Profile Atarian: Greg George
It begins a long time ago during the 2600 era. I believe it was 1980 when I received it for Christmas, and was I ever happy! I got Space Invaders and my family didn't see me for a week! My other happy 2600 moments came from finding the secret message in Adventure, finally getting a copy of the coveted Defender (from a music store no less), and locating a copy of Solaris in a Toys R Us bargain bin.
The next logical step, of course, was to get an Atari 400 computer. I spent hours hacking away at that membrane keyboard. And I totally destroyed my 410 tape drive because it wouldn't work. What a way to fix that. A few years later, I got an 800XL and was really able to get into computers! My goodness! A real keyboard and 5 1/4 floppy drive. It can't get any better than this!! And the game I typed in about 5 times was called DeathZone and was an excellent game based on BattleZone and Ballblazer. Why 5 times? Because it kept getting messed up, and I really wanted to play it!
I used my 800XL religiously until I purchased a 1040STe in 1991. And I'll tell you, it's NOT original! The first thing that went out was the keyboard. Well, I think I actually killed it myself by opening it up and leaning on it. Next to bite the bullet was the floppy drive. (It's been replaced 2 times and STILL gives me trouble!) Actually, I'm very glad it did die, because it led me to meet a very good friend of mine, Allen Skaggs, who was a budding Atari dealer at the time. Over the years, Allen has upgraded this beast to 4 megs, replaced the mouse, helped me find a new power supply, and kept me happy by selling me software. Thanks Al. BTW, my ST still sits on my desk next to me. It doesn't get much use, but it's always there to remind me.
As much as I was into computers back in the early days, I didn't forget the games. I bought a 7800 when the NES was first becoming popular. I remember visiting my grandparents in New Jersey and talking with my cousin who had just bought a NES. I told him the 7800 was better, and it was. At least it CAME with joysticks! Man, those were my favorite joysticks too. In fact, I still use one of the original 7800 ProLine controllers with my ST.
Then I was given a Lynx in 1990 as a graduation present. I really, really, REALLY wanted one. I was suffering, dying, to get a copy of Gauntlet 3! But I was happy with Blue Lightning to start with. I even presented it to my speech class. I don't know how well that went over, but I certainly had a bunch of people looking at me differently after that!
And finally I bought a Jaguar/Jag CD in 1994-5. I actually waited forever until Alien vs. Predator came out before I bought one. Well, when I saw a Jaguar running AvP at EPCOT Center at Disney World, my friends could barely drag me away from it! I absolutely NEEDED one to survive!! As for the CD, I'm a bit disappointed there weren't more games, but I wouldn't trade the VLM for anything. BattleMorph absolutely ROCKS!
As recently as Christmas 2000, I received the final missing piece in my Atari collection. My wife graciously purchased an Atari 5200 with 24 games and a tracball for me. Both the 5200 and tracball were still in the box. Man, it's great! The joysticks aren't nearly as bad as I thought!
Atari has always been very important to me. And it all started with my loyalty to the 2600. Atari will never recapture the success of the 2600. But that won't affect my opinion of this once great and historic company.