A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
The Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore in 1985. The original model was part of a wave of 16- and 32-bit computers that featured 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, improved graphics and audio over 8-bit systems; this wave included the Atari ST—released the same year—Apple's Macintosh, the Apple IIGS. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the Amiga differed from its contemporaries through the inclusion of custom hardware to accelerate graphics and sound, including sprites and a blitter, a pre-emptive multitasking operating system called AmigaOS; the Amiga 1000 was released in July 1985, but a series of production problems kept it from becoming available until early 1986. The best selling model, the Amiga 500, was introduced in 1987 and became one of the leading home computers of the late 1980s and early 1990s with four to six million sold; the A3000, introduced in 1990, started the second generation of Amiga systems, followed by the A500+, the A600 in March 1992.
As the third generation, the A1200 and the A4000 were released in late 1992. The platform became popular for gaming and programming demos, it found a prominent role in the desktop video, video production, show control business, leading to video editing systems such as the Video Toaster. The Amiga's native ability to play back multiple digital sound samples made it a popular platform for early tracker music software; the powerful processor and ability to access several megabytes of memory enabled the development of several 3D rendering packages, including LightWave 3D, Aladdin4D, TurboSilver and Traces, a predecessor to Blender. Although early Commodore advertisements attempt to cast the computer as an all-purpose business machine when outfitted with the Amiga Sidecar PC compatibility add-on, the Amiga was most commercially successful as a home computer, with a wide range of games and creative software. Poor marketing and the failure of the models to repeat the technological advances of the first systems meant that the Amiga lost its market share to competing platforms, such as the fourth generation game consoles and the dropping prices of IBM PC compatibles which gained 256-color VGA graphics in 1987.
Commodore went bankrupt in April 1994 after the Amiga CD32 model failed in the marketplace. Since the demise of Commodore, various groups have marketed successors to the original Amiga line, including Genesi, Eyetech, ACube Systems Srl and A-EON Technology. AmigaOS has influenced replacements and compatible systems such as MorphOS, AmigaOS 4 and AROS. "The Amiga was so far ahead of its time that nobody—including Commodore's marketing department—could articulate what it was all about. Today, it's obvious the Amiga was the first multimedia computer, but in those days it was derided as a game machine because few people grasped the importance of advanced graphics and video. Nine years vendors are still struggling to make systems that work like 1985 Amigas." Jay Miner joined Atari in the 1970s to develop custom integrated circuits, led development of the Atari 2600's TIA. As soon as its development was complete, the team began developing a much more sophisticated set of chips, CTIA, ANTIC and POKEY, that formed the basis of the Atari 8-bit family.
With the 8-bit line's launch in 1979, the team once again started looking at a next generation chipset. Nolan Bushnell had sold the company to Warner Communications in 1978, the new management was much more interested in the existing lines than development of new products that might cut into their sales. Miner wanted to start work with the new Motorola 68000, but management was only interested in another 6502 based system. Miner left the company, for a time, the industry. In 1979, Larry Kaplan founded Activision. In 1982, Kaplan was approached by a number of investors. Kaplan hired Miner to run the hardware side of the newly formed company, "Hi-Toro"; the system was code-named "Lorraine" in keeping with Miner's policy of giving systems female names, in this case the company president's wife, Lorraine Morse. When Kaplan left the company late in 1982, Miner was promoted to head engineer and the company relaunched as Amiga Corporation. A breadboard prototype was completed by late 1983, shown at the January 1984 Consumer Electronics Show.
At the time, the operating system was not ready, so the machine was demonstrated with the Boing Ball demo. A further developed version of the system was demonstrated at the June 1984 CES and shown to many companies in hopes of garnering further funding, but found little interest in a market, in the final stages of the North American video game crash of 1983. In March, Atari expressed a tepid interest in Lorraine for its potential use in a games console or home computer tentatively known as the 1850XLD, but the talks were progressing and Amiga was running out of money. A temporary arrangement in June led to a $500,000 loan from Atari to Amiga to keep the company going; the terms required the loan to be repaid at the end of the month, otherwise Amiga would forfeit the Lorraine design to Atari. During 1983, Atari lost over $1 million a week, due to the combined effects of the crash and the ongoing price war in the home computer market. By the end of the year, Warner was desperate to sell the company.
