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Current: The Missing Manual


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Starting a new thread to have a top post here with always-current URLs for the Missing Manual for the U1MB/1088XEL. I'm also creating a ePub doc version of it as well.


The most current versions should always be available at these URLs:











Please post any comments, suggestions, corrections or gripes below and I'll add them to the document if they will make it better!


This document should help anyone who knows about classic A8 devices but is just getting back into the modern scene and had purchased or aquired a 1088XEL or U1MB and wants to effectively use them.

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I'm not sure what specific relevance MrAtari, MYIDE-II or MYBIOS have to the 1088XEL project at all. No offence to either, of course, but MYBIOS is not part of the 1088XEL firmware. One may flash any OS to the U1MB OS slots, of course (MYBIOS included), but to acknowledge them all (Q-Meg, for example, which is supplied in one of the default OS slots) would be a lengthy and pointless exercise. Likewise one may plug in an Ultimate Cart, UNO Cart, etc, all of which are equally useful.


The stuff about 32MB partitions still requires correction; as I wrote previously, only the available filesystem imposes any limitation on size (aside from the limitation imposed by 28-bit LBA addressing). So really it would be appropriate to say that most available file systems - owing to 16-bit cluster addressing - are limited to 16MB partitions, while SDX can address 32MB partitions by virtue of the fact that it's the only currently available DOS capable of using 512 byte sectors. Using FATFS.SYS, even that limitation is removed (since clusters may typically be 4KB in size).


Likewise the 15 drive limit is really a software limitation. If SpartaDOS X - for example - chose to use more than four bits for the device ID, we could have 26 or 100 or 256 hard disk partitions mounted and addressable simultaneously.


The other salient point - which may already have been observed - is that SDX is not a requirement for the use of FDISK, etc. Most of the APT tools may be used with MYDOS, etc, if the user so desires.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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You are correct- I'm going to re-organize the manual to have 1088XEL / U1MB sections and then a misc part at the end. I have just been collecting so much information about these add-ons and HD projects that I may have gotten carried away.


I realize that the limitations are not due to your FW, I want to keep the Manual on a level that will allow quick reading and understanding without getting too deep into the weeds- I want to direct people back to your more comprehensive manuals for that level of technical explanation.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looking better all the time :thumbsup:. just one minor thing... on page 6 it goes into a lot of detail about the SIDE2 cartridge which is good background info, but would not be something you would normally use in the 1088XEL with a CF3 upgrade. The CF3 takes over all of this functionality, and precludes the use of the SIDE2 Cart (it's a one or the other situation). Not to say you couldn't still use a SIDE2 Cart, but it would require a different PBI Bios and Loader to do so in place of the custom XEL-CF3 ones that are part of the 1088XEL/U1MB specific Bios. So maybe a note to explain this would be good to add.

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on page 6 it goes into a lot of detail about the SIDE2 cartridge which is good background info, but would not be something you would normally use in the 1088XEL with a CF3 upgrade


Fair point- that is left over from when I was very overwhelmed and grabbing lots of different pieces of tech and lumping them all in the doc. Since the SIDE also runs a similar FW from FJC it ended up in there. I will catagorize pieces that are part (and not part) of the 1008XEL ecosystem in a more clear format.


Thanks for the feedback, I'm willing to listen to anything as it will make the document better and clearer for people just coming into the scene. As you probally know after you read your own words many many times you tend to glaze over parts that are obvious to fresh readers.

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On 12/5/2019 at 8:56 AM, tooloudtoowide said:

I suppose me :)

BTW. is it possible to generate also .mobi format for the manual? I did convert the .epub to .mobi but maybe it's easier to generate both format once exported from source doc.

It should be. I'm moving to InDesign 2020 and updating, I'll gen a .mobi if I can and let you know.


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I have uploaded a .MOBI version (but it's a mess):






I need to clean this up as Calibre didn't do a very good job converting it over to MOBI.


I'll continue to see how to better create a .mobi version- i think I just need to clean up all the fancy parts that Pages has allowed me to add.

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