The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To think it started with Pong


There are a couple of important digital events that had major effects on my life.

The first one, of course, was "pong", the video game that launched all video games. I didn't play it at video game arcades. I got the home version made by Magnavox not long after I bought my first house in 1975. I was never very good at it.

The second was my company (at the time, Pacific Telephone) deciding I was worthy of being trained to work on the first digital long distance switching system to be installed in California. That training was 19 or 20 weeks long and stretched over about 6 months. It took me to Baltimore, Columbus, Atlanta, Chicago, and back to Columbus. It gave me a 25 year journey and a job I came to love.

I learned about computers and fell in love with them. It wasn't an all encompassing love, it did not turn into an obsession. I loved my motorcycle more. But who wouldn't?

I bring this up because I read today that Atari filed for bankruptcy. It's actually a ploy to separate the U.S. branch from its French parent. It had been bought up by France's Infogrames Entertainment in 2000 after having been through a string of other owners. It seems that Nintendo and others had been winning the competition for the home and arcade market for some time.

It's sad, really, because I loved the Atari home unit I eventually bought in 1982. Atari was, to me, the epitome of home gaming entertainment.

Atari will not strike out on their own again exactly. They will look for other "sugar daddies" to provide funding, selling even their logo.

The end of an era, I suppose.


3 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Pong. Wow. Do you recall Heathkit. I kept my daughters busy building heathkits. Good skills for them and some usefull stuff I may never have bought. Pong was a kit and they successfully built it and installed it in our television. My older daughter no longer was interested, but my younger daughter and a friend bounced that ball from one side of the screen to the other for hours.

Douglas said...

I had forgotten about Heathkit. When I was young, it was mostly about radio kits and then TV but the computer stuff was much later. I had forgotten Heathkit pretty much when I began putting together my own computers from parts. A task made much easier by IBM's open architecture.

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