The VCS/2600

VCS/2600

VCS/2600 - Dominating the Landscape

(Page 5 of 5)
Atari 1977

After the surprise announcement on Friday, January 13, 1984 that Jack Tramiel is stepping down as the President and CEO of Commodore, he and a group of investors buy the ailing consumer division of Atari for $240 million, taking the reins of the newly renamed Atari Corp. as CEO on July 2. The next day Atari presents its new CEO, holding a press conference at the 1984 Summer CES in Chicago and billing it as “The Day the Future Began”.  The future of the coin-op division is that it is spun off the next year to Atari’s old arcade game partners at Namco America, and is renamed Atari Games, Corp. Tramiel remodels the 2600 into the even smaller $50 2600jr the year after. Production of the Atari 2600 ends in 1991; its 14-year run marks it as the longest lasting home video game system in history.

Bushnell Rebounds

Rewinding back to 1976, Nolan Bushnell is getting tired of the day-to-day operations at Atari, and his constant run-ins with the suits at Warner. He finds his interest drawn to a new project within the company, to develop a national chain of pizza parlours/arcades that intends to be a more family-friendly place to play video games than seedy bars or bowling alleys. He convinces Atari to set up a new department called the Restaurant Operating Division, headed by Gene Landrum. On May 16,  1977, they open a prototype restaurant at the Town and Country Village in San Jose, the grand opening of which is attended by local dignitaries, including San Jose Mayor Janet Gray Hayes. Getting as close as Bushnell  ever will to realizing his youthful dreams of becoming a Disney Imagineer, the restaurant concept includes a cast of animatronic characters playing in a musical band for the customers. Atari is wary of expanding the restaurant experiment further, so Bushnell purchases the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre concept from Warners for $500,000 in June of 1977, and after he leaves the company the following year, Bushnell furthers expansion of PTTAfter a successful IPO, share prices rise to over $25 per share through the video game boom. When Bushnell’s non-compete clause from his departure from Atari in 1978 expires, he forms new video game company Sente Technologies in 1983. Like his former company, the name of his new gaming venture comes from the game Go, this term meaning to make the first move. Plans for the new company include arcade games called SAC or Sente Arcade Computer, which would allow operators to change their offerings with just a swap of a cartridge. Riding on the coattails of smash laser game arcade hit Dragon’s Lair, the planned model III SAC games would be laserdisc machines. Sente manages to release a couple dozen conventional arcade games, such as hockey game Hat Trick and the roller-ball controlled Snake Pit, before being folded into Bally/Midway as Bally Sente. Pizza Time Theatre eventually goes bankrupt in 1984, done in by the crashing videogame market and mounting debts via overzealous expansion and acquisitions. Bushnell’s company is then picked up by competitor Showbiz Pizza Place, and the two entities eventually merge into the modern Chuck E. Cheese franchise.

Bushnell engages in a myriad of other comeback attempts of varying success, including Androbot, a San Jose-based consumer robotics company that in 1983 produces Topo, the “world’s first personal robot”, with a price tag of $1595.  Sporting dimensions of 36.5″ x 24″, the 33-lb, battery operated Topo can move and speak via a remote IR interface card inserted into an Apple IIe or II+ computer, controlled by either joystick or keyboard. Interfaces for the IBM PC, C64 and Atari 8-bit computers are also promised by Androbot. Topo’s speaking ability uses text-to-speech, to simplify the programming process. The robot comes with TopoBASIC, which includes intuitive movement commands such as TFD (forward) and TRT (turn right) and TLT (turn left).  Also made available is TopoSoft, a programming language based on Forth,  and a TopoLOGO programming package can be purchased for $125. This simplified language allows users without programming skills to easily input directional commands for the robot. The computer needed to program your new electronic buddy is not included in the price, but there is an emergency stop switch on the top of his head in case his programming goes wonky. Topo’s name is derived from the word “topology”, meaning the study of spaces or surfaces. Part of an overall incubation think-tank called Catalyst Technologies, Androbot only manages to sell a few thousand Topos, as well as B.O.B.s (Brains On Board), Topo’s 43 pound, nearly four-foot high big brother that doesn’t require an external computer and runs about $4,000. The brains referred to in his name are represented by three on-board 16-bit CPUs, as well as 3M of RAM. Available options include the Androwagon and Androfridge, which BOB can pull behind him, weaving in and out between party-goers offering pretzels and beers. BOB has a certain amount of autonomy in comparison to his cousin, in that he contains five ultrasonic sensors, such as the autofocus sensors found in cameras, which allow him to move around freely while mapping the dimensions of his environment and the objects within it. He also has two infrared sensors to help him identify living things. Utilizing this feature, programming BOB’s movements can be simplified using his ‘Follow Me’ mode, where the unit will follow the user and remember the path and repeat it on command. Voice synthesis seems out of reach to BOB’s designers, so instead, he draws on a pool of over 100 pre-recorded, digitized phrases. Cartridges are to made available for BOB soon after his release, such as AndroSentry, which turns the robot into a mechanical night watchman for your house.

