ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast

de Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast

Episodios

ANTIC Episode 90 - Lets All Retire!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 90 - Lets All Retire!

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… Brad regales us with his motherload of new Atari stuff, Kay solves the mystery of “Have You Played Atari Today?”, and we discuss lots of other Atari news

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Links for Items Mentioned in Show:

What we’ve been up to

News

Upcoming Shows

YouTube Videos

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Episode 89 - Choke on It!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 89 - Choke on it!

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… Brad regales us with his motherload of new Atari stuff, Kay solves the mystery of “Have You Played Atari Today?”, and we discuss lots of other Atari news

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Links for Items Mentioned in Show:

What we’ve been up to

News

Upcoming Shows

YouTube Videos

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Episode 88 - We Need More Atari Shows!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 88 - We need more Atari shows!

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… lots of Atari action and news, loading Atari software from VHS, and a call for more Atari-specific shows

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Links for Items Mentioned in Show:

What we’ve been up to

Recent Interviews

News

Upcoming Shows

YouTube Videos

New at Archive.org

New at Github

Listener Feedback

ANTIC Interview 434 - Michael Park: Swan and Fujiboink Demos, MIDI Maze

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Michael Park: Swan and Fujiboink Demos, MIDI Maze
 
Michael Park created two well-known demos that are familiar to many Atari enthusiasts: the Swan Demo and FujiBoink. In the Swan demo, a bird flies gracefully across the screen, in front of a spinning fuji logo. In FujiBoink, the Atari fuji spins and bounces over a red and white checkerboard, reminiscent of the Amiga Boing Ball demo.
 
Michael also helped create MIDI Maze, an early first-person shooter that used the Atari ST's MIDI ports to network up to 16 computers. He also worked on the 8-bit version of MIDI Maze, which was never officially released but became available nonetheless. Michael also created Shiny Bubbles, another demo for the Atari ST.
 
Michael was a friend of the owner of Xanth Computer Systems, an Atari dealer in Seattle, Washington. A 2013 article titled "Computer Dealer Demos: Selling Home Computers with Bouncing Balls and Animated Logos," published in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, stated:
 
"During the 1985 Winter CES, Atari presented the 130XE... This computer was promoted with a demo that included three animations—Atari Robot, Atari Swan, and Fuji Boink—made by a small software company named Xanth FX. The company’s representative claimed in ANALOG Computing magazine, 'We are a large ST retailer. Our F/X division churns out demos for the betterment of Atari.'  According to the testimonies of Atari users in Seattle, it was actually a 'small computer store in downtown Seattle' and a small software company that employed a few people, among them programmer and graphic designer Michael A. Park."
 
"Xanth Park" (a play on Xerox PARC) and the "F/X division" were deliberate tricks to make the little company and a one or two great coders, seem like a big company.
 
Michael told me that neither he nor "Xanth Park" created the walking robot demo, another popular demo of the era. "I think we did combine robot/spaceship with the bouncing ball so they'd play sequentially, at Atari's request," he told me. He extracted the rotating fuji code from the Robot demo for re-use in his Swan demo. 
 
After the interview, Michael sent an email: "Every now and then I hear from people who have enjoyed the Atari software that I was involved in way back when, and every time, I am reminded of the fun and excitement of those days. To those who have kept the Atari spirit alive all this time, I salute you!"
 
This interview took place on April 6, 2022.
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 433 - Scott Savage: Lefty, the Checkers Playing Robot

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Scott Savage: Lefty, the Checkers Playing Robot

"Lefty" was the name of the world's first checker-playing robot, which was located at the Omniplex science museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The robot arm would play games of checkers against museum visitors, picking up and moving pieces on a physical checkerboard. Lefty's game logic ran on an Atari 800 computer, which controlled the robot through the joystick port. Lefty was programmed by Scott Savage, the subject of today's interview.

Before the interview, Scott digitized his Atari cassette tape with the code for Lefty. The tape had some problems, but Atari community member "atarigrub" successfully recovered the data. Scott also provided scans of several newspaper and magazine articles about Lefty. Both the Lefty program and those articles are available at Internet Archive.

Also, be sure to watch the only known video of Lefty in action: Scott and Lefty appeared on the TV show "Dannysday" which aired on KOCO TV in spring 1984.

This interview took place on April 14, 2022.

Scott and Lefty on Dannysday TV show

Lefty BASIC program and media mentions

Paper about Lefty (in Spanish)

Scott Savage Techno Scavenger YouTube channel

Omniplex is now called Science Museum Oklahoma

This interview on YouTube

ANTIC Interview 432 - Anthony Ramos: Parrot, Creepy Caverns

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Anthony Ramos: Parrot, Creepy Caverns

Anthony Dandrea is better known to Atari computer enthusiasts as Anthony Ramos.

Anthony programmed Creepy Caverns, a type-in BASIC game that was published in Antic magazine's August 1984 issue. Anthony also created the software for Parrot, a $40 4-bit sound sampler and playback package that was marketed by Alpha Systems.

In this interview, we discuss George Morrison of Alpha Systems, and Peter Langston of LucasArts, both of whom I have previously interviewed.

This interview took place on April 8, 2022.

Creepy Caverns in Antic magazine

Discape Atari 8-bit Demo

Discape disk image

"Talk is Cheap" by Ed Stuart in Antic magazine

Parrot manual

Parrot review in Antic magazine

Creepy Caverns with sampled audio

Parrot Christmas demo

Anthony's Conway's Game of Life

Anthony on AtariAge

ANTIC Interview 367 - George Morrison, Alpha Systems

ANTIC Interview 126 - Peter Langston, LucasArts

Ground Kontrol arcade

1984 article in Lorain Journal

This interview on YouTube

ANTIC Episode 87 - Good News, Bad News

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 87 - Good news, bad news

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… we have tons of news, both good and bad, and lots of coverage of new hardware.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Links for Items Mentioned in Show:

What we’ve been up to

News

Upcoming Shows

YouTube Videos

New at Archive.org

New at Github

ANTIC Interview 431 - Tom Zimmerman, AMY chip

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Tom Zimmerman, AMY chip

Tom Zimmerman worked at Atari from 1982-1984 where he was on the digital audio research team in Atari's Corporate Research Lab in Sunnyvale. There he worked on the AMY chip — a next-generation audio chip. Tom, one of four AMY team members, wrote the 8051 code to control the TTL prototype of the chip. The chip was never released.

AMY, which stands for Additive Musical sYnthesis, was originally intended to be part of the Rainbow chipset, which was the core of Atari's next generation of 16-bit microcomputers. Those computers were never finished. Then, the AMY chip was announced to be the centerpiece of the Atari 65XEM, an Atari 8-bit computer with advanced sound capabilities. A prototype of the 65XEM was shown at the 1985 Consumer Electronics Show, but ultimately it was another computer that didn't make it to market.

Also: in 1982 Tom filed a patent for a “Data Glove,” a glove with optical sensors to measure the bend of the wearer's fingers. He turned down a $10,000 offer from Atari to buy the rights to the Data Glove. The product would eventually end up at Nintendo, where it became the Nintendo Power Glove.

This interview took place on March 7, 2022.

65XEM info at AtariMuseum

AMY chip at AtariMuseum

AMY chip info at AtariMax

ANTIC Episode 86 - Tangents

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 86 - Tangents

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… the BASIC 10-liners contest and the AtariAge High Score Club contest are on like Donkey Kong, new software and hardware is available for our favorite machine, K continues his archiving work, and we go off on several tangents

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Links for Items Mentioned in Show:

What we’ve been up to

News

Upcoming Shows

YouTube Videos

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Episode 85 - Surprise Roundtable

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 85 - Surprise Roundtable

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast...we have a surprise roundtable with guests Nir Dary, Jason Moore, Corey Koltz, and Bill Kendrick where we discuss numerous Atari 8-bit topics!

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Links for Items Mentioned in Show:

ANTIC Episode 84 - Atari Resolutions for the New Year

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 84 - Atari Resolutions for the New Year

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast...we each talk about our top Atari resolution for 2022 (although maybe not the type of resolution you were thinking), and discuss all the Atari news we could find for December, 2021.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interview Shows

News 

YouTube videos this month

New at GitHub

Word from our Sponsor

ANTIC Interview 430 - Tim Huntington: Krazy Kopter, Fire Chief, Adventures of Robin Hood

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Tim Huntington: Krazy Kopter, Fire Chief, Adventures of Robin Hood

Tim Huntington was an Atari game developer based in the United Kingdom. He programmed Krazy Kopter, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Fire Chief, which were published by English Software; and Despatch Rider, which was published by Mastertronic.

This interview took place on December 23, 2021.

Video version of this interview

Tim's segment on Look North West UK TV

AtariMania's list of Tim's games

Tim on Twitter

ANTIC Episode 83 - The Dog Ate It

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 83 - The Dog Ate It

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast...Kay forgets to wear his ANTIC t-shirt, we all have new members of the family (and Brad’s eats everything in sight), Kay goes crazy scanning Atari magazines, and we have lots of listener feedback.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

New at GitHub

Listener Feedback

ANTIC Interview 429 - Jack Verson: Action Quest, Ghost Encounters, Journey to the Planets, Gyruss

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Jack Verson was the founder of JV Software, where he programmed and published several games for the Atari 8-bit computers: Action Quest, Ghost Encounters, and Journey to the Planets. Roklan Software repackaged Action Quest and Ghost Encounters into a single game, titled Castle Hassle.

As part of On-Time Software, Jack programmed the Atari versions of Gyruss, James Bond 007, and perhaps other games, published by Parker Brothers. He ported the Atari 8-bit version of Joust to the Commodore 64. As Applied Systems Engineering, he programmed Time Tunnel for Commodore 64.

This interview took place on December 2, 2021.

AtariMania's list of Jack's software
James Bond 007
Gyruss
Journey to the Planets version differences and bugs
Larry Kalpan thanks Jack in the manual for 2600 Activision Bridge
Time Tunnel for Commodore 64
Jack's company, CDOAN 
Mark Benioff review of Action Quest
Popeye "V1" for Commodore discovered
Verson quoted in Compute! "How the Pros Write Computer Games"

ANTIC Episode 82 - FujiNet to Take Over the World!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 82 -  FujiNet to Take Over the World!

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast...we have special guest Thom Cherryhomes who tells us why FujiNet is aiming to take over the world, we discuss the recent VCF Midwest and VCF East, and of course tell you everything going on in the world of Atari.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

New at GitHub

Listener Feedback

ANTIC Interview 428 - Dave Johnson: Demon Attack, Atlantis; APX Lookahead; Atari Personal Financial Management System

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dave Johnson: Demon Attack, Atlantis; APX Lookahead; Personal Financial Management

Dave Johnson programmed software for the little-known Interact Model One computer, and later worked as  a programmer for Atari, where he created the game Lookahead, which was published by Atari Program Exchange. Lookahead is a fun little strategy board game that you can play against the computer or another human.

We think Dave Johnson programmed the Atari Personal Financial Management System, a slick-looking but buggy home finance package that Atari kept delaying, finally released a year late, then quickly discontinued. Read Bill Lange's blog post for the full story about that program.

After Atari, Dave worked at Imagic, where he programmed the Atari 8-bit versions of the games Demon Attack and Atlantis. There, he also created the game Quick Step! for the Atari 2600.

This interview took place on October 12, 2021. A video version is also available.

AtariMania's list of Dave's Atari 8-bit games

Play or download Lookahead

Lookahead in the fall 1981 APX catalog

Bill Lange research on Atari Personal Financial Management System

Personal Financial Management System at AtariWiki

Interact Model One computer

Dave on Twitter

This interview on YouTube

ANTIC Interview 427 - Margaret (Akin) Guilbault, Atari Camper

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Margaret (Akin) Guilbault, Atari Camper

Margaret Akin was one of the children who attended Atari's computer camps, and one of the kids who was featured in The Magic Room, Atari's movie about the camps. Her name is now Margaret Guilbault.

Atari ran its summer camps from 1982 through 1984 at several locations around the United States. That first year, Atari commissioned a film about its summer camps, which was filmed at the San Diego location. Margaret attended Atari camp that first year in San Diego, then again in 1983 the Minnesota location.

It turns out Margaret's first year at a computer camp was in 1981, the summer before Atari's first camps. Her first computer camp experience was at Zaca Lake -- near Santa Barbara, California -- hosted by a company called Computer Camp Inc., which used Atari computers.

I talked with Margaret about her experiences at those camps, and taking part in the filming of The Magic Room, on September 12, 2021.

You can watch The Magic room at YouTube and Internet Archive. In previous interviews I've talked with filmmaker Bob Elfstrom; Linda (Gordon) Brownstein, the Atari vice president who oversaw the camp project; and other Atari computer campers.

