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ParanoidLittleMan

Jack Tramiel - opinions about his management of Atari

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This is something bothering me for some time. As I see, Jack Tramiel's role at Atari is judged pretty much different by diverse people. And I see that it is seen as more positive in EU, less positive in US. Probably because 8-bit computers were sold much better in US. In EU they were pretty much expensive, + many did not like poor Basic, lack of serious SW ... Usual critic is that gaming support, audio is not so good in ST, and even that it should support some old Atari peripherals. And of course, that Jack Tramiel is main culprit for company ceasing.

 

Here is how I see it, and surely, I know only some things, not all relevant details. But, is there anyone knowing all ? More important would be judging what is really relevant in all it.

So, Jack Tramiel was 'fired' from Commodore - despite he was founder. As I read, shareholders did it, being not happy with income, I guess. Company Atari was already bankrupted once, and new owner, Warner was not successful in revitalizing it. And that's is when Jack jumped in. Surely with his ideas what to manufacture, with some of his workers from Commodore. The aim was very high: making competitive computer to PC, Apple . Making existing 8-bit line cheaper, more powerful. From own experience I know that later happened, and sales were good in EU (too).

More interesting is ST and it's faith. It sold from start better in EU. And why were sales in US not that good ? Surely there are many reasons. Now, in this Trump times I tend to think that market there was not so opened, clean as some ideal, free capitalistic market is imagined. In other words, some did everything could to make Atari ST sales not good. Of course, users, their ideas about what computer to buy, for what to use were different too. Somehow I think that users in EU were more oriented for serious usage.

I think that Jack Tramiel did everything what could in marketing area. And he was then in years when started to giving leadership to his sons.

Another very important thing is development, releasing new models - because in computers that's essential to come out with new, more powerful frequently. Well, I think that this part was not too successful. Even from very start. There were some misjudgments, mostly related with TOS - for instance original plan was to start with 256 KB RAM - but that was just not enough for GUI OS, written in big part in C .

Especially as TOS development went slower than planned - or better word is 'dreamed' . Sure, it is easy to be smart now. Blaming someone that did not know how hard, slow will it be. In any case, my opinion is that DRI was not lucky choice. Documentation, support of SW developers was not really good. Lot of it, what should be is missing, and errors too.

In HW it went slow too. Some silly mistakes were done - I think that worst was with expansion ports. ST - no universal one. Mega ST - internal CPU bus expansion port. Not much was developed, sold for that. Then on TT, Mega STE - VME expansion bus - professional, expensive. Ah, STE - same as ST, nada . Falcon - again new, internal expansion bus. If Amiga did something better, expansion bus/port is it for sure.

We can say that golden era was period 1985-1988. Despite some smaller flaws, STE was good design, and very compatible. But came little too late. 1-2 years. And that can be fatal in computer business. SW support was really poor. Partially because Amiga, partially because Atari self did not enough to motivate. For instance they never made analog joystick for STE, so there is no SW what using it.

All in all, I can say that I'm not enough smart. Maybe Jack Tramiel went too old, tired. Maybe it was too big bite. One thing is to sell 65 M of C64, other is to compete with big sharks . And in meantime, SW became what makes more money than HW .

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In July 1984 Jack Tramiel acquired the consumer-market assets of Atari Inc. including the rights to the Atari name and associated fuji marketing logos.

 

Plus he got by most accounts, warehouses full of unsold stock that still had a significant market value, product placements and sponsorship at the upcoming Summer Olympics, a complete and ready-to-manufacture replacement 7800 video game console, and the ongoing rights to several video game properties including some Nintendo titles for the home computer market. He acquired a global manufacturing and distribution network, and from memory Warner agreed to settle most outstanding debt. In short he got one heck of a deal.

 

Knowing what we know today about the success of video games, it is tragic that Atari has been relegated to a purveyor of goofy retro consoles and ported-to-iphone penny games. Much of that blame belongs to the Tramiel clan.

