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Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

decoherence
Mushroom

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

Super Librarian! Notator! Passport! MT-32! I'm crying here, and it's not because I'm feeling nostalgic!

Those were the days, good riddance!

ThomH Silver badge

Re: Oh how the might have fallen... @ Jack of Shadows

I don't think she did. GEM was available only for x86 and 68000 machines. Are you sure you're not thinking of the completely unrelated GEOS? Both start in 'GE' and inherit a lot from the original MacOS but are otherwise unrelated.

David Given
Flame

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

The BBC had Elite and Chuckie Egg. Any additional games were obviously superfluous.

Martin an gof Silver badge

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

So why were so many of the BBC Master Race addicted to Chuckie Egg and Frak! ?

Quality over quantity. Chuckie Egg, Frak!, Aviator, Revs and - who can forget - Elite. The Spectrum and the C64 may have ten times more games released for them than the BBC, but that didn't matter if you had the likes of the above.

Of course, price was another issue. I seem to remember anything in BBC format (software or hardware) costing about 50% more than the equivalent Spectrum or C64. Quality costs.

Speaking as someone who bought a rubber Spectrum 48k using most of my savings, and those of my sister, back in 1983 (I think - it was just after the price came down from £180 to £130) but carried on saving and sold it a couple of years later to help fund a BBC Micro B together with Christmas donations.

M.

bobajob12 Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

It was pointless us Beeb owners trolling the Spectrum people. They would type a witty response on their prophylactic keys, but forget it every time the RAM pack plugged into the back fell out.

KBeee

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

Imagine if GEM had had 1/100th the money spent developing it as Windows got, what an OS it could have been.

KBeee

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

GEM - was that "Graphical Enviroment Manager" or am I misremembering? Imagine if it'd had 1/100th the money spent developing it as Windows got.

TonyJ Silver badge

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

"...Bit late to the party you lot were. Us Speccy/Amstrad/Comodore 64 kids were well versed in trolling - I can assure you! (Those rich BBC kids never got involved)..."

My very first computer was a Christmas present from my mum and dad - it was an Atari (800XL? had a tape recorder as well as a cartridge slot). Alas, there were issues with the tape recorder so he took it back and swapped it for an Acorn Electron. My dad chose it because it was "BBC Compatible" and therefore educational.

Oh I envied those kids with a Speccy, Commodore or BBC.

I did manage to save up my pocket money though and buy a BBC B+ a few years later.

Wasn't ever very good at programming the thing but I knew what every component on the motherboard did.

You're right though...in the who-has-which-home-computer wars, I was never dragged in once the other kids knew what I had. :)

Haku Silver badge

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

Exile was awesome on the BBC Micro, and then again on the Amiga.

Alan Bourke

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

"Atari STE was a giant among machines - probably the best all-round home computer platform across all arenas on the market at the time"

Aha. Ahem. Yeah.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

>How many Atari owners used theirs?

Mike Oldfield, Jean Michel Jarre, Robert Miles, Fatboy Slim, Tangerine Dream spring to mind - but you'd struggle to find a professional studio without STs in the 80s/90s

pnony
Trollface

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

My CDTV—which is basically an Amiga 500 with a CD-ROM drive hacked onto it—has MIDI in and out ports. They've never been used, because the onboard sound was good enough for the time. Unlike the ST and its off-the-shelf bleeper chip which was embarassing by 8 bit standards, never mind their flagship machine.

Alistair Silver badge
Windows

Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

Urr, I ran GEM on DRDOS.......

wolfetone Silver badge
Pint

Distribute this pint to those involved, bravo!

Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
Pint

dont be stingy :p

have another!

Hans 1 Silver badge
Facepalm

Poor Mike

Mike does not appear to be a seasoned vaporware or snake oil purveyor, just a marketing guy turned exec ? He has absolutely no clue about what he is selling, no clue about what he is talking about and of course, bringing a piece of plastic to a press conf is, well, not helping him.

What did he expect ?

How hard can it be to put a pi with retropie in the plastic, have an intern design a new ui (so journos don't notice it is in fact retropie) - job done.

deadlockvictim Silver badge

Re: Poor Mike

Hans 1» Mike does not appear to be a seasoned vaporware or snake oil purveyor, just a marketing guy turned exec

Is there a difference? I thought that's what marketing does: purvey snake-oil.

Hans 1 Silver badge
Coat

Re: Poor Mike

Is there a difference?

Yes, marketing guyz dream up press releases and do PR, they basically come up with nice stories for sales guyz to tell. They are safe in the office, hardly ever see questions that need immediate responses, they need time to think of a way to squeeze as many buzzwords into a sentence as possible.

