01)

The Atari 8 drives do not have write heads and circuitry which can handle the

type of oxide coating used on the high density floppy media; they cannot write

reliably to them. The hub ring has just become a sort of marker to distinguish

the high density from the standard double density diskettes.

 

Way back in your apple days of '79-'82, most disks were hubless and only the

really premium brands offered hubs to prevent slippage and out of round

problems; you could even buy little kits for adding you own hub rings.

 

When the home computer swell really hit around '83 and price wars began, hub

rings became common on good disks and eventually became standard down to

include most generic bargain diskettes.

 

The introduction of high density 5.25's required a different coercivity (=

magnetizability) to get more bits in a smaller space and suitable electronics

to do it. These disks were produced hubless; was it a differentiating label or

just unnecessary because of stronger mylar construction? Anyone?

 

 

 

Subject: 3.7) What can I do to extend the life of my floppy disks?

 

Lee Hart writes (January 2004):

 

Personally, I have several hundred floppy disks for my Atari 800, Kaypro

4, Heathkit H89, and IMSAI 8080 computers that are 10-20 years old.  What

I can say in general:

 

 - Most disks stored in plastic boxes or ziplock baggies survived.

 - Most disks stored in cardboard boxes or just their sleeves

   did NOT survive.

 - Some brands lasted better than others, but I haven't collated the

   information so as to make any kind of definitive statements.

 - If a disk cannot be read, CLEAN THE DISK DRIVE HEAD before attempting

   to read another disk! Otherwise, crap from the bad disk will remain

   on the head, and will scar and destroy any SUBSEQUENT disk you put

   in the drive! (the voice of painful experience).

 - For lack of a better plan, for each of my surviving disks I am:

        a. reformatting another blank disk

        b. copying the data from an old disk onto the blank disk

   Then I have a more recently-produced backup disk in case the

   original disk later fails.

 

 

 

Subject: 3.8) What hard drives were designed for my Atari?

 

Atari never produced hard drives for the 8-bit Atari, but the following

were produced and marketed to Atari users by third parties.

 

==> Corvus hard drive (5MB, 10MB, or 20MB)

(some Corvus info from an eBay auction by Ben Corr, 7/03)

Attaches via joystick ports 3 & 4 on the Atari 800 only.

  -- Corvus Integrator Board - allows access to the Corvus Disc without the

     Corvus software, so that any DOS that uses standard SIO calls will work.

  -- Corvus Multiplexer - used to network up to 8 Ataris to one Corvus Drive

  -- Corvus Mirror card - back up the drive's contents onto video tape

 

==> SupraDrive Atari Hard Disk, by Supra, later K-Products. 10MB or 20MB.

includes external Hard Disk Interface

Some limitations on drive type and size and total number of drives in sys.

Attaches via PBI, or ECI with adapter.

See: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n6/Supradrivefor8Bit.html

 

==> BTL Hard Disk System by Lurie Associates

10MB to 128 MB

BTL 2001 Connector for 600XL/800XL PBI

BTL 2002 Connector for 130XE/800XE/65XE ECI

BTL 2004 SASI Hard Disk Adapter

See: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n12/BTLHardDisk.html

 

Most hard drives are connected to the Atari via a SCSI or IDE interface.

Such interfaces are covered in other sections of this FAQ List.

 

 

 

Subject: 3.9) How can my Atari utilize my PC's or Mac's storage drives?

 

==> SIO2PC, by Nick Kennedy

 

From the SIO2PC home page:

 

SIO2PC is a hardware & software package interfacing the 8-bit Atari to PC

compatible computers.

 

The original idea was to have the PC emulate Atari disk drives so Atari

programs could be stored on the PC's hard (or floppy) drives.  It turned out

to be quite successful.  About 95% of my work was in the software, but a

hardware device to convert logic levels was also necessary.  This device is

now commonly referred to as an SIO2PC cable.

 

Features:

  -  Emulates 1 to 4 Atari disk drives

  -  Store your Atari files on PC hard or floppy drives

  -  Boot from the PC, real drive not needed to start-up

  -  No software or drivers required for the Atari;

         no conflicts: use your favorite DOS

  -  Twice as fast as an Atari 810 drive and more reliable

  -  Co-exists with real drives in the Atari daisy chain

  -  Compatible down to the hardware level: use sector copiers, etc.

  -  Print-Thru captures Atari print-out and routes to PC's printer

  -  Convert Atari files to PC files and vice versa

 

http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm

 

Another source for various SIO2PC cable design plans is Clarence Dyson's page

at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/

 

Another (Czech language): http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/sio2pc.htm

 

 

==> Atari810, by Dan Vernon

A disk drive emulator in the tradition of SIO2PC, for the Windows NT/2000/XP

platform.

 

http://retrobits.net/

 

 

==> Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE), by Steven Tucker

 

David A. Paterson writes:

"Steven J. Tucker took SIO2PC one better and wrote new software.

The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE for short):

 

- lets your PC act as high-speed drives.

- It lets you print to your PC printer.

- And it lets you use your PC modem on the 8-bit."

 

http://www.atarimax.com/

 

 

==> SIO2Linux, by Preston Crow

 

Pavel Machek made an initial attempt at communicating with the Atari through

an SIO2PC cable using Linux's serial port drivers. He came up with a simple

floppy emulator, femul.c.  I rewrote that to add a bunch of features:

 

* No kernel modules.

  Unlike the AtariSIO project, this is just a simple user-space program that

  uses a serial port device.

* Create new dynamically sized images

  Each image starts as a 3-sector image file, but grows to accommodate the

  highest-numbered sector written.

* Mount your native file system as an Atari disk

  It's read-only for now, and it doesn't support subdirectories, but each

  file is mapped to a different starting sector, and as that sector is read,

  it automatically maps in the rest of the file.

 

http://www.crowcastle.net/preston/atari/

 

 

==> Sio2OSX, by Mark Grebe

 

Sio2OSX is a peripheral emulator for the Atari 8-bit computers that allows

the Atari computer to use an OSX based Macintosh as a disk drive, a cassette

drive, and a printer. Sio2OSX performs functions similar to APE or SIO2PC on

Windows based computers.

 

http://www.atarimac.com/sio2osx.php

 

 

==> Multi-platform Distributive Operating System Professional for Atari,

    by Krishna Software (Krishnasoft)

 

MPDOS Professional for Atari Features:

 

 o Joystick simulation (2-button and single button)

 o Digitized Paddle simulation (just extreme values)

 o Allows for using PC joystick or keyboard to simulate Atari joystick

 o Works with Atari 5200 (using Digital Joystick Adapter)

 o Keyboard simulation (supplied software driver is needed)

 o Simulates up to 4 Atari disk drives (D1:, D2:, D3:, D4:)

 o Simulates Atari cassette player (C:)

 o Includes easy to use parallel port cable (plug and play)

 o Hardware level simulation (no drivers required, except for keyboard)

 o Supports PC video overlay window

 o KDOS4-- a fast binary file uploader

 o Multimedia CDROM included (runs on PC and Atari using distributive

   programming)

 o Built-in editor for creating Atari ASM and Atari BASIC source files

 o 6502 Assembler (compile and upload directly to Atari)

 o Sample source code

 o DOS-based utilities including 6502 disassembler

 o Simple GUI interface for simulating peripherals, compiling, and uploading

 o On-line 100+ page manual with technical and general information

 

 

 

Subject: 3.10) How can I use SD/MMC cards with my Atari?

 

Secure Digital (SD) is a flash memory (non-volatile) memory card format used

in portable devices, including digital cameras, handheld computers, PDAs and

GPS units.  SD cards are based on the older MultiMediaCard (MMC) format.

 

==> SIO2SD, by Jakub Kruszona-Zawadzki

 

http://sio2sd.gucio.pl/

 

SIO2SD is a device which makes it possible to load games/applications into

8-bit Atari computers via SIO interface from SD/MMC cards.

 

Device abilities:

 - Works with SD/MMC (FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 formats)

 - Handles ATR (rw), XFD (ro) and COM/XEX (ro) file types

 - 16x2 LCD display allows to "walk" catalog tree and choose files to load

 - Handles SIO with turbo (speed 51200kbps - hsindex 10)

 - All densities with 128B and 256B sectors, including 16MB disks

 - Handles drives d1 to d4 (special version d1 to d8 available)

 

 

==> SDrive, by C.P.U. (Radek Sterba (Raster) & Robert Petruzela (Bob!k))

 

http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/sdrive/sdrive.htm

 

The SDrive is a device that connects to Atari XL/XE's serial (SIO) port and

simulates an Atari floppy disk drive with full read/write access to programs

and data stored on a Secure Digital (SD) flash mamory card.

 

Main features:

 - Supported flash cards: Secure Digital up to 2GB size, FAT16 filesystem

 - Maximum number of drives: 4 (D1: to D4:) + 1 special boot drive

 - Supported SIO transfer rates: 3.5 to 128kbps (standard 19 and 69kbps)

 - Supported disk images: ATR, XFD, size up to 16MB, 128 or 256B sectors

 - Supported executable files: COM, XEX, BIN.... (any filename extension).

 - Device controlled by software running on Atari from the SD card, which can

   be therefore easily updated/replaced

 - Drives swappable on the fly by buttons

 - Write protect/enable switch

 - SDrive ID number selection switch - simultaneous use of up to 4 SDrives

 - Low cost design - no LCD, a few LEDs, cheap DIL28 Atmega8 MCU, single sided

   PCB

 - Firmware and software source code freely available

 

Special features:

 - Buffered reads for speedup

 - Delayed writes for speedup and greatly reduced flash write cycles

 - Built-in bootloader requiring less than 256 bytes including sector buffer,

   relocatable in the $0500-$05F7 to $BE00-$BEF7 range, with SKCTL

   initialization before every block. Supports executable files of up to 8MB

   size.

 - Directory with filename simulated for active files in drives, data handled

   through standard 128B sectors. Executable files can be run from most DOSes

   or Q-MEG. Random data files with arbitrary suffix can be activated and

   opened by a program through DOS or copied to disk images. (Note: 80KB file

   size limit applies to standard DOSes, 8MB to Q-MEG and MyDOS)

 

 

==> SDrive NUXX, by Steve Vigneau / c0nsumer (based on SDrive by C.P.U.)

 

http://nuxx.net/wiki/SDrive_NUXX

 

Based on SDrive by C.P.U.  Changes from the original SDrive:

 

- A readily available enclosure and custom end panels with cutouts and

  artwork.

- An SIO connector footprint. This allows a standard Atari SIO

  connector to be used, allowing easy connectivity with any of the compatible

  Atari 8-bit computers.

- Incorporates a low-cost AVR programmer allowing a SDrive builder who doesn't

  have AVR programming hardware readily available an easy method of loading

  the firmware on the microcontroller.

- The built-in Brown-Out Detector has been enabled with a 4.0V threshold.

 

 

 

Subject: 3.11) How can I use a USB flash drive with my Atari?

 

USB flash drives are NAND-type flash memory data storage devices integrated

with a USB (universal serial bus) interface.  They are typically small,

lightweight, removable and rewritable.

 

==> SIO2USB, by ABBUC Regional Group Frankfurt / Main

 

The SIO2USB Interface is a peripheral device that can be attached to an ATARI

8-bit computer using the SIO-Bus.  It emulates one or more ATARI Floppy-

Drive(s) and does not require any special drivers or Operating-Systems, it is

fully compatible with all ATARI DOS Systems and extensions.  Because the

device is connected to the SIO-Bus, it is not necessary to open or modify the

ATARI.  The device is powered by the SIO-Bus and does not need an external

Power Adapter.  The data are stored on standard USB Mass Storage Devices (USB

FLASH Drives) as ATARI-Imagefiles (ATR or XFD) on a standard FAT filesystem.

 

SIO2USB features:

 

 o Can boot an ATARI 8-bit Computer without physical Floppy Drive

 o Emulation of up to 3 (virtual) Disk drives simultaneously

 o Simple device, attached to SIO-Port, no modification of computer necessary

 o Mixed operation of real Floppy and SIO2USB possible

 o Fully compatible with all ATARI DOS and OS and all ATARI compatible

   extensions

 o Storage of ATARI-Imagefiles on standard USB FLASH Drives

 o Configuration of the device by built-in keys and LC-Display or

   configuration program on the ATARI

 o Built-in Real Time Clock (RTC)

 o Power supply for the device and USB FLASH Drive from SIO-Bus

 o Updated SIO2USB Firmware can be applied from within the ATARI (no

   additional device or computer required)

 o Updates available via Internet (USB FLASH Drive) or direct from the ATARI

   (real Disk Drive)

 

http://home.arcor.de/grasel/sio2usb_e.htm   or

http://home.arcor.de/grasel/sio2usb_d.htm

 

 

 

Subject: 4.1) What are the Atari 820, 822, and 825 Printers?

 

The following printers were produced by Atari and styled to match the 400/800

computers.

 

Atari 820 Printer:  ( = LRC 7000 / Eaton 7000 )

- 40-column impact printer

- 5x7 dot matrix

- 40 characters per line, upper & lower case alpha

- horizontal and vertical alphanumeric characters

- 6507 microprocessor, 6532 RAM I/O chip, 2K ROM

- 40 characters per second

- uses Standard Roll Paper/adding machine paper

 

Atari 822 Thermal Printer:   ( = Trendcom 100 )

- 37 characters per second

- 10 characters per inch

- 40 characters per line, upper/lower case and point graphics

- 5x7 dot matrix

 

Atari 825 80-Column Printer      ( = Centronics 737 )

- 3 character sets:

    monospaced 7x8 dot matrix at 10 characters per inch

    monospaced condensed at 16.7 cpi

    proportionately spaced Nx9 dot matrix at avg of 14 cpi (N=6..18)

- all characters can be elongated (printer double width)

- characters per line: 80 at 10 cpi; 132 at 16.7 cpi

- speed: 50 cps at 10 cpi; 83 cps at 16.7 cpi; 79 cps avg. proportional

- print buffer: 1200 dot columns

- paper: roll, fanfold, or cut sheets

- requires Atari 850 Interface Module or equivalent

 

 

 

Subject: 4.2) What are the Atari 1020, 1025, 1027, and 1029 Printers?

 

The following printers were produced by Atari and styled to match the XL

series computers.

 

Atari 1020 Color Printer:

( = Commodore 1520 / Oric MCP40 / Tandy/Radio Shack CGP-115 /..; made by ALPS)

- 4-color graphics: (black, red, blue, green). optional 8-pen rainbow package

- alphanumeric and X,Y plotting capability

- 10 cps (40-column mode)

- 20, 40 and 80-column modes

- horizontal and vertical alphanumerics, English and International chr sets

- water soluble ink pen technology

- 4-pen barrel print head

- microprocessor

- paper: standard roll paper (40 column width)

- TX9032 Joystick Sketchpad graphics software cassette included

 

Atari 1025 Printer:   ( = Okidata ML80 )

- 40 cps (80-column 10 cpi mode)

- 5 cpi expanded (40 col), 10 cpi (80 col), 16.7 cpi condensed (132-col)

- 5x7 character dot matrix

- buffer: 132 chrs at 16.7 cpi, 80 chrs at 10 cpi

- paper: roll,fanfold,single sheets. optional:roll paper holder, tractor feed

 

Atari 1027 Letter Quality Printer:     ( = Mannesmann Tally Riteman LQ.)

- fully formed characters, prestige elite 12)

- 12 characters per inch (80 columns)

- 20 characters per second

- single sheets or roll paper

 

Atari 1029 Programmable Printer    (by Seikosha)

- 7-pin dot matrix, same as Commodore MPS-801

- Released for Europe & Canada (not USA)

- Rich_N_Feymus says:

     I think it's a SEIKOSHA GP500, but not 100% sure. However, the

     Commodore MPS-801 ribbons should be much easier to find.

- The Tandy DMP 110 is another model reported to be the same as the 1029.

 

 

 

Subject: 4.3) What are the Atari XMM801 and XDM121 Printers?

 

The following printers were produced by Atari and styled to match the XE

series computers.

 

Atari XMM801 Dot Matrix Graphics Printer:    ( = SHINWA CP80 )

- 80 columns, dot matrix

- friction feed or pin feed

- pica 10 cpi, double width pica 5 cpi, elite 12 cpi,double width elite 6 cpi,

  condensed 16.5 cpi, double width condensed 8.25 cpi

- Ribbon: Commodore 1526 and the Mannesman-Tally Spirit 80

 

Atari XDM121 Letter-Quality Daisy Wheel Printer:

- 80 columns

- underlining, subscripts, superscripts

- friction feed paper

- Ribbon: Silver Reed CF130, Olivetti ET201,ET221,Nu-Kote NK136

 

 

 

Subject: 4.4) What other printers can I use with my Atari?

 

Some third-party printers were marketed for use with the Atari 8-bit

computers:

 

Alphacom 42 + Atari interface cartridge

- requires 850 Interface or equivalent

- thermal

- 4 1/2" width paper

- supports complete ATASCII character set

 

Axiom AT-100 / GP-100AT Economical Printer (= Seikosha GP-100A)

- built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port for daisy-chain

- dot matrix

- early model 30-cps, later version 50 cps

- Graph-AX graphics software package

 

Axiom GP-550AT Dual Mode Printer (by Seikosha)

- built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port

- dot matrix

- 86 cps draft, 43 cps NLQ

- Graph-AX graphics software package

 

Axiom GP-700AT Full Color Printer (by Seikosha)

- built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port

- 4 hammer print heads, 4-color ribbon cartridge

- 25 colors

- 50 cps

- Graph-AX graphics software package

 

Epson HomeWriter 10

- plug-in cartridge interface for the Atari

- 80 column dot-matrix printer

- draft quality printing at 100 cps and near letter quality at 16 cps

 

General Electric GE 3-8100 / TXP 1000

- GE Printer Interface Module for Atari

- dot-matrix

- 50 cps draft, 25 cps NLQ

 

Okidata Okimate 10 Personal Color Printer

- available Plug 'n Print Interface for Atari

- a thermal printer.

- single-sheet or tractor-feed paper.

- 26 colors

- 240 words per minutes

 

Tesla BT-100 (Tesla Prelouc, Czech Republic)

- plugs into 2 joystick/controller ports

- Dot matrix, 1 pin (!)

- carbon paper instead of ribbon

- 480 dots per line

- 150 dots per sec (A4 paper in 10 minutes)

- Input power 5 W

- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwbt.htm

- Can be installed in the SP 210-T Data Cassette Recorder

 

Merkur Alfi (Kovopodnik Broumov, Czech Republic)

- Plotter

- Standard, size A4 paper

- Pens - Any

- Length of step - 0.15 mm

- sold only as kit

- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwal.htm

 

Alfigraf

- plotter

- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwag.htm

 

Minigraf 0507 Aritma (Aritma Praha, Czech Republic)

- plotter

- Paper - Standard, size A4

- Pens KIN 0577; Centropen 1939; KOH-I-NOOR 4443; Staedtler 40T06-S;

  Staedtler 32T03-S

- Speed     - max. 80 mm/s

- Length of step (error) - 0.125 mm (+- 0.005 mm)

- Input power 30 W

- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwmi.htm

 

Graficka Jednotka XY4140 / XY4150 (Laboratorni Pristroje Praha)

- Plotters

- Paper     Standard, size A4 (297 x 210 mm)

- Printable space 260 x 185 mm (2600 x 1850 steps)

- Step 0.1 mm

- Speed 100 mm/sec

- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwxy.htm

 

Beyond the above printer models, most any "industry-standard" line printer can

work well with the Atari.  For many years, most printers marketed for home use

could be classified into one of two categories: parallel or serial interface.

Parallel line printers were much more commonly used than serial line printers,

with the Epson MX/FX/LX series defining the market.

 

The most common way to use an industry standard printer with the Atari has

been to attach it through the 15-pin 8-bit parallel port of the Atari 850

Interface Module or equivalent (such as the ICD P:R: Connection).  One gotcha

here is that the 850's parallel port is DB15, where the PC world ended-up

standardizing on a DB25 configuration.  So you need to find or build a cable,

such as the Atari CX86 Printer Cable, that provides the DB15 connector for the

Atari end, and Centronics-type parallel connector on the printer end, in order

to attach a standard parallel printer to the Atari through an Atari 850 or

equivalent.  The pinouts necessary for building such a cable are available

in the Atari 850 Interface section of this FAQ list.

 

Many 3rd-party disk drives for the Atari (along with the Atari XEP80 Interface

Module) do include a DB25 parallel printer port, rendering the need for an

Atari-specific printer cable unnecessary.

 

The Atari 850 Interface Module and equivalents also provide standard DB9

serial RS-232-C ports, permitting use of standard serial line printers with

the Atari.  But this is much less common than parallel, both in the Atari

world and in the industry at large.

 

Some folks have connected more modern inkjet and laser printers with parallel

connections to the 8-bit Atari with success.  Graphics printouts from the

Atari may be less than ideal (look for a printer with an Epson MX/FX/LX

printer series emulation mode), but these types of printers should work fine

for plain text output if they can handle simple line print jobs.

 

Bob Woolley wrote on Sun, 14 Apr 2002:

     I use HP LaserJet 4Ps on my Ataris. They are one of the last front panel

     selectable cheap printers - from which you can select your default fonts,

     etc. The newer laser printers can only set fonts and operating modes thru

     the interface, not impossible, but not as easy as selecting on the panel.

     This does allow you to print just about any point size of the internal

     fonts in the printer on your Atari.

       

     Either way, you really have to do a little work to get properly formatted

     output from a word processor. I have managed to use the proportional font

     setting with AtariWriter and printer driver creation utilities to get good

     results.

 

Mathy van Nisselroy provides an AtariWriter printer driver for the HP LaserJet

here:  http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/special%20stuff.htm

 

Carsten Strotmann wrote on 30 Dec 2006:

     I'm very happy with the Kyocery Mita Laserprinters. They still support

     Epson and IBM ESC Codes (as well as PCL and Postscript), have all Codes

     documented in the handbooks (downloadable as PDF from the company

     webpage). Also the printers are very reliable and have low life cycle

     costs. Be sure to check the Emulation Features, as they also have some

     Windows only GDI Printer.

 

     I have the FS1200D (with duplex printing feature).

 

Modern printers designed for "modern" PCs now normally utilize USB connectors

rather than the older standard Centronics parallel connector.

 

 

 

Subject: 4.5) How can my Atari utilize my PC's printer?

 

==> SIO2PC, by Nick Kennedy

 

From the SIO2PC home page:

 

SIO2PC is a hardware & software package interfacing the 8-bit Atari to PC

compatible computers.

 

The original idea was to have the PC emulate Atari disk drives so Atari

programs could be stored on the PC's hard (or floppy) drives.  It turned out

to be quite successful.  About 95% of my work was in the software, but a

hardware device to convert logic levels was also necessary.  This device is

now commonly referred to as an SIO2PC cable.

 

Features:

  -  Emulates 1 to 4 Atari disk drives

  -  Store your Atari files on PC hard or floppy drives

  -  Boot from the PC, real drive not needed to start-up

  -  No software or drivers required for the Atari;

         no conflicts: use your favorite DOS

  -  Twice as fast as an Atari 810 drive and more reliable

  -  Co-exists with real drives in the Atari daisy chain

  -  Compatible down to the hardware level: use sector copiers, etc.

  -  Print-Thru captures Atari print-out and routes to PC's printer

  -  Convert Atari files to PC files and vice versa

 

http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm

 

Another source for various SIO2PC cable design plans is Clarence Dyson's page

at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/

 

Another (Czech language): http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/sio2pc.htm

 

 

==> Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE), by Steven Tucker

 

David A. Paterson writes:

"Steven J. Tucker took SIO2PC one better and wrote new software.

The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE for short):

 

- lets your PC act as high-speed drives.

- It lets you print to your PC printer.

- And it lets you use your PC modem on the 8-bit."

 

http://www.atarimax.com/

 

 

==> Sio2OSX, by Mark Grebe

 

Sio2OSX is a peripheral emulator for the Atari 8-bit computers that allows

the Atari computer to use an OSX based Macintosh as a disk drive, a cassette

drive, and a printer. Sio2OSX performs functions similar to APE or SIO2PC on

Windows based computers.

 

http://www.atarimac.com/sio2osx.php

 

 

 

Subject: 5.1) What are the Atari 830, 835, 1030, XM301, and SX212 Modems?

 

A MODulator/DEModulator translates digital information from your computer into

acoustic tones that can be sent and received, from modem to modem, via

standard telephone lines.

 

Atari produced several modems for use with the 8-bit Atari computers:

 

Atari 830 Acoustic Modem:    ( = Novation 'CAT' )

- a stand-alone, acoustically coupled, frequency shift keying (FSK) modem

- up to 300 bits per second

- Bell 103/113 modem compatible

- requires Atari 850 Interface Module or equivalent

 

Atari 835 Direct Connect Modem:   (by Racal-Vadic?)

- 300 bps

- Bell 103/113 modem compatible

- pulse dialing

- 2 SIO ports

- packaged with the TeleLink II cartridge

 

Atari 1030 Modem with ModemLink Telecommunications Program:  (by Penril)

- 300 bps

- Bell 103/113 modem compatible

- built-in ModemLink software.

- 2 SIO ports

 

Atari XM301 Modem:

- 300 bps

- Bell 103/113 modem compatible

- with XE Term disk software (developed by Russ Wetmore for Atari)

- permanent SIO cable, must be at end of SIO chain

- draws its power from the computer via SIO

 

Atari SX212 Modem:

- SIO & DB25 RS-232 serial ports, must be at end of SIO chain

- 1200 baud

- Bell 103/113/212A modem compatible

- SX Express! disk software (developed by Keith Ledbetter for Atari) to be

  sold separately, packaged with an SIO cable.

- Key engineer/designer: Jose Valdes at Atari

 

 

 

Subject: 5.2) What other modems can I use with my Atari?

 

Some third-party modems were marketed for use with the Atari 8-bit

computers:

 

==> Microconnection, by The Microperipheral Corporation

300 bps, Bell 103 compatible, T-SMART software, pulse dialing (not touch tone)

Four versions:

buss-decoding version does not require 850 Interface or equivalent, includes

    DB25 parallel printer interface, with or without autodial

Plain version requires 850 Interface or equivalent, with or without autodial

    and autoanswer

 

==> MPP-1000C, by Microbits Peripheral Products

300 baud, joystick port 2, Smart Terminal cartridge

 

==> MPP-1000E, by Microbits Peripheral Products

300 baud, joystick port 2, Smart Term software

 From: "Steven J Tucker" Sun, 13 Jan 2002 16:14:38 -0500

 The 1000E..had this strange problem in that it could never hang up the phone

 

==> MPP-1200A, by Microbits Peripheral Products

Released? Vaporware?

1200 bps, joystick port 2

 

==> 300 AT, by Supra (same as MPP-1000E)

300 baud, joystick port 2, Smart Term software

 

==> 1200 AT, by Supra

1200 baud, Hayes compatible, connects to SIO via SupraVerter/R-Verter cable,

Smart Terminal software

 

==> Volksmodem, by Anchor Automation

300 baud, 'F' Cable permits connection to joystick port 2

 

==> Q-MODEM, by Quantum Microsystems

300 baud, two SIO connectors, QuanTerm disk or cartridge

 

Beyond the above modem models, most any "industry-standard" external serial

modem can work well with the Atari.  These have been commonly sold for PCs for

many years.  The Hayes Smartmodem more or less defined the market for these,

initially.

 

One common way to use an industry standard external serial modem with the

Atari is to connect it to the SIO port via an Advanced Interface Devices

(A.I.D., later Supra) R-Verter Serial Bus Modem Adapter cable, or

equivalent.

 

The other common way to use an industry standard external serial modem with

the Atari is to attach it through the 9-pin RS-232-C serial port of the Atari

850 Interface Module or equivalent (such as the ICD P:R: Connection).  One

gotcha here is that the serial port on the 850 is DB9 female, where the PC

world ended up standardizing on a DB9 male connector for this purpose.  But

gender converters are readily available.

 

For using modems at speeds of 2400 bps and up with the Atari, it will be

useful to have an understanding of data flow control.  Here is a definition

of flow control from www.modems.com:

 

 Often, one modem in a connection is capable of sending data much faster than

 the other can receive.  Flow control allows the receiving modem to tell the

 other to pause while it catches up.  Flow control exists as either software,

 or XON/XOFF, flow control, or hardware (RTS/CTS) flow control.  With software

 flow control, when a modem needs to tell the other to pause, it sends a

 certain character, usually Control-S.  When it is ready to resume, it sends a

 different character, such as Control-Q.  Software flow control's only

 advantage is that it can use a serial cable with only three wires.  Since

 software flow control regulates transmissions by sending certain characters,

 line noise could generate the character commanding a pause, thus hanging the

 transfer until the proper character (such as Control-Q) is sent.  Also,

 binary files must never be sent using software flow control, as binary files

 can contain the control characters.  Hardware, or RTS/CTS, flow control uses

 wires in the modem cable or, in the case of internal modems, hardware in the

 modem. This is faster and much more reliable than software flow control.

 

Some 2400 bps modems, and probably all modems with 9600 bps speed capabilities

and up, normally use V.42 standard error correction and V.42bis standard data

compression.  But V.42 requires either software or hardware flow control, and

V.42bis requires hardware flow control (and V.42 error correction).

 

Hardware flow control is not available with the Atari 850 serial ports.

 

As a result, just before dialing out with your Atari telecom software, it's

usually desirable, if not necessary, to disable your modem's flow control.

 

The Hayes modem command to disable flow control looks like:

     AT&K0

 

The top speed of the Atari 850 serial ports is 9600 bps.

 

Clay Halliwell offers a tip on utilizing 9600 bps through the 850 Interface:

 On 11 Feb 1996, Marc G. Frank said:

 

 > I'm having problems getting a modem attached to my Atari 850 to

 > communicate at 9600 baud.  When I set my communications program to 2400

 > baud, everything works fine.  However, when I set it to 9600 baud, the

 > modem echoes my characters but doesn't act on them.  That is, at 2400,

 

 The problem with the 850 is that some of them (like mine) don't produce a

 PERFECT 9600 baud signal.  As a result modems can't train on it, and while

 they will echo characters back, for some nitpicky reason they won't pick up

 on the "AT" attention code.

 

 The solution is to do all your dialing at 2400 baud, but set the S37

 register to force the modem to try to connect at 9600.  Then switch your

 Atari to 9600 after connecting.

 

Through the use of an ICD MIO or a CSS Black Box, it is possible to utilize

modems at speeds up to 14.4 Kbps (V.32bis) at full speed with no loss of data.

The serial R: device handler for the Black Box supports hardware flow control

natively.  Optional for the Black Box, but essential for the MIO, is the

HyperSpeed handler by Len Spencer.

 

Hyperspd.arc is available at:

http://www.lenardspencer.com/Lenspencer/hyperspd.htm

 

Modern external modems designed for "modern" PCs now normally utilize a USB

connector rather than the older standard DB9 RS-232-C serial connector.

 

 

 

Subject: 5.3) How can my Atari utilize my PC's modem/network?

 

==> Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE), by Steven Tucker

 

David A. Paterson writes:

"Steven J. Tucker took SIO2PC one better and wrote new software.

The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE for short):

 

- lets your PC act as high-speed drives.

- It lets you print to your PC printer.

- And it lets you use your PC modem on the 8-bit."

 

Greg Goodwin writes (2005):

Steven Tucker made this wonderful ability in the Windows version of Atari

Peripheral Emulator (APE, the program and cable that lets you make a PC an

Atari's bit...er..slave.  :D)  There is a great ability to tap into the PC's

Internet.  Bring up the APE program on the PC, BobTerm on the Atari, and

BobTerm will notice the Internet out there.  Now you can enter in a telnet

address and it will take you right to it.  Nice and basically cheap setup, and

great way to take advantage of the Internet setup on your PC.

 

http://www.atarimax.com/

 

 

==> Sio2OSX, by Mark Grebe

 

Sio2OSX is a peripheral emulator for the Atari 8-bit computers that allows

the Atari computer to use an OSX based Macintosh as a disk drive, a cassette

drive, and a printer. Sio2OSX performs functions similar to APE or SIO2PC on

Windows based computers.

 

http://www.atarimac.com/sio2osx.php

 

 

 

Subject: 5.4) What networking hardware is there for the Atari?

 

==> CSS Deluxe Quintopus

Share SIO devices between 2 computers.  The Deluxe Quintopus consists of a box

with two switched SIO ports and 4 unswitched SIO ports.

 

http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/quintopus.htm

 

==> Supra MicroNet

Supports the connection of one SIO chain of peripherals to up to 8 computers.

When one computer accesses a peripheral device, the entire bus is occupied so

that the other computers on the "network" must wait.  The bus is freed five

seconds after a computer finishes interacting with the peripheral.

 

A printer/data buffer can make the MicroNet more practical.

 

Supra also provided a modified Atari DOS 2.5 that would re-try disk accesses

repeatedly in response to SIO timeouts.

 

http://www.atarimagazines.com/v4n10/productreviews.html

 

==> CSS Multiplexer ("MUX")

Description from the CSS online catalog:

 

The Multiplexer is a collection of cartridge interface boards that allow up to

8 Ataris to read and write to the same drives (typically a hard disk), access

the same printer(s), and talk to each other.  It is the first practical

networking system for the Atari 8-bit computer.

 

One "master" computer (any 8-bit) is equipped with the master Multiplexer

interface.  Then up to 8 "slave" computers hook up to this master, each having

their own slave interface.  The slave interface consists of a cartridge that

plugs into the cartridge port.  It has its own socket on the top so you can

use whatever cartridges you desire with the system.

 

The "common" peripherals (things that are to be shared) are connected to the

master.  On each slave, all disk and printer I/O is routed through the master

so no extra disk drives are needed.  The master computer can be configured in

any manner you wish.  You may have certain peripherals local to the slave or

routed to a different number on the master.  Note that serial ports (R: RS-232

interfaces) are not multiplexed.  All slaves are independent and do not need

to have the same program running on them.

 

http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/multiplexer.htm

 

==> GameLink and GameLink II

This text by Andreas Koch:

 

In the late 80`s and early 90`s Chuck Steinman and Jeff Potter ("The ADGA

Group") developed some networking-computer-hardware to link two or more Ataris

together, so that multiplayer games are possible, where each user has its own

computer and tv/monitor screen. The hardware was/is computer independent and

will run fine on any Atari 8Bit computer (whereas most software for it will

only work on XL/XE computers). During a 3-4 year period of development two

different hardware add-ons were developed:

 

a) Gamelink-1: This hardware was developed in 1989/90. It links two

   computers together via the joystick ports. It is limited to a maximum

   of 2 computers and thus 2 or 6 players, meaning one free port per

   XL/XE computer and 3 free ports per 400/800 computer. However, the

   few existing games for this hardware merely support 2 players, no

   matter, which computer you have...

 

b) Gamelink-2: This hardware was developed in 1991/92. It links 2 to 8

   computers together via the SIO-port. One computer will then act as

   the master and has to boot up the software (from tape, disk, hard disk,

   etc.) first. Then all other "slave" computers connect to it and boot

   off of this master computer (one after another of course). In Europe

   we call this device "Multilink", mostly because of the games written

   by Bewesoft (Jiri Bernasek) called Multi-Dash, Multi-Race, Multi-Worms.

   A two-computer link-network can easily be done with one SIO cable, just

   open the end of the SIO cable and exchange cables number 3 and 5. You

   now have an easy two-computer (2-4 players) network-cable.

 

For some available software, that supports this networking-computer

hardware, see 8.16 which programs support networking computer hardware...

 

==> AT-Link (Alphasys)

Arianne Slaager writes:

I was actually surprised to read about the Gamelink-1, as I made a similar

cable myself, called the AT-Link.  This cable could also be used to

communicate with Commodore 64 computers, and I made driver software for both

systems at the time.  There were 2 drivers.  One as relocatable machine code,

and another as device driver.  Also in the package was a 2 player Battleships

type game where Side A had the Atari version, and Side B the Commodore 64

version.

 

...wasn't more than two old joystick cables in a crosslink configuration,

(Pin 1 and 2 linked to pin 3 and 4 of the other cable respectively)

 

==> EightLink (Alphasys)

Arianne Slaager writes:

I also made a special high-speed Atari to Atari cable, called the EightLink.

This one was cartridge based system, with a PIA inside, which boasted a 8 bit

bidirectional, parallel databus, and a 4 bit crosslinked control bus. Transfer

speeds were such that two Atari's on opposite ends of a large hall could

transfer disk data faster than it could be read or written.  The actual cable

connecting the two was a flatcable with 33 leads, alternating ground and a

dataline across the width to minimise crossover disruption of data.  Also for

this link system, I made drivers both in relocatable code, as well as a device

driver.

 

 

 

Subject: 5.5) How can I connect my Atari to a high-speed/Ethernet network?

 

Marius Diepenhorst has pioneered the following technique.  He writes (2004):

 

"Try to get a LANTRONIX UDS-10 device.  It acts like a modem but it is a LAN

-> RS-232 converter.  So with that device you can have incoming and outgoing

'calls' like modem ones via the internet.

 

I ran my Atari 8bit bbs with such a thing. The Lantronix MSS-10 or MSS-100

will do too.  But in that case you have to make a custom RS-232 cable (easy

job).

 

More info www.lantronix.com

 

this is the info of the UDS-10

 

www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/uds-10.html

  Now see the newer model, the UDS1100:

  www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/uds1100.html

 

It is REALLY a cool thing. Not only for you, but for more atari fans I guess."

 

Other, similar serial-to-Ethernet interfaces from Lantronix have been

successfully utilized, including the MSS100:

www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/mss100.html

 

as well as the discontinued MSS1-T.

