Atari Online News, Etc.
Volume 18, Issue 48
Atari Online News, Etc.
December 30, 2016
Published and Copyright (c) 1999 - 2016
All Rights Reserved
Atari Online News, Etc.
A-ONE Online Magazine
Dana P. Jacobson, Publisher/Managing Editor
Joseph Mirando, Managing Editor
Rob Mahlert, Associate Editor
Atari Online News, Etc. Staff
Dana P. Jacobson -- Editor
Joe Mirando -- "People Are Talking"
Michael Burkley -- "Unabashed
Albert Dayes -- CC: Classic Chips
Rob Mahlert -- Web site
Thomas J. Andrews -- "Keeper of
With Contributions by:
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Visit the Atari Advantage Forum on Delphi!
~ Unabashed Atariophile!
~ People Are Talking! ~ Firebee News Updates!
~ Germany Hits Facebook! ~ Ransomware Big Payouts ~ New
~ Worms Engine for CT60! ~ GOP and Net Neutrality ~ ACP
~ Diablo 20th Anniversary ~ Electric Night, Falcon ~ Virtual
-* The Atari History Timeline! *-
-* Internet's Underwater Weak Links! *-
-* US Expels
Russian Diplomats Over Hacking! *-
->From the Editor's Keyboard
"Saying it like it is!"
It all started on March 5th, 1999. That was the date of the first
issue of Atari Online News, Etc. Joe Mirando and I had spent
quite a bit of time talking about starting our own Atari-related
online magazine - months, in fact. Later on in this commentary, I
will add the editorial comments that Joe and I put together for
that first issue, as well as some comments from Michael Burkeley,
The Unabashed Atariophile. A little bit of nostalgic reading, for
Joe and I met, if I remember correctly, for the first time at one
of the Connecticut Atari shows. I think it was one of the ones
located in East Hartford, sponsored by the Connecticut Atari
Federation (CAF) put on by a group of Connecticut Atari user
groups. Brian Gockley was the president of that group, I believe.
Anyway, we had gone to quite a few of these shows. For Joe, it
was a fairly local show for him; and for me, it was a reasonably
short trek from Boston.
Joe and I shared a lot of Atari-related interests, including
writing. Over the years, both of us had written articles and
reviews for many of the popular Atari magazines at the time,
including Current Notes, Atari Interface Magazine, and a variety
of others. We were also becoming friendly online with Ralph
Mariano, the Editor/Publisher of STReport - an online magazine.
What separated Ralph from the other online magazine at the time
(Z*NET) was that Ralph's editorial stance was "tell it like it
is" and a no-holds barred kind of attitude. We liked that about
him. Yes, it's quite true that Ralph could be - shall we say,
abrasive at times. That was Ralph. But, he was an enthusiastic
Atari user and quite supportive of the Atari line. He truly
wanted to see Atari succeed. He wanted and enjoyed the
excitement that Atari caused with their product line. He was
also a big critic of Atari when it came to its many failures.
Anyway, eventually Joe and I offered to write for STReport; and we
offered our services in a variety of ways. We did some
commentary, reviews, show reports, Atari-related news item
compilations, and more. At times, we represented STReport at a
few shows. It was fun doing this stuff over the years.
Eventually, as history as shown, the demise of Atari was
imminent. And, the end of Atari as we knew it, finally arrived.
STReport continued on, and Joe and I kept at it with Ralph.
However, with the increasingly decline of ATari-related news,
Ralph's direction started to shift over time.
There had been a number of Atari online magazines, past and
present around that time. John Nagy and Ron Kovacs had Z*Mag
and Z*NET which had both faded away. There was Travis Guy's
Atari Explorer Online (AEO) which, I believe, was still around
at this time, but fading. There was Jaguar Explorer Online
(JEO) which was supporting the Atari Jaguar, but the Jaguar was
also slowly sinking.
So, Joe and I started talking about the possibility of starting
up our own online magazine. We knew that there wasn't a lot of
Atari-related news to report about any more, but there was still
interest that was generating a little news to report. We also
felt that potential readers were still interested in news that
pertained to the computer technology world that we could continue
to report about. In fact, maintaining technology news helped us
to come up with the name of the magazine! We became Atari Online
News, Etc. (A-ONE). The "Etc." portion pertained to everything
else that wasn't pertaining to Atari!
Okay, so we had the vision, and started preparing to go to work.
We went about trying to enlist some interest and "staff" to
help us out. Michael Burkley (The Unabashed Atariphile and
co-owner of Suzi-B's Software) offered to put his writing talents
to work. A little later, I coaxed Albert Dayes (formerly of AEO)
to join us. And there were others over the years, but my memory
fails me at the moment!
So, we got ready for our first issue, talked to Ralph and let him
know that we were "retiring" from STReport and venturing off on
our own, and worked with our skeleton group of writers. By early
March of 1999, we were as ready as we were going to be, and
published our first issue on the 5th! The rest, as they say, is
So, how did I get involved with Atari computers in the first
place? Good question! My brother-in-law (at the time) had a
couple of Atari 800 computers. He used to talk about them at
times, and I started to get interested when he started talking
about some of the games that could be played. I was an old Atari
2600 fan, so I was aware of Atari gaming. I borrowed one of his
machines on occasion to play some games and fiddle around a
little with some other programs. I wasn't crazy about typing in
code and saving it to cassettes, but I did it for awhile. He
didn't have too many programs that I couls "plug in" but enough
to generate moe interest. He eventualy moved on the an Atari
520ST, and my interest grew. I used to go with him to a "local"
dealer (Computer Cache) and would drool over the machine and
I eventually bought one of his 520 STs. It was a half-meg
machine that, over time, I upgraded to 4 megs - adding a little
RAM at a time. I started adding peripherals to it (printer, hard
drive, modem, etc.) and started to really get involved with the
machine. I bought it initially to write and put together some
databases I had started by hand. Of course, more software came
my way, including games! I then got interested in the online
scene, calling bulletin boards (BBS) like crazy. That was fun.
I then decided to start my own BBS (Toad Hall EBBS). I ran
MichTron software, and when I shut it down many years later, I
had migrated to RatSoft. Those were fun years. In fact, I still
have that BBS system stored in my office closet - still intact.
I wonder if it will still run!!
From visiting the Computer Cache dealer, along with a few others
in the area, I ended up joining an Atari user group - the South
Shore Atari Group (SSAG) was the fiorst. I also joined the
Boston Compuer Societ (BCS) Atari group. I was the
editor/publisher of our user group's monthly newsletter
(meSSAGes) and did that for a number of years.
Like everything else Atari-related then, things faded away into
oblivion. But, my interest in Atari computing remained. I
upgraded and added machines to my collection. I've had (and
likely still do) 520s, 1040s, MegaST, MegaSTe, Falcons, Stacys,
and others. Of course I added the Lynx and Jaguar for more
As far as STReport and A-ONE, I used my Atari machines for my
writing. I typed my material using the TA buffer in Interlink,
Masterlink, Flash, Flash II, Timeworks WordWriterST and other
programs. I kept using my Falcon computers until the keyboards
started going bad. I eventually took them down and "replaced"
them with a PC (ARGHH!!!) using Windows 3.1. I would pull out
one of my Stacy computers from time to time, but eventually
space became an issue and the PC took over. The fact that the
internet (at that time) was taking off made the decision to
retire the Atari line, was a no-brainer. The Atari machines
just weren't capable to do the internet - at least very
effectively. So, my Atari use faded away over time. I'm hoping
to revive a machine or two once our new house is built and I
have some space to set them up. We'll see.
So. It's been 18 years that A-ONE has been around. Seems like
an eternity! There is still interest in Atari computing. All
you have to do is check a few areas online and see some of the
commentary and occasional news items. Just look at the progress
with the FireBee, as Fred Horvat has been reporting here as far
as his own experiences have been going. Sure, the userbase has
been dramatically reduced, but the users are still there - at
least to some degree.
From our first issue, here are the editorials/commentaries from
me, Joe, and Michael:
Welcome to our premiere issue of Atari Online News, Etc.! It's
actually been a long-time coming that Joe Mirando and I got out
from under the auspices of STReport and started our own magazine.
We've rationalized over the years about whether or not to do
this. I guess the turning point for both of us was that we
wanted to "control" our own destiny with regard to an Atari
online magazine. I think we both felt that there needed to be a
new generation of Atari online magazines to take over the reins
of those of yesteryear such as Z*Net, the original STR, and AEO.
While Atari and its "glory" years are long gone, the userbase
still remains. Yes, that base has drastically dwindled, but the
enthusiasm of those who remain is still high. Our goal with
Atari Online News, Etc. (A-ONE) is to be a focal point for Atari
users and fans to keep in touch with what's happening in our
community on a regular basis. At the same time, we'll keep you
abreast of the console gaming world as well as news surrounding
the rest of the computer technology world.
Joe and I are very enthusiastic about this new endeavor. And
from the incredible response to the recent press release we've
received so far, you're equally excited.
So what do we have planned for the future? Well, a lot of ideas have
been coming to us. Joe Mirando's "People Are Talking" column will
continue in A-ONE. Michael Burkley's "The Unabashed Atariophile"
column is coming out of retirement! You say you want guest columnists?
You got 'em! Where are the Atari dealers? We'll keep you informed.
How about interesting Atari-related Internet sites, newsgroups,
software, developers, user groups, online services, etc.? It's all
being compiled; and we hope that you'll play an active role in a lot of
And while we're going to remain true to our text-based roots with
A-ONE, we realize that some of our readers will want to read us online.
Well, we're also working on an HTML version. We'll have our own web
pages to either read A-ONE while online, or download for reading at
your leisure. We're looking into our own web domain and site to
archive past issues and other exciting items. We have an interactive
presence in the Atari Advantage Forum on Delphi - accessible by Atari
telecommunications software, telnet, or via the web. The Atari
Advantage Forum has a message forum, software libraries (text side),
and chat services. The Atari Advantage Forum has been a lot of fun
over the years; and we feel that it will continue and grow along with
Delphi. Please feel free to join in on the enjoyment. Delphi
free access via the Internet. Just set your browser (CAB works if your
version supports Java!) to:
If/when you get the Delphi log-in page, either type in your Delphi
username and password, _or_ select the sign up for free membership
option and follow the prompts. Once you're in the Atari Advantage,
let us know!
In the coming weeks, we'll update you on the goings-on there, as well
as other online sites.
It's going to be a fun ride here at A-ONE; we hope that you're ready
and willing to join in with us. Again, welcome to our first issue of
Atari Online News, Etc. - thanks for celebrating with us!
Until next time...
->From the Other Editor's Desk
Joe Mirando, Managing Editor
Hi there fellow Atari users. I'd first like to say that you don't have
to worry about a full-blown editorial from me every week. This is just a
short letter to tell you a little bit about why I'm now a part of A-ONE
Magazine and why I think you'll like what we have planned.
Do you remember the scene in CITIZEN KANE when Charles Foster Kane wrote
his "Readers' Bill of Rights"? Well, that's sort of what I'm doing here.
Only I'll try to be less grandiose and more mindful of the intent behind
Since many Atari users are quite happy with their computers and don't
care about PCs, Intel, or Microsoft, our main focus will always be Atari
computers. And because there is other technology out there, we'll do our
best to keep you up-to-date on all those new bells and whistles so
you'll know what's going on out there.
Just like our respective offerings in STReport, our offerings here will
be centered around what you want to see in an online magazine. After
all, whether this magazine succeeds or fails will be determined by you.
And believe me, we want to succeed. We firmly believe in giving you the
information you can use and leaving the rest up to you. Your choice of
computers is exactly that: Your choice. We respect that, and hope that
the sentiment shows through in every issue we publish.
We are also in the process of lining up features, reviews, and columns
that we think you'll enjoy. I'm sure that Dana has already mentioned
several of the goodies that we're planning, and there will surely be more
as we get this venture up and running, but I'd also like to mention
things like reviews of the state-of-the-art in the Atari world.
Commercial programs like NVDI, ExtenDOS, HD Driver, MagiC, and CAB are
right at the top of the list.
We are looking into setting up our own website (www.a-one.com has a nice
ring to it, doesn't it?) but until we get our legs under us a bit more,
you'll be able to find the latest issue of A-ONE on my webpages
(http://www.portone.com/jmirando/a_one) in addition to the Atari
Advantage Forum on Delphi and through the email subscription list.
As always, feel free to drop us a line to let us know what you think of
the magazine so far and what you'd like to see in the future. I promise
you, we'll be happy to hear from you.
Well since I promised to make this brief I'll sign off now and let you
get to the good stuff.
Keep on readin',
The Unabashed Atariophile
by Michael R. Burkley
It's good to be back! Over the years I've written for Z*Net, Atari
Explorer Online, STReport, and more; and now I'm writing for A-ONE!
But always, I've written as the Unabashed Atariophile, because that's
what I am!
I've had one or more (generally many more!) Atari computers in my
home since 1987. I started with a 520 ST with TOS on disk and now
have a Cattamaran-equipped TT with the big-screen mono monitor
(wonderful with Calamus!), two STE's (one with the T-25 accelerator
chip in it), and several more STfm's and ST's. The STE and the TT
find daily use with the rest set up in the basement for kids (and
grown-ups) to use with several different MIDI based linked games.
I also have a Pentium II 266 MHz Windoz 95 based computer, but it's
just not as nice as my Atari. I actually am using it right now to
type this article, though GEMulator 98 and STeno make me feel right
Dana is going to help me keep a regular schedule writing this
article. Even though he's in Massachusetts and I'm in Niagara Falls,
NY, I'm sure that he's going to threaten to throw some pies across
the phone lines if I don't keep up! I wouldn't want that to happen
as I'm trying to lose some weight. What I hope to do is to take you
on a tour of different web sites filled with Atari software. There
are still many Atari sites, generally kept up as a labor of love,
that I frequently visit. I'll tell you about them. At the moment
have about 600 meg of Atari PD and shareware software that I haven't
cataloged and described. Writing this article will encourage me to
do that! I'll share the fruit of that labor with you as well.
This is just a short "teaser" of an article. I would have written
more, but I've been sick and out of it for the past three days, and I
know that Dana wants the article now. That just leaves more for next
May God Bless!
I'd be remiss in my final comments if I didn't thank all of those
who have helped me put A-ONE together all of these years. While I
can't remember everyone who played a part in A-ONE, I can remember
quite a few. First off, A-ONE would not have been born without the
work and help from Joe Mirando. Our friendship and interests
helped form the bond that made the magazine happen. I'll always be
extremely fond of Joe and his "People Are Talking" columns, as well
as everything else that he put together for the magazine, including
his editorials. And who can forget his comments every year at
And there was Michael Burkley, Albert Dayes, John "Ducky"
Duckworth, Thomas "TJ" Andrews, and Frank Sereno who provided quite
a bit of content over the years. And of course, over the past few
years, Fred Horvat has sent me countless link to articles and
provided commentary. Without Fred's help over the past few years,
there would not have been enough content to put out an issue every
week! For that, Fred has my eternal gratitude. I'm going to miss
his e-mails! Thanks Fred!!!
And there were others whose names I can't recall off the top of my
head - my apologies for that. And, over the years, we have
received many, many e-mails from our readers. The messages ranged
anywhere from interest, gratitude, criticism, disgust, error
reports, and a variety of other topics. Our friend Peter West from
the U.K. would always drop me a line any time there was a problem
getting an issue, to a variety of other topics. I'd get messages
from readers such as Scott Dowdle, who would comment on some of my
political views that were displayed in the magazine - most recently
my various comments during our recent presidential race between
Hillary and Donald! We rarely agreed on the "issues" but that
didn't stop Scott and others from sending me their reactions. And,
of course, even in my Atari Advantage Forum on DelphiForums, we had
"Sparky" and Greg "The Clu" Goodwin stop by occasionally with some
comments that were always an enjoyable exchange! Regardless of the
issue, we always were grateful to learn that something we wrote or
included in the magazine generated enough interest to warrant some
comments from our readers!
So, with all of the above in mind, let me just take this moment,
one last time, to thank everyone who has been a part of A-ONE over
the years, including all of our faithful readers. Without your
support, A-ONE would not have been around for these past 18 years.
Just think, no more weather reports of what it's doing around here
in New England (one last time: we just had a couple inches of snow
and it's blustery and downright cold here right now!). No more
complaints about how fast time is flying by - Wow, it's almost
2017 already?! One last time hoping that you're having a terrific
holiday season, and a Happy New Year. I won't be here again to ask
you to party responsibly over the holidays; if you're not
responsible enough by now to not drink and drive...
Don't fret, I will still be around online. I still host the
Atari Advantage forum on DelphiForums. You can get there quite
easily - just enter:
into your browser and stop by to say hello and reminisce! And,
one of the best parts of this is that access is free!
Until next time.... Oops, there won't be a next time!
For the last time....
Worms Engine for the CT60 Released
After a year of beta testing here it is:
Worms for your CT60 Falcon.
You'll need the original Data files to run this.
And before somebody asks - CT60 only because it's a port of the
Macintosh version - which is identical to the DOS version, which
in turn is IMHO superior to the Amiga version. And the Macintosh
version runs too slow on a 040 - so CT60 it is!
.tSCc. - low-tech atari cyberpunks since 1990
Electric Night (A New Demo for Falcon)
MIC, FiveOFive and Thadoss are proud and happy to show you our
new Standard Falcon (4Mo, 16 Mhz) demo called : Electric Night.
We wish you'll enjoy it as mush as we enjoyed making it !
Have fun, stay (H)atari
ACP Mail System and Server Infrastructure
During the first week of January 2017, our server will go offline
for a few days because it will be set up from scratch again.
That means that our mailboxes acpinfo (at) atari (dot) org and
acpinfo (at) firebee (dot) org won't be available during that
time. The same goes for the domain firebee.org as our public
mailinglist. This is a planned and temporary downtime! Don't
panic! ;) As usual, you will always be able to reach this
website through the IP address, http://126.96.36.199.
Thanks to Swiftconsult who once again generously supported us,
we now also have acpinfo (at) atari-home (dot) de available as a
fallback mail address. You will always be able to reach us
through this address.
During the downtime in the first week of January, the other mail
addresses won't work anymore. The reason is that we currently
have pretty big problems to reach many of you. The atari (dot)
org redirect that we had used for many years without problems is
now not accepted anymore by an increasing number of mail
servers, and sometimes even treated as spam. For this reason, we
switch completely to firebee (dot) org mailboxes and will
maintain all mail services ourselves from now on.
We would like to thank atari (dot) org at this point for the
many years of great collaboration!
In the new year we will continue with fresh enthusiasm and with
the delivery of the new series.
Happy New Year!
"Final Submission" to AONE
By Fred Horvat
Well I knew this day was going to come eventually. Glad that I
had notice to look back and to say Goodbye.
I apologize right up front on this if I have any of this wrong.
It was a long time ago and this is how I remember it. How I
first ran into Dana was some time in the 90’s. He was
contributing to a similar weekly publication to AONE called
ST Report. It was run by an outspoken person named Ralph Mariano.
I don’t recall if Dana was the Atari News Chief at ST Report or
not anymore at that publication. But I think was the end of 1998
Dana decided to to start AONE to be mostly focused on Atari
related news and items. In late 1999 I purchased a Milan040 from
Woller in Germany and asked if I could contribute to AONE in a
similar fashion like I am with my FireBee. Like that FireBee I
purchased the Milan040 as a hobby machine. I only contributed
one article on my life with the Milan040 though. Sadly that
machine was not a finished product in my opinion software wise
at shipping time. It came with a version ion MiNT and very
little software supplied with the system or that I owned ran
properly or at all. Software and Operating System crashes were
the norm with that machine. I even wiped the hard drive and
reloaded everything from scratch and no improvements were had.
Sadly I sold the Milan040 to someone in the States who was
willing to try and improve the Operating System with newer
versions and patches of MiNT. I ordered the Milan040 with MagIC
Milan but MagiC was never shipped with the Milan040. Had I
received MagiC I still may have the Milan040 to this day. As
stated in past articles MagiC was one of my favorite Operating
Systems along with BeOS. Anyways over the years I contributed
occasionally to AONE until 2009 or around there. Then I started
contributing industry news or odd internet findings on a regular
Another article I contributed to AONE about 10 years ago was how
to log into the Tuesday Night Atari Chats. Sadly a server problem
around 3-4 years ago Rob decided not to revive the Chat function
again. By the end there were sometimes no one logged in. I would
stop by and I was the only one logged in for the night. I don’t
know when or where the Tuesday Night Atari Chats started anymore
but again this is how I remember it. I remember the first one I
attended was on DelphiForums in the mid to late 90’s. Back then
there was always over 15 people on. Then there was the infamous
Java chat replacement DelphiForums did that many of the people
had issues with new chat client. After many weeks of hit or miss
connections and dropping out I believe someone suggested
CompuServe Classic Computer Forums chat function. After AOL
purchased CompuServe it turned into a ghost town and they opened
up certain forums free to the Web and the Classic Computer Forum
was one of them. We used their chat capability until the early
2000’s when Rob Mahlert started renting Web Servers and hosting
Web Sites. He setup a Telnet function to atarinerws.org and we
had the Tuesday Night Atari Chats for over 10 years there until
the above mentioned Server issue a couple of years ago. There I
met people that a lot of people over the years that I still
communicate with to this day. Sadly only one person have I met in
person after 20 years though. People I still am in contact
occasionally with are Rob Mahlert, Joe Mirando (which Joe and I
share the same Birthday), and Dana Jacobson. TJ Andrews (Keeper
of the Flame) I have not heard from in a few years and hope all
is well with you if you are reading. The only one I met in person
15 years ago was Micheal Burkley of SuzieBee Fame. He was
donating his Atari Computer Club’s equipment to another Atari
Computer Club so I drove up to Niagara Falls, NY December 22, 2001
with my kids and loaded up the van with equipment. He was a
minister for a church and on Christmas Eve Mass they had a Live
Nativity for Mass. My kids and I went to see the animals behind
the church and afterwards we went to Niagara Falls to look at the
Falls in a winter storm. We were the only visitors to the Falls
that afternoon and I think Santa was more excited to see us than
my kids were to see him as I think they were the only kids all
day to show up! So we hung with Santa for a little while before
and after viewing the Falls before heading home. Sadly I lost
touch a couple of years later with Micheal Burkley and if you are
reading hope all is well with you too.
Well something I have been planning to do since 2009 was to visit
Joe, Dana, and Rob in the Summer just to say Hi and meet face to
face. All three live on the East Coast of the United States.
That is not too far of a drive from where I live. Well in the
Summer of 2017 I plan on making the trip so you three have been
warned! Best thing now that I can take the FireBee with me on a
USA Tour. Get those cheesy little State stickers to put on the
FireBee case for all the States I stop and visit. When I visit
each person we can fire up the FireBee and put it through a
workout. There are plenty of other places I’d like to visit on
the East Coast like the Funspot Arcade http://funspotnh.com/
being one of them.
Lastly I would like to thank Dana for allowing me to contribute
to AONE especially the past few years where I was always a
couple of issues behind in my reading and would submit news he
already had published… More importantly to thank Dana for doing
AONE these past 17 years I believe out of passion for Atari
computers and their products. I know I will miss reading AONE.
By Fred Horvat
Not a whole lot going on with me and the FireBee for a couple of
months now. Work and other demands on my time have kept me away
from using and testing things out with the machine. Where I lef
off last time was with installing EasyMiNT and having networking
issues only at home. The FireBee worked fine at work though.
Here are the things I still want to accomplish on the FireBee in
no particular order.
1: Setting up EasyMiNT properly with Teradesk or go back to Thing.
2: Once I get the desktop straight under EasyMiNT finish adding my
usual software to run under EasyMint like NVDI, Highwire,
3: Get NAES 2.0 running under the original FreeMiNT.
4: Try out some more games on the FireBee to see what runs and
what does not.
5: Get printing working to a network printer. I do have some
old HP Laserjet printers with Parallel ports still but I would
rather print to network printer.
Update, Part 2
By Fred Horvat
Well my One Year Report was planned on being written over the
\Summer but never happened but here it is. After a little over
one year with the FireBee here are my thoughts.
A little background before I begin though. I have used Atari
16/32 bit computers since 1991 starting with a ST 1040 with a
mono monitor. I eventually got a color monitor for that machine,
extra floppy drive, hard drive, and you know where this all
leads. I then bought a Mega ST4, SLM804 Laser Printer and used
that for a while. Then the opportunity to get a TT030 in a trade
I couldn’t pass up. It only had 2MB of ST RAM but I used that
machine a lot. Eventually getting an extra 2MB ST RAM board for
it which helped a great deal. Then when Atari started to fail
with the Jaguar game system Atari and dealers started cutting
prices on Falcons. I purchased one with 4MB of RAM and a 60MB
hard drive. It was a capable machine but it seemed a step back
with the all in one case and 16MHZ CPU. The TT030 without the
DSP and higher resolution graphics was more to my liking. When
Atari started closing down their warehouses they had a fire sale
on a lot of equipment. I bought a 4/4MB RAM 50MB hard drive
TT030 for $250 brand new in the box from Atari. Then I bought a
TTM195 19 inch mono monitor for the TT030 at the same time from
a laid off Atari employee. Using the TT030 with a 19 inch
monitor and a laser printer was a dream machine for me at the
time. I got MultiTOS in a trade with a fellow Atari Club member.
I liked MultiTOS a lot in what it could do but it seemed slow and
not totally polished. I used that for a little while and was
reading about Geneva and MagiC. I decided to purchase MagiC and
NVDI. Besides the TT030, MagiC was one of the best purchases I
made for an Atari computer possibly any computer. I installed
MagiC, NVDI, and the included Desktop Ease. That transformed
that TT030 into a completely different machine and in a great way
too! I loved that TT030 with MagiC installed. That was my main
computer for about another year before I had to start running
Windows 95 for work I needed to do at home. I used it quite a
bit after moving to Windows until I didn’t have the space to keep
it setup all the time. I kept that TT030 for 20 years before
selling it. Before I sold it I fired it up and ran most of the
software on the hard drive one last time. I was blown away on how
good that machine was. I loved MagiC and what it did for an Atari
computer. Needless to say I also had much more STs, even another
Falcon, and TT030 besides two STacys, and even Atari’s CDAR504
CD-ROM drive from the 80’s. I did try running MiNT on and off a
couple of times in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s but either
didn’t understand how to set it up or did it wrong as it didn’t
seem right when I was running it so I didn’t stay with it. I even
ran Linux .90 on the TT030 but that was Command Line only and I
didn’t see the benefit at the time to it so reformatted the hard
drive for something else. I did purchase NAES 2.0 around 2002.
I did install that onto the TT030 and it ran quite well but it
would have taken too much effort to get where I was with my MagiC
setup so I did not progress much beyond the initial install. But
it did prove to me how good a properly configured MiNT system can
run and behave. Anyways my favorite and ideal Atari computer
setup was my TT030 with a 14 inch color monitor and 19 inch
TTM195 mono monitor, with the SLM804 laser printer running
MagiC5, NVDI5, and Jinnee Desktop.
Well that ended up being a lot of background actually…
Back to the FireBee now
What I liked and not in any order.
1: Speed. To me the FireBee compared to the TT030 the FireBee is
2: Variety of resolutions available. Both in number of colors and
pixels. Currently I am using the FireBee at 1680x1050 at 32bit
3: Standard PC components. USB Mouse and Keyboard are nice. In
my setup I have the system attached to a 4-port USB KVM and I can
switch easily from my Mac, Windows, and FireBee at a click of a
button sharing the Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor. Have SD cards
for Floppy type storage and Compact Flash for Hard Drive. Being
able to use a standard PC monitor is great too. No need to use a
proprietary Atari monitor. Currently I am using a 20 inch LCD
16x9 monitor and enjoying it.
4: Built in Ethernet! Also TCP/IP built into the FreeMiNT. This
one I really need compared to 20 years ago. Currently I am only
using Ethernet to browse the Web but I do plan on using it to move
files across my home network and to print to a network printer.
5: FreeMiNT Operating System. I like the included FreeMiNT that
comes with the FireBee. Like stated above I have had trouble in
the past configuring MiNT by hand and to get it working properly.
The included FreeMiNT is put together well and I have very little
issues with the Operating System itself. My only issue that I
have time to time but unfortunately I don’t have a screen shot to
document it properly here but rebooting the FireBee clears it up.
It is along the lines of not being able to run a program like
Netsurf. The desktop says something that there is no file
association assigned to that file or something similar to that.
I just close all programs down and reboot and all is well again.
6: Hardware. In my opinion I like the look of the case. A lot
of effort was put into the design of the case and I think it
What I don’t like or problems not in any order again.
1: Screen redraws. They are slow and choppy at times. The
higher the resolution and color depth the worse it gets. I
noticed more in high graphic web pages the most. Programs like
Atari Works even with a lot of Text scroll fine.
2: Keyboard input is strange from time to time. If I scroll down
it will not stop scrolling until I press the Esc Key. Other
times character input is strange. Pressing the Shift Key
sometimes it acts like I still have it pressed down and the next
few characters are upper case also. After about 10 minutes
typing on the FireBee I adapt to the strangeness. The first
10 minutes when I use the FireBee that day are rough.
Really these are the only things I can think of that are issues
for me with the FireBee. I understand that the video drivers
that person who worked on it was not a well documented or
trivial task. They did quite well under the circumstances. The
keyboard issues I have I read somewhere that it was a known
issue and I did apply patches for this but I can’t say I made
it better or worse. Neither are show stoppers but something I
am used to with the FireBee.
As stated before I want to set the FireBee up as a regular day
to day machine. I know that I can’t use it as my main machine
for various reasons like no iTunes, VPN, or doing online banking,
etc. But I want to get it as close as possible. I have a long
way to go still.
What I need to do still again not in any order.
1: E-mail. Setup an E-mail client. I played a little with this
but have not put much effort into this yet.
2: Network file sharing. I have an old Windows PC that I use as
a file server. I would like to be able to transfer files back
and forth with that PC.
3: Print. I have an old HP Laser printer configured with an IP
address I want to print to.
4: Play Music and Videos. For music it would be MP3 files. For
Video whatever Aniplayer is capable of. I did try setting up
Aniplayer when I first got the FireBee and no matter what I did
when playing a media file the FireBee would lock up. After a
while I decided to come back to this at a later time.
5: Backup. I have done backup already of the FireBee drives but
by removing the Compact Flash card and copying the data off on a
Windows PC to the Windows PC. I would like to have a better
method whether over the network or to a storage device attached
to the FireBee. But even if I don’t find a better or quicker way
I still am backing up the FireBee which is the most important
5: Then other little person preference setup with the Desktop.
6: Gaming. Of course try some games out on the FireBee. There
are some newer games that are FireBee compatible and I have
purchased them like Elansar and Philia.
7: Get EasyMiNT running properly for me. I have written about my
issues with EasyMiNT what was appearing to be networking issues.
Well EasyMiNT does work but something on my home network which I
have not figured out yet is keeping DNS from working properly for
me on the FireBee. Once I get this working EasyMiNT with the
SpareMiNT Unix capability is something I would really like to
Something else I would like to do with the FireBee but not really
for the goal of a day to day machine is setup the Windowing
System N.AES 2.0 instead of XaAES. There is nothing wrong with
XaAES but I did purchase N.AES 2.0 and I like the way it looks
and feels. I do want to give this a try at some point with
Well that is my one year report with the FireBee. I did not get
as far as I expected nor spend as much time as I planned to with
the FireBee either but I did learn quite a bit during this time.
I did have some issues that were entirely my doing and fault and
then there were some strange issues I had that I came across
too. I did receive a lot great help from the Atari Community
during this time too. In the beginning when trying to purchase
the FireBee and when I first got it was Mathias Wittau. He
explained to me in many ways to simply just read the manual the
first day or two. One thing that really caused problems
initially until I figured it was that the original Compact Flash
that came with the FireBee was defective. I was just unlucky to
receive a bad one from Kingston. After taking the Compact Flash
out and running many diagnostics I contacted Kingston’s warranty
department. I forwarded them the diagnostic results. They
immediately contacted me back to return the 16GB CF Card for a
replacement. I did that and in a couple of weeks I received a
replacement that has been fine since. The bad CF Card set me
back a couple of weeks until I figured out what was causing the
strange behavior of not always booting from CF and other
oddities. I did purchase a couple of other 8GB CF Cards and
have them as test drives and one is a backup of my main working
CF Card. Then with other issues I posted questions on the
FireBee Forum at Atari-Forum.com. Mainly though if it isn’t
broke don’t fix it! Upgrading the Firmware turned out to be a
nightmare. I wasn’t trying to fix anything just to bring it up
to the most current patches. It took a week to get the FireBee
back going again and in the end I ended up back to where I
started. Now that AONE is no longer going to be published I was
thinking about continuing writing about my happenings with the
FireBee. I have a Web Site that has not gotten much use the past
few years. I will for a period of time put my FireBee Happenings
there. The link will be
http://fmhcentral.freeservers.com/FireBee/FireBee.html I hope to
have at least a placeholder there by the time this issue hits the
presses. If not I will have a link off my main page shortly
directing you to the FireBee Happenings which is
http://fmhcentral.freeservers.com/ Not that I am an expert on
the FireBee but some people find it interesting on what I have
been doing and more importantly get valuable feedback from other
FireBee users. Still the main place I will still go to is the
FireBee forum at http://atari-forum.com/ where I will be posting
questions and possibly some news.
Anyways Thank You for sharing my journey the past year and a half
with my FireBee and Thank You Dana for allowing me to share it
[Editor's Note: I've had the piece below for quite some time now,
waiting for a "good" time to include it in A-ONE. It seems quite
appropriate to include this Atari timeline in our final issue. It
may be worth saving for future reference, and entertainment!] Due
to the size of this piece, as well as time constraints, I have not
re-formatted the article in 80-column as I would normally do. I
apologize in advance if this makes reading a little difficult.
Atari History Timelines
A History of Tramel Technology/Atari
Compiled by Michael D. Current
Library Department, University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Information presented here is derived as directly as possible from sources
published or produced in the original time period. While also consulted
extensively, modern historical retrospectives (including books, oral histories,
and especially websites) are utilized chiefly as pathways to primary sources.
May 17: Tramel Technology, Ltd. was founded by Jack Tramiel (pronounced truh-MELL;
born Idek Trzmiel), previously (until January 1984) director and president
of Commodore Business Machines, Ltd., which he founded in 1958, with Schreiber
& McBride partner Leonard I. Schreiber (Lee Schreiber), previously (until
May 1984) general counsel to Commodore International, Ltd., and Shiraz M.
Shivji, previously (until May 1984) director of research and development
at Commodore International Ltd., "to design, manufacture, sell and service
personal computers and related software and peripheral products." Tramiel
would be chairman and CEO; Schreiber would be a director, VP, and secretary;
Shivji would be VP Advanced Technology (research & development).
June: Sam Tramiel (elder son of Jack Tramiel) joined Tramel Technology as
President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director. With the exception
of the period from 1979 to 1981, he was previously employed by Commodore
International, Ltd. since 1974, most recently as Vice President - Japan and
General Manager - Asia. From 1976 until 1977 he served as head of Commodore's
Consumer Division from Toronto and as General Manager in Hong Kong, London
and Santa Clara. From 1979 to 1981, he operated his own OEM manufacturing
business in the Far East.
June: Samuel W.L. Chin (Chin Wai Leung, Samuel) joined Tramel Technology
as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and was elected
as a director. From 1980 until 1984, he was employed by Commodore International,
Ltd. as its Director of Taxes and its Vice President - Finance, Commodore
Electronics, Ltd. Prior to joining Commodore, he was employed by Arthur Andersen
June: Gregory A. Pratt joined Tramel Technology as General Manager.
He was previously employed by Commodore International Ltd. in several capacities,
including as Vice President - Finance and Vice President - Operations. Prior
to joining Commodore, he was employed by Arthur Andersen & Co.
June 29: In the UK, Tramel Technology established the wholly owned subsidiary,
July 1: Date of Assets Purchase Agreement among Tramel Technology, Ltd. (TTL)
and Atari, Inc. and certain subsidiaries and affiliates of Atari, Inc.; date
of Agreement among TTL, Atari, Inc. and Jack Tramiel; and date of Intellectual
Property Rights Heads of Agreement between TTL and Atari, Inc. Essentially,
the assets of the Atari, Inc. 600XL/800XL home computer and 2600, 5200, and
7800 home video game businesses were sold by Warner Communications to Jack
Tramiel. The transaction included the rights to the "Atari" name and
"Fuji" logo, with Warner Communications retaining exclusive license to use
the Atari name and trademark in coin-operated arcade environments.
Tramel Technology also gained the intellectual property rights to all existing
Atari arcade games, with Warner Communications retaining exclusive license
to those properties in coin-operated arcade environments. The transaction
would include Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (Tam-Shui, Taiwan), the manufacturing
and purchasing/traffic/accounts operations in Limerick, Ireland, and the
Atari subsidiary in France, P.E.C.F. Atari. The transaction would include
the employees at the Atari manufacturing facility in El Paso Texas, but not
the plant itself; the plant would be shut down. The deal was signed
at 4 A.M. on Monday July 2 in New York City (NYT 7/3).
Warner received no cash, but received US$240 million in long-term notes and
warrants for a 32 percent interest in Tramiel's new venture. Tramiel, in
return, received warrants giving him the right to purchase one million shares
of Warner common stock at US$22 a share.
"Both the home-computer and video-game marketplaces continue, in my view,
to offer great opportunities," said Jack Tramiel, as quoted by the AP.
The transaction included an inventory of 100,000 800XL computers. (Current
July 2: By midday, Jack Tramiel, his son Sam, and more than 20 of his aides
were reportedly already installed in the president's suite at Atari's Sunnyvale,
Calif., headquarters. (NYT 7/3)
July 2?: Leonard Tramiel (middle son of Jack Tramiel) joined Tramel Technology
as Vice President - Software Development (operating system software).
He was previously a Ph.D. student in astrophysics at Columbia University
July 2?: John Feagans joined Tramel Technology as Director of Software Technology
(TOS architect). He was previously Director of Technology at Commodore
International, where he had been responsible for system software and operating
systems for the Pet 2001, Vic-20, and Commodore 64.
July 3: In France, Guy Millant remained P.E.C.F. Atari président-directeur
général (PDG), which had 65 employees. (source)
July 5: Tramel Technology notified the State of California of its new principal
office address (60,000 square feet): 1265 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA.
Sam Tramiel was president of Tramel Technology, Ltd.
July 5-6: Tramel Technology cut about 900 of the inherited roster of 1,100
Atari workers in the U.S. Reportedly, virtually all research and development
departments were cut, and only some financial managers and clerical staff
were left. The company said sales, marketing and the international departments
were being cut to the bone, and said another 300 employees were laid off
at the Atari El Paso, Tex., manufacturing facility, which was being closed.
The Atari remanufacturing operation in El Paso would be moved to Sunnyvale,
and Atari software production in El Paso would be moved to Taiwan.
The company had 2,000 to 3,000 workers worldwide outside of California.
