Z*Magazine: 16-May-88 #106

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/28/93-11:08:10 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 16-May-88 #106
Date: Wed Jul 28 11:08:10 1993

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 American Publishing Enterprises, Inc
 Post Office Box 74
 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0074
 BBS: (201) 968-8148  300/1200

 Issue #106               May 16, 1988

 Publisher/Editor  Ron Kovacs
|*| Editors Desk
|*| Atari News Update
|*| Comdex Report from Antic Online
|*| New BBS Network Announced
|*| Readers Viewpoint [M. Ranger]
|*| Last Request
|*| Delphi Confrence Highlights
|*| BBS Systems Update
Editors Desk
by Ron Kovacs

There is much to talk about this week
within the Atari community. Atari Corp
has started the Computer Division with
Mr. Babbit taking over as President.
With this news, there are confidential
sources telling us that Atari is going
to advertise the ST on CABLE stations
only.  This along with other ST news
can be found in ST-REPORT.

I have included excerpts from a Delphi
confrence last week with Niel Harris.
Much of the confrence subject matter
deals with the ST market, again refer
to ST-Report magazine for the full
confrence highlights.
Atari News Update
Compiled from NewsNet


Latest Period            Year Earlier
Atari Corp (1st Q)
$169,232,000             $65,133,000
$5,674,000 (.10)     a-$9,365,000(.16)
a-Net from operations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (MAY 13) UPI - Atari
Corp. reported earnings in the first
quarter of 1988 fell nearly 63 percent
to $5.7 million or 10 cents a share,
down from $15.3 million or 26 cents a
share in the same period last year.

However, revenues for the Sunnyvale-
based maker of personal computers and
video games rose to $169.2 million in
the quarter ended April 2, up more
than 61 percent compared to $65.1
million in the first quarter of 1987,
the company said in a statement
released late Thursday.

Atari blamed the downturn in its
earnings on losses incurred by the
Federated Group Inc., its retail
subsidiary, which it acquired in
October 1987.

The Federated division reported a
pre-tax operating loss of $9.6 million
on sales of $71.5 million in the first
quarter of 1988. Not counting that
loss, Atari's earnings would have been
$15.29 million in the first quarter up
marginally over $15.28 million last
year, the company said.

First quarter results last year were
boosted by a $5.9 million credit
related to accounting changes, the
company said.

"The losses incurred by Federated ...
continue to adversely impact Atari's
earnings," said Sam Tramiel, Atari's

But he added that Federated "is now
approaching a breakeven point and we
forsee a small loss or a small profit
in the second and third quarters," and
"a modest profit" in the fourth

"Further action is being taken to
reduce costs, improve product mix and
margin, and to increase sales,"
Tramiel said.

NEW YORK (MAY 13) - The 10 most active
stocks in American Stock Exchange
composite trading Friday:

Stock       Sales    Last    Net Chg.
Sothebys  1,143,800  18 1/8  unch
Dome Pet  1,008,400  1 1-16 off 1-16
Amdahl Corp 621,400  47       up 3/4
ICH Corp    499,800   7 5/8  off 1/8
Lorimar Tel 267,000  12 3/4  off 1/4
Wang Lab B  187,700  10 5/8  off 1/4
Viacom      187,300  25 1/4   up 1/8
Horn & Har  176,600   7 1/8   up 3/4
Atari Corp  158,300   7 5/8  unch
Texas Air   147,200  10 7/8   up 1/4
Comdex Reports

   Spring Comdex Report Number 1

by Andrew Reese,   START Editor

(Atlanta, GA, May 9, 1988) Atari was
at the spring Computer Dealers
Exposition (COMDEX) in force this year
with a large display area designed
around the theme of ST/Mega solutions
to business problems.  Atari itself
did not show any new hardware, but
third-part developers presented
several exciting add-ons for Atari
68000-based machines and the software
houses caught a lot of interest with
some highly professional packages.

