Alan Alda used an Atari Touch Tablet and you should have too

The Atari Touch Tablet has been featured here on the site before, but it was such a great bit of technology, it is worth bringing up again. Released in the early mid-eighties the tablet was way ahead of its time. In an age when many of us fiddled with computers, feeding in coordinate to draw shapes, the Touch Tablet gave users the ability to draw as if they had a digital piece of paper in front of them.

Designed by Atari’s Industrial Design group Tom Palecki, the tablet would inform computer input device design for years to come and much like the Atari Video Music might have been able to catch on if given more time or maybe just the right marketing. Now all we have left is decaying technology and a wonderful marketing campaign featuring Mr. Alan Alda.


Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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One thought on “Alan Alda used an Atari Touch Tablet and you should have too

  1. Great post Retroist! The Atari XL line of home computers was pretty ahead of their time. Commodore 64 may have been more popular and less expensive, but the Atari XL was an advanced household appliance that introduced a lot of nifty ideas in what a home computer could be.

    Alan Alda was also a great spokesman for Atari. He played George Plimpton in the film of Plimpton’s book “Paper Lion”, I often wondered if Atari’s marketing department was asking itself how to top Plimpton’s commercials for Intellivision, and decided to hire the Hollywood movie version of George Plimpton.

    In hindsight Alan Alda has certainly held up with time in comparison to Texas Instrument’s spokesman.

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