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AuthorTopic: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?  (Read 4076 times)

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Offline Reiknir

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2010, 04:51:42 AM »
Quote from: ral-clan;602162
Really better than anything else available at the time?  Better than Bars & Pipes for the Amiga (the flat-out best MIDI only sequencer I have ever used)?  I have never used Cubase or Notator, but I judging by these screen shots they seem relatively primative compared to Bars & Pipes.

Cubase (Atari ST):


Notator (Atari ST):


Bars & Pipes (Amiga):


At the time Cubase and Logic supported 16 tracks of pro quality audio for starters, something that never happened on the Amiga, B&P was not bad but timing resolution and lack of features for one thing made it somewhat less than pro.

Also you are cheating by using a Pro-24 screenshot, Steinberg Pro-24 is the predecessor to cubase and originates on a C64 hence shitty graphics
 

Offline mechy

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2010, 05:47:29 AM »
Quote from: dentunes;602065
I used Atari 1040STs in school with Notator (I am a muso). It was the only way to do it back in the early 90s. That connected to Korg 01s/M1s, Yamaha SY77s. Ah, the memories. The Amigas at my school were used for animation/ray tracing exclusively at the time.


Why is that? i mean there were tons of cheap midi interfaces from the A1000 days on?
I assume there had to be some software to go with them?

I was not into midi,so i never had any in the day.
 

Offline mechy

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2010, 05:59:15 AM »
Seems bars and pipes was taken over by this guy and updated.... or was:

http://bnp.hansfaust.de/indexeng.html
 

Offline slaapliedje

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Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2010, 07:07:01 PM »
Quote from: dentunes;602057
Extra Features of the Falcon: 68030 processor @ 16 Mhz, 65,000 colors @ 640x480, 1.44 meg floppy drive, 4 meg RAM (expandable to 14), internal 65 meg hard drive, DSP processor, SCSI-2 port, Price: $1,299.

This is US price and listed at http://www.ataritimes.com/system.php?System=Atari-ST

For the record, that screenshot on that page is from an early version of TOS.  The Falcon had MultiTOS.  Which finally added color icons (yeah, I know, still full of suck compared to the AmigaOS, but was much nicer than anything earlier than the Falcon.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_TOS

slaapliedje
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Offline slaapliedje

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Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2010, 07:14:13 PM »
Quote from: Reiknir;602107
:furious:

No, it was actually quite a revolutionary computer, the backward thing about it was the operating system, that harked back to CPM68 and Atari could not and would not update it, they had a dispute with DR about license fees and were stuck with a GEM/CPM system from 1984 and only partial sources and a management team that did not understand software.

The Falcon had a hardware multiplexer, so you could route data from one entity to another without a load on the CPU, eg the DSP bus could stream from the hard disk while the CPU was playing around with the graphics, this meant 16 track 16bit audio recording by using the DSP as a simple lossless audio compressor (since the 16x16b data stream was larger than HD's at the time could manage in RT), something we did not get reliably on a PC until 97/98 and then only just.

Atari really had something special, but no clue how to market or develop it, by the time I bought one it was cheaper than an A1200 and soon discontinued, I bought 3 more when they blew the last few off at silly prices

Don't suppose you still have them and would part with one?  :D  I've been wanting one since they came out.  But they never appear on eBay.  I would hazard a guess that those who managed to grab them either have had them die, or just aren't getting rid of them.

slaapliedje
A4000D: Mediator 4000Di; Voodoo 3, ZorRAM 128MB, 10/100mb Ethernet, Spider 2. Cyberstorm PPC 060/50 604e/420.
 

Offline Pentad

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2011, 12:10:20 AM »
Quote from: Reiknir;602107
:furious:

No, it was actually quite a revolutionary computer, the backward thing about it was the operating system, that harked back to CPM68 and Atari could not and would not update it, they had a dispute with DR about license fees and were stuck with a GEM/CPM system from 1984 and only partial sources and a management team that did not understand software.


Gary Kildall invented CPM for the Intel 4004(?) which sort of launched a new market.  DOS would be a clone of CPM which Microsoft would end up buying.  Gary went on to found Digital Research which created GEM.  GEM got the pants sued off of them by Apple (there is a surprise) which slowed GEM's development a great deal.

However, when GEM was licensed to Atari it wasn't as restricted at it was before but you can see that GEM was pretty ugly all the way 'round.  

TOS was a disaster for Atari and you will know why if you have read my other rambling posts here.  TOS was designed on Apple Lisa Computers but TOS uses instructions that are not available on M chips > than 68k (010,020, etc...).

As I have rambled on in other posts, I cannot conceive of why you would do this.  More to the point, why you wouldn't fix it in a revision of TOS.  TOS 1.0 (like AmigaDOS 1.0) was a piece of crap so rewriting TOS to use certified instructions might have broken compatibility with TOS 1.0, but who cares when you have such a major problem?   Instead, they just kept rolling out TOS versions that only cemented software to the problem.

