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Atari Disk Drives

Erik

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Does anyone know what the differences were between Atari's 810 and 1050 drives and competing drives from companies like Rana?

Were they 100% compatible or did they have alternate higher-density modes?

Thanks,

Erik
 

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Re: Atari Disk Drives

"Erik" wrote in message:

> Does anyone know what the differences were between
> Atari's 810 and 1050 drives and competing drives from
> companies like Rana?

> Were they 100% compatible or did they have alternate
> higher-density modes?

According to my book the Atari 800 & Atari 1200XL had
support for disk drives (possibly the Atari 810 drive I
suppose) & only allowed 88.4k per disk. I couldn't image
a 16bit computer having much use for that. But maybe
the Atari XE used the same drive as the Atari ST. But I
cannot be certain.

Cheers.
 

Tsagoth

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810-1050

810-1050

The only real difference is that the 1050 supported a new mode called enhanced density. Still 40 tracks, but instead of 18 sectors, I think it went to 26 sectors per track.

I don't know about Rana specifically. Some other companies who made drives supported true double density, like the Astra Double D. There were various upgrades for the 1050, most of which gave you double density.
 

Erik

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While packing for my move I spent a bit of extra time bagging my various magazines.

I noticed that issue 17 of Antic (I think) was a "Disk Drive" issue. I didn't have time to research my question, but I will once I've moved and unpacked. . .

Erik
 

AtariManiac

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Tsagoth is right. The differences between the Atari 810 and 1050 (besides the fact that a 1050 is a half-height drive and the 810 is not) was the format. 1050 formats 26 sectors, 810 does 18. That meant 1010 sectors on an "enhanced" density 1050 vs. the 707 on the 810. Each sector =128 bytes. You can get 127K on a ED disk, or 88K on a SD disk.

The only true double sided, double density drive made by Atari was the XF551. And, I stand to be corrected, but I SWEAR that there was/is a conversion kit available for it to go from a 5.25" to a 3.5" disk.

Of all of them, the Indus GT drive (DS/DD) was my favorite. It was the Caddilac of floppy drives for the Atari.
 

AtariManiac

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Oh, yeah... CP/M User: The Atari 8-bits (with the right DOS) can access up to a 16MB disk.

Check out...

http://home.wanadoo.nl/mr.atari/
and
http://www.atarimax.com/

I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE Interface", but I think it can go well over 16MB. I just know that DOS XE, SpartaDOS, and, I think, MYDOS 4.5 can only go up to 16 megs, regardless of which particular Atari computer you are using, with the possible exception of the original 8K RAM 400's. They can too, but they have to have a memory upgrade to even load any version of DOS and have any kind of reasonable memory space left.
 

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"AtariManiac" wrote in message:

> Oh, yeah... CP/M User: The Atari 8-bits (with
> the right DOS) can access up to a 16MB disk.

> Check out...

> http://home.wanadoo.nl/mr.atari/
> and
> http://www.atarimax.com/

> I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE
> Interface", but I think it can go well over 16MB.
> I just know that DOS XE, SpartaDOS, and, I
> think, MYDOS 4.5 can only go up to 16 megs,
> regardless of which particular Atari computer
> you are using, with the possible exception of
> the original 8K RAM 400's. They can too, but
> they have to have a memory upgrade to even
> load any version of DOS and have any kind of
> reasonable memory space left.

Strewth, well it just goes to show that an old
(nearly 20 year old book) can be well & truely
out of date! :)

Cheers.
 

romualdl

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drives

drives

Hi there,

For the Atari disk drives have alook at the atari FAQ everything is in there + some links to pics or more info...
More or less the same thing concerning the IDE interfaces...

Romu
 

Fox-1 / MNX

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>I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE Interface", but I think it can >go well over 16MB.


As for info about Atari diskdrives:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/faq/section-20.html

As for the 16MB limit, this is a DOS limit. In those days they never thought about such large volumes, and to maintain compatibility all DOS' do support ''only'' up to 16MB.

