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Olds-kool gamer
March 30th, 2009, 02:28 PM
As this Atari section is looking quite bare of late and grarap has been gloating about his Commodore bargain, I thought I'd share my Atari bargain with you guys.

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu291/Olds-kool-gamer/sde2.jpg

Names have been concealed to protect the innocent i.e me :mrgreen:

As usual there’s always a snag or two.

The User manual was completely water damaged and the Keyboard was faulty. i.e. some keys worked and some didn’t.

But the good news is I manage to fix it and its now fully functional :D

Not bad for £1.04 (plus shipping)

ahm
March 30th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Nice. What machine is it? (Hard to tell from the photo)

tezza
March 30th, 2009, 03:02 PM
Looks to me to be an Atari 130XE?

Well done anyway. That's less than the price of a cup of coffee.

Tez

Olds-kool gamer
March 30th, 2009, 03:05 PM
Nice. What machine is it? (Hard to tell from the photo)

Thanks...

I wish it was a 130 (don't have one of those....yet) it’s the more common 65XE...

Here’s a bigger pic:-

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu291/Olds-kool-gamer/myatari.jpg

Olds-kool gamer
March 30th, 2009, 03:09 PM
Looks to me to be an Atari 130XE?

Well done anyway. That's less than the price of a cup of coffee. Tez

Thanks Tez, especially if you frequent Costa Coffee…:shock:

Trixter
March 30th, 2009, 04:10 PM
I wish it was a 130 (don't have one of those....yet) it’s the more common 65XE...


For those of us not familiar with either, what's the difference between them? A cursory look at old-computers.com wasn't helpful.

Micom 2000
March 30th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Nice score. The KB looks much like the GSxe. From what I remember, they were even more capable than the 130xe. What do you see as the advantage of the 130xe over the 65xe?

Lawrence

justjunk
March 30th, 2009, 06:08 PM
Nice score. The KB looks much like the GSxe. From what I remember, they were even more capable than the 130xe. What do you see as the advantage of the 130xe over the 65xe?

Lawrence

65xe (64 k ram) was basically a repackaged 800xl. 130xe was a 65xe with 128kbytes of memory. i dont know if much commercial software ever took advantage of the extra memory. the 130xe was my first computer. $300 on sale at sears (1982 i think) including a letter quality printer and a 1050 dual density disk drive. W0W! what little programming i learned was from typing in programs from magazines like antic and analogue, both atari specific. i still have that machine.

justjunk
March 30th, 2009, 06:18 PM
Olds-kool gamer looks like you make a great purchase. Congratulations! I don't believe I have ever seen a tape machine that matches the newer style of the ex series Atari. Enjoy!

tezza
March 30th, 2009, 06:22 PM
I don't think there was a lot of software which took advantage of the extra RAM the 130 XE had. They were released in 1985 at the same time as the 16-bit Ataris. Programmers were keener to develop material for these new fancy machines rather than something which, it turned out, had a fairly short market life.

I have one of these machines. They are very tidy, although I prefer the solid keyboard of the earlier XL800.

Tez

Unknown_K
March 30th, 2009, 09:46 PM
From what I remember they were just facelifts of the old 800XL with some cost savings for Atari. I wanted the 128K version a while ago but never bothered to get one (would have to hunt down the drives, monitor, and find space for it). The only Atari I have is a 1040stf.

I am sure something uses that extra memory, but its not worth going after unless you realy wanted a complet collection.

Olds-kool gamer
March 31st, 2009, 01:38 AM
For those of us not familiar with either, what's the difference between them? A cursory look at old-computers.com wasn't helpful.

Hi,

Go to the below link and add it to your favorites:)

http://www.homecomputer.de

Go to inventory section and this will list the computers in manufacturer order.

I found this site a few years ago and it’s an invaluable source of info.

andyt31
March 31st, 2009, 05:35 AM
Wish I saw that on eBay. I live in Cambridgeshire too so I could have collected it!

Olds-kool gamer
March 31st, 2009, 05:54 AM
Wish I saw that on eBay. I live in Cambridgeshire too so I could have collected it!

I only spotted it with 13 minutes to go at which point it was still on £0.99p! with no bids. I couldn’t help myself as I’m a bit of a Atari nut! :)

The postage was £14, as it was quite heavy but I ain’t complaining.

I dont think this guy understood what he was selling. If you look at the below picture he has included Atari 400/800 stuff, he’s even included the BASIC ROM Cartridge, which is superfluous to these Atari’s as the BASIC is already built in!