I suspect the following occurred:

-Apple was suing the hell out of everyone with a decent GUI that looked like the Mac GUI.  GEM and Digital were sued.  You might be able to make the argument that GEM couldn't be updated because of legal issues tied with Apple.  However, GEM under DOS was updated and looked much better than GEM in TOS.  So I'm not sure.

-Perhaps GEM was updated and could have been cross compiled but ran like crap on a 68k?  GEM might have needed a faster CPU which TOS couldn't support because of Atari.  So GEM remained pretty basic in TOS.

-Jack made some crazy deal that they could only use one version of GEM or screwed M over so they could only use 68ks...

In the end, I wish I knew.  As an adult now, I can honestly say that was beyond stupid.  I can't think of any developmental reason you would ignore M's warnings and use instructions not guaranteed to be in the next version of M chips.  I can't think of a single situation where this was the better choice.

Quote from: Reiknir;602107
The Falcon had a hardware multiplexer, so you could route data from one entity to another without a load on the CPU, eg the DSP bus could stream from the hard disk while the CPU was playing around with the graphics, this meant 16 track 16bit audio recording by using the DSP as a simple lossless audio compressor (since the 16x16b data stream was larger than HD's at the time could manage in RT), something we did not get reliably on a PC until 97/98 and then only just.

Atari really had something special, but no clue how to market or develop it, by the time I bought one it was cheaper than an A1200 and soon discontinued, I bought 3 more when they blew the last few off at silly prices


Atari had to rewrite TOS with the TT (the graphics workstation without a blitter) and the Falcon and this was a major problem with backward compatibility.  Commodore had a similar issue with AmigaOS 2.x since it broke poorly written Amiga 1.x programs.   I suspect that TOS and Muti-TOS was a much harsher upgrade given the extent of the rewrite.

While Multi-TOS was a nice upgrade, it just added to Atari's growing list of problems.

I've said this before, I wish somebody would write the history of Atari from about the 2600 to Atari's sale to JVC at the end.  I think it would be a fascinating read of the accounts of the Atari 400/800, the XL line, the ST/Stacy/TT/Falcon, the Jag, and of course the end...

BTW:  Gary Kildall was on Computer Chronicles and is dead (I believe some sort of bar fight or accident?)
2015 15" Macbook Pro Retina * 2.8 GHz QCore * 16 GB RAM, 1TB SSD * Windows 10 via Boot Camp * Amiga via Emulation (WinUAE in WINE Staging)
 

Offline Reiknir

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2011, 04:28:05 AM »
Quote from: Pentad;603131
Gary Kildall invented CPM for the Intel 4004(?) which sort of launched a new market.


Never sold as a 4004 CP, only on 8 bit micros and bigger

Quote
went on to found Digital Research which created GEM.  GEM got the pants sued off of them by Apple (there is a surprise) which slowed GEM's development a great deal.


Yes and no, GEM actually predates Apple developments, it has its origins in the GSX graphics library that was very popular for engineering and scientific applications but almost unused in home computers except for one Amstrad model, I had a working multi processor CP/M system with a rudimentary GSX based user interface until 2000 when I was forced to throw it away due to a move, that system had not been upgraded since 1982 so it predated the Lisa.

DR did not lose the Apple lawsuit but decided to agree to change some things that were Apple like

Quote
However, when GEM was licensed to Atari it wasn't as restricted at it was before but you can see that GEM was pretty ugly all the way 'round.

GEM was not ugly, it was like the early versions of the CP/M 68K optimized for the PC, and the best selling graphics interface on the PC was a CGA so everything was optimised so it would look OK on 320x200x16 which was the only CGA mode that could be used bitmapped, later versions like GEM/3 actually looked better than the Windows versions that shipped at the time.

Quote
TOS was a disaster for Atari and you will know why if you have read my other rambling posts here.  TOS was designed on Apple Lisa Computers but TOS uses instructions that are not available on M chips > than 68k (010,020, etc...).

As I have rambled on in other posts, I cannot conceive of why you would do this.  More to the point, why you wouldn't fix it in a revision of TOS.  TOS 1.0 (like AmigaDOS 1.0) was a piece of crap so rewriting TOS to use certified instructions might have broken compatibility with TOS 1.0, but who cares when you have such a major problem?   Instead, they just kept rolling out TOS versions that only cemented software to the problem.


