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What is your opinion of Jack Tramiel?


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#26 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:07 PM

I don't think Jack stayed up all night typing in program listings from Analog or ST-Log to the warm glow of a monitor like I did. His perspective is probably far different than ours. That said, he gave me a fun childhood and a hobby that still persists to this day. Everyone makes mistakes, some bigger than others, but I do respect the man regardless.

Edited by lp060, Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:10 PM.


#27 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:23 PM


But, Tramiel's success was a product of its time. High tech markets are like that -- they change faster than the players can. What worked great for the market in 1982 might not work as well in 1985. And by 1990, it could be a completely different ball game.
<...snip...>
That's what's great about hindsight. We know he was wrong, because we saw him pick losers. We know all the winners now, and we know the winning strategies. But at that moment, the whole industry was being turned upside down. Sales were plummeting for reasons nobody understood. Everybody had their own ideas about what to do. Some were lucky, and those guys survived.

Bravo! One of the best posts I've seen, on the topic.

What he was able to do - with as little as he had to do it with (Atari Corp was a small company) - is still pretty remarkable. Amazing that in an age where the brand is owned by a bunch of money-grubbing, brand-wrecking, enthusiast-crushing, incompetent moronic punks......and there's still a bunch of uninformed, highly-opinionated armchair quarterbacks with 20 years of hindsight..... to tell us how bad Tramiel was. HA HA HA!! He was both a genius and a saint, compared to these Infogrames folks.


Not owning MOS technology after leaving Commodore for Atari he could never create another C64 success. It either wasn't revolutionary enough (ST) or took too long to finish (Lynx/Jaguar/STE)

On the other hand Commodore minus Jack put out turkeys like Commodore 128, Plus/4 and Commodore 16 AND when they had the worlds most revolutionary desktop computer didn't even market it in its second year whilst waiting for the TECHNICALLY UN-ENHANCED FULL OF FAIL UGLY AS SH1T Amiga 500 and 2000.

PET was revolutionary, C64 even today is a record breaker, (VIC20 was a sacrificial lamb for the sneaky japs who he knew would try and copy what they thought his most advanced product was) but his Atari stuff whilst nice is not that special kind of Magic or any particular first blah blah.

Or....like I said already. "Genius" but one with his hands tied behind his back at broken pennyless Atari he purchased after leaving Commodore.

#28 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:34 PM

AND when they had the worlds most revolutionary desktop computer didn't even market it in its second year whilst waiting for the TECHNICALLY UN-ENHANCED FULL OF FAIL UGLY AS SH1T Amiga 500 and 2000.

I thought the A500 was the most significant of the entire Amiga product line and life. Amiga finally came down to "ST price" with this model. No small feat.

#29 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:10 PM


AND when they had the worlds most revolutionary desktop computer didn't even market it in its second year whilst waiting for the TECHNICALLY UN-ENHANCED FULL OF FAIL UGLY AS SH1T Amiga 500 and 2000.

I thought the A500 was the most significant of the entire Amiga product line and life. Amiga finally came down to "ST price" with this model. No small feat.


I didn't care for the A500 either...but...you're right. Until it came along, Commodore was having a very hard time
matching Atari's "kits" for value.

#30 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:25 PM



AND when they had the worlds most revolutionary desktop computer didn't even market it in its second year whilst waiting for the TECHNICALLY UN-ENHANCED FULL OF FAIL UGLY AS SH1T Amiga 500 and 2000.

I thought the A500 was the most significant of the entire Amiga product line and life. Amiga finally came down to "ST price" with this model. No small feat.


I didn't care for the A500 either...but...you're right. Until it came along, Commodore was having a very hard time
matching Atari's "kits" for value.


Apart from some horribly cheap case (ugly as hell too and made that dirt Chinnon internal floppy echo like a music concert hall!) and replacing the A1000s protected memory board for loading of Kickstart from disk (same way the 520ST loaded TOS from disk but imagine if the ST had an extra 192kb etc to load in TOS and it could never be wiped unless the ST was powered off) they are the same machine with the same chips inside and the same power levels and that's that. Cost to build the A1000 for same cost as A500 (including money wasted on that project to re-tool factory for production of A500) would have been just as possible. And the A500 sold LESS than half what C64 sold despite the fact C64 was expensive on launch day and both machines were sold for nearly a decade. In fact A500 sold approx 10 million which is only double the 5 million Commodore 128 machines ever sold.

The reality is they sacked all but Jay Miner from the original A1000 dev team and so had nobody to design a cost reduced A1000. The reason the A1000 was expensive was mostly down to dealer margins being 50% but for the £500+75 sales tax + £25 (£600 for 18 months!) modulator A500 in Xmas 1987 was because dealer margins were squeezed to nearly half that and they ran a bigger batch from the factory. Designing the new cases cost just as much as making the original A1000 case and external quality keyboard. And Remember when Amiga was £399+VAT (£460 odd) STFM was £299 inc VAT. People bought the A500 despite it's noisy disk drive, naff looking case and cheap keyboard (still better than the ST/STM/STFMs though, only the Mega had a nice keyboard to be fair).

The A500 project was 12 months late (so was the A2000 project) both were supposed to be finished in 1986. Commodore sans Jack Tramiel STOPPED MARKETING THE A1000 FOR A YEAR waiting for the technically underwhelming ugly ass A500 and A2000! In 24 months we went from mono silent PET to VIC (great games!) and then from VIC to C64. Wasting those two years killed Commodore, they were playing catch up from 87 to 94 bankruptcy. Even the Commodore 65 had 256 colours in 320x200 in 1990 working prototype. the 'New' A500 plus was the same sh1t 32 colours....just 32 colours! Joke!

