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Ganky Ghost

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About Ganky Ghost

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    Ganky Ghost
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  1. The ST was really popular in Germany for some reason. I could never figure that out. In Germany, STs were sold at Apple-like boutique style stores and for some reason the ST even managed to catch on as a "business class" machine in Germany. I could never reconcile the appeal of the ST to Germans with the idea of "Germans making good stuff". You would tend to think that "making good stuff" would be indicative of a people who appreciate quality. Yet, they adopted the ST line of computers like no other country on the planet, a line of computers that were in no way known for being quality machines. Even now, if you search the Internet for interesting ST stuff, the really cool ST screenshots will almost exlusively feature a desktop in the German language. NOTE: The United States was the largest market for the Atari 16 and thirty-two bit computers. Germany was the second largest. With a population differential ratio of approximately ten to one in favour of the United States, it is quite probable that Germany was the largest Atari market per capita. Go figure!
  2. I think the problem was that people couldn't justify spending two to three times the cost of the computer itself for an upgrade that likely wouldn't be supported by most of the software written for the machine. So people who were looking for serious performance in any particular field, be it publishing, video production/editing, sound sampling/editing, or what have you, opted to buy the machines that had some of that capability builtin as standard, so that they could be reasonably assured that any software they would be buying would support the hardware. With the Amiga and the Mac there wasn't a lot of "feature adding" hardware made available for the machines. Those machines were pretty much capable of doing what you needed them to do but just needed, in most cases, a little more oomph, which could be added quite easily without a whole lot of compatibility issues. This is, what I think, killed Atari as a computer vendor. They sold underpowered machines at low cost. To meet their cost objectives they cut far more corners than they really ought to have. The result was that they created a reputation for themselves as manufacturing cheap and, consequently, inferior systems. The upgrades that were required to bring the machines up to par with the more expensive alternative architectures pretty much raised the ST class machines to a cost level that was comparable to the other machines, only lacking the full capability of the other machines due to the fact that the capability wasn't inherently standard and thus lacked any considerable level of support. When you couple these shortcomings with the reality of who the typical ST buyer generally was, you soon realize that there wasn't much of a market for such upgrades in the ST marketplace. This would have ultimately lead to declining development from third party developers. So Jack cooked himself up a recipe for disaster. He created a platform whose primary selling point was its low cost. This meant that vendors producing peripherals and software for the machine pretty much had to follow suit if they were to have any appeal to the cost conscious consumer. Third party vendors found that they couldn't do so at a comfortable level, and the return on investment just wasn't there for the ST platform. The Jaguar game console is a good example of an Atari product that was killed almost exclusively by the reputation of the company marketing it. The Jaguar was a pretty damn good machine. The company, though, had built itself a reputation for building and selling low cost, second rate junk. So no one was really willing to give the Jaguar a chance.