(UPI 7/6; AP 7/6)
In marketing, about 200 employees were cut (including David Ruckert, executive
vp of marketing under Atari, Inc., and Linda Gordon, head of Atari Learning
Systems under Atari, Inc.). Among key marketing and advertising executives,
the lone holdovers were expected to be West Shell, director of marketing
(computers), and Bryan Kerr, group product manager (videogames) (AdWeek,
July 9, 1984; InfoWorld July 30)
Diana Goralczyk would remain as manager, customer relations. Richard
C. Frick and John Skruch would remain in product management. Software
engineer Lane Winner would remain, as would hardware engineer Jim Tittsler.
Jose Valdes would remain as development engineer.
Claude Nahum, previously Atari, Inc. director of international business development,
would be director of international sales.
July 10: Commodore (corporate counsel Nicholas Lefevre) filed a lawsuit in
Chester County Court in Pennsylvania against four former employees, Shiraz
Shivji, Arthur S. Morgan, John E. Hoenig and Douglas L. Renn, who had recently
left Commodore for Tramel Technology, alleging they had stolen files containing
trade secrets they intended to divulge at their new company. Chester
County Judge M. Joseph Melody Jr. issued a preliminary injunction barring
them from using or revealing any trade secrets.
July 11: Tramel Technology, Ltd. filed a Certificate of Amendment to its
Articles of Incorporation changing the corporate name to: Atari, Corp.
Atari Corp. logo
July 13: Assignee Atari, Corp. gained assignor's interest in 3 patents (4,116,444;
4,112,422; 4,314,236) from assignor Atari Games, Inc.
July 13: Leonard I. Schreiber remained Atari, Corp. VP and secretary.
July 13: Judge M. Joseph Melody Jr. in Chester County PA temporarily extended
an injunction issued July 10 that prevented four former employees of Commodore
from revealing any Commodore trade secrets at their new jobs with Atari.
July: Garry Tramiel (youngest son of Jack Tramiel) joined Atari as Assistant
Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, and Vice President - Administration.
He had previously been Account Executive, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner,
July: Engineer Thomas B. Brightman, previously of Commodore (speech technology
division, which had just closed), joined Atari as VP engineering.
July: Taro Tokai joined Atari as a Vice President and General Manager, Atari
(Japan) Corp. He had previously been Vice President, Commodore Japan
July: Simon P. Westbrook joined Atari as UK and European Controller. Westbrook
would additionally serve Atari in the UK as acting managing director of Sellthings
Limited, which hired about 30 people (Atari User #11, 2011; source #2) previously
employed by the (still operating) Warner Communications subsidiary, Atari
International (U.K.) Inc. Rob Harding would be Sales & Marketing
Director, Jon Dean would be product manager, and Les Player would be technical
July?: In West Germany, Atari established Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH;
Irma Obersteiner would be business manager. (Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft
mbH remained a unit of Warner Communications.)
July: Digital Research and Atari software engineers together commenced work
on ports of CP/M-68K, GEM, and Dr. Logo to a new computer hardware platform
to be developed at Atari. The Digital Research team, led by engineering
project manager Lou Tarnay, would include Steve Schmitt (Dr. Logo), Steve
Cavender (GSX and operating systems), Lowell Webster (GEM services and the
GEM desktop), and Rich Greco (project architect). (Digital Dialogue Feb85)
July: Steven M. Kawalick joined Atari as Director of Taxes. Kawalick
was previously with Arthur Andersen.
July: Atari spokesperson Bruce Entin departed the company.
July 16: Time reported that Atari had "sent out pink slips to some 70% of
Atari's remaining U.S. work force of 1,100, leaving a skeleton crew of no
more than 300 engineers, financial and marketing people and clerks. Atari's
manufacturing facilities will be shifted and consolidated. One center in
El Paso will be moved to Sunnyvale, and Atari's software production will
be relocated to Taiwan." (Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.)
July 23: Business Week reported, "In just two weeks [Tramiel] has fired 700
people at Atari's Sunnyvale offices and has axed several of Atari's current
products, including the 7800 video game system and the $150 600XL home computer."
July/August?: Massimo Ruosi, previously head of Atari International (Italy)
Inc., would join Atari, Corp. as general manager of the new Atari Italia
S.p.A. and Atari Europe General Manager.
July/August: Atari announced that the managing director of Atari in the U.K.
(Sellthings Limited) would be David Harris, former Commodore International
sales and marketing director. Acting managing director of Atari in
the UK Simon Westbrook was to remain Atari UK and European Controller.
Also, Sellthings limited would be renamed to: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited
August 3: Date of State of Nevada certificate of corporate status for Atari
"U.S." Corp. (original incorporation date needed). Atari general manager
Greg Pratt would serve as president of Atari "U.S." Corp.
August 3: Date of State of Nevada certificate of corporate status for Atari
Technology Corp. (original incorporation date needed).
August 7: The Tandon Corporation said it had agreed in principle to sell
up to $130.5 million in floppy disk drive and subsystem products to Atari,
Corp. Tandon said deliveries were subject to definitive purchase orders
from Atari and were scheduled to continue through the first half of 1985.
August 13: As Commodore International announced their acquisition of Amiga
Corporation and plans to release the Amiga computer, Atari filed a suit for
fraud against Amiga Corporation in Santa Clara, Calif., Superior Court.
According to Leonard Schreiber of Schreiber & McBride, Atari's general
counsel, Amiga signed an agreement in March 1984 to develop three microchips
for Atari, Inc. Atari, Inc. then advanced the company $500,000.
In late June, days before Mr. Tramiel and fellow investors bought the Atari
unit from Warner Communications, Amiga canceled the deal and returned the
money, saying that the chips did not work. (NYT)
August: Atari announced that Atari UK and European Controller Simon Westbrook,
who had additionally been serving as interim managing director at Atari Corp.
(U.K.) Limited, was now to continue in both roles. David Harris, previously
announced to replace Westbrook as the permanent Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited
managing director, would instead be Atari, Corp. vice-president, international
sales. (Harris had previously held a similar position at Commodore.)
August (mid-month): Atari cut the price of the 800XL from $250 to $179. (AP
11/13) In the UK, Atari would reduce the 600XL from £159.99 to
£99.99 and the 800XL from £249.99 to £199.99. (The Guardian
August: Bryan Kerr was head of special events for Atari.
August: Neil Harris joined Atari as Atari "U.S." Corp. Director of Publications.
Harris would head efforts to produce a new monthly consumer magazine, to
be called Atari Explorer, in the tradition of Atari, Inc.'s Atari Connection.
August: James L. Copland (Jamie Copland) joined Atari as vice president of
marketing. He had previously been General Sales and Marketing Manager
of Commodore Computers, a Canadian company.
August?: Josephine T. Druehl (Josie), attorney at law and previously a trial
lawyer for nine years (source), joined Atari as Corporate Counsel.
August 17: Atari "U.S." Corp. principal office: 1265 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale,
CA. Leonard I. Schreiber was Atari "U.S." Corp. VP.
August 17: Atari Technology Corp. principal office: 1265 Borregas Avenue,
Sunnyvale, CA. Leonard I. Schreiber was Atari Technology Corp. VP.
August 22: In the UK, the name of Sellthings Limited had been changed to:
Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited
August 25-26: TariCon '84, the first Atari-only computer fair, was held at
Southfield Civic Centre near Detroit Michigan. Sponsored and organized
by two User Groups - CHAOS (Ike Hudson of the Capitol Hill Atari Owners Society)
and MACE (Mike Lechkun of the Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts).
About 1800 attended.
August 27: In its first official statement, Atari, Corp. announced its manufacturing
centers in Taiwan, Ireland and Hong Kong, and stated the intention to be
full line manufacturer of products in the video game, family computers and
small business computers categories. Atari planned to manufacture and
supply the Atari 800XL family computer with aggressive, competitive pricing
through the end of 1984, and the 2600 would remain available as well.
"We will give to the retail markets of the world 8-, 16-, and 32-bit microcomputers,
all at affordable RBPs [rock-bottom prices]," said Atari chairman Jack Tramiel.
James L. Copland was Atari VP marketing.
August 27: The Atari holding companies (established by Tramel Technology
on May 9, 1984) that had acquired the Atari manufacturing and Purchasing/Traffic/Accounts
operations in Raheen, County Limerick, Ireland from Warner Communications
were renamed: Atari Ireland Manufacturing Company Limited, Atari Ireland
Distribution Company Limited, Atari Corp. (Ireland) Limited
Summer/Fall: In Switzerland, Marco Guerra became managing director of Atari
(Schweiz) AG. (source) He had previously worked for Siemens, Commodore,
Summer/Fall: Ira Velinsky joined Atari as director of industrial design.
He had previously held a similar position at Commodore.
September 7: Garry Tramiel remained Atari, Corp. assistant secretary.
The Atari, Corp. address remained: 1265 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale CA
September: Nicholas Lefevre, previously Corporate Counsel at Commodore, joined
Atari to establish and serve as general manager of an Atari, Corp. subsidiary
September: At Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp., Sr. Engineer, Engineering
Eric Hoh departed the company.
September: In exchange for a cash payment to Atari, Corp., Warner Communications
bought back $10.1 million (U.S.) in accounts receivable from Atari, Corp.,
for a former Atari unit currently in bankruptcy law proceedings. (what unit?????)
(The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84)
September 30: Warner Communications reduced its valuation of the notes owed
it by Jack Tramiel for his Atari acquisition from $180 million to $150 million
(originally: $240 million). (The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84; LATimes
October 3: In Atari, Corp. vs. Amiga, in the depostion of David S. Morse,
in the Superior Court in and for the County of Santa Clara, Atari was represented
by Leonard I. Schreiber and Josephine T. Druehl. (source)
October: Warner Communications would buy back the one million shares of Warner
Communications common stock held by Atari in exchange for a $12.5-million
13 per cent senior note (loan) to Atari, repayment due Sept. 30, 1987.
Initially, Atari exercised its right to have Warner Communications buy back
640,000 of the shares, for a total of $8 million. Atari would also
exercise its right to have Warner Communications buy the remaining 360,000
shares, for a total of $4.5 million. (The Globe and Mail (Canada),
October: Sigmund Hartmann joined Atari as President of Software (worldwide).
Hartmann was previously vice president of software for Commodore International.
Under Hartmann, Richard Frick would be director of software development (product
manager, 16/32-bit computers); John Skruch would be associate director of
software development (product manager, 8-bit computers).
Fall: Atari produced and shipped new revisions of the 800XL computer for
Europe (updated PAL version and new SECAM version).
Fall: For the 800XL Atari shipped: AtariLab Light Module, Sky Writer, Millipede,
Moon Patrol, Track & Field (with Track & Field Controller), Final
Legacy. In Europe Atari shipped the 1029 printer, and in the UK, the
new Atari Software Products Division shipped: The Pay-Off
Fall: Atari shipped new PAL I (UK) and PAL B/G (West Germany) versions of
the 2600 in two packages: 2600JR console with two Super Controller joysticks
(CX24) and Centipede cartridge, or 2600JT package with one Super Controller
and no pack-in game, replacing the 2600GP package versions of the silver
format 2600A series by Atari, Inc. In France, P.E.C.F. Atari shipped
a new Péritel version of the new PAL 2600 (PAL console with permanent
SCART cable connector with PAL composite video output) in one package, 2600
JR Péritel console with one Super Controller and no pack-in game,
replacing the SECAM version of the 2600GP by Atari, Inc.
Fall: In the U.S. and Canada, new-production Atari 2600 systems would be
very similar to the latest 2600CR package by Atari, Inc., including essentially
the same silver format square box containing the 4-switch black/no woodgrain
2600A series console, but would include only one CX40 joystick and no game.
Fall: For the 2600 Atari released Track & Field (GCC; with Track &
Field Arcade Controller; NTSC version for North America only).
Fall: In the UK, under the Atarisoft label, Atari released for Sinclair ZX
Spectrum: Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaxian
Fall: In the UK, under the Atarisoft label, Atari released Pole Position
for BBC Model B, and released Robotron: 2084 for BBC Model B/Acorn Electron.
Fall: In the UK, Quicksilva released Battlezone, title by Atari, for 48K
November 1: In Canada, Irwin Toy ended its role as exclusive distributor
of Atari computers, having been supplanted in the role by the newly-established
Atari (Canada) Corp. The price of the 800XL was being cut to below
$200 (previously: $400; the 600XL was to be priced at under $100 (previously:
$250-$300). Irwin Toy would continue to distribute the 2600 in Canada.
(Winnipeg Free Press November 16, 1984; source #2)
November 5: Digital Research announced the Graphics Environment Manager (GEM)
for MS-DOS Version 2 or 3, or for Concurrent DOS Version 3.2.1 operating
in DOS mode.
November 6: Walt Disney Productions filed a $68.8 million lawsuit in California
state court against Atari, Corp., Atari Games, Inc., and Warner Communications
Inc., alleging failure to live up to terms of a 1982 contract that licensed
Atari to use Disney characters and stories in home video games, and that
the license was not transferable.
November 13: Atari held a press conference proclaiming "The New Atari Corp."
at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. The Atari 2600 remained available
for $40. The current price of the 800XL, $179, would be reduced to
"under $120." Two new 8-bit computers, compatible with the 800XL, and
a new 16-bit computer were to be introduced at the January 1985 CES, with
a new 32-bit computer to debut at the Hanover Trade Fair in April 1985.
Atari executives participating included: Jack Tramiel (chairman), Sam Tramiel
(president), Sigmund Hartmann (president, software), James L. Copland (vice
November 14-18: Computer Dealer Expo (COMDEX) Fall. Atari did not exhibit
at the show, though reportedly Atari officials were there courting software
developers for the new Atari computers in development.
November: Bryan Kerr would be promoted to Atari "U.S." Corp. marketing manager,
replacing West Shell who departed the company.
November: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari PDG Guy Millant departed the company.
December 8: Atari's James Copland, John Skruch, and Bryan Kerr participated
in the Children's Holiday Celebration, a fund raising event for the Scholarship
Fund of the Children's Health Council (CHC). Atari loaned 24 800XL
computers to the event's coordinators. The systems were then rented
to participants, proceeds to the Scholarship Fund. Two of the 800XLs
and 1,000 T-shirts were donated by Atari to the organization.
December: "Between 30 and 40" workers were laid off from Atari's Sunnyvale
CA headquarters. (NewsBytes)
December 24: Atari's announced closure date for their manufacturing plant
in Raheen, County Limerick, Ireland (Raheen Industrial Estate), at a cost
of 250 jobs. Under the leadership of their union, the workers would
protest by occupying the plant for two months.
January 1: In France at P.E.C.F. Atari, Peter Brookhouse Richards, previously
financial controller (CFO), became interim general manager, replacing the
departed Guy Millant. (source for date)
January 5-8: At the International Winter Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
in Las Vegas, under the banner 'Power Without the Price' Atari introduced
the 520ST computer ($599), the 130ST computer ($399; never shipped), the
130XE computer ($149), the 65XE computer ($99), and the 65XEP computer ($399;
never shipped), announced the 65XEM computer ($149; never shipped), and featured
the 2600 (2600A series). Atari also privately announced a 260ST computer
($499) to some reporters. ST computers were to run Atari TOS (including
CP/M-68K and GEM Desktop, both by Digital Research) included on ROM; ROM
was also to include either Atari Logo (Atari/Digital Research) or Atari BASIC
(by MetaComCo for Atari; would ship as: ST BASIC) (final Logo vs. BASIC decision
to be determined later). For the ST Atari introduced: STM1 mouse, SM124
High-Resolution Monochrome Monitor, SC1224 color monitor, SF354 3.5" MicroFloppy
disk drive (500K double-sided; would ship as: 360K), SF324 3.5" MicroFloppy
disk drive (250K single-sided; never shipped), STC504 printer (never shipped),
SMM804 printer, SDM124 printer (never shipped). Also for the ST, Atari
announced the SH104 10MB hard disk drive ($599; never shipped), and privately
announced the SH317 15MB hard disk drive ($399; never shipped) to some reporters.
ST software announced: Infinity (by Matrix Software; never shipped).
The in/out MIDI ports on the ST computers were demonstrated driving the new
Casio CZ-101 $499 synthesizer. The XE computers would run the Atari
OS as found in the Atari 800XL which would now be phased out. For the
XE Atari previewed/announced: XC1411 monitor (never shipped), XM128 monitor
(never shipped), XF521 5.25" disk drive (130KiB; never shipped) with DOS
2.5, XTM201 printer (never shipped), XTC201 printer (never shipped), XMM801
printer, XDM121 printer, XM301 modem. New software by Atari for the
XE would include: Infinity (by Matrix Software; never shipped), Silent Butler
(by Atari/Silent Butler Software), Shopkeeper (never shipped), AtariWriter
Plus, Song Painter (by Atari/Carousel Software; would ship as: Music Painter),
Atari Tutorial (never shipped), and several titles previously introduced
by Atari, Inc.: The Learning Phone (access software for the PLATO Homelink
Service), Proofreader, Crystal Castles, Mario Bros. Also featured for
the XE: AtariLab Light Module, Sky Writer, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Track
& Field, Final Legacy. Bryan Kerr was marketing manager and user
Atari, Corp. had five international subsidiaries, headquartered in West Germany,
France, Italy, the U.K., and Holland, represented at the show. In West
Germany, Irma Obersteiner was business manager for Atari Corp. (Deutschland)
GmbH. Massimo Ruosi was Atari European general manager. Claude
Nahum was director of Atari's international distribution (sales). (Atari
January: Ian Kennedy joined Atari (Canada) Corp. as director of sales and
marketing; Nicholas Lefevre remained general manager. (source)
Winter?: In Europe, through P.E.C.F. Atari in France, using the Atarisoft
label, Atari released several titles for the XL/XE: Nostradamus, L'Enigme
du Triangle, Caméléon, Promoteur
February 14: Warner Communications disclosed that it would no longer attach
any balance-sheet value to the $240-million face value of long-term notes
that Jack Tramiel issued in July 1984 to acquire the Atari home-computer
and video-game business, and that it intended to recognize any interest and
principal payments from Atari, Corp. as income when received. (LATimes 2/15)
February: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine, published by Atari "U.S."
Corp. Director of Publications Neil Harris. Atari executives listed/profiled:
Jack Tramiel (chairman), Sam Tramiel (president), Sigmund Hartmann (president,
software), David Harris (vice president, international sales), Leonard Tramiel
(vice president, software development), Tom Brightman (vice president, engineering),
Joe Spiteri (vice president, manufacturing), Gregory A. Pratt (Atari "U.S."
Corp. president), James L. Copland (vice president, marketing).
February: Atari TOS developers abandoned the CP/M-68K component for the new
GEMDOS, also by Digital Research. (source)
February: Greg Pratt, previously Atari general manager, became Atari Vice
President - Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer (he would temporarily
remain Atari "U.S." Corp. president as well). Atari vice president
Samuel W.L. Chin, previously Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, would
now be General Manager of Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp., replacing Raymond
A. Kunavich who departed the company.
March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club, a panel of eight top Atari executives
(Hartmann, Skruch, Frick, Feagans, Schreiber, Pratt, Shivji, Harris) answered
questions from the audience of 200 for over two hours. Atari pledged
both the XE and ST would ship in April. Regarding the 65XEP, Atari
had "postponed plans to produce an 8-bit portable computer, due to lack of
interest." Regarding the 65XEM, "plans for an XEM 8-bit music computer
have been postponed indefinitely due to problems with finalizing the AMY
sound chip." The 520ST professional development package was available
for $4,500. In the U.S., as previously announced, the 520ST was to
retail for $599; the 130ST was to retail for $399. (CN, Apr85, p. 19;
March: The protracted closure of Atari's manufacturing plant at the Raheen
Industrial Estate in Raheen, County Limerick, Ireland, initiated December
1984, was completed. The workers had won significantly improved severance
payments by occupying the plant for two months. (source; source for
April 5: Ian Kennedy, previously Atari (Canada) Corp. director of sales and
marketing, was now Atari (Canada) Corp. general manager. (source) Nicholas
Lefevre, previously general manager of Atari (Canada) Corp., would become
Atari, Corp. corporate counsel.
March 25: Atari, Corp. notified the State of California of its new principal
office address (46,000 square feet): 1196 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale, CA (previously:
1265 Borregas). Garry Tramiel remained Atari, Corp. assistant secretary.
March 27: The Boston Computer Society General Meeting featured Leonard Tramiel
of Atari, as well as Digital Research's Bruce Cohen, and Bill Bowman from
Spinnaker, and marked the east coast unveiling of the new 520ST Computer.
The meeting filled Boston's New England Life Hall to capacity.
March 29: Alwin Stumpf, previously head of Commodore in West Germany, joined
Atari in West Germany as General Manager, Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH.
(source) Business manager Irma Obersteiner remained with the company
March 30: At the first meeting of the Atari Worldwide User Network (WUN),
held at the office of Antic magazine in San Francisco, Atari announced that
the 130XE had just shipped in the U.S. ($149), the 65XE was currently being
shipped in Canada, and that DOS 2.5 (OSS) was now shipping with 1050 disk
drives (replacing DOS 3) and would be also be distributed as freeware. Dave
Duberman was the new User Group Coordinator at Atari (replacing Atari marketing
manager Bryan Kerr in the role).
March 30-April 2: At the 10th West Coast Computer Faire at the Moscone Convention
Center in San Francisco, The San Leandro Computer Club (SLCC) and the Atari
Bay Area User's Computer Society (ABACUS) both displayed 520ST and 130XE
units supplied by Atari, their first showing to the general public.
April: Atari featured the 520ST and 130XE at the Hannover Messe (Hanover
Trade Fair), West Germany. Atari proclaimed a May 1st marketing launch
for the 520ST, with production ramping up to maximum by July 1st. (NewsBytes)
For the ST, Atari introduced the SF314 MicroFloppy Disk Drive and previewed
the PS3000 Color Monitor/Disk Drive (would ship in limited numbers only).
Also, Atari did not plan to attend June's Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago
(they would change their minds in time to attend).
April: For the XE, Atari released DOS 2.5 as freeware via the CompuServe
April 22: Atari shipped the 130XE in the UK (£180). (NewsBytes)
April/May?: In France, led by Interim Country General Manager Peter Richards,
P.E.C.F. Atari was restructured with an 80% reduction in headcount and spun
off into a new entity, Atari France S.A.; Massimo Ruosi (general manager
of Atari Italia S.p.A.) would be pro-tempore general manager of Atari France
Spring: In the UK, Superior Software released Tempest, title by Atari, for
the Acorn Electron/BBC Micro. (May85 ad)
May 1: Sig Schreyer joined Atari as vice president and general manager for
Atari "U.S." Corp. (replacing Greg Pratt in the role). Schreyer was
previously vice president for computer peripherals at Silver Reed.
May 6: Atari confirmed its European structure. Direct Atari subsidiaries
would operate in West Germany, England, France, Holland and Italy, each reporting
to Atari president Sam Tramiel. Independent distributors would operate
in other European countries, coordinated by Massimo Ruosi as Atari Europe
General Manager, general manager of Atari Italia S.p.A., and pro-tempore
general manager of Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited (having replaced Simon Westbrook
in the role) and Atari France S.A. Also at Atari Italia S.p.A.: Ernesto
Zanzi was attorney general, Roberto Freggia was Sales Manager; Fiorenza Anelli
was Marketing Manager; and the position of Technical Manager was vacant.
(source) Max Bambridge had joined Atari as head of European sales.
(Atari User June85) Simon Westbrook, previously both Atari UK and European
Controller and managing director of Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited, remained
Atari UK and European Controller.
May 6-9: Atari had 4 ST and 2 XE computers on display, and primarily highlighted
upcoming 3rd-party software for the ST (which had not yet shipped) and the
XE at the Spring COMDEX show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
GA. In a joint announcement, Atari and Rising Star Industries, of North
Hollywood, CA, intended for Atari to market Rising Star's Valdocs software
products (Valdraw, Valpaint, others) for the ST. Atari said the first
ST computers would ship to Atari user groups for beta testing later in the
month, with machines for the general public to ship in July. While
the previously-announced 130ST was now canceled, Atari still planned two
different versions of the ST: a $799 520ST package for specialty retailers
with disk drive and monochrome monitor to ship imminently, and a scaled down
model (later: 260ST) for mass mechandisers to ship in September. Atari
said the 800XL and 130XE were available for mass retailers in the meantime
and that they expected the 800XL to sell widely through toy retailers for
Christmas 1985. Atari said they were working on a CD-ROM drive for
the ST, developed in conjunction with North American Philips. Atari
said they intended to release a 32-bit "graphics workstation" "late this
year or possibly early 1986" (would ship as: TT030).
June 2-5: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Atari and Activenture, a California
optical media company formed in 1984 by Gary A. Kildall, founder/chairman
of Digital Research, demonstrated a prototype CD-ROM drive (550MB capacity)
for the 520ST, along with a CD-ROM with Grolier's Encyclopedia (unnamed at
the show) and Facts and Figures retrieval software for the ST. Atari
introduced the 260STD ($499; later: 260STFM; never shipped) and announced
(but did not show) the 260ST ($399; later: 260STM; never shipped) as the
new low-end, "mass market" complements to the 520ST, which was now only to
be sold through computer specialty stores. Atari announced that the
520ST was shipping in Canada and Europe, and that the 520ST would ship in
large-volume in the U.S. by July 8. While the 260ST/260STD were to
include TOS on ROM, 520ST computers were shipping with TOS on disk, with
a TOS ROM chip upgrade to be released later. For the XE Atari featured
the XM301 modem, introduced The Professional (VIP Software; never shipped),
GEM Desktop (VIP Software; never shipped), and Home Astronomer (by Atari/Deltron;
would ship as: Atari Planetarium), and featured AtariWriter Plus and Silent
Butler. Atari also featured the 2600 and 5200 at the show. 5200
units would be distributed with the original pack-in game, Super Breakout.
June: Atari shipped the 520ST (first systems to the UK; £750 monochrome
system; TOS on disk; volume supplies to ship in August). (NewsBytes for month)
June: Atari announced an agreement with Mosaic Software to bundle an ST version
of their Lotus 1-2-3 clone, The Twin (ST version never shipped), with the
June: Adron W. Beene joined Atari as a part-time law clerk.
June 19: In a resolution to the legal case initiated by Commodore on July
10, 1984, a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that while four engineers
who left Commodore to join Jack Tramiel at Atari did take some classified
documents with them, the documents weren't "crucial" information and had
nothing to do with trade secrets. (NewsBytes)
July 1: Donald Thompson (Don Thompson) joined Atari "U.S." Corp. as national
sales manager. Thompson was previously vp and director of consumer
products for American Education Computers, and had also served as regional
sales manager, national sales manager, and finally director of sales at Atari,
Inc. (Consumer) from 1976-1979.
July 3: Date of State of Nevada certificate of corporate status for Tramel
Trading Limited. (original incorporation date needed)
July: Atari shipped the 520ST in the U.S., with: STM1 mouse, SF354 disk drive,
TOS System Disk, Atari Logo Language Disk, and SM124 monitor ($799 system
package) or SC1224 monitor ($999 system package).
July 19: The address of the principal executive office for Tramel Trading
Limited was: 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA. Garry Tramiel was
president of Tramel Trading Limited.
Month?: Joseph Ferrari, previously a Commodore product manager, joined Atari
(Canada) Corp. as Director of Software Development
Months?: For the XE, in the UK, using the Atarisoft label, the Atari Software
Products Division released on diskette: Software Pack (The Home Filing Manager
+ The Pay-Off / Paint), and re-released on cassette: The Lone Raider, Chess,
Eastern Front (1941), European Countries and Capitals, An Invitation to Programming
Summer?: Atari released an ST demo disk that included: Dr Doodle (Digital
September 4-8: Atari featured the 520ST (£749.99 monochrome system)
and 130XE at the Personal Computer World (PCW) show at London's Olympia Hall.
Atari also previewed the 260STFM (earlier name: 260STD; never shipped) and
introduced the SH104 10MB hard disk drive for the ST (never shipped).
Max Bambridge, previously head of Atari European sales, had become Atari
Corp. (U.K.) Limited general manager (replacing Atari Italia S.p.A. general
manager Massimo Ruosi in the role). Bob Katz was Atari Corp. (U.K.)
Limited ST Product Manager.
September 26: Atari announced that Atari VP and Atari "U.S." Corp. general
manager Sig Schreyer was no longer with the company, and that Atari VP of
marketing James L. Copland was resigning from the company.
September 30: Atari had shipped over 50,000 units of the 520ST. (InfoWorld
September/October?: For the ST Atari released (for free distribution): ST
Writer, NEOchrome (preview version)
October 21: Computer Systems News reported that Atari had signed a license
for the Unix System V operating system from AT&T.
October 28-November 1: Atari introduced the 520ST+ and 260ST at Systems '85
in Munich, West Germany (which was attended by about 126,000 people).
The new computers would initially ship with TOS on disk.
October/November?: For the ST Atari released ST BASIC.
November?: Chris Hall, previously with Acorn, joined Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited
in sales and marketing (alongside Rob Harding, both under Max Bambridge).
November: For the XE Atari shipped AtariWriter Plus.
November 15: Atari announced that Michael V. Katz was the new EVP of Marketing
(replacing the departed James Copland) and President of the new Entertainment
Electronics Division, and would be elected to the Atari, Corp. board of directors.
Katz was previously chairman, president, and chief executive officer of software
publisher Epyx, Inc., and before that VP marketing for Coleco Industries
from 1979 to 1983, and marketing director for new products at Mattel from
1975 to 1979.
November 18: Atari announced that Albert Montross, founder and president
of Compco Computer Centers, was the new Atari vp/general manager of Atari
"U.S." Corp. (replacing the departed Sig Schreyer).
November 20-24: At the 7th annual Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX/Fall)
in Las Vegas, Atari featured the 520ST and the 130XE, primarily showcasing
3rd party software for the ST. 520ST banner: "It's better...It's less
money...The critics love it...and it's selling!" Notably, Atari presented
a display consisting of an Atari 520ST, a Commodore Amiga, an Apple Macintosh,
and an Atari 130XE, all running versions of the famous Amiga Boing Ball demo
program. Software featured/announced from Atari for the ST: ST Writer,
NEOchrome, 3-D Interiors, DB Master (Stoneware; would ship as: DB Master
One), 2-Key Accounting System (never shipped), GEM Write (Atari/Digital Research;
never shipped), GEM Paint (Atari/Digital Research; never shipped), NEO Images
(Atari/Imagebank), ViCom (AM Software/Atari; would ship as: FaSTcom), The
Manager (BMB Compuscience/Atari; would ship from BMB), Atari Planetarium,
ST BASIC, Atari Logo, K-RAM (Kuma/Atari; would ship from Kuma), K-Seka (Kuma/Atari;
would ship from Kuma), CP/M Emulator (Softronics/Atari), Modula-2 (TDI/Atari;
would ship from TDI), Joust, Star Raiders, Music (Atari/Rising Star Industries;
never shipped). For the holiday season each 520ST system would ship
with 5 free software programs: ST Writer, DB Master One, Megaroids (Megamax),
Atari Logo, ST BASIC. Atari also promoted the SMM804 and SDM121 printers,
SF314 disk drive, and the 10MB Atari Hard Drive (SH104) for the ST, while
saying that the hard drive would actually ship as a 20MB unit (SH204).
For the XE Atari promoted: XM301 modem, The Learning Phone, AtariWriter Plus,
Proofreader, Silent Butler, Music Painter (previously: Song Painter).
Bryan Kerr remained Atari marketing manager; Dave Duberman remained Atari
user group coordinator.
November/December: Larry Samuels, previously president of Vicom Distribution,
joined Atari "U.S." Corp. as director of sales and marketing (responsible
for all US computer sales and marketing efforts), replacing Don Thompson
who departed the company. (Mike Katz remained Atari EVP marketing.)
December: For the XE Atari shipped the XM301 modem.
December: For the ST Atari announced DB Master One (Stoneware) and FaSTcom
Atari sold about 100,000 ST computers (50,000 within the U.S.), and over
1 million 2600 game systems, worldwide in 1985. (Compute! Apr86 p31,34; CN
Atari's 8-bit user base in the U.K. has now reached 400,000...close to 100,000
of the [discontinued 800XL] are believed to have been sold during the run
up to Christmas alone. (Atari User Feb 1986 p.9)
January 9-12: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced the 1040STFM,
introduced the 520STM, featured the 65XE and 130XE, reintroduced the (yet
to ship) 7800, and introduced the 2600JR version of the Atari 2600 to the
U.S. The 1040STFM would be distributed in the U.S. exclusively by computer
dealers (replacing the original 520ST in that respect), in two packages:
$999 with SM124 or $1,199 with SC1224. The 520STM would be available
in the U.S. through mass merchandisers and sold in 3 packages: $399 without
disk drive or monitor, $699 with SF354 and SM124, or $899 with SF354 and
SC1224. All new ST computers would include TOS 1.0 on ROM (rev. 20-Nov-85),
were to ship with 1st Word (by GST), and would ship with a new ST Language
Disk which would include: ST BASIC, Atari Logo, NEOchrome (preview version
v0.5), VT52 Terminal Emulator. For the ST Atari also announced the
SH204 20MB external hard drive, to be available "next month" for $800.
Atari also announced the SC1424 14" replacement for the SC1224 (to be ready
3/1/86; never shipped) and previewed ST Star Raiders. For the 65XE
and 130XE Atari announced the XC11 program recorder, previewed Star Raiders
II (disk), and featured: Silent Butler, Music Painter, Home Astronomer (to
ship as: Atari Planetarium), AtariWriter Plus. Also, both the 130XE
and 65XE were to be marketed in the U.S. in bundles; the $399 130XE bundle
would include: mouse (STM1), printer (1027), disk drive (1050) and five software
titles: Silent Butler, Star Raiders, Music Painter, Paint, AtariWriter.
The 7800 (previously introduced by Atari, Inc. on May 21, 1984) would list
for $79 and ship with two Pro-Line Joystick controllers (CX24) and Pole Position
II cartridge. Atari also featured 9 additional game titles for the
7800 (all titles previously introduced by Atari, Inc.): Deluxe Asteroids
(previously: 3-D Asteroids; would ship as: Asteroids), Centipede, Dig Dug,
Food Fight, Galaga, Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Robotron: 2084, Xevious. Rescue
on Fractalus! (never shipped) and Ballblazer were promised by Atari for the
7800 as well. The "cosmetically re-designed" 2600 (unofficially, "2600
Jr.") had been shipping in Europe since fall 1984. The 2600 would list
for $49 and ship with one Standard Joystick (CX40) (and no game), and was
expected to ship February 1. For the 2600 Atari showed: Dig Dug, Pole
Position, Stargate, Moon Patrol, Joust. Mike Katz remained Atari EVP
and Entertainment Electronics division president; Al Montross remained Atari
vp/general manager Atari "U.S." Corp.).
January: Atari VP/general manager Atari "U.S." Corp. Al Montross departed
January: Atari user group coordinator Dave Duberman had departed the company.
January?: Elie Kenan, previously PDG of Procep (Commodore importer/distributor
in France), joined Atari France S.A. as PDG (replacing Atari Italia S.p.A.
general manager Massimo Ruosi in the role). Daniel Hammaoui, previously
of Procep, would join Atari France S.A. as director of marketing.
January/February: For the XE Atari shipped: The Learning Phone
Winter: Atari shipped the TOS ROM chip upgrade for earlier ST computers (520ST
and early 520ST+ and 260ST units) which had shipped with TOS on disk.
Winter: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited product manager Jon Dean departed the
Winter: The name of Activenture, Atari's CD-ROM developer partner, was changed
February 14: Neil Harris remained Atari Director of Communications, Marketing
Dept. (previously: director of publications), and remained publisher of Atari
Explorer. (Usenet post; InfoWorld reported Harris' title as "hardware products
manager" throughout 1986; mc believes that title was never correct)
March 1: New ST system price list from Atari France S.A. included: 520STF
(would ship in France instead of the 520STM): 5 990,- FRF; 1040STF : 9 990,-
FRF with SM124; 11 990,- FRF with SC1224 (source)
March 7-9: At the (first) Atari Computer Show (ACE), sponsored by Atari User
magazine, in the Champagne Suite at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London (the
first Atari-specific exhibition to be held anywhere in the world), Atari
introduced the 1040STF (£799 with SM124 or £999 with SC1224),
introduced the 520STM (£399) to the UK, announced the 520STFM (£499)
which was to ship in a "few months," previewed the 7800 for the UK (£70;
would not ship in the UK until 1989), and featured the 2600 and the 130XE.
For the ST Atari previewed the "MS-DOS Box" (IBM V20-Emulator; 8088 + socket
for 8087 + 512K RAM; never shipped) and announced the CP/M-Z80 Emulator (CP/M-80
version 2.2 emulator by SoftDesign). For the XE Atari previewed an
"80-column adapter" (would ship as: XEP80) and introduced the XC11 program
recorder. Close to 15,000 attended the event.
March 12-19: At CeBIT '86 (Centrum für Büro und Informationstechnik)
in Hanover, West Germany (this was the first year that CeBIT was held separately
from the Hannover Messe (Hanover Trade Fair)), Atari introduced the 1040STF
to Europe and featured the 520ST+ and 260ST. Atari also showed the
SMM804, SH204, and previewed the MS-DOS Box (IBM V20-Emulator; never shipped)
and the CP/M-Z80 Emulator. For the XE Atari again previewed an 80 column
card (XEP80), previewed a 3.5" floppy disk drive (XF351; never shipped),
and previewed a new DOS (later: ADOS; would ship as: DOS XE).
March: Atari shipped the 1040STF and 520STM (U.S. and UK), shipped the 65XE
(U.S. release), and for the XE shipped: Proofreader, Silent Butler (Ted A.
Goldstone; shipped with order form for Silent Butler Checkholder from Silent
Butler Software), Music Painter
April: Sandi Austin was the new User Group Coordinator at Atari (replacing
the departed Dave Duberman).
April: Atari announced that Toys "R" Us would be the first mass merchandiser
to offer the ST in the U.S., starting in May. (Mike Katz remained Atari
EVP marketing.) (NewsBytes)
April: Larry Samuels, previously Atari "U.S." Corp. director of sales and
marketing, would become general manager, Atari "U.S." Corp., replacing the
departed Al Montross. Bryan Kerr, previously Atari "U.S." Corp. marketing
manager, would become Atari "U.S." Corp. director of marketing (replacing
Samuels in the role). August J. Liguori (Augi Liguori) joined Atari
as Vice President - Administration, Atari "U.S." Corp. Liguori was
previously Vice President of Finance at Knickerbocker Toy Co. (subsidiary
of Warner Communications).
April: Eric Cabedoce joined Atari France S.A. as Directeur technique.
April 28-May 1: At the Spring COMDEX show in Atlanta, Atari featured both
the XE and ST computer lines. For the XE Atari showed the XMM801 printer,
again previewed an 80 column card (XEP80), again previewed a 3.5" floppy
disk drive (XF351), and showed software including Star Raiders II.
For the ST Atari showed the SH204 hard drive, the SMM804 printer, an MS-DOS
emulator (IBM V20-Emulator; never shipped), the CP/M-Z80 Emulator, and announced
plans to market dBMAN by Versasoft. Atari also previewed a 1200 bit/s
modem for XE or ST (would ship as: SX212).
Spring: For the ST Atari shipped the SMM804 printer, and for the XE Atari
shipped the XMM801 printer and Atari Planetarium
May: Geoffrey Earle (Geoff Earle) joined Atari (Canada) Corp. (as national
May: In Canada Atari shipped the 7800 (GCC; NTSC version with "thin rainbow"
design) for North America, boxed with Pole Position II cartridge (GCC) and
two Pro-Line Joystick controllers (CX24). (K-Mart ad, Winnipeg Free
Press May 28, 1986)
May: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp.