There isn't a single game for A500 I can't run on my 1985 A1000 sitting on my desk, so they produced an inferior product with the same tech specs two years later,.They gave Atari nearly 2 years head start (what little marketing they did do from late 85 to mid 86 was pathetic and limp wristed) and then replaced it with a technically identical and inferior quality product. As I said the A1000 with a cost reduced motherboard could easily have been made for the SAME PRICE as the A500. Shame really because the A1000 is beautiful to use but I wouldn't even purchase an A500 EVER off ebay (A2000 yes for the Zorro II card slots etc)

This sort of laughable 'business tactics' would never ever have happened if Jack Tramiel had never left Commodore. He would have left the A1000 to sell and listened to Jay Miner's idea to build a games console with a cartridge port (meaning only 128kb needed for machine RAM not 512kb) for about £300 in 1986 too for people who just wanted to play 'Amiga games'

Like I always said, Apple survived the 90s only due to ridiculously overpriced hardware hiding in plain site and Windows on Intel/AMD x86 PC won the computer wars because Atari and Commodore battled only each other AND DESTROYED THEMSELVES in the process. Again had Commodore not lost Jack Atari would never have made a comeback with the ST and we would not have to use disgusting pretentious Mac or pathetically badly programmed Windows machines

Instead of Commodore being content with being technically better than ST they should have kept an eye on Acorn Archimedes, Sharp X68000, Sega 16bit console, Fujitsu FM Town, PC Engine/Turbo Grafx, SAM Coupe, PC VGA byte per pixel memory map etc etc....they didn't. On the other hand Jack started with a few bucks left after purchasing Atari and settling some huge debts, he had no extra cash to build anything revolutionary quick enough. You think if Atari owned something like MOS Technology the Epyx Handy would have arrived too late to the Gameboy buggering party? Nope, MOS would have got Lynx out BEFORE that putrid scum green and yellow blurry shit Gameboy and wiped the floor with the pathetic Nintendo. Ditto for cost of Blitter production. But he had no such luxuries and these were the tools he had at Commodore which gave him the power to make revolutionary and desirable kit at the right time (not a year or two too late) like C64 or PET.

(off to puke thinking about the current state of the home computer choice today in modern times)

#31 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:05 PM

The reality is they sacked all but Jay Miner from the original A1000 dev team and so had nobody to design a cost reduced A1000. The reason the A1000 was expensive was mostly down to dealer margins being 50% but for the £500+75 sales tax + £25 (£600 for 18 months!) modulator A500 in Xmas 1987 was because dealer margins were squeezed to nearly half that and they ran a bigger batch from the factory. Designing the new cases cost just as much as making the original A1000 case and external quality keyboard. And Remember when Amiga was £399+VAT (£460 odd) STFM was £299 inc VAT. People bought the A500 despite it's noisy disk drive, naff looking case and cheap keyboard (still better than the ST/STM/STFMs though, only the Mega had a nice keyboard to be fair).

To be fair, the Atari used shit-cheap Chinon drives, with the read/write head glued on, too. I think it's fair to say that Commodore observed the efficient 1040ST design, and fairly-copied, with the Amiga 500. At least, that's what the hell I thought, the first time I saw an A500. I think it was a good move, too. Otherwise, too expensive!!!! The A500 (and C128 and C64c) aren't my favorite design, but you get kind of used to them, after you see them. The most shocking - of the 3 - is the C64c, because after you got used to the Atari 800-colored standard C64 (which you first became accustomed to with your first sighting of the VIC-20), then there's this ugly redesign, of effectively the same computer. At least the others were new computers, entirely.

I confess, the original A1000 is a nice-looking machine by comparison, however!


The A500 project was 12 months late (so was the A2000 project) both were supposed to be finished in 1986. Commodore sans Jack Tramiel STOPPED MARKETING THE A1000 FOR A YEAR waiting for the technically underwhelming ugly ass A500 and A2000! In 24 months we went from mono silent PET to VIC (great games!) and then from VIC to C64. Wasting those two years killed Commodore, they were playing catch up from 87 to 94 bankruptcy. Even the Commodore 65 had 256 colours in 320x200 in 1990 working prototype. the 'New' A500 plus was the same sh1t 32 colours....just 32 colours! Joke!

I understand the lack of general appeal to the A500 design, but once again, you can't deny the fact that it was the most successful, most influential Amiga model, of them all. Therefore, it can't be a "fail." It's a success, for all of its ugliness. The Commodore 65 was interesting, but since it's not real, does it really count?

There isn't a single game for A500 I can't run on my 1985 A1000 sitting on my desk, so they produced an inferior product with the same tech specs two years later,.They gave Atari nearly 2 years head start (what little marketing they did do from late 85 to mid 86 was pathetic and limp wristed) and then replaced it with a technically identical and inferior quality product. As I said the A1000 with a cost reduced motherboard could easily have been made for the SAME PRICE as the A500. Shame really because the A1000 is beautiful to use but I wouldn't even purchase an A500 EVER off ebay (A2000 yes for the Zorro II card slots etc)

I agree, the A1000 was nice. But the reverse of what you said - there's not a single thing you can do with A1000 that you can't do with A500, right? The best thing about the A500 is giving credit (for the form factor) where it is due....ATARI 1040ST!!!! :) :) Kidding aside, you can't just throw away the most popular Amiga model of all time, can you? Popular for good reason, even if it's not the most attractive case design in the world!!!! :) :)

Like I always said, Apple survived the 90s only due to ridiculously overpriced hardware hiding in plain site and Windows on Intel/AMD x86 PC won the computer wars because Atari and Commodore battled only each other AND DESTROYED THEMSELVES in the process. Again had Commodore not lost Jack Atari would never have made a comeback with the ST and we would not have to use disgusting pretentious Mac or pathetically badly programmed Windows machines

Whenever we get into these discussions (and I do enjoy them, and I think a lot of us do!) about who/how/why lost the battle (etc) I think it's an extremely relevant and notable point (and obvious, but I must say it anway, for emphasis) to acknowledge that the modern Mac is, quite simply, a PC.

I thought the PowerPC line was innovative, and I barely understand it. RISC-type stuff (that I barely have the most rudimentary, ignorant connotations of) to challenge Intel. Well, look how that LOST OUT. The Mac has become the PC. That's how ***UNSTOPPABLE** the PC is. Despite the fact that of "the three 68000 machines" (Amiga, ST, Mac), the one that survived even spawned a new generation of processor (PowerPC) and **STILL** had to become a PC, in the end. Really, that's how unstoppable the PC juggernaut was. There wasn't a damn thing that Atari or Commodore could have done to stem this tide. The evidence of that fact is that even after developing the entire new line of PowerPC processors to succeed/surpass the 68000-line, the Mac **STILL** became a PC, in the end. If that's not evidence that the PC wasn't unstoppable (and therefore Atari and Commodore didn't stand a chance, someone tell me what is).

