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Al Alcorn in 2007
January 1, 1948 |
San Francisco, California
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley (B.S., EECS, 1971)|
|Known for||Developing the first significant video arcade game: Pong|
Allan Alcorn (born January 1, 1948 in San Francisco) is an American pioneering engineer and computer scientist. He 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.
Atari and Pong
He 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, Apple, Cyan Engineering and Pizza Time Theater companies.
In addition to direct involvement with all the breakout Atari products, such as the Atari 2600, Alcorn was involved at some of the historic meetings of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs (at that time an Atari employee) presenting their Apple I prototype.
After Alcorn left Atari in 1981, he consulted to many fledging companies in Silicon Valley, especially involved in the startups of Catalyst Technologies, one of the first technology company incubators, created by Nolan Bushnell and other ex-Atari leaders.
Alcorn was involved in several of the startups directly, including Cumma, a re-programmable video game cartridge/kiosk system (and precursor to the similar Neo Geo system), and an advisor to Etak, one of the first practical, in-car navigation systems.
Alcorn later became an Apple Fellow, and led and consulted to a variety of startups during the tech boom.
In 1998, Alcorn co-founded Zowie Intertainment, a spinoff from Interval Research. There he developed a child's playset with a location system that allowed a PC to respond to the child's play. In 2000, Zowie Entertainment was acquired by Lego.