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Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions

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Archive-name: atari-8-bit/faq
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Last-modified: November 29, 2009

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
               Welcome to the comp.sys.atari.8bit newsgroup!


                           Atari 8-Bit Computers

                      Frequently Asked Questions List
    ___________                                             _______________
   | ///////// |               _____________               |  |||||||||||  |
   |___________|              |             |              |  ||_______||  |
   |______/////|              |____[---]____|              | / _________ \ |
   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | LLLLLLLLLLL L |
   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | LLLLLLLLLLL L |
   |__[_____]__|              |__[_____]____|              |___[_____]_____|
       130XE                       800XL                          800
    ___________                                             __---------__   
   | ///////// |                                           | /  _____  \ |
   |___________|               _____________               | / |_____| \ |
   |______/////|              |____[---]____|              | ___________ |
   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | ========== =|
   |LLLLLLLLLLL|              |LLLLLLLLLLL ||              | ========== =|
   |__[_____]__|              |__[_____]____|              |___[_____]___|
        65XE                       600XL                         400
    ___________                                             _____________
   | ///////// |         ___________                       |             |
   |___________|        |/// /      |                      |             |
   |______/////|        |// /       |  /\___________       |=============|  
   |LLLLLLLLLLL|        |/O\        |\/ |LLLLLLLLLLL|      | LLLLLLLLLLL | 
   |LLLLLLLLLLL|        |-----------|   |LLLLLLLLLLL|      | LLLLLLLLLLL |  
   |__[_____]__|        |____O_O_O_O|   |__[_____]__|      |___[_____]___|
       800XE                        XE                          1200XL
             
Additions/suggestions/comments/corrections are needed!  Please send to:

                  Michael Current, michael@mcurrent.name

Copyright (c) 1992-2009 by Michael D. Current, and others where noted.  Feel
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UPDATES SINCE PREVIOUS POSTING:
2009.11.29 7.8 SAM and BOSS info expanded
2009.11.22 7.8 Diamond GOS and TCS GOE info
2009.11.22 8.4 added Crossfire
2009.11.22 8.4 added K-Star Patrol & Story Machine, & various clarifications
2009.11.16 8.6 added Centipede 5200 version by Peter Meyer
2009.11.15 1.4 11.1 1200XL production dates
2009.11.08 1.15 re-write discussion of VBIs
2009.11.08 1.1 added several additional specs related to system timing and
           maximum graphics resolution, and also added description of VBIs
2009.11.03 8.6 added Final Legacy by Atari to both CX22 and CX80 lists
2009.11.02 6.7 1025 power adapter specs, thanks Laurent
2009.10.24 1.8 1.9 fixed silicium.org url's
2009.10.20 (many) fixed all canned Atarimania searches after their site revamp
2009.10.17 8.9 added Hong Kong
2009.10.17 6.10 VersaWriter later sold by Peripherals Plus
2009.10.08 11.1 3.4 clarifications re: 810 MPI/Tandon versions. Changed Nov 82


Subject: 0.1) Table of contents 0.1) Table of contents The Computers 1.1) What is an Atari 8-bit computer? 1.2) What is the Atari 400? 1.3) What is the Atari 800? 1.4) What is the Atari 1200XL? 1.5) What is the Atari 600XL? 1.6) What is the Atari 800XL? 1.7) What is the Atari 65XE? 1.8) What is the Atari 130XE? 1.9) What is the Atari 800XE? 1.10) What is the Atari XE video game system? 1.11) What are SALLY, ANTIC, CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, POKEY, and FREDDIE? 1.12) Why do the ANTIC Modes start with "Mode 2", what about 0 or 1? 1.13) What is the internal layout of the 8-bit Atari? 1.14) Who designed the Atari 8-bit computers? 1.15) What issues surround NTSC vs. PAL vs. SECAM computer versions? 1.16) What are the pinouts for the various ports on the Atari? Video Display and Sound Speakers 2.1) What video display devices and speakers can I use with my Atari? 2.2) What is artifacting? Mass Storage 3.1) What are the Atari 410, 1010, XC11, and XC12 Program Recorders? 3.2) What other cassette recorders can I use with my Atari? 3.3) How do I run a program from cassette? 3.4) What are the Atari 810, 815, 1050, and XF551 Disk Drives? 3.5) What other floppy disk drives can I use with my Atari? 3.6) What kinds of 5.25" floppy disks can I use with my Atari drives? 3.7) What can I do to extend the life of my floppy disks? 3.8) What hard drives were designed for my Atari? 3.9) How can my Atari utilize my PC's or Mac's storage drives? 3.10) How can I use SD/MMC cards with my Atari? 3.11) How can I use a USB flash drive with my Atari? Printers 4.1) What are the Atari 820, 822, and 825 Printers? 4.2) What are the Atari 1020, 1025, 1027, and 1029 Printers? 4.3) What are the Atari XMM801 and XDM121 Printers? 4.4) What other printers can I use with my Atari? 4.5) How can my Atari utilize my PC's or Mac's printer? MODEMs and networking hardware 5.1) What are the Atari 830, 835, 1030, XM301, and SX212 Modems? 5.2) What other modems can I use with my Atari? 5.3) How can I my Atari utilize my PC's modem/network? 5.4) What networking hardware is there for the Atari? 5.5) How can I connect my Atari to a high-speed/Ethernet network? Hardware interfaces 6.1) What is the Atari 850 Interface Module? 6.2) What is the Atari XEP80 Interface Module? 6.3) How can I use a SCSI/SASI device with my Atari? 6.4) How can I use an IDE device with my Atari? 6.5) Can I attach an ISA card to my Atari? 6.6) How can I use a USB device with my Atari? More hardware 6.7) What are the power requirements for my Atari components? 6.8) What accessories did Atari produce for their 8-bit computers? 6.9) What preventative maintenance can I do on my Atari system? 6.10) What graphics tablets were produced for the Atari? 6.11) What light pens were produced for the Atari? 6.12) What light guns were produced for the Atari? 6.13) What paddles were produced for the Atari? 6.14) What voice/sound synthesis hardware was produced for the Atari? 6.15) What sound-digitizers/samplers were produced for the Atari? 6.16) What sound-enhancement upgrades were produced for the Atari? 6.17) What MIDI enhancements are there for the Atari? 6.18) What graphics enhancements are there for the Atari? 6.19) What types of memory upgrades are there for the Atari? Core software: OS, BASIC, DOS, Modem handlers 7.1) What versions of the Atari Operating System (OS) are there? 7.2) What other operating systems have been produced for the Atari? 7.3) What is the ATASCII character set? 7.4) What is Atari BASIC? 7.5) What are Atari DOS I, DOS II, DOS 3, DOS 2.5, and DOS XE? 7.6) What are MyDOS, SpartaDOS, and other popular DOS versions? 7.7) How do I modify Atari DOS to support more than two drives? 7.8) Are there Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for the Atari? 7.9) What should I know about modem device handlers? Software 8.1) What programming languages are available for the Atari? 8.2) What cartridges were released for the Right Slot of the 800? 8.3) What games support 4 or more simultaneous players? 8.4) What programs run only on the 400 and 800 models, and why? 8.5) What programs use a light pen or a light gun? 8.6) What programs have a trackball mode or support a mouse? 8.7) What programs use paddle controllers? 8.8) What programs have a CX85 Numerical Keypad mode? 8.9) What programs use: Touch Tablet or KoalaPad/Animation Station? 8.10) What kinds of extra RAM and RAMdisks can be installed? 8.11) What programs support more than 64K RAM? 8.12) What programs require more than 64K RAM? 8.13) What voice/sound synthesis software is there for the Atari? 8.14) What programs support stereo and upgraded sound? 8.15) What games support online action via modem? 8.16) What programs support Atari computer networking? Working with Atari files: Compression, File formats, Copying 9.1) How can I work with .arc files on my 8-bit Atari? 9.2) What file formats for entire disks/tapes/cartridges are there? 9.3) How can I copy my copy-protected Atari software? Interoperating with "modern" computers 10.1) What programs can log in to other computers via modem? 10.2) What programs can I use to host a BBS on the Atari? 10.3) How can I read/write Atari disks on an MS-DOS PC? 10.4) How can I read/write MS-DOS PC disks on my Atari? 10.5) How do I transfer files using a null modem cable? 10.6) How can my PC utilize my Atari disk drive? 10.7) What about interoperating with the Apple Macintosh? 10.8) Are there 8-bit Atari tools for the Commodore Amiga? Timeline 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform?
Subject: 1.1) What is an Atari 8-bit computer? Based in Silicon Valley in the U.S.A., the company known as Atari produced a line of home computers from 1979 to 1992 often referred to collectively as the "Atari 8-bits," the "8-bit Ataris," the "400/800/XL/XE series," etc. The computers included the 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL, 65XE, 130XE, 800XE, and the XE video game system. Notable home computers that were introduced before the Atari 400/800: 1977: Apple II, Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 (Model I), Commodore PET Notable home computers that were introduced after the Atari 400/800: 1979: Texas Instruments TI-99/4 1980: Commodore VIC-20, TRS-80 Color Computer, Osborne 1 1981: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, IBM PC, Sinclair ZX81 / TS 1000, BBC Micro 1982: Kaypro II, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 1983: Coleco Adam, MSX 1984: Apple Macintosh, Amstrad CPC 1985: Atari ST, Commodore Amiga 1987: Acorn Archimedes In marketing their computers to the public, Atari always had to contend with their company history and reputation as a maker of video games. While the 8-bit Atari computers in their heyday were technically quite comparable if not superior in the worlds of home and business personal computing, they also live up to the name "Atari" with a huge library of video games which were often outstanding for their time. The 8-bit Atari computers do not use the same cartridges or floppy disks as any other Atari platforms, such as the 2600 Video Computer System (VCS), the 5200 SuperSystem, the 7800 ProSystem, or the ST/TT/Falcon computers. All of these but the 5200, however, do share the same joystick/controller hardware port. The 5200 SuperSystem is actually nearly identical to the 8-bit computers internally, yet cartridges for the 5200 and the 8-bit computers cannot be exchanged, primarily due to the physically different cartridge ports. Here are some of the performance specifications of the 8-bit Atari computers: CPU: 6502B (most 400/800 machines), or Atari SALLY 6502 (late 400/800 machines and all XL/XE machines) CPU CLOCK RATE: 1.7897725 MHz (NTSC machines), or 1.7734470 MHz (PAL/SECAM machines) FRAME REFRESH RATE: 59.94 Hz (NTSC machines), or 49.86 Hz (PAL/SECAM machines) MACHINE CYCLES per FRAME: 29859 (NTSC machines) (1.7897725 MHz / 59.94 Hz), or 35568 (PAL/SECAM machines) (1.7734470 MHz / 49.86 Hz) SCAN LINES per FRAME 262 (NTSC machines), or 312 (PAL/SECAM machines) MACHINE CYCLES per SCAN LINE 114 (NTSC machines: 29859 cycles/frame / 262 lines/frame) (PAL/SECAM machines: 35568 cycles/frame / 312 lines/frame) COLOR CLOCKS per MACHINE CYCLE 2 COLOR CLOCKS per SCAN LINE 228 (2 color clocks/machine cycle * 114 machine cycles/scan line) MAXIMUM SCAN LINE WIDTH = "WIDE PLAYFIELD" 176 color clocks MAXIMUM RESOLUTION = GRAPHICS PIXEL 0.5 color clock MAXIMUM HORIZONTAL FRAME RESOLUTION 352 pixels (176 color clocks / 0.5 color clock) MAXIMUM VERTICAL FRAME RESOLUTION 240 pixels (240 scan lines per frame) GRAPHICS MODES: ANTIC GTIA CIO/BASIC Display Resolution Number of Mode # Mode # Graphics # Type (full screen) Colors/Hues ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 0 Char 40 x 24 1 * 3 - Char 40 x 19 1 * 4 12 ++ Char 40 x 24 5 5 13 ++ Char 40 x 12 5 6 1 Char 20 x 24 5 7 2 Char 20 x 12 5 8 3 Map 40 x 24 4 9 4 Map 80 x 48 2 A 5 Map 80 x 48 4 B 6 Map 160 x 96 2 C 14 ++ Map 160 x 192 2 D 7 Map 160 x 96 4 E 15 ++ Map 160 x 192 4 F 8 Map 320 x 192 1 * +F 1 9 Map 80 x 192 1 ** +F 2 10 Map 80 x 192 9 +F 3 11 Map 80 x 192 16 *** * 1 Hue, 2 Luminances ** 1 Hue, 16 Luminances (GTIA); or, 1 Hue, 8 Luminances (FGTIA) *** 16 Hues, 1 Luminance + require the GTIA/FGTIA chip. (1979-1981 400/800's shipped with CTIA.) ++ Not available via the BASIC GRAPHICS command in 400/800 version of OS. (See a separate section in this FAQ list for a discussion of the "missing" ANTIC Modes 0 and 1.) GRAPHICS INDIRECTION (COLOR REGISTERS AND CHARACTER SETS): Nine color registers are available. Each color register holds any of 16 luminances x 16 hues = 256 colors. (Four registers are for player-missile graphics. Character sets of 128 8x8 characters, each with a normal and an inverse video incarnation, are totally redefinable. PLAYER-MISSILE GRAPHICS: Four 8-bit wide, 120 or 240 byte high single color players, and four 2-bit wide, 120 or 240 byte high single color missiles are available. A mode to combine the 4 missiles into a 5th 8-bit wide player is also available, as is a mode to OR colors or blacken out colors when players overlap (good for making three colors out of two players!) Players and missiles have adjustable priority and collision detection. DISPLAY LIST: Screen modes can be mixed (by lines) down the screen using the Display List - a program which is executed by the ANTIC graphics chip every screen refresh. DISPLAY LIST INTERRUPTS (DLIs): Other screen attributes (color, player/missile horizontal position, screen width, player/missile/playfield priority, etc.) can be adjusted at any point down the screen via DLIs. SCROLLING: Fine scrolling (both vertical and horizontal) can be enabled on any line on the screen. SOUND: Sound is monaural/monophonic (one channel output). Up to 4 separate simultaneous voices can be produced, configured as one of the following: - 4 voices, each with one of 256 unique frequencies/pitches - 2 voices, each with one of 65,536 unique frequencies/pitches - 1 voice with one of 65,536 pitches and 2 voices with one of 256 pitches Each voice may be produced with one of 8 available "noise" settings/ polynomial-counter combinations, commonly called "distortion" settings. (There are actually only 6 distinct combinations of 3 poly-counters offered, but one of the poly-counters has 2 available settings itself, resulting in 2 additional noise settings for the total of 8 available.) Each voice may be produced at one of 16 volumes. Direct control of the position of the speaker cone is also available, with 4-bit (16 position) resolution. Known as "volume only mode" on the Atari. A fifth "voice" is produced as a separate signal by the internal speaker on the Atari 400/800. This is typically used only for keyclick and buzzer. In XL/XE systems these sounds are output as part of the normal monaural audio output signal. VERTICAL BLANK INTERRUPTS (VBIs): A software routine may be designed to execute as a VBI. There are two varieties of VBI: Immediate and Deferred. An Immediate VBI completes execution within the vertical blank time, which is the time allotted for a CRT display to shut the electron beam off at the lower-right of the display and reposition it back on the top-left of the display to commence drawing of the next frame. A Deferred VBI routine completes execution between the initiation of one vertical blank and the next.
Subject: 1.2) What is the Atari 400? Released along with the 800 in 1979, the 400 was the low-end model of the two. The only 8-bit Atari with a membrane keyboard rather than a full-stroke keyboard. One of the few 8-bit Ataris lacking a composite monitor port. Originally released with just 8K RAM, but most were sold with 16K RAM. Atari sold the 48K RAM Expansion Kit for the 400, which required a little soldering, to dealers only. Most Atari 400 machines include a standard 6502 microprocessor, but late- production units use a revised CPU Board that features Atari's SALLY 6502. On the 400, joystick controller port #4 is the only port that supports a light pen or light gun. Features unique to the 400/800 models: - Four controller (joystick) ports - Internal speaker for keyclicks and system buzzer - Memo Pad mode - +12 volts on pin 12 of the SIO port Boot options: Memo Pad - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder. 3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program. Disk - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Versions of the Atari 400: o NTSC (North America) version - TV Channel switch: (2 - 3) - CTIA (early production) or GTIA (most) o PAL (Europe) version - TV Channel switch (channels vary by country) - GTIA Rare variation of the 400: o At least some of the few Atari 400 units (PAL) sold by Atari in France have been reported to include a built-in peritel cable. PICTURES, ANYONE??? http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62346&st=25 Atari marketing used the trademark, The Basic Computer, as an alternative name for the 400 from 1981-1982. The 400 was made in the USA (early production) and Hong Kong (later production). Production of the 400 ended in May 1983.
Subject: 1.3) What is the Atari 800? Released along with the 400 in 1979, the 800 was the high-end model of the two. The 800 is the only 8-bit Atari with a Right Cartridge slot, in addition to the Left Cartridge slot as present on all 8-bit Ataris. Originally released with just 8K RAM, many were sold with 16K, later on 48K was standard. The 800 is also the only 8-bit Atari with a four-slot modular design, where the first slot holds the CX801 (NTSC) or CX801.P (PAL) 10K ROM module, and the other three slots hold combinations of CX852 8K or CX853 16K RAM modules. Jason Harmon writes: (12 Feb 2004) "..the early ones had plastic cases on the ROM and RAM modules, and had two thumb tabs to remove the cover to access the modules. Later model 800s had 48K standard, and to improve cooling Atari installed them without the cases but put a small plastic strip across the tops of the cards to hold them in position. These machines also lost the thumb tabs and have regular screws to secure the cover over the memory slots." Most Atari 800 machines include a standard 6502 microprocessor, but late- production units use a revised CPU Board that features Atari's SALLY 6502. Features unique to the 400/800 models: - Four controller (joystick) ports - Internal speaker for keyclicks and system buzzer - Memo Pad mode - +12 volts on pin 12 of the SIO port Boot options: Memo Pad - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder. 3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program. Disk - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Versions of the Atari 800: o NTSC (North America) version - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 - CTIA (early production) or GTIA (most) o PAL (Europe) version - TV Channel switch (channels vary by country) - GTIA Rare variation of the 800: o At least some of the few Atari 800 units (PAL) sold by Atari in France have been reported to include an 8-bit DIN monitor port. PICTURES, ANYONE??? http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62346&st=25 The 800 was made in the USA. Production of the 800 ended in May 1983.
Subject: 1.4) What is the Atari 1200XL? Introduced as a big brother to the 400/800 in 1982 and shipped in 1983, the 1200XL was the biggest single step forward in development of the 8-bit Atari platform. Innovations in comparison to the 400/800 include a full 64K of RAM and a newly revised and expanded 16K Operating System. The 1200XL is the only Atari to feature two LED indicator lights (L1, L2). Normally they are both <OFF>. L1 <ON> means the keyboard is disabled. L2 <ON> means the new International Character Set is selected. Keyboard enhancements introduced with the 1200XL include the new [HELP] key as well as four programmable functions keys ([F1], [F2], [F3], [F4]). Clicks and system beeps output through the built-in speaker on the 400/800 are heard from the television or monitor speaker on the 1200XL. 1200XL Function key effects, redefinable: [F1] Cursor up [SHIFT]+[F1] Cursor to upper-left corner [F2] Cursor down [SHIFT]+[F2] Cursor to lower-left corner [F3] Cursor left [SHIFT]+[F3] Cursor to start of physical line [F4] Cursor right [SHIFT]+[F4] Cursor to end of physical line 1200XL Function key effects, non-redefinable: [CONTROL]+[F1] Keyboard enable/disable (console keys unaffected) [CONTROL]+[F2] Screen display enable/disable [CONTROL]+[F3] Key click sound enable/disable [CONTROL]+[F4] Domestic/International character set toggle A few features from the 400/800 are lacking in the 1200XL. Most prominently, the 1200XL has only 2 controller ports, and no Memo Pad mode. Also, the 1200XL lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5 on the Monitor port, and lacks the +12 volts on pin 12 of the SIO port. Furthermore, the 1200XL is the only Atari that lacks the +5 volts on pin 10 of the SIO port. Boot options: "ATARI" rainbow logo/graphics demo screen - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. - Press [HELP] from the "ATARI" logo screen to access Self Test program. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder. 3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program. Disk - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Box: "A Step Into the Future" The 1200XL was only produced in an NTSC version for North America. The 1200XL was made in the USA from January 1983 to May 1983, and in Taiwan from April 1983 to July 1983. By analyzing 1200XL serial numbers, Karl Heller estimates that fewer than 120,000 units total were produced, and possibly fewer than 100,000. See the "1200XL Owners List" thread on AtariAge: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=107234 Scott Stilphen mentioned this 1200XL easter egg on 10 Feb 2006: On 1200XLs, if you select 'all tests', when it gets to the keyboard test it'll type out the programmer's name. 1200XL visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/1200xl/
Subject: 1.5) What is the Atari 600XL? Released in 1983 as a replacement for the 400, the 600XL is the low-end version of the 800XL. The 600XL/800XL include most of the features of the 1200XL, minus the 4 Function keys, the 2 LED lights, and the "ATARI" logo screen. But both the 600XL and 800XL have the Atari BASIC language built-in. In addition, these two systems offer the Parallel Bus Interface (PBI), providing fast parallel access to the heart of the computer. The 600XL has 16K RAM. The Atari 1064 Memory Module expands the 600XL from 16K to 64K RAM. Boot options: Atari BASIC (Rev. B) - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Self Test program - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on the computer with no cartridge installed and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder. 3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program. Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Box: "Feature For Feature, Your Best Value" Versions of the Atari 600XL: o NTSC (North America) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by Atari, Inc. - No Monitor port - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 o PAL (Europe) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by Atari, Inc. - Includes Monitor port, but this lacks the separate luminance and chrominance video signals - No TV channel switch Rare variations of the 600XL: o Some late-model 600XLs were sold with 64K RAM. These may have only appeared in Canada. The box had a round gold foil sticker reading: "64k Memory -- Now with a full 64k of memory built-in." 5 different types of 600XL/800XL keyboards were nicely documented by Beetle here: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105170 The 600XL was made in Hong Kong and Japan. Production of the 600XL was discontinued by July 1984.
Subject: 1.6) What is the Atari 800XL? Released in 1983 as a replacement for the 800 and 1200XL, the 800XL is the high-end version of the 600XL. The 600XL/800XL include most of the features of the 1200XL, minus the 4 Function keys, the 2 LED lights, and the "ATARI" logo screen. But both the 600XL and 800XL have the Atari BASIC language built-in. In addition, these two systems offer the Parallel Bus Interface (PBI), providing fast parallel access to the heart of the computer. The 800XL contains 64K RAM. Boot options: Atari BASIC (Rev. B or Rev. C, see below) - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Self Test program - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on the computer with no cartridge installed and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [START] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder. 3. Press [RETURN] to load and run cassette program. Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled - Hold down [OPTION] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Box: "More Memory Means More Power" Versions of the Atari 800XL: o NTSC (North America) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by Atari, Inc. - Monitor port lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5 - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 - Atari BASIC Revision B - Made in Hong Kong and Taiwan. - Some internal pics: http://atarinside.dyndns.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=74 o PAL (Europe) version, produced fall 1983 to summer 1984 by Atari, Inc. - Monitor port lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5 - No TV channel switch - Atari BASIC Revision B - Visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/800xlpal/ - More internal pics: http://atarinside.dyndns.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=73 - Made in Hong Kong and Taiwan. o PAL (Europe) version, produced fall 1984 by Atari Corp. - "800XLF" motherboard - FREDDIE memory management chip - Earlier production: Monitor port lacks the chrominance signal on pin 5 Later production: chrominance signal is present on Monitor port pin 5 - No TV channel switch - Atari BASIC Revision C - Made in Taiwan. o SECAM (France) version, produced fall 1984 by Atari Corp. - "SECAM ROSE" motherboard - FREDDIE memory management chip - FGTIA, paired with the PAL ANTIC - Monitor port has unique pinout, 6 pins instead of 5; includes composite video but not chrominance nor luminance signals - No TV jack - No TV channel switch - Internal color/monochrome switch - Atari BASIC Revision C - Visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/800xlsecam - More internal pics: http://atarinside.dyndns.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=15 - Made in Taiwan. 5 different types of 600XL/800XL keyboards were nicely documented by Beetle here: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105170 Production of the 800XL was discontinued by 1985.
Subject: 1.7) What is the Atari 65XE? Introduced in 1985 as a direct replacement for the 800XL, the 65XE is a low- end version of the 130XE. The 65XE offers 64K RAM, and includes the FREDDIE memory management chip. The 65XE does not include the PBI port as on the 600XL/800XL, but many 65XE machines include the similar (though physically incompatible) Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI). Boot options: Atari BASIC (Rev. C) - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Self Test program - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge installed and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [Play] on the program recorder. 3. Press [Return] to load and run cassette program. Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Versions of the Atari 65XE: o NTSC (North America) without ECI port (common production) - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 o NTSC (North America) with ECI port (uncommon/rare late production) - NTSC 130XE motherboard - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 o PAL (Europe) version without ECI port (uncommon early production) - No TV channel switch o PAL (Europe) version with ECI port (common later production) - (Identical to 800XE) - PAL 130XE motherboard - No TV channel switch - Reports of some 65XE machines previously labeled as 800XE machines and vice versa. o PAL (Arabia) version - "65XEN" motherboard - ECI port - No TV channel switch - Arabic localized OS - More info: http://www.savetz.com/vintagecomputers/arabic65xe/ - Visual tour: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/65xearab (The 65XE was not marketed in France.) The 65XE was made in Taiwan (common) and China (late production).
Subject: 1.8) What is the Atari 130XE? Released in 1985, the 130XE is the high-end version of the 65XE/800XE. The 130XE offers 128K RAM, and includes the FREDDIE memory management chip. The 130XE does not include the PBI port as on the 600XL/800XL, but it does include the similar (though physically incompatible) Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI). Boot options: Atari BASIC (Rev. C) - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Self Test program - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge installed and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [Play] on the program recorder. 3. Press [Return] to load and run cassette program. Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Versions of the Atari 130XE: o NTSC (North America) version - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 o PAL (Europe) version - No TV channel switch o SECAM (France) version - FGTIA; PAL ANTIC - No TV jack - No TV channel switch - Color/Monochrome switch - a distant image of the rear of the unit, middle unit pictured here: http://www.silicium.org/oldskool/images/catalog/atari/atari_3xe_culs.jpg The 130XE was made in Taiwan (common) and China (late production).
Subject: 1.9) What is the Atari 800XE? Introduced in 1985 in markets including Germany and Eastern Europe as a direct replacement for the 800XL, the 800XE is a low-end version of the 130XE. The 800XE offers 64K RAM, and includes the FREDDIE memory management chip. The 800XE does not include the PBI port as on the 600XL/800XL, but it does include the similar (though physically incompatible) Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI). Boot options: Atari BASIC (Rev. C) - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Self Test program - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge installed and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [Play] on the program recorder. 3. Press [Return] to load and run cassette program. Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. The 800XE was produced in a PAL (Europe) version only: - Identical to common PAL 65XE version with ECI port: - PAL 130XE motherboard - TV channel switch: some include it, some do not - Reports of some 800XE machines previously labeled as 65XE machines and vice versa. Some images of the 800XE: http://www.silicium.org/oldskool/atari/800xe.htm Jindrich Kubec writes, "The problematic Chinese 800XEs with GTIA problems were manufactured in 1992." The 800XE was made in Taiwan (common) and China (late production). The 800XE was last manufactured in 1992.
Subject: 1.10) What is the Atari XE video game system? In a change of marketing strategy, Atari introduced the new XE video game system in 1987. The XE System is a true 8-bit Atari computer system. It offers the convenience of a detachable keyboard and built-in Missile Command game, while offering 64K RAM and full compatibility with the XL/XE computers. FREDDIE memory management chip included. The full XE Video Game System package included Keyboard, Light Gun, joystick, and the Flight Simulator II and Bug Hunt cartridges. http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/systems/xegamesystem.jpg Also sold separately: o XE System Console with joystick http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystem1.jpg o XE System Keyboard with Flight Simulator II cartridge http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystem3toetsenbord.jpg o XE System Light Gun XG-1 with Bug Hunt cartridge http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystemgun2.jpg Boot options: Missile Command (a) With XE keyboard not connected: - Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. (b) With XE keyboard connected: - Hold down [Select] while turning on the computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive. Self Test program - Hold down [Option] while turning on the computer with no cartridge installed and no powered disk drive. Cartridge - Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. Cassette 1. Hold down [Start] while turning on the computer. (System buzzer sounds.) 2. Press [Play] on the program recorder. 3. Press [Start] on the XE console to load and run cassette program. Disk, with Atari BASIC enabled (a) With XE keyboard not connected: - Hold down [Select] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. (b) With XE keyboard connected: - Turn on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Disk, with Atari BASIC disabled - Hold down [Option] while turning on computer with disk inserted in powered disk drive. Versions of the Atari XE System produced: o NTSC (North America) version - TV Channel switch: 2 - 3 o PAL (Europe) version - No TV channel switch o SECAM (France) version - FGTIA; PAL ANTIC - No TV channel switch The XE System Console was made in Taiwan.
Subject: 1.11) What are SALLY, ANTIC, CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, POKEY, and FREDDIE? Portions of this section are based on the "System Overview" Section, written by Atari's Cris Crawford, of Atari's De Re Atari (Atari#APX-90008). The full text of De Re Atari: http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/ The internal layout of the Atari 8-bit computer is very different from other systems. It of course has a microprocessor (a 6502), random-access memory (RAM), read-only memory (ROM), and a peripheral interface adapter (PIA, CO12298/CO14795, a standard 6520). However, it also has three special-purpose large-scale integration (LSI) chips known as ANTIC, one of CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, and POKEY. These chips were designed by Atari engineers primarily to take much of the burden of housekeeping off of the 6502, thereby freeing the 6502 to concentrate on computations. While they were at it, they designed a great deal of power into these chips. Each of these chips is almost as big (in terms of silicon area) as a 6502, so the three of them together provide a tremendous amount of power. Mastering the Atari 8-bit computers is primarily a matter of mastering these three chips. 6502/SALLY Central Processing Unit (CPU) -- 6502B (400/800,most):CO14377 ========== SALLY 6502 (400/800,late)(XL/XE,all):CO14806 The Microprocessor Unit (MPU), typically (and less-precisely) described as the Central Processing Unit (CPU), in most Atari 400/800 computers is a standard 40-pin 6502 microprocessor. More specifically, most Atari 400/800 computers use a 6502B, which is a standard 6502 rated for a maximum operating frequency of 3 MHz. The 6502 was designed by Chuck Peddle and Bill Mensch for MOS Technology in 1975. In addition to MOS Technology, the 6502B has also been produced by Synertek and Rockwell. Late production 400/800 computers and all of the Atari XL/XE computer models (plus the Atari 5200 and 7800 game systems) contain Atari's customized version of the 6502 chip, known (eventually) as SALLY. The innovation of the SALLY 6502 is the addition of the HALT' signal on pin 35. The SALLY 6502 also has a second R/W' signal on pin 36 (in addition to pin 34). Pins 35 and 36 are not connected on a standard 6502. The Atari's second microprocessor, ANTIC, must routinely interrupt the 6502 in order to utilize the processor bus for itself for direct memory access (DMA). HALT' on the SALLY 6502 facilitates this system design. Atari's earlier implementation of the same functionality in the 400/800 with the standard 6502 requires a series of 4 additional chips that are unnecessary in computers designed for the SALLY 6502. Note that before finally adopting the name SALLY, Atari briefly referred to their customized version of the 6502 by the name, "6502C". The Atari SALLY "6502C" is not to be confused with the standard 6502C, which is a standard 6502 rated for a maximum operating frequency of 4 MHz. 6502.org "the 6502 microprocessor resource": http://www.6502.org/ ANTIC -- 400/800/1200XL,NTSC:CO12296 400/800,PAL:CO14887 ===== 600XL/800XL/XE,NTSC:CO21697 XL/XE,PAL:CO21698 (The XL/XE PAL ANTIC is also used in SECAM XL/XE machines.) ANTIC ("AlphaNumeric Television Interface Controller" --FD100001 Rev.02 p.1-8) is a microprocessor dedicated to the television display. It is a true microprocessor; it has an instruction set, a program (called the display list), and data. The display list and the display data are written into RAM by the 6502. ANTIC retrieves this information from RAM using direct memory access (DMA). It processes the higher level instructions in the display list and translates these instructions into a real-time stream of simple instructions to CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA. ANTIC(NTSC) C012296 techical documentation by Atari: http://www.retromicro.com/files/atari/8bit/antic.pdf CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA -- CTIA(NTSC):CO12295 GTIA,PAL:CO14889 =============== GTIA,NTSC:CO14805 FGTIA(SECAM):CO20120 CTIA = "Color Television Interface Adaptor" --FD100001 Rev.02 p.1-10 GTIA = "Graphics Television Interface Adaptor" --FD100001 Rev.02 p.1-10 FGTIA = "French Graphics Television Interface Adaptor" (mc's guess) The CTIA, GTIA, or FGTIA is the television interface chip. ANTIC directly controls most of the operations of the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA, although the 6502 can also be programmed to intercede and control some or all of the functions of the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA. The CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA converts the digital commands from ANTIC (or the 6502) into the video signal output. In addition to its basic television/video interface function, the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA performs color-luminance control for the entire video signal, player-missile control, and both priority control and collision detection among player-missiles and the background. The CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA also reads the controller port trigger inputs, it reads console keys (Start/Select/Option), and it controls the built-in speaker in the 400/800. Early North American NTSC 400/800 models shipped with CTIA. Later NTSC 400/800 models, all PAL 400/800's, and all NTSC XL/XE and PAL XL/XE systems include GTIA. SECAM 800XL, 130XE and XE game systems include FGTIA. The GTIA is backwards-compatible with the CTIA, with the GTIA simply making available three additional graphics modes (GTIA Modes 1-3). Jerry Jessop adds: "The very first proto systems did have the GTIA, but it had some problems and was not released in the consumer version until 1981. The GTIA was completed before the CTIA." The FGTIA is software compatible with the GTIA. However, in GTIA Mode 1 the FGTIA can only display 8 distinct luminances, compared to the 16 distinct luminances that can be displayed in GTIA Mode 1 by the GTIA. The NTSC CTIA/GTIA were designed to interface with the NTSC ANTIC. The PAL GTIA and the FGTIA were designed to interface with the PAL ANTIC. Whether CTIA or GTIA/FGTIA is installed can be determined by observing what happens as a result of trying to enter a GTIA graphics mode. In Atari BASIC, at the "READY" prompt, type POKE 623,64 [RETURN]. If the screen blackens, you have the GTIA or FGTIA chip. If it stays blue, you have the early CTIA chip. Technical documentation by Atari: GTIA(NTSC) C014805: http://www.retromicro.com/files/atari/8bit/gtia.pdf FGTIA: http://ftp.pigwa.net/stuff/collections/nir_dary_cds/Tech%2520Info/FGTIA.PDF POKEY -- CO12294 ===== POKEY (name derived from POtentiometer and KEYboard) is a digital input/output (I/O) chip. It handles such disparate tasks as the serial I/O bus, audio generation, keyboard scan, and random number generation. It also digitizes the resistive paddle inputs and controls maskable interrupt (IRQ) requests from peripherals. POKEY Technical documentation by Atari: http://www.retromicro.com/files/atari/8bit/pokey.pdf FREDDIE -- 800XL(late),XE(all):CO61922/CO61991 ======= According to Atari's design specification, the "Freddie RAM" Memory Control Unit (MPU) is a custom LSI chip providing dynamic RAM (DRAM) control functions. It replaces a number of small-scale integration (SSI) and medium- scale integration (MSI) transistor-transistor logic (TTL) parts, including a custom delay line. FREDDIE multiplexes 16-bit RAM addresses from the processor bus into 8-bit row and 8-bit column addresses for direct use in the DRAM, and it generates row and column DRAM address timing strobes. FREDDIE was initially designed by Atari Inc. in 1983 as chip that would cut production costs for future XL computers. FREDDIE was finally incorporated by Atari Corp. into late-production 800XL computers and in all XE computers systems. "FREDDIE" or "FREDDY"? Atari technical documentation consistently uses "FREDDIE" while Atari end-user documentation (Owner's Manuals for all XE systems) consistently uses "FREDDY." This FAQ List adopts the original convention from Atari's technical documentation: "FREDDIE" FREDDIE technical documentation by Atari: www.atarimuseum.com/ahs_archives/archives/pdf/computers/8bits/freddie-mcu.pdf
Subject: 1.12) Why do the ANTIC Modes start with "Mode 2", what about 0 or 1? This section started by: Laurent Delsarte. Thanks also to Alphasys. Actually, the ANTIC graphic mode numbers are directly used as instructions in Display Lists (DL), to request the display of several lines of a specific text or graphic mode. For instance, the instruction "2" (for "Mode 2") in an ANTIC Display List requests 8 scan lines of "text 0". But the instructions "0" and "1" already have other meanings in an ANTIC Display List program: "0" means "display one blank line" "1" means "jump to location" and to be comprehensive, 16 (hex: 10), also means something special: "16" means "display two blank lines" Consequently, the first ANTIC mode is the "Mode 2", and the last one is "Mode 15". Here is the context of the full ANTIC display list instruction set: Instruction BASIC Scan Pixels Bytes Comments Decimal Hex mode lines line line Blank Line instructions 0 0 -- 1 -- -- 1 blank line 16 10 -- 2 -- -- 2 blank lines 32 20 -- 3 -- -- 3 blank lines 48 30 -- 4 -- -- 4 blank lines 64 40 -- 5 -- -- 5 blank lines 80 50 -- 6 -- -- 6 blank lines 96 60 -- 7 -- -- 7 blank lines 112 70 -- 8 -- -- 8 blank lines Character Mode instructions (text modes) 2 2 0 8 40 40 3 3 -- 10 40 40 Not supported by OS 4 4 12 8 40 40 400/800: Not supported by OS 5 5 13 16 40 40 400/800: Not supported by OS 6 6 1 8 20 20 7 7 2 16 20 20 Map Mode instructions (graphics modes) 8 8 3 8 40 10 9 9 4 4 80 10 10 A 5 4 80 20 11 B 6 2 160 20 12 C 14 1 160 20 400/800: Not supported by OS 13 D 7 2 160 40 14 E 15 1 160 40 400/800: Not supported by OS 15 F 8 1 320 40 Jump instructions (three bytes long) 1 1 -- -- -- -- JMP -- jump to location (creates one blank line on display) 65 41 -- -- -- -- JVB -- jump and wait until end of next vertical blank (VBLANK) Optional Modifiers to the above Character or Map Mode instructions: add add decimal hex bit Vertical scroll 16 10 4 Horizontal scroll 32 20 5 LMS Load Memory Scan 64 40 6 Optional Modifier to the above Blank Line or Jump instructions: DLI Display List Interrupt 128 80 7 More details of ANTIC display list programming can be found in the book "Mapping the Atari", Appendix 8 http://www.atariarchives.org/mapping/appendix8.php and also in the book "De Re Atari", Chapters 2, 5 and 6 http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chapt02.php ANTIC and the display list http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chapt05.php Display List Interrupts http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chapt06.php Scrolling
Subject: 1.13) What is the internal layout of the 8-bit Atari? ASCII art by Thomas Havemeister. -> +---------------------------------------+ | +---------------+ | | |CPU/SALLY(6502)| +-------+ | +---------------+ <- | I/O- | | | +----------|release| | +-+ | +-------+ | +---------+<- |p| | | | | MMU |-----| | | <-+---------+-|----------+----------+ *-| memory- | |r| *---| PIA | | (trigger)|Controller|====\ | |managment|-----|-+--------| (6520) | |+---------| Ports |====/ | +---------+<- |o| -> | +---------+-|-+ <--> +----------+ | | | | ||| | | | +-----+ |c| | <-+---------+ ||| |(light pen/light gun) | | RAM |<-A/D | | *---| ANTIC | ||| | | *---|8-128|-------|e|----|---|(2nd CPU)|---------------+ | | |Kbyte|->D | | -> | +---------+ ||| +--------------+ | +-----+ |s| | || ||| | | | | | <-+---------+-|||--------+(screen) | +-------+ |s| *---|CTIA/GTIA|-|+| | | | | Atari |<-A | |----|---| /FGTIA | | | | +----------+ +-----------+ | | BASIC |------|o| -> | +---------+ | | | | summary |===| modulator | *--|8 Kbyte|->D | | | | | | |connection|===| ^^^^^^^^^ | | | ROM | |r| | <-+---------+ | | | +----------+ +-----------+ | +-------+ | | +---| POKEY |-|-|-+ |(sound) | | | |--------| |-|-|--------+ | | +-------+ |b| -> +---------+ | +----------+ | | |AtariOS|<-A | | | | | | *--|10/16Kb|------|u| +--|----------+ | tv/monitor | | ROM |->D | +----------------- | | | ********** | +-------+ |s| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +-+ +-+ | | | | | | | | | +--------------*---|------------*---| | | | | | | | | | | +-----------+ +-----------+ +------------+ |ParallelBus| | Cartridge | | Serial | |Interface/ | | Slot | |Input/Output| | Enhanced | | ROM | | (SIO) | | Cartridge | +-----------+ +------------+ | Interface | | | +-----------+ | | | | | - memory expansion -cartridge with - disk drive - Z80 card programs - printer - 80 char card (games , dos ) - modem NOTES * RAM: 400: 8K or 16K standard 800: 8K, 16K, or 48K standard 600XL: 16K 1200XL/800XL/65XE/800XE/XEgs: 64K 130XE: 128K * ROM: 400/800: 10K (OS) 1200XL: 16K (OS) XEgs: 32K (16K OS + 8K Atari BASIC + 8K Missile Command) all other XL/XE: 24K (16K OS + 8K Atari BASIC) * CPU: 400/800(most): 6502B 400/800(late),XL/XE: Atari SALLY 6502 * 800 includes two Cartridge Slots, all others include one * CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA: Most: GTIA. Early 400/800: CTIA. SECAM XL/XE: FGTIA * 400/800 have 4 Controller Ports, all others have 2 * PBI is on 600XL/800XL only * ECI is on 130XE/800XE/later 65XE only * Some late XE's use a 68B21 for PIA; PIA is 6520/6520A on all others
Subject: 1.14) Who designed the Atari 8-bit computers? Section credits: Jerry Jessop, Scott Emmons, http://www.digitpress.com/, http://www.atarimuseum.com/ Special thanks: Mr. Doug Neubauer (via James Finnegan); Mr. Gregg Squires Atari 400/800 ("Colleen") hardware engineers: Steven T. Mayer - early system design, overall plan Joseph C. Decuir - ANTIC logic design, early system design, overall plan Jay G. Miner - System architect (became manager of development of both VLSI custom chips and OS software), overall plan Douglas G. Neubauer - POKEY logic design (also wrote: Star Raiders) George McLeod - CTIA/GTIA logic design Ronald E. Milner - early system design Francois Michel - ANTIC design Mark Shieu - POKEY chip design Steve Stone - POKEY layout design Steve Smith - Technician for ANTIC and GTIA Delwin Pearson - Technician for POKEY Kevin McKinsey - 400/800 case design Atari 400/800 Operating System software engineers: David Crane - OS design, programming Larry Kaplan - OS design, programming (also wrote: Video Easel, Super Breakout) Alan Miller - OS design, programming (also wrote: Basketball) Harry B. Stewart - consultant, OS design Gary Palmer - worked on the I/O portion Ian Shepard - disk drive functions Michael P. Mahar - Revision B fixes R. Scott Scheiman - Revision B fixes Atari 1200XL (Sweet-16/"Elizabeth"/"Liz") computer hardware engineers: (Atari NY Lab, then W.C.I. Labs, 300 E 42nd St, New York NY) Steven T. Mayer - Head of NY Lab, then Chairman and CEO, WCI Labs, Inc. Gregg Squires - Project Manager (previously of Racal-Vikonics) Robert (Bob) Card - Principal Engineer (previously of Racal-Vikonics) Steven Ray - Critical Electronics Layout Designer (previously of Racal-Vikonics) Joel Moskowitz - Mechanical Engineer Philippe des Rioux - project engineer Glenn Boles - project engineer Henry Dreyfuss Associates - Early case design concepts Risa Rosenberg - Secretary to Gregg Squires Atari 1200XL computer hardware engineers: (California) Regan Cheng - XL case design Atari 1200XL Operating System ("Z800" revs 10, 11) software engineers: Harry B. Stewart - External Reference Specification Lane Winner - ? R. Scott Scheiman - Handler Loader Y. M. (Amy) Chen - Relocating Loader; International Character Set Mike W. Colburn - Self Test Richard K. Nordin - ? Atari 600XL/800XL ("Surely"/"Surely Plus") computer hardware engineers: ? - ? Regan Cheng - XL case design ? - FREDDIE ? - FGTIA Atari 600XL/800XL Operating System ("Surely OS" Revs 1, 2) software engineers: R. Scott Scheiman \ Richard K. Nordin --- Support PBI and on-board BASIC Y. M. (Amy) Chen / Atari Corp. 800XL and XE systems hardware engineers: Jose A. Valdes - (at Atari from October 1979 - August 1989) Ira Velinsky - designer of the XE game system Atari Corp. XE Operating System (Revisions 3, 3B, 4) software engineers: ? - ?
Subject: 1.15) What issues surround NTSC vs. PAL vs. SECAM computer versions? Some quick definitions first: NTSC: "National Television Standards Committee" TV signal standard used in North America, Central America, a number of South American countries, and some Asian countries, including Japan. o 525 lines per frame o 60 half-frames per second (interlaced) = 60 Hz o Complete frame refreshed 30 times per second PAL: "Phase Alternation by Line" TV signal standard used in the United Kingdom, most of the rest of Europe, several South American countries, some Middle East and Asian countries, several African countries, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific island countries. o 625 lines per frame o 50 half-frames per second (interlaced) = 50 Hz o Complete frame refreshed 25 times per second. SECAM: "Sequentiel couleur avec memoire" TV signal standard still used in France, the former USSR, and some African countries. Until the 1980's SECAM was the standard in eastern Europe, including East Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. o 625 lines per frame o 50 half-frames per second (interlaced) = 50 Hz o Complete frame refreshed 25 times per second. While the above draws a clear distinction between NTSC and PAL/SECAM, a further discussion of the NTSC/PAL/SECAM color encoding systems will help to distinguish between all three standards. =-=-=-=-= This discussion by Laurent Delsarte (2008.12) (with minor edits by mc). First of all, it is important to remind that NTSC, PAL and SECAM are all color encoding systems. They are used in conjunction with older standards for the base monochrome signals--the old standards that were used when all the TV sets were still black & white. In other words, the first televisions standards, referenced with letters (M/B/G/I/K/etc.), were used to broadcast pure monochrome, black & white images. The NTSC, PAL and SECAM standards were then introduced to add a specific color signal to colorize this pure monochrome signal. When the color was introduced, the idea was to remain compatible with the existing old black & white TV sets, so that these old black & white TV sets would still continue to be able to display the image (but in black & white, obviously). In the television world, the black & white image, also known as the monochrome signal, is called the "luminance" ("Y" for short); whilst the color information is called the "chrominance" ("C" for short). For every dot defining the image, the "luminance" states how intense (ranging from pure black to pure white) the dot is. For every dot defining the image, the "chrominance" states what is the color of the dot (within the limit of the color palette that the color standard allows). In the Atari 8-Bit world, the "luminance" notion can be understood if you use the standard Graphics mode 9: you have just one color at your disposal (say, white), and all you can do is draw graphics using 16 intensities of white (ranging from pure black to pure white). And the "chrominance" notion can be understood if you use the standard Graphics mode 11: you have 16 colors at your disposal, but they all have the same intensity. You control the color, but not the brightness of the color. To display a black & white image, the "luminance" ("Y") signal is enough. To display a color image, the "luminance" ("Y") and the "chrominance" ("C") signals are needed. When a black & white TV set receives a color signal, it uses the "Y" signal as usual and remains unaware of the existence of the "C" signal. When a color TV set receives the same color signal, it processes both "Y" & "C". In practice, the chrominance ("C") is transmitted with two separate signals, "U" and "V". Now you probably recognize the familiar "YUV" acronym you've surely seen in discussions related to TV signals. To simplify, PAL & SECAM signals are quite similar, except that they use a different way to transmit the "U" & "V" signals ("chrominance"). PAL transmits "U" & "V" together, then the same "U" & "V" information again but slightly differently, to increase the accuracy. SECAM transmits "U" then "V". The way that PAL vs. SECAM handle color is thus very different but since the black & white TV standards were quite similar across Europe (625 lines / 50 Hz), a PAL TV set is very likely to be able to display a SECAM video signal (and the other way around), but in black & white (because it can decode "Y" but not "U" nor "V"). The situation is totally different with NTSC vs. PAL. Although they are very similar in the way they handle color, they are based on totally different black & white TV standards (625 lines/50 Hz for PAL, 525 lines/60 Hz for NTSC). You have to remember that, by design, the 50 & 60 Hz display refresh frequencies were based on the mains (household electric power supply) frequencies: 110v 60Hz in USA and 220-240v 50Hz in Europe. Up to the mid-80s, devices that were able to handle both 50 & 60 Hz video signals were very expensive. Nowadays (2009), almost any PAL TV set is able to display a 60 Hz NTSC video signal. While it often enough to distinguish between NTSC/PAL/SECAM, in practice each color encoding system has been combined with multiple earlier monochrome broadcast standards. Thus, to fully specify the broadcast signal standard used in any given country, both color system and base monochrome system is indicated. Common examples: NTSC M, PAL B/G, SECAM L. A more complete list: NTSC M : USA NTSC J : Japan PAL B/G : Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Suisse, Algeria, Turkey, Ghana, India, Israel, New-Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. PAL I : United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong. PAL D/K : Romania, China, Burundi, Cameroun, etc. PAL M : Brazil. PAL N : Argentina, Uruguay. SECAM L/L': France, Monaco SECAM B/G : Greece, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, etc. SECAM D/K : Bulgaria, C.E.I., DOM TOM, etc. In France (Europe), in the early 80s, it was possible to buy "SECAM" devices (TV set, VCR, etc...) or "PAL/SECAM" devices; the latter - being able to process both SECAM and PAL signals - were more expensive. For instance, "PAL/SECAM" TV sets were popular among movies addicts (owning high end equipment such as PAL LaserDisc players, etc) and for people living close to a PAL-broadcasting country (at the Belgian border for instance, to receive the PAL Belgian French-speaking programs). Last but not least, some companies did manufacture some PAL-to-RGB "video translators" devices, to convert a PAL signal into a universal RGB signal, that most SECAM TV sets were able to accept as video input. These PAL-to-RGB "video translators" were quite useful to display PAL signals (from various home computers, including PAL Atari XL & PAL Commodore 64) on SECAM TV sets. The models manufactured by "CGV" (the company still exists, www.cgv.fr) were very popular and widely available in the computer shops. (actual pictures available: http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/cgv-pvp80.zip ) Consequently, in 1984, Atari France was not afraid to distribute PAL 600XL & 800XL computers in a SECAM country (although it could increase the total cost of the solution). Indeed, it would have been dangerous to ignore this market, where other US competitors were already present and successful (Commodore 64, Apple II, etc). The French owners of the PAL Atari XL computers had two choices: - Use a PAL/SECAM TV set - Buy a PAL-to-RGB converter, and use a common SECAM TV set A couple of months later (Q4, 1984), the SECAM Atari 800XL computers were finally available. It is worth noting that in the early 80s the Atari 400 and 800 models had also both been officially distributed in France, but only the PAL models, and only in specialized computers shops. Consequently, they were more difficult to acquire, very expensive and limited to wealthy amateurs. =-=-=-=-= Piotr Fusik writes (3/06): In Poland we had PAL Ataris, which was a problem in the time of SECAM. You could connect a PAL Atari to a SECAM TV, but there was no color and (IIRC) no sound. The solution was to buy an inexpensive converter mounted inside the TV, so the TV supported PAL in addition to SECAM. This was quite popular, because the VCRs were PAL, too. =-=-=-=-= In some ways the specifications of the hardware in the 8-bit Atari computer are closely linked to the specifications of the television signal standard used in the market where the machine was designed to be used. Thus there were different versions of the Atari computers produced for different markets, based on the TV standards used in those markets: NTSC versions: 400,800,1200XL,600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XEgs PAL B versions: 400,800,600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XEgs PAL I versions: 400,800,600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XEgs SECAM versions: 800XL,130XE,XEgs NTSC computers contain NTSC versions of the ANTIC and CTIA/GTIA chips; PAL computers contain PAL versions of the ANTIC and GTIA chips; SECAM computers contain a PAL version of the ANTIC chip, and the FGTIA chip. =-=-=-=-= So with all that out of the way... What are the software compatibility issues surrounding all these different NTSC/PAL-B/PAL-I/SECAM versions of the Atari 8-bit computers? -- PAL B and PAL I computers differ only in the TV channel frequencies used by the RF signal produced. So in terms of sofware compatibility, all PAL Atari computers are indistinguishable. -- The FGTIA is designed to be 100% software compatible with the PAL GTIA. This fact, along with the fact that SECAM computer models include a PAL ANTIC, mean that the PAL and SECAM versions of the Atari computers are completely software compatible, but with one practical exception: in GTIA Graphics Mode 1 (BASIC Graphics mode 9), while the GTIA can display 16 distinct luminances, the FGTIA can only display 8 distinct luminances. Thus the situation essentially simplifies down to just two sets of Atari computers that may have potential software compatibility issues between them: NTSC computers vs. PAL/SECAM computers =-=-=-=-= What might happen if you run a software program designed with an NTSC Atari on a PAL or SECAM Atari, or a program designed with a PAL or SECAM Atari on an NTSC Atari? There are a number of possibilities: 1) The program may run faster or slower than intended. In order to work with the different timings of the NTSC and PAL/SECAM video signal standards, components of the NTSC versions of the Atari computers run at slightly different speeds than they due on PAL/SECAM Atari computers. The CPU clock rate of the PAL/SECAM Atari computer is slightly slower than that of the NTSC Atari: NTSC machines: 1.7897725 MHz PAL/SECAM machines: 1.7734470 MHz Software timing that is based exclusively on the CPU clock rate would thus run nearly 1% faster/slower on the opposite type of Atari. This effect, while small, can be significant in applications that are computation- or timing- sensitive, such as music players, or in any programs designed to simulate real time. The screen refresh rate of the PAL/SECAM Atari computer is considerably slower than that of the NTSC Atari: NTSC machines: 59.94 Hz PAL/SECAM machines: 49.86 Hz Software that operates as a Vertical Blank Interrupt (VBI), that is, software that is repeatedly executed during the times between screen frame refreshes, is thus executed at considerably different frequencies on NTSC machines vs. PAL/SECAM machines. Based on this effect alone, a VBI programmed on an NTSC machine would run 16.8% slower on PAL/SECAM machines. Conversely, a VBI programmed on a PAL/SECAM machine would run 20.2% faster on NTSC machines. (59.94Hz-49.86Hz=10.08Hz ; 10.08Hz/59.94Hz=16.8% ; 10.08Hz/49.86Hz=20.2%) These calculations ignore the above-mentioned CPU clock rate differences, which would also come into play. 2) The program may exhibit some sort of "screen flickering" effect. The ANTIC display list is the software program responsible for the video display, horizontal scan line by horizontal scan line. There are 262 lines available in the (non-interlaced) NTSC video signal, while there are 312 lines available in the (non-interlaced) PAL/SECAM video signal. If software written on a PAL/SECAM machine sets up an ANTIC display list that is made up of more scan lines than are available in the NTSC video standard, the program will exhibit a "screen flickering" effect if run on the NTSC Atari. 3) The system may crash. NTSC and PAL/SECAM machines have different numbers of machine cycles available for execution of software routines designed as vertical blank interrupts (VBIs). An Immediate VBI must complete execution within the number of machine cycles available during the vertical blank time: NTSC: 2508 machine cycles (262 NTSC scanlines - 240 Atari scanlines) * 114 cycles/scanline PAL/SECAM: 8208 machine cycles (312 PAL/SECAM scanlines - 240 Atari scanlines) * 114 cycles/scanline 8208 - 2508 = 5700 PAL/SECAM machines have a total of 5700 more machine cycles available for Immediate VBIs than are available on NTSC machines. A Deferred VBI must complete execution within the number of machine cycles available from one vertical blank to the next. The number of machine cycles available for a Deferred VBI depends upon the ANTIC Display List in use, but the upper limit may be derived from the total number of machine cycles per frame: NTSC: 29859 machine cycles / frame PAL/SECAM: 35568 machine cycles / frame 35568 - 29859 = 5709 PAL/SECAM machines could have as many as 5709 more machine cycles available for Deferred VBIs than are available on NTSC machines. If there are not enough machine cycles available on an NTSC machine to execute a VBI that was developed on a PAL/SECAM machine, the NTSC system will crash. 4) The colors displayed by the program are not what was intended. When utilizing ANTIC graphics modes 2, 3, or 15, NTSC Atari computers exhibit unique color artifacting effects that are not present on PAL/SECAM Atari computers. (Artifacting is discussed elsewhere in this FAQ list.) As a result, software that utilizes one of these high-resolution graphics modes can appear to be using very different colors on NTSC machines in comparison to PAL/SECAM machines. Also, the additional color frequency generation circuitry present in PAL/SECAM machines produces a color palette that is similar to, though different from, the color palette of NTSC Atari computers. These differences are subtle enough that they are generally not problematic. 5) The program may explicitly refuse to run on incorrect hardware. Software may be designed to determine whether the Atari is NTSC or PAL/SECAM, and refuse to run if the hardware present does not match what is expected. 6) The program may not load correctly at all. This would mostly likely result from copy protection techniques based upon precise hardware timing associated with disk drives, cassette recorders, or components of the computer itself, where the timing was not anticipated to vary depending upon NTSC vs. PAL/SECAM hardware. According to Jindroush (2/26/02), two examples of programs that run on NTSC machines but not PAL/SECAM machines as a result of timing-based copy protection techniques (probably based on vblank timing) are Transylvania and The Quest, both by Penguin Software. 7) The program may run fine on both NTSC and PAL/SECAM machines. Either the differences are too slight to matter, or the software may be sophisticated enough to detect NTSC vs. PAL/SECAM hardware, as described above, and act accordingly. An example of a program that alters its behavior depending upon detection of NTSC versus PAL/SECAM is Ghostbusters by Activision (checks the GTIA type). =-=-=-=-=-=-= How can software determine whether it is running on NTSC or PAL/SECAM hardware? Several techniques are available to programmers, as follows: (1) On XL/XE systems (not 400/800 systems), the OS provides a flag called PALNTS at decimal memory location 98 (hex: $62). PALNTS indicates whether the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA has reported itself to be NTSC or PAL/SECAM, where 0 means NTSC, or 1 means PAL/SECAM. In Atari BASIC, enter "? PEEK(98)" to determine the value of the PALNTS flag. (2) An approach which works on all 400/800/XL/XE systems is to use the same method used by the XL/XE OS to set the value of the PALNTS flag described above. That is, to read and interpret the "PAL" memory flag, decimal location 53268 (hex: $D014). The value of PAL is provided by the CTIA/GTIA/FGTIA chip itself. Meanings are: Bit 1-3 clear (xxxx000x) = PAL/SECAM Bit 1-3 set (xxxx111x) = NTSC (Proper interpretation of the value returned by PEEK(53268) in Atari BASIC would thus be a bit of a programming challenge. This is left to the reader!) (3) Software may determine NTSC or PAL/SECAM by determining how many scan lines are being generated by ANTIC. The NTSC ANTIC generates 262 scan lines, while the PAL ANTIC generates 312 scan lines. (This technique is utilized by the "Numen" demo by Taquart, which refuses to run on an NTSC ANTIC.) =-=-=-=-=-=-= Bottom line: Software written for NTSC machines (North America) will (almost) always work on PAL/SECAM machines (Europe), but software designed on PAL/SECAM machines sometimes won't work as intended on NTSC machines. Replacing the NTSC ANTIC chip in an NTSC Atari with a PAL ANTIC changes the screen refresh rate to 50Hz, allowing most of the PAL/SECAM-only European software to run on a North American NTSC Atari. However, make sure your display device can support a 50Hz PAL signal first! North American Atari users might also obtain and use real European PAL or SECAM Atari machines, with the same caveat concerning the display device.
Subject: 1.16) What are the pinouts for the various ports on the Atari? Controller Port (male jack)(4 on 400/800, 2 on all others): 1 5 o o o o o o o o o 6 9 trackball (CX22) meanings: 1. (Joystick) Forward Input- - - - - X Direction 2. (Joystick) Back Input - - - - - -X Motion 3. (Joystick) Left Input - - - - - - Y Direction 4. (Joystick) Right Input - - - - - Y Motion 5. B Potentiometer Input 6. Trigger Input/Light Pen/Light Gun Input (400 supports a light pen or 7. +5V light gun in port 4 only) 8. Ground 9. A Potentiometer Input Serial I/O (SIO)/Peripheral port (male jack)(all machines): 2 12 o o o o o o o o o o o o o 1 13 1. Clock Input 8. Motor Control 2. Clock Output 9. Proceed' 3. Data Input 10. +5V/Ready (1200XL lacks +5V thanks to current 4. Ground limit resistor R63. Replace R63 with a jumper 5. Data Output wire to enable +5V on this pin on the 1200XL.) 6. Ground 11. SIO Audio Input 7. Command' 12. 400/800: +12V ; XL/XE: Not Connected 13. Interrupt' Monitor port (female jack): (all but 400, NTSC 600XL, SECAM 800XL, 3 o o 1 SECAM 130XE, XEgs) o o 5 o 4 2 1. Composite Luminance (except PAL 600XL: Not Connected) 2. Ground 3. Audio Output 4. Composite Video 5. Composite Chrominance (except 1200XL: Not Connected; PAL 600XL: Ground; all but very late-production 800XL: Not Connected) Monitor port (female jack)(SECAM 800XL, SECAM 130XE): THIS PINOUT REMAINS QUESTIONABLE. STILL LOOKING FOR DOCUMENTATION FROM A NON-WEB SOURCE. 5 1 1. +12V 5mA max (Select - held at +5V to cause the TV to o 6 o switch to this video source) o 2. Audio (High Level - amplitude about 6 x regular Audio - o o unused by Atari-distributed Peritel cable) 4 o 2 3. Audio 3 4. Composite Video 5. Ground (common for audio & video) 6. +5V 100mA max (UHF power modulator - unused by Atari-distributed Peritel cable) The standard video cable provided by Atari France with every SECAM 800XL (? and 130XE ?) has the male 6-pin DIN on one end, and a standard male Peritel connector on the other end, with this pinout: 2. Audio (right channel, from port pin #3) _20_________________2_ 4. Ground (for audio, from port pin #5) \ o o o o o o o o o o | 6. Audio (left channel, from port pin #3) (21)\ o o o o o o o o o o| 8. +5V (Select, from port pin #1) 19------------------1 17. Ground (for video, from port pin #5) 20. Composite video (from port pin #4) Power (female jack)(all but 400,800,1200XL): 7 6 1. +5V o o 2. Shield 3 o o 1 3. Ground o o 4. +5V 5 o 4 5. Ground 2 6. +5V 7. Ground Cartridge Slot (present on all machines; Left Cartridge Slot on 800): A B C D E F H J K L M N P R S o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 1 15 1. S4' Chip Select--$8000 to $9FFF A. RD4 ROM present--$8000 to $9FFF 2. A3 CPU Address bus line B. GND Ground 3. A2 CPU Address bus line C. A4 CPU Address bus line 4. A1 CPU Address bus line D. A5 CPU Address bus line 5. A0 CPU Address bus line E. A6 CPU Address bus line 6. D4 CPU Data bus line F. A7 CPU Address bus line 7. D5 CPU Data bus line H. A8 CPU Address bus line 8. D2 CPU Data bus line J. A9 CPU Address bus line 9. D1 CPU Data bus line K. A12 CPU Address bus line 10. D0 CPU Data bus line L. D3 CPU Data bus line 11. D6 CPU Data bus line M. D7 CPU Data bus line 12. S5' Chip Select--$A000 to $BFFF N. A11 CPU Address bus line 13. +5V P. A10 CPU Address bus line 14. RD5 ROM present--$A000 to $BFFF R. R/W' CPU read/write 15. CCTL' Cartridge control select S. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock Right Cartridge Slot (800 only): A B C D E F H J K L M N P R S o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 1 15 1. R/W' CPU read/write late A. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock 2. A3 CPU Address bus line B. GND Ground 3. A2 CPU Address bus line C. A4 CPU Address bus line 4. A1 CPU Address bus line D. A5 CPU Address bus line 5. A0 CPU Address bus line E. A6 CPU Address bus line 6. D4 CPU Data bus line F. A7 CPU Address bus line 7. D5 CPU Data bus line H. A8 CPU Address bus line 8. D2 CPU Data bus line J. A9 CPU Address bus line 9. D1 CPU Data bus line K. A12 CPU Address bus line 10. D0 CPU Data bus line L. D3 CPU Data bus line 11. D6 CPU Data bus line M. D7 CPU Data bus line 12. S4' Chip Select--$8000 to $9FFF N. A11 CPU Address bus line 13. +5V P. A10 CPU Address bus line 14. RD4 ROM present--$8000 to $9FFF R. R/W' Read/write 15. CCTL' Cartridge control select S. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock Parallel Bus Interface (PBI) (600XL and 800XL only): 1 49 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 2 50 1. GND Ground 2. EXTSEL' External Select 3. A0 CPU Address bus line 4. A1 CPU Address bus line 5. A2 CPU Address bus line 6. A3 CPU Address bus line 7. A4 CPU Address bus line 8. A5 CPU Address bus line 9. A6 CPU Address bus line 10. GND Ground 11. A7 CPU Address bus line 12. A8 CPU Address bus line 13. A9 CPU Address bus line 14. A10 CPU Address bus line 15. A11 CPU Address bus line 16. A12 CPU Address bus line 17. A13 CPU Address bus line 18. A14 CPU Address bus line 19. GND Ground 20. A15 CPU Address bus line 21. D0 CPU Data bus line 22. D1 CPU Data bus line 23. D2 CPU Data bus line 24. D3 CPU Data bus line 25. D4 CPU Data bus line 26. D5 CPU Data bus line 27. D6 CPU Data bus line 28. D7 CPU Data bus line 29. GND Ground 30. GND Ground 31. B02,Phi2 CPU Phase 2 clock 32. GND Ground 33. NC Reserved 34. RST' Reset output 35. IRQ' Interrupt request 36. RDY' Ready input 37. NC Reserved 38. EXTENB' CPU External decoder Enable 39. NC Reserved 40. REF' Refresh cycle 41. CAS' Column Address Strobe 42. GND Ground 43. MPD' Math Pack (FP) Disable 44. RAS' Row Address Strobe 45. GND Ground 46. LR/W' Latched read/write 47. 800XL: NC. 600XL: +5V 48. 800XL: NC. 600XL: +5V 49. Audio input 50. GND Ground Enhanced Cartridge Interface (ECI)/Expansion port (130XE, 800XE, & later 65XE) A B C D E F H o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 1 7 A. Reserved 1. EXTSEL' External Select B. IRQ' Interrupt request 2. RST' Reset output C. HALT' Halt CPU 3. D1XX' Chip select at area $D1xx D. A13 CPU Address bus line 4. MPD' Math Pack (FP) Disable E. A14 CPU Address bus line 5. Audio input F. A15 CPU Address bus line 6. REF' Refresh cycle H. GND Ground 7. +5V Keyboard Port (XE System console only): 1 8 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 9 15 1. KR2 Keyboard Response 8. K2 Keyboard Scan 2. K3 Keyboard Scan 9. Ground 3. K4 Keyboard Scan 10. Not Connected 4. K5 Keyboard Scan 11. Ground 5. KR1 Keyboard Response 12. Not Connected 6. K0 Keyboard Scan 13. Trigger 2 7. K1 Keyboard Scan 14. 5 VDC 15. 5 VDC
Subject: 2.1) What video display devices and speakers can I use with my Atari? The Atari 8-bit computers produce a single video signal and monophonic audio. The 400/800 models also produce some sounds (primarily the keyclick and system buzzer sounds) by way of an internal speaker. Most 8-bit Atari computers put out their video and audio signals in two places: 1) Television cable (400/800) or jack (all XL/XE but SECAM 800XL, SECAM 130XE) This provides an analog Radio-Frequency (RF) signal carrying both video and audio. The Atari's RF signal may be used on a television that: - Supports use of an external RF antenna (normally for viewing over-the-air TV broadcasts) - Can decode an analog television signal (NTSC or PAL or SECAM, matching the version of the computer) - Has a tuner that can additionally tune to the necessary TV channel(s) used by the Atari If the television has a speaker then it should support the Atari's sound output as well. All NTSC (North America) Atari 8-bit computers make the RF audio/video signal available on a choice of two television frequencies, selected with a physical switch located on the back of the computer (on the side of the 800): - 55.25MHz video/59.75MHz audio (TV Channel 2 in North America), or - 61.25MHz video/65.75Mhz audio (TV Channel 3 in North America) PAL (Europe) Atari 400/800 computers also make the RF audio/video signal available on a choice of two television frequencies, selected with a physical switch located on the back of the 400, or on the side of the 800. PAL 400/800 computers intended for use in "PAL I" countries (UK) use: - 607.25MHz video/613.25MHz audio (TV Channel 38 in the UK) - 615.25MHz video/621.25MHz audio (TV Channel 39 in the UK) PAL 400/800 computers intended for use in "PAL B" countries (Europe) use: - 55.25MHz video/60.75 audio ` TV Channel 3 in Western Europe ` TV Channel 2 in Eastern Europe (approx.) ` TV Channel 1 in Australia (approx.) - 62.25MHz video/67.75MHz audio ` TV Channel 4 in Western Europe ` TV Channel 2 in Eastern Europe (approx.) ` TV Channel 1 in Australia (approx.) PAL (Europe) Atari XL/XE computers make the RF audio/video signal available on a single television frequency. PAL XL/XE computers intended for use in "PAL I" countries (UK) use: - 591.25MHz video/597.25MHz audio (TV Channel 36 in the UK) PAL XL/XE computers intended for use in "PAL B" countries (Europe) use: - 62.25MHz video/67.75MHz audio ` TV Channel 4 in Western Europe ` TV Channel 2 in Eastern Europe (approx.) ` TV Channel 1 in Australia (approx.) SECAM (France) Atari XE Game Systems make the RF audio/video signal available on a single television frequency: - 591.25MHz video/597.75MHz audio (TV Channel 36 in France) Other than the frequency of the RF signal produced, there is no difference between the "PAL I" and "PAL B" versions of PAL Atari computers. If your country is not included above, Wikipedia has a nice table of television channel frequencies used around the world that you may find helpful for determining the channel to tune your TV to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_channel_frequencies ** NOTE: MC has worked with limited reports to determine the channels used ** around the world. I would greatly appreciate any corrections/additions to ** the information provided here! In particular, I'm looking to verify the ** actual RF signal frequencies produced by the Atari. ** The above frequency values are only taken from the channels reported to be ** used in various countries. Accessories needed (typical setup): a) RF Cable / TV Video Cable, a proprietary cable for Atari XL/XE computers The input end is a phono plug that plugs into the Switch Box/ Television jack on the computer. The output end is a phono plug that plugs into the TV Switch Box. The 400/800 models have no Switch Box/Television jack. Instead, there is a cable that comes out of the back of the computer. This cable carries the RF signal. The output end is a phono plug that plugs into the TV Switch Box. b) TV Switch Box This includes a phono jack for RF signal input from the Atari, input connector(s) for your TV/cable/satellite antenna, and 75- and/or 300-ohm output connector(s) for connection to the antenna input on the television. While the display quality of the RF video signal may be adequate, the quality of the video provided at the Atari's Monitor port is noticeably superior. 2) Monitor port A proprietary 5-pin DIN (SECAM: 6-pin) Monitor port, which along with the audio signal actually provides two video signals: a) Composite video b) Y/C Video, also known as S-Video: separate composite luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals The separate chrominance/luminance video signal is noticeably superior to both the RF television output and the composite video output. Monitor port exceptions among Atari computer models: -the 400, NTSC 600XL, and XE game system lack the Monitor port. -the SECAM 800XL and SECAM 130XE have a different, 6-pin Monitor port that provides composite video but not separate chrominance/luminance signals -the XE game system includes a phono Monitor Video Jack providing the composite video signal, and also a phono Monitor Audio Jack providing the audio signal. -The 1200XL, PAL 600XL, and 800XL(all but very late production) lack the separate chrominance signal at the Monitor port, and the PAL 600XL also lacks the separate luminance signal at the Monitor port. Any video display monitor that supports composite video input (this generally includes modern televisions) should be able to display the Atari's composite video signal. Monitors with built-in speakers for audio support, and monitors with support for separate chrominance/luminance video inputs, are preferred for use with the Atari. Commodore produced many monitors with separate chrominance and luminance inputs, making them popular with Atari users. Lonnie McClure provides this list of suitable Commodore monitors: 1701, 1702, 1802, CM-141, 1080, 2002, 1902, 1902A*, 1084**, 1084S** * The 1902A used a DIN connector for chrominance/luminance, which makes cabling a bit more of a problem. The composite and audio connectors are standard phono jacks, however. ** The 1084 and 1084S had more than one version. Some used the a DIN connector for chrominance/luminance connections, like the 1902A, while some used standard phono jacks. The 1902 and 1902A are very different in appearance. The original 1902 shares the same slightly rounded front case design as the 1080 and 2002, while the 1902A is has a rather square case design, and was manufactured by Magnavox (as were some of the 1084 and 1084S versions). The pinout for the Atari Monitor port is in the pinouts section of this FAQ list. The typical Atari monitor cable includes the male 5-pin DIN connector on one end, and two phono plugs on the other end. One of the phono plugs will carry the monophonic sound signal, and the other will carry the composite video signal. Atari's own CX89 Color Monitor Cable is of this type. You may find an Atari monitor cable where the video signal carried on the second phono plug is not the composite video signal, but is rather the composite luminance signal. These cables are for use with monochrome composite video monitors (usually green or amber). Atari's own CX82 Black and White Monitor Cable is of this type. The ideal Atari monitor cable includes 4 phono plugs at the output end, carrying the sound signal, the composite video signal, the composite luminance signal, and the composite chrominance signal. Only the best composite monitors include separate chrominance and luminance inputs. When the separate chrominance and luminance connectors are used, the composite video connector is not used. There is no real standard for colors for the different monitor cable connectors. It is safe to identify them by trial and error. The separate composite chrominance and luminance signals that the Atari puts out comprise what the world has since come to call Y/C video or S-video. S-video connectors are normally Mini4. It is possible to build a cable, or purchase several adapters, that can allow you to utilize the separate Y/C signals generated by the Atari with a television (or other display device) that provides a standard S-video Mini4 input jack. This is the ultimate display option for the 8-bit Atari. Clarence Dyson has a nice page about such a project at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/svideo.html . A "video scaler" or "up-converter" is an adapter that will accept an input video signal such as RF, composite video, or s-video, and output a conversion of the signal as a standard VGA video signal. With such a device, the 8-bit Atari can be used with a standard PC VGA monitor. Examples: - AV Toolbox manufactures several suitable adapters, listed at: http://www.avtoolbox.com/upconpage.shtml - Ambery markets their "Ultra Video to VGA Converter", see: http://www.ambery.com/vitoxgacoscs.html and other suitable, more expensive Video to VGA/RGBHV Converter Scalers: http://www.ambery.com/vitovgcosc.html - Earlier popular devices included: - Cheese Video Box from AV Toolbox - JAM!! from AIMS Lab. Some people report good results viewing the Atari computer's video signal through a PC using a TV/video capture card. Wikipedia's article about such devices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_capture_card SCART - an acronym for Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorecepteurs et Televiseurs - is a 21-pin universal connecting cable/socket system used for audio/video components in Europe. The cables transmit RGB, composite video, S-Video, mono and stereo sound. SCART, which is also known as PERITEL, EURO AV BUS and EUROCONECTOR, is common throughout Europe, particularly in France, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. SCART is also very popular in the Russian Audio Video market. It is possible to interface the Atari's composite video signal, along with the audio signal. DGS sells such a cable, see: http://www.dgs.clara.net/ Two current sources for Atari monitor connectivity products: More Than Games produces "A8 A/V BOB", an audio/video breakout box featuring phono jacks for composite video, chrominance, luminance, and mono audio; it also features an s-video jack providing chrominance and luminance. http://morethangames.a8maestro.com/proda8/adv-eh0101.htm Vintage Computer Cables produces Atari monitor cables designed for use with televisions, plus an Atari S-Video cable. http://www.vintagecomputercables.com/
Subject: 2.2) What is artifacting? The term TV artifacts refers to a spot or "pixel" on the screen that displays a different color than the one assigned to it. --De Re Atari, p. D-1 There are two different types of artifacting associated with the Atari. The first type is considerably more intuitive. Color cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and computer displays generate color by exciting red, green, and blue phosphors arranged in either an aperture grille pattern (vertical wires) or a shadow mask pattern (triads of dots). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture_grille http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_mask The density of the phosphors defines the "dot pitch" of the display device. If a video signal source defines a spot or pixel that is smaller than the dot pitch of the display device, then accurate color cannot be reproduced by that display device in that precise spot. This type of artifacting is relatively minor with the Atari because of the relatively low resolution of Atari graphics modes in comparison to the dot pitch of CRT display devices. NTSC Atari computers exhibit a considerably more profound type of artifacting than the above. The following is from Atari's De Re Atari, Appendix D: "Television Artifacts": http://www.atariarchives.org/dere/chaptD.php Appendix D is credited to Atari's Lane Winner with assistance from Jim Cox. =-=-=-=-=-= This section discusses how to get multiple colors out of a single color graphics mode through the use of television artifacts. The ANTIC modes with which this can be accomplished are 2, 3, and 15. ANTIC mode 2 corresponds to BASIC mode 0, ANTIC mode 15 is BASIC mode 8, and ANTIC mode 3 has no corresponding BASIC mode. Each of these modes has a pixel resolution of one half color clock by one scan line. They are generally considered to have one color and two luminances. With the use of artifacts, pixels of four different colors can be displayed on the screen in each of these modes. A simple example of artifacts using the ATARI Computer is shown by entering the following lines: GRAPHICS 8 COLOR 1 POKE 710,0 PLOT 60,60 PLOT 63,60 These statements will plot two points on a black background; however each pixel will have a different color. To understand the cause of these differing colors one must first understand that all the display information for the television display is contained in a modulated television signal. The two major components of this signal are the luminance, or brightness, and the color, or tint. The luminance information is the primary signal, containing not only the brightness data but also the horizontal and vertical syncs and blanks. The color signal contains the color information and is combined or modulated into the luminance waveform. The luminance of a pixel on the screen is directly dependent on the amplitude of the luminance signal at that point. The higher the amplitude of the signal, the brighter the pixel. The color information, however, is a phase shifted signal. A phaseshifted signal is a constantly oscillating waveform that has been delayed by some amount of time relative to a reference signal, and this time delay is translated into the color. The color signal oscillates at a constant rate of about 3.579 MHz, thus defining the highest horizontal color resolution of a television set. This appears on the screen in the form of 160 visible color cycles across one scan line. (There are actually 228 color cycles including the horizontal blank and sync, and any overscan.) The term "color clock" refers to one color cycle and is the term generally used throughout the ATARI documentation to describe units of measurement across the screen. The graphics mode 7 is an example of one color clock resolution, where each color clock pixel can be a different color. (There are microprocessor limitations though.) Atari also offers a "high resolution" mode (GRAPHICS 8) that displays 320 pixels across one line. This is generated by varying the amplitude of the luminance signal at about 7.16 MHz, which is twice the color frequency. Since the two signals are theoretically independent, one should be able to assign a "background" color to be displayed and then merely vary the luminance on a pixel-by-pixel basis. This in fact is the way mode 8 works, the "background" color coming from playfield register 2, and the luminances coming from both playfield registers 1 and 2. The problem is that in practice the color and luminance signals are not independent. They are part of a modulated signal that must be demodulated to be used. Since the luminance is the primary signal, whenever it changes, it also forces a change in the color phase shift. For one or more color clocks of constant luminance this is no problem, since the color phase shift will be unchanged in this area. However, if the luminance changes on a half color clock boundary it will force a fast color shift at that point. Moreover, that color cannot be altered from the transmitting end of the signal (the ATARI Computer). Since the luminance can change on half color clock boundaries, this implies that two false color, or artifact pixel types can be generated. This is basically true. However, these two pixels can be combined to form two types of full color clock pixels. This is illustrated below: TV Scan | | | Line |<---1 color clock---->| | | | | | | | | | |<-1 pixel->| | | | | | | | | Luminance 0 1 0 0 1/2 cc pixel color A (0=off, 1 0 0 0 1/2 cc pixel color B 1=on) 1 1 0 0 1 cc pixel color C 0 1 1 0 1 cc pixel color D Note that each of these pixels requires one color clock of distance and therefore has a horizontal resolution of 160. The colors A through D are different for each television set, usually because the tint knob settings vary. Thus they cannot be described as absolute colors, for example, red; but they are definitely distinct from each other, and programs have been written that utilize these colors. =-=-=-=-=-= The actual colors seen depends upon the tint setting of the NTSC display device, and also upon the version of the NTSC Atari computer used, as pointed out by Bryan on Oct 7, 08: It's well known that different models produce different artifact colors. The 800 produces Blue/Green, the 1200XL produces Green/Purple, and the other XL's produce Blue/Red. The reason for this doesn't lie with GTIA, but rather with the delays inherent in the different video buffer circuits. When you start modifying the video circuits, you slightly alter the time alignment between chroma and luma and the artifact colors change. The TV's decoder will be synched to the colorburst supplied by the chroma signal, but artifact colors are produced by changing the luma level at the 3.579 color frequency which the NTSC Atari models are inherently set up to do. A classic example of a game that utilizes color artifacting on the NTSC Atari is the Broderbund game, Choplifter. 2nd example: Drol, also by Broderbund. More information about artifacting on the Atari 8-bit computers: "Atari Artifacting" by Judson Pewther. Compute! #38, July 1983, p. 221: http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue38/096_1_ATARI_ARTIFACTING.php or from Compute!'s Second Book of Atari Graphics: http://www.atariarchives.org/c2bag/page193.php "GRAPHICS 8 In Four Colors Using Artifacts" by David Diamond. Compute!'s First Book of Atari Graphics: http://www.atariarchives.org/c1bag/page203.php
Subject: 3.1) What are the Atari 410, 1010, XC11, and XC12 Program Recorders? The Atari Program Recorders provide storage and retrieval of programs and data on cassette tape. In addition to the digital track that stores computer data, a second audio track is provided to play music or voice as the program runs. Data transmission rate: 600 bits per second. Data storage capacity: 100,000 bytes per 60-minute cassette. Track configuration: 4 track, 2 channel (digital data and audio track) 410 Program Recorder - early Japan version had a carrying handle - most versions made in Hong Kong - 410a--Taiwan version - built-in SIO cable - must end SIO daisy chain - power - plugs directly into wall (most versions) - "410 P" version (rare). Karl Heller writes: "It came in the white 410 box with an Atari yellow/orange paper slip stating which power supply to use with it." See also: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39615 1010 Program Recorder - Chelco version has Stop/Eject, then Pause buttons - Sanyo version has Pause, then Stop/Eject buttons - two SIO ports XC11 Program Recorder - has a built-in SIO cable and one SIO port XC12 Program Recorder - built-in SIO cable - must end SIO daisy chain Upgrades for the Atari Program Recorders ======================================== Andreas Koch writes: (2004.05.24) - turbo 6000: a turbo tape enhancement built in the former GDR (German Democratic Republic); it worked with 6000 Baud and required special loading/saving programs that were available as disk-files and also as cartridges; Information on the Turbo 6000 Baud Interface and the Chaos Loader: http://www-user.tu-chemnitz.de/~sgl/atari/turb6000/turb6000.htm - turbo 2000: a turbo tape enhancement built in Poland or the former Czechoslovakia; it worked with different speeds (ranging from 600 Baud to approx. 9600 Baud?) depending on the program itself and the transfer program; also required a special loading/saving program, available as disk-files and cartridges; For more information on the Turbo 2000 (T2000) and SuperTurbo modifications to Atari program recorders, with speeds up 9600 baud, see http://jindroush.atari8.info/aturbo.htm - rambit turbo tape: a turbo tape enhancement built in the UK by Richard Gore and sold by Microdiscount (Derek Fern); it worked with 9600 Baud and came with some special software on disk; Microdiscount also sold many of its own commercial programs (Zeppelin games, etc.) on Rambit turbo tape...
