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The ADAM killed the ColecoVision

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Let's not forget that a large amount of people who bought the ADAM already had a ColecoVision, so they bought the Expansion Module #3 ADAM Computer which meant they save about $200 over the Stand-Alone ADAM Computer (which had a built-in ColecoVision and included two controllers, RF switchbox and cable).

 

The downside of that configuration was the lack of monitor outputs. It was RF only. Plus, that setup was even bulkier than the already plus-sized stand alone Adam.

 

Also, for all these other computers, you still had to buy the Word Processing program and these weren't that cheap back then and if they were, they were no where near as good as SmartWRITER on the ADAM.

 

Jim

 

Honestly, though I used Smartwriter and Adam for a time as my primary word processor because of the killer printer, it was nothing special and I didn't find it to be particularly stable either. Even budget (or clearance) word processors on competing systems like the C-64 were easily comparable. To me, any advantage on the Adam would be the printer, not the software.

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Let's not forget that a large amount of people who bought the ADAM already had a ColecoVision, so they bought the Expansion Module #3 ADAM Computer which meant they save about $200 over the Stand-Alone ADAM Computer (which had a built-in ColecoVision and included two controllers, RF switchbox and cable).

 

The downside of that configuration was the lack of monitor outputs. It was RF only. Plus, that setup was even bulkier than the already plus-sized stand alone Adam.

 

Also, for all these other computers, you still had to buy the Word Processing program and these weren't that cheap back then and if they were, they were no where near as good as SmartWRITER on the ADAM.

 

Jim

 

Honestly, though I used Smartwriter and Adam for a time as my primary word processor because of the killer printer, it was nothing special and I didn't find it to be particularly stable either. Even budget (or clearance) word processors on competing systems like the C-64 were easily comparable. To me, any advantage on the Adam would be the printer, not the software.

You got that right about the sheer size of the CV and Exp. Mod. #3 combo. Fortunately, when I bought my Exp. Mod. #3 at Service Merchandise, I spotted the perfect computer desk to hold everything that included a deeper desktop and a hutch with solid adjustable shelves. I actually had my ADAM (stand-alone console by then), Keyboard, EVE 80-Column Expansion Unit, 2 disk drives, C=64, 2 1541s and Monitor (one for both systems) all confortably nestled onto this desk and it's shelves. The ADAM Printer was boxed up by then and a Panasonic DMP was on the matching file cabinet for use with both systems. I actually had all kinds of storage still on the top hutch shelf for thousands of disks in organizers and another shelf under the desk top for all the special CV controllers and some 130 CV carts with room to spare.

 

It was nice having a Daisy Wheel Printer as well for the more professional look.

 

I wish I had a picture of this setup (might have to check my Dad's old photo albums and videos) as it was a really sweat looking setup and always impressed everyone that saw it.

Edited by NIAD
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The bottom line is because it was a newcomer to the 8-bit computer wars meant that it was waaay behind the times in terms of software. That alone offset any potential savings that the system had. So no, there wasn't an economical advantage...launch prices vs. existing stuff for other systems already on their way to the bargin or closeout bins.

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The bottom line is because it was a newcomer to the 8-bit computer wars meant that it was waaay behind the times in terms of software. That alone offset any potential savings that the system had. So no, there wasn't an economical advantage...launch prices vs. existing stuff for other systems already on their way to the bargin or closeout bins.

Yeah, but the 16-bit systems were still a ways off, so an 8-bit computer from Apple, Commodore, Atari, Tandy, TI, Coleco and a handful of others was still the only option one had unless they had really big bucks to spend on a high end system.

 

Software wise, let's not forget that the ADAM could play the entire library of ColecoVision games as well as the Atari 2600 lineup with the Exp. Mod. #1 and when you look back... Coleco really did put out a lot of ADAM specific software (games and home office types) in a short period of time. One of their most important releases was of course, CP/M 2.2 & Assembler, which opened up another large selection of software that could be used on the ADAM. I forget the initial company that performed the conversions of CP/M software to ADAM CP/M (was it Westico?), but a litle later Elliam Associates did a tremendous job converting CP/M software and then end-users went to town on just about everything.

