Dutch legend has used Atari ST to run his campsite since 1986

If YouTube user Viktor Bart likes one thing, it’s retro computers: his channel is dedicated to videos about building old machines, their functions, cool and strange things, and the joy of these beige things. However, even Mr. Bart was surprised by his discovery in Koningsbosch, Limburg, the Netherlands: a campsite that has been operating on Atari ST since 1986.

The owner of the campground, Dutchman Frans Bos, bought this Atari ST (model 1040) in 1986 to help run his camping business: Camping Bohmerwald. Atari ST is impressive hardware at this time, with 1MB RAM and 70Hz display (as Bos said, most PCs at the time only provided 512Kb RAM), and in Europe, the machine was regarded as a serious professional computer rather than a game machine.

Atari ST runs Frans Bos’s software to manage his camp. (Image source: Victor Bart)

Bos bought this machine to manage reservations and registered guests on the site, then sat down and wrote his own software, and iterated over the years. Due to the seasonality of the business, Atari ST is used day and night for six months of the year. An interesting point in the video is Bos’s argument, he still likes to use this machine because it starts so fast: he says that when his more modern desktop computer becomes available, he has already completed the task on the Atari ST .