1984 image of Nolan Bushnell at Catalyst Technologies

Bushnell at Catalyst Technologies, 1984

At the Summer 1983 CES Androbot announces a cheaper robot version called Androman, a 12-inch robot buddy for your 2600. Controllable by joystick, a cartridge for the 2600 would put obstacles on the screen for the device to avoid, and interact with an included 6′x8′ cardboard game playing field and set of data coded game pieces. Androbot also announces an under-$300 robot named F.R.E.D. (Friendly Robotic Educational Device) that includes a drawing pen attachment and a keypad for programming. It can also talk and sense drop-offs so it won’t roll off a desk. Androbot, however, eventually rolls off a cliff and goes bust,  along with the idea of personal robots running households. Bushnell tries again with the company Axlon, that had originally gotten its start making add-ons for the Atari 8-bit computers, including the RAMCRAM memory expansion module. They retool F.R.E.D. into a new robot named Andy, selling for only $120.  Also from Axlon comes a line of robotic pets called Petster, as well as the stuffed animal A.G. Bear, which responds to a child’s voice in gibberish “bear language”, as well as converse with others of its kind when in close proximity. The company also makes Party Animals, a line of six hand puppets with a light sensor in the mouth that triggers noise as the child makes them “talk”. Selling for around $25 each, kids can pick such animal pals as Silly Goose, Tetrazzini Turkey, and Dippity Dolphin.

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, with some of his robotic creations from Androbot, 1983

Bushnell and friends: (L) Topo, Androman, Bushnell, F.R.E.D., B.O.B., 1983

Bushnell also gets in on the ground floor of in-car navigation systems, bankrolling the founding of Etak for $500,000.  A pioneering company in the field, the idea behind Etak comes to electronics whiz Stanley Honey while navigating aboard Bushnell’s racing yacht. The Etak system uses the old-school method of “dead reckoning” navigation, using the vehicle as a static point and considering the relative speed over time through the landscape around it to determine its position. Since the Polynesians had used dead reckoning to travel large swaths of the Pacific Ocean, Honey appropriates the Polynesian navigational term etak for his invention. In 1985 the company produces two versions of the first practical in-car navigational systems made available on the market, licensed to General Motors: one with a 7″ screen meant for commercial vehicles, selling for $1,595, and a $1,395 system for consumers that contains a 4.5″ display. Information on vehicle speed and direction is fed to the devices via a roof-mounted magnetic compass and magnetic sensors placed near the wheels. Various EtakMap videotape cassettes, sold for $35, are produced providing map coverage for the Bay Area in California, with an eye towards eventually covering SoCal and beyond. Drivers can input their destination via twelve buttons placed around the edge of the CRT display. The dead reckoning system can provide accuracy up to 50 feet, but errors accumulate over time which requires a position reset at the touch of a button. Eventually rendered obsolete by GPS navigation systems, Etak does pave the way for the later ubiquity of in-car mapping devices. After a series of acquisitions, Etak ends up being sold to Tele Atlas in 2000. Bushnell later pins his hopes on a venture spawned from the failed startup Playnet Technologies, started on July 1, 1999 and called uWink.com, developing Internet-based gaming kiosks. The focus of uWink moves to developing electronic kiosk dining bistros, and after the opening and closing of several restaurants, eventually ends up licensing its technology under the name Tapcode.

