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Thank you Curt for all your hard work to preserve Atari history. I learned so much from you. RIP.

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@mstulir I totally appreciated those project stories of yours!  Curt was ahead of his retro time on multiple occasions.  Unfortunately his integrity and quest for quality did not equate with Atari's rights holder.  I would have loved the FB3 to feature 5200/XL/XE.  I recall when Curt teased it here, too.

 

 

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It's so sad, I sat here all afternoon thinking how many times I wanted to have a real big conversation with and ask him loads of questions about stuff but I kept putting it off because I could do it 'later'.

 

Just shows the fragility of life, especially as some of us hit later years...Certainly should not have been his time..

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I've thought about what to say for some time now, and still have no real words.  I tear up every time I think about him.   I last saw him in person at VCF East 2019 to catch up and he was in great spirits.  It had been a while since he had that fire and spark about everything he was doing and I was glad to see him enjoying life.  

 

My interaction with Curt goes back maybe 20 years, where we've ocasionally crossed each other's paths in person, and probably once every now and then have chat sessions online via FB or email.  He once drove down to visit me and root through a massive pile of Atari gear I had acquired over the years.  He was always answering any questions about Atari history and prototypes that I may have had and it was fun to stump him on a few things that he would go research and come back with an answer.  I admit some of my questions would seem crazy: "If the 800XL was conceived during X, then why are these internal documents stating Y and how did this date code get stamped on the late November 2014 boards when the first three revisions say otherwise."  He would take it stride and gush with information to clear up almost everything.

 

I would also taunt him at times with "so you say you have the Tong schematics huh?... you know you keep saying that..."  and he would laugh at me then rush to find a bunch of treasures to shut me up, for a time.  Even when I would start asking questions about 1050 history he would dig up some bit of source code to help out with research I was doing, and I can't believe that was two years ago!

 

What I'm trying to get across is that he loved Atari, its details, and helping you out whenever he could spare the time.  Even at VCF we started talking about the 400/800 label fonts, the plastic colors and and how he sort of painted up the phone on display. It was crazy silly stuff but Atari history is a happy sickness and he sure was infected with it.  By no means was the man perfect, and he was extremely busy.  But, he made an impression on many of us and he was taken way too early.  He loved his family deeply and he will be deeply missed.

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What a sad day. I only saw him on videos and never had a chance to meet Curt in person but his research into Atari history and his zest in preserving and recording all things Atari is hard to match. He was helpful in passing on parts that he did not need but that helped here, and in his forum replies he never boasted with his status as "grand Atari historian" and gave friendly answers to questions.

 

R.I.P.

 

Let's hope as much of his work as possible gets preserved.

 

Is anyone here in contact with the family and might know if they need assistance?

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On 8/31/2020 at 10:08 PM, JR> said:

Saw that on Facebook too. Was hoping it wasn't true. Very sad! R.I.P.


I was waiting for the 'inevitable banhammer for posting fake news', but alas it wasn't to be... 

Thanks for everything, RIP

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Did not know of him back in the day - but certainly learned of him once I landed here.. We conversed about wardialing, bbs’s, hardware and several other things... as others have said the videos make him look positively radiant - but if it was heart then thats the way that deal can go. Bless his friends and family (which I guess includes all of us, so here is a virtual #hug). I hope his work will not go lost, and his gear will go to a worthy historical preservation or museum.

 

#Godspeed mr. Vendel.

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This is very sad news. Much too early!!

R.I.P. Curt

I was just texting back and forth with him not 5 days ago about the 1800XL !

We have had many phone calls over the years.

He was helping me restore the STBook he sold me some years ago.

I know he had been battling some health issue for several years, but I got the impression he had beaten it last year.

His vast knowledge will be sorrily missed !!

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I needed some time to organize my thoughts as I am in disbelief about Curt's passing.

 

We lost a true giant. Not only was Curt extremely knowledgeable and safeguarded so many historical assets of ATARI Inc. / Corp. over the decades, he was one of the nicest people I have ever had the opportunity to work with.

 

The Mack Truck analogy from an earlier post rings true: Curt had big ideas, was extremely passionate about his work, you could feel his presence and excitement no matter what the forum.  He could also be extremely subtle at times and knew how to finesse his point of view into the subtext of the conversation. His passion and energy were infectious.

 

Without Curt, there would be no ATARI Museum and definitely no Cloak & Dagger source code, no 7800 source code and so many other things that he rescued in that Borregas Ave. dumpster back in 1996. What it took to fly to the West Coast from NYC back then and do what he did... well kudos!

 

His contributions did not end then. Adding regularily to the museum with some impressive documentation and chip mask layouts, conceiving the NOC Flashback 1 in a rush so that the FB2 SOC could come out a year later, the 2600 USB joystick, the upcoming 7800XM and, obviously, ATARI Inc.: Business is Fun.

 

When I bumped into Bruno Bonnell (then ATARI S.A. CEO) at E3 in 2006, I told him how excited I was about the upcoming Flashback models (this was shortly after Curt's FB3/8-Bit based implementation had been nixed). Bonnell gave me his card and asked me to reach out to Curt to call him. Curt knew even more than Bonnell at this point! And there was nothing Bonnell could do with the FB3 as he was on his way out.

