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Article #260 (376 is last):
From: sir-alan!aquila! (David Johnson)
Subject: Report from the MIST AtariFest III
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Edited-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Date: Fri Aug  2 11:57:18 1991

David Johnson, an Atari 16/32-bit Computer Support Team member

           Report from the MIST AtariFest III -- By David Johnson

        On July 27, 1991, MIST (Mid-Indiana ST) held their third annual
AtariFest in the Castleplace Conference Center in Indianapolis.  Attending
were quite a few Atari vendors, and more than a few Atari users.  Bob Brodie
of Atari was also there, but more on him later.  First, the highlights from
the vendors:

        AIM (Atari Interface Magazine) was selling copies of their magazine
for $2.00, and also had program disks for sale.  Bill Rayl gave a seminar
on "Desktop Publishing with Lexicor" (according to the program, that is--
I assume they meant "Desktop Video"), in which he showed off some of 
Lexicor's graphics software and answered questions on the Lexicor line.

        Apprentice Software (P.O. Box 41277 Indianapolis, IN 46241) demonstrated
their Neural Network Construction Set, a program which simulates the artificial
intelligence technology of a neural network on the ST.  It seems to be, if
nothing else, a very interesting specialty product for the ST.  Since I'm
no nerual network expert, I probably shouldn't say too much more; you can
write for more information at the above address.

        MP Graphics Systems, an Indianapolis firm who sets up DynaCADD
systems, was demonstrating one of its systems--DynaCADD running in color
on a TT, connected to an IBM plotter.  Watching the TT control the plotter
seemed to be a popular pasttime, as people stood around and waited for the
plotter to finish each drawing.

        SoftLogik had PageStream 2.1 running on a TT with color monitor.
Screen output was excellent, and rotated text was quite impressive.  This
program looks like a winner.

        Touch Technologies (100 Cheviot Dr. Bartlett, IL 60103) displayed
their TouchTech system--an ST combined with a touch-sensitive screen which
can be used for a variety of applications.  At the show, they were running
a restaurant program to demonstrate their system--orders could be placed
by touching the item on screen, the bill is then displayed, and the user
can edit the bill as needed.  It was a very interesting system--hopefully
there is an adequate market for such a niche product.

        Others attending the show included D.A. Brumleve (children's
programs), Clear Thinking (EdHak, the "edit anything" program), CompuServe,
Electronic Spinster Graphics (clip art), Gribnif (NeoDesk, Steno, STalker,
Cardfile), ICD (hard drives, host adaptors, lots of other cool hardware),
a representative from ISD (Calamus), MegaType (fonts and other DTP stuff),
MissionWare (LottODDS, Printer Initializer), MS Designs (fonts), SKWare One
(Seurat, a paint program), and WizWorks (Mug Shot, Image Cat, MVG, and
clip art).  Several user groups and computer retailers also attended.

        At 3:00, Bob Brodie began his seminar.  The room was quite packed
(partly due to its small size)--people had to sit on a table and on the floor.
Everyone seemed to enjoy his talk, however.  Some highlights:

FSM/GDOS will be released in August for less than $100.  It will include
FSM/GDOS itself, the CPX for controlling it, and the Lucida font family.
It will have color printing support.  A printer of at least the capability
of the Epson FX80 Plus will be required for output.

The TT and Mega STe are currently shipping, though they are on backorder.
Atari is arranging to increase manufacturing capacity by signing up more
companies to make the machines.  The Mega STe (and the TT) do not use the
infamous RF shield any more--instead, Atari is using RF paint, which 
provides much easier access to the inside of the machine.

At the CEPS show, Atari "did incredibly well," which may be part of the
reason that TTs are in such short supply--publishers are starting to buy
them to do their layout and design.  Atari plans to repeat its success
at the CBOLT show in San Jose, which is the followup show to CEPS.

Atari is working to create a much more global software market, with special
emphasis on getting U.S. products into wider European distribution.

The STylus and ST Notebook computers will be released at Comdex.

The 8 bit computers are doing well in the Soviet Union, Poland, China, 
and Mexico.

Development is continuing at Atari on an updated version of what is now
known as Word Up.  Atari does intend to release the new word processor
program when it's finished.

The upcoming issue of Atari Explorer is delayed (from production difficulties,
if I remember correctly), and it will be out very soon.

Atari does not plan to start many marketing campaigns until the economy
significantly improves.

The CD-ROM drive is in production, but since there is not much software
available in the U.S. right now, it is not widely distributed here.  It's
popular in Australia, however.

Atari is planning some 520STE bundles to come out soon, and hopes to sell
the bundles through mass merchants.

        Later, after his seminar, Bob Brodie said that, contrary to many
reports, Word Perfect version 5 is still in the works.  In fact, Word
Perfect recently ordered a few TTs--they must be using them for something,
and that something is WP 5.x.  

        Also, the new, smaller Lynx is currently shipping.  Look for them
soon in your local stores.

        After Bob Brodie's seminar, I made the rounds once more to see if
anything new had popped up.  Nothing caught my eye, and after a little while,
I got in my car for the trip back home to Evansville.  The trip to Indy was
quite worthwhile--if you have time next year, I recommend that you make the
trip.  See you there!

David Johnson -
 (Reach me this summer at davidj@aquila.UUCP)

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