 

Note that the UDS-10 lacks DNS support, while the MSS100 and MSS1-T include

DNS support.

 

 

 

Subject: 6.1) What is the Atari 850 Interface Module?

 

While the Atari's SIO and controller ports did not conform to established

industry standards, Atari produced the 850 Interface Module to address this

issue.  The 850 connects to the SIO port on the Atari, and provides:

 

   - Four 9-pin RS-232-C serial ports

   - One 15-pin Centronics-type parallel Printer Port

 

Many "industry standard" (of the time) printers, modems, and various other

devices can be used with the Atari computer in combination with an 850

Interface Module.  Also, Atari's own 825 printer and 830 modem are connected

to the computer via the 850 Interface Module.

 

RS-232-C is a technical standard of the Electronic Industries Association

(EIA).  Published in August of 1969, it is titled "Interface Between Data

Terminal Equipment and Data Communication Equipment Employing Serial Binary

Data Interchange."  The standard specifies electrical signal characteristics

and names and defines the functions of the signal and control lines which make

up a standard interface, called RS-232-C.

 

The 850 should be thought of as an RS-232-C "data terminal" (DTE, or Data

Terminal Equipment).

 

The 850's RS-232-C serial ports support the following baud rates:

    45.5 bps*, 50 bps*, 56.875 bps*, 75 bps**, 110 bps, 134.5 bps, 150 bps,

    300 bps, 600 bps, 1200 bps, 1800 bps, 2400 bps, 4800 bps, 9600 bps

  * These Baud rates are useful for communications with Baudot teletypes, for

    RTTY (radioteletype) applications.  They are more commonly referred to as

    60, 67, and 75 words per minute.

 ** This Baud rate is sometimes used for ASCII communications, and may also

    be used for 5-bit Baudot RTTY.  The latter is commonly referred to as

    100 wpm.

 

While the Atari Operating System includes the necessary Printer Port software

handler, the RS-232 serial port handler is loaded into the computer's RAM via

a "Power-On Bootstrapping Operation" as follows:

 

Bootstrapping Operation Without Disk Drive:

When the Atari computer is turned on, it issues a disk request via SIO.  If no

Drive 1 is present with power ON, the 850 responds to the disk request.  The

computer then loads the bootstrapping program from the 850, as if it were

reading from a disk.  The bootstrapping program is then run, and it gets the

RS-232-C handler from the 850 and relocates it into the computer's RAM.  The

memory occupied by the bootstrapping program is then freed (but the handler

remains).

 

Bootstrapping Operation With Disk Drive:

If there is a disk drive attached to the system (Drive 1 only), it responds to

the disk request issued by the computer at power-on.  The computer then reads

a start-up program from that disk, such as a DOS.  The 850 does not respond to

the disk request if a disk drive responds first; therefore, the program loaded

from disk must load the handler from the 850.  Many varieties of DOS for the

Atari include an explicit provision for loading and executing the

bootstrapping program from the 850, such as through the use of an AUTORUN.SYS

file.  When the 850 bootstrapping program is executed, it gets the RS-232-C

handler from the 850 and relocates it into the computer's RAM.  The memory

occupied by the bootstrapping program is then freed (but the handler remains).

 

PINOUTS

=======

850 Serial Port No. 1 (9-pin female connector):

                1. Data Terminal Ready (DTR, Ready Out)

                2. Carrier Detect (CRX, In)

  5         1   3. Send Data (Out)

   o o o o o    4. Receive Data (In)

    o o o o     5. Signal Ground

   9       6    6. Data Set Ready (DSR, Ready In)

                7. Request to Send (RTS, Out)

                8. Clear to Send (CTS, In)

 

Use a cable with the following connections to attach a standard RS-232 MODEM

to an Atari via the 850's Serial Port No. 1 (equivalent to the Atari CX87

Interface/Modem Cable):

        DB25P (RS-232 MODEM)    |    DB9P (850 Interface)

               20                         1 - DTR

                8                         2 - CRX

                2                         3 - XMT

                3                         4 - RCV

                7                         5 - GND

                6                         6 - DSR

                4                         7 - RTS

                5                         8 - CTS

    Frame - to the shield wire  |  No connection to shield

 

850 Serial Port Nos. 2 and 3 (9-pin female connector):

  5         1   1. Data Terminal Ready (DTR, Ready Out)

   o o o o o    3. Send Data (Out)

    o o o o     4. Receive Data (In)

   9       6    5. Signal Ground

                6. Data Set Ready (DSR, Ready In)

 

850 Serial Port No. 4 (9-pin female connector):            When used with a

                1. Data Terminal Ready (DTR, Ready Out)*   20 mA loop device:

  5         1   3. Send Data (Out)                          1. Send data +

   o o o o o    4. Receive Data (In)                        3. Send data -

    o o o o     5. Signal Ground                            7. Receive data +

   9       6    7. Request to Send (RTS, Out)*              9. Receive data -

                9. - 8V

    *These pins are not computer-controlled and are always ON (+10v).

 

850 Printer Port (15-pin female connector):

                     1. Data Strobe'

                     2. Data bit 0

                     3. Data bit 1

 8               1   4. Data bit 2

  o o o o o o o o    5. Data bit 3

   o o o o o o o     6. Data bit 4

 15             9    7. Data bit 5

                     8. Data bit 6

                     9. Data pins pull-up (+5v)

                     11. Signal ground

                     12. Fault' (Must be +5 for printer port to operate)

                     13. Busy

                     15. Data bit 7

 

Use a cable with the following connections to attach a standard Centronics-

type parallel printer to an Atari via the 850's Printer Port (equivalent to

the Atari CX86 Printer Cable):

      36-pin Centronics (male)  |     DB15P (850 Interface)

                1                         1 - Data Strobe

                2                         2 - D0

                3                         3 - D1

                4                         4 - D2

                5                         5 - D3

                6                         6 - D4

                7                         7 - D5

                8                         8 - D6

               16                        11 - Gnd

               32                        12 - Fault

               11                        13 - Busy

                9                        15 - D7

    Frame - to the shield wire  |  No connection to shield

 

Very early 850's are in an all-black brushed steel case, but most are in a

beige plastic case matching the 400/800 computers.

 

Because the 850 was relatively expensive, provided more capabilities than the

average user was looking for, and was at times unavailable from Atari despite

high demand, there were many 3rd-party interfaces designed to provide some

compatible subset of the 850's features.  Perhaps the most prominent example

of such a product is the P:R: Connection from ICD.

 

 

 

Subject: 6.2) What is the Atari XEP80 Interface Module?

 

This text written by Thomas Raukamp.

 

Since the development of the Atari 8-bit line of computers in 1979, users

wanted better text displays than the default 40x24.  There have been some

attempts to satisfy this need, like the Austin-Franklin board or the ACE-80

and ACE-80XL cartridges.  For more information about these modifications read

The Atari 8-bit Hardware Upgrade FAQ from David A. Paterson.

 

The Atari XEP80 Interface Module is Atari's entry to the 80 column field.  It

lets a XL, XE, 400 or 800 computer system display a full 80 columns across

your monitor screen.  The XEP80 provides a 256-character wide by 25-line

display window.  Up to 80 characters are displayed horizontally at once, and

you can scroll horizontally all the way to the 256th character, depending on

the application you're running.  The XEP80 is connected to your system via a

joystick port.

 

The XEP80 Module interprets commands from the computer for screen display or

output to a printer.  The module is supplied with an industry-standard 8-bit

parallel port so you can connect a parallel printer to your Atari 8-bit (I

even use a HP LaserJet IV on my 130XE ;) ).

 

All programs that use the standard screen call (E:) should be compatible with

the XEP80 Module.  The software provided by Atari supports a 320x200 graphics

mode - this mode only support direct bit images.  Note that you can't use all

of the standard graphic capabilities of the Atari anymore.

 

Although Atari recommends a monochrome monitor for usage with the XEP80, it

runs fine with any type of composite monitor.  The output looks great on my

Commodore 1084 for example.

 

Along with the module comes a software-package containing an AUTORUN.SYS file,

which is the XEP80 handler.  If you want to use the module with an application

that is compatible with the XEP80, which has its own AUTORUN.SYS file, you

can append the application's AUTORUN.SYS on the module's AUTORUN.SYS.

***********************

The key engineer/designer of the XEP80 was Jose Valdes at Atari.

Lane Winner was software developer for the XEP80 at Atari.

 

Editors for the XEP80:

 - AtariWriter 80 by Atari

 - TurboWord by MicroMiser

 - emacs subset by Stan Lackey

 - MAE and its previous standalone editor ED

 

XEP80 P: Parallel port:

   13                         1

     o o o o o o o o o o o o o

      o o o o o o o o o o o o

    25                       14

    1. Strobe

  2-9. Parallel Data

   10. Not Used

   11. Busy

12-17. Not Used

18-25. Ground

 

 

 

Subject: 6.3) How can I use a SCSI/SASI device with my Atari?

 

SCSI background sources include:

http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=scsi

 

SCSI - Small Computer Systems Interface.  Pronounced "scuzzy."

 

SCSI is an ANSI standard for connection peripherals/devices to your computer

via a hardware interface, which uses standard SCSI commands.

 

In the early 1980's, Adaptec's founders, while at disk drive manufacturer

Shugart Associates, developed a parallel I/O interface called SASI for Shugart

Associated System Interface.  When this specification was finalized, it was

released to several different manufacturers and enjoyed commercial success.

In 1982, SASI was presented to ANSI as a basis for standard.  Because of the

commercial success and widespread market use of SASI, ANSI formalized and

extended the SASI specification and changed the name to SCSI (in part to

separate the specification from any one vendor in particular).  In June 1986,

SCSI was formally adopted by ANSI.

 

The following hardware interface devices allow SASI/SCSI devices (such as hard

disk drives) to be connected to the Atari:

 

==> ICD Multi I/O (MIO)

- Parallel printer interface

- Serial interface, for modem or serial printer.  will handle 19.2Kbps

- 256K or 1 MB RAM, for RAMdisk or printer spooler

- SASI/SCSI interface, supports up to 8 controllers.

- Limited to drives with 256-byte sectors.

Attaches via PBI, or ECI with adapter.

 

==> CSS Black Box

- RS-232 Serial Modem Port (19.2Kbps) w/ hardware flow control

- Parallel Printer Port

- SASI/SCSI Hard Disk Port

- Operating System Enhancements

- optional 64K printer buffer

- Supports drives with 512-byte sectors

PBI/ECI device.

Available: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/black.htm

 

Mathy van Nisselroy's Black Box page:

http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/blackbox.htm

 

 

ASPI - Advanced SCSI Programming Interface

Originally developed by Adaptec.  It is a software layer that enables programs

to communicate with SCSI (and ATAPI) devices.

 

Mathy van Nisselroy's Atari ASPI page:

http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/aspi.htm

 

 

 

Subject: 6.4) How can I use an IDE device with my Atari?

 

IDE background from TechWeb,

http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=ide

 

IDE - Integrated Drive Electronics

 

IDE is a type of hardware interface widely used to connect hard disks, CD-ROMs

and tape drives to a PC.  IDE was always the more economical interface,

compared to SCSI.

 

With IDE, the controller electronics are built into the drive itself,

requiring a simple circuit in the PC for connection.  IDE drives were attached

to earlier PCs using an IDE host adapter card.  Today, two Enhanced IDE (EIDE)

sockets are built onto the motherboard, and each socket connects up to two

drives via a 40-pin ribbon cable for CD-ROMs and similar devices and an 80-

wire cable for fast hard disks.

 

IDE drives are configured as master and slave.  Jumper pins on the drive

itself are used to set up the first drive on the cable as master and the

second one, if present, as a slave.

 

The IDE interface is officially known as the ATA (AT Attachment)

specification.  ATAPI (ATA Packet Interface) defines the IDE standard for CD-

ROMs and tape drives.  ATA-2 (Fast ATA) defined the faster transfer rates used

in Enhanced IDE (EIDE).

 

The following hardware interface devices allow IDE devices (such as hard disk

drives) to be connected to the Atari:

 

==> SmartIDE project by Bob Woolley

Uses 256 of the normal 512 byte sectors.  Point-to-point wiring project.

Articles and software at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/

(Atari page by Clarence Dyson)

 

==> KMK/JZ IDE Hard Drive Interface

by Jacek Zuk and Konrad Kokoszkiewicz (Draco)

KMK writes (March 2005):

  This is sort of cartridge fitting in ECI+CARTRIDGE slot in XE computers.

  The box is about 1,5 cm high, 15 cm long, and its width is less or more

  equal to the XE ECI+CARTRIDGE slot. You have an ECI+CARTRIDGE connector

  at one end, and an IDE cable at the other end. The whole is cased with

  black plastic case.

  What advantage does it have over similar products?

  1) it is available and still being made;

  2) the software is maintained, you can download an upgrade for the

     internal handler, for example;

  3) it uses a well defined Atari parallel bus interface, thus no OS

     modifications or other hacks are necessary to get the machine booting

     from this device;

  4) it works fine with unmodified SpartaDOS X, SpartaDOS 3.x, MyDOS (and

     other DOS-es, but using it with DOS 2.x lacks sense);

  5) it allows you to make true partitions (up to 16);

  6) it can currently address up to 8 GB (and this is not a hardware

     limit, so an upgraded internal ROM can do more);

  7) it works with all devices which are ATA-compliant;

  8) you can use two drives (master/slave);

The Interface's internal software provides two modes: native and emulation.

The native mode uses a 512 byte physical block as a logical data sector, the

emulation mode uses the physical block to store two 256 byte logical data

sectors.  ALL existing DOSes require the emulation mode to work properly.

Maximum drive capacity: 8388607 physical blocks on each device.

Maximum number of partitions: 16

Maximum capacity of a partition: 8388607 logical sectors

Logical sector length:  256 or 512 bytes

Average speed: 58 kilobytes per second (native mode, R/W)

               32 kilobytes per second (emulation mode, reading)

               7 kilobytes per second (emulation mode, writing)

Booting from any partition

Write protection capability

8 jumpers to set the device number for the operating system

Note, that ALL existing DOSes limit the partition size to 16 MB.

Available: E-mail to: jurekQrembertow.net (q = @)

User's Manual and software downloads:

http://drac030.krap.pl/  or  http://drac030.atari8.info

 

==> Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe) Multi I/O II (MIO II) interface

An IDE interface.  Several exist, but it was never really released

 

==> msc-IDE Controller, by Matthias Belitz

*  real device for the parallel-port (PBI/ECI) of the Atari XL/XE

*  up to 240 partitions per hard disk supported

*  emulates D1: until D9: of disk devices (access to 9 partitions at one time)

*  full bootable from any partition (with standard XL-OS)

*  write protection capability

*  supports master/slave configuration

*  more than 30 KB/s file access with SPARTA-DOS 3.2 gx (reading)

*  more than 10 KB/s file access with SPARTA-DOS 3.2 gx (writing)

*  software partially supports CD-ROM and ZIP drives.

Sold out.  http://www.birmanns.de/atari/

 

==> Gary Morton's BadSector"A" Project

 Wants to connect his IDE drive to the SIO bus.

 http://www.alma.demon.co.uk/Atari/AtariProjects.html

 

==> MyIDE interface and software by Mr.Atari, Sijmen Schouten

Point-to-point wiring project.  Different units for 800 and XL, including a

cartridge version for the XL.

http://www.mr-atari.com/

 

==> Atarimax "MyIDE+Flash" Cartridge

Atarimax "MyIDE+Flash" Cartridge is a professionally produced IDE interface

cartridge for all 64k Atari 8-bit computers.

 

The new MyIDE+Flash interface combines Sijmen "Mr. Atari" Schouten's popular

"MyIDE" interface with an Atarimax 1Mbit reprogrammable flash cartridge.

 

The cartridge's built in 1Mbit flash system allows you to utilize the

interface and your hard disk setup in any 64k XL/XE computer, using the built-

in boot OS, without modifications to the existing hardware or operating

system.

http://www.atarimax.com/myide/documentation/

 

==> SIO2IDE, by Marek Mikolajewski (MMSoft)

     The SIO2IDE is a simple interface that allows you to attach any IDE

  Disk Drive to your 8-bit Atari computer. Latest interface version has the

  following main features:

      * ATARI side:

        - uses standard Atari SIO at a speed of 19200 baud

        - works with Atari High Speed SIO (US and Happy) at a speed of 52000

          baud

        - emulates Atari disks D1: to D8:

          disk D1: can be swapped with Common disk D1: (HD1_ZW jumper)

        - can be used with any Atari DOS and OS

        - can be used without any problems with other SIO devices (disk

          drivers, printers, modems, SIO2PC, second SIO2IDE etc)

        - can be easy installed inside your Atari with 2.5' laptop HD

        - is easy to configure via special fdisk.com utility software

          (changing disks sequence and active directory)

      * IDE device side:

        - all IDE ATA/ATAPI devices can be used: Disk Drives (2.5' and 3.5'),

          CD-ROMs, Compact Flash cards etc.

        - supports PC file systems, FAT16 and FAT32

        - supports CD file system, ISO9660

        - supports ATR disk images (SD, DD up to 16MB)

        - supports directory change (multiconfig)

        - is easy to configure, many text configuration files (sio2ide.cfg)

          can be stored in different directories

        - disk configuration can be checked by special checkfs.exe PC utility

          NOTE: checkfs.exe does NOT work with HDD connected via USB port

        - standard disk utilities can be used (defrag.exe, scandisk.exe etc)

        - Long File Name (LFN) support for HDD

        - TEST mode for checking HDD initialization

      * USB port side:

        - interface works as Mass Storage Class device (removable drive)

        - no drivers are needed for Windows 2K, ME, XP

        - driver for Win98 is included in this SIO2IDE package

http://www.atariarea.krap.pl/sio2ide/

http://mega-hz.no-ip.com/Angebote/SIO2IDE33/SIO2IDE33.html

 

==> Nathan Hartwell's IDE projects

http://www.magelair.com/

 

 

 

Subject: 6.5) Can I attach an ISA card to my Atari?

 

ISA background from TechWeb,

http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=isa

 

ISA - Industry Standard Architecture.  Pronounced "eye-suh."

 

An expansion bus formerly commonly used in PCs (but since phased-out in favor

of PCI).  It accepts plug-in boards that control the sound, video display and

other peripherals.

 

Originally called the "AT bus," it was first used in the IBM AT, extending the

8-bit bus to 16 bits.

 

RoBue (Roland Buehler) of the Stuttgart ABBUC Regional Group has produced

project plans for an ISA-Bus Interface for Atari 800XL/130XE Computer, ARGS.

 

Carsten Strotmann has released source code showing how to access a Hercules

video card with the ISA-Bus Interface.

 

Visit: http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//PgmFardwDriverHerc

 

 

 

Subject: 6.6) How can I use a USB device with my Atari?

 

Background from TechWeb,

http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=usb

 

USB - Universal Serial Bus

 

A hardware interface for low-speed peripherals such as the keyboard, mouse,

joystick, scanner, printer and telephony devices.  USB has a maximum bandwidth

of 12 Mbits/sec (equivalent to 1.5 Mbytes/sec), and up to 127 devices can be

attached.

 

USB ports began to appear on PCs in 1997.  It has now essentially replaced the

older RS-232 serial and Centronics-type parallel ports on modern PCs, and USB

has become the primary means for connecting most external devices to today's

computers.

 

The following project aims to provide USB compatibility to the Atari:

 

MicroUSB.org - Microprocessor USB Project, http://microusb.org/

Project USB Cartridge

    * Project Name  : USB Cartridge with two USB Slots

    * Project Start : Summer 2002

    * Project Member: Marc Brings, Thomas Grasel, Harry Reminder,

                      Guus Assmann, Carsten Strotmann

http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/MicroUSB//ProjUSBCart

 

In cooperation with the above,

 

Atarimax(Steven Tucker)/ABBUC USB Cartridge:

http://www.atarimax.com/usbcart/

 

 

 

Subject: 6.7) What are the power requirements for my Atari components?

 

The household mains electricity supply is an alternating current (AC) that can

be described with two parameters: the voltage (in volts) and the frequency

(in Hz).

 

In North America, the standard household wall outlet offers 120 V/60 Hz power.

In much of the rest of the world, the mains is now standardizing to

230 V/50 Hz.  In the time of 8-bit Atari computers, most of continental Europe

used 220 V/50 Hz, and the UK used 240 V/50 Hz.

 

In any case, the household alternating current must be converted to a

direct current (DC) for use by electrical devices such as Atari computers

and peripherals.

 

In some cases, the entire conversion is done via an external "power supply"

that sits between the wall outlet and the electrical device.  Such power

supplies both transform the household power to a lower voltage, and they

also rectify the current from AC to DC.

 

In some cases, the external "power supply" is simply a transformer that lowers

the household voltage.  The lowered AC voltage is rectified to DC inside the

device.

 

In some cases, both the transformer and the rectifier are located inside the

computer or peripheral itself.  The device plugs directly into the wall

outlet, with no external "power supply" needed.

 

The INPUT of an external power supply will indicate:

  1) Input voltage in units of volts (110V for N.Am., 220V Euro, 240V UK)

  2) Input frequency in units of hertz (60Hz for N.Am., 50Hz Euro)

 

The OUTPUT of an external power supply will indicate:

  1) Output Voltage, in units of volts (V)

  2) Whether the output voltage is AC or DC

  3) one or sometimes both of:

    - Output Current, in units of amperes ("amps") (A) or milliamps (mA)

    - Output Power, in units of volt-amperes ("volt-amps")(VA) or watts (W)

 

An external power supply may also indicate a peak power rating.  The power

rating is the highest amount of power the unit can supply, according to the

manufacturer, but this is only for a very brief time.  The power rating may be

indicated in units of volt-amperes (VA) or in units of watts (W).  The power

supplies themselves usually indicate this rating near the "Input" label (in

order to distinguish this rating from the sustained power output.)  The

power ratings for Atari power supplies are given below as "Max:"

 

Higher-than-specified power and current capacities are entirely usable, and

often preferable because such supplies run cooler and last longer.

 

In practice the power units VA and W are used interchangeably, even though

they are not identical.

 

Direct Current (DC):

Power (in watts) = current (in amps) * voltage (in volts)

 

Alternating Current (AC):

Apparent Power (in voltamps) = current (in amps) * voltage (in volts)

Effective/True Power (in watts) = current (in amps) * voltage (in volts)

                                  * cosine(phase, or angle of lag)

cosine(phase) is known as the "power factor"

 

N O R T H   A M E R I C A   INPUT = 105-125 VAC 60Hz

====================================================

AC supplies (external transformers)

 

  9 VAC  4.5 VA  500 mA  Max:7.5va  Atari #CO61515(unit)/CO61516(unit)

    1010

 

  9 VAC  5.4 VA  (600 mA)  Max:12va  Atari#C062195(unit)

    1030

 

  9 VAC  15.3 VA  1.7 A  Max:18.5W  Power Adaptor

    Atari#CO14319(unit)/CA014748(box - indicates 9.5 VAC 1.7 A)

    400,800,822,850,1200XL,1010,1020

    NOTE: This was also original equipment for the 810 disk drive, but Atari

      later determined that the 810 required more power (21 W) for reliable

      operation.  This power supply is not recommended for disk drives.

    NOTE also that this power supply is only barely adequate for the

      400/800/1200XL computers: Atari eventually specified the power

      requirement for the 400/800 at 19 W.

 

  9 VAC  31 VA  3.4 A  Max:50W  Power Adaptor

    Atari#C017945(unit)/CA017964(box)

    http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102688424

    400,800,810,822,850,1200XL,1010,1020,1050,XF551

 

  9.5 VAC  4.2A  (39.9 VA)  Max:53W  Atari#CO61636 Power Adaptor

    1027

 

  20 VAC  330 mA  (6.6 VA)  Max:7W  Power Adaptor

    Atari#CO60479(unit)/CA060535(box?)

    835

 

  20 VAC  400 mA  (8 VA)  Max:15W

    Novation AC Adapter Model No 901017 / Atari#CA016751-01(box?)

    830.  Top: "ATARI" logo + "Use with 830 Modem Only"

    http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102662648

      NOTE: Both the 830 box and the 850 Operator's Manual indicate different

      specs from this: 24 VAC/150mA.  To date, no such power supply has

      turned up.

 

DC supplies (external adapters)

 

  5 V DC  1 A  (5 W)  Max:17W  Atari#CO70042

    65XE,XE game system

    Two versions, as described by B&C ComputerVisions, see:

    http://www.myatari.com/ebay/psxl.jpg

    Version #5(bottom center), the Mini, is the smallest at 2" X 3" & 2" high.

    It was shipped with most XE Game Systems.  Not as rugged as version #6.

    For continuous operation use #6 for a 1 Amp instead of #5.  17W rating.

 

    Version #6(bottom right), the Logo, is the same size as Ver #4,

    3" X 4 1/2" & 2 1/2" high but has an Atari Logo molded into the case.

    It was shipped with most 65XE computers and later XE Game Systems.

    Very reliable.  Works great in most applications.

 

  5 V DC  1.5 A  7.5 VA  Max:varies, 25W 30W 40W  Atari#C061982/CA024814

    600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XE Game System

    Four versions, as described by B&C ComputerVisions, see:

    http://www.myatari.com/ebay/psxl.jpg

    Version #1(upper left), the White Brick, has a white top and dark brown

    bottom,  4" X 8" & 2 1/2" high.  Version #1 was shipped with early

    600XL/800XL computers.  Very reliable.  Very Rare.  30W rating.

 

    Version #2(lower left), the Black Brick, is same shape and size as Version

    #1 but all black, 4" X 8" & 2 1/2" high.  Version #2 was shipped with

    later 600XL/800XL computers.  Very reliable.  Very Rare.

 

    Version #3(center top), the Ingot, is solid & all black,

    3 1/4" X 5" & 2 1/2" high.  It was shipped with most 600XL/800XL and some

    65/130XE computers.  If this version fails it can damage the computer if

    not turned off quickly.  Not recommended for unattended operations.  If

    hum bars are seen on the screen disconnect Version #3 power packs.

    40W rating.

 

    Version #4(top right), the Box, is slightly smaller than the Ver #3 at

    3" X 4 1/2" & 2 1/2" high.  It was shipped with most 130XE computers.

    Very reliable.  Getting hard to find.  We recommend this version for 130XE

    and 800XL computers.  25W rating.

 

  6 V DC  300 mA  (1.8 W)  Max:?  Atari#???????

    "410 P" (rare version of 410) (center positive)

 

  9 V DC  500 mA  (4.5 VA)  Power Adapter  (Max:various ratings 9W to 12W)

    Atari#CO16353(unit, newer)/CO10472(unit, older)/CX261(box)

    XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive)

 

E U R O P E   INPUT = 216~264V 50Hz

===================================

AC supplies (external transformers)

  8.5 VAC  4.25 VA  (0.5 A)  Max:?  Input 240V 50 Hz  (UK)

    Atari#CO61516/34

    1010

 

  8.52 VAC  4.26 VA  (0.5 A)  Max:?  Atari#CO61516-13  (New Zealand)

    1010

 

  9.3 VAC  15.44 VA  (1,66 A)  Max:?  FW 6799/Atari#CA014748?(box?)

    400,800,822,850,1010,1020

 

  9.5 VAC  1.5 A  (14.25 VA)  Max:?  TaMOD M 5496  Input: 240V 50 Hz (UK)

    400,800,822,850,1010,1020  (shipped with UK PAL 400)

 

  9 VAC  3.4 A  27 VA  Max:0.037Kw    Input: 240V 50Hz (UK)

    Atari#CO60592-34(unit)/CA017964(box) Power Adaptor

    TM 7498 or SA 8547

    http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/adapterboxedxl.jpg

    400,800,810,822,850,1010,1020,1050,XF551

 

  9 VAC  3.0 A  (  VA)  Max:?   Input: ??   (Europe?)

    Atari#CO60592-11(unit)/CA017964?(box?)

    PL028 or DV-9034A UP

    400,800,810,822,850,1010,1020,1050,XF551

 

DC supplies (external adapters)

  5 V DC  1.5 A  (7.5 VA)  Max:0.11A  Input: 240V~50Hz (UK)

    Atari#CO61763-34

    600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System

 

  5 V DC  1.5 A  (7.5 W)  Max:varies 22VA 26VA  Input: 220V 50Hz

    Atari#CO61763-11

    600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System

 

  (5 V DC)  (1.7 A)  8.5 VA   Max:?     Input: 240V 50Hz   (UK)

    Atari#CO61605

    600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System

 

  5 V DC  1.8 A  (9.0 W)  Atari#CO61763-107  (Poland)

    600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System

 

  9 V DC  500 mA  4.5 VA  Max:9W   Input: 220V 50Hz  (Germany)

    Atari#CO18084-117 AC/DC Adaptor

    XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive)

 

  9 V DC  500 mA  (4.5 VA)  Max:9W  Input: 240V 50Hz (UK)

    Atari#CO18084-309/CO18084-306?

    XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive)

 

  9.5 V DC  650 mA  (6.2 VA)  Max:15W  Input: 220V 50 Hz  (France)

    Atari#C016507

    XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive)

 

 

M O R E  I N F O

================

These draw their power from the SIO +5 V:

  XM301 (60 mA),XC11,XC12,ICD P:R: Connection,Wizztronics MidiMax,R-Verter

 

Draws power from the 600XL PBI:

  1064

 

These have built-in power supplies (plug directly into the wall):

  410 (except "410P"),815,820,825,1025,1029,XMM801,XDM121

 

OTHER:

 

Indus GT

  11.5 V DC  1.95 A  (22.4 VA)  Max:33W  DataByte#DV-9319A

  Center positive

  This is identical to the Atari power supply for earlier 2-port 5200s:

     Atari#CO18187(unit, early version)/CA019141(box)

  What happens if power supplies for the Atari 1050 and Indus GT are mixed?

  Paul Alhart writes (20 Jan 2004):

     "The Indus requires DC, the 1050 uses AC. Plug an Indus

     supply into a 1050 and it will usually blow the rectifier diodes in the

     1050. Plug an Atari supply into an Indus and it will blow the fuse in

     the supply. It can damage the mother board as well."

 

Multi I/O (MIO), all versions, can use both AC and DC supplies, BUT:

     stick to voltages of at least 6.2-7.2 V.

     On 2003.09.01 James Bradford wrote: "Doesn't matter what polarity the

     centre is, the MIO has a fullwave bridge rectifier in it.

     AC would be better because the diodes would be used half the time."

 

Rana 1000: 9 VAC  3.4 A  (30.6 VA)

 

MPP1000C modem: 9 V DC  200 mA  (1.8 W)

 

 

 

Subject: 6.8) What accessories did Atari produce for their 8-bit computers?

 

This should be a complete list of Atari "CX" accessories, two or three digit

numbers, and "KX" accessories, four digit numbers, marketed for or usable with

the 8-bit computers.

 

Controllers marketed by Atari for the 2600 and/or 7800 also work on the 8-bit

computers.

 

CX10 Joystick PCB replacement

CX11 Joystick plastic insert replacements

CX12 Joystick cable replacement

CX20-01 Pair of Driving Controllers. One controller per plug.

        Used by Indy 500 for 2600

CX21 Video Touch Pad for 2600 Star Raiders. Compatible w/ CX23 and CX50.

CX22 (Pro-Line) Trak-Ball. Works in joystick or trackball modes. Round buttons.

     The trackball controller from the Atari Consumer Division (2600/7800).

     Various stylings (after the black 2600), functionally identical:

       1) "Atari 2600 Trak-Ball": cream ball, black top, black buttons, black

          label beneath ball with black lettering, black bottom.  (Rare?)

       2) "Atari 2600 Pro-Line Trak-Ball": cream ball, black top, black

          buttons, black label beneath ball with silver lettering, black

          bottom.  (Rare?)

       3) "Atari Trak-Ball": black ball, black top, black buttons, black label

          beneath ball with silver lettering, white bottom.  (Rare?)

       4) "Atari Trak-Ball": cream ball, black top, black buttons, black label

          beneath ball with silver lettering, white bottom.  (COMMON)

CX23 Kid's Controller.  Used by 2600 Sesame Street titles.

     Compatible w/ CX21 and CX50

CX24 (Pro-Line / Deluxe) Joystick

CX30-04 Pair of Paddles

CX40 Joystick Controller (single)

CX40-04 Pair of Joystick Controllers

CX41 Joystick Repair Kit

CX42 Remote Control Wireless Joysticks

     (requires XEP80/SX212/2600 power adapter)

CX43 (Pro-Line) Space Age Joystick

CX50 Keyboard Controller Pair. Compatible w/ CX21 and CX23

CX70 Light Pen (beige; the rare original Atari light pen)

CX75 Light Pen and AtariGraphics (cartridge)

CX77 Touch Tablet With AtariArtist software (cartridge) + DOS 2.0S (disk)

CX78 Joypad Controller (not in USA)

CX80 Trak-Ball.  Works in joystick or trackball modes.  Triangular buttons.

     The trackball controller from the Atari Home Computer Division.

     XL computer styling: black ball, black top, black buttons, silver label

     above ball with black "Atari Trak-Ball" lettering, white or black bottom

     2 versions, externally identical:

       1) Trackball mode in earlier-production CX80's is compatible with the

          trackball mode of the CX22 Trak-Ball.

       2) Trackball mode in later-production CX80's is NOT compatible with the

          trackball mode of the CX22 Trak-Ball, but IS compatible with the

          Atari ST Mouse.

CX81 Atari I/O Data Cord

CX82 B & W Monitor Cable

CX85 Numerical Keypad ( + software Handler on diskette)

CX86 Printer Cable (included with 825 Printer)

CX87 Modem Cable (included with 830 Acoustic Modem)

CX88 Terminal Cable (null modem)

CX89 Color Monitor Cable

CX405 PILOT Educator's Kit

CX418 The Home Manager Kit (The Home Filing Manager disk +

       (Personal Financial Management System disk or Family Finances disk))

CX419 The Bookkeeper Kit/The Atari Accountant (The Bookkeeper disk + CX85)

CX481 The Entertainer (Star Raiders + (Computer Chess(?) or Missile Command or

      Pac-Man) + 2 joysticks).  Atari computer product catalogs first mention

      Missile Command, then Pac-Man as the second game.  Text on the box

      itself (thanks Bill Demian) indicates Computer Chess as the second

      game.  The illustration on the box actually shows a Music Composer box

      underneath the Star Raiders box.

CX482 The Educator (410 + BASIC cart. + States & Capitals cassette)

CX483 The Programmer (BASIC + BASIC Ref Manual + BASIC Self-Teaching Guide)

CX484 The Communicator (850 Interface + 830 Acoustic Modem + TeleLink I cart)

CX488 The Communicator II (835 Direct Connect Modem + TeleLink II cart.)

CX852 8K RAM Memory Module (for 800 computer)

CX853 16K RAM Memory Module (for 800 computer)

KX7079 Logo Kit

KX7099 The BASIC Tutor I (Inside Atari BASIC book + An Invitation to

       Programming 2: Writing Programs One and Two cassette + An Invitation to

       Programming 3: Introduction to Sound and Graphics cassette)

       http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/basictutor.jpg

KX7102 The Arcade Champ (Pac-Man + Qix + 2 joysticks + cartridge storage case)

       http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/arcade_champ.jpg

KX7110 AtariWriter System (600XL + 1027 + AtariWriter)

       http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/hardwarewriterpackkompleet.jpg

KX7114 Programming System (800XL + 1010)

       http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/8001010.JPG

KX7400 Game Kit (Donkey Kong cart. + two (standard) Atari Joysticks)

       http://www.rhod.fr/pages/atari/kx7400.html

 

Other:

G1 Light Gun ( + Bug Hunt cart. for 7800/2600)

XG-1 Light Gun ( + Bug Hunt cart. for XE)

Track & Field Controller

 

 

 

Subject: 6.9) What preventative maintenance can I do on my Atari system?

 

This new section could use more contributions!  For starters, Russ Gilbert

writes (2004.11.05):

 

The main suggestion I have is to use your A8s. This keeps the keyboard

working.  I didn't have a problem with my 800XLs, but my 1200XLs required

typing the keys a bunch to get them to respond to every keypress.  USE YOUR

A8s.

 

The problem, I suspect, is oxidation of contacts, in the keyboard, at the

cartridge slot, maybe the SIO port.  Use of a soft eraser on cart edge

connector is one thing I think helps.

 

I would guess one could take the 1200XL keyboard apart and clean the mylar

traces with ???  90% isopropyl alcohol and a Q-Tip.  I still have my

original 800XL, it has copper switches in the keyboard, no mylar.  I don't

know what my 800s have in the keyboard, but I would guess copper switches.

My original 800XL has all socketed chips also.

 

=-=-=

 

Here is a thread at AtariAge concerning cleaning the heads of Atari floppy

disk drives:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/150716-disk-drive-cleaning/

 

 

 

Subject: 6.10) What graphics tablets were produced for the Atari?

 

According to Wikipedia, a graphics tablet (or digitizing tablet, graphics pad,

drawing tablet) is a computer input device that allows one to hand-draw images

and graphics, similar to the way one draws images with a pencil and paper.

At the time of the Atari computer the more popular term was, touch tablet.

 

Several graphics tablets were produced and marketed for the Atari 8-bit

computers:

 

o Animation Station by Suncom

  - Shipped with DesignLab disk (Suncom version of Blazing Paddles)

  - Fully compatible with the earlier, popular KoalaPad

  - Work surface is about the same size as the one on the Atari Touch

    Tablet - about 50% larger than the KoalaPad's

  - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list.

