before the Apple Newton, the
Atari ST Pad was designed along-side the ST Book system. Atari
TOS was developed with pen-input functionality and character recognition
(known as PenOS, extension for TOS/GEM).
Sam Tramiel had partnered the project with a
Russian based company called "ParaGraph International", an up and coming
software house who had also been developing its hand-recognition
software for Microsoft among others.
Tracy Hall was an influential member of the design team, and the ST-Pad,
or STylus as it was known in early development, was another
revolutionary Atari product which would not see commercial release.
the right side of the ST Pad are located 2 x High Density JAIDA Flash
card slots (Atari custom design) and a storage area for the Pen.
the left-hand side, as you can see above, are one Parallel, one Serial,
one special expansion connector for Atari FDD and HD's, one RJ11 for
external keyboard and 2 x mini MIDI. On the back of the ST Pad is
a similar external connector to the ST Book.
was to release 2 versions of the ST PAD, 1MB and 4MB. No internal
user upgrades were available for the 1MB model due to the way the
machines are designed for power considerations, according to
Atari. Battery life was expected to be 10-20 hours.
ST Pad was to be marketed at the VAR and vertical applications market,
but unfortunately as soon as the project was close to completion, the ST
Pad was cancelled (along with all other Atari computer projects) to
ensure full company resources for the Jaguar video console.
Only a few fully working
units are know to still exist.