Concentrate on the little guys!
We agree that the ST is perfectly suited for small business use, especially considering its reasonable price. We'd like to add, though, that it's certainly not necessary for the ST owner wishing to use his machine for business applications to write his own software. There is almost any type of software available for the ST, including some very sophisticated business products—everything from databases and word processors to professional accounting packages. There's even a cash register program!
Three pieces in your June issue prompted me to write this letter: "The Absent Revolution" by Mike Donahue, "Ian's Quest," and Walnum's editorial. All make excellent points and should be required reading at Atari Corp.
I have one observation to add to this forum. Why does everyone seem so concerned with seeing an ST in use in a Fortune 1000 company, anyway? Surely the large-corporation desktop market is a relatively saturated area whose growth potential pales in comparison with the vast number of small businesses in the world that could benefit from office automation, but could not afford it until now due to the prohibitive costs associated with previously available machines. The ST seems tailor-made for such a "niche," an area that the big boys seem content to ignore. The budgetary realities of small businesses are much closer to the scale of home budgets, the price point for which Atari seems determined to build machines
In an attempt to put our money where our mouths are, my wife and I (both dentists) have assembled our own dental office practice-management system around a 1040 using self-written software and installed it in our own office. We have been automated in all of our financial and bookkeeping operations since August 1987. Our system does everything the established marketing systems do—and all this without any blue logos. If it would be a little too much to call ourselves revolutionaries, then at least call us dissidents for using this "game machine" in a professional business installation!
—James C. Stamey