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Year End Musings

I find myself at the end of another year. My feelings this year are mixed, more mixed than I ever remember them being. A lot of anger, a lot of helplessness, a lot of horror and a lot of fear at what has happened in my country over the last three years. I’ve leaned both directions politically over the years, depending on the subject in question. I suppose that’s inevitable in a country that prides itself on the rule of law, democracy and the American dream(Capitalism). At times those three subjects seem at odds with one another, at other times they form the legs of a three legged stool. Cut off one of them and the stool comes crashing down. We come crashing down as a country.

I was too young, not quite 10 years old, to fully understand and appreciate the fear and anger of the summer of 1968. I remember my parents seemed tense, and sometimes lost in thought, when they had time to be. On a long saved for summer vacation to reconnect with Mom’s family in Michigan, Dad uncharacteristically rented a motel room somewhere in Illinois. He made sure that it had a TV and that it would get the national news. We’d been on the road for hours that already hot and humid early June day. Us kids just thought Mom and Dad were tired too. Why else would we be sleeping in a motel room on a real bed, instead of the hard ground under the tent floor at some state/national campground. Heck, it wasn’t even normal stopping time.

The pickup truck radio had been on all afternoon I remember, but I don’t remember anything in particular on it. A lot of static, fragments of songs and the occasional ad that seemed to come through clear as a bell as Mom, then Dad spun the dial to try to tune in a closer station. But apparently they had heard something.

That late afternoon and into the evening all of us gathered around the TV and watched history unfolding. It had happened again, another Kennedy had been shot down. Politics didn’t matter that much right then, what had happened was just wrong. You don’t murder a man because you don’t agree with his politics. Not here. Not in a country that prides itself on the right to freely express a political view. Over and over again Mom and Dad repeated that, almost to themselves. Us kids were too young to fully understand, but it has never left my memory.

Today we find ourselves once again passionately and sometimes violently in political opposition across this country. In only the fourth time in our history we find ourselves in the process of impeaching a president. Every military person and holder of high office in these United States swears too uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. In that document and it’s amendments is the only legal peaceful method to remove a perceived threat to the country who has been elected to the Presidency. It’s not a coup, or deep state threat to be defended against to the death. The process does not kill or physically harm the president. It does not even put handcuffs on or haul he/she off to jail. It does hopefully stop the perceived threat that he/she represents. He/She is simply fired, based on verifiable evidence at the instigation of the House of Representatives and by the consent of the Senate.

Whichever side you come down on, don’t drag murder into the picture. Keep some degree of sanity about yourself. We have to be better than that.

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New 130XE RA Adapter Boards

New to the site are these 130XE specific RA adapter boards.  Right now I am offering these on a pre-order basis.   They compliment the Dual RA Cart Adapter board I already offer.  I am also working on the details of a full 130XE Cart/ECI right angle switcher board.  Just need to work out how best to deal with the various configurations of cart/eci devices.

Not to leave out the 600/800XL entirely I am also planing on offering a Dual T cartridge port adapter board.  Hopefully in the next few weeks.

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Reimaged XF551 for 3.5″ SF314/SF354 Floppy Drives

For some years there has been talk of using 3.5″ floppy drives instead of the original 5.25″ drives with the Atari 8-bit line.  It is not a fantasy, in fact it has been an accomplished fact for years.  Essentially take an original XF551 case and motherboard, use an adapter for both the internal data and power cables, pop in a compatible BIOS, use a 5.25 to 3.5″ drive tray converter and put the cover back on.  Presto!

Photo posted by flashjazzcat in AtariAge

 

You want it in a 1050 case?  Here you go!

Bob1200XL posting in AtariAge

 

There’s even been some attempts at a special pcb for a 3.5″ drive using XF551  derived circuitry.   Though the enclosure was none existent.  Review of Polish 3.5″ 8bit floppy design

Review of Polish 3.5″ 8bit floppy drive

 

Now I am able to offer a somewhat different approach.   With the assistance of tf_hh and manterola from AtariAge.com I have developed an Atari SF314/SF354 ST case compatible version of the XF551 circuitry with builtin 3.5″ floppy drive support.  It is a bare board pcb only, but I will be offering both a BOM and assembly instructions.  Further details can be found here