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Old pictures of our Atari 8-bit setups

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On 8/27/2020 at 11:20 PM, mikebrown66 said:

Bought my first 800XL for Christmas 1985, added the Atari 520ST sometime in 1987. Still have this 800XL plus other 8-bitters. The ST was replaced with a Mega ST 2 for a few years and that was replaced with a Mac. Never kept the ST stuff.8546228649_c139914f0e_o.thumb.jpg.4e99760027ec140c8db28fcb31eac1bc.jpg23725832069_d55879b9b3_o.thumb.jpg.cba564f9721f7429bd211d047580a261.jpg24019103530_045127263d_o.thumb.jpg.4c3d90df0b76b0d2691612eb9269d7b0.jpg8497367744_94056b99ef_o.thumb.jpg.6d86b7ecff4eb2baa8e22858e8592a42.jpg8496264037_b31ca59039_o.thumb.jpg.8ec23aef880de7588df932051a4ab8ae.jpg8497367456_a60e7b9a5a_o.thumb.jpg.cfe2724af309e7500e7588ec48c4ffe0.jpg

I love how you have an authentic non-ironic trucker style cap that so many have tried to emulate lo these decades later.  Cool stuff. What is the poster of the girl? It looks like it has Japanese writing...

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I love this thread! It really takes me back to the 80s. However, it’s a bit of a sore subject for me. I have looked for “historic” photos of me with our family Atari, but the only photos I can find are with my older sister. In this photo, you can also see our Seikosha GP-100A printer, which I still have.

 

I’m also enjoying the stories of teachers and their reluctance to accept early computer-printed papers. I remember my sister losing points on an assignment because the lowercase letters on the GP-100A didn’t extend below the line. My dad, always an early adopter of new technologies, was disappointed that the teacher wasn’t more supportive.

 

Our setup was fairly simple, since we didn’t have a large budget for computing equipment. We just had an 800XL, a TV, and a 1010 tape drive to start. Later, my dad got frustrated with the tape drive after I partially overwrote one of his programs, and splurged on a 1050. The GP-100A also came later, we bought it secondhand from a member of our local users group. I remember being fascinated with the ability to print graphics, and spending many frustrating hours trying to type in the graphics program in a photocopy of the manual and get it working. Later, we found out there was a typo in the DATA statements, and I was excited to finally see graphics appear under the slowly grinding print head. I’m sure I cut them out and hung them up in my room.

 

I noticed one picture with lots of graphics printouts on the wall, including one of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Was that an Atari image file? I would have been thrilled to have that picture on my wall as a kid!

D81EC098-F15C-4481-A662-084FD590DEC6.jpeg

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10 hours ago, electronizer said:

I love this thread! It really takes me back to the 80s. However, it’s a bit of a sore subject for me. I have looked for “historic” photos of me with our family Atari, but the only photos I can find are with my older sister. In this photo, you can also see our Seikosha GP-100A printer, which I still have.

 

I’m also enjoying the stories of teachers and their reluctance to accept early computer-printed papers. I remember my sister losing points on an assignment because the lowercase letters on the GP-100A didn’t extend below the line. My dad, always an early adopter of new technologies, was disappointed that the teacher wasn’t more supportive.

 

Our setup was fairly simple, since we didn’t have a large budget for computing equipment. We just had an 800XL, a TV, and a 1010 tape drive to start. Later, my dad got frustrated with the tape drive after I partially overwrote one of his programs, and splurged on a 1050. The GP-100A also came later, we bought it secondhand from a member of our local users group. I remember being fascinated with the ability to print graphics, and spending many frustrating hours trying to type in the graphics program in a photocopy of the manual and get it working. Later, we found out there was a typo in the DATA statements, and I was excited to finally see graphics appear under the slowly grinding print head. I’m sure I cut them out and hung them up in my room.

 

I noticed one picture with lots of graphics printouts on the wall, including one of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Was that an Atari image file? I would have been thrilled to have that picture on my wall as a kid!