 

I know, you had to at least have one disk drive because the data drives were just to slow and it took to the middle of 1985 for an 80 Column Card to be released for the ADAM by Eve Electronics. An 80 column display wasn't a necessity, but it surely did help as the moving window could drive you nuts.

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*repost of news announcement simply repeating what I just stated, deleted*

 

I mis-spoke when I said to "run Atari", but he (Nolan Bushnell) was brought back numerous times,

 

No, he was not. He was "brought back" once - that was recently. As clearly explained, his previous stated association with the brand in the late 80's was briefly when Jack had Nolan's company Axlon do two games. He was not at Atari itself, and he was not brought back to it. He held no position at it. That's like stating Jay Miner was "back at Atari" becuase Warner and Atari Inc. struck up a business arrangement with Amiga in '84.

Striking up a business deal with someone's company is far different than bringing them back to the company. Approaching someone to have his company do two games for Atari and having him slap his picture on the boxes for those two games does not imply "coming back".

 

in one way shape or form to Atari in high level positions or as a puppet figure to conjure up memories of good times past.

 

He's "come back" once, and that was recently as one of several board members, i.e. advisors. He has not had any previous "high level positions" nor other positions at "Atari" since leaving in 1978. There have been no previous "positions" in the plural as you're reading it. There's been the current position as a board member (i.e. advisor) and that's it.

Well, well, well... here is a little more evidence to backup my statement that Nolan Bushnell was brought back to Atari over and over and over again after he initially was force out in 1979. This is from the AtariAge Atari 2600 page so I didn't write it or even have to look that hard!

 

 

Hope you don't mind me cutting and pasting this Albert!!!

Video games were once again selling phenomenally in 1987. Atari released several new titles, including Jr. Pac-Man, and also licensed a number of games from other companies such as Donkey Kong and Q*Bert. These new titles sold for $10-$15. Interestingly, a number of titles began appearing again from third party companies such as Epyx, Froggo, and Exus. It seemed that the 2600 was not dead yet! In 1988, Atari rehired Nolan Bushnell and announced a number of new titles, including Secret Quest, a game written by Steve DeFrisco but sold under Nolan's name in the hope of increasing sales. Atari continued to manufacture these games until 1989. However, it was apparent that the 2600, a decade after its introduction, was finally at the end of its run. Although it was still produced and marketed outside of the US, the Atari 2600 finished its run in America. No other console has had such a long history or sold as many systems in the U.S.

 

 

I also vaguely recall him being brought back (maybe things went bad and it eventually didn't happen) in the earlier 80's and he was on the cover of one of the videogame magazines with some type of caption like "He's Back!".

 

While my previously statements seemed pretty harsh towards him and I see that now, I still love the guy (platonically) for what he was able to do and develop that gave me and millions of others years and years of enjoyment. Plus, without him and others getting the ball rolling, Coleco would probably have never made the ColecoVision or ADAM!!

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Yeah, but the 16-bit systems were still a ways off, so an 8-bit computer from Apple, Commodore, Atari, Tandy, TI, Coleco and a handful of others was still the only option one had unless they had really big bucks to spend on a high end system.
The 16-bit argument doesn't really enter into it...I'm referring to existing platforms that had a wealth of computing software available for them. The Adam was in the same boat as the rest of orphaned systems - which was attracting new users into the fray. Those that had systems already had no pressing need to switch platforms - especially since their own systems were offering new versions of hardware which was more-or-less compatable with their software and peripherals that they already owned.

For a modern example, let's see a 3rd hardware option try to go up against the PC/Mac architectures. It's features had better be pretty damned impressive if it was to make any impact at all.

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Yeah, but the 16-bit systems were still a ways off, so an 8-bit computer from Apple, Commodore, Atari, Tandy, TI, Coleco and a handful of others was still the only option one had unless they had really big bucks to spend on a high end system.
The 16-bit argument doesn't really enter into it...I'm referring to existing platforms that had a wealth of computing software available for them. The Adam was in the same boat as the rest of orphaned systems - which was attracting new users into the fray. Those that had systems already had no pressing need to switch platforms - especially since their own systems were offering new versions of hardware which was more-or-less compatable with their software and peripherals that they already owned.

