Jump to content

Photo

Atari TT Unix


43 replies to this topic

#26 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

Curt Vendel

    River Patroller

  • 4,591 posts
  • Location:Carmel, New York

Posted Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:12 AM

Seems most of the Atari PC's were sold through Atari Canada and some here in the US.



Curt

Whilst we all like to think that selling ST and XE computers was the most important thing for Atari, the truth is both Commodore and Atari knew that to make sure they were around for the next century they had to break into the corporate world.

Jack figured he needed something cutting edge after being pipped to the post with the Amiga 1000 chipset in 85/86. Transputer machines would not be mass market machines or affordable but it's the same as when Ford were selling the Sierra Cosworth in single figures per quarter, it gave the lowly bog standard rep-mobile Ford Sierra more of a glow in marketing terms AND proved that if they wanted to Ford could make an Audi/BMW killing powerful super saloon car.

UNIX was very respected, to have a workable UNIX machine is always good for a company name forever associated with home video gaming thanks to the meteoric success of the Atari 2600. Commodore also burned many bridges with the way they handled sales of the revolutionary PET in the late 70s too so they also needed to get some sort of respect in corporate circles.

Without a UNIX machine there would never be any kind of huge corporate sales for Atari or Commodore, nobody cared how good GEM or AmigaDOS was, it wasn't PC-DOS/MS-DOS and it wasn't UNIX. Even the shitty Macintosh only sold to arty farty idiots in business, very very small share of 0.00001% at the time.

So that's why they all wanted a UNIX box but I suspect it turned out that in the end only DOS mattered to businesses fixated on Intel hardware for every desktop and so they gave up. UNIX pretty much became for server platforms only in the late 80s/early 90s anyway. Windows, as shit as it was before 95, was 'good enough' and the IT managers didn't really give a shit......radical change in hardware platform = exponential increase in cost of training/hardware purchase costs.......and as history has shown, in the corporate world it was IBM and it always will be IBM compatible. I suspect they realised this and gave up.

Atari also had PCs too, I would be very interested in some sales figures for the Atari PCs, given that the name Atari and business computing where not usually in the same sentence in the mind of PC purchasers in the 80s. Shame because their first PCs with the Mega ST styling were probably the best looking PCs money can buy. In fact if I had a spare Mega case I might put a mini ITX board in one and hack one of my broken Mega keyboards to make a faux Atari PC in the style of the PC-1 :)



#27 The_Laird OFFLINE  

The_Laird

    Bratticus Maximus

  • 3,571 posts
  • Atari Sega Nerd
  • Location:The Retro Lair

Posted Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:15 AM

I clearly remember Silica selling the Atari ABC PC over here and seeing adverts for it in magazines!

#28 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,616 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:54 AM

I still even own those magazines:
Posted Image


same issue, Portfolio ad:
Posted Image

Edited by high voltage, Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:06 PM.


#29 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,616 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:16 PM

here's a Bob Gleadow in the last issue of New Computer Express (issue 154 19 Oct 1991)
Posted Image
Posted Image

#30 DarkLord OFFLINE  

DarkLord

    River Patroller

  • 3,261 posts
  • Location:Prestonsburg, KY USA

Posted Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:36 PM

Thanks for the scans! :)

#31 Shredder11 OFFLINE  

Shredder11

    Chopper Commander

  • 222 posts
  • Location:West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (England)

Posted Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:48 PM

Whole issues in good quality please! It is Christmas and Atarians all like presents! Seriously though, thanks for the scans, very interesting. Posted Image

#32 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

carmel_andrews

    Quadrunner

  • 13,297 posts
  • Location:from somewhere, anywhere and no where

Posted Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:07 PM

Notice the little typo (or mistake) in the 20 things about Mr Gleadow....referring the lynx as a computer, perhaps they meant the portfolio, which is a handheld computer

#33 gamer1867 OFFLINE  

gamer1867

    Space Invader

  • 22 posts

Posted Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:36 PM

Although not Atari UNIX, here is a link to NetBSD that can be installed on Motorola 68030 or greater CPU Atari computers (TT and Falcon).  As I understand it, NetBSD is a Unix-like OS, and may even share some of the same commands:

https://wiki.netbsd.org/ports/atari/



#34 gamer1867 OFFLINE  

gamer1867

    Space Invader

  • 22 posts

Posted Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:59 PM

Here are a few links regarding UNIX / System V on the Atari TT:

http://www.atarimuse...ts/systemv.html

http://atariunix.com/

http://www.atari-for...php?f=27&t=9629



#35 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,534 posts

Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:15 AM

Whilst we all like to think that selling ST and XE computers was the most important thing for Atari, the truth is both Commodore and Atari knew that to make sure they were around for the next century they had to break into the corporate world.


In reality, all Atari needed to do was focus on its core business- games. We know now that the computer line was pretty much doomed to fail no matter what they did differently. The pull of the PC world was too strong to overcome.

Instead they got distracted by the computer business and pissed away their leadership in games to Nintendo and Sega. If they had kept their focus on games, who knows, they might still be major players today.