 

o Atari Touch Tablet

  - Shipped with AtariArtist cartridge (Atari version of Micro Illustrator -

    by Steve Dompier & Robert Leyland for Island Graphics)

  - Also shipped with CX8104 Atari 810/1050 Master Diskette II disk (DOS 2.0S)

  - Similar to the popular, earlier KoalaPad, but returns reversed

    y-position values compared to the KoalaPad/Animation Station tablets

  - Device measures 7.5" x 9.5" x 1.25"

  - Drawing surface measures 5" x 6.5"

  - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list.

 

o KoalaPad Touch Tablet by Koala Technologies

  - Shipped with KoalaPainter cartridge (Koala version of Micro Illustrator -

    by Steve Dompier & Robert Leyland for Island Graphics)

  - Device measures 8.5" x 6.5" x 2"

  - The square drawing area is 4.25" on each side.

  - Very popular

  - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list.

 

o Kurta Graphics Tablet by Kurta Corporation

  - Very early device

  - 400/800 only: requires controller ports 1, 2, and 3

  - Device measures 13" x 15.5"

  - Shipped with Kurta Demo Disk

  - Kurta Atari Graphics System, sold separately, includes software:

    o Road Map Distance Analysis

    o Length

    o Area - Calculation of areas (any shape)

    o Sound - display pen location by means of sound

    o Drawing

    o Graphics

  - See ANALOG #1 for a review (p. 16) and an ad (p. 17)

 

o PowerPad by Chalk Board

  - Shipped with Micro Illustrator cartridge (Chalk Board version for PowerPad

    only - by Steve Dompier & Robert Leyland for Island Graphics)

  - A unique and very large device

  - Device measures 17" x 19" x 1.5"

  - 12" square drawing area

  - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list.

  - Chalk Board released several cartridges for the PowerPad:

    - BearJam

    - CodeBreaker

    - Leo's 'Lectric Paintbrush

    - Leo's Links

    - LogicMaster

    - MicroMaestro

 

o Super Sketch by Personal Peripherals Inc. (PPI)

  - Shipped with Super Sketch Graphics Master cartridge

  - a 10" X 14" tablet

  - Similar to the earlier VersaWriter - trace or freehand a drawing

    into the computer.

 

o VersaWriter Drawing Tablet by Versa Computing

  - Shipped with Graphics Software (2 disks)

  - trace or freehand a drawing into the computer

  - Dimensions: 12" x 13.5"

  - See ANALOG #4 (1981) p. 46 for ad, p. 47 for review

  - Reviewed (with picture) in Atari Classics June 1993 pp. 26-28

 

 

 

Subject: 6.11) What light pens were produced for the Atari?

 

- Atari Light Pen CX70 (beige; the rare original Atari light pen)

- Atari Light Pen CX75 (came with AtariGraphics cart.; it produces pictures

  with 127 sectors in length, thus not Micro-Painter, nor Micro Illustrator

  compatible; however appropriate converter programs can be found in the

  public domain, e.g. the Rapid Graphics Converter)

- Edumate Light Pen by Futurehouse (came with a disk with 6 Basic programs; a

  program called Peripheral Vision was available separately from Futurehouse)

- McPen light pen by Madison Computer (came with a disk with 4 Basic

  programs)

- Stack Light Pen by Stack Computer Services

- Symtec Light Pen by Symtec

- Tech Sketch Light Pen (came with Micro Illustrator disk program by Island

  Graphics)

 

 

 

Subject: 6.12) What light guns were produced for the Atari?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

- Atari XG-1 Light Gun (shipped with Bug Hunt cartridge for the XL/XE.  Also

  shipped as part of the XE Video Game System box package);

  http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystemgun2.jpg

- Atari G1 Light Gun (same as XG-1 but shipped with Bug Hunt cartridge for

  the 7800/2600)

  http://gamingmuseum.classicgaming.gamespy.com/g1lightgun.jpg

- "The Best" Light Gun by Best Electronics (a sort of self-made (?)

  Light Gun);

* Sega Light Phaser for the Sega Master System (normally not Atari compatible;

  but can be converted into an Atari compatible light gun easily);

- other light guns (most of these have to be converted)...

 

Note: After having 3-4 Atari and at least one (converted) Sega light gun,

it is my personal impression, that the Atari light gun merely works ok

on/with TV-sets (and not at all with a monitor), whereas the Sega light gun

works alright on TV's and (most) monitors. Since I never had a Best

light gun I cannot comment on this one... (Andreas Koch);

 

 

 

Subject: 6.13) What paddles were produced for the Atari? 

 

This section by Andreas Koch.

 

- Atari Paddles (usually a pair of Paddles);

- Telegames Paddles (available as a) a single paddle and b) a pair

  of paddles);

- Reston Paddles (available as a) a single paddle and b) a pair

  of paddles);

- and many others...

 

Note: Both single and duo (pair) paddles are compatible to each other,

using only one port-connector (only one joystick port). Thus, with a pair

of paddles you can connect up to 4 paddles (2 pairs) to the XL/XE models

and up to 8 paddles (4 pairs) to the Atari 400/800 models.

 

 

 

Subject: 6.14) What voice/sound synthesis hardware was produced for the

Atari?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

- Voice-Box II by The Alien Group (a software and hardware package);

- Talk is Cheap by Ed Stewart, Antic Volume 2 Number 4, July 1983,

  pages 64-66; hardware schematics only (a test/demo program is

  mentioned in the text, but not printed in the magazine!);

- Cheap-Talk by Lee Brilliant, ANALOG #29, April 1985,

  pages 59-67; hardware schematics and software demos, for example

  "First Words");

- many other voice synthesizers (mostly self-made and based on a chip by

  National Semi Conductor);

 

 

 

Subject: 6.15) What sound-digitizers/samplers were produced for the Atari?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

- Parrot (2-Bit) by Alpha Systems, Anthony Ramos;

- Parrot-2 (2-Bit or 4-Bit?) by Alpha Systems, Anthony Ramos;

- Replay Cartridge (4-Bit) by 2-Bit Systems

- Sound N'Sampler (2-Bit) by Ralf David;

- Sound Digitiser (2-Bit) by Ralf David;

- Sound-Meister (2-Bit) by Irata;

- Sound-Digitizer (2-Bit) by Irata;

- Digitales Mikrofon (2-Bit) by Compy-Shop;

- Voice-Master (2-Bit) by Covox Inc.;

- Analog-Sample-Processor (2-Bit) by Steven Lashower (ANALOG Magazine);

- Atari-Sound-Sampler (2-Bit) by Andreas Binner and Harald Schoenfeld

  (German Atari Magazin 1/1989, pages 44-49, complete with schematics,

   documentation, sample-program and assembler-source);

- Alphasys Sample Cartridge (8-Bit) by ANG/Mirage;

  Accompanied software, made by Solarsystems, only used the upper 4 bits;

  Cartridge also has a "Replay Cartridge compatibility mode" so people could

    use it with the software by 2-bit systems.

- ARGS-XE-Sampler (8-Bit) by ABBUC regional group ARGS (only one or

  two prototypes exist, alas the hardware was never released due to lack

  of (sampling/digitizing) software; maybe a good idea for the hardware

  and software experts out there!);

- and many others ...

 

 

 

Subject: 6.16) What sound-enhancement upgrades were produced for the Atari?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

a) enhancements for 2- or 3-channel sound:

 

- POPS, polyphonic-pokey-sound by Lee Brilliant (3-channel support with one

  Pokey!); refer to ANALOG #66, november 1988, pages

  54-60; only 1-2 programs exist for this mod., see: 8.14 stereo-software

  for the Atari;

 

Lee Brilliant writes: (2006.08.09)

    In reality, the POPS device was only a set of connections to the Atari.

    The internal circuitry (Simple to build) was used ONLY to control the

    volume of the sound and to add amplification to power speakers.  One

    could do without the amplifiers if they have their own.  But the POPs

    did not give just two channel sound, it gave _three_.  My design

    allowed for left, center, and right amplifiers and speakers.  It always

    caused a stir at Atari conventions and user groups. The software I used

    with it was POKEY Player which was commonly available then.  One had to

    get that separately and then modify it slightly to drive the three

    channels separately.  At the time there was a lot of support for that

    program and lots of music for it.

 

- stereo with two Ataris (and thus 2 Pokey chips); use computer/pokey 1

  for the left channel and computer/pokey 2 for the right; no special

  hardware required for this trick (but specially programmed software!);

  see also: 8.14 stereo-software for the Atari;

 

- stereo with 2 Pokey chips (in one Atari!); refer to an article written

  by Chuck Steinman (which probably appeared in Atari classic?) on how

  to upgrade your Atari internally with a second Pokey chip; or ask

  Freddy Offenga for a deluxe-stereo-version, that uses a PCB instead of

  the piggy-back method. For a list of software that supports this mod.

  see also: 8.14 stereo-software for the Atari;

 

- Stereo-Blaster and Stereo-Phaser by Portronic/AMC-Verlag, these were

  hardware add-ons that connected via the monitor port to the Atari and

  gave you "another" monitor port and 2 cinch connectors to connect to

  the monitor and/or the hifi-system; various small paddles (4-10,

  depending on the model you have) make it possible to change amplitudes,

  frequencies, etc. and thus generate a "pseudo-stereo" sound. These

  add-ons also amplified the sound and thus made quality recordings of

  Atari sounds much easier. Alas, these hardware add-ons were quite

  expensive and thus not many (less than 100) were sold. Therefore no

  special software is required, every A8 sound can be changed or

  enhanced to "simulated-stereo"...

 

- Stereo-Blaster-Pro, a hardware add-on by Portronic/AMC-Verlag similar

  to Stereo-Blaster and Stereo-Phaser, but programmable! This add-on had

  only 1 small paddle, to amplify the sound-volume; the stereo-sound

  could be generated via two simple Poke-Statements, a demo-disk therefore

  was included. Alas, not many items were sold and as far as I know no-one

  else programmed stereo-software for it. See also: 8.14 stereo-software

  for the Atari...

 

b) other sound enhancements:

 

- Covox Sound enhancement, originally developed in Poland; digital to analog

  (DAC) converter, uses a PIA and a resistor ladder to produce 8-bit sound

  playback. (A viable way to reproduce the 8-bit samples captured from the

  Alphasys Sample Cartridge.) (see also 8.14)

 

- SID-upgrade, the SID is the standard sound-chip in the C64 computers.

  Some Polish freaks/nerds have found a way to include it into an A8,

  but although I have seen quite a lot of pictures (for example at

  atariarea.nostalgia.pl) with this mod. and already found 1 or 2

  programs that detect it (for example System Info 2.x by Draco), I

  have not yet found any schematics for this upgrade. Anyway, it exists,

  and with some programming skills it would surely be possible to write

  programs then, that playback SID sounds on those Ataris which have this

  upgrade installed...

 

- AMY sound-chip, the AMY sound-chip was originally produced by

  Atari and installed into the 65XEM computer. Alas, it was never

  available to the public and only very few prototypes of this 65XEM

  (maybe less than 10?) do exist. Besides of that RUMORS say, that

  Atari had quite some problems with this sound chip and never finished

  it completely/successfully. If the rumors are true, then this

  sound chip provided many more sound channels, more octaves and even

  more and better sound power than two Pokeys together (for more infos

  take a look at this URL:

  http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html )

 

- guess there are dozens of other sound enhancements, for example sound

  cards (like Adlib, etc.), sound-chips, midi-interfaces, etc. that could

  be attached or converted to the A8; I won't name them all here...(A.K.)

 

 

 

Subject: 6.17) What MIDI enhancements are there for the Atari?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

Midi is standard on the Atari ST computers, because it is built-in into

these computers. Nevertheless, Midi was long before the arrival of the

ST computers on the market and thus, it is no surprise that there are

even midi-interfaces and enhancements for the classic 8Bit Ataris. The

following "types" do exist:

 

- "Midi-Mate" and "Midi-Track" by Hybrid Arts (USA), comes with hardware

  + software, see reviews & tests in Antic, ANALOG and other magazines.

  MidiTrack requires 48k RAM, MidiTrack II 64k RAM and MidiTrack III

  128k RAM (XE compatible, not Axlon compatible). MidiMate features

  MIDI IN+OUT and SYNC IN+OUT ports, but lacks a second SIO port.

  MMS (MIDI Music System) is a MIDI version of AMS, also sold by Hybrid

  Arts and comes with AMS to MMS converter software...

 

- "MIDI Master" by 2-Bit Systems (UK), comes with hardware+software.

   Features MIDI IN+OUT ports, but no SYNC ports.

   See also reviews and ads in (New) Atari User...

 

- "MIDI interface" by DIGICOMM (UK), comes with hardware + 'example

  programs'. Features MIDI IN, THRU and OUT ports. There`s no word

  about a second SIO port or any SYNC ports. See also reviews and ads

  in (New) Atari User...

 

- "MIDIMAX" by Wizztronics (UK), comes with hardware and software.

  Features MIDI IN+OUT ports and a second SIO port. The MMS software

  that comes with MidiMax requires 48k RAM and is fully compatible to

  the Hybrid Arts hardware+software. This means, one can use the

  software with both Midi-interfaces or use the interfaces with the

  software of both vendors...

 

- "Atari-Midi-Interface" by Karlheinz Metscher (appeared in the German

  magazine Computer Kontakt June/July 1986, pages 69-75, complete with

  documentation, schematics and its first program "Midi-Receiver";

  in Computer Kontakt October/November 1986 appeared the second program,

  called "Midi-Disk" - a Midi Recorder and Player program);

 

- "Midi-Interface for Atari XL/XE" by Ireneusz Kuczek (appeared in the

  German ABBUC magazine, issue 65, pages 3-6); the paper-mag. includes

  a schematic for the midi-interface and some translated descriptions for

  the software (translated from Polish to German language), whereas the

  disk-magazine contains the midi-programs "Midiplay Version 1.3" by I.

  Kuczek, "Midi-Recorder Version 1.2" by I.Kuczek, "Rec to Mid" by I.

  Kuczek (a converter program for the IBM-PC!), "Midi-Sequencer V.1.15"

  by Maciej Sygit and "Midi-Pattern-Editor MPE V.2.3" by Radek Sterba.

  These programs and many additional demo sounds are also available in

  the ABBUC PD library (PD numbers 625-632).

 

- guess there are several other (self-made) midi-interfaces for the Atari

  8Bit available, alas they also require a keyboard or synthesizer and

  self-created (or downloaded) midi-sounds can only be played back via

  such a midi-interface and the aforementioned keyboard/synthesizer.

  As of yet, it seems there exists no midi-player program, that can

  playback any midi-sound via the Atari Pokey chip, nor any converter

  program, which can convert *.MID sounds into other Atari sound formats

  (that could be played back on the Atari then)...

 

 

 

Subject: 6.18) What graphics enhancements are there for the Atari?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

- some 80 column interfaces made by Atari and third parties. Although

  these interfaces are there to provide a better text display with 80

  chars. per line, they can somehow be used as a simple graphic

  enhancement; think I have seen a graphic demo for the XEP-80 device

  somewhere, that used a higher graphic resolution in Gr. 0 or Gr. 8

  and also provided some animation (not only text, but also graphics),

  alas I don`t remember the name of that demo...;

- Antic and GTIA upgrade by Chuck Steinman. As far as I

  know, an article about that topic appeared in Atari Classic, since I do

  not own it, I can merely speculate that it adds a second Antic and GTIA

  for higher resolution and/or more colors...;

- many self-made upgrades, using graphic chips or graphic cards from other

  computers...

 

 

 

Subject: 6.19) What types of memory upgrades are there for the Atari?

 

This section by Andreas Koch.

 

Just a short overview here, for a more detailed description (table), see

also 8.10 kinds of atari RAMdisks (and 8.11 + 8.12 for programs that

support or require a RAMdisk). The following memory enhancements do exist:

- Atari 400/800: RAMdisks on memory boards, that fit into the normal

  Atari 800 memory slots (Axlon and Mosaic types);

- Atari XL/XE: a) internal memory enhancements:

  - piggy-back versions,

  - professional PCB versions,

  - SIMM-module versions;

               b) external memory enhancements:

  - via XL-Parallel-Bus,

  - via XE-Cart.port+ECI,

  - Flash-ROM cart. versions,

  - other Cartridge versions,

  - RAM-Card versions,

  - SIO-cartridge versions,

  - ...               

Note that many of these XL/XE memory enhancements are just hobbyist or

self-made projects. Most versions which use newer PC technologies

(Flash-ROM cart., RAM-Card, SIO-cart., etc.) are still under development!

 

 

 

Subject: 7.1) What versions of the Atari Operating System (OS) are there?

 

Atari 8-bit Operating Systems

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Version 3.6, 2009-05-05

By Freddy Offenga

http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari_dev.htm

 

 

400/800 10kB OS roms

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Rev. TV    Date        CRC-32      Part Nr(s)

~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A    NTSC  1979        0xc1b3bb02  CO12499A, CO14599A, CO12399B

A    PAL   1979        0x72b3fed4  CO15199, CO15299, CO12399B

B    NTSC  1981        0x0e86d61d  CO12499B, CO14599B, 12399B

B    PAL   (*)         (*)         (*)

 

(*) a real PAL.B rom hasn't been found.

If you do have this or have more information, please let me know!

 

 

XL/XE 16kB OS roms

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Rev. System  Date        CRC-32      Part Nr(s)

~~~~ ~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

10   1200XL  10/26/1982  0xc5c11546  CO60616A, CO60617A

11   1200XL  12/23/1982  0x1a1d7b1b  CO60616B, CO60617B

1    600XL   03/11/1983  0x643bcc98  CO62024

2    XL/XE   05/10/1983  0x1f9cd270  CO61598B

3    800XE   03/01/1985  0x29f133f7  C300717

3B   65XE    07/21/1984  0x45f47988  C101700

4    XEGS    05/07/1987  0x1eaf4002  C101687

 

 

NOTES:

The 400/800 O.S's consist of three ROMs (two 4kB and one 2kB).

The 1200XL contains two ROMs for the OS (8k each), XL/XE's use a single

16k ROM and the 16k XEGS OS is stored in a 32k ROM (together with 8k

BASIC and 8k for Missile Command).

 

 

Origins of ROM information

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

400/800 rev.A NTSC     

All information from OS board C012989 (Rev D) and ROM dumps.

 

400/800 rev.A PAL

All info found in two Atari 400's and Atari 800 ROM module CX801.P

 

400/800 rev.B NTSC

Information from a ROM dump and the rev.B source listing.

The part numbers were listed in the catalog from [BEST].

According to [MAPPING] rev.B ROMs have a 'B' at the end of the part number,

therefore I figure these part numbers are from rev.B.

 

400/800 rev.B PAL

Could exist, since the NTSC version exists and there's some conditional

PAL/NTSC assembly in the rev.B source code.

 

1200XL rev.10

All info found in an Atari 1200XL (both US and Taiwan).

[REV2] refers to it as rev.10. [BEST] calls it rev.A.

 

1200XL rev.11

Information from ROM dump. Needs confirmation.

[REV2] refers to it as rev.11. [BEST] calls it rev.B.

 

600XL rev.1

All info found in an Atari 600XL.

 

XL/XE rev.2

All info from Atari 800XL machines (PAL, NTSC and SECAM).

This version is also used in 130XE and 65XE machines.

 

800XE rev.3

All info found in an 800XE machine.

 

65XE (Arabic) rev.3B

The OS rev.3B is a 16K rom dump from an 65XE Atari from Arabia.

It's probably based on rev.3. There are changes in the fonts

(Arab characters) and several patches in the code [ARABIC2].

 

XL/XE rev.4

All info found in an Atari XE Game System (confirmed).

 

 

O.S. Authors and dates

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following info is from the Atari XL/XE rev.2 source code [REV2].

 

Revision A (400/800)

D.Crane / A.Miller / L.Kaplan / R.Whitehead

 

Revision B (400/800)

Fix several problems.

M.Mahar / R.S.Scheiman

 

Revision 10 (1200XL)

Support 1200XL, add new features.

H.Stewart / L.Winner / R.S.Scheiman /

Y.M.Chen / M.W.Colburn                          10/26/82

 

Revision 11 (1200XL)

Fix several problems.

R.S.Scheiman                                    12/23/82

 

Revision 1 (600XL/800XL)

Support PBI and on-board BASIC.

R.S.Scheiman / R.K.Nordin / Y.M.Chen            03/11/83

 

Revision 2 (600XL/800XL)

Fix several problems.

R.S.Scheiman                                    05/10/83

Bring closer to coding standard (object unchanged)

R.K.Nordin                                      11/01/83

 

 

Vapour-ware

~~~~~~~~~~~

The following OS roms originate from rare Atari 8-bit systems.

Since I don't own any of these (unfortunately), I don't have much

information about these roms. Who can help me?

 

1450XLD

~~~~~~~

I've got two 16K rom dumps from the 1450XLD. Both ID's are rev.3.

The first dated 3/23/1984 comes from the 'Pooldisk Too' CD-ROM [POOL2]

(filename: 1540os3.v0) and the second dated 6/21/1984 was send to

me by Nir Dary (filename: os1450.128). Main differences between

these two are in the first 3K ($C000 - $CBFF).

 

Rev. System   Date        CRC-32      Part Nr(s)

~~~~ ~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~

3    1450XLD  3/23/1984   0x0d477aa1  ?

3    1450XLD  6/21/1984   0xd425a9cf  ?

 

References

~~~~~~~~~~

[ARABIC] Arabic 65XE, http://www.savetz.com/vintagecomputers/arabic65xe/

 

[ARABIC2] Arabic 65XE (2), http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/65xearab/

 

[BEST] Best Electronics, catalog of Atari 8-bit parts.

 

[MAPPING] Mapping the Atari, revised edition, Ian Chadwick, Compute! books

publication, 1985.

 

[POOL2] Atari Pooldisk Too,

http://members.home.nl/stack/Atari/atari-pooldisk.html

 

[REVB] The modified september Atari 400/800 computer operating system

listing, revision B, (c)1982 Atari.

 

[REV2] The Atari O.S. source code rev.2, (c)1984 Atari.

 

[XLADD] Atari XL addendum Atari home computer system operating system

manual: supplement to Atari 400/800 technical reference notes.

 

 

Thanks to

~~~~~~~~~

- Laurent Delsarte for Arabic ROM dump and additional info.

- Michael Current for good info about Rev.11 and the Arabic roms.

- Nir Dary for the rev.2 source code, rom dumps and the 1200XL.

- Sijmen Schouten for his reconstructed 400/800 Rev.B source code.

- Stephen Sheppard for 400/800 Rev.A/NTSC information and rom dumps.

- Steve Tucker for the 1200XL OS ROM dumps.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(end of section content by Freddy Offenga)

 

Some additional info about the Rev. 3 XL/XE OS from ST*ZMAGAZINE #36, Sept. 1,

1989 (as reprinted in PSAN Nov 89):

 

by Mark Elliot, Innovative Concepts

The following changes have been incorporated in the 130XE computer.

 

The O.S. has minor changes like:

  A) The MEMORY TEST (from SELF TEST) tests the extra 64K now! (in 4 squares)

  B) Also, the MEMORY TEST checks the first 48K over TWICE as fast as before!

  C) The KEYBOARD TEST has the F1-F4 keys missing on top.  (function keys),

     although the code that interprets them is probably there (like XEGS).

  D) Also, it types out "COPYRIGHT 1985 ATARI" at the keyboard test, when all

     tests are done.  (compared to COPYRIGHT 1983 ATARI, before)

  E) And, the O.S. chip itself, is on a 27256 EPROM, but only half of it is

     used! (compared to the original, which was on a 16K x 8 ROM, 27128 comp.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

In Atari BASIC, PEEK(65528) and PEEK(65527) return the following unique values

depending upon the version of the Atari OS that is running:

 

PEEK(65528)

  221 = 400/800 OS Rev. A NTSC

  214 = 400/800 OS Rev. A PAL

  243 = 400/800 OS Rev. B NTSC

   34 = 400/800 OS Rev. B PAL  (DOES THIS VERSION ACTUALLY EXIST???)

 

PEEK(65527)

   10 = XL/XE OS Rev 10

   11 = XL/XE OS Rev 11

    1 = XL/XE OS Rev 1

    2 = XL/XE OS Rev 2

    3 = XL/XE OS Rev 3

   59 = XL/XE OS Rev 3B (Arabic)

    4 = XL/XE OS Rev 4

 

 

 

Subject: 7.2) What other operating systems have been produced for the Atari?

 

This section started by Arianne Slaager (Alphasys).

 

Args OS 3 CRC32: 0x5B1EADF3

- Mostly a copy of the REV 2 XL rom, but boasts a ROM disk driver by Ralf

David that activates by holding Select while resetting. How this works, I have

no clue. ARGS stands for Atari Regional Gruppe Stuttgart. Need extra info on

this one.

 

Bibomon V2.1 (c) 1084/85 E. Reuss CRC32: 0x41B80C28

- Option + Reset enters a built in machine language monitor. Also some colors

have changed. Looks like Basic is disabled by default, and no way to enable

it.

 

Highchip (c) Irata GmbH 1985 V.1.9 CRC32: 0x41BB4047

- Mostly a copy of REV 2 XL rom, but includes Happy Warp Speed boot and

changed colors. Special options menu can be initialised by pressing Option +

Select + Reset. Pressing Select + Start while booting, boots from casette.

Booting while holding Start tries to initialise Warp speed before booting.

 

Oldruner CRC32: 0x10ABFD80

- A copy of the OS-B for the 800, but tweaked to function with the XL/XE line

of computers. Makes the XL/XE line able to run 400/800 software.

 

Omnimon 87 CRC32: 0x9B4F8FAD

- Byte Eaters OMNIMON V_r 1987: Added monitor, through Select+Reset, which

replaced the self test, as was pretty much the standard at the time.

Compatible with most 800 software. Classified as translator rom.

 

Omnimon XL CRC32: 0xBFA09B66

- David Young OMNIMONXL (C)1984: Added monitor, through Select+Reset, which

replaced the self test, as was pretty much the standard at the time.

Compatible with most 800 software. Classified as translator rom.

 

Omnimon XE CRC32: 0x64B77137

- David Young OMNIMONXL (C)1984: Added monitor, through Select+Reset, which

replaced the self test, as was pretty much the standard at the time.

Compatible with most 800 software. Classified as translator rom.

 

Omniview 5 CRC32: 0x5987F5D8

- (c) 1985 David Young. Based on rev B 800 rom. The extra 6kB holds the main

feature: A 80 column E: handler that can be invoked from most programs

including basic. This mode uses a Graphics 8 screen, with a 4-bit wide font.

Not the best readability. Manual includes patches for (at the time) well known

word processor software: Speedscript 3.0.

 

Omniview 6 256K CRC32: 0xEB0C62EB

- Only difference with Omniview 5 is a change of tagline. David Young tagline

is replaced by the message "    OS-80+ ext.256K rev.(C)1986". There is no

extra support for additional ram. I suspect it's a rip-off.

 

Omniview XE CRC32: 0xE4BF5B98

- (c) 1985 David Young. Very alike Omniview 5. Same base, same feature, but

with a reworked character set, which is a slight bit easier on the eyes. Minor

changes in the code.

 

Pud CRC32: 0x95EC9329

- Proof of concept rom for a Power-Up display, made by Aegaeis Softscape.

There might be many versions of this now, because it was advertised to sell,

tailored to suit anyone with a name to stick in. Has no SelfTest, since that

area is replaced with custom graphics/routines for the power-up display. Based

on XE rom. Fully compatible.

- If booted with Select, the startup screen will be skipped. If left by it's

own devices, the startup screen will show for about 2.5 seconds. If  Select is

pressed in that time short time, it'll continue to show until Select is

released again.

 

Q-Meg V2 CRC32: 0x51939D37

- Q-Meg OS versions incorporate a Machine language monitor, support for

ramdisks, including BOOTING from them, without the need for a separate ramdisk

driver. HIO (high speed SIO for Speedy extended drives) is built in aswell.

- Compatible with the XL/XE roms for normal use. Not recommended for emulators

for all versions.

- Lower versions can adress drive 1-4 and 8, later ones can adress drive 1-8.

Configurable ramdisks with 256kB of memory can be either 2 single density

drives, 1 enhanced drive + one small x-drive, or one double density drive.

- Ramdisks may be filled from disk directly from the menu, aswell as written

to disk, including formatting. They can also be protected from being

overwritten by other software. Also Basic can be turned on/off.

 

Q-Meg V2.3 CRC32: 0xA1FB9BFA

Q-Meg V3.0 CRC32: 0xBE14E47E

Q-Meg V3.2 CRC32: 0x8CD48719

Q-Meg V3.8 CRC32: 0x78F2C102

Q-Meg V4.2 CRC32: 0x64CCFC53

Q-Meg V4.3 CRC32: 0xBE2442DA

Q-Meg V4.4 CRC32: 0x0547F499

 

Speedos CRC32: 0xA991769B

- I totally have no clue what this does, it just makes my computer crash like

there's no tomorrow. I get the feeling this has Happy extensions that my

drives just don't like, or something like that...

 

Supermon '85 CRC32: 0xBBD8A8BD

- All Supermon versions are based on the 800 rom, as far as I've noticed so

far.

- Machine language monitor through Select+Reset.

 

Supermon 2.0 CRC32: 0xFFDC4372

- This one is probably a rip off of the '86 version, as only the monitor

tagline differs.

 

Supermon '86 (BRD) CRC32: 0x28DD9BE4

- Same as Supermon 2.0, just gives a german header when invoking the monitor.

 

Supermon HTT CRC32: 0x1101FF93

- Same as Supermon '85, with different colors and charset. Modified build for

the High-Tech Team, a demo/developer group from the Netherlands.

 

Warpcopy CRC32: 0x21A89311

- Warp speed Happy extension included. Need extra info on this one.

 

Xos CRC32: 0x196C9B00

- Never found out how to get into special functions on this one yet. Need

extra info on this one.

 

 

 

Subject: 7.3) What is the ATASCII character set?

 

ASCII is an acronym for the American Standard Code for Information

Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English

characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127. For

example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77. Most computers use ASCII codes

to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer

to another.

 

The 8-bit Atari computers use a modified version of the ASCII character set

called Atari ASCII, or ATASCII.

 

David Moeser produced this nice translation table.

 

        ASCII TRANSLATION TABLE -- IBM & ATARI 8-BIT (ATASCII)

        ======================================================         

            

        SECTION ONE: CONTROL CHARACTERS

        =============================== 

         

 DECIMAL      ATARI    IBM <----> ATARI     ASCII

    -HEX  NAME KEY    GRAPHICS CHARACTER    FUNCTION

 =======  ==== ===  ======================  ========

   0  00  NUL  ^,   none        heart       Null

   1  01  SOH  ^A   smiley      |-          Start of header

   2  02  STX  ^B   [smiley]    right |     Start of text

   3  03  ETX  ^C   heart       (9:00)      End of last text

   4  04  EOT  ^D   diamond     -|          End of transmission

   5  05  ENQ  ^E   club        (9:30)      Enquiry

   6  06  ACK  ^F   spade       /           Acknowledge (handshake)

   7  07  BEL  ^G   rain dot    \           Bell

   8  08  BS   ^H   doorbell    L triangle  Backspace

   9  09  HT   ^I   o           low-R-sq.   Horizontal tab

  10  0A  LF   ^J   [doorbell]  R triangle  Line feed

  11  0B  VT   ^K   Mars        hi-R-sq.    Vertical tab

  12  0C  FF   ^L   Venus       hi-L-sq.    Form feed

  13  0D  CR   ^M   note        high bar    Carriage return

  14  0E  SO   ^N   2 notes     low bar     Shift out

  15  0F  SI   ^O   sun         low-L-sq.   Shift in

  16  10  DLE  ^P   R pennant   club        Data link escape (break)

  17  11  DC1  ^Q   L pennant   (3:30)      Device #1 (P:)

  18  12  DC2  ^R   V arrows    --          Device #2

  19  13  DC3  ^S   !!          cross       Device #3 (deselects P:)

  20  14  DC4  ^T   paragraph   cloudy      Device #4 (stop)

  21  15  NAK  ^U   section     low block   Negative acknowl. (error)

  22  16  SYN  ^V   short -     left |      Synchronous idle

  23  17  ETB  ^W   base-V-arrs.low T       End of block

  24  18  CAN  ^X   up arrow    hi perp.    Cancel memory (in buffer)

  25  19  EM   ^Y   DN arrow    left half   End medium (tape drive)

  26  1A  SUB  ^Z   R arrow     (3:00)      Substitute

  27  1B  ESC  EE   L arrow     escape      Escape

  28  1C  FS   E^-  (3:00)      up arrow    File separator

  29  1D  GS   E^=  ice needles DN arrow    Group separator

  30  1E  RS   E^+  up triangle L arrow     Record separator

  31  1F  US   E^*  DN triangle R arrow     Unit separator

  32  20  SPC  bar  space       space       Space   

    

 

        SECTION TWO: SPECIAL CHARACTERS

        ===============================

 127  7F  DEL  ETB  home plate  R pennant   Deleted

 155  9B  EOL  RETURN           box, etc.   ATASCII end of line (newline)

 13,10   CR/LF ENTER  ^M^J                  Windows,DOS,CP/M newline

 10   0A  LF   ENTER  ^J                    UNIX,Mac OS X,Amiga newline

 13   0D  CR   ENTER  ^M                    Apple II,MacOS (pre-X) newline

        

 

        KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS:

        ====================

 ^  = control key   L  = left          hi   = upper

 S  = shift key     R  = right         low  = lower

 E  = escape key    UP = points up     [  ] = inverse

 BS = backspace     DN = points down   V    = vertical

 TB = tab key       sq = square        perp = perpendicular

                    (time) = position of hands on a clockface

 

    Where possible, descriptions of graphics characters are taken

 from standard symbols used in mathematics, weather, astronomy, etc.

 Note: Different computer platforms, operating systems, programs,

 printers, etc. will produce different graphics characters.

 

 

        SECTION THREE: KEYBOARD CHARACTERS

        ==================================  

          

 DECIMAL     IBM        ATARI      DECIMAL     IBM        ATARI

    -HEX   KEY CHAR.  KEY CHAR.       -HEX   KEY CHAR.  KEY CHAR.

 =======   === ====   === ====     =======   === ====   === ====

  32  20   bar space  bar space    80  50    P     P    P     P

  33  21   S1    !    S1    !      81  51    Q     Q    Q     Q

  34  22   S'    "    S2    "      82  52    R     R    R     R

  35  23   S3    #    S3    #      83  53    S     S    S     S

  36  24   S4    $    S4    $      84  54    T     T    T     T

  37  25   S5    %    S5    %      85  55    U     U    U     U

  38  26   S7    &    S6    &      86  56    V     V    V     V

  39  27   '     '    S7    '      87  57    W     W    W     W

  40  28   S9    (    S9    (      88  58    X     X    X     X

  41  29   S0    )    S0    )      89  59    Y     Y    Y     Y

  42  2A   S8    *    *     *      90  5A    Z     Z    Z     Z

  43  2B   S=    +    +     +      91  5B    [     [    S,    [

  44  2C   ,     ,    ,     ,      92  5C    \     \    S+    \

  45  2D   -     -    -     -      93  5D    ]     ]    S.    ]

  46  2E   .     .    .     .      94  5E    S6    ^    S*    ^

  47  2F   /     /    /     /      95  5F    S-    _    S-    _

  48  30   0     0    0     0      96  60    `     `    ^.    `

  49  31   1     1    1     1      97  61    a     a    a     a

  50  32   2     2    2     2      98  62    b     b    b     b

  51  33   3     3    3     3      99  63    c     c    c     c

  52  34   4     4    4     4     100  64    d     d    d     d

  53  35   5     5    5     5     101  65    e     e    e     e

  54  36   6     6    6     6     102  66    f     f    f     f

  55  37   7     7    7     7     103  67    g     g    g     g

  56  38   8     8    8     8     104  68    h     h    h     h

  57  39   9     9    9     9     105  69    i     i    i     i

  58  3A   S;    :    S;    :     106  6A    j     j    j     j

  59  3B   ;     ;    ;     ;     107  6B    k     k    k     k

  60  3C   S,    <    <     <     108  6C    l     l    l     l

  61  3D   =     =    =     =     109  6D    m     m    m     m

  62  3E   S.    >    >     >     110  6E    n     n    n     n

  63  3F   S/    ?    S/    ?     111  6F    o     o    o     o

  64  40   S2    @    S8    @     112  70    p     p    p     p

  65  41   A     A    A     A     113  71    q     q    q     q

  66  42   B     B    B     B     114  72    r     r    r     r

  67  43   C     C    C     C     115  73    s     s    s     s

  68  44   D     D    D     D     116  74    t     t    t     t

  69  45   E     E    E     E     117  75    u     u    u     u

  70  46   F     F    F     F     118  76    v     v    v     v

  71  47   G     G    G     G     119  77    w     w    w     w

  72  48   H     H    H     H     120  78    x     x    x     x

  73  49   I     I    I     I     121  79    y     y    y     y

  74  4A   J     J    J     J     122  7A    z     z    z     z

  75  4B   K     K    K     K     123  7B    S[    {    ^;  spade

  76  4C   L     L    L     L     124  7C    S\    |    S=    |

  77  4D   M     M    M     M     125  7D    S]    }    E^< left-turn

  78  4E   N     N    N     N     126  7E    S`    ~    EBS L pennant

  79  4F   O     O    O     O     127  7F    none house ETB R pennant

 

A graphical ATARI / ASCII Table is available at:

http://www.akk.org/~flo/ATASCII.pdf

 

 

 

Subject: 7.4) What is Atari BASIC?

 

BASIC is an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Developed by John Kemeney and Thomas Kurtz in the mid 1960s at Dartmouth

College, BASIC is one of the earliest and simplest high-level programming

languages, incorporating components of FORTRAN and ALGOL.