  3. I think the 68040 was the only processor that had any backward compatibility issues. At least, it did on the Mac. There were definitely compatibility issues when Apple released Macs with 68040 processors. Atari never did release anything with an 040 processor so whether there would have been compatibility issues on the Atari machines with an 040 processor remains to be seen. I never knew anyone with an accelerated ST either. I knew people who upgraded the single sided drives in their early 520s to double sided drives. I knew people who upgraded the memory in their ST machines. I knew people who upgraded the TOS ROMs in their STs. I never knew anyone to add an accelerator to their ST. I know that accelerators existed for the ST. I also know that there were graphics boards/accelerators for the ST that gave more colors at higher resolutions on VGA and multisync monitors, but I never knew anyone to actually buy one of these either. So I don't believe the reason for lack of accelerators on the user end of the spectrum to be technical issues, as clearly accelerating the ST was possible and several companies did offer such products. I think the reason why they didn't find their way to most ST users' machines has more to do with the reason most people bought an ST in the first place: cost. If you look back through old Atari magazines from the late eighties and early nineties... I'm going to take a little timeout right now to look through some of mine... Marvin AG offered the Chili graphics expansion board at a cost of 2,998 Marks (1000 pounds) and Maxon offered the MGE graphics expansion card which provided graphics acceleration at a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 with 16 colors. And the cost of the Maxon board? ST World magazine writes, "At 1,798 Marks (600 pounds), this is probably the cheapest of the colour graphics expansions for the ST." Just for the hell of it, I took a look at some of the prices in the mail order ads in this issue of ST World for an ST computer. A 1040ST in 1989 sold for a grand total of between 350 and 380 pounds. Add a monitor and you're looking at a total system purchase of between 570 and 590 pounds with a color monitor and 100 pounds cheaper with a monochrome monitor. So the cost of a graphics accelerator for the ST was 2 to three times more expensive than the computer itself. Which detracts considerably to whole Atari notion of "Power Without the Price." Indeed, by the time you added all of this stuff to your ST you may as well have just dropped your wad on a Mac. Yeah, I know that graphics boards aren't system accelerators, at least in as much as they don't replace the 68000 processor or increase the speed of the processor or system bus, but the point here is that accelerating the ST wasn't cheap. Hell, it was the exact opposite. It was outrageously expensive. And this, I submit, is the primary reason why most ST owners used essentially bog standard (factory stock) ST computers. i.e., ST owners chose the ST because it was cheaper than the competition and the upgrades for the ST put the ST on par, costwise, with the competition. So if you're going to spend the extra cash anyway, why on Earth would you choose an ST over something that already included what you would have to add to your cheaper ST? And I think, in retrospect, it was this focus on cost that ultimately lead to Atari's downfall. They put too much effort into being cheap that they destroyed their own reputation and credibility in the marketplace. You can't market something as cheap and not expect consumers to equate 'cheap' with 'junk'.
  4. If you want. I'm not going to twist your arm or anything.
  5. That one won't work so well on my desktop because of the black background, but thanks just the same. Do you have that icon without the black background? (Yeah, I know that I could try to remove the black background myself but graphics apps aren't my forte. I'd just end up making the fuji look really crappy.)
  6. Thanks. If I were a starving artist I would create my own. Hell, if I had to make a living creating icons I would be a starving artist; I haven't an artistic bone in my body.
  7. I don't have a disk, so I couldn't tell you. I wonder if you did a search on the Internet if you could find something? Might be worth a try. I don't know where your manual is either. Maybe if you sent me a strand of your hair I could channel your psychic energy and locate it for you. PM me and I'll give you the mailing address to send the hair. I don't want to post it out in the open. I don't know. I didn't ask. I wonder if it's a different brand on the inside? Now you've made me wonder, thanks a lot. Say, do you remember a cartridge for the 800 that you plugged into one of the cartridge slots so that you could copy the cartridge in the other slot? I had one of those cartridges. It was made of some kind of concrete stuff or something. It was like they stuck the PCB in a mold and then filled the mold with concrete. It had a SPST switch on the top. I got curious about what was inside of that cartridge. I chiselled away at it for like six hours... just gradually chipping away little bits and pieces of the concrete. I never ever did get down to the PCB... I lost interest and moved on to something else. It was the strangest cartridge I had ever seen in my entire life. I wish I could remember what it was called.
  8. I've searched the Internet high and low for an icon to use with my atari800 emulator and am greatly disappointed. Seems decent icons for Atari emulators are rarer than... I dunno, something that's really rare. Anyone know where a nice pile of attractive Atari icons may be hiding on the INTERNET?
  9. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? You are correct. You do know something. I'm impressed. Dare I say amazed? Incredible. You're a very quick study. Where does the WAN become the INTERNET? The subject matter at hand is icons. Brought to you today by the word emulator. I can't find a suitable icon for my Atari emulator. Bummer. Hey! Hey! You! Get off of my cloud. You a Rolling Stones fan, Doc? No? Didn't think so. Oh well. No such thing as bright. What is bright? Where does dark end and light begin? Are you a philosopher, Doc? You talk like a philosopher. You're like the great Socrates. Italian, wasn't he? Gotta love those Italian philosophers.