Although it was not in the booth, word
has it that Atari's new 68030-based
UNIX machine is progressing nicely,
thank you, in the R&D Labs at Atari,
Inc.'s headquarters in Sunnyvale,
California.  Contrary to some earlier
press reports, it is not a "stock"
Motorola UNIX design, but instead is a
custom Atari design with six
proprietary chips on the motherboard.
The last of the custom chips has been
received from the chip house and
installed on the new prototype PC
board.  This baby cooks along at 16
MHz+ and right now the development
looks to be on schedule.  Watch the
pages of START and Antic's ST Resource
for more details of this giant step up
in the Atari line.

We'll have more news about other Atari
developments, but let's turn our
attention to the two add-ons that were
shown by third-party developers.  The
first is the amazing ST Accelerator
from Megabyte Computers of Webster,
Texas.  Despite the unfortunate
circumstances of having their car
stolen (with their demo computers,
hard drive and Accelerator inside!),
Megabyte demo'ed their hard-wire 16
MHz mod for the ST. Yes, that's right:
16 Mhz clock rate or twice the
standard ST clock rate!  Installation
of the add-on board is not for the
cautious or technically inexperienced,
however -- it requires the removal of
the 68000 and the addition of a turbo
board, a 68000-16 chip and a panel
switch for choosing turbo/standard
rate from the keyboard.  Speed can be
switched in the middle of an
application and let me tell you that
it sure makes the ST F-L-Y!  It hasn't
been tested on all applications yet
and there are certainly times when a
mere 8 MHz is plenty fast enough (want
to go against the Dark Lord at twice
the real-time speed??), but since it
is easily switchable, it looks like a
winner for any power ST user.  Should
be available within the month;  I put
my order in!

And for the power user with math-
intensive software needs -- like CAD,
graphics, spreadsheets, etc.  -- plug
Xetec's XCEL hardware floating point
math processor into your cartridge
port.  Improvements in math
calculations are dramatic:  on the
order of 2-30 times!  XCEL is complete
and awaiting FCC approval, which
should take no more than two months.
Price?  $199.  Compare that to the
price of an 80387 chip!  One note,
however, XCEL does require that the
software be recompiled using their
custom math libraries, so you won't
see any immediate improvement in off
-the-shelf software, but more than one
leading developer of ST power software
told me that they would be more than
happy to support the new processor.

The ST desktop publishing market is
certainly getting crowded -- and with
quality products as good as or better
than anything available on those
"Brand X" machines. Timeworks showed
their nifty Desktop Publisher ST, now
available at $129, SoftLogik's
powerful Publishing Partner
Professional is getting closer to its
announced June release (they really
want to kill all the bugs first and it
sure looks like they're doing it) and
ISD was demo'ing their marvelous
Calamus DTP package, due on the market
within the next several months.  Which
to choose?  We'll test them all and
give you our recommendations over the
next few months in the pages of START
and Antic's ST Resource.

If you liked Barbarian from Psygnosis,
get ready for Obliterator. It uses the
same interface, but is set in the
future.  Great graphics and sound and
now shipping.

Microprose was featuring Gunship on
the ST in their booth and announced
that they were shooting for a
September release of the ST version of
Pirates, their hot new game on those
other computers. Microprose promises
that they will take full advantage of
the ST's capabilities;  their past
performance with Silent Service, F-16
Strike Eagle and Gunship seems to bear
this out.

Antic showed the newest version of
Cyber Paint, Version 2.0.  This is
truly fantastic graphics and animation
software from the incredibly creative
mind of Jim Kent, who brought you the
first version AND Aegis Animator.  For
stand-alone 2D animation, there's
nothing that can touch it on the ST --
and nothing in its price range on any
other computer. Period.  Also being
shown was Antic's first venture into
the Amiga world. Now, don't panic,
folks, Antic's not leaving you
Atarians behind.  PHASAR, the popular
ST home accounting package has been
ported over to the Amiga to a very
favorable reception.  Antic also
showed several other new ST packages
including new design disks for CAD-3D
and Shadow, a background terminal
program that lets you go online and
download files in the background while
word processing or whatever at the
same time.