For a modern example, let's see a 3rd hardware option try to go up against the PC/Mac architectures. It's features had better be pretty damned impressive if it was to make any impact at all.

I misread you statement about "other systems being on their way" and missed to the "bargain bins", so yes, the 16-bit equation does not factor as you said. Also, my take on the whole situation back in 1983 was that I had three options: an Apple II, a C=64 or the ADAM. At the time I didn't know anyone that owned an Apple, C=64 or TI99-4 and had used a TRS-80 Model ?? at school to learn Basic programming. I was basically a computer neophyte and surely knew who Coleco was due to their tremendous videogame system and lineup of controllers and games, so it became an easy decision for me to go with the ADAM based on being such a satisfied owner of the ColecoVision. I'm sure this fact played into a lot of people's decisions to go with the ADAM also... as well as those Super Games!

 

I know I'm leaving out the Atari 8-bitters from this discussion, but by that time I had become completely disenchanted with all things Atari. Thankfully, through emulation I am able to play around with some of these Atari systems I never looked at before and my position has certainly softened.

 

Also, in '85, I did break down and buy a C=64 and a lot of additional hardware that I was completely satified with for years.

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*repost of news announcement simply repeating what I just stated, deleted*

 

I mis-spoke when I said to "run Atari", but he (Nolan Bushnell) was brought back numerous times,

 

No, he was not. He was "brought back" once - that was recently. As clearly explained, his previous stated association with the brand in the late 80's was briefly when Jack had Nolan's company Axlon do two games. He was not at Atari itself, and he was not brought back to it. He held no position at it. That's like stating Jay Miner was "back at Atari" becuase Warner and Atari Inc. struck up a business arrangement with Amiga in '84.

Striking up a business deal with someone's company is far different than bringing them back to the company. Approaching someone to have his company do two games for Atari and having him slap his picture on the boxes for those two games does not imply "coming back".

 

in one way shape or form to Atari in high level positions or as a puppet figure to conjure up memories of good times past.

 

He's "come back" once, and that was recently as one of several board members, i.e. advisors. He has not had any previous "high level positions" nor other positions at "Atari" since leaving in 1978. There have been no previous "positions" in the plural as you're reading it. There's been the current position as a board member (i.e. advisor) and that's it.

Well, well, well... here is a little more evidence to backup my statement that Nolan Bushnell was brought back to Atari over and over and over again after he initially was force out in 1979. This is from the AtariAge Atari 2600 page so I didn't write it or even have to look that hard!

 

 

Hope you don't mind me cutting and pasting this Albert!!!

Video games were once again selling phenomenally in 1987. Atari released several new titles, including Jr. Pac-Man, and also licensed a number of games from other companies such as Donkey Kong and Q*Bert. These new titles sold for $10-$15. Interestingly, a number of titles began appearing again from third party companies such as Epyx, Froggo, and Exus. It seemed that the 2600 was not dead yet! In 1988, Atari rehired Nolan Bushnell and announced a number of new titles, including Secret Quest, a game written by Steve DeFrisco but sold under Nolan's name in the hope of increasing sales. Atari continued to manufacture these games until 1989. However, it was apparent that the 2600, a decade after its introduction, was finally at the end of its run. Although it was still produced and marketed outside of the US, the Atari 2600 finished its run in America. No other console has had such a long history or sold as many systems in the U.S.

 

 

I also vaguely recall him being brought back (maybe things went bad and it eventually didn't happen) in the earlier 80's and he was on the cover of one of the videogame magazines with some type of caption like "He's Back!".

 

While my previously statements seemed pretty harsh towards him and I see that now, I still love the guy (platonically) for what he was able to do and develop that gave me and millions of others years and years of enjoyment. Plus, without him and others getting the ball rolling, Coleco would probably have never made the ColecoVision or ADAM!!

 

 

That doesn't actually back up your statement. The facts are the facts as they were stated earlier. Nolan was not rehired after he left in the late 70's, unless you count his recent appointment to the board of directors at a company that merely uses the Atari name. His name was leveraged for a couple of games he ostensibly "designed" in the late 80's, but he had no official association with Atari. The entry you copied and pasted was just written poorly and is misleading.

