Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by Ragstaff »

What were the key markets the Falcon aimed at, that you were hoping to get a share in? It seems the ST is disproportionately remembered for games today, even though it wasn't a games machine and was in fact marketed as a music and business machine in a number of ads along the way.
Likewise with the Falcon, even though it is capable of decent gaming and gaming and demo projects excite retro users today, the hardware doesn't really seem very focused in that area considering the technology available at the time. Were you hoping for a strong games segment, or for it to become the ST version 2.0 in the music world, the multimedia world, or to try to enter the Windows-dominated business market? Or did you just have a "build it and they will come" philosophy, to build a decent, capable computer and let the market organically use it for what it saw fit?
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by wongck »

How far did they get to with the Falcon040 / microbox.
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by DarkLord »

Posted this over at Atari Age too:

Breakdown of all sales would be great, as was suggested above, specifically I'd like to know
how many STacy's were sold.

Also, since some early STacy's came with the expansion port (like a Mega ST's), what were
Atari's plans for that and why did they remove it in later models?

Can't wait to read this - thanks for a making it happen Mikro! :)
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by 1st1 »

christos wrote: How was it like working at Atari back then? Did they use Ataris for their work? If so, what software did they use?
I can tell you, at least for Raunheim in Germany. They used ST series, mostly Mega STs, some with SM-194, for many things. Wordplus with 1ST-Mail, Adimens database, Calamus DTP and many more. They also used ATARI PCs where it was necessary, like for special staff / booking / accounting / warehouse software. They managed their calendar with Portfolios. I know, because I have been often there. And they used Compuserve for data exchange with Sunnyvale and other offices. They used BMW 5 and 7 series cars to run over 200 km/h over the Autobahn. And for Lunch they went to a Pizzeria and a local fast food restaurant which still exists.

Attached pictures of the former ATARI Germany buuilding like it looks today, not much changed since 199x. Only the wrong companies inside now.
ATARI_R-hw.jpg
ATARI_R_sw.jpg
ATARI_R_gs.jpg
ATARI_R_ei.jpg
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Last edited by 1st1 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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1040STFM in PC-Tower (PAK68/2, OvrScn, 4 MB, 1GB SCSI, CD-ROM...) * 3x Falcon 030 * 3x TT030 * many 260 /520/1040ST(F)(M)(+) * 520/1040STE * many Mega ST * 2x Mega STE * Stacy * STBook * 2x SLM605 * 3x SLM804 * SMM804 * SH 204/205 * Megafile 30/44/60 * SF314 * SF354 * 5x Pofo * PC3 * ...
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by 1st1 »

A question, no, two. ... four ...

1. Did thei preview the upcomming trend of 3D graphics? I think the Jaguar and Lynx already have very simple 3D units. Did they had the idea to contiune that 3D path, like just a few years later 3dfx did it?

2. Were there plans to merge (advanced) Jaguar graphics hardware into a future version of Falcon?

3. Why they did not made a tower chassis based version of TT (similar to Amiga 3000T, 4000T) ?

4. Were there plans for 68060? Or where did they see the future of their machines as Apple switched to PPC and Commodore also wanted to make this transition?

And five, six...

5. Why Mega STE was only so small improvement from STE? Why not higher resolution, not faster than it was...?

6. What happened to the idea to put a transputer into a Megafile chassis and attach it to any ST ans an accelerator?
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1040STFM in PC-Tower (PAK68/2, OvrScn, 4 MB, 1GB SCSI, CD-ROM...) * 3x Falcon 030 * 3x TT030 * many 260 /520/1040ST(F)(M)(+) * 520/1040STE * many Mega ST * 2x Mega STE * Stacy * STBook * 2x SLM605 * 3x SLM804 * SMM804 * SH 204/205 * Megafile 30/44/60 * SF314 * SF354 * 5x Pofo * PC3 * ...
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by mikro »

Going to assemble all questions this weekend so this is your last chance. :-)
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by dhedberg »

Did anything ever come out of this?
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by mikro »

Well, the guy has kind of disappeared. Last time I was in touch with him he was quite busy but assured me he would get back to me. So it's in a pending phase.
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by whiskey »

mikro wrote:Well, the guy has kind of disappeared. Last time I was in touch with him he was quite busy but assured me he would get back to me. So it's in a pending phase.
furt?
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by Fujiyama »

Wow! I just came across this thread today and would love to see the interview completed.
Thanks Mikro, and please post back when you've gotten hold of him and his replies.
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by Gaiyan »

Shall we create another petition? ;)
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by Mindthreat »

I'm guessing this never went anywhere? Shame, I would love to have read the answers!
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by Videl »

I got "some" of these questions answered in my book. I spoke with Richard Miller, James Grunke, the late Les Player, Tracy Hall, Tim King, Jim Tittsler and a few others over the years. Problem is... memory. A lot of these guys have hazy memories of the macro details we all really want, so a lot of the juicy questions are just too detailed to get any clear answers all these years later. Unless you had a one-on-one session with someone like Richard Miller or Jim Tittsler, its difficult to get much from a phone call or e-mail. A lot of answers can be vaugue, so I only used information these guys were 100% sure about.

I've had loads of promises of more information, and "I'll get back to you", but you can't annoy people too much! I'm sure we'll get answers to most of these questions over the next few years. I know I am trying to get more answers, and I know we all want them :D

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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by sety »

Probably not a very interesting question but I've always been curious to know what the hand written code on the ST shifter shield means. Most (if not all) of the ones I've ever seen simply say "BURS"
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Re: Call for (not so technical) questions -- Atari's product manager 1991-96

Post by mikro »

Yep, he never got back to me, perhaps real life got in the way. Shame, indeed. :-(
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