Jump to content
IGNORED

Atari 800XL; Sio2SD or Uno Cart


TonVH
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am wondering what the smart thing to do is.

 

Both have the advantage that I can prepare and put everything on my Mac on a SD-Card.

Uno Cart will have (I suppose) the fastest loading times.

Uno Cart also does Rom/Bin, Sio2SD not.

Both acceptable priced.

 

The 800XL will mainly be used for gaming and I do not plan the "Pokey Divisor 0" upgrade since I do not want to do any soldering.

 

What's best to buy or is there an even better solution for (luxury problem many games, fast loading, ease of handling.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SIO2SD is better for disk based software, but for most cartridge based games, or disk based games converted to xex files, I find the UNO easier to use and more convenient. The UNO does work pretty well with ATR files, just not quite as good as SIO2SD. Get both!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My feeling on this is that if you couple a SIO2SD with an Ultimate Cart then you will pretty much be able to run almost everything ever written for the A8 line.

 

If you are interested in owning only one device, however, I would recommend the UNO Cart. The UNO will run CAR, ROM, and XEX files and can handle about 2/3 of the ATRs that I have thrown its way. I would estimate that the UNO Cart can handle 90-95% of the A8 games out there. I really feel that it is currently the best choice for "one stop shopping".

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My feeling on this is that if you couple a SIO2SD with an Ultimate Cart then you will pretty much be able to run almost everything ever written for the A8 line.

 

If you are interested in owning only one device, however, I would recommend the UNO Cart. The UNO will run CAR, ROM, and XEX files and can handle about 2/3 of the ATRs that I have thrown its way. I would estimate that the UNO Cart can handle 90-95% of the A8 games out there. I really feel that it is currently the best choice for "one stop shopping".

I would agree, with one additional caveat - it does not work with a 400/800. The loader will appear but it will not read the SD card contents.

 

That, and it sits kind of deep in my 1088XEL cartridge tunnel. ;) I’m probably going to get an Ultimate Cart at some point this year did that reason alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With SIO2SD or SIO2PC-USB (very cheap devices) and a memory expanded Atari you can load (slowly) all software.

 

With carts, without memory expansion, you can load (quickly) most of the software (see Topic for newbies for comparison).

 

Well, 125kbps at POKEY divisor 0 is certainly faster than we had for disk cracks of cartridge stuff BITD. :D

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own both the Uno Cart and the SIO2SD, and ultimately I have listed the Uno Cart on ebay. I just had too many issues with ATR's on the Uno Cart, like Ali Baba wouldn't load at all, Goonies loaded but was all glitched, etc whereas I've had great luck with the SIO2SD, most everything seems to work. If you want to see the SIO2SD in action I used it on a live Twitch stream recently and I posted about that elsewhere. I guess if you don't care about ATR's then the Uno Cart will be pretty cool, but for me I want to play as many games live on Twitch as I can so I wanted ATR's to work, hence I've kept the SIO2SD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The primary feature of the UNO Cart is its perfect replication of all know A8 cartridges in CAR or ROM format. Its secondary function is loading XEX format files directly. ATR support should be seen as more of a "bonus feature" rather than one of its main goals.

Edited by SS
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's why I stick with the Ultimate cart for now ...

... it doesn't do atr's...

If someone really, really needs a specific ATR game on their Ultimate Cart there's always the option to make a MaxFlash CAR image of the ATR and then using that on the Ultimate Cart. :)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

 

Interesting to see opinions on my creations...

 

I think SS summed it up nicely above - both the UltimateCart and UnoCart are intended to provide 100% accurate emulation of a wide variety of atari cartridges.

 

ATR support in the UnoCart was added just as a bonus - hopefully I made it clear in my forum posts and the manual that it can never work 100% as a substitute for a SIO device. I'm not aware of any cartridge-based solution that can handle all disk based software, so I doubt SIDE3 is going to do any better a job. Even a modified Atari with U1MB+SIDE cannot (as far as I know - correct me if I am wrong!) handle classics such as Alternate Reality. You'll still need a proper SIO device for that.

 

So, in general, I would recommend people should get a SIO2SD first, then a multicart later, if they want to be able to run a wide range of classic software.

 

Also its worth pointing out that (like SIO2SD/SIO2PC) the UnoCart and Ultimate carts are open source - I made them for my own enjoyment, and open-sourced the designs for the benefit of the atari community - so everyone can see how they work, and improve on them. Future cartridges can use the code as a base and build on the work that I (and flashjazzcat) have done.

 

Let's hope that SIDE3 is also open source when it arrives.