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Well, well, well... here is a little more evidence to backup my statement that Nolan Bushnell was brought back to Atari over and over and over again after he initially was force out in 1979. This is from the AtariAge Atari 2600 page so I didn't write it or even have to look that hard!

 

 

That doesn't actually back up your statement. The facts are the facts as they were stated earlier. Nolan was not rehired after he left in the late 70's, unless you count his recent appointment to the board of directors at a company that merely uses the Atari name. His name was leveraged for a couple of games he ostensibly "designed" in the late 80's, but he had no official association with Atari. The entry you copied and pasted was just written poorly and is misleading.

 

 

Ditto what Bill just said. The AtariAge page is wrong, he was never rehired. As previously mentioned, Atari Corp. simply contracted his company Axlon to do some games for the 2600 and throw his name and face on the box. He was not at Atari itself, and he was not brought back to it. He held no position at it. In fact, here's the original announcement about it from the LA Times at the time. Likewise, the association was nothing more than a publicity stunt, as covered in the article.

Edited by wgungfu

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Well, well, well... here is a little more evidence to backup my statement that Nolan Bushnell was brought back to Atari over and over and over again after he initially was force out in 1979. This is from the AtariAge Atari 2600 page so I didn't write it or even have to look that hard!

 

 

That doesn't actually back up your statement. The facts are the facts as they were stated earlier. Nolan was not rehired after he left in the late 70's, unless you count his recent appointment to the board of directors at a company that merely uses the Atari name. His name was leveraged for a couple of games he ostensibly "designed" in the late 80's, but he had no official association with Atari. The entry you copied and pasted was just written poorly and is misleading.

 

 

Ditto what Bill just said. The AtariAge page is wrong, he was never rehired. As previously mentioned, Atari Corp. simply contracted his company Axlon to do some games for the 2600 and throw his name and face on the box. He was not at Atari itself, and he was not brought back to it. He held no position at it. In fact, here's the original announcement about it from the LA Times at the time. Likewise, the association was nothing more than a publicity stunt, as covered in the article.

The point is exactly like I said, he was brought back to Atari over and over again in one way, shape or form. To be used as a figure head/marketing ploy of great times past or to actually try to do something as is the case with his current involvement with Atari.

 

Otherwise, we can amicably agree to disagree. :)

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Why do I always feel like we're having two seperate conversations?

Cause poeple like to hear themselves talk way too much.... even myself! ;)

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The point is exactly like I said, he was brought back to Atari over and over again in one way, shape or form. To be used as a figure head/marketing ploy of great times past or to actually try to do something as is the case with his current involvement with Atari.

 

 

Here is *exactly* what you said:

 

"that Bushnell was brought back to run Atari time and time again".

 

You did not say "in one way, shape or form". Likewise he was not brought back to Atari in this case either. Once again, he was not brought back to Atari nor was he at Atari, they simply did a contract (as they did with any other company they had make games for the 2600 in that period) with Axlon to produce two games. You just can't spin it, it's not going to work. He's been brought back to Atari one time, that's now as a board member of the current Atari SA.

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For a modern example, let's see a 3rd hardware option try to go up against the PC/Mac architectures. It's features had better be pretty damned impressive if it was to make any impact at all.

As far as your modern day example system... that holds very true, but then again, if it's not Window or MacOS compatible it doesn't stand a chance (sorry to leave out Linux and Sun). Back in the early 80's, it was a completely different story as every system had it's own special OS, as you know, except for the CP/M machines, then later the MSX standard and a little later the DOS machines. Compatiblility/Standardization was not a consideration amongst companies of that era, everyone wanted to create their own niche in the market or next best thing. The closest you would get was when a company would make a clone of another system and then get sued right into bankruptcy.

 

Trying to make an analogy dealing with the 80's to current times is like trying to compare apples and oranges... it just can't be done as the thinking of that era was individuality and not "of the collective" like it is now because it's an easier and faster way to turn a profit.

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There is no direct comparison, period. I was just using that as a rough example of the problems associated with trying to woo business away from competing machines. In both cases, you'd have something new vs. stuff that had/has massive legacy support. It only worked earlier because users were starved for low-cost alternatives. Later on, the strategy no longer worked for 8-bit machines...not even for Commodore and it's Plus/4 series.

