20 Facts About Al Alcorn


Allan Alcorn was born on January 1,1948 and is an American pioneering engineer and computer scientist best known for creating Pong, one of the first video games.


Al Alcorn grew up in San Francisco, California, and attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in 1971.


Al Alcorn worked for the pioneering video company Ampex, where he met Ted Dabney and several other people that would end up being constants through the Atari, Inc.


Al Alcorn was the designer of the video arcade game Pong, creating it under the direction of Nolan Bushnell and Dabney.


Al Alcorn was the person who hired Steve Jobs when he applied for a job at Atari in 1974.


Al Alcorn says he's not going to leave until we hire him.


Al Alcorn was eighteen years old so he had to be cheap.

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Unfazed by the complaints, Al Alcorn resolved the problem by having Jobs work only at night.


Al Alcorn wanted to begin work on the next generation of home video-game hardware, but Kassar didn't even want to consider an alternative to the Atari VCS.


Toward the end of 1978, Al Alcorn assembled a team of engineers and began designing a game console called Cosmos.


Al Alcorn brought in two specialists, Steve McGrew and Ken Haynes, to develop a process for mass-producing holograms that could be used with his game.


Al Alcorn used their mylar technology to create an impressive array of 3D holographic overlays for the Cosmos.


Al Alcorn asked for space to show Cosmos at Atari's booth during the 1980 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center.


Al Alcorn returned to California from the Toy Fair with orders for 250,000 units.


Al Alcorn hoped to receive the same retirement benefits that Bushnell, Williams, and Keenan were enjoying.


Warner attorneys claimed that Al Alcorn had negotiated his severance separated from the other board members and that he was not entitled to the same bonus-pool compensation.


Al Alcorn later became an Apple Fellow, led and consulted to a variety of startups during the tech boom.


In 1998, Al Alcorn co-founded Zowie Intertainment, a spinoff from Interval Research.


In 2011, Al Alcorn co-founded Hack the Future, a technology festival and hackathon for elementary school children.


Al Alcorn was portrayed by David Denman in the 2013 biographical drama Jobs.