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chad5200

Old pictures of our Atari 8-bit setups

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Greetings, Programs! This is my first post here so I figured I would start with a story.

 

This photo is of my older sister using our family's brand new Atari 800XL shortly after we received it for Christmas ~1985. It was the first computer I ever used and I absolutely loved it. I played endless hours of games, learned to program in BASIC, wrote stories, and marveled at what I thought at the time was an amazing piece of incredibly advanced technology.

 

Fast forward about 10 years or so and my sister SOLD THE COMPUTER - DISK DRIVES, GAMES, AND ALL - AT A YARD SALE WITHOUT ASKING ME. Now, I didn't know this until I went back to recover the system from my parents attic in the early 2000s. As you can imagine, I was crushed (yes, I still speak to my sister but I mention this HORRENDOUS, TERRIBLE CRIME from time to time.) Did I mention she also sold my comic book collection? But, I digress.

 

Anyway...

 

Fast forward another 10 years or so. By then, I am working at IBM and while I was traveling in Berlin, I went to a wonderful computer and video game museum. Much to my surprise and delight, they had an 800XL on display! I was elated. I hadn't seen one up close since... well... you know. Once I got home, the search was on to find my own. I visited flea markets in the area and I would see one from time to time. But they were usually in terrible condition. One 800XL I came across had been described to me as being in "mint condition." When I found it, I picked it up and dirt came pouring out the bottom. Clearly, I had to rethink my search strategy. It was time for, you guessed it, EBAY! It didn't take long until I found an 800XL in good working condition, with the power supplies, and the box! I even found an original manual! I have it at my house now and I use it with my teenage sons. They get a real kick out of it. I am just getting started in learning about all the vintage and modern tech I can use with it. I can't tell you how exciting it was to fire it up that first time and run the self tests.

 

Now I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no: I have not told my sister about it! 🤣

 

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Thanks for sharing your memories, it reminded me one from a friend of mine who one day got back home after school and his favorite bike was missing...her mother had just exchanged his bike for some flowers and plants! Without any consultations!

 

Kind regards,

 

Luis.

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7 minutes ago, lbaeza said:

Thanks for sharing your memories, it reminded me one from a friend of mine who one day got back home after school and his favorite bike was missing...her mother had just exchanged his bike for some flowers and plants! Without any consultations!

 

Kind regards,

 

Luis.

Now I'm wondering what happened to my old bike! 😂

 

D5BNhbLWsAYMmsM.thumb.jpg.cc63341abb7a1d2bcd5842b17a98b039.jpg

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On 9/20/2020 at 2:02 PM, KBRpilot said:

I'm a bit late to the party, but really enjoyed looking at the nostalgic pictures.  Thanks to everyone posting.  Here's a picture I happen to have of me with my Atari 800XL in 1985...

HIDING.thumb.PNG.75a46e47bfb99d50aa03b576b73233bb.PNG

 

 

 

... it's also extremely gratifying to see a TI hidden in the photo!  ;)

 

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On 12/17/2020 at 7:31 PM, Alfred said:

Man, me and Puff and Dataque were ancient compared to some of you guys, lol. Anyway, these are a few pics of the last time most of my hardware was hooked up, my computer room. The thing hanging off the side of the 800 XL on the desk beside the stack of 1050's is the DataQue Turbo-816 with its 32K and 64K static ram cards. One 1050 is a USD, one is a Happy and one is a 1050 Duplicator. You can't see it but on the far side of desk on the floor is the dual 8" floppy drive case with 40lb power supply; the case is about 3x4 feet, weighed about 30 lbs. I think that's the hand-built Puff E-Burner just behind the little lamp. The Oki laser is hooked up to the BB attached to that XL. The other XL under the whiteboard has another BB and is the Mux master system, you can just see the 40 pin ribbon cable hanging off the side before it goes over to the desk. That's a 200MB drive, the same one I have here that I unloaded the Puff BBS from. Where the two Mio units are in the window used to be another desk with two 800 XL slave systems that ran the Puff BBS. In the bottom of the RCA TV cabinet is the 5V/12V power supply from puff along with the 80MB 8" Winchester drive that used to be the mux host ages ago.  I think that's a Realistic STA-2100 200W/chn receiver. Still have it, along with the four Mach 1 speakers. Nothing like some loud tunes for the all night coding. The shelves out in the basement hallway were the hardware overflow area, haha, extra ATR-8000's, drives, machines, MPP stuff, every Antic/Analog,Byte magazine, any and everything. Not sure if that's the 1090XL on top of the ASCII terminal in the closet. Still kicking myself about throwing that out. And no, I'm not really a Captain Crunch fan, Alpha-Bits are the best.

