The Atari Report - Fall 1989

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/14/94-02:40:40 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: The Atari Report - Fall 1989
Date: Mon Feb 14 14:40:40 1994

 From: aa399 (Len Stys)
 Date: Mon, 9 Oct 89 00:52:19 EDT


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           ___        __  ___  
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      /__\  |  /__\  |--   |   
     /    \ | /    \ |  \ _|_  
            __   __  __   _   __  ___ 
     |||   |  ) |   |  ) | | |  )  |  
     |||   |--  |-  |--  | | |--   | 
    / | \  |  \ |__ |    |_| |  \  | 
      (C) ATARI CORPORATION, 1989 



 _______   by Sam Tramiel Handheld is
|       |  the password in today's
|  ^^^  |  personal computer market.
| /. .\ |  Both the businessman on the
| | ^ | |  go and the fidgety kid in
| \_-_/ |  the backseat want to be able
|/\ | /\|  to be productive and mobile
|  \|/  |  at the same time.  Whether
|_______|  forcasting the first 5
           years' revenue of a fast-
track future Fortune 500 or racking up style points "skateboarding" in
California Games, users on the move want power and portability.  For Atari,

We believe the most functional piece of compact technology you'll find in this
year's personal electronics market is PORTFOLIO- the computer industry's
first handheld IBM-compatible personal computer.  One pound in weight and
about the size of a VCR tape, it is small enough to slip into a coat

The world's first portable color video entertainment system, the LYNX,
was introduced both to consumers and the media with tremendous success at
the June Consumer Electronic Show in Chicago.  "Color" is the key factor
here as it displays dramatic colors, unlike any other product of its kind.
And, with ComLynx, it can be connected to up to eight players at a time.  With
Lynx and our supply of exciting new game cartridges for all our systems,
we expect to remain a serious contender in the video game market.

Although not exacty a handheld, but quite portable, is the STACY LAPTOP.
This fully functional laptop or desktop system provides users with all
the processing capabilities of our ST computer line and weighs only
fifteen punds including the LCD display subsystem, keyboard, trackball for
mouse control, drive and battery pack-a truly lightweight laptop.

Atari is ready and posistioned with some of the most exciting, versatile
new products ever to hit the industry in a big way!  And, true to Atarian
philosophy- with all the technology, capabilities and convenience at an
affordable price!


As you may know, as of the fourth quarter of 1988, we began treating
The Federated Group as a discontinued operation.  We are still reviewing the
various options available relating to the ultimate disposition of Federated.
Since we have already provided for anticipated financial obligations
arising from the       Atari Portfolio
disposition,      ____________________
there has been no|  ________________  |
impact from      | |   __________   | |
Federated in the | |=)| ........ |  | |
second quarter   | |  |..........|  | |
and year to date | |  |__________|  | |
results.         | |folio ATARI     | |
                 | |__---______---__| |
Net sales for the| /  | |      | |   \|
quarter were     || L L L L L L L L_L||
$82.7 million    ||L L L L L L L L_L ||
compared to      || L L L L L L L L L||
$102.5 million   ||__________________||
for the same     |____________________|
quarter last
last year.  Operating income was $5.4 million compared to #17.1 million;
net income was $.3 million compared to $5.6 million.

Net sales for the six months were $171.5 million compared to $32.4
million; net income was $3.6 million compared to $11.2 million.

The decline in revenue and profits compared to last year con be attributed
to two principal factors: exchange rate fluctuation and depressed video games
sales in the U.S. Our 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 litigation.

We have shipped several thousand units of the Atari Portfolio since the end
of the second quarter and initial feedback from the marketplace is very
encouraging.  Our production of Portfolio is ramping up at present and
we will be at targeted production levels in our fourth quarter. In
addition, we will be shipping the Lynx in volume during the fourth quarter.


|                | Pictured, from left
|                | to right: Bob
| O  O  O        | Gleadow, general
|O|O |O |O O O O | manager, Atari U.K.;
||\\/|\/|\ | | | | Alwin Stumpf,
|||| || ||/|\|\|\| general manager,
||||  | || | O | | Atari France; Greg
|            |\  | Pratt, chief
|________________| financial officer;
 Atari executives  Ian Kennedy, general
 from around the   manager, Atari
 the world gather  Canada; Sam Chin,
 at Atari's annual vice president;
 shareholder's     Marco Guerra,
 meeting, held     general manager,
 May 18.           Atari Italy; Garry
                   Tramiel, vice
president; Leonard Tramiel, vice president; Sam Tramiel, president and
CEO; Jack Tramiel, chairman.