Subject: 3.2) What other cassette recorders can I use with my Atari? Firstly Atari themselves put out several more obscure models beyond the 410/1010/XC11/XC12, generally only known in eastern Europe: XCA12 Program Recorder -in same case as XC12...Poland CA12 Program Recorder -in same case as XC12...Poland image: http://membres.lycos.fr/romualdl/images/atari/ca12.jpg XL12 Program Recorder -XC12 w/slight changed design. Czech/Slovak/Poland box seen here: http://jpecher.sweb.cz/pic/sbirka.jpg XC13 Program Recorder -XC12 which was "T2000 ready". Czech/Slovak/Poland Unlike other microcomputer systems of the time period, only Atari-specific cassette tape recorders could be used with Atari 8-bit computers. Several such peripherals were produced: Compu-Mate Computer Data Recorder by General Electric (GE, G.E.) - 3-5148A (unit) / 3-5156 (box) - "Extend the versatility of your home computer. Atari/Commodore Compatible." - IFM Interface Module: Atari Computer compatible included - 1st data cable: Data Recorder <-> IFM Interface or Data Recorder <-> C64 - 2nd data cable: IFM Interface <-> Atari computer SIO connector - No second SIO port - must be at end of SIO chain. - Battery operated or uses an external power supply - switch on the bottom, Atari or "All other computers". - partial source: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=128505 Phonemark PM-4401A Data Recorder - near clone of XC12 - power - plugs directly into wall, (240v, 50Hz) and has a captive power lead in addition to the SIO lead. - source of info: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phonemark-Atari-Data-Recorder.jpg Datamark XG12 - absolute clone of XC12 - info source: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=128505
Subject: 3.3) How do I run a program from cassette? To run an Atari BASIC program from cassette: 1. Place the cassette in the recorder. 2. Press REWIND of FORWARD, if necessary, to bring the tape to the position where the program is located. 3. Boot the computer to the Atari BASIC READY prompt. 4. There are several possibilities for the next step, depending on how the program was saved, and whether you want to run the program or just load it into RAM. Enter one of the following four commands: a. CLOAD loads programs saved with CSAVE b. LOAD "C:" loads programs saved with SAVE "C:" c. ENTER "C:" loads programs saved with LIST "C:" d. RUN "C:" loads&runs programs saved with SAVE "C:" ] Relative efficiency of the three cassette tape recording techniques: ] CSAVE/CLOAD - short inter-record gap - fastest speed - tokenized files ] SAVE "C:"/LOAD "C:" - long inter-record gap - middle speed - tokenized files ] LIST "C:"/ENTER "C:" - long inter-record gap - slowest - straight ATASCII - ] tape actually stops in between block reads/writes 5. The computer will "beep" as a signal for you to press PLAY on the recorder. 6. Press the RETURN key on the computer keyboard, and the program will load into the computer. 7. Press STOP on the recorder when loading has finished. 8. Unless you entered RUN "C:" above, now enter the command: RUN To run a machine language program from cassette upon startup: 1. Place the cassette in the recorder 2. Press REWIND of FORWARD, if necessary, to bring the tape to the position where the program is located. 3. Turn on the computer while holding down the START key. If your computer has Atari BASIC built-in, hold down both the START key and the OPTION key. 4. The computer will "beep" as a signal for you to press PLAY on the recorder. 5. Let go of the START/OPTION button(s). 6. Press the RETURN key on the computer keyboard, and the program will load into the computer. 7. Press STOP on the recorder when loading is complete and the program is running.
Subject: 3.4) What are the Atari 810, 815, 1050, and XF551 Disk Drives? Section includes contributions by Andreas Koch, TXG, KMK The Atari Disk Drives provide storage and retrieval of programs and data on 5.25" floppy disks. ==> Atari 810 --- a 5.25" floppy disk drive The least common denominator for the Atari. One mode of operation: 1) Single-Sided, Single-Density-- FM 40 tracks x 18 sectors/track x 128 byte/sector = 90K capacity The 810 drive has only one drive head, so it can only read/write to one side of the disk. The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the disk into the drive upside-down. 19.2Kbps transfer rate. 288RPM. The 810 includes a 6507 microprocessor. Shipped with DOS I (1980-1981) or DOS 2.0S (1981-1983) MPI version (1980-1982): push button, entire door slides up for disk access Tandon version (1983): door center flips open for disk access two SIO ports Production of the 810 ended in May 1983. accessories from Atari: CX8100 Atari 810 Blank Diskettes (5 per box) CX8111 Atari 810 Formatted Diskettes II (5 per box) CX8202 Atari 810/815 Blank Diskettes (5/box, certified for double density) Third-party upgrades for the 810: 810 Archiver -- copy many copy-protected programs 810 Fast Chip by Binary 10%-40% faster 810 Turbo (810T) by Neanderthal Computer Things (NCT) -- double-density, track buffering, speed comparable to Happy 810 Warp Speed Happy 810 -- Happy Backup, Warp Speed 52Kbps, 18 sector buffer ==> Atari 815 Dual Disk Drive --- dual 5.25" floppy disk drives in one unit Were produced (all hand-built), but are very rare. One mode of operation. Per drive: 1) Single-Sided, Double-Density-- MFM 40 tracks x 18 sectors/track x 256 bytes/sector = 180K capacity The two drives in the 815 have only one drive head each, so each drive can only read/write to one side of the disk. The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the disk into the drive upside-down.) 19.2Kbps transfer rate. 288RPM. The 815 includes a 6507 microprocessor. Shipped with DOS 2.0D MPI mechanism version- push button, entire door slides up for disk access Tandon mechanism version- door center flips open for disk access The 815 was designed by Paul Mancuso and Levon Mitchell. (Atari History Museum) accessories from Atari: CX8202 Atari 810/815 Blank Diskettes (5 per box, certified for double density) Stephen Knox writes (12/28/02): I believe the story on the 815s was Atari didn't want to release them due to severe QA problems with the drive but they had so many preorders they had to release something. I think they filled the preorders and then cancelled the model - Most of them got returned due to problems. ==> Atari 1050 Dual-Density Disk Drive --- a 5.25" floppy disk drive Same as the 810, plus Dual-Density capability. Two modes of operation: 1) Single-Sided, Single-Density, 90K, 810 compatible 2) Single-Sided, Dual-Density, otherwise known as "Enhanced Density" because it is not true double-density-- MFM 40 tracks x 26 sectors/track x 128 bytes/sector = 130K capacity The 1050 drive has only one drive head, so it can only read/write to one side of the disk. The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the disk into the drive upside-down.) 19.2Kbps transfer rate. 288RPM The 1050 includes a 6507 microprocessor. Shipped with DOS 2.0S (1983), DOS 3 (1983-1985), or DOS 2.5 (1985-1988) DIP switches: Black & white left: Drive 1 Black right, white left: Drive 2 Black left, white right: Drive 3 Black & white right: Drive 4 Third-party upgrades for the 1050 (all add a true SSDD 180K capability): 1050 Duplicator SS SD/ED/DD "read 18 sectors in the time normally for 1" (Duplicating Technologies (DT)) sources(Jim Patchell)http://www.oldcrows.net/~patchell/atari/duplicator.html Happy Warp Speed and compatible: ------------------------------- Happy 1050 SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed 52Kbps, 36 sector buffer, (Happy Computers) Happy Backup. also read/write 180K 5.25" MS-DOS floppies CheerUp Upgrade SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed 52Kbps (Happy clone) (Happy Computers, converts 1050 Duplicator to Happy 1050) Hyper Drive (Chaos! Computers) SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed 52Kbps (Happy clone) UltraSpeed and compatible: ------------------------- US Doubler (ICD) SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed (US) 54Kbps, sector skewing Mini-Speedy same as Speedy 1050, but without displays & speaker (Compy-Shop, now ABBUC) Speedy 1050 SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 70Kbps 8kB buffer, (Compy-Shop, now ABBUC) DOS, copier, track & density displays, beep speaker http://www.mia-net.org/speedy.html Super Archiver (CSS) SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 54Kbps (US Doubler clone) Super Archiver II(CSS)SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 54Kbps (US Doubler clone) SuperMax 1050 SS SD/ED/DD UltraSpeed 52Kbps Super Speedy upgrade for Mini-Speedy, same specs but adds switches (Compy-Shop, now ABBUC) and an LED display 1050 Turbo and compatible: ------------------------- 1050 Turbo SS SD/ED/DD Turbo speed 68.2Kbps (Bernhard Engl, 1986) Backup software (name?). option: printer interface Top Drive 1050 SS SD/ED/DD Turbo speed 68.2Kbps (1050 Turbo clone) TOMS Turbo upgrade for 1050, LDW/Indus, and CA-2001: adds 1050 Turbo speed (68.2 Kbps) and IBM densities Add support for multiple above enhancements: -------------------------------------------- I.S. Plate SS SD/ED/DD Ultra/Warp (USD/Happy clone) (Innovated Software) Lazer 1050 SS SD/ED/DD Warp Speed and UltraSpeed 54Kbps (USD/Happy clone) TOMS Multi upgrade for 1050, LDW/Indus, and CA-2001: adds 1050 Turbo (68.2 Kbps) and UltraSpeed (54 Kbps), and supports IBM densities Rich Mier professes: You've been plugging and unplugging the SIO cable with the 1050 power pack plugged in, right? That's a no-no. Most of the time it's okay, but about 1 in 10, 20 times, it will blow out 'U-1'. It's a CA/LM 3086 I.C. at the right, rear of the main board. A 14 pin DIL chip. Actually it is an array of 5 transistors. Unplug the power pack from the 1050, then unplug the SIO cable. Power can be ON on the CPU. The problem has to do with the secondary winding of the Power Pack. Remember, the problem only occurs 1 out of 10 - 20 times that you do it, not all the time. It doesn't really matter if the 1050 Transformer has power on or off, it 'Might' happen if plugged into the 1050. It is really bad on 810's. One thing, if the system has been turned off for, oh say, 5 - 10 minutes it won't matter. By then all the capacitors should be bled(sc?) to 0 volts. ==> Atari XF551 --- a 5.25" floppy disk drive. Four modes of operation: 1) Single-Sided, Single-Density, 90K, 810 compatible 2) Single-Sided, Enhanced-Density, 130K, 1050 compatible 3) Single-Sided, Double-Density, 180K, Percom & other 3rd parties compatible In the above 3 modes, the XF551 reads/writes to only one side of the disk. The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the disk into the drive upside-down. But note: Chinon-built XF551--CANNOT read/write/format disk backside if the disk has no 2nd timing hole Mitsumi-built XF551--CAN read/write disk backside if the disk has no 2nd timing hole, but CANNOT format the backside without the 2nd timimg hole. The two types of XF551 drives are externally identical. 4) Double-Sided, Double-Density-- MFM 80 tracks x 18 sectors/track x 256 bytes/sector = 360K capacity In this double-sided mode, the XF551 utilizes a 2nd drive head to read/write to the 2nd side of the disk. The XF551 writes "backwards" to the second side of the disk, when compared to a two-sided "flippy" disk with SSDD 180K format on each side. High speed 38400 bps burst mode usable only with SpartaDOS X, SuperDOS 5.1, TurboDOS, DOS XE, and patched SpartaDOS 3.2. Rotation rate: 300RPM. Since all other Atari-specific drives run at 288RPM, this results in rare compatibility issues. Specifically, these commercial disks do not load in, and can be damaged by, the XF551: - Flight Simulator II (subLOGIC) - Blue Max (Synapse) - Bank Street Writer (Broderbund). Conflicting reports about this one. 8040 cpu + external ROM or 8050 cpu with internal ROM Shipped with DOS 2.5 (1988-1989) or DOS XE (1989- ). DIP switches: Both dips down: Drive 1 Left down, right up: Drive 2 Left up, Right down: Drive 3 Left and Right up: Drive 4 The key engineer/designer of the XF551 was Jose Valdes at Atari Third-party upgrades for the XF551: CSS XF Single Drive Upgrade--3.5", 720K floppy drive replacement also read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFsingdrup.htm CSS XF Dual Drive Upgrade--add 3.5" drive w/o losing the 5.25" drive also read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFdualdrup.htm CSS XF551 Enhancer--overcomes sensor for index hole, create flippy disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XF551enh.htm CSS XF Update--replace drive OS, adds UltraSpeed see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFupdate.htm Hyper-XF--available for 5.25" or 3.5" floppy versions; uses sector skewing aka and UltraSpeed (but no track buffer!); can use disk partitions HyperXF (2 on 5.25", 4 partitions on 3.5") with mixed Densities (S/E/D) or standard 360Kbytes (5.25") / 720Kbytes (3.5"); can theoretically read/write ST/PC 720k disks (software is missing!) OS created by Stefan Dorndorf/Germany; http://ftp.pigwa.net/stuff/collections/nir_dary_cds/Pictures2/035%20Hyper%20XF.jpg XF-Speedy--replaces the 8040 CPU with a 65C02 + ROM + Memory
Subject: 3.5) What other floppy disk drives can I use with my Atari? Major contributors to this section: Glenn M. Saunders, Tomasz M. Tatar, James Bradford, Konrad M. Kokoszkiewicz, Don Schoengarth, Andreas Koch, TXG/MNX SD=Single-Density, 90K/disk side ED=Enhanced-Density, 130K/disk side DD=Double-Density, 180K/disk side SS=Single-Sided (drive has only one drive head, so it can only read/write to one side of the disk. The reverse side of a 2-sided "flippy" disk may be used by inserting the disk upside-down.) DS=Double-Sided (one of 3 possible data-mappings, see below for details) Printer port=has a standard DB25 parallel printer port,+ maybe a print buffer Master=includes drive controller, can add additional,non-Atari-specific drives Top transfer rate is 19.2Kbps unless stated otherwise. Floppy disk drives designed for the 8-bit Atari computers: Atari 810 SS SD Atari 1050 SS SD/ED Atari XF551 DS SD/ED/DD, 38.4Kbps burst mode Access Unlimited ATAR88-1 SS SD master Access Unlimited ATAR40-1 SS SD/DD master Amdek AMDC I SS SD/DD uses "flippy" Amdisk III 3" disk/carts, printer port, master Amdek AMDC II SS SD/DD dual drives, printer port, master AS SN-360 DS SD/ED/DD Astra 1001 SS SD/DD, printer port Astra 1620 SS SD/DD dual drives Astra 2001 SS SD/DD dual drives Astra Big-D DS SD/DD dual drives Astra The "One" DS SD/DD, printer port B&C 810 SS SD, optional Happy Warp Speed 52Kbps Concorde C-221M SS SD/DD master Concorde C-222M DS SD/DD master CSS Floppy Board, for the Black Box, master, support PC 720K and 1.44MB 3.5" drives, support PC 1.2MB and 360kB 5.25" drives, also read/write 5.25" and 3.5" MS-DOS disks see: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/floppy.htm Flop Roznov pod Radhostem VD 40 F SS SS/ED/DD, XF551 compatible, printer port see: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=99716 High-Density Disk Interface (HDI) by Erhard Puetz. a PCB, master connect up to 4 standard PC high-density drives Indus GT SS SD/ED/DD, Synchromesh mode usable with SpartaDOS X and DOS XL only. 72Kbps under SpartaDOS X, 37Kbps under DOS XL. Z-80 cpu option: RAM-Charger 64K RAM + software, for CP/M support Karin Maxi PBI/ECI device, master, WD1772 + 2KB driver ROM DS formats use PC-standard 'head-first' mapping L.E. Systems LEDS5-01 SS SD/DD master, 134.4Kbps, 800 only CP/M expansion: 4MHz Z80, 64K RAM L.E. Systems LEFDC-04 SS SD Four drives, copies a disk in 22 secs, 800 only L.E. Systems LEFDC-08 SS SD Eight drives, copies a disk in 22 secs, 800 only LDW Super 2000 SS SD/DD, 19.2Kbps or 67Kbps. Indus GT clone "Logical Design Works" image: http://membres.lycos.fr/romualdl/images/atari/super2000.jpg LDW/California Access CA-2001 SS SD/DD, 19.2Kbps or 38.4Kbps Indus GT/LDW Super 2000 clone image: http://membres.lycos.fr/romualdl/images/atari/ca2001.jpg LDW/California Access CA-2002 DS SD/ED/DD,19.2Kbps,70Kbps w/SpartaDOS Micro MainFrame MF-1681 SS SD/DD, printer port, 4K to 54K printer buffer, hard disk firmware included, master, Z-80 CPU w/ 16K to 64K RAM for CP/M, TRSDOS, MaxiDOS A, and OASIS. Micro MainFrame MF-1682 dual drives version of MF-1681 Percom RFD40-S1 SS SD/DD, master Percom RFD40-S2 SS SD/DD dual drives, master Percom RFD44-S1 DS SD/DD, master Percom RFD44-S2 DS SD/DD dual drives, master (80-track RFDs hinted at http://www.atarimagazines.com/v1n2/newproducts.html) Percom AT88 SS SD, master Percom AT88-S1PD SS SD/DD, printer port, master Percom AT88-S2PD SS SD/DD dual drives, printer port, master Rana 1000 SS SD/ED/DD, stand alone disk formatting RCP 810 SS SD San Jose Computer Special Edition 810 SS SD, optional Happy Warp Speed 52Kbps Spider SS SS/ED/DD,XF551 compat,printer port,only 70 protos made see: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=99716 SWP ATR8000 4MHz Z80, 16K RAM, RS-232, master, printer port or 4MHz Z80, 64K RAM, RS-232, master, printer port, CP/M 2.2 options: 128K or 256K CO-POWER-88 with MS-DOS; CP/M-86 TOMS 720 DS SD/ED/DD/ID/QD/ST printer port, MYDOS 4.5 on ROM, 68.2Kbps Intel 8085 microprocessor SS/SD - 40 tracks, 18 sectors, 128 bytes/sector = 90 kB SS/ED - 40 tracks, 26 sectors, 128 bytes/sector = 130 kB SS/DD - 40 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes/sector = 180 kB SS/ID - IBM S-9 - 40 tr, 9 sc, 512 bytes/sector = 180 kB DS/DD - 40 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes/sector = 360 kB DS/QD - 80 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes/sector = 720 kB DS/ID - IBM D-9 - 40 tr, 9 sc, 512 bytes/sector = 360 kB DS/ST - Atari ST - 80 tr, 9 s, 512 bytes/sector = 720 kB 1050 Turbo speed and UltraSpeed Optional RS-232 port TOMS 710 features same as TOMS 720, plus: - also has TOMS Navigator (like Norton Commander) on ROM TOMS 360 features same as TOMS 720, except: - no support for 720K formats Trak AT-1 SS SD/DD master.upgrade: printer port+4K/16K buffer Trak AT-D1 SS SD master, printer port, 4K print buffer.upgrade:16K Trak AT-D2 SS SD/DD master, printer port, 4K printbuffer.upgrade:16K Trak AT-D4 DS SD/DD, printer port, print buffer Trak Champ SS SD master Trak Champ2 SS SD/DD master Trak AT-S1 SS SD/DD slave Viatronic Brno VD 40 SS SS/ED/DD, XF551 compatible, printer port XFD601 (Jacek Zuk) DS SD/ED/DD 70kbps,Top Drive,Synchromesh,UltraSpeed, XF551 compat. http://atariki.krap.pl/index.php/XFD601 XFD602 (Jacek Zuk) DS SD/ED/DD dual drives,70kbps,Top Drive,Synchromesh, UltraSpeed,XF551 compat XF clones with indus GT speed, but have a FAST and TURBO mode. The Fast mode is the same a INDUS GT and turbo is also INDUS GT only works with SpartaDOS X. There is a jumper for Fast/Turbo. see: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=113924 or: http://atariki.krap.pl/index.php/XFD602 While any standard "slave" drive will work with "master" drives listed above, the following are slave drives marketed specifically to Atari users: Access Unlimited ATAR88-A1 SS SD slave Access Unlimited ATAR40-A1 SS SD/DD slave Concorde C-221S SS SD/DD slave Concorde C-222S DS SD/DD slave Percom RFD40-A1 SS SD/DD slave Percom AT88-A1 SS SD/DD slave RCP 100 DS SD/DD, slave RCP 200 DS SD/DD dual drives, slave The following information is taken from the documentation for HiassofT's WriteAtr program, http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/ Double-Sided drives for the Atari may use one of three different drive- mapping possibilities. * Most double-sided Atari disk drives: First fill tracks 0-39 (or 0-79) on the first side, then switch over to side 2 and again fill tracks 0-39 (0-79 for 3.5" disks). * The XF551 first fills track 0 on the first side. Then it fills track 1, then track 2, ... up to track 39 (on a 5.25" disk) or 79 (on a 3.5" disk). Then it switches to side 2 and fills the disk in reverse order (starting at track 39/79, then 38/78, ... til it has reached the end of the disk at track 0). * The third possibility is the standard in the PC world, but on the Atari it's possibly unique to drives connected via the Karin Maxi interface. If your Atari disk drive uses this mapping, it first fills track 0 on side 1, then track 0 on side 2, then seeks to track 1, again first fills track 1 / side 1, then track 1 / side 2, and so on, until it finishes with track 39 (79) / side 2. The drive switches the heads (sides) first before switching the track.
Subject: 3.6) What kinds of 5.25" floppy disks can I use with my Atari drives? Russ Gilbert writes: If you're talking standard computer store, you can't use those 5 1/4" disks. I mean you can't use high density disks. They must be double density to use with the 1050. Almost all double density 5 1/4" disks have a hub ring, high density disks don't have the hub ring. RHamiIton5 elaborates: (5/12/01) The Atari 8 drives do not have write heads and circuitry which can handle the type of oxide coating used on the high density floppy media; they cannot write reliably to them. The hub ring has just become a sort of marker to distinguish the high density from the standard double density diskettes. Way back in your apple days of '79-'82, most disks were hubless and only the really premium brands offered hubs to prevent slippage and out of round problems; you could even buy little kits for adding you own hub rings. When the home computer swell really hit around '83 and price wars began, hub rings became common on good disks and eventually became standard down to include most generic bargain diskettes. The introduction of high density 5.25's required a different coercivity (= magnetizability) to get more bits in a smaller space and suitable electronics to do it. These disks were produced hubless; was it a differentiating label or just unnecessary because of stronger mylar construction? Anyone?
Subject: 3.7) What can I do to extend the life of my floppy disks? Lee Hart writes (January 2004): Personally, I have several hundred floppy disks for my Atari 800, Kaypro 4, Heathkit H89, and IMSAI 8080 computers that are 10-20 years old. What I can say in general: - Most disks stored in plastic boxes or ziplock baggies survived. - Most disks stored in cardboard boxes or just their sleeves did NOT survive. - Some brands lasted better than others, but I haven't collated the information so as to make any kind of definitive statements. - If a disk cannot be read, CLEAN THE DISK DRIVE HEAD before attempting to read another disk! Otherwise, crap from the bad disk will remain on the head, and will scar and destroy any SUBSEQUENT disk you put in the drive! (the voice of painful experience). - For lack of a better plan, for each of my surviving disks I am: a. reformatting another blank disk b. copying the data from an old disk onto the blank disk Then I have a more recently-produced backup disk in case the original disk later fails.
Subject: 3.8) What hard drives were designed for my Atari? Atari never produced hard drives for the 8-bit Atari, but the following were produced and marketed to Atari users by third parties. ==> Corvus hard drive (5MB, 10MB, or 20MB) (some Corvus info from an eBay auction by Ben Corr, 7/03) Attaches via joystick ports 3 & 4 on the Atari 800 only. -- Corvus Integrator Board - allows access to the Corvus Disc without the Corvus software, so that any DOS that uses standard SIO calls will work. -- Corvus Multiplexer - used to network up to 8 Ataris to one Corvus Drive -- Corvus Mirror card - back up the drive's contents onto video tape ==> SupraDrive Atari Hard Disk, by Supra, later K-Products. 10MB or 20MB. includes external Hard Disk Interface Some limitations on drive type and size and total number of drives in sys. Attaches via PBI, or ECI with adapter. See: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n6/Supradrivefor8Bit.html ==> BTL Hard Disk System by Lurie Associates 10MB to 128 MB BTL 2001 Connector for 600XL/800XL PBI BTL 2002 Connector for 130XE/800XE/65XE ECI BTL 2004 SASI Hard Disk Adapter See: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n12/BTLHardDisk.html Most hard drives are connected to the Atari via a SCSI or IDE interface. Such interfaces are covered in other sections of this FAQ List.
Subject: 3.9) How can my Atari utilize my PC's or Mac's storage drives? ==> SIO2PC, by Nick Kennedy From the SIO2PC home page: SIO2PC is a hardware & software package interfacing the 8-bit Atari to PC compatible computers. The original idea was to have the PC emulate Atari disk drives so Atari programs could be stored on the PC's hard (or floppy) drives. It turned out to be quite successful. About 95% of my work was in the software, but a hardware device to convert logic levels was also necessary. This device is now commonly referred to as an SIO2PC cable. Features: - Emulates 1 to 4 Atari disk drives - Store your Atari files on PC hard or floppy drives - Boot from the PC, real drive not needed to start-up - No software or drivers required for the Atari; no conflicts: use your favorite DOS - Twice as fast as an Atari 810 drive and more reliable - Co-exists with real drives in the Atari daisy chain - Compatible down to the hardware level: use sector copiers, etc. - Print-Thru captures Atari print-out and routes to PC's printer - Convert Atari files to PC files and vice versa http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm Another source for various SIO2PC cable design plans is Clarence Dyson's page at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/ Another (Czech language): http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/sio2pc.htm ==> Atari810, by Dan Vernon A disk drive emulator in the tradition of SIO2PC, for the Windows NT/2000/XP platform. http://retrobits.net/ ==> Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE), by Steven Tucker David A. Paterson writes: "Steven J. Tucker took SIO2PC one better and wrote new software. The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE for short): - lets your PC act as high-speed drives. - It lets you print to your PC printer. - And it lets you use your PC modem on the 8-bit." http://www.atarimax.com/ ==> SIO2Linux, by Preston Crow Pavel Machek made an initial attempt at communicating with the Atari through an SIO2PC cable using Linux's serial port drivers. He came up with a simple floppy emulator, femul.c. I rewrote that to add a bunch of features: * No kernel modules. Unlike the AtariSIO project, this is just a simple user-space program that uses a serial port device. * Create new dynamically sized images Each image starts as a 3-sector image file, but grows to accommodate the highest-numbered sector written. * Mount your native file system as an Atari disk It's read-only for now, and it doesn't support subdirectories, but each file is mapped to a different starting sector, and as that sector is read, it automatically maps in the rest of the file. http://www.crowcastle.net/preston/atari/ ==> Sio2OSX, by Mark Grebe Sio2OSX is a peripheral emulator for the Atari 8-bit computers that allows the Atari computer to use an OSX based Macintosh as a disk drive, a cassette drive, and a printer. Sio2OSX performs functions similar to APE or SIO2PC on Windows based computers. http://www.atarimac.com/sio2osx.php ==> Multi-platform Distributive Operating System Professional for Atari, by Krishna Software (Krishnasoft) MPDOS Professional for Atari Features: o Joystick simulation (2-button and single button) o Digitized Paddle simulation (just extreme values) o Allows for using PC joystick or keyboard to simulate Atari joystick o Works with Atari 5200 (using Digital Joystick Adapter) o Keyboard simulation (supplied software driver is needed) o Simulates up to 4 Atari disk drives (D1:, D2:, D3:, D4:) o Simulates Atari cassette player (C:) o Includes easy to use parallel port cable (plug and play) o Hardware level simulation (no drivers required, except for keyboard) o Supports PC video overlay window o KDOS4-- a fast binary file uploader o Multimedia CDROM included (runs on PC and Atari using distributive programming) o Built-in editor for creating Atari ASM and Atari BASIC source files o 6502 Assembler (compile and upload directly to Atari) o Sample source code o DOS-based utilities including 6502 disassembler o Simple GUI interface for simulating peripherals, compiling, and uploading o On-line 100+ page manual with technical and general information
Subject: 3.10) How can I use SD/MMC cards with my Atari? Secure Digital (SD) is a flash memory (non-volatile) memory card format used in portable devices, including digital cameras, handheld computers, PDAs and GPS units. SD cards are based on the older MultiMediaCard (MMC) format. ==> SIO2SD, by Jakub Kruszona-Zawadzki http://sio2sd.gucio.pl/ SIO2SD is a device which makes it possible to load games/applications into 8-bit Atari computers via SIO interface from SD/MMC cards. Device abilities: - Works with SD/MMC (FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 formats) - Handles ATR (rw), XFD (ro) and COM/XEX (ro) file types - 16x2 LCD display allows to "walk" catalog tree and choose files to load - Handles SIO with turbo (speed 51200kbps - hsindex 10) - All densities with 128B and 256B sectors, including 16MB disks - Handles drives d1 to d4 (special version d1 to d8 available) ==> SDrive, by C.P.U. (Radek Sterba (Raster) & Robert Petruzela (Bob!k)) http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/sdrive/sdrive.htm The SDrive is a device that connects to Atari XL/XE's serial (SIO) port and simulates an Atari floppy disk drive with full read/write access to programs and data stored on a Secure Digital (SD) flash mamory card. Main features: - Supported flash cards: Secure Digital up to 2GB size, FAT16 filesystem - Maximum number of drives: 4 (D1: to D4:) + 1 special boot drive - Supported SIO transfer rates: 3.5 to 128kbps (standard 19 and 69kbps) - Supported disk images: ATR, XFD, size up to 16MB, 128 or 256B sectors - Supported executable files: COM, XEX, BIN.... (any filename extension). - Device controlled by software running on Atari from the SD card, which can be therefore easily updated/replaced - Drives swappable on the fly by buttons - Write protect/enable switch - SDrive ID number selection switch - simultaneous use of up to 4 SDrives - Low cost design - no LCD, a few LEDs, cheap DIL28 Atmega8 MCU, single sided PCB - Firmware and software source code freely available Special features: - Buffered reads for speedup - Delayed writes for speedup and greatly reduced flash write cycles - Built-in bootloader requiring less than 256 bytes including sector buffer, relocatable in the $0500-$05F7 to $BE00-$BEF7 range, with SKCTL initialization before every block. Supports executable files of up to 8MB size. - Directory with filename simulated for active files in drives, data handled through standard 128B sectors. Executable files can be run from most DOSes or Q-MEG. Random data files with arbitrary suffix can be activated and opened by a program through DOS or copied to disk images. (Note: 80KB file size limit applies to standard DOSes, 8MB to Q-MEG and MyDOS) ==> SDrive NUXX, by Steve Vigneau / c0nsumer (based on SDrive by C.P.U.) http://nuxx.net/wiki/SDrive_NUXX Based on SDrive by C.P.U. Changes from the original SDrive: - A readily available enclosure and custom end panels with cutouts and artwork. - An SIO connector footprint. This allows a standard Atari SIO connector to be used, allowing easy connectivity with any of the compatible Atari 8-bit computers. - Incorporates a low-cost AVR programmer allowing a SDrive builder who doesn't have AVR programming hardware readily available an easy method of loading the firmware on the microcontroller. - The built-in Brown-Out Detector has been enabled with a 4.0V threshold.
Subject: 3.11) How can I use a USB flash drive with my Atari? USB flash drives are NAND-type flash memory data storage devices integrated with a USB (universal serial bus) interface. They are typically small, lightweight, removable and rewritable. ==> SIO2USB, by ABBUC Regional Group Frankfurt / Main The SIO2USB Interface is a peripheral device that can be attached to an ATARI 8-bit computer using the SIO-Bus. It emulates one or more ATARI Floppy- Drive(s) and does not require any special drivers or Operating-Systems, it is fully compatible with all ATARI DOS Systems and extensions. Because the device is connected to the SIO-Bus, it is not necessary to open or modify the ATARI. The device is powered by the SIO-Bus and does not need an external Power Adapter. The data are stored on standard USB Mass Storage Devices (USB FLASH Drives) as ATARI-Imagefiles (ATR or XFD) on a standard FAT filesystem. SIO2USB features: o Can boot an ATARI 8-bit Computer without physical Floppy Drive o Emulation of up to 3 (virtual) Disk drives simultaneously o Simple device, attached to SIO-Port, no modification of computer necessary o Mixed operation of real Floppy and SIO2USB possible o Fully compatible with all ATARI DOS and OS and all ATARI compatible extensions o Storage of ATARI-Imagefiles on standard USB FLASH Drives o Configuration of the device by built-in keys and LC-Display or configuration program on the ATARI o Built-in Real Time Clock (RTC) o Power supply for the device and USB FLASH Drive from SIO-Bus o Updated SIO2USB Firmware can be applied from within the ATARI (no additional device or computer required) o Updates available via Internet (USB FLASH Drive) or direct from the ATARI (real Disk Drive) http://home.arcor.de/grasel/sio2usb_e.htm or http://home.arcor.de/grasel/sio2usb_d.htm
Subject: 4.1) What are the Atari 820, 822, and 825 Printers? The following printers were produced by Atari and styled to match the 400/800 computers. Atari 820 Printer: ( = LRC 7000 / Eaton 7000 ) - 40-column impact printer - 5x7 dot matrix - 40 characters per line, upper & lower case alpha - horizontal and vertical alphanumeric characters - 6507 microprocessor, 6532 RAM I/O chip, 2K ROM - 40 characters per second - uses Standard Roll Paper/adding machine paper Atari 822 Thermal Printer: ( = Trendcom 100 ) - 37 characters per second - 10 characters per inch - 40 characters per line, upper/lower case and point graphics - 5x7 dot matrix Atari 825 80-Column Printer ( = Centronics 737 ) - 3 character sets: monospaced 7x8 dot matrix at 10 characters per inch monospaced condensed at 16.7 cpi proportionately spaced Nx9 dot matrix at avg of 14 cpi (N=6..18) - all characters can be elongated (printer double width) - characters per line: 80 at 10 cpi; 132 at 16.7 cpi - speed: 50 cps at 10 cpi; 83 cps at 16.7 cpi; 79 cps avg. proportional - print buffer: 1200 dot columns - paper: roll, fanfold, or cut sheets - requires Atari 850 Interface Module or equivalent
Subject: 4.2) What are the Atari 1020, 1025, 1027, and 1029 Printers? The following printers were produced by Atari and styled to match the XL series computers. Atari 1020 Color Printer: ( = Commodore 1520 / Oric MCP40 / Tandy/Radio Shack CGP-115 /..; made by ALPS) - 4-color graphics: (black, red, blue, green). optional 8-pen rainbow package - alphanumeric and X,Y plotting capability - 10 cps (40-column mode) - 20, 40 and 80-column modes - horizontal and vertical alphanumerics, English and International chr sets - water soluble ink pen technology - 4-pen barrel print head - microprocessor - paper: standard roll paper (40 column width) - TX9032 Joystick Sketchpad graphics software cassette included Atari 1025 Printer: ( = Okidata ML80 ) - 40 cps (80-column 10 cpi mode) - 5 cpi expanded (40 col), 10 cpi (80 col), 16.7 cpi condensed (132-col) - 5x7 character dot matrix - buffer: 132 chrs at 16.7 cpi, 80 chrs at 10 cpi - paper: roll,fanfold,single sheets. optional:roll paper holder, tractor feed Atari 1027 Letter Quality Printer: ( = Mannesmann Tally Riteman LQ.) - fully formed characters, prestige elite 12) - 12 characters per inch (80 columns) - 20 characters per second - single sheets or roll paper Atari 1029 Programmable Printer (by Seikosha) - 7-pin dot matrix, same as Commodore MPS-801 - Released for Europe & Canada (not USA) - Rich_N_Feymus says: I think it's a SEIKOSHA GP500, but not 100% sure. However, the Commodore MPS-801 ribbons should be much easier to find. - The Tandy DMP 110 is another model reported to be the same as the 1029.
Subject: 4.3) What are the Atari XMM801 and XDM121 Printers? The following printers were produced by Atari and styled to match the XE series computers. Atari XMM801 Dot Matrix Graphics Printer: ( = SHINWA CP80 ) - 80 columns, dot matrix - friction feed or pin feed - pica 10 cpi, double width pica 5 cpi, elite 12 cpi,double width elite 6 cpi, condensed 16.5 cpi, double width condensed 8.25 cpi - Ribbon: Commodore 1526 and the Mannesman-Tally Spirit 80 Atari XDM121 Letter-Quality Daisy Wheel Printer: - 80 columns - underlining, subscripts, superscripts - friction feed paper - Ribbon: Silver Reed CF130, Olivetti ET201,ET221,Nu-Kote NK136
Subject: 4.4) What other printers can I use with my Atari? Some third-party printers were marketed for use with the Atari 8-bit computers: Alphacom 42 + Atari interface cartridge - requires 850 Interface or equivalent - thermal - 4 1/2" width paper - supports complete ATASCII character set Axiom AT-100 / GP-100AT Economical Printer (= Seikosha GP-100A) - built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port for daisy-chain - dot matrix - early model 30-cps, later version 50 cps - Graph-AX graphics software package Axiom GP-550AT Dual Mode Printer (by Seikosha) - built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port - dot matrix - 86 cps draft, 43 cps NLQ - Graph-AX graphics software package Axiom GP-700AT Full Color Printer (by Seikosha) - built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port - 4 hammer print heads, 4-color ribbon cartridge - 25 colors - 50 cps - Graph-AX graphics software package Epson HomeWriter 10 - plug-in cartridge interface for the Atari - 80 column dot-matrix printer - draft quality printing at 100 cps and near letter quality at 16 cps General Electric GE 3-8100 / TXP 1000 - GE Printer Interface Module for Atari - dot-matrix - 50 cps draft, 25 cps NLQ Okidata Okimate 10 Personal Color Printer - available Plug 'n Print Interface for Atari - a thermal printer. - single-sheet or tractor-feed paper. - 26 colors - 240 words per minutes Tesla BT-100 (Tesla Prelouc, Czech Republic) - plugs into 2 joystick/controller ports - Dot matrix, 1 pin (!) - carbon paper instead of ribbon - 480 dots per line - 150 dots per sec (A4 paper in 10 minutes) - Input power 5 W - http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwbt.htm - Can be installed in the SP 210-T Data Cassette Recorder Merkur Alfi (Kovopodnik Broumov, Czech Republic) - Plotter - Standard, size A4 paper - Pens - Any - Length of step - 0.15 mm - sold only as kit - http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwal.htm Alfigraf - plotter - http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwag.htm Minigraf 0507 Aritma (Aritma Praha, Czech Republic) - plotter - Paper - Standard, size A4 - Pens KIN 0577; Centropen 1939; KOH-I-NOOR 4443; Staedtler 40T06-S; Staedtler 32T03-S - Speed - max. 80 mm/s - Length of step (error) - 0.125 mm (+- 0.005 mm) - Input power 30 W - http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwmi.htm Graficka Jednotka XY4140 / XY4150 (Laboratorni Pristroje Praha) - Plotters - Paper Standard, size A4 (297 x 210 mm) - Printable space 260 x 185 mm (2600 x 1850 steps) - Step 0.1 mm - Speed 100 mm/sec - http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwxy.htm Beyond the above printer models, most any "industry-standard" line printer can work well with the Atari. For many years, most printers marketed for home use could be classified into one of two categories: parallel or serial interface. Parallel line printers were much more commonly used than serial line printers, with the Epson MX/FX/LX series defining the market. The most common way to use an industry standard printer with the Atari has been to attach it through the 15-pin 8-bit parallel port of the Atari 850 Interface Module or equivalent (such as the ICD P:R: Connection). One gotcha here is that the 850's parallel port is DB15, where the PC world ended-up standardizing on a DB25 configuration. So you need to find or build a cable, such as the Atari CX86 Printer Cable, that provides the DB15 connector for the Atari end, and Centronics-type parallel connector on the printer end, in order to attach a standard parallel printer to the Atari through an Atari 850 or equivalent. The pinouts necessary for building such a cable are available in the Atari 850 Interface section of this FAQ list. Many 3rd-party disk drives for the Atari (along with the Atari XEP80 Interface Module) do include a DB25 parallel printer port, rendering the need for an Atari-specific printer cable unnecessary. The Atari 850 Interface Module and equivalents also provide standard DB9 serial RS-232-C ports, permitting use of standard serial line printers with the Atari. But this is much less common than parallel, both in the Atari world and in the industry at large. Some folks have connected more modern inkjet and laser printers with parallel connections to the 8-bit Atari with success. Graphics printouts from the Atari may be less than ideal (look for a printer with an Epson MX/FX/LX printer series emulation mode), but these types of printers should work fine for plain text output if they can handle simple line print jobs. Bob Woolley wrote on Sun, 14 Apr 2002: I use HP LaserJet 4Ps on my Ataris. They are one of the last front panel selectable cheap printers - from which you can select your default fonts, etc. The newer laser printers can only set fonts and operating modes thru the interface, not impossible, but not as easy as selecting on the panel. This does allow you to print just about any point size of the internal fonts in the printer on your Atari. Either way, you really have to do a little work to get properly formatted output from a word processor. I have managed to use the proportional font setting with AtariWriter and printer driver creation utilities to get good results. Mathy van Nisselroy provides an AtariWriter printer driver for the HP LaserJet here: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/special%20stuff.htm Carsten Strotmann wrote on 30 Dec 2006: I'm very happy with the Kyocery Mita Laserprinters. They still support Epson and IBM ESC Codes (as well as PCL and Postscript), have all Codes documented in the handbooks (downloadable as PDF from the company webpage). Also the printers are very reliable and have low life cycle costs. Be sure to check the Emulation Features, as they also have some Windows only GDI Printer. I have the FS1200D (with duplex printing feature). Modern printers designed for "modern" PCs now normally utilize USB connectors rather than the older standard Centronics parallel connector.
Subject: 4.5) How can my Atari utilize my PC's printer? ==> SIO2PC, by Nick Kennedy From the SIO2PC home page: SIO2PC is a hardware & software package interfacing the 8-bit Atari to PC compatible computers. The original idea was to have the PC emulate Atari disk drives so Atari programs could be stored on the PC's hard (or floppy) drives. It turned out to be quite successful. About 95% of my work was in the software, but a hardware device to convert logic levels was also necessary. This device is now commonly referred to as an SIO2PC cable. Features: - Emulates 1 to 4 Atari disk drives - Store your Atari files on PC hard or floppy drives - Boot from the PC, real drive not needed to start-up - No software or drivers required for the Atari; no conflicts: use your favorite DOS - Twice as fast as an Atari 810 drive and more reliable - Co-exists with real drives in the Atari daisy chain - Compatible down to the hardware level: use sector copiers, etc. - Print-Thru captures Atari print-out and routes to PC's printer - Convert Atari files to PC files and vice versa http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm Another source for various SIO2PC cable design plans is Clarence Dyson's page at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/ Another (Czech language): http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/sio2pc.htm ==> Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE), by Steven Tucker David A. Paterson writes: "Steven J. Tucker took SIO2PC one better and wrote new software. The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE for short): - lets your PC act as high-speed drives. - It lets you print to your PC printer. - And it lets you use your PC modem on the 8-bit." http://www.atarimax.com/ ==> Sio2OSX, by Mark Grebe Sio2OSX is a peripheral emulator for the Atari 8-bit computers that allows the Atari computer to use an OSX based Macintosh as a disk drive, a cassette drive, and a printer. Sio2OSX performs functions similar to APE or SIO2PC on Windows based computers. http://www.atarimac.com/sio2osx.php
Subject: 5.1) What are the Atari 830, 835, 1030, XM301, and SX212 Modems? A MODulator/DEModulator translates digital information from your computer into acoustic tones that can be sent and received, from modem to modem, via standard telephone lines. Atari produced several modems for use with the 8-bit Atari computers: Atari 830 Acoustic Modem: ( = Novation 'CAT' ) - a stand-alone, acoustically coupled, frequency shift keying (FSK) modem - up to 300 bits per second - Bell 103/113 modem compatible - requires Atari 850 Interface Module or equivalent Atari 835 Direct Connect Modem: (by Racal-Vadic?) - 300 bps - Bell 103/113 modem compatible - pulse dialing - 2 SIO ports - packaged with the TeleLink II cartridge Atari 1030 Modem with ModemLink Telecommunications Program: (by Penril) - 300 bps - Bell 103/113 modem compatible - built-in ModemLink software. - 2 SIO ports Atari XM301 Modem: - 300 bps - Bell 103/113 modem compatible - with XE Term disk software (developed by Russ Wetmore for Atari) - permanent SIO cable, must be at end of SIO chain - draws its power from the computer via SIO Atari SX212 Modem: - SIO & DB25 RS-232 serial ports, must be at end of SIO chain - 1200 baud - Bell 103/113/212A modem compatible - SX Express! disk software (developed by Keith Ledbetter for Atari) to be sold separately, packaged with an SIO cable. - Key engineer/designer: Jose Valdes at Atari
Subject: 5.2) What other modems can I use with my Atari? Some third-party modems were marketed for use with the Atari 8-bit computers: ==> Microconnection, by The Microperipheral Corporation 300 bps, Bell 103 compatible, T-SMART software, pulse dialing (not touch tone) Four versions: buss-decoding version does not require 850 Interface or equivalent, includes DB25 parallel printer interface, with or without autodial Plain version requires 850 Interface or equivalent, with or without autodial and autoanswer ==> MPP-1000C, by Microbits Peripheral Products 300 baud, joystick port 2, Smart Terminal cartridge ==> MPP-1000E, by Microbits Peripheral Products 300 baud, joystick port 2, Smart Term software From: "Steven J Tucker" Sun, 13 Jan 2002 16:14:38 -0500 The 1000E..had this strange problem in that it could never hang up the phone ==> MPP-1200A, by Microbits Peripheral Products Released? Vaporware? 1200 bps, joystick port 2 ==> 300 AT, by Supra (same as MPP-1000E) 300 baud, joystick port 2, Smart Term software ==> 1200 AT, by Supra 1200 baud, Hayes compatible, connects to SIO via SupraVerter/R-Verter cable, Smart Terminal software ==> Volksmodem, by Anchor Automation 300 baud, 'F' Cable permits connection to joystick port 2 ==> Q-MODEM, by Quantum Microsystems 300 baud, two SIO connectors, QuanTerm disk or cartridge Beyond the above modem models, most any "industry-standard" external serial modem can work well with the Atari. These have been commonly sold for PCs for many years. The Hayes Smartmodem more or less defined the market for these, initially. One common way to use an industry standard external serial modem with the Atari is to connect it to the SIO port via an Advanced Interface Devices (A.I.D., later Supra) R-Verter Serial Bus Modem Adapter cable, or equivalent. The other common way to use an industry standard external serial modem with the Atari is to attach it through the 9-pin RS-232-C serial port of the Atari 850 Interface Module or equivalent (such as the ICD P:R: Connection). One gotcha here is that the serial port on the 850 is DB9 female, where the PC world ended up standardizing on a DB9 male connector for this purpose. But gender converters are readily available. For using modems at speeds of 2400 bps and up with the Atari, it will be useful to have an understanding of data flow control. Here is a definition of flow control from www.modems.com: Often, one modem in a connection is capable of sending data much faster than the other can receive. Flow control allows the receiving modem to tell the other to pause while it catches up. Flow control exists as either software, or XON/XOFF, flow control, or hardware (RTS/CTS) flow control. With software flow control, when a modem needs to tell the other to pause, it sends a certain character, usually Control-S. When it is ready to resume, it sends a different character, such as Control-Q. Software flow control's only advantage is that it can use a serial cable with only three wires. Since software flow control regulates transmissions by sending certain characters, line noise could generate the character commanding a pause, thus hanging the transfer until the proper character (such as Control-Q) is sent. Also, binary files must never be sent using software flow control, as binary files can contain the control characters. Hardware, or RTS/CTS, flow control uses wires in the modem cable or, in the case of internal modems, hardware in the modem. This is faster and much more reliable than software flow control. Some 2400 bps modems, and probably all modems with 9600 bps speed capabilities and up, normally use V.42 standard error correction and V.42bis standard data compression. But V.42 requires either software or hardware flow control, and V.42bis requires hardware flow control (and V.42 error correction). Hardware flow control is not available with the Atari 850 serial ports. As a result, just before dialing out with your Atari telecom software, it's usually desirable, if not necessary, to disable your modem's flow control. The Hayes modem command to disable flow control looks like: AT&K0 The top speed of the Atari 850 serial ports is 9600 bps. Clay Halliwell offers a tip on utilizing 9600 bps through the 850 Interface: On 11 Feb 1996, Marc G. Frank said: > I'm having problems getting a modem attached to my Atari 850 to > communicate at 9600 baud. When I set my communications program to 2400 > baud, everything works fine. However, when I set it to 9600 baud, the > modem echoes my characters but doesn't act on them. That is, at 2400, The problem with the 850 is that some of them (like mine) don't produce a PERFECT 9600 baud signal. As a result modems can't train on it, and while they will echo characters back, for some nitpicky reason they won't pick up on the "AT" attention code. The solution is to do all your dialing at 2400 baud, but set the S37 register to force the modem to try to connect at 9600. Then switch your Atari to 9600 after connecting. Through the use of an ICD MIO or a CSS Black Box, it is possible to utilize modems at speeds up to 14.4 Kbps (V.32bis) at full speed with no loss of data. The serial R: device handler for the Black Box supports hardware flow control natively. Optional for the Black Box, but essential for the MIO, is the HyperSpeed handler by Len Spencer. Hyperspd.arc is available at: http://www.lenardspencer.com/Lenspencer/hyperspd.htm Modern external modems designed for "modern" PCs now normally utilize a USB connector rather than the older standard DB9 RS-232-C serial connector.
Subject: 5.3) How can my Atari utilize my PC's modem/network? ==> Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE), by Steven Tucker David A. Paterson writes: "Steven J. Tucker took SIO2PC one better and wrote new software. The Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE for short): - lets your PC act as high-speed drives. - It lets you print to your PC printer. - And it lets you use your PC modem on the 8-bit." Greg Goodwin writes (2005): Steven Tucker made this wonderful ability in the Windows version of Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE, the program and cable that lets you make a PC an Atari's bit...er..slave. :D) There is a great ability to tap into the PC's Internet. Bring up the APE program on the PC, BobTerm on the Atari, and BobTerm will notice the Internet out there. Now you can enter in a telnet address and it will take you right to it. Nice and basically cheap setup, and great way to take advantage of the Internet setup on your PC. http://www.atarimax.com/ ==> Sio2OSX, by Mark Grebe Sio2OSX is a peripheral emulator for the Atari 8-bit computers that allows the Atari computer to use an OSX based Macintosh as a disk drive, a cassette drive, and a printer. Sio2OSX performs functions similar to APE or SIO2PC on Windows based computers. http://www.atarimac.com/sio2osx.php
Subject: 5.4) What networking hardware is there for the Atari? ==> CSS Deluxe Quintopus Share SIO devices between 2 computers. The Deluxe Quintopus consists of a box with two switched SIO ports and 4 unswitched SIO ports. http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/quintopus.htm ==> Supra MicroNet Supports the connection of one SIO chain of peripherals to up to 8 computers. When one computer accesses a peripheral device, the entire bus is occupied so that the other computers on the "network" must wait. The bus is freed five seconds after a computer finishes interacting with the peripheral. A printer/data buffer can make the MicroNet more practical. Supra also provided a modified Atari DOS 2.5 that would re-try disk accesses repeatedly in response to SIO timeouts. http://www.atarimagazines.com/v4n10/productreviews.html ==> CSS Multiplexer ("MUX") Description from the CSS online catalog: The Multiplexer is a collection of cartridge interface boards that allow up to 8 Ataris to read and write to the same drives (typically a hard disk), access the same printer(s), and talk to each other. It is the first practical networking system for the Atari 8-bit computer. One "master" computer (any 8-bit) is equipped with the master Multiplexer interface. Then up to 8 "slave" computers hook up to this master, each having their own slave interface. The slave interface consists of a cartridge that plugs into the cartridge port. It has its own socket on the top so you can use whatever cartridges you desire with the system. The "common" peripherals (things that are to be shared) are connected to the master. On each slave, all disk and printer I/O is routed through the master so no extra disk drives are needed. The master computer can be configured in any manner you wish. You may have certain peripherals local to the slave or routed to a different number on the master. Note that serial ports (R: RS-232 interfaces) are not multiplexed. All slaves are independent and do not need to have the same program running on them. http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/multiplexer.htm ==> GameLink and GameLink II This text by Andreas Koch: In the late 80`s and early 90`s Chuck Steinman and Jeff Potter ("The ADGA Group") developed some networking-computer-hardware to link two or more Ataris together, so that multiplayer games are possible, where each user has its own computer and tv/monitor screen. The hardware was/is computer independent and will run fine on any Atari 8Bit computer (whereas most software for it will only work on XL/XE computers). During a 3-4 year period of development two different hardware add-ons were developed: a) Gamelink-1: This hardware was developed in 1989/90. It links two computers together via the joystick ports. It is limited to a maximum of 2 computers and thus 2 or 6 players, meaning one free port per XL/XE computer and 3 free ports per 400/800 computer. However, the few existing games for this hardware merely support 2 players, no matter, which computer you have... b) Gamelink-2: This hardware was developed in 1991/92. It links 2 to 8 computers together via the SIO-port. One computer will then act as the master and has to boot up the software (from tape, disk, hard disk, etc.) first. Then all other "slave" computers connect to it and boot off of this master computer (one after another of course). In Europe we call this device "Multilink", mostly because of the games written by Bewesoft (Jiri Bernasek) called Multi-Dash, Multi-Race, Multi-Worms. A two-computer link-network can easily be done with one SIO cable, just open the end of the SIO cable and exchange cables number 3 and 5. You now have an easy two-computer (2-4 players) network-cable. For some available software, that supports this networking-computer hardware, see 8.16 which programs support networking computer hardware... ==> AT-Link (Alphasys) Arianne Slaager writes: I was actually surprised to read about the Gamelink-1, as I made a similar cable myself, called the AT-Link. This cable could also be used to communicate with Commodore 64 computers, and I made driver software for both systems at the time. There were 2 drivers. One as relocatable machine code, and another as device driver. Also in the package was a 2 player Battleships type game where Side A had the Atari version, and Side B the Commodore 64 version. ...wasn't more than two old joystick cables in a crosslink configuration, (Pin 1 and 2 linked to pin 3 and 4 of the other cable respectively) ==> EightLink (Alphasys) Arianne Slaager writes: I also made a special high-speed Atari to Atari cable, called the EightLink. This one was cartridge based system, with a PIA inside, which boasted a 8 bit bidirectional, parallel databus, and a 4 bit crosslinked control bus. Transfer speeds were such that two Atari's on opposite ends of a large hall could transfer disk data faster than it could be read or written. The actual cable connecting the two was a flatcable with 33 leads, alternating ground and a dataline across the width to minimise crossover disruption of data. Also for this link system, I made drivers both in relocatable code, as well as a device driver.
Subject: 5.5) How can I connect my Atari to a high-speed/Ethernet network? Marius Diepenhorst has pioneered the following technique. He writes (2004): "Try to get a LANTRONIX UDS-10 device. It acts like a modem but it is a LAN -> RS-232 converter. So with that device you can have incoming and outgoing 'calls' like modem ones via the internet. I ran my Atari 8bit bbs with such a thing. The Lantronix MSS-10 or MSS-100 will do too. But in that case you have to make a custom RS-232 cable (easy job). More info www.lantronix.com this is the info of the UDS-10 www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/uds-10.html Now see the newer model, the UDS1100: www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/uds1100.html It is REALLY a cool thing. Not only for you, but for more atari fans I guess." Other, similar serial-to-Ethernet interfaces from Lantronix have been successfully utilized, including the MSS100: www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/mss100.html as well as the discontinued MSS1-T. Note that the UDS-10 lacks DNS support, while the MSS100 and MSS1-T include DNS support.
Subject: 6.1) What is the Atari 850 Interface Module? While the Atari's SIO and controller ports did not conform to established industry standards, Atari produced the 850 Interface Module to address this issue. The 850 connects to the SIO port on the Atari, and provides: - Four 9-pin RS-232-C serial ports - One 15-pin Centronics-type parallel Printer Port Many "industry standard" (of the time) printers, modems, and various other devices can be used with the Atari computer in combination with an 850 Interface Module. Also, Atari's own 825 printer and 830 modem are connected to the computer via the 850 Interface Module. RS-232-C is a technical standard of the Electronic Industries Association (EIA). Published in August of 1969, it is titled "Interface Between Data Terminal Equipment and Data Communication Equipment Employing Serial Binary Data Interchange." The standard specifies electrical signal characteristics and names and defines the functions of the signal and control lines which make up a standard interface, called RS-232-C. The 850 should be thought of as an RS-232-C "data terminal" (DTE, or Data Terminal Equipment). The 850's RS-232-C serial ports support the following baud rates: 45.5 bps*, 50 bps*, 56.875 bps*, 75 bps**, 110 bps, 134.5 bps, 150 bps, 300 bps, 600 bps, 1200 bps, 1800 bps, 2400 bps, 4800 bps, 9600 bps * These Baud rates are useful for communications with Baudot teletypes, for RTTY (radioteletype) applications. They are more commonly referred to as 60, 67, and 75 words per minute. ** This Baud rate is sometimes used for ASCII communications, and may also be used for 5-bit Baudot RTTY. The latter is commonly referred to as 100 wpm. While the Atari Operating System includes the necessary Printer Port software handler, the RS-232 serial port handler is loaded into the computer's RAM via a "Power-On Bootstrapping Operation" as follows: Bootstrapping Operation Without Disk Drive: When the Atari computer is turned on, it issues a disk request via SIO. If no Drive 1 is present with power ON, the 850 responds to the disk request. The computer then loads the bootstrapping program from the 850, as if it were reading from a disk. The bootstrapping program is then run, and it gets the RS-232-C handler from the 850 and relocates it into the computer's RAM. The memory occupied by the bootstrapping program is then freed (but the handler remains). Bootstrapping Operation With Disk Drive: If there is a disk drive attached to the system (Drive 1 only), it responds to the disk request issued by the computer at power-on. The computer then reads a start-up program from that disk, such as a DOS. The 850 does not respond to the disk request if a disk drive responds first; therefore, the program loaded from disk must load the handler from the 850. Many varieties of DOS for the Atari include an explicit provision for loading and executing the bootstrapping program from the 850, such as through the use of an AUTORUN.SYS file. When the 850 bootstrapping program is executed, it gets the RS-232-C handler from the 850 and relocates it into the computer's RAM. The memory occupied by the bootstrapping program is then freed (but the handler remains). PINOUTS ======= 850 Serial Port No. 1 (9-pin female connector): 1. Data Terminal Ready (DTR, Ready Out) 2. Carrier Detect (CRX, In) 5 1 3. Send Data (Out) o o o o o 4. Receive Data (In) o o o o 5. Signal Ground 9 6 6. Data Set Ready (DSR, Ready In) 7. Request to Send (RTS, Out) 8. Clear to Send (CTS, In) Use a cable with the following connections to attach a standard RS-232 MODEM to an Atari via the 850's Serial Port No. 1 (equivalent to the Atari CX87 Interface/Modem Cable): DB25P (RS-232 MODEM) | DB9P (850 Interface) 20 1 - DTR 8 2 - CRX 2 3 - XMT 3 4 - RCV 7 5 - GND 6 6 - DSR 4 7 - RTS 5 8 - CTS Frame - to the shield wire | No connection to shield 850 Serial Port Nos. 2 and 3 (9-pin female connector): 5 1 1. Data Terminal Ready (DTR, Ready Out) o o o o o 3. Send Data (Out) o o o o 4. Receive Data (In) 9 6 5. Signal Ground 6. Data Set Ready (DSR, Ready In) 850 Serial Port No. 4 (9-pin female connector): When used with a 1. Data Terminal Ready (DTR, Ready Out)* 20 mA loop device: 5 1 3. Send Data (Out) 1. Send data + o o o o o 4. Receive Data (In) 3. Send data - o o o o 5. Signal Ground 7. Receive data + 9 6 7. Request to Send (RTS, Out)* 9. Receive data - 9. - 8V *These pins are not computer-controlled and are always ON (+10v). 850 Printer Port (15-pin female connector): 1. Data Strobe' 2. Data bit 0 3. Data bit 1 8 1 4. Data bit 2 o o o o o o o o 5. Data bit 3 o o o o o o o 6. Data bit 4 15 9 7. Data bit 5 8. Data bit 6 9. Data pins pull-up (+5v) 11. Signal ground 12. Fault' (Must be +5 for printer port to operate) 13. Busy 15. Data bit 7 Use a cable with the following connections to attach a standard Centronics- type parallel printer to an Atari via the 850's Printer Port (equivalent to the Atari CX86 Printer Cable): 36-pin Centronics (male) | DB15P (850 Interface) 1 1 - Data Strobe 2 2 - D0 3 3 - D1 4 4 - D2 5 5 - D3 6 6 - D4 7 7 - D5 8 8 - D6 16 11 - Gnd 32 12 - Fault 11 13 - Busy 9 15 - D7 Frame - to the shield wire | No connection to shield Very early 850's are in an all-black brushed steel case, but most are in a beige plastic case matching the 400/800 computers. Because the 850 was relatively expensive, provided more capabilities than the average user was looking for, and was at times unavailable from Atari despite high demand, there were many 3rd-party interfaces designed to provide some compatible subset of the 850's features. Perhaps the most prominent example of such a product is the P:R: Connection from ICD.
