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Which computer/game company did their best to welcome you?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Within the Commodore Amiga line the company Newtek who makes the Video Toaster Flyer along with Lightwave 3D is an amazing company. Up until about 3 years ago when they ran out of parts they were still doing repairs for free on all there Amiga based hardware. They are still in business making video editing hardware and software and Lightwave 3D for the PC. My Video toaster Flyer system is still working today after 25 years later.

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If we're talking game companies (instead of just computer manufacturers like Commodore / Atari / Apple), then I would have to say Sierra.


Sierra was one of the best game companies back in the day. They really tried to make you feel like you were part of their "family."




They had a magazine when they became "Sierra Online." They used to mail these out quarterly, and they included a lot of stuff... like game reviews, notes from the developers, all kinds of stuff. I saved a bunch of these from when I was a kid. One of the things I liked about it is that they really had fun with their games. They tried to make it seem like you were part of their team. The vast majority of their games were adventure games... but they had some other games as well. The developers always tried to put funny stuff in their games... especially Space Quest.


They ended up going out of business at some point in the early 2000s. Roberta and Ken Williams now spend all their time on their sail boat.


Some fans created a new company called Sierra (again) and produce dozens of new games, and even remakes of the originals...






Looks like Metal Jesus made a video on Sierra games too...


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One aspect not yet mentioned is how the manufacturer related to user groups: collaboration, ignorance or even competition? I think there may have been quite some differences how each company looked down on user groups forming, demanding more documentation than originally issued, setting up own software libraries of public domain programs, becoming an unified voice not entirely unlike workers unions sometimes. However I don't know how those companies should be assigned/aligned in that matter.

Atari Canada was very supportive of local users groups even in the Tramiel era. I recall playing 'Midi Maze' on an XE at a local TAF meeting in the very late '80s, and they did demo other systems (such as the Lynx) at meetings. I was quite happy with company support in Canada.

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Like what? Card slots?

I think that is Apple folklore.

Altair, DEC, TI... and about every other mini-computer in existence had card slots before Apple.

The form factor shrank but it wasn't anything new.


The CPU was on the motherboard instead of a card... but I think a couple kit computers did that before Apple.


The story I heard, back in the 1990's in an interview from one of the Team Members at Boca Raton, was the Apple ][ was studied, and the ideas included in the IBM PC were:


Multiple Bus Slots, Cassette Port, Documented BIOS, User Maintainable components, ( Basically an Open System, unlike most everything else IBM Made ), and, Built In (MS) BASIC.


Also, IBM was caught unaware of the demand for their product... They forecast 250,000 Units to Sell.. Not sure if that was for the year, or ever...



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  • 2 months later...

Back when... with a choice of Commodore PET, Apple 1, Texas TI99/4, and a possible computer to be released by Atari (!) I wrote to the manufacturers with queries not covered by their sales materials. Only TI replied, most fully. And then- Texas Instruments lent me, free of charge, a TI99/4 with the then required NTSC colour monitor, over a long weekend.

I waited for the PAL output version before buying.

The initial manuals were lengthy and well written (later cut down a bit).

TI UK suffered from being treated like a distant sales force by TI USA and were never given any information, but they certainly went one step beyond.

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Tell you what, when we bought our first Mac Performa with Appletalk and all the amazing features, we were amazed.


There was a CD-ROM, something we had never seen before, and when we put the cd into the computer, a crazy thing happened... We watched a digital person walk us step by step through how to set up and use our new computer.


He showed us how to set up Compuserve and use our new file system...


I had never seen anything like that and, to this day, have never marvelled as much at a piece of technology.


First experience with the www.... Something my kids will never feel.

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