The Magic Room (18-minute version)

Newspaper article about Computer Camp Inc.'s Zaca Lake camp

ANTIC Interview 419 - Bob Elfstrom, The Magic Room

ANTIC Special Episode - Atari Summer Camp

ANTIC Interview 426 - Eric Podietz, Interactive Picture Systems

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Eric Podietz, Interactive Picture Systems

Eric Podietz was co-founder of Interactive Picture Systems, a company that created software for 8-bit computers from 1982 through 1984. The company's first program was PAINT! for the Atari 8-bits, which was developed at the Superboots software development lab located at the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, D.C.. PAINT! was first published by Reston then by Atari.

Their next program was Movie Maker, an animation program. Next came three educational titles published by Spinnaker Software: Trains, a business simulation; Grandma's House, a digital dollhouse; and Aerobics, a fitness program. The company also created Operation Frog, simulated frog dissection software for the Apple II and Commodore 64.

This interview took place on September 9, 2021. In it, we discuss Guy Nouri, Ann Lewin-Benham, and Bill Bowman, whom I have previously interviewed.

After the interview, Eric sent me the source code for his early Apple II program Painter Power, which I scanned and uploaded to Internet Archive.

This interview on YouTube

ANTIC Interview 410 - Ann Lewin-Benham, Director of Capital Children's Museum

ANTIC Interview 407 - Guy Nouri, Interactive Picture Systems

ANTIC Interview 278 - Bill Bowman, CEO of Spinnaker Software

Reston Software's Paint manual

The Designers Behind MovieMaker in Compute! Gazette Issue 15

IPS feature in Starlog Magazine Issue 084

Movie Maker feature in Creative Computing April 1984

Painter Power source code

Emma One Sock fabric

ANTIC Episode 81 - Too Much Commodore

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 81 -  Too Much Commodore

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… we wax philosophical about Raspberry Pi upgrades for the Atari, discuss the drama that was the Atari fest of the past, and talk WAY too much Commodore!

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Interview 425 - Jeffrey Sarnoff, Atari Research Group

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Jeffrey Sarnoff, Atari Research Group
 
Jeffrey Sarnoff started at Atari in the home computer division in 1981 as a software architect, where he worked on a 3-D graphics library. The next year he moved to Atari's Research Group, under Alan Kay, where he worked on a holographic animation system and a 4-dimensional strategy game.

This interview took place on August 25, 2021.

ANTIC Interview 424 - Atari at the Science Fair: Mark Knutsen, Star Cluster

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Atari at the Science Fair: Mark Knutsen, Star Cluster
 
This is the third in a series of interviews called "Atari at the Science Fair" where I talk with people who used Atari 8-bit computers to create projects and enter them in science fairs.

Today's interview is with Mark Knutsen, who wrote a star cluster simulation in the Forth programming language for his high school science fair. I found this blurb in the July 1986 edition of the Jersey Atari Computer Group newsletter:

"June meeting highlights ... Mark Knutsen showed us his Star Cluster program in Forth that won a science fair prize for him. Mark’s program demonstrates the interaction of four stars in two planes. Mark also discussed Forth in general."

This interview took place on August 21, 2021. If you'd like to see our talking heads — and the visuals of his program running — a video version of this interview is available at YouTube and Internet Archive. Mark has shared his program and the source code: those links are in the show notes.

This interview at YouTube

Download Mark's Star Cluster program

Star Cluster blurb in JACE newsletter July 1986

ValFORTH Documentation

Computer Recreations - Star Clusters column in Scientific American: At JSTOR and At Internet Archive

ANTIC Interview 423 - Tom Halfhill discusses Charles Brannon and SpeedScript

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Tom Halfhill discusses Charles Brannon and SpeedScript

Charles Brannon was program editor at Compute! Publications from 1980 until 1986. He wrote and edited articles for Compute! Magazine and Compute!'s Gazette. His Linkedin profile says that his "primary responsibility was crafting BASIC and assembly language software creations. Secondary was managing other young programmers." Charles' wrote and ported many type-in programs for the Atari 8-bit and other computers. His Atari programs included FontMaker, a character set editor and The Atari Wedge, for adding commands To Atari BASIC.

His most popular and well-known program was SpeedScript, an assembly language word processor that was available first for the Commodore 64 in the March 1985 issue. In subsequent issues -- one month after another -- versions were published for VIC-20, then the Atari 8-bits, then the Apple II. Each version was a type-in listing that -- after excruciating hours of careful entry -- would build a powerful, functional word processor. Charles wrote a couple of books about SpeedScript (one specific to Atari and one specific to the Commodore versions) which contained the manual, type-in program code, and commented assembly language source code.

I've been trying to get an interview with Charles Brannon since 2015, to talk about his time at Compute! in general and SpeedScript specifically. This year, I heard back from his wife Margaret, who told me that Charles suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2016 and no longer feels confident in his memory. I won't be able to interview Charles.

But, Tom Halfhill, Charles' old friend and colleague at Compute!, volunteered to talk to me about Charles. Tom was a supervisor at Compute! when Charles wrote SpeedScript, and often discussed which features to include and the problems he encountered. Tom worked at Compute! Publications from 1982 to 1988, starting as the first Features Editor for Compute! Magazine later becoming Editor. He was the launch editor of Compute!'s Gazette for Commodore, Compute!'s Atari ST Disk and Magazine, Compute!'s PCjr Magazine, and Compute!'s PC Magazine.

This is not the first time I've talked with Tom: I interviewed him about his time at Compute back in 2016. This time I talk with him with an emphasis on Charles Brannon and SpeedScript. (To be perfectly honest, we stuck to those topics for about 35 minutes. After that, we found other interesting things to talk about, most of which I left in this episode.)

This interview took place on July 22, 2021.

This interview at Youtube

Compute! articles by Charles Brannon at AtariMagazines.com

SpeedScript book, Atari version, at Internet Archive

SpeedScript book, Atari version, at AtariArchives.org

Download SpeedScript for Atari or try it in your browser

My 2016 interview with Tom

Tom's web site

ANTIC Interview 206 - Richard Mansfield

ANTIC Interview 7 - The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Bill Wilkinson

ANTIC Interview 422 - Donald Dixon, Robotics R&D at Atari Research

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Donald Dixon, Robotics R&D at Atari Research

Donald Dixon worked at Atari Research from 1983 through 1984, under Dr, Alan Kay. There, he worked in robotics research and development, working on a robotic wheelchair. After Atari, Donald worked at Axlon, Nolan Bushnell's toys and consumer robotics company; and Worlds of Wonder, the company most famous for the animatronic bear toy, Teddy Ruxpin.

This interview took place on July 27, 2021.

Don's web site

ANTIC Interview 11 - David Small

ANTIC 2013 Chris Crawford interview

ANTIC Interview 420 - Brenda Laurel, Atari Research

ANTIC Interview 421 - Jim Leiterman, Atari Research Group

Video version of this interview 

ANTIC Episode 80 - Atari Dunking Booth

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 80 -  Atari Dunking Booth

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… we discuss the exciting progress being made around the 576NUC+ project, all of the great new Atari projects from the mind of Jason Moore, Kay’s awesome series of recent interviews, and we dunk your minds in the deep booth that is Atari news!

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

Intro

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

New at Github

ANTIC Interview 421 - Jim Leiterman, Atari Research Group

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Jim Leiterman, Atari Research Group

Jim Leiterman worked at Atari from April 1982 through March 1984 in the research group, under Alan Kay. His various projects included software for Project Puffer, an exercise bike peripheral for the Atari 800; an 8-player Hammurabi game; and an unreleased port of the game Warlords.

He created a symbolic disassembler, which he used to port the game Kangaroo from Atari 5200 to the Atari 800. That version of Kangaroo was released by Atari Program Exchange, in the fall 1983 catalog. Prior to Atari, Jim was a programmer at Horizon Simulations, where he worked on Shadow Hawk One, "a futuristic game of spacefaring piracy."

This interview took place on July 12, 2021. Be sure to check out Jim's web site where he has posted some photos of the hardware and software that we discussed.

This interview at YouTube

Jim's Atari page

Jim's games at AtariMania

"Atari nearly introduced the world to fitness gaming 30 years ago" in Washington Post

AtariProtos on Tumbleweeds

Horizons Simulations article in Softline Magazine Issue 1.4
 

ANTIC Interview 420 - Brenda Laurel, Atari Research

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Brenda Laurel, Atari Research

Dr. Brenda Laurel worked at Atari from 1980 through 1984. She began as software specialist for educational applications then soon became manager of software strategy for the home computer division. In mid-1982, she joined Atari Corporate Research at the Sunnyvale research laboratory, where she worked with Alan Kay.

After Atari, she worked at Activision as director of software development. Later she founded Purple Moon, a software company focused on creating games for young girls; and co-founded Telepresence Research, a company focused on first-person media and virtual reality.

This interview took place on July 15, 2021. Check the show notes for links to articles she wrote for Atari Connection magazine; her doctoral dissertation, "Toward the Design of a Computer-Based Interactive Fantasy System"; scans of memos on the subject of interactive fantasy that she wrote while at Atari Research; and more.

Brenda's web site

 
 

ANTIC Episode 79 - Basically MyTek and Nir

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 79 -  Basically MyTek and Nir

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… we discuss all the great work that MyTek is doing with Atari hardware (including the 576NUC), Nir Dary surprises all of the hosts with (late/early) Christmas (or birthday) Atari gifts, and Randy gets unmercifully teased about his overuse of the word “basically”.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

New at Github

Listener Feedback

End of Show Music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2klUVHRWtyk Original Atari 800 POKEY Chiptune by Cobra Commander 

ANTIC Interview 419 - Bob Elfstrom, The Magic Room

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bob Elfstrom, The Magic Room

Interview and research by Kay Savetz.

From 1982 through 1984, Atari ran summer computer camps at several locations around the United States. I covered the Atari camps extensively in a special episode in 2015. Now it's summer 2021, and we're going back to camp!

That first year of the computer camps, in 1982, Atari commissioned a film about its summer camps, about the kids and teachers who were there, about the process of learning about computers, about kids challenging themselves, and about making friends at summer camp. Atari commissioned filmmaker Bob Elfstrom and his partner Lucy Hilmer to make the film. They shot the 26-minute film at the University of California, San Diego campus in 1982. It would be titled The Magic Room and was released the next year.

There are many scenes in the computer lab: we see close-ups of kids concentrating, thinking about the logic of their programming projects. Their faces light up as they solve their problem. There’s an adorable scene with a robotic, computer controlled turtle running across the floor, racing an actual turtle. There's kids riding horses at magic hour, and singing by the campfire, and finally an epic pillow fight, with feathers flying everywhere in the dorm hallways. The end credits were made with an Atari 800, naturally.

This interview is with the filmmaker, Bob Elfstrom. (Lucy Hilmer was unavailable for an interview.) Bob has a long list of film credits to his name. He is known for his work on Johnny Cash! The Man, His World, His Music (1969), and Mysteries of the Sea (1980) -- his IMDB page lists scores of credits.

It's easy to watch The Magic Room (and you should!). It's available at YouTube and Internet Archive.

My interview with Bob took place on June 17 and June 25, 2021.

Watch The Magic Room

The Magic Room Trailer

ANTIC Special Episode - Atari Summer Camp

ANTIC Interview 412 - Linda (Gordon) Brownstein, Atari VP Special Projects

Bob's site

Bob in IMDB

Lucy Hilmer's site

Lucy in IMDB

Magic Room credits:
Robert Elfstrom Productions
Executive Producer: Linda S. Gordon
Executive Consultant: Lauren Dunbar
Produced and Directed by: Robert Elfstrom and Lucy Hilmer
Edited by: Michael Chandler
Associate Producer: Gloria S. Borders
Music by: Sasha Matson
Written by: Lucy Hilmer and Michael Chandler
Production Advisor: Richard Pugh
Sound: Agamemnon Andrianos
Additional Sound: Nelson Stoll
Production Manager: Kathleen Andrianos
Special Assistant Caroline Pugh
Special Thanks: Raymond E. Kassar, Robert A. Kahn, Wayne Harvey, Ted M. Kahn
Head computer instructor: Richard Pugh
Instructor: Karen Okagaki
Computer Campers: Maria Smith, Candace Shockley, Margaret Aiken, Enrique Rios, J. J. Kreideweiss, Vincent Cook, Jim Dillon, Leendert Mulder, Rick Crosby, Brent McDonald, Barry Champagne

ANTIC Interview 418 - Rick Trow, Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Rick Trow, Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

This is the second interview episode about Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow.

Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow was a school assembly, sponsored by Atari, that played at hundreds of middle schools and high schools throughout the United States in 1983 and 1984. In the previous interview episode, I interviewed one of the show's presenters and the filmmaker. In this episode, my interview with Rick Trow.