Subject: 6.2) What is the Atari XEP80 Interface Module? This text written by Thomas Raukamp. Since the development of the Atari 8-bit line of computers in 1979, users wanted better text displays than the default 40x24. There have been some attempts to satisfy this need, like the Austin-Franklin board or the ACE-80 and ACE-80XL cartridges. For more information about these modifications read The Atari 8-bit Hardware Upgrade FAQ from David A. Paterson. The Atari XEP80 Interface Module is Atari's entry to the 80 column field. It lets a XL, XE, 400 or 800 computer system display a full 80 columns across your monitor screen. The XEP80 provides a 256-character wide by 25-line display window. Up to 80 characters are displayed horizontally at once, and you can scroll horizontally all the way to the 256th character, depending on the application you're running. The XEP80 is connected to your system via a joystick port. The XEP80 Module interprets commands from the computer for screen display or output to a printer. The module is supplied with an industry-standard 8-bit parallel port so you can connect a parallel printer to your Atari 8-bit (I even use a HP LaserJet IV on my 130XE ;) ). All programs that use the standard screen call (E:) should be compatible with the XEP80 Module. The software provided by Atari supports a 320x200 graphics mode - this mode only support direct bit images. Note that you can't use all of the standard graphic capabilities of the Atari anymore. Although Atari recommends a monochrome monitor for usage with the XEP80, it runs fine with any type of composite monitor. The output looks great on my Commodore 1084 for example. Along with the module comes a software-package containing an AUTORUN.SYS file, which is the XEP80 handler. If you want to use the module with an application that is compatible with the XEP80, which has its own AUTORUN.SYS file, you can append the application's AUTORUN.SYS on the module's AUTORUN.SYS. *********************** The key engineer/designer of the XEP80 was Jose Valdes at Atari. Lane Winner was software developer for the XEP80 at Atari. Editors for the XEP80: - AtariWriter 80 by Atari - TurboWord by MicroMiser - emacs subset by Stan Lackey - MAE and its previous standalone editor ED XEP80 P: Parallel port: 13 1 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 25 14 1. Strobe 2-9. Parallel Data 10. Not Used 11. Busy 12-17. Not Used 18-25. Ground
Subject: 6.3) How can I use a SCSI/SASI device with my Atari? SCSI background sources include: http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=scsi SCSI - Small Computer Systems Interface. Pronounced "scuzzy." SCSI is an ANSI standard for connection peripherals/devices to your computer via a hardware interface, which uses standard SCSI commands. In the early 1980's, Adaptec's founders, while at disk drive manufacturer Shugart Associates, developed a parallel I/O interface called SASI for Shugart Associated System Interface. When this specification was finalized, it was released to several different manufacturers and enjoyed commercial success. In 1982, SASI was presented to ANSI as a basis for standard. Because of the commercial success and widespread market use of SASI, ANSI formalized and extended the SASI specification and changed the name to SCSI (in part to separate the specification from any one vendor in particular). In June 1986, SCSI was formally adopted by ANSI. The following hardware interface devices allow SASI/SCSI devices (such as hard disk drives) to be connected to the Atari: ==> ICD Multi I/O (MIO) - Parallel printer interface - Serial interface, for modem or serial printer. will handle 19.2Kbps - 256K or 1 MB RAM, for RAMdisk or printer spooler - SASI/SCSI interface, supports up to 8 controllers. - Limited to drives with 256-byte sectors. Attaches via PBI, or ECI with adapter. ==> CSS Black Box - RS-232 Serial Modem Port (19.2Kbps) w/ hardware flow control - Parallel Printer Port - SASI/SCSI Hard Disk Port - Operating System Enhancements - optional 64K printer buffer - Supports drives with 512-byte sectors PBI/ECI device. Available: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/black.htm Mathy van Nisselroy's Black Box page: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/blackbox.htm ASPI - Advanced SCSI Programming Interface Originally developed by Adaptec. It is a software layer that enables programs to communicate with SCSI (and ATAPI) devices. Mathy van Nisselroy's Atari ASPI page: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/aspi.htm
Subject: 6.4) How can I use an IDE device with my Atari? IDE background from TechWeb, http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=ide IDE - Integrated Drive Electronics IDE is a type of hardware interface widely used to connect hard disks, CD-ROMs and tape drives to a PC. IDE was always the more economical interface, compared to SCSI. With IDE, the controller electronics are built into the drive itself, requiring a simple circuit in the PC for connection. IDE drives were attached to earlier PCs using an IDE host adapter card. Today, two Enhanced IDE (EIDE) sockets are built onto the motherboard, and each socket connects up to two drives via a 40-pin ribbon cable for CD-ROMs and similar devices and an 80- wire cable for fast hard disks. IDE drives are configured as master and slave. Jumper pins on the drive itself are used to set up the first drive on the cable as master and the second one, if present, as a slave. The IDE interface is officially known as the ATA (AT Attachment) specification. ATAPI (ATA Packet Interface) defines the IDE standard for CD- ROMs and tape drives. ATA-2 (Fast ATA) defined the faster transfer rates used in Enhanced IDE (EIDE). The following hardware interface devices allow IDE devices (such as hard disk drives) to be connected to the Atari: ==> SmartIDE project by Bob Woolley Uses 256 of the normal 512 byte sectors. Point-to-point wiring project. Articles and software at http://www.wolfpup.net/atarimods/ (Atari page by Clarence Dyson) ==> KMK/JZ IDE Hard Drive Interface by Jacek Zuk and Konrad Kokoszkiewicz (Draco) KMK writes (March 2005): This is sort of cartridge fitting in ECI+CARTRIDGE slot in XE computers. The box is about 1,5 cm high, 15 cm long, and its width is less or more equal to the XE ECI+CARTRIDGE slot. You have an ECI+CARTRIDGE connector at one end, and an IDE cable at the other end. The whole is cased with black plastic case. What advantage does it have over similar products? 1) it is available and still being made; 2) the software is maintained, you can download an upgrade for the internal handler, for example; 3) it uses a well defined Atari parallel bus interface, thus no OS modifications or other hacks are necessary to get the machine booting from this device; 4) it works fine with unmodified SpartaDOS X, SpartaDOS 3.x, MyDOS (and other DOS-es, but using it with DOS 2.x lacks sense); 5) it allows you to make true partitions (up to 16); 6) it can currently address up to 8 GB (and this is not a hardware limit, so an upgraded internal ROM can do more); 7) it works with all devices which are ATA-compliant; 8) you can use two drives (master/slave); The Interface's internal software provides two modes: native and emulation. The native mode uses a 512 byte physical block as a logical data sector, the emulation mode uses the physical block to store two 256 byte logical data sectors. ALL existing DOSes require the emulation mode to work properly. Maximum drive capacity: 8388607 physical blocks on each device. Maximum number of partitions: 16 Maximum capacity of a partition: 8388607 logical sectors Logical sector length: 256 or 512 bytes Average speed: 58 kilobytes per second (native mode, R/W) 32 kilobytes per second (emulation mode, reading) 7 kilobytes per second (emulation mode, writing) Booting from any partition Write protection capability 8 jumpers to set the device number for the operating system Note, that ALL existing DOSes limit the partition size to 16 MB. Available: E-mail to: jurekQrembertow.net (q = @) User's Manual and software downloads: http://drac030.krap.pl/ or http://drac030.atari8.info ==> Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe) Multi I/O II (MIO II) interface An IDE interface. Several exist, but it was never really released ==> msc-IDE Controller, by Matthias Belitz * real device for the parallel-port (PBI/ECI) of the Atari XL/XE * up to 240 partitions per hard disk supported * emulates D1: until D9: of disk devices (access to 9 partitions at one time) * full bootable from any partition (with standard XL-OS) * write protection capability * supports master/slave configuration * more than 30 KB/s file access with SPARTA-DOS 3.2 gx (reading) * more than 10 KB/s file access with SPARTA-DOS 3.2 gx (writing) * software partially supports CD-ROM and ZIP drives. Sold out. http://www.birmanns.de/atari/ ==> Gary Morton's BadSector"A" Project Wants to connect his IDE drive to the SIO bus. http://www.alma.demon.co.uk/Atari/AtariProjects.html ==> MyIDE interface and software by Mr.Atari, Sijmen Schouten Point-to-point wiring project. Different units for 800 and XL, including a cartridge version for the XL. http://www.mr-atari.com/ ==> Atarimax "MyIDE+Flash" Cartridge Atarimax "MyIDE+Flash" Cartridge is a professionally produced IDE interface cartridge for all 64k Atari 8-bit computers. The new MyIDE+Flash interface combines Sijmen "Mr. Atari" Schouten's popular "MyIDE" interface with an Atarimax 1Mbit reprogrammable flash cartridge. The cartridge's built in 1Mbit flash system allows you to utilize the interface and your hard disk setup in any 64k XL/XE computer, using the built- in boot OS, without modifications to the existing hardware or operating system. http://www.atarimax.com/myide/documentation/ ==> SIO2IDE, by Marek Mikolajewski (MMSoft) The SIO2IDE is a simple interface that allows you to attach any IDE Disk Drive to your 8-bit Atari computer. Latest interface version has the following main features: * ATARI side: - uses standard Atari SIO at a speed of 19200 baud - works with Atari High Speed SIO (US and Happy) at a speed of 52000 baud - emulates Atari disks D1: to D8: disk D1: can be swapped with Common disk D1: (HD1_ZW jumper) - can be used with any Atari DOS and OS - can be used without any problems with other SIO devices (disk drivers, printers, modems, SIO2PC, second SIO2IDE etc) - can be easy installed inside your Atari with 2.5' laptop HD - is easy to configure via special fdisk.com utility software (changing disks sequence and active directory) * IDE device side: - all IDE ATA/ATAPI devices can be used: Disk Drives (2.5' and 3.5'), CD-ROMs, Compact Flash cards etc. - supports PC file systems, FAT16 and FAT32 - supports CD file system, ISO9660 - supports ATR disk images (SD, DD up to 16MB) - supports directory change (multiconfig) - is easy to configure, many text configuration files (sio2ide.cfg) can be stored in different directories - disk configuration can be checked by special checkfs.exe PC utility NOTE: checkfs.exe does NOT work with HDD connected via USB port - standard disk utilities can be used (defrag.exe, scandisk.exe etc) - Long File Name (LFN) support for HDD - TEST mode for checking HDD initialization * USB port side: - interface works as Mass Storage Class device (removable drive) - no drivers are needed for Windows 2K, ME, XP - driver for Win98 is included in this SIO2IDE package http://www.atariarea.krap.pl/sio2ide/ http://mega-hz.no-ip.com/Angebote/SIO2IDE33/SIO2IDE33.html ==> Nathan Hartwell's IDE projects http://www.magelair.com/
Subject: 6.5) Can I attach an ISA card to my Atari? ISA background from TechWeb, http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=isa ISA - Industry Standard Architecture. Pronounced "eye-suh." An expansion bus formerly commonly used in PCs (but since phased-out in favor of PCI). It accepts plug-in boards that control the sound, video display and other peripherals. Originally called the "AT bus," it was first used in the IBM AT, extending the 8-bit bus to 16 bits. RoBue (Roland Buehler) of the Stuttgart ABBUC Regional Group has produced project plans for an ISA-Bus Interface for Atari 800XL/130XE Computer, ARGS. Carsten Strotmann has released source code showing how to access a Hercules video card with the ISA-Bus Interface. Visit: http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//PgmFardwDriverHerc
Subject: 6.6) How can I use a USB device with my Atari? Background from TechWeb, http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=usb USB - Universal Serial Bus A hardware interface for low-speed peripherals such as the keyboard, mouse, joystick, scanner, printer and telephony devices. USB has a maximum bandwidth of 12 Mbits/sec (equivalent to 1.5 Mbytes/sec), and up to 127 devices can be attached. USB ports began to appear on PCs in 1997. It has now essentially replaced the older RS-232 serial and Centronics-type parallel ports on modern PCs, and USB has become the primary means for connecting most external devices to today's computers. The following project aims to provide USB compatibility to the Atari: MicroUSB.org - Microprocessor USB Project, http://microusb.org/ Project USB Cartridge * Project Name : USB Cartridge with two USB Slots * Project Start : Summer 2002 * Project Member: Marc Brings, Thomas Grasel, Harry Reminder, Guus Assmann, Carsten Strotmann http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/MicroUSB//ProjUSBCart In cooperation with the above, Atarimax(Steven Tucker)/ABBUC USB Cartridge: http://www.atarimax.com/usbcart/
Subject: 6.7) What are the power requirements for my Atari components? The household mains electricity supply is an alternating current (AC) that can be described with two parameters: the voltage (in volts) and the frequency (in Hz). In North America, the standard household wall outlet offers 120 V/60 Hz power. In much of the rest of the world, the mains is now standardizing to 230 V/50 Hz. In the time of 8-bit Atari computers, most of continental Europe used 220 V/50 Hz, and the UK used 240 V/50 Hz. In any case, the household alternating current must be converted to a direct current (DC) for use by electrical devices such as Atari computers and peripherals. In some cases, the entire conversion is done via an external "power supply" that sits between the wall outlet and the electrical device. Such power supplies both transform the household power to a lower voltage, and they also rectify the current from AC to DC. In some cases, the external "power supply" is simply a transformer that lowers the household voltage. The lowered AC voltage is rectified to DC inside the device. In some cases, both the transformer and the rectifier are located inside the computer or peripheral itself. The device plugs directly into the wall outlet, with no external "power supply" needed. The INPUT of an external power supply will indicate: 1) Input voltage in units of volts (110V for N.Am., 220V Euro, 240V UK) 2) Input frequency in units of hertz (60Hz for N.Am., 50Hz Euro) The OUTPUT of an external power supply will indicate: 1) Output Voltage, in units of volts (V) 2) Whether the output voltage is AC or DC 3) one or sometimes both of: - Output Current, in units of amperes ("amps") (A) or milliamps (mA) - Output Power, in units of volt-amperes ("volt-amps")(VA) or watts (W) An external power supply may also indicate a peak power rating. The power rating is the highest amount of power the unit can supply, according to the manufacturer, but this is only for a very brief time. The power rating may be indicated in units of volt-amperes (VA) or in units of watts (W). The power supplies themselves usually indicate this rating near the "Input" label (in order to distinguish this rating from the sustained power output.) The power ratings for Atari power supplies are given below as "Max:" Higher-than-specified power and current capacities are entirely usable, and often preferable because such supplies run cooler and last longer. In practice the power units VA and W are used interchangeably, even though they are not identical. Direct Current (DC): Power (in watts) = current (in amps) * voltage (in volts) Alternating Current (AC): Apparent Power (in voltamps) = current (in amps) * voltage (in volts) Effective/True Power (in watts) = current (in amps) * voltage (in volts) * cosine(phase, or angle of lag) cosine(phase) is known as the "power factor" N O R T H A M E R I C A INPUT = 105-125 VAC 60Hz ==================================================== AC supplies (external transformers) 9 VAC 4.5 VA 500 mA Max:7.5va Atari #CO61515(unit)/CO61516(unit) 1010 9 VAC 5.4 VA (600 mA) Max:12va Atari#C062195(unit) 1030 9 VAC 15.3 VA 1.7 A Max:18.5W Power Adaptor Atari#CO14319(unit)/CA014748(box - indicates 9.5 VAC 1.7 A) 400,800,822,850,1200XL,1010,1020 NOTE: This was also original equipment for the 810 disk drive, but Atari later determined that the 810 required more power (21 W) for reliable operation. This power supply is not recommended for disk drives. NOTE also that this power supply is only barely adequate for the 400/800/1200XL computers: Atari eventually specified the power requirement for the 400/800 at 19 W. 9 VAC 31 VA 3.4 A Max:50W Power Adaptor Atari#C017945(unit)/CA017964(box) http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102688424 400,800,810,822,850,1200XL,1010,1020,1050,XF551 9.5 VAC 4.2A (39.9 VA) Max:53W Atari#CO61636 Power Adaptor 1027 20 VAC 330 mA (6.6 VA) Max:7W Power Adaptor Atari#CO60479(unit)/CA060535(box?) 835 20 VAC 400 mA (8 VA) Max:15W Novation AC Adapter Model No 901017 / Atari#CA016751-01(box?) 830. Top: "ATARI" logo + "Use with 830 Modem Only" http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102662648 NOTE: Both the 830 box and the 850 Operator's Manual indicate different specs from this: 24 VAC/150mA. To date, no such power supply has turned up. DC supplies (external adapters) 5 V DC 1 A (5 W) Max:17W Atari#CO70042 65XE,XE game system Two versions, as described by B&C ComputerVisions, see: http://www.myatari.com/ebay/psxl.jpg Version #5(bottom center), the Mini, is the smallest at 2" X 3" & 2" high. It was shipped with most XE Game Systems. Not as rugged as version #6. For continuous operation use #6 for a 1 Amp instead of #5. 17W rating. Version #6(bottom right), the Logo, is the same size as Ver #4, 3" X 4 1/2" & 2 1/2" high but has an Atari Logo molded into the case. It was shipped with most 65XE computers and later XE Game Systems. Very reliable. Works great in most applications. 5 V DC 1.5 A 7.5 VA Max:varies, 25W 30W 40W Atari#C061982/CA024814 600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,XE Game System Four versions, as described by B&C ComputerVisions, see: http://www.myatari.com/ebay/psxl.jpg Version #1(upper left), the White Brick, has a white top and dark brown bottom, 4" X 8" & 2 1/2" high. Version #1 was shipped with early 600XL/800XL computers. Very reliable. Very Rare. 30W rating. Version #2(lower left), the Black Brick, is same shape and size as Version #1 but all black, 4" X 8" & 2 1/2" high. Version #2 was shipped with later 600XL/800XL computers. Very reliable. Very Rare. Version #3(center top), the Ingot, is solid & all black, 3 1/4" X 5" & 2 1/2" high. It was shipped with most 600XL/800XL and some 65/130XE computers. If this version fails it can damage the computer if not turned off quickly. Not recommended for unattended operations. If hum bars are seen on the screen disconnect Version #3 power packs. 40W rating. Version #4(top right), the Box, is slightly smaller than the Ver #3 at 3" X 4 1/2" & 2 1/2" high. It was shipped with most 130XE computers. Very reliable. Getting hard to find. We recommend this version for 130XE and 800XL computers. 25W rating. 6 V DC 300 mA (1.8 W) Max:? Atari#??????? "410 P" (rare version of 410) (center positive) 9 V DC 500 mA (4.5 VA) Power Adapter (Max:various ratings 9W to 12W) Atari#CO16353(unit, newer)/CO10472(unit, older)/CX261(box) XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive) E U R O P E INPUT = 216~264V 50Hz =================================== AC supplies (external transformers) 8.5 VAC 4.25 VA (0.5 A) Max:? Input 240V 50 Hz (UK) Atari#CO61516/34 1010 8.52 VAC 4.26 VA (0.5 A) Max:? Atari#CO61516-13 (New Zealand) 1010 9.3 VAC 15.44 VA (1,66 A) Max:? FW 6799/Atari#CA014748?(box?) 400,800,822,850,1010,1020 9.5 VAC 1.5 A (14.25 VA) Max:? TaMOD M 5496 Input: 240V 50 Hz (UK) 400,800,822,850,1010,1020 (shipped with UK PAL 400) 9 VAC 3.4 A 27 VA Max:0.037Kw Input: 240V 50Hz (UK) Atari#CO60592-34(unit)/CA017964(box) Power Adaptor TM 7498 or SA 8547 http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/adapterboxedxl.jpg 400,800,810,822,850,1010,1020,1050,XF551 9 VAC 3.0 A ( VA) Max:? Input: ?? (Europe?) Atari#CO60592-11(unit)/CA017964?(box?) PL028 or DV-9034A UP 400,800,810,822,850,1010,1020,1050,XF551 DC supplies (external adapters) 5 V DC 1.5 A (7.5 VA) Max:0.11A Input: 240V~50Hz (UK) Atari#CO61763-34 600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System 5 V DC 1.5 A (7.5 W) Max:varies 22VA 26VA Input: 220V 50Hz Atari#CO61763-11 600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System (5 V DC) (1.7 A) 8.5 VA Max:? Input: 240V 50Hz (UK) Atari#CO61605 600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System 5 V DC 1.8 A (9.0 W) Atari#CO61763-107 (Poland) 600XL,800XL,65XE,130XE,800XE,XE Game System 9 V DC 500 mA 4.5 VA Max:9W Input: 220V 50Hz (Germany) Atari#CO18084-117 AC/DC Adaptor XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive) 9 V DC 500 mA (4.5 VA) Max:9W Input: 240V 50Hz (UK) Atari#CO18084-309/CO18084-306? XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive) 9.5 V DC 650 mA (6.2 VA) Max:15W Input: 220V 50 Hz (France) Atari#C016507 XEP80,SX212,2600,CX42 (center positive) I) 29 V DC 600 mA (17.4 W) Max: 38VA Input 220V 50 Hz (Germany) II) 8.6 V DC 1 A (8.6 W) Atari#14750 Type: 102501 1025(Euro). This unique adapter has two separate power output cables that both plug into the European 1025 printer M O R E I N F O ================ These draw their power from the SIO +5 V: XM301 (60 mA),XC11,XC12,ICD P:R: Connection,Wizztronics MidiMax,R-Verter Draws power from the 600XL PBI: 1064 These have built-in power supplies (plug directly into the wall): 410 (except "410P"),815,820,825,1025(non-Euro),1029,XMM801,XDM121 OTHER: Indus GT 11.5 V DC 1.95 A (22.4 VA) Max:33W DataByte#DV-9319A Center positive This is identical to the Atari power supply for earlier 2-port 5200s: Atari#CO18187(unit, early version)/CA019141(box) What happens if power supplies for the Atari 1050 and Indus GT are mixed? Paul Alhart writes (20 Jan 2004): "The Indus requires DC, the 1050 uses AC. Plug an Indus supply into a 1050 and it will usually blow the rectifier diodes in the 1050. Plug an Atari supply into an Indus and it will blow the fuse in the supply. It can damage the mother board as well." Multi I/O (MIO), all versions, can use both AC and DC supplies, BUT: stick to voltages of at least 6.2-7.2 V. On 2003.09.01 James Bradford wrote: "Doesn't matter what polarity the centre is, the MIO has a fullwave bridge rectifier in it. AC would be better because the diodes would be used half the time." Rana 1000: 9 VAC 3.4 A (30.6 VA) MPP1000C modem: 9 V DC 200 mA (1.8 W)
Subject: 6.8) What accessories did Atari produce for their 8-bit computers? This should be a complete list of Atari "CX" accessories, two or three digit numbers, and "KX" accessories, four digit numbers, marketed for or usable with the 8-bit computers. Controllers marketed by Atari for the 2600 and/or 7800 also work on the 8-bit computers. CX10 Joystick PCB replacement CX11 Joystick plastic insert replacements CX12 Joystick cable replacement CX20-01 Pair of Driving Controllers. One controller per plug. Used by Indy 500 for 2600 CX21 Video Touch Pad for 2600 Star Raiders. Compatible w/ CX23 and CX50. CX22 (Pro-Line) Trak-Ball. Works in joystick or trackball modes. Round buttons. The trackball controller from the Atari Consumer Division (2600/7800). Various stylings (after the black 2600), functionally identical: 1) "Atari 2600 Trak-Ball": cream ball, black top, black buttons, black label beneath ball with black lettering, black bottom. (Rare?) 2) "Atari 2600 Pro-Line Trak-Ball": cream ball, black top, black buttons, black label beneath ball with silver lettering, black bottom. (Rare?) 3) "Atari Trak-Ball": black ball, black top, black buttons, black label beneath ball with silver lettering, white bottom. (Rare?) 4) "Atari Trak-Ball": cream ball, black top, black buttons, black label beneath ball with silver lettering, white bottom. (COMMON) CX23 Kid's Controller. Used by 2600 Sesame Street titles. Compatible w/ CX21 and CX50 CX24 (Pro-Line / Deluxe) Joystick CX30-04 Pair of Paddles CX40 Joystick Controller (single) CX40-04 Pair of Joystick Controllers CX41 Joystick Repair Kit CX42 Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (requires XEP80/SX212/2600 power adapter) CX43 (Pro-Line) Space Age Joystick CX50 Keyboard Controller Pair. Compatible w/ CX21 and CX23 CX70 Light Pen (beige; the rare original Atari light pen) CX75 Light Pen and AtariGraphics (cartridge) CX77 Touch Tablet With AtariArtist software (cartridge) + DOS 2.0S (disk) CX78 Joypad Controller (not in USA) CX80 Trak-Ball. Works in joystick or trackball modes. Triangular buttons. The trackball controller from the Atari Home Computer Division. XL computer styling: black ball, black top, black buttons, silver label above ball with black "Atari Trak-Ball" lettering, white or black bottom 2 versions, externally identical: 1) Trackball mode in earlier-production CX80's is compatible with the trackball mode of the CX22 Trak-Ball. 2) Trackball mode in later-production CX80's is NOT compatible with the trackball mode of the CX22 Trak-Ball, but IS compatible with the Atari ST Mouse. CX81 Atari I/O Data Cord CX82 B & W Monitor Cable CX85 Numerical Keypad ( + software Handler on diskette) CX86 Printer Cable (included with 825 Printer) CX87 Modem Cable (included with 830 Acoustic Modem) CX88 Terminal Cable (null modem) CX89 Color Monitor Cable CX405 PILOT Educator's Kit CX418 The Home Manager Kit (The Home Filing Manager disk + (Personal Financial Management System disk or Family Finances disk)) CX419 The Bookkeeper Kit/The Atari Accountant (The Bookkeeper disk + CX85) CX481 The Entertainer (Star Raiders + (Computer Chess(?) or Missile Command or Pac-Man) + 2 joysticks). Atari computer product catalogs first mention Missile Command, then Pac-Man as the second game. Text on the box itself (thanks Bill Demian) indicates Computer Chess as the second game. The illustration on the box actually shows a Music Composer box underneath the Star Raiders box. CX482 The Educator (410 + BASIC cart. + States & Capitals cassette) CX483 The Programmer (BASIC + BASIC Ref Manual + BASIC Self-Teaching Guide) CX484 The Communicator (850 Interface + 830 Acoustic Modem + TeleLink I cart) CX488 The Communicator II (835 Direct Connect Modem + TeleLink II cart.) CX852 8K RAM Memory Module (for 800 computer) CX853 16K RAM Memory Module (for 800 computer) KX7079 Logo Kit KX7099 The BASIC Tutor I (Inside Atari BASIC book + An Invitation to Programming 2: Writing Programs One and Two cassette + An Invitation to Programming 3: Introduction to Sound and Graphics cassette) http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/basictutor.jpg KX7102 The Arcade Champ (Pac-Man + Qix + 2 joysticks + cartridge storage case) http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/arcade_champ.jpg KX7110 AtariWriter System (600XL + 1027 + AtariWriter) http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/hardwarewriterpackkompleet.jpg KX7114 Programming System (800XL + 1010) http://www.rhod.fr/ataripics/8001010.JPG KX7400 Game Kit (Donkey Kong cart. + two (standard) Atari Joysticks) http://www.rhod.fr/pages/atari/kx7400.html Other: G1 Light Gun ( + Bug Hunt cart. for 7800/2600) XG-1 Light Gun ( + Bug Hunt cart. for XE) Track & Field Controller
Subject: 6.9) What preventative maintenance can I do on my Atari system? This new section could use more contributions! For starters, Russ Gilbert writes (2004.11.05): The main suggestion I have is to use your A8s. This keeps the keyboard working. I didn't have a problem with my 800XLs, but my 1200XLs required typing the keys a bunch to get them to respond to every keypress. USE YOUR A8s. The problem, I suspect, is oxidation of contacts, in the keyboard, at the cartridge slot, maybe the SIO port. Use of a soft eraser on cart edge connector is one thing I think helps. I would guess one could take the 1200XL keyboard apart and clean the mylar traces with ??? 90% isopropyl alcohol and a Q-Tip. I still have my original 800XL, it has copper switches in the keyboard, no mylar. I don't know what my 800s have in the keyboard, but I would guess copper switches. My original 800XL has all socketed chips also. =-=-= Here is a thread at AtariAge concerning cleaning the heads of Atari floppy disk drives: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/150716-disk-drive-cleaning/
Subject: 6.10) What graphics tablets were produced for the Atari? According to Wikipedia, a graphics tablet (or digitizing tablet, graphics pad, drawing tablet) is a computer input device that allows one to hand-draw images and graphics, similar to the way one draws images with a pencil and paper. At the time of the Atari computer the more popular term was, touch tablet. Several graphics tablets were produced and marketed for the Atari 8-bit computers: o Animation Station by Suncom - Shipped with DesignLab disk (Suncom version of Blazing Paddles) - Fully compatible with the earlier, popular KoalaPad - Work surface is about the same size as the one on the Atari Touch Tablet - about 50% larger than the KoalaPad's - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list. o Atari Touch Tablet - Shipped with AtariArtist cartridge (Atari version of Micro Illustrator - by Steve Dompier & Robert Leyland for Island Graphics) - Also shipped with CX8104 Atari 810/1050 Master Diskette II disk (DOS 2.0S) - Similar to the popular, earlier KoalaPad, but returns reversed y-position values compared to the KoalaPad/Animation Station tablets - Device measures 7.5" x 9.5" x 1.25" - Drawing surface measures 5" x 6.5" - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list. o KoalaPad Touch Tablet by Koala Technologies - Shipped with KoalaPainter cartridge (Koala version of Micro Illustrator - by Steve Dompier & Robert Leyland for Island Graphics) - Device measures 8.5" x 6.5" x 2" - The square drawing area is 4.25" on each side. - Very popular - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list. o Kurta Graphics Tablet by Kurta Corporation - Very early device - 400/800 only: requires controller ports 1, 2, and 3 - Device measures 13" x 15.5" - Shipped with Kurta Demo Disk - Kurta Atari Graphics System, sold separately, includes software: o Road Map Distance Analysis o Length o Area - Calculation of areas (any shape) o Sound - display pen location by means of sound o Drawing o Graphics - See ANALOG #1 for a review (p. 16) and an ad (p. 17) o PowerPad by Chalk Board, Inc. - Shipped with Micro Illustrator cartridge (Chalk Board version for PowerPad only - by Steve Dompier & Robert Leyland for Island Graphics) - A unique and very large device - Device measures 17" x 19" x 1.5" - 12" x 12" square drawing area - A list of compatible software is elsewhere in the FAQ list. - Chalk Board released several cartridges for the PowerPad: - BearJam - CodeBreaker - Leo's 'Lectric Paintbrush - Leo's Links - LogicMaster - MicroMaestro o Super Sketch by Personal Peripherals Inc. (PPI) - Shipped with Super Sketch Graphics Master cartridge - a 10" X 14" tablet - Similar to the earlier VersaWriter - trace or freehand a drawing into the computer. o VersaWriter Drawing Tablet by Versa Computing, later by Peripherals Plus - Shipped with Graphics Software (2 disks) - trace or freehand a drawing into the computer - Dimensions: 12" x 13.5" - See ANALOG #4 (1981) p. 46 for ad, p. 47 for review - See Creative Computing vol. 8 no. 4 April 1982 p. 79 for another ad. - Reviewed (with picture) in Atari Classics June 1993 pp. 26-28
Subject: 6.11) What light pens were produced for the Atari? - Atari Light Pen CX70 (beige; the rare original Atari light pen) - Atari Light Pen CX75 (came with AtariGraphics cart.; it produces pictures with 127 sectors in length, thus not Micro-Painter, nor Micro Illustrator compatible; however appropriate converter programs can be found in the public domain, e.g. the Rapid Graphics Converter) - Edumate Light Pen by Futurehouse (came with a disk with 6 Basic programs; a program called Peripheral Vision was available separately from Futurehouse) - McPen light pen by Madison Computer (came with a disk with 4 Basic programs) - Stack Light Pen by Stack Computer Services - Symtec Light Pen by Symtec - Tech Sketch Light Pen (came with Micro Illustrator disk program by Island Graphics)
Subject: 6.12) What light guns were produced for the Atari? This section started by Andreas Koch. - Atari XG-1 Light Gun (shipped with Bug Hunt cartridge for the XL/XE. Also shipped as part of the XE Video Game System box package); http://www.mr-atari.com/afbeeldingen/hardwarediv/xesystemgun2.jpg - Atari G1 Light Gun (same as XG-1 but shipped with Bug Hunt cartridge for the 7800/2600) http://gamingmuseum.classicgaming.gamespy.com/g1lightgun.jpg - "The Best" Light Gun by Best Electronics (a sort of self-made (?) Light Gun); * Sega Light Phaser for the Sega Master System (normally not Atari compatible; but can be converted into an Atari compatible light gun easily); - other light guns (most of these have to be converted)... Note: After having 3-4 Atari and at least one (converted) Sega light gun, it is my personal impression, that the Atari light gun merely works ok on/with TV-sets (and not at all with a monitor), whereas the Sega light gun works alright on TV's and (most) monitors. Since I never had a Best light gun I cannot comment on this one... (Andreas Koch);
Subject: 6.13) What paddles were produced for the Atari? This section by Andreas Koch. - Atari Paddles (usually a pair of Paddles); - Telegames Paddles (available as a) a single paddle and b) a pair of paddles); - Reston Paddles (available as a) a single paddle and b) a pair of paddles); - and many others... Note: Both single and duo (pair) paddles are compatible to each other, using only one port-connector (only one joystick port). Thus, with a pair of paddles you can connect up to 4 paddles (2 pairs) to the XL/XE models and up to 8 paddles (4 pairs) to the Atari 400/800 models.
Subject: 6.14) What voice/sound synthesis hardware was produced for the Atari? This section started by Andreas Koch. - Voice-Box II by The Alien Group (a software and hardware package); - Talk is Cheap by Ed Stewart, Antic Volume 2 Number 4, July 1983, pages 64-66; hardware schematics only (a test/demo program is mentioned in the text, but not printed in the magazine!); - Cheap-Talk by Lee Brilliant, ANALOG #29, April 1985, pages 59-67; hardware schematics and software demos, for example "First Words"); - many other voice synthesizers (mostly self-made and based on a chip by National Semi Conductor);
Subject: 6.15) What sound-digitizers/samplers were produced for the Atari? This section started by Andreas Koch. - Parrot (2-Bit) by Alpha Systems, Anthony Ramos; - Parrot-2 (2-Bit or 4-Bit?) by Alpha Systems, Anthony Ramos; - Replay Cartridge (4-Bit) by 2-Bit Systems - Sound N'Sampler (2-Bit) by Ralf David; - Sound Digitiser (2-Bit) by Ralf David; - Sound-Meister (2-Bit) by Irata; - Sound-Digitizer (2-Bit) by Irata; - Digitales Mikrofon (2-Bit) by Compy-Shop; - Voice-Master (2-Bit) by Covox Inc.; - Analog-Sample-Processor (2-Bit) by Steven Lashower (ANALOG Magazine); - Atari-Sound-Sampler (2-Bit) by Andreas Binner and Harald Schoenfeld (German Atari Magazin 1/1989, pages 44-49, complete with schematics, documentation, sample-program and assembler-source); - Alphasys Sample Cartridge (8-Bit) by ANG/Mirage; Accompanied software, made by Solarsystems, only used the upper 4 bits; Cartridge also has a "Replay Cartridge compatibility mode" so people could use it with the software by 2-bit systems. - ARGS-XE-Sampler (8-Bit) by ABBUC regional group ARGS (only one or two prototypes exist, alas the hardware was never released due to lack of (sampling/digitizing) software; maybe a good idea for the hardware and software experts out there!); - and many others ...
Subject: 6.16) What sound-enhancement upgrades were produced for the Atari? This section started by Andreas Koch. a) enhancements for 2- or 3-channel sound: - POPS, polyphonic-pokey-sound by Lee Brilliant (3-channel support with one Pokey!); refer to ANALOG #66, november 1988, pages 54-60; only 1-2 programs exist for this mod., see: 8.14 stereo-software for the Atari; Lee Brilliant writes: (2006.08.09) In reality, the POPS device was only a set of connections to the Atari. The internal circuitry (Simple to build) was used ONLY to control the volume of the sound and to add amplification to power speakers. One could do without the amplifiers if they have their own. But the POPs did not give just two channel sound, it gave _three_. My design allowed for left, center, and right amplifiers and speakers. It always caused a stir at Atari conventions and user groups. The software I used with it was POKEY Player which was commonly available then. One had to get that separately and then modify it slightly to drive the three channels separately. At the time there was a lot of support for that program and lots of music for it. - stereo with two Ataris (and thus 2 Pokey chips); use computer/pokey 1 for the left channel and computer/pokey 2 for the right; no special hardware required for this trick (but specially programmed software!); see also: 8.14 stereo-software for the Atari; - stereo with 2 Pokey chips (in one Atari!); refer to an article written by Chuck Steinman (which probably appeared in Atari classic?) on how to upgrade your Atari internally with a second Pokey chip; or ask Freddy Offenga for a deluxe-stereo-version, that uses a PCB instead of the piggy-back method. For a list of software that supports this mod. see also: 8.14 stereo-software for the Atari; - Stereo-Blaster and Stereo-Phaser by Portronic/AMC-Verlag, these were hardware add-ons that connected via the monitor port to the Atari and gave you "another" monitor port and 2 cinch connectors to connect to the monitor and/or the hifi-system; various small paddles (4-10, depending on the model you have) make it possible to change amplitudes, frequencies, etc. and thus generate a "pseudo-stereo" sound. These add-ons also amplified the sound and thus made quality recordings of Atari sounds much easier. Alas, these hardware add-ons were quite expensive and thus not many (less than 100) were sold. Therefore no special software is required, every A8 sound can be changed or enhanced to "simulated-stereo"... - Stereo-Blaster-Pro, a hardware add-on by Portronic/AMC-Verlag similar to Stereo-Blaster and Stereo-Phaser, but programmable! This add-on had only 1 small paddle, to amplify the sound-volume; the stereo-sound could be generated via two simple Poke-Statements, a demo-disk therefore was included. Alas, not many items were sold and as far as I know no-one else programmed stereo-software for it. See also: 8.14 stereo-software for the Atari... b) other sound enhancements: - Covox Sound enhancement, originally developed in Poland; digital to analog (DAC) converter, uses a PIA and a resistor ladder to produce 8-bit sound playback. (A viable way to reproduce the 8-bit samples captured from the Alphasys Sample Cartridge.) (see also 8.14) - SID-upgrade, the SID is the standard sound-chip in the C64 computers. Some Polish freaks/nerds have found a way to include it into an A8, but although I have seen quite a lot of pictures (for example at atariarea.nostalgia.pl) with this mod. and already found 1 or 2 programs that detect it (for example System Info 2.x by Draco), I have not yet found any schematics for this upgrade. Anyway, it exists, and with some programming skills it would surely be possible to write programs then, that playback SID sounds on those Ataris which have this upgrade installed... - AMY sound-chip, the AMY sound-chip was originally produced by Atari and installed into the 65XEM computer. Alas, it was never available to the public and only very few prototypes of this 65XEM (maybe less than 10?) do exist. Besides of that RUMORS say, that Atari had quite some problems with this sound chip and never finished it completely/successfully. If the rumors are true, then this sound chip provided many more sound channels, more octaves and even more and better sound power than two Pokeys together (for more infos take a look at this URL: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html ) - guess there are dozens of other sound enhancements, for example sound cards (like Adlib, etc.), sound-chips, midi-interfaces, etc. that could be attached or converted to the A8; I won't name them all here...(A.K.)
Subject: 6.17) What MIDI enhancements are there for the Atari? This section started by Andreas Koch. Midi is standard on the Atari ST computers, because it is built-in into these computers. Nevertheless, Midi was long before the arrival of the ST computers on the market and thus, it is no surprise that there are even midi-interfaces and enhancements for the classic 8Bit Ataris. The following "types" do exist: - "Midi-Mate" and "Midi-Track" by Hybrid Arts (USA), comes with hardware + software, see reviews & tests in Antic, ANALOG and other magazines. MidiTrack requires 48k RAM, MidiTrack II 64k RAM and MidiTrack III 128k RAM (XE compatible, not Axlon compatible). MidiMate features MIDI IN+OUT and SYNC IN+OUT ports, but lacks a second SIO port. MMS (MIDI Music System) is a MIDI version of AMS, also sold by Hybrid Arts and comes with AMS to MMS converter software... - "MIDI Master" by 2-Bit Systems (UK), comes with hardware+software. Features MIDI IN+OUT ports, but no SYNC ports. See also reviews and ads in (New) Atari User... - "MIDI interface" by DIGICOMM (UK), comes with hardware + 'example programs'. Features MIDI IN, THRU and OUT ports. There`s no word about a second SIO port or any SYNC ports. See also reviews and ads in (New) Atari User... - "MIDIMAX" by Wizztronics (UK), comes with hardware and software. Features MIDI IN+OUT ports and a second SIO port. The MMS software that comes with MidiMax requires 48k RAM and is fully compatible to the Hybrid Arts hardware+software. This means, one can use the software with both Midi-interfaces or use the interfaces with the software of both vendors... - "Atari-Midi-Interface" by Karlheinz Metscher (appeared in the German magazine Computer Kontakt June/July 1986, pages 69-75, complete with documentation, schematics and its first program "Midi-Receiver"; in Computer Kontakt October/November 1986 appeared the second program, called "Midi-Disk" - a Midi Recorder and Player program); - "Midi-Interface for Atari XL/XE" by Ireneusz Kuczek (appeared in the German ABBUC magazine, issue 65, pages 3-6); the paper-mag. includes a schematic for the midi-interface and some translated descriptions for the software (translated from Polish to German language), whereas the disk-magazine contains the midi-programs "Midiplay Version 1.3" by I. Kuczek, "Midi-Recorder Version 1.2" by I.Kuczek, "Rec to Mid" by I. Kuczek (a converter program for the IBM-PC!), "Midi-Sequencer V.1.15" by Maciej Sygit and "Midi-Pattern-Editor MPE V.2.3" by Radek Sterba. These programs and many additional demo sounds are also available in the ABBUC PD library (PD numbers 625-632). - guess there are several other (self-made) midi-interfaces for the Atari 8Bit available, alas they also require a keyboard or synthesizer and self-created (or downloaded) midi-sounds can only be played back via such a midi-interface and the aforementioned keyboard/synthesizer. As of yet, it seems there exists no midi-player program, that can playback any midi-sound via the Atari Pokey chip, nor any converter program, which can convert *.MID sounds into other Atari sound formats (that could be played back on the Atari then)...
Subject: 6.18) What graphics enhancements are there for the Atari? This section started by Andreas Koch. - some 80 column interfaces made by Atari and third parties. Although these interfaces are there to provide a better text display with 80 chars. per line, they can somehow be used as a simple graphic enhancement; think I have seen a graphic demo for the XEP-80 device somewhere, that used a higher graphic resolution in Gr. 0 or Gr. 8 and also provided some animation (not only text, but also graphics), alas I don`t remember the name of that demo...; - Antic and GTIA upgrade by Chuck Steinman. As far as I know, an article about that topic appeared in Atari Classic, since I do not own it, I can merely speculate that it adds a second Antic and GTIA for higher resolution and/or more colors...; - many self-made upgrades, using graphic chips or graphic cards from other computers...
Subject: 6.19) What types of memory upgrades are there for the Atari? This section by Andreas Koch. Just a short overview here, for a more detailed description (table), see also 8.10 kinds of atari RAMdisks (and 8.11 + 8.12 for programs that support or require a RAMdisk). The following memory enhancements do exist: - Atari 400/800: RAMdisks on memory boards, that fit into the normal Atari 800 memory slots (Axlon and Mosaic types); - Atari XL/XE: a) internal memory enhancements: - piggy-back versions, - professional PCB versions, - SIMM-module versions; b) external memory enhancements: - via XL-Parallel-Bus, - via XE-Cart.port+ECI, - Flash-ROM cart. versions, - other Cartridge versions, - RAM-Card versions, - SIO-cartridge versions, - ... Note that many of these XL/XE memory enhancements are just hobbyist or self-made projects. Most versions which use newer PC technologies (Flash-ROM cart., RAM-Card, SIO-cart., etc.) are still under development!
Subject: 7.1) What versions of the Atari Operating System (OS) are there? Atari 8-bit Operating Systems ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Version 3.6, 2009-05-05 By Freddy Offenga http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari_dev.htm 400/800 10kB OS roms ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rev. TV Date CRC-32 Part Nr(s) ~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A NTSC 1979 0xc1b3bb02 CO12499A, CO14599A, CO12399B A PAL 1979 0x72b3fed4 CO15199, CO15299, CO12399B B NTSC 1981 0x0e86d61d CO12499B, CO14599B, 12399B B PAL (*) (*) (*) (*) a real PAL.B rom hasn't been found. If you do have this or have more information, please let me know! XL/XE 16kB OS roms ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rev. System Date CRC-32 Part Nr(s) ~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10 1200XL 10/26/1982 0xc5c11546 CO60616A, CO60617A 11 1200XL 12/23/1982 0x1a1d7b1b CO60616B, CO60617B 1 600XL 03/11/1983 0x643bcc98 CO62024 2 XL/XE 05/10/1983 0x1f9cd270 CO61598B 3 800XE 03/01/1985 0x29f133f7 C300717 3B 65XE 07/21/1984 0x45f47988 C101700 4 XEGS 05/07/1987 0x1eaf4002 C101687 NOTES: The 400/800 O.S's consist of three ROMs (two 4kB and one 2kB). The 1200XL contains two ROMs for the OS (8k each), XL/XE's use a single 16k ROM and the 16k XEGS OS is stored in a 32k ROM (together with 8k BASIC and 8k for Missile Command). Origins of ROM information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 400/800 rev.A NTSC All information from OS board C012989 (Rev D) and ROM dumps. 400/800 rev.A PAL All info found in two Atari 400's and Atari 800 ROM module CX801.P 400/800 rev.B NTSC Information from a ROM dump and the rev.B source listing. The part numbers were listed in the catalog from [BEST]. According to [MAPPING] rev.B ROMs have a 'B' at the end of the part number, therefore I figure these part numbers are from rev.B. 400/800 rev.B PAL Could exist, since the NTSC version exists and there's some conditional PAL/NTSC assembly in the rev.B source code. 1200XL rev.10 All info found in an Atari 1200XL (both US and Taiwan). [REV2] refers to it as rev.10. [BEST] calls it rev.A. 1200XL rev.11 Information from ROM dump. Needs confirmation. [REV2] refers to it as rev.11. [BEST] calls it rev.B. 600XL rev.1 All info found in an Atari 600XL. XL/XE rev.2 All info from Atari 800XL machines (PAL, NTSC and SECAM). This version is also used in 130XE and 65XE machines. 800XE rev.3 All info found in an 800XE machine. 65XE (Arabic) rev.3B The OS rev.3B is a 16K rom dump from an 65XE Atari from Arabia. It's probably based on rev.3. There are changes in the fonts (Arab characters) and several patches in the code [ARABIC2]. XL/XE rev.4 All info found in an Atari XE Game System (confirmed). O.S. Authors and dates ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The following info is from the Atari XL/XE rev.2 source code [REV2]. Revision A (400/800) D.Crane / A.Miller / L.Kaplan / R.Whitehead Revision B (400/800) Fix several problems. M.Mahar / R.S.Scheiman Revision 10 (1200XL) Support 1200XL, add new features. H.Stewart / L.Winner / R.S.Scheiman / Y.M.Chen / M.W.Colburn 10/26/82 Revision 11 (1200XL) Fix several problems. R.S.Scheiman 12/23/82 Revision 1 (600XL/800XL) Support PBI and on-board BASIC. R.S.Scheiman / R.K.Nordin / Y.M.Chen 03/11/83 Revision 2 (600XL/800XL) Fix several problems. R.S.Scheiman 05/10/83 Bring closer to coding standard (object unchanged) R.K.Nordin 11/01/83 Vapour-ware ~~~~~~~~~~~ The following OS roms originate from rare Atari 8-bit systems. Since I don't own any of these (unfortunately), I don't have much information about these roms. Who can help me? 1450XLD ~~~~~~~ I've got two 16K rom dumps from the 1450XLD. Both ID's are rev.3. The first dated 3/23/1984 comes from the 'Pooldisk Too' CD-ROM [POOL2] (filename: 1540os3.v0) and the second dated 6/21/1984 was send to me by Nir Dary (filename: os1450.128). Main differences between these two are in the first 3K ($C000 - $CBFF). Rev. System Date CRC-32 Part Nr(s) ~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ 3 1450XLD 3/23/1984 0x0d477aa1 ? 3 1450XLD 6/21/1984 0xd425a9cf ? References ~~~~~~~~~~ [ARABIC] Arabic 65XE, http://www.savetz.com/vintagecomputers/arabic65xe/ [ARABIC2] Arabic 65XE (2), http://www.atari800xl.eu/public/65xearab/ [BEST] Best Electronics, catalog of Atari 8-bit parts. [MAPPING] Mapping the Atari, revised edition, Ian Chadwick, Compute! books publication, 1985. [POOL2] Atari Pooldisk Too, http://members.home.nl/stack/Atari/atari-pooldisk.html [REVB] The modified september Atari 400/800 computer operating system listing, revision B, (c)1982 Atari. [REV2] The Atari O.S. source code rev.2, (c)1984 Atari. [XLADD] Atari XL addendum Atari home computer system operating system manual: supplement to Atari 400/800 technical reference notes. Thanks to ~~~~~~~~~ - Laurent Delsarte for Arabic ROM dump and additional info. - Michael Current for good info about Rev.11 and the Arabic roms. - Nir Dary for the rev.2 source code, rom dumps and the 1200XL. - Sijmen Schouten for his reconstructed 400/800 Rev.B source code. - Stephen Sheppard for 400/800 Rev.A/NTSC information and rom dumps. - Steve Tucker for the 1200XL OS ROM dumps. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (end of section content by Freddy Offenga) Some additional info about the Rev. 3 XL/XE OS from ST*ZMAGAZINE #36, Sept. 1, 1989 (as reprinted in PSAN Nov 89): by Mark Elliot, Innovative Concepts The following changes have been incorporated in the 130XE computer. The O.S. has minor changes like: A) The MEMORY TEST (from SELF TEST) tests the extra 64K now! (in 4 squares) B) Also, the MEMORY TEST checks the first 48K over TWICE as fast as before! C) The KEYBOARD TEST has the F1-F4 keys missing on top. (function keys), although the code that interprets them is probably there (like XEGS). D) Also, it types out "COPYRIGHT 1985 ATARI" at the keyboard test, when all tests are done. (compared to COPYRIGHT 1983 ATARI, before) E) And, the O.S. chip itself, is on a 27256 EPROM, but only half of it is used! (compared to the original, which was on a 16K x 8 ROM, 27128 comp.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Atari BASIC, PEEK(65528) and PEEK(65527) return the following unique values depending upon the version of the Atari OS that is running: PEEK(65528) 221 = 400/800 OS Rev. A NTSC 214 = 400/800 OS Rev. A PAL 243 = 400/800 OS Rev. B NTSC 34 = 400/800 OS Rev. B PAL (DOES THIS VERSION ACTUALLY EXIST???) PEEK(65527) 10 = XL/XE OS Rev 10 11 = XL/XE OS Rev 11 1 = XL/XE OS Rev 1 2 = XL/XE OS Rev 2 3 = XL/XE OS Rev 3 59 = XL/XE OS Rev 3B (Arabic) 4 = XL/XE OS Rev 4
Subject: 7.2) What other operating systems have been produced for the Atari? This section started by Arianne Slaager (Alphasys). Args OS 3 CRC32: 0x5B1EADF3 - Mostly a copy of the REV 2 XL rom, but boasts a ROM disk driver by Ralf David that activates by holding Select while resetting. How this works, I have no clue. ARGS stands for Atari Regional Gruppe Stuttgart. Need extra info on this one. Bibomon V2.1 (c) 1084/85 E. Reuss CRC32: 0x41B80C28 - Option + Reset enters a built in machine language monitor. Also some colors have changed. Looks like Basic is disabled by default, and no way to enable it. Highchip (c) Irata GmbH 1985 V.1.9 CRC32: 0x41BB4047 - Mostly a copy of REV 2 XL rom, but includes Happy Warp Speed boot and changed colors. Special options menu can be initialised by pressing Option + Select + Reset. Pressing Select + Start while booting, boots from casette. Booting while holding Start tries to initialise Warp speed before booting. Oldruner CRC32: 0x10ABFD80 - A copy of the OS-B for the 800, but tweaked to function with the XL/XE line of computers. Makes the XL/XE line able to run 400/800 software. Omnimon 87 CRC32: 0x9B4F8FAD - Byte Eaters OMNIMON V_r 1987: Added monitor, through Select+Reset, which replaced the self test, as was pretty much the standard at the time. Compatible with most 800 software. Classified as translator rom. Omnimon XL CRC32: 0xBFA09B66 - David Young OMNIMONXL (C)1984: Added monitor, through Select+Reset, which replaced the self test, as was pretty much the standard at the time. Compatible with most 800 software. Classified as translator rom. Omnimon XE CRC32: 0x64B77137 - David Young OMNIMONXL (C)1984: Added monitor, through Select+Reset, which replaced the self test, as was pretty much the standard at the time. Compatible with most 800 software. Classified as translator rom. Omniview 5 CRC32: 0x5987F5D8 - (c) 1985 David Young. Based on rev B 800 rom. The extra 6kB holds the main feature: A 80 column E: handler that can be invoked from most programs including basic. This mode uses a Graphics 8 screen, with a 4-bit wide font. Not the best readability. Manual includes patches for (at the time) well known word processor software: Speedscript 3.0. Omniview 6 256K CRC32: 0xEB0C62EB - Only difference with Omniview 5 is a change of tagline. David Young tagline is replaced by the message " OS-80+ ext.256K rev.(C)1986". There is no extra support for additional ram. I suspect it's a rip-off. Omniview XE CRC32: 0xE4BF5B98 - (c) 1985 David Young. Very alike Omniview 5. Same base, same feature, but with a reworked character set, which is a slight bit easier on the eyes. Minor changes in the code. Pud CRC32: 0x95EC9329 - Proof of concept rom for a Power-Up display, made by Aegaeis Softscape. There might be many versions of this now, because it was advertised to sell, tailored to suit anyone with a name to stick in. Has no SelfTest, since that area is replaced with custom graphics/routines for the power-up display. Based on XE rom. Fully compatible. - If booted with Select, the startup screen will be skipped. If left by it's own devices, the startup screen will show for about 2.5 seconds. If Select is pressed in that time short time, it'll continue to show until Select is released again. Q-Meg V2 CRC32: 0x51939D37 - Q-Meg OS versions incorporate a Machine language monitor, support for ramdisks, including BOOTING from them, without the need for a separate ramdisk driver. HIO (high speed SIO for Speedy extended drives) is built in aswell. - Compatible with the XL/XE roms for normal use. Not recommended for emulators for all versions. - Lower versions can adress drive 1-4 and 8, later ones can adress drive 1-8. Configurable ramdisks with 256kB of memory can be either 2 single density drives, 1 enhanced drive + one small x-drive, or one double density drive. - Ramdisks may be filled from disk directly from the menu, aswell as written to disk, including formatting. They can also be protected from being overwritten by other software. Also Basic can be turned on/off. Q-Meg V2.3 CRC32: 0xA1FB9BFA Q-Meg V3.0 CRC32: 0xBE14E47E Q-Meg V3.2 CRC32: 0x8CD48719 Q-Meg V3.8 CRC32: 0x78F2C102 Q-Meg V4.2 CRC32: 0x64CCFC53 Q-Meg V4.3 CRC32: 0xBE2442DA Q-Meg V4.4 CRC32: 0x0547F499 Speedos CRC32: 0xA991769B - I totally have no clue what this does, it just makes my computer crash like there's no tomorrow. I get the feeling this has Happy extensions that my drives just don't like, or something like that... Supermon '85 CRC32: 0xBBD8A8BD - All Supermon versions are based on the 800 rom, as far as I've noticed so far. - Machine language monitor through Select+Reset. Supermon 2.0 CRC32: 0xFFDC4372 - This one is probably a rip off of the '86 version, as only the monitor tagline differs. Supermon '86 (BRD) CRC32: 0x28DD9BE4 - Same as Supermon 2.0, just gives a german header when invoking the monitor. Supermon HTT CRC32: 0x1101FF93 - Same as Supermon '85, with different colors and charset. Modified build for the High-Tech Team, a demo/developer group from the Netherlands. Warpcopy CRC32: 0x21A89311 - Warp speed Happy extension included. Need extra info on this one. Xos CRC32: 0x196C9B00 - Never found out how to get into special functions on this one yet. Need extra info on this one.
Subject: 7.3) What is the ATASCII character set? ASCII is an acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77. Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another. The 8-bit Atari computers use a modified version of the ASCII character set called Atari ASCII, or ATASCII. David Moeser produced this nice translation table. ASCII TRANSLATION TABLE -- IBM & ATARI 8-BIT (ATASCII) ====================================================== SECTION ONE: CONTROL CHARACTERS =============================== DECIMAL ATARI IBM <----> ATARI ASCII -HEX NAME KEY GRAPHICS CHARACTER FUNCTION ======= ==== === ====================== ======== 0 00 NUL ^, none heart Null 1 01 SOH ^A smiley |- Start of header 2 02 STX ^B [smiley] right | Start of text 3 03 ETX ^C heart (9:00) End of last text 4 04 EOT ^D diamond -| End of transmission 5 05 ENQ ^E club (9:30) Enquiry 6 06 ACK ^F spade / Acknowledge (handshake) 7 07 BEL ^G rain dot \ Bell 8 08 BS ^H doorbell L triangle Backspace 9 09 HT ^I o low-R-sq. Horizontal tab 10 0A LF ^J [doorbell] R triangle Line feed 11 0B VT ^K Mars hi-R-sq. Vertical tab 12 0C FF ^L Venus hi-L-sq. Form feed 13 0D CR ^M note high bar Carriage return 14 0E SO ^N 2 notes low bar Shift out 15 0F SI ^O sun low-L-sq. Shift in 16 10 DLE ^P R pennant club Data link escape (break) 17 11 DC1 ^Q L pennant (3:30) Device #1 (P:) 18 12 DC2 ^R V arrows -- Device #2 19 13 DC3 ^S !! cross Device #3 (deselects P:) 20 14 DC4 ^T paragraph cloudy Device #4 (stop) 21 15 NAK ^U section low block Negative acknowl. (error) 22 16 SYN ^V short - left | Synchronous idle 23 17 ETB ^W base-V-arrs.low T End of block 24 18 CAN ^X up arrow hi perp. Cancel memory (in buffer) 25 19 EM ^Y DN arrow left half End medium (tape drive) 26 1A SUB ^Z R arrow (3:00) Substitute 27 1B ESC EE L arrow escape Escape 28 1C FS E^- (3:00) up arrow File separator 29 1D GS E^= ice needles DN arrow Group separator 30 1E RS E^+ up triangle L arrow Record separator 31 1F US E^* DN triangle R arrow Unit separator 32 20 SPC bar space space Space SECTION TWO: SPECIAL CHARACTERS =============================== 127 7F DEL ETB home plate R pennant Deleted 155 9B EOL RETURN box, etc. ATASCII end of line (newline) 13,10 CR/LF ENTER ^M^J Windows,DOS,CP/M newline 10 0A LF ENTER ^J UNIX,Mac OS X,Amiga newline 13 0D CR ENTER ^M Apple II,MacOS (pre-X) newline KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS: ==================== ^ = control key L = left hi = upper S = shift key R = right low = lower E = escape key UP = points up [ ] = inverse BS = backspace DN = points down V = vertical TB = tab key sq = square perp = perpendicular (time) = position of hands on a clockface Where possible, descriptions of graphics characters are taken from standard symbols used in mathematics, weather, astronomy, etc. Note: Different computer platforms, operating systems, programs, printers, etc. will produce different graphics characters. SECTION THREE: KEYBOARD CHARACTERS ================================== DECIMAL IBM ATARI DECIMAL IBM ATARI -HEX KEY CHAR. KEY CHAR. -HEX KEY CHAR. KEY CHAR. ======= === ==== === ==== ======= === ==== === ==== 32 20 bar space bar space 80 50 P P P P 33 21 S1 ! S1 ! 81 51 Q Q Q Q 34 22 S' " S2 " 82 52 R R R R 35 23 S3 # S3 # 83 53 S S S S 36 24 S4 $ S4 $ 84 54 T T T T 37 25 S5 % S5 % 85 55 U U U U 38 26 S7 & S6 & 86 56 V V V V 39 27 ' ' S7 ' 87 57 W W W W 40 28 S9 ( S9 ( 88 58 X X X X 41 29 S0 ) S0 ) 89 59 Y Y Y Y 42 2A S8 * * * 90 5A Z Z Z Z 43 2B S= + + + 91 5B [ [ S, [ 44 2C , , , , 92 5C \ \ S+ \ 45 2D - - - - 93 5D ] ] S. ] 46 2E . . . . 94 5E S6 ^ S* ^ 47 2F / / / / 95 5F S- _ S- _ 48 30 0 0 0 0 96 60 ` ` ^. ` 49 31 1 1 1 1 97 61 a a a a 50 32 2 2 2 2 98 62 b b b b 51 33 3 3 3 3 99 63 c c c c 52 34 4 4 4 4 100 64 d d d d 53 35 5 5 5 5 101 65 e e e e 54 36 6 6 6 6 102 66 f f f f 55 37 7 7 7 7 103 67 g g g g 56 38 8 8 8 8 104 68 h h h h 57 39 9 9 9 9 105 69 i i i i 58 3A S; : S; : 106 6A j j j j 59 3B ; ; ; ; 107 6B k k k k 60 3C S, < < < 108 6C l l l l 61 3D = = = = 109 6D m m m m 62 3E S. > > > 110 6E n n n n 63 3F S/ ? S/ ? 111 6F o o o o 64 40 S2 @ S8 @ 112 70 p p p p 65 41 A A A A 113 71 q q q q 66 42 B B B B 114 72 r r r r 67 43 C C C C 115 73 s s s s 68 44 D D D D 116 74 t t t t 69 45 E E E E 117 75 u u u u 70 46 F F F F 118 76 v v v v 71 47 G G G G 119 77 w w w w 72 48 H H H H 120 78 x x x x 73 49 I I I I 121 79 y y y y 74 4A J J J J 122 7A z z z z 75 4B K K K K 123 7B S[ { ^; spade 76 4C L L L L 124 7C S\ | S= | 77 4D M M M M 125 7D S] } E^< left-turn 78 4E N N N N 126 7E S` ~ EBS L pennant 79 4F O O O O 127 7F none house ETB R pennant A graphical ATARI / ASCII Table is available at: http://www.akk.org/~flo/ATASCII.pdf
Subject: 7.4) What is Atari BASIC? BASIC is an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Developed by John Kemeney and Thomas Kurtz in the mid 1960s at Dartmouth College, BASIC is one of the earliest and simplest high-level programming languages, incorporating components of FORTRAN and ALGOL. In 1978 Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) to create a version of BASIC (along with a File Management System (FMS)) for the upcoming Atari personal computers. The following worked together on the project, which resulted in Atari BASIC (along with the original Atari DOS): Paul Laughton (author of Apple DOS) - project leader, co-primary contributor Kathleen O'Brien - co-primary contributor Bill Wilkinson - floating point scheme design Paul Krasno - implemented the math library routines following guidelines supplied by Fred Ruckdeschel (author of the acclaimed text, BASIC Scientific Subroutines) Bob Shepardson - Modified IMP-16 Assembler to accept special syntax tables Paul invented Mike Peters - keypuncher/computer operator/junior programmer/troubleshooter In late 1980/early 1981 the development rights to Atari BASIC were purchased from Shepardson Microsystems by a new company, Optimized Systems Software (OSS), headed by Bill Wilkinson. Three Revisions of Atari BASIC were produced: A, B, and C: A - cartridge produced for use with the 400/800/1200XL (abundant) B - built-in to the 600XL/800XL, also produced on cartridge (rare) C - built-in to the 800XL(late models)/65XE/130XE/800XE/XE Game System, also produced on cartridge (rare) Atari BASIC Rev. A was produced by Atari on cartridge in mass quantities before Shepardson Microsystems had finished debugging it. One place these bugs are documented is in this article by Steve Hanson from Compute! magazine, Oct. 1981: http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue17/171_1_DOCUMENTED_ATARI_BUGS.php When the 600XL/800XL computers were released in 1983 they included a mostly debugged Atari BASIC Rev. B. Unfortunately, while most existing bugs were fixed, Rev. B introduced a new bug more serious than any of the earlier problems. In his article in the June 1985 issue of Compute!, Bill Wilkinson writes: Each time you LOAD (or CLOAD or RUN "filename") a program, rev B adds 16 bytes to the size of your program. If you then save the program, the next time you load it in it grows by _another_ 16 bytes, and so on. http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue61/323_1_INSIGHT_Atari.php The problem can be alleviated by periodically, if not exclusively, using LIST instead of SAVE or CSAVE to save your programs. Atari BASIC Rev. C, introduced in 1984, is the final "fully debugged" version. When running Atari BASIC, memory location 43234 ($A8E2, BASIC ROM) indicates which Revision of BASIC is running. At the READY prompt, enter "? PEEK(43234)". If the result is: You have Revision: Atari Part#: 162 A CO12402+CO14502 96 B CO60302A 234 C CO24947A All 3 versions of Atari BASIC may be available for download here: http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari_dev.htm
Subject: 7.5) What are Atari DOS I, DOS II, DOS 3, DOS 2.5, and DOS XE? This FAQ section describes the various DOS versions produced by Atari for use with their 8-bit computers. The Atari Operating System includes a simple "resident disk handler" that supports four functions for communicating with a disk drive connected via the SIO hardware port: FORMAT - Issue a format command to the disk controller READ SECTOR - Read a specified sector WRITE/VERIFY SECTOR - Write sector; check sector to see if written STATUS - Ask the disk controller for its status The resident disk handler is used to load a full "file management system" (FMS) from disk into RAM at power-up. The FMS may be distributed with additional programs that are optionally loaded from disk into memory after the FMS is loaded. On the Atari, then, a "Disk Operating System" (DOS) consists of: 1) The OS-resident disk handler 2) A FMS 3) Possible software extensions to the FMS However, in practice it is much more common to think only of a FMS and any additional programs distributed with the FMS as a "DOS" on the Atari. In 1978 Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) to create a FMS (along with a version of BASIC) for the upcoming Atari personal computers. The following worked together on the project, which resulted in the original Atari DOS (along with Atari BASIC): Paul Laughton (author of Apple DOS) - project leader, co-primary contributor Kathleen O'Brien - co-primary contributor Bill Wilkinson - floating point scheme design Paul Krasno - implemented the math library routines following guidelines supplied by Fred Ruckdeschel (author of the acclaimed text, BASIC Scientific Subroutines) Bob Shepardson - Modified IMP-16 Assembler to accept special syntax tables Paul invented Mike Peters - keypuncher/computer operator/junior programmer/troubleshooter The original Atari DOS shipped with 810 disk drives until 1981. It consists of a single file, DOS.SYS, which is loaded into memory from disk on startup. At the top of the menu screen it reads: DISK OPERATING SYSTEM 9/24/79 COPYRIGHT 1979 ATARI With the planned release of DOS II in 1981, Atari referred to this first release of DOS as DOS I. Nearly all users quickly abandoned DOS I in favor of DOS II. Trivia: The DOS I "N. DEFINE DEVICE" menu option does not work. Also, DOS I is not compatible with the 850 Interface Module. The Atari DOS I disk is labeled: Atari 810 Master Diskette (CX8101). DOS II Version 2.0S was shipped with 810 disk drives, and early 1050 disk drives, from 1981-1983. It also shipped with the CX77 Touch Tablet. It consists of two files: - DOS.SYS is loaded into memory from disk on startup - DUP.SYS, which contains the DOS menu, is loaded only when needed. By splitting the menu screen off into a separate program that is not loaded into memory until needed, more memory remained available for user programs in comparison to the single-file approach of DOS I. MEM.SAV can be employed to preserve the contents of memory to disk when DUP.SYS is loaded, so that the data can be restored to memory when exiting from the DOS menu. A file named AUTORUN.SYS is launched on startup after DOS.SYS is loaded. DOS 2.0S supports Atari's proprietary single-sided, single density 90K 5.25" floppy disk format only. DOS 2.0S represents the lowest common denominator of Atari DOS versions--you can be assured than any Atari disk drive for the 8-bit Atari can work with disks formatted with DOS 2.0S. DOS 2.0S can read disks written with DOS I; the reverse is not the case. The DOS 2.0S disk (CX8104) is labeled: "Atari 810 Master Diskette II" (most) or "Atari 810/1050 Master Diskette II" (later production). DOS 2.0S was delivered by Optimized Systems Software (OSS), headed by Bill Wilkinson, for Atari. DOS II Version 2.0D was shipped with the rare Atari 815 Dual Disk Drive. Supports double-density disk drives; also supports single-density disk drives. The DOS 2.0D disk is labeled: Atari 815 Master Diskette (CX8201). For much more about DOS II see Inside Atari DOS by Bill Wilkinson (1982), online at: http://www.atariarchives.org/iad/ DOS 3 shipped with 1050 disk drives from 1983-1985. It was created in part to take advantage of the 1050's Dual-Density capability, by employing a single- sided, enhanced-density 130K 5.25" floppy disk drive format. Atari called this format "dual-density," but the Atari community quickly came to refer to this format as "enhanced-density" to better differentiate it from widely available 3rd-party truly double density disk drives and supporting versions of DOS. DOS 3 consists of multiple files: FMS.SYS (the FMS), KCP.SYS, KCPOVER.SYS, COPY.UTL, DUPDISK.UTL, INIT.UTL, CONVERT.UTL (converts files from DOS 2.0S to DOS 3, but not back again) and HELP.UTL. It also has support for MEM.SAV and AUTORUN.SYS. DOS 3 uses a disk format incompatible with, and less efficient than, DOS 2.0S (DOS 3: 1024-byte "blocks"; DOS 2: 128-byte "sectors"). For these reasons and others, DOS 3 was not widely accepted by the Atari community, and like DOS I is not generally used except for curiosity's sake. The DOS 3 disk is labeled: Master Diskette 3 (DX5052). DOS II Version 2.5 (DOS 2.5) shipped with 1050 disk drives and early XF551 disk drives from 1985-1988. DOS 2.5 represented Atari's relenting to the masses, returning to DOS 2.0S compatibility. DOS 2.5 very closely resembles DOS 2.0S, with just a few features added. It supports both DOS 2.0S single- density 90K formats, as well as an enhanced density 130K format for use with the 1050 disk drive. In addition to the two main files DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS, DOS 2.5 also includes a RAMdisk utility for use with the 128K 130XE computer, a utility to convert files from DOS 3 disks back to DOS 2.5, and other disk utilities. DOS 2.5 is just about as universal among Atari users as DOS 2.0S. The DOS 2.5 disk is labeled simply: DOS 2.5 (DX5075). DOS XE shipped with XF551 disk drives after 1988. Like DOS 3, DOS XE introduced a whole new format for Atari floppy disks; but unlike DOS 3, DOS XE also preserved general compatibility with DOS 2.0S/2.5. DOS XE supports the full capabilities of the double-sided, double density 360K per 5.25" floppy disk XF551 disk drive, including that drive's high-speed burst mode. DOS XE also fully supports the 90K SS/SD capability of the 810 disk drive, the 130K SS/ED capability of the 1050 disk drive, the 180K SS/DD capability of most 3rd-party disk drives for the Atari, and a RAMdisk for use with the 130XE. Date-stamping of files is supported. DOS XE requires an XL or XE computer; it is not compatible with the 400/800 computer models. Even though DOS XE was critically well-received, and represented a substantial jump in capabilities over DOS 2.5, its arrival came so late in the crowded realm of Atari and 3rd- party DOS versions that it never achieved much acceptance among real users, and is now relegated to the same status as DOS I and DOS 3 before it. Before its release, DOS XE was widely known as "ADOS." It was developed by Bill Wilkinson for Atari. The DOS XE disk is labeled: DOS XE Master Diskette (DX5090).
Subject: 7.6) What are MyDOS, SpartaDOS, and other popular DOS versions? Section includes contributions by Andreas Koch (most DOS 2 clone descriptions); Jeff Williams (12/6/04, Mike Gustafson wrote SpartaDOS) Atari DOS versions are very popular, but many 3rd-party DOS versions have also been developed over the years. Of these, MyDOS and SpartaDOS seem to be the most-used today. MyDOS 4.53 ========== MyDOS is modelled after Atari DOS 2.0S/2.5, but provides subdirectory and hard-drive support, along with many other "high-end" features. MyDOS 4.53/3 was released as freeware by David R. Eichel on 1/1/90. Defaults to a 3 character file length/free sector count instead of MyDOS's normal 4. Supports multiple AUTORUNs at boot up (*.AR0 through *.AR9). Supports Axlon RAMdisks. MyDOS 4.53/4 is the same as 4.53/3, but uses a minimum of four characters in the sector count just like most versions of MyDOS. MYDOS 4.51 was developed by Wordmark Systems (Charles Marslett). Source code is available as "abandonware" at: http://www.wordmark.org/ MYDOS 4.50 was released on 11/28/88, developed by C. Marslett & R. Puff http://www.nleaudio.com/css/files/MYDOS45M.ARC Mathy van Nisselroy's MyDOS page, including recent patches by Lee Barnes: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/mydos.htm SpartaDOS 3.2, 3.3, 4.41 ======================== SpartaDOS is a completely different command-line DOS modelled after MS-DOS, though it is perfectly capable of reading all Atari DOS and MyDOS disks. There are many versions available. Hopefully this list will help keep them all straight. SpartaDOS X 4.41 (8 Feb. 2008) ---------------- Greatly enhanced/expanded compared to disk-based SpartaDOS; completely different source code. SDX upgrade project The purpose of this project is to add new functions to the best disk operating system for the Atari 8-bit computer ever created, and to clean up few bugs at the occasion. The last SpartaDOS X version (4.22) was released 10 years ago. Most users got used to its bugs and shortages. New software and hardware developments, however, made us think about a new, cleaned up and modernized version of the DOS, which would be compatible with the 4.22 (from FTe), and enhanced both in software and hardware. http://trub.atari8.info/index.php?ref=sdx_upgrade_en CREDITS - based on works done by: Prof!, MMMG, DLT Ltd. - new code and design: DLT Ltd. - hardware: Pasiu/SSG, Jad, Zenon/Dial, DLT Ltd. - hosting: krap.pl - devtools: DLT Ltd., Tebe/Madteam, others - other support: ABBUC, Epi/TRS, Krap, Mikey, Pin/TRS 4.41 2-08-08 released by DLT 4.39RC 10-01-06 released by DLT 4.22 11-05-95 released by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe, Mike Hohman) 4.21 7-10-89 released by ICD 4.20 2-06-89 released by ICD 4.19 1-16-89 released by ICD 4.18 10-29-88 released by ICD 4.17 ??-??-88 released by ICD SpartaDOS X versions 4.17-4.21 were written by Mike Gustafson at ICD. SpartaDOS Pro 3.3a, 3.3b, and 3.3c - 1994-1997 ---------------------------------- The SpartaDOS Pro 3.3 versions were developed for FTe by programmers Stephen J. Carden and Ken Ames, based upon a disassembled copy of the older (more stable?) 3.2c release from ICD. -- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3a 3-Nov-94 -- Added MUX support and MS-DOS Commands. Highspeed SIO routines NOT included. Recommended for use in emulators (especially Xformer) only. -- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3b 25-Dec-95 -- Has two different SIOV handlers, one for the MUX and one for the MIO. -- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3c 1995 -- Looks at your system and by checking it determines what CIO handler to load, and has MS-DOS command set. Black Box, MUX, and MIO are fully supported, though none of these are required. -- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3c 19-Dec-97 -- The same 3.3c produced on a 16K ROM cartridge and available for purchase from Video 61. -- SpartaDOS Pro Ver 3.3d -- Contains additional fixes for MIO users. unreleased? According to Lance Ringquist of Video 61: K-Products contracted with FTe to develop SpartaDOS Pro 3.3 for exclusive use and distribution with K-Products' BBS Express! Pro, to provide this BBS system with the most stable platform possible. As Video 61 purchased the rights to the entire K-Products product line, SpartaDOS Pro 3.3 became a product of Video 61. SpartaDOS 3.2g and 3.2gx - Dated 6/4/94. ------------------------ Last official disk-based versions, released as shareware by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe), who had purchased the rights from ICD. 3.2g is the primary version; 3.2gx differs only in that it locates the disk buffers under the OS to save RAM. 3.2gx is intended for use in systems that include a PBI device (MIO, Black Box); it is not compatible with BASIC XE nor any other programs using RAM under the OS. First shareware release from FTe: 3.2f. Earlier major releases from the original developer, ICD: 3.2d, 3.2c, 2.3, 1.1 SpartaDOS 1.1-3.2d were written by Mike Gustafson at ICD. Only the SDX cartridges and the original version 1.1 are compatible with the 400/800 computer models; SpartaDOS 2.x and 3.x require an XL/XE. Many disk-based SpartaDOS versions are available for download from Thunderdome, kept by SysOp Fox-1: http://thunderdome.atari.org/ or http://www.mixinc.net/atari/download_a8/sdsys.htm BW-DOS 1.30 - FreeWare, published 95-12-17 by ABBUC =========== Another popular, powerful DOS is BW-DOS (it is pronounced "Bay Vay Dos"), freeware by Jiri Bernasek - BEWESOFT. SpartaDOS compatible. Does not use any speeder internally, but comes with external XF551 speeder. Supports 4 drives and RAMdisk, comes with RAMdisk driver for XE compatible RAMdisks up to 1Megabyte; supports 4 densities: a) Single (90k), b) Enhanced/Medium (130k), c) Double (180k) and d) DSDD (360k); does not use any RAM under OS ROM (so it works on an Atari 800 and with Turbo BASIC); unlike SpartaDOS most commands are external, thus the DOS is only 5kbytes short; supports a PAL clock (made by ABBUC regional group "ARGS"); comes with many great utilities (which can also be used with SpartaDOS). BW-DOS 1.30 disk images and User Manual are available at: http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/APG/BeweDOS ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The other DOS varieties mentioned below are all, like MyDOS, Atari DOS-2 clones and thus DOS-2 compatible; available as PD or Freeware... TOP-DOS 1.5+ ============ Carolyn Hoglin writes: This superior DOS was written by R. K. Bennett of Eclipse Software in Sunnyvale, CA. It was based on Atari DOS, but with many, many more features. It fully supports my double-density, double-sided Astra drives, automatically sensing the proper density and sidedness of both drives 1 and 2. (MYDOS only seemed to do that on drive 1.) Also supported are large RAMdisks for Axlon, Mosaic, etc. The latest version was TOP-DOS 1.5+, which came with an excellent manual explaining how to use its powerful capabilities. SuperDOS 5.1 ============ supports 4 formats SD/ED/DD/DSDD; supports 256k Xtra RAM/RD; supports 4 speeders: Happy+Speedy+XF551+US Doubler and its compatibles; has an AUX.SYS file with option to use / not use RAM under OS ROM; has unfortunately a very slow RAMdisk; BiboDOS 5.4 and 6.4 =================== 3 versions available, one without speeder - 5.4NT, one with Happy/Speedy support 5.4HS and one with XF support 6.4XF; supports 4 formats / up to 360k; supports 256k Xtra RAM / RD; the DUP.SYS uses RAM under OS ROM, thus Turbo- BASIC must load without DUP; Turbo-DOS 2.1 ============= Master-Disk produces 4 different versions: 2.1NT without speeders, 2.1HS for Happy/Speedy, 2.1XF for XF551 and 2.1EX for 3 speeders: Happy+Speedy+XF551; supports 256k Xtra RAM / RD and supports use of batchfiles; has converter for DOS 3 and DOS 4; supports 4 formats, up to 360k; does not use RAM under OS ROM; DUP uses a Command Processor; all commands are available via HELP key; works with XL/XE computers only, does not load/boot on Atari 400/800 no clue why; RealDOS Ver 1.0a Build 0024 2-Oct-06 ==================================== Integrated Logic Systems (ILS - Stephen J. Carden) A potential modern replacement for SpartaDOS. http://www.tcpipexpress.com/realdos.html
Subject: 7.7) How do I modify Atari DOS to support more than two drives? When running Atari DOS II and compatibles, memory location 1802 ($70A, DRVBYT) indicates the number of disk drives allocated. At the Atari BASIC READY prompt, enter "? PEEK(1802)" to read the value of this location. Possible values include: 1 = Drive 1 only 3 = Drives 1 and 2 (default value) 7 = Drives 1, 2, and 3 15 = Drives 1, 2, 3, and 4 The value of DRVBYT can be changed with the Atari BASIC POKE command. For example, "POKE 1802,7" to set DOS to support drives 1-3. To save a changed value for DRVBYT that will be in effect when the computer starts up, go to the DOS menu (enter "DOS" at the READY prompt), then choose menu option H, Write DOS Files. This disk will now boot with support for the number of disk drives of your choosing.
Subject: 7.8) Are there Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for the Atari? Much of this section by: Andreas Koch Other contributors: Mathy van Nisselroy, Kathleen Ferrante - G.O.S. by Total Control Systems (David Sullivan), 1986, public domain - RAOS (Rat Actuated Operating System) by Zobian Controls, 1986/1987 o Z-DOS desktop DUP.SYS replacement o For use with SuperRAT mouse by Zobian Controls o Released? - GOE, developed by Total Control Systems (David Sullivan) (co-marketed by Merrill Ward & Assoc. / Shelly Merrill as "ST Jr." early 1988) Demo disk version(s?) released 1988, full cartridge version unreleased. - Diamond GOS, developed by Reeve Software / ReeveSoft (Alan Reeve) (co-marketed by USA Media / Shelly Merrill as "ST Jr." Aug 1988 - Apr 1989) - Supports: DOS 2.5 and compatible, SpartaDOS, DOS XE o Diamond GOS version 1 (1988) - Diamond DeskTop 1.0 (disk) DUP.SYS replacement o Diamond GOS version 2 (1989) package: - Diamond DeskTop 2.0 (cartridge) + Utility Diskette - Diamond Programmer's Kit (Programmer's Manual) - Diamond Paint (disk) o Diamond GOS version 3 (1991) package: - Diamond DeskTop 3.0 (cartridge) + utility diskette - Diamond Paint (disk) - Diamond Write (disk) - Screen Aided Management (SAM) by RaindorfSoft for Power Per Post (Germany) - It is available in two different versions: a) Type-in listing from Atari magazin and/or the Lazy finger disks (PD) b) the commercial version 2.0 which has many add-ons - Supports: Atari DOS 2.5 - V1.25i, 1994 is available from DGS, http://www.dgs.clara.net/ DGS SAM page: http://www.dgs.clara.net/sam.htm - BOSS-XL by Mirko Sobe (MS Software) - Requires 64K XL/XE - Supports: ATARI-DOS, Turbo-DOS - Current Version: v4.5 Edition 2000 (primary development 1993-1997) - System Software: - File Manager (Desktop was the BOSS-XL V2.0) - BOSS-font editor (XE-version) - Icon Editor (XL-/XE-Version) - Written in Turbo-BASIC - Available: http://www.atarixle.de/ - BOSS-XE by Mirko Sobe (MS Software) - Requires 64K XL/XE, 128K or more recommended - Supports: ATARI-DOS, Turbo-DOS - Current Version: v8.1 Edition 2000 (developed 1997-2000) - Written in Turbo-BASIC - System Software: - BOSS parameter - BOSS-font editor (XE-version) - Icon editor (XL / XE version) - Available: http://www.atarixle.de/ - BOSS-X by Mirko Sobe (MS Software) - Requires 128K XL/XE, 256K or more recommended - Supports: MYDOS 4.50 and above; Atari ST Mouse - Current Version: 10:33, 2003 (developed 2000-2003) - Written in Turbo-BASIC - System Software: - File Manager - BOSS parameter - BOSS-font editor (X version) - Icon editor (X version for colored symbols) - BOSS-X framework - multiple screen savers - Available: http://www.atarixle.de/ - XL-TOS a small and "cheap" GUI version from Atari magazin (i.e. a type-in listing; the BASIC file, which consists of many data lines creates a short object code file); unfortunately this GUI only looks good, it loads almost nothing... PD; - ST-TOS a small BASIC program, that looks like a GUI; it can merely load BASIC files and do a few DOS commands, like lock, unlock, delete and such... (PD) - BASIC desktop, a GUI written in BASIC just as a sample, what can be done with an 8-bit computer; this one loads BASIC and text files (maybe also ML files); PD; - DCS, the desktop construction set from Tom Hunt; there are 3 different versions available, a) for DOS 2.5, b) for MyDOS and c) for Sparta-DOS; I have tested the Sparta DOS version, which worked with batchfiles and could easily load some ML files, text files and BASIC files (which were already on the DCS disk); it also works with high densities and/or hard disk partitions up to 16MB and supports subdirs of course; hmm, freeware or shareware ?!? - ATOS - GUI by Tom Hunt/Closer To Home. 1) Lets you use any demo or intro as a screen saver!! 2) Works with all Atari hardware, BB, MIO and Hard drives, SpartaDOS support 3) Lets you run files like full games and demos and then return back to the desktop. It uses Overlays. - Atari Desktop by ABC software (Poland), includes editors, converters, file copiers, sector copy, tape+turbo tape copy, small games, CMC finder and player and much much more; works with 64k RAM and keyboard input; disk manuals only in Polish language... - Windows XL a Turbo-BASIC GUI with some nice add-ons, like calculator, editor and other things. written in 1986-1988 by Joerg Forg. - TRS Desktop by Tristesse. A graphic user interface for SpartaDOS X to be used with hard drives. http://www.atari8.info/trsdesktop.php http://trub.atari8.info/sdx_files/TRS_desktop_v09d_alfa.zip - there are a lot more GUI programs, however many of them are written in BASIC or Turbo BASIC and are very restricted; most of them merely look like a GUI but need too much memory for everyday use. That's why most users still prefer those DOS or Gamedos (Gameloader, Multiloader, etc.) programs...
