- 1996 -
©1997-2003 - Donald A. Thomas, Jr.
all rights reserved - http://www.icwhen.com
FACTS and STATS (1996)
n According to a survey conducted for The Conference Board by NFO, Inc. of Greenwich, Connecticut, 40% of United States families own a computer. 85% own a VCR. 52% own a CD player.
n According to a survey conducted by the Interactive Digital Software Association, 72% of PC users and 42% of platform video game system players are over the age of 18. About 40%, or around 39 million, households in the United States own some type of system that can play interactive entertainment software. Around 25% of those people own both a PC and at least one platform game system.
HISTORICAL BENCHMARKS (1996)
n The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences is founded as a not for profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts and sciences.
n Hot CoCo is established as a San Francisco, California East Bay news and entertainment World Wide Web site.
n Namco releases ALPINE RACER as a coin-operated arcade game. It implements a 32-bit processor and a fifty-inch projection display for uncommonly new immersive gameplay.
n Mr. Gary Haroian of Stratus Computer, Inc. is promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
MERGES, PURGES and ASSIMILATIONS (1996)
n Silicon Graphics merges with Cray Research.
FISCAL FINANCIALS (1996)
n Best Buy Company, Inc., a leading computer, appliance and electronics retailer, reports revenues for the year at $7.217 billion and net earnings of $48.019 million with 251 stores in 29 United States.
n On Monday, January 1, Mr. Dan Dorfman, is fired from his $450,000 a year job writing for a column for Money magazine. On more than one occasion, Dorfman had targeted Atari Corporation with inexplicable predictions in the value of the stock and seemingly causing the value to drop. Due to Federal investigations into his relationship with his stock promoter, Dorfman was suspended by the magazine in October of 1995.
n On Tuesday, January 2, following his completion of FIGHT FOR LIFE for the Atari Jaguar system, Mr. Francois Bertrand joins Activision in the Los Angeles area.
n On Wednesday, January 3, Mr. Mike Fulton joins Lazer-Tron in Pleasanton, California.
n On Thursday, January 4, Mr. Ted Hoff meets with the press in a suite at the MGM hotel in Las Vegas. Literally hours before the opening of the Winter Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Ted formally announces the inception of Atari Interactive; a new division created to develop, manufacture and market video game software titles for systems other than Atari’s proprietary systems. The first game to be released will be TEMPEST 2000 PC.
n On Friday, January 5, Atari launches the Atari Interactive portion of their world wide web site (http://www.atari.com). The site includes the ability to download a working demo copy of TEMPEST 2000 PC.
n On Friday, January 5, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces the PS-6300, PS-6400 and PS-6500 personal organizers featuring 32K, 64K and 128K RAM size configurations respectively and $80, $90, $120 pricepoints respectively.
n On Friday, January 5, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces the TI-92 handheld calculator which “combines the power of a computer math lab with the independence of a calculator”. It weighs twenty ounces and mesure 4.7” x 8.2” x 1.2” and will sell at $200.
n On Tuesday, January 9, ZOOP and NBA JAM - TOURNAMENT EDITION are released in cartridge form to retailers by Atari Corporation for the 64-bit Jaguar video game system.
n On Wednesday, January 10, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) introduces the TI-83 graphing calculator with financial functions at the Mathematical Association of America Conference. It will sell for $125.
n On Thursday, January 11, a team of Atari Interactive execs (M. Ted Hoff, Mr. Ron Beltramo, Ms. Jeanne Winding and Mr. Don Thomas) meet with Interplay in Los Angeles to discuss possible distribution affiliations with Atari Interactive software.
n On Friday, January 12, Apple Computer reveals having to post a $68 million first quarter loss and a restructuring plan that will cost 1,000 jobs. Subsequent reports estimate 1,300 to 3,000 people or up to 25% of the workforce will be let go.
n On Friday, January 12, Mr. Ted Hoff resigns from Atari Interactive. Mr. Jeff Minter also ends his employ with Atari and joins Mr. Richard Miller’s start-up company.
n On Friday, January 12, ex-Apple executive, Mr. John Sculley, is announced to have taken an equity share of Live Picture, a photo software firm. He will also serve as a part-time Chief Executive Officer.
n On Friday, January 12, Square Software announces the intention to release FINAL FANTASY VII for the PlayStation rather than Nintendo’s announced N64 platform.
n On Friday, January 12, New Line Cinema releases Lawnmower Man 2; Beyond Cyberspace with lame attempts to capitalize on 1992’s original excuse to show off computer special effects.
n On Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14, the USA Video & PC Game Mall Tour ‘95 opens their sixteenth and final stop for the season at the Walden Galleria in Buffalo, New York.
n On Monday, January 15, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Mr. Jack Tramiel initiates deep cutbacks in personnel at Atari Corporation. Those released include Mr. Ron Beltramo, Mr. Greg LaBrec, Mr. Pilgrim Peart and Mr. Tim Dunn.
n On Monday, January 15, Kaleida Labs, Inc. is absorbed by Apple Computer. The company was originally formed as a joint venture by International Business Machines (IBM) and Apple Computer to develop SCRIPTX, a mutimedia programming language.
n On Tuesday, January 16, Mr. Jack Tramiel concludes a second day of layoffs. Casualties include all but two customer service employees, the entire creative services department and a good part of manufacturing, testing and producing. Only the accounting and warehouse areas remain intact.
n On Tuesday, January 16, Multimedia Wire publishes a report titled: Atari Corp. Exits Video Game Business, To Liquidate Game Assets. According to the article, MMWIRE “believes the Tramiels intend to merge the resulting company with a computer components manufacturer”.
n On Wednesday, January 17, Apple reveals a $69 million first quarter loss and delivers pink slips to 1,300 employees. News leaks of their attempts to solicit a buyer including failed attempts to reach an agreement with Sun Microsystems earlier in the month.
n On Friday, January 19, Activision, Inc. names Mr. John T. Baker, IV as Vice President Operations, Administration and Planning.
n On Monday, January 22, Mr. William Rehbock starts at Sony as Director of Research and Development.
n The Monday, January 22 issue of TWICE magazine on pages 1 and 59 features a story by Mr. James K. Willcox with a headline: Atari Pulls Plug On Video Game Business.
n On Tuesday, January 23, Apple Computer, Inc. Chairman, Mr. Mike Markkula opened Apple’s annual shareholders meeting. Amidst rumors of takeovers, sales, merges and layoffs, Markkula admits the company faces serious problems.
n On Wednesday, January 24, ReadySoft releases SPACE ACE for the Atari Jaguar CD game system.
n On Monday, January 29, Digital Electronic Corporation (DEC) announces they will get out of the home computer market and discontinue development of the Starion line.
n On Monday, January 29, Amiga Technologies GmbH (Germany) announces the availability of an Amiga computer-based Internet surfer. The system consists of an Amiga 1200 with harddrive, a 14.4 fax modem and a medley of Internet software.
n On Wednesday, January 31, Netscape Communications, Inc. announces an agreement to acquire InSoft, Inc., a provider of network-based communications and collaborative multimedia software.
