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New Atari 8-bit scans and video

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That's fantastic that you scanned all these, Kevin. Thank you so much.

 

I hope it will inspire others here to scan and archive their Atari 8-bit stuff.

 

Come on people. You can't let Kevin do all the work.

 

Allan

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https://archive.org/details/AtariA1200OperatingSystemManualSupplement

Second draft of the manual for the "Atari A1200" computer, which would be renamed Atari 1200XL prior to release. Manual dated November 30 1982, by Robert A. Peck. It primarily shows the differences between the 1200 and its predecessors, the Atari 400 and Atari 800. Near end end of the document, you'll see a memo by Harry Stewart (dated January 10, 1983) with suggested edits to the document.

 

Page 6 of the Stewart memo confirms that the Rev B PAL 400/800 OS had not been released as of 1/10/1983.

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https://archive.org/details/ColleenHardwareManualVersionA

https://archive.org/details/ColleenHardwareManualVersionB

Undated, circa 1978? The author is not noted on the document. This is certainly the earliest technical description of the Atari 8-bit computers that I have seen. Version A is charmingly handwritten. A lot of this material will be expanded to become the Atari 400/800 Hardware Manual.

 

 

There is "REV 1 June 78" on top of one of the last pages of Version A, making Version A no earlier than that.

 

Near the end of Version B there's a "400/800 Memory Map" that mentions both the 400 and 800 by name. Goldberg/Vendel indicate the 400/800 got their names in November 1978, making Version B no earlier than that.

 

Also, the memory map in Version A seems to indicate a base RAM of 4K, while Version B indicates a base RAM of 8K, reinforcing the time period when they made that decision to bump it to 8K, after June but by the introduction on December 14, 1978. (I think much closer to December, given the "prototype" 800 Operator's Manual that still indicated the 800 was to ship with only 4K.)

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Atari PASCAL Execution Monitor Source Code version 1.0, March 1 1982, by W. Saville and M. Lehman — is another gift from Harry Stewart.

 

"The final delivered version!!! Hooray" Frankly I don't understand what this is, and hope someone will tell me if this this interesting or important.

 

-Kevin

Edited by Savetz
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An Evaluation Of The Deep Blue C Compiler by Robert C. Fruth for Atari.

This appears to be an evaluation of the Deep Blue C compiler, written by Atari employee Bob Fruth, for internal use at Atari, for consideration if the compiler was appropriate for sale in Atari Program Exchange and/or for use as a development tool within Atari.

 

Deep Blue C Compiler 1.1 Draft Manual

This is a draft version of the manual for Deep Blue C Compiler 1.1, written by John Howard Palevich. This may be the version of the manual submitted by Palevich to Atari for consideration for publication.

 

And, attached, an image of a Deep Blue C disk that accompanied the above, which makes me guess that this is a pre-release version of the compiler. Dig in and report what you learn!

DeepBlueC_prerelease.atr

 

-Kevin

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Let's talk Atari Pascal.

 

Harry Stewart provided an amazing trove of history about the creation of the software. I tried to connect some dots in this tweet storm here: https://twitter.com/KevinSavetz/status/1074036786190401536

 

Atari Pascal Development Proposal

MT wanted $55,000 to create the software. 1979-11-09

 

Atari Pascal V 0.0 Documentation

Documentation for version 0.0 of Atari Pascal programming language, for the Atari 400/800 computers. Date June 2, 1980.

 

Comparison Points Between UCSD Pascal And ATARI Pascal

Comparison Points Between UCSD Pascal And ATARI Pascal prepared by MT MicroSYSTEMS, September 15, 1980.

 

Atari Pascal Functional Specification

Atari Pascal Functional Specification, prepared by Michael G. Lehman and Winthrop L. Saville of MT MicroSYSTEMS for Atari.

 

Atari Pascal Functional Specification - Harry Stewart Memo

Harry's thoughts about the above spec.

 

Harry Stewart Pascal Meeting Notes

handwritten notes about two meetings with MT

 

-Kevin

Edited by Savetz
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I bought and scanned an interesting catalog of educational software for the Atari computer: "Atari 800 - send your student to school with a secret weapon" No publisher or date (but circa 1981-2.) At ~200 pages, it seems to be a hand-compiled list of software.

