Cover of Page 6 magazine from May/June 1987
|Categories||Atari 8-bit family
|Publisher||Page 6 Publishing|
Page 6 (subtitled Atari Users Magazine, and later known as New Atari User) was an independent British publication aimed at users of Atari home computers. It was published between 1982 and 1998. The computer magazine supported both the Atari 8-bit family of computers (400/800/XL/XE) and the Atari ST range.
The magazine had its origins in the newsletter of the Birmingham User's Group, an independent Atari club based in England. Les Ellingham was appointed to be the editor of the newsletter, but decided to produce a magazine with broader appeal instead. He remained editor of Page 6 throughout its entire run of 85 issues. Although subscription-only for most of its life, it was available through newsagents during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
When Database ceased publication of the original Atari User magazine in 1988, Page 6 bought the rights (and subscriber list), and renamed their magazine, firstly to Page 6 Atari User in February 1989 and then to New Atari User in June of the same year. The latter was simply Page 6 under a different (and more newsagent-friendly) name, and had next to no continuity with the original Atari User. The editor Les Ellingham had declined the offer to edit the original Atari User when approached by Database Publications in 1985.
The magazine's name derives from the area of memory in 8-bit Atari computers covering locations 1536–1791 ($600–$6FF; "$" was the standard prefix on the Atari assembler for hexadecimal notation). As memory was divided into 'pages' of 256 bytes (the first being page 0), locations 1536 (256×6) to 1791 were known as 'page 6'. Page 6 memory was neither used by the operating system nor by Atari BASIC programs and so could be used to store the user's own short machine code routines without them being overwritten.[notes 1] In a similar manner, the publishers of Page 6 magazine wanted readers to contribute useful type-in programs and articles.
- However, in rare circumstances, the data from an INPUT command from a file being longer than the standard 128 byte buffer, the first half of this page would be overwritten.
- "Stop Press". Page 6 (35): 5. December 1988.
Literally in the last couple of days before this issue went to press PAGE 6 completed discussions with Database Publications which resulted in an agreement for PAGE 6 to take over the Atari User title [..] Look out for the new PAGE 6 ATARI USER on sale 19th JANUARY
- "Editorial: Ringing the Changes?". Page 6 Atari User (36): 4. February 1989.
This issue I have to welcome a lot of new readers to PAGE 6 ATARI USER [..] The major change that you will notice is a change in the name of the magazine
- Les Ellingham (June 1989). "For Better or Worse". New Atari User (38).
So here we have the first issue of NEW ATARI USER or rather the 38th issue of PAGE 6! [..] those who have been with us a long while can still call us PAGE 6 [..] nothing's changed except the name on the front cover.