n Mr. John Moore joins Mindscape, Inc. as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
n The January issue (released to newsstands in December ‘95) of Next Generation magazine suggests Atari’s intentions to abandon the Jaguar platform. Atari denies the reports.
n On Thursday, February 1, Toys ‘R’ Us announces intentions to close 25 stores and consolidate distribution and administration facilities to accentuate profits. Toys ‘R’ Us has traditionally been a prominent source of video games systems and software with multiple aisles, display cases and end caps devoted to the industry.
n On Thursday, February 1, Texas Instruments Japan Ltd. and Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. announces a jointly developed system that produces realistic, theater-like surround sound with only two speakers by exploiting the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip by Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI).
n On Thursday, February 1, Nintendo announces additional delays to the launch of Nintendo 64. The new target date is Monday, September 30, 1996.
n On Friday, February 2, Apple Computer ousts Mr. Michael Spindler, 54, as chief executive officer just 2 weeks following a public show of support for him by Apple’s chairman. Apple also demotes chairman Mr. A.C. “Mike” Markkula to vice chairman. Markkula helped found the company almost two decades prior. Spindler became CEO after Mr. John Sculley quit in 1993. To replace them moves Mr. Gil Amelio, 52, the leader of National Semiconductor Corp. and Apple board member.
n On Tuesday, February 6, Next Generation reports on their web site rumored news that Atari plans to withdraw from the software publishing and hardware manufacturing business in the game market and allude to a relationship with a company known as Jugi Tandon Storage (JTS).
n On Thursday, February 8, President Clinton signs the Communications Decency Act into law. In part, the law opens local and long-distance telephone and cable television markets to competition.
n On Thursday, February 8, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announces BEYOND THE BEYOND, ARC THE LAD and ARC THE LAD II as forthcoming new Role Playing Games (RPG) for the PlayStation game console.
n On Thursday, February 8, rumors mount relating to a new direction for Atari Corporation. According to one anonymous report, Atari Corporation plans to invest in a small cash needy disk drive company called Jugi Tandon Storage, Inc. (JTS) run by ex-marine, Mr. Tom Mitchell. The arrangement allows the disk drive company to trade stock under Atari’s ATC symbol and amplifies consumer fears of Atari’s possible abandonment of the video game industry.
n On Thursday, February 8, Mr. Tal Funke-Bilu submits his resignation at Atari to work for Beyond Games.
n On Thursday, February 8, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces they have received a $1.5 million contract from the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey for the Lightweight Video Reconnaissance System (LVRS) program. TI will produce 12 “base stations” and 36 “out stations”.
n On Friday, February 9, Atari Corporation releases most remaining testers and marketing personnel.
n On Friday, February 9, Atari Corporation ships the long awaited DEFENDER 2000 for the 64-bit Jaguar game system. The software was developed by Mr. Jeff Minter; creator of the Jaguar version of TEMPEST 2000 and the VIRTUAL LIGHT MACHINE (VLM) for the Jaguar CD-ROM.
n On Saturday, February 10, Grandmaster chess champion, Mr. Garry Kasparav, loses the first of six games against Deep Blue, a computer capable of “seeing” between fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period.
n On Sunday, February 11, Grandmaster chess champion, Mr. Garry Kasparav, wins the second of six games against Deep Blue, a computer capable of “seeing” beteen fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period.
n On Monday, February 12, Mr. Phuoc Bui, 34, enters Packard Bell’s Sacramento complex and fires off forty rounds of ammunition until a security officer wounds him in the shoulder. Bui was fired Friday from Packard Bell for distributing literature to encourage co-workers to take up arms against management. No one else in the incident is harmed.
n On Monday, February 12, Netscape Communications, Inc. announces an agreement to acquire Paper Software, Inc., a provider of distributed 3D graphics and manufacturer of WEBFX VRML software..
n On Tuesday, February 13, Atari Corporation announces intentions to merge with Jugi Tandon Storage (JTS) Corporation by granting JTS an extended bridge loan of $25,000,000 to build 3” disk drives. Atari stockholders will hold 60% of the outstanding shares of the merged operations. The company will function under the name of JTS and Atari’s function to develop, manufacture and sell video games will be maintained as a separate division of JTS. Atari stock (ATC:AMEX) is one of the most active on the American Stock Exchange for the day with a volume of 3,297,300 up 3/16 to 2 1/16.
n On Tuesday, February 13, Apple Computer Corp., announces plans to stop paying quarterly dividends to shareholders with no additional plans to resume them.
n On Tuesday, February 13, Wal*Mart and Microsoft announces a joint plan to exploit commercial opportunities on the Internet.
n On Tuesday, February 13, Grandmaster chess champion, Mr. Garry Kasparav, reaches a stalemate in the third of six games against Deep Blue, a computer capable of “seeing” between fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period.
n On Wednesday, February 14, NASCAR Online (http://www.nascar.com), produced by Starwave Corporation, is launched.
n On Wednesday, February 14, Grandmaster chess champion, Mr. Garry Kasparav, reaches a stalemate in the fourth of six games against Deep Blue, a computer capable of “seeing” between fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period.
n On Thursday, February 15, U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter blocks enforcement of the new law signed by President Clinton punishing anyone who makes indecent material available to minors over computer networks. The temporary restraining order remains in effect until attorneys present their case pursuant to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 19 other groups. The crux of the matter rides on the definition of “indecent”.
n In the Thursday, February 15 issue of Computer Entertainment News, pages 12-13, an article by Mr. David Gerding discusses Atari’s recent layoffs. The article, titled “Atari Raises Suspicions; Is the Industry Pioneer in ... or out of ... the Video-Game Business?”, quotes Mr. Ted Hoff to be wishing Atari well. Within the article, a short timeline lists 1993 as the year Atari “launches the Jaguar”. In a style which seemingly celebrates the way the press tends to slant information against Atari, the article states that the Jaguar is a “game console with dual 32-bit processors.” Actually, the Atari Jaguar houses multiple 64-bit processors as well as the lesser ones.
n On Friday, February 16, Atari (ATC) leads the actives on the American Stock Exchange. Following Atari’s announcement to merge with Jugi Tandon Storage (JTS) on Tuesday, Atari’s stock rose to 3 7/8 by close of business Friday from 1 15/16 earlier in the week.
n On Friday, February 16, Mr. Mike Fulton leaves his position at Lazer-Tron in Pleasanton, California.
n On Friday, February 16, Grandmaster chess champion, Mr. Garry Kasparav, wins the fifth of six games against Deep Blue, a computer capable of “seeing” between fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period.
n On Saturday, February 17, Grandmaster chess champion, Mr. Garry Kasparav, wins the final of six games against Deep Blue, a computer capable of “seeing” between fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period.
n On Monday, February 19, Mr. Normen B. Kowalewski, a five year veteran of Atari, starts work at CompuServe In Munich, Germany as Project Lead for Internet products.
n On Tuesday, February 20 through Thursday, February 22, the Digital Hollywood Conference is held. The second annual Digital Hollywood Awards are announced at the event including YOU DON’T KNOW JACK by Berkeley Systems for CD-ROM; Video Game And Computer Title of the Year.