 

In 1978 Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) to create a

version of BASIC (along with a File Management System (FMS)) for the upcoming

Atari personal computers.  The following worked together on the project, which

resulted in Atari BASIC (along with the original Atari DOS):

 

Paul Laughton (author of Apple DOS) - project leader, co-primary contributor

Kathleen O'Brien - co-primary contributor

Bill Wilkinson - floating point scheme design

Paul Krasno - implemented the math library routines following guidelines

              supplied by Fred Ruckdeschel (author of the acclaimed text,

              BASIC Scientific Subroutines)

Bob Shepardson - Modified IMP-16 Assembler to accept special syntax tables

                 Paul invented

Mike Peters - keypuncher/computer operator/junior programmer/troubleshooter

 

In late 1980/early 1981 the development rights to Atari BASIC were purchased

from Shepardson Microsystems by a new company, Optimized Systems Software

(OSS), headed by Bill Wilkinson.

 

Three Revisions of Atari BASIC were produced: A, B, and C:

  A - cartridge produced for use with the 400/800/1200XL (abundant)

  B - built-in to the 600XL/800XL, also produced on cartridge (rare)

  C - built-in to the 800XL(late models)/65XE/130XE/800XE/XE Game System,

      also produced on cartridge (rare)

 

Atari BASIC Rev. A was produced by Atari on cartridge in mass quantities

before Shepardson Microsystems had finished debugging it.  One place these

bugs are documented is in this article by Steve Hanson from Compute! magazine,

Oct. 1981:

http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue17/171_1_DOCUMENTED_ATARI_BUGS.php

 

When the 600XL/800XL computers were released in 1983 they included a mostly

debugged Atari BASIC Rev. B.  Unfortunately, while most existing bugs were

fixed, Rev. B introduced a new bug more serious than any of the earlier

problems.  In his article in the June 1985 issue of Compute!, Bill Wilkinson

writes:

  Each time you LOAD (or CLOAD or RUN "filename") a program, rev B adds 16

  bytes to the size of your program.  If you then save the program, the next

  time you load it in it grows by _another_ 16 bytes, and so on.

  http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue61/323_1_INSIGHT_Atari.php

The problem can be alleviated by periodically, if not exclusively, using

LIST instead of SAVE or CSAVE to save your programs.

 

Atari BASIC Rev. C, introduced in 1984, is the final "fully debugged" version.

 

When running Atari BASIC, memory location 43234 ($A8E2, BASIC ROM) indicates

which Revision of BASIC is running.  At the READY prompt, enter

"? PEEK(43234)".

 

If the result is:  You have Revision:       Atari Part#:

     162                  A                 CO12402+CO14502

     96                   B                 CO60302A

     234                  C                 CO24947A

 

All 3 versions of Atari BASIC may be available for download here:

http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari_dev.htm

 

 

 

Subject: 7.5) What are Atari DOS I, DOS II, DOS 3, DOS 2.5, and DOS XE?

 

This FAQ section describes the various DOS versions produced by Atari for use

with their 8-bit computers.

 

The Atari Operating System includes a simple "resident disk handler" that

supports four functions for communicating with a disk drive connected via the

SIO hardware port:

  FORMAT - Issue a format command to the disk controller

  READ SECTOR - Read a specified sector

  WRITE/VERIFY SECTOR - Write sector; check sector to see if written

  STATUS - Ask the disk controller for its status

 

The resident disk handler is used to load a full "file management system"

(FMS) from disk into RAM at power-up.

 

The FMS may be distributed with additional programs that are optionally loaded

from disk into memory after the FMS is loaded.

 

On the Atari, then, a "Disk Operating System" (DOS) consists of:

  1) The OS-resident disk handler

  2) A FMS

  3) Possible software extensions to the FMS

 

However, in practice it is much more common to think only of a FMS and any

additional programs distributed with the FMS as a "DOS" on the Atari.

 

In 1978 Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) to create a

FMS (along with a version of BASIC) for the upcoming Atari personal computers.

The following worked together on the project, which resulted in the original

Atari DOS (along with Atari BASIC):

 

Paul Laughton (author of Apple DOS) - project leader, co-primary contributor

Kathleen O'Brien - co-primary contributor

Bill Wilkinson - floating point scheme design

Paul Krasno - implemented the math library routines following guidelines

              supplied by Fred Ruckdeschel (author of the acclaimed text,

              BASIC Scientific Subroutines)

Bob Shepardson - Modified IMP-16 Assembler to accept special syntax tables

                 Paul invented

Mike Peters - keypuncher/computer operator/junior programmer/troubleshooter

 

The original Atari DOS shipped with 810 disk drives until 1981.  It consists

of a single file, DOS.SYS, which is loaded into memory from disk on startup.

At the top of the menu screen it reads:

   DISK OPERATING SYSTEM    9/24/79

   COPYRIGHT 1979 ATARI

With the planned release of DOS II in 1981, Atari referred to this first

release of DOS as DOS I.  Nearly all users quickly abandoned DOS I in favor of

DOS II.

Trivia: The DOS I "N. DEFINE DEVICE" menu option does not work.

Also, DOS I is not compatible with the 850 Interface Module.

The Atari DOS I disk is labeled: Atari 810 Master Diskette (CX8101).

 

DOS II Version 2.0S was shipped with 810 disk drives, and early 1050 disk

drives, from 1981-1983.  It also shipped with the CX77 Touch Tablet.

It consists of two files:

 - DOS.SYS is loaded into memory from disk on startup

 - DUP.SYS, which contains the DOS menu, is loaded only when needed.

By splitting the menu screen off into a separate program that is not loaded

into memory until needed, more memory remained available for user programs in

comparison to the single-file approach of DOS I.  MEM.SAV can be employed to

preserve the contents of memory to disk when DUP.SYS is loaded, so that the

data can be restored to memory when exiting from the DOS menu.  A file named

AUTORUN.SYS is launched on startup after DOS.SYS is loaded.  DOS 2.0S supports

Atari's proprietary single-sided, single density 90K 5.25" floppy disk format

only.  DOS 2.0S represents the lowest common denominator of Atari DOS

versions--you can be assured than any Atari disk drive for the 8-bit Atari can

work with disks formatted with DOS 2.0S.  DOS 2.0S can read disks written with

DOS I; the reverse is not the case.  The DOS 2.0S disk (CX8104) is labeled:

"Atari 810 Master Diskette II" (most) or "Atari 810/1050 Master Diskette II"

(later production).  DOS 2.0S was delivered by Optimized Systems Software

(OSS), headed by Bill Wilkinson, for Atari.

 

DOS II Version 2.0D was shipped with the rare Atari 815 Dual Disk Drive.

Supports double-density disk drives; also supports single-density disk drives.

The DOS 2.0D disk is labeled: Atari 815 Master Diskette (CX8201).

 

For much more about DOS II see Inside Atari DOS by Bill Wilkinson (1982),

online at: http://www.atariarchives.org/iad/

 

DOS 3 shipped with 1050 disk drives from 1983-1985.  It was created in part to

take advantage of the 1050's Dual-Density capability, by employing a single-

sided, enhanced-density 130K 5.25" floppy disk drive format.  Atari called

this format "dual-density," but the Atari community quickly came to refer to

this format as "enhanced-density" to better differentiate it from widely

available 3rd-party truly double density disk drives and supporting versions

of DOS.  DOS 3 consists of multiple files: FMS.SYS (the FMS), KCP.SYS,

KCPOVER.SYS, COPY.UTL, DUPDISK.UTL, INIT.UTL, CONVERT.UTL (converts files from

DOS 2.0S to DOS 3, but not back again) and HELP.UTL.  It also has support for

MEM.SAV and AUTORUN.SYS.  DOS 3 uses a disk format incompatible with, and less

efficient than, DOS 2.0S (DOS 3: 1024-byte "blocks"; DOS 2: 128-byte

"sectors").  For these reasons and others, DOS 3 was not widely accepted by

the Atari community, and like DOS I is not generally used except for

curiosity's sake.  The DOS 3 disk is labeled: Master Diskette 3 (DX5052).

 

DOS II Version 2.5 (DOS 2.5) shipped with 1050 disk drives and early XF551

disk drives from 1985-1988.  DOS 2.5 represented Atari's relenting to the

masses, returning to DOS 2.0S compatibility.  DOS 2.5 very closely resembles

DOS 2.0S, with just a few features added.  It supports both DOS 2.0S single-

density 90K formats, as well as an enhanced density 130K format for use with

the 1050 disk drive.  In addition to the two main files DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS,

DOS 2.5 also includes a RAMdisk utility for use with the 128K 130XE computer,

a utility to convert files from DOS 3 disks back to DOS 2.5, and other disk

utilities.  DOS 2.5 is just about as universal among Atari users as DOS 2.0S.

The DOS 2.5 disk is labeled simply: DOS 2.5 (DX5075).

 

DOS XE shipped with XF551 disk drives after 1988.  Like DOS 3, DOS XE

introduced a whole new format for Atari floppy disks; but unlike DOS 3, DOS XE

also preserved general compatibility with DOS 2.0S/2.5.  DOS XE supports the

full capabilities of the double-sided, double density 360K per 5.25" floppy

disk XF551 disk drive, including that drive's high-speed burst mode.  DOS XE

also fully supports the 90K SS/SD capability of the 810 disk drive, the 130K

SS/ED capability of the 1050 disk drive, the 180K SS/DD capability of most

3rd-party disk drives for the Atari, and a RAMdisk for use with the 130XE.

Date-stamping of files is supported.  DOS XE requires an XL or XE computer; it

is not compatible with the 400/800 computer models.  Even though DOS XE was

critically well-received, and represented a substantial jump in capabilities

over DOS 2.5, its arrival came so late in the crowded realm of Atari and 3rd-

party DOS versions that it never achieved much acceptance among real users,

and is now relegated to the same status as DOS I and DOS 3 before it.  Before

its release, DOS XE was widely known as "ADOS."  It was developed by Bill

Wilkinson for Atari.  The DOS XE disk is labeled: DOS XE Master Diskette

(DX5090).

 

 

 

Subject: 7.6) What are MyDOS, SpartaDOS, and other popular DOS versions?

 

Section includes contributions by Andreas Koch (most DOS 2 clone

descriptions); Jeff Williams (12/6/04, Mike Gustafson wrote SpartaDOS)

 

Atari DOS versions are very popular, but many 3rd-party DOS versions have also

been developed over the years.  Of these, MyDOS and SpartaDOS seem to be the

most-used today.

 

 

MyDOS 4.53

==========

MyDOS is modelled after Atari DOS 2.0S/2.5, but provides subdirectory and

hard-drive support, along with many other "high-end" features.

 

MyDOS 4.53/3 was released as freeware by David R. Eichel on 1/1/90.

Defaults to a 3 character file length/free sector count instead of MyDOS's

normal 4. Supports multiple AUTORUNs at boot up (*.AR0 through *.AR9).

Supports Axlon RAMdisks.

 

MyDOS 4.53/4 is the same as 4.53/3, but uses a minimum of four characters in

the sector count just like most versions of MyDOS.

 

MYDOS 4.51 was developed by Wordmark Systems (Charles Marslett).  Source code

is available as "abandonware" at: http://www.wordmark.org/

 

MYDOS 4.50 was released on 11/28/88, developed by C. Marslett & R. Puff

http://www.nleaudio.com/css/files/MYDOS45M.ARC

 

Mathy van Nisselroy's MyDOS page, including recent patches by Lee Barnes:

http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/mydos.htm

 

 

SpartaDOS 3.2, 3.3, 4.41

========================

SpartaDOS is a completely different command-line DOS modelled after MS-DOS,

though it is perfectly capable of reading all Atari DOS and MyDOS disks.

 

There are many versions available.  Hopefully this list will help keep them

all straight.

 

SpartaDOS X 4.41 (8 Feb. 2008)

----------------

Greatly enhanced/expanded compared to disk-based SpartaDOS; completely

different source code.

 

    SDX upgrade project

 

     The purpose of this project is to add new functions to the best disk

     operating system for the Atari 8-bit computer ever created, and to clean

     up few bugs at the occasion. The last SpartaDOS X version (4.22) was

     released 10 years ago. Most users got used to its bugs and shortages. New

     software and hardware developments, however, made us think about a new,

     cleaned up and modernized version of the DOS, which would be compatible

     with the 4.22 (from FTe), and enhanced both in software and hardware.

 

     http://trub.atari8.info/index.php?ref=sdx_upgrade_en

   

     CREDITS

      - based on works done by: Prof!, MMMG, DLT Ltd.

      - new code and design: DLT Ltd.

      - hardware: Pasiu/SSG, Jad, Zenon/Dial, DLT Ltd.

      - hosting: krap.pl

      - devtools: DLT Ltd., Tebe/Madteam, others

      - other support: ABBUC, Epi/TRS, Krap, Mikey, Pin/TRS

 

    4.41    2-08-08  released by DLT

    4.39RC 10-01-06  released by DLT

    4.22   11-05-95  released by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe, Mike Hohman)

    4.21    7-10-89  released by ICD

    4.20    2-06-89  released by ICD

    4.19    1-16-89  released by ICD

    4.18   10-29-88  released by ICD

    4.17   ??-??-88  released by ICD

SpartaDOS X versions 4.17-4.21 were written by Mike Gustafson at ICD.

 

SpartaDOS Pro 3.3a, 3.3b, and 3.3c - 1994-1997

----------------------------------

The SpartaDOS Pro 3.3 versions were developed for FTe by programmers Stephen

J. Carden and Ken Ames, based upon a disassembled copy of the older (more

stable?) 3.2c release from ICD.

-- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3a  3-Nov-94 -- Added MUX support and MS-DOS Commands.

   Highspeed SIO routines NOT included.  Recommended for use in emulators

   (especially Xformer) only.

-- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3b 25-Dec-95 -- Has two different SIOV handlers, one

   for the MUX and one for the MIO.

-- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3c  1995 -- Looks at your system and by checking it

   determines what CIO handler to load, and has MS-DOS command set.  Black

   Box, MUX, and MIO are fully supported, though none of these are required.

-- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3c 19-Dec-97 -- The same 3.3c produced on a 16K ROM

   cartridge and available for purchase from Video 61.

-- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3d -- Contains additional fixes for MIO users.

   unreleased?

 

According to Lance Ringquist of Video 61:

K-Products contracted with FTe to develop SpartaDOS Pro 3.3 for exclusive use

and distribution with K-Products' BBS Express! Pro, to provide this BBS system

with the most stable platform possible.  As Video 61 purchased the rights to

the entire K-Products product line, SpartaDOS Pro 3.3 became a product of

Video 61.

 

SpartaDOS 3.2g and 3.2gx - Dated 6/4/94.

------------------------

Last official disk-based versions, released as shareware by Fine Tooned

Engineering (FTe), who had purchased the rights from ICD.  3.2g is the primary

version; 3.2gx differs only in that it locates the disk buffers under the OS

to save RAM.  3.2gx is intended for use in systems that include a PBI device

(MIO, Black Box); it is not compatible with BASIC XE nor any other programs

using RAM under the OS.

 

First shareware release from FTe: 3.2f.

 

Earlier major releases from the original developer, ICD: 3.2d, 3.2c, 2.3, 1.1

SpartaDOS 1.1-3.2d were written by Mike Gustafson at ICD.

 

Only the SDX cartridges and the original version 1.1 are compatible with the

400/800 computer models; SpartaDOS 2.x and 3.x require an XL/XE.

 

Many disk-based SpartaDOS versions are available for download from

Thunderdome, kept by SysOp Fox-1:  http://thunderdome.atari.org/ or

http://www.mixinc.net/atari/download_a8/sdsys.htm

 

 

BW-DOS 1.30 - FreeWare, published 95-12-17 by ABBUC

===========

Another popular, powerful DOS is BW-DOS (it is pronounced "Bay Vay Dos"),

freeware by Jiri Bernasek - BEWESOFT.  SpartaDOS compatible.  Does not use any

speeder internally, but comes with external XF551 speeder.  Supports 4 drives

and RAMdisk, comes with RAMdisk driver for XE compatible RAMdisks up to

1Megabyte; supports 4 densities: a) Single (90k), b) Enhanced/Medium (130k),

c) Double (180k) and d) DSDD (360k); does not use any RAM under OS ROM (so it

works on an Atari 800 and with Turbo BASIC); unlike SpartaDOS most commands

are external, thus the DOS is only 5kbytes short; supports a PAL clock (made

by ABBUC regional group "ARGS"); comes with many great utilities (which can

also be used with SpartaDOS).

 

BW-DOS 1.30 disk images and User Manual are available at:

http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/APG/BeweDOS

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

The other DOS varieties mentioned below are all, like MyDOS, Atari DOS-2

clones and thus DOS-2 compatible; available as PD or Freeware...

 

 

TOP-DOS 1.5+

============

Carolyn Hoglin writes:

This superior DOS was written by R. K. Bennett of Eclipse Software in

Sunnyvale, CA.  It was based on Atari DOS, but with many, many more features.

It fully supports my double-density, double-sided Astra drives, automatically

sensing the proper density and sidedness of both drives 1 and 2.  (MYDOS only

seemed to do that on drive 1.)  Also supported are large RAMdisks for Axlon,

Mosaic, etc.  The latest version was TOP-DOS 1.5+, which came with an

excellent manual explaining how to use its powerful capabilities.

 

 

SuperDOS 5.1

============

supports 4 formats SD/ED/DD/DSDD; supports 256k Xtra RAM/RD; supports 4

speeders: Happy+Speedy+XF551+US Doubler and its compatibles; has an AUX.SYS

file with option to use / not use RAM under OS ROM; has unfortunately a very

slow RAMdisk;

 

 

BiboDOS 5.4 and 6.4

===================

3 versions available, one without speeder - 5.4NT, one with Happy/Speedy

support 5.4HS and one with XF support 6.4XF; supports 4 formats / up to 360k;

supports 256k Xtra RAM / RD; the DUP.SYS uses RAM under OS ROM, thus Turbo-

BASIC must load without DUP;

 

 

Turbo-DOS 2.1

=============

Master-Disk produces 4 different versions: 2.1NT without speeders, 2.1HS for

Happy/Speedy, 2.1XF for XF551 and 2.1EX for 3 speeders: Happy+Speedy+XF551;

supports 256k Xtra RAM / RD and supports use of batchfiles; has converter for

DOS 3 and DOS 4; supports 4 formats, up to 360k; does not use RAM under OS

ROM; DUP uses a Command Processor; all commands are available via HELP key;

works with XL/XE computers only, does not load/boot on Atari 400/800 no clue

why;

 

 

RealDOS Ver 1.0a Build 0024 2-Oct-06

====================================

Integrated Logic Systems (ILS - Stephen J. Carden)

A potential modern replacement for SpartaDOS.

http://www.tcpipexpress.com/realdos.html

 

 

 

Subject: 7.7) How do I modify Atari DOS to support more than two drives?

 

When running Atari DOS II and compatibles, memory location 1802 ($70A,

DRVBYT) indicates the number of disk drives allocated.  At the Atari BASIC

READY prompt, enter "? PEEK(1802)" to read the value of this location.

Possible values include:

   1 = Drive 1 only

   3 = Drives 1 and 2 (default value)

   7 = Drives 1, 2, and 3

  15 = Drives 1, 2, 3, and 4

 

The value of DRVBYT can be changed with the Atari BASIC POKE command.  For

example, "POKE 1802,7" to set DOS to support drives 1-3.

 

To save a changed value for DRVBYT that will be in effect when the computer

starts up, go to the DOS menu (enter "DOS" at the READY prompt), then choose

menu option H, Write DOS Files.  This disk will now boot with support for the

number of disk drives of your choosing.

 

 

 

Subject: 7.8) Are there Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for the Atari?

 

Contributors: Andreas Koch, Mathy van Nisselroy, Kathleen Ferrante

 

- Diamond GOS version 1 (a cart and a PD demo-disk-version do exist),

  version 2 (cart only), version 3 (cart only); plus some applications

  (painter program, text program, etc.); Diamond GOS has been made

  freeware by the author Alan Reeve;

 

- G.O.S., the Graphic operating system by Total Control systems; two different

versions are available (I call them GOS 1 and GOS 2) and they are PD;

 

- G.O.E., the Graphic Operating Environment also by Total Control Systems

(this one merely works under Sparta DOS, not with Bewe-DOS and not at all with

DOS 2.x); so far I have found 3 different versions (GOE 1,2,3) with some

applications (graphic/painting program, etc.); PD;

 

- RAOS (Rat Actuated Operating System) by Zobian Controls

 

- S.A.M., the Screen Aided Management (unfortunately it has the same name as

SAM, the software aided mouth) from PPP/Germany. It is available in two

different versions: a) the type-in listing from Atari magazin and/or the Lazy

finger disks (which are PD!) or b) the commercial version 2.0 which has many

add-ons and can still be bought from Dean Garaghty/UK or

PD-World-Versand/Germany; This GUI merely works correct under DOS 2.5 and

Medium/dual density, however...

 

- BOSS-XL, the XL-Desktop from Mirko Sobe; written in Turbo-BASIC; freeware;

http://www.atarixle.de/

 

- BOSS-XE, the XE-Desktop from Mirko Sobe; written in Turbo-BASIC;freeware,

http://www.atarixle.de/

 

- BOSS-X the newest desktop version from Mirko Sobe, needs an 128k+ Computer

(128k or more memory), supports MyDOS up to 16MB and MyDOS subdirs...; still

written in Turbo-BASIC; many applications and drivers; freeware;

http://www.atarixle.de/

 

- XL-TOS a small and "cheap" GUI version from Atari magazin (i.e. a type-in

listing; the BASIC file, which consists of many data lines creates a short

object code file); unfortunately this GUI only looks good, it loads almost

nothing... PD;

 

- ST-TOS a small BASIC program, that looks like a GUI; it can merely load

BASIC files and do a few DOS commands, like lock, unlock, delete and such...

(PD)

 

- BASIC desktop, a GUI written in BASIC just as a sample, what can be done

with an 8-bit computer; this one loads BASIC and text files (maybe also ML

files); PD;

 

- DCS, the desktop construction set from Tom Hunt; there are 3 different

versions available, a) for DOS 2.5, b) for MyDOS and c) for Sparta-DOS; I have

tested the Sparta DOS version, which worked with batchfiles and could easily

load some ML files, text files and BASIC files (which were already on the DCS

disk); it also works with high densities and/or hard disk partitions up to

16MB and supports subdirs of course; hmm, freeware or shareware ?!?

 

- ATOS - GUI by Tom Hunt/Closer To Home.

  1) Lets you use any demo or intro as a screen saver!!

  2) Works with all Atari hardware, BB, MIO and Hard drives, SpartaDOS support

  3) Lets you run files like full games and demos and then

     return back to the desktop.  It uses Overlays.

 

- Atari Desktop by ABC software (Poland), includes editors, converters,

file copiers, sector copy, tape+turbo tape copy, small games, CMC finder

and player and much much more; works with 64k RAM and keyboard input;

disk manuals only in Polish language...

 

- Windows XL a Turbo-BASIC GUI with some nice add-ons, like calculator, editor

and other things. written in 1986-1988 by Joerg Forg.

 

- TRS Desktop by Tristesse.  A graphic user interface for SpartaDOS X to be

used with hard drives.

http://www.atari8.info/trsdesktop.php

http://trub.atari8.info/sdx_files/TRS_desktop_v09d_alfa.zip

 

- there are a lot more GUI programs, however many of them are written in BASIC

or Turbo BASIC and are very restricted; most of them merely look like a GUI

but need too much memory for everyday use. That's why most users still prefer

those DOS or Gamedos (Gameloader, Multiloader, etc.) programs...

 

 

 

Subject: 7.9) What should I know about modem device handlers?

 

In order to use a modem on the Atari, a modem software handler, or R: device

handler, must be loaded into memory.

 

There are several families of R: handlers, corresponding to the different ways

in which a modem may be attached to the Atari.

 

Except for family #7 below, these handlers are used in one of two ways.

Either they are (A) loaded into memory from DOS just before running the main

terminal application, or (B) the terminal program is appended to the handler,

so that in practice, a single file is loaded from DOS which contains both the

R: device handler and the application itself.

 

1) 835/1030/XM301 modems.  Atari-only modems, interface via SIO

 

2) MPP/Supra modems.  Atari-only modems, interface via joystick port

 

3) SX212 modem/R-Verter Serial Bus Modem Adapter. 

Standard Hayes-type RS-232 modems, interface via SIO

 

The R-Verter was distributed with four different R: handler versions:

 

RHAND1.OBJ  - R: handler supporting DSR & RD

RHAND1C.OBJ - R: handler supporting DSR & CD

RHAND2.OBJ  - R: handler supporting DSR & RD and translation tables

RHAND2C.OBJ - R: handler supporting DSR & CD and translation tables

 

4) SWP ATR8000 interface. Standard Hayes-type RS-232 modems via this interface.

 

Richard Anderson writes (Oct 2 02):

  Mine originally came with a driver program; and, I believe, a BASIC program

  to set up the driver from BASIC.  Later they shipped with a special version

  of MyDOS with the R: handler built in.

 

5) 850 Interface/P:R: Connection, internal

 

This type of "mini handler" simply loads the R: device handler code from a ROM

chip inside the RS-232 serial interface.  A long beep is heard through the

speaker when the handler is loaded into the computer's RAM.

 

Many varieties of DOS for the Atari include an explicit provision for loading

this type of R: handler into memory from the 850 or compatible interface.

 

Also, this type of R: handler is automatically loaded when any 8-bit Atari

computer is turned on with a P:R: Connection or powered 850 connected, but no

powered disk drive is present.

 

6) 850 Interface/P:R: Connection, external

 

Used with the 850/P:R: Connection in place of these interfaces' built-in

handlers.

 

The P:R: Connection was distributed with such a handler, called: PRC.SYS

 

7) MIO/Black Box interfaces, internal

 

These interfaces utilize the PBI or ECI parallel ports on the Atari.  They

include their own R: handlers in ROM, using no computer RAM at all.

 

8) MIO/Black Box interfaces, external: Len Spencer's Hyperspeed

 

This handler is "optional" for the Black Box, but "essential" for the MIO

in order to take full advantage of the high-speed hardware handshaking

capabilities of these two interfaces.

 

Hyperspd.arc is available at:

http://www.lenardspencer.com/Lenspencer/hyperspd.htm

 

 

 

Subject: 8.1) What programming languages are available for the Atari?

 

This section is by Freddy Offenga, reproduced here by permission from:

http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari_dev.htm

 

additions/edits to this version by mc:

2009.02 edits: The BASIC Compiler; BASIC XE;

        Microsoft BASIC; Microsoft BASIC II; CLSN Pascal; Logo; PILOT;

        Action!, Kyan Pascal, Lightspeed C versions from Atari Explorer mags

2006.01.16 added: Xasm 3.0.0, 2005 from Piotr Fusik

 

Revision : 2.0

Date.... : 2005-2-20

 

==============================================================

The goal is to give information about all available languages

for the Atari 8-bit computer. This information includes:

title, last version, author, date and a short description.

It would also be nice to know how to get it and where to get

more information (like reference cards, reviews and such).

 

Maintainer: Freddy Offenga

Email : taf.offenga [at] chello.nl (replace " [at] " with "@")

URL   : http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari.htm

 

==============================================================

 

There are quite a lot! To get some structure in this section it's

divided into the following categories;

 

        a) ASSEMBLER

        b) BASIC

        c) C

        d) PASCAL

        e) LISP

        f) FORTH

        g) PILOT

        h) LOGO

        i) All the rest

 

The following format is used:

 

    - Language title (medium)

      version, year  : version, year

      author/company : author/company

      available..... : where/how to get it

      package....... : programs, documentation

      features...... : main features

      Description.

 

The question marks (?) indicate that more information is

required about that topic.

 

Credits

=======

- The Multi-lingual Atari, Analog magazine 45, August 1986

- A bunch of manuals

- Some copy-pasted lines from the Atari 8-bit newsgroup

- umich (University of Michigan Atari archive)

- David Wyn Davies (PL65)

- Kevin Savetz (APX titles)

- Maury Markowitz

- Michael Current

- JT (ValForth)

- Andreas Koch

- Winston Smith

- Carsten Strotmann

- Brad Arnold

 

Revision history

================

 

2.0

- Added Atari Pilot info from Brad Arnold

 

1.9

- X-Assembler updated

- Added "QS FORTH" info from Winston Smith

- Added FORTH section work from Michael Current (thanks to Carsten Strotmann)

  (see also: http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForth)

- Several updates in the assembler section

 

1.8

Thanks to Andreas Koch for these updates:

- Added "Mesa-Forth"

- Added "130XE Assembler 4.32"

- Updated "SynAssembler"

 

1.7

Thanks to Maury Markowitz for these updates:

- Updated "A BASIC Compiler"

- Added "Der BASIC Compiler", "MMG BASIC Compiler"

- Added "Frost BASIC", "TT-BASIC XL"

 

1.6

Synchronized with Atari 8-bit FAQ May-2002 :

- Added "X-Assembler"

- Added "CTH Fast Basic"

- Added availability for "Deep Blue C"

- Added availability for "Atari Pascal"

- Ignored changes "Kyan Pascal" (need more info)

- Updated "ValForth"

- Updated "Extended fig-Forth"

- Updated "fun-Forth"

- Added "Extended WSFN"

- Removed e-mail addresses

- Added availability for "A65"

- Updated "PL65"

 

1.0 .. 1.5

Changes not noted.

Old versions are available on request.

 

 

a) ASSEMBLER

 

    - 130XE Makro Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 4.32, ?

      author/company : Torsten Karwoth

      available..... : freeware, ABBUC PD #297

      package....... : assembler, editor, menu, monitor,

                       batch enhancement, linker/packer

      features...... : macros

      Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated menu, editor

      and monitor shell for 128KB RAM Ataris. Source format

      is derived from Atmas Makroassembler.

     

    - 130XE+ Makro Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 2.2, 1992

      author/company : Torsten Karwoth

      available..... : freeware, ABBUC PD #368

      package....... : assembler, editor, menu, monitor,

                       batch enhancement, linker/packer

      features...... : macros

      New version with 128KB - 1088KB RAM support.

      Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated menu, editor

      and monitor shell. Needs extra RAM banks. Source

      format is derived from Atmas Makroassembler.

 

    - A65 (disk)

      version, year  : ?, 1989

      author/company : Charles Marslett, WORDMARK Systems

      available..... : abandonware, http://www.wordmark.org/

      package....... : assembler, manual

      features...... : source include

      Two pass 6502 assembler. Source format is based on the

      Atari Macro Assembler. Assembler source included.

 

    - Alfasm, Turbo-Assembler/16 (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1990

      author/company : Jeff Williams, DataQue Software

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, docs

      features...... : source include

      Two pass 6502/65816 assembler.

 

    - Assi (download)

      version, year  : 0.0.41, 2000

      author/company : MacFalkner

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, file linker

      features...... : source include, data include, code relocation

      Cross assembler for Win32. Source code is highly compatible with

      Atmas for the Atari.

 

    - Atari Assembler/Editor (cart)

      version, year  : ?, 1981

      author/company : Atari

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual

      features...... : -

      Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor

 

    - Atari Macro Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0C, 1981

      author/company : Atari, APX

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, debugger, manual

      features...... : macros, source include

      Two pass 6502 assembler.

 

    - ATasm (disk)

      version, year  : 0.92, 1999

      author/company : Mark Schmelzenbach

      available..... : umich

      package....... : assembler

      features...... : macros, source include, optionally target .XFD

      disk images and machine state files (Atari800 / Atari800Win),

      conditional assembly. Two pass 6502 portable cross assembler.

      Highly compatible with MAC/65.

 

    - Atmas Makroassembler (disk)

      version, year  : 2, 1985

      author/company : Peter Finzel, Hofacker

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual

      features...... : macros

      Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor.

 

    - Bibo Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 13/12/1986

      author/company : E.Reuss, Compy-Shop

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, monitor

      features...... : source include, data include

      Two pass 6502/65c02 assembler with integrated editor/

      monitor.

 

    - Datasm/65 assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 2.0, 1981

      author/company : DataSoft Inc.

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, menu, manual

      features...... : -

      Two pass 6502 assembler.

 

    - EASMD (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1981

      author/company : OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, monitor

      features...... : -

      Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor.

 

    - Fast Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 1.5, 1995

      author/company : MMMG Soft

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, disassembler

      features...... : -

 

    - Kasm65 (disk)

      version, year  : 2.51, 1997

      author/company : Ken Siders

      available..... : shareware, umich

      package....... : assembler, editor, linker, docs

      features...... : macros, relocation, source include,

                       conditional assembly

      Two pass 6502 assembler. Relocatable object files are

      compatible with ra65. Source format is derived from

      the Atari Macro Assembler.

 

    - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk|cart)

      version, year  : 1.01, 1984

      author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk|cart)

      version, year  : 2.00, 1982

      author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual

      features...... : macros, source include

      Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor.

      Mac/65 is a direct descendant of the Atari Assembler/

      Editor (via EASMD).

 

    - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 4.20, 1994

      author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, Fine Tooned Engineering

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 4.20 demo version, 1982

      author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - MAE (disk)

      version, year  : .96, 1996

      author/company : John Harris

      available..... : umich

      package....... : assembler, menu, editor, monitor, docs

      features...... : macros, source include, data include,

                       conditional assembly

      Two pass 6502/65816 assembler with integrated editor/

      monitor. Extra RAM supported.

 

    - NASM65 (disk)

      version, year  : ?, 1992

      author/company : Nat!

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, linker, librarian

      features...... : macros, relocation, source include

      One pass 6502 portable cross assembler (initially for

      the ST). Highly compatible with MAC/65.

 

    - PC-65 (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0 beta, 1996

      author/company : Jan Feenstra & Freddy Offenga

      available..... : -

      package....... : assembler

      features...... : macros, source include, data include,

                       boundary directive

      Two pass 6502 cross assembler for PC/DOS. The source

      format is highly compatible with the ST-65 assembler.

 

    - Quick Assembler (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1990?

      author/company : JBW, Avalon?

      available..... : ?

      package....... : assembler, editor, menu, debugger

      features...... : source include

      Two pass 6502 cross assembler with integrated editor.

      Very user friendly menu environment.

 

    - Ra65 (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1989

      author/company : John R. Dunning

      available..... : public domain, umich

      package....... : assembler, linker, librarian

                       part of cc65 (c-compiler)

      features...... : -

 

    - Synassembler (disk|cart)

      version, year  : 4.0, 1982

      author/company : Steve Hales, Synapse Soft

      available..... : http://www.atariland.com/members/oldatarian/

      package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual

      features...... : source include

      Two pass 6502 assembler.

      An Adaptation by Steve Hales of the S.C. Assembler II.

 

    - ST-65 (disk)

      version, year  : ?, 1991

      author/company : A. Stauffenberg, F. Offenga

      available..... : -

      package....... : assembler, menu shell, manual

      features...... : macros, conditional assembly,

                       source include, data include,

                       boundary directive

      Two pass 6502/65c02 cross assembler for the Atari ST

      written in 68000 assembly. As far as I know this is

      the first assembler with the boundary directive.

 

    - Xasm

      version, year  : 2.5.2, 2002

      author/company : Piotr Fusik

      available..... : http://xasm.atari.org

      package....... : assembler, docs

      features...... : conditional assembly, source include,

                       binary include, pseudo commands,

                       pseudo addressing modes

      Two pass 6502 cross assembler for PC/DOS. The source

      format is backward compatible with Quick Assembler.

 

    - Xasm

      version, year  : 3.0.0, 2005

      author/company : Piotr Fusik

      available..... : http://xasm.atari.org

      package....... : assembler, docs

      features...... : conditional assembly, source include,

                       binary include, pseudo commands,

                       pseudo addressing modes

      Two pass 6502 cross assembler for PC/DOS. The source

      format is backward compatible with Quick Assembler.

 

 

b) BASIC

 

    - A BASIC Compiler (?)

      version, year  : 1.05, 1987

      author/company : Monarch Data Systems

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC compiler

      features...... : -

 

    - Advan BASIC (disk)

      version, year  : ?, ?

      author/company : Advan Language Designs

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC compiler

      features...... : -

 

    - Atari BASIC (cart)

      version, year  : Rev.C, 1983

      author/company : Atari

      available..... : standard ROM in Atari XL/XE

      package....... : BASIC interpreter, manual

      features...... : pretty plain BASIC implementation

 

    - Atari Microsoft BASIC (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1981

      author/company : developed by Microsoft, published by Atari

      available..... : CX8126

      package....... : BASIC interpreter

      features...... : Based on the full language level of Microsoft BASIC

 

    - Atari Microsoft BASIC II (cart + extensions disk)

      version, year  : 2.0, 1983, c1982

      author/company : developed by Microsoft, published by Atari

      available..... : AX2025 box contains:

                       * Microsoft BASIC II Programming Language cart. RX8035

                       * Microsoft BASIC II Extension Diskette DX5046

                       * [User's Guide] C061251 REV. A (1982)

                       * Reference Manual C061257 REV. A (1983)

                       * Quick Reference Guide C061253 REV. A (1982)

      package....... : BASIC interpreter

      features...... : Based on the full language level of Microsoft BASIC

                       "Programs developed under the diskette-based version of

                       Atari Microsoft BASIC can be run using Atari Microsoft

                       BASIC II."

