Dal_1978 wrote:1. Can we expect 100% Falcon compatibility in the near future?
No, at least not in near Future. What we will have (as soon as the DSP is ready) is a compatibility of Falcon applications written in GEM. We will have nearly 100% compatibility to them, but not to Falcon applications using the hardware beside TOS. This means, as soon as it comes to direct hardware usage from the applications we have some problems. For example we would need the original clock of all the custom chips. That would mean to have an CPU with 16 Mhz. But our CPU is 266. This one could be solved with an 68030 inside the FPGA. I know Wolfgang Förster started to do one, but it is 350 000 gates, what is really a huge work, and will not be done the next 6 months. Also I don´t know if Wolfgang will do the 68030 as GPL when the Suska is not sold more often, ... remember he worked on it for 7 years now.
But that is not that big problem, as we have similar situation with Aranym, MagiC, Hades and Milan. I expect every program working at that environments also working at the FireBee. And for special applications like Cubase, we will try to find useful solutions.
Dal_1978 wrote:2. Could we realistically reach ultimate Atari 'utopia' with this project (i.e STE and Falcon support - with over 90% games and applications working)?
We could. The technical possibilities are here with the hardware. Also the hardware is availaible for a fair price (remember Hades 060 was around $2500 because of the more expansive parts and the 68060). But it needs a wide acceptance of the machine, and some more manpower, especially at VHDL development. I expect the project not to be finished within the next two years, and some improvements also in 3-5 years.
For me personally a working browser (including CSS, JS, SSL) as a DVD decoder is much more important, to replace Macs and PCs by the FireBee again as daily productive machines, than compatibility to old games and Demos, which can be done at our existing Ataris. But let´s see what the coders will do.
Dal_1978 wrote:3. What is the Floppy disk support like? (I have a HxC Floppy emulator so I would like to use a real floppy drive or the emulator - or maybe both??)
Floppy reading is already working like usual with an wd1772 implementation. For formatting we need some improvements (dma, etc.).
For future improvements we are in contact with Jean-François Del Nero, but I also do not promise anything here.
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, MegaSTE, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at MacOS 9 and a FireBee.