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Welcome to the New Age of Atari

Clint Thompson


It's 2016 and unfortunately, the Blade Runner scene will become anything but reality and Atari isn't even close to how we could have imagined it some 20-years ago but maybe that's a good thing. Never the less, the dreams and memories continue to live on. The games, artwork, music, design and passion behind so many products and games will forever remain. The best part of it all is the community behind it all. The wide range of hardware and software hackers that continue to adapt these machines into useful modern day gaming systems, not to be left behind or forgotten, is amazing. It's nice to have new hardware or software for our machines and the majority of the people behind any of these projects mostly are in it because they enjoy it.


At some point, I feel any Atari aficionado would have hoped for a better outcome that is Atari and kind of hope to live in a world where futuristic game consoles and computers continue to be developed and released to this day. Atari was always about promising the future, especially in its early years. Sleek, modern designs with never before seen features in consoles and computers, it was always something fascinating to look forward to and in a weird sense, gave many hope and something to look forward to.


Today, I accept Atari for what it is: a childhood past time that I can adapt and bring into the future with me to enjoy, picking and choosing which time period I want to experience again. We can just about purchase any Atari console or computer for mostly reasonable prices and have access to flash carts to load these machines up with some of the best software our minds can remember. We live in a day of age where we can instantly relive our childhood memories in abundance at a fraction of the cost.


I've owned and sold a lot of my Atari collection over the years, downsizing as needed due to space constraints and constant moving. The good news is, I have space again but no longer really need much more than to house the hardware itself. That's not to say there isn't a possibility it won't get out of control but I'm ready to rebuild a core Atari hardware collection so I can enjoy the massive amount of software created over the last 30+ years. Emulation isn't really for me, I'm a purist when it comes to the hardware side of things.


My focus has been the Atari A8 or 800/XE series lately. It's one of the machines that has a ton of great games and is really easy to get into with a proper SIO2PC setup. I've yet to obtain a XF551 or Indus GT drive for my 130XE but am in no rush. Getting good hardware the first time around is important so I'm willing to wait. I've pretty much sourced an Atari Falcon I would like to follow up with next in my collection phase and if any of you spot a really nice STe or have one to sell, please drop me a message. I've got some cool projects going on in the controller department of things and the Jaguar side of things, so this will be the place I post about updates and an inside look when the time comes.


Hopefully the next few years will prove to be fascinating with what comes from this hobby we all share!


Anything is truly possible. Here's to a New Age of Atari -- it's ours for the taking.



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