A way to solve software blues?
ATPL have introduced a sideways ROM/RAM board that might help
you solve the ROM software blues. It allows you to have up to
16 sideways ROMs, the maximum the software will support.
In addition to the four sockets already inside your computer,
the ATPL expansion board gives you 13 more, as well as some unique
The board is extremely high quality and measures about 6in by
8in. It is designed to be installed without the need for any soldering.
It does this by removing the operating system and the analogue
to digital converter ICs and straddling those two sockets.
In addition, two flying leads have to be connected to two pins
which were formerly used as a link. The two ICs you have removed
are then plugged into the expansion board and you are ready to
The header plugs used to attach the expansion board are the
narrow round-pin type and should not damage your sockets in any
way. These allow you to remove the board if you wish, although
I can't think why you would.
The board spans as area on the main printed circuit board that
does not generate much heat and so you are less likely to experience
overheating problems if we ever have a summer again.
With the board installed you no longer have to limit yourself
to a small range of ROM based software. You can even put your
own favourite Basic programs in ROM and download them for instant
access (see the December 1983 issue of The Micro User.)
The ATPL sideways expansion board has one feature that may be
of great use to you in the future — the ability to accept a sideways
This RAM cannot be used for longer Basic programs but may be
used to develop your own software, in machine code, to run in
The RAM appears to be ROM number 15 and, whenever a write is
made to the sideways area, the RAM is accessed, irrespective of
which ROM is currently enabled.
There is also an option which allows this RAM to be constantly
supplied with current so that it will not get an attack of instant
amnesia every time the computer is switched off.
This option is provided by a small battery that is recharged
whenever the computer is switched on.
Unfortunately the current price of the static RAMs the board
uses is rather high and it will cost you about another £80
for the components. However the price is bound to come down in
If you have the need for a lot of ROM based software at £38
this board certainly deserves your attention.