ATLANTA, MAY 10, 1988 -- The second
day in Atlanta featured with
thunderstorms, traffic jams and record
crowds at COMDEX.  It also featured
Atari and Commodore sharing the dais
without bloodshed in a presentation
called "Alternate Systems in Niche
Markets:  Amigas and Ataris."  Neil
Harris, now the Director of Product
Management for the Computer Division
of Atari U.S., and Ken Weber Vice
President of Sales for Commodore,
traded jibes and optimistic views of
their respective markets, but the
bottomline seemed to be that the two
companies will now target their
marketing at specific "niche" markets.
What this means is that you will
probably see ad campaigns aimed at
specific uses of the two computers.
Commodore is aiming at the "Desktop
Presentation" market, while Atari is
focusing their efforts on such uses as
MIDI and Desktop Publishing.

Atari is not shy about declaring or
displaying their intentions:  the
Atari booth at this primarily business
-related show is notable for the
predominance of monochrome monitors
and business-related software.  Now if
the DRAM shortage eases a bit, Atari
should be well positioned for a strong
push in the third and fourth quarters
of the year.

Speaking of monitors, one of the most
dramatic developments in ST displays
was unveiled today when ISD hooked up
a 19-inch high resolution Moniterm
monitor to a Mega 4 and displayed
their Calamus DTP package in crisp,
bright 1280-by-960 resolution.  The
display requires a videocard that
plugs into the Mega's internal bus
port and using a patched TOS on disk
to get around the TOS-in-ROM video
definitions.  Pricing and availability
has not been set for this spectacular
product, but look for it during the
second half of the year.  Oh, and it
can put out a high-resolution color
signal, too...

While it's not an Atari product, I
have to mention that RasterOps of
Cupertino, California displayed an
amazing display for the Mac II.  Their
TrueColor 104 board and Model1948
Monitor combine to display 1024 by 768
pixels with 24 bit planes per pixel.
In plain language, this means 786,432
colors on the screen at once from a
palette of 16.7 million colors!  Sigh!
But this graphics power definitely has
with a price -- the board and monitor
are each $3195 -- and that's on top of
the price of a Mac II.  (Oh, even the
swivel and tilt base for the 19-inch
monitor costs...are you ready?..$295!)

Back to Atari.  Atari's CD-ROM player
was shown in its final production
version.  The developer's systems
should be shipping within a few weeks
and you should be seeing it in your
local Atari dealers this summer. Atari
waited to sell the CD-ROM until they
could get it out the door at their
chosen price, in this case $599.
That's half of what Apple's recently-
announced CD-ROM will list at and the
Atari CD-ROM will play audio CD's as
well.  With the Atari's support of
High Sierra and other major formats,
software should become available

If you've been wondering when you can
buy the new TOS ROM's, the short
answer is that you can't -- for now.
This upgrade was an interim re-design
and a second upgrade is in the works.
Atari has been soliciting suggestions
for re-works on the various online
services and are now finalizing their
plans for redesign.  They are focusing
their attention right now on the
GEMDOS portion of the ROM's with an
eye toward greatly increasing the
speed of screen operations.  Look for
these ROM's to hit the market in the
fall.  The price for what Atari
annouonced as a "major improvement"
has not been set.

If you're worried about viruses
infecting your ST's operating system,
you can breathe a small sigh of relief
-- Neil Harris announced that Atari
U.S.  has yet to see any evidence of a
virus on the ST.  With TOS in ROM,
St'ers are a bit safer than other
brands with significant portions of
their operating systems on disk (I
won't mention any names, but their
initials are MS-DOS, Mac and Amiga).
As Harris said, "No one is going to
come to your house with an EPROM
burner!"  (Oh, and by the way, rumor
has it that a minor virus even
infected the Amiga Developer's
conference recently held in
Washington, D.C.!)

Robtek Ltd. announced two new programs
for the ST, available now. Dizzy
Wizard is "the game that Marble
Madness should have been."  While I
haven't been able to boot it up at the
show, the screen displays on the
packaging look great. $19.95.  Aimed
at the low-end DTP market, Home
Publisher has many of the same basic
features as higher-priced programs,
but at a cost of $39.95.

Scott, Foresman and Company announced
a new book of interest to the ST
community.  "Learning C on the Atari
ST" looks like a good tutorial and
reference for budding C programmers --
and also for those old flowers among

If you have a lot of disks or just
need a convenient system to store
those you have, Seima International
Corp. showed their Exponent modular
drawer and attache-style systems. Each
drawer holds 180 3-1/2-inch disks and
lists for $69.95, while the attache
case holds 64 disks in a convenient
hard plastic case that lists for
$39.95.  Looks like an attractive
Italian import.