Subject: 7.9) What should I know about modem device handlers? In order to use a modem on the Atari, a modem software handler, or R: device handler, must be loaded into memory. There are several families of R: handlers, corresponding to the different ways in which a modem may be attached to the Atari. Except for family #7 below, these handlers are used in one of two ways. Either they are (A) loaded into memory from DOS just before running the main terminal application, or (B) the terminal program is appended to the handler, so that in practice, a single file is loaded from DOS which contains both the R: device handler and the application itself. 1) 835/1030/XM301 modems. Atari-only modems, interface via SIO 2) MPP/Supra modems. Atari-only modems, interface via joystick port 3) SX212 modem/R-Verter Serial Bus Modem Adapter. Standard Hayes-type RS-232 modems, interface via SIO The R-Verter was distributed with four different R: handler versions: RHAND1.OBJ - R: handler supporting DSR & RD RHAND1C.OBJ - R: handler supporting DSR & CD RHAND2.OBJ - R: handler supporting DSR & RD and translation tables RHAND2C.OBJ - R: handler supporting DSR & CD and translation tables 4) SWP ATR8000 interface. Standard Hayes-type RS-232 modems via this interface. Richard Anderson writes (Oct 2 02): Mine originally came with a driver program; and, I believe, a BASIC program to set up the driver from BASIC. Later they shipped with a special version of MyDOS with the R: handler built in. 5) 850 Interface/P:R: Connection, internal This type of "mini handler" simply loads the R: device handler code from a ROM chip inside the RS-232 serial interface. A long beep is heard through the speaker when the handler is loaded into the computer's RAM. Many varieties of DOS for the Atari include an explicit provision for loading this type of R: handler into memory from the 850 or compatible interface. Also, this type of R: handler is automatically loaded when any 8-bit Atari computer is turned on with a P:R: Connection or powered 850 connected, but no powered disk drive is present. 6) 850 Interface/P:R: Connection, external Used with the 850/P:R: Connection in place of these interfaces' built-in handlers. The P:R: Connection was distributed with such a handler, called: PRC.SYS 7) MIO/Black Box interfaces, internal These interfaces utilize the PBI or ECI parallel ports on the Atari. They include their own R: handlers in ROM, using no computer RAM at all. 8) MIO/Black Box interfaces, external: Len Spencer's Hyperspeed This handler is "optional" for the Black Box, but "essential" for the MIO in order to take full advantage of the high-speed hardware handshaking capabilities of these two interfaces. Hyperspd.arc is available at: http://www.lenardspencer.com/Lenspencer/hyperspd.htm
Subject: 8.1) What programming languages are available for the Atari? This section is by Freddy Offenga, reproduced here by permission from: http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari_dev.htm additions/edits to this version by mc: 2009.02 edits: The BASIC Compiler; BASIC XE; Microsoft BASIC; Microsoft BASIC II; CLSN Pascal; Logo; PILOT; Action!, Kyan Pascal, Lightspeed C versions from Atari Explorer mags 2006.01.16 added: Xasm 3.0.0, 2005 from Piotr Fusik Revision : 2.0 Date.... : 2005-2-20 ============================================================== The goal is to give information about all available languages for the Atari 8-bit computer. This information includes: title, last version, author, date and a short description. It would also be nice to know how to get it and where to get more information (like reference cards, reviews and such). Maintainer: Freddy Offenga Email : taf.offenga [at] chello.nl (replace " [at] " with "@") URL : http://members.chello.nl/taf.offenga/atari.htm ============================================================== There are quite a lot! To get some structure in this section it's divided into the following categories; a) ASSEMBLER b) BASIC c) C d) PASCAL e) LISP f) FORTH g) PILOT h) LOGO i) All the rest The following format is used: - Language title (medium) version, year : version, year author/company : author/company available..... : where/how to get it package....... : programs, documentation features...... : main features Description. The question marks (?) indicate that more information is required about that topic. Credits ======= - The Multi-lingual Atari, Analog magazine 45, August 1986 - A bunch of manuals - Some copy-pasted lines from the Atari 8-bit newsgroup - umich (University of Michigan Atari archive) - David Wyn Davies (PL65) - Kevin Savetz (APX titles) - Maury Markowitz - Michael Current - JT (ValForth) - Andreas Koch - Winston Smith - Carsten Strotmann - Brad Arnold Revision history ================ 2.0 - Added Atari Pilot info from Brad Arnold 1.9 - X-Assembler updated - Added "QS FORTH" info from Winston Smith - Added FORTH section work from Michael Current (thanks to Carsten Strotmann) (see also: http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForth) - Several updates in the assembler section 1.8 Thanks to Andreas Koch for these updates: - Added "Mesa-Forth" - Added "130XE Assembler 4.32" - Updated "SynAssembler" 1.7 Thanks to Maury Markowitz for these updates: - Updated "A BASIC Compiler" - Added "Der BASIC Compiler", "MMG BASIC Compiler" - Added "Frost BASIC", "TT-BASIC XL" 1.6 Synchronized with Atari 8-bit FAQ May-2002 : - Added "X-Assembler" - Added "CTH Fast Basic" - Added availability for "Deep Blue C" - Added availability for "Atari Pascal" - Ignored changes "Kyan Pascal" (need more info) - Updated "ValForth" - Updated "Extended fig-Forth" - Updated "fun-Forth" - Added "Extended WSFN" - Removed e-mail addresses - Added availability for "A65" - Updated "PL65" 1.0 .. 1.5 Changes not noted. Old versions are available on request. a) ASSEMBLER - 130XE Makro Assembler (disk) version, year : 4.32, ? author/company : Torsten Karwoth available..... : freeware, ABBUC PD #297 package....... : assembler, editor, menu, monitor, batch enhancement, linker/packer features...... : macros Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated menu, editor and monitor shell for 128KB RAM Ataris. Source format is derived from Atmas Makroassembler. - 130XE+ Makro Assembler (disk) version, year : 2.2, 1992 author/company : Torsten Karwoth available..... : freeware, ABBUC PD #368 package....... : assembler, editor, menu, monitor, batch enhancement, linker/packer features...... : macros New version with 128KB - 1088KB RAM support. Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated menu, editor and monitor shell. Needs extra RAM banks. Source format is derived from Atmas Makroassembler. - A65 (disk) version, year : ?, 1989 author/company : Charles Marslett, WORDMARK Systems available..... : abandonware, http://www.wordmark.org/ package....... : assembler, manual features...... : source include Two pass 6502 assembler. Source format is based on the Atari Macro Assembler. Assembler source included. - Alfasm, Turbo-Assembler/16 (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1990 author/company : Jeff Williams, DataQue Software available..... : ? package....... : assembler, docs features...... : source include Two pass 6502/65816 assembler. - Assi (download) version, year : 0.0.41, 2000 author/company : MacFalkner available..... : ? package....... : assembler, file linker features...... : source include, data include, code relocation Cross assembler for Win32. Source code is highly compatible with Atmas for the Atari. - Atari Assembler/Editor (cart) version, year : ?, 1981 author/company : Atari available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual features...... : - Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor - Atari Macro Assembler (disk) version, year : 1.0C, 1981 author/company : Atari, APX available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, debugger, manual features...... : macros, source include Two pass 6502 assembler. - ATasm (disk) version, year : 0.92, 1999 author/company : Mark Schmelzenbach available..... : umich package....... : assembler features...... : macros, source include, optionally target .XFD disk images and machine state files (Atari800 / Atari800Win), conditional assembly. Two pass 6502 portable cross assembler. Highly compatible with MAC/65. - Atmas Makroassembler (disk) version, year : 2, 1985 author/company : Peter Finzel, Hofacker available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual features...... : macros Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor. - Bibo Assembler (disk) version, year : 1.0, 13/12/1986 author/company : E.Reuss, Compy-Shop available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, monitor features...... : source include, data include Two pass 6502/65c02 assembler with integrated editor/ monitor. - Datasm/65 assembler (disk) version, year : 2.0, 1981 author/company : DataSoft Inc. available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, menu, manual features...... : - Two pass 6502 assembler. - EASMD (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1981 author/company : OSS available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, monitor features...... : - Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor. - Fast Assembler (disk) version, year : 1.5, 1995 author/company : MMMG Soft available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, disassembler features...... : - - Kasm65 (disk) version, year : 2.51, 1997 author/company : Ken Siders available..... : shareware, umich package....... : assembler, editor, linker, docs features...... : macros, relocation, source include, conditional assembly Two pass 6502 assembler. Relocatable object files are compatible with ra65. Source format is derived from the Atari Macro Assembler. - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk|cart) version, year : 1.01, 1984 author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, OSS available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk|cart) version, year : 2.00, 1982 author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, OSS available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual features...... : macros, source include Two pass 6502 assembler with integrated editor/monitor. Mac/65 is a direct descendant of the Atari Assembler/ Editor (via EASMD). - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk) version, year : 4.20, 1994 author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, Fine Tooned Engineering available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - - MAC/65 Macro Assembler (disk) version, year : 4.20 demo version, 1982 author/company : Stephen D. Lawrow, OSS available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - - MAE (disk) version, year : .96, 1996 author/company : John Harris available..... : umich package....... : assembler, menu, editor, monitor, docs features...... : macros, source include, data include, conditional assembly Two pass 6502/65816 assembler with integrated editor/ monitor. Extra RAM supported. - NASM65 (disk) version, year : ?, 1992 author/company : Nat! available..... : ? package....... : assembler, linker, librarian features...... : macros, relocation, source include One pass 6502 portable cross assembler (initially for the ST). Highly compatible with MAC/65. - PC-65 (disk) version, year : 1.0 beta, 1996 author/company : Jan Feenstra & Freddy Offenga available..... : - package....... : assembler features...... : macros, source include, data include, boundary directive Two pass 6502 cross assembler for PC/DOS. The source format is highly compatible with the ST-65 assembler. - Quick Assembler (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1990? author/company : JBW, Avalon? available..... : ? package....... : assembler, editor, menu, debugger features...... : source include Two pass 6502 cross assembler with integrated editor. Very user friendly menu environment. - Ra65 (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1989 author/company : John R. Dunning available..... : public domain, umich package....... : assembler, linker, librarian part of cc65 (c-compiler) features...... : - - Synassembler (disk|cart) version, year : 4.0, 1982 author/company : Steve Hales, Synapse Soft available..... : http://www.atariland.com/members/oldatarian/ package....... : assembler, editor, monitor, manual features...... : source include Two pass 6502 assembler. An Adaptation by Steve Hales of the S.C. Assembler II. - ST-65 (disk) version, year : ?, 1991 author/company : A. Stauffenberg, F. Offenga available..... : - package....... : assembler, menu shell, manual features...... : macros, conditional assembly, source include, data include, boundary directive Two pass 6502/65c02 cross assembler for the Atari ST written in 68000 assembly. As far as I know this is the first assembler with the boundary directive. - Xasm version, year : 2.5.2, 2002 author/company : Piotr Fusik available..... : http://xasm.atari.org package....... : assembler, docs features...... : conditional assembly, source include, binary include, pseudo commands, pseudo addressing modes Two pass 6502 cross assembler for PC/DOS. The source format is backward compatible with Quick Assembler. - Xasm version, year : 3.0.0, 2005 author/company : Piotr Fusik available..... : http://xasm.atari.org package....... : assembler, docs features...... : conditional assembly, source include, binary include, pseudo commands, pseudo addressing modes Two pass 6502 cross assembler for PC/DOS. The source format is backward compatible with Quick Assembler. b) BASIC - A BASIC Compiler (?) version, year : 1.05, 1987 author/company : Monarch Data Systems available..... : ? package....... : BASIC compiler features...... : - - Advan BASIC (disk) version, year : ?, ? author/company : Advan Language Designs available..... : ? package....... : BASIC compiler features...... : - - Atari BASIC (cart) version, year : Rev.C, 1983 author/company : Atari available..... : standard ROM in Atari XL/XE package....... : BASIC interpreter, manual features...... : pretty plain BASIC implementation - Atari Microsoft BASIC (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1981 author/company : developed by Microsoft, published by Atari available..... : CX8126 package....... : BASIC interpreter features...... : Based on the full language level of Microsoft BASIC - Atari Microsoft BASIC II (cart + extensions disk) version, year : 2.0, 1983, c1982 author/company : developed by Microsoft, published by Atari available..... : AX2025 box contains: * Microsoft BASIC II Programming Language cart. RX8035 * Microsoft BASIC II Extension Diskette DX5046 * [User's Guide] C061251 REV. A (1982) * Reference Manual C061257 REV. A (1983) * Quick Reference Guide C061253 REV. A (1982) package....... : BASIC interpreter features...... : Based on the full language level of Microsoft BASIC "Programs developed under the diskette-based version of Atari Microsoft BASIC can be run using Atari Microsoft BASIC II." - BASIC A+ (disk) version, year : 3.05, 1981 author/company : OSS available..... : ? package....... : BASIC interpreter features...... : - - The BASIC Compiler (disk) version, year : 1.4, 1983 author/company : Datasoft available..... : ? package....... : BASIC compiler features...... : four-pass compiler; compiles Atari BASIC programs into 6502 machine language; produces DATASM compatible assembler files - BASIC XL (cart) version, year : ?, ? author/company : OSS available..... : ? package....... : BASIC interpreter features...... : - - BASIC XE (cart + extensions disk) version, year : 4.1, 1985 author/company : OSS available..... : ? package....... : BASIC interpreter features...... : requires XL/XE; supports 130XE extended memory - CTH Fast Basic (disk) version/year : ? author/company : Tom Hunt/Closer to Home available.......: PD, Freeware or Shareware; package........: language plus several test files and examples; English docs; features.......: faster than Atari Basic, not much slower than TB, does not use RAM under OS; available at Tom Hunt's homepage or elsewhere... - Frost BASIC (?) version, year : 1.04, 1985 author/company : Frank Ostrowski, Happy Computer available..... : ? package....... : BASIC interpreter, compiler features...... : - Version of Turbo Basic XL that runs on 48k machines (400/800). - MMG BASIC Compiler 2.0 (?) version, year : 2.0, 1984 author/company : Special Software Systems available..... : ? package....... : BASIC compiler features...... : - It appears that this is a newer version of Der BASIC Compiler, licensed to some other company. - TT-BASIC XL (disk) version, year : 2.11, 1985 author/company : Frank Ostrowski, Happy Computer available..... : ? package....... : BASIC interpreter, compiler features...... : - Published in the German magazine "Happy Computer". Appears to be a newer version of Turbo Basic XL. - Turbo Basic XL (disk) version, year : 1.5, 1985 author/company : Frank Ostrowski, Happy Computer available..... : ? package....... : BASIC interpreter, compiler (V1.1) features...... : - Published in the German magazine "Happy Computer". c) C - ACE C (disk) version, year : ? author/company : John Palevich & Ralph Walden available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - This is a newer version of 'Deep Blue C'. - C/65 (?) version, year : ? author/company : OSS available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - Probably derived from Dr.Dobbs "Small C". Compiles to 6502 code which emulates the 8080 instruction set. - C65 (?) version, year : ? author/company : Keith Ledbetter available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : good macro assembler This compiler does not support structs. - CC65 (disk) version, year : 1989 author/company : John R. Dunning available..... : umich archive, http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Languages/Cc65/ package....... : compiler, linker, assembler, librarian features...... : - Public domain compiler. Also used as cross compiler. Relocatable object linkage files, and the most thorough K&R C for the 8-bit. Comes with an relocatable assembler. - CC8 (disk) version, year : 2.3 author/company : John Palevich & Steve Kennedy available..... : ? package....... : Compiler features...... : - ACE C with more "real" C support (e.g. arrays of pointers to structs). Requires ACE C runtime libs and linker. - Deep Blue C (disk) version, year : 1.2, 1982 author/company : John Palevich, APX available..... : http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20166 Source code "Deep Blue Secrets" downloadable at http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20179 package....... : Compiler, Linker features...... : - Deep Blue C was originally an independent product, but it then became available from APX. It converts C to pseudo- code and then interprets the pseudo code (8080 instruction set emulation). Drawn from Ron Cain's public domain C-compiler (Small-C). - DVC C (disk) version, year : 1.05, 1985 author/company : Ralph E. Walden available..... : ? package....... : Editor, Compiler, Optimizer, Linker features...... : Quite user friendly program The compiler generates special object files (.CCC) which can be optimized and linked. The package uses a special DOS called DVC DOS which contains runtime stuff. - Lightspeed C (disk) version, year : 3.0, 1988 author/company : Clearstar Softechnologies available..... : ? package....... : Compiler, Optimizer, Linker features...... : - Runs under CLI DOS's and MENU DOS's. - Tiny-C version, year : ? author/company : OSS available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - First sold C compiler by OSS. This compiler was used to compile itself! First true language "bootstrap" on any 8-bit machine (it was also available for Apple and CP/M machines). Derived from Dr.Dobbs "Small C". Compiles to 6502 code which emulates the 8080 instruction set. d) PASCAL - Atari Pascal (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1982 author/company : APX available..... : APX-20102 Information at http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20102 package....... : ? features...... : - Needs two drives. - CLSN Pascal (disk) version, year : 1989? author/company : CLSN Software available..... : ? package....... : editor, compiler features...... : generates 6502 machine code; requires 128K XL/XE - Draper Pascal (disk) version, year : 2.1, 1989 author/company : Norm Draper available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - - Kyan Pascal (disk) version, year : 2.02, 1986 author/company : Kyan Software available..... : ? package....... : editor, compiler, linker, macro-assembler and manual features...... : - e) LISP - INTER-LISP/65 (disk) version, year : 2.1, 1981 author/company : Special Software Systems, DataSoft available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - - INTER-LISP/65 (disk) version, year : 2.2, 1982 author/company : Special Software Systems, DataSoft available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - f) FORTH - ES-FORTH version, year : 1.2, 1984 author/company : The English Software Company available..... : http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthESForth package....... : ? features...... : - Seems to be based on fig-FORTH, but with some unique "Words". Works with normal DOS. - Extended fig-FORTH, (disk) version, year : 11/10/1981 author/company : Patrick Mullarky, APX available..... : APX-20029 http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20029 package....... : ? features...... : - - Extended fig-Forth (disk) version, year : 1.1 Rev. 2.0, 01/15/82 author/company : Patrick Mullarky, APX available..... : APX-20029 http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20029 package....... : ? features...... : - - fig-FORTH version, year : 1/26/81 and 4/01/82 releases author/company : Steven R. Calfee "Team FORTH" available..... : http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=unknown_fig package....... : ? features...... : - - fig-FORTH version, year : 4/10/82 author/company : Peter Lipson / Robin Ziegler "Team FORTH" available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - based on 4/1/82 release of fig-FORTH by Steve Calfee - fig-FORTH version, year : 5/5/82 - 10/16/82 author/company : Harald Striepe "Team FORTH" available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - based on 4/10/82 release of fig-FORTH by Lipson/Ziegler - fig-FORTH, Antic (disk) version, year : 1.4S REV.H, 18Jun85 author/company : John Stanley/Antic Magazine "Team FORTH" available..... : http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthAntic package....... : ? features...... : - based on 10/16/82 release of fig-FORTH by Striepe - fun-Forth (disk) version, year : ? author/company : Joel Gluck, APX available..... : APX-20146 http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20146 package....... : ? features...... : - - Grafik-FORTH version, year : 1990 author/company : RAI Production available..... : http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthGraphicForth package....... : ? features...... : - based on fig-FORTH 1.4S and TURBO-GRAPHICS-SYSTEM 256 - MesaForth version, year : 12/03/81 author/company : ? available..... : http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthMesa package....... : language, source code, documents, examples features...... : - based on 6502 fig-Forth. The major difference is in the size of the screen on disk (512 bytes instead of 1024 bytes). Runs under ATARI DOS 2.0S. - QS FORTH version, year : 1.0, 3/27/81 author/company : James Abanese / [QS] Quality Software available..... : http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//LangForthQS package....... : Editor, Assembler, I/O routines Single Density 5.25 Floppy and Manual in Binder features...... : Editor, Assembler, I/O Routines. based on fig-FORTH. - Turbo-4th version, year : January 1985 author/company : Steven R. Calfee available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - compatible with fig-FORTH and Team FORTH. It's fast. Not threaded, it is a true compiler - ValForth (disk) version, year : 1.1, 1982 author/company : Valpar International available..... : ? package....... : (8) disks in the set including: 1)master disk, 2)display formatter, 3)text compression and auto text formatting, 4)valDOS-I, 5)valDOS-II, 6)player-missile graphics, character editor and sound editor, 7)general utilities and video editor, 8) Turtle & valGraphics and advanced floating point routines. features...... : - based on fig-FORTH - X-FORTH version, year : 26 Jan 2003 author/company : Carsten Strotmann available..... : http://atariwiki.strotmann.de/xwiki/bin/view/Main//ProjXForth package....... : binary, source, disk image with samples & editor features...... : aims to be compatible with new ANSI standard. works with normal DOS. g) PILOT - PILOT with "Turtle" Graphics (cart; cart + tape) version, year : 1981, c1980 author/company : Atari available..... : ? package....... : Two packages sold: 1) PILOT with "Turtle Graphics" (CXL4018) includes: * PILOT Programming Language cartridge CXL4018 * Student PILOT: Reference Guide CO17811 Rev1 (1981) * PILOT Pocket Reference Card C017812 Rev.2 (1981) 2) PILOT with "Turtle Graphics" Educator's Kit (CX405) includes: * PILOT Programming Language cartridge CXL4018 * PILOT Primer: The PILOT Programming Language Instruction Manual CO17809 REV.1 (c1980 DYMAX) * Student PILOT: Reference Guide CO17811 Rev1 (1981) * PILOT Pocket Reference Card C017812 Rev.2 (1981) * 2 Demonstration Program Cassettes - CX4113 Cassette A, Side 1: PILOT Programs for Children Cassette A, Side 2: A PILOT Teaching Program - CX4113 Cassette B, Side 1: PILOT "Turtle Graphics" Demonstration Cassette B, Side 2: PILOT Do-It-Yourself Slide Show * PILOT Demonstration Programs: Users Guide C01780 REV.1 (1981) * binder CA017805 REV. 1 features...... : - h) LOGO - Atari Logo (cart) version, year : 1983 author/company : Logo Computer Systems Inc. (LCSI), published by Atari available..... : ? package....... : Three packages sold: 1) Atari Logo: Programming Language Cartridge (RX8032) contains: * Atari Logo Computer Program cartridge RX8032 * Atari Logo: Quick Reference Guide C061583 (1983) 2) Atari Logo: Atari Logo User Manuals (BX4208) contains: * Atari Logo: Introduction to Programming Through Turtle Graphics C061590 (1983) * Atari Logo: Reference Manual C061589 (1983) 3) Logo Kit (KX7079) contains: * Atari Logo: Programming Language Cartridge RX8032 * Atari Logo: Atari Logo User Manuals BX4208 features...... : - i) All the rest - Action! (cart) version, year : 3.6, 1983 author/company : Action! Computer Services (Clinton Parker), pub. by OSS available..... : ? package....... : compiler, editor, monitor and library features...... : fast compiler which generates good code Needs cartridge for runtime procedures. A PD runtime library is also available. All variables are static, so recursive routine calls are not possible. No floating point type (though a PD library should make this possible). No arrays of objects (arrays of POINTERS to objects are possible). - Extended WSFN, WSFN = Which Stands For Nothing version, year : ? author/company : Harry Stewart, APX available..... : APX-20026 package....... : ? features...... : - Info at http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20026 - Quick (disk) version, year : 2.0, 1990 author/company : Raindorf Soft available..... : ? package....... : ? features...... : - This is the "poor man's Action!". Same restrictions as Action! apply also to Quick. Further restrictions are: only simple assignment expressions, no records and no pointers. - PL65 (disk) version, year : 1.0, 1987 author/company : Noahsoft available..... : commercial, Extremely rare. package....... : compiler, editor, library, sample game features...... : Similar features to Action with same restrictions. Highly flexible language that includes inline assembler features and pointers. Robust and well-engineered editor. Does not require additional runtime library - automatically generated and included in the compiled code during compilation. - Test Computer Language (disk) version, year : 2.2, 1985-1990 author/company : D.Firth available..... : public domain, ? package....... : compiler and editor features...... : -
Subject: 8.2) What cartridges were released for the Right Slot of the 800? This should be a complete list of commercial cartridges produced for use in the Right Cartridge slot of the Atari 800. ACE-80 by Claus Buchholz for Amiable Computer Enhancements / TNT Computing (80 column editor, compatible with Atari BASIC, and patches available for: OS/A+, EASMD, Letter Perfect v.6, Data Perfect, Atari Logo) Austin 80 Console Software by Austin Franklin Block (first right cart/first "backup" program hardware device) Cartridge Maker by Radical Systems (EPROM burner) KISS by Eastern House Magic Dump by Geminisoft/Eric Wolz for Sar-An Computer Products (SCP) Magic Dump II by Geminisoft/Eric Wolz for Sar-An Computer Products (SCP) Monkey Wrench by Eastern House Monkey Wrench II by Eastern House R-Time 8 by ICD (battery-backed clock, for left or right cart slots) Real Time Cartridge by Sunmark
Subject: 8.3) What games support 4 or more simultaneous players? Section started by Andreas Koch. a) The following games support 4 joystick head-to-head play: (Only possible on the 400/800 since only these computer models have 4 controller ports) - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Quality Software - Aliens a PD-game by ??? using an altered Dandy program (the Dandy font and thus the graphics were changed, however, the levels remain the same and can be used in both games); - Asteroids cart. by Atari, - Basketball cart. by Atari, - Battle Room (CIA vs. KGB) a PD game by SNACC - Dandy disk by APX, - Depth Warrior by ??? from ROM magazine, Aug. 1984 *** - Floyd of the Jungle - Major League Soccer cart. by Thorn EMI, - Major League Hockey cart. by Thorn EMI, - Soccer by Gamma Software - Hockey by Gamma Software - Maze War disk or cart. by ???, - M.U.L.E. disk by Electronic Arts, - Roadblock by Brian Holness from Compute! magazine - Silicon Warrior disk or tape by Epyx, - Sky Warrior by ??? from ROM magazine, June 1984 *** - Survivor disk or cart. by Synapse, - Tank Battle by Fred Pinho from Antic magazine: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v3n2/animate.html - Volleyball by ??? (PD game written in Atari BASIC); - Yellow-Brick-Road by ??? from ROM magazine, Feb. 1984 *** *** these programs are reported to be 4-player programs, I'm not sure if they are meant to be 4-players simultaneously or 4-players - one after another (try to find out!); b) The following games support 4 paddle head-to-head play: - Castle Crisis by Bryan Edewaard, 2004 - IQ by David S. Maynard for CRL, 1987 (same game as "Worms?") - Warlords by ?, year? (pd version, unlicensed) - Worms? by David S. Maynard for Electronic Arts, 1983 c) The following game supports 4 players on all machines, using special 4-button keypad controllers linked together with RJ-11 jacks (standard phone jacks) to a box with 2 joystick port connectors: - PQ: The Party Quiz Game by Suncom d) The following programs support multi-joystick games, using extra hardware called Quadrotron (from the German Atari Magazin 2/1989): - test program for 4 joysticks (and assembler source); - Quadro-Tron by H.Schoenfeld (4-player Tron-clone); e) The following programs support multi-joystick games, using extra hardware called Multijoy (multijoy4 for up to 4 players, multijoy8 for up to 8 players and multijoy16 for up to 16 players; originally developed by Raster/Radek Sterba, but also available from ABBUC): - Astro4Road by Fandal - Bremspunkt (demo-version) by T. Butschke - Bremspunkt (full-version) by T. Butschke - Card Grabber by F. Dingler - Cervi by R.Sterba - Cervi 2 by R. Sterba - Fujirun by Schmutzpuppe (see below!) - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Icehockey by F. Dingler - Multijoy-tester by Fandal or Raster - Multris by R.Sterba - Quadrotron-M4 by R. Sterba - Sheep-Race by F.Dingler - Shot'em All by R.Sterba The following patches are available at: http://mitglied.lycos.de/gunnarbusse/bajamar/download.htm - Asteroids, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe - Basketball, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe - Tennis, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe - Dandy, modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe - M.U.L.E., modified for Multijoy by Schmutzpuppe And the following patches are available at: www.atari.fandal.cz - Wingman modified for Multijoy by Fandal - (Thorn EMI) Hockey modified for Multijoy by Fandal - (Thorn EMI) Soccer modified for Multijoy by Fandal - (Gamma) Hockey modified for Multijoy by Fandal - (Gamma) Soccer modified for Multijoy by Fandal - Battle Room modified for Multijoy by Fandal - Silicon Warrior by Epyx modified for Multijoy by Fandal - Mazewar modified for Multijoy by Fandal - Survivor modified for Multijoy by Fandal - Floyd of the Jungle modified for Multijoy by Fandal
Subject: 8.4) What programs run only on the 400 and 800 models, and why? The following are reported as incompatible with models other than the original Atari 400/800. Many can nevertheless be made to run on XL/XE's if you use a translator to run the original 400/800 OS on your XL/XE. Apple Panic Broderbund Aquatron Sierra On-Line Astro Chase (by First Star Software) Parker Bros. Atari Word Processor Atari Atlantis (early only?) Imagic (at least most copies OK on XL/XE) Attack at EP-CYG-4 (by Bram) Romox Bacterion! Kyle Peacock/Tom Hudson/ANALOG#20 patch for XL/XE available: http://www.cyberroach.com/analog/an20/bacterion_patch.htm Bandits Sirius Software BearJam Chalk Board Chicken Synapse Crossfire Sierra On-Line (keyboard doesn't work on XL/XE) Dancing Feats (by Softsync) Romox Demon Attack Imagic (Activision re-release fixed for XL/XE) Disk 50 Star Soft International (SSI) Dreadnaught Factor, The Activision Drelbs Synapse File Manager 800+ Synapse Forbidden Forest (early only?) Cosmi (at least most copies OK on XL/XE) Fort Apocalypse -- cartridge Synapse (all disk/tape releases OK on XL/XE) Galahad And The Holy Grail APX Go Hayden Gorf Roklan Jawbreaker II Sierra On-Line Jet Boot Jack (early only?) English Software (at least most OK on XL/XE) Juggler IDSI K-Razy Antiks (by Kay Enterprises for K-Byte) CBS K-Razy Kritters (by Kay Enterprises for K-Byte) CBS K-Razy Kritters (by Kay Enterprises) K-Byte K-Star Patrol (by Kay Enterprises for K-Byte) CBS Kangaroo (prototype) (Atari) KoalaPainter Koala Leo's 'Lectric Paintbrush Chalk Board Leo's Links Chalk Board Letter Perfect (before v6) LJK (all version 6.x releases OK on XL/XE) LogicMaster Chalk Board Mac/65 [ver. 1.00, orange] OSS (all releases after 1.00 OK on XL/XE) Maze Epyx Micro Illustrator Chalk Board MicroMaestro Chalk Board Monkey Wrench Eastern House Monster Maze Epyx Ms. Pac-Man Atari (glitches with late-production XE units) M.U.L.E. (early only?) (by Ozark Softscape) Electronic Arts (most copies/releases OK on XL/XE) Nautilus Synapse XL/XE workaround: hold down START to skip the title screen, which is where it locks up. --Scott Stilphen, 6 Jun 2007 Picnic Paranoia Synapse Pool 1.5 IDSI Pool 400 IDSI Protector II Synapse QS Forth James Abanese / [QS] Quality Software Rack 'Em Up Rocklan Shamus Synapse XL/XE workaround: hold down START or SELECT to skip the title screen, which is where it locks up. A re-release by Americana/Synsoft corrects the incompatibility problem. (http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-shamus_6174.html) --Scott Stilphen, 6 Jun 2007 Slime Synapse Snapper Silicon Valley Systems Space Dungeon Atari Squish 'Em Sirius Story Machine -- cartridge Spinnaker (disk release OK on XL/XE) Synassembler Synapse Text Wizard Datasoft Zaxxon (early release?) Datasoft (most copies/releases OK on XL/XE) Konrad M.Kokoszkiewicz writes: XL/XE software won't work on 400/800 if: 1) it uses shadow RAM at $C000-$CFFF and $D800-$FFFF 2) it uses RAM expansions at $4000-$7FFF controlled by PORTB $D301 3) it uses specific XL OS functions (like JNEWDEVC) 4) it uses illegal XL OS addresses. 5) it uses European Charset :) Andreas Koch adds: To get an overview or see a chart of OS changes from the 800 to the XL line, refer to Antic magazine Volume 3, Number 2 (June 1984), pages 10-14; (online: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v3n2/insideatari.html ) Also note, that some software will not work correct (or not at all) on newer XE/XEGS versions (which have a new OS with a new version number, a new Self Test/Memory Test/Keyboard Test, larger RAM chips, etc. etc.); Thomas Richter contributes further details (16 Jan 2004): There are a couple of reasons why some games don't run on the XL/XE models. I try to order them by "likeliness", of course biased by my personal observations: i) The printer buffer of the XL Operating System in page 3 is a couple of bytes shorter. The additional bytes are used for extended OS variables not available in the 800 series. Most prominent is the $3fa location, holding a shadow register of GTIA's TRIG3 signal. While a true joystick trigger line in the 400/800 series, this signal is used as "cart inserted" signal for XL/XE models. Unfortunately, the OS compares GTIA trig3 with the shadow register at $3fa in each vertical blank, running into an endless loop if the register contents don't match. This causes hangs for games using page 3 either as copy-buffer or for player-missile graphics. (Hangs by Ms. Pac-Man and Bacterion! are caused by this, and many others...) This is "fixable" either by the translator disk, or by a quick hack into the game, replacing the OS vertical blank or poking TRIG3 frequently into its shadow. The reason for the OS behavior might be that Atari wanted to prevent crashes if the cartridge is inserted or removed while the machine is running. The 400/800 is powered down when a cart is inserted, the XL/XE lacks the cover of the older models that triggered a little switch to interrupt the power line. ii) Similar to the above, writes to $3f8. This OS equate defines whether on a warm start, the BASIC ROM shall be mapped back in. If its contents are altered, a program triggering a reset as part of its initialization will find itself then with 8K less RAM occupied by a BASIC ROM, making it crash. Similarly, writes to the cartridge checksum $3eb could cause a cold-start on a "reset initialization". This is fixable by the translator disk. iii) Some games use a four-joystick setup, or at least initialize PIA itself. If this happens inadequately, PIA Port B, bit 0 gets changed, disabling the ROM, and thus crashing the machine. This is not fixable by the translator since it is a hardware issue. iv) Direct jumps into the OS ROM, not using the documented vectors in the $e450 area. Interestingly, this fault is not as common as it may sound since games hardly ever use the OS. It causes failures of some "serious applications", most notably "QS Forth" and applications compiled by it. This is fixable by the translator disk. As a side remark, it is interesting to note that no such documented jump-ins exist for the math-pack ($d800 to $dfff). It is not really part of the OS, but looks more like a part of the BASIC interpreter that didn't make it into the OS because there was no room left. Thus, direct jump-ins have to be used here that are documented in the De Re Atari (for example). Atari never changed them, but it seems likely that this documentation happened more or less as an accident since the same source also lists some mathematics-related jump-ins into the Basic (namely, to compute SIN and COS and related) that are only valid for the Rev. A BASIC. Thus, the math pack might be a couple of routines that have been originally intended for "private use" of the BASIC ROM, but then have been found "too useful" by many others to remain "closed". Otherwise, it is hard to explain why the otherwise pretty cleaned-up OS comes with a construction like this.
Subject: 8.5) What programs use a light pen or a light gun? Contributor to this section: Bertrand M. (LEXX), Andreas Koch The Atari computer reads the horizontal and vertical positions of a light pen or a light gun in the same way. Consequently, while software programs are designed for one or the other, these two types of controllers may often substitute for each other. Programs designed for a light gun: Alien Blast, Richard Gore for DGS, 1993 Alien Invaders (TB-XL or CTB) disk by R.Gore (available from DGS); Barnyard Blaster, James V. Zalewski for Atari, 1987 Bembel Wo by Thorsten Butschke for Foundation Two, 1998 Bug Hunt, Alan Murphy and Rob Zdybel for Atari, 1987 Cementerio, Pelusa Software, 1989 Click!, Chris Martin, 2008 Crime Buster, Ron Andrzejewski & James Zalewski for Atari, 1988 Crossbow by Atari, 1988 Flyshot or Flyshoot a PD game by Kemal Ezcan Gangsters by Houra, Pesout, Stefek, Sterba, Svoboda, 2007 Gangstersville, Emanuele Bergamini for Lindasoft, 1988 Geister-Schloss, KE-Soft, 1992 Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 Hit the Mole by Phoenix-Softcrew / Carsten Strotmann; Invasion, Pelusa Soft Light Gun Blaster, Andre Willey, Atari User Feb. 1988 Light Gun Blaster (enhanced) by Pedrokko Matrix a PD game by Dave Oblad Messe Hanau, Kemal Ezcan, 1995 Operation Blood (light gun) by Bulkowski & Kalinowski for ANG, light gun conversion by The Missing Link Operation Blood II - Special Forces disk, ANG/Mirage Pajaki II, Arkadiusz Lubaszka for ArSoft, 1996 Schiessen, L. Franzky (Abbuc magazine) The Scrolls of Abadon, Frank Cohen, 1984 Sharp Shooter, Matthew Ratcliff, 1989 Sniper, Premysl Stefek, Radek Sterba, Petr Svoboda and Fandal, 2007 Special Forces (light gun) by Mirage, light gun conversion by Homesoft - See also Fandal site search for games that use a light gun: http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=light+gun&butt_details_x=x - See also AtariMania list of games that use a light gun: www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-light-gun_control_5_8_G.html Programs designed for a light pen: - Alien Blast, Richard Gore for DGS, 1993 - AtariGraphics by Steve Gibson for Atari (RX8054, shipped with CX75) - Bedtime Stories - Little Red Riding Hood by Futurehouse, 1983 - Blazing Paddles by Baudville, 1986 - Concentration by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Crossword Twister by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Draughts by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Go by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Language Skills - Alphabet Recognition by Futurehouse, 1982 - Language Skills - Different Symbol Discrimination by Futurehouse, 1982 - Language Skills - Letter Sequences by Futurehouse, 1982 - Language Skills - Like Symbol Discrimination by Futurehouse, 1982 - Letter Tutor by Edgework for Atari, 1984 prototype - Life by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Light Pen Doodle by John and Mary Harrison for Antic, 1984 - Lost in the Labyrinth by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Math Fun for the Young - Level I by Tech-Sketch, 1983 - Math Fun for the Young - Level II by Tech-Sketch, 1983 - Matrix by Dave Oblad, 1985 - Micro Illustrator by Island Graphics for Tech Sketch (shipped with Tech Sketch Light Pen) - Othello by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Paint-n-Sketch I by Tech Sketch, 1983 - Seek and Destroy by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Shape and Color Recognition by Tech Sketch, 1983 - Shuffler by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - Simon by Stack Computer Services, 1983 - See also AtariMania lists of games and utilities that use a light pen: www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-light-pen_control_6_8_G.html www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-light-pen_control_6_8_U.html Note that on the 400, the light gun / light pen will only work in joystick port 4. This renders much light gun and light pen software unusable on the 400.
Subject: 8.6) What programs have a trackball mode or support a mouse? Programs that use the trackball mode of the Atari CX22 Trak-Ball or the earlier-production CX80 Trak-Ball: - Catch 88 by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew - Centipede 5200 by Atari with trak-ball support by Peter Meyer, 2009 ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode) - Final Legacy by Atari, 1984 - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Kriss Kross by Simon Trew, 1992 - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew - Knight Quest by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew - Missile Command by Atari ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode) - Missile Command+ by Paul Lee, 2005 ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode) - Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew for New Atari User #42 1990 - Othello by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse Trakball Driver by Simon Trew - Slime by Steve Hales for Synapse, 1982 (press [T] for trackball mode) - See also AtariMania list of games that use CX22 trackball mode: www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-trak-ball_control_23_8_G.html - See also Fandal site search for games that use the CX22 trackball mode: http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=trak-ball&butt_details_x=x Programs that use the Atari ST Mouse or the trackball mode of the later- production CX80 Trak-Ball: - 8Bit-Mouse (PD by BPAUG) - AMC calculator - Artprog (PD) - Black Magic Composer by Sven Tegethoff for Ulf Petersen, 1991 - Bombdown, demo-version by Roemer of UNO - Bombdown, full-version by Roemer of UNO - BOSS-X by Mirko Sobe / MS Software, 2003 - The Brundles by KE-Soft, 1993 - The Brundles Editor by KE-Soft, 1994 - CardStax 2.1 by David A. Paterson, 1993 - Catch 88 by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew - Celebrity Cookbook by U.S.A. Media - Centipede 5200 by Atari with trak-ball support by Peter Meyer, 2009 ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode) - Click! by Chris Martin, 2008 - Copy F'n'F by Mirko Sobe / MS Software, requires BOSS-X - Datenbank by Mirko Sobe / MS Software, requires BOSS-X - Diamond GOS by Reeve Software - Diamond Develop by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond News Station by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond Paint by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond Write by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Enigmatix! by Stephen A. Firth for Page 6, 1993 - Faecher Patience by Kemal Ezcan for Zong mag, 1993 - Final Legacy by Atari, 1984 - FireBall (a Breakout game, requires SAM) - GOE by Total Control Systems (PD) - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Hong Kong by KE-Soft / Kemal Ezcan (ZONG mag.) - KE-Mouse drivers by KE-Soft - Kriss Kross by Simon Trew, 1992 - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew - Knight Quest by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew - Macao XL by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.) - Mau Mau X by Mirko Sobe / MS Software, requires BOSS-X - Minesweeper by Harald Schoenfeld for PPP, 1992 - Mine Sweeper by Raindorf Soft - Mine Sweeper 3 (PD) - Missile Command by Atari ([CTRL+T] for trackball mode) - M.O.S. (from Abbuc mag.) - Mouse-DOS by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.) - MS-Copy 1.1 by Mirko Sobe / MS Software, requires BOSS-X - Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew for New Atari User #42 1990 - Multi-Player by Madteam - Multi-DOS (PD) - Najemnik - Powrot by Krysal Software - Operation Blood by ANG/Mirage - Operation Blood 2 by ANG/Mirage - Othello by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse ST Mouse Driver by Simon Trew - Pad 1.2 (Padnoid) by Nelson Ramirez / New Age, 1995 - P-Graph(s) by ??? (PD) - QUICK Ed Character Editor by PPP - SAM (Screen Aided Management) by Power Per Post & Raindorf Soft (a GUI!) - SAM Budget (80 column spreadsheet program, requires SAM) - SAM Convert (text files to/from the SAM Texter format, requires SAM) - SAM Creator (SAM Painter files to/from Micro Painter format, requires SAM) - SAM Designer (drawing and design / desktop publishing, requires SAM) - SAM Memobox (card filing program, requires SAM) - SAM Monitor (view and change memory, requires SAM) - SAM Painter (128 color paint program, requires SAM) - SAM Texter (80 column word processor, requires SAM) - Samurai's Game by Krysal Software, 1992 - Shanghai by Activision - Special Forces by Mirage Software, 1993 - Sprint XL (from Abbuc) - TRS Desktop by Tristesse, 2006 - UPN calculator (PD) - Vanish by KE-Soft (ZONG mag.) - Vier gewinnt (PD) - See also Fandal site search for games that use the Atari ST mouse or the trackball mode of the later-production CX80 Trak-Ball: http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=mouse&butt_details_x=x - See also AtariMania lists of programs using the Atari ST mouse or the trackball mode of the later-production CX80 Trak-Ball: www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-mouse_control_4_8_G.html www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-mouse_control_4_8_U.html Programs that use The Rat or the SuperRAT (both by Zobian Controls): - Accu-Draw by Zobian Controls - Artist Unleashed by MTS Software - AtariArtist (Atari cartridge version of Micro Illustrator; Distributed with the Atari Touch Tablet) - Business Manager by Reeve Software - Control by Zobian Controls - Master Disk Directory II by Zobian Controls - RAMbrandt by Bard Ermentrout for Antic, 1985 - RAOS (Rat Actuated Operating System) by Zobian Controls - Super 3-D Plotter II by Elfin Magic - Z-DOS by Zobian Controls (requires RAOS) Programs that use the Amiga mouse: - Black Magic Composer by Sven Tegethoff for Ulf Petersen, 1991 - Bombdown, demo-version by Roemer of UNO - Bombdown, full-version by Roemer of UNO - Multi-Player by MadTeam (PD) - TRS Desktop by Tristesse, 2006 Programs that use the Commodore 1351 mouse (mouse for Commodore 64/128): - Klony by ArSoft, 2006
Subject: 8.7) What programs use paddle controllers? - AE (Jun Wada & Makoto Horai for Broderbund) - Arkanoid (Taito)(Mike Hutchinson for Imagine, 1987; for The Hit Squad, 1987) - Arkanoid II (Prof Soft Amsterdam, 1987) - Asteraxis 2k (Waldemar Pawlaszek & Remigiusz Zukowski, 2001) - Avalanche (Dennis Knoble for APX, 1980) - Balloon Game (Kelly Jones & Bill Williams, 1984) - Balloon Pop (White Bag Software, 1986) - Bird-Man-3D demo (AMC-Verlag) - Blazing Paddles (Baudville, 1986) - Block Buster (Bradshaw & Griesemer for APX, 1981; Quality Software, 1981) - Body Parts (Dominick A. Scalzo for PartlySoft Software, 1983) - Breakout / Breakout!!! / brkwall.bas (public domain, author unknown) - Burgers! (Douglas Crockford, 1983) - Bust Out (Dennis Debro, 1989) - Cascade (F. Neil Simms for ANALOG #28, March 1985) - Castle Crisis (Bryan Edewaard, 2004) - Checkers (David Slate for Odesta, 1982) - Chess 7.0 (Larry Atkin for Odesta, 1982) - Chicken (Mike Potter for Synapse, 1982) - Chiseler (public domain, author unknown) - Clowns and Balloons (Frank Cohen for Datasoft, 1982) - Comment Compter ("Counter" by Al P. Casper for Atari France) - Computer Quarterback (Dan Bunten for SSI, 1983) - Counter (Al P. Casper for APX, 1982) - David's Midnight Magic (David Snider for Broderbund, 1982) - Descente a Ski ("Downhill" by Mark Reid for Atari France) - Diamond Drop (Matthias M. Giwer for Compute!, 1983) - Downhill (Mark Reid for APX) - Dragonriders of Pern (Jim W. Connelley for Epyx, 1983) - Etch-1 (public domain, author unknown) - Frog (Stan Ockers 5/82 for A.C.E. Newsletter, July 1982) - Frog (Stan Ockers 6/82 for Antic, Oct/Nov 1982) - Golden Oldies Volume 1 v2.2 (Mike Fitch for Software Country, 1985) - Golden Oldies Volume 1 v2.3 (Mike Fitch, The Software Toolworks, 1987 c1985) - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Horse of a Different Color V1.0 (Gus Makreas, 3/1/81) - Insomnia (Bob Fraser for APX, 1981) - IQ by David S. Maynard for CRL, 1987 - Kaboom! (Larry Kaplan & Paul Willson for Activision, 1983) - JunkYard Racing (Tim Gearin, 1999) - Landing Simulator (by Jake Jacobs for Creative Computing magazine, written for Apple, Atari translation by Bruce Jordan) - Laser Game (public domain, author unknown) - Laser Wars (Mike Potter for Crystalware, 1981) - Lie Detector (Michael Krueger for Antic, 1986) - Livewire (Tom Hudson - ANALOG #12) - Livewire 2 (Tom Hudson - ANALOG #12 - Modified by Wolf) - Lunar Lander (Wes Newell) - Midnight Strip (M. L. Clayton, 1982) - M.U.L.E. (Ozark Softscape for Electronic Arts, 1983; for Ariolasoft, 1985) - Night Driver (Dudek, Szpilowski, Ziembik, 2008) - Nineball (Jay M. Ford for ZiMAG, 1982) - One on One! (Chris York for Compute!, 1983) - Paratroop Attack (David Plotkin for Compute!'s Second Book of Atari, 1982) - "Perfected Pong" see: Pong! ("Perfected Pong") below - Personal Fitness Program (Dave Getreu for APX, 1981) - Pinball Construction Set (Electronic Arts) - all pinball games created with Pinball Construction Set - PlatterMania (Michael Farren for Epyx, 1982) - Pong ("Super Pong")(Gary Domrow/Summit Software Group, ANALOG #39 Feb.1986) - [Pong] ("Pong 2", pong2.com, public domain, author unknown) - Pong! ("Perfected Pong") (Bob Ayik for Antic, May 1988) - Pool 1.5 (Howard De St. Germain for IDSI, 1981) - Popcorn! (Cathy Sloatman, Mark Sloatman) - Prisonball (John Scarborough for Compute!, 1986) - Probe One - The Transmitter (Lloyd Ollmann for Synergistic Software, 1982) - Safe Cracker (Mike Starnes) - Space Bombs (John Y. Hsu, 1984) - Space Eggs (Dan Thompson for Sirius, 1981) - Speedblaster (Pinball Construction Set Game by MR Datentechnik) - Spy's Demise (Robert Hardy & Alan Zeldin for Penguin Software, 1983) - Stardust (MR Datentechnik) - Starshot (Matthias M. Giwer for Compute!, 1983) - States and Capitals (David J. Bohlke for SoftSide, 1980) - Stereo 3-D Graphics Package (Clyde Spencer for APX, 1982) - Super Ball (Compyshop mag.) - Super Ball 2 (Compyshop mag.) - Super Ball 3 (Compyshop mag.) - Super Ball 4 (Compyshop mag.) - Super Breakout by Larry Kaplan for Atari, 1979 - "Super Pong" see: Pong ("Super Pong") above - Stretch (public domain Gr. 15 pict. stretcher, author unknown) - Superski (AMC, 1994 - patch for paddles by HOMESOFT) - Tilter (public domain, author unknown) - Uranium Core (Martin Stiby for Computer & Video Games mag, 1982/11) - Warlords (The Webbed Sphere BBS) - Wavy Navy (Rodney McAuley for Sirius, 1983) - Wayout (Paul Allen Edelstein for Sirius, 1982) - WildWest (Stan Ockers for ACE Newsletter, 1983) - Word Radar (Jerry Chaffin & Bill Maxwell & Barbara Thompson for DLM, 1984) - Worms? by David S. Maynard for Electronic Arts, 1983 - See also AtariMania lists of games & utilities that use paddle controllers: www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-paddles_control_2_8_G.html www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-paddles_control_2_8_U.html - See also Fandal site search for games that use paddle controllers: http://atari.fandal.cz/search.php?search=paddle&butt_details_x=x Note that the Atari Touch Tablet, the KoalaPad Touch Tablet and the Suncom Animation Station are read by the computer in the same way that the computer receives data from paddle controllers, making software designed for these graphics tablets at least somewhat usable with paddles as well. See a separate section in this FAQ list for a list of programs supporting these graphics tablets.
Subject: 8.8) What programs have a CX85 Numerical Keypad mode? This section started by Andreas Koch. - Bombdown (Roemer of Uno); - The Bookkeeper (Atari); - Ball Harbour (Zong 8/1992); - The Big Quest (Zong 7/1992); - Blob (Zong 2/1992); - Bomber Jack (KE-Soft); - The Brundles by KE-Soft, 1993 - The Brundles Editor by KE-Soft, 1994 - UPN calculator (PD); - Catch (Zong 6/1992); - Click! (Chris Martin 2008); - Code table (Zong 11+12/1993); - CX-85-Driver (Zong 7+8/1994); - CX-85-Keycode-driver (Zong 7+8/1995); - Donald (by KE-Soft); - Drag (by KE-Soft); - Dragon Fire (Zong 1/1993); - FlickerTerm 80 v.0.51 by LonerSoft (Clay Halliwell) - Gravitar (Zong 4/1992); - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Hungry Goblin (Zong 5/1992); - Invaders (Zong 5+6/1993); - Joshi (Zong 3+4/1993); - Lasermaze (by KE-Soft); - Lost in the Antarctic (Zong 2/1992); - Mampfman (Zong 8/1992); - Minipac (Zong 3/1992); - Minipac 2 (Zong 6/1992); - Money Raider (Zong 2/1992); - Monster Tracking (Zong 9/1992); - Numerical Keypad Handler Master Program Diskette CX8139 (Atari, 1982) - Oblitroid (by KE-Soft) - Pac-Man (Zong 11/1992); - Schlumpf/Smurf (Zong 5/1992); - Slurp (Zong 3/1992); - Super ReeveKey (Reeve Software); - Techno Ninja (by KE-Soft) - Transsylvania (Zong 3+4/1993); - Viro-Mania (Zong 2/1993); - Zador XL (by KE-Soft) - Zador II (by KE-Soft) - many more games from KE-Soft and Powersoft; (forgot their names, help needed!)
Subject: 8.9) What programs use: Touch Tablet or KoalaPad/Animation Station? The Atari Touch Tablet and the KoalaPad/Animation Station tablets, while very similar, are slightly incompatible with each other in that y-position values are reversed. The following programs use the Atari Touch Tablet: - AtariArtist (Atari cartridge version of Micro Illustrator; Distributed with the Atari Touch Tablet) - CardStax 2.1 by David A. Paterson, 1993 - Catch 88 by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew - Click! (Chris Martin, 2008) - Desktop Performance Studio (Virtuoso) - Diamond GOS by Reeve Software - Diamond Develop by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond News Station by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond Paint by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond Write by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Knight Quest by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew - Kriss Kross by Simon Trew, 1992 - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew - Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew for New Atari User #42 1990 - Othello by Simon Trew, 1991 - Supports Multi-Mouse Touch Tablet Driver by Simon Trew - Pixel Artist Deluxe 1.3 (PD) - The Print Shop (Broderbund) - The Print Shop Companion (Broderbund) - QUICK Ed Character Editor by PPP - RAMbrandt by Bard Ermentrout for Antic, 1985 - Rubber Stamp (XLEnt) - Typesetter (XLEnt) - See also AtariMania lists of games & utilities using the Atari Touch Tablet: www.atarimania.com/list_utilities_atari-400-800-xl-xe-touch-tablet_control_21_8_G.html www.atarimania.com/list_utilities_atari-400-800-xl-xe-touch-tablet_control_21_8_U.html The following programs use the KoalaPad or the Animation Station: - Blazing Paddles (Baudville) - The Brundles by KE-Soft, 1993 - The Brundles Editor by KE-Soft, 1994 - Click! (Chris Martin, 2008) - Desktop Performance Studio (Virtuoso) - DesignLab (Suncom version of Blazing Paddles; Distributed with the Suncom Animation Station) - Diamond GOS by Reeve Software - Diamond Develop by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond News Station by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond Paint by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Diamond Write by Reeve Software, requires Diamond GOS - Edmac - Hardwaretester/Peripheral Test 2.0 by Florian Dingler, 2008 - Hong Kong by KE-Soft / Kemal Ezcan (ZONG mag.) - KoalaPainter (Koala Technologies version of Micro Illustrator; Distributed with the KoalaPad) - Koalpad.BAS - Ksketch.BAS - Koalask.BAS - News Station (Reeve Software) - Pixel Artist Deluxe 1.3 (PD) - Planetary Defense (Charles Bachand and Tom Hudson for ANALOG #17 March 1984) - The Print Shop (Broderbund) - The Print Shop Companion (Broderbund) - RAMbrandt by Bard Ermentrout for Antic, 1985 - Reader Rabbit (The Learning Company) - Rubber Stamp (XLEnt) - Tablety.BAS - Trails! - Typesetter (XLEnt) - See also AtariMania lists of programs using the KoalaPad/Animation Station: www.atarimania.com/list_utilities_atari-400-800-xl-xe-koala-pad_control_12_8_G.html www.atarimania.com/list_utilities_atari-400-800-xl-xe-koala-pad_control_12_8_U.html The following are reported to use either the KoalaPad/Animation Station, the Atari Touch Tablet, or both (TO BE VERIFIED): - Edmac (PD) - Hit the Mole by C. Strotmann - Musorqua (Analog computing) - Picture Enhancer (PD) - Tablety.BAS (PD) - TTCalib.BAS (PD) - UPN calculator (PD) - Word Search.BAS (PD) Note that the Atari Touch Tablet, the KoalaPad Touch Tablet and the Suncom Animation Station are read by the computer in the same way that the computer receives data from paddle controllers, making software designed for paddles at least somewhat usable with these graphics tablets as well. See a separate section in this FAQ list for a list of programs that use paddle controllers.
Subject: 8.10) What kinds of extra RAM and RAMdisks can be installed? This section by Andreas Koch -- Version 3.6 from June 2008 A) Atari 400/800 RAMdisks: - Size: 64k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 3 (total memory = 96k RAM) Types: Axlon (=Atari) and compatibles; - Size: 128k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 7 (total memory = 160k RAM) Types: Axlon (= Atari) and compatibles; - Size: 256k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 15 (total memory = 288k RAM) Types: D. Byrd and other self-made / Axlon-compatible RDs; - Size: 512k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 31 (total memory = 544k RAM) Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; - Size: 1024k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 63 (total memory = 1056k RAM) Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; - Size: 2048k XRAM (+ 32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 127 (total memory = 2080k RAM) Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; - Size: 4096k XRAM (+32k RAM) Banks: 0 thru 255 (total memory = 4128k RAM) Types: self-made / Axlon-compatible RAMdisks; => Note that all so-called Axlon "compatible" (256k-4096k) RAMdisks normally do not homebank when RESET is pressed (a fix should be available somewhere), whereas original Axlon RAMdisks do homebank properly !! (Special thanks to Lee Barnes for this note !!) Axlon supporting software includes: MyDOS, TopDOS, Synfile +, Syncalc +, and more (I cannot test it, alas) - Size: 64k for 48k RAM and 4 banks of 4k XRAM Banks: 4x 4k banks (bankswitching via $C000-CFFF) Types: one Mosaic 64k "RAM-Select" board - Size: 128k for 48k RAM and 20 banks of 4k XRAM Banks: 20x 4k banks (bankswitching via $C000-CFFF) Types: two Mosaic 64k "RAM-Select" boards - Size: 192k for 48k RAM and 36 banks of 4k XRAM Banks: 36x 4k banks (bankswitching via $C000-CFFF) Types: three Mosaic 64k "RAM-Select" boards Mosaic supporting software includes: Mosaic`s Super Drive (a kind of virtual DOS), Visicalc, TopDOS, and more (again, I cannot test this!) For the XL/XE Ataris there are some translator disks, that enable this mode (e.g. the Ultra-Translator) with 48k + 4k RAM... B) XL/XE - 64k base RAM plus XRAM: - Size: 64k (total = 128k RAM, 4 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: E, = 1 block * 4 banks - Types: 130XE RAMdisk, Turbo-Freezer-XL + 64k, self-made RAMdisks... - Size: 128k (total = 192k RAM, 8 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: AE, = 2 blocks * 4 banks - Types: Compy-Shop 600XL with 192k, Turbo-Freezer-XL + 128k, self-made RAMdisks... - Size: 256k / 26AE (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 26AE, = 4 blocks * 4 banks - Types: Compy-Shop 800XL RD., Compy-Shop 130XE RD., Peters/David Megaram 1, Peters/David Megaram 2, Peters/David Megaram 3 with 256k, self-made RDs... - Size: 256k / 8ACE (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 8ACE, = 4 blocks * 4 banks - Types: Newell, Rambo-XL, Scott Peterson, Atari Magazin, TOMS, self-made RDs... - Size: 512k / 26AE (total = 576k RAM, 32 banks) - Banks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F - Blocks: 26AE, = 4 blocks * 8 banks - Types: none (that I know of) at the moment - but possible! - Size: 512k / 8ACE (total = 576k RAM, 32 banks) - Banks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F - Blocks: 8ACE, = 4 blocks * 8 banks - Types: Scott Peterson, TOMS, self-made RDs... - Size: 512k / 02468ACE (total = 576k RAM, 32 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 02468ACE = 8 blocks * 4 banks - Types: 1) upgrade / combination of 26AE and 8ACE RAMdisk types to 512k RAM or into *one* 02468ACE RAMdisk; idea by me, built by Bernhard Pahl 2) Upgrade of the Rambo XL to 512k by Dan Schmid (see Pooldisk Too, Subdir ACE/ Acec202a.ATR and Acec202b.ATR) and of course 3) self-made RAMdisks... 3) 512k SRAM upgrade by Bernd Herale, available from mega-hz, Wolfram Fischer: www. - Size: 1024k / 02468ACE (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) - Banks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F - Blocks: 02468ACE, = 8 blocks * 8 banks - Types: Newell, Scott Peterson, TOMS, Satantronic`s 1MB- PC-SIMM-RD, self-made RDs... - Size: 1024k / 26AE (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) - Banks: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F - Blocks: 26AE, = 4 blocks * 16 banks - Types: Mathy van Nisselroy`s 1024k XEGS-PC-SIMM-Upgrade! (with some changes probably also usable for XL and XE, see also: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/) - Size: 1024k / 8ACE (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) - Banks: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F - Blocks: 8ACE, = 4 blocks * 16 banks - Types: none (that I know of) at the moment - but possible! - Size: 1024k / 0123456789ABCDEF (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 0123456789ABCDEF, = 16 blocks * 4 banks - Types: luckily, none at the moment... - Size: 1024k / ??? (max. memory = 1088k, 64 banks) - Port-Bits / Control-Bits: $D301 = 2,3,6,7 $D600 = 0,1 (or switches); - Banks: $D301: 3, 7, B, F, $D600: ??? - Blocks: $D301: 26AE, $D600: ??? - Types: David/Peters Megaram 3 with 1024k RAM (and the switches positioned to 1 x 1024k) - Size: 2048k / 02468ACE (total = 2112k, 128 banks) - Banks: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F - Blocks: 02468ACE, = 8 blocks * 16 banks - Types: self-made RAMdisks... - Size: 2048k / 0123456789ABCDEF (total = 2112k, 128 banks) - Banks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F - Blocks: 0123456789ABCDEF, = 16 blocks * 8 banks - Types: self-made RAMdisks... - Size: 4096k / 0123456789ABCDEF (total = 4160k, 256 banks) - Banks: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F - Blocks: 0123456789ABCDEF, = 16 blocks * 16 banks - Types: Newell, FTE, self-made RAMdisks... Well, I will not go into details with the disadvantages and possible software-problems with RAMdisks beyond 512k RAM (possible problems might be the unavailability of the Self Test, XL/XE Basic, RAM under the OS, separate Antic access, etc. depending on the type of RD/XRAM)... C) XL/XE - XRAM minus 64k Base-RAM: - Size: 192k / 8AE (total = 256k RAM, usable = 12 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 8AE, = 3 blocks * 4 banks - Types: older Newell RAMdisks (replace 64k by 256k); - Size: 192k / ACE (total = 256k RAM, usable = 12 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: ACE, = 3 blocks * 4 banks - Types: newer Newell RDs, newer Buchholz-RDs, Rambo-XL, self-made RAMdisks (replace 64k by 256k)... - Size: 448k / 2468ACE (total = 512k, usable = 28 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 2468ACE, = 7 blocks * 4 banks - Types: self-made RDs (replace 64k by 512k)... - Size: 896k? / 0248ACE (total = 1024k, usable = 56 banks) - Banks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, B, D, F - Blocks: 0248ACE = 7 blocks * 8 banks - Types: Bob Woolley`s 1200XL 1MB Upgrade, self-made RDs (replace 64k by 1024k)... Although these RAM upgrades are relatively easy to build (and to install into the computer), they make problems with quite some software. Some programs tend to use the base RAM as extra RAM / RAMdisk with these upgrades, which will most often result in a crash of the computer. Next, most extra RAM testers will show more extra RAM (or a bigger RAMdisk) than there is really available (e.g. with a 256k upgrade you will see 240k extra RAM, but there is only 64k base RAM + 192k extra RAM). Alas, this is a typical hardware problem for these upgrades and it cannot be solved or avoided with software... D) XL/XE: Parallel-Bus-Devices: (600XL/800XL = Parallel Bus, XE = Cart.-Port + ECI) - Size: 64k / E (total = 128k RAM, 4 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: E, = 1 block * 4 banks - Types: Turbo-Freezer-XL by Bernhard Engl with 64k XRAM - Size: 128k / AE (total = 192k RAM, 8 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: AE, = 2 blocks * 4 banks - Types: Turbo-Freezer-XL by Bernhard Engl with 128k XRAM - Size: 256k / 9ABE (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) - Banks: 3, 7, B, F - Blocks: 9ABE, = 4 blocks * 4 banks - Types: Turbo-Freezer-XL by Bernhard Engl with 256k XRAM - Size: 256k / ??? (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) - Banks: unknown !! - Blocks: unknown !! - Types: Yorky-XL by Richard Gore / Derek Fern (from GB/UK) with 256k XRAM - Size: 256k / ??? (total = 320k RAM, 16 banks) - Banks: unknown !! - Blocks: unknown !! - Types: Multi-Input-Output-Hard disk-Interface (MIO) with 256k XRAM by ICD and its re-release by MetalGuy - Size: 1024k / ??? (total = 1088k RAM, 64 banks) - Banks: unknown !! - Blocks: unknown !! - Types: Multi-Input-Output-Hard disk-Interface (MIO) with 1024k XRAM by ICD and its re-release by MetalGuy E) XL/XE: RAM/Flash-ROM/... Cartridges: - Rambox II with 256k RAM by JRC (Czech Republic; with special RAMdisk drivers for TT-DOS and Bewe-DOS!) - Ramcart 64k by LK Avalon (Poland) - Ramcart 128k by LK Avalon (Poland; binaries of the EPROM and GAL chips of this cart can be found on ABBUC magazine 64) - Ramcart 256k by Zenon/Dial (Poland) - Ramcart 512k by Zenon/Dial (Poland) - Ramcart 1024k by Zenon/Dial (Poland) (for some hints and pics see: www2.asw.cz/~kubecj/acarts.htm) - Flash-ROM cart 128k / 1Mbit "Atarimax" by Stephen Tucker (although they are not usable as extra RAM / RAMdisk at the moment, I am quite sure that it is possible to write some drivers and thus use the Atarimax Flash-ROM carts as extremely fast floppy drives!) - Flash-ROM cart 1024k / 8Mbit "Atarimax" by Stephen Tucker (for information and complete documentation plus software see: www.atarimax.com/flashcart/documentation/index.html ) - and many others I do not know and I do not have any info about; Even cartridges can be used as RAMdisks (= fast floppy drives), especially RAM-carts or Flash-RAM carts. But they function like most other Super- or Mega-Carts, meaning the bank-switching techniques are also used there. Since the subject carts and bank-switching carts is quite enormous, I will not discuss it or present any information here. Just try to find a large description by John K. Picken ("RAM/ROM Control on an XL/XE") if interested in that subject (e.g. at Jindrich Kubec`s homepage: www2.asw.cz/kubecj/... ). Finally thanks and credits for this subject and lots of (used / borrowed) information therefore go to: Lee Barnes, Russ Gilbert, Mathy van Nisselroy, Erhard Puetz, Mathias Reichl, Ron Hamilton, Wes Newell, Guy Ferrante, XI of Satantronic, Bernhard Pahl, Walter Lojek and Voy/Dial. Also thanks to John K. Picken who wrote an excellent article about A8 extra RAM / RAMdisks and A8 cartridges and their technique of bank-switching. I know this list has still some errors and is missing some information, alas, without your help I am unable to correct the errors or to fill in the missing information... Andreas Koch
Subject: 8.11) What programs support more than 64K RAM? This section by Andreas Koch -- Version 3.6 from June 2008 The following Atari 8Bit programs support more than 64k RAM, but still work alright (with multiple loads / disk-swaps) on standard 64k machines: a) "TOOLS" that support more than 64k RAM: A-Base (???, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Alphasys-Sample Software (Mirage/ANG, 64k XRAM, block E), A-Text (???, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Atari Writer 80 (Atari, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Atari Writer Plus (Atari, 64k RAMdisk, block E), BASIC XE (OSS/ICD/FTE, 64k XRAM, block E), Bewe-DOS 1.x (Bewesoft, up to 1024k RD, all banks), Bibo-DOS 5.x (Compy-Shop, up to 256k RD, E/AE/26AE/8ACE), Bibo-DOS 6.x (Compy-Shop, up to 256k RD, E/AE/26AE/8ACE), Datei 4.x (N. Schlia, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/26AE), Desktop Atari (HBSF, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Diskworker (Petsoft, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Diskcommunicator 3.x (Robert "Bob" Puff, if there is more than 64k RAM, answer the startup question with "Y" to use it as XRAM or with "N" to use it as RAMdisk; up to 256k XRAM: E/AE/ACE/8ACE; RD = DOS depend.), DOS 2.5 (Atari, original driver = 64k RD, block E; other drivers: up to 2x 128k RAMdisks, E/AE/8ACE), DOS II+D Version 6.x (S. D., up to 2x 128k RDs, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), DOS XE 1.x (Atari, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Extended Atari Basic (???, 64k XRAM, block E), Extended Turbo Basic (???, 64k XRAM, block E), Fampy 2.3 (Wolfgang Freitag, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), Fampy 6.1 (Wolfgang Freitag, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), Howfen DOS 3.x (???, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), Howfen Tape to Disk (???, up to 128k XRAM, E/AE), Inertia 2.x (MadTeam, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/8ACE), Inertia 3.x (MadTeam, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/(ACE) Inertia 4.x (MadTeam, up to 1024k XRAM, all combinations !) Midi Mate II (Hybrid Arts, 64k XRAM, block E), Midi Pattern Editor (Raster, 64k XRAM, block E), Midi Player (I. Kuczek, 64k XRAM, block E), Midi Recorder (I. Kuczek, 64k XRAM, block E), Midi Sequencer (M. Sygit, 64k XRAM, block E), MSC-IDE-Software (M. Belitz + S. Birrmanns, 64k XRAM, block E), My-DOS 3.x (Wordmark, up to ???k RAMdisk), My-DOS 4.x (Wordmark, up to 1024k RAMdisk, all banks), Paperclip II (Batteries Included, 64k XRAM, block E), Super DOS 2.x (P. Nichols, up to 2x 128k RDs, E/AE/ACE/8ACE), Super DOS 5.x (P. Nichols, up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), The [Sparta DOS] Browser (Tom Hunt, up to 1024k RAMdisk, RD-driver dep.), The Sound Utility (Tom Hunt, up to 1024k XRAM?, bug-free only under Sparta/Bewe-DOS, one can choose between 64k/128k/256k/576k/1088k RAM, alas all setups with more than 64k RAM produced some strange sound noises on my 576k XL when playing waves or samples...), Theta Music Composer 2.x (Jaskier, 64k XRAM, block E), Turbo DOS 1.x (Reitershan, up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), Turbo-DOS 2.x (Reitershan, up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), Top-DOS 1.x (R.K. Bennett, 64k RAMdisk, block E), Top DOS Plus (R.K. Bennett, up to ???k RAMdisk), Top DOS Prof. (R.K. Bennett, up to ???k RAMdisk), Typesetter (XLent, 64k XRAM, block E), X-DOS 2.x (S. D., up to 256k RD, E/AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), X-RAM 0.21 (Satantronic, tests up to 4 MB!, all banks!) and most Text-Editors (e.g. Speedscript, Antic Writer, T-Edit, Page 6 Writer, Compy-Shop Editor, Textpro, etc.) as long as they are running under a DOS 2.x (meaning a DOS 2 derivative) or Sparta / Bewe DOS and the appropriate RAMdisk driver...; b) "Games" that support more than 64k RAM: Adalmar (Falk Buettner, 64k RAMdisk, block E), A.R. - The Dungeon (Philipp Price, 64k XRAM, block E), Bop N'Wrestle (Mindscape, 64k XRAM, block E), The Brundles (KE-Soft, up to 256k XRAM, E/AE/26AE), Human Torch & the Thing (Questprobe, 64k XRAM, block E), Johnny`s Problem (ANG, 64k XRAM, block E), Megablast 1 (Thorsten Karwoth, 64k XRAM, block E), Mental Age (???, 64k XRAM, block E), Problem Jasia (Mirage, 64k XRAM, block E), [The Amazing] Spiderman (Questprobe, 64k XRAM, block E); c) "Demos" that support more than 64k RAM: ABBUC Magazine Intro 52 (Heaven, 64k XRAM, block E), ABBUC Magazine Intro 55 (Heaven, 64k XRAM, block E), Anime 4ever (Sente Software Group, 256k XRAM, 8ACE), Grafik + Sound Demo (Peter Sabath, 64k XRAM, block E), I. K. Plus Demo (???, 64k XRAM, block E), Sweet Fantasy (Tight, 64k XRAM, block E), The Top 3 Demo (WFMH, "Veronika Part", 64k XRAM, block E); Thanks and credits for this subject go to: Bernhard Pahl, Russ Gilbert, Ron Hamilton, Mathy van Nisselroy and Miker for sharing some information with me. - Andreas Koch
Subject: 8.12) What programs require more than 64K RAM? This section by Andreas Koch -- version 3.6 from June 2008 The following Atari 8Bit programs require more than 64k RAM, and thus do not work at all (or not alright/bug-free) on standard 64k machines: a) "Tools" that require more than 64k RAM: 128k Memory Testers (quite many programs, 64k XRAM, block E), 130XE Bank/Mem.-Testers (quite many programs, 64k XRAM, block E), 130XE Sectorcopiers (quite many programs, 64k XRAM, block E), 130XE Utilities (HAPS PD 0031, 64k XRAM, block E), 192k Memory Testers (some PD programs, 128k XRAM, blocks AE), 256k Memory Testers (Newell, ICD, etc., 192k XRAM, blocks ACE), 320k Mem. Testers 8ACE (Atari Mag., TOMS, etc., 256k XRAM, blocks 8ACE), 320k Mem. Testers 26AE (Compy-Shop, etc., 256k XRAM, blocks 26AE), 576k Memory Testers (Peterson, TOMS, etc., 512k XRAM, blocks 8ACE), 1088k Memory Testers (Newell, TOMS, etc., 1MB XRAM, blocks 02468ACE), 4160k Memory Tester (Newell, 4MB XRAM, blocks 0123456789ABCDEF), APC Archiver 1.x (LBS/APC, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), APC Packer 1.x (LBS/APC, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), A. W. P. Super Menu (Ken Siders, min. 64k XRAM, block E), A. W. P. XE Super Menu (Ken Siders, min. 192k XRAM, blocks ACE), Audio/Studio Master (Mirage/ANG, 256k XRAM, 26AE only?), Boot Majster (Electron, 64k XRAM, block E), Boss X [Vers. 10.x] (M. Sobe, with any DOS min. 64k RAMdisk, block E; with MyDOS 4.x it supports up to 1MB RD, subdirs and up to 16MB HD part.), Boss XE [Vers. 8.x] (M. Sobe, with any DOS min. 64k RAMdisk, block E; with Turbo-DOS or MyDOS 4.5x it supports bigger RAMdisks, but no subdirs!), CAD XE (HAPS PD 0350, 64k XRAM, block E), Diskettenverwaltung XE (ABBUC PD 86, 64k XRAM, block E), Draw XE (ABBUC PD 387, 64k XRAM, block E), Dream Vision (ABBUC PD 480, 192k XRAM, blocks ACE?), Fraktale & Colorprint (P. Woetzel, 64k XRAM, block E), Grafik Zeilen Editor (HAPS PD 0296, 64k XRAM, block E), Hires Dump (ABBUC PD 113, 64k XRAM, block E), Inertia 3.x (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 256k XRAM, AE/ACE/26AE/8ACE with almost any DOS), Inertia 4.x (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 1024k XRAM - all possible bank combinations!), Macro Assembler XE (T. Karwoth, 64k XRAM, block E), Macro Assembler XE+ (T. Karwoth, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 1024k XRAM - all possible bank combinations!), Masher XE (???, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 256k XRAM: AE/ACE/8ACE), Menu 130 (Les Howarth, 64k XRAM, block E), Midi Mate III (Hybrid Arts, 64k XRAM, block E), Monitors, Debuggers, ... (HAPS PD 0109, 64k XRAM, block E), Multi DOS 130 (Kuchera/Excellent, 64k XRAM, block E), Multi DOS 320 (Kuchera/Excellent, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), Multi Tasking OS (???, min. 64k XRAM, block E), MTOS 256 (Tom Hunt, 192k XRAM, blocks ACE), MTOS XE (Tom Hunt, 64k XRAM, block E), Neo-Tracker 1.x (Epi, min. 64k XRAM, block E; under MyDOS 4.5x or Sparta DOS X cart. it supports up to 1MB XRAM, all bank combinations!) Newspaper Editor (HAPS PD 0294, 64k XRAM, block E), Protracker 1.5 (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 256k XRAM: AE/ACE/8ACE/26AE), Rechnen fuer Kinder (ABBUC PD 85, 64k XRAM, block E), Rund um die RAMdisk (ABBUC PD 383, HAPS PD 1084, contains info texts and pgms. for upgrading the 800 or XL/XE and testing its XRAM up to 1 MB; the docs use English language and provide detailed information for Axlon compatible 800 XRAM and Newell/Buchholz/Peterson compatible XL/XE XRAM), Sample Art XE (Mozart/WSL, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 1024k XRAM, all bank combinations, alas the program is faulty/buggy!), Shrink XE (P. Fitzsimmons, 64k XRAM, block E), Snapshot (???, 64k XRAM, block E), Tape RAMdisk Drivers (Pokey, SAG, etc., 64k XRAM, block E), Text 130 (B. Russmann, 64k XRAM, block E), Textpro "+" [e.g. 4.54+] (Ronnie Riche, 64k XRAM, block E), Textpro 5.x (Ronnie Riche, 64k XRAM, block E), The Code Cruncher 2.x (Soused Teat, min. 64k XRAM, block E), The Code Cruncher 3.x (Soused Teat, min. 64k XRAM, block E), The Cruncher 5.x (MSL/Magnus, min. 64k XRAM, block E), The Small Printery (W. Lojek, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 1024k XRAM, all bank combinations!), The [Sparta DOS] Wedge (Ed Bachmann, 64k XRAM, block E, sep. Antic!), The Works (Tom Hunt, min. 64k XRAM, block E), Wuerttemberger Disk (ABBUC PD 361, HAPS PD 1050, 64k XRAM, block E; mainly/only because side 2 contains the XE version of Gizmo's castle), XL-2 (J.K. Picken, min. 64k XRAM, block E; under MyDOS or Sparta DOS it supports up to 1024k XRAM !), Zeitungsredakteur (ABBUC PD 121, 64k XRAM, block E); b) "Games" that require more than 64k RAM: Castle of Blackthorne (T. Graef, 64k RD, block E), Cavepack XE (XE-version by K. Ezcan, 64k RD, block E), Computer Baseball (D. Blackwell, 64k XRAM, block E), Der Neffe (XE-version by ???, 64k XRAM, block E), Gizmo's Castle (XE-version by M. Kugler, 64k XRAM, block E), Kaiser II (128k version by C. S., 64k XRAM, block E), Kaiser II (320k version by C. S., 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE), Minesweeper 1-4 (4 versions by J.R. Chicko, 64k XRAM, block E), Mister X (S. Soelbrandt, 64k RD, block E), Oelbaron (XE-version by ???, 64k RD, block E), Space Harrier (C. Hutt, 64k XRAM, block E), Strategy Baseball (HAPS PD 0302, 64k XRAM, block E), T-34 the Battle (ANG, 64k XRAM, block E), Yie Ar Kung Fu (???, 256k XRAM, blocks ???, get the latest versions from Fandal`s or Homesoft`s homepage...), Zargon XE (ABBUC PD 611, HAPS PD 0485, 64k XRAM, block E), Please note, that hackers, crackers and pirates also made file versions of (most of) the XE / XEGS 64k and 128k carts available. Due to cart. bankswitching, a 64k XL/XE was enough for these super-carts; not so with the file versions, they do (mostly) require more than 64k memory... Next, there are also "un-official" (pirated, hacked, cracked, patched) cart. versions of former disk-based games, that require XRAM, which they originally did not (example: Conan, the multi-stage disk-version by Datasoft requires 64k RAM, whereas the single-stage version of the Sunmark multicart. req. 128k RAM). It is quite likely, that more games will occur in the Atari scene with the same behavior... c) "Demos" that require more than 64k RAM: 130XE Artshow (HAPS PD 0013, 64k XRAM, block E), 130XE Autoshow (HAPS PD 0637, ABBUC PD 191, 64k XRAM, block E), 130XE Demo (S.A.G., 64k XRAM, block E), 130XE Impossible Demo (R. Haegemann, 64k XRAM, block E), 3D Scroll (Jaskier/TQA, 64k XRAM, block E), American Natives (Fox-1, 192k RD, RAMdisk = DOS dependant), Amiga Boink XE (B. Armour, 64k XRAM, block E), Animkom. meet B. V. (Animkomials + B.V., 64k XRAM, block E), (The) Asskicker (Shadows, 64k XRAM, block E; hold Select!), Back to Life 2 (Jaskier/TQA, 256k XRAM, auto-setup!), Base 33 (AIDS, 256k XRAM, hold SHIFT for setup!), Bill Pie Demo (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 256k XRAM: AE/8ACE with more frames), BMW Animation (Mirko Sobe, 64k XRAM, block E), Brull (Pin/Trs, 1MB XRAM for a sample demo), CES XE Demo (full 580 sectors version by XANTH, 64k XRAM, block E; includes the Swan-, Fuji-Boink- and Robot-Demo all in one file!), Cogito Demo (AIDS, uses blocks 8C, thus 8ACE only!), Critical Sounddemo (Innovative, 64k XRAM, block E), Danielle (Gr.9) Ani (B. Kendrick, 64k XRAM, block E), DoXEpin (AIDS, 64k XRAM, block E), Edelweiss Demo (A.R.+C.S.S.+S.V.L., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), Ergo Bibamus (Quasimodos, 64k XRAM, block E), Extract Slideshow (Replay/Bit Busters, 64k XRAM, block E), Fat Bottomed Girls (???, 64k XRAM block E for a Queen sample), Forever 1ktro (New Generation, 64k XRAM block E for a 1k demo), Forsaken Love (New Generation, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE; simply delete "BANKS.DAT", reboot and create a new one for your kind of XRAM!), Glasshead Demo (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), Halle 1994: The Wormhole (Magic Arts, 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), Hardware Demo (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), Igor Demo (Side A) (MadTeam, 64k XRAM, block E - use 128k.BAT), Igor Demo (Side B) (MadTeam, 128k XRAM, blocks AE - use 192k.BAT), Igor Demo (Side A+B) (MadTeam, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only - use 320k.BAT), Imperial Sounddemo (Innovative, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE), Impossible but Real (MacGyver, 192k XRAM, auto-setup!), Incredible (Excellent, 64k XRAM, block E), Inside Out (Taquart, 64k XRAM, block E), Isolation Demo (M.E.C., 64k XRAM, block E), Journey Demo (Boot version by Polynomials, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 256k XRAM: AE/8ACE), Journey Demo (File version by MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E; supports up to 192k XRAM: AE/ACE), Journey into Sound (DGS / D. Garaghty, 64k XRAM, block E), Khai Et (AIDS, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, SHIFT for Setup!), Killer Whales Ani (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E, supports up to 256k XRAM: AE/8ACE with more frames!), Landscape-XE Demo (Karl Pelzer, 64k XRAM, block E), Manga Ani (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E), Megablast Sounddemo (DGS / D. Garaghty, 64k XRAM, block E), MTV's Danielle = Danielle (Gr.9) Ani, Nascar Ani (M. Sobe, 64k XRAM, block E), Nonjm Demo (Tight, 64k XRAM, block E), Numen Demo (Taquart, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, auto-setup!), Ogluszacz Sounddemo (AIDS, 64k XRAM, block E), Owca Demo (Animkomials, 64k XRAM, block E), Owca 2 Demo (Animkomials, 64k XRAM, block E), Pacem in Terris (Quasimodos, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, auto-setup), Parrot XMAS Demo (A. Ramos, 64k XRAM, block E), Pedrokko Sounddemos (a collection of 10 disks / 20 sides by Pedrokko, the player program assumes a 64k RD, block E), Raytracing Ani/128k (K. Pelzer, 64k XRAM, block E), Raytracing 320k (Elsni / S. Elsner, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), Raytracing 1088k (Solocoder of A.C.E., 1024k XRAM, works only on K.P. 1MB Megaram III, 8 bootdisks, loading time approx. 17 minutes !!), Reditus Demo (Zelax, 192k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE, auto-setup), Render Ani (MadTeam, min. 64k XRAM, block E), Revenge of Hacker (Rasero Team, 128k XRAM, blocks AE), Running Cow ASCII Ani (MadTeam, 64k XRAM, block E), Sheol Demo (Bit Busters, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only!), Shiny Bubbles (XE version by B. Paul, 64k XRAM, block E), Stash 98 Demo (Rasero Team, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE via a buggy setup: 1) for 8ACE XRAM press A in the 1st or 2nd menu, 2) for 26AE press B in the 1st menu and C in the 2nd menu; don't use the CS auto-setup!), Starwars Demo (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), The Wormhole (Magic Arts, 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), Timekeep(er) (New Generation, 256k XRAM, 8ACE only! wait!), Tit Demo (Mad Team, 192k XRAM, auto-setup!), Too Hard 3 Demo (Animkomials, 128k XRAM, blocks AE), Too Hard 4 Demo (Animkomials, 256k XRAM, auto-setup!), Total Dazed (Tight, 64k XRAM, block E), Trabant Demo (A.R.+C.S.S., 256k XRAM, 26AE only!), Trip 6 (Shadows, 64k XRAM, block E), Turtles Demo (Ultra Software, 64k XRAM, block E), Ultra Demo (Taquart, 64k XRAM, block E), Ultra 2 Preview (Taquart, 64k XRAM, block E, unfinished!), Vengeance (Excellent, 64k XRAM, block E), Vent XE (Exc.+Pentagram, 64k XRAM, block E), WAF-Demo (W.A.F., diskside B = 64k XRAM, block E), Worms Demo (Datri, 256k XRAM, 8ACE otherwise buggy!), X-Demo (MadTeam, 256k XRAM, 26AE), X-Files Ani (MadTeam, 64k XRAM, block E), X-Files 2 (TV-Ani) (MadTeam, 256k XRAM, 26AE & 8ACE), Xyberscape XE (XE version by Bill Le Masurier, 64k XRAM, E), Zero Demo (New Generation, 64k XRAM, block E); Thanks and credits for this subject go to Russ Gilbert, Bernhard Pahl, Ron Hamilton, Mathy van Nisselroy, Stephan Pollok and Miker for sharing their information with me. Any corrections and/or updates are welcome... -Andreas Koch
Subject: 8.13) What voice/sound synthesis software is there for the Atari? This section by Andreas Koch. - S.A.M. - the Software Automated Mouth by Don't Ask Software (a software package; you can find it at Don`s / the author's homepage: http://www.retrobits.net) - Softsynth (a PD program, that creates sounds and sound effects via modulation of the tv/monitor speaker; available from the ABBUC library); - MOD-Sounds (sound-MODulation, although I do not know any software to create such sounds on an A8, some programs to edit (Protracker) and playback (Inertia, Modplayer, Neotracker, etc.) these sounds do exist);
Subject: 8.14) What programs support stereo and upgraded sound? This section by Andreas Koch. (POPS info updated 8/15/06 by mdc thanks to Lee Brilliant) There is already a lot of stereo software for the upgraded Atari computers available, of course most of these programs are limited to certain/special upgrades and merely perform their stereo effects on these items (with otherwise upgraded or non-upgraded Ataris, the sounds or programs will only play in mono): a) software for the various stereo-upgrades: - 3 channels with one Pokey (POPS-software): As far as I know for this kind of upgrade, there merely exists a patched version of the Pokey player program, I am not sure if there is anything else for it; anyway, refer to ANALOG #66, November 1988, pages 54-60; - stereo with two computers (thus two Pokeys): As far as I know for this simple trick there merely exist two programs, they are "Perestroyka" and "Sky Network" by T.Liebich. In order to achieve the stereo effect, you have to boot/load one of these demos on two computers (connected to different TV's or monitors, there is no need to connect the computers to each other!). When done, press 1-5 on the first computer while pressing Shift-1-5 on the second computer. Meaning, if you want to hear the first sound in stereo then press 1 on computer 1 and press Shift-1 on computer 2 simultaneously (that`s a little tricky, I know). If you want to hear sound 5 in stereo, then press 5 on computer 1 and Shift-5 on computer 2 simultaneously. Tricky at first, but sooner or later you will get the hang of it. Of course you can also connect the two Ataris to a hifi-system, using the sound output of one Atari for the left channel and the sound output of the other Atari for the right channel... - stereo-sound with Stereo-Blaster Pro (Portronic/AMC): As far as I know there was at least one demo disk (early version was single-sided only, later versions were double-sided), that contained some demo-software, namely the simple "Stereo-demos" (by AMC, side 1) and the "Stereoblaster-Demo" (by HU-Soft, side 2 if available). The Stereoblaster demo was written in Turbo-Basic and played back via Compiled-Turbo-Basic, it uses Chaos Music-Composer Sounds (*.CMC) and a few of these provide stereo effects, if equipped with a stereo-blaster-pro and a hifi-system. The simple stereo-demos included some programs written in Atari Basic, for example a (pong-like) bouncing ball and a flying helicopter. Equipped with a stereo-blaster-pro and a hifi-system, one could see the ball bouncing left and right and simultaneously hear the sound fx on the left or right channel. The helicopter started at the left side and produced a loud sound on the left channel, when it was flying to the right side, the sound faded on the left channel and got louder on the right channel, until the helicopter disappeared (and the sound completely faded away). There were some more of these simple demos available, but I don`t remember them anymore. - Stereo with two Pokeys: There already exist dozens of sounds and demos, that support this upgrade, most of these programs were made in Poland, but a few sound-demos were also made in other countries. Anyway, the following programs support stereo via two Pokey chips: - Alf-Demo by the Unknown Base (Netherlands); - Alpha-Demo by GMG (Slovakia); - AMS-Stereo player by ??? (author unknown), USA; (there are at least two AMS-stereo-players, that let you play *.AMS sounds in true stereo or at least simulated stereo!); - Ballada sound by DJ V / BK (Poland); - Base 33 by AIDS (msx by Greg, Poland); - Chaos Music Composer version x.x patched by ??? , Poland; (=> the original version by Janusz Pelc / LK Avalon is only mono, but there is a stereo-patch available, as well as various patched CMC stereo-versions on the internet); - (many) *.CMC sounds created by one of the many stereo-versions of Chaos Music Composer; - Cogito-Demo by AIDS (Poland) - Do you see the light? sound-demo by Roemer of UNO (Germany); - Draconus, patched version by ANG and/or Micro Discount (NL/UK) (the original version by Zeppelin games is only mono!); - Dynakillers (Game) by GMG, Slovakia; - First of All (sound) by Raster, Czech Republic; - Impossible but Real Demo by MacGyver (Poland); - King of Aggregat by X-Ray / Slight (Poland); - Megaplayer Versions 1.6 and 2.0 by MacGyver (Poland) (=> and thus all *.CMC, *.MPT, *.TMC, etc. sounds played with this sound-player tool can be heard in true or simulated stereo!); - Multi-Pro-Tracker 2.4s by Jaskier/Taquart, (original mono version by SoTE; thus *.MPT sounds can be generated in stereo!), Poland; - (many) *.MPT sounds created by the stereo-version of Multi Protracker; - Nazebany by DJ V / BK (Poland); - Overload sound by X-Ray / Slight (Poland); - Raster Music Tracker 1.x by Raster, Radek Sterba (a PC program that creates mono or stereo *.RMT sounds that can be played back on the A8 or any Atari 800/XL/XE emulator); - *.RMT stereo-sounds created by Raster Music Tracker; - Stereo-Patch for Pokey Player by Chuck Steinman (=> thus all Pokey-Player / *.V sounds can be heard in stereo!); - Stereo-Patch for Softsynth by Freddy Offenga (Netherlands) (=> thus Softsynth will create stereo-sounds!); - Stereo Patch for World of Wonders by Freddy Offenga (Netherlands) (World of Wonders is a great Softsynth sound-demo!); - Still Alive (TMC-sound) by Greg, Poland; - Time sound by X-Ray / Slight (Poland); - Theta-Music-Composer version 1.x by Jaskier/Taquart (=> thus *.TMC sounds can be generated in stereo!); - Theta-Music-Composer version 2.x by Jaskier/Taquart (supports 1, 2 or even 4 Pokey sound-chips !) - (most) *.TMC sounds created by Theta Music Composer; - Vanity sound by Kuchara / Excellent (Poland) ; - Worms (320k-Demo) by Datri, Czech Republic; - Zybex, patched version by ANG and/or Micro Discount (NL/UK) (the original version by Zeppelin games is only mono!); - that's all what I found so far... b) software for other sound enhancements: - enhanced-sound with Covox: As far as I know this upgrade will playback digitized or sampled sound in 8Bit resolution rather than in 4Bit resolution. The following programs support the Covox-Upgrade: - Inertia 2.x, a MOD-player by MadTeam; - Inertia 3.x, a MOD-player by MadTeam - Inertia 4.5, a MOD player by MadTeam; - Protracker 1.5, a MOD-editor and player by MadTeam; - NeoTracker 1.x, a MOD+NEO+SMP player by EPI/Allegresse; - that's all I have found so far; note that all these programs will still work with pokey...
