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Nolan Bushnell Appointed to Atari Board

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been reading through most of the posts and more and more it sounds like plug for marty's and Curt's new books and less about what it is actually about.

just my 2 cents. now get back to work, the boss is coming :)

 

More like a half a penny. What a bunch of revisionist garbage of this thread on your part. I didn't bring the books in to this convo, nor did I care to go through the pages and pages of having to explain the sources of our info and answering question after question and accusation after accusation about the books before they're even released. Now you're going to make the accusation of book plugging? How about we discuss that in person the next time you start plugging your VGS off the MGC.

Edited by wgungfu
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Yeah! With the DMZ on your PSP while smoking LSD PQD!

 

I fail to understand how discussing Nolan Bushnell's business history has nothing to do with the original topic, which is "Nolan Bushnell worms his way onto Atari board". Um, isn't Nolan Bushnell the topic of conversation here? :? Sounds more like a jab at Curt & Marty than anything else, to me.

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All I know is, this topic stole my childhood.

 

I'm kidding, of course, but the truth is I have a thick folder of press clippings regarding Nolan Bushnell and Atari, going back to before he was called "King Pong." I really looked up to the guy. But over the last couple of years, reading the comments posted by Curt and by Marty, I've had my eyes opened. Like a lot of folks on here, I disbelieved it at first, but it turns out that the evidence that Bushnell was never much of a businessman, engineer, or creative person is pretty convincing. I don't think anyone here is really into reviling the guy; it's just that his hype machine leaves people like Curt and Marty with a lot of illusions to pierce. So they come off sounding like they have a vendetta against him sometimes, but that's just because for them it must be like talking to a bunch of brainwashed zombies. I'm sure I seemed that way to them in other threads, anyway.

 

Now, though, I can't wait for the books to come out. It'll be nice to read well-researched books on Atari{Inc,Corp}.

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Was "Secret Quest" any good? Apparently it was supposed to be like "Legend of Zelda" for the Atari 2600.

 

It's a decent game, but not incredibly special. It's really more of a technical achievement in terms of some of the elements "Nolan" was "designing", such as the passcode feature. But the gameplay wasn't really very varied or interesting and the graphics were merely okay. Rather than forcing a talented programmer to hammer out a poor man's Zelda, maybe Nolan should have "designed" something that played more to the Atari's strengths. And mapping scores of nearly identical rooms sounds more like work than fun to me.

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been reading through most of the posts and more and more it sounds like plug for marty's and Curt's new books and less about what it is actually about.

just my 2 cents.

 

That's probably the biggest piece of bullshit I've read in this thread! I can't see anywhere in this (or any other threads) that Marty and/or Curt have plugged their upcoming books in any way, they're simply confronting the same old tired PR bullshit from Nolan that we've seen for years. I thought everyone knew by now that Nolan's reputation in the industry has been built on the constant lies and PR bullshit that he's been spewing for the last 30+ years. I really feel it reeks of disrespect to try and make it out that Curt and/or Marty is trying to use this thread to plug their upcoming books.

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That really is a terrible thing to say and you should be ashamed of yourself Dan, I would expect better from somebody like you. :roll:

Edited by The_Laird
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I don't know about all of you but I'm learning a lot. Nolan always seemed odd to me, and this topic has shown me why. I already had a great respect for Ralph Bear but now I want to get his book and find out more about him. @Marty and Curt; I know your interest is in Atari but have you ever thought of doing something on Ralph Bear. I don't know, maybe his book (Videogames in the Beginning) pretty much already covers that stuff. Either way thanks again for all the great info.

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No matter who actually did what, when they did it and where it went down as far as Atari,ect goes without Nolan Bushnell in the mix video games would not be where they are today. Even if he talks alot of shit or takes credit for things he didn't do himself his hand being in the cookie jar did have a positive influence in the early days of video gaming that only he could have provided as a unique person.

