APX, Issue: 01 – Summer, 1981

ATARI offers a wide variety of useful and entertaining software for its ATARI 400/800™ Personal Computer Systems, and it is constantly developing more. Yet we’ve come across other interesting software deserving public recognition, and we know that many ATARI Personal Computer owners are writing still more software that would be welcome additions to your program library.

As a service to our users, we’ve created the ATARI Program Exchange, which will make such software available quickly and inexpensively. Our objective in becoming a central distributor of high-quality, imaginative software written by both professional programmers and hobbyists is to increase the usefulness of your ATARI Personal Computer. We’ll keep costs down and speed production in several ways. We’ll use simple packaging and we’ll rely on user-written documentation that follows ATARI Program Exchange documentation guidelines. In addition, the support extended to ATARI’S standard software won’t be available for these programs. What we’ll offer, then, is a lot of interesting software quickly and inexpensively, but without ATARI’S usual comprehensive documentation and follow-up support.

Browsing through this catalog, you’ll notice that some software has special appeal, whereas other software will interest almost everyone. We’ve pointed out in the recommended audience, descriptions, and review comments which software requires special knowledge and which might interest only certain users. Notice
that the software descriptions include review comments. These are the composite evaluations both of our staff and of other users of the software. You’ll read here not only about a program’s good features, but also about its limitations. We encourage users of software from this catalog to fill out and mail us the review comments form accompanying each software package so that we can expand our software reviews
in future issues. As the ATARI Program Exchange grows, our range of software offerings will also grow, meeting more and more of your needs.

Hardware Available, too

At the request of many advanced hobbyists, well also be carrying some hard-to-find hardware items for ATARI Personal Computers. To start with, we’re offering connectors and cartridge boards. We’ll be expanding our hardware line in future issues. If there are other hardware items you’d like us to carry, drop us a line.

How the ATARI Program Exchange Works

You can purchase these products directly by mail, using the order form in this catalog. If you pay by VISA or Master Card, you can also phone in your order, using one of our toll-free numbers listed on the order form and in the back of this catalog. Please read all the ordering information before placing your order. These prices are subject to change without notice.

Future Catalog Mailings

You’ll automatically receive the next issue of the ATARI Program Exchange software catalog if you’ve sent in your warranty card for your ATARI personal computer, or if you purchase anything from this issue. We’ll try to distribute our catalog at no cost to you for as long as we can. If we’re forced to charge a small fee in the future, we’ll notify you of the change.

An Invitation to Submit Your Software

Because we want to stock our user-contributed software library with a large amount of high-quality software, we’re interested in looking at imaginative, well-written programs you’ve created for the ATARI 400 or ATARI 800 Personal Computer. If we accept your program into our library, you’ll receive a quarterly payment, based on the sales of your software. We’ll also publish your name as author of your software in our catalog and in the program itself, as well as in its accompanying documentation. As a service to ATARI computer users’ groups we’ll distribute their software collections at low cost, with the quarterly payment going to the users’ group.

If you’ve turned a good idea into software you’d like us to consider offering through the ATARI Program Exchange, please call our toll-free number, 800/538-1862 (or 800/ 672-1850 for calls within California). We’ll send you a program submission packet, which includes the documentation guidelines to be followed when writing the user manual that must accompany your program at the time of submission. ATARI users’ groups interested in submitting their program libraries to the ATARI Program Exchange for further distribution should also use one of these toll-free numbers to request library submission information.

Announcing Our Quarterly User-written Software Contest

As further inducement to giving us the opportunity to look over your best software, we’ll hold a quarterly ATARI Program Exchange Software Contest. When we accept your program into our user-contributed software library, you automatically become a contestant in one of these contests. (Software submitted by ATARI employees or their families and software collections submitted by users’ groups are not eligible for these contests.)

We’ll be awarding ATARI hardware and software products as first, second, and third prizes in four categories, based on program quality and creativity:

  1. Consumer (including Entertainment/ Personal Interest & Development)
  2. Education
  3. Business & Professional Applications / Personal Finance & Record Keeping
  4. System Software

To be eligible for a quarterly contest, your program must be accepted by the ATARI Program Exchange on or before the acceptance deadline. The quarterly contest coincides with publication of the ATARI Program Exchange software catalog, and the program acceptance deadline is two months prior to a catalog’s publication date. The 1981 acceptance deadlines are:

July 1, 1981 for the fall 1981 issue
October 1, 1981 for the winter 1981 issue and for the 1981 grand prize

Because some programs might require revisions before we accept them, we recommend that you submit your program as early as possible within the quarter. Programs are eligible for one contest only, and for the annual grand prize. Updates and revisions to previously accepted programs aren’t eligible for another contest.

Contest judges are ATARI staff members, whose decisions are final. We’ll consider only completely documented and debugged software that is accompanied by our program submission form and by the signed contract supplied by the ATARI Program Exchange. The program submission packet contains complete contest information. (This contest offer is void where prohibited by law.)

This Is Just the Beginning

We hope this initial selection of software and hardware will add to the usefulness and enjoyment you receive from your ATARI Personal Computer. We also hope it will lead to other users’ contributing their best software to the program exchange for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of other ATARI Personal Computer owners.

Software in this issue

Hardware in this issue