T.A.I.L.S. Devkit

The Alternative Interactive Loading System


This solution requires no modification to your Atari Jaguar, but at the present time it is not finished, and only a partial prototype exists. You cannot obtain this item today, and you may never be able to do so. Chances are details will be published on the web late in 1999.

A modified Atari Jaguar cartridge (any, but the developers haves n objection to modifying a rare cartridge, and only certain cartridge designs have been tested for modification, so preferably a plentiful game such as the 2Mb Cybermorph is used,) plugs into the cartridge port as normal. The cartridge includes some special circuitry and custom software. A switch allows normal Jaguar operation with the modified game, or TAILS mode.

In TAILS mode the cartridge takes control immediately, and presents the user with a menu offering downloads from a PC or other client with TAILS upload software, via the parallel port, to the 2nd joypad port on the Jaguar. It is hoped that at some point TAILS will also support loading games from the Jaguar CD-ROM, the format being the problem today.

TAILS allows any programs intended for BJL or JagServer (except those communicating with the host computer) to be downloaded to the Jaguar and run via a menu. Only the internal 2MB RAM is available for both the program and the program work-space, just the same as the BJL or JagServer solutions.

TAILS works by intercepting ROM cartridge program start-up after encryption, and at that point enables the new game, thus bypassing the Jaguar security validation algorithm. Testing with a CD-ROM drive has not started, but is a principal aim of the project.

It is not intended as a development kit, only as a loading system and method of supporting the distribution of new Jaguar software at minimal cost. An Atari style approval method is being worked on so that developers can add a serial number to their software in such a way that only one person can run a piece of software, wrong code on wrong TAILS, no play.

TAILS is another elegant European solution to a world problem. However, until details are published and a prototype can be demonstrated to the public it is vapourware.