[vcf-midatlantic] 8-Bit Generation - Jay Miner (and friends) devices

John Heritage john.heritage at gmail.com
Tue Mar 14 09:57:43 EDT 2017

NY blue shirts (is still) a term that a lot of California / Silicon Valley
people use for "East Coast Leadership Style".  The execs in the 70s-80s all
wore blue dress jackets and tended to rule with a lot more of an iron fist
than the west coast was used to :).     I think the quote in there from Ray
Kassar where he was telling his superstar developers they were just another
cog in the machine summarizes this style completely..

That's very true.. the C64 was definitely a strong success due that combo
of cost/performance you can only get with custom chips..    Similar to
Amiga, it's ashame the C64 never got an official 65C816 treatment like the
Apple IIGS..  With GEOS being semi popular in the late 80s, and a huge
install base, the 16-bit C64 might have been viable for a while..

On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 8:18 PM, Douglas Crawford via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> On 3/13/2017 5:21 PM, John Heritage via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
>> I just watched the 8-bit generation video finally, narrated by the
>> excellent Bil Herd :).  Whoever here had a hand in putting that together,
>> thank you so much!
>> ..
>> One take-away I have from this video I haven't seen/read elsewhere is that
>> it seems like the only "Jay Miner engineered device" that was ever
>> properly
>> marketed by parent company was the Atari 2600?
>> i.e.
>> - Original Atari/Bushnell wanted to kill the 2600 kinda early
>> - Warner Atari did a big marketing push in 1980-1981 and that made the
>> 2600
>> super successful.
>> - Neither Bushnell nor Warner seemed to know what to do with the Atari
>> 400/800.  You can see this in the initial high price, and also in locking
>> out the system to developers early on (which imo is why it lost to the
>> Apple II).
>> - We all know the story of how Commodore didn't know what to do with the
>> Amiga 1000..
>> And if you count the 3DO with RJ Mical and others as a descendant device,
>> that too could have been handled better...
>> Am I off the rocker here?
>> There is some irony that the only Jay Miner device that was properly
>> marketed was handled by "New York Blue Shirts"...  I know the Amiga was a
>> mis-managed device but I often feel like the Atari 400/800 deserves that
>> award just as much as it was the first home computer to show the real
>> benefit of custom chips, and at launch in 1979-1980 was way more powerful
>> and capable than contemporaries..
>> John
> I appreciate this kind of analysis!  Thanks for offering it.
> > Am I off the rocker here?
> I think not.  Your assessment seems reasonable to me.
> I never saw the parallel of the Atari and Amiga as custom chip machines
> that similarly failed.
> On the other hand, VIC and the C64 succeeded - wildly- and we probably
> would all agree
> this was largely due to their custom chips.
> What were the "NY Blue Shirts"?

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