Wed, 8 April 2015
Jerry Jessop worked at Atari from 1977 through 1985 where he did many jobs - including lead of production repair, customer service supervisor for the Atari 400/800, and he worked with the secret skunkworks group that was creating the Amiga, when it still could have been an Atari product. In this interview he shares great stories, including how he hand-assembled Atari 800s on the production floor, and fired up the very first 800XL prototype the very first time.
This interview was conducted on March 28, 2015.
"I worked on the 1400XL. I could tell from day one, nobody had their heart into it."
"It was good stuff cutting up Atari 2600s on a Sunday afternoon."
"I shoved 72 Atari 810s in a 1979 Dodge Colt one day. I took the seats out so that I could load up as many 810s as I could possibly get in there."
"We had this big inflatable frog that we grabbed from the party, and we're walking down the street in Chicago and we ran into a very drunk on-the-street Muhammad Ali."
This was an incredible interview to listen to. The way Jerry Jessop so richly recalled his time at Atari helped me to better understand what the experience was like to working at one of the major players during what I consider the golden age of home and personal computing. The more I hear about Atari's culture and the people that worked there, the more I respect what they accomplished. A great story, and makes me want to hear even more.