News - Sep.89 - Sep.89

From: Len Stys (aa399)
Date: 02/27/90-11:30:09 AM Z

From: aa399 (Len Stys)
Subject: News - Sep.89 - Sep.89
Date: Tue Feb 27 11:30:09 1990

 Time Capsule - News - September 1989

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

Atari TT - some details    Sep.05,1989
Atari STE - some details   Sep.05,1989
Atari purchase Conner HDs  Sep.11,1989
Atari Profit Loss          Sep.11,1989
Rainbow TOS 1.4            Sep.14,1989
More on the TT             Sep.25,1989
An alternate to PC Ditto   Sep.25,1989


-Article #155 (208 is last):
-From: aa399 (Len Stys)
-Subject: Atari TT - some details
-Date: Tue, 5 Sep 89 19:26:02 EDT

     Some details about the TT:

>From Usernet:

Article 19028
of 19030, Wed 21:19.
Subject: Re: Duesseldorf: personal impression of the TT(T)
>From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt @ Atari Corp., Sunnyvale CA)
To: cmcmanis%pepper@Sun.COM (Chuck McManis) writes:

>Hmmm, the whole graphics capability question is really foggy so far. Here's
some really straight scoop about the TT from inside Atari:

The video palette has *4* bits per gun for color values.  That is, you have a
total of 4096 colors: 16 levels each of red, green, and blue. (The ST has a
palette of 512 colors: 8 levels for each gun.)  Another "color" mode
provides 256 levels of grey (actually green), for really fine reproduction of
a black-and-white image.  This is independent of the resolution: if
you're in a 16-color mode, you can pick any 16 levels from the spectrum of 256.
(We call this hyper-monochrome: one color, but a lot of it!)

There are *6* video modes: the three ST modes (totally compatible), plus
640x480 16-color, plus 320x480 *256* color, plus 1280x960 monochrome.  ALL
of these modes except the last can be shown on a single monitor.  That
monitor need not be multisync.  It can be a slightly modified VGA monitor, or
(of course) the monitor which Atari will sell for the TT.  The last mode
needs a Viking monitor or something similar.

ST high rez (640 x 400 x 2 colors) is not limited to black and white: you can
choose any two colors.

>Does this mean it has a "DMA" port like the 520/1040/MegaX ? Does it have
a "real" SCSI port as well? What kind of through put can be expected from 
the hard disk interfaces? Can it do DMA and access 4Meg ?

Yes, there is a DMA port like on the ST and Mega.  Your hard disk will plug
right in.  You can connect a bootable SH204 and it will boot! There is also
an external SCSI port.  The SCSI port can access the full 32-bit address
space; the ACSI port is limited to 24-bit addresses.  The internal hard
drive is connected to the SCSI bus.

>Is the VME slot the _only_ way to expand it, or does it have a Mega
compatible expansion connector as well?

There are a number of ways to expand the TT: you can add 2MB of dual-purpose
(video and CPU) RAM, or 10MB when 4Mbit chips are available.  You can add 4MB
of REALLY FAST 32-bit nybble-mode RAM (not video-capable), and there's the
VME bus. The number 2MHz that's been bandied about needs some explanation:
The CPU and memory clock speed is 16MHz.  There are four clocks in a bus
cycle.  For dual-purpose RAM, around half the bus cycles go to the video or
refresh.  Therefore, the CPU gets around two million MEMORY ACCESSES per
second, or 2MHz.  There are other architectural details which make it a
little faster than that.  And remember, each access gets you 32 bits, not 16 as
on the ST.  Also, since the CPU is allocated half the bus cycles, it isn't
ALWAYS postponed by video or refresh: it might try to access the bus just as
its turn comes up, and not wait at all.  Therefore dual-purpose memory accesses
run at MORE THAN 2MHz. "Fast" RAM does not have video taking up any of the
cycles, so you don't have to wait for that.  It takes 4 or 5 clocks (I think)
to set up a fast-RAM access, but "nybble mode" means that the CPU fills
its cache in "burst mode" at one cycle per subsequent access. The VME logic
introduces one wait state, so a VMEbus access takes 5 clocks. (Your mileage
may vary: VME cards vary widely in response time.)  But, again, you won't
be held off the bus by video.  VME in the TT shown in Germany is A24/D16 (24
bits of addess, 16 bits of data).

>[programs can load in fast RAM or dual-purpose RAM] by a "loader option"
the original poster means "load program off disk" not "load .o files into a
.prg file."  This is correct: there are flags in the PRG header which control
the behavior of Pexec and Malloc.  Most program can run in fast RAM -- programs
which change the screen base pointer and some other things can't, though.

