Atari 520ST (boxed) + External hard drive + software
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This is the original model ST, which has a much thinner back as it does not contain the 3.5 FDD that can be found built into all the subsequent models. The drive is connected externally via a lead. The power supply is also external. This model was not on the market for long, and was replaced by the Atari STFM.
In 1985 Atari Corporation introduced its new 16-bit computer system. It was called the 520ST, 520 being the memory size and ST for Sixteen/Thirty Two bit processor. The Atari ST originally had its OS delivered on floppy disk since the OS ROMs were not ready for shipping. The 520ST represented a major step forward in computer design and OS design.
However many rough spots do show through, for instance a lack of hardware scrolling, this most likely is a result of the machine being rushed market to gain a lead on the soon to be released Commodore computer system which used technology by the Amiga company.
Amiga had been bought by Commodore who were previously supplied finance by Atari, for development to use the technology in the Atari 1850XL computer before the Tramiels bought Atari.
This money was paid back, and development of the ST was completed in around 6 months, an incredible feat by the company, and various engineers who had followed Tramiel from Commodore.
The ST computer utilized the Digital Research GEM interface for a graphics environment. (As an interesting note, Apple Computer sued Digital Research for the GEM "Look & Feel" on the PC version and Digital Research was forced to change it, however Apple never sued Atari or Digital for the version used on the Atari ST's. Perhaps Apple felt that the Atari ST's were not going to be a enough of a threat to merit a lawsuit.)
The Atari ST enjoyed much success in Europe, but was unfortunately undone not only by the superior Amiga, but by the amount of software that Atari chose to give away in bundles with the computer, leading publishers to limit or stop producing software completely for the Atari machine.
This system was very kindly donated by Donated by Clare Hayes-Bradley
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH34261. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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