Issue 19

Jan/Feb 86

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Imagine you go the the Motor Show and see the car of your dreams the Ferraro Dini GLX Turbo and a few months later read the Sunday supplements saying 'at your dealer now'. You rush down, order a metallic blue custom painted model, pay your money and bring back the brochures knowing that in a few days time you will be the proud owner of the best car on the block. A few days later, you hear the purr of an engine outside and look out to see a superb metallic blue standard family saloon. 'Where's the turbo?' you cry. 'Ah' says the salesman 'it is not quite ready yet, we will fit it later if you bring the car back'. 'What about the quadraphonic cassette?' you ask. 'well we could give you one later, but it has got a radio' says the salesman. And so it goes on. The final straw comes when the salesman says 'Never mind about this one though, sir, why not come down the showroom and see the new super turbo?'.

If that story were true you would just tell the salesman what he could do with his car and go to the Lambrini dealer next door and get what you want. But suppose it was a computer, you wouldn't bat an eyelid, would you?

Atari has just announced a 1040ST to be shown at Comdex in Las Vegas at the end of November, along with 'several other new ST products' yet at the time of writing you can't even buy the 520ST package in the format promised and advertised. What you get is GEM/TOS and Logo, that's all. No GEMWrite, no GEMPaint, no BOS. They will all come but isn't it just a bit galling to be reading about a new bigger memory computer when what you would really like is the rest of software you were promised when you bought your current machine? Admittedly many of the problems are outside Atari's control and they are now doing their best to provide substitute programs but it would have been better for all concerned if they had allowed the 520ST to become established before announcing a machine that many people will consider makes the 520ST 'out of date'.

The reason for such announcements is of course pure hype. Jack Tramiel needs to show the media men and his competitors that Atari is way ahead in all fields of personal computing and today's way is to announce something NEW. These products are not for the likes of you and me but for the publicity. Maybe one day they will be available but in the meantime let's hope Atari get down to establishing the 520ST as the computer of today by getting the software out and selling the machine in sufficient quantities to encourage the software houses to complete and release their packages.


This issue marks the start of a new year and we wish all our readers success and prosperity in the coming year. 1986 is going to be one of the most exciting years for Atari so far as many users take the exciting step into 16-bits and many others explore new things on their 8-bit machines. The price of the 130XE and the 1050 disk drive is now lower than ever. Many new users will appear and many more will buy their first disk drive. I hope all of you find that PAGE 6 features something to interest you over the next six issues. Even if you are out of work and can't afford all the latest software you can still get immense fulfilment from your Atari by learning to program or by typing in the programs from PAGE 6 which are practically free.

Even though we may criticise from time to time, we still support Atari 100% in both the 16-bit and 8-bit fields. Believe it or not the success of the ST will determine the ongoing success of the 130XE as software houses recognise that Atari will be the name to support in 1986.

Enjoy PAGE 6 in '86. Enjoy Atari!