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Selling Atari when I did - I think that's my biggest regret. And I probably should have gotten back heavily into the games business in the late Eighties. But I was operating under this theory at the time that the way to have an interesting life was to reinvent yourself every five or six years.
Atari showed that young people could start big companies. Without that example it would have been harder for Jobs and Bill Gates, and people who came after them, to do what they did.
Everybody copied Atari products. So we started messing with them and it was fun. We bought enough chips that we could get them mislabeled. So we bankrupted at least two companies which copied our boards, and bought all the parts but they were the wrong parts, so they're sitting on all this inventory they can't sell because the games don't work.
I had an awful lot of my soul invested in Atari culture.
Some of the best projects to ever come out of Atari or Chuck E. Cheese's were from high school dropouts, college dropouts. One guy had been in jail.
I founded Atari in my garage in Santa Clara while at Stanford. When I was in school, I took a lot of business classes. I was really fascinated by economics. You end up having to be a marketeer, finance maven and a little bit of a technologist in order to get a business going.
And so the idea was, well maybe you can take an Atari video game machine, where people plug in a game cartridge, and plug in a modem, and tie that into a telephone, and essentially turn that game in the machine into an interactive terminal.
I am not a gamer. Not since the days of Atari.
When I was super young, I had an Atari and used to play 'Space Invaders.' Then I fell in love with 'Mario Bros.,' 'Sonic the Hedgehog' and 'Yoshi' on Super Nintendo. I was quite a bit of a gamer as a kid when I think about it.
Atari is a very sad story.
We had some really powerful technology - Atari always was a technology-driven company, and we were very keen on keeping the technological edge on everything. There's a whole bunch of things that we innovated. We made the first computer that did stamps or sprites, we did screen-mapping for the very first time, and a lot of stuff like that.
When I was running Atari, violence against humanoid figures was not allowed. We'd let you shoot at a tank... but we drew the line at shooting at people, with blood splattering everywhere.
I restore vintage Atari XY arcade video game machines.
Growing up in Florida, it rained a lot, so we spent a lot of time indoors. I used to love Frogger. I got a lot of use out of that and Ms. Pac-man on my little Atari.
When I was a kid, I had an Atari 2600, and I would play Pac Man, Frogger, all that kind of stuff. And I did enjoy going to the arcade.
I spent most of my childhood welded to my Atari 2600, until I got my first computer, a TRS-80.
In 1980, Atari was bringing in around two billion dollars in revenue and Chuck E. Cheese's some five hundred million. I still didn't feel too bad that I had turned down a one-third ownership of Apple - although I was beginning to think it might turn out to be a mistake.
Going from having an Atari to a laptop changed everything. It allows me to work anywhere I want and send my work home - I can work anywhere in the world.
The guys from Atari that are making the next Alone in the Dark game came and we had a great meeting. I'd love to do that. I'm a fan of videogames. I like them. And to get to be part of one of them would be a fun and exciting thing.
When I was little, we used to have Atari.
While my friends were busy listening to the Talking Heads, Police, and B-52s, I was busy teaching myself to program on the Atari.
I never have been a coder, outside of when I was twelve or something, like on the Atari 1200 XP or whatever I had.
The 1980s was a time of the great recession of interactive entertainment. When Atari fell in 1982, until Nintendo launched its console, video games were an outcast for five years.
I've never really collected anything other than old Atari cartridges. I only had, like, 12 Atari games as a kid, so at some point in my 20s I decided I was going to own all of them.
I was a little hesitant at taking the job at Atari. I had never programmed for a living and I worried it might get boring (building circuits seemed more fun). But I would probably still be in the video game business.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
C. S. Lewis
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