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Xbox Pre-Alpha Controller Going Up For Auction To A Good Home


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First of all... I absolutely love this site & community.  You all rock. Period.  Grab some popcorn, this is the fist 'official' time I'm telling the "brief" version...

So my name's Toby Dziubala and I was the most junior member of the very original handful of people who were on the "Xbox Advanced Technology Group" or "ATG" group.  Through a series of wild twists of fate, I was hired sometime in late 1999, when it was only about maybe 10 of us.  I worked directly for Seamus Blackley, who interviewed me, and I was working shoulder-to-shoulder with Drew Angeloff.  My first responsibility was to coordinate with the MS Hardware fabricators, external "interns" that were writing demos for us, and Nvidia who was producing us experimental graphics cards -- in order to produce what you guys know as the "Prototypes" or "Silver X's".  So basically, when BillG and Seamus climbed on stage at GDC in March of 2000 to officially announce our existence, and it didn't go perfectly... it would have been *my* ass, and we wouldn't be having this story time right now LOL.  If you heard stories about the prototypes being tossed down stairwells and such, well that was me.  

Now you're probably asking yourselves, "who is this dude and how come there isn't a mention of him in the book?"... well, simply put, really s**tty politics.  I'll explain: I was actually hired about 8 months or so before into a product called "Commerce Server" (Bldg 25) as a newbie SDE/T through "Volt" (I was an "A Dash").  Just prior to my arrival, Microsoft had lost a huge court case over benefits and hours to their contractors.  I had no part in all of that obviously, but it was such a cultural blow to the company that to this day you'll most likely still pick up on a vibe of animosity towards contractors.  Back then it was, palpable.  So when Dean Takahashi (sp?) was making his rounds around the office gathering materials for the "Opening The Xbox", he was specifically instructed not to talk to me or include me in any way. On record, Seamus totally went to bat for me, but "they" wouldn't have it.  There was no way in hell some contractor puke was going to receive any positive publicity in light of the loss of the lawsuit , and moreover, the massive blow-to-the-corporate-ego that came with it.  

I've actually got some really cool stories about that time, so I'm working on putting together a little "addendum" to the story that I'll probably put out in some kind of e-book format.  My fiancé has been busing my chops for the last couple years to "tell my part of the story", so I finally figured what the hell... there are enough people out there that would be entertained by it, and, I guess if I don't tell it, it just dies with me some day heh morbid!!

Which brings me to my final bit and title of this post.  I don't remember actually bringing it home with me, but, what you guys call the "Alpha" controller, has been living in a moving box that's been following me around all these years.  Except this wasn't used on any dev kit, *I* used it when I was testing out the prototypes.  Also, the dev kits didn't even exist at the time heh... I included a couple photos of it. The serial numbers on the back should tell you the rest.  I figured it would be a shame to just have it live out it's days in some featureless cardboard moving box when it could be loved, appreciated, and shared. My days of working for big tech companies are more than over -- take a look at my banner image on my profile and that'll tell you why.  So, since I'm trying to get a new 'reality capture' business off the ground down here where I live in Vegas, I figured why not auction it off.  

I'm probably going to take a few months to get all my stories typed out and compiled for the little e-reader I mentioned. But I'm of co got to save at least a couple surprises for that, but I'm happy to share whatever memories I still have with you guys, so ask away.  

Anyway -- Again this site is so cool to see; you all are runnin with a piece of what turned out to be a part of cultural history -- and a surreal confirmation that we actually did put something out in the universe that brought some happiness and fun experiences people....  happiness, and gamer-rage because "f*$k that! That was bu#(%*it!" [[*throws controller across living room*]]

Ta-ta for now!

Tob











  

xbox controller back.jpg

xbox controller front.jpg

Tob AI BAdges blur.png

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13 hours ago, Steele702 said:

First of all... I absolutely love this site & community.  You all rock. Period.  Grab some popcorn, this is the fist 'official' time I'm telling the "brief" version...

