S2E01 Atari AtariWriter – Supplement

This episode features AtariWriter, originally released in 1982 by Atari.  It was developed by Atari.  Later versions were developed by Micro Fantasy.  The primary programmer for all versions was William V. Robinson.  This word processor brought word processing to the consumer in an easy to use package.

Podcast: Download

Box and Supplement Scans

AtariWriter (original) 1982 box front:

AtariWriter 1982 Box

 

AtariWriter (orignal) version A cartridge:

AtariWriter Version A

 

AtariWriter (original version B cartridge (revised for XL line):

AtariWriter Cart

 

AtariWriter (original) version C cartridge:

AtariWriter Version C

 

AtariWriter  1985 box front (no cartridge, this version shipped on disk media):

AtariWriter Plus Box Front

 

AtariWriter  1985 box back:

AtariWriter Plus box back

 

AtariWriter Plus box front (no cartridge, this version shipped on disk media):

AWPlusBoxFront

 

AtariWriter Plus box back (no cartridge, this version shipped on disk media):

AWPlusBoxBack

 

AtariWriter 80 1988 box front (no cartridge, this version shipped on disk media):

AtariWriter 80 box front

 

AtariWriter 80 1988 box back:

AtariWriter 80 Box Back

 

Advertising

An original AtariWriter print ad.  This scan is from Atari Connection Volume 3 Number, March 1983:

AW_ad_AtariConnectionV3N1_8303

 

Another original AtariWriter print ad.  I believe this was the second with revisions for the XL line.  This scan is from ANALOG November 1983:

AtariWriter Ad Analog 11 83

 

Atari Proofreader ad.  Proofreader is included in AtariWriter Plus and AtariWriter 80:

AtariProof_ad_Explorer8502

 

Nice review advertisement from Antic magazine in September of 1983:

S2E01_ad_AtariAtariWriterAntic8309Sm

 

AtariWriter in Action

The boot splash from AtariWriter (Original):

AtariWriter Boot Splash Original

 

The boot splash from AtariWriter Plus:

AtariWriter Plus Boot

 

Booting AtariWriter XE on non-XE machine gives a hard error:

AtariWriter Plus Boot Non-XE

 

Menu

The AtariWriter (original cartridge based, version A and C) main menu:

AtariWriter Original Menu

 

The AtariWriter Plus main menu:

AtariWriter Plus Main Menu

 

The AtariWriter 80 main menu:

AtariWriter 80 Main Menu

 

Editor Screen

The AtariWriter (original) edit screen (new document).  Note the global formatting parameters across the top:

AtariWriter Original Editor

 

The AtariWriter Plus edit screen (800/XL version on top, XE version on bottom).  Notice the global formatting parameters are removed and now reside on a separate menu:

AtariWriter Plus 800/XL Editor

AtariWriter Plus XE Editor

 

The AtariWriter 80 edit screen.  Produced via emulated XEP-80:

AtariWriter 80 Editor

 

Editing a large document with AtariWriter (Original).  Notice 297 bytes free:

AtariWriter Original Editing Doc

 

Editing the same large document in AtariWriter Plus.  Document has been distributed evenly amongst memory banks, and bank 1 has just been selected:

AtariWriter Plus Editing B1

 

Editing the same large document in AtariWriter 80.  Document has been distributed evenly amongst memory banks, and bank 1 has just been selected:

AtariWriter 80 Editing B1

 

Editing section headers (TOC) with AtariWriter Plus (this works the same way with all versions):

AtariWriter Plus Editing TOC

 

Editing the same section headers (TOC) with AtariWriter 80:

AtariWriter 80 Editing TOC

 

Print Preview

AtariWriter (Original) previewing a large document.  Viewport window is scrolled slightly right:

AtariWriter Original Print Preview

 

AtariWriter Plus previewing the same large document.  Viewport window is scrolled slightly right:

AtariWriter Plus Print Preview

 

AtariWriter 80 previewing the same large document.  Viewport window is not scrolled:

AtariWriter 80 Print Preview

 