Bushnell’s contribution to the modern videogame landscape via the company he created and the console that company produced cannot be overstated, even though we now look back at the blocky graphics and limited colour palette of the VCS/2600 with nostalgic wonder that such a system could be the wellspring of today’s powerhouse monstrosities. It’s not often that a game console, or the company that produces it, penetrates the public consciousness to such an extent that a powerful Hollywood actor produces and stars in a film about its history. However, such a rumour is floated, concerning fervent video game player Leonardo DiCaprio producing and starring as Bushnell in Atari, developed by DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company and optioned in 2008 by Paramount. It makes sense to put the breakneck, roller-coaster story of Atari to film, since the company and its VCS console marked the ascendancy of video games to the top of the entertainment market, along with the programmers that wrestled with the restraining technology to produce some of the greatest games of all time.  logo_stop

Ad for Atari branded closthes, March  1983 issue of Atari Coin Connection newsletter

Get ready for Spring with the ‘shimmel’ and other stylin’ threads from Atari. (Atari Coin Connection newsletter, March,1983)

Sources (Click to view; inert links kept for historical purposes)

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St. Games, ne: Softline, “Infomania, The Laser Connection” by Roe Adams, pg. 48, Mar/Apr 1984. “Bushnell’s new company, Sente, is planning a series of arcade parlour game bases called SAC (Sente Arcade Computer). Into each SAC box would go a different game cartridge.” “The SAC model III will be a laser disk machine.” Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Softline collection, Nov 2 2015. Creative Computing, “Random Ramblings/The Consumer Electronics Show/Electronic Games and Craziness” by David H. Ahl, pgs. 16-18. “Earlier this year, Atari purchased exclusive rights to market the home video version of Space Invaders in the US. The game immediately became the fastest selling of Atari’s thirty-six games…” Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Creative Computing collection, Oct 21 2015. Atari Coin Connection, “Chuck E. Cheese Joins Atari”, edited by Carol Kantor, pg. 3, May 1977. “‘The Big C’ [Chuck E. Cheese] will be reporting directly to Mr. Gene Landrum, General Manager of the Restaurant Operating Division of Atari.” “The Grand opening on May 16 was a great success. Mayor Janet Gray Hayes, together with many other prominent people from the community and the press, came to welcome Chuck E. Cheese and The Pizza Time Theatre to San Jose.” Retrieved from Pinball Pirate, Sep 15 2015. Video Games Player, “Video Game Wars” by Dan Gutman, pgs. 38-40, 56, Fall 1982. “Atari filed a twenty million dollar suit for conspiring to appropriate company trade secrets. The litigation was settled in December, with Activision agreeing to manufacture video games under a technology licence from Atari…”. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Video Games Player collection, Sept 11, 2015. Uston, Ken. “A Report From the First Video Games Conference.” Creative Computing Sept. 1983: 232-46. Creative Computing Magazine (September 1983) Volume 09 Number 09. Internet Archive. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. [From summary of Activision president Jim Levy's speech] About one and one-half million homes had some sort of game system, and about three to four million game cartridges were sold that year [1979].;1980…There were then about 3 1/2 million systems in U.S. homes.;1981…Activision’s delivery capacity grew by 1000%…;1982…Fifteen million hardware units and 65 million software units were sold.1980 image of Activision design team from InfoWorld, “Atari Sues to K.O. Competition”, pg. 1, Aug 4 1980. Retrieved from Google Books, Sep 11, 2015. Image of B.O.B., along with other information, from Electronic Fun with Computers and Games, “Congratulations! It’s a B.O.B.”, by George Kopp, April 1983. Photo by Androbot, Inc.. “He’s equipped with…a cassette player that gives him a voice.”