 

    - BASIC A+ (disk)

      version, year  : 3.05, 1981

      author/company : OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC interpreter

      features...... : -

 

    - The BASIC Compiler (disk)

      version, year  : 1.4, 1983

      author/company : Datasoft

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC compiler

      features...... : four-pass compiler; compiles Atari BASIC programs into

                       6502 machine language; produces DATASM compatible

                       assembler files

 

    - BASIC XL (cart)

      version, year  : ?, ?

      author/company : OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC interpreter

      features...... : -

 

    - BASIC XE (cart + extensions disk)

      version, year  : 4.1, 1985

      author/company : OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC interpreter

      features...... : requires XL/XE; supports 130XE extended memory

 

    - CTH Fast Basic (disk)

      version/year   : ?

      author/company : Tom Hunt/Closer to Home

      available.......: PD, Freeware or Shareware;

      package........: language plus several test files

                       and examples; English docs;

      features.......: faster than Atari Basic, not much

                       slower than TB, does not use RAM under OS;

      available at Tom Hunt's homepage or elsewhere...

 

    - Frost BASIC (?)

      version, year  : 1.04, 1985

      author/company : Frank Ostrowski, Happy Computer

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC interpreter, compiler

      features...... : -

      Version of Turbo Basic XL that runs on 48k machines (400/800).

     

    - MMG BASIC Compiler 2.0 (?)

      version, year  : 2.0, 1984

      author/company : Special Software Systems

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC compiler

      features...... : -

      It appears that this is a newer version of Der BASIC Compiler,

      licensed to some other company.

 

    - TT-BASIC XL (disk)

      version, year  : 2.11, 1985

      author/company : Frank Ostrowski, Happy Computer

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC interpreter, compiler

      features...... : -

      Published in the German magazine "Happy Computer".

      Appears to be a newer version of Turbo Basic XL.

 

    - Turbo Basic XL (disk)

      version, year  : 1.5, 1985

      author/company : Frank Ostrowski, Happy Computer

      available..... : ?

      package....... : BASIC interpreter, compiler (V1.1)

      features...... : -

      Published in the German magazine "Happy Computer".

 

 

c) C

 

    - ACE C (disk)

      version, year  : ?

      author/company : John Palevich & Ralph Walden

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      This is a newer version of 'Deep Blue C'.

 

    - C/65 (?)

      version, year  : ?

      author/company : OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      Probably derived from Dr.Dobbs "Small C". Compiles to 6502

      code which emulates the 8080 instruction set.

 

    - C65 (?)

      version, year  : ?

      author/company : Keith Ledbetter

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : good macro assembler

      This compiler does not support structs.

 

    - CC65 (disk)

      version, year  : 1989

      author/company : John R. Dunning

      available..... : umich archive,

      http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Languages/Cc65/

      package....... : compiler, linker, assembler, librarian

      features...... : -

      Public domain compiler. Also used as cross compiler.

      Relocatable object linkage files, and the most thorough

      K&R C for the 8-bit. Comes with an relocatable assembler.

 

    - CC8 (disk)

      version, year  : 2.3

      author/company : John Palevich & Steve Kennedy

      available..... : ?

      package....... : Compiler

      features...... : -

      ACE C with more "real" C support (e.g. arrays of pointers

      to structs). Requires ACE C runtime libs and linker.

 

    - Deep Blue C (disk)

      version, year  : 1.2, 1982

      author/company : John Palevich, APX

      available..... : http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20166

                       Source code "Deep Blue Secrets" downloadable at

                       http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20179

      package....... : Compiler, Linker

      features...... : -

      Deep Blue C was originally an independent product, but it

      then became available from APX. It converts C to pseudo-

      code and then interprets the pseudo code (8080 instruction

      set emulation).

      Drawn from Ron Cain's public domain C-compiler (Small-C).

 

    - DVC C (disk)

      version, year  : 1.05, 1985

      author/company : Ralph E. Walden

      available..... : ?

      package....... : Editor, Compiler, Optimizer, Linker

      features...... : Quite user friendly program

      The compiler generates special object files (.CCC)

      which can be optimized and linked. The package uses a

      special DOS called DVC DOS which contains runtime stuff.

 

    - Lightspeed C (disk)

      version, year  : 3.0, 1988

      author/company : Clearstar Softechnologies

      available..... : ?

      package....... : Compiler, Optimizer, Linker

      features...... : -

      Runs under CLI DOS's and MENU DOS's.

     

    - Tiny-C

      version, year  : ?

      author/company : OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      First sold C compiler by OSS. This compiler was used to

      compile itself! First true language "bootstrap" on any

      8-bit machine (it was also available for Apple and CP/M

      machines). Derived from Dr.Dobbs "Small C". Compiles to

      6502 code which emulates the 8080 instruction set.

 

 

d) PASCAL

 

    - Atari Pascal (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1982

      author/company : APX

      available..... : APX-20102

      Information at http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20102

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      Needs two drives.

 

    - CLSN Pascal (disk)

      version, year  : 1989?

      author/company : CLSN Software

      available..... : ?

      package....... : editor, compiler

      features...... : generates 6502 machine code;

                       requires 128K XL/XE

 

    - Draper Pascal (disk)

      version, year  : 2.1, 1989

      author/company : Norm Draper

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - Kyan Pascal (disk)

      version, year  : 2.02, 1986

      author/company : Kyan Software

      available..... : ?

      package....... : editor, compiler, linker, macro-assembler

                       and manual

      features...... : -

 

 

e) LISP

 

    - INTER-LISP/65 (disk)

      version, year  : 2.1, 1981

      author/company : Special Software Systems, DataSoft

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - INTER-LISP/65 (disk)

      version, year  : 2.2, 1982

      author/company : Special Software Systems, DataSoft

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

 

f) FORTH

 

    - ES-FORTH

      version, year  : 1.2, 1984

      author/company : The English Software Company

      available..... :

           http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthESForth

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      Seems to be based on fig-FORTH, but with some unique "Words".

      Works with normal DOS.

 

    - Extended fig-FORTH, (disk)

      version, year  : 11/10/1981

      author/company : Patrick Mullarky, APX

      available..... : APX-20029

                       http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20029

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - Extended fig-Forth (disk)

      version, year  : 1.1 Rev. 2.0, 01/15/82

      author/company : Patrick Mullarky, APX

      available..... : APX-20029

                       http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20029

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - fig-FORTH

      version, year  : 1/26/81 and 4/01/82 releases

      author/company : Steven R. Calfee  "Team FORTH"

      available..... :

                 http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=unknown_fig

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - fig-FORTH

      version, year  : 4/10/82

      author/company : Peter Lipson / Robin Ziegler "Team FORTH"

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      based on 4/1/82 release of fig-FORTH by Steve Calfee

 

    - fig-FORTH

      version, year  : 5/5/82 - 10/16/82

      author/company : Harald Striepe "Team FORTH"

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      based on 4/10/82 release of fig-FORTH by Lipson/Ziegler

 

    - fig-FORTH, Antic (disk)

      version, year  : 1.4S REV.H, 18Jun85

      author/company : John Stanley/Antic Magazine "Team FORTH"

      available..... :

             http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthAntic

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      based on 10/16/82 release of fig-FORTH by Striepe

 

    - fun-Forth (disk)

      version, year  : ?

      author/company : Joel Gluck, APX

      available..... : APX-20146

                       http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20146

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

 

    - Grafik-FORTH

      version, year  : 1990

      author/company : RAI Production

      available..... :

      http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthGraphicForth

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      based on fig-FORTH 1.4S and TURBO-GRAPHICS-SYSTEM 256

 

    - MesaForth

      version, year  : 12/03/81

      author/company : ?

      available..... :

              http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthMesa

      package....... : language, source code, documents, examples

      features...... : -

      based on 6502 fig-Forth. The major difference is in the size of the

      screen on disk (512 bytes instead of 1024 bytes).

      Runs under ATARI DOS 2.0S.

 

    - QS FORTH

      version, year  : 1.0, 3/27/81

      author/company : James Abanese / [QS] Quality Software

      available..... :

                http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthQS

      package....... : Editor, Assembler, I/O routines

                       Single Density 5.25 Floppy and Manual in Binder

      features...... : Editor, Assembler, I/O Routines.

      based on fig-FORTH.

 

    - Turbo-4th

      version, year  : January 1985

      author/company : Steven R. Calfee

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      compatible with fig-FORTH and Team FORTH. It's fast.

      Not threaded, it is a true compiler

 

    - ValForth (disk)

      version, year  : 1.1, 1982

      author/company : Valpar International

      available..... : ?

      package....... : (8) disks in the set including: 1)master disk,

      2)display formatter, 3)text compression and auto text formatting,

      4)valDOS-I, 5)valDOS-II, 6)player-missile graphics, character editor and

      sound editor, 7)general utilities and video editor, 8) Turtle &

      valGraphics and advanced floating point routines.

      features...... : -

      based on fig-FORTH

 

    - X-FORTH

      version, year  : 26 Jan 2003

      author/company : Carsten Strotmann

      available..... :

                 http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//ProjXForth

      package....... : binary, source, disk image with samples & editor

      features...... : aims to be compatible with new ANSI standard.

                       works with normal DOS.

 

 

g) PILOT

 

    - PILOT with "Turtle" Graphics (cart; cart + tape)

      version, year  : 1981, c1980

      author/company : Atari

      available..... : ?

      package....... : Two packages sold:

      1) PILOT with "Turtle Graphics" (CXL4018) includes:

         * PILOT Programming Language cartridge CXL4018

         * Student PILOT: Reference Guide CO17811 Rev1 (1981)

         * PILOT Pocket Reference Card C017812 Rev.2 (1981)

      2) PILOT with "Turtle Graphics" Educator's Kit (CX405) includes:

         * PILOT Programming Language cartridge CXL4018

         * PILOT Primer: The PILOT Programming Language Instruction Manual

           CO17809 REV.1 (c1980 DYMAX)

         * Student PILOT: Reference Guide CO17811 Rev1 (1981)

         * PILOT Pocket Reference Card C017812 Rev.2 (1981)

         * 2 Demonstration Program Cassettes

           - CX4113 Cassette A, Side 1: PILOT Programs for Children

                    Cassette A, Side 2: A PILOT Teaching Program

           - CX4113 Cassette B, Side 1: PILOT "Turtle Graphics" Demonstration

                    Cassette B, Side 2: PILOT Do-It-Yourself Slide Show

         * PILOT Demonstration Programs: Users Guide C01780 REV.1 (1981)

         * binder CA017805 REV. 1

      features...... : -

 

 

h) LOGO

 

    - Atari Logo (cart)

      version, year  : 1983

      author/company : Logo Computer Systems Inc. (LCSI), published by Atari

      available..... : ?

      package....... : Three packages sold:

      1) Atari Logo: Programming Language Cartridge (RX8032) contains:

         * Atari Logo Computer Program cartridge RX8032

         * Atari Logo: Quick Reference Guide C061583 (1983)

      2) Atari Logo: Atari Logo User Manuals (BX4208) contains:

         * Atari Logo: Introduction to Programming Through Turtle Graphics

           C061590 (1983)

         * Atari Logo: Reference Manual C061589 (1983)

      3) Logo Kit (KX7079) contains:

         * Atari Logo: Programming Language Cartridge RX8032

         * Atari Logo: Atari Logo User Manuals BX4208

      features...... : -

 

 

i) All the rest

 

    - Action! (cart)

      version, year  : 3.6, 1983

      author/company : Action! Computer Services (Clinton Parker), pub. by OSS

      available..... : ?

      package....... : compiler, editor, monitor and library

      features...... : fast compiler which generates good code

      Needs cartridge for runtime procedures. A PD runtime

      library is also available.

      All variables are static, so recursive routine calls

      are not possible. No floating point type (though a

      PD library should make this possible). No arrays of

      objects (arrays of POINTERS to objects are possible).

 

    - Extended WSFN, WSFN = Which Stands For Nothing

      version, year  : ?

      author/company : Harry Stewart, APX

      available..... : APX-20026

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      Info at http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20026

 

    - Quick (disk)

      version, year  : 2.0, 1990

      author/company : Raindorf Soft

      available..... : ?

      package....... : ?

      features...... : -

      This is the "poor man's Action!". Same restrictions as

      Action! apply also to Quick. Further restrictions are:

      only simple assignment expressions, no records and no

      pointers.

 

    - PL65 (disk)

      version, year  : 1.0, 1987

      author/company : Noahsoft

      available..... : commercial, Extremely rare.

      package....... : compiler, editor, library, sample game

      features...... : Similar features to Action with same restrictions.

      Highly flexible language that includes inline assembler features and

      pointers. Robust and well-engineered editor. Does not require

      additional runtime library - automatically generated and included in

      the compiled code during compilation.

 

    - Test Computer Language (disk)

      version, year  : 2.2, 1985-1990

      author/company : D.Firth

      available..... : public domain, ?

      package....... : compiler and editor

      features...... : -

           

 

 

Subject: 8.2) What cartridges were released for the Right Slot of the 800?

 

This should be a complete list of commercial cartridges produced for use in

the Right Cartridge slot of the Atari 800.

 

ACE-80 by Claus Buchholz for Amiable Computer Enhancements / TNT Computing

  (80 column editor, compatible with Atari BASIC, and patches available for:

   OS/A+, EASMD, Letter Perfect v.6, Data Perfect, Atari Logo)

Austin 80 Console Software by Austin Franklin

Block (first right cart/first "backup" program hardware device)

Cartridge Maker by Radical Systems (EPROM burner)

KISS by Eastern House

Magic Dump by Geminisoft/Eric Wolz for Sar-An Computer Products (SCP)

Magic Dump II by Geminisoft/Eric Wolz for Sar-An Computer Products (SCP)        

Monkey Wrench by Eastern House

Monkey Wrench II by Eastern House

R-Time 8 by ICD (battery-backed clock, for left or right cart slots)

Real Time Cartridge by Sunmark

 

 

 

Subject: 8.3) What games support 4 or more simultaneous players?

 

Section started by Andreas Koch.

 

a) The following games support 4 joystick head-to-head play:

   (Only possible on the 400/800 since only these computer models have

    4 controller ports)

 

- Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Quality Software

- Aliens a PD-game by ??? using an altered Dandy program

  (the Dandy font and thus the graphics were changed, however,

   the levels remain the same and can be used in both games);

- Asteroids cart. by Atari,

- Basketball cart. by Atari,

- Battle Room (CIA vs. KGB) a PD game by SNACC

- Dandy disk by APX,

- Depth Warrior by ??? from ROM magazine, Aug. 1984 ***

- Floyd of the Jungle

- Major League Soccer cart. by Thorn EMI,

- Major League Hockey cart. by Thorn EMI,

- Soccer by Gamma Software

- Hockey by Gamma Software

- Maze War disk or cart. by ???,

- M.U.L.E. disk by Electronic Arts,

- Roadblock by Brian Holness from Compute! magazine

- Silicon Warrior disk or tape by Epyx,

- Sky Warrior by ??? from ROM magazine, June 1984 ***

- Survivor disk or cart. by Synapse,

- Tank Battle by Fred Pinho from Antic magazine:

  http://www.atarimagazines.com/v3n2/animate.html

- Volleyball by ??? (PD game written in Atari BASIC);

- Yellow-Brick-Road by ??? from ROM magazine, Feb. 1984 ***

 

*** these programs are reported to be 4-player programs, I'm

    not sure if they are meant to be 4-players simultaneously

    or 4-players - one after another (try to find out!);

 

b) The following games support 4 paddle head-to-head play:

 

- Castle Crisis by Bryan Edewaard, 2004

- IQ by David S. Maynard for CRL, 1987 (same game as "Worms?")

- Warlords by ?, year? (pd version, unlicensed)

- Worms? by David S. Maynard for Electronic Arts, 1983

 

c) The following game supports 4 players on all machines, using special

4-button keypad controllers linked together with RJ-11 jacks (standard

phone jacks) to a box with 2 joystick port connectors:

 

- PQ: The Party Quiz Game by Suncom

 

d) The following programs support multi-joystick games, using extra

   hardware called Quadrotron (from the German Atari Magazin 2/1989):

 

- test program for 4 joysticks (and assembler source);

- Quadro-Tron by H.Schoenfeld (4-player Tron-clone);

 

e) The following programs support multi-joystick games, using extra

   hardware called Multijoy (multijoy4 for up to 4 players, multijoy8

   for up to 8 players and multijoy16 for up to 16 players; originally

   developed by Raster/Radek Sterba, but also available from ABBUC):

 

- Astro4Road by Fandal

- Bremspunkt (demo-version) by T. Butschke

- Bremspunkt (full-version) by T. Butschke

- Card Grabber by F. Dingler

- Cervi by R.Sterba

- Cervi 2 by R. Sterba

- Fujirun by Schmutzpuppe (see below!)

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Icehockey by F. Dingler

- Multijoy-tester by Fandal or Raster

- Multris by R.Sterba

- Quadrotron-M4 by R. Sterba

- Sheep-Race by F.Dingler

- Shot'em All by R.Sterba

 

The following patches are available at:

http://mitglied.lycos.de/gunnarbusse/bajamar/download.htm

- Asteroids, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe

- Basketball, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe

- Tennis, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe

- Dandy, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe

- M.U.L.E., modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe

 

And the following patches are available at:

www.atari.fandal.cz

- Wingman modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- (Thorn EMI) Hockey modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- (Thorn EMI) Soccer modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- (Gamma) Hockey modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- (Gamma) Soccer modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- Battle Room modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- Silicon Warrior by Epyx modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- Mazewar modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- Survivor modified for Multijoy by Fandal

- Floyd of the Jungle modified for Multijoy by Fandal

 

 

 

Subject: 8.4) What programs run only on the 400 and 800 models, and why?

 

The following are reported as incompatible with models other than the

original Atari 400/800.  Many can nevertheless be made to run on XL/XE's

if you use a translator to run the original 400/800 OS on your XL/XE.

 

Apple Panic                    Broderbund

Aquatron                       Sierra On-Line

Astro Chase                    (by First Star Software) Parker Bros.

Atari Word Processor           Atari

  (this is not the same as AtariWriter!)

Atlantis (some versions!)      Imagic

Attack at EP-CYG-4             (by Bram) Romox

Bacterion!                     Kyle Peacock/Tom Hudson/ANALOG#20

  ( http://www.cyberroach.com/analog/an20/bacterion.htm

   patch for XL/XE available:

   http://www.cyberroach.com/analog/an20/bacterion_patch.htm )

Bandits                        Sirius Software

BearJam                        Chalk Board

Chicken                        Synapse

Dancing Feats                  (by Softsync) Romox

Demon Attack                   Imagic

Dreadnaught Factor, The        Activision

Drelbs                         Synapse

File Manager 800+              Synapse

Forbidden Forest               Cosmi

  (later versions by different companies work ok on XL/XE!)

Fort Apocalypse                Synapse

  (cart version is 400/800 only! tape+disk versions work ok on XL/XE!)

Galahad And The Holy Grail     APX

  (Downloadable: http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20132)

Go                             Hayden

Gorf                           Roklan

Jawbreaker II                  Sierra On-Line

Jet Boot Jack                  English Software

  (can be found on various tapes/disks; at least the re-release

   version by Byte Back works alright on XL/XE computers!)

Juggler                        IDSI

K-Razy Antiks                  K-Byte

K-razy Kritters                CBS

K-razy Kritters                K-Byte

Kangaroo                       Atari prototype

KoalaPainter                   Koala

Leo's 'Lectric Paintbrush      Chalk Board

Leo's Links                    Chalk Board

Letter Perfect (before v6)     LJK

LogicMaster                    Chalk Board

Mac/65 [ver. 1.00, orange]     OSS

Mario Bros. ('83)              Atari

Maze                           Epyx

Micro Illustrator              Chalk Board

MicroMaestro                   Chalk Board

Monkey Wrench                  Eastern House

Monster Maze                   Epyx

Ms. Pac-Man                    Atari

  (has problems with newer XE/XEGS computers!)

M.U.L.E.(early release only)   Electronic Arts

Nautilus                       Synapse

  XL/XE workaround: hold down START to skip the title screen,

  which is where it locks up. --Scott Stilphen, 6 Jun 2007

Pac-Man Jr.                    Atari prototype

Picnic Paranoia                Synapse

Pool 1.5                       IDSI

Pool 400                       IDSI

Protector II                   Synapse

QS Forth                       James Abanese / [QS] Quality Software

Rack 'Em Up                    Rocklan

Shamus                         Synapse

  XL/XE workaround: hold down START or SELECT to skip the title screen,

  which is where it locks up.

  A re-release by Americana/Synsoft corrects the incompatibility problem.

  (http://www.atarimania.com/detail_soft.php?MENU=8&VERSION_ID=6174)

  --Scott Stilphen, 6 Jun 2007

Slime                          Synapse

Snapper                        Silicon Valley Systems

Space Dungeon                  Atari

Squish 'Em                     Sirius

Super Pac-Man                  Atari prototype

Synassembler                   Synapse

Text Wizard                    Datasoft

Zaxxon (early release only!)   Datasoft

 

Konrad M.Kokoszkiewicz writes:

 

XL/XE software won't work on 400/800 if:

 

1) it uses shadow RAM at $C000-$CFFF and $D800-$FFFF

2) it uses RAM expansions at $4000-$7FFF controlled by PORTB $D301

3) it uses specific XL OS functions (like JNEWDEVC)

4) it uses illegal XL OS addresses.

5) it uses European Charset :)

 

Andreas Koch adds:

 

To get an overview or see a chart of OS changes from the 800 to the XL

line, refer to Antic magazine Volume 3, Number 2 (June 1984), pages 10-14;

(online: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v3n2/insideatari.html )

Also note, that some software will not work correct (or not at all) on

newer XE/XEGS versions (which have a new OS with a new version number,

a new Self Test/Memory Test/Keyboard Test, larger RAM chips, etc. etc.);

 

Thomas Richter contributes further details (16 Jan 2004):

 

There are a couple of reasons why some games don't run on the XL/XE

models.  I try to order them by "likeliness", of course biased by my

personal observations:

 

i) The printer buffer of the XL Operating System in page 3 is a couple

of bytes shorter.  The additional bytes are used for extended OS

variables not available in the 800 series.  Most prominent is the $3fa

location, holding a shadow register of GTIA's TRIG3 signal.  While a

true joystick trigger line in the 400/800 series, this signal is used

as "cart inserted" signal for XL/XE models.  Unfortunately, the OS

compares GTIA trig3 with the shadow register at $3fa in each vertical

blank, running into an endless loop if the register contents don't

match.  This causes hangs for games using page 3 either as copy-buffer

or for player-missile graphics.  (Hangs by Ms. Pac-Man and

Bacterion! are caused by this, and many others...)  This is "fixable"

either by the translator disk, or by a quick hack into the game,

replacing the OS vertical blank or poking TRIG3 frequently into its

shadow.  The reason for the OS behavior might be that Atari wanted to

prevent crashes if the cartridge is inserted or removed while the

machine is running.  The 400/800 is powered down when a cart is

inserted, the XL/XE lacks the cover of the older models that triggered

a little switch to interrupt the power line.

 

ii) Similar to the above, writes to $3f8.  This OS equate defines

whether on a warm start, the BASIC ROM shall be mapped back in.  If

its contents are altered, a program triggering a reset as part of its

initialization will find itself then with 8K less RAM occupied by

a BASIC ROM, making it crash.  Similarly, writes to the cartridge checksum

$3eb could cause a cold-start on a "reset initialization".  This is

fixable by the translator disk.

 

iii) Some games use a four-joystick setup, or at least initialize

PIA itself.  If this happens inadequately, PIA Port B, bit 0 gets changed,

disabling the ROM, and thus crashing the machine.  This is not fixable

by the translator since it is a hardware issue.

 

iv) Direct jumps into the OS ROM, not using the documented vectors in

the $e450 area.  Interestingly, this fault is not as common as it may

sound since games hardly ever use the OS.  It causes failures of

some "serious applications", most notably "QS Forth" and applications

compiled by it.  This is fixable by the translator disk.

 

As a side remark, it is interesting to note that no such documented

jump-ins exist for the math-pack ($d800 to $dfff).  It is not really

part of the OS, but looks more like a part of the BASIC interpreter

that didn't make it into the OS because there was no room left.  Thus,

direct jump-ins have to be used here that are documented in the De Re

Atari (for example).  Atari never changed them, but it seems likely

that this documentation happened more or less as an accident since the

same source also lists some mathematics-related jump-ins into the

Basic (namely, to compute SIN and COS and related) that are only valid

for the Rev. A BASIC.  Thus, the math pack might be a couple of

routines that have been originally intended for "private use" of the

BASIC ROM, but then have been found "too useful" by many others to

remain "closed".  Otherwise, it is hard to explain why the otherwise

pretty cleaned-up OS comes with a construction like this.

 

 

 

Subject: 8.5) What programs use a light pen or a light gun?

 

Contributor to this section: Bertrand M. (LEXX), Andreas Koch

 

The Atari computer reads the horizontal and vertical positions of a light pen

or a light gun in the same way.  Consequently, while software programs are

designed for one or the other, these two types of controllers may often

substitute for each other.

 

Programs designed for a light gun:

 

Alien Blast, Richard Gore for DGS, 1993

Alien Invaders (TB-XL or CTB) disk by R.Gore (available from DGS);

Barnyard Blaster, James V. Zalewski for Atari, 1987

Bembel Wo by Thorsten Butschke for Foundation Two, 1998

Bug Hunt, Alan Murphy and Rob Zdybel for Atari, 1987

Cementerio, Pelusa Software, 1989

Click!, Chris Martin, 2008

Crime Buster, Ron Andrzejewski & James Zalewski for Atari, 1988

Crossbow by Atari, 1988

Flyshot or Flyshoot a PD game by Kemal Ezcan

Gangsters by Houra, Pesout, Stefek, Sterba, Svoboda, 2007

Gangstersville, Emanuele Bergamini for Lindasoft, 1988

Geister-Schloss, KE-Soft, 1992

Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

Hit the Mole by Phoenix-Softcrew / Carsten Strotmann;

Invasion, Pelusa Soft

Light Gun Blaster, Andre Willey, Atari User Feb. 1988

Light Gun Blaster (enhanced) by Pedrokko

Matrix a PD game by Dave Oblad

Messe Hanau, Kemal Ezcan, 1995

Operation Blood (light gun) by Bulkowski & Kalinowski for ANG, light gun

  conversion by The Missing Link

Operation Blood II - Special Forces disk, ANG/Mirage

Pajaki II, Arkadiusz Lubaszka for ArSoft, 1996

Schiessen, L. Franzky (Abbuc magazine)

The Scrolls of Abadon, Frank Cohen, 1984

Sharp Shooter, Matthew Ratcliff, 1989

Sniper, Premysl Stefek, Radek Sterba, Petr Svoboda and Fandal, 2007

Special Forces (light gun) by Mirage, light gun conversion by Homesoft

- See also Fandal site search for games that use a light gun:

  http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=light+gun&butt_details_x=x

- See also AtariMania list of games that use a light gun:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-5.html

 

Programs designed for a light pen:

 

- Alien Blast, Richard Gore for DGS, 1993

- AtariGraphics by Steve Gibson for Atari (RX8054, shipped with CX75)

- Bedtime Stories - Little Red Riding Hood by Futurehouse, 1983

- Blazing Paddles by Baudville, 1986

- Concentration by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Crossword Twister by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Draughts by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Go by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Language Skills - Alphabet Recognition by Futurehouse, 1982

- Language Skills - Different Symbol Discrimination by Futurehouse, 1982

- Language Skills - Letter Sequences by Futurehouse, 1982

- Language Skills - Like Symbol Discrimination by Futurehouse, 1982

- Letter Tutor by Edgework for Atari, 1984 prototype

- Life by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Light Pen Doodle by John and Mary Harrison for Antic, 1984

- Lost in the Labyrinth by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Math Fun for the Young - Level I by Tech-Sketch, 1983

- Math Fun for the Young - Level II by Tech-Sketch, 1983

- Matrix by Dave Oblad, 1985

- Micro Illustrator by Island Graphics for Tech Sketch (shipped with

  Tech Sketch Light Pen)

- Othello by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Paint-n-Sketch I by Tech Sketch, 1983

- Seek and Destroy by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Shape and Color Recognition by Tech Sketch, 1983

- Shuffler by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- Simon by Stack Computer Services, 1983

- See also AtariMania lists of programs that use a light pen:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-6.html

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-U-CONTROL_ID-6.html

 

Note that on the 400, the light gun / light pen will only work in joystick

port 4.  This renders much light gun and light pen software unusable on the

400.

 

 

 

Subject: 8.6) What programs have a trackball mode or support a mouse?

 

Programs that use the trackball mode of the Atari CX22 Trak-Ball or the

earlier-production CX80 Trak-Ball:

- Catch 88 by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Kriss Kross by Simon Trew, 1992

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew

- Knight Quest by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew

- Missile Command by Atari ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode)

- Missile Command+ by Paul Lee, 2005 ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode)

- Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew for New Atari User #42 1990

- Othello by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew

- Slime by Steve Hales for Synapse, 1982 (press [T] for trackball mode)

- See also AtariMania lists of programs that use CX22 trackball mode:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-23.html

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-U-CONTROL_ID-23.html

- See also Fandal site search for games that use the CX22 trackball mode:

  http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=trak-ball&butt_details_x=x

 

Programs that use the Atari ST Mouse or the trackball mode of the later-

production CX80 Trak-Ball:

- 8Bit-Mouse (PD by BPAUG)

- AMC calculator

- Artprog (PD)

- Black Magic Composer by Sven Tegethoff for Ulf Petersen, 1991

- Bombdown, demo-version by Roemer of UNO

- Bombdown, full-version by Roemer of UNO

- BOSS-X by Mirko Sobe, 2003

- BOSS-XE by Mirko Sobe, 2000

- BOSS-XL by Mirko Sobe, 2000

- The Brundles by KE-Soft, 1993

- The Brundles Editor by KE-Soft, 1994

- CardStax 2.1 by David A. Paterson, 1993

- Catch 88 by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew

- Celebrity Cookbook by U.S.A. Media

- Click! by Chris Martin, 2008

- Diamond GOS by Reeve Software

- Diamond Paint by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS

- Diamond Write by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS

- Enigmatix! by Stephen A. Firth for Page 6, 1993

- Faecher Patience by Kemal Ezcan for Zong mag, 1993

- FireBall (a Breakout game, requires SAM)

- GOE by Total Control Systems (PD)

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Hong kong by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.)

- KE-Mouse drivers by KE-Soft

- Kriss Kross by Simon Trew, 1992

  - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew

- Knight Quest by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew

- Macao XL by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.)

- Minesweeper by Harald Schoenfeld for PPP, 1992

- Mine Sweeper by Raindorf Soft

- Mine Sweeper 3 (PD)

- Missile Command by Atari ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode)

- M.O.S. (from Abbuc mag.)

- Mouse-DOS by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.)

- Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew for New Atari User #42 1990

- Multi-Player by Madteam

- Multi-DOS (PD)

- Najemnik - Powrot by Krysal Software

- Operation Blood by ANG/Mirage

- Operation Blood 2 by ANG/Mirage

- Othello by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew

- Pad 1.2 (Padnoid) by Nelson Ramirez / New Age, 1995

- P-Graph(s) by ??? (PD)

- QUICK Ed Character Editor by PPP

- SAM (Screen Aided Management) by Power Per Post & Raindorf Soft (a GUI!)

- SAM Budget (80 column spreadsheet program, requires SAM)

- SAM Convert (text files to/from the SAM Texter format, requires SAM)

- SAM Creator (SAM Painter files to/from Micro Painter format, requires SAM)

- SAM Designer (drawing and design / desktop publishing, requires SAM)

- SAM Memobox (card filing program, requires SAM)

- SAM Monitor (view and change memory, requires SAM)

- SAM Painter (128 color paint program, requires SAM)

- SAM Texter (80 column word processor, requires SAM)

- Samurai's Game by Krysal Software, 1992

- Shanghai by Activision

- Special Forces by Mirage Software, 1993

- Sprint XL (from Abbuc)

- TRS Desktop by Tristesse, 2006

- UPN calculator (PD)

- Vanish by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.)

- Vier gewinnt (PD)

- See also Fandal site search for games that use the Atari ST mouse:

  http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=mouse&butt_details_x=x

- See also AtariMania lists of programs that use the Atari ST mouse:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-4.html

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-U-CONTROL_ID-4.html

 

Programs that use the Amiga mouse:

- Black Magic Composer by Sven Tegethoff for Ulf Petersen, 1991

- Bombdown, demo-version by Roemer of UNO

- Bombdown, full-version by Roemer of UNO

- Multi-Player by MadTeam (PD)

- TRS Desktop by Tristesse, 2006

 

Programs that use a Commodore 1351 mouse (mouse for Commodore 64/128):

- Klony by ArSoft, 2006

 

Programs that use The Rat (by Zobian Controls):

- Accu-Draw by Zobian Controls

- Control by Zobian Controls

- Master Disk Directory II by Zobian Controls

- Business Manager by Reeve Software

 

Programs that use the SuperRAT (by Zobian Controls):

- Accu-Draw by Zobian Controls

- RAOS (Rat Actuated Operating System) by Zobian Controls

- Z-DOS by Zobian Controls (requires RAOS)

 

 

 

Subject: 8.7) What programs use paddle controllers?

 

- AE (Jun Wada & Makoto Horai for Broderbund)

- Arkanoid (Taito)(Mike Hutchinson for Imagine, 1987; for The Hit Squad, 1987)

- Arkanoid II (Prof Soft Amsterdam, 1987)

- Asteraxis 2k (Waldemar Pawlaszek & Remigiusz Zukowski, 2001)

- Avalanche (Dennis Knoble for APX, 1980)

- Balloon Game (Kelly Jones & Bill Williams, 1984)

- Balloon Pop (White Bag Software, 1986)

- Bird-Man-3D demo (AMC-Verlag)

- Blazing Paddles (Baudville, 1986)

- Block Buster (Bradshaw & Griesemer for APX, 1981; Quality Software, 1981)

- Body Parts (Dominick A. Scalzo for PartlySoft Software, 1983)

- Breakout / Breakout!!! / brkwall.bas (public domain, author unknown)

- Burgers! (Douglas Crockford, 1983)

- Bust Out (Dennis Debro, 1989)

- Cascade (F. Neil Simms for ANALOG #28, March 1985)

- Castle Crisis (Bryan Edewaard, 2004)

- Checkers (David Slate for Odesta, 1982)

- Chess 7.0 (Larry Atkin for Odesta, 1982)

- Chicken (Mike Potter for Synapse, 1982)

- Chiseler (public domain, author unknown)

- Clowns and Balloons (Frank Cohen for Datasoft, 1982)

- Comment Compter ("Counter" by Al P. Casper for Atari France)

- Computer Quarterback (Dan Bunten for SSI, 1983)

- Counter (Al P. Casper for APX, 1982)

- David's Midnight Magic (David Snider for Broderbund, 1982)

- Descente a Ski ("Downhill" by Mark Reid for Atari France)

- Diamond Drop (Matthias M. Giwer for Compute!, 1983)

- Downhill (Mark Reid for APX)

- Dragonriders of Pern (Jim W. Connelley for Epyx, 1983)

- Etch-1 (public domain, author unknown)

- Frog (Stan Ockers 5/82 for A.C.E. Newsletter, July 1982)

- Frog (Stan Ockers 6/82 for Antic, Oct/Nov 1982)

- Golden Oldies Volume 1 v2.2 (Mike Fitch for Software Country, 1985)

- Golden Oldies Volume 1 v2.3 (Mike Fitch, The Software Toolworks, 1987 c1985)

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Horse of a Different Color V1.0 (Gus Makreas, 3/1/81)

- Insomnia (Bob Fraser for APX, 1981)

- IQ by David S. Maynard for CRL, 1987

- Kaboom! (Larry Kaplan & Paul Willson for Activision, 1983)

- JunkYard Racing (Tim Gearin, 1999)

- Landing Simulator (by Jake Jacobs for Creative Computing magazine,

                     written for Apple, Atari translation by Bruce Jordan)

- Laser Game (public domain, author unknown)

- Laser Wars (Mike Potter for Crystalware, 1981)

- Lie Detector (Michael Krueger for Antic, 1986)

- Livewire (Tom Hudson - ANALOG #12)

- Livewire 2 (Tom Hudson - ANALOG #12 - Modified by Wolf)

- Lunar Lander (Wes Newell)

- Midnight Strip (M. L. Clayton, 1982)

- M.U.L.E. (Ozark Softscape for Electronic Arts, 1983; for Ariolasoft, 1985)

- Night Driver (Dudek, Szpilowski, Ziembik, 2008)

- Nineball (Jay M. Ford for ZiMAG, 1982)

- One on One! (Chris York for Compute!, 1983)

- Paratroop Attack (David Plotkin for Compute!'s Second Book of Atari, 1982)

- "Perfected Pong" see: Pong! ("Perfected Pong") below

- Personal Fitness Program (Dave Getreu for APX, 1981)

- Pinball Construction Set (Electronic Arts)

  - all pinball games created with Pinball Construction Set

- PlatterMania (Michael Farren for Epyx, 1982)

- Pong ("Super Pong")(Gary Domrow/Summit Software Group, ANALOG #39 Feb.1986)

- [Pong] ("Pong 2", pong2.com, public domain, author unknown)

- Pong! ("Perfected Pong") (Bob Ayik for Antic, May 1988)

- Pool 1.5 (Howard De St. Germain for IDSI, 1981)

- Popcorn! (Cathy Sloatman, Mark Sloatman)

- Prisonball (John Scarborough for Compute!, 1986)

- Probe One - The Transmitter (Lloyd Ollmann for Synergistic Software, 1982)

- Safe Cracker (Mike Starnes)

- Space Bombs (John Y. Hsu, 1984)

- Space Eggs (Dan Thompson for Sirius, 1981)

- Speedblaster (Pinball Construction Set Game by MR Datentechnik)

- Spy's Demise (Robert Hardy & Alan Zeldin for Penguin Software, 1983)

- Stardust (MR Datentechnik)

- Starshot (Matthias M. Giwer for Compute!, 1983)

- States and Capitals (David J. Bohlke for SoftSide, 1980)

- Stereo 3-D Graphics Package (Clyde Spencer for APX, 1982)

- Super Ball (Compyshop mag.)

