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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.

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