John R. Carlsen began his career in computer system and video game development more than 20 years ago in his Silicon Valley hometown of Sunnyvale, California after learning the basic skills of his trade by dissecting and analyzing parts of the world's first successful supercomputer, the Control Data Corporation 6600 designed by the legendary Seymour Cray. Early in his career, Mr. Carlsen aided many notable video game industry pioneers including Atari (the first successful video game company and once the fastest-growing company in the history of American business), Nolan Bushnell (Atari's cofounder and one of Silicon Valley's most prolific entrepreneurs) and Activision (the first third-party video game software developer).
After contributing to the design of the Aapps MicroTV video capture card (the top product at the 1989 Boston MacWorld Expo) and the 1991 hostile takeover of Activision, Mr. Carlsen simultaneously enabled the rapid growth of two startup companies, contributing to the development of Media Vision's first products – including its wildly-popular Pro AudioSpectrum family of c.d.-quality p.c. sound cards – and creating Iguana Entertainment's family of proprietary interoperable video game cross-development interfaces and software tools. Perhaps with some irony, after his 1993 participation in the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley area revitalization project, Mr. Carlsen helped relocate Iguana Entertainment to Austin, Texas, where it became the area's second-largest computer entertainment software developer before its 1995 merger with Acclaim Entertainment, then one of the world's largest video game publishers.
In the late 1990s, Mr. Carlsen applied his expertise in the electromechanical design of printed circuit boards toward the design and design automation of sub-micron integrated circuits for Altera, a leading global supplier of programmable logic devices and one of Silicon Valley's first fabless semiconductor companies. Afterward, Mr. Carlsen designed the world's smallest MP3 portable audio players for SigmaTel, which later enabled the smallest Apple iPod audio players.
Mr. Carlsen formed the Syncopated Software Development Corporation in 2004, following that year's closures of Austin's two largest game developers, Origin Systems and Acclaim Studios Austin (formerly Iguana Entertainment, which Mr. Carlsen served as its engineer).
In 2006, Syncopated combined and continued the operations of Mr. Carlsen's prior ventures Carlsen Electronic Research and Carlsen Communications (established 1988 and 1999 in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, California, respectively). To better describe the wider range of development services it offers, which affect any or all parts of entire systems, Syncopated adopted the name Syncopated Systems.
By 2007, Syncopated had served high-profile international clients including the 15th biennial World Congress on Information Technology, developing software for its customer resource management database, and Sony Computer Entertainment, contributing to the development of core software technology used in Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console.
Mr. Carlsen has completed more than 10 years of college education, having earned degrees in computer science and business management from Saint Edward's University in Austin, Texas, and five degrees from De Anza College in Cupertino, California.
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- Resistance: Fall of Man (2006), Sony Computer Entertainment Incorporated
- Batman Forever: The Arcade Game (1996), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- NFL Quarterback Club (1995), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- NFL Quarterback Club 96 (1995), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- NFL Quarterback Club (1994), LJN, Ltd.
- Sargon V: World Class Chess (1991), Activision, Inc.
- BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge (1990), Infocom, Inc.
- Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye (1990), Activision, Inc.