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How I almost used an Atari 8-bit for school


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#1 Xebec OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:10 AM

Small nostalgia post.

 

In 4th Grade (~ 1985?), I got in serious trouble with a teacher one time for typing up a few small papers that we were asked to "write".  Of course, the teacher was focused on making sure I knew how to do cursive properly, and as a kid who knew everything I thought (and told her) that writing was "primitive", and asked why I can't just use my Atari to do papers.

 

She took my Atariwriter written and (Some kind of Epson dot matrix) printed papers and threw them in the trash and got very red in the face with me :).

 

So as it took several more years before schools became accepting of computer technology,  my Atari 8-bit never quite got used as part of my academic career..   But I really did love using AtariWriter..

 

P.S.  I haven't used Cursive..  in well over 20 years, but I sure love my Atari.  



#2 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:14 AM

I use cursive every time I sign my name but YMMV



#3 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:09 AM

I graduated high school in 1995... When I would get a few extra marks for typing up my stuff and printing it on a dot matrix printer in letter quality mode because it presented just so much better than the hand written stuff everyone else was submitting. (it would do at least two passes with a tiny paper feed per line to get the equivalent of 18-dots instead of the usual 9).

 

I mastered a lot of the formatting tricks in AtariWriter+ for double-wide characters and underlining for titles, the separate disk to do the spell checks, etc.

 

Nowadays its pretty much an expectation to submit work electronically! especially in higher education



#4 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:30 AM

I used my friend's Atari 800 for writing english papers in my first year of college in1987. Wasn't too bad once I learned it.. the hard part was printing on that dot matrix printer which took like 5 minutes per page or something. It made it hard when printing at the last minute trying to get to class. :lol:


Edited by NE146, Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:30 AM.


#5 ivop OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:37 AM

I read several times on AA that people got away with using a printer by using the 1027. Teachers would think it was typed on a typewriter :)

 

By the end of my time at high school, it was accepted to print your assignments. Only the number of pages requirements were different, e.g. for my history paper in my last year, I was allowed 30 pages written by hand or 15 pages printed. I did 39 pages printed :D That was one of the only times I was really inspired to do homework ;)  Teacher graded it 8 out of 10 instead of a 9 because it took him too long to read...

 

Edit: this "anecdote" is Atari related btw. I used 1st Word on an Atari 104STE.


Edited by ivop, Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:02 AM.


#6 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:56 AM

I got my 130XE in '85, I just turned 17.  But I only owned a 1020 plotter, so I never used my computer academically until college, when I did get a printer. That was '92-'96 (yes, I started college at 24, after a couple years of travel and a couple years working), and I used my 130XE, Atari Writer+ and a Panasonic dot-matrix printer (with near letter-qualtiy) with MicroPrint adapter for all my college papers. I didn't even get my first PC until about 2000. I was perfectly happy with application software my 130XE provided, and spent my money in the 90's on gaming consoles instead. The 130XE was replaced with my upgraded 1200XL by about 2001, but I still have the Panasonic printer and Microprint interface and they both work perfectly for me to this day. I re-ink the printer ribbon myself. All my reviews for Excel magazine were done with Last Word on my expanded 1200XL. I run a contractor business and all my paper work is done with Last Word, Synfile+ and Syncalc for my business and home finances.


Edited by Gunstar, Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:10 PM.


#7 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:47 PM

Similar to the above. I used my 130XE and Star LC10 printer right through college and my degree until graduation in 1995. Assignments were written on TextPro and printed using Daisy-Dot II.



#8 Ely OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:21 PM

Yup I got my 130XE in Dec 86 and started college (City and Guilds and then a Diploma) in Sept 87. Did every assignment on it using the Mini Office II word processor and my Dad's Citizen 120D dot matrix printer. Then I got an ST in Nov 89 and carried on with 1st Word Plus using the same printer until I completed my HNC in 92.

Just as well really as my handwriting is atrocious!!

#9 squonk OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:02 PM

I used an Atari 800 + AtariWriter for a couple of years in college.  I had a Smith Corona TP-1 and a DecWriter II as printers.  A couple years later I acquired an S100-based CP/M machine and "upgraded" to WordStar for papers.  WordStar was awful but using an 80 column terminal (VT100) was definitely an improvement.

I regret abandoning most of that hardware when I moved to Seattle, but I kept the Atari, of course.  I'm rebuilding the collection now - anyone have a spare VT100 lying about?



#10 slx OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:50 PM

For our final exam we had to prepare various writeups about books, some of which would then be chosen for the exams. I did those on an Atari 800 using Letter Perfect and an Epson FX-80 with an aftermarket NLQ font. The year was 1986 and pupils using word processors was new.

 

Our school had zero computers for student use. We actually did a "computer day" in senior high school with a couple of students bringing their machines to school to demonstrate what they could do (and play some games of course). IT did not become a mandatory subject until several years after I graduated and by now does not include programming any more (except for some HTML maybe).

