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Size of the Atari 8-bit Community


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#1 scitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 7:04 PM

How big is this community? How many people own Atari 8-bit computers and actively use them? What is you best guess? 500? 1000? 10,000? more?



#2 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 7:57 PM

There are at least two of us in Philly!

 

 

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#3 adamchevy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 8:56 PM

I do, so probably atleast 1. I would guess 2-3 thousand.

Edited by adamchevy, Tue Oct 9, 2018 8:56 PM.


#4 Alfred OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 9, 2018 9:23 PM

Based on postings here, Id guess 500 or less.

#5 Bunsen OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:40 AM

Not everyone being active on the Atari posts here at AA ...

Maybe sellers of Atari stuff can tell us more - Lotharek, Best, Video61....

I think Adam's guess doesn't sound bad.



#6 scitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:49 AM

There are at least two of us in Philly!

 

 

 

We need a Philly Atari interest group! Anyone else?



#7 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:07 AM

Based on postings here, Id guess 500 or less.

 

I suspect total Ultimate 1MB sales alone over the past 6-7 years easily outstrip this figure, and even if some individuals have purchased multiple units, I doubt if even half of all Atari 8-bit enthusiasts own an U1MB. So my completely speculative estimate would be over 1,000 at the very least.



#8 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:55 AM

A lot of people who attend AA regularly never post. Some of these eventually post after a 

number of years. They'll introduce themselves as someone who's been "lurking for a number

of years", and is "finally making their first post".

 

Some people, also, post a few times -- to get answers for a question or two -- then never post

again.

 

By looking at the guests browsing numbers at the the bottom of any AA page, you can get an

idea of their numbers. Guests are very often more than half of the total registered users logged

on at any given time, and can be more than registered users at a given time. Some of these

could be registered users that just haven't signed in at the time. But surely a fair number are

those who aren't registered at all.

 

Some people just want to read the forums. They don't have anything to add; but there is a 

wealth of information here that they're interested in gleaning.

 

users.png

 

users0.png


Edited by MrFish, Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:12 AM.


#9 Fred_M OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:51 AM

It is very difficult to estimate. For example my webshop (in Europe) has 187 registered customers.

 

But to give some numbers:

 

- The world largest Atari 8-bit user group is the Abbuc with around 400 members

- My atarimuseum.nl website receives about 1000 unique visitors each month

- The Atari 8-bit Facebook group (not mine) has 4435 members

 

So I would guess at least a couple of thousands (more or less active) Atari 8-bit users around the world.



#10 gorgh OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:14 AM

here's the similar topic I started some time ago, I came to conclusion after reading people's responses that the estimated number would be around 4000.
http://atariage.com/...ed#entry4084445



#11 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:19 AM

How big is the Atari 8-bit community? Would it be safe to assume somewhere between L and XL on average?



#12 Bill Lange OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:14 AM

We had about 35 people or so show up the last two years at Atari Party East here in NJ. Not all Atari 8-bit computer users for sure, but at least Atari (in general) enthusiasts.  



#13 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:01 AM

 

I suspect total Ultimate 1MB sales alone over the past 6-7 years easily outstrip this figure, and even if some individuals have purchased multiple units, I doubt if even half of all Atari 8-bit enthusiasts own an U1MB. So my completely speculative estimate would be over 1,000 at the very least.

I don't own one...yet. My second Atari will be getting it and all the Lotharek upgrades though. Combine Lotharek, Atarimax and TH_FF and other's upgrade sales might give the closest numbers...for the hard-core that upgrade their systems, but I bet that's still a minority to those who keep stock machines. But I for one have a friend who is still into his Atari 8-bit, I'm currently restoring an 800XL for him, and he has nothing to do with the on-line Atari community...I am his only conduit to all things new...so there are those not active in the on-line community too.



#14 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:09 AM

I'll bet there are a lot of users with stock machines who either aren't aware of current upgrade paths or simply purposely avoid them. The more I think of it, a community of some 1,000 members implies absolutely everyone who owns an Atari 8-bit has at least a couple of upgraded machines, which I think is unlikely. In addition, I receive a fairly steady number of emails from 'new' users who've either stumbled on YouTube videos, my website, or various forums, and who wish to resurrect a long-neglected interest in the 8-bits. So we can imagine there's a double-figures quantity of people actually coming to the community anew each year. Hopefully this balances the natural decline as older fans get into their twilight years.