. “Topo’s name comes from topology, the study of surfaces…”. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, EFWCG collection, Sept 8, 2015. The New York Times, “For Fans of Video Games, Fast Fingers Are a Big Help” by Paul L. Montgomery, Oct 11, 1981. “Ron Stringari, vice president for marketing in the consumer division, said Atari had sold more than a million cartridges for Space Invaders…”. Retrieved from the NYT archives, Sept 8, 2015. Atari Gaming Headquarters – www.atarihq.com Good Deal Games, “Interview: David Crane”, by Michael Thomasson 1981 image of David Crane from Electronic Games, “Inside Gaming: Playing Chicken with David Crane”, pg. 12, Winter 1981. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Electronic Games collection  Retromags – The Vintage Video Game Magazine Archive – www.retromags.comThe Atari History Museum- www.atarimuseum.com Creative Computing, “International Winter Consumer Electronics Show, Video Game/Computer Systems, Atari” by David H. Ahl, pg. 62-63, Mar 1981. “Atari, the acknowledged leader in video games, unveiled a remote controlled video system.” “The controllers are an advance over the existing controllers in that they combine both a paddle and joystick in one unit. 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Image of Jim Levy, and other information from Video Games, “They’ve Got Their Act-ivision Together”, by Randi Hacker, photo by Victoria Rouse, pgs. 29 – 31, 80, Vol. 1 Num. 1, Aug 1982 The Video Game Museum – www.vgmuseum.com/ Electronic Games, “1983 Arcade Awards”,by Arnie Katz and Bill Kunkel,  pgs. 22-37, 120, Jan 1983. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Electronic Games magazine collection  Gamasutra, “The History of Activision”, by Jeffery Fleming, July 30 2007 Atari Connection, “Robots Come Home” by Jim Inscore, pgs. 38-43, Spring 1984 1983 image of Rob Fulop holding his Imagic games, and other information from Electronic Fun With Computer and Games, “Phil Wiswell’s Gamemakers: Demon Designer”, interview by Phil Wiswell, pgs. 78-81, 86, Aug 1983. “‘E.F.: How long did Demon Attack take to create?’. ‘RF [Rob Fulop]: Five Months.’”. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, EFWCG collection, Sep 9, 2015. El Atari 2600 celebra su 30 cumpleanos | Empresuchas – www.empresuchas.com/el-atari-2600-celebra-su-30-cumpleanos Images of the Unitronics Expander from Video Games Player, “How to Turn Your Atari Into a Computer” by Martin Bass, pgs. 28-30, Aug/Sep 1983. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Video Games Player collection, Sep 11, 2015. Starlog July 1983: 43. Web. Image of Entex Piggyback AtariAge Magazine Archive, Activisions Newsletter Creative Computing, “Atari Speaks Out” by David Ahl, pgs. 58-59, Aug 1979. “Peter [Rosenthal, Atari marketing manager of personal computers]: We currently have sold more than a million programmable Atari video computer systems” Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Creative Computing collection, Sep 29 2015. Leagle, “In Re Activision Securities Litigation”, Nov. 4, 1985 Activisions Newsletter, “Activision for Atari Home Computers”, pg. 10, Vol. 7, Fall 1983 The Cover Project – www.thecoverproject.net/index.php Atari Age, “Sneak Peeks – 2600 Keyboard Postponed”, pg. 14, Vol. 2 Num. 3, Sept./Oct. 1983 Gamasutra, “The Replay Interviews: David Crane”, by Tristan Donovan, Jan. 3 2011 Video Games Player, “Profile – Big Daddy: Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell is the Father of Video Games”, by Steven Slone, pgs. 16 – 18, 22, 56, Vol. 1 Num. 1, Fall 1982 “Atari Sues to k.o. Competition.” InfoWorld 4 Aug. 1980: 1. Print. The trademark violation charged by Atari involves the name DRAG STRIP, which was the name given to a prototype Activision game. Science on American Television: A History, by Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette, pgs. 160-161, University of Chicago Press 2013 Image of William von Meister from Electronic Games, “Games on the Phone” by Arnie Katz, pgs. 32-36, Jun 1983. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Electronic Games magazine collection Broadcasting, “Monitor: DWS”, pg. 51, Aug 16 1982 Gap Khakis. Wired June 1995: 18-19. Print. Image of Steve Case sitting in chair Videogaming and Computergaming Illustrated, “Behind the Scenes: Tragic Imagic” by Leonard Herman, pgs. 25-27, Dec 1983. “In October, spokesman Margaret Davis announced that Imagic had been forced to lay off most of its work force. It was revealed that, henceforth, Imagic would be solely a game design house.” “During the third and fourth quarters of 1982, the powers-that-be at Imagic decided that they wanted to make a public offering of their stock.” “Just prior to, or during, the period of Imagic’s review, Atari’s stock plummeted in the wake of an announcement of hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues…” “There is evidence to suggest that, during this time, Imagic agreed to buy millions of their old games back in order to obtain shelf space for their new games. Shortly following, Imagic had to sell $12 million worth of its privately held stock in order to raise the revenues to pay the storage fees on its old cartridges.” Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Videogaming Illustrated collection, Sep 18 2015. Atari Connection, “Atari to Sponsor TV Science Show”, Vol. 2 No. 3, Sept 1982 The New York Times, “Atari Suit Settled”, Jan. 5 1983 Video Games, “Video Games Interview – Nolan Bushnell”, by Jerry Bowles, pgs.16, 19 – 20, 78 – 79, Vol. 1 Num. 1, Aug 1982 Adilman, Glenn. “Videogames: Knowing the Score.” Creative Computing Dec. 1983: 224-31. Creative Computing Magazine (December 1983) Volume 09 Number 12. Internet Archive. Web. 27 Feb. 2016. Midway’s Space Invaders, the first massively popular video game, sold more than one million cartridges in its first year. 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Creative Computing Magazine (May 1982) Volume 08 Number 05.”…at the strip we met a small, open-cockpit bi-plane, turned around and followed as it taxied through the streets of Las Vegas to the convention center.” Internet Archive. Web. 05 Nov. 2015. Video segment from local California, Bay Area TV show “Just Kidding”, featuring a look behind the scenes at Imagic in 1983, with Pat Ransil Computer Games (ne: Video Games Player), “Telegaming” by Len Drexler, pgs. 34-36, 52, April 1984. “So far, of the major video game makers, only Imagic has agreed to allow its games to be used on GameLine.” Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Video Games Player collection, Sept 12, 2015. Money for Breakfast, Fox Business Channel, 2007 Bushnell interview Staples, Betsy. “What’s New for ’82, Video Games, Imagic.” Creative Computing May 1982: 70. “Imagic, the newest producer of cartridges for the Atari VCS and Intellivision, made its debut with three game cartridges for the Atari system.” Creative Computing Magazine (May 1982) Volume 08 Number 05. Internet Archive. Web. 05 Nov. 2015. Atari Age, “Keyboard Will Turn Atari VCS into Powerful Home Computer”, Vol. 2 Num. 1, May/Jun. 1983 Image of CompuMate box taken at the Videogame History Museum display, CGE 2014, in Las Vegas Electronic Games, “A Decade of Programmable Videogames”, pgs. 20-23, 34, Vol. 1 Num. 2, Mar 1982 Image of Activision 1984 CES booth courtesy of Steven Szymanski Video Games, “Video Games Interview: Bill Grubb and Dennis Koble”, by Steve Bloom, pgs. 22 – 24, 29, 81, Vol. 1 Num. 4, Jan 1983 Robert Jung’s Electric Escape – www.digiserve.com/eescape Image of Tank II home game console and other information from Radio-Electronics, “Videogames – Videogame History” by Jerry and Eric Eimbinder, pgs. 50 – 54, Jul 1982 Omni magazine article, Oct 1982 The General Mills/Parker Brothers Merger: Playing by Different Rules, by Ellen Wojahn, pg. 126, Beard Books 2003 CompuMate image and information courtesy of the Spectravideo Campmate page Omni Magazine article, Oct 1982 McComb, Gordon. “Personal Robots.” Creative Computing Nov. 1983: 196-204. Creative Computing