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New Atari Classic Computer System

David Acklam uncovers some unbelievable news

 

I ran into an interesting bit of information on the web regarding our classic Atari computer systems. How does a new classic Atari 520 ST sound to you? A bit disappointing, the new Atari is based around a PC Pentium running essentially an emulation instead of something like a Power PC or ColdFire processor. Of course, it can also run Windows XP or even Linux. The computer is encased in what looks very much like the old 520 STFM or STE but has several major updates.

The diagonal function keys are still present but there are twelve instead of ten. The keyboard is essentially a standard 102 PC keyboard but retains the integrated look of our a ST including the numeric keypad on the right hand side. Instead of the built in floppy drive there is a slot on the right hand side that accepts either a floppy drive, a CD/RW drive or a DVD drive. This appears similar to a laptop slot.

On the left hand side remains the two MIDI ports but the cartridge port has been replaced with PCMI slots, again similar to a laptop, that support a fax modem, wireless interface, Ethernet and other standard PCMI cards. Moving to the rear one finds a standard PC monitor jack, a serial port, a parallel port and a multi-port USB hub. The DMA port is gone.

The Classic has a built in 2.5” hard drive along with 520 MB of memory which can be upgraded to 1 GB. The emulation appears similar to the Gemulator in that it supports TOS versions 1 through 4 and can be switched to emulate a basic 520ST, Mega STE or TT. The emulator controls allow you to set clock speeds so that many of the older Atari games and programs can be run. The standard warning is provided that some of the poorly written games and programs will not work.

The addition of the USB hub has software provided to allow one to use newer I/O USB devices with some Atari applications. These include - but are not limited to - flat bed scanners, printers and various digital cameras. The Classic comes with a standard serial PC mouse that is encased to look like the original Atari brick mouse. Of course the system runs the usual Windows software because it is really a PC hiding in a classic Atari 520 case... kind of a retro thing. Prices start at just $595 (US dollars) which also includes a look-a-like 15” SVGA Atari monitor.

For more information check out the web at http://www.aprilfools.com. Forgive me... I just had to do this.

 

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MyAtari magazine - Feature #10, April 2003

 
Copyright 2003 MyAtari magazine