Incognito Board


Multiple personalities for trusty old Atari 800
 

The Reasons
Some time ago, i"ve bought Atari 800 - wasn"t cheap, as it"s pretty rare in Poland, and had some issues with the keyboard, but after putting some time and love into it, i"ve managed to get it 100% operational, well... Except for the fact there is very little software one can really use on 400/800 series. But there was a hope - Warerat (Sergio J. Larrondo) from AtariAge forum was developing a personality board (this is how board that goes into ROM slot is called, named after the fact it gives a personality to the computer - you change it, personality changes) that would allow old trusty 800 to be XL/XE compatible, plus it would have extended memory known from 130XE.

Good!
Well, almost, because it never got to the production stage. I know Sergio has finnished it, but lots of other things stops from getting it into production - some say this is real life ;)
 

So, I"ve started from scratch - having Ultimate1MB designed I knew it shouldn"t take long to adopt it to personality board form factor. That form factor forced some chages, but nothing i couldn"t cope with. With few days i had schematics and initial placement done. It took another three days to get it routed, and thus, with help of group of betatesters that helped me finacially and later activly using the board I had a working prototype - at the beggining just the Colleen mode (aka stock 800) and after another day XL/XE mode was reality.
 

Form factor was so large compared to the U1MB board, I though it would be nice to add an IDE interface and PBI connector, and since expensive parts were already there (CPLD chip, and PCB itself) I thought adding $1 buffer chip and $3 CF card connector won"t make any diffrence. Thus, board received fully blown PBI hard disk interface with all features that one could dream about - mostly to the fantastic PBI driver Jonatan Halliday wrote.

 

Feature list:

  • 4 slots for OS separate for Colleen and XL/XE mode
  • 64k of FLASH for future GUI
  • 2 slots for BASIC/CARTRIDGE
  • build in, configurable PBI CF card storage (works as PBI in XL/XE mode, and through SDX driver in Colleen mode)
  • build in FAT32 loader (SIDE) with both ATR and XEX file handling
  • SpartaDosX
  • onboard RTC
  • 1MB Axlon compatible memory expansion for Colleen mode
  • 64k/320k/576/1088k total memory available in XL/XE mode
  • up to 52k of memory in Colleen mode (configurable)

 

 

 

 

I would to thank to the following people for their support and participation in this project:

 

 

 

Jonatan Halliday (PBI driver and SDX driver for Colleen mode)Daniel Kożmiński (Incognito BIOS logo)Jay L. Bray (betatester, Incognito/Ultimate1MB ROM generator)Jonatan Taylor (betatester)Ken Schafer (betatester)Mike Cartledge (betatester)Robert Miller (betatester)Roy Dean (betatester)Stephen Anderson (betatester)Iain Hancock (betatester)and last but not least
Sergio J. Larrondo for seeding this idea