The Mac just kind of slowly evolved into the PC anyway, even prior to the final change to Intel processors (which absolutely made it a PC). NuBus slots became PCI. SCSI hard drives became IDE (at the time that was popular). 800k floppies became 1.44MB. There are probably other things that a layman (myself) doesn't know about.

As much as one may hate it, PC = UNSTOPPABLE!!!!

(off to puke thinking about the current state of the home computer choice today in modern times)

C'mon, they get the job done, at a reasonable cost. Just thinking of the multiplicity of things that I do with my shit-ass PC today - relative to what I did with my home computer in the 80s and 90s - justifies its existence, as absolutely imperfect as it is.

:) :) :)

#32 rdemming OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:12 PM

Again had Commodore not lost Jack Atari would never have made a comeback with the ST and we would not have to use disgusting pretentious Mac or pathetically badly programmed Windows machines


If Jack wouldn't have left Commodore, I doubt that Amiga would have ended up with Commodore. Instead I think the ST project would then be done at Commodore and we would have the Commodore ST instead of a Commodore Amiga.
The Amiga chipset was initially intended for a Atari game console. So if Atari would have survived that time without being sold to Jack, maybe Amiga would have been an Atari console instead.

Robert

#33 ggn ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:32 PM

Despite what some whiny people wrote above... Under Jack (and his sons, whatever) the ST was created. And STE. And TT. And MegaSTE. And Falcon.

I grew up with an 800XL and then a STE. These machines represent a huge chunk of myself.

So, my opinion of Jack? He rocks.

#34 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:41 PM

Again had Commodore not lost Jack Atari would never have made a comeback with the ST and we would not have to use disgusting pretentious Mac or pathetically badly programmed Windows machines


The Amiga chipset was initially intended for a Atari game console. So if Atari would have survived that time without being sold to Jack, maybe Amiga would have been an Atari console instead.

Robert


The Amiga chipset was being licensed to Atari for use in a game console, it was not intended solely for Atari. Amiga was still planning on releasing their computer at the same time, and the plan was still to sell off the company to someone eventually. If the whole Commodore thing had never happened, you simply would have had an Amiga based Atari console and an Amiga released computer on the market at the same time.

#35 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:53 AM

I have little idea what Commodore would have done without Amiga chipset even with Jack but the only thing similar to the basic ST I guess was the 68k based PET successor for UNIX.

Remember the +4/C16/C128 prize turkeys weren't his idea, except something like a chiclet keyboard based C16 for $70.

Hell he may have insisted the 8bit Commodore LCD be produced, a massive source of revenue never exploited.

#36 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:01 AM


The reality is they sacked all but Jay Miner from the original A1000 dev team and so had nobody to design a cost reduced A1000. The reason the A1000 was expensive was mostly down to dealer margins being 50% but for the £500+75 sales tax + £25 (£600 for 18 months!) modulator A500 in Xmas 1987 was because dealer margins were squeezed to nearly half that and they ran a bigger batch from the factory. Designing the new cases cost just as much as making the original A1000 case and external quality keyboard. And Remember when Amiga was £399+VAT (£460 odd) STFM was £299 inc VAT. People bought the A500 despite it's noisy disk drive, naff looking case and cheap keyboard (still better than the ST/STM/STFMs though, only the Mega had a nice keyboard to be fair).

To be fair, the Atari used shit-cheap Chinon drives, with the read/write head glued on, too. I think it's fair to say that Commodore observed the efficient 1040ST design, and fairly-copied, with the Amiga 500. At least, that's what the hell I thought, the first time I saw an A500. I think it was a good move, too. Otherwise, too expensive!!!! The A500 (and C128 and C64c) aren't my favorite design, but you get kind of used to them, after you see them. The most shocking - of the 3 - is the C64c, because after you got used to the Atari 800-colored standard C64 (which you first became accustomed to with your first sighting of the VIC-20), then there's this ugly redesign, of effectively the same computer. At least the others were new computers, entirely.

I confess, the original A1000 is a nice-looking machine by comparison, however!


The A500 project was 12 months late (so was the A2000 project) both were supposed to be finished in 1986. Commodore sans Jack Tramiel STOPPED MARKETING THE A1000 FOR A YEAR waiting for the technically underwhelming ugly ass A500 and A2000! In 24 months we went from mono silent PET to VIC (great games!) and then from VIC to C64. Wasting those two years killed Commodore, they were playing catch up from 87 to 94 bankruptcy. Even the Commodore 65 had 256 colours in 320x200 in 1990 working prototype. the 'New' A500 plus was the same sh1t 32 colours....just 32 colours! Joke!

I understand the lack of general appeal to the A500 design, but once again, you can't deny the fact that it was the most successful, most influential Amiga model, of them all. Therefore, it can't be a "fail." It's a success, for all of its ugliness. The Commodore 65 was interesting, but since it's not real, does it really count?

There isn't a single game for A500 I can't run on my 1985 A1000 sitting on my desk, so they produced an inferior product with the same tech specs two years later,.They gave Atari nearly 2 years head start (what little marketing they did do from late 85 to mid 86 was pathetic and limp wristed) and then replaced it with a technically identical and inferior quality product. As I said the A1000 with a cost reduced motherboard could easily have been made for the SAME PRICE as the A500. Shame really because the A1000 is beautiful to use but I wouldn't even purchase an A500 EVER off ebay (A2000 yes for the Zorro II card slots etc)

I agree, the A1000 was nice. But the reverse of what you said - there's not a single thing you can do with A1000 that you can't do with A500, right? The best thing about the A500 is giving credit (for the form factor) where it is due....ATARI 1040ST!!!! :) :) Kidding aside, you can't just throw away the most popular Amiga model of all time, can you? Popular for good reason, even if it's not the most attractive case design in the world!!!! :) :)

Like I always said, Apple survived the 90s only due to ridiculously overpriced hardware hiding in plain site and Windows on Intel/AMD x86 PC won the computer wars because Atari and Commodore battled only each other AND DESTROYED THEMSELVES in the process. Again had Commodore not lost Jack Atari would never have made a comeback with the ST and we would not have to use disgusting pretentious Mac or pathetically badly programmed Windows machines

Whenever we get into these discussions (and I do enjoy them, and I think a lot of us do!) about who/how/why lost the battle (etc) I think it's an extremely relevant and notable point (and obvious, but I must say it anway, for emphasis) to acknowledge that the modern Mac is, quite simply, a PC.