Address: 7 Hilltop Road, Mendham NJ
May 26: For the ST Atari shipped the SH204 hard drive.
June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer
magazine (replacing Director of Communications, Marketing Dept. Neil Harris
in the role. The Winter 1986 issue was the last published by Harris
and his team).
June 1-4: Atari primarily featured the 2600 and 7800 at the Summer CES in
Chicago, under the banner, "Where The Action Is". Atari announced that
the 7800 would be available in the fall (source), and for the 7800 Atari
announced: Ballblazer (introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1984), Desert Falcon
(introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1984), and the first 12 7800 "Supergames":
Choplifter! (title by Brøderbund), Karateka (title by Brøderbund),
Touchdown Football (title by Electronic Arts), One-on-One Basketball (title
by Electronic Arts), Skyfox (title by Electronic Arts; never shipped), Summer
Games (title by Epyx), GATO (title by Spectrum Holobyte; never shipped),
Super Huey (title by Cosmi), Hat Trick (title by Bally Sente), Demolition
Derby (title by Bally Midway?; never shipped), Winter Games (title by Epyx),
Impossible Mission (title by Epyx). New 2600 titles by Atari would
include: Jr. Pac-Man (introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1984), Midnight Magic
(introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1984), Solaris (by Douglas Neubauer), Masters
of the Universe (INTV; previously shipped by Mattel; never shipped by Atari),
Thunder Castle (INTV; never shipped), Treasure of Tarmin (INTV; never shipped)
For the XE Atari introduced the XEP80 interface, introduced Star Raiders
II, and also featured the XMM801 printer, Atari Planetarium, and Silent Butler.
For the ST Atari introduced ST Star Raiders, Millipede (never shipped) and
BattleZone, and also introduced DB Master One from Stoneware. (DB Master
One had been temporarily provided free with 520ST computers during December
1985.) Also featured: the CP/M-Z80 Emulator
Atari also announced/previewed a Hayes-compatible 1200 bps modem for ST/PC/XE
("XM 1200"?; would ship as: SX212) to ship by late summer 1986, and announced
a VT100 emulator cartridge (would ship as: ST Terminal Emulator: VT100 Version)
for the ST. (InfoWorld June 16 p.22)
June?: Richard Bernhardt joined Atari as legal administrator (hired by corporate
counsel Josephine Druehl).
June: New ST system pricing from Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited, to "run through
to the end of July": 520STM with one SF354 drive: £449 (previously:
£550); 520STM with two SF354 drives and SM124 mono monitor: £699
(previously: £849); 520STM with two SF354 drives and colour monitor:
£849 (previously: £999). As previously, all UK packages
were bundled with mouse, GEM, ST Basic, ST Logo, 1st Word, CP/M emulation
program and the Neochrome painting program. (NewsBytes 6/17)
Month?: Atari (Schweiz) AG (Switzerland) general manager Marco Guerra additionally
became general manager of Atari Italia S.p.A. (Italy).(source), replacing
Massimo Ruosi who departed the company.
Month?: Tom Sloper joined the Atari Entertainment Electronics division as
director of product development (2600/7800) (replacing ???? who departed
July 1: For the ST Atari assumed the exclusive worldwide marketing rights
to dBMAN by Versasoft. Versasoft would remain the developer and source
July: Atari shipped the 520STM (West Germany/Europe, where it replaced the
July: Atari announced an agreement with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Write
for the ST (based on the Macintosh version of Microsoft Word; replacement
for the unshipped GEM Write). Atari would sell, market, and distribute
the product, to ship Oct/Nov 1986.
July: For the ST Atari announced they were shipping DB Master One and Joust
(title by Williams).
July: For the XE Atari shipped: Star Raiders II
Summer?: Atari announced that 17 educational titles in the (multi-platform)
Arrakis Advantage series by Arrakis would be released by Atari for the ST.
The programs would cover algebra, geometry, statistics, trigonometry, biology,
chemistry and physics, and would be designed for high school students (grades
Summer: For the XE Atari shipped the XC12 program recorder (Europe)
August: Hi Tech Expressions announced that they and Atari were teaming up
to provide computers and software in pediatric wards of hospitals in 10 US
cities for Christmas 1986. Atari would donate 28 Atari 130XE computers,
along with printers and joysticks, while Hi Tech Expressions would provide
its complete line of greeting-card and novelty software, including PartyWare,
HeartWare, and Jingle Disks. (NewsBytes)
August 29: Atari, Corp. and Warner Communications (WCI) agreed that, in consideration
for: the net assets Atari acquired in the July 2, 1984 transaction; accrued
interest on the purchase obligation at 17%; and the repayment of WCI's $24.7
million advanced to Atari, including accrued interest thereon at 10.5%, Atari
would issue to WCI 7,100,000 shares of Atari Common Stock, and would pay
to WCI approximately $36.1 million, upon consummation of a public offering
of Atari Common Stock. (The IPO would occur on November 7, 1986.)
August/September: For the ST Atari shipped ST Star Raiders, and released
the CP/M-Z80 Emulator (CP/M-80 version 2.2 emulator by SoftDesign) to the
August/September: Atari shipped the 7800 (NTSC version with "thin rainbow"
design) in the U.S., boxed with Pole Position II cartridge (GCC) and two
Pro-Line Joystick controllers (CX24), and for the 7800 Atari shipped Asteroids
(GCC), Joust (GCC), and Ms. Pac-Man (GCC). (one source) (Toys "R" Us newspaper
ad Sept. 4)
September 1: Garry Tramiel, previously Atari Assistant Secretary, Assistant
Treasurer and Vice President - Administration, would now be Atari Secretary,
Assistant Treasurer and Vice President - Administration. Schreiber
& McBride partner Leonard Schreiber, previously Atari director, VP, and
secretary, would remain an Atari director and, on behalf of Schreiber &
McBride, Atari general counsel.
September 3-7: At the 9th Personal Computer World Show in London, Atari introduced
the 2080STF computer (£1149 monochrome system or £1349 colour
system; to ship in the UK in November; never shipped), the 4160STF computer
(£1459 monochrome system or £1659 colour system; to ship in the
UK in November; never shipped), and the BLiTTER (Bit-Block Transfer Processor)
upgrade for ST computers (never shipped), and again previewed the MS-DOS
Box (IBM V20-Emulator; never shipped). For the ST Atari introduced
FaSTcom, NEOchrome (final version 1.0), and ST Star Raiders, previewed a
BBC BASIC emulator, and introduced Microsoft Write. For the XE Atari
introduced the XEP80 and Star Raiders II to the UK. Max Bambridge remained
Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited general manager; Les Player remained technical
manager. (Atari User 11/86)
September 12: Atari, Corp. filed a certificate of amendment to its articles
of incorporation changing the corporate name to: Atari Corporation
September 15: About 150,000 ST computers had been sold to date, with perhaps
half of those going abroad. Almost a quarter of Atari's sales came
from video games. (Compute! Jan87p89)
September: Max Bambridge remained Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited general manager.
(Microscope via NewsBytes)
September: Motorola announced the 68030 chip.
September 18: Atari announced that it had filed a registration statement
with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering
of 4.5 million common shares, to be priced from $11.50 to $13.50. The underwriter
for the offering would be Paine Webber Inc. The IPO would occur on
November 7. According to the prospectus, Atari had sold over 150,000
ST computer systems world-wide as of Sept. 15, 1986. Atari executive
officers (12) consisted of: Jack Tramiel (chairman of board), Sam Tramiel
(president), Samuel W.L. Chin (vice president), Leonard I. Schreiber (director
(legal counsel)), Gregory A. Pratt (vice president-finance), Taro Tokai (vice
president), Garry Tramiel (secretary/vp administration), Shiraz Shivji (vp-advanced
technology), Leonard Tramiel (vp-software development), Michael V. Katz (vp-marketing/Entertainment
Electronics), Thomas Brightman (vp-production engineering), Joseph Spiteri
(vp-manufacturing). (CN Nov 86)
Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by Atari Explorer
Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David H. Ahl, founder and former
editor of Creative Computing magazine.
Fall: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Centipede (GCC), Dig Dug (GCC), Food Fight
(GCC), Galaga (GCC), Robotron: 2084 (GCC), Xevious (GCC).
Fall: Atari shipped Jr. Pac-Man (GCC), Midnight Magic and Solaris for the
Fall: Atari shipped Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus! for the 5200 (both
titles were introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1984).
Fall: For the ST Atari shipped: ST Terminal Emulator: VT100 Version (cartridge),
1st Word (1.06; by GST; new-production ST computer systems would not ship
with 1st Word as they had previously)
October 1?: Max Bambridge, previously Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited general
manager, would move to Taiwan on a trial basis to consider an offer to serve
as head of the Atari operation in the Far East, including the Taiwan factory
which employed 1,500 people (would replace Samuel W.L. Chin as General Manager
of Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.). Bob Gleadow, previously VP for
Asia at Commodore International (and prior to that head of Commodore in the
UK), would join Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited as general manager, replacing
Bambridge in the role. Separately, Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited Sales
& Marketing Director Rob Harding also departed the company. (source #1;
PopCompWkly 10/2/86 and 10/16/86; NewsBytes 10/7, 10/14; Atari User)
October: Larry Samuels, previously Atari "U.S." Corp. general manager, became
Atari VP strategic markets (worldwide education, multimedia, computer graphics,
and music markets). August Liguori, previously VP administration Atari
"U.S." Corp., became VP and general manager, Atari "U.S." Corp. (replacing
Samuels in the role).
October: Sig Hartmann, previously president of the Atari software division
(worldwide), became Atari Executive Vice President of Business Development
(sales and marketing efforts to original equipment manufacturer (OEMs), value-added
resellers (VARs), and Fortune 1,000 companies. Richard Frick, previously
Atari ST line product manager, became Atari Director of business development.
(IW 10/27/86) Atari Associate Director for Computer Software
(XE line) John Skruch would additionally be responsible for ST line software
development (replacing Frick in the role).
October/November: Paul Welch, sales manager at Commodore in the UK from 1981-1985,
joined Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited as sales manager, replacing the departed
November 7: Initial public offering of shares of Atari Corporation common
stock on the American Stock Exchange, under ticker symbol ATC. Atari
sold US$50.6 million worth of stock, or 4.5 million shares at US$11.25 each.
Jack Tramiel and his associates retained collective controlling ownership
of about 52% of the company. Under the agreement between Atari and
Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) of Aug. 29, 1986, WCI beneficially acquired
7,100,000 shares of Atari Common Stock, or about 22% of the company, and
also received approximately $36.1 million.
November 10-14: At the Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas, under the theme "Atari Means
Business" Atari introduced the SX212 modem (ST/XE/PC), demonstrated the BLiTTER
upgrade for the 520ST/1040ST (upgrade never shipped), and featured the 1040ST,
SH204, and XEP80. Emphasizing software more than hardware, for the
ST Atari introduced Microsoft Write and NEOchrome (final version 1.0; new-production
ST computer systems would not ship with NEOchrome as they had previously.),
featured the ST Terminal Emulator: VT100 Version, and introduced a line of
education software programs licensed from Arrakis (Arrakis Advantage series).
The ST was the number one selling micro in West Germany, and second in the
U.K. after Amstrad, according to Atari.
November 12: Atari established Styra Corporation, to be headed by Lynn Reed,
previously president of Texas Arrays, as a PC logic chip sets design operation.
Location: 2161 Hutton Drive, Suite 200, Carrollton TX (near Dallas).
November 14: In Hong Kong, Hartech Limited was established by David Harris,
former Atari VP international sales.
November: Atari "U.S." Corp. director of marketing Bryan Kerr departed the
company (to Blue Chip). (source)
November 25: In Hong Kong, Atari established Atari Finance (Japan) Co., Limited
(for investing in Hartech Limited?)
November 22: John Skruch remained Atari Associate Director for Computer Software
November 28-30: At the Atari Christmas Show at the Royal Horticultural Hall,
London, Atari featured ST computers, introduced the 7800 to the UK (would
not ship in the UK until 1989), and featured the 2600, and for the XE featured
December 12: Atari shipped the the 520STFM (UK; £459). (PopCompWkly
December?: Don Reisinger, previously Commodore-Amiga, Inc. Regional Marketing
Manager, joined Atari "U.S." Corp. as director of marketing/computer products
(replacing the departed Bryan Kerr in the role).
January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the Atari PC,
to ship in two configurations: US$499 (CGA/Mono/Hercules; version never shipped),
or US$699 system (EGA/CGA/Mono/Hercules) with PCM124 EGA monitor; all PC
systems were to ship with PCM1 mouse, MS-DOS 3.2 by Microsoft, GW-BASIC by
Microsoft, GEM Desktop by Digital Research, and undetermined applications
software. For the Atari PC Atari also previewed an external 20MB hard
disk drive (PCH204). Atari introduced the Mega ST, to ship in three
configurations: 1 MiB RAM for about US$1,200, 2 MiB RAM for about US$1,500,
or 4 MiB RAM for about US$2,000. For the Mega ST Atari introduced a
laser printer (SLM804) and an external 20MB hard drive (SH205). Atari
announced new prices for earlier ST systems: 1040STF with SM124 from $999
to $899; 1040STF with SC1224 from $1199 to $1099; 520STM with SM124 from
$799 to $499. Atari featured the BLiTTER upgrade for 520ST/1040ST,
confirmed that the IBM PC emulator box for the ST was still under development,
and also featured the SH204 and NEOchrome 1.0. Atari previewed the
XE game system, and for the XE again previewed a 3.5" disk drive (XF351),
introduced the XC12 program recorder to the U.S. (never shipped in the U.S.),
featured the XEP80, and announced 80-column XEP80 versions of Silent Butler
(later: Silent Butler 80; upgrade for Silent Butler; never shipped) and AtariWriter
Plus (would ship as: AtariWriter 80). For the ST/XE/PC Atari featured
the SX212. For the 2600 Atari featured the 3 recent releases Jr. Pac-Man,
Midnight Magic, and Solaris, and also showed: Crystal Castles, Pole Position,
Centipede, Joust, Battlezone. For the 7800 Atari planned 8 new cartridges
for 1987 including (all titles previously announced but not yet shipped):
Karateka, Choplifter!, Summer Games, One-On-One Basketball, Skyfox (never
shipped). Neil Harris remained Atari Director of Marketing Communications.
January: Roy J. Good joined Atari as Manager of Product Development, replacing
Thomas Brightman who departed the company (to Visual Information Technolgies
January: Simon Westbrook, previously Atari UK and European Controller, became
Atari Financial Controller.
January: Alex Leavens joined Atari as Technical Support Manager (online support).
Winter: For the ST Atari shipped: NEOchrome (final version), Crystal Castles
Winter: Max Bambridge, previously Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited general manager,
became General Manager of Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp., replacing Samuel
W.L. Chin in the role.
Winter: Atari added new sales offices / subsidiaries in Spain and Sweden.
In Spain, Claude Nahum, previously Atari Director of International Sales,
would establish and serve as general manager of Ordenadores Atari S.A.
February 2: New ST system pricing from Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited: 520STM:
£260 (previously: £344); 520STFM: £400; 1040STF monochrome
system: £700 (previously: £920); 1040STF colour system: £900
(previously: £1150). (NewsBytes)
February 15-18: Atari introduced the XE game system at the American International
Toy Fair in New York. The system would include console, keyboard, joystick
(CX40), and video gun (XG-1 light gun), and would be bundled with "a sophisticated
computer game requiring keyboard interaction" (Flight Simulator II), "a fast-action
arcade-style game" (Missile Command), and "a new shooting game for the video
gun" (Troubleshooter; later: Blast 'Em; would ship as: Bug Hunt)
March 4-7: At CeBIT '87 in Hanover, West Germany, Atari introduced the Mega
ST, the Atari Laser Printer (would ship as: SLM804), the Atari PC (both CGA/Mono/Hercules
version (never shipped) and EGA/CGA/Mono/Hercules system with PCM124 EGA
monitor), and the XE game system to Europe, featured the 1040STF, introduced
Crystal Castles and the Arrakis Advantage series for the ST, announced BattleZone
XE (title previously announced/previewed by Atari, Inc. in 1983), and also
announced a new XE-styled replacement for the recently fast-selling-out 800XL
(would ship as: 800XE).
March 10-12: Atari planned to introduce the 520STFM and feature the ST Terminal
Emulator: VT100 Version cartridge in their first appearance at CorpCon, East,
a minicomputer industry trade show, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in New York.
(ST World v2n2; confirmation wanted!)
March: Joshua Tropper, previously as Associate at Gaston Snow & Ely Bartlett,
joined Atari as Corporate Counsel, replacing Josephine Parry (formerly: Josephine
Druehl) who departed the company (to Tandem).
March 24: Atari and Commodore International said that all pending litigation
between the two personal computer companies had been settled. On August 13,
1984, Atari had sued the Amiga Corporation, which was later acquired by Commodore,
for breach of contract in a deal to develop a new computer. Atari subsequently
sued Commodore in Federal court for patent infringement. Terms of the settlement
were not disclosed. (NYT 3/25)
March 24: Atari announced that technical support manager Alex Leavens was
no longer with the company.
April 3: Atari Executive Vice President of Business Development Sig Hartmann
announced that, while retaining responsibility for OEM, VAR, and Fortune
1000 sales, he would additionally resume his prior responsibility for U.S.
software development and sales (ST line). Richard Frick, while retaining
responsibility for OEM, VAR, and Fortune 1000 sales, additionally resumed
his prior responsibility for U.S. software development and sales as Atari
Director of Software Development (ST line). (source) John
Skruch, previously Atari associate director for computer software (ST and
XE lines), would become Atari Director of Software Development (non ST lines),
in part replacing director of product development (2600/7800) Tom Sloper
who would depart the company.
April 6: Atari announced the appointment of J. J. (Jerry) Brown, previously
VP corporate marketing at Texas Instruments, as VP and general manager of
U.S. operations (Atari "U.S." Corp.) (CN v7n6p13), replacing August Liguori
in the role; Liguori would become Atari VP operations.
April 6: Atari announced that it had cancelled its plans for its recently
announced domestic offering of $75 million of convertible subordinated debentures.
Instead, it would offer the debentures solely to foreign investors resident
April: WordPerfect Corp. announced WordPerfect for the Atari ST (WordPerfect
April 16: In Australia, Atari established Atari Computers Pty Ltd.
April 24-26: At the Atari Computer Show, Champagne Suite & Exhibition
Centre, Novotel, Hammersmith, London, Atari introduced the Business PC (would
ship as: PC2) (£599.95 with twin floppy drives, or £999.95 with
single floppy and built-in 20MB hard drive), introduced the Atari PC (£399.95
without monitor, or £499.95 with PCM124 monochrome monitor) to the
UK, introduced the Mega ST (2 MiB RAM for £999 or 4 MiB RAM for £1299)
to the UK, introduced the XE game system to the UK (console: £80; keyboard:
£40), and introduced the SLM804 laser printer to the UK. Atari
also featured the 520STM , 520STFM, and 1040STF. Atari also announced
it would be selling $75 million in convertible Eurobonds at 5 1/4% to European
investors. (ST World v2n5; CN v7n5, CN v7n6, PopCompWkly 5/1/87) NewsBytes
UK estimated that between 25 to 30,000 STs had been sold in the UK to date.
April 24: In Arizona, Hartech Limited (of Hong Kong) established Hartech
U.S.A., Ltd. Former Atari VP international sales David Harris was president
April 24: NSI, a chip and board maker headquartered in Marlborough, Mass.,
announced that Atari had purchased an equity position in the company.
NSI would be supplying Atari with chips for the Atari PC's. (ST World v2n5)
April 25-29: At the SICOB (Salon International d'Informatique, Télématique,
Communication, Organisation du Bureau et Bureautique) show in Paris, Atari
featured the Mega ST2, the Mega ST4, and the Atari PC.
April 29: Atari completed the sale of $75 million of 5 1/4% Convertible Subordinated
Debentures due 2002.
Spring/Summer: For the ST Atari shipped BattleZone, and in the Arrakis Advantage
series: Algebra I Vol. 1, Geometry Vol. 1, Biology Vol. 2, Chemistry Vol.
May: Steven Kawalick, previously Atari director of taxes, became Atari Vice
President-Treasurer and Assistant Secretary. Greg Pratt, previously
Atari Vice President - Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, would
now be Atari Vice President - Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
May 21: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation, Sunnyvale CA.
Six were elected to the board of directors. Reelected: Jack Tramiel,
Sam Tramiel, Samuel W.L. Chin, and Leonard I. Schreiber. Newly elected:
Gregory A. Pratt (Atari Vice President - Finance and Chief Financial Officer)
and Michael Rosenberg (of Ross & Roberts, Inc., a plastics company).
Mike Katz, previously a director, would remain EVP marketing and president
of the Entertainment Electronics division.
May 22: Atari announced a 2-for-1 stock split. The record date would be June
2, 1987. The payment date would be June 19, 1987.
May 29: Atari announced the appointment of Clifford Slobod as director of
national sales for its Entertainment Electronics division. Slobod's
experience included 13 years with Mattel. Slobod would be responsible
for domestic sales of video game systems and software, and would manage the
introduction of the new Atari XE game system.
May 30-June 2: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari's slogan was "Come Fly
With Us" and beneath the ceiling-mounted "Flying High" banner, sitting on
top of the airport-inspired Atari exhibit, sat a real Piper Cherokee aircraft.
Atari promoted 40 game titles for the 2600, 7800, and XE, including 16 games
for the 2600, 10 games for the 7800, and 14 game cartridges for the new XE
game system. Introduced/featured by Atari for the 2600: RealSports
Boxing, Super Baseball, Super Football, Crossbow (title by Exidy), Desert
Falcon, Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo; previously released by Coleco), Donkey
Kong Junior (title by Nintendo; previously released by Coleco; previously
announced by Atari, Inc. in 1984), Mouse Trap (title by Exidy; previously
released by Coleco), Venture (title by Exidy; previously released by Coleco),
Q*bert (title by Gottlieb; previously released by Parker Brothers).
Promoted by Atari for the 7800 (all previously announced): Desert Falcon,
Choplifter!, Karateka, Touchdown Football, One-on-One Basketball, Skyfox
(never shipped), Summer Games, Winter Games, Impossible Mission, Hat Trick
For the XE Atari announced that, in addition to keyboard, joystick, and video
gun (light gun), the XE game system would be bundled with Flight Simulator
II (previously released by SubLOGIC), Missile Command (previously released
on cartridge), and Blast 'Em (previously: Troubleshooter; would ship as:
Bug Hunt). Atari introduced 14 XE cartridges: Hardball! (previously
released by Accolade), Fight Night (previously released by Accolade), Touchdown
Football (previously released by Electronic arts; XE cartridge never shipped),
One-on-One Basketball (previously released by Electronic Arts), Archon (by
Free Fall Associates; previously released by Electronic Arts), Ballblazer
(by Lucasfilm; previously released by Epyx), Rescue on Fractalus! (by Lucasfilm;
previously released by Epyx), Lode Runner (previously released by Brøderbund),
Blue Max (by Brøderbund; previously released by Synapse), David's
Midnight Magic (previously released by Brøderbund), Crossbow (title
by Exidy), plus Atari's own Food Fight, BattleZone, and Star Raiders II (previously
released on disk). Atari said they were additionally developing "two
new shooting games" as well (would ship as: Barnyard Blaster, Crime Buster).
Also for the XE, Atari introduced the XF551 disk drive with ADOS (would ship
as: DOS XE), featured the SX212 and introduced/announced SX Express!, featured
the XEP80, and featured Atari Planetarium.
Atari also featured the Atari PC at the show, which was slated to ship with:
MS-DOS, GEM Desktop, GEM Paint, GEM Write. While the ST product range
was not otherwise represented, Atari did have one new model 520STFM unit
on display. Mike Katz remained Atari EVP marketing and Entertainment
Electronics division president.
Separately, the Hartech U.S.A., Ltd. division of Hartech Limited of Hong
Kong (headed by former Atari vice president for international sales David
Harris) introduced a line of Atari branded calculators, which would include:
CC90R ExecuCard (Solar), CC90B ExecuCard (Solar), CC91R ExecuCard (Solar),
CC91B ExecuCard (Solar), CC91G ExecuCard (Solar), CC92 ExecuCard (Solar),
CC190 Junior Desk-Top Auto Recall Calculator (32-Step Auto Recall), CC191
Compact Wallet Calculator, CC192 Mini Card Auto Recall Calculator (32-Step
Auto Recall), CC-1800 Compact Wallet Auto Recall Calculator (32-Step Auto
Recall), CC1900 Professional Desk-Top Auto Recall Calculator, DB2100 Data
Bank Calculator, DMP2000 Hand Held Printer With Desk-Top Features (Electronic)
June 1-4: Atari did not attend the Spring COMDEX in Atlanta, which coincided
with the Summer CES.
June: Adron W. Beene, previously part-time law clerk with Atari, was promoted
to Assistant Corporate Counsel.
June: John Skruch remained Atari Software Director. (source)
June 19: A 2-for-1 split of Atari Common Stock was effected in the form of
a 100% common stock dividend distributed to all Atari shareholders. (As a
result, significant minority shareholder Warner Communications Inc. now owned
14,200,000 shares of Atari Corporation Common Stock.)
June 19-20: Atari hosted the World of Atari exposition at Techmart in the
Santa Clara Convention Center, California.
June 21: Augie Liguori was Atari VP operations (WashPost)
June 27-30: Atari featured ST computers at the Summer NAMM (National Association
of Music Merchants) at McCormick Place, Chicago (the first appearance by
any computer company at a NAMM). (ST World Sept 87) Atari signed up
50 music stores nationwide to carry the 520STFM and 1040STF computers and
planned to sign up another 200 dealers within the next few months.
J.J. Brown remained vice president and general manager of Atari's U.S. operations.
June/July: Atari shipped the 2MiB Mega ST in West Germany. (NewsBytes 7/7)
July: Atari VP and general manager of U.S. operations (Atari "U.S." Corp.)
Jerry Brown departed the company. (Microtimes for date) August Liguori,
previously Atari VP operations, would (again) become Atari VP and general
manager of Atari "U.S." Corp., replacing Brown in the role.
Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer for the XE.
Months?: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Desert Falcon (GCC), Choplifter! (ibidinc),
Karateka (ibidinc), One-on-One Basketball (Computer Magic), Winter Games
Months?: For the 2600 Atari shipped: RealSports Boxing, Desert Falcon, Donkey
Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Venture, Mouse Trap, Q*Bert. Also, Stargate
for the 2600 was re-released by Atari as: Defender II
Month?: Atari shipped Gremlins for the 5200. It would be the last game
released by Atari for the 5200.
July/August: Atari shipped the 4MiB Mega ST in West Germany. (NewsBytes 8/11)
August: Atari shipped the Mega ST in the UK: 2MiB system for £995;
4MiB system for £1,295. (NewsBytes)
August: Atari announced plans to introduce a new computer based on the Inmos
Transputer around June 1988. The computer would be designed by the
British company, Perihelion, and run the Perihelion Software operating system,
August: In the UK Atari announced that the SLM804 printer would list for
£1,299. (NewsBytes 8/25)
August: Lawrence Siegel, previously president/owner of Memetron, joined the
Atari Entertainment Electronics Division as VP software development (new
August 23: Atari Corporation and The Federated Group, Inc., seller of home
entertainment and consumer electronics products through a chain of 67 electronics
stores in California (main territory), Texas (19 stores), Arizona and Kansas,
announced that they had entered into a merger agreement pursuant to which
Atari would purchase all the shares of Federated at $6.25 per share in cash
($67.3 million). Paine Webber had acted as financial advisor to Atari
and would serve as the dealer/manager for the offer. Wilfred Schwartz
was the chairman of The Federated Group, which he had founded as Federated
Electronics, Inc. on February 10, 1970 in Los Angeles.
August 27: The name of Styra Corporation was changed to: Styra Semiconductor
August 28: Atari began its $6.25-a-share offer to shareholders of The Federated
Group, Inc. The transaction was expected to have a total value of approximately
September 1: In the UK Atari cut the price of the 520STFM to £299 (previously:
£399), and cut the price of the 1040STF to £499 (previously:
£599) with no monitor, £599 with monochrome monitor, or £699
with color monitor. Paul Welch remained Atari sales and marketing manager.
September 2: Atari announced it had acquired controlling interest in The
Federated Group, Inc. A partnership consisting of Wilfred Schwartz,
chairman of Federated, and members of his family, along with Federated's
three other principal executive officers and members of their families, had
tendered 6,523,237 shares in response to Atari's cash tender offer for all
outstanding shares of common stock of Federated. Such number of shares
represented 61 percent of the shares of Federated outstanding as of Aug.
23, 1987, and together with shares previously acquired by Atari, was in excess
of 51 percent of the shares on a fully diluted basis.
September?: Atari shipped the Atari PC (PC1), along with the PCM1 mouse and
PCM124 monitor in Europe (West Germany). (CN12/87p.16)
September: Atari shipped the SX212 modem.
Fall: Atari shipped the 520STFM in the U.S., and would phase out the 520STM
in both the U.S. and the UK. (Atari would continue to ship the 520STM
rather than the 520STFM in West Germany.)
September 18-20: (first) Atari Messe Düsseldorf, Messehalle 1, Messegelände,
West Germany. Organized by Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH. About
September 22: On the eve of Atari's announcement of a transputer at the PCW
show, a transputer presentation was given by Atari and Perihelion at the
Cafe Royal in London; over 100 software developers, hardware manufacturers
and press people attended.
September 23-37: Atari announced (but did not show) the CDAR500 CD-ROM drive
(never shipped) at the Tenth Personal Computer World (PCW) show at the Olympia
exhibition hall in west London. The Atari PC series (PC and PC2?) was
again previewed as well. (NewsBytes 3/22/88)
September/October: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface for the XE.
September/October: Atari shipped the XE game system in late September, and
it reached most dealer shelves by mid-October, retail price US$150. XES4001
package included: Missile Command and Atari BASIC on ROM, keyboard, Joystick
(CX40), Light Gun (XG-1), Bug Hunt (previously: Blast 'Em) cartridge, Flight
Simulator II cartridge
September/October: For the ST Atari shipped, in the Arrakis Advantage series:
Algebra I Vol. 2, Geometry Vol. 2, Statistics, Trigonometry, Biology Vol.
3, Biology Vol. 4, Physics Vol. 1
Fall: For the XE Atari shipped: Rescue on Fractalus!, Ballblazer, Star Raiders
II, Blue Max (Sculptured Software), Lode Runner (Chuck Peavey), David's Midnight
Magic, Hardball! (Sculptured Software), Fight Night (Sculptured Software),
Barnyard Blaster (K-Byte), Archon, One-on-One Basketball (Sculptured Software)
Fall: For the XE Atari announced (via a new 2600/7800/XE Video Game Catalog):
Desert Falcon, Choplifter! (previously released by Brøderbund), Commando
(title by Capcom; never shipped), GATO (title by Spectrum Holobyte)
Fall?: In the UK, Electric Dreams Software released Star Raiders II, title
by Atari, for Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64/128, or ZX Spectrum 48K/128K/+.
Fall?: In the UK, Electric Dreams Software released Tempest, title by Atari,
versions for ZX Spectrum 48K/128K/+ or for Amstrad CPC.
October 5: Atari completed its acquisition of The Federated Group, Inc.,
a retailer of consumer electronic and home entertainment products with 91
outlets in Arizona, California, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas for $64.1 million
in cash. Federated was headed by Wilfred Schwartz, chairman, Keith
Powell, president, and Michael Pastore, senior vice president of operations.
October 9: Atari (U.S.) announced that it had started shipping its new Mega
2 ST and Mega 4 ST computers to authorized Atari business computers centers.
The announcement was made at a special rollout for dealers that was being
held in conjunction with the Northeast Atari Computer Fair, Oct. 10 and 11
at The Centrum in Worcester, co-sponsored by the Boston Computer Society.
The SH205 and SLM804 were again promised.
October 12: Federated Group chairman Wilfred Schwartz, president Keith Powell,
and senior vice president Michael Pastore all resigned from the company.
Atari named Garry Tramiel (Atari vice president) president of Federated Group.
October: Elton Southard joined Atari as Vice President - Semiconductor Operations
(new position, replacing the departed Tom Brightman in part). Southard
was previously Sr. Vice President - Engineering at Robinton Products.
He had been Group Vice President-Commodore Semiconductor Group prior to March
October: WordPerfect Corp. shipped WordPerfect for the Atari ST (WordPerfect
October 23: Nintendo of America Inc. requested a preliminary injunction against
Atari Corporation in U.S. District Court in New York, protesting that two
Atari television commercials were false and misleading. The first commercial
claimed the XE played hundreds of games while Nintendo's NES played only
80. Nintendo said the Atari claim was inflated because it was based
in part on older games now hard to find. The second commercial stated
the XE played both disk and cartridge games while the Nintendo played only
cartridge games. While the commercial acknowledged the disk drive for
the XE must be purchased separately, Nintendo said the claim was misleading
because the disk drive was expensive and hard to find.
October 27: Regarding Nintendo's legal action against Atari of October 23,
the U.S. District Court in New York denied Nintendo venue in New York, transferred
the suit to U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., and refused Nintendo's
request for a temporary restraining order to stop airing Atari's commercial
comparing the new Atari XE Game System with the Nintendo game system.
November 2-6: At the Fall COMDEX '87 in Las Vegas Atari introduced the Inmos
T800-based Abaq transputer (developed by Perihelion, including Jack Lang
(founder) and Richard Miller (Managing Director); later: Atari Transputer
Workstation (ATW)) running HeliOS (developed by Perihelion Software, headed
by Tim King) in a developer's configuration to be used in conjunction with
an external Mega ST (configuration never shipped); a standalone system was
also announced (would ship as: ATW800). For the Mega and ST Atari introduced
the Atari CD (CDAR500; never shipped), introduced the Megafile 20 (SH205)
and Megafile 40 (never shipped), introduced DeskSet (by G.O. Graphics; never
shipped; DeskSet II version eventually shipped), featured Microsoft Write,
and featured the SLM804 laser printer. Atari also featured the PC1
(previously: Atari PC "entry level system"), introduced the PC2 (previously:
Business PC "expandable system") and PC4, previewed the PC3, and announced
the PC5 (PC3/PC5 to be introduced at CeBIT '88). The PC systems would
run MS-DOS 3.2 and ship with: GEM Desktop, GEM Write, GEM Paint, GW-BASIC.
Atari also introduced the PromiseLAN network system (by Moses Computers;
never shipped) for Mega, ST, and PC, plus a Macintosh AppleTalk interface.
(The 65XE/130XE were not shown.)
November: Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH announced a new division responsible
for development, headed by Helmut Joswig (Commodore, Siemens, Nixdorf, Olympia),
to join Atari in April 1988. Alwin Stumpf remained Atari Corp. (Deutschland)
GmbH general manager.
November 20-22: Atari Christmas Show at the London Novotel Hotel.
November/December: For the ST Atari shipped, in the Arrakis Advantage series:
Algebra II Vol. 1, Algebra II Vol. 2, Algebra III, Biology Vol. 1, Chemistry
Vol. 2, Physics Vol. 2
December 15: The Honorable Robert P. Aguilar, United States District Judge,
Northern District of California, denied the October 23, 1988 request by Nintendo
of America for a preliminary injunction against the Atari television ads
comparing Atari's XE game system with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
The court ruled that the advertisements did not violate the Lanham Act.
December: Atari announced they had worked with federal agents on a sting
operation to seize 2,000 pirated video game machines and accessories from
P.S.D., a Southern California importer. The pirated machines seized
were the popular 2600 models, and were worth more than $100,000. The
company set up a sting operation to buy the equipment with the help of agents
from the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Marshal's office. Authorities
raided P.S.D.'s warehouse on Dec. 8 and seized a shipping container on Dec.
17. U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter issued a permanent injunction
against P.S.D. to prevent it from selling Atari knockoffs. Joshua Tropper
was Atari corporate counsel; Richard Bernhardt was Atari legal administrator.
December: Atari shipped the Atari PC1 (Atari PC), along with the PCM1 mouse
and PCM124 monitor, in Canada. Systems included: MS-DOS 3.21, GW-BASIC,
GEM Desktop, GEM Write, GEM Paint (source)
December?: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5) for the XE.
(source#1; CN June88p15)
In 1987, Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH sold 72,000 1040STF computers, 38,000
520STM computers, and 10,000 Mega ST computers in West Germany. (source)
January 4: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited offered the first of four planned desktop
publishing packages: £2,400 for 2MiB Mega ST, SLM804 and DeskSet DTP
software. Further systems, with a 4 MiB Mega ST and/or high-end DTP
software, were to become available later in the month. (NewsBytes)
January 5: Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH had won a contract to supply computers
to the University of Stuttgart. Up to 500 computers were to be used for the
study of computer science. (NewsBytes)
January 7-10: Atari did not exhibit at the Winter CES in Las Vegas, but instead
occupied a suite away from the show floor and sponsored ads in the daily
show magazines for its Atari game systems. (Compute! Mar88p4)
January?: Atari exhibited at the Winter NAMM show in Los Angeles, featuring
the Mega and ST computers.
January: Neil Harris, previously Atari Director of Marketing Communications,
became Atari (U.S.) Director of Sales & Marketing for the East and Midwest
January: The Federated Group SVP Merrill Lyons departed the company. (LA
January 27: For the Mega and ST Atari announced that they had shipped Microsoft
Write (direct port of Microsoft Word 1.05 from the Macintosh), and the SLM804
laser printer (with SLMC804 interface).
January 27: Assignee Atari Corporation gained assignor's interest in U.S.
patents Des. 255,565 and Des. 303,127 from assignor Atari Holdings, Inc.
Winter: For the XE Atari shipped: BattleZone (Ken Rose)
Winter: Atari shipped both the PC2 and the PC3. (West Germany)(source)
February 8-17: Atari featured the 2600, 7800 and XE video game systems at
the 85th American International Toy Fair in New York City. Sam Tramiel
remained Atari president and COO, and Michael Katz remained Entertainment
Electronics division president.
February 29: Les Player remained Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited technical manager.
March 1: Atari had approximately 4,090 employees, of which approximately
1,860 were employed in the computer and video game business and 2,230 were
employed within the Federated retail business. Within the computer
and video game business Atari employed approximately 140 in engineering and
product development, approximately 250 in marketing, sales and distribution,
approximately 1,310 in manufacturing and production, and approximately 160
in general administration and management. Within the retail business
approximately 1,980 were employed in the retail locations, approximately
150 were employed in general administration and management and approximately
100 were employed in warehousing and distribution. (10K for 1987)
March 1?: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited increased the price of the 520STFM to
£399 (previously: £299), and increased the price of 1040STF systems
by £100 as well. (NewsBytes)
March 1?: New Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited price listings for promised Atari
PC computers: PC2-SD (single 5.25" floppy disk drive) at £599-99, the
PC2-DD (dual floppy disk drives) at £649-99, and the PC2-HD (30MB hard
drive) at £949-99 (prices excluding VAT). The original Atari
PC (PC1) was no longer slated for release in the UK. (NewsBytes 3/22/88)
March 1-3: Atari introduced the CDAR504 Optofile CD-ROM player (later: CDAR504
Compact Disc Drive) at Microsoft's Third International Conference on CD-ROM
March 9: The formal name of the Atari's subsidiary in West Germany was changed
from Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH to: Atari Computer GmbH
March 14: In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif.,
Atari said it had reached an agreement on the telephone to buy three million
memory chips from Micron for $3.75 apiece. Atari said, however, that Micron
later broke the agreement and asked for a new, substantially higher price.
