Sunday, November 13, 2011

1980 - The Future Belongs to Atari

Ran across this ad for a 1980 Atari personal computer, that had both cassette and floppy capabilities and a printer.

And you could get the whole bundle for less then $2000 dollars too boot.

We didn't have one of these at home, but my high school had bought one. My friends and I would spend hours sitting there playing early versions of role playing games and the occasional basic shoot em' up, with everything stored on huge floppies that wouldn't hold a single jpeg today.

But never the less, the day of the personal computer had begun.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of a comment my Dad made about technology upon seeing a Birthday card with a little voice-chip in it. He said back in the 70s the most state-of-the-art voice synthesizer was this big box going for three thousand dollars or so. At that point I had started using Ubuntu Studio and had running on a laptop I got for $360 as a part of a Best-Buy opening deal a full suite of musical software including several synths and a virtual guitar amp/effects rack. Even with the printer and other add-ons I still paid much less for the laptop than someone in 1980 would have paid for that Atari. That's actually kind of boggling come to think of it.

    It's astounding how far computers have come. I remember our old PC. Big clunky thing with a black and green monitor that made the colour on the old Nintendo Entertainment System look super-advanced. (Though as I recall there was at least one game that could manage more detailed graphics than Nintendo, albeit without the colour; not sure how sprite movement compared though.) We had to get Dad to help us whenever we wanted to use it because we were young'ins and that was when command-lines ruled the day in operating PCs. Then I first saw Macs in the schools with their fancy Graphic User interfaces. It was like a quantum leap ahead in terms of the technology.

    Oddly enough my desire for increasingly sophisticated computing has brought me back to command line use via the Linux OSes I use. So it's funny how things can loop around sometimes.