About the Atari Historical Society
Who runs the AHS?
The Atari Historical Society was founded by Curt Vendel who is the US contact and webmaster of the AHS site. Karl Morris is the UK/European arm of the Atari Historical Society while Markus handles the Atari History Site: Denmark , David Leonardis is based here in the US. Brian Wiklem, a good friend from Electronic Arts is also contributing great assistance. Christopher Strong & Glenn Bruner, both masterful electronics wizards have constantly discovered new technical information to share with the public. George Reese has recently come onboard and is our resident devouted Atari 5200 fanatic. Some of the very frequent former Atari employee's such as Regan Cheng and Gary Rubio are always contributing and sharing their insight and assistance to the site. Owen Rubin has recently come onboard and is even hosting his website (www.orubin.com) here at the AHS.
Combined, we have established a world wide presence in keeping Atari's history alive. We maintain and update the Atari Historical Society Virtual Museum here on the web at www.atari-history.com Many years before this, Curt Vendel maintained contact with the Atari community through FIDOnet which was a network of Bulletin Board Systems run by individuals who maintained Atari message bases as well as Compuserve, he also ran an Atari users group (SIAUG) and attended other user group meetings to show to members some of the recovered Atari items and paperwork over the years as well as writing many articles for other New York based Atari users groups (BAUG) and Bulletin Board Systems (Fordham Prep).
How Long Has AHS been in existence?
The Atari Historical Society was formerly named in 1997 when several former Atari employees and Curt Vendel discussed the large accumulation of paperwork, memo's, hardware data, engineering logs, software and hardware that had in fact become the history of all that is Atari and come together into one primary source. Since so many former Atari people have come together and directed so much of their time and assistance for this effort the site was formerly named the Atari Historical Society . Before this it was an Atari website on the web showing many non-released products. Much early than that a Bulletin Board system was run out of New York City called "The Earth Access Center" and answered and corrected questions and postings about Atari history and products.
Why is it a Society?
It is considered a Historical Society since 9 staff members and friends have been working with over 80 former Atari employees who have actively participated in reviewing data on the website, correcting information, submitting personal stories about events that occured in Atari history and have loaned, donated or sold paperwork, photo's and equipment to the website for use as images or files and for public showings at various shows and on loan to museums around the country. The current staff is made up of Curt Vendel, Karl Morris, David Leonardis, Brian Wiklem, Christopher Strong, Glenn Bruner, Charles Goddeeris, Markus, and George Reese. Its seems like almost everyday someone, somewhere whether it be an avid classic computer and/or video game enthusiast or a former Atari employee contacts one of the staff here at the AHS with information, photo's, news or assistance. As the participation continues to grow, so does the wealth of information and images made available on the site for all to see, use and enjoy.
Why is AHS doing this?
At one point in time Atari was a household name like Coca-Cola, Band-Aid and McDonalds. Now in the Sega/Sony/Nintendo generation many only know Atari as that "game company in the 80's that did Pac Man or something". Atari's history and its accuracy are quickly being lost as each new game console and computer system is introduced. Many people never knew about many of the projects and technologies that Atari pioneered, or they did more then just videogames and had its own microprocessor design facility, a new Telecommunications division, it was looking into holographic games, did work for the US Military and was even looking into starting an on-line video games service through Warner/Amex Cable. Even during the first years of Atari's computer division, IBM was in talks with Atari about a joint computer system or even in buying Atari completely. Atari had a wide spread influence on the entire gaming and computing industry and many people working today can trace their roots back to Atari. The Atari Historical Society is trying to track down and recover as much of the lost history of Atari as possible. Due to the mishandling of previous owners of Atari after the sale from Warner Communications, Atari's legendary history from its archives was literally thrown out and discarded with no care, so we have made it a point to recover as much as possible and to reconstruct all that was Atari to help preserve it and help present this to the world for all to see and read.
If you are a former Atari employee from Atari Inc, Atari Corp or Atari Games Corp (Midway West) or you're a current employee in Hasbro/Infogrames Atari Division, please contact the Atari Historical Society, they would like to hear from you.
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