News - Aug.89 - Part I

From: Len Stys (aa399)
Date: 02/26/90-08:25:00 PM Z

From: aa399 (Len Stys)
Subject: News - Aug.89 - Part I
Date: Mon Feb 26 20:25:00 1990

 Time Capsule - News - Aug.89 - Part I

 News Subject Title        Date Posted
 ------------------        -----------

Atari Transputer           Aug.16,1989
Blocked From Selling Game  Aug.18,1989
Lie-Detector Tests         Aug.18,1989
Portable Color Game System Aug.24,1989
Interview with Sam         Aug.24,1989
Announcement from Atari    Aug.26,1989


-Article #94 (208 is last):
-From: ab238
-Subject: Atari Transputer Workstation
-Date: Wed, 16 Aug 89 21:50:01 GMT

   -  T800-20 Transputer 10MIPS, 1.5 Mflop

   -  Three 20Mhz links, buffered

   -  4Mbyte DRAM

   -  1Mbyte dual-port video RAM

   -  Colour blitter (<--we're talking *fast*)

   -  True DMA SCSI port--40 Mbyte Winchester disc

   -  Three internal expansion slots

   -  68000 Mega ST as I/O processor (<--based on 1/2 meg of RAM)

   -  Keyboard, 2 button mouse

   -  Floppy disc

   -  All ST peripherals

Mode    Resolution      Width           Description

              x       y

0       1280 X 960      4 bits/pixel    4 bits/colour or mono

                                     (Desktop pub, eng. draw.)

1       1024 X 768      8 bits/pixel    8 bits/colour

                                     (CAD, picture processing)

2       640  X 480      8 bits/pixel    8 bits/colour

                                          (2 screen animation)

3      512  X 480      32bits/pixel    8 bits/colour true colour

                                     plus overlay and tag bits

The expansion slots can take either, say, extra graphic
cards (some pretty fancy video possibilities here) or
memory cards (up to 64Mbytes with 4M parts) or extra
transputers with 1Mbyte of RAM per transputer  (up to 12
extra processors).

-Article #134 (208 is last):
-From: xx004 (Atari SIG)
-Subject: Blocked From Selling Game
-Date: Fri, 18 Aug 89 02:42:47 GMT

   Atari Is Blocked From Selling Game

    The New York Times, June 22,1989


     San Francisco, June 21 - A
  Federal judge here issued a preli-
  minary injuction blocking Tengen
  Inc., a subsidiary of the Atari
  Corporation, from selling a version
  of its video game Tetris that can
  be used on the Nintendo game system.
  Tengen and Atari sued Nintendo in
  December under antitrust laws;
  Nintendo countersued for breach of
  contract and patent and trademark
  infringement.  Federal District
  Judge Fern Smith issued the order
  at the request of Nintendo of Ameri-
  ca, based in Redmond, Wash., and the
  Nintendo Company, its Japanese

     At issue is Nintendo's insistence
  on controlling production and dis-
  tribution of games for its machines,
  including those developed by third
  parties.  Nintendo argues that this
  practice is necessary to maintain
  quality and has designed its system
  with a chip to prevent the use of
  other companies' games.  Atari 
  argues that this degree of control
  is tantamount to a monopoly.

                Phillip M. Chow ^ aa400

-Article #135 (208 is last):
-From: xx004 (Atari SIG)
-Subject: Lie-Detector Tests
-Date: Fri, 18 Aug 89 02:43:43 GMT

    Atari Agrees to Settle Suit Over
    Unit's Use of Lie-Detector Tests

 The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 1989


     Sunnyvale, Calif. - Atari Corp.
  said it agreed to pay $12.1 million
  to settle charges that a subsidiary
  illegaly forced employees and job
  apllicants to take lie-detector
     Atari Federated Group, a stereo
  retailing chain, was sued in November
  1987 in Alameda County, Calif.,
  Superior Court, for allegedly 
  administering as many as 15,000
  illegal polygraph tests.  The suit
  alleged that the tests violated 
  California privacy laws.

     Brad Seligman, an Oakland lawyer
  who filed the class-action suit, said
  the settlement was the largest ever
  in such a case.  It also may be one
  of the last.  Congress banned poly-
  graph testing by most private em-
  ployers effective last December amid
  accuracy and privacy concerns.
     Atari acquired Federated Group
  for $67 million only a month before
  the suit was filed.  The acquisition
  hasn't worked out very well strategi-
  cally either, and Atari has said that
  it is trying to sell the unit.

     Of the settlement, a spokesman
  said: "There will be no adverse
  financial impact to Federated or
  Atari.  The matters were covered by
  insurance."  He said the testing was
  stopped about the time Atari acquired
     The settlement is subject to court
  approval, which will be considered in
  August.  Mr. Seligman said as many as
  12,000 people who since November 1983
  either applied for jobs at Federated
  or got them may qualify for a share
  of the fund.

