November marks the fortieth anniversary of the launch of the Atari 400 and 800 home computers. Developed at Atari Inc.’s Grass Valley facility by a team of engineers including Jay Miner and Joe Decuir, the computers were first shown at the 1979 Winter CES in Las Vegas and featured several custom chips that set them apart from the competition at the time: the Apple II, TRS-80, and Commodore PET among them. Of course we know that Atari’s real competition wouldn’t appear until Commodore released the C-64 in 1982.
So if you needed another reason to feel old, dig out that 400/800/XL or XE and play a game of Star Raiders or M.U.L.E. For those who have long ago ditched their hardware, you can still enjoy the system through emulation using Altirra or another Atari 8-bit emulator for your modern system.