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Inventor of the Modern Pinball Machine Dies At 100

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the he-made-it-to-the-bonus-round dept.

Classic Games (Games) 89

porsche911 writes with this excerpt from the New York Times: "Steve Kordek, who revolutionized the game of pinball in the 1940s by designing what became the standard two-flipper machine found in bars and penny arcades around the world, died on Sunday at a hospice in Park Ridge, Ill. He was 100. ... 'Steve's impact would be comparable to D. W. Griffith moving from silent films through talkies and color and CinemaScope and 3-D with computer-generated graphics,' [pinball historian Roger] Sharpe said. 'He moved through each era seamlessly.'"

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***TILT*** (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154717)

***TILT***

Re:***TILT*** (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154743)

You can't shake him alive. Sorry, game over.

"Tilt In Peace" (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155083)

...his gravestone will read

Re:"Tilt In Peace" (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155173)

No replay awarded.

Re:"Tilt In Peace" (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157075)

Anybody remember the Evel Knievel pinball [fiu.edu] table? The first two tables i got to play on was this and the spirit of 76 table which is another great classic, my local hangout burger joint had both tables and i used to hang out there for hours drinking shakes and pounding quarters into the tables. Rest in peace pinball man, you filled many a childhood with great memories and there are very few that can say that.

Re:***TILT*** (-1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155265)

Funny how? No, tell me. How the fuck is this funny?

Re:***TILT*** (5, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155327)

Lighten up! I hope I live long enough that people feel free to mod ANY comment about me "funny".

100 is a pretty good run. Do you think people live forever?

Re:***TILT*** (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155683)

100 is a pretty good run. Do you think people live forever?

Not quite yet. I miss my grandfather. And uncle.

Re:***TILT*** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155767)

Because it IS funny. The guy lived to 100, asshole. Good for him. Who the hell gets all sad when someone dies at 100? Thats a fantastic achievement. Lighten up dickhead.

Re:***TILT*** (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156167)

Confirmed for never playing a real pinball machine.

TILT is the kill signal you get when someone rocks the machine too hard in order to force the ball elsewhere from it's physics-ordained pathway.

IOW He's dead.

Holy shit, is 29 the new 50 or what?

Re:***TILT*** (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157893)

"Holy shit, is 29 the new 50 or what?"

I believe you have that backwards.

Re:***TILT*** (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157909)

IOW He's dead.

Well, then why not just say he drained his last ball?

Although, considering his advanced age, he might have been playing on his extra ball.

But who knows, he might do a bang back?

"Tilt" is a term of failure. I hardly think that a man who invented pinball living to 100 is a failure of any kind. I believe it's a life of great meaning and import. The very definition of success.

And who knows? The hindus might be right and he'll return with a new backglass. Maybe as a Williams Whitewater, or a Bally Attack from Mars.

(anyway, my original post, the one to which you so strongly objected, was just an excuse to quote the Pesci character in Goodfellas. "Tilt" was much too obvious, and I don't think any first post that is a much too obvious joke should ever be awarded for any reason. First, because it's a first post. Second, because it's lame.)

Re:***TILT*** (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155967)

***TILT***

Wizard!

Re:***TILT*** (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156037)

1940s? According to this about article [about.com] , Steve Kordek's contributions to the modern pinball machine didn't start until 1962.

[...]

Bumpers, Flippers, and Scoreboards
The pinball bumper was invented in 1937. The bumper debuted in game called Bumper made by Bally Hoo.

Harry Mabs invented the flipper in 1947. The flipper made its debut in a pinball game called Humpty Dumpty, made by D. Gottlieb & Company. Humpty Dumpty used six flippers, three on each side.

Pinball machines during the early 50s began to use separate lights behind the glass scoreboard to show scores. The 50s also introduced the first two player games.

Steve Kordek
Steve Kordek invented the drop target in 1962, debuting in Vagabond, and multiballs in 1963, debuting in Beat the Clock. He is also credited with repositioning the flippers to the bottom of the pinball playing field.

