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
Key sources for 1977-1978:
Credit to Tomasz Krasuski for finding sales figures in Polish periodicals:
For a broader Atari history: http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/
July: MOS Technology announced the MCS6502 microprocessor, samples to ship
September 1975, and announced that the 6502 and other MCS6500 family
microprocessors would be second sourced by Synertek.
September 16-19: MOS Technology introduced the MCS6502 MPU at WESCON (Western
Electronic Show and Convention) in San Francisco.
July: MOS Technology announced a series of new chips in the 6500 family,
including the MCS6520 PIA.
April 16: The introduction of the Apple II by Apple Computer would spur Atari
to ramp up nascent efforts to develop new machines based upon the Atari Stella
project platform. (Antic podcast interview 65 with Steve Mayer)
June 5-8: At the 11th annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Atari introduced
the Video Computer System (VCS; previously: Stella project).
July?: John Vurich, previously National Semiconductor product marketing
manager, joined Atari (Consumer) as product planning manager (personal
August 9: As the followup project to the Atari VCS, Atari "Colleen" broad
specifications as proposed by Cyan Engineering senior engineer Steven T. Mayer
and Atari (Consumer) microelectronics engineer Joseph C. Decuir were accepted
by Atari decision makers including Synertek/Atari LSI chip designer Jay G.
Miner, Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Bob Brown, Atari VP
Consumer engineering M. John Ellis, Atari (Consumer) product planning manager
(personal computers) John Vurich, and Atari VP research and development Al
Alcorn (head of the Consumer Division). (Decuir 1977 engineering notes
p65-74) Synertek/Atari LSI chip designer Jay Miner would be Colleen project
October?: Steve Smith joined Atari (Consumer) as a chip enginering technician.
He had been interviewed by Craig Hansen. (mc suspects the interviewer's
correct name to be Craig Nelson)
Fall: Douglas G. Neubauer joined Atari (Consumer) as a chip design engineer.
Fall: At Atari (Consumer), John Hayashi would be promoted to director of
Consumer graphics (industrial design/design services), replacing Frederick W.
Thompson who departed the company. Doug Hardy, previously VCS project
manager, would now serve as an industrial designer (reporting to Hayashi).
Engineer Wade Tuma would be promoted to Director of Consumer Engineering
(replacing Hardy in the role). (Tuma and Hayashi would both report to VP
Consumer engineering John Ellis.)
Fall?: Engineer Richard Simone joined Atari as LSI Design Manager. He was
previously with National Semiconductor. Simone was to head large-scale
integration chip design for Atari dedicated game consoles, while Synertek's
Jay Miner was to head Atari's LSI chip design for cartridge-based game
consoles (and computers). (Atari User #4)
Fall?: Electronics technician Steve Wright, with prior experience at IBM,
joined Atari (Consumer) as Manager of LSI Test.
Fall?: Atari and Dorsett Educational Systems reached a licensing agreement
that would bring Dorsett's Talk & Teach Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI)
System to Atari personal computer systems.
November 29: Upon considering updated pricing estimates for the Atari Colleen
system, Atari engineers considered targeting products at three consumer price
points: Colleen would be the complete computer system, "Candy" would use the
Colleen chipset but would be a non-expandable game player (no keyboard, no
interface, potentially Atari VCS compatible), and "Elizabeth" would be the
same as Colleen but with a 13-inch color monitor. (Decuir 1977 engineering
December: "Several other new personal computers, in the PET/TRS-80 price range,
are coming soon...Atari (another video game manufacturer), and a European and
Japenese [sic] company are also expected to enter the competition."
(Micro #2 Dec77 p18; reprinted from "Northwest Computer Club News" Oct77)
December 21: Design reviews of the Colleen system and ANTIC/CTIA/POKEY chips
were held, fixing most of the specifications of the three chips that Atari
was gearing to develop. (Decuir 1978 engineering notes p5)
January 6: Howard Bornstein would be the first person to work on the Colleen
system monitor/resident firmware. (Decuir 1978 engineering notes p5)
January: "Other manufacturers are also looking at TV games as the way to enter
the home-computing market. Atari is said to be working on a programmable unit
featuring color graphics; it will use either custom chips or a 6502 micro."
(ROM v1n7 Jan78 p60)
Winter: Atari acquired the right to port Microsoft BASIC M6502 8K Version to
the upcoming Atari personal computers. See:
February?: David Gjerdrum joined Atari (Consumer) as a software engineer. He
would be assigned to the project to port Microsoft BASIC M6502 for the Atari
February 17: Internally-suggested demo software for Colleen for the system's
intended January 1979 debut included: chess, BASIC, resident operating system,
2 action games (examples: 4 Player Tank, Super Bug), income tax preparation /
personal finance, menu planning, demonstration cartridge (point of sale),
support of: printer, floppy disk, cassette, Dorsett system (Larry Kaplan memo
summary in Decuir 1978 engineering notes p39)
April 20: Educational technology consultant Liza Loop of the LO*OP Center
("Learning Options Open Portal") gave an invited presentation to the Atari
Colleen project engineering team. (Decuir 1978 engineering notes p71) Atari
would proceed to hire Loop to write user manuals for the upcoming Atari
personal computer systems. She interviewed with Atari director of consumer
engineering Wade Tuma.
Month?: Atari (Consumer) hired Peter N. Rosenthal as a market research
associate (personal computers).
Summer?: Atari pre-announced that the Atari computer would debut at the
January 1979 Consumer Electronics Show.
August: Carol Shaw joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer.
August: Atari (Consumer) hired NEOTERIC consultant Harry B. Stewart to oversee
and document "Colleen" project systems software development. Stewart was
hired by director of software development George Simcock.
September: At Atari (Consumer), "Colleen" project systems software development
efforts were essentially re-started, reassigned to several of the division's
top VCS game programmers (and replacing Howard Bornstein in the role).
October 6: Atari contracted with Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI, headed by
Bob Shepardson) to create both a version of BASIC and a File Management
Subsystem (FMS) for the upcoming Atari personal computers. The contract
called for delivery by April 6, 1979.
November: The Atari "Colleen" computer was named the 800 and the "Candy"
machine was named the 400, named after their target price points of $800 and
$400. The 400, which did not yet have a final case design, would not have a
keyboard, but would support an external keyboard connected through controller
ports 3-4. (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 460)
November/December: As reflected in the preliminary Atari 800 Operators Manual
printed for the January 1979 CES, Atari expected to ship the 800 with:
internal 8KiB OS ROM Module, internal 4KiB RAM Module, TV Switch Box, AC power
adapter, 410 program recorder, 4 joystick controllers, Basketball cartridge,
Atari BASIC cartridge, Atari 800 Operators Manual, Atari BASIC Programming
December 6: "Last week Atari...disclosed that it was on the verge of
introducing its first home computers." (NYT p.D4)
December: SMI delivered working versions of BASIC and a disk FMS to Atari.
January 6-9: At the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, during the Winter Consumer
Electronics Show (which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Hilton
hotel, and Jockey Club hotel), Atari and Warner Communications Inc. displayed
the new Atari-400 Personal Computer and the Atari-800 Personal Computer. The
400 would come with 8KiB of RAM and was expected to retail for approximately
$500. The 800 would ship with 8KiB of RAM, expandable to 48KiB, and would
sell for approximately $1,000. Peripherals announced/previewed: custom tape
cassette recorder (410), high speed floppy disc (810), 40-column printer
(820). Software applications promised: "personal financial management, income
tax preparation, household and office record keeping, computer aided
instruction in over 20 subject areas including math, English, history,
literature, economics, psychology, auto mechanics, and many others." Games
promised: Basketball, Chess (would ship as: Computer Chess), Life (would ship
as: Video Easel), Kingdom, Lemonade Stand (would ship from APX as: Lemonade),
Fur Trader (never shipped), Stock Market (never shipped). Programming
language promised: BASIC. Availability dates were not announced. Atari
(Consumer) software manager Larry Kaplan and chip engineering technician Steve
Smith led the live demonstrations of the 400/800 at the show. Don
Kingsborough was Atari (Consumer) Director of Sales & Marketing. Emanuel
Gerard represented the Office of the President, WCI. Coverage of the
introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine:
http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/ (see also The Intelligent Machines Journal
Issue 2, 79 Jan 17)
January: Atari ran an advertisement for the 400/800 on pp. 54-55 of
Merchandising, vol. 4, no. 1, January 1979. See:
http://mcurrent.name/atariads/gallery.htm for these and other early Atari
computer print ads from 1979-1981.
January: Stephen N. Davis would join Atari (Consumer) as Product Marketing
Manager (personal computers), replacing John Vurich who departed the company.
Peter Rosenthal, previously hired by Atari (Consumer) as a marketing research
associate (personal computers), would join the company as Atari (Consumer)
Manager of Software Planning (personal computers).
Winter?: Atari committed to shipping the 400/800 with the BASIC developed for
Atari by SMI, abandoned efforts to port Microsoft BASIC to the 400/800, and
Atari (Consumer) senior software engineer (personal computers) David Gjerdrum
departed the company.
February: Synertek/Atari engineer Jay Miner departed the companies (Atari
Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 386) (to Custom MOS, Inc.).
February: Atari (Consumer) hired Ted M. Kahn, previously member of the
Learning Research Group at Xerox PARC, as a personal computers educational
marketing strategy consultant, essentially replacing consultant Liza Loop who
would depart the company.
March 26: Atari had asked the U.S. FCC to extend the comments deadline on
Texas Instruments' petition for a waiver of Class I rules on RF modulators, in
what was seen as an attempt to delay market introduction of the TI home
computer. (TVDigest 3/26/79)
April 9: In joining others including Apple, Interact, Mattel, and Radio Shack,
Atari formally opposed Texas Instruments' RF devices waiver request from the
US FCC by submitting a 60-page report accompanied by technical data showing
that TI standards could cause massive interference in urban areas, and
claiming that "TI simply presented the Commission with its self-serving
appraisal of what it considered 'reasonable standards' for home computer
manufactureres, and asked for authority to produce & market a computer line
satisfying its own standards." (TVDigest 4/9/79 p11)
April: Atari chip engineering technician Steve Smith departed the company (to
Custom MOS, Inc.).
April 16-June 30: Direct-mail "refund" promotion to all known (US) Atari VCS
owners. Each of "hundreds of thousands" of owners would receive a blank check
good for $2 on purchase of any of 28 VCS game programs. In addition,
consumers were asked to answer 3 questions about Atari's new personal
computers. Winners drawn from correct responses would receive Atari 400 & 800
computers and $100 computer merchandise certificates. (TVDigest 3/12/79p12)
May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire, held in San Francisco's Civic
Auditorium & Brooks Hall, in a booth as elaborate as those seen at Consumer
Electronics Shows, Atari demonstrated its new 400 and 800 series computers.
This was Atari's first public display of their new computer product lines.
(Intelligent Machines Journal 79 Jun 11 p8) In addition to business &
household management software, educational applications promised: Algebra
(would ship as: Basic Algebra), Economics (would ship as: Principles of
Economics), Auto Mechanics (never shipped), Sociology (would ship as: Basic
Sociology), U.S. History, Zoology (never shipped), Counseling Procedures,
Vocabulary Builder (never shipped), Basic Psychology, Spelling, Spanish (never
shipped), Accounting (would ship as: Principles of Accounting), Carpentry
(never shipped), Great Classics, Statistics (never shipped), Basic
Electricity, World History. Entertainment applications promised: Chess (would
ship as: Computer Chess), Backgammon (never shipped), business simulations,
Stock Market Simulation (never shipped), space adventure, strategy games,
Four-Player Basketball (would ship as: Basketball), Superbug Driving Game
(never shipped), Game of Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Super Breakout.
Also promised: Atari BASIC
May 21: In response to Texas Instruments' technical reply to the U.S. FCC
regarding its Class I waiver request, which said its interference standards
exceeded Computer & Business Equipent Manufacturers Association (CBEMA)
standards, Atari had filed a followup noting that CBEMA standards were for
commercial computers up to 30 meters from a TV, enclsing photos of broken-up
TV pictures reportedly caused by a home computer with TI standards. (TVDigest
June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari promised that the 400/800 base
units would ship fall 1979, and featured a firmed 400/800 product line
including suggested retail prices. 400 system with BASIC cartridge and Atari
BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide): $549.99; 800 system with BASIC cartridge,
Education System Master Cartridge, Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide),
410 Program Recorder, and Guide to BASIC Programming cassette: $999.99; 810
Disc Drive: $749.99; 820 Printer: $599.99; 410 Program Recorder: $89.99; 8K
RAM Memory Module: $124.99; 16K RAM Memory Module: $249.99; Driving Controller
Pair: $19.95; Paddle Controller Pair: $19.95; Joystick Controller Pair:
$19.95; ROM cartridges: Education System Master Cartridge (would ship as:
Educational System Master Cartridge), Basketball, Life (would ship as: Video
Easel), Super Breakout, Super Bug (never shipped), Atari BASIC, Assembler
Debug (would ship as: Assembler Editor), Music Composer, Computer Chess, Home
Finance (earlier: Checkbook; later: Personal Finance; never shipped);
Educational System cassette programs: U.S. History, U.S. Government,
Supervisory Skills, World History (Western), Basic Sociology, Counseling
Procedures, Principles of Accounting, Physics, Great Classics (English),
Business Communications, Basic Psychology, Effective Writing, Auto Mechanics
(never shipped), Principles of Economics, Spelling, Basic Electricity, Basic
Algebra; BASIC game and program cassettes: Guide to BASIC Programming (would
ship as: An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of BASIC Programming),
BASIC Game Programs (never shipped); diskettes: Blank Diskettes (would ship
as: 5 Diskettes), Disk File Manager (would ship as: Master Diskette). Don
Kingsborough remained director of sales and marketing for Atari (Consumer).
June 15: Atari announced U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Type I
approval for the Atari 400 and Atari 800 personal computer systems, along with
the Atari Program Recorder (410).
June: Atari microcomputer systems engineer Joe Decuir departed the company.
June: Completion date for the Atari 400/800 Operating System Rev.A.
Month?: Bill Carris joined Atari (Consumer) as manager of technical services
Month?: Steve Wright, previously Atari manager of LSI test, would become an
Atari (Consumer) training manager. Carl J. Nielsen would join Atari as
director of LSI design and test, replacing Wright as well as LSI design
manager Richard Simone who departed the company to Maruman Integrated
July 2: Atari personal computers were in the Penny fall-winter catalog at $550
& $995. (TVDigest 7/2/79)
July: Robert A. Hovee, previously of Questor, joined Atari (Consumer) as
personal computers sales & marketing VP, in part replacing Donald Kingsborough
who departed the company (to rejoin D.K. Marketing).
August: Atari (Consumer) programmer / game designer Larry Kaplan departed the
August: Atari (Consumer) chip design engineer Doug Neubauer departed the
company (to Hewlett-Packard). (Compute! #3 Mar/Apr 80 p75)
August?: On pages 654-655 of the Wish Book for the 1979 Holiday Season Sears
featured the Atari 400 personal computer system ($549) and accessories.
Summer/Fall: The Atari plant at 1173 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, previously
Atari's pinball manufacturing plant, was repurposed for 400/800 computer line
September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of
home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the
fall. The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break
in October in 12 national publications. TV commercials will also be aired in
Los Angeles in November and December."
September: Atari (Consumer) programmers / game designers David Crane, Alan
Miller and Bob Whitehead all departed the company. (Together the three would
establish Activision, Inc. on 10/1/79.)
September: An Atari computer running Star Raiders was shown by Ludwig Braun at
an "education-and-computers" conference. (cc 6/80 p34) WHAT CONFERENCE????
September 19: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a new
set of "Technical Standards for Computing Equipment" (FCC 79-555, 79 FCC 2d.
28). The new Class A (commercial) and Class B (residential) digital device
standards were both less stringent than the earlier Type I standard which,
among home computers released and announced to date, only the Atari 400/800
had succeeded in complying with. Atari, among others, would formally protest
the new standards.
September 24: Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (staff engineer Paul Laughton for
SMI) completed the File Management System (FMS) for the Atari personal
October: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering and Plant Manager
Pinball Production, became Atari VP Engineering, Consumer and Home Computer
Division, replacing John Ellis who departed the company. Niles Strohl would
be promoted to director of Consumer engineering, replacing Wade Tuma who
departed the company. (Ellis and Tuma would together establish Compower
Corp. on 5/19/80).
October: "Atari's production lines were stalled for about a week in October
due to yield problems at one of its chip suppliers, Synertek. The low yields
at the semiconductor manufacturer resulted in significantly reduced delivery
of the MPU to Atari, resulting in about a 3-week delay in getting the
computers into the marketplace." Electronic News, December 10, 1979, p. 83.
