The PC Card Drive HPC-301 is still the only way to read and write Atari Portfolio memory (Bee) cards on a PC. Make that an old PC with an ISA slot for the interface card and DOS. The driver can be found here and here. In the PofoWiki (German), there’s more information about its usage and what needs to be considered when you have Windows 9x. For me, the DOS mode worked fine and I had less trouble accessing the card reader after loading the driver without parameters, e.g. DEVICE=C:\CD.SYS.
There seems to be another way to access the card drive: A software called Portfolio RAM-Card Reader by Digital Data Deicke (now Pentagon GmbH) is mentioned in the Atari-Home.DE forums here and here. It is reported to work even under Windows XP via Direct I/O.
Today, we’re only going to have a look at the hardware. Just look at this massive cable with 37-pin D-sub connectors that connects the card drive with the interface card:
The other day I prepared my Atari Jaguar to build a rotary controller for Tempest 2000. I hadn’t used it in a while and accidentally picked the wrong power supply – smoke was rising from the console immediately.
The culprit was easily found, chip U38 (MC34163DW):
In order to access the Low-Level Test of Philips CD-i players or debug other units with a serial port, you will always need a VT100 compatible terminal. An old laptop with Windows 98 and HyperTerminal works fine, but I was looking for something more portable. The Atari Portfolio with Serial Interface add-on is a good portable choice. Update: Meanwhile, I’ve found the Psion 5mx Pro to be a better choice.
First of all, we need to transfer the terminal software ACOM to the Portfolio. This is possible via the serial port, but I had to back up some data from the old memory cards too. I hooked up the Atari PC Card Drive HPC-301 to transfer the data and software.
Elansar is a new game for Atari Jaguar. It was released on other platforms before and got ported to the Atari Jaguar 4MB cartridge format. Luckily I’ve got one out of 75 copies. It came enclosed in an universal game case (ironically all kinds of retro cartridges fit well, except Atari Jaguar’s…) with a small manual booklet and a sticker:
To have a full control experience I’m going to build the mouse adapter by Matthias Domin as soon as a new D-Sub15 connector (VGA) arrives. Unfortunately all spare connectors I’ve got have one or more important pins missing.
exploring retro game consoles and other technology