DR sold the rights to an early CPM68k port and GEM version to Atari, note that this version does not correspond to a release version of either system, this was meant to be a development version and a later version was meant to be used with the shipping unit. Remember that early versions of Z8000 and 68K CP/M ports very full of 8086isms some intended some not, this got better later on, but the original idea was also compatibility so that programs could be ported from 86 to 68K, then to Z8K and so on which explain some of the 86isms in the DR products

DR wanted payment for the final version of both and Tramielsky said no, DR say bye and refused to release any of their programming languages or other software on the Atari platform even tough that was the original intention, this created panic when the original ST dev systems were released with useless development software.

Atari also later added FastTOS routines to TOS and actively encouraged programmers to use them, this killed compatibly with other GEM systems but there were a few software houses that never used the FastTOS so they could easily sell DOS versions as well  (Artline for example).

Quote
Atari had to rewrite TOS with the TT (the graphics workstation without a blitter) and the Falcon and this was a major problem with backward compatibility.  Commodore had a similar issue with AmigaOS 2.x since it broke poorly written Amiga 1.x programs.   I suspect that TOS and Muti-TOS was a much harsher upgrade given the extent of the rewrite.

While Multi-TOS was a nice upgrade, it just added to Atari's growing list of problems.


Multi-TOS was stupid, especially the decision to keep it 68000 compatible, if they had focused on 68030 it would have made sense

Quote
BTW:  Gary Kildall was on Computer Chronicles and is dead (I believe some sort of bar fight or accident?)


And sadly missed, died of a injuries sustained during a drunken brawl, funny really because he was viewed as one of the nicest blokes in the computer industry....
 

Offline Reiknir

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2011, 04:29:31 AM »
Quote from: slaapliedje;603089
Don't suppose you still have them and would part with one?  :D  I've been wanting one since they came out.  But they never appear on eBay.  I would hazard a guess that those who managed to grab them either have had them die, or just aren't getting rid of them.

slaapliedje


I Still have 3 actually, dunno what happened to the fourth, 2 are still in use and the third has been promised to someone
 

Offline TjLaZer

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2011, 05:01:31 AM »
Quote from: runequester;601995
A bit of google didn't net me anything, so wondering if anyone had a reasonable ballpark cost for the Atari Falcon when it came out?

Quote
The MSRP for the Falcon is unchanged since fall, with the
    exception of the additonal pricing for two models:  The Atari
    Falcon030 with four megs of ram, and no hard disk will retail for
    $999, and the 14 meg with 65 meg hard disk will retail for $1899.

http://www.atarimax.com/freenet/freenet_material/6.16and32-BitComputersSupportArea/8.OnlineMagazines/showarticle.php?355


and also this:

Quote
Falcon030:
 
         Atari's Falcon030 is a brand new product, not available in mass
 quantities yet.  It's style is almost exactly that of the 1040STe.  The
 only difference is that it has really dark gray keys, and Atari's name is
 in rainbow colors.  It comes with 1, 4, or 14 megs of memory, a 1.44
 megabyte 3.5" high density floppy drive, and an optional internal 84 meg
 IDE hard drive (that is only 2.5"!).  Inside the machine, is a 16 mHz 68030,
 Motorola's 32 bit chip (the 68040 is also 32bit, and even better than the
 68030).  It has a BLiTTER like in the STe's, however this BLiTTER is 16
 mHz.  It also has a chip from Motorola called the DSP chip (short for
 Digital Signal Processor).  This chip is used to add effects to sound,
 compress images, act as a modem, or do any other kind of signal processing.
  It runs at a full 32 mHz!  It also has a port on the back of the computer
 for such uses as a connector to a modular jack, so the DSP can act as a
 modem.  In terms of video, the Falcon can do almost anything you throw at
 it.  There are programs such as FalconScreen that will allow resolutions
 greater than 800x600 with 256 colors!  There are many modes available
 through the new desktop.  It allows for 40 or 80 column modes (320 or 640
 lines across), and 200 or 400 lines down.  On a ST Monitor, the 400 line
 mode is interlaced, and on a VGA, it is accually 240/480.  In terms of
 sound quality, the Falcon can beat any CD Player.  Also new is the desktop
 with 16 color icons, and 3D buttons.  It includes a MultiTasking program
 called MultiTOS also.  You can find a Falcon for $799 for 1 meg and no hard
 drive, $1299 for a 4 meg and 84 meg hard drive, and $1899 for a 14 meg and
 84 meg hard drive.

http://www.atarimax.com/freenet/freenet_material/6.16and32-BitComputersSupportArea/2AbouttheST,TT,andFalconComputers.php

so it looks like it was $799 for a base model with 1MB and no HD.  Not too bad!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 05:13:59 AM by TjLaZer »
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Offline warpdesign

Re: Cost of Atari Falcon when it came out?
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2011, 08:42:20 AM »
Quote
(yeah, I know, still full of suck compared to the AmigaOS, but was much nicer than anything earlier than the Falcon.)
Unless you patch it with newicons, Amiga icons aren't that good either...