Monday, 1 June 2009

Real Atari Computers and Compatibles

Atari's last computer was the Falcon in about 1993. Then they went bust. After that, a company called c-lab 're-badged' Falcons for the music market (with stronger cases and better sound connectors). Since then, a couple of companies manufactured clones..
And so onto today. There are a number of options to get a modern fast computer that runs much faster than the speeds available when the Falcon was first released.

Falcon Upgrade board
Rodolphe Czuba makes upgrade boards that connect to the Falcon and replace the space taken up with the original power supply with a motorola 68060.  Unfortunately, he needs an order of 25 boards before he will make another batch.
The CT63 board allows you to run software at between 80 and 100mhz, and can be fitted without soldering. You still need to provide the ram and an atx power supply.
more details.

The benchmarks are interesting too. Its probably worth reading the details of what technical difficulties that could possibly arise.  To get yourself on the waiting list, find out more here




Atari Coldfire Project
The next option to get a new atari is the Atari Coldfire Project.. This is basically a new computer which sits inside a pc case. Instead of running a 680x0 processor, they use the motorola coldfire processor which is capable of running at 266MHz and should provide everything a modern computer should have.
The website provides lots of details and has been very recently updated. It seems like a very exciting project. The cost for developer boards seems reasonable for a new computer, although perhaps your opinion depends on whether you compare it with a pc laptop or whether you view it on its own strengths.

Suska
Suska III comprises 2 different projects. Both appear to be an ambitious idea to put an entire STE on a chip. It sounds as though the project is nearly completed. The second system takes a different approach, to update the STE to a more modern platform, in that it would have USB ports, an ethernet interface and the ability to read Micro SD-Cards. The idea would be that these would both be very energy efficient, tiny computers.. The updated edition would have no moving parts and make an ideal platform for portable devices or non-portable network devices..
More details from the website. The latest news from april is that Suska-III-C tests are in progress and up to now successful. They are prepareing information material and user manuals.

So let the designers know your thoughts, particularly if you'd like to buy!!

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