Those who know me know that I’m all about the old school computing days. For me, it’s those days that really defined who I am as a gamer. My passion back then was experimenting with various programming languages such as BASIC, Fortran, as well as assembly language. I had a lot of fun with it, and it drove my passion to get into the gaming business. My mom purchased me an Atari 800XL when I was in Jr. High and I never looked back. I was a huge Atari fan at the time, though I never let that stop me from dabbling with my friend’s Commodore 64 to get a larger perspective of computing and gaming as whole. It’s a sad day to see that one of the people I respected passed away.
I remember when I was a kid my old 1050 floppy drive died. I took it to many outlets to get fixed, yet no one was really able to repair it. There was some sort of problem with the read head and it kept slipping out of alignment. As a final act of desperation, I sent my drive to Atari Corp. to get looked at. My mom had called them and explained the problem and they told us to send it in and would let us know if it could be repaired and what it would cost. About two weeks later, I received a package in the mail, and I figured it was my old drive. It was strange because they had said they were going to let us know about the problem and the cost of repair. My drive was well out of warranty at the time. To my surprise, they didn’t repair my drive, but sent me a brand new model (the XF551 drive which was new at the time) along with a note saying they were sorry about the trouble and hoped I enjoyed the new drive. Heh, that really made me a fan of theirs from then on.
Jack Tramiel was both Atari and Commodore, and it’s strange to think about considering the crazy competition both companies were into back in those days. I hated to see Atari go down the path it did, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the last few games released for the Jaguar. I don’t care too much about the Atari today which really isn’t even the same company, but Atari Corp. really holds a dear place in my heart. They are missed, and now one of the era’s biggest icons is now one with the cosmos and he will be missed as well. Rest in peace, man.