“Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”. That’s what we guess Frans Bos has been thinking for the past few decades, as he kept using his Atari ST to run a booking system for the family campground, according to a report at Hackaday.com
Although its case has yellowed a bit, the trusty old machine is still running 24/7 from April to October, as it has every year since 1985. In the video, Frans demonstrates the computer and its custom campground booking system to Victor Bart.
To be exact, we’re looking at an Atari 1040STF, which runs on a 68000 CPU and has one full megabyte of RAM: in fact, it was one of the first affordable machines with that much memory. Output is through a monochrome display, which is tiny compared to the modern TFT standing next to it but was apparently much better than the monitor included with a typical DOS machine back in the day.
Since no campground management software was available when he bought the computer, Frans wrote his own, complete with a graphical map showing the location of each campsite. Reservations can be made, modified, and printed with just a few keystrokes. The only concession to the modern world is the addition of a USB drive; we can imagine it was becoming difficult to store and exchange data using floppy disks in 2021.
See the Hackaday.com report here.