Yep, I am a fan of Atari Computers. I no longer really use them much any more. Only the Atari Mega ST4 is still hooked up ready to be used. And that is only to use as a Midi Sequencer. I am runnin a now ancient copy of Cubase, I think it is version 2. But, my history with Atari Computers runs back right to the beginning for all intents and purposes.
I am pretty sure it was January of 1980 that I purchased my first Atari computer. It was an Atari 800 with 8K of ram (yes, 8K, not 8M). With it I purchased the still yet unreleased 850 serial/printer interface and an 810 floppy drive (90K). All of this run to about $2200, a lot of money back then. Why did I purchase an Atari computer. Well, that was quite by accident. I actually went to the computer store where I purchased my previous computer (a Polymorphic 8813, a dual floppy, 32K S-100 machine) raring to purchase an Apple ][. What can I say. The idiots at that store could not answer my questions about the software I needed. I wanted an assembler and editor so I could write programs for my polyphonic synthesizer projects. A year earlier, I had switched from using the 8080A to the 6502 because it was just tons easier to use. But the idiots at this store could not tell me where I could purchase an editor or an assembler. I only got vauge answers that they did exist, but they were unable to come up with any names, period. I told them I would purchase my computer from somebody who could answer these questions.
As I was leaving, I was headed down state street, and happened to pass a computer store I had never seen before, about 2 blocks down from where I was. I figured, what the heck, I went around the block and went on in. Computers Plus, as it was called, run by Gene Christianson (I hope I spelt your name correctly) inquired as to what I needed. He informed me that he was not an Apple dealer, but he said he just started carrying the Atari Computer, which was also 6502 based. I was very skeptical. Atari made games, not computers. He showed me the computer, including a port of Forth that he had running on it. I asked about an assembler editor. He informed me that while it was not availiable, Atari did have one in the catalog. This was good enough for me. I purchased it on the spot, and was never sorry. I still have that Atari 800 and the original 850 interface (mine is in an aluminum box, a real collectors item). The 810, sadly to say, died a long long time ago. I used that Atari computer for a long time, until the ST came out.
Another item I have that goes with the 800 is an ATR8000. This was a Z80 based box that could function either as a CP/M computer or as a disk drive/printer/rs232 interface for the Atari. At one time I had two 8 inch floppy drivers and two 360K double sided floppy drives connected to this. Latter, I switched to a pair of 3.5" single sided floppy drives, which I mostly used until the system was retired.
Here is a list of the various Atari computers and peripherals I have owned over the years. It is probably not complete, as I am sure there were a few things I don't remember.
Atari 800 (expanded
Atari 810 (at one time, I had two)
Atari 850 (in original aluminum box, black anodized)
Atari 520 ST (I had two of these, I killed the first one attempting to expand it to 1M)
I also had a letter quality Atari printer, don't remember the model number, but is was a peice of crap.
I also had two of the Atari 20Meg hard drives, again, don't remember the model number.
FS-50 50 Meg hard drive, I have no idea who made this, there is no name on it.
Atari Club Reunion
An Atari Cross Assembler
Photos of some of my more odd Atari equipment
Atari 850 interface
in an aluminum box
The above photo (well, scan actually) is of the Atari 850 interface I purchased when I got my Atari 800. This one is unique in that it was in an aluminum case. Later ones were in a plastic case. I have no idea how many like this were made. I ordered it when I got my 800, which, if I remember correctly, was late in 1979. The 850 was not availiable at the time. It arrived sometime in early 1980 (I sure hope I got those years correct. Mine is serial number An000418.
Inside the Atari 1090XL
The above pictures were made by putting my 1090
my flat bed scanner. I am surprised the the one of the insides
out as well as it did. I picked this thing up at an ACE
surplus store probably around 1984 or so. I had intended to use
but never got around to it.