>[RAM on the VME bus]
You *can* put memory on the VME bus.  The performance penalty is not
bad.  TOS will recognize that memory and use it for programs if you set
it up right.

>Does it have a Blitter ?

No need for one.  The reason for the Blitter is to remove instruction-
fetch overhead from memory operations, and with the 68030 on-chip
cache, the TT does just fine without it.

>It is the cheapest workstation of that power around (about 1/2 the
price of comparable competitors here in Germany).

You can say that again.  Please, people, remember that when you compare
the TT with a Next machine, for instance, you're talking about roughly
4x the price!  JT's motto is Power Without the Price, and we think we're
giving you just that.
Opinions expressed above do not necessarily     -- Allan Pratt, Atari
reflect those of Atari Corp. or anyone else.      ...ames!atari!apratt

-Article #156 (208 is last):
-From: aa399 (Len Stys)
-Subject: Atari STE - some details
-Date: Tue, 5 Sep 89 19:26:53 EDT

    Some details about the STE:

>From ST FORMAT magazine (U.K):

"A new super ST is set to upset the 16-bit applecart before Christmas by
offering superb graphics and sound at the regular ST's price.  The STE, as
the machine will be called, will challengee the Amiga head on, matching
it in specification and undercutting it in price. Senior sources at Atari claim
the new micro will offer 256 colours on screen, four-channel stereo sound and
hardware scrolling.  The lack of these features has always been the main
criticism of the ST.  The STE will be fully compatible with current ST
software, and will be bundled with the present Power Pack of games software. 
The STE at 399 pounds with the Power Pack will put Atari in an extremely
powerful position in the Christmas market."

   ST games players have long been waiting for Atari to produce a machine
capable of giving the Amiga a run for its money.  It seems an ST compatible
computer capable of fulfilling gamers' dreams is just round the corner.  The
notion of a Super ST,ST Plus, Enhanced ST - call it what you like - has been
floated for some time.  However, here are the specifications straight from
Atari UK's headquarters:

* 4,096 - colour palette with one mode being able to display 256 colours and
not hog the processor(which the Amiga's HAM mode is keen on doing).

* Four voice stereo sound with frequency and amplitude modulation.

* Extremely rapid multi-directional hardware scrolling.

   In all other aspects the STE, as it is to be called, will  be identical to
the ST.  A double-sided floppy will be provided as standard and the processor
will be the same 8MHZ-rated 68000 affair that graces all current STs.

Silverthorn-from Megavision BBS

-Article #157 (208 is last):
-From: aa400 (Phillip Chow)
-Subject: Atari To Purchase Conner HDs
-Date: Mon, 11 Sep 89 17:27:44 EDT

  Atari to purchase Conner hard
    disk drives for the STacy

     SAN JOSE, CA - Conner Peripherals,
Inc. announced that is has complete an
OEM purchase agreement with Atari
Corporation calling for its low profile
20 and 40 megabyte 3.5-inch hard disk
drives to be integrated into the new
Atari STacy laptop portable computer
     Conner Peripherals designs,
manufactures and markets world-wide,
high-performance 3.5-inch Winchester
hard disk drives for the generation of
desktop, portable and laptop
microcomputers and workstations.  These
systems are based on 32-bit and 16-bit
microprocessors and reqiire greater
storage capacity, faster access time,
lower power comsumption and smaller
size than previous disk drive products.

Reprint from ST Informer September 1989
Reprinted here with permission

-Article #158 (208 is last):
-From: aa400 (Phillip Chow)
-Subject: Atari Profit Loss
-Date: Mon, 11 Sep 89 17:29:16 EDT

     Atari's profit declines 94%
     Stock price rises in value
     after announcement made

     by: Martha Yungk


  On the even of August 15, 1989, Atari
Corp. released its second quarter
eranings.  My first reaction was
"Thank goodness they waited until
after the close of the market to
release this." I had not expected a
great report, but I was hoping for
better then I saw. Figure 1 shows what
was released.

Figure 1 (in 80 columns)

                                  1989                 1988*
2nd qtr July 1:
sales.........................$82,740,000          $102,518,000
profit............................327,000             7,866,000
loss............................---------             2,295,000
net income........................327,000             5,571,000
  net share earnings..............    .01                   .10

6 months:
sales........................$171,516,000          $200,839,000
profit..........................3,615,000            22,940,000
loss............................---------            11,695,000
net income......................3,615,000            11,245,000
  net share earnings..............    .06                   .19

     * Restated to reflect discontinued Federated Group Operations.