9. Illinois. Central Illinois Computerfest, Decatur Civic Center,
Decatur, IL. Participation by the Central Illinois Atari Club. Over
5,000 attendees expected; features demonstrations and sale.  For more
information call Jim Hawks at (312) 963-2607 or Tim Rapson at (312)


7-8. Washington D.C. WAACE Atari Fest, Fairfax High School, Fairfax, Virginia.
For more information, contact Georgia Weatherhead, (703) 938-4829.

16-20. Germany. "Systems" computer and communications trade show, Munich. For
more information, contact Thomas Huber, Atari Germany, (001)-49-6142-2090.

28-29. Iowa. Quad Cities Computer Expo, Davenport Holiday Inn Convention
Center, Davenport, Iowa.  For more information, contact William P.
Schaefer, (309) 788-7532.


13-17. Nevada. Comdex Fall Computer Dealers Exposistion, Las Vegas. Atari
computer will exhibit. For more information call The Interface Group,
(617) 449-6600.



The Atari Portfolio is the world's first handheld personal computer.
Announced at the Sicob show in Paris this spring, the Portfolio is the size
of a VCR tape, weighing only one pound, but functions just like a real PC.

The Portfolio features a windowing interface and adapted MS-DOS system
software, which uses MS-DOS 2.11 commands. Integrated programs include
a text editor, Lotus 1-2-3-compatible worksheet, address book and phone
directory, calculator, and diary. This software is stored in 256k ROM, with
the expanded BIOS and operating system.

The Portfolio is based on an energy- saving Intel 80C88 chip running at 4.9
MHz.  The 63-key keyboard conforms to the QWERTY layout, and features audible
key clicks.  The liquid-crystal display uses supertwist technology to offer 8
lines of 40 characters, which can be "windowed" to view a full-size PC

The Portfolio comes with 128k RAM standard. The Portfolio features an
internal "card drive." Data is stored on 32k or 128k RAM cards, which are
about the size of credit cards.

Optional parallel and serial interface modules for printers, modems, and other
equipment, will be available. The Portfolio runs on three AA-size
batteries, or an optional power adapter.

The Portfolio begins shipping to U.S. markets in September, retailing for


Atari's Entertainment Electronics Division took the industry by surprise
last month when the firm introduced its new color handheld game system.
Announced at the Spring Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Chicago,
the Atari Lynx is the world's first portable video entertainment system
to have a built-in color liquid crystal display.

The 3.5-inch diagonal screen can display sixteen colors at a time,
selected from a palette of 4,096. A system clock that operates at 4 MHz
means fast action, and the four channel sound chip means realistic
music and sound.  Up to eight systems can be connected in multi-player games.
And the image on screen can be flipped upside-down so the system can be easily
played by left-handers.  The unit weighs only one pound.

Games are available on credit-card sized game cards that slip into the
unit. To develop software for the Lynx, Atari has entered into a strategic
aliance with Epyx, Inc., one of the leading game developers in the world.
The system will come with one game card, "California Games." Five
additional games
have already        Even the New York
been developed      Times admits there
by Epyx, and        is no contest:
will be marketed    "Atari's Portable
this year.          Entertainment
                    System has more
"Dealers and        high-technology
consumers who       features with a
have seen and       slightly larger
tested the Lynx     screen, full-color
say it can't be     graphics (the Game
compared to any-    Boy is black and
thing they've       white), and a
seen or tried       sleeker design that
before," said       fits the grip of
Sam Tramiel,        the hands. The on-
president of        screen images move
Atari               faster than
Corporation.        Nintendo's Game
"It's definetly     Boy..."
a quantum leap     ___________________
forward in        |  __           __  |
innovation and    | /  \_________/ O\ |
establishes a     ||      _____ _ O..||
totally new       || _  _|LYNX |  ...||
category of       ||/ \ _|     |- ...||
video game        ||\_/  |     |_ ...||
playing for       ||     |_____|  O..||
people of all     ||    _________  O ||
ages."            | \__/         \__/ |
                  |                   |
To support the    |___________________|
market intro-
duction, the company will initially roll out a key market media advertising
campaign. A complete dealer support program has also been developed that
includes in-store demonstration displays and other point-of-sales
materials. The Lynx will be initially marketed this Christmas in the New York
and Los Angeles markets, with nation- wide distribution next year and
production quantities increase. The system will sell at a suggested retail
price of under $150.


