A New Pac-Man

Jack Tramiel gobbles Atari

Of all Silicon Valley's microchipped wonder companies, Atari was one of the earliest and most colorful. It gave birth to the video-game industry and churned out amusements like Pong, Asteroids and the home version of Pac-Man. It saw its sales explode from $30 million in 1976 to a peak of $2 billion in 1982. It spun off famous employee alumni, like Steven Jobs, co-founder and chairman of Apple Computer. Physically, it spread to 49 buildings around Sunnyvale, Calif. But its fall came even faster, as a fickle public cooled to its video games. Losses hit $539 million...

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