 

To be fair, Tramiel inherited a mess. Warner had mis-managed Atari badly. Like many MBA-led tech giants I have worked for, senior management mistook early success for their own business acumen, and hubris took over. The wild success of the 2600 after Space Invaders was licensed and a half-decent port released, was followed up by the cynical money-grabbing shit show that was Pac-Man, and the catastrophic disaster that was ET. I've heard Howard Scott Warshaw on stage at PRGE, hotly contesting that ET "wasn't the worst game on the 2600!". True enough. But it was the biggest disappointment ever released on any console, and a video game buying public twice conned by the marketing hacks at Atari were not going to be fooled a third time. James Morgan had quite sensibly halted some of the more bizarre Atari cash burning projects such as the 1400XL and 1450XLD machines, but also left the company with no future computing strategy.

 

Tramiel brought his own baggage to the party. His Wikipedia page has several quotes to dealers who had been burned by him at his time at Commodore, and his penchant for trying to micro-manage every decision. His "stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap", no money for marketing, "build it and they will come" approach may have worked well in the early days of the PET and VIC20, but by the mid 80s it wasn't going to cut it anymore. His rock-bottom-price approach was a by-product of earlier career losses to the Japanese and TI, but it left no margin for serious product development.

 

The C64 was a massive success in large part due to the low price. But there were several low-price micros in 1982. What Tramiel seemed to miss was that the C64 was also successful in large part due to the VICII and SID chips that blessed the machine with its remarkable abilities. If he had understood that key point, I believe the ST would have entered the market with more capabilities in this respect, especially audio.

 

The Atari ST was remarkable for being introduced so quickly, but the machine lacked serious graphical and audio capabilities that are a requirement for a video game platform. He seemed to think his 1040ST with cheap laser printer was a good fit for small businesses, but who was going to support it when he had burned all his distribution bridges? Atari bought Federated Stores without doing their homework and lost what little working capital they had left, and the razor thin margins on the ST meant that development seemed to be stalled.

 

As you say above, the STE should have been released in 1987, and might have allowed Atari to compete with the Amiga 500 at a price point that still allowed them to innovate. Instead we had a series of somewhat useless semi-portables and repackaged mega machines, and a TT that Atari didn't seem to know what to do with. Had he got the 7800 to market in 1984 and built some strategy to lure developers into supporting the platform or used legal means to break Nintendo's exclusive platform license policy, he might have kept that revenue stream open for longer, and we might have seen competitive Atari consoles into the late 90s.

 

And what the hell was the XEP80 supposed to be?

 

So in summary I feel Tramiels' wheeling and dealing squeezed another few years out of Atari. I am grateful for the 130XE, the STE and the Falcon. I supposed few others could have done much better. But Tramiel never seemed to have much of a vision. Someone who understood the value of the Atari brand, had vision, and a few million in working capital... Some dreams never die.

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I also felt like Atari was one model behind in their release schedule. The STe, or something like it, should have been the second model released in 1987. When did it officially come out? 1989 or so? That was too late. The company's fate was sealed and it was simply a matter of time before cash flow ceased.

 

When new models were announced they were more or less repacking old technologies into new models. They should have continued extending the graphics and audio capabilities. ST had something similar to CGA resolution when the world started moving on to EGA and VGA performance. They could have kept the analog signals with old resolutions (vs going EGA TTL style) and simply increase color space. That would have been nice.

 

Using industry standard connections/connectors and formats would have helped open a lot of opportunities. ASCI? DIN connectors for video?

 

Taking the ST upscale in the market space with a decent promotion strategy would have helped a lot. For some reason, Jack didn't feel like marketing the machine very much.

 

Yes, buying Federated was a huuuuge mistake. I always felt they should have used that money for marketing or developing another ST machine sooner.

 

I suppose there is a lot of mistakes or missteps we can point out from today's view. We have the luxury of hindsight. :)

 

But, honestly, look at the competition. Not many players did better. Atari pulled out in 1993 to focus on the Jaguar and Lynx. Commodore went bankrupt in 1994 or so and simply disappeared. Apple almost went to ruin in 1996 or so. At least Atari is alive and existing in some fashion today. Too bad they didn't have a person like Steve Jobs to save the company.

 

Some people say Atari and Commodore should have united since the machines were so similar. I'm not sure that would have led to any manor developments. Integrating two companies together takes a lot of time and money and neither company had either of those. I would say JTS buying Atari was a little strange. Atari had a lot of neat technology under their belt and hidden in their back pocket, especially concerning gaming. Why wouldn't Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft pick up Atari's IP and some assets? Did Atari stink so bad?

