Thirty years ago this fall, video game pioneer Atari released its first two entrants in the home-computer market: the Atari 800 and 400 computers. Originally retailing for $1000, the Atari 800 shipped with 8KB of RAM, upgradable to 48KB. Its little brother, the Atari 400, was priced at $550. The Atari 800 began as a next-generation follow-up to Atari's groundbreaking Atari 2600 video game console. Upon seeing Apple's success in the early personal computer market, Atari executives ordered their engineers to turn the new hardware into a personal computer system, which became the 800. To celebrate this anniversary, let's peek inside this classic machine to examine its advantages and drawbacks.
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