News - Aug.90 - Dec.90From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/27/94-03:27:41 PM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "News - Jan.91 - Jun.91"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "News - Apr.90 - Jul.90"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: News - Aug.90 - Dec.90 Date: Sun Feb 27 15:27:41 1994 Time Capsule - News - Aug.90 - Dec.90 ------------------------------------- News Subject Title Date Posted ------------------ ----------- Antic Folds, STart Revamped! Aug.06.1990 Portfolio Goes Catalog Mail Order Aug.06,1990 ADVERTISING - on Flash for this Fall Aug.06,1990 Chicago AtariFest Announced Aug.18,1990 RUMOR MILL Sep.12,1990 Developers, Users Sued! Sep.25,1990 Test Drive 2 for ST (finally) Nov.08,1990 Z*NET COMDEX Report # 3: 11/14/90 Nov.17,1990 A response on Atari Dealers overcharging article Nov.23,1990 -------------------------------------- Article #234 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele) Subject: Antic Folds, STart Revamped! Date: Mon Aug 6 16:47:21 1990 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ///// ////// /////// BULLETIN // // // /// ** //// // ////// BULLETIN // // // // ///// // // // AUGUST 04, 1990 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR Publishing Inc. *** Press Release *** START MAGAZINE INCREASES PAGES, STAFF ------------------------------------- San Francisco, Aug. 3 -- Antic Publishing Inc. today announced that publication of START Magazine will be suspended for one month in order to make several major editorial and circulation changes. All current subscriptions will be extended one month. In addition, START has agreed to fulfill the ST-Log and Analog subscription obligations, doubling its circulation. When START reappears with the October 1990 issue (on sale Sept. 1), it will contain a monthly, 16-page section for Atari 8-bit computer owners, boosting START's pages to 124-plus. Antic, the publishing group's long-running 8-bit magazine, will cease publication. START Editor Tom Byron also announced staff changes. Jim Burton joins the magazine as technical editor; Rick Braden is the new art director. Burton is a journalist and past START contributor with a thorough knowledge of GFA BASIC. See "GDOS Printer Drivers in GFA BASIC" in the January 1990 issue and "GDOS Tutorial" in the August 1990 issue for samples of his work. His main responsibility will be the START disk, which, beginning with the January 1991 issue, will be a strai- ght double-sided format. Braden comes to START from Portland, Ore., where he designed a number of successful regional and national business and technical journals. In addition to his talents as a graphic designer, Braden is a MIDI aficionado and ST owner. Several popular ST authors have been named contributing editors, with responsibility for areas of increasing interest to ST users. The new contributing editors are: Dan Fruchey - Word Processing/Desktop Publishing John Russell and David Plotkin - Hardware Christopher Roberts - Telecommunications Jim Pierson-Perry continues to cover MIDI and music, while former START editor Andrew Reese covers graphics. END. Don't miss the latest issue of STReport; # 6.31 ----------------------------------------------------------------- STR Newsline "Your Independent News Source" August 04, 1990 Bulletin Service copyright = 1990 No. 31 ----------------------------------------------------------------- -- Article #235 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Portfolio Goes Catalog Mail Order Date: Mon Aug 6 23:54:34 1990 Taken from: ======================================================================= ////// // // ////// ////// Z*Net Atari Online Magazine // / /// // // // --------------------------- // /// // // // ////// // AUGUST 3, 1990 // / // /// // // --------------------------- ////// // // /////// // Issue #531 ======================================================================= CompuServe 71777,2140 * GEnie Z-NET * Cleveland Free-Net ======================================================================= /* PORTFOLIO GOES CATALOG MAIL ORDER */ B. N. GENIUS, a national chain of specialty store similar to SHARPER IMAGE, has featured the Atari Portfolio palmtop computer on the cover and double inside front spread in their latest catalog. The Washington, D.C. based company has stores in many cities but does the bulk of their national business via the popular glossy mail order catalog. Only months ago, the competing SHARPER IMAGE company was rebuffed by Atari for mail order sales, although the Portfolio was approved for showroom sales. While the additional exposure and sales of the Portfolio will undoubtedly help Atari overall, some Atari dealers are concerned to see their formerly exclusive sales territories invaded by mail order... something that Atari had at least implicitly promised would not happen. Article #236 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: ADVERTISING - on Flash for this Fall Date: Mon Aug 6 23:55:25 1990 Taken From: ======================================================================= ////// // // ////// ////// Z*Net Atari Online Magazine // / /// // // // --------------------------- // /// // // // ////// // AUGUST 3, 1990 // / // /// // // --------------------------- ////// // // /////// // Issue #531 ======================================================================= CompuServe 71777,2140 * GEnie Z-NET * Cleveland Free-Net ======================================================================= /* MORE ATARI ON TV */ Atari has negotiated with a number of television and media sources to provide Atari computers for "product placement", the latested rage in advertising. On of many "appearances" will be on the "FLASH" television series slated for this fall. FLASH is based on the comic book super hero who could move so fast as to be invisible. Atari computers will be used in all of the office and laboratory scenes, with suitably high-tech screen representations running on each to accent the science fiction/ fantasy premise of the youth-appeal action series. This is part of an active advertising and promotion plan scheduled for a fall launch. Article #237 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: al163@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Brown) Subject: Chicago AtariFest Announced Date: Sat Aug 18 09:34:57 1990 - **** Chicago Area AtariFest Announced **** - Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts are proud to announce "Chicago AtariFest" to be held November 11th (Sunday) 1990 at the American Legion Gurnee Post located at W. Grand and Il. Rt. 21 (just 1 mile east of I-94). The show will open to the public at 10:00 AM and will run until 4:00 PM. General admission will be $2.00 in advance, $3.00 at the door. Children under 6 will be admitted free with a paying adult. - All paid admissions will have a chance at one of several valuable door prizes to be awarded at various times during the day. For more information on advance ticket sales, commercial and individual exhibition space availability, as well as general show information, please contact LCACE at P.O. Box 8788, Waukegan, IL 60079- 8788. A special show message base is available on the Python BBS, 708-680-5105 300/1200/2400 24hrs. - Vendors and Developers! A great way to build awareness of your products is to hold a product seminar at the Chicago AtariFest. Please contact the show organizers at the above address for more information on participating in a show seminar. - **** See You There **** Article #238 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: aa596@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele) Subject: RUMOR MILL Date: Wed Sep 12 08:51:38 1990 RUMOR MILL (Reprinted with permission from the NOAH Newsnotes Newsletter) ADSPEED ST ACCELERATOR The weekend of August 22-23 at the Duesseldorf Atari Fair, ICD introduced their exciting new AdSpeed ST accelerator to a crowd of over 50,000. The reception was exceptional. The features are numerous: AdSpeed is a 16 MHz 68000 cached accelerator that switches between 16 MHz mode with a 32K cache (16K data & instruction cache with 16K cache tag RAM)...and a true 8 MHz mode with the cache off. This allows full compatibility with *all* software in the normal mode PLUS compatibility in the high speed mode. AdSpeed will not keep you from any of your software. The unbelievable part is that the speed can be changed on the fly with a simple desk accessory. As we demonstrated at Duesseldorf, you can be running an application like calamus with a document loaded and pull down the DA to chance speeds at any time! AdSpeed QINDEX times are as good or better than all other 16MHz 68000 based accelerators. AdSpeed ST is smaller than all the others and will fit in all ST models with no jumper wires needed. (The old CPU must be removed and a socket installed.) AdSpeed uses SMD technology with a multilayer PCB and highly integrated logic to keep the performance up and the size down. AdSpeed ST has been tested with and is fully compatible with Spectrum 512 in the 8 Mhz mode! We have also successfully tested AdSpeed ST with Calamus, Omikron BASIC, and other software. WORDPERFECT ST UPDATE A maintenance update of WordPerfect 4.1 for the Atari ST is scheduled for a Summer 1990 release. The update includes several feature enhancements and support for large screen monitors. Using a set of common rules, the Auto-Hyphenation feature can be set to automatically hyphenate words. The Auto-Hyphenation feature can be turned on or off, and the position of the hyphen can later be changed by inserting a hard hyphen. The look feature in List Files will now show the document in a standard GEM window, allowing the use of scroll bars to move up and down, as well as right and left. In addition, you can directly import or export files between WordPerfect 4.2 for the IBM PC and WordPerfect 4.1 for the Atari ST. The maintenance update also provides support for several new printers. An additional print disk is sold seperately and provides improved support for PostScript printing. The Post Script printer drivers offer several point sizes for each font. Available fonts include Helvetica, Times Roman, Avant Garde, Bookman, Hevetica Narrow, New Century Schoolbook, Palatino, Zapf Chancery, and Courier. The additional PostScript print disk is available for $10 by itself or for an additional $2.50 if ordered with the maintenance update. Registered WordPerfect users may obtain the maintenance update for a $12.50 shipping and handling fee by calling (800) 222-9409, or by writing to: WordPerfect Corporation Atari Products Division P.O. Box 731 Orem, Utah 84059-0731 STE FIXED Word is that the latest batch of STe's coming off the assembly line do not suffer the same DMA problems that many of the inital machines did. This is good news, as this problem could trash a hard drive when the problem surfaced. It seems that Atari is being very good about exchanging the faulty STe computers for working versions. Still no word yet on a TOS 1.6 to 1.62 upgrade offer, however. We'll keep you posted. 