[...]

Re:***TILT*** (1)

djlemma (1053860) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157749)

1940s? According to this about article [about.com] , Steve Kordek's contributions to the modern pinball machine didn't start until 1962.

TFA says that he made a game with the flippers at the bottom of the playing field in 1948. The about.com article didn't give a date for that, but TFA says it happened right after "Humpty Dumpty."

should be a SLAM TILT (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156367)

***TILT***

not just the basic Tilt

Re:***TILT*** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162307)

His final words... "Wait, I still have one more quarter..."

First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154719)

Bounced his last pinball

Re:First Post (4, Funny)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154783)

Bummer, it sucks to call first post and then not get first post. And the actual first poster made a decent joke, too.

He never died. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154777)

He just wrapped around, to be reborn somewhere else...

Goodbye, old friend.

R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (5, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154791)

As a kid, I loved pinball machines. It was like a coming-of-age thing to go to the game parlor full of these beeping, ringing, singing gadgets and blow 4, 5, 6 quarters on these wonderful games of skill and chance and, er, gravity.

Many kids today probably haven't had a chance to play a physical, mechanical pinball machine. It's a visceral, physical experience, different from the cute virtual pinball games available on most computers. Kind of like playing a real piano versus an electronic keyboard, only more so. There was the art of shaking the machine just enough not to get a tilt penalty. There was the knowledge of each machine's little quirks and peculiarities.

Thank you Mr. Kordek for your contributions (note that he did not "invent" pinball machines; he invented the paddles, as the article explains). You changed the world, hopefully for the better!

By the way, another interesting factoid in the article: in the late 40s, there were TWO DOZEN manufacturers of pinball machines just in the Chicago area alone. Them was the days for manufacturing in this country!

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (5, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154835)

When I was a kid, there were still a few arcades which had at least a few pinball games alongside the Street Fighter II's and NEo-Geos, and some of them were pretty bitchin,' like Funhouse [ipdb.org] and Slugfest [ipdb.org] which had backstories and were enhanced by digitized audio and scrolling LED screens.

In the case of funhouse, for example, Rudy the dummy occasionally talks. If you hit him with his mouth closed, he says, "ow!" and one of the objectives is to hit the ball in his mouth while he's talking or snoring(part of the plot is the passage of time, and when it gets late, he goes to sleep and snores).

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (2)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155029)

Rudy still makes the same noises in Nintendo's Pinball Hall of Fame Williams Collection. Taxi makes the sound of a cat getting run over, Pinbots ... you name it. I bought it new - 10 games for $20 - a few years ago - everyone likes pinball games because they're so easy to play, and so hard to beat.

Wii Pinball. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39168237)

Williams Pinball Wii now available in PAL in Australia, and well worth it. Much better than the Gottleibson one which had historically interesting but essentially mostly boring tables.
Not as much fun as a real table but a lot easier to get to, and cheaper, and a great simulation of the real tables.
And Rudy doesn't like me much!

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (3, Informative)

toastyman (23954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155563)

Off topic trivia: Rudy's voice in Funhouse was done by Ed Boon, creator of the Mortal Kombat franchise of games/movies/etc.

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155835)

TOASTY!

Re:Quarters (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154871)

Such restraint you had!

I just missed the Pinball Heydey, catching instead the early Arcade Heyday.

Rule of Thumb was to take a $10 roll of quarters! Because EACH of 7 games needed attention!

Worst spendings:
A : against a Neo-Pro at Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 1: $30.
B: against Mushmanand Goron in Ataxx Circa 1993. $20
C: Recreational games with friends of Mortal Kombat 3: $50
D. beating Killer Instinct 1: $30

Then I basically retired from video games.

Re:Quarters (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154951)

My friends and I weren't that rich, but we had a ritual of pooling our monies together, dividing it evenly amongst ourselves, and having nonstop Mortal Kombat II matches(I got so sick of the cheap assholes who always played as sub-zero - the same assholes who always played as Ken in Street Fighter II).

