It keeps some features these machines : The graphic modes (320 x 200 / 16 colors, 640 x 200 / 4 colors, 640 x 400 / 2 colors, 320 x 480 / 256 colors and 640 x 480 / 16 colors) and the sound chips (the old Yamaha PSG and the two 8 bits PCM channels of the STe).
Two new graphic modes have been added : a "small" 256 colors SVGA (640 x 480) and a true color VGA mode (32768 / 65535 colors in 320 x 480). Also when running on a TV, the resolutions are different: True Color mode is 640x480 in PAL and 640x400 in NTSC. The other TV resolutions also have a difference of vertical resolution between PAL and NTSC: 200 or 400 lines in NTSC, 240 or 480 in PAL.
New interfaces were added too : an ADC 16bit 50 KHz and a DSP I/O port. The videochip has also genlocking features.
The Falcon was sold with the single-task TOS operating system in ROM (4.04). It is the old Atari ST TOS with new functions to handle the DSP and the new graphic modes. The GUI was slightly enhanced with colored icons and 3D windows.
Hopefully a multi-task TOS - MultiTOS) was also delivered on disks. This multitasking system uses the MiNT kernel and an enhanced GUI. MiNT (which stands for MiNT is NOT TOS) is a multitasking Operating System with lot of Unix features. It was initially done by Eric Smith. It was bought later by Atari and became then "MiNT is NOW TOS). Atari planned first to put it in ROM, but it was not finished and was shipped on disks.
More information by Malcolm Ramage:
There are at least 3 types of 'ST' style Falcon, the first version was in an FX-1 type case (Complete with FX-1 keyboard, yellow lettering with red function key numbers), the second was like the machine here (In ST colouring) and the release machine (Lighter case than the FX-1, but still had the dark keys with all lettering in white).
C-Lab licenced the Falcon and released their own version with a slight modification to the audio hardware. The Mk I was a bare falcon with no hard drive, the Mk II included a 500MB hard drive and the Mk X was in a pizza style box with a Mega STe keyboard, but was nothing more than a Mk II in a fancy box.
When C-Lab stopped manufacturing the Falcon in 1995, the machine vanished. No further development was done on the Falcon hardware after 1992.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to Old-Computers.com or one of our partners.
Jason, Nice to know you remember where you BOUGHT the equipment. The IIe clone was probably a Laser Vtech, but we did have some others. My wife and I owned and ran Alphatel. I still have an STM125, and a couple of new toner cartridges for the 804 laser printer - which was also ahead of its time. We were, until Atari closed their Canadian operations, the Western service center for Atari as well. And we had really loyal customers. Best regards, Bob.
Thursday 22nd August 2013
Dr. Bob Abell (Kanata, On, Canada)
The Falcon didn''t have any TT Graphics modes, but those from the STe instead. The TT had a 256 Grayscales mode which is not present in the Falcon.
Tuesday 21st May 2013
The Falcon was my baby back in the good old days (also had a ST and a Mega ST), I got my Falcon 030 cpu running 36MHz with a barracuda card from Germany, great stuff $) I loved the DSP - back in the assembly coding days... -Love this "Museum" :)
Sunday 9th October 2011
Jakob J. (Denmark)
16 MHz (68030) / 32 MHz (56001)
optional FPU (Motorola 68882)
4 MB (up to 14 MB)
40 or 80 chars. x 25 lines (bitmapped graphics)
ST Modes, TT Modes, VGA (640 x 480), True Color.
Two modes : 16 / 15 bit with True color mode or 262144 with paletted mode
8 channel 16 bit PCM audio system
RGB, VGA, PAL, DSP, SCSI, Stereo IN/OUT, Midi (2), LocalTalk, Cardridge, RS232c, Centronics, Analog Joystick (2), Digital Joystick (2), 68030 Bus
BUILT IN MEDIA
3.5'' FDD and 2.5'' IDE hard disk (44, 65 or 80 MB) depending models.