In January 1984, Jack Tramiel resigned from Commodore due to internal battles over the future direction of the company. A number of Commodore employees followed him to Tramiel Technology; this included a number of the senior technical staff, where they began development of a 68000-based machine of the
The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in regions outside of North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis was the successor to the Master System. Sega released it as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by North America as the Genesis in 1989. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and the Super Aladdin Boy. Designed by an R&D team supervised by Hideki Sato and Masami Ishikawa, the Genesis was adapted from Sega's System 16 arcade board, centered on a Motorola 68000 processor as the CPU, a Zilog Z80 as a sound controller, a video system supporting hardware sprites and scrolling, it plays a library of more than 900 games created by Sega and a wide array of third-party publishers and delivered on ROM-based cartridges. Several add-ons were released, including a Power Base Converter to play Master System games.
It was released in several different versions, some created by third parties. Sega created two network services to support the Genesis: Sega Channel. In Japan, the Mega Drive fared poorly against its two main competitors, Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine, but it achieved considerable success in North America and Europe. Contributing to its success were its library of arcade game ports, the popularity of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series, several popular sports franchises, aggressive youth marketing that positioned the system as the cool console for adolescents; the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System two years after the Genesis resulted in a fierce battle for market share in the United States and Europe, termed as a "console war" by journalists and historians. As this contest drew increasing attention to the video game industry among the general public, the Genesis and several of its highest-profile games attracted significant legal scrutiny on matters involving reverse engineering and video game violence.
Controversy surrounding violent games such as Night Trap and Mortal Kombat led Sega to create the Videogame Rating Council, a predecessor to the Entertainment Software Rating Board. 30.75 million first-party Genesis units were sold worldwide. In addition, Tec Toy sold an estimated three million licensed variants in Brazil, Majesco projected it would sell 1.5 million licensed variants of the system in the United States, much smaller numbers were sold by Samsung in South Korea. By the mid-2010s, licensed third-party Genesis rereleases were still being sold by AtGames in North America and Europe. Many games have been rereleased in compilations or on online services such as the Nintendo Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Steam; the Genesis was succeeded in 1994 by the Sega Saturn. In the early 1980s, Sega Enterprises, Inc. a subsidiary of Gulf & Western, was one of the top five arcade game manufacturers active in the United States, as company revenues surpassed $200 million between July 1981 and June 1982.
A downturn in the arcade business starting in 1982 hurt the company, leading Gulf & Western to sell its North American arcade manufacturing organization and the licensing rights for its arcade games to Bally Manufacturing. The company retained Sega's North American R&D operation, as well as its Japanese subsidiary, Sega Enterprises, Ltd. With its arcade business in decline, Sega Enterprises, Ltd. president Hayao Nakayama advocated that the company leverage its hardware expertise to move into the home console market in Japan, in its infancy at the time. Nakayama received permission to proceed with this project, leading to the release of Sega's first home video game system, the SG-1000, in July 1983; the SG-1000 was not successful. Sega estimated; the SG-1000 was replaced by the Sega Mark III within two years. In the meantime, Gulf & Western began to divest itself of its non-core businesses after the death of company founder Charles Bluhdorn, so Nakayama and former Sega CEO David Rosen arranged a management buyout of the Japanese subsidiary in 1984 with financial backing from CSK Corporation, a prominent Japanese software company.
Nakayama was installed as CEO of the new Sega Enterprises, Ltd. In 1986, Sega redesigned the Mark III for release in North America as the Sega Master System; this was followed by a European release the next year. Although the Master System was a success in Europe, in Brazil, it failed to ignite significant interest in the Japanese or North American markets, which, by the mid-to-late 1980s, were both dominated by Nintendo. With Sega continuing to have difficulty penetrating the home market, Sega's console R&D team, led by Masami Ishikawa and supervised by Hideki Sato, began work on a successor to the Master System immediately after that console launched. In 1987, Sega faced another threat to its console business when Japanese computer giant NEC released the PC Engine amid great publicity. To remain competitive against the two more established consumer electronics companies and his team decided they needed to incorporate a 16-bit microprocessor into their new system to make an impact in the marketplace and once again turned to Sega's strengths in the arcade industry to adapt the successful Sega System 16 arcade board into architecture for a home console.