The funniest quarter-wasting moment I've ever seen was my friend getting his ass kicked at Sengoku. [hardcoregaming101.net] The same samurai(not even a boss) kicked 5 dollars out of his ass, and he told me to get more quarters as he was losing his temper at the game. I got him more quarters and he finally knocked the sword out of the samurai's hand(which is itself comedic because the samurai looks back and forth at both his empty hands), but then the samurai kicked two more dollars of quarters out of his ass while he was screaming obscenities at the game.

The most underrated game of that era had to be Midway's Total Carnage, a parody of Gulf War I. From the Wikipedia:

In Total Carnage, an evil Middle Eastern dictator named General Akhboob closes off his country to the rest of the world following a war in 1999. Hundreds of reporters flocked to the zone in hopes of getting a real scoop. Unfortunately for them, one of the reporters discovers that there's more than baby milk being made at the 'Baby Milk Factory'.

General Akhboob then captures the reporter, as well as all the remaining reporters in his country. It turns out that General Akhboob has been building an army of mutants and a stockpile of chemical weapons. He's also holding several American reporters and other civilians captive. It is up to the Doomsday Squad, composed of Captain Carnage (Player 1) and Major Mayhem (Player 2), to invade Akhboob's base, wipe out his forces, destroy the mutants, rescue all the hostages and capture Akhboob.

Re:Quarters (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156151)

The pinball heyday was the same as the arcade heyday! Remember The Addams Family pinball? It came out in 92, and was the best selling pinball machine of all time. The 90's was fantastic for pinball! All the best machines (IMHO) are from that era. Unfortunately, as arcades got less popular, so did pinball. As time got tough for arcades, pinball unfortunately was the first to go since they were so expensive and difficult to maintain.

Re:Quarters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156351)

TAF was the best selling machine *of the modern era*. Machines back in the 50-60's had greater runs.

Re:Quarters (2)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157181)

One of the nicest things about pinball is that once you get decent you can usually play several games on a single credit.

Back when I played quite a bit I'd pay for a credit, play a couple games, and more often than not leave it with a credit when I was done--even on machines I wasn't familiar with. I wasn't even that good, just better than people who haven't taken the time to learn the basics of actually playing the game instead of just smacking the ball around at random.

Pinball was easily one of the best values in most arcades.

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (2)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156127)

Small correction: As you stated, he didn't invent pinball (he wasn't THAT old), but he also didn't invent the flippers. What he did was put the two flippers at the bottom of the machine, and crank up the juice, so the ball can be flipped across the playfield to the top. Sounds insignificant, but it turned pinball from a pachinko style gambling device into a legitimate competitive game of skill.

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (1)

Vip (11172) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158635)

Many kids today probably haven't had a chance to play a physical, mechanical pinball machine. It's a visceral, physical experience, different from the cute virtual pinball games available on most computers. Kind of like playing a real piano versus an electronic keyboard, only more so. There was the art of shaking the machine just enough not to get a tilt penalty. There was the knowledge of each machine's little quirks and peculiarities.

My girlfriend has an old pinball machine in her house. She also teach piano. One of her students parents was late to picking him up, and so she said he could play the pinball machine. He jumped the first time it made a noise. Scared him good :-) He complained that the ball wasn't moving (essentially) linear, and it wasn't predictable. Not like in a video game at all. It made noises as the ball rolls around, and each hit of the flipper wasn't the same. And it was loud with no volume control! He definitely loved it though and would have played all night if he could.

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (2)

Nehmo (757404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158805)

This thread is composed of old guys who had money to waste when they were kids, and they enjoy reminiscing. But glowing nostalgia shouldn't be the takeaway from reminiscing about pinball history. There is an important lesson in pricing. Pinball games companies never correctly figured out the price point. Sure, there were plenty of machines out there, but most sat idle most of the time. If the price had been lowered to, say, a dime, they would have been much more than 2.5 times more popular, and maintenance wold not have been much more. Thus, greed prevailed over reason, and that spelled the quick demise of pinball as it began to compete with computer games.