I thought the PowerPC line was innovative, and I barely understand it. RISC-type stuff (that I barely have the most rudimentary, ignorant connotations of) to challenge Intel. Well, look how that LOST OUT. The Mac has become the PC. That's how ***UNSTOPPABLE** the PC is. Despite the fact that of "the three 68000 machines" (Amiga, ST, Mac), the one that survived even spawned a new generation of processor (PowerPC) and **STILL** had to become a PC, in the end. Really, that's how unstoppable the PC juggernaut was. There wasn't a damn thing that Atari or Commodore could have done to stem this tide. The evidence of that fact is that even after developing the entire new line of PowerPC processors to succeed/surpass the 68000-line, the Mac **STILL** became a PC, in the end. If that's not evidence that the PC wasn't unstoppable (and therefore Atari and Commodore didn't stand a chance, someone tell me what is).

The Mac just kind of slowly evolved into the PC anyway, even prior to the final change to Intel processors (which absolutely made it a PC). NuBus slots became PCI. SCSI hard drives became IDE (at the time that was popular). 800k floppies became 1.44MB. There are probably other things that a layman (myself) doesn't know about.

As much as one may hate it, PC = UNSTOPPABLE!!!!

(off to puke thinking about the current state of the home computer choice today in modern times)

C'mon, they get the job done, at a reasonable cost. Just thinking of the multiplicity of things that I do with my shit-ass PC today - relative to what I did with my home computer in the 80s and 90s - justifies its existence, as absolutely imperfect as it is.

:) :) :)


All I am saying is A500 was only most popular as it was either that or A2000/3000 for choice, also there was no technical reason why by Xmas 1987 A1000 couldn't be sold for £600 and by Fall 1990 £400 (same as A500).

Hey I love the 64C styling! :)

Today you have less choice true BUT Sony and Microsoft had to go PowerPC to get £999 PC gaming performance out of £300 console in 2007.

#37 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:22 AM

On the other hand, does Jack like/care about (the old) Atari any more ?

I've noticed he's been at the odd Commodore event/reunion but heard nothing of any participation in the retro Atari scene.

I suppose he was OK(ish) - without him there's every chance Atari home computers/consoles could have ceased to exist before 1985, so at least we can credit him for keeping them alive into the 1990s.

The problem was, aside from the initial "Commodore-ish" burst of the ST onto the scene, he went on to repeat the exact same mistakes of the earlier Atari incarnation.

ie - slow to update the specs of the line, holding back products and poorly supporting them (especially consoles).

I get the feeling that if he had his way it would have been ST and nothing else, but the fact of the matter was that he still needed the 8-bit and consoles to bring in the bread & butter money to keep things ticking over. It was like he was content to just do the bare minimum and the results spoke for themselves.

#38 kool kitty89 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:00 AM

Atari Inc. did not keep going, it died in 1984. Jack's Atari Corporation was a completely new company built on acquired assets from the original Atari.

As far as my opinions on him, as Curt and I have done more and more research on Atari Corporation over the years our opinions have changed drastically.

Yes, though as far as what he did with Atari's "remains" (so to speak), it seems like he did a pretty damn good job under the circumstances (some mistakes of course, but overall relatively well-managed . . . even the very smart -perhaps lucky- decision to bring Katz on board).

OTOH, there's a lot of lost potential from what Morgan had been working towards at Atari Inc prior to the split . . . though much more of that may have been useful/salvaged under Atari Corp had Warner facilitated a reasonable and well-organized transition to Atari Corp. (certain things obviously would have changed regardless -and Tramiel's priorities and business methods differed from what Morgan seemed to be planning, but there was certainly a lot more lost needlessly through Warner's incompetence)

For that matter, some things may not have been possible under Morgan . . . it's unclear how much success/impact Atari Inc may have had on the European market (especially the home computer market) compared to what Tramiel pushed in the mid 80s. (OTOH, had he stayed at CBM and managed the Amiga more like the ST, things may have been very different there too) Or perhaps Morgan would have proven more competent on the computer end of things as well . . . who knows how the later years of the A8 may have turned out or what 16-bit computers may have appeared. (after the Amiga was off the table, perhaps they would have put more interest into the Advanced Technology Division's shelved projects)

Not to mention other possibilities for console hardware/software/marketing moving forward in '84 with the 2600/Jr and 7800 (and transition from the 5200) . . . and perhaps more aggressive licensing interest towards Japan may have countered some of Nintendo's exclusivity early-on and given more time to prepare alternate strategies in the event that Nintendo did manage to take hold of most major JP publishers.


OTOH, there's the other side of things with Atari Corp itself historically . . . particularly their decline ~1989 into the early 90s and how Jack Tramiel's retirement lines up rather well with the start of that decline. (albeit the DRAM crisis/shortage and Amiga 500 price-matching the 520STFM both directly preceded that in '88 . . . and Mike Katz also left in '89, so his marketing/entertaiment management skills were also lost . . . and there's the fact Atari had no home console at all to follow the 7800 ~1989)

Though you've already specifically commented on this before:


And then Sam Tramiel had a heart attack - Jack stepped back in and wound down operations. I truly think is Sam didnt have his heart attack that Atari would've continued to fight to the last $$$ - but Jack and Leonard were not interested anymore.


Truthfully, Leonard didn't have much to do with the daily operations, he was more involved with the products themselves. And I'm not sure that Sam would have been able to change things if he didn't have the heart attack. Every since he had taken over, the company itself was on a downward spiral. When Jack turned the company over to him, he had mananged to bring the company out of the red and in to the black - shedding all the debt they took on from Warner in the purchase. That was his dream after all, to be able to hand something solid over to his sons and retire. Sam managed to take it from a multi-division multi-product company to a single product company by the time Jack came back in. If they would have fought to the last $$$, there would have been nothing left of a legacy for his kids, hence the reverse merger to get out while they still could. Truthfully, I would rather have had Jack not retire back in the late 80's and have him stick around for the oncoming Wintel onslaught to see how he would have dealt with that. I can't picture just turning tail and closing down the computer division like that.