Rick Trow was the president of Rick Trow Productions, the company that created the Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow show -- as well as more than 40 other school assemblies and other productions over the years. Mr. Trow wrote the script for the 40-minute show, which combined two synchronized films with a live actor to teach computer basics to young people.

This interview took place on June 5, 2021.

ANTIC Interview 417 - Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

The Career Game

Rick Trow Productions Employee Newsletters 1983

"Taking the Show on the Road" in Personal Computing September 1983

Atari Brings Multimedia Computer Show To Schools in AtariAge v2n1

ANTIC Episode 78 - The Extremely Elderly Computer Geeks Club

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 78 -  The Extremely Elderly Computer Geeks Club

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… We discuss lots of new things you can do with your FujiNet, the differences in FujiNet versions, the Old Computer Geeks Club, and other recent Atari news...

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Interview 417 - Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Interview 417 - Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

Interviews and research by Kay Savetz

Imagine this. It's 1983 or 1984. You're drudging through yet another day of middle school or high school. But today, there's a surprise, a break from the monotony. The teacher tells your class to put away their stuff and go to the gym, or the cafeteria, or the auditorium. Today, there will be an assembly.

As you and your class -- and all the other classes -- get settled in the uncomfortable folding chairs, or the bleachers, or even the floor, you take in the scene: two large projection screens. Some speakers and audio equipment you haven't seen before. One of your peers is getting ready to run a spotlight. Then, this enthusiastic person -- older than you but really not by much -- explains why you're here. Today, at this assembly, you're going to learn about computers.

The lights go down, the spotlight comes up on that energetic host, and you realize this is a different sort of school assembly than you've seen before. Two projectors come on, lighting those two big screens -- it's a synchronized wide-screen movie. The presenter -- that not-much-older-than-you person -- talks to the screens, interacting with the movie and talking to the audience too. It's kind of corny, but your peers seem interested so you keep watching.

The show discusses the basics of computer operation, and how computers work differently than the human brain. There's a scene where the computers talk in voices like people. There's a section about robots, and a part where Suzanne Ciani shows how she makes music using computers. It touches on computer art, and the social implications of computers in the world.

40 minutes later, the show is over, and it's back to class. You learned a few things about computers, and talk about the assembly with your friends at lunch. Maybe you'll ask your parents for a computer for your birthday.

This scenario played out more or less exactly that way for more than a million middle school and high school students in 1983 and 1984. The assembly was called "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" and it was financed by Atari.

According to a 1983 article in InfoWorld: "Atari has a fleet of ... people traveling around the country giving the Atari multimedia presentation 'Expressway to Tomorrow' to a minimum of 500 people per performance at high-school assemblies."

(Full disclosure, the article claimed "Atari has a fleet of 700 people" putting on the show, but I can't believe that number is accurate. More likely the number was closer to 7.)

The traveling show would visit 2,000 schools in 1983, and was booked a year in advance. With the required minimum attendance of 500 students per show, that's a million kids. More than a million kids saw this assembly. that year.

The September 1983 issue of Personal Computing magazine said: "Since January 1983, nine separate touring units have crisscrossed the United States, presenting the show to nearly 1,400 public and private schools — a total of 1.2 million students to date. Touring begins again this September after the summer break, and will run through December 1984." In reality, I believe the show ended by mid-1984.

According to that article: "The show is a lively one, with the host on stage for the entire presentation. Several film projectors are going at once, filling two huge screens with fast-moving shots. Music is constant throughout. The host is busy either talking to the audience or interacting with characters on screen.  ...The program aims to give people [a] feeling of comfort about computing. The show focuses on the many applications of computers today, from storing recipes to teaching a language, to tutoring."

What survives of this show today? Not much that I know about so far. We don't have the film or the script. Audio tapes were available to help the presenters learn their lines. Informational packets were produced for teachers to hand out after the assembly. So far, I haven't been able to find anyone who has any of those things. (If you do, contact me!) What I do have is two interviews: memories of that project by one of the performers who went from school to school running the assembly, and the filmmaker.

Before we get to the interviews, I want to give some background about the business of producing school assemblies. It turns out that school assemblies are a big business. Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow was one of many shows put on by Rick Trow Productions of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. These shows were often sponsored by corporations, designed to educate kids, but also to get them excited about whatever it was they wanted to promote: taking pictures with Kodak cameras. Going skiing. Buying new music.

According to an article in the Boston Globe from 1972 -- this is 11 years before the Atari show, but some of the few hard stats I could find -- Rick Trow Productions staged 7,000 assemblies in 1971, maintained 23 touring companies offering 16 different shows to schools. They put on educational assemblies that promoted products and services from companies that wanted to reach the "youth market" -- CBS Radio, Air France, Eastman Kodak, and others. Its multimedia productions also included titles such as "The Black Experience", "Environment: Challenge to Action", and "The History of Rock and Roll". At the time, according to the article, the company charged a school just $80 per assembly. But by the time of the Atari show in 1983, the company seemed to have changed its business model to offer the shows to schools for free; earning their money entirely from the companies whose products its shows promoted. The companies got access to an audience of young people who might become eager to buy their product (or to ask their parents to get it.) The schools got free access to (hopefully) an educationally worthwhile presentation that would broaden their students' horizons.

A classified advertisement by Rick Trow Productions seeking presenters stated that in the early 1980s, presenters could expect to receive a salary of $100 per week during rehearsal period, and $500 per week for salary and expenses while on tour.

My first interview is with Veronica Wiseman, who was one of the presenters who traveled from school to school putting on the Atari show. Her name at the time was Ronnie Anastasio. Veronica did three "tours" of Expressway to Tomorrow, from January 1983 through April 1984.

(interview)

Next, my interview with Dr. Chuck Sterin, the filmmaker.

(interview)

The interview with Veronica Wiseman took place on October 23, 2020. The interview with Chuck Sterin took place on June 5, 2020.

Thanks to Chuck Sterin and Veronica Wiseman, and to Tom Bregatta, Bob Barto, and Frank Darby, who were also presenters who provided background information for this episode.

If you remember seeing Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow at a school assembly, I'd love to hear your recollections. If you happen to have any of the materials, such as the script, practice tapes, or the film, please contact me.

Check the show notes for links to magazine articles about the show, as well as scans of material that Veronica Wiseman saved, including Rick Trow Productions employee newsletters, a large collection of thank-you and feedback letters from many schools where she presented, and her photographs from that time.

Veronica Wiseman's collection of letters from schools

Rick Trow Productions Employee Newsletters 1983

Veronica's photo album

New Educational Film Show Charts Future Computer Careers for Students in Atari Connection v3n1

Atari Brings Multimedia Computer Show To Schools in AtariAge v2n1

Spring CUE Conference article in Infoworld v5n4

"Taking the Show on the Road" in Personal Computing September 1983

ANTIC Interview 416 - Bob Evans, Capital Children's Museum administrator

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bob Evans, Capital Children's Museum administrator

This is the fourth in our series of interviews about the Atari computers at the Capital Children's Museum.

Bob Evans wore many hats at the museum: he was director of special exhibits, where he worked on the museum's exhibit on the history of human communication, which used several computers, both public-facing and behind the scenes. He was administrator of Superboots, the museum's software publishing lab -- it published the computer art program PAINT! but no other software. Bob was administrator of The Future Center, the museum's public computer lab, and administrator of the museum's summer computer camp for disadvantaged youth.

This interview took place on April 22, 2021.

ANTIC Interview 391 - Tracy Frey, Atari Birthday Girl
 

ANTIC Interview 415 - Peter Hirshberg, Capital Children's Museum

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Peter Hirshberg, Capital Children's Museum

Peter Hirshberg was curator of the communications wing of the Capital Children's Museum in the early 1980s, where he helped build The Future Center, the computer lab outfitted with Atari 800 computers; and museum exhibits, some of which were computer controlled.

This interview took place on April 12, 2021. In it, we discuss Ann Lewin-Benham, director of the museum; and Guy Nouri, from the Superboots lab, both of whom I previously interviewed.

Compu-tots and Other Joys of Museum Life by Peter Hirshberg, Instructional Innovator, Sept 1981

ANTIC Interview 410 - Ann Lewin-Benham, Director of Capital Children's Museum

ANTIC Interview 407 - Guy Nouri, Interactive Picture Systems

ANTIC Interview 414 - Bob Puff, Computer Software Services

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bob Puff, Computer Software Services

Bob Puff is owner of Computer Software Services, a company that began creating hardware and software for the Atari 8-bit computers in 1982. Bob became president of the company in 1991. He designed a bevy of hardware products for the Atari computers, including The Black Box, a hard drive host adapter; The Multiplexer, a networking system; the UltraSpeed Plus operating system upgrade; upgrades for the XF551 floppy drive; the Super-E Burner EPROM burner; and others. He also created a number of popular utility programs, including the BobTerm terminal program; Disk Communicator, to convert boot disks to a single compressed file for transfer over modem; and MYDOS version 4.53; among other software.

This interview took place on April 27, 2021.

Computer Software Services legacy site

1993 Computer Software Services catalog scan

ANTIC Interview 393 - Charles Marslett, MYDOS and FastChip

ANTIC Interview 413 - Valerie (Atkinson) Manfull, Atari Game Research Group

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Valerie (Atkinson) Manfull, Atari Game Research Group

Valerie Atkinson was a member of Atari's Game Research Group. Now named Valerie Manfull, she was on the team that designed and programmed the game Excalibur, along with Chris Crawford and Larry Summers. Excalibur was published by Atari Program Exchange in fall 1983. She is also one of the programmes of Ballsong, along with Douglas Crockford. Ballsong is a music and graphics demo program released by Atari, in which a ball bounces on the screen in response to an improvised tune. She was one of the programmers, with Ann Marion, of TV Fishtank, a demonstration of an artificially intelligent fish. (It's unclear if the fishtank program was released anywhere, though it apparently was shown at the 1984 SIGgraph conference.)

This interview took place on April 22, 2021.

ANTIC Episode 4 - Chris Crawford

ANTIC Interview 240 - Douglas Crockford

TV Fishtank at SIGgraph

Jim Leiterman describes TV Fishtank

Chris Crawford describes the development of Excalibur in The Art of Computer Game Design

Excalibur announced in Atari Program Exchange, fall 1983

Excalibur review in Atari Connection

Excalibur at AtariMania

Video of Ballsong

ANTIC Episode 77 - Jason Moore PhD

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 77 - Jason Moore, PhD 

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… Jason Moore joins us to discuss his atariprojects.org Web site and we discuss all the news rocking the Atari 8-bit world...

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Interview 412 - Linda Brownstein, Atari VP Special Projects

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Linda Brownstein, Atari VP Special Projects

As I've researched Atari and it's 8-bit computer projects over the years, one name has come up over and over again, attached to the most interesting projects. Linda S. Gordon. Executive Director of Atari Computer Camps. Linda. Executive Producer of The Magic Room, Atari's movie about its camps. Atari's collaboration with Club Med to offer computer labs at vacation destinations — Linda again. Atari Club, the fan group that published Atari Age magazine - Linda launched that. More recently, in my interview with Ann Lewin-Benham of the Capital Children's Museum, Linda's name came up once again -- she was the liaison between Atari and the museum. Linda worked on the most interesting projects.

Today, her name is Linda Brownstein. Linda joined Atari in December 1980 as Vice President of Special Projects, where she worked on most of  the projects that I mentioned before. In October 1983 she became Senior Vice President in Atari's  Education group. She left the company in July 1984 after Jack Tramiel took over the company.

This interview took place on April 21, 2021.

ANTIC Interview 78 - Manny Gerard, The Man Who Fired Nolan

ANTIC Special Episode - Atari Summer Camp

ANTIC Interview 410 - Ann Lewin-Benham, Capital Children's Museum

ANTIC Interview 185 - Ted Kahn

Atari Computer Camps — The Magic Room

Video version of this interview

ANTIC Interview 411 - Mark Simonson, Atari Artist and Font Designer

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Mark Simonson, Atari Artist and Font Designer

Mark Simonson used his Atari computers who create art that was published in magazines in the 1980s, including a portrait of Nolan Bushnell that was commissioned by TWA Ambassador, an inflight magazine; a colorful street scene for the cover of Minnesota Monthly, the magazine of Minnesota Public Radio; and a juggler for the cover of Credit Union Advantage magazine, among others.

Professionally, Mark is a font designer. He created Atari Classic, a free TrueType font family for modern computers that looks like the Atari 8-bit screen font. Today, you'll see Atari Classic used in many Atari emulators, web sites, the WUDSN IDE, and elsewhere.

This interview took place on April 15, 2021.