 

https://archive.org/details/Atari800SecretWeapon

 

The seller told me that the book may have come from St. Charles School in Fort Wayne, Indiana (where several other of her books had come from.) The only other reference I can find to "secret weapon" was in newspaper ads from a store called MicroSystems in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

post-803-0-75340400-1547572741_thumb.png

 

The "boy at computer" photo and headline is proabbly from cut-and-paste ad copy provided by Atari/Warner. It's a tiny mystery, but a thorough catalog of educational software available at a moment in time.

 

(Also: the kid has a Big Trak, and no visible cables coming from the computer components. And two copies of the States and Capitals software, which seems excessive.)

 

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Wow, the very first version of the Atari 800 manual from 1979. Only 200 were printed.
Astute Atari nerds will notice many differences between what's shown in this prototype manual and the reality of production hardware/software.

 

 

Wow! What an amazing cover image.

 

The tone of it is very... adult.

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Pascal update:

 

Update: two people worked on Atari Pascal. Michael G. Lehman did most of the work but died last year. Wink Saville worked on the Pascal linker, but didn't know the answers to any of my questions. Wink started on a KIM-1 and later was a developer of the PCPI Applicard and one of the principals in Meridian Data where they developed CDROM publishing systems and other projects. So, certainly an interesting guy to talk to, but not with the answers about Atari Pascal and fortran.

 

-Kevin

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Pascal update:

 

Update: two people worked on Atari Pascal. Michael G. Lehman did most of the work but died last year. Wink Saville worked on the Pascal linker, but didn't know the answers to any of my questions. Wink started on a KIM-1 and later was a developer of the PCPI Applicard and one of the principals in Meridian Data where they developed CDROM publishing systems and other projects. So, certainly an interesting guy to talk to, but not with the answers about Atari Pascal and fortran.

 

-Kevin

That's is unfortunate. At least we know who programmed Atari Pascal. Hopefully one day we will find out more of the story of Atari Pascal.

 

Allan

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Here's a great new scan for lovers of the 600XL:

 

Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting Handout provided by Gregg Squires is dated 1983-01-07 and includes detailed parts/cost schedules, date milestones, unresolved issues, 45 pages of goodness. ("Crazy-8" was one of the codenames for the 600XL.)

 

Interview with Gregg is forthcoming.

 

—Kevin

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Same here for PORKY. Also what surprises me is that this 'Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting Handout' states it clearly that the 600XL is the primary machine while the 800XL is merely an expanded 600XL. I always thought of it the other way around. The cost estimates (?) were interesting to read as well. $8 for the keyboard, the custom chips were about $3 each, etc... It describes the transparent plastic window as 'plexiglass' but isn't it just clear plastic?

 

Also the colors names/codes of the case is very important for recreating the exact same case colors! Is this the first time they've been directly stated?

Edited by Sugarland

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The cost assessment is really interesting! In other words, Atari was hoping to slash the cost of producing its low end machine by half, from $127 (400) to $65 (600XL). I wonder if they actually realized those savings? And how much did the 800 cost to produce in 1983?

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I have the chip plot on PORKY, but not datasheets or background data for it.

 

 

very nice, I'd never heard of the PORKY variant on the POKEY chip before reading that.

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The 800XL spec doesn't come out until later. You have to realize that the 600XL was meant as the replacement for the 400 and that is where the numbering is derived: The 600XL is to the 1200XL as the 400 is to the 800. However the 1200XL originally was meant to be the 1000X and the 600XL the 1000 as originally spec'd in the Sweet 16 document (again, note the codename schema: 1200XL/1200/1000X is Sweet-16, the 600XL/1000 is Crazy-8, again halving the number of the upper model even in its codename. Lastly, the reason the peripherals were the 1010, 1020, 1050...etc instead of the 1210, 1220, 1250, etc... is because the peripherals were originally slated for the original numbering of the 1200XL which was the 1000X

 

It all starts to make sense after you understand the inner backgrounds of how the nomenclature was originated.

