Atari 400 The Atari 400 was announced in December 1978 as the lower-cost companion to the Atari 800, though the 400 became available first, in November 1979. The 400 is in a smaller, lighter case, has less RAM, typically 16k, has only one cartridge port vice two and has a membrane covered keyboard. The keyboard was not designed with touch-typing in mind, and unlike the 800, the 400 had no user accessable expansion slots for RAM. Performance and capabilities of the two machines were otherwise identical, though the 400 also lacked the RGB monitor output of the 800. Both machines were designed by a team which included Jay Miner, who later went on to help design the Amiga.

It was possible to expand the RAM of the 400 above 16k. Atari produced a board with 48k and a company by the name of Mosaic produced a 32k board, as well as a board that had 48k plus 4 banks of 4k each, for a total of 64k.

Some of the capabilities of the machine include (as taken from the Atari 8-bit FAQ):

  • 6502 cpu running at 1.79mhz
  • Three custom coprocessors: ANTIC, CTIA/GTIA, and POKEY
  • 128 colors displayable simultaneously with CTIA, 256 if GTIA
  • 40 column by 24 line text mode
  • 320x192 maximum graphics resolution
  • 4 independent 8-bit sound channels

    Atari dropped all remaining support for the 8-bit computer line on January 1, 1992. Atari was bought out by disk drive manufacturer JTS Corp. on July 30, 1996, and production of it's computers stopped. The Falcon was sold to C-Labs of Germany who enhanced it and continued it's production. On February 23, 1998 JTS sold it's Atari division to Hasbro Inc. for $5 million, forming Atari Interactive Inc. Atari Games, the coin-op division which remained seperate from Atari Corp. and was later known as Time-Warner Interactive, became a subsidiary of Midway Games Inc.

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