If you were born in the 1970s and early 1980s I need you to summon your 10-year-old self to the computer. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
All here? Cool. Welcome to the future. So hey guys I know you have some River Raid to play today but I need to show you something cool. So check this out. Go ahead. Move that mouse thing next to the computer. Oh, you guys back there have to use the rectangle on that laptop. Just put your finger… no no not your hand. Just a finger. Ok. Click the colored text. Yes, I know. It’s called the Internet. It’s like BBSes only faster.
Yes, there are naked people. Yes. Stop.
Ok look: so in the future scientists have created a graphical user interface for your Atari computer. What is a GUI? It’s like a thing you can use to… interact with the computer. And it looks like a video game but it’s really cool and you can drag files around. You know the Amiga that rich friend of yours has? It’s like that. But it doesn’t work on everything.
While it is hoped that the OS will support unexpanded 64KB XL/XE machines in some minimal way, the realistic base hardware requirement will be an 8-bit Atari XL/XE with at least 128KB, a flash cartridge (or Ultimate 1MB/Incognito), and an ST or Amiga compatible mouse or trackball.
Who is playing YouTube? Turn that off. Are you listening?
So you’re going to have to move into the future and get some kind of emulator or whatever – it’s a program that lets you pretend your computer is another computer – but trust me when I tell you this is really cool. It’s basically like GEOS but for Atari machines. Ok. Stop. I know. Yes, the Internet is fun. Can you send your older self back here?
Gosh. Ok. That kid is annoying. So look – for a burst of nostalgia go ahead and grab yourself some Atari GUI OS. It looks to be a solid clone of GEOS for everyone’s favorite first computer and I would totally boot it up if my 800XL didn’t look like a rusted-out Chevy. In this era of cellphones that are smarter than 1970s-era NASA it’s refreshing to see cool people do cool things with old tech.