New Book Tells Inside Story of Atari

CommanderFrank

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If you are interested in the early days of gaming and specifically to all things Atari, a book is out documenting the rise and fall of one of the earliest of the mega-gaming companies all the way through from its dominance in the early gaming industry right up to the company’s downfall. Atari Inc.: Business is Fun even covers the saga of Steve Jobs when he worked for Atari in 1974. Interesting read. :cool:

Atari, named by Bushnell after a term from the strategic game Go, was arguably the most important company making and selling video games in the early days of an industry that today generates tens of billions of dollars in revenue per year worldwide.
 

michael.pa2

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I miss those early days,it's hard to describe what they were like to someone who wasn't around to experience them. Gamers owe a lot to Atari,it's a shame they fell prey to hazards so many successful companies do,bad decisions,sacrificing quality and creativity for profits,ect. I don't think we'll experience that kind of exciting atmosphere in gaming again.
 

ol1bit

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Ahh yes, I started off with a Sears 2600. Next up, an Atari 400 with membrane Keyboard. From there an Atari 800XL (still have today, with Percom Floppy Drive). Went to college and bought myself a 1040ST (3d Glasses that you had to program yourself!)...

Oh the fun I had from Basic to Assembler to Forth! Without Atari computers, I'd never be a programmer. Loved Atari for sure!
 

Tyler-Durden

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My first personal computer was an Atari 800. Got me through college and gave me lots of good gaming times, too. This book is a must-read for me, but $40 for a paperback is a bit steep, even for 800 pages. Probably will wait for the Kindle version.
 

///AMG

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My first personal computer was an Atari 800. Got me through college and gave me lots of good gaming times, too. This book is a must-read for me, but $40 for a paperback is a bit steep, even for 800 pages. Probably will wait for the Kindle version.

Yea, I would love to read it but at $40 I don't want to read it THAT much.
 

westrock2000

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I have an Atari Jaguar CD, it might even work too, but I can't guarantee such wild claims :)
 

travanx

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River Raid was the first game I played!!!!!!!!!! I must have been 5 or 6 at the time.
 

Monkey God

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Ahh yes, I started off with a Sears 2600. Next up, an Atari 400 with membrane Keyboard. From there an Atari 800XL (still have today, with Percom Floppy Drive). Went to college and bought myself a 1040ST (3d Glasses that you had to program yourself!)...

Oh the fun I had from Basic to Assembler to Forth! Without Atari computers, I'd never be a programmer. Loved Atari for sure!

Ditto. Remember typing in long programs from the Atari magazines(Antic, etc)? And then losing them because the 410 tape drive was a POS?

Good times.
 

Wumpus

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Ditto. Remember typing in long programs from the Atari magazines(Antic, etc)? And then losing them because the 410 tape drive was a POS?

Good times.

There's an ode to Compute which was an early source of Atari information (before Analog and later Antic came along). The article appears to focus on a time somewhat later than Analog as it never mentions just how important the inclusion of checksums in such listings.

The 410 worked a lot better if you could get "computer tapes". They had no non-recording headers and were generally a lot shorter. As far as I know, only the commodore64 (with the magazine shipped "turbo mode") was worth using, you didn't want to use a cassette with Atari (or I assume Apple, but they were so expensive everybody must have bought a floppy with them). Still no comparison to the 810 and floppies.*

* The difference between cassette and floppy was huge. Rotating hd to SSD simply does not come close. Only the difference between floppy and hard drive could really compare. Now get off my lawn.
 

mope54

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The TRS-80 CoCoII I had was worth using with cassettes. I think when I finally had enough money to save up for a floppy drive it was on sale for $299 bucks! :O
 

grtitan

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Started with a TRS-80 model 1, but sadly, due to my parent's shortsightedness, i never got my own computer until i was 24 and payed for it with my own money.

Found this site, http://archive.org/details/computermagazines and nostalgia kicked in full gear.

Sad to be an spectator to so many great, pioneering companies demise.
 

