[rescue] Be and NeXT kit

Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. rescue at hawkmountain.net
Mon May 9 17:57:42 CDT 2005

On Mon, 2005-05-09 at 01:08, Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:
> 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.

possibly... While I know the 8 bit line well... I don't know it in
regards to unreleased or pulled products... 

Still wouldn't mind a 1400XL, 1450XLD, 815 dual disk drive, a
hard drive interface for my 8 bits, etc...

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

Never tried 80 column on an Apple II to a TV.  Think I've seen it
done with their 80 column card and a monocrhome composite monitor...
that seemed to work ok.

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

I suppose... like I said though... never used my Atari's online.. 
although having more columns while doing word processing would have
been nice.

> 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.

I have a Commodore monitor to use with my Ataris... when I get them
setup again someday that is :-(

> > 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.
me neither.

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

I've seen that technique used...

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

I can't recall the WP I used (it was NOT AtariWriter... it predated
AtariWrite by quite a bit... maybe Letter Perfect ???)

> 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.

never heard of that one...

> 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.

The Atari hardware was really a design marvel for a home computer.
I read De Re Atari cover to cover.  the whole DLI, VBI, etc really
gave you a lot of video power for the day.

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

<yoda> a lot more efficient, code was then </yoda>

> What's funny too, is that most PCs did everything brute force, while the
> Atari was an almost fully coprocessed machine in 1979.
indeed... the PC always felt to me to be a step backwards...

> PCs didn't get that until the early-mid 90s.
> Now everything is boring and generic.

generally speaking hardware wise... I'd agree...

> We use more brute force now than anything else.


-- Curt

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