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40th anniversary of Atari 8-bit computers

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Hello Michael

 

Thanks! I already suspected that the third one from the left might be Bob. But somehow I also expected you to be in the picture.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

I was at that show with my brother, but sadly I didn't have my picture taken with any of the guys. I've known Bob for over 25 years having first met him at the West Coast Computer Fair where SLCC had a booth setup. However at last years VCF it was the first time I met Kevin. You see I'm not a member of the SLCC for reasons of distance mainly, and the terrible traffic between where I live and where the meetings normally take place. Wasn't so much an issue in my younger days, but not a commute I would enjoy in my senior years. Although in the past I did make it to a couple of meetings to do demos of some of the Video GenLock stuff I was developing at the time.

 

I do have a picture I can share from my daughters wedding last year of myself and my lovely wife Denise. When this photo was taken, me and the Mrs were extremely tired, very happy, and also relieved that the day was nearly over :) . Anyone that's been involved in a large wedding (over 200 people attended) will know what I'm talking about ;) .

 

post-42561-0-39043100-1543992815.jpg

 

 

I'm sure they would love to see your 1088XEL.

 

Ditto :thumbsup:

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The 40th birthday of Atari 8-bit computers reminded my friend how Commodore C16/PLUS4/C128 were a disaster then went bankrupt

And how the C64'S shipped with a crap version of basic with cheap crappy build quality and piss poor unreliable PSU'S with super slow slug 1541 drives

 

:-D

Edited by 256 colors
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Hello Michael

 

Thanks for the picture. I'm in most of the pictures here BTW.

 

You've met Kevin? He's coming to the Fujiama 2019 meeting next year. Since it's the 30th Atari Meeting that's being held at this location, next years meeting will last from Monday until Sunday. Maybe you can travel together and take Bob along.... :grin:

 

You can read all about the Fujiama here. (same link as above :grin: :grin: :grin: )

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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Hello Michael

 

Thanks for the picture. I'm in most of the pictures here BTW.

 

You've met Kevin? He's coming to the Fujiama 2019 meeting next year. Since it's the 30th Atari Meeting that's being held at this location, next years meeting will last from Monday until Sunday. Maybe you can travel together and take Bob along.... :grin:

 

You can read all about the Fujiama here. (same link as above :grin: :grin: :grin: )

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

Thanks for the invite, but I don't travel much beyond 200 miles from home now days. Although if I did the Fujiama would be cool to visit.

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Hello Michael

 

I'm sure, Kevin and Bob will make sure the trip seems to be much shorter.

 

I drive about 600 km each year to get there (and most years, it's only 3.5 days of fun) and since a couple of years, I pick up LuckyBuck in the next city. Ever since, the trip seems to be shorter.

 

:grin: :-D :grin: :D :grin:

 

BTW there must be enough room in the plane for more than just the three of you....

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

 

 

 

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It'd be nice is Atari (such as it is these days) would produce an updated 800XL with all the new goodies installed, with a great mechanical keyboard. I know people have developed alternatives/emulators, but I like the look and feel of the real thing.

 

Pretty unlikely. Even if they'd build a replica 800XL, it wouldn't have a good keyboard. They're selling cheap stuff for lots of money and generally don't behave in a way that entices one to buy from them, sending take-down notices regarding all kinds of Atari fan stuff not licensed by them and apparently even a convention using the Atari name.

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I like to see a comprehensive video made - which plainly shows what the Atari's are all about - and showing the strengths - and weaknesses present - and perhaps something of a 'Let's Compare....' analysis also - all of the old games worth including - plus the new stuff since then. Also highlighting the hardware side - also if it can cover Plato, networking and so on. Say practical applications?

Maybe it would then - get some viewers re-interested in revisiting the A8 all over again? Those who had it back in the day - but haven't revisited it, since then?

Ending with the message - is the best yet to come?

Like - with the engine running Space Harrier - can this be applied to any other similar type game? Likewise with Stunt Car Racer? If not? Then maybe something along the lines of a new version of Battlezone updated? Could be done?

 

Harvey

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The Atari 400 and 800 were announced 40 years ago on Dec. 14th, 1978. Yesterday!

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It seems that we found a great excuse to solely focus on the Atari 8-bits during the Atari Invasion next year...

46337003781_6d73ddfd1c_n.jpg

More details will follow in a seperate topic.

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40 years ago at the Winter CES that was held in January of 1979 Atari decided to go with the 400 as a beginner computer instead of a replacement for the 2600. Good decision or bad decision?

 

408fb167d6961e9b994acc7df625885d.jpg

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40 years ago at the Winter CES that was held in January of 1979 Atari decided to go with the 400 as a beginner computer instead of a replacement for the 2600. Good decision or bad decision?

 

 

 

In '79 Atari did the best that they could have. No one knew what computers were going to do, or what they could do, but Atari knew enough that they wanted to capitalize on the new computer market. Unfortunately, the release of the 400/800 was the last big innovation Atari did. It could be argued that adding midi ports to the ST was a big innovation, but unfortunately, the ST was mostly off the shelf parts.

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40 years ago at the Winter CES that was held in January of 1979 Atari decided to go with the 400 as a beginner computer instead of a replacement for the 2600. Good decision or bad decision?

