Questions tagged [atari-400]

for questions relating to the Atari 400 8-bit computer

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6 votes
2 answers
343 views

When were Player/Missile graphics in Atari computers first documented?

The Atari 400 and 800 came out in 1979. The hardware included the ability to overlay sprites ("players" and the smaller "missiles") over the display. AFAIK, this capability is ...
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2 votes
2 answers
463 views

How can I create floppy disks for use with Atari 400/800? [closed]

I recently lost my collection of bootleg Atari 400 games, stored on 5.25 floppy disks. What is the best way to recreate those disks? I currently have an Atari 400 console an Atari 1050 disk drive ...
46 votes
5 answers
11k views

How did Atari lose money on home computers?

The answer recently posted to Did Atari make more money from arcade games or consoles? quotes a New York Times article from 1982 https://www.nytimes.com/1982/12/19/business/the-game-turns-serious-at-...
  • 49.8k
19 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why did the Atari 5200 forsake compatibility with 400/800 game cartridges?

The Atari 400/800 home computers were well-established and quite successful in the games market by the time the Atari 5200 console was released in 1982. The 5200 shared the chips and architecture of ...
  • 57.6k
6 votes
2 answers
539 views

Membrane keyboard robustness

Some early computers used a membrane keyboard (ZX80, ZX81, Atari 400), or semi-membrane with minimal keys (ZX Spectrum). This is because it was cheaper than a mechanical keyboard. Intuitively I would ...
  • 49.8k
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What were the selling points of the Atari 800 over the 400?

Apparently when the two Atari 8-bit machines were released, the 400 outsold the 800 2 to 1, which is unsurprising considering they were priced at approximately $500 and $1000 respectively. Indeed, ...
  • 49.8k
18 votes
1 answer
956 views

Was the Atari 400/800 internal speaker of any use besides key click?

Sounds from the Atari 8-bit computer line came through the RF video cable into your television much like video game systems from the time. The original Atari 400/800 also had a built in speaker, ...
  • 14.3k
7 votes
1 answer
511 views

Atari 400 Faulty Keyboard - Some columns work, most do not

I've been cleaning up an Atari 400 that had a bad RF cable, and cleaned the machine thoroughly so it's looking great. It's working well apart from the keyboard, where most of the keys aren't working: ...
  • 1,994