News and Views



Issue 12

Nov/Dec 84

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Lots of rumours in the press, particularly the Financial Times, about what Atari 'might' be doing, including bringing out new 8, 16 and 32-bit machines. The 16 bit machine is said to be one which Atari had developed before the takeover. Latest reports suggest that Atari have tripled their output of 800XLs in Taiwan ready for the Christmas market. Several sources over here report having seen a 1450XLD at Atari headquarters for evaluation. Certainly Atari have something that they are keeping under wraps and maybe by the time that you read this, we may all know what.

Atari have cancelled all of their Service Centre contracts for In-Warranty repairs and will in future replace any faulty unit that is under warranty. The intention is that you return the unit to your supplier who will replace it from stock. One problem is that exchanges will only be like for like so if your dealer runs out of 400, 800 or 600XL machines as is likely, you will have to return the unit directly to Atari. Service Centres will still do out of warranty repairs and Atari will continue to provide technical backing, training and spares.

We recently received some information from Broadcasting Support Services concerning BASICODE 2+ which is used by Radio 4's Chip Shop for broadcasting software. Twelve different micros are supported but not Atari. If you are interested in downloading broadcast software write to Broadcasting Support Services, 252, Western Avenue, London W3 6XJ and tell them. Or you can ring 01 992 5522.

Micro Research who have advertised printer interfaces in previous issues have gone into liquidation so don't bother to reply to their ads!

Several new items have been announced by Optimized Systems Software Inc., the only American company to send us product information. The MAC/65 ToolKit is an extensive collection of macros designed specifically for use with either disk or cassette versions of the MAC/65 assembler. The ACTION! ToolKit enhances ACTION! programming capabilities with routines which allow player/missile graphics, turtle graphics, joystick input, advanced I/O operations and much more. THE WRITER'S TOOL is a new word processor with built-in mail-merge, insert and typeover modes and compatibility with any DOS in any density. Single key commands cover all enhanced printer commands and the package supports most Atari-compatible printers. Comes as a step by step tutorial reference manual, handy reference card, cartridge and disk. Availability of these products in the U.K. is not known at present but you should try the retailers in the GOTO DIRECTORY or you can write to O.S.S. for more information at O.S.S. Inc 1221-B Kentwood Avenue, San Jose. CA 95129, U.S.A


Pictured here are the new cassette interface from Blackthorn which allows a normal low-cost data recorder to be used with your Atari, and the redesigned printer interface. The printer interface has been reduced in size to approximately 5" x 2" x 1" and has longer cables of 22" to the computer and 35" to the printer. It is now powered directly from the computer and works on both 400/800 and XL models. The printer interface is 69.95 and the cassette interface 16.00 fully inclusive....