- Super Ball 2 (Compyshop mag.)

- Super Ball 3 (Compyshop mag.)

- Super Ball 4 (Compyshop mag.)

- Super Breakout by Larry Kaplan for Atari, 1979

- "Super Pong" see: Pong ("Super Pong") above

- Stretch (public domain Gr. 15 pict. stretcher, author unknown)

- Superski (AMC, 1994 - patch for paddles by HOMESOFT)

- Tilter (public domain, author unknown)

- Uranium Core (Martin Stiby for Computer & Video Games mag, 1982/11)

- Warlords (The Webbed Sphere BBS)

- Wavy Navy (Rodney McAuley for Sirius, 1983)

- Wayout (Paul Allen Edelstein for Sirius, 1982)

- WildWest (Stan Ockers for ACE Newsletter, 1983)

- Word Radar (Jerry Chaffin & Bill Maxwell & Barbara Thompson for DLM, 1984)

- Worms? by David S. Maynard for Electronic Arts, 1983

- See also AtariMania lists of programs that use paddle controllers:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-2.html

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-U-CONTROL_ID-2.html

- See also Fandal site search for games that use paddle controllers:

  http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=paddle&butt_details_x=x

 

Note that the Atari Touch Tablet, the KoalaPad Touch Tablet and the Suncom

Animation Station are read by the computer in the same way that the computer

receives data from paddle controllers, making software designed for these

graphics tablets at least somewhat usable with paddles as well.  See a

separate section in this FAQ list for a list of programs supporting these

graphics tablets.

 

 

 

Subject: 8.8) What programs have a CX85 Numerical Keypad mode?

 

This section started by Andreas Koch.

 

- Bombdown (Roemer of Uno);  

- The Bookkeeper (Atari);

- Ball Harbour (Zong 8/1992);

- The Big Quest (Zong 7/1992);

- Blob (Zong 2/1992);

- Bomber Jack (KE-Soft);

- The Brundles by KE-Soft, 1993

- The Brundles Editor by KE-Soft, 1994

- UPN calculator (PD);

- Catch (Zong 6/1992);

- Click! (Chris Martin 2008);

- Code table (Zong 11+12/1993);

- CX-85-Driver (Zong 7+8/1994);

- CX-85-Keycode-driver (Zong 7+8/1995);

- Donald (by KE-Soft);

- Drag (by KE-Soft);

- Dragon Fire (Zong 1/1993);

- FlickerTerm 80 v.0.51 by LonerSoft (Clay Halliwell)

- Gravitar (Zong 4/1992);

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Hungry Goblin (Zong 5/1992);

- Invaders (Zong 5+6/1993);

- Joshi (Zong 3+4/1993);

- Lasermaze (by KE-Soft);

- Lost in the Antarctic (Zong 2/1992);

- Mampfman (Zong 8/1992);

- Minipac (Zong 3/1992);

- Minipac 2 (Zong 6/1992);

- Money Raider (Zong 2/1992);

- Monster Tracking (Zong 9/1992);

- Numerical Keypad Handler Master Program Diskette CX8139 (Atari, 1982)

- Oblitroid (by KE-Soft)

- Pac-Man (Zong 11/1992);

- Schlumpf/Smurf (Zong 5/1992);

- Slurp (Zong 3/1992);

- Techno Ninja (by KE-Soft)

- Transsylvania (Zong 3+4/1993);

- Viro-Mania (Zong 2/1993);

- Zador XL (by KE-Soft)

- Zador II (by KE-Soft)

- many more games from KE-Soft and Powersoft;

  (forgot their names, help needed!)

 

 

 

Subject: 8.9) What programs use: Touch Tablet or KoalaPad/Animation Station?

 

The Atari Touch Tablet and the KoalaPad/Animation Station tablets, while very

similar, are slightly incompatible with each other in that y-position values

are reversed.

 

The following programs use the Atari Touch Tablet:

 

- AtariArtist (Atari cartridge version of Micro Illustrator;

               Distributed with the Atari Touch Tablet)

- CardStax 2.1 by David A. Paterson, 1993

- Catch 88 by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew

- Click! (Chris Martin, 2008)

- Desktop Performance Studio (Virtuoso)

- Diamond GOS by Reeve Software

- Diamond Paint by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS

- Diamond Write by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- Knight Quest by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew

- Kriss Kross by Simon Trew, 1992

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew

- Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew for New Atari User #42 1990

- Othello by Simon Trew, 1991

  - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew

- Pixel Artist Deluxe 1.3 (PD)

- The Print Shop (Broderbund)

- The Print Shop Companion (Broderbund)

- QUICK Ed Character Editor by PPP

- RAMbrandt by Bard Ermentrout for Antic, 1985

- Rubber Stamp (XLEnt)

- Typesetter (XLEnt)

- See also AtariMania lists of programs using the Atari Touch Tablet:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-21.html

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-U-CONTROL_ID-21.html

 

The following programs use the KoalaPad or the Animation Station:

 

- Blazing Paddles (Baudville)

- The Brundles by KE-Soft, 1993

- The Brundles Editor by KE-Soft, 1994

- Click! (Chris Martin, 2008)

- Desktop Performance Studio (Virtuoso)

- DesignLab (Suncom version of Blazing Paddles;

             Distributed with the Suncom Animation Station)

- Diamond GOS by Reeve Software

- Diamond Paint by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS

- Diamond Write by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS

- Edmac

- Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008

- KoalaPainter (Koala Technologies version of Micro Illustrator;

                Distributed with the KoalaPad)

- Koalpad.BAS

- Ksketch.BAS

- Koalask.BAS

- News Station (Reeve)

- Pixel Artist Deluxe 1.3 (PD)

- Planetary Defense (Charles Bachand and Tom Hudson for ANALOG #17 March 1984)

- The Print Shop (Broderbund)

- The Print Shop Companion (Broderbund)

- RAMbrandt by Bard Ermentrout for Antic, 1985

- Reader Rabbit (The Learning Company)

- Rubber Stamp (XLEnt)

- Tablety.BAS

- Trails!

- Typesetter (XLEnt)

- See also AtariMania lists of programs using the KoalaPad/Animation Station:

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-G-CONTROL_ID-12.html

  http://www.atarimania.com/lst_soft-MENU-8-TYPE_CODE-U-CONTROL_ID-12.html

 

The following are reported to use either the KoalaPad/Animation Station, the

Atari Touch Tablet, or both (TO BE VERIFIED):

 

- Edmac (PD)

- Hit the Mole by C. Strotmann

- Musorqua (Analog computing)

- Picture Enhancer (PD)

- Tablety.BAS (PD)

- TTCalib.BAS (PD)

- UPN calculator (PD)

- Word Search.BAS (PD)

 

Note that the Atari Touch Tablet, the KoalaPad Touch Tablet and the Suncom

Animation Station are read by the computer in the same way that the computer

receives data from paddle controllers, making software designed for paddles at

least somewhat usable with these graphics tablets as well.  See a separate

section in this FAQ list for a list of programs that use paddle controllers.

 

 

 

Subject: 8.10) What kinds of extra RAM and RAMdisks can be installed?

 

This section by Andreas Koch -- Version 3.6 from June 2008

 

A) Atari 400/800 RAMdisks: 

 

- Size:  64k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 3  (total memory = 96k RAM) 

  Types: Axlon (=Atari) and compatibles; 

 

- Size:  128k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 7  (total memory = 160k RAM) 

  Types: Axlon (= Atari) and compatibles; 

 

- Size:  256k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 15  (total memory = 288k RAM) 

  Types: D. Byrd and other self-made / Axlon-compatible RDs; 

 

- Size:  512k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 31  (total memory = 544k RAM) 

  Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; 

 

- Size:  1024k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 63  (total memory = 1056k RAM) 

  Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; 

 

- Size:  2048k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 127  (total memory = 2080k RAM) 

  Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; 

 

- Size:  4096k XRAM (+32k RAM) 

  Banks: 0 thru 255  (total memory = 4128k RAM) 

  Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; 

 

=> Note that all so-called Axlon "compatible" (256k-4096k) RAMdisks 

   normally do not homebank when RESET is pressed (a fix should be 

   available somewhere), whereas original Axlon RAMdisks do homebank 

   properly !!  (Special thanks to Lee Barnes for this note !!) 

 

Axlon supporting software includes: MyDOS, TopDOS, Synfile +,

Syncalc +, and more (I cannot test it, alas)

 

- Size:  64k for 48k RAM and 4 banks of 4k XRAM

  Banks: 4x 4k banks (bankswitching via $C000-CFFF)

  Types: one Mosaic 64k "RAM-Select" board

 

- Size:  128k for 48k RAM and 20 banks of 4k XRAM

  Banks: 20x 4k banks (bankswitching via $C000-CFFF)

  Types: two Mosaic 64k "RAM-Select" boards

 

- Size:  192k for 48k RAM and 36 banks of 4k XRAM

  Banks: 36x 4k banks (bankswitching via $C000-CFFF)

  Types: three Mosaic 64k "RAM-Select" boards

 

Mosaic supporting software includes: Mosaic`s Super Drive (a kind of

virtual DOS), Visicalc, TopDOS, and more (again, I cannot test this!)

For the XL/XE Ataris there are some translator disks, that enable this

mode (e.g. the Ultra-Translator) with 48k + 4k RAM...

 

B) XL/XE - 64k base RAM plus XRAM: 

 

- Size:   64k (total = 128k RAM, 4 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F 

- Blocks: E, = 1 block * 4 banks

- Types:  130XE RAMdisk, Turbo-Freezer-XL + 64k, self-made RAMdisks... 

 

- Size:   128k (total = 192k RAM, 8 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F  

- Blocks: AE, = 2 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  Compy-Shop 600XL with 192k, Turbo-Freezer-XL + 128k,  

          self-made RAMdisks... 

 

- Size:   256k / 26AE (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F 

- Blocks: 26AE, = 4 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  Compy-Shop 800XL RD., Compy-Shop 130XE RD.,   

          Peters/David Megaram 1, Peters/David Megaram 2,  

          Peters/David Megaram 3 with 256k, self-made RDs... 

 

- Size:   256k / 8ACE (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F 

- Blocks: 8ACE, = 4 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  Newell, Rambo-XL, Scott Peterson, Atari Magazin,  

          TOMS, self-made RDs... 

 

- Size:   512k / 26AE (total = 576k RAM, 32 banks) 

- Banks:  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F 

- Blocks: 26AE, = 4 blocks * 8 banks 

- Types:  none (that I know of) at the moment - but possible! 

 

- Size:   512k / 8ACE (total = 576k RAM, 32 banks) 

- Banks:  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F 

- Blocks: 8ACE, = 4 blocks * 8 banks 

- Types:  Scott Peterson, TOMS, self-made RDs... 

 

- Size:   512k / 02468ACE (total = 576k RAM, 32 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F

- Blocks: 02468ACE = 8 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  1) upgrade / combination of 26AE and 8ACE RAMdisk  

          types to 512k RAM or into *one* 02468ACE RAMdisk;  

          idea by me, built by Bernhard Pahl

          2) Upgrade of the Rambo XL to 512k by Dan Schmid  

          (see Pooldisk Too, Subdir ACE/ Acec202a.ATR and  

          Acec202b.ATR) and of course 3) self-made RAMdisks... 

          3) 512k SRAM upgrade by Bernd Herale, available 

          from mega-hz, Wolfram Fischer: www.

 

- Size:   1024k / 02468ACE (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) 

- Banks:  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F

- Blocks: 02468ACE, = 8 blocks * 8 banks 

- Types:  Newell, Scott Peterson, TOMS, Satantronic`s 1MB- 

          PC-SIMM-RD, self-made RDs... 

 

- Size:   1024k / 26AE (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) 

- Banks:  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F

- Blocks: 26AE, = 4 blocks * 16 banks 

- Types:  Mathy van Nisselroy`s 1024k XEGS-PC-SIMM-Upgrade! 

          (with some changes probably also usable for XL and XE, 

          see also: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/)

 

- Size:   1024k / 8ACE (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) 

- Banks:  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F

- Blocks: 8ACE, = 4 blocks * 16 banks 

- Types:  none (that I know of) at the moment - but possible! 

 

- Size:   1024k / 0123456789ABCDEF (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F

- Blocks: 0123456789ABCDEF, = 16 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  luckily, none at the moment... 

 

- Size:   1024k / ??? (max. memory = 1088k, 64 banks) 

- Port-Bits / Control-Bits: $D301 = 2,3,6,7  

                            $D600 = 0,1 (or switches); 

- Banks:  $D301: 3, 7, B, F, $D600: ???

- Blocks: $D301: 26AE, $D600: ???

- Types:  David/Peters Megaram 3 with 1024k RAM (and the switches  

          positioned to 1 x 1024k) 

 

- Size:   2048k / 02468ACE (total = 2112k, 128 banks) 

- Banks:  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F

- Blocks: 02468ACE, = 8 blocks * 16 banks 

- Types:  self-made RAMdisks... 

 

- Size:   2048k / 0123456789ABCDEF (total = 2112k, 128 banks) 

- Banks:  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F

- Blocks: 0123456789ABCDEF, = 16 blocks * 8 banks 

- Types:  self-made RAMdisks... 

 

- Size:   4096k / 0123456789ABCDEF (total = 4160k, 256 banks) 

- Banks:  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F

- Blocks: 0123456789ABCDEF, = 16 blocks * 16 banks 

- Types:  Newell, FTE, self-made RAMdisks... 

 

Well, I will not go into details with the disadvantages and possible  

software-problems with RAMdisks beyond 512k RAM (possible problems

might be the unavailability of the Self Test, XL/XE Basic, RAM under the

OS, separate Antic access, etc. depending on the type of RD/XRAM)...

 

C) XL/XE - XRAM minus 64k Base-RAM: 

 

- Size:   192k / 8AE (total = 256k RAM, usable = 12 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F  

- Blocks: 8AE, = 3 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  older Newell RAMdisks (replace 64k by 256k); 

 

- Size:   192k / ACE (total = 256k RAM, usable = 12 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F  

- Blocks: ACE, = 3 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  newer Newell RDs, newer Buchholz-RDs, Rambo-XL,  

          self-made RAMdisks (replace 64k by 256k)... 

 

- Size:   448k / 2468ACE (total = 512k, usable = 28 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F

- Blocks: 2468ACE, = 7 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  self-made RDs (replace 64k by 512k)... 

 

- Size:   896k? / 0248ACE (total = 1024k, usable = 56 banks) 

- Banks:  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F

- Blocks: 0248ACE = 7 blocks * 8 banks 

- Types:  Bob Woolley`s 1200XL 1MB Upgrade, self-made RDs  

          (replace 64k by 1024k)... 

 

Although these RAM upgrades are relatively easy to build 

(and to install into the computer), they make problems with 

quite some software. Some programs tend to use the base RAM 

as extra RAM / RAMdisk with these upgrades, which will most 

often result in a crash of the computer. Next, most extra RAM  

testers will show more extra RAM (or a bigger RAMdisk) than  

there is really available (e.g. with a 256k upgrade you will 

see 240k extra RAM, but there is only 64k base RAM + 192k 

extra RAM). Alas, this is a typical hardware problem for these 

upgrades and it cannot be solved or avoided with software... 

 

D) XL/XE: Parallel-Bus-Devices: 

(600XL/800XL = Parallel Bus, XE = Cart.-Port + ECI) 

 

- Size:   64k / E (total = 128k RAM, 4 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F 

- Blocks: E, = 1 block * 4 banks

- Types: Turbo-Freezer-XL by Bernhard Engl with 64k XRAM

 

- Size:   128k / AE (total = 192k RAM, 8 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F 

- Blocks: AE, = 2 blocks * 4 banks

- Types:  Turbo-Freezer-XL by Bernhard Engl with 128k XRAM 

 

- Size:   256k / 9ABE (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) 

- Banks:  3, 7, B, F 

- Blocks: 9ABE, = 4 blocks * 4 banks 

- Types:  Turbo-Freezer-XL by Bernhard Engl with 256k XRAM 

 

- Size:   256k / ??? (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) 

- Banks:  unknown !! 

- Blocks: unknown !!

- Types:  Yorky-XL by Richard Gore / Derek Fern (from  

          GB/UK) with 256k XRAM 

 

- Size:   256k / ??? (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) 

- Banks:  unknown !! 

- Blocks: unknown !!

- Types:  Multi-Input-Output-Hard disk-Interface (MIO) with 256k  

          XRAM by ICD and its re-release by MetalGuy 

 

- Size:   1024k / ??? (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) 

- Banks:  unknown !! 

- Blocks: unknown !!

- Types:  Multi-Input-Output-Hard disk-Interface (MIO) with 1024k  

          XRAM by ICD and its re-release by MetalGuy 

 

E) XL/XE: RAM/Flash-ROM/... Cartridges: 

 

- Rambox II with 256k RAM by JRC (Czech Republic; with special  

  RAMdisk drivers for TT-DOS and Bewe-DOS!) 

- Ramcart 64k by LK Avalon (Poland)

- Ramcart 128k by LK Avalon (Poland; binaries of the EPROM and GAL

  chips of this cart can be found on ABBUC magazine 64)

- Ramcart 256k by Zenon/Dial (Poland)

- Ramcart 512k by Zenon/Dial (Poland)

- Ramcart 1024k by Zenon/Dial (Poland)

  (for some hints and pics see: www2.asw.cz/~kubecj/acarts.htm) 

- Flash-ROM cart 128k / 1Mbit "Atarimax" by Stephen Tucker 

  (although they are not usable as extra RAM / RAMdisk at the moment, 

  I am quite sure that it is possible to write some drivers and thus 

  use the Atarimax Flash-ROM carts as extremely fast floppy drives!) 

- Flash-ROM cart 1024k / 8Mbit "Atarimax" by Stephen Tucker 

  (for information and complete documentation plus software see: 

  www.atarimax.com/flashcart/documentation/index.html ) 

- and many others I do not know and I do not have any info about; 

 

Even cartridges can be used as RAMdisks (= fast floppy drives), 

especially RAM-carts or Flash-RAM carts. But they function like 

most other Super- or Mega-Carts, meaning the bank-switching  

techniques are also used there. Since the subject carts and 

bank-switching carts is quite enormous, I will not discuss it or 

present any information here. Just try to find a large description 

by John K. Picken ("RAM/ROM Control on an XL/XE") if interested in that 

subject (e.g. at Jindrich Kubec`s homepage: www2.asw.cz/kubecj/... ). 

 

Finally thanks and credits for this subject and lots of (used /  

borrowed) information therefore go to: Lee Barnes, Russ Gilbert,  

Mathy van Nisselroy, Erhard Puetz, Mathias Reichl, Ron Hamilton,  

Wes Newell, Guy Ferrante, XI of Satantronic, Bernhard Pahl, Walter 

Lojek and Voy/Dial. Also thanks to John K. Picken who wrote an 

excellent article about A8 extra RAM / RAMdisks and A8 cartridges and  

their technique of bank-switching. I know this list has still some

errors and is missing some information, alas, without your help I am

unable to correct the errors or to fill in the missing information...

Andreas Koch

 

 

 

Subject: 8.11) What programs support more than 64K RAM?

 

This section by Andreas Koch -- Version 3.6 from June 2008

 

The following Atari 8Bit programs support more than 64k RAM, but still

work alright (with multiple loads / disk-swaps) on standard 64k machines:  

 

a) "TOOLS" that support more than 64k RAM:

 

A-Base                   (???, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Alphasys-Sample Software (Mirage/ANG, 64k XRAM, block E), 

A-Text                   (???, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Atari Writer 80          (Atari, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Atari Writer Plus        (Atari, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

BASIC XE                 (OSS/ICD/FTE, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Bewe-DOS 1.x             (Bewesoft, up to 1024k RD, all banks), 

Bibo-DOS 5.x             (Compy-Shop, up to 256k RD, E/AE/26AE/8ACE), 

Bibo-DOS 6.x             (Compy-Shop, up to 256k RD, E/AE/26AE/8ACE), 

Datei 4.x                (N. Schlia, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/26AE), 

Desktop Atari            (HBSF, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Diskworker               (Petsoft, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Diskcommunicator 3.x     (Robert "Bob" Puff, if there is more than 64k 

RAM, answer the startup question with "Y" to use it as XRAM or with "N" 

to use it as RAMdisk; up to 256k XRAM: E/AE/ACE/8ACE; RD = DOS depend.), 

DOS 2.5                  (Atari, original driver = 64k RD, block E; other 

                          drivers: up to 2x 128k RAMdisks, E/AE/8ACE), 

DOS II+D Version 6.x     (S. D., up to 2x 128k RDs, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), 

DOS XE 1.x               (Atari, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Extended Atari Basic     (???, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Extended Turbo Basic     (???, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Fampy 2.3                (Wolfgang Freitag, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), 

Fampy 6.1                (Wolfgang Freitag, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), 

Howfen DOS 3.x           (???, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), 

Howfen Tape to Disk      (???, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), 

Inertia 2.x              (MadTeam, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/8ACE), 

Inertia 3.x              (MadTeam, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/(ACE)

Inertia 4.x              (MadTeam, up to 1024k XRAM, all combinations !)

Midi Mate II             (Hybrid Arts, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Midi Pattern Editor      (Raster, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Midi Player              (I. Kuczek, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Midi Recorder            (I. Kuczek, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Midi Sequencer           (M. Sygit, 64k XRAM, block E), 

MSC-IDE-Software         (M. Belitz + S. Birrmanns, 64k XRAM, block E), 

My-DOS 3.x               (Wordmark, up to ???k RAMdisk), 

My-DOS 4.x               (Wordmark, up to 1024k RAMdisk, all banks), 

Paperclip II             (Batteries Included, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Super DOS 2.x            (P. Nichols, up to 2x 128k RDs, E/AE/ACE/8ACE), 

Super DOS 5.x            (P. Nichols, up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE),  

The [Sparta DOS] Browser (Tom Hunt, up to 1024k RAMdisk, RD-driver dep.), 

The Sound Utility        (Tom Hunt, up to 1024k XRAM?, bug-free only under

Sparta/Bewe-DOS, one can choose between 64k/128k/256k/576k/1088k RAM, alas

all setups with more than 64k RAM produced some strange sound noises on

my 576k XL when playing waves or samples...), 

Theta Music Composer 2.x (Jaskier, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Turbo DOS 1.x            (Reitershan, up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), 

Turbo-DOS 2.x            (Reitershan, up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), 

Top-DOS 1.x              (R.K. Bennett, 64k RAMdisk, block E), 

Top DOS Plus             (R.K. Bennett, up to ???k RAMdisk), 

Top DOS Prof.            (R.K. Bennett, up to ???k RAMdisk), 

Typesetter               (XLent, 64k XRAM, block E), 

X-DOS 2.x                (S. D., up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE),  

X-RAM 0.21               (Satantronic, tests up to 4 MB!, all banks!)

and most Text-Editors (e.g. Speedscript, Antic Writer, T-Edit, Page 6

Writer, Compy-Shop Editor, Textpro, etc.) as long as they are running

under a DOS 2.x (meaning a DOS 2 derivative) or Sparta / Bewe DOS and the

appropriate RAMdisk driver...;

 

b) "Games" that support more than 64k RAM:

 

Adalmar                  (Falk Buettner, 64k RAMdisk, block E),

A.R. - The Dungeon       (Philipp Price, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Bop N'Wrestle            (Mindscape, 64k XRAM, block E), 

The Brundles             (KE-Soft, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/26AE), 

Human Torch & the Thing  (Questprobe, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Johnny`s Problem         (ANG, 64k XRAM, block E),

Megablast 1              (Thorsten Karwoth, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Mental Age               (???, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Problem Jasia            (Mirage, 64k XRAM, block E),

[The Amazing] Spiderman  (Questprobe, 64k XRAM, block E);

 

c) "Demos" that support more than 64k RAM:

 

ABBUC Magazine Intro 52  (Heaven, 64k XRAM, block E), 

ABBUC Magazine Intro 55  (Heaven, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Anime 4ever              (Sente Software Group, 256k XRAM, 8ACE), 

Grafik + Sound Demo      (Peter Sabath, 64k XRAM, block E), 

I. K. Plus Demo          (???, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Sweet Fantasy            (Tight, 64k XRAM, block  E), 

The Top 3 Demo           (WFMH, "Veronika Part", 64k XRAM, block E);

 

 

Thanks and credits for this subject go to: Bernhard Pahl, Russ Gilbert, 

Ron Hamilton, Mathy van Nisselroy and Miker for sharing some information

with me. - Andreas Koch

 

 

 

Subject: 8.12) What programs require more than 64K RAM?

 

This section by Andreas Koch -- version 3.6 from June 2008

 

The following Atari 8Bit programs require more than 64k RAM, and thus

do not work at all (or not alright/bug-free) on standard 64k machines:  

 

a) "Tools" that require more than 64k RAM:

 

128k Memory Testers      (quite many programs, 64k XRAM, block E), 

130XE Bank/Mem.-Testers  (quite many programs, 64k XRAM, block E),  

130XE Sectorcopiers      (quite many programs, 64k XRAM, block E),

130XE Utilities          (HAPS PD 0031, 64k XRAM, block E), 

192k Memory Testers      (some PD programs, 128k XRAM, blocks AE), 

256k Memory Testers      (Newell, ICD, etc., 192k XRAM, blocks ACE), 

320k Mem. Testers 8ACE   (Atari Mag., TOMS, etc., 256k XRAM, blocks 8ACE),

320k Mem. Testers 26AE   (Compy-Shop, etc., 256k XRAM, blocks 26AE), 

576k Memory Testers      (Peterson, TOMS, etc., 512k XRAM, blocks 8ACE), 

1088k Memory Testers     (Newell, TOMS, etc., 1MB XRAM, blocks 02468ACE), 

4160k Memory Tester      (Newell, 4MB XRAM, blocks 0123456789ABCDEF),

APC Archiver 1.x         (LBS/APC, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!),  

APC Packer 1.x           (LBS/APC, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), 

A. W. P. Super Menu      (Ken Siders, min. 64k XRAM, block E),

A. W. P. XE Super Menu   (Ken Siders, min. 192k XRAM, blocks ACE),  

Audio/Studio Master      (Mirage/ANG, 256k XRAM, 26AE only?), 

Boot Majster             (Electron, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Boss X [Vers. 10.x]      (M. Sobe, with any DOS min. 64k RAMdisk, block E;

with MyDOS 4.x it supports up to 1MB RD, subdirs and up to 16MB HD part.), 

Boss XE [Vers. 8.x]      (M. Sobe, with any DOS min. 64k RAMdisk, block E;

with Turbo-DOS or MyDOS 4.5x it supports bigger RAMdisks, but no subdirs!),

CAD XE                   (HAPS PD 0350, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Diskettenverwaltung XE   (ABBUC PD 86, 64k XRAM, block E),

Draw XE                  (ABBUC PD 387, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Dream Vision             (ABBUC PD 480, 192k XRAM, blocks ACE?), 

Fraktale & Colorprint    (P. Woetzel, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Grafik Zeilen Editor     (HAPS PD 0296, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Hires Dump               (ABBUC PD 113, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Inertia 3.x              (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to

                          256k XRAM, AE/ACE/26AE/8ACE with almost any DOS),

Inertia 4.x              (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to

                          1024k XRAM - all possible bank combinations!), 

Macro Assembler XE       (T. Karwoth, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Macro Assembler XE+      (T. Karwoth, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up

                          to 1024k XRAM - all possible bank combinations!), 

Masher XE                (???, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 

                          256k XRAM: AE/ACE/8ACE), 

Menu 130                 (Les Howarth, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Midi Mate III            (Hybrid Arts, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Monitors, Debuggers, ... (HAPS PD 0109, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Multi DOS 130            (Kuchera/Excellent, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Multi DOS 320            (Kuchera/Excellent, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), 

Multi Tasking OS         (???, min. 64k XRAM, block E), 

MTOS 256                 (Tom Hunt, 192k XRAM, blocks ACE), 

MTOS XE                  (Tom Hunt, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Neo-Tracker 1.x          (Epi, min. 64k XRAM, block E; under MyDOS 4.5x 

or Sparta DOS X cart. it supports up to 1MB XRAM, all bank combinations!) 

Newspaper Editor         (HAPS PD 0294, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Protracker 1.5           (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 

                          256k XRAM: AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), 

Rechnen fuer Kinder      (ABBUC PD 85, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Rund um die RAMdisk      (ABBUC PD 383, HAPS PD 1084, contains info texts 

and pgms. for upgrading the 800 or XL/XE and testing its XRAM up to 1 MB; 

the docs use English language and provide detailed information for Axlon 

compatible 800 XRAM and Newell/Buchholz/Peterson compatible XL/XE XRAM), 

Sample Art XE            (Mozart/WSL, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up 

to 1024k XRAM, all bank combinations, alas the program is faulty/buggy!), 

Shrink XE                (P. Fitzsimmons, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Snapshot                 (???, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Tape RAMdisk Drivers     (Pokey, SAG, etc., 64k XRAM, block E), 

Text 130                 (B. Russmann, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Textpro "+" [e.g. 4.54+] (Ronnie Riche, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Textpro 5.x              (Ronnie Riche, 64k XRAM, block E), 

The Code Cruncher 2.x    (Soused Teat, min. 64k XRAM, block E), 

The Code Cruncher 3.x    (Soused Teat, min. 64k XRAM, block E), 

The Cruncher 5.x         (MSL/Magnus, min. 64k XRAM, block E), 

The Small Printery       (W. Lojek, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up 

                          to 1024k XRAM, all bank combinations!), 

The [Sparta DOS] Wedge   (Ed Bachmann, 64k XRAM, block E, sep. Antic!), 

The Works                (Tom Hunt, min. 64k XRAM, block E), 

Wuerttemberger Disk      (ABBUC PD 361, HAPS PD 1050, 64k XRAM, block E; 

mainly/only because side 2 contains the XE version of Gizmo's castle), 

XL-2                     (J.K. Picken, min. 64k XRAM, block E; under MyDOS

                          or Sparta DOS it supports up to 1024k XRAM !), 

Zeitungsredakteur        (ABBUC PD 121, 64k XRAM, block E);

 

b) "Games" that require more than 64k RAM: 

 

Castle of Blackthorne    (T. Graef, 64k RD, block E),  

Cavepack XE              (XE-version by K. Ezcan, 64k RD, block E), 

Computer Baseball        (D. Blackwell, 64k XRAM, block E),

Der Neffe                (XE-version by ???, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Gizmo's Castle           (XE-version by M. Kugler, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Kaiser II                (128k version by C. S., 64k XRAM, block E),

Kaiser II                (320k version by C. S., 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE), 

Minesweeper 1-4          (4 versions by J.R. Chicko, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Mister X                 (S. Soelbrandt, 64k RD, block E), 

Oelbaron                 (XE-version by ???, 64k RD, block E), 

Space Harrier            (C. Hutt, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Strategy Baseball        (HAPS PD 0302, 64k XRAM, block E), 

T-34 the Battle          (ANG, 64k XRAM, block E),

Yie Ar Kung Fu           (???, 256k XRAM, blocks ???, get the latest

versions from Fandal`s or Homesoft`s homepage...), 

Zargon XE                (ABBUC PD 611, HAPS PD 0485, 64k XRAM, block E), 

 

Please note, that hackers, crackers and pirates also made file versions 

of (most of) the XE / XEGS 64k and 128k carts available. Due to cart.

bankswitching, a 64k XL/XE was enough for these super-carts; not so with

the file versions, they do (mostly) require more than 64k memory...

 

Next, there are also "un-official" (pirated, hacked, cracked, patched) 

cart. versions of former disk-based games, that require XRAM, which they 

originally did not (example: Conan, the multi-stage disk-version by 

Datasoft requires 64k RAM, whereas the single-stage version of the 

Sunmark multicart. req. 128k RAM). It is quite likely, that more games

will occur in the Atari scene with the same behavior...

 

c) "Demos" that require more than 64k RAM: 

 

130XE Artshow            (HAPS PD 0013, 64k XRAM, block E), 

130XE Autoshow           (HAPS PD 0637, ABBUC PD 191, 64k XRAM, block E), 

130XE Demo               (S.A.G., 64k XRAM, block E), 

130XE Impossible Demo    (R. Haegemann, 64k XRAM, block E),  

3D Scroll                (Jaskier/TQA, 64k XRAM, block E), 

American Natives         (Fox-1, 192k RD, RAMdisk = DOS dependant),

Amiga Boink XE           (B. Armour, 64k XRAM, block E),  

Animkom. meet B. V.      (Animkomials + B.V., 64k XRAM, block E), 

(The) Asskicker          (Shadows, 64k XRAM, block E; hold Select!),

Back to Life 2           (Jaskier/TQA, 256k XRAM, auto-setup!), 

Base 33                  (AIDS, 256k XRAM, hold SHIFT for setup!), 

Bill Pie Demo            (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up 

                          to 256k XRAM: AE/8ACE with more frames), 

BMW Animation            (Mirko Sobe, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Brull                    (Pin/Trs, 1MB XRAM for a sample demo),

CES XE Demo              (full 580 sectors version by XANTH, 64k XRAM, 

block E; includes the Swan-, Fuji-Boink- and Robot-Demo all in one file!),

Cogito Demo              (AIDS, uses blocks 8C, thus 8ACE only!), 

Critical Sounddemo       (Innovative, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Danielle (Gr.9) Ani      (B. Kendrick, 64k XRAM, block E), 

DoXEpin                  (AIDS, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Edelweiss Demo           (A.R.+C.S.S.+S.V.L., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), 

Ergo Bibamus             (Quasimodos, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Extract Slideshow        (Replay/Bit Busters, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Fat Bottomed Girls       (???, 64k XRAM block E for a Queen sample),

Forever 1ktro            (New Generation, 64k XRAM block E for a 1k demo),

Forsaken Love            (New Generation, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE; simply

delete "BANKS.DAT", reboot and create a new one for your kind of XRAM!),

Glasshead Demo           (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), 

Halle 1994: The Wormhole (Magic Arts, 256k XRAM, 26AE only!),

Hardware Demo            (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), 

Igor Demo (Side A)       (MadTeam, 64k XRAM, block E - use 128k.BAT),

Igor Demo (Side B)       (MadTeam, 128k XRAM, blocks AE - use 192k.BAT), 

Igor Demo (Side A+B)     (MadTeam, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only - use 320k.BAT),  

Imperial Sounddemo       (Innovative, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE), 

Impossible but Real      (MacGyver, 192k XRAM, auto-setup!), 

Incredible               (Excellent, 64k XRAM, block E),

Inside Out               (Taquart, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Isolation Demo           (M.E.C., 64k XRAM, block E), 

Journey Demo             (Boot version by Polynomials, min. 64k XRAM, 

                          block E; supports up to 256k XRAM: AE/8ACE),  

Journey Demo             (File version by MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block 

                          E; supports up to 192k XRAM: AE/ACE), 

Journey into Sound       (DGS / D. Garaghty, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Khai Et                  (AIDS, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, SHIFT for Setup!),

Killer Whales Ani        (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E, supports up

                          to 256k XRAM: AE/8ACE with more frames!),  

Landscape-XE Demo        (Karl Pelzer, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Manga Ani                (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E),

Megablast Sounddemo      (DGS / D. Garaghty, 64k XRAM, block E), 

MTV's Danielle           = Danielle (Gr.9) Ani, 

Nascar Ani               (M. Sobe, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Nonjm Demo               (Tight, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Numen Demo               (Taquart, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, auto-setup!), 

Ogluszacz Sounddemo      (AIDS, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Owca Demo                (Animkomials, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Owca 2 Demo              (Animkomials, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Pacem in Terris          (Quasimodos, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, auto-setup), 

Parrot XMAS Demo         (A. Ramos, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Pedrokko Sounddemos      (a collection of 10 disks / 20 sides by Pedrokko, 

                          the player program assumes a 64k RD, block E), 

Raytracing Ani/128k      (K. Pelzer, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Raytracing 320k          (Elsni / S. Elsner, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), 

Raytracing 1088k         (Solocoder of A.C.E., 1024k XRAM, works only on 

K.P. 1MB Megaram III, 8 bootdisks, loading time approx. 17 minutes !!), 

Reditus Demo             (Zelax, 192k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, auto-setup),  

Render Ani               (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E), 

Revenge of Hacker        (Rasero Team, 128k XRAM, blocks AE), 

Running Cow ASCII Ani    (MadTeam, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Sheol Demo               (Bit Busters, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), 

Shiny Bubbles            (XE version by B. Paul, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Stash 98 Demo            (Rasero Team, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE via a buggy

setup: 1) for 8ACE XRAM press A in the 1st or 2nd menu, 2) for 26AE press

B in the 1st menu and C in the 2nd menu; don't use the CS auto-setup!),

Starwars Demo            (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), 

The Wormhole             (Magic Arts, 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), 

Timekeep(er)             (New Generation, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only! wait!), 

Tit Demo                 (Mad Team, 192k XRAM, auto-setup!), 

Too Hard 3 Demo          (Animkomials, 128k XRAM, blocks AE), 

Too Hard 4 Demo          (Animkomials, 256k XRAM, auto-setup!), 

Total Dazed              (Tight, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Trabant Demo             (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), 

Trip 6                   (Shadows, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Turtles Demo             (Ultra Software, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Ultra Demo               (Taquart, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Ultra 2 Preview          (Taquart, 64k XRAM, block E, unfinished!), 

Vengeance                (Excellent, 64k XRAM, block E), 

Vent XE                  (Exc.+Pentagram, 64k XRAM, block E), 

WAF-Demo                 (W.A.F., diskside B = 64k XRAM, block E), 

Worms Demo               (Datri, 256k XRAM, 8ACE otherwise buggy!), 

X-Demo                   (MadTeam, 256k XRAM, 26AE), 

X-Files Ani              (MadTeam, 64k XRAM, block E), 

X-Files 2 (TV-Ani)       (MadTeam, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE), 

Xyberscape XE            (XE version by Bill Le Masurier, 64k XRAM, E),

Zero Demo                (New Generation, 64k XRAM, block E);

 

 

Thanks and credits for this subject go to Russ Gilbert, Bernhard Pahl, 

Ron Hamilton, Mathy van Nisselroy, Stephan Pollok and Miker for sharing

their information with me. Any corrections and/or updates are welcome... 