n On Tuesday, February 20, Mr. Jim Whims is promoted to executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). Mr. Jack Tretton is promoted to vice president of sales.
n On Tuesday, February 20, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces a $2 billion expansion plan in Dallas which includes its largest semiconductor wafer fabrication facility ever.
n On Monday, February 26, Mr. Mike Fulton joins the Research and Development (R&D) Department of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA).
n On Thursday, February 29 (Leap Year Day), Atari Corporation relocates from 1196 Borregas Avenue in Sunnyvale to 455 South Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale (about 2.5 miles away). The new location is about 7,208 square feet and was once a Bank of America building. As desks and office equipment was moved in, the vault door remained intact and had not yet been removed. The ten offices are assigned to Mr. Jack Tramiel, Mr. Sam Tramiel, Mr. Leonard Tramiel, Mr. Garry Tramiel, Mr. Dave Schwartz, Mr. John Skruch, Mr. Donald A. Thomas, Jr., Mr. Scott Sanders, Ms. Max Fagan and Ms. Gayle McKim. There are nine cubicles divided among five persons, two storage areas, a kitchen, conference room, and reception area.
n Electric Dreams, Inc. (EDI) debut ANGEL DEVOID.
n Pacific Data Images signs a $40 million deal with DreamWorks SKG to coproduce computer-animated feature films commencing with Ants scheduled for release in 1998.
n On Monday, March 4, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces the TravelMate 5300 notebook computer which combines the new 133MHz Pentium processor with PCI bus architecture and 256KB Level 2 (L2) cache. The unit will sell for $5499.
n On Monday, March 4, Netscape Communications, Inc. announces an agreement to acquire Netcode Corporation, a creator of JAVA-based object toolkit and visual interface building software.
n On Tuesday, March 5, WMS Industries, Inc., makers of Williams, Bally and Midway coin-op games, announces an agreement to acquire Atari Games From Time Warner, Inc. Currently doing business as Time Warner Interactive, Atari Games is the coin-op arcade half of Atari which split as an independent operation when the Tramiel family acquired the home systems division in 1986. Although WMS refutes it, the rumored price for the acquisition is $25 million. In a report published three days prior in the San Jose Mercury News, WMS won the bid to acquire Atari Games over Mr. Nolan Bushnell who was the original founder of Atari.
n On Wednesday, March 6, United Press International (UPI) reveals that a hacker by the address of u4ea and also known as el8ite, eliteone, el8 and b1ff on-line has been threatening to crash systems at the Boston Herald newspaper and several Internet Service providers in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Reports indicate that the hacker may have covertly entered up to 100 Internet sites and desytroyed files on many of them. An investigation is initiated by the NYPD Computer Crimes section.
n On Friday, March 8, Nintendo announces a two month delay in their plans to launch Nintendo 64 in Japan. SUPER MARIO 64, PILOTWINGS 64 and a third-party chess-like game are also announced as games to be available at launch.
n On Friday, March 8, Mr. John Dondzila releases the first new new Vectrex-compatible video game in twelve years called VECTOR VADERS.
n On Saturday, March 9, a two-year contract initiates between Time Warner and CompuServe to provide Time Magazine's content to CompuServe members on that service.
n On the cover of the Monday, March 11 issue of Forbes magazine, Mr. George Lucas is pictured and named as The magician by erasing the line between fantasy and reality. In the seven-page feature beginning on page 122, Mr. Randall Lane authors the story of how Lucas, 51, and his firm, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), have exploited computer technology for revolutionary filmmaking.
n On Thursday, March 14, Atari Corporation releases their results for year end and the fourth quarter 1995. For the quarter, sales were $2.8 million with a net loss of $27.7 million. For the year, sales were $14.6 million with a net loss of $49.6 million.
n On Friday, March 15, Atari Corporation begins shipping ATTACK OF THE MUTANT PENGUINS for the 64-bit Jaguar video game system. The game had been held by Atari in the warehouse for a while for a planned release at this time to simulate ongoing support of the system.
n On Friday, March 15, ReadySoft begins shipping BRAINDEAD 13; a CD-ROM for the Atari Jaguar 64-bit video game system.
n On Monday, March 18, Mr. Guillermo Gaede pleads guilty in Federal Court on charges of mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. Formally a software engineer at Intel’s Chandler, Arizona plant, Gaede stole proprietary 486 and Pentium specifications to his home computer and transferred the data to video tape. He then offered the data to Advanced Micro Devices who turned the data and Gaede in to authorities. Gaede faces up to fifteen years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
n On Monday, March 18, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces a new processor family, the TMS320 Digital Signal Processing (DSP), which doubles recording time in digital telephone answering devices and adds full-duplex speakerphone capabilities.
n On Tuesday, March 19, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces that the TI/Martin Marietta Javelin Joint Venture has received a $173.7 M contract from the United States Army Missile Command (MICOM).
n On Wednesday, March 25, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) proclaims more than one million PlayStation game consoles and seven million PlayStation games have been sold since it was launched.
n On Thursday, March 26, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announces plans to publish a new game titled CRASH BANDICOOT. Many claim this will be the launch of a system mascot for the PlayStation game console.
n On Tuesday, March 26, Mr. David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., dies of pneumonia at Stanford University Hospital. He is survived by three daughters and one son. Established in 1938, Hewlett-Packard Co. now employs more than 100,000 people and enjoys sales of over $31.5 billion.
n On Wednesday, March 27, Mr. Tony Hsieh and Mr. Sanjay Madin found LinkExchange on the Internet.
n On Friday, March 29, WMS Industries complete the acquisition of Atari Games as announced they would on Tuesday, March 5. The full purchase price of the transaction away from Time Warner, Inc. will be a sum between $9.8 and $23.8 million pending the gross profit realized by the division over the subsequent four years.
n On Monday, April 1, TEKKEN 2 is released for the Sony PlayStation in Japan.
n On Thursday, April 4, nineteen-year-old Mr. Christopher Schanot of St. Louis, Missouri, is conditionally released to his parents’ care under 24-hour house arrest. The condition is that no conversation may take place with the man on the subject of computers as he is capable of causing a great deal of trouble with any information he learns. According to prosecutors, Schanot hacked into national computer networks, military computers, and the TRW and Sprint credit reporting service. United States Magistrate Lawrence Davis added that the man may not be given access to computers or parts and must wear an electronic surveillance device during his house arrest.
n On Friday, April 5, GT Interactive Software Corporation releases WILLLIAM’S ARCADE CLASSICS for the Personal Computer (PC) and PlayStation game console.
On Monday, April 8, the
1995 sequel to Tremors, Tremors 2: Aftershocks bypasses a
theatrical release and is released directly to video stores by MCA/Universal
Home Video. Classified as a comedy/horror, the film is loaded with special
effects, but instrumental characters from the first film (Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire) were unavailable to help make the second. The film
features a stand-up coin-operated video game called GRABOIDS. The sides of the
cabinet and a illuminated sign make the game appear to be genuine although no
actual video game play are shown. (AUTHOR'S NOTE: On
Friday, October 16, 1998, I received a
message from Mr. Steven S. Wilson, director and
co-writer of Tremors 2: Aftershocks. He answered some inquiries I asked
about he GRABOIDS game seen in the movie.
