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tsom

Should I get a 130XE?

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2 hours ago, Sugarland said:

 

You probably don't 'need' it but if the price is right and your budget will allow it, why not? The XE's have their own charm. If you don't have an XE then it would be a nice addition to your collection. The Best keyboard cups upgrade is a modest improvement but only get that if you find you type on it a lot, imo.  The most unique and cool to have XE is the XEGS...

 

Depending on the condition of the unit, the price ranges from $149 to $189 (almost pristine)

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7 minutes ago, tsom said:

Depending on the condition of the unit, the price ranges from $149 to $189 (almost pristine)

 

Not a great price point, to be honest. Not a bad deal either. That's about the going rate. The XE's are not as easy to upgrade and work on, fyi.  Take a look around for a week or so on ebay and craigslist and see if you can find a better deal but those are usually untested. Some of the fun is cleaning and restoring but if you want a fully tested and restored machine that's an okay price, if you have the disposable income.

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Oh and FYI prices have dropped this summer due to CV. To make ends meat, people selling their old stuff on ebay. And many sellers saved their old computers thinking they could one day get a fair price but now there is a glut. So his price six months ago was fair but now I'm not so sure. 

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True, price is dropping like a rock... back to normal almost, just ask them in a pm for a better deal and chances are you'll get one.

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I can't believe all the shit talking the poor 130XE got.  What happened here - a while ago, anybody asking if they should buy something Atari would have been hit with 100 "Yes, do it now" posts.

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4 minutes ago, Stephen said:

I can't believe all the shit talking the poor 130XE got.  What happened here - a while ago, anybody asking if they should buy something Atari would have been hit with 100 "Yes, do it now" posts.

 

10 FOR A=1 TO 100

20 PRINT "Yes, do it now"

30 NEXT A

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130XE is upgrade-able with a soldering iron, 320K is a normal upgrade, and you can toss a u1M in it if you wish... keyboard resistor mod or new mylar is no problem either.

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3 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

130XE is upgrade-able with a soldering iron, 320K is a normal upgrade, and you can toss a u1M in it if you wish... keyboard resistor mod or new mylar is no problem either.

Ha, outside of the 400/800 and maybe the 600xl, all of the upgrades I have seen for the 8bit line require some sort of soldering.  And for the 600xl, I have never seen the memory upgrade out in the wild.

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4 hours ago, StickJock said:

 

10 FOR A=1 TO 100

20 PRINT "Yes, do it now"

30 NEXT A

Well, I was pretty much talked out of it..... but I may be changing my mind... 😁

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10 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

... keyboard resistor mod.

What is this kind sir...Did a quick search to no avail..

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Posted (edited)

The 130XE was my first Atari. I purchased it over an on-sale 800XL for about half the price because I wanted the extra ram. If I had known then what I learned later, that a memory upgrade like the Rambo was 99% compatible with extended memory software, I would have bought the 800XL and a Rambo upgrade. Today's upgrades are 100% compatible. No need for an XE when XL and 800 build qualities are night and day in comparison. I sold my 130XE about 15 years ago and got XL's and 800's and have never looked back. I also like the fact that all the best peripherals are either 800 or XL styled so I can have matching systems. I always hated having an XE with XL or 800 peripherals that didn't match; it looked like a crap hodge-podge of a system next to other's Commodore and Apple systems with matching components. My upgraded 800/XL systems that match and are quality builds are so much better. My nostalgia lies on what's on the inside, not aesthetics, so moving on to the older A8 versions was the best thing I ever did! Now I have modern 100% compatible upgrades I can even run the less than 1% incompatible memory stuff, though I have yet to find something in that 1% I care about.

Edited by Gunstar

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Posted (edited)

And thank you again that man...I'll probably do that after the yellowing work..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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15 hours ago, Stephen said:

I can't believe all the shit talking the poor 130XE got.  What happened here - a while ago, anybody asking if they should buy something Atari would have been hit with 100 "Yes, do it now" posts.

 

Me either!  I got my first XE when they came out.  Some mail order place in Ohio.  Upgraded it to 320K, and still have it; still works good.

 

Everyone has their own opinions about the keyboards, but I never minded the XE at all.  It's what you get used to.  The good -- 128K of stock ram.   No taking it apart and modding it to have a decent ramdisk. Stock video is worlds better than the XL's. Weaknesses -- some have bad ram chips, but this affects XL's, also.  Also, if you do want to do an upgrade, the chips are soldered in, and removing them is a bummer for a lot of folks.  (Ask to see the inside if you are contemplating buying it.)  Another bad -- cartridge port on the rear, so you get to "stand on your head" to change carts. Poorer build quality (already mentioned). But if you've got the money for a new toy -- get it!

 

Best of the bunch (IMO) is the 600XL (due to its small size), but needs a lot of work to make it first class.  It is my "daily driver." Great keyboard, Antonia 4MB upgrade (with 8 OS and BASIC slots).  Much smaller and easier to install without issues than the Ultimate 1MB, but the U1MB has more features, if you need them.  I have several UAV (video) boards, but this 600XL has a DIY video that is as good as (IMO).  

 

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3 hours ago, Larry said:

 

Me either!  I got my first XE when they came out.  Some mail order place in Ohio.  Upgraded it to 320K, and still have it; still works good.

