Ah yes, the company that just couldn't die. Atari made some
wonderful game consoles and home computers. In fact, they were well known for
their innovation. Alas, it didn't last. The last of the original Atari disappeared
into the ether back in 1994, and disolved into being a mere bunch of intellectual property
passed around like an Amsterdam whore. The Atari of today is not the same company.
Nevertheless, the Atari of old still has its loyal fans, and these people
still appreciate the technological marvels that so occupied their childhood and adolescence.
Today, you can still see the Atari equipment sold on ebay and someone anxiously bidding on them.
People still write software for these now vintage machines, and manufacture and create add-ons
only dreamed of in Atari's hay-day.
I am one such individual. I have quite a few projects in the works, and
I invite you to follow along with me.
My collection, so far, consists of:
2 Atari Jaguar game consoles. I recently had to install a PC power connection to one of them as
the internal voltage regulator chip died. So now it runs off of a PC power supply.
Atari 65XE computer. My current project. I am expanding its memory to 320K from
its original 64K. I have also added a nifty MultiOS devices to choose via a menu from
every possible OS variation released for that computer from a FLASH device.
I have also improved the S-Video output of the system to give a crisp and clear picture for
today's digital TVs. It actually worked very well. I am also awaiting the delivery
of a nifty new VBXE2 device that vastly improves this little computer's video capabilities.
Three Atari 130XE computers. These are essentially the same machine as the 65XE, but with
128K RAM built in. I haven't decided yet what to do with them beyond doing the S-Video fix.
Two Atari 800XL computers. This was the first Atari computer I owned. They are about
the same thing as the 65XE, but look very different. They are also due for some video enhancement.
Atari 1040STFM computer. This is a much more advanced computer. A 32 bit machine when
PC's were still 16 bit. They were nicknamed the "Color Mac", as Apple's Macintosh was only a
small machine with a black and white display. Right now this will merely get a hard drive and
be able to play Atari ST games.
Atari TT computer. Atari's "Enterprise" machine. It was quite a performer
compared to its competition. Mine has 4MB ST RAM and 16MB of TT FastRAM, but it will soon have 64MB TT FastRAM.
Two working Atari Falcon030 computers; as well as one that isn't working, but I am repairing that
one. The apex of Atari's technology
before it shortly disappeared into intellectual property hell. This was the favorite of many
professional and amateur musicians in the 1990's, including Fleetwood Mac. Its multimedia
capabilities, at the time, were far superior than anything on the PC or Mac. Atari was the
These machines are getting a major supe-up job. Their 16MHz Motorola 68030s will be put to pasture
and replaced with a Motorola 68060 running at 233MHz, which is a lot for these machines!
Now some of you people out there may say "Only 233MHz?" and I must remind you of something
about programming old computers. They had to be coded in assembly code and efficient C code.
much of the software developed for the machine runs incredibly fast on a mere 233MHz CPU. Enough
to play complex games on, run Internet software on, and to watch movies with. All with quite an
advanced and snappy multitasking OS similar to Linux, but much funner to use.
Here's a bit of trivia for you (click on the question for the answer):