SBT announced their Series Six
upgrades to their Database Accounting
Library.  Final debugging of the ST
version is about complete, so look for
these new products within the next few
months -- and look for a review of
these powerful packages in the
October, 1988 issue of START, on sale
September 1st.

One of the most remarkable new
products for the ST was shown by
Intersect Software, makers of
Interlink.  Revolver allows the user
to "take a picture" of the ST's memory
at any time, during any application,
and save it to disk in compressed
format.  Then, when you want to come
back to it, you just "roll it in" and
you're back where you were -- exactly
where you were, whether you were about
to be killed by a monster in a game or
were checking the fourth quarter's
performance of your company in a
spreadsheet.  It should be available
at the end of June for a price of

Michtron will be shipping Leatherneck
for the ST within a few weeks. This
Viet Nam-style combat game is slated
to list at $39.95.

Also due to be released soon is
Paperboy, a port from the popular
arcade game.  It's from Mindscape and
will list at $49.95.

ATLANTA, MAY 11, 1988 -- Day 3 of the
Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX)
dawned bright and clear and the show
floor was jammed with suits and nerds.
Expectations are that by the time all
of us make our way through the show,
our number will have set a new record
for a Spring COMDEX of over 60,000!
That's a lot of suits and nerds,

More news of interest to Atarians:

* -- Liz and Kevin Mitchell of Migraph
  were displaying EZ-Draw with
  Supercharger, their fine DTP/page
  layout package;  expect to see some
  further refinements of this
  versatile package in the months to

* -- Neocept was proudly displaying
  their word processor package called
  Word Up.  They're making
  improvements and enhancements every
  day and upgrading their purchasers'
  copies diligently.  If you haven't
  taken a look at this very capable
  WYSIWYG program, do so before
  choosing among the wealth of Atari
  word processors available now.  Word
  Up has some excellent features not
  found in any other package I've

* -- Michtron has announced a whole
  series of new products centered
  around their emerging standard
  Training ReBoot Camp is their new
  beginners guide to programming in
  GFA.  It presumes no prior
  experience in programming and takes
  you step-by-step through the
  development of your program; $19.95,
  out now.  At the other end of the
  spectrum from "ReBoot" is The GFA
  BASIC Programmers Reference Guide,
  Vol.  1.  This is the first half of
  the definitive work on GFA BASIC by
  George W.  Miller.  It should hit
  the bookstores in late June with a
  bang;  $29.95 for 576 pages of all
  you ever wanted to know about GFA
  BASIC. GFA BASIC 3.0 was announced
  at CeBIT, the Hannover computer
  show, and will be shipping in mid-
  July.  It adds over 300 new commands
  to GFA BASIC and a substantial
  increase in speed: 40 to 60 percent!
  Finally, the GFA-BASIC Reference
  Card is shipping with a $4.95 price
  tag.  Michtron also showed GFA
  Draft, Juggler II, Master CAD and
  Utilities Plus -- it looks like
  Gordon and company have been very
  busy this spring!

* -- ICD was showing their quiet and
  convenient line of ST hard drives
  called the FA-ST Hard Drive.
  Available in sizes to fit almost
  every need and budget from 20 meg at
  $699.95 to 100 meg (dual 50's) at
  $1699.95.  Or if you already have an
  IBM-compatible hard drive lying
  around, they have a kit to transform
  that paperweight into an asset for
  your ST.  Ask for the FA-ST Hard
  Drive Kit.  Or look for the ST Host
  Adapter at $135.95 if you want to
  build up your own drive from
  components available for IBM's,
  etc.;  $135.95. And there's still
  more options available for hard
  drives from ICD - -check with your
by Kirk Demarest

A core group of sysops of Atari-based
BBS systems have announced the
formation of a national network.

The fledgling network now consists of
six BBS systems, located in Delaware,
Missouri, Georgia, New Jersey, and
Louisiana. The group's goal is to have
50-60 BBS systems as part of the
network by July 1st.