Atari has announced a new PostScript-compatible desktop publishing system,
available to consumers for only $3995- a complete system for less than the
cost of a single PostScript printer from other manufacturers. The system is
based on the MEGA 4 computer, with four megabytes of RAM, and the SLM804 laser
printer running Atari's new PostScript emulator, UltraScript, with 50 fonts.
The Atari system also includes a 30-megabyte hard drive and Timework's
Desktop Publishing ST. A printer driver is included with UltraScript, which
allows Publisher ST to write PostScript files. A color or monochrome monitor
should be purchased separately.

PostScript is the page description language adopted by Apple and other
desktop publishing vendors as a de facto standard. Atari's UltraScript
product allows the SLM804 laser printer to emulate PostScript, and includes all
of the Apple LaserWriter II NT fonts originally designed by ITC and Linotype
for Adobe, makers of PostScript file created on any system.

Atari's complete PostScript-compatible system lists for $3999 suggested
retail, less than the suggested retail price of any single PostScript laser
printer. A single Apple LaserWriter NT II, including only 35 fonts, sells for
$4999. The IBM Personal PagePrinter, with 43 fonts, is also $4999.

The Atari exhibit was the  Atari demon-
first seen upon entering   strated the
the North Hall at Spring   PostScript-
Comdex, held in Chicago,   compatible
April 10-13, The           system along
Portfolio, Stacy, and      side its
MEGAFILE 44 removable      other
hard drive were            desktop
previewed, and the PC4     publishing
was introduced to U.S.     solutions
audiences.                 at a series
 ______________________    of trade
|/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\|   shows this
|____    _________     |   year.
|TARI|  |/|\ATARI |    |   Atari's own
|UTER|  |COMPUTER |    |   DeskSet II,
|____|  |_________|    |   Soft-Logik's
|  |  O  |       |  O  |   PageStream,
| O| /|\O|[] [][]| /|\ |   and ISD
|\|_  |/|_--_----__ |  |   Marketing's
| |\ / \|\__ ______/_\ |   Calamus
|/ \   / \             |   software
|______________________|   each offers
                           a complete
solution to meet any corporation's desktop publishing needs. The apparent
speed of Atari's laser printer was of particular interest to audiences,
as were the high-resolution, large screen Moniterm monitors.


Atari computers were featured on a recent episode of the Computer
Chronicals, a weekly television program on PBS stations.

Aired initially in late April, the program looked at the use of the Atari
MEGA in music, animation, drafting, and desktop publishing.  A Northern
California Atari dealer showed the Spectre 128 Macintosh emulation
cartridge, and Nathan Potechin, president of ISD Marketing,
demonstrated DynaCADD and Calamus, two professional level programs. Another
segment showed the use of the Atari ST in the study of marine mammal
communications at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Fransisco.

            MIDI UPDATE

Atari Sells More to Musicians

This year. Atar has captured 30 percent of the MIDI market for computers,
according to an article that appeared in MacUser magazine. Apple has fallen
to 17 percent, and IBM PCs and compatibles hold 22 percent of the

Atari's hardware, with its reliable timing ability and built-in MIDI ports,
is the source of this success. Atari's upcoming Stacy portable will open up
the MIDI market even further. Stacy is a fully compatible, low-cost laptop,
that can run Macintosh and MS-DOS software through the use of emulators.
Every touring MIDI musician-even those with a PC or Mac back home in the
studio-can use Stacy.

Of course, Atari's hardware is fully supported with software. More than
200 MIDI software packages are now available from over fifty developers,
providing a better selection than any other platform.  There are four broad
groups of MIDI appliactions, including sequencing, notation and printing,
patch editing and archiving, and educational. For each application there
are various levels of software sophistication to meet the user's
specific needs.