So my name's Toby Dziubala and I was the most junior member of the very original handful of people who were on the "Xbox Advanced Technology Group" or "ATG" group.  Through a series of wild twists of fate, I was hired sometime in late 1999, when it was only about maybe 10 of us.  I worked directly for Seamus Blackley, who interviewed me, and I was working shoulder-to-shoulder with Drew Angeloff.  My first responsibility was to coordinate with the MS Hardware fabricators, external "interns" that were writing demos for us, and Nvidia who was producing us experimental graphics cards -- in order to produce what you guys know as the "Prototypes" or "Silver X's".  So basically, when BillG and Seamus climbed on stage at GDC in March of 2000 to officially announce our existence, and it didn't go perfectly... it would have been *my* ass, and we wouldn't be having this story time right now LOL.  If you heard stories about the prototypes being tossed down stairwells and such, well that was me.  

Now you're probably asking yourselves, "who is this dude and how come there isn't a mention of him in the book?"... well, simply put, really s**tty politics.  I'll explain: I was actually hired about 8 months or so before into a product called "Commerce Server" (Bldg 25) as a newbie SDE/T through "Volt" (I was an "A Dash").  Just prior to my arrival, Microsoft had lost a huge court case over benefits and hours to their contractors.  I had no part in all of that obviously, but it was such a cultural blow to the company that to this day you'll most likely still pick up on a vibe of animosity towards contractors.  Back then it was, palpable.  So when Dean Takahashi (sp?) was making his rounds around the office gathering materials for the "Opening The Xbox", he was specifically instructed not to talk to me or include me in any way. On record, Seamus totally went to bat for me, but "they" wouldn't have it.  There was no way in hell some contractor puke was going to receive any positive publicity in light of the loss of the lawsuit , and moreover, the massive blow-to-the-corporate-ego that came with it.  

I've actually got some really cool stories about that time, so I'm working on putting together a little "addendum" to the story that I'll probably put out in some kind of e-book format.  My fiancé has been busing my chops for the last couple years to "tell my part of the story", so I finally figured what the hell... there are enough people out there that would be entertained by it, and, I guess if I don't tell it, it just dies with me some day heh morbid!!

Which brings me to my final bit and title of this post.  I don't remember actually bringing it home with me, but, what you guys call the "Alpha" controller, has been living in a moving box that's been following me around all these years.  Except this wasn't used on any dev kit, *I* used it when I was testing out the prototypes.  Also, the dev kits didn't even exist at the time heh... I included a couple photos of it. The serial numbers on the back should tell you the rest.  I figured it would be a shame to just have it live out it's days in some featureless cardboard moving box when it could be loved, appreciated, and shared. My days of working for big tech companies are more than over -- take a look at my banner image on my profile and that'll tell you why.  So, since I'm trying to get a new 'reality capture' business off the ground down here where I live in Vegas, I figured why not auction it off.  

I'm probably going to take a few months to get all my stories typed out and compiled for the little e-reader I mentioned. But I'm of co got to save at least a couple surprises for that, but I'm happy to share whatever memories I still have with you guys, so ask away.  

Anyway -- Again this site is so cool to see; you all are runnin with a piece of what turned out to be a part of cultural history -- and a surreal confirmation that we actually did put something out in the universe that brought some happiness and fun experiences people....  happiness, and gamer-rage because "f*$k that! That was bu#(%*it!" [[*throws controller across living room*]]

Ta-ta for now!

Tob











  

xbox controller back.jpg

xbox controller front.jpg

Tob AI BAdges blur.png

This is so incredibly cool. I would LOVE to sit down and talk with you for hours. Welcome to the forum. :)

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Well I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this. Most people who worked on historical stuff like these just toss them aside and go on about their life. Then these things get lost to time or in landfills. So thank you for sharing this, again. 

I really wish game devs could do this aswell. Especially the ones from the 80's and 90's.

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