 

I would kind of like some solid figures on upgrade take-up, especially regarding Ultimate 1MB and that ilk. I should have kept better track of firmware downloads and such like, but it's difficult to do so accurately with stuff spread around forums. I can say that the latest U1MB firmware update was downloaded 236 times since July 2018, and the latest documentation regarding same downloaded or viewed 565 times. Given that I think it likely that half of U1MB owners don't bother updating the firmware at all, and a good proportion are still running an older version of the firmware update from 2016, we can deduce that the U1MB-owning crowd alone is reasonably significant.


Edited by flashjazzcat, Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:10 AM.


#15 Stefan Both OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:19 AM

Hard to say indeed.
Where is the biggest user community today?
Poland?
USA?
Nederlands?
Germany?

What kind of people/user count?
Me too? I'm a hardcore Commodore freak,
but I own a Atari and I'm very interested.

I guess the (active) community in germany
is about 100 people.
If ALL collectors count, who own at least
an single Atari, maybe 300 to 350.
Keep in mind, the ABBUC has many members
from outside Germany too.

I would second a number of ~1000 - 2000 worldwide.

Stefan

#16 Faicuai OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:42 AM

Some considerations on this (relevant) subject:

 

  • The SCOPE of the question has a big impact on the estimate: in US? Europe? Worldwide? 
  • Another aspect of the Scope relates to the retro-computing means: Users of EMULATION? Users of REAL HARDWARE? Both?
  • Sales of MODERN upgrades are NOT a good indication of floating/ active population. A significant # of folks out there DO NOT seem to upgrade, or just use emulation.
  • Forum-members' activity does NOT work either (a TON of lurkers / anonymous out-there).
  • Non-ID PAGE VISITS, however, MAY BE a start. If you look at FlashJazz's page, the numbers suggest as MUCH LARGER community! (worldwide)
  • Non-ID TOPICS visits / reads ARE also a possible indication, especially within the FIRST month of NEW HW / SW introduction of general interest.
  • 1400/1450 XLD, Video Upgrades are a good example topics, and I have seen PRETTY LARGE # of reads / clicks in relatively short period of time. MANY people here may need 1 to 2 months to catch up between news.
  • We can also look at this from an actual / real historical start-point:
    • About 2.5million Atari 8bit sold worldwide?
    • Assume that 1% of those sales translate into remaining / active followers (comprising Web-browsing, emulation-users, HW-collectors, developers, etc.)
    • That translates into 25,000 world-wide, give or take.

 

You can definitely look at this from multiple angles, but you can surely draw a line from where to start...



#17 spiffster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:32 PM

I have an 800XL and a 130XE that I use quite regularly. I prefer to keep the machines themselves stock but am much less of a purist regarding carts and peripherals. Surely I am not alone.

Edited by spiffster, Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:33 PM.


#18 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:45 PM

I can't count the number of times I've run into a person who has an Atari of some kind and they never gave a thought to looking online for Atari Age or some other forum... a good chunk that have are intimidated by the technical, fastidious, nature we have taken on over the years. They are often afraid to speak up and find the singular newbie thread kind of off putting.

 

Faicuai's numbers are pretty good as sampled size estimate. It does make some assumptions. The number is still conservative so, I'd venture we have more than that right here in the Americas...North and South continents


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:47 PM.


#19 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:23 PM

It feels like 8 to 10 ;)

#20 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:33 PM

It feels like 8 to 10 ;)

 

Not everyone who uses an Atari 8-bit is a developer. You should know that. ;)



#21 Wrathchild OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:33 PM

I don't recall reading any article on Far-Eastern interest in the Atari 8-bit range. Was it distributed, say in Japan, around the '80s or were western 8-bits not appeal due to lack of language support?



#22 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:03 PM

Many Atari's fell off the production floor right into the hands of the workers in the country of manufacture.

You'd be surprised what's in Taiwan, Singapore, etc...  it was rampant.



#23 pixelmischief OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:04 PM

I'll bet there are a lot of users with stock machines...simply purposely avoid them.

 

I had a 130XE with a VBXE and an Ultimate 1MB installed.  The work was done by none other than MetalGuy.  After a few months, however, I traded it for a nice, stock 130XE and some cash (which I asked the trader to donate to some cause or another).  The upgrades made the system convenient and accessible in a way that took the fun out of slowing down for long enough to deal with its inherent limitations.

 

I have since identified the components of which my nostalgia is comprised:

 

1. Slower Pace:  There is joy to be had in the waiting.  It gives me a chance to bask in the feeling and memories that the context evokes.