The suit sought unspecified damages for breach of contract, bad faith and
violation of antitrust laws. Joshua Tropper was Atari's corporate counsel;
Richard Bernhardt was Atari spokesman.
March: Atari shipped the PC2 in Canada (and the UK?). Systems included:
MS-DOS 3.21, GW-BASIC, GEM Desktop, GEM Write, GEM Paint (source)
March 16-23: At CeBIT '88 in Hanover, West Germany, Atari introduced the
Abaq (name to be changed) Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW) standalone system
(would ship as: ATW800), the PC5, and the SR444 removable cartridge hard
drive (would ship as: Megafile 44), and also featured: Mega ST, CDAR504,
PC2, PC4. Reportedly "As almost all times...an airplane with a long
streaming ATARI banner circled the grounds." (SPACE April '88 p.10).
Privately, Atari previewed a 68030-based software prototype system running
68020 UNIX tools and software; the goal was to install UniSoft UNIX System
V Release 3.1. Authentic, detailed, but unauthorized specifications
for two upcoming 68030-based Atari computer models became public: the "TT"
(to run TOS; would ship as: TT030) and the "TT/X" (to run UNIX SVR3; "TT/X"
Winter/Spring?: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Ballblazer (GCC), Hat Trick (ibidinc),
April 1: Helmut Joswig joined Atari Computer GmbH (West Germany) as head
of technology, research and development (he was previously with Commodore).
April 15: In its legal dispute against Micron initiated in March, Atari announced
it had amended its complaint to add claims that Micron also violated California's
unfair business practices laws. Joshua Tropper was Atari's coporate
April 19-21: Atari exhibited a desktop publishing system package (Mega 4,
Megafile 20 / SH205, SLM804, Softlogik Publishing Partner Professional) at
the Corporate Electronic Publishing Systems (CEPS) show in Chicago.
Also, Atari announced the addition of Charles Babbit (Chuck Babbit) as president
of the new Atari Computer division (of Atari (U.S.) Corp.). Neil Harris,
previously Atari (U.S.) Director of Sales & Marketing for the East and
Midwest Regions, had become Atari Computer division Director of Product Marketing,
replacing Don Reisinger who departed the company. Anthony Gould (Tony
Gould) had joined the Atari Computer division as VP sales.
April 22-24: At the Atari User Show at London's Alexandra Palace, Atari Corp.
(U.K.) Limited introduced the 520STFM Summer Pack (£399-99 including
22 bundled games), to be offered until Sept. 1. Also, new production
520STFM units now featured a double-sided 3.5" floppy disk drive (previously:
single-sided). Atari confirmed an ST laptop project, code-named Stacy.
(The Atari CDAR504 CD-ROM drive was not shown as promised.) (NewsBytes)
April 25-29: At the SICOB show in Paris, new products featured by Atari included
the PC2/PC4 (not for sale in France yet), and the Abaq (name to be changed)
Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW).
Spring: Atari shipped the SX Express! disk software package for use with
the SX212 modem on the XE.
May 3: Assignee Atari Corporation gained assignor's interest in U.S. patent
4,349,708 from assignor Atari Holdings, Inc.
May 9-12: At the Spring COMDEX in Atlanta, Atari featured the Mega and ST,
the PC4, and the CDAR504 CD-ROM drive, along with Deskset for the ST. (Atari
did not show the Abaq Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW).)
May: At the London Cafe Royale, Atari introduced the PC4 to the UK (£1,299)
and announced that the 1040STFM was to ship in the UK Sept. 1988. Atari
also announced it was shipping prototypes of its Abaq Transputer workstation
to software developers. (NewsBytes)
May: Atari Corporation was #484 on the latest Fortune 500 list, making the
list for the first time. (NewsBytes 5/24)
May: John Skruch remained Atari director of software development. (CN 5/88
May 17: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Six were
elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
Samuel W.L. Chin, Leonard I. Schreiber, Gregory A. Pratt, Michael Rosenberg.
Atari director, president, and COO Sam Tramiel additionally became CEO of
Atari (replacing Atari chairman Jack Tramiel as CEO).
May/June: Atari Computer division president Chuck Babbit departed the company.
May/June: For the Mega and ST Atari shipped: Atari Planetarium (by Deltron),
Missile Command, Crack'ed
June 1: Atari announced that Axlon Chairman Nolan Bushnell had signed a video
game development agreement to design and develop on an exclusive basis an
unspecified number of video games for Atari's 2600 and 7800 home video game
systems. Axlon would develop four games initially.
June 4: The Atari Entertainment Electronics Division (Michael Katz, president)
announced several new appointments: Ronald L. Stringari (16 years as video
game product line purchasing/marketing at Sears; 1981-83 Atari Inc marketing
vp) as vice president of sales and marketing (replacing the departed Clifford
Slobod); Bob Harris (previously advertising and marketing director at Sega)
as marketing director; Bob Blau (previously Coleco video game sales) as eastern
and southern regions sales director; Bob Schuricht (founder and national
sales and marketing manager for CSS) as midwest region sales director; Jeneane
Harter (previously of Atari computer marketing) as marketing manager; Madeline
Gordon (previously Capcom sales administration manager) as manager of sales
planning and merchandising; Dave Staugas (with Atari for 6 years as a video
game designer and software engineer) as software engineer; Juli Wade (with
Atari since 1985) as assistant product manager for the 2600 line.
June 4-7: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari promoted 44 cartridge titles
for the 2600, 7800, and XE game systems, and introduced the Joypad controller
(CX78). Slogan: "The Fun is Back." 6 new 2600 titles by Atari
would include: Crossbow, Super Baseball, Super Football, Sprint Master, Dark
Chambers. 19 new/recent 7800 titles would include: Skyfox (never shipped),
Winter Games, Summer Games, Super Huey, Impossible Mission, Crack'ed (Atari/Robert
Neve), Dark Chambers, Commando (title by Capcom), Crossbow (title by Exidy),
Ace of Aces (title by Accolade), Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo), Donkey
Kong Junior (title by Nintendo), Mario Bros. (title by Nintendo), Fight Night
(title by Accolade), Tower Toppler (title by U.S. Gold). 19 new XE
cartridges (increasing the total XE game library from Atari to 52) would
include, available 2nd Qtr: Ace of Aces (previously released by Accolade),
Desert Falcon, GATO, Necromancer (by Bill Williams; previously released by
Synapse); 3rd Qtr: Choplifter!, Commando (never released), Crime Buster,
Crossbow, Crystal Castles, Into the Eagle's Nest (by Pandora), Karateka (previously
released by Brøderbund), Mario Bros., Mean 18 (never released), Summer
Games (previously released by Epyx), Thunderfox (by Aztec Design); 4th Qtr:
Airball (by MicroDeal), Dark Chambers, Jinks (by Softgold; never released),
Nebulus (title by U.S. Gold; later: Tower Toppler; never released).
Atari announced the XE/7800/2600 "Atari's Winning Package for '88" advertising
and promotion campaign featuring a World Series Sweepstakes endorsed by Ozzie
Smith, a Superbowl Sweepstakes endorsed by Doug Williams, an NBA Championship
Sweepstakes endorsed by Spud Webb, and the Atari Advantage collectors' program.
Bob Harris remained Atari marketing director-video games.
June 7: Michael Katz remained Atari EVP marketing and president of the Entertainment
Electronics division of Atari. (source)
June 7: For the Mega and ST, Atari was shipping the CDAR504 Compact Disc
Drive in limited quantities. (NewsBytes)
June 13: The first meeting of the Atari Dealer Council, held at company headquarters
in Sunnyvale, was attended by fifteen dealerships.
June 14: Atari announced an out-of-court settlement of its lawsuit against
memory chip maker Micron Technology, Inc. Terms were not disclosed. Atari
had accused Micron of breaking contracts by raising memory chip prices.
June: Atari Software Development, a sub-unit of the Atari's Entertainment
Electronics division, was established in Lombard IL (suburban Chicago), headed
by Lawrence D. Siegel (Larry Siegel), division vice president of software
development. (source for date) The unit would produce entertainment
software for the Atari ST, XEGS (and XL and XE computers), 7800 and 2600
systems. Mike Katz, based in Sunnyvale, remained president of the Entertainment
Electronics division of Atari.
June: For the ST Atari announced Moon Patrol (title by Irem). (Dealer News
June: Atari exhibited at the Summer NAMM in Atlanta, where they featured
the Mega and ST computers, and they formed a MIDI Developer's Council.
June: Richard Bernhardt was Atari coordinator of government affairs.
June: Mike Dendo joined the Atari Computer division as vice president, sales
(replacing the departed Tony Gould). Dendo was previously a sales executive
for Star Micronics.
June: Atari User Group Coordinator Sandy Austin departed the company.
June/July: For the XE Atari shipped: GATO (Xanth F/X)
Month?: Ira Goldstein, previously of Thomson Components Mostek Corp., joined
Atari's Styra Semiconductor subsidiary as VP engineering.
July: Atari announced that they would bundle Imagen Corp.'s Ultrascript Postscript-compatible
interpreter with their Mega ST-based desktop publishing systems.
July: For the ST and PC, Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited announced, in the new
Battlescapes series of wargame simulations (by Dr. Peter Turcan), Borodino
July 16: The Houston Chronicle reported that Atari was close to an agreement
to lease the 400,000-square-foot former Deauville Mall in Kingwood for use
as a computer manufacturing/assembly facility. Vincent M. Giammatteo
was Atari VP for manufacturing operations (source), having replaced the departed
July: Atari Corporate Counsel Nicholas Lefevre departed the company.
Summer: Atari (U.S.) vp strategic markets (worldwide markets) Larry Samuels
departed the company.
Summer?: Atari shipped the 520STFM in West Germany, replacing the 520STM
August: For the Atari PC Atari shipped the PCF554 Floppy Disk Drive (5.25")
in Canada. (source)
August: Cindy Claveran, previously Atari developer-relations coordinator,
was appointed Atari User Group Coordinator (replacing the departed Sandy
August: Joseph Ferrari, previously Atari (Canada) Corp. Director of Software
Development, was promoted to Atari Computer division Director, Applications
Software, replacing Richard Frick who departed the company (to The Learning
August: Atari Computer division Director of Product Marketing Neil Harris
was assigned to update the computer marketing at Federated Group stores.
August: Darryl Still joined Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited as ST product manager.
August-September: Tangerine Dream 26-concert North American tour was sponsored
August 26: Atari Corporation filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San
Jose charging it was defrauded when it purchased Federated Group Inc.
Atari claimed it was defrauded of $43 million when it bought Federated in
August 1987 and completed the acquisition in October 1987 for $64.1 million
in cash. Atari charged that Wilfred Schwartz, Federated's former chairman
and principal stockholder, conspired with other Federated officers to misrepresent
the value of the company's assets. Atari also sued Ernst & Whinney,
accountants for Federated at the time of the acquisition, and Goldman Sachs
& Co., the investment banking firm that represented Federated in the
transaction. Joshua Tropper was corporate counsel for Atari.
Summer/Fall: For the 2600 Atari shipped: Crossbow, Super Baseball, Super
Football, Sprint Master
Summer/Fall: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Summer Games (Computer Magic), Super
Huey, Donkey Kong (ITDC), Donkey Kong Junior (ITDC), Mario Bros. (ITDC)
Summer/Fall: Atari shipped the PC4 and the PC5 (Europe).(source)
Summer/Fall: Vince Giammatteo, previously Atari VP for manufacturing operations,
became Atari VP and General Manager of the Atari Computer Division (source),
replacing the departed Chuck Babbit. Dan Morris, previously manufacturing
director at Hughes Semiconductor, joined Atari as VP production engineering
(replacing Giammatteo in the role).
August/September: For the XE Atari shipped: Desert Falcon (Ken Rose), Ace
of Aces, Mario Bros. (Sculptured Software)
September 2-4: The (2nd) Atari Messe in Düsseldorf, West Germany, organized
by Atari Computer GmbH. Products featured by Atari included the XE
game system, the Atari PC line, the CDAR504 for the Mega and ST, and the
Abaq (name to be changed) Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW). 26,000
attended, according to Atari.
September 15-17: At the Seybold Desktop Publishing Exposition at the Santa
Clara Convention Center, Atari featured the Mega ST desktop publishing systems
with DeskSet, and introduced Ultrascript by Imagen.
September 16: Carrying out orders issued the day before by Judge Whitman
Knapp of the U.S. District Court, agents of Executive Security Services,
working with Atari's security forces, raided eight New York businesses and
seized hundreds of counterfeit video game machines and thousands of related
September 16-18: Atari announced the Pocket PC (would ship as: Portfolio)
at the Personal Computer Show (PC Show) at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre,
London. Atari also announced UltraScript for the SLM804 and Mega ST,
and featured the Abaq (name to be changed) Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW),
the PC3, the PC4, and the PC5.
September 23: Atari reached a settlement with defendants of the Sept. 16
counterfeit video game raid in New York in which more than 700 counterfeit
Atari 2600 consoles and joysticks were seized. The terms of the order, which
was reached in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, stipulated
that all video game machines, joysticks and their packaging, along with Atari-related
software seized by Atari, would be destroyed.
September (late month): Atari Computer Director of Product Marketing Neil
Harris departed the company.
September/October: For the Mega and ST Atari shipped: Moon Patrol (Andromeda)
October 1: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited reduced the price for the 520STFM to
£299 (previously: £399), reversing the March 1988 price increase.
October 4: Hotz Instruments Technology was established by Jimmy Hotz and
October 17: The Warner Communications Inc. subsidiaries AIL Holdings Limited,
AIL Ireland Limited, Atari International Hong Kong Ltd. ("AIHK"), and WEA
Musik Neue Medien and Elektronik GmbH ("WEA Musik") transferred their collective
14,200,000 shares of Atari Corporation Common Stock to Atari Holdings, Inc.
October 18: Atari Holdings, Inc. declared a dividend of the 14,200,000 shares
of Atari Corporation Common Stock (acquired the previous day) to its parent,
Warner Communications Inc.
Sept/Dec: John Feagans remained Director of Software Technology at Atari.
Fall: Frank Foster, previously of Hybrid Arts, joined Atari as director of
specialty markets (MIDI and graphics products marketing), replacing the departed
Larry Samuels in the role.
Fall: Atari announced the release (U.S.) of the Megafile 20 (SH205) 20MB
hard-disk drive. ($680). The SH204 hard-disk drive had been discontinued.
October/November: For the XE Atari shipped: Food Fight, Necromancer
November 8: Atari announced that it had purchased the creditor position of
approximately $32 million in the Federated Group Inc., its wholly owned consumer
electronics retailing chain, from five banks led by Security Pacific National
November: Atari CFO Greg Pratt became responsible for The Federated Group
operations. (LA Times 3/10/89)
November: Joe Ferrari, Atari Computer division director of software, departed
November 14-18: At COMDEX '88 in Las Vegas, Atari featured the Mega and ST
computers, the Atari Transputer Workstation (previously: Abaq; specific configuration:
ATW800), and the PC4 and PC5. For the Mega and ST Atari introduced
UltraScript (developed by Imagen), introduced DeskSet II (developed by G.O.
Graphics), and introduced the Megafile 30, Megafile 60, and the RoboKit (developed
by Personal Robots for Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited). Also for the Mega
and ST, Atari introduced the A Bentley Bear At-Home Tutor series (by Avni):
Magical Math I, Magical Math II, Magical Math III, Spelling Bee, Memory Master,
Memory Master II, Alphabet Tutor, Typing Tutor, Magical Anagram, Equation
Builder, General Store. Atari confirmed plans for a 68030-based ST
computer ("TT"), to run both Atari TOS and UNIX System V. The "Stacy"
prototype ST laptop computer was privately previewed.
November 22: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited launched a media campaign to promote
the PC3, PC4, and PC5, and also announced that the "Stacy" ST laptop was
to list for £695 (single-floppy and 1MiB RAM) and to ship May 1989,
following an introduction at CeBIT '89 in March.
November 25-27: Atari Christmas Show, London's Alexandra Palace, was attended
by 13,000. (NewsBytes)
Nov.21-Dec.31: (U.S.) "Atari Holiday Bonus Software Program" -- Any consumer
who purchased an Atari 2600 or 7800 video game system would receive a bonus
of two free game cartridges, direct from Atari. In addition, current owners
or new owners who bought any two Atari game cartridges would get one cartridge
free. Also through Dec. 31, Atari (U.S.) offered a $50 rebate for the
purchase of an XE game system.
December 13: Warner Communications Inc. contributed the 14,200,000 shares
of Common Stock of Atari Corporation held by it to Warner Communications
December: For the XE Atari shipped: Crystal Castles (The Softworks Factory),
Into the Eagle's Nest
January 1: Atari began treating The Federated Group as a "discontinued operation"
for accounting purposes. (LA Times 3/10/89)
January 4: Atari and Hartech Ltd. of Hong Kong jointly announced the cancellation
of the licensing agreement authorizing the use of the Atari trademark on
calculators. Instead Atari would create a Consumer Products division
to expand its product line to include not only calculators, but a largely
expanded selection of consumer electronic products. David Harris, Hartech's
president, would be president of the Atari Consumer Products division, which
would be located in Phoenix, Ariz. (home of Hartech U.S.A., Ltd.).
January 7-10: Atari's Entertainment Electronics division exhibited in a suite
of rooms at the Dunes Hotel near the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (ST World Feb89)
Atari announced it would be shipping over 20 new titles for the 2600, 7800,
and XE, which would bring the total library to 114 "active" titles: 44 for
the 2600, 29 for the 7800, and 41 for the XE. Three new titles for
the 2600: Road Runner, Double Dunk, Secret Quest. 10 new games for
the 7800 would include: Tower Toppler, Impossible Mission, Fight Night, Crossbow.
6 new titles for the XE would include: Commando (never shipped), Into the
Eagle's Nest, Airball. (CN Mar89p13; Apr89p12) Also at the CES, Epyx
previewed the Handy, developed by Dave Needle and R.J. Mical. The Epyx
Handy would ultimately ship as the Atari Lynx.
January: For the XE Atari shipped DOS XE (earlier name: ADOS). New
production XF551 disk drives would also ship with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5).
January 20-22: Atari previewed the Hotz MIDI Translator (invented by Jimmy
Hotz for Hotz Instruments Technology) at the Winter NAMM International Music
Market show in Anaheim CA. Mega and ST computers were exhibited by
Atari as well.
January 31: Atari filed a $250 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
San Jose CA against Nintendo Co. Ltd. and its Redmond-based U.S. subsidiary,
Nintendo of America Inc. Atari's complaint stated that "developers
are faced with the choice between selling games only to Nintendo customers
or not selling." As a result, Atari said game creators--fully aware
of Nintendo's strong market position--"yield to coercion from Nintendo" and
leave Atari and other manufacturers of video game consoles unable to obtain
many popular games for use on their own systems. Sam Tramiel, president
of Atari Corporation, said Nintendo's efforts to limit the rights of independent
game developers to sell their own games to other consumers is "bad for the
people who invent the games and worse for the consumers who want to play
them." The case would finally go to trial on February 11, 1992.
Joshua Tropper was Atari corporate counsel. (NYT error: "general counsel")
February: Atari EVP marketing and Entertainment Electronics division president
Mike Katz departed the company.
February: Craig Erickson, previously of Mindscape, joined the Atari Entertainment
Electronics division as Executive Producer of Software Development. (source
February: Richard G. Miller, previously Managing Director of Perihelion Ltd.,
joined Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited as Technical Manager, replacing Les Player
who departed the company (to head GFA System Technik's operation in the UK
February 15: Roy Good, previously Atari manager of product development, would
become Atari VP Product Development, replacing VP Advanced Technology Shiraz
Shivji who departed the company.
February 21-24: At the Which Computer? Show at the National Exhibition Centre
in Birmingham Engliand, Atari and Distributed Information Processing, Ltd.
(DIP) introduced the Pocket PC (later: Atari Folio; would ship as: Atari
Portfolio), and announced that DIP had licensed Atari to manufacture and
market the Pocket PC on a worldwide basis. The £199 machine was to
begin shipping from the end of April. David Frodsham was DIP's managing
March 1: Atari had approximately 1,780 employees including 160 in engineering
and product development, 280 in marketing, sales and distribution, 1,140
in manufacturing and production, and 200 in general administration and management.
(10-K for 1988)
March 4: Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) announced plans to
merge, where Time would acquire WCI to form Time Warner Inc.
March 8-15: At CeBIT '89 in Hanover, West Germany, Atari announced that the
7800 would ship in West Germany in June 1989, for the ST introduced the SM194
monitor, the Megafile 44 (previously: SR444) removable cartridge hard drive,
and the SMM824 printer (never shipped), previewed the "Stacy" portable ST,
and previewed the Folio (previously: Pocket PC; would ship as: Portfolio).
Also featured: the Mega ST including the Mega 1 ST, the PC4, the PC5, and
the ATW800. (The prototype 68030-based ST computer ("TT") running a
modified TOS 1.4 was privately previewed, as was a prototype enhanced 68000-based
ST ("STe"). (source) )
March 9: Atari announced the decision to discontinue its operation of The
Federated Group, Inc. All stores in the money-losing chain were to be closed
or sold by the end of 1990.
March 13: Start of 6-week Atari promotion in the U.S. featured the 520STFM,
1040STFM ($799.95), Mega 2 and Mega 4 systems, plus the SLM804 ($1,495).
Also, the Atari Folio was to ship in the U.S. in the summer ($299). (NewsBytes)
March 14-17: PC89 conference in Sydney was opened by Atari chairman Jack
Tramiel. The Atari Folio was to ship in Australia in June or July for
AUS$495. Nigel Shepherd was the managing director of Atari Computers
March: For the XE Atari shipped: Choplifter! (Sculptured Software), Dark
Chambers (Sculptured Software), Crime Buster
March: Antonio P. Salerno joined the Atari Computer division as director
of software marketing (developer support; replacing the departed Joe Ferrari).
March: Atari User Group Coordinator Cindy Claveran departed the company.
March: At the Federated Group, Atari's 60-store electronics chain, Atari
appointed a new management team that included Jim Fisher, vice president
of marketing; Lew Brown, vice president of merchandising; Bill Turner, vice
president of store operations; and Howard Cohn, vice president of finance.
Headquarters work force would be reduced by 30 percent, and the company's
Dallas headquarters and warehouse operation would be closed. All inventory,
marketing, warehousing, personnel and other headquarter operations would
be consolidated to the City of Commerce and Sunnyvale locations in California.
Winter/Spring: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Touchdown Football (Imagineering),
Impossible Mission (Computer Magic), Crack'ed, Crossbow (Imagineering), Ace
of Aces, Tower Toppler (Hewson)
Winter/Spring: For the 2600 Atari shipped: Double Dunk, Secret Quest (Axlon)
Winter/Spring: Joe Mendolia joined the Atari Computer division as vice president
of marketing (replacing the departed Neil Harris).
Spring: For the XE Atari shipped: Crossbow (Sculptured Software), Karateka
(Sculptured Software), Summer Games, Airball (The Softworks Factory), Thunderfox.
These would be the last game cartridges released by Atari for the XE.
Spring: Ron Stringari, previously Atari Entertainment Electronics Division
vice president of sales and merchandising, became president of the division
(replacing the departed Mike Katz), which would now be known as the Atari
Entertainment Products Division. Bob Schuricht would be promoted to
division national sales manager (and then division vp sales).
Spring?: Atari shipped the Mega 1 ST computer (Europe).
April 4: Atari's The Federated Group subsidiary announced the immediate closure
of 15 of its 60 stores, including 8 stores in California (La Puente, Fresno,
Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento, San Jose, Pinole, Colma), 4 stores in Arizona
(Phoenix and Tuscon) and 3 stores in Texas (Ft. Worth, El Paso, San Antonio),
the closure of a regional headquarters and warehouse in Texas, and 400 layoffs
(180-200 in California). James D. Fisher was Federated's newly-announced
VP marketing. Federated said it would now concentrate on the Southern
California market, where it had 21 stores, along with Sacramento, Dallas
and Houston. A regional office and warehouse remained in the City of
Commerce CA. (LA Times 4/5)
April 6: Max Bambridge, previously Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. general
manager, was now Atari director for international sales and marketing. (source)
Loren R. Wolter (L.R. Wolter), previously General Manager, Qume Corporation
Taiwan (and before that, president and general manager of RCA Taiwan), had
joined Atari as general manager of Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp., replacing
Bambridge in the role.
April 10-13: At the Spring COMDEX in Chicago, Atari introduced the Stacy
Portable Computer (to ship in three configurations: Stacy (1 MB RAM), Stacy2
(2 MB RAM), Stacy4 (4 MB RAM), and introduced the Portfolio Hand Held Personal
Computer (running DIP OS 2.11; $399). For the Portfolio Atari introduced:
Smart Parallel Interface, Serial Interface, Memory Expander Plus, PC Card
Drive, AC Adaptor, 32K Memory Card, 64K Memory Card, 128K Memory Card.
Atari also introduced the Megafile 44 to the U.S. and introduced Wordflair
by Blue Chip International (eventually released by Goldleaf Publishing).
Also featured: the Mega and ST product lines, and the Atari PC4 (running
Microsoft Windows on MS-DOS Version 3.3), and DeskSet II for the ST.
(The prototype "TT" was not shown; neither was the PC5 as Atari had announced
in advance of the show.) In the Atari Computer division: Mike Dendo
remained vice president of sales, Joe Mendolia remained vice president of
marketing, and Antonio Salerno remained director of software marketing (developer
May/June: Premier issue of Atarian magazine, "the official magazine of the
Atarian Video Game Club sponsored by Atari (U.S.) Corp." Published by Atari
Explorer Publications Corp., David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor, in support of
the 2600, 7800, and XE game systems. New/upcoming games previewed for
the 2600: Commando (title by Capcom; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped
by Activision), Rampage (title by Bally via Midway; never shipped by Atari;
would be shipped by Activision), Crack'ed (Atari/Robert Neve; never shipped),
Double Dragon (never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Activision), Road
Runner; for the 7800: Commando, Rampage (title by Bally via Midway; never
shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Activision), Crack'ed, Ikari Warriors
(title by SNK), Double Dragon (title by Technos Japan; never shipped by Atari;
would be shipped by Activision), Xenophobe (title by Bally Midway), Pete
Rose Baseball (never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Absolute Entertainment);
for the XE: Commando (never shipped), Ikari Warriors (title by SNK; never
shipped), Xenophobe (never shipped)
May: Atari shipped the Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW800) (Europe).
May: For the XE Atari shipped: AtariWriter 80. This would be the last
release by Atari for the XE.
May: Atari vice president Samuel W.L. Chin became Atari Vice President -
Manufacturing Operations, replacing Dan Morris who departed the company.
May: Richard Miller, previously Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited Technical Manager,
became Atari Director of Research and Development, replacing VP product development
Roy Good who departed the company (to Versyss Corporation).
May: Atari was joined as a co-plaintiff in a patent infringement action against
Nintendo, now entitled Atari Games Corporation, Tengen, Inc., and Atari Corporation
v. Nintendo of America, Inc., et al. (Case No. C88-4805 FMS) in the Federal
District Court for the Northern District of California. In its complaint,
Atari joined Atari Games in alleging that Nintendo had infringed upon U.S.
Patent No. 4,445,114, "Apparatus for Scrolling a Video Display," issued to
David R. Stubben (of Atari, Inc.) on April 24, 1984.
May 16: Ellen W. McBride joined Atari as Assistant Secretary. (McBride
was the daughter of Atari director Leonard Schreiber.)
May 16: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Six were
elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
Samuel W.L. Chin, Leonard I. Schreiber, Gregory A. Pratt, Michael Rosenberg
May 16-18: Atari exhibited an ST desktop publishing system, the Portfolio,
and the PC4 at the Corporate Electronic Publishing Systems (CEPS '89) show
May 31: Atari announced it would introduce the new Atari Portable Entertainment
System (would ship as: Lynx) at the Consumer Electronics Show on June 3 in
June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Atari introduced the Atari Portable
Color Entertainment System (APCES or PCES; developed by Epyx; previously:
Epyx Handy; would ship as: Lynx) at 11 a.m. in the Lenox Lohr Room, McCormick
Place East, along with 6 game titles for the PCES: California Games (by Epyx;
to ship with the system), Blue Lightning (by Epyx), Time Quests & Treasure
Chests (by Epyx; would ship as: Gauntlet: The Third Encounter), Gates of
Zendocon (by Epyx), Impossible Mission (by Epyx; would ship as: Electrocop),
Monster Demolition (by Epyx; would ship as: Rampage). The PCES would
run on on six AA batteries, an AC adapter, or a cigarette lighter adapter,
and was to ship Sept. 1989.
Atari announced they would ship "more than 20 new game cartridges" by December
1989 for the 2600/7800/XE game systems, under the slogan: "Atari Advantage:
Great Value... Great Games." Atari introduced the G1 Light Gun for
the 2600/7800 (never shipped; Atari would supply the XG-1 instead).
Featured/announced from Atari for the 7800: Barnyard Blaster, Sentinel, Commando,
Ikari Warriors (title by SNK), Xenophobe (title by Bally Midway), Planet
Smashers, Ninja Golf, Mat Mania Challenge, White Water Madness (never shipped),
Mean 18 Ultimate Golf (title by Accolade), Jinks (by Softgold), Tower Toppler.
Featured/announced from Atari for the 2600: Off The Wall, Road Runner, Radar
Lock, Ikari Warriors, White Water Madness (never shipped), Street Fight (never
shipped), MotoRodeo, Sentinel, Shooting Arcade (never shipped), BMX Simulator
(would ship as: BMX AirMaster). Featured/announced from Atari for the
XE: Commando (never shipped), Super Football (never shipped), Tower Toppler
(previously: Nebulus; title by U.S. Gold; never shipped), Xenophobe (never
shipped), MIDI Maze (never shipped), Deflektor (never shipped). Atari
Entertainment Products division: Bob Harris remained marketing director,
Ron Stringari remained president.
Making its "official domestic release" Atari featured the Atari PC4, and
Atari featured and marketed the ST computer for musicians. ("The Atari ST
Computer has the Winning Package")
Finally, the Atari Consumer Products division (the former Hartech U.S.A.,
Ltd.) introduced a line of calculators which would include: CC90R ExecuCard
(Solar; previously released by Hartech), CC90B ExecuCard (Solar; previously
released by Hartech), CC91R ExecuCard (Solar; previously released by Hartech),
CC91B ExecuCard (Solar; previously released by Hartech), CC91G ExecuCard
(Solar; previously released by Hartech), CC92 ExecuCard (Solar; previously
released by Hartech), CC180 Desk Top Calculator (Value Line), CC181 Electronic
Calculator (Value Line), CC190 Junior Desk-Top Auto Recall Calculator (32-Step
Auto Recall; previously released by Hartech), CC192 Mini Card Auto Recall
Calculator (32-Step Auto Recall; previously released by Hartech), CC193 Dual
Power Tiltable Calculator (Specialty), CC1010 Professional Desk-Top Auto
Recall Calculator (32-Step Auto Recall), CC-1800 Compact Wallet Auto Recall
Calculator (32-Step Auto Recall), CC-1200 (Lap Top Style 12-Digit), DB-2100R
Data Bank (Electronic Memo Banks), DB-2200 (Electronic Memo Banks), DB-2300
(Electronic Memo Banks), DB 2400 Auto Dialer (Electronic Memo Banks), DB
2500 Easy Use Direct Entry Desk Top Model (Electronic Memo Banks), DMP2000
Hand Held Printer With Desk-Top Features (Electronic; previously released
by Hartech), DMP 2002 Full Feature Desk Top Printer, S300 Programmable Scientific
Calculator (Specialty), S310 10-Digit Scientific Calculator (Specialty)
June 12: Chris Roberts became User Group Coordinator at Atari (replacing
the previously-departed Cindy Claveran).
June: Engineers John Mathieson and Martin Brennan, previously of Flare Technology
Ltd., teamed with Atari to establish Flare II Ltd., which would be 80% owned
by Atari, to develop a next-generation home game console for Atari (would
ship as: Jaguar).
June?: Atari shipped the 7800 PAL versions (thick rainbow design), with Asteroids
built-in, boxed with two Joypad controllers (CX78). 7800 PAL versions
would include: PAL B version for Europe (West Germany), PAL I version for
the UK (source) (source)
June 17-20: Atari featured the new Stacy and also showed the Hotz MIDI Translator
and the Mega and ST computers at the NAMM Music & Sound Expo in Chicago.
June 21: The Federated Group, Atari's chain of 40 electronics stores, announced
it had agreed to pay $12.1 million to as many as 15,000 employees and job
applicants who were required to take polygraph tests. Gregory Pratt,
chief financial officer for Atari Corporation, said the tests were discontinued
shortly after Atari bought the Federated Group in 1987. (AP)
June 23-25: Atari Show at the West Hall, Alexandra Palace, London.
Month?: For the Mega and ST Atari shipped: Robotron: 2084
Month?: John Feagans, previously Atari Software Manager (TOS, 7800), became
Atari Technical Product Manager (Portfolio).
Summer: Atari Computer division vp of sales Mike Dendo departed the company.
Summer: Atari Entertainment Products division marketing director Bob Harris
departed the company.
July 24: Pursuant to a tender offer, Time Inc. acquired a controlling majority
of the outstanding stock of Warner Communications Inc. (59.3%), and the name
of Time Inc. was changed to Time Warner Inc.
July 28: Last day at Atari for Atari Computer division marketing VP Joe Mendolia.
July 28: Last day at Atari for User Group Coordinator Chris Roberts.
July 31-August 4: Atari featured the ATW800 at the ACM SIGGRAPH computer
graphics convention in Boston.
August 2: Conner Peripherals had announced that it was selling a supply of
low-profile 20 MB and 40 MB 3.5-inch disk drives to Atari for the coming
Atari Stacy laptop portable computer. (NewsBytes)
August 14: The Atari Portable Color Entertainment System (APCES or PCES)
had been renamed: Lynx (Atari 1989 Second Quarter Results)
August: Jim Fisher (previously of The Federated Group) joined the Atari Computer
division as VP of Marketing and advertising (replacing the departed Joe Mendolia).
August: Issue of Atarian previewed new/upcoming games for the 2600: Off the
Wall, Radar Lock; for the 7800: Mean 18 Ultimate Golf, Xenophobe, Mat Mania
Challenge; for the XE: Mean 18 (never shipped), Xenophobe (never shipped),
MIDI Maze (never shipped)
August: Atari development engineer Jose Valdes departed the company.
August 17: In the civil trial ruling resulting from a lawsuit brought against
Atari by former The Federated Group president Keith Powell and SVP Marrill
Lyons, Orange County (CA) Superior Court Judge Jack K. Mandel ordered Atari
to pay Powell $260,000 and Lyons $175,000 in withheld severance pay, with
interest, along with withheld life insurance benefits, bringing the total
value of the verdict against Atari to about $600,000. The judge denied
punitive damages against Atari, however. Atari would appeal the ruling. (LA
August 25: Atari announced a just-completed 3-day conference in Monterey
CA, sponsored by Atari and Epyx, for developers for the 7800 and the Lynx;
over 100 attended. Ron Stringari remained president of the Atari Entertainment
August 25-27: At the Düsseldorf Atari Messe, West Germany, organized
by Atari Computer GmbH, Atari introduced the TT030/2 (16 MHz 68030 desktop
configuration; 2MiB RAM; 30 MB HD; to run Atari "TOS 030" (would ship as:
TOS 3) which was not shown; about 6500mk), introduced the 1040STe (1600mk),
again promised the Stacy (prototype shown with 4 MiB RAM and 40MB HD; plans
called for initial units with 1 MiB RAM and 1 726K floppy for around 4000mk;
a 20MB HD model would also be available), introduced the Lynx to West Germany
(to ship in 1990 in West Germany), and introduced the Portfolio to West Germany
(to ship in 1990 in West Germany; around 900mk). Also featured: 1040STFM
(1300mk). 145 3rd party developers and over 35,000 people attended
the show. (source; source)
August 29: Atari France headquarters were severely damaged by fire. (source)
August 30: Holdings of the newly-merged Time Warner included 24.6 percent
or 14.2 million common shares of Atari Corporation
Summer/Fall: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Dark Chambers (Sculptured Software),
Fight Night (Imagineering), Xenophobe (BlueSky)
Summer/Fall: For the 2600 Atari shipped: Road Runner, Dark Chambers, Off
The Wall (Axlon), Radar Lock, BMX AirMaster
September 12: Atari announced Rainbow TOS (TOS 1.04; previously known as
TOS 1.4) was available as an upgrade for all Mega and ST computers.
ROM date: April 6, 1989; release notes date: August 7, 1989
September 13: Atari announced the release of the Portfolio ($399.95).
James Fisher remained Atari Computer division VP Marketing and advertising.
(Atari PR 1/4/90; NewsBytes)
September: Atari shipped the 1040STe (West Germany) and the Megafile 44.
September: Robert Brodie (Bob Brodie) joined Atari as manager of user group
services (replacing the departed Chris Roberts). Brodie would also
become the primary public speaker for Atari (replacing Sig Hartmann in that
September: Atari France would divide its operations into two divisions: Atari
Business Computer (ABC), headed by Sam Mamane, would handle the Mega ST,
1040ST, Stacy, PC compatibles, TT, vertical solutions, etc. Atari Grand
Public (AGP), headed by Daniel Hammaoui, would handle the 520STe, XE, and
all game systems. Both divisions would handle the Portfolio and Stacy.
September 25: H. Michael Morand (Mike Morand), previously of AST Research,
joined Atari as President of the Atari Computer division, replacing Vince
Giammatteo who departed the company. August Liguori, previously Atari
VP and general manager of Atari (U.S.) Corp., would become Atari VP for international
September 27-October 1: At the 12th annual Personal Computer Show (formerly:
PCW Show) at Earl's Court in London, Atari launched the ABC 286 (with 3.5"
floppy; £599.99) and ABC 286/30 (with 30 MB HD and monochrome monitor;
£899.99), launched the Stacy (1 MiB RAM and 20MB HD; £1,299),
previewed the TT, and featured the Atari Transputer Workstation. Most
of the Atari exhibit space was devoted to demonstrating standard business
applications on PCs and STs, plus the British-designed Portfolio palmtop.
(Atari did not show the 1040STe.)
October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine. New/upcoming games
previewed for the 2600: Sentinel, Fatal Run; for the 7800: Sentinel, Fatal
Run, Ninja Golf, Planet Smashers; for the XE: Deflektor (never shipped),
Ninja Golf (never shipped)
October?: Bill Crouch joined Atari Computer Corp. as vice president of sales
(replacing the previously-departed Mike Dendo).
October 2: Richard Miller, previously Atari Director of Research and Development,
became Atari VP-Technology. (Annual Report 1989 for date)
October: Engineer Tracy Hall, previously proejct designer at Mattel Toys,
joined Atari as senior design engineer.