The purpose of the new network is to
promote Atari computers and Atari
based BBS systems, and to encourage
users of member systems to call other
"member" systems, enabling each BBS
system to develop a "national"

Sysops of Atari-based BBS systems who
are interested in joining the new
network are asked to call the Medieval
Castle II at 201 752-2818 and leave
feedback, or call the Schwarzer Drache
BBS at 816 637-6163, and leave E-Mail
for Kirk Demarest. Please post the
number of your BBS system, with a
voice number for callback.
From the Reader's Viewpoint.
W.A.U.G. - A Growing Club ???

by M. Ranger

I joined W.A.U.G. last year, at the
first (Sept.) meeting. Which was right
after the MAGIC show. There was alot
of interest in ATARI that night, but
not very many members (10 or 15) in
attendance. I could see that the
officers of this club had a lot of
potential. i.e. putting out their own
newsletter in protest to disagreements
with MAM. And having a speaker from a
mail order house show his wares. Plus
not having a complete computer to do
DEMO's, was a small disapointment.

All this going on in a public library
basement. Compared to what they've
grown into today, they've come a long
way. A club with 30 to 35 people in
attendance, coming together in a
College class room, with a 20' monitor
for demo's and members willing to show
off their special interest, on both an
8-bit and ST system, but a little shy
to ask questions. But it's still a big
acomplishment by the officers.

To make this club a good source of
information for ATARI computer owners.
I feel that after the elections in
June that the officers should be
awarded. With a dinner at Cottage Inn
Pizza, paid by the members, and only
for the officers...THANK YOU, W.A.U.G.

BUT, and there is always a but,  how
about this; I also think that W.A.U.G.
could do more for the members or to
phrase it better; what can the members
do for the club, to make the meeting
more interesting.  A very young
president once said;  "Ask not what
your country can do for you, but what
you can do for your country"; John F.

Well club members how about it?  What
can YOU do for your club. Later in
this article I will list some of the
ideas I've devised to help OUR club.

For example I've volunteered my time
and energy to be your Magazine
Librarian, and bringing in (my
personal stock-pile of) old and new
pre-owned 8-bit software for sale. And
I hope to find someone to carry on the
my librarians job when I stept-down to
enter myself for nomiation for the
8-bit librarians' job. I know there
are other members (not officers) that
are willing to offer their time and
services to the improvement of the
club. So why don't you ??? If it's
because you don't know what needs to
be done, I've compiled a list of ideas
I have for our club, which could be
adapted to any ones' club. Granted
this is not a complete list, you may
have more or better ideas then this.
But it will be a start, and something
for us to discuss at up coming

1.) The club could use a person or
    persons to hold 8-bit or ST SIG
    (Special Interest Group) meeting
    once a month at their home, and
    give a report to the main club
    meeting once a month.

2.) We could use ALL W.A.U.G. members
    to attend the monthly meetings,
    not just 30%, but 100%. If every
    member attended and brought one
    person to join this year we could
    be as big a MACE (maybe) within a
    couple years time. W.A.U.G. is
    still growing and moving. Out of
    the small class room to a computer
    store showroom. (See W.A.U.G. club
    minutes for details.)

3.) Members to offer to DEMO of 
    new/old software/hardware. And
    offer to bring in their software/
    hardware for the demo. The clubs
    equipment my not always be
    available every meeting, but a
    large effort is given to make sure
    it is there though. And as I
    understand it W.A.U.G. only owns
    the 800XL and and INDUS disk
    drive. The ST is brought in by a
    couple of the members (Bill/
    Patty), so if they leave or are
    unable to attend a meeting we have
    no ST to show demo's on. Plus to
    have more than one machine to show
    demo's, during and after the
    clubs' business reports would be a
    great benifit.

4.) Members to submit their favorite
    collection of software to both the
    ST/8-bit disk libraries. For
    addition to the mass amount of PD
    software we already have now, but
    you can never have to much. You
    could also submit a copy of your
    own personal disk library. To help
    the librarians make a DOM (disk of
    the month), for sale and/or raffle
    at the clubs' meetings.

5.) Someone to be in-charge of running
    a FREE drawing at the clubs'
    meetings for a 8-bit and ST DOM.
    In order to drum up interest in
    the software libraries. Which is
    where a clubs' bread and butter
    comes from, if there is no
    interest in the clubs' software
    library than there will be no
    interest in the club. Cause
    members will go somewhere else and
    spend their money on someone
    elses' library.