November: Conrad C. Jutson, previously of Texas Instruments, joined Atari
(Consumer) as VP Sales & Marketing, Personal Computers, replacing Robert Hovee
who departed the company. (TVDigest 1/21/80p14; Compute!s 1st Book p2 for
November?: Dale Yocum, previously of Telesensory, joined Atari (Consumer) to
head a new application programmers group (non-game, non-systems software) as
Applications Software Manager (personal computers). Yocum would report to
director of software development George Simcock.
November: Atari shipped the 400 personal computer system (NTSC; 8KiB RAM) and,
shortly thereafter, the 800 personal computer system (NTSC; 8KiB RAM), each
boxed with the BASIC Computing Language cartridge (Atari BASIC by SMI) and the
Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide) book; the 800 additionally shipped
with the 410 program recorder and the Educational System Master Cartridge
(Dorsett Educational Systems), which each also shipped separately.
"The first "real" consumer units were shipped in Nov. of '79 and were 400s
to Sears followed very shortly by 800s." --Jerry Jessop
November 26: The U.S. FCC had denied Atari's motion for a stay of the waiver
given to Texas Instruments to sell an independent RF modulator for home
comptuers & video games, saying Atari hadn't presented any new evidence.
November/December?: Programmer Lane Winner, previously of Versatec, joined
Atari (Consumer) as an applications programmer (personal computers). Winner
would report to application programmers group manager Dale Yocum.
November/December?: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Basketball, Video Easel
(previously: Life), Super Breakout, and the Talk and Teach Courseware
cassettes: U.S. History, U.S. Government, Supervisory Skills, World History
(Western), Basic Sociology, Counseling Procedures, Principles of Accounting,
Physics, Great Classics, Business Communications, Basic Psychology, Effective
Writing, Principles of Economics, Spelling, Basic Electricity, Basic Algebra
December: "Atari is funneling large quantities of its 400 and 800 personal
computers and software to Sears, Roebuck, while retail computer stores have
been faced with late hardware deliveries and received very little, if any,
software. Sears is offering the Atari 400, priced at $549, through its
catalog [1979 Wish Book pages 654-655], and is spot-marketing the machine in
its retail stores throughout California and the Chicago area. In addition,
the firm is selling the Atari 800, priced at $999.99, in its California
stores, but not through the catalog, a Sears spokesman said." Electronic
News, December 10, 1979, p. 83.
January 5-8: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas, for the 400/800, Atari introduced
the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface, introduced 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe,
Star Raiders, and Calculator, and again promised Music Composer, Assembler
Editor (previously: Assembler Debug), and Personal Finance (previously: Home
Finance; never shipped). Atari announced a license agreement to market 8
investment-application programs designed by Control Data Corp. from CDC's
Cyberware library, including: bond yield, bond price and interest, bond
switch, stock rate of return, stock dividend analysis, stock charting,
mortgage analysis, portfolio analysis. (WSJ Jan8p37; TVDigest 1/14/80p13)
Also, list prices for the 400 and 800 packages increased to US$630 and
US$1,080 (up from US$550 and US$1,000).
January?: Atari shipped: Computer Chess, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders
January: Chris Crawford, previously an Atari (Consumer) game designer,
transferred to the personal computer application programmers group (reporting
to group manager Dale Yocum).
January 21: Atari and Control Data announced an agreement whereby Atari
computer systems could be repaired through the nationwide network of Control
Data repair centers. Approximately 20 centers throughout the country were
open; more were scheduled. (Dr. Dobb's Journal)
Winter: Atari shipped the 810 disk drive with Master Diskette (DOS I developed
by SMI), and shipped the 820 printer. (US$449.95).
February 11: The Sears spring-summer catalog featured the Atari 400 at $549,
and the Atari 800 at $999. (TVDigest 2/11/80p10)
March?: Atari shipped Music Composer.
March: Science Research Associates (SRA) and Atari announced that SRA would
develop educational computer courseware in reading, language arts,
mathematics, science, and social studies, intended for Atari personal
computers used in the home; Atari would have the right to market this
software. Additionally, SRA would have primary responsibility for the sale of
Atari personal computers and services to the educational community (public and
private, pre-school through university level).
April?: Tandy Trower, previously of WICAT, joined Atari (Consumer) as an
evaluator of 3rd party software titles (personal computers). He was hired by
Atari (Consumer) Manager of Software Planning (personal computers) Peter
Spring: For the 400/800 Atari had shipped: An Invitation to Programming 1
(PDI; previously: Guide to BASIC Programming), Biorhythm, Hangman, Kingdom,
Blackjack (6/1/80 price list)
May 19-22: Atari featured the 400/800 personal computer systems at the 1980
National Computer Conference at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim CA.
Also at the show, Personal Software introduced the Atari 800 version (and the
Commodore PET/CBM version) of VisiCalc by Software Arts. (The original Apple
version had shipped Oct. 1979.)
May/June?: John R. Powers, III, co-founder and previously of The Authorship
Resource, Inc. (ARI; developers of software for the CyberVision home
computer), joined Atari (Consumer) as director of software development
(personal computers), in-part replacing George Simcock who departed the
company (retired). (Powers was hired by VP engineering Steve Bristow.) Brian
Johnston, previously Atari (Consumer) game developer (electronic toys &
games), became Atari (Consumer) systems software manager (personal computers).
Johnston and application programmers group manager Dale Yocum would both
report to Powers.
June 15-18: At the Summer CES in Chicago, for the 400/800 Atari introduced:
815 dual disk drive with DOS 2.0D ($1499.95; never shipped), 822 printer
($449.95), and Light Pen (CX70; $74.95), and again promised the 825 printer
($999.95), 830 modem ($199.95), and 850 interface ($219.95). (CC Sep80p30;
6/1/80 price list) 400/800 software Atari announced or again promised (6/1/80
price list): Mortgage & Loan Analysis (Control Data), Bond Analysis (Control
Data), Stock Analysis (Control Data), Stock Charting (Control Data), An
Invitation to Programming 2: Writing Programs One and Two (PDI), An Invitation
to Programming 3: Introduction to Sound and Graphics (PDI), Astrology (never
shipped), Conversational French (Thorn EMI), Conversational German (Thorn
EMI), Conversational Spanish (Thorn EMI), Mailing List, Touch Typing,
Calculator, Graph It, Statistics I, Energy Czar, States & Capitals, European
Countries & Capitals, TeleLink I (previously: Terminal Emulator), Space
Invaders (title by Taito), Assembler Editor. Atari also previewed The Atari
Accountant series (by BPI; would consist of: General Accounting System;
Accounts Receivable System; Inventory Control Program; series never shipped).
Also, Atari modified the 800 computer package. The computer would now ship
with one CX853 16KiB RAM module installed (previously: one CX852 8KiB RAM
module); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were
removed from the package; the BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package.
The retail price remained US$1,080. The unchanged 400 computer package
July: Engineer Larry Plummer, previously General Manager, Computer Products at
Heathkit, joined Atari (Consumer) as personal computer systems director of
engineering (replacing Atari (Consumer) director of engineering Niles Strohl
in the role). Engineer Carl Goy would join Plummer in moving from Heath to
July: Electronics engineer and programmer Tim McGuinness, previously of
Plantronics / Zehntel, joined Atari (Consumer) as a personal computer systems
Summer?: Atari (Consumer) game designer Carol Shaw departed the company.
August 19: Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (staff engineer Paul Laughton for
SMI) completed the File Management System (FMS) for Atari DOS II.
Summer/Fall: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: 822 printer, 825 printer, 830
modem, 850 interface, CX70 Light Pen, Assembler Editor (SMI), TeleLink I
(original "small box" release with 1 hour of access to CompuServe), Space
Invaders (original cassette release), States & Capitals, European Countries &
Capitals, Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Energy Czar
September: Roger H. Badertscher joined Atari to be president of the new
Personal Computer Division. Badertscher was previously VP and general manager
of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor
manufacturer. (InfoWorld 7/26/82p29 for date) Bruce W. Irvine would join
Atari (Personal Computer) as VP software.
September: The Atari (Consumer) Software Support Group began offering
telephone Customer Software Support for Atari 400/800 users. (AtariConnection
September 15-December 31: Atari-sponsored dealer promotion: Free 410 plus
Educational System Master Cartridge and choice of one Talk & Teach series
title with purchase of 400 computer. Or, free CX852 8KiB RAM module with
purchase of 800 computer (which shipped with one CX853 16KiB RAM module
October: Atari spun off a new Personal Computer Division from the Consumer
Division. (BusWk 6/15/81 for date) Conrad Jutson, previously Atari
(Consumer) VP Sales & Marketing for Personal Computers, became Warner
Communications VP corporate planning. Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari
(Consumer) manager of software planning (personal computers), became Atari
(Personal Computer) director of marketing (replacing Jutson in the role, in
part). Keith E. Schaefer joined Atari (Personal Computer) as National Sales
Manager (replacing Juston in the role, in part). Brenda K. Laurel, previously
Manager, Educational Product Design at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI),
joined Atari (Personal Computer) as Manager, Software Strategy and Marketing
(replacing Rosenthal in the role). Tandy Trower, previously an evaluator of
3rd party software titles (personal computers), became an Atari (Personal
Computer) product manager. Kevin McKinsey, previously Atari (Consumer)
industrial desginer, would be Atari (Personal Computer) manager of industrial
design and graphics.
October: Atari (Personal Computer) hired Ken (Charles) Balthaser, previously
designer and programmer at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI), as a
Fall?: Bill Kaiser, previously of Xerox, joined Atari (Personal Computer) as
director of finance.
Fall: Robert A. Kahn, previously an educational computer applications
consultant (and prior to that, director of the Computer Education Project at
the University of California, Berkeley), joined Atari (Personal Computer) as
Manager, Educational Software Products. He was hired by Atari (Personal
Computer) director of marketing Peter Rosenthal. Chris Bowman, previously
director of media services at the Harvard University Graduate School of
Education, would join Atari (Personal Computer) as national manager of
educational sales, as Atari would take the sale of Atari personal computers
and services to the educational community in-house (previously: outsourced to
Science Research Associates (SRA)).
December: Gene B. Rosen joined Atari as VP of engineering for the Atari
Computer Division (replacing Bristow in the role). (ComputerWorld 3/16/81p74)
December: Atari (Personal Computer) software consultant Ken (Charles)
Balthaser joined the company as an applications programmer (reporting to
applications software supervisor Dale Yocum).
December: At Atari (Personal Computer), Applications group programmer Chris
Crawford (having completed Energy Czar and SCRAM) was promoted to supervisor
of the Software Development Support Group.
Atari reportedly lost $10 million on sales of computer equipment of $13
million in 1980 (InfoWorld 9/14/1981)
Atari had sold 35,000 400/800 computers through 1980. (source?)
January 1?: The Atari Personal Computer Division would now be known as the
Atari Computer Division.
January/February: First issue of A.N.A.L.O.G. 400/800 Magazine, published by
Lee Pappas and Mike DesChenes. 4000 copies printed.
January 6: Warner Amex Cable Communications, Atari, and CompuServe jointly
announced the availability of the CompuServe information service to Columbus
OH subscribers of the Warner Amex QUBE two-way interactive cable television
system. An Atari 800 personal computer was lent to the subscriber as part of
January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari announced that the 400
would now ship in two versions: original 8KiB RAM version at the new list
price of US$499.95 (previously: US$630), or new 16KiB RAM version for US$630.
Atari introduced/featured (CC Mar81p54; Analog#1): Asteroids, Missile Command,
SCRAM (A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation), Atari PILOT, Conversational Spanish
(Thorn EMI), Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), Atari
Accountant: General Accounting System (BPI; "Accounting Primer Manual" by
Arthur Young & Company; never shipped), Atari Accountant: Accounts Receivable
System (BPI; never shipped), Atari Accountant: Inventory Control Program (BPI;
never shipped), Atari Word Processor. Also announced or again promised (1981
Software Catalog): An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to
Programming 3, Astrology (never shipped), Personal Financial Management System
(replacement for the canceled Personal Finance). Again promised (Analog #1):
Conversational German, Conversational French. Privately announced (Analog#1):
January: Atari (Computer) marketing established a Users' Group Support
Program; Earl Rice would be Marketing Manager, Users' Group Support Program.
Winter: Atari released Master Diskette II (DOS II version 2.0S developed by
Winter: Atari shipped: Bond Analysis, Stock Analysis, Stock Charting, Mailing
List, Touch Typing, Graph It, Statistics I (Analog#2p47)
February 2: Atari announced that Rigdon Currie, previously of Xerox subsidiary
Diablo, had joined Atari as VP marketing for the Computer Division. Roger
Badertscher remained president of the Computer Division. (Compute!#11p166).
Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Computer) director of marketing, became
Atari (Computer) VP business planning (new position).
February: Fred Thorlin joined Atari (Computer) as director of software
acquisitions (new position, hired by Atari (Computer) VP software Bruce
February: Mark A. Lutvak, previously product program general manager at
Memorex, joined Atari (Computer) as director of product management, replacing
Stephen Davis who departed the company.
February: Andrew Soderberg, previously a partner at a computer retailer called
Computer Connection, joined Atari (Computer) as an assistant product manager.
He had been hired by product manager Tandy Trower.
February?: Paul Laughton, previously Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) staff
engineer, joined Atari (Computer) as a systems software programmer (hired by
manager of systems software Brian Johnston).
February 25: The source code to Atari BASIC (including Atari OS FPP), the FMS
component of Atari DOS 2.0S (DOS.SYS), and the Atari Assembler Editor were
purchased from Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) by Optimized Systems
Software (OSS), headed by former SMI employees Bill Wilkinson and Mike Peters.
March: Jim Tittsler, previously Director of Software Development at
International Remote Imaging Systems (and before that a Software Engineer at
Heath Zenith (Heathkit)), joined Atari (Computer).
April 2-30: Atari-sponsored dealer promotion: Free $100 subscription to The
Source with purchase of Atari Communicator System: choice of 400 or 800
computer with 850, 830, and TeleLink I.
April 3-5: At the 6th West Coast Computer Faire, San Francisco Civic
Auditorium and Brooks Hall, Atari (Computer) announced the Atari Software
Acquisition Program (ASAP), which would involve the creation of ASAP regional
centers where qualified developrs could work with Atari equipment and receive
technical assistance (the first ASAP center was expected to open in the
Sunnyvale CA area in mid-May), and Atari Program Exchange (APX), a free
quarterly mail-order catalog of user-written software (first edition due for
publication in May). Programs accepted for the APX catalog would qualify for
$100,000 in prizes to be awarded over the coming year, including a grand prize
of $25,000 cash. Bruce W. Irvine was Atari (Computer) VP software; Fred
Thorlin was Atari director of software acquisitions (ASAP and APX) (see
Compute! #12 5/81 p150). The event also featured Atari's "first annual"
invitational hospitality suite for Atari computer users' group officers and
their guests. About 20 persons attended, on behalf of about 30 total groups
registered with Atari Users' Group Support.
April 3?: Dale Yocum, previously Atari (Computer) applications software
supervisor, had become APX manager, software acquisition department (ASAP and
APX). Paul V. Cubbage, previously of The Wollongong Group, joined Atari
(Computer) as Manager, Software Review, Software Acquisition Department (ASAP
and APX). Fred Thorlin remained Atari (Computer) director of software
acquisitions (ASAP and APX). Ken Balthaser, previously an Atari (Computer)
applications programmer, had been promoted to manager of applications software
development (replacing Yocum in the role).
April 3-5: Also at the West Coast Computer Faire, Optimized Systems Software
(OSS) introduced BASIC A+, CP/A (would ship as: OS/A+), and EASMD (enhanced,
disk-based versions of Atari BASIC, Atari DOS 2.0S and Atari Assembler Editor,
April 23-24: An Atari Seminar for developers. The Atari Software Development
Support Group included: Chris Crawford (graphics), Lane Winner (BASIC,
cassette), Mike Ekberg (OS, DOS), Kathleen Armstrong (Kathleen Pitta), Jim Cox
(graphics & utilities), Gus Makreas (assembly language), John Eckstrom
Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by
Atari (Computer) in support of the 400/800.