October: Atari France shipped the Portfolio and the 520STe. (source)
Fall: Ian Kennedy remained general manager of Atari (Canada) Corp.
Fall: Charles Cherry, previously of Antic, joined Atari as ST-TT Applications
Manager. Antonio Salerno, previously director of software marketing,
became Atari vice president, Applications (developer support).
November 1: Atari EVP business development Sig Hartmann departed the company
November 2: In San Jose CA, the Vanishing Children's Alliance presented and
demonstrated an Atari computer system that would be used to expedite poster
and data dissemination campaigns. Greg Kranich, an officer with the
San Jose California Police Department, had set up the system. The computer
system, including Mega 4, hard drive, and laser printer, was donated to the
program by Atari. Mike Morand remained Atari Computer Division president.
November 9: Atari said it had agreed to sell 26 of its Federated Group consumer
electronics stores to Silo Inc., a Philadelphia-based electronics retailer.
Silo would take over 21 Federated stores in Los Angeles and Orange counties
and 5 in San Diego. Atari officials said discussions were continuing with
buyers for its 14 remaining stores in Texas, Kansas and Arizona. (NYT 11/10;
November: Donald A. Thomas, Jr. (Don Thomas), most recently Advertising-Marketing
Manager at Atari's Federated Group, returned to Atari as Portfolio marketing
November 13-17: At the fall COMDEX in Las Vegas, using the motto "A Computer
for Everyone", Atari featured the Portfolio, Stacy ($1,500), and a desktop
publishing package (Mega 4 ST, Megafile 30, SLM804, DeskSet II; $4,399),
introduced the 1040STe Personal System to the U.S., introduced the ABC 286
to the U.S., showed a 520STe, previewed the TT, and also featured the Megafile
44. (Atari did not show the ATW800.)
November 21: U.S. launch event for the arrival of the Lynx ($179.99 with
California Games (Epyx), ComLynx cable, AC adapter) was held by Atari for
members of the press and financial community at 8 a.m. at the Marriott Hotel,
New York City. Available launch titles sold separately for the Lynx
included: Blue Lightning (Epyx), The Gates of Zendocon (Epyx), Electrocop
(Epyx), Chip's Challenge (Epyx). Sales through the end of 1989 would
be limited to New York city area retail and department stores. Ron
Stringari remained president of Atari Entertainment Products.
December 7: Atari filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against
Nintendo and PepsiCo regarding a $22 million joint magazine ad campaign showing
Nintendo's Game Boy hand-held video toy with a screen featuring a color picture
of Super Mario drinking a Pepsi Cola in a Santa suit. Unlike the full-color
Atari Lynx, the Nintendo Game Boy's display in reality was black-and-white
only. "Nintendo and PepsiCo have intentionally and willfully embarked
on an advertising program designed to mislead prospective purchasers of handheld,
portable, programmable video games into believing that the Nintendo game
contains a color screen when it does not," according to the suit.
December 8: Atari and Pepsi reached a partial settlement regarding the lawsuit
filed the previous day by Atari, as PepsiCo accepted responsibility for an
ad in the Dec. 8 People magazine. Pepsi also agreed to run no future ads
claiming that Nintendo's "Game Boy" comes with a colorized screen, except
for a full-page layout already set to appear in the following week's issue
of People. Atari was seeking unspecified damages in its suit. No trial
date had been set.
December: In the UK Atari shipped the 1040STe, the Stacy2 (2MiB RAM, 20MB
HD; £1,299) and the Stacy4 (4MiB RAM; 40MB HD; £1,799). The Stacy
(1MiB RAM) was promised to ship early 1990. (source)
December: David Harris, previously Atari Consumer Products division president,
would become temporary Atari Computer president, replacing Mike Morand who
departed the company.
December: All 16 The Federated Group electronics stores in Houston and Dallas
were being closed and their stock liquidated, according to Western Liquidators,
which had bought the stores' inventory from Atari. In Houston about
400 employees were laid off at the city's 8 stores. Liquidation sales
were to be completed in 4 to 5 months. (UPI 12/20)
Dataquest estimated that Atari had 4.1% of the 1989 personal computer worldwide
market share, and 3.4% in the U.S., as measured in units shipped.
Atari had produced around 70,000 Lynx consoles for the U.S. Christmas market.
January 4: Atari announced a Portfolio Developer Starter Kit, and that more
than 150,000 Portfolio palmtop computers had been sold since the system's
September 1989 release. David Harris was Atari Computer president;
Antonio Salerno was Atari Computer VP applications.
January 6-9: Adjacent to the Winter CES in Las Vegas, at a private hospitality
suite in the nearby Mirage Hotel, Atari promoted the Lynx ($180) and Portfolio
($399.95) by emphasizing a rebuilding of its distribution network, and by
courting potential 3rd-party developers with newly-available development
systems for both Lynx and Portfolio. Five games were currently available
for the Lynx, with more than 25 new titles from Atari and 3rd-party developers
promised during 1990. Atari also announced an agreement with Atari
Games Corporation that would bring up to 35 Atari Games arcade titles to
the Lynx. Ronald Stringari remained Atari Entertainment Products Division
President. Andy Marken was Atari spokesman. (NewsBytes)
January 10: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) became a wholly owned subsidiary
of Time Warner Inc. Use of the Warner Communications brand would be
January: As announced in November 1989, 23 of Atari's southern California
leasehold interests (Federated locations) were sold to Silo Holdings Ltd.,
a Pennsylvania based chain of consumer electronics stores.
January: Atari Entertainment Products Division president Ron Stringari departed
the company. (source)
January: Ron Beltramo, previously of Koala Springs, joined Atari as vice
president of marketing for the Entertainment Products division (replacing
the departed Bob Harris).
January: At the Winter NAMM in Anaheim CA, using the theme "Beyond MIDI.
The Next Generation From Atari" Atari featured the ST product line (especially
the Stacy), the Hotz MIDI Translator, debuted MIDI Magazine, introduced the
Atari MIDI-Tasking System, and also showed the Lynx and Portfolio.
January 27-28: Atari introduced the Lynx to the UK at the British Toy Fair.
The Lynx would not ship in the UK until late March/early April at the earliest.
Winter: Atari shipped the Megafile 44 in the U.S.
February: Atari's Styra Semiconductor subsidiary announced the ST82C21 HEAT
Styraset Chip set (never shipped?). "A 16-MHz three-chip set that replaces
Chips and Technology's CS8221 NEAT chip set. Compatible with IBM's PC AT
and Intel's 80286. Supports systems up to 20 MHz. Avaialble in first quarter
1990. CPU/bus controller, page interleave and EMS memory controller, and
data/address buffer implemented in 1.2-micron CMOS technology. Cost (10,000s):
$19.95." (Computer v23n2 Feb90 p90)
February: Medical Entertainment Systems was the exclusive distributor of
Atari products in the health care community, and was in the process of establishing
video game rental operations at 149 hospitals nationwide. Patients would
be able to rent an Atari Lynx unit, complete with software games, for $7
a day. The first hospitals to receive the Lynx units included St. Vincent's
Hospital, Bridgeport, CT; Walker Memorial and Avon Park in the Orlando, FL
area, Freehold Hospital, Freehold, NJ, and Mercy Hospital in San Diego. (NewsBytes)
February/March: David Harris, previously Atari Computer Corp. president,
would become Atari SVP international division, replacing Max Bambridge who
would depart the company. Mead Ames-Klein, previously of the Koala
Springs beverage company, joined Atari as Atari Computer Corp. president,
replacing David Harris in the role, as well as president of the Atari Entertainment
Division, replacing the departed Ron Stringari.
March 5: Atari had approximately 1,420 employees including 170 in engineering
and product development, 320 in marketing, sales and distribution, 710 in
manufacturing and production, and 220 in general administration and management.
(10-K for 1989)
March 9-11: At Atari Computer Expo ("Atari Expo" or "World of Atari Expo")
conducted by Atari in the ballroom of the Queen Victoria Building, Sidney
Australia, Atari Computers Pty Ltd (Atari Australia) launched the 520STe/1040STe
and the Lynx, and also featured the ATW800, Portfolio, Stacy, PC4, and PC5.
The show also featured entertainment by leading Australian musicians from
groups such as Icehouse and Sirocco. Nigel Shepherd was the managing director
of Atari Australia. More than 4000 attended.
March 10: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited launched the 520STFM Discovery Pack
(£299.99 with FirST BASIC, NEOchrome, S.T.O.S., ST Tour, Carrier Command,
Outrun, Space Harrier, Bomb Jack, Discover the Atari ST book) (NewsBytes)
March 14: The name of Tramel Trading Limited was changed to: Liquid Crystal
Systems Technology Corporation
March 15: Atari Explorer Publications Corp. (David Ahl and Betsy Staples)
was shut down by Atari, and Atari Explorer magazine went on hiatus.
Jim Fisher remained Atari Computer V. P. Marketing and advertising.
March: At Atari's Styra Semiconductor subsidiary, Ira Goldstein, previosuly
VP engineering, would become general manager, replacing president and CEO
Lynn Reed who departed the company.
March 16: (Friday) Some 30 people, or 15% of the Atari "U.S." Corp. staff,
were laid off. The cuts came among office, sales, and shipping workers.
March 21-28: At CeBIT '90 in Hanover, Atari introduced the ABC 386/40 (never
shipped) and featured the latest Model 4.5 of the ATW800 Atari Transputer
Workstation (a Motorola 68000 and at least three Inmos Transputers; 10MiB
RAM minimum). Again promised: the TT, now in two configurations: TT030/2
desktop (2 MiB RAM), or TT030/X tower (6-slot VME expansion; 6 MiB RAM; 60MB
HD minimum; never shipped) running ATX (Atari UniSoft UNIX System V Release
3.1). Atari also introduced Atari-Net (ethernet for STs, TTs and PCs;
never shipped). Atari promised the Lynx would ship in the UK and Europe
by the end of the month, and featured: 1040STe, Stacy, CDAR504, Portfolio.
For the Portfolio Atari previewed: extended DOS utilities (would ship as:
DOS Utilities HPC-701); financial calculator (would ship as: Finance Card
HPC-702); scientific calculator (would ship, to Europe only, as: Science
Card HPC-703); and two games packages - Mindgames (including backgammon,
draughts and reversi; never shipped) and Portfolio Chess (HPC-750).
(March 30: Atari Computer Corp. was officially the new name for Atari "U.S."
Corp. (1989 10-K) (as of October 1989?))
April 3: In the court case brought by Atari on August 26, 1988 against Goldman
Sachs, Ernst & Whinney, and several individual associated with The Federated
Group, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California judge
James Ware entered an order granting all defendants' motions for summary
judgment against Atari's claims of fraud. The court would proceed to
deliberate on the defendants' counterclaims against Atari regarding indemnity.
April 11: The name of Atari "U.S." Corp. was changed to: Atari Computer Corporation
April: Ken Jacobsen was Portfolio Applications Manager at Atari (having replaced
Jim Kennedy, who had replaced Rick Meyer as the initial Portfolio product
April: Simon Westbrook, previously Atari Financial Controller, became Atari
Vice President - Corporate Controller.
April 17: The Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced that criminal proceedings
for suspected copyright infringement had commenced against Atari Taiwan
Manufacturing Corp. and against Pacific Electric Wire and Cable Company.
The companies were the targets of surprise court-ordered searches conducted
by Taiwan police, accompanied by BSA's lawyers and computer experts, where
"significant numbers of software copies which BSA believes to be unauthorized"
were confiscated. The software at issue included Ashton-Tate dBASE
III Plus database management software and Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet software.
April 27: Atari (Japan) Corp. had started contract production of the Atari
Lynx in Taiwan by Taiwan-based electronics maker Efa Corporation. The
Taiwan-manufactured Lynx units were planned for initial shipment to the U.K.,
West Germany, and France, and to all the other countries in Europe by year's
end, and to supplement supplies in the U.S. and Japan as well. To date
Lynx had been made only in Japan, and sold about 150,000 units in the U.S.
and about 100,000 units in Japan. (NewsBytes)
May 3: "Possible Violations of U.S. Antitrust Laws by Foreign Corporations"
hearing before the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law of the Committee
on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Atari
chairman Jack Tramiel.
May 7: Atari announced the national availability (U.S.) of the Lynx ($179.99),
and for the Lynx Atari announced Gauntlet: The Third Encounter (previously:
Time Quests & Treasure Chests; developed by Epyx; title by Atari Games
via Tengen), along with a Lynx carrying case and car cigarette lighter adaptor.
May 7?: In the U.S. Atari announced the 1040STFM price was lowered to $699,
while the Mega 4 price would be lower to $1795.95. (Prices for the
520STFM and the Mega 2 remained unchanged). (source)
May 12: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited announced the Model 4.5 of the Atari Transputer
Workstation (ATW) series (replacing Issue 4 machines), now featuring high
SCSI (small computer system interface) device transfer rates, the Helios
filing system, assembler, Ansi C compiler and a source level debugger, as
well as X-Toolkit, as standard facilities. Promised for later in 1990:
support for Ethernet via TCP/IP and NFS (network filing system), along with
X-Windows Release 11.4. Gary Lawman was ATW Product Manager. (NewsBytes)
May: Atari announced that Atari Computer Corp. Vice President of Marketing
Jim Fisher would be the new editor of Atari Explorer, to replace David Ahl.
May: Adron Beene, previously Atari Assistant Corporate Counsel, was promoted
to Atari corporate counsel, replacing Joshua Tropper who departed the company.
May?: Atari director, president, and chief executive officer Sam Tramiel
dropped the additional title of chief operating officer.
May 15: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Six were
elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
Samuel W.L. Chin, Leonard I. Schreiber, Gregory A. Pratt, Michael Rosenberg
May 30: At (the discontinued) The Federated Group, Inc., Garry Tramiel remained
CEO; Steven M. Kawalick remained secretary and CFO; Richard Bernhardt was
the designated contact agent. Business: "Retail sales of consumer electronics
and related items." Address: 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA
May 30: Report that James C. Furnivall, recently treasurer and vice president
of acquisitions and divestitures for Atari Corporation, had joined the Newport
Beach offices of 3i Capital Corp. as vice president. (source)
June 1-3: At the Atari '90 show at the Novotel Exhibition Centre in London,
hosted by Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited, Atari launched the ABC 386SX/40 (16MHz
386SX, 1 MiB RAM, 40 MB HD; £1,499) and launched the 1040STe Extra
Pack (£499; 1040STe bundled with: ST-Word, ST-Base, ST-Calc, ST-Graph,
FirST BASIC, S.T.A.C., Hyperpaint, Prince). Atari also announced it
had acquired the exclusive rights to all posters on the London Waterloo/City
commuter route in order to promote the Portfolio.
June 2-5: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari Computer primarily featured
the Lynx and the Portfolio, and also featured the 7800, 2600, and 1040STe.
For the Portfolio Atari introduced the RAMcard drive, transfer software for
both IBM and Macintosh systems, and 3 new ROMcards: DOS Utilities (HPC-701),
Finance Card (HPC-702), File Manager/Tutorial (HPC-704); File Manager/Tutorial
would ship with new production Portfolio units. Atari announced several
new games for the Lynx, two to be available summer 1990, and others later
in the fall and winter. Also announced were several games for the 7800
and 2600. Meade Ames-Klein remained President of the Atari Entertainment
division; Bill Crouch remained Atari Computer Corp. VP of Sales, Jim Fisher
remained Atari Computer Corp. VP of Marketing, and Don Thomas remained Atari
Portfolio marketing manager; Ron Beltramo remained Entertainment Division
vp of marketing.
June 3-6: Atari did not exhibit at the Spring COMDEX in Atlanta GA, which
coincided with the Summer CES.
June 4: Atari (Canada) Corp. introduced the TT to Canada at a downtown Toronto
hotel. Geoffrey Earle was General Manager of Atari (Canada) Corp. (having
replaced the departed Ian Kennedy).
June 16-18: At the Summer NAMM at McCormick Place in Chicago Atari featured
the Hotz MIDI Translator and an Atari MIDI Education Center. Atari
was the only computer company at the show.
June: Atari shipped the Stacy in the U.S. (for FCC Class A Commercial use),
and Atari shipped the 1040STe in the U.S. ($699).
Month?: In Spain, Ordenadores Atari S.A. general manager Claude Nahum departed
Month?: Atari Technical Product Manager (Portfolio) John Feagans departed
Month?: Alistair Bodin joined Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited as software development
Months?: For the 7800 Atari shipped: Commando (Sculptured Software), Mean
18 Ultimate Golf (BlueSky), Jinks (Softgold), Ikari Warriors (Imagineering),
Mat Mania Challenge (BlueSky), Planet Smashers (Datafast Computer Services),
Ninja Golf (BlueSky), Basketbrawl (BlueSky)
July 10: In the court case brought by Atari on August 26, 1988 against Goldman
Sachs, Ernst & Whinney, and several individual associated with The Federated
Group, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California judge
James Ware entered an order dismissing the counterclaims of defendants Ernst
& Whinney and Goldman Sachs & Co. against Atari regarding indemnity.
July: Elie Kenan, PDG of Atari France S.A., arrived to additionally become
Atari general manager of North American Operations (Atari Computer Corp.).
Geoff Earle, previously General Manager of Atari (Canada) Corp., would remain
as managing director of Atari (Canada) Corp. Mead Ames-Klein, previously
also president of Atari Computer Corp., would remain president of the Atari
July: Atari announced that the TT030, in all production configurations, would
feature the 68030 running at 32 Mhz (rather than 16 MHz as according to all
July 17: Charles Cherry, Atari ST-TT Applications Manager, departed the company.
Antonio Salerno remained Atari vp applications (developer support).
Summer?: Akiva Dar, previously general manager of the Advanced Transducer
Devices unit of TeleVideo, joined Atari as VP semiconductor operations, replacing
Elton Southard who departed the company.
August 9: Atari launched the Hotz MIDI Translator (retail commercial debut)
at MIDI-Fest '90, held in the Ballroom of the Beverly Garland Hotel, North
Hollywood CA. Speakers/performers included Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood
Mac), Jimmy Hotz, Scott Gershin, Paul Haslinger (Tangerine Dream), and Greg
Whelchel and Mark Ritter (Pointer Sisters). The event was organized
by Atari and American Music, a large music store also in North Hollywood.
Frank Foster was Atari director of specialty markets.
August 9: The name of Atari's Styra Semiconductor subsidiary was changed
to Atari Microsystems Corporation, and the unit would also move to a new
location: 4115 Keller Springs Road, Suite 200, Dallas TX. The unit's
expanded role would include primary hardware design, product engineering,
and document control responsibility for most of the Atari 68000 family and
some of the Atari IBM-compatible family. Ira Goldstein remained the
unit's general manager.
August: Flight Video, Inc. began offering the Sony Video Walkman and movies,
the Atari Lynx and games, and the Nintendo Game Boy and games for rent at
major airports in the U.S. (New York Magazine 11/19/1990)
August 22: Atari Computer Corp. announced it had contracted six outside firms
to develop a total of 13 new games for the Atari Lynx. U.S. Gold was
to produce Leaderboard (never shipped), E-Motion (never shipped), Rotox (never
shipped), GOLD (never shipped), and Italy 1990 (never shipped). APTI
Game Systems had designed Battle Universe (never shipped) and Alternate Earth
(never shipped). Telegames USA was to introduce The Fidelity Ultimate
Chess Challenge and Krazy Ace Miniature Golf. Shadowsoft planned Bugs.
Reflex Software planned Cards. Cyber Labs was to introduce two games.
Larry Siegel remained VP software development, Atari Computer Corp.
August 24-26: The Atari Messe in Düsseldorf, West Germany, organized
by Atari Computer GmbH, was attended by over 43,000 people. Atari introduced
the TT030 Graphics Workstation (running TOS 3; 32 MHz; 2 MiB RAM minimum;
40 MB harddrive minimum) and featured/promoted: Mega ST (1, 2, or 4 MiB RAM),
SLM804, ATW800, Portfolio, PC3, ABC 286/30, ABC 286/60 (8/12 and optional
16 MHz), ABC 386SX/40, 1040STFM, 1040STe. Atari featured ATX (Atari
UniSoft UNIX System V Release 3.2) running on the TT030/X (earlier 16 MHz
TT tower configuration prototype), but announced that ATX would be redeveloped
as UNIX SVR4 for any TT030.
September: Frank Foster, Atari director of specialty markets (MIDI and graphics
products marketing), departed the company.
September: For the Lynx Atari shipped Todd's Adventures in Slime World (by
September 17: Bill Rehbock joined Atari as Manager of Technical Support (replacing
the departed Charles Cherry). Antonio Salerno remained Atari vice president,
applications (developer support). The Atari Developer Support Group
would shift from Atari corporate (back) to being a division of Atari Computer
September 27: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited launched the 520STe Turbo Pack (£399;
520STe bundled with: FirST BASIC, Hyperpaint 2; Music Maker 2; S.T.O.S.:
The Game Creator, Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, Dragons Breath, Blood
Money, Anarchy, Outrun, Super Cycle, Impossible Mission II, Human Killing
Machine), to be available starting October 1.
October 2: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited announced plans to ship at least 20
new software cartridges for the 7800 by the end of the year, including: Meltdown,
Motorpsycho, Ikari Warriors, Basketbrawl, Mat Mania Challenge (NewsBytes
October 11: At Liquid Crystal Systems Technology Corporation, Sam Tramiel
remained CEO; Garry Tramiel remained secretary and CFO. Address remained:
1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnvale, CA. The Atari subsidiary was an "importer
of personal computers and video game systems."
October 12: Greg Pratt, previously Atari Vice President - Finance and Chief
Financial Officer, was introduced as the new Atari general manager of North
American Operations (Atari Computer Corp.; replacing Elie Kenan in the role).
Geoffrey Earle would remain general manager of Atari (Canada) Corp.
Elie Kenan would remain PDG of Atari France S.A. August Liguori, previously
Atari vice president for international finance, would now be Atari Vice President
- Finance, and Chief Financial Officer (replacing Greg Pratt in the role).
October: A criminal indictment for copyright infringement was handed down
against Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. and two employees: Kuo Mao Hsing,
chief of Atari Taiwan's computer center, and Chen Jian Chung, an employee
in the quality control department. The indictment followed a court-ordered
search of the company in April that turned up several suspected unauthorized
copies of Ashton Tate's dBase III Plus software and Lotus Development Corp.'s
Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program.
October: Atari sold its abandonded Raheen, County Limerick, Ireland (Raheen
Industrial Estate) manufacturing facility (to Dell). (source)
October: Jim Fisher, Atari Computer Corp. Vice President for Advertising
and Marketing, departed the company. Fisher's former responsibilities
would be assumed by Portfolio marketing manager Don Thomas.
October 23-29: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited "Atari computer whistle stop tour",
where special displays were built into six carriages on a train which visited
Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Birmingham International
(during the autumn school holidays), attracted around 20,000 visitors.
October/November: For the Lynx Atari shipped: RoadBlasters (title by Atari
Games via Tengen), Zarlor Mercenary (by Epyx), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco),
Paperboy (title by Atari Games via Tengen), KLAX (title by Atari Games via
Tengen), Xenophobe (title by Bally via Midway)
Fall: Atari shifted all new 68000-family-based product (ST, TT) research
& development to Atari Dallas (Texas).
November 12-16: At COMDEX/Fall'90 in Las Vegas (in the new Sands Expo and
Convention Center), Atari introduced the Mega STe Business Computer (up to
4 MiB RAM) and the SLM605 laser printer, introduced the TT030 Graphics Workstation
to the U.S. (configurations planned for U.S. sales: TT030/2-50, TT030/4-50,
TT030/8-80 (2, 4 or 8 MB RAM; 50 or 80 MB internal hard drives)), featured
the 1040STe and the Portfolio, and also promoted the 520STFM. A sample
desktop publishing package including Mega STe with 50MB hard disk and SLM605
would list for $2,800. Also introduced: SC1435, TTC1434 (would ship
as: PTC1426) and TTM194 monitors, and FSMGDOS.
November: For the Portfolio, Atari Computer announced PowerBASIC (HPC-705;
Spectra Publishing; a compact version of PowerBASIC for PC, which was formerly
Borland's TurboBASIC). (source)
November: In Germany, Normen B. Kowalewski joined Atari Computer GmbH as
Developer Support Manager.
November 22: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited cut the price for the Lynx (still
including Calfornia Games) by £50 to £129-99. Peter Staddon
was Atari UK's marketing manager. (NewsBytes)
November 30: Atari announced the donation of at least $50,000 worth of Lynx
kiosks (15 kiosks with four Lynx units each) and game cartridges (including
Blue Lightning, Electrocop, Gauntlet: The Third Encounter and Todd's Adventures
in Slime World) to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the United
Service Organizations Inc. (USO) in support of Operation Desert Shield in
Saudi Arabia. Ron Beltramo remained Vice President of Marketing, Atari
Entertainment division. Meade Ames-Klein remained president of the
Atari Entertainment division.
December 6: Atari vp applications Antonio Salerno departed the company.
Bill Rehbock, previously manager of technical support, would be promoted
to director of technical services (developer support, replacing Salerno).
December 12: Atari held a press conference in Munich where they introduced
the Mega STe 4 (4 MiB RAM, 48 MB HD; DM 3.000 with SM124 monitor) to Germany,
to ship shortly after Christmas. (source)
December: For the Lynx Atari shipped: Rampage (title by Bally via Midway),
Rygar (title by Tecmo), Robo-Squash
December: Programmer Mike Fulton, previously of Neocept, joined Atari in
December?: Atari began shipping the TT030/2 in the U.S. ($2,995 with 2 MiB
RAM and 50 MB HD; for FCC Class A Commercial use).
December: Atari (Canada) Corp. cut the price for the 1040STe from Can$999
to Can$699. (NewsBytes)
December 31: Atari announced Hyperlist (HPC-713) for the Portfolio, to ship
January 1991. (NewsBytes)
January 1: (effective date) Lawrence Siegel (Larry Siegel), previously Atari
Entertainment Division vice president of software development and head of
the Atari Software Development offices in Lombard IL since its inception,
became president of the Atari Entertainment division, replacing Mead Ames-Klein
who departed the company. Craig Erickson, previously Executive Producer
of Software Development, would be the new division vice president of software
development (replacing Siegel in the role). New Atari Entertainment
Division address: 330 North Eisenhower Lane, Lombard, Illinois
January 1: James Grunke, previously of Brother Records/The Beach Boys, joined
Atari Computer Corp. as MIDI Marketing Director (replacing the previously
departed Frank Foster).
January 4: Bill Crouch, Atari Computer Corp. sales vice president, departed
January 4: Assignee Atari Corporation gained assignor's interest in patent
4,445,114 from assignor Atari Games Corporation.
January: Atari shipped the Mega STe.
January 10-13: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the new "Lynx
II" version of the Lynx, to be sold in two packages: the base system ($99.95),
or a deluxe package including AC Adaptor, Comlynx cable, and two games including
California Games ($149.95). Atari also announced a series of Lynx hardware
accessories to be sold separately: AC Adaptor, Comlynx Cable, Kit Case, Pouch,
Sun Visor/Screen Guard, Auto Cigarette Lighter Adaptor. Atari announced
that the number of available games for Lynx would double from 16 to 32 by
June, with 14 new Lynx titles: World Class Soccer, Ninja Gaiden (title by
Tecmo), Blockout (title by LDW California Dreams), Xybots (title by Atari
Games via Tengen), Shanghai (title by Mediagenic), Warbirds, NFL Football,
Vindicators (title by Atari Games; never shipped), Grid Runner (later: Hyperdrome;
never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Telegames in 1999), Turbo Sub,
Checkered Flag, A.P.B. (title by Atari Games via Tengen), Scrapyard Dog,
Tournament Cyberball (title by Atari Games via Tengen). Atari
also promoted 8 new/upcoming titles for the 7800: Ikari Warriors, Planet
Smashers, MotorPsycho, Basketbrawl, Mean 18 Ultimate Golf, Mat Mania Challenge,
Ninja Golf, Alien Brigade. Privately, Atari previewed the "Panther"
game console (scheduled to launch summer 1991; never introduced). Ron
Beltramo remained Atari Entertainment Division marketing vice president;
Lawrence Siegel remained Atari Entertainment Division president.
Also at the show, Atari announced the new retail price for the Portfolio
of $299.95 (previously: $399). For the Portfolio Atari featured RAM
Memory Cards (32K, 64K, or 128K), the PC Card Drive, Smart Parallel Interface,
RS-232 Serial Interface, DOS Utilities, and AC Adapter, and announced or
again promised 14 software titles: PowerBASIC (HPC-705; Spectra Publishing),
Stock Tracker (HPC-729; Lifestyle Software; never shipped), Turbo Translator
from Organized Solutions, Personal Finance from Bytesize Software, Scientific
Calculator (HPC-703; would ship, to Europe only, as: Science Card), Bridge
Baron (HPC-724; Lifestyle Software; never shipped), Wine Companion (HPC-725;
Lifestyle Software; never shipped), Astrologer (HPC-728; Lifestyle Software;
never shipped), Chess (HPC-750), Hyperlist (HPC-713), Diet/Cholesterol Counter
(HPC-726; Lifestyle Software; never shipped), U.S. Traveler's Guide from
Organized Solutions (earlier: City Guide), European Traveler's Guide from
Organized Solutions, Spell Checker/Dictionary/Thesaurus (HPC-709; would ship
as: Instant Spell). Atari also featured the 1040STe in a package bundle
for musicians (1040STe "MIDI Music" bundle: 1040STe, SC1224, Band-In-A-Box).
Andy Marken was Atari Spokesperson.
January 11-14: At the Winter NAMM Show, Anaheim Convention Center, CA, Atari
featured the Hotz MIDI Translator along with the 1040STe, Mega STe, and TT.
January: Atari shipped Shanghai for Lynx.
January: Atari Entertainment Division VP marketing Ron Beltramo departed
January 18: C-Lab and Atari announced a joint marketing and dealer support
program that would provide sales and support assistance to nearly 50 MIDI
dealers across the US. Greg Pratt remained general manager of Atari
Computer; James Grunke was Atari MIDI Product Manager.
January 21: Atari (Canada) Corp., announced a workforce reduction of 40%,
or 16 people, leaving a remaining workforce of "about 18 or 20 people" as
part of "a realignment of the North American market." Geoffrey Earle
remained general manager of Atari (Canada) Corp.
January 21: According to Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited, there were now about
500,000 Atari computers in use in the UK, while UK Lynx sales were expected
to soon pass the 75,000 mark. (Newsbytes)
Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg
and (again) published in-house at Atari.
February 1: At Atari France S.A., Daniel Hammaoui, previously directeur commercial,
and head of the subsidiary's Atari Grand Public (AGP) division, was promoted
to DG, replacing Elie Kenan who departed the company. (source) (source)
February 12: In the court case brought by Atari on August 26, 1988 against
Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Whinney, and several individual associated with
The Federated Group, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
judge James Ware ruled that defendants Wilfred Schwartz, Keith Powell, Merrill
Lyons, Michael A. Pastore, Hyman Hershow and Marc Laulhere were not entitled
to indemnity from Atari as counterclaimed.
February 15: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited reduced the price for the Lynx to
£99 (without Califronia Games) (previously: £129 with California
Games). The "Lynx II" version of the Lynx expected to arrive in the
UK later in the year. Peter Walker was Atari spokesman. (NewsBytes)
February: Atari Computer Corp. price list: 1040STe $599.95; Mega STe
$1699.95 (2MiB RAM / 50MB HD), $1849.95 (4MiB RAM / 50MB HD); TT030/2-50
$2399.95; TT030/4-50 $2799.95; TT030/8-80 $3799.95; Megafile 30 $599.95;
Megafile 44 $899.95 w/cart.; Megafile 60 $799.95; SLM605 Laser $1295.95 (source)
February: Don Mandell, previously with Wang, joined Atari Computer Corp.
as vp sales (replacing the departed Bill Crouch).
March 5: Atari had approximately 1,260 employees worldwide including 150
in engineering and product development, 310 in marketing, sales and distribution,
570 in manufacturing and production, and 230 in general administration and
management. (10-K for 1990)
March 12: Atari and Naiditch Consulting announced Micro Hedge for the Portfolio.
Greg Pratt remained general manager, Atari Computer.
March 13-20: At CeBIT '91 in Hanover, Germany, Atari introduced the STBook
Computer System (notebook computer), previewed the STPad tablet computer
(later: STylus; never shipped), featured the TT030, introduced the Developers
Package V (Atari UniSoft UNIX System V Release 4.0) for the TT030, introduced
the CDAR505 CD-ROM player (never shipped), announced an "AtariFile 200" 200MB
hard drive (never released), and again promised FSMGDOS. Atari Computer
GmbH General Manager Alwin Stumpf had additionally become Atari Executive
Vice President - Sales & Marketing (new position, world-wide corporate
March: Atari Vice President, Software Development Leonard Tramiel became
Atari Vice President, Advanced Software Development (Operating System Software)
March: Steven Kawalick, previously Atari VP - Treasurer and Assistant Secretary,
became Atari Vice President - Legal and Secretary, replacing Atari director
Leonard Schreiber as head of the Atari legal department, and replacing Garry
Tramiel as Atari secretary. August Liguori, Atari Vice President -
Finance and Chief Financial Officer, additionally became Atari Treasurer
(replacing Kawalick in the role). Garry Tramiel, previously Atari secretary,
assistant treasurer and Vice President-Administration, departed the company.
March 15: Barbara Anderson had joined the Atari legal department.
March 19: Atari announced they would be releasing more than 36 new games
for the Lynx in 1991, including: Tournament Cyberball, Pac-Land (title by
Namco), Turbo Sub, NFL Football, World Class Soccer, Golf (later: Golf Challenge;
would ship as: Awesome Golf), Hockey (Alpine Studios). Larry Siegel
was Atari Entertainment President.
April 1: Dana Plotkin joined the Atari Entertainment Division in Lombard
Il. as VP of marketing (replacing the departed Ron Beltramo). Plotkin
was previously a vice president in Citicorp's national marketing division.
April 3: In the court case brought by Atari on August 26, 1988 against Goldman
Sachs, Ernst & Whinney, and several individual associated with The Federated
Group, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California judge
James Ware decided in favor of the defendants regarding Atari's claims of
fraud, but decided in favor of Atari regarding the defendants' counterclaims
concerning indemnity. All parties would appeal the judgements to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
April 8-11: The Atari Professional Systems Group (newly formed marketing
and sales division) featured "Direct To Press" publishing solutions utilizing
the Atari TT030 at the Corporate Electronic Publishing Systems (CEPS) show
April 16-17: Atari showed the Portfolio at the Lap & Palmtop Expo, New
York City. Don Thomas remained Atari Portfolio marketing manager.
April 17: In Hong Kong, Atari Finance (Japan) Co., Limited was shut
down. (Atari's Consumer Products division, formerly Hartech (calculators),
had been shut down.)
April 24: No longer with Atari (according to proxy statement): Ellen McBride
(formerly Assistant Secretary), Taro Tokai (formerly Vice President and General
Manager, Atari (Japan) Corp.)
Spring?: Atari customer relations director Diana Goralczyk departed the company.
May 10: Atari released Warbirds for Lynx.
May 14: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Six were
elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
Samuel W.L. Chin, Leonard I. Schreiber, Gregory A. Pratt, Michael Rosenberg.
The TT, STe, Lynx, and Portfolio were on display. Atari announced that
the STPad would ship as: STylus (never shipped). Atari also confirmed
that the XE computers remained in production, and that the 2600 and 7800
were still being sold as well.
May 20-23: Atari did not attend the Spring COMDEX in Atlanta.
June 1-4: During the Summer CES in Chicago, from a suite at the nearby Barclay
hotel, Atari privately previewed the Jaguar, and for the Lynx Atari privately
previewed: Grid Runner (later: Hyperdrome), NFL Football, Rolling Thunder
(title by Namco via Atari Games via Tengen; never shipped), Toki (title by
TAD via Fabtek), Golf Challenge (previously: Golf; would ship as: Awesome
Golf), Baseball (would ship as: Baseball Heroes), Hard Drivin' (title by
Atari Games via Tengen), S.T.U.N. Runner (title by Atari Games via Tengen),
Basketbrawl, Hockey, Cabal (title by TAD via Fabtek; never shipped), Checkered
Flag, Ishido: The Way of Stones (title by Michael Feinberg and Software Resources
International via Publishing International), Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop, World
Class Soccer, Turbo Sub, Scrapyard Dog, Tournament Cyberball, Xybots, Lynx
Casino, Viking Child (by Imagitec Design). (source)
June 6: Atari announced that it had signed a contract for the sale of its
property in Taiwan. The facility would be sold for $60 million, and closing
was scheduled for late June 1991. The sale was contingent upon certain conditions
of closing being met. Atari further commented that assembly operations had
been relocated in a move to increase efficiency and reduce costs. August
J. Liguori remained Atari VP - Finance, Treasurer, and CFO.
June 26: Atari announced the closing of the sale of its land and building
located in Tam-Shui, Taipei, Taiwan for $60 million (realizing a gain of
$40.9 million). Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. would be shut down,
and general manager L.R. Wolter departed the company. Atari had relocated
assembly operations with subcontractors in various countries in the Far East.
Month?: New production European 2600 systems would ship with the CX78 Joypad
controller (instead of CX40 Joystick controller).
Months?: For the 2600 Atari shipped: Ikari Warriors, MotoRodeo (Axlon), Sentinel,
Months?: For the 7800 Atari shipped: MotorPsycho (John Boeschen & Co.),
Fatal Run (Sculptured Software), Alien Brigade (Sculptured Software), Barnyard
Blaster (Datafast Computer Services?), MeltDown, Scrapyard Dog (BlueSky),
Midnight Mutants (Radioactive Software; title by SNK via Pixcel Software)
July: Bob Brodie, previously Atari manager of user group services, became
Director of Communications, Atari Computer Corp.
July: Atari released the XControl 1.0 Extensible Control Panel (ECP) for
July: For the Lynx Atari released Blockout (California Dreams) and Ninja
July 15: At Liquid Crystal Systems Technology Corporation, Sam Tramiel remained
CEO, Steven M. Kawalick was secretary, and Gregory A. Pratt was CFO.
Address remained: 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnvale, CA. The Atari subsidiary
was an "importer of personal computers and video game systems."
July 18-20: Summer NAMM originally scheduled to take place at New York's
Jativs Center was cancelled.
July 22: Atari announced that the Software Publisher's Association had named
the Atari Lynx game Warbirds to its listing of top-selling video games. The
first Lynx title to make the list, Warbirds debuted at number five for the
month of May. There were now 20 games available for the Lynx, and Atari planned
to introduce at least 20 more by the end of the year. Dana Plotkin
was Atari VP marketing.
Summer: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited marketing manager Peter Staddon departed
the company. Bob Gleadow would appoint the marketing duties to two
product managers: Matthew Brown would handle Lynx and Darryl Still the ST
August 1: Atari released the new "Lynx II" version of the Lynx (U.S., U.K.)
August: Atari director of legal and governmental affairs Richard Bernhardt
departed the company.
