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 Post subject: New and confused
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:04 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 4
Well, I'm missing my younger days and am wanting to get back into Atari 8-bit computing. Over the years I've picked up a decent assortment of the computers, but the disk drives are another story, and I'm not really sure I want to go back to them anyway.

My problem is that there appears to be *so many* options available here, and I'm wondering what folks here would recommend to somebody who has been out of the loop for 15+ years. Also what type of labor outlay is involved specifically in the loading of games onto the drives. (with clear instructions soldering will not be my issue)

I'm really liking the look of the internal MyIDE. What problems am I going to encounter? Will I be using ATR images, or how will I do this?

Also if anybody has a link to modifying these computers to output composite, I'm pretty interested in that, and any other hardware modifications documented for 800xl or xegs.

edit: as I wade through stickies, my questions are steadily answering themselves, but wow, there are a lot of applications I've got to sort through. There's going to be a bit of a learning curve to this.


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 Post subject: Re: New and confused
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:33 pm
Posts: 43
Location: danville, nh
Reaperman wrote:
My problem is that there appears to be *so many* options available here, and I'm wondering what folks here would recommend to somebody who has been out of the loop for 15+ years. Also what type of labor outlay is involved specifically in the loading of games onto the drives. (with clear instructions soldering will not be my issue)

Nice problem, isn't it? I think the answer will depend on what you want to do with your Atari, how much money you want to spend, and if you want to crack the case or use a soldering iron. It sounds like you are open to soldering and case cracking, so you should follow up with information about your budget and the types of games/programs you want to run. It would also help to know how you feel about having your Atari tethered to a PC.

I have a lot of Atari computers, so I was looking for a portable solution. I went with SIO2PC-USB + flash carts. I use SIO2PC to program the carts and to play games directly from a tethered PC. I also have a fleet of 1050s, so playing a game off floppy or saving one to floppy is not an issue.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:14 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:28 am
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it is indeed a nice problem to have. Once I get ahead of the learning curve on all these applications and operating systems(?) I'll feel a lot better.

For budget, I don't think money will be a big issue. I think I'd like to keep it under or around 100usd, not counting CF cards, and atari hardware. I should have enough of those. My wife is very understanding, and my normally high gaming expenses have dropped considerably this generation.

I think that I am opposed to tethering one of my ataris to a PC on a regular basis, and right now I'm looking more at the ease of the smaller cart slot solutions versus the massive storage of the MyIDE (especially the internal). And if MyIDE turns out to be fairly simple to use, I'd really like to go that way.

Of course with the downloads around the forum, the instant action of the smaller plug-and-play cart images does also make a very good point.
How is compatibility on those two storage systems?

And as far as what type of games/applications I want to run, I'm looking for a simple graphical program loader of some kind, and from what I gather, mypicodos is one. No doubt I've forgotten how to use the older operating systems anyhow. As for game types, I'm thinking disk images--or maybe I'm answering that question wrong.

As near as I can figure, the softwares used are some kind of card/program manager on PC, firmware in the device, the atari operating system, and then whatever atari software formats are supported after loading with the first program. What all is compatible with eachother is still a little hazy.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 8:15 am
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Location: netherlands
Good question, difficult answer.....

I use SIO2PC beside MyIDE (internal). I hooked a small P90 laptop
to my Atari as 'disk-drive'. The laptop is on my wireless network for
easy transfering ATR's or files to it.

At first SIO2PC was enough, then I made the MyIDE interface and
wrote the OS around it. For optimal compatibility, you need the
internal MyIDE with OS onboard. Atarimax just started a new
line of interfaces with flash option to up (or down) grade.

To upload ATR's to my CF or Atari-3.5"-drive I use Mathias his PC-tool.
For CF a card-reader, for real drives a cheap USB-to-IDE cable.

But then, you need to play with it to understand how it works.
Can't tell it on this single tread.....

Cheers,
Sijmen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 4
It does seem awfully complex.

What I had in mind was cutting a slot in my atari and use an internal MyIDE with a CF adapter. When I need new software, I should just be able to remove the card and put it into old PC CF reader and use some kind of PC tool to load the card, correct? It seems clean and easy.

You're right, I should probably just pick a direction and see how far I can go with it--in that case MyIDE seems to be where I need to start, no matter which way I go later. I think I'll see about preordering it.

looking at this thread, do I need to replace my atari bios, or has that process become obsolete?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:33 pm
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Location: danville, nh
Reaperman wrote:
It does seem awfully complex.

All of these options are a little complex. Geez, you're trying to interface a 30 yr old computer with modern hardware. But these guys have made everything a lot simpler than it sounds. Once you dig in, with the help of the people who post here, you will enjoy a high level of success and satisfaction -- I promise.

The simplest place to start is with a preprogrammed flashcart. If you ask nice, Steven may be willing to drop an image on a flash cart for you -- take a look at the images on the image forum. I recommend mine ;)

If that's not possible, you can buy preloaded flashcarts here.

With a minimal investment, you can see if flashcarts work for you. If they do, we can talk about building your own. It's not hard -- I figured it out. If this seems limited (you can't save games to a flashcart for the most part and some games just don't work), you can move on to something more involved -- the flashcart will still work fine.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:27 pm 
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Personally I would say start with SIO2PC (USB or Serial), then once you have the hang of loading programs, dealing with disk images, etc, move up to a MyIDE, Flash Carts, or other mass storage system.

I say start with SIO2PC also because to load the MyIDE or Flash Carts, you will need a good mastery of SIO2PC to transfer over your files/images, so starting off with SIO2PC only will help ease the learning curve a bit.

Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:37 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Arizona USA
Hi,
Some Atari Mod's here. http://www.fonck.nl/atari/
8)

Quote:
Also if anybody has a link to modifying these computers to output composite, I'm pretty interested in that, and any other hardware modifications documented for 800xl or xegs.


I have done several of these and the output composite Mod is fun to do. Gives a very decent picture also. :D



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