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Atari ST, the misunderstood computer?


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#61 Lost Dragon

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:52 PM

From a UK viewpoint, no idea why the ST Vs QL spat is never featured in historical articles, espically as an early ST title was a QL title (after starting life as an i'll fated title for planned ZX Spectrum add on, Bandersnatch mean anything?)...




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#62 TeddyGermany

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:56 AM

Oh, in Germany, the ST was a very successful machine, used in schools, universities and offices. For example the historical faculty of the university of Mainz (btw. my alma mater) had a ST-Network until the late Nineties. My only personal encounter with a Falcon030 happened there. There wasn't the slightest hint of missunderstanding.


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#63 Lost Dragon

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:48 PM

This is probably a UK Press only thing :)

 

 

Ok, so there were claims going around that the St harware was to be used as a cheap, entry level basis for Coin-Op hardware....

 

 

The Intec Video System, by East Midlands Leisure.

 

 

Basically 'guts' of the machine a 1 Meg ST, with a 21" High resolution colour monitor.

 

 

Games (which would of been enhanced to take advantage of the 1 Meg Ram, so better sound FX, speech samples etc) were to include:

 

 

Leatherneck, Barbarian (Palace), Leviathan, Backlash and Foundations Waste with Elite's Thundercats under consideration.

 

 

Only 1 BIG issue with this claim:

 

 

Photo of said hardware had it running RYGAR.

 

 

Rygar was never converted to the ST.....


Edited by Lost Dragon, 19 January 2017 - 02:49 PM.

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#64 Lost Dragon

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 05:00 PM

http://insidious6581...Z&max-results=7

 
Psygnosis Mike Clarke who drew Lynx Lemming's Title screen...cast's his mind back on the ST soundchip..lets say in advance he wasn't a fan :)

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#65 TeddyGermany

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 12:16 PM

The problem of Amiga/ST was the fact, that CBM and Atari haven't recognized the winds of change. As in 8Bit-times they haven't improved the hardware over the years or they hadn't done in in time. There was no need to improve the C64, so they thought the same for ST and Amiga. For example the Falcon was almost two years too late.

 

CBM hadn't realized, that the Amiga was an Entertainment machine. They wanted a business machine. The A1000 was too expensive for the consumer-market and there was not enough software to be successfull in the business-sector. They saw no use or need to support software developers for office software. So these developers went to Apple and Mac. CBM also had financial problems in 1985/86. Not very auspicious for the introduction of a new machine.

 

Both had underestimated the consoles as contenders. The C64GS and the Atari XEGS are good examples for that failure.

 

Even the pre-Windows-PC was not really realized as a danger: "Our GUI-machines are much better than that DOS-CLI-fuss! Nuff' said!"

Now they are older and wiser.

 

The neckbreaking point for CBM was the Amiga 600, technically a real nonsense with the smell of mothballs. They produced a huge number of them. In favour of the A600 the development of other models was reduced. All done by Bill Sydnes, who was called the human bus error! CBM Germany wanted to sell 200 000 A600 in three months. Imagine that. Even in "Amigaland" Germany these were crazy numbers. And as mentioned above the Falcon was a late bird, but technically spoken brilliant. Same about Amiga 1200.

 

The QL had had another problem. It was a UK-only machine. In Germany was little to read about that machine. Oh, there was a german version with black-red-gold-tricolour and QWERTZ-keyboard, but the written news weren't overwhelming, advertisement nonexistent. Imo even the european market as a whole was not enough to withstand the ST.


Edited by TeddyGermany, 20 January 2017 - 12:51 PM.

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#66 Lost Dragon

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 02:40 PM

CBM made a number of critical errors with their hardware...C16, C128, C64GS....in terms of 8 bit systems. C16 had some good software support from likes of Anco, Gremlin, Mastertronic etc, but some hideous conversions never suited to the hardware, Green Beret and Ghost N Goblins in particular (C16 Green Beret worse than the A8 version, it's that dire....). 

 

Only 128K games i recal seeing were Kikstart II (superb), Rocky Horror show and some shooter, Thundercross or something? ZZap 64 reviewed 64K and 128K versions at same time, 128K scored higher, but both games poor. But then how many commercial 128K A8 games did we see? hard enough at times to find an A8 game not written for 48K.