As was pointed out, it was more the market of the time. By the early 90's the PC market had changed to much and was shaking out the last of the old industry competitors in favor of IBM PC-compats and Apple. There was nothing any of them could have done really, especially once the Wintel platform took over.

Europe was still catering much more to the ST/Amiga market in the early 90s, but neither platform (or company for that matter) had maintained solid/efficient evolutionary extensions of the architecture to remain competitive, let alone stable financial/business/management situations. (had either one of those remained well-managed and competitive in the early 90s, PCs may have taken much longer to go mainstream in Europe . . . if not maintaining an alternate standard in those regions indefinitely)
PCs were getting more and more cost effective to produce with all the competitive and intensive engineering/manufacturing on the market, but few to no major manufacturers were offering powerful/efficient/well-priced lower-end pre-built new systems at retail, especially in Europe. (in the US, there were lots of option for fairly good quality/performance used/refurbished systems and/or reconfigured/upgraded/custom/home-built machines, but even there there weren't good options for low-end priced PC systems -and most low-price new systems were crap not nearly worth the money . . . )
And, on top of that, the ST and Amiga were established/well-supported platforms in Europe, compared to the PC-saturated North American market. (so if either platform had offered technically competitive, cost-effective alternatives to PCs in the mid 90s, they may very well have held on as the preferred platforms in those markets)


On the North American end, the ST (or Amiga for that matter) had never gotten much further than niche market (perhaps sizable niches in some regions) in North America from the information I've seen. PCs were already taking over as the defacto-standard by the time the ST had launched in '85 (and had even started extending into the low-end range with the likes of the Tandy -and with fairly decent machines for the price too, at least by IBM clone standards -which were either much more expensive or more like of the PCJr or some of Amstrad's low-end machines).

For that matter, Atari actually started pushing their own (fairly good performance/cost) range of PCs in the late 80s, though it never really went far. (and seems to have been mainly supported in Europe -not sure if they were released in the US, but all the actual references online seem to be from European users) And it's also interesting to note that Atari had significantly better PC systems than CBM had. (hardware and price-wise -at least from the figures I've found)

OTOH, if a company like Atari really couldn't managed to maintain their own specific platform and no existing manufacturer was willing to target low-cost/good performance PC-compatibles, that make have been an interesting route to take. (especially in the European market . . . offering smart/efficiently configured PC compatibles at lower margins than the competition to cater to the lower-end market being neglected -or being relegated to truly crappy systems that were overpriced in spite of being cheap)
Perhaps using custom motherboards with off the shelf 3rd party chipsets with a semi-embedded low-cost small-box design/form factor. (ie sort of like Atari was already doing with the PC3/4/5, with onboard video and such, but also space for internal ISA cards to fit)


Actually, the Atari PCs are another thing that fell apart after Jack left . . . I wonder if he would have had any impact on that had he postponed retirement. (let alone the ST line itself . . . especially had he been willing to push into new territory more with the ST, especially in some areas that would make it more directly competitive with PCs -like supporting/promoting direct PC-compatible formatted floppies/data, greater emphasis on expansion support, expansion into a wider range of models from low to high-end/workstation class machines all of a compatible architecture -and, of course, general graphics/sound/CPU enhancements/upgrades)
Lack of expandability/flexibility and lack of higher-end models were some of the bigger limits of the original ST design, especially for the US market . . . and showed some of the mistakes of the Atari 8-bit being repeated. (albeit the Mac did that too vs the Apple II establishing the precedent for flexible open-box expansion and the IBM PC pushing it similarly -and, of course, PC clones really taking advantage of that -as Apple II clones may have had that platform ever approached PC-level popularity)

Then again, there were other problems with Tramiel's management that may have compromised some of the ST's success. (though there may be more context to that as well -ie some things that were unfortunate, but generally unavoidable due to budget issues/etc)



That was a smart move. Why make printers, modems, etc when there were already standard PC printers, modems, etc. that can be used? Let the engineers concentrate on building better computers. The problem was trying to keep the good engineers who couldn't stand the working environment that Jack created. Thus the revolving door spun... I still remember reading about the entire engineering staff headed by Shiraz Shiviji (the father of the ST) was fired. They had to hire a whole new staff, which is time consuming when they have to learn everything that the old staff knew in their head. I think that is why the STe was so lackluster. Bruce Carso @ B&C showed me an internal memo dated 1986 stating what the next gen ST would feature. I distinctly remember a hybrid EGA/VGA resolutions was proposed. That would have been great in 1988 or 89 when VGA was starting to be used. Oh well.

Hmm, interesting about Shiviji's team being fired . . .I wonder what the whole story behind that was. (ie was there more context to it -ie Atari couldn't afford to keep the staff on at that point . . . especially with the tight/unstable financial situation that extended into '85/86) Though you'd think they'd at least be able to retain part of the team if that was the case. (ie downsizing rather than total lay-offs)

Not having the original team to continue development (both evolution and consolidation of the basic chipset) certainly was unfortunate, though the ST's actual custom chips (and overall design) were relatively simple, and shouldn't have been too difficult for new engineers to grasp (provided the proper documentation) . . . but obviously that would mean a lot more cost (and more time) in the long-run than retaining/building on the same staff. (especially if the original staff had some particularly talented/gifted engineers)

For that matter, if the original staff was truly laid-off for financial reasons, that may have exacerbated/extended the time it took to establish another R&D team.

I thought the Falcon did give the A1200 a run for its money. The Falcon trumped the A1200 in every category except graphics. Even when Amiga enthusiasts pointed that out, I say most people (including me) still can't tell the difference between pictures with 262,000 colors versus millions of colors. However, my ears (as well as most others) CAN tell the difference between 8-bit and 16-bit sound. The Amiga market was bigger by the time the A1200 came out so it sold more units - mostly to existing Amiga owners.

Technically, the Falcon did beat the A1200 in performance . . . but it was more expensive and wasn't on the market long enough to give any real showing. (ie it never really competed with the A1200).

However, the A1200 itself was rather lackluster for the time, so being better than that wasn't really impressive. (Atari could have done a lot better than the Falcon in '92 . . . either more cost effective or more powerful or both)

#39 kool kitty89 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:25 AM

Not owning MOS technology after leaving Commodore for Atari he could never create another C64 success.