920,000 BAUD? Yup, the new Megatalk board supposedly can support baud rates up to 920,000 baud. The board, from none other than Dave Small and Gadgets by Small, was designed primarily as an extension to his Spectre GCR emulator. The board has two serial ports (one supporting Appletalk) and a Mac SCSI port, allowing the Spectre GCR to now properly run Mac MIDI software, as well as allowing a user to hook-up Apple Laserwriters, A Mac hard disk, or connect to a local area network. The board, which is designed to connect to the Mega ST's expansion bus, is expected to retail for $299.00. ATARI MOVING? There have been many, many rumors surrounding Atari and a pending move for the company out of Sunnyvale. The reasons stated have been the time difference between the Pacific US and Europe. Moving to somewhere in the Eastern US would allow easy travel to Europe. As of now, no solid word on where Atari wants to move to, but some insiders have claimed Boston, while others have already ruled that location out. GENIE CHANGES BILLING SYSTEM The GEnie information system has recently announced a new user billing system. Called Star*Services, it offers unlimited access to certain hobby or informational Roundtables (bulletin boards) within the system for a monthly $4.95 fee. Any service that is free on the system is listed with an * preceding it, hence the name Star*Services. The free boards and services include such things as the on-line Grolier Encyclopedia, E-Mail, Hobby boards, single-player on-line games, and much more. This service also lowers the hourly charge for 2400 baud access to non-free services (such as the ST Roundtable) from $10.00 to $6.00 per hour, so if you use GEnie for more than an hour a month, you'll begin to see savings from this new policy. The service becomes active on October 1st. Any GEnie user not signed onto Star*Services by then will no longer be able to access GEnie. NEW ATARI PRESIDENT MAKES PREPARATIONS Well, it looks like Atari US's new president, Elie Kenan, has started to settle in. He has spent the last few months reviewing the currently dismal state of affairs for Atari US, and is now preparing to correct the situation. Those that have met him are very optimistic that his presence here in the US is the start of good things for Atari, and are confident that he can once again restore Atari to some measure of respect in the computing community. As always, time will tell, but keep your eyes open, as the rumors of a major advertising blitz may be more than just rumors... 32Mhz TT! Seems the current version of the TT at the FCC is a true 32Mhz machine! It also seems that the next version of the TT, the tower configuration that will come with Unix and X-windows, will also be built to a true 32Mhz specification. If this is true, it would mean that Atari is serious about playing with the big boys in the upscale Unix workstation market. The current desktop version of the TT should be here soon. When the next version of the TT will be available is anyone's guess, however. NOAH Newsnotes c/o AAA Video Repair & Computers 5538 Pearl Road Parma, Ohio 44129 (216) 845-6260 Article #239 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele) Subject: Developers, Users Sued! Date: Tue Sep 25 15:48:19 1990 This is a Z*BREAK SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN: ======##########=========###===##==#######==########========== =============##====##====####==##==##==========##============= ==========##=====######==##=##=##==#####=======##============= =======##==========##====##==####==##==========##============= ======##########=========##===###==#######=====##============= Z*BREAK #10 - 9/18/90 PUBLISHERS, DEVELOPERS, USERS THREATENED WITH LIBEL SUIT BY ATARI ELITE Z*NET publisher Ron Kovacs, ST children's programs developer D.A. Brumleve, and reportedly as many as 31 other persons, publishers, and companies in the Atari community have been sent letters from ATARI ELITE's attorney, threatening legal action for libel. Atari Elite is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Atari club that was named in numbers of allegations of piracy related activity affecting the PACE Atari show, held in April '90. The show had the lowest attendance of any nationally promoted Atari show to date, and some observers tied both the failure of the show and what appeared to them to be widespread open piracy to the Elite group. Many well known persons in the Atari community commented or questioned those commenting. Z*NET and other media covered the event with reprints of several messages from both sides of the resulting dispute. Now, those persons and companies are being served an ultimatum: present a public admission and apology or see the Elite in Court. Here is an excerpt of a typical letter: ------------------------- WILLIAM E. SPEAKMAN, JR. AND ASSOCIATES ATTORNEYS AT LAW WASHINGTON TRUST BUILDING WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA 15301 (412) 228-4465 September 12, 1990 REGULAR AND CERTIFIED MAIL This office represents The Atari Elite and has been retained to seek redress from you and others for defamatory utterances and writings. You have apparently disseminated to the general public statements which indicate that it is the policy of the Atari Elite and the practice of its members to: 1. Engage in criminal conduct. 