If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

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If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by Steve » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:08 pm

If you had to choose... What do you value most? Games? Desktop productivity? Art and colour? Music?

Unfortunately I don't think one Atari machine covers everything, as many machines although might bring more features, usually break compatibility with others. Which is why we usually have a few different Atari's in our collection.

But if you had to choose... which one would it be?


my choice: Right now I have a Falcon and a TT, soon to get a normal ST for Game compatibility. Between the Falcon and the TT it is a really tough call. If I can eventually get a Supervidel I would hands-down choose the Falcon, but in the current state of things I prefer Desktop realestate and productivity, and since my TT has the Mach64 I will lean this direction. I can download and send e-mails in the 'modern day' with my TT, and surf the web with Netsurf. Also writing documents in high res / high colour in Papyrus is beautiful. So my current winner is TT, but in the future if I get Supervidel it will be Falcon - because then I can play Mp3's in the background as I work! The real dream lol :)

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by Petari » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:36 pm

Considering quality of build, TT and Mega STE are much better than Falcon. Memory expansion connectors in Falcon are just bad design. That's partially because lack of space.
Now, Ataris are very old, and it causes not only problems and failures, but I don't see them as working platform, or some multimedia one.
MP3 playback with Falcon is limited. Resolution is low - well, for me now 1920x1080 starts to be insufficient :D

The answer is: Mega STE. In first place because it is still ST compatible in big part, and I prefer ST line to TT and Falcon. And SW, mostly game compatibility problems can be solved well with switchable TOS in most cases. So, Mega STE with plenty of TOS versions :D And some mass storage, of course.
It can be fun only without bothering with floppies.
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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by grobda » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:30 pm

I generally use mine for a quick blast of a few games, all of which I have on floppy. Given the amount of old computers I have I tend to forget the particulars of using each one when they have modern stuff bolted on, and the speed of loading a floppy is comparable to finding whatever usb stick/flash card I need for the modern storage and clicking though all the partitions and folders.

So my winner is a 520STFM (upgraded to 1 meg). Same one I had as a kid.

I'd miss the 2600 and Jag. And the 800XL, but the ST is the best machine. Never had enough cash to justify a TT/Falcon/MegaSTE

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by IngoQ » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:42 pm

My answer would be the Atari 800XL, since the 8-Bit Ataris were my first "love", and the 800XL is so much prettier than the later XE models.

But since I believe, you were only talking about 16/32 Bit Machines, this is a little more tricky.

I am a fan of the All-In-Keyboard form factor, so this would mean, my single choice would be the one I already made: The 1040STE. It is compatible enough to run more or less everything you throw at it, including the limited choice of STE only software.

It lacks expandibility, but you can run it at 32MHz, if you don't mind a more hackier solution.

I combined mine with a UltraSatan and a HxC, and this is pretty much the most versatile solution for me.

If the possibility arises, I would want a TT as an addition. I am curious to discover the performance and compare with other machines of that era. And I would like to play a little with next gen OSes, even if they do not really serve a purpose.
Ingo :geek:

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by Forgottenmyname » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:51 pm

For me it would be the one I always wanted as a kid, the 800 but it would need to be pimped, more Ram etc etc. I have a standard one now with 48K and an 800XL with 1mb, dual pokey etc.

As for 16/32, I like the idea of the TT but never owned one, so the jury is out at this stage.

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by exxos » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:47 pm

Probably a factor is which machine you first had... I had a 2600 first and loved that, then I had my STFM... but the STFM is my all time best.. its the one I used for the longest.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by stephen_usher » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:35 pm

Oh, this is difficult.

I really like my TT, but it doesn't run all the games and my particular one doesn't like the Netusbee. It it reasonably fast though and the keyboard is nice and light.

I like my original 520STM (upgraded to 2.5MB) but the external power supply and floppy make it a bit clunky. I do like the mouse and joystick ports on the side though and it's less deep than the STFM/STe.

I like the 520STe (upgraded to 4MB) as the sound's better (stereo) and the internal floppy is convenient. However, I don't like the location of the joystick/mouse ports and it's rather deep.

On the whole I'd probably go with the TT as it's a better all-rounder, and it's the machine I did a lot of coding for MiNT on in the early 90s.
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by PeteW » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:35 pm

Got to be a variation of what I had as a kid (and what I've recently built again):
520STFM upgraded to 4mb (my original was upgraded to 1mb)
I will fit an accelerator too, but only because I want to get back into STOS programming and need hardware upgrades to overcome my deficient programming!

Ultimately for me it's about having a nice condition machine like the one I had in the 80s

I'm sure everyone has reasons for liking other Atari machines, but I'm not into the more business oriented (or 32 bit) machines - using retro business software doesn't have the same appeal as retro games from my childhood :)

Even though the STE is a better machine, again very few games were written to take advantage, so I'm not overly bothered to have one - I have an Amiga A500 if I want to experience slightly enhanced versions of ST games 🙂

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by DrF » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:10 pm

Are we aloud to say what one we really want :D

520 STFM with 2 disk drives, more ram and a hard drive of some sort

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Re: If you had only ONE Atari, what would it be?

Post by sety » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:17 am

I'd like to say the Falcon, but since I still have my first computer (the actual one bought new in 1985) an Atari 520ST...

Well I could never give that up. :)

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