D81EC098-F15C-4481-A662-084FD590DEC6.jpeg

Cool stuff.  My dad had got us the 400 with the cassette drive for Christmas...79 I believe.  Later for Christmas 83..I think it was...my parents got my older brother his own 800XL system, complete with 1702 monitor/adapter, Indus GT disk drive, EPSON printer.  I remember my dad making the conscious decision to splurge on the disk drive after seeing us kids getting held back a bit with our hacking/programming/learning with the old cassette drive.   That Indus GT, I came to find out, was a rock star. I have to give the old man credit.   Love to see some of those printouts!

 

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10 hours ago, electronizer said:

I noticed one picture with lots of graphics printouts on the wall, including one of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Was that an Atari image file? I would have been thrilled to have that picture on my wall as a kid!

That was me. I had graphic printouts all over my room. (Including color ones from my Okimate 10 color printer, that thing was great back then...)

 

I printed everything I could find and even made some myself (although they were more text-based and not "artistic").

 

-Todd

 

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2 hours ago, Max_Chatsworth said:

I remember my dad making the conscious decision to splurge on the disk drive after seeing us kids getting held back a bit with our hacking/programming/learning with the old cassette drive.   That Indus GT, I came to find out, was a rock star. I have to give the old man credit.   Love to see some of those printouts!

 

I was lucky to get a disk drive from the outset, but getting you an Indus GT to not let you suffer from your 410 any longer was really quite nice and observant from your dad!

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I bought a Rana and then an Indus specifically because they were cheaper than the Atari offerings. 

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17 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

I bought a Rana and then an Indus specifically because they were cheaper than the Atari offerings. 

Interesting, I always thought they were more expensive as they were more capable. Should have bought more then rather than now ;)  

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30 minutes ago, toddtmw said:

I bought a Rana and then an Indus specifically because they were cheaper than the Atari offerings. 

Interesting. I could have sworn the Indus GT was more than the Atari drives back then.  It certainly was better...I thought...

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38 minutes ago, slx said:

I was lucky to get a disk drive from the outset, but getting you an Indus GT to not let you suffer from your 410 any longer was really quite nice and observant from your dad!

Yep. Now ironically after all these years and I am finally trying to rebuild my hardware collection, which was lost to the sands of time when I left for the Navy back in the early 90's, my first 2 items were a 400(for sentimental value) and an Atari cassette drive! Still working on getting that Atari 800XL!

 

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2 hours ago, toddtmw said:

That was me. I had graphic printouts all over my room. (Including color ones from my Okimate 10 color printer, that thing was great back then...)

 

I printed everything I could find and even made some myself (although they were more text-based and not "artistic").

 

-Todd

 

ASCII Art is the truest kind.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, slx said:

Interesting, I always thought they were more expensive as they were more capable. Should have bought more then rather than now ;)  

OMG no.  My first drive was a 1050 from Sears. IIRC it was $399.  My second drive was an Indus from Computer Image, and it wasn't nearly that much and had a host of features besides.  When I got the INdus I also got a US Doubler for the crippled 1050, which made it a really nice drive after all.  The Doubler kept the 1050 as drive A for many years, as Syncromesh never really took off and Spartados didn't support it until SDX came out, and that was several years later.

 

Jeff

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I got so used to Atari’s menu-based DOS that I found it awkward when I had to figure out how to use the command line. I had to learn my way around the PC XT-compatible system my dad got surplus from the university. We assembled the pieces loose on a card table, without a case. The massive power supply and full height 20MB HDD sounded like jet engines after years of working with the silent 800XL. And only a green monochrome monitor! What’s all the fuss about these IBM PCs anyway?

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4 minutes ago, electronizer said:

I got so used to Atari’s menu-based DOS that I found it awkward when I had to figure out how to use the command line. I had to learn my way around the PC XT-compatible system my dad got surplus from the university. We assembled the pieces loose on a card table, without a case. The massive power supply and full height 20MB HDD sounded like jet engines after years of working with the silent 800XL. And only a green monochrome monitor! What’s all the fuss about these IBM PCs anyway?

I switched to DOS XL after about two years and preferred the smaller memory footprint. I found the transition to PC DOS quite easy. Today I like XDOS but haven't tried SpartaDOS yet.

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19 minutes ago, slx said:

I switched to DOS XL after about two years and preferred the smaller memory footprint. I found the transition to PC DOS quite easy. Today I like XDOS but haven't tried SpartaDOS yet.

