Task: Purchase and Boot an Atari 576NUC+ 8-Bit Computer
Needed: web browser, composite video cable, PS2 keyboard
Time: 15-30 minutes
Several industrious folks have been building Atari 8-bit computers in small modern footprints. These feature new circuit boards with original Atari chips. One of the first such projects was the Atari 1088XEL and 1088XLD developed my Michael St. Pierre (i.e. Mytek on AtariAge). I never got my hands on one of these, but was very excited to hear about his new project to fit an Atari 8-bit computer into a Next Unit of Computing (NUC) size case. A new compact motherboard gave birth to the Atari 576NUC+. The number 576 comes from 576K of RAM available on the system and the + at the end comes from the slightly bigger size than the standard NUC.
A big advantage of the NUC-sized Atari computer is the small footprint making it possible to stuff in a backpack or suitcase for easy travel. It is a also extremely light. Note that these are more than your standard 8-bit computer in a small case. These are shipped with multiple ROM images you can boot from and you can add an integrated FujiNet as an option making this a really useful device. Keep in mind you will need a PS2 keyboard to interact with the NUC. Further, there is no SIO port or cartridge slot. There is a 15-pin D-Sub connector which can be used to plug in SIO devices through an adaptor. An addon for cartridges is being developed although this really isn’t needed with the FujiNet.
This is an amazing device and a must-have for every Atari 8-bit enthusiast. They are a bit expensive but not much more than an Atari 800XL on eBay.
You can purchase the 576NUC+ from The Brewing Academy for just under $250. The internal FujiNet option adds another $50 or so. A 3D-printed case adds another $20.
You will need a PS2 keyboard for the NUC. The Brewing Academy sells those as well. I got the mini version for $30.
The Brewing Academy also sells the D-Sub to SIO connector allowing you to connect Atari peripherals. These run $15.
You are looking at a $350+ purchase with FujiNet and the other options.
There is a clearly written quick-start guide available online. Note that there is no power switch on the NUC device. Plug in the provided 12V power supply and press ALT-1 to get your first boot. Study the guide for all the other options.
I am really happy to have this device. It is a lot of work to make these and it is greatly appreciated.