May 1-August 31: Atari offered a free CX853 16K RAM Module ($99.95) with
purchase of an Atari 800 personal computer; offered the 825 printer at $800
instead of $1000; and offered the 850 interface at $170 instead of $220
May 4-7: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that
the 8KiB Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16KiB
version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the Atari BASIC
cartridge and Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide) book would no longer be
included with the now "mass market packaged" 400. Other price reductions:
CX852 8KiB RAM module now US$49.95 (was US$124.95), CX853 16KiB RAM module now
US$99.95 (was US$199.95), 820 printer now US$299.95 (was US$449.95). Atari
also introduced: Personal Financial Management System (PFMS; $74.95), Dow
Jones Investment Evaluator ($99.95; never shipped), Atari Microsoft BASIC
($89.95), Program-Text Editor (would ship as a standalone title via APX),
Sorcim Macro Assembler (the latter two titles would ship together as: Macro
Assembler and Program-Text Editor). Also introduced: Conversational Italian
(by Thorn EMI). Additionally, new production units of TeleLink I would
include one hour of time on each of: Dow Jones Information Service, The
Source, CompuServe (previously: CompuServe only).
May: Jon D. Ebbs joined Atari, where we would be VP of Consumer Product
Service. By January 1982, in support of both Atari Consumer and Atari
Computer division products, the unit would establish a new national network of
Atari Factory Authorized Service Centers ("Atari Service Factory Authorized
Network"). The new network would replace Control Data Service Centers for
Atari computer repairs.
Month?: The Atari Software Development Support Group released De Re Atari.
Atari made the book available to registered developers.
Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research,
which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash
stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit
institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses
for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and
directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in
the program's first year.
Summer?: Barry Berghorn, previously of Memorex, joined Atari (Computer) as
sales & marketing VP, replacing Rigdon Currie who departed the company.
Summer?: J. Peter Nelson joined Atari (Computer) as public relations manager.
Summer: Atari sold the rights to their Talk & Teach series of educational
software titles, plus the Educational System Master Cartridge, back to the
developer, Dorsett Educational Systems.
Summer: By mid-1981 Atari had sold over 50,000 400/800 computers to date.
Summer: Atari shipped: Conversational Spanish, Conversational French,
Conversational German, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to
Programming 3, SCRAM (A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation), Missile Command,
Asteroids, Atari Word Processor, plus TeleLink I new "large box" version with
one hour of time on each of: Dow Jones Information Service, The Source,
Summer: First edition of the Atari Program Exchange (APX) catalog, a component
of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP). See
http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/. Listings for the 400/800: Newspaper Route
Management Program, The Computerized Card File, Text Formatter (FORMS),
Lemonade, Mugwump, Avalanche, Outlaw/Howitzer, Preschool Games, Roman
Checkers, Space Trek, Castle, Wizard's Gold, Sleazy Adventure, Alien Egg,
Chinese Puzzle, Sultan's Palace, Anthill, Centurion, Tact Trek, Comedy
Diskette, Graphics/Sound Demonstration, FIG FORTH (this version never
shipped), Sound Editor, BASIC Program Compressor (MASHER), BASIC Cross-
Reference Utility (XREF), BASIC Renumber Utility (RENUM), Disk Fixer (FIX),
Variable Changer, Character Set Editor, Extended WSFN, Supersort. APX also
introduced several hardware products: DE-9S with DE51218 Shell (controller
plug), 5-pin DIN connector, 13-pin I/O plug, 13-pin I/O socket, DA-15P with
DA110963-2 Shell (850 printer plug), DE-9P with DE110963-1 Shell (850 serial
plug), 2716 EPROM cartridge. APX location: 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA
August 1: In the UK, Atari consumer products distributor Ingersoll Electronics
shipped the Atari 400/800 computers (new UK versions for PAL-I; 345 pounds /
645 pounds incl. VAT; both with 16KiB RAM).
August: James Alan Cook (Jamie Cook) joined Atari as VP and Counsel of Atari's
August 26: Date of the internal Atari document "Z800 Product Specification,
Revision 1" reflecting early work that would lead to the release of the
September 1: New production Atari 810 disk drives would contain an External
Data Separator Board. (810 FSM p.1-9)
September 1-October 31: Atari offered a free Atari Word Processor with the
purchase of an Atari 800, 810 disk drive and two additional 16K RAM Memory
September 10-12: Atari distributor Ingersoll Electronics introduced the Atari
400/800 at The 4th Personal Computer World Show at the Cunard Hotel,
October: Dr. Alan Kay, previously a Xerox Fellow at the Xerox Palo Alto
Research Center (PARC), joined Atari (Corporate) in the new position of
VP/Chief Scientist. (InfoWorld 5/21/84 for date) Kay would be responsible for
the new Atari Corporate Research division, which would include the existing
Atari research & development unit, Cyan Engineering, as well as the existing
Warner Communications L.A. Lab research & development unit located at 3701 Oak
Street, Burbank, CA (on the campus of Warner Bros. Studios), which would now
be known as the Atari L.A. Lab. Engineer Steven J. Davis would remain
director of the L.A. Lab, now as Atari director of advanced research.
October: As part of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP), Atari
opened its first Regional Software Acquisition Center, managed by Steven H.
Gerber, in the 4,000 square-foot location that also housed the Atari Program
Exchange (APX): 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA
October: Atari (Computer) software product manager Tandy Trower departed the
company. (for Microsoft)
October 15-18: The Northeast Computer Show (NCS) at the Hynes Auditorium,
Boston MA was attended by 50,000. For the 400/800 Atari featured Missile
Command, Asteroids, the Atari Word Processor, Personal Financial Management
System, States & Capitals, Conversational Italian, Conversational French,
Conversational Spanish. Atari director of business planning and development
Peter Rosenthal was a featured panelist at the show, alongside Microsoft
president William H. Gates, Commodore president H.E. James Finke, Radio Shack
VP Jon Shirley, IBM Personal Computers director Philip Estridge, and Apple
Computer president A.C. (Mike) Markkula.
October 19: InfoWorld reported that a new 400/800 home accounting system
(would ship as: The Bookkeeper) would replace the unshipped Atari Accountant
(which would have required the unshipped and recently canceled 815 disk
October 20: At Atari (Computer), Brian Johnston, previously manager of systems
software, had become a product coordinator. Lou R. Tarnay, previously of GTE
Sylvania, had joined the company as systems development manager (replacing
Johnston in the role). Direct reports to VP software Bruce Irvine now
included: T.J. Gracon (software product acquisition (ASAP)), P.E. Liniak
(product coordination), Fred Thorlin (product review and research (APX)), J.P.
Romanos (product test), John Powers (applications & development systems),
Tarnay (systems development), vacant (international). Reports to Thorlin
still included product review manager Paul Cubbage and APX manager Dale Yocum.
Reports to Powers still included Ken Balthaser (applications) and Chris
Crawford (development support). Reports to Tarnay included Paul Laughton
(operating systems supervisor).
October 20: Steven T. Mayer, Jay G. Miner, Douglas G. Neubauer, and Joesph C.
Decuir were awared U.S. patent 4,296,476 for a "Data processing system with
programmable graphics generator" (the Atari 400/800 hardware platform).
Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Data Management System, Financial Asset
Management System, Decision Maker, Banner Generator, Personal Fitness Program
(previously announced for Atari's main 400/800 product line), Blackjack Tutor,
Mapware, Video Math Flashcards, Dice Poker, 747 Landing Simulator, Eastern
Front (1941), CodeCracker, Domination, Terry, Bumper Pool, Reversi, Minotaur,
Lookahead, Babel, Wizard's Revenge, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator, Diskette
Librarian, Disk Fixer (FIX) Rev. 2, BASIC Utility for Renumbering Programs
(BURP), BASIC Utility Diskette, Screen Dump Utility, Load 'n Go, BLIS,
Developer's Diskette. APX also announced their full software product line for
sale via download from CompuServe MicroNET. One hardware product was
modified: DE-9S with DE110963-1 Shell (controller plug).
Fall: At Atari (Computer), Keith Schaefer was promoted from National Sales
Manager to sales VP (WeeklyTVDigest 1981p.dcclxv) and Don Kurtz (of the Kurtz
& Tarlow agency) would be hired as director of marketing services (see
AtariConnection Sum82), together replacing VP sales & marketing Barry Berghorn
who departed the company.
Fall: K-Byte, Division of Kay Enterprises Co., released K-Razy Shoot-Out, the
first third-party ROM cartridge for the Atari 400/800. (SoftSide Mar82p71)
Fall: For the 400/800 Atari shipped the Starter Kits The Communicator, The
Entertainer, The Programmer, and The Educator, and shipped: Conversational
Italian, Calculator, Atari PILOT (Educators' Package and Home Package). Space
Invaders, previously released on cassette, was now re-released on cartridge.
Fall: In West Germany, Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH shipped the
Atari 400/800 (new PAL versions for PAL B), and importer Adveico shipped them
November 1: New production Atari 810 disk drives would ship with the Revision
C ROM and with DOS II version 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS I).
November: Chemical Bank began testing their prototype Pronto electronic home
banking system in about 200 homes in the New York area. Homes were provided
Atari computers with prototype client software developed with Atari as part of
November: The Atari 400/800 NTSC versions would now ship with the GTIA chip
rather than the earlier CTIA. (Antic Oct.82) (PAL and UK 400/800 units had
only shipped with GTIA.)
November: The Atari 400/800 began shipping with the 400/800 OS Rev.B,
improving peripheral I/O control routines. (Antic Oct.82;ConnectionV2n2p1-2)
November 17-20: Atari consumer products distributor Ingersoll Electronics
featured the Atari 400/800 at Compec '81 (Computer Peripheral and Small
Computer Systems Exhibition), Grand Hall, Olympia, London.
November 25: Speciality Camps Corp. was established by Herbert Resnick in New
York. (mc suspects this was established specifically for a joint summer
computer camp venture with Atari. Linda S. Gordon may have already joined
Atari as VP special projects (assistant to the president).)
December: Chris Crawford, previously Atari (Computer) Software Development
Support Group supervisor, became Atari (Corporate) Manager, Games Design
Research Group, Atari Corporate Research.
December: Bill Carris, previously manager of technical services, was now Atari
(Computer) national sales training manager. (InfoWorld)
December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home
computer (with 16KiB RAM and newly "mass market packaged") to US$899 from
US$1,080. Other prices were increased: The Entertainer to US$110 and The
Educator to US$166.
Atari claimed to have sold 300,000 400/800 computers in 1981.
(InfoWord 6/14/82 p.57)
The installed base of Atari 400/800 computers was estimated by Future
Computing, Inc. to be just over 100,000. (January 1983)
January 1?: The Atari Computer Division would now be known as the Atari Home
Computer Division, and it adopted the advertising slogan, "We've brought the
computer age home."
January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog
of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors.
January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas, for the 400 ($399/16K RAM) and
800 ($899/16K RAM) Atari introduced Pac-Man (title by Namco), Centipede, and
Caverns of Mars (which had only just been added to the APX product line as of
winter 1982; it would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's
main product line), announced The Bookkeeper, The Home Filing Manager, the
CX85 Numerical Keypad (price tba), The Bookkeeper Kit (price tba) and The Home
Manager kit (price tba), and again promised: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator
(never shipped), Personal Financial Management System, Atari Macro Assembler
and Program-Text Editor, Atari Microsoft BASIC. Dale Yocum was APX Manager.
Following the 400 packaging theme introduced in 1981, the 800, 810, and 410
would now ship in silver/full color packaging. Previewed at the show: the
Atari Supergame System / Video System "X" (would ship as the 5200). Dale
Yocum was APX Manager.
January 16: At the first Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's
Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, the Atari Software Acquisition
Program (ASAP) awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to Fernando
Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. Star Award of Merit winners:
Ronald Marcuse & Lynn Marcuse, Sheldon Leemon, Greg Christensen
January 19-22: Atari featured the 400/800 at the third annual Which Computer?
Show, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England.
January 25: Internal Atari memo by Harry Stewart reflected that the project
previously known as "Z800" was now known as: "Sweet-16"
Winter: APX Catalog introduced: Bowler's Database, Family Cash Flow, Weekly
Planner, Enhancements to Graph It, Hydraulic Program (HYSYS), Keyboard Organ,
Morse Code Tutor, Player Piano, Atlas of Canada, Hickory Dickory, Letterman,
Mathematic-Tac-Toe, My First Alphabet, Number Blast, Presidents of the United
States, Quiz Master, Stereo 3-D Graphics Package, Attank!, Blackjack Casino,
Block 'Em, Caverns of Mars (would be available from APX only briefly before
moving to Atari's main product line), Dog Daze, Downhill, Memory Match, Pro
Bowling, Reversi II, Solitaire, Source Code for Eastern Front (1941), Space
Chase, Atari Program-Text Editor (also released in Atari's main product line
in package with Macro Assembler), Dsembler, Extended fig-FORTH, Insomnia (A
Sound Editor), Instedit, Supersort Rev. 3, T: A Text Display Device, Ultimate
Renumber Utility, Word Processing Diskette (Text Formatter (FORMS) + Atari
Program-Text Editor). APX sales via CompuServe MicroNET had been
discontinued. Dale Yocum was APX Manager.
Winter?: Atari shipped Atari Microsoft BASIC and the software development
package, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor. (Macro Assembler developed
for Atari by Sorcim; Program-Text Editor also released via APX)
Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection
magazine (replacing Atari (Home Computer) marketing communications manager
Sally Bowman in the role).
February: New production Atari 810 disk drives would ship in the
significantly-revised "810 Analog" design. (Happy Computers ads for date,
February 18: The new Atari International (U.K.) would replace Ingersoll
Electronics as Atari 400/800 distributor in the UK.
March 12: At Atari (Home Computer) in software, Lou Tarnay remained systems
development manager and had two direct reports: operating systems supervisor
Paul Laughton and telecommunication supervisor John Curran.
March: Bill Carris, previously Atari (Home Computer) training director, would
become Atari (Home Computer) director of software marketing (replacing Brenda
Laurel who transferred to the new Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab).
March: Atari announced that it would be sponsoring summer Atari Computer Camps
for students, 10 to 18 years old, who were interested in computers. The camps
were "the first such effort by a major computer manufacturer." Eight camp
sessions were planned, two in each of four locations. Linda Gordon was Atari
VP of special projects; Atari (Home Computer) Educational Software Products
Manager Robert A. Kahn was named Atari Computer Camps Curriculum Director.
Ray Kassar remained Atari chairman and CEO. (InfoWorld 3/15/82p43; Interface
March: Atari Star Raiders for the 400/800 was awarded Computer Game of the
Year by Electronic Games magazine. (EG 3/82 p49)
March 19-21: At the 7th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari's
held their second annual invitational hospitality suite for Atari computer
users' group officers and their guests, where Atari introduced APX Atari
Pascal Language System. About 80 persons attended, on behalf of 15 of the 200
total groups registered with Atari Users' Group Support. At Atari (Home
Computer), Don Kurtz was director of marketing services; Earl Rice was manager
of the users' group support program. (AtariConnection v2n2p1) Also at the
Faire, Percom introduced the RFD40-S1 and RFD40-A1 floppy disk drives (the
first alternatives to the Atari 810), announced the RFD44-S1 and RFD44-A1, and
promised four higher-capacity (80 track) drives (never introduced).
March 26: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Special Projects, Inc., for
their Atari Computer Camps venture with Speciality Camps Corp.
Spring: APX Catalog introduced: Family Budget, Diskette Mailing List, Isopleth
Map-Making Package, RPN Calculator Simulator, Advanced MusicSystem, Sketchpad,
Cubbyholes, Musical Computer--The Music Tutor, Starware, Wordmaker, Block
Buster, Atari Pascal Language System, Extended fig-FORTH Rev. 2, GTIA
Demonstration Diskette, Instedit (Microsoft BASIC version), Keypad Controller,
Speed-O-Disk. APX also introduced the book, De Re Atari, written by staff in
the Atari Software Development Support Group: Chris Crawford wrote Sections 1-
6 and Appendices A & B; Lane Winner wrote Section 10 and Appendix D with
assistance from Jim Cox; Amy Chen wrote Appendix C; Jim Dunion wrote Sections
8-9; Kathleen Pitta (Kathleen Armstrong) wrote Appendex E; Bob Fraser wrote
Section 7; Gus Makreas prepared the Glossary. Dale Yocum was APX manager.
Spring?: Dale Yocum, previously APX Manager, became Atari (Corporate) research
engineering manager. Atari (Home Computer) director of product review and
research (including APX) Fred Thorlin would additionally become APX general
manager (replacing Yocum in the role).
April 7: Date of first draft of the Atari Sweet-16 Home Computer Product
Specifications document. Specific computer models planned: "1000" (16KiB;
later: "1200"; never shipped) and "1000X" (64KiB; later: "1200X"; would ship
April?: Atari shipped Caverns of Mars (on disk).
April: Bob Fournier was Atari (Home Computer) entertainment product manager.
