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Nolan Bushnell at Atari


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#1 jerryd

jerryd

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:54 PM

Atari forum,

 Nolan Bushnell was about 30 at the time and a fun, interesting, charismatic
 guy.  The kind of person who, when he walked into a room everyone would stop
 and look in his direction.

 He would often ride his bike to work and enter the plant back by the loading
 doors.  Then he would wheel his bike all the way through the assembly area to
 his office.

 My wife, kids and I were at a restaurant in San Jose one Saturday morning
 when Nolan walked in.  We invited him over and he ate breakfast with us.  He
 knew my kids because I often brought them with me when I went into work on
 weekends.  My kids were quite young, maybe 4 or 5, when they first started to
 come with me.  I would put a chair in front of the games for them to stand on
 and show them how to trip the coin acceptor switch to start the game.  They
 had the run of the building and must have thought it was a magical place.

 At one point we expanded Nolan's office and when I was finished with a game
 prototype I would put it the expanded part so I spent a lot of time in his office.
 After a while it looked like his own private arcade.  He liked it because he
 had managed an arcade while he was in college.

 

 He wanted to teach me the Japanese game of Go but we never got

 around to it.

 When I was in there one day I told him I was trying to buy my first house.
 He immediately said "I can't give you any money but I can give you a raise".
 "You will have to transfer to my department and get your pay checks from
 accounts payable".  This was fine with me and actually nothing really changed
 as far as me working in the lab and reporting to my boss Don.  Being in the
 same department as Nolan would eventually prove to be a big problem for me.

 On Halloween Nolan would wear a pig costume and walk around in it all day.  It
 was pink suit,  kind of like the one Ralphie got for Christmas in the movie
 "A Christmas Story",  Nolan's also had and plastic pig head.

 One year for his birthday we wanted to get him a large stuffed animal that
 looked like a pig but could only find one that looked a little bit like Mickey
 mouse. It was almost 4 feet tall and stood up. Nolan liked it and named him
 "Chuck".  He put it in the hall right outside his office door.
 
 Sometime later Nolan told me he was going to start a new venture, not video
 games,  and wanted me to be part of it.  I said "I'm in" and that was the last
 I heard about it.  He would go off sailing for months at a time,  he actually
 won some races to Hawaii,  and I eventually left Atari.  I walked into a
 restaurant a few years later and saw Nolan and Joe Keenan at a table. I sat
 with them and Nolan said "you could have been part of this".
 It was "Chuck e Cheese".

 Over the years I would run into him at electronic shows and other events and
 he was always the same bigger than life guy.

 When I retired, many years later, I called him up and we had a nice long talk
 about "the old days".  I forgot to ask him if he still had "Chuck".

 Sorry to post these like short stories but I'm trying to keep them in
 chronological order and I'm also trying to remember them as accurately as
 possible.

Jerryd
 


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#2 RickR

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:11 AM

Wow!  If you have any pictures, scan and share those too if it's not too much trouble. 


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#3 jerryd

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:34 AM

RickR,
 I don't have any pictures from those days but you can type in GRAN TRAK 10
 and go to Wikipedia.  There is a picture of the flyer made for that game.
 I'm in the fire suit and the girl is a secretary, I think her name is karen.

 The article mentions that "it was initially sold to distributors at a loss".
 My contribution to that problem was to have the door, door frame and

 coin slot made at a local sheet metal shop for about 1/2 of what we had

 been paying for it.
Jerryd
 


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#4 RickR

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:40 AM

1.grantrak10000-539a226e12e55.jpg


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#5 Video 61

Video 61

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:02 AM

no ap[ologies neccesary,

 

Atari forum,

 Nolan Bushnell was about 30 at the time and a fun, interesting, charismatic
 guy.  The kind of person who, when he walked into a room everyone would stop
 and look in his direction.

 He would often ride his bike to work and enter the plant back by the loading
 doors.  Then he would wheel his bike all the way through the assembly area to
 his office.

 My wife, kids and I were at a restaurant in San Jose one Saturday morning
 when Nolan walked in.  We invited him over and he ate breakfast with us.  He
 knew my kids because I often brought them with me when I went into work on
 weekends.  My kids were quite young, maybe 4 or 5, when they first started to
 come with me.  I would put a chair in front of the games for them to stand on
 and show them how to trip the coin acceptor switch to start the game.  They
 had the run of the building and must have thought it was a magical place.

 At one point we expanded Nolan's office and when I was finished with a game
 prototype I would put it the expanded part so I spent a lot of time in his office.
 After a while it looked like his own private arcade.  He liked it because he
 had managed an arcade while he was in college.

 

 He wanted to teach me the Japanese game of Go but we never got

 around to it.

 When I was in there one day I told him I was trying to buy my first house.
 He immediately said "I can't give you any money but I can give you a raise".
 "You will have to transfer to my department and get your pay checks from
 accounts payable".  This was fine with me and actually nothing really changed
 as far as me working in the lab and reporting to my boss Don.  Being in the
 same department as Nolan would eventually prove to be a big problem for me.

 On Halloween Nolan would wear a pig costume and walk around in it all day.  It
 was pink suit,  kind of like the one Ralphie got for Christmas in the movie
 "A Christmas Story",  Nolan's also had and plastic pig head.

 One year for his birthday we wanted to get him a large stuffed animal that
 looked like a pig but could only find one that looked a little bit like Mickey
 mouse. It was almost 4 feet tall and stood up. Nolan liked it and named him
 "Chuck".  He put it in the hall right outside his office door.
 
 Sometime later Nolan told me he was going to start a new venture, not video
 games,  and wanted me to be part of it.  I said "I'm in" and that was the last
 I heard about it.  He would go off sailing for months at a time,  he actually
 won some races to Hawaii,  and I eventually left Atari.  I walked into a
 restaurant a few years later and saw Nolan and Joe Keenan at a table. I sat
 with them and Nolan said "you could have been part of this".
 It was "Chuck e Cheese".

 Over the years I would run into him at electronic shows and other events and
 he was always the same bigger than life guy.

 When I retired, many years later, I called him up and we had a nice long talk
 about "the old days".  I forgot to ask him if he still had "Chuck".

 Sorry to post these like short stories but I'm trying to keep them in
 chronological order and I'm also trying to remember them as accurately as
 possible.

Jerryd
 

no apologies necessary, this is good stuff. nolan always reminded me of someone who was never happy or satisfied, always wanting to move along  when things may have gotten a little to tough, or boring. this caught up with him later in life.

 

 

 

thanks,

 

lance

www.atarisales.com


VIDEO 61 & ATARI SALES
www.atarisales.com
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651-462-2500





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