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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 This is an interesting development ;)  I had a feeling that things might be going this way, but that was really nothing more than a suspicion on my behalf.


Regarding one of the above points:


And, in relation to that, from the announcement thread:

This is something that I truly hope is able to be maintained into the future.  Keeping the status quo after a major shift such as this one can be difficult.


One concern I do have is borne out from my experiences in attempting to communicate directly with Atari: none of it was what could be described as pleasant, or even neutral.  If anything, Atari's replies to my points were dismissive and condescending, and failed to address questions which I had raised.  Note that this took place after they had hired someone to act as a community liaison of sorts, and he had invited commentary regarding the frustrations many of us have had with the company.  The impression that I received was that a great deal of lip service was being paid to being interested in what the community thought, but that in practice the expectation was that if you weren't 100% in lock step with the 'everything Atari is awesome' mentality, your invited opinion had no merit.


The reason why I bring this up is concern for the longer term.  I realise that in the short term nothing will change, but influence ends to creep in over time.  What in the way of safeguards will be in place to ensure that Atari doesn't censor content (or members) who may be critical of them as a company?  I'm all for people loving their VCS, 2600+, etc., but there's also legitimate criticism that needs to have a place to be aired without fear of reprisal or being sent down the memory hole.

These kind of shenanigans happen all the time and everywhere, especially with young, naive corporate ppl. It's maddening to say the least

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I trust you, @Albert, far more than I trust Atari.  I think you are uniquely qualified to be an Atari historian, my gut says there is corporate shenanigans behind this and I am highly dubious of Atari Corp's good intentions beyond the eventual milking a long-established and strong community which has, IMNSHO, kept the Atari name alive far beyond nostalgia.  No offense meant to @TrogdarRobusto or his expressed intentions: corporate machination is the dragon all people involved must stand against at some point.


I know you will do Atari and the Atari-faithful proud and I wish you godspeed.  I just have some of my own predictions about which I hope to be proven very, very wrong.  (Although, in the meantime, you think you can get Atari legal to slap Spring around for yeeting my store for having "AtariAge Member Exclusive" products?)


Like @Lord Thag, I hope this means something wonderful for our talented homebrew developers.  I hope it does not mean forcing them into onerous contracts and NDA, but rather Atari acts as a shield against such draconian requirements.  The spice must flow, and a heavy-handed approach will not entice hobbyists.  Could there be an opportunity here for employment or well-paid contracts?  Are we going to see a min-rebirth of the Golden Era?  Stay tuned to find out!


I will continue to serve the TI-99/4A community here at AtariaAge, helping to keep our corner of the forum active, vibrant, and friendly in my own gruff style, and I thank you for that opportunity, the support, and friendship.


Postscript: I have had the pleasure to meet @Albert and hang out with him at an event, shoot-the-feces, talk about new tech (he loves his car,) and wax nostalgically on many things GenX.  I would bleed for this man long before I would bleed for a corporate entity.  He is the genuine article, and anyone with doubts about him personally should take into consideration that we have always been sitting precariously on Atari intellectual property, and this absorption into Atari is a much better outcome than what could have happened, which could have been the complete and total destruction of our communities and the loss of two decades of knowledge.  I saw clearly in person, and we all have seen clearly evidenced, his dedication to all of us, and the open communities of technology enthusiasts (seriously, we have a TI-99/4A forum... who would do that?)


(Now, I still have several pages to read through in this thread.)

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I don't think there's anything I can really contribute too much other than I said it for years that Atari really needs to align themselves with Atari age. We seen other up starts and companies try to alienate or push out groups or fanboys. That would be like the Ford motor company going to a classic car convention and trying to sue everyone for coffee right in friendships. Not a good move. So I got to applaud Atari on this one. I hope the Atari age logo doesn't go away. I mean over the years it's kind of come to represent Atari at least in my mind

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53 minutes ago, pixelmischief said:


Al started and owned AtariAge and has the right to have done anything he wanted with it.  I have no delusions of entitlement where that is concerned.




I don't know.  I don't think this latest iteration of Atari has yet EARNED the right to own AtariAge.  I don't know them.  And because of that, I don't trust them.  It's an arranged marriage.  Call me a romantic, but instead of just showing up and paying the dowry, they should have dated us for a while: introduced themselves, chatted us up, contributed something.  Instead, here we go; shipped off to live with our new master.


I know it's the kind of romantic pessimism that borders on delusion.  But Atari has always been an incredibly important part of what is right and dependable in my world.  AtariAge is that distant land through the shimmering portal to which I escape.  I just don't trust the new owner to let it be the thing I love and need so much.


Look where the pleasant introduction and dating went with the owner of Amico…….

I dont care or want to know what kind of car the owner of atari drives, or his life story and bloated up resume.   Give us great Atari products!

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Albert… I suspect it’s safe to say the entire Classic Gaming Community is ecstatic FOR YOU about the opportunities this brings to your world, not to mention relief from having to do SO MUCH on your own. You have become highly respected, rightfully so, for the development of this site since the early days of The Atari 2600 Nexus and for your steadfast dedication to all things Atari, including but not limited to open and honest communication.

AtariAge has earned a fair amount of reverence, and concern for the possibility of that diminishing is instinctive within such a close-knit group as this community has become over these 20 plus years. Chief among these concerns seems to be, what happens to this well-established entity (AtariAge) if/when the LESS well-established entity (Atari) changes the arrangement? I envision the need for something similar to a pre-nup, granting retention of original ownership in the event of a parting of the ways, amicable or not.


In any case, I hope the community can be, at worst, cautiously optimistic about this for your sake, Al. It is my view that this can be a great thing for you and, therefore, for the community by extension! “Congratulations” doesn’t NEARLY express my excitement for you, especially considering how long it took you to carefully hammer this out with Atari. And I must add my appreciation for the thoughtful and comprehensive message you posted to all of us. You could not have been more reassuring. Thank you!


Finally, and this may sound morbid because of where I am in life right now, dealing with wills and the recent deaths of loved ones, does there exist a contingency for management of the site were something to happen to you? Or would total control simply fall to Atari? It is a legitimate question albeit a personal one, I’m sure. I mention it here only as a nudge to encourage you to address it if you haven’t already.


Looking forward to all that can be accomplished and shared by the combination of two institutions we all love and admire!


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Congratulations Al! Happy to hear that you believe that you've found a partnership that will allow you to continue to run this site, while freeing up a chunk of your time in order for to work on the projects that have eluded you to this point. I'm happy that you decided against simply shutting down AA and walking away from all of this. As countless others have stated, I don't know how you found the time (year after year) to do all that you do, but am appreciative of all of your hard work and dedication to keeping this forum up and running in addition to maintaining an annual presence at PRGE and several other Expos throughout the years. Look forward to seeing you and @TrogdarRobusto at PRGE. 🙂

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Time will tell, but if history proves anything, if it ain't in writing, it didn't happen. I'm pessimistic about the corporate lawyers, and a legal corporate entity that has a fiduciary duty to make a profit over time. In fact, it's probably a foregone conclusion, unless steps are taken to legally protect the community as is.

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