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"Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 article on Atari computers

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The main issue I recall was the emergence and dominance of the PC clones, at first 386's using ISA bus in 1987, then EISA bus in 1988. The 386 clones kept getting faster and cheaper, followed by 486 based clones staring in late 1989, continuing to get faster and cheaper. Apple decides to raise prices across the board for it's Macintosh line in late 1989. Windows 3.0 is released mid 1990, and PC clones keep getting faster and cheaper. Windows 3.1 is released in 1991, and supports a 32 bit flat address space via win32s or winmen32 (only Watcom 10.0 C/C++ compiler fully supported winmem32 as a memory model). During the early 1990's, Apple's market share drops to below 5%, but at this point, the top 20 PC makers only accounted for about 50% of market share, the rest being mom and pop operations assembling PC clones from common components. The transition to PCI bus occurred in 1992, followed by Pentium based clones in 1993. Windows NT 3.1 was also released in 1993, but NT wasn't popular until NT 4.0 in 1996. Windows 95 was released in 1995. Motorola couldn't keep up with the performance of the X86 series, releasing the 68060 in 1994 (max clock 75Mhz), about half a year or so after the Pentium was released, and by 1994, Pentiums were up to 120Mhz clock rates (200Mhz by 1995). Motorola and Apple switched to PowerPC, but eventually Apple switched to using X86 proccessors for it's Macintosh line.

 

Getting back to the 68000, I worked for a company that transitioned from custom cpu mini-computers to the Motorola 68000 family, around 1985. It was a multi-threaded operating system, with multiple terminals, used for data entry, data base applications, ... . We wrote everything in assembly code. There was some version of C compiler, just in case we ever decided to buy the source code for some application from an outside vendor, but that never happened, so the compiler never got used. It was a Motorola development site, so we got early versions of the 68020 and 68030. I moved onto another company in 1987, and I didn't keep track of what was going on at the old site. It shut down a few years later. The irony was that the later versions of their systems used networked PC's as terminals, but the networked PC's ended up replacing those old mini-computer systems.

Edited by rcgldr
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Enough of the political bickering or I will boot you both from this thread.

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I think what killed both the Atari ST and the Amiga were Atari and Commodore. They were so busy trying to compete with each other they hardly saw the giant IBM clone market sweep by them in technology and then price.

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Lack of significant progress is what killed it . People wanted faster machines with better graphic around 1992 .

To be fair, they had that, but it was underwhelming compared to what you could get in x86 land. Falcon did come out a year or two too late, as did AGA Amigas.

 

Also the lowest common denominator development of software. The x86 systems got around this by having enough of a user base that devs would support CGA, EGA VGA, Atari didn't have the push to get people to support new STe features, hell some companues were still only supporting 512k on the ST (read that is why Shadow of the Beast on the ST was terrible.) Guess it is a good thing the 260ST never really was sold.

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To be fair, they had that, but it was underwhelming compared to what you could get in x86 land. Falcon did come out a year or two too late, as did AGA Amigas.

 

Also the lowest common denominator development of software. The x86 systems got around this by having enough of a user base that devs would support CGA, EGA VGA, Atari didn't have the push to get people to support new STe features, hell some companues were still only supporting 512k on the ST (read that is why Shadow of the Beast on the ST was terrible.) Guess it is a good thing the 260ST never really was sold.

 

On the Amiga side -- they almost had that... but not quite. The Amiga 1200 and 4000 didn't have the non-interlaced true-color resolutions needed to compete with the PC. That and AGA was too slow.

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Both atari and commodore didn't have 3rd party doing their R&D for them like the PC benefited from. By the late 80's no one wanted to deal with either Gould or Tramiel.

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To be fair, they had that, but it was underwhelming compared to what you could get in x86 land. Falcon did come out a year or two too late, as did AGA Amigas.

 

Also the lowest common denominator development of software. The x86 systems got around this by having enough of a user base that devs would support CGA, EGA VGA, Atari didn't have the push to get people to support new STe features, hell some companues were still only supporting 512k on the ST (read that is why Shadow of the Beast on the ST was terrible.) Guess it is a good thing the 260ST never really was sold.

And internal hard drives had become standard equipment on PCs by the early 90s. Adding a hard drive to ST was far more expensive, so many games were still designed to run of floppies and couldn't be installed.

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I see Gemulator mentioned is this thread, I noticed that Darek is still around and has been working on updated versions of his emulators.

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I see Gemulator mentioned is this thread, I noticed that Darek is still around and has been working on updated versions of his emulators.

Gemulator is not updated over 10 years. Actually, it became freeware, maybe even open source (check after who wants to deal with it) .Author working in M$ for longer time.

So, I think that you are terribly mistaken.

Not to mention: who needs now limited emulator, when we have full emulators working fast. Gemulator was interesting on slow PCs from his era.

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He worked for Microsoft back in the Windows 3.1 days, so what. I just was using his softmac program to create a drive image and decided to check his webpage, I saw he is releasing a new version, if you had just looked you would have seen he posted in May that version 10 was coming of all his emulators.. http://emulators.com/secrets.htmNow if you dont care then fine.

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On the Amiga side -- they almost had that... but not quite. The Amiga 1200 and 4000 didn't have the non-interlaced true-color resolutions needed to compete with the PC. That and AGA was too slow.

The big box Amigas, like Ataris higher end models could use video cards for higher resolutions, the software market was gone for both Atari and Amiga and the PC market steamrolled over everything else. Mac only survived because Microsoft saved Apple back in 1997, now Apple is bigger than Microsoft thanks to the iPhone.

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He worked for Microsoft back in the Windows 3.1 days, so what. I just was using his softmac program to create a drive image and decided to check his webpage, I saw he is releasing a new version, if you had just looked you would have seen he posted in May that version 10 was coming of all his emulators.. http://emulators.com/secrets.htmNow if you dont care then fine.

And he works still in M$, I think - why else it is "releases of our Atari and Macintosh emulators for Windows 10 " ? Now everyone will install W10 just for it ... :thumbsdown:

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I hate Windows 10, I just like that people are stil making new software for old computers or to emulate old computers. I never bought Gemulator but I remember seeing and Talking to Darek at the old Atari computers shows in California.

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And he works still in M$, I think - why else it is "releases of our Atari and Macintosh emulators for Windows 10 " ? Now everyone will install W10 just for it ... :thumbsdown:

 

That's right!

 

Sales of Windows 10 have been sluggish, and many users have preferred to stick with their Windows 7, Windows 8 and even Windows XP....

 

But Satya Nadella has a cunning plan! Get Darek to release an updated version of his coveted Atari ST "Gemulator" on Windows 10! Sales are going to be huge....

 

It's the new killer app.

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That's right!

 

Sales of Windows 10 have been sluggish, and many users have preferred to stick with their Windows 7, Windows 8 and even Windows XP....

 

But Satya Nadella has a cunning plan! Get Darek to release an updated version of his coveted Atari ST "Gemulator" on Windows 10! Sales are going to be huge....

 

It's the new killer app.

 

Why not? I'll take good ol' GEM over Win 10's constant crappy updates... :D

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