-Andreas Koch

 

 

 

Subject: 8.13) What voice/sound synthesis software is there for the Atari?

 

This section by Andreas Koch.

 

- S.A.M. - the Software Automated Mouth by Don't Ask Software (a

  software package; you can find it at Don`s / the author's homepage:

  http://www.retrobits.net)

- Softsynth (a PD program, that creates sounds and sound effects via

  modulation of the tv/monitor speaker; available from the ABBUC library);

- MOD-Sounds (sound-MODulation, although I do not know any software to

  create such sounds on an A8, some programs to edit (Protracker) and

  playback (Inertia, Modplayer, Neotracker, etc.) these sounds do exist);

 

 

 

Subject: 8.14) What programs support stereo and upgraded sound?

 

This section by Andreas Koch.

(POPS info updated 8/15/06 by mdc thanks to Lee Brilliant)

 

There is already a lot of stereo software for the upgraded Atari computers

available, of course most of these programs are limited to certain/special

upgrades and merely perform their stereo effects on these items (with

otherwise upgraded or non-upgraded Ataris, the sounds or programs will

only play in mono):

 

a) software for the various stereo-upgrades:

 

- 3 channels with one Pokey (POPS-software): As far as I know for this kind

  of upgrade, there merely exists a patched version of the Pokey player

  program, I am not sure if there is anything else for it; anyway, refer to

  ANALOG #66, November 1988, pages 54-60;

 

- stereo with two computers (thus two Pokeys): As far as I know for this

  simple trick there merely exist two programs, they are "Perestroyka" and

  "Sky Network" by T.Liebich. In order to achieve the stereo effect, you

  have to boot/load one of these demos on two computers (connected to

  different TV's or monitors, there is no need to connect the computers to

  each other!). When done, press 1-5 on the first computer while pressing

  Shift-1-5 on the second computer. Meaning, if you want to hear the first

  sound in stereo then press 1 on computer 1 and press Shift-1 on

  computer 2 simultaneously (that`s a little tricky, I know). If you want

  to hear sound 5 in stereo, then press 5 on computer 1 and Shift-5 on

  computer 2 simultaneously. Tricky at first, but sooner or later you will

  get the hang of it. Of course you can also connect the two Ataris to

  a hifi-system, using the sound output of one Atari for the left channel

  and the sound output of the other Atari for the right channel...

 

- stereo-sound with Stereo-Blaster Pro (Portronic/AMC): As far as I know

  there was at least one demo disk (early version was single-sided only,

  later versions were double-sided), that contained some demo-software,

  namely the simple "Stereo-demos" (by AMC, side 1) and the

  "Stereoblaster-Demo" (by HU-Soft, side 2 if available). The Stereoblaster

  demo was written in Turbo-Basic and played back via Compiled-Turbo-Basic,

  it uses Chaos Music-Composer Sounds (*.CMC) and a few of these provide

  stereo effects, if equipped with a stereo-blaster-pro and a hifi-system.

  The simple stereo-demos included some programs written in Atari Basic,

  for example a (pong-like) bouncing ball and a flying helicopter. Equipped

  with a stereo-blaster-pro and a hifi-system, one could see the ball

  bouncing left and right and simultaneously hear the sound fx on the left

  or right channel. The helicopter started at the left side and produced a

  loud sound on the left channel, when it was flying to the right side, the

  sound faded on the left channel and got louder on the right channel,

  until the helicopter disappeared (and the sound completely faded away).

  There were some more of these simple demos available, but I don`t

  remember them anymore.

 

- Stereo with two Pokeys: There already exist dozens of sounds and demos,

  that support this upgrade, most of these programs were made in Poland,

  but a few sound-demos were also made in other countries. Anyway, the

  following programs support stereo via two Pokey chips:

 

  - Alf-Demo by the Unknown Base (Netherlands);

  - Alpha-Demo by GMG (Slovakia);

  - AMS-Stereo player by ??? (author unknown), USA;

    (there are at least two AMS-stereo-players, that let you play

     *.AMS sounds in true stereo or at least simulated stereo!);

  - Ballada sound by DJ V / BK (Poland);

  - Base 33 by AIDS (msx by Greg, Poland);

  - Chaos Music Composer version x.x patched by ??? , Poland;

    (=> the original version by Janusz Pelc / LK Avalon is only mono,

     but there is a stereo-patch available, as well as various patched

     CMC stereo-versions on the internet);

  - (many) *.CMC sounds created by one of the many stereo-versions of

    Chaos Music Composer;

  - Cogito-Demo by AIDS (Poland)

  - Do you see the light? sound-demo by Roemer of UNO (Germany); 

  - Draconus, patched version by ANG and/or Micro Discount (NL/UK)

    (the original version by Zeppelin games is only mono!);

  - Dynakillers (Game) by GMG, Slovakia;

  - First of All (sound) by Raster, Czech Republic;

  - Impossible but Real Demo by MacGyver (Poland);

  - King of Aggregat by X-Ray / Slight (Poland);

  - Megaplayer Versions 1.6 and 2.0 by MacGyver (Poland)

    (=> and thus all *.CMC, *.MPT, *.TMC, etc. sounds played with

     this sound-player tool can be heard in true or simulated stereo!);

  - Multi-Pro-Tracker 2.4s by Jaskier/Taquart, (original mono version

    by SoTE; thus *.MPT sounds can be generated in stereo!), Poland;

  - (many) *.MPT sounds created by the stereo-version of Multi Protracker;

  - Nazebany by DJ V / BK (Poland);

  - Overload sound by X-Ray / Slight (Poland);

  - Raster Music Tracker 1.x by Raster, Radek Sterba (a PC program

    that creates mono or stereo *.RMT sounds that can be played back

    on the A8 or any Atari 800/XL/XE emulator);

  - *.RMT stereo-sounds created by Raster Music Tracker;

  - Stereo-Patch for Pokey Player by Chuck Steinman

    (=> thus all Pokey-Player / *.V sounds can be heard in stereo!);

  - Stereo-Patch for Softsynth by Freddy Offenga (Netherlands)

    (=> thus Softsynth will create stereo-sounds!);

  - Stereo Patch for World of Wonders by Freddy Offenga (Netherlands)

    (World of Wonders is a great Softsynth sound-demo!);

  - Still Alive (TMC-sound) by Greg, Poland;

  - Time sound by X-Ray / Slight (Poland);

  - Theta-Music-Composer version 1.x by Jaskier/Taquart

    (=> thus *.TMC sounds can be generated in stereo!);

  - Theta-Music-Composer version 2.x by Jaskier/Taquart

    (supports 1, 2 or even 4 Pokey sound-chips !)

  - (most) *.TMC sounds created by Theta Music Composer;

  - Vanity sound by Kuchara / Excellent (Poland) ;

  - Worms (320k-Demo) by Datri, Czech Republic;

  - Zybex, patched version by ANG and/or Micro Discount (NL/UK)

    (the original version by Zeppelin games is only mono!);

  - that's all what I found so far...

 

b) software for other sound enhancements:

 

- enhanced-sound with Covox: As far as I know this upgrade will playback

  digitized or sampled sound in 8Bit resolution rather than in 4Bit

  resolution. The following programs support the Covox-Upgrade:

  - Inertia 2.x, a MOD-player by MadTeam;

  - Inertia 3.x, a MOD-player by MadTeam

  - Inertia 4.5, a MOD player by MadTeam;

  - Protracker 1.5, a MOD-editor and player by MadTeam;

  - NeoTracker 1.x, a MOD+NEO+SMP player by EPI/Allegresse;

  - that's all I have found so far;

note that all these programs will still work with pokey...

 

 

 

Subject: 8.15) What games support online action via modem?

 

This section by Andreas Koch.

 

- Modem Chess, a PD game in Basic by ???

- Modem-Battleships, a PD game in Basic by ???

- Tele-Chess, a PD game in Basic by ???

- Jelly Beans a ML game by Chris Martin

- "Battleships ST-XL" by Florian Dingler

  (German name: Schiffe versenken ST-XL)

- Midi Maze by XANTH (prototype)

- Commbat by Adventure International

 

(I have also seen an advert from GCP in ANALOG or Antic, that listed

 the following games: The City, Cybertank, Cybership, Bio-War, Lords

 of Space; I am not sure if they are all available for the Atari, A.K.)

 

To play these games online, one would not only require an Atari computer,

but also a modem, a modem-driver and/or a terminal program (like Kermit,

Bobterm, Teleterm, A-Term, Ice-T, BBS Express Pro, etc.). See also the

sections 7.8, 10.1 and 10.2 which tell you more about modem/terminal

programs and modem hardware for the Atari. Emulator users have it a little

easier and can use the built-in modem emulation in Ape-DOS, Ape-Win,

Atari 800 DOS, Atari 800 Win, etc.

 

 

 

Subject: 8.16) What programs support Atari computer networking?

 

This section by Andreas Koch.

 

There are two different hardware add-ons which provide a "computer-

network" (two or more Ataris linked together). Thus, there is software

that supports either one or the other hardware (namely Gamelink-1 or

Gamelink-2). The following software supports the networking hardware:

 

- Gamelink-1 (by Dataque):

  - info-text about GL-1 and where to buy it, by Dataque;

  - Tic-Tac-Two by J.Potter/Dataque, a tic-tac-toe clone;

  - Modem-Battleships, patched by Rick Detlefsen for Gamelink-1;

 

- Gamelink-2 / Multilink (by Dataque & Bewesoft):

  - Maze of Agdagon demo (1 player only) by Dataque;

  - Maze of Agdagon (full version, 2-8 players) by Dataque;

  - Multi-Dash (2-8 players, XL/XE only) by Bewesoft;

  - Multi-Race (2-16 players, XL/XE only) by Bewesoft;

  - Multi-Worms (2-8 or 2-16? players, XL/XE only) by Bewesoft;

  - "starter-kit" module to use in your own networking-games by Bewesoft

    (free use of this module is granted by Bewesoft/Jiri Bernasek);

  - Speed-Up by Radek Sterba

  - Speed-Up Gold by Radek Sterba

 

 

 

Subject: 9.1) How can I work with .arc files on my 8-bit Atari?

 

ARC.EXE for MS-DOS was released by System Enhancement Associates (SEA) around

1985.  It will compress and store groups of files as one file, making it

easier and quicker to download programs and support files at once. Because of

the ease of use and availability of this program, it quickly became the

de facto standard for file archives on Intel-based IBM machines.  Files

compressed and stored with ARC or a compatible utility are normally given the

filename extender ".arc".

 

The 8-bit Atari computers have several software utility options that are fully

compatible with ARC.EXE, the most important being:

 

Super UnArc 2.4 and Super Arc 2.4 - shareware by Bob Puff, released 01/31/89

Available:

http://www.nleaudio.com/css/files/superarc.arc (complete package + docs)

 

Also, SpartaDOS X includes a fully compatible ARC command for both creating

and extracting .arc files.

 

 

 

Subject: 9.2) What file formats for entire disks/tapes/cartridges are there?

 

It is now common, especially when working on Windows PCs or Macs, to work with

Atari software as files or "images" containing the data from an entire disk,

data cassette, or cartridge as duplicated from the native media for the Atari.

 

Here is a list of file formats, arranged by their associated filename

extensions.  These are all filename extensions used to name files containing

entire 8-bit Atari floppy disk images, cassette tape images, or cartridge

images.

 

.ATR -Image format invented by Nick Kennedy, for his SIO2PC project.

      Very similar to .XFD but with an added 16 byte header.

      This is the most common image format, used with most 8-bit Atari

      emulators running on other computer platforms.

      SIO2PC is at http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm

 

.ATX -Image format invented by Jorge Cwik, for VAPI project.  Goal of Vapi is

      the preservation of Atari software in its original unmodified form,

      including custom format or copy protection.  http://vapi.fxatari.com/

 

.CAS -Cassette image format invented by Ernest R. Schreurs, for his

      Digital Cassette Image system (includes CAS2SIO, WAV2CAS, and CAS2WAV

      MS-DOS utilities.  See: http://home.planet.nl/~ernest/

     

.DCM -Image format invented by Bob Puff for his Disk Communicator 3.2 utility.

      Used when working with native Atari hardware.  A compressed data format.

      DISKCOMM is at http://www.nleaudio.com/css/files/DISKCOM.ARC

      .DCM specs at: http://home.planet.nl/~ernest/diskcomm.zip

 

.DD  -Early filename extension used with double density disk images for use

      with the Xformer emulators.  Replaced by the .XFD extension.

 

.DI  -Image format invented by Kolja Koischwitz & Christian Kruger for their

      800XL DJ emulator for the Atari ST.

 

.PRO -Proprietary image format invented by Steven Tucker, for his

      APE ProSystem device.  Used with APE, the Atari Peripheral Emulator.

      APE and APE ProSystem are at http://www.atarimax.com/

 

.SCP -SpartaDOS SCOPY image file.  SCOPY was a utility by ICD.  A compressed

      data format.

 

.SD  -Early filename extension used with single density disk images for use

      with the Xformer emulators.  Replaced by the .XFD extension.

 

.XFD -"Xformer Floppy Disk" image format invented by Emulators, Inc. (Darek

      Mihocka) for the Xformer emulators (ST, PC).  Known earlier, before

      support for arbitrary disk sizes was added, as .SD or .DD depending on

      the density of the imaged disk.  The format consists simply of a raw

      sector dump of a disk.  Used with ST Xformer, PC Xformer, and

      Xformer 2000 emulators.

      Xformer emulators are at http://www.emulators.com/

     

See also:

Atari Disk Image FAQ  (Steve Tucker)

http://www.atarimax.com/ape/docs/DiskImageFAQ/

 

 

 

Subject: 9.3) How can I copy my copy-protected Atari software?

 

This section by Russ Gilbert.

 

Almost all commercial software for the A8 is/was copy protected.

 

For boot disks, this usually involved a large number of special formatting

that couldn't be copied using ordinary sector copiers.  Usually the boot

process involved checking to see if a certain sector error occurred, then

proceeding. If the error did not occur, the disk was a copy and would not

work.

 

Alphasys adds (2009.03):

  Some protection schemes involved special sector skewing, which involved

  special timing during loading, duplicate sector numbers with differing

  content, or tracks with more or less than the usual number of sectors.

  With duplicate sector numbers, I mean physical duplication, involving

  sector header code that is read by the drive only, not any part of the

  sector data transferred to the computer.

 

For carts, usually the method of protection was to write to the cart area of

memory and see if the value changed.  If the value changed, the cart program

was in RAM, not ROM and would fail to operate.

 

For tapes, again a fair number of schemes were used.  Some varied the speed at

which the tape loaded.  I'm not familiar with tape protection schemes.

 

With all software media (cart, tape, disk), there may be program encryption,

which must be decrypted before the program can run.  This to make more

difficult disassembly of the program.

 

There were/are a number of products to defeat copy protection/allow copying of

protected software for the A8.  The most common way to defeat copy protection

was to disassemble the software and revise sections of code so that the copy

protection was defeated.  A software with defeated copy protection is called a

'cracked' software.  The basic procedure is to understand how cart/tape/disk

software initializes, loads and runs.  Usually make a file out of the software

and 'follow the code', starting with loading of the program, to decryption to

the actual running of the program.  Today, it is unnecessary to copy original

commercial A8 software because it has already been defeated and may be found

at a few FTP sites.

 

Besides 'cracking' software, there were/are hardware devices to copy

commercial protected software.  The Happy 1050 and the Archiver, and probably

other modifications to the 810, or 1050 allowed 'bit image' copying and

reproduction of the special formatting that copy protected disks had. 

 

  Alphasys (2009.03):

  For the Speedy, there is a special program called Speedy Backup, which can

  copy about 80% of the protected disks.

 

Using these archiving disk drives, a copy of the original disk, including all

special formatting and the original code is copied, thus making a copy

protected copy, not cracked, just like the original.

 

For carts, copying could involve cracking or again there were/are products to

reproduce the cart and simulate a ROM.  Or the cart might be copied and burned

on the correct type of EPROM, to make a plug in cart.  'The Impersonator', the

'Pill' are two cart copy schemes copy the cart to a file, then don't change

the code, but use a 'dummy cart' to fool the software into thinking there is a

ROM present.

 

Basic tools for copying, then cracking, carts and disks are a sector editor

and disassembler.  Carts are usually most easily dumped using a special OS,

like Omnimon, to interrupt the cart and dump memory to disk.  There are a few

pd cart copiers that have the user plug the cart in when the program is

running, I don't believe these pd cart copiers are very good or very wise to

use.

 

So, the basic answer to 'how do I make a copy of my copy protected commercial

software' is don't bother.  Find it on the net.

 

There is one exception, in that this 'solution' involves a minimum of effort

and is relatively safe.  I refer to 'Chipmunk' and 'Black Patch' software to

make cracked boot disk copy of commercial disks.  HOWEVER, even if you use

these two commercial archival tools, be sure you write protect your originals,

and be careful not to accidentally write to the original disk.

 

Finally, I'll mention a very modern (I mean 1997) product.  The APE ProSystem,

by Steven Tucker, in the registered version of this shareware allows making

disk images called 'Pro' images.  APE (Atari Peripheral Emulator) requires a

cable, called the SIO2PC cable, that connects the A8 13 pin serial port to a

serial port on the IBM PC clone.  To make 'Pro' images, a special adapter

cable is needed, not just the 'standard' SIO2PC cable.  The 'Pro' image can

'capture' the copy protection of an original commercial disk.  The 'Pro' image

can then be loaded into an A8 using the APE registered version software, thus

backing up your original disk software.  Note the 'Pro' image will only be of

use to person(s) owning registered APE software and 'Pro' adapter cable.

 

 

 

Subject: 10.1) What programs can log in to other computers via modem?

 

Here are some of the more popular PD/freeware/shareware terminal emulator and

related programs available.  Use one of these programs for accessing a dial-up

Bulletin Board System (BBS) with your Atari, or for accessing a dial-up "shell

account" with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).  Dial-up shell accounts

are no longer widely available here in the 21st century!  (There is no

general-purpose PPP capability for the 8-bit Atari that I am aware of.)

 

ATAR-Z-MODEM 1.2, 5/29/94, shareware by Larry Black

     Emulates: n/a

     Text: 40 columns in gr.0

     File Xfer: ZMODEM download

     Autodial: No

     Backscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: no

     Summary: Intended to be used as an external ZMODEM receive utility in

       conjunction with other terminal programs, especially BobTerm

 

BobTerm 1.23, 1993, shareware by Bob Puff

     Emulates: VT52

     Text: 40 columns in gr.0; 80 col. w/ XEP80

     File Xfer: XMODEM, YMODEM, FMODEM

     Autodial: Yes

     Backscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: Yes

     Summary: Feature-filled; best for BBSing

     Available: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/ (version 1.21 complete package)

     http://www.mixinc.net/atari/download_a8/datacom/bobt123.lzh (ver. 1.23)

 

FlickerTerm 80 v.0.51, freeware by LonerSoft (Clay Halliwell)

     Emulates: VT100, IBM ANSI

     Text: 80 column via a special Graphics 0 screen (no hardware required)

     File Xfer: None

     Autodial: No

     Backscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: No

     Summary: Fast and complete VT100 emulation; readability a minus

 

Ice-T XE v2.72 (128K XL/XE) or Ice-T 800 v1.1 (48K), 1997, by Itay Chamiel

     Emulates: VT100

     Text: 80 column via a fast-scrolling graphics 8 screen

     File Xfer: X/Y/ZMODEM download

     Autodial: Yes (2.72) or No (1.1)

     Backscroll buffer: Yes--8 screens (2.72) or One screen (1.1)

     Capture-to-disk: Yes--up to 16K (2.72) or No (1.1)

     Summary: Outstanding flicker-free high-speed VT100 emulation.Recommended!

 

Kermit-65 3.7, PD by John R. Dunning

     Emulates: VT100

     Text: 40 columns in gr.0; 80 col. in gr.8; 80 col. w/ XEP80 (sort of)

     File Xfer: Kermit

     Autodial: No

     Backscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: No

     Summary: Excellent VT100 emulation; rock-solid Kermit Xfers

     filenames:   k65v37.arc ; k65doc.arc - docs ; k65src.arc - source

 

OmniCom by CDY Consulting (David Young)

     Emulates: VT100

     Text: 80 columns in gr.8

     File Xfer: XMODEM, Kermit

     Autodial: No

     Backscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: No

     Summary: Only option combining VT100, XMODEM, Kermit

     filename: omnicom.arc

 

PabQwk 2.0, 1 Feb 1994, shareware by Low-Budget Productions (Pab Sungenis)

     Requires: 128K XL/XE

     Emulates: n/a

     File Xfer: QWK upload/download

     Summary: The Professional QWK reader for the Atari 8-bits.  (QWK is a

     packet format created in the IBM BBS community for reading mail

     offline.)

 

Term80 1.6 (8.25.95), by CTH Enterprises (Tom Hunt)

     Requires: MIO or Black Box

     Emulates: ANSI

     Text: 80 columns in gr.8

     File Xfer: XMODEM receive, YMODEM send/receive    

     Autodial: Yes

     Brackscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: Yes

     Summary: Designed for calling IBM ANSI BBSs at the highest possible

        speeds supported by the MIO and Black Box (14.4 Kbps)

 

VT850 B1, shareware by Curtis Laser

     Emulates: VT100/VT102 (plus complete VT220 keymap)

     Text: 40 columns in gr.0; 80 col. w/ XEP80

     File Xfer: None

     Autodial: No

     Backscroll buffer: No

     Capture-to-disk: Yes

     Summary: Only option for VT100 emulation on the XEP80; 1200bps top speed

     filename: vt850b1.arc

 

 

 

Subject: 10.2) What programs can I use to host a BBS on the Atari?

 

"A BBS, plain and simple, is some hobbyist setting up their own computer to

answer incoming calls from other hobby computers.  The visiting person

leaves messages on this computer for other visitors, plays games while

visiting, sends and receives files, and all that." -- Greg Goodwin, 2005

 

The 8-bit Atari was particularly popular for hosting a dial-up Bulletin Board

System (BBS).

 

This section attempts to list all BBS programs for the Atari.  Of these, BBS

Express! Professional and Carina II BBS seem to be programs that stand up well

even today.

 

Contributors to this section include: Winston Smith, Steven Sturza, Chad

Hendrickson, Don Fanning, Matt Singer, Pete Davis, Jeff Williams, Rod Roark

 

  o  AMIS BBS --  The Atari Message Information Service

original version by Tom Giese of Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts. pd.

 

The "granddaddy" of BBS programs for the 8-bit Atari.

 

The AMIS BBS was written in BASIC.  It included designs for a ring-detector.

You needed a sector editor and had to allocate message space by hand, hex byte

by hex byte.

 

Several versions of AMIS:

     *  Standard AMIS, original version by Tom Giese

     *  MACE AMIS - from the Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts,

                    by Larry Burdeno and Jim Steinbrecher

     *  Fast AMIS

     *  MPP AMIS by Matt Pritchard

     *  Comet AMIS by Matt Pritchard and Tom Johnson, with Trent Condollone

        "AMIS so modified that it didn't resemble AMIS"

     *  AMIS XM301 - Mike Olin and Mike Mitchell

     *  TODAMIS 1.0, for 1030/XM301, 1986, Trent Dudley

     *  Carnival BBS, see below

     *  FoReM was derived from AMIS, see below

 

  o  ARMUDIC, by Frank Huband

From the Atari club of Washington, D.C.

Greg Leslie writes "It was written (in BASIC with machine language

subroutines) by Frank Huband, and the name came from the numbers used to dial

the original BBS.

 

  o  ATABBS - Atari Bulletin Board System

     Rod Roark writes (3/12/03):

                This is really straining my memory -- don't recall exactly

                when I wrote the thing (maybe '80 or '81), but as far as I

                know ATABBS was the world's first BBS for the Atari 400/800.

               

                I ran it out of my condo in Atlanta on a 48K 400 with an 80K

                floppy drive and a 300 bps Hayes Smartmodem.  The 48K memory

                module was a third party add-on, not Atari's.

               

                It was written in Atari BASIC with a few bytes of machine

                language thrown in.

 

  o  AtariLink -- by Pab Sungenis.

From his blog at http://atari8programming.blogspot.com/ on 3/20/06:

In 1985-1986 I wrote and eventually released the AtariLink BBS software.  This

came out of necessity, since most Atari BBS programs at the time (especially

FoReM and its bastard children) didn't fully support the 1030 modem that I

used (or the XM301 that followed afterward).  I eventually adapted the program

to work with Atari's 1200 bps SX212 modem when that was released, and in the

process threw the program open to just about every modem out there.  AtariLink

floated in the wild, passed from BBS to BBS for a while, before an Atari

magazine (I forget which one) distributed the software as its disk of the

month.

 

  o  ATKeep --  An Atari 8-bit version of CITADEL BBS, by Brent Barrett

ATKeep is a Citadel-like BBS system for eight-bit Ataris.  ATKeep runs under

SpartaDOS and requires BASIC XE and 128K of RAM.  Originally "MBBBS (Message

Base Bulletin Board System) 1.0, March 24th, 1986" MBBBS was changed to Atari

Keep, or, ATKeep for short, around version the time version 4.0 was released

(June 15, 1986).

 

ATKeep 7.0 finally took the aide and cosysop commands out of a menu section

and put them into extended commands, where they belonged.  It also added a

SYSOP level command set.  Users were no longer "users" "aides" or "cosysops,"

they had become level "A" (SYSOP) through level "Z" (READ ONLY).  The system

had become extremely complex. Public, hidden OR password protected PRIVATE

rooms.  Each room now had its own access level (thus keeping people of lower

level from getting in EVEN if they knew the room name).  Each room was

assigned a RWRT (or Read WRiTe status), which determined who could enter

messages in it, and whether or not public or private messages, or both were to

be allowed.

 

Before version 7.0, ATKeep only worked with the Atari 1030 or XM301 modems.

ATKeep 7.0 was rewritten to accommodate the 850 or PRC interface allowing use

of any Hayes compatible modem.

 

ATKeep version 7.50 was released (1987), was version 8 released?

 

  o  BBCS -- Bulletin Board Construction Set, by Scott Brause/Antic, 1985

A machine language program, developed as the Jersey Atari Computer Group

(JACG) BBS system.

 

BBCS was known for its great flexibility.  The sysop was offered easy

customization by the use of menus.  Many BBSes before it required that you had

to actually change the BASIC code in order to customize your BBS.

 

Unfortunately, it also suffered from a reputation for stability problems.

 

  o  BBS Express!  -- 1986, Keith Ledbetter/Orion Micro Systems

Written in compiled Action!.  1030/XM301 and 850 versions.

 

  o  BBS Express! Professional ("Pro!")--6.0b 1999, Lance Ringquist/Video 61

Originally released in 1988 by Keith Ledbetter and Chris King from Orion Micro

Systems.  Later purchased by Bob Klaas of K-Products, before most recently

being purchased by Lance Ringquist/Video 61.

 

Written in 100% machine language.

 

Requires XL/XE, SpartaDOS 3.2+, hard drive highly recommended, or at least a

large RAMdisk.  R-Time 8 is fully supported.

 

  o  Carina II BBS -- v2.7 (1995), David Hunt/Shadow Software

Carina II was originally developed by Jerry Horanoff.

 

Requires an XL or XE computer, at least 500K of storage capacity (including

RAMdisk and drives), and SpartaDOS version 2.3 or greater.

Recommended: 192K RAMdisk or greater, and an R-Time cartridge.

Fully supported: An MIO interface and a hard drive.

 

Pete Davis writes (15 Aug 2002):

Carina was a pretty powerful BBS system.  Though it was written in BASIC (with

a number of machine language routines), it was expandable and was able to load

new BASIC programs with the BBS running.  In fact, it was quite modular and

would load different sections of the BBS at runtime.  I actually used it when

I ran a BBS some time back.

 

  o  Carnival BBS -- "essentially AMIS with an overlay to allow for private

                     messages and passwords."  -- Antic

 

  o  FoReM BBS --  Friends of Rickey Moose BBS.  By Matthew R. Singer.

At the time, there were a lot of BBSs around called things such as "FORUM-80"

and "BULLET-80", ergo the name.  FoReM BBS was the first truly RBBS-like BBS

for the ATARI 8-bit.  It was programmed in BASIC and was somewhat crashy.  I

think that this is the great-grandparent of the FOREM-XE BBSs that survive

today.

 

Matt Singer writes:

FoReM BBS derived from an early AMIS. When multiple message areas were

added the name was extended to FoReM 26M.  Then, When OSS released BASIC

XL the program was rehacked and called FoReM XL... Bill Dorsey wrote most

of the Assembler routines (where is he now?).

 

  o  FoReM MPP BBS -- by Matt Singer, sold by MPP

FoReM BBS version for the MPP direct-connect modems.

 

  o  FoReM XL BBS -- by Matt Singer.

FoReM BBS updated to take advantage of BASIC XL from OSS.

 

  o  FoReM XE BBS -- by Matt Singer

This version of FOREM BBS requires the commercial BASIC XE cartridge in order

to run.  It is in the public domain and can import and export messages from

the Atari PRO! BBS EXPRESS-NET (7-bit text only, control ATASCII graphics are

reserved for message data-structure bytes).

 

  o  FoReM XE Professional BBS / FoReM XEP BBS -- by Len Spencer

A re-write of FoReM XE BBS, last version was 5.4, Jan 5 1993.

FXEP requires an XL/XE computer with at least 128k of memory, the BASIC XE

cartridge from OSS/ICD, SpartaDOS 3.2 (this program will NOT work with any

other version), and at least 500K of storage.

 

FXEP is available at: http://www.lenardspencer.com/Lenspencer/fxep.htm

 

  o MBBBS (Message Base Bulletin Board System)

    -- early name for ATKeep, see above

 

  o  NITE-LITE BBS --  Paul Swanson's BBS with RAMdisk.

Paul Swanson was a programmer from the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, area.

 

"1983: Nite-Lite B.B.S. goes on the air. (Was it running A.M.I.S. ?) It is

called "Nite-Lite" because the computer monitor casts an eerie glow about the

room.  1984: Paul Swanson writes his own BBS hosting software for the ATARI

6502 8-bit computer.  He names it "Nite-Lite".  The Nite-Lite BBS hosting

software goes on to be the most successful commercial BBS software ever

written for the ATARI 6502 8-bit computer.  1989: Nite-Lite BBS puts in a

second line. (MichTron boards eventually take the place of all of the ATARI

Nite-Lite boards.)" - Winston Smith

 

This BBS was the first to support a RAMdisk, which Paul Swanson called a "V:"

device for "virtual disk".  This BBS was written in Atari BASIC and required a

joystick hardware "dongle" device.  This was notable as being one of the first

Atari 8-BIT BBSs that could actually go for a week without having to be

rebooted.  Pointers to the message base were kept in an Atari "very long

string" (for which Atari BASIC is famous).  The BBS would only have problems

(for the most part) if this string became corrupted.

 

  o  OASIS (the commercial version) / OASIS Jr. (the pd version)

The original OASIS BBS System was written by Rich Renner and Ralph Walden with

tech support and input from Leo Newman.  It was first published by OASIS BBS

Systems (Renner/Walden/Newman) in 1986, and distributed by Leo Newman.  Later,

the rights were transferred to Glenda Stocks/Z INNOVATORS, then later (1991)

to Jeff Williams ("Alf").

 

All machine language.  OASIS is very crash-resistant and comes with a "dial

out" screen so that the Sysop can use the BBS as a terminal program to call

and fetch files without having to bring the BBS down and reload a terminal

program.  OASIS supports "Door programs" which it refers to as "OASIS PAL

modules".  An excellent message system, and a complex file system.  It

consists of "file libraries" with suites of "file types".  There is quite a

bit of overhead involved in performing a download (which may be a good thing,

as it discourages file hogs).  OASIS IV performs networking.  SpartaDOS 3.2x

recommended, but any DOS supported.  R-Time 8 clock cartridge supported.

 

Glenda Stocks writes at http://world.std.com/~snet/glenda.htm :

I purchased the source code rights to OASIS and began marketing the BBS

software to Atari 8-bit enthusiasts around the world.  I felt that I had the

superior BBS software because I had programmed in the ability to run external

programs, including online games and user surveys.  I also had added color

prompts for IBM clone users who called Atari boards running my OASIS software.

Sometime in 1991...I sold the rights to OASIS to a man in Canada..

 

Jeff Williams ("Alf") writes: (12/6/02)

OASIS was around prior to either PRO or BBS Express IIRC. I don't know when

exactly it showed up, version 3.09 was the first one I remember seeing. What

made it nifty was it was very fast, being all assembler, and having some

different features that things like Forem & Carina didn't have. Compared to

something like Forem MPP at the time, it was kind of amazing.

 

Ralph Walden sold it to Glenda Stocks, who chopped it up into modules and sold

it as ver 4.7.  PRO was out by then, and was a much more complete offering

imo.  Glenda wrote some modules for 4.7, but it never really went anywhere

because the architecture was so cramped with her changes.

 

Eventually she gave up and sold me the source. I looked it over and realized

it was a mess and nothing was going to happen with it. I worked on a version 5

for a while, but never made much progress.

 

  o  SMART BBS --  by Marco Benton.

This program is written entirely in BASIC.  It expects to be running under a

SpartaDOS environment.  This BBS program uses a "modem clock string" rather

than an R-Time 8 cartridge in order to retrieve the current time.  It also

comes with an Atari BASIC game door called "Sabotage".

 

  o  TART-BOARD, by Bob Alleger

Early Atari BBS.

 

 

 

Subject: 10.3) How can I read/write 8-bit Atari disks on an MS-DOS PC?

 

There are several programs that allow an MS-DOS system to work with an

Atari-format 5.25" diskette.  Each of these work with the Atari SS/DD 180K

format, so you'll need an Atari DOS and disk drive capable of this format.

 

#1 Choice:

Atari-Link PC (AtariDsk) V1.2 (c) 95-12-09 by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl)

Ataridsk is a program for MSDOS-PCs that allows you to access Atari floppy

disks in double density (180k). All you need is a PC (XT or 286 should be

sufficient) and a 5.25" floppy drive. Features of this tool:

    * Menu driven user interface

    * read, write and format Atari disks on the PC

    * small size (only 35k)

http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/

 

Also by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl):

  WriteAtr V0.92b

  With WriteAtr you can write double density ATR-images to Atari floppy disks

  on your MSDOS-PC. You can also create ATR-images of double density floppy

  disks! All you need is a PC and a 5.25" and/or a 3.5" floppy drive.

  Version 0.92b added experimental support for the enhanced density (1040

  sectors/128 bytes per sector) format. Please note: this format doesn't work

  with a lot of floppy controllers - use it at your own risk!

  http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/

 

#2 Choice:

MyUTIL by Mark K Vallevand.  Based on Charles Marslett's UTIL.

  http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/myutil.zip

  Includes SpartaDOS disk utility v0.1e to access 180K SpartaDOS disks

 

Other similar utilities:

ATARIO by Dave Brandman w/ Kevin White - Reads SS/DD 180K Atari disks.

  www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Unverified/Diskutils-redist/atario21.arc

SpartaRead by Oscar Fowler - Reads SS/DD 180K SpartaDOS disks.

  http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/sr.arc

UTIL by Charles Marslett - Reads/Writes SS/DD 180K Atari disks.

  http://www.wordmark.org/

 

Here's some advice on using the above utilities from Hans Breitenlohner:

 

There are two technical obstacles to interchanging disks between

DD Atari drives and PC drives.

 

1. The Atari drive spins slightly slower (288 rpm instead of 300 rpm).

   If you format a disk on the Atari, then write sectors on the PC, it is

   possible that the header of the next physical sector will be overwritten,

   making that sector unreadable.  (The next physical sector is usually

   the current logical sector+2).  The solution to this is to format all

   disks on the PC.

       (Aside:  Does anybody know how this problem is handled on the

        XF551?  Is it also slowed down?)

     Konrad Kokoszkiewicz answers:

     "The XF551 disk drive is not slowed down - these drives are spinning

     300 rotations per minute. To prevent troubles with read/write disks

     formatted and written on normal Atari drives (288 rot/min), the main

     crystal frequency for the floppy disk controller is 8.333 MHz

     (not 8 MHz, as in 1050, for example)."

 

2. If the PC drive is a 1.2M drive there is the additional problem of the

   track width.

   The following is generally true in the PC world:

    - disks written on 360k drives can be read on either drive

    - blank disk formatted and written on 1.2M drives can be read on

      either kind

    - disks written on a 360k drive, and overwritten on a 1.2M drive,

      can be read reliably only on a 1.2M drive.

