Rumours or Facts?
By now the Hannover Computer Fair will
be over and Atari's new machines will have had their European launch.
Maybe we will know which of the machines and peripherals will be
available and at what price. Meanwhile several rumours circulate in
the States - most from very reliable sources - and we report them
here, in the absence of any official announcements, for those of you
desperate for any news on things to come.
.... Production models of the XE and
ST range were shown at a California User Group meeting in early March
with LOGO as the installed language in the ST BASIC, if required, is
said to be available as a separate purchase, although users opinions
may well change Atari's mind.
.... The XEP portable 8- bit
computer is to be dropped due to lack of interest (not surprising) but
a portable ST is planned instead.
.... TheXEM music machine has been
postponed indefinitely due to problems with the sound chip.
.... All new software for the XE
range will run on the 800XL and 800 but will look for the extra 64K
RAM of the 130XE and use it if found.
.... 25 to 30 software packages will
be immediately available for the ST when it is put on sale.
.... Prices ... the promise that no
software will be more than $49 has now become `no more than $100' but
the majority will be under $50. The $100 500K disk drive has now
become a $200 500K disk drive.
.... The ST will be released
initially in 512K only as the OS will not be in ROM until bugs are
.... A previously unannounced 256K
ST is said to be planned for $499.
.... The 1050 drive will gradually
be replaced by a compatible 5¼" drive - the XF521 - at around
$150. The new Disk Operating System - provisionally DOS 2.5 - is by
Bill Wilkinson of O.S.S. but a further DOS will be developed for the
.... New Atari software for the
8-bit range to include SHOPKEEPER, an easy to use small business
accounting package that also tracks inventory and emulates an
electronic cash register. SONG PAINTER is a music construction program
controlled by joystick.
Keep your eyes and ears open over the
coming weeks. Some of these rumours will now be facts. Some will be
forgotten. The only way to report facts is to see things in person and
next issue PAGE 6 will bring you a first hand report of the Hannover
Computer Fair. Don't miss it.