Re:R.I.P., Mr. Kordek. (1)

grahamwest (30174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39160675)

I made pinball machines in the 1990s and I don't think you're exactly right. 2.5 times as many games would've been about 2.5 times the maintenance - time per paid credit would've stayed the same, so there would've been 2.5 times as much wear and tear. Also, games in good locations (which is where new games were mostly sold) would've had their earnings go down because they spent big blocks of time being played continuously so they would've need to pick up a lot more players in the slack times.

Operators had lots of control over pricing, especially on Williams/Bally games; we had elaborate support for custom pricing. So third-tier locations could've helped themselves, but chose not to.

What really killed coin-op was that all manufacturers, both pinball and video, were making games that were more and more expensive for operators to buy, but earned less and less money on location. That slowed the churn rate of games (being sold from bigger to smaller operators) and glutted the market with backstock.

what? (5, Funny)

Inigo Montoya (31674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154813)

Shouldn't he get a free game at 100?

Re:what? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154847)

Shouldn't he get a free game at 100?

Replays for eternity.

Re:what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154897)

he should get an extra life at score of 100...

100? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154817)

100? High score! :rofl:

dude, i want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154851)

all those f'ing quarters back!

Sad news... (5, Interesting)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154853)

He outlived his creation... Pinball machines are almost nowhere to be found any more. Unfortunately those photoplay machines offered more variety in gameplay and less maintenance (not to mention way less floorspace), replacing pinballs almost worldwide.

I find pinball machines (especially the later ones, from the solid state era) a perfect blending of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, art, and game.

As a proud owner of an Addams Family machine, I can only think of Anjelica Huston's sampled voice saying "Rest in peace" after draining the final ball.

Re:Sad news... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154915)

That's one of my favorites-- the magnet that activates during multiball is supercool!

Re:Sad news... (1)

slacker22 (1614751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155115)

I think I read not too long ago that there is either zero or one companies left making pinball machines.

Re:Sad news... (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155249)

Special When Lit: A Pinball Documentary

available on Netflix watch it now.

Netflix (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158937)

Except that netflix is tied to Windows Media Player and is thus unavailable.

Re:Netflix (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39160337)

Except that netflix is tied to Windows Media Player and is thus unavailable.

? I mostly "watch it now" on an iPad or PS3, if your digital media portal must be Linux based, maybe you want to use a WDTV Live?

Re:Sad news... (1)

Fencepost (107992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155565)

I believe Stern Pinball is the only remaining one; they come out with a couple of different games each year. A couple of friends of mine have companies that sell and service machines (Chicagoland and California); I'm not sure how much is new ones vs. old but I've played a fair number of the newer machines and they're pretty nice (better in my opinion than the Pinball 2000 stuff that Williams was trying). The Simpsons Pinball Party and The Lord Of The Rings ones (both Stern) are pretty impressive still.

Re:Sad news... (4, Informative)

physicsnerd (607860) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158713)

I believe Stern Pinball is the only remaining one; they come out with a couple of different games each year. A couple of friends of mine have companies that sell and service machines (Chicagoland and California); I'm not sure how much is new ones vs. old but I've played a fair number of the newer machines and they're pretty nice (better in my opinion than the Pinball 2000 stuff that Williams was trying). The Simpsons Pinball Party and The Lord Of The Rings ones (both Stern) are pretty impressive still.

Stern Pinball [sternpinball.com] is the largest pinball manufacturer and produces about three new games a year. AC/DC [sternpinball.com] is Stern's latest release. While Stern has been around for a long time, several other companies have started up recently.

Jersey Jack Pinball [jerseyjackpinball.com] is about to go into production of Wizard of Oz in mid march. They've put a lot into this game and it's looking amazing. It's a wide body game with a 26" LCD, dual upper playfields, tons of toys, and a whole lot more.