April: Thomas M. McDonough joined Atari as SVP of sales and marketing in
Atari's home computer division (NYT 12/19/82 for date), replacing director of
marketing services Don Kurtz who departed the company (remaining with the
Kurtz & Tarlow agency). (Keith Schaefer remained VP sales.)
April: First issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine, published by James
April/May: For the 400/800 Atari shipped, then promptly pulled from the market
for further development, Personal Financial Management System. (see Analog
#9p118, plus C017535revC)
May 1: Through Atari Special Projects, Inc., Atari began supplying both
equipment and instructor training for the Club Mediterranee computer classroom
at Club Med Ixtapa in Mexico (replacing Computer Camp of Santa Barbara CA,
which had the role since the classroom opened in November 1981). (Atari did
not take on the other existing Club Med computer classroom at Club Med
Kamarina, Sicily, which had opened in May 1981.) A second Atari computer
classroom was planned for Club Med Eleuthera, the Bahamas. (InfoWorld 7/12/82
May: Atari shipped Pac-Man (Roklan). (Analog#6p13)
May: As part of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP), Atari opened
its second Regional Software Acquisition Center, managed by Jerry Connelly,
at: 57 John F Kennedy St, Cambridge MA. Bruce Irvine remained Atari (Home
Computer) VP software. While plans for additional ASAP centers were not
announced, Atari was considering opening a "satellite facility" in New York
City in the near future. (InfoWorld 5/24/82 p9)
May 25: Paul Cubbage remained Atari (Home Computer) Manager, Product Review.
May/June?: Robert A. Kahn, previously Atari (Home Computer) Educational
Software Product Manager, became Atari Director of Special Projects (Atari
Computer Camps and Club Med initiatives) (Linda Gordon remained Atari VP
special projects). Dr. Sueann Ambron, Ed.D, previously assistant professor of
educational psychology at Stanford University, joined Atari (Home Computer) as
Manager of Software Products for education products (replacing Kahn in the
June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago, for the 400 ($349/16K RAM; previously:
$399) and 800 ($899/16K RAM), Atari introduced Atari Speed Reading (by
Learning Multi-Systems), announced Music Tutor I (would ship as: AtariMusic
I), Juggles' Rainbow (by The Learning Co.), Juggles' House (by The Learning
Co.), and TeleLink II (never shipped as a standalone release; would ship as
part of Communicator II kit only) and introduced/announced The Bookkeeper Kit
($249.95; Bookkeeper program plus CX85 Numerical Keypad), The Communicator II
Kit (price tba; new 835 modem with TeleLink II), The Home Manager Kit (price
tba). The APX title, My First Alphabet would be re-released as part of
Atari's standard product line. Again promised: The Bookkeeper (standalone
program), The Home Filing Manager, Personal Financial Management System (PFMS
now to ship winter 1983), Centipede. Atari also introduced the Electronic
Retail Information Center (ERIC; an Atari 800 home computer linked to a
videodisc player) for retailers. Keith Schaefer was VP of sales for Atari's
Home Computer division.
June 8: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Atari introduced the 5200 Home
Entertainment System (later dubbed the SuperSystem). While the 5200 required
unique game cartridges and controllers, the internal hardware was very closely
related to that of the 400/800 computers.
June: Atari shipped Centipede. (Analog#6p13)
June: Atari president Home Computer Division Roger Badertscher resigned from
company. (NYT 8/25/82) Atari VP research and product development Steve Mayer
would serve as acting president of the division.
June 28: Engineer John Skruch joined Atari (Home Computer) in software
production engineering (cartridge manufacturing).
Month?: Atari (Home Computer) director of software development John Powers
departed the company (to Convergent Technologies).
July 14: In what was believed to be the largest single order for home
computers by a school system, Dade County, Fla., had placed an order for 426
Atari 800 Home Computers and peripherals. "This order brings the total number
of Atari Home Computers in use in Dade County schools to approximately 650,"
said Thomas McDonough, SVP of sales and marketing for Atari's Home Computer
July: The Atari Corporate Research unit established the Atari Cambridge
Research Laboratory at Five Cambridge Center, 8th floor, Cambridge MA. The
lab's Director would be Cynthia Solomon, previously VP, Research &
Development/Founder of Logo Computer Systems, Inc.
July: Chris Horseman, previously of Centaursoft (and before that, Thorn EMI),
joined Atari (Home Computer) as VP software engineering, replacing Bruce
Irvine who departed the company. (Irvine and fomer Atari president Home
Computer Division Roger Badertscher would co-found Mindset Corporation on
9/27/82.) John Powers, previously applications & development systems manager,
would (again) become director of software development.
July 26: InfoWorld estimated between 250,000 and 300,000 Atari 400/800
computers had been sold to date.
Summer: APX Catalog introduced: Bowler's Database Rev. 2, Data Base/Report
System, Family Vehicle Expense, Recipe Search 'n Save, Calculator (moved from
Atari's main product line), Astrology, Blackjack Tutor Rev. 1.1, Going to the
Dogs, Algicalc, Elementary Biology (by MECC), Frogmaster, Instructional
Computing Demonstration (by MECC), Metric and Problem Solving (by MECC), Music
I--Terms & Notation (by MECC), Polycalc, Three R Math System, Block 'Em Rev.
2, Castle Rev. 1.1, Checker King, Galahad and the Holy Grail, Jax-O, Jukebox
#1, The Midas Touch, Pushover, Rabbotz, Salmon Run, Seven Card Stud, BLIS Rev.
1.1, Cosmatic Atari Development Package, Insomnia (A Sound Editor) Rev. 1.1,
Instedit Rev. 1.1, Microsoft BASIC Cross-Reference Utility, Player Generator,
Utility Diskette II. Fred Thorlin was APX general manager; product review:
Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 3 locations: "Camp Atari--
San Diego" at the University of San Diego (CA), "Camp Atari--Ashville" at the
Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and "Camp Atari--East Stroudsburg" at East
Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was canceled at the fourth announced
site, "Camp Atari--Sheboygan" at Lakeland College in Sheboygan WI.) The camps
were managed for Atari Special Projects, Inc. by Specialty Camps, Inc.
Summer: Dave Stubben, previously Atari (Coin-Op) director of engineering,
became Atari (Home Computer) VP engineering, replacing Gene Rosen who departed
Summer: Chris Bowman, previously Atari (Home Computer) national manager of
educational sales, had become Atari (Home Computer) education marketing
manager. Jim Paige was Atari (Home Computer) national education sales manager
(Atari Connection Summer82 p23) (having replaced Bowman in the role).
Summer: The Atari Home Computer Division's Software Development Support Group
had been renamed to: Atari I/O. (AtariConnection Sum82p2)
August 11: Approximately 1,370 Atari Home Computers and peripherals, valued at
more than $3 million, had been ordered by the Department of Defense Dependents
Schools (DoDDS) under a competitive Request for Proposal, it was announced by
Thomas M. McDonough, SVP of sales and marketing for Atari's Home Computer
August: Industrial designer Tom Palecki, previously of Xerox, joined Atari
(Home Computer). (He would report to industrial design manager Kevin
August 15-October 15: "Taste The Thrill Of Atari At McDonald's" promotion. 50
grand prize deluxe packages would each include a 5200, an 800 with
peripherals, and a Centipede coin-operated game.
August 24: John C. Cavalier was named Atari president Home Computer Division
(replacing the departed Roger Badertscher). Cavalier was previously VP and
general manager of American Can's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of
consumer paper products.
August/September?: Atari (Home Computer) public relations manager J. Peter
Nelson departed the company.
August 29-December 31: "Atari Announces Discount Fares to the Computer Age.
Save up to $60" promotion. For the purchase of an Atari 400, Atari offered a
rebate of $10 for each purchase of up to six additional Atari computer
September 3-5: Atari exhibited in the Technology Exposition at the 'US'
Festival held at Glen Helen Regional Park, CA. (SoftSide #36p14-16)
September 8: Chemical Bank announced it would provide the first major home
banking and information system commercially available in the country, called
Pronto. Pronto would initially require an Atari home computer system, but
programs would be developed for most major personal computers on the market.
September 10-12: Atari featured the 400/800 at the 5th Personal Computer World
(PCW) show at the Barbican, London.
September: At Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, the 80 freshmen
in Science and in Systems Planning were required to purchase an Atari 800.
September: Atari Corporate Research established a New York City Research
Laboratory, headed by Atari VP research and product development Steven T.
Mayer, and located in office space at: 300 E 42nd St, New York NY. Dedicated
to the exploration of microprocessor-based products in electronic publishing
and transactional services for home computers, the Atari NY Lab would be
responsible for development of advanced products for Atari, and also function
as a focus for joint research projects with other subsidiaries of Warner
Communications Inc. Lab personnel would eventually include: manager of
hardware engineering Gregg Squires (previously of Racal Vikonics), Robert
(Bob) Card, Steven Ray, Joel Moskowitz, Philippe des Rioux, Glenn Boles, Risa
September 22-October 1: At the SICOB (Salon international d'Informatique,
telematique, Communication, Organisation du bureau et Bureautique) show in
Paris, P.E.C.F. Atari launched the 400 and 800 in France.
September 29: Date of a late draft of the internal Atari document, "Sweet-16
Product Specification". Specific computer models indicated: "1200" (16KiB;
earlier: "1000"; never shipped) and "1200X" (64KiB; earlier:
"1000X"; would ship as: 1200XL), with both models now sharing the same case
design. Plans now called for manufacture of only the "1200X".
September 29: Atari had announced it had formed Atari Semiconductor Group
(ASG), to be responsible for all the company's semiconductor design,
development and test operations. (NYT) Gary J. Summers, most recently an
independent consultant for several firms including Atari since 1981, and
before that head of Commodore Semiconductor Group (CSG, the former MOS
Technology) had written the business plan for the new division, and had joined
Atari as VP and General Manager ASG. Carl Nielsen would remain director of
LSI design and test, ASG.
October 11: Atari had annouced plans to produce home computers in Hong Kong
and Taiwan, beginning January 1983. Production would take place at facilities
already producing games for Atari. Atari-Wong, the company's joint venture in
Hong Kong, would enlarge employment from 700 to 1000. Atari said computers
produced in the Far East would be marketed there, while the U.S. market would
be served from its home facilities in Silicon Valley. (Electronics News
October: Atari shipped the 5200 SuperSystem.
October: Atari announced that as of October 22, new 800 computer systems would
be sold with two "free" 16KiB RAM modules for a total of 48KiB, for the
unchanged list price of $899. The new 800 systems would no longer ship with
Atari BASIC, the BASIC Reference Manual, nor the Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-
Teaching Guide) book. Keith Schaefer remained VP sales for the home computer
October: At Atari International (U.K.) Inc., Atari established a Software
Development Centre for a new Software Development Group. Steve Gerber,
previously manager of the Atari Regional Software Acquisition Center in
Sunnyvale CA, became director of the Atari Software Development Group in the
UK. Gerber would be supported by development manager John Norledge and the
group's administrator, Frances Conolly. (I/O #4 p4) APX operations were moved
from 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA to 3281 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara CA.
The two Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) Regional Software
Acquisition Centers (at the former APX headquarters and at 57 John F Kennedy
St, Cambridge MA) were shut down, and Atari (Home Computer) director of
software product acquisition T.J. Gracon departed the company. Fred Thorlin,
previously Atari (Home Computer) director of product review & research and APX
general manager, became APX director.
Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Family Cash Flow Rev. 2, Message Display
Program, Stock Management, Text Analyst, Calculus Demon, Counter, Easygrader,
Flags of Europe, Math*UFO, Spelling Genie, Word Search Generator, Cribbage,
Dog Daze Rev. 1.1, Mankala, Snark Hunt, Dunion's Debugging Tool (DDT), FORTH
Turtle Graphics Plus, fun-FORTH, Keypad Controller Rev. 2, Mantis Boot Tape
Development System, Mapmaker. Fred Thorlin was APX general manager; product
review: Paul Cubbage.
November: Atari began producing new 810 disk drives with the "center flip
door" drive mechanism by Tandon, instead of the "push button, sliding door"
mechanism by MPI used in the original design. (Antic May 83) Technical
documentation would refer to the new design as the "810T Analog".
November: Engineer Rich Pasco, previously a researcher at Xerox Palo Alto
Research Center (PARC), joined Atari (Home Computer) as Manager, VLSI
November 15: Atari announced they had obtained an exclusive worldwide license
for the development, manufacture and distribution of Nintendo's "Donkey Kong"
and "Donkey Kong Junior" video games for Atari's Home Computer. John Cavalier
remained Atari president Home Computer Division; Keith Schaefer remained Atari
Home Computer Division VP sales.
November 16-19: Atari featured the 400/800 at Compec '82, Olympia hall,
November 18-20: At the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) show in
Chicago, Atari introduced the Atari Coin Executive coin accounting system
(ACE; never shipped), which incorporated an Atari 800.
November/December?: Atari Computer Camps literature for 1983 ((c)1982)
mentioned: Atari VP/Chief Scientist Alan Kay, Atari Computer Camps Executive
Director and VP Special Projects Linda Gordon, Atari Software Consultant Wayne
Harvey, Atari Educational Consultant Patricia Tubbs, Atari Computer Camps
Executive Director Dan Schliftman, Atari Computer Camps Camp Administration
Coordinator Illeen Berg, Atari Computer Camps Executive Director Mike Sparber,
Atari Business Manager Robin Bernheim, Special Projects Director Robert Kahn,
Atari Computer Camps Personnel and Camper Records Director Flip Shulman, and
Computer Camps Site Selection and Facility Director Tony "Big T" Sparber.
December 1: Fred Thorlin was APX Director (previously: APX General Manager).
December 1?: Sherwin Gooch, previously Associate Director, Center for Music
Research, Florida State University, joined the Atari (Home Computer)
communications products group (reporting to manager John Curran).
December 2: At Atari (Home Computer), Lou Tarnay was director of software
development (reporting to VP software engineering Chris Horseman). Direct
reports to Tarnay included Paul Laughton (systems products), John Curran
(communications products), Ken Balthaser (entertainment and education
products), Joseph B. Miller (advanced development). Reports to Laughton
included Scott Scheiman (operating systems development) and Jim Cox (advanced
consumer product development). Reports to Balthaser included Clyde Grossman
(entertainment product development) and Vincent H. Wu (amusement product
December 13: At the Plaza Hotel in New York City Atari introduced the 1200XL
home computer ("well under $1,000"), 1010 program recorder ($99), 1020
printer/plotter ($299), and 1025 printer ($549), and again promised the
Communicator II kit (with 835 modem) and the Home Manager kit. The Programmer
kit was updated to include the new Inside Atari BASIC book (instead of Atari
BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide)), and the Entertainer kit was updated to
include Pac-Man (instead of Missile Command). The 800 would now ship with
48KiB RAM standard, and the 400 computer, 410 program recorder, 810 disk
drive, 830 modem, and 850 interface module were to remain available as well.
For 400/800/1200XL Atari introduced VisiCalc (by Software Arts for VisiCorp;
previously released by Personal Software, the earlier name for VisiCorp),
Juggles' House, Juggles' Rainbow, Galaxian (title by Namco), and Defender
(title by Williams), again promised Atari Speed Reading (to ship imminently)
and TeleLink II (never shipped apart from Communicator II), and announced:
E.T. Phone Home!, Qix (title by Taito), Dig Dug (title by Namco), AtariWriter
(earlier: Word-Wise), Family Finances (enhanced combination of the two APX
titles, Family Cash Flow and Family Budget; replacement for the canceled
Personal Financial Management System), Timewise (RLM Micro Systems for Atari;
based on Weekly Planner from APX), Eastern Front (1941) (updated version on
cartridge; previous version released by APX), Star Trux (never shipped),
Superman III (never shipped), AtariMusic I (previously: Music Tutor I),
Microsoft BASIC II. Atari also announced the Disney Education Series, to
consist of 5 programs developed & published by Disney, and distributed by
Atari, featuring Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, and the Cheshire Cat. Keith
Schaefer was VP of sales and John Cavalier was Atari president Home Computer
December 14: Date of internal memo from Atari consultant Harry Stewart titled
"6402 Floppy Disk Controller Protocol" regarding the built-in disk drive for
the "6402" computer under development (would be introduced as: 1450XLD).
December: Atari shipped Galaxian and Defender in time for holiday shoppers.
December: Atari (Home Computer) SVP of sales and marketing Thomas M. McDonough
had departed the company. (NYT 12/19/82) Jeffrey A. Heimbuck, previously SVP
marketing for wine operations at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, would join Atari
(Home Computer) as SVP marketing and software engineering (replacing McDonough
and the departed Bruce Irvine in the two roles). Keith Schaefer, previously
Atari (Home Computer) VP sales, would become Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales
(replacing McDonough in the role).
