New Coldari computer in pre order stage

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New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby TTowner » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:44 am

For those of us that want to be kept up to date with our Ataris, and those who just want to be bragging they have the best Atari computer out there.
You have got to check this out. http://www.medusacomputer.com/coldari.html

The new Coldari Medusa is available for order. Go put your money where your ST is.
This has got to be the most revolutionary Atari yet.
Medusa Computer Systems – Coldari

Information about the Coldari computer.

Check out the spec's
Processor: Coldfire MCF5474, 266MHz, 400MIPS
RAM: DDR, 512MB Main- + 128MB Video- and special RAM on Board, Speed: 1GB/s
Flash: 8MB on Board for Operating Systems
Operating system: TOS3.06 for the beginning
Atari kompatible interface ports:
- TT/Falcon-IDE, ST/TT-Floppy
- TT-SCSI (but faster), ACSI
- ROM-Port: 2x2mm Connector
- Printer, ST/TT-seriel, Midi, ST-Sound over AC'97
- ST/TT/Falcon-Video
- Atari-Keyboard with Mouse

Other Ports:
- Ethernet 10/100, 1 Port
- USB 2.0 Host (ISP1563), 4 Ports
- Compact-Flash, 1 Port
- SD-Card, 1 Port
- AC'97 Stereo Codec with DMA-Sound Output and 48kHz Sampling Input
- Sound_Connectors: LineIn, LineOut, Mic (Mono); DVD/CD internal
- Coldari Video Modes about 2MegaPixel, true color
- PS2 Mouse/Keybord Port

Battery Powered (if desired)
PCI 33MHz direct Edge for passive backplane
Power controller with real time clock, PIC16F506
Extension socket: 60Pol (DSPI 8MHz, seriel sync or async about 33MBaud, 25Bit I/O about 133MHz, I2C-Bus)
Planed extensions in the future: Falcon DSP in the FPGA
Format: Card 90mm x 260mm x 20mm
Status: Wait of preorder (€200.-- advence payment), needing 25 for start project
Probability of realisation: 70%


Go on, make a new friend. Give Medusa a mail to enquire here (copy & paste this address into your email program or go and click on it on their web page) mailto:mcs@kingx.com and go get your new ATAR Coldari computer ordered.
Hades060 & 2 TT030 machines.Nova & Spektrum Graphics cards,1 Reibel network cards,1 Netusb,Slm Lazer printer, Epson GT600 flatbed, 2 SCSi to IDE interface + UltraSatan.Nakamachi 7 & 5 CD disk changers.Mega STE .[url]http://www.llill.co/5j
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby alexh » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:55 am

Too much money and no guarantee on compatibility. Let them make a prototype and determine compatibility before getting our money out.

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby TTowner » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:53 am

alexh wrote:Too much money and no guarantee on compatibility. Let them make a prototype and determine compatibility before getting our money out.



Well I see we have a visionary amoungst us, no wonder the Atari is in the closet after all these years, left there for the want of people with this kind of attitude. Still, you have your oppinion and I respect that very much so! A glass half empty person maybe???
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby alexh » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:59 pm

I think that a much better solution will be the Suska platform. The FPGA recreation of the entire Atari STe chipset. Possibilities include adding VGA cards such as CrazyDots or Galaxy into the FPGA, as well as extra RAM, higher resolution screens etc. Plus it has ST fallback compatibility way way above and beyond what the Coldari will have! While it is being designed to use a soft-core 68000 CPU it can be clocked at rates upto 28MHz with the cheapest of the FPGA's proposed.

Ok, so this is not going to compare to a Coldfire based atari... but the incompatibilities will be as high if not higher than using the free ARANYM emulator!

ppera

Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby ppera » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:21 pm

This is pretty impessive list of specs.
However, my humble opinion is that people wants rather compatibility instead performances & lot of ports. Of course, when talking about TOS machine. Then, there will be need for drivers, something what is often forgotten.