Mark's Atari reminisce blog post

Mark's Mac/Atari Fusion site

Mark's Nolan Bushnell portrait in Hi-Res Magazine Issue 1

A wild Mark appears on AtariAge

FujiNet

This interview on YouTube

ANTIC Interview 410 - Ann Lewin-Benham, Director of Capital Children's Museum

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Ann Lewin-Benham, Director of Capital Children's Museum

Ann Lewin-Benham was executive director of the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum was home to the first public-access computer center in the nation’s capital, and indeed, one of the first in the United States. In 1981, Atari and Apple each donated dozens of computers to the museum. The exact number is unclear, but 30 is the number I've seen most often for Atari's contribution.

The computer lab was called The Future Center. There, the museum offered computer literacy classes for people of all ages, from Compu-Tots for preschoolers, to programming classes for adults, there was even a computer literacy session for members of Congress. It also used the lab for birthday parties. (Last year, I interviewed a woman who had her 8th birthday party at the museum.) The museum used more of its computers in its exhibit on communication. It established a software development laboratory, called Superboots, in which developers created custom softare for the museum, and one product that was released commercially: the graphics program PAINT!

In a 1982 article titled A Day At The Capital Children's Museum, Melanie Graves described the scene:

"My twelve-year-old friend Sarah and I went to the museum to explore the computers. There are several dozen computers scattered throughout the building which are used for exhibits, classroom teaching and the development of educational software...

A machine that calls itself "Wisecracker" is the noisest of the computers that beckon visitors to the Communication exhibit. "My-name- is-Wise-crack-er," it says in a monotone, "Come-type-to-me." This message repeats endlessly until someone types at the keyboard or turns off the computer. "Hello, how are you?" Sarah typed, and pressed the return key. "Hel-lo-how-are-you," the machine’s voice responded. Sarah typed for awhile longer and then proclaimed, "It sure is dumb, but its voice is kind of cute."

The computer next to Wisecracker has a data base program that asked Sarah her name, where she came from, and other questions. It informed her that she was the thirty-seventh person from Virginia to type in data that day... "Fifty-five percent of the people who came here were girls," she told me. Next to the data base, a computer is set up with a music program. Sarah pressed some random keys, causing notes to sound. At the same time, the letter names of the notes appeared on the keys of a piano that was displayed on the screen.

There is also a Teletext terminal that tells inquirers about weather predictions, and news releases, the latest acquisitions at the public library, local cultural events and whatever else has been entered into the data base for that day...

After playing with Teletext, Sarah and I went to the Future Center, a room equipped with twenty Atari 800s. On weekdays, the classroom is available to school groups ranging from prekindergarten to high school. On weekends, families arrive for courses in programming. Classes have also been created for working people, senior citizens, community groups, congressional spouses and other special interest groups. This summer more than sixty students from the Washington, D.C. public schools attended one of two free month-long computer camps at the museum."

This interview took place on April 2, 2021.

Ann's web site

Museum in Atari ConnectionVolume 1 Number 4

A Day At The Capital Children's Museum

 
 

ANTIC Interview 409 - Ed Fries: Romox Ant Eater, Princess and Frog, Sea Chase

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Ed Fries: Romox Ant Eater, Princess and Frog, Sea Chase

Ed Fries programmed three games for the Atari 8-bit computers, which were published on cartridge by Romox: Sea Chase, Ant Eater, and Princess and Frog. His forth game for Romox, Nitro, was unfinished because the company went out of business before Ed was done coding it.

Years later, Ed became vice president of game publishing at Microsoft where he oversaw the creation of the Xbox. In 2010, Ed released Halo 2600, a demake of the Halo video for the Atari 2600. In 2013, he coded an Atari 2600 version of Rally X.

This interview took place on March 11, 2021.

After the interview, Ed sent me the assembly language source code to five games, which he graciously released as open source. You'll find the code for Sea Chase, Ant Eater, Princess and Frog, the unreleased/finished game Nitro, and a chess game, at GitHub.

AtariMania's list of Ed Fries' games

2015 Atari Compendium Interview

Ed's Blog

Ed on Twitter

This interview at Youtube

ANTIC Interview 76 - Tim McGuinness, founder of Romox

The Paper Computer Unfolded

Sea Chase source code

Ant Eater source code

Princess and Frog source code

Nitro source code

Chess source code

 

ANTIC Episode 76 - The Bill Kendrick Show

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 76 - The Bill Kendrick Show

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… Bill Kendrick gets more mentions than when he’s on the show, Kay discovers he owns more Atari disk drives than the rest of the Atari community combined, and we discuss all the news rocking the Atari 8-bit world.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

Commercial

New at Github 

Listener Feedback 

Closing

ANTIC Interview 408 - David Maynard, Electronic Arts Worms?

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Interview 408 - David Maynard, Electronic Arts Worms?

David Maynard created the game/simulation "Worms?" Published by Electronic Arts in 1983, it was a launch title -- one of the five initial releases from the company. David, one of EA's first employees, wrote Worms? for the Atari 8-bit in FORTH. It was later ported to the Commodore 64.

Worms is an interactive version of Paterson's Worms, a family of cellular automata devised in 1971 by Mike Paterson and John Conway. It is an unusual program, in which the player teaches wormlike creatures how to move on a hexagonal grid -- what direction to move in various situations. The worm's goal is to to grow and survive, and to capture more space on the grid than its competitors. Up to four worms could play simultaneously, with any combination of human- and computer-controlled worms.

But the program's manual didn't tell you all that straight off. In fact, here's the first thing you saw after opening the package: "You will find detailed instructions enclosed. Do not read them. Instead, sit down and get started. Don't ask how. Just start. You know how these things work... Resist them. Do not read them for a very long time. In fact, do not read them until you know how the game works... Then never read the instructions. Innocence is bliss."

David also collaborated on Cut & Paste, a word processor published by Electronic Arts in 1984.

After our interview, David sent me a binder of Worms? development documentation and source code for Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64, all of which I have scanned and are available at Internet Archive and GitHub. The originals are going to the Strong Museum of Play, at David's request.

This interview took place on March 4, 2021.

Worms? source code for Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64

Scans of printed Worms? source code

Worms? Development Notes

David's blog

Worms? at AtariMania

Michael Beeler's original Paterson's Worms paper

Martin Gardner's article in Scientific American

Darworms, Javascript version of Worms?

Darworms instructions and explanation

More Paterson's worm math

EA We See Farther poster 

This interview at YouTube 

ANTIC Interview 407 - Guy Nouri, Interactive Picture Systems

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Guy Nouri, Interactive Picture Systems

Guy Nouri was co-founder of Interactive Picture Systems, a company that created software for 8-bit computers from 1982 through 1984. The company's first program was PAINT! for the Atari 8-bits, which was developed at the Superboots software development lab located at the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, D.C.. Its next program was Movie Maker, an animation program. Next came three educational titles for the Atari: Trains, a business simulation; Grandma's House, a sort of digital dollhouse; and Aerobics, a fitness program. The company also created Operation Frog, virtual dissection software for the Apple II and Commodore 64; and First Draft, an outline processor that helped kids plan their writing.

This interview took place on March 7, 2021.

PAINT! manual

First Annual IPS Computer Film Show

PAINT! in K-Power magazine

ANTIC Interview 406 - Atari at the Science Fair: Michael Fripp, Silent E

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Atari at the Science Fair: Michael Fripp: Silent E

An article was published in the Daily Press newspaper of Newport News, Virginia on February 13 1985, titled "Best in Show at Science Fair: Computer program helps young readers conquer the 'silent e' challenge'.

Two years ago Michael Fripp wanted to make sure his younger brother didn't face a hard time learning how to deal with the "silent e" principle in reading lessons. Putting his own Atari computer to work, Michael developed a fun, educational computer program designed to teach then 6-year-old Daniel how to successfully pronounce words like "cap," "tub" and "man" when an "e" is added to each.

"I remember the trouble I had with 'silent e' and didn't want him to have that trouble," says 13-year-old Michael, an eighth grader at Queens Lake Intermediate School. "There are lots of math but few English programs for computers. I hope to bridge that gap."

Michael went on to expand the "silent e" program, complete with more detailed instruction and graphics, through his computer science class at school and entered it as an exhibit in the York County Science Fair. Michael's educational reading program — "Silent E: A Program for K-3" — was judged best in show.

"We were pleased and surprised a computer program was picked because usually the judges pick pure science," says Carolyn Gaertner, who teaches math and computer science at the intermediate school.

Michael's computer program involves a simple story outline about an earthling named Tim and his spaceship landing on the planet EOP which is ruled by the Silent E's. There, Tim learns how the Silent E's simply and quickly turn words such as "pan" into "pane" with the addition of their favorite letter...

He has copyrighted the program and hopes to market it commercially. More than 100 hours of work have gone into the project...

"Computers are like a fever; they grow on you," says the young man. "I try to do a lot of programming at home but homework really limits me."

The large photograph accompanying the article shows young Michael, replete with calculator watch, in front of an Apple II computer, not an Atari.

I talked with Dr. Fripp to hear all about his program.

This interview took place on February 28, 2021.

Intro song: Silent E by Tom Lehrer

ANTIC Interview 405 - Heidi Brumbaugh, Antic Magazine

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Heidi Brumbaugh, Antic and START Magazines

Heidi Brumbaugh worked at Antic Publishing, where she started off as editorial clerk, then was promoted to editorial assistant, for both Antic magazine and START magazine, then was programs editor for START Magazine. She wrote many articles for Antic and START, including three programs for the 8-bits published in Antic: Red, White and Blue, a board game; Hot and Cold, a Master Mind-type game; and Antic Prompter, a teleprompter application.

She met her husband through Antic publishing, START author and programmer Jim Kent, who also created the Cyber Paint program for Atari ST.

This interview took place on February 28, 2021.

List of Antic articles by Heidi Brumbaugh

List of START articles by Heidi Brumbaugh

Heidi's programs at Atarimania

Heidi's review of Linkword Languages

Cyber Paint by Jim Kent

2013 Interview with Jim Capparell, Founder of Antic Magazine

ANTIC Interview 404 - Atari at the Science Fair: Scott Ryder: Atari-Controlled Robot

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Atari at the Science Fair: Scott Ryder: Atari-Controlled Robot

Here's an article from The Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) dated April 15, 1982: "Science proves Fair game to young minds".

"Joseph Paul Ogas, 17, has designed a cheaper way to manipulate material beneath a microscope. Garey Nishimura, 13, has evaluated the relative flammability of several household fabrics. Theirs were the big winners among the 693 projects that filled the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall for this year’s California Central Valley Science and Engineering Fair.

"There were other interesting projects that didn’t win big [such as]
'The Effects of Birth Control Pills on Plants,' and 'Determining the Correlation Between Canine Howling, Cockroach Activity and Earthquake Prediction'."

And later -- in the article's final paragraph, the reason for this interview: "Runners up [included] Scott Ryder, a sixth-grader at Ayer Elementary School: "Can an Atari 800 Control a Robot With Software?"

Can an Atari 800 control a robot with software? And if so, why did an awesome Atari-controlled robot only earn a runner-up award at the Science and Engineering Fair? I talked with Scott to find out.

This interview took place on February 21, 2021.

ANTIC Episode 75 - Video Wars

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 75 - Video Wars

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast… we discuss the merits of Sophia vs. VBXE for video upgrades, kick off the BASIC 10-liners contest, discuss some new games, and talk about numerous hardware upgrades that are coming.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interviews 

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.org

ANTIC Special Episode - My Atari by Suzanne Ciani

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Special Episode: My Atari by Suzanne Ciani
 
Over the years many of the people I've interviewed have generously sent me all different kinds of historical Atari material — including source code, schematics, documentation, books and articles, and design documents — and allowed me to share them. This is the first time someone has sent me a professionally produced song they created for Atari.

After I published my interview with Suzanne Ciani, she sent me an email: she had found an unpublished Atari spot in her archives. It's a tune titled "My Atari". She sent it to me and graciously allowed me to share it with you.

She wrote "I don't think it is a final. There are a bunch of mixes. Maybe you could shed some light on this as to whether it was ever used." Well, I'd certainly never heard it before, and don't think it was ever used. I suppose it might have been used internally by Atari, but it wasn't released to the public. Suzanne later said that she believes it was a demo for a campaign, but as far as she knows it was never used. She hasn't found records indicating what year the song was made. My guess is probably between 1981 and 1984.

Lyrics:
I've been to lots of places
There's more I wanna see
And being young is all that's stopping me

Beyond my time I know there's more
A whole world waiting to explore
But I can't seem to get past my back door

But when I sit
At my Atari
I know the world is mine
And the future is my time

When I sit
At my Atari
There's no mountain I can't climb
No adventure I can't find

I know the world is mine
When I sit behind
My Atari

I know the world is mine
I know the world is mine
My Atari
I know the world is mine
I know the world is mine

It's a rockin' tune with a powerful bassline that propels the song forward, but beyond that, the lyrics tell a poignant story of a person who feels ready to explore and conquer the world — but is still too young. Until their time comes, their Atari video game provides an exciting glimpse into a future of exploring the world for themselves. It strikes me sad, but hopeful.