Atari computers also have a devoted user base of professional musicians.
More and more celebrity artists use the Atari ST to compose, record, and
perform their work. Atari has received three gold records through Mark
Wolfson, a record producer and sound engineer from Los Angeles. The best-
selling albums offer a range of musical styles: the Colors movie soundtrack;
Natalie Cole's LP, Everlasting; and Ice-T's Raw Power. With the help of his
programmer, Ron Jeffrey, in the studio, Wolfson has produced many movie
soundtracks and popular records using the Atari MEGA and Hybrid Arts MIDI

Donny Osmond also used the ST to produce his new album-in fact, he
credits Atari Computer on the record cover. The single, Soldier of Love,
has been #1 in single sales and #3 in airplay, according to Billboard
Magazine. Frank Foster, Atari's director of specialty markets, said,
"Donny was technical enough to recognize the capabilities of the ST
and utilize them in his new album. It's been a real come-back for him, and
he's shared his publicity and good fortune with Atari."

      Jazz musician Dave
      Grusin recently won
      an Academy Award for
      his work on the
      sound track for the
      movie, "The Milagro
      Beanfield War."
      Grusin used the
      Atari ST in his work.


Atari unveiled the Hotz MIDI Keyboard Controller at the NAMM show in Chicago
last June. The "Hotz Box," created by record producer and ST fanatic Jimmy
Hotz, is a revolutionary electronic instrument. It is so simple to play
that even untrained musicians can instantly compose music or play
familiar tunes. At the same time, it is so sophisticated that professional
musicians can compose and perform music in ways they never thought possible.

"The Hotz Box will permanently change the way musicians compose and perform
music," said Sam Tramiel, president of Atari. "There's nothing like it on the

With the Hotz Box,    Mick Fleetwood
musicians can play    and Jimmy Hotz,
individual notes      with a prototype
or chords in any      Hotz Box and the
key or combination    Stacy Laptop.
of keys. Used in      ________________
combination with     |                |
MIDI sound           |                |
modules, it can      |  O        _O_  |
reproduce the        | /|\      /\ /\ |
sound of any         |||||\ ____ |^|  |
instrument. The      | |_| |||||||_|  |
master unit          | ||| |====||||  |
contains 106         | |||  ---- |||  |
force sensitive      | - -   ____- -  |
pads.                |      |_[]_|    |
                     |      |::::|    |
Each pad plays       |      |____|    |
a different note     |________________|
or chord and is
formatted according to the user's needs. Anyone can create professional
sounding works on the Hotz Box, because the computer will ensure that every
note and chord is in key and in sync. Musicians can spontaneously compose or
improvise without fear of hitting a "wrong" note and disrupting the
creative flow.

The innovative layout of the system, and the thouch-sensitive of the keypads
decreases the importance of the finger dexterity in playing the instrument.
This will encourage people who may have tremendous inherent musical ability
that they have never been able to express. For example, handicapped users
can easily master composistion and performance techniques with the Hotz

Any number of Hotz systems can be linked together. One will serve as the
master unit and "conduct" the others, setting the tempo and key.

Atari executives and Hotz feel that this technology will revolutionize
music education, as well as music composistion and performance. Children
will no longer be discouraged by the fact they cannot quickly master an
instrument. Children will become more interested in learning about music, 
because every key they touch on a Hotz Box sounds good.

Hotz was able to develop and launch his system with the help of Mick Fleetwood
of Fleetwood Mac and Atari Computer. Atari will market and distribute the
product. The machine is designed to be configured with the Atari ST, MEGA
or Stacy. A professional model Hotz Box will retail under $10,000.

       Hobbyists may also be able to
       read key data off compact disks
       to match their favorite songs.
       The user could play along and
       actually contribute to the
       piece, without ever being out
       of key.


Hit Arcade Titles Announced for Atari Video Game Systems

Atari's Entertainment Electronics Division has announced that it will be
shipping more than 15 new game cartridges between June and December
for the 2600, 7800 and XE video game systems.

The graphics capabilities of the 7800 system, and the exciting array of new
titles available should make it a popular gift during the holiday season.

Titles already released include the best selling Mario Bros., the Super
Huey helicopter flight simulator, and the arcade hits Commando and Xenophobe.
Late December arrivals may include Ikari Warrior, White Water Madness,
Ninja Golf, Mat Mania, and Planet Smasher.

