PDA

View Full Version : More about the Atari Portfolio



southbird
June 7th, 2010, 07:59 PM
So I just found about the little pocket PC from the auction thread where the guy is selling his "surprisingly complete" set on eBay. I am amazed at something like that running for apparently "up to 6 weeks" on 3 AA batteries. If only modern laptops could be built that way.

I guess I'm wondering a couple things -- is that claim correct, or is that a skew that it will maintain memory in a sleep type state for 6 weeks? I assume you can't actually run it for 6 weeks straight?

Also it's supposedly IBM PC compatible, DOS and BIOS and all that. But the character display is limited (40 x 8 or 240 x 64) so how can it run general DOS programs? I'd imagine you'd only see the first 8 lines?

paul.brett
June 8th, 2010, 02:39 AM
Also it's supposedly IBM PC compatible, DOS and BIOS and all that. But the character display is limited (40 x 8 or 240 x 64) so how can it run general DOS programs? I'd imagine you'd only see the first 8 lines?

In one of the modes, the display becomes a scrolling window on a virtual 80x25 display. The scrolling attempts to follow the cursor, and it isn't perfect by any means. It's still a fun little PC, and one I would recommend getting.

hideki
June 9th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Hihi

Be aware, the Atari Portfolio is not completely PC compatible

In fact, the bios routines for keyboard scanning are particularly broken so a number of apps that expect extended keycodes to be presented a certain way will just crash the machine when that key is pressed...

Additionally, the machine is limited to 128K (or 512K if you find a 512K Portfolio, I'm told they come packaged in hen's teeth) and the card slot can only take portfolio specific 32/64/128KiB cards -.-

Another note, if you have the parallel interface and want to use it for file transfer, the cable you use to link it to the pc /must/ be straight wired (1-1, 2-2, 3-3 ... 24-24, 25-25) or it won't work, laplink cables definitely won't work, the ft.com file is lurking around here if you don't have it (used to transfer files over that cable)

It runs a variant of MS-DOS 2 so there's some limitations there too

All that said, it's still not a bad machine and there was even a version of Hisoft Power Basic compiler written for it that supports its odd keyboard/graphics mode etc.

curtis
June 10th, 2010, 08:35 AM
Actually, there are sidecar memory add ons. My auction includes 3 of the suckers although only 2 can be added for a total of 640K RAM. The add-ons also include a couple more of the card drives, but those are of dubious use. IMHO. Also, you'll need to utilize the AC adapter if you're going to use the sidecar memory and devise some sort of cradle to keep the sucker together if you plan on taking it on the road!

Supposedly someone has done a PCMCIA adapter for the Portfolio, but I'm not sure about its availability.

And yes, the DIP OS is "mostly" MS-DOS 2.11 compatible. Don't think it'll pass the Flight Simulator test.