Suzanne sent me several versions of the song, and there doesn't seem to be a definitive final version. Some have differences in length of a few seconds. My untrained ear can't tell any difference between some variations. One is significantly shorter, leaving out some lyrics. Others abruptly stop, due to technical issues during mixing or perhaps because they were meant as insertion edits.

You've heard one of the complete versions. For completionists and the curious, I'll play the other versions she sent me now. I've uploaded high-quality versions of all of these audio files to Internet Archive.

Thank you to Suzanne Ciani for taking the time to recover these files, and for sharing them with me and the world.

"My Atari" audio at Internet Archive

My interview with Suzanne: audio, YouTube, Internet Archive

ANTIC Interview 403 - Dan Kramer, Atari Trak-Ball Controllers

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dan Kramer, Atari Trak-Ball Controllers

Dan Kramer worked at Atari from 1980 to 1984 in the consumer engineering group where he created products for the home computers and home video games. He championed the creation of the Trak-Ball accessories for the Atari game consoles and computers, and received a patent for his digital-to-analog interface for the Atari 5200 trak-ball. He also worked on the French (SECAM) version of the Atari XL computers, the Atari 2700, and various other projects.

This interview took place on December 18, 2020.

Playing Catch-Up: Dan Kramer (2005 interview): https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/97175/Playing_CatchUp_Dan_Kramer.php

Patent: Digital-analog conversion for shaft encoders: https://patents.justia.com/patent/4496936

Video version of this interview at YouTube: https://youtu.be/l0E6BCrhka0

ANTIC Episode 74 - Name Wars

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 74 - Name Wars

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast… Kevin (er... Kay) and Randy have a name fight and, as usual, we bring you all the Atari 8-bit news that’s fit to print.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interviews 

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at GitHub

New at Archive.org

Feedback

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender. 

ANTIC Interview 402 - The Famous Computer Cafe

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

The Famous Computer Cafe

This is a podcast episode featuring three interviews with people who created a radio show that did hundreds of interviews.

The Famous Computer Cafe was -- not a restaurant -- but a radio program that aired from 1983 through the first quarter of 1986. The program included computer news, product reviews, and interviews.

The program was created by three people — who were not only the on-air voices, but did all the work around the program: getting advertisers, buying air time, researching each day's computer news, booking interviews -- everything. Those three people were Andrew Velcoff, Michael Walker (now Michael FireWalker), and Ellen Fead Hansen (later Ellen Walker, now Ellen Fields.) For this episode of Antic, I got to talk with all three of The Famous Computer Cafe's proprietors.

There were several versions of the show, which aired on several radio stations, primarily in California. A live, daily half-hour version allowed phone calls from listeners. Taped versions (running a half-hour and up to two hours) also aired daily. The show started in 1983 on two stations in the Los Angeles area: KFOX 93.5 FM and KIEV 870 AM. In 1985 it began airing in the California Bay Area: on KXLR 1260 AM in San Francisco and KCSM 91.1 FM in San Matro, and KSDO 1130 AM in San Diego.

Also in 1985 a nationally syndicated, half-hour non-commercial version of The Famous Computer Cafe was available via satellite to National Public Radio stations around the United States, though it's not clear today which stations ran it.

To me, the most exciting thing about the show was the interviews. The list of people that the show interviewed is a who's-who of tech luminaries of the early 1980s.  But not just computer people: they interviewed anyone whose work was touched by personal computer technology. musicians, professors, publishers, philosophers, journalists, astrologers.

The cafe aired interviews with Philip Estridge, the IBM vice president who was responsible for developing the PC; Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates; Atari Chairman Jack Tramiel; Bill Atkinson, developer of MacPaint; Infocom's Joel Berez; Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek; musician Herbie Hancock; Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts; author Douglas Adams; Stewart Brand, editor of the Whole Earth Catalog; psychologist Timothy Leary; science fiction writer Ray Bradbury; synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog; and pop star Donny Osmond. The list goes on and on and on. By mid-1985, the show had run more than 300 half-hour interviews.

Here's the bad news. Those episodes, those interviews, are lost. Today, a recording of only one Cafe episode is known to exist. That show, which aired January 2, 1986, includes an interview with Rich Gold, creator of the Activision simulation Little Computer People; a call-in from tech journalist John Dvorak; and commercials for Elephant Floppy Disks and Microsoft Word. The entire 29-minute episode is available at Internet Archive, with the gracious permission of the show's creators. It's an amazing time capsule -- which survived because Rich Gold, interviewed on the program, saved a cassette of that show. Perhaps, somewhere, there are hundreds more episodes waiting to be re-discovered — if someone has the recordings. If you do, contact me at antic@ataripodcast.com.

The good news is that transcripts of six interviews do exist (and are now online): Timothy Leary, Donny Osmond, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky; Frank Herbert, author of the Dune series; Tom Mahon, author of Charged Bodies; and Jack Nilles, head of the University of Southern California Center for Futures Research.

Check this episode's show notes, at AtariPodcast.com, for links to the one episode, the six transcripts, and the cool Famous Computer Cafe logo.

You'll hear the interviews in the order in which I recorded them. First up is Michael FireWalker, then Ellen Fields, then Andrew Velcoff.

The interview with Michael FireWalker took place on May 27, 2020. The interview with Ellen Fields took place on June 1, 2020. The interview with Andrew Velcoff took place on July 3, 2020.

Special thanks to fellow researcher Devin Monnens, and the Department of Special Collections at Stanford University.

This podcast used excerpts from the one The Famous Computer Cafe episode that is known to exist. That episode, now available at Internet Archive, was digitized by Stanford University (the physical tape is in their special collections located in the Stanford Series 9 of the Rich Gold Collection (M1510), Box 2.)

If you have any other recordings of any Famous Computer Cafe episodes, please contact me at antic@ataripodcast.com.

The Famous Computer Cafe 1986-01-02 episode

The Famous Computer Cafe interview transcripts

The Famous Computer Cafe ads, photos, articles

ANTIC Interview 401 - John F. White: Writing Strategy Games On Your Atari Computer & Superquerg

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

John F. White: Writing Strategy Games On Your Atari Computer & Superquerg

John F. White is author of the book Writing Strategy Games On Your Atari Computer and the creator of Superquerg and Negaquerg, computer chess programs that were distributed in New Atari User magazine.

He was also a contributor to the UK computer magazines Popular Computing Weekly, Personal Computing, Practical Computing, and Computer Weekly, often writing about computer chess and game strategy.

His book Writing Strategy Games On Your Atari Computer, published in 1983, offers “techniques for intelligent games,” with advice and BASIC code for programming tic-tac-toe, checkers, chess, and other board games.

New Atari User’s description of SuperQuerg — it was a “disk bonus,” not a type- in program — was: “SuperQuerg Chess is a third generation program with alpha-beta pruning and iterative deepening. An alpha-beta window is also employed. Uses Shannon A and B strategies, killer heuristic and chopper functions, new methods for searching to deep levels and for other game strategies. ... Querg Chess is unusual among chess programs in that it relies more on the strength of its positional strategy than on its tactical play. Artificial Intelligence methods are used to switch between strategic and tactical searching, as the program considers appropriate.”

John organized the 1982 Chess Computer Symposium, the first major tournament to assign gradings to chess computers by their play against human opponents. He is co-creator of Blitz Latin, Latin-to-English language translation software.

This interview took place via email from July 13 through 16, 2020. You will be hearing John’s words but not his voice. John preferred not to do a voice interview, so for this audio podcast, his emailed responses will be read by Victor Marland.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Writing Strategy Games on Your Atari Computer: UK versionUS version 
 
 
Weather Center adventure game articles: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
 
 

ANTIC Episode 73 - Randys Personality Board

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 73 - Randy’s Personality Board

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast… we have a ton of Christmas gift ideas for that Atari nerd in your life (even if that nerd is you); we find out Randy has a broken personality board; and we bring you the Atari 8-bit news to fill out your life.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interviews 

News 

Shows

Christmas Gift Ideas

YouTube videos this month

New at GitHub

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 400 - Suzanne Ciani, pioneer in electronic music

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Suzanne Ciani, pioneer in electronic music

Suzanne Ciani is a pioneer in electronic music, Grammy-nominated composer, and recording artist. In the 1980's, she created music for television commercials, corporate tags, and audio logos for Atari as well as many other companies. She also created the soundtrack for the 1980 Bally pinball machine, Xenon. In addition to being an early adopter of electronic music, she educated the world about it, demonstrating sound design techniques on The David Letterman Show, 3-2-1 Contact, and other popular media.

This interview took place on November 5, 2020.

Suzanne Ciani's web site

Suzanne Ciani Creates The Soundtrack For A Pinball Machine

A Life In Waves trailer

Suzanne Ciani interview in ANP Quarterly Vol 2/No 7

2012 Suzanne Ciani interview in LA Times Music Blog

Suzanne Ciani on Letterman

Suzanne Ciani on 3-2-1 Contact

Atari Video Game Summer commercial

This interview at YouTube 

After the interview, Suzanne found an unreleased Atari song 

ANTIC Episode 72 - Pick and Place

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 72 - Pick and Place

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast… we have as a guest Mr. Gavin Haubelt who runs the Vintage Computer Center and who is feverishly producing #FujiNets for the Atari community, Brad as the host of this episode shows why he’s considered the master of segues, and we talk about all the new hardware available or coming (such as the world’s smallest Atari 8-bit).

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

Making the Boxes for collectors of the Atari 800 xl and the Drive 1050 to keep the collections in perfect condition The scheme and prints in:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zE68...

New at Archive.org

Listener Feedback 

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 399 - Jim Tittsler, Atari 1600 prototype

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Jim Tittsler, Atari 1600 prototype

Jim Tittsler got my attention with a tweet, an old photo of a computer in a PC-style case, connected to Atari joysticks and disk drive. In the tweet, Jim wrote: "A prototype of what we hoped would become the #atari 1600: an Atari 800 grafted on to an IBM PC compatible. A Jekyll/Hyde mashup allowing you to plug in cartridges, SIO drives, and  PC expansion cards. It seemed a good idea at the time."

So I reached out to Jim to learn more about that computer, and his time at Atari.

Jim worked in Atari's Special Projects Group, where he worked on several pie-in-the-sky, unreleased, home computer projects including the Atari 1600. When Atari was sold to Jack Tramiel, he was re-hired, where he worked on the Atari ST, the Atari PC-1 IBM compatible, and other projects. He worked at Atari for more than a decade.

This interview took place on September 9, 2020.

Video version of this interview at YouTube

Jim's Atari 1600 tweet

Atari Museum on the Atari 1600

ANTIC Interview 398 - Dan Noguerol (Farb): Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dan Noguerol (Farb): Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative

Two interviews with the same person, recorded more than four years apart. Dan Noguerol is better known to the Atari community as Farb. He is the mastermind behind the Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative, and years ago created SIO2Arduino, an Arduino-based disk drive emulator.

I interviewed Farb on August 29, 2019, where we talked primarily about the Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative. That interview took place at the Fujiama Atari event in Lengenfeld, Germany. Our friend Roland Wassenberg sat in on the interview. Shortly after doing that interview, I learned that Randy Kindig had also interviewed Farb, on April 20, 2015, but got busy and hadn't published the interview.

So in this episode, two interviews with Farb: my more recent interview first, then we'll go back to 2015 to hear Randy's interview.
...
Since this interview was recorded, I received my SuperCard Pro, and have used it to digitize a couple hundred Atari disks. I've also digitized dozens of Atari cassette tapes. With the Software Preservation Initiative web site, the process has gotten a lot easier. The Kryoflux and SuperCard Pro hardware and software still isn't as foolproof as I'd like, but there's been progress on that front for sure.

Next, Randy's 2015 interview. In it, they discuss the Software Preservation Initiative, which was at a much earlier stage at that point, and SIO2Arduino. SIO2Arduino is an Atari 8-bit device emulator that runs on the Arduino platform. It connects to Atari 8-bit hardware and emulates a single Atari 1050 disk drive. In the years since this interview was recorded, the project has largely been made obsolete by projects like the S-Drive-MAX and FujiNet. But Farb's work on SIO2Arduino, and making it open-source, absolutely laid the groundwork for those newer hardware projects.

Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative

SIO2Arduino web site

SIO2Arduino at GitHub

Farbish.com is offline but archived at Internet Archive

ANTIC Episode 71 - Goodbye, Curt Vendel

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 71 - Goodbye, Curt Vendel

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast...we say goodbye to good friend and Atari legend Curt Vendel and bring you lots of other Atari news.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interview Shows

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Github

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 397 - Youth Advisory Board: Steve Cohen

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Steve Cohen

This is the eighth in a series of episodes featuring the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, including Steve Cohen.