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Captain Crunch.  Nice touch.  Is there a 2600hz whistle in that box?

 

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On 12/17/2020 at 7:31 PM, Alfred said:

Man, me and Puff and Dataque were ancient compared to some of you guys, lol. Anyway, these are a few pics of the last time most of my hardware was hooked up, my computer room. The thing hanging off the side of the 800 XL on the desk beside the stack of 1050's is the DataQue Turbo-816 with its 32K and 64K static ram cards. One 1050 is a USD, one is a Happy and one is a 1050 Duplicator. You can't see it but on the far side of desk on the floor is the dual 8" floppy drive case with 40lb power supply; the case is about 3x4 feet, weighed about 30 lbs. I think that's the hand-built Puff E-Burner just behind the little lamp. The Oki laser is hooked up to the BB attached to that XL. The other XL under the whiteboard has another BB and is the Mux master system, you can just see the 40 pin ribbon cable hanging off the side before it goes over to the desk. That's a 200MB drive, the same one I have here that I unloaded the Puff BBS from. Where the two Mio units are in the window used to be another desk with two 800 XL slave systems that ran the Puff BBS. In the bottom of the RCA TV cabinet is the 5V/12V power supply from puff along with the 80MB 8" Winchester drive that used to be the mux host ages ago.  I think that's a Realistic STA-2100 200W/chn receiver. Still have it, along with the four Mach 1 speakers. Nothing like some loud tunes for the all night coding. The shelves out in the basement hallway were the hardware overflow area, haha, extra ATR-8000's, drives, machines, MPP stuff, every Antic/Analog,Byte magazine, any and everything. Not sure if that's the 1090XL on top of the ASCII terminal in the closet. Still kicking myself about throwing that out. And no, I'm not really a Captain Crunch fan, Alpha-Bits are the best.

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I had one of those Quantum q2020 drives Bob Puff was selling with his Black Box kit.  HUGE, MONSTER drive man.  Weighed 70lbs if an ounce.

 

Best,

 

Jeff

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3 hours ago, graemeknows said:

Now I'm wondering what happened to my old bike! 😂

 

D5BNhbLWsAYMmsM.thumb.jpg.cc63341abb7a1d2bcd5842b17a98b039.jpg

I'm sure your sister knows.... :(

 

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On 12/22/2020 at 11:00 AM, Tillek said:

I'm sure your sister knows.... :(

 

Your mom sold it at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar.  Now they cost thousands.  Thanks, Mom.

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Found an old scan of me typing away on my 65XE with XF551 :) Probably around 1987/88 or so...

Scan-120608-0001.jpg

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On 1/1/2021 at 10:12 PM, tahoe said:

65XE with XF551

..and Suzo The Arcade joystick no less!

Respect 😎

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Love seeing these!!

Sadly, due to some unfortunate events, I don't have many surviving pics of that era.  The best I could do is a photo of me opening my Atari VCS and maybe... Video Olympics. 
image.thumb.png.412c8566f2f2695d06a4c4e04e16c775.png
But that day shaped my future - here is a before and after :)

 

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Awesome pics - I loved scrolling through this entire thread!!

 

I wish I had some pictures of my old Atari setup. I was never allowed to keep it in my bedroom because my dad used it to play games and later balance the checkbook (with Family Cash Flow from APX!) For a year or two it was upstairs in the second floor den, and then for 3-4 years after that it was in the first floor living room.

 

Here's a picture of the Christmas that I received the 800XL, though. Back of the picture says "Christmas 1984". You can also see a 2600 woody on the fireplace bricks back there... we were definitely an Atari family in the 80s. I got three carts for the 8-bitter that year: Story Machine, Star Trek, and Video Easel. We didn't have a disk drive or cassette drive for about 6 months to a year, so I didn't take much notice of the 800XL at first. Once we got that 1050 and a bunch of pirate game disks from my mom's friend though, I was hooked. And when I started to learn BASIC, I never looked back.

 

(Addendum: that GoBots Command Center was awesome.)

