“Why I love my ATARI Computer”

Today I came across a really cool textfile I wrote near the beginning of my BBSing days. What’s amazing to me is that it gives a date for when I began BBSing, and even explains how I got started (a story I had forgotten).

The textfile gives “May 7” as the date I began BBSing. I am fairly certain the year was 1992. This is corroborated by the fact that I was “about 8” when we got our first Atari 800 computer, and I later say of myself (in the third person) “He has been an Atari user for 5 years.” That makes me 13 at the time of writing, and I would have turned 13 in October 1992.

One other dateable detail: I mention writer Tim Holt declaring that “Atari is dead” in a “recent” article. That phrase was, in fact, the title of the article, and it was published in the March 1993 issue of Atari Interface Magazine.

In the future I’ll look at my own history with textfiles in more depth, but for now, computer historian Jason Scott explains them pretty well:

“Simply put, they were textfiles of any sort, written to explain in detail an important new computer discovery, a great new concept, or an old piece of knowledge that needed to be passed on. It included stories, poems, songs, ramblings, and long treatises on theories that the writer couldn’t possibly have known. They were full of bravado, of half-truths, of promises, and occasionally, of brilliance that shines to this day.”

This particular textfile was obviously meant to be distributed on BBSes in their G-files sections, but I don’t remember ever distributing this particular one. (I did distribute other textfiles that I wrote, like my SRE Text Series and Politics Online Magazine).

Without further ado, here it is. The only alteration I made to this file was to add hard-wrapped line breaks in order to make it readable (the original had only one line break per paragraph).

Why I love My ATARI Computer (And even Atari Corp!)
=========================== Josh Renaud =====================================

Atari. A simple Japanese name. Interestingly enough, it means 'Stalemate'. I
own an Atari. Four, actually. I have two Atari 800s, one Atari 130XE, and an
Atari 520ST. For five years, I have grown up on Atari equipment, games, and
BASIC. My first home computer was an Atari 800. I learned to program in BASIC
in about one week. I was about 8 years old at the time. Not too long after, my
uncle sent my dad a 520ST with lots of games and stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed
it. I knew Nintendo was what all the other guys had, but I loved my Atari. I
played Time Bandit, Megaroids, Sun Dog, and lots of others. After two years, I
got an Atari 130XE. It had everything! 128k, oodles of disks, a double-density
drive with the US Doubler, BASIC XE, and AtariWriter (+). It was a joy! I had
it hooked up to my TV downstairs, and everyhting! There was a BBS program
called OASIS that apparently my cousin had set up. Back then I didn't know
what a BBS was, but writing messages to myself was fun! Then I joined ACE-St.
Louis. I stayed on with my dad for a year, before we dropped out due to
financial troubles. But I cointinued to program and experiment on ym XE
computer. (Totally forgetting the ST all the while.)

Then on a visit to my cousin's, he gave me a cheap 300 baud modem. I hooked
it up. I couldn't find a program that worked with it, though. It was around
this time I joined ACE again. Terry Shoemaker, the Editor and local SysOp of
Gateway City BBS, helped me out, and on May 7th, I logged onto my very first
BBS. From that time on, I became aware of the outside situation. Atari's
financial troubles. Competition from Mac, IBM, and Amiga. It all dawned on me.
But all this depressing news actually revived me! I got onto the C-Net 8-bit
sub and posted! I was going! I even had an article published in the ACE
Newsletter. In that same newsletter I read about the Falcon/030 computer.
This, I thought, would bring Atari back!

Well now it has been released (Or at least that's what I hear from Bob
Brodie) Will it help Atari? I hope so. I love Atari so much, I cxan't see it
die. In a recent article by Tim Holt in AIM, he states that Atari is dead. I
don't think it is. I think that in the midst of all it's troubles. It's
pulling out of North America (A saddening prospect), all the pressures, that
the Atari Computer is doing much better. Shareware, PD, games, WPs, all kinds
of stuff! A new magazinem Atari Classics, is out. The 8-bit had never been
better! But noone buys 8-bits anymore. how will the Falcon do? Will it lift
Atari out of the sand? Will the new 64-bit Jagaur game system help Atari? I
can't answer any of these questions. I can say, though, that Atari is alive! I
just hope it doesn't end the way it was named....... In a

Josh Renaud is a user on X-Net and C-Net. He calls Flash and Gateway City BBSs
He can be reached on those places. He has been an Atari user for 5 years...

Please reprint as you feel necessary!!

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