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Blogs

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  • The Atari Strikes Back
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  • Robert Hurst
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  • This Is Reality Control
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  • Animan's Blog Of Unusual Objectionalities
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  • Devbinks' Blog
  • ATASCI's Blog
  • Zach's Projects
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  • ATASCI's Blog
  • BuzzTron-451's Blog
  • The 7800 blog
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  • The Occasional Coder
  • 4Ks' Blog
  • Joystick Lunatic Software on AtariAge
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  • Zander's Blog
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  • Zsuttle's gaming adventures
  • The randomness that is Mr. 8-bit/16-bit.
  • junkmail's RDE&P Blog
  • Doctor Clu's Space Shows
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  • Lynxman's FlashCard Blog
  • TWO PRINTERS ONE ADAM
  • ubikuberalles' Blog
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  • Atari Jaguar Game Mascots
  • Worm Development Blog
  • The Wreckening
  • Learning fbForth 2.0
  • Eight Bit's Blog
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  • The Atari Jaguar Game by Game Podcast
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  • Atarian Video Game Reviews
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  • The World is Flat?
  • Robert @ AtariAge
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  • Song I Wake Up To
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  • Deep into the Mind Game
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  • Important people who shaped the TI 99/4A World
  • Bob's Blog
  • That's what she said.
  • My blog of stuff and things
  • Rockin' Kat's Blog
  • Hitachi's Blog
  • David Vella's Blog
  • Push Me, Pullman
  • The (hopefully) weekly rant
  • Osgeld's Blog
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  • Goochman's Marketplace Blog
  • CyranoJ's ST Ports
  • dgob123's INTV Blog
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  • Random Terrain's Tetraternarium
  • Masquane's AtariAge Blog
  • Star_Wars_Collector
  • Odyssey Development Corner
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  • Excali-blog
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  • Game Maker to Game Dev
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  • liquidcross.com - blog
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  • MayDay Today
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  • Great Exploitations
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  • Random Acts of Randomness
  • Atari 2600 for sale with 7 games 2 controllers
  • Kaug Neatos Crash Bandicoot Bandwagon
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  • A Ramblin' Man
  • lexmar482's Blog
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  • Being Of The Importance Of Shallow Musing.
  • Justin Payne's Blog
  • Atari 2600JS
  • daclmi's Blog
  • ebot
  • Doctor Clu's Dissertations
  • 2600 in 2006
  • Markvergeer's Blog
  • schmitzi's Blog
  • Sayton's Blog
  • GEOMETRY WARS ATARI 2600
  • BNE Jeff's Blog
  • For whom it may concern
  • LEW2600's Blog
  • AverageSoftware's Development Blog
  • Osbo's Blog
  • Pac-Man Vs Puck-Man's Blog
  • FireBlaze's Blog
  • ataridude81's Blog
  • Bri's House
  • Atarimuseum.nl
  • Wiesbaden Gaming Lab
  • Les Frères Baudrand's Blog
  • Vorticon's Blog
  • SpiceWare's Blog
  • Secure Your E-Commerce Business With ClickSSL.com
  • TurkVanGogH GameZ's Blog
  • The Upward Spiral
  • raskar42
  • bow830's Blog
  • Web-Frickin'-Log
  • The P3 Studio
  • Arcade Attack - Retro Gaming Blog
  • Starosti 8bitového grafika
  • Bydo's Blog
  • MrRetroGamer's Blog
  • WWW.BUYATARI.TK
  • defender666's Blog
  • GG's Game Dev, Homebrew Review, Etc. Log
  • commodore & atari :)'s Blog
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  • dazza's arcade machine games
  • Dusk2600's Blog
  • Chuplayer's Blog
  • Alcor450's Blog
  • GAMEBOT
  • pacman100000's Blog
  • The Outback
  • Lynx 20 years
  • POKEY experiments
  • -^CroSBow^-'s Hardware Videos
  • Songbird Productions
  • JPjuice23's Blog
  • Captain's Blog
  • SpaceInvader's Blog
  • Gary Mc's Blog
  • Memoirs of a Novelty Account
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  • Second-Hand Shop
  • le geek's nonsense
  • SUB HUNTER in A8
  • Doctor Clu's BBS Trotter
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  • Lunar eclipse of the mind
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  • The Social Gamer
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  • Ping. Pong. Ping. Pong.
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  • Troff the Shelf
  • Memoirs of an X register
  • mapleleaves' Blog
  • jacobus Indev
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  • Dallas' Blog
  • Pac & Pal for the Atari 2600 fan project
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  • bfg.gamepassion's Blog
  • drawscreen then reset
  • .:maus:.
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  • Retrogaming Ramblings
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  • Fashion Jewellery's Blog
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  • Nabuko's Den
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  • Blog o' Buttons
  • Paranoid's Blog
  • CJ's Ramblings
  • DarQ Massacres' Atari 2600 collection
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  • Atari Joe's Flippin' Sweet Blog
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  • When Robots Attack
  • dragging through the retro streets at dawn
  • Rose-Tinted Recollections
  • Flack's Daily Smack
  • Please Delete - Created by Accident
  • Young Guy Experiencing Atari
  • Jboypacman's Blog
  • Nerdbloggers
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  • Algus' Blog
  • atasciiview
  • Classic Stories
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  • 2600 games worse then E.t
  • Bruce Tomlin's Blog
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  • Brain droppings...