 

 

Absolutely a good decision. If the 400 had not come out at a reasonable price point, my father would never have shelled out the cash for an 800 or an Apple II in 1981. The 16K 400 with BASIC and a 410 for $400 made home computer possible for me in 1981. A lot of power at half the price of its contemporaries. I had previously used Apple IIs in high school, but a 400 in 1981 just offered me so much more. To this day I contend that the 400 my father bought me for Christmas was one of the best (tangible) gifts he ever gave me. That 400 put me on a path that I might not have followed in the technical field. I am an Aerospace Engineer and that 400 I received in 1981 had a big role in that.

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40 years ago at the Winter CES that was held in January of 1979 Atari decided to go with the 400 as a beginner computer instead of a replacement for the 2600. Good decision or bad decision?

 

408fb167d6961e9b994acc7df625885d.jpg

Good decision. The bad decision was not to release what would become the 5200 in '82 at the same time as the 400/800's. Even if at the start it was just slightly less expensive than the 400, it would have shut down the Intellivision threat before it started and Colecovison wouldn't have been nearly as impressive if it was an answer to the Atari "5200" console instead of the other way around.

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I agree with the posts above. The Atari 400 was my first computer and it is reasonable to assume that I received it then because of the price. I think many started with the 400 because they were financially more accessible.

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Cheap computers sells .... that's what the UK computer scene was all about. Clive Sinclair didn't design his Spectrum with games in mind - but that is what 90%+ buyers bought it for - that was about from 1983 onwards?

But anyone with any kind of perception at all - will know about the Atari 400 and 800 computers - which did a better job than what the Sinclair Spectrum could do - but you had to pay the price for them.

The C-64 changed everything with it's pricing and it's specs - though it was only marginally 'better' in some areas.

Those early adoptees in the 400/800 era saw the head start they had - eroded over time - when Tramiel simply didn't do enough to support the newer XL/XE lineup.

That it was always was going to be the software that will sell the hardware - and new software titles will always be required to keep the interest up with them.

Hindsight says that - maybe a yearly programming contest should have been held - like what APX did. That that should have continued? With cash prizes for the top 3 - and marketing of their games - and runner ups to be published also. But that may not have worked - because of how many did go 16-bit, leaving their 8-bit interest behind.

 

Of course the arrival of the 16-bit computers did not help at all - but it was merely the way the cycle of hardware goes - as you get enticed with new hardware that does show an improvement in resolution, sprite handling, etc - and the games/etc that showed the new hardware to it's advantage.

I went gaming consoles also - because of the quality present - that could not have been done on the older 8-bit Atari hardware. It was always the 'wow' of the new games - that made you want to have it - like when Ridge Racer came out for the PlayStation - that you could get a home version of a coin-op game - equal to the coin-op.

 

But it is the matter of - there's still stuff left to do - on the 8-bit hardware - that makes me think that new classics are possible to do?

 

Harvey

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Yes, we should make a badge like the avatar in post #37, without computers. Instead: Atari forever!

post-32599-0-87732500-1547443669.png

Edited by luckybuck
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VCF East will have an awesome Atari exhibit for the 40th anniversary celebration. I plan to be there on Saturday. Joe Decuir will be there Sunday morning to give a presentation. Can't wait!

 

VCF-East-2019.jpg

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Do you know how much of this event may be shared online for others to see? I would love to see photos and videos of interviews.

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Sucks I cannot make it. I REALLY hope that the Joe Decuir speech will be captured and shared.

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Absolutely a good decision. If the 400 had not come out at a reasonable price point, my father would never have shelled out the cash for an 800 or an Apple II in 1981. The 16K 400 with BASIC and a 410 for $400 made home computer possible for me in 1981. A lot of power at half the price of its contemporaries. I had previously used Apple IIs in high school, but a 400 in 1981 just offered me so much more. To this day I contend that the 400 my father bought me for Christmas was one of the best (tangible) gifts he ever gave me. That 400 put me on a path that I might not have followed in the technical field. I am an Aerospace Engineer and that 400 I received in 1981 had a big role in that.

 

 

I just dragged my old 800 out of storage after almost 40 years. I have been thumbing through the OS manual appreciating all over again how advanced this machine was for its day, It was amazing the thought and engineering that went into the design. Then popping the hood, seeing so many through hole components and all the socketed chips. I am amazed that this thing did not cost ten times what they were charging back then.

 

While I did not obtain the lofty goals (pun intended) as you, the Atari got me to move from my first first love, electronics, on to my true love programming. Unfortunately, as of late I have lost the love for my job. I still love the profession but I can't stand my place of work anymore. Fortunately, I only have a few more years to retirement. ;)

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Are these events always held in the same cities? The Midwest one sounds interesting though maybe expensive for a room. But a good reason for an overnight train ride from Pittsburgh.

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Are these events always held in the same cities? The Midwest one sounds interesting though maybe expensive for a room. But a good reason for an overnight train ride from Pittsburgh.

 

As far as I can tell they are almost always in the same places. This is likely because they are a huge amount of work and there are local organizers willing to put in the time.

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