• Tag Archives Atari 800
  • S.A.M. (Atari 400/800, Apple II/II+)


    Source: inCider – March 1983

    Speech synthesis seemed to be all the rage in the early to mid 1980s. S.A.M. is one of a variety of speech synthesis products available during that time. S.A.M. is short for Software Automatic Mouth (I can see why they abbreviated it) and was available for the Atari 400/800 and Apple II/II+. This was a product primarily designed to incorporate speech into your own programs.

    Advertised as “cheap”, I suppose that’s a matter of opinion. The Atari version was priced fairly typically for the time at $49.95. However, the Apple II version required additional hardware and cost $124.95. Not really cheap in my opinion, especially for the time. The Atari sound chip was sophisticated enough not to require additional hardware for speech synthesis of acceptable quality at the time. Despite the limitations (iffy speech quality and having to blank the screen for maximum quality among others), these products were fairly popular and S.A.M. was one of the better known products of its type.

    The whole talking computer thing never really appealed to me that much (though we have it now more or less with products like Alexa). I guess after the movie Wargames, everyone wanted a talking computer…or something.

    This ad is from the March 1983 issue of inCider.

  • Compute! (November 1982)


    Source: Compute! – Issue Number 30 – November 1982

    Compute! was one of the first and most successful multi-format computer magazines. In late 1982, it was covering primarily systems from Commodore, Apple and Atari. The November 1982 issue includes:


    • What To Buy Your Computer For Christmas
    • A Buyer’s Guide To Modems

    Education And Recreation

    • Laser Gunner: BASIC Animation
    • UXB
    • An Atari For Christmas Part I
    • VIC Harmony
    • Rainbow Clock
    • Statistician
    • How To Use SYS And USR: Part I


    • VisiCalc Home And Office Companion
    • Speech Synthesizers For Atari And Apple
    • VIC-20 Cartridge Games
    • Petspeed, An Optimizing Compiler For PET/CBM

    Columns And Departments

    • The Editor’s Notes
    • Ask The Readers
    • Computers And Society
    • The World Inside The Computer
    • The Beginner’s Page: Arrays
    • Friends Of The Turtle
    • Learning With Computers: Computers In The Art Class
    • Insight: Atari
    • Machine Language: Serial Communications
    • Telecommunications: What Is It?

    The Journal

    • Turtle Pilot: Part III
    • A Terminal Operating System For PET To HP3000 +
    • Computer Controlled Telephone Dialing
    • From VIC-20 To Mainframe
    • Apple Menu
    • A Shape Generator For The Commodore 64
    • Atari Screen Save
    • Easy File Input: The String Thing
    • VIC Microman
    • Purge
    • Apple Sounds
    • Programming VIC’s Function Keys
    • Copy Atari Boot Tapes To Disk
    • PET: Picture Files
    • Calling Routine For Marquee
    • PET Interfacing
    • The Atari Wedge; Adding Commands To Atari BASIC
    • A Fill-In On XIO(FILL)
    • VIC Plotting
    • The FORTH Page: Disk Management

    …and more!

  • Microkids (December 1983)


    Source: Microkids – Issue Number 1 – December 1983

    Microkids was a kids oriented magazine about computers. The content wasn’t bad but it only lasted a few issues. Too few kids with computers that could also obtain a magazine subscription led to poor circulation numbers I suspect. The premiere issue from December 1983 includes:

    Feature Articles

    • Isaac Asimov on The Dawning of a New Era
    • Computer Piracy, Hollywood Style – Is it a fantasy…or could it be real?
    • Confessions of a Teenage Computer Whiz
    • An Introduction to Graphics Magic
    • The Vid Kid – News and views
    • Mastering Super Pac-Man
    • Rating the New Games for Christmas
    • 10 Great Gift Ideas for Christmas
    • How to Grow an Apple
    • “Fame’s” Lee Curreri – King of the keyboards
    • Meet Michael Hyman – A demon in 3-D
    • Tune in Tomorrow…Today
    • The Coleco Adam – Everything you need and more
    • The Spectravideo SV-318 – A breed apart
    • 3…2…1…Blast Off!
    • Computers in Space – Getting out of our sphere
    • Computers in Space – Flying solo on the Starship Enterprise
    • TI Diary – A programming primer

    …and more!