I really wish I had my old Atari 400 computer to hand. I think it’s still at my parents place, though they might have thrown it out — I can’t remember.
I’m reminiscing about the Atari 400 — my first real computer. As the ad below shows, it was a bit of the poor relation to the Atari 800 – less pricy but less memory.
I’m not sure if that keyboard was supposed to repel spills, but I remember getting quite adept at typing on it.
It certainly had an interesting look to it. Lots of brown colouring and a bit like some sort of console you might find on a spaceship’s flight deck in a cheap movie from the ’70s.
Here’s the manual for the Atari 400/800. Mum has only been given one instruction: “Press the play button”, while the son looks on and wonders when his folks will leave so he can finish that primitive ASCII porn program he started writing yesterday.
Ah, yes, that amazing cassette deck. Unlike the Spectrum, you couldn’t get away with plugging any old player into the computer. No, the Atari 410 was the business.
This poor fellow seems to have a manual for the Disk Operating System II, unaware that it was nigh impossible to use the Atari 400 for that. Time to upgrade to the 800, methinks.
Ahh, Atari 8-bit and 16-bit side by side (well, except for those pesky Commodores sitting in the middle. Who the hell put those there?)
OK here’s one musical use for an old Atari 400 and joystick trigger buttons.
Stick a Dalek on top, we can play Doctor Who on this thing.
Uh, hang on, have you seen the screenshot?
Ahh, I spent many a happy time learning the Atari’s idiosyncratic version of BASIC that missed out some vital bits other 8-bit machines had. INKEY$ anyone? I seem to remember missing that a lot.
Did I tell you about the first program I tried to type in on the Atari 400, without ever pressing Return?
It didn’t work.
Wow, green and orange Chess. You could never put it on the high levels because not only would the computer beat you but it would take about twenty times as long as a human to play each move.
Who says computers have to be fast?
Is it true, or just folklore, that people really bought an Atari computer just to play Star Raiders? I’m doubtful.
Anyhow, there’s a quick nostalgic tour of my beloved Atari 400. Worth all of $20 now I’m sure, but a lot more in memories.
Anyone else have the Atari 400? Are you still running it?