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Atari Inc. Business is Fun (Complete History of Atari - Volume 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File Size : 36126 KB
- Publisher : Syzyg Press; 1st Edition (November 25, 2012)
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Publication Date : November 25, 2012
- Print Length : 800 pages
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00CELBAJS
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #557,501 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"While Owen has been talked about earlier in this book, now is the perfect to fully introduce this colorful character. Owen's career at Atari had been shining bright at since coming on-board several years before ... Applying and passing the initial on campus screening he was granted an interview at Atari's offices on Division Street. Sadly, he is contacted after the interview by Steve Bristow and told he didn't make the cut ... So Owen is instead sent to meet with Tom Hogg and after several more interviews, Owen was hired [...]".
Nevertheless, it's a lot of well-researched content for the money, so give it ago.
Well, at the end of the day, I'm going to split the difference.
The general material in this book is first-rate. There's a ton of detail here on Atari, the 2600 (in particular), and various other products, including numerous unreleased prototypes or products that have long been forgotten. This material is backed by tons of interviews with the key players in the Atari story as well as a treasure trove of photos, internal documents, advertisements, and so on.
However, one would be remiss to not make serious mention of the writing itself. The book reads as if it were never proofread at all. The constant misuse of the word "it's" is highly irritating. It's literally misused at least 500 times throughout the book. Seriously. In addition that, the book switches from past tense to present tense seemingly at random. It would be tough to overstate just how sloppy the writing is for a book of this size and magnitude. It really is THAT stunningly bad.
In addition, the structure of the book leaves much to be desired. What starts out as a solid chronological retelling of the Atari story devolves into a disjointed mess that leaps around the timeline from product to product with little cohesion. The end result seriously detracts from the book.
Finally, while there's some 200-300 pages of photos and documents in the book, the quality of those photos is very, very poor. They are, without fail, really grainy and black and white. It's tough to imagine that the authors, who have possession of the vast majority of the originals reproduced in the book, couldn't have come up with SOMETHING better for reproducing these items. A $50 scanner would have done better a better job.
One more thing: to be clear, this book does not cover the entire history of Atari. It covers the formation up to the sale to Jack Tramiel. Wanna know about the performance of the 7800 in the market? The release of the 520ST? The death and rebirth in later years? None of that is covered. This book is the first in what was planned to be a trilogy. Unfortunately, the authors have stopped work on the remaining books and it looks like this one is all we'll ever get from them.
Bottom line:Very detailed, highly flawed look at the early years of Atari.
I grew up in the 70's loving that period of time when riding my bike to the closest bowling alley just to play a few games of Asteroids was a dream come true. I remember that exciting period of time of getting the Atari 2600 for Christmas 1981 with my very own Asteroids cartridge. Today I have a unique collection of game consoles, coin-op games, and handhelds that bring all those memories back. Reading through this book allows me to understand how all these wonderful toys came to be.
Oh yes, in the Kindle edition there are typos and grammatical errors. Why would we want to have a programming whiz also be perfect in grammar?! Well, they could’ve hired a dull, procedural editor!
The story of Steve Jobs adds so much to this book. Oh, and Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza parlor fits right in too – first name was “Rick Rats Big Cheese Restaurants.” That was visionary too, a thematic restaurant for the followers of Atari. We still go there, now my grandkids and I.
This book gets 5 stars for careful research, but the jumping back and forth in Atari’s history makes it difficult to follow at times. And although the history seems full, parts are left out that might be important to some – Jay Miner’s contributions, technical development of the Atari VCS and the 8-bit hardware.
If you’ve ever been an Atari fan and/or a “historian” of early computer games and hardware, this book is definitely for you.
Top reviews from other countries
But this book was a great undertaking and has some incredible content a majorly many would never had seen and worth it for that alone. The only missed opportunity here was monochrome printing. A book like this should have been in full colour as much as the Atari ethos was.
This self-published book is full of typos/errors, but hey - I am eager to read anything about Atari. If you can get over those issues with editing (storytelling isn’t that great either), you will be rewarded with a lot of hard to find interviews and documents. I’ve enjoyed this book despite its shortcomings.