Issue 16

Jul/Aug 1985

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Precision Software Ltd. are to convert several successful business software packages to the Atari 800XL and 130XE for marketing in September.

The titles which are currently available for the Commodore 64 and Apple are Superscript, Superbase STARTER and Supertype which are, respectively, a word processor, database and typing trainer. The Database in particular, if it lives up to the specifications of the existing versions, promises to be what serious users in the U.K have waited many years for. There have been few serious products for the Atari with such high specifications and certainly none easily available in this country to the home user.

Prices are not yet finalised but will be affordable to any user interested in a database or word processing applications.



Users of O.S.S.'s BASIC XL will be more than pleased to know that BASIC XE for the 130XE will be available in mid-July from Software Express International in Birmingham. BASIC XE will contain all of the commands of BASIC XL with the addition of an EXTEND command allowing access to 62k of the top 64k of memory. In addition the features of the TOOL KIT, previously available separately, will be built in to the cartridge. Price in the U.K. will be 69.99.

For new owners, BASIC XE will add several new commands to ATARI BASIC allowing greater control over Player Missiles, string handling and many other features. It is highly recommended to any owner seriously interested in programming.


What's this? It's a Disk Notcher enabling you to use the other side of single sided disks with great ease. You can fiddle around with a hole punch or use a scalpel (blood can damage disks!) but with this little devil you just slip your disk in and get a neat square notch identical to the one on the other side, first time every time and in exactly the right position. Price is just 5.99 plus 1.50 p&p from Wootton Computers, 116 Edleston Road, Crewe, CW2 7 HD.




Despite several reports from the 'ATARI knockers' the Company did make an appearance at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago and showed two more models of the ST. The 260ST is a 256k model and the 260STD comes with a built in 3" disk drive. Prices are said to be $399 and $499 respectively. After seeming to have abandoned the 'middle' market by dropping the 130ST, Atari may well have something up its sleeve after all.

Also strongly rumoured for many months and finally shown at CES is a Compact Disk ROM unit for use with the ST capable of holding 500Mb! Atari are said to have purchased the rights to a 26 volume encyclopaedia for use with this unit. The unit will allow searches down to word level throughout the encyclopaedia with an access time of something like 3 seconds to find over 50 references! The encyclopaedia takes only 120Mb of the available disk space!


Miracle Technology could well put the final nail in the coffin of the 850 interface with their new DATARI RS232 interface. Available as a package with MULTI-VIEWTERM software it will enable any modem to be used with your ATARI. Whilst access to 300 baud Bulletin Board Systems has been relatively easy to date, DATARI will open up the full world of VIEWDATA systems including PRESTEL, TELECOM G0LD and others. Price for the complete software and interface package is 59.95 from your retailer or, by adding 1.15 p&p, from Miracle Technology (U.K.) Ltd, 5t Peters Street, Ipswich, IPl 1XB.



DOS 2.5 is currently being widely circulated in the States but at the time of writing availability in this country is not known. ATARI are said to be sending copies to User Groups in the U.S. for 'non-commercial' distribution and it is to be hoped that it will be available here at very little cost. This new DOS is fully compatible with both the 810 and 1050 drives and will automatically use the enhanced density of the 1050 if available. A unique feature is that the 'manual' is on the reverse of the disk thus cutting down costs and making distribution much easier.

DOS 2.5 will become the new standard for all ATARI 8-bit micros and existing DOS 3.0 owners are strongly recommended to get a copy as soon as possible.