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Dutchman2000

Atari's plans to use CV hardware back in 1983

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Also interesting that they thought "true sprite management, and better sound generators " were the reasons the 5200 was losing out to the Colecovision. No mention (again) of the problematic 5200 controllers, or the initially far stronger launch library of the Colecovision. Instead they blame hardware problems that I've never seen mentioned as to why the 5200 wasn't a market success.

 

One important thing to remember - the "they" here is likely not Atari as a whole. Rather one person in Atari or small group in Atari making a proposal.

 

In a big tech company, it's quite common to have technical debates over how to approach problems, over which technology is best suited etc.

 

It could very well be that another engineering team in Atari thought this proposal was ridiculous.

 

I've worked in companies with similar competing teams. The debates were intense, broad. Even, at times, insufferable. :-)

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t's only with 2 unreleased demos - that was done in the early 90s? that could show what the 7800 could really do?

 

I think you're probably selling the 7800 a little short and I think it's coming from an unfamiliarity with the system. I made this back in the day, learning to use iMovie for a project.

 

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One important thing to remember - the "they" here is likely not Atari as a whole. Rather one person in Atari or small group in Atari making a proposal.

 

In a big tech company, it's quite common to have technical debates over how to approach problems, over which technology is best suited etc.

 

It could very well be that another engineering team in Atari thought this proposal was ridiculous.

 

I've worked in companies with similar competing teams. The debates were intense, broad. Even, at times, insufferable. :-)

 

This is true.

 

Even more known bits of lore like the Atari/NES partnership and the Atari Amiga. We don't know how close to reality these things ever were, or even how serious Atari was about them. Just that there were background negotiations- which could be nothing more than Atari hedging its bets.

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This is true.

 

Even more known bits of lore like the Atari/NES partnership and the Atari Amiga. We don't know how close to reality these things ever were, or even how serious Atari was about them. Just that there were background negotiations- which could be nothing more than Atari hedging its bets.

 

 

Atari Inc and its engineers were hot for the Amiga Lorraine chipset. Listen to Jerry Jessop's Antic Podcast interview. The engineers were anxious to get full ownership over all of Amiga's IP and to also have Jay Miner back.

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Atari Inc and its engineers were hot for the Amiga Lorraine chipset. Listen to Jerry Jessop's Antic Podcast interview. The engineers were anxious to get full ownership over all of Amiga's IP and to also have Jay Miner back.

 

Engineers were, but obviously management wasn't so much. Maybe if Tramiel hadn't bought Atari when he did, the old management would have been more on the ball with this.

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Engineers were, but obviously management wasn't so much. Maybe if Tramiel hadn't bought Atari when he did, the old management would have been more on the ball with this.

 

 

Management was on top of it. It was Warner who sold "Atari" to Tramiel behind the back of Atari Inc's management team. Atari Inc had definitive plans to use the Amiga Lorraine chipset for the Mickey console - as was part of the agreement - and to get the 1800XL computer out ahead of schedule [ahead of the 1 year limitation of the Amiga agreement] which would've been permitted had Amiga Corp been acquired.

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Atari Inc and its engineers were hot for the Amiga Lorraine chipset. Listen to Jerry Jessop's Antic Podcast interview. The engineers were anxious to get full ownership over all of Amiga's IP and to also have Jay Miner back.

 

The engineers don't typically control the business development part of things in tech companies. In fact, in my experience, it's often hard to get them to put on business hats and relay the benefits of something in business terms like "if we invest in this technology, what will be the quantifiable return on investment for the company to do so".

 

Acquisitions are expensive. Absolutely, there have been lost opportunities by not acquiring, but I've absolutely seen plenty of the reverse ... where tech is acquired because someone is hot on it ... and then it goes nowhere.

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Engineers were, but obviously management wasn't so much.

 

 

In my experience with engineering teams in "big companies" is that it's often not remotely a universal agreement. There are lots of creative engineers with creative (differing) approaches to problems. Throw in the egos that sometimes pop up and you often get complete disagreement on which technology approach should be taken. Hence why you get different, competing prototypes and proposals.

 

Then when the technology is settled on, there's often a lot of dissent when it's brought in.

 

I'm my nearly two decades in tech, I can't think of a time I've ever heard a software developer say "Damn - this code I inherited from someone else is A-MAZING".

 

Like ... ever

 

My point is - it's likely not remotely as simple as "Engineering wanted X" and "Stupid management didnt' want" like we sometimes believe in these forums.

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The engineers don't typically control the business development part of things in tech companies. In fact, in my experience, it's often hard to get them to put on business hats and relay the benefits of something in business terms like "if we invest in this technology, what will be the quantifiable return on investment for the company to do so".

 

Acquisitions are expensive. Absolutely, there have been lost opportunities by not acquiring, but I've absolutely seen plenty of the reverse ... where tech is acquired because someone is hot on it ... and then it goes nowhere.

 

 

 

Why is this being debated? Atari Inc had the agreement in place. They were going to take control of Amiga because Amiga couldn't pay back the $500k loan in time. So David Morse got Commodore to buy Amiga for $25 million and then tried to return the $500k to Atari Inc while falsely claiming that the chipset didn't work. This isn't disputed.

 

What I offered was the fact Jerry Jessop said Atari Inc's engineers were savoring at getting the Amiga Lorraine as well as the rest of Amiga's employees. It was Jack Tramiel who had previously said foolishly to Amiga and Company that he would be interested in buying the company and its tech but not retain the staff. That was said before he entered negotiations to buy Atari Inc's assets from Warner. Atari Inc wanted the Amiga Lorraine chipset for the Mickey console and for the "1800XL" computer. Atari Coin - later Atari Games - wanted the Amiga Lorraine chipset for possible use in their arcade games. So Atari Inc's management team wanted Amiga, period. What Warner did on their own was a different matter.

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What I offered was the fact Jerry Jessop said Atari Inc's engineers were savoring at getting the Amiga Lorraine as well as the rest of Amiga's employees. It was Jack Tramiel who had previously said foolishly to Amiga and Company that he would be interested in buying the company and its tech but not retain the staff. That was said before he entered negotiations to buy Atari Inc's assets from Warner. Atari Inc wanted the Amiga Lorraine chipset for the Mickey console and for the "1800XL" computer. Atari Coin - later Atari Games - wanted the Amiga Lorraine chipset for possible use in their arcade games. So Atari Inc's management team wanted Amiga, period. What Warner did on their own was a different matter.

 

Can you send some specific URLs of relevant interviews/articles?

 

I'm going based on my own experience ... often business development discussions/acquisitions are a lot more complicated than many realize. And more importantly, that many in the company aren't there as part of the negotiations because of the potential risk. The by-product is that the rumour mill sometimes spins out of control, even internally.

 

not saying it happened here, but I've seen it enough in my own life to cast a bit of a weary eye on things that seem black and white as they are usually a lot more grey.

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On 9/6/2017 at 8:57 AM, Dutchman2000 said:

 

 

On 9/6/2017 at 8:02 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

 

Dutchman2000 and Bill - just wanted to let you know I recently did a documentary on the history of alternate Atari VCS console designs, clones, and adapters - and included comments/posts from both of you to add and explain this new strange twist to the "my console plays your games" saga between Atari and Coleco. Hope you guys like the work. 
 

 

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