August?: Atari published a new Lynx product catalog that announced or again
promised from Atari for the Lynx: A.P.B., Hard Drivin', Turbo Sub, Scrapyard
Dog, Awesome Golf (previously: Golf; then: Golf Challenge), Checkered Flag,
Pac-Land, S.T.U.N. Runner, Lynx Casino, Ishido: The Way of Stones, Bill &
Ted's Excellent Adventure, Viking Child (Oct 91), Tournament Cyberball (Dec
91), Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop (Jan 92), Hyperdrome (Jan 92; previously:
Grid Runner; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Telegames in 1999),
Crystal Mines II (Jan 92), Xybots (Jan 92), Basketbrawl (Feb 92), World Class
Soccer (Feb 92), NFL Football, Hockey (Feb 92), Toki (Feb 92), Baseball Heroes
(previously: Baseball; Feb 92), Pit-Fighter (Mar 92; title by Atari Games
via Tengen), Hydra (Mar 92; title by Atari Games via Tengen), Cabal (Apr
92), Rolling Thunder (May 92; never shipped), 720° (Jun 92; title by
Atari Games via Tengen; never shipped), Vindicators (Jun 92; never shipped),
GeoDuel (Jun 92; never shipped), Rai-Den (Jun 92; later: Raiden; title by
Seibu Kaihatsu via Fabtek; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Telegames
August 19: Atari announced U.S. availability of the new compact version of
its Atari Lynx ("Lynx II") - stand-alone unit for $99.99, or as a $149.99
package with an AC adapter, a California Games game cartridge, and a ComLynx
cable. Atari said there were currently more than 20 games available
for Lynx (including Blockout, Rampage, Roadblasters and Ninja Gaiden), and
that by the end of 1991 more than 45 Lynx games would be available, including
original titles Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Turbo Sub, and Scrapyard
Dog; arcade hits Hard Drivin', Pac-Land and A.P.B.; and others including
Checkered Flag, Viking Child, and Ishido, The Way of Stones. Dana Plotkin
was Atari Entertainment Division VP marketing; Lawrence Siegel was Atari
Entertainment Division president.
August 23-25: The Atari Messe in Düsseldorf, Germany, organized by Atari
Computer GmbH, was attended by over 30,000 people. Atari made no new
product introductions, but featured the upcoming STBook laptop and the STylus
(previously: STPad) computers, as well as the Atari System V Developer's
Kit (ASV: Atari UniSoft UNIX System V Release 4.0) running on the TT030.
August 26: For the Portfolio, Atari Computer announced the release of PowerBASIC
August (late month): For the Lynx Atari shipped Pac-Land and A.P.B. (Quicksilver
September: Atari Portfolio marketing manager Don Thomas additionally and
formally became director of customer service / marketing (replacing the departed
September: Goldleaf Publishing shipped WordFlair II, marking the first available
release of Atari's Font Scaling Manager, FSMGDOS.
September: New production Atari TT030 systems would qualify as U.S. FCC Class
B devices (consumer use), and new production TT030 and Mega STe systems would
now both include 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy disk drives rather than the 720K drives
shipped to date.
September: For the Lynx Atari shipped Turbo Sub and Scrapyard Dog (CSD).
October 1-4: The Atari Computer Professional Systems Group exhibited its
direct-to-press solutions, utilizing the Atari TT030, at the Seybold Computer
Publishing Conference & expositions in San Jose, CA.
October: For the Lynx Atari shipped Checkered Flag and Ishido: The Way of
Stones (California Dreams).
October 21-25: Atari introduced the ABC386SXII ($1,195) and ABC386DXII ($1,995)
desktop PC-compatible computers and the ABCN386SX laptop PC-compatible computer
($2,895), all three machines to ship with MS-DOS 5.0 and Microsoft Windows
3.0, at the Fall COMDEX '91 in Las Vegas. The STBook was introduced
to the U.S. market, as was the CDAR505 CD-ROM player (never shipped).
Atari launched the 520STe Discovery Xtra pack (520STe, FirST BASIC, NEOchrome,
ST Tour, Final Flight, Sim City, Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters,
9 Lives), to be bundled in the U.S. with SC1224 monitor, and the 1040STe
Family Curriculum pack (1040STe, Play & Learn, Junior School, GCSE Revision,
Business Computing, Creative Computing), also to be bundled in the U.S. with
SC1224 monitor. Atari also featured, and announced the imminent availability
of, the pre-release version of the Atari System V Developer's Kit (ASV) for
the TT030, featured the Portfolio, and showed the Hotz Translator (software
for standard music synthesizer) (The STylus was not shown.)
Fall: In France Atari shipped the new "Lynx II" version of the Lynx, shipped
the Mega STe, and shipped the 7800 Péritel version (thick rainbow
design, with Asteroids built-in, boxed with two Joypad controllers (CX78);
RGB video, PAL composite video, and audio output all via a 13-pin DIN socket;
shipped with console-to-SCART cable). (source) (source) (source)
November: Atari shipped the pre-release version of the Atari System V Developer's
Kit (ASV: Atari UniSoft UNIX System V Release 4.0; general release form of
ASV never shipped) for the TT030.
November: For the Lynx Atari shipped: Viking Child (Imagitec design), Hard
Drivin' (NuFX), S.T.U.N. Runner (title by Atari Games via Tengen), Bill &
Ted's Excellent Adventure, Awesome Golf (HandMade Software)
November 23-24: Chicago ComputerFest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer
Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada O'Hare, featured the TT, STe, Portfolio, and
Lynx. The show also drew 8-bit Atari computer developers and users,
as Atari also brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit
computer products for clearance sale.
December: For the Lynx Atari shipped: Tournament Cyberball, Xybots.
December: Atari SVP international division David Harris had departed the
December: Senior Staff Engineer Jim Tittsler, with Atari since March 1981,
departed the company.
December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEGS,
2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p.
December 23: Atari Microsystems Corporation was merged into Atari Computer
Corporation; Atari Microsystems would continue operations in Dallas as a
division of Atari Computer. Ira Goldstein remained Atari Microsystems
Division general manager.
December 23: TW Investment Corp. was formed by Time Warner. The 14,200,000
shares of Common Stock of Atari Corporation held by Warner Communications
Investors, Inc. would be contributed to TW Investment Corp.
December 31: Atari had approximately 507 employees worldwide including 146
in engineering and product development, 190 in marketing, sales and distribution,
31 in manufacturing and production, and 140 in general administration and
management. (10-K for 1991)
January 8: Atari announced the departure of Greg Pratt, President, North
American Operations (Atari Computer Corp.). Vice President of Sales
Don Mandell would continue to supervise the sales organization, with marketing
by Don Thomas (Director of Portfolio Marketing), James Grunke (Director of
Music Markets), and Art Morgan (Technical Marketing) under the direction
of Sam Tramiel.
January 9-12: During the Winter CES in Las Vegas, at a nearby location, Atari
announced it had sold its one millionth Lynx game cartridge, announced that
the Lynx now had a library of 40 games with 75 titles to be available by
year's end, and introduced the Lynx Sun Visor/Screen Guard (new "Lynx II"
version) and Lynx Battery Pack. Lynx titles promised/announced, for
January: Super Skweek (by Loriciel); February: Toki, Crystal Mines II; March:
Hyperdrome, Lynx Casino; April: Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop, Pit-Fighter, Baseball
Heroes, Basketbrawl, NFL Football, Hockey, World Class Soccer. Other
Lynx titles shown: Daemonsgate (never shipped), Kung Food, Dino Quest (would
ship as: Dinolympics; would be released by GameTek on non-Atari platforms
as: The Humans), Battlezone 2000, Hydra, Steel Talons (title by Atari Games
via Tengen). Also announced for Lynx: Lemmings (title by Psygnosis
in conjunction with Amethyst Enterprises). Also again promised for
Lynx: Vindicators. Dana Plotkin remained vice president of marketing
at Atari Entertainment; Atari's Entertainment Division President was Larry
Siegel. (one source) (source) (source)
January 15: Atari announced it was making all of the released TOS development
information available to the general public. Bill Rehbock remained
Atari Director of Technical Services.
January 17-19: Atari formally announced their new Music Division, headed
by James Grunke since winter 1991, at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.
Atari also introduced the SM147 monitor and showed the STBook at the show.
Additionally, Atari announced that it's products would be serviced by the
250 strong General Electric Service Center network thoughout the United States
and Canada. Ted Maciejewski remained Atari's National Service Manager.
January 23: Debenture holders Nathaniel Grey, Bernard Heerey, and Harlene
and Jay Pine filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Northern District of California against The Federated Group,
Inc., the subsidiary of Atari Corporation. (JTS 10-Q 11/2/97) (source #2)
Winter: Gary Weiner joined Atari as Vice President of Marketing and Sales
(replacing Alwin Stumpf in the role). Stumpf remained with Atari in
Germany as General Manager of Atari Computer GmbH. Maxie R. Smith became
Atari vice president of quality assurance. Tony Serra was the new general
manager of Atari Computers Pty. Ltd. (Australia).
Winter: Atari Vice President - Corporate Controller Simon Westbrook departed
Winter: Bernard Stolar (Bernie Stolar), previously with the Village Voice
in Manhattan, NY, joined Atari as vp Business Development (replacing the
departed Sig Hartmann).
February 11: The lawsuit filed by Atari against Nintendo on January 31, 1989
went to trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Atari Corporation
lawyer William Jaeger faced Nintendo lawyer John Kirby. A key issue
in the lawsuit was Nintendo's former requirement that private developers
of video games agree not to make the games available to other computer console
systems for two years in exchange for a license to use the Nintendo system
February?: Accolade released Asteroids, developed by the Code Monkeys, title
by Atari, for Game Boy.
March: (before March 13) Atari Computer Corp. announced the release of Hyperlist
(HPC-713) for the Portfolio. Don Thomas remained Atari Portfolio Marketing
Manager; Don Mandell remained Atari Computer vp sales.
March 10-16: At CeBIT '92 in Hanover, Germany, Atari introduced MultiTOS
for 68030-based Atari computers, and also featured the Atari System V Developer's
Kit (ASV) running on the TT030. The ABC N386SX notebook, STBook and
STe were shown as well. Atari also privately previewed the Falcon030.
March: For the Lynx Atari released Crystal Mines II and Toki.
March?: Accolade released Missile Command, developed by the Code Monkeys,
title by Atari, for Game Boy.
March 23: Debenture holder Lana Grey joined the involuntary bankruptcy petition
against The Federated Group, Inc., of January 23, 1992. (source)
March 26: The Surpreme Court of California declined to hear Atari's appeal
of the August 17, 1989 ruling by the Orange County Superior Court in Keith
L. Powell, Respondent v. Atari Corporation et al., Appellants.
March/April: For the Lynx Atari released Super Skweek (Loriciel).
April 4-5: ACE '92, the Atari Canadian Exposition, was held at the Skyline
Hotel, Toronto, hosted by Atari Canada and the Toronto Atari Federation.
April 6-9: Atari did not attend COMDEX/Spring '92 (& Windows World Chicago
'92) in Chicago.
April: Atari VP marketing and sales Gary Weiner departed the company.
April: Bill Rehbock, previously Atari Director of Technical Services, was
now Director of Application Software.
April 21: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited announced a Lynx national high score
competition, to start on May 9, in 60 independent high street computer stores,
and run for one week a month over a five month period, featuring 10 Lynx
games. The 12 top scorers from the semi-finals would go forward to
a grand final at the Spitfire Go-Karting Track in Feltham, Middlesex, on
October 10. The competition was co-sponsored by Game Zone magazine
and the National Association of Specialist Computer Retailers (NASCR).
Darryl Still was Atari's marketing manager for Lynx games consoles. (NewsBytes)
April 24: Atari and Rovac Industries announced Atari Explorer Online, to
be published beginning May 1. The print Atari Explorer would continue
under publisher/edit John Jainschigg as well.
Spring?: Under the Mirage label, GameTek released The Humans, concept by
Atari (would ship from Atari as Dinolympics for Lynx), developed by Imagitec
Design, for Amiga.
May 1: The jury handed down a partial verdict in the Atari-Nintendo monopolization
case. It said Nintendo had monopoly power in the United States, which is
not by itself illegal, but it had not been proved that Nintendo intended
to monopolize the market illegally. The jury deadlocked on two other
questions: whether the exclusive-rights contracts were an unreasonable restraint
of trade and whether Nintendo had illegally maintained a monopoly through
exclusive or restrictive practices.
May 1: Premier Edition of Atari Explorer Online. Publisher: John Jainschigg;
Editor: Ron Kovacs
May 14: Relying on the May 1 jury verdict, United States District Judge Fern
Smith dismissed the Atari Corporation's suit that accused the Nintendo Company
of illegally monopolizing the United States market for home video games.
Atari said an appeal would be considered.
May: Director of Atari Service Ted Maciejewski departed the company.
May: Atari Computer vp sales Don Mandell departed the company. Mandell's
former responsibilities would be assumed by Atari director of international
music markets James Grunke, and Atari Computer dealer sales coordinator Mike
Groh would be promoted to national sales manager.
May 28: Atari released the FontGDOS version of the Graphic Device Operating
System for Atari TOS-based computers. Bill Rehbock remained Director
of Application Software, Atari Corporation
May 29-June 1: During the Summer CES in Chicago, from their suite in a nearby
downtown Chicago hotel, Atari promoted the Lynx. Atari promised to
ship 24 Lynx titles during the upcoming summer season, followed by an additional
crop of 15 titles for fall and winter release. Promised for June release:
Batman Returns, Basketbrawl, Lynx Casino, Rampart (title by Atari Games via
Tengen). July-August: Hockey, Hydra, Hyperdrome, Kung Food, Pinball
Jam (Elvira and the Party Monsters by Midway / Police Force by Williams),
Pit-Fighter, Rolling Thunder, Shadow of the Beast (title by Psygnosis), Steel
Talons, World Class Soccer. September: Baseball Heroes, Battlezone
2000, Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop, Daemonsgate, Dinolympics (previously: Dino
Quest), Dracula - The Undead, Jimmy Connors Bad Boy Tennis (title by UBI
Soft; would ship as: Jimmy Connors' Tennis), Malibu Beach Volleyball (would
ship as: Malibu Bikini Volleyball), NFL Football, Switchblade II (title by
Gremlin Graphics). October-December: 720°, Blood & Guts Hockey
(never shipped), Cabal, Eye of the Beholder (title by Strategic Simulations
Inc.; never shipped), Full Court Press (never shipped), Heavyweight Contender
(never shipped), Lemmings, Ninja Gaiden III (title by Tecmo), Ninja Nerd
(Lore Games; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Telegames in 1997
as: Fat Bobby), Power Factor (title by Hand Made Software), Rai-Den, Road
Riot 4WD (title by Atari Games via Tengen; never shipped), Space War (never
shipped), Super Asteroids/Super Missile Command, Vindicators. (source)
June 2: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. The size
of the board of directors was reduced from 6 to 5. Reelected: Jack
Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel, Leonard Schreiber, Michael Rosenberg.
Newly elected: August Liguori (Atari Vice President - Finance, Treasurer,
and Chief Financial Officer). Atari confirmed that they were discontinuing
their MS-DOS line of computers, but that the XE computers remained in production,
and that the 2600 and 7800 were still being sold as well.
June 10: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard the appeals
from all parties of the judgements by the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California on April 3, 1991. Atari was appealing the decision
in favor of the defendants regarding fraud, and Goldman Sachs, Ernst &
Whinney, and several individual associated with The Federated Group were
appealing the decisions in favor of Atari regarding indemnity. (970 F.2d
June: For the Lynx Atari shipped: Batman Returns (coinciding with the June
16 opening of the Warner Bros. movie), Rampart, Hockey (Alpine Studios),
Hydra (NuFX), Lynx Casino
June 20-21: NAMM Summer Session was held in Atlantic City NJ. Atari
did not attend.
June 21: John Skruch was Atari Director of Entertainment Software Development.
June 27-July 5 : At the Taste of Chicago, Atari operated a video-game contest
under a tent in Grant Park on Congress Parkway east of Columbus Drive. Gamers
could play any of four new video games, Batman Returns (just released), Hydra
(just released), Pinball Jam (preview), or NFL Football (preview), on 125
Lynx game systems; each day's highest-scoring players won Lynx systems, and
other Lynx systems were given away at random; Atari gave away more than 45
Lynxs. (source) (source)
June 29: TW Investment Corp. was merged with and into Warner Communications
Inc. (WCI). As a result, the 14,200,000 shares of Atari Corporation
Common Stock (24.6%) were now held by WCI.
Months?: For the 2600, in PAL versions for Europe only, Atari shipped: Fatal
Run, KLAX (Axlon). These would be the last releases by Atari for the
Month?: For the 7800, in a PAL version for Europe only, Atari shipped Sentinel
(Imagineering). This would be the last release by Atari for the 7800.
Month?: Virgin Games released Arcade Smash Hits (Centipede, Missile Command,
Breakout), titles by Atari, for Sega Master System.
Month?: Engineer David M. Schwartz, previously of Tandy Electronics Research
Labs (where he headed the software team developing the first erasable CD
ROM), joined Atari.
Month?: Atari France S.A. directeur technique Eric Cabedoce departed the
July 3: Atari withdrew its appeal of the May 1 verdict favoring Nintendo
in the federal antitrust/monopolization case. The withdrawal accompanied
a decision by Nintendo not to proceed with its attempt to recover certain
legal costs from Atari.
July 8: Don Thomas remained Atari Portfolio Marketing Manager. (open letter
to PC LAPTOP Computers Magazine)
July: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited offered a "Batman Returns" Lynx bundle (£99-99)
for four weeks, coinciding with the UK opening of the Warner Bros. movie.
Darryl Still was Atari's marketing spokesman. (NewsBytes)
July: Larry Siegel, president and CEO of the Atari Entertainment division,
and Dana Plotkin, Entertainment division executive vice president and COO,
both departed the company (planning to form a firm together to market entertainment
software). Atari Entertainment division vp sales Bob Schuricht would
depart the company. Atari would shift Entertainment division sales,
marketing, and support from the Lombard, Illinois location back to the Sunnyvale,
CA company headquarters. Atari vp business development Bernie Stolar
would additionally serve as president of the Entertainment Division (replacing
Siegel in the role). Li Kramer would become marketing director of Atari's
Entertainment division. The Lombard location was to remain a programming
center for Atari.
July: Ron Smith, previously of Wang, joined Atari as the new General Manager
of Atari Computer Corp. (replacing the previously-departed Greg Pratt).
July: Atari Computer national sales manager Mike Groh departed the company.
July: Atari (Canada) Corp. was shut down as an Atari subsidiary and converted
into a sales office of Atari Computer Corp. The office would continue
to be headed by Geoff Earle.
July 22: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the orders
by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on April
3, 1991 that granted summary judgment for the former The Federated Group
executives and associates and against Atari. The court found that Atari knew
prior to the merger that the assets of The Federated Group were overvalued.
The court reversed the order denying the individual defendants' counterclaim
for indemnification from Atari, and remanded to the District Court for a
determination of those attorneys' fees and costs. (970 F.2d 641)
August 12: Atari announced that Atari Explorer magazine would now be published
by editor Mike W. Lindsay and advertising/art director Darren R. Meer.
John B. Jainschigg, previously Atari Explorer publisher/editor, had departed
the company. Ron Kovacs remained editor of Atari Explorer Online.
August 14: Atari announced at a private dealer meeting that the Mega STe
was being taken out of production.
August 21-23: Atari introduced the Falcon030 personal integrated media computer
system at the Atari Messe in Düsseldorf, Germany, organized by Atari
Computer GmbH, which again attracted around 30,000 visitors. The Falcon030
was to ship in 3 configurations: 1 MiB RAM with no hard drive, 4 MiB RAM
with internal 65 MB hard drive, or 14 MiB RAM with 65 MB hard drive.
Atari also announced a new STe compatible analog joystick (never shipped),
and also featured the Atari System V Developer's Kit (ASV) running on the
TT030. For the Lynx Atari featured and promised for fall release: Pinball
Jam, Shadow of the Beast, Steel Talons, World Class Soccer, Kung Food, and
Basketbrawl, and also again promised 720° (Feb 93). (source) (This
would be the last Atari Messe held.)
Summer/Fall?: James Hampton joined Atari as senior producer / designer (games).
September 12-13: Atari demonstrated the Falcon030 at the Southern California
Atari Computer Faire, Glendale Civic Auditorium, Glendale CA (suburban Los
Angeles). Two models of the Falcon030 were to be offered in the U.S.
at the end of October: A $799 model with 1 MiB RAM with no hard drive, or
$1,399 model with 4 MiB RAM and internal 65MB 2.5-inch IDE hard disk drive.
Bill Rehbock was Atari director of applications software. (NewsBytes)
September 23: Atari introduced the Falcon030 to the U.S. at the meeting of
the Boston Computer Society in Boston, MA. The Falcon030 with 1 MiB
RAM was to list for $799 and be available in November.
September 23: Motorola's High Performance Microprocessor Division announced
that its 68030 provided the processing power for the Atari Falcon030.
The Atari Falcon030 also incorporated Motorola's 56001 digital signal processor
September 23: Craig W. Harding remained general counsel of Sierra On-Line
September 29: Atari said it was closing research and development facilities
in Dallas and Chicago and consolidating their operations with those in California.
One of the facilities being closed was Atari Microsystems, a research and
development division in Dallas, with about 40 employees. The other was the
Atari game development facility in Chicago (Lombard IL) with about 20 employees.
Atari also said it was curtailing operations at an office in Taiwan that
served as a liaison with subcontractors. Ten or 12 people would be
laid off there, and some of the office's operations would be taken over by
Sunnyvale and the company's Hong Kong office. Atari had about 500 employees
worldwide. (AP) Departures from the company included Entertainment
Division VP software development Craig Erickson.
October: Laurence M. Scott, Jr. (Laury Scott), previously President and Managing
Director of Radofin Electronics, joined Atari as VP manufacturing and operations,
replacing Samuel W.L. Chin who departed the company.
October: Atari vp business development and president of the Entertainment
Division Bernie Stolar departed the company.
October 20: In Germany, Atari Computer GmbH general manager Alwin Stumpf
departed the company (he would take a similar position with Commodore).
Irma Obersteiner, previously business manager, would be the new general manager
of Atari Computer GmbH. (source)
October 30: Assignee Atari Corporation gained assignor's interest in 6 patents
from assignor Atari Games Corporation: 3,793,483; 4,054,919; 4,045,789; 4,016,362;
November 16-20: At the fall COMDEX in Las Vegas, under the "Personal Integrated
Media" motto, Atari featured the Falcon030, TT030, and Portfolio. Atari
ST/TT/Falcon software featured: SpeedoGDOS, Concierge (previously: ST Sutra;
would ship as: Atari Works). Atari/Kodak promoted Kodak Photo CD running
on both TT030/Falcon030. Atari also showed the new Power Pad controller
for Falcon030 or STe, and showed/previewed four games commissioned by Atari
for the Falcon030: Raiden (Imagitec Design; title by Seibu Kaihatsu; never
shipped), Steel Talons (Koveos; title by Atari Games via Tengen; would be
shipped by 16/32 Systems), Cyber Assault (Koveos; never shipped), Llamazap
(Llamasoft; would be shipped by 16/32 Systems)
November 17: Atari Computer Corp. general manager Ron Smith departed the
company. He would be replaced by Garry Tramiel, who would return to
Atari as general manager of Atari Computer Corp.
November 18: For the Lynx Atari announced it had shipped (August through
November) Shadow of the Beast (Digital Developments), Steel Talons (NuFX),
Kung Food (Lore Games), Pinball Jam and Switchblade II (Gremlin Graphics),
and the four sports games NFL Football, Baseball Heroes, World Class Soccer
November/December: Atari Entertainment division marketing director Li Kramer
departed the company.
December 6: First issue of Atari Explorer Online published under new editor
Travis Guy (replacing the departed Ron Kovacs). Mike Lindsay remained
editor of the print Atari Explorer.
December 10: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had granted
Atari's petition for a rehearing of the decision of July 22, 1992 (970 F.2d
641), and issued a replacement judgment for clarification purposes.
The Court noted that their ruling for the former The Federated Group executives
and associates and against Atari did not establish that Atari waived its
right to collect damages for their breach of contract defense or to assert
their breach as a defense to enforcement of the Agreement. (981 F.2d
December: Atari senior design engineer Tracy Hall departed the company.
December: For the Lynx Atari shipped Dracula - The Undead (HandMade Software)
and Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop (Knight Technologies).
December?: Accolade released Centipede, developed by the Code Monkeys, title
by Atari, for Game Boy.
January 7-10: During the Winter CES in Las Vegas, from a nearby hotel suite
showroom, Atari promoted the Lynx. For the Lynx, through a new catalog,
Atari announced or again promised: Rolling Thunder, Pit-Fighter, Rai-Den,
Lemmings, Jimmy Connors' Tennis (title by UBI Soft; previously: Jimmy Connors
Bad Boy Tennis), Malibu Beach Volleyball (would ship as: Malibu Bikini Volleyball),
Dinolympics, Ninja Gaiden III, Eye of the Beholder, Road Riot 4WD, Gordo
106 (title by Tenth Planet), Power Factor, Relief Pitcher (title by Atari
Games via Tengen; never shipped)
Also at the show, GameTek announced the release of The Humans, title by GameTek,
developed by Imagitec Design for Atari and to ship from Atari as Dinolympics
for Lynx, and previously shipped under the GameTek Mirage label as The Humans
for Amiga, for PC, and also introduced/announced the game for SNES, Game
Boy, Genesis, and Game Gear (never shipped for Game Gear).
January 15-18: Atari featured the Falcon030 at NAMM in Anaheim, CA.
January: Atari shipped the Falcon030 in Germany. Configurations: 1MiB
RAM/no hard drive, 4MiB RAM/no hard drive, 4MiB RAM/65MB internal hard drive,
4MiB RAM/120MB internal hard drive, 14MiB RAM/65MB hard drive, 14MiB RAM/120MB
January/February: Atari released Pit-Fighter for Lynx.
Jan/Feb: Final published issue of Atari Explorer magazine.
March 10: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited announced that the Falcon030 had shipped
in the UK, available in three configurations: 1 MiB RAM system for £599;
4MiB system for £799, or 4MiB system with 65MB hard disk for £999.
(The previously-announced 14MiB "developers" version was announced discontinued.)
Darryl Still was head of Atari's marketing department. (NewsBytes)
March: Atari completed consolidation of European product distribution, as
initiated fall 1992. Robert Gleadow, general manager of Atari Corp.
(U.K.) Limited, would effectively become General Manager of Atari Europe.
March: Garry Tramiel, previously general manager of Atari Computer Corp.,
became president of Atari Computer Corp.
March 24: Atari had approximately 270 employees worldwide, including 78 in
engineering and product development, 77 in marketing, sales and distribution,
27 in purchasing and material control, and 88 in general administration and
management. Atari would complete its restructuring during 1993 and
expected to reduce the number of employees in all categories. (10-K for 1992)
March 24-30: At CeBIT '93 in Hanover, Germany, Atari primarily featured the
Falcon030, and also exhibited the TT030, Portfolio and Lynx. For the
Falcon030/TT030 Atari introduced/featured: Atari Works (earlier names: ST
Sutra, Concierge), SpeedoGDOS, and MultiTOS, and also introduced/showed games
commissioned by Atari for the Falcon030 including: The Humans (Imagitec Design;
would be shipped by 16/32 Systems as: Evolution: Dino Dudes), Llamazap, Road
Riot 4WD (Koveos; title by Atari Games via Tengen; would be shipped by 16/32
Systems), Raiden, Space Junk (Imagitec Design; never shipped)
March 31: Craig W. Harding remained general counsel of Sierra On-Line (source).
March/April: Atari dealers in the USA received Falcon030 demonstration units.
April: Gabriel S. Baum was promoted to Atari VP entertainment/games division
(replacing the departed Bernie Stolar). (source)
May 10: Atari announced the appointment of ION Finland Oy as its official
full products distributor in Finland. In addition, SLO Viestinta (Engineering
Division) would supply the Falcon030 to the specialist professional audio
and video market. Paul Welch was Atari's International Distributor
May: Geoff Earle, employed by Atari in Canada since May 1986, departed the
company as Atari Computer Corp. closed its Canadian sales office.
May 15: Final issue of Atari Explorer Online published by Atari. Atari
would shut down their Atari Explorer operations. Atari Explorer editor
Mike Lindsay, Atari Explorer advertising/art/layout director Darren R. Meer,
and Atari Explorer Online editor Travis Guy would depart the company.
(As Subspace Publishers, publisher Michael W. Lindsay and editor Travis Guy
would continue producing AEO independent of Atari.)
May 17: SuperMac Technology announced that Atari had licensed SuperMac's
Cinepak video compression technology (formerly known as Compactvideo).
Laury Scott remained Atari VP manufacturing and operations.
May 24-27: Atari did not attend Comdex/Spring '93 in Atlanta.
May/June: For the Lynx Atari shipped Dinolympics (concept by Atari; developed
by Imagitec Design for Atari; same game as The Humans by GameTek for non-Atari
platforms) and Power Factor (Hand Made Software).
June 3: Atari announced the launch of the Jaguar (approximately $200, with
one software experience and a Power Pad Controller), to launch in the New
York market in the fall, with a national roll-out of the product within one
year. For the Jaguar Atari also announced a compact disc peripheral
(would ship as: Jaguar CD), which would be double-speed and would play regular
CD audio, CD + G (Karaoke) and Kodak's new Photo-CD. Jaguar games (on
MegaCart) announced: Battlezone 2000 (would ship as: Hover Strike), Tempest
2000 (Llamasoft), Cybermorph (Attention To Detail), Alien vs. Predator (Rebellion),
Jaguar Formula One Racing (Rebellion; later: Checkered Flag II; would ship
as: Checkered Flag).
June 3-6: Atari did not attend the Summer Consumer Electronics Show at McCormick
Place in Chicago.
June: Adron Beene, previously Atari corporate counsel, became Atari Vice
President - Legal and Secretary, replacing Steven Kawalick who departed the
company. Craig W. Harding, previously general counsel of Sierra On-Line,
would join Atari as corporate counsel (replacing Beene in the role).
June: Atari shipped the Falcon030 in quantity in the USA, in three configurations:
1MiB RAM/no hard drive, 4MiB RAM/no hard drive, or 4MiB RAM/80MB internal
hard drive. (14MiB RAM/80MB hard drive configuration still promised
as well.) All configurations would ship with: TOS 4 with GEM, MultiTOS,
hard drive utilities, the games Landmine and Breakout, CalAppt (personal
time manager and phone book/dialer), ProCalc Scientific Calculator, Talking
Clock, System Audio Manager (SAM; not included with early units), AFM : the
Audio Fun Machine (not included with early units). Hard drive systems
would additionally ship with: Atari Works, SpeedoGDOS, Falcon-D2D Recorder.
Atari also separately shipped for all ST/TT/Falcon computers: Atari Works,
June 25: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Five
were elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
August J. Liguori, Leonard I. Schreiber, Michael Rosenberg. On display for
the shareholders were a number of Lynx machines in a tower style Lynx kiosk,
two Atari Falcon030s, and a Jaguar Development system.
June 28: Atari announced that under a 30-month agreement, Atari's Jaguar
would be built by IBM at an IBM factory in Charlotte, N.C.
Months?: GameTek / Mirage released Human Race: The Jurassic Levels / Humans
2: The Jurassic Levels / The Humans: Insult to Injury, concept by Atari,
developed by Imagitec Design, add-on releases for The Humans for Amiga and
July 6: Microsoft announced Microsoft Arcade, for Windows 3.1 PC, featuring
Asteroids, Centipede, Battlezone, Missile Command and Tempest, all properties
licensed from Atari. Scheduled to ship in August.
July/August: For the Lynx Atari shipped Gordo 106 (Tenth Planet).
August: Normen Kowalewski, previously Developer Support Manager for Atari
Computer GmbH (Germany), became Atari International Developer Support Manager.
August 18: Atari introduced the Jaguar 64-bit interactive multimedia system
(US$200, no game included) in a hands-on press event held at company headquarters
in Sunnyvale, Calif. Three Jaguar games were featured: Cybermorph,
Alien vs. Predator, and Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy. Additional
Jaguar games announced/promoted by Atari: Raiden (Imagitec Design; title
by Seibu Kaihatsu), Evolution: Dino Dudes (concept by Atari, developed by
Imagitec Design for Atari; same game as Dinolympics for Lynx and The Humans
from GameTek for non-Atari platforms), Club Drive, Checkered Flag II (previously:
Jaguar Formula One Racing: would ship as: Checkered Flag), Tiny Toon Adventures
(never shipped), Kasumi Ninja (Hand Made Software for Atari), Tempest 2000.
A prototype of the double-speed Jaguar CD-ROM peripheral, to be introduced
in 1994 and to include support for audio CD, karaoke CD+Graphics and optional
Kodak Photo CD (Photo CD cartridge never shipped) was also shown, and a Jaguar
MPEG 2 cartridge (never shipped) for playing full length motion pictures
from CD was announced. Atari also announced plans to distribute 50,000
Jaguars in the New York and San Francisco markets during fall 1993, with
a national roll-out in 1994.
August/September: For the Lynx Atari shipped Lemmings and Jimmy Connors'
Tennis (HandMade Software).
September 16: Date of Falcon software catalog produced by Atari France S.A.,
where Daniel Hammaoui remained DG. (source)
September 18-19: Southern California Atari Computer Faire in Glendale, CA.
Bill Rehbock remained Atari director of application software.
September 23: Atari announced the hire of Terrence Valeski (Terry Valeski)
as director of marketing and advertising for Jaguar (replacing Gabriel Baum
who departed the company). Valeski was known for his association with
Intellivision: He was hired by Mattel Electronics as Senior Vice President
of Marketing in 1983, in 1984 he founded Intellivision, Inc. after obtaining
the rights to the platform from Mattel, and he continued to head the company,
later known as INTV Corp., until it closed in 1991.
September 24: Atari announced its initial list of 20 licensed 3rd party game
developers for the Jaguar.
Fall: In Australia, Atari Computers Pty Ltd was shut down.
October 19: Atari filed legal proceedings in California Northern District
Court against Sega of America, Inc alleging patent infringement of Atari's
'114 Patent: U.S. Patent No. 4,445,114, "Apparatus for Scrolling a Video
Display," issued to David R. Stubben (of Atari, Inc.) on April 24, 1984.
Case name: Atari Corporation, et al v. Sega of America, Inc
November 4: In an elaborate media event Atari introduced the Jaguar in the
Hemisphere Club on the 48th floor of the Time/Life building on West 50th
Street in New York City. Over 300 attended, including buyers for major retail
stores, major corporate players, and media reporters. The Jaguar system
was to retail for US$249 (with game included). Atari announced the
signing of several major new developers for the Jaguar, including: Virgin,
Interplay, Microprose, UBI Soft, Gremlin Graphics, Millennium Interactive,
Accolade, Activision. The Time Warner library of video clips would
be available to Jaguar developers. Atari Games Corp. announced that they
would be using the Jaguar as a board for arcade games (hardware would be
known as: CoJag). For use with the future Jaguar CD multimedia player,
Atari announced the Jaguar MPEG 1 cartridge (CD-i and Video CD support; never
shipped) and again promoted the Jaguar MPEG 2 cartridge (never shipped).
Atari expected to ship about 50,000 Jaguar systems before Christmas, with
10,000 slated for the European market and the remaining 40,000 divided between
stores in the New York and San Francisco areas. (Newsbytes)
November 11: Atari and Accolade jointly announced a licensing agreement where
Atari would publish 5 titles by Accolade for Jaguar by fall 1994: Al Michaels
Announces HardBall III (never shipped), Brett Hull Hockey (never shipped),
Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (never shipped), Charles Barkley
Basketball (same game as Barkley Shut Up and Jam! for SNES and Genesis; never
shipped), Jack Nicklaus' Power Challenge Golf (later: Jack Nicklaus Cyber
Golf for Jaguar CD; never shipped)
November 15-19: At the Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari featured the Jaguar
as part of the OEM (original equipment manufacturers) section of the IBM
exhibit. Finished games exhibited by Atari for the Jaguar: Cybermorph,
Raiden, Evolution: Dino Dudes, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy; previewed:
Alien vs. Predator, Checkered Flag II (would ship as: Checkered Flag).
November 23: Atari announced that Jaguar was shipping, in New York and San
Francisco area retail stores. The 17-button Jaguar Controller (same
as the Atari Power Pad controller for Falcon030/STe) and Cybermorph shipped
with the system, suggested retail $249.99.
November 29: Atari announced a list of 15 additional software companies signed
as developers for Jaguar (some of these previously announced on November
4), bringing the total to 35. For the Jaguar Atari announced/promoted:
Return to Zork (to be published by Activision; never shipped); Al Michaels
Announces Hardball III, Brett Hull Hockey (Ringler Studios), Charles Barkley
Basketball (Ringler Studios), Jack Nicklaus Power Challenge Golf (Hand Made
Software), Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, Doom (Id Software),
3D Gunship 2000 (to be published by Microprose; never shipped), Zool 2 (Gremlin
Graphics); Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis (to be published by by UBI Soft; never
November/December: For the Jaguar Atari shipped: Raiden, Evolution: Dino
Dudes, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy (Atari's Flare II unit)
December?: Terry Valeski, previously Atari director of marketing and advertising
for Jaguar, became vice-president of marketing for Atari's U.S. division
(Atari Computer Corp.), as Atari shut down support for the TT030, Falcon030,
and Portfolio, to focus exclusively on the Jaguar and Lynx.
December: For the Lynx Atari shipped Malibu Bikini Volleyball (HandMade Software).
December 31: Atari had approximately 133 employees worldwide, including 43
in engineering and product development, 38 in marketing, sales and distribution,
7 in purchasing and production, and 45 in general administration and management.
(10-K for 1993)
Atari said it sold 20,000 Jaguar systems in the 2-market rollout for Christmas
(Consumer Electronics 1/17/94)
January 6-9: Atari promoted the Jaguar and Lynx at the Winter CES (main floor,
Pavilion A) in Las Vegas, in Atari's first showing at a CES since January
1991. For the Jaguar Atari featured Alien vs. Predator, Checkered Flag
II (would ship as: Checkered Flag), and Tempest 2000, and also promoted Club
Drive, Doom, and Tiny Toon Adventures (never shipped). For the Lynx
Atari featured (and again promised): Raiden (title by Seibu Kaihatsu via
Fabtek; previously: Rai-Den; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by
Telegames in 1997), Eye of the Beholder (never shipped), Ninja Gaiden III
January: John Skruch was Atari vp audio and graphics; Martin Hooley was Atari
director of software development (Atari's Cat Rap Jan94)
January: John Mathieson, previously of Atari's Flare II unit (Jaguar development),
joined Atari as Vice President Advanced Technology. (Richard Miller remained
Atari Vice President - Technology.)
February 11: Atari Technology Corp. officers: CEO Sam Tramiel, secretary
Adron Beene, CFO August J. Liguori. Location 1196 Borregas Avenue,
Sunnyvale CA. Business: "Personal business and home computers and video
game products" (filing with State of California)
February: Atari shipped Ninja Gaiden III for the Lynx.
February: Atari France S.A. was dissolved. (source) Atari would maintain
European offices in Holland and the U.K. Jean Richen would be Atari
European Marketing Manager.