Retro Pinball [retropinball.net] has begun shipping a reproduction of the Gottlieb's 1967 King of Diamonds built using modern technology.

MarsaPlay's New Canasta [pinballnews.com] has been available in the Spanish market for a couple of years now.

John Popadiuk is working on a couple of small run, custom pinball machines for the high end collector market. The two games are Magic Girl [pinballinventor.org] and Ben Heck's Zombie Adventureland [pinballinventor.org]

Pinball appears to be making something of a comeback and it looks like 2012 could be one of the best years for pinball in a long time.

Re:Sad news... (1)

grahamwest (30174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39160689)

I think there are technically two. Jersey Jack Pinball and Stern Pinball, although I don't believe the former has put out their first game yet. In any case the market is the merest shadow of its heyday.

Re:Sad news... (1)

jaf1230 (696309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155433)

I am also a proud owner of an Addams Family pinball machine, though it needs some TLC. It's missing a ball and none of the solenoids powered up last time I turned it on. I am thrilled to own it, and to put the money and effort into restoring it to fully working condition.

Re:Sad news... (3, Interesting)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157011)

Missing a ball should not be a problem... TAF should have 3 balls. Altough most games are designed pretty well so that balls should rarely get stuck, it is always possible. It can't be gone though, it should be somewhere, if not above the playing field then below it. Have you opened the machine?

The good thing about pinball games is that as long as the playing field itself is in good condition, anything can be fixed or replaced. If none of the solenoids fire up, it sounds like a blown fuse.

What I like about the later games, and only discovered after I owned my own TAF, is how clever the software and diagnostics are. If a switch on the playfield hasn't been hit in the last 50 games, it is considered broken. If it is stuck-on, it is considered broken too. Either way, the software is programmed to work around it, and still provide a playable game. If no switch is thrown during a game for x seconds, it assumes the ball is stuck somewhere, and fires all solenoids one by one, attempting to kick the ball somewhere. If a switch is flagged as broken, the display shows a small dot behind the credits counter ("Credits: 0." instead of "Credits: 0"), so operators can see at a glance if a machine needs service or not. Also, like many electrical devices in that era, they came with full electric diagrams. The electronic components are all before everything became SMD, so it's still possible to do basic circuit board repair yourself.

Yes, I love my machine, and am sad they have just about disappeared. Stern is afaik the only manufacturer left, but I'm not a huge fan of their games, altough Lord of the Rings was pretty cool. If you're interested, visit the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, with over 150 working machines. Bring tons of quarters.

Re:Sad news... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159105)

The electronic components are all before everything became SMD, so it's still possible to do basic circuit board repair yourself.

Just as an aside, it's far easier to do SMD repairs than through-hole. You just need to get rid of that 200W soldering iron you use on those valve base lugs and car battery terminals.

Re:Sad news... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39160015)

No, it's not.

And I say this as somebody who used to have to pull SO-8 chips off boards, clear out bits of metal in the cement beneath them * (board was not solder masked) and replace the same SO-8 parts back on the board.

(*the bonehead assemblers would apply the cement on a whole grid of boards while someone at the next bench was clipping leads)

A good iron is needed for any type of soldering. SMD was developed specifically for machine assembly methods. To claim that it's 'easier' to service is ludicrous. You apparently need to learn how to not rip-out plated through holes. Is your soldering tip too small?

Re:Sad news... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39161621)

I use a 2.5mm tip for most through-hole, and if I need to remove an IC I just cut the legs away. There's no point wasting time with them.

I have no longer got the patience, eyesight or manual dexterity to cope with fiddly through-hole parts.

For SMD ICs I use a 4mm tip. A little drop of flux on the pads, tack the chip down at one corner, then drag-solder and it's perfectly stuck in seconds.

Re:Sad news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155789)

Love them myself, also proud owner of the Addams Family!

Re:Sad news... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156177)

Love them myself, also proud owner of the Addams Family!

