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Keatah

Purpose of memo pad?

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Back in the day, I think I perceived Memo Pad as a way to mess around typing without having the computer yell back at me with error statements :)

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51 minutes ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Dumb question! Is there any way to save screens developed on the Memo Pad?

 

Use a camera.

Take a screenshot via emulator.

Write a MemoPad simulator that has a hidden save option - to either a list of ATASCII characters or a bitmap image.

Maybe there is a screen-capture / memory capture cartridge out there.

Use a full-screen word processor that operates like memopad, if there is one.

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1 minute ago, Keatah said:

 

Use a camera.

Take a screenshot via emulator.

Write a MemoPad simulator that has a hidden save option - to either a list of ATASCII characters or a bitmap image.

Maybe there is a screen-capture / memory capture cartridge out there.

Use a full-screen word processor that operates like memopad, if there is one.

Yeah, yeah. :)

 

Just thinking off the top of my head of a simple existing text editor in Gr. 0 that could be used as a simple tool for A(TA)SCII art...which got me thinking about New Memo Pad...which got me thinking about Old Memo Pad.

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I wonder how many people typed in full basic programs from magazines into Memo Pad thinking they were in BASIC?

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On 3/26/2015 at 4:19 AM, Keatah said:

What was/is the purpose of the Atari Computer - Memo Pad?

What function, if any was it supposed to serve? Was it filler material to help indicate the computer was in working order? Were people supposed to leave the system on at home and type messages to be read by the rest of the family? Was it there to help you get familiar with typing and the Atari keyboard? Maybe it says in the manual. I'm just too lazy to read it right now.

 

 

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

I wonder how many people typed in full basic programs from magazines into Memo Pad thinking they were in BASIC?

BITD in the computer department of our favorite department store we cleared the screen, typed "READY" and went off. 😈

 

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38 minutes ago, DjayBee said:

BITD in the computer department of our favorite department store we cleared the screen, typed "READY" and went off. 😈

 

Evil (and harmless) - I love it!

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15 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Dumb question! Is there any way to save screens developed on the Memo Pad?

 

IDK, but Genie gives you a Note Pad (among some other useful functions) that can save and load the text.

 

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Not really.

If you're in an emulator then options like screenshot or save the relevant chunk of memory.

 

On a real machine - if you had an OS with Monitor, maybe.  But likely the Monitor's screen would wipe what you had.

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But to answer the original question.   Unlike some other computers of that era, the Atari user interface was not built around BASIC,  BASIC  was always an add-on application like any other.   For instance on the C64 you load binary applications from the Basic shell, on the Atari this is unthinkable, you either auto-boot or load them from the DOS menu,   and you usually need to disable BASIC first on XL/XE or it gets in the way.

 

So the computer needed to do something when you turned it on.   It was either memo pad or the equally useless "self test" mode XL/XE models

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6 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

I like the Fuji Rainbow...

Me too!  Actually the other night I was messing around with demos, and ran into the awesome Swan demo, where it has a swan flying by the Fuji rainbow that then rotates very smoothly.

And now I want an OS ROM that shows that if there isn't anything attached....

Either that or I still need to get Rev 11 in my 1200s, so I can have the little R...

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Rev C Basic can't easily go onto a stock 400/800 system as a builtin.

Notepad unlike Self Test is just a miniscule program.

The E: device is already open by default, so all it has to do is print the title text then perform Get Record (?) endlessly.

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In 1979, the average person did not have any typing skills.  So memopad can be used aa an approachable way to practice.  At that time people were afraid of computers, making mistakes, screwing something up.  The atari 800 wasn't the only home computer to have such a feature around that time.

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1 hour ago, mr_me said:

In 1979, the average person did not have any typing skills.  So memopad can be used aa an approachable way to practice.  At that time people were afraid of computers, making mistakes, screwing something up.  The atari 800 wasn't the only home computer to have such a feature around that time.

Which is funny, as back then you could just turn it off and any changes would be gone.

These days everyone has a hard drive and things are being constantly saved, more chances of things going sideways (like Windows 10 not even suggesting that converting to GPT will hose your data...)

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4 hours ago, leech said:

These days everyone has a hard drive and things are being constantly saved, more chances of things going sideways (like Windows 10 not even suggesting that converting to GPT will hose your data...)

 

True enough. And it's a great (however unfortunate) example of a situation that the very earliest of Apple II documentation taught me about. Oh, no, they didn't discuss disk partitions in the DOS 3.3 manual or anything. The manual taught this then at the time 8 year old the critical importance of low level disk operations.

 

Had the Atari 800 been my first full-size micro I would likely have learned similar behaviors and concepts from its documentation.

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On 7/15/2020 at 7:10 PM, davidcalgary29 said:

Dumb question! Is there any way to save screens developed on the Memo Pad?

Not without a machine language monitor like Omnimon. There is no way to call a program from memo pad.

 

IMHO a machine language monitor would not have fit into Atari's concept of extreme user friendliness and a very versatile computer that would be adapted to its intended use with (left and right) cartridges. 90% of users would not have needed it anyway (but would still have to pay it), it's just that most of us remaining users belong to the other 10%.

 

I remember an "all purpose memo pad" spoof thread being posted here 2-3 years ago but couldn't find it. Not sure if those were the same screenshots as on Inverse ATASCII.

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OT but speaking of machine language monitors reminds me of a trick one of my coworkers played on me.  Years ago we had a Macintosh II computer in our cube. It was a shared computer but I was using quite a bit at the time.  My coworker thought it would be funny to change the password to lock me out of it.  This computer had a button on it that could be pressed to enter a machine language monitor.  I spent a little time tracing the boot code until I found the password routine and bypassed it to get in.  He was a little baffled when he walked in and saw me using the computer.  Good times. :)

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I worked at sears when they sold Atari and TI.  Nearly everything I typed into the TI produced an error message.   The Atari 800 in Memopad mode was much more approachable, and less likely to have a cartridge stolen out of it.

When the XLs hit the display stands we got more cheeky kids writing clever little programs that displayed foul language on the screen eternally.

 

I used to leave a little program that cleared the screen until somebody pressed a key and then it printed "How about a nice game of global thermonuclear war?  If they pressed another key it started a countdown with a random background color change.

 

When I got my 400, and later, the programmer kit, I didn't quite type a magazine listing into memo pad, but I did type one in and hit the break key at the end of every line.  I didn't realize that break and return did something different since they both moved the cursor to the beginning of the next line.  Boy did I feel stupid when I finally RTFM'd 

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On 7/15/2020 at 2:21 PM, zzip said:

I wonder how many people typed in full basic programs from magazines into Memo Pad thinking they were in BASIC?

 

I will admit to doing this when I first got my Atari 800.

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