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/uu291/Olds-kool-gamer/myatari.jpg

Trooper
April 1st, 2009, 03:06 AM
Ah, that's a really nice find! I bought a 130XE in 85 or 86, it was my main computer until I bought my 520STM in 89. I loved that little beast, I still remember the feeling when I woke up the day after buying it and being sure it was all just a dream :mrgreen:

The reason for the 400/800 stuff being included is probably because (almost) all of the 400/800 stuff works on the XE machines as well. Much of the games I bought "back in the day" was labeled "Atari 400/800", even the BASIC cart should work fine if you feel inclined to do some programming in an earlier revision of BASIC than the one that's built in :)

There actually are some games and applications that use the extra 128KB in the 130XE, you can find a discussion on the topic at Atariage (http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=138599)

Olds-kool gamer
April 1st, 2009, 05:27 AM
Ah, that's a really nice find! I bought a 130XE in 85 or 86, it was my main computer until I bought my 520STM in 89. I loved that little beast, I still remember the feeling when I woke up the day after buying it and being sure it was all just a dream :mrgreen:

The reason for the 400/800 stuff being included is probably because (almost) all of the 400/800 stuff works on the XE machines as well. Much of the games I bought "back in the day" was labeled "Atari 400/800", even the BASIC cart should work fine if you feel inclined to do some programming in an earlier revision of BASIC than the one that's built in :)

There actually are some games and applications that use the extra 128KB in the 130XE, you can find a discussion on the topic at Atariage (http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=138599)

Hi,

Thanks….

I own a few of these and I’ve never received any of those other bits before but I ain’t complaining they can go to complete some of my Atari 400/800 stuff.:)

I would really like a 130XE but they don’t come up that often here in the UK and when they do they seem to fetch quite a high price, thanks for the link I’m a member there as well.

I suppose by the time the 130Xe was released the 16 bit invasion was truly under way. I went with the Amiga at the time although I own an ST now as well…

carlsson
April 1st, 2009, 06:16 AM
Frankly, I thought the 130XE is more common than the 65XE or for that matter the 800XE (Euopean re-release of the 800XL). If I remember correctly there are a few very small differences between 65XE and 800XE, somewhere on the Internet it should say exactly which ones.

Olds-kool gamer
April 1st, 2009, 06:33 AM
Frankly, I thought the 130XE is more common than the 65XE or for that matter the 800XE (Euopean re-release of the 800XL). If I remember correctly there are a few very small differences between 65XE and 800XE, somewhere on the Internet it should say exactly which ones.

Been an Ebay member for a looooong time and in my experience with 8-bit Atari’s the most common to least common.

Atari 800XL Nearly every week
Atari 65Xe Not far behind the 800XL
Atari 400 Quite regular not every week.
Atari 800 Occasional getting less as time goes buy
Atari 600XL Not very often
Atari XE GS As above
Atari 130Xe Not very often lass then 1 a month
Atari 1200XL Seen maybe 1 or 2 (not released in Euro Zone)
Atari 800XE Never seen one in UK

I think the 800XE was similar to the 65XE but not sold in Western Europe (someone may be able to shed more light)

carlsson
April 1st, 2009, 02:18 PM
I believe you're correct regarding 800XE and 65XE, which may be the reason why you've never seen one on the UK market. On the Swedish auction site Tradera, I think at least 50% of the 8-bit Ataris that are listed (very few, mind you) are 130XE's. Trooper will probably be able to confirm or deny. Some of those loose 130's go very cheap too, probably because the computer never had a big following and the distinguished collectors wait for nice, boxed units if they don't already have one.

barythrin
April 1st, 2009, 03:45 PM
Interesting. I never would have thought about that. So I should buy all these extra 800xl's I come across and flip em over there and make $5. j/k Are they worth more over there because of the lack of supply? Like the Commodore 128dcr would be worth more to me over here since I've never seen one before and it was the European model.

carlsson
April 1st, 2009, 10:05 PM
Better pick up some random Apple II models. They're a bit of hen's teeth in Europe, at least compared to Atari 800XL and alike. TRS-80's also are very uncommon, but I get a feeling fewer (European) computer users knew about their existance at all so not quite as desired to collect.

Back to the Ataris, I'm not experienced enough to know the difference between PAL and NTSC machines: do they use different video chips, timing constants only in software, will some programs not run on the other etc?

Trooper
April 2nd, 2009, 12:44 AM
I believe you're correct regarding 800XE and 65XE, which may be the reason why you've never seen one on the UK market. On the Swedish auction site Tradera, I think at least 50% of the 8-bit Ataris that are listed (very few, mind you) are 130XE's. Trooper will probably be able to confirm or deny. Some of those loose 130's go very cheap too, probably because the computer never had a big following and the distinguished collectors wait for nice, boxed units if they don't already have one.