2. Consciously and repeatedly violate copyright laws. 3. Disparage other user groups and attempt to sabotage an annual show. Particularly shocking is the fact that you have little, if any, first hand knowledge of the facts. Your assertions were evidently based on secondary and tertiary sources. You actually published unsubstantiated defamatory remarks, obviously without making any effort to verify the veracity of them. Your actions constitute libel per se which renders them actionable without necessity of showing damages. I am authorized to inform you that the board of directors of The Atari Elite will consider the matter closed if you issue a public apology and admit your accusations of piracy and other misconduct were baseless and without foundation in fact. Should you not make the apology and admission, the board has authorized me to institute suit to seek vindication and damages through the legal process. If the apology and admission is not made by October 12, 1990, I will conclude that you do not intend to do it and will proceed accordingly. The lawsuit, if filed, will name you and others as defendants. Very truly yours, William E. Speakman, Jr. WES:bcm cc: The Atari Elite ----------- Mr. Speakman is not presently available for comment. It seems to Z*NET that this letter is more of an attempt to prevent fair comment than to promote fair investigation. Ms. Brumleve and Z*NET have not as yet formulated their response to this threat against free speech and freedom of the press. We encourage all developers or others who may have received similar letters from the Elite to contact Ron Kovacs as soon as possible. We have not been given a list of those who are being threatened, and we are concerned that the letter may pressure some recipients to admit to acts or opinions that may be untrue, perhaps even to the detriment of other recipients who wish to preserve their legal rights in this matter. Preliminary reaction at Z*NET has been a decision to suspend any further coverage or attendance of any future user group Atari show until such time as the legal rights and limits of liabilities can be determined. Z*Net has also received word that Atari Corporation is now considering taking a similar stance and may cancel their WAACE appearance scheduled for October, pending verification of the situation and charges being made. Atari's Bob Brodie attended the PACE show and was one of the many who was vocal about the show, and it is not known at this time if Brodie or Atari are among those who are to be threatened by ELITE. Anyone affected by this situation is encouraged to call Ron Kovacs immediately in order to help reach a group consensus on appropriate action. Ron Kovacs: (908) 968-2024 (Voice, courteous evening hours and weekends Eastern time, please.) BBS: (908) 968-8148 24 hours. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine is a weekly publication covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission. Z*Net, Z*Net Atari Online and Z*Net News Service are copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries Incorporated, Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0059. Voice (908) 968-2024, BBS (908) 968-8148 at 1200/2400 Baud 24 hours a day. Compuserve at PPN 71777,2140 ... GEnie at address: Z-Net. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ### -- Article #243 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: aa519@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Scotty Meredith) Subject: Test Drive 2 for ST (finally) Date: Thu Nov 8 17:33:30 1990 I just got off the phone with Accolade. The ST version is *finally* comming out. It was due 10-31 but missed the release date. Aslo comming from the company, is: Muscle Cars disk Super Cars Disk California scenery European scenary It is about time! They have been out for the Amiga for over a year! I thought for sure we would never see it! Test Drive 3 is out for the IBM. However, they have not said anything about the ST (or even Amiga) in the near future. Well, we have 5 new titles, so it is a start! -- Article #244 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele) Subject: Z*NET COMDEX Report # 3: 11/14/90 Date: Sat Nov 17 13:04:03 1990 This is a Z*NET SPECIAL SHOW REPORT: COMDEX FALL 1990 #3 ============================================================== ======= ))))))))))======== )))== ))= )))))))= ))))))))======== ============== ))=== ))=== ))))= ))= ))========= ))=========== =========== ))==== ))))))= )) )) ))= )))))====== ))=========== ======== ))========= ))=== ))= ))))= ))========= ))=========== ======= ))))))))))======== ))== )))= )))))))==== ))=========== ============================================================== ZCOMDEX3.TXT