  The reason for this decline was
explained by Sam Tramiel, president and
chief executive officer of Atari Corp,
who said "The decline in revenue and
profits compared to last year can be
attributed to two principal factors,
exchange rate fluctuation and depressed
video game sales in the U.S. Computer
sales in Europe continued to grow
during the quarter despite a 10 percent
price erosion due to adverse currency
fluctuations.  Video game sales,
primarily in the U.S. market, remained
depressed as a result of the alleged
unfair monopolistic practices of an
international competitor, which are now
the subject of litigations."
  Tramiel furthur stated "Since the end
of the second quarter, the comapny
shipped several thousand units of the

Atari Portfolio, the new hand-held
MS-DOS compatible personal computer.
Initial feedback from the market place
has been very encouraging.  Production
of Portfolio is ramping up in the third
quarter and will be at targeted
production levels in the fourth
  The company also stated that the
recently announced Lynx' the new
hand-held color LCD game system, will
begin to ship in volume during the
fourth quarter of this year.
  On Tuesday, August 15, the day after
this report, Atari stock closed up a
quarter point, at $9.625.  On the next
day, Wednesday, the stock closed up
another eigth ($9.75), just an eigth
short of its high for the past 52
weeks.  For both of those days, Atari
was listed in the top ten most actively
traded stocks on the American Stock

  Wall Street had already expected
earnings statement of this sort, and
perhaps it wasn't as bad as had been
expected.  Investors were gald to see
Atari returning to what they are best
known for, video games.  With the Lynx
shipping in time for Christmas and the
Portfolio being so well recieved in the
market place, there is ample reason to
believe that Atari's fourth quarter
earnings should be excellent.
  MS-DOS is more and more becoming the
"standard of the industry," and with
Atari joining that market with its
Portfolio and clones, it would cerainly
appear to investors that Atari may be
on the right track toward profitability
again.  My prediction is, if Atari
keeps to its deadlines, the stock could
easily reach between $12 and $15 by

  On the other hand what does this mean
for the ST?  Will anyone ever recognize
what a great machine it can be?  Why,
with just a little help from PC Ditto
II and Spectre 128 it can run MS-DOS
and Mac software, besides its own.
What other machine can do that for as
little cost?  Atari can survice and
become a very profitable company with
the right leadership and decisions.

Reprint from ST Informer September 1989
Reprinted here with permission

-Article #160 (208 is last):
-From: aa268 (Jim Haynes)
-Subject: Rainbow TOS 1.4 Release
-Date: Thu, 14 Sep 89 20:02:26 EDT

  Title: TOS 1.4 Release                         Posted: On  9/12/89

                                Rainbow TOS
                 The Operating System Upgrade from Atari

 Atari is proud to introduce Rainbow TOS, a new version of the ST/MEGA
 operating system. During the early stages of the development of Rainbow
 TOS, we actively gathered suggestions from our customers and incorporated
 many of these suggestions.
 We have made many enhancements, including an easier to use GEM Desktop.
 Here are a few of the changes:
             - Faster disk access.
             - IBM compatible disk format from Desktop.
             - Compatible with high resolution monitors.
             - Automatically run GEM applications on boot-up!
             - Soft-Reset available from keyboard.
             - Revised File Selector.
             - GEM Desktop supports "moving" of files.
             - Folder renaming ability!
             - Better memory management.
             - Archive bit handling for Hard Drive backup.
 And many more! We consider Rainbow TOS to be a major enhancement to ST
 and MEGA computers and recommend that every one of our customers upgrade.
 Rainbow TOS is available now through your local Atari dealer.
                 For additional information on Rainbow TOS
      please call our Technical Support Department at (408) 745-2004.
          Rainbow TOS is available from, and only installable by,
                        your local Atari Dealer!
                 Suggested Retail Price $99.95 (parts only)
                If there is not an Atari Dealer near you,
                    please call us at (408) 745-2367

 Augie Liguori
 V.P. and General Manager
 Atari Corp.


