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The RGB ATARI ST series is faster when compared to the Coleco ADAM Computer

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Yeah, the Mega ST was released in 1987. Still from what I've seen on youtube, the Atari 8-bit outperforms the Adam in gaming by a huge margin. And actually I think the big box design hurt the system since from what I understand (256x192 resolution) it didn't have an 80 column mode so noone would take it seriously for SO/HO use.

 

According to this website the Atari Mega STE was released in 1991.

 

"The Atari Mega STE was Atari Corporation's last ST series personal computer, released in 1991."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_MEGA_STE

 

Also this year I purchased a used ATARI 130XE computer and every duplicate exact same game title so far that I have compared, the ColecoVision/ADAM version is better quality. Now that completely changes when the release of the ATARI 520ST in mid 1985. The Dragon's Lair and some other games are so much better on the ATARI ST. Yes the ColecoVision/ADAM has some exclusive games that were never released for other systems. However with the 16 bit processor and graphics power of the ATARI ST a talented and skilled programmer could make all or most the ColecoVision/ADAM game titles on the Atari ST with better quality graphics and sound. I wonder how many ATARI ST games used native stereo sound.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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Seeing as how my documentation didn't have anything that said you were supposed to remove the tapes when you power down, it wasn't left in by 'mistake'. Who designs a system that generates basically an EMP in an area where magnetic media is supposed to reside?? That, along with several other poor design choices were the downfall of the system sadly. When the initial info came out about the system I was pretty excited, which is why I asked for one. The implementation, however, left a good bit to be desired. I think one of the bigger selling points for my parents was that it included a letter-quality printer that I could use for school (everything I did for school homework was typed, everything, lol).

 

I'd love to know what happened to all my old systems and hardware. The only stuff that I can remember where it went was my old 8-bit hardware. I traded it all at a local Atari dealer for ST hardware (and if I remember correctly, a 2400 baud modem for the ST). Couldn't tell you at all what happened to the Adam, or my ST for that matter. Last I remember on those they were boxed up at my parents, but when we sold their house, none of that old hardware was there anymore.

 

My 1040STE doesn't have the RF output on it (empty spot on the board and the holes aren't drilled), so I assumed that none of the STE's did, but after doing a bit of research online, apparently, some do. If you're going to buy an STE, and that's important, make sure it's got it on the back, because you can't assume they all do (like I assumed they all didn't, lol). If the 'authentic' method of using software doesn't matter as much (using actual floppies), definitely invest in a Gotek drive for it, it'll make your life much easier far as software goes..

Coleco in 1984 started placing important notice stickers on the Memory Console cover right above the area where one inserts a Digital Data Pack that said things like "DO NOT TURN POWER ON OR OFF with Data Pack in unit". "Note: Failure to observe these precautions may cause Data Pack Damage". In theory the Coleco ADAM would have been much more successfully if the developers would have launched the system in 1984 instead of 1983. A 1984 launch of the ADAM could have been bundled with a disk drive and the Digital Data Drives could have been eliminated. However I do not have a time machine to change the past and I could not say for sure if the ADAM launched in perfect condition if it would join IBM and Apple as the big 3 computer companies. Some of the designs like ADAMNET and a separate detachable keyboard were state of the art concepts for 1983 that started appearing on 90's computers. Third party hardware and software developers had fun making products like a dual serial/parallel interface for the ADAM computer, 3.5 inch 1.44MB ADAMNET disk drives, ADAM hard drives, 2MB memory expanders, and other neat inventions. Eve Electronics, Micro innovations, and others developed some very nice hardware add on devices for the ADAM computer. MicroFox developed a microSD drive. ATARIMAX developed the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive (Also called the Ultimate SD cartridge). OPCODE Games developed the Super Game Module with a advanced sound chip.

 

Thanks for the information about some of the Atari STE computers not having the RF modulator built in. This means one really does need to look on the back of their Atari ST computer to see which ones have the RF modulator. As I was saying before in a earlier post one cannot tell by the model number. Now I am wondering if the (M) at the end of the model number really means 100% RF modulators built in. I prefer RGB and composite video, however having RF is a bonus if one were to run into a very old cheap TV with no video inputs.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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If the ST has STF on it, it's got a internal floppy, if it's got an M on it, it has the modulator. That was what those designations were for. The MegaSTE was released in 91, but the Atari 520/1040STE were released in '89 if I remember correctly. The only problem you can run into is if the top cover has been swapped. You can always determine if it's an M by the presence of the modulator output, you can always tell if it's a STE (not mega, they look completely different and are easy to spot) by the presence of the stereo RCA outputs. As far as I remember, all of the 1st gen machines (pre 1040) were shorter in depth, and had external power supplies and floppies, not internal.

