PDA

View Full Version : Atari 800XL



pcm2a
July 17th, 2013, 03:10 PM
Not much love over here is the Atari category. I picked up this Atari 800XL today for a whopping $25! Everything works great and came with 5 games and 2 learning games (with the cases). Seemed like a great deal and I went a head and figured out how to write a for loop in the fishy atari-basic that is not the same as ms/gw basic.

How do I get doom to run on this? Just kidding....

barythrin
July 17th, 2013, 03:20 PM
Pretty cool find (definitely worth it). I don't find too many cartridge games for the 800 series down here so it's neat to see and great for demos. Did you find it locally or just an unloved auction? I always found it odd (a bit annoying to be honest) at the lack of built in basic (edit: wow! it has built in basic?!). Not that I argue with the few companies who chose not to pay Microsoft such high royalties but MS did have a good point as far as a customer buys your computer, opens the box and plugs it in and what can they do.

Ok so obviously I didn't see basic in your cartridge stack so I looked it up. That's really interesting. I'm used to my Atari 800 (not XL) which is a bit different and before the mass sales of the XL line. The 400/800 don't have basic so you have to buy or find the cartridge which I found annoying. Apparently the XL line DOES have it. Definitely a perk. I always liked having the two cartridge slots on the older generation but honestly never had a use for more than one. I had tried to figure out how to dump a cartridge from basic to tape but never worked hard enough to figure it out.

Unknown_K
July 17th, 2013, 03:26 PM
I have an 800XL and a 65xe. The 800XL I think needs work. I have a few 800 era carts and one of them is basic. Carts were popular when the original Atari 800 came out, before disk drives were cheap.

GottaLottaStuff
July 17th, 2013, 05:23 PM
Now you need to find a floppy drive for it!

barythrin
July 17th, 2013, 07:44 PM
Yeah, I can't remember if I have a floppy drive or not for the Atari. I mostly played with the cassette unit but again, had to load basic off a cart first then load the tape. Still had fun on the system though trying to peek and poke around and write a little test code. Are there bootstrapping programs out there (I'll google after lol) or anything neat folks with an 400/800/xl should know about?

deathshadow
July 17th, 2013, 10:36 PM
Coolest part from what I'm seeing is you have the best game ever written for the 400/800, though the 5200 port is actually better since it obeys the analog controls...

I am of course referring to Star Raiders.

I've been thinking on picking up an Atari 8 bit machine for my collection.

jltursan
July 17th, 2013, 11:42 PM
Not all the XL family has a built-in BASIC, the 1200XL doesn't provide an interpreter and you need again the old BASIC cart!.

Impressive machines if you keep in mind that they're all based on the same long standing 400 architecture, a wonderful design that involved Jay Miner :-)

Undoubtely, the best game for this platform is Yoomp! (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?14079-Yoomp!-for-Atari-8-bit). It's an incredible achievement for a 8-bit game!

pcm2a
July 18th, 2013, 04:41 AM
I picked it up locally from a craigslist find! The 800XL does come with basic built in which is extra cool. Too bad I can't save anything I guess without some external cassette/floppy.

I saw in the other thread about this SIO2SD which looks super cool. Is that the cheapest way to be able to try out any games I want on the Atari? $75 is pretty steep unless you were really into it I guess. It might have to go on a wish list.

So how would I find out what Atari games will or wont run on the 800XL? I see lots of people selling lots of games and they all look pretty similar...

archeocomp
July 18th, 2013, 08:38 AM
The cheapest way is to make a SIO2PC cable for $5 and run AspeQT for free.

pcm2a
July 18th, 2013, 03:42 PM
I see games listed as 400/800 and 800XL. Will a game from the 400 model really work in an 800XL?

billdeg
July 20th, 2013, 09:04 AM
yes anything for the 400 will work on the 800 / 800xl, and probably the 600xl.