 

No wonder programmers are still very much sought after. Apparently the percentage of the population to whom coding is appealing has not changed much since the 80s...;-)



#11 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:44 PM

I graduated high school in 1995... When I would get a few extra marks for typing up my stuff and printing it on a dot matrix printer in letter quality mode because it presented just so much better than the hand written stuff everyone else was submitting. (it would do at least two passes with a tiny paper feed per line to get the equivalent of 18-dots instead of the usual 9).
 
I mastered a lot of the formatting tricks in AtariWriter+ for double-wide characters and underlining for titles, the separate disk to do the spell checks, etc.
 
Nowadays its pretty much an expectation to submit work electronically! especially in higher education


I also graduated in 95 but I used a tandy 1000sl/2 with a dot matrix with the n.l.q. button down and I am sure this got me higher marks for reports for sure.

In the early 90s it was almost snobbery to bring computer printed reports to school.
In the 80s I used an electric typewriter I think my dad still uses it for making out bills and putting envelopes in to type out addresses..

#12 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:25 AM

Have been using my Atari 800XL in 'high school' (here in The Netherlands that is called different but ok)... 

 

I remember one time a friend of mine and myself wrote a program in Basic to simplify Square root. He on the C64 and I on the 800XL. We both succeeded and the teacher was so inspired by that that he generously graded this effort with a 10 out of 10... well I have to be honest. The C64 guy received the 10 points, and I got the 9 points... and why? Because I did not have a printer, so I wrote everything visible on my screen down with a fountain pen on paper. Well... ok that sucked... but I could understand that his printout looked way more professional than my handwriting.

 

Later I moved to the Apple //c with Apple Works. That was amazing (but offtopic so I leave that chapter).

 

In 1992 I got myself the Atari 1040STfm. With That's Write. I was stunned. This was more amazing than Word Perfect 5.1. I loved the Wysiwyg environment a lot, and I made a LOT of work on the 1040.

 

In 1994/1995 I got back to Atari 8bit (finally, I really missed it) and then I started using the 800XL for serious work. I wrote a lot of thing in Txtpro. That worked like a charm. Have had several printers, till a few months ago I even had a Laser Printer connected. Today I still use my a8 for everything serious. I do some writing, all on The Last Word, which is a fabulous word processor. Got myself a nice 2nd hand Epson LQ 400 which offers also great quality printing.


Edited by ProWizard, Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:12 AM.


#13 576XE OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:48 AM

Such a good histories!!!

 

I say only one word...

After Perestroyka has gone I've got a chance to see my Atari again. (All works and no joy...)

 

And I live with Atari till nowaday.

 

zen



#14 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:48 PM

I used a 130XE with AtariWriter+ (and, for awhile, AtariWriter 80) and a Star NX-1000 for all of my university essays until about 1992-3. I did start out with a horrid serial connect printer that lacked lower-case descenders, but was forced to upgrade because of teacher complaints. That Star printer seemed like a dream with its NLQ font in those days. :)



#15 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:50 PM

Such a good histories!!!

 

I say only one word...

After Perestroyka has gone I've got a chance to see my Atari again. (All works and no joy...)

 

And I live with Atari till nowaday.

 

zen

So you owned an Atari before Perestroyka? Were they sold in the Soviet Union before Perestroyka? Or you were allowed to import the Atari? I ask because you say "chance to see my Atari AGAIN." And what happened that you couldn't see your Atari again until after Perestroyka? One last thing, is Perestroyka the proper spelling? When I looked it up on Google, they corrected my spelling to  Perestroika.


Edited by Gunstar, Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:51 PM.


#16 dneedham OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:37 PM

I had a similar story.  I graduated high school in 1987.  Used my Atari 800XL along with Compute's Speedscript most of the way thru college.  I used an Epson L-1000 printer I got on clearance from Walmart and a MPP printer interface.  Still kicking myself for selling everything in the mid nineties when I was "upgrading" to a PC :(



#17 576XE OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:43 PM

Hello, Gunstar!

 

I wrote Perestroyka just to emphasise russian pronunciation of the word.

It must be like a toy (may be even harder...) and then suffix -ka.

 

Yes. I had Atari before.

My father brought me 130XE from France in 90th.

 

As far as it's concerned Perestroyka itself it was a terrible 20 years of 1700%/year inflation, then 2 crisises and Default as lolgical end.

 

My family was rich for Soviet times and it lost all!

 

So I gave the citation from the film with Jack Nicholson.

"All work and no joy make Jack a dull boy."

 

Thus I worked for life 12hours/day these times and forgot my little Atari.

 

Now all seems much more stable and voila I meet Atari again.

