Check out this amazing manual for Atari arcade games from 1980

Check out this amazing manual for Atari arcade games from 1980

Atari, once the prosperous creator of popular arcade machines has mostly faded into irrelevance these days.

This beautiful, 186-page manual, for servicing your arcade machines is a peek into a different time, when Atari was at the top of its game.

Simply called “The Book” it’s an exhaustive, seven chapter manual, targeted at technicians for Atari’s coin-operated video and pinball machines.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.46.42 AM

According to the foreword in The Book, it’s not intended to make you a technician or turn you into an engineer, but it’s impressively detailed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.48.34 AM

The manual features everything from how to use an Ohmmeter and soldering iron, to detailed exploding diagrams of the steering wheels and joysticks you’d probably recognize from your favorite old-school game.

There are even detailed schematics of how the internal boards of machines are wired, explanations of integrated circuits and insights into how binary works.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.51.16 AM

It’s probably well over your head — it’s over mine, by a mile — but it’s an incredible insight into the amount of work involved in keeping those machines alive.

The manual being publicly available could help enthusiasts that have purchased an old Atari unit for themselves maintain and repair them for long-term use.

The Book [Text Files, via Hacker News]

Image credit: Shutterstock

Read next: The brains behind 'This American Life' and 'Reply All' on bringing podcasts to the stage and… the future!