December/January: First issue of Page 6 magazine, the U.K.'s first Atari
computer magazine. Published by Les Ellingham.
Winter 82/83: First issue of I/O, later known as Input/Output, the magazine of
the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)).
Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The
Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17
percent of all home computer sales. (Washington Post 5/24/1983 pD7)
The worldwide installed base of Atari 400/800 was estimated by Future
Computing, Inc. to be about 500,000, with about 425,000 in the U.S. (January
January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari featured/again promised the
1200XL, and for the 400 ($299), 800 (now $679, was $899) and 1200XL ($899)
Atari introduced Mickey in the Great Outdoors (Walt Disney Productions), Paint
(SuperBoots Software from Capital Children's Museum via Reston), and Donkey
Kong (title by Nintendo), and featured or again promised: 1010 program
recorder, 1020 printer/plotter, 1025 printer, AtariMusic I, AtariWriter,
Family Finances, Timewise, VisiCalc, Dig Dug, Eastern Front (1941), E.T. Phone
Home!, Qix, Star Trux (never shipped), Superman III (never shipped), Microsoft
BASIC II, Home Manager kit, Communicator II kit. (see 2/1/83 price list)
For the 2600 Atari introduced the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX22), the
Pro-Line Joystick (CX60; would ship as CX24), and the Kid's Controller (CX23;
earlier: Action Control Base).
January 15: At the 2nd Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's St.
Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to David
Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. Star Special Award of Merit winners:
Douglas Crockford, Harry Koons & Art Prag, Lee Actor. Keith Schaefer remained
Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales.
January: Jeffrey A. Heimbuck, previously SVP marketing for wine operations at
Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, joined Atari (Home Computer) as SVP marketing
(replacing the departed Thomas M. McDonough). (LATimes 10/11/83 for date)
January: Atari published the Atari Computer Educational Software Directory
Janaury: Atari commenced production of the 1200XL at its plant at 1215
Borregas, Sunnyvale CA. Additionally, 400 (and 800?) production commenced at
Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong, while 400/800 production would also continue at
1173 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA.
January 18: At the Volvo Masters' tennis championship in New York's Madison
Square Garden, Atari's Home Computer Division and the Association of Tennis
Professionals unveiled the Atari-ATP Computer Ranking System. Also, the Atari
800 was now the official computer of the ATP.
January 18-21: Atari featured the 400/800 at the Which Computer? show at the
Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, England.
January 19: Atari was working on two new computer models to complement the
400/800/1200XL: "LIZ" (would ship as: 600XL) would be less expensive than the
400; "6402" (would be introduced as: 1450XLD) would include built-in disk
drive, modem, and voice synthesizer and would be more expensive than the
1200XL. See: https://archive.org/details/AtariHarryStewart
January 28: Atari would commence development work on the "1201" ("6402"
feature set except disk drive; would be introduced as: 1400XL). See:
January 20: Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) and Atari jointly announced
Atari Logo for the 400/800/1200XL. (It would ship fall 1983.)
January 31: Steve Mayer, previously Atari VP research and product development,
would become Atari SVP engineering (and would remain head of the Atari NY
Lab). Atari announced the appointment of Dr. Marcian E. Hoff, Jr. (Ted Hoff),
with Intel since 1968 and previously Intel manager of applications research,
as VP of research and development (replacing Mayer in the role). Hoff was "to
spearhead development of new home video games and coin-operated arcade games,
the company said." (NYT 2/1/83).
Winter: APX Catalog introduced: FOG Index, Real Estate Cash Flow Analysis,
Text Analyst Rev. 2, Astrology Rev. 1.1, Earth Science (by MECC), Easygrader
Rev. 1.1, Geography (by MECC), I'm Different!, The Magic Melody Box, The
Market Place (by MECC), Monkey Up a Tree, Music II--Rhythm & Pitch (by MECC),
Music III--Scales & Chords (by MECC), Prefixes (by MECC), Typo Attack, Air-
Raid!, Game Show, Gridiron Glory, Melt-Down, Phobos, Pushky, Quarxon, Rabbotz
Rev. 1.1, Yahtman, BASIC/XA, Deep Blue C Compiler, Deep Blue Secrets, Disk
Fixer/Load 'n Go, Diskmenu, Music Player. Fred Thorlin was APX director;
product review: Paul Cubbage.
Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge. AtariWriter was programmed
by William V. Robinson (author of DataSoft's Text Wizard) with Mark Rieley for
DataSoft, in fulfillment of the 300-page "AtariWriter Internal Design
Specification" developed by Gary Furr, a product manager at Atari.
Winter?: At Atari (Home Computer), Leslie Wolf, with the company since June
1981, was promoted to Product Manager (Educational Hardware and Software
products), replacing Sueann Ambron who departed the company to Human
Engineered Software (HesWare).
February 1: Atari assumed exclusive distribution rights to the Cynex Game Mate
2 cordless joystick controller, to be available from Atari as the Atari Remote
Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42) package beginning March 1.
February 13: Keith Schaefer, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP sales, had
been promoted to Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales. (ArcExp v1n14 2/13/83)
February: Atari announced that they were now shipping VisiCalc.
February 22: Atari announced that manufacturing for its Home Computer Division
and its Consumer Products Group would be consolidated mainly in Hong Kong and
Taiwan, where Atari already manufactured consumer electronics products, and
announced 1,700 layoffs. Atari said that 600 workers in its home video game
operation were laid off effective immediately, and that another 1,100 in the
home computer division would lose their jobs over the next four months.
"Manufacturing for home computers and video games will come to a virtual halt
here in the United States by July," Atari said.
Winter/Spring: "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" was an Atari-produced
assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both
entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live
host to explore the role of computers in society. (MC's note: I remember that
this came to my school!)
March 7: Atari (Home Computer) software development director Lou Tarnay,
systems products manager Paul Laughton, and product coordinator Brian Johnston
had departed the company to Fox Video Games. Jim Romanos was now internal
development director (replacing the departed Tarnay). Direct reports to
Romanos: Ken Balthaser (applications), John Curran (system and
telecommunications), Douglas A. Chorey (software support). Reports to
Balthaser: Clyde Grossman (entertainment applications), Jim Cox (advanced home
applications). Reports to Curran: Scott Scheiman (systems), Sherwin Gooch
(telecommunications, replacing Curran in the role). Technical staff reporting
to Romanos: Joe Miller, G. Riker, Lane Winner.
March 8: Kamalu Bruns was At Atari (Home Computer) software support group
manager. Direct reports to Bruns: Fred A. Terzian (support section manager),
Jack Quinn (test department manager). Reports to Quinn: test supervisors
Carla Furr, Lisa Reinbold
March 8: Penril Corp., a Rockville-based electronics firm, had won a $4
million contract to provide low-cost communications modems to Atari. Penril
was expected to ship roughly 100,000 modems (Atari 1030) by the middle of
1984, with delivery beginning July 1983. (Washington Post 3/8)
March 8-April 4: Atari featured the 400/800 at the Daily Mail Ideal Home
Exhibition, Earls Court, London.
March 10: Direct reports to Atari (Home Computer) VP software engineering
Chris Horseman included Jim Romanos (director internal development), P. Liniak
(director software conversion), Kamalu Bruns (manager support group). Reports
to Liniak included Vincent Wu (development manager).
March: Atari (Home Computer) director of engineering Larry Plummer departed
March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. (Kassar in
Across The Board, 6/83 p26 for month)
March: Atari shipped Donkey Kong.
March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire at the Brooks
Convention Hall and Civic Center in San Francisco, Atari featured Dig Dug,
E.T. Phone Home!, Qix, and AtariWriter, and introduced Atari Logo (Brian
Silverman of LCSI for Atari). Atari announced a $50 rebate, starting April
15, for the purchase of a 400 computer, and hinted that the 400 was soon to be
replaced by a new model ("LIZ"; presumptive name: 600XL).
March?: Atari featured the Atari Coin Executive (ACE) at the Amusement
Operators Expo '83 (AOE '83) at the O'Hare Expo Center in Chicago.
March 26: Jack Perron had become Acting Manager, Product Review, APX,
replacing Paul Cubbage who departed the company (to Mindset).
Spring: Atari Special Projects, Inc. and Club Med operated eight Atari
computer classrooms in Club Med villages at: Eleuthera in the Bahamas, La
Caravelle in French Guadeloupe, Ixtapa in Mexico, Copper Mountain in the
Coloado Rockies near Denver, Dom Miguel in Marbella Spain, Chateau Royal in
Noumea New Caledonia, Les Almadies in Senegal, and Cherating Malaysia. (Atari
Connection p40-41) Linda Gordon was Atari VP Special Projects; Robert A. Kahn
was Director, Special Projects.
Spring: APX Catalog introduced: Atspeller, Typit, Fingerspelling, Escape to
Equatus, Math Mission, My Spelling Easel, Teasers by Tobbs, Three R Math
Classroom Kit, Catterpiggle, Diggerbonk, Getaway!, Impact, Microsailing,
Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator (New Version), Hex-A-Bug. Fred Thorlin was
APX director; product review manager: Paul Cubbage.
Spring?: Atari shipped the 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter
(US$299), and 1025 printer (US$549).
April 11: Bill Carris was Atari (Home Computer) director of software
marketing. (InfoWorld 4/11/83 p64)
April: Atari commenced 1200XL production by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.
1200XL production would also continue at the 1215 Borregas plant in Sunnyvale.
April?: In the Netherlands at Atari International (Benelux) B.V., Han Van
Egdom joined the company as product manager home computers
April: Atari established an Advanced Games Group (games for coin arcades, home
computers, and home video game systems), to be headed by VP advanced games
Chris Horseman (previously: Home Computer Division VP software engineering).
The unit would eventually include: Jim Morris, Robert Weatherby, Michael
Gurganus, Jack Ritter, Dave Menconi, Steve Englehart, Aric Wilmunder, Dan
Oliver, Rita Pless. Jeffrey Heimbuck, previously Atari (Home Computer) SVP
marketing, became SVP marketing and software engineering (replacing Horseman
in the latter role).
April 15: Start date for several Atari computer rebate offers: $50 for the
purchase of a 400, or $100 for the purchase of an 800 or 1200XL. (newspaper
April 26: Atari was expected to announce shortly that it would lay off between
500 and 800 employees in consolidating its Home Computer Division with the
Consumer Electronics Division. (Washington Post 4/26)
May 4: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) established the subsidiary, WCI Labs
Inc. The former Atari NY Lab would become the facility of WCI Labs. Steve
Mayer, previously Atari SVP engineering and head of the Atari NY Lab, would
become president of WCI Labs, as well as senior executive consultant to the
office of the president of WCI. Most Atari NY Lab staff (including manager of
hardware engineering Gregg Squires) would remain with WCI Labs.
May 8: Atari had announced that Dr. Alfred L. Moye, formerly the U.S. Dept. of
Higher Education's Deputy Assistant Secretary during the Carter
administration, had joined the company as national educational sales manager
(ArcadeExpress v1n20), replacing Jim Paige who departed the company.
May: Atari commenced consolidation of its Consumer and Home Computer divisions
into three new divisions: Atari Products Co., Atari Sales & Distribution Co.,
and Atari Manufacturing Co. (NYT 6/2pD5, WSJ 6/2p20)
Within the new Atari Products Co.: Dave Stubben (previously: Home Computer
division VP engineering) would be SVP engineering (replacing the departed
Steve Mayer). Don Teiser (previously: Consumer division director of product
development) would be director of advanced engineering (strategic product
development). Jeffrey Heimbuck (previously: Home Computer division SVP
marketing and software engineering) would be SVP marketing (hardware for video
games and computers). Fred Simon, previously VP of the software division of
Walt Disney Telecommunications, joined the company as VP software engineering
(replacing Heimbuck in the role).
Departures from Atari (Home Computer) would include: VP business planning
Peter Rosenthal; director of finance Bill Kaiser
May: Atari launched Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft). Bob
Fournier, previously Atari (Home Computer) entertainment product manager, had
developed the Atari Software Publishing business plan and formed the unit;
Fournier would report to Atari Products Co. VP software engineering Fred
Simon. Steve Arnold, previously of Atari Corporate Research, would be Atari
Software Publishing director of development. John Skruch, previously Atari
(Home Computer) senior engineer, software production engineering
(manufacturing), would be Atari Software Publishing operations manager
May: Atari discontinued production of the 400 (both at 1173 Borregas,
Sunnyvale CA and at Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong). Atari also discontinued
domestic production of the 800, and Atari's plant at 1173 Borregas, Sunnyvale
CA was idled. 800 production would commence (continue?) at Atari-Wong Co.
(for the short-term).
May: Atari discontinued domestic production of the 1200XL, and Atari's plant
at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA was idled. 1200XL production would continue by
Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.
May: Production of the 1050 disk drive for Atari commenced in Singapore by
Tandon (S) Pte. Ltd.
May 15-20: At the Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Australian College of
Education held in Sydney Australia, Atari international marketing manager
Nancy Garrison revealed that the 1200XL would not be released in Australia.
Rather, a new range of more power machines was to be debut at the CES in the
US the following month. (SydneyMorningHerald 5/30/83)
June 5-8: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the 600XL home
computer ($199; to ship in July; to replace the 400), the 800XL home computer
(price to be announced; to ship in August; to replace the 800), the 1400XL
home computer (price to be announced; to ship in September; never shipped),
and the 1450XLD home computer (price to be announced; to ship in October;
never shipped). Atari introduced: 1050 disk drive with DOS III (later: DOS
3), 1027 printer, 1030 modem with ModemLink, Touch Tablet (CX77) with graphics
tablet cassette program (would ship as: AtariArtist on cartridge), Trak-Ball
controller (CX80), Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (Cynex; CX42), and
previewed/announced: CP/M Add-On module with CP/M 2.2 (never shipped),
Expansion Box (later: 1090 XL Expansion System; never shipped), Light Pen
(CX75), Super Controller (home computer and international name for CX60 Pro-
Line Joystick; would ship as CX24). All-In-One-Pak kits introduced/previewed:
Programming System, Entertainment System (never shipped), Writing System
(would ship as: AtariWriter System). Add-A-Pak kits introduced/previewed:
Atari Accountant (never shipped), Home Manager (never shipped), Arcade Champ,
BASIC Tutor I. Software introduced: Tennis, Soccer (never shipped), Football,
Pole Position (title by Namco), Joust (title by Williams), Donkey Kong Junior
(title by Nintendo), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco), Pengo (title by Sega),
AtariMusic II: Major Scales and Keys. Again promised: AtariMusic I: Notes and
Steps. Announced: Starter AtariLab (would ship as: AtariLab Starter Set with
Temperature Module; AtariLab (previously: ScienceLab) series by Dickinson
College; planned additional modules for 1984 to include: Light, Timekeeper,
Lie Detector, Reaction Time, Heartbeat). Previewed (simulated): Battlezone
(title would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Tempest (never
shipped), Xevious (title by Namco; never shipped). Disney Education Series
further titles were to include: Peter Pan's Daring Journey (alternate: Peter
Pan's Daring Escape; later: Captain Hook's Revenge; Roklan for Walt Disney
Productions; never shipped), Mysteries of Wonderland (never shipped). Atari
also introduced Alan Alda as spokesperson for Atari computers, in an
arrangement to extend for the next 5 years.
June 6-8: Atari exhibited at NECC/5, the National Educational Computing
Conference 1983, held at Towson State University, Baltimore MD. For Atari
home computers, Atari introduced and demonstrated Starter AtariLab (would ship
as: AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module) at the event. Atari also
announced AIMS (Atari Instructional Material Service). AIMS titles were to
include Math Arcademics (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Atari Sentences
(never shipped?), the AtariLab (previously: ScienceLab) series (by Dickinson
College), and a multi-program trigonometry and Algebra course from CONDUIT
(University of Iowa) (never shipped?).
June 11-Sept 10: Club Med Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, expanding on
the Atari computer classroom concept established at other Club Med locations,
featured an "Atari Village" (including custom hardware and software by the
Atari L.A. Lab).
June: The total installed base of Atari 400/800/1200XL computers was estimated
by Future Computing, Inc. to be about 950,000.
June?: Atari discontinued production of the 800 (late production units made at
Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong).
June 27: Atari opened their first Atari Center, an educational computing
concept, at The Oaks Shopping Center in Cupertino, CA. Atari Centers were
operated by the Picodyne Corporation (Dean Brown, president) with Atari
providing funding and advertising. Alan O'Neill was the contract manager of
Atari Centers. Sara Armstrong, director of the Terra Nuova Montessori School
in Hayward CA, would be director of the Cupertino Atari Center.
