Issue 19

Jan/Feb 86

Next Article >>

<< Prev Article




Early purchasers of the 520ST should now have a disk based version of BASIC. The disk and manuals were sent out to distributors in mid-November and may be collected from your dealer free of charge. The disk includes STWRITER as an alternative (though not a substitute) for GemWrite.

Atari say that Digital Research has promised GemWrite and GemPaint 'during November' but it will still be necessary for Atari to complete the manuals for these products. Atari cannot act until the finished products are received but some progress should be evident by the time you read this.

The final decision on the form in which BOS will be available has not yet been taken but it is likely that Atari will issue a voucher which interested users can take to their local BOS dealer for a free copy of BOS. It should be stressed that BOS on its own is worthless so it is only worth obtaining a copy if you intend to purchase BOS based applications.


Although there have been delays, GEM/TOS should now be available on ROM. The upgrade is available from your dealer/ distributor by returning the keyboard unit which will be upgraded for a 'nominal' fee of 25. Silica Shop will however provide the upgrade free of charge to customers who purchased STs from them. Atari claim that the recent settlement between Apple and DR will not affect TOS/GEM and do not plan to make alterations at the present time. Any future alterations which may become necessary will be cosmetic only and will not affect the performance of any previously released software.


Rumours in the States that Atari do not provide a warranty are certainly not true in the U.K. Les Player of Atari explained that Atari have passed the warranty to the distributors who were carefully chosen on their ability to effect the necessary repairs or service. In some cases your dealer will provide the warranty but either way the ST comes with a full 1 year warranty. Any problems will be sorted out by your dealer or distributor.


Beware! Early versions of GEM/TOS have a bug which prevents folders that have an eight letter file name from being opened. Once a file is in, there is no way out! The initial solution is to ensure that you use short file names for folders but if you have got yourself in this predicament the only answer is to use a disk editor to change the filename on disk. Hippo Disk Utilities is available now for this job.


"End of this year or beginning of next year". Apparently there are problems with the modulator.

SOFTWARE AVAILABLE NOW ... All of the Infocom adventures, Hippo C, Hippo Disk Utilities, Hippo Spell, Hippo Simple, K-Seka, K-Ram, Hex, PC Intercomm, Mark of the Unicorn Word Processor, Express Letter Writer, Ultima 2.'Now' is the beginning of November so six weeks have passed, check your dealer.


As well as STWRITER, which owners should have, Atari are offering a superb painting program called NeoChrome. Drawing with a mouse is so easy and NeoChrome, even though it was never intended as a commercial program, is far superior to any paint program on the 8-bit machines. You can get a copy from your dealer for the price of a disk. You will need a colour monitor.


Atari's colour monitor has still not been released but in the meantime there are cheaper alternatives. The Phillips Video-RGB Monitor CM 8533 retails at around 299 (cable extra) and can double as a monitor for the 130XE or 800/XL. Quality is superb. The ST really comes alive in colour! 

Wootton Computers in Crewe can supply this monitor and a cable for the ST. Phone 0270 214118 for price and details.


Several of the software packages demonstrated at PCW have been taken up by ANTIC magazine for U.S. distribution thus ensuring smaller U.K. developers an outlet in the States.

Silica Shop have over 170 'announced' software package in their latest ST price list from 61 different companies, most of them British. In addition they list another 34 companies who will be developing software but who are not yet prepared to announce titles. If you can't find the software you want in 1986 you are not looking!

One American company that has really taken the ST to heart is Hippopotamus Software who were among the very first to complete software packages. Many of these were originally written for the Macintosh but have been converted to the ST in super quick time. An amazing variety of finished (and available) products include an Almanac with over 35,000 entries, jokes and Quotes, Ramdisk and Disk Utilities. In the pipeline are an Eprom Burner, a half megabyte upgrade, a spelling checker, and HippoArt which is a collection of hi-res pictures for use with Atari's NeoChrome and Backgammon. Several of these products will be available from Software Express.



TDI SOFTWARE LTD .... announce TDI MODULA-2/ ST which allows programmers to write GEM applications for the 520ST in a true 32-bit language. Modula-2 is an advanced language that users of Pascal will learn in a few days. Several business packages and database are planned under the Modula-2 system. Details from TDI 0272 742 796

TDI SOFTWARE LTD ... UCSD Pascal/P-SYSTEM operating system for the 520ST. A wide range of single and multi-user P-SYSTEM software has already been developed with over 140 packages for business, accounting, CAD and vertical markets. Much of this software will rapidly become available for the ST. UCSD Pascal is available immediately. Details from TDI at 0272 742796.

GST COMPUTER SYSTEMS ... GSTC - a C compiler with full GEM window support, standard libraries, simple assembler, editor and linker at 60, GST ASM a full 68000 macro assembler complete with editor at 40 and GST EDIT, a multi window GEM screen editor at 25. Details from Electric Software Ltd. Tel. 9054 81991.


STOP PRESS ... HABA SYSTEMS INC. of California have announced the formation of HABA SYSTEMS LTD. to handle European distribution of all HABA products. Initial products are HABA Writer, HABA Hippo C and a Hard Disk Drive. Your local dealer will be able to stock these products. HABA Systems Ltd can be contacted at 34, Greenlands Lane, Prestwood, Great Missenden, Bucks. Tel. 02406 6045