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Reasons to get (or to not get) an Atari 8-bit /XL/XE?

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20 hours ago, Keatah said:

I seem to recall a few keyboards with OLED screens in the caps. Not sure the lifespan as OLED is subject to burn-in and dimming same as a CRT.

It does,  especially the blue OLED elements.  They have a much shorter lifespan than the other colors as I recall

 

20 hours ago, Keatah said:

Overall I prefer a direct remapping to modern keyboards, because that's what I'm using the other half of the time.  Typing "*" should give me "*". There is no nostalgia in positioning of keys - the using of a common PC key to "START" or the "C=" symbol just because it's located in a certain spot. That's just retarded. So no! Give me the equivalent F1-12 replacement. That's what they're there for.

yeah I hate the positional remapping too, can never find the key I'm looking for.       "C=" and "/|\" keys are always hard to find without a chart, as are break and run/stop.   Then there's the problem that the arrow keys are often mapped to simulated joystick and don't work for cursor positioning.     As I said that's the one nuisance I still have with emulators but they are great for everything else.

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If I didn't already own actual hardware, I would go with emulation, simply because of the crazy prices

 sellers on Ebay, etc. are wanting for the real thing.

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Posted (edited)

and, eventually, the real hardware will stop functioning - remaining operational units that have been pampered for longevity (replaced capacitors, heatsinks on chips, acceleration, etc) will cost more, even more for those in near-pristine condition.

 

The chip-based cartridges should still hold up a lot longer than disks or tape ever would. Well, hopefully... 

 

If nothing else, buy the original titles - they're kinda cool as artwork too - and play the games on the emulator.  Emulators have some occasional accuracy and lag issues but have come a long way - which is terrific.  But the original equipment and experience are as irreplaceable as they are wonderful.

 

Edited by CommodoreDecker
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Mask ROMS and fuse/diode PROMS are supposed to be good for a minimum of 200 years.

 

 

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Modern day evolved emulators are elegant and bring with them a lot of features I wanted as a kid. Features that were terribly expensive or technologically impractical.

 

I think it’s great to have an Apple II setup on one desk, while I’m jamming emulators on the next. There’s a presence of the real hardware and the comfort of knowing I’m not wearing it out. Not that that’s big problem or anything. 

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I put a good amount of time in on Atari --- I work in a technical job --- I know a lot of technical people --- I have no way of explaining to them why I find this interesting. It breaks down to:

 

1) Nostalgia (obviously)

 

and

 

2) Archaeology --- I now look at the A8s with knowledge I never had when I owned one as a child. Seeing the fingerprints of today's technology on this system is interesting to me.

 

and

 

3) Modern day Atari community to include the abundant peripheral market. Participating with the folks here that build stuff and to see what they can build and to report bugs and work with them on this hobby is fun for me.

 

I still get eye rolls from many a friend on why I spent so much time looking for a simple 64 column text editor makes sense I suppose.... still... I suppose my summary answer is buy one if you think you can get some enjoyment out of it. I wouldn't bother if you are looking for some fantastic quality that is missing from other systems. Here it seems the "fantastic quality" is "you" and what you put into it and into the community.

 

Well that is more sappy than I intended!

 

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4 hours ago, MrFSL said:

2) Archaeology --- I now look at the A8s with knowledge I never had when I owned one as a child. Seeing the fingerprints of today's technology on this system is interesting to me.

A lot of times this knowledge eliminates the original mystery and allure of a system or game. There are times I don't want to read specs or develop a (revealing) understanding of some bit of tech. Let's just enjoy the wonder we had as kids!

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