    - disks previously formatted on a 360k drive, or formatted as 1.2MB,

      and then reformatted on a 1.2M drive to 360k, can be read reliably

      only on a 1.2M drive.

    (all this assumes you are using DD media, not HD).

 

   Solution: Use a 360k drive if you can.  If not, format disks on the

   Atari for Atari to PC transfers, format truly blank disks on the PC

   for PC to Atari transfers.

 

Jon D. Melbo sums it up this way:

   So a basic rule of thumb when sharing 360KB floppies among 360KB &

   1.2MB drives is: Never do any writes with a 1.2MB drive to a disk that

   has been previously written to in a 360KB drive....UNLESS... you only

   plan on ever using that disk in the 1.2Mb drive from then on out. Of

   course a disk can be reformatted in a particular drive any time for use

   in that drive.   As long as you follow that rule, you can utilize the

   backwards compatible 360KB modes that most 1.2MB drives offer.

 

While the above mentioned utilities work with SS/DD 180K Atari-format disks or

SS/DD 180K SpartaDOS disks, the following combination of utilities has been

used successfully to read SS/SD 90K Atari-format disks.  So if you only have

standard Atari 810 and/or Atari 1050 drives, you could look into:

 

AnaDisk -- now a product of New Technoligies Inc. (NTI)

See: http://www.forensics-intl.com/anadisk.html

The current version is "not made available to the general public" (!)

Previously a product of Chuck Guzis @ Sydex, http://www.sydex.com/

Older versions available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/

- Reads/Writes "any" 5.25" diskette

 

DeAna by Nate Monson

Available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/

- converts AnaDisk dump files from Atari format

 

See http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ for tips on using this

combination of utilities.

 

Preston Crow writes:

  "As best as I can figure it out, if your PC drive happens to read

  FM disks (I'm not sure what the criteria for that is), then you

  can read single density disks on your PC by dumping the contents

  to a file with AnaDisk, and then using Deana.com to convert the

  dump file into a usable format.

 

  For enhanced density disks, Anadisk generally only reads the first

  portion of each sector, but it demonstrates that it is possible for

  a PC drive to read enhanced density disks."

 

 

 

Subject: 10.4) How can I read/write MS-DOS PC disks on my Atari?

 

Several 3rd-party hardware upgrades add the capability of working with

MS-DOS diskettes to your Atari system:

 

Happy 1050 upgrade for the Atari 1050

 -- read/write 180K 5.25" MS-DOS floppies

 

CSS XF Single Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551

 -- replace the 5.25" mechanism with a 3.5" mech.

 -- read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks

    see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFsingdrup.htm

 

CSS XF Dual Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551

 -- add 3.5" drive without losing the 5.25" drive

 -- read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks

    see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFdualdrup.htm

 

CSS Floppy Board, for the CSS Black Box

 -- adds support for PC 720K and 1.44MB 3.5" drives to your Atari system

 -- adds support for PC 1.2MB and 360K 5.25" drives to your Atari system

 -- read/write 5.25" and 3.5" MS-DOS disks in your PC drives with your Atari

    see: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/floppy.htm

 

 

 

Subject: 10.5) How do I transfer files using a null modem cable?

 

This section by Russ Gilbert.

 

Q:  How do I connect two computers using a null modem cable?

 

A:  You need a term program and RS-232 ports on both

    computers.  The RS-232 ports need to be connected

    together using a 'null modem cable'.

 

    For up to 4800 baud, no flow control lines need be

    connected.  Just cross the transmit and receive lines

    and join the grounds together.  Transmit is pin #2,

    receive is pin #3 and ground is pin #7 on the 25 pin

    port. 25 pin #2 goes to Atari #4 (XMT to RCV), 25 pin

    #3 goes to #3 on Atari (RCV to XMT) and #5 of 850 goes

    to #7 of 25 pin (GND to GND).

 

    The right hand pin on the 'long' side of a female 'D'

    connector is #1.  There are 13 holes on this 'long'

    side, 12 holes on the 'short' side.  The numbers go

    to the left 1 to 13 then #14 is under #1 and left again

    so that #25 is under #13.

 

    Most term programs allow a null connection, without a

    carrier detect.  Notably, '850 Express!' does not. I have

    only used 'Procomm 2.4.3' (the last shareware version of

    Procomm) on the PC and BobTerm on the Atari, but other

    term programs may work.

 

    To check your null modem connection, start both PC and

    Atari term programs, set baud to 2400 or 4800 on both

    computers. No parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit on the PC.

    Be sure to use the correct COM port on the PC.  Go to

    'terminal' mode and you should now be able to type on

    either computer and see it on the other screen. To

    accomplish a file transfer, use Y-modem probably from

    BobTerm, rather than X-modem. X-modem will often append

    bytes to a file transfer, an undesirable event. There is

    also a very nice Z-modem receive program for the Atari,

    called ATAR-Z-MODEM by Larry Black for the Atari.

 

    A convenient way to make a null modem cable, up to about

    30 feet long, is to use two female DB25 connectors

    (Radio Shack) some three or more conductor cable. Using

    the two DB25 female connectors allows unplugging your

    modems and plugging in the null modem cable into the two

    modem cables.  This also avoids the confusion of

    variations in the computer ports. Most computers connect

    into the modem end via a standard RS-232 DB25 connection.

    With this both ends 25 pin cable, you would cross pins 2

    and 3 and connect the #7s together to make a null modem

    cable.

 

    The SIO port on the Atari cannot be used directly. An

    850, P:R: Connection, MIO, Black Box or similar device

    that provides an RS-232 port must be used.

 

 

    Following are pin assignments for a DB25 pin RS-232-C

    port.

1.  Protective Ground        12.  Select Alternate Rate

2.  Transmit Data            15.  Transmit Clock (sync)

3.  Receive Data             17.  Receive clock (sync)

4.  RTS (Request to Send)    20.  Data Terminal Ready

5.  CTS (Clear to Send)      22.  Ring indicator

6.  Data Set Ready           23.  Select Alternate Rate

7.  Signal Ground            24.  Transmit Clock

8.  Carrier Detect

 

   For higher speed connections, above 4800 or 9600, you

   need the flow control lines and Atari term software that

   has flow control built in. You also need an MIO or Black

   Box, which uses the PBI (parallel bus). A high speed

   cable would need not only XMT, RCV, and GND, but also

   flow control lines.  I suggest a commercial null modem

   from computer store to ensure correct lines.  A null

   modem is a small adapter with the correct lines already

   crossed. I don't know how to correctly connect the CTS,

   RTS, DTR, DSR, CRX lines for a high speed null modem.

   With a null modem, you just plug it into the 25 pin

   connectors of the two modem cables you might already

   have connected to your Atari and PC or Mac. You may need

   a straight thru 25 pin gender changer also.

 

   Following is in this FAQ elsewhere, but I summarize here:

   (Figure out or look for pin numbers on the ports.) Note

   that these are pin assignments, and NOT null modem

   connections with the XMT, RCV crossed and GND straight

   thru.

 

   Atari 8-bit  PC AT 25   PC AT 9 pin

   -------------------------------------

    1. DTR          20          4*

    2. CRX           8          1*

    3. XMT           2          3

    4. RCV           3          2*

    5. GND           7          5

    6. DSR           6          6

    7. RTS           4          7

    8. CTS           5          8

    9. No connect?   shield     RI

                  22 RI

 

Note: * above indicates the difference between an AT 9 pin

and a Atari 8-bit 9 pin cable connector. eg. If you check

continuity from pin 3 of 25 pin end and it goes to pin

4 of nine pin end, you have an Atari serial cable. If pin

3 of 25 pin goes to pin 2 of 9 pin end, you have a PC

serial cable.

(updated 3/1/99)

    (DTE = Data Terminal Equipment, i.e., your computer.

     DCE = Data Communications Equipment, i.e., your modem.)

 

 

 

Subject: 10.6) How can my PC utilize my Atari disk drive?

 

==> 1050-2-PC, by Nick Kennedy

 

1050-2-PC is a device used to allow the PC to communicate directly with an

Atari disk drive.  It requires hardware which is very similar to the SIO2PC

but configured differently.  It allows direct sector I/O with the Atari drive

and can be used to create disk images which will emulate copy protection

schemes when run on SIO2PC.

 

More 1050-2-PC information: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/1050.txt

SIO2PC home page: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm

 

 

==> APE ProSystem, by Steve Tucker

 

The APE ProSystem goes beyond Steve Tucker's Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE).

The ProSystem has two components:

 

- The program PROSYS.EXE is used to create the protected and unprotected

disk images which are then used by APE.

 

- The ProSystem hardware is a cable designed to allow direct connection

of a stock 1050 disk drive directly to a PC's serial port for use by the

PROSYS.EXE software.

 

http://www.atarimax.com/

 

 

 

Subject: 10.7) What about interoperating with the Apple Macintosh?

 

Mark L. Simonson keeps a nice set of web pages which he calls "Mac/Atari

Fusion: Atari 8-bit Resources for Mac Users."  Please visit:

 

http://www2.bitstream.net/~marksim/atarimac/

 

Mark Grebe is the author of two modern solutions for Mac OS X,

Atari800MacX - Atari 8bit Computer Emulator

and Sio2OSX - Atari 8Bit Peripheral Emulator

http://www.atarimac.com/

 

 

 

Subject: 10.8) Are there 8-bit Atari tools for the Commodore Amiga?

 

'551conv', freeware by Achim Hartel:

Converts a real Atari-800-disk, .xfd-image or .atr-image into a real

Atari-800-disk, .xfd-image, .atr-image or extracts the files of the

disk (-image). All 4 formats of the XF551-station supported: Single,

Medium, Double, Quad. Version 1.03.

 

 

 

Subject: 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform?

 

Information presented here has been collected by MC from public sources, such

as magazine and newspaper articles, press releases, corporate annual reports,

and SEC filings.  I have no special access to inside information.

 

For a broader Atari history may I suggest: http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/

 

1973

With financial support from Atari, a group of engineers led by Larry Emmons

and Steve Mayer created the Cyan Engineering research and development group in

Grass Valley, CA.

 

1974

Winter: Atari started an exclusive relationship with Cyan Engineering, and the

facility became known as the "Grass Valley Think Tank."

 

1975

Summer: At Cyan Engineering, Ron Milner and Steve Mayer created the first

concept prototype of the home video game system that would become the Video

Computer System (VCS).  The hardware was built by Milner.

 

December: Joe Decuir was hired by Atari, initially to work with Ron Milner and

Steve Mayer at Cyan Engineering.  Decuir would help debug the existing concept

prototype of the VCS, and Decuir built the first gate-level prototype of the

VCS.

 

1976

March: As Atari VCS development continued, Joe Decuir moved to Los Gatos,

Calif. to apprentice for Jay Miner, who would become the lead chip designer

for the VCS.

 

The group who would turn out to be the key engineers of the Atari VCS had now

been assembled: Steve Mayer, Ron Milner, Joe Decuir, and Jay Miner.

Development work would continue into 1977.

 

Fall: Atari purchased Cyan Engineering outright, and the facility became more

formerly known as the Grass Valley Research Center.

 

1977

June: Atari introduced the Video Computer System (VCS) at the Summer CES in

Chicago.

 

Summer: Engineers Ron Milner, Steve Mayer, and Joe Decuir, veteran designers

of the VCS, began work on a next-generation home video game machine at Atari's

Grass Valley Research Center.  This project became known as "Oz" inside Atari.

 

1978

March: Manny Gerard at Warner Communications arranged for Raymond E. Kassar,

who had recently departed from his executive vice president position at fabric

maker Burlington Industries, to work with Atari as a consultant.

 

Gerard then had Kassar installed as president of Atari's Consumer Division.

 

Ray Kassar, directed that the video game technology already under development

as the "Oz" project would now form the basis for the development of a personal

computer system.  The newly-redefined project became known as "Colleen" inside

Atari.

 

The overall engineering plans for "Colleen" were conceived by:

Steve Mayer, Joe Decuir, and Jay Miner

 

The "Colleen" computer project evolved into two specific computer models:

 

  o "Colleen" - the full machine - would be released as the Atari 800.

  o "Candy" - a reduced-feature version - would be released as the Atari 400.

 

Fall: Atari pre-announced that the Atari computer would debut at the January

1979 CES.  [EVIDENCE NEEDED!]

 

September/October: Atari VCS game programmers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, and

Alan Miller were assigned to create an Operating System and BASIC for the

Atari computer, after Jay Miner, manager of both custom chip and OS software

development for the computer, had determined that both the existing work-in-

progress OS and the work-in-progress port of Microsoft BASIC could not meet

the January 1979 CES deadline.

 

October: Freeing Crane/Kaplan/Miller to focus on developing the core OS, Atari

contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI, headed by Bob Shepardson)

to create both a version of BASIC and a File Management System (FMS) for the

upcoming Atari personal computers.  The contract called for delivery by

April 6, 1979.  Atari planned to take an early, 8K Microsoft BASIC to the

CES (in Las Vegas) in January, 1979, and then switch BASICs later.

 

November: At the Warner Communications annual budget meeting in New York,

Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell warned against launching an Atari computer

division unless Warner was prepared to absorb extensive short-term financial

losses in establishing the new product line.  Bushnell also predicted that a

properly-funded Atari computer line would ultimately be profitable.

 

December: Manny Gerard at Warner Communications appointed Ray Kassar President

and CEO of Atari, and Joe Keenan replaced company founder Nolan Bushnell as

Chairman.

 

December 21: SMI delivered working versions of a BASIC and a FMS to Atari,

nearly four months early.

 

December 28: Actual date of Atari purchase order with SMI for a BASIC and a

FMS.  (They had already been delivered the week before.)

 

1979

January: Atari introduced the Atari 800 and Atari 400 Personal Computer

Systems at the Winter CES in Las Vegas.  The 800 would ship with 8K RAM (user-

expandable in 8K or 16K increments to 48K) and retail for US$1,000; the 400

would come standard with 8K RAM and retail for US$500.  The computers were

scheduled to ship in limited quantities in August 1979, with full availability

later in the fall.  Also introduced: the 410 program recorder, 810 disk drive,

and 820 printer.  Software introduced: Atari BASIC.  Coverage of the

introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine:

http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/

 

January: Atari ran an advertisement for the 400/800 on pp. 54-55 of

Merchandising, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1979.  See:

http://mcurrent.name/atariads/gallery.htm for these and other early Atari

computer print ads from 1979-1981.

 

April: Crane/Kaplan/Miller finished their work on the Operating System for

the Atari 400/800 computers.

 

May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari again

showed the Atari 400/800 computer systems, which were expected to ship within

months.

 

June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari again showed the Atari 400/800

computers, which were expected to ship within weeks.  The retail price for the

400 system would be US$550 (up from US$500).  Also introduced: the Atari

Talk & Teach Educational System, including the Master Cartridge and 17

cassette packs in the Cassette Courseware series (4 tapes per pack; 4 lessons

per tape; developed by Dorsett Educational Systems for Atari).  More software

titles introduced: Basketball, Super Breakout, Computer Chess.

Peter N. Rosenthal was Director of Marketing, Personal Computer Systems.

 

Summer: Atari received FCC approval for the 400/800 computers.

 

August:

  "The first official small shipment of the 400/800 was on August 29th 1979.

  These were hand-built pilot run units to Sears that needed to be in stock by

  Sept. 1 so they could be placed in the big fall catalog.  The units were

  placed in the Sears warehouse and then immediately returned to Atari after

  the "in stock" requirement had been met."  --Jerry Jessop

 

September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of

home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the

fall.  The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break

in October in 12 national publications.  TV commercials will also be aired in

Los Angeles in November and December."

 

October: "Atari's production lines were stalled for about a week in October

due to yield problems at one of its chip suppliers, Synertek.  The low yields

at the semiconductor manufacturer resulted in significantly reduced delivery

of the MPU to Atari, resulting in about a 3-week delay in getting the

computers into the marketplace."  Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83.

 

November:

  "The first "real" consumer units were shipped in Nov. of '79 and were 400s

  to Sears followed very shortly by 800s."  --Jerry Jessop

 

November: Michael J. Moone became president of the Consumer Division at Atari

(home video games and computers).

 

November/December: The initial Atari 400 personal computer package consisted

of the 400 computer (8K RAM), 400 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch

box, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide

(book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder.  Package

retail: US$549.99.

 

November/December: The initial Atari 800 personal computer package consisted

of the 800 computer with 8K RAM module, 800 Operator's Manual, power supply,

TV switch box, 410 program recorder, CXL4001 Educational System Master

Cartridge, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), CX-4101 An Invitation to

Programming 1: Fundamentals of Programming (cassette), Atari BASIC: A Self-

Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder.

Package retail: US$999.99.

 

November/December: In addition to the $549.99 Atari 400 package, the Sears

catalog also listed the 410 program recorder for $85.00, the Educational

System Master Cartridge for $34.99, Basketball, Super Breakout, and Life

(released as Video Easel) for $49.99 each, Music Composer for $69.99,

Joystick pair for $19.99, Paddles pair for $19.99, and these 9 cassette titles

for use with the Educational System Master Cartridge for $39.99 each:

Basic Sociology, Basic Psychology, Spelling, History of Western World,

Great Classics of Eng Lit, Principles of Economics, U.S. History,

Principles of Accounting, Business Communications

 

December: "Atari is funneling large quantities of its 400 and 800 personal

computers and software to Sears, Roebuck, while retail computer stores have

been faced with late hardware deliveries and received very little, if any,

software.  Sears is offering the Atari 400, priced at $549.99, through its

catalog, and is spot-marketing the machine in its retail stores throughout

California and the Chicago area.  In addition, the firm is selling the Atari

800, priced at $999.99, in its California stores, but not through the catalog,

a Sears spokesman said."  Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83.

 

1980

January: Atari introduced the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface at

the Winter CES in Las Vegas.  Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages

increased to US$630 and US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000).  Software

titles introduced: Assembler Editor, Video Easel, Music Composer,

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders, TeleLink 1

 

Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive and the 820 printer (US$449.95).

 

March: Atari shipped Star Raiders.

 

June 15: Atari introduced the 815 dual disk drive, 822 printer, and CX70 light

pen at the Summer CES in Chicago.  Also introduced: the Atari Accountant

series of software programs (developed by Arthur Young & Co. for Atari):

General Accounting System, Accounts Receivable System, Inventory Control

Program.

 

Summer: Atari modified the 800 computer package.  The computer would now ship

with 16K RAM (up from 8K); the 410 program recorder and Educational System

Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the Atari BASIC Reference

Manual was added to the package.  The retail price remained US$1,080.

 

Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the 825 printer (US$999.95), 830 modem, and

850 interface (US$219.95).

 

Fall?: The Atari 800 arrived in the UK: 649 pounds for the 800 with 16K RAM,

39 pounds for Atari BASIC, 69 pounds for a 16K RAM module for the 800.

(Atari User May 1988)

 

October 21: Roger H. Badertscher was named president of the newly established

Computer Division at Atari.  He was previously vice president and general

manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics

semiconductor manufacturer.

 

October: Visicorp introduced the Atari version of VisiCalc.

 

By the end of 1980, Atari had sold 35,000 computers.

 

1981

January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the list

price for the 400 computer package with 8K RAM installed was reduced to

US$499.95 (previously: US$630), and that the list price for the 16K RAM

version of the 400 package would be US$630.  Also introduced: Asteroids,

Astrology (ultimately released via APX), Atari Word Processor,

An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3,

Missile Command, Personal Financial Management System,

Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), PILOT,

SCRAM (A Nuclear Reactor Simulation)

 

Winter: Atari shipped the 822 printer.

 

Winter: The development rights to Atari BASIC, the Atari FMS (DOS) and the

Atari Assembler/Editor program were purchased from SMI by Bill Wilkinson for

his new company, Optimized Systems Software (OSS).

 

Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by

the Atari Computer Division in support of the 400/800.

 

April 3-5: Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) staff attended the 6th

West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, offering a grand prize of

US$25,000 in cash and US$75,000 in Atari products to runners-up for Atari

computer software authors.  In order to qualify for the awards, programs would

have to be accepted and sold through the soon-to-be-launched Atari Program

Exchange.

 

May 5: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that

the 8K Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16K version

was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the 400 would no longer be

sold with the Atari BASIC cartridge and the Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide

book.  Other price reductions: CX852 8K RAM module now US$49.95 (was

US$124.95), CX853 16K RAM module now US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now

US$299.95 (was US$449.95).  Also introduced: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator,

Atari Microsoft BASIC, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor.

 

May: Atari launched the Atari Program Exchange (APX), a user-written software

distribution unit within the Atari Computer Division.  The APX concept had

been the brain-child of Dale Yocam, and APX was guided by Fred Thorlin since

its inception in February 1981.  See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/

 

Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research,

which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash

stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit

institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses

for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home.  Founded and

directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D.  More than US$250,000 would be awarded in

the program's first year.

 

August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification,

Revision 1" reflecting Operating System work for the SWEET16 project to create

a new series of computers to replace the 400/800.  See:

http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html

 

September: Ingersoll Electronics was the exclusive sales distributor for

Atari 400 and 800 computers in the UK.

 

Fall: Atari began shipping the 810 disk drive with DOS 2.0S (replacing

the original Atari DOS).  Developed by SMI/OSS for Atari.

 

October: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with ROM C, supporting a more

efficient "C" sector layout (about 20% faster than the original "B" layout),

and the Data Separator Board, improving reliability.

 

Fall: Atari shipped the book, De Re Atari.

 

November: Atari 400/800's began shipping with the new GTIA chip in place of

CTIA, increasing the palette of simultaneously displayable colors to 256 and

adding 3 new graphics modes.  400/800's also began shipping with OS ROM

version B, improving peripheral I/O control routines.

 

December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home

computer (with 16K RAM) to US$899 from US$1,080.

 

1982

January 5: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Pac-Man ($44.95),

Centipede ($44.95), Caverns of Mars ($39.95), The Bookkeeper, and The Home

Filing Manager.  Greg Christensen's Caverns of Mars would be the first APX

title to be transferred into Atari's standard product line.  Previewed at the

show: the Atari Video System X (would ship as the 5200).

 

January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog

of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors.

 

January 16: At San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli

Square, Atari awarded the first annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to

Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet.  My First Alphabet

would ultimately be transferred into Atari's standard product line.

 

Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection

magazine.

 

June 8: Atari announced the 5200 Home Entertainment System.  Later dubbed the

SuperSystem, the cartridge-based 5200 would be marketed alongside the ultra-

popular Atari VCS (soon to be known as the 2600).  While the 5200 required

unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware and operating

system were nearly identical to that of the 400/800 computers.  Suggested

retail price: US$299.95.

 

June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari announced Atari Speed Reading

(US$74.95), Music Tutor (title never shipped. MC's speculation: this would

have been an Atari-branded re-release of the APX title, Musical Computer-The

Music Tutor), Juggles' House, Juggles' Rainbow, TeleLink II (US$79.95), and

the Communicator II kit (new 835 modem + Telelink II) (US$279.95).  Atari also

announced the new retail price for the 400 computer was US$349 (previously,

US$399). (CC Oct82 p180)  Keith Schaefer was vice-president of sales for

Atari's Home Computer division.

 

June: Roger Badertscher resigned from his position as president of Atari's

Home Computer Division.

 

Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held in 3 locations: The

University of San Diego (CA), The Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and East

Stroudsburg State College (PA).  (Camp was cancelled at the fourth announced

site of Lakeland College (Sheboygan, WI).)  The camps were managed for Atari

by Specialty Camps, Inc.  Curriculum developed by Robert A. Kahn at Atari.

Program overseen by Linda Gordon, Atari vice president for special projects.

 

August 24: John C. Cavalier was named president of Atari's Home Computer

Division.  His most recent job was vice president and general manager of

American Can Company's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper

products.

 

September: Steve Mayer resigned as senior vice president of engineering at

Atari to form, and serve as chairman and CEO of, WCI Labs, Inc.  The location

was previously known as the Atari NY Lab.  Like Atari, WCI Labs would be a

wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Communications.  With Gregg Squires as

project manager, WCI Labs would be responsible for the hardware engineering

for the Sweet-16 ("Elizabeth" or "Liz") computer project, which would lead to

the release of the 1200XL.

 

September 29: Date of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16 Product

Specification".  As of this document, the Sweet-16 project had evolved into

two specific computer model designs, a 16K RAM version tentatively named

"1200" and a 64K RAM version tentatively named "1200X" (earlier: a 16K "600"

and a 64K "1200"), with both models now sharing the same case design.

However, also as of this document, plans called for manufacture of only the

64K version.  The project would soon lead to the release of the 1200XL.

http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html

 

October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem.

 

Fall: The suggested retail price for the Atari 800 was US$679 with 48K RAM

standard (previously: US$899/16K).  The Atari 400 retail price was US$299

(previously, $349).

 

December: Atari shipped Galaxian, Defender, and Visicalc in time for the

holiday shopping season.

 

December 13: Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer at a press conference

at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  "We believe that the Atari 1200XL will

set the standard for a new generation in home computing and, once again,

positions Atari on the leading edge of electronic technology and creative

computing," Atari chairman Ray Kassar said.  The list price for the 1200XL

would be "well under $1,000."  The 1200XL was the first computer resulting

from the Sweet-16/"Elizabeth"/"Liz" project inside Atari.  Peripherals

introduced: the 1010 program recorder (US$99), 1020 printer/plotter (US$299),

and 1025 printer (US$549).

 

Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The

Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17

percent of all home computer sales.

 

1983

January: The retail price for the Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari

BASIC) was reduced from US$679 to US$499.  The retail price for the Atari 400

was reduced from US$299 to US$199.

 

Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Atari Input/Output, the

magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (operated by Atari in the UK).

 

January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari showed the 1200XL, 1010,

1020, and 1025, introduced Qix, E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong,

Family Finances, Timewise, and AtariWriter, and also announced the upcoming

Disney Educational Series.  The CX22 Trak-Ball was introduced, marketed for

the 2600 but compatible with the computers.  The retail price for the 1200XL

was announced to be US$899.

 

January 15: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the second

annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title,

Typo Attack.

 

Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge.  AtariWriter was programmed

by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for

DataSoft, for product manager Gary Furr at Atari.

 

Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced

assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both

entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live

host to explore the role of computers in society.  (MC's note: I remember that

this came to my school!)

 

March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899.

 

March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco,

Atari announced the 1050 disk drive, and introduced Atari Logo (developed by

Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) for Atari).

 

April: Atari announced that Michael Moone would no longer serve as president

of the Consumer Electronics Division, as the division would be consolidated

with the Home Computer Division.

 

April/May: Production of the 1200XL shifted from the USA to Taiwan.

 

May: Production of Atari 400/800 computers and 810 disk drives ended.

 

May: The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$199 to US$100.

 

June 1: Atari consolidated the businesses of the Home Computer Division with

the Consumer Electronics (home video games) Division.  There would now be

three Divisions for both home computers and home video games:

  - Atari Products Company (development & marketing, John Cavalier, president)

  - Atari Sales and Distribution Company (Donald Kingsborough, president)

  - Atari Manufacturing Company (Paul Malloy, president)

 

June: Atari introduced the 600XL and 800XL home computers at the Summer CES in

Chicago.  The 400/800/1200XL would be discontinued.  (The 1400XL and 1450XLD

computers were also introduced, but these never made it into production.)

Peripherals introduced: the 1027 printer, 1030 modem, Light Pen +

AtariGraphics, Touch Tablet + AtariArtist, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks,

CX80 Trak-Ball, AtariLab Starter Set With Temperature Module, AtariLab Light

Module (AtariLab developed by Dickinson College).  Software introduced by

Atari: DOS 3, Microsoft BASIC II, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong

Junior, Pengo, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Football, Tennis, Paint, AtariMusic I,

AtariMusic II, Mickey in the Great Outdoors, Battlezone. (Also shown but never

shipped: the 1060 CP/M Add-On Module, the 1090 XL Expansion System, Tempest,

Soccer, Peter Pan's Daring Journey, The Mysteries of Wonderland, and the

AtariLab Modules: Timekeeper, Lie Detector, Reaction time, Heartbeat,

Biofeedback, Mechanics)

 

The 600XL had been known as "Surely" and the 800XL had been known as

"Surely Plus" inside Atari.

 

June 11-Sept 10: Atari co-sponsored the Punta Cana Club Med/Atari Computer

vacation getaway on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic.

 

June: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended.

 

Summer: Atari Computer Camps expanded to seven sites nationwide (U.S.):

Greenfield MA, Faribault MN, East Stroudsburg PA, Asheville NC, Glencoe MD,

Danville CA, and San Diego CA.  It was the second and final year of the

program.

 

Summer: Atari released the Atari 400 Home Computer 48K RAM Expansion Kit,

compatible with both the 8K and 16K versions of the 400.

 

July 7: Warner Communications announced that Atari chairman Ray Kassar had

resigned, to be replaced by James J. Morgan.  Morgan was previously executive

vice president of Philip Morris USA, handling the company's US$4.3 billion

cigarette operations.  Until Morgan's arrival, Emanuel Gerard would serve as

interim chairman and CEO.

 

August: Atari Chairman-to-be James Morgan instituted another major management

reorganization at Atari.  Atari Sales and Distribution Company and Atari

Manufacturing Company were both dissolved, their functions to be merged into

the Atari Products Company division (home computers and home video game

systems), with 5 divisions of its own:

  - Atari Products Company (no division head)

  - - Management (marketing) (John Cavalier, president)

  - - Sales (Donald Kingsborough, president)

  - - Manufacturing (Paul Malloy, president)

  - - Engineering (John Farrand, president)

  - - International (Anton Bruehl, president)

The presidents of all Atari Products Co. divisions would report directly to

Morgan.

 

Sept83-June84: The "Catch On to Computers" program, a joint effort between

Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, offered Atari computers, equipment, and

educational software to schools for collecting Post cereal proof-of-purchase

points over the 1983-1984 school year.

 

September: Ted Kahn stepped down as executive director of the Atari Institute

for Educational Action Research.  More than US$1 million worth of computers,

software, and cash stipends had been awarded to over 100 nonprofit

organizations since the program's founding in 1981.

 

September: The Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) would now retail

for US$165 while supplies lasted.

 

Fall: Atari begin shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 3 (replacing DOS

2.0S).

 

Fall: The Atari 600XL/800XL both shipped, retail price US$199/$299.

 

Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II package, containing the 835 modem.

 

October 7: John Cavalier departed from his position as president of the

Management (marketing) division of the Atari Products Company.

 

October: Atari launched Atari Learning Systems, a new division dedicated to

product development, sales, and support for K-12 educators in the U.S.

Directed by Linda Gordon.

 

October: Atari France launched the "L'Atarien" magazine, issue 0 (pilot ?),

the "magazine of the Atari Club".  In its first issues, the magazine was

mostly centered on the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers, but the focus quickly

shifted to the XL computers in the next issues.  Officially the magazine was

issued by "Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France" on behalf of "PECF Atari France"

(Issue #0, Page 3).  "PECF" was the nickname of the company "Productions et

Editions Cinematographiques Francaises", a company 100% owned by Warner

Communications.

 

October-December: "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy training programs

for children, adults, and teachers, sponsored by Atari and General Mills' Post

Cereals, ran in 10 cities across the U.S.

 

November: Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong, it

would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL/

800XL.  Atari also said that the 1400XL and 1450XLD would not ship until 1984.

 

November: Atari opened the Atari Adventure center in St. Louis, MO.  The

concept combined a traditional video game arcade with a hands-on public

computer classroom/lab featuring Atari XL computers, along with a new

technology display area.

 

"Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year"

  - Time magazine, July 16, 1984

 

1984

January 1: Atari increased U.S. dealer prices for the Atari 600XL and 800XL

by US$40 each, to US$180 and US$280, respectively.

 

January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced: the 1064 Memory

Module (for the 600XL), The Atari Translator, Typo Attack, Moon Patrol,

Jungle Hunt, Millipede, Sky Writer, SynFile+, SynCalc, SynTrend, The Legacy

(shipped as Final Legacy), Player Maker, Screen Maker.  (Atari confirmed that

the unshipped 1400XL computer was canceled.  Atari CEO James Morgan said the

unshipped Atari 1450XLD was "exhibited only as a demonstration of the

company's intent to market a high-end computer in 1984, although the specifics

of such a product are currently under review." --Creative Computing May 1984.

Software introduced by Atari but never shipped: Atari Pascal 2.0,

Atari Super PILOT, Captain Hook's Revenge, Berserk, Pop'R Spell, Mario Bros.

(a completely rewritten Mario Bros. was ultimately released in 1989))

 

January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third

annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title,

Getaway!.

 

January 23: Atari chairman and CEO James Morgan announced another management

reorganization at Atari.  John Farrand was promoted to president of Atari, and

would also now serve as president and COO of the Atari Products Company

(home computers, home video games, and now coin-operated arcade games).

 

February: Atari 5200 production ended.

 

March: Fred Thorlin, director of APX since 1982, left Atari.

 

Spring: Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Atari Input/Output, the

magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari UK).

 

April: Atari shut down the APX operation.  Software rights were returned to

the original authors.

 

May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari and Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer

and Rescue on Fractalus!, developed by Lucasfilm, to be shipped by Atari on

cartridge for the 400/800 computers and the 5200 SuperSystem.  (The Atari

computer versions were finally shipped on disk by Epyx (USA) and Activision

(UK) in 1985.  The 5200 versions were finally released by Atari Corp. in

1986.)

 

May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production.  More than

1 million 5200's had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3)

 

June 3: Atari motto at the Summer CES in Chicago: "June 3, 1984--The Day The

Future Began." (The previously announced then cancelled 1450XLD, or some new

model similar to it, was now to ship in time for Christmas 1984.  The 1090 XL

Expansion System was shown again, and Atari also offered specs for a new high-

end computer under development.  None of these shipped.)  Atari introduced:

Proofreader (for AtariWriter), Track and Field, Crystal Castles.  Atari also

introduced The Last Starfighter, which was ultimately re-worked and shipped as

Star Raiders II in 1986.  (Also introduced by Atari but never shipped:

MindLink hardware device, Jr. Pac-Man, Peek-A-Boo, Hobgoblin, This Is Ground

Control, Through the Starbridge, Find It!, Elevator Action, Yaacov Agam's

Interactive Painting, The ABC of CPR: First Aid, Wheeler-Dealer, Simulated

Computer, Telly Turtle, Word Tutor, Letter Tutor, Gremlins, Pole Position II)

 

June: Atari France announced the SECAM model of the 800XL.  (The SECAM 600XL

was also announced, but this never made it into production.)  List prices:

600XL PAL: 2200 FRF ; 600XL SECAM: 2500 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 3200 FRF ;

800XL SECAM: 3500 FRF ; 1010: 890 FRF ; 1050: 3690 FRF ; 1020: 2590 FRF;

1027: 3490 FRF ; Atari Touch Tablet: 890 FRF

 

July 1: Agreed on this date, effective June 30, the assets of the Atari home

computer and home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to

Tramel Technology Ltd., which had been formed on May 17, 1984 by its chairman

and CEO Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL), the founder and former president

of Commodore International.  The transaction included exclusive use of the

"Atari" name and "Fuji" logo in the home computer and home video game markets,

along with the intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, and

copyrights) owned by Atari in conjunction with its home computer and home

video game businesses.  The home computer and home video game rights to Atari

coin-operated arcade games developed to date were included as well.

 

Tramel Technology adopted the new name, Atari Corporation.  Jack Tramiel would

continue as chairman and CEO, and (son) Sam Tramiel would serve as president.

 

Summer: The new Atari Corp. halted all manufacturing, and dismissed most of

its inherited Silicon Valley workforce, roughly 1,000 people.

 

Upon a review of the existing product lines and inventories, it was

determined to resume production of the 800XL computer and the 2600 VCS.

The 600XL was discontinued, and further work on prototype new XL computer

models was halted.  There would be no new game releases for the already-

discontinued 5200.  (Atari would go on to release three 5200 titles in 1986).

An unannounced new cost-reduced design for the 2600 was also shelved.

(This "2600jr" would finally be released in 1986.)

Atari Connection magazine was shut down.

 

July 13: Warner Communications announced the sale of 78% of its WCI Labs

subsidiary (internal co-developer of the Atari XL computers) to WCI Labs'

management.  As a result of the transaction, which was made effective

retroactive to June 1, 1984, a new privately held company, the Take One

Company, was formed, with Steven T. Mayer as chairman and chief executive.

Warner Communications initially retained 22% ownership of Take One.

 

August: Atari engineers completed the prototype "800XLF" motherboard design,

to be used in new-production 800XL computers.  The new 800XL machines would

include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at

Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance

video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced

by Atari, Inc.).  The new 800XL machines would be produced in PAL and (for

the first time, France-specific) SECAM versions, but not the NTSC version due

to ample existing supply of NTSC 800XL machines.

 

August: Atari reduced the retail price for the 800XL from US$250 to US$179.

 

November 13: Atari held a press conference at company headquarters in

Sunnyvale, CA in which they outlined their basic marketing strategy for 1985.

The U.S. price for the 800XL was reduced from US$179 to US$119.

 

December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent

reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West

Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy.  Atari estimated the company's

share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983.

In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds.

 

December: Atari France announced the new prices of the XL computers range:

600XL PAL: 1599 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 2199 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 2499 FRF;

1010: 449 FRF ; 1050: 2699 FRF ; 1020: 899 FRF ; 1027: 3399 FRF;

Atari Touch Tablet: 649 FRF

 

December: Atari France resumed L'Atarien magazine with issue #5.  (It had been

on hold since issue #4, June 1984.)

 

December: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design,

to be used in the forthcoming 65XE computer.

 

"The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund

Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33.

 

"By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units

since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of

Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985