                Phillip M. Chow ^ aa400

-Article #139 (208 is last):
-From: aa399 (Len Stys)
-Subject: Portable Color Game System
-Date: Thu, 24 Aug 89 03:45:48 GMT

    Portable Color Game System
    |Recopied with permission|
    | Atari Explorer 9-10/89 |
   /The Official Atari Journal\

      Portable Color Game System

-Atari wows Summer CES audience with an
entertainment first

"Have you seen anything interesting?"
is the trade show equivalent of "Have
a nice day." Vacuous and prosaic, it
rolls off showgoers' tongues like an
initiate's greeting at the clubhouse
door and often signals the end, rather
than the beginning, of a conversation,
because the only really cool answer is
a blase "No, nothing really."

  But this year at the Summer Consumer
Electronic Show there really was
something interesting, and people were
talking about it and begging for a
chance to play with it.

  Without a doubt, the most exciting
product introduced in the computer
games area of the show was Atari's
Portable Color Entertainment System,
the world's first color hand-held video
game system.

  The one-pound unit, which is slightly
larger than a videocassette, has 3 1/2"
built-in color LCD monitor with a
resolution of 160 X 102 pixels.  Up to
16 colors, displayed from a palette of
4096 colors, and four-channel sound
enhance game play.

  The system runs on six AA batteries.
It can also be powered by an AC adapter
or a cigarette lighter adapter.

  Developed by Epyx, the Portable
Color Game System runs at 16 MHz and
has sophisticated graphics capabilities
built in to the hardware.  If, for
example, you find yourself heading
toward a mountain in a flying
simulation, the mountain will
automatically grow larger as you
approach; the system scales the terrain

  For multi-player contests, gamers
can connect up to eight units with
a cable and compete using a single
piece of software.

  A unique feature of the system is the
ability to provide each player with a
first-person view of the action.  For
example, one of the racing titles
that will be introduced later this
year, allows two or more players to
compete.  If you are in second place,
the lead car becomes larger on your
screen as you approach and attempt to
overtake it.  If you succeed in
passing, your opponent is treated to a
view of the rear of your car as you
take the lead.

Game Controls

  Game control is accomplished via an
eight-directional joypad and two fire
buttons.  Two option buttons and a
pause button are located alongside the
screen, where they can be used in
combination to flip the screen display
180 degrees, providing comfortable
play for both right- and left- handed

  Contrast and volume can be adjusted,
and a headset jack is provided for
those times when even low volume is


  Games for the Portable Color
Entertainment System are available on
credit card-sized game cards that slip
inside the unit.  One game, California
Games is included in the purchase
price, and five additional packages are
available separately for $34.99 each.

  California Games offers four
different California-style sports-
skateboarding, surfing, foot bagging,
and a BMX bike race-in four different
locations within the Golden State.
The game can be played by from one to
four players.

  Blue Lightning puts you in the
cockpit of the fastest aircraft ever
designed and challenges you to fight
off enemy aircraft and avoid bursts
of rocket fire from the ground.  The
program includes variable speed
control, eight-directional
maneuverability, five types of terrain,
jet-equipped air-to-air and air-to-
surface missiles, and ten different
missions of increasing difficulty.

  Time Quests & Treasure Chests is a
single- or multi-player game that sends
you on a search for the Star Gem, a
mythical stone that bestows eternal
life.  You choose one of eight
characters, each of whom has different
abilities, and in a multi-player game,
characters can search individually or
as a team.  Among other things, your
character meets 20 kinds of enemies on
20 levels.

  The Gates of Zendocom is an arcade
game that challenges you to defeat 50
varieties of hostile aliens as you
journey through 50 different universes.
Armed with neutrino laser, photon
bombs, and a destructor shield, you
must land on hostile bases to refuel
or replace a damaged fighter craft.

  In Impossible Mission your goal is to
rescue the President's daughter, who
has been taken hostage by the Criminal
Brain.  Among the obstacles you face
are mazes, exploding traps, electrified
floors, and criminal droids.
Information screns display time
remaining, body damage, and weapon

  Monster Demolition casts you in the
role of a mutant monster bent on
destroying buildings, cars, trucks,
planes, tanks, and anything else that
gets in your way.  The multi-player
game features 15 levels of difficulty
and an assortment of talented

  Atari and Epyx are aggressively
pursuing licensing and third-party
software agreements.

  The Atari Portable Color Video
Entertainment System is slated to
sell for "under $150."

