[rescue] Be and NeXT kit

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Mon May 9 00:08:27 CDT 2005

Fri, 06 May 2005 @ 13:20 -0400, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. said:

> > You left out the 1400XL and the 1450XL, and yes, both were produced,
> > just in very low quantities.
> Left 'em out because they were never released (that I know of... I seem
> to recall they never were actually released... that the ones out there
> were review/prototype/initial units)....

I'm not sure they were not released.

A couple of people have said they were, and then quickly pulled, and
Atari at the time was rumored to have buried the rest, literally.

> I'd love to have a 1450XLD myself.
> Would also love an 815 dual disk drive rig.

Some of the aftermarket stuff was pretty cool.

Saw an Astra 1620 on eBay not long ago.

> yes... but since most Atari's displayed to a TV, it was necessary.
> (unfortunately).

Apple managed it.

No, it wasn't clear, but it was usable and better than nothing.

It was actually worse on their little green monitors, because the lines
made the text look terrible.

80 column mode didn't look as bad if you had a video monitor.  A lot of
Atari and Apple owners used those Commodore monitors as a display.

> oooh... that's interesting...  I never really used mine online... but
> there were some 80 column (software and hardware) implementations for
> the 8bits...they required a monochrome monitor though as I recall...
> looked really crummy on TV.

Atari made an 80 column expansion, but I never used it.

Had some terminal programs that exploited mode 8's aliasing artifacts to
create 80 columns, and a word processor that did the same.

I banged out most of the words I wrote using TextPro, which really, was
an excellent word processor, and even did some multitasking.

The most interesting project though, was a German multitasking OS.  Very
limited of course, given the bank switching required, and the small
memory footprint with no virtual memory or other goodies.  Still, it was
pretty amazing on such an old machine.

I remember writing code to run in page 6 during the vertical blank.
It was rudimentary multitasking for free.  Usually people used it for
things like print spooling and backgrounded file operations, but the
most common use was for display list interrupts, which allowed you to
push the graphics hardware far beyond what was intended.

It's hard to believe the things one went through to get work done back

What's funny too, is that most PCs did everything brute force, while the
Atari was an almost fully coprocessed machine in 1979.

PCs didn't get that until the early-mid 90s.

Now everything is boring and generic.

We use more brute force now than anything else.

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["The determined programmer can write a
FORTRAN program in any language." ]

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