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The Multiplexer Last updated 5/11/2013




This device brings the power and flexibility of larger systems to your 8-bit. The Multiplexer is a collection of cartridge interface boards that allow up to 8 Atariís to read and write to the same drives (typically a hard disk), access the same printer(s), and talk to each other. It is the first practical networking system for the Atari 8-bit computer. 

One "master" computer (any 8-bit) is equipped with the master multiplexer interface. Then up to 8 "slave" computers hook up to this master, each having their own slave interface. The slave interface consists of a cartridge that plugs into the cartridge port. It has its own socket on the top so you can use whatever cartridges you desire with the system. 

The "common" peripherals (things that are to be shared) are connected to the master. On each slave, all disk and printer I/O is routed through the master so no extra disk drives are needed. The master computer can be configured in any manner you wish. You may have certain peripherals local to the slave or routed to a different number on the master. Note that serial ports (R: RS232 interfaces) are not multiplexed. All slaves are independent and do not need to have the same program running on them.  

This system is excellent for BBS SysOps. You can be using your hard disk(s) while still running your BBS uninterrupted. Another example for its use is in a classroom situation or anywhere a disk needs to be shared by many people. This is an excellent programming and debugging tool as well! 

The Multiplexer is compatible with these PBI devices: 256k or 1 Meg MIO, KJ 1 Meg Mio, all versions of the Black Box, Supra/KPI. It is also compatible with APE, MYDOS, and Some versions of SpartaDos, all versions of REAL.DOS, Tucker 1 Meg Flash cart, OSS carts, R-Time 8, SIO2IDE, SIO2USB, SIO2SD, S-Drive, and the IDEa Interface.

 It will NOT function with any of the MY-IDE interfaces. Also the 8 Meg Tucker cart have some of the same cart addressing.

Their is some hardware I do not have so if it not listed then it has not been tested, Some of the new designed IDE PBI interfaces should work. Also the new SpartaDos x 4.45 has a build that functions with the Mux..

I have been thinking of doing another Multiplexer run if their is enough interests in a Multiplexer. We were also looking at a second design! Send me e-mail if you are game.


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