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  • Maybe its a Terrible Tragedy
  • Funkmaster V's Gettin' Hip with tha Atari 7800
  • Mr. Pac-Man's Blog
  • Guru Meditation
  • AtariMI1978's Blog
  • JellE's Dwelling
  • - - - - - -
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  • Gaming With Rogmeister
  • The 12 Turn Program: Board Game Addiction and You
  • vidak's Blog
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  • Tezz's projects blog
  • 8-bit Computer System Colors in Food Coloring
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  • WebSiteRing
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  • The Best Assembly Computer
  • R. Jones' Blog
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  • As time goes by ...
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  • Atari 2600 Collection Bulk Box/ Cartridge Sale
  • Awed Thoughts
  • Vic George 2K3's Blog
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  • Disjaukifa's Assembly Blog
  • A Raccoon's Retrocade Romp - AA Edition
  • My Vintage Game collection
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  1. I'm pleased to announce the release of the version 4.0 firmware update for U1MB, Incognito, SIDE2, SIDE3, 1088XEL, and 1088XLD. The update includes a redesigned SIDE loader, and completely redesigned BIOS plugins with support for SIDE3, Sophia 2, and PokeyMAX. Also newly introduced is support for an NTSC colour palette in VBXE (loaded transparently when the machine is turned on). User documentation has also been comprehensively updated, with sections covering the new SIDE3 loader and Incognito. Most excitingly, Incognito is now capable of supporting firmware plugins, subject to release of a CPLD JED update which I have been testing for Candle. The SIDE3 loader is now capable of native PDM (FujiConvert) playback as well (see the manual for discussion of all new features). https://atari8.co.uk/ultimate-1mb-firmware-update-4-0-released/ Since I spent the entirety of Saturday preparing and uploading all this stuff (after spending the previous day moving my website and work emails), I'll forego further disucssion for the moment, and hopefully answer any questions as we go on. I will probably make a video showing a topical overview of what's been released as well. All ROMs inlclude the newly released SpartaDOS X 4.49e; I thought we might as well get in sync with the SIDE3 ROM, which uses this version by default. Meanwhile, SpartaDOS 3.x, Bewe-DOS and RealDOS users can find RTC drivers for U1MB and SIDE3 on the APT toolkit disk. I would not be surprised if I screwed something up while preparing the files here, so if anything looks anomalous, please let me know. Likewise, please use this thread to discuss any installation or usability issues. The menus in the setup menu and loader are quite different now (many controls are 'modal' to facilitate interactive facilities via callbacks), but this actually makes things like setting the clock quite a bit easier. Feedback from testers of pre-release versions (indeed, some variation of this firmware has found its way onto all U1MB and Incognito machines which have been through my hands these past few months) has been positive, so hopefully the only work that remains to do will involve minor bug fixes. Meanwhile, now that this update is released, I hope to focus on ambitious new features in the SIDE3 loader, such as FAT write capability, more media playback support, and auto-mounting media. Update (060621) Thanks to Doug_in_NC on Discord for immediately spotting that I'd broken joystick trigger handling in main BIOS 4.02 for U1MB and Incognito. Fixed in 4.03, so please head over to the firmware section and update (U1MB/1088 users may update the 'FIRMWARE.ROM' file, and Incognito users need flash only 'IBIOS.ROM'). Blog post: https://atari8.co.uk/u1mb-and-incognito-firmware-4-0-bug-fix/ The 'complete' ROM images also have the update (disregard file creation date). SIDE3 Loader Update (230621) For those who already updated their SIDE3 loader or are yet to do so, please be sure to download version 0.40, which fixes MegaCart, Sic! and AtariMax 1Mbit/8Mbit emulation bugs. https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/side3/ Update (070721) Blog post: https://atari8.co.uk/u1mb-incognito-1088xel-and-1088xld-firmware-update/
  2. A couple of months ago I decided to have a crack at writing a new BIOS for Ultimate 1MB from scratch. Its purpose was simply to facilitate a bootable version of the WIP Graphical OS in ROM and add some extra PBI BIOS options, but the project quickly ran away with itself and became an exercise in completely re-thinking just about every part of the functionality. The new BIOS offers: The ability to set the date and time from the setup menu Dual configuration profiles Categorized menus covering system settings, hard disk, device setup, etc Turbo-Freezer compatibility Customisable shortcut keys OS-independent Ultra-speed SIO for serial disk drives Optional BIOS logo screen and boot device selection menu Optional flash write protection System information page displaying CPU type, audio/video hardware, etc BIOS Plugin API for diverse hardware control (Ultimate 1MB only) Variable SpartaDOS X ROM sizes (192, 256 and 320KB), and the ability to boot the WIP Graphical OS (when 192KB SDX is used) So this is a beta version of the new (alt) Ultimate BIOS, provided with a new (beta) version of uFlash which is designed to handle both original and new BIOS versions (and the upgrade process), a (required) PBI BIOS update, and some documentation. I've also thrown in a complete Ultimate 1MB ROM with the GOS intended for testing in Altirra (or on a real machine if you're feeling brave). Ultimate BIOS Beta 0.24 Release.zip You'll notice the word 'beta' crops up a lot. This is BETA software, so please ensure you have a means of recovery in the event something goes wrong with the BIOS flash, or something unexpected goes wrong with the BIOS. Although the last