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Everything posted by Knimrod

  1. I loved the commentary on Star Raiders development. Until then, my PC exposure had been a Sinclair ZX-80 which I built and learned to program on. I was looking to move into something with more power and that's when I met Claus.. When Claus demonstrated Star Raiders for me, I was blown away. I had never seen anything like that before. That was definitely a major selling point for me.
  2. How Atari took on Apple in the 1980s home PC wars BY BENJ EDWARDSLONG READ Forty years ago, Atari released its first personal computers: the Atari 400 and 800. They arrived in the fall of 1979 after a prerelease marketing campaign that had begun the previous January when the company unveiled the machines at what was then called the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Then as now, “Atari” was synonymous with “video game,” and the new machines packed more technological potential than any game console at the time, with custom graphics and sound chips, support for four joysticks or eight paddles, and the ability to play games on cartridge, cassette, or disk. At launch, one of the machines’ first games, Star Raiders, defined cutting-edge home entertainment. And yet Atari initially marketed the 800 and its lower-cost counterpart, the Atari 400, as “second-generation” PCs—productivity machines with enhanced graphics and sound capabilities over the 1977 holy trinity of personal computing: the Apple II, Commodore PET, and TRS-80. The company intended them to crunch home budget numbers just as often as they simulated space battles. Idiot-proof and rugged, Atari’s Home Computer System machines (I’ll call the platform “HCS” for short) represented a huge leap in consumer-friendly personal computing. Unlike many PCs of the time, the Atari machines exposed no bare electronics to the consumer. Unique keyed connectors meant that all of the machines’ ports, modules, and cartridges couldn’t be plugged into the wrong places or in the incorrect orientation. The 400 even featured a flat spillproof keyboard aimed at fending off snack-eating children. And due to restrictive FCC rules that precluded the open expansion slots on the Apple II, Atari designed a suite of intelligent plug-and-play peripherals linked together by a serial IO bus that presaged the ease of the much-later USB. More: https://www.fastcompany.com/90432140/how-atari-took-on-apple-in-the-1980s-home-pc-wars
  3. Don't forget the metabolic urine analyzer with MIDI output for playing music to metabolic profile... Cool stuff!
  4. Thanks Claus, I still have my ZX80 and ZX81.
  5. Probably my favorite period t-shirt was my Elephant Memory Systems shirt. This is around 1980 or so...
  6. Had a similar issue when pulling my 800 out of mothballs.... I re-seated all the ICs that were socketed and it's been fine since. Kind if a pain to tear it down that far but it did work for me.. Good luck.
  7. Has anyone else seen this? https://twitter.com/KevinSavetz/status/654837470157139968?s=04 (my apologies if this is old news)
  8. Thank you! Will try this today.
  9. No... The discussion is about the sio2sd.xex on-screen loader. This feature does not appear to work on the 800 as stated in the thread you mentioned (which is also the thread I posted above).. However, the SIO2SD unit itself works just fine as a drive emulator if the image is selected from the SIO2SD buttons first.
  10. Ran into this same problem: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/230538-sio2sd-with-atari-800/?do=findComment&comment=3087209 Whatever the reason, it doesn't work on the 800 but works on my 800XL. As stated, it's probably some incompatibility with the 800 OS.
  11. Nice try but I think that distinction goes to Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). The Xerox Alto GUI in 1973 (followed by the the "STAR" workstation GUI in 1981) "inspired" Apple and Sun to do their own GUI which ultimately inspired Microsoft to do Windows. Many people assume Apple invented the windows type GUI but that's not the case. Indeed, many of Apple's great "innovations" were bought, borrowed or stolen from somewhere else.
  12. I dunno Claus.. You steered me to Atari. After that, CHAOS and MC2 did a pretty good job of turning people on to Atari as well.
  13. OMG!!! As your "cohort", I remember this! We snickered over this for days...
  14. That was about 30 years ago? I remember a few things. I remember being amazed at how ledgible a 4 pixel wide character set could be. I remember burning EPROMs and assembling cartridges. I remember choosing a company name that started with the letter 'A' so we would be listed first in any new product or company listings in the magazines (it worked!).. My best memories are of forging a life-long friendship and working relationship with Claus who I still think is a flat-out genious with computers and digital electronics.
  15. I struggled with this too before buying. What's your time worth to make up an enclosure and fit it all together? I wound up buying the cased version and am very happy with it. The fit and finish is spot on and it does indeed look professionally manufactured as a consumer product. If the case color matched the console, even Atari would have been proud to call this their own. Well worth the extra $$ IMHO..
  16. I would say that it doesn't matter. The wires simply go to the transformer's primary winding. The secondary winding is isolated and there is no common earth ground connection so a ground fault isn't really possible.
  17. The turbo loader and onscreen loader doesn't work with an 800 (Colleen). Some OS incompatibility I suspect. You'll have to use the SIO2SD's display and buttons for selecting files.
  18. I'll take a picture of the lid assembly and upload as soon as I can for you...
  19. Well, that sucks. I'm in the US and you can have the lid from my parts donor 800 if you can't find one more local.
  20. Mine takes some finesse to line the two metal tabs lined up to slide in. It takes a little down pressure on the lid to make it happen but I suspect all may be a little different.. When properly in place, I don;t see any big gaps and it looks as expected aesthetically.
  21. Same TV I'm using with my 800.. Works great with S-Video (after a small mod to 800). Also works great with an 800XL.
  22. Just my .02 but whenever judging is done by a large mass of people, the outcome is always the result of a popularity contest. What makes a game or author "popular" is subjective and not necessarily related to just technicality, appearance or playability. I don't think this is a bad thing as this is also true of the market where people vote with their wallets.
  23. I think one of my Atari 800s is the original I bought used from an MSU professor back in 80 or 81.. Not sure though. I have a 400 also from around the same time. I think I sold Claus my "Happy" 810 disk drive way back when but still have a 1050 disk drive. Lastly, I still have my Sinclair ZX80 from when they first came out.
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