"Thanks for your interest in Tremors II. Believe it or not, you’re the first one to ask about the video game. We thought people would want to know all about it.
"It was not converted from an existing video game. It was a one-of-a-kind prop, scratch-built for the film. It was designed by Ivo Cristante, the Production Designer, and painted by Noelle Charles.
"It is possible that the painted cabinet still exists. Some props from the film were sent to various storage facilities, others scrapped or recycled. Unfortunately, tracking things down after the crew have all gone their separate ways is often more difficult than you would think.
"Sadly, while we at Stampede thought graboids and shriekers would make ideal video game villains, Universal’s various departments never saw the wisdom of actively pursuing the development of a real game. A very simple graboid game appeared briefly on Universal’s web page. But that’s all I’m aware of."
n On Tuesday, April 9, Infotainment World announces the promotion of Mr. John Rosseau to president of GamePro magazine and the appointment of Ms. Gini Talmadge as president of PC Entertainment magazine.
n On Wednesday, April 10, Sega of America announces the appointment of Mr. Theodore “Ted” Hoff to the position of senior vice president of sales and marketing services. Departments reporting to Hoff include sales, trade marketing, creative services, media and communications.
n On Friday, April 12, public shares for Yahoo! (an Internet search engine) are offered for the first time and gives the company an overnight value of $1.1 billion. The stocks which were initially offered at $13 traded as high as $43 during the day. Analysts predict that there is no end-user loyalty to one search engine or another and Yahoo!’s mammoth appeal in the long term is an extremely risky gamble.
n On Sunday, April 14, JenniCam is placed live on the Internet. JenniCam is a live camera in a college student's bedroom.
n On Sunday, April 14, through Tuesday, April 16 the Spring European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) is held at Olympia in London, England. 9,827 attend.
n On Monday, April 15, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) announces the Extensa 510, Extensa 570CD and 570CDT Pentium-based notebook computers. All feature a 100MHz Pentium processor, 8 megabyte of Random Access Memory (RAM) and hard drive. The 570’s include a CD-ROM.
n On Monday, April 15, Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. announces that they are quitting the cartridge video game business and have taken a one-time cartridge market exit charge of $51.2 million within their second fiscal quarter. Mr. Robert Holmes, president, cites less than resilient market activity in the 16-bit gaming arena and continued PC platform growth as major contributors to lackluster performance in the video game cartridge industry. Acclaim plans to focus on CD-ROM software for game systems and the PC computer.
n On Wednesday, April 17, Apple Computer, Inc. reports a second quarter loss of $740 million and the need to lay off 1,500 more employees over the next twelve months.
n On Wednesday, April 17, Vice President Al Gore steps aboard a high-tech computer classroom on wheels called CyberEd. Following the honored visit, the truck will proceed on a 122-day tour to rural areas to expose children to the “riches” of computers and the Internet. The tour is financed by a $1 million grant from MCI, Milken Family Foundation, Microsoft, Corp., Corning, Inc., DSC Communications Corp. and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund.
n On Wednesday, April 17, 3DO Company announces that Mr. Hugh Martin, who is president and 42 years of age, has been elected to the company’s board of directors. Also announced is the promotion of Mr. James Alan Cook, 46, to the position of executive vice president and general counsel.
n On Friday, April 19, Atari Corporation releases FIGHT FOR LIFE; the first polygonal fighting game for the Atari Jaguar video game system. It was developed primarily by Mr. Francois Bertrand; a co-developer of VIRTUA FIGHTER for the arcades. Drenched with critical reviews for it’s lack of luster in early development, the game was almost held from production. In the eleventh hour, designers found additional ways to enhance graphics and colors without sacrifice to the responsiveness of the game. The game had been held by Atari in the warehouse for a while for a planned release at this time to simulate ongoing support of the system. It will become the last new video game title ever released by Atari Corporation as an independent public company.
n On Monday, April 22, Juno (JUNO.COM) is launched by Juno Online Services, L.P. as an e-mail service provided at no charge to users. Revenues are generated by seling advertising that is also sent to the user when mail is retrieved or sent.
n On Wednesday, April 24, Mr. Nolan Bushnell, 52, announces he plans to start a venture to sell wholesome coin-operated video games to restaurants and other businesses through a company called Aristo. Bushnell is known to have created the first commercial video game. To finance the project, Bushnell is selling his private company, Vistar, to Aristo, based in New York. The new plans will push back his plans to open E2000 entertainment centers by about eight months.
n On Thursday, April 25, Yahoo, Inc. begins advertising their web-based search service on national television. The spots, which incorporate a tag line “Do You Yahoo?”, include a schedule on shows such as Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and Star Trek episodes.
n On Friday, April 26, Pixar’s interactive division release TOY STORY as an interactive story book for the computer.
n On Sunday, April 28, Atari Corporation relocates their warehouse from 390 Caribbean Drive in Sunnyvale, California to 691 Walsh Avenue in Santa Clara, California.
n On Monday, April 29, the media reports that, for the first time in history, personal computers have outsold televisions during the first quarter of the year.
n On Tuesday, April 30, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Association (CEMA) issues a correction to figures released the day prior. Due to an error made by a CEMA representative while referring to a table of sales figures, the number of television sales for the first quarter were cited as 660,000. The correct number is 4.6 million; far more than the number of personal computers sold during the same time.
n CompUSA executes their first stock split of two-for-one.
n Electronic Arts acquires VisionSoft, a South African-based distributor.
n JTS Corporation acquires Madras-based Modular Electronics (India) Pvt. Ltd. and renames it to JTS Technology Ltd. The company was acquired to manufacturer the disk drives engineered, sold and distributed by JTS Corporation.
n On Wednesday, May 1, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) launches a low-end (hobbyist) developer’s station for the PlayStation in Japan.
n On Tuesday, May 7, Mr. Dan Dorfman, 64, suffers a mild stroke. Dorfman is a business journalist whose reports have appeared on CNBC cable network. On more occasion, Dorfman had targeted Atari Corporation with inexplicable predictions in the value of the stock and seemingly causing the value to drop. Due to Federal investigations into his relationship with his stock promoter, Dorfman was suspended and later fired from his $450,000 a year job writing for a column for Money magazine.
n On Thursday, May 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission charges six persons with insider trading. Of those charged include, Mr. William H. Lane, III (Intuit’s chief financial officer), Mrs. Kathleen Lane (his wife) as well as other family members and friends. The alleged trading took place after Mr. Lane confided in his wife with information about a pending Microsoft buyout in October 1994 before it was publicly announced.
n On Wednesday, May 9, Apple Computer, Inc. informs their dealers that defective chips are the cause for a number of their PowerBooks, Power Macs and Performa computers freezing up. They were also notified of AC problems causing cracks in the PowerBook laptops. Although Apple, claims the problem with the defective ROM/cache and clock chips is a “business as usual” situation, 8,000 Apple distributors were notified with a promise to repair the problems free of charge over a seven year period of time.
n On Sunday, May 12, a group of investors announces they have acquired Prodigy Services, Co. online service from IBM Corporation and Sears, Roebuck and Company. The takeover is led by Prodigy management including Mr. Ed Bennett, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), as well as International Wireless, Inc.; a global commuications company.
