Welcome to the world of the home computer. They are machines that did not exist a few short years ago, but are now common in many households. People use them to figure household finances, keep records, write letters and books, educate their children (or their parents!), and to play elaborate games.
This Handy Guide introduces you to three of the most popular home computers: the low-priced 400, the full-featured 800, and the top of the line 1200 (see inside front cover). In addition, we will examine many of the numerous products manufactured by Atari and other companies to augment these machines by increasing their power and uses.
The material is presented logically through seven chapters. The first offers an overall look at a typical Atari system: what the parts are, what they do. Chapter 2 shows how to get your computer running. In Chapter 3 you learn the keyboard and the screen editor (the part of the computer that displays what you type), and in Chapter 4 you take a brief look at BASIC programming. Chapter 5 shows you how to store programs, and Chapters 6 and 7 will help you build up your Atari by snowing you how to expand your program library and to buy optional equipment. The Appendix is a handy, self-contained guide for the com- plete novice on how to load and run programs.
If you can't wait to unpack your computer and start playing games immediately, read Chapter 2 to get your computer running, and jump to the Appendix to learn how to load and run your game cartridge. But if you have more self-control, let's take a look at the Atari computer system.