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Gunstar

Why do you still use your Atari?

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In light of threads like "what next?" and "what software would make you buy an Atari" it got me thinking about the why of it all.

 

Obviously there is the nostalgia, and plenty of fun games to want one with or without nostalgia, just like with me planning on getting a C64, even though there is 0% nostalgia for it beyond it being a computer from "my time."

 

But is that it? For me, I've owned and stuck with one Atari 8-bit or another for the last 33, years, with only a couple of years here and there where it went unused in storage. It was never as much about nostalgia with me, since I wasn't returning to it, it had been there all along, and I was constantly looking for new stuff, or new-to-me stuff over the years and it continues to this day.

 

For me, it's always been about unfinished business. I was still trying to save up and buy all the cool stuff for my Atari 8-bit, when the rest of the world seemed to be moving on to the next generations. I wasn't done exploring all the possibilities with my Atari 8-bit yet!

 

This is why when I finally went "next gen" in the 90's it was consoles. I was only interested in "next-gen" games, everything else you could do with computers beyond games, I was still exploring on my 8-bit. I wasn't finished yet. I eventually got a PC in the late 90's, for the Internet, and that's basically the reason I have one now still, otherwise even my productivity with computers is still done on my trusty 8-bit.

 

This is the heart of why I've been through Macintosh, Amiga and ST computers over the years too, and while I enjoyed them, I still wasn't ready to really move on from my 8-bit, I'm not finished exploring it yet! I'm just getting started in many areas, like programming. I'm still exploring new-to-me vintage hardware and then new stuff keeps coming along for me to explore.

 

I'm still an Atari 8-bit fan because I still have unfinished business with the machine.

Edited by Gunstar
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Masochism.

Yeah, I think I am starting to dip my toes in your Atari world...

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For me, I love the games and the nostalgia is nice, but the main thing is that it's still an interesting machine to work with after all these years.

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For me as a recent re-discoverer of the Atari 8-bit it was a decision to limit myself.

 

I've been into emulation for so many years and there is very much a collection aspect to it, getting all the roms for all the systems, dedicating TB upon TB of space to it all. I slowly became apparent that I never played any of it, I was too busy collecting it, setting it up and tweaking it. It was impossible to choose a game from 20,000 different titles, by the time I'd decided on a game, I'd run out of time and had to get on with other things.

 

I made the decision that less is more, and went to recreate the first computer I'd owned, updating the hardware to the best available but limiting myself to the software I used to own. Once I'd done that I allowed it to expand into 'things I'd wanted but couldn't afford' and then finally into the stuff that has been happening since I had moved away from the Atari. I now find myself far more interested in homebrew and demos than the old games but finally do actually get to play games sometimes.

 

We clutter our lives with stuff, it seems to have a negative effect on us, there is a very interesting TED talk on the topic called the paradox of choice

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Games are the main thing, there are so many I enjoy. I also love the new tech (SD card readers, Ultimate 1mb etc) and fooling around with those. I use The Last Word to write text files sometimes, as the keyboards on my old 1200/800 xls are very nice to type on.

I'll occasionally code a bit. There is something to be said about a PC that's simple enough to learn assembly language on.

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I first read Machoism

LOL! After all, it's a manly toy! And I'm just starting to dip my toes into FJC's Machoism. :grin:

Edited by Gunstar

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Tech moved too fast for me, by the time I saved up for the MIO and HDD for my Atari, it was well into the 16-bit era and emerging 32-bit like the TT. What was I supposed to do? Use that money to upgrade to an ST, then save for an HDD for it only for it to be already past time to move on to the next generation? So I just stuck with what I had and kept getting more for it, for a while in the early and mid 90's for bargain-bin prices.

 

Maybe it would have been different if I could have convinced my parents to buy me an 800 int '79 or '80, instead of saving up for years from a paper route and part-time jobs until '85 for my first real computer and the 130XE being what I could afford, not an ST or more expensive Amiga(my parents did get me a bargain-bin Timex Sinclair 1000 in '82 for my birthday) I could have been on the forefront of the tech curve instead of playing catch-up once I had more expendable cash after college.

 

When my dad finally was ready to get a computer in the late 80's because his work as a college professor required it, I tried to convince him to get an ST, but he had a co-worker that sold generic PC's and told him Atari's were just toys. So he got a really basic PC (the damn thing still used 5.25" floppies instead of the 3.5" standard by then) that he used only for Wordstar. Nobody else in the family touched it. It didn't interest me at all, I had my 130XE.