-Article #163 (208 is last):
-From: aa268 (Jim Haynes)
-Subject: More on the TT
-Date: Mon, 25 Sep 89 12:41:29 EDT

                     The Power of a Workstation 
                     The New Atari TT Computer 
     Premiering at  the Dusseldorf  Atari Fair,  the TT,  with the Motorola
 MC68030 processor,  moves the ST family into the 32 bit realm, achieving a
 significant increase in computing power with full TOS  compatibility.  Our
 goal for the TT was to design an expandable computer that would combine ST
 compatibility with superior resolution, more computing power, and improved
 sound generating abilities. 
                              The 68030 CPU 
     At the  heart of  the TT is a 16 MHz MC68030 processor, which allows a
 high degree of 68000 compatibility,  while  operating  at  a  higher clock
 speed  and  providing  streamlined  internal operations which make it even
 faster.  The 68030 has built in 256 byte instruction and data  caches, and
 an internal  Memory Management  Unit.  Next to it on the board is a socket
 for an optional math coprocessor (MC68881/MC68882).  Memory in the TT is a
 full thirty-two  bits wide,  both the  ST RAM which is shared by the video
 logic, and TT RAM which is not shared.  These factors combine to result in
 a memory bandwidth that is four times greater and program execution speeds
 up to 17 times faster than on the ST.  
                              ST Compatible 
     In both hardware and software, the TT is compatible with the ST.   All
 hardware registers  are in  the same locations as they are in the ST.  The
 ST video  modes work  the same  way on  both TT  and ST,  because they are
 organized in  memory the same way on both machines.  Most important for ST
 compatibility is the operating system in the TT: TOS.  With TOS  as the TT
 operating  system,  existing  programs  can automatically use the improved
 resolutions of the new video modes, as well  as the  larger color palette,
 without any  change to  the software.   All  this ST compatibility has the
 obvious benefit of allowing TT owners to take  advantage of  the large and
 growing base of ST software. 
     In addition  to the  three ST  video modes,  the TT  has two new color
 video modes available on its VGA monitor: 640  horizontal by  480 vertical
 resolution with  16 colors, 320 horizontal by 480 vertical resolution with
 256 colors.   With  a high  resolution monochrome  monitor, a  1280 by 960
 resolution monochrome  mode is  available.  All the color modes use a new,
 expanded 4096 color palette which is also available in the ST modes.  Even
 ST monochrome  (640x400) is  actually a  two color  mode on TT; we call it
     The  improved  sound  system  uses  stereo   8-bit  PCM   (Pulse  Code
 Modulation).   This allows  the TT  to function  as a digital tape player.
 The hardware also includes an automatic variable low pass filter, a stereo
 balance control  and bass  and treble  tone controls.  This sound is mixed
 through the internal speaker  as well  as being  output via  two RCA phono
 jacks located  on the  back of the machine.  These features, combined with
 the high power computing capabilities of the 16 MHz 68030, allow the TT to
 produce a wide range of high quality sounds. 

     In keeping  with the  design goal  of expandability, the TT has all of
 the ports familiar from the ST: MIDI, parallel, serial, and the Atari ACSI
 DMA port  (for Atari  hard disks, laser printers, or CD-ROM).  The TT also
 includes a 25 pin  SCSI port.   One  of the  four TT  serial ports  can be
 configured  as  an  industry-standard  medium-speed SDLC network port.  Of
 course, the machine  also  provides  an  internal  speaker,  a  clock with
 battery backup, and a Mega ST compatible keyboard with ports for mouse and
     In  addition  to  the  expansion  capabilities  provided  by  the TT's
 external interfaces, the TT is expandable internally as well.  The housing
 can hold  an internal  hard disk  and add-in  memory cards.   These memory
 cards allow  the standard  2 megabyte TT to be expanded to 8 megabytes, or
 as much as 26 megabytes when 4Mbit DRAM chips become available. 
     Another example  of internal  expandability is  the slot  for a single
 standard "Eurocard"  style VME  card.   This slot allows use of any of the
 large number of existing VME expansion cards.   Some of  the VME expansion
 options currently  available include  memory expansion, Ethernet and other
 network boards, coprocessors, graphics  boards, and  data acquisition (A/D
 and D/A converters).  Already planned for TT VME expansion are an Ethernet
 board for networking, I/O port expansion, and graphics extensions. 
                               UNIX Option 
     The workstation-like capabilities of the TT will be complemented by an
 optional  industry  standard  operating  system.    UNIX System V is being
 ported for the TT.   Also  available will  be X  windows as  well as  an X
 windows based graphic user interface, giving TT owners all the benefits of
 UNIX without all of the difficulties usually encountered. 