couple of builds have been well tested, it's a BIOS and is therefore critical to whether your machine boots up or not. I can't stress this enough, and I do not want to hear people complaining about bricking their machines and having no way to recover. A USB flash ROM programmer is an absolute must if you want to test this on real hardware. The sensible procedure is to back up your entire Ultimate 1MB ROM first so that you can go back to it if you need to or if you simply don't like what you end up with. You can do this in-situ with uFlash or with your USB programmer. The (draft) documentation outlines the upgrade procedure, and you must upgrade both the main BIOS and the PBI BIOS both at once. That means load up uFlash, flash BIOS24.ROM to the "BIOS" slot and ULTPBI13.ROM to the "PBI BIOS" slot. Then do a power-cycle. The NVRAM configuration data of the original BIOS is completely incompatible with the new one, so although your system clock should remain valid, nothing else will. You'll be prompted to set things up again after the upgrade. The defaults chosen (i.e. stock RAM) will be subject to change in the final version, as will anything else I feel like changing, although the OS ROM, BASIC and XEGS slot descriptions (which should survive the upgrade) won't change position again. Things that don't work or only work partially or don't work at all: Boot device menu: works, but isn't finished "Redirect D1:" in the PBI BIOS menu is not implemented yet Other stuff This became such a gargantuan task that I just want to leave the beta out for a week or two and do other things to get over it, before fixing what needs fixed and getting on with the new (alt) XEX loader, which is about half done but will take a while to complete. Lastly, I want to offer massive thanks to Phaeron, Hias and Prowizard. The assistance they have provided in terms of testing, ideas, and technical insight was really fantastic, and without them, some of the neat features present just wouldn't exist at all. And had Hias not kindly agreed to let me use his High-Speed SIO code in the PBI BIOS (more or less verbatim), there'd be no High-Speed SIO. Thanks also to MrFish for valuable feedback and ideas on the UI, and of course to Candle himself for the hardware and original firmware. The sole purpose of this new, alternative BIOS is to get even more functionality from this fantastic hardware, taking inspiration from his initial achievements. I've probably forgotten stuff, but it's late, so - enjoy. PS: Incognito BIOS to follow shortly.
  3. I have purchased and installed the Incognito Atari 800 with FJC Firmware but am having issues. I cannot access the CF card. In the main side loader menu -device I get SIDE: no media OK and an ERROR 139! This appears on the bottom of the screen where it normally says select device. If I hit return or press the joystick button ERROR 139! reappears. I have included a picture of the side loader screen. I have tried numerous CF cards including SANDISK ultra II 4GB, Transend CF300 4gb and a no name 32gb. I also purchased a 128mb CF to try but that also failed. I also tried one CF card that I later discovered was faulty because I could not access it on other devices as well and with that card I got only a blank screen, as with the others I got the menu but with errors. I have tried reformatting the cards to fat32 and fat16 with no luck. Everything else seems to be working except that I cannot access the CF card. I have been able to load programs from cartridges or from devices connected to the SIO port. I have also booted into SpartaDOS and it seems that the CF card is not available their either. All the settings seem to be fine and in fact I got an email in response to my inquiry from vintagecomputercenter.com where I purchased the Incognito with pictures of the proper configuration. My configuration was close to theirs, but I changed it to be exact, and still no luck. Does anyone have any ideas to what the reason I cannot access the CF card could be? Are there any installation errors etc. that could lead to not being able to access the CF card? Any help would be appreciated.
  4. I am attempting to create a simple IDE/CF interface for the 1088XEL's MPBI port (Mini-Parallel Bus Interface). The idea is to have it be supported by the U1MB BIOS in some fashion that is similar to the Side2 cart, but without all the bells and whistles this cart has (sans SDX and R-Time8). So to do this, it appears that loading the Incognito PBI BIOS into the U1MB might give us a simple software solution, since it only requires that the 8 basic IDE registers be accessed and mapped into the appropriate area (see FJC's comment below quoted from an earlier discussion Link Here) So my plan is to modify the original MyIDE ][ internal interface circuit as shown in Mr Atari's site (reference), and do some extra decoding to make it point the IDE registers directly at $D1E0-7. Below you will see my first proposed design to hopefully accomplish this. Here's the complete MPBI port as it is implemented on the V1.1 XEL... I plan to use one of these CF-to-IDE adapters while prototyping... Although the preliminary schematic doesn't show it, there will be a MPBI pass-thru provided as well. - Michael
  5. So after finally getting my Incognito working (see below thread if you are interested in the issues that I had), but am having trouble getting the memory card set up. Configuration: Latest (3.10) ROM from @flashjazzcat's website. XL/XE, 1088K RAMBO, Stock XL/XE OS, Basic disabled, SpartaDOS X enabled, boot to loader disabled, PBI BIOS enabled, Hard disk enabled, SIO drivers HSIO (also tried disabled). When I run FDISK, it says "Enumerating devices..." followed by "No APT devices found". I have tried three different SanDisk 32GB microSD cards, all formatted under windows 10 to FAT32. Is it a card incompatibility issue? Could the faulty ribbon cable (see above link) supplied with the Incognito have damaged something? These are the cards & adapter that I am using.