Subject: 8.15) What games support online action via modem? This section by Andreas Koch. - Modem Chess, a PD game in Basic by ??? - Modem-Battleships, a PD game in Basic by ??? - Tele-Chess, a PD game in Basic by ??? - Jelly Beans a ML game by Chris Martin - "Battleships ST-XL" by Florian Dingler (German name: Schiffe versenken ST-XL) - Midi Maze by XANTH (prototype) - Commbat by Adventure International (I have also seen an advert from GCP in ANALOG or Antic, that listed the following games: The City, Cybertank, Cybership, Bio-War, Lords of Space; I am not sure if they are all available for the Atari, A.K.) To play these games online, one would not only require an Atari computer, but also a modem, a modem-driver and/or a terminal program (like Kermit, Bobterm, Teleterm, A-Term, Ice-T, BBS Express Pro, etc.). See also the sections 7.8, 10.1 and 10.2 which tell you more about modem/terminal programs and modem hardware for the Atari. Emulator users have it a little easier and can use the built-in modem emulation in Ape-DOS, Ape-Win, Atari 800 DOS, Atari 800 Win, etc.
Subject: 8.16) What programs support Atari computer networking? This section by Andreas Koch. There are two different hardware add-ons which provide a "computer- network" (two or more Ataris linked together). Thus, there is software that supports either one or the other hardware (namely Gamelink-1 or Gamelink-2). The following software supports the networking hardware: - Gamelink-1 (by Dataque): - info-text about GL-1 and where to buy it, by Dataque; - Tic-Tac-Two by J.Potter/Dataque, a tic-tac-toe clone; - Modem-Battleships, patched by Rick Detlefsen for Gamelink-1; - Gamelink-2 / Multilink (by Dataque & Bewesoft): - Maze of Agdagon demo (1 player only) by Dataque; - Maze of Agdagon (full version, 2-8 players) by Dataque; - Multi-Dash (2-8 players, XL/XE only) by Bewesoft; - Multi-Race (2-16 players, XL/XE only) by Bewesoft; - Multi-Worms (2-8 or 2-16? players, XL/XE only) by Bewesoft; - "starter-kit" module to use in your own networking-games by Bewesoft (free use of this module is granted by Bewesoft/Jiri Bernasek); - Speed-Up by Radek Sterba - Speed-Up Gold by Radek Sterba
Subject: 9.1) How can I work with .arc files on my 8-bit Atari? ARC.EXE for MS-DOS was released by System Enhancement Associates (SEA) around 1985. It will compress and store groups of files as one file, making it easier and quicker to download programs and support files at once. Because of the ease of use and availability of this program, it quickly became the de facto standard for file archives on Intel-based IBM machines. Files compressed and stored with ARC or a compatible utility are normally given the filename extender ".arc". The 8-bit Atari computers have several software utility options that are fully compatible with ARC.EXE, the most important being: Super UnArc 2.4 and Super Arc 2.4 - shareware by Bob Puff, released 01/31/89 Available: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/files/superarc.arc (complete package + docs) Also, SpartaDOS X includes a fully compatible ARC command for both creating and extracting .arc files.
Subject: 9.2) What file formats for entire disks/tapes/cartridges are there? It is now common, especially when working on Windows PCs or Macs, to work with Atari software as files or "images" containing the data from an entire disk, data cassette, or cartridge as duplicated from the native media for the Atari. Here is a list of file formats, arranged by their associated filename extensions. These are all filename extensions used to name files containing entire 8-bit Atari floppy disk images, cassette tape images, or cartridge images. .ATR -Image format invented by Nick Kennedy, for his SIO2PC project. Very similar to .XFD but with an added 16 byte header. This is the most common image format, used with most 8-bit Atari emulators running on other computer platforms. SIO2PC is at http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm .ATX -Image format invented by Jorge Cwik, for VAPI project. Goal of Vapi is the preservation of Atari software in its original unmodified form, including custom format or copy protection. http://vapi.fxatari.com/ .CAS -Cassette image format invented by Ernest R. Schreurs, for his Digital Cassette Image system (includes CAS2SIO, WAV2CAS, and CAS2WAV MS-DOS utilities. See: http://home.planet.nl/~ernest/ .DCM -Image format invented by Bob Puff for his Disk Communicator 3.2 utility. Used when working with native Atari hardware. A compressed data format. DISKCOMM is at http://www.nleaudio.com/css/files/DISKCOM.ARC .DCM specs at: http://home.planet.nl/~ernest/diskcomm.zip .DD -Early filename extension used with double density disk images for use with the Xformer emulators. Replaced by the .XFD extension. .DI -Image format invented by Kolja Koischwitz & Christian Kruger for their 800XL DJ emulator for the Atari ST. .PRO -Proprietary image format invented by Steven Tucker, for his APE ProSystem device. Used with APE, the Atari Peripheral Emulator. APE and APE ProSystem are at http://www.atarimax.com/ .SCP -SpartaDOS SCOPY image file. SCOPY was a utility by ICD. A compressed data format. .SD -Early filename extension used with single density disk images for use with the Xformer emulators. Replaced by the .XFD extension. .XFD -"Xformer Floppy Disk" image format invented by Emulators, Inc. (Darek Mihocka) for the Xformer emulators (ST, PC). Known earlier, before support for arbitrary disk sizes was added, as .SD or .DD depending on the density of the imaged disk. The format consists simply of a raw sector dump of a disk. Used with ST Xformer, PC Xformer, and Xformer 2000 emulators. Xformer emulators are at http://www.emulators.com/ See also: Atari Disk Image FAQ (Steve Tucker) http://www.atarimax.com/ape/docs/DiskImageFAQ/
Subject: 9.3) How can I copy my copy-protected Atari software? This section by Russ Gilbert. Almost all commercial software for the A8 is/was copy protected. For boot disks, this usually involved a large number of special formatting that couldn't be copied using ordinary sector copiers. Usually the boot process involved checking to see if a certain sector error occurred, then proceeding. If the error did not occur, the disk was a copy and would not work. Alphasys adds (2009.03): Some protection schemes involved special sector skewing, which involved special timing during loading, duplicate sector numbers with differing content, or tracks with more or less than the usual number of sectors. With duplicate sector numbers, I mean physical duplication, involving sector header code that is read by the drive only, not any part of the sector data transferred to the computer. For carts, usually the method of protection was to write to the cart area of memory and see if the value changed. If the value changed, the cart program was in RAM, not ROM and would fail to operate. For tapes, again a fair number of schemes were used. Some varied the speed at which the tape loaded. I'm not familiar with tape protection schemes. With all software media (cart, tape, disk), there may be program encryption, which must be decrypted before the program can run. This to make more difficult disassembly of the program. There were/are a number of products to defeat copy protection/allow copying of protected software for the A8. The most common way to defeat copy protection was to disassemble the software and revise sections of code so that the copy protection was defeated. A software with defeated copy protection is called a 'cracked' software. The basic procedure is to understand how cart/tape/disk software initializes, loads and runs. Usually make a file out of the software and 'follow the code', starting with loading of the program, to decryption to the actual running of the program. Today, it is unnecessary to copy original commercial A8 software because it has already been defeated and may be found at a few FTP sites. Besides 'cracking' software, there were/are hardware devices to copy commercial protected software. The Happy 1050 and the Archiver, and probably other modifications to the 810, or 1050 allowed 'bit image' copying and reproduction of the special formatting that copy protected disks had. Alphasys (2009.03): For the Speedy, there is a special program called Speedy Backup, which can copy about 80% of the protected disks. Using these archiving disk drives, a copy of the original disk, including all special formatting and the original code is copied, thus making a copy protected copy, not cracked, just like the original. For carts, copying could involve cracking or again there were/are products to reproduce the cart and simulate a ROM. Or the cart might be copied and burned on the correct type of EPROM, to make a plug in cart. 'The Impersonator', the 'Pill' are two cart copy schemes copy the cart to a file, then don't change the code, but use a 'dummy cart' to fool the software into thinking there is a ROM present. Basic tools for copying, then cracking, carts and disks are a sector editor and disassembler. Carts are usually most easily dumped using a special OS, like Omnimon, to interrupt the cart and dump memory to disk. There are a few pd cart copiers that have the user plug the cart in when the program is running, I don't believe these pd cart copiers are very good or very wise to use. So, the basic answer to 'how do I make a copy of my copy protected commercial software' is don't bother. Find it on the net. There is one exception, in that this 'solution' involves a minimum of effort and is relatively safe. I refer to 'Chipmunk' and 'Black Patch' software to make cracked boot disk copy of commercial disks. HOWEVER, even if you use these two commercial archival tools, be sure you write protect your originals, and be careful not to accidentally write to the original disk. Finally, I'll mention a very modern (I mean 1997) product. The APE ProSystem, by Steven Tucker, in the registered version of this shareware allows making disk images called 'Pro' images. APE (Atari Peripheral Emulator) requires a cable, called the SIO2PC cable, that connects the A8 13 pin serial port to a serial port on the IBM PC clone. To make 'Pro' images, a special adapter cable is needed, not just the 'standard' SIO2PC cable. The 'Pro' image can 'capture' the copy protection of an original commercial disk. The 'Pro' image can then be loaded into an A8 using the APE registered version software, thus backing up your original disk software. Note the 'Pro' image will only be of use to person(s) owning registered APE software and 'Pro' adapter cable.
Subject: 10.1) What programs can log in to other computers via modem? Here are some of the more popular PD/freeware/shareware terminal emulator and related programs available. Use one of these programs for accessing a dial-up Bulletin Board System (BBS) with your Atari, or for accessing a dial-up "shell account" with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Dial-up shell accounts are no longer widely available here in the 21st century! (There is no general-purpose PPP capability for the 8-bit Atari that I am aware of.) ATAR-Z-MODEM 1.2, 5/29/94, shareware by Larry Black Emulates: n/a Text: 40 columns in gr.0 File Xfer: ZMODEM download Autodial: No Backscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: no Summary: Intended to be used as an external ZMODEM receive utility in conjunction with other terminal programs, especially BobTerm BobTerm 1.23, 1993, shareware by Bob Puff Emulates: VT52 Text: 40 columns in gr.0; 80 col. w/ XEP80 File Xfer: XMODEM, YMODEM, FMODEM Autodial: Yes Backscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: Yes Summary: Feature-filled; best for BBSing Available: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/ (version 1.21 complete package) http://www.mixinc.net/atari/download_a8/datacom/bobt123.lzh (ver. 1.23) FlickerTerm 80 v.0.51, freeware by LonerSoft (Clay Halliwell) Emulates: VT100, IBM ANSI Text: 80 column via a special Graphics 0 screen (no hardware required) File Xfer: None Autodial: No Backscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: No Summary: Fast and complete VT100 emulation; readability a minus Ice-T XE v2.72 (128K XL/XE) or Ice-T 800 v1.1 (48K), 1997, by Itay Chamiel Emulates: VT100 Text: 80 column via a fast-scrolling graphics 8 screen File Xfer: X/Y/ZMODEM download Autodial: Yes (2.72) or No (1.1) Backscroll buffer: Yes--8 screens (2.72) or One screen (1.1) Capture-to-disk: Yes--up to 16K (2.72) or No (1.1) Summary: Outstanding flicker-free high-speed VT100 emulation.Recommended! Kermit-65 3.7, PD by John R. Dunning Emulates: VT100 Text: 40 columns in gr.0; 80 col. in gr.8; 80 col. w/ XEP80 (sort of) File Xfer: Kermit Autodial: No Backscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: No Summary: Excellent VT100 emulation; rock-solid Kermit Xfers filenames: k65v37.arc ; k65doc.arc - docs ; k65src.arc - source OmniCom by CDY Consulting (David Young) Emulates: VT100 Text: 80 columns in gr.8 File Xfer: XMODEM, Kermit Autodial: No Backscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: No Summary: Only option combining VT100, XMODEM, Kermit filename: omnicom.arc PabQwk 2.0, 1 Feb 1994, shareware by Low-Budget Productions (Pab Sungenis) Requires: 128K XL/XE Emulates: n/a File Xfer: QWK upload/download Summary: The Professional QWK reader for the Atari 8-bits. (QWK is a packet format created in the IBM BBS community for reading mail offline.) Term80 1.6 (8.25.95), by CTH Enterprises (Tom Hunt) Requires: MIO or Black Box Emulates: ANSI Text: 80 columns in gr.8 File Xfer: XMODEM receive, YMODEM send/receive Autodial: Yes Brackscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: Yes Summary: Designed for calling IBM ANSI BBSs at the highest possible speeds supported by the MIO and Black Box (14.4 Kbps) VT850 B1, shareware by Curtis Laser Emulates: VT100/VT102 (plus complete VT220 keymap) Text: 40 columns in gr.0; 80 col. w/ XEP80 File Xfer: None Autodial: No Backscroll buffer: No Capture-to-disk: Yes Summary: Only option for VT100 emulation on the XEP80; 1200bps top speed filename: vt850b1.arc
Subject: 10.2) What programs can I use to host a BBS on the Atari? "A BBS, plain and simple, is some hobbyist setting up their own computer to answer incoming calls from other hobby computers. The visiting person leaves messages on this computer for other visitors, plays games while visiting, sends and receives files, and all that." -- Greg Goodwin, 2005 The 8-bit Atari was particularly popular for hosting a dial-up Bulletin Board System (BBS). This section attempts to list all BBS programs for the Atari. Of these, BBS Express! Professional and Carina II BBS seem to be programs that stand up well even today. Contributors to this section include: Winston Smith, Steven Sturza, Chad Hendrickson, Don Fanning, Matt Singer, Pete Davis, Jeff Williams, Rod Roark o AMIS BBS -- The Atari Message Information Service original version by Tom Giese of Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts. pd. The "granddaddy" of BBS programs for the 8-bit Atari. The AMIS BBS was written in BASIC. It included designs for a ring-detector. You needed a sector editor and had to allocate message space by hand, hex byte by hex byte. Several versions of AMIS: * Standard AMIS, original version by Tom Giese * MACE AMIS - from the Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts, by Larry Burdeno and Jim Steinbrecher * Fast AMIS * MPP AMIS by Matt Pritchard * Comet AMIS by Matt Pritchard and Tom Johnson, with Trent Condollone "AMIS so modified that it didn't resemble AMIS" * AMIS XM301 - Mike Olin and Mike Mitchell * TODAMIS 1.0, for 1030/XM301, 1986, Trent Dudley * Carnival BBS, see below * FoReM was derived from AMIS, see below o ARMUDIC, by Frank Huband From the Atari club of Washington, D.C. Greg Leslie writes "It was written (in BASIC with machine language subroutines) by Frank Huband, and the name came from the numbers used to dial the original BBS. o ATABBS - Atari Bulletin Board System Rod Roark writes (3/12/03): This is really straining my memory -- don't recall exactly when I wrote the thing (maybe '80 or '81), but as far as I know ATABBS was the world's first BBS for the Atari 400/800. I ran it out of my condo in Atlanta on a 48K 400 with an 80K floppy drive and a 300 bps Hayes Smartmodem. The 48K memory module was a third party add-on, not Atari's. It was written in Atari BASIC with a few bytes of machine language thrown in. o AtariLink -- by Pab Sungenis. From his blog at http://atari8programming.blogspot.com/ on 3/20/06: In 1985-1986 I wrote and eventually released the AtariLink BBS software. This came out of necessity, since most Atari BBS programs at the time (especially FoReM and its bastard children) didn't fully support the 1030 modem that I used (or the XM301 that followed afterward). I eventually adapted the program to work with Atari's 1200 bps SX212 modem when that was released, and in the process threw the program open to just about every modem out there. AtariLink floated in the wild, passed from BBS to BBS for a while, before an Atari magazine (I forget which one) distributed the software as its disk of the month. o ATKeep -- An Atari 8-bit version of CITADEL BBS, by Brent Barrett ATKeep is a Citadel-like BBS system for eight-bit Ataris. ATKeep runs under SpartaDOS and requires BASIC XE and 128K of RAM. Originally "MBBBS (Message Base Bulletin Board System) 1.0, March 24th, 1986" MBBBS was changed to Atari Keep, or, ATKeep for short, around version the time version 4.0 was released (June 15, 1986). ATKeep 7.0 finally took the aide and cosysop commands out of a menu section and put them into extended commands, where they belonged. It also added a SYSOP level command set. Users were no longer "users" "aides" or "cosysops," they had become level "A" (SYSOP) through level "Z" (READ ONLY). The system had become extremely complex. Public, hidden OR password protected PRIVATE rooms. Each room now had its own access level (thus keeping people of lower level from getting in EVEN if they knew the room name). Each room was assigned a RWRT (or Read WRiTe status), which determined who could enter messages in it, and whether or not public or private messages, or both were to be allowed. Before version 7.0, ATKeep only worked with the Atari 1030 or XM301 modems. ATKeep 7.0 was rewritten to accommodate the 850 or PRC interface allowing use of any Hayes compatible modem. ATKeep version 7.50 was released (1987), was version 8 released? o BBCS -- Bulletin Board Construction Set, by Scott Brause/Antic, 1985 A machine language program, developed as the Jersey Atari Computer Group (JACG) BBS system. BBCS was known for its great flexibility. The sysop was offered easy customization by the use of menus. Many BBSes before it required that you had to actually change the BASIC code in order to customize your BBS. Unfortunately, it also suffered from a reputation for stability problems. o BBS Express! -- 1986, Keith Ledbetter/Orion Micro Systems Written in compiled Action!. 1030/XM301 and 850 versions. o BBS Express! Professional ("Pro!")--6.0b 1999, Lance Ringquist/Video 61 Originally released in 1988 by Keith Ledbetter and Chris King from Orion Micro Systems. Later purchased by Bob Klaas of K-Products, before most recently being purchased by Lance Ringquist/Video 61. Written in 100% machine language. Requires XL/XE, SpartaDOS 3.2+, hard drive highly recommended, or at least a large RAMdisk. R-Time 8 is fully supported. o Carina II BBS -- v2.7 (1995), David Hunt/Shadow Software Carina II was originally developed by Jerry Horanoff. Requires an XL or XE computer, at least 500K of storage capacity (including RAMdisk and drives), and SpartaDOS version 2.3 or greater. Recommended: 192K RAMdisk or greater, and an R-Time cartridge. Fully supported: An MIO interface and a hard drive. Pete Davis writes (15 Aug 2002): Carina was a pretty powerful BBS system. Though it was written in BASIC (with a number of machine language routines), it was expandable and was able to load new BASIC programs with the BBS running. In fact, it was quite modular and would load different sections of the BBS at runtime. I actually used it when I ran a BBS some time back. o Carnival BBS -- "essentially AMIS with an overlay to allow for private messages and passwords." -- Antic o FoReM BBS -- Friends of Rickey Moose BBS. By Matthew R. Singer. At the time, there were a lot of BBSs around called things such as "FORUM-80" and "BULLET-80", ergo the name. FoReM BBS was the first truly RBBS-like BBS for the ATARI 8-bit. It was programmed in BASIC and was somewhat crashy. I think that this is the great-grandparent of the FOREM-XE BBSs that survive today. Matt Singer writes: FoReM BBS derived from an early AMIS. When multiple message areas were added the name was extended to FoReM 26M. Then, When OSS released BASIC XL the program was rehacked and called FoReM XL... Bill Dorsey wrote most of the Assembler routines (where is he now?). o FoReM MPP BBS -- by Matt Singer, sold by MPP FoReM BBS version for the MPP direct-connect modems. o FoReM XL BBS -- by Matt Singer. FoReM BBS updated to take advantage of BASIC XL from OSS. o FoReM XE BBS -- by Matt Singer This version of FOREM BBS requires the commercial BASIC XE cartridge in order to run. It is in the public domain and can import and export messages from the Atari PRO! BBS EXPRESS-NET (7-bit text only, control ATASCII graphics are reserved for message data-structure bytes). o FoReM XE Professional BBS / FoReM XEP BBS -- by Len Spencer A re-write of FoReM XE BBS, last version was 5.4, Jan 5 1993. FXEP requires an XL/XE computer with at least 128k of memory, the BASIC XE cartridge from OSS/ICD, SpartaDOS 3.2 (this program will NOT work with any other version), and at least 500K of storage. FXEP is available at: http://www.lenardspencer.com/Lenspencer/fxep.htm o MBBBS (Message Base Bulletin Board System) -- early name for ATKeep, see above o NITE-LITE BBS -- Paul Swanson's BBS with RAMdisk. Paul Swanson was a programmer from the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, area. "1983: Nite-Lite B.B.S. goes on the air. (Was it running A.M.I.S. ?) It is called "Nite-Lite" because the computer monitor casts an eerie glow about the room. 1984: Paul Swanson writes his own BBS hosting software for the ATARI 6502 8-bit computer. He names it "Nite-Lite". The Nite-Lite BBS hosting software goes on to be the most successful commercial BBS software ever written for the ATARI 6502 8-bit computer. 1989: Nite-Lite BBS puts in a second line. (MichTron boards eventually take the place of all of the ATARI Nite-Lite boards.)" - Winston Smith This BBS was the first to support a RAMdisk, which Paul Swanson called a "V:" device for "virtual disk". This BBS was written in Atari BASIC and required a joystick hardware "dongle" device. This was notable as being one of the first Atari 8-BIT BBSs that could actually go for a week without having to be rebooted. Pointers to the message base were kept in an Atari "very long string" (for which Atari BASIC is famous). The BBS would only have problems (for the most part) if this string became corrupted. o OASIS (the commercial version) / OASIS Jr. (the pd version) The original OASIS BBS System was written by Rich Renner and Ralph Walden with tech support and input from Leo Newman. It was first published by OASIS BBS Systems (Renner/Walden/Newman) in 1986, and distributed by Leo Newman. Later, the rights were transferred to Glenda Stocks/Z INNOVATORS, then later (1991) to Jeff Williams ("Alf"). All machine language. OASIS is very crash-resistant and comes with a "dial out" screen so that the Sysop can use the BBS as a terminal program to call and fetch files without having to bring the BBS down and reload a terminal program. OASIS supports "Door programs" which it refers to as "OASIS PAL modules". An excellent message system, and a complex file system. It consists of "file libraries" with suites of "file types". There is quite a bit of overhead involved in performing a download (which may be a good thing, as it discourages file hogs). OASIS IV performs networking. SpartaDOS 3.2x recommended, but any DOS supported. R-Time 8 clock cartridge supported. Glenda Stocks writes at http://world.std.com/~snet/glenda.htm : I purchased the source code rights to OASIS and began marketing the BBS software to Atari 8-bit enthusiasts around the world. I felt that I had the superior BBS software because I had programmed in the ability to run external programs, including online games and user surveys. I also had added color prompts for IBM clone users who called Atari boards running my OASIS software. Sometime in 1991...I sold the rights to OASIS to a man in Canada.. Jeff Williams ("Alf") writes: (12/6/02) OASIS was around prior to either PRO or BBS Express IIRC. I don't know when exactly it showed up, version 3.09 was the first one I remember seeing. What made it nifty was it was very fast, being all assembler, and having some different features that things like Forem & Carina didn't have. Compared to something like Forem MPP at the time, it was kind of amazing. Ralph Walden sold it to Glenda Stocks, who chopped it up into modules and sold it as ver 4.7. PRO was out by then, and was a much more complete offering imo. Glenda wrote some modules for 4.7, but it never really went anywhere because the architecture was so cramped with her changes. Eventually she gave up and sold me the source. I looked it over and realized it was a mess and nothing was going to happen with it. I worked on a version 5 for a while, but never made much progress. o SMART BBS -- by Marco Benton. This program is written entirely in BASIC. It expects to be running under a SpartaDOS environment. This BBS program uses a "modem clock string" rather than an R-Time 8 cartridge in order to retrieve the current time. It also comes with an Atari BASIC game door called "Sabotage". o TART-BOARD, by Bob Alleger Early Atari BBS.
Subject: 10.3) How can I read/write 8-bit Atari disks on an MS-DOS PC? There are several programs that allow an MS-DOS system to work with an Atari-format 5.25" diskette. Each of these work with the Atari SS/DD 180K format, so you'll need an Atari DOS and disk drive capable of this format. #1 Choice: Atari-Link PC (AtariDsk) V1.2 (c) 95-12-09 by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl) Ataridsk is a program for MSDOS-PCs that allows you to access Atari floppy disks in double density (180k). All you need is a PC (XT or 286 should be sufficient) and a 5.25" floppy drive. Features of this tool: * Menu driven user interface * read, write and format Atari disks on the PC * small size (only 35k) http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/ Also by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl): WriteAtr V0.92b With WriteAtr you can write double density ATR-images to Atari floppy disks on your MSDOS-PC. You can also create ATR-images of double density floppy disks! All you need is a PC and a 5.25" and/or a 3.5" floppy drive. Version 0.92b added experimental support for the enhanced density (1040 sectors/128 bytes per sector) format. Please note: this format doesn't work with a lot of floppy controllers - use it at your own risk! http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/ #2 Choice: MyUTIL by Mark K Vallevand. Based on Charles Marslett's UTIL. http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/myutil.zip Includes SpartaDOS disk utility v0.1e to access 180K SpartaDOS disks Other similar utilities: ATARIO by Dave Brandman w/ Kevin White - Reads SS/DD 180K Atari disks. www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Unverified/Diskutils-redist/atario21.arc SpartaRead by Oscar Fowler - Reads SS/DD 180K SpartaDOS disks. http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/sr.arc UTIL by Charles Marslett - Reads/Writes SS/DD 180K Atari disks. http://www.wordmark.org/ Here's some advice on using the above utilities from Hans Breitenlohner: There are two technical obstacles to interchanging disks between DD Atari drives and PC drives. 1. The Atari drive spins slightly slower (288 rpm instead of 300 rpm). If you format a disk on the Atari, then write sectors on the PC, it is possible that the header of the next physical sector will be overwritten, making that sector unreadable. (The next physical sector is usually the current logical sector+2). The solution to this is to format all disks on the PC. (Aside: Does anybody know how this problem is handled on the XF551? Is it also slowed down?) Konrad Kokoszkiewicz answers: "The XF551 disk drive is not slowed down - these drives are spinning 300 rotations per minute. To prevent troubles with read/write disks formatted and written on normal Atari drives (288 rot/min), the main crystal frequency for the floppy disk controller is 8.333 MHz (not 8 MHz, as in 1050, for example)." 2. If the PC drive is a 1.2M drive there is the additional problem of the track width. The following is generally true in the PC world: - disks written on 360k drives can be read on either drive - blank disk formatted and written on 1.2M drives can be read on either kind - disks written on a 360k drive, and overwritten on a 1.2M drive, can be read reliably only on a 1.2M drive. - disks previously formatted on a 360k drive, or formatted as 1.2MB, and then reformatted on a 1.2M drive to 360k, can be read reliably only on a 1.2M drive. (all this assumes you are using DD media, not HD). Solution: Use a 360k drive if you can. If not, format disks on the Atari for Atari to PC transfers, format truly blank disks on the PC for PC to Atari transfers. Jon D. Melbo sums it up this way: So a basic rule of thumb when sharing 360KB floppies among 360KB & 1.2MB drives is: Never do any writes with a 1.2MB drive to a disk that has been previously written to in a 360KB drive....UNLESS... you only plan on ever using that disk in the 1.2Mb drive from then on out. Of course a disk can be reformatted in a particular drive any time for use in that drive. As long as you follow that rule, you can utilize the backwards compatible 360KB modes that most 1.2MB drives offer. While the above mentioned utilities work with SS/DD 180K Atari-format disks or SS/DD 180K SpartaDOS disks, the following combination of utilities has been used successfully to read SS/SD 90K Atari-format disks. So if you only have standard Atari 810 and/or Atari 1050 drives, you could look into: AnaDisk -- now a product of New Technoligies Inc. (NTI) See: http://www.forensics-intl.com/anadisk.html The current version is "not made available to the general public" (!) Previously a product of Chuck Guzis @ Sydex, http://www.sydex.com/ Older versions available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ - Reads/Writes "any" 5.25" diskette DeAna by Nate Monson Available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ - converts AnaDisk dump files from Atari format See http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ for tips on using this combination of utilities. Preston Crow writes: "As best as I can figure it out, if your PC drive happens to read FM disks (I'm not sure what the criteria for that is), then you can read single density disks on your PC by dumping the contents to a file with AnaDisk, and then using Deana.com to convert the dump file into a usable format. For enhanced density disks, Anadisk generally only reads the first portion of each sector, but it demonstrates that it is possible for a PC drive to read enhanced density disks."
Subject: 10.4) How can I read/write MS-DOS PC disks on my Atari? Several 3rd-party hardware upgrades add the capability of working with MS-DOS diskettes to your Atari system: Happy 1050 upgrade for the Atari 1050 -- read/write 180K 5.25" MS-DOS floppies CSS XF Single Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551 -- replace the 5.25" mechanism with a 3.5" mech. -- read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFsingdrup.htm CSS XF Dual Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551 -- add 3.5" drive without losing the 5.25" drive -- read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFdualdrup.htm CSS Floppy Board, for the CSS Black Box -- adds support for PC 720K and 1.44MB 3.5" drives to your Atari system -- adds support for PC 1.2MB and 360K 5.25" drives to your Atari system -- read/write 5.25" and 3.5" MS-DOS disks in your PC drives with your Atari see: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/floppy.htm
Subject: 10.5) How do I transfer files using a null modem cable? This section by Russ Gilbert. Q: How do I connect two computers using a null modem cable? A: You need a term program and RS-232 ports on both computers. The RS-232 ports need to be connected together using a 'null modem cable'. For up to 4800 baud, no flow control lines need be connected. Just cross the transmit and receive lines and join the grounds together. Transmit is pin #2, receive is pin #3 and ground is pin #7 on the 25 pin port. 25 pin #2 goes to Atari #4 (XMT to RCV), 25 pin #3 goes to #3 on Atari (RCV to XMT) and #5 of 850 goes to #7 of 25 pin (GND to GND). The right hand pin on the 'long' side of a female 'D' connector is #1. There are 13 holes on this 'long' side, 12 holes on the 'short' side. The numbers go to the left 1 to 13 then #14 is under #1 and left again so that #25 is under #13. Most term programs allow a null connection, without a carrier detect. Notably, '850 Express!' does not. I have only used 'Procomm 2.4.3' (the last shareware version of Procomm) on the PC and BobTerm on the Atari, but other term programs may work. To check your null modem connection, start both PC and Atari term programs, set baud to 2400 or 4800 on both computers. No parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit on the PC. Be sure to use the correct COM port on the PC. Go to 'terminal' mode and you should now be able to type on either computer and see it on the other screen. To accomplish a file transfer, use Y-modem probably from BobTerm, rather than X-modem. X-modem will often append bytes to a file transfer, an undesirable event. There is also a very nice Z-modem receive program for the Atari, called ATAR-Z-MODEM by Larry Black for the Atari. A convenient way to make a null modem cable, up to about 30 feet long, is to use two female DB25 connectors (Radio Shack) some three or more conductor cable. Using the two DB25 female connectors allows unplugging your modems and plugging in the null modem cable into the two modem cables. This also avoids the confusion of variations in the computer ports. Most computers connect into the modem end via a standard RS-232 DB25 connection. With this both ends 25 pin cable, you would cross pins 2 and 3 and connect the #7s together to make a null modem cable. The SIO port on the Atari cannot be used directly. An 850, P:R: Connection, MIO, Black Box or similar device that provides an RS-232 port must be used. Following are pin assignments for a DB25 pin RS-232-C port. 1. Protective Ground 12. Select Alternate Rate 2. Transmit Data 15. Transmit Clock (sync) 3. Receive Data 17. Receive clock (sync) 4. RTS (Request to Send) 20. Data Terminal Ready 5. CTS (Clear to Send) 22. Ring indicator 6. Data Set Ready 23. Select Alternate Rate 7. Signal Ground 24. Transmit Clock 8. Carrier Detect For higher speed connections, above 4800 or 9600, you need the flow control lines and Atari term software that has flow control built in. You also need an MIO or Black Box, which uses the PBI (parallel bus). A high speed cable would need not only XMT, RCV, and GND, but also flow control lines. I suggest a commercial null modem from computer store to ensure correct lines. A null modem is a small adapter with the correct lines already crossed. I don't know how to correctly connect the CTS, RTS, DTR, DSR, CRX lines for a high speed null modem. With a null modem, you just plug it into the 25 pin connectors of the two modem cables you might already have connected to your Atari and PC or Mac. You may need a straight thru 25 pin gender changer also. Following is in this FAQ elsewhere, but I summarize here: (Figure out or look for pin numbers on the ports.) Note that these are pin assignments, and NOT null modem connections with the XMT, RCV crossed and GND straight thru. Atari 8-bit PC AT 25 PC AT 9 pin ------------------------------------- 1. DTR 20 4* 2. CRX 8 1* 3. XMT 2 3 4. RCV 3 2* 5. GND 7 5 6. DSR 6 6 7. RTS 4 7 8. CTS 5 8 9. No connect? shield RI 22 RI Note: * above indicates the difference between an AT 9 pin and a Atari 8-bit 9 pin cable connector. eg. If you check continuity from pin 3 of 25 pin end and it goes to pin 4 of nine pin end, you have an Atari serial cable. If pin 3 of 25 pin goes to pin 2 of 9 pin end, you have a PC serial cable. (updated 3/1/99) (DTE = Data Terminal Equipment, i.e., your computer. DCE = Data Communications Equipment, i.e., your modem.)
Subject: 10.6) How can my PC utilize my Atari disk drive? ==> 1050-2-PC, by Nick Kennedy 1050-2-PC is a device used to allow the PC to communicate directly with an Atari disk drive. It requires hardware which is very similar to the SIO2PC but configured differently. It allows direct sector I/O with the Atari drive and can be used to create disk images which will emulate copy protection schemes when run on SIO2PC. More 1050-2-PC information: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/1050.txt SIO2PC home page: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm ==> APE ProSystem, by Steve Tucker The APE ProSystem goes beyond Steve Tucker's Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE). The ProSystem has two components: - The program PROSYS.EXE is used to create the protected and unprotected disk images which are then used by APE. - The ProSystem hardware is a cable designed to allow direct connection of a stock 1050 disk drive directly to a PC's serial port for use by the PROSYS.EXE software. http://www.atarimax.com/
Subject: 10.7) What about interoperating with the Apple Macintosh? Mark L. Simonson keeps a nice set of web pages which he calls "Mac/Atari Fusion: Atari 8-bit Resources for Mac Users." Please visit: http://www2.bitstream.net/~marksim/atarimac/ Mark Grebe is the author of two modern solutions for Mac OS X, Atari800MacX - Atari 8bit Computer Emulator and Sio2OSX - Atari 8Bit Peripheral Emulator http://www.atarimac.com/
Subject: 10.8) Are there 8-bit Atari tools for the Commodore Amiga? '551conv', freeware by Achim Hartel: Converts a real Atari-800-disk, .xfd-image or .atr-image into a real Atari-800-disk, .xfd-image, .atr-image or extracts the files of the disk (-image). All 4 formats of the XF551-station supported: Single, Medium, Double, Quad. Version 1.03.
Subject: 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform? Information presented here has been collected by MC from public sources, such as magazine and newspaper articles, press releases, corporate annual reports, and SEC filings. I have no special access to inside information. For a broader Atari history may I suggest: http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/ 1973 With financial support from Atari, a group of engineers led by Larry Emmons and Steve Mayer created the Cyan Engineering research and development group in Grass Valley, CA. 1974 Winter: Atari started an exclusive relationship with Cyan Engineering, and the facility became known as the "Grass Valley Think Tank." 1975 Summer: At Cyan Engineering, Ron Milner and Steve Mayer created the first concept prototype of the home video game system that would become the Video Computer System (VCS). The hardware was built by Milner. December: Joe Decuir was hired by Atari, initially to work with Ron Milner and Steve Mayer at Cyan Engineering. Decuir would help debug the existing concept prototype of the VCS, and Decuir built the first gate-level prototype of the VCS. 1976 March: As Atari VCS development continued, Joe Decuir moved to Los Gatos, Calif. to apprentice for Jay Miner, who would become the lead chip designer for the VCS. The group who would turn out to be the key engineers of the Atari VCS had now been assembled: Steve Mayer, Ron Milner, Joe Decuir, and Jay Miner. Development work would continue into 1977. Fall: Atari purchased Cyan Engineering outright, and the facility became more formerly known as the Grass Valley Research Center. 1977 June: Atari introduced the Video Computer System (VCS) at the Summer CES in Chicago. Summer: Engineers Ron Milner, Steve Mayer, and Joe Decuir, veteran designers of the VCS, began work on a next-generation home video game machine at Atari's Grass Valley Research Center. This project became known as "Oz" inside Atari. 1978 March: Manny Gerard at Warner Communications arranged for Raymond E. Kassar, who had recently departed from his executive vice president position at fabric maker Burlington Industries, to work with Atari as a consultant. Gerard then had Kassar installed as president of Atari's Consumer Division. Ray Kassar, directed that the video game technology already under development as the "Oz" project would now form the basis for the development of a personal computer system. The newly-redefined project became known as "Colleen" inside Atari. The overall engineering plans for "Colleen" were conceived by: Steve Mayer, Joe Decuir, and Jay Miner The "Colleen" computer project evolved into two specific computer models: o "Colleen" - the full machine - would be released as the Atari 800. o "Candy" - a reduced-feature version - would be released as the Atari 400. Fall: Atari pre-announced that the Atari computer would debut at the January 1979 CES. [EVIDENCE NEEDED!] September/October: Atari VCS game programmers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, and Alan Miller were assigned to create an Operating System and BASIC for the Atari computer, after Jay Miner, manager of both custom chip and OS software development for the computer, had determined that both the existing work-in- progress OS and the work-in-progress port of Microsoft BASIC could not meet the January 1979 CES deadline. October: Freeing Crane/Kaplan/Miller to focus on developing the core OS, Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI, headed by Bob Shepardson) to create both a version of BASIC and a File Management System (FMS) for the upcoming Atari personal computers. The contract called for delivery by April 6, 1979. Atari planned to take an early, 8K Microsoft BASIC to the CES (in Las Vegas) in January, 1979, and then switch BASICs later. November: At the Warner Communications annual budget meeting in New York, Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell warned against launching an Atari computer division unless Warner was prepared to absorb extensive short-term financial losses in establishing the new product line. Bushnell also predicted that a properly-funded Atari computer line would ultimately be profitable. December: Manny Gerard at Warner Communications appointed Ray Kassar President and CEO of Atari, and Joe Keenan replaced company founder Nolan Bushnell as Chairman. December 21: SMI delivered working versions of a BASIC and a FMS to Atari, nearly four months early. December 28: Actual date of Atari purchase order with SMI for a BASIC and a FMS. (They had already been delivered the week before.) 1979 January: Atari introduced the Atari 800 and Atari 400 Personal Computer Systems at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. The 800 would ship with 8K RAM (user- expandable in 8K or 16K increments to 48K) and retail for US$1,000; the 400 would come standard with 8K RAM and retail for US$500. The computers were scheduled to ship in limited quantities in August 1979, with full availability later in the fall. Also introduced: the 410 program recorder, 810 disk drive, and 820 printer. Software introduced: Atari BASIC. Coverage of the introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine: http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/ January: Atari ran an advertisement for the 400/800 on pp. 54-55 of Merchandising, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1979. See: http://mcurrent.name/atariads/gallery.htm for these and other early Atari computer print ads from 1979-1981. April: Crane/Kaplan/Miller finished their work on the Operating System for the Atari 400/800 computers. May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari again showed the Atari 400/800 computer systems, which were expected to ship within months. June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari again showed the Atari 400/800 computers, which were expected to ship within weeks. The retail price for the 400 system would be US$550 (up from US$500). Also introduced: the Atari Talk & Teach Educational System, including the Master Cartridge and 17 cassette packs in the Cassette Courseware series (4 tapes per pack; 4 lessons per tape; developed by Dorsett Educational Systems for Atari). More software titles introduced: Basketball, Super Breakout, Computer Chess. Peter N. Rosenthal was Director of Marketing, Personal Computer Systems. Summer: Atari received FCC approval for the 400/800 computers. August: "The first official small shipment of the 400/800 was on August 29th 1979. These were hand-built pilot run units to Sears that needed to be in stock by Sept. 1 so they could be placed in the big fall catalog. The units were placed in the Sears warehouse and then immediately returned to Atari after the "in stock" requirement had been met." --Jerry Jessop September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the fall. The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break in October in 12 national publications. TV commercials will also be aired in Los Angeles in November and December." October: "Atari's production lines were stalled for about a week in October due to yield problems at one of its chip suppliers, Synertek. The low yields at the semiconductor manufacturer resulted in significantly reduced delivery of the MPU to Atari, resulting in about a 3-week delay in getting the computers into the marketplace." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. November: "The first "real" consumer units were shipped in Nov. of '79 and were 400s to Sears followed very shortly by 800s." --Jerry Jessop November: Michael J. Moone became president of the Consumer Division at Atari (home video games and computers). November/December: The initial Atari 400 personal computer package consisted of the 400 computer (8K RAM), 400 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch box, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder. Package retail: US$549.99. November/December: The initial Atari 800 personal computer package consisted of the 800 computer with 8K RAM module, 800 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch box, 410 program recorder, CXL4001 Educational System Master Cartridge, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), CX-4101 An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of Programming (cassette), Atari BASIC: A Self- Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder. Package retail: US$999.99. November/December: In addition to the $549.99 Atari 400 package, the Sears catalog also listed the 410 program recorder for $85.00, the Educational System Master Cartridge for $34.99, Basketball, Super Breakout, and Life (released as Video Easel) for $49.99 each, Music Composer for $69.99, Joystick pair for $19.99, Paddles pair for $19.99, and these 9 cassette titles for use with the Educational System Master Cartridge for $39.99 each: Basic Sociology, Basic Psychology, Spelling, History of Western World, Great Classics of Eng Lit, Principles of Economics, U.S. History, Principles of Accounting, Business Communications December: "Atari is funneling large quantities of its 400 and 800 personal computers and software to Sears, Roebuck, while retail computer stores have been faced with late hardware deliveries and received very little, if any, software. Sears is offering the Atari 400, priced at $549.99, through its catalog, and is spot-marketing the machine in its retail stores throughout California and the Chicago area. In addition, the firm is selling the Atari 800, priced at $999.99, in its California stores, but not through the catalog, a Sears spokesman said." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. 1980 January: Atari introduced the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages increased to US$630 and US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000). Software titles introduced: Assembler Editor, Video Easel, Music Composer, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders, TeleLink 1 Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive and the 820 printer (US$449.95). March: Atari shipped Star Raiders. June 15: Atari introduced the 815 dual disk drive, 822 printer, and CX70 light pen at the Summer CES in Chicago. Also introduced: the Atari Accountant series of software programs (developed by Arthur Young & Co. for Atari): General Accounting System, Accounts Receivable System, Inventory Control Program. Summer: Atari modified the 800 computer package. The computer would now ship with 16K RAM (up from 8K); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the Atari BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package. The retail price remained US$1,080. Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the 825 printer (US$999.95), 830 modem, and 850 interface (US$219.95). Fall?: The Atari 800 arrived in the UK: 649 pounds for the 800 with 16K RAM, 39 pounds for Atari BASIC, 69 pounds for a 16K RAM module for the 800. (Atari User May 1988) October 21: Roger H. Badertscher was named president of the newly established Computer Division at Atari. He was previously vice president and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer. October: Visicorp introduced the Atari version of VisiCalc. By the end of 1980, Atari had sold 35,000 computers. 1981 January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the list price for the 400 computer package with 8K RAM installed was reduced to US$499.95 (previously: US$630), and that the list price for the 16K RAM version of the 400 package would be US$630. Also introduced: Asteroids, Astrology (ultimately released via APX), Atari Word Processor, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Missile Command, Personal Financial Management System, Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), PILOT, SCRAM (A Nuclear Reactor Simulation) Winter: Atari shipped the 822 printer. Winter: The development rights to Atari BASIC, the Atari FMS (DOS) and the Atari Assembler/Editor program were purchased from SMI by Bill Wilkinson for his new company, Optimized Systems Software (OSS). Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by the Atari Computer Division in support of the 400/800. April 3-5: Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) staff attended the 6th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, offering a grand prize of US$25,000 in cash and US$75,000 in Atari products to runners-up for Atari computer software authors. In order to qualify for the awards, programs would have to be accepted and sold through the soon-to-be-launched Atari Program Exchange. May 5: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that the 8K Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16K version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the 400 would no longer be sold with the Atari BASIC cartridge and the Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide book. Other price reductions: CX852 8K RAM module now US$49.95 (was US$124.95), CX853 16K RAM module now US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now US$299.95 (was US$449.95). Also introduced: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator, Atari Microsoft BASIC, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor. May: Atari launched the Atari Program Exchange (APX), a user-written software distribution unit within the Atari Computer Division. The APX concept had been the brain-child of Dale Yocam, and APX was guided by Fred Thorlin since its inception in February 1981. See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/ Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in the program's first year. August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification, Revision 1" reflecting Operating System work for the SWEET16 project to create a new series of computers to replace the 400/800. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html September: Ingersoll Electronics was the exclusive sales distributor for Atari 400 and 800 computers in the UK. Fall: Atari began shipping the 810 disk drive with DOS 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS). Developed by SMI/OSS for Atari. October: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with ROM C, supporting a more efficient "C" sector layout (about 20% faster than the original "B" layout), and the Data Separator Board, improving reliability. Fall: Atari shipped the book, De Re Atari. November: Atari 400/800's began shipping with the new GTIA chip in place of CTIA, increasing the palette of simultaneously displayable colors to 256 and adding 3 new graphics modes. 400/800's also began shipping with OS ROM version B, improving peripheral I/O control routines. December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home computer (with 16K RAM) to US$899 from US$1,080. 1982 January 5: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Pac-Man ($44.95), Centipede ($44.95), Caverns of Mars ($39.95), The Bookkeeper, and The Home Filing Manager. Greg Christensen's Caverns of Mars would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's standard product line. Previewed at the show: the Atari Video System X (would ship as the 5200). January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors. January 16: At San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, Atari awarded the first annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. My First Alphabet would ultimately be transferred into Atari's standard product line. Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection magazine. June 8: Atari announced the 5200 Home Entertainment System. Later dubbed the SuperSystem, the cartridge-based 5200 would be marketed alongside the ultra- popular Atari VCS (soon to be known as the 2600). While the 5200 required unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware and operating system were nearly identical to that of the 400/800 computers. Suggested retail price: US$299.95. June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari announced Atari Speed Reading (US$74.95), Music Tutor (title never shipped. MC's speculation: this would have been an Atari-branded re-release of the APX title, Musical Computer-The Music Tutor), Juggles' House, Juggles' Rainbow, TeleLink II (US$79.95), and the Communicator II kit (new 835 modem + Telelink II) (US$279.95). Atari also announced the new retail price for the 400 computer was US$349 (previously, US$399). (CC Oct82 p180) Keith Schaefer was vice-president of sales for Atari's Home Computer division. June: Roger Badertscher resigned from his position as president of Atari's Home Computer Division. Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held in 3 locations: The University of San Diego (CA), The Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and East Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was cancelled at the fourth announced site of Lakeland College (Sheboygan, WI).) The camps were managed for Atari by Specialty Camps, Inc. Curriculum developed by Robert A. Kahn at Atari. Program overseen by Linda Gordon, Atari vice president for special projects. August 24: John C. Cavalier was named president of Atari's Home Computer Division. His most recent job was vice president and general manager of American Can Company's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper products. September: Steve Mayer resigned as senior vice president of engineering at Atari to form, and serve as chairman and CEO of, WCI Labs, Inc. The location was previously known as the Atari NY Lab. Like Atari, WCI Labs would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Communications. With Gregg Squires as project manager, WCI Labs would be responsible for the hardware engineering for the Sweet-16 ("Elizabeth" or "Liz") computer project, which would lead to the release of the 1200XL. September 29: Date of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16 Product Specification". As of this document, the Sweet-16 project had evolved into two specific computer model designs, a 16K RAM version tentatively named "1200" and a 64K RAM version tentatively named "1200X" (earlier: a 16K "600" and a 64K "1200"), with both models now sharing the same case design. However, also as of this document, plans called for manufacture of only the 64K version. The project would soon lead to the release of the 1200XL. http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem. Fall: The suggested retail price for the Atari 800 was US$679 with 48K RAM standard (previously: US$899/16K). The Atari 400 retail price was US$299 (previously, $349). November: Atari began producing new 810 disk drives with the "center flip door" drive mechanism by Tandon, instead of the "push button, sliding door" mechanism by MPI used in the original design. (Antic May 83) December: Atari shipped Galaxian, Defender, and Visicalc in time for the holiday shopping season. December 13: Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. "We believe that the Atari 1200XL will set the standard for a new generation in home computing and, once again, positions Atari on the leading edge of electronic technology and creative computing," Atari chairman Ray Kassar said. The list price for the 1200XL would be "well under $1,000." The 1200XL was the first computer resulting from the Sweet-16/"Elizabeth"/"Liz" project inside Atari. Peripherals introduced: the 1010 program recorder (US$99), 1020 printer/plotter (US$299), and 1025 printer (US$549). Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17 percent of all home computer sales. 1983 January: The retail price for the Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) was reduced from US$679 to US$499. The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$299 to US$199. Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Atari Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (operated by Atari in the UK). January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari showed the 1200XL, 1010, 1020, and 1025, introduced Qix, E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Family Finances, Timewise, and AtariWriter, and also announced the upcoming Disney Educational Series. The CX22 Trak-Ball was introduced, marketed for the 2600 but compatible with the computers. The retail price for the 1200XL was announced to be US$899. January 15: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the second annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. January: Atari began production of the 1200XL (made in the USA). Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge. AtariWriter was programmed by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for DataSoft, for product manager Gary Furr at Atari. Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live host to explore the role of computers in society. (MC's note: I remember that this came to my school!) March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari announced the 1050 disk drive, and introduced Atari Logo (developed by Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) for Atari). April: Atari announced that Michael Moone would no longer serve as president of the Consumer Electronics Division, as the division would be consolidated with the Home Computer Division. April/May: Production of the 1200XL shifted from the USA to Taiwan. May: Production of Atari 400/800 computers and 810 disk drives ended. May: The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$199 to US$100. June 1: Atari consolidated the businesses of the Home Computer Division with the Consumer Electronics (home video games) Division. There would now be three Divisions for both home computers and home video games: - Atari Products Company (development & marketing, John Cavalier, president) - Atari Sales and Distribution Company (Donald Kingsborough, president) - Atari Manufacturing Company (Paul Malloy, president) June: Atari introduced the 600XL and 800XL home computers at the Summer CES in Chicago. The 400/800/1200XL would be discontinued. (The 1400XL and 1450XLD computers were also introduced, but these never made it into production.) Peripherals introduced: the 1027 printer, 1030 modem, Light Pen + AtariGraphics, Touch Tablet + AtariArtist, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks, CX80 Trak-Ball, AtariLab Starter Set With Temperature Module, AtariLab Light Module (AtariLab developed by Dickinson College). Software introduced by Atari: DOS 3, Microsoft BASIC II, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Football, Tennis, Paint, AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II, Mickey in the Great Outdoors, Battlezone. (Also shown but never shipped: the 1060 CP/M Add-On Module, the 1090 XL Expansion System, Tempest, Soccer, Peter Pan's Daring Journey, The Mysteries of Wonderland, and the AtariLab Modules: Timekeeper, Lie Detector, Reaction time, Heartbeat, Biofeedback, Mechanics) The 600XL had been known as "Surely" and the 800XL had been known as "Surely Plus" inside Atari. June 11-Sept 10: Atari co-sponsored the Punta Cana Club Med/Atari Computer vacation getaway on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. Summer: Atari Computer Camps expanded to seven sites nationwide (U.S.): Greenfield MA, Faribault MN, East Stroudsburg PA, Asheville NC, Glencoe MD, Danville CA, and San Diego CA. It was the second and final year of the program. Summer: Atari released the Atari 400 Home Computer 48K RAM Expansion Kit, compatible with both the 8K and 16K versions of the 400. July 7: Warner Communications announced that Atari chairman Ray Kassar had resigned, to be replaced by James J. Morgan. Morgan was previously executive vice president of Philip Morris USA, handling the company's US$4.3 billion cigarette operations. Until Morgan's arrival, Emanuel Gerard would serve as interim chairman and CEO. July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended. August: Atari Chairman-to-be James Morgan instituted another major management reorganization at Atari. Atari Sales and Distribution Company and Atari Manufacturing Company were both dissolved, their functions to be merged into the Atari Products Company division (home computers and home video game systems), with 5 divisions of its own: - Atari Products Company (no division head) - - Management (marketing) (John Cavalier, president) - - Sales (Donald Kingsborough, president) - - Manufacturing (Paul Malloy, president) - - Engineering (John Farrand, president) - - International (Anton Bruehl, president) The presidents of all Atari Products Co. divisions would report directly to Morgan. Sept83-June84: The "Catch On to Computers" program, a joint effort between Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, offered Atari computers, equipment, and educational software to schools for collecting Post cereal proof-of-purchase points over the 1983-1984 school year. September: Ted Kahn stepped down as executive director of the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research. More than US$1 million worth of computers, software, and cash stipends had been awarded to over 100 nonprofit organizations since the program's founding in 1981. September: The Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) would now retail for US$165 while supplies lasted. Fall: Atari begin shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 3 (replacing DOS 2.0S). Fall: The Atari 600XL/800XL both shipped, retail price US$199/$299. Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II package, containing the 835 modem. October 7: John Cavalier departed from his position as president of the Management (marketing) division of the Atari Products Company. October: Atari launched Atari Learning Systems, a new division dedicated to product development, sales, and support for K-12 educators in the U.S. Directed by Linda Gordon. October: Atari France launched the "L'Atarien" magazine, issue 0 (pilot ?), the "magazine of the Atari Club". In its first issues, the magazine was mostly centered on the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers, but the focus quickly shifted to the XL computers in the next issues. Officially the magazine was issued by "Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #0, Page 3). "PECF" was the nickname of the company "Productions et Editions Cinematographiques Francaises", a company 100% owned by Warner Communications. October-December: "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy training programs for children, adults, and teachers, sponsored by Atari and General Mills' Post Cereals, ran in 10 cities across the U.S. November: Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong, it would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL/ 800XL. Atari also said that the 1400XL and 1450XLD would not ship until 1984. November: Atari opened the Atari Adventure center in St. Louis, MO. The concept combined a traditional video game arcade with a hands-on public computer classroom/lab featuring Atari XL computers, along with a new technology display area. "Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year" - Time magazine, July 16, 1984 1984 January 1: Atari increased U.S. dealer prices for the Atari 600XL and 800XL by US$40 each, to US$180 and US$280, respectively. January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced: the 1064 Memory Module (for the 600XL), The Atari Translator, Typo Attack, Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt, Millipede, Sky Writer, SynFile+, SynCalc, SynTrend, The Legacy (shipped as Final Legacy), Player Maker, Screen Maker. (Atari confirmed that the unshipped 1400XL computer was canceled. Atari CEO James Morgan said the unshipped Atari 1450XLD was "exhibited only as a demonstration of the company's intent to market a high-end computer in 1984, although the specifics of such a product are currently under review." --Creative Computing May 1984. Software introduced by Atari but never shipped: Atari Pascal 2.0, Atari Super PILOT, Captain Hook's Revenge, Berserk, Pop'R Spell, Mario Bros. (a completely rewritten Mario Bros. was ultimately released in 1989)) January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. January 23: Atari chairman and CEO James Morgan announced another management reorganization at Atari. John Farrand was promoted to president of Atari, and would also now serve as president and COO of the Atari Products Company (home computers, home video games, and now coin-operated arcade games). February: Atari 5200 production ended. March: Fred Thorlin, director of APX since 1982, left Atari. Spring: Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Atari Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari UK). April: Atari shut down the APX operation. Software rights were returned to the original authors. May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari and Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, developed by Lucasfilm, to be shipped by Atari on cartridge for the 400/800 computers and the 5200 SuperSystem. (The Atari computer versions were finally shipped on disk by Epyx (USA) and Activision (UK) in 1985. The 5200 versions were finally released by Atari Corp. in 1986.) May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production. More than 1 million 5200's had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3) June 3: Atari motto at the Summer CES in Chicago: "June 3, 1984--The Day The Future Began." (The previously announced then cancelled 1450XLD, or some new model similar to it, was now to ship in time for Christmas 1984. The 1090 XL Expansion System was shown again, and Atari also offered specs for a new high- end computer under development. None of these shipped.) Atari introduced: Proofreader (for AtariWriter), Track and Field, Crystal Castles. Atari also introduced The Last Starfighter, which was ultimately re-worked and shipped as Star Raiders II in 1986. (Also introduced by Atari but never shipped: MindLink hardware device, Jr. Pac-Man, Peek-A-Boo, Hobgoblin, This Is Ground Control, Through the Starbridge, Find It!, Elevator Action, Yaacov Agam's Interactive Painting, The ABC of CPR: First Aid, Wheeler-Dealer, Simulated Computer, Telly Turtle, Word Tutor, Letter Tutor, Gremlins, Pole Position II) June: Atari France announced the SECAM model of the 800XL. (The SECAM 600XL was also announced, but this never made it into production.) List prices: 600XL PAL: 2200 FRF ; 600XL SECAM: 2500 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 3200 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 3500 FRF ; 1010: 890 FRF ; 1050: 3690 FRF ; 1020: 2590 FRF; 1027: 3490 FRF ; Atari Touch Tablet: 890 FRF July 1: Agreed on this date, effective June 30, the assets of the Atari home computer and home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to Tramel Technology Ltd., which had been formed on May 17, 1984 by its chairman and CEO Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL), the founder and former president of Commodore International. The transaction included exclusive use of the "Atari" name and "Fuji" logo in the home computer and home video game markets, along with the intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) owned by Atari in conjunction with its home computer and home video game businesses. The home computer and home video game rights to Atari coin-operated arcade games developed to date were included as well. Tramel Technology adopted the new name, Atari Corporation. Jack Tramiel would continue as chairman and CEO, and (son) Sam Tramiel would serve as president. Summer: The new Atari Corp. halted all manufacturing, and dismissed most of its inherited Silicon Valley workforce, roughly 1,000 people. Upon a review of the existing product lines and inventories, it was determined to resume production of the 800XL computer and the 2600 VCS. The 600XL was discontinued, and further work on prototype new XL computer models was halted. There would be no new game releases for the already- discontinued 5200. (Atari would go on to release three 5200 titles in 1986). An unannounced new cost-reduced design for the 2600 was also shelved. (This "2600jr" would finally be released in 1986.) Atari Connection magazine was shut down. July 13: Warner Communications announced the sale of 78% of its WCI Labs subsidiary (internal co-developer of the Atari XL computers) to WCI Labs' management. As a result of the transaction, which was made effective retroactive to June 1, 1984, a new privately held company, the Take One Company, was formed, with Steven T. Mayer as chairman and chief executive. Warner Communications initially retained 22% ownership of Take One. August: Atari engineers completed the prototype "800XLF" motherboard design, to be used in new-production 800XL computers. The new 800XL machines would include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced by Atari, Inc.). The new 800XL machines would be produced in PAL and (for the first time, France-specific) SECAM versions, but not the NTSC version due to ample existing supply of NTSC 800XL machines. August: Atari reduced the retail price for the 800XL from US$250 to US$179. November 13: Atari held a press conference at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA in which they outlined their basic marketing strategy for 1985. The U.S. price for the 800XL was reduced from US$179 to US$119. December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy. Atari estimated the company's share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983. In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds. December: Atari France announced the new prices of the XL computers range: 600XL PAL: 1599 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 2199 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 2499 FRF; 1010: 449 FRF ; 1050: 2699 FRF ; 1020: 899 FRF ; 1027: 3399 FRF; Atari Touch Tablet: 649 FRF December: Atari France resumed L'Atarien magazine with issue #5. (It had been on hold since issue #4, June 1984.) December: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design, to be used in the forthcoming 65XE computer. "The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33. "By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985 1985 January 5: Atari introduced the 65XE and 130XE home computers at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (The 65XEP and 65XEM computers were announced, but these never made it into production.) The 800XL would be discontinued. XE peripherals introduced: the XMM801 and XDM121 printers and the XM301 modem. XE Software introduced: AtariWriter Plus, Silent Butler, Song Painter (later renamed Music Painter), The Learning Phone (PLATO). (Also introduced but never shipped: the XTM201 and XTC201 printers, the XC1411 and XM128 monitors, and the XF521 disk drive. XE Software: Infinity (integrated word processor/ spreadsheet/database/telecomm software, developed for Atari by Matrix Software / Vincent Garafolo), Shopkeeper, Atari Tutorial. Epyx introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus for the Atari 8-bit computers, both announced but not shipped by the old Atari, Inc. Winter: Atari shipped the The Learning Phone cartridge, designed at Atari by Vincent Wu. Atari access software for the PLATO Service Network (Control Data Corporation) had been in development at Atari since 1981. February: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine, the glossy published by Atari (U.S.) Corp. in support of the XE and ST computers. Headed by Neil Harris. February: The new "L'Atarien" magazine was now issued by "Pressimages" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #6, Page 3). February: Retail prices from Atari France: 800XL SECAM: 1700 FRF ; 1050: 2600 FRF ; 1027: 2600 FRF March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club Atari announced that they had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of interest." Also, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY sound chip." (The AMY chip had been developed at Atari, Inc. Atari Corp. now owned the technology, but had not retained the original design team. Thus, the new plan to integrate AMY into the XE system, as the announced 65XEM computer, turned out to be prohibitively expensive. Atari ultimately sold the AMY chip and technologies to a Milwaukee based audio design house called Sight & Sound. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html ) John Skruch was introduced as software product manager for the 8-bit XE line. (CN, Apr85, p. 19) April: Atari shipped the 130XE, retail price US$149.95. (The 65XE was held out of production due to ample supply of the 800XL.) April: Atari France announced the availability of the Atari 1029 printer. The price was not announced. April/May: Atari began shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 2.5 (replacing DOS 3). June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Planetarium (prototypes sometimes called Home Astronomer). (Atari also introduced VIP Professional and GEM Desktop for the XE, but these never shipped.) DataSoft re-introduced 3 titles for the XE previously shipped by Atari: Pole Position, Pac-Man, and Dig Dug. June: Atari France retail price for the 130XE SECAM: 1990 FRF Fall: Atari shipped the disk-based AtariWriter Plus. Designed and programmed from scratch by William Robinson (the core word processor), Ron Rosen (Mail Merge module), and R. Stanley Kistler (Proofreader module) for Micro Fantasy, for Atari. Manual by Jeffrey D. Bass. Package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. Fall: Atari shipped the XM301 modem. November 15: Atari announced the creation of an electronic entertainment division, to be headed by Michael V. Katz, formerly head of Epyx. November: At the fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari again showed the XMM801, The Silent Butler, and Atari Planetarium, each to ship by Christmas. 1986 January 9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Star Raiders II for the XE, and also announced (but did not show) the XC11 program recorder. A redesigned version of the 2600 (unofficially, "2600 Jr."; previously designed by Atari, Inc.) was introduced. February: Cover date of Issue #10, the final issue of L'Atarien magazine from Atari France. February: Atari France retail prices: 130XE SECAM: 1490 FRF ; 1010: 490 FRF ; 1050: 1490 FRF ; 1029: 1490 FRF March: Database Exhibitions staged the first Atari User Show at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London, UK. (Atari User May 1988) March: At the Hanover Fair, Germany, Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the XEP80 interface, and they also described a new DOS, which was later named ADOS, and which ultimately shipped as DOS XE. (Atari also introduced plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) Spring: Atari shipped the 65XE, retail price US$99.95. April 28-May 1: Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the SX212 modem at the Spring COMDEX (Computer Dealer's Exhibition) in Atlanta. Atari also announced that the 80 Column Card would be out "late this summer." (Atari also reiterated plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer magazine. June 1-4: Atari introduced the XEP80 interface at the Summer CES in Chicago. Summer: Bob Gleadow, previously of Commodore, became the new general manager of Atari UK. Max Bambridge, the outgoing head of Atari UK, was transferred to the Far East to oversee Atari manufacturing. (Atari User May 1988) Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by the new subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David H. Ahl, founder and former editor of Creative Computing magazine. 1987 January 8: Atari previewed the XE game system at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. February: Atari introduced the XE video game system at the American International TOY FAIR in New York. June: "Flying High" was Atari's motto at the Summer CES in Chicago. Atari introduced the XF551 and ADOS (renamed DOS XE when shipped), AtariWriter 80, and SX Express!. Atari introduced the two pack-in games for the XE game system, Bug Hunt (proto names had been Troubleshooter or Blast 'Em) and Flight Simulator II. Atari announced that they would be re-releasing many of their own 400/800/XL/XE cartridge titles for the XE, including Battlezone, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and the former disk title, Star Raiders II. Atari also announced many new Atari XE cartridge titles, including Crossbow, Hardball!, Fight Night, One-On-One Basketball, Archon, Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus, Lode Runner, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Gato, and Barnyard Blaster. Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer. September: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface and the SX212 modem (SX Express! disk software to be sold separately). Fall: Atari shipped the XE game system in late September, and it reached most dealer shelves by mid-October, retail price US$150. Package included: Missile Command and Atari BASIC on ROM, keyboard, Joystick, Light Gun, Bug Hunt cartridge and Flight Simulator II cartridge. December: Atari sold 100,000 XE Game Systems in the U.S. at Christmas and did not meet demand (Antic magazine, May 1988, p. 39) December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "In Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, and Poland the Atari 800XE and 65XE computers have gained brand dominance and are among the most popular systems being sold in these countries." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1987: Caverns of Mars, Centipede, Donkey Kong Jr., Eastern Front (1941), Final Legacy, Football, Galaxian, Joust, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Pole Position, Super Breakout, Tennis 1988 Winter: Atari shipped 12 new XE game cartridges: Archon, Ballblazer, Barnyard Blaster, BattleZone, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Fight Night, HardBall, Lode Runner, One-On-One Basketball, Rescue on Fractalus, Star Raiders II April: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5). May: Sam Tramiel became CEO of Atari (replacing father Jack Tramiel). Sam Tramiel would also continue as president. Jack Tramiel remained chairman. June: Atari promoted the XE game system at the Summer CES in Chicago, under their "Winning Package" theme. Summer: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Gato. Fall: Atari opened an office of the Entertainment Electronics Division in Chicago, headed by Larry Siegel, vice president of software development. Mike Katz, based in Sunnyvale, remained president of the Entertainment Electronics Division. Fall?: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Necromancer. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1988: Donkey Kong, Super Breakout. Atari also re-released the AtariWriter cartridge in 1988. 1989 January: Atari shipped DOS XE, and also began shipping the XF551 disk drive with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5). Developed by Bill Wilkinson for Atari. Winter: Atari shipped 3 new XE game cartridges: Ace of Aces, Desert Falcon, Mario Bros. February: Mike Katz departed from Atari as president of the Entertainment Electronics division. Spring: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridges: Food Fight, Karateka, Crystal Castles, Dark Chambers, Crossbow, Thunderfox, Choplifter, Into the Eagle's Nest, Crime Buster, Airball, Summer Games May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari Explorer Publications, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor. Summer: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface. Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in 1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System." 1990 March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus. May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000 XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6) 1991 Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and published in-house at Atari. May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20) May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10) November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.) brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer products for clearance sales. December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEGS, 2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22. December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and 128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150, respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers." 1992 Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4) June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19) December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual Report to Shareholders. 1993 Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine. 1994 January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories. The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future." 1996 July 30: Atari Corp. merged with JT Storage, Inc. into a new company, JTS Acquisition Corp. The merged company immediately adopted the new name, JTS Corp. The prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant portion of JTS business," JTS said. 1998 February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division, consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive (itself a unit of toy company Hasbro, Inc.), for US$5 million. HIAC XI was then renamed Atari Interactive, Inc. 2001 January 29: Infogrames Entertainment announced completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive was included in the transaction. 2003 May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary. 2009 May 29: The name of Infogrames Entertainment was changed to Atari. TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the 400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Atari, SA of Lyon, France. http://corporate.atari.com/ =================================================================== End of atari-8-bit/faq =================================================================== rinter, 830 modem, and 850 interface at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages increased to US$630 and US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000). Software titles introduced: Assembler Editor, Video Easel, Music Composer, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders, TeleLink 1 Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive (with DOS I) and the 820 printer (US$449.95). March: Atari shipped Star Raiders. June 15: Atari introduced the 822 printer at the Summer CES in Chicago. (The 815 dual disk drive with CX8201 DOS 2.0D Atari 815 Master Diskette and the CX70 light pen were also introduced, but these never made it to mass production.) Also introduced: the Atari Accountant series of software programs (developed by Arthur Young & Co. for Atari): General Accounting System, Accounts Receivable System, Inventory Control Program. Summer: Atari modified the 800 computer package. The computer would now ship with 16K RAM (up from 8K); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the Atari BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package. The retail price remained US$1,080. Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the 825 printer (US$999.95), 830 modem, and 850 interface (US$219.95). Fall?: The Atari 800 arrived in the UK: 649 pounds for the 800 with 16K RAM, 39 pounds for Atari BASIC, 69 pounds for a 16K RAM module for the 800. (Atari User May 1988) October 21: Roger H. Badertscher was named president of the newly established Computer Division at Atari. He was previously vice president and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer. October: Visicorp introduced the Atari version of VisiCalc. By the end of 1980, Atari had sold 35,000 computers. 1981 January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the list price for the 400 computer package with 8K RAM installed was reduced to US$499.95 (previously: US$630), and that the list price for the 16K RAM version of the 400 package would be US$630. Also introduced: Asteroids, Astrology (ultimately released via APX), Atari Word Processor, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Missile Command, Personal Financial Management System, Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), PILOT, SCRAM (A Nuclear Reactor Simulation)(by Chris Crawford) Winter: Atari shipped the 822 printer, and released DOS II version 2.0S. Winter: The development rights to Atari BASIC, the Atari FMS (DOS) and the Atari Assembler/Editor program were purchased from SMI by Bill Wilkinson for his new company, Optimized Systems Software (OSS). Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by the Atari Computer Division in support of the 400/800. April 3-5: Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) staff attended the 6th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, offering a grand prize of US$25,000 in cash and US$75,000 in Atari products to runners-up for Atari computer software authors. In order to qualify for the awards, programs would have to be accepted and sold through the soon-to-be-launched Atari Program Exchange. May 4-7: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that the 8K Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16K version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the 400 would no longer be sold with the Atari BASIC cartridge and the Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide book. Other price reductions: CX852 8K RAM module now US$49.95 (was US$124.95), CX853 16K RAM module now US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now US$299.95 (was US$449.95). Also introduced: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator, Atari Microsoft BASIC, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor May: Atari launched the Atari Program Exchange (APX), a user-written software distribution unit within the Atari Computer Division. The APX concept had been the brain-child of Dale Yocam, and APX was guided by Fred Thorlin since its inception in February 1981. See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/ Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in the program's first year. August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification, Revision 1" reflecting Operating System work for the SWEET16 project to create a new series of computers to replace the 400/800. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html September: Ingersoll Electronics was the exclusive sales distributor for Atari 400 and 800 computers in the UK. October: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with the Data Separator Board. The enhancement "improves the drive's ability to distinguish between data pulses and clock pulses on the disk. This is necessary in part because of the variations in the characteristics of different diskettes. The data separator lowers the chance of a misread from the disk." (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 would now all ship with the GTIA chip rather than CTIA as in earlier machines, increasing the palette of simultaneously displayable colors to 256 and adding 3 new graphics modes. (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 began shipping with OS ROM version B, improving peripheral I/O control routines. (Antic Oct.82) November: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with ROM C and with DOS II version 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS I). "ROM C causes diskettes to be formatted with an improved sector layout which is more efficient than that used by earlier 810 control ROM's." (Antic Oct.82) December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home computer (with 16K RAM) to US$899 from US$1,080. December: The book, De Re Atari was published by Atari, distributed by APX. De Re Atari was written by the Atari Software Development Support Group. Chris Crawford wrote Sections 1-6 and Appendices A & B. Lane Winner wrote Section 10 and Appendix D with assistance from Jim Cox. Amy Chen wrote Appendix C. Jim Dunion wrote Sections 8-9. Kathleen Pitta wrote Appendex E. Box Fraser wrote Section 7. Gus Makreas prepared the Glossary. 1982 January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Pac-Man ($44.95), Centipede ($44.95), The Bookkeeper, and The Home Filing Manager. Space Invaders, previously released on cassette, was now re-released on cartridge. The APX title, Caverns of Mars would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's standard product line ($39.95 disk). Previewed at the show: the Atari Video System X (would ship as the 5200). January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors. January 16: At San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, Atari awarded the first annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection magazine. Spring?: Atari began producing 810 disk drives using the revised "Analog" (later, "810M") design, including new Analog Board, new Power Supply board, and new 10 pin flat cable connecting the two. The 3 components were also offered together as the CB101128 "Grass Valley Analog Board Set" for "Pre-Analog" 810 drives. June 8: Atari announced the 5200 Home Entertainment System. Later dubbed the SuperSystem, the cartridge-based 5200 would be marketed alongside the ultra- popular Atari VCS (soon to be known as the 2600). While the 5200 required unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware and operating system were nearly identical to that of the 400/800 computers. Suggested retail price: US$299.95. June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari announced Atari Speed Reading (US$74.95), Music Tutor (title never shipped. MC's speculation: this would have been an Atari-branded re-release of the APX title, Musical Computer-The Music Tutor), Juggles' House, Juggles' Rainbow, TeleLink II (US$79.95), and the Communicator II kit (new 835 modem + Telelink II) (US$279.95). The APX title, My First Alphabet would be re-released as part of Atari's standard product line. Atari also announced the new retail price for the 400 computer was US$349 (previously, US$399). (CC Oct82 p180) Keith Schaefer was vice- president of sales for Atari's Home Computer division. June: Roger Badertscher resigned from his position as president of Atari's Home Computer Division. Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 3 locations: The University of San Diego (CA), The Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and East Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was cancelled at the fourth announced site of Lakeland College in Sheboygan WI.) The camps were managed for Atari by Specialty Camps, Inc. Curriculum developed by Robert A. Kahn at Atari. Program overseen by Linda Gordon, Atari vice president for special projects. August 24: John C. Cavalier was named president of Atari's Home Computer Division. His most recent job was vice president and general manager of American Can Company's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper products. September: Steve Mayer resigned as senior vice president of engineering at Atari to form, and serve as chairman and CEO of, WCI Labs, Inc. The location was previously known as the Atari NY Lab. Like Atari, WCI Labs would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Communications. With Gregg Squires as project manager, WCI Labs would be responsible for the hardware engineering for the Sweet-16 ("Elizabeth" or "Liz") computer project, which would lead to the release of the 1200XL. September 29: Date of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16 Product Specification". As of this document, the Sweet-16 project had evolved into two specific computer model designs, a 16K RAM version tentatively named "1200" and a 64K RAM version tentatively named "1200X" (earlier: a 16K "600" and a 64K "1200"), with both models now sharing the same case design. However, also as of this document, plans called for manufacture of only the 64K version. The project would soon lead to the release of the 1200XL. http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem. Fall: The suggested retail price for the Atari 800 was US$679 with 48K RAM standard (previously: US$899/16K). The Atari 400 retail price was US$299 (previously, $349). November: Atari began producing new 810 disk drives with the "center flip door" drive mechanism by Tandon, instead of the "push button, sliding door" mechanism by MPI used in the original design. (Antic May 83) Technical documentation would refer to the new design as the "810T". December: Atari shipped Galaxian, Defender, and VisiCalc (by VisiCorp) in time for the holiday shopping season. December 13: Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. "We believe that the Atari 1200XL will set the standard for a new generation in home computing and, once again, positions Atari on the leading edge of electronic technology and creative computing," Atari chairman Ray Kassar said. The list price for the 1200XL would be "well under $1,000." The 1200XL was the first computer resulting from the Sweet-16/"Elizabeth"/"Liz" project inside Atari. Peripherals introduced: the 1010 program recorder (US$99), 1020 printer/plotter (US$299), and 1025 printer (US$549). Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17 percent of all home computer sales. 1983 January: The retail price for the Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) was reduced from US$679 to US$499. The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$299 to US$199. Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Atari Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (operated by Atari in the UK). January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari showed the 1200XL, 1010, 1020, and 1025, introduced Qix, E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Family Finances, Timewise, and AtariWriter, and also announced the upcoming Disney Educational Series. Caverns of Mars would be re-released on cartrdige (previously: disk), and the APX title, Eastern Front (1941) (by Chris Crawford) would be be re-released in the main Atari product line, on cartridge. The CX22 Trak-Ball was introduced, marketed for the 2600 but compatible with the computers. The retail price for the 1200XL was announced to be US$899. January 15: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the second annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. January: Atari began production of the 1200XL (made in the USA). Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge. AtariWriter was programmed by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for DataSoft, for product manager Gary Furr at Atari. Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live host to explore the role of computers in society. (MC's note: I remember that this came to my school!) March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari announced the 1050 disk drive, and introduced Atari Logo (developed by Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) for Atari). April: Atari announced that Michael Moone would no longer serve as president of the Consumer Electronics Division, as the division would be consolidated with the Home Computer Division. April/May: Production of the 1200XL shifted from the USA to Taiwan. May: Production of Atari 400/800 computers and 810 disk drives ended. May: The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$199 to US$99. June 1: Atari consolidated the businesses of the Home Computer Division with the Consumer Electronics (home video games) Division. There would now be three Divisions for both home computers and home video games: - Atari Products Company (development & marketing, John Cavalier, president) - Atari Sales and Distribution Company (Donald Kingsborough, president) - Atari Manufacturing Company (Paul Malloy, president) June: Atari introduced the 600XL and 800XL home computers at the Summer CES in Chicago. The 400/800/1200XL would be discontinued. (The 1400XL and 1450XLD computers were also introduced, but these never made it into production.) Peripherals introduced: the 1027 printer, 1030 modem, Light Pen + AtariGraphics, Touch Tablet + AtariArtist, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks, CX80 Trak-Ball, AtariLab Starter Set With Temperature Module, AtariLab Light Module (AtariLab developed by Dickinson College). Software introduced by Atari: DOS 3, Microsoft BASIC II, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Football, Tennis, Paint, AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II, Mickey in the Great Outdoors, Battlezone. (Also shown but never shipped: the 1060 CP/M Add-On Module, the 1090 XL Expansion System, Tempest, Soccer, Peter Pan's Daring Journey, The Mysteries of Wonderland, and the AtariLab Modules: Timekeeper, Lie Detector, Reaction time, Heartbeat, Biofeedback, Mechanics) The 600XL had been known as "Surely" and the 800XL had been known as "Surely Plus" inside Atari. June 11-Sept 10: Atari co-sponsored the Punta Cana Club Med/Atari Computer vacation getaway on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. Summer: Second year of Atari Computer Camps, held at seven sites nationwide (U.S.): Greenfield MA, Faribault MN, East Stroudsburg PA, Asheville NC, Glencoe MD, Danville CA, and San Diego CA. Summer: Atari released the Atari 400 Home Computer 48K RAM Expansion Kit, compatible with both the 8K and 16K versions of the 400. July 7: Warner Communications announced that Atari chairman Ray Kassar had resigned, to be replaced by James J. Morgan. Morgan was previously executive vice president of Philip Morris USA, handling the company's US$4.3 billion cigarette operations. Until Morgan's arrival, Emanuel Gerard would serve as interim chairman and CEO. July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended. August: Atari Chairman-to-be James Morgan instituted another major management reorganization at Atari. Atari Sales and Distribution Company and Atari Manufacturing Company were both dissolved, their functions to be merged into the Atari Products Company division (home computers and home video game systems), with 5 divisions of its own: - Atari Products Company (no division head) - - Management (marketing) (John Cavalier, president) - - Sales (Donald Kingsborough, president) - - Manufacturing (Paul Malloy, president) - - Engineering (John Farrand, president) - - International (Anton Bruehl, president) The presidents of all Atari Products Co. divisions would report directly to Morgan. Sept83-June84: The "Catch On to Computers" program, a joint effort between Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, offered Atari computers, equipment, and educational software to schools for collecting Post cereal proof-of-purchase points over the 1983-1984 school year. September: Ted Kahn stepped down as executive director of the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research. More than US$1 million worth of computers, software, and cash stipends had been awarded to over 100 nonprofit organizations since the program's founding in 1981. September: The Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) would now retail for US$165 while supplies lasted. Fall: Atari begin shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 3 (replacing DOS 2.0S). Fall: The Atari 600XL/800XL both shipped, retail price US$199/$299. Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II package, containing the 835 modem. October 7: John Cavalier departed from his position as president of the Management (marketing) division of the Atari Products Company. October: Atari launched Atari Learning Systems, a new division dedicated to product development, sales, and support for K-12 educators in the U.S. Directed by Linda Gordon. October: Atari France launched the "L'Atarien" magazine, issue 0 (pilot ?), the "magazine of the Atari Club". In its first issues, the magazine was mostly centered on the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers, but the focus quickly shifted to the XL computers in the next issues. Officially the magazine was issued by "Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #0, Page 3). "PECF" was the nickname of the company "Productions et Editions Cinematographiques Francaises", a company 100% owned by Warner Communications. October-December: "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy training programs for children, adults, and teachers, sponsored by Atari and General Mills' Post Cereals, ran in 10 cities across the U.S. November: Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong, it would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL/ 800XL. Atari also said that the 1400XL and 1450XLD would not ship until 1984. November: Atari opened the Atari Adventure center in St. Louis, MO. The concept combined a traditional video game arcade with a hands-on public computer classroom/lab featuring Atari XL computers, along with a new technology display area. "Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year" - Time magazine, July 16, 1984 1984 January 1: Atari increased U.S. dealer prices for the Atari 600XL and 800XL by US$40 each, to US$180 and US$280, respectively. January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced: the 1064 Memory Module (for the 600XL), The Atari Translator, Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt, Millipede, Sky Writer, SynFile+, SynCalc, SynTrend, The Legacy (shipped as Final Legacy), Player Maker, Screen Maker. The APX title, Typo Attack would be re-released on cartridge as part of Atari's standard product line. (Atari confirmed that the unshipped 1400XL computer was canceled. Atari CEO James Morgan said the unshipped Atari 1450XLD was "exhibited only as a demonstration of the company's intent to market a high-end computer in 1984, although the specifics of such a product are currently under review." --Creative Computing May 1984.) (Software introduced by Atari but never shipped: Atari Pascal 2.0, Atari Super PILOT, Captain Hook's Revenge, Berserk, Pop'R Spell, Mario Bros. (a completely rewritten Mario Bros. was ultimately released in 1989)) January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. January 23: Atari chairman and CEO James Morgan announced another management reorganization at Atari. John Farrand was promoted to president of Atari, and would also now serve as president and COO of the Atari Products Company (home computers, home video games, and now coin-operated arcade games). February: Atari 5200 production ended. March: Fred Thorlin, director of APX since its 1982 inception, left Atari. March 22-25: At the 9th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari's exhibit included the APX title, Equestrian. (ROM #6) Spring: Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Atari Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari UK). April: Atari shut down the APX operation. Software rights were returned to the original authors. May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari and Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, developed by Lucasfilm, to be shipped by Atari on cartridge for the 400/800 computers and the 5200 SuperSystem. (The Atari computer versions were finally shipped on disk by Epyx (USA) and Activision (UK) in 1985. The 5200 versions were finally released by Atari Corp. in 1986.) May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production. More than 1 million 5200's had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3) June 3-6: Atari motto at the Summer CES in Chicago: "June 3, 1984--The Day The Future Began." (The previously announced then cancelled 1450XLD, or some new model similar to it, was now to ship in time for Christmas 1984. The 1090 XL Expansion System was shown again, and Atari also offered specs for a new high- end computer under development. None of these shipped.) Atari introduced: Proofreader (for AtariWriter), Track and Field, Crystal Castles. Atari also introduced The Last Starfighter, which was ultimately re-worked and shipped as Star Raiders II in 1986. (Also introduced by Atari but never shipped: MindLink hardware device, Jr. Pac-Man, Peek-A-Boo, Hobgoblin, This Is Ground Control, Through the Starbridge, Find It!, Elevator Action, Yaacov Agam's Interactive Painting, The ABC of CPR: First Aid, Wheeler-Dealer, Simulated Computer, Telly Turtle, Word Tutor, Letter Tutor, Gremlins, Pole Position II) June: Atari France announced the SECAM model of the 800XL. (The SECAM 600XL was also announced, but this never made it into production.) List prices: 600XL PAL: 2200 FRF ; 600XL SECAM: 2500 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 3200 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 3500 FRF ; 1010: 890 FRF ; 1050: 3690 FRF ; 1020: 2590 FRF; 1027: 3490 FRF ; Atari Touch Tablet: 890 FRF July 1-August 25: Third and final year of Atari Computer Camps. Camps were held at two locations: "Camp Atari-Poconos" (East Stroudsburg State College) in East Stroudsburg PA, and "Camp Atari-New England" (Stoneleigh-Burnham School) in Greenfield MA. Patricia Tubbs was Project Manager at Atari. July 1: Agreed on this date, effective June 30, the assets of the Atari home computer and home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to Tramel Technology Ltd., which had been formed on May 17, 1984 by its chairman and CEO Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL), the founder and former president of Commodore International. The transaction included exclusive use of the "Atari" name and "Fuji" logo in the home computer and home video game markets, along with the intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) owned by Atari in conjunction with its home computer and home video game businesses. The home computer and home video game rights to Atari coin-operated arcade games developed to date were included as well. Tramel Technology adopted the new name, Atari Corporation. Jack Tramiel would continue as chairman and CEO, and (son) Sam Tramiel would serve as president. July: The new Atari Corp. halted all manufacturing, and dismissed most of its inherited Silicon Valley workforce, roughly 1,000 people. Upon a review of the existing product lines and inventories, it was determined to resume production of the 800XL computer and the 2600 VCS. The 600XL was discontinued, and further work on prototype new XL computer models was halted. There would be no new game releases for the already- discontinued 5200. (Atari would go on to release three 5200 titles in 1986). An unannounced new cost-reduced design for the 2600 was also shelved. (This "2600jr" would finally be released in 1986.) Atari Connection magazine was shut down. July 13: Warner Communications announced the sale of 78% of its WCI Labs subsidiary (internal co-developer of the Atari XL computers) to WCI Labs' management. As a result of the transaction, which was made effective retroactive to June 1, 1984, a new privately held company, the Take One Company, was formed, with Steven T. Mayer as chairman and chief executive. Warner Communications initially retained 22% ownership of Take One. August: Atari engineers completed the prototype "800XLF" motherboard design, to be used in new-production 800XL computers. The new 800XL machines would include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced by Atari, Inc.). The new 800XL machines would be produced in PAL and (for the first time, France-specific) SECAM versions, but not the NTSC version due to ample existing supply of NTSC 800XL machines. August: Atari reduced the retail price for the 800XL from US$250 to US$179. November 13: Atari held a press conference at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA in which they outlined their basic marketing strategy for 1985. The U.S. price for the 800XL was reduced from US$179 to US$119. December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy. Atari estimated the company's share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983. In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds. December: Atari France announced the new prices of the XL computers range: 600XL PAL: 1599 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 2199 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 2499 FRF; 1010: 449 FRF ; 1050: 2699 FRF ; 1020: 899 FRF ; 1027: 3399 FRF; Atari Touch Tablet: 649 FRF December: Atari France resumed L'Atarien magazine with issue #5. (It had been on hold since issue #4, June 1984.) December: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design, to be used in the forthcoming 65XE computer. "The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33. "By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985 1985 January 5-8: Atari introduced the 65XE and 130XE home computers at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (The 65XEP and 65XEM computers were announced, but these never made it into production.) The 800XL would be discontinued. XE peripherals introduced: the XMM801 and XDM121 printers and the XM301 modem. XE Software introduced: AtariWriter Plus, Silent Butler, Song Painter (later renamed Music Painter), The Learning Phone (PLATO). (Also introduced but never shipped: the XTM201 and XTC201 printers, the XC1411 and XM128 monitors, and the XF521 disk drive. XE Software: Infinity (integrated word processor/ spreadsheet/database/telecomm software, developed for Atari by Matrix Software / Vincent Garafolo), Shopkeeper, Atari Tutorial). Epyx introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus for the Atari 8-bit computers, both announced but not shipped by the old Atari, Inc. Winter: Atari shipped the The Learning Phone cartridge, designed at Atari by Vincent Wu. Atari access software for the PLATO Service Network (Control Data Corporation) had been in development at Atari since 1981. February: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine, the glossy published by Atari (U.S.) Corp. in support of the XE and ST computers. Headed by Neil Harris. February: The new "L'Atarien" magazine was now issued by "Pressimages" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #6, Page 3). February: Retail prices from Atari France: 800XL SECAM: 1700 FRF ; 1050: 2600 FRF ; 1027: 2600 FRF March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club Atari announced that they had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of interest." Also, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY sound chip." (The AMY chip had been developed at Atari, Inc. Atari Corp. now owned the technology, but had not retained the original design team. Thus, the new plan to integrate AMY into the XE system, as the announced 65XEM computer, turned out to be prohibitively expensive. Atari ultimately sold the AMY chip and technologies to a Milwaukee based audio design house called Sight & Sound. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html ) John Skruch was introduced as software product manager for the 8-bit XE line. (CN, Apr85, p. 19) April: Atari shipped the 130XE, retail price US$149.95. (The 65XE was held out of the U.S. market due to ample supply of the 800XL.) April: Atari France announced the availability of the Atari 1029 printer. The price was not announced. April/May: Atari began shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 2.5 (replacing DOS 3). June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Planetarium (prototypes sometimes called Home Astronomer). (Atari also introduced VIP Professional and GEM Desktop for the XE, but these never shipped.) DataSoft re-introduced 3 titles for the XE previously shipped by Atari: Pole Position, Pac-Man, and Dig Dug. June: Atari France retail price for the 130XE SECAM: 1990 FRF Fall: Atari shipped the disk-based AtariWriter Plus. Designed and programmed from scratch by William Robinson (the core word processor), Ron Rosen (Mail Merge module), and R. Stanley Kistler (Proofreader module) for Micro Fantasy, for Atari. Manual by Jeffrey D. Bass. Package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. Fall: Atari shipped the XM301 modem. November 15: Atari announced the creation of an electronic entertainment division, to be headed by Michael V. Katz, formerly head of Epyx. November: At the fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari again showed the XMM801, The Silent Butler, and Atari Planetarium, each to ship by Christmas. 1986 January 9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Star Raiders II for the XE, and also announced (but did not show) the XC11 program recorder. A redesigned version of the 2600 (unofficially, "2600 Jr."; previously designed by Atari, Inc.) was introduced. February: Cover date of Issue #10, the final issue of L'Atarien magazine from Atari France. February: Atari France retail prices: 130XE SECAM: 1490 FRF ; 1010: 490 FRF ; 1050: 1490 FRF ; 1029: 1490 FRF March: Database Exhibitions staged the first Atari User Show at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London, UK. (Atari User May 1988) March: At the Hanover Fair, Germany, Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the XEP80 interface, and they also described a new DOS, which was later named ADOS, and which ultimately shipped as DOS XE. (Atari also introduced plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) Spring: Atari shipped the 65XE, retail price US$99.95. April 28-May 1: Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the SX212 modem at the Spring COMDEX (Computer Dealer's Exhibition) in Atlanta. Atari also announced that the 80 Column Card would be out "late this summer." (Atari also reiterated plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer magazine. June 1-4: Atari introduced the XEP80 interface at the Summer CES in Chicago. Summer: Bob Gleadow, previously of Commodore, became the new general manager of Atari UK. Max Bambridge, the outgoing head of Atari UK, was transferred to the Far East to oversee Atari manufacturing. (Atari User May 1988) Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by the new subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David H. Ahl, founder and former editor of Creative Computing magazine. 1987 January 8: Atari previewed the XE game system at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. February: Atari introduced the XE video game system at the American International TOY FAIR in New York. June: "Flying High" was Atari's motto at the Summer CES in Chicago. Atari introduced the XF551 and ADOS (renamed DOS XE when shipped), AtariWriter 80, and SX Express!. Atari introduced the two pack-in games for the XE game system, Bug Hunt (proto names had been Troubleshooter or Blast 'Em) and Flight Simulator II. Atari announced that they would be re-releasing many of their own 400/800/XL/XE cartridge titles for the XE, including Battlezone, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and the former disk title, Star Raiders II. Atari also announced many new Atari XE cartridge titles, including Crossbow, Hardball!, Fight Night, One-On-One Basketball, Archon, Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus, Lode Runner, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Gato, and Barnyard Blaster. Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer. September: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface and the SX212 modem (SX Express! disk software to be sold separately). Fall: Atari shipped the XE game system in late September, and it reached most dealer shelves by mid-October, retail price US$150. Package included: Missile Command and Atari BASIC on ROM, keyboard, Joystick, Light Gun, Bug Hunt cartridge and Flight Simulator II cartridge. December: Atari sold 100,000 XE Game Systems in the U.S. at Christmas and did not meet demand (Antic magazine, May 1988, p. 39) December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "In Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, and Poland the Atari 800XE and 65XE computers have gained brand dominance and are among the most popular systems being sold in these countries." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1987: Caverns of Mars, Centipede, Donkey Kong Jr., Eastern Front (1941), Final Legacy, Football, Galaxian, Joust, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Pole Position, Super Breakout, Tennis 1988 January: Optimized Systems Software (OSS) was merged into ICD. Winter: Atari shipped 12 new XE game cartridges: Archon, Ballblazer, Barnyard Blaster, BattleZone, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Fight Night, HardBall, Lode Runner, One-On-One Basketball, Rescue on Fractalus, Star Raiders II April: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5). May: Sam Tramiel became CEO of Atari (replacing father Jack Tramiel). Sam Tramiel would also continue as president. Jack Tramiel remained chairman. June: Atari promoted the XE game system at the Summer CES in Chicago, under their "Winning Package" theme. Summer: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Gato. Fall: Atari opened an office of the Entertainment Electronics Division in Chicago, headed by Larry Siegel, vice president of software development. Mike Katz, based in Sunnyvale, remained president of the Entertainment Electronics Division. Fall?: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Necromancer. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1988: Donkey Kong, Super Breakout. Atari also re-released the AtariWriter cartridge in 1988. 1989 January: Atari shipped DOS XE, and also began shipping the XF551 disk drive with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5). Developed by Bill Wilkinson for Atari. Winter: Atari shipped 3 new XE game cartridges: Ace of Aces, Desert Falcon, Mario Bros. February: Mike Katz departed from Atari as president of the Entertainment Electronics division. Spring: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridges: Food Fight, Karateka, Crystal Castles, Dark Chambers, Crossbow, Thunderfox, Choplifter, Into the Eagle's Nest, Crime Buster, Airball, Summer Games May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari Explorer Publications, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor. Summer: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface. Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in 1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System." 1990 March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus. May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000 XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6) 1991 Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and published in-house at Atari. May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20) May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10) November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.) brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer products for clearance sales. December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEGS, 2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22. December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and 128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150, respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers." 1992 Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4) June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19) December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual Report to Shareholders. 1993 Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine. November?: Rights to ICD (including OSS) products for the 8-bit Atari were purchased by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe / Mike Hohman) 1994 January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories. The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future." 1996 July 30: Atari Corp. merged with JT Storage, Inc. into a new company, JTS Acquisition Corp. The merged company immediately adopted the new name, JTS Corp. The prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant portion of JTS business," JTS said. 1998 February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division, consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive (itself a unit of toy company Hasbro, Inc.), for US$5 million. HIAC XI was then renamed Atari Interactive, Inc. 2001 January 29: Infogrames Entertainment announced completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive was included in the transaction. 2003 May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary. 2009 May 29: The name of Infogrames Entertainment was changed to Atari. TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the 400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Atari, SA of Lyon, France. http://corporate.atari.com/ =================================================================== End of atari-8-bit/faq =================================================================== drive is not slowed down - these drives are spinning 300 rotations per minute. To prevent troubles with read/write disks formatted and written on normal Atari drives (288 rot/min), the main crystal frequency for the floppy disk controller is 8.333 MHz (not 8 MHz, as in 1050, for example)." 2. If the PC drive is a 1.2M drive there is the additional problem of the track width. The following is generally true in the PC world: - disks written on 360k drives can be read on either drive - blank disk formatted and written on 1.2M drives can be read on either kind - disks written on a 360k drive, and overwritten on a 1.2M drive, can be read reliably only on a 1.2M drive. - disks previously formatted on a 360k drive, or formatted as 1.2MB, and then reformatted on a 1.2M drive to 360k, can be read reliably only on a 1.2M drive. (all this assumes you are using DD media, not HD). Solution: Use a 360k drive if you can. If not, format disks on the Atari for Atari to PC transfers, format truly blank disks on the PC for PC to Atari transfers. Jon D. Melbo sums it up this way: So a basic rule of thumb when sharing 360KB floppies among 360KB & 1.2MB drives is: Never do any writes with a 1.2MB drive to a disk that has been previously written to in a 360KB drive....UNLESS... you only plan on ever using that disk in the 1.2Mb drive from then on out. Of course a disk can be reformatted in a particular drive any time for use in that drive. As long as you follow that rule, you can utilize the backwards compatible 360KB modes that most 1.2MB drives offer. AnaDisk + DeAna =============== While the above mentioned utilities work with SS/DD 180K Atari-format disks or SS/DD 180K SpartaDOS disks, the following combination of utilities has been used successfully to read SS/SD 90K Atari-format disks. So if you only have standard Atari 810 and/or Atari 1050 drives, you could look into: AnaDisk -- now a product of New Technoligies Inc. (NTI) See: http://www.forensics-intl.com/anadisk.html The current version is "not made available to the general public" (!) Previously a product of Chuck Guzis @ Sydex, http://www.sydex.com/ Older versions available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ - Reads/Writes "any" 5.25" diskette DeAna by Nate Monson Available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ - converts AnaDisk dump files from Atari format See http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ for tips on using this combination of utilities. Preston Crow writes: "As best as I can figure it out, if your PC drive happens to read FM disks (I'm not sure what the criteria for that is), then you can read single density disks on your PC by dumping the contents to a file with AnaDisk, and then using Deana.com to convert the dump file into a usable format. For enhanced density disks, Anadisk generally only reads the first portion of each sector, but it demonstrates that it is possible for a PC drive to read enhanced density disks." FC5025 USB 5.25" floppy controller ================================== - by Device Side Data - Plugs into any computer's USB port and enables you to read data from an external 5.25" floppy drive. - Sold as a controller board only without a drive mechanism. It has been tested to work well with the TEAC FD-55GFR drive and should also work with most other 5.25" drives. - The FC5025 is read-only. It cannot write to floppies. - The FC5025 may be unable to read disks that are damaged or copy-protected. - The FC5025 is intended for 5.25" disks only, not 3.5" or 8" disks. - The FC5025 may be unable to read the second side of "flippy" disks, depending on the drive it is attached to. - The included software works on 32-bit Windows (not 64-bit Windows). - The included software supports reading Atari 810 disks. - Available: http://www.deviceside.com/
Subject: 10.4) How can I read/write MS-DOS PC disks on my Atari? Several 3rd-party hardware upgrades add the capability of working with MS-DOS diskettes to your Atari system: Happy 1050 Enhancement upgrade for the Atari 1050 -- read/write 180K 5.25" MS-DOS floppies with IBMXFR IBM Transfer Program CSS XF Single Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551 -- replace the 5.25" mechanism with a 3.5" mech. -- read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFsingdrup.htm CSS XF Dual Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551 -- add 3.5" drive without losing the 5.25" drive -- read 720K 3.5" MS-DOS disks see http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFdualdrup.htm CSS Floppy Board, for the CSS Black Box -- adds support for PC 720K and 1.44MB 3.5" drives to your Atari system -- adds support for PC 1.2MB and 360K 5.25" drives to your Atari system -- read/write 5.25" and 3.5" MS-DOS disks in your PC drives with your Atari see: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/floppy.htm
Subject: 10.5) How do I transfer files using a null modem cable? This section by Russ Gilbert. Q: How do I connect two computers using a null modem cable? A: You need a term program and RS-232 ports on both computers. The RS-232 ports need to be connected together using a 'null modem cable'. For up to 4800 baud, no flow control lines need be connected. Just cross the transmit and receive lines and join the grounds together. Transmit is pin #2, receive is pin #3 and ground is pin #7 on the 25 pin port. 25 pin #2 goes to Atari #4 (XMT to RCV), 25 pin #3 goes to #3 on Atari (RCV to XMT) and #5 of 850 goes to #7 of 25 pin (GND to GND). The right hand pin on the 'long' side of a female 'D' connector is #1. There are 13 holes on this 'long' side, 12 holes on the 'short' side. The numbers go to the left 1 to 13 then #14 is under #1 and left again so that #25 is under #13. Most term programs allow a null connection, without a carrier detect. Notably, '850 Express!' does not. I have only used 'Procomm 2.4.3' (the last shareware version of Procomm) on the PC and BobTerm on the Atari, but other term programs may work. To check your null modem connection, start both PC and Atari term programs, set baud to 2400 or 4800 on both computers. No parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit on the PC. Be sure to use the correct COM port on the PC. Go to 'terminal' mode and you should now be able to type on either computer and see it on the other screen. To accomplish a file transfer, use Y-modem probably from BobTerm, rather than X-modem. X-modem will often append bytes to a file transfer, an undesirable event. There is also a very nice Z-modem receive program for the Atari, called ATAR-Z-MODEM by Larry Black for the Atari. A convenient way to make a null modem cable, up to about 30 feet long, is to use two female DB25 connectors (Radio Shack) some three or more conductor cable. Using the two DB25 female connectors allows unplugging your modems and plugging in the null modem cable into the two modem cables. This also avoids the confusion of variations in the computer ports. Most computers connect into the modem end via a standard RS-232 DB25 connection. With this both ends 25 pin cable, you would cross pins 2 and 3 and connect the #7s together to make a null modem cable. The SIO port on the Atari cannot be used directly. An 850, P:R: Connection, MIO, Black Box or similar device that provides an RS-232 port must be used. Following are pin assignments for a DB25 pin RS-232-C port. 1. Protective Ground 12. Select Alternate Rate 2. Transmit Data 15. Transmit Clock (sync) 3. Receive Data 17. Receive clock (sync) 4. RTS (Request to Send) 20. Data Terminal Ready 5. CTS (Clear to Send) 22. Ring indicator 6. Data Set Ready 23. Select Alternate Rate 7. Signal Ground 24. Transmit Clock 8. Carrier Detect For higher speed connections, above 4800 or 9600, you need the flow control lines and Atari term software that has flow control built in. You also need an MIO or Black Box, which uses the PBI (parallel bus). A high speed cable would need not only XMT, RCV, and GND, but also flow control lines. I suggest a commercial null modem from computer store to ensure correct lines. A null modem is a small adapter with the correct lines already crossed. I don't know how to correctly connect the CTS, RTS, DTR, DSR, CRX lines for a high speed null modem. With a null modem, you just plug it into the 25 pin connectors of the two modem cables you might already have connected to your Atari and PC or Mac. You may need a straight thru 25 pin gender changer also. Following is in this FAQ elsewhere, but I summarize here: (Figure out or look for pin numbers on the ports.) Note that these are pin assignments, and NOT null modem connections with the XMT, RCV crossed and GND straight thru. Atari 8-bit PC AT 25 PC AT 9 pin ------------------------------------- 1. DTR 20 4* 2. CRX 8 1* 3. XMT 2 3 4. RCV 3 2* 5. GND 7 5 6. DSR 6 6 7. RTS 4 7 8. CTS 5 8 9. No connect? shield RI 22 RI Note: * above indicates the difference between an AT 9 pin and a Atari 8-bit 9 pin cable connector. eg. If you check continuity from pin 3 of 25 pin end and it goes to pin 4 of nine pin end, you have an Atari serial cable. If pin 3 of 25 pin goes to pin 2 of 9 pin end, you have a PC serial cable. (updated 3/1/99) (DTE = Data Terminal Equipment, i.e., your computer. DCE = Data Communications Equipment, i.e., your modem.)
Subject: 10.6) How can my PC utilize my Atari disk drive? ==> 1050-2-PC, by Nick Kennedy 1050-2-PC is a device used to allow the PC to communicate directly with an Atari disk drive. It requires hardware which is very similar to the SIO2PC but configured differently. It allows direct sector I/O with the Atari drive and can be used to create disk images which will emulate copy protection schemes when run on SIO2PC. More 1050-2-PC information: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/1050.txt SIO2PC home page: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm ==> APE ProSystem, by Steve Tucker The APE ProSystem goes beyond Steve Tucker's Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE). The ProSystem has two components: - The program PROSYS.EXE is used to create the protected and unprotected disk images which are then used by APE. - The ProSystem hardware is a cable designed to allow direct connection of a stock 1050 disk drive directly to a PC's serial port for use by the PROSYS.EXE software. http://www.atarimax.com/
Subject: 10.7) What about interoperating with the Apple Macintosh? Mark L. Simonson keeps a nice set of web pages which he calls "Mac/Atari Fusion: Atari 8-bit Resources for Mac Users." Please visit: http://www2.bitstream.net/~marksim/atarimac/ Mark Grebe is the author of two modern solutions for Mac OS X: - Atari800MacX - Atari 8bit Computer Emulator - Sio2OSX - Atari 8Bit Peripheral Emulator http://www.atarimac.com/ The FC5025 USB 5.25" floppy controller by Device Side Data plugs into a USB port and enables a Mac to read data from an external 5.25" floppy drive. Included software supports reading Atari 810 disks. Available: http://www.deviceside.com/
Subject: 10.8) Are there 8-bit Atari tools for the Commodore Amiga? '551conv', freeware by Achim Hartel: Converts a real Atari-800-disk, .xfd-image or .atr-image into a real Atari-800-disk, .xfd-image, .atr-image or extracts the files of the disk (-image). All 4 formats of the XF551-station supported: Single, Medium, Double, Quad. Version 1.03.
Subject: 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform? Information presented here has been collected by MC from public sources, such as magazine and newspaper articles, press releases, corporate annual reports, and SEC filings. I have no special access to inside information. For a broader Atari history may I suggest: http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/ 1973 With financial support from Atari, a group of engineers led by Larry Emmons and Steve Mayer created the Cyan Engineering research and development group in Grass Valley, CA. 1974 Winter: Atari started an exclusive relationship with Cyan Engineering, and the facility became known as the "Grass Valley Think Tank." 1975 Summer: At Cyan Engineering, Ron Milner and Steve Mayer created the first concept prototype of the home video game system that would become the Video Computer System (VCS). The hardware was built by Milner. December: Joe Decuir was hired by Atari, initially to work with Ron Milner and Steve Mayer at Cyan Engineering. Decuir would help debug the existing concept prototype of the VCS, and Decuir built the first gate-level prototype of the VCS. 1976 March: As Atari VCS development continued, Joe Decuir moved to Los Gatos, Calif. to apprentice for Jay Miner, who would become the lead chip designer for the VCS. The group who would turn out to be the key engineers of the Atari VCS had now been assembled: Steve Mayer, Ron Milner, Joe Decuir, and Jay Miner. Development work would continue into 1977. Fall: Atari purchased Cyan Engineering outright, and the facility became more formerly known as the Grass Valley Research Center. 1977 June: Atari introduced the Video Computer System (VCS) at the Summer CES in Chicago. Summer: Engineers Ron Milner, Steve Mayer, and Joe Decuir, veteran designers of the VCS, began work on a next-generation home video game machine at Atari's Grass Valley Research Center. This project became known as "Oz" inside Atari. December: "Several other new personal computers, in the PET/TRS-80 price range, are coming soon...Atari (another video game manufacturer), and a European and Japenese [sic] company are also expected to enter the competition." (Micro #2 Dec77 p18; reprinted from "Northwest Computer Club News" Oct77) 1978 January: "Other manufacturers are also looking at TV games as the way to enter the home-computing market. Atari is said to be working on a programmable unit featuring color graphics; it will use either custom chips or a 6502 micro." (ROM v1n7 Jan78 p60) March: Manny Gerard at Warner Communications arranged for Raymond E. Kassar, who had recently departed from his executive vice president position at fabric maker Burlington Industries, to work with Atari as a consultant. Gerard then had Kassar installed as president of Atari's Consumer Division. Ray Kassar, directed that the video game technology already under development as the "Oz" project would now form the basis for the development of a personal computer system. The newly-redefined project became known as "Colleen" inside Atari. The overall engineering plans for "Colleen" were conceived by: Steve Mayer, Joe Decuir, and Jay Miner The "Colleen" computer project evolved into two specific computer models: o "Colleen" - the full machine - would be released as the Atari 800. o "Candy" - a reduced-feature version - would be released as the Atari 400. - One or more pre-production Atari 400 units carried the additional designation: Model No. C7000 See: http://mcurrent.name/atariads/intro400.htm September: Atari VCS game programmers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, and Alan Miller were assigned to create an Operating System and BASIC for the Atari computer, after Jay Miner, manager of both custom chip and OS software development for the computer, had determined that both the existing work-in- progress OS and the work-in-progress port of Microsoft BASIC could not meet the January 1979 CES deadline. October 6: Freeing Crane/Kaplan/Miller to focus on developing the core OS, Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI, headed by Bob Shepardson) to create both a version of BASIC and a File Management System (FMS) for the upcoming Atari personal computers. The contract called for delivery by April 6, 1979. Atari planned to take an early, 8K Microsoft BASIC to the CES (in Las Vegas) in January, 1979, and then switch BASICs later. November: At the Warner Communications annual budget meeting in New York, Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell warned against launching an Atari computer division unless Warner was prepared to absorb extensive short-term financial losses in establishing the new product line. Bushnell also predicted that a properly-funded Atari computer line would ultimately be profitable. December: Manny Gerard at Warner Communications appointed Ray Kassar President and CEO of Atari, and Joe Keenan replaced company founder Nolan Bushnell as Chairman. December: SMI delivered working versions of BASIC and a disk FMS to Atari. 1979 January: Atari introduced the Atari 800 and Atari 400 Personal Computer Systems at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. The 800 would ship with 8K RAM (user- expandable in 8K or 16K increments to 48K) and retail for US$1,000; the 400 would come standard with 8K RAM and retail for US$500. The computers were scheduled to ship in limited quantities in August 1979, with full availability later in the fall. Also introduced: the 410 program recorder, 810 disk drive, and 820 printer. Software introduced: Atari BASIC, Atari DOS. Coverage of the introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine: http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/ "Atari, by introducing its line of personal computers, is the first major consumer electronics manufacturer to demonstrate a commitment to the three paramount needs of both the consumer and retailer: Effective hardware, effective software and effective peripheral components." -- Michael Shea, Atari marketing vice president, quoted in Merchandising magazine January 1979. January: Atari ran an advertisement for the 400/800 on pp. 54-55 of Merchandising, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1979. See: http://mcurrent.name/atariads/gallery.htm for these and other early Atari computer print ads from 1979-1981. April: Crane/Kaplan/Miller finished their work on the Operating System for the Atari 400/800 computers. May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari again showed the Atari 400/800 computer systems, which were expected to ship within months. June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari again showed the Atari 400/800 computers, which were expected to ship within weeks. The retail price for the 400 system would be US$550 (up from US$500). Also introduced: the Atari Talk & Teach Educational System, including the Master Cartridge and 17 cassette packs in the Cassette Courseware series (4 tapes per pack; 4 lessons per tape; developed by Dorsett Educational Systems for Atari). More software titles introduced: Basketball, Super Breakout, Computer Chess. Peter N. Rosenthal was Director of Marketing, Personal Computer Systems. Summer: Atari received FCC approval for the 400/800 computers. August: "The first official small shipment of the 400/800 was on August 29th 1979. These were hand-built pilot run units to Sears that needed to be in stock by Sept. 1 so they could be placed in the big fall catalog. The units were placed in the Sears warehouse and then immediately returned to Atari after the "in stock" requirement had been met." --Jerry Jessop September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the fall. The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break in October in 12 national publications. TV commercials will also be aired in Los Angeles in November and December." October: "Atari's production lines were stalled for about a week in October due to yield problems at one of its chip suppliers, Synertek. The low yields at the semiconductor manufacturer resulted in significantly reduced delivery of the MPU to Atari, resulting in about a 3-week delay in getting the computers into the marketplace." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. November: "The first "real" consumer units were shipped in Nov. of '79 and were 400s to Sears followed very shortly by 800s." --Jerry Jessop November: Michael J. Moone became president of the Consumer Division at Atari (home video games and computers). November/December: The initial Atari 400 personal computer package consisted of the 400 computer (8K RAM), 400 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch box, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder. Package retail: US$549.99. November/December: The initial Atari 800 personal computer package consisted of the 800 computer with 8K RAM module, 800 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch box, 410 program recorder, CXL4001 Educational System Master Cartridge, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), CX-4101 An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of Programming (cassette), Atari BASIC: A Self- Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder. Package retail: US$999.99. November/December: In addition to the $549.99 Atari 400 package, the Sears catalog also listed the 410 program recorder for $85.00, the Educational System Master Cartridge for $34.99, Basketball, Super Breakout, and Life (released as Video Easel) for $49.99 each, Music Composer for $69.99, Joystick pair for $19.99, Paddles pair for $19.99, and these 9 cassette titles for use with the Educational System Master Cartridge for $39.99 each: Basic Sociology, Basic Psychology, Spelling, History of Western World, Great Classics of Eng Lit, Principles of Economics, U.S. History, Principles of Accounting, Business Communications December: "Atari is funneling large quantities of its 400 and 800 personal computers and software to Sears, Roebuck, while retail computer stores have been faced with late hardware deliveries and received very little, if any, software. Sears is offering the Atari 400, priced at $549.99, through its catalog, and is spot-marketing the machine in its retail stores throughout California and the Chicago area. In addition, the firm is selling the Atari 800, priced at $999.99, in its California stores, but not through the catalog, a Sears spokesman said." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. 1980 January: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface. Software titles introduced: Video Easel (previously: Life), Music Composer, Assembler Editor, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders. Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages increased to US$630 and US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000). Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive (with DOS I) and the 820 printer (US$449.95). March: Atari shipped Star Raiders. June 15: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the: 815 dual disk drive (with CX8201 DOS 2.0D Atari 815 Master Diskette; never shipped in quantity), 822 printer, and CX70 light pen (never shipped in quantity). Atari also introduced 34 new software packages, including: TeleLink 1, the Atari Accountant series (by Arthur Young & Co.)--General Accounting System; Accounts Receivable System; Inventory Control Program, the Investment Analysis series (by Control Data)--Bond Analysis; Stock Analysis; Stock Charting; Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Conversational French, Conversational German, Conversational Spanish, Space Invaders (SoftSide Aug80) Summer: Atari modified the 800 computer package. The computer would now ship with 16K RAM (up from 8K); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the Atari BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package. The retail price remained US$1,080. Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the 825 printer (US$999.95), 830 modem, and 850 interface (US$219.95). October 21: Roger H. Badertscher was named president of the newly established Computer Division at Atari. He was previously vice president and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer. October: Visicorp introduced the Atari version of VisiCalc. By the end of 1980, Atari had sold 35,000 computers. 1981 January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the list price for the 400 computer package with 8K RAM installed was reduced to US$499.95 (previously: US$630), and that the list price for the 16K RAM version of the 400 package would be US$630. Also introduced: Asteroids, Astrology (ultimately released via APX), Atari Word Processor, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Missile Command, Personal Financial Management System, Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), PILOT, SCRAM (A Nuclear Reactor Simulation)(by Chris Crawford) Winter: Atari shipped the 822 printer, and released DOS II version 2.0S. February 25: The source code to Atari BASIC, the FMS component of Atari DOS 2.0S (DOS.SYS), and the Atari Assembler Editor were purchased from Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) by Optimized Systems Software (OSS), headed by former SMI employees Bill Wilkinson and Mike Peters. Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by the Atari Computer Division in support of the 400/800. April 3-5: Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) staff attended the 6th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, offering a grand prize of US$25,000 in cash and US$75,000 in Atari products to runners-up for Atari computer software authors. In order to qualify for the awards, programs would have to be accepted and sold through the soon-to-be-launched Atari Program Exchange. April 3-5: Also at the West Coast Computer Faire, Optimized Systems Software (OSS) introduced BASIC A+, CP/A (would ship as: OS/A+), and EASMD (enhanced, disk-based versions of Atari BASIC, Atari DOS 2.0S and Atari Assembler Editor, respectively). May 4-7: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that the 8K Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16K version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the 400 would no longer be sold with the Atari BASIC cartridge and the Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide book. Other price reductions: CX852 8K RAM module now US$49.95 (was US$124.95), CX853 16K RAM module now US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now US$299.95 (was US$449.95). Also introduced: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator, Atari Microsoft BASIC, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor May: Atari launched the Atari Program Exchange (APX), a user-written software distribution unit within the Atari Computer Division. The APX concept had been the brain-child of Dale Yocam, and APX was guided by Fred Thorlin since its inception in February 1981. See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/ Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in the program's first year. Summer: The Atari 400/800 arrived in the UK. (Maplin News, June/Aug 1981) August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification, Revision 1" reflecting Operating System work for the SWEET16 project to create a new series of computers to replace the 400/800. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html September 10-12: Maplin Electronic Supplies exhibited the Atari 400/800 at the Personal Computer World Show at the Cunard Hotel, Hammersmith, London. October: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with the Data Separator Board. The enhancement "improves the drive's ability to distinguish between data pulses and clock pulses on the disk. This is necessary in part because of the variations in the characteristics of different diskettes. The data separator lowers the chance of a misread from the disk." (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 would now all ship with the GTIA chip rather than CTIA as in earlier machines, increasing the palette of simultaneously displayable colors to 256 and adding 3 new graphics modes. (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 began shipping with OS ROM version B, improving peripheral I/O control routines. (Antic Oct.82) November: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with ROM C and with DOS II version 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS I). "ROM C causes diskettes to be formatted with an improved sector layout which is more efficient than that used by earlier 810 control ROM's." (Antic Oct.82) December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home computer (with 16K RAM) to US$899 from US$1,080. December: The book, De Re Atari was published by Atari, distributed by APX. De Re Atari was written by the Atari Software Development Support Group. Chris Crawford wrote Sections 1-6 and Appendices A & B. Lane Winner wrote Section 10 and Appendix D with assistance from Jim Cox. Amy Chen wrote Appendix C. Jim Dunion wrote Sections 8-9. Kathleen Pitta wrote Appendex E. Box Fraser wrote Section 7. Gus Makreas prepared the Glossary. 1982 January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Pac-Man ($44.95), Centipede ($44.95), The Bookkeeper, and The Home Filing Manager. Space Invaders, previously released on cassette, was now re-released on cartridge. The APX title, Caverns of Mars would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's standard product line ($39.95 disk). Previewed at the show: the Atari Supergame System (would ship as the 5200). January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors. January 16: At San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, Atari awarded the first annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection magazine. March: Atari began producing 810 disk drives using the revised "Analog" (later, "810M") design, including new Analog Board, new Power Supply board, and new 10 pin flat cable connecting the two. The 3 components were also offered together as the CB101128 "Grass Valley Analog Board Set" for "Pre-Analog" 810 drives. June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Atari Speed Reading (US$74.95), Music Tutor I (title never shipped. MC's speculation: this would have been an Atari-branded re-release of the APX title, Musical Computer-The Music Tutor), Juggles' House (by The Learning Co.), Juggles' Rainbow (by The Learning Co.), TeleLink II (US$79.95), and the Communicator II kit (new 835 modem + Telelink II) (US$279.95). The APX title, My First Alphabet would be re-released as part of Atari's standard product line. Atari also twice announced new retail prices for the 400 computer: first US$349 (CC Oct82 p180), then US$299 (Merch Jul82 p43) (previously, US$399). Keith Schaefer was vice-president of sales for Atari's Home Computer division. June 8: Atari announced the 5200 Home Entertainment System. Later dubbed the SuperSystem, the cartridge-based 5200 would be marketed alongside the ultra- popular Atari VCS (soon to be known as the 2600). While the 5200 required unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware and operating system were nearly identical to that of the 400/800 computers. Suggested retail price: US$299.95. June: Roger Badertscher resigned from his position as president of Atari's Home Computer Division. Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 3 locations: The University of San Diego (CA), The Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and East Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was cancelled at the fourth announced site of Lakeland College in Sheboygan WI.) The camps were managed for Atari by Specialty Camps, Inc. Curriculum developed by Robert A. Kahn at Atari. Program overseen by Linda Gordon, Atari vice president for special projects. Summer?: Atari established in New York City a new research laboratory dedicated to the exploration of microprocessor-based products in electronic publishing and transactional services for home computers. Headed by Steven T. Mayer, vice president of research and product development, the new lab would be responsible for development of advanced products for Atari coin-operated and home video games and home computers. The lab would also function as a focus for joint research prpoejcts with other subsidiaries of Warner Communications. (Compute#30p252) August 24: John C. Cavalier was named president of Atari's Home Computer Division. His most recent job was vice president and general manager of American Can Company's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper products. September: Steve Mayer resigned as senior vice president of engineering at Atari to form, and serve as chairman and CEO of, WCI Labs, Inc. The location was previously known as the Atari NY Lab. Like Atari, WCI Labs would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Communications. With Gregg Squires as project manager, WCI Labs would be responsible for the hardware engineering for the Sweet-16 ("Elizabeth" or "Liz") computer project, which would lead to the release of the 1200XL. September 29: Date of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16 Product Specification". As of this document, the Sweet-16 project had evolved into two specific computer model designs, a 16K RAM version tentatively named "1200" and a 64K RAM version tentatively named "1200X" (earlier: a 16K "600" and a 64K "1200"), with both models now sharing the same case design. However, also as of this document, plans called for manufacture of only the 64K version. The project would soon lead to the release of the 1200XL. http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem. Fall: The suggested retail price for the Atari 800 was US$679 with 48K RAM standard (previously: US$899/16K). The Atari 400 retail price was US$299 (previously, $349). November: Atari began producing new 810 disk drives with the "center flip door" drive mechanism by Tandon, instead of the "push button, sliding door" mechanism by MPI used in the original design. (Antic May 83) Technical documentation would refer to the new design as the "810T". December: Atari shipped Galaxian, Defender, and VisiCalc (by VisiCorp) in time for the holiday shopping season. December 13: Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. "We believe that the Atari 1200XL will set the standard for a new generation in home computing and, once again, positions Atari on the leading edge of electronic technology and creative computing," Atari chairman Ray Kassar said. The list price for the 1200XL would be "well under $1,000." The 1200XL resulted from the Sweet-16/ "Elizabeth"/"Liz" project inside Atari. Peripherals introduced: the 1010 program recorder (US$99), 1020 printer/plotter (US$299), and 1025 printer (US$549). Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17 percent of all home computer sales. 1983 January 1: The retail price for the Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) was reduced from US$679 to US$499. The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$299 to US$199. Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)). January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari showed the 1200XL (and announced the retail price of $899), 1010, 1020, and 1025, introduced revised versions of the Programmer and Entertainer kits, introduced Qix, E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Family Finances, Timewise, and AtariWriter, showed the recently-released Galaxian and Defender, and also announced the upcoming AtariMusic I and the first title in the Disney Educational Series, Mickey in the Great Outdoors. Caverns of Mars would be re-released on cartrdige (previously: disk), and the APX title, Eastern Front (1941) (by Chris Crawford) would be be re-released in the main Atari product line, on cartridge. The CX22 Trak-Ball was introduced, marketed for the 2600 but compatible with the 400/800/1200XL. January 15: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the second annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. January: Atari began production of the 1200XL (made in the USA). Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge. AtariWriter was programmed by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for DataSoft, for product manager Gary Furr at Atari. Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live host to explore the role of computers in society. (MC's note: I remember that this came to my school!) March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari announced the 1050 disk drive, and Atari Logo (developed by Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) for Atari). April: Atari announced that Michael Moone would no longer serve as president of the Consumer Electronics Division, as the division would be consolidated with the Home Computer Division. April/May: Production of the 1200XL shifted from the USA to Taiwan. May: Production of Atari 400/800 computers and 810 disk drives ended. May: The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$199 to US$99. June 1: Atari consolidated the businesses of the Home Computer Division with the Consumer Electronics (home video games) Division. There would now be three Divisions for both home computers and home video games: - Atari Products Company (development & marketing, John Cavalier, president) - Atari Sales and Distribution Company (Donald Kingsborough, president) - Atari Manufacturing Company (Paul Malloy, president) June: Atari introduced the 600XL and 800XL home computers at the Summer CES in Chicago. Retail prices would be $199/600XL and $299/800XL. The 400/800/1200XL would be discontinued. (The 1400XL and 1450XLD computers were also introduced, but these never made it into production.) Peripherals introduced: 1050 disk drive, 1027 printer, 1030 modem, Light Pen + AtariGraphics, Touch Tablet + AtariArtist, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks, CX80 Trak-Ball, CX60 Ultimate Super Joystick (eventually shipped as the CX24), AtariLab Starter Set With Temperature Module, AtariLab Light Module (AtariLab developed by Dickinson College). Software introduced by Atari: DOS 3, Logo, Microsoft BASIC II, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Football, Tennis, Paint, AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II. Battlezone was announced. (Also introduced or announced but never shipped: the 1060 CP/M Add-On Module, the 1090 XL Expansion System, Superman III, Soccer, Tempest, Xevious, Peter Pan's Daring Journey or Peter Pan's Daring Escape (Disney; later renamed: Captain Hook's Revenge), The Mysteries of Wonderland (Disney), Star Trux, and the AtariLab Modules: Timekeeper, Lie Detector, Reaction Time, Heartbeat, Biofeedback, Mechanics) The 600XL had been known as "Surely" and the 800XL had been known as "Surely Plus" inside Atari. June 11-Sept 10: Atari co-sponsored the Punta Cana Club Med/Atari Computer vacation getaway on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. Summer: Second year of Atari Computer Camps, held at seven sites nationwide (U.S.): Greenfield MA, Faribault MN, East Stroudsburg PA, Asheville NC, Glencoe MD, Danville CA, and San Diego CA. Summer: Atari released the Atari 400 Home Computer 48K RAM Expansion Kit, compatible with both the 8K and 16K versions of the 400. $130 installed at Atari Regional Repair Centers, or $110 from APX. July 7: Warner Communications announced that Atari chairman Ray Kassar had resigned, to be replaced by James J. Morgan. Morgan was previously executive vice president of Philip Morris USA, handling the company's US$4.3 billion cigarette operations. Until Morgan's arrival, Emanuel Gerard would serve as interim chairman and CEO. July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended. August: Atari Chairman-to-be James Morgan instituted another major management reorganization at Atari. Atari Sales and Distribution Company and Atari Manufacturing Company were both dissolved, their functions to be merged into the Atari Products Company division (home computers and home video game systems), with 5 divisions of its own: - Atari Products Company (no division head) - - Management (marketing) (John Cavalier, president) - - Sales (Donald Kingsborough, president) - - Manufacturing (Paul Malloy, president) - - Engineering (John Farrand, president) - - International (Anton Bruehl, president) The presidents of all Atari Products Co. divisions would report directly to Morgan. Sept83-June84: The "Catch On to Computers" program, a joint effort between Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, offered Atari computers, equipment, and educational software to schools for collecting Post cereal proof-of-purchase points over the 1983-1984 school year. September: Ted Kahn stepped down as executive director of the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research. More than US$1 million worth of computers, software, and cash stipends had been awarded to over 100 nonprofit organizations since the program's founding in 1981. September: Atari International (U.K.) announced The Loan Raider. September: The Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) would now retail for US$165 while supplies lasted. Fall: Atari begin shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 3 (replacing DOS 2.0S). Fall: The Atari 600XL/800XL both shipped, retail price US$199/$299. Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II package, containing the 835 modem. October 7: John Cavalier departed from his position as president of the Management (marketing) division of the Atari Products Company. October: Atari launched Atari Learning Systems, a new division dedicated to product development, sales, and support for K-12 educators in the U.S. Directed by Linda Gordon. October: Atari France launched the "L'Atarien" magazine, issue 0 (pilot ?), the "magazine of the Atari Club". In its first issues, the magazine was mostly centered on the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers, but the focus quickly shifted to the XL computers in the next issues. Officially the magazine was issued by "Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #0, Page 3). "PECF" was the nickname of the company "Productions et Editions Cinematographiques Francaises", a company 100% owned by Warner Communications. October-December: "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy training programs for children, adults, and teachers, sponsored by Atari and General Mills' Post Cereals, ran in 10 cities across the U.S. November: Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong, it would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL/ 800XL. Atari also said that the 1400XL and 1450XLD would not ship until 1984. November: Atari opened the Atari Adventure center in St. Louis, MO. The concept combined a traditional video game arcade with a hands-on public computer classroom/lab featuring Atari XL computers, along with a new technology display area. "Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year" - Time magazine, July 16, 1984 1984 January 1: Atari increased U.S. dealer prices for the Atari 600XL and 800XL by US$40 each, to US$180 and US$280, respectively. January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced: the 1064 Memory Module (for the 600XL), The Atari Translator, Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt, Millipede, Sky Writer, SynFile+, SynCalc, SynTrend, The Legacy (shipped as Final Legacy), Player Maker, Screen Maker. The APX title, Typo Attack would be re-released on cartridge as part of Atari's standard product line. (Atari confirmed that the unshipped 1400XL computer was canceled. Atari CEO James Morgan said the unshipped Atari 1450XLD was "exhibited only as a demonstration of the company's intent to market a high-end computer in 1984, although the specifics of such a product are currently under review." --Creative Computing May 1984.) (Software introduced by Atari but never shipped: Atari Pascal 2.0, Atari Super PILOT, Captain Hook's Revenge, Berserk, Pop'R Spell, Mario Bros. (a completely rewritten Mario Bros. was ultimately released in 1989)) January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. January 23: Atari chairman and CEO James Morgan announced another management reorganization at Atari. John Farrand was promoted to president of Atari, and would also now serve as president and COO of the Atari Products Company (home computers, home video games, and now coin-operated arcade games). February: Atari 5200 production ended. March: Fred Thorlin, director of APX since its 1982 inception, left Atari. March 22-25: At the 9th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari's exhibit included the APX title, Equestrian. (ROM #6) Spring: I/O Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)). April: Atari shut down the APX operation. Software rights were returned to the original authors. May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari and Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, developed by Lucasfilm, to be shipped by Atari on cartridge for the 400/800 computers and the 5200 SuperSystem. (The Atari computer versions were finally shipped on disk by Epyx (USA) and Activision (UK) in 1985. The 5200 versions were finally released by Atari Corp. in 1986.) May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production. More than 1 million 5200's had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3) June 3-6: Atari motto at the Summer CES in Chicago: "June 3, 1984--The Day The Future Began." (The previously announced then cancelled 1450XLD, or some new model similar to it, was now to ship in time for Christmas 1984. The 1090 XL Expansion System was shown again, and Atari also offered specs for a new high- end computer under development. None of these shipped.) Atari introduced: Proofreader (for AtariWriter), Track and Field, Crystal Castles. Atari also introduced The Last Starfighter, which was ultimately re-worked and shipped as Star Raiders II in 1986. (Also introduced by Atari but never shipped: MindLink hardware device, Jr. Pac-Man, Peek-A-Boo, Hobgoblin, This Is Ground Control, Through the Starbridge, Find It!, Elevator Action, Yaacov Agam's Interactive Painting, The ABC of CPR: First Aid, Wheeler-Dealer, Simulated Computer, Telly Turtle, Word Tutor, Letter Tutor, Gremlins, Pole Position II) June: Atari France announced the SECAM model of the 800XL. (The SECAM 600XL was also announced, but this never made it into production.) List prices: 600XL PAL: 2200 FRF ; 600XL SECAM: 2500 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 3200 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 3500 FRF ; 1010: 890 FRF ; 1050: 3690 FRF ; 1020: 2590 FRF; 1027: 3490 FRF ; Atari Touch Tablet: 890 FRF July 1-August 25: Third and final year of Atari Computer Camps. Camps were held at two locations: "Camp Atari-Poconos" (East Stroudsburg State College) in East Stroudsburg PA, and "Camp Atari-New England" (Stoneleigh-Burnham School) in Greenfield MA. Patricia Tubbs was Project Manager at Atari. July 1: Agreed on this date, effective June 30, the assets of the Atari home computer and home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to Tramel Technology Ltd., which had been formed on May 17, 1984 by its chairman and CEO Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL), the founder and former president of Commodore International. The transaction included exclusive use of the "Atari" name and "Fuji" logo in the home computer and home video game markets, along with the intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) owned by Atari in conjunction with its home computer and home video game businesses. The home computer and home video game rights to Atari coin-operated arcade games developed to date were included as well. Tramel Technology adopted the new name, Atari Corporation. Jack Tramiel would continue as chairman and CEO, and (son) Sam Tramiel would serve as president. July: The new Atari Corp. halted all manufacturing, and dismissed most of its inherited Silicon Valley workforce, roughly 1,000 people. Upon a review of the existing product lines and inventories, it was determined to resume production of the 800XL computer and the 2600 VCS. The 600XL was discontinued, and further work on prototype new XL computer models was halted. There would be no new game releases for the already- discontinued 5200. (Atari would go on to release three 5200 titles in 1986). An unannounced new cost-reduced design for the 2600 was also shelved. (This "2600jr" would finally be released in 1986.) Atari Connection magazine was shut down. July 13: Warner Communications announced the sale of 78% of its WCI Labs subsidiary (internal co-developer of the Atari XL computers) to WCI Labs' management. As a result of the transaction, which was made effective retroactive to June 1, 1984, a new privately held company, the Take One Company, was formed, with Steven T. Mayer as chairman and chief executive. Warner Communications initially retained 22% ownership of Take One. August: Atari engineers completed the prototype "800XLF" motherboard design, to be used in new-production 800XL computers. The new 800XL machines would include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced by Atari, Inc.). The new 800XL machines would be produced in PAL and (for the first time, France-specific) SECAM versions, but not the NTSC version due to ample existing supply of NTSC 800XL machines. August: Atari reduced the retail price for the 800XL from US$250 to US$179. November 13: Atari held a press conference at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA in which they outlined their basic marketing strategy for 1985. The U.S. price for the 800XL was reduced from US$179 to US$119. December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy. Atari estimated the company's share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983. In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds. December: Atari France announced the new prices of the XL computers range: 600XL PAL: 1599 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 2199 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 2499 FRF; 1010: 449 FRF ; 1050: 2699 FRF ; 1020: 899 FRF ; 1027: 3399 FRF; Atari Touch Tablet: 649 FRF December: Atari France resumed L'Atarien magazine with issue #5. (It had been on hold since issue #4, June 1984.) December: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design, to be used in the forthcoming 65XE computer. "The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33. "By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985 1985 January 5-8: Atari introduced the 65XE and 130XE home computers at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (The 65XEP and 65XEM computers were announced, but these never made it into production.) The 800XL would be discontinued. XE peripherals introduced: the XMM801 and XDM121 printers and the XM301 modem. XE Software introduced: AtariWriter Plus, Silent Butler, Song Painter (later renamed Music Painter), The Learning Phone (PLATO). (Also introduced but never shipped: the XTM201 and XTC201 printers, the XC1411 and XM128 monitors, and the XF521 disk drive. XE Software: Infinity (integrated word processor/ spreadsheet/database/telecomm software, developed for Atari by Matrix Software / Vincent Garafolo), Shopkeeper, Atari Tutorial). Epyx introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus for the Atari 8-bit computers, both announced but not shipped by the old Atari, Inc. Winter: Atari shipped the The Learning Phone cartridge, designed at Atari by Vincent Wu. Atari access software for the PLATO Service Network (Control Data Corporation) had been in development at Atari since 1981. February: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine, the glossy published by Atari (U.S.) Corp. in support of the XE and ST computers. Headed by Neil Harris. February: The new "L'Atarien" magazine was now issued by "Pressimages" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #6, Page 3). February: Retail prices from Atari France: 800XL SECAM: 1700 FRF ; 1050: 2600 FRF ; 1027: 2600 FRF March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club Atari announced that they had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of interest." Also, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY sound chip." (The AMY chip had been developed at Atari, Inc. Atari Corp. now owned the technology, but had not retained the original design team. Thus, the new plan to integrate AMY into the XE system, as the announced 65XEM computer, turned out to be prohibitively expensive. Atari ultimately sold the AMY chip and technologies to a Milwaukee based audio design house called Sight & Sound. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html ) John Skruch was introduced as software product manager for the 8-bit XE line. (CN, Apr85, p. 19) April: Atari shipped the 130XE, retail price US$149.95. (The 65XE was temporarily held out of the U.S. market due to ample supply of the 800XL.) April: Atari France announced the availability of the Atari 1029 printer. The price was not announced. April/May: Atari began shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 2.5 (replacing DOS 3). June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Planetarium (prototypes sometimes called Home Astronomer). (Atari also introduced VIP Professional and GEM Desktop for the XE, but these never shipped.) DataSoft re-introduced 3 titles for the XE previously shipped by Atari: Pole Position, Pac-Man, and Dig Dug. June: Atari France retail price for the 130XE SECAM: 1990 FRF Fall: Atari shipped the disk-based AtariWriter Plus. Designed and programmed from scratch by William Robinson (the core word processor), Ron Rosen (Mail Merge module), and R. Stanley Kistler (Proofreader module) for Micro Fantasy, for Atari. Manual by Jeffrey D. Bass. Package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. Fall: Atari shipped the XM301 modem. November 15: Atari announced the creation of an electronic entertainment division, to be headed by Michael V. Katz, formerly head of Epyx. November: At the fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari again showed the XMM801, The Silent Butler, and Atari Planetarium, each to ship by Christmas. 1986 January 9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Star Raiders II for the XE, and also announced (but did not show) the XC11 program recorder. A redesigned version of the 2600 (unofficially, "2600 Jr."; previously designed by Atari, Inc.) was introduced. February: Cover date of Issue #10, the final issue of L'Atarien magazine from Atari France. February: Atari France retail prices: 130XE SECAM: 1490 FRF ; 1010: 490 FRF ; 1050: 1490 FRF ; 1029: 1490 FRF March: Database Exhibitions staged the first Atari User Show at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London, UK. (Atari User May 1988) March: At the Hanover Fair, Germany, Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the XEP80 interface, and they also described a new DOS, which was later named ADOS, and which ultimately shipped as DOS XE. (Atari also introduced plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) Spring: Atari shipped the 65XE, retail price US$99.95. April 28-May 1: Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the SX212 modem at the Spring COMDEX (Computer Dealer's Exhibition) in Atlanta. Atari also announced that the 80 Column Card would be out "late this summer." (Atari also reiterated plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer magazine. June 1-4: Atari introduced the XEP80 interface at the Summer CES in Chicago. Also featured: Atari Planetarium, Star Raiders II, and the XMM801. Summer: Bob Gleadow, previously of Commodore, became the new general manager of Atari UK. Max Bambridge, the outgoing head of Atari UK, was transferred to the Far East to oversee Atari manufacturing. (Atari User May 1988) Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by the new subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David H. Ahl, founder and former editor of Creative Computing magazine. 