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Article #488 (635 is last):
From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Subject: CATnips (epilog) - Don Thomas resigns from Atari
Reply-To: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Mon Nov 25 18:32:22 1996

CATnips... Jaguar tidbits from Don Thomas

CATnips (epilog)

You may like to know that I have submitted my resignation to Atari and have
determined that Thursday, August 15 will be my final day.

I have been at Atari since November 1989. I helped launch the Portfolio, which
enjoyed tremendous success early in it's life cycle. Later, I took on the role
as a specialist and helped represent Portfolio technology at specialty trade
shows, key account presentations and in exclusive development scenarios. More
recently, I have streamlined an effective customer service department pursuant
to the resources afforded by corporate direction. During much of this time, I
have made every effort to be accessible and active on CompuServe as well as
GEnie, Prodigy, our Web Site and a BBS I sustained privately in my home.

Prior to Atari, I worked at Federated Electronics stores and was known within
the organization for my prejudice for Atari brand computers and games. Much of
my software library was provided to Federated as samples and the software buyer
asked me to test the latest titles.

I purchased my first Atari product in the early 80's. The 2600 was financed on
my First Visa Card from a Video Concept store in Dallas, Texas. I was so
impressed with the technology that I taught myself programming and developed a
newspaper delivery game to present to my employer, the Dallas Times Herald,
long before Paperboy ever hit the coin-op arcades. Only the crash of the video
game industry in the mid 80's kept me from entering the industry during those

My first computer was the TI99/4a and, later, the Commodore 64. But it wasn't
until I opened an Atari 400 box in my apartment that I developed a passion and
soon found myself hoarding every cool thing I could find. From Scott Adam's
adventures to my MPP1000c modem and Rana disk drives, I was virtually

After the Tramiels took over Atari, I bought into their 16-bit computer line
hook, line and sinker.... and never regretted a single moment.

When the Tramiels acquired Federated in the late 80's, I thought I died and
went to heaven. For the first time, I met the likes of Neil Harris and Mr. Jack
Tramiel himself. During the day, I helped expand Atari exposure in Atari's new
chain of electronic stores. At night I honed my programming skills into a line
of software I called Artisan Software. I successfully, released a total of 5
titles under that label, all for Atari 16-bit computers.

In 1989, Atari was compelled to discontinue Federated operations and my career
became a casualty in Jack's business war. While seeking employment anywhere I
could, I dedicated time and energies into the Atari Revolution... a grass roots
movement dedicated to foster word-of-mouth for Atari's fine line of products.
In November, Atari hired me back and I met Bob Brodie, Frank Foster and a
brigade of personalties who have long left a permanent mark in the historical
remembrances of the world's longest surviving home computer/video game company.

On August 26, I will be joining the professionals at Sony Computer
Entertainment. As you undoubtedly know, the Sony Playstation is America's
number one choice in next generation technology. After examining the
opportunities that are out there, the PSX looks to me to be the most promising
long term video game investment and I am proud to become part of the PSX team.

Atari, the name and the products is directly responsible for so many things in
my life. Inclusive are personal development and the acquisition lifelong
friends. The Tramiel family is equally responsible for having enriched my life
with wisdoms that I will forever value. There will always be a special part of
my heart for Atari. There will always be an envy that I wasn't there during
more glorious days and always I will take pride in knowing that I worked my
hardest during Atari's most difficult times.

As you undoubtedly know, Atari has just completed a merger with JTS; a
reputable supplier of hard disk drive technologies. The terms of the merger
relegates Atari as a division of JTS and no longer is Atari an independent
corporate entity. Shares of stock are now traded by the symbol JTS. Atari's
staff as of next week will consist effectively of 4 people; all of which are
among the most proud and honorable I have ever known.

On behalf of Atari, past and present, thank you to everyone who supported us.
Atari will always be an institution in our hearts remembering the evolution of
Pong, Asteroids, Star Raiders, Major Havoc, Millipede and many more. Look for
Atari's afterlife in licensed titles for other systems.

I have every intention to continue frequenting the Atari support areas and you
will no doubt find me popping up in a PSX forum near you! I'll look forward to
seeing you there.

-- Don Thomas @ Atari

Michael Current, 8-Bit Atari FAQ & Vendor/Developer Lists maintainer
   User groups: CAIN, SPACE, NWPAC /

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