News - Sep.89 - Sep.89From: Len Stys (aa399)
Date: 02/27/90-11:30:09 AM Z
- Next message by date: Len Stys: "News - Oct.89 - Part I"
- Previous message by date: Len Stys: "Q & A - Aug.89 - Jan.90"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
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): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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 (HCorp. reflect those of Atari Corp. or anyone else. ...ames!atari!apratt -Article #156 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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 system. 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): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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 quarter. 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 Exchange. 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 Christmas. 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): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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. Graphics 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 "duochrome." Sound 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. Interfaces 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 joystick. Expandable 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 library - 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 Price! 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): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -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 future: 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 Atari-SIG (216)/368-3888 type 'Go Atari' at any menu (C.A.I.N.) ____-______-______-______-______-______ --
- Next message by date: Len Stys: "News - Oct.89 - Part I"
- Previous message by date: Len Stys: "Q & A - Aug.89 - Jan.90"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index