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Atari is most known for its innovations in video game technology. But a wealth of computer products and technologies were pioneered by Atari. In 1979 Atari Inc. showcased its first computer product at the Winter Consumer Electronics show.
From that point on Atari created innovative 8 bit computers which were manufactured and supported up until 1992!
Atari corporation manufactured 16 bit and 32 bit systems which ran its own operating system known as TOS; the last of which was released in 1993 and called the Atari Falcon. Atari made notebook computers that ran on their operating system and even made an innovative portable computer palmtop computer that could run spreadsheets, word processors and more and transfer files to desktop machines (Mac's, IBM compatibles, and even Atari machines!) This computer product was featured in Terminator 2 as the computer used to break into cyberdyne system and to steal money from an ATM. Atari made a series of IBM compatible machines including a 386 laptop. Atari focused its computer products largely on the Europeon market after 1984 and that is where they were largely distributed. Many of their computer products from 1984 on were only distributed in Europe.
Americans remember the 8 bit computer machines from Atari's early years but few actually know of the 16 bit and 32 bit machines they manufactured. Atari's ST line of 16 bit computers were very popular with musicians as they featured a built in MIDI port enabling easy interface with professional music equipment. It should be remembed that Atari Inc was partly sold to Jack Tramiel in 1984 (all divisions except the coin operated video game division). Jack Tramiel was the founder of Commodore so a bitter battle between Atari and Jack's former company Commodore ensued from 84 onward. At Atari Inc. during the early days Steve Jobs worked for the company, he later went on to form Apple Computers. To say Atari directly and indirectly was involved in the growth of the computer market is an understatement.
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