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Thread: What SD card options are there for my Atari 8 bit Computers?

  1. #1
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    Default What SD card options are there for my Atari 8 bit Computers?

    I am relatively new to the ATARI 8 bit line. I bought an Atari 130XE and Atari 800XL from a woman who sold off her passed fathers entire (huge mind you) atari collection of magazines, computers, peripherals, boxed games, etc. I havent done much with it yet. I was wondering what sd card options exist for these computers and what you all recommend as Id like to get more into it.

    I may catalog some of what I have and sell, there is alot of programming rom carts and disks, complete computer magazine runs for the early to late 80's, etc.

    Appreciate the feedback, thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm using SIO2SD, I think there may be 1 or 2 other options, but as far as I know, they are all variations of the same concept. Both of your machines have an SIO serial bus, and a PBI parallel but. The parallel bus, while faster, wasn't available on all machines in the Atari 8-bit line, and saw fewer peripherals developed for it. Because of that, I am not aware of any PBI SD options. The SIO can support up to 4 drives, D0-D3, and those can be floppy, hard drive, SD, or optical. I believe most/all SD options use a .atr file on a FAT formatted SD card. The machine will attempt to boot from D0: so if you connect a SIO2SD and it has a bootable image file on it, set it to D0. If you wish to boot from floppy, and format a new "blank" image file, set your floppy to D0 and the SIO2SD to D1, D2, or D3. The Atari's internal ROM-OS reads and writes sectors to the storage device, and the storage device is in charge of translating that to physical media, so SD storage is supported by every OS option, as the machine has no idea that you're using an SD card instead of a floppy.

  3. #3

    Default SD card

    There are a multitude of different ways to use SD cards and Flash Memory cards on the 8-bits.

    The fast ones are parallel bus devices and several of those are IDE hard disk interfaces, connected to the PBI, with an IDE <> SD adapter. The slower ones are SIO solutions like SIO2SD, SDrive or SIO2IDE. For the XF551 disk drives one can use floppy emulators as used on PC, Atari ST/Falcon and Amiga. If they can emulate 360KB disks mechanics you're probably good to go. To support 720KB the stock O.S of the XF551 has to be replaced (EPROM). 1.44MB is not possible this way.

    If you happen to have a SCSI interface (MIO/BlackBox) you can use SCSI memory card readers. Those support multiple memory card formats and/or PCMCIA of which SD is just one of it , but only up to 4GB.
    Atari 8-Bit user (400/800/600XL/800XL/1200XL/65XE/800XE/130XE/XEGS)

  4. #4
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    This thread got me interested in Atari computers. I never owned one back in the day. I had Commodore VIC20 and C128 and then jumped to IBM compatible with a Commodore Colt. I now own a 600XL and an 800XL because the more I read about them the more impressed I became. Many more colors available than other 8-bits and decent sound too. I have been on Atariage a lot and they helped me repair the two I have, but I am curious why so little interest here.
    PCjr, DTK PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 500, various old laptops, Commodore Colt, all working. I also have a 286 that I need to see if I can repair.

  5. #5
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    My original questions still stands.

    KenEG, I literrally havent even touched mine. Lately I have been just tinkering on my commodore units and Compact MACS. I really do need to get back into the ATARI stuff. I have two floppy drives and thats it right now, Id like other options.

  6. #6
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    I replied in my PM, but will put it here so others can see. For me, the best option seemed to be the SIO2USB because it is cheapest and I have old laptop computers sitting here I can use to store the files and emulate a disk drive. It doesn’t have a pass through, so it would have to be last in line with you real drives. If you don’t have a laptop computer to dedicate to the task and you are too far away from a modern PC or MAC to use it, the next best option seemed to be the SIO2SD. I looked at a lot of options before com8ng to this conclusion, but price was a major factor for me. There are some cool, but expensive, options out there. A little googling finds them.
    PCjr, DTK PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 500, various old laptops, Commodore Colt, all working. I also have a 286 that I need to see if I can repair.

  7. #7

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    Never Bin or sell your old computer's you will regret it!!
    Vic 20 x3,C64 x2,128D,C128 flat deck,A1000 x2,A500 x3,A2000,A600,A1200,Apple ][e,2x Apple][ GS rom 01,03,Apple ][c x4 with only 1 PSU,2x Laser 128EX EX2,Atari 600XL,2x 800XL,130XE w/320 mod With a MyIDE plus,Atari 1040stf w/2.5meg..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisUnionNJ View Post
    I have an SIO2USB on the way from him. Looking forward to finally being able to use my Atari computers.
    PCjr, DTK PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 500, various old laptops, Commodore Colt, all working. I also have a 286 that I need to see if I can repair.

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