The decision to use a Motorola 68000 as the system's main CPU was made late in development, while a Zilog Z80 was used as a secondary CPU to handle the sound due to f
Electronic Arts Inc. is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. It is the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization after Activision Blizzard and ahead of Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft as of March 2018. Founded and incorporated on May 27, 1982, by Apple employee Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers responsible for its games. EA published numerous games and productivity software for personal computers and experimented on techniques to internally develop games, leading to the 1987 release of Skate or Die!. The company would decide in favor of abandoning their original principles and acquiring smaller companies that they see profitable, as well as annually releasing franchises to stay profitable. EA develops and publishes games including EA Sports titles FIFA, Madden NFL, NHL, NBA Live, UFC. Other EA established franchises includes Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, as well as newer franchises such as Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Army of Two and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Their desktop titles appear on self-developed Origin, an online gaming digital distribution platform for PCs and a direct competitor to Valve's Steam. EA owns and operates major gaming studios, EA Tiburon in Orlando, EA Vancouver in Burnaby, BioWare in Edmonton as well as Austin, DICE in Sweden and Los Angeles. Trip Hawkins had been an employee of Apple Inc. since 1978, at a time when the company had only about fifty employees. Over the next four years, the market for home personal computers skyrocketed. By 1982, Apple had completed its initial public offering and become a Fortune 500 company with over one thousand employees. In February 1982, Trip Hawkins arranged a meeting with Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital to discuss financing his new venture, Amazin' Software. Valentine encouraged Hawkins to leave Apple, where Hawkins served as Director of Product Marketing, allowed Hawkins use of Sequoia Capital's spare office space to start the company. On May 27, 1982, Trip Hawkins incorporated and established the company with a personal investment of an estimated US$200,000.
For more than seven months, Hawkins refined his Electronic Arts business plan. With aid from his first employee, Rich Melmon, the original plan was written by Hawkins, on an Apple II in Sequoia Capital's office in August 1982. During that time, Hawkins employed two of his former staff from Apple, Dave Evans and Pat Marriott, as producers, a Stanford MBA classmate, Jeff Burton from Atari for international business development; the business plan was again refined in September and reissued on October 8, 1982. By November, employee headcount rose to 11, including Tim Mott, Bing Gordon, David Maynard, Steve Hayes. Having outgrown the office space provided by Sequoia Capital, the company relocated to a San Mateo office that overlooked the San Francisco Airport landing path. Headcount rose in 1983, including Don Daglow, Richard Hilleman, Stewart Bonn, David Gardner, Nancy Fong; when he incorporated the company, Hawkins chose Amazin' Software as their company name, but his other early employees of the company universally disliked the name.
He scheduled an off-site meeting in the Pajaro Dunes, where the company once held such off-site meetings. Hawkins had developed the ideas of treating software as an art form and calling the developers, "software artists". Hence, the latest version of the business plan had suggested the name "SoftArt"; however and Melmon knew the founders of Software Arts, the creators of VisiCalc, thought their permission should be obtained. Dan Bricklin did not want the name used. However, the name concept was liked by all the attendees. Hawkins had recently read a bestselling book about the film studio United Artists, liked the reputation that the company had created. Hawkins said everyone had a vote but they would lose it if they went to sleep. Hawkins liked the word "electronic", various employees had considered the phrases "Electronic Artists" and "Electronic Arts"; when Gordon and others pushed for "Electronic Artists", in tribute to the film company United Artists, Steve Hayes opposed, saying, "We're not the artists, they are..."
This statement from Hayes tilted sentiment towards Electronic Arts and the name was unanimously endorsed and adopted in 1982. He recruited his original employees from Apple, Xerox PARC, VisiCorp, got Steve Wozniak to agree to sit on the board of directors. Hawkins was determined to sell directly to buyers. Combined with the fact that Hawkins was pioneering new game brands, this made sales growth more challenging. Retailers wanted to buy known brands from existing distribution partners. Former CEO Larry Probst arrived as VP of Sales in late 1984 and helped expand the successful company; this policy of dealing directly with retailers gave EA higher margins and better market awareness, key advantages the company would leverage to leapfrog its early competitors. A novel approach to giving credit to its developers was one of EA's trademarks in its early days; this characterization was further reinforced with EA's packaging of most of their games in the "album cover" pioneered by EA because Hawkins thought that a record album style would both save costs and convey an artistic feeling.