February 24: The Hotz Corporation was co-established by Jimmy Hotz to create
the Hotz Translator for Windows, based on the Hotz MIDI Translator formerly
produced and marketed for Hotz Instruments Technology by Atari.
March 14-19: Atari did not attend CeBIT '94 in Hanover, Germany.
March 7: Atari announced 48 additional Jaguar developers, publishers and
licensees signed since January 1, 1994, bringing the total to 86. Terry
Valeski remained Atari vice president of marketing.
March 19: Report that Atari Computer GmbH had sold its administrative and
storage buildings in Germany, with the sale to be completed in June.
Irma Obersteiner remained general manager of Atari Computer GmbH. (source)
March 22: Atari Technology Corp. officers: CEO Sam Tramiel, secretary Adron
Beene, treasurer (CFO) August Liguori. Location 1196 Borregas Aveenue,
Sunnyvale CA. "Personal Computers and home computers and video game products."
(filing with State of California)
March 24: Atari Corporation announced that it would issue 1.5 million shares
of its common stock to Time Warner Inc. (via Warner Communications) at a
price of $8.50 per share for an aggregate investment of $12.8 million.
Before the new shares were issued there were 57,223,862 shares of Atari Common
March 24: Atari announced that Nintendo of America, Inc. and Atari had settled
litigation concerning Atari's '114 Patent: U.S. Patent No. 4,445,114, "Apparatus
for Scrolling a Video Display," issued to David R. Stubben (of Atari, Inc.)
on April 24, 1984. Atari would receive $2.2 million cash from Nintendo
and Atari would grant Nintendo a license to certain Atari patents.
March 24: Atari announced that in addition to the initial launch markets
of New York and San Francisco, they had now introduced Jaguar in Los Angeles.
March 29: Atari issued Atari Games 70,000 shares of Atari Corporation Common
Stock as royalty payment for the publishing by Atari Corporation of versions
of Atari Games games on Lynx (18 titles), ST (3 titles), 7800 (5 titles),
and 2600 (1 title) through December 31, 1993.
March/April: Atari director of marketing and advertising for Jaguar Terry
Valeski departed the company.
April 10-12: Atari featured the Jaguar, expected to be released in Europe
in fall 1994, at ECTS (European Computer Trade Show) in London.
April 13: Atari announced it was shipping Tempest 2000 for Jaguar.
Bill Rehbock, previously Atari director of application software, was now
Atari VP software business development.
April 19: Atari reported that the agreement for the sale of common stock
to Time Warner Inc., as reported on March 24, 1994, had been completed.
Atari had sold Time Warner Inc. 1.5 million shares of its common stock at
a price of $8.50 per share for a total of $12.8 million. There were now approximately
58,793,862 shares of Atari Common Stock outstanding. The 15,770,000
shares of Atari Common Stock held by Warner Communications constituted 26.8%
of the outstanding Atari Common Stock.
April 25: Wavefront Technologies and Atari announced a worldwide agreement
making Wavefront's GameWare the exclusive game graphics and animation development
software for the Atari Jaguar system. Bill Rehbock remained Atari VP Software
April 29: Adron Beene remained Atari Vice President - Legal and Secretary.
May 3: Atari announced that it had licensed Jaguar technology to Sigma Designs
to deliver Jaguar PC Card (never shipped), a PC card incorporating the Jaguar
technology with Sigma's Reel-Magic full-motion video capabilities.
Bill Rehbock remained Atari VP Software Business Development.
May 3: Atari said it had shipped between 50,000 and 100,000 Jaguar systems
to date, and that the Jaguar was now available across the US. Five
game titles for Jaguar had shipped to date. (Newsbytes)
May/June: Ron Beltramo, previously Director of Marketing at Gallo Salame,
rejoined Atari as VP marketing, replacing the departed Terry Valeski in the
June 3: Atari director of communications Bob Brodie departed the company.
June: Atari Vice President - Legal and Secretary Adron Beene departed the
company. Atari director, Vice President - Finance, Treasurer, and Chief
Financial Officer August Liguori additionally became Atari Secretary (replacing
Beene in the role).
June: Atari engineer David Schwartz, head of the Jaguar CD project, conceived
of a new type of interactive entertainment product, named "GameFilm", merging
videogame and film formats.
June 17: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Five
were elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
August J. Liguori, Leonard Schreiber, Michael Rosenberg.
June 23-25: At the Summer CES in Chicago (the final Summer CES to be held),
for the Jaguar ($250; five game titles shipped to date), Atari featured the
Jaguar CD multimedia player, to ship fall 1994. The unit would include
the Virtual Light Machine (VLM). Titles announced from Atari for the
Jaguar CD: Blue Lightning (Attention to Detail; title by Epyx), Battlemorph
(Attention to Detail), Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods (Lore Design;
title by Gaumont Television), Jack Nicklaus Cyber Golf (previously: Jack
Nicklaus Power Challenge Golf on cartridge; never shipped), Creature Shock
(Virgin Interactive; never shipped), Demolition Man (Virgin Interactive;
never shipped). Atari also announced the Jaguar Voice/Data Communicator
(never shipped), developed by Phylon Communications, to be supported initially
by Doom, Club Drive and Iron Soldier (Eclipse Software for Atari).
Atari announced that the number of signed licensed developers for the Atari
Jaguar had surpassed 150. Atari also announced Tempest 2000: The Soundtrack
(audio CD), and featured the Lynx at the show as well. Ron Beltramo
was Atari VP marketing; Bill Rehbock was VP software business development;
James Grunke was Director of Music and Audio.
June 23: Atari announced its participation in the SuperTour '94 summer long
exhibition of the Atari Jaguar in many popular shopping malls across America,
co-sponsored by Electronic Gaming Monthly (E.G.M.). Donald Thomas was
Atari director of Customer Service.
June 24: The Atari Jaguar was now being launched nationwide (U.S.) and overseas
in the UK, Germany, and France. (NewsBytes)
Months?: GameTek released Humans / Humans 1 and 2, concept by Atari, developed
by Imagitec Design, for CD32 and for PC.
July 7: Beamscope Canada and Atari announced that Beamscope Canada had been
appointed the exclusive Canadian distributor for the Atari Jaguar.
July 12: Atari announced an agreement with Time Warner Interactive (TWi)
whereby the Jaguar technology engine would be available for use in Time Warner
Interactive's arcade games, and arcade titles developed by TWi on the Jaguar
platform would also be available for Atari's Jaguar consumer console.
July 12: Atari confirmed a majority of its 1994 300,000 piece production
of Jaguar would be manufactured by IBM in Charlotte, North Carolina.
August 1: Atari announced it was shipping Wolfenstein 3-D by Id Software
for Jaguar. Additional Jaguar titles expected to ship by the end of
1994: Alien vs. Predator, Doom, Kasumi Ninja, Iron Soldier, Troy Aikman NFL
Football from Williams. Ron Beltramo was Atari VP marketing.
August 2: At MacWorld Expo in Boston, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Arcade
for Macintosh, featuring Asteroids, Centipede, Battlezone, Missile Command
and Tempest, all properties licensed from Atari.
August 22: Atari announced that Telegames had released Brutal Sports Football
August/September: In Germany, Atari Computer GmbH entered into bankruptcy
September: Atari launched the Jaguar in France. (source)
September 26: Atari reached an agreement with Sega Enterprises Ltd. concerning
Atari's '114 Patent: U.S. Patent No. 4,445,114, "Apparatus for Scrolling
a Video Display," issued to David R. Stubben (of Atari, Inc.) on April 24,
1984. Under the terms of the agreements: Sega would receive worldwide,
non-exclusive rights with certain exceptions to Atari's library of more than
70 U.S. patents and applications (excluding certain of Atari's Jaguar and
Lynx patents), for a fully prepaid royalty to Atari amortized at approximately
$7 million per year over 7 years for a total of $50 million; Sega would purchase
approximately 4.7 million shares of Atari common stock for a total price
of $40 million; both companies would enter into software license agreements
for up to five game titles per year that would be made available on each
company's present and future platforms; Atari would dismiss its legal proceedings
against Sega, and each company will release all claims against the other.
Atari Corporation, et al v. Sega of America, Inc, filed in the California
Northern District Court on October 19, 1993, would be dismissed.
September 26: Atari and Williams announced that Atari would develop and market
new versions of such Williams hits as Joust, Defender and Robotron for Jaguar,
while Williams would license the new versions to market them for high performance
PCs. They also announced that Williams would release Double Dragon
V for Jaguar.
October 10: Atari announced that Toys "R" Us would carry the Jaguar.
Jaguar titles expected to ship by the end of year would include: Alien vs.
Predator, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (Virgin), Doom, Troy Aikman NFL Football
from Williams, Iron Soldier, Kasumi Ninja. Ron Beltramo was Atari VP
October 14: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California
dismissed the involuntary bankruptcy petition against The Federated Group
of January 23, 1992. The petitioners would appear to the District Court,
see: D.C. No. CV-95-00021-WHO
October: Atari engineer David Schwartz became Atari VP New Media Systems
October 21: Atari shipped Alien vs. Predator for Jaguar.
October 25: Atari and Virtuality Group jointly announced that Virtuality
would finalize development of a consumer version of its head mounted display
technology (virtual reality headset) that Atari would manufacture and market
for use with the Atari Jaguar, to ship by Christmas 1995 (never shipped).
Ron Beltramo was Atari VP marketing. In the UK, Peter Walker, of Fitzroy,
remained Atari spokesman; Bob Gleadow remained MD Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited.
November: Atari VP Technology Richard Miller departed the company. (1995
proxy) (John Mathieson remained Atari Vice President Advanced Technology.)
November 16: Atari announced that it had received regulatory approval in
connection with its September 26, 1994 agreements with Sega and the transactions
November 20-January 15: In the U.S., with the purchase of a Jaguar system,
Atari offered a free Jaguar game cartridge, choice of: Evolution: Dino Dudes,
Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy, Raiden
November 21: As a result of the settlement between Atari and Sega, Atari
Corporation, et al v. Sega of America, Inc, filed on October 19, 1993, was
dismissed by Judge Claudia Wilken.
November 21: Atari announced the launch of Jaguar in Japan, including 25
Toys "R" Us outlets, and that Mumin Corporation of Tokyo was handling Jaguar
distribution and sales in Japan. Jaguar was already available in Europe,
Canada, and the US. Ron Beltramo remained Atari VP marketing; Laury
Scott remained Atari VP manufacturing and operations. (Newsbytes)
November 23: For Jaguar Atari announced the imminent, late November releases
of: Doom, Checkered Flag, Club Drive, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
December 2: Atari announced it was shipping Doom for Jaguar. Ron Beltramo
was Atari VP marketing.
December 9: For Jaguar Atari announced the imminent, December releases of:
Kasumi Ninja, Zool 2 (Gremlin Interactive, formerly known as Gremlin Graphics),
Bubsy in: Fractured Furry Tails (Imagitec Design, title by Accolade), Iron
Soldier, Val d'Isère Skiing and Snowboarding (Virtual Studios).
Jaguar titles Atari announced to ship in 1995: Hover Strike (previously:
Battlezone 2000), Space War 2000 (never shipped), Troy Aikman NFL Football
from Williams, Rayman from Ubi Soft, Double Dragon V from Williams, Theme
Park from Ocean, Syndicate from Ocean, Fight for Life (High Voltage Software
for Atari). Atari stated that more than 200 third-party developers
had agreed to create new titles for the Jaguar. Ron Beltramo was Atari
December 14: Atari and Time Warner jointly announced the initiation of Time
Warner Cable's Full Service Network (FSN) in Orlando, Florida, featuring
Jaguar games which were stored on magnetic hard drives and downloaded to
the game device at the consumers' request. The system, including 5
Jaguars, was also in use at the "Home of the 21st Century," a model home
sponsored by Time Warner Cable's Full Service Network and Southern Living
Magazine and equipped with Full Service Network capabilities, and other state-of-the-art
home services located in the Sweetwater, Wekiva, Lake Brantley and Springdale
community near Orlando. Ron Beltramo was Atari VP marketing.
December 22: Atari announced the releases of Iron Soldier and Kasumi Ninja
for Jaguar. Ron Beltramo was Atari VP marketing.
December 31: Atari had approximately 101 employees in the U.S., including
58 in engineering and product development, 18 in marketing, sales and distribution,
5 in purchasing and production, and 20 in general administration and management;
in addition, the Company had approximately 16 employees outside the U.S.
(10-K for 1994)
January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas, Atari announed that the the
Jaguar CD multimedia player, including the Virtual Light Machine (VLM), would
ship winter 1995 for $149.99, and that the first Jaguar CD titles would be
Battlemorph, Blue Lightning, Highlander, Demolition Man and Creature Shock.
For the Jaguar Atari introduced the JagLink Interface cable (spring 1995
for $29.99), and again promised the Jaguar Voice/Data Communicator (fall
1995 for under $150) and the Jaguar virtual reality headset (by Christmas
1995 under $200). Atari promoted Batman Forever (never shipped), Thea
Realm Fighters (CD; High Voltage Software; never shipped), and Primal Rage
(CD) from Time Warner Interactive as the top coming attractions for the Jaguar.
Sports titles promoted by Atari for Jaguar: Charles Barkley Basketball (never
shipped), Brett Hull Hockey (now for CD; never shipped), Al Michaels Announces
HardBall III; never shipped), Jack Nicklaus Cyber Golf (never shipped), Troy
Aikman NFL Football from Williams, White Men Can't Jump (High Voltage Software,
title by TriMark), CD League Bowling from V Real (never shipped), Sensible
Soccer from Telegames (would ship as: International Sensible Soccer).
Additional upcoming Jaguar titles promoted by Atari: Fight for Life, Space
War 2000, Hover Strike, Ultra Vortex (Beyond Games for Atari; would ship
as Ultra Vortek), Rayman from Ubi Soft. Previewed for Jaguar: Hover
Hunter (Hyper Image; later: Phase Zero; never shipped), BurnOut (by Shen
Technologies via Virtual Xperience; would ship as: Super Burnout), Air Cars
(MidNite Entertainment Group; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by
ICD), Varuna's Forces (CD; Accent Media; never shipped). Already available
Jaguar titles that were featured: Doom, Iron Solder, Checkered Flag, Club
Drive, Kasumi Ninja, Val d'Isère Skiing and Snowboarding, Bubsy in:
Fractured Furry Tails, Zool 2. Atari also showed 4 games for the Lynx
(what games????). (some reports) Ron Beltramo was Atari VP marketing.
March 13: Atari and Williams Entertainment announced that Atari would be
publishing Mortal Kombat III (never shipped) for the Atari Jaguar.
Bill Rehbock remained Atari VP of Software Business Development.
March: Dean Fox joined Atari as Senior Vice President, Marketing. (Ron
Beltramo remained Atari VP marketing.)
March 17: Atari subsidiaries, worldwide, consisted of: Atari (Benelux) B.V.,
Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited, and the U.S. subsidiary, Atari Computer Corporation.
(10-K for 1994) Numerous subsidiaries had been shut down over the preceding
March 21: Atari announced the Jaguar "64-Bit Power Kit" package, including
Jaguar console, controller, power adapter and video cable, with no game included,
to retail for $159.99.
March 22: Atari and Acclaim announced that 3 Acclaim titles would be published
by Atari for Jaguar, including NBA Jam Tournament Edition (title by Midway)
and Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball (never shipped).
March 25: Time Warner Inc., seeking to reduce its debt load, disclosed that
it planned to sell part or all of its 24.5 percent stake in the Atari Corporation.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the giant media
and entertainment company said it expected to dispose of "some or all" of
its 15.6 million common shares of Atari "from time to time in open market
transactions or otherwise." At current prices, the stake was worth
March 26-28: At the European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) at London's Olympia,
Atari announced that the price of its Jaguar games console was reduced from
£230 to £149. Atari also announced an extended contract
with Virtuality, the London-based Virtual Reality (VR) software house, in
which Virtuality would develop two VR games for the Atari Jaguar. Peter
Walker was Atari spokesman, and Bob Gleadow remained MD Atari Corp. (U.K.)
March 27: Atari announced the release of Tempest 2000: The Soundtrack (audio
CD). Executive producer: John Skruch. Produced by Imagitec Design.
IDI Musicians: Ian Howe, Alastair Lindsay, Kevin Saville, Julian Hodgson.
Production Director: James Grunke. Ron Beltramo remained Atari VP marketing.
April?: Atari released Hover Strike for the Jaguar.
Spring?: Maximina K. Fagan joined the Atari legal department (reporting to
corporate counsel Craig Harding; the two would comprise the entire legal
May 1: Atari announced the hires of Dean Fox, previously of Rocket Science
Games and earlier of Sega, as SVP Marketing, and Jon Correll, previously
Manager of Development Administration for Sega of America, as VP Software
Product Development (replacing the departed Martin Hooley). (Ron Beltramo
remained Atari VP marketing.)
May 9: Following up on market success for the Jaguar in the UK, Atari had
signed a series of European country Jaguar distribution agreements, including
Cosmo Entertainment in Germany, Mirage in Poland, Product Finale in Spain,
and Adastra in Sweden. Computer Trade Weekly had also reported that
Atari was about to sign further Jaguar distribution deals in Denmark, Israel,
Italy, and Turkey. (NewsBytes)
May 11-13: The (first-ever) Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), held the
Los Angeles Convention Center. Atari introduced the Jaguar VR (by Virtuality
Entertainment; never shipped), along with Missile Command VR (by Virtuality
Entertainment; earlier: Missile Command 2000; would ship as: Missile Command
3D) and Zone Hunter (by Virtuality; never shipped) for the Jaguar VR; Atari
promoted the Jaguar CD multimedia player with built-in Virtual Light Machine
(VLM), to ship in August ($150), and the CD titles Battlemorph, Highlander:
The Last of the MacLeods, Blue Lightning, Demolition Man, Myst (Sunsoft;
title by Cyan), and Creature Shock; Atari again promoted the JagLink interface,
introduced the Team Tap controller, and again promoted the Jaguar Voice/Data
Communicator; Atari announced there would be nearly 100 titles for the Jaguar
by the end of the year; Atari featured the Jaguar games Thea Realm Fighters
(CD), Rayman from Ubi Soft, White Men Can't Jump (with Team Tap controller),
and Ultra Vortex, and promoted the additional new release titles: Primal
Rage from Time Warner Interactive, the Highlander RPG series, Fight for Life,
and NBA Jam Tournament Edition (High Voltage Software); Atari announced a
line of classic games for the Jaguar including Dactyl Joust (High Voltage
Software for Atari; never shipped), Defender 2000 (Llamasoft for Atari),
and Missile Command VR; Atari announced they would publish classic games
for the PC at the end of the year, beginning with Tempest 2000.
May 24: Sam Tramiel remained Atari Corporation CEO; August Liguori remained
secretary and CFO; Craig W. Harding was corporate counsel. Address
remained: 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale CA. Type of business: "Manufacturer
and distributor of video game systems and software"
Spring/Summer: Atari Director of Audio James Grunke departed the company.
June 5: Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Atari Corporation. Five were
elected to the board of directors: Jack Tramiel (Chairman), Sam Tramiel,
August J. Liguori, Leonard Schreiber, Michael Rosenberg
June 20: "Fun 'N' Games" hands-on media event at Atari Corporation headquarters.
Jaguar titles featured by Atari: Blue Lightning (CD), Hover Hunter (cart;
later: Phase Zero; never shipped), White Men Can't Jump (cart), FlipOut!
(CD; by Gorilla Systems; would ship on cartridge), Highlander: The Last of
the MacLeods (CD), Myst (CD), SuperX (cart; by Tiertex; would ship as: Supercross
3D), Baldies (CD; by Creative Edge), Robinson's Requiem (CD; by Silmarils;
never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Songbird in 2011), Charles Barkley
Basketball (cart), Commander Blood (CD; by Cryo; never shipped), Breakout
2000 (cart; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Telegames in Dec.
1996), Vid Grid (CD; developed by High Voltage Software, title by Jasmine
Multimedia Publishing and Geffen Records), Varuna's Forces (CD), Battlemorph
(CD), Fight for Life (cart), Space War 2000 (cart), Ultra Vortex (cart),
Creature Shock (CD), Demolition Man (CD), Black ICE \ White Noise (CD; by
Kelp Entertainment; never shipped), Defender 2000 (cart), Thea Realm Fighters
(CD), Brett Hull Hockey (cart), Max Force (CD; Nerf game developed by Genus
Microcomputing; never shipped)
June 22?: Atari SVP Marketing Dean Fox departed the company. (source for
day?) (Ron Beltramo remained Atari VP advertising and merchandising.)
June 26: Atari announced that Theodore M. Hoff (Ted Hoff), previously SVP
and general manager of Fox Interactive, and prior to that SVP of Time Warner
Interactive from 1990-1994, had joined the company as president of North
American Operations (U.S., Canada, Mexico) (replacing Atari Computer Corp.
president Garry Tramiel who departed the company).
Month?: Atari Microsystems Division general manager Ira Goldstein departed
July 5: Atari announced the release of Super Burnout for Jaguar.
July 12: Jeanne Winding was product marketing manager for Atari.
July?: Nintendo released Arcade Classic No. 1: Asteroids / Missile Command,
titles by Atari, developed by Accolade, licensed to Nintendo, for Game Boy
(or Super Game Boy).
July 17: Atari and Activision announced Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure for
Jaguar, to be developed by Activision and released by Atari, and announced
Atari Action Pak II (this version with Atari properties never shipped) for
single-user IBM and PC compatible computers, which would include the Atari
properties: Air Sea Battle, Breakout, Super Breakout, Space War, Surround,
Millipede, Combat, Yar's Revenge, Canyon Bomber, Gravitar, Maze Craze, Night
August 1: For Jaguar Atari announced the release of White Men Can't Jump
with Team Tap controller. The library of games for Atari Jaguar 64
was promised to approach 75 titles by the end of 1995.
August 2: Atari announced that on Saturday, Aug. 12, Atari Corporation would
donate $10,500 to the San Francisco Giants Community Fund. With more than
300 Atari employees and their families in attendance, Sam Tramiel, president
and CEO of Atari, would present the donation to Giants' third baseman Matt
Williams as the team faced the Chicago Cubs at Candlestick Park. The previous
year, Atari had committed to donate $250 for every home run Williams hit
over the season, and Williams had proceeded to hit 42 home runs.
August 9: Atari announced that U.S. Gold had released Flashback, The Quest
for Identity (Delphine Software) for Jaguar.
August?: Nintendo released Arcade Classic No. 2: Centipede / Millipede, titles
by Atari, developed by Accolade, licensed to Nintendo, for Game Boy (or Super
August 12: Craig Harding remained Atari corporate counsel.
August 28: For Jaguar Atari announced the release of FlipOut!.
August 30: Atari announced an agreement with ATOMIX Inc. (formerly TOPIX,
an Emmy Award-winning CGI and new media development house) to develop a next-generation
user support World Wide Web Domain on the Internet.
September: Atari Developer Support Engineer Mike Fulton departed the company.
September: For the Jaguar Atari released Ultra Vortek.
September 19: Atari announced that Ubi Soft had released Rayman for Jaguar.
September 21: Atari announced the release of the Jaguar CD Multimedia Player
for the Jaguar, bundled with: Blue Lightning, Vid Grid, Myst demo, Tempest
2000: The Soundtrack. Package suggested retail price: US$199
October 6: Atari announced the new JAGWIRE World Wide Web domain, created
by ATOMIX Inc., at http://www.atari.com, and named CompuServe as its official
Jaguar 64 commercial on-line support site. Donald A. Thomas Jr. remained
director of Atari Customer Service Marketing.
October: For the Lynx, Atari released Super Asteroids/Super Missile Command
and released Battlezone 2000 (HandMade Software). These would be the
last two releases by Atari for the Lynx.
October: Four months after holding their first such event, Atari held their
second Press Day at company headquarters in Sunnyvale. Jaguar titles
featured by Atari: Fever Pitch (cart.; US Gold; would ship as: Fever Pitch
Soccer), Formula One Racing (CD; temporary name; never shipped by Atari;
would be shipped by Telegames as: World Tour Racing), Atari Karts (cart.;
Miracle Designs), SuperCross 3D (cart.; previously: SuperX), NBA Jam Tournament
Edition (cart.), Phase Zero (cart.; previously: Hover Hunter; never shipped),
Battlemorph (CD), Baldies (CD)
October: For the Jaguar Atari released: the JagLink Interface, the Team Tap
Multi-Player Adapter, the ProController, and the Memory Track for the Jaguar
October 18: For Jaguar Atari announced the release of Pitfall: The Mayan
Adventure by Activision.
October 23: For Jaguar CD Atari announced the release of Hover Strike: Unconquered
October 25: Time Warner Inc. cut its stake in Atari to 13.7 percent after
selling 6.6 million shares.
October 27: Atari announced that the Jaguar was now available through the
RadioShack unlimited and the Sears Wish Book catalogues.
October 30: Atari, USA Network and Electronic Gaming Monthly announced "USA:
Up All Night Atari Jaguar Sweepstakes" to air on the "USA: Up All Night"
program for three consecutive Friday nights from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
on November 10, 17 & 24.
October 30: For Jaguar CD Atari announced the release of Highlander: The
Last of the MacLeods.
October 31: The Atari Board of Directors determined to substantially reduce
the resources devoted to the Jaguar and related products, and to change Atari's
strategic focus by devoting its resources to PC software publishing and strategic
opportunities. In particular, the Atari Board of Directors directed
management to focus on evaluating strategic opportunities for Atari including
potential investments and acquisitions. (1996 proxy)
Fall?: Max Kiko Fagan would be promoted to Atari corporate counsel, replacing
Craig Harding who departed the company.
November 2: Atari dismissed about 20 employees (internal Jaguar development
team and other development staff -1996 proxy); notably including Atari VP
of Software Business Development Bill Rehbock and senior producer / designer
November 6: Atari announced the release of Ruiner Pinball, developed by High
Voltage Software, for Jaguar.
November 7: Atari announced that Run PC, a regional retail leader in computers
and next-generation game systems, had opened the first Jaguar Mall Store
in the Twin Peaks Mall in Longmont, Colorado, on Nov. 4. The prototype
store would exclusively demonstrate and sell the Atari Jaguar home entertainment
system and the Atari Lynx handheld color gaming system. Atari provided
interactive merchandising materials including arcade-style "hands-on" displays,
banners and signage.
November: Time Warner Interactive released Area 51 by Atari Games, developed
by Mesa Logic, 33" Showcase and 25" versions (incorporating CoJag hardware
based on Jaguar by Atari Corporation)
November 16: In the initial meeting between the two companies, Sam Tramiel,
president and CEO of Atari Corporation, and Sirjang L. "Jugi" Tandon, the
Chairman of JT Storage, Inc., met at the Las Vegas airport following the
Comdex show. A follow-up meeting was scheduled for early December to
further discuss a possible investment in JTS by Atari. (1996 proxy)
December 12: Atari announced the release of Missile Command 3D, developed
by Virtuality Entertainment, for Jaguar.
December 14: Jack Tramiel and Sam Tramiel of Atari met with Jugi Tandon and
T. David Mitchell at JTS. At this meeting, the parties discussed a
potential investment by Atari in JTS and the possibility that Jack Tramiel
would become a director of JTS. (1996 proxy)
December 15: Atari announced that the Jaguar 64 system would now be priced
at $99, and for the Jaguar Atari announced the release of: Atari Karts, I-War
(Imagitec Design), Fever Pitch Soccer, Supercross 3D
December: Atari Vice President Advanced Technology John Mathieson departed
December 31: Atari had approximately 73 employees worldwide. (10-K for 1995)
January 2: Atari announced the new division, Atari Interactive, which would
create titles for a variety of platforms and consoles such as Atari's Jaguar
system, PC, Macintosh, the Internet and websites. Atari announced 4
Atari Interactive PC CD-ROM titles to ship first quarter 1996: Tempest 2000,
Highlander (never shipped), Baldies (never shipped), and FlipOut! (never
shipped). Atari planned more Atari Interactive PC games based on other
of its old games, including Missile Command, Crystal Castles, Asteroids,
Pac-Man and Centipede; a total of 17 PC games were planned for release in
1996. (source) Ted Hoff remained president of Atari North American
January 5-8: In an off-site showing near the Winter CES in Las Vegas, Atari
introduced the Atari Interactive PC CD-ROM titles Tempest 2000, Highlander
(never shipped), Baldies (never shipped), and FlipOut! (never shipped), each
to ship First Quarter, 1996. Atari also announced the additional Atari
Interactive titles: Missile Command 3D (never shipped), Return to Crystal
Castles (never shipped), Interactive Rocky Horror Show (never shipped), Virtual
War (never shipped). (source)
January 8: Jack Tramiel, Sam Tramiel and T. David Mitchell met at Jack Tramiel's
home to further discuss strategic transaction between Atari and JT Storage.
January: Atari Interactive released Tempest 2000, developed by Llamasoft,
conversion by Imagitec Design, title by Atari, for PC CD-ROM (DOS) (and also
released Tempest 2000 demo, T2K_PC10.ZIP). It would be the only release
by the Atari Interactive division of Atari.
January: For the Jaguar Atari released Zoop (Hookstone via Viacom) and NBA
Jam Tournament Edition, and for the Jaguar CD Atari released Myst, Baldies,
January 17: Meeting was held at JT Storage to discuss the proposed transaction
between Atari and JT Storage. Present at the meeting were Jack Tramiel,
Sam Tramiel and Mr. Liguori of Atari and Mr. Tandon, Mr. Mitchell and Ms.
Walker of JT Storage. Also present were representatives from Wilson Sonsini
Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., counsel to Atari, and a representative of Cooley
Godward, counsel to JT Storage. There was substantial discussion regarding
a proposed merger of Atari and JT Storage. (1996 proxy)
January 17: Atari dismissed 20 employees, notably including VP marketing
Ron Beltramo and International Developer Support Manager Normen Kowalewski,
and Atari president of North American Operations Ted Hoff departed the company
(effective December 31, 1995 for financial purposes). The Atari Interactive
division was shut down. Garry Tramiel would again return to Atari as
head of Atari Computer Corp. (replacing Hoff in the role).
February 5: JT Storage, Inc. established JTS Acquisition Corporation for
the purpose of merging with Atari Corporation. (The two companies would
proceed to merge, but this new corporate entity would not be used after all.)
February 12: Date of Agreement and Plan of Reorganization by and among Atari,
JTS and JTS Acquisition Corporation. (This original version would be
replaced by the Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Reorganization
of April 8, 1996.)
February 13: Atari Corporation loaned $25.0 million to JT Storage, Inc.
February 13: Atari Corporation and JT Storage, Inc. (dba JTS) announced they
had agreed to merge the two companies. The new corporation would operate
under the name of JTS Corporation and the officers of JTS would become the
officers of the merged company. The Atari entertainment business and
the JTS disk drive business would operate as separate divisions of the new
merged company. As a result of the transaction, Atari stockholders
would hold approximately 60% of the outstanding shares of the new company
following the merger. The transaction was structured to qualify as
a tax-free reorganization and would be accounted for as a purchase.
February 14: Atari announced the release of Defender 2000 for Jaguar.
Don Thomas was Atari Marketing Director.
March 1: (effective date) Atari director, Vice President--Finance, Treasurer,
and Chief Financial Officer August Liguori departed as an executive officer
with the company (to be VP finance of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.).
Atari director, President, and Chief Executive Officer Sam Tramiel would
additionally become Chief Financial Officer in place of Liguori. Liguori
would remain an Atari director until the JTS merger was completed (July 30).
March 3: Atari headquarters moved from 1196 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA to:
455 S Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale CA (a former Bank of America building)
(source for date)
March 15: Atari shipped Attack of the Mutant Penguins, by Sunrise Games,
March: Atari Vice President, Manufacturing and Operations Laury Scott departed
the company (to join JT Storage as Vice President - Materials).
March 31: Atari had approximately 25 employees in the U.S., including five
in engineering and product development, 12 in marketing, sales and distribution,
two in purchasing and six in general administration and management. In addition,
Atari had six employees outside the United States. (10-K for 1995)
April 4: $19.7 million of the $25 million Atari loan had been expended by
JT Storage. (1996 proxy)
April 8: Date of Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Reorganization
By and Between Atari Corporation and JT Storage, Inc. This revised
(and final) Merger Agreement modified the legal structure of the merger agreement
of February 12, 1996 into a merger of Atari with and into JT Storage, with
JT Storage as the surviving company, to be renamed: JTS Corporation.
This change in the legal structure of the merger did not materially modify
the economic terms of the merger.
April 12: Atari Corporation subsidiaries, worldwide, consisted of: Atari
(Benelux) B.V., Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited, Atari Computer Corporation (10-K
April 19: Atari released Fight for Life for the Jaguar. It would be
the final release by Atari for the Jaguar.
April 26: Sam Tramiel was Atari Corporation president and CEO, secretary,
and CFO. Atari address: 455 South Mathilda Avenue, Sunnyvale CA.
Type of business: "Publisher and manufacturer of video game software and
May 16-18: Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles; Atari did not
May: FilmMagic, Inc. (later: ImaginOn) was incorporated by Atari VP New Media
Systems and Technology David Schwartz.
June 1: From the introduction of Jaguar in late 1993 through May 1996, Atari
had sold approximately 135,000 units of Jaguar. Atari had approximately
90,000 units of Jaguar in inventory. As of May 31, 1996, Atari held
over 150 patents in the United States and other jurisdictions which would
expire from 1996 to 2010 and had applications pending for three additional
patents. (1996 proxy)
June: Atari VP New Media Systems and Technology David Schwartz departed the
June: The amount of the February 13, 1996 loan from Atari Corporation to
JT Storage, Inc. was increased from $25 million to $30 million. (1996 proxy)
June 19: Atari had 22 employees, including 15 in the United States and seven
outside the United States. (1996 proxy)
June 19: The name of JT Storage, Inc. was changed to: JTS Corporation
June 24: Atari Corporation had a single subsidiary: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited.
(JTS Corp – ‘S-4’ )
June 28: There were approximately 2,375 holders of record of Atari Common
Stock and 63,854,718 shares of Atari Common Stock were issued and outstanding
(and no share of Perferred Stock). (1996 proxy)
Months?: Majesco released Arcade Classics (Pong, Missile Command, Centipede)
by Sega, titles by Atari, for Genesis, Mega Drive, and Game Gear.
Months?: GameTek released Humans 3: Evolution - Lost In Time..., concept
by Atari, developed by Imagitec Design, for Amiga, CD32, and PC.
July 30: Atari Special Meeting held at the offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich
& Rosati, P.C., 650 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California, legal counsel
to Atari, at 9:00 a.m.
Atari Corporation was merged with and into JTS Corporation. Approximately
63,850,000 shares of JTS Common Stock were issued to the former shareholders
of Atari for all of the outstanding stock of Atari (1:1 ratio). Atari
Common Stock was delisted from the American Stock Exchange at the end of
the day. Financially, the merger was calculated as the acquisition
of JTS by Atari for about $112.3 million. See: A History of JT Storage
->In This Week's
Gaming Section - Nintendo Switch Could
Be Twice As Powerful While Docked!
Valve Hit With $2.1 Million Fine by Australian Courts!
Diablo's 20th Anniversary Brings Special Events!
Game Console Industry News -
The Latest Gaming News
The Nintendo Switch Could Be Twice As Powerful While Docked
Just how powerful is Nintendo's next game console? We won't know
for sure until January, but if the latest report from Eurogamer
pans out, the answer could be kind of complicated. According to
specifications provided to developers, the Nintendo Switch
performance changes depending on how you use it: in its docked,
TV-mode or as a gaming portable.
Specifically, sources familiar with the system have revealed two
different graphic processor specifications for the final Nintendo
Switch hardware -- an undocked portable profile that clocks the
NVIDIA Tegra GPU at 307.2MHz and a docked, TV-based profile that
more than doubles it to 768MHz. Doing some rough calculations
using the Tegra X1 chip the Switch's silicon is said to be based
off of, we can guess the console can push around 400 gigaflops on
FP32 while docked. Yes, that's a lot of numbers, but don't worry
about the math too much. The long and short of it is that the
latest numbers show that the Nintendo Switch will definitely
outpace the Wii U - but it's still a few hundred (or thousand)
gigaflops shy of its competitors.
That said, nobody really expected the next Nintendo to keep
place with the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Nintendo dropped out of
the race to the top years ago, and hasn't made a move to be the
'most powerful' game console in over a decade. That doesn't seem
to be changing with the Nintendo Switch.
Diablo's 20th Anniversary Brings Special Events
to Hearthstone, Overwatch, and More
December 31 will mark the 20th anniversary of Blizzard's mega-hit
action-RPG Diablo, and Blizzard is commemorating the big day with
in-game events and assorted good stuff in Diablo 3, Heroes of the
Storm, Hearthstone, Overwatch, StarCraft 2, and World of
Warcraft. Here's a taste of what's in store.
Diablo 3: Recapture the feeling of your first play through
the original Diablo with The Darkening of Tristram tribute event.
Venture through a reimagined version of the original cathedral in
Diablo III and keep an eye out for some familiar items.
Heroes of the Storm: The battle for the High Heavens
continues, and a new Diablo-themed portrait is up for grabs! Can
you emerge victorious on this hectic new brawl map?
Hearthstone: In this Tavern Brawl, a hooded stranger awaits,
holding a grim deck in his hands. Will you unravel the secrets
surrounding this dark wanderer?
Overwatch: Bring the battle for Sanctuary into the fight
the future with in-game sprays representing your favorite
Diablo III classes—along with a new player icon modeled after
the Lord of Terror!
StarCraft 2: Put the Lord of Terror to work for you with
Diablo-themed worker portrait.
World of Warcraft: Strange things are afoot in the world
Azeroth as denizens of Sanctuary cross over into an unfamiliar
It's not exactly laden with detail, but Blizzard said that more
will be revealed in the near future. Naturally, we'll let you
know when we hear more about what's going on.
Valve Hit With $2.1 Million Fine by
Courts Over Steam Refunds
Valve lost its legal battle against Australia's competition
watchdog earlier this year, and now it's time to pay up.
An Australian court has ruled that Valve must pay a whopping
$AU3 million ($2.15 million US) fine following the loss of its
legal battle against the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission earlier this year. The fine is the maximum requested
by the regulatory body, and according to the Sydney Morning
Herald was imposed because of Valve's disregard for Australian
law when it set up shop in the country, and "lack of contrition"
Valve's troubles began in mid-2014, when it was sued by the ACCC
for not offering consumer guarantees that are required by
Australian law. "Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers can
insist on a refund or replacement at their option if a product
has a major fault," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said at the time. But
Valve, according to the complaint, had indicated that it was not
obligated to provide refunds for any reason, and "had excluded,
restricted or modified statutory guarantees and/or warranties
that goods would be of acceptable quality."
Valve's refund policy has changed dramatically since the suit
was filed—it now offers refunds on just about everything, "for
any reason"—but that apparently didn't impress the judge on the
"Valve is a United States company with 2.2 million Australian
accounts which received 21,124 tickets in the relevant period
containing the word 'refund' from consumers with Australian IP
addresses," Justice James Edelman wrote in his ruling. "Yet it
had a culture by which it formed a view without Australian legal
advice that it was not subject to Australian law, and it was
content to proceed to trade with Australian consumers without
that advice and with the view that even if advice had been
obtained that Valve was required to comply with Australian law
the advice might have been ignored."