6.) ARTICLES for MAM. I can't stress
    this point enough, the magazine is
    there for you to use, not abuse.
    ATARI Corp. is not going to
    promote your favorite software/
    hardware or application technique,
    so you have to. If it is left up
    to the editors of MAM to find/
    search for interesting articles
    for the next issue they will
    sooner or later stop for lack of
    profit or interest. If costs for
    things like access to CompuServe/
    GEnie/ Delphi/ Long distance BBS's
    start to be added to the cost of
    printing each issue, than I
    guarantee MAM will not be around
    for long. So it is up to you to
    help keep ATARI and MAM alive and

7.) We desperately need someone to
    volunteer to be a remote users
    secretary for W.A.U.G.. We receive
    several letters each month from
    ATARIANS all over the country
    asking for information about OUR
    club. We need someone to write
    these people back with the address
    to MAM for a subscription and to
    mail them a copy of our disk
    libraries. If you are interested
    please contact me or one of the
    W.A.U.G. officers. Or BETTER YET
    why not come to one of the
    officers' meetings, you're always
    welcome, it's your club too. Doug,
    Craig and I have several letters
    that need to be addressed.

In closing I'd like to remind you that
Rick has volunteered his services and
studio for MIDI SIG meetings, so
contact him if you're interested and I
hope to hear a SIG report at the next
meeting. Also lets show some interest
in the MIDI SIG, who knows we may be
able to come up with a W.A.U.G. song/
record good enough to hit the TOP 10
list (wishful thinking)...Thank You,
and happy ATARIN'...

Michael Ranger
Last Request
The following was captured from
GEnie, and sent here for publication.

Msg# : 164  Lines: Extended  Read: 7
Sent : Apr 20, 1988  at 8:24 AM
To   : ALL
From : SYSOP at MegaHertz of Indiana
Subj : Postcard
Category 1,  Topic 42
Message 1         Tue Apr 12, 1988
S.OLEJNICZAK              at 20:26 EDT

I have found the following notice on
the bulletin board in our office. Even
if you do not send a post card, please
forward it to other BBSs that you use.
It is a worthwhile cause.

from:    RMJ SECURITIES Corporation
         199 Water Street
         New York, New York 10038
         Telephone (212)-668-5250


Our London Office just informed us
that there is a seven year old buy who
is terminally with cancer.  His last
and only request is that he would be
able to be listed in the "The Guiness
Book of World Records" for receiving
the most postcards.

If you wish to send him one, please
write to:

    c/o Miss McWilliams
    St. Martinde Porres' Infant School
    Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Delphi Confrence Highlights
Edited by Ron Kovacs for ZMagazine

.Andy> Let's start, shall we?

Welcome to all and thanks to Neil
Harris for joining us from his busy
schedule at COMDEX.  To start, I'd
like to reiterate that this CO is a
formal one.  To ask a question (after
I say questions will be taken... in
just a minute), type in a '?' and I'll
put you on the list.  I'll keep you
informed of when your turn is coming
up.  Let's keep this meeting running
as smoothly as possible; I know it'll
get emotional.  Thanks again...

Before I start taking questions, let
me start by asking something:  Neil,
most of us are aware of a change in
the Atari structure.

What is in the works for the computer
side of Atari and what can you tell
us what we're going to see in the way
of enhancements and such from you
folks.  GA.

Neil> We have several new people on
board in the US computer division
(now called "Atari Computer").  The
division is headed by Chuck Babbitt,
whose title is president.  There is
also a new vp of sales, Tony Gould.
Changed have been made to the field
sales organization to promote the
business activities of computer
specialty retailers -- specifically,
we have stopped using distributors and
are in the process of hiring direct,
Atari-employed sales reps throughout
the country.  We are also beefing up
the marketing organization at
Sunnyvale -- we've already added a new
telemarketing group, a newsletter
person, and are seeking to fill
additional marketing positions.  Also,
we changed PR agencies, scaling back
our old agency and adding a computer
specialty firm.  We hope to shortly
hire an ad agency.