New titles for the 2600 system include Radar Lock, Road Runner, and Off the
Wall. New titles for the XE game system will include such arcade hits as

Ron Stringari, president of the Entertainment Division, feels that
Atari systems-especially with their new, more aggresive pricing-offer
consumers the best value in the video game industry today. In addition,
players can choose from over 125 game cartridges, with prices starting as low
as $10.

       "I was most impressed
       to see how Atari is
       responding to the
       onslaught of Nintendo.
       It is breathing new
       life into the aging
       VCS machine by
       producing some
       remarkable software
       for it and the 7800
       machine is equal if
       not superior to the

        -Computer Trade

Atari Launches Game Magazine

Atari launched the Atarian Video Game Magazine this summer, and circulation
has already surpassed 100,000 copies. The magazine is sent by subscription
to Atarian Video Game Club members as well as being sold in bookstores,
convenience stores, toy stores, and newsstands throughout the U.S. and

For a $15 membership fee, Atarian Video Game Club members get a three-
color T-shirt, membership card, and the new magazine.

The magazine contains a blend of feature articles, game reviews and
previews, puzzles, and columns offering strategies and tips for achieving
high scores on specific games. Each magazine will also contain an interview
with notable people from the video game industry. Nolan Bushnell, founder of
Atari, was interviewed for the premiere issue of the Atarian magazine.

            |      N   |
            |    IA    |
            |  AR      |
            |AT   VIDEO|
            |   GAME   |
            | MAGAZINE |
            |:::   .   |
            |::: ^     |
            |     .^ . |
            ||||  ^ ^  |


Tramiel Opens Aussie Show

Atari Chairman Jack Tramiel opened Australia's largest computer exhibit
earlier this year. Tramiel traveled to the land "Down Under" for the first
time in March to open the PC 89 and Office Technology exhibition at Darling
Harbour in Sydney. Approximately 30,000 people attended the four day event,
which included the launch of new products such as Atari's handheld
Portfolio PC.

Atari France Shows DTP

Professional use of Atari Computers in desktop publishing is becoming more
widely accepted in France. In June, Atari France exhibited at the DTP
Forum in Paris, showing complete publishing solutions that met with wide

At the show, Atari France demonstrated a MEGA 4 running Timework's Desktop
Publisher ST, and Redacteur. UltraScript, Atari's PostScript
emulator, was introduced to the French marketplace. The Calamus package was
shown with a MEGA interfaced to Linotronic Imagesetter, providing
phototpeset-quality output.

Professional publishers are beginning to use Atari system solutions for the
production of magazines. Coup de Coeur, a French fashion publication, is
prepared entirely on an Atari desktop publishing system.

Spain Launches Promotions

Atari's Spanish subsidiary is looking at a successful year. PC mania is
sweeping the country, with good sales of the Atari PC3 and PC4 models.
Freddy Vicioso, Atari Spain product manager, also has high expectations for
the launch of the Portfolio at the Sonimag show in Barcelona in September.
Atari Spain's sales department plans to continue the success with a series
of imaginative promotions.

In June and July,   __________________
all McDonald's     |                  |
restaurants in     |                  |
Madrid and         |     **     **    |
Barcelona will be  |    *  *   *  *   |
distributing entry |   *    * *    *  |
coupons for a draw |   *     *     *  |
ing to win a 520   |   *     *     *  |
STFM computer, XE  |                  |
game system, and   |McDonald's & Atari|
assorted game      |__________________|
packages. Tray
mats and posters    All McDonald's
inside the eatery   restaurants in
advertise Atari     Madrid and
products and list   Barcelona will be
local dealers. As   distributing entry
part of another     coupons for a
summer promotion,   drawing to win an
every buyer of a    Atari computer or
520STFM at El       game system. Tray
Corte Ingles, the   mats and posters
largest department  inside the eatery
store chain in the  advertise Atari
country, gets a     products and list
chance to enter a   local dealers.
contest. Grand
prize is a trip to see a performance of the Spanish pop groups Alaska and
Dinarama, including dinner with the musicians.

*                                     *
*                                     *
*          THE ATARI REPORT           *
*                                     *
*    (C) Atari Corporation, 1989.     *
*                                     *
*        All Rights Reserved.         *
*                                     *
*      Vol. 2, No. 1  Fall 1989       *
*                                     *
*                                     *

The ATARI REPORT has been recopied by Len Stys (aa399) of the Cleveland
Free-Net Atari SIG.

The actual pictures have been converted into text for display.


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