Atari Inc.: Business is Fun (Anglais) Broché – 25 novembre 2012
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Présentation de l'éditeur
Nearly 8 years in the making, Atari Inc. - Business is Fun is comprised of thousands of researched documents, hundreds of interviews, and access to materials never before available.
An amazing 800 pages (including nearly 300 pages of rare, never before seen photos, memos and court documents), this book details Atari's genesis from an idea between an engineer and a visionary in 1969 to a nearly $2 billion dollar juggernaut, and ending with a $538 million death spiral during 1984. A testament to the people that worked at this beloved company, the book is full of their personal stories and insights. Learn about topics like:
* All the behind the scenes stories surrounding the creation of the company's now iconic games and products.
* The amazing story of Atari's very own "Xerox PARC" research facility up in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains
* The full recounting of Steve Jobs's time at Atari, with comments from the people he worked with on projects and the detailed story of the creation of Atari Breakout, including input by Steve Wozniak on his development of the prototype, and how it couldn't be used and another Atari engineer would have to make the final production Breakout arcade game instead.
* The creation of "Rick Rats Big Cheese Restaurants" which later became "Chuck E. Cheese's"
* How Atari Inc. faltered and took down an entire industry with it before being put on the chopping block.
If you've ever wanted to learn about the truth behind the creation of this iconic company told directly by the people who made FUN for a living, then this is the book for you!
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Ce n'est pas un livre à proprement parler, ça ressemble plus à une collection d'articles disparates (et probablement d'auteurs différents vu les changements de style) qu'on aurait collés ensemble pour faire un maximum de volume. Le résultat est en conséquence: ça n'a ni queue ni tête ! Séparés, les chapitres sont cohérents, mais si vous lisez ce livre de bout en bout (comme je l'ai fait), alors vous allez relire dix fois la même chose avec une impression de flashback permanent. Insupportable !
Je déplore aussi les pages et pages consacrées à des jeux obscours alors que la gamme des ordinateurs 8bits est à peine évoquée.
Je vous épargne les mauvaises photos noir et blanc qualité fax (quelle honte !) qui sont regroupées dans un but économique ce qui casse bien sûr le rythme car il faut faire sans cesse des aller retours entre texte et photos.
Sans être anglophone de naissance, vous remarquerez sans peine les fautes incroyables dans toutes les pages ou presque qui me font me demander si quelqu'un a relu le texte avant de signer le bon à tirer...
Bref, ne perdez pas votre temps et votre argent avec ce pavé parfaitement indigeste
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
The book is amazing. No one else has collected so many first hand accounts, documents, photographs, and even hardware (I think!).
But it is critically, because it is so unique and so amazing, tragically flawed.
I first heard about this book last August. This Spring it became availible on Amazon Kindle (iPad is my preferred way to read books). The anticipation was great.
I had read a sample chapter before and I already knew the authors intentions to keep things "in present tense". I think that's clunky and strange. I had expressed some concern about the prose (lots of run-un and compound sentences). But what other book like it would come out? There won't ever be. So I knew I had to get it, even though it was self-published and will lack polish.
(And before you go after this post written in a box for all kinds of grammar, style, syntax, typo, or spelling mistakes, remember, this is an Amazon review. A book has a higher standard. A book about Atari so meticulously researched should have had an even higher standard.)
But it is not an exaggeration to say that there is a mistake on every three or four pages. Whether a typo, editing mistake, or grammar mistake, there is one every three or four pages.
*Every time the word "life" appears, it is "LIFE" (perhaps someone did a find and replace-all to make LIFE magazine references have proper capitalization?) -ex: "the battery LIFE lasts one hour." (loc 3252). "the ERIC came to LIFE by pleasantly" (loc 3205).
*Extended (and usually improper) use of ellipsis... One period will do...
*Inconsistent use of italics when referencing games/titles, sometimes Spacewar! is in italics (as it should be), sometimes it's not. Multiply that by the dozens and dozens of times game titles are used and it can get confusing.
*Editing mistakes where you can see remains of words left behind by insertions or cuts. "was exactly when Spacewar! ly was written" (loc 400 in Amazon Kindle). Don't know why the ly is there, but there's a dozen of examples like that in the book.
*There's often a comma before the word 'and' even when it doesn't need to be there. Example "Things were moving along now, and he was blown away by the progress that Nolan had made constructing the game." (loc 612). The comma doesn't need to be there. Every time a comma is used it's supposed to set something apart for clarity or tell the reader to pause. Neither of those things should be happening in that sentence. The comma doesn't need to be and shouldn't be there. There's dozens of examples of this in the book.
*Every time the word 'pong' appears, it is PONG. Which is correct for Atari PONG. But 'actual tennis or ping-PONG match' on loc 937 and others shows that find-replace-all was used sloppily.
*Typos and misplaced words leading to confusion. "The PCBs and components were the easiest to take of. A guy named Marty Carlucci happened to have a PCB manufacturing shop literally right across from their back shipping at 2930," To take 'of'? 'Their back shipping'? I'm guessing they meant 'to take on' and 'back door' from context, but you shouldn't have to guess from context in a book.