n On Wednesday, May 15 the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) opens in Los Angeles, California. Atari Corporation is conspicuously absent from the show. Nintendo offers demonstrations of their forthcoming U-64 game system.
n On Friday, May 17, Sega of America, Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announce new low price points on their leading game systems hoping it will help stimulate a sluggish gaming market. Sony reduces the price of the Playstation to $199 and Sega reduces the price of the Saturn to $199 as well. SCEA announces a total of five million units have been sold worldwide with 1.2 million in North America and 700,000 in Europe.
n On Tuesday, May 21, K-Tel releases an oldies collection of ten silly songs on compact disc called Madcap Melodies. The second track, Pac-Man Fever, was recorded by Buckner & Garcia in 1981 as a single and it was included on an album by the same name in 1982 distributed by Columbia Records.
n On Wednesday, May 29, Mr. Jerry Junkins, 58 and chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Texas Intsruments (TI), dies of cardiac arrest while on a business trip in Stuttgart, Germany. Junkins is survived by his wife, Sally, and two daughters.
n The Atari Times, a fanzine published by Mr. Greg George of Babson Park, FL premieres. The seven-page (eighth is blank) publication includes scanned images , classifieds, cheater game codes and a potpourri of articles covering Atari’s products; old and new.
n LightSpeed, Inc. is founded.
n On Tuesday, June 4, NEC and Packard Bell Electronics announce plans to merge their personal computer operations to form the world’s fourth largest personal computer manufacturer. The deal does not include NEC’s personal computer Japanese operations. The $300 million package becomes known as Packard Bell NEC and will be led by Mr. Beny Alagem, Packard Bell’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Analysts predict the new conglomerate will consolidate operations to be more efficient.
n On Wednesdqay, June 5, Mr. Edward J. Reiners, 51 and a former Philip Morris employee of Somers, New York, pleads guity to defrauding Signet Bank, NationsBank and six other lenders in a $350 million computer leasing scheme.
n On Wednesday, June 5, Apple Computer, Inc. announces they will close its printed circuit board assembly plant in Elk Grove, California by year’s end. The plant is just over a year old and cost $80 million to build.
n On Wednesday, June 5, Mr. Peter Crisp, a longtime Apple Computer board member steps down and is replaced by Mr. Edgar Woolard, Jr. of E.I. du Pont de Nemourts & Company. It is also revealed that Mr. Steve Capps, a key developer of the Macintosh operating system, left the company earlier in the week.
n On Thursday, June 6, Yahoo, Inc. announces they plan to “beef up” their search service on the Internet by adding Digital Equipment Corporation’s (DEC) Alta Vista searching technology.
n On Wednesday, June 12, a panel of Federal U.S. judges block the enforcement of the Communications Decency Act signed into law on February 8 by President Clinton. The law was challenged by 57 plaintiffs including Mr. William Henry Gates, III of Microsoft based on a platform of free speech and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
n On Thursday, June 13, Microsoft Corporation announces the acquisition of eShop, Inc., a developer of on-line reseller software.
n On Friday, June 14, Atari Corporation release their warehouse foreman and receptionist. Jugi Tandon Storage (JTS) executives visit the South Mathilda facility to meet select Atari employees to review move forward options.
n From Saturday, June 15, through Sunday, September 15, Videotopia debuts at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The traveling exhibit offers a hands-on interactive look at the history of video games.
n On Wednesday, June 19, America Online (AOL) suffers a software glitch causing their e-mail system to be inoperable for an hour.
n On Wednesday, June 19, SponsorNet, a advertising-based internet host system based in Champaign, Illinois, announces intentions to dissolve operations due to a “shortage of capital”.
n On Sunday, June 23, Nintendo offers the Nintendo 64 game system for the first time in Japan selling at prices between $700 to $1,000 dependent on software pack-ins. Reportedly, 300,000 units sell off shelves the first day and virtually as many SUPER MARIO 64 cartridges are sold.
n On Friday, June 28, Ms. Gayle McKim and Mr. David Shwartz leave Atari Corporation.
n On Sunday, June 30, International Business Machines (IBM) close its only factory-outlet store after more than two years of operation in Morrisville, North Carolina. The company sites that telesales overwhelm the storefront operation.
n JPSnet relocates their headquarters from Marysville, California to Folsom, California and greatly expands their dialup services for Internet access.
n On Tuesday, July 2, Independence Day, also named ID4, opens in select theaters in the form of sneak previews to preclude the formal opening on Wednesday, July 3. The film, referred to by many as “the Star Wars of the nineties”, is packed with computer generated images of objects, streets, buildings and entire cities exploding with impeccable realism as aliens attempt an extermination of all mankind. Within 5 days of its debut, the film grosses $85 million, beating the record previously held by Terminator 2: Judgment Day in July 1991 with $52.3 million.
n On Friday, July 12, Atari is informed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that their intentions to merge with Jugi Tandon Storage, Inc. (JTS) has been approved pending the formality of a shareholder’s vote.
n On Monday, July 15 at 9 AM EDT, Microsoft/NBC (MSNBC) commences commercial operation as a 24-hour all-news interactive cable network.
n On Monday, July 15, Sega of America, Inc. announces that Mr. Shoichiro Irimajiri has been appointed chairman and chief executive officer. Irimajiri replaces Mr. Tom Kalinske, a six year veteran, who has resigned to join Education Technology, LLC. Kalinske remains through September 30 to assist with the transition. Irimajiri comes to Sega after having 30 years tenure at Honda Motor Corporation. Sega also announces the appointment of of Mr. Bernie Stolar to the position of executive vice president, with responsibility in the ares of product development and third-party relations. Previously, Stolar had been at Atari and more recently with Sony Computer Entertainment America. Stolar will also now sit on Sega of America’s board of directors.
n On Wednesday, July 17, Sony Computer Entertainment America promotes Mr. Bill Rehbock to a vice president position. On this same day, Mr. Jim Whims and Mr. Angelo Pezzani are dismissed from their positions.
n On Wednesday, July 17, Apple reports a $32 million loss for fiscal third quarter. The amount includes a one-time $39 million gain from the sale of Apple’s holdings in America Online.
n On Wednesday, July 24, the press begins covering International Business Machines’ (IBM) problems at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. One report issued by the Associated Press is titled IBM Stumbles At Olympics. Although having prepared for more than three years, IBM computer software installations are failing with an unacceptable frequency. The downtime affects erroneous reports, incorrect judging and misrouting of data. Summaries that should have been issued to the press promptly to the press electronically have to be typed, faxed and retyped to circumvent the IBM systems that were not behaving properly. IBM spokesperson, Mr. Fred McNeese, states the function of handling data for the Olympics is taken seriously by IBM. IBM paid $80 million to be named the “lead technology integrator” of the Atlanta Summer Olympics and had expected to escort major customers to the games to see how well the systems were functioning. Such plans were detained or cancelled in light of the ongoing struggles to keep them up and running. IBM issues statements acknowledging that some problems exist, however, most of the problems are “behind the scenes” and do not affect what spectators see.