1987 January 8: Atari previewed the XE game system at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. February: Atari introduced the XE video game system at the American International TOY FAIR in New York. June: "Flying High" was Atari's motto at the Summer CES in Chicago. Atari introduced the XF551 and ADOS (renamed DOS XE when shipped), AtariWriter 80, and SX Express!. Atari introduced the two pack-in games for the XE game system, Bug Hunt (proto names had been Troubleshooter or Blast 'Em) and Flight Simulator II. Atari announced that they would be re-releasing many of their own 400/800/XL/XE cartridge titles for the XE, including Battlezone, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and the former disk title, Star Raiders II. Atari also announced many new Atari XE cartridge titles, including Crossbow, Hardball!, Fight Night, One-On-One Basketball, Archon, Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus, Lode Runner, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Gato, and Barnyard Blaster. Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer. September: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface and the SX212 modem. (The SX Express! disk software package for use with the SX212 would be sold separately, later.) Fall: Atari shipped the XE game system in late September, and it reached most dealer shelves by mid-October, retail price US$150. Package included: Missile Command and Atari BASIC on ROM, keyboard, Joystick, Light Gun, Bug Hunt cartridge and Flight Simulator II cartridge. December: Atari sold 100,000 XE Game Systems in the U.S. at Christmas and did not meet demand (Antic magazine, May 1988, p. 39) December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "In Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, and Poland the Atari 800XE and 65XE computers have gained brand dominance and are among the most popular systems being sold in these countries." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1987: Caverns of Mars, Centipede, Donkey Kong Jr., Eastern Front (1941), Final Legacy, Football, Galaxian, Joust, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Pole Position, Super Breakout, Tennis 1988 January: Optimized Systems Software (OSS) was merged into ICD. Winter: Atari shipped 12 new XE game cartridges: Archon, Ballblazer, Barnyard Blaster, BattleZone, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Fight Night, HardBall, Lode Runner, One-On-One Basketball, Rescue on Fractalus, Star Raiders II April: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5). May: Sam Tramiel became CEO of Atari (replacing father Jack Tramiel). Sam Tramiel would also continue as president. Jack Tramiel remained chairman. June: Atari promoted the XE game system at the Summer CES in Chicago, under their "Winning Package" theme. Summer: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Gato. Fall: Atari opened an office of the Entertainment Electronics Division in Chicago, headed by Larry Siegel, vice president of software development. Mike Katz, based in Sunnyvale, remained president of the Entertainment Electronics Division. Fall?: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Necromancer. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1988: Donkey Kong, Super Breakout. Atari also re-released the AtariWriter cartridge in 1988. 1989 January: Atari shipped DOS XE, and also began shipping the XF551 disk drive with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5). Developed by Bill Wilkinson for Atari. January: Atari shipped 6 new XE game cartridges: Ace of Aces, Desert Falcon, Mario Bros., Crystal Castles, Thunderfox, Into the Eagle's Nest February: Mike Katz departed from Atari as president of the Entertainment Electronics division. February: Atari shipped 3 new XE game cartridges: Crime Buster, Dark Chambers, Choplifter Spring: Atari shipped 5 new XE game cartridges: Food Fight, Karateka, Crossbow, Airball, Summer Games May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari Explorer Publications, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor. Summer: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface. Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in 1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System." 1990 March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus. May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000 XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6) 1991 Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and published in-house at Atari. May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20) May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10) November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.) brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer products for clearance sales. December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEGS, 2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22. December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and 128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150, respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers." 1992 Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4) June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19) December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual Report to Shareholders. 1993 Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine. November?: Rights to ICD (including OSS) products for the 8-bit Atari were purchased by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe / Mike Hohman) 1994 January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories. The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future." 1996 July 30: Atari Corp. merged with JT Storage, Inc. into a new company, JTS Acquisition Corp. The merged company immediately adopted the new name, JTS Corp. The prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant portion of JTS business," JTS said. 1998 February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division, consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive (itself a unit of toy company Hasbro, Inc.), for US$5 million. HIAC XI was then renamed Atari Interactive, Inc. 2001 January 29: Infogrames Entertainment announced completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive was included in the transaction. 2003 May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary. 2009 May 29: The name of Infogrames Entertainment was changed to Atari. TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the 400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Atari, SA of Lyon, France. http://corporate.atari.com/ =================================================================== End of atari-8-bit/faq =================================================================== ster, BattleZone, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Fight Night, HardBall, Lode Runner, One-On-One Basketball, Rescue on Fractalus, Star Raiders II April: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5). May: Sam Tramiel became CEO of Atari (replacing father Jack Tramiel). Sam Tramiel would also continue as president. Jack Tramiel remained chairman. June: Atari promoted the XE game system at the Summer CES in Chicago, under their "Winning Package" theme. Summer: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Gato. Fall: Atari opened an office of the Entertainment Electronics Division in Chicago, headed by Larry Siegel, vice president of software development. Mike Katz, based in Sunnyvale, remained president of the Entertainment Electronics Division. Fall?: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Necromancer. October 1, 1988 through September 30, 1989: "Atari Advantage" promotion program by Atari (U.S.) for the 2600, 7800, and XE. Collect 5 cartridges for a free Atari T-shirt; 15 cartridges for a free cartridge; or 25 cartridges for a 7800 for $25 or for an XE system or XE disk drive for $50, and "enter an essay writing contest to win an expense-paid 7-day/6-night trip for you and a guest to California. Visit some of California's top tourist attractions including a day at Atari headquarters (near San Francisco) to see how video games are designed." November: Atari (U.S.) announced the availability of the XG-1 Light Gun/ Bug Hunt package. (The package never did ship in the U.S. The loose XES2001 XG-1 Light Gun without Bug Hunt did ship in the U.S. in 1989.) November/December: Atari (U.S.) offered a $50 consumer rebate on the purchase of the XE game system. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union." Atari game cartridges re-released by Atari in 1988: Donkey Kong, Super Breakout. Atari also re-released the AtariWriter cartridge in 1988. 1989 January: Atari shipped DOS XE, and also began shipping the XF551 disk drive with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5). Developed by Bill Wilkinson for Atari. January: Atari shipped 6 new XE game cartridges: Ace of Aces, Desert Falcon, Mario Bros., Crystal Castles, Thunderfox, Into the Eagle's Nest February: Mike Katz departed from Atari as president of the Entertainment Electronics division. February: Atari shipped 3 new XE game cartridges: Crime Buster, Dark Chambers, Choplifter Spring: Atari shipped 5 new XE game cartridges: Food Fight, Karateka, Crossbow, Airball, Summer Games May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari Explorer Publications, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor. Summer: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface. Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in 1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System." 1990 March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus. May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000 XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6) 1991 Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and published in-house at Atari. May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20) May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10) November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.) brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer products for clearance sales. December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEGS, 2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22. December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and 128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150, respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers." 1992 Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4) June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19) December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual Report to Shareholders. 1993 Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine. November?: Rights to ICD (including OSS) products for the 8-bit Atari were purchased by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe / Mike Hohman) 1994 January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories. The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future." 1996 July 30: Atari Corp. merged with JT Storage, Inc. into a new company, JTS Acquisition Corp. The merged company immediately adopted the new name, JTS Corp. The prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant portion of JTS business," JTS said. 1998 February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division, consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive (itself a unit of toy company Hasbro, Inc.), for US$5 million. HIAC XI was then renamed Atari Interactive, Inc. 2001 January 29: Infogrames Entertainment announced completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive was included in the transaction. 2003 May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary. 2009 May 29: The name of Infogrames Entertainment was changed to Atari. TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the 400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Atari, SA of Lyon, France. http://corporate.atari.com/ =================================================================== End of atari-8-bit/faq =================================================================== SIC to the CES (in Las Vegas) in January, 1979, and then switch BASICs later. December: SMI delivered working versions of BASIC and a disk FMS to Atari. 1979 January: Atari (Consumer) introduced the Atari 800 and Atari 400 Personal Computer Systems at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. The 800 would ship with 8K RAM (user-expandable in 8K or 16K increments to 48K) and retail for US$1,000; the 400 would come standard with 8K RAM and retail for US$500. The computers were scheduled to ship in limited quantities in August 1979, with full availability later in the fall. Also introduced: the 410 program recorder, 810 disk drive, and 820 printer. Software introduced: Atari BASIC, Atari DOS. Coverage of the introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine: http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/ "Atari, by introducing its line of personal computers, is the first major consumer electronics manufacturer to demonstrate a commitment to the three paramount needs of both the consumer and retailer: Effective hardware, effective software and effective peripheral components." -- Michael Shea, Atari (Consumer) marketing vice president, quoted in Merchandising magazine January 1979. January: Atari ran an advertisement for the 400/800 on pp. 54-55 of Merchandising, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1979. See: http://mcurrent.name/atariads/gallery.htm for these and other early Atari computer print ads from 1979-1981. April: Crane/Kaplan/Miller finished their work on the Operating System for the Atari 400/800 computers. Spring?: Peter N. Rosenthal joined Atari (Consumer) as Director of Marketing, Personal Computer Systems. May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari again showed the Atari 400/800 computer systems, which were expected to ship within months. June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari again showed the Atari 400/800 computers, which were expected to ship within weeks. The retail price for the 400 system would be US$550 (up from US$500). Also introduced: the Atari Talk & Teach Educational System, including the Master Cartridge and 17 cassette packs in the Cassette Courseware series (4 tapes per pack; 4 lessons per tape; developed by Dorsett Educational Systems for Atari). More software titles introduced: Basketball, Super Breakout, Computer Chess. August: Atari received FCC Type I approval for the 400/800 computers (as well as the 410 program recorder). The Atari 400/800 were the only personal computers to ever comply with this stringent requirement against any RF interference, before the FCC subsequently relaxed the rules. August: "The first official small shipment of the 400/800 was on August 29th 1979. These were hand-built pilot run units to Sears that needed to be in stock by Sept. 1 so they could be placed in the big fall catalog. The units were placed in the Sears warehouse and then immediately returned to Atari after the "in stock" requirement had been met." --Jerry Jessop September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the fall. The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break in October in 12 national publications. TV commercials will also be aired in Los Angeles in November and December." September: In what was likely the first 3rd-party print ad for Atari computer products, Computer Components ("of Orange County"; Westminster, CA) ran a two- page ad on pp. 32-33 of issue #16, September 1979, of MICRO: The 6502 Journal. Page 32 was devoted entirely to the complete Atari personal computers product line as then expected. See: http://mcurrent.name/micro_16_sep_1979_p32.pdf Atari 400 Personal Computer System ($549.99): Computer Console, BASIC Language Cartridge, BASIC Language Programming Manual (Wiley), 400 Operator's Manual with Note Book, Power Supply, TV Switch Box Atari 800 Personal Computer System ($999.99): Computer Console, BASIC Language Cartridge, Education System Master Cartridge, BASIC Language Programming Manual (Wiley), 800 Operator's Manual with Note Book, Atari 410 Program Recorder, Guide to BASIC Programming Cassette, 8K RAM Module, Power Supply, TV Switch Box Peripherals: 810 Disc Drive ($749.99), 820 Printer ($599.99), 410 Program Recorder($89.99) Accessories: CX8100 Blank Diskettes, CX8101 Disk File Manager, CX20-01 Driving Controller Pair, CX30-04 Paddle Controller Pair, CX40-04 Joystick Controller Pair, CX852 8K RAM Memory Module, CX853 16K RAM Memory Module Software titles: CXL4001 Education System Master Cartridge, CXL4004 Basketball, CXL4005 Life (shipped as Video Easel), CXL4006 Super Breakout, CX4008 Super Bug (programmed by Joe Decuir; to be used with Driving Controller; not completed), CXL4002 Atari BASIC, CXL4003 Assembler Debug (shipped as Assembler Editor), CXL4007 Music Composer, CXL4009 Computer Chess, CX4101 Guide to BASIC Programming (shipped as An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of BASIC Programming), CX4102 BASIC Game Programs (never shipped), and the following 17 Education System Cassette Programs (CX6001-CX6017): U.S. History, U.S. Government, Supervisory Skills, World History (Western), Basic Sociology, Counseling Procedures, Principles of Accounting, Physics, Great Classics (English), Business Communications, Basic Psychology, Effective Writing, Auto Mechanics, Principles of Economics, Spelling, Basic Electricity, Basic Algebra October: "Atari's production lines were stalled for about a week in October due to yield problems at one of its chip suppliers, Synertek. The low yields at the semiconductor manufacturer resulted in significantly reduced delivery of the MPU to Atari, resulting in about a 3-week delay in getting the computers into the marketplace." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. November: "The first "real" consumer units were shipped in Nov. of '79 and were 400s to Sears followed very shortly by 800s." --Jerry Jessop November: Conrad Jutson joined Atari (Consumer) as Vice President-Sales & Marketing for Personal Computers. November/December: The initial Atari 400 personal computer package consisted of the 400 computer (8K RAM), 400 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch box, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder. Package retail: US$549.99. November/December: The initial Atari 800 personal computer package consisted of the 800 computer with 8K RAM module, 800 Operator's Manual, power supply, TV switch box, 410 program recorder, CXL4001 Educational System Master Cartridge, CXL4002 Atari BASIC (cartridge), CX4101 An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of Programming (cassette), Atari BASIC: A Self- Teaching Guide (book, see http://www.atariarchives.org/basic/), 3-ring binder. Package retail: US$999.99. November/December: In addition to the $549.99 Atari 400 package, the Sears catalog also listed the 410 program recorder for $85.00, the Educational System Master Cartridge for $34.99, Basketball, Super Breakout, and Life (released as Video Easel) for $49.99 each, Music Composer for $69.99, Joystick pair for $19.99, Paddles pair for $19.99, and these 9 cassette titles for use with the Educational System Master Cartridge for $39.99 each: Basic Sociology, Basic Psychology, Spelling, History of Western World, Great Classics of Eng Lit, Principles of Economics, U.S. History, Principles of Accounting, Business Communications December: "Atari is funneling large quantities of its 400 and 800 personal computers and software to Sears, Roebuck, while retail computer stores have been faced with late hardware deliveries and received very little, if any, software. Sears is offering the Atari 400, priced at $549.99, through its catalog, and is spot-marketing the machine in its retail stores throughout California and the Chicago area. In addition, the firm is selling the Atari 800, priced at $999.99, in its California stores, but not through the catalog, a Sears spokesman said." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. 1980 January: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface. Software titles introduced: 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders. Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages increased to US$630 and US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000). Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive (with DOS I) and the 820 printer (US$449.95). March: Atari shipped Star Raiders. June 15: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the: 815 dual disk drive with DOS 2.0D (never shipped in quantity), 822 printer, and CX70 light pen (never shipped in quantity). Atari also introduced 34 new software packages, including: TeleLink 1, the Atari Accountant series (by Arthur Young & Co.)--General Accounting System; Accounts Receivable System; Inventory Control Program, the Investment Analysis series (by Control Data)--Bond Analysis; Stock Analysis; Stock Charting; Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Conversational French, Conversational German, Conversational Spanish, Space Invaders (SoftSide Aug80). More: Mailing List, Energy Czar, Calculator, Touch Typing, Graph It. Previewed: Missile Command Summer: Atari modified the 800 computer package. The computer would now ship with 16K RAM (up from 8K); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the Atari BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package. The retail price remained US$1,080. Summer: Atari shipped the 825 printer (US$999.95), 830 modem, and 850 interface (US$219.95). September: Peter Rosenthal remained director of marketing for Atari computers. October 21: Roger H. Badertscher was named president of the newly established Computer Division at Atari. He was previously vice president and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer. October: Visicorp introduced the Atari version of VisiCalc. Fall: Atari shipped the 822 printer (US$449.95). Atari reportedly lost $10 million on sales of computer equipment of $13 million in 1980 (InfoWorld 9/14/1981) Atari had sold 35,000 400/800 computers through 1980. (source?) 1981 January/February: First issue of A.N.A.L.O.G. 400/800 Magazine, published by Lee Pappas and Mike DesChenes. 4000 copies printed. January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the list price for the 400 computer package with 8K RAM installed was reduced to US$499.95 (previously: US$630), and that the list price for the 16K RAM version of the 400 package would be US$630. Also introduced: Asteroids, Astrology (ultimately released via APX), Atari Word Processor, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Missile Command, Personal Financial Management System, Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), PILOT, SCRAM (A Nuclear Reactor Simulation), Conversational Italian Winter: Atari released DOS II version 2.0S. February 25: The source code to Atari BASIC, the FMS component of Atari DOS 2.0S (DOS.SYS), and the Atari Assembler Editor were purchased from Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) by Optimized Systems Software (OSS), headed by former SMI employees Bill Wilkinson and Mike Peters. Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by the Atari Computer Division in support of the 400/800. Spring: Keith Schaefer joined Atari (Computer division) as National Sales Manager. April 3-5: Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) staff attended the 6th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, offering a grand prize of US$25,000 in cash and US$75,000 in Atari products to runners-up for Atari computer software authors. In order to qualify for the awards, programs would have to be accepted and sold through the soon-to-be-launched Atari Program Exchange. April 3-5: Also at the West Coast Computer Faire, Optimized Systems Software (OSS) introduced BASIC A+, CP/A (would ship as: OS/A+), and EASMD (enhanced, disk-based versions of Atari BASIC, Atari DOS 2.0S and Atari Assembler Editor, respectively). May 4-7: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that the 8K Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16K version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the 400 would no longer be sold with the Atari BASIC cartridge and the Atari BASIC: A Self-Teaching Guide book. Other price reductions: CX852 8K RAM module now US$49.95 (was US$124.95), CX853 16K RAM module now US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now US$299.95 (was US$449.95). Also introduced: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator, Atari Microsoft BASIC, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor May: Atari launched the Atari Program Exchange (APX), a user-written software distribution unit within the Atari Computer Division. The APX concept had been the brain-child of Dale Yocam, and APX was guided by Fred Thorlin since its inception in February 1981. See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/ Summer: Through their first Catalog, APX introduced: Newspaper Route Management Program, The Computerized Card File, Text Formatter (FORMS), Lemonade, Mugwump, Avalanche, Outlaw/Howitzer, Preschool Games, Roman Checkers, Space Trek, Castle, Wizard's Gold, Sleazy Adventure, Alien Egg, Chinese Puzzle, Sultan's Palace, Anthill, Centurion, Tact Trek, Comedy Diskette, Graphics/Sound Demonstration, FIG FORTH (this version never shipped), Sound Editor, BASIC Program Compressor (MASHER), BASIC Cross- Reference Utility (XREF), BASIC Renumber Utility (RENUM), Disk Fixer (FIX), Variable Changer, Character Set Editor, Extended WSFN, Supersort. APX also introduced several hardware products: DE-9S with DE51218 Shell (controller plug), 5-pin DIN connector, 13-pin I/O plug, 13-pin I/O socket, DA-15P with DA110963-2 Shell (850 printer plug), DE-9P with DE110963-1 Shell (850 serial plug), 2716 EPROM cartridge Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in the program's first year. Summer: By mid-1981 Atari had sold over 50,000 400/800 computers to date. (InfoWorld 9/14/1981) Summer: The Atari 400/800 arrived in the UK. (Maplin News, June/Aug 1981) August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification, Revision 1" reflecting Operating System work for the SWEET16 project to create a new series of computers to replace the 400/800. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the kits: The Communicator, The Entertainer, The Programmer, The Educator. September 10-12: Maplin Electronic Supplies exhibited the Atari 400/800 at the Personal Computer World Show at the Cunard Hotel, Hammersmith, London. September: Peter Rosenthal was director of business planning and development at Atari (Home Computer Division). Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Data Management System, Financial Asset Management System, Decision Maker, Banner Generator, Personal Fitness Program, Blackjack Tutor, Mapware, Video Math Flashcards, Dice Poker, 747 Landing Simulator, Eastern Front (1941), CodeCracker, Domination, Terry, Bumper Pool, Reversi, Minotaur, Lookahead, Babel, Wizard's Revenge, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator, Diskette Librarian, Disk Fixer (FIX) Rev. 2, BASIC Utility for Renumbering Programs (BURP), BASIC Utility Diskette, Screen Dump Utility, Load 'n Go, BLIS, Developer's Diskette. APX also announced their full software product line for sale via download from CompuServe MicroNET. One hardware product was modified: DE-9S with DE110963-1 Shell (controller plug). October: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with the Data Separator Board. The enhancement "improves the drive's ability to distinguish between data pulses and clock pulses on the disk. This is necessary in part because of the variations in the characteristics of different diskettes. The data separator lowers the chance of a misread from the disk." (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 would now all ship with the GTIA chip rather than CTIA as in earlier machines, increasing the palette of simultaneously displayable colors to 256 and adding 3 new graphics modes. (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 began shipping with OS ROM version B, improving peripheral I/O control routines. (Antic Oct.82) November: Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with ROM C and with DOS II version 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS I). "ROM C causes diskettes to be formatted with an improved sector layout which is more efficient than that used by earlier 810 control ROM's." (Antic Oct.82) December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home computer (with 16K RAM) to US$899 from US$1,080. Other prices were increased: The Entertainer to US$110 and The Educator to US$166. Atari claimed to have sold 300,000 400/800 computers in 1981. (InfoWord 6/14/82 p.57) 1982 January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Pac-Man ($44.95), Centipede ($44.95), The Bookkeeper, and The Home Filing Manager. Space Invaders, previously released on cassette, was now re-released on cartridge. The APX title, Caverns of Mars would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's standard product line ($39.95 disk). Following the 400 packaging theme introduced in 1981, the 800, 810, and 410 would now ship in silver/full color packaging. Previewed at the show: the Atari Supergame System (would ship as the 5200). January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors. January 16: At the first Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, the Atari Softare Acquisition Program (ASAP) awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. Star Award of Merit winners: Ronald Marcuse & Lynn Marcuse, Sheldon Leemon, Greg Christensen Winter: APX Catalog introduced: Bowler's Database, Family Cash Flow, Weekly Planner, Enhancements to Graph It, Hydraulic Program (HYSYS), Keyboard Organ, Morse Code Tutor, Player Piano, Atlas of Canada, Hickory Dickory, Letterman, Mathematic-Tac-Toe, My First Alphabet, Number Blast, Presidents of the United States, Quiz Master, Stereo 3-D Graphics Package, Attank!, Blackjack Casino, Block 'Em, Caverns of Mars, Dog Daze, Downhill, Memory Match, Pro Bowling, Reversi II, Solitaire, Source Code for Eastern Front (1941), Space Chase, Atari Program-Text Editor, Dsembler, Extended fig-FORTH, Insomnia (A Sound Editor), Instedit, Supersort Rev. 3, T: A Text Display Device, Ultimate Renumber Utility, Word Processing Diskette. APX sales via CompuServe MicroNET had been discontinued. Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection magazine. March: Atari began producing 810 disk drives using the revised "Analog" (later, "810M") design, including new Analog Board, new Power Supply board, and new 10 pin flat cable connecting the two. The 3 components were also offered together as the CB101128 "Grass Valley Analog Board Set" for "Pre-Analog" 810 drives. March 19-21: Percom introduced the RFD40-S1, the first 3rd party disk drive for the Atari, at the 7th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. Spring: APX Catalog introduced: Family Budget, Diskette Mailing List, Isopleth Map-Making Package, RPN Calculator Simulator, Advanced Musicsystem, Sketchpad, Cubbyholes, Musical Computer--The Music Tutor, Starware, Wordmaker, Block Buster, Atari Pascal Language System, Extended fig-FORTH Rev. 2, GTIA Demonstration Diskette, Instedit (Microsoft BASIC version), Keypad Controller, Speed-O-Disk. APX also introduced the book, De Re Atari (APX-90008 /Atari#CO60070), written by staff in the Atari Software Development Support Group: Chris Crawford wrote Sections 1-6 and Appendices A & B; Lane Winner wrote Section 10 and Appendix D with assistance from Jim Cox; Amy Chen wrote Appendix C; Jim Dunion wrote Sections 8-9; Kathleen Pitta wrote Appendex E; Box Fraser wrote Section 7; Gus Makreas prepared the Glossary. April: First issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine, published by James Capparell. June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Atari Speed Reading (US$74.95), Music Tutor I (title never shipped. MC's speculation: this would have been an Atari-branded re-release of the APX title, Musical Computer-The Music Tutor), Juggles' House (by The Learning Co.), Juggles' Rainbow (by The Learning Co.), TeleLink II (US$79.95), and the Communicator II kit (new 835 modem + Telelink II) (US$279.95). The APX title, My First Alphabet would be re-released as part of Atari's standard product line. Atari also twice announced new retail prices for the 400 computer: first US$349 (CC Oct82 p180), then US$299 (Merch Jul82 p43) (previously, US$399). Keith Schaefer was vice-president of sales for Atari's Home Computer division. June 8: Atari announced the 5200 Home Entertainment System. Later dubbed the SuperSystem, the cartridge-based 5200 would be marketed alongside the ultra- popular Atari VCS (soon to be known as the 2600). While the 5200 required unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware and operating system were nearly identical to that of the 400/800 computers. Suggested retail price: US$299.95. June: Roger Badertscher resigned from his position as president of Atari's Home Computer Division. Summer: APX Catalog introduced: Bowler's Database Rev. 2, Data Base/Report System, Family Vehicle Expense, Recipe Search 'n Save, Calculator, Astrology, Blackjack Tutor Rev. 1.1, Going to the Dogs, Algicalc, Elementary Biology (by MECC), Frogmaster, Instructional Computing Demonstration (by MECC), Metric and Problem Solving (by MECC), Music I--Terms & Notation (by MECC), Polycalc, Three R Math System, Block 'Em Rev. 2, Castle Rev. 1.1, Checker King, Galahad and the Holy Grail, Jax-O, Jukebox #1, The Midas Touch, Pushover, Rabbotz, Salmon Run, Seven Card Stud, BLIS Rev. 1.1, Cosmatic Atari Development Package, Insomnia (A Sound Editor) Rev. 1.1, Instedit Rev. 1.1, Microsoft BASIC Cross-Reference Utility, Player Generator, Utility Diskette II Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 3 locations: The University of San Diego (CA), The Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and East Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was cancelled at the fourth announced site of Lakeland College in Sheboygan WI.) The camps were managed for Atari by Specialty Camps, Inc. Curriculum developed by Robert A. Kahn at Atari. Program overseen by Linda Gordon, Atari vice president for special projects. July 26: InfoWorld estimated between 250,000 and 300,000 Atari 400/800 computers had been sold to date. August: Atari announced the establishment in New York City of a new research laboratory ("Atari NY Lab") dedicated to the exploration of microprocessor- based products in electronic publishing and transactional services for home computers. The Atari NY Lab would be headed by Steve Mayer, now senior vice president of engineering at Atari (previously: vice president of research and product development). The lab would also function as a focus for joint research projects with other subsidiaries of Warner Communications Inc. August 24: John C. Cavalier was named president of Atari's Home Computer Division. His most recent job was vice president and general manager of American Can Company's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper products. September: The recently-established Atari NY Lab was spun off from Atari to form a new subsidiary of Warner Communications called WCI Labs Inc. Atari NY Lab head Steve Mayer, who had been Atari senior vice president of engineering, departed Atari to serve as executive vice-president for strategic planning for Warner Communications, as well as president of WCI Labs. September 29: Date of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16 Product Specification". As of this document, the Sweet-16 project had evolved into two specific computer model designs, a 16K RAM version tentatively named "1200" and a 64K RAM version tentatively named "1200X" (earlier: a 16K "600" and a 64K "1200"), with both models now sharing the same case design. However, also as of this document, plans called for manufacture of only the 64K version. The project would soon lead to the release of the 1200XL. http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem. Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Family Cash Flow Rev. 2, Message Display Program, Stock Management, Text Analyst, Calculus Demon, Counter, Easygrader, Flags of Europe, Math*UFO, Spelling Genie, Word Search Generator, Cribbage, Dog Daze Rev. 1.1, Mankala, Snark Hunt, Dunion's Debugging Tool (DDT), FORTH Turtle Graphics Plus, fun-FORTH, Keypad Controller Rev. 2, Mantis Boot Tape Development System, Mapmaker Fall: The suggested retail price for the Atari 800 was US$679 with 48K RAM standard (previously: US$899/16K). The Atari 400 retail price was US$299 (previously, $349). November: Atari began producing new 810 disk drives with the "center flip door" drive mechanism by Tandon, instead of the "push button, sliding door" mechanism by MPI used in the original design. (Antic May 83) Technical documentation would refer to the new design as the "810T". December/January: First issue of Page 6 magazine, the U.K.'s first Atari computer magazine. Published by Les Ellingham. December: Atari shipped Galaxian, Defender, and VisiCalc (by VisiCorp) in time for the holiday shopping season. December 13: Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. "We believe that the Atari 1200XL will set the standard for a new generation in home computing and, once again, positions Atari on the leading edge of electronic technology and creative computing," Atari chairman Ray Kassar said. The list price for the 1200XL would be "well under $1,000." The 1200XL resulted from the Sweet-16/ "Elizabeth"/"Liz" project inside Atari. Peripherals introduced: the 1010 program recorder (US$99), 1020 printer/plotter (US$299), and 1025 printer (US$549). Keith Schaefer was vp of sales and John Cavalier was president of Atari's Home Computer Division. Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17 percent of all home computer sales. 1983 January 1: The retail price for the Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) was reduced from US$679 to US$499. The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$299 to US$199. January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari showed the 1200XL (and announced the retail price of $899), 1010, 1020, and 1025, introduced revised versions of the Programmer and Entertainer kits, introduced Qix, E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Family Finances (enhanced combination of the two APX titles, Family Cash Flow and Family Budget), Timewise, and AtariWriter, showed the recently-released Galaxian and Defender, and also announced the upcoming AtariMusic I and the first title in the Disney Educational Series, Mickey in the Great Outdoors. Caverns of Mars would be re-released on cartridge (previously: disk). The APX title, Eastern Front (1941) would be re-released in the main Atari product line (on cartridge). The CX22 Trak-Ball was introduced, marketed for the 2600 but compatible with the 400/800/1200XL. January 15: At the 2nd Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. Star Special Award of Merit winners: Douglas Crockford, Harry Koons & Art Prag, Lee Actor. Keith Schaefer had been promoted to senior vice-president of sales for Atari's Home Computer Division. January: Atari began production of the 1200XL (made in the USA). Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)). February: Atari announced the Atari distribution of Visicalc by Visicorp. Winter: APX Catalog introduced: FOG Index, Real Estate Cash Flow Analysis, Text Analyst Rev. 2, Astrology Rev. 1.1, Earth Science (by MECC), Easygrader Rev. 1.1, Geography (by MECC), I'm Different!, The Magic Melody Box, The Market Place (by MECC), Monkey Up a Tree, Music II--Rhythm & Pitch (by MECC), Music III--Scales & Chords (by MECC), Prefixes (by MECC), Typo Attack, Air- Raid!, Game Show, Gridiron Glory, Melt-Down, Phobos, Pushky, Quarxon, Rabbotz Rev. 1.1, Yahtman, BASIC/XA, Deep Blue C Compiler, Deep Blue Secrets, Disk Fixer/Load 'n Go, Diskmenu, Music Player Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge. AtariWriter was programmed by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for DataSoft, for product manager Gary Furr at Atari. Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live host to explore the role of computers in society. (MC's note: I remember that this came to my school!) March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari announced the 1050 disk drive, and Atari Logo (developed by Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) for Atari). Spring: APX Catalog introduced: Atspeller, Typit, Fingerspelling, Escape to Equatus, Math Mission, My Spelling Easel, Teasers by Tobbs, Three R Math Classroom Kit, Catterpiggle, Diggerbonk, Getaway!, Impact, Microsailing, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator (New Version), Hex-A-Bug April: Atari announced that Michael Moone would no longer serve as president of the Consumer Electronics Division, as the division would be consolidated with the Home Computer Division. April/May: Production of the 1200XL shifted from the USA to Taiwan. May: Production of Atari 400/800 computers and 810 disk drives ended. May: The retail price for the Atari 400 was reduced from US$199 to US$99. June 1: Atari consolidated the businesses of the Home Computer Division with the Consumer Electronics (home video games) Division. There would now be three Divisions for both home computers and home video games: - Atari Products Company (development & marketing, John Cavalier, president) - Atari Sales and Distribution Company (Donald Kingsborough, president) - Atari Manufacturing Company (Paul Malloy, president) June: Atari introduced the 600XL and 800XL home computers at the Summer CES in Chicago. Retail prices would be $199/600XL and $299/800XL. The 400/800/1200XL would be discontinued. (The 1400XL and 1450XLD computers were also introduced, but these never made it into production.) Peripherals introduced: 1050 disk drive, 1027 printer, 1030 modem, Light Pen + AtariGraphics, Touch Tablet + AtariArtist, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks, CX80 Trak-Ball, CX60 Ultimate Super Joystick (eventually shipped as the CX24), AtariLab Starter Set With Temperature Module, AtariLab Light Module (AtariLab developed by Dickinson College). Software introduced by Atari: DOS 3, Logo, Microsoft BASIC II, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Football, Tennis, Paint, AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II. Battlezone was announced. (Also introduced or announced but never shipped: the 1060 CP/M Add-On Module, the 1090 XL Expansion System, Superman III, Soccer, Tempest, Xevious, Peter Pan's Daring Journey or Peter Pan's Daring Escape (Disney; later renamed: Captain Hook's Revenge), The Mysteries of Wonderland (Disney), Star Trux, and the AtariLab Modules: Timekeeper, Lie Detector, Reaction Time, Heartbeat, Biofeedback, Mechanics) The 600XL had been known as "Surely" and the 800XL had been known as "Surely Plus" inside Atari. June 11-Sept 10: Atari co-sponsored the Punta Cana Club Med/Atari Computer vacation getaway on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. June 27: Atari opened their first Atari Center, an educational computing concept, at The Oaks Shopping Center in Cupertino, CA. Atari Centers were operated by the Picodyne Corporation (Dean Brown, president) with Atari providing funding and advertising. Alan O'Neill was the contract manager of Atari Centers. Sara Armstrong, director of the Terra Nuova Montessori School in Hayward CA, would be director of the Cupertino Atari Center. Month?: Atari (Home Computer) vice president, product and business planning (strategic planning) Peter Rosenthal departed the company. Summer: APX Catalog introduced: Home Inventory, Home Loan Analysis, Strategic Financial Ratio Analysis, Drawit, Piano Tuner, Video Kaleidoscope, Circuit Lab, Morsecode Master, Punctuation Put-on, Three R Math Home System, Wordgo, The Bean Machine, Bootleg, Can't Quit, Dandy, Ennumereight, Smasher. APX also introduced the 48K RAM Expansion Kit (for the 400 computer, 8K or 16K versions); $110, or $130 installed at Atari Regional Repair Centers. Summer: Second year of Atari Computer Camps, held at seven sites nationwide (U.S.): Greenfield MA, Faribault MN, East Stroudsburg PA, Asheville NC, Glencoe MD, Danville CA, and San Diego CA. July 2: The second Atari Center opened at the corner of Fifth Ave. and 48th St. in Manhattan. Educator Seth Greenberg would be manager of the Manhattan Atari Center. July 7: Warner Communications announced that Atari chairman Ray Kassar had resigned, to be replaced by James J. Morgan. Morgan was previously executive vice president of Philip Morris USA, handling the company's US$4.3 billion cigarette operations. Until Morgan's arrival, Emanuel Gerard would serve as interim chairman and CEO. July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended. August: Atari Chairman-to-be James Morgan instituted another major management reorganization at Atari. Atari Sales and Distribution Company and Atari Manufacturing Company were both dissolved, their functions to be merged into the Atari Products Company division (home computers and home video game systems), with 5 divisions of its own: - Atari Products Company (no division head) - - Management (marketing) (John Cavalier, president) - - Sales (Donald Kingsborough, president) - - Manufacturing (Paul Malloy, president) - - Engineering (John Farrand, president) - - International (Anton Bruehl, president) The presidents of all Atari Products Co. divisions would report directly to Morgan. Sept83-June84: The "Catch On to Computers" program, a joint effort between Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, offered Atari computers, equipment, and educational software to schools for collecting Post cereal proof-of-purchase points over the 1983-1984 school year. September: Ted Kahn stepped down as executive director of the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research. More than US$1 million worth of computers, software, and cash stipends had been awarded to over 100 nonprofit organizations since the program's founding in 1981. September: Atari International (U.K.) announced The Loan Raider. September: The Atari 800 (with 48K RAM, without Atari BASIC) would now retail for US$165 while supplies lasted. September 23: The two Atari Center locations both closed at the end of the 90- day trial period for the program. Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Atspeller Rev. 2, AtariWriter Printer Drivers, Color Alignment Generator, Advanced Fingerspelling, Excalibur, Musical Pilot, Puzzler, Ringmaster, Spelling Genie Rev. 2.0, Ion Roadway, Kangaroo, Moon Marauder, Saratoga, Space War, Cartoonist, Eastern Front (1941) Scenario Editor, Eastern Front Scenarios 1942/1943/1944, Mathlib for Deep Blue C Fall: Atari begin shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 3 (replacing DOS 2.0S). Fall: The Atari 600XL/800XL both shipped, retail price US$199/$299. Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II package, containing the 835 modem. October 7: John Cavalier departed from his position as president of the Management (marketing) division of the Atari Products Company. October: Atari launched Atari Learning Systems, a new division dedicated to product development, sales, and support for K-12 educators in the U.S. Directed by Linda Gordon. October: Atari France launched the "L'Atarien" magazine, issue 0 (pilot ?), the "magazine of the Atari Club". In its first issues, the magazine was mostly centered on the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers, but the focus quickly shifted to the XL computers in the next issues. Officially the magazine was issued by "Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #0, Page 3). "PECF" was the nickname of the company "Productions et Editions Cinematographiques Francaises", a company 100% owned by Warner Communications. October-December: "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy training programs for children, adults, and teachers, sponsored by Atari and General Mills' Post Cereals, ran in 10 cities across the U.S. November: Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong, it would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL/ 800XL. Atari also said that the 1400XL and 1450XLD would not ship until 1984. November: Atari opened the Atari Adventure center in St. Louis, MO. The concept combined a traditional video game arcade with a hands-on public computer classroom/lab featuring Atari XL computers, along with a new technology display area. "Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year" - Time magazine, July 16, 1984 1984 January 1: Atari increased U.S. dealer prices for the Atari 600XL and 800XL by US$40 each, to US$180 and US$280, respectively. January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced: the 1064 Memory Module (for the 600XL), The Atari Translator, Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt, Millipede, Sky Writer, SynFile+, SynCalc, SynTrend, The Legacy (shipped as Final Legacy), Player Maker, Screen Maker. The APX title, Typo Attack would be re-released on cartridge as part of Atari's standard product line. (Atari confirmed that the unshipped 1400XL computer was canceled. Atari CEO James Morgan said the unshipped Atari 1450XLD was "exhibited only as a demonstration of the company's intent to market a high-end computer in 1984, although the specifics of such a product are currently under review." --Creative Computing May 1984.) (Software introduced by Atari but never shipped: Atari Pascal 2.0, Atari Super PILOT, Captain Hook's Revenge (Disney), Berserk, Pop'R Spell, Mario Bros. (a completely rewritten Mario Bros. was ultimately released in 1989), AtariLab Modules: Robotics, Nuclear Radiation) January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. Other Finalists: James Burton, R. Stanley Kistler, Gregor Novak. Fred Simon was Atari senior vice-president of computer hardware and software marketing. January 23: Atari chairman and CEO James Morgan announced another management reorganization at Atari. John Farrand was promoted to president of Atari, and would also now serve as president and COO of the Atari Products Company (home computers, home video games, and now coin-operated arcade games). Winter: APX Catalog introduced: Equestrian, Mastermatch, Atspeller for AtariWriter, Bellum, Burgers!, Chambers of Zorp, Character Fun, Dragon Quest or A Twist in the Tail, Numberland Nightwatch, Raid on Graviton, Rush Hour, Weakon, National Flags, Dog Daze Deluxe February: Atari 5200 production ended. March: Fred Thorlin, director of APX since its 1982 inception, left Atari. March 22-25: At the 9th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco Atari's exhibit included the APX title, Equestrian. (ROM #6) APX also introduced what turned out to be their last release, Bumpomov's Dogs, see: http://graychang.megabyet.net/cnc/bumpomov/broderbund_letter.shtml Spring: I/O Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)). April: Atari shut down the APX operation. Software rights were returned to the original authors. May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari and Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, developed by Lucasfilm Games, to be shipped by Atari on cartridge for the 400/800 computers and the 5200 SuperSystem. (The Atari computer versions were finally shipped on disk by Epyx (USA) and Activision (UK) in 1985. The 5200 versions were finally released by Atari Corp. in 1986.) May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production. More than 1 million 5200s had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3) June 3-6: Atari motto at the Summer CES in Chicago: "June 3, 1984--The Day The Future Began." Atari announced that it would introduce a new high-end computer, reportedly for under $1000, in time for the Christmas buying season. The computer would be an extension of the XL line, very similar to the long- awaited 1450XLD; it would have 64K RAM, modem, speech synthesis chip, and a built-in, double-sided, dual-density disk drive that stores 352K. (never shipped.) The previously-announced 1090 XL Expansion System was expected to be released along with the new computer (never shipped). Atari introduced: Proofreader (for AtariWriter), Track & Field, Crystal Castles. Atari also introduced The Last Starfighter, which was ultimately re-worked and shipped as Star Raiders II in 1986. (Also introduced by Atari but never shipped: MindLink hardware device, Jr. Pac-Man, Hobgoblin, This Is Ground Control, Through the Starbridge, Find It!, Elevator Action, Yaacov Agam's Interactive Painting, The ABC of CPR: First Aid, Wheeler-Dealer, Simulated Computer, Telly Turtle, Word Tutor, Letter Tutor, Gremlins, Pole Position II) June: Atari France announced the SECAM model of the 800XL. (The SECAM 600XL was also announced, but this never made it into production.) List prices: 600XL PAL: 2200 FRF ; 600XL SECAM: 2500 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 3200 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 3500 FRF ; 1010: 890 FRF ; 1050: 3690 FRF ; 1020: 2590 FRF; 1027: 3490 FRF ; Atari Touch Tablet: 890 FRF Month?: Exidy released the Max-A-Flex coin-operated arcade conversion system, along with four games for the system, all developed by First Star Software: Astro Chase, Boulder Dash, Bristles, Flip and Flop. The Exidy Max-A-Flex utilized an embedded Atari 600XL system. See: http://www.myatari.co.uk/issues/jan2003/maxaflex.htm July 1-August 25: Third and final year of Atari Computer Camps. Camps were held at two locations: "Camp Atari-Poconos" (East Stroudsburg State College) in East Stroudsburg PA, and "Camp Atari-New England" (Stoneleigh-Burnham School) in Greenfield MA. Patricia Tubbs was Project Manager at Atari. July 2: In a deal consummated in New York City at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning, July 2, effective Saturday June 30, the assets of the Atari home computer and home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to Tramel Technology Ltd., which had been formed on May 17, 1984 by its chairman and CEO Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL), the founder and former president of Commodore International. The transaction included the rights to the "Atari" name and "Fuji" logo, with Warner Communications retaining exclusive license to use the Atari name and trademark in coin-operated arcade environments. Tramiel also gained the intellectual property rights to all existing Atari arcade games, with Warner Communications retaining exclusive license to those properties in coin-operated arcade environments. Tramel Technology adopted the new name, Atari Corporation. Jack Tramiel would continue as chairman and CEO, and (son) Sam Tramiel would serve as president. July: The new Atari Corp. halted all manufacturing, and dismissed most of its inherited Silicon Valley workforce, roughly 1,000 people. Upon a review of the existing product lines and inventories, it was determined to resume production of the 800XL computer. The 600XL was discontinued, and further work on prototype new XL computer models was halted. Atari Connection magazine was shut down. July 13: Warner Communications announced the sale of 78% of its WCI Labs subsidiary (internal co-developer of the Atari XL computers) to WCI Labs' management. As a result of the transaction, which was made effective retroactive to June 1, 1984, a new privately held company, the Take One Company, was formed, with Steven T. Mayer as chairman and chief executive. Warner Communications initially retained 22% ownership of Take One. August: Atari engineers completed the prototype "800XLF" motherboard design, to be used in new-production 800XL computers. The new 800XL machines would include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced by Atari, Inc.). The new 800XL machines would be produced in PAL and (for the first time, France-specific) SECAM versions, but not the NTSC version due to ample existing supply of NTSC 800XL machines. August: Atari reduced the retail price for the 800XL from US$250 to US$179. November 13: Atari held a press conference at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA in which they outlined their basic marketing strategy for 1985. The U.S. price for the 800XL was reduced from US$179 to US$119. December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy. Atari estimated the company's share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983. In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds. December: Atari France announced the new prices of the XL computers range: 600XL PAL: 1599 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 2199 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 2499 FRF; 1010: 449 FRF ; 1050: 2699 FRF ; 1020: 899 FRF ; 1027: 3399 FRF; Atari Touch Tablet: 649 FRF December: Atari France resumed L'Atarien magazine with issue #5. (It had been on hold since issue #4, June 1984.) December: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design, to be used in the forthcoming 65XE computer. "The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33. "By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985 1985 January 5-8: Atari introduced the 65XE and 130XE home computers at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (The 65XEP and 65XEM computers were announced, but these never made it into production.) The 800XL would be discontinued. XE peripherals introduced: the XMM801 and XDM121 printers and the XM301 modem. XE Software introduced: AtariWriter Plus, Silent Butler, Song Painter (later renamed Music Painter), The Learning Phone (PLATO). (Also introduced but never shipped: the XTM201 and XTC201 printers, the XC1411 and XM128 monitors, and the XF521 disk drive. XE Software: Infinity (integrated word processor/ spreadsheet/database/telecomm software, developed for Atari by Matrix Software / Vincent Garafolo), Shopkeeper, Atari Tutorial). Epyx introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus for the Atari 8-bit computers, both announced but not shipped by the old Atari, Inc. Winter: Atari shipped the The Learning Phone cartridge, designed at Atari by Vincent Wu. Atari access software for the PLATO Service Network (Control Data Corporation) had been in development at Atari since 1981. February: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine, the glossy published by Atari (U.S.) Corp. in support of the XE and ST computers. Headed by Neil Harris. February: The new "L'Atarien" magazine was now issued by "Pressimages" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #6, Page 3). February: Retail prices from Atari France: 800XL SECAM: 1700 FRF ; 1050: 2600 FRF ; 1027: 2600 FRF March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club Atari announced that they had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of interest." Also, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY sound chip." (The AMY chip had been developed at Atari, Inc. Atari Corp. now owned the technology, but had not retained the original design team. Thus, the new plan to integrate AMY into the XE system, as the announced 65XEM computer, turned out to be prohibitively expensive. Atari ultimately sold the AMY chip and technologies to a Milwaukee based audio design house called Sight & Sound. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html ) John Skruch was introduced as software product manager for the 8-bit XE line. (CN, Apr85, p. 19) April: Atari shipped the 130XE, retail price US$149.95. (The 65XE was temporarily held out of the U.S. market due to ample supply of the 800XL.) April: Atari France announced the availability of the Atari 1029 printer. The price was not announced. April/May: Atari began shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 2.5 (replacing DOS 3). May: First issue of the U.K.'s Atari User magazine, published by Database Publications. June: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Planetarium (prototypes sometimes called Home Astronomer). (Atari also introduced VIP Professional and GEM Desktop for the XE, but these never shipped.) DataSoft re-introduced 3 titles for the XE previously shipped by Atari: Pole Position, Pac-Man, and Dig Dug. June: Atari France retail price for the 130XE SECAM: 1990 FRF Fall: Atari shipped the disk-based AtariWriter Plus. Designed and programmed from scratch by William Robinson (the core word processor), Ron Rosen (Mail Merge module), and R. Stanley Kistler (Proofreader module) for Micro Fantasy, for Atari. Manual by Jeffrey D. Bass. Package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. Fall: Atari shipped the XM301 modem. November 15: Atari announced the creation of an electronic entertainment division, to be headed by Michael V. Katz, formerly head of Epyx. November: At the fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari again showed the XMM801, The Silent Butler, and Atari Planetarium, each to ship by Christmas. Atari's 8-bit user base in the UK has now reached 400,000...close to 100,000 of the [discontinued 800XL] are believed to have been sold during the run up to Christmas alone. (Atari User Feb 1986 p.9) 1986 January 9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Star Raiders II for the XE, and also announced (but did not show) the XC11 program recorder. A redesigned version of the 2600 (unofficially, "2600 Jr."; previously designed by Atari, Inc.) was introduced. February: Cover date of Issue #10, the final issue of L'Atarien magazine from Atari France. February: Atari France retail prices: 130XE SECAM: 1490 FRF ; 1010: 490 FRF ; 1050: 1490 FRF ; 1029: 1490 FRF March: Database Exhibitions staged the first Atari User Show at the Novotel in Hammersmith, London, UK. (Atari User May 1988) March: At the Hannover Fair, West Germany, Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the XEP80 interface, and they also described a new DOS, which was later named ADOS, and which ultimately shipped as DOS XE. (Atari also introduced plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) Spring: Atari shipped the 65XE, retail price US$99.95. April 28-May 1: Atari introduced a working prototype of what would ultimately ship as the SX212 modem at the Spring COMDEX (Computer Dealer's Exhibition) in Atlanta. Atari also announced that the 80 Column Card would be out "late this summer." (Atari also reiterated plans for a 3.5" disk drive (the XF351) but this never shipped.) June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer magazine. June 1-4: Atari introduced the XEP80 interface at the Summer CES in Chicago. Also featured: Atari Planetarium, Star Raiders II, and the XMM801. Summer: Atari shipped the XC12 in place of the XC11. Summer: Bob Gleadow, previously of Commodore, became the new general manager of Atari UK. Max Bambridge, the outgoing head of Atari UK, was transferred to the Far East to oversee Atari manufacturing. (Atari User May 1988) Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by the new subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David H. Ahl, founder and former editor of Creative Computing magazine. German Atari chairman Alwin Stumpf reported at CeBit 1987 in Hannover that Atari was surprised to sell 92,000 Atari XL computers in West Germany in 1986. (Happy Computer - 2. Atari XL/XE Sonderheft, p. 3, as quoted/translated by Andreas Koch) 1987 January 8: Atari previewed the XE game system at the Winter CES in Las Vegas. February: Atari introduced the XE video game system at the American International TOY FAIR in New York. March 4-7: Atari announced that they would release an XE-styled replacement for the 800XL at CeBIT '87 in Hanover, West Germany. This machine would soon be known as the 800XE. June: "Flying High" was Atari's motto at the Summer CES in Chicago. Atari introduced the XF551 and ADOS (renamed DOS XE when shipped), AtariWriter 80, and SX Express!. Atari introduced the two pack-in games for the XE game system, Bug Hunt (proto names had been Troubleshooter or Blast 'Em) and Flight Simulator II. Atari announced that they would be re-releasing many of their own 400/800/XL/XE cartridge titles for the XE, including Battlezone, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and the former disk title, Star Raiders II. Atari also announced many new Atari XE cartridge titles, including Crossbow, Hardball!, Fight Night, One-On-One Basketball, Archon, Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus, Lode Runner, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Gato, and Barnyard Blaster. Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer. September: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface and the SX212 modem. (The SX Express! disk software package for use with the SX212 would be sold separately, later.) Fall: Atari shipped the XE game system in late September, and it reached most dealer shelves by mid-October, retail price US$150. Package included: Missile Command and Atari BASIC on ROM, keyboard, Joystick, Light Gun, Bug Hunt cartridge and Flight Simulator II cartridge. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "In Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, and Poland the Atari 800XE and 65XE computers have gained brand dominance and are among the most popular systems being sold in these countries." Atari sold 100,000 XE Game Systems in the U.S. at Christmas and did not meet demand (Antic magazine, May 1988, p. 39) Atari "claims more than 2 million XE game systems sold in 1987." (Compute! magazine, May 1988: http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue96/news.php) 1988 January: Optimized Systems Software (OSS) was merged into ICD. Winter: Atari shipped 12 new XE game cartridges: Archon, Ballblazer, Barnyard Blaster, BattleZone, Blue Max, David's Midnight Magic, Fight Night, HardBall, Lode Runner, One-On-One Basketball, Rescue on Fractalus, Star Raiders II April: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5). May: Sam Tramiel became CEO of Atari (replacing father Jack Tramiel). Sam Tramiel would also continue as president. Jack Tramiel remained chairman. June: Atari promoted the XE game system at the Summer CES in Chicago, under their "Winning Package" theme. Summer: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Gato. Fall: Atari opened an office of the Entertainment Electronics Division in Chicago, headed by Larry Siegel, vice president of software development. Mike Katz, based in Sunnyvale, remained president of the Entertainment Electronics Division. Fall?: Atari shipped the new XE game cartridge, Necromancer. October 1, 1988 through September 30, 1989: "Atari Advantage" promotion program by Atari (U.S.) for the 2600, 7800, and XE. Collect 5 cartridges for a free Atari T-shirt; 15 cartridges for a free cartridge; or 25 cartridges for a 7800 for $25 or for an XE system or XE disk drive for $50, and "enter an essay writing contest to win an expense-paid 7-day/6-night trip for you and a guest to California. Visit some of California's top tourist attractions including a day at Atari headquarters (near San Francisco) to see how video games are designed." November: Final issue of the U.K.'s Atari User magazine. The name would be sold to rival U.K. magazine publisher Page 6. November: Atari (U.S.) announced the availability of the XG-1 Light Gun/ Bug Hunt package. (The package never did ship in the U.S. The loose XES2001 XG-1 Light Gun without Bug Hunt did ship in the U.S. in 1989.) November/December: Atari (U.S.) offered a $50 consumer rebate on the purchase of the XE game system. December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union." Atari sold 500,000 Atari 800XL units in West Germany in 1988. (Bajtek 2/1989, p.7; thanks Kr0tki) 1989 January: Atari shipped DOS XE, and also began shipping the XF551 disk drive with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5). January: Atari shipped 6 new XE game cartridges: Ace of Aces, Desert Falcon, Mario Bros., Crystal Castles, Thunderfox, Into the Eagle's Nest February/March: New name for Page 6 magazine: Page 6 Atari User. February: Mike Katz departed from Atari as president of the Entertainment Electronics division. February: Atari shipped 3 new XE game cartridges: Crime Buster, Dark Chambers, Choplifter Spring: Atari shipped 5 new XE game cartridges: Food Fight, Karateka, Crossbow, Airball, Summer Games May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari Explorer Publications, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor. June/July: New name for Page 6 Atari User magazine: New Atari User. Summer: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface. Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48K/64K Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128K RAM of the 130XE. October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. December: Final issue of ANALOG Computing magazine December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in 1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System." 1990 March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus. May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000 XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6) June/July: Final issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine. Antic would continue as a section of the publisher's STart magazine. 1991 Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and published in-house at Atari. March/April: LDW had imported about 250-270 thousand Atari 8-bit computers into Poland to date (since 1985)...Currently about 20% of the global production of 8-bit Atari computers is sent to Poland (Moje Atari 4/1991, pp. 8-9; thanks Kr0tki) April/May: Final issue of STart magazine (which had incorporated Antic magazine). May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20) May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10) November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.) brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer products for clearance sales. December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEGS, 2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22. December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and 128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150, respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers." 1992 Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4) June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19) December: First issue of Atari Classics magazine, published by Unicorn Publications, Ben Poehland managing editor. December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual Report to Shareholders. 1993 Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine. November?: Rights to ICD (including OSS) products for the 8-bit Atari were purchased by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe / Mike Hohman) 1994 January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories. The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future." 1996 July 30: Atari Corp. merged with JT Storage, Inc. into a new company, JTS Acquisition Corp. The merged company immediately adopted the new name, JTS Corp. The prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant portion of JTS business," JTS said. 1997 July: Final issue of Atari Classics magazine. 1998 February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division, consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive (itself a unit of toy company Hasbro, Inc.), for US$5 million. HIAC XI was then renamed Atari Interactive, Inc. Fall: Final issue of Page 6 Publishing's New Atari User magazine. 2001 January 29: Infogrames Entertainment announced completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive was included in the transaction. 2003 May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary. 2009 May 29: The name of Infogrames Entertainment was changed to Atari. TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the 400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Atari, SA of Lyon, France. http://corporate.atari.com/ =================================================================== End of atari-8-bit/faq =================================================================== Williams ("Alf"). All machine language. OASIS is very crash-resistant and comes with a "dial out" screen so that the Sysop can use the BBS as a terminal program to call and fetch files without having to bring the BBS down and reload a terminal program. OASIS supports "Door programs" which it refers to as "OASIS PAL modules". An excellent message system, and a complex file system. It consists of "file libraries" with suites of "file types". There is quite a bit of overhead involved in performing a download (which may be a good thing, as it discourages file hogs). OASIS IV performs networking. SpartaDOS 3.2x recommended, but any DOS supported. R-Time 8 clock cartridge supported. Glenda Stocks writes at http://world.std.com/~snet/glenda.htm : I purchased the source code rights to OASIS and began marketing the BBS software to Atari 8-bit enthusiasts around the world. I felt that I had the superior BBS software because I had programmed in the ability to run external programs, including online games and user surveys. I also had added color prompts for IBM clone users who called Atari boards running my OASIS software. Sometime in 1991...I sold the rights to OASIS to a man in Canada.. Jeff Williams ("Alf") writes: (12/6/02) OASIS was around prior to either PRO or BBS Express! IIRC. I don't know when exactly it showed up, version 3.09 was the first one I remember seeing. What made it nifty was it was very fast, being all assembler, and having some different features that things like Forem & Carina didn't have. Compared to something like Forem MPP at the time, it was kind of amazing. Ralph Walden sold it to Glenda Stocks, who chopped it up into modules and sold it as ver 4.7. PRO was out by then, and was a much more complete offering imo. Glenda wrote some modules for 4.7, but it never really went anywhere because the architecture was so cramped with her changes. Eventually she gave up and sold me the source. I looked it over and realized it was a mess and nothing was going to happen with it. I worked on a version 5 for a while, but never made much progress. o Puff BBS -- by Robert (Bob) Puff http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/software/ATARI/EIGHTBIT/PUFFBBS/ "came with a hardware component to both provide ring detect for the Atari (none existed in the modem) and to serve as a hardware key/dongle associated with the software." o SMART BBS -- by Marco Benton http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/software/ATARI/EIGHTBIT/SMARTBBS/ This program is written entirely in BASIC. It expects to be running under a SpartaDOS environment. This BBS program uses a "modem clock string" rather than an R-Time 8 cartridge in order to retrieve the current time. It also comes with an Atari BASIC game door called "Sabotage". o TART-BOARD -- by Bob Alleger Early Atari BBS. o TCPIP Express -- by ILS - Integrated Logic Systems - Stephen J. Carden http://www.realdos.net/prodtcpip.html This upgrade is to the BBS Express Professional. This version is designed to function on the Internet and Multiplexer, though neither is required. Targeted at the serious, big-system Internet SysOp. Will ONLY run on SpartaDOS 3.2x or greater or RealDOS. TDLINE must be installed, and the R-Time 8 is fully supported. Written in 100% machine language. o XeBBS+ -- by Jonathan Taylor http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/software/ATARI/EIGHTBIT/XEBBS/ for the Atari 130XE / Expanded 800XL, required BASIC XE, designed to work with the SupraDrive hard disk. "used the Automatic Modem Processor (AMP) code from FoReM XE, but was otherwise written from scratch." - Jonathan Taylor o 835 & 1030 Modem Bulletin Board -- by Gardner Computing (earlier) / Duplicating Technologies (DT)(later) Auto answer, XMODEM upload/download, sold with ring detector. Ads: ROM #9 Dec84/Jan85 p. 37; Antic v4n10 Feb 86 p. 44
Subject: 10.3) How can I read/write Atari diskettes with my other computer? There are several programs that allow an MS-DOS system to work with an Atari-format 5.25" diskette. Most of these work with the Atari SS/DD 180KiB format. There is also a device, detailed below, that allows an external 5.25" floppy disk drive to be connected to a modern PC via a USB port, and which supports reading Atari DOS 2 SS/DD 90KiB floppy disks. Atari-Link PC (AtariDsk) V1.2 (c) 95-12-09 ========================================== by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl) Ataridsk is a program for MSDOS-PCs that allows you to access Atari floppy disks in double density (180KiB). All you need is a PC (XT or 286 should be sufficient) and a 5.25" floppy drive. Features of this tool: * Menu driven user interface * Read, write and format Atari disks on the PC * Small size (only 35KiB) http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/ WriteAtr V0.92b =============== by HiassofT (Matthias Reichl) With WriteAtr you can write double density ATR-images to Atari floppy disks on your MSDOS-PC. You can also create ATR-images of double density floppy disks! All you need is a PC and a 5.25" and/or a 3.5" floppy drive. Version 0.92b added experimental support for the enhanced density (1040 sectors/128 bytes per sector) format. Please note: this format doesn't work with a lot of floppy controllers - use it at your own risk! http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/ MyUTIL ====== - By Mark K Vallevand - Based on Charles Marslett's UTIL. - http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/myutil.zip - Includes SpartaDOS disk utility v0.1e to access 180KiB SpartaDOS disks ATARIO ====== - By Dave Brandman with Kevin White - Reads SS/DD 180KiB Atari disks. - www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Unverified/Diskutils-redist/atario21.arc SpartaRead ========== - By Oscar Fowler - Reads SS/DD 180KiB SpartaDOS disks. - http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/8bit/Diskutils/Transfer/sr.arc UTIL ==== - By Charles Marslett - Reads/Writes SS/DD 180KiB Atari disks. http://www.wordmark.org/ =============================================================== Here's some advice on using the above utilities from Hans Breitenlohner: There are two technical obstacles to interchanging disks between DD Atari drives and PC drives. 1. The Atari drive spins slightly slower (288 RPM instead of 300 RPM). If you format a disk on the Atari, then write sectors on the PC, it is possible that the header of the next physical sector will be overwritten, making that sector unreadable. (The next physical sector is usually the current logical sector+2). The solution to this is to format all disks on the PC. (Aside: Does anybody know how this problem is handled on the XF551? Is it also slowed down?) Konrad Kokoszkiewicz answers: "The XF551 disk drive is not slowed down - these drives are spinning 300 rotations per minute. To prevent troubles with read/write disks formatted and written on normal Atari drives (288 rot/min), the main crystal frequency for the floppy disk controller is 8.333MHz (not 8MHz, as in 1050, for example)." 2. If the PC drive is a 1200KiB drive there is the additional problem of the track width. The following is generally true in the PC world: - disks written on 360KiB drives can be read on either drive - blank disk formatted and written on 1200KiB drives can be read on either kind - disks written on a 360KiB drive, and overwritten on a 1200KiB drive, can be read reliably only on a 1200KiB drive. - disks previously formatted on a 360KiB drive, or formatted as 1200KiB, and then reformatted on a 1200KiB drive to 360KiB, can be read reliably only on a 1200KiB drive. (All this assumes you are using DD media, not HD.) Solution: Use a 360KiB drive if you can. If not, format disks on the Atari for Atari to PC transfers, format truly blank disks on the PC for PC to Atari transfers. Jon D. Melbo sums it up this way: So a basic rule of thumb when sharing 360KiB floppies among 360KiB & 1200KiB drives is: Never do any writes with a 1200KiB drive to a disk that has been previously written to in a 360KiB drive....UNLESS... you only plan on ever using that disk in the 1200KiB drive from then on out. Of course a disk can be reformatted in a particular drive any time for use in that drive. As long as you follow that rule, you can utilize the backward compatible 360KiB modes that most 1200KiB drives offer. AnaDisk + DeAna =============== While the above mentioned utilities work with SS/DD 180KiB Atari-format disks or SS/DD 180KiB SpartaDOS disks, the following combination of utilities has been used successfully to read SS/SD 90KiB Atari-format disks. So if you only have standard Atari 810 and/or Atari 1050 drives, you could look into: AnaDisk -- now a product of New Technoligies Inc. (NTI) See: http://www.forensics-intl.com/anadisk.html The current version is "not made available to the general public" (!) Previously a product of Chuck Guzis @ Sydex, http://www.sydex.com/ Older versions available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ - Reads/Writes "any" 5.25" diskette DeAna by Nate Monson Available: http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ - converts AnaDisk dump files from Atari format See http://ch.twi.tudelft.nl/~sidney/atari/ for tips on using this combination of utilities. Preston Crow writes: "As best as I can figure it out, if your PC drive happens to read FM disks (I'm not sure what the criteria for that is), then you can read single density disks on your PC by dumping the contents to a file with AnaDisk, and then using Deana.com to convert the dump file into a usable format. For enhanced density disks, Anadisk generally only reads the first portion of each sector, but it demonstrates that it is possible for a PC drive to read enhanced density disks." FC5025 USB 5.25" floppy controller ================================== - By Device Side Data - Plugs into any computer's USB port and enables you to read data from an external 5.25" floppy drive. - Sold as a controller board only without a drive mechanism. It has been tested to work well with the TEAC FD-55GFR drive and should also work with most other 5.25" drives. - The FC5025 is read-only. It cannot write to floppies. - The FC5025 may be unable to read disks that are damaged or copy-protected. - The FC5025 is intended for 5.25" disks only, not 3.5" or 8" disks. - The FC5025 may be unable to read the second side of "flippy" disks, depending on the drive it is attached to. - The included software works on: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows - The included software supports types of disk including: Atari 810 - Available: http://www.deviceside.com/ OmniFlop ======== - By Sherlock Consulting (Jason Watton) - A 'universal' floppy disk reader, writer, and tester for the IBM PC or compatible which can handle alien floppy disk formats not normally supported by DOS, Windows and Linux. - OmniFlop on its own transfers disks between systems. If you want to access files, for example, on these disks then you need more - you will need to use OmniFlop to image the disk, then other software to interpret the filing system. OmniFlop alone only handles whole disks. - Features include: - Read, write, and format Atari 8-bit format (90KiB). (Charles Doty) - First released in December 2004. - Runs under Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7; - Earlier title OmniDisk runs under DOS and Windows 95 through to Windows Me - Available: http://www.shlock.co.uk/
Subject: 10.4) How can I read/write MS-DOS PC disks on my Atari? Several 3rd-party hardware upgrades add the capability of working with MS-DOS diskettes to your Atari system: Happy 1050 Enhancement upgrade for the Atari 1050 -- Read/write 180KiB 5.25" MS-DOS floppies with IBMXFR IBM Transfer Program CSS XF Single Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551 -- Replace the 5.25" mechanism with a 3.5" mech. -- Read 720KiB 3.5" MS-DOS disks See http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFsingdrup.htm CSS XF Dual Drive Upgrade for the Atari XF551 -- Add 3.5" drive without losing the 5.25" drive -- Read 720KiB 3.5" MS-DOS disks See http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/XFdualdrup.htm CSS Floppy Board, for the CSS Black Box -- Adds support for PC 720KiB and 1440KiB 3.5" drives to your Atari system -- Adds support for PC 1200KiB and 360KiB 5.25" drives to your Atari system -- Read/write 5.25" and 3.5" MS-DOS disks in your PC drives with your Atari See: http://www.nleaudio.com/css/products/floppy.htm
Subject: 10.5) How do I transfer files using a null modem cable? This section by Russ Gilbert. Q: How do I connect two computers using a null modem cable? A: You need a term program and RS-232 ports on both computers. The RS-232 ports need to be connected together using a 'null modem cable'. For up to 4800 baud, no flow control lines need be connected. Just cross the transmit and receive lines and join the grounds together. Transmit is pin #2, receive is pin #3 and ground is pin #7 on the 25 pin port. 25 pin #2 goes to Atari #4 (XMT to RCV), 25 pin #3 goes to #3 on Atari (RCV to XMT) and #5 of 850 goes to #7 of 25 pin (GND to GND). The right hand pin on the 'long' side of a female 'D' connector is #1. There are 13 holes on this 'long' side, 12 holes on the 'short' side. The numbers go to the left 1 to 13 then #14 is under #1 and left again so that #25 is under #13. Most term programs allow a null connection, without a carrier detect. Notably, '850 Express!' does not. I have only used 'Procomm 2.4.3' (the last shareware version of Procomm) on the PC and BobTerm on the Atari, but other term programs may work. To check your null modem connection, start both PC and Atari term programs, set baud to 2400 or 4800 on both computers. No parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit on the PC. Be sure to use the correct COM port on the PC. Go to 'terminal' mode and you should now be able to type on either computer and see it on the other screen. To accomplish a file transfer, use Y-modem probably from BobTerm, rather than X-modem. X-modem will often append bytes to a file transfer, an undesirable event. There is also a very nice Z-modem receive program for the Atari, called ATAR-Z-MODEM by Larry Black for the Atari. A convenient way to make a null modem cable, up to about 30 feet long, is to use two female DB25 connectors (Radio Shack) some three or more conductor cable. Using the two DB25 female connectors allows unplugging your modems and plugging in the null modem cable into the two modem cables. This also avoids the confusion of variations in the computer ports. Most computers connect into the modem end via a standard RS-232 DB25 connection. With this both ends 25 pin cable, you would cross pins 2 and 3 and connect the #7s together to make a null modem cable. The SIO port on the Atari cannot be used directly. An 850, P:R: Connection, MIO, Black Box or similar device that provides an RS-232 port must be used. Following are pin assignments for a DB25 pin RS-232-C port. 1. Protective Ground 12. Select Alternate Rate 2. Transmit Data 15. Transmit Clock (sync) 3. Receive Data 17. Receive clock (sync) 4. RTS (Request to Send) 20. Data Terminal Ready 5. CTS (Clear to Send) 22. Ring indicator 6. Data Set Ready 23. Select Alternate Rate 7. Signal Ground 24. Transmit Clock 8. Carrier Detect For higher speed connections, above 4800 or 9600, you need the flow control lines and Atari term software that has flow control built in. You also need an MIO or Black Box, which uses the PBI (parallel bus). A high speed cable would need not only XMT, RCV, and GND, but also flow control lines. I suggest a commercial null modem from computer store to ensure correct lines. A null modem is a small adapter with the correct lines already crossed. I don't know how to correctly connect the CTS, RTS, DTR, DSR, CRX lines for a high speed null modem. With a null modem, you just plug it into the 25 pin connectors of the two modem cables you might already have connected to your Atari and PC or Mac. You may need a straight thru 25 pin gender changer also. Following is in this FAQ elsewhere, but I summarize here: (Figure out or look for pin numbers on the ports.) Note that these are pin assignments, and NOT null modem connections with the XMT, RCV crossed and GND straight thru. Atari 8-bit PC AT 25 PC AT 9 pin ------------------------------------- 1. DTR 20 4* 2. CRX 8 1* 3. XMT 2 3 4. RCV 3 2* 5. GND 7 5 6. DSR 6 6 7. RTS 4 7 8. CTS 5 8 9. No connect? shield RI 22 RI Note: * above indicates the difference between an AT 9 pin and a Atari 8-bit 9 pin cable connector, e.g., if you check continuity from pin 3 of 25 pin end and it goes to pin 4 of nine pin end, you have an Atari serial cable. If pin 3 of 25 pin goes to pin 2 of 9 pin end, you have a PC serial cable. (updated 3/1/99) (DTE = Data Terminal Equipment, i.e., your computer. DCE = Data Communications Equipment, i.e., your modem.)