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Considering they've only been very graciously answering questions asked them and replying when they didn't have to while taking a lot of insults from people and accusations, they could have just said for people to wait till the book comes out and be done with it.

 

I want to thank them for giving a broader point of view including many facts some may not have known regardless of any hero worship and having the bravery to speak not only what appears to be the truth given all the evidence but also an apparently unpopular point of view.

 

been reading through most of the posts and more and more it sounds like plug for marty's and Curt's new books and less about what it is actually about.

just my 2 cents.

 

That's probably the biggest piece of bullshit I've read in this thread! I can't see anywhere in this (or any other threads) that Marty and/or Curt have plugged their upcoming books in any way, they're simply confronting the same old tired PR bullshit from Nolan that we've seen for years. I thought everyone knew by now that Nolan's reputation in the industry has been built on the constant lies and PR bullshit that he's been spewing for the last 30+ years. I really feel it reeks of disrespect to try and make it out that Curt and/or Marty is trying to use this thread to plug their upcoming books.

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Hm, interesting. I'm intrigued to see how this will pan out.

 

 

Please tell me nobody is taking this as anything more than a PR stunt?

 

 

Anyone remember this, circa 1989?

 

http://www.atariage.com/magazines/magazine_page.html?MagazineID=13&CurrentPage=8

http://www.atariage.com/magazines/magazine_page.html?MagazineID=13&CurrentPage=9

 

I have all three issues, mint. I will scan them to .pdf if there's any interest.

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theres been a few post about the books.

and I do like their enlightening us on the back stage parts of Atari,prob more thats been said on stella at 20 or the cnbc Game on special.

so thanks for doing that.

True that nolan has some faults, so does everybody else, we are only human,if weren't the world would be boring no ones perfect.

we would have a forum like atari age if nolan didn't start Atari. Nolan has been one of my heros next to Arnie Katz the man who brought fandom to world

and with out him reviewing my zine in many of mags, I wouldn't have continued it.

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Was "Secret Quest" any good? Apparently it was supposed to be like "Legend of Zelda" for the Atari 2600.

 

It's a decent game, but not incredibly special. It's really more of a technical achievement in terms of some of the elements "Nolan" was "designing", such as the passcode feature. But the gameplay wasn't really very varied or interesting and the graphics were merely okay. Rather than forcing a talented programmer to hammer out a poor man's Zelda, maybe Nolan should have "designed" something that played more to the Atari's strengths. And mapping scores of nearly identical rooms sounds more like work than fun to me.

 

 

I *REALLY* wanted to like this game, but found it really repetitive. I also hated that damn passcode system of strange symbols. I hated that era of "save games" and Secret Quest's method of using strange symbols instead of letters as passwords made it even more difficult to write them down.

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Atari was far better managed internally under the Tramiels then under Warner (Bushnell only managed from 1972-1976, 1976-1984 was Warner)

 

Tramiel got products out the door in record time. Atari floundered for nearly 2 years with the XL series - I have memo's where they were squibble over a screw type for weeks alone. Tramiel walked in and did a major redesign of the XL into the XE series and at the same time was able to have working wirewraps of the ST computer in just 6 months, production samples in 6 more months shipped to developers and user groups. New printers, disk drives, monitors. Very impressive feat.

 

Of course it was not without certain drawbacks - working for Tramiel was done under tough and laborious work weeks, very long hours and no guarantee of one's job. Though that was similar to the environment that the Macintosh was developed under as well.

 

I really want to read the Tramiel Atari book. Just reviewing this thread has made me dig out and read through my old AtariUser magazines circa 1991-3.

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This thread is either an epic failure, or it's teetering on the brink of greatness. I can't seem to put my finger on which.

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Just exchanged email interviews with him 4 months ago. Good enough for you, or should I email him again tonight and ask the very same questions --- though that might be bad for all - because Nolan may forget the answers he gave me 4 months ago and give me entirely new answers tomorrow :-/

 

 

 

 

I guess I still don't see the difference to what I've already stated.

"Curt's interviewed him plenty of times in the past".

