: For its day the ST had many firsts and employed many sophisticated and/or
: well proven technologies. Among other things, the 1985 vintage ST included
: a fast, 16bit CPU(the 68000), a reasonably stable windowing OS and GUI (GEM),
: local bus video (for very fast graphics), mouse support in hardware (not
: under software like in the PC), built-in I/O ports, a very fast HD controller
: architecture (faster than 1985 PC RLL), fast and flexible floppy drives that
: used DMA, an MS-DOS compatible disk format which enabled STs to exchange
: data with the outside world, an OS (GEMDOS) that was very similar to DOS 3.2
: so that developers could port applications very easily, MIDI ports, and
: a decent sound fx generator.
Yes, you're right. In 1986 ST was an extremely attractive alternative to
any PC. The PCs of that time... Well, the word "awful" might tell it all.
I was about to buy one then: Kaypro XT. It costed twice as much as a 520
ST, with 4.77 MHz 8088, monochrome graphics, and 360 kb floppy drive. How
many times I've congratulated myself for NOT going for "compatibility"
and that horrible metal monster =-) !
: I was 14 yrs old when the ST came out and was using both an IBM PCjr and
: a Leading Edge model D. I had some money in my pocket that summer so I
: bought the ST because it was so vastly superior in terms of features and
: performance. PC's were still using CGA for gfx and the poor old 8088 was
: really starting to show its age. I didn't go back to the PC for almost
: another 8 years, by which time I had owned a 520ST, a 1040STe w/HD, and
: a Falcon 4/85.
Almost the same history: 520 ST (with RAM TOS 1.0! ;-), Mega ST 2 w/HD,
Falcon 4/420. And lots of accelerators and other stuff, of course!
: I only came back when the ST series was starting to show its age - when
: I needed to run certain programs for college classes, when I wanted to
: play games that were only available for the PC, and when I figured I could
: make more money working on game projects than I did on the ST line.
Well, I've myself realized something while wondering why so many of us
are abandoning the Atari world. For me, the working environment of GEM
(especially TOS 4.x) means more than the obvious advantages of PCs and
Macs (more horsepower, more graphics, more users). I just don't enjoy
using Macs and PCs, like I really enjoy using my Falcon. For me, those
machines are powerful, yet only tools. I may do my work with them every
now and then, but it's always great to be back home - and start doing
things the way you *want* to do them!
If I tried to make money with computer, I'd probably start thinking the
other way. Maybe.. So, I guess, those of us, to whom Atari doesn't mean
very much personal - and who don't enjoy being "lonely riders", will
leave us sooner or later. And people like me, to whom there really are no
enjoyable alternatives, will wait for better Atari-compatible computers,
without much chance of abandoning them.
PC is a computer of cold business, and Falcon is a computer of emotion.
Different computers for different people; that's how it was in 1986 with
ST and PC - and that's the way it will be.
: Probably my biggest gripe about the ST series when I was an owner, was that
: Atari locked you into its 320x200x16 low rez mode. Hell, my PCjr had
: the same gfx modes! Had Atari added a 256 color mode with the release of
: the Blitterized STe series, I might of kept my Atari. The TT had VGA
: video capabilities but the machine was FAR too expensive and the Falcon's
: are under-powered (much like a 386SX under Windoze).
I don't see Falcon quite that under-powered, except when trying to do
some raytracing :-(. It handles most programs quite well, and some of
its applications are actually very fast (even without using DSP). Think
of Apex Media, Calamus, many graphics prgs, and especially music
software. NVDI is a must for Falcon, but then again, it is a great piece
of software. Very impressive Atari software are also KOBOLD
(unbelievably fast file copier!), ECOPY (a state-of-the-art disk
formatter and copier), HARLEKIN (multi-accessory with very useful
functions), CONNECT terminal sw, SPEED OF LIGHT picture viewer, GEMVIEW,
DIAMOND EDGE hard disk defragmenter/repairer, ... Not forgetting
SELECTRIC and UIS 3 file selectors =-) ! A computer is as good as is
its software, isn't it? Using those before-mentioned things, PAPYRUS
word processor, and CUBASE AUDIO sequencer/hard disk recorder, one might
say that Falcon is quite a nice computer, after all !
: Still, while I do enjoy my PC, I do miss my STs and the many fond memories
: I have of the machine. I might even pick one up again as my finances allow.
It's funny to see how so many of you see ST as a distant, fond memory -
while for so many of us others, Falcon and the other new machines make
Atari computing living reality - not memories =-) !