                              TT at a Glance
          - ST compatible operating system, giving TT an extensive software
          - ST compatible hardware, including all the ST interface ports
          - Three new graphics modes: 
               1280 x 960 pixels high resolution monochrome 
                640 x 480 pixels with 16 colors 
                320 x 480 pixels with 256 colors 

          - All color graphics modes use an expanded 4096 color palette 
          - 16 Mhz Motorola MC68030 processor 
          - Socket for optional MC68881/MC68882 math coprocessor 
          - DMA with built in SCSI and ACSI ports 
          - Two serial ports, expandable to four ports. 
          - Parallel interface 
          - Detachable keyboard 
          - Internal "Eurocard" VME socket (A24/D16) 
          - Internal hard disk option 
          - 8 bit stereo PCM sound 
          - 2 Mbytes RAM, expandable to 8 Mbytes (26 Mbytes with 4 Mb DRAM)
          - Real time clock with battery backup 
          - Network capable hardware 
 The Atari TT continues the Atari tradition of delivering Power Without The

 We reserve the right to change  technical specifications  without notice. 
 UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T. 
                               August, 1989 
                            Atari Corporation 
                            1196 Borregas Ave. 
                          Sunnydale Ca.

-Article #164 (208 is last):
-From: aa268 (Jim Haynes)
-Subject: analternate to PC Ditto
-Date: Mon, 25 Sep 89 19:00:27 EDT

                                    PC Speed

     Run programs written for the IBM PC on your Atari ST at the speed they
     were intended!

     Almost everyone knows of the  ST's  ability to imitate other computers
     like the Macintosh and IBM PC's, but the common complaint has been the
     grindingly slow speed of software emulation.

     Well, wait no more!

     PC Speed gives every  ST  the  ability  to  emulate  an IBM PC through

     hardware, not software, offering a fantastic increase in speed!

     PC Speed runs with a Norton factor of  4, which is 33% faster than the
     advertised Norton factor of 3 of PC Ditto II.  In the real world, this
     means that  PC  Speed  is  nearly  3  times  faster  than  an  IBM XT,
     comparable to an IBM AT.

     Best of all, we are ready to ship to you now!

     The affordable cost will amaze  you.   You  can have two computers, an
     Atari ST and an IBM PC Compatible computer, for slightly more than the
     cost of your ST.  Convert your  520,  1040,  Mega 2 or Mega 4 computer
     into a state of the art multi-processor computer.

     PC Speed runs on a monochrome monitor, imitating Hercules graphics, or
     use your color monitor to imitate a CGA system.

     Since PC Speed is hardware, it  requires some installation.  While the
     installation is  not  difficult,  the  ST  must  be  opened  and  some
     soldering is required.  A person  with  some knowledge of the internal
     environment of the ST could install  PC  Speed in about 10-15 minutes.
     It simply "piggy-backs" onto the ST's 68000 microprocessor.

                            Technical Specifications

     PC Speed:

             uses the NEC V30, 8 Mhz Microprocessor, Zero Wait State

             runs at a Norton SI Rating of 4.0

             supports Monochrome and Color Monitors with IBM Hercules and
             CGA graphic emulation.

             can be used with any ST (520, 1040, Mega 2 or Mega 4).

             supports all Hard Disks that use the ST's DMA Port and the
             Atari Hard Disk Driver.

             supports external drives (both 3 1/2 and 5 1/4 inch).

             supports the Serial Port at upto 2400 Baud.

             fully supports the Parallel Port.

             allows access of up to 704K of RAM.

     Memory Location:

             0h-3FFFFh for a 520ST (256K of DOS memory)

             0h-AFFFFh for a 1040 ST or Mega (704K of DOS memory)

             B0000h-BFFFFh CGA-HGC Screen Memory

             C0000h-CFFFFh 64K of free memory for machines with one
             megabyte (or more) memory.

     PC Speed runs as fast as an IBM  AT, and four times faster than an IBM
     XT (running at 4.77 Mhz).  This means you  have an Atari ST and a very
     fast IBM compatible computer,  capable  of  running MS-DOS Software at
     the speed it was intended to run.

     The MS-DOS system can be saved  on  a  Hard disk partion, and PC Speed
     can be booted from this partion.

     The following floppy disk formats are supported:

             180KB   40 Tracks       Single-Sided
             360KB   40 Tracks       Double-Sided
             360KB   80 Tracks       Single-Sided
             720KB   80 Tracks       Double-Sided

     Software Updates:

     Periodically, software updates will  become  available.  The following
     improvements are being developed  and  will  be  released  in the near

             EGA Monochrome Emulation
             Atari SLM 804 Laserprinter support
             Support of the Midi Port

             Extended Memory Driver for Mega computers
             Connection of an External PC keyboard via the Midi Port
             8087 emulation with the 68881 Math Co-processor
             Fast CPM 8080 Emulation

                                    PC Speed

                        Available now for only $399.95!!

            See your local Dealer or call us for more details today!

     Call MichTron at (313) 334-5700  to  place your order using Mastercard
     or Visa.  Prepaid orders filled first.

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


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