AtariWriter (Original) previewing section headers (TOC):

AtariWriter Original TOC Print Preview

 

AtariWriter Plus previewing section headers (TOC):

AtariWriter Plus TOC Print Preview

 

AtariWriter 80 previewing section headers (TOC):

AtariWriter 80 TOC Print Preview

 

Print

AtariWriter (Original) supports four predefined printers, or a custom printer driver loaded via AUTORUN.SYS file.  Different default printers were present between the A and C versions.  The A version:

AtariWriter Original Print Menu

 

The C version replaces options 3 and 4.  The Atari 820 becomes the Atari 1020.   The Atari 822 becomes the Atari 1027:

AtariWriter Original Rev C Print Menu

 

AtariWriter Plus printer selection:

AtariWriter Plus Printer Selection 1

AtariWriter Plus Printer Selection 2

 

AtariWriter 80 printer selection:

AtariWriter 80 Printer Selection

 

Index

Index of files with AtariWriter (Original).  Option to print when list is complete.  Single columns only:

AtariWriter Original Index

 

Index of files with AtariWriter Plus.  Expanded options for deleting, loading, saving on top of printing.  Two columns will display:

AtariWriter Plus Index

 

Index of files with AtariWriter 80.  The same options as AtariWriter Plus.  Up to four columns will display:

AtariWriter 80 Index

AtariWriter 80 Index Print

 

Global Format

The new global format menu introduced with AtariWriter Plus.  Seen here on AtariWriter Plus (top) and AtariWriter 80 (bottom):

AtariWriter Plus Global Format Menu

AtariWriter 80 Global Format Menu

 

Mail Merge

Message displayed when the Mail Merge function is invoked from AtariWriter Plus:

AtariWriter Plus Mail Loading

 

AtariWriter Plus Mail Merge meu:

AtariWriter Plus Mail Menu

 

AtariWriter 80 Mail Merge menu.  The difference here is the title at the top of the screen:

AtariWriter 80 Mail Menu

 

Creating a new mail merge file.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Mail Create

AtariWriter 80 Mail Create

 

Editing the mail merge database.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Mail Edit

AtariWriter 80 Mail Edit

 

Building a subset of the mail merge file.  In essence this is an index and criterion filter.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Mail Subset

AtariWriter 80 Mail Subset

 

Printing the mail merge file.  Enter the filename, off to the printer it goes.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Mail Print Fields

AtariWriter 80 Mai Print Fields

 

Proofreader

The message displayed when the Proofreader module is loaded.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Proof Loading

AtariWriter 80 Proof Loading

 

The Proofreader main menu.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Proof Menu

AtariWriter 80 Proof Menu

 

Starting to proofread a file.  First mis-spelled word encountered.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Correct

AtariWriter 80 Proof Correct

 

Correcting a mis-spelled word.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Proof Correct Fix

AtariWriter 80 Proof Correct Fix

 

Using the Highlight feature of the Proofreader.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Proof Highlight

AtariWriter 80 Proof Highlight

 

Deciding if you want to proofread the entire document or not.  AtariWriter 80:

AtariWriter 80 Proof Print Question

 

Using the dictionary search function to lookup words.  Notice previous searches remain on screen.  AtariWriter Plus on top, AtariWriter 80 on the bottom:

AtariWriter Plus Proof Search

AtariWriter 80 Proof Search

 

Errors

Not so much errors as warnings.  At any rate they prevent you from doing what you set out to do.  The first is trying to load a file that won’t fit in memory with AtariWriter (Original):

AtariWriter Original Load Failure

 

String Too Long.  This one crops it head up if a continuous block of text is longer the the margined line will allow (i.e. if the text is 80 characters and the column count between margins is only 74).  A web URL can invoke this error quite easily.  It can appear with print preview, printing, or reformatting.  First screenshot is from AtariWriter Plus, followed by AtariWriter 80:

AtariWriter Plus Error STL

AtariWriter 80 Error STL

 

