Atari 1040 STFM

Whoa! My first ever computer was an Atari ST. Atari 1040 STFM, to be precise. It had funky features like MIDI ports which I never used and came with a crisp black and white screen that was rather high resolution for its time.

With its compact all-in-one form, the machine was easy to transport – say to the living room, so it could be hooked up to the telly for playing colour games. And you could attach the popular QuickShot joysticks to it – of which we used and destroyed a fair number.

In the course of its life, the machine was attached to other exciting devices like a 20MB hard drive with the noise level of a Jumbo Jet, a SyQuest 44MB drive or the  classic NEC P6 24-pin printer which rendered damn fine results at incredible noise levels.

Apart from games – countless matches of Ballerburg, of which we offer a Mac version these days, – the machine was my first opportunity to use TeX (for which having a hard drive was pretty much a requirement). Back then running TeX was quite slow. But it is amazing you could get such good results with the technology back then.

After I upgraded to my first Mac, my brother got the Atari and put it to some more good use before it was retired to our holiday flat where it was used for countless further games of PacMan, Tennis or Wizard Royal. At some stage the machine’s transformer broke and we threw it away – putting my dad’s old Mega ST in the holiday flat instead.