Back then, a special version of MyDOS claimed to have 48MB as the limit, but it was never released to the public.

A new DOS is in the make (albeit a while since I received the last beta-update) which is compatible with the Sparta-Dos diskstructure but with virtually no limits, however the limit will now be fixed to 64MB max.

Atari ST diskdrives are not compatible in any way to a standard Atari XL and XE computer. An ST drive is just a bare disk-mechanic (like Amiga/PC) while the floppycontroller is built into the computer, where the XL/XE drives are ''intelligent'' devices and have their own processors.

Several third-party upgrades for the XF551 do exist to attach an extra 720KB 3.5'' mechanic to the diskdrive in addition to the original 360KB 5,25'' one, but one can simply exchange the standard 40 tracks EPROM of an XF551 for an 80 tracks one to support double-sided 720KB disks. When using an EPROM which is twice as big you can easily switch between the ''old'' 40 tracks code and the new 80 tracks.
 

atarimuseum

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Fox-1 / MNX said:
>I'm not really familiar with Mr. Atari's "My IDE Interface", but I think it can >go well over 16MB.


As for info about Atari diskdrives:
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/faq/section-20.html

As for the 16MB limit, this is a DOS limit. In those days they never thought about such large volumes, and to maintain compatibility all DOS' do support ''only'' up to 16MB.

Back then, a special version of MyDOS claimed to have 48MB as the limit, but it was never released to the public.

A new DOS is in the make (albeit a while since I received the last beta-update) which is compatible with the Sparta-Dos diskstructure but with virtually no limits, however the limit will now be fixed to 64MB max.

Atari ST diskdrives are not compatible in any way to a standard Atari XL and XE computer. An ST drive is just a bare disk-mechanic (like Amiga/PC) while the floppycontroller is built into the computer, where the XL/XE drives are ''intelligent'' devices and have their own processors.

Several third-party upgrades for the XF551 do exist to attach an extra 720KB 3.5'' mechanic to the diskdrive in addition to the original 360KB 5,25'' one, but one can simply exchange the standard 40 tracks EPROM of an XF551 for an 80 tracks one to support double-sided 720KB disks. When using an EPROM which is twice as big you can easily switch between the ''old'' 40 tracks code and the new 80 tracks.

You could technically run an Atari ST disk drive off the XF551 controller board with a ribbon cable. I used to have a pair of SF354 360K Atari ST disk drives hooked to my ATR8000 interface (great box, was a CP/M system that allowed Atari's to use its disk drive, serial and parallel ports and with a terminal software cart or disk you could make your Atari its terminal and run CP/M software on it and save your info in Atari disk format)



Curt
 

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"atarimuseum" wrote:

> You could technically run an Atari ST disk drive off the XF551
> controller board with a ribbon cable. I used to have a pair
> of SF354 360K Atari ST disk drives hooked to my ATR8000
> interface (great box, was a CP/M system that allowed Atari's
> to use its disk drive, serial and parallel ports and with a terminal
> software cart or disk you could make your Atari its terminal
> and run CP/M software on it and save your info in Atari disk
> format)

I'm guessing that if you really wanted to, you could have CP/M-68 based system running on those machines, otherwise the support for a large quantity of 8bit CP/M programs for an Atari based system would be through emulation program.

The CP/M-68 based system was designed for those 68000 based processing systems though.

Cheers,
CP/M User.
 

atarimuseum

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True,

But we were discussing the Atari 8bit line of drives and computers which are 6502 based, the later Atari ST series of computers used CP/M68 and DRI's GEM to create "Jayson" the 68000 version of GEM for Atari known as TOS




Curt
 

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"atarimuseum" wrote:

> True,

> But we were discussing the Atari 8bit line of drives and computers which
> are 6502 based, the later Atari ST series of computers used CP/M68 and
> DRI's GEM to create "Jayson" the 68000 version of GEM for Atari known
> as TOS

Oh okay, you'd need a Z80 cartridge, which AFAIK doesn't exist (unless a 3rd party or enthusiest did one). Well I guess if they can do a Z80 card for the BBC series computers to run CP/M, theorically Atari could do it as well.