July 2: The second Atari Center opened at the corner of Fifth Ave. and 48th
St. in Manhattan. Educator Seth Greenberg would be manager of the Manhattan
July?: AtariEd (previously: AIMS (Atari Instructional Material Service))
published an updated Atari Computer Educational Software Directory. New Atari
home computers education titles from Atari were to include: Alien Addition
(Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), AtariLab Starter Set (previously: Starter
AtariLab), AtariLab Curriculum Modules (never shipped), AtariLab Light Module,
Atari Logo in the Classroom: A Teacher's Manual (book by Donna Bearden, would
be published by Reston in 1984), Atari/PLATO (would be shipped by Atari, Corp.
in 1986 as: The Learning Phone), Atari Sentences (never shipped?), CONDUIT
Algebra Part I & II (never shipped?), CONDUIT Trig Part I & II (never
shipped?), Concentration, Demolition Division (Arcademic Skill Builders by
DLM), Denver Pascal (never shipped), Department of Defense Dependent Schools
Student Scheduling Program (never shipped), Division Drill (School and Home
CourseWare), Geoterms Part I & II (Marc Ed, Inc.; never shipped?), Green Globs
& Other Trig Diversions (never shipped?), Math Facts and Games (never
shipped?), Math Mysteries (never shipped?), Meteor Multiplication (Arcademic
Skill Builders by DLM; never shipped?), Peter and the Wolf (never shipped?).
July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended (later units made by Atari
Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.).
July: Atari released the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX22).
Summer: APX Catalog introduced: Home Inventory, Home Loan Analysis, Strategic
Financial Ratio Analysis, Drawit, Piano Tuner, Video Kaleidoscope, Circuit
Lab, Morsecode Master, Punctuation Put-on, Three R Math Home System, Wordgo,
The Bean Machine, Bootleg, Can't Quit, Dandy, Ennumereight, Smasher. APX also
introduced the 48K RAM Expansion Kit (for the 400 computer, 8KiB or 16KiB
versions; $134.95, or $154.95 installed at Atari Regional Service Centers.
Fred Thorlin was APX director; product review manager: Jack Perron.
Summer: Second year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 7 locations: Camp Atari-
New England (Jerome Singer, director) at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in
Greenfield MA; Camp Atari-Poconos (Robert Werner, director) at East
Stroudsburg State College in PA; Camp Atari-Chesapeake (Leonard Fagen,
director) at the Oldfields School in Glencoe MD; Camp Atari-Smokey Mountains
(Jeffrey Wolfe, director) at the University of North Carolina at Asheville;
Camp Atari-Midwest (William Merriman, director) at the Shattuck School in
Faribault MN; Camp Atari-Old West (Marlene and Don Applebaum, directors) at
the Athenian School in Danville CA; Camp Atari-Pacific (Marianne and William
Kravitz, directors) at the University of San Diego in CA.
Summer?: Bill Carris, previously Atari Products Co. director of computer
software marketing, transferred to the Atari (Coin-Op) division in marketing.
Ken Wirt was promoted to Atari Products Co. VP software marketing - home
computers (replacing Carris in the role). Wirt also assumed responsibility
for Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft), replacing Bob Fournier who
departed to company (to Tomy).
August 8: Linda Gordon remained Atari VP special projects. (InfoWorld 8/8/83)
August: Atari shipped the 1050 disk drive, with DOS II version 2.0S. (Page 6
August: Sherwin Gooch, previously Atari Products Co. manager,
Telecommunications Products Group, became Atari Products Co. manager,
Applications Software and Telecommunications Products Group, assuming the role
of Ken Balthaser who departed the company (to Mindset).
August: Don Thorson would return to Atari as Atari Products Co. director of
product management (computers), replacing Mark Lutvak who departed the company
(to Durango Systems). Thea Cain would become XL computer line product
manager, replacing Andrew Soderberg who departed the company (to ViMart).
August: Steve Calfee, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Director, Electrical
Engineering and Software, would become Atari Vice President, Game design (both
coin-op and 2600/5200/home computers).
September: Atari National Educational Sales Manager Alfred Moye would
additionally become director of the Atari Institute for Education Research,
replacing Ted Kahn who departed the company.
September: In the Netherlands, W.L. (Wilfried) de Graaf joined Atari
International (Benelux) B.V. as sales manager (home computers).
September 17-25: Atari launched the XL range of home computer products in the
UK, and introduced The Lone Raider, at the Great Home Entertainment
Spectacular, Olympia, London.
September 23: The two Atari Center locations both closed at the end of the 90-
day trial period for the program.
September 28-October 2: Atari featured the XL range of home computer products
at the Sixth Personal Computer World Show (PCW), Barbican Centre, London.
September 30: Launch date for one phase of the two-phase "Catch on to
Computers" computer literacy program by Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals,
where Atari computers, equipment, and educational software would be provided
to schools in exchange for proof-of-purchase seals collected from Post cereal
boxes over the 1983-1984 school year.
Fall: APX Catalog introduced: Atspeller Rev. 2, AtariWriter Printer Drivers,
Color Alignment Generator, Advanced Fingerspelling, Excalibur, Musical Pilot,
Puzzler, Ringmaster, Spelling Genie Rev. 2.0, Ion Roadway, Kangaroo (GCC;
title by Sun Electronics), Moon Marauder, Saratoga, Space War, Cartoonist,
Eastern Front (1941) Scenario Editor, Eastern Front Scenarios 1942/1943/1944,
Mathlib for Deep Blue C. Fred Thorlin was APX director; product review
manager: Jack Perron.
Fall: Atari shipped the Communicator II kit (with the new 835 modem)
($279.95) and the 1027 printer.
Fall: An Atari TV ad promoted the 400 for $69.95 after $50 Atari rebate,
indicating a new/final list price of $119.95 (previously: $299).
October 3: Linda Gordon, previously Atari VP special projects, had become
Atari Products Co. SVP education, replacing Chris Bowman who had departed the
company (to Apple Computer). (InfoWorld 10/3/83 p20)
October 3-7: At the first ever VidCom-MIJID held at the Palais Croisette in
Cannes, P.E.C.F. Atari previewed the 600XL. (L'Atarien #1)
October 5: As one phase of the two-phase computer literacy program sponsored
by General Foods' Post Cereals and Atari called "Catch on to Computers" a 10-
day learning festival opened in New York City, and a similar event opened in
San Francisco. Further events in the program were planned in Los Angeles,
Milwaukee, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., Houston, New Orleans, and Atlanta
through December 1983.
October 10: Atari announced the appointment of David Ruckert, previously Atari
SVP of entertainment software marketing, as SVP of Atari Products Management
[sic], replacing John Cavalier who departed the company (to Apple Computer).
Fred Simon was named SVP of computer marketing, responsible for the marketing
of computer hardware and software. Simon and SVP of education Linda Gordon
would report to Ruckert. Jeffrey Heimbuck, formerly responsible for the
marketing of hardware for video games and computers, had departed the company.
October 12: The Washington Post reported (p.D11) on Atari's plans to introduce
an IBM-compatible personal computer at the January 1984 CES, incorrectly
calling the unannounced computer the Sierra. The project was real, but was
actually called Shakti, was a project of the Atari Advanced Engineering
Division Special Projects Group, and was projected to be announced as the
Atari 1600. Sierra was also real, but was an unrelated concept computer
project of Atari Corporate Research.
October: The Atari Learning Systems division (previously: AtariEd) published
Review: A Catalog of Atari Learning Systems. New Atari home computers
education titles from Atari were to include: Spelling in Context 1, Spelling
in Context 2, Spelling in Context 3, Spelling in Context 4, Spelling in
Context 5, Spelling in Context 6, Spelling in Context 7, Spelling in Context
8, U.S. Geography check marc (by Marc Ed, Inc.), U.S. Geography high marc (by
Marc Ed, Inc.), Atari Pascal (Version 2.0) (previously: Denver Pascal; to ship
Jan. '84; never shipped), Secret Formula elementary (by Mind Movers), Secret
Formula intermediate (by Mind Movers), Secret Formula advanced (by Mind
Movers), Screen Maker, Player Maker, Alligator Mix (Arcademic Skill Builders
by DLM), Minus Mission (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Dragon Mix
(Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Atari Super PILOT (previously: PILOT II; to
ship April '84; never shipped), Phone Home (never shipped), Name Rondo (never
shipped), Create a Rondo (never shipped), Instructional Computing
Demonstration (previously released by APX), Music I (Terms & Notations) (by
MECC; previously released by APX), Music II (Rhythm & Pitch) (by MECC;
previously released by APX), Music III/Scales & Chords (by MECC; previously
released by APX), Elementary Biology (by MECC; previously released by APX),
Earth Science (by MECC; previously released by APX), Geography (by MECC;
previously released by APX), Prefixes (by MECC; previously released by APX),
Metric & Problem Solving (by MECC; previously released by APX), The Market
Place (by MECC; previously released by APX), Basic Arithmetic (by MECC),
Graphing (by MECC), Pre-Reading (by MECC), Counting (by MECC), Expeditions (by
MECC), Spelling Bee (by MECC), Word Games (by MECC). Announced: AtariLab
Biofeedback, Timekeeper, Lie Detector, and Mechanics modules (all never
shipped), AtariWriter Curriculum Guide (never shipped), Swarthmore Trig (never
shipped). Again promised for future release: AtariLab Curriculum Modules:
Temperature and Light, CONDUIT Algebra, Green Globs and Other Trig Diversions.
Linda Gordon was Atari Products Co. SVP Education.
October: Premier issue #0 of L'Atarien magazine, the official magazine of the
Atari Club in France, published by Rive Ouest - Cato Johnson France on behalf
of P.E.C.F. Atari.
October: "Atari still had not brought out any of its new XL line by mid-
October." (Compute! #43 Dec83 p32)
October 21: Atari said that it was delaying the making and marketing of its
two higher-priced computer models, the 1400XL and the 1450XLD. The machines
would not ship until late December, after the Christmas selling season, and
then only in limited quantities. (WSJ 10/24/1983 p.5)
October 21-23: TariCon '83, "the world's first Atari-only computer
convention," was scheduled by MACE, Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts, at
the Southfield Civic Center Pavillion, Southfield, Michigan. The even did not
come together as planned, but TariCon '84 was successfully held August 1984.
October 24: Report that plans at Atari to introduced a new computer model, the
Atari 1600, had recently been canceled by Atari CEO James Morgan. (WSJ
October/November: Atari shipped the 600XL NTSC version for North America
(US$199) (The Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/23/83), 600XL UK version (159.99
pounds) (Page 6 #7 p6), and 600XL PAL version for Europe (except France).
November 2: Report that Atari announced that because of production snags in
Hong Kong (Atari-Wong and contract manufacturer Chelco Sound), it would be
able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL and the
800XL. Atari also reiterated that it would ship the 1400XL and the 1450XLD in
limited quantities in late December and more widely after the first of the
year. (WSJ 11/2/1983 p.2)
November 4: Premier of the Warner Bros. film, Deal of the Century, which
included a fighter plane cockpit monitor where the display was driven by a
real (off-screen) Atari 800, software by Atari's Los Angeles Lab (Corporate
Research Division L.A. Lab).
November 9: Atari said it would raise the prices of its home computers and
video game consoles by between 17 percent and 29 percent, effective Jan. 1,
1984. The increases would raise the dealer price on the 600XL to $180, from
$140. The dealer price of the 800XL would rise to $280, from $240. Atari
also said it would raise prices of its 1027 printer and 1050 disk drive by
about $15 each.
November 19: Atari opened their third "Adventure" location, the first Atari
Adventure family entertainment center at the Northwest Plaza shopping center
located in St. Ann MO (suburban St. Louis MO). The 8,000 square foot location
was planned as the corporate prototype for a nationwide roll-out of 12-15
facilities. Store design by Bill Poon & Company Architects. The location
combined a traditional video game arcade (65 games), a new video game
technology display area, and a Computer Learning Center: a hands-on public
computer classroom/lab featuring 8 Atari 1200XL computer stations and a full-
time instructor. Barry Sullivan was VP of Atari Adventure (having replaced
the departed Jim Ginsberg). (CCv7n11)
November 22: John J. Cardozo had become Acting Manager, Product Review, APX,
replacing Jack Perron who departed the company.
November/December?: Leslie Wolf, previously Atari Learning Systems product
manager, would now be operations manager (manufacturing). Dorothy K.
Deringer, previously a program officer at the U.S. National Science Foundation
(NSF), joined Atari Learning Systems as VP product development (replacing Wolf
in the role). Deringer was hired by Atari Products Co. SVP Education Linda
November/December?: Peter R. Ateshian was promoted to Atari Manager of VLSI
Development, replacing Rich Pasco who departed the company.
November/December?: Joe Miller became Atari Products Co. manager, operating
systems software, replacing Scott Scheiman who departed the company.
December 13: In an open letter posted to the Atari SIG on CompuServe,
addressed to Atari users from Atari Chairman and CEO Jim Morgan, Morgan
described the Atari he had inherited as being "in way over its head with a
computer product line as inclusive as the 600XL, 800XL, 1400XL, 1450XLD, and
1600." Morgan announced the formation of "a group led by Ted Hoff and Alan
Kay which is chartered to define our next generation of computers...In the
meantime, we will have to keep our product line rather restricted to broadly
saleable products." (M.A.C.E. Journal v4n2/3 Feb/Mar 1984 p.2; see also CC
December: Atari shipped initial small quantities of the 800XL NTSC version for
North America (US$299) (see newspaper ads and Current Notes Jan84p6 for
timing). (800XL production would ramp up dramatically in Winter 1984.)
December 20: Ken Wirt remained Atari Products Co. VP computer software
"Atari sold about 400,000 units [computers] in December." - Creative
Strategies International as quoted in InfoWorld, Feb 6, 1984.
"Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year"
- Time magazine, July 16, 1984
January 1: In the U.S., the suggested retail price for the Atari 600XL became
$249 (previously: $199); the suggested retail price for the Atari 800XL became
$399 (previously: $299).
January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari again promised the 1450XLD
home computer, and introduced the 1064 memory module for the 600XL. For the
600XL ($249), 800XL ($399) and 1450XLD, Atari again promised the Touch Tablet
(CX77), Light Pen (CX75) with AtariGraphics, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks
(CX42), the AtariWriter System kit (previously: Writing System), the
Programming System kit, The BASIC Tutor I kit, TeleLink II, AtariMusic I,
AtariMusic II, RealSports Tennis, RealSports Football, Pole Position, Joust,
Ms. Pac-Man, Pengo, and Donkey Kong Junior; Atari introduced The Atari
Translator, Captain Hook's Revenge (previously: Peter Pan's Daring Journey or
Peter Pan's Daring Escape; by Roklan for Walt Disney Productions; never
shipped), Typo Attack (previously released by APX), Mario Bros. (title by
Nintendo; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Moon Patrol (title
by Irem; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Jungle Hunt (title by Taito),
Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams), and Millipede (would be shipped by Atari,
Corp.); and Atari announced Pop'R Spell (never shipped), Sky Writer (would be
shipped by Atari, Corp.), The Mysteries of Wonderland (Walt Disney
Productions; never shipped), SynCalc (by Synapse; introduced by Synapse June
1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), SynFile+
(by Synapse; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be
shipped by Synapse fall 1984), SynTrend (by Synapse; consisting of SynGraph
and SynStat; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be
shipped by Synapse fall 1984), The Legacy (Atari Advanced Games Group; later:
Final Legacy; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.). The Bookkeeper kit was to be
renamed The Accountant effective 4/1/84. Finally, Atari announced the release
of DOS 3 (previously: DOS III), available for free, and also to ship with new
production 1050 disk drives. (1/1/84 price list; Analog #17 p13)
Also for Atari home computers, the new Atari Learning Systems division
featured/again promised the AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module
("ready to ship now") and the Atari Lab Light Module, and also introduced:
Atari Pascal 2.0 (never shipped), Atari Super PILOT (never shipped), Player
Maker, Screen Maker
January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third
annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title,
Getaway!. Other Finalists: James Burton, R. Stanley Kistler, Gregor Novak.
Fred Simon remained Atari Products Co. SVP of computer hardware and software
January: Atari opened their fourth "Adventure" location, the second Atari
Adventure family entertainment center, at Crestwood Plaza in Crestwood MO
(suburban St. Louis MO). A 2-story location, using the same concept as the
area's Northwest Plaza Atari Adventure location.
January: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP engineering AtariTel Division,
became Atari Products Co. VP Engineering Computer Division (replacing SVP
engineering Dave Stubben in the role) and would head the Atari Advanced
Computer Technologies Design Center. Director of advanced engineering Donald
Teiser departed the company.
