Un question a L'Atari de mille quarante

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Surely someone has a clue about this one.......I posted it last week but it was over the thanksgiving holiday so no doubt the overabundance of turkey dulled the brain cells of potential respondants. Anyway, once again, I ask................

I know this is not the most crucial Y2K area, however I am looking for an answer for a friend of mine. He is a professional musician who travels in our area and uses an old Atari 1040 for his music/midi files. He strums the guitar too, but most of the music comes from these files. Of course, new years eve is one of the biggest nights of the years for him, and to have his system crash would be very serious. Last time he was by here I looked at his Atari, but the only date that could be found was the date when the system was first turned on. The clock remains at an early date (somewhere in the early 80's I believe). Because of this he is convinced there will be no problem for him (unless the power goes out).

I have searched the Atari/Hasbro site and they have no mention whatsoever about Y2K. Anyone have any insight into this?

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), November 30, 1998


Provided he isn't hooking the Atari up to any other processor, he is not going to have any problem. Well, that is if the electric is still on, and if martial law troopers haven't shot him as a suspected looter, and if he doesn't starve, and if he doesn't succumb to one of the coming plagues etc, etc......

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), November 30, 1998.


Actually, now I'm wondering about the next step in the process....the signal is sent either to a sound module or a midi keyboard and then out to the mixer/amp.......it looks like there are a few more levels that ought to be checked out.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), November 30, 1998.

Theoretically, you are right. There are certainly a couple more processors sitting between the atari and the final sound. However, unless you have the detailed specs for the keyboard, sound board(s) etc, its hard to give a foolproof answer. If the keyboard electronics are visually accessible, you might be able get some chip names/numbers. There has got to be an Atari/midi ng or webpage which might help. My gut feeling is that he is 99.99% okay (thats 10,000 to 1). It IS conceivable that there is an x86 or Motorola or custom cpu +/BIOS sitting in the keyboard that has a factory date routine which is not expressly used. Could that cause a problem? A tiny Yes. Even aside from Y2K, your friend should migrate off a system which will eventually be unsupportable and unfixable.

Having said all of that, I would encourage your friend to think more about beans & bullets versus a glorified boombox. Can you sing "Something's Blowing in the Wind"? You know, the Y2K "Movement" needs a theme song. Any suggestions?

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), November 30, 1998.

It doesn't matter what date he sets the Atari to. He might as well set it 1980 and leave it if all he is using it for is to run sound. The music doesn't know or care what year it is.

That said, I'm a musician too, and the last place I would want to be on THAT night is anywhere near a downtown nightlclub. Whatever they're paying, it's not enough.

-- Nathan (nospam@all.com), November 30, 1998.

What about the amp? Nothing in there 'electronic" to trip him up?

As I understand it, you covered the Atari, the keyboard, the operator, and the environment....is there anything he can do to "test" the date function ahead of time? Or should he "leave" it at 1980 (yy/xx/19xx), and never try setting it forward.

I remember a VCR that "died" prematurely when an overenthusiastic "tester" tried a "forbidden" date.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 30, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