#36 pacman000 OFFLINE  

pacman000

    Stargunner

  • 1,302 posts

Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:22 PM

Good question.

An even better question is, why did Atari bother? All of the nonsense with Unix and the Transputer and such... didn't amount to anything, didn't make them any money, and distracted them from doing things that people actually wanted. All I really wanted was a faster ST with better graphics and I'm sure that's what most people wanted, too.

Looking at it today, you're right, but Atari didn't have the benefit of hindsight.

 

They invested in a promising new technology, a technology which could've opened a new market, and it didn't work out. Atari knew the ST was behind in the U.S. because the PC & the Mac already had a significant part of the market; they wanted to be the 1st in the multiprocessor workstation market.

 

'Why has the ST sold so well in Europe, yet not taken off in the United States? Leonard Tramiel offers the following theory: "There are several reasons. One is that the United States has this terrible disease called IBM-itis, and the IBM PC had gotten a pretty good stranglehold on business here. Plus, Apple had never gotten its stranglehold on Europe. What you wound up with in Europe was the PC, Mac, and ST all arriving at just about the same time. People had a fair, uniform comparison, 'Which of these machines do you want?' and they looked at the price and performance and people bought STs. In the U.S., we had to fight an I-don't-know-how-many-hundred-million-dollar propaganda campaign from Apple, and we didn't have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on propaganda. Finally, the phrase, 'No one was ever fired for buying an IBM' I don't believe has ever been translated into German."' Source: https://www.atarimag...eyearsofst.html

 

Or they wanted to be the best price/performance machine in the workstation market: https://www.atarimag...eyearsofst.html



#37 pacman000 OFFLINE  

pacman000

    Stargunner

  • 1,302 posts

Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 PM

In reality, all Atari needed to do was focus on its core business- games. We know now that the computer line was pretty much doomed to fail no matter what they did differently. The pull of the PC world was too strong to overcome.

Instead they got distracted by the computer business and pissed away their leadership in games to Nintendo and Sega. If they had kept their focus on games, who knows, they might still be major players today.

Remember, Jack Tramiel was planning a new computer when he bought Atari. It was his attempt to quickly re-enter the computer market. The computer world wasn't a distraction; it was the reason he bought Atari in the first place. When they found out the games were still selling they continued to sell them. Why not? They made them money. But I'm not sure they had a real strategy for game systems till the early 90's, when they realized PC clones would force everyone out of the market. By then it was too late.

 

Ironic thing: Jack Tramiel was worried that the Japaneses would swamp the market with cheap computers and take his business away, so he kept releasing new computers to keep Sony and Sharp on their toes, but he almost let them have the game market.

 

Or perhaps that's not fair; Atari Corp did release several good game systems; they just wouldn't invest in software like Nintendo and Sega. They put too much focus on hardware and expected developers to pick up the system once consumers bought them, like computers. But consumers don't just look at price and power when buying a game system; they look at software too. Without a large selection of current games a game console won't sell, so Atari's systems were beaten by Nintendo and Sega's.

 

And that's not getting into the lack of distributors, or the lack of ads. I've seen plenty of comic books with NES ads, but I've never seen one with a 7800 ad. While Sega would make deals with stores to try to get shelf space Atari scoffed; like stores were trying to take advantage of them. Atari did try to correct their distribution problem by buying Federated, but that did not work. It even may have distracted them; it's hard to choose the right products to develop when you've just bought a company that's loosing $100 million. 

 

In short, no one knew Atari's game systems were there; if they did know they couldn't find them; if they found them there weren't enough games to justify a purchase, and Atari's upper management had other worries.


  • jhd likes this

#38 Goochman ONLINE  

Goochman

    Quadrunner

  • 6,932 posts
  • Moongates to the Past

Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:50 PM

Looking at it today, you're right, but Atari didn't have the benefit of hindsight.

 

They invested in a promising new technology, a technology which could've opened a new market, and it didn't work out. Atari knew the ST was behind in the U.S. because the PC & the Mac already had a significant part of the market; they wanted to be the 1st in the multiprocessor workstation market.

 

'Why has the ST sold so well in Europe, yet not taken off in the United States? Leonard Tramiel offers the following theory: "There are several reasons. One is that the United States has this terrible disease called IBM-itis, and the IBM PC had gotten a pretty good stranglehold on business here. Plus, Apple had never gotten its stranglehold on Europe. What you wound up with in Europe was the PC, Mac, and ST all arriving at just about the same time. People had a fair, uniform comparison, 'Which of these machines do you want?' and they looked at the price and performance and people bought STs. In the U.S., we had to fight an I-don't-know-how-many-hundred-million-dollar propaganda campaign from Apple, and we didn't have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on propaganda. Finally, the phrase, 'No one was ever fired for buying an IBM' I don't believe has ever been translated into German."' Source: https://www.atarimag...eyearsofst.html

 

Or they wanted to be the best price/performance machine in the workstation market: https://www.atarimag...eyearsofst.html

 

Leonard ever explain why after getting a foothold in Europe they never advanced the hardware.................I understand you couldnt compete with Apples marketing budget, but damn you kept the same ST chassis for almost 5-6 years before improving it.  The Mac went to the 68020 very quickly and onward from there...............

