Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Atari 800 Home Computer Poster

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ATARI 800 Home Computer Poster

This Atari 800 Home Computer Poster is a marketing poster copyrighted and presumably printed by Atari in 1981 according to the information at the bottom of the page. The poster's part number is C060066. There also exists a very similar Atari 400 Home Computer Poster with part number C060065.    

Atari 400/800 Poster Part Numbers

The software packages shown on the Atari 800 Home Computer Poster include the following: Energy Czar, Atari Word Processor, Conversational Spanish, Conversational French, Personal Financial Management System, Computer Chess, Video Easel, Music Composer, Missile Command, Telelink I, Space Invaders, Graph It, State & Capitals, Caverns of Mars, Biorhythm, An Invitation to Programming 1, Touch Typing, The Dow Jones Investment Evaluator, Basketball, SCRAM, Mailing List, Bond Analysis, Star Raiders, Calculator, European Countries & Capitals, Asteroids, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Pilot "With Turtle Graphics", Blackjack, Statistics I, KingdomStock Analysis, Conversational Italian, Stock Charting, An Invitation to Programming 2, Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Super Breakout, An Invitation to Programming 3, Hangman and Conversational German.

Some of the software listed is ROM cartridge-based, some is audio cassette tape-based and some is 5 1/4 inch diskette-based, showing some of the various media types available to load software in to the versatile the Atari 400 and Atari 800 home computers.    

As you can see from the list, the software is heavy on small business/home finance and education packages. There are also a few BASIC cassette-based games that seem to have been directly ported from David Ahl's  BASIC books including Blackjack, Hammurabi and Hangman. Maybe Atari's early home computer division needed software and had a David Ahl Book Porting Party, quickly converting Microsoft BASIC games to Atari BASIC, updating and enhancing, using the some of the graphics features of the Atari computer as they went.

Stock Charting Splash Screens
Atari / Control Data Corporation Co-branding

As noted at the bottom of the poster, many of Atari's early small business/home finance packages were created by Control Data Corporation and manufactured under license by Atari and co-branded as Atari and Control Data CYBERWARE Personal Computer Product software.

Controller Ports On The Atari 400/800
And Games That Can Use Them All

The list includes a few of the rare games that allowed four players to play at the same time: Asteroids and Basketball. And for even more frantic game play, an even rarer (only?) game that allows up to eight players to play at the same time: Super Breakout. Both the Atari 400 and Atari 800 home computers had four controller ports, allowing four joysticks or eight paddle controllers to be connected concurrently. The later 8-bit Atari computer models, sadly, only had two lonely controller ports.

In an effort to learn how to create large format posters, I spent some time attempting to re-create the look of this Atari 800 Home Computer Poster. I created a full 24 inch by 36 inch poster in Microsoft Publisher, trying to give it an updated, more modern look. Here is how my version of the poster turned out:  

A Modern Remake of the Atari 800 Poster


  1. Great job. The reflection/shadow below each screen is a nice effect. It makes the screens pop out.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you like it. It was a fun learning experience for me.