n On Monday, July 29, Cray Research, Inc., based in Eagan, Minnesota, files a dumping complaint against NEC Corporation, based in Japan. The complaint is geared toward forcing the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado to scrap it’s deal with NEC.
n On Monday, July 29, Prodigy Services Company is renamed formally taken over by the investor group led by Mr. Greg Carr. Mr. Paul DeLacey is named Chief Executive Officer of Prodigy, Inc. Former Prodigy president, Mr. Ed Bennett, becomes chairman of a new firm known as Prodigy Ventures, Inc.
n On Tuesday, July 30, Wal*Mart Stores, Inc, launches their Internet Web Site offering software, videos, music, home products, office furniture, toys, tools and collectables shipped by way of United Parcel Service.
n On Tuesday, July 30, Atari Corporation hosts a special meeting of stockholders in the offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. in Palo Alto, California. The meeting, said to have taken about four to six minutes formally was to vote on the merger between Atari Corporation and JTS Corporation. With an outcome of approximately 42 million votes in favor and about 11,000 against, the stockholders ratify the decision. Trading of ATC shares are halted at the end of the day. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Sam Tramiel arranges to pick up the severance checks for himself and his siblings. Mr. Jack Tramiel, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Atari Corporation, remains to assist with a smooth transition with the handful of Atari personnel that survive.
n On Wednesday, July 31, JTS Corporation is a public company trading shares with the symbol of JTS. What was Atari Corporation on the previous day is now a division of a few people employed by JTS.
n Gateway 2000’s manufacturing plant, based in Hampton, Virginia, begins production of desktop computers.
n Mr. Kazuo Hirai is appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA).
n Redmond, Washington-based, Square Soft, Inc. relocates to Costa Mesa, California to exploit the larger pool of talent and industry resources in that area.
n On Wednesday, August 7, America Online (AOL) crashes and the entire service remains inaccessible for a duration of 18.75 hours for 6.3 million subscribers. The problem, caused by a glitch while installing new network software, is finally corrected at 10:45 EDT. AOL promises to apply one full free day of service to members accounts.
n On Saturday, August 10, a power outage affects up to nine Western states including California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Texas and New Mexico. The outage lasts up to seven hours in huge metropolitans areas and affects Internet access, credit card approval networks, computerized cash registers as well as all other electronically dependent functions.
n On Thursday, August 15, Mr. Donald A. Thomas, Jr. reports to work at Atari for the last time.
n On Thursday, August 15, Netscape Communications Corporation creates Navio Communications, Inc. to focus on game console-based Internet software development.
n On Sunday, August 18, the price for Nintendo 64 in the United States is lowered to $199.95 from $249.95. The release date is announced to be “pushed up” by one day to Sunday, September 29 to accommodate the public’s desire to obtain one without skipping school or leaving work. Additionally, Nintendo claims 900,000 Nintendo 64’s have been sold in Japan.
n On Monday, August 19, IDT Corporation announces the acquisition of Genie Online Service from Yovelle Renaissance Corporation. Specific terms to purchase the service which caters to 20,000 subscribers are not revealed, however, IDT gains the rights to the Genie name as well as 100 gigabytes of service content. Mr. Geoff Rochwarger, president of Genie and Mr. Howard Jonas, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IDT publicly agree the deal works well for all parties. At the time of the new deal, Genie employs twenty persons in Rockville, Maryland and manages around sixty system operators.
n On Thursday, August 22, Mr. Nolan Bushnell, 53 and founder of Atari, holds a press conference in his mansion in Woodside, California. Reporters enjoyed demonstrations of three new devices that enable consumers to play video games with off-site opponents, order music selections and access the Internet with time purchased with cash or a credit card. Aristo International Corporation is announced as the companby planning to roll out the products under the namre of TeamNet, in early September. Bushnell is director of strategic planning for the organization.
n On Monday, August 26, Mr. Donald A. Thomas, Jr. joins the Research and Development (R&D) Department of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA).
n On Thursday, September 5, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) launches CRASH BANDICOOT as a PlayStation exclusive for about $59.95. The 3D platform game features multiple camera perspectives, fully-modeled and texture-mapped chracters and cinema quality music and sound effects. The title was produced by Universal Interactive Studios, Inc. and developed by Naughty Dog, Inc.
n On Monday, September 9, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) celebrates one year since the launch of the PlayStation with a party for employees at The Players; a sports bar located in Belmont, California. Every employee is given a copy of the newly released CRASH BANDICOOT for the PlayStation and promised a logo jean jacket.
n On Monday, September 9, through Tuesday, September 10 the Autumn European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) is held at Olympia in London, England. 16,330 attend.
n On the evening of Tuesday, September 10, the Board of Directors of the Boston Computer Society (BCS) unanimously votes to halt operations of the not-for-profit operation. The group, with offices in Cambridge and Waltham, Massachusetts, almost celebrated twenty years of uniting computer owners together to share their combined knowledge base. BCS, founded in 1977 by 13-year-old Mr. Jonathan Rotenberg, is thought to be the world’s oldest and largest computer organization. In 1989, the group reached a peak of 31,000 members.
n On Wednesday, September 11, AGL is acquired by NORTEL.
n On Thursday, September 12, Ms. Barbara Castillo, Mr. John Skruch and Mr. David Bajer relocate to the corporate offices of JTS. The three, which are instructed to work “together” from distant parts of the building from each other, are the last remaining human office remnants of Atari Corporation. Their relocation marks the end of any measurable autonomy. Meanwhile, Mr. Tom Mitchell, President of JTS hits his company with a 10% layoff and hints at more to come. In an internal company-wide memo, Mitchell blames the merger with Atari as the cause of the layoffs.
n On Friday, September 13, Hayes Microcomputer Products,Inc., announces they will close its manufacturing plant in Thousand Oaks, California and put up to 375 persons out of work. The company claims the company will save up to $6 million annually after an initial $6.5 million in costs to close the facility.
n On Sunday, September 22, Mr. Seymour Cray, a pioneer on the use of transistors in computers and who later manufactured immense supercomputers for business and government applications, suffers head and neck injuries from an accident that caused his Jeep to roll three times.
n On Thursday, September 26, Iomega launches Zip-Across-America at a ceremony at the National Mall in Washington D.C. A promotional bus will make a seventeen stop tour of America promoting Iomega’s mass storage devices including the Zip drive which stores 100 megabyte on a single 3.5” removeable disk costing around $15 to $20 each.
n On Sunday, September 29, Nintendo launches the Nintendo64 video game system in the United States. Within three days, Nintendo will report to have sold 350,000 units.
n On Monday, September 30, Miacomet is formed as a limited liability company under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to develop REAL FEEL simulator peripherals for computers and video games.
n On Monday, September 30, Nintendo finally releases Nintendo 64 in North America at a $199.95 price point. The system, originally announced as Project Reality on Monday August, 23, 1993 and later known as Ultra 64, implements a 93.75MHz 64-bit microprocessor as it’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). It was jointly designed by Nintendo and Silicon Graphics.