I sincerely hope you mean the pinball game called Addams Family!

Re:Sad news... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157165)

Ever played Junk Yard?

Great machine and there's an awesome Addams Family reference in one of its special modes.

Re:Sad news... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39159989)

Last time I was at the local Dave and Busters they had 3 or 4 machines. Several of the arcades that I played at growing up dedicated floor space to a few machines but the decline of the mall arcade just sped up the decline of the pinball machine. I can't even remember the last time I ran across a coin-op game. Apparently one of the breweries one town over has some retro classics but I haven't made my way over to investigate yet.

TILT (4, Insightful)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154861)

Eventually, in the Game of Life, the flippers stop working, quarters won't take, and you just can't save your ball.

Thanks for all the memories, good sir! May your gameplay in the afterlife have infinite credits and no more tilts!

Pinball Hall of Fame (4, Informative)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154869)

Should you find yourself in Las Vegas (as I will this weekend), make sure you check out the Pinball Hall of Fame [pinballmuseum.org] - several hundred games from all eras, all playable (many for $0.25). It's an amazing place.

Re:Pinball Hall of Fame (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155137)

quarter-eating machines? In Las Vegas???

Or: Pinball Museum, Bay Area CA (4, Informative)

Tmack (593755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155213)

And if you go a bit further north and west, you can go to the Pinball Museum: http://pacificpinball.org/ [pacificpinball.org]

-T

Intellegence comparison. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155047)

Average male lifespan is about 78 years. Steve Kordek died at 100, Steve Jobs at 56. Who was smarter? By that standard, lifespan, Kordek was a genius. Smarter than Einstein?

When Jobs died I mused that he was a failure. A moron. Dying at 56 puts him, in my opinion, in a verly low intelligence bracket, given the circumstances of his life - born healthy, excellent environment, etc...

Re:Intellegence comparison. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155087)

Average male lifespan is about 78 years. Steve Kordek died at 100, Steve Jobs at 56. Who was smarter? By that standard, lifespan, Kordek was a genius. Smarter than Einstein?

When Jobs died I mused that he was a failure. A moron. Dying at 56 puts him, in my opinion, in a verly low intelligence bracket, given the circumstances of his life - born healthy, excellent environment, etc...

Based on your reasoning skills, I predict you will die fairly young.

Re:Intellegence comparison. (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157727)

Well, GP was a douche with his comment. But there is some truth. IIRC Doctors suggested Jobs to operate when they first discovered his cancer. However he decided to go with the Shamanesque "medicine" and later it was too late to use real medicine. This, against the recommendation of his doctor and own wife.

 

Re:Intellegence comparison. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39160041)

Hell, Jobs was batting 100 with cult-like methods in his 'business practices.' He probably thought he was on a streak and could rely on that clap-trap (which he learned on that pilgrimage to India in his LSD-tripping youth) to keep alive, too.

It's tricky, because successful people often become so powerful that they can pay to keep only lackeys around them. And then who will give them the strong advice they need?

Top score!!! (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155055)

Nice score, good man! Wow, really! A one hundred!

Pinball how we loved and lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155095)

I grew up at the last gasp of the pinball game, when everything had a movie tie-in, but still then I loved them.

If I were feeling even a little bit humorous right now I would ask that when he is placed to rest the pall-bearers take extra care lest they trigger a Tilt and loose all their credits.

Slashdot... reminds me of the AT & T Ad (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155097)

I remember that Slashdot only posts events etc. with links that include analysis etc. of the event.

But something is seriously wrong if a board takes 5 days to point out someone's dead - esp. someone that we like and is quite a bit famous - and there is nothing worthwhile in the description and no links that make it worth waiting for 5 days to read about it.

Could the moderator hire some support staff.. and speed it up a bit.

Slashdot reminds me of the ATT Ad where everyone gets text a few mins earlier than the other guy.... slashdot seems to be the 'slow-on-the-uptake' guy.

