Reading through some old articles, and I couldn't help but feel this is exactly what Apple would become with their Mac OSX. I remember reading about the genlock/video capabilities of the Falcon but never knew of anything that used it or examples. It always seemed like the Amiga took the show with their Video Toaster setups with boards from Newtek.
Sam mentions below using the Falcon as a video phone? I've not seen a single thing about video phone use for the Falcon. Do you guys remember the Tandy Sensation and software suites or packages that came installed with those to help make for an easier interface to navigate just exactly what it was you wanted to do on the computer? I think Packard Bell did something similar. Atari probably should have done something along those lines and seriously focused on the software to make all the lose ends work. It could have been the internet multimedia machine it was intended to be. I guess MiNT did come along to remedy some of that but I've only ever seen pictures.
It also seems like there was such a low number of units expected to be delivered. 2 per store? No direct ordering at the time? I would love to see photos from the Atarifests demoing these units, outside of the blurry magazine pics, some being black and white. I can only imagine how miserable a 1MB machine would've been and if that hindered the performance of the direct to disk audio recording - which still is rather amazing to me to this day. And was the PIM terminology or phrase supposed to catch-on?
I can only remember drooling over Toad Computer magazines with Falcons imprinted with the pages and remembering just how badly I wanted one. Needless to say, Atari pulled the plug on everything and the support dropped right behind that notion and it would become just a super rare bird with limited software. It's too bad Space Junk was never to be completed, I remember playing the demo many years ago and it was truly impressive. Wonder what else could've been done with the machine given the right developers and a solid chance.
"ATARI INTRODUCES FIRST COMPUTER SYSTEM DESIGNED FOR PERSONAL INTEGRATED
Atari Falcon030 brings high-end capabilities to the market for less
Boston (September 23, 1992) Atari Corporation today announced the first
available personal integrated media system, the Atari Falcon030
computer. From education to entertainment, personal integrated media
(PIM) has the potential to change consumers' lives as dramatically as
personal computers changed business offices. The system will be
available in November at authorized Atari Dealers across the country.
A full scale computer based on the powerful 16 Mhz Motorola 68030
microprocessor, the Atari Falcon030 is specifically designed for
personal integrated media functions. It gives even inexperienced users
the ability to combine and manipulate video, audio, animation,
telecommunications, text and graphics. The system is optimized for
these functions and incorporates technology usually reserved for high-
end production systems.
"The Atari Falcon030 is an ideal entry into the new and growing personal
integrated media market," said Sam Tramiel, Atari's president and CEO.
"It's a powerful system that gives users access to a whole new world of
applications. Yet the system remains easy-to-use and affordable."
Consumers will be able to use the Atari Falcon030 as a color video
phone, communicating in sound and pictures with other Atari Falcon030
users. The system makes it possible to create home videos complete with
text and music, record lead vocals on a favorite rock 'n roll classic
with the originals musicians playing along; narrate and score a family
photo album, produce a visual family tree, invent and play an adventure
game set in a childhood home; and much more."