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Date: 1989-04 atari800xl.org comp.sys.atari.8bit
Atari & Coleco  
 More options Apr 1 1989, 1:47 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: m@tramp.Colorado.EDU (MEAD BENNETT ROSS) -
Date: 31 Mar 89 16:47:42 GMT
Local: Sat, Apr 1 1989 1:47 am
Subject: Re: Atari & Coleco
| | | | | | |
In article <1@csd4.milw.wisc.edu> m@csd4.milw.wisc.edu (Michael A Gorski) writes:

>I just heard that Atari Corp. just sold their 6502 based computers and
>all their game systems to Coleco.

>Can anyone verify or shoot down this rumor?

I hope that this rumor is untrue.  The fact that I havent heard anything of the
sort doesn't mean a thing, but my father is the presedent of a small but
rumor consious Atari users group in Los Alamos, and at their meeting last
friday nothing of that sort came out.  If this rumor is true I think that the
eight bit computers wont last long (look at the Adam and Colecovision), but
will they anyway even if Atari holds on to it?  My father has also tried to
sell various programs in Antic and Analog, but has had three sales in the year
or so he has been selling.  (He has had at least 200, probably more, inquiries
from 7 or 8 adds.)  

| M@tramp.colorado.edu      |    In this day and age there isn't any       |
| meadb!tramp!boulder!ncar....  |    Such thing as NORMAL.                     |
| or  meadb!tramp!boulder       |   "There's no reason to be afraid, they're   |
| !sunybcs!rutgers...           |    just ideas for walls" -Men w/o Hats.      |

2.  ajy2208%ritcv  
 More options Apr 2 1989, 12:02 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: ajy2208%ri@cs.rit.edu -
Date: 1 Apr 89 15:02:08 GMT
Local: Sun, Apr 2 1989 12:02 am
Subject: Re: Atari & Coleco
| | | | | | |
I __HIGHLY__ doubt the rumour about Coleco purchasing Atari's 8-bit
machines is true.  This rumour seems to have been an April fools joke
posted first to BBSs and then uploaded to the net.  The message indicated
that Atari sold the 8-bit computer line to Coleco for $50,000. C'mon,
that's ridiculous, it's certainly worth a LOT more than that!!!  Anyway,
the 'press release' as it was called was dated 04/01/89.

  Albert Yarusso

  Bitnet:  ajy2@ritvax.bitnet               (preffered)
  Usenet:  ajy2208.ritcv.rit.edu

3.  John Kawakami  
 More options Apr 2 1989, 6:24 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: c60c-@web-1b.berkeley.edu (John Kawakami) -
Date: 1 Apr 89 21:24:03 GMT
Local: Sun, Apr 2 1989 6:24 am
Subject: Re: Atari & Coleco
| | | | | | |
The Atari Coleco thing was an April fools' day joke.
The Atari Coleco thing was an April fools' day joke.
The Atari Coleco thing was an April fools' day joke.

                  John Kawakami    c60c-@web.berkeley.edu
        "Oh it's a good feeling, to know your alive..."  - Fred Rogers

4.  Robert allen Jung  
 More options Apr 2 1989, 10:20 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: r@castor.usc.edu (Robert allen Jung) -
Date: 2 Apr 89 01:20:08 GMT
Local: Sun, Apr 2 1989 10:20 am
Subject: Re: Atari & Coleco
| | | | | | |
Nonsense. This "rumor" got started when a wiseacre sent up a "press release"
to CompuServe. Among the other stupid things in the report were

* Atari moves corporate headquarters to Germany
* Sig Hartman is a German
* Atari releases new "FU" supercomputer

  Now, why didn't anyone notice that the "release" had a date of 4/1/1989 on
it? Sigh.


                 Disclaimer: This message was written with my authorization
      # ## #
      # ## #     Mailing address: r@nunki.usc.edu
     ## ## ##          (It's easier to just use the reply function, tho)
  ####  ##  ####

5.  sac585  
 More options Apr 3 1989, 3:21 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: sac@uxf.cso.uiuc.edu -
Date: 2 Apr 89 18:21:00 GMT
Subject: Re: Atari & Coleco
| | | | | | |

 >The Atari Coleco thing was an April fools' day joke.
 >The Atari Coleco thing was an April fools' day joke.
 >The Atari Coleco thing was an April fools' day joke.

 >                 John Kawakami    c60c-@web.berkeley.edu

Sez you. Wanna see the text of the press release on the subject?