January: Atari recognized three of the highest ranking technical positions in
the company with the new additional title of "Atari Fellow": Atari VP/chief
scientist Alan Kay, Atari Products Co. VP Engineering Computer Division Steve
Bristow, and Atari (Coin-Op) VP of creative development Lyle Rains.
January 23: Atari named Steve Calfee Atari Products Co. SVP for entertainment
Winter: APX Catalog introduced: Equestrian, Mastermatch, Atspeller (for
AtariWriter), Bellum, Burgers!, Chambers of Zorp, Character Fun, Dragon Quest
or A Twist in the Tail, Numberland Nightwatch, Raid on Graviton, Rush Hour,
Weakon, National Flags, Dog Daze Deluxe
Winter: Atari shipped the Touch Tablet (with AtariArtist).
Winter?: Mark Cator was promoted to Atari Manager, Users' Group Support
(replacing Earl Rice in the role; Rice would remain with customer support).
Winter: John Peeke-Vout was promoted to Atari Products Co. VP computer
software marketing, replacing Ken Wirt who departed the company (to Cognitive
February 7: Atari had re-launched 1450XLD development; Phil Suen was project
February: Atari 5200 production ended.
February: Atari Products Co. manager, operating systems software Joe Miller
departed the company (to Koala technologies).
February: Atari Products Co. VP engineering computer division and Atari Fellow
Steve Bristow departed the company. An Atari Fellow recognition would be
given to Atari Products Co. SVP engineering Dave Stubben. (Fun p792 for
Stubben business card)
February 16: Phil Suen was 1450XLD project manager; Thea Cain was product
March 11-18: At the Festival International du Son et de l'Image, held at the
CNIT (Center of New Industries and Technologies) in La Defense in Paris,
France, P.E.C.F. Atari launched the 600XL and 800XL in France. PAL versions
were available immediately (2 200 F / 3 200 F); 600XL SECAM version (2 500 F;
never shipped) and 800XL SECAM version (3 500 F; would be shipped by Atari,
Corp. 11/84) were due to ship in June 1984. (L'Atarien #2; L'Ordinateur
Individuel #58 Apr84 p81; L'Atarien #4 p18 for prices)
March?: Atari shipped the 800XL UK version (249.99 pounds) and 800XL PAL
version for Europe.
March: APX director Fred Thorlin departed the company.
March 22-25: At the 9th West Coast Computer Faire, San Francisco Civic
Auditorium and Brooks Hall, Atari showed/again promised the light pen, the
Plato System cartridge, and many games. Atari introduced APX Bumpomov's Dogs,
while confirming that APX was being discontinued, with the top 20 APX titles
to be absorbed into the "main line" of products. A new, final production run
of 15,000 850 interfaces had just been manufactured. Atari again promised the
1450XL (previously known as: 1450XLD); Thea Cain was 1450XL product manager.
Dave Wilson remained Atari's director of customer relations; Earl Rice and
Bill Bartlett remained with customer support.
March 31: James Morgan, CEO of Atari, said shipments of his company's home
computers in the first three months of this year were 35 per cent lower than
in the first quarter of 1983. (The Globe and Mail (Canada) 6/1/84)
April 2: Internally, Atari Products Co. EVP Ted Hoff announced the promotion
of Jan Dekema to manager, Research Administration (assistant to Hoff in the
administration of the entire Atari R&D and Product Development organization)
(Dekema was previously administrative manager for the Atari Sunnyvale Research
Laboratory, and would also retain that role). Hoff also announced the
promotion of Chris Jeffers (previously: manager of administration for
Corporate Research) to Atari Products Co. VP Product Development, also
reporting directly to Hoff (Update).
April 2: Programmer Michael Barall joined Atari (hired to develop DOS IV).
April 5: John Peeke-Vout was Atari Products Co. VP computer software
April: Atari National Educational Sales Manager and director of the Atari
Institute for Education Research Alfred Moye had departed the company (to
Spring: I/O Issue Five turned out to be the final issue of Input/Output, the
magazine of the Atari Home Computer Club (Atari International (U.K.)).
Spring: Atari shipped the CX75 Light Pen with AtariGraphics ($99) and shipped
the AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module ($89.95).
May 1: "Hearing on Computer Education" held before the Subcommittee on
Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education of the Committee on Education
and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Atari Learning
Systems VP product development Dorothy Deringer.
May 8: In an elaborate press event, Atari/Lucasfilm introduced Ballblazer and
Rescue on Fractalus!, both developed by Lucasfilm Games, to be published by
Atari for the 5200 and on cartridge for Atari XL computers. (Atari/Commodore
computer disk versions would be shipped by Epyx (U.S.) and Activision (UK) in
1985; 5200 versions would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986; XE
cartridge versions would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988) At
Lucasfilm Games: Peter Langston was Games Group Leader, David Levine was
Ballblazer project leader, David Fox was Rescue on Fractalus! project leader.
Fred Simon remained Atari SVP of computer hardware and software marketing.
May 14-19: At the special SICOB show held at CNIT in France, Atari featured
the 600XL/800XL product line. (L'Atarien #4 p21)
May: Atari Products Co. manager, Applications Software and Telecommunications
Products Group Sherwin Gooch departed the company.
May 21: Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production. More than
1 million 5200s had been sold to date. (Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3)
May 30: Atari confirmed plans to withdraw from its joint venture with Wong's
Electronics Co. and close the Atari-Wong Co. consumer products manufacturing
plant in Hong Kong. Production was to be moved to Atari's wholly owned plant
June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the MindLink System;
packages would include: headband, two infrared sensors, and a software
package. 3 initial software packages for the unit were planned: an adventure
game, a new version of Breakout, and a relaxation biofeedback program.
Atari introduced/featured: Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus!, Mario Bros.,
Millipede, Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; never shipped), Crystal
Castles, Donkey Kong Junior, Elevator Action (title by Taito; never shipped),
Garfield on the Run (Atari Advanced Games Group; never shipped), Track & Field
(with Track & Field Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by
Atari, Corp.), Final Legacy (previously: Legacy), This Is Ground Control
(Futuremakers series; never shipped), Through the Star Bridge (Futuremakers
series; never shipped), Word Tutor (never shipped), Letter Tutor (never
shipped), Sky Writer, SynCalc, SynFile+, SynTrend, AtariWriter, Proofreader
(for AtariWriter; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985). Hardware
featured: Touch Tablet with AtariArtist, Light Pen with AtariGraphics, 1050
disk drive with DOS 3. Also announced/again promised: Captain Hook's Revenge,
Pole Position II (title by Namco; never shipped), Moon Patrol, Hobgoblin
(Atari Advanced Games Group; never shipped), Gremlins (never shipped), The
Last Starfighter (never shipped)
Atari Learning Systems published a New Products Bulletin, and introduced: Find
It! (never shipped), Green Globs (never shipped), Yaacov Agam's Interactive
Painting (never shipped), First Aid... The ABC of CPR (never shipped),
Simulated Computer II (never shipped), Telly Turtle (never shipped), Wheeler
Dealer (never shipped), LabMate Home Edition Ages 9-13 (book for AtariLab
Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate Home Edition Ages 14-15 (book for
AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition Elementary (books
for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition Jr. High
(books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition High
School (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), The Learning Phone
(previously: Atari PLATO; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1986), Escape
("interpreting graphs the fun way"; never shipped). Also featured: Atari
Atari announced they had "begun developing ties with independent firms to
create software for a new high-end computer for introduction in the second
half of 1984." ("1650XLD" project; never shipped) The new machine was to
include "a built-in, double-sided, dual-density disk drive that stores 352
kilobytes of RAM....(that) operates fives times faster than a disk drive
previously planned in a computer announced a year ago" (1450XLD). It was to
include a built-in telecommunications database called Grapevine in support of
a built-in 300 bps modem; an enhanced speech synthesis chip, and 64K RAM. The
1090 XL Expansion system, with 64K RAM built in and available 80 column card,
RS232 serial card, and OS cards for CP/M, Apple, and IBM limited
compatibility, was discussed as well. Thea Cain, formerly 1450XL product
manager, had departed the company.
Month?: Exidy released the Max-A-Flex coin-operated arcade conversion system,
along with four games for the system, all developed by First Star Software:
Astro Chase, Boulder Dash, Bristles, Flip and Flop. The Exidy Max-A-Flex
utilized an embedded Atari 600XL system. (MyAtari Magazine, January 2003.)
July 1-August 25: Third and final year of Atari Computer Camps. Camps were
held at 2 locations: "Camp Atari--New England" at the Stoneleigh-Burnham
School in Greenfield MA, and "Camp Atari--Poconos" at East Stroudsburg State
College in PA. Patricia Tubbs was Project Manager at Atari.
July 2: Warner Communications Inc. and Tramel Technology, Ltd. (statement by
chairman Jack Tramiel) jointly announced the acquisition by Tramel Technology
of the Atari, Inc. home video game and computer businesses.
The transaction included an inventory of 100,000 XL computers. (Current Notes
July 5-6: Tramel Technology hired approximately 300 of the existing Atari,
Inc. domestic consumer and home computer division employees. Among key
marketing and advertising executives, the holdovers were expected to include
West Shell, director of marketing (computers). (AdWeek, July 9, 1984;
InfoWorld July 30) XL line product management: Vincent H. Wu. XL line
hardware/software product management: John Skruch. Engineers and technicians
included Jim Tittsler, Lane Winner, and Jose Valdes, plus: Phil Suen (XL line
project manager), George Nishiura, Mike Barall, David Owen Sovey, Peter R.
Atesian, John Hinman, George Kulcher, John Honig, Michael Wooding, Songly Mu,
Randy Hoopai, Gary Rubio.
July 11: Tramel Technology, Ltd. filed a Certificate of Amendment to its
Articles of Incorporation changing the corporate name to: Atari, 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
Summer: Coinciding with the 1984 Summer Olympics (held July 28 to August 12 in
Los Angeles), Atari shipped (limited release, US only): Track & Field for
Atari home computers (with Track & Field Controller)
August 3: Atari engineers had commenced work on both an "800XL CR" (cost-
reduced primarily via fewer custom chips, using new KERI and MUFFY chip) and a
new "900XL" computer as well as a 3.5" Microdisk Drive for Atari XL computers.
August 7: Tandon Corp. announced it had reached agreement in principle for the
sale of up to $130.5 million in floppy disk drive and subsystem products to
Atari Corp. Deliveries, which were subject to definitive purchase orders from
Atari, had begun and were scheduled to continue through the first half of
August (mid-month): In the U.S., Atari cut the price of the 800XL from $250 to
$179. (AP 11/13)
August 21: In the UK, Atari was to cut its prices from September: the 600XL by
60 pounds, from 159.99 pounds to 99.99 pounds, and the 800XL by 50 pounds,
from 249.99 pounds to 199.99 pounds. (TheTimes 8/21p17; The Guardian (London)
9/6) In France, Atari would reduce the 800XL by 1000 F to 2199 F.
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 (Capitol Hill Atari Owners Society) and MACE (Michigan
Atari Computer Enthusiasts).
August 27: In its first official statement, Atari, Corp. 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.
Summer/Fall?: The Atari Adventure at the Northwest Plaza in St. Ann MO was
September 6: UK Media report that Atari 600XL was discontinued.
September: Atari engineers completed the "800XLF" motherboard design, to be
used in new-production 800XL computers (PAL version). The new 800XL machines
would include the new FREDDIE memory management chip (previously developed at
Atari, Inc.), the new Revision C of Atari BASIC, and a reinstated chrominance
video signal on the Monitor port (missing on the 1200XL/600XL/800XL produced
by Atari, Inc.). ("800XLF" = "800XL CR" without KERI and MUFFY chips)
September 25: Rather than halt production of Atari's 800XL home computer and
its 2600 video-game player, as many had expected, Atari has significantly
expanded production of the two products, Sam Tramiel said (interviewed in
Taipei by the Dow Jones Service). "In January, Atari will introduce a second
low-priced computer that will run games and software made for the predecessor
product." (The Globe and Mail (Canada))
October 9: Date of Atari internal draft specification document for a "900XLA"
computer (would be announced as: 65XEM). The document contrasted the
"900XLA" with the forthcoming "900XL" computer (would be introduced as: 65XE).
October: In the new AtariSoft software management/development division, John
Skruch was software product manager, 8-bit computers. Skruch was also 8-bit
computer line hardware product manager.
October 26: In the UK Atari now offered the 800XL for 169 pounds.
Fall: Atari shipped: AtariLab Light Module, Sky Writer, Millipede, Moon
Patrol, Final Legacy. In Europe Atari shipped the 1029 printer, and in the UK,
the Atari Software Products Division shipped: The Pay-Off
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). (Winnipeg Free Press November 16, 1984)
November 13: Atari held a press conference proclaiming "The New Atari Corp."
at company headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. The current price of the 800XL,
$179, would be reduced to "under $120." Two new 8-bit computers, compatible
with the 800XL, were to be introduced at the January 1985 CES.
November?: In Hong Kong, the Atari-Wong Co. consumer products manufacturing
plant, idled since May 1984, resumed operations with new production of the
Atari 1050 disk drive. Ongoing 1050 production in Singapore by Tandon (S)
Pte. Ltd. would be discontinued.
November: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari shipped the 800XL SECAM version (2 499 F).
Also remaining available: 800XL PAL version (2 199 F), 600XL PAL version
(1 599). (L'Atarien #5 p19; L'Atarien #7 p33 for date)
November 19: In the U.S., Atari had launched a print campaign in major market
newspapers to support holiday price cuts on the 800XL. Full-page ads carried
the theme, "The powerful personal computer so affordable even Scrooge would
have given it." (AdWeek 11/19/84)
December 6: In the UK, Atari now offered the 800XL for 129 pounds (previously:
December 6: It was reported that Atari would make an immediate 23 per cent
reduction to DM 499 (US$160) in the price of its 800XL home computer in West
Germany and similar cuts in the UK and Italy. Atari estimated the company's
share of the West German home computer market at 8%, compared with 2% in 1983.
In the UK, the 800XL price cut was from 169 to 129 pounds.
December 8: Atari 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: Atari engineers completed the prototype "900XLF" motherboard design,
to be used in the forthcoming "900XL" computer. (would be introduced as: 65XE)
"The 800XL has sold almost 500,000 units through 1984" --Atari's Sigmund
Hartmann, Atari Explorer magazine, Summer 1985, p. 33.
"By the end of 1984, the Atari 800XL will have sold more than 600,000 units
since its introduction more than a year ago, according to Kenneth Lim of
Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose." InfoWorld January 7/14, 1985
January 5-8: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the 130XE
computer ($149), the 65XE computer ($99), and the 65XEP computer ($399; never
shipped), and announced the 65XEM computer ($149; never shipped). 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. The 130XE/65XE/65XEP/65XEM would run the Atari
OS as found in the Atari 800XL which would now be phased out. New software by
Atari 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:
AtariLab Light Module, Sky Writer, Millipede, Moon Patrol, Track & Field,
Winter: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari released La Chasse aux Fautes et La Course
aux Hapax, and released Calcul Algebrique.
February?: Atari discontinued manufacturing operations at the Atari-Wong Co.
(AWC) plant in Hong Kong (most recently, 1050 disk drive production), and
would withdraw from the joint venture originally established between Atari,
Inc. and Wong's Electronics Co. (WEC) in 1980.
February: Retail prices from Atari France: 800XL SECAM: 1700 FRF ;
1050: 2600 FRF ; 1027: 2600 FRF
March 5: At the San Leandro Computer Club, Atari pledged the XE 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." (CN, Apr85, p. 19; SPACE Apr85)
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.
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 130XE units
supplied by Atari, their first showing to the general public.
April: Atari introduced the 130XE to West Germany and featured the 800XL at
the Hannover Messe (Hanover Trade Fair), and also featured the XMM801 and
XDM121 printers. (PopularComputingWeelky 4/25)
April: Atari released DOS 2.5 as freeware via the CompuServe Atari SIG.
April: Atari discontinued production of the 800XL computer.
April 22: Atari shipped the 130XE in the UK (169.90 pounds). (NewsBytes for
date; PopularComputingWeekly 4/25 for price)
Spring: In France, using the Atarisoft label, Atari released: Nostradamus,
L'Enigme du Triangle
May 6-9: At the Spring COMDEX show at the Georgia World Congress Center in
Atlanta GA, Atari said the 800XL and 130XE were available for mass retailers
and that they expected the 800XL to sell widely through toy retailers for
May: First issue of the U.K.'s Atari User magazine, published by Database
June 2-5: At the Summer CES in Chicago, 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.