 

 Back to CBM: The CDTV was hideousily over priced, CBM thinking they could sell it as a high end consumer product. As for the Sinclair QL (Or ZX83), delays after inital annoucement did it NO favours..the 'Quantum Leap' soon became the Sinclair:Quite Late.... 

 

I liked the look of the 'Future hardware' Richard Dickinson had created..integrated display etc as they seemed to have future Spectrum hardware as a desktop micro or better still a portable computer... The handling of the hardware was a PR diaster, pre-orders in (money taken) and 2 months passed and not a single QL released, then those that 1st appeared had test version of the O/S, then machines released with O/S housed in an external Rom plugged into back of the machine (crude), the Microdrives were prone to failure....

 

 

 But it still desrves a mention in the UK aspect of the ST, if only for the War Of Words between Sir Clive and Atari UK.


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#67 Lost Dragon

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 09:06 PM

Atari UK's Bob Gleadow talking about the STE: "... as for the STE, I'm not concerned about programmers not taking advantage of its enhancements. The STFM market is now large enough that people will keep writing for it. Because the STE is fully STFM compatible, more software will exploit its features there'll be a crossover"" STE looked like such a waste of resources, it's unreal...
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#68 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:07 PM

Just a little piece of 'evidence' to counter the MISINFORMATION/Claim that a supposed UK Historian/writer trots out, each time subject of how the Jaguar could have such a brighter future, if only Atari UK had recieved more units for it's launch, as the ST was still strong in UK by time Jaguar launched. Utter rubbish. 1991 had seen developers switch to the Amiga for lead platform, with ST versions following in many cases., IF AT ALL... And as this article made clear, the ST was no longer seen as any real threat to the Amiga, instead it was the looming shadow of the PC (combined with the new wave of interest in home consoles) that threatened the Amiga.

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#69 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:43 PM

And by the Summer of 1992, UK developers starting to drop the Amiga itself, so  no the ST was not 'Still Strong' in UK by time Jaguar launched, UK home consumer market was undergoing a radical chance in direction...

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#70 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:39 PM

Writing very much on the proverbial wall for Atari..ST gasping it's last, everything rested on the Falcon, for Atari Home computer wise...

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#71 Lost Dragon

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 05:29 AM

The start of the software bundles campains that really started to shift ST's here in the UK.

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#72 TeddyGermany

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:59 PM

That was unthinkable in Germany. Here the ST was more a serious business machine or a creative tool in commercials and people's mind. The Amiga was the entertainer and gaming computer. Nevertheless Atarians were playing.

Edited by TeddyGermany, 26 April 2017 - 01:12 PM.

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#73 Lost Dragon

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 12:19 PM

David Braben (Elite, Elite 2, Virus etc) was another UK coder of high standard not that impressed by the Amiga Blitter, saying it wasn't really suited to the tasks needed for his 3D work (see earlier mentions), whilst he found it very fast, once up and running, it took so long to get upto speed, that in terms of overal performance it was slower than the 68000 CPU, this is why the 3D in his ST games ran faster than that of the Amiga version.

 

 

Atari UK's Bob Gleadow described the £299 STFM bundle as being seen as THE Home Computer atari wanted to be seen as the upgrade path for those who'd stuck with the existing 8bit Micro's here in the UK (C64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum etc) or were new to the Home Micro scene completely.

 

So the £299 price was seen as the AFFORDABLE price and atari hoped to capture the market share that had been given to the 8bit systems in their twilight years...


Edited by Lost Dragon, 03 June 2017 - 01:40 PM.


#74 Lost Dragon

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 05:55 PM

More ST Games that never made it:

 

Mindscape ruled out ST Wing Commander right from start, because St lacked the hardware support for sprites, had limited colours on screen and to pick from, compared to Amiga, let alone PC they said it wouldn't of even beeen worth attempting.

 

 

Mike Singleton was working on a post-holocaust game called Survivor, but shelved it to finish Midwinter.

 

Palace software had Complex, described as Police Academy meets Monty Python.






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