  6. I finally got around to installing my Incognito. I had to wait for my DuPont crimper & connector kit to come in. I just finished the first part of the install on my 800. I used the directions on @lotharek's site as well as the @flashjazzcat's video. I added the two jumper wires, replaced the two resistors, and soldered on the 6 header wires. I made my own DuPont header, so my wire colors don't match. I am using: 1=Green 2=Blue 3=Purple 4=Grey 5=White 6=Black I pulled out the 74LS42 and plugged in the ribbon cable. I plugged the two cables into the Incognito board & plugged it & the CPU board into the 800. I power on the unit and nothing happens. I get a black screen and no "fart" noise. So I unplug the Incognito & the ribbon cable and put the 74LS42, ROM board & RAM boards back in. It then powers up properly. I swap out these parts and try the Incognito again. Same thing - black screen & no fart. I've included the pics of my mods, in case someone sees where I made a dumb mistake. I've already tried beeping out the connections from the back of the connector on the Incognito board to the 800, to verify that my first-try DuPont connector is making proper electrical connections. I also beeped out pins 1-16 of the ribbon cable from the back of the Incognito board to the 800 board, so the ribbon cable connections are seated properly. Any idea where I went wrong? Or maybe some other diagnostic that I can do?
  7. Following several months of development and testing and one year after the prior update (version 2), I'm pleased to announce the release of version 3.00 of the 'alt' firmware for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL/XLD, and SIDE/SIDE2. Please head over to the firmware page of my website to download the updates: https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/ New features: Number of BIOS configuration profiles increased from three to four Massively faster and more powerful loader search facility Loader’s built-in FAT DOS now supports subdirectories Loader now remembers the last accessed FAT folder Loader scripts may include paths Loader can now open the location of any already mounted image Usability improvements to the loader and BIOS setup menu Optional synthetic ‘IO sound’ with ATRs and hard disk partitions Improved loader compatibility Auto-booting banked cartridge conversions on SIDE/SIDE2 All hardware-specific HDD functionality moved to plugins Several important bug fixes This thread will cover any installation and usability issues, and discussion of any further updates and fixes. Documentation has also been heavily revised, and we have the exciting prospect of ebiguy's excellent OSS language cart conversions for SIDE/SIDE2. I will be making some quick-start videos when I get time; for now the task of simply getting everything prepared and uploaded was daunting enough. Thanks to the volunteers who tested the beta and release candidate versions, and I hope everyone enjoys the end result.
  8. I have been looking for quite a while and I cannot find a manual for the Incognito's basic function. I'm interested in keyboard shortcuts and basic functional instructions as well as using the SIDE component of it. Is there a good page or PDF? I see many great resources for installation, but this unit was installed by someone else who at the time was experienced. Nowadays I'm sure I could do it myself if needed. And the board did work before, so I would assume it's functional. I've figured out a little from reading threads but here is what I came up against: Side loader ('L' from Incognito menu) just shows flashing characters on the left, whether I have a flash card installed or not. I tried switching to SpartaDOS and now the 'atr' key and reset only bring up SpartaDOS. It worked before. I can't get back to the Incognito menu. I was mainly hoping to use the SIDE function to play some games and update the firmware in the Incognito and SIDE as needed. I'd love to do more like try the new GUI, but first things first. I used the system a few years back but just pulled it out to mess with it again. I've been mainly using an XL with a Harmony cart.
  9. I have looked all over, and not found a list of verified compatible SD and CF media for Ultimate Cart (SD) and Incognito/SIDE (CF). Is there such a list? If not, let's start one here. For example, I am using red & blue style Sandisk 4GB SD card and 1GB CF. They work well, but the CF is getting full and I want to know what to buy to replace it with a larger one. Also, in the Ultimate SD cart thread, a Toshiba FlashAir SD card was mentioned. I found both W-02 and W-03 versions of this available. I ordered the W-03 version in hopes that it will work. The thread didn't mention what version it was that is known to work, although the link pointed to a W-03, so I'm hoping I don't get burned again. So, the question is: What media do YOU use? And, just as important: What media is to be avoided? Thanks in advance.
