My vintage Atari400 system

3 replies [Last post]
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006

Checking out the Atari400 vintage 1979 system I got a while back. It's on good working order and for now I only have the BASIC cartridge for it. I quite like the retro-look it has. It looks like it comes straight out of Space 1999 LOL

I am searching for some 400 games on carts. And an Atari800 system with some game carts.

After filming this I acquired a Centipede cartridge that I will show in a future video.

Gamester81 has a great video with quite a bit of information on it

atari 400 1979 vintage computer home system 8-bit 70's classic game design games oldies retro

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Joined: 09/04/2006
The Atari loyalist cringes!

As a former Atari 8-bit loyalist, I admit that I cringed a bit when I first saw this video on Mark's channel. No disrespect intended, Mark, but I still find myself a bit defensive of the Atari almost 30 years later! You're doing it wrong!!!! :-)

First of all, the Atari 400 model is probably not the best model to experience the Atari 8-bit world for the first time. It's far too limited to get a good feel for the Atari 8-bit field of games, since it could only play the most limited games. I think you could play "Star Raiders," and maybe some other cartridge-based games, but it doesn't have the memory to play the more advanced games. I suppose the Atari 400 is a great collectors item, but it's not an "Atari" as most of us experienced it back in the day.

Probably what made me cringe, though, was seeing the Atari "Ready" screen stretched out in widescreen on your modern TV!!! Modern TV's don't have visible "scan lines," remove the "artifacting" effect that many images/games rely on to cheat the colors, and, of course, stretch the video out, making images look squashed! That's just not authentic!!! Of course, other 8-bit machines of the era would also look "wrong" on such a TV set, not just the Atari.

The Atari (or C-64 or pretty much any 8/16-bit machine/console) just doesn't look right on an HDTV. Without the scan lines, images look noticably blockier, too.

Just some fuel for the fire....

Joined: 01/21/2009
Would have been my second PC,

Would have been my second PC, I wanted one so bad, and when the money was finaly made my grandfather was suposed to pick one up for me. He came back with a C-64, which at the time disapointed me (I had a vic 20, and no i wasnt disapointed with it, i just had my heart set on a 400). he said he would take it back. I was the next person with money in had to go (target or K-mart i forget) and i did the classic blunder.. I listened to somebody who probebly knew less than me about those PC at the time.. he talked me into a TI/994a... the stats and such looked great.. to bad it was not a well supported unit.. I liked it.. but it was not the correct choice. Months later my grandpa just gave me the c-64 as he didnt take it back and had no use for it ( my grandpa ran a hardware store and thought Computers where a waste of my time and didnt even feel it was worth his time to take back, stuborn I guess). I did get a 400 eventally, but a year or two after it was released. My TI/994a got some love (and incredible amounts of money sunk into it!!!) but the C-64 ruled back then.. I actually used my c-64 up to my amiga.. I did have one of those PC knock offs in the late 80's.. looked a bit like a super thick Amiga.. Newton/Washington? some wierd name like that. We had a "deal" store in town that sold discountinued items.. Picked up several odd ball PC's.. Lisa, etc.. Several other Apple PCs too.

davyK's picture
Joined: 05/21/2006
Would have loved one of these

Would have loved one of these back in the early 80s - but they were well beyond what we could afford. Would be tempted by the 800 model now.

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