Issue 24

Nov/Dec 86

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Ask anyone who's just been to the PCW show - the 8-bit Atari is dead!

In the National Hall, you could hunt all day and never even smell an 800XL or 130XE. Never mind, you say, lets go up to the Atari stand, we'll be OK there.


You would have seen a separate stand exclusively devoted to VCS machines, but 130XE's? Well, there was one - ONE - on the Atari stand, tucked away behind the display cases showing what were said to be the new multi-meg ST's. But that was it. Atari has declared that it will continue to support and develop the 8-bit machines, but the evidence says otherwise.

There is however an old saying along the lines of 'He's dead, but he won't lie down' and this is where YOU come in. If you are an 8-bit Atari user, you have to get off your backside and do something about it! And don't kid yourself - YOU can do something.

Okay, so we're not in the same numbers league as the Spectrum and Commodore 64 owners, but just stop a moment and take a look through the general computer magazines. You'll see new software coming out each month for the MSX and the VIC20! Now there are a couple of machines that really are dead, and yet they are still being supported! Take a look in your local computer shop and see how many systems they support. Do they support the Atari? Why not? Are you honestly going to tell me that you are the only Atari user in your area?

If your local shop doesn't support Atari, ten to one you went in and asked once, got a negative reply, and never asked again. That was where you went wrong. You should go back and ask again - and again and again and again. You must have a friend with an Atari - get him off his backside and in there asking too. Get him to get his friends in there and so on and, eventually, you will have local support for the Atari. So you think it can't be done? Well, you're wrong, we've proved in our home town that it really does work. Two years ago, we would have been lucky to find a couple of bits of Atari software in the whole City. Today, we have three shops with large (and expanding) Atari sections! One of our local shop owners who is a Commodore fanatic now admits he's selling more Atari software than Commodore!

What about the lack of support from the software houses? Again it's up to you. Write to the software houses - ask for an Atari version. When they see there is a market for the Atari, they'll produce it! If you have also badgered your retailer and he asks as well then your argument is reinforced.

Another cry I heard so many times at the PCW show was 'Why don't they do a disk version?' Again, the answer is for YOU to tell the software houses you want one!

The future of your machine is in your hands - It's time to stand up and be counted, The fact that you are reading PAGE 6 marks you as a dedicated user. If we all shout, we can make a future for our machine. But DO IT NOW! - If all you do is just think about it, it will be too late!

Ken Ward



Several of the User Groups representatives I met at the PCW show expressed a desire to communicate and exchange information and ideas with other Atari groups.

Can I ask all Atari groups, and any general groups that have an Atari sub-group, to get in touch with me providing details of your group and its contacts. We are looking at the possibility of forming a national association of Atari groups that will benefit every Atari owner in this country.

Please write to me now, it's important.