  10. You used bang paths, huh? I can tell. You have it written all over your rhombus.
  11. I have a LAN in my bedroom. It is a network. Could I call it the INTERNET? I have a cable modem on my LAN. With that cable modem I can connect my LAN to other networks. If my LAN is connected to other networks, does it cease being a LAN and become the INTERNET? Where does a network end and the INTERNET begin? Does the network end at my cable modem and the INTERNET begin at my cable modem? Does my cable modem even connect to the INTERNET or does it just connect to the cable company's network? Is the cable comapny's network the INTERNET? Does the whole world have to connect to my cable company in order to be on the INTERNET? Where is the INTERNET located? Who owns the INTERNET? Where does the INTERNET begin and end? Is the INTERNET a rhombus? Is it a rectangle? Does the INTERNET have physical characteristics? Please describe this thing for me, Doc. The INTERNET is NOT a thing. I'm not going to argue with you; not worth my time. We'll have to agree to disagee. It is, after all, very easy to disagree with you.
  12. Not really. The Internet is a bunch of networks connected together. Where one network ends, another network begins. Each network is independent of the others. No one network comprises the Internet. The Internet is not dependent on any single network. The Internet is as much a real THING, as travel is. There are real THINGS that make travel possible, but travel in and of itself is not a THING.
  13. But you were limited to the ST's crappy LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH graphics modes. Which gave you what? 320x200 16 colors in LOW 640x200 4 colors in MEDIUM 640x400 2 colors (black and white) in HIGH A multi-sync monitor would get you the same number of colors at the same resolutions on a bigger what? A 15" monitor? A 17" monitor? A full-page display? No, thanks. My Mac gave me higher resolutions and more colors on bigger monitors. A much nicer user experience than the 4 color Atari MEDIUM resolution or the Atari's monochrome high resolution. Plus the Mac didn't have an ugly desktop and filenames weren't limited to FILENAME.EXT (8.3). That's because the Mac II came out in 1987. It did 8-bit color (256 colors) at 640x480. It used a much faster 68020 processor. Had a full thirty-two bit data bus. RAM was expandable to 68 megabytes. It had 6 NuBus expansion slots. Shipped with System 4.1. Yeah, I know you're going to bitch about the price of the Mac II, but you add everything to your ST that the Mac II offered and then tell me how much more expensive your ST would have been. You can start by adding a case to your ST that isn't made of painted Saran Wrap. The press were making fun of it. Remember, that back then the press were heavy Macintosh users. The desktop publishing genre of software was pretty much invented on the Mac. Did you see the press abandoning the Mac for the cheaper ST? I didn't. Not even the much touted (in the Atari community) release of Calamus caused much of a stir in the desktop publishing world -- outside of, perhaps, Germany, that is. LMFAO! You're talking about the company that invented the "look and feel" cause of action. Apple had never made Macintosh ROMs available to the general public. Apple had never made anything openly available. Apple was a company that protected its assets with tooth, nail, and claw. You make me laugh if you think the lowly ST and a product introduced by a man working from his house caused Apple to lose any sleep. Apple was in it's heyday. It was pulling in money hand over fist. It had the education market locked up. Most musicians and virtually everyone in the publishing industry would use nothing but a Mac. lol. Color wasn't relevant to Mac emulation on the ST. Color Quickdraw didn't arrive until the introduction of the Mac II. And the Mac II was a cool machine, in my opinion. Take a look: http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/photos/apple_mac2.jpg And here's something you'd NEVER be able to do with a bunch of Atari ST computers: http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-ga...re-mac-ii-couch I'm bored of this discussion... Moving on...
  14. I have PDF copies. I just went to the site and selected print to PDF in my web browser. It's a lot handier than reading them online.
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