Reading the tea leaves, I have to
think this means that corporate
management is getting very serious
about the USA>..they would not be
letting us spend the money to do all
this otherwise. ga

Andy> Ok, if we can get a show of '?',
I'll start with other questions.

JLSTOKES> Has Atari made any progress
finding a source for drams or
otherwise found a way to increase
production and distribution of STs in
the U.S. ga

Neil> I don't know the answer to that.
However, when the problem first became
apparent, Sam ramiel predicted that
its duration would be in the 6 month
range.  Judging by the planning in the
US organization, I would have to
speculate that there is a good
likelihood of greatly improved product
availability before too terribly long.

D.F.Scott.(CS)> Neil, a report in
Computer + Software News states that
Atari is planning to set up a training
program for Federated Group store
clerks who will be selling computers
specifically--PCs, Amigas, and STs.
This has led some to respond that
Atari is trying to become the next
Tandy, and is working to lock out its
specialty channel from receiving
premiere shipments of new products. As
Product Marketing Director, how do you
intend to establish a comfortable
balance between your specialty stores

and your direct sales force in regions
with Federated Group stores?  GA

Neil> It is an interesting issue.  The
management of Federated intends for
those stores to become more
competitive in the computer business.
They feel that the way to become
competitive is by enhancing their
sales force and support organizations.
I think that it healthy!  If Federated
proves capable of operating at the
same levels of capability as current
computer specialty dealers, I think
that is very healthy for the Atari

We have a long way to go to become
Tandy.  And Federated stores are not a
thing like Radio Shack stores. ga

D.F.Scott.(CS)> If Federated becomes
too competitive, and if Atari has no..
..third-party distributors, where do
the single Atari stores turn?  GA

Neil> Dealers in Federated territories
have been buying from Atari on a
direct basis all along, through sales
reps employed by Atari. This policy
will continue.  Are you suggesting
that we restrain Federated from
becoming competitive?   ga

D.F.Scott.(CS)> I'm suggesting that
tari has created ties to small stores
which feel just as threatened by the
name Federated as they are by
"Egghead."  If Atari can sell its own
brand direct, and for less, and these
stores have no choice but to buy from
their competitor, won't they be forced
to lock you out?

Neil> The point is, Federated is NOT
trying to achieve market share in
computers through predatory pricing
policies.  They are not as cutthroat
in pricing currently as they were
before the acquisition by Atari.  We
had been doing business with Federated
(and another similar chain, Leachmere
in New England) for years.

There were many dealer complaints that
Federated's prices were too low.  Now
that Atari owns them, the idea is to
compete on the basis of support rather
than price.  I believe that this is
healthy.  I think you are making an
error in semantics, DF -- we are NOT
tied to small dealers.  We want our
current small dealers to grow with us
into big dealers!  And that's what the
dealers have told us they want to


D.F.Scott.(CS)> I was basically
voicing the opinions of analysts.

Neil> One last comment regarding
Federated.  What I hope for most is
that, through owning and operating the
Federated Group, our management
becomes more sympathetic to the needs
of the retailers in advertising,
collateral materials, training, etc. 
The valuable experience we're gaining
with this retailing venture can be
applied to helping our dealer base.

REXREADE> Will Federated offer

Neil> Are you applying for a job?
I believe that Federated is looking to
provide service, yes.

REXREADE> not a chance.......just want
to know because if such is the case
then the little dealer is in trouble
trying to grow and compete in both

For the complete confrence reprint,
read issue #35 of ST-Report magazine.
BBS Systems Update
by Ron Kovacs

If your BBS system carries ZMagazine,
you are encouraged to let us know! We
want to get you registered for future
plans and access to the SysOp base on
the Syndicate.
ZMagazine Locations
Zmag has areas on CompuServe and
GEnie. We are also headquartered on 
the Syndicate BBS (201) 968-8148 and
Stairway to Heaven BBS. (216) 784-

Zmagazine is an online magazine part
of Amercan Publishing Enterprises,
Inc. Publishers of ST-Report Magazine.
Stay tuned for 2 new magazines.
ZMAGAZINE   (ISSUE #106)  May 16, 1988
(c)1988 APEInc     All Rights Reserved

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