 

Everyone has their own opinions about the keyboards, but I never minded the XE at all.  It's what you get used to.  The good -- 128K of stock ram.   No taking it apart and modding it to have a decent ramdisk. Stock video is worlds better than the XL's. Weaknesses -- some have bad ram chips, but this affects XL's, also.  Also, if you do want to do an upgrade, the chips are soldered in, and removing them is a bummer for a lot of folks.  (Ask to see the inside if you are contemplating buying it.)  Another bad -- cartridge port on the rear, so you get to "stand on your head" to change carts. Poorer build quality (already mentioned). But if you've got the money for a new toy -- get it!

 

Best of the bunch (IMO) is the 600XL (due to its small size), but needs a lot of work to make it first class.  It is my "daily driver." Great keyboard, Antonia 4MB upgrade (with 8 OS and BASIC slots).  Much smaller and easier to install without issues than the Ultimate 1MB, but the U1MB has more features, if you need them.  I have several UAV (video) boards, but this 600XL has a DIY video that is as good as (IMO).  

 

Downside of the 600xl, at least in NTSC land, for some reason they didn't include the Composite port.

 

Also, weirdly I think my 800xl video output looks better than my 130xe (Composite).  Granted, the VBXE output on my modded 130XE is fantastic!

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On 7/22/2020 at 5:28 PM, Stephen said:

I can't believe all the shit talking the poor 130XE got.  What happened here - a while ago, anybody asking if they should buy something Atari would have been hit with 100 "Yes, do it now" posts.

I might be biased because I had one as a kid, but I love my 130XE - I have an 800, 800XL, and a 130XE. Out of the three I use the 130XE the most, it is a permanent fixture on my desk next to my PC.

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21 minutes ago, Ute said:

I might be biased because I had one as a kid, but I love my 130XE - I have an 800, 800XL, and a 130XE. Out of the three I use the 130XE the most, it is a permanent fixture on my desk next to my PC.

It was my 2nd Atari, replaced my 400 (48kB and B-Key).  Still works great, and years ago I added the Best Electronics keyboard upgrade.  I always wanted to do the Peterson 320kB mod when I had the machine, so I did that to it years ago and also installed a 32-in-1 OS from AtariMax.

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23 minutes ago, Ute said:

I might be biased because I had one as a kid, but I love my 130XE - I have an 800, 800XL, and a 130XE. Out of the three I use the 130XE the most, it is a permanent fixture on my desk next to my PC.

Had one too as a kid and it still has a spot in my heart. Despite that mushy keyboard, I do love the sleek grey lines and the red Atari logo label of the XE. I now have a couple of them, but do use the 800XL more just because the mainboard is socketed and has been easier to do upgrades on (like the U1MB). 

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Stephen said:

It was my 2nd Atari, replaced my 400 (48kB and B-Key).  Still works great, and years ago I added the Best Electronics keyboard upgrade.  I always wanted to do the Peterson 320kB mod when I had the machine, so I did that to it years ago and also installed a 32-in-1 OS from AtariMax.

I added the Best keyboard upgrade back in the day too, and it was a vast improvement. I loved my 130XE, for 20 years, Until I owned a 1200XL with a Rambo upgrade and fell in love with it's keyboard and all my favorite extended memory programs worked great.  I'd still defend the XE's against any other 8-bit brand of the day, regardless of build quality, if it weren't for Jack's inexpensive 130XE, I never would have gotten into Atari computers and would have ended up with something less, too me personally. Even if it had been a high-quality-build Apple II...eventually. But I can't defend it against it's own predecessor's, Jack just cut quality too much. For over a decade I lived with the case of my 130XE that  had become warped and looked terrible around the function keys that were no longer flush with the case, I had to replace the mylar twice, but she ran for 20 years for me.

Edited by Gunstar

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Get the 130XE and sell one of your 800s. Then you have all three generations of 8bit Ataris, you can only use one at a time anyway 😀

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Well... I pulled the trigger. The 130xe is on the way. It's first going through a 24 hour burn-in to make sure it's all good. BTW, I ordered it from https://bonuslifecomputers.com  So far, I have no complaints about them. Once they received my order, they emailed me to say they put a "very nice unit on the test bench". So, most likely it'll be here sometime next week, so pics will follow!

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If you want one, get one! Don't worry about what anyone else thinks! I have my original A800 and I got one not that long ago an use it all the time.  I get a kick out of opinions people give to questions like this. Who cares what someone else thinks, if you want it go for it! You only live once and this is what you want, not what I, or one of the other people here want. :)
 Make yourself happy! 

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I started with the 400. Upgraded to 48k and a B-Key keyboard.

Upgraded to an 800.

Later picked up an 800XL and "Rambo'd" it.

Finally ended up with a 130XE and did the 320K upgrade.  This was my favorite machine because I just liked how it all looked together with the MIO and adapter board hanging off the back with an R-Time8 cart.  With a 20 meg hard drive in a nice gray case sitting on top of the MIO it all looked integrated and felt like a match for any DOS box of the time.

Yes, the 800XL and 800 had better keyboards and the 400 was my "first".  But the 130XE was where it all came together.  Power without the price?  Hell yeah!

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Quick update.

 

I got it! It's in almost perfect condition. The keys are a bit mushy, but compared to the 800xl's sticky keys, I'm ok with them!

 

They included an AtariMax cart (gotta figure how to add more to it), a better power supply and an A/V cable. I already have a video cable that includes an s-video plug and that works just fine. (Only thing is, there's a bit of vertical banding, annoying, but I can deal. Except for that, the output on my old-is LCD TV is nice and sharp!)

They included a nice "burn in" checklist, which was cool.

 

130xe.png

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