 

 

Same here for PORKY. Also what surprises me is that this 'Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting Handout' states it clearly that the 600XL is the primary machine while the 800XL is merely an expanded 600XL. I always thought of it the other way around. The cost estimates (?) were interesting to read as well. $8 for the keyboard, the custom chips were about $3 each, etc... It describes the transparent plastic window as 'plexiglass' but isn't it just clear plastic?

 

Also the colors names/codes of the case is very important for recreating the exact same case colors! Is this the first time they've been directly stated?

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Random thoughts on Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting Handout

 

Having read through this just today, I took some notes on the tree I killed while printing it. I did duplex it, so don't yell. :D

 

Expansion bus: Composite Video In/Out, 5200 "PAM" External Adapter seemed to be a driving influence. "External Video and Audio inputs may thus be applied and will appear on the television screen (or at the speaker). External Video Monitors and Audio Amplifiers may be interfaced via the PBC."

 

FRED seemed to be a large requirement for the project -- yet FRED wasn't really ready/in use until the 1400's in late 83 and then not again until the XLF/XE. What delayed the use of FRED for so long (1984) since it was scheduled for competition 4/83. "Entire project could sleep 6 weeks if 1st pass FRED does not work" Which FRED is this btw? The 48 PIN one is listed in the parts list. "The FRED custom chip will make possible a low-cost PAM adapter, which would include, in an external unit, PAM controller interface, and PAM O/S ROMS" and "[the OS ROMs] can be disabled vi the Fred chip, under program control, and a different O.S. can be loaded from peripherals" So phat FRED was killed for narrow FREDDIE I guess.

 

PORKEY was slated for 2/83.

 

RUFUS seemed to be the 16K x 8 ROM. Is this the codename for the 16K XL OS? It also was the most expensive chip.

 

ROSE was a ROM+PIA hybrid due in May

 

Battery Eliminator = DC Power supplies. (New phrase for me!)

 

CGIA - "Later versions of the LIZ unit will have the Antic and GTIA chips integrated into one LSI chip"

 

LIZ - will initially use the A800 10K ROMs

 

Keyboard interface will be the same as the A800 and A1200 but matrix will be different due to Porky

 

The documentation starts using "S-16" halfway through and veers off from the Crazy8 concept a bit. Some parts talk about eliminating the Function keys, other parts talk about using them.

 

16K system has one power LED

64K system has one power LED + 2 others (where have I seen this before? Oh yeah, the 1400XL vs 1450XL pictures in the XL product brochure)

 

The PBC/PBI interface is very different pin/out from what eventually came out on the 600XL/800XL And several additional signals are present.

 

The most expensive component of the project was the keyboard. Three suppliers: ALPS, SUN-ARROW, MITSUMI

 

 

All in all an interesting read. :thumbsup:

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In 1989 a man named John Kelleher created MANUS, music notation software for the Atari 8-bits. He no longer has the software (do you?!) but he sent me a scan of the manual and some memories about it.

 

The manual is at https://archive.org/details/MANUS/

 

He told me: 

 

"Never clean out your file cabinets. You might come across ridiculous, embarrassing things like the manual to MANUS. (The disks with any actual Atari programs, of course, are long gone). Feel free to share this reflection and/or the manual as you wish. Non-exclusive license to distribute universally, blah blah blah.

 

This was 1989. I had a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old on my hands all day, every day. I can't imagine what possessed me to do this project, or how I managed it.

 

I think I wrote the entire music editor in BASIC. Unbelievable.

 

Today, looking at the "GUIDE TO MUS.FNT SYMBOLS" (q.v. in the attached), I suddenly remembered that this How-To had been inspired by Edward Tufte's "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information," which I had read and greatly admired. That is, if you look at the GUIDE, you'll see that (inspired by Tufte's examples) the keystrokes to make the musical symbols (like the treble clef, for example) are laid out right by the symbols. Few words, much information.

 

I'm changing diapers, preparing meals, taking them to Sea World and/or the Zoo every single day, and doing this? Did I have a good time? With them, Yes. With this? I don't remember."

 

John also wrote a program for the Atari 1020 Plotter called CURSIVE, that would plot whatever you wanted in a nice cursive font. Example here: https://archive.org/details/IO_Connector_1986-12 ... this program also seems to be lost to the ages.

 

—Kevin

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