  10. I bought an Atari 800 a couple years ago - and found out about this great thing called the Incognito - which sadly wasn't being sold any more and was super expensive on ebay. So - during this past summer when I saw the post on FB that Lotharek was doing a new run - I fell over myself throwing money at him. I was cheap on the postage - no tracking - but it made its way to me eventually. In the meantime I watched FJC's installation videos - so I was all set when mine arrived. Last weekend, I finally cleared enough space on my bench to open up the 800 and started installing it. I got to the part in the video where he does the quick power up check. So - I hooked mine up - powered it up - and got this on my monitor I powered it off quick and double checked my connections. Everything seemed OK to me - so I took a bunch of pictures and showed them to FJC to see if a second pair of eyes would reveal my goof. He spotted I have swapped the connections from P5 Pins 3 & 4 - the ones to the resistors. So - when I got home that day - I wired them up correctly - and tried again. Same thing - blue screen with squiqqlies. It was at this point that I studied his example connections on the CPU card - and saw that it looked quite different than mine. I was confident that I followed the instructions though - and connected the wires to the right pins on the chip I identified as the Antic via a part number lookup on google. So - some more back and forth PMs and we realized I had a different rev CPU board than he did. Maybe mine is normal for NTSC machines? On both my CPU cards (I also have a parts 800 that arrived smashed from ebay) pin 1 of the large 40 pin chips is towards the card edge connector. My CPU cards are oriented in the same layout as in the 800 service manual I downloaded. I reverted my 800 temporarily back to an OS card and 48K - and it booted up fine into notepad. So I at least didn't kill the machine. I emailed Lotharek and he assured me that every Incognito is tested prior to being shipped. So - I've pestered Jonathan enough these past three days - and I thought I might see if anyone else has any ideas what might be wrong. Hopefully I didn't kill the Incognito with my wire swap accident. Mine did come with a populated JTAG header - so if there is something I can do via that - it's an option. I did originally plug the CPU and Incognito cards in the motherboard correctly - I double checked the video to see what the orientation was prior to applying power. I also had the P4 cable connected properly - the 74LS42 replacement. I have both jumper wires on the motherboard correct - I double checked against the video. (Ref from the memory card slot to the personality module slot & RNMI to Reset) Any ideas? Does anyone else have it working with this style of CPU card? I also have a TL866 if I needed to reprogram something. Help? Jim
  11. I'm pleased to announce the release of firmware version 3.02 for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL/XLD and SIDE/SIDE2. Since the update's primary purpose is to correct issues present in the version 3.00 and earlier released, it is highly recommended for all users. Please head over to the firmware page of my website to download the updates: https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/ New Features (over version 2.01) Include: Number of BIOS configuration profiles increased from three to four Massively faster and more powerful loader search facility Loader’s built-in FAT DOS now supports subdirectories Loader now remembers the last accessed FAT folder Loader scripts may include paths Loader can now open the location of any already mounted image Usability improvements to the loader and BIOS setup menu Optional synthetic ‘IO sound’ with ATRs and hard disk partitions Improved loader compatibility Auto-booting banked cartridge conversions on SIDE/SIDE2 Bug Fixes For users who previously updated to version 3.00 in July, the following fixes/changes have been implemented: Loader Fixed: Unnamed FAT entries missing from partition list Fixed: Selected entry not consistently tracked during search Fixed: SIDE2 displayed as 'SIDE1' in stand-alone loader's device menu Fixed: Logged directory cluster number corrupted after MAP file processing Changed: Boot drive override (to D1:) now issued on restart if a disk image exists on drive 1 (instead of immediately after mount operation) Changed: No boot drive override issued when 'Boot SpartaDOS X' is selected (allows easy booting from CONFIG.SYS drive after mounting ATRs) BIOS Changed: message and menu item wording Changed: progress bar code rewritten for brevity Added: L+RESET starts loader if SELECT+RESET coldstart hotkey is enabled PBI BIOS Fixed: SIO status command now reliably returns enhanced density bit in first byte (DVSTAT) for 130K ATRs Fixed: Dummy format command now returns error if enhanced density format attempted on single density (90K) ATR Changed: Boot drive override clears after first use Changed: SIO status command for device $20 now returns complement of controller error register in second byte (as per device $3x) Feedback If anyone notices any screw-ups, please let me know directly or via this thread. I sat on this update for several days purely because changing just one byte of code in the firmware necessitates the complete re-assembly of a many ROMs and ATR images, which is repetitive and even excruciating process, especially when one notices a bug while demoing the software on video. As usual: please use this thread to report your experiences, both positive and otherwise. Videos As mentioned above, I've made a couple of videos which attempt to demonstrate some of the more useful features of the SIDE Loader, both stand-alone and when used in conjunction with Ultimate 1MB. The same methodologies apply by and large to Incognito and the 1088XEL/XLD. I'll be making more of these videos, since there's still more to cover regarding advanced usage.
  12. This is very preliminary, and not everything works as it should, but it does do something... board is connected through standard vbxe breakout board for atari xe series that was soldered in as low as it was possible on CPU board, and then ribbon cable with male and female connectors was fed through the cutout in expansion bay plastic cover just under aluminium casting as for clock, you need to remove Q103 and connec a wire from VBXE 3.5mhz clock out signal to pin D of CPU board connector D6xx signal is present on pin P of SLOT3 expansion connector and all the other signal are provided by Incognito PBI connector for CSYNC, output from LUMA signal (R189) was used and this concludes current state of the installation do not treat this as a definitive guide, as just some things do work, but maybe some of you would like to try to install it anyways