All in all, we are at old dilemma: developing further an old architecture, old CPU based system or going on some clones of existing solutions, with some smaller performance/feature enhancements...

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby samf » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:27 pm

I, for one, am impressed by Medusa's clone. From what I've read from those who have used/own Medusa's previous offerings, they have been well pleased. So I trust Medusa, and am trusting that they will put out a great product.

As for me, if it can run the currently available software (applications, not games), at 266mhz......geez, I'm salivating! :) Plus all the other offerings it will have?!?!?!? I've got 2 falcons, and I would be willing to sell both of them in order to purchase a good, well built clone. The only problem I can see is the lack of drivers for usb devices such as digital cameras, and most importantly-usb flash drives. And being able to watch dvds....that would be sweat. I just hope the motherboard will fit into a stand mid tower case without having to modify the case! :)

I could think of a bunch of other things, but I've got to get ready for supper! :)

Thanks!
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby TTowner » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:43 am

Now that's more like the right attitude.

A person that recognises potential. I fully conccur with your findings.
This machine has a future in the Atari community and should not be dismissed lightly. So what if there are software issues, Didn't the arai 520 have them when it was first introduced? Look what happend to that machine, It grew into the huge community used machine we all love and admire!
So let's not get on adowner and stunt this machines growth before it has had a chance to get a footing. Indeed, let's not stunt it's growth ...Period....!
If given the support and word of mouth this machine could become your new pride and joy.

What we need to do is tell your old Atari mates about it and see if you can contact any potential software developers, That then would negate issues of compatability wouldn't it?? :)

Wise man in some Far easten country say." judge a book by it's cover and miss all its wonder"..

Spread the work peep's spread the word!
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[/url]

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby ppera » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:48 pm

samf wrote:... And being able to watch dvds....that would be sweat. ...


I completely agree that it would be sweet. However, by risking to be called 'bad attitude' or something like that, it seems as not real. 266MHz is not enough for DVD playback. Even with very efficient CPU. Plus, it requires some support in video HW, drivers.

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby Shredder11 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:34 pm

Yes even PCs from the late 1990s and possibly early 2000 were known to use extra DSP hardware boards alongside the main graphics card/chip, to enable DVD viewing. I remember seeing them at the computer fares I used to go to. So the Atari would definitely require something similiar.

ppera

Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby ppera » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:58 pm

Actually, it is some advanced blitter-like technology in video cards. In HW made fast graphic raster operations which unload CPU from doing it self.
And it reminds me that MMX is also used in all this. I don't know has Coldfire anything like that...

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby Omikronman » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:05 pm

I don´t know how much CPU-power will be needed to play a DVD movie, but I don´t worry too much about that. In the past, the minimum required hardware to play mp3-music was told as at least a Pentium-class CPU, but we all know that the Falcon with its much less powerful CPU but DSP plays mp3 music very well.

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby PeterS » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:17 pm

I am glad that someone is trying to build a Coldfire based clone and I wish them well. I think the price will put a lot of people off. Many Atari users never had piles of cash to spend which is why we spent it wisely.

Perhaps the price could be reduced if some of the ports were dumped in favour of using PCI or USB devices that could provide the port. eg. PCI SCSI or USB-serial

Of course, for USB to work, a lot of effort will be needed to add USB support to the (FreeMint ?) kernel.

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:43 pm

I wish them well too.... they're the only hardware producers of modern clones... but the price is relly a problem... I think it would put a lot of potential buyers off... In my opinion we need a cheap solution (under 200 euro) to put things in motion again.... After all ATARI ST original claim was "The power Without The Price"....

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby TTowner » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:17 pm

It would seem that there is doubt about the new innovation. Well, there was doubt about Mr Babbages invention, and to this day there is controversy over its origional inventor. Technology by it's very nature is driven from behind by needs. The need to make or produce something that make a task easier. In our community many years back the Falcon took on this role, Atari claimed that this machine would revolutionise the market, and yes I too remember the quote"Power without the price".