 

Another interesting thought : what if Atari and Microsoft did eventually release Windows for the ST? Imagine Windows running on a 68020 Atari machine in 1989. That would have changed the dynamics a lot. Would Microsoft get in more monopoly trouble? Would they be forced to sell that part of the business?

 

And we havent even explore the "what if" in the 8-bit line ... like, what if Atari did use the 65816 processor instead of the 6502? Now there's a thought!

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Atari designed 32bit successor to ST, promoted as EST with MC68020 and 256 colors.

Shiraz Shivji design this computer right after work on ST was done but in 1987. Shiraz Shivji left Atari and Roy Good (guy with UNIX background) took his role. At this point EST have even finished plastic case and badges! My opinion is that Atari decided to go on Unix path (like Petari already mention, TOS was not upgraded properly; Atari was surely lacking software engineers) and this bring delay of EST (later named TT) for next two years. https://st-news.com/issues/st-news-volume-2-issue-7/features/interview-with-shiraz-shivji/

 

 

Bill Gates offer Windows as OS for ST but in 1984. it was still largely unfinished so Atari go with Digital Research.

 

 

btw

best way to understand Jack Tramiel decisions is to watch and read interview with him...

https://www.8bitgeneration.comhave great interviews but they are not free :(

 

EDIT: Regarding my opinion about Tramiels and Atari:

fact is that Tramiel took over (part) Atari at point when they lose more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS per day and bring it to profitability. Later, they pay e.g. 100 millions for Federated Stores (and I also believe that this was fatal mistake at that point).

 

Tramiels bring to market first computer that cost less then 1$ per KB.

They made computer that gave a birth to astonishing software like: CuBase, Apple Logic, 3ds Max, Calamus, STad, STeve, ProText (german)...

 

Jack Tramiel, not Bill Gates, was the one who bring computer to every home and they was truly: for the masses, not for the classes.

Tramiel did a great job! Could be better but overall GREAT.

 

And who wants to learn more about Jack Tramiel, I also recommend site: http://jackandthemachine.com(and general talks by D. Schmüdde about Tramiel)

 

Edited by calimero
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Jack did a wonderful thing when he and his family bought Atari. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that he turned Atari around with the ST. I think almost everyone will say that Atari continued the tradition of making truly revolutionary products when they initially released the ST. In 1985 they started the slow shift in the market that brought us affordable computers. They began making multimedia computers before people knew what multimedia was. It's what happened afterwards people will debate forever. :)

 

Again, imagine if Atari never bought Federated. $100+ million stays in the bank.

 

Now, accelerate something like the STe to 1987. In 1989 release the Falcon and update the STe to something like the STe Plus. Now there is a "low" offering and a "high" offering. Follow up with the TT in 1990. Now there is "low", "medium", and "high". In parallel, Jack could have slowly expanding the gaming console offering. Give the XE and XEGS the 65816 processor. Eliminate the 65XE and only offer the 130XE. The potential for success was enormous.

 

I don't know about the STacy, Portfolio, and the "other" products. They seemed like science projects which are fun to do and great to learn from for future development. However, I would have skipped those released and continued to focus on the core offering. Maybe release something portable like that later when battery tech and portable screen tech improved.

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Under Tramiel, i grew to associate Atari with Vapourware.

 

As a UK Atari owner, we soon grew used to Atari using the press to annouce they had something special in the works (CD ST, ST console, Panther, Amiga beating STE etc) and hardware either never arrived or was not as promised (STE specifications) and the hardware had nothing on the software that was annouced and never arrived.

 

Atari did not seem to be able to find it's identity. .was it now a home computer manufacturer with the ST being everything the Sinclair QL should of been?

 

Or was it a console manufacturer as it had the 2600 Jr, XEGS and 7800 all on sale at the same time and all competing for the same slice of the UK 8 bit cartridge based console market?.

 

 

I stuck with Atari from the 2600 to the Jaguar and went for the ST over the Amiga and bought a Lynx to go with my Game Gear...

 

But they were tough times and looking back i should of gone for the Amiga rather than the ST.

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...

But they were tough times and looking back i should of gone for the Amiga rather than the ST.

Well, I was completely neutral in April of 1987 - Amiga 500 just arrived, was little more expensive than ST. After going in some shops it was clear that ST stays much better with SW. That was what prevailed. And maybe my bad experience with Commodore 64 computers - most unreliable, indeed.