48K Atari 400 Quest  
1.  Prickett  
 More options Apr 1 1989, 4:01 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: m@ihlpb.ATT.COM (Prickett) -
Date: 31 Mar 89 19:01:54 GMT
Local: Sat, Apr 1 1989 4:01 am
Subject: 48K Atari 400 Quest
| | | | | | |

I have an Atari 400 with a 16K memory board in it.  I would like to
bring it up to 48K.  Does anyone out there have instructions on how
I could make this modification myself?  On the other hand, I have
the current catalog from Best Electronics (408-243-6950) which has
two 48K expansion options advertised on Pg. 4.  Does anyone know
what the difference is between the -48K Expansion Kit (CB101052)-
and the -48K Atari Expansion Board (CO61553)- ?
        I would prefer to do the mod. myself since I probably have
the spare IC's in my collection box at home and soldering irons
don't scare me but I may just order one of the items mentioned above.

(BTW - I got this as part of a package deal with some other stuff that
        I just ->had to have<- and thought it would be fun to hack on.)

AdThanksVance for any info.

Marcus "Orphaned Computer" Prickett
(312) 979-6199

2.  Bob_BobR_Retelle  
 More options Apr 2 1989, 5:02 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: Bob_BobR_Rete@cup.portal.com -
Date: 1 Apr 89 20:02:21 GMT
Local: Sun, Apr 2 1989 5:02 am
Subject: Re: 48K Atari 400 Quest
| | | | | | |
A question was raised about expanding an Atari 400 to 48K:

>I have an Atari 400 with a 16K memory board in it.  I would like to
>bring it up to 48K.  Does anyone out there have instructions on how
>I could make this modification myself?  On the other hand, I have
>the current catalog from Best Electronics (408-243-6950) which has
>two 48K expansion options advertised on Pg. 4.

I used an Axlon 48K RAM board to expand my 400 years ago, and the installation
was smooth and sweet, with no problems experienced at all.  Because the
400 was not designed to address more than 16K directly at the RAM board
socket, you needed to solder a small "template" pc board onto the bottom
of the motherboard between the RAM socket and the cartridge socket to
bring in the missing address lines, but that was a simple procedure.
Once that was done, the 48K RAM board just plugged in and the upgrade
was complete  (FAR more easily done than upgrading an ST..!)

I'm not familiar with the part numbers mentioned in the BEST Electronics
catalog, althouth the second one:

>  -48K Atari Expansion Board (CO61553)-

sounds like an Atari part number.  I was never aware that Atari Inc. had
officially released a memory upgrade for the 400, but I imagine anything
is possible.

The best thing might be to call BEST and see if anyone there can give any
information about the upgrades.

One last bit of perspective..   the Axlon 48K RAM board I installed in my
400 cost virtually the same as the 512K expansion board that I installed
in my 520ST a year ago...   whew...


3.  C.L. Freemesser  
 More options Apr 3 1989, 5:05 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: clf3@ultb.UUCP (C.L. Freemesser) -
Date: 2 Apr 89 20:05:30 GMT
Local: Mon, Apr 3 1989 5:05 am
Subject: Re: 48K Atari 400 Quest
| | | | | | |

The expansion kit (CBxxxxxx) is sold by Best Electronics and is their
product.  The expansion board (COxxxxx) is an Atari product.  I have no
idea which is best, but I would lean towards the Atari board.  I THINK
it is just a plug in job, but can't be sure about it.


850 Interface Handler Code - attn Jean Goulet  
1.  Chris_F_Chiesa  
 More options Apr 2 1989, 3:04 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: Chris_F_Chi@cup.portal.com -
Date: 1 Apr 89 18:04:20 GMT
Local: Sun, Apr 2 1989 3:04 am
Subject: Re: 850 Interface Handler Code - attn Jean Goulet
| | | | | | |

 In an article whose header Portal doesn't pull into the reply, Jean Goulet

> I'm looking for 6502 source code for the handler for the Atari 850
> interface module.  [...]

If you haven't had any other responses to your query, write me e-mail at


and we can discuss this; I may be able to help.

The actual 6502 code that handles the 850 Interface Module is downloaded from
the 850 itself at boot time, through a sequence of SIO commands that I've never
seen documented but which I have investigated on my own.  This approach seems
capable of allowing a person to "fool" the 850 into sending the handler to
the computer under the control of a debugger (DDT, nee Bug/65) whence it may
be saved to disk, investigated in memory, single-stepped, etc.  I haven't
taken it this far myself, but it seems it ought to be fairly straightforward.