He attended George Washington High School in Denver Colorado, where his teacher, Dr. Irwin Hoffman, taught. George Washington High School received a grant from the Atari Institute for Education Action Research, Atari's educational support arm, The Atari Institute Newsletter (fall 1982) wrote: "High school students in a model math and computer program will use their grant of ATARI Home Computer systems to develop individual and group research projects in their own fields of interest. Extensible programming languages, such as FORTH, will be used to develop new syntax for use in other high school subjects: electronics, music, art, history, mathematics, and home economics. This project supports a major 'model school' known for its innovations in computer education over the last twenty years."

This interview took place on May 21, 2020.

Enter Magazine—When These Kids Talk, Atari Listens

ANTIC Interview 396 - Kai and George Esbensen, Micro-Ed Software

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Kai and George Esbensen, Micro-Ed Software

I first heard about the Micro-Ed software company when a member of the Atari community sent me a batch of educational cassette tapes to digitize. The tapes had titles like Maps and Globes, Punctuation, and Spelling Level E. Intriguingly, the tape labels said "Micro-Ed, creators of more than 2,500 programs, pre-school through adult." 2,500 programs? Why had I never heard of this company?

I asked 4AM, a software preservationist specializing in the Apple II — and specializing in little-known educational software — if they had heard of the company. The answer was also no. So I started to research.

A two-page advertisement in Compute! magazine issue 4, May 1980, provided my first glimpse into the company: "LOOK at all the MICRO-ED programs for the PET!" The titles listed include Agreement of Subject and Verb; Run on Sentences; Higher, Same, Lower; Word Demons; and (oddly) Usage Boners. Many of the software tapes were sold in packs, for instance $84 for a pack of 12 elementary school programs. $49.95 for a grade's worth of spelling lessons on 7 tapes.

An item in the Washington Apple Pi journal, four years later, January 1984, intrigued me: "$10,000 EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE GIVEAWAY. Micro-Ed Incorporated has announced its willingness to donate up to $10,000 worth of software to any school district, Special Education cooperative, or parent group willing to establish a school-to-home lending library. No limit has been established on the number of grants Micro-Ed will make. The donation is not contingent upon the purchase of any Micro-Ed products. ... Thorward Esbensen, Micro-Ed's president, 'envisions the establishment of a free lending library of educational software for families.'"

Less than a year later, in November 1984, the Commodore magazine The Transactor (v5n3) wrote that Micro-Ed had donated "more than a half million dollars worth of its instructional programs to school systems" for those free software lending libraries.

So. Micro-Ed was established in 1979 by Thorward (Tory) Esbensen. Based in Eden Prairie, MN, the company specialized in low-cost educational software. The software, written in the BASIC programming language, was available for Commodore PET, VIC-20, and Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, TRS-80, and Texas Instruments computers. Micro-Ed's best-known title was perhaps "Trail West," an Oregon Trail-like game.

Mr. Esbensen died in 2012. I interviewed two of his sons, both of whom worked with their father at Micro-Ed. First, I talked with Kai Esbensen, the youngest in the family. Kai told me in email: "My siblings had all moved out by the time Micro-Ed was in motion, but I lived it. Helping out with Micro-Ed was my first paid job, in 2nd/3rd grade, and I was still on the payroll helping out through age 22." This interview took place on May 28, 2020.  ...

Next, I talked with Kai's older brother, George Esbensen, who was a salesman for Micro-Ed, and later was president of Cycle Software Services, a software duplication company that spun off from Micro-Ed. This interview took place on June 3, 2020.

Very old Micro-Ed/Thorwald Esbensen web site

AtariMania's partial list of Micro-Ed Software for Atari

Micro-Ed advertisement in Compute! magazine May 1980

Thorwald Esbensen obituary in StarTribune

Thorwald Esbensen obituary in Duluth News Tribune

Washington Apple Pi, January 1984

The Transactor v5n3

ANTIC Interview 395 - Myra Marshall, Computer Applications Tomorrow

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Myra Marshall, Computer Applications Tomorrow

Myra Marshall, along with her husband-at-the-time Roger Marshall, was co-founder of Computer Applications Tomorrow, a small software company that specialized in educational software for microcomputers. Most of the company's software was self-published and sold in small computer stores, including titles such as USA States and Capitals, Spelling Exam, and Alphabet Keyboard Primer. One title, Musical Computer: The Music Tutor, was sold by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the spring 1982 APX catalog. It was available on disk and cost $14.95.

This interview took place on August 26, 2020.

Musical Computer in the spring 1982 APX catalog

AtariMania's list of Computer Applications Tomorrow software

ANTIC Interview 394 - Michael Darland, Microperipheral Corporation and Sofcast

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Michael Darland, Microperipheral Corporation and Sofcast

Michael Darland was co-founder of Microperipheral Corporation, and president of Sofcast, a system that sent computer data over AM and FM radio.
 
Founded in 1979, Microperipheral Corporation produced 300 BPS modems for several brands of microcomputers, including models compatible with the Atari 8-bit computers. Using telecommunications software called TariTerm, the Atari compatible-modems worked with the Atari 850 interface, or by connecting directly to the SIO bus.

Michael was also co-founder of Sofcast. Launched in August 1984, Sofcast was a system that sent computer programs and other data over traditional AM and FM radio stations. Listeners would use a $70 receive-only modem, called a Shuttle Communicator, to receive the programs that were transmitted over radio waves at up to 4800 bits per second.

According to an article in the June 1986 issue of Modern Electronics magazine, "The software itself actually originates at the radio studio as a tape recording of what is essentially a modem’s output. It’s the same as if you fed an ASCII file through a modem, but recorded the modem’s output instead of sending into a telephone line."

An article in PC Magazine, May 28, 1985, provides more detail:

"The show’s format falls under the bailiwick of Robert E. Lee Hardwick, a veteran radio announcer of 25 years. Harwick’s articulate voice serves as the common thread tying together the distinct parts of the weekly 30-minute show. At the microphone, Hardwick interviews guests like Bob Landware, developer of software for synthesizing music on PCs, or he demonstrates computing curios such as the Ghostbusters theme played over a Commodore computer speaker. ...What separates Hardwick's show from its counterparts, though, is the transmission of software, or sofcasts.

Midway through the show, Hardwick advises the listening audience to ready their equipment for sofcasts. He briefly describes the program or data file to be sent and counts down the sofcast like a rocket launch. A 1-second beep follows, after which the actual software is broadcast. This typically lasts 10 to 12 seconds, terminated by another 1-second beep. Then Hardwick’s voice returns.

To transmit or download software across the air, Hardwick cables a device called a Shuttle Encoder to the serial interface port of his PC. With a program written by Microperipheral, he transfers the file to be sofcast to the Encoder, which converts it to analog signals. These signals can be taped or broadcast directly. ... The show is subsequently played on two AM stations in the Seattle/Tacoma area on Sunday nights, KAMT...and KXA.

...On the receiving end, the audience has an AM radio tuned to the show. Prior to the sofcast, listeners attach a Shuttle Communicator to the radio. A cable coming from the Communicator connects to the radio earphone jack. Another cable connects the battery-powered Communicator with the computer through the serial port.

...A special program, also developed by Microperipheral, is executed on the computer... It accepts a stream of data sent by the Shuttle Communicator to the serial interface and writes the data to a disk file.

Since the show first went on the air in August 1984, Hardwick has sofcast a plethora of programs. The list includes spreadsheets, flight simulators, picture files, and games aimed at Commodore, Atari, Macintosh, Radio Shack, and IBM PC computers, among others. The public-domain programs distributed through the sofcast were initially received by only a few computers because of the limited availability of Shuttle Communicators."

Later in the article, it says: "One of the biggest tasks facing Hardwick and his colleagues is to convince radio stations to air the show. ...Sofcast airs Sunday nights, sandwiched, on one station, between two religious broadcasts, a time when there 'is no revenue possibility at all, and hasn’t been for 20 years.' Yet a computing audience is tuning in, and businesses can reach them through advertising without paying exorbitant rates."

Sofcast would grow to broadcast on 30 radio stations in the United States.

Michael Darland's co-founder for both ventures, Donald L. Stoner, was a world-renowned ham radio operator who died in 1999.

This interview took place on May 24 and May 31, 2020.

"Software Takes To The Air" in PC Magazine 1985-05-28

"Free BASIC programs by Radio" in Modern Electronics 1986-06

"Software On The Air" in Computer Shopper 1985-08

Cable Systems Talk to Computers by Donald L. Stoner

Wave of Future in Computer Software May Come Over The Radio
 
Sofcast receive-only modem

Donald L. Stoner obituary

ANTIC Episode 70 - Who Wants a FujiNet Anyway... I do!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 70 - Who Wants a FujiNet Anyway… I do!

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast… we discuss the roll-out of the first 50 units of FujiNet, “virtual” shows remaining this year, new software, hardware and all the current Atari news riding the waves.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue 

Next Without For 

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Github

Commercial

New at Archive.org

Listener Feedback

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 393 - Charles Marslett, MYDOS and FastChip

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Charles Marslett, MYDOS and FastChip

Charles Marslett wrote floppy disk and hard drive drivers for Percom, and was the creator of MYDOS, a disk operating system for the Atari 8-bit computers that offered support for double density sectors, subdirectories, and hard drives. He also created FastChip, a hardware add-on for the Atari, sold by Newell Industries, that claimed to speed up floating point routines by 300%. He also created the A65 Assembler, a macro assembler. He has released the source code for MYDOS and FastChip.

This interview took place on July 13, 2020.

Charles' web site

MyDOS at AtariWiki

MyDOS 3.0 User Guide

A65 Assembler at AtariWiki

ANTIC Interview 212 - Wes Newell, Newell Industries

ANTIC Interview 7 - The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Bill Wilkinson, OSS

ANTIC Interview 11 - The Atari 8-bit Podcast - David Small

ANTIC Interview 22 - The Atari 8-bit Podcast - Kathleen O'Brien, OSS

Michael Abrash

Zen of Assembly Language by Michael Abrash 

Zen of Assembly Language by Michael Abrash: free eBook version; code at GitHub 

ANTIC Episode 69 - Bill Collector

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC #69 Show Notes, July, 2020

Title: Bill Collector

Guests

What We’ve Been Up To

News

Shows

YouTube

Feedback

ANTIC Interview 392 - Dorothy Siegel, Pioneer in Computer Music

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dorothy Siegel, Pioneer in Computer Music

I'm Kay Savetz, and this is ANTIC: The Atari 8-bit podcast. This interview, however, is about events that happened before Atari released its first computers.

This interview is with Dorothy Siegel, a pioneer in computer music. The music she created was on an IMSAI 8080 computer and a clarinet.

The First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival was held August 25, 1978 as part of a show called Personal Computing '78 held at the Philadelphia Civic Center. In 1979, Creative Computing Magazine published a record album, also titled First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival. The 12" 33 RPM record was of music performed at the festival: 18 pieces, including Dorthy's.

Dorothy was co-founder of Newtech, along with her husband Michael Abram and business partner Stuart Newfeld, a company that built add-on music cards for two S-100 bus computers: the IMSAI 8080 and the Southwest Technical Products Corporation 6800. The Newtech Music Cards cost $59.95 each. (Newtech was not the same company as NewTek, the company that sold the Video Toaster in the 1990s.)

Dorothy performed Johann Wanhal's Rondo from Sonata in B-flat for Clarinet and Piano. The IMSAI, with three Newtech music boards, performed the piano part, and Dorothy accompanied it on clarinet.

I'm going to play the song now. It's about four minutes long.

Regarding Dorothy's song, the album notes read: "Newtech's music card for the S-100 bus is essentially a digital-to-analog converter controlled by an output port on the computer. The analog output is fed into amplifiers to be heard. This approach to computer music synthesis is extremely flexible since hypothetically any possible sound can be created. In actual practice the performance of the music circuitry is somewhat limited by the speed of the host computer. Each card can produce up to three voices output to one channel.

Newtech's music software consists of a BASIC program which converts music into binary tables, and a machine-language interpreter to play the music with three voices and different envelopes. The piece on this record uses three cards each playing one voice."

Check the show notes for an extensive list of links to people that we talk about and the articles that Dorothy wrote for ROM Magazine and Popular Electronics. You can hear the entire First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival at VintageComputerMusic.com or buy the album on a remastered audio CD directly from Dave Ahl of Creative Computing Magazine.

This interview took place January 7, 2014, when I was doing research for a book about the first personal computer magazines. Although I've decided not to write the book, I am publishing the interviews that I did while doing the research.

