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jerryd

Lloyd Warman becomes VP of Engineering at Atari

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Atari forum,
 There came a time when Al ALcorn had other things he wanted to do at Atari so
 he hired Lloyd Warman to take his place as the VP of engineering.  Lloyd had
 been an EE at Ampex so he would often become involved in hardware design and
 debug.

 When we were making some version of "Cocktail Pong" there was an assembly
 problem on the production floor.  I happened to be standing near him when he
 heard about it and he asked me to go with him to look at the problem.  There
 was some part that wasn't mounted good enough.  Someone suggested that we glue
 it and I said bad idea because glue will get all over and it's never a good
 idea to use glue in a production environment.  I volunteered to design a
 bracket to fix it.  On the way back to the lab Lloyd said "you will be my
 troubleshooter".

 He and I got along very well at work and socially.  We would go out to dinner
 and visit each others houses.  I got to know his wife and kids and he got to
 know mine.

 It was typical that a game company would only qualify one distributor in each
 city.  But crafty Nolan Bushnell set up a separate game company called "Kee
 Games" that seemingly had no connection to Atari. It was run by Joe Keenan a
 neighbor of Nolan.  The "unqualified" distributors were more than happy to buy
 games from Kee thinking they were "sticking it" to Atari.

 One day someone showed me an article in the paper that revealed the fact that
 Kee Games was actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Atari so there was no
 reason to keep the two companies separate so Kee Games was shut down and many
 of their managers and engineers came to Atari.

 After a heated meeting one day with managers from both Atari and Kee Games
 Lloyd told me someone from Kee Games fired one of Atari's managers.  Lloyd had
 attempted to defend the fired manager but the same person from Kee turned to
 him and said "you're fired too".

 Lloyd went to Nolan Bushnell later that day and complained that there was no
 reason for him to have been fired.  Nolan agreed and said he had a side
 project that Lloyd could do until he found a new job.

 Next post:  BUILDING ARCADES

Jerryd
 

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