  13. Here's the link to Lotharek's website hawking a limited production of Incognito boards.: https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=275 The boards are going for about 90 bucks American and worth every cent. I just bought two and it hurts to spend the money, but I gotta have em'. Hope this doesn't step on the folks who are getting my 512k ram board, but since mine is practically free I figure you'll want em. Best, ** TNM **
  14. Hi, yesterday I´ve found an interesting thing, which I didn´t know until now. On pin "S" of the cartridge-slots of an Atari 800 there´s not the "PHI2" signal attached as on all newer machines - there´s "RAS" connected. The falling edge of PHI2 and RAS is nearly the same, but RAS is much shorter low than PHI2 (of course, there must be some time for CAS, too). Most modern circuits (in flash-carts or flashable carts) sample the PHI2 signal for their logic. So I think, this might be most significant reason for problems while writing to flash-memory or using special carts like the myIDE II. See the signals on the scope: So I try a little modification and use PHI2 on pin "S" instead of RAS. And these seems to be the solution... myIDE-II works now without any issues in an Atari 800 with Incognito. Also some other carts with suspicious failures works now. I test this on two Atari 800 equipped with Incognito. On one machine I take the Incognito out and re-install the old genuine personaliy and RAM cards. Also everything works fine. I have only one cartridge with "Write to cart" features which works on the original old 800 system: Telelink II. But this also works fine with that patch. If you want to do this patch by yourself, here´s a possible way: Cut the RAS trace on the place in the picture. Connect pin "A" and pin "S" on the "right" cartridge slot together - that´s all! This mod is independent which TV system you have, it works also on NTSC as on PAL or SECAM. Regards, Jurgen
  15. I'm pleased to announce the release of the v.2.0 'alt' firmware for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL and SIDE/SIDE2. The update had been slated for release late in 2017, but the emergence of the 1088XEL and the requirement for custom U1MB firmware for the new motherboard heralded a prolonged period of firmware development and redesign for all supported devices. Since the 1088XEL's XEL-CF compact flash adapter can handle dual physical disks, I redesigned the U1MB PBI BIOS to accommodate primary and secondary devices, which in turn prompted significant alterations to the XEX loader. Many useful changes and augmentations were carried back to the 'standard' firmware builds (targeting the SIDE cartridge). Since releasing the 1088XEL U1MB firmware here a couple of weeks ago (which has been subject to a minor fix pertaining to DracOS compatibility since then), I realized that the SDX "soft drivers" (for SIDE, MYIDE, Colleen, etc, which hadn't been updated since 2014) could also benefit from some fixes and augmentations. Likewise the various APT tools (FDISK, ATRMNT, MOUNT, etc) on the 'toolkit' disk, many of which required amendments in order to work with the updated PBI BIOS. Then I remembered that the APT Toolkit manual and the APT API Programmer's documentation hadn't been updated in years either... It seemed imprudent to relase - say - the new SIDE/SIDE2 ROMs with old versions of the soft-drivers and outdated documentation, so the past couple of weeks have been spent on documentation and toolkit/driver updates. I finally started assembling the ROMs and ATRs a few days ago, and even this was a painstaking process. I closed my website down imagining that the site updates and media uploads would be completed within twenty-four hours... five days later, it was still closed. In any case, I completely underestimated the sheer volume of software, firmware and documentation, so I can only apologise to those who have recently been gently pestering me for the U1MB update via email. Many complain of poorly documented hardware and software products in the A8 community, so I hope the time I've spent on four fairly lengthy PDF manuals has not been wasted. Not everything is complete. The MYIDE SDX ROMs and drivers are not yet uploaded and many download sections have placeholders for the moment. But U1MB, Incognito, SIDE and 1088XEL owners may download the latest firmware and tools and consult freshly updated documentation: Download here: https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/ Installation instructions and readme files will be updated in due course. I reached the stage this evening where not uploading everything would delay release by another week or more. As usual, please use this thread to discuss any installation or usage issues. The updates to the SDX soft-drivers (SIDE.SYS, COLLEEN.SYS, etc) have not been subjected to testing by anyone but myself, so if any early adopters encounter problems, please let me know. Also released is the RAPIDISK driver (which allows faster HDD transfers at 20MHz) and Rapidus-specific BIOS plugins for U1MB (also on the 1088XEL). I hope to make some 'quick-start' videos and general guides over the coming days/weeks, but as usual it's all a question of available time.
  16. This doesn't really fit anywhere else, since several hard disk interfaces are using APT these days, so I'm giving it its own topic. Following some helpful suggestions regarding the APT Partition Editor (FDISK: thanks Marius and others), I've been doing some significant revisions on that program, aimed both improving usability, and paving the way for some cool future enhancements to the way we move data around. While looking for inspiration for the new FDISK's UI improvements, I found myself (re)reading DrCoolZic's excellent UltraSatan manual, and noticed something I hadn't seen before: namely where he talks (in Chapter 4) about a driver which allows the use of partitioned removable media in Windows. Now, Linux has always been able to do this (AFAIK), and GPARTED will partition CF and SD cards without issue. But while one may use third-party partitioning applications in Windows to partition removable media, Windows won't mount those partitions when you put the card in the reader. However, DrCoolZic's method appears to circumvent that problem, and I'm now able to use the Windows 7 Computer management console to partition CF cards. What's this got to do with APT? Well - maybe you want three FAT partitions on your SIDE CF card, as well as APT partitions that the Atari file system can see. FDISK doesn't provide an MBR partition editor: it just asks some simple questions about how you want to chop up the media between FAT and APT. And - while the new version of FDISK will be more flexible in this respect - it still won't provide a full-blown MBR partition editor. What it will do is allow you to tag an APT onto the end of a pre-partitioned card, or even assign an existing MBR partition entry as an APT area. Anyway - I've just started playing with these removable media drivers, but I thought I'd share. Here's the info: http://www.atari8.co...gRemovableMedia