Yeah the 800XE was mostly sold in eastern Europe which would explain why they're not easily found in the UK while I have two of them boxed and have sold at least one more :). As mentioned by carlsson the 130XE is probably one of the easier 8-bit Ataris to find in Sweden. This is likely because of the fact that the 130XE was very cheap in 85-86. I paid 1495:- for the computer and XC12 tape recorder. That would translate to about $180 today. By comparison the C64 was about twice as expensive back then if my memory serves me :). carlsson is also right in saying that the 8-bits never had much of a following in Sweden so not many people collect them leading to them selling quite cheap on Tradera. The 65XE on the other hand was not easy to find and I'm still missing a boxed one. The 400 and 800 is quite "rare" here in Sweden, a boxed 800 will cost you quite a bit more than a boxed 130XE, that's for sure.

In Sweden your list would probably look something like this from easiest to find to hardest:

Atari 130XE
Atari 800XE
Atari 800XL
Atari 800
Atari XE GS
Atari 65XE
Atari 400
Atari 600XL
Atari 1200XL

Just an estimation but good for illustration of the differences in market.

carlsson
April 2nd, 2009, 02:18 AM
Hm, my online price watch (http://www.cbm.sfks.se/tidning/datorpris.html) currently only extends to January 1985 so I can't tell how good value for money the 130XE was a bit later on. But as you can see and what I've mentioned multiple times before, the Atari 400/800 and 600/800XL generally had a very hard time vs the C64 and also ZX Spectrum.

The 800XL may in many respects be greatly superior to the C64, but try to tell the customer why they in June 1984 should pay 85% more for an apparently similar home computer because it has a little extra. At that moment in time, I believe you could get a C64 + 1541 diskdrive for the same money you'd spend on a 800XL + 1010 tape recorder.. :-?

Olds-kool gamer
April 2nd, 2009, 08:58 AM
I’m not too sure that the 800XL was significantly superior to the C64, there’s a lot of people arguing this over at Atari age (http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=134852), which has over 3,000 replies on this one topic alone! One area the C64 did have an advantage over the Atari’s (here in the UK anyway) was its software library, which was the modern day equivalent to the PC.

Atari’s have always been more expensive. Why I do not know, as very little has technically changed over their 8-bit range even the Atari 5200 (only released in the USA) is basically an Atari 400 without a keyboard so other than more memory and a different connectivity port here and there, they are all basically the same machine.

Other then the obvious deference’s between NTSC over PAL they’re pretty much the same machines. I think the cartridge software had PAL and NTSC differences not sure if this applies to the Floppy disk and Tape software but I'm no expert on this subject. I've got a boxed Atari 5200 but have not turned it on yet, as I need a stepdown transformer.:)

carlsson
April 2nd, 2009, 09:06 AM
Commodore owned their own IC factories: MOS later on became CSG. In the beginning they may have been the only manufacturer of 6502 chips, and I suppose all the other custom chips were made there too. Where Atari got their CTIA, GTIA, POKEY and so on made, I'm not sure but possibly they had a middle hand taking profits. I know Jack Tramiel in the summer of 1983 spoke very openly and with lots of pride about Commodore's "vertical integration" where everything was manufactured within the company, cutting costs.

Olds-kool gamer
April 2nd, 2009, 02:14 PM
Commodore owned their own IC factories: MOS later on became CSG. In the beginning they may have been the only manufacturer of 6502 chips, and I suppose all the other custom chips were made there too. Where Atari got their CTIA, GTIA, POKEY and so on made, I'm not sure but possibly they had a middle hand taking profits. I know Jack Tramiel in the summer of 1983 spoke very openly and with lots of pride about Commodore's "vertical integration" where everything was manufactured within the company, cutting costs.

I always thought most of the initial outlay is R&D...

Manufacturing costs initially are always high but tend to decrease as the manufacturing processes improve and technological advancements etc.

What I cannot understand is the Atari 8-bits remained quite expensive for a long time when most of the improvements were nearly always cosmetic.

Trooper
April 2nd, 2009, 09:39 PM
It all comes down to quality of course :mrgreen:

No but seriously, I suspect that Atari's R&D costs were significantly larger than Commodores and also carlsson is right about the chip manufacturing. As far as I know Atari never owned any manufacturing plants to make their own chips in but had to buy all the chips from outside sources while Commodore manufactured most, if not all, of their chips themselves. This is of course a major factor in why Commodore was cheaper than Atari.

tezza
April 3rd, 2009, 12:25 AM
It all comes down to quality of course :mrgreen:

No but seriously, I suspect that Atari's R&D costs were significantly larger than Commodores and also carlsson is right about the chip manufacturing. As far as I know Atari never owned any manufacturing plants to make their own chips in but had to buy all the chips from outside sources while Commodore manufactured most, if not all, of their chips themselves. This is of course a major factor in why Commodore was cheaper than Atari.