There's a lot more to it than that though . . . CBM's limited vertical integration (ie in-house custom chips, but not drive/PCBs/DRAM/many off the shelf component/etc) did have some advantage, but only went so far (especially as overseas 3rd party vendors became more and more competitive).
However, aside from actual manufacturing cost advantage, there was still the advantages of turn-around for prototype custom chips . . . at least within manufacturing capabilities of CSG's facilities. (ie certain advanced manufacturing processes may not have been possible in-house)

As for Atari Corp, lack of an in-house chip vendor was the least of their worries in 1984/85 . . . the bigger issues were sheer lack of funding and generally limited resources (including human resources). And, compared to Commodore, also a much more limited brand name in the computer market (especially in Europe)

They managed to pull off the ST exceptionally well regardless of that and even squeezed some more out of the 8-bit line (albeit obviously less than might have been possible had it been managed better from day 1 -both in the US and Europe in different ways).

There were some flaws with the original ST design (both in raw technical aspects and in form factor/market model -particularly lack of higher-end models and very limited expandability), but the bigger issues came from the lack of evolution/extension of the design in any direction (aside from pushing into the higher-end/professional bracket with the Mega ST -albeit with basically the same 1985 hardware- ).
That, and when they finally did extend the architecture it was either too little, too late, both, or just plain wrong. (the TT was really neither here nor there . . . too expensive, lacking the blitter, and with no lower-end counterparts -having the STe with the TT SHIFTER and a 16 MHz 68k in '89/90 might have been enough . . . more so if the TT SHIFTER included 8-bit packed pixel modes rather than just more planar modes . . . for that matter, the blitter itself was arguably unnecessary compared to just enhancing CPU/video/sound/memory -in some respects more like what PCs were doing, but obviously with much greater integration/standardization/cost efficiency)

On the other hand Commodore minus Jack put out turkeys like Commodore 128, Plus/4 and Commodore 16 AND when they had the worlds most revolutionary desktop computer didn't even market it in its second year whilst waiting for the TECHNICALLY UN-ENHANCED FULL OF FAIL UGLY AS SH1T Amiga 500 and 2000.

The A500 was a key part of the Amiga's true success on the mass market (especially in Europe) . . . and CBM almost certainly should have had a similar (520ST-like) machine out from day 1 (or close to it) . . . but alongside the higher end A1000 as a complement rather than in place of it. (I'd argue Atari should have done the same, ie had the MEGA -sans the blitter- out in '85 alongside the 520)

For that matter, having an even higher-end/workstation class machine (a la 2000) would have been another good complement to the A1000 . . . but definitely a complement (ie don't displace/discontinue the A1000, but expand the range in general). Though such a high-end machine definitely should have offered faster CPU speeds and an optional FPU. (since FastRAM is totally indepdent of the chipset, it would have made sense to use a separate clock speed in fastRAM too . . . especially since 16 MHz 68ks were basically unavailable in '85/86 and 10/12.5 MHz options would have been attractive -probably with a switch to 7.16 MHz to access chipRAM or wait-states to similar effect -which I assume is what was done with the 020s/030/040s on the A3000/4000)

It either wasn't revolutionary enough (ST) or took too long to finish (Lynx/Jaguar/STE)

As for the Lynx/Jaguar/STE . . . the Lynx didn't take to long to finish, if anything it was just way ahead of its time and being marketed by a company that didn't have the grunt to really push against Nintendo. (though Sega showed that even a relatively strong company would have trouble with a bulky, relatively expensive, battery-sucking backlit color LCD handheld in the early 90s)

The Jaguar didn't take too long either . . . it was just the total lack of a predecessor (or 7800 successor if you like) on the market that was the problem. (though Atari would have been screwed either way if said console wasn't reasonably successful and if they ended up in a similar financial/management/PR mess in the early 90s as they were historically)

And the STe . . .was just a weak design for the time. It wasn't too late (though a few of its features may have been reasonable to include on the 1985 ST), but just wasn't right or enough for 1989.
Atari should have been offering incremental/evolutionary enhancements to the ST line from almost day 1 (at least in the form of high-end models), but by '89 they were still in a decent position to push out a definitive generational shift of the architecture, but the STe wasn't it. (mainly lacking a faster CPU and VGA-type graphics modes . . . even without the blitter, having 320x200x8bpp graphics with hardware scrolling, DMA sound, and a 16 MHz 68k would have been pretty damn good in 1989 . . . not to mention '020/030 models for the higher-end machines, or perhaps also replacing the YM2149 with a YM2203 -fully compatible, but adding 3 4-op FM synth channels . . . like 1/2 of the Mega Drive's sound chip plus the ST's old sound channels and DMA sound on top of that)

PET was revolutionary

Apple II and Tandy TRS-80 came out at about the same time, and both were arguably better . . . TRS-80 was cheaper and more flexible/expandable (and ended up more popular, had more software support, and a much longer life) and the Apple II was truly revolutionary with its flexible open-box expansion architecture. (which was one of the staples of the IBM PC, and a major contributing factor to that platform taking over the market)

Of the 3 1977 8-bit home computers launched, the Apple II is obviously the most revolutionary . . . rather ironic that Apple ended up squandering its potential as a long-lasting platform/line, let alone a major standard to build on, (or at least use as the conceptual basis for a next-gen platform . . . imagine if the Mac had supported open-box expansion and color/graphics for 1984 that rivaled the performance the Apple II had sported relative to 1977 . . . let alone at a more competitive price -or as a range of machines with numerous price brackets)

C64 even today is a record breaker

Only because the better selling platforms were far more modular/variable in configuration. (ie PCs -and even Macs for that matter- not having a single limited/fixed model pushed for very long periods . . . which is largely what killed the ST and Amiga for that matter, and limited the C64 as well -granted, CBM wasn't really in a position to produce the C64 as a flexible range of machines, especially without the foresight to have their engineers specifically tailor the system around that)


(VIC20 was a sacrificial lamb for the sneaky japs who he knew would try and copy what they thought his most advanced product was) but his Atari stuff whilst nice is not that special kind of Magic or any particular first blah blah.


