Atari reveal big plans for the ST

Atari's Managing Director Sam Tramiel has announced some revolutionary updates to the ST range of machines.


Atari's head honcho Sam Tramiel,
recently in the UK, has some
amazing plans for the ST range,
which will stretch beyond interactive
compact disc technology and into
the realms of multimedia.

The STE, Mega STE and TT are all to incorporate revolutionary hardware and software packages designed to make the ST the most popular computer of the '90s.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with ST FORMAT, Tramiel announced that multi tasking TOS will be released for the TT by March 1992. This long awaited upgrade will enable the 32-bit TT to run different programs in memory at the same time, with the user switching between applicatons by means of a ''hot key'' keystroke.

This upgrade will only be used in the TT and any other ''high-end'' machines with hardware memory protection, to keep the data safe.

New TTs are to be released with multi-tasking TOS already installed, although anyone who already owns a TT will be able to purchase a new chip set to enable multi-tasking on existing TTs. The installation of a multi-tasking environment for the TT means that the machine is now a powerful and direct competitor for business computers such as Apple's IIsi or IBM'S 386 family.

• The STT transmutes board - the high-speed add-on STF revealed exclusively in issue 17 - is working its way through the development process. Bob Gleadow (Atari UK's Managing Director) has told FORMAT that all the preliminary work has been completed. He has also revealed that the STT project may not be restricted to transmutes technology, but he wouldn't say what else it might include. We're putting our money on some sort of vastly improved graphics dis- play on a card.


Atari's Dusseldorf show, traditionally their
strongest launch event, featured the entire
ST range, new machines and some
incredible software advances.

• Owners of Mega STEs and TTs will soon be able to upgrade their floppy drives to a full 1.44MByte version. All new TTs released after October will feature the high density drive. Sam Tramiel told ST FORMAT that inexpensive upgrades would be made available to existing Mega STE and TT owners, but unfortunately not to 520 and 1040 STE/STFM owners.

• Atari have finally revealed that they are producing an analog joystick for the STE, Mega STE and TT. Atari invented the present form of joystick about ten years ago and they are hoping to have a formative effect on game-playing again with their new model. The company will be releasing their analog joystick as an add-on.

By Andrew Hutchinson

 


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