 

I can pretty much say without a doubt, even released in 'perfect condition', the Coleco wouldn't be in the 'big 3' now. Apple pretty much had the education sector locked in, and IBM pretty much had big business. At the best, it might have been a more popular machine like the Atari's and Commodores, but as you can see, those manufacturers fell by the wayside with the advent of cheap PC clones. The detachable keyboard had actually been around for a while, IBM 5150's had them, many terminals had them, it was just a more 'business-like' setup. I honestly can't think of anything that I'd call 'innovative' about the Adam setup, except possibly bringing some of the things that were available in the more expensive PCs of the time into the lower-end (internal expansion capabilities like you mention, etc), but even the old venerable Atari 800 original machine had expansion slots internally, but only for memory upgrades.

 

Don't get me wrong, I look back on that machine as a neat progression now, but back in the day, I regretted my push to get one, as I considered it wasted money after playing with it for a while.

 

Far as the labels they added, my unit was an initial release unit, so no mention of losing any data on power up/power off. I know we had the machine replaced a few times, but after the 2nd time it died, I'd pretty much gone back to my old machine unless I needed a typewriter.

 

I just wish I'd have had the forethought back then to put all this old hardware up and preserve it, but 30+ years ago who'd have thought that these old systems would become valuable again?

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According to this website the Atari Mega STE was released in 1991.

 

"The Atari Mega STE was Atari Corporation's last ST series personal computer, released in 1991."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_MEGA_STE

 

Also this year I purchased a used ATARI 130XE computer and every duplicate exact same game title so far that I have compared, the ColecoVision/ADAM version is better quality. Now that completely changes when the release of the ATARI 520ST in mid 1985. The Dragon's Lair and some other games are so much better on the ATARI ST. Yes the ColecoVision/ADAM has some exclusive games that were never released for other systems. However with the 16 bit processor and graphics power of the ATARI ST a talented and skilled programmer could make all or most the ColecoVision/ADAM game titles on the Atari ST with better quality graphics and sound. I wonder how many ATARI ST games used native stereo sound.

 

Mega ST 1987

Mega STE 1991

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I wonder if the 32 bit Falcon and the 16 bit Atari ST computers are powerful enough to have a software emulator created that would run all or most of the classic ATARI 8 bit computer games and programs. The built in serial and parallel printer port on the very first June 1985 Atari 520ST computer is nice. However is there any master expansion module interface on the ATARI ST computers where one could create hardware devices like a USB interface, Atari 2600 adapter, etc? The ADAM computer has 4 expansion module interfaces (one external and 3 internal) that allow many add on devices to be attached. In addition, the ADAM computer allows up to 16 hardware devices to be connected at once using the 6 pin ADAMNET cable.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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I wonder if the 32 bit Falcon and the 16 bit Atari ST computers are powerful enough to have a software emulator created that would run all or most of the classic ATARI 8 bit computer games and programs. The built in serial and parallel printer port on the very first June 1985 Atari 520ST computer is nice. However is there any master expansion module interface on the ATARI ST computers where one could create hardware devices like a USB interface, Atari 2600 adapter, etc? The ADAM computer has 4 expansion module interfaces (one external and 3 internal) that allow many add on devices to be attached. In addition, the ADAM computer allows up to 16 hardware devices to be connected at once using the 6 pin ADAMNET cable.

 

Derek Mihocka's XFormer has an Atari ST version. It runs some 8-Bit stuffs. Info here. For USB on Atari ST/Falcon, there was recently a thread with lively discussion on the topic. Find it here . There was an official 2600/7800 dev kit for the ST. Info here. Not aware of any 2600 emu for Atari ST.

 

Why are we talking so much about the ADAM in comparison to the Atari ST?

Edited by pixelmischief

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Derek Mihocka's XFormer has an Atari ST version. It runs some 8-Bit stuffs. Info here. For USB on Atari ST/Falcon, there was recently a thread with lively discussion on the topic. Find it here . There was an official 2600/7800 dev kit for the ST. Info here. Not aware of any 2600 emu for Atari ST.

 

Why are we talking so much about the ADAM in comparison to the Atari ST?

The Coleco ADAM was my first computer system and I am using that computer to compare it to other ATARI computers. The 4 expansion ports and 16 device ADAMNET feature were state of the art for a 1983 home computer. Just curious if the ATARI ST offered any type of hardware expansion interfaces. Every computer has pluses and minuses.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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The Coleco ADAM was my first computer system and I am using that computer to compare it to other ATARI computers. The 4 expansion ports and 16 device ADAMNET feature were state of the art for a 1983 home computer. Just curious if the ATARI ST offered any type of hardware expansion interfaces. Every computer has pluses and minuses.