Re:Slashdot... reminds me of the AT & T Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155479)

Slashdot doesn't go out and get stories to post, they wait for us to submit them. That coupled with the fact that submissions never stop pouring in leads to this delay.
Anyways, if you want up to the minute news then you know where to get it. Slashdot is not for reporting news, its for discussing it. Wouldn't you rather it be on everyone's minds for a few days before discussion instead of it all being speculation?

Re:Slashdot... reminds me of the AT & T Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155911)

yup. sounds like this has become a 40+ hole.

Re:Slashdot... reminds me of the AT & T Ad (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157413)

A submission reputation/moderation system would do a lot to fix the problem of bad submission. Seriously, check out the Firehose. Some stories are nothing more than a single pagelink. A lot of submitters a raving mad, and/or simply cannot write.

There's a deluge in there, and given the current acceptance rate there is little incentive for anyone to waste their time crafting a good quality submission when it will simply be lost in the sea of crap.

What you've basically got is a tragedy of the commons/market for lemons scenario. The only way Slashdot is going to improve the situation is by implementing some kind of submission limits and a submitter reputation system. There is no substitute for properly running something.

Never boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155113)

I have a friend in Berkeley California who has a basement full of restored pinball machines, and every weekend he opens his house to people to play these classic games! He's probably crying right now... :-( I don't get out there often enough, but when I do, I bring him a nice bottle of VERY good tequila, and we spend an evening getting sloshed and playing the pins. :-)

He was what the pinball crowd was all about. (5, Interesting)

dgoldman (244241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155231)

He was at each of the Chicago shows I got the chance to go to and was always willing to meet fans, shake hands and talk pinball.
He was obviously in it for the love of the game.

I am glad I got to meet him and speaking for all the pinheads out here I say he will be missed.

While I love pinball games... (0, Offtopic)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155277)

Pinball is great, and I'm fond of some of the "pinball people" I've met.

Many seem interesting and dedicated, but others just seem to have too much money and time, and have an enormous ego because of their collection.
Pinball is fun, I agree. However, like many expensive hobbies it seems to attract some really elitist dickweeds, and I'm having a hard time with the competing emotions of feeling sorry that this guy died, but at the same time elated that I hope the news momentarily pauses a few real assholes I've known. It won't, I know that, and it doesn't really matter.... so forgive my terrible pettiness, but M & L (you Federal Agent lunatics, you), wherever you are, I hope this makes your a day a little dimmer and distracts you for a split second where-in something truly awful befalls you both.

Petty? Yes. But so are whackjob federal agents with an axe to grind.

Re:While I love pinball games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155357)

Your happiness at someone dying is odd - almost pathetic.

It reminds me of the anarchists at the G7/NATO meets - they break into, loot and burn all the stores ... and feel happy... and this does nothing for their actual agenda.... your thoughts are very lunatic/fundamentalist type.. almost like those who commit terror.

To give you an example similar to yours... 1% dogs bite people.... you see a dog dying from cancer... and you feel happy.

You are fucked up dude. Find a shrink.

Re:While I love pinball games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156975)

Your happiness at someone dying is odd - almost pathetic.

What's really pathetic is your reading skill. "feeling sorry that this guy died"

FTFY (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157925)

Life is great, and I'm fond of some of the "people" I've met.

Many seem interesting and dedicated, but others just seem to have too much money and time, and have an enormous ego. Life is fun, I agree. However, like many expensive hobbies it seems to attract some really elitist dickweeds, and I'm having a hard time with the competing emotions of feeling sorry that this guy died, but at the same time elated that I hope the news momentarily pauses a few real assholes I've known.

Wow, just... wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155445)

As soon as I was tall enough to play pinball, Space Invaders came out. I always just kind of assumed the modern machine was invented way back in the dark days, perhaps shortly after juke boxes. I would have guessed 1920s perhaps? The idea that the inventor was still around just never occured to me. While video games dominated my youthful pass-times, the classics never die. When I was looking for free games on my PC a while back I found a pinball and played it for a while.