 

zen



#18 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:10 PM

My 2nd year HS electronics teacher didn't accept a typed report on the synthetic aperture radar used in the F-15. Cited some shit about it being dot-matrix. He was probably jealous I had one and he didn't. I wasn't allowed in the computer lab either because I sucked in math. I dropped out later that year because I wasn't learning anything.

#19 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:37 PM

I was a bit late to the PC party.

 

My dad was an avowed luddite and had no interest in getting me a computer. Well, one day at school I was talking to an acquaintance in one of my classes and he mentioned that he was selling his Atari 800. Long story short, I ended up trading my gameboy and a few games for an Atari, two disk drives, and about 200 games. Best goddamn trade I ever made. I played hundreds of hours of games, learned to program etc. Hell, I even still have a diary from way back then still on disk written in paperclip.

 

Never had a printer though. I am actually looking to get a decent dot matrix now, as I have rather fallen for The Last Word, and it's way cheaper to print on fanfold and re-ink your own ribbon for cheap test copy (I write a lot). These days I have several models of XL/XE computers with modern SD card interfaces. I use them about as much as my regular PC to play games, and a bit of programming or word processing. I find the Atari makes for a great distraction free word processor these days.  



#20 jmtech OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:32 AM

Yep, used a keyboard modded 400, 800XL, and 130XE in high school in the science/electronics lab.   Apple ]['s were used everywhere else.  The electronics teacher was really into typing in the Dvorak keyboard layout, so I programmed a Dvorak keyboard handler for the Atari 8 bits.  I have fond memories of those days.



#21 WIZZARD77 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:01 AM

I graduated in 1996 and used my 800xl and 1027 printer with Atariwriter all through college. It did everything I needed it to with ease and was alot easier than going to the library and waiting for a computer.



#22 Brentarian ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:47 PM

I had a 1027 early on and I remember using it to print out my vocabulary lists in elementary school.

In middle school, I was using AtariWriter and an Epson compatible dot-matrix for reports and the teachers didn't care. For science fair projects I used PrintShop, AtariWriter, B/Graph, and Syncalc for printing and pasting onto a tri-board.

High school came around and I had started to use PaperClip for writing papers. I was on the newspaper team and after looking at our first issue that was done on a typewriter, I asked my teacher if I could try it on my Atari computer for the next issue. I brought in to school my 1200XL, P:R:C, and Panasonic 24pin NLQ printer. PaperClip supported left/right justification with micro-spacing and after the teacher saw the quality, I only wrote one more article that year. The rest of my time in that class I was using the Atari to type everyone else's articles. Good memories!

#23 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:28 PM

not really atari related but every single one of my school reports was done in appleworks until college which then switched to MS word, and we got bonus points for typing (graduated HS in 97)

 

my experience with grade, middle, high, and my first 4 years of college is that teachers are ignorant worthless shits

 

in 1998 I had a CS teacher that also handled introduction to electronics that could not figure out that the TV needed to be tuned to channel 3 before the tape would play, yea that's a good waste of several hundred dollars for a class on technology when the fat old twat could not operate a 20 year old at the time video tape machine 


Edited by Osgeld, Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:32 PM.


#24 RodLightning OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:53 PM

I read several times on AA that people got away with using a printer by using the 1027. Teachers would think it was typed on a typewriter :)
 
By the end of my time at high school, it was accepted to print your assignments. Only the number of pages requirements were different, e.g. for my history paper in my last year, I was allowed 30 pages written by hand or 15 pages printed. I did 39 pages printed :D That was one of the only times I was really inspired to do homework ;)  Teacher graded it 8 out of 10 instead of a 9 because it took him too long to read...
 
Edit: this "anecdote" is Atari related btw. I used 1st Word on an Atari 104STE.


Yup, I was one of those who got a 1027 to get around the "no computer printed" assignments. I hope to get my old 1027 running again if those new rubber print heads become available.
I started out using Superscript word processor for school and moved on to TextPro, that I actually liked more.

#25 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:28 PM

Yup, I was one of those who got a 1027 to get around the "no computer printed" assignments. I hope to get my old 1027 running again if those new rubber print heads become available.

 

Fuck'n teachers I tell you! They wouldn't accept good 1/216th advanced dot-matrix. And when I asked WHY they couldn't or wouldn't tell me. It wouldn't be so bad if there was a legitimate reason for not accepting them, but there wasn't. At least none that I understood. Other than to maybe sadistically make the students hunch over and write write write like a punishment. Well fuck'em'all. I still can't do cursive nicely. It was kinda like tryn'a make a Yugo win the Daytona, never going to happen, but go through the motions just to go through the motions.

 

One teacha told me it was hard to read. And I said like bullshit it is and started reading my paper. And I got sent to the office for detention for a day for mouthing back. The school I went to was so anti-tech and backwards. I hated it and couldn't wait till I got out of there.






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