It is not so hard to tell what was the most exciting moment between Apollo-team members during work on Vampire 1200 accelerator cards. For sure, yesterdays results regarding enabling fast Vampire 1200 IDE port is on top of everything.
In the process of designing card all of the facts needed to make this type of accelerator were known, all but one. Is it possible to keep regular Amiga 1200 IDE port and have one more, same time, much faster mounted on V1200 card. In theory we did know what needs to be done, after all we did recreate Gayle chip and its registers needed for IDE to work on Vampire 500 and made very fast IDE port on that card. But here situation was different, much more complex to the point that we could only enable either Amiga IDE port or Vampire IDE but not both same time. By enabling Vampire IDE port situation got even worse, not only by disabling regular Amiga 1200 IDE port but PCMCIA got disabled too. Yeah, yeah, you may say that it is all about address decoding, Amiga memory map, appropriate IRQ handling and drivers... OK, it is, but it was very hard to make perfect combinations to not cause conflicts between Vampire 1200 and Amiga.
On last conference call between Apollo-team members we decided that only solution to this problem is to have two cores for people to chose. One with working Vampire IDE or one with working IDE and PCMCIA found on Amiga motherboard. In my own desperation I was thinking constantly that there must be some hardware flaw I did by accident during PCB design. Things started to change few days ago when we pushed harder and finally made it work :) After all of this work is polished some more all of the new features will be presented in next Vampire 1200 core release.
Vampire 1200 IDE in action