 

I was texting back and forth with Curt only a few days ago so his loss is even more shocking.

 

Curt and I worked together over the last couple of years on something truly special that, had it come to fruition, would have changed the face of the hobby.

 

One day, I hope to share with you what we were working on together.

 

For now, I will miss my friend and the limitless inspiration, energy, enthusiasm he brought to the game.

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That is truly sad news, I did not know Curt personally but his imprint on the Atari community made all of us know of him, even if we didn't know him. I hope he was happy with that is now his legacy of being a tremendously supportive and helpful person in the Atari community.

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9 hours ago, Greg2600 said:

@mstulir I totally appreciated those project stories of yours!  Curt was ahead of his retro time on multiple occasions.  Unfortunately his integrity and quest for quality did not equate with Atari's rights holder.  I would have loved the FB3 to feature 5200/XL/XE.  I recall when Curt teased it here, too.

 

 

It is kinda funny how I ended up on AtariAge on Monday evening.  Like I said earlier, I am almost entirely into coin-op with the American Classic Arcade Museum now and I haven't been active on this site in many years.  Yet, when I got the news, I knew this would be the place that would have the confirmation....and be the best venue for celebrating his life while grieving from the gut punch of knowing we lost Curt too soon.  Before I knew it, I am rambling about some things that may or may not have been brought up by him over the years just because it seemed like the right thing to do.  I hope I was able to share a bit about what he was like behind the scenes when I worked for him.

 

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that Curt's vision for many potential products did not jive with the people in charge at the company that is not Atari, but has their product rights and uses their name.  That company was hemorrhaging cash after the debacles that were the Mark Ecko game and the Matrix game.  They flushed an obscene amount of cash down the toilet and it ticked off certain people in the "new" Atari that the only thing that really made money in 2005 was a retro-console based around old games.  Curt was always the gentleman and did not rub it in their faces, but he took some secret pleasure in it.  The Basic Fun/Atari keychain games situation always stuck in his craw.  That whole thing sucked.

 

Information on the services have been announced.  I will be attending the visitation on 9/7 at some point depending on my travel arrangements.

 

https://ruggieroandsonsfh.com/tribute/details/2607/Curtis-T-Vendel/obituary.html#content-start

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20 hours ago, TheProgrammerIncarnate said:

Rest In Peace friend. Now you join Atari in heaven...

Indeed! I really hope things we loved in real life materialise in heaven. It is good to think so. So many good Atari persons died already, some of them very young.

 

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Way too young. :(   Only met him briefly but he was a really good person and great to talk to.   Condolences.  

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Very sad news.  He was a great person.  I remember many years ago, he was happy to offer me advice, even giving technical information in a clear manner.  RIP Curt, thanks for such an outstanding contribution to video gaming history and an interest shared by so many.

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Condolences to the Vendel family.  Curt was certainly a force within the Atari community and will be missed.

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I never had a chance to meet him, but I certainly knew him by name, watched some vids of him, read posts, etc.

 

Sucks to lose someone so into Atari and the knowledge he amassed and shared. 

 

Condolences to his family.  Whatever loss we all share by his passing pales in comparison to what they must be going through.

 

He was taken too soon.

 

RIP

 

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It looks like the funeral home is collecting money for his daughter's education.   
For sure I will be contributing something. 

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I am the one who had the unfortunate responsibility of breaking the news to the public after hearing it from his wife. I am still in shock at the loss of my friend. Yes it was his heart though an autopsy is not going to be done because of Covid restrictions.I’ve posted about the funeral arrangements on the Atari Museum Facebook group. I’m going to be working with his wife at some point in the near future to bring some order into the sad chaos that has arisen from his sudden departure. That includes going through the voluminous Atari museum archive, all the projects he was working on for people, any business related things, and so on. It’s quite the undertaking but it has to be done. And I want to make sure I do everything possible to preserve his legacy and what he was trying to accomplish, and what I was fortunate enough to be a part of for sometime now.

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32 minutes ago, Retro Rogue said:

I am the one who had the unfortunate responsibility of breaking the news to the public after hearing it from his wife. I am still in shock at the loss of my friend. Yes it was his heart though an autopsy is not going to be done because of Covid restrictions.I’ve posted about the funeral arrangements on the Atari Museum Facebook group. I’m going to be working with his wife at some point in the near future to bring some order into the sad chaos that has arisen from his sudden departure. That includes going through the voluminous Atari museum archive, all the projects he was working on for people, any business related things, and so on. It’s quite the undertaking but it has to be done. And I want to make sure I do everything possible to preserve his legacy and what he was trying to accomplish, and what I was fortunate enough to be a part of for sometime now.

Thanks for what you are doing.  I do not envy you in the least, but I'm sure you know, all of your work will certainly be appreciated.

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Sad new 😞

Condolences for his family, I know he was fragile with heart due to several problems.

We exchange mails time to time about Atari prototypes.

 

I'm feeling empty :-(((

Rudy. 

 

 

Edited by DearHorse

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