The History of Atari

26 07 2009

atari_logo Found this good article on the history of Atari. Twenty comprehensive pages, this is a good look at the beginnings and development of the company that made video games a house hold term.

TCMR-V22-P18 Not the first company to create video games, they were the ones to popularize them.So much so that many people forget that Magnavox came out with Ralph Baer’s creation, the Odyssey a couple of years before Atari was even a company.

Is you’re reading this blog, then you are probably going to like this article.

Here it is:

A Tour Through My Madness (My Basement)

5 05 2008

Omnibot I forgot that I Had these pictures up on Picasa’s web site. It’s basically a tour through my basement from about a year and a half ago from the time of this posting.

You’ll see a lot of my systems that I have out, though there are a lot more in boxes under my stairs that I have to pull out some day. Also, the TV shown was sold a while ago to make way for a plasma, and a PS3 has been added to the mix, along with various other toys and old systems.

Click Here to go to the slideshow/album


music note While writing this, I was listening to “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” by Alan Parsons Project

Behold: The Atari Portfolio

19 03 2008

Portfolio-open-bat  Hey folks, hope all is well.

Today I want to share with you another of the gems in my collection: The Atari Portfolio pocket computer.

The Portfolio was launched by Atari in 1989. Developed by Distributed Information Processing (DIP) of Surrey, England, it was/is a 16 bit DOS compatible pocket PC that runs on three (3) AA batteries for what seems like forever! The LCD is monochrome without backlight and has 240×64 pixels or 40 characters x 8 lines. Software and memory expansion was done with smart cards.

From Wikipedia:

“There is an expansion port on the right side of the computer for parallel, serial, modem or MIDI expansion modules. It uses a card expansion port for removable memory, which is not compatible with PC card as it predates that standard. Expansion cards were available in sizes of 32, 64, and 128 kB initially, and later were available in capacities up to 4 MB. The expansion cards are backed up by a replaceable battery which lasts approximately 2 years. Built-in applications include a text editor, spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3 compatible), phone book and time manager. Expansion cards contained programs such as a chess game, a file manager, and a finance manager. Most text-based MS-DOS applications could be run on the Portfolio as long as they did not directly access the hardware and could fit into the small memory.”

This is a very cool little machine that I found at a Pawn Shop for $24.99 Canadian, with the parallel port interface, several memory expansion cards (in need of new batteries, which I replaced), boxes and power adapters. I just wish I could figure out a way to load software on it from a PC made since 1990!

Here are a few more pictures of it:

Original Box



The Portfolio, closed







The Parallel interface (to hook up a printer or to interface with a PC)











Portfolio with Parallel interface connected








An Expansion Card











music note While writing this, I was listening to “Night Of The Vampire” by Roky Erickson & Tthe Aliens