ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2022

Entry 3rd October 2022: Post 1: Atari Falcon - To the bitter end.

Atari Falcon - To the bitter end.

Anyone that understands the history of Atari and Commodore will
appreciate their was no love lost between the two companies. It
can be traced back to the days of the departure of Jack Tramiel
from Commodore and then his determination it seemed to destroy
them. It wasn't helped when Commodore snatched the Amiga from
right under the nose of Atari.

That said I was intrigued by a question raised on a forum about
the release date in the UK of the Falcon030. Interestingly this
coincided with me running the Falcon through the motions as the
last of the machines from another platform that I test. The
computer is a bit of a pig to test cus I have to drag the thing
out off a shelf, with its bloody mouse already plugged in, cus
that's a real pain to have to insert, and then connect to a
monitor and switch it on. I mean, such a load of trouble.

She uses a standard 'T' kettle lead which is a blessing. I don't
connect the external CD-ROM drive as it really isn't important.
Because of this you will see a boot failure on the SCSI unit.

I switched her on and soon got very very bored. The GEM desktop
is anything other than inspiring. The folder operation is a
drag and to top it all the computer is an Atari, of all things.

Anyhoo she was working, so I put her back on the shelf.

OK to that launch date. The Wiki for the Falcon says 1992 which
I presume is across the pond. The manual is printed in 1993,
though actually dated 1992. To discover the launch date I went
through the STFormat magazine. This is what I found.

Dec 92: An 040 enhanced Falcon announced. There was also an
article stating that the Falcon030 will storm the shops soon.

Jan 93: A debate on which was better, the Falcon or A1200. The
Falcon was promoted as superior computer cus of multi-tasking
and multi-media. It failed to recognise the family of new Amiga
models, from the A600, A1200 and A4000 giving far superior
options and the added capability of the 1200 to expand beyond
the Falcon's spec. All pretty academic given that the A1200 was
a far superior machine and successfully launched before the
Falcon. But hey.

In January of 1993 the reports were of no Falcons for sale here.

Feb 93: The Falcon was shown at the 7th International Computer
Show at Wembley 19th-21st Feb and so I sense marks the kinda
official launch in the UK of the Falcon030.

Mar 93: A number of adverts for the Falcon030 for sale.

Nov 93: Sees the launch of the Jaguar. Atari try to reassure that
they are not in dire straights.

Dec 93: At the London Atari show it was commented that very little
software was being developed for the Falcon making sales of the
machine very limiting. It had not been a good year for Atari.

Jan 94: Atari decide to downscale operations and focus on the
Jaguar. They admit that they were unwilling to throw money at the
Falcon as it wasn't able to compete with the PC market.

What that meant for the Falcon was 'game over'

The Amiga lasted another four months before Commodore went bust
April of 1994. Irrespective of any view to the different both
platforms died in 1994, within months of each other and so the
fight really was a case of a skirmish to the death.

Neither came out the winner. Maybe if they had combined their
efforts instead of trying to outdo each other they may still have
made a fist of it, particularly against the other crap that
eventually stole the home market. With both Amiga and Atari it
really was a case of the old story of the nail in the horse-shoe.
And cus of the battle the war was lost. Idiots.

I'm not a great fan of Atari, but then is that any surprise... er
'Put 'em up'. I've never been confused. Load of TOS. I will just
have to drown in Amigas tomorrow to wash down that bad taste.
The Falcon wasn't a bad machine, it was just built that way.

Atari Falcon - To the bitter end.

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Last updated 3rd October 2022

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