Atari Corporation was one of the leading home computer companys in the early 80's and one of my personal favorites. My first computer was an Atari 400 I got for a present in 1982 and what a machine it was. It had 16K RAM, a membrane keyboard, and stored programs and data on a cassette tape!!! What a long way we have come since then!
In 1984 I talked my mom into buying me a better computer: the Atari 800XL. This computer had 64K RAM and a real keyboard. Sure, to get at all the memory you had to resort to bank switch out the OS ROMs, but it was still cool! Shortly after I also got a 1050 disk drive and with it like a whoping 100K or so of storage.
My Fifteen Minutes of Fame
In 1985 I finally did something productive with my computer. I took a debugger program that was published in ANALOG magazine and updated the features. They actually paid me $30 and gave me 1200 FREE minutes on their bulletin board the ANALOG TCS. Never got to use the time since I didn't have a modem till after the BBS went belly up!! Click Here to see a copy of the contract.
Then in 1986 I got my last and Atari's last 8-bitter: the 130XE. This machine was state of the art 8-BIT. It had 128K RAM that you could bank switch in 4K blocks. Not the most convenient setup, but it worked. Also, the graphics chip (ANTIC) could use banks that were not mapped into main memory. Way Cool!!!