Files

Contents

AtariWriter and AtariWriter Plus use Atari DOS 2.0.  AtariWriter 80 uses Atari DOS 2.5.  The contents of the AtariWriter Plus disk can be seen in this screenshot (the 800/XL version on top (D2); and the XE version on bottom (D3)):

S2E01-ss-FilesAWPXLXESize

 

The contents of the AtariWriter 80 disk can be seen in this screenshot (the 800/XL version on top (D2); and the XE version on bottom (D3)):

S2E01-ss-FilesAW80XLXESizes

 

The contents of the Proofreader disk can not be read.  The VTOC is replaced with this custom message.  The AtariWriter Plus disk is on top (D2); and the AtariWriter 80 disk on the bottom (D3):

S2E01-ss-FilesAWP80ProofDirs

The files are:

  • AP.OBJ is the AtariWriter Plus (or AtariWriter 80) program.
  • MM.OBJ is the AtariWriter Mail Merge program.
  • PROOF is the AtariWriter Proofreader program.
  • PD is the AtariWriter Printer Driver Creation Utility program.
  • AUTORUN.SYS is the program loader for AtariWriter Plus.  For AtariWriter 80 it should load the XEP-80 driver then load the program.

 

Dump

Looking at a dump of a 1 letter document (the letter I) file created with AtariWriter (original):

S2E01-ss-AWO-1Letter

 

Looking at a dump of a 1 letter document (the letter I) file created with AtariWriter Plus:

S2E01-ss-AWP-1Letter

 

Printing

Print output of the index print (same for all versions):

https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/s2e01-prt-index.pdf

https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/s2e01-prt-indexprintaw80.pdf

Print output of the Mail Merge database (same for AtariWriter Plus and AtariWriter 80):

https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/s2e01-prt-mailprintawp.pdf

Print output of a document using a Mail Merge database:

https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/s2e01-prt-mailprintfieldsawp.pdf

Print output of possibly mis-spelled words from the Proofreader:

https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/s2e01-prt-proofprintawp.pdf

Print output (customized with formatting) of section headers (table of contents):

https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/s2e01-prt-toc.pdf

 

Instructions

Scanned Reference Cards

AtariWriter (Original): https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/atariwriterreferencecard.pdf

AtariWriter Plus: https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/atariwriterplusreferencecard.pdf

AtariWriter 80: https://inverseatascii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/atariwriter80referencecard.pdf

 

Show Links:

 

Rating

AtariWriter (original) BIT Rating:

Bit Rating 6

 

AtariWriter Plus and AtariWriter 80 BIT Rating:

Bit Rating 8

 

Intro music is an excerpt from a chip tune by Wizwars named 8 Bit Raceway.  It is used under Creative Common license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.
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7 thoughts on “S2E01 Atari AtariWriter – Supplement

  1. The Atari 1029 was an XL-series styled printer apparently sold (almost exclusively) in Europe. It has a Seikosha GP 500 mechanism and uses the same ribbons as the Commodore MPS-801. It has tractor and (manual) single-sheet feed and uses a 7-pin head that is quite noisy. The print quality is OK although my EPSON FX-80 printed (and sounded) better. I got my 1029 in a package with an 800XL and kept it for being “original Atari” whan I gave away the FX-80 for free and cheaply sold the 24-pin printer that followed it….

    I enjoyed the Portfolio and Kansasfest bonus episodes. As my ability to take vacation during summer is very limited I probably won’t be able to visit Kansasfest before I retire and so I enjoy learning a bit about it through podcasts. I was tempted to shop EBay for a portfolio after listening to the episode but as I don’t use my later (and a bit more useful) HP200LX either I probably leave them to others, even though a particularly nice set is on our local craigslist type website right now…..

    I think it would be great to have a “comparison” episode once you’ve covered all major software packages of a kind, e.g. all wordprocessors.

    1. I’m very glad your enjoying the content! In the original format where a season was to cover all one type of software the comparison would have come at the end. I’ll try to figure out the best way to incorporate a comparison after many more titles are covered.

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