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30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:41 am
by mrmessy
I have just realised it was 30 years ago this month that I got my Atari ST. Blimey! After pestering my dad into submission – convincing him that I HAD to upgrade from my Spectrum 128 to the amazingly good value Atari ST “Summer Pack”, he drove the 15 year old me to Evesham Micros, somewhere on Pershore Road, near Birmingham to pick one up! It only took about an hour to get there.

Unfortunately, if memory serves, the first one we got didn’t work, so we had to go back. The second one we got blew up due to the dodgy power switch problem, if I remember correctly, so we had to go back a third time (I think). What I do remember is, on the final visit, the helpful man in the shop had one up and running with a demo disk, to prove that we would not have to go back there again! I still remember the plastic-y electrical smell of the shop. The sort of smell that suggests “NEW HARDWARE IS HERE!” – like when you unbox a brand new console or piece of tech for the first time. Whenever I catch a whiff of such a smell, it always reminds me of Evesham Micros and my shiny new Atari STFM (with double sided disk drive, I might add!).

I loved that computer at the time and the colourful 16 bit graphics seemed amazing. The Summer Pack included some superb games like Super Sprint and Defender of the Crown, as well as quite a few rubbishy games too. It also included one of the classic Atari joysticks, which I became used to using on a desk top.

As we had had to travel back there so many times, the man in the shop gave me five demo disks as a sort of apology. However the only one I can remember was the one I used the most: “The BIG Demo”, which was full of chip tunes as well as some sampled tunes – which were amazing at the time. I still boot that one up on an emulator now and again. I wish I could remember what the other demos were, but no, they’ve gone from my memory…

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:35 pm
by ant512
I got a PC from Evesham Micros that had a bad RAM chip. It took something like a month and 3 returns before they decided to fit a different SIMM. For one of the returns I configured the PC to boot straight into DOS Quake, which would crash after a few seconds of running the demo. They sent the PC back, unfixed, claiming that Quake wasn’t compatible with the PC.

This, of course, was after I’d taken the machine apart, diagnosed the problem with a borrowed, working SIMM, and told them exactly what they needed to do to fix it.

It’s interesting to see that I wasn’t the only one to have a terrible experience with the company.

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:54 pm
by Greyfox
In relation to you mentioning the ST demo scene, the BIG demo was from a group under the name of "TEX a.k.a. the Exceptions" remade a selection of c64 tunes a 125 of them excluding the digital department of the demo, most store ran demos like the "Snowman demo" or the microdeal demo under the "MicroMix" demos where you could mash up your own mixes of the samples playing. But if your interested a colleague of mine has created two incredible publications based on the Atari ST demo scene under two volumes so far, with the first called "Breaking the Borders" and the newly release volume 2 "Beyond the Borders" and can be purchased from Microzeit https://www.microzeit.com/anthology/ if your serious about finding those missing demos of your youth ;)

Kind regards

Darren.

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:38 am
by The Laird
I clearly remember the day I took my Spectrum +2A to Software Cellar in Luton and traded it all in (minus all my copies!) for a second hand Atari ST. In the shop he had this huge bin of loose ST disks, most of which were either the power pack disks or magazine cover disks, and he also let me have 20 of those to get me started (I mostly chose the power pack disks!). That was a really happy day and that ST ended up getting me through college.

I used to by demo disks and public domain stuff from Software Plus in St. Albans, he had a huge PD library and you could choose what you wanted from this simple printed catalogue he had. He would then copy them onto a blank disk and stick a simple label on it and charge a couple of quid. I still have loads of these in my old disk box.

I also thoroughly recommend the two books from Microzeit - Breakin' The Borders and Beyond the Borders, I have reviewed both on You Tube if you want a closer, just click the text links.

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:04 am
by paranoid marvin
My first ST was a new one, it came with a huge game bundle of about 20-30 games (think it was called the 'Power Pack') which comprised mainly of 8 bit games which had been updated to 16bit.

Was a great machine, and I loved it until I saw that some of the newer games (particularyly from the likes of Cinemaware) were offering significantly better versions of the same games for the 'miggy.

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:46 am
by mrmessy
Greyfox wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:54 pm
In relation to you mentioning the ST demo scene, the BIG demo was from a group under the name of "TEX a.k.a. the Exceptions" remade a selection of c64 tunes a 125 of them excluding the digital department of the demo, most store ran demos like the "Snowman demo" or the microdeal demo under the "MicroMix" demos where you could mash up your own mixes of the samples playing. But if your interested a colleague of mine has created two incredible publications based on the Atari ST demo scene under two volumes so far, with the first called "Breaking the Borders" and the newly release volume 2 "Beyond the Borders" and can be purchased from Microzeit https://www.microzeit.com/anthology/ if your serious about finding those missing demos of your youth ;)

Kind regards

Darren.
Unfortunately, I cannot remember a single thing about the other 4 demo disks I was given, but this does look interesting. I was always very impressed with the coding skills displayed in the demo scene - on the Amiga and the ST. So much better than many of the games, it seemed...

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:50 am
by mrmessy
The Laird wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:38 am

I also thoroughly recommend the two books from Microzeit - Breakin' The Borders and Beyond the Borders, I have reviewed both on You Tube if you want a closer, just click the text links.
Thanks, will take a look.

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:56 am
by mrmessy
Found this some time ago. 10 points if you can make out all the game titles...

https://flic.kr/p/WSjCNw

Also found his on YouTube about the Power Pack, which looked much better than the Summer Pack. Oh well:

https://youtu.be/l-f0W9HJOWg

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:17 am
by mrmessy
paranoid marvin wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:04 am
My first ST was a new one, it came with a huge game bundle of about 20-30 games (think it was called the 'Power Pack') which comprised mainly of 8 bit games which had been updated to 16bit.

Was a great machine, and I loved it until I saw that some of the newer games (particularyly from the likes of Cinemaware) were offering significantly better versions of the same games for the 'miggy.
You might be referring to the "Super Pack", which IIRC came out later in '88 and was a fair bit better than the Summer Pack.

I also noticed the Amiga's superiority, and, like the fickle git that I was back then, sold all my lovely ST stuff (including loads of "backups") and bought an Amiga Fantasy Pack in May 1990. Saw Shadow of the Beast running in a local computer shop, you see - the decision was made. If only I could have had them both... Rainbow Islands was bloody good on the Amiga though.

Re: 30 Years! Atari ST from Evesham Micros.

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:04 pm
by Cripper2
My first ST was an STM from Silica Shop with an external single sided disk drive. It came with a few games; Cards, Megaroids and Typhoon a vertically scrolling shooter. The first games I bought for it were Road Runner which was ok and Colonial conquest cos it got 5/5 in ST Update magazine. I mainly used it with a high res mono monitor that not many games supported

I did get a PC from Evesham Micros later. It lasted a long time but I can’t remember anything special about it. They expanded quickly then went bust.