Atari's 8-bit line was massive hindered by shortsighted management (or mismanagement) in several aspects, some some areas more specific to Europe. (like not catering to 3rd party/home programmers, not pushing low-end models, not pushing tape based software, etc) And in the US, while lower-end models (and a sooner/simpler redesign to meet class B FCC regs) would have been quite significant, having a more flexible range of machines would have been even more significant. (like offering a more "serious" apple-II-like computer from day 1 . . . for that matter, a non-TV-computer would qualify for Class A and allow the costly multi-board cast-aluminum-cased design to be avoided, at least for those models -and if the "TV" models were limited to A400 class machines, cost would be saved in other areas already)

They could have pushed the A8 line much more as both a game/entertainment and "serious" computer platform . . . hell, they could have pushed that as their definitive next-gen games platform rather than bothering with the 5200 at all. (especially after canceling the 2600-compatible 3200 . . . and especially since the 5200 ended up being priced similarly to the 400 anyway)

Or....like I said already. "Genius" but one with his hands tied behind his back at broken pennyless Atari he purchased after leaving Commodore.

Yes, except he managed to make the ST a massive success regardless of that, and turned Atari Corp into a fortune 500 company by 1988 . . . but the ST lacked the continued technical or business management to maintain that success. (due to bad luck, management, circumstances, or whatever the case may be)









Like I always said, Apple survived the 90s only due to ridiculously overpriced hardware hiding in plain site and Windows on Intel/AMD x86 PC won the computer wars because Atari and Commodore battled only each other AND DESTROYED THEMSELVES in the process. Again had Commodore not lost Jack Atari would never have made a comeback with the ST and we would not have to use disgusting pretentious Mac or pathetically badly programmed Windows machines

No, PCs won because they had no real competition in the US, ever.

They started out gaining esteem as the definitive professional/business computers on the market in the early 80s, a market only previously held by Apple (and to lesser extent Tandy and various CP/M machines), and that expanded with the introduction of newer/extended machines from IBM and (extremely significantly) from the introduction of clone machines from 3rd parties. (facilitated by the simplistic/off the shelf hardware and 3rd party OS, and spurred by the massive popularity of IBM's own machines)
The clone market rapidly expanded and pushed for greater diversity and efficiency of designs and market positioning. (including a push towards custom/integrated chipsets over discrete logic, and the push of some manufacturers towards the mid-range and lower-end consumer computer markets -IBM had failed at that with the PC Jr, but Tandy became the first to really push into that end of the market with their 1000 range . . . not nearly as much raw performance for the price as an ST or Amiga, but still more than a Mac and with the vast software/peripheral support of the PC market -and the flexible expandability native to that platform, with extensive 3rd party support to match)

Granted, the ST and/or Amiga may have been realistic competitors had they:
A. had the funding to really push into mass market media in the US (which CBM did have)
B. had existing PR/brand recognition to facilitate such position as in A (which CBM arguably had, though Atari not so much)
C. had the management to back up that funding/PR
D. had hardware that was not only technically impressive in raw performance, but also supported flexible expandability a la Apple II and PCs (and with open-box support facilitating 3rd party peripherals)
E. plans/support for outsourced/licensed manufacturing to compete more against the likes of PC clones
F. pushed for a fairly wide range of machines (from lower-end to workstation class) all of the same/compatible base architecture
G. competent and efficient evolution of the base hardware standard (and gradual discontinuation of the oldest/bottom end models to set a precedent for the new standards at the bottom-end)
H. again, had the management to back all of that up
I. again, had the funding/investor interest to back that up
J. managed to get good/sustained software support from 3rd parties (and perhaps significant in-house software -and obviously a capable OS), though 3rd party software is largely tied to market interest in general. (aside from availability/cost of documentation/development tools)


However, that's for the US and/or world market . . . for Europe alone, far fewer of those conditions should have been necessary for sustained success.
Viral marketing is far more effective in Europe (so need for saturation marketing in the media would be far less imporant). IBM didn't have the hype/impact as it did in the US, let alone Apple. High-end machines in general hadn't fared well in early 80s Europe and high-performance low-cost machines had the most potential to break into the market.

The ST and Amiga both fit the European market well as-is in 1985. The main problems were simply management and/or evolution/follow-up design decisions of the machines. (CBM was screwing up management from day 1, from the mess of unnecessary machines released prior to the Amiga to the problems managing the Amiga itself both in business and technical aspects, to the general mismanagement of the company)
And Atari Corp getting some things right, and other things unfortunately wrong with limited resources on top of all that and the critical failure of a smart/logical/timely evolution of the base hardware. (which, potentially could have solved all the original shortcomings while retaining compatibility, cost effectiveness, and generally competitive performance . . . all they really needed was a 16 MHz STe with VGA-class graphics and a general purpose expansion bus -and full internal slots on higher-end models, beyond what the MEGAs offered already)

And, had either company managed to persist in Europe as a mainstream platform, it likely would have retained niche status in the US as well.

#40 CRV OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:54 AM

Actually, the Atari PCs are another thing that fell apart after Jack left . . . I wonder if he would have had any impact on that had he postponed retirement.


According to the "Atari: Beginning to End" panel here, it was Jack's call to get out of computers because he saw no way to compete with the Taiwanese. He was apparently not too big on Jaguar, so I'm not sure what he wanted the company to be doing. (Maybe he would have sold the company sooner had he still been CEO?)

#41 Thorsten GŁnther OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:39 AM

And the STe . . .was just a weak design for the time. It wasn't too late (though a few of its features may have been reasonable to include on the 1985 ST), but just wasn't right or enough for 1989.
Atari should have been offering incremental/evolutionary enhancements to the ST line from almost day 1 (at least in the form of high-end models), but by '89 they were still in a decent position to push out a definitive generational shift of the architecture, but the STe wasn't it. (mainly lacking a faster CPU and VGA-type graphics modes . . . even without the blitter, having 320x200x8bpp graphics with hardware scrolling, DMA sound, and a 16 MHz 68k would have been pretty damn good in 1989 . . . not to mention '020/030 models for the higher-end machines, or perhaps also replacing the YM2149 with a YM2203 -fully compatible, but adding 3 4-op FM synth channels . . . like 1/2 of the Mega Drive's sound chip plus the ST's old sound channels and DMA sound on top of that)
[...]
And Atari Corp getting some things right, and other things unfortunately wrong with limited resources on top of all that and the critical failure of a smart/logical/timely evolution of the base hardware. (which, potentially could have solved all the original shortcomings while retaining compatibility, cost effectiveness, and generally competitive performance . . . all they really needed was a 16 MHz STe with VGA-class graphics and a general purpose expansion bus -and full internal slots on higher-end models, beyond what the MEGAs offered already)


Crazy fact: prior to its release the STE was rumoured to have an 8bpp low-resolution colour mode and a 2bpp 640x400 mode, according to old-computers.com this was even announced by Atari themselves. Wonder why they didn't do it - working with 64K of video RAM should have been an easy task even for the humble 68K and blitter, and would have given the STE a real edge over the Amiga. The STE sound is OK though, even if the YM2203 seems a more natural choice. The 16MHz upgrade was already offered by many 3rd parties for the ST and Mega ST lines (at least on this side of the pond) and should of course have been implemented into the design - so FULL ACK! I also miss the expansion bus from the Mega STs (a similar bus can be found in the F030, but not in the STE for whatever reason).