Now, I can say that I made good/lucky choice. Atari is more universal, better for programmer. I was not so much for gaming, music. Only thing what can see as real Amiga benefit is expansion port. But in my case not - I added lot of it inside machine, experienced with HW.

In 1992 spring it was exactly opposite with SW - much more for Amiga (Germany) . But truth is that I started then to orient to PC, because it was then more and more spread in business, small business. And I could even make some money with doing PC SW.

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Atari did not seem to be able to find it's identity. .was it now a home computer manufacturer with the ST being everything the Sinclair QL should of been?.

This is consequence of Atari organization:

in each country, Atari gave freedom to local managers to promote and sell computers as they want!

 

In Germany Atari ST was never compared to Amiga like in UK.

 

UK Atari department positioned ST as gaming computer...

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Especially as TOS development went slower than planned - or better word is 'dreamed' . Sure, it is easy to be smart now. Blaming someone that did not know how hard, slow will it be. In any case, my opinion is that DRI was not lucky choice. Documentation, support of SW developers was not really good. Lot of it, what should be is missing, and errors too.

 

GEM (I mean parts like AES, VDI, GemDos) was DRI operating system. They were responsible for improving GEM, developing it on PC platform, and acquiring new developers.

But they just screwed something up and they left Atari on the ice.

Edited by Cyprian_K

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I never seemed to get a long life from Atari hardware under Tramiel.

 

 

As an 800XL owner i saw Atari shift it's focus to the ST..

 

As a 520STFM owner i was told the FM series were old hat and were being phased out in favour of the STE. .

 

The Lynx (along with the Falcon) were put out to pasture so Atari could focus on the Jaguar...

 

The Panther according to Bob Gleadow and others, was supposed to launch at the same time as the Lynx, but Atari did not have the resources to support 2 new consoles at once.

 

 

Being an ST owner, once the Amiga 500 saw a price drop and had games like Batman The Movie etc bundled with it, saw games being reviewed on Amiga first, with the ST version reviewed some time after, if at all and if it was a game originating from the States, good chance there was never going to be an ST version.

 

Think it was Sam rather than Jack, who said UK software developers were 'cutting their own throats' by not putting out cut down versions of their games on the ST (less colours, weaker sound and scrolling etc), yet this was not the case.

 

 

As an owner of the 800XL i had 2 machines die due to faulty Rom chips.

 

As a C64 owner i had the power pack melt.

 

As an ST owner a power surge killed it.

 

I could not say machines from Atari were any more or less reliable than those of Commodore.

 

The ST was sold to myself at the time by being £100 cheaper and having a huge bundle of software, a Tramiel policy that hooked me in, but i traded short term gain over a long term future for it.

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It would've been more expensive and would've required a larger ROM but the best OS combo Atari Corp could've went with was MicroWare OS-9 with DRI's GEM running atop it. It's a shame MicroWare and DRI didn't merge. Microsoft even tried to acquire MicroWare but MicroWare rejected their offers.

 

Amigans can chime in all they want to about MetaComCo's Trip-OS/AmigaOS but OS-9 was multitasking and multiuser at the same time. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to be on the radar of either Atari Inc or the successor Atari Corp, at least until OS-9 was later ported to the ST.

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The ST was sold to myself at the time by being £100 cheaper and having a huge bundle of software, a Tramiel policy that hooked me in, but i traded short term gain over a long term future for it.

 

That's why I went for the ST but it's not a choice I'm unhappy with. The Amiga didn't have a long-term future either; once multimedia PC hardware and the internet became affordable to the average Joe both systems were history. I've explored the Amiga a bit in the last 10 years but I still prefer the ST. I'm not a musician or a programmer, I'm that elusive rarity - an ST Gamer. I'd rather play with slightly faster processing, disk loading and the ST's humble Yamaha than put up with the Amiga's bombastic music and sound effects.

 

I don't know if Tramiel made the smartest business choices during his tenure with Atari but I do know that a number of books have been written about the incompetence of the Commodore management during the Amiga years; my Amiga of preference (the A600) is particularly criticised; there is also the OCS/ECS debacle and their choice to introduce AGA after the gaming market had moved on to consoles. I don't think Atari did any worse than Commodore, they just did things differently. It all comes down to whichever one you prefer.