Magazine (November 1983) Volume 09 Number 11. Internet Archive. Web. 27 Feb. 2016. …Topo uses text-to-speech algorithms to allow easier programming.;B.O.B….draws on a ready set of digitized, pre-recorded phrases…he randomly chooses from over one hundred stored words and lines;image of Bushnell surrounded by Androbot robots. Old Computers Compute!, “Androids and Robots” by David D. Thronburg, pgs. 18-22, Jun 1983 New York Magazine, “Can Atari Stay Ahead of the Game?” by Bernice Kanner, pgs.15-17, Aug 16 1982 About.com – “Garry Kitchen – Cooking Up Video Game History”, by D.S. Cohen, retrieved Jun 28 2014 Image of uWink facade from Chika’s Flickr photo stream Image of Mediagenic logo, and other info from Compute!, “News & Notes: Quick, What’s a Mediagenic?” by Gregg Keizer, pg. 8, Aug 1988. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Compute! magazine collection Activisions newsletter,”Our Milpitas Family”, pg. 5, Vol. 3, Spring 1982 Image of the QuantumLink menu, as well as other information, from Ahoy!, “Reviews: QuantumLink Personal Computer Network” by Joyce Worley, pgs. 63-65, April 1986 Photo of Nolan Bushnell glancing to his left from kandinski Image of Warren Robinett from InfoWorld, “Computer Erector Sets: Software’s Missing Link” by Scott Mace, pgs. 38-40, April 1984. Photo by K. Gypsy Zaboroskie. Retrieved from Google Books, Sept 12, 2015. Image of the Gameline Master Module and box courtesy of Atari Mania “News & Products/Popular Games Released.” Compute! Apr. 1984: 183-84. Internet Archive. Web. Atari, Inc., has released 12 of its games for competing computers and videogame consoles in a new line of software called ATARISOFT. InfoWorld, “Atari: From Starting Block to Auction Block”, by Giselle Bisson, pg. 52, Aug. 6, 1984 Electronic Games, November 1983, Hotline Article “Atari, Bushnell Bury Hatchet”, pg. 12 1982 Atari trade ad from Billboard magazine, retrieved from Google Books archive Image of Steve Ross, by Harry Benson, as well as other information from New York magazine, “Steve Ross On the Spot” by Tony Schwartz, pgs. 22-32, Jan 24 1983 Nollinger, Maek. “America, Online!” Wired Sept. 1995: 158+. Print. …Case left Pepsi later that year [1982] for Control Video Corporation… …it was at Control Video that Case met Jim Kimsey and Marc Seriff, his co-founders at America Online. Lacking the cash to go it alone, they formed an alliance with Commodore International Ltd…. In return, Commodore agreed to bundle the QuantumLink service with its computers and modems. Image of Bruce Davis from Info World, “Mediagenic Rises From Ashes…” by Rachel Parker, pg. 34, Oct 3, 1988 Image of the Atari 2600 and The Graduate computer add-on attached together from Electronic Fun With Computers and Games, “Atari, Mattel, Coleco…”, pgs. 33-38,97, Sep 1983. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, EFWCG collection, Sep 9, 2015. 2012 Image of Bobby Kotick from de.wikipedia.org - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kotick#/media/File:Bobby_Kotick_in_NYC_photographed_by_Jordan_Matter.jpg. Photograph by Jordan Matter New York magazine, “On Madison Avenue: The Super Selling of Super Sunday” by Bernice Kanner, pg. 18, Jan 25 1982 Arcade Express, “Videogames Go to the Movies”, pg. 4, Sept 12, 1982. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Arcade Express newsletter collection Image of uWink 6-player PONG game from news report on CNBC’s Morning Call, 2007 MetroActive News and Issues | Nolan Bushnell – www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/09.16.99/cover/bushnell2-9937.html Videogaming Illustrated, “Focus on: Sturm Und Drang”, by E.C. Meade with contributions from Jim Clark, Martin Levitan, Dale Rupert and Samuel Lawrence, pgs. 19-23, 74-75, Jul 1983. “Lou Abbagnaro, director of engineering, CBS Games: …realize that no games at that time used more than 1K of memory.” Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Videogaming Illustrated collection, Sep 17 2015. “News & Views: Shake Ups and Shake Downs.” Info Sept. 1990: 22. Print. Bruce Davis… announced that Mediagenic has reached an agreement with the successors to the Magnavox Company, providing for long term payments of $6.6 million in patent infringement damages awarded to Magnavox over eleven video game cartridges released by Activision (Mediagenic) for the Atari 2600. Mediagenic will make monthly payments of $150,000 to Magnavox from July 1990 to December 1993, with a balloon payment due in December 1993. Hunter, David. “Robots Come Home.” Softtalk Aug. 1983: 144-57. Softalk V3n12 Aug 1983. Internet Archive. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. Half an hour after opening the box and removing the thirty-three-pound plastic and steel robot…;Topo is controlled at this point through a remote radio link that connects to the Apple via an expansion board in slot 5.;Programming Topo in its TopoBasic is a snap…the commands are easy to remember – TFD moves Topo forward…TRT turns Topo right; TLT turns topo left…;Topo also works with Androbot’s special version of Logo – TopoLogo.; …the robot can also be programmed with TopoForth…;With AndroSentry, on of the planned plug-in cartridges, B.O.B. with reportedly be able to patrol and safeguard your house.Ahl, David H. “1983 Summer Consumer Electronics Show.” Creative Computing Sept. 1983: 200-22. Creative Computing Magazine (September 1983) Volume 09 Number 09. Internet Archive. Web. 25 Feb. 2016. Androbot also introduced AndroMan…designed to be used with an Atari VCS and comes with a game cartridge, transmitter, 6′x8′ cardboard game playing field, set of game pieces imprinted with coded data…“Hotline: Atari to Market Robots.” Electronic Games May 1984: 8. Electronic Games – Volume 02 Number 12 (1984-05)(Reese Communications)(US). Internet Archive. Web. 09 Feb. 2016. Atari has entered into an agreement with Nolan Bushnell to market a line of products from his new company, Androbot, Inc. Image of Stan Lee playing Spider-Man from Blip: The Video Game Magazine, “Spider-Man Plays SPIDER-MAN!”, photographer Michael Tweed, pg. 3, Vol. 1 Num. 2, Mar. 1983 Herrington, Peggy. “The Robots Are Coming.” RUN Aug. 1984: 70-76. Bombjack.org. Web. Dec. 2016. B.O.B. stands just under four feet tall… One of it’s [B.O.B.] best features is a Follow Me mode, which makes teaching it to follow a path very easy – you walk and it follows. It will remember the route and repeat it by itself on command. …F.R.E.D., which is programmable with its own seperate keypad… [F.R.E.D.] can talk, draw and sense a void so that it doesn’t fall off the table. It sells for under $400. Image of Etak navigational system, as well as other information, from New York magazine, “Star Tech: Directional Signals” by Phoebe Hoban, pgs. 14-16, Jul 15 1985 Leyenberger, Arthur. “The New Atari.” ANALOG Sept. 1984: n. pag. Web.Byte, “Byelines: Reader’s Digest Buys The Source” by Sol Libes, pgs. 214-215, Dec 1980. Retrieved from the Internet Archive, Byte magazine collection Antic, “Dial-A-Game” by Deborah Burns, pgs. 82,84, July 1983 Discovery Online, You Shoulda Been There — Pong – www.discovery.com/stories/history/toys/PONG/birthday1.html Electronic Games, Kaboom! ad, Winter 1981, back page Compute!, “Atari’s New Add-On Computer For VCS 2600 Game Machine” by Tom R. Halfhill, pgs. 44-46, May 1983 New York magazine, “On Madison Avenue: The Grant Tinker Show” by Bernice Kanner, pgs. 16-20, Nov 29 1982 Atari 2600 History and Commentary – www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/9176/2600essy.html Newsweek, “It’s All Fun and Games” Bushnell Interview, pg. 12, Aug. 18, 2003 Bushnell, Nolan. “How to Do It Your Way.” MicroKids Mar. 1984: 40-43. MicroKids – Issue 02 Volume 01 No 02 (1984-03)(Microkids Publishing)(US). Internet Archive. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. Image of Bushnell holding pizza and tokens, and image of Bushnell at Catalyst Technologies, photos by Roger Ressmeyer.InfoWorld, Androbot advertisement, pg. 26-27, dec. 26, 1983 Popular Science, “New add-ons turn video games into computers”, by Myron Berger, pgs. 114-115, 166, Oct 1983

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