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Partial emulation - Disk Drive replacements


RickR

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Check this out.  It's a very inexpensive device called an SIO2PC that essentially emulates a disk drive for Atari 8-bit computers.  They make other similar devices (SIO2USB, for example), but they cost more.  They also make fully contained devices (SIO2SD), but I've found those are cumbersome to use (surprisingly) -- you must pick an image using a tiny LCD screen and a couple of buttons on the device.  It's difficult when you have hundreds of images on an SD card.

 

SIO2PC costs about $30 shipped, and connects to a computer via a serial port.  On the computer, you run a piece of software in which you choose a disk image to server.  The Atari computer then sees this as if it were a real disk.  I use the term images and disks, but it also does cartridge images in the same way.  As a bonus, the speed is higher than a real disk drive (3 times is about the limit in my experience).  The other end of the device plugs into the Atari SIO port.

 

post-41-0-43342500-1468687110_thumb.jpg

 

I use free software called aspeQT on an older Dell laptop.  Here's a picture of the software in action.  I've put a "Bruce Lee" image in the D1 slot.  Notice how you can emulate up to 14 drives!  In fact, you can use this device to test real disk drives, or even copy images to a physical disk!  Lots of potential here. 

 

post-41-0-95358900-1468687102_thumb.jpg

 

Once you specify an image, just turn on the computer.  It makes the normal "beeps" as it loads, and BOOM.  Here's Bruce Lee. 

 

post-41-0-31457500-1468687105_thumb.jpg

 

Here's a picture of the full setup.  Laptop serves as an image server.

 

post-41-0-66627900-1468687108_thumb.jpg

 

I personally love this device.  It lets me try any piece of software available on the 8-bits without having to worry about disks.  I still collect 8-bit cartridges, but gave up on disks a long time ago -- they are fragile and the drives themselves can be fussy. 

 

So there you go.  If you have an 8-bit computer, this device (or the USB version) are must-owns in my opinion.  :beer: :vulcan_salute:

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I use the Lotharek USB SIO2PC as well and love it. I was hellbent on getting an Indus GT for a while but this is way better, faster and cheaper. Just have to always have a computer on hand or hooked up for the drive emulation but thankfully that's not a problem.

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

cerka.weebly.com

 

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Check this out.  It's a very inexpensive device called an SIO2PC that essentially emulates a disk drive for Atari 8-bit computers.  They make other similar devices (SIO2USB, for example), but they cost more.  They also make fully contained devices (SIO2SD), but I've found those are cumbersome to use (surprisingly) -- you must pick an image using a tiny LCD screen and a couple of buttons on the device.  It's difficult when you have hundreds of images on an SD card.

 

SIO2PC costs about $30 shipped, and connects to a computer via a serial port.  On the computer, you run a piece of software in which you choose a disk image to server.  The Atari computer then sees this as if it were a real disk.  I use the term images and disks, but it also does cartridge images in the same way.  As a bonus, the speed is higher than a real disk drive (3 times is about the limit in my experience).  The other end of the device plugs into the Atari SIO port.

 

attachicon.gifsio2pc 2016-07-16 015.JPG

 

I use free software called aspeQT on an older Dell laptop.  Here's a picture of the software in action.  I've put a "Bruce Lee" image in the D1 slot.  Notice how you can emulate up to 14 drives!  In fact, you can use this device to test real disk drives, or even copy images to a physical disk!  Lots of potential here. 

 

attachicon.gifsio2pc 2016-07-16 001.JPG

 

Once you specify an image, just turn on the computer.  It makes the normal "beeps" as it loads, and BOOM.  Here's Bruce Lee. 

 

attachicon.gifsio2pc 2016-07-16 004.JPG

 

Here's a picture of the full setup.  Laptop serves as an image server.

 

attachicon.gifsio2pc 2016-07-16 006.JPG

 

I personally love this device.  It lets me try any piece of software available on the 8-bits without having to worry about disks.  I still collect 8-bit cartridges, but gave up on disks a long time ago -- they are fragile and the drives themselves can be fussy. 

 

So there you go.  If you have an 8-bit computer, this device (or the USB version) are must-owns in my opinion.  :beer: :vulcan_salute:

Are the floppy disk games for Atari home computers easy to find online? I just may get one whenever I do get an Atari Computer!

Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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