by Clayton Walnum
Even though Atari has promised to expend more effort on the U.S. market, the ST's main stomping ground still lies on the other side of the Atlantic. In England and Germany particularly, the ST enjoys the kind of success that U.S. owners only dream about.
One way a system's success can be judged is by the amount of third-party products available for it, including software, hardware and even magazines. Software for the ST in Europe is as abundant as snowflakes in the Arctic. Anyone who has managed to find a copy of a European ST magazine has undoubtedly been dumbstruck by the many colorful advertisements for dozens of products, many of which are unheard of in the States.
Luckily, some of these products have managed to trickle into the U.S., some being imported "as is" by ambitious Atari dealers, others being purchased by U.S. software companies and revamped for the American market. These days very little is being developed for the ST in the United States, not only because the market is so small, but because it is much cheaper to bring in already completed products rather than spend a lot of money in research and development. More and more of the ST software we buy is being developed overseas.
Examples? How about Art & Film Director, now marketed by Epyx but originally developed in Hungary. How about the many games from Rainbird? All from England. GFA BASIC? From Germany. MichTron's "Microdeal" games? English. And the list goes on.
Because we at ST-LOG feel that the European ST market is important, controlling much of what we see in the U.S., we've decided to start a new monthly column, "From Over the Big Water," that will keep you up to date on the ST in Europe. Its author, Marshal M. Rosenthal, is a freelance writer and photographer who has had his ear tuned to the European ST market for a long time. His first installment can be found on page 56.
Also in this issue, you'll find Gregg Anderson's "Printout at the OK Corral," an overview of several of the top printers for your ST. If you've been contemplating a new printer purchase, now's your chance to get the information you need to make a well-informed choice. For students and other writers, James Maki gives us his helpful program Outline Plus, an outline generator that will help you organize your writing by first organizing your thoughts. And gamers will get a kick out of Kirk Stover's Line Attack. This two-player game is sure to fill your gaming hours with tense action.
In summary, this month, as usual, we have a little something for everybody. Whether you use your ST for desktop publishing, developing animation, programming, gaming or word processing, you'll find articles and reviews that'll help you make the best of your computing time.