Edited by English Invader
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I think Tramiel simply expected to replicate the success of the C64 at a new company

 

But there was a problem.. The 16-bit computers were never as affordable as the 8-bit computers, The PC Clones were beginning to invade the home market. And Atari tried to get into markets they probably should have avoided (The Workstation market with the Abaq, the PC market with their half-assed PC clones)

 

And consoles made a comeback. Jack allowed Nintendo and Sega to steal this market from Atari without much of a fight. Atari might have still been relevant today if they were more aggressive in this area.

 

Instead their gaming strategy was basically to sell several year old games, on several-years old hardware, repackaged if necessary (XEGS), and got their ass-kicked by Nintendo/Sega with SMB/Sonic. Eventually they started doing new IPs to play catch-up, but it was too little too late. Games seemed to be treated like a cash-cow to milk rather than something that got the kind of investment in R&D/Marketing that it required.

 

Hardware too. The ST was innovative for its time, but every new hardware release after that felt behind the curve like it should have been released a year or two earlier. The Jaguar was only slightly ahead of its time and was soon overshadowed by Playstation.

 

They also never seemed to do enough marketing to get their message out, at least not in the US.

 

In retrospect, I'm not very positive on the Tramiel years. Yes I loved my ST/STe, but was always underwhelmed by everything else. I think Atari may have fared better if the entire company stayed under Warner once they weathered the storm. At least the 7800 might have come out on time and been better positioned to do battle with Nintendo. There would be no ST. And we know Warner Atari had done R&D on 16-bit systems, but who knows what such products might look like? Also maybe they wouldn't have blundered the Amiga chipset? But the past is the past.

Edited by zzip
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Hardware too. The ST was innovative for its time, but every new hardware release after that felt behind the curve like it should have been released a year or two earlier.

 

the same story with Amiga, almost the same chipsets since A1000 till A1200, no serious improvement for 8 years...

AGA is just a ecs with two more bitplanes, even the palette registers have not been changed, and you have to program 24bit color through 12bit register...

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I think Tramiel simply expected to replicate the success of the C64 at a new company

 

But there was a problem.. The 16-bit computers were never as affordable as the 8-bit computers,

 

The A600 was originally intended to address this issue. In fact, David Pleasance wanted it to be called the A300 because he wanted to stress that it was meant to be an affordable upgrade path for people on a C64 budget and not an improvement on the A500. The A600 as released sent the wrong message and it not only didn't sell so well but also killed sales for the A500.

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Zzip wrote: "But there was a problem.. The 16-bit computers were never as affordable as the 8-bit computers, The PC Clones were beginning to invade the home market. And Atari tried to get into markets they probably should have avoided (The Workstation market with the Abaq, the PC market with their half-assed PC clones)"

Wrong. In 1983 C64 price, without it's tape recorder was about 1200 DEM in Germany. In 1987 Atari 520 ST, with single sided drive 1000 DEM . Surely, some C64 was more affordable in 1987, but who wanted C64 then ? People wanted more power, more things possible to do ... And 1000 DEM was affordable, even for some poor "communist country" people.

 

Excuse me, but what PC means ? Personal computer . Ergo - it is home computer too. Name says it clearly. It's other thing that in begin it was used mostly in/for business. But it was similar with Atari ST - used in business too. may see it in some movies from those times (Delusion, 1991) .

When we talk about reasons of failure of Atari and Commodore I would say again: PC Clones had big advantage: competition. That forced very fast development in goal to be cheaper, more powerful, to have better sales. One of rarer examples when capitalistic market worked well. Too bad that it was not same with SW, OS .

Btw. saying now PC-clone sounds really bad. They took solutions implemented right at Atari (among others) - high integrated custom chips. Unlike original PC, with it's motherboards which had only minimal functions, with lot of low integrated logical chips. And that was what made prices lower, as second main reason.

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“PC” and “PC clones” initially did not have all the fun, powerful, and tightly integrated co-processors and controller like Atari had with both 8-bit and ST machines. Once decent sound and VGA cards started coming out in the late 80’s and early 90’s then “PC” and their clones really took off. Finally, the multimedia power and capabilities caught up to the brutal horsepower of the 386 and 486 processors. How could Atari argue against a 486 with ProMaster audio card and even a simple Trident SVGA card? No way, no how. Also, the 68xxx platform from Motorola couldn’t keep up. It’s like they reached a plateau while x86 kept going and going (and is still going). This is one reason Apple jumped over to PowerPC chips at the time.

