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Article #317 (376 is last):
From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
>Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.general,freenet.sci.comp.atari.news,freenet.sci.comp.c64.forum
Subject: Falcon 030 Released #3--Boston
Reply-To: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Date: Sat Sep 26 13:04:39 1992


Lines: 91

Steven Selick did an excellent job of reporting on the introduction of the
Falcon 030 at the recent meeting of the Boston Computer Society. I was also
there, and have a few additional comments.

  - there were about 125 in attendance in the hall

  - there was one Falcon in the lobby demoing a MIDI application. The
    fellow using it said he was from Dr. T, and just got the machine
    two days ago. It had 4 meg.

  - there were 3 Falcons near the front stage. All looked like production
    machines.

  - the term "personal integrated media" was mentioned several times, and
    will probably be used many times in the future by Atari

  - speedwise, the Falcon is equivalent to a 25-30Mhz 386 machine

  - a 19.2K bps modem is now being implemented for the Falcon

  - with a box, the Falcon will be able to do CD photo applications
    (nothing on who will make the box or what will be in it)

  - one of the demos shown on the projection screen was a 20 channel
    equalizer. Bill Rehbock was adjusting the channels in real time so
    the adjustment effect could be heard.

  - the two games to come bundled with the Falcon, Land Mines and Breakout,
    will utilize true color mode

  - voice mail (from a NeXT programmer) and video phone applications
    "are coming"

  - James Grunke mentioned that after spending $400 on a monitor and $800
    for an adapter, one could use all 8 stereo channels at once, making
    the cost about $300 per channel. (assumes a $1300 Falcon)

  - why only 16 bits for true color? They felt 16 bits was sufficient and
    challenged anyone to see the difference between it and 24 bits
    in real world images

  - Atari will "definitely" have a US 800 number for user help (didn't
    say when though)

  - a little box to interface the DSP to the phone line is being
    developed, and should be available by the first quarter of 93

  - in many respects the Falcon is more powerful than the Video Toaster,
    containing 98% of its functionality. The cost of the Falcon plus
    any associated software/hardware will be less in cost than the
    Video Toaster itself.

  - a 1 Meg Falcon is a viable system, since the operating system takes
    only a small amount of RAM (from Bill Rehbock) (he didn't say how
    much, but I believe he did use the word "miniscule".

  - 386DX and 386SX boards are now being worked on in Germany (I think
    he said 486 also)

  - the Spectre board will fit within the Falcon, for those who are
    worried about the lack of an external drive

  - the Falcon docs, with DSP info, are available to anyone for $80 -
    just send the check to Atari

  - the Motorola DSP assembler and linker is being shipped to Falcon
    developers

  - video recording will be possible with external hardware (they said it
    would have taken too much extra hardware to include direct video
    input on the Falcon)

  - the audience was generally passive during the presentation, but the
    Tina Turner video was so impressive that it got a round of applause
    (no, you can't get it - its heavily copyrighted we were told)

  - Bill Rehbock, one of Atari's Falcon technical experts, mentioned to
    me that he has a Compuserve account and generally manages to answer
    his mail every nite

At the end of the formal presentation, everyone gathered near the front
stage to see the 3 Falcons doing a slide show in true color. One monitor,
an Atari 1435, looked especially good. One slide of a baby surrounded by
stuffed animals looked so good I was tempted to reach out and touch the
fuzz!

In summary, yes I was impressed, and I plan to buy one when they are
generally available (a developer friend of mine already has his order
in).

And no, I didn't win the Falcon door prize either (sigh...)


-- 
 


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