I worked with Steve (5, Informative)

toastyman (23954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155505)

I worked at Williams/Bally/Midway/Atari/etc in the late 90's. I worked in the coin-op video game division, where Steve was across the street in the pinball division. Occasionally he'd swing by our building, and had a fondness for the game system I was working on, so he'd sit at the test machine outside my office and play for quite a while. He always had this knack for making what sounded like the simplest suggestion, yet it actually being a profound change that took it to the next generation.

He'd walk into my office and say "You know, I like (game X) a lot. Have you thought about adding (feature Y)? It's probably a lot of work, but maybe worth it?" and an hour later we were smacking our foreheads as to why we hadn't thought of that ourselves. There's no doubt in my mind how he could look at something like a flipperless pinball machine and figure out how to take it to the next level. It's something I really wish I could do more often myself.

He was a great guy, and one of the most patient people I've known. He'll be greatly missed.

Re:I worked with Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155585)

I worked at Williams/Bally/Midway/Atari/etc in the late 90's. I worked in the coin-op video game division, where Steve was across the street in the pinball division. Occasionally he'd swing by our building, and had a fondness for the game system I was working on, so he'd sit at the test machine outside my office and play for quite a while. He always had this knack for making what sounded like the simplest suggestion, yet it actually being a profound change that took it to the next generation.

He'd walk into my office and say "You know, I like (game X) a lot. Have you thought about adding (feature Y)? It's probably a lot of work, but maybe worth it?" and an hour later we were smacking our foreheads as to why we hadn't thought of that ourselves. There's no doubt in my mind how he could look at something like a flipperless pinball machine and figure out how to take it to the next level. It's something I really wish I could do more often myself.

He was a great guy, and one of the most patient people I've known. He'll be greatly missed.

I like it.

Re:I worked with Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157299)

I worked at Williams/Bally/Midway/Atari/etc in the late 90's. I worked in the coin-op video game division, where Steve was across the street in the pinball division. Occasionally he'd swing by our building, and had a fondness for the game system I was working on, so he'd sit at the test machine outside my office and play for quite a while. He always had this knack for making what sounded like the simplest suggestion, yet it actually being a profound change that took it to the next generation.

He'd walk into my office and say "You know, I like (game X) a lot. Have you thought about adding (feature Y)? It's probably a lot of work, but maybe worth it?" and an hour later we were smacking our foreheads as to why we hadn't thought of that ourselves. There's no doubt in my mind how he could look at something like a flipperless pinball machine and figure out how to take it to the next level. It's something I really wish I could do more often myself.

He was a great guy, and one of the most patient people I've known. He'll be greatly missed.

I also like playing Games.He is a great man,and one of the most freat people i've know.He will be more missed,and now i play the games with infrared touch screen.If he was still alive,maybe he will playing games with touch screen.miss him.

Re:I worked with Steve (1)

ToddInSF (765534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39170447)

Thanks for sharing this, I really love SD for comments like this.

Passing of the God of Pinball (2)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155573)

Praise Kordek, killer of time, devourer of small change.

Frank (1)

SatanClauz (741416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155809)

I've had the pleasure of sharing a drink with his son, Frank... on a few occasions, actually :)

I had no idea this was his father, Frank was the priest for a short time at a church my family attended. He also performed the service at the funeral.

Rest in piece mr Kordek.

Satanclauz approves of your contribution to gaming.

A different analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156091)

I would have used the analogy: "Admiral of the Fleet John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher", who joined the British Navy as a cabin boy aboard oak ships with muzzle-loaded cannon, and sails (not changed much from 500 years before), and when he left, all ships were steel, turbine powered, with high velocity armour piercing shells fired from breach loaded long range 50 calibre guns with analogue range guided computers, torpedoes, radio, and very early radar. The world had changed.

A game you can beat the crap out of (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156965)

Pinball > video games. Because you can actually play the game by beating the crap out of it.

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