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Atari- Life After Death
Atari people have taken over the industry!
Don Thomas says...
"Ron Beltramo is working out of his home as a consultant. Greg LaBrec is
in the R&D department with me at Sony (as is Mike Fulton, Bill Rehbock,
Pradip, and others in other departments. I'm having a great time and we're
doing as well as I once hoped Atari would again do."
(Former US Customer Support)
Don Thomas at work in old Atari days, as usual.
Don was the man most people associated with Atari! He was one of the last
people at Atari- in fact only John Skrutch has lasted longer than him. The
Jaguar developer support guy, Scott Sanders, is still there, but he is now
working with JTS on disk drive technology developments apparently.
Don Thomas wrote an epitath for Atari-
(Former CEO Atari US)
Picture courtesy of Don Thomas on Compuserve.
Tedd Hoff was appointed to turn around the ailing Atari Jaguar 64 console,
and to many people he did just that. Tedd Hoff ploughed money into advertising
(modest, but a massive improvement over what the Tramiels had been doing
up until then,) and television "info-mercials". He arranged a number of deals
to improve the Atari distribution of the Jaguar, getting the machine into
the Wal*Mart chain, and improving sales to Toys'R'Us. He also brought in
a TOUGH quality control system for games, CANCELLED several high profile
titles, and also cut a considerable number of internal developers.
Tedd Hoff finally resigned from Atari, bitterly claiming that Atari's stated
goals were not the same as their real goals. He claimed that Atari wanted
to abandon Jaguar development, and invest the money. The Atari Jaguar marketing
was not going to be backed with future products. I'm not sure what he's doing
now. He was considered a "good guy" generally by Atari Jaguar users, but
his legacy was more to do with marketing than success. Regrettably, by the
time Atari appointed him, they'd already lost the next-gen war to Sony, and
(Former Jaguar Software Producer)
Bill Rehbock is now working on Sony's PSX devkit for hobbyists, "Yaroze".
He is now Vice-President of Research & Development within Sony US, and
is one of those former Atari people who sees Sony rather like a new Atari
Bill is now involved with NUON (Project
X) - find out more!
(Atari US Developer Support)
Scott Sanders (whose address included the line "Jaguar Guru") was the main
developer support person for Atari US. He wrote a good deal of the initial
sample code for the Jaguar, but developer feedback on him seems to vary.
The concensus seems that if he didn't like your project, you were sunk. Scott
is now working on secret JTS projects.
Jeff Minter in pensive mood.
Although Jeff Minter was not part of the normal Atari team, he came to symbolise
Atari's success or failure, as it was his title, Tempest 2000, which propelled
the Jaguar to early success. He was actually a contract programmer and was
"let go" to other projects after Defender 2000. His departure was seen as
Atari abandoning Jaguar developments.
Jeff has his own web-pages, find
Jeff is now involved with Project-X, find
(Former Atari UK Marketing Manager)
Darryl Still- when Jaguar was doing well.
Darryl Still was the voice of Atari UK, and most UK users associated Atari
with Darrly Still in the same way US users thought of Don Thomas. He left
Atari in January 1996 and now works for Electronic Arts. It was his departure
from Atari along with that of other executives which brought about the "Atari
abandons Jaguar" rumous and the withdrawel of the Jaguar from shops like
Electronic Boutique overnight in the UK.
(Atari UK Developer Support)
Alistair Bodin was/is Atari UK's Jaguar Developer Support person. It seems
that next to Scott Sanders, he was Atari's biggest Jaguar guru, and wrote
lots of Jaguar software. He was heavily involved with UK developed titles,
in particular "Attack of the Mutant Penguins". I was speaking to him over
a potential project in early 1996 myself, but he quickly dismissed my proposals
saying he didn't think they'd work well, and that his word was final. Last
I heard he was still working for JTS/Atari UK on unknown JTS projects.
Gary, Sam (ST and Jaguar), Jack (father) and Leonard (approval) Tramiel.
Picture courtesy of Don Thomas on Compuserve.
The Tramiel family "clan" was lead at Atari by Jack Tramiel, but when he
stepped back from operations, Sam Tramiel helped to make the Jaguar what
it is today. Sadly it appears that he suffered a heart-attack or other illness
around Christmas 1996 and it was this that lead Jack Tramiel to step back
in and take over operations, leading ultimately to Atari's move to abandon
Jaguar and merge with JTS. The Tramiels are now no longer involved in the
running of JTS/Atari. Their current work is unknown.
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