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There is no direct comparison, period. I was just using that as a rough example of the problems associated with trying to woo business away from competing machines. In both cases, you'd have something new vs. stuff that had/has massive legacy support. It only worked earlier because users were starved for low-cost alternatives. Later on, the strategy no longer worked for 8-bit machines...not even for Commodore and it's Plus/4 series.

I didn't say "direct comparison" and re. the rest, you are 100% correct! :)

Edited by NIAD

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Consumer Reports did a a good review titled "Home Computers for Word-processing" in the February 1984 issue. Here's the prices they listed:

 

 

Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (64K) $860

(with CCR-81 tape recorder & DMP100printer)

 

Commodore 64 with 1541 disk drive $730

(and printer)

 

Coleco ADAM $700

 

Atari 600XL $650

(with 1010 tape recorder & 1027printer)

 

Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (16K) $620

(with CCR-81 tape recorder & DMP100 printer)

 

Commodore 64 with datasette recorder $550

(and printer)

What is sad about that is hardly any CoCo owner I knew bought a Radio Shack printer. DMPs were more expensive, slower, and generally had poorer print quality than 3rd party printers. Look in any CoCo magazine and you could buy a serial to parallel converter and a better printer for less than what Tandy's printers went for.

 

Besides, Consumer Reports is the same outfit that rated the Amiga 500 a worst buy one year and the best buy the next.

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For a modern example, let's see a 3rd hardware option try to go up against the PC/Mac architectures. It's features had better be pretty damned impressive if it was to make any impact at all.

 

Good Point. It's not really the hardware so much as the software. As a web developer I am a HUGE fan on Linux. Linux tried to get some market share, but failed miserably for the points that you mentioned. It was the new kid on the block as far as software that mainstream consumers wanted to use.

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After glancing over this thread, I would have to disagree that the Adam killed the Colecvision. Atari killed the Colecovision.

 

As for me, I would say, bad decisions killed Coleco

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After glancing over this thread, I would have to disagree that the Adam killed the Colecvision. Atari killed the Colecovision.

The rush to production and release of the ADAM for the X-Mas '83 season by the CEO Arnold Greenberg and upper management eventually killed the ColecoVision and then a few years later, Coleco Industries. To hell with share holder pressure and their demands for higher and higher dividends... if they could have been patient, they would have gotten them and and a whole lot more!

 

BTW... never did get back to my discussion on the Memory Console, ou voi! :roll:

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Adam surely didn't help Coleco at all. Several years ago I pulled Coleco's bankruptcy filing to see what the company was really like when they filed. Let's assume that Coleco never spent a dime on the Adam. Would the Colecovision have survived? No. Not at all. At least not under Coleco. INTV was a small company and was able to keep the Itellivision alive until the early 90's. Coleco could never had done that with the CV. The main problem was after Atari stopped producing systems and dumped all their inventory on the market there was really no viable market for video games. Ok. Maybe there were consumers that were willing to buy, but there were only a small percentage of past retailers that were willing to carry stock. And the number of retailers that were willing were not enough to make it profitable for big companies like Coleco.

 

The other issue is at the time there was a transition to computers happening. Coleco knew that and it's why they created the Adam. The Adam was a failure from day one as what sells hardware is software and there was just not nearly enough software for the Adam compared to other computers. The other issue is that the Adam forced consumers to use a daisy wheel printer and a storage medium that was not standard.

 

Without a viable computer for the market Coleco was doomed.

Edited by SpaceDice2010

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I remember buying most of my ColecoVision/Adam cartridges for like $5 at Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby. They were in the bargain bin. The NES had just come out (this was about 1986), and everyone wanted the NES. I think 2 factors killed the CV/Adam -- general video game bust of the mid 80's and the rise of the NES lowering CV sales. The NES thrived amidst the mid 80's "video game bust" because it was a cute product that was trendy to own, even non-gamers wanted it. And it had a really great pack-in cartridge -- Super Mario Bros. -- arguably one of the best games ever made on any system.

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Adam surely didn't help Coleco at all. Several years ago I pulled Coleco's bankruptcy filing to see what the company was really like when they filed.

 

Realize that was already after they had stopped production and sold off many parts of the company. I was a shareholder.