 

The ADAM being your first computer really doesn't have anything to do with the Atari ST. Neither do its 4 expansion ports and 16 device ADAMNET feature, for that matter. If you want to know whether or not the Atari ST offered any type of "hardware expansion interface", a direct question about the Atari ST, without any unnecessary exposition on the features of the ADAM, would suffice. Combined with your inexplicable regurgitation of the most pedestrian Atari ST knowledge, your posts make me wonder what you hope to gain from the discussion.

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I realize that the ATARI ST is a more powerful computer then many others including the ADAM computer. However looking at the pictures of the back of the computer I do not see any large expansion module interface. For example I am guessing that it is not possible for a hardware developer to make a ATARI 2600 adapter or ATARI 5200 adapter. Instead some type of software emulation would need to occur to play ATARI 2600 or ATARI 5200 games on the ATARI ST computer.

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The ADAM being your first computer really doesn't have anything to do with the Atari ST. Neither do its 4 expansion ports and 16 device ADAMNET feature, for that matter. If you want to know whether or not the Atari ST offered any type of "hardware expansion interface", a direct question about the Atari ST, without any unnecessary exposition on the features of the ADAM, would suffice. Combined with your inexplicable regurgitation of the most pedestrian Atari ST knowledge, your posts make me wonder what you hope to gain from the discussion.

Perhaps I have grown cynical in my old age, but this whole thread reeks of troll to me.

 

Implying that all Colecovision titles were superior to Atari 8-bit versions, which of course in many cases they were not, and other choice nonsense such as "ADAM was unique back in 1983 since it had a square box form factor with a separate keyboard." Apparently our intrepid would-be Coleco historian is oddly unaware of machines such as the IBM PC, DEC Rainbow or the many other base-unit/separate keyboard designs from the late 70s and early 80s.

 

Idiotic claims such as the Coleco having the “absoulte [sic] best videgames[sic] when compared to any other system”, which by definition would include the SNES, the Jaguar, the PS3 etc. and claiming that “Back in 1983 Buck Rodgers the Supergame was reference quality on the ADAM.” when that version of Buck Rogers requires an expansion option not produced until 2012.

 

The example of Atarisoft Pac-Man is offered as rebuttal to @rpiguy9907 observation that the Coleco lagged far behind the Atari ST and Amiga even by 1985. An odd offering given that Atarisoft did not release Pac-Man for the Colecovision, and it was only available as a proto-type download. In 1983/84 if you wanted to play Pac-Man at home, the Colecovision or ADAM was not the machine you wanted.

 

And gushing about the ADAM’s expansion bus in comparison to the ST, when the former did not include an RS232 serial interface or a parallel port and was never offered as an official expansion option. The Atari 8-bit did not have serial or parallel ports built it, but then in 1983 the 800XL cost less than $300 compared to the ADAM’s $700+.

 

I remember the Colecovision, and I recall the ADAM being referred to as the “ADAM-bomb”, which I never could work out if that was a reference to the EMP/media-self-destruct on power-up, or that the machine almost brought down all of Coleco with it. It was all a shame. The Colecovision always looks very nice in print adverts. Zaxxon looked especially great in a screen shots and I get that some people love the machine and it had some neat features.

 

But when I finally got to play a Colecovision at PRGE back in 2013 I tried Zaxxon and Mr. Do – two games that I love on the Atari 800 - and I came away unimpressed.

 

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Perhaps I have grown cynical in my old age, but this whole thread reeks of troll to me.

 

Boom. But I don't think it is a "troll", per se. Rather, I think this is a case of someone trying to manufacture an appearance of authenticity that they intend to abuse later. That, or a simple case of creating otherwise useless content that they can claim in cross-links and benefit from as SEO.

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Perhaps I have grown cynical in my old age, but this whole thread reeks of troll to me.

 

Implying that all Colecovision titles were superior to Atari 8-bit versions, which of course in many cases they were not, and other choice nonsense such as "ADAM was unique back in 1983 since it had a square box form factor with a separate keyboard." Apparently our intrepid would-be Coleco historian is oddly unaware of machines such as the IBM PC, DEC Rainbow or the many other base-unit/separate keyboard designs from the late 70s and early 80s.

 

Idiotic claims such as the Coleco having the “absoulte [sic] best videgames[sic] when compared to any other system”, which by definition would include the SNES, the Jaguar, the PS3 etc. and claiming that “Back in 1983 Buck Rodgers the Supergame was reference quality on the ADAM.” when that version of Buck Rogers requires an expansion option not produced until 2012.

