In January 2017, Michael St Pierre (mytekcontrols) embarked on the project he’d been contemplating for two years: a completely redesigned Atari 8-bit motherboard, with an Mini-ITX form factor and using the original VLSI chips. After only nine months of gestation, the fully debugged version 1.1 boards arrived.
From the outset, the 1088XEL was built around the TK-II, Mousetari, UAV and Ultimate 1MB. Having already seen and used my alternative Ultimate 1MB firmware, Michael soon invited me to become involved in the 1088XEL testing process and asked if I could customise the BIOS in order to support the new motherboard’s unique features. Of course, the new firmware’s plug-in architecture made the creation of a drop-in 1088XEL module easy, although as time went on, modifications to the base code were also made.
Eventually, completely customised versions of the U1MB main BIOS, PBI BIOS and XEX loader were developed for the 1088XEL. Some changes – such as support for dual physical disks (used with the XEL-CF adapter) – proved highly challenging, but by the close of 2017, the new firmware was completed at the same time as an update for standard U1MB and Incognito installations.
Firmware coming soon…