Tag Archives: atari 800

New Atari 800 Computer Handheld!

Atari 800 Handheld

For the final project of The Ben Heck Show I built an all-new original hardware Atari 800 handheld!

Unlike my past Atari computer laptops this uses the original IC’s with an all-new custom circuit board. It also fits in your hand and runs off Li-Po batteries.

-> Click here for the detailed Making Of Story <-

You can view the corresponding Ben Heck Show episodes below:

Awkward Photo Op


Benheck Atari Disk Archive

When I was young I used to do a lot of BASIC programming on my Atari 800 computer. Many years later I got an SIO2PC cable from eBay, which allows you to use your PC as a virtual disk drive with an old Atari. This allows a person to make disk images of their old stuff. Knowing how fragile the old FM disks were, I was excited to make backups.

Sadly, about 3 minutes after getting the transfer cable my 810 drive conked out. However recently a customer found me a working 1050 drive at a thrift store (how come thrift stores in Wisconsin aren’t that cool?) so once again I can share these old games with the world!

If you ever wondered what the “amazing” Ben Heck was doing at age 11, now you can find out! Though a programmed a lot of stuff, I’m only including what is complete or fairly playable.

Should run on most modern emulators, or a real Atari if you have an SIO2PC cable. Enjoy!

Ben’s Atari 800 Games

New Atari 800 Laptop

Price without the Power

New Atari 800 laptop. Click here for super-sized, printable version.

For many years an Atari 800 laptop was my “dream project”. It was the computer I grew up with and thus I have fond memories of it.

Finally in 2006 I completed one. You can see it here. A few years later I did another by request. These were all well and good, but I didn’t feel I properly captured the spirit of the old machines.

Earlier this year I finished the long-gestating Commodore 64 laptop. It turned out great, and looked properly old. This left me conflicted however – I wasn’t a Commodore guy, but I had done a much better job on it than my beloved 800’s.

This year that all changed! Someone requested I build them an Atari 800 laptop, and I decided to go full out and not only beat my own C64, but make it perhaps my coolest project ever.

This thing could have beaten the C64 back in the day!

Riveting DOS action. Click here for super-sized, printable version.

After about a month this is the result. Quick specs:

  • Base unit is Atari XEGS motherboard, as usual.
  • XE 130 RAM expansion built-in.
  • Uses MyIDE circuitry and custom OS ROM to use a 2.5″ PATA hard drive. Very fast! You can check out Mr Atari’s site here.
  • Large 15″ screen, similar to the C64 laptop but this one is better looking and shinier (obviously important)
  • Uses original, new-old-stock Atari 800 keyboard. This is probably the best keyboard in the history of computing, so it was worth including, despite the complications (see story)
  • Flush-mount cartridge slot.
  • Amazing old-school styling!

To see more pictures and read the Making Of, click below.

My next project shouldn’t come as a surprise… in fact, chances are SLIM you won’t be able to guess.

Continue reading New Atari 800 Laptop