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ScuzzBlog: Diaries December 2018

Entry 22nd December 2018: Post 01: Atari 65XE and 130XE - The last 8-bits

Atari 65XE and 130XE - The last 8-bits

You ever researched something and no matter how you try to reason
things out it just doesn't make any sense... Well here goes. First
up the name of these little machines.

X and E .... X stands for XL compatible which I am assuming relates
to the 600 and 800XL machines that predated these computers.

And E .... 8-bit. For me a number is a number like X8 but hey.

Next 65 which actually refers to 64 Bit and 130 for 124. Now all the
other computer makers actually liked the 64 and 124 and I'm not sure
they had dibs on the actual number reference.

And so these computers were actually say 600XL64 and 800XL124s and
sold to Polish folk fresh from helping knock down that big old wall.

It gets kinda even more troubling cus the machines were renowned for
being poor quality to the point they fitted one good chip amongst
all the other crappy ones just to get through quality control.

For me I was always confused by these two little computers cus as
cute as they were I really couldn't understand the need for them
other than to flog cheap products to unsuspecting buyers. With the
ST such a perfect fit for the range it made no sense. It would be
like making a 1200 computer and then building a smaller one and
calling it say ... an Amiga 600. .... Whoo snap.

Amazingly the brick that powers these machines is nearly as big is
the computer. They work perfectly but with no OS and no floppy
but with BASIC built in, the old READY on boot is pretty poor for
a machine of this period. You can see that the computer is checking
for a cartridge on boot before finally graunching its way to the
READY screen. It just feels so empty and anonymous.

Anyway, both machines worked just fine and for all the criticism did
perform very well and I really enjoyed Megamania. Was like playing
Space Invaders on a conveyor belt. The one has discoloured a little
more than the other. Atari computers do tend to keep their grey.

And no I am not going to remove the left over sticky circle label.

Atari 65XE and 130XE - The last 8-bits

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Last updated 22nd December 2018

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