That and the fact that Jack Tramiel went for low profit margins per machine and volume, volume, volume by retailing through general chain stores.

Tez

Trooper
April 3rd, 2009, 12:30 AM
Yup, that's of course also a large contibuting factor. Small margins and sell in large volumes were alway Jack's philosophy :) Did I mention Jack is one of my all time heroes eventhough most Atarifans seem to hate him.

Micom 2000
April 3rd, 2009, 04:20 PM
I am one of those who hate Jack Tramiel. While one of his mantras was volume, volume,volume, "at an affordable price", another was, once you have the customer, soak him for proprietary peripherals. That thing alone tended to cripple the Ataris and turn customers off for the length of it's products life. Most of the good things Atari developed were due to the dedicated designers and engineers who had to fight Tramiel every step of the way.

I have an XEGS which I bought some years ago. A very well-designed slick machine which included extras like the Bug Gun, an amazing flight simulator with the approaches to most major US airports, including maps, which could have likely helped El Kaiada had they known about it, and another shoot-em-up space wars program in ROM. I've been torn between selling the 130xe or the XEGS for years, still unresolved. I bend towards the memory and capability of the 130XE and because as an ST fanatic, it looks like a smaller brother to the ST.

I had been under the impression that the 65XE and the GS were very similiar in specs. What is the difference between the two, other than the GS was obvously orented to gamers ?

Lawrence

carlsson
April 3rd, 2009, 09:45 PM
I think all the XE machines (800XE, 65XE, 130XE, 260XE, XEGS) share the same chipset, if you like the term. The XEGS is however designed like a video game with separate keyboard. I don't know if the inputs/outputs differ, but I would assume they do.

As for proprietary, aren't all systems proprietary until one has sold enough units to be considered setting a standard? Well, sometimes several companies cooperate about a new design like when the Japanese defined the MSX standard but most people would not consider those forming an actual computer standard for peripherals and so on.

Atari using the hard to find SIO connector [perhaps it was more common in 1978 than in 2008] makes it look they went for proprietary many years before Jack Tramiel entered the business. I've read on Wikipedia that they wanted to use an edge connector like the Apple II but due to FCID (?) requirements they had to encapsulate the lines differently. It may be a misunderstanding as also Commodore PETs use edge connectors all the way. Perhaps the difference was that Apple and Commodore registered their computers as business machines, following different regulations than if you developed a machine for home use? Still I wonder if the regular D-subs were not common enough in the late 1970's for Atari to have used those instead of the SIO one. Perhaps the pins in a D-sub more easily bend or breaks, so the SIO kind was chosen to withstand some violent use.

Trooper
April 4th, 2009, 06:17 AM
carlsson is, as always, right. As far as I remember the SIO was chosen because of FCC rules. The reason that Atari couldn't'/wouldn't do what Apple and Commodore did is that they wanted to market their machine as a home computer to be connected to the home television. In short they wanted to include the RF adapter in the machine which put them under harsher rules from the FCC to minimize interference. Apple on the other hand sold their machines without an RF adapter and let a third party sell that part in stead. I suspect no RF adapter was included with the PET either? ;) :)

See this interview with Joe Decuir for some interesting information:

http://www.atarimuseum.com/articles/joedecuir.html

Olds-kool gamer
April 4th, 2009, 08:56 AM
All very interesting stuff…

Re: Jack Tramiel Hero or villain? No one can dispute his contribution to the Home Micro industry, even though I wasn’t a big fan of his business model.

I do remember reading some ware that T.O.S. stood for Tramiel Operating System, which seems a bit megalomaniacal. A bit like Alan Sugar today…

Trooper
April 4th, 2009, 10:05 AM
The official explanation for TOS is that it stands for The Operating System

Olds-kool gamer
April 4th, 2009, 10:37 AM
The official explanation for TOS is that it stands for The Operating System

Yes I know, that’s what…..THEY….. want us to believe....:lookroun:


(Checks behind curtains, for phone taps, Bugs, Parabolic Microphones):hide:

Terry Yager
April 4th, 2009, 01:44 PM
Yes I know, that’s what…..THEY….. want us to believe....:lookroun:


(Checks behind curtains, for phone taps, Bugs, Parabolic Microphones):hide:

Too late, the MIB just received a copy of this thread. (They monitor my web activity to see what kind of subversives I communicate with).

--T