n CyberPuNKS publishes STELLA GETS A NEW BRAIN! Stella refers to the codename of the Atari 2600 video game system while being developed. The CD-based collection of software includes the entire Starpath collection which were originally distributed on cassette; including surprise titles as well. The Starpath (originally named Arcadia) was a RAM-based cartridge that connected to cassette players to load software. Just over a dozen titles were ever published. The names of the individuals that make up the CyberPuNKS crew reveal the odd capitalization in their group name. "P" is for Mr. Russ Perry. "N" stands for Mr. Jim Nitchals. "K" represents Mr. Glenn Saunders (Krishna is his e-mail handle). "S" is for Mr. Dan Skelton. STELLA GETS A NEW BRAIN! Also includes a large multimedia database of packaging, tape inserts and instruction manual scans. There are tools for writing new Atari 2600 video games and the binary source files of the Vectrex library.
n The United States Government investigates possible violations of a July 1994 decree between Microsoft and the United States Justice Department.
n On Tuesday, October 1, Warner releases the special-effects packed blockbuster, Twister on video tape. Having pulled in $230 million from box office sales, the film features state-of-the art computer animation and graphics to simulate powerful tornados.
n On Saturday, October 5, Mr. Seymour Cray, a pioneer on the use of transistors in computers and who later manufactured immense supercomputers for business and government applications, died at age 71 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cray’s death is a result of head and neck injury complications from an accident that caused his Jeep to roll three times on Sunday, September 22.
n On Tuesday, October 8, Mrs. Diana Anderson of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and ex-Atari employee leaves her post in the Research and Development to join a Public Relations firm in Atherton, California.
n On Monday, October 28, Apple Computer, Inc. unveils the MessagePad 2000, a new handheld computer based on the Apple Newton Operating System (OS).
n On Tuesday, October 29, Maxtor Corporation announces a new line of hard drives. The DiamondMax line feature capacities of 5.1 GigaBytes (GB).
n On Tuesday, October 29, Walt Disney Pictures releases Toy Story on videocassette. Toy Story is the world’s first full-length feature film animtaed entirely on computers. The film earned director, Mr. John Lasseter, a Special Achievement Academy Award in 1995.
n On Tuesday, October 29, MatriDigm Corporation files for three patents on technology to reconfigure corporate based computers with post year 2000 dating.
n On Tuesday, October 29, Mr. William Henry Gates, III and a Microsoft colleague, Mr. Steven Ballmer, donate $20 million to Harvard University for the pupose of building a computer sciences center. Twenty years prior, Gates had dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft. The name of the new facility will be Maxwell Dworkin in the honor of Mrs. Mary Maxwell Gates and Mrs. Beatrice Dworkin Ballmer, the donor’s mothers.
n On Wednesday, October 30, DSPC and Proxim announce plans to merge in a deal valued at $400 million.
n On Wednesday, October 30, Midway Games, Inc. makes an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 5.1 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol of MWY. Initial price is $20 per share.
n On Wednesday, October 30, Pixar’s interactive division release THE TOY STORY ACTIVITY CENTER as a computer-based collection of games and educational activities based on the popular Disney film.
n The premiere issue of Megafan magazine is published by Metropolis. The 192-page issue measures smaller than most gaming magazines at 5.25 inches by 7.5 inches. The cover features the PlayStation’s CRASH BANDICOOT and the issue includes a behind-the-scenes look at Shiny Entertainment.
n Wired magazine publishes a six-page fold-out timeline of Atari’s contribution to the computer and video game industry.
n On Friday, November 1, Digital equipment Corporation (DEC) files a suit against Altavista Technology, Inc. seeking remedies and financial damages for alleged infringements against the AltaVista trademark on their World Wide Web home page.
n On Friday, November 1, Toshiba Corporation launches the Digital Video Disk (DVD) in Japan. The new system is speculated to someday replace compact discs and video tape.
n From Saturday, November 9 through Wednesday, January 1, Videotopia offers its second ever presentation at the Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke, Virginia. The traveling exhibit offers a hands-on interactive look at the history of video games.
n On Monday, November 18 through Friday, November 22, COMDEX/Fall ’96 is held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendance toppled 215,000 from over 120 countries. Over 10,000 products were shown from over 2,100 companies.
n On Mondaay, November 18, a panel of Ziff-Davis Publishing Company experts announce industry awards to the founding fathers of the PC industry. Award winners include Mr. William D. Mensch, Jr. who was fundamental to the development of the Motorola microprocessor. He went on to help develop the 6502 chip at MOS Technology. Also winning an award is Mr. Chuck Peddle who helped pioneer the 6502 microprocessor and helped develop the PET computer at Commodore. Mr. Federico Faggin received an award for his role in developing the Z80 microprocessor. Mr. Masatoshi Shima and Mr. Ralph Ungermarm also earned awards for their role in introducing the Z80 to the world. For recognition of the 8088, Mr. William B. Pohlman wins an award as the design manager of the chip. Mr. Tom G. Gunter receives one of the awards in recognition of the Motorola 68000. Mr. Jon Crawford took an award for the Intel 386. Mr. Bill Joy was honored for his role with the SPARC microprocessor by Sun Microsystems. Mr. Avtar Saini. Comanager of the design of the Pentium chip, is also recognized with an award. Presenters include Mr. Nolan Bushnell, Mr. Dan Bricklin, Mr. Gordon Eubanks, Jr. Mr. Rod Canion, Mr. Michael Slater and Mr. Theodore Waitt.
n On Monday, November 18, Mr. William Henry Gates, III announced in Las Vegas before an audience of 1,500 persons, WINDOWS CE; a new operating system for the “handheld PC”.
n On Monday, November 18, Hewlett-Packard announce a U.S. government approved encryption framework to secure data over the Internet. The system is called International Cryptography Framework (ICF).
n On Tuesday, November 19 at the COMDEX show in Las Vegas, Nevada, International Business Machines (IBM) demonstrates a new way to transmit data through the human body.
n On Thursday, November 21, CompuServe Corporation, an H&R Block company, announces a $58 million second quarter loss and plans to drop the WOW! service by February 1997 which they started a half year prior.
n On Thursday, November 21, CBS This Morning reveals the result of the top video games from their annual toy test. The games were tested in a unique video arcade constructed at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Kids tested 57 different titles over a three week period. Results were tabulated from over 10,000 ratings obtained from more than 3,000 participants. Among the top ten were six for the PlayStation game console. They included CRASH BANDICOOT, TEKKEN 2, PROJECT: HORNED OWL, STAR GLADIATOR, TOBAL No. 1 and TWISTED METAL 2. SUPER MARIO 64 for the Nintendo 64 system took the number one spot in the survey.
n On Friday, November 22, Twentieth Century Fox places the hit cinema spectacular, Independence Day, on United States video store shelves. Also known as ID4, the film is packed with breathtaking computer-generated and enhanced effects.
n On Friday, November 22, Nintendo declares a 62% United States share of the next generation game market. The self-tabulated data was derived from the first six weeks of launching the Nintendo 64 video game system in the United States. Many experts believe the figure includes the existing share of Super Nintendo systems already on the market for years.