 

If by "past" you mean 2 weeks ago, that sounds like Noland was interviewed for a book scheduled to be released soon. If "past" refers to 10 years ago...come on. I'm almost sure you see the difference.

 

In these "past" interviews, were all these crappy business practices that Noland has been accused of by people brought up, and was he allowed to respond to them directly (not indirectly through old statements and old interviews is specifically what I mean by that) and if so will they be included in this new book?

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Well, I used to be part of the crowd that believed Jack sh*t on Atari, its products and people... Having recovered over 1,500 Atari mainframe tapes and reading internal emails and memo's from literally day one of the Tramiels taking over and finding out a lot of inside information on what was going on really changed my entire view of the Tramiels and what they tried to do early on. Now that doesn't excuse things that happened in later years, but from July 1984 through the end of 1986 - they made some honest and earnest efforts. Its a big eye opener will most likely make a lot of people go back and reconsider things about the Tramiels... perhaps, its up to each individual.

 

 

 

Atari was far better managed internally under the Tramiels then under Warner (Bushnell only managed from 1972-1976, 1976-1984 was Warner)

 

Tramiel got products out the door in record time. Atari floundered for nearly 2 years with the XL series - I have memo's where they were squibble over a screw type for weeks alone. Tramiel walked in and did a major redesign of the XL into the XE series and at the same time was able to have working wirewraps of the ST computer in just 6 months, production samples in 6 more months shipped to developers and user groups. New printers, disk drives, monitors. Very impressive feat.

 

Of course it was not without certain drawbacks - working for Tramiel was done under tough and laborious work weeks, very long hours and no guarantee of one's job. Though that was similar to the environment that the Macintosh was developed under as well.

 

I really want to read the Tramiel Atari book. Just reviewing this thread has made me dig out and read through my old AtariUser magazines circa 1991-3.

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been reading through most of the posts and more and more it sounds like plug for marty's and Curt's new books and less about what it is actually about.

just my 2 cents. now get back to work, the boss is coming :)

 

 

He's said many times the book is a long way off, and he's been very clear about that. I really appreciate INFORMATION from them whether there's a book or never a book. I appreciate information in general, and whether or not it's what I want to hear is irrelevant. Too bad the thread is full of whiners who'll go to any length to perpetuate ignorant 2nd grade fantasy thought, at the expense of information.

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Nolan has been one of my heros <snip>

 

Quite obviously.

Edited by wood_jl

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Len -

 

Yeah, Ralph shared that with me as well, you and I know how concise and detailed Ralph is - his boxes of lab books speaks volumes (no phun intended)

 

He line by line hit Nolan back and Steve Bristow too as well, and yet Nolan claims Ralph never responded, yet Ralph has numerous times given Nolan his email and telco#, plus it doesn't take a genius to do a google search and find www.ralphbaer.com and find Ralph's contact info.

 

 

Ralph even has several emails from Nolan that show Nolan contradicting himself and saying different things on the same subject in different emails. So either Nolan just can't keep track of his lies anymore or he's senile... maybe both.

 

As for Ralph - man is sharp as a tack and still designing new products and idea's, he's going on 87 and he amazes me every time I meet up with him.

 

 

Curt

 

Have you contacted Nolan himself to get his side of the story?

 

I for one did not contact Nolan when I did the article about Ted for Edge last year. My reasoning was simple. Nolan has been talking for 25 years and everything he has said is regarded as gospel and without comments from anyone else. It was finally time for Ted to have the same opportunity. (If you haven't read that article in Edge #200 - I'm working to get it published in the US).

 

Here's another little story about Nolan that few people know about. After Ralph Baer received his medal from President Bush in 2006, an IEEE journal published an article about Ralph. Nolan sent Ralph an email, and among the accusations in it was this line "I too read the article and thought it was a little puffy. It is funny that I have never received any email or telephone call from you and have actually attended and spoke at functions which the organizers asserted that they had tried to get you on the panel with no luck."