Today that has come full circle in more ways than one, Global rescorces are now seen as at a premium. Etc. I do not want to cover that topic here, but you get the point.

If today we were to take a look at the time when both the Amiga / Atari machines were dominating the market we find that way back then the followers of this technology were sat waiting for a new machine to compete with the SOHO market. Sadly, due to pressures from extenal sources( Bill G) being one of them. Our technological advancements in this reseach field became shelved. Where would we be without Market Forces?

I for one was sadly dissapointed that Atari and all related to it. slowly gave up with the technology we all came to admire.
Surely, in such a situation there would be a replacement, a champion of machine technology that would re-instate the Atari machines into a community of users that were chomping at the bit to get hold of any new machine Atari had to offer? A small group of individuals braved the market to bring us the Medusa/ Milan & Hades machines. Initially their impact was low, but nevertheless, in a small significant way has driven a group to now produce yet another innovative machine, The Coldari!
Whilst affording the makes some limited success with previous efforts they now hope to do a similar thing with their latest offering. I suspect they need the power of Market forces behing them even more so now!

Not from the comercial market, the big names did such a machine come. Oh no! It came from a group who shared the sentiment that Atari, allbeit as a clone would not go away, It would be available to all who wanted it as the clones we all now know.
These machines if supported with the right rescources, would thrive! Indeed to some extent they have, You can see their names proudly mentioned in the Atari community today!

But lets look for a brief time as to how this could be possible, the innovators of what was then new technology, stuck their necks out and produced an alternative to the origional, it like now was met with doubts and concerns, yet today we look upon these innovators to produce yet another machine we can all be proud of. Sure, as then there will be compatability issues, and as then there are issues of implementating what hardware would attraqct the majority to buy.
But with the basics are in place. A beginning as such, there can be only good things come from all the hard work just a few individuals put into such a project.

With support, both financial assistance, combined with ideas and forsight, Anything is possible!
Instead of posing questions as to the validity of a machines capabilities, why not start a list of items that we all would like to see in such a machine like the Coldari? I am not unconvinced that if you accept the new machine as a footing to expand; show it your support in any form you are able, and be positively behind such a project, then you will have a machine that will more than adequately meet the needs of both the die hard Atarians and an up n comming Home / Office market once again!

Lets face it, the humble Atari in all its formats does & is and is and continuing to evolve. USB, IDE, LAN SD card readers Gigabyte Hard drives.. are now commonplace when talking about the humble 520 ST arn't they? A far reaching step for the so called defunct market of Atari don't you think so? This is all possible because of men that continue to persue the Atari dream. People who think there is still a need for innovative products that the Atari community will get behind and properly support.

Well if this is to be possible, what would it take to accept that progress is difficult sometimes, but never held back by need! The need to produce a stable platform once again?

People; we need a new fresh looking machine one that will open doors to the latest technology available. Why not the Coldari? as a starter one could compare it to many other s available. In it's infancy just like the ZX machines of their day but look where we are with computers now!

To encourage the makers, why not show some support in the form of realistic and currently achieveable additions to a second generation machine?
List, what hardware you would like to have added. List some application you think should be standard, and lets not forget to list applications from the past you would like to see available, even if re-developed to the new platform.
Then we can see what YOUR expectations as users is; can't we?

