New Tech for Old Computers & Game Systems

Apple II Compact Flash Adapter CardThere are really only three groups of vintage computing enthusiasts out there. One is the purist, who wants to maintain, restore, and operate his vintage systems in a historically authentic manner, using only the contemporary technology available at the time, one is the devoted user, who doesn't care how you use the computer, as long as it gets the job done (perhaps better and faster than before), and then there's the tinkerer / hacker who just wants to play around and push old systems to, and beyond, their designed limits.

This page contains a constant work in progress: a list of links to various online projects and products involving the interfacing and integrating of modern computing and electronics technology to older computers or game systems — either to replace failure-prone parts, to enhance their functionality, or "just because you can." It's intended mainly for the tinkerer type, but it could also easily be of interest to the devoted user as well. And a word to the purists: manufacturing techniques become obsolete as fast as the computers themselves, and eventually, all hardware will fail, with no future replacements in sight. So to keep your systems (and especially the data on them) running into the future, you will eventually have to succumb to this trend as well.

By every right, software emulators should be on this list, since they are an incredibly important part of the historical preservation of these systems. However; there are so many better pages out there already dealing with emulation, so there is no need to beat a dead horse (unless there is something especially unique and interesting to note in the field).

Without further ado, here's the list. Please contact me with corrections, additions, and broken / dead link information. Thanks in advance. –Benj

———-
Last Updated: 03/12/2008

Computer Systems

Apple I:

System Clones and Reproductions:

  • Replica 1 (Briel Computers) - a modern Apple I hardware clone. Comes with 32K RAM and 8K EEPROM. Addtional features like a ps/2 port, serial, USB port, ATX and DC wall power supply connectors.

Apple II:

Disk / File Utilities:

  • CiderPress - Windows-based utility to manage Apple II based archives and disk images.

Mass Storage / Mass Storage Interfaces:

Internet / Networking:

Apple Lisa:

Mass Storage / Mass Storage Interfaces:

  • X/ProFile - IDE and Compact Flash interface for the Lisa. Intended to replace aging ProFile hard disks.

Apple Macintosh 68k:

Internet / Networking:

Atari 800 / 8-bit Computers:

Flash Cartridges / SRAM-Carts / Cartridge Dumpers:

Homebrew Materials:

Internet / Networking:

Mass Storage / Mass Storage Interfaces:

Miscellaneous Functionality Enhancements / Mods:

Operating Systems / OS Mods:

PC / Mac Interface Hardware:

Peripheral Interfaces:

  • ABBUC USB cartridge - USB host adapter for the Atari 8-bit computers. Understands keyboards, joysticks, steering wheels and other simple USB devices.
  • APE Software - Atari Perpheral Emulator - Emulates Atari peripherals on your PC, connected through a special cable

Atari ST / 16-bit Computers:

Mass Storage / Mass Storage Interfaces:

Commodore 64 / 128:

Operating Systems / OS Mods:

  • Contiki OS - New operating system for various 8-bit computers, including the Commodore 64.
  • LUnix OS - (little UNIX), a new Unix-like OS for the C64.

System Clones and Reproductions:

  • C-One - a modern Commodore 64 hardware clone using an FPGA chip and other enhancements.

IBM PCjr:

Internet / Networking:

MOS Technology KIM-1:

System Clones and Reproductions:

  • Micro-KIM (Briel Computers) - a modern KIM-1 hardware clone. Onboard RS232 interface.

MSX:

System Clones and Reproductions:

  • Bazix One Chip MSX - a modern MSX hardware clone using an FPGA chip and secure digital flash memory.

