Slushpile Reads: Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation


A charming little book about the best computers in the world, the Atari 400 and 800.

Why We Love It:

Atari has been given short shrift in the history of computing but their early home computers were some of the best around and they were emminently fun and usable. I personally learned to code on an Atari 800XL and for a guy like Jamie Lendino to walk us through the history of these machines is an added bonus.

The Details:

Atari 8-bit computers are the first machines that truly bridged the divide between video game players and home computer enthusiasts. The Atari 400 and 800 signaled the start of a new era in computing. Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation is the first book to cover what made Atari’s groundbreaking computer line great: its excellent graphics and sound, flexible programming environment, and wide support from the burgeoning home computer community.

For those of us coming of “gaming age” in the 80s, Atari games were simply amazing?and you’ll find out what made over 100 titles so much fun to play. Breakout also explores the Atari 8-bit platform as it stands today, with a robust enthusiast and modding community, the increasing value of Atari computers and peripherals, and how to get started with one now or get your old one working again.

Jamie Lendino is the Editor-in-Chief of Previously, he managed the consumer electronics reviews team for, and has written for the print and digital versions of PC Magazine for over 10 years. He’s also had articles published in Popular Science, Electronic Musician, Sound and Vision, and on, and

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