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Allan Alcorn

Developer Biography

Al Alcorn began his career at Ampex in 1968 working on a high resolution video system. He was hired on 27th June 1972 by Atari, Inc., the same day the company was incorporated. Founders Ted Dabney and Nolan Bushnell knew Alcorn from when he was still a trainee at Ampex and they gave him the task to develop a simple game to get familiar with video game technology. Bushnell asked for a copy of the Odyssey game Ping-Pong as an exercise, but Alcorn vastly expanded the concept and that way created the classic game Pong. Bushnell decided to market it after all and it became one of the most important assets for the company.

In 1974 he built the first video game on a custom chip (home Pong) followed by the Atari VCS home video game machine which launched the cartridge video game industry.

He was appointed a Fellow at Apple in 1986; while there he worked on many projects including several new computer prototypes and a project that led to Quick Time.

He started Silicon Gaming in 1994 to develop a multi-media slot machine for casino gaming. The company went public in September of ‘96 and shipped their first machines in Jan of ‘97.

In 1998 Al founded Zowie Intertainment, a spinout from Interval Research. Zowie developed and produced a child's playset that had a location system that allowed the PC to respond to the child's play.

Mr. Alcorn holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California. He is a member of the IEEE and holds several patents.

Contributed by Corn Popper (69058) on Dec 10, 2002. [revised by : Sciere (716605)].