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Atari Inc.: Business is Fun Paperback – 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is amazing. No one else has collected so many first hand accounts, documents, photographs, and even hardware (I think!).
But it is critically, because it is so unique and so amazing, tragically flawed.
I first heard about this book last August. This Spring it became availible on Amazon Kindle (iPad is my preferred way to read books). The anticipation was great.
I had read a sample chapter before and I already knew the authors intentions to keep things "in present tense". I think that's clunky and strange. I had expressed some concern about the prose (lots of run-un and compound sentences). But what other book like it would come out? There won't ever be. So I knew I had to get it, even though it was self-published and will lack polish.
(And before you go after this post written in a box for all kinds of grammar, style, syntax, typo, or spelling mistakes, remember, this is an Amazon review. A book has a higher standard. A book about Atari so meticulously researched should have had an even higher standard.)
But it is not an exaggeration to say that there is a mistake on every three or four pages. Whether a typo, editing mistake, or grammar mistake, there is one every three or four pages.
*Every time the word "life" appears, it is "LIFE" (perhaps someone did a find and replace-all to make LIFE magazine references have proper capitalization?) -ex: "the battery LIFE lasts one hour." (loc 3252). "the ERIC came to LIFE by pleasantly" (loc 3205).
*Extended (and usually improper) use of ellipsis... One period will do...
*Inconsistent use of italics when referencing games/titles, sometimes Spacewar!Read more ›
Finally, like most other reviewers, I have to say the number of typos and grammatical errors is stunning. Even "Atari" is misspelled at one point! Running a spell checker and having an experienced editor would have improved the quality immensely. I've never read a book with so many errors. I'm still shaking my head over that.
It's just unfortunate that all of this great information isn't given the presentation it deserves. The volume contains numerous grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. They're so numerous (and of such a simple and obvious nature) that one can't help but come to the conclusion that the volume was never edited at all. And that's a shame, because it's obvious how much work the authors put into researching the subject matter. If only they'd paused for a moment and had a competent editor fix their prose, the result could have been flawless. As it is, I can recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the history of Atari, video games, or computers...but only if they're willing to slog through an error-laden volume.
All that said, it's the facts that carry this book, not the writing style. It is VERY thorough and fascinating in that regard alone. I would have appreciated more interviews with the major players, but the research shown here is quite admirable. Worth the read if you're a technology history fan.
The first of three volumes, this one covers Atari from its beginnings up to the Tramiel buyout in 1984.
There are dozens and dozens of fascinating stories scattered amongst its 800(!!) pages, including the real stories of the first mass-produced arcade video game and Atari's beginnings, the story of the 2600, 5200, and 7800, Atari's arcade hits, Atari's little-known skunkworks. The truth about the New Mexico graveyard of VCS cartridges (just one of many sacred cows that are slain here) and much, much more.
If you love pictures, you're in for a real treat. There are probably about 300 pages of them including company picnics, internal documents, artwork, rare prototypes, secret agreements and more.
The negatives? There are a few. The photos are all black-and-white (I believe a more expensive color version will be released later). There's no index. And there are some stylistic issues (the biggest for me being authors' choice to relate certain key incidents in the presnt tense to create a "you are there" feeling.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fairly good book on the history of Atari. I wished there had been a lot more on the Atari computers. I have two Atari 800XLs and a 5200 game console that I still use to this day. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Logan
As an aspiring entrepreneur, this book was a great look at a small group of visionaries who grew a company from a tiny seed into s huge tree. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jose L. Marra
Being a historian and telling a good story is hard. There are many dry sections between the good stories. Read morePublished 9 months ago by teki
It's rich on content and inside stories about Atari and all the people involved, but the book design is awful and terrible to read.Published 10 months ago by Alan Richard da Luz
Loads of typos and clumsy writing, but a wealth of information, anecdotes and pictures on the Atari history. Really interesting read.Published 11 months ago by Karo Launonen
This should be an interesting story, and it was interesting enough for me to get through, but just barely. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gary D. Thomas