Two points where Atari completely failed: instead of selling off their stock of STfms and replacing them with the STE (like they did with the ST(m)s when they introduced the STf(m)s, they continued to produce the STfm, hampering the development of STE enhanced software. And they denied the problem with the DMA chip inside the first batch of STEs, blaming third party HDDs instead.

Thorsten

#42 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:11 AM

Not sure...

for better or worse his 'computers for the masses' price drive put a C64 in my hands at an early age, which pretty much shaped the direction my life was going to take, but on the other hand had it not been a C64 maybe Clive Sinclair's super cheap Spectrum would've been the catalyst instead.

Looking at the two of them I'm grateful for the C64 though :)

I acknowledge that for many people he may have messed up their plans, career goals or the future of machines/manufacturers they loved but for me it worked out well.

#43 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:55 AM

I don't think Jack stayed up all night typing in program listings from Analog or ST-Log to the warm glow of a monitor like I did. His perspective is probably far different than ours. That said, he gave me a fun childhood and a hobby that still persists to this day. Everyone makes mistakes, some bigger than others, but I do respect the man regardless.

I knew some developers in the old Atari scene who were frequently at computer shows with the Tramiels, and it was their opinion that they felt no real connection to the computers or the customers and would frequently make fun of the people at the show. It was all just business.

#44 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:38 AM


I don't think Jack stayed up all night typing in program listings from Analog or ST-Log to the warm glow of a monitor like I did. His perspective is probably far different than ours. That said, he gave me a fun childhood and a hobby that still persists to this day. Everyone makes mistakes, some bigger than others, but I do respect the man regardless.

I knew some developers in the old Atari scene who were frequently at computer shows with the Tramiels, and it was their opinion that they felt no real connection to the computers or the customers and would frequently make fun of the people at the show. It was all just business.


Put your feet in their shoes, if that is your sole source of income, then yeah it likely becomes just a job. That's what I was saying more or less about Jack, but I'm sure it applies to developers to.

#45 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:47 AM

Put your feet in their shoes, if that is your sole source of income, then yeah it likely becomes just a job. That's what I was saying more or less about Jack, but I'm sure it applies to developers to.


Yeah, but I would have rather seen Atari in the hands of someone passionate about the product... someone more like Steve Jobs.

#46 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:53 AM


Put your feet in their shoes, if that is your sole source of income, then yeah it likely becomes just a job. That's what I was saying more or less about Jack, but I'm sure it applies to developers to.


Yeah, but I would have rather seen Atari in the hands of someone passionate about the product... someone more like Steve Jobs.


Steve seems to be a rare breed. Yeah, the outcome might have been a bit better with someone more like that. :)

#47 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:16 AM



Put your feet in their shoes, if that is your sole source of income, then yeah it likely becomes just a job. That's what I was saying more or less about Jack, but I'm sure it applies to developers to.


Yeah, but I would have rather seen Atari in the hands of someone passionate about the product... someone more like Steve Jobs.


Steve seems to be a rare breed. Yeah, the outcome might have been a bit better with someone more like that. :)


Steve though the Amiga was over-complicated with custom chips, so he wouldn't have even made anything as nice as the ST with colour (he considered colour icons garish!) So black and white and no hardware assistance was flavour of the day for Mr Jobs :)

I should point out the whole Apple computer range going for 3 decades has hardly made a dent in PC sales, less impact than Commodore in their peek (Amiga 500 or C64 vs PC) and his successes are all related to MP3 players/MP3 online stores and mobile devices (which are more GUI revolution than any hardware revolution to be fair).

#48 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:22 AM

Not sure...

for better or worse his 'computers for the masses' price drive put a C64 in my hands at an early age, which pretty much shaped the direction my life was going to take, but on the other hand had it not been a C64 maybe Clive Sinclair's super cheap Spectrum would've been the catalyst instead.

Looking at the two of them I'm grateful for the C64 though :)

I acknowledge that for many people he may have messed up their plans, career goals or the future of machines/manufacturers they loved but for me it worked out well.


I think Warner Atari would have gone bankrupt before any of their mythical 68000 based prototypes would even make it to market so if Jack hadn't bought them then it would all have ended at 800XL. Think what you like about the ST but for me I am all the better for having had the opportunity to purchase a 520STM and spend hours and hours doing pixel art in the free copy of Neochrome thrown in. Sure beat the hell out of using Technicolour Dream on A8 or Neos mouse and Cheese on C64 :)

I do however suspect that the 68000 based UNIX workstation that got canned at Commodore in 1986/85 was probably the base design for the ST. IIRC it was also 8mhz. So my whole attitude of ST being a 16bit PET successor kind of holds out for me anyway :)

#49 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:55 AM

Steve though the Amiga was over-complicated with custom chips, so he wouldn't have even made anything as nice as the ST with colour (he considered colour icons garish!) So black and white and no hardware assistance was flavour of the day for Mr Jobs :)

I should point out the whole Apple computer range going for 3 decades has hardly made a dent in PC sales, less impact than Commodore in their peek (Amiga 500 or C64 vs PC) and his successes are all related to MP3 players/MP3 online stores and mobile devices (which are more GUI revolution than any hardware revolution to be fair).


I wouldn't have wanted Steve Jobs himself... It just would have been nice to have had someone with some technical vision at Atari.

#50 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:23 PM

Didn't like how he 'executed' on products in the day, but when you realize how we was able to transform Atari from dead to profitable in 2 years ... that's pretty amazing.




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