 

The example of Atarisoft Pac-Man is offered as rebuttal to @rpiguy9907 observation that the Coleco lagged far behind the Atari ST and Amiga even by 1985. An odd offering given that Atarisoft did not release Pac-Man for the Colecovision, and it was only available as a proto-type download. In 1983/84 if you wanted to play Pac-Man at home, the Colecovision or ADAM was not the machine you wanted.

 

And gushing about the ADAM’s expansion bus in comparison to the ST, when the former did not include an RS232 serial interface or a parallel port and was never offered as an official expansion option. The Atari 8-bit did not have serial or parallel ports built it, but then in 1983 the 800XL cost less than $300 compared to the ADAM’s $700+.

 

I remember the Colecovision, and I recall the ADAM being referred to as the “ADAM-bomb”, which I never could work out if that was a reference to the EMP/media-self-destruct on power-up, or that the machine almost brought down all of Coleco with it. It was all a shame. The Colecovision always looks very nice in print adverts. Zaxxon looked especially great in a screen shots and I get that some people love the machine and it had some neat features.

 

But when I finally got to play a Colecovision at PRGE back in 2013 I tried Zaxxon and Mr. Do – two games that I love on the Atari 800 - and I came away unimpressed.

 

The IBM PC was more of a business machine then a home computer. There were not that many home computers that had a separate keyboard away from the memory console, ATARI offered that feature with the MEGA ST. Also the motherboard on the ADAM in 1983 had 4 hardware expansion slots. Clearly the XBOX and Playstation systems with BD-ROM drives are better videogame systems, I was referring to the year 1983 to 1985 time frame that the ADAM had better videogame quality. The NES in October of 1985 clearly beat the ColecoVision and ADAM computer in videogame quality. All ADAM computers shipped with Buck Rodgers the Supergame in the retail box starting in October of 1983. The OPCODE Games expansion module you are talking about was required for ColecoVision owners. I do prefer ATARI's PACMAN for the ColecoVision versus the ATARI 8 bit version. It was made in 1983 and just because it was not released until the 21st Century as a prototype sample does not change the fact that the game was developed around 1983 and shows what the quality of a ColecoVision game can do.

 

Everyone has a favorite computer that they grew up with. People that first purchased the ATARI 800 in 1979 love the nice features on it. The 1979 ATARI 800 has native Y/C that the ADAM computer that is 4 years newer lacks. Back in 1979 many people enjoyed the ATARI 800 and that was many peoples first computer system. There are many pluses and minuses to most computer systems including the ATARI computers. The more I learn about the ATARI ST series computers the more respect I have for that top of the line series of computers. It just appears to be missing some expansion module interfaces on the motherboards that IBM, ADAM, and some others have.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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I realize that the ATARI ST is a more powerful computer then many others including the ADAM computer. However looking at the pictures of the back of the computer I do not see any large expansion module interface. For example I am guessing that it is not possible for a hardware developer to make a ATARI 2600 adapter or ATARI 5200 adapter. Instead some type of software emulation would need to occur to play ATARI 2600 or ATARI 5200 games on the ATARI ST computer.

It's easy to say that something missing . And is hard to look around before writing some deep conclusions (quoted) . Atari ST has it's way of expansion - DMA port.

And Mega ST has internal expansion slot, in PC style (but AppleI had actually first it). Despite lack of such port on ordinary ST it was expanded in different ways - RAM, IDE hard disk adapters, even HW PC expansion card with Intel CPU , accelerators, and so on. Myself did diverse things: EPROM programmer - 1 for cartridge port, 1 for parallel port. IDE adapter , CF adapter ...

Just because it is Atari no one had in mind making some expansion what would make it run SW for old Atari consoles. Honestly, this is first time ever I see such idea. Which is possible, of course, but cheaper would be to buy that console. Because you have practically nothing in ST what can deal with that SW. Some faster machine, like TT could emulate them with SW so-so, I guess. But it never happened. People was just more interested for other things.

Maybe this will be new for some: most of Atari ST and followers sales happened in Europe. In Germany especially. And we here were never much interested for old Atari games. Not even myself, who played many 2600 games at my brother. ST games were just much better technically.

Edited by ParanoidLittleMan
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The IBM PC was more of a business machine then a home computer. There were not that many home computers that had a separate keyboard away from the memory console, ATARI offered that feature with the MEGA ST.