*No-lan - I don't know if this is from weird type setting issues or manually trying to fix page layout in the printed books, but much of the time Nolan's name is "No-lan" in the text. Not all the time, but many times. Maybe 50-50.
*Capitalization - sentences not capitalized. "Next was the jogging text. after running for two miles" (loc 3252). "After" should have been capitalized.
*Duplicate words - "given it's designed designed by the Cyan Engineering team." (loc 3205) (many examples...hard to find looking back, but stand out when you read it)
Is all of this a nitpick? I don't know. It's enough to throw me, momentarily, out of the book, out of the narrative, out of whatever story the authors are trying to tell.
That's the flaw of the book. There's some sort of great vision, a compelling story - but it's jeopardized by the prose. Sure, even if you leave in the stylistic choice and the heavy use of compound sentences, the use of cliches like "keep in mind", "picture this", and the appearance of "WHAT?!?" in the text (and I'm sure there's justifications for all of this, even though it makes it read like a long forum post or web page), you still have to acknowledge the typos and editing mistakes.
They said they've had people edit it. Well, it was worth another pair of eyes.
It's a unique, amazingly researched, but tragically it is critically flawed.
Had the book not been self-published (and I'm sure they'd rather have had it been picked up!), I can imagine other great things that could have been in the book.
*A map. There's a half dozen addresses flying around, and sometimes pictures of buildings, but as the Atari company was growing I think I'd have liked to see a map.
*Character introductions. There's probably a hundred people mentioned in the book. Some of them are not important, some of them are. In a proper book I can imagine 'important' characters given little side boxes with a head shot and a small biography, like in a text book. There's just way too many people to keep track of and as a reader I'm left to "should I care about this name?"
*Point/Counter Point/Reflection. There's sometimes have differing opinions or viewpoints on what happened. What should be taken at face value? What was Nolan trying to accomplish in his 1978 outburst? What would he say NOW about what he was doing and what maybe he should have done? What would Ted say about what he should have done when he was pushed out? Does Nolan regret not spending enough time watching the store? There's so many times in the book I wanted to hear what the other side of the story thought about it or what they think now about their behavior.
I'm sure the authors aren't holding back on any interviews they have or anything, it just feels like horrible things happen in the story or allegations are made and there's no analysis or introspection. So Nolan stopped coming to work. Nolan pushed Ted out. Nolan didn't pay Ted for his PTT work. WHY? What's Nolan's reality distortion field tell him? How does Ted feel about it now?
*More Focus - sometimes it reads like a court deposition and sometimes it reads like a movie script. In a proper book the anecdotal stories or randomness about 'employee of the month' (who cares!) could have been given side bars. As lines and lines of text it all feels a little unrelenting.
*Real photo spreads. The photos often look terrible on the iPad (Amazon resolution limitation, plus I suspect source material not being high enough resolution. This could have had some AMAZING photographs. Amazing.
I sincerely admire the authors for this undertaking and the courage to self-publish. Not an easy route. Atari? Not a small undertaking. This isn't a book of myths and over-told exaggerations. (It might have a few new exaggerations, but that's okay! That's the process of history.) This book is a big deal and I thank the authors.
I also hope a second edition happens. And I really hope they get some better advice and new editors on the second volume. The material and subject deserve it.
Finally, like most other reviewers, I have to say the number of typos and grammatical errors is stunning. Even "Atari" is misspelled at one point! Running a spell checker and having an experienced editor would have improved the quality immensely. I've never read a book with so many errors. I'm still shaking my head over that.
It's just unfortunate that all of this great information isn't given the presentation it deserves. The volume contains numerous grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. They're so numerous (and of such a simple and obvious nature) that one can't help but come to the conclusion that the volume was never edited at all. And that's a shame, because it's obvious how much work the authors put into researching the subject matter. If only they'd paused for a moment and had a competent editor fix their prose, the result could have been flawless. As it is, I can recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the history of Atari, video games, or computers...but only if they're willing to slog through an error-laden volume.
The first of three volumes, this one covers Atari from its beginnings up to the Tramiel buyout in 1984.
There are dozens and dozens of fascinating stories scattered amongst its 800(!!) pages, including the real stories of the first mass-produced arcade video game and Atari's beginnings, the story of the 2600, 5200, and 7800, Atari's arcade hits, Atari's little-known skunkworks. The truth about the New Mexico graveyard of VCS cartridges (just one of many sacred cows that are slain here) and much, much more.
If you love pictures, you're in for a real treat. There are probably about 300 pages of them including company picnics, internal documents, artwork, rare prototypes, secret agreements and more.
The negatives? There are a few. The photos are all black-and-white (I believe a more expensive color version will be released later). There's no index. And there are some stylistic issues (the biggest for me being authors' choice to relate certain key incidents in the presnt tense to create a "you are there" feeling. Some may find the use of present tense and the shifting to past tense distracting [I did]). There are some typos (though on first reading, there seemed to be surprisingly few for the first edition of a self-published book). There are also a number of sentences that I found clunky.
For me, however, the many postivies outweigh the negatives and I was willing to overlook the stylistic issues. Those with a less rabid interest in classic gaming, however, may not be.
If you have any interest in classic video games, you will find much to love here and if you are a fan of Atari, this is an absolute must-have.