 

img001.thumb.jpg.86d162e028cb135183ad3dd4c664404a.jpg

 

 

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On 2/11/2021 at 8:56 AM, llabnip said:

Love seeing these!!

Sadly, due to some unfortunate events, I don't have many surviving pics of that era.  The best I could do is a photo of me opening my Atari VCS and maybe... Video Olympics. 
image.thumb.png.412c8566f2f2695d06a4c4e04e16c775.png
But that day shaped my future - here is a before and after :)

 

Is that your basement on the right?!?!

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3 hours ago, graywest said:

Awesome pics - I loved scrolling through this entire thread!!

 

I wish I had some pictures of my old Atari setup. I was never allowed to keep it in my bedroom because my dad used it to play games and later balance the checkbook (with Family Cash Flow from APX!) For a year or two it was upstairs in the second floor den, and then for 3-4 years after that it was in the first floor living room.

 

Here's a picture of the Christmas that I received the 800XL, though. Back of the picture says "Christmas 1984". You can also see a 2600 woody on the fireplace bricks back there... we were definitely an Atari family in the 80s. I got three carts for the 8-bitter that year: Story Machine, Star Trek, and Video Easel. We didn't have a disk drive or cassette drive for about 6 months to a year, so I didn't take much notice of the 800XL at first. Once we got that 1050 and a bunch of pirate game disks from my mom's friend though, I was hooked. And when I started to learn BASIC, I never looked back.

 

(Addendum: that GoBots Command Center was awesome.)

 

img001.thumb.jpg.86d162e028cb135183ad3dd4c664404a.jpg

 

 

Holy crap man - I had that GoBot Command Center!

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Posted (edited)

Found a few more pictures. First shows the two BBS slave machines (under the window) running the Puff BBS. Only the left XL answered the phone, I used the other to rarely chat with people on the BBS. Sticker on that 1050 tells me it's a USD drive. The next shows my original programming setup, circa 1992 I believe. The stack of 1050's didn't get used much since I had the mux. Last two are an early mux setup. The drive on top of the cabinet is a 47MB that I got for the super-low price of $650 back then. Inside the cabinet, the 8" 80MB Quantum drive is still in service, some cheap Adaptec controller on top. I'm not sure, the drive on the floor might be one of the 20MB 8" Quantums that Puff initially gave me, they went out of service when the 80MB arrived. The printer will be a Panasonic 1091, I had retired the Atari 1029 by then. As for the calendar, I had to bring that home from the office. People started complaining about it seeing it hanging on the wall in my cubicle. Heathens.

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Edited by Alfred
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6 hours ago, Alfred said:

Found a few more pictures. First shows the two BBS slave machines (under the window) running the Puff BBS. Only the left XL answered the phone, I used the other to rarely chat with people on the BBS. Sticker on that 1050 tells me it's a USD drive. The next shows my original programming setup, circa 1992 I believe. The stack of 1050's didn't get used much since I had the mux. Last two are an early mux setup. The drive on top of the cabinet is a 47MB that I got for the super-low price of $650 back then. Inside the cabinet, the 8" 80MB Quantum drive is still in service, some cheap Adaptec controller on top. I'm not sure, the drive on the floor might be one of the 20MB 8" Quantums that Puff initially gave me, they went out of service when the 80MB arrived. The printer will be a Panasonic 1091, I had retired the Atari 1029 by then. As for the calendar, I had to bring that home from the office. People started complaining about it seeing it hanging on the wall in my cubicle. Heathens.

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IMG_0005.jpg

Is that a basement? I'm so envious of American's with basements, we have nothing like that over here.

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7 hours ago, Alfred said:

As for the calendar...

Her floppies are hanging out.

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8 hours ago, Alfred said:

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That liberal use of ribbon cables is a bold decorative statement, as is the use of low single-shelf storage (aka stacks on the floor). Reminds me of the urgent need to clean up my study.

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I'm suddenly feeling so much better about the disorganized state of my computer area.

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16 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Is that a basement? I'm so envious of American's with basements, we have nothing like that over here.

Yes, it was the only finished room in the basement, It was probably about 16' wide and 22' long.

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1 hour ago, Alfred said:

Yes, it was the only finished room in the basement, It was probably about 16' wide and 22' long.

I love it. A Man cave where you can have your stuff everywhere in relative peace.

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