Inside the Atari 800

It's the 30th anniversary of this 8-bit PC classic. We celebrate the occasion as we always do, by tearing the product apart and showing you the pieces.

Inside the Atari 800 prev next


Meet the Atari 800--my family's original Atari 800, in fact. My father bought this machine in 1980 or 1981, and my older brother learned to program BASIC on it when he was very young. The same story played out with countless other low-cost home computers throughout the world, inspiring a generation of kids to become computer programmers.

Scattered to the left and to the right of the Atari 800 are software cartridges. They plug into the system and give the user instant access to software without loading delays. The 800 could also use the 410 Program Recorder (a slow cassette-tape drive) or the 810 Disk Drive for mass data storage; both of them plugged into an external peripheral port.

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