Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 7, NO. 6 / OCTOBER 1988

ST Desktop Publishing Consultant

Pros accept inexpensive Atari solution

By Gregg Pearlman, Antic Assistant Editor

Inexpensive Atari ST desktop publishing systems are becoming increasingly accepted by business and professional users, says Cimarron Computer president Rod Coleman, a retailer and consultant in Reno, Nevada.

Cimarron sets up ST desktop publishing systems for people who do resumes, newsletters and catalogs. The company sold 15 to 20 Atari desktop publishing start-up systems in the past 18 months. There have been many more "business" setups for spreadsheets and databases--80 to 100 in the last year.

Recently Cimarron set up a desktop publishing system for a Reno television personality who sidelines as a resume writer for people in the media industry. The system consists of a 1040ST, a monochrome monitor, an HP Laserjet and a hard disk.

Cimarron has also sold systems to schools, mostly private. Desert Research, part of the University of Nevada at Reno, runs Absoft's AC Fortran to analyze clouds. They also have an HP Laserjet for desktop publishing. And some 15 to 20 branches of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles are using a Cimarron system consisting of a 1040ST, Data Manager and dBMan to keep track of driver's licenses and auto registrations.

Coleman's company has done some business setups with the Magic Sac Macintosh emulator, but much more with the PC-Ditto IBM emulator. "People want the ST for its ease of use," he says, "but they also want the PC option."

Coleman used to package ST desktop publishing systems with the Hewlett Packard Laserjet series of printers. "I was amazed at the reliability of the HPs," he says. He helped test the HP printer driver for Publishing Partner software.

But when the Atari Laser Printer reached the market, he switched-- even though he says, "You really need a Mega for the Atari Laser Printer. The Atari has no front panel control, so everything must be done by the software."

Coleman found that the Atari yields darker printouts than the HP, but the grays are streaky. "The big differences between the Atari and Hewlett Packard lasers are relative cost and speed," he says. The Atari is two to three times faster. Many operations taking 18 minutes with the HP take six minutes with the Atari."