Edited by Gunstar
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I don't actually "use" my Atari computers. Tried to when I first got back into this hobby about 3-1/2 years ago. Sad to say for everything I need a computer for it was inferior to what I could do on other systems. However if I was into playing games, it would be my first choice, since the games on other consoles hurt my brain too much to figure out ;) .

 

What I really like is playing around with the hardware, and dreaming up new ways to improve upon it. I'll leave the Atari programming, word processing, and game playing to others :) .

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I don't actually "use" my Atari computers. Tried to when I first got back into this hobby about 3-1/2 years ago. Sad to say for everything I need a computer for it was inferior to what I could do on other systems. However if I was into playing games, it would be my first choice, since the games on other consoles hurt my brain too much to figure out ;) .

 

What I really like is playing around with the hardware, and dreaming up new ways to improve upon it. I'll leave the Atari programming, word processing, and game playing to others :) .

 

Exactly at the same page at yours... although I have a particular interest in productivity and non-gaming stuff (so much left on the table, since early on)… So anyone who focuses and writes stuff like Last Word, XLENT WP, new [bIOS, OS, Cart ROM] reliable optimizations and re-implementations, GUIs, etc., and anything that pretty much re-writes Atari history, will be on my golden-list forever !!!

 

In any case, your next (HUGE) opportunity is to take on Incognito (next-gen)… The unmet demand out-there is SIGNFICANT ($)... and now there is a chance to make it the ultimate upgrade for any real, mass-produced Atar HW...

 

Count me in!!!

Edited by Faicuai
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for me, it's now a nostalgic curiosity that makes me return. things i never saw/used/had first time round.

 

as the A8 went through it's unoffical "death rattle" in 1990, i moved (quickly) through ST (stock and upgraded), Amiga 500, 500+, 600, 1200HD, 32...before buying a PC.

..and just never got into consoles.

the next gen Atari/Amiga machines never quite did it for me and while PCs managed to (almost) do a bit of everything - they lacked the "adventure/exploration" aspect of computing.

which is why I'm enjoying A8s (almost) as much as first time round.

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Mainly so I can update my voicemail with S.A.M. - I can't let on that it hasn't been my real voice these past 25 years ;-)

 

Also, I like to send the occasional dot matrix letter. Nothing quite beats a good 180ppi being hammered out in slow motion for 4 solid minutes to really get the tinnitus stirring...

 

=D

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Mainly so I can update my voicemail with S.A.M. - I can't let on that it hasn't been my real voice these past 25 years ;-)

 

Also, I like to send the occasional dot matrix letter. Nothing quite beats a good 180ppi being hammered out in slow motion for 4 solid minutes to really get the tinnitus stirring...

 

=D

24 pins? Show-off.

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Other than programming, I print everyday things like envelopes, checks, labels, and such. Long ago, I used to do this on a PC, but I had such poor control over the output that it was easier to do on my 1200XL.

 

Bob

 

post-3819-0-40047300-1545501570_thumb.jpg

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24 pins? Show-off.

Hahaha... maybe that explains why it's so loud

 

Other than programming, I print everyday things like envelopes, checks, labels, and such. Long ago, I used to do this on a PC, but I had such poor control over the output that it was easier to do on my 1200XL.

 

Bob

 

attachicon.gifDSC01692.JPG

That's awesome - what model printer do you use?

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24 pins? Show-off.

me too, I just pulled out my old 24-pin Panasonic I'm about to restore and start using again with The Last Word processor for my novel manuscript!

Edited by Gunstar
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... your next (HUGE) opportunity is to take on Incognito (next-gen)… The unmet demand out-there is SIGNFICANT ($)... and now there is a chance to make it the ultimate upgrade for any real, mass-produced Atar HW...

 

Only if I can do it with through-hole parts ;) .

 

 

Other than programming, I print everyday things like envelopes, checks, labels, and such. Long ago, I used to do this on a PC, but I had such poor control over the output that it was easier to do on my 1200XL.

 

What's a check? :ponder:

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i like the simplicity of the architecture compared to the more recent machines plus electronic repairs and mods are infinitely easier due to the larger old components!!

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CLINT: Currently, an HP LJ4050. Any PCL printer will work, but you need an interface. If you only have a USB printer (no parallel port), you need an SIO2USB with its software (prints directly to the HP port).

 

 

MYTEK: a check is what us folks use who don't have a barrel of gold nuggets out in the barn.

 

 

The account for the check in the picture has been dead for years...

 

Bob

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