THIRD COMDEX REPORT: 11/14/90 by John Nagy for Z*NET NEWS SERVICE This will be my last report before the full wrapup in Friday's Z*NET ONLINE MAGAZINE, which will include summaries of these briefs plus new information from the COMDEX floor. We have two other reporters attending the last days of COMDEX and we will also offer their viewpoints. Tuesday brought larger numbers of visitors to the SANDS convention hall, the new facility that was comparatively lightly traveled on Monday. This brought crowds into the Atari booth, the largest and most central to the front doors in the entire hall. Atari had some of the nicest literature on hand to date, fold-out color brochures for the "TT030 Graphics Workstation", the "Mega STe Business Computer", and the "1040STe Personal System". These were prepared by Marken and Associates, just recently re-signed with Atari after a less than dramatic stay with the advertising firm of Bob Thomas and Associates. Andy Marken was on hand throughout the show to help, talk, and learn more about what the users seem to want to know. That can only help in his efforts to promote Atari products. While many of the passers-through were most intrigued by the rows of Portfolio palmtop computers, others were interested in what they perceived as a "more advanced Macintosh" environment. Still others knew of Atari "way back" and wanted to know what these new machines could do. We won't get a real report of the true effectiveness of the Atari presence at Comdex until (or IF) we hear what kind of numbers of dealer inquiries and distributor contracts are made. Openly discussed by sales representatives and exhibitors was the possibility/likelihood of placing the 1040STe line into the major distributor channels, making them as easy for any dealer anywhere to buy as any given software title. Pricing would become uniform for any quantity, and delivery would be out of Atari's hands. While this idea has a great deal going for it, Atari has concerns over possible abuses of the plan, such as distributors or dealers "unbundling" bundles of hardware and software for the purpose of selling it separately for more total income. Bundles? Yes, there are at last approved Atari bundles for fourth- quarter distribution and promotion. There are still several to be approved, mostly including games and leisure software, but here are the ones that are a go so far. Remember, the prices here are SUGGESTED RETAIL. Dealer costs tend to be about 66% of the retail, and street prices may be closer to 3/4 of the retail: * 520STFM HOME ENTERTAINMENT PACK: 520STFM, Missile Command, Star Raiders, Crack'd, Moon Patrol, NEOChrome, Joust. Retail: $579.65 * 520STFM COMMUNICATIONS PACK: Computer, SX212 modem, STALKER and STENO telecommunications software. Retail: $529.85 * 1040STE HOME PRINT SHOP BUNDLE: Computer, MIGRAPH HAND SCANNER, Touch-Up, Easy Draw 3.0. Retail: $1,398.90 * 1040STE DELUXE PAINT PACK: Computer, ELECTRONIC ARTS DELUXE PAINT ANIMATOR. Retail: $799.90 * DTP PACKAGE #1: Mega 2 computer, SM124 Mono Monitor, Megafile 30 hard drive, SLM605 Laser Printer, CALAMUS. Retail: $2,199.00 * DTP PACKAGE #2: Mega 2 Computer, SM124 Mono Monitor, Megafile 30 hard drive, SLM605 Laser Printer, DESKSET II. Retail: $2,099.00 * PORTFOLIO PC TRAVELER: Portfolio computer, File Manager ROM card, PC CARD DRIVE, and 128K Memory Card. Retail: under $500. * New SC1435 COLOR MONITOR, 14" screen, STEREO SOUND, swivel/tilt stand. Retail: $399.00 If any of those prices sound a bit high, remember that Atari is now offering about a 1/3 markup in their retail prices, so dealers can either actually make some money OR offer great deals. Late word is that the Portfolio may soon be in PRICE CLUB mass- marketing discount stores CHEAP. Dealers need not fear too much, since Price Club and other similar membership-oriented warehouse stores usually carry NO accessories, so dealers can pick up on the considerably more lucrative support market. More promotion of the Atari Line came as a surprise to Bob Brodie, ISD's Nathan Potechin, and new Atari U.S. General Manager Greg Pratt on Tuesday night. The three attended the Beach Boys concert at Caesar's Palace as guests of the Beach Boys, longtime Atari MIDI users. During the opening act, the comedian Andy Bumatai mentioned that he was a computer fan and that the Atari TT "just blew me away". He wasn't joking at the time, either. Later, during the Beach Boys set, Bruce Johnston of the band stopped the music and said that he had a dedication to make, despite dedications being "old stuff these days". He proceeded to explain that the little computer at the corner of the stage had performed flawlessly for three years, "saving their behinds" over and over. He finished by saying, "Atari, this one's for you", and the bad went into "Don't Worry Baby". The Atari table was totally surprised, and Greg asked Bob how he pulled that one off. Bob, as surprised as any of them, recovered enough to say "it was just a phone call..." Betcha Greg remembers Bob at Christmas... In my last report I said I'd have the QUICKINDEX numbers for the STE and TT... well, sorry. You can get them (ALL of them!) in the Z*NET ONLINE MAGAZINE this weekend, along with a complete run down of the vendors and products shown. This report has run long enough! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine is a weekly publication covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission. Z*Net, Z*Net Atari Online and Z*Net News Service are copyright (c) 1990, by Rovac Industries Incorporated, Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0059. Voice (908) 968-2024, BBS (908) 968-8148 at 1200/2400 Baud 24 hours a day. Compuserve at PPN 71777,2140 ... GEnie at address: Z-Net. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine FIRST WITH THE REAL NEWS... BUT YOU KNEW THAT! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- Article #245 (376 is last): >Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: A response on Atari Dealers overcharging article Date: Fri Nov 23 13:36:32 1990 The following is an article that Joe Adato of B&G Electronics has responded to and his response article. It is not a news article but it does need to be posted. The reason for this is because this topic has caused many hard feelings between many people in the Atari Community. As I knew it would when I first wrote it. Was it worth it? It all depends on if you take the suggestions made by both parties in the following articles. -------- Beginning of editorial comment on dealers by Len Stys -------- I would like to take this time to clear up some confusion that has been brought up by Joe Adato from B&G Electronics. Joe had commented that in the first newsletter, I had wrote in an article a statement that claimed almost half of the Atari Dealers throughout the U.S. over charge their customers. Joe says that B&G Electronics, an Atari Dealer here in Cleveland feels strongly against this and that what I had stated was a common misconception. He said that when you own a store front, you have to pay for having a store front, this includes paying electricity, gas, phone bills, employees, and taxes. The dealership then provides for users what mail-order cannot such as look at before you buy, help, and many other things in exchange that you pay for the store front bills. It is a fair exchange and I have no argument with this. However, I was looking at the little "extras" involved that are commonly overlooked by everyone- including Atari Dealers. For example, a dealer may have a BBS and they think is a nice thing to have for their customers, so they add the cost of the BBS on to the products that you buy from them. Another example might be for a dealer to have enough hired help so that when you walk into the store, you do not have to wait for the salesman to get done with another customer. They then add on the cost of having that employee there for you (so you don't have to wait) on to the product that you are going to buy. The list can go on and on according to what your dealer thinks YOU want them to provide "extra" for you. Soon, your dealer is charging you for everything they think you want and you have no other choice but to pay for these "extras" because they are an Atari monopoly in town. My article's main point was to show how the Atari Advantage package could benefit us. I believed that it could increase dealership and with increased dealership- the price of products will be lowered due to competition. You would be able to choose what "extras" your Atari Dealer should or should not provide. If your Atari Dealer has extra employees so you don't have to wait, you can say to yourself, "I don't like to wait and my time is valuable so I'll pay the extra $5 for that employee to help me as soon as I walk in." But if you would be willing to wait instead of paying the extra $5 then you can go to another Atari Dealer who doesn't have as many employees and charges $5 less for that disk drive. The more people going to the Atari Dealer who provides or doesn't provide the "extra" will tell both Atari Dealers what YOU want. But as long as there are very few Atari Dealers, they decide what "extras" you want. The point wasn't to attack your Atari Dealer. It was to state that more Atari Dealers will benefit you, the consumer. Competition will not only let you choose what "extras" you like but it will also make sure that you aren't being taken advantage of. I had phoned several dealers across the U.S. and price compared. Some dealers were charging a certain price while others were charging as much as 25% more- this is what caused me to make the statement that almost half the Atari Dealers over charge. Even though I explained how a dealer may over charge, I don't believe I had to. ----------- end of editorial comment on dealers --------------- A REPLY FROM JOE ADATO AND B & G ELECTRONICS In the last issue of the FreeNet newsletter, its editor, Len Stys, referred to a discussion/disagreement that he and I have been having since the newsletters opening issue. Since he has chosen to make this discussion public, and he explained his position, I appreciate the opportunity to explain my position. Mr. Stys' contention, if I understand it correctly, is that over half of the current Atari dealerships, in this country, over charge for the Atari products they sell. Mr. Stys argument is that these Atari dealers over charge because they have a monopoly and have weighted