[rescue] fwd: Linux Foundation Prepares For Microsoft's Legal Action

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Sun May 20 15:55:12 CDT 2007

Lionel Peterson wrote:
>> From: Charles Shannon Hendrix <shannon at widomaker.com>
>> Date: 2007/05/19 Sat PM 09:32:04 CDT
>> To: The Rescue List <rescue at sunhelp.org>
>> Subject: Re: [rescue] fwd: Linux Foundation Prepares For Microsoft's Legal Action
> <snip>
>> If the Atari 8-bit systems had had real 80 column support, I'd probably never
>> have gotten rid of mine.
> IIRC, a very big part of the Atari appeal was that you could use an off-the-shelf TV as an output device, and 80 coulmns isn't possible on a standard TV set.

Yes, but there was no real reason it could not also have had composite output.

The lack of 80 column support really hurt those machines.

There were to other major problems:

1) Atari made their own CPU, a custom 6502 called SALLY that was designed to
work with the ANTIC DMA controller, to coordinate GTIA, POKEY, and PIA custom
chips.  While the Apple was all clever discrete logic, the Atari started out
as a heavily co-processed design.

2) No one ever produced an expansion bus for the Atari that actually got used.
 That could have neatly solved a ton of issues.

Regarding #1: Apple users had some very fast CPU upgrades available early on,
and Apple II and IIgs overclocking was quite popular in the 80s, long before
the current craze of PC overclocking.  The Atari's custom CPU made that
difficult, but not impossible.  Later in the 90s faster 6502 upgrades that
worked with ANTIC were made.  One guy has a 16MHz Atari 130XE with 2MB of RAM.
 I've been tempted to build one myself, for the hell of it.

I don't think anyone ever solved the 80 column problem, though it should be
possible these days without much work.

shannon          | I want this Perl software checked for viruses.  Use Norton
                 | Antivirus.
                 |         -- Charlie Kirkpatrick (software manager, Infinet)

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