Also at the CES, DataSoft re-introduced 3 titles previously shipped by Atari:
Pole Position, Pac-Man, Dig Dug
June: Atari France retail price for the 130XE SECAM: 1990 FRF
Months?: 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: In France, using the Atarisoft label, Atari released: Cameleon,
September 4: Atari introduced the 130XE to the UK at the Personal Computer
World (PCW) show in London.
Fall: Rather than produce the announced XF521 disk drive, Atari turned (back)
to Tandon (S) Pte. Ltd. for a new production run of the Atari 1050.
November: Atari shipped AtariWriter Plus, which was designed and programmed
from scratch by William Robinson (the core word processor), Ron Rosen (Mail
Merge module), and R. Stanley Kistler (Proofreader module) for Micro Fantasy,
for Atari. Manual by Jeffrey D. Bass. Package included a version for
48KiB/64KiB Atari computers as well as a version supporting the 128KiB RAM of
November 20-24: At the 7th annual Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX/Fall) in
Las Vegas, Atari exhibited the 130XE. 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.
Atari promoted: the XM301 modem, The Learning Phone, AtariWriter Plus,
Proofreader, Silent Butler, Music Painter (previously: Song Painter)
December: Atari shipped the XM301 modem.
Atari's 8-bit user base in the UK 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: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas 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,
Winter: Atari shipped The Learning Phone (Access Software cartridge for the
PLATO Homelink Service from Control Data Corporation), designed at Atari by
Vincent Wu. The Atari PLATO project had been in development at Atari, Inc.
February: Cover date of Issue #10, the final issue of L'Atarien magazine from
February: Atari France retail prices: 130XE SECAM: 1490 FRF ; 1010: 490 FRF ;
1050: 1490 FRF ; 1029: 1490 FRF
March 7-9: At the (first) Atari Computer Show (ACE) sponsored by Atari User
magazine at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London (the first Atari-specific
exhibition to be held anywhere in the world), Atari previewed an "80-column
adapter" (would ship as: XEP80) and introduced the XC11 program recorder.
March 12-19: At CeBIT '86 in Hanover, West Germany (this was the first year
that CeBIT was held separately from the Hannover Messe (Hanover Trade Fair),
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 65XE (U.S. release; $99.95) and shipped: Proofreader,
Silent Butler (Ted A. Goldstone; shipped with order form for Silent Butler
Checkholder from Silent Butler Software), Music Painter
April 28-May 1: At the Spring COMDEX show in Atlanta 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.
Atari also previewed a 1200 bit/s modem for XE or ST (would ship as: SX212).
Spring: Atari shipped the XMM801 printer and Atari Planetarium.
June 1: Atari announced that David H. Ahl was the new editor of Atari Explorer
June 1-4: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the XEP80 interface,
introduced Star Raiders II, and also featured the XMM801 printer, Atari
Planetarium, and Silent Butler.
Atari also announced/showed a Hayes-compatible 1200 bit/s modem for ST/PC/XE
("XM 1200"?; would ship as: SX212) to ship by late summer 1986.
(InfoWorld June 16 p.22)
July: Atari shipped Star Raiders II.
Summer: 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)
September 3-7: At the 9th Personal Computer World Show in London, Atari
introduced the XEP80 and Star Raiders II to the UK.
September 12: Atari, Corp. filed a certificate of amendment to its articles of
incorporation changing the corporate name to: Atari Corporation
Sept/Oct: First issue of Atari Explorer magazine produced by the new
subsidiary, Atari Explorer Publications Corp. of Mendham, NJ, headed by David
H. Ahl, founder and former editor of Creative Computing magazine.
October 27: John Skruch, previously Atari software product manager, XE line,
had become Atari associate director for computer software (and remained XE
line hardware product manager as well.)
November 10-14: At the Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas Atari introduced the SX212
modem (ST/XE/PC) and featured the XEP80. John Skruch was Atari Associate
Director for Computer Software (and XE line hardware product manager).
November 28-30: At the Atari Christmas Show at the Royal Horticultural Hall,
London, Atari featured the XEP80.
German Atari chairman Alwin Stumpf reported at CeBit 1987 in Hannover that
Atari was surprised to sell 92,000 Atari XL computers in West Germany in 1986.
(Happy Computer - 2. Atari XL/XE Sonderheft, p. 3, as quoted/translated by
January 8-11: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari previewed the XE game
system and a 3.5" disk drive (XF351; never shipped), 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), and also featured the SX212.
January: Alex Leavens joined Atari as Technical Support Manager (online
support). His assignments would specificially include support for the 8-bit
February: Atari committed to releasing the XE game system. Atari (associate?)
software director and XE line hardware product manager John Skruch became
product manager for the XE Game System. (CN Dec87/Jan88 p17)
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 XE
video game system to Europe, announced BattleZone XE (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:
March 24: Atari announced that technical support manager Alex Leavens was no
longer with the company.
April 24-26: At the Atari Computer Show, Champagne Suite & Exhibition Centre,
Novotel, Hammersmith, London, Atari introduced the XE game system to the UK
(console: 80 pounds; keyboard: 40 pounds).
May 29: Atari announced the appointment of Clifford Slobod as director of
national sales for its entertainment 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 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 Broderbund), Blue Max (by Broderbund; previously
released by Synapse), David's Midnight Magic (previously released by
Broderbund), 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, 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. John Skruch was Atari Software Director (and XE line hardware
product manager). (CN Jul/Aug87 p13-14)
Summer: Atari shipped the XDM121 printer.
August: Newspaper wire story on Las Vegas attractions: Atari Adventure Center,
Caesars Palace and Riviera Hotels. Designed for the hotels by Atari and
featuring more than 50 games...charge for most games. Atari 800 computers may
be played at no charge for those who want to test geography and spelling
skills. Open 24 hours daily.
September: Atari shipped the SX212 modem.
September/October: Atari shipped the XEP80 interface.
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
Fall: 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: Atari announced (via a new 2600/7800/XE Video Game Catalog): Desert
Falcon, Choplifter! (previously released by Broderbund), Commando (title by
Capcom via Data East; never shipped), GATO (title by Spectrum Holobyte)
October 23: Nintendo of America Inc. requested a preliminary injunction
against Atari Corporation in U.S. District Court, 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 24-25: Atarifest '87 at Fairfax High School, Vairfax VA. John Skruch
was Atari director of software development (and XE line hardware product
manager). (CN Dec87 p14-17)
December 15: The Honorable Robert P. Aguilar, United States District Judge,
Northern District of California, denied the October 23, 1987 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.
The court ruled that the advertisements did not violate the Lanham Act.
December?: Atari shipped the XF551 disk drive (with DOS 2.5).
December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "In Czechoslovakia, the German
Democratic Republic, and Poland the Atari 800XE and 65XE computers have gained
brand dominance and are among the most popular systems being sold in these
Atari sold 100,000 XE Game Systems in the U.S. at Christmas and did
not meet demand (Antic magazine, May 1988, p. 39)
Atari "claims more than 2 million XE game systems sold in 1987."
(Compute! magazine, May 1988)
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: Optimized Systems Software (OSS) was merged into ICD.
February 8-17: Atari featured the 2600, 7800 and XE video game systems at the
85th American International Toy Fair in New York City.
Winter: Atari shipped BattleZone (Ken Rose).
Spring: Atari shipped the SX Express! disk software package for use with the
May: John Skruch was Atari director of software development (and XE line
hardware product manager). (CN 5/88 p8)
June 4-7: At the Summer CES in Chicago (booth 9405) Atari featured the XE
($149.95) game system. 20 XE titles for 1988 would include Battlezone
(released early 1988) and 19 new titles (for a total of 52 XE titles),
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 Broderbund), Mario Bros., Mean 18 Ultimate Golf (title by
Accolade; 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 (Hewson; later: Tower Toppler;
never released). (The 65XE/130XE were not shown.)
June/July: Atari shipped GATO (Xanth F/X)
August/September: Atari shipped: Desert Falcon (Ken Rose), Ace of Aces, Mario
Bros. (Sculptured Software)
October 1, 1988 through September 30, 1989: "Atari Advantage" promotion
program by Atari (U.S.) for the 2600, 7800, and XE. Collect 5 cartridges for
a free Atari T-shirt; 15 cartridges for a free cartridge; or 25 cartridges for
a 7800 for $25 or for an XE game system or XE disk drive for $50, and "enter
an essay writing contest to win an expense-paid 7-day/6-night trip for you and
a guest to California. Visit some of California's top tourist attractions
including a day at Atari headquarters (near San Francisco) to see how video
games are designed."
October?: Atari published the XE "Atari Advantage" catalog/poster. "Coming
Soon": Crystal Castles, Thunderfox, Crossbow, Into the Eagle's Next
October?: Atari shipped: Food Fight (The Softworks Factory), Necromancer
November: Final issue of the U.K.'s Atari User magazine. The name would be
sold to rival U.K. magazine publisher Page 6.
November: Atari (U.S.) announced the availability of the XES2001 Light Gun +
Bug Hunt package.
November/December: Atari (U.S.) offered a $50 consumer rebate on the purchase
of the XE game system.
December: Atari shipped: Crystal Castles (The Softworks Factory), Into the
December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "Our XE line of 8-bit computer
systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has
begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union."
Atari sold 500,000 Atari 800XL units in West Germany in 1988.
(Bajtek 2/1989, p.7; thanks Tomasz Krasuski)
January 7-10: Atari's Entertainment division exhibited in a suite of rooms at
the Dunes Hotel near the Winter CES in Las Vegas. (ST World Feb89) Atari
announced 6 new titles planned, including: Commando (never shipped), Into the
Eagle's Nest, Airball. This would bring the total library to 41 "active" game
cartridge titles. (CN Mar89p13)
January: Atari shipped DOS XE (earlier name: ADOS). New production XF551 disk
drives would also ship with DOS XE (replacing DOS 2.5).
February/March: New name for Page 6 magazine: Page 6 Atari User
March: Atari shipped: Choplifter! (Sculptured Software), Dark Chambers
(Sculptured Software), Crime Buster
April 3: Date of Atari (U.S.) 1989 Distributor Price List, in which Atari
announced or again promised: Deflektor (August; never shipped), MIDI Maze (by
Xanth F/X) (Sept.; never shipped), Commando (Sept.; never shipped), Super
Football (Sept.; never shipped), Tower Toppler (previously: Nebulus; title by
U.S. Gold) (Sept.; never shipped), Xenophobe (title by Bally Midway) (Sept.;
April?: 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.
May: Atari shipped AtariWriter 80, programmed by William Robinson and Ron
Rosen for Micro Fantasy. The package included Proofreader (programmed by
R. Stanley Kistler) and Mail Merge modules, and required the XEP80 interface.
Like AtariWriter Plus, the package included a version for 48KiB/64KiB Atari
computers as well as a version supporting the 128KiB RAM of the 130XE.
This would be the last release by Atari for the XE.
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, David H. Ahl, Publisher/Editor, in support of the 2600,
7800, and XE game systems.
June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago, upcoming titles were promised by
Atari: Commando (never shipped), Tower Toppler (previously: Nebulus; never
shipped), Deflektor (never shipped), Xenophobe (never shipped), MIDI Maze
(never shipped), Super Football (never shipped)
June/July: New name for Page 6 Atari User magazine: New Atari User.
October: Third and final issue of Atarian magazine.
December: Final issue of ANALOG Computing magazine
December 31: From the Atari Annual Report: "sales of games products such as
the 2600 and 7800 game systems and the range of older XE 8 bit computers
decreased by 35% to $101.6 million, or 24% of total net sales for the year
ended December 31, 1989, from $155.5 million, or 34%, of total net sales in
1988." From the Atari 10-K: "The Company's traditional video game offerings
include the 2600 VCS, the 7800 ProSystem, and the XE Game System."
March 15: Atari Explorer Publications was shut down, and Atari Explorer
magazine went on hiatus.
May?: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that last year, 250,000
XE computers were sold. In Poland, the XE sold 70,000 units, making it the
most popular computer in Poland. (Atari Interface, June/July 1990, p. 6)
June/July: Final issue of Antic, The Atari Resource magazine. Antic would
continue as a section of the publisher's STart magazine.
Jan/Feb: Return of Atari Explorer magazine, now headed by John Jainschigg and
published in-house at Atari.
March/April: LDW had imported about 250-270 thousand Atari 8-bit computers
into Poland to date (since 1985)...Currently about 20% of the global
production of 8-bit Atari computers is sent to Poland (Moje Atari 4/1991,
pp. 8-9; thanks Tomasz Krasuski)
April/May: Final issue of STart magazine (which had incorporated Antic
May: "Atari Canada's General Manager Geoff Earle announces a new trade up
program for owners of Atari 8-bit computers to a 520STFM for $250. The 8-bit
computer line is admitted to be discontinued." (AtariUser Jan'92, p. 20)
May 14: At the Atari shareholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE was still
in production, being sold in South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle
East. (Atari Interface magazine, June 1991, p. 10)
November 23-24: Chicago Computerfest by Atari / Lake County Atari Computer
Enthusiasts (LCACE), Ramada Hotel O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. Atari (U.S.)
brought substantially all of their remaining inventory of 8-bit computer
products for clearance sales.
December: "..as of Christmas 1991, Atari decided to discontinue the XEgs,
2600, and 7800 systems." --Tim Duarte, AtariUser magazine, July 1992, p. 22.
December 28: From the Atari 10-K SEC filing: "Atari's XE series computers are
targeted for the price conscious markets. The 65XE and 130XE have 64k and
128k of internal RAM, and generally retail for less than $100 and $150,
respectively. Both are supported by a variety of peripheral equipment and a
variety of software titles including entertainment software. This computer
line retains compatibility with the Company's previous generation 8-bit
computer systems, i.e., the 400 and 800XL computers."
Atari announced that support for all 8-bit products was discontinued as of the
beginning of this year, according to Atari Classics magazine. (Dec. 1992, p.4)
June 2: At the Atari stockholders meeting, Atari stated that the XE line of
computers was still being made. Though not available in the U.S. market, XE
systems were being made for sale in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe and
Germany. (Atari Interface magazine, Fall 1992, p. 19)
Fall?: The Atari Adventure center at Crestwood Plaza in Crestwood MO, which
had featured 800XL computers until at least 1991, was shut down.
December: First issue of Atari Classics magazine, published by Unicorn
Publications, Ben Poehland managing editor.
December 31: For the first time, the XE was not mentioned in Atari's Annual
Report to Shareholders.
Jan/Feb: Final issue of Atari Explorer magazine.
November?: Rights to ICD (including OSS) products for the 8-bit Atari were
purchased by Fine Tooned Engineering (FTe / Mike Hohman)
January 1: From the Atari Annual Report: "The Company also has some inventory
of its older 16-bit computer products and 8-bit game products, namely ST and
TT series of computers, 2600 and 7800 video games systems and XE computer and
Portfolio products. As a result of these inventories being technologically
obsolete and noncompetitive, the Company has written off these inventories.
The Company is expecting minimal sales from these products in the future."
July 30: Atari Corporation was merged with and into JTS Corporation. The
prior business of Atari would now be conducted through the Atari Division of
JTS; however "the Atari Division was not expected to represent a significant
portion of JTS business," JTS said.
July: Final issue of Atari Classics magazine.
February 23: JTS sold substantially all of the assets of its Atari Division,
consisting primarily of the Atari intellectual property rights and license
agreements, to HIAC XI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive
(which was established in 1995 as a subsidiary of toy company Hasbro, Inc.),
for US$5 million.
May 7: The name of HIAC XI Corp. was changed to: Atari Interactive, Inc.
Fall: Final issue of Page 6 Publishing's New Atari User magazine.
January 29: Infogrames Entertainment S.A. (Lyon, France) announced completion
of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro, renaming the subsidiary
Infogrames Interactive, Inc. Atari Interactive remained a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the newly-renamed Infogrames Interactive, Inc.
May 6: Atari Interactive, Inc. (established Feb. 12, 1998 as HIAC XI, Corp.)
was merged with and into Infogrames Interactive, Inc. (established Dec. 8,
1995 as Hasbro Interactive, Inc.), which was renamed to: Atari Interactive,
May 29: Infogrames Entertainment S.A. announced that the company would now be
known as Atari S.A. -- Atari name licensed from the wholly owned Atari S.A.
subsidiary, Atari Interactive, Inc.
TODAY: The Atari copyrights/trademarks/patents associated with the
400/800/XL/XE 8-bit Atari computer line are owned by Atari Interactive, Inc.,
a subsidiary of Atari S.A. of Paris, France. http://www.atari.com/