Burticus

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Had a 2600... got a C64 2 years later as an Xmas present and never looked back. Sold the 2600 and all my carts at a garage sale so I could afford the cassette deck for the C64. Life was great until our apartment was robbed 6 months later. Funny... they left the craptacular black and white TV behind in the robbery. (I was not allowed to hook the C64 or the Atari up to the color TV in the house as my father believed it would break the TV with burn in...)

An 800 page book on Atari.... really. Management ran them straight into the ground. Only their arcade division made any money after 85. Of course the same thing can be said for my beloved Commodore.... their management did them in too. I guess the common thread is "management sucks".
 

Dr. Righteous

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Ahh yes, I started off with a Sears 2600. Next up, an Atari 400 with membrane Keyboard. From there an Atari 800XL (still have today, with Percom Floppy Drive). Went to college and bought myself a 1040ST (3d Glasses that you had to program yourself!)...

Oh the fun I had from Basic to Assembler to Forth! Without Atari computers, I'd never be a programmer. Loved Atari for sure!

HA,
My first computer was a Atari 400 ('82 i think). Much cheaper than the 800. But I knew I could mail order a aftermarket full stroke keyboard for like $25. I had the tape drive also. A real floppy drive was way to expensive. Couple years later when Kmart quit selling Atari computers I scored a floppy drive for like $250. It was HUGE to be able quickly save your work, quickly access it and load it.
Back then I had to mail order shareware software.
You would get a bunch of floppies from a company in CA (usually) with all kind of free goodies gleaned off the BBSes on the west coast. I would be giddy with excitement waiting for the disc to arrive.
ANTIC magazine was cool. Later they offered a monthly floppy with the featured shareware so you wouldn't have to type in the code. LOL! Those were the days! ;)
 

martyg

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Hey guys, just doing a google search and ran across this discussion on the book. I'm one of the co-authors of the book, and I thought I'd just comment/answer a few questions.

Atari, named by Bushnell after a term from the strategic game Go, was arguably the most important company making and selling video games in the early days of an industry that today generates tens of billions of dollars in revenue per year worldwide.

Actually, it wasn't named by Bushnell. Bushnell and Dabney gave a listing of possible names and the Secretary of the State of California at the time (Edmund Brown Jr.) picked the name Atari.

Yea, I would love to read it but at $40 I don't want to read it THAT much.

For a book this size and of this content, it's actually quite reasonable. As someone who regularly buys paperbacks for my profession, the cover price of most 800 page paperbacks are usually more expensive (mid $50 to $60 range):

http://www.amazon.com/Murachs-C-201...16?ie=UTF8&qid=1354678587&sr=8-16&keywords=c#
http://www.amazon.com/Murachs-MySQL...?ie=UTF8&qid=1354679009&sr=8-1&keywords=mysql
http://www.amazon.com/MySQL-4th-Edi...?ie=UTF8&qid=1354679061&sr=8-2&keywords=mysql

Out of the 800 pages, a good 300 are images, most never before seen.

Which Atari? The game company, or the computer company split off and sold to the Tramiel's?

Atari Inc., the company that existed from 1972-1984 (though the book starts before that, as many of the main figures involved were all from Ampex). And there wasn't a computer company split off, it was Atari's Consumer Division (home consoles and computers). Tramiel purchased this, folded it into is own company TTL, and then renamed TTL to Atari Corporation.

An 800 page book on Atari.... really. Management ran them straight into the ground. Only their arcade division made any money after 85. Of course the same thing can be said for my beloved Commodore.... their management did them in too. I guess the common thread is "management sucks".

Actually, what happened is far more complicated than that and the decisions imposed by parent company Warner Communications were as much to blame for what happened. Likewise, there was no "their" arcade division in '85, that was a completely separate company (Atari Games Corp.)

As for the content of the 800 pages, it covers a lot of material most are not familiar with - with the primary focus on telling the stories from the people that were there rather than a dry product book. If you read the reviews we've been getting so far on Amazon, it doesn't read like an 800 page book. We wanted to be more cinematic in our approach.
 

Guzinya

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Hey guys, just doing a google search and ran across this discussion on the book. I'm one of the co-authors of the book, and I thought I'd just comment/answer a few questions...

Thanks for the post and good luck with the book. I'll be sure to leave a review on Amazon when I read it.
 
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