Subject: 10.6) How can my other computer utilize my Atari disk drive? ==> 1050-2-PC, by Nick Kennedy A device used to allow the PC to communicate directly with an Atari disk drive. It requires hardware which is very similar to the SIO2PC but configured differently. It allows direct sector I/O with the Atari drive and can be used to create disk images which will emulate copy protection schemes when run on SIO2PC. More 1050-2-PC information: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/1050.txt SIO2PC home page: http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/sio2pc.htm ==> APE ProSystem, by Steven Tucker Two components: - The ProSystem hardware is a cable designed to allow connection of a stock 1050 disk drive directly to a PC's serial port for use by the companion ProSystem software. - The ProSystem software program is used to create (protected or unprotected) .PRO format disk images. These disk images can then be accessed by the Atari using Steven Tucker's Atari Peripheral Emulator (APE) cable/software. http://www.atarimax.com/ Additional ProSystem cable design: - Atarimax Universal SIO2PC/ProSystem interface (Steven Tucker) USB or RS232/Serial versions http://www.atarimax.com/sio2pc/documentation/ ==> AtariSIO driver and utilities V0.30, by Matthias Reichl AtariSIO requires a 2.2, 2.4, 2.6 or 3.x series Linux kernel (with enabled module support) and a serial port with a 16550 or 16C950 compatible chip. Consists of: - A kernel module to handle the low-level part of the Atari SIO protocol - atarixfer Used to read/write disk images from/to a Atari drive connected to your Linux box with an 1050-2-PC cable. An APE ProSystem cable will also work, but you have to add the command-line switch "-p". - atariserver An SIO-server, like SIO2PC or APE for MSDOS-machines. - adir List the directory of an image - dir2atr Create a disk image from a directory of files on your PC AtariSIO supports the following interfaces: - One chip SIO2PC (with MAX232), command connected to RI - One chip SIO2PC, command connected to DSR - One chip SIO2PC, command connected to RTS - 1050-2-PC (with MAX232), command connected to RTS - Ape ProSystem cable (with 14C89), command connected to DTR http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/
Subject: 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform? Information presented here has been collected by MC from primarily from public sources, such as magazine and newspaper articles, press releases, corporate annual reports, and SEC filings. I have no special access to inside information. Credit to Tomasz Krasuski for finding sales figures in Polish periodicals: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/183619-total-number-of-a8-units-sold- worldwide/page__st__75__p__2311754#entry2311754 For a broader Atari history may I suggest: http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/ 1977 February 17: Earliest recorded engineering discussions between veteran Atari VCS engineers Jay Miner and Joe Decuir regarding "New Machines." Atari (Consumer) programmer Larry Kaplan would contribute to the early concept as well. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 446) Atari Inc. was a Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) company. Spring/Summer: The Miner/Decuir "New Machines" concept at Atari evolved into "Stella A/N" ("Stella Alpha Numeric"; "Stella" had been the Atari VCS project name) and then into: "Home Computer" (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 447) Summer: John Vurich, previously with National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Consumer) as new products manager (replacing Kerry Crosson in the role). August 9: The "Home Computer" Atari VCS successor concept was designated the "Colleen" project at Atari. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 449) August 12-16: Joe Decuir worked with fellow Atari VCS engineers Steve Mayer and Ron Milner at Atari's Cyan Engineering on the overall "Colleen" system design. (http://www.atarimuseum.com/articles/joedecuir.html and Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 451) August 22: Atari "Colleen" major specifications were accepted by Atari engineering and marketing decision makers including Jay Miner, M. John Ellis (Atari (Consumer) VP Engineering), Al Alcorn (Atari VP research & development), Bob Brown (Atari (Consumer) director of research & development), and John Vurich. Two products were envisioned: a 'serious work' machine and an 'entertainment machine'. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 450-451) Jay Miner would be chief engineer (architecture and chip designing) of the Atari "Colleen" home computer project. Team members under Miner would include: Joe Decuir, Francois Michel, George McCleod, Doug Neubauer, Scott Shiffman, Alan Miller, Howard Bornstein. Mike Albaugh of Atari (Coin-Op) would have significant influence with Miner and Decuir on certain design considerations as well. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 454) Fall?: Atari and Dorsett Educational Systems reached a licensing agreement that would bring Dorsett's Talk & Teach Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) System to Atari personal computer systems. November 29: The Atari "Colleen" project consisted of three design variations: o "Colleen" - the 'serious' machine (would ship as: 800) o "Candy" - new name for the 'entertainment' machine (would ship as: 400) o "Elizabeth" - same as "Colleen" but with a built-in 13 inch color monitor (never shipped) (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 453) December: "Several other new personal computers, in the PET/TRS-80 price range, are coming soon...Atari (another video game manufacturer), and a European and Japenese [sic] company are also expected to enter the competition." (Micro #2 Dec77 p18; reprinted from "Northwest Computer Club News" Oct77) 1978 January: "Other manufacturers are also looking at TV games as the way to enter the home-computing market. Atari is said to be working on a programmable unit featuring color graphics; it will use either custom chips or a 6502 micro." (ROM v1n7 Jan78 p60) Winter: Atari purchased a copy of the source for Microsoft 8K BASIC May/June: Atari "Colleen" housing and case designs were largely finalized, and prototype development systems now physically resembled what would ship as the 800. Key specifications for "Candy" including whether it would have a keyboard or the SIO port, and whether it would be RAM-expandable, remained in flux. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 460) Summer?: Atari pre-announced that the Atari computer would debut at the January 1979 Consumer Electronics Show. September: At Atari (Consumer), programmers David Crane, Alan Miller, and Larry Kaplan were temporarily allocated by director of software development George Simcock to home computer project chief engineer Jay Miner to take over the creation of the operating system and a BASIC for the "Colleen" project. (http://www.digitpress.com/library/interviews/interview_alan_miller.html) (http://www.gooddealgames.com/interviews/int_David_Crane.html) October 1: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering and Plant Manager Pinball Production, became Atari VP Engineering, Consumer and Home Computer Division, replacing M. John Ellis who departed the company. October 6: Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI, headed by Bob Shepardson) to create both a version of BASIC and a File Management System (FMS) for the upcoming Atari personal computers. The contract called for delivery by April 6, 1979. Atari planned to take an early, 8K Microsoft BASIC to the CES (in Las Vegas) in January, 1979, and then switch BASICs later. November: The Atari "Colleen" computer was named the 800 (now to ship with 8KiB RAM), and the "Candy" machine was named the 400 (to ship with 4KiB RAM). The 400, which did not yet have a final case design, would not have a keyboard, but would support an external keyboard connected through controller ports 3-4. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 460) December 6: "Last week Atari...disclosed that it was on the verge of introducing its first home computers." (NYT p.D4) December: SMI delivered working versions of BASIC and a disk FMS to Atari. 1979 January 1?: Atari Engineer Joe Decuir departed the company. January 1?: Atari (Consumer) manager, product planning (home computers) John Vurich departed the company. January 6-9: Warner Communications announced, and Atari previewed, the Atari- 400 Personal Computer and the Atari-800 Personal Computer at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (While the 800 was shown production- ready, the 400 shown was pre-production mock-up Model No. C7000, see: http://mcurrent.name/atariads/intro400.htm.) The 400 would come with 8KiB of RAM and was expected to retail for approximately $500. The 800 ship with 8KiB of RAM, expandable to 48KiB, and would sell for approximately $1,000. Peripherals announced/previewed: custom tape cassette recorder (410), high speed floppy disc (810), 40-column printer (820). Software applications promised: "personal financial management, income tax preparation, household and office record keeping, computer aided instruction in over 20 subject areas including math, English, history, literature, economics, psychology, auto mechanics, and many others." Games promised: Basketball, Chess (would ship as: Computer Chess), Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Kingdom, Lemonade Stand (would ship from APX as: Lemonade), Fur Trader (never shipped), Stock Market (never shipped). Programming language promised: BASIC. Availability dates were not announced. Atari (Consumer) programmer Larry Kaplan served as the face/voice of the Atari computers presentation at the show. Don Kingsborough was Atari (Consumer) Director of Sales & Marketing. Emanuel Gerard represented the Office of the President, WCI. Coverage of the introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine: http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/. (see also The Intelligent Machines Journal Issue 2, 79 Jan 17) January: Atari ran an advertisement for the 400/800 on pp. 54-55 of Merchandising, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1979. See: http://mcurrent.name/atariads/gallery.htm for these and other early Atari computer print ads from 1979-1981. February: Ted M. Kahn began working with Atari as a consultant. Kahn would initiate and co-develop the educational marketing strategy for the 400/800. Spring: Peter N. Rosenthal joined Atari (Consumer) as Director of Marketing, Personal Computer Systems. May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire, held in San Francisco's Civic Auditorium & Brooks Hall, in a booth as elaborate as those seen at Consumer Electronics Shows, Atari demonstrated its new 400 and 800 series computers. This was Atari's first public display of their new computer product lines. (Intelligent Machines Journal 79 Jun 11 p8) In addition to business & household management software, educational applications promised: Algebra (would ship as: Basic Algebra), Economics (would ship as: Principles of Economics), Auto Mechanics (never shipped), Sociology (would ship as: Basic Sociology), U.S. History, Zoology (never shipped), Counseling Procedures, Vocabulary Builder (never shipped), Basic Psychology, Spelling, Spanish (never shipped), Accounting (would ship as: Principles of Accounting), Carpentry (never shipped), Great Classics, Statistics (never shipped), Basic Electricity, World History. Entertainment applications promised: Chess (would ship as: Computer Chess), Backgammon (never shipped), business simulations, Stock Market Simulation (never shipped), space adventure, strategy games, Four-Player Basketball (would ship as: Basketball), Superbug Driving Game (never shipped), Game of Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Super Breakout. Also promised: Atari BASIC June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari promised that the 400/800 base units would ship fall 1979, and featured a firmed 400/800 product line including suggested retail prices. 400 system with BASIC cartridge and Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide): $549.99; 800 system with BASIC cartridge, Education System Master Cartridge, Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide), 410 Program Recorder, and Guide to BASIC Programming cassette: $999.99; 810 Disc Drive: $749.99; 820 Printer: $599.99; 410 Program Recorder: $89.99; 8K RAM Memory Module: $124.99; 16K RAM Memory Module: $249.99; Driving Controller Pair: $19.95; Paddle Controller Pair: $19.95; Joystick Controller Pair: $19.95; ROM cartridges: Education System Master Cartridge (would ship as: Educational System Master Cartridge), Basketball, Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Super Breakout, Super Bug (never shipped), Atari BASIC, Assembler Debug (would ship as: Assembler Editor), Music Composer, Computer Chess, Home Finance (later: Personal Finance; never shipped); Educational System cassette programs: U.S. History, U.S. Government, Supervisory Skills, World History (Western), Basic Sociology, Counseling Procedures, Principles of Accounting, Physics, Great Classics (English), Business Communications, Basic Psychology, Effective Writing, Auto Mechanics (never shipped), Principles of Economics, Spelling, Basic Electricity, Basic Algebra; BASIC game and program cassettes: Guide to BASIC Programming (would ship as: An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of BASIC Programming), BASIC Game Programs (never shipped); diskettes: Blank Diskettes (would ship as: 5 Diskettes), Disk File Manager (would ship as: Master Diskette). Don Kingsborough remained director of sales and marketing for Atari (Consumer). June 15: Atari announced Federal Communications Commission Type I approval for the Atari 400 and Atari 800 personal computer systems, along with the Atari Program Recorder (410). The Atari 400/800 were the only home computers to ever comply with the stringent FCC Type I requirement against RF interference, before the FCC subsequently relaxed the rules. June: Crane/Miller/Kaplan/Whitehead finished their work on the Operating System for the Atari 400/800 computers (400/800 OS Rev.A). June: Atari (Consumer) hired LO*OP Center executive director Liza Loop as a consultant (computers in education) and technical writer, personal computer systems. She would write the Operator's Manuals for the 400/800 computers, printer, and serial peripherals. Month?: Tandy Trower joined Atari (Consumer) as personal computers product manager (replacing the departed John Vurich in the role). July: Robert A. Hovee joined Atari (Consumer) as VP Marketing & Sales for personal computers. Peter Rosenthal would remain director of marketing for personal computers. Don Kingsborough, previously Atari (Consumer) Director of Sales & Marketing, departed the company. August: "The first official small shipment of the 400/800 was on August 29th 1979. These were hand-built pilot run units to Sears that needed to be in stock by Sept. 1 so they could be placed in the big fall catalog. The units were placed in the Sears warehouse and then immediately returned to Atari after the "in stock" requirement had been met." --Jerry Jessop September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the fall. The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break in October in 12 national publications. TV commercials will also be aired in Los Angeles in November and December." September: An Atari computer running Star Raiders was shown by Ludwig Braun at an "education-and-computers" conference. (cc 6/80 p34) WHAT CONFERENCE???? September: Chris Crawford joined Atari (Consumer) as a VCS game designer. October: Programmer Lane Winner joined Atari. October: "Atari's production lines were stalled for about a week in October due to yield problems at one of its chip suppliers, Synertek. The low yields at the semiconductor manufacturer resulted in significantly reduced delivery of the MPU to Atari, resulting in about a 3-week delay in getting the computers into the marketplace." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. November: Conrad Jutson, previously of Texas Instruments, joined Atari (Consumer) as VP Sales & Marketing, Personal Computers, replacing Robert Hovee who departed the company. (Compute!s 1st Book p2 for date) Peter Rosenthal remained Atari (Computer) director of marketing. November: "The first "real" consumer units were shipped in Nov. of '79 and were 400s to Sears followed very shortly by 800s." --Jerry Jessop November: Atari shipped the 400 personal computer system. November/December: Atari shipped the 800 personal computer system (with 410 program recorder). December: Dave Stubben, previously Atari (Coin-Op) video and pinball game designer and design manager, would become VP engineering for the new Atari Computer division (replacing Steve Bristow in the role). December: At Atari (Consumer), Chris Crawford was transferred to the home computer Applications group. December: "Atari is funneling large quantities of its 400 and 800 personal computers and software to Sears, Roebuck, while retail computer stores have been faced with late hardware deliveries and received very little, if any, software. Sears is offering the Atari 400, priced at $549.99, through its catalog, and is spot-marketing the machine in its retail stores throughout California and the Chicago area. In addition, the firm is selling the Atari 800, priced at $999.99, in its California stores, but not through the catalog, a Sears spokesman said." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83. 1980 January 5-8: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface. Software titles introduced: 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders, Personal Finance (earlier: Home Finance; never shipped). Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages increased to US$630 and US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000). Atari announced a licensing agreement to market eight computer investment-application programs designed by Control Data Corp for use with Atari personal computer systems. January?: Atari shipped 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe and Star Raiders Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive (with DOS I) and the 820 printer (US$449.95). February: Paul Laughton, previously of Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI), joined Atari (Personal Computer) where he would be Manager, Software Development (applications software?). March?: Atari shipped Music Composer. March: Science Research Associates (SRA) and Atari announced that SRA would develop educational computer courseware in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, intended for Atari personal computers used in the home; Atari would have the right to market this software. Additionally, SRA would have primary responsibility for the sale of Atari personal computers and services to the educational community (public and private, pre-school through university level). April?: Atari shipped the Assembler Editor. April: LO*OP Center executive director Liza Loop concluded her work as a consultant (computers in education) and technical writer for Atari (Personal Computer). June 15-18: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced: 815 dual disk drive with DOS 2.0D (never shipped), 822 printer, and Light Pen (CX70), and again featured the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface. Atari also announced 34 new software packages, including: TeleLink I (previously: Terminal Emulator), The Atari Accountant series (by Arthur Young & Co.)--General Accounting System (never shipped); Accounts Receivable System (never shipped); Inventory Control Program (never shipped), the Investment Analysis series (by Control Data)--Bond Analysis; Stock Analysis; Stock Charting; Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Conversational French, Conversational German, Conversational Spanish, Space Invaders (title by Taito)(SoftSide Aug80). More: Biorhythm, Hangman, Kingdom, Blackjack, Mailing List, Energy Czar, Calculator, Touch Typing, Graph It. Previewed: Missile Command Also, Atari modified the 800 computer package. The computer would now ship with 16KiB RAM (up from 8KiB); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package. The retail price remained US$1,080. Summer: Atari shipped the 825 printer (US$999.95), 830 modem, and 850 interface (US$219.95). September: Roger H. Badertscher joined Atari as the first president of the new division, Atari (Computer). Badertscher was previously VP and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer. (InfoWorld 7/26/82p29 for date) October: Personal Software introduced VisiCalc (Atari version). October: Jose A. Valdes joined Atari as development engineer. October?: At Atari (Computer), Applications group programmer Chris Crawford (having completed Energy Czar and SCRAM) was promoted to supervisor of the Software Development Support Group. Fall?: Brenda K. Laurel, previously of Cybervision, joined Atari (Computer) as Manager, Software Strategy and Marketing (educational software; essentially replacing the departed consultant Liza Loop) Fall?: Keith E. Schaefer joined Atari (Computer) as National Sales Manager. Conrad Jutson remained Atari (Computer) VP Sales & Marketing. Fall: Atari shipped the 822 printer (US$449.95). Atari reportedly lost $10 million on sales of computer equipment of $13 million in 1980 (InfoWorld 9/14/1981) Atari had sold 35,000 400/800 computers through 1980. (source?) 1981 January/February: First issue of A.N.A.L.O.G. 400/800 Magazine, published by Lee Pappas and Mike DesChenes. 4000 copies printed. January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the 400 would now ship in two versions: original 8KiB RAM version at the new list price of US$499.95 (previously: US$630), or new 16KiB RAM version for US$630. Also introduced: Asteroids, Astrology (ultimately released via APX), Atari Word Processor, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Missile Command, Personal Financial Management System, Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), PILOT, SCRAM (A Nuclear Reactor Simulation), Conversational Italian Winter: Atari released DOS II version 2.0S. February 2: Atari announced that Rigdon Currie, previously of Diablo, had joined Atari (Computer) as VP marketing, replacing Conrad Jutson as head of computer marketing. Barry Berghorn, previously Memorex VP for consumer and media products, would join Atari (Computer) as sales & ___, replacing Conrad Jutson as head of computer sales. (WeeklyTVDigest) Mark A. Lutvak would join Atari (Computer) as director of product marketing, replacing Tandy Trower who departed the company. Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Computer) director of marketing, would become Atari (Computer) vp business planning. February 25: The source code to Atari BASIC, the FMS component of Atari DOS 2.0S (DOS.SYS), and the Atari Assembler Editor were purchased from Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) by Optimized Systems Software (OSS), headed by former SMI employees Bill Wilkinson and Mike Peters. Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by the Atari Computer Division in support of the 400/800. April 3-5: Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) staff attended the 6th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, offering a grand prize of US$25,000 in cash and US$75,000 in Atari products to runners-up for Atari computer software authors. In order to qualify for the awards, programs would have to be accepted and sold through the soon-to-be-launched Atari Program Exchange. Bruce W. Irvine was VP software, Atari Computer Division. April 3-5: Also at the West Coast Computer Faire, Optimized Systems Software (OSS) introduced BASIC A+, CP/A (would ship as: OS/A+), and EASMD (enhanced, disk-based versions of Atari BASIC, Atari DOS 2.0S and Atari Assembler Editor, respectively). April 23-24: An Atari Seminar for developers. The Atari Software Development Support Group included: Chris Crawford (graphics), Lane Winner (BASIC, cassette), Mike Ekberg (OS, DOS), Kathleen Armstrong (Kathleen Pitta), Jim Cox (graphics & utilities), Gus Makreas (assembly language), John Eckstrom (pascal) May 4-7: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that the 8KiB Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16KiB version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the Atari BASIC cartridge and Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide) book would no longer be included with the now "mass market packaged" 400. Other price reductions: CX852 8KiB RAM module now US$49.95 (was US$124.95), CX853 16KiB RAM module now US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now US$299.95 (was US$449.95). Also introduced: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator, Atari Microsoft BASIC, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor May: Atari launched the Atari Program Exchange (APX), a user-written software distribution unit within the Atari Computer Division. The APX concept had been the brain-child of Dale Yocam, and APX was guided by Fred Thorlin since its inception in February 1981. See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/ June: At Atari (Home Computer), Leslie Wolf joined the division as Software/Hardware Product Manager (educational products); Software Strategy and Marketing manager Brenda Laurel, previously responsible for educational software, was now responsible for entertainment software. Summer: Through their first Catalog, APX introduced: Newspaper Route Management Program, The Computerized Card File, Text Formatter (FORMS), Lemonade, Mugwump, Avalanche, Outlaw/Howitzer, Preschool Games, Roman Checkers, Space Trek, Castle, Wizard's Gold, Sleazy Adventure, Alien Egg, Chinese Puzzle, Sultan's Palace, Anthill, Centurion, Tact Trek, Comedy Diskette, Graphics/Sound Demonstration, FIG FORTH (this version never shipped), Sound Editor, BASIC Program Compressor (MASHER), BASIC Cross- Reference Utility (XREF), BASIC Renumber Utility (RENUM), Disk Fixer (FIX), Variable Changer, Character Set Editor, Extended WSFN, Supersort. APX also introduced several hardware products: DE-9S with DE51218 Shell (controller plug), 5-pin DIN connector, 13-pin I/O plug, 13-pin I/O socket, DA-15P with DA110963-2 Shell (850 printer plug), DE-9P with DE110963-1 Shell (850 serial plug), 2716 EPROM cartridge Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in the program's first year. Summer: By mid-1981 Atari had sold over 50,000 400/800 computers to date. (InfoWorld 9/14/1981) July: Larry Plummer, previously General Manager, Computer Products at Heathkit, joined Atari (Home Computer) as Director of Engineering (replacing Dave Stubben as head of Atari (Home Computer) engineering). August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification, Revision 1" reflecting early work on successors to the 400/800 computers. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the kits: The Communicator, The Entertainer, The Programmer, The Educator. Summer/Fall: The Atari 400/800 arrived in the UK, along with the 410, 810, 822, and 850. (Your Computer, June/July 1981 p5) September 1: New production Atari 810 disk drives would contain an External Data Separator Board. (810 FSM p.1-9) September 10-12: Maplin Electronic Supplies exhibited the Atari 400/800 at the Personal Computer World Show at the Cunard Hotel, Hammersmith, London. Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Data Management System, Financial Asset Management System, Decision Maker, Banner Generator, Personal Fitness Program, Blackjack Tutor, Mapware, Video Math Flashcards, Dice Poker, 747 Landing Simulator, Eastern Front (1941), CodeCracker, Domination, Terry, Bumper Pool, Reversi, Minotaur, Lookahead, Babel, Wizard's Revenge, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator, Diskette Librarian, Disk Fixer (FIX) Rev. 2, BASIC Utility for Renumbering Programs (BURP), BASIC Utility Diskette, Screen Dump Utility, Load 'n Go, BLIS, Developer's Diskette. APX also announced their full software product line for sale via download from CompuServe MicroNET. One hardware product was modified: DE-9S with DE110963-1 Shell (controller plug) November 1: New production Atari 810 disk drives would ship with the Revision C ROM and with DOS II version 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS I). (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 would now all ship with the GTIA chip rather than CTIA as in earlier machines, increasing the palette of displayable colors from 128 to 256 and adding 3 new graphics modes. (Antic Oct.82) November: The Atari 400/800 began shipping with the 400/800 OS Rev.B, improving peripheral I/O control routines. (Antic Oct.82) December: At Atari (Home Computer), Keith Schaefer was promoted from National Sales Manager to sales VP. (WeeklyTVDigest p.dcclxv 12/28/81) (replacing the departed Barry Berghorn) December: Chris Crawford, previously Atari (Home Computer) Software Development Support Group supervisor, was tapped to establish and serve as Manager of Games Research in the new Atari Corporate Research division. December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home computer (with 16KiB RAM and newly "mass market packaged") to US$899 from US$1,080. Other prices were increased: The Entertainer to US$110 and The Educator to US$166. Atari claimed to have sold 300,000 400/800 computers in 1981. (InfoWord 6/14/82 p.57) 1982 January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors. January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced Pac-Man (title by Namco)($44.95), Centipede ($44.95), The Bookkeeper, and The Home Filing Manager. Space Invaders, previously released on cassette, was now re-released on cartridge. The APX title, Caverns of Mars would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's standard product line ($39.95 disk). Following the 400 packaging theme introduced in 1981, the 800, 810, and 410 would now ship in silver/full color packaging. Previewed at the show: the Atari Supergame System / Video System "X" (would ship as the 5200). January 16: At the first Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, the Atari Softare Acquisition Program (ASAP) awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. Star Award of Merit winners: Ronald Marcuse & Lynn Marcuse, Sheldon Leemon, Greg Christensen Winter: Atari engineer / chip designer Jay Miner departed the company. Winter: Brenda Laurel, previously Atari (Home Computer) Manager, Software Strategy and Marketing, became a member of the research staff at the Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab. Winter: APX Catalog introduced: Bowler's Database, Family Cash Flow, Weekly Planner, Enhancements to Graph It, Hydraulic Program (HYSYS), Keyboard Organ, Morse Code Tutor, Player Piano, Atlas of Canada, Hickory Dickory, Letterman, Mathematic-Tac-Toe, My First Alphabet, Number Blast, Presidents of the United States, Quiz Master, Stereo 3-D Graphics Package, Attank!, Blackjack Casino, Block 'Em, Caverns of Mars, Dog Daze, Downhill, Memory Match, Pro Bowling, Reversi II, Solitaire, Source Code for Eastern Front (1941), Space Chase, Atari Program-Text Editor, Dsembler, Extended fig-FORTH, Insomnia (A Sound Editor), Instedit, Supersort Rev. 3, T: A Text Display Device, Ultimate Renumber Utility, Word Processing Diskette. APX sales via CompuServe MicroNET had been discontinued. Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection magazine. March: Atari announced Atari Computer Camps. Linda Gordon was Atari VP of special projects (reporting directly to Atari chairman Ray Kassar). March: Thomas M. McDonough joined Atari as SVP of sales and marketing in Atari's home computer division (NYT 12/19/82), replacing Rigdon Currie who had departed the company. March 19-21: Percom introduced the RFD40-S1, the first 3rd party disk drive for the Atari, at the 7th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. Spring: New production Atari 810 disk drives would ship in the significantly- revised "810 Analog" design. Spring: APX Catalog introduced: Family Budget, Diskette Mailing List, Isopleth Map-Making Package, RPN Calculator Simulator, Advanced Musicsystem, Sketchpad, Cubbyholes, Musical Computer--The Music Tutor, Starware, Wordmaker, Block Buster, Atari Pascal Language System, Extended fig-FORTH Rev. 2, GTIA Demonstration Diskette, Instedit (Microsoft BASIC version), Keypad Controller, Speed-O-Disk. APX also introduced the book, De Re Atari, written by staff in the Atari Software Development Support Group: Chris Crawford wrote Sections 1- 6 and Appendices A & B; Lane Winner wrote Section 10 and Appendix D with assistance from Jim Cox; Amy Chen wrote Appendix C; Jim Dunion wrote Sections 8-9; Kathleen Pitta (Kathleen Armstrong) wrote Appendex E; Bob Fraser wrote Section 7; Gus Makreas prepared the Glossary. Spring: Bruce Irvine remained Atari (Home Computer) VP software. April 7: Date of first draft of the Atari Sweet-16 Home Computer Product Specifications document (earlier project name: Z800). Specific computer models planned: "1000" (16KiB; later: "1200"; never shipped) and "1000X" (64KiB; later: "1200X"; would ship as: 1200XL) See: http://www.landley.net/history/mirror/atari/museum/sweet16.html April: First issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine, published by James Capparell. June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced Atari Speed Reading (US$74.95), Music Tutor I (would ship as: AtariMusic I), Juggles' House (by The Learning Co.), Juggles' Rainbow (by The Learning Co.), TeleLink II (US$79.95; would ship as part of Communicator II only), and three new kits: Bookkeeper (including new CX85 Numerical Keypad), Communicator II (new 835 c with TeleLink II)(US$279.95), Home Manager. The APX title, My First Alphabet would be re-released as part of Atari's standard product line. Atari also twice announced new suggested retail prices for the 400 (previously: US$399) at the show: first US$349 (CC Oct82 p180), then US$299 (Merch Jul82 p43). Keith Schaefer was VP of sales for Atari's Home Computer division. June 8: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Atari introduced the 5200 Home Entertainment System (later dubbed the SuperSystem). While the 5200 required unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware was very closely related to that of the 400/800 computers. June: Roger Badertscher resigned from his position as president of Atari's Home Computer Division. Summer: APX Catalog introduced: Bowler's Database Rev. 2, Data Base/Report System, Family Vehicle Expense, Recipe Search 'n Save, Calculator, Astrology, Blackjack Tutor Rev. 1.1, Going to the Dogs, Algicalc, Elementary Biology (by MECC), Frogmaster, Instructional Computing Demonstration (by MECC), Metric and Problem Solving (by MECC), Music I--Terms & Notation (by MECC), Polycalc, Three R Math System, Block 'Em Rev. 2, Castle Rev. 1.1, Checker King, Galahad and the Holy Grail, Jax-O, Jukebox #1, The Midas Touch, Pushover, Rabbotz, Salmon Run, Seven Card Stud, BLIS Rev. 1.1, Cosmatic Atari Development Package, Insomnia (A Sound Editor) Rev. 1.1, Instedit Rev. 1.1, Microsoft BASIC Cross-Reference Utility, Player Generator, Utility Diskette II Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 3 locations: The University of San Diego (CA), The Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and East Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was cancelled at the fourth announced site of Lakeland College in Sheboygan WI.) The camps were managed for Atari by Specialty Camps, Inc. Curriculum developed by Robert A. Kahn at Atari. Program overseen by Linda Gordon, Atari VP for special projects. July 14: In what was believed to be the largest single order for home computers by a school system, Dade County, Fla., had placed an order for 426 Atari 800 Home Computers and peripherals. "This order brings the total number of Atari Home Computers in use in Dade County schools to approximately 650," said Thomas McDonough, SVP of sales and marketing for Atari's Home Computer Division. July: The Atari Corporate Research division established the Atari Cambridge Research Laboratory in Cambridge MA. The lab's Director would be Cynthia Solomon, previously VP, Research & Development/Founder of Logo Computer Systems, Inc. July: Chris Horseman joined Atari as VP for Software Engineering, Home Computer Division (replacing Bruce Irvine who departed the company). July 26: InfoWorld estimated between 250,000 and 300,000 Atari 400/800 computers had been sold to date. August 11: Approximately 1,370 Atari Home Computers and peripherals, valued at more than $3 million, had been ordered by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) under a competitive Request for Proposal, it was announced by Thomas M. McDonough, SVP of sales and marketing for Atari's Home Computer Division. August 24: John C. Cavalier was named president of Atari's Home Computer Division (replacing the departed Roger Badertscher). Cavalier was previously VP and general manager of American Can's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper products. August 29-December 31: With the purchase of a 400/800, Atari offered a rebate of $10 for each purchase of up to six additional Atari computer products, for a total rebate of up to $60. September: The Atari NY Lab was spun off from Atari to form WCI Labs Inc., a separate subsidiary of Warner Communications Inc. Steve Mayer, previously Atari VP research and product development, departed Atari to serve as president of WCI Labs; he would remain senior executive consultant to the office of the president of WCI as well. September 29: Date of a late draft of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16 Product Specification". Specific computer models indicated: "1200" (16KiB; earlier: "1000"; never shipped) and "1200X" (64KiB; earlier: "1000X"; would ship as: 1200XL), with both models now sharing the same case design. Plans now called for manufacture of only the "1200X". http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8BITS/1200xl/1200xl.html October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem. October: Atari announced that as of October 22, new 800 computer systems would be sold with two "free" 16KiB RAM modules for a total of 48KiB, for the unchanged list price of $899. The new 800 systems would no longer ship with Atari BASIC, the BASIC Reference Manual, nor the Atari BASIC (Wiley Self- Teaching Guide) book. Keith Schaefer remained VP sales for the home computer division. Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Family Cash Flow Rev. 2, Message Display Program, Stock Management, Text Analyst, Calculus Demon, Counter, Easygrader, Flags of Europe, Math*UFO, Spelling Genie, Word Search Generator, Cribbage, Dog Daze Rev. 1.1, Mankala, Snark Hunt, Dunion's Debugging Tool (DDT), FORTH Turtle Graphics Plus, fun-FORTH, Keypad Controller Rev. 2, Mantis Boot Tape Development System, Mapmaker November: Atari began producing new 810 disk drives with the "center flip door" drive mechanism by Tandon, instead of the "push button, sliding door" mechanism by MPI used in the original design. (Antic May 83) Technical documentation would refer to the new design as the "810T Analog". November 15: Atari announced Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior (titles by Nintendo). Keith Schaefer remained Atari (Home Computer) VP sales. November 18-20: At the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) show in Chicago, Atari introduced the Atari Coin Executive coin accounting system (ACE; incorporating an Atari 800; never shipped). December 13: Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. "We believe that the Atari 1200XL will set the standard for a new generation in home computing and, once again, positions Atari on the leading edge of electronic technology and creative computing," Atari chairman Ray Kassar said. he list price for the 1200XL would be "well under $1,000." 400/800/1200XL peripherals introduced: 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter, 1025 printer. In 400/800/1200XL software Atari introduced Galaxian (title by Namco) and Defender (title by Williams) (both already shipping for the holiday shopping season); announced Qix (title by Taito), E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug (title by Namco), Family Finances (enhanced combination of the two APX titles, Family Cash Flow and Family Budget), Timewise, AtariWriter, and AtariMusic I (previously: Music Tutor I); and again promoted: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Juggles' House, and Juggles' Rainbow. Keith Schaefer was VP of sales and John Cavalier was president of Atari's Home Computer Division. December: Atari shipped Galaxian (title by Namco) and Defender (title by Williams) in time for the holiday shopping season. December: Atari (Home Computer) SVP of sales and marketing Thomas M. McDonough departed the company. (NYT 12/19/82) Following McDonough's departure, Keith Schaefer would be promoted from VP sales to SVP sales. December: Sherwin Gooch joined Atari (Home Computer), where he would be Manager, Applications Software and Telecommunications Products Group. He was previously Associate Director, Center for Music Research, Florida State University. December/January: First issue of Page 6 magazine, the U.K.'s first Atari computer magazine. Published by Les Ellingham. Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17 percent of all home computer sales. (Washington Post 5/24/1983 pD7) 1983 January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari featured the 1200XL, 1010, 1020, and 1025, introduced revised versions of the Programmer and Entertainer kits, featured Qix, E.T. Phone Home!, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Family Finances, Timewise, AtariWriter, Galaxian, Defender, and AtariMusic I, and introduced the first title in the Disney Educational Series, Mickey in the Great Outdoors. Caverns of Mars would be re-released on cartridge (previously: disk). The APX title, Eastern Front (1941), would be re-released in the main Atari product line (on cartridge). The retail price for the 1200XL was announced at $899; the new suggested retail price for the 800 was $679 (previously: $899). For the 2600, Atari introduced: Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX22), Pro-Line Joystick (CX60; would ship as CX24), Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42); each would later also be marketed for use with Atari home computers. January 15: At the 2nd Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. Star Special Award of Merit winners: Douglas Crockford, Harry Koons & Art Prag, Lee Actor. Keith Schaefer remained Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales. January: Atari began production of the 1200XL (made in the USA). January 20: Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) and Atari jointly announced Atari Logo for the 400/800/1200XL. (It would ship fall 1983.) Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)). Winter: APX Catalog introduced: FOG Index, Real Estate Cash Flow Analysis, Text Analyst Rev. 2, Astrology Rev. 1.1, Earth Science (by MECC), Easygrader Rev. 1.1, Geography (by MECC), I'm Different!, The Magic Melody Box, The Market Place (by MECC), Monkey Up a Tree, Music II--Rhythm & Pitch (by MECC), Music III--Scales & Chords (by MECC), Prefixes (by MECC), Typo Attack, Air- Raid!, Game Show, Gridiron Glory, Melt-Down, Phobos, Pushky, Quarxon, Rabbotz Rev. 1.1, Yahtman, BASIC/XA, Deep Blue C Compiler, Deep Blue Secrets, Disk Fixer/Load 'n Go, Diskmenu, Music Player Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge. AtariWriter was programmed by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for DataSoft, in fulfillment of the 300-page "AtariWriter Internal Design Specification" developed by Gary Furr, a product manager at Atari. Winter?: Jeffrey A. Heimbuck, previously of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, joined Atari (Home Computer) as SVP marketing, replacing the departed Thomas McDonough. February: Atari announced that they were now shipping Visicalc (by Visicorp; previously released by Personal Software/Visicorp). Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live host to explore the role of computers in society. (MC's note: I remember that this came to my school!) March: Atari (Home Computer) Director of Engineering Larry Plummer departed the company. March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. (Kassar quote, acb 6/83) March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire at the Brooks Convention Hall and Civic Center in San Francisco, Atari featured Dig Dug, E.T. Phone Home!, Qix, and AtariWriter, and introduced Atari Logo. Atari announced a $50 rebate for the purchase of a 400 computer, and hinted that the machine was soon to be replaced by a new model (600XL). March?: Atari featured the Atari Coin Executive (ACE) at the Amusement Operators Expo '83 (AOE '83) at the O'Hare Expo Center in Chicago. Spring: APX Catalog introduced: Atspeller, Typit, Fingerspelling, Escape to Equatus, Math Mission, My Spelling Easel, Teasers by Tobbs, Three R Math Classroom Kit, Catterpiggle, Diggerbonk, Getaway!, Impact, Microsailing, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator (New Version), Hex-A-Bug Spring?: Atari shipped the 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter (US$299), and 1025 printer (US$549). April: Atari (Home Computer) Software Development Manager Paul Laughton departed the company. April/May: Production of the 1200XL shifted from the USA to Taiwan. April/May?: Atari (Home Computer) director of product marketing Mark Lutvak and Atari (Home Computer) VP business planning Peter Rosenthal both departed the company. May: Production of Atari 400/800 computers and the 810 disk drive ended. June 1: Atari announced the (re-)consolidation of the businesses of the Home Computer Division with the Consumer Electronics (home video games) Division. June 5-8: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the 600XL, 800XL, 1400XL and 1450XLD home computers (the 1400XL/1450XLD never shipped). The 400/800 were announced discontinued. The 600XL/800XL would retail for US$199/$299. Also introduced: 1050 disk drive with DOS III (later: DOS 3), 1027 printer, 1030 modem with ModemLink, Touch Tablet (CX77) with graphics tablet cassette program (would ship as: AtariArtist on cartridge), Trak-Ball controller (CX80), featured the Remote Control Wireless Joysticks, and previewed/announced: CP/M Module with CP/M 2.2 (or: CP/M Add-On module; later: 1060; never shipped), Expansion Box (later: 1090 XL Expansion System; never shipped), Light Pen (CX75), Super Controller (home computer and international name for CX60 Pro-Line Joystick; would ship as CX24). All-In-One-Pak kits introduced/previewed: Programming System, Entertainment System (never shipped), Writing System (shipped as: AtariWriter System), Atari Accountant (never shipped), Home Manager (never shipped), Arcade Champ, BASIC Tutor I. Software introduced: Paint (SuperBoots Software from Capital Children's Museum via Reston), Microsoft BASIC II, Tennis, Soccer (never shipped), Football, Pole Position (title by Namco), Joust (title by Williams), Donkey Kong Junior (title by Nintendo), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco), Pengo (title by Sega), AtariMusic I: Notes and Steps, AtariMusic II: Major Scales and Keys. Software announced/previewed: Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams), Superman III (never shipped), Battlezone (title would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1988), Tempest (never shipped), Xevious (title by Namco; never shipped), Peter Pan's Daring Journey (Disney; alternate: Peter Pan's Daring Escape; later: Captain Hook's Revenge; never shipped), Mysteries of Wonderland (Disney; never shipped). Atari also introduced Alan Alda as spokesperson for Atari computers, in an arrangement to extend for the next 5 years. The 600XL had been known as "Surely" and the 800XL had been known as "Surely Plus" inside Atari. Earlier internal names at Atari for the 1400XL: "1201", then "1200XLS", then "1200XLT". Earlier internal names at Atari for the 1450XLD: "1251", then "1250XLD". New list price for the close-out 400 computer: $199 (previously: $299), with the $50 rebate offer continuing as well. Atari would also now additionally offer a $100 rebate for the purchase of an 800 or 1200XL computer. Atari also announced the Atari Instructional Material Service (AIMS; later: Atari Learning Systems) and announced under AIMS: the Math Arcademics series (Arcademic Skill Builders series by DLM; never shipped), Atari Sentences (never shipped), the ScienceLab series (later: AtariLab Science Series; developed by Dickinson College) including AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module, AtariLab Light Module (would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1984), AtariLab Timekeeper Module (never shipped), AtariLab Lie Detector Module (never shipped), AtariLab Reaction Time Module (never shipped), AtariLab Heartbeat Module (never shipped), AtariLab Biofeedback Module (proposed; never shipped), AtariLab Mechanics Module (proposed; never shipped), and a multi-program Trigonometry and Algebra course from CONDUIT (University of Iowa; would consist of: Conduit Algebra, Green Globs and Other Trig Diversions; both never shipped). Atari Products Co. SVP education Linda Gordon was head of AIMS. June 11-Sept 10: Atari co-sponsored the Punta Cana Club Med/Atari Computer vacation getaway on the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. June 27: Atari opened their first Atari Center, an educational computing concept, at The Oaks Shopping Center in Cupertino, CA. Atari Centers were operated by the Picodyne Corporation (Dean Brown, president) with Atari providing funding and advertising. Alan O'Neill was the contract manager of Atari Centers. Sara Armstrong, director of the Terra Nuova Montessori School in Hayward CA, would be director of the Cupertino Atari Center. Summer: APX Catalog introduced: Home Inventory, Home Loan Analysis, Strategic Financial Ratio Analysis, Drawit, Piano Tuner, Video Kaleidoscope, Circuit Lab, Morsecode Master, Punctuation Put-on, Three R Math Home System, Wordgo, The Bean Machine, Bootleg, Can't Quit, Dandy, Ennumereight, Smasher. APX also introduced the 48K RAM Expansion Kit (for the 400 computer, 8KiB or 16KiB versions); $110, or $130 installed at Atari Regional Repair Centers. Summer: Second year of Atari Computer Camps, held at seven sites nationwide (U.S.): Greenfield MA, Faribault MN, East Stroudsburg PA, Asheville NC, Glencoe MD, Danville CA, and San Diego CA. The curriculum included programming in Atari Super PILOT (unreleased for the general public). Summer: Atari shipped the 1050 disk drive, with DOS II version 2.0S. July 2: The second Atari Center opened at the corner of Fifth Ave. and 48th St. in Manhattan. Educator Seth Greenberg would be manager of the Manhattan Atari Center. July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended. July: Atari released the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX22). Sept83-June84: The "Catch On to Computers" program, a joint effort between Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, offered Atari computers, equipment, and educational software to schools for collecting Post cereal proof-of-purchase points over the 1983-1984 school year. September: Ted Kahn stepped down as executive director of the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research. More than US$1 million worth of computers, software, and cash stipends had been awarded to over 100 nonprofit organizations since the program's founding in 1981. September: Atari International (U.K.) announced The Lone Raider. September 23: The two Atari Center locations both closed at the end of the 90- day trial period for the program. Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Atspeller Rev. 2, AtariWriter Printer Drivers, Color Alignment Generator, Advanced Fingerspelling, Excalibur, Musical Pilot, Puzzler, Ringmaster, Spelling Genie Rev. 2.0, Ion Roadway, Kangaroo (GCC; title by Sun Electronics), Moon Marauder, Saratoga, Space War, Cartoonist, Eastern Front (1941) Scenario Editor, Eastern Front Scenarios 1942/1943/1944, Mathlib for Deep Blue C Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II kit (with the new 835 modem) and the 1027 printer. Fall: An Atari TV ad promoted the 400 for $69.95 after $50 Atari rebate, indicating a new/final list price of $119.95 (previously: $199). (http://www.atarimania.com/videos/atari-400-commercial-50-usd-rebate.flv) October 10: Atari announced the appointment of Fred Simon as Atari Products Co. SVP of computer marketing (hardware and software). October: Atari shipped the 600XL, retail price US$199. October: The Atari Learning Systems division (previously: Atari Instructional Material Service or AIMS) published Review: A Catalog of Atari Learning Systems. Announced/promoted: Spelling in Context 1, Spelling in Context 2, Spelling in Context 3, Spelling in Context 4, Spelling in Context 5, Spelling in Context 6, Spelling in Context 7, Spelling in Context 8, Math Facts and Games, Concentration, Division Drill, Atari Sentences (never shipped), AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module, AtariLab Light Module (Feb. '84; would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1984), Atari PLATO (March '84; later: The Learning Phone; would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1986), U.S. Geography/Check Marc (Geo Terms series by Marc Ed), U.S. Geography/High Marc (Geo Terms series by Marc Ed), Atari Pascal (Version 2.0) (Jan. '84; never shipped), Secret Formula elementary (by Mind Movers), Secret Formula intermediate (by Mind Movers), Secret Formula advanced (by Mind Movers), Introducing--Peter and the Wolf (never shipped), Screen Maker, Player Maker, Alien Addition (Arcademics by DLM; never shipped), Meteor Multiplication (Arcademics by DLM; never shipped), Demolition Division (Arcademics by DLM; never shipped), Alligator Mix (Arcademics by DLM; never shipped), Minus Mission (Arcademics by DLM; never shipped), Dragon Mix (Arcademics by DLM; never shipped), Atari Super PILOT (April '84; never shipped), Phone Home (never shipped), Name Rondo (never shipped), Create a Rondo (never shipped), Instructional Computing Demonstration (previously released by APX), Music I (Terms & Notations) (by MECC; previously released by APX), Music II (Rhythm & Pitch) (by MECC; previously released by APX), Music III/Scales & Chords (by MECC; previously released by APX), Elementary Biology (by MECC; previously released by APX), Earth Science (by MECC; previously released by APX), Geography (by MECC; previously released by APX), Prefixes (by MECC; previously released by APX), Metric & Problem Solving (by MECC; previously released by APX), The Market Place (by MECC; previously released by APX), Basic Arithmetic (by MECC), Graphing (by MECC), Pre-Reading (by MECC), Counting (by MECC), Expeditions (by MECC), Spelling Bee (by MECC), Word Games (by MECC). Also announced/promoted for future release: AtariLab Biofeedback Module, AtariLab Timekeeper Module, AtariLab Lie Detector Module, AtariLab Mechanics Module, AtariLab Curriculum Modules: Temperature and Light (later: LabMate; never shipped), AtariWriter Curriculum Guide (never shipped), Conduit Algebra (never shipped), Green Globs and Other Trig Diversions (later: Green Globs; never shipped), Swarthmore Trig (never shipped). Atari Products Co. SVP education Linda Gordon was head of Atari Learning Systems. October: Atari France launched the "L'Atarien" magazine, issue 0 (pilot ?), the "magazine of the Atari Club". In its first issues, the magazine was mostly centered on the 2600 VCS and 400/800 computers, but the focus quickly shifted to the XL computers in the next issues. Officially the magazine was issued by "Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #0, Page 3). "PECF" was the nickname of the company "Productions et Editions Cinematographiques Francaises", a company 100% owned by Warner Communications. October 21: Atari said that it was delaying the making and marketing of its two higher-priced computer models, the 1400XL and the 1450XLD. The machines would not ship until late December, after the Christmas selling season, and then only in limited quantities. (WSJ 10/24/1983 p.5) October 21-23: TariCon '83, "the world's first Atari-only computer convention," was scheduled by MACE, Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts, at the Southfield Civic Center Pavillion, Southfield, Michigan. The even did not come together as planned, but TariCon '84 was successfully held August 1984. October 24: Report that plans at Atari to introduced a new computer model, the Atari 1600, had recently been canceled by Atari CEO James Morgan. (WSJ 10/24/1983 p.5) Inside Atari the 1600 had previously been known as the 25601; it was to be the resulting product from the Shakti project (never shipped). See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/aed/chap7.htm October-December: "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy training programs for children, adults, and teachers, sponsored by Atari and General Mills' Post Cereals, ran in 10 cities across the U.S. November 2: Report that Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong, it would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL and the 800XL. Atari also reiterated that it would ship the 1400XL and the 1450XLD in limited quantities in late December and more widely after the first of the year. (WSJ 11/2/1983 p.2) November 9: Atari said it would raise the prices of its home computers and video game consoles by between 17 percent and 29 percent, effective Jan. 1, 1984. The increases would raise the dealer price on the 600XL to $180, from $140. The dealer price of the 800XL would rise to $280, from $240. Atari also said it would raise prices of its 1027 printer and 1050 disk drive by about $15 each. November: Atari opened their third "Adventure" location, the "first" Atari Adventure family entertainment center at the Northwest Plaza shopping center located in St. Ann MO (suburban St. Louis MO). The 8,000 square foot location was planned as the corporate prototype for a nationwide roll-out of 12-15 facilities. Store design by Bill Poon & Company Architects. The location combined a traditional video game arcade (about 40 machines), a new video game technology display area, and a Computer Learning Center: a hands-on public computer classroom/lab featuring Atari 1200XL computers and a full-time instructor. November: Atari shipped the 800XL, retail price US$299. November/December?: Dorothy K. Deringer, previously a program officer at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), joined Atari Learning Systems as VP product development. Linda Gordon remained Atari Products Co. SVP education and head of Atari Learning Systems. December 13: In an open letter posted to the Atari SIG on CompuServe, addressed to Atari users from Atari Chairman and CEO Jim Morgan, Morgan described the Atari he had inherited as being "in way over its head with a computer product line as inclusive as the 600XL, 800XL, 1400XL, 1450XLD, and 1600." Morgan announced the formation of "a group led by Ted Hoff and Alan Kay which is chartered to define our next generation of computers...In the meantime, we will have to keep our product line rather restricted to broadly saleable products." (M.A.C.E. Journal v4n2/3 Feb/Mar 1984 p.2; see also CC May84p193) "Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year" - Time magazine, July 16, 1984 1984 January 1: The retail price for the Atari 600XL was increased from $199 to $239, and the retail price for the Atari 800XL was increased from $299 to US$339. January 1: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering, AtariTel Division, became Atari VP Engineering Computer Division and Atari Fellow. January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari featured the Touch Tablet with AtariArtist, featured the Light Pen (CX75) with AtariGraphics, and introduced the 1064 memory module for the 600XL. The unshipped 1450XLD computer and the 1090 XL Expansion System were again shown, but Atari confirmed that the unshipped 1400XL computer and 1060 CP/M Module were both cancelled. Entertainment titles introduced/featured: Millipede (would be shipped by Atari Corp.), Joust, Dig Dug, Jungle Hunt (title by Taito), Pole Position, Moon Patrol (title by Irem; would be shipped by Atari Corp.), Pengo, Crystal Castles (would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1988), Donkey Kong Junior, Mario Bros. (title by Nintendo; would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1988), Robotron: 2084. Other software introduced or announced: DOS 3 (for the 1050 disk drive; previously: DOS III), Atari Translator, Sky Writer, SynFile+ (by Synapse; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), SynCalc (by Synapse; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), SynTrend (by Synapse; consisting of SynGraph and SynStat; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), Legacy (Atari Advanced Games Group; later: Final Legacy; would be shipped by Atari Corp.), Typo Attack (previously released by APX), Captain Hook's Revenge (by Disney; never shipped), Berzerk (title by Stern; never shipped), Pop'R Spell (never shipped), and in the Atari Music Learning Series: AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II. The AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module ("ready to ship now") and the Atari Lab Light Module were featured, and Atari Learning Systems announced: AtariLab Robotics Module (proposed; never shipped), AtariLab Nuclear Radiation Module (proposed; never shipped) January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. Other Finalists: James Burton, R. Stanley Kistler, Gregor Novak. Fred Simon remained Atari SVP of computer hardware and software marketing. January: Atari opened their fourth "Adventure" location, the second Atari Adventure family entertainment center, at Crestwood Plaza in Crestwood MO (suburban St. Louis MO). A 2-story location, using the same concept as the area's Northwest Plaza Atari Adventure location. Winter: APX Catalog introduced: Equestrian, Mastermatch, Atspeller (for AtariWriter), Bellum, Burgers!, Chambers of Zorp, Character Fun, Dragon Quest or A Twist in the Tail, Numberland Nightwatch, Raid on Graviton, Rush Hour, Weakon, National Flags, Dog Daze Deluxe Winter: Atari shipped the Touch Tablet (with AtariArtist and DOS 2.0S), and began shipping the 1050 disk drive with DOS 3 (replacing DOS 2.0S). February: Atari 5200 production ended. February: Atari VP Engineering Computer Division and Atari Fellow Steve Bristow departed the company. March: Fred Thorlin, director of APX since its 1982 inception, left Atari. March 22-25: At the 9th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari's exhibit included the APX title, Equestrian. (ROM #6) APX also introduced what turned out to be their last release, Bumpomov's Dogs. See: http://graychang.megabyet.net/cnc/bumpomov/broderbund_letter.shtml March 24: Atari said it had decided to cease its direct-mail software sales operations (APX). April: The Atari Corporate Research division, including the Atari Cambridge Research Lab, was shut down. Spring: I/O Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Input/Output, the magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)). Spring: Atari shipped the CX75 Light Pen with AtariGraphics. May 1: "Hearing on Computer Education" held before the Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education of the Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Atari Learning Systems VP product development Dorothy Deringer. May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari/Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, both developed by Lucasfilm Games, to be published by Atari for the 5200 and on cartridge for Atari XL computers. (Atari/Commodore computer disk versions would be shipped by Epyx (U.S.) and Activision (UK) in 1985; 5200 versions would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1986; XE cartridge versions would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1988) At Lucasfilm Games: Peter Langston was Games Group Leader, David Levine was Ballblazer project leader, David Fox was Rescue on Fractalus! project leader. Fred Simon remained Atari SVP of computer hardware and software marketing. May: Atari Products Co. Applications Software and Telecommunications Products Group Manager Sherwin Gooch departed the company. May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production. More than 1 million 5200s had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3) June 1: Atari said it was withdrawing from a joint manufacturing venture in Hong Kong with Wong Electronics, which was 51 percent owned by the company. Atari said Wong would end production of the 800XL home computer, which it had supplied to Atari. Company officials said that the move was an effort to consolidate operations in Taiwan. June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the MindLink System; packages would include: headband, two infrared sensors, and a software package. 3 initial software packages for the unit were planned: an adventure game, a new version of Breakout, and a relaxation biofeedback program. Atari announced that they would introduce a new, un-named, high-end computer ("1650XLD"; never shipped), reportedly for under $1000, to ship fall 1984. The machine would resemble the canceled 1450XLD; it would have 64KiB RAM, modem, speech synthesis chip, and built-in double-sided, double density 352KiB disk drive; it would be fully compatible with the Atari 600XL/800XL, and would also be "70 to 80 percent compatible" with the IBM PC; telecommunications software and a mini-database called The Grapevine would be built in. Also again featured: the 1090 XL Expansion System. Atari introduced: Proofreader (for AtariWriter; would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1985), Track & Field (with Track & Field Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by Atari Corp.), The Last Starfighter (would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1986 as: Star Raiders II), Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; never shipped), Hobgoblin (Atari Advanced Games Group; never shipped), Elevator Action (title by Taito; never shipped), Gremlins (never shipped), Pole Position II (title by Namco; never shipped), Letter Tutor (never shipped), Word Tutor (never shipped), and in the new Futuremakers series: This Is Ground Control (never shipped), Through the Star Bridge (never shipped). Also again featured: Crystal Castles, SynFile+, SynCalc, SynTrend, Final Legacy (previously: Legacy), Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus! Atari Learning Systems introduced: Find It! (never shipped), Green Globs (never shipped), Yaacov Agam's Interactive Painting (never shipped), First Aid... The ABC of CPR (never shipped), Simulated Computer II (never shipped), Telly Turtle (never shipped), Wheeler Dealer (never shipped), LabMate Home Edition Ages 9-13 (book for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate Home Edition Ages 14-15 (book for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition Elementary (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition Jr. High (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition High School (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), The Learning Phone (previously: Atari PLATO; would be shipped by Atari Corp. in 1986), Escape ("interpreting graphs the fun way"; never shipped) June: Atari France announced the SECAM model of the 800XL. (The SECAM 600XL was also announced, but this never made it into production.) List prices: 600XL PAL: 2200 FRF ; 600XL SECAM: 2500 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 3200 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 3500 FRF ; 1010: 890 FRF ; 1050: 3690 FRF ; 1020: 2590 FRF; 1027: 3490 FRF ; Atari Touch Tablet: 890 FRF Month?: Exidy released the Max-A-Flex coin-operated arcade conversion system, along with four games for the system, all developed by First Star Software: Astro Chase, Boulder Dash, Bristles, Flip and Flop. The Exidy Max-A-Flex utilized an embedded Atari 600XL system. See: http://www.myatari.co.uk/issues/jan2003/maxaflex.htm July 1-August 25: Third and final year of Atari Computer Camps. Camps were held at two locations: "Camp Atari-Poconos" (East Stroudsburg State College) in East Stroudsburg PA, and "Camp Atari-New England" (Stoneleigh-Burnham School) in Greenfield MA. Patricia Tubbs was Project Manager at Atari. July 2: In a deal consummated in New York City at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning, July 2, effective Saturday June 30, the assets of the Atari home computer and home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to Tramel Technology Ltd., which had been formed on May 17, 1984 by its chairman and CEO Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL), the founder and former president of Commodore International. The transaction included the rights to the "Atari" name and "Fuji" logo, with Warner Communications retaining exclusive license to use the Atari name and trademark in coin-operated arcade environments. Tramiel also gained the intellectual property rights to all existing Atari arcade games, with Warner Communications retaining exclusive license to those properties in coin-operated arcade environments. "Both the home-computer and video-game marketplaces continue, in my view, to offer great opportunities," said Jack Tramiel, as quoted by the AP. Tramel Technology would adopt the new name, Atari Corporation. July 23: Business week reported, "In just two weeks [Tramiel] has fired 700 people at Atari's Sunnyvale offices and has axed several of Atari's current products, including the 7800 video game system and the $150 600XL home computer." August: Atari engineers completed the prototype "800XLF" motherboard design, to be used in new-production 800XL computers. The new 800XL machines would include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced by Atari, Inc.). The new 800XL machines would be produced in PAL and (for the first time, France-specific) SECAM versions, but not the NTSC version due to ample existing supply of NTSC 800XL machines. August: Atari reduced the retail price for the 800XL from US$250 to US$179. August 25-26: TariCon '84, the first Atari-only computer fair, was held at Southfield Civic Centre near Detroit Michigan. Sponsored and organized by two User Groups - CHAOS (Capitol Hill Atari Owners Society) and MACE (Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts). August 27: Atari issued their first major statement. Atari planned to introduce a range of new 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit computers in January 1985. Atari would still pursue the home video game market as well, and would continue to manufacture and sell the 800XL through 1984. Summer/Fall?: The Atari Adventure at the Northwest Plaza in St. Ann MO was closed. October 9: Date of Atari internal draft specification document for a "900XLA" computer (would be announced as: 65XEM). The document contrasted the "900XLA" with the forthcoming "900XL" computer (would be introduced as: 65XE). October: In the new Atari software division (AtariSoft), John Skruch would be product manager, 8-bit computers. Fall: Atari produced and shipped new revisions of the 800XL computer for Europe (updated PAL version and new SECAM version). Fall: Atari shipped (titles developed but not shipped by Atari, Inc.): AtariLab Light Module, Sky Writer, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Track & Field (with Track & Field Arcade Controller), Final Legacy. In the UK, the Atari Software Products Division shipped: The Pay-Off November 13: Atari held a press conference at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA in which they outlined their basic marketing strategy for 1985. The U.S. price for the 800XL was reduced from US$179 to US$119. December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy. Atari estimated the company's share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983. In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds. December 8: Atari participated in the Children's Holiday Celebration, a fund raising event for the Scholarship Fund of the Children's Health Council (CHC). Atari loaned 24 800XL computers to the event's coordinators. The systems were then rented to participants, proceeds to the Scholarship Fund. Two of the 800XLs and 1,000 T-shirts were donated by Atari to the organization. December: Atari France announced the new prices of the XL computers range: 600XL PAL: 1599 FRF ; 800XL PAL: 2199 FRF ; 800XL SECAM: 2499 FRF; 1010: 449 FRF ; 1050: 2699 FRF ; 1020: 899 FRF ; 1027: 3399 FRF; Atari Touch Tablet: 649 FRF December: Atari France resumed L'Atarien magazine with issue #5. (It had been on hold since issue #4, June 1984.) December: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design, to be used in the forthcoming "900XL" computer. (would be introduced as: 65XE) "The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33. "By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985 1985 January 5-8: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the 130XE computer ($149), the 65XE computer ($99), and the 65XEP computer ($399; never shipped), and announced the 65XEM computer ($149; never shipped). Atari previewed/announced: XC1411 monitor (never shipped), XM128 monitor (never shipped), XF521 5.25" disk drive (130KiB; never shipped) with DOS 2.5, XTM201 printer (never shipped), XTC201 printer (never shipped), XMM801 printer, XDM121 printer, XM301 modem. The 130XE/65XE/65XEP/65XEM would run the Atari OS as found in the Atari 800XL which would now be phased out. New software by Atari would include: Infinity (by Matrix Software; never shipped), Silent Butler (by Atari/Silent Butler Software), Shopkeeper (never shipped), AtariWriter Plus, Song Painter (by Atari/Carousel Software; would ship as: Music Painter), Atari Tutorial (never shipped), and several titles previously introduced by Atari, Inc.: The Learning Phone (access software for the PLATO Homelink Service), Proofreader, Crystal Castles, Mario Bros. Also featured: AtariLab Light Module, Sky Writer, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Track & Field, Final Legacy February: The new "L'Atarien" magazine was now issued by "Pressimages" on behalf of "PECF Atari France" (Issue #6, Page 3). February: Retail prices from Atari France: 800XL SECAM: 1700 FRF ; 1050: 2600 FRF ; 1027: 2600 FRF March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club, regarding the 65XEP and 65XEM, Atari announced that they had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of interest." Also, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY sound chip." (The AMY chip had been developed at Atari, Inc. Atari Corp. now owned the technology, but had not retained the original design team. Thus, the new plan to integrate AMY into the XE system, as the announced 65XEM computer, turned out to be prohibitively expensive. Atari ultimately sold the AMY chip and technologies to a Milwaukee based audio design house called Sight & Sound. See: http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html ) John Skruch was introduced as software product manager for the XE line. (CN, Apr85, p. 19) March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club, Atari pledged the XE would ship in April. Regarding the 65XEP, Atari had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of interest." Regarding the 65XEM, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY sound chip." (CN, Apr85, p. 19; SPACE Apr85) March 30: At the first meeting of the Atari Worldwide User Network (WUN), held at the office of Antic magazine in San Francisco, Atari announced that the 130XE had just shipped in the U.S. ($149), the 65XE was currently being shipped in Canada, and that DOS 2.5 (OSS) was now shipping with 1050 disk drives (replacing DOS 3) and would be also be distributed as freeware. March 30-April 2: At the 10th West Coast Computer Faire at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, The San Leandro Computer Club (SLCC) and the Atari Bay Area User's Computer Society (ABACUS) both displayed 130XE units supplied by Atari, their first showing to the general public. April: Atari introduced the 130XE computer to Germany at the Hannover Messe (Hanover Trade Fair), West Germany. (The 65XE was not shown.) April: Atari France announced the availability of the Atari 1029 printer. The price was not announced. April: Atari released DOS 2.5 as freeware via the CompuServe Atari SIG. May: First issue of the U.K.'s Atari User magazine, published by Database Publications. June 2-5: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Atari featured the XM301 modem, introduced The Professional (VIP Software; never shipped), GEM Desktop (VIP Software; never shipped), and Home Astronomer (by Atari/Deltron; would ship as: Atari Planetarium), and featured AtariWriter Plus and Silent Butler. Also at the CES, DataSoft re-introduced 3 titles previously shipped by Atari: Pole Position, Pac-Man, Dig Dug June: Atari France retail price for the 130XE SECAM: 1990 FRF Months?: In the UK, using the Atarisoft label, the Atari Software Products Division released on diskette: Software Pack (The Home Filing Manager + The Pay-Off / Paint), and re-released on cassette: The Lone Raider, Chess, Eastern Front (1941), European Countries and Capitals, An Invitation to Programming Months?: Using the Atarisoft label, Atari France S.A. released: Cameleon, L'Enigme du Triangle, Nostradamus, Promoteur September 4: Atari introduced the 130XE to the UK at the Personal Computer World (PCW) show in London. November: Atari shipped AtariWriter Plus, which was designed and programmed from scratch by William Robinson (the core word processor), Ron Rosen (Mail Merge module), and R. Stanley Kistler (Proofreader module) for Micro Fantasy, for Atari. Manual by Jeffrey D. Bass. Package included a version for 48KiB/64KiB Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128KiB RAM of the 130XE. November 20-24: At the 7th annual Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX/Fall) in Las Vegas, Atari exhibited the 130XE. Notably, Atari presented a display consisting of an Atari 520ST, a Commodore Amiga, an Apple Macintosh, and an Atari 130XE, all running versions of the famous Amiga Boing Ball demo program. Atari promoted: the XM301 modem, The Learning Phone, AtariWriter Plus, Proofreader, Silent Butler, Music Painter (previously: Song Painter) December: Atari shipped the XM301 modem. Atari's 8-bit user base in the UK has now reached 400,000...close to 100,000 of the [discontinued 800XL] are believed to have been sold during the run up to Christmas alone. (Atari User Feb 1986 p.9) 1986 January 9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced the XC11 program recorder, previewed Star Raiders II (disk), and featured: Silent Butler, Music Painter, Home Astronomer (to ship as: Atari Planetarium), AtariWriter Plus. Also, both the 130XE and 65XE were to be marketed in the U.S. in bundles; the $399 130XE bundle would include: mouse (STM1), printer (1027), disk drive (1050) and five software titles: Silent Butler, Star Raiders, Music Painter, Paint, AtariWriter. January/February: Atari shipped The Learning Phone (Access Software cartridge for the PLATO Homelink Service from Control Data Corporation), designed at Atari by Vincent Wu. The Atari PLATO project had been in development at Atari, Inc. since 1981. February: Cover date of Issue #10, the final issue of L'Atarien magazine from Atari France. February: Atari France retail prices: 130XE SECAM: 1490 FRF ; 1010: 490 FRF ; 1050: 1490 FRF ; 1029: 1490 FRF March 7-9: At the (first) Atari Computer Show (ACE) sponsored by Atari User magazine at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London (the first Atari-specific exhibition to be held anywhere in the world), Atari previewed an "80-column adapter" (would ship as: XEP80) and introduced the XC11 program recorder. March 12-19: At CeBIT '86 in Hanover, West Germany (this was the first year that CeBIT was held separately from the Hannover Messe (Hanover Trade Fair), Atari again previewed an 80 column card (XEP80), previewed a 3.5" floppy disk drive (XF351; never shipped), and previewed a new DOS (later: ADOS; would ship as: DOS XE). March: Atari shipped the 65XE (U.S. release; $99.95) and shipped: Proofreader, Silent Butler, Music Painter April 28-May 1: At the Spring COMDEX show in Atlanta Atari showed the XMM801 printer, again previewed an 80 column card (XEP80), again previewed a 3.5" floppy disk drive (XF351), and showed software including Star Raiders II. Atari also previewed a 1200 bit/s modem for XE or ST (would ship as: SX212). Spring: Atari shipped the XMM801 printer and Atari Planetarium. June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer magazine. June 1-4: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the XEP80 interface, introduced Star Raiders II, and also featured the XMM801 printer, Atari Planetarium, and Silent Butler. Atari also announced/showed a Hayes-compatible 1200 bit/s modem for ST/PC/XE ("XM 1200"?; would ship as: SX212) to ship by late summer 1986. (InfoWorld June 16 p.22) July: Atari shipped Star Raiders II. Summer: Atari shipped the XC12 program recorder (Europe). Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by the new subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David H. Ahl, founder and former editor of Creative Computing magazine. Sept/Oct: John Skruch, previously Atari XE line product manager (software development management), became Atari Associate Director for Computer Software (software development management). November 10-14: At the Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari introduced the SX212 modem (ST/XE/PC) and featured the XEP80. German Atari chairman Alwin Stumpf reported at CeBit 1987 in Hannover that Atari was surprised to sell 92,000 Atari XL computers in West Germany in 1986. (Happy Computer - 2. Atari XL/XE Sonderheft, p. 3, as quoted/translated by Andreas Koch) 1987 January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari previewed the XE game system and a 3.5" disk drive (XF351; never shipped), introduced the XC12 program recorder to the U.S. (never shipped in the U.S.), featured the XEP80, and announced 80-column XEP80 versions of Silent Butler (later: Silent Butler 80; upgrade for Silent Butler; never shipped) and AtariWriter Plus (would ship as: AtariWriter 80), and also featured the SX212. January: Alex Leavens joined Atari as Technical Support Manager (online support). His assignments would specificially include support for the 8-bit computers. February 15-18: Atari introduced the XE game system at the American International TOY FAIR in New York. The system would include console, keyboard, joystick (CX40), and video gun (XG-1 light gun), and would be bundled with "a sophisticated computer game requiring keyboard interaction" (Flight Simulator II), "a fast-action arcade-style game" (Missile Command), and "a new shooting game for the video gun" (Troubleshooter; later: Blast 'Em; would ship as: Bug Hunt) March 4-7: At CeBIT '87 in Hanover, West Germany, Atari introduced the XE video game system to Europe, announced BattleZone XE (previously announced/previewed by Atari, Inc. in 1983), and also announced a new XE- styled replacement for the recently fast-selling-out 800XL (would ship as: 800XE). March 24: Atari announced that technical support manager Alex Leavens was no longer with the company. May 29: Atari announced the appointment of Clifford Slobod as director of national sales for its entertainment division. Slobod's experience included 13 years with Mattel. Slobod would be responsible for domestic sales of video game systems and software, and would manage the introduction of the new Atari XE game system. May 30-June 2: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari announced that, in addition to keyboard, joystick, and video gun (light gun), the XE game system would be bundled with Flight Simulator II (previously released by SubLOGIC), Missile Command (previously released on cartridge), and Blast 'Em (previously: Troubleshooter; would ship as: Bug Hunt). Atari introduced 14 XE cartridges: Hardball! (previously released by Accolade), Fight Night (previously released by Accolade), Touchdown Football (previously released by Electronic arts; XE cartridge never shipped), One-on-One Basketball (previously released by Electronic Arts), Archon (by Free Fall Associates; previously released by Electronic Arts), Ballblazer (by Lucasfilm; previously released by Epyx), Rescue on Fractalus! (by Lucasfilm; previously released by Epyx), Lode Runner (previously released by Broderbund), Blue Max (by Broderbund; previously released by Synapse), David's Midnight Magic (previously released by Broderbund), Crossbow (title by Exidy), plus Atari's own Food Fight, BattleZone, and Star Raiders II (previously released on disk). Atari said they were additionally developing "two new shooting games" as well (would ship as: Barnyard Blaster, Crime Buster). Also, Atari introduced the XF551 disk drive with ADOS (would ship as: DOS XE), featured the SX212 and introduced/announced SX Express!, featured the XEP80, and featured Atari Planetarium. Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer. August: Newspaper wire story on Las Vegas attractions: Atari Adventure Center, Caesars Palace and Riviera Hotels. Designed for the hotels by Atari and featuring more than 50 games...charge for most games. Atari 800 computers may be played at no charge for those who want to test geography and spelling skills. Open 24 hours daily. September: Atari shipped the SX212 modem. September/October: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface. September/October: Atari shipped the XE game system in late September, and it reached most dealer shelves by mid-October, retail price US$150. XES4001 package included: Missile Command and Atari BASIC on ROM, keyboard, Joystick (CX40), Light Gun (XG-1), Bug Hunt (previously: Blast 'Em) cartridge, Flight Simulator II cartridge Fall: Atari shipped: Rescue on Fractalus!, Ballblazer, Star Raiders II, Blue Max (Sculptured Software), Lode Runner (Chuck Peavey), David's Midnight Magic, Hardball! (Sculptured Software), Fight Night (Sculptured Software), Barnyard Blaster (K-Byte), Archon, One-on-One Basketball (Sculptured Software) Fall: Atari announced (via a new 2600/7800/XE Video Game Catalog): Desert Falcon, Choplifter! (previously released by Broderbund), Commando (title by Capcom via Data East; never shipped), GATO (title by Spectrum Holobyte) October 23: Nintendo of America Inc. requested a preliminary injunction against Atari Corp. in U.S. District Court, protesting that two Atari television commercials were false and misleading. The first commercial claimed the XE played hundreds of games while Nintendo's NES played only 80. Nintendo said the Atari claim was inflated because it was based in part on older games now hard to find. The second commercial stated the XE played both disk and cartridge games while the Nintendo played only cartridge games. While the commercial acknowledged the disk drive for the XE must be purchased separately, Nintendo said the claim was misleading because the disk drive was expensive and hard to find. December 15: The Honorable Robert P. Aguilar, United States District Judge, Northern District of California, denied the October 23, 1988 request by Nintendo of America for a preliminary injunction against the Atari television ads comparing Atari's XE game system with the Nintendo Entertainment System. The court ruled that the advertisements did not violate the Lanham Act. December?: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5). December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "In Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, and Poland the Atari 800XE and 65XE computers have gained brand dominance and are among the most popular systems being sold in these countries." Atari sold 100,000 XE Game Systems in the U.S. at Christmas and did not meet demand (Antic magazine, May 1988, p. 39) Atari "claims more than 2 million XE game systems sold in 1987." (Compute! magazine, May 1988: http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue96/news.php) 1988 January: Optimized Systems Software (OSS) was merged into ICD. February 8-17: Atari featured the 2600, 7800 and XE video game systems at the 85th American International Toy Fair in New York City. Winter: Atari shipped BattleZone (Ken Rose). Spring: Atari shipped the SX Express! disk software package for use with the SX212. June 4-7: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari promoted 19 new XE cartridges (increasing the total XE game library from Atari to 52) including, available 2nd Qtr: Ace of Aces (previously released by Accolade), Desert Falcon, Gato, Necromancer (by Bill Williams; previously released by Synapse); 3rd Qtr: Choplifter!, Commando (never released), Crime Buster, Crossbow, Crystal Castles, Into the Eagle's Nest (by Pandora), Karateka (previously released by Broderbund), Mario Bros., Mean 18 (never released), Summer Games (previously released by Epyx), Thunderfox (by Aztec Design); 4th Qtr: Airball (by MicroDeal), Dark Chambers, Jinks (by Softgold; never released), Nebulus (title by U.S. Gold; later: Tower Toppler; never released). Atari announced the XE/7800/2600 "Atari's Winning Package for '88" advertising and promotion campaign featuring a World Series Sweepstakes endorsed by Ozzie Smith, a Superbowl Sweepstakes endorsed by Doug Williams, an NBA Championship Sweepstakes endorsed by Spud Webb, and the Atari Advantage collectors' program. (The 65XE/130XE were not shown.) June/July: Atari shipped GATO (Xanth F/X) August/September: Atari shipped: Desert Falcon (Ken Rose), Ace of Aces, Mario Bros. (Sculptured Software) October 1, 1988 through September 30, 1989: "Atari Advantage" promotion program by Atari (U.S.) for the 2600, 7800, and XE. Collect 5 cartridges for a free Atari T-shirt; 15 cartridges for a free cartridge; or 25 cartridges for a 7800 for $25 or for an XE game system or XE disk drive for $50, and "enter an essay writing contest to win an expense-paid 7-day/6-night trip for you and a guest to California. Visit some of California's top tourist attractions including a day at Atari headquarters (near San Francisco) to see how video games are designed." October/November: Atari shipped: Food Fight (The Softworks Factory), Necromancer November: Final issue of the U.K.'s Atari User magazine. The name would be sold to rival U.K. magazine publisher Page 6. November: Atari (U.S.) announced the availability of the XES2001 Light Gun + Bug Hunt package. November/December: Atari (U.S.) offered a $50 consumer rebate on the purchase of the XE game system. December: Atari shipped: Crystal Castles (The Softworks Factory), Into the Eagle's Nest December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union." Atari sold 500,000 Atari 800XL units in West Germany in 1988. (Bajtek 2/1989, p.7; thanks Tomasz Krasuski) 1989 January 7-10: Atari's Entertainment division exhibited in a suite of rooms at the Dunes Hotel near the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (ST World Feb89) Atari announced 6 new titles planned, including: Commando (never shipped), Into the Eagle's Nest, Airball. This would bring the total library to 41 "active" game cartridge titles. (CN Mar89p13) January: Atari shipped DOS XE (earlier name: ADOS). New production XF551 disk drives would also ship with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5). February/March: New name for Page 6 magazine: Page 6 Atari User March: Atari shipped: Choplifter! (Sculptured Software), Dark Chambers (Sculptured Software), Crime Buster Spring: Atari shipped: Crossbow (Sculptured Software), Karateka (Sculptured Software), Summer Games, Airball (The Softworks Factory), Thunderfox. These would be the last game cartridges released by Atari for the XE. May: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface. Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48KiB/64KiB Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128KiB RAM of the 130XE. This would be the last release by Atari for the XE. May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari Explorer Publications, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor, in support of the 2600, 7800, and XE game systems. New/upcoming games previewed: Commando (never shipped), Ikari Warriors (never shipped), Xenophobe (never shipped) June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago, upcoming titles were promised by Atari: Commando (never shipped), Tower Toppler (previously: Nebulus; never shipped), Deflektor (never shipped), Xenophobe (never shipped), MIDI Maze (never shipped), Super Football (never shipped) June/July: New name for Page 6 Atari User magazine: New Atari User. August: Issue of Atarian previewed new/upcoming games: Mean 18 (never shipped), Xenophobe (never shipped), MIDI Maze (never shipped) October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. New/upcoming games previewed: Deflektor (never shipped), Ninja Golf (never shipped) October: Atari senior software engineer Lane Winner, with Atari since October 1979, departed the company. December: Final issue of ANALOG Computing magazine December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in 1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System." 1990 March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus. May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000 XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6) June/July: Final issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine. Antic would continue as a section of the publisher's STart magazine. 1991 Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and published in-house at Atari. March/April: LDW had imported about 250-270 thousand Atari 8-bit computers into Poland to date (since 1985)...Currently about 20% of the global production of 8-bit Atari computers is sent to Poland (Moje Atari 4/1991, pp. 8-9; thanks Tomasz Krasuski) April/May: Final issue of STart magazine (which had incorporated Antic magazine). May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20) May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10) November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.) brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer products for clearance sales. December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEgs, 2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22. December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and 128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150, respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers." 1992 Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4) June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19) Fall?: The Atari Adventure center at Crestwood Plaza in Crestwood MO, which had featured 800XL computers until at least 1991, was shut down. December: First issue of Atari Classics magazine, published by Unicorn Publications, Ben Poehland managing editor. December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual Report to Shareholders. 1993 Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine. November?: Rights to ICD (including OSS) products for the 8-bit Atari were purchased by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe / Mike Hohman) 1994 January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories. The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future." 1996 July 30: Atari Corp. merged with JT Storage, Inc. into a new company, JTS Acquisition Corp. The merged company immediately adopted the new name, JTS Corp. The prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant portion of JTS business," JTS said. 1997 July: Final issue of Atari Classics magazine. 1998 February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division, consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive (itself a unit of toy company Hasbro, Inc.), for US$5 million. HIAC XI was then renamed Atari Interactive, Inc. Fall: Final issue of Page 6 Publishing's New Atari User magazine. 2001 January 29: Infogrames Entertainment announced completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive was included in the transaction. 2003 May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary. 2009 May 29: The name of Infogrames Entertainment was changed to Atari. TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the 400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Atari, SA of Lyon, France. http://corporate.atari.com/ =================================================================== End of atari-8-bit/faq ===================================================================

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Marsha
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Feb 15, 2014 @ 12:12 pm
Actually there is an Atari 800 Bio Feedback system its called Relax. I have one anyone want it? I would be willing to entertain offers.

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