themselves down with extra services that you, the customer, pay for. I believe that Mr. Stys does all Atari dealers a great injustice with statements like that. I believe that, on the whole, Atari dealers provide an important and necessary service to all Atari owners. Without these dealerships you would probably not be using an Atari product. Most Atari dealers are not in the business strictly for the money but because they believe in the power of Atari computers. If the making of money were the sole reason for selling Atari computers I have no doubt that there would be many fewer Atari dealers, in this country, than there are now. Manufacturers establish what is known as a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Value (MSRV) for the products they produce and sell to their retailers. Atari Corporation is no different. As an example, Atari Corp. has stated that $699.00 is the MSRV for the new 1040STe. This means that any Atari dealer can charge $699.00 for this product and not be accused of over charging or price gouging. If the dealer wishes he can charge something less than the MSRV of $699.00. I personally know of no Atari dealer that is charging more than the MSRV. In fact, just about every Atari dealer I know of sells the 1040STe for much less than the MSRV. There are several factors that contribute to what an individual Atari dealer has to charge, for the products and services he sells. Mr. Stys mentions some of them, i.e. rent, electricity, gas, phone, and employees. Mr. Stys realizes that these expenses are normal and is prepared, as a customer, to pay his fair portion of them when making his purchase. Mr. Stys problem is with what he has termed "extra comforts". These extra comforts are things like, 1) Running a BBS board so all Atari owners can stay in touch with each other and help each other when help is needed. 2) Having an 800 phone number so customers, living out of the local call area, can have an easier time of reaching their Atari dealer for assistance. 3) Having a sales force large enough to care for customers so there will be a minimum amount of waiting when the customer enters the Atari dealers store. It's clear that services such as these are what Mr. Stys is objecting to. These, so called extra comforts, are for the customer and are not intended to make life for the Atari dealer easier. Although it does take extra equipment which adds a small additional charge to the cost of the product that you, the customer, purchase from your chosen dealer. Mr. Stys objects to having to pay for these extras, and I can understand his feelings. There is no doubt that Mr. Stys is extremely knowledgeable about computers and especially Atari computers. There is no doubt that when Mr. Stys chooses to purchase any Atari product, be it hardware or software, he knows all there is to know about it. He doesn't need the extra help that most Atari dealers provide for their customers. But unfortunately most Atari owners, especially first time buyers, are not nearly as knowledgeable about Atari computers as Mr. Stys is, and it is these individuals who need this extra help. For example, when a customer walks into B & G Electronics, he/she can try out any piece of software that we have. Most of the time the customer has little or no knowledge of how to run the software. This means that a B & G employee must spend time with the customer showing them what the product will and won't do. This takes time, lots of time. It is not unusual to spend at least 1/2 hour showing a customer a particular product. While doing this the employee is unable to take phone calls or help any other customer who might enter B & G. Without this extra help, B & G would not be able to exist and provide the quality service that its customers have come to expect. Mr. Stys might suggest that we recommend an Atari User group to these individuals so they can get the help they need. We do!! Depending upon where our customers live, B & G will recommend that they visit one of the four Atari User groups now in existence in the Cleveland area. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that most Atari owners, for one reason or another, do not belong to any Atari User group. Nor will they avail themselves of these groups. I have no answer to why this is, Ijust know (as do most Atari dealers) that it is. This means that the main source of Atari information to these Atarians is the information they get when they call their local Atari dealer. Since there are very few Atari dealers throughout the country, those that are still in existence are becoming even more important. Different dealers will use different methods to try and stay in touch with their customers. B & G uses three techniques; 1) We publish a newsletter at least once a year and mail it to all of our customers. 