     /   |  __________  |B A \
    /    | |          | |()() \
    | __ |-|          |-|.....|
    |/||\| |          |-|.....|
    |-  -|-|          |-|.....|
    |\||/| |__________| |()() |
    \    |   /|\ATARI   |B A  /

   The Atari Portable Color Video
        Entertainement System

Len Stys (aa399) Co-Atari SIG Operator
      for the Cleveland Free-Net

-Article #140 (208 is last):
-From: aa399 (Len Stys)
-Subject: Interview with Sam Tramiel
-Date: Thu, 24 Aug 89 03:46:27 GMT

      A summary of an interview
  with Sam Tramiel, President of Atari

The TT

The TT's price will shake up the

One version of the TT is a 6 meg
macine which will run UNIX, TOS and
emulate MS-DOS. It will have a lot of
expandibility, six or more VME full-
sized cards, many rotating devices can
fit into it-four or six, depending on
their size. It's a much more upper-end

The price has not been stated yet but
it said to cost half of the

It will handle a multisync monitor,
a slightly adjusted VGA color monitor,
and a slightly adjusted VGA monochrome


The Stacy should be shipped this

There is a 72-pin expansion slot in
the back to do special things with if
you want.  It's for musicians
especially.  A modem will not be able
to go into the Stacy but includes
an RS-232 for an external modem.

Atari expects to ship a lot of Stacys.

The responses at Hannover and COMDEX
were greater than expected and Atari
is getting ready to produce 5,000 units
a month.

A new redesigned plant in Taiwan will
be able to make 35,000 Stacys if there
is a demand for it.


Atari is planning on getting new
factories overseas.

Atari cannot afford to produce their
products in the United States and still
continue to sell them at a low price do
to the United States taxes.

The Portfolio

Atari plans on shipping close to
200,000 Portfolios between now and
the end of the year.

Atari expected the Portfolio to do
well, but the reaction has been well
beyond their wildest expectations.
Initial inquiries are gigantic.
200,000 pieces is their conservative
production number.  The demand from
the world for the Portfolio is three
times that figure.  They would rather
be sold out, have it go crazy, then in
1990 they could make more.

The Portfolio should have been in
the United States in late June.

It has been delayed due to one of the
peripherals that needs to finish the
FCC testing.  Everything seems to be
okay. The FCC wants a peripheral plug-
in to the expansion port.  Then they'll
know everything is okay.  They want
a system configuration, not just the
unit by itself.

The RAM cards, ROM cards, and PROM
cards are being produced for it now.


The PC4 will be the first PC product
released by Atari for this country.

It's a 286 machine, 16 megaHertz
computer system.

It will sell for $1,995 suggested
retail price.  A minimum one-meg
configuration comes with the machine,
with a three-and-a-half-inch, 1.44-
megabyte drive and a 60-meg hard drive
built in.

It will be marketed through business
computer centers.

ATW (Atari Transputer Workstation)

The ATWs are now being shipped in
Europe for a specific reason; not just
to keep it out of the United States.
Atari feels this machine is unique,
it's very, very powerful, and Europe
is embracing it more quickly than the
U.S.  Universities and software
companies have bought the machine in
Europe; some big manufacturers, like
Volkswagen have bought the machine
and are doing testing with it.
Atari will bring it to the U.S.
probably by the end of this year, when
there's some software running on the
machine.  The U.S. is a very, very
tough marketplace and to introduce
a new operating system again into the
U.S., there has to be something to
support it, whereas Europe is more
flexible on new concepts of that sort.
And it is a European machine.  It's
an INMOS chip.  S.G.S. Thomson just
bought INMOS, so it's French, Italian
and English.  The whole common market
wants to support it.  Governments are
supporting it.  Schools are supporting
it.  When they've done that with all
the software running on it, then we'll
bring it back to the United States.

Specialty stores will sell the
workstation machines.


Atari plans to have in-house or third
party leasing consumer credit plans
for the machines like Apple.

Atari only plans to mass market their
lowest-end machines.  The highest-end
machines will be supported by

Atari has approximately 250 business/
specialty-type dealers and about 200
MIDI-type dealers.

Atari calls Atari computer dealers,
specialty dealers.

Atari never went to mail order places,
they got the machnes through
distributors, and Atari couldn't
control it so they stopped selling to


Atari has a customer in Palo Alto that
sells approximately 10,000 1040 STs a
year in the educational market.

There are two educational markets
according to Atari.

One just buys computers and puts them
in the classroom and has kids play with
them.  This is dominated by Apples and
PC clones.

The other is the structured coursework-
type of computer system, networked
together with 16 or so computers in a
classroom.  The kids are sitting at the
computer working with the teacher and
going through a whole course.  Atari
has been told by CCC that they have
at least 25% of that marketplace.  That
is a growing market and CCC is using
the STs exclusively for that.

There is presently no Apple II emulator
for the Atari ST.  Atari has been
pushing very hard for an Apple II
emulator but presently there is none.
Atari feels that the Apple II computers
are fading away and the need to emulate
an Apple II is decreasing rapidly.