 

Let's assume that Coleco never spent a dime on the Adam. Would the Colecovision have survived? No. Not at all. At least not under Coleco.

 

That's speculation based on some of the faulty info below.

 

INTV was a small company and was able to keep the Itellivision alive until the early 90's. Coleco could never had done that with the CV.

 

Actually they could have gone on to expand the system to compete in the next generation 8-bits for the second half of the 80's as has been more than discussed in this thread. The CV was designed with that in mind.

 

The main problem was after Atari stopped producing systems and dumped all their inventory on the market

 

That never happened. They did not "dump all their inventory on the market", Atari Corp. used the large backstock of purchased inventory for sales and stock in to '86 and began picking up manufacturing again themselves.

 

there was really no viable market for video games. Ok. Maybe there were consumers that were willing to buy, but there were only a small percentage of past retailers that were willing to carry stock.

 

Untrue as was already covered as well. There were still a ton of retailers still carrying games, even Coleco was still manufacturing the Colecovision in to '85. Department stores are what cut back on carrying video games, and then did the same with computers by the time of the resurgance.

 

The other issue is at the time there was a transition to computers happening.

 

There was no "transition" in the US, the computer gaming market grew along side video games in the early 80's, had a brief period of dominance in the mid 80's, and then dropped again as consoles took over again during the NES/SMS/7800 period.

 

Coleco knew that and it's why they created the Adam.

 

No, the Adam was created as part of the late 70's legacy of the promise of turning your console in to a computer. Something the home console market continued to do during the early 80's.

 

Without a viable computer for the market Coleco was doomed.

 

Absolutely not. Coleco was doomed because it began less and less diversification of it's product line. It was a toy manufacturer first and foremost, and seemed to loose this fact as first consumer electronics and then Cabbage Patch dominated it's product line.

Edited by wgungfu

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The point is exactly like I said, he was brought back to Atari over and over again in one way, shape or form. To be used as a figure head/marketing ploy of great times past or to actually try to do something as is the case with his current involvement with Atari.

 

 

Here is *exactly* what you said:

 

"that Bushnell was brought back to run Atari time and time again".

 

You did not say "in one way, shape or form". Likewise he was not brought back to Atari in this case either. Once again, he was not brought back to Atari nor was he at Atari, they simply did a contract (as they did with any other company they had make games for the 2600 in that period) with Axlon to produce two games. You just can't spin it, it's not going to work. He's been brought back to Atari one time, that's now as a board member of the current Atari SA.

I admitted that I misspoke in POST #148 as my hands tend to get ahead of my brain every now and then... here is what I said:

 

I mis-spoke when I said to "run Atari", but he (Nolan Bushnell) was brought back numerous times in one way, shape or form to Atari in high level positions or as a puppet figure to conjure up memories of good times past.

 

Also, I see that you and Bill are very well versed on videogame history and appreciate that fact and welcome both of your opinions and helping clearify things at times, and you know this is coming... BUT!

 

Do you really think that every agreement, contract, deal that companies made back then and through the years were and are completely and 100% reported by said company through press releases, interviews, etc.? Just have to take one look at how Atari conducted themselves in the 70's and 80's to know that we only know or have heard what Atari wanted released and therefore the news agencies and magazines only had this to report on. If someone, like Nolan B., signed a contract or was rehired with, say Atari, and there were things involved in the agreement that Atari did not want made public... do you think that a GAG ORDER was NOT put in place? Not trying to take this discussion about Coleco and the ADAM down a different road and argue with you guys back and forth, but I tend to believe half of what I hear and none of what I'm told when it comes to stuff like this! Especially since bringing someone of Nolan's stature back into the fold after they so rudely showed him the door seems like it would be a slap in the face to the current CEO and uppper management! Basically put, they needed him and he needed them and all was good for both sides, whatever the arrangement and in the end we got some great Consoles, Computers and videogames to play to our brains out back then and still to this very day! :ponder: :ponder: :ponder:

 

BTW, I found that picture of Nolan on the cover of a videogame magazine.... :D :D :D :D

 

EDIT: how do you attach PICS to the message, I've done it before and I just can't get it to work now.

Edited by NIAD

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