I’m pleased to announce the release of version 2 of the ‘alt’ firmware for the U1MB, Incognito, and SIDE/SIDE2. Please visit the firmware page to download new ROMs, drivers, and tools. As well as updated firmware manuals, updated APT documentation may be found here on the APT documentation page.
Ten months after I started work on the custom U1MB firmware for the Mini-ATX 1088XEL, I’m happy to announce its public release. The 1088XEL – paired with the XEL-CF adapter – offers dual-CF card operation, as well as compatibility with SD/CF adapters and SD/IDE adapters. You can download the firmware, user guide and technical documentation from the 1088XEL Firmware Page.
After some extensive development work following the previous update, the “final” firmware update for U1MB, Incognito and SIDE/SIDE2 is complete. New features include:
- Dedicated High-Speed SIO menu
- SIO2BT support (at up to 56kb/s) and high-speed SIO for PCLink and other serial devices
- Built-in CIO “Z:” RTC device handler
- Improved SDX support
- Rapidus plug-in and support for PBI BIOS extensions in fast linear 65C816 RAM (U1MB only)
- General SIDE loader improvements
Grab the latest updates from the Firmware section.
Another firmware update for Ultimate 1MB, Incognito including Main BIOS, PBI BIOS and SIDE XEX Loader, plus updated XEX Loader for SIDE/SIDE2. New features include:
- Unified user interface for both main BIOS and XEX Loader
- Improved SIO2BT support
- High-speed SIO support for PCLink and other serial devices
- Improved CF card hot-swap handling in PBI BIOS and loader
- Improvements to keyboard and joystick handling
- Various bug fixes
The updates (and corresponding documentation) may be downloaded via the firmware page. Please see the heavily revised user manual for details of the new features – in particular the SIO driver section.
New updates for Ultimate 1MB, Incognito and SIDE/SIDE2 may be found in the firmware section of the site. New features include:
- Loader: joystick operation augmented by console key home, page down and page up navigation keys (primarily aimed at XEGS with keyboard disconnected)
- Loader: joystick control generally improved with proper debounce and better auto-repeat
- Loader: position in file or option list now preserved when moving between menus
- Loader: minor bug fixes
- Main BIOS: config changes requiring reboot now detected when swapping profiles
- Main BIOS: dual-level HDD write lock (see below)
- PBI BIOS: SIO2BT automatically handled by high speed SIO handler (simply enable HSIO for the appropriate drive)
- PBI BIOS: HDD writes can now be blocked at the partition or physical disk level (meaning writes to the MBR and partition table may be completely blocked once the media is partitioned)
- PBI BIOS: Patch vectors for RAM-based IO driver code
After a year of development and nine months of public beta testing, release versions of the “Alt” firmware (Main BIOS, PBI BIOS and XEX Loader) for U1MB and Incognito are finally available for download, along with an updated User Manual and newly written Technical Documentation. Also available is the new stand-alone XEX Loader for the SIDE/SIDE2 cartridge.
As well as correcting any issues over the coming weeks, I will also be adding complete sample flash ROM images (including the WIP Graphical OS) and uploading a small library of plugins for the U1MB BIOS (including a plugin supporting the new Rapidus board).
After two months of development, a new (beta) BIOS is available for the Ultimate 1MB:
Features of the new BIOS include:
- The ability to set the date and time from the setup menu
- Dual configuration profiles
- Categorized menus covering system settings, hard disk, device setup, etc
- Turbo-Freezer compatibility
- Customisable shortcut keys
- OS-independent Ultra-speed SIO for serial disk drives
- Optional BIOS logo screen and boot device selection menu
- Optional flash write protection
- System information page displaying CPU type, audio/video hardware, etc
- BIOS Plugin API for diverse hardware control (Ultimate 1MB only)
- Variable SpartaDOS X ROM sizes (192, 256 and 320KB)
A near identical version of the BIOS for Incognito will follow shortly. If you have comments, questions or suggestions, please visit the corresponding thread on the AtariAge forum.
Having finally overcome various hosting and other technical issues, I’m pleased to announce that atari8.co.uk is now back online. While more new content is in the pipeline, you can already download brand new SpartaDOS X 4.47 APT ROMs here.