$500 Atari CD ROM Unveiled
Atari showed a CD ROM player-to sell for about $500-at the Personal Computer World (PCW) Show in London. The unit will also play audio compact disks. U.S. premiere of Atari's CD ROM was scheduled for the COMDEX show in November.
(Antic's October 1985, cover story reviewed a 540-megabyte CD ROM which put the entire 26-volume Grolier Encyclopedia on a single compact disk and used an Atari ST to locate any entry in less than three seconds. Atari held off marketing an ST-based CD ROM system because until now they couldn't find a third-party manufacturer to deliver CD ROM players at this price range. -ANTIC ED)
It was also announced at the show that Cambridge University is developing an ST transputer for Atari. A transputer is a speed-up box that gives a personal computer the data-crunching power of an expensive workstation. (Kuma's K-Max ST Transputer was reviewed in START, Fall 1987.-ANTIC ED)
In September 1987, James Capparell, Publisher of Antic and START Magazines, attended Atari exhibits at major computer shows in Dusseldorf, Germany and Amsterdam, Holland as well as London. He brought back the information in this report.
Capparell says, "'For three years, we've been travelling to Europe for these shows. Now a lot of other American companies also attend, but I'd say we were ahead of the pack by a couple of years. Antic Magazine is very well known throughout Europe and START is becoming sought-after too. Antic Software has also gained recognition and we're setting up exclusive distribution in Germany, France and the UK.
"The ST is the best-selling personal computer in Germany. Atari's German organization does a wonderful job. There are about 150,000 STs in Germany and 30,000 to 50,000 in both France and the United Kingdom. Italy, Scandinavia and the Netherlands are coming up behind that.
"At the big German computer show in Dusseldorf, I saw a lot of ST software for science laboratories, plenty of desktop publishing and graphics, many languages for the ST, everything from Prolog to APL-even SmaIltalk. There also seemed to be lots of hardware development going on. I saw a lot of video input/output devices-scanners, digitizers, plotters.
"Also, they're moving the Atari 8-bit line into Eastern Europe very strongly (The 16-bit ST is not allowed to be sold in Eastern Europe.) In fact, there's some discussion about licensing Antic in Eastern Europe. In general, the 8-bit is doing well in Europe. There's still significant 8-bit development-even if not as much as in the past-and plenty of 8-bit users."