Sales guyz are usually the snake oil purveyors, with whom you can expect a minimum of product knowledge, they know what to say and know how to make something up when they are caught off guard.

Noting that with that piece of plastic, I could get it up and running a customized retropie in less than 40 minutes ... most time spent fitting extension cables for network, usb, hdmi, and power as well as fitting the pie firmly in the casing so it looks "professional".

Do also note that VCSAtari are on twatter but have not worked out how to tweet, yet ;-).

Icon: For poor Mike, with love and compassion!

Pascal Monett Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: with love and compassion

Nope.

I have no compassion for a marketing guy who invites a technical journal to an interview without bringing any functional items, instead bringing mock-ups, not being able to answer technical questions and then pretending to be hurt when the ensuing article is not written like a Vogue-magazine fanpiece.

Flaming idiot. And now he's Streisanded himself.

No sympathy.

Aladdin Sane Silver badge

Re: with love and compassion

Does make you think they're unfamiliar with El Reg's output.

Rob D. Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Poor Mike

Yes, the sympathy gene was resonating a teensy bit with Mike there - not too much though. Listening to the audio you can hear the resignation in his voice and I could just picture the pre-meeting with Mike's management:

Mike: I've nothing to show. It's just bits of plastic and cables.

Management: Go on, Mike, we have every faith that you can spin this and make it look like gold.

Mike: But really I'm just the project lead. You've given me a fancy title and responsibility for the budget but I have no power and nothing to offer. We really should call it off.

Management: Look, Mike, it's like this. Either you go and sell this turd as if it's solid gold so we can get some more funding to polish the turd properly, or we fire you, you lose your health benefits and that nice house you live in.

Mike. Fine. Can I swing by the marketing office and take some Atari baseball caps with me - at least they work?

Dan 55 Silver badge

Re: Poor Mike

If you want to fake Tempest 4000, you need squeeze a NUC into that pretty box.

Steve the Cynic Silver badge

Re: Poor Mike

Pfft. You can't do Tempest right on a raster display anyway.

Both I and the late Mrs Cynic liked the original vector-CRT arcade Tempest machines a lot, although I think she might have been better at it than me.

defiler Silver badge

Re: Poor Mike

...we have every faith that you can...

Got it in one. It's surprising how many people have every faith in my ability to achieve the ludicrous. I do feel for Mike.

Hans 1 Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: with love and compassion

I have no compassion

Check that icon, I think your sarcasm parser segfaulted ...

redpawn Silver badge

You Just Need to Have Faith

It is only our faith in money that makes money work and so it is with Atari. Have you ever considered that the machine you are using now only works because you have faith in it? ... me neither.

Pen-y-gors Silver badge

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

Oh no, no. Faith is so essential and powerful. The sun only rises every morning because I believe it will. My laptop only boots because I have faith that it will. Those BSODs are a sign of a lack of faith - I am a worthless sinner. The daily sacrifice of a virgin also helps (getting harder to find these days)

And for a wonderful example of the power of Faith, <insert Brexit reference here>

jonathan keith

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

Nonsense: everybody knows that it's the magic smoke that makes electronics work.

IsJustabloke Silver badge
Trollface

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

"The daily sacrifice of a virgin also helps (getting harder to find these days)"

Is wales running out of sheep then?

jelabarre59 Silver badge

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

Nonsense: everybody knows that it's the magic smoke that makes electronics work.

It certainly is for Lucas Electrics. Hence the need for this.

FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith No More

See title.

FTFY.

And honestly, the lyrics to "Falling to Pieces" seem to suit the situation here pretty well.

DiViDeD Silver badge

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

"Is wales running out of sheep then?"

No, it's just running out of the sort of pure, unsullied sheep you can take home to meet your mother.

Or sacrifice to the technology gods.

jake Silver badge
Pint

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

Invoking the name of the Prince of Darkness sends chills up the spine, even here in California ... Still, on the bright side, if it weren't for Lucas refrigerators you lot would never have discovered the proper temperature to keep beer! :-)

Aladdin Sane Silver badge
Coat

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

Are you implying that the weak piss water they sell on the wrong side of the pond is beer?

Mine's the one with the bottle of Doom Bar in the pocket.

jake Silver badge

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

You mean Carling or Fosters or Harp? No, absolutely not!

Alistair Silver badge
Windows

Re: You Just Need to Have Faith

careful there Aladdin, some of us have hands on the good stuff. Mind you, we're north of the 49th.