  17. Hi all, Now my 1200XL has had it's Ultimate 1MB fitted my 800 with Incognito is now for sale. It's a PAL machine with the latest firmware, in excellent condition bar a small (and I mean small) nick in the top cover as seen in the last photo. Absolute beauty with no yellowing, supplied as bare machine as I'm sure you'll have your own power supply and monitor cable I will include the 1GB CF card, full of Atari goodness! Price for AA members is £200 GBP plus postage if needed (I'm in the United Kingdom), I will ship anywhere in the world, as long as you pay the postage and any customs charges! If you want any more pictures or have any questions please ask. Thanks to you for looking and thanks to AA for use of the site. Cheers Dom
  18. All, It seems Candle's original page for installing the Atari 800 Incognito board is down, or gone. I used the Internet Wayback Machine to access the page as it stood before. I am posting it here with appropriate tags so others can hopefully find it with Google. I hope this is not a violation of TOS or Candle's IP. Retrieved using The Internet Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20130513213503/http://spiflash.org/index.php/block/30.html 3 Sept 2016 Multiple personalities for trusty old Atari 800 Opening your 800 This is quite easy. All you need to do is remove trap-door, all the expansion card that you have inside (this includes all three RAM carts plus Personality/ROM board. After this, you'll have to turn the unit upside-down, and unscrew 5 screws in the corners, and in the middle of front edge. Now you're able to open the case - lift top of the enclosure just enough to get a hold on keyboard ribbon - disconnect it from the backplane - please take a closer look on how it is connected - ribbon has plug wider than the connector on backplane (motherboard) and you'll have to connect it back just the way it was when reassembling the unit. Now, since you have clear view of power board and aluminium casting covering most of the backplane, disconnect the internal speaker and remove whole casting with all what is connected to it from the case. You'll find loads of screws to be removed on bottom side of the cast holding an aluminium plate to the top part. After this, disconnect 4 pin header leading from backplane to power board, and try to separate the casting from backplane - it will come off with power board, but this is the way it should be. Now the aluminium plate - it holds to the PCB by 4 expansion plugs - they are made from two parts - one is a pin that was inserted in the collar that expanded and made connection permanent, you need to use small flat-headed screwdriver to push it all the way out, so you'll be able to remove the collar. What you should have now, is the backplane PCB together with CPU board and plastic part that forms cartridge slot covers and expansion cards compartment. To get rid of it you'll have to gently pry and push four snap-ins you find accessible on the bottom of backplane PCB. Since you already have all that was required separate, you may proceed with installation. Readjusting the cutout It is nice to have Personality slot opening a bit wider than it is originally, so you can pass ribbon cable and auxiliary connectors cables freely. Please see the picture for the details. Some might think it not the best idea, but this way nothing gets compressed as it will be reassembled and the chances of getting something short-circuit are almost nil. Jumper wires You'll have to make two jumper connections on your board (see the pictures) - one connects REF signal from memory slots to the not used pin on personality slot - and this is essential for emulated MMU chip on Incognito board The other is a jumper between RNMI and COLD-RESET pins, so that CPU would be in known state when the board is re-initialised. Remember than 400/800 had no real RESET, instead it had Request NMI line (sometimes referred as to RESET NMI) that did some kind of software reset - as this was OK for 400/800 system, when ROM was connected to the system bus permanently, it's not acceptable for XL/XE when you can disconnect ROM by writing to PORTB. BIOS will handle RESET vector and redirect CPU to the valid location instead. Making connections for auxiliary header P5 This is essential for true XL/XE compatibility, as there are signals you need to tap in that are not present anywhere else in the system. These are: • pin #1 - HALT - necessary for ANTIC extended memory access (so called CompyShop mode) • pin #2 - IRQ - required by some PBI devices • pin #3 & 4 - RD4 and RD5 - controlling cartridge port in XL/XE series (mandatory) • pin #5 - RNMI - that becomes our RESET line (mandatory) • pin #6 - RDY - another signal required only by some PBI devices Please see the picture for tapping points for all these signals. Additionally, you may want to replace RD4/RD5 pulldown resistors to something ranging from 1.5k to 2.2kOhms. It will improve compatibility with cartridges, as protection resistors on Incognito board form with original ones voltage divider that may render some carts unusable. ATR change button, HDD activity LED, connector P6 If you want to use these features, you'll have to make some readjustments to power board - this way you won't have to drill any ugly holes in your 800 case, instead it will be as discreet as it can be - after this, your light conductor just under START button becomes another button, just for cycling mounted ATR files, and it still serves it purpose as power indicator plus hard disk activity indicator. P6 pinout goes as follows: • pin #1 - HDD LED anode • pin #2 - HDD LED cathode • pin #3 - switch To accomplish this, follow the pictures. Replacing 74LS42 with ribbon cable You need to remove 74LS42 chip (location Z101) and replace it with ribbon cable that was included in the kit. Fold the cable as shown. Putting everything back together Now you should have everything prepared for the Incognito board, all you have to do is to reassemble your unit. Start with taking the ribbon and the P5 and P6 header cables through the opening you cut in the plastic part of expansion boards compartment. When you done, put the compartment back in its place - it should snap back in and stay firmly attached to the PCB. Now proceed with the aluminium plate. Align it so holes in PCB match holes in the plate, and then put the expandable collars in those holes. When you put first one take that pin you've taken out of it, and put it back - this will fix the plate and easier the align of remaining holes. When completed you should reassemble the casting with the backplane PCB - just don't start screwing it tight again, as it will be better if you check everything up before you do that. Install the Incognito board in first slot (the one that was occupied by ROM board) and turn the unit on - Incognito BIOS screen should show up. If it doesn't - recheck all your connections, especially those two jumper wires and RD4/RD5/RNMI lines. Please make sure you didn't short circuit anything during the reassembly, as shorting any xilinx pin directly to the one of power rails (5V -5V or 12V) will kill it instantly