n On Saturday, November 23, the original Tamagotchi virtual keychain-size pet is released in Japan by Bandai at a retail price of about 1980 Yen (less than $19.80US). It is available in any of six color combinations including light blue with pink numbers, white with black buttons, clear blue with yellow buttons, orange with yellow buttons and the Tamagotchi name across the top, blue with yellow buttons and a clock face, red with blue buttons and a clock face.
n On Friday, November 29, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. (SCEI) announces worldwide shipments of PlayStation game consoles to have reached 10 million units worldwide. 4.2 million in Japan. 3.45 million in North America. 2.35 million in Europe.
n On Friday, November 29, a woman in a Best Buy, Inc. store located in Aurora, Illinois is charged for punching another shopper in the head while fighting over the store’s last Nintendo 64 game system.
n The premiere issue of Digital Diner magazine hits newsstands. Published by Metropolis Publications, the 128-page issue measures larger than most gaming/entertainment magazines at ten inches by twelve inches. The editor-in-chief is Mr. Andy Eddy, a long time gaming personality. Mr. Travis Guy serves senior editor/reviews. Travis was widely known within the Atari community, specifically as publisher of Atari Explorer On-Line magazine.
n Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) ships TWISTED METAL 2 as a sequel to an already popular PlayStation video game software title.
n On Monday, December 2, Mr. Delbert Yocam joins Borland International, Inc. as chairman.
n On Monday, December 2, Net Address launches as a new free e-mail address service for Internet users. New users pick e-mail names with an extension of “@usa.net”.
n On Tuesday, December 3, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) notes an all time U.S. industry high average of six-to-one software to hardware sales ratios. Over 200 PlayStation titles are available.
n On Tuesday, December 3, Konami of America, Inc. announces the Justifier light gun as a new licensed peripheral for the PlayStation game console.
n On Tuesday, December 3, Konami of America, Inc. announces the shipping of CONTRA-LEGACY OF WAR as a new 2-player 3D action/adventure title for the PlayStation game console and the Sega Saturn platforms.
n On Tuesday, December 10, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) makes what they call “emergency shipments" of PlayStation game consoles into the United States to meet demand for the holidays.
n On Tuesday, December 10, Telegames ships two titles for the Atari Jaguar 64-bit video game system. The first is BREAKOUT 2000 written by Mr. Mario Perdue and published by arrangement with JTS Corporation. The other is TOWERS II a DOOM-like game which was turned down by Atari Corporation and other publishers in earlier years. Pending any degree of success to sell even a modest number of these titles, Telegames hopes to release other new the months ahead. Here are some “unpublished” Easter eggs for BREAKOUT 2000. Each of these must be entered during the game with no active balls. They will work in either one or two player modes.
1+5+3 = Ball Count to 99
4+7+8+9 = Catch Power-Up
3+7+8+9 = Attract Power-Up
2+7+8+9 = Cannon Power-Up
1+7+8+9 = Super Ball Power-Up
n On Friday, December 13, Alps Interactive release a limited quantity red edition of their newly licensed Alps game pad for the PlayStation game console. The red controller is accompanied by a numbered certificate signed by Mr. Donald A. Thomas, Jr. of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and Mr. Ken Kajikawa of Alps Interactive. It is available exclusively through Electronics Boutique stores or from Alps own Web Site.
n As of Friday, December 13, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) sells 2,077,740 PlayStation video game consoles since their launch in that region of the world.
n During a company Christmas party on Saturday, December 14, employees of Kingston Technology learn that their employer will split $100 million in bonuses between the 523 workers. To some employees, their share will be three times their annual salary with an average bonus equaling $75,000 each. The windfall comes from a transaction made in September whereby Softbank Corporation of Japan acquired 80% of Kingston from Mr. John Tu and Mr. David Sun for $1.5 billion.
n On Monday, December 16, Intel Corporation announces the development of a supercomputer that can attain computing speeds up to one trillion operations per second. By comparison, Hitachi, Ltd. demonstrated a supercomputer in 1995 capable of 368 billion operations per second. Commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy at a cost of $50 million, the supercomputer will be used at the Sandia National Laboratories to simulate nuclear weapons performances. It will also be used to predict weather and other natural phenomena. Energy officials compare one trillion operations to a number equal to the population of the United States (U.S.) working with hand held calculators non-stop for 125 years. This was accomplished by integrating 9,624 Pentium processors into parallel operation.
n In the Monday, December 16 issue of Business Week (www.businessweek.com) magazine a cover story titled The Mob on Wall Street names Phoenix-based SC&T International, Inc. (www.per4mer.com) as a victim of Initial Public Offering (IPO) funding by Sovereign Equity Management Corporation and the exploits of an alleged New Jersey-based DeCavalcante organized crime member, Mr. Philip Abramo. SC&T, founded by ex-Atari executive, Mr. James Copeland, makes and markets innovative peripherals and accessories for computers and video games. Such products include the Per4mer line of steering wheels and Platinum Sound line of audio speakers.
n On Tuesday, December 17, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announces that hardware and software revenues for the PlayStation have exceeded $1 billion since its launch through December 1, 1996.
n On Tuesday, December 17, Sega of America announces the hiring of Ms. Gretchen Eichinger as the group director of third party licensing. Gretchen was formerly with Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) several months prior in a similar role.
n On Friday, December 20, Apple Computer announces intentions to acquire NeXT Software, Inc. in a $400 million deal. Ironically, Mr. Steve Jobs founded both companies and is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NeXT Software. As part of the new arrangement, Jobs will rejoin Apple and report to Dr. Gilbert F. Amelio, Apple’s present Chairman and CEO.
n On Monday, December 23, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) declares the PlayStation title, TWISTED METAL 2, a holiday hit with more than 300,000 already shipped.
n On Monday, December 23, JTS of San Jose, a disk drive company, begins releasing pallets of Atari Jaguars to a liquidator (Tiger Software) for $20 each piece and software for $1 each piece. Expectations mount that the units will be bundled and sold at prices intended for expedient sale. Mr. Bob Gleadow, oversees the transaction from JTS’ European office (once known as Atari UK).
n On Monday, December 23, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) expands consumer services to be available 24-hours, seven days each week. The expanded service is, in part, facilitated by a new automated phone system.
n On Monday, December 23, MetaTools, Inc. announces a difinitive agreement has been reached to acquire Real Time Geometry Corporation (RTG), a privately held Princeton, New Jersey firm.
n On Saturday, December 28, Nintendo of America claims sales of Nintendo 64 will top 1.6 million by years end and promises 500,000 to 700,000 new units will be shipped to North America between January 1 and March 31, 1997.
n On Monday, December 30, the Pentagon searches for a computer hacker who tampered with an Air Force computer home page and forced the shut down of most of the Pentagon’s public access computer Web sites early Sunday.
n On Monday, December 30, new Federal rules are published in the Federal Register. The new rules involve the export of computer programs that are able to translate communications into coded messages.
n About 5,000 limited versions of Tamagotchi are released by Bandai which are either gold or silver with black buttons. Tamagotchi is a virtual pet that evolves and survives with attention. Also made available are versions that are clear red with blue buttons and a clock face, white with powder blue buttons and pink and blue spirals and mint green with yellow buttons and the Tamagotchi name across the top.