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The Atari SIG Historical Archive
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Article #313 (376 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
>Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.general,,
Subject: Falcon 030 released--Boston
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Sat Sep 26 12:17:48 1992

From: (Steven Selick)
Subject: Boston Computer Society shows Falcon 030!
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Sep 92 02:29:24 GMT
Organization: Computer Science Department, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Lines: 102
Originator: selick@csa

Well, I just got back from downtown Boston, where the Boston Computer
Society gave the first public appearance of the Falcon 030 to the public
(me). I forgot a notepad, so these notes are direct from the back of
business cards...please bear with me if I get a name mispelled... :-)

Bob Brodie started off the meeting, and immediately introduced Sam
Tramiel after some boring business. Sam spoke for a bit on the history
of Atari, and such, and then brought out Richard Miller, the head of the
Falcon development team. He went into all of the gory details of the
guts of the machine, all of which have already been confirmed numerous
times already on the net.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the night was when they announced
several software packages that will be bundled with every falcon...

Falcon 2d2 - software from Atari to start using the 8 channel direct to
disk stuff immediately when you get your machine! Yeah Atari!!! We saw a
brief demo of this program...very impressive!

System Audio Manager - attach sampled sounds to any system command,
including a different sound for each key (note that these are handled by
the dsp chip and do not detract from normal operations!)

Audio Fun Machine - This is a cute dsp program to show the capabilities
of the dsp chip for sound processing. It does reverbs, and a DISTORTION!
Very cool little program.

Calapt - calendar/appointment utility
ProCalc - Calculator prog
Talking Clock - you figure it out!

2 GAMES especially designed to show off the Falcon!
Land Mines and Breakout!

The prices they gave were consistant with net postings...$799 for the 1
meg, and 1,299 for the 4 meg/65 meg version.

These items are direct from Sam Tramiel:

November - start shipping first units
December shipping in quantity (for x-mas I suppose...)
January - relief quantities for backorders will be shipped.

Then came the q/a section, and some interesting facts came out...

There are osciliscope programs using the dsp in the fft's and
all on your waveforms in "near real time"

They played a Tina Turner video made in Australia of "You're the Best".
3 minute video took 100 meg of hard drive space which included video &
audio. They used a 14 meg machine, and said it would not yet work on a 4
meg machine, but they have a compression algorithm in the works that may
make it work...they also said the video was 24 frames per second.

A company called Sack in Germany has a functioning 386sx board ready for

Sam Tramiel said that "NeXT developers are coming to us and asking for
developement systems because they expect that we will sell more falcons
in 1 month than NeXT sells in a year! ... We sure hope so!"

He also said that Amiga developers, unimpressed with the 4000 are also
coming to Atari for development kits.

He said the Jaguar would be out in the summer of 93, and would not
comment on it further because this was a "Falcon meeting"

They forgot the multitasking os disk...typical...

The roms will have different languages burned right in them to allow
Atari to ship computers to different countries with the same roms. The
disk will be for "minor updates, and language specific material"
whatever that means. The roms will be 4 meg worth!

The Falcon will actuall display ST monochrome mode on a standard SC1224
color monitor!  In total, they said that the Falcon supports over 130
different screen modes and resolutions.

At the end, they played a complete sample of Boston's "Foreplay/Long
Time". Sampled at 50 khz, it took 96 meg of hard drive space. 

They also mentioned that Atari was working on software modules to read
and write different floppy disk formats, including the mac GCR! Somebody
asked if Dave Small had spectre working yet, and Sam Tramiel responded
"Well...I saw him in our offices last week..." but did not know what he
had accomplished yet. 

When asked why they chose the 16 mhz 68030 instead of a faster one, Sam
Tramiel said that with all of the separate processing centers (68030,
dsp, blitter, optional co-processor, etc) that they felt the machine to
be comprable to machines with faster "workhorse processors that have to
handle everything". He said much faster machines would be appearing
"very shortly".

Well, that's enough typing for me for one night...That's all I can
remember. Oh...they gave away a falcon as a door prize, and I didn't
win it...darn!


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