Nolan Bushnell Stories February 1, 2013

Atari founder on Finding the next Steve Jobs (Video)

TNW pointed us to this video of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell giving a speech at Campus Party Brazil. On top of talking about the early days of Atari and the video game industry, Bushnell also told a few stories about Steve Jobs’ days as an employee at Atari in promotion of his upcoming book “Finding the next Steve Jobs.” Around 13 minutes into the video, Bushnell spoke about giving Jobs and Woz Atari parts for the first Apple computers, Jobs’ work ethic, and told a few other Apple-related stories throughout his talk.

Nolan Bushnell Stories May 31, 2012

Atari founder on Steve Jobs: Apple culture came from Atari

TUAW interviewed one of only a few people to ever hire Steve Jobs, the founder of Atari Nolan Bushnell. As you might expect, he is working on a few iOS projects, and he is particularly interested in augmented reality. These paragraphs stand out:

“He basically lived just below me in Woodside for many, many years, before he moved down to Palo Alto, and he’d just walk up the hill to my house and we’d go on and bullshit about stuff. We kept in contact — I’m writing a book right now called ‘Finding the Next Steve Jobs,’ because I was one of the few people that ever gave him a job.”

Bushnell says even at that early point in his career, Steve stood out. “The thing that people miss about Steve is that Steve was very, very driven and very passionate. He was an enthusiastic individual about everything. He had one speed and it was full blast,” says Bushnell. Some of the qualities Jobs is now known for were some of the reasons he first was able to join on at Atari back in the early ’70s. “We looked at what people did in their spare time, how diverse they were. We never looked at grades, college degrees. One of the best engineers at Atari never graduated from high school, and he was one of the prime architects for the 2600.”

Bushnell says that attitude at Atari definitely shaped Apple as a company later on. “We were focused on merit. And the fact that we can go to work in tennis shoes and a t-shirt started at Atari and it was taken to Apple. Because we said this is a meritocracy, we don’t care where you go to school, when you come to work, we don’t care if you come to work, we don’t care where you are we you are at work. You get the job done, we’re happy.”

Interesting to think that some of Apple’s culture is derived from Jobs’ days at Atari. The book should be interesting.

Nolan Bushnell Stories May 25, 2012

Sotheby’s plans to auction two pieces of Apple history on June 15 in New York, including a rare document penned by Steve Jobs while working at Atari and an operational Apple I motherboard expected to fetch up to $180,000 USD. An excerpt from Sotheby’s description for the Apple I lot is below, and it claims less than six Apple I’s in working condition are known to exist:

As the first ready-made personal computer, the Apple I signaled a new age in which computing became accessible to the masses. The interface of circuitry and software that Woz created enabled users to type letters with “a human-typable keyboard instead of a stupid, cryptic front panel with a bunch of lights and switches,” as he explained to the Homebrew Computer Club. Even so, it was sold without a keyboard, monitor, case, or power supply, An exceptionally rare, working example with original Apple cassette interface, operation manuals and a rare BASIC Users’ Manual. It is thought that fewer than 50 Apple I Computers survive, with only 6 known to be in working condition. expand full story

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