2) We operate a public BBS board so any Atarian can call and communicate with other Atarians or other computer owners. In this way no matter where they may live they have an avenue for finding a solution to a problem they might be having or information about particular program, or game, they're interested in. 3) An 800 phone number. This addition gives those individuals who don't own a modem and who don't have an Atari dealership located in their city a way of getting the help and information they need. We in Cleveland are lucky. Here there are two Atari dealerships. There are several cities throughout the United States that do not have even one Atari dealership. If you want to buy an Atari product don't go to Youngstown, Ohio because there is no Atari dealer to be found there. If you want to buy an Atari product don't go to Spartensburg, South Carolina because there's no Atari dealer in that town either. I could fill pages with places that don't have a single Atari dealership. This means that those Atari dealers that are still in business have an obligation to try to reach these people and let them know that they are not alone. These individuals depend greatly upon Atari dealers from other cities for the products they receive and the information they get. Sending newsletters, running a BBS board, and having an 800 phone number make it easier for these people to keep in touch and not feel like they're somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Another point Mr. Stys makes, which I disagree with, is his claim that Atari dealers have a monopoly. That's like saying that all Chevrolet dealers have a monopoly because if you want to purchase a Chevrolet you have to go the a Chevrolet dealer. Or, all Sears department stores have a monopoly on Craftsman products because if you want to buy a Craftsman hammer you have to go to a Sears department store to get one. As I mentioned earlier, Cleveland has two Atari dealerships, therefore a monopoly does not exist in this city. Since there are Atari dealers (mail order houses and retail stores) throughout the country, if an individual is unhappy with his current Atari dealer all he or she has to do is pick up the phone and call another one. I realize that this may sound like a contradiction, to what I said earlier, but it's not. As long as a dealer has an 800 phone number or a BBS board the customer is always just a phone call away. That is exactly why it is important for a dealer to have a BBS board and an 800 phone number. As mentioned before, Atari dealers sell Atari computers because they believe in the computer. If they were solely interested in making money they would have a much easier time and make a much greater return for their investment if they sold MacIntosh or IBM computers. Are there enough Atari dealers in this country? Not by a long shot! Could we use more? Absolutely YES!! Is Atari corporation doing enough to promote Atari Computers? Without a doubt...NO!!! Could Atari Corp., or should Atari Corp. do More? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. Mr. Stys is correct when he states that you should choose carefully who you want your Atari dealer to be. But, he does all Atari dealers an injustice when he tries to dictate what they should or shouldn't charge for their product line. There is a direct relationship between price and service. Any store, be it a computer store or shoe store, bases its sale price on the total cost of the product. This cost includes not only the cost of the item itself but all of the "extras" and the right, of the store keeper, to make a fair and reasonable profit for his investment of time and money. If you, the customer, feel that the service and help you get from your Atari dealer justify the cost of the product, then you should continue to bring your patronage to that store. If, on the other hand, you feel that you're being charged too much then it's your right and responsibility to find another dealer who will cater to your wants and needs. On this I believe Mr. Stys and I agree. ----------------------------------------------------------- There is a chance that this article will appear in the next Atari SIG Newsletter- that is if one still exists. The only comment I have to make in response to Joe's article is to do what he suggests- shop around. If an Atari Dealer is indeed overcharging on a product or service then you will buy it from another dealer and that dealer will not enjoy your patronage. The statement used time and time again that says, "support your LOCAL Atari Dealer" does not exist anymore. It is now "support your LOCAL Atari Dealer IF you feel what you are getting is worth what you are paying for." Please be aware that I was not only stating Atari Dealers overcharge on products- in which most cases, they are not allowed but there is no restriction on the service they charge you on having something done on your computer. This is where I have received many comments of support and agreement. I had also stated that I never had paid below retail on prices. The statement in where over half the Atari Dealers in the U.S. overcharge their customers was taken from the first issue of the Atari SIG Newsletter from the Atari Advantage article by me. It suggested that the Atari Advantage package might be a good way to increase dealership thus giving you more of a choice. We have two opposing arguments here and my best recommendation is not to believe either one of them. Just find out for yourself. Len Stys
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "News - Jan.91 - Jun.91"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "News - Apr.90 - Jul.90"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index