 

Robin

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Naturally any ATR mounting solution which relies on a) a PBI aware OS (which excludes the 800 OS) and b) usage of standard OS SIO calls for sector transfers (which excludes anything which uses XBIOS, for example) is not going to work with 100 per cent of titles, although in my experience the approach works in at least 90 per cent of cases. Meanwhile, any ATR solution which relies on a RAM-based, patched copy of the OS is empirically the least stable solution and arguably lower on the compatibility scale (since any software which writes to PORTB without carefully maintaining the status of bit 0 will break the ATR handling).

 

Ironically, the only thing preventing the UNO cart from being arguably the most powerful and compatible cartridge based solution in existence is the reluctance to make it work in unison with U1MB. Which is to say: it's the software. This is why SIDE3 is a valid and opportune response to the UNO cart. Since the UNO hardware is essentially a flexible, powerful blank canvas, had it included from the outset a SIDE2 IDE emulation layer and an externally accessible API for mounting cartridge images, it would have pretty much wiped the floor with everything else on the market when paired with U1MB. SD card based PBI ATR handling and APT hard disk, and accurate emulation of the vast majority of banked cartridge schemes. Want to use BASIC XE with your 32MB APT hard disk on a 1200XL with U1MB installed? No problem. Want to use MAC/65 with an ATR? No problem.

 

Right now, the nearest one can get to this Utopia is by running a UNO Cart on a 1088XEL with an XEL-CF. I'm told that one can mount ATRs and then launch cartridge images, and aside from the unfortunate fact that the two operations cannot be carried out from the same loader (which is entirely achievable using a different UNO firmware and some modifications to the U1MB firmware), everything works quite well. This kind of setup is in fact so appealing that I have long harboured the desire to create an alternative UNO firmware, primarily for my own use, which turns the cartridge into an SD-card based SIDE2 with cartridge emulation capabilities. What prevents me is a lack of time, lack of experience and lack of familiarity writing firmware for modern MCUs. The vision is perfectly clear, however. I even realised that the FATFS library could be completely jettisoned if the MCU's RAM were exposed to the 6502, which is perfectly capable of loading the cartridge image data onto the physical cartridge.

 

So, as virtuous as open-sourcing projects is perceived to be, I have no expectation that SIDE3 will be open-source, not least because it's supposedly going to be powered by my closed-source XEX loader. But aside from the lack of an RTC (redundant when U1MB is present) and mode switch (which can be worked around in software), the open-source equivalent of SIDE3 is already sitting in our hands. It's called the UNO cart. :)

 

As for open-sourcing in general, it's clear that any user who isn't actually intending to contribute code to a project just wants the stuff to work and doesn't care whether it's open-source or not. The number one complaint I receive about U1MB and SIDE2 is that neither device is capable of emulating banked cartridges (aside from SDX and anything else expressly aimed at the existing banking scheme). SIDE3 will - if sanely designed - address that shortcoming, and will thus be arguably the most capable cartridge solution available (regardless of whether any effort is made to support ATRs without U1MB's presence and involvement).

 

This isn't the first time this approximate sequence of events has occurred. SIDE1 was vastly superior to the MYIDE/FLASH but lacked card hot-swapping, etc. MYIDE2 added card hot swapping, limited cartridge emulation, and other stuff, but completely shut itself out of the emerging standards developed for and by new projects of the time (APT, U1MB's versatile PBI HDD/ATR handler, etc). SIDE2 countered by adding hot-swapping and other improvements. but lacked cartridge emulation. UNO came out and made the best fist of cartridge emulation but can't act as a HDD/ATR host for U1MB.

 

In almost every scenario I have observed or participated in over the past decade, striving for integration between one popular upgrade/device and the other improved the user experience, while ignoring emerging standards and deciding to "do it my way" ended up requiring the user to purchase multiple devices to accomplish all the required tasks because no single or compound solution does everything the user wants. I suppose this is the way the free market works, of course. If SIDE2 had possessed the cartridge emulation capabilities seen on the Ultimate and Uno carts, there would be little reason for the user to subsequently purchase anything else (although the move from CF to SD card is inevitable and welcome).

Edited by flashjazzcat
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an Atari 800XL owner with 1050 drive. From what I understand, nothing does everything (Side 3 might, but it's still unknown). So in everyone's opinion what would be the best combination that will run everything (or nearly everything?) Should I order an UNO and SIO2SD? If I do that combo, what would be my limits over spending a little more money on the SIDE 2/Ultimate Cart instead of the UNO?

 

So basically what I'm asking is that I want to limit my buying to two things. What combination will give me the most options?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...