Classic Computer Magazine Archive ST-Log ISSUE 19 / MAY 1988 / PAGE 8

Reader comment

CPs for STs

I would like to make a comment on the Atari ST line. Perhaps this would be best phrased as a question: "Why, oh why can't the ST machines have a ‘command processor’ DOS, such as MS-DOS, or DOS XL (which I use on my 800)?" I prefer the power and speed of a command processor (using a few keystrokes) over the hassle of messing with mice. Drag. . .click . . .point. . .double-click. . .Ugh!

Call me old fashioned, or a power user, but I'll take a CP anytime.

Do you think that Atari, or perhaps a third-party company, can offer an alternative to messing with mice?

Also, as a staunch Atari supporter, I'd like to see them take a much more aggressive marketing tack with the ST line. It seems to me that a three-pronged offensive would be best, those areas being: (1) ST MIDI music; (2) ST desktop publishing; and (3) ST CD ROM.

I feel these three areas, along with perhaps CAD, offer the best potential growth for Atari in the marketplace.

Bill Somrak
Columbus, OH

Why can't the ST machines have a command processor? But they do! Many of them, in fact. The Atari Developer's Kit has always included COMMAND.TOS, which disables the GEM environment and lets you do things the "old-fashioned" way. There are also several command interpreters available from third-party developers, including MichTron's DOS Shell (576 S. Telegraph, Pontiac, MI 48053, 313-334-5700) and Beckemeyer's Micro C-Shell (592 Jean Street #304, Oakland, CA 94610, 415-658-5318) which was reviewed in issue 11 of ST-Log. If your pocketbook is a bit tight, there are also several command interpreters available in the public domain, including ASH070 and PCOMMAND, both of which are available for downloading on the ANALOG Publishing Atari SIG on Delphi.

As for Atari's marketing, they've never been overly aggressive (at least, not since Jack Tramiel took over), but you'll be happy to know that the areas you mentioned are already a big part of the Atari plan. The latest polls show the ST rapidly becoming the #1 choice of musicians, so much so that there's been talk of selling STs not only in computer outlets, but in music stores too. Atari STs may soon see increased demand in the desktop publishing field, also—as soon as the new MEGA STs and the Atari SLM laser printers are released (see "Status report" in issue 16).

When it comes to CD ROM, it's anybody's guess as to when Atari will actively pursue this exciting new technology. They have hinted at plans of developing CD ROM systems for the entire Atari line, but have delayed the project due to high prices. When Atari manages to find a way to produce CD ROM players for what they consider to be a reasonable price, there's no doubt that these will he available for your ST. Personally, we can't wait!