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Table of Contents


Alien Thing

Thomas Keynote

Aftermath of World of Atari



Gravitar Review

Site Review

LaST Word

Atari Flashback

Site Review by Scott Tirrell

Allright, I feel a little strange writing reviews for web pages. After all, I'm not much of a web designer myself. That aside, though, I am a regular surfer of the Net and I know what I like and don't like. If its an Atari page, I have a tendency to like it. But not all Atari sites are created equal!

Atari Flashback, as the name suggests, concentrates on some of Atari's older products, namely the 8-bit line of computers. They are all here from the original 400 and 800 to the newest XEs. There are pictures of some of the models in chronological order, kind of like a family tree on the home page. One might find it ironic that the page suggests using a computer with a resolution of 800 x 600 in 16-bit color for the best experience. 800 x 600 in 16-bit color for an Atari 8-bit page? There is always a give and take between design and the constraints of technology. With a site geared towards older technology, though, I'm not sure as though I agree with the author's choice to make these suggestions. It is especially strange since the pages are quite viewable in 640 x 480. Probably even more so than the ST Informer site which forces viewers to scroll over to the right to read news stories easily (yup, I acknowledge the faults).

Anyway, that minor quibble aside, the page is very inviting. It is a little graphic-heavy so it takes a little while to load but it is not too bad. The images also could use a little touching up as the computer pics look a little jagged on the edges. It is very Microsoft FrontPage-esque. Looking at the source does, indeed, reveal in the META tags that FrontPage was used in the creation of these pages. This is not a bad thing, necessarily. I personally think the design of Atari 8-bit Flashback is very well-done.

The page's main focus is Atari 8-bit computers in the 90s. It urges browsers to grab their machines from their closets or, if they no longer or never had an Atari 8-bit, to download one of the many emulators for the PC or Macintosh. There are also instructions and information on APE and the SIO2PC cable used to download software from a PC to an Atari 8-bit. This way, the tons of available files on the Internet are now available for easy access. No more floppies in the mail from PD companies.

Speaking of files, the main attraction of Atari 8-bit Flashback seems to be 800MB of files for the Atari 8-bit on their FTP site. When trying to access this FTP site, I had problems. With a name like Hackerz, I'm not sure if the FTP site contains pirated software or not. At any rate, 800MB of programs is quite a resource for Atari 8-bit owners. If they can access it.

Rounding out Atari Flashback is the usual assorted links. Overall, the presentation is nice. It is really only a single page but it does the job well of presenting a little information of the Atari 8-bit and, of course, acts as a place to grab software for these machines. It is also possible from the links included to jump around to find other information about this family of computers.

Overall, Atari Flashback is a well-done site. It holds promise but really needs to be expanded on. The main draw will be the software; I'd like to see more information about the machines themselves in the same readable style as the rest of the site.

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