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for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:09 pm
by calimero
Andy Marken, Atari’s PR for six (+two) years (started in 1986) wrote an article about Jack Tramiel and Atari!

Read text at: http://www.dayintechhistory.com/news/ja ... ars-atari/
OCTOBER 17, 2013

not to much info but still "fine" read... :)

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:17 pm
by DarkLord
Yet another interesting "take" on that age/era.

Thanks for the link. :)

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:58 am
by wongck
nice read.
Thanks for sharing the search findings.

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:29 am
by MrMaddog
That was a great read. Most of the Atari products I used were from the Tramiel era and yet it was the mostly shrouded in secrecy. Too this day I wondered how could Atari Corp. failed like they did with so many great products that were ahead of their time. That's why I'm looking forward to the second book from Curt Vendell & Marty Goldberg that actually explains what really happened behind the scenes.

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:39 am
by calimero
MrMaddog wrote:That's why I'm looking forward to the second book from Curt Vendell & Marty Goldberg that actually explains what really happened behind the scenes.

me too :)

interesting fact from article that Sam Tramiel was responsible for ST!

but what really happens to Atari is same what happened to SUN, SiliconGraphics, IBM, DEC, Apple and today HP and Dell...

when you have business model where one company made mediocre OS (Microsoft) which is widely available and talked about everywhere and rest of industry CAN copy and produce hardware than there are no place for other players. to be "other player" you need to be like Apple now: have a year after year superior product for *masses*.

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:03 pm
by calimero
Interview with Jack Tramiel from 1986 for german DataWelt: http://www.commodore.ca/commodore-histo ... commodore/

Must read!!!

He told exactly why he left Commodore:

"DATA WELT: One very important question bothers us: Why did you leave Commodore? Is there a simple answer to this question?

Jack Tramiel: If you asked the people I worked with, they will tell you that I practically did not change in 25 years. I was always one of them. Just because we were a million-dollar company, we had not have to spend money like a billion-dollar one. Because if you spend more money, you have to adjust prices. The man I worked for was of another opinion. As soon as the business was going well, he wanted to spend more money. That was one of the points where we had different opinions. And so was the question of financing. I was of the opinion that we should had gave away more shares as soon as they were well-traded, moreover because we did never had a raise of stock since we went to stock market 1962. With the 120 million dollar we would have earned by giving away 2 million new shares we could have paid back all debts we had at the banks and by that strengthen the companies position. The man I worked for was of the opinion that this would weaken his share of the company and cut his influence – which was totally wrong. Those two were the main aspects. To come to terms: our philosophies have been too different. We came to that point when I said, that I will have to quit if I cannot do what I think would be best for the company. He said very kindly that if I will not do what he wants to do, then I could leave. And so I left."

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:33 pm
by guythp
Certainly a rose-tinted view in my opinion - 'Golden Age of Atari'? I'd've thought that was with the vcs? I'd agree they were business orientated; they certainly didn't really seem to care what the owner/fans wanted. And not a fan or lawsuits - didn't they use their copyright on sprite-wrapping, scrolling and the 9-pin joystick port to settle with a few companies 'out of court'?*
In retrospect (a great thing) Atari messed up not getting the Amiga, not distributing the NES in the US, not releasing the promised sound cartridge for the early ST's (and I imagine what would have been newer ST's soundchips ~ don't get me wrong I love the ST's sound, but at the time it was a bit embarrassing) and giving the Falcon an internal speaker. A really loud one. And leaving the key-click legacy from the ST - It scared the bejaysus out of me the first time that thing pinged..
Oh, and they messed up the Jaguar. And the STe. But I still have fond memories of the people who made stuff for the Atari machines


Thanks for listening to my clearly-pent-up-frustration-from-over-twenty-years-ago. I'm ok now.

*edit*
Oh, and the SINGLE SIDED DRIVE! WHY?!? The ST NEVER shook that shackle off until after it's commercial life - I knew lots of ST owners and I didn't know ONE who had a single-sided floppy drive... . My god, I think I'm having a regressive rage seizure.. I won't start about road riot and steel talons being promised for the STe and never seeing the light of day...


*I'll admit this was something a bloke in my local computer shop told me back in the late 80's, but it sounded feasible at the time and still does.

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:21 am
by penguin
Tramiel's Atari didn't have anything to do with the NES deal which was proposed during the Warner years and the Amiga was not a finished machine. The ST was already in development by the time he heard of the deal between Atari and the Amiga developers. I don't think the bad soundchip hurt the ST and even if Atari had released a sound cartridge, it wouldn't have changed much - would enough people buy a cartridge so that it makes sense for developers to support it?

Also, lots of companies switched to double-side disks near the end of the 80's. I'd agree that releasing the single-side drive plus not releasing a more powerful ST sooner was a mistake, though.

In retrospect, Atari's purchase of Federated and Tramiel's strained relation with vendors and developers were likely Atari's greatest mistake. Yes, they messed up the Jaguar, but at that time Atari didn't have the cash (and developers) to compete against companies like Nintendo or Sony.

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:00 am
by calimero
@Penguin very nice round up :)

Also Atari Corp. biggest mistake was not to release more powerfull computers betwen 1985 and 1991 (Atari TT). They start 68020 computer right after ST, talk in press about it, but failed to deliver until 1991. :(

One reason is that Shiraz Shivji left Atari Corp. (Roy Good took over development) and other reason (my guess) is that Jack "retier" and gave Sam Tramiel his role.
I am pretty sure that no one on planet could do what Jack do: make ST in such short time. He organize everything! Enginiers left Commodore (and many, many others) because of him (they believe in him), he was called by Warner Atari because of his reputation, he made great deal with them to take over Atari, he manage to scrap enough money to start production... Simple briliant!
Thanks to him I (and many other people) could buy GUI computer in early 1986 with brilliant mono, 71Hz monitor for work! Software starts to appear in 1986... Otherwise we would need to wait for Amiga 500 (price reduction, but still with terrible monitor for long work!) or would need to sell kidney to buy a Mac (with ST we got almost for free much better and faster Mac! :) ).

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:41 am
by calimero
Another great interview with Jack Tramiel (but probably all fans already read it): [url=http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv1n3/JackTramiel.html]"JACK TRAMIEL - A CANDID DISCUSSION"[/quote] at START VOL. 1 NO. 3 / WINTER 1986.

Some Jack Tramiel quotes:
- "As for the so-called captain of industry, when I got out of the Army, I asked myself what I wanted to be-a laborer or a president. I had those two choices because I didn't have education."

- "I refuse to produce a clone (IBM) that is behind the times. I am producing products for the most sophisticated consumer in the world."

- "There is no distinction between home computers and office computers. The distinction is only to those people who set the price because they believe they can charge more for the office."

Re: for every fan: Jack Tramiel and Family (insights)

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:38 pm
by simonsunnyboy
It is quite sad to see those two last quotes in effect as of todays. users demand for 20years nothing sophisticated, and decent office PCs are indeed more pricy compared to home stuff with the same capabilities.

Thinking of the overpriced Dell and HP machines at my office :(