Everyone has a favorite computer that they grew up with. People that first purchased the ATARI 800 in 1979 love the nice features on it. The 1979 ATARI 800 has native Y/C that the ADAM computer that is 4 years newer lacks. Back in 1979 many people enjoyed the ATARI 800 and that was many peoples first computer system. There are many pluses and minuses to most computer systems including the ATARI computers. The more I learn about the ATARI ST series computers the more respect I have for that top of the line series of computers. It just appears to be missing some expansion module interfaces on the motherboards that IBM, ADAM, and some others have.

First Amiga had separated kb. - and big price. Surely we can say that separated kb. means basically business orientation, and integrated - home. Well, meant. Today it is separated if it is desktop computer, and integrated if is notebook :)

I find whole idea of comparing different generation computers as bad. Of course that later machine is always better, more powerful. So, Archimedes is better than ST, even Falcon - considering performance. But Falcon has some things what Archimedes not. And we could talk here months with diverse examples. Market, designers decide what will be part of new computer.

Atari ST was intended as universal machine, good for business, for entertainment. Good for musicians (MIDI ports - did you notice them ?) . With low price. That concept worked somehow not so good in US. In EU it was sold well until 1990. There were versions with "expansion module interfaces" - Mega ST, Mega STE , TT , Falcon.

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Boom. But I don't think it is a "troll", per se. Rather, I think this is a case of someone trying to manufacture an appearance of authenticity that they intend to abuse later. That, or a simple case of creating otherwise useless content that they can claim in cross-links and benefit from as SEO.

 

As a Coleco Adam owner as well, I've spent oodles of time in the Coleco forum here on AtariAge. HDTV1080P posts there--a LOT. I've come to think that he's definitely on the autism spectrum. He does the same types of posts there. Pretty oblivious to the sarcasm and sometimes outright hatred that is directed at him. He seems like a nice guy, I just don't think he can help his obsessive ramblings.

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I experienced the adam via a next door friend who's parents seemed to have deep pockets. It ended up with a none working tape drive or all the tapes ended up zapped, not sure which. Ultimately it was tossed in a corner and probably discarded. Had it been even remotely interesting I would of tried to acquire it from my buddy or new. I was not impressed at all. Instead I was hell bent on getting an Atari 800 and that's when my computer journey began.

Edited by lp060

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As a Coleco Adam owner as well, I've spent oodles of time in the Coleco forum here on AtariAge. HDTV1080P posts there--a LOT. I've come to think that he's definitely on the autism spectrum. He does the same types of posts there. Pretty oblivious to the sarcasm and sometimes outright hatred that is directed at him. He seems like a nice guy, I just don't think he can help his obsessive ramblings.

 

I stand corrected. Thank you for the insight.

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Thanks for the information on the Mega ST having internal expansion slots. If I do buy one of these used ATARI ST's it looks like I am limited to the 1040ST and the 520ST. The Mega ST and Falcon are almost impossible to find. They must have been made in lower QTY's.

 

Thanks everyone for the useful information.

Edited by HDTV1080P

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As someone who's owned both an ADAM an an Atari 520 STFM at the same time, the only thing I can think of in this whole conversation is it's an apples to oranges comparison.

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Thanks for the video. According to the copywrite that Amiga version of Donkey Kong was released in 1993 which is around 10 years after the ADAM version was released. The Amiga version looks very nice. I would have to play both versions side by side to see which one is better.

 

That Amiga game is a port of the Atarisoft C64 game that was free and even had the option to play with C64 graphics, an arcade game port it is not. Bignonia did Popeye and Zaxxon (Synsoft version I think, the tape release anyway) C64 ports/mild updates too.

 

It's a shame the ADAM is not catered well in the emulation department, I do remember getting Donkey Kong ADAM specific enhanced release working on the only emulator for PC but the sound was really scratchy and horrible (perhaps because it was not Windows 95 or DOS but running in XP). I wouldn't mind an ADAM but they're not PAL native machines so no point really for my collection but they do look cool.

 

However, it's not quite technically the best 8bit computer of the time, it's not even the best computer using that Z80 CPU and those TI sourced MSX style graphics and sound chips, no sir that would be the British Memotech MTX line of computers famous from the movie Weird Science, the same hardware as ADAM pretty much but with a 4mhz not 3.5?mhz CPU as the only difference. So whatever the Coleco ADAM can do the MTX could do 12.5% better or identical :)

 

The RGB signals are the same analog and sync signals wired up to the port on ST/Amiga but on the older Amigas like 500/1000/2000 you need to use an external modulator to get composite video or RF, which of course was not the case with the STM onwards. The Amiga uses 23 pin D sub because that's where all the genlock related stuff needs to be I guess.

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