Lee D Silver badge

Rule #1:

Always keep a record.

Your boss wants you to do something stupid? Keep a record. Get their name on it. Make a fuss if they won't do it. Keep records even if they won't sign off. Who said what, when, how, and where? Get to the point where they just scribble a sign-off or fire off the email which says "Yes, dammit, I said do it!".

You're getting complaints? Keep a record. Record what the complaint was. What the stats and systems said about the claims in that complaint. Keep the email logs. Keep recordings. Keep all available context.

You're making a complaint? Keep a record. Record everything. Their response. Check if they have fixed it regularly.

Certainly if you are reporting publicly and therefore likely to run into situations like this.

paulf Silver badge
Thumb Up

Isn't CYA* a good life lesson at all times anyway? Quietly apply it to your every day life; you never know when you may need it, but when you do you'll be glad you have it. Many a time it has got me out of a sticky situation and adversaries really hate it when you hit back with facts and evidence!

*Cover Your Arse for the uninitiated

Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

Record keeping gone mad! There is an ancient ditty:

---

No-one on this Earth was meant

To remember or invent

What they did wth every cent.

---

Lee D Silver badge

In the modern age, it's really easy.

Make sure all your stuff is electronic.

Then just keep all your emails.

I signed my last lease agreement, my mortgage, my divorce, etc. all electronically. Employment contracts - If they aren't already electronic, I scan them in and email to myself.

My email account goes back to about 2000. I have the email accounts before that in a file somewhere (it's only about 1Gb). In work, I have policies that basically all result in "if you want this, file a ticket, fill out a form, put it in an email" and then helpdesk tracking of everything and EVERY EMAIL ever sent or received from my account since I started there.

It's really not that hard, in the modern era.

ArrZarr Silver badge

Ancient? That ditty sounds American so I can only presume that this was coined in the Left-Pondian prehistory. 1920s maybe?

DropBear Silver badge

There seem to be more caveats to this than trees in the forest, honestly. Yes, record keeping can be invaluable protection in certain situations, but... not if you ever wavered or caved to the pressure from above to do something you shouldn't have agreed to do. Not if you were ever in the situation of not being able to afford to test how far you can stretch your rope before it snaps. Not if you ever made a mistake in the "how to get other people do what I want" game which is definitely manglement's home turf, and very likely not yours. Not if "they" were savvy enough to invent a plausible excuse to keep communication out of the sphere that would allow you any meaningful record keeping beyond "I assert that this is what he told me but I have zero proof".

And while you're at it, you better have the unerring judgement of a God each and every single time even under the fuzzy conditions of real life, because if you vigorously object to something that turns out to not be a problem they'll burn you to ashes, and if you fail to object to something that does end up being a problem you'll burn again. Record keeping: good advice? Sure, but also incredibly overrated...

hplasm Silver badge
Devil

However...

" Record keeping: good advice? Sure, but also incredibly overrated..."

BOSSOID: "...why didn't YOU DO THIS????!!!!"

YOU: "Er, when did you ask me to? Do you have the email...?"

CYA: Unlocked.

Tim99 Silver badge
Devil

Manglement

Rule #1: I went on a public service senior managers course about 30 years ago. One of the lecturers told us a valuable saw: The main purpose of most documents generated in an organization is to act as a weapon - The weapon can be defensive or offensive, and often can be both...

Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
Alien

Re: records

Its this sort of obsessive record keeping that prompted my grandparents to leave vogspere and emigrate en masse to the Brantisvogon star cluster, where they formed most of the Galactic bureaucracy.

Wellyboot Silver badge
Facepalm

Management style

Excellent – a quality rebuttal.

Their statement say a lot about the mindset of upper management running Atari if they think modern journalists don't keep everything that might one day be required to defend a defamation case and that casual libel is ok.

As this blog has been made available in the UK you can probably take Atari to the cleaners in court here (settle for a grovelling live apology at the next big CES).

Finally the trump like 'sad' at the end, please no!

Bavaria Blu
Happy

Atari - what is that?

I think most people think Atari is the character in Isle of Dogs. I wouldn't let it get to you. Relax!

ArrZarr Silver badge
Coat

Re: Atari - what is that?

No, silly - Atari is the situation when your group has only one liberty remaining.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Atari - what is that?

Getting hit on the head by a falling star? Oops, no that is Ataru.

お住所とお電話番号を教えて下さい.

DropBear Silver badge
Joke

Re: Atari - what is that?

Wait, it isn't the name of that TV series with Judy the chimp...?!?

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