Before reading the agreement, a little background info:
On November 21, 1983 Atari and Amiga signed an agreement. This agreement allowed Atari access to the Amiga computer system in development in exchange for an undisclosed sum of money from Atari to Amiga for assistance in the development of the system. Jay Minor an ex-Atari engineer who was responsible for the teams that built the Atari 2600 and the Atari 400/800 computers was in charge of the Amiga "Lorraine" computer system. As part of the agreement Atari would gain access to the Amiga chipset and design its own version of the Amiga computer codenamed "Mickey" (Atari at the time was big on Disney with several deals in place, so its assumed Disney codenames were used), "Minnie" would be a 256K memory card. As part of the agreement, Atari would sell "Mickey" as a video game system with no keyboard for 1 year. After that, Atari could then sell a keyboard add-on and sell full blown versions of "Mickey" to the public. One ex-Atari Corp. engineer who worked on the Atari TT030 Unix project told Atari Prototypes & Vaporwares that while occupying a temporary desk in Atari Corp for a few days, he stumbled across a document detailing an operating system proposal for a project called "Atari/Amiga: Mickey" and it listed rough details of a graphics based Unix-like Kernel. Regrettably, he never retained the document, so it has most likely been lost. However this account sheds yet another tiny light onto the mystery of what was to be Atari's "Next Generation" computer system.
1. AMIGA CORPORATION (the "Company"). and -ATARI, INC. ("Recipient") are engaged in discussions in contemplation of or in furtherance of a business relationship.
2. To further the business relationship, Recipient may have access to
and have disclosed to it certain valuable information relating to the Company
which is of a confidential nature (hereinafter referred to as "the Company
Information") concerning any or all of the following: trade secrets, know
how, inventions, techniques, processes, algorithms, software programs,
schematics, software source documents, contracts, customer lists, financial
information, sales and marketing plans and information and business plans.
3. Recipient agrees that it shall neither use the Company Information nor circulate it within its own organization, except to the extent necessary for:
(a) negotiations, discussions and consultations with personnel or authorized
representatives-of the Company; and
(b) any purpose the Company may hereafter authorize in writing.
4. Recipient further agrees that it shall not publish, . copy or disclose
any Company Information to any third party and shall use its best efforts
to prevent inadvertent disclosure of the Company Information to. any third
5. Recipient's obligations with respect to any portion of the Company Information as set forth above shall terminate when recipient can document that:
(a) It was in the public domain at the time it was communicated to Recipient
by the Company; or
(b) It entered the public domain through no fault of Recipient subsequent to the time it was communicated to Recipient by the Company; or
(c) It was in Recipient's possession free of any obligation of confidence at the time it was communicated to Recipient by the Company; or
(d) It was rightfully communicated to Recipient free of any obligation of confidence subsequent to the time it was communicated to Recipient by the Company.
6. . All materials including, without limitation, documents, drawings,
models, apparatus, sketches, designs and lists furnished to Recipient by
the Company and which are designated in writing to be the property of the
Company shall remain the property of the Company and shall be returned
to the Company promptly at its request, together with any copies thereof.
7. The work product of any services performed by the Company or of any
writings, discoveries, inventions and innovations resulting from such services
shall be and remain the property of the Company unless otherwise agreed
in writing signed by both parties hereto.
8. This Agreement shall govern all communications between Recipient
and the Company that are made during the period from the effective date
of this Agreement to the date on which either party receives from the other
written notice that subsequenl- communications shall not be so governed,
provided, however, that Recipient's obligations under Paragraphs 3 and
4 shall ccntinue unless terminated pursuant to Paragraph 5 hereof.
9. Either party shall have the right to obtain a preliminary judgment
on any equitable claim in any court of competent jurisdiction, where such
judgment is necessary to preserve property and/or proprietary rights under
this Agreement. Such judgment shall remain effective as long as the
terms of the judgment so provide.
10. Any notice required to he given Under this Agreement shall be deemed
--received five (5) days after mailing if sent by registered or certified
mail to the addresses of the parties set forth below, or to such other
address as either of the parties shall have furnished to the other in writing.
11. In the event of invalidity of any provision of this Agreement, the parties agree that such invalidity shall not affect the remaining portions of this Agreement, and further agree to substitute for the invalid provision a valid provision which most closely approximates the intent and economic effect of the invalid provision.
July 19, 1983 -- Page 1
LORRAINE is a third generation, low cost, high performance, graphics and sound system for state of the art videogame and personal computer applications.
The system includes three
proprietary, custom ICs controlled by a Motorola 68000 32/16 bit microprocessor.
These chips provide extraordinary color graphics on a Standard TV or on
an RGB color monitor, with resolution and depth to display coin-op quality,
first person video games, cartoons, low resolution photographs, or up to
80 character screens. The sound circuits can duplicate complex waveforms
on each of four channels, matching commercial synthesizers in quality.