Valve had actually offered more than 15,000 refunds during the
relevant period, according to the report, but the violating
terms and conditions had been accepted by Steam users in
Australia nearly 25 million times between 2011 and 2014. That,
Edelman said, meant it was "impossible to calculate the precise
number of consumers who were affected by the
misrepresentations." Valve had suggested paying a $250,000
fine, but the judge dismissed that amount, saying "it would
barely be noticed."
Valve will also be required to post a notice on its Australian
website, in size 14 type, informing consumers of their rights.
Update: The headline originally stated that the fine was $3
million, but that amount is in Australian funds. To avoid
confusion, it now indicates the equivalent amount in US funds
->A-ONE Gaming Online
- Online Users Growl & Purr!
New Atari Lynx Shooter
A new Atari Lynx shooter Weltenschlachter has just been
completed. This new shooter pulls on the old nostalgia strings
hard as it features some strong ties to the classic Yar’s
Revenge and other side scrolling shooters. From what we know of
this one, it is definitely squarely in the “quarter muncher”
category–thankfully, the Atari Lynx does not take quarters.
Graphically, Weltenschlachter is a little bare, but that is to
be expected as this is the Atari Lynx. While there have been
some decently powerful looking graphical powerhouse releases on
the portable, they were few and far between back in the day. As
most retrogaming fans will tell you though, graphics alone do
not make a quality title.
First shown at E-Jagfest 2016, Weltenschlachter apparently left
a lot of show goers crying for a physical release. Based on the
description on the YouTube video, it appears that that is just
what is happening. Weltenschlachter is allegedly going to see a
physical release soon. Hopefully, someone in the United States
will pick it up for domestic release–maybe Songbird Productions?
If you miss Yar’s Revenge, and yearn for another side scrolling
shooter, then you will want to give Weltenschlachter a shot when
it is released. Considering there are no domestic releases
scheduled at this time–as far as I know–be prepared for horrible
conversion rates and high shipping charges on a physical copy.
Maybe there will be a digital only release similar to how Sacred
Line was released on Sega Genesis.
We don’t see a lot of new releases on Atari’s misbegotten hand
held machine. That is a shame because the Atari Lynx is a pretty
powerful hand held that was just not able to break into the
mainstream. Maybe the independent homebrew world can help bring
the Atari Lynx back to life.
A-ONE's Headline News
The Latest in Computer Technology News
by: Dana P. Jacobson
US Expels Russian Diplomats
Vladimir Putin stepped back from turning the heat up on the row
between the US and Russia over the latter’s hacking in the run-up
to the US elections, saying that for now, he wouldn’t act on the
recommendation of his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, to expel
35 US diplomats from Moscow in return for the US administration
expelling 35 Russian diplomats.
Obama’s move to send the Russians home came as the FBI and the
Homeland Security department published a report setting out in
detail the hacking they believe Russian groups carried out on
the DNC and other political organisations. The Russian hacking,
said the FBI and the DHS, “is part of a decade-long campaign of
cyber-enabled operations directed at the US government and its
Putin’s response was being seen in Washington as an overture to
Donald Trump, the president-elect, with Putin adding that Russia
would “make further steps to help resurrect Russian-American
relations based on the policies that the administration of Trump
Germany Threatens Facebook With €500,000 Fine Per Fake News Post
Germany’s had it up to here with Facebook being left to work out
the fake news problem on its own.
The time for talking is over, Thomas Oppermann told Der Spiegel
last week. Oppermann, the Social Democratic Party (SPD)
parliamentary chairman said it is time to move on to new laws
and fat fines when social media platforms don’t remove offending
messages after 24 hours:
Facebook did not avail itself of the opportunity to regulate
the issue of complaint management itself. Now market dominating
platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a
legal protection office in Germany that is available 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year.
According to the German news site Deutsche Welle, lawmakers in
Berlin are mulling a policy that would enable victims of fake
news and hate messages to contact the German headquarters of
Facebook or of other social media platforms – don’t have one?
Time to get one! – to prove that they’d been targeted and to ask
for action, he said.
Otherwise, social media platforms could be looking at stiff
penalties, Oppermann said:
If, after appropriate examination, Facebook does not delete
the offending message within 24 hours, it should expect
individual fines of up to €500,000 [$521,675].
The plan is to fast-track the new rules: DW reports that the
ruling coalition wants to get a law in place before next year’s
elections, and there are plans to start debate immediately after
the Christmas break.
However, Germany’s federal association of newspaper publishers,
the BDZV, does not love the country’s media being lumped in with
social networks. It’s come out against expanding press laws to
include social media sites, saying that they’re not media.
Rather, they’re more along the lines of telecoms, a BDZV
spokeswoman told DW, echoing Facebook’s own rationalization that
it’s simply a neutral platform to present news to users, not an
actual cog in the news-making machinery itself:
They should be viewed and regulated like telecom companies
which are not responsible for what people are saying into the
Germany’s tough talk came just one day after Facebook announced
new tools to fight hoaxes and fake news. The new tools include
easier reporting and the ability to flag stories as “disputed”.
It’s pulling Poynter into the mix: Facebook says it’s started to
work with third-party fact-checking organizations that have
signed on to a code of principles developed by the International
Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), an alliance of fact-checkers hosted
Unsurprisingly in these polemic days, criticism of Poynter
immediately sprouted after Facebook named it as a player in its
new fake-news move.
Time to speed up development of a “more formal vetting mechanism”,
said Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the IFCN, following
Given the heightened importance of the code – I do not
lightly the additional filtering role it will now play – existing
plans to establish a more formal vetting mechanism behind the
code of principles will be accelerated.
There are currently 43 signatories. Poynter’s asked them all to
come up with a full report of their vetting process within the
next few weeks.
If the fact-checkers identify a story as fake, Facebook will
flag it as disputed and will link to an article explaining the
rationale. Disputed stories may also appear lower in News Feed.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s careers page now has a new listing: it’s
looking for somebody to be its head of news.
Who in their right mind would want that job, given all the
stakeholders they’d have to answer to at Facebook?
Dan Gillmor, Professor of Practice at the Walter Cronkite School
of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University,
said that this is probably “the most important journalism job in
the world” and that it’s bound to attract “a lot of excellent
I’d guess, even though it would be a difficult, often
thankless, and possibly futile job for the reasons you suggest,
that you’ll see someone of great talent and credibility in the
No doubt. Here’s to wishing the eventual hire all the luck in
the world as Facebook grapples with post-election trauma in the
Luck, and hopefully a decent grasp of German.
FCC Republicans Promise To Limit Net Neutrality When 'Possible'
If you're worried that the US government will stomp on net
neutrality the moment Trump becomes President, your concerns are
well-founded. The FCC's two Republican Commissioners, Ajit Pai
and Michael O'Rielly, have sent a letter to carrier lobbying
groups promising to "revisit" net neutrality rules "as soon as
possible" - that is, once Chairman Tom Wheeler leaves and the
right wing gets majority control of the agency. They write that
the requirements for traffic fairness and transparency create
"unjustified burdens" for providers, and previously said that
they intended to "undo" net neutrality and other policies
opposed by their party.
The letter is ostensibly about extending an exemption to
transparency rules for small internet and wireless providers. The
net neutrality order exempted providers with 100,000 or fewer
customers until December 15th of this year, but Pai and O'Rielly
pushed for a compromise measure that would keep the exemption
going for networks with 250,000 or fewer users.
This doesn't mean that net neutrality will die as soon as Trump
is sworn in. As Ars Technica observes, a proposed rule change
like this would require months of procedure and public comment
before it can take effect. However, it's safe to say that net
neutrality will eventually lose a lot of its thunder under the
new administration, assuming it survives at all. At the least,
it's doubtful that the FCC will grill telecoms over zero-rating
and other policies that effectively dodge neutrality
Encryption Backdoors Are ‘Against The National Interest’
The US House Judiciary Committee’s Encryption Working Group
released its year-end report earlier this week, and it looks like
a victory for many technology and privacy advocates.
The report makes the following four points, which you can read in
full in the PDF report here:
Any measure that weakens encryption works against the
Encryption technology is a global technology that is widely
and increasingly available around the world
The variety of stakeholders, technologies and other factors
create different and divergent challenges with respect to
encryption and the “going dark” phenomenon, and therefore there
is no one-size-fits-all solution to the encryption challenge
Congress should foster cooperation between the law
enforcement community and technology companies.
The first point is especially noteworthy as it has been a bone
of contention in government, law enforcement, civil rights
groups, and technology companies (including Sophos) for quite
The committee’s observation draws a line at forcing private-sector
companies to build backdoors into their encryption practices,
Congress should not weaken this vital technology because
so works against the national interest. However, it should not
ignore and must address the legitimate concerns of the law
enforcement and intelligence communities.
This finding echoes what ENISA, the EU cybersecurity policy group,
has said, which is that building backdoors into encryption does
much more harm than good. It hampers legitimate efforts to
safeguard information and privacy and delivers a powerful weapon
into the hands of criminals, outweighing any possible benefit to
intelligence and law enforcement.
Similarly, earlier this year legislators in the House introduced
a bill that would stop states from requiring encryption backdoors
The rest of the observations do dive a bit more deeply into the
arguments against backdoors. The second point specifically
mentions that if backdoors are mandated, they’ll only apply to
companies based in the US, inevitably driving a lot of business
to other countries where such mandates don’t exist.
And if a company takes its business overseas, law enforcement
could lose all jurisdiction to all data they hold, not just the
encrypted data they might be seeking at that time. Pointedly,
the report adds:
Congress cannot stop bad actors – at home or overseas
adopting encryption. Therefore, the Committees should explore
other strategies to address the needs of the law enforcement
That said, the second sentence in the observation seems to leave
the door ajar for some kind of alternate solution for intelligence
and law enforcement. There’s no clear directive in the report to
outline how exactly the committee would both protect encryption
technologies from mandated backdoors and also allow law
enforcement to access vital information. The third point
specifically cites that there’s no one-size-fits-all option.
Stored data, also called “data at rest”, for example has very
different challenges for law enforcement in comparison to data
that’s in transit, otherwise called “data in motion”. This kind
of data is also treated differently from a technological point
of view, hence the rejection of a one-size solution – though we
may colloquially all think of it as data en masse, the reality
of where and how the data are stored, tracked and encrypted is
a lot more complex.
While it’s a big problem, as the report pointedly states it
doesn’t mean there is no solution. It remains to be seen
exactly how this will play out and what can be done to help law
enforcement do their jobs without compromising encryption.
But for right now the House Judiciary Committee coming out
strongly against backdoors is a win for those that have been
advocating for leaving encryption well enough alone.
Apple, Ireland Fire Back in Tax Battle With European Commission
The tax-policy battle between the European Commission on one
hand and Apple and Ireland on the other continued to escalate
The EU’s executive arm claimed in a 130-page document (PDF) made
public this morning that Irish tax authorities have been
“inconsistent” in their treatment of Apple and other companies,
as The Wall Street Journal and other outlets reported. Apple
generated $130 billion in profits over more than a decade that
should have been taxed at Ireland’s 12.5% corporate rate,
according to the EC, but the money was largely untaxed.
In August, the EC ordered Apple to pay as much as $14.5 billion
in taxes and interest after ruling that a deal with the Irish
government illegally granted undue tax benefits to the iPhone
vendor. The figure is reportedly 40 times bigger than any
previous demand under EU rules prohibiting countries from
helping companies gain advantages over their competitors. The
decision by the EC follows an investigation launched in June
But Apple executives recently told Reuters that it plans to
appeal the ruling at Europe’s second-highest court, saying the
company had been targeted because of its success. “Apple is not
an outlier in any sense that matters to the law,” General
Counsel Bruce Sewell said in a Reuters interview. “Apple is a
convenient target because it generates lots of headlines.”
Interestingly, Ireland is teaming with Apple to appeal the
ruling. Ireland released a statement (PDF) on Monday claiming the
EC had “misunderstood the relevant facts and Irish law,” saying
the commission “failed to follow required procedures” and
exceeded its purview by interfering “with national tax
Apple CEO Tim Cook previously took issue with the EC’s ruling,
saying in an open letter that “the Commission’s case is not
about how much Apple pays in taxes. It is about which
government collects the money.”
The EU’s move could also strain growing tensions between the EU
and the U.S. over the commission’s tax investigations into
American companies, as the Journal has reported. A representative
from the U.S. Treasury Department recently expressed
disappointment in the ruling and said “retroactive tax
assessments by the Commission are unfair, contrary to
well-established legal principles, and call into question the tax
rules of individual Member States,” according to the newspaper.
In Deep: The Internet’s Underwater
While many of us are busy worrying about an internet apocalypse
at the hands of IoT bots, there are many other ways the global
network could be brought to its knees. A little over 350 of
them, in fact, are lying at the bottom of the ocean.
Submarine cables stretch across the world, managing almost all
the internet’s traffic between them. That’s everything from
financial settlement systems through to voice and video calls.
Content distribution networks help to take the load off both
systems by situating oft-repeated content closer to its audience,
but it must still get to those staging points in the first place.
Typically, when a submarine cable goes down the causes are
mundane. A ship dragging its anchor along the seabed was
reportedly responsible for cutting direct connections between the
UK mainland and the Channel Islands in late November, for
example. As a result, telecoms firm JT had to route all traffic
to and from the Channel Islands via an alternative link with
When human ineptitude isn’t to blame for submarine cable outages,
it’s most often nature – earthquakes, cyclones and the like – that
take over. But what about intentional human intervention?
We have seen signs of attacks in the past, such as the incident
in Egypt in 2013, when three divers were caught attempting to cut
undersea cables (although they later said it was a mistake).
Analysts tell us that simple redundancy will protect us, and as
the Channel Islands incident showed, there are typically multiple
points of redundancy in undersea fibre-optic networks.
These levels of redundancy vary around the world, though, with
historically proven single points of failure at several
locations along the top of Africa and in south-east Asia.
Even in countries with more developed connections, targeting
multiple ingress and egress points could create significant
We have seen what appear to be malicious attacks on cables
before. In 2008, the cables connecting Sicily to Egypt were cut,
reportedly choking off traffic between Europe and Asia.
Submarine cables are unprotected in deep waters, simply lying
on the seafloor. Closer to the coastline, they are often
protected by a galvanized coating and shallowly buried.
Then they come ashore, often connecting to terrestrial fibre
underneath access covers next to the beach or in small,
anonymous-looking concrete buildings.
All these points are potentially vulnerable to different kinds
of physical attack.
Experts point out that submarine cables can always be repaired.
The question is, how long would this take? It took around two
weeks to get the three severed Channel Islands cables back up
and running – though this was partly because the ship
originally assigned to the job was called away to another.
There are only so many vessels able to perform this highly
specialized job, and they’ve been known to face attacks of
their own. What would happen if the global fleet were taxed too
While it may sound like the plot of a Bond movie, the reality
is, such attacks are enough of a threat that the Pentagon is
taking notice. Recent reports suggest that the US is getting
particularly worried about Russian submarine and spy ship
activities around undersea cable routes.
Companies such as Microsoft and Google are building out their
own submarine fibre, probably more for cost reasons than for
On land, and over short stretches of water such as the English
Channel, microwave is also proving a lower-latency option than
fibre for companies particularly worried about that kind of
Neither hyperscale-owned fibre or bank-commissioned microwave
may be predicated on resiliency but it’s certainly a side
benefit. For those companies not rich enough to build out their
own private internet backbone, however, a little planning might
be necessary to ensure that traffic is channelled along several
While corporate providers mull these options, consumers will
just have to cross their fingers and hope for the best when they
settle down to a video call with Grandma half a world away.
Ransomware Payouts ‘Heading for $1 Billion A
If you’ve ever wondered how ransomware payoffs can be soaring
towards the billion-dollar mark in 2016, consider these
formidable new findings from IBM: 46% of the executives it
surveyed have encountered ransomware in the workplace, and of
that group, “70% have paid to get data back”.
Do the math: that means some 32% of all executives in IBM’s
survey have already paid ransomware to cybercriminals. Paid
up how much? We’re not talking a bitcoin or two:
20% paid more than $40,000
25% paid $20,000-$40,000
11% paid $10,000-$20,000
Far more executives in mid-sized (57%) and large (53%) companies
said they’d had personal experience with ransomware attacks;
only 29% of executives from companies with fewer than 100
employees said so. As company size grew, awareness of ransomware
did as well – and so did concern about data loss and willingness
to take precautions. For example, 74% of large companies blocked
access to at least some websites, compared with 56% of smaller
companies; 58% provided IT security training to employees,
compared with just 30% of smaller companies.
Roughly 60% of executives said they’d pay up if ransomware
attackers prevented them from accessing any of the following:
financial, customer, sales or HR records; corporate email;
intellectual property; corporate cloud systems, business plans,
R&D plans or source code. “Overall, 25% of business executives
said, depending upon the data type, they would be willing to pay
between $20,000 and $50,000 to get access back to data” – which
is roughly in line with what IBM’s survey says earlier business
victims have already been paying.
IBM’s findings on the ubiquity of ransomware attacks isn’t too
dissimilar from separate research reports released earlier in
the year by Malwarebytes, and by the specialty data breach
insurer Beazley. According to Insurance Journal, “Beazley’s
clients were the targets of more attacks in July and August of
2016… than in all of 2015… Beazley projects it will respond to
four times as many ransomware attacks in 2016 as it did last
While Beazley’s research found smaller payoffs than IBM’s, the
insurer noted that costs don’t end with the ransom: companies
“must often also pay for an extensive review of their systems
and data to ensure that the malware has been removed and data
If you’re thinking that some folks are beginning to think of
payoffs as a nearly inevitable “cost of doing business,” you’re
not alone. That aligns perfectly with another phenomenon we’ve
noticed: organizations who haven’t been hit yet, but are setting
up bitcoin accounts “just in case”.
Back in June, Professional Security Magazine reported on a
survey wherein Citrix found that “a third of UK companies are now
building a ready stockpile of digital currency (for example,
Bitcoin) in case of ransomware attack. Over 35% of large firms
Citrix surveyed were “willing to pay over £50,000 to regain
access to important intellectual property or business-critical
Such payoff prep isn’t limited to ransomware: in October, the
Guardian reported that “several of London’s largest banks are
looking to stockpile bitcoins in order to pay off cyber
criminals who threaten to bring down their critical IT systems”
via massive DDoS attacks. It quoted Dr Simon Moores, chair of
the annual international e-Crime Congress: “From a purely
pragmatic perspective, financial institutions are now exploring
the need to maintain stocks of bitcoin [should they] become the
target of a high-intensity attack…”
We won’t be the first to observe that a demonstrated willingness
to pay criminals sometimes attracts attacks like bears to honey.
But rather than be forced to pay out, it’s much better to take
all the steps you can to stop getting hit in the first place.
Raspberry Pi’s Pixel for PC and Mac
New Life Into Old Computers
Pixel is a lightweight operating system with a clean desktop UI
released by the foundation behind the affordable,
tinker-friendly Raspberry Pi $35 computer in September, and now
it’s available for PC or Mac users who might want to throw old
hardware into renewed service. The lightweight Linux-based OS
now comes as a downloadable image you can either burn to a DVD
or load onto a USB drive, letting you boot directly into the
Pixel environment on any Mac or PC that has at least 512MB of
RAM and an x86 processor.
That means if you have an old laptop lying around, like the OG
plastic MacBook or an ancient ThinkPad, you could get it going
again with a modern OS for basic tasks, including web browsing
via Chromimum which is pre-installed. Other software in Pixel
includes a select suite of productivity software and programming
tools, and it’s all built on Debian, which itself has a wide
range of free software available.
Raspberry Pi is distributing a physical booting DVD with The
MagPi magazine on this month’s issue, but you can very easily
create your own by downloading the image here and burning it to
your own disk or drive. The Foundation recommends Etcher to
create the bootable drive, and indeed, it makes the whole
process quite user friendly.
This is a prototype build, so expect to encounter some bugs and
hardware compatibility issues. Raspberry Pi says that modern
Macs will have trouble recognizing the drive as bootable, so
that’s a known problem. But the organization said it was
important they create this Mac and PC version fist because they
believe it’s useful for schools to be able to install the OS on
old hardware, so that it’s one environment across home and
school for students using Raspberry Pis at home, and because
they really want to make a go of turning Pixel into the best
desktop OS out there, regardless of hardware.
The standard disclaimers apply: you use this at your own risk,
and the risk of your files on your old computers. And if you
want to save files locally, you’ll need to use a USB drive for
write capability. But it really sounds like a pretty low-risk
way to resuscitate old hardware you might have hanging around.
Firefox Will Support Windows XP and Vista Until September 2017
Numerous web browsers have already stopped supporting Windows XP
and Vista, but not Firefox. To this day, Mozilla's latest
software can work with your decade-old PC. However, even that
team has its limits - it's phasing out support for XP and Vista
starting next year. Mozilla will start by moving users on these
operating systems to the Extended Support Release in March 2017,
limiting them to feature updates that can be "several cycles"
behind the curve. And while the company plans to unveil a final
support end date in the middle of that year, it'll effectively
cut the cord in September, when it stops delivering security
This doesn't mean that Firefox will stop working on XP or Vista
in September, of course. But when security flaws are hard to
avoid, it'll be impractical to keep using Firefox on those
platforms when you could remain permanently vulnerable to
exploits. There aren't likely to be many people who both run a
10-year-old operating system and care enough about their web
experience to use a recent browser, so the impact may be
limited. However, it's still a big deal if you're stuck on a
work PC or otherwise haven't had a chance to upgrade to a newer
version of Windows. Like it or not, you'll probably have to
consider a new OS (or a new PC) if you want to experience the
modern internet next year.
The FreeDOS Project
Hi there! I'm Jim Hall, the founder and project coordinator of
the FreeDOS Project!
December 25, 2016
I'm very excited to announce the release of the FreeDOS 1.2
If you've followed FreeDOS, you know that we don't have a very
fast release cycle. We just don't need to; DOS isn't exactly a
moving target anymore, so we don't have to chase new features or
shifting compatibility. We released our first Alpha in 1994, and
our first Beta in 1998. We finally released FreeDOS 1.0 in 2006,
and FreeDOS 1.1 in 2012. And now, on December 25 2016, we are
proud to release FreeDOS 1.2.
The FreeDOS 1.2 release is an updated, more modern FreeDOS.
You'll see that we changed many of the packages. Some packages
were replaced, deprecated by newer and better packages. We also
added other packages. And we expanded what we should include in
the FreeDOS distribution. Where FreeDOS 1.0 and 1.1 where fairly
spartan distributions with only "core" packages and software
sets, the FreeDOS 1.2 distribution includes a rich set of
additional packages. We even include games.
But the biggest change you are likely to notice in FreeDOS 1.2
is the updated installer. Jerome Shidel wrote an entirely new
FreeDOS install program, and it looks great! We focused on
keeping the new installer simple and easy to use. While many DOS
users in 2016 are experienced DOS programmers and DOS power
users, we often see many new users to FreeDOS, and I wanted to
make the install process pleasant for them. The default mode for
the installer is very straightforward, and you only have to
answer a few questions to install FreeDOS on your system.
There's also an "Advanced" mode where power users can tweak the
install and customize the experience.
Thank you to everyone who contributes to FreeDOS: developers,
testers, and users. There are too many of you to recognize
individually. You made FreeDOS 1.2 a reality!
A little history
I started FreeDOS in 1994, when I was still an undergraduate
physics student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. I
had used MS-DOS systems for a long time, and regularly used
MS-DOS and DOS applications for my work. I had taught myself
C programming, and wrote DOS utilities to improve MS-DOS and
expand its functionality. While I also used Linux since 1993, I
thought DOS was the best system for me, with its rich catalog of
useful applications that helped me analyze lab data and write
papers for class.
So I was disappointed in 1994 when I read articles where
Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows would do
away with MS-DOS. "DOS was dead," so they said. But I didn't
like Windows. If you remember what Microsoft Windows 3.1 looked
like, you'll know it was clunky and awkward. If Windows 4.0 was
going to be anything like that, I wanted nothing to do with it.
But what to do when Microsoft decides it isn't going to make
another version of DOS? If you're like me, you decide to write
your own! I had experienced Linux, and realized what developers
could do if they worked together. Linux in 1994 was an
impressive replacement for Unix systems. Surely we could create
our own version of DOS? After all, DOS is a much simpler
operating system than Unix or Linux.
I made my first announcement to Usenet's comp.os.msdos.apps
group on June 29 1994 about this new project, which read in
A few months ago, I posted articles relating to starting
public domain version of DOS. The general support for this at
the time was strong, and many people agreed with the statement,
"start writing!" So, I have.
Announcing the first effort to produce a PD-DOS.
written up a "manifest" describing the goals of such a project
and an outline of the work, as well as a "task list" that shows
exactly what needs to be written. I'll post those here, and
let discussion follow.
Almost immediately, other developers contacted me, and we began
work creating our own version of DOS that would be compatible
with MS-DOS. I packaged my own extended DOS utilities, as did
others, and we found other public domain or open source programs
that replaced other DOS commands. A few months later, we
released our first FreeDOS Alpha distribution. This interested
new developers to join FreeDOS. From there, FreeDOS grew very
Virtual Reality, One Year Out: What Went Right, What Didn't
After years of teases, tantalizing promises, and Kickstarter
campaigns, virtual reality finally became actual reality in
2016, with VR’s mere existence thrusting the entire PC industry
into glorious, wonderful turmoil. Despite being around for just
a handful of months, virtual reality has already inspired
totally new genres of computers, wormed its way deep into
Windows, and sent the price of graphics cards plummeting.
Not too shabby for VR’s first real year on the streets, though
the implementations could still use some fine-tuning. Let’s look
back at how this wild new frontier blossomed in 2016.
From the very start of 2016 it was clear that the dawn of proper
PC-powered VR had arrived. You could see evidence of this fact
all over CES 2016 in January, where EVGA introduced a specialized
graphics card designed to fit VR headset ergonomics; Nvidia
rolled out a VR certification program; and seemingly every booth
boasted some sort of virtual-reality hook, from VR treadmills to
VR porn and VR Everest climbs (the latter two being mind-blowing
in their own ways).
The PC world was ready. But virtual reality itself wasn’t, at
least until the Oculus Rift’s big consumer launch later that
Well, big in theory. While PCWorld praised the Oculus Rift in
its review—virtual reality was here, and it was magical! — the
launch was far from perfect. The rumbling began in the run-up to
the headset’s release, with Rift’s $600 launch price far
exceeding the $250 to $500 range that Oculus higher-ups had
teased repeatedly. Once it actually launched, the headset was
plagued by hardware shortages and significant shipment delays,
which didn’t go over well at all.
But the biggest problem for the Rift was that even at launch its
days already felt numbered—not a vibe you want from $600
hardware. The Rift was designed primarily as a seated VR
experience, with a controller in your hands. By the time it
launched on March 28, enthusiasts and industry press had already
spent time playing with the SteamVR-powered HTC Vive, which used
made-for-VR controllers and dedicated tracking stations to
enable room-scale VR experiences that let you wander around and
actually touch things. After trying Vive, going back to the
Rift’s sedentary experience felt far less satisfying.
And the HTC/Valve duo didn’t waste any time capitalizing on its
advantage. The HTC Vive launched on April 5, roughly a week
after the Oculus Rift, and immediately seized the crown as
PCWorld’s preferred VR solution.
Despite that, we recommend passing on the Rift and the Vive, and
for very good reason. While VR can be nothing short of
awe-inspiring, these first-gen products also have some obvious
That’s to be expected with bleeding-edge hardware, but $600 for
the Oculus Rift or $800 for the HTC Vive puts them firmly in the
“one percent” category. The recent release of Oculus’s $200 Touch
controllers drove the cost of a full Rift setup to the Vive’s
level, or even more if you want kinda-sorta room-scale
experiences and need an extra sensor. VR experiences tend to be
high-priced and relatively short-lived compared to traditional
PC games. This is not a cheap hobby.
That priciness was exacerbated by the need to connect these
headsets to a pretty powerful PC—that cost of which was roughly
$1,000 to $1,500 at the time of the headsets' launch.
Fortunately, while the Vive and Rift themselves have stayed at
the same lofty prices, the cost of a computer to run them
absolutely plunged as the year carried on.
The plunge began with the launch of AMD’s Radeon RX 480, which
revolutionized what’s possible with a $200 graphics card. Before
its release, VR-capable graphics cards cost nearly twice that
amount. (Nvidia quickly followed suit with the $250 GeForce GTX
1060.) Jumping forward two full technological generations paid
major dividends for graphics cards.
Software tricks helped democratize VR just as much. At the Oculus
Connect conference in October, the company revealed a new feature
dubbed “Asynchronous Spacewarp” that used technical tricks to
drive the barrier to entry for Rift VR way, way down—all the way
to an AMD AM4 or Intel Core i3-6100 processor, and a GeForce GTX
960 graphics card. In March, a Rift-ready PC cost at least
$1,000; after Oculus Connect, Rift-ready PCs started at $500,
and as I write this there’s a Best Buy promotion offering a full
PC and the Rift itself for $999.
The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift both drive very high-fidelity
gaming experiences, and headsets need to be physically tethered
to your PC in order to work. That kind of sucks. It’s all too
easy to trip over the thick cables while you’re wandering around
the room ensconced in a virtual world, or to twist and turn so
much that the cord eventually jerks your head back.
That (sometimes literal) headache inspired the birth of a whole
new class of gaming PCs—ones that you wear on your back. You’re
still wired up, sure, but those wires travel with you instead of
getting tangled between your feet. Zotac, MSI, Alienware, and HP
have all revealed backpack PCs of various designs, though none
have actually hit the street yet.
As nifty as they are, however, backpack PCs feel like a stopgap
solution—a fix to a problem that will disappear when more robust
wireless display technologies or more potent mobile graphics
arrive. And you can already see that wireless future on the
horizon, with Oculus testing a fully self-contained mobile Rift
prototype and HTC backing a $220 add-on kit that makes the Vive
While powerful PC-based VR experiences may be tethered, the more
modest world of phone-driven mobile VR has already left cords far
Samsung’s Gear VR headset (which only works with Samsung Galaxy
phones) blazed the Android VR trail, while Google’s low-cost
Cardboard brought it to the masses. In late 2016 Google stomped
into the Gear VR’s turf with Daydream VR, an Android-centric
initiative that brings premium mobile VR to the entire ecosystem
rather than Samsung’s phones alone.
Daydream centers on a trio of pillars: powerful phones, Daydream
VR headsets, and Android Nougat’s new VR features. While
Google’s own Daydream View headset and Pixel phone kicked off
the program, Daydream isn’t its alone. HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei,
ZTE, Asus, Alcatel, Lenovo, and yes, even Samsung have pledged
to create Daydream mobile devices.
Microsoft’s HoloLens is kind of a mix of PC and mobile VR, while
also a different beast entirely. It’s a portable, fully
self-contained system that doesn’t need to connect to a PC, but
HoloLens utilizes augmented reality, not virtual reality. Virtual
reality plops you in fully realized virtual worlds; augmented
reality, as the name implies, augments the real world with
overlaid objects, such as a Minecraft world sprouting from your
coffee table or a Skype video chat appearing on your wall.
Microsoft still hasn’t revealed details about when (or if)
HoloLens will be available to consumer users, or how much it
would cost, but deep-pocketed developers and enterprise users
can already pick up the headset for a cool $3,000.
Pricey HoloLens headset aren’t Microsoft’s only foray into VR.
The massive Windows 10 Creators Update next spring will bake
augmented reality features much, much more deeply into the
flagship PC operating system, and it’ll be accompanied by an
army of new Windows 10 VR headsets at launch—headsets that will
start at just $300 and run on surprisingly modest PCs.
Meanwhile, Intel and Microsoft’s Project Evo partnership aims to
change how computers “think, see, and hear,” with a specific
goal of driving mixed reality forward.
If 2016 was birth of a virtual-reality revolution, look for 2017
to be a year of VR refinement. Witness the new, Oculus
Touch-esque Vive controllers that Valve already began to tease,
and bookmark the holiday 2017 launch of Microsoft’s powerful
Xbox Scorpio console—which could very possibly leverage the
Windows 10 Creators Update to run the Oculus Rift or Windows 10
VR headsets as a counter to Sony’s surprisingly okay PlayStation
Next year, VR games should only get better as developers gain
more experience... if they can navigate the complicated world of
consumer expectations and discover what people really want from
the medium, that is. The cost of VR-capable PCs will only keep
going down. Expect augmented reality to continue making inroads
in car tech. The Vive and Rift may even get price cuts! Heck,
with enough advances, 2017 may be the year PCWorld officially
recommends you buy a VR headset.
Or it could all come crashing down like previous virtual-reality
attempts. (Remember Sega VR?) Living on the bleeding edge may be
expensive and exciting, but it’s not always a sure bet—though
with so many of tech’s biggest names spending billions on virtual
reality, it’s hard to imagine this latest push fizzling
completely. Time will tell.
Microsoft CMO: Forced Windows 10 Upgrades Were 'Pretty Painful'
This year, Microsoft pushed users on taking advantage of its offer
to upgrade their PCs to Windows 10 for free. That meant the
company used a variety of tactics to get people to install an
updater and run it to replace their old operating systems with the
Overall, Microsoft got the balance right between being too
aggressive and getting users to upgrade, Microsoft Chief Marketing
Officer Chris Capossela said in a Windows Weekly interview. But he
did admit that Microsoft stepped out of line at one point with a
change that confused and dismayed a number of users.
“There was one particular moment ... where the red ‘x’ in the
dialog box, which typically means, you know, ‘cancel,’ didn’t mean
cancel,” he said. “And within a couple of hours of that hitting
the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew that we had
gone too far."
“And then, of course, it takes us some time to roll out the update
that changed that behavior,” he added. “And those two weeks were
pretty painful, and clearly a lowlight for us. And we learned a
lot from it, obviously.”
The admission is a bit late, considering that the update dialog
Capossela referred to appeared in late May. While Microsoft may
have been working on an update to change the behavior, it didn’t
say anything about the issue at the time.
By now, though, it’s something of a moot point. Microsoft’s
hyper-aggressive Windows 10 push is over, along with the
company’s offer of a free upgrade.
Microsoft Word for Windows Version 1.1a Source
The dominant word processing program for personal computers in
the 1980s was DOS-based WordPerfect. Microsoft Word for DOS,
which had been released in 1983, was an also-ran.
That situation changed dramatically with the introduction of
Microsoft Word for Windows in 1989. By 1993 it was generating
50% of the word processing market revenue, and by 1997 it was up
Clearly there was something extraordinary about Word for Windows.
Part of its success was due to Microsoft’s marketing acumen. But
it was also a stunning technical achievement, and its ability to
run on ordinary PCs created the first popular vanguard of the
new graphics-oriented style of document preparation.
Remember, this was a time when a typical personal computer might
have an 8 Mhz processor, 1 megabyte of memory, a 20 megabyte hard
disk, and a floppy disk drive. How did Word accomplish so much
with so little?
There’s only one way to understand the magic in detail: read the
code. With the permission of Microsoft Corporation, the Computer
History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial
use, the source code of Word for Windows version 1.1a as it was
on January 10, 1991. This material is © Copyright by Microsoft.
The 7 MB zip file contains 1021 files in 33 folders. In the root
directory there is a “readme” file that briefly explains the rest
of the contents. Most of it is source code in C, but there are
also text documents, x86 assembler-language source files,
executable tools, batch files, and more.
To access this material you must agree to the terms of the
license displayed here, which permits only non-commercial use
and does not give you the right to license it to third parties
by posting copies elsewhere on the web.
Other historical source code releases in this series include
IBM’s APL programming language, Apple II DOS, Adobe’s Photoshop,
Apple Macpaint/QuickDraw, and Microsoft’s MSDOS. If you would
like us to do more of this, please consider supporting the
museum’s efforts by making a donation. We are a 501(c)3
In the dark ages of computer word processing, what you wrote
(and saw on the screen, if you had one) was cryptic formatting
commands embedded within the text, like this:
101 Main Street
Morristown, NJ 07960
15 March, 1997
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you…
After “compiling” and printing, you finally saw the result –
which often wasn’t what you wanted. Make changes. Try again.
The emergence of WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) word
processors changed all that. The screen showed what the final
document would look like, and keyboard commands you used changed
the look of the text, not a programming script.
One of the first such programs was BRAVO, created in 1974 by
Butler Lampson, Charles Simonyi and others at Xerox PARC, the
Palo Alto Research Center, for the groundbreaking Alto computer.
Simonyi later said,
It was clear that quite a beautiful editor could be written
for the Alto. Remember, the Alto had a black and white bitmap
display. It had a mouse. It had an un-decoded keyboard. It had all
the ingredients that are necessary for WYSIWYG. And, of course,
then the network came around. The laser printer was coming alive.
So all the components were there, except for the software…. We set
out to write an editor and we finished it about three months.
Like much of the other innovative Alto software and hardware,
BRAVO was never sold as a commercial product.
After nine years, Simonyi was frustrated by Xerox’s inability to
turn great ideas into products. “I lost faith in Xerox’s ability
to do anything”. In 1981 he left and joined Microsoft to lead a
team in creating application programs. The first, already in
progress when he arrived, was the spreadsheet Multiplan, a
Simonyi was well-suited from his Xerox experience for the next
assault on the competition: to unseat MicroPro’s popular WordStar
word processor. He hired Richard Brodie, a brilliant programmer
he had first hired in 1979 at PARC. The fact that Brodie had no
college degree wasn’t an issue; Brodie said later that “He asked
me some programming questions and he liked the way I answered
In the summer of 1982 Brodie began working with others at
Microsoft on a word processor to be controlled by a mouse. It
was finished just over a year later, in October 1983. “I had
pretty much a free hand. It was a pretty small program, and I
was familiar with word processing from my work at Xerox PARC
It may have been a “small program” but it had some sophisticated
features, including support for style sheets, multiple windows,
footnotes, mail-merge, undo, and the proportional fonts that the
newly emerging laser printers would be able to use. Microsoft
founder and president Bill Gates was impressed. “One thing that
just blew Bill away was an optimization of the display speed. We
actually formatted as you typed. Every time you inserted one
character, the screen would update to show exactly what was
going to be printed.”
Free demonstration copies of Microsoft Word for MS-DOS were
bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World magazine. But
it received mixed reviews, in large part because it was so
different from what most people were used to. The 1984 BYTE
magazine review said it was “clever, put together well, and
performs some extraordinary feats” but “extremely frustrating
to learn and operate efficiently. …Word’s developers seem to be
trying to completely reinvent word processing.”
That is precisely what they were trying to do. Although it was
inspired by the earlier work at Xerox, few people outside the
research community had been yet exposed to the new regime that
would eventually predominate. Microsoft Word brought WYSIWYG to
Over the next years Word was continually improved. The first
version for Microsoft Windows was released in late 1989 at a
single-user price of $495. It received a glowing review in
Inforworld that didn’t flinch at the price: “If your system is
powerful enough to support Microsoft Windows, at $495 it is an
word_for_windows_1.1a_2Version 1.1a, whose source code we are
making available here, was released the next year. Microsoft
Word For Windows had started its remarkable climb to 90% market
We are grateful to Roy Levin, Managing Director of Microsoft
Research, Silicon Valley, for working hard to find the source
code and getting permission for us to release it.
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