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gilsaluki

Military Sales of Atari at Base & Post Exchanges

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I was thinking back to the early 80s when Atari 8s were hot stuff.  That is when I got my first XL.   Anyway, I carted that thing all around the planet being in the military.  I remember Antic Magazine highlighting an Air Force Staff Sergeant, administrative type, that used his Atari to help the office with awards & decorations, appraisals, and so forth.  I remember a Lt Colonel (USAF) that wrote a lot in magazines.  It just got me to thinking how prolific (or not) was Atari at marketing to the military through sales at the PX or BX (NEX for Navy).  I cannot recall my BX's EVER carrying any Atari hard or software.  They may have, but I might have overlooked it.   I know the military is a relatively small market share, but they are a loyal one.

 

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Posted (edited)

My original 800XL and 1050 disk drive came from the Mtn. Home AFB BX. The pair cost me almost $700. This was early 1983 most likely. Shortly after purchasing, I was PCS'd to Sembach AB, Germany.

 

I remember seeing the Atari computers at the BX in Vogelweh in Germany.

 

-Bob

Edited by ryanr256
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I'm fairly certain that an old family friend purchased his Atari 800 from the PX in Ft. Benning.  He was also the one who convinced my father to buy an Atari computer for me -- and for that I am very grateful.  (I was so close to getting a C64.)  😜

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I was in the RAF in the UK and as an Atari enthusiat, I managed to purchase an ST to help with our development work,

so maybe similar things happened elsewhere. At the time PC's were pretty primitive and Atari's were a nice option.

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I bought 2 810's and the 850 Communicator package at the BX on Anderson AFB Guam in 1983. 810's were $440 back then.

Antic and Analog mags were there every month...

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Seems as though there is a U.S. Air Force theme here.  Atari must have appealed to the smart people.  (tongue in cheek, people).

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I was at the BX in Frankfurt Rhein-Main in 1985 and 1987 and don't remember seeing Ataris (or at least any Atari stuff I might have been interested to buy). I was there only once each year as a cadet on an exchange program and did not spend a lot of time there, though. 

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They had the big lighted display counter at Elmendorf AFB Exchange in Anchorage, AK in the early 80's.  That's where I used to go to stare while my parents shopped.  They always knew they could find me there.  I put an Atari 800 (now with 48K) on lay-away, and it took me many months to pay for it, with newspaper delivery money. (I already had a 400).  By the time I was ready to try for the 810, the 1050 was out at significantly-reduced price.  My first 1050 was $340 retail.  The 810 was much more (can't remember) than that.  I was disappointed that my 800 and 1050 didn't match, but was so honored to have it after the 410 recorder.  The only other thing that impressed me and served me as much as my first disk drive is the internet!!!!

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On 5/24/2020 at 10:15 AM, gilsaluki said:

I was thinking back to the early 80s when Atari 8s were hot stuff.  That is when I got my first XL.   Anyway, I carted that thing all around the planet being in the military.  I remember Antic Magazine highlighting an Air Force Staff Sergeant, administrative type, that used his Atari to help the office with awards & decorations, appraisals, and so forth.  I remember a Lt Colonel (USAF) that wrote a lot in magazines.  It just got me to thinking how prolific (or not) was Atari at marketing to the military through sales at the PX or BX (NEX for Navy).  I cannot recall my BX's EVER carrying any Atari hard or software.  They may have, but I might have overlooked it.   I know the military is a relatively small market share, but they are a loyal one.

 

The LTC I was referring to is retired USAF Col. Richard (Rick) Reaser of Colorado Springs (P3ACE).  He wrote columns for Atari Interface Magazine (AIM) using his 8-bit.

RICHARD (RICK) L. REASER, JR., is head of the Spectrum and E3 Department at Raytheon Space and Airborne ... Mr. Reaser joined Raytheon in August 2006. ... He retired from the Air Force after 28 years of service at the rank of Colonel.  Rick, are you out there?

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3 minutes ago, gilsaluki said:

The LTC I was referring to is retired USAF Col. Richard (Rick) Reaser of Colorado Springs (P3ACE).  He wrote columns for Atari Interface Magazine (AIM) using his 8-bit.

RICHARD (RICK) L. REASER, JR., is head of the Spectrum and E3 Department at Raytheon Space and Airborne ... Mr. Reaser joined Raytheon in August 2006. ... He retired from the Air Force after 28 years of service at the rank of Colonel.  Rick, are you out there?

Primarily Rick Reaser, USAF (R) was the 8-bit editor for Current Notes Magazine.   

https://www.atariarchives.org/cfn/12/03/0050.php

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On 5/25/2020 at 5:39 AM, wood_jl said:

They had the big lighted display counter at Elmendorf AFB Exchange in Anchorage, AK in the early 80's.  That's where I used to go to stare while my parents shopped.  They always knew they could find me there.  I put an Atari 800 (now with 48K) on lay-away, and it took me many months to pay for it, with newspaper delivery money. (I already had a 400).  By the time I was ready to try for the 810, the 1050 was out at significantly-reduced price.  My first 1050 was $340 retail.  The 810 was much more (can't remember) than that.  I was disappointed that my 800 and 1050 didn't match, but was so honored to have it after the 410 recorder.  The only other thing that impressed me and served me as much as my first disk drive is the internet!!!!

This story makes me happy.  One for the nostalgia..but also because you bought something on layaway as a kid. Good stuff....thanks for sharing. 

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I am glad a lot of military-related sales were had by Atari and used by those that served.  I remember seeing my very FIRST Atari.  A grizzled up SSgt (spent a lot of time in The P.I.) brought in an Atari 2600 and we all played it on the break table on the midnight shift.  Fantastically fun for those days. 

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Posted (edited)

I remember that I bought some Atari equipment (a.o. 810, 1025 and 825) at a small Atari Meeting in Germany in the early nineties.

 

The equipment came from the US military base in Karlsruhe Germany and I still have it in my collection 😀

 

810.thumb.jpg.e75725df4f5d4f733ef285853cfcddd9.jpg

 

1025.thumb.jpg.148ecd0eac2f5f2801691e8f04f67beb.jpg

Edited by Fred_M
typo
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A lot of my original Atari equipment came from the Pearl Harbor NEX. My dad bought our second Atari computer from there for Christmas. A 130XE with another 1050 drive along with an xm301 modem. I was only a little disappointed it wasn't one of those brand new ST computers but any new electronics was good for me.

I don't remember what the computer section was like at the Hickam AFB BX so it couldn't have been that great.

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I was a brat, my Dad was AF.  I didn't see any Atari stuff in a few of the BX's I went to in the early to mid 80's, but I do remember seeing Commodore stuff (and Amiga).  I was bummed as I had an 800XL at the time.  I later got a C64 and Amiga 1000.

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