The graphics hardware provides a fully bit-mapped image of up to 320H X 200V pixels each, six bits deep for a TV or up to 640H X 40OVpixels each four bits deep for an RGB monitor. Each pixel selects a color value from a 32 entry color palette providing 12 bits of resolution including separate control of up three aspects of the color signal: Hue, Intensity, and Saturation. The hardware supports slicing the bit map into two levels of playfield plus background, with automatic priority overlay of the playfields. In addition, the hardware supports eight programmable "sprite processors", each providing an arbitrary number of images 16 pixels wide, arbitrarily tall, and two bits deep which can be rapidly positioned anywhere on the screen with selectable overlay priority. Pairs of such processors can be "attached" providing 4 bits of color depth for each sprite image. The resulting screen image can be scrolled s in both the vertical and horizontal directions.
The color depth of the image may vary from place to place on the screen. Saving both memory space and bandwidth in those portions of the image not requiring many simultaneous colors. In addition, two of the six color planes may be used in the "hold and control" mode to select between normal indexing of the color palette or direct setting of one of the color components (Hue, Intensity, or Saturation) while preserving the other two components from the pixel immediately to the left. The hold and control mode allows the construction of very detailed images involving either grey scale shading, pastel hightlighting, rainbow color effects or any combination of the three. The Display Instruction Processor (described below) may also be used to change the color palette on the fly.
LORRAINE supports hardware detection of "collisions" involving either of the playfield images and each of the 4 sets of attachable sprites. For purposes of collision detection, each of the playfield "objects" may be further refined, indicating that only collisions with a given color or excluding a given color are to be detected. The collision accumulator can be polled and cleared at any time, allowing the detection of separate collisions in different portions of the image.
LORRAINE includes a hardware "Bit-Blit" co-processor, which may be used to create and move several dozen additional objects in the bit map each frame time, saving and restoring the background as necessary. The Blitter also provides hardware support for line drawing and polygon filling functions From a personal computer perspective, the Blitter provides a generalized hardware capacity for "desk-top" window management, easily surpassing the software mechanisms underlying such systems as the Apple LISA (TM).
Each LORRAINE audio channel plays an "audio map" of arbitrary length with frequency and volume set separately. The audio maps consist of 8 bit "delta" samples describing the waveform to be produced. Each map array be "played" at a sampeling rate of up to 30 KHz, or any slower rate selectable with fine resolution. Left alone, each channel automatically repeats its audio map an arbitrary number of times, making the generation of sustained tones a trivial task involving very little memory. Since each map describes an arbitrary waveforrn a three or four note musical chord can easily be generated by a single channel. LORRAINE produces stereo sound output, normally by summing pairs of audio channels. Alternatively one audio channel of each pair me be configured to modulate the other channel both by amplitude and frequency. Since the modulating channel may be sampled at a rate distinct from the normal channel, envelope functions and frequency modulation synthesis effects are easy to achieve.
Frame synchronization, control
register updates, sprite repositioning and automatic color palette and
audio channel updates can all be performed by LORRAINE’s programmable Display
instruction processor. The DIP acts as yet another co-processor,
freeing the 68OOO to execute program logic.
July 19, 1983 -- Page 3
Other built-in I/O includes a keyboard controller, two Atari (tm) compatible game controller with trakball/mouse logic, a serial port to support a modem, and a mini-floppy disc controller.
The standard configuration includes 128K bytes of graphics/audio/general purpose RAM and 64K bytes of resident firmware ROM. LORRAINE may be cartridge extended with up to 256K bytes of additional ROM or RAM. In addition, all 68000 data, address and control lines are accessible, allowing LORRAINE to be integrated with a wide variety of memory, peripheral, and bus-mastering devices.
LORRAINE includes both high and low-level support for graphics and audio synthesis. Particular emphasis has been placed on convenient high-performance access to the hardware for video game applications. LORRAINE will be packaged with a general purpose operating system, a BASIC interpreter, a FORTH interpreter, and several general purpose utilities.
Afterthoughts: The Atari 1600XL rumor.
In and around 1984
or so, rumors began to circle about the possibility of an Atari 1600XL
computer. Some of the features listed were built in disk
drive, Apple ][e compatibility and even the possibility of having an Intel
8088 daughter processor for IBM compatibility. When you
carefully read the Features of the LORRAINE it starts to become apparent
that there is a connection to the rumors of the Atari 1600XL and the work
that was being done in-house at Atari in 1983-1984 on the prototype Atari
Amiga codenamed "Mickey". Was Mickey in all truth the very
same rumored Atari 1600XL ?
Apparently this rumor has been recently solved. In 1998 The Atari Museum recovered nearly 2 dozen Atari Engineering Logbooks, mentioned in 2 of the logbooks are model # designations for two (2) new Atari computer systems, one was designated the Atari 1650XLD which would have been 6502 CPU based, the other was the Atari 1850XLD which would have been based on the Amiga Lorraine.