 

I still contend that Atari should have released the STe in ‘87 with something better than CGA graphics. The Falcon should have followed in ‘89 with SVGA capabilities. Some would argue that is what Commodore did and look what happened to them? True. However, I think their fault was in severe mismanagement vs. Atari was better managed (not well, just better) but fell behind in technology. GEM is a beautiful desktop that rivaled Apple’s System 5 through 7 in my view. With the right hardware and software Atari could survived long enough to transition into something else like Apple. Now, instead, Atari skips a generation and is starting over so to speak. AtariBox here we come!

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Well, I'm sure that all this is pretty much complex, and we need to consider all relevant factors is all it.

And here is one: PC was designed as very low function base system - stays for motherboard and BIOS . You got case, PSU, motherboard with many slots and BIOS, and that's practically all what was a must. Buyer could choose video card, monitor, keyboard etc. by own desires, by how much money planned to spend, etc. And not to forget: OS . And important: if you decided to go on some better graphic, for instance it was basically question of money - upgrade was very simple, and everyone could do it in couple minutes.

Yes, slots on motherboard were very important factor. And don't forget that other survivor - Apple had them too.

Only problem with them is that it increased manufacturing costs, needed bigger case, and practically made impossible to make keyboard computer (Falcon owners who wanted some bigger upgrade know it ). 

At the end, the benefits prevailed, especially when prices started to go down. For instance, benefit is that lot of independent companies join development, and manufacturing very good cards - for graphic, sound, I/O - in those times it was not integrated on mainboard.

Companies, which thought that can do it all self just lost much more than gained. Yes, and that was case with Sony and Betamax vs. VHS  too.

As we see, Atari was slow in development in HW and in SW (although later was more on DRI than Atari self). What would be if they should develop diverse expansions constantly ? Yes, it happened that even with limited possibilities of ST expansion - ACSI port, cartridge port, most of it was done by independent manufacturers. And many of it was better than what Atari made - ICD vs. Megafile ... Atari made analog joystick ports on STE, but never analog joystick for it - missed opportunity.

About GEM, DRI: GEM was good base for GUI, and had potential for further development. But again: every solution has it's good and bad sides. TOS in ROM saves lot of RAM, but is hard for upgrades. And as RAM sizes increased, it lost sense to keep it in ROM around 1992.

And I think that DRI was even slower in development than Atari. Probably they were not as much interested for 68000 market, and focused on Intel CPU based - PCs.

I see that TOS versions from 1992, so more than 6 years after original suffer from same compiler limitations as TOS 1.00 . That is visible especially in hard disk support part - FAT16 handler. Code is just not enough 32-bit, despite 68000 was much better with it than then popular Intel CPUs like 286.

We could talk here about marketing problems too, not supporting SW developers enough.

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:51 AM, ParanoidLittleMan said:

Wrong. In 1983 C64 price, without it's tape recorder was about 1200 DEM in Germany. In 1987 Atari 520 ST, with single sided drive 1000 DEM . Surely, some C64 was more affordable in 1987, but who wanted C64 then ? People wanted more power, more things possible to do ... And 1000 DEM was affordable, even for some poor "communist country" people.

I can't speak for the German market, but judging from the huge volume of German language software I acquired for my ST over the years, it's safe to say it sold extremely well there :)

 

In the US, after the early 80s price war, you could snap up an entry level 8-bit computer for under $150,  yes you would pay more for a full 64K computer, but many of us who wanted computer got what our parents were willing to spend at the time. But it was just the computer  Floppy drives were more expensive than the computer themselves, so many made due with cassette and cartridge storage.   TVs could be used as monitors.  The minimum cost of entry was pretty low

 

When the 16-bits came, they came as a package deal with floppies and monitors,  but that also drove the price up.   The ST line was cheaper than anything else, but it was still $799 for 512Kb and $999 for 1Mb.    Maybe we ultimately paid that once we upgraded our 8-bits with floppies and more RAM, but it was piecemeal, so we didn't feel the pinch as much.

