Bigger Does Mean Better
Notice anything different about this issue of START? Hold it up for a second--now do you notice? That's right, START is bigger and it's going to get even bigger in the coming months. There are plenty of reasons for this added bulk, so I'll just get right to them.
Making A New START
By now you know that START did not publish a September 1990 issue. This was done so that we could implement planned improvements to the magazine; some you asked for, some we needed. By the January 1991 issue, all of these changes will be in place to make for a new, improved START.
Perhaps the most significant change is that Antic, the legendary magazine for 8-bit computer users, is now a special section within START. Read Antic Editor Nat Friedland's "farewell" editorial on page 93 for more details.
We're pleased to welcome two new faces to the START staff. Jim Burton joins the magazine as technical editor; Rick Braden is the new art director. Burton is a journalist and past START contributor with a thorough knowledge of GFA BASIC. His main responsibility will be the START disk. Braden comes to us from Portland, Ore., where he designed a number of successful regional business and technical journals. In addition to his talents as a graphic designer, Braden is an ST owner and MIDI aficionado.
Several popular ST authors have been named contributing editors,with responsibility for areas of particular interest to ST users. Dan Fruchey will handle word processing and desktop publishing, John Russell and David Plotkin will handle hardware, and Christopher Roberts will take the reins on telecommunications. Jim Pierson-Perry continues to cover MIDI and music, while former START editor Andrew Reese will cover graphics.
In the May 1990 issue we asked you to tell us a little about yourselves in our Reader Survey. Over 800 of you sent in a completed survey--so far. Some of you even went to the trouble to include a letter with specific comments. This phenomenal response shows how serious you take your computing. The information you provided us will be invaluable in planning future issues. As promised, we've published the results, with excerpts from some of the letters, in this issue. Thanks again for taking the time to fill it out and fill us in.
To Double-Side Or Not To Double-Side--That Was The Question
In a way, START isn't a magazine with disk, it's a disk with magazine. Because of this, START must present you with programs you can make real use of. So, with the January 1991 issue will come the debut of the new START disk. This disk will be straight double-sided and packed with utilities, product demos and public-domain programs, as you requested. I can't (The Start editors/Typesetters made a bobo here) disk. This disk will be straight double-sided and packed with utilities, product demos and public-domain programs, as you requested. I can't imagine a more hassle-free disk--just put it in your (double-sided) drive and click on the program you want to run.
Great Minds Think Alike?
The changes at START coincide with major changes at Atari Corp. Elie Kenan has been named General Manager of Atari North America. This new continental subsidiary will encompass the United States and Canada (and, in a bizarre twist, may include France, Kenan's home country).
As reported in this month's "New, Notes & Quotes," Kenan took Atari France from $0 to $50 million dollars in annual sales. The details of his deal are cloudy, but Kenan has apparently insisted on total autonomy from the home offices in Sunnyvale, Calif. To this end, his arm of Atari may wind up in Boston, a move of which industry observers approve.
START wishes Kenan and Atari well in their latest co-venture. In the months to come, we'll find out the extent to which these changes affect us all.
STE And TT News
A review unit of Atari's new STE arrived in the START offices and the computer is reportedly available at your local dealer. On the surface, the STE looks exactly like earlier STs. However, boot the included system disk and you'll find that the STE is very different. A redesign of the ST motherboard reveals TOS 1.6, a blitter chip, an 8-bit stereo sound chip and a 4,096-color palette (accessed through the new Control Panel), among other things. The STE retails for around $600 and if Atari can get a healthy production run for the Christmas season, their new computer will no doubt be a big winner. A review is scheduled for the November 1990 issue.
The TT, Atari's new computer based on Motorola's 68030 microchip, appears close to a U.S. release. Some developer units have already shipped and they're running at a clock speed of 32 MHz. This news adds credence to an earlier report, confirmed by Atari, that the TT will be available at your dealer before this fall's Comdex in November. We'll keep you up to date on the latest TT news as it develops.
We're Here To Help
Each and every month, over 70,000 Atari-computer users read START, making it the absolute best way for hardware and software developers to share their products and ideas with people who are genuinely interested in hearing about them. Anyone involved in the Atari community--from CEO Sam Tramiel to you, the end user--should know that START is here to help. We more than welcome any suggestions for ways to better service our readers and the Atari world as a whole.
Well, it looks as if 1991 will be a big year for Atari and START.