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Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 11.1) What is the history of Atari's 8-bit computers platform?

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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

Credit to Tomasz Krasuski for finding sales figures in Polish periodicals:

For a broader Atari history may I suggest:

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.  ( 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 
  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)

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.

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.

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:  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:  (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: 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. 

  "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.

  "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.

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

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

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?)

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,

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

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

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.

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)

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

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)

April: First issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine, published by James

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

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

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".

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

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)

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

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).

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

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).

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

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

"Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year"
  - Time magazine, July 16, 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

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:

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

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:

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

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

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

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: ) 
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

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)

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

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)

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

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:

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

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

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:

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

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),

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)

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."

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.

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

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: " 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."

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.

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)

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."

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.

July: Final issue of Atari Classics magazine.

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.

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.

May 7: Infogrames Entertainment folded its Infogrames Interactive (the former
Hasbro Interactive) subsidiary into its Atari Interactive subsidiary.

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.

End of atari-8-bit/faq

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