by Lee Pappas
"What's new in the 8-bit world?"
Nothing. I have seen so few product releases for the "little" Atari it's amazing. Sure, there's some new software from time to time, but mostly from small companies (more often than not one-man operations ... real Atari enthusiasts). The big software institutions have totally forgotten about this market of ours... No, I take that back: Springboard recently released Newsroom for the offspring of the of 400/800 line - and it's a great program. Of course, Atari is busy, producing game cartridges for the XE game machine. Stuff like Blue Max. Remember that game, originally produced in disk format by Synapse? What, maybe four years ago or so? Of course, I don't mean to knock the XEGS, this 8-bit offshoot; it's probably the last hope for our aging 6502 machines-what with most of the great 8-bit programmers having moved to the ST or whatever. What really puzzles me is I KNOW there are tens of thousands of do-or-die 8-bitters out there. The fact that we sell a zillion copies of ANALOG Computing every month proves that. So, what are you doing with your 400? Or 800? Or XL or XE? It can't just be sitting in the closet or you wouldn't be reading this right now. Are you playing games? Are you still using your computer for word processing? Telecommunicating? Or (gasp, dare I say it?), are you using your wonderful little machine for business? The readers of this magazine average in the mid-30s age-wise. That's a fairly mature group to be just playing games. No. You're out there using your computer for productive causes. And that leads me to the question ... WHAT? I would love to know what you loyal Atari users are doing out there. It's a known fact that Atari computer owners are one of the most (if not THE most) loyal groups around in regards to supporting their machine. To an Atarian the common phrase "but I thought Atari just makes games" is fightin' words sure to bring a string of defensive remarks. I heard that comment years ago, even heard it last week. The 8-bit line has to be one of the most least understood products of our time. But getting back to my interest in Atari computer uses. Take a few minutes and write in. Even if you don't think you do anything special with your 8-bit, you might be surprised. Let us know what your computer does for you. We'll publish the most interesting responses... and you and your computer will be famous!