  19. After having it sit on the shelf for two years, I finally got around to installing my Incognito board at the Seattle Retro Computing Society meeting this weekend. Total install time was about 4 hours, which included socialization time and talking about the project with several folks. I opted *NOT* to perform the power LED / atr cycle button at this time, because (aside from trimming the plastic shield on the inside) it's the only non-easily reversible part of the mod. The one thing that really threw me, was that my CPU board was completely different from the board pictured in the original instructions. I don't know if it's an NTSC vs PAL thing, or just a revision, but the chips on my board are all oriented with pin 1 at the bottom, rather than the top of the board, so basically 180* different. Not a bit deal, I just counted and grabbed the right pins, since thankfully, the instructions were explicit about pins 9 and 15 being needed. I put it all back together and, powered it on, and the Incognito screen came up for me to set options. Yes! I set some options, saved it turned it off, turned it on and it asked to set options again...not good. I checked the button battery, figuring I didn't have it seated correctly. I pulled the entire Incognito board out of the machine to check as something didn't look quite right. When attempting to remove the battery from the holder, the entire holder popped off the board. I guess I found the issue! I made quick work of that with the soldering iron, popped the battery in, reinstalled the Incognito board and bingo, everything seemed to work as advertized. Once home, I managed to flash the alternate BIOS stuff from flashcatjazz, which is really nice looking and gives some nice options to SIDE -- or at least makes the options make sense to a newB. The only thing I'm struggling with now, is that I want to use the APT tools to setup my CF card, but the version of SDX on my Incognito doesn't include those tools. I grabbed the SDX w/ APT for Incognito rom, and uflash.xex won't flash the SDX slot. It reads it then just hangs. I've let it sit like 10 minutes and nothing. Any ideas? Other than that, its great just to be able to run some XL/XE software on my 800
  20. OMG this is frustrating .. I have installed my Incognito, and as far as I can tell it seems to be working.... BUT.. I cannot get SDX (I dont know another OS for this) to read the FAT16 partition on the CF card. The cf card is a 8gb sandisk Ultra - BIOS (FJC latest) reads card.. Fdisk inits it, partitions it.. I can put in in a PC and format the Fat16 I get all OKs on the chkfat. The partition seems fine. APT partitions I can build directories, I can transfer files etc.. no issues - it seems to be just the FAT16 - In the BIOS SIDE LOADER - I can see the FAT16 partition fine. FJC has loaded this CF image into Altirra and it works fine (Image is available for anyone) BUT - if I just load SDX 4.47 from the incognito, (I am waiting for a 192k GUI friendly size 448) .. I get 148 unknown file system (SO?? is Fatfs.sys loading from 447?? FJC works on Altirra?) IF I run fatfs.sys from the 4.48 toolkit.. and try and dir d3: the system locks up - I can do nothing.. but after reset (not cold - so 448 fatfs.sys is still in there) I run dir again - I get 181 file system corrupt.. I can run a chkdisk on it.. but nothing else. FJC and I have tried as much as we can see .. he thinks hardware... I really dont have and idea.. Any one know enough.. Could one of the wires that are specific to PBI function on the build be an issue?? Looking for ideas please!!! James
  21. What current and available ways are there to 1. upgrade the memory on an 800 2. upgrade the OS on the 800 I know the incognito would be best.. but its not available.. so not an option. What other options are there? James
  22. Does anyone know if there is a place that makes original size, material, texture, font nameplates? It would most likely cost too much for a small run of 150 or so, but I'd like to know if anyone has made anything like this.
  23. I have tried the 5 in 1 OSS cart pictured below, and BASIC-XE crashes when loading the extensions (BASICXE.OSS file). The same thing happens when loading BASIC-XE from Ultimate SD Cart. I have tried different versions of the Extensions, all with no luck. This works fine on my U1Meg 1200XL. This only involves the extensions. BXE works fine if the extensions file is not present. Any ideas?
  24. Hello, I bought this board recently but after thinking about it I changed my mind and I do not want to modify my Atari 800. So there's no point in holding onto this. It might as well go to someone who will actually use it. I have put it on sale on EBay for more than I paid because eBay charges a big chunk in fee's and I don't want to lose any money just break even. I can sell it cheaper privately. You can PM me directly if interested. Thanks http://www.ebay.com/itm/172093533916?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
  25. Hello everyone, I finally got around to installing my Incognito board with the help of a local hardware guru. I had purchased a refurbished Atari 800 from B&C a while back which worked great and was hoping to "upgrade" it with this board. However, we ran into two questions that I'm hoping someone here might be able to help me with. #1 - It turns out I have a different CPU board than the one shown on Candle's install guide. Here it is: and Does anybody know where to connect the two (yellow, green) wires shown in Candle's instructions on this version of the CPU board? I'm game to buy the version shown if I can be sure it will work with the rest of the computer. However, it seemed worth asking here first. #2 - It looks like the ribbon cable I received has the connector that plugs into the motherboard mounted backwards as compared to Candle's photos. When aligned as shown in Candle's photos the red line is on the right and not the left. However, the connector that plugs into the Incognito board is aligned as shown . I can upload pictures if necessary, but this one seems very straightforward. My friend thought I could just rotate the connector with the pins 180 degrees when plugging it in but suggested checking first. Can I do this or do I need to find a way to reattach the connector? If the latter, any suggestions would be appreciated as my friend wasn't sure he had the right tools for this type of connector. Many thanks in advance for any help. Also, a big thank you to Candle for making this board happen! -Jason
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