At the time of writing (mid-September), the stock position of the
new range of machines and peripherals in the U.S. was far from
promising. The 600XL, originally scheduled for August was due at the
end of September with the 800XL now due in mid-October. The 1400XL is
now scheduled for mid-November whilst the 1450XLD is due in early
December. The 1050 disk drives were shipped in August but were
promptly put on production hold due to an inability to read some third
party software. The letter quality printer, the 1027, was due at the
end of September. Let us hope that similar delays do not occur in the
U.K. I understand from several retailers that sales of the 400 and 800
machines have slumped drastically since the new machines were
announced, which brings us to ...
The 400, 800 and 810 Disk Drive have all been discontinued in the
U.S. and the only significant stocks are of 800's which can be had for
about $200 after a promotional rebate. The 850 interface is being
continued but they are few and far between. Meanwhile in the UK some
real bargains could be found for 400's and 800's as early as late
August. Shop around and you might get a 400 for less than a Spectrum!
Gemini Electronics in Manchester have recently closed their retail
shop but will continue to give a Mail Order service for Atari users.
This move has been made in order to expand The English Software
Company, already Britain's largest producer of software for the Atari.
Several new titles were announced some time ago and should be in the
shops by now but English Software plan to add to their range and
include educational titles. Already in the pipeline is a series of
language cassettes for French, German, Italian and Spanish written by
Dr. Michael M. Gruneberg of University College, Swansea.
At last a full series of 'serious' software has been announced by
Synapse. These include SYN-TEXT, SYN-FILE+, SYN-TREND, SYNCALC, SYN-STOCK,
SYN-COMM, SYN-STAT, SYN-TAX and SYN-MAIL. Whilst some of these titles
will not be suitable for British use, it is pleasing to find that the
range of business software is at last expanding.