 

That was prob one of Ataris bigger screwup was not investing in the platform, instead doing things like Federated, Transputer, etc.........................



#39 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,534 posts

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:45 AM

Remember, Jack Tramiel was planning a new computer when he bought Atari. It was his attempt to quickly re-enter the computer market. The computer world wasn't a distraction; it was the reason he bought Atari in the first place. When they found out the games were still selling they continued to sell them. Why not? They made them money. But I'm not sure they had a real strategy for game systems till the early 90's, when they realized PC clones would force everyone out of the market. By then it was too late.


True, but in hindsight, The real tragedy was that he bought Atari in the first place. Yes they were hemorrhaging money, but Warner was already working to turn that around. Atari was market leader under Warner, they would have been in a much better position to stay market leader when the market recovered if they continued under Warner, even if they were a gutted version of Atari

Tramiel had no strategy for games in the beginning, it was a "let's just sell what we've got" side business. By the time they finally started innovating again, it was too late.
 

Ironic thing: Jack Tramiel was worried that the Japaneses would swamp the market with cheap computers and take his business away, so he kept releasing new computers to keep Sony and Sharp on their toes, but he almost let them have the game market.


That was true, but he was wrong on that count. The Japanese computer attempts didn't really take off in the west.
 

Or perhaps that's not fair; Atari Corp did release several good game systems; they just wouldn't invest in software like Nintendo and Sega. They put too much focus on hardware and expected developers to pick up the system once consumers bought them, like computers. But consumers don't just look at price and power when buying a game system; they look at software too. Without a large selection of current games a game console won't sell, so Atari's systems were beaten by Nintendo and Sega's.


That's true. But Warner Atari knew what game consumers wanted- at the time it was the hottest arcade titles. Tramiel Atari had no clue when it came to games. They continued to try to resell the "hottest arcade titles from 1982!" for far too many years after 1982. And they probably didn't support developers enough.
 

And that's not getting into the lack of distributors, or the lack of ads. I've seen plenty of comic books with NES ads, but I've never seen one with a 7800 ad. While Sega would make deals with stores to try to get shelf space Atari scoffed; like stores were trying to take advantage of them. Atari did try to correct their distribution problem by buying Federated, but that did not work. It even may have distracted them; it's hard to choose the right products to develop when you've just bought a company that's loosing $100 million.


That was never a problem under Warner. It was a chronic problem under the Tramiels.

Edited by zzip, Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:47 AM.


#40 calimero OFFLINE  

calimero

    Chopper Commander

  • 228 posts

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:49 AM

@zzip

Atari Inc. lose more than a MILLION dollar per DAY under Warner. 

 

They need to do something about it :)

- Steve Ross, CEO of Warner, first ask Jack Tramiel to become CEO of Atari. Jack refused and they made agreement to Jack take over Atari in phases. 



#41 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,534 posts

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:17 AM

@zzip
Atari Inc. lose more than a MILLION dollar per DAY under Warner. 
 
They need to do something about it :)
- Steve Ross, CEO of Warner, first ask Jack Tramiel to become CEO of Atari. Jack refused and they made agreement to Jack take over Atari in phases.


yes they were losing that much money at one point. They were already laying off and restructuring to turn the ship around, something that Tramiel continued. They had not planned to sell Atari, but when the opportunity came, they took it.

Warner kept Atari games for many years after this, I think they could have restructured all of Atari and ultimately made them profitable. When the videogame market turned around, Warner would have had a much easier time raising capital for expansion of the business than Tramiel did.

of course we'll never know now. But in retrospect, all that the Tramiels did was slowly run the company into the ground. Since we now know Atari is a zombie brand that never stays dead for long, it's hard to see how an alternate timeline where a Tramiel sale never happened could be much worse.

#42 calimero OFFLINE  

calimero

    Chopper Commander

  • 228 posts

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:48 AM

Agree.

 

just to add my observation: 

 

I am sure that there will be no ST at all if Steve Ross did not offer Atari to Jack Tramiel.

 

Jack starts plan for RBP (rock bottom price) aka ST only after he start negotiation with Atari.

 

Jack primary goal was ST - nothing else was matter :) everything was subordinate to bringing ST to market. And yes, ST save Atari Corp. (in process "destroying", or neglecting, other Atari projects...)


Edited by calimero, Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:50 AM.


#43 pacman000 OFFLINE  

pacman000

    Stargunner

  • 1,302 posts

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:55 AM

Worse?

 

Atari lost so much money Warner Communications was at risk of a corporate takeover; we could've lost two companies instead of one, depending on what the new management decided.



#44 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,534 posts

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:01 PM

Worse?
 
Atari lost so much money Warner Communications was at risk of a corporate takeover; we could've lost two companies instead of one, depending on what the new management decided.


Again.. as we've seen Atari is a brand that doesn't stay dead for long. It's worth too much. If Warner got taken over, the new owners of Warner/Atari would have had deeper pockets than JT did, and would have been more able to execute when the game market conditions improved.




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users