At this writing, Antic just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where Atari's focus was primarily on the mass market and the 8-bit machine. Most ST products had already been premiered at COMDEX six weeks earlier. But there were some significant ST newcomers.
Two show-stealers illustrated the broad spectrum of ST software that is beginning to appear. One was a vertical-market-oriented PC board designer and the other was a spectacular graphics/adventure game called The Pawn.
The Pawn demonstrated the most advanced parser yet seen on a personal computer. Created by Magnetic Scrolls and distributed by Firebird, Inc., the program includes such advanced features as a 512-color title screen and a 16-color, low resolution screen, plus smooth scrolling over an 80-column, medium resolution screen. Watch future issues of ST Resource for more on this fantastic program.
Firebird, Inc., P.O. Box 49, Ramsey, NJ 07446. (201) 934-7373. DEMO.
Abacus Software, publishers of the recent line of ST books (see review in this issue) demonstrated an as yet untitled German program that will automatically design PC boards. Abacus expects to target the PC board designer at an industrial market and was showing it at consumer-oriented CES primarily because they had just received it and wanted to show it off. Nevertheless, within two days they received three dozen orders.
Abacus Software, P.O. Box 7211, Grand Rapids, MI 49510. (616) 241- 5510. DEMO.
Activision demonstrated, from a Iuxurious hotel suite, the remarkable Music Studio by Audio Light, Inc. This is sure to generate a lot of interest. The program will drive the ST sound chip, but it really takes off when a synthesizer is hooked up to your ST through the MIDI port. Last Christmas, Antic was treated to a demonstration of this product. We then uploaded fifteen demo files to DL6 of the 16-bit library of CompuServe's SIG*Atari. (They should still be there, along with instructions.) Music Studio is expected to be available by the time you read this. No price had been set at press time. Also, Borrowed Time ($44.95), which we had not received last month, is now in our hands. Expect a review soon.
Activision, Inc. 1350 Bayshore Frontage Road, Mountain View, 94043. (415) 960-0410. BETA/FINAL.
From Sierra On-Line, we can look forward to The Black Cauldron ($24.95), which was demonstrated at CES along with Donald Duck's Vacation ($24.95). The Black Cauldron, based on the Disney film, is similar in style to King's Quest II. In a more practical vein, Sierra will be releasing an accounting series beginning with ST OneWrite ($149.95), due in April.
Sierra On-Line, Coarsegold, CA 93614, (209) 683-6858, DEMO/PRESS/PRESS.
Alternate Realities is being developed for the ST by Datasoft. The programmers have been working on it since November and hope to have the finished product on the shelves by next Christmas. Philip Price, the game's original author, is serving as Creative Consultant, but will not be actively involved in the programlning. No price has yet been set.
Datasoft, 19808 Nordhoff Place, Chatsworth, CA 91311, (818) 701-5161, PRESS.
Compute! Publications has released its first book for the ST, The ST Programmer's Guide ($16.95). Designed primarily for BASIC and LOGO programmers, the 365-page book includes introductions to ST BASIC and an explanation of the ST BASIC keywords. There is also a helpful section on LOGO primitives and concepts.
Computel Publications, P.O. Box 5406 Greensboro, NC 47403, (919) 275-9809, FINAL.
Microprose will be releasing Silent Service (No price at press time). The ST version is being programmed by Silas Warner, who created Castle Wolfenstein on the 8-bit machines.
Microprose Software, 120 Lakefront Drive, Hunt Valley, MD 81030, (301) 667-1151, DEMO.
At the CES Casio exhibite, company called Q.R.S. was demonstrating a novel MIDI product for the ST called Q.R.S. Music Rolls ($19.95). Each disk contains MIDI files of songs which have been directly translated from old player piano rolls. You can actually have George Gershwin play Rhapsody in Blue through your synthesizer. Nice idea.
Micro-W Distributing, 1342B Route 23, Butler, NJ 07405. (201) 838-9047. FINAL.
Also, for the MIDI, Hybrid Arts-- creators of MIDITRACK II for the 8-bit Atari--will be releasing DX-Droid and MIDI Track ST (price not yet available). DX-Droid is a sophisticated patch librarian/editor for a Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer. MIDITRACK ST is the ST version of their 8-bit product. It will be available in both "professional" and "consumer" versions.
Hybrid Arts, Inc., 11920 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064. (213) 826-2777. PRESS.
Leaving CES and returning to the ST Resource offices, we have recently received DevPacST ($79.95), an assembler/editor/debugger, from a British software firm called Hisoft. At this time, no U.S. distributor has been announced. Contact the company directly at the below address.
Hisoft, 180 High Street North, Dunstable, Beds, England LU6 1AT. (0588) 696411. FINAL.
Zoomracks ($79.95) is a database system based on an entirely new computer interface metaphor. If you are familiar with the kind of view racks that are used for time cards, then you should have no problem adapting to Zoomracks. More than a database, really, the system is more of an organizer with integrated database and word processing abilities. This looks to be an interesting product. Watch for a review in the ST Resource soon.
QuickView Systems, 146 Main Street, Suite 404, Los Altos, California 94022. (415) 965-0387. FINAL.
Another unusual product is Rhythm ($39.95). This is one of the first third-party desk accessories for the ST. Rhythm is a multiple calculator in the form of a mini-spreadsheet. Developed in England by Softechnics, it is being distributed in this country by Apex Resources.
Apex Resources, 17 St. Mary's Court, Brookline, MA 12146. (617) 138-9686. FINAL.
Artworx has announced their commitment to the ST by adapting Bridge 4.0 ($29.95) to the new machine. The ST version of Bridge 4.0 will be completely mouse-controlled. According to Artworx, "the user never has to touch the keyboard." The company also plans to release CompuBridge ($29.35), a tutorial program. CompuBridge will be written entirely in ST BASIC and the source code will be available to the user for programming examples.
Artworx, 150 North Main Street, Fairport, NY 14450. (716) 425-2833. PRESS.
And speaking of 8-bit translations, Epyx will be adapting the classic Apshai Trilogy to the ST, along with Winter Games. Both products are expected to be available by the time you read this. At press time, the retail price had not been set. Says Epyx vice president for marketing, Robert Botch, "We want owners of these new systems to be able to enjoy the same challenging Epyx games owners of other popular computers do."
Epyx, Inc., 1043 Kiel Court, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. (408) 745-0700. PRESS.
And...Oh yes, did we mention that Atari was demonstrating Star Raiders for the ST at CES? No? Well, they were. The program is about one-third completed and it looked pretty good. There was a highly detailed control panel and solid-model--rather than wire-frame--ships.
New ST product notices are compiled from information provided by the products' manufacturers. Antic assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of these notices or the performance of the product. Each mention is followed by a code word indicating that, at press time, Antic had seen a FINAL marketable version, near-final BETA, earlier ALPHA, incomplete DEMO, or PRESS release.