EA referred to their developers as "artists" and gave them photo credits in their games and numerous full-page magazine ads. Their first such ad, accompanied by the slogan "We see far
Video game music
Video game music is the soundtrack that accompanies video games. Early video game music was once limited to simple melodies of early sound synthesizer technology; these limitations inspired the style of music known as chiptunes, which combines simple melodic styles with more complex patterns or traditional music styles, became the most popular sound of the first video games. With advances in technology, video game music has grown to include the same breadth and complexity associated with television and film scores, allowing for much more creative freedom. While simple synthesizer pieces are still common, game music now includes full orchestral pieces and popular music. Music in video games can be heard over a game’s title screen, options menu, bonus content, as well as during the entire gameplay. Modern soundtracks can change depending on a player's actions or situation, such as indicating missed actions in rhythm games. Video game music can be one of two options: original or licensed. In order to create or collect this music, teams of composers, music directors, music supervisors must work with the game developers and game publishers.
Many of the most notable original sophie game composers have been from Japan, including Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Yuzo Koshiro, Yoko Shimomura, Junichi Masuda, Hip Tanaka, Masato Nakamura, Koichi Sugiyama, Yasunori Mitsuda, Michiru Yamane, Yuu Miyake, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Manabu Namiki, Shinji Hosoe, Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Notable Western game composers working today include Jeremy Soule, Jesper Kyd, Marty O' Donnell, Jason Graves, Austin Wintory, James Hannigan, Garry Schyman, Peter McConnell, some of whom work in film and television alongside video games. Today, original composition has included the work of film composers Harry Gregson-Williams, Trent Reznor, Hans Zimmer, Mark Rutherford, Josh Mancell, Steve Jablonsky, Michael Giacchino; the popularity of video game music has expanded education and job opportunities, generated awards, allowed video game soundtracks to be commercially sold and performed in concert's. At the time video games had emerged as a popular form of entertainment in the late 1970s, music was stored on physical medium in analog waveforms such as compact cassettes and phonograph records.
Such components were expensive and prone to breakage under heavy use making them less than ideal for use in an arcade cabinet, though in rare cases, they were used. A more affordable method of having music in a video game was to use digital means, where a specific computer chip would change electrical impulses from computer code into analog sound waves on the fly for output on a speaker. Sound effects for the games were generated in this fashion. An early example of such an approach to video game music was the opening chiptune in Tomohiro Nishikado's Gun Fight. While this allowed for inclusion of music in early arcade video games, it was monophonic, looped or used sparingly between stages or at the start of a new game, such as the Namco titles Pac-Man composed by Toshio Kai or Pole Position composed by Nobuyuki Ohnogi; the first game to use a continuous background soundtrack was Tomohiro Nishikado's Space Invaders, released by Taito in 1978. It had four descending chromatic bass notes repeating in a loop, though it was dynamic and interacted with the player, increasing pace as the enemies descended on the player.
The first video game to feature continuous, melodic background music was Rally-X, released by Namco in 1980, featuring a simple tune that repeats continuously during gameplay. The decision to include any music into a video game meant that at some point it would have to be transcribed into computer code by a programmer, whether or not the programmer had musical experience; some music was original, some was public domain music such as folk songs. Sound capabilities were limited; as advances were made in silicon technology and costs fell, a definitively new generation of arcade machines and home consoles allowed for great changes in accompanying music. In arcades, machines based on the Motorola 68000 CPU and accompanying various Yamaha YM programmable sound generator sound chips allowed for several more tones or "channels" of sound, sometimes eight or more; the earliest known example of this was Sega's 1980 arcade game Carnival, which used an AY-3-8910 chip to create an electronic rendition of the classical 1889 composition "Over The Waves" by Juventino Rosas.
