[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Playing the Atari 800

March 2nd, 2015 by Benj Edwards

Jeremy playing Slime on Atari 800 in his room - personal family photo polaroid - January 14 1983My brother Jeremy playing Slime on the Atari 800 in his room, Jan 14 1983

[ From Personal family Polaroid print – January 14, 1983 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: When you were a kid, did your parents let you have a computer in your bedroom?

18 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Playing the Atari 800”

  1. Jay Says:

    I did have my Atari 130XE in my bedroom. Many a great session of Boulder Dash, HardBall, and Realm of Impossibility were spent on that wonderful machine. It’s still in my basement.

    Oh, and it was good for word processing too. First XLEnt, in fact.

  2. Stan Says:

    Never. Our Apple II moved around between the kitchen, various corners of the basement rumpus room, and finally a unfinished utility/storage room where I would keep my BBS and disk catalog listings stapled to the exposed wall studs. Sadly, there exists not a single photograph of these battlestations.

    My next-door neighbor, on the other hand, had a fully decked-out C64 system in his bedroom. That setup was the envy of the neighborhood.

  3. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Goodness, no! Computers were super-expensive and the computer was in the common living area for everyone to use. (First family computer was procured in 1984, to give context.)

    I assembled my own computer in 1995, just prior to leaving for college. That’s when I started having a computer in my own room.

  4. Alexander Says:

    Due to being younger than most commenters on here, the second computer in my house was a 1996 surplus machine from my aunt’s office. It was put directly into my room, and apart from having to share it (and it’s replacements) with my mom until 2005, it was as close as I got to my own machine.

  5. technotreegrass Says:

    Nope, the computer was a family machine and stayed in the den, even though I was pretty much the only one who used it. Didn’t have a computer in my room until the den was combined with my parents room and I took the comp to my room.

  6. Daniel Says:

    I had a Commodore VIC-20 computer with a datasettte recorder hooked up to a small 13″ television set back when I was 6 years old (1983) Lots of fun playing Cosmic Cruncher, Jupiter Lander, Clowns and Raid On Fort Knox. It was my first introduction to the BASIC language.

  7. Jistuce Says:

    Noooope. The 99/4a was dad’s toy first and foremost, and it resided on a desk in the dining room. On the other hand, this also meant it was MUCH better equipped than if it was my personal toy.

  8. Ariella Says:

    Yes! I saved up and bought my own Commodore Vic 20. It felt so empowering for a kid to have a computer in their room! Bliss.

  9. D.D. Says:

    It depended on whether the computer was mine, or if it was bought for ‘the family.’ My mother had no problem with me keeping my Apple IIgs in my room, but it still primarily ‘lived’ in the playroom/gaming room with my brother’s NES/SNES as we spent most of our free time together hanging out in there playing games.

    Also, I’m fairly sure the wallpaper that was originally in my brother’s bedroom matches the type in the photo. It certainly matches the color palette of the wallpapers that are left. 🙂

  10. Mattel Aquarius Says:

    First, my Mattel Aquarius computer, and later my COCO III. Good times.

  11. Charles Says:

    No, but we did have a Tandy 286 computer in the basement. I played so much Police Quest, Sopwith and Stunts with that thing. I’m currently trying to track it down to see who has it now, or if it even still exists.

  12. cozfer Says:

    Our first computer was a IBM PCjr, which was given to me as my birthday present when I turned 11 or 12 (1985-86 timeframe). It started off in the basement/family area, where it lived for around 6 months or so, before moving up to my room (no one else knew how to use it!)

    It was nice having it right there, as I tooled around, expanded it, and learned about the architecture/programming, etc. I really think it helped me further my knowledge (and want of knowledge) having it right there.

  13. fernando Says:

    Absolutely! We lived in a tiny apt and I inherited my dad’s 8088 from his bookstore. It had an amber display with the invoice layout burned into the CRT, two 5.25″ drives and no HDD inside a heavy metal box with the red flipping switch on the far right side. Still remember playing Sokoban and animated chess in it.

    This was back in 1992, after running in the bookstore 24/7 for about 3 years, and after I got a newer model in 1995, I donated to a local high school that still runs it today to demonstrate basic computer design. Even the CRT works to this day.

  14. Intergalactic Says:

    In the late 80s when I was in high school I got a PC XT and I installed it in my bedroom to do my homework and usually I would stay up late learning how to use it and playing games.

    When I was a kid in the early 80s I had an Atari 2600 installed in our Living room, back then I wasn’t really interested in computers, I was more interested in riding my bike and Pizzas, but that changed when I tried a Commodore64 and since then I started loving anything with a microchip inside. 🙂

  15. Bill S Says:

    Heck yeah! Vic-20, then C64, then C128, Amiga500, my first PC…

  16. Moondog Says:

    There wasn’t much spare space in my bedroom when I got my Atari 400, so it went in the corner of the spare room with the ironing board. After some rearranging of furniture it moved upstairs to my room, then soon after I replaced it with a C-64. I used the C-64 for a couple of years until I graduated from junio9r college, then bought a PC clone.

  17. Zoyous Says:

    Our first computer stayed in my big brother’s room. He was usually nice about letting me be in there to use it though. Later one when we got older and he didn’t want me in his space we moved it into a corner of a common room.

  18. Joe Says:

    Being one of the older commenters here (but still in my 40s), the electronics I had in my room wasn’t a computer but the Mattel handheld football game, the white thing with stadium-shaped plastic around its 15-segment (or so) LED display. It was like heroin.

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