Personal Computing '78 flyer

Popular Electronics magazine, January 1975

Edward Miller's Piece for Clarinet & Tape

Stan Viet

Electro-Harmonix

ANTIC Interview 332 - Mike Matthews, founder of Electro-Harmonix

ANTIC Interview 280 - David and Betsy Ahl, Creative Computing Magazine

Samuel Abram, Dorothy's son

ROM Magazine Issue 4: Scott Joplin on Your Sci-Fi Hi-Fi by Dorothy Siegel

ROM Magazine Issue 5: Make Me More Music, Maestro Micro by Dorothy Siegel

Popular Electronics November 1979: CP/M: The Standard Microcomputer Software Interface by Dorothy Siegel

Listen to/download First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival album

Buy the album on a remastered audio CD from Dave Ahl

ANTIC Interview 391 - Tracy Frey, Atari Birthday Girl

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Tracy Frey, Atari Birthday Girl

There's an article in the New York Times, dated April 9, 1982: "8-Year-Old's Birthday Party in a Computer Center." The story, written by Barbara Gamareklin, is about the birthday party of Tracey Pizzo — now Tracey Frey — which took place at the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, DC.

Quoting the article:

Tracy Pizzo decided that Chunky’s Cheese Pizza Parlor was not the place for her eighth birthday party after all. She chose the Future Center of the Capital Children’s Museum, where her 13 guests were able to try their hand at the video games on 20 Atari 800 microcomputers.

Without waiting to remove their coats and jackets, the girls, most of them 6 to 8 years old, rushed toward the glowing multicolored screens. In no time they were engrossed in computer games — from Asteroids and Find Hurkle to Lemonade Stand.

"Go, Megan, go!" cried 6-year-old Enid Maran, who was still wearing her black kid gloves. "We have to explode those little stars." Megan Thaler worked her control lever and sent a stream of blue and red simulated antiaircraft fire across the screen in the direction of a small green airplane.

Tracy’s mother, Peggy Pizzo, said that Tracy’s older sister, Cara, had been to the Future Center on a school field trip "and Tracy got so excited when she heard about it that she insisted we have a computer birthday party.” ...

"Tracy said the reason she wanted to come was because her friends liked to push buttons," said 11-year-old Cara, who had baked the white birthday cake with pink frosting that had "Eight" spelled out in strawberries.

"What is your name?" the Birthday Banner computer asked. "And how old are you now? Are you a boy or a girl?" As Tracy typed in the answers and her friends serenaded her with “Happy Birthday,” a five-foot computer tape slowly emerged from the machine, reading in letters six inches tall: "Happy Birthday Tracy."...

Tracy, aided by her friends, Katherine Herz and Annamaria Hibbs, tried out her entrepreneurial skills at Lemonade Stand. ... Tracy played Hangman with her father, Dr. Philip Pizzo. She said, "Make it hard, but not too hard," as she closed her eyes and her father entered the word "Christmas" for her to guess, each incorrect guess slowly forming a hangman’s noose on the screen....

Asteroids is the only noneducational game offered in the computer room...

Computer birthday parties cost $5 a person, with a minimum of eight in a party...

As for Tracy Pizzo, as she and her friends filed down the hall to the balloon-festooned party room for ice cream, cake and presents, she pronounced the day "just perfect."
 
(end quote)

In 1981, Atari donated 30 Atari computer systems to the Capital Children's Museum. The contribution allowed the museum to establish the Future Center "computer learning environment", to put computer programs in exhibits, and to create a software development lab.

By the way, the Capital Children's Museum still exists — it's now called the National Children's Museum, but there probably aren't any Atari computers around to play with anymore.

This interview took place on June 26, 2020.

NYT — 8-Year-Old's Birthday Party in a Computer Center:
https://www.nytimes.com/1982/04/09/style/8-year-old-s-birthday-party-in-a-computer-center.html

Picture of Tracey and her friends: https://imgur.com/a/pD7RTF6

National Children's Museum
https://nationalchildrensmuseum.org

ANTIC Interview 390 - David Gedalia, Atari-controlled Telescope

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

David Gedalia, Atari-controlled Telescope

Listener Paul Somerfeldt sent me a blurb he found in a book titled "The Dobsonian Telescope" by David Kriege and Richard Berry. The book reads: "Computer-controlled Dobsonian telescopes entered amateur astronomy in the late 1980s. An outstanding early example was David Gedalia's 10-inch f/4.5 Dobsonian driven by an Atari 800XL computer, shown at the 1987 Riverside Telescope Makers Conference. With the Atari driving altitude and azimuth stepper-motors, the telescope would move automatically to coordinates entered on the computer’s keyboard. David was a third-year engineering student when he built this telescope."

I sought out David to find out more about his Atari-controlled telescope.

This interview took place on May 29, 2020.

Photos of David with his telescope

The Dobsonian Telescope by David Kriege and Richard Berry

New Horizons in Amateur Astronomy by Grant Fjermedal

ANTIC Interview 389 - Brad Stewart, Covox

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Brad Stewart, Covox

Brad Stewart was the co-founder and chief designer of Covox, the company that created Covox VoiceMaster. VoiceMaster was speech digitizer and voice recognition hardware for the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, and Apple II computers. Covox's own demonstration audio tape describes it well, although the demo tape that I found doesn't mention the Atari.

This interview took place on May 21, 2020.

Aerosynth

Brad's blog post about Covox Voice Master

Kay plays with VoiceMaster in 2014

Covox Voicemaster Demo cassette

A Bionic Approach to Speech Processing

Escape from Planet X at AtariMania

ANTIC Interview 388 - Henry and Nancy Taitt, Creative Learning Association

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Henry and Nancy Taitt, Creative Learning Association

Henry Taitt was founder of the Creative Learning Association, which created books and classes about how to program computers in BASIC. Henry, along with his wife Nancy Taitt, ran the company from 1982-1988.

The book series, TLC For Growing Minds — TLC means Thinking, Learning, Creating — delivered self-paced lessons about the BASIC programming language. Versions of the series were available for Atari 8-bit, Apple II, IBM PC, TRS-80, and other platforms. Each platform series had seven books with color-coded covers: the red cover was level 1, orange for level 2, yellow for level 3, and so on down the rainbow. Another series offered platform-agnostic microcomputer projects.

The material was used as the bases for in-person classes at computer labs around the United States. Creative Learning Association also published a newsletter and a "national registry of computer programers" highlighting students who had progressed in the book series.

I have been able to find and scan some of Creative Learning Association materials and upload them to The Internet Archive. 

This interview took place on April 14, 2020.

TLC for Growing Minds book scans

 

ANTIC Interview 387 - Claudia Cohl, Editor-in-Chief of Family Computing and K-Power Magazine

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Claudia Cohl, Editor-in-Chief of Family Computing and K-Power Magazine

Claudia Cohl was the editor-in-chief of Family Computing Magazine for its entire run. Published by Scholastic, the magazine ran for 49 issues, from September 1983 through September 1987. Then it published 11 more issues, though August 1988, as "Family and Home Office Computing." Finally, it was rebranded "Home Office Computing". Claudia remained editor there until a new division was formed, and she moved to the Professional Publishing department to focus on magazines for teachers.

In a 1983 New York Times article "Children's Magazine for a Computer Age," Claudia is quoted: "Our magazine is primarily for parents. Parents feel confused about computers and software and they feel they have no place to turn. We think parents will be using our magazine themselves or with their kids. Children will be picking up the magazine too."

Claudia was also editor-in-chief of K-Power magazine, a computer magazine for kids. Only eight issues of K-Power were published, running from February 1984 to November/December 1984, after which it was merged with Family Computing.

Our interview took place in two portions, on June 29, 2018 and December 11, 2019.

Read Family Computing at Internet Archive

Read K Power at Internet Archive

ANTIC Episode 68 - What SIDE Are You On? With Jonathan Halliday

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 68

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast… Jonathan Halliday joins as we discuss his amazing work on the SIDE loaders for the Incognito and Ultimate 1MB  and the work going on for the SIDE3 cart.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

  •  

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Github

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 386 - Sherman Rosenfeld, Atari Institute for Education Action Research

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Sherman Rosenfeld, Atari Institute for Education Action Research

Dr. Sherman Rosenfeld is an internationally-known leader in informal learning and science education. He was a consultant to the Atari Institute for Education Action Research. Founded in June 1981 and led by Ted Kahn, the Institute provided equipment, advice, and financial support to non-profit educational organizations. It granted more than $1 million in hardware and software to schools, science museums, vocational and special education programs, even a prison.  

Ted Kahn, whom I have previously interviewed, recently dug through his files to uncover several documents about the Institute, including "Informal Learning and Computers," the working paper written by Sherman Rosenfeld for the Atari Institute for Education Action Research in September 1982. Ted also graciously scanned a 1981 Atari Institute brochure, a 1983 progress report, and "Atari in Action," the Institute's newsletter, dated fall 1982.

This interview took place on May 25, 2020. Sherman talked to me from his office in Israel. A video version of the interview is also available.

Informal Learning and Computers

Atari Institute For Educational Action Research Brochure

Atari in Action — Atari Institute Newsletter fall 1982

Atari Institute Report Feb. 1983

Caspi Towards Creative Self Education Synopsis
 

ANTIC Interview 385 - Software Automatic Mouth: Mark Barton

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Software Automatic Mouth: Mark Barton

Mark Barton was creator of SAM — Software Automatic Mouth. Released in 1982, SAM was the first software-only speech synthesizer for personal computers. It was available for the Apple II, Commodore 64, and Atari 8-bit computers. He later developed Macintalk, speech synthesis for the Macintosh computer; and narrator, the speech system for the Commodore Amiga.

This interview took place on May 22, 2020.

SAM Demo Disk

Steve Jobs movie
 

ANTIC Interview 384 - Fandal: Atari programer and archivist

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Fandal: Atari programer and archivist

Frantisek Houra is better known to the Atari community as Fandal. He's an Atari computer programmer and long-time archivist of European Atari software. He has created many original Atari games and conversions from other platforms: including Fruity Pete, Mashed Turtles, Crescent Solitaire, and Diamondz.

This interview took place on August 28, 2019, during the Fujiama Atari conference in Lengenfeld, Germany. Roland Wassenberg sat in to assist with the interview. Shortly after, Fandal and I and several other attendees hooked up a multijoy and played some rounds of Mashed Turtles with six players (up to eight can play), and it was so. much. fun.

Fandal's web site

Mashed Turtles

Xenophobe game for sale at Video61

ANTIC Interview 383 - Gregg Squires, Atari Manager of Hardware Engineering

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Gregg Squires, Atari Manager of Hardware Engineering

Gregg Squires was a Manager of Hardware Engineering at Atari from 1982 through 1984, working from their New York office. He was project manager for Val, a cost-reduced version of the Atari 2600; and project manager for the Atari XL computer series. He was co-designer of the 65816 microprocessor architecture.

Greg sent me a scan of an Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting handout dated January 1983. It's an impressive 45 pages and paints a clear picture of the timeline, costs, and issues involved with creating that computer.

This interview took place on February 13, 2019.

Atari VAL photo

Atari 600XL Product Status Meeting Handout

The Working Clock-Timer by Joel Moskowitz

ANTIC Interview 65 - Steve Mayer, 400/800 Designer

ANTIC Interview 382 - Rik Dickinson, Encore Video Productions

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Rik Dickinson, Encore Video Productions

Rik Dickinson is founder of Encore Video Productions, a company that rented Atari 8-bit computers to hotels for use as character generators. The computers would show information about the hotel on channel 2 of guests' televisions. This was part of a service that Encore offered to provide in-room movies that ran off videotapes. The tape machines ran on a timer, and when the movie ended, the video feed switched back to the text information displayed by the Atari.

This interview took place on April 20, 2020.

Forum about Encore Video Productions Display System

Encore Video Productions

ANTIC Episode 67 - Still Socially Distant

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 67 - Still Socially Distant

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast...Randy forgets to call the artist, formerly known as Kevin, as Kay about 100 times, we continue discussion on AtariFests and World of Atari, we help you with your free time by telling you about papercraft computers and RetroPie, and help you navigate what’s happening with vintage computer shows; plus a whole lot more Atari news!

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interviews

News 

 

 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

New at Github

New at Archive.org

Feedback

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender. 

ANTIC Interview 381 - Youth Advisory Board: Tracey Cullinan

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Tracey Cullinan

This is the seventh in a series of episodes featuring the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, including Tracey Cullinan.

Tracey worked as a salesperson at the ComputerLand store in Los Altos, California — starting at the age of 12. He started a software company, Superior Software, which produced custom software for local businesses, as well as a couple of games for the Apple II computer. At 14, Tracey was invited to be a member of the Youth Advisory Board. As part of that job, he went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago to demonstrate Atari computers. The next year, as a 15-year-old, Tracey was interviewed on the "Today" show as a young entrepreneur.

