Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 5, NO. 3 / JULY 1986



First, I'd like to thank all the Antic readers who took time to write (or upload) their comments responding to my editorial in the April, 1986 issue about coverage of the Atari 8-bit and ST computers. Your responses were thoughtful and strong, and we're still considering many of your suggestions.

The main question under consideration was which of these two approaches you would prefer:

1. Antic magazine covering only 8-bit Atari computers-and a separate, new, all-ST magazine.

2. A bigger Antic magazine covering both ST and 8-bit Ataris.

It turns out that this was not an easy choice for our readers to make. The survey votes were divided almost equally between the two alternatives-with separate ST and 8-bit magazines slightly in the lead.

Most of you who own both an 8-bit and an ST wanted Antic magazine to continue covering all Atari computers. The votes in favor of separate magazines came primarily from Atarians who own only an 8-bit, or only an ST-and who have no immediate plans to purchase another computer.

After considerable discussion and thought, here's the way I figure it. Antic Publishing must continue its tradition of support to the 8-bit Atari users, as well as the entire Atari community. However, the powerful new ST computers require longer and more complex pieces than Antic can accomodate. Clearly, ST owners need their own high-level magazine. A quarterly publication with ST disk seems like a realistic approach for us-we can do a good job, with topnotch talent, at a price any hobbyist can afford.

But take all ST material Out of Antic? No, that's dumb. For one thing, almost half our respondents are interested in both types of computers and want Antic to continue covering the entire Atari product line. But we also want to serve those 8-bit owners who have no interest in the ST. So here's what we're going to do:

1. Antic magazine will devote a minimum of 60 to 70 percent of each issue's editorial space to material for 8-bit owners. The rest of the editorial pages will carry timely and useful ST material.

2. START, The ST Quarterly, a new title from Antic Publishing, appears June 1, 1986 and is totally dedicated to Atari ST computers.

The debut issue of START- packaged with an ST program disk- will be an indispensable tool for those who are serious about mastering advanced ST programming techniques. And while START is concentrating on advanced ST topics, Antic will continue the monthly ST Resource section at a significant level, but without overwhelming the quantity and quality of the 8-bit pages.

In this way we preserve Antic magazine's four-year tradition of providing the best information and news for owners of all Atari computer models. This means Antic is committed to bringing owners of the Atari 400, 800, l200XL, 600XL, 800XL, 65XE and 130XE the finest type-in programs, feature articles and reviews for the Atari 8-bit line. Authors and programmers for any model of Atari computer are warmly invited to submit their best work for possible publication. Those of you interested in both the ST and 8-bit Atari computers will welcome START's introductory subscription offer. One year of START (four issues with disks) costs $59.95-and includes 12 monthly issues of Antic (without disk) at this price. For those who want the Antic Disk subscription too, see the special offer on a subscription card in this issue. Yes, existing subscriptions can be extended and you won't get two copies of the same issues.

Atari Resurgence Panel
At the West Coast Computer Faire in April, I had the good fortune to be on a panel (ably organized by the San Leandro Computer Club) that included Atari Corp. president Sam Tramiel and Atari Software Development Vice President Leonard Tramiel. One of first questions from the standing-room-only audience was about Atari's commitment to the 8-bit product line.
The Tramiels stated flatly that Atari would have a major commitment to the 8-bit computer business for "a long time to come." Sam Tramiel specified several breakthrough 8-bit developments coming later this year. These developments include:

  • A plug-in 80-column card including a parallel printer interface, due this summer at a price of $79.
  • Memory chip expansions such as Apple is preparing for the IIe.
  • 500K memory 3.5-inch disk drives for the 8-bit line, with a new Disk Operating System being written by Optimized Systems Software.
  • New national mass-marketer distribution agreements-the first one signed with Toys R Us-that will also greatly improve the availability of third-party Atari software.

To this discussion, I was able to add that Antic's recent experience shows that the popularity of the new ST line is also bringing about a resurgence of interest in the 8-bit Ataris.

It looks as if 1986 may be the most exciting year for the Atari community yet. Antic thanks you-the reader- for helping create the Atari resurgence with your loyalty and enthusiasm.

James Capparell