Blitter Chips

Some 520s and 1040s will be able to
be upgraded with Blitter Chips.
In the newer models of the 1040s and
520s there is an actual spot on the
board for the Blitter, and those will
be quite easy to upgrade.


There is a plug in board for the
math coprocessor, 68881 to be added on
to the Atari Megas.  The new TTs will
already have a socket for it.

How many STs in the world?

There are about one-and-a-half-million
ST's in the world.

U.S. First

Atari is going to treat the U.S. as
starting from scratch.  They are
planning to advertise the STs and
expect to sell at least 100,000
machines this year.

Atari will have to set up new
distribution networks for good dealers.

They will then advertise nationally.

Before, it did not pay to advertise
nationally for there were very few
places to get an ST.


Atari plans on releasing upgrades as
soon as the 68040 is available for the
ST family.


Atari has made 500 machines and shipped
them around the world.  Software people
are now currently working on software
for the CD-ROM.

Atari sees the CD-ROM as an excellent
device for education.  They plan on
releasing it in early 1990 when there
is a reasonable amount of software
for it.


The Federated stores have been closed
and Atari is working on selling them.


Atari plans on supporting the Hotz
MIDI machine.  Atari believes it is
an incredible machine and should do
real well.

Len Stys (aa399) Atari Co-SIG Operator
     for the Cleveland Free-Net

-Article #149 (208 is last):
-From: aa384 (Doug Wokoun)
-Subject: Announcement from Atari! (TT - 8/25)
-Date: Sat, 26 Aug 89 22:17:41 EDT


                           Atari (Canada) Corp. 

                      (Verbatim from handout sheets)

                                  >- TT -<

          - 16 Mhz Motorola 68030 - full 32 bit microprocessor
          - Optional math co-processor
          - 2Mb of RAM (expandable to 8Mb)
          - 512 Kb of ROM
          - 1.44 Mb 3.5" floppy drive

          - VME bus with three single Eurocard slots for expansion
          - ACSI internal bus with external connector for expansion
          - SCSI internal bus with external connector for expansion

          - Serial ports:
          - 2 asynchronous RS-232 ports
          - 2 asynchronous/synchronous RS-232 ports
          - Parallel port
          - MIDI in/out ports

          - Keyboard port(including mouse and joystick)

          - Digital 8 bit stereo sound
          - Stereo audio output jack
          - Monitor output (6 modes): RGB and Monochrome
            VGA monitor for color modes, special monochrome monitor

          - Video modes:

                Resolution      Colors      Palette
                ==========      ======      =======
                320x200         16           512 or 4096
                310x480         256          4096
                640x200         4            512 or 4096
                640x400         2            4096
                640x480         16           4096
                1280x960      Monochrome

          - Battery backed Time/Date clock and RAM
          - 145 watt power supply
          - Desktop packaging
          - Operating systems
                - TOS 1.4
                - Unix V Release 3.1 (with goodies)

     Lots  of  FUTURE  here.    Further,  Atari  added  (verbally) that the
 co-processor was the 16  Mhz 68881  (just plug  in the  chip), the digital
 sound was the same as that in the new 1040STE (enhanced 4096 colors etc.),
 and joystick ports would support current  joysticks  and  the  new  15 pin
 analog joysticks (both machines).

                                 BAD NEWS:

     The monitors  will be  proprietary as  the STs are. (ie NO EASY WAY TO
 HOOK UP A MULTISYNC) although if you could get a cable/connector it should
 be easy to setup.


       NO announced prices OR release date (although "before 1990")
            Anyone care to wager $100 that it will be Dec 29th?



     TTD - A desktop version in an AT style case (limited expandability)

     TTX -  A Tower configuration.  Multiple harddrive/floppy/optical drive
           bays (3+) Will support both TOS and Unix.
         - Unix will be separate (as per STart interview with Sam T.) 

        Why is it the TTD is unable to run Unix (any ideas people?)

          - Portfolio  (final version)
          - 4160 STE (4Mb ST enhanced in a 1040 box, increased color
            palette, Stereo digital 8 bit sound, analog joystick ports)

   ----===*** "The STE will replace the current ST machines" ***===----

          They showed a 4Mb STacey with a 40Mb HD (33ms). Current plans 
          are for initial machines to be shipped with 1Mb and 1 726K
          floppy. A 20Mb HD model will also be available. 

          1Mb, 4096 colors, Genlock, Stereo etc. (see above) 

 MegaFile 44: 
          28ms (strongly assured) will also be available before 1990.

This Time Capsule file was produced by
Len Stys.  It may only be reposted with
the following information included:

REPOSTED FROM:  The Cleveland Free-Net
                  type 'Go Atari' at
                      any menu


Return to message index