 

Atari eventually released the STfm and STe lines that could be bought without monitors and that reduced the price to around $400.   That was still twice what my 800XL cost I think,  but by that time I had my own income and didn't have to rely on what my parents would spend

 

But anyone looking for a sub-$300 game console alternative like they were buying in 1983 wasn't going to find it in 16-bit computers, and that's why I think consoles made a comeback after people assumed they were dead.

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I've always thought Jack's main goal in acquiring Atari (can't really say bought...he didn't put any money into it!) was revenge. He got out-maneuvered by Irving Gould and lost the company he made. I'm sure there weren't that many tears for how many companies Jack had a hand in ending. I've always said tho the cutthroat tactics that made Tramiel detestable, how bad he was nothing compared to Warners CEO Steve Ross who seemed to make the worst deals ever and I've always wondered if he was the one who cooked up the deal to give Atari to Jack for nothing but promissory notes and Tramiel Tech stock.  

 

See, now I want Marty & Curt to finish Business Is War. 😆😆

Edited by H.E.R.O.
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1 hour ago, H.E.R.O. said:

I've always thought Jack's main goal in acquiring Atari (can't really say bought...he didn't put any money into it!) was revenge. He got out-maneuvered by Irving Gould and lost the company he made. I'm sure there weren't that many tears for how many companies Jack had a hand in ending. I've always said tho the cutthroat tactics that made Tramiel detestable, how bad he was nothing compared to Warners CEO Steve Ross who seemed to make the worst deals ever and I've always wondered if he was the one who cooked up the deal to give Atari to Jack for nothing but promissory notes and Tramiel Tech stock.  

 

See, now I want Marty & Curt to finish Business Is War. 😆😆

I've heard stories of Jack wanting revenge...Jack wanting something to pass onto his son's as a running concern..It seems people have differing ideas as to his reasoning for buying Atari and each are convinced their version is correct.

 

 

I've seen people who never even met him him describe him as a great man, others who worked under him describe as ruthless but they still had respect for him, others blame his buisness tactics for their companies going under.

 

 

I just find him someone very interesting to read further accounts on.

 

 

As for the Atari book..there was a time i so badly wanted it, but with the passing of Jack and no interview, countless people out there interviewing remaining industry sources and sharing information,  i feel it's time might of passed.

 

 

The 7800XM needs to be finished and into folks hands before anything else is done to the book and i cannot for the life of me remember the last status update on the book.

 

Would be nice to know if it's still earmarked for completion. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Lost Dragon said:

I've heard stories of Jack wanting revenge...Jack wanting something to pass onto his son's as a running concern..It seems people have differing ideas as to his reasoning for buying Atari and each are convinced their version is correct.

 

 

I've seen people who never even met him him describe him as a great man, others who worked under him describe as ruthless but they still had respect for him, others blame his buisness tactics for their companies going under.

 

 

I just find him someone very interesting to read further accounts on.

 

 

As for the Atari book..there was a time i so badly wanted it, but with the passing of Jack and no interview, countless people out there interviewing remaining industry sources and sharing information,  i feel it's time might of passed.

 

 

The 7800XM needs to be finished and into folks hands before anything else is done to the book and i cannot for the life of me remember the last status update on the book.

 

Would be nice to know if it's still earmarked for completion. 

 

 

 

The sons are still alive (far as I know) so they can give their angles. It would be nice to know things from the Atari side since I read the Commodore side in Brian Bagnall's book.

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I found Leonard often takes a huge amount of flak, sometimes maybe deserved, but a lot of times it seems maybe not.

 

I'd still like that Tiertex coder i saw quoted on YT comments section to come forward with his version of Jaguar Supercross  3D as he supposedly said it was Tiertex who made decision to Texture Map the game where as Missile Command 3D coder Martin Brownlow put blame firmly at Leonards feet.

 

Leonard also strongly disputes certain claims by certain industry figure now doing interviews as if they are going out of fashion and being caught fabricating an awful lot of events...but that's not for public disclosure. 

 

Leonard also disputes Hoverstrike and Battlezone 2000 being same Jaguar title..and if Rob Nicholson or someone else from HMS could clear this up once and for all, it could add more credibility to Leonard.

 

 

As for Sam...sigh..his press interviews were bad enough, but having chased that UK engineer Sam made out was playing such a high role in development of the Jaguar Duo on behalf of Clint Thompson. .only to find the guy had the smallest of roles...i have next to no faith in anything Sam says these days.

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