In ending this session. I would like to show my individual support for the development of the Coldari, by working the thread some more and possibly working on buying one of these machines for myself.
Should a beta test machine be available, I would ask to test it and report on it to all who are interested.
Are we and will we be sitting waiting for the reality to become a common item? Yes! if we do nothing. Or will we see, a dream becomming a reality? Market forces will dictate won't they?
Back to all of you now,

Comments please!
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:59 pm

Here what I think.
There's a new little hole in the market where non standard machine (read: non Windows/Mac OS machines) may have an hope to find some little place. That little hole is the netbook area.
In my opinion a chep netbook with an ATARI derived OS (=FreeMINT) could find is habitat.
- From the hardware side: I'd like the idea of an ARM solution (i.e. Motorola i.MX515), just usb, eternet and midi ports (an ATARI without midi wouldn't be an ATARI! :D ), a 7/8.9 inch display, 8 gb solid state hard disk and card reader. EDIT: I forgot a video out port anche the webcam!
- From the OS side: a MINT port (with updated graphic) to the new platform so that it could run natively plus an integrated emulator of the old machines so that the old software may run without plroblem. Otherwise, if that would take too long, as a preliminary step, an invisible minimum Linux Kernel on which may run ARANYM.
- From the software side: a modern web browser (o port of Firefox?), an email client, an office suite (a port of OpenOffice?), an istant messager, an mp3 player, a video player and a graphic tool (something to menage/modify photos), a flash player, a pdf reader + lots of old free ATARI software.
How long would it take to realize such machine? Especially from the OS/software side. How much would it cost? Would Medusa be interested in producing something like that?

About the Coldari.
- As I said before, its first and biggest problem is the price. We need a new clone, but at an affordable price. How reach that goal? Coldfire solutions are expensive. But the chepest avaible today (Atom, ARM and PPC/EFIKA) have nothing to do with the 68K family of CPU, so that would mean a problem of OS port;
- The second problem is about hardware/software solutions taht could satisfy today's need: web, mp3, videos and so on. Sadly I fear this machine won't be able to be up to the task (but I hope to be wrong!).

In the end: I'd like to go back using an ATARI-comptible machine as my everyday computer (we do'nt really need 3 GHz pc with hungry OSs for our everyday taks), but I fear Coldari (altough it is a step forward) couldn't be for me. But once again I really wish them good luck, hoping that's just the first little step of a long and successful road
Last edited by Nighthawk on Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

ppera

Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby ppera » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:39 pm

I write this only because TTowner asked for comments. Probably some things will be not liked by everyone...
I think that here we have some misjudgements: Coldari or any other Atari 'clone' (actually they are not clones, see later) is not real invention. All those machines are based on same, old principles, established over 50 years ago (Neumann). What we have is some kind of evolution and usage of modern components, technologies. Just look list of specs. and will see what I'm talking.
In same way, Falcon was not 'revolutionary' machine - it is just usual overstatement by advertising crew. Revolutions and inventions happens not often.
Clones: clone should be something what acts exactly like original. But machine with 68060 CPU can not act as machine with 68030 - there are some differences. Of course, not much system program will be affected, but I would rather call them compatible machines - what is again not 100% true... Anyway, clone is something what should run practically everything, especially games.
Biggest problems about Coldari: slow CPU - Apple (and Motorola) abandoned 68000 family long time ago. Why we should use it now ? Real solution would be exactly same thing what Apple did: using new CPU with emulation of old one for old SW.
However, there is not much chance that it will ever happen. As we know, SW is bigger problem than HW.

"USB, IDE, LAN SD card readers Gigabyte Hard drives.. are now commonplace when talking about the humble 520 ST arn't they?" There is no any SW for USB for Atari ST add-ons, as is mentioned many times here. IDE is nothing special. Almost every 8-bit oldie has some kind of 'homebrew' IDE IF. Gigabyte hard drives: what else today ? Someone would answer: gigabyte flash cards :D . Actually, there are problems with large drives, as TOS is not really ready for them. Sad, but true is that even Mint can not work well with very large hard disks.

I see Nighthawks idea as much better. Machine with modern, powerful CPU which can run Linux (maybe FreeMint ?).

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby Nikolas » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:23 pm

Agree with ppera

There are cpus that can directly run 16/32 bits programs why not to make like "win_dos" window to run st games on ST? based machime?
Remember win95/98 those os run can run dos games and dos programs while runing windows.
If you guys expirience hardware problems.
1. Always remove chips if possible before soldering.
2. Resolder your hardware, check cables too.
3. If problem continue THEN must be faulty software.