Spartados 1.1 came with my US Doubler.  Somehow I came into possession of the Spartados Construction Set, later, and switched to SD 3.2d right away.  I was also a bit off-put by the command line at first, but learned to love it and never used Ataridos/Mydos/Smartdos again.  I pre-ordered SDX 4.17 from the RTime8 manual and waited the better part of a year for it to ship.  When it came, I was just blown away at the polish, the perfection of it.  The manual was outstanding, read it cover to cover.  So, I had a big leg-up when I too got a Pea Sea.  MSDOS just seemed like a version of SDX to me.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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11 hours ago, electronizer said:

I got so used to Atari’s menu-based DOS that I found it awkward when I had to figure out how to use the command line. I had to learn my way around the PC XT-compatible system my dad got surplus from the university. We assembled the pieces loose on a card table, without a case. The massive power supply and full height 20MB HDD sounded like jet engines after years of working with the silent 800XL. And only a green monochrome monitor! What’s all the fuss about these IBM PCs anyway?

Same here. I wanted to upgrade my 800. I remember having a friend with an 800XL with SpartaDOS and I could not figure out what to do when it boot up. The command line was stupid. Why can't it be simple like a menu in DOS 2.5? When my friend showed me how "easy" the command line was, I thought how in the world is someone suppose to know the commands. At that point, I said forget this command line crap and looked at the ST as my next machine.

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I was a other one kicking and screaming from going to spartados. But when I got my Percom and quads I pretty much was told I had no other choice, as Spartados was the only dos (I knew of) that could format double sided 80 track disks. It took a while but I got the hang of it.

I always found it humerus when I tried to CWD (Change working directory) on ms-dos. The guy next to me would be what are you trying to do? Lol. CD made more sense.

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Wow - I can't believe so many people had issue with Sparta DOS or CLI in general.  I got my US Doubler with Sparta 2.3 (can't remember the year - sometime between 87 and 89).  It had this cool thing called a user manual that I read while Dad installed the US Doubler.  Soon as I powered up the drive, I never touched a menu DOS again - they seemed so childish and primitive.  Years later when I hopped to the PC, MS-DOS was just natural.  CP/M was a tad confusing at first since many things were "backwards" :)

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I installed the Doubler and used 3.2 for a while.  Really not confusing, but the menu system just seemed much more intuitive.  Granted, DIR commands are faster and efficient.  I still gravitated back to DOS 2.5.  I likes easy.

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2 minutes ago, gilsaluki said:

I installed the Doubler and used 3.2 for a while.  Really not confusing, but the menu system just seemed much more intuitive.  Granted, DIR commands are faster and efficient.  I still gravitated back to DOS 2.5.  I likes easy.

SDX, at least the newer versions available today, has a program called MYDUP, which provides a complete Mydos menu for Spartados, with an escape hatch to run command-lines without leaving the shell program.  I give it a big thumbs up.  I don't use it myself, but I wrung it out just to see what it could do, and it really works.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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I was so excited about ultra speed in sparta dos that a few times I attempted to move all of my games/disks over to it. However I found it was not compatible with enough games to make the effort viable. Many would just do nothing when loading. =( I think it was version 3.2 (purchased in '85 so it was whatever was available at that time).

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19 hours ago, Sugarland said:

I was so excited about ultra speed in sparta dos that a few times I attempted to move all of my games/disks over to it. However I found it was not compatible with enough games to make the effort viable. Many would just do nothing when loading. =( I think it was version 3.2 (purchased in '85 so it was whatever was available at that time).

2.3 was where Spartados really started to shine from a compatibility standpoint.  3.2d put the cherry on top.  Some things will interfere with some programs, so doing a TD OFF and a KEY OFF before running the program may be necessary, in fact are probably necessary, and of course, BASIC OFF.  I ran Spartados exclusively from 1985 or 86 til now, and very rarely found a program that just wouldn't run.  Spartados X is the hot caramel, sprinkles, nuts, cherry, on top, almost nothing won't run on X.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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On 9/9/2020 at 11:57 AM, Max_Chatsworth said:

I love how you have an authentic non-ironic trucker style cap that so many have tried to emulate lo these decades later.  Cool stuff. What is the poster of the girl? It looks like it has Japanese writing...

That might be a young Demi Moore.

 

Jeff

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