The New Machines Update



Issue 15

May/Jun 85

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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 sorted out.

.... A previously unannounced 256K ST is said to be planned for $499.

.... The 1050 drive will gradually be replaced by a compatible 5" 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 3" drives.

.... 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.