2. Tactile Interaction:  Switching devices on and off, changing disks, and sifting through floppies still feels good.  Touch matters.

3. Low Complexity:  Modern systems require a certain surrender to the abstraction layers and gateway interfaces that make progressive technical improvement possible.  But an Atari 8-Bit is so simple that one can understand it completely and marvel even more at its genius and capability.

 

For my uses, the modern upgrades turn an Atari into an all-in-one console; too convenient to be adored and simultaneously less convenient than an emulator, which does the same thing better.



#24 adamchevy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:48 PM

 
I had a 130XE with a VBXE and an Ultimate 1MB installed.  The work was done by none other than MetalGuy.  After a few months, however, I traded it for a nice, stock 130XE and some cash (which I asked the trader to donate to some cause or another).  The upgrades made the system convenient and accessible in a way that took the fun out of slowing down for long enough to deal with its inherent limitations.
 
I have since identified the components of which my nostalgia is comprised:
 
1. Slower Pace:  There is joy to be had in the waiting.  It gives me a chance to bask in the feeling and memories that the context evokes.
2. Tactile Interaction:  Switching devices on and off, changing disks, and sifting through floppies still feels good.  Touch matters.
3. Low Complexity:  Modern systems require a certain surrender to the abstraction layers and gateway interfaces that make progressive technical improvement possible.  But an Atari 8-Bit is so simple that one can understand it completely and marvel even more at its genius and capability.
 
For my uses, the modern upgrades turn an Atari into an all-in-one console; too convenient to be adored and simultaneously less convenient than an emulator, which does the same thing better.

I feel the same way about stock machines. The only thing I like upgraded are the graphics and sound outputs. I enjoy being able to hook my Atari computers/consoles up to modern TVs/monitors and speakers.

Edited by adamchevy, Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:49 PM.


#25 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:52 PM

 

I had a 130XE with a VBXE and an Ultimate 1MB installed.  The work was done by none other than MetalGuy.  After a few months, however, I traded it for a nice, stock 130XE and some cash (which I asked the trader to donate to some cause or another).  The upgrades made the system convenient and accessible in a way that took the fun out of slowing down for long enough to deal with its inherent limitations.

 

I have since identified the components of which my nostalgia is comprised:

 

1. Slower Pace:  There is joy to be had in the waiting.  It gives me a chance to bask in the feeling and memories that the context evokes.

2. Tactile Interaction:  Switching devices on and off, changing disks, and sifting through floppies still feels good.  Touch matters.

3. Low Complexity:  Modern systems require a certain surrender to the abstraction layers and gateway interfaces that make progressive technical improvement possible.  But an Atari 8-Bit is so simple that one can understand it completely and marvel even more at its genius and capability.

 

For my uses, the modern upgrades turn an Atari into an all-in-one console; too convenient to be adored and simultaneously less convenient than an emulator, which does the same thing better.

A man after my own heart, but you can have your cake and eat it too. I have tons of upgrades that I like to have fun with (see signature below), but I can slow it down to an easy nostalgic pace if I want to still. For example, just last night I passed the time admiring all my system components and watching my internal LED lighting on my 1200XL fade through an Atari rainbow of colors, while I patiently waited for my 1010 recorder to load a cassette version of Leader Board; about a 20-30 minute Tee-time wait and I enjoyed every minute of it. Even though I could have loaded the game in 3-4 seconds off of the MyIDE 2 cart, which I sometimes do as well.

 

But downloading the latest Moon Patrol rom images and putting it on my MyIDE 2's FAT32 loader is fun too! And I love watching those 320K European demo team demos to see just what the ol' 8-bit can do with a bit more memory, and playing games like Pang!, Bomb Jack and Yie Ar Kungfu that require 320K too. I still contsantly use my floppy drives with original disks and my 1010 with original tapes as well as usng SIO2PC, MyIDE 2 and THE!CART with high-speed loading.

 

Sometimes I like going for slow Sunday drives in the country, and sometimes I like breaking the sound barrier for tops speeds in the Nevada Salt Flats. My nostalgia runs the gammit, from the old and slow things of my youth, to being amazed by new tech melded with the old tech, having feelings of nostalgia and new tech experiences at the same time.

 

To me, that is the most beautiful and elegant 8-bit system ever made right there, with my custom touches, and I can just sit admiring it for hours...while waiting for games to load on the 1010. ;)

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Edited by Gunstar, Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:36 PM.





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