One concern is that this will NOT produce "source code."  At the immediate
level, of course, all one would have would be executable code -- but with
proper tools that could at least be disassembled.  If this is adequate to your
needs, Jean, write me and we'll see if we can work something out.  If not,
best of luck finding the information you seek.  (And, while you're at it,
tell me more about this "other" handler you've obtained?  I've never heard
of it.)


   Chris Chiesa

2.  JEAN GOULET | DCKS004 | |  
 More options Apr 7 1989, 4:25 am
Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
From: j@maxwell.Concordia.CA ( JEAN GOULET | DCKS004 | | ) -
Date: 6 Apr 89 19:25:00 GMT
Subject: Re: 850 Interface Handler Code - attn Jean Goulet
| | | | | | |

I too found out that the handler is in ROM in the 850.   Thing is, I don't
have an 850 (it's awfully tough to disassemble code that you don't have).
Luckily if you use FTP and OPEN, and go to the 8-bit directory,
you'll find ATARIRS.UUE, which you download and uudecode, and you get an
ARC file, and then you deARC that, and you get the object code for the
handler (apparently a debugged version).  Naturally when you disassemble
this you get no descriptive comments, and since the program probably uses
all sorts of tricks, it would be very hard to understand.  Hence my
call for source code.

Now why would I want to understand this thing?  The answer is that I was
wondering how tough it would be to build the equivalent of an 850,
or an R-verter (or both in fact).

This leads me to ask, if you open up the R-verter, what hardware do you see?
My guess is that it's got chips for converting RS-232 signals to TTL signals
(and vice-versa, using the MC1488 and MC1489).  The problem with this guess
is that one of these chips needs a +/- 12V supply, and that's a problem if
your only voltage source is +5V (from the serial port; that *is* where
the R-verter plugs in, right?).  Does the R-verter have an external power
supply?  What is the maximum baud rate of the R-verter?  Also, I once heard
that there was already a public-domain version of the R-verter (a schematic at
least), so if anyone has/knows of this, let me know.

Now I have a few questions regarding the 850:
  - which serial port on the 850 do you connect a modem to? (1-4)
  - which pins are used on the atari SIO cable, and which RS232 signal does
    each pin correspond to?  The table below is waiting for the answer.
    (I added a column for the R-verter in case it's different)

                                     from 850          from R-verter
       RS-232 signal               SIO port pin #      SIO port pin #
       TD (transmit data)               5?                  5?
       RD (receive data)                3?                  3?
       CD (carrier detect)              ?                   ?
       RTS (request to send)            ?                   ?
       CTR (clear to send)              ?                   ?
       DSR (data set ready)             ?                   ?
       DTR (data terminal ready)        ?                   ?
       SG (signal ground)               6?                  6?

Once I get this info, I plan on using my unused 64K 400 (yes, they exist,
contrary to a message from someone saying that you could only fit 48K in that
machine; the 64K board was called the Mosaic 64K Ram Select) as the brains
for the 850 emulation.  That is, the modem will connect to my RS-232-to-TTL
converter, and that will be connected to the 400's joystick port, and the
400's SIO port will be connected to the XE's SIO port.  The 400 will appear
to be the 850 as far as the XE is concerned.  That way any software written
for the 850 (i.e. virtually every terminal program) will run without any

I'll have to write two programs to make it work: one to handle the RS-232-to-
joystick port interface, and another to handle the joystick port/SIO port
communication interface.

The first program will have to do serial-parallel conversion quickly enough
to operate at 1200 bps.  Timing will be critical too, so I plan on using
interrupts triggered by POKEY's hardware timers.  If you have any comments
of the type 'it is impossible' then let me know.  I figure it's possible
because I think Supra/MPP has a 1200 bps modem that connects to the
joystick ports, and one of the Volksmodems does that too.

The second program that'll be running on the 400 will be the one that sends all
the right responses to the XE.  I think that'll be the hard part.  From what
I can tell, I need to know the codes that are send out through SIO that
do things like identify the device (R:), say how many bytes are coming, do a
checksum, and differentiate between sending *text* to R:, and sending
*commands* to R: (such as setting the baud rate or setting parity).  If
this information is already described briefly in a manual somewhere, it would
certainly be a great help to have that transcribed in Email here.
Otherwise, I'll have to disassemble the 850 handler to find out.
Does anyone have documented source code for the 850 handler, or other modem

                                            Jean Goulet
                                            Electrical Engineering
                                            Class of '89
                                            Concordia University
                                            Montreal, Canada


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