Konami's 1981 arcade game Frogger introduced a dynamic approach to video game music, using at least eleven different gameplay tracks, in addition to level-starting and game over themes, which change according to the player's actions. This was further improved upon by Namco's 1982 arcade game Dig Dug, where the music stopped when the player stopped moving. Dig Dug was composed by Yuriko Keino, who composed the music for other Namco games such as Xevious and Phozon. Sega's 1982 arcade game Super Locomotive featured a chiptune rendition of Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Rydeen". Home console systems had a comparable upgrade in sound ability beginning with the ColecoVision in 1982 capable of four channels. However, more notable was the Japanese release of the Famicom in 1983, released in the US as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, it was capable of one being capable of simple PCM sampled sound. The home computer Commodore 64 released in 1982 was capable of early forms of filtering effects, different types of waveforms and the undocumented abilit
Video game genre
A video game genre is a classification assigned to a video game based on its gameplay interaction rather than visual or narrative differences. A video game genre is defined by a set of gameplay challenges and are classified independently of their setting or game-world content, unlike other works of fiction such as films or books. For example, a shooter game is still a shooter game, regardless of when it takes place; as with nearly all varieties of genre classification, the matter of any individual video game's specific genre is open to personal interpretation. Moreover, each individual game may belong to several genres at once; the first attempt to classify different genres of video games was made by Chris Crawford in his book The Art of Computer Game Design in 1984. In this book, Crawford focused on the player's experience and activities required for gameplay. Here, he stated that "the state of computer game design is changing quickly. We would therefore expect the taxonomy presented to become obsolete or inadequate in a short time."
Since among other genres, the platformer and 3D shooter genres, which hardly existed at the time, have gained a lot of popularity. As hardware capabilities have increased, new genres have become possible, with examples being increased memory, the move from 2D to 3D, new peripherals and location. Though genres were just interesting for game studies in the 1980s, the business of video games expanded in the 1990s and both smaller and independent publishers had little chance of surviving; because of this, games settled more into set genres that larger publishers and retailers could use for marketing. Due to "direct and active participation" of the player, video game genres differ from literary and film genres. Though one could state that Space Invaders is a science-fiction video game, such a classification "ignores the differences and similarities which are to be found in the player's experience of the game." In contrast to the visual aesthetics of games, which can vary it is argued that it is interactivity characteristics that are common to all games.
Descriptive names of genres take into account the goals of the game, the protagonist and the perspective offered to the player. For example, a first-person shooter is a game, played from a first-person perspective and involves the practice of shooting; the term "subgenre" may be used to refer to a category within a genre to further specify the genre of the game under discussion. Whereas "shooter game" is a genre name, "first-person shooter" and "third-person shooter" are common subgenres of the shooter genre. Other examples of such prefixes are real-time, turn based, side-scrolling; the target audience, underlying theme or purpose of a game are sometimes used as a genre identifier, such as with "games for girls," games for cats,"Christian game" and "Serious game" respectively. However, because these terms do not indicate anything about the gameplay of a video game, these are not considered genres. Video game genres vary in specificity, with popular video game reviews using genre names varying from "action" to "baseball."
In this practice, basic themes and more fundamental characteristics are used alongside each other. A game may combine aspects of multiple genres in such a way that it becomes hard to classify under existing genres. For example, because Grand Theft Auto III combined shooting and roleplaying in an unusual way, it was hard to classify using existing terms. Since the term Grand Theft Auto clone has been used to describe games mechanically similar to Grand Theft Auto III; the term roguelike has been developed for games that share similarities with Rogue. Elements of the role-playing genre, which focuses on storytelling and character growth, have been implemented in many different genres of video games; this is because the addition of a story and character enhancement to an action, strategy or puzzle video game does not take away from its core gameplay, but adds an incentive other than survival to the experience. According to some analysts, the count of each broad genre in the best selling physical games worldwide is broken down as follows.