 

But my favorite part of this email was this line: The way I see it you invented Odyssey. You saw my lab book and saw the list of games and descriptions that clearly had a tennis game listed long before I saw your game in Burlingame."

 

Ralph responded to all of Nolan's accusations but Nolan never wrote back again.

 

The rewriting of history is one of the few things that Bushnell has successfully invented.

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No one reviles him. Its a matter of him just being honest - its like, even when he tried to compliment Ralph Baer on the Brown Box/Odyssey, he just has to end his compliment with a slap in the face at Ralph Baer.

 

Its also just showing that while he did admirable things - he was not perfect. He barely kept Atari afloat - but at the same time, he did manage to make payroll and keep the lights on. Joe Keenan (Key Games) was superb manager and Key Games was spun off (great idea from Nolan) to be a pretend competitor to Atari. However Key Games was doing so well, and making so much profit that Nolan quickly tore down the facade and pulled Key Games into Atari and positioned Joe Keenan to manage Atari to get it in better shape.

 

All that is being shown here is Nolan is not a God. He is a man and as with any man, he has his faults and he did a lot of things that we'ren't known to most in the public, is that he made his way to the top at the cost of a lot of people and reputations. All that's being done is showing the full picture - not the one sided PR slant.

 

 

Curt

 

All I know is, this topic stole my childhood.

 

I'm kidding, of course, but the truth is I have a thick folder of press clippings regarding Nolan Bushnell and Atari, going back to before he was called "King Pong." I really looked up to the guy. But over the last couple of years, reading the comments posted by Curt and by Marty, I've had my eyes opened. Like a lot of folks on here, I disbelieved it at first, but it turns out that the evidence that Bushnell was never much of a businessman, engineer, or creative person is pretty convincing. I don't think anyone here is really into reviling the guy; it's just that his hype machine leaves people like Curt and Marty with a lot of illusions to pierce. So they come off sounding like they have a vendetta against him sometimes, but that's just because for them it must be like talking to a bunch of brainwashed zombies. I'm sure I seemed that way to them in other threads, anyway.

 

Now, though, I can't wait for the books to come out. It'll be nice to read well-researched books on Atari{Inc,Corp}.

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Was "Secret Quest" any good? Apparently it was supposed to be like "Legend of Zelda" for the Atari 2600.

 

Stella at 20 vol 2 has an interview with Steve DeFrisco. He relates an exchange he had with Nolan in which Nolan told him he wanted a game with a lot of rooms in it. Steve told him "sure, I can do that. All the rooms will look alike, but there will be a lot of them." ;) The whole story about Secret Quest is the worst kept secret in 2600 land, and Steve DeFrisco didn't seem to have any hard feelings about it even back then. Also around that time it seemed like Al Alcorn and Nolan were joined at the hip. I know not long after that they did a seminar at one of the E3 conventions together. It was actually Al Alcorn who twisted Nolan's arm to participate in the documentary. Al almost acted like a more public liaison for him, since Nolan was kind of still in rockstar mode and protected by layers.

 

The one truly awkward moment during all that shooting was when Ron Milner dropped a really sensitive quip. He said "you took the crap... and then you took the money". There was a pregnant pause and then everyone broke into laughter. Mind you, Ron Milner and Steve Mayer went on to work with Nolan again after Atari with A.G. Bear (which I hope is also included in the book). One of them brought a sample bear to Woodside. But off-camera they were a little bitter that they didn't get more of a cut of the 2600 fortune. But even by then it was water under the bridge.

 

What I'm trying to say here is that, beyond the facts of what went down and who, as a 3rd party observer, appears to have been the victim, real relationships between people are complicated.

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theres been a few post about the books.

 

No Dan, any and all posts were people asking and questioning about the books and us responding. We did not bring the books in to this thread. So once again, more ridiculous crap from you. Keep it up. I'll be happy to discuss it while you're busy mumbling to your Jaguar Anime porn at the next "Jagfest".

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