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carlsson

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For the record, there was a Z80 card for the C64 too, but I'm not sure how useful it was and whether CP/M was possible to run. Maybe if it would be combined with a much later REU memory expansion..
 

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"carlsson" wrote:

> For the record, there was a Z80 card for the C64 too, but I'm not sure
> how useful it was and whether CP/M was possible to run. Maybe if it
> would be combined with a much later REU memory expansion..

I was almost going to mention this earlier, though a C64 is an enhanced CPU of the 6502 (6510). Rumor had it that, even though it could run CP/M via a Z80 Cartridge, it's 1 Mhz processor was a touch slow? Or was it the Disk Drive being the drawback? (Possibly both?)

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carlsson

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Dunno at what frequency the Z80 processor on the card runs at, and the rest of the computer should only operate as a slave system. For speed, I suppose a IEEE-488 interface may have helped. The hardware disk speeders arrived a few years later, and may have worked with a Z80 processor too if it issues standard calls through the subsystem.

On the topic of 8 and 16 bit systems within the same company, I seem to reckon that the 3.5" drive 1581 uses the same mechanism as found in Amigas, similarly to how the XF551 would work with a ST mechanism. Maybe it isn't so strange after all, given the limited selection of mechanisms and there would be no point in maintaining two different types of the same product only because they belong to different series of computers.

(BTW, the 6510 is a 6502 + two I/O registers for mapping ROM in and out on top of RAM, so nothing really magical IMHO).
 

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"carlsson" wrote:

> On the topic of 8 and 16 bit systems within the same company, I seem
> to reckon that the 3.5" drive 1581 uses the same mechanism as found
> in Amigas, similarly to how the XF551 would work with a ST mechanism.

I seem to recall the first Amiga comming out in 1985, which had a inbuilt 3.5" disk drive. Though they weren't the first computers with 3.5" disks (if that's what you're wonderning about), but a 68000 based machine no doubt. The first Mac came out in 1984, though the first 3.5" disks go further back.

> (BTW, the 6510 is a 6502 + two I/O registers for mapping ROM in and
> out on top of RAM, so nothing really magical IMHO).

I was told that like the Z80 & 8080, the 6510 came with additional assembly instructions (apart from the extra registers it came with).

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atarimuseum

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I have two prototypes, the Atari 1060 CP/M add-on, its a box very similar to the ATR8000 with a Z80, 64K and 40/80 column output that Atari designed for the 8bit line of computers, and the Atari 1066 CP/M card which was a PBI (Parallel Bus Interface) card meant for the unreleased Atari 1090 XL Expansion system card cage that would've allowed XL (and the later XE's) line of 8bits to use expansion cards, unfortunately I have yet to find any software to activate the cp/m box and the 1066 cp/m card :-(



Card
 

atarimuseum

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Wasn't Sony was using 3.5"s before Apple's Mac, also Amdek had a 3" disk drive out in late 1982, early 1983 called the Amdisk.

Curt

CP/M User said:
"carlsson" wrote:

> On the topic of 8 and 16 bit systems within the same company, I seem
> to reckon that the 3.5" drive 1581 uses the same mechanism as found
> in Amigas, similarly to how the XF551 would work with a ST mechanism.

I seem to recall the first Amiga comming out in 1985, which had a inbuilt 3.5" disk drive. Though they weren't the first computers with 3.5" disks (if that's what you're wonderning about), but a 68000 based machine no doubt. The first Mac came out in 1984, though the first 3.5" disks go further back.

> (BTW, the 6510 is a 6502 + two I/O registers for mapping ROM in and
> out on top of RAM, so nothing really magical IMHO).

I was told that like the Z80 & 8080, the 6510 came with additional assembly instructions (apart from the extra registers it came with).

CP/M User.
 
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