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Thread: Atari 800XL

  1. #1

    Default Atari 800XL

    I've just added one of these to my collection. I was looking for the original 800 but they are so RARE here in New Zealand. They are also quite heavy and hence shipping costs from N. America are prohibitive. That plus the issues of different colour TV formats and 110v vrs 240v, I decided the more common locally-sourced XL would have to do.

    I wouldn't say it's in top condition. Inside the machine the plate covering the circuit board shows rust and I had to chase a few spiders out. In fact the keyboard wouldn't work when I first got it. Some careful disassembly and cleaning the crud of ages off the mylar keyboard membrane as suggested in one of the other forums on this site worked, and now it's up and running. I've cleaned the case and now it at least looks presentable.

    I've got a 1050 drive with it, and I'm presently looking for manuals. Just how to use the thing is a bit of a mystery. I did find one guide on the web but it's in HTML format. I like to have the text beside me in hard copy.

    Initial impressions thought...nice size, light weight. The keyboard has a positive feel about it. Those games I could load worked just fine. Good sound.

    There was one game called "Hacker" where, after booting, the software seemed to emulate a terminal session with a mainframe. Quite cool! I wish I had the instructions.

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    I've got a 1050 drive with it, and I'm presently looking for manuals. Just how to use the thing is a bit of a mystery.
    There's really not much to the machine.
    What is it you want do?

    "It's a me-too, 8-bit machine with good graphics and a disk system nobody will support."
    -- Bill Gates, about the Sony SMC-70 with the new 3.5" floppy drives (InfoWorld; June 7, 1982)

  3. #3

    Default

    Nothing specific really. I'd just like to learn more about how the OS works, and whatever is contained in ROM. I've got a bunch of mostly unlabelled disks with it. It's DOS 2.5 I think.

    I make it a point to try to get the manuals with my vintage machines. None with this one though, and I never used it when I was younger.
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    I'd just like to learn more about how the OS works,
    http://www.atariarchives.org/iad/

    and whatever is contained in ROM.
    http://www.atariarchives.org/mapping/

    I realize those aren't PDFs, but sometimes you take what you can get.
    Plenty of other good books at http://www.atariarchives.org/ too.

    You might also check out http://www.trailingedge.com/atari8/
    The 1200XL Owner's Guide is probably similar enough to that of an 800XL.

    Cheers,
    Andy

    "It's a me-too, 8-bit machine with good graphics and a disk system nobody will support."
    -- Bill Gates, about the Sony SMC-70 with the new 3.5" floppy drives (InfoWorld; June 7, 1982)

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the links Andy,

    I'll check them out.

    Terry
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  6. #6

    Default

    I've got a 800XL and 1050 drive, also got the tape deck, not tried out much with it, got some tape software but no disks or carts.

    The original 800 is pretty hard to find here in the UK as well

    I did manage to get hold of a 400 though

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Västerås, Sweden
    Posts
    6,277

    Default

    Tonight, there was a loose Atari 800 (not XL/XE) that was missing one key, was quite dirty and some cracks in the plastic. Yet it was fully functional according to the seller. It ended at a mere 61 SEK (9.50 USD or 5 UKP). My maximum bid was 39 SEK (6 USD, 3 UKP) which would've been quite a steal even for a grubby looking Atari. Still, I suppose the buyer made a good deal given that a fully working 800 can go for over 500 SEK, and a boxed one well over 1000.
    Anders Carlsson

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carlsson View Post
    Still, I suppose the buyer made a good deal given that a fully working 800 can go for over 500 SEK, and a boxed one well over 1000.
    Indeed. Was it a PAL machine?
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Åtvidaberg, Sweden
    Posts
    242

    Default

    It was most likely a NTSC-machine. Or at least the seller claimed that it was.

    // Z

  10. #10

    Default

    How much is a good working 800 worth these days with a 1027 printer, 1050 disk drive and related accessories, not including the monitor, which I have. I'm interested in a system on ebay and don't want to get into a bidding war. No OS software though.

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