TRS-80 Color Computer (1, 2, and 3):

Mass Storage / Mass Storage Interfaces:

  • SuperIDE - IDE hard drive interface for the CoCo (Cloud 9)
  • TC^3 SCSI Controller - SCSI hard drive and CD-ROM interface for the CoCo (Cloud 9)

Memory Upgrades:

  • 512K SIMM Upgrade - give your CoCo 3 the advantage and convenience of readily available SIMM memory with this 512K SIMM Upgrade (Cloud 9)

Miscellaneous Functionality Enhancements / Mods:

  • AT Keyboard Interface (Cloud 9) - Allows use of an IBM PC AT compatible keyboard on the CoCo
  • DOS Adapter (Cloud 9) - Adapts 2764 and 27128 28-pin EPROMs to controllers that have antiquated 24-pin ROM sockets that accomodate the rare and hard to find 68766.
  • Pro-Tector+ (Cloud 9) - Protects the address, E, Q, FIRQ, Halt~, IRQ, NMI, and R/W~ lines of the 6809/6309 CPU

Operating Systems / OS Mods:

  • HDB-DOS - HDB-DOS supports Cloud-9′s SuperIDE Interface and TC^3 SCSI Controller, as well as the Ken-Ton and Disto SCSI controllers and the Glenside IDE Interface.
  • NitrOS-9 operating system for the TRS-80 CoCo line. Also available on ROM.

================================

Video Game Systems

Atari 2600 (VCS):

Controllers and Accessories:

  • Stelladapter - Atari 2600 controller to USB adapter for your PC or Mac (from Pixelspast)

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

  • Cuttle Cart - an Atari 2600 cartridge that can imitate other cartridges. It allows one to load ROM images (games) into an Atari 2600 using an audio interface such as a CD player
  • Krokodile Cartridge - a programmable game cartridge for the 2600 game console. The cartridge contains 512K of Flash ROM that can be programmed by connecting the cartridge to a Windows PC with a serial cable. The cartridge also includes 32K of built-in RAM to support games that require additional onboard cartridge memory (such as Atari's SARA-chip games).

Homebrew Materials:

Video Mods / Hacks:

Miscellaneous Functionality Enhancements / Mods:

  • AtariVox - SpeakJet based unlimited-vocabulary speech / sound synthesizer connecting to the Atari 2600 / 7800 console via the second joystick port
  • MemCard / SaveKey - 32K EEPROM on a card with a DB9 connector for joystick port. Allows storage of settings or high scores with compatible software. For Atari 2600/7800/Vectrex (sold here)

Atari 5200:

Controllers and Accessories:

  • Redemption 5200 Controller Adaptor - Lets you use a regular Atari 2600 or Sega Genesis controller on your Atari 5200. Inlcudes regular controller pass-through for special 5200 buttons, etc.

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

Homebrew Materials:

Atari 7800 (Only):

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

  • Cuttle Cart 2 - an Atari 7800 cartridge which allows one to select 2600 and 7800 games from a menu for play on the Atari 7800. The games are stored on a Multimedia Card (MMC).

Colecovision:

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

  • 128-in-1 Flash MultiCart - a professionally produced 128-in-1 ColecoVision/ADAM compatible Flash Multi-Cart with on screen game menu and a fast USB flash programming interface (from AtariMax)

Homebrew Materials:

Intellivision:

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

  • Cuttle Cart 3 - an Intellivision cartridge that will allow one to select games from a menu for play. The games will be stored on a Secure Digital Card (SD).
  • Intellicart - an Intellivision cartridge that can emulate other cartridges. Loads ROMs from an RS-232 port hooked to a PC.

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES):

Controllers and Accessories:

System Clones and Reproductions:

Nintendo Super NES:

Controllers and Accessories:

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

NEC Turbografx-16 / PC Engine:

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

Sega Game Gear:

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

Video Mods:

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive:

Controllers and Accessories:

  • SegaCON - A program that allows you to use your PC as a controller for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive for macros, etc.

Vectrex:

Copiers, Dumpers, and Game Data Related:

Miscellaneous Functionality Enhancements / Mods:

  • VecVox - a SpeakJet based unlimited-vocabulary speech / sound synthesizer connecting to the Vectrex console via the second joystick port
  • MemCard / SaveKey - 32K EEPROM on a card with a DB9 connector for joystick port. Allows storage of settings or high scores with compatible software. For Atari 2600/7800/Vectrex (sold here)