I got 2 Atari ST
Main is stfm, with blitter, with 4 meg of ram, with 16mhz cpu + s-video and audio input to videobox, vdi out
P.S.
My english may not be correct

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby alexh » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:06 pm

ppera wrote:Actually, it is some advanced blitter-like technology in video cards. In HW made fast graphic raster operations which unload CPU from doing it self.
And it reminds me that MMX is also used in all this. I don't know has Coldfire anything like that...

The most important bit is the hardware support of the YUV colour space so the CPU does not have to translate each pixel per frame into RGB.

TTowner wrote:So what if there are software issues

It will suck and be no more use (probably less use as it will be much slower) than the free ARANYM "emulator".

TTowner wrote:Didn't the atari 520 have them when it was first introduced?

Of course not. It had nothing to be backwards compatible with.

nighthawk wrote:Otherwise, if that would take too long, as a preliminary step, an invisible minimum Linux Kernel on which may run ARANYM.

That was done recently with E-UAE and released under the name X-Amiga. I am sure it could be adapted to use ARANYM.

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby samf » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:33 pm

All I know is that the Coldari offers 266mhz processor, which is far and above faster than anything we currently use, pci slots, usb, and network port.

I know the price is steep, but then again, if you add what it cost to get our Falcons up to 100mhz, with usb/ethernet, and pci, well, pretty close pricewise as I see it. It is for me, because I purchased my CLab Falcon new, and that set me back well over $800.00 dollars. And it did not come with pci, usb, and rj45 network port. And the vga adapter was extra!

I would like to see the thoughts/opinions of Hades owners on this issue. Afterall, the Hades was produced by Medusa, and Hades owners could at least give the rundown on Medusa's quality, support, etc.

Anywho, that's my 2 cents to toward the discussion! :)
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:24 am

I fully agree with Ppera: SW is bigger problem than HW.
Anyway, looking at the mailing list, there seems to be enough activity around FreeMint. I'm not a coder, otherwise I'd like to give an hand. What I don't uderstand is if there is someone that supervise the whole work, giving a direction to the developments, or if every coder do their stuff on their own.

As for X-Amiga: that's very similar to what I was thinking; probably Aranym could be even easier to set up, since with the AFROS package we have an complete open source Tos-compatible environment that could be installed directly with the Linux minimal kernel, hiding it completly.

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby TTowner » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:12 pm

So ... What's missing then ar coders. Any new software produced is down to the lack of..
A recruitment drive is needed.
Hades060 & 2 TT030 machines.Nova & Spektrum Graphics cards,1 Reibel network cards,1 Netusb,Slm Lazer printer, Epson GT600 flatbed, 2 SCSi to IDE interface + UltraSatan.Nakamachi 7 & 5 CD disk changers.Mega STE .[url]http://www.llill.co/5j
[/url]

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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby wongck » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:43 pm

TTowner wrote:So ... What's missing then ar coders. Any new software produced is down to the lack of..
A recruitment drive is needed.

Plenty at the mint mailing list. They already have Mint for Coldfire and other programs.
(( :lol: yeah... Mint again :lol: )
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby alanh » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:26 pm

What's wrong with MiNT ?

It's freely available and has source code. That's why people are still developing for it.

If there's some gaping hole from the other solutions, then let's try and fill it in with MiNT.
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Re: New Coldari computer in pre order stage

Postby wongck » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:04 am

alanh wrote:What's wrong with MiNT ?
It's freely available and has source code. That's why people are still developing for it.
If there's some gaping hole from the other solutions, then let's try and fill it in with MiNT.


Nothing wrong with Mint. It great & I been using it since v1.08 from Atari :thumbs:
It's just that TTOwner is having a whale of a time (or Not) with Mint.... see here... right now. :lol:
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