The most popular genres are Shooter, Role-playing and Sports, with Platformer and Racing having both declined in the last decade. Puzzle games have declined when measured by sales, however, on mobile, where the majority of games are free-to-play, this genre remains the most popular worldwide. List of video game genres
The Atari ST is a line of home computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The initial ST model, the 520ST, saw limited release in April–June 1985 and was available in July; the Atari ST is the first personal computer to come with a bitmapped color GUI, using a version of Digital Research's GEM released in February 1985. The 1040ST, released in 1986, is the first personal computer to ship with a megabyte of RAM in the base configuration and the first with a cost-per-kilobyte of less than US$1; the Atari ST is part of a mid-1980s generation of home computers that have 16 or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-controlled graphical user interfaces. This generation includes the Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Apple IIGS, and, in certain markets, the Acorn Archimedes. "ST" stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which refers to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals. The ST was sold with the less expensive monochrome monitor; the system's two color graphics modes are only available on the former while the highest-resolution mode needs the monochrome monitor.
In some markets Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and desktop publishing work. Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports, the ST enjoyed success for running music-sequencer software and as a controller of musical instruments among amateurs and well-known musicians alike; the ST was superseded by the Atari STE, Atari TT, Atari MEGA STE, Falcon computers. The Atari ST was born from the rivalry between home-computer makers Atari, Inc. and Commodore International. Jay Miner, one of the original designers for the custom chips found in the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit family, tried to convince Atari management to create a new chipset for a video game console and computer; when his idea was rejected, Miner left Atari to form a small think tank called Hi-Toro in 1982 and began designing the new "Lorraine" chipset. The company, renamed Amiga Corporation, was pretending to sell video game controllers to deceive competition while it developed a Lorraine-based computer.
Amiga ran out of capital to complete Lorraine's development, Atari, owned by Warner Communications, paid Amiga to continue development work. In return Atari received exclusive use of the Lorraine design for one year as a video game console. After one year Atari would have the right to add a keyboard and market the complete computer, designated the 1850XLD; as Atari was involved with Disney at the time, it was code-named "Mickey", the 256K memory expansion board was codenamed "Minnie". After leaving Commodore International in January 1984, Jack Tramiel formed Tramel Technology with his sons and other ex-Commodore employees and, in April, began planning a new computer; the company considered the National Semiconductor NS320xx microprocessor but was disappointed with its performance. This started the move to the 68000; the lead designer of the Atari ST was ex-Commodore employee Shiraz Shivji, who had worked on the Commodore 64's development. Atari in mid-1984 was losing about a million dollars per day.
Interested in Atari's overseas manufacturing and worldwide distribution network for his new computer, Tramiel negotiated with Warner in May and June 1984. He bought Atari's Consumer Division in July; as executives and engineers left Commodore to join Tramiel's new Atari Corporation, Commodore responded by filing lawsuits against four former engineers for theft of trade secrets. The Tramiels did not purchase the employee contracts when they bought the assets of Atari Inc. so one of their first acts was to interview Atari Inc. employees to decide whom to hire at what was a brand new company. This company was called TTL renamed to Atari Corp. At the time of the purchase of Atari Inc's assets, there were 900 employees remaining from a high point of 10,000. After the interviews 100 employees were hired to work at Atari Corp. At one point a custom sound processor called AMY was a planned component for the new ST computer design, but the chip needed more time to complete, so AMY was dropped in favor of an off-the-shelf Yamaha sound chip.
It was during this time in late July/early August that Leonard Tramiel discovered the original Amiga contract, which required Amiga Corporation to deliver the Lorraine chipset to Atari on June 30, 1984. Amiga Corp. had sought more monetary support from investors in spring 1984. Having heard rumors that Tramiel was negotiating to buy Atari, Amiga Corp. entered into discussions with Commodore. The discussions led to Commodore wanting to purchase Amiga Corporation outright, which Commodore believed would cancel any outstanding contracts, including Atari's. Instead of Amiga Corp. delivering Lorraine to Atari, Commodore delivered a check of $500,000 to Atari on Amiga's behalf, in effect returning the funds Atari invested into Amiga for the chipset. Tramiel countersued Amiga Corp. on August 13, 1984. He sought an injunction to bar Amiga from producing anything with its technology. At Commodore, the Amiga team was in limbo during the summer of 1984 because of the lawsuit. No word on the status of the chipset, the Lorraine computer, or the team's fate was known.
In the fall of 1984, Commodore informed the team that the Lorraine project was active again, the chipset was to be improved, the operating system developed, the hardware design completed. While Commodore announced the Amiga 1000 with the Lorraine chipset in July 1985, the delay gave Atari, with its ma