Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 47 / APRIL 1984 / PAGE 108

Using A VIC Printer With Atari

I own a Commodore VIC-20 and a 1525 Graphic Printer. I am contemplating purchasing a second computer. I realize I could use my printer with a Commodore 64, but is there any way to interface it with another brand of computer, like the Atari 800XL? If so, where can I get such an interface?

Chris Hill

Unfortunately, Commodore and Atari use proprietary serial interfaces. They cannot talk to each other or to each other's peripherals. An interface to convert from Commodore serial and Atari serial is conceivable, but we know of none.

There is one way the two computers can communicate—over a common interface, such as RS-232. Both Commodore and Atari computers can send and receive data over an RS-232 cable or through a modem. All that's required is an RS-232 interface for each computer. You could set up a program on the VIC that sends anything coming in from the RS-232 port right to the printer. The Atari would then send things out to the VIC over its RS-232 port. You could even operate the VIC 1540 disk drive (with the right program in the VIC) to handle the Atari requests for program saves and loads. The latter method would be rather more difficult to implement, however.