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Atari ST Console Information

Atari ST

 

TThe Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was commercially popular from 1985 to the early 1990s. It was released by Atari in 1985. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals.

 

he Atari ST was a notable home computer, based on the Motorola 68000 CPU, with 512 KB of RAM or more, and 3½" floppy disks as storage. It was similar to other contemporary machines which used the Motorola 68000, the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga. Although the Macintosh was the first widely available computer with a graphical user interface (GUI), it was limited to a monochromatic display on a smaller built-in monitor. The Atari ST was the first computer with a fully bit-mapped color GUI. It had an innovative single-chip graphics subsystem (designed by Shiraz Shivji) which shared the full amount of system memory, in alternating clock cycles, with the processor, similar to the earlier BBC Micro and the Unified Memory systems that have become common today. It was also the first home computer with integral MIDI support.

 

The ST was primarily a competitor to the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga systems. This platform rivalry was often reflected by the owners and was most prominent in the Demo Scene. Where the Amiga had custom processors which gave it the edge in the games and video market, the ST was generally cheaper, had a slightly faster CPU, and had a high-resolution monochrome display, ideal for business and CAD. Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports it enjoyed success as a music sequencer and controller of musical instruments among amateurs and professionals alike, being used in concert by bands such as Tangerine Dream and 90s UK dance act 808 State. In some markets, particularly Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and Desktop publishing work.

 

The ST was later superseded by the Atari TT and Falcon computers.

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