pcm2a
July 20th, 2013, 09:31 PM
Excellent, I picked up a few games off of ebay today for super cheap. Jungle Hunt is one of them :-)

barythrin
July 23rd, 2013, 12:58 PM
Regarding the sio2pc cable, I'm guessing you're referring to a design like this one (http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/atari/sio2pc-1489.html)? (I've heard several folks also recommend using a 14c89. I was hoping I could find the 14c89 (http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?search_type=jamecoall&catalogId=10001&freeText=14c89&langId=-1&productId=16379&storeId=10001&ddkey=http:StoreCatalogDrillDownView) locally but guess that's slim chances these days. A little disappointing via Jameco that the part would be $.75 but cost a handling fee of $5 for an order under $10 and shipping of another $4/5. Not sure if there's a good alternative that would sell the atari/serial connectors and the IC.

archeocomp
July 23rd, 2013, 09:59 PM
Yes. I have built one based on 1489. But more recommended are versions based on MAX232. Serial connector I believe can be found on eBay, not quite sure. I used one from atari cassette player. I do not have any cassettes though ..

carlsson
July 24th, 2013, 01:20 PM
I believe there may be a few (handful?) 400/800 games that don't run unmodified on the XL/XE series. For some of the games, you may need to hold down the Option key on power on to disable the built-in Basic on XL/XE models.

pcm2a
July 24th, 2013, 03:53 PM
I just bought a lot of 4 games. Two of them work great, Jungle Hunt and Krazy Shootout. One of them works if I hold down option while powering on, Congo Bongo. The fourth, Pop Eye, does not work either way. :-(

Update:
Lol, I got PopEye to work.... I had to blow down in the Atari and then it worked. Wonder why all other games were working with the "dust" I might have blown out.

hamrecycling
August 9th, 2013, 08:08 PM
wow, i LOVED and miss my Atari, i use to play river raid, and so many others. I went out and purchased a newer all in one with 100 games inside, was not the same, haha.

atari8bitcarts
August 28th, 2013, 09:11 AM
yes anything for the 400 will work on the 800 / 800xl, and probably the 600xl.
That isn't necessarily true. A really good resource for Atari information is Atarimania and AtariAge. I collect Atari 8-bit exclusively and maintain one of the largest cartridge collections.

But here's a reference for game compatibility (You can however use a translator programs).
http://www.atarimania.com/faq-atari-400-800-xl-xe-what-programs-run-only-on-the-400-and-800-models-and-why_68.html

ANd don't forget about memory requirements, the 400 had 16KB RAM if you didn't update it. The 800XL has 64KB. The 800 had 48KB.

barythrin
August 28th, 2013, 12:23 PM
Gonna tell us more about your collection? :-) Welcome to the forums btw.

Micom 2000
August 29th, 2013, 11:41 AM
I picked it up locally from a craigslist find! The 800XL does come with basic built in which is extra cool. Too bad I can't save anything I guess without some external cassette/floppy.

I saw in the other thread about this SIO2SD which looks super cool. Is that the cheapest way to be able to try out any games I want on the Atari? $75 is pretty steep unless you were really into it I guess. It might have to go on a wish list.

So how would I find out what Atari games will or wont run on the 800XL? I see lots of people selling lots of games and they all look pretty similar...

Try Bravo Sierra Computers http://www.aracnet.com/~atari/ or Best Electronics http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/ .
Bravo is usually the cheapest but Best has the largest Atari stock.

vwestlife
August 29th, 2013, 02:08 PM
Lol, I got PopEye to work.... I had to blow down in the Atari and then it worked. Wonder why all other games were working with the "dust" I might have blown out.

The later Atari cartridges (post-Jack Tramiel-cost-cutting) with the exposed circuit board edge often need to have their contacts cleaned before they will work correctly, because the metal contacts oxidize over time. The "blow on the cartridge" trick works not because you're "blowing out dust", but actually because the moisture in your breath temporarily increases the electrical conductivity of the contacts enough to make it work despite the oxidation.