SIO Review Page
Control Board functions.
Happy Computers was formed in 1982 by Richard Adams
under the name Happy Computing. At that time, the 810 Happy was hand wired
on the internal side board The name was changed to Happy Computers or HCI
in 1983 when the company went from a sole proprietorship to a corporation.
HCI stopped shipping these products in 1990, and since then many other
Atari Enthusiasts have reverse engineered and replicated the products
because they were so popular and fun.
After the 810, Atari released the more reliable, enhanced density (130 KB) 1050 drive. In addition to the extra storage, the serial I/O could be cranked up a notch even faster than the 810 Happy product by the faster speed of the 1050s 6502 processor. The 1050 Enhancement was also a plug-in board, and could be installed without soldering or permanent modification. In addition to the buffered reading and writing with zero latency and faster serial i/o, it supported true double density (180 KB). Additionally, it made backups of floppies. It is to be noted that Atari 1050 drives stopped production more than 20 years ago, and Happy Computers stopped selling products about 18 years ago. In spite of this, the popularity of Happy Computer's products continues and is still being reviewed in 2008. Developers are still writing new software to support Happy Drives. For example, linux drivers.
The 1050 Controller was a small board that was installed inside the 1050 Happy drive that had 2 switches and an led that allowed enabling or disabling disk write-protect to override the notch in the disk. It also allowed switch selection of a slower mode to provide compatibility with some picky programs. Some commercial software only ran in the original slow speed mode. The controller required a mechanical modification to the drive's enclosure and hence its installation was harder that the happy board.
Warp Speed Software
The software that came with the Happy boards had many options.
Warp Speed Dos
Diagnostics for the Enhancement and the drive such as high speed xfer, RPM and read/write testing Fast, slow and unHappy mode drive options for compatibility Tracer mode for evaluating wasted space on floppies Happy Compactor which allows organizing and combining multiple floppies into one. Happy Backup for backing up floppies
Multi Drive, which allows high speed simultaneous writing with up to 4 Happy enhanced drives. Sector copier IBMXFR Program This program was included with the Warp Speed Software. It allowed transferring files back and forth between an Atari and an IBM disk using a Happy enhanced 1050 drive. Because the 1050 was a single sided drive with only one head, the disk had to be formatted as SS (180K). The IBM disk could even be formatted on the 1050 drive.