There's a chapter about Tracey in the 1984 book "Computer Kids" by George Sullivan. (His picture in on the back cover of the book.) I'm going to read several passages from that book, quotes from Tracey.

...A Computerland store opened
in a mall near my home. I made friends with the people
who worked in the store, and they let me use the computers
there.

The store happened to be within walking distance of
where I live, and I'd go there after school and on week-
ends, or almost anytime I had free time. I often wrote
game programs on the computers, and I bought a disk on
which to store the programs. They let me keep the disk
at the store.

When customers came into the store, I'd sometimes
help out by showing them what a computer could do.
They'd be amazed. "What’s this nine-year-old kid doing
showing me how a computer works?"

I’m now working at the store. I started as an employee
when I was twelve. I was in sales at first but later I shifted
over to computer repair...

I now know five or six computer languages — BASIC,
Pascal, LOGO, plus three machine languages: 6502, the
one that’s used on the Apple and Atari and the one I use
the most, Z-80. I’m starting to learn 8086, the language
for the IBM Personal Computer...

The company that I operate is called Superior Software.
I prepare custom programs for businesses in the
area. One program involves inventorying and invoicing
for a company that sells charcoal fire starters. I’ve got
another program that gathers stock market prices from a
computer, and then correlates them and prints them out
for a local stockbroker.

A third program I wrote for the Los Altos Little
League. It’s a mailing list program. They use it in sending
out notices about tryouts, practices, and things like that.
I became a member of the Atari Youth Advisory Board
because someone at the consulting firm that was getting
the names of kids together for Atari happened to know
my dad. When the consulting firm found out that I was
into computers, they put my name on the list. Then the
people at Atari picked me.

We've been giving Atari advice mostly on their home
computers. Later, I think they're going to ask us for advice
on their video games and arcade games...

I also use the computer to write game programs once
in a while. One that I’ve written is called Glutton [for the
Apple II.] You, the shooter, are armed with little missiles
and positioned on the right side of the screen. You can
move up and down only. You shoot to the left.

The glutton moves back and forth across the screen.
The glutton likes to eat. Different kinds of food fall from
the top of the screen. Some of it is good food, like apples,
carrots, and chicken drumsticks. But some of the food is
junk food, like cupcakes and soda pop. The object of the
game is to keep the glutton well fed, but healthy, You try
to eliminate the pieces of junk food by blasting them with
your missiles.

I've tried to sell Glutton to some of the companies that
market game software to computer owners, to companies
such as Broderbund and Sirius. But I haven’t been successful yet.
...As far as the future is concerned, I plan to go to college.

I'd like to go to a good private university, a technical
one, like MIT, Cal Tech, or Stanford... After that, I
think I'd like to be a game programmer, and maybe work
for Atari, Imagic, or Activision, or some company like
that.


Tracey didn't go to any of those colleges. He died 1986 of brain cancer. He had just turned 18.

I talked with Tracey's mother, Leola Wooldridge; and his younger brother, Cory Cullinan, about their memories of Tracey.

This interview took place on April 17, 2020. In it, we discuss John Dickerson, whom I previously interviewed.

Tracey in Computer Kids book

Demystifying Excellence by Cory Cullinan

John Dickerson interview 

Tracey Cullinan On Today Show on Youtube or Internet Archive 

ANTIC Interview 380 - Atari Speed Reading: Karlyn Kamm and Brad Oltrogge

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Atari Speed Reading: Karlyn Kamm and Brad Oltrogge

The Atari Speed Reading software package was released by Atari in 1981. It was a self-paced program, for use with the Atari computer and a cassette drive, that promised to teach you to increase reading speed and comprehension with 30 days of practice. The package contained a workbook and five cassette tapes.

This is an interview with two of the people who created the Atari Speed Reading package. Karlyn Kamm created the speed reading educational material at the University of Wisconsin with Dr. Wayne Otto. In 1975, she and Dr. Otto published a book titled "Speedway, the Action Way to Read." Dr. Otto died in 2017.

Brad Oltrogge is president of Learning Multi-Systems, the software publisher that was contracted by Atari to turn Kamm and Otto's speed reading material into a product for the Atari home computer.

This interview took place on April 16, 2020.

Atari Speed Reading Workbook

Atari Speed Reading at AtariWiki

Dr. Otto obituary

Speedway: The action way to speed read

The Study Skills Component of the Wisconsin Design

Learning Multi-Systems 

ANTIC Interview 379 - Gabriel Baum, Atari Conversational French and Spanish

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Gabriel Baum: Atari Conversational French and Spanish

Gabriel Baum worked at Thorn EMI, where he managed the project to create two early language learning programs that were published by Atari: Conversational French and Conversational Spanish. (Atari's language learning series would also include Conversational German — Gabriel started that, but left Thorn EMI before that project was finished — and Conversational Italian.)

After Thorn EMI, Gabriel moved to Mattel where he became one of the "Blue Sky Rangers," creating Intellivision games. If you'd like to hear more about that, Paul Nurminen interviewed him about that time in episode 37 of The Intellivisionaries podcast.

For a deep dive into the Atari Conversational French software, listen to season 5, episode 1 of the Inverse ATASCII podcast. You can download the software and audio for all of the conversational language series from AtariWiki.

This interview took place on March 31, 2020. In it, Gabriel mis-remembers a bit of the technical capabilities of the Atari cassette drive, which was a lot less sophisticated than he recalls. If you'd like to read the technical details of how the Atari 410 and 1010 program recorders worked, check out Appendix C of De Re Atari.

Conversational language series at AtariWiki

Inverse ATASCII podcast covers Atari Conversational French

Gabriel interview on the Intellivisionaries podcast

De Re Atari on the Atari cassette capabilities

ANTIC Episode 66 - Socially Distant

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 66 - Socially Distant

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: We talk about what we’re doing Atari-wise in these socially distant times and we bring you all the Atari news from around the world.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

What We’ve Been Up To

News 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

Commercial

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender. 

ANTIC Episode 65 - Cats with umbrellas and dogs!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 65 - Cats with umbrellas and dogs!

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:  Kevin’s dogs do their best to be a part of the podcast, we tell you all about a very busy month of personal Atari stuff, all the programming contests going on, and all the other news we could find.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

Interview index: here 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz 

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com 

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interviews

News 

https://gkanold.server.deerpower.de/ 

https://twitter.com/Basic10L/ 

AtariAge discussion - https://atariage.com/forums/topic/301250-2020-basic-10liner-contest/ 

https://atariaction.tumblr.com/post/190760859977/10-line-poker-machine 

https://atariaction.tumblr.com/post/190761401187/10-line-blackjack 

Atariage Thread - https://atariage.com/forums/topic/300855-kaz-kompo-2019-vote-for-the-best-game-of-2019/#comments 

https://twitter.com/possan/status/1225530633621032961 

http://forum.atarimania.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18847 

Shows

YouTube videos this month

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 378 - Craig Hickman, Atari Photography Software and Security System

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Craig Hickman, Atari Photography Software and Security System

Craig Hickman was featured in the June 1982 edition of Atari Connection magazine for his photography software tools. "Craig has developed two programs written in Atari BASIC for use in his darkroom. One of the programs times the negative’s development, and the other monitors and times enlargements and the making of the positive prints." His Developing program could store up to 30 film processing combinations. "Once the film is developed into a negative, you are ready to use Craig's Enlarger/Timer program to make a positive print." The Atari 400 was connected to the enlarger with relays: the computer would turn the enlarger on and off at precise intervals for making photographic prints.

Craig also rigged up an apartment security system using his Atari 400, which he wrote about in an article on his web site. He wrote: "I designed a home surveillance system for our apartment in Seattle that used little magnetic switches from Radio Shack. It displayed a representation of our apartment on the screen and showed when a door or window was open. It worked so well I expanded the system to include little tilt switches placed on bushes outside the windows. This also worked fine until one windy night when I was away from home and it set off the alarm every few minutes. The next day my wife told me to dismantle it."

Later, Craig created the popular program Kid Pix for the early Macintosh computer.

This interview took place on January 29, 2020. See the show notes for links to Craig's web site and YouTube channel, and the Atari Connection magazine article.

Craig's web site

Craig's darkroom timer in Atari Connection Magazine
 
Craig's YouTube channel

ANTIC Episode 64 - Living in the Future

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Episode 64 - Living in the Future

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: 
We talk about our Atari-related resolutions for the new year, how 2020 sounds like we’re living in the future, and bring you news and feedback from across the Atari 8-bit landscape.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz 

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com 

What We’ve Been Up To

Interviews

Atari News 

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube Videos

New at Archive.org

Feedback

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender. 

ANTIC Interview 377 - James Hugard, Neanderthal Computer Things

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

James Hugard, Neanderthal Computer Things

James Hugard was co-founder of Neanderthal Computer Things, a company that created just one product. "810 Turbo" was a hardware conversion board for the Atari 810 disk drive that promised true double density storage, and faster data reading and writing. The device, released in 1983, could be installed inside your 810 disk drive with "no jumpers, no soldering, no extra box." It cost $295. James wrote the firmware for the device.

Check the show notes for links to the 810 Turbo Manual and advertisement, photos of the board, and a lively discussion on AtariAge (in which James has answered some questions and added more commentary.)

This interview took place on June 7, 2019.

810 Turbo ad

810 Turbo Manual

810 Photos and software

NCT Letter to Atari users groups

Discussion on AtariAge

ANTIC Episode 63 - SillyVenture and FujiNet!

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

SillyVenture and FujiNet

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: In the tradition of bringing you the latest Atari 8-bit news, we have a couple of very special guests in this episode.  First of all, Bart comes to us literally direct from the fabulous SillyVenture show to give us a rundown, and then Thomas Cherryhomes tells us all about the amazing work going on with FujiNet!

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz 

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com 

What We’ve Been Up To

  •  SDrive Max from Vintage Computer Center - 

https://www.vintagecomputercenter.com/product-category/atari 

Guests

Interviews

Atari News 

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender. 

ANTIC Interview 376 - Dennis Zander: Artworx, Hazard Run, Strip Poker

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dennis Zander: Artworx, Hazard Run, Strip Poker
 
Dennis Zander was one of the founding partners of the software publishing company Artworx. He programmed a number of games and educational titles, including Hazard Run, Rings of the Empire, Monkeymath, Giant Slalom, Intruder Alert!, Monkeynews, and others. He collaborated with Roger Harnish on Artworx popular Strip Poker game.

This interview took place on June 13, 2019. In it, we discuss Art Walsh, whom I previously interviewed.

Atarimania's list of Dennis' games

Dennis' software at Archive.org

ANTIC Interview 284 - Art Walsh, Dynacomp and Artworx

Z-Stuff for Trains

ANTIC Interview 375 - Bruce May, Unreleased Magic Castle Game

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bruce May, Unreleased Magic Castle Game

In 1982 Bruce May created Magic Castle, a game for the Atari 800 computer. He finished the game but was unable to find a publisher for it, so hardly anyone played it. In October 2019 he sent me scans of his original documents regarding Magic Castle: his design notes, and even rejection letters from the three companies that he submitted the game to: Catalyst Technologies, Avalon Hill, and Origin Systems. He hasn't been able to find the floppy disks with the game, but he does have printouts of the source code — which he also scanned and sent to me — so it could potentially be resurrected by the Atari community.

This interview took place on October 13, 2019.

Bruce's Magic Castle documents

ANTIC Interview 374 - Wolfgang Burger, President of Atari Bit Byter User Club

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Wolfgang Burger, President of Atari Bit Byter User Club

Wolfgang Burger is the president and a founding member of the Atari Bit Byter User Club, the world's largest user group dedicated to the Atari 8-bit computer. The group was founded in 1985 in Herten, Germany. Today, the group has about 500 members from around the world. The group's quarterly magazine — still produced on an Atari computer — is almost certainly the longest continually published computer magazine anywhere.

This interview took place on August 28, 2019, during the Fujiama Atari conference in Lengenfeld, Germany. Wolfgang doesn't speak much English, and I don't speak any German, so Roland Wassenberg provided real-time language translation.

ABBUC web site

ANTIC Interview 373 - Bruce Irvine, Atari VP of Software

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bruce Irvine, Atari VP of Software

Bruce Irvine was Atari's Vice President of Software — heading the company's new computer software division — from September 1980 through approximately July 1982. Among other responsibilities, he oversaw Atari Program Exchange and the opening of Atari "software acquisition centers." After leaving Atari, he co-founded Mindset Corporation with Roger Badertscher.

This interview took place on November 7, 2019. In it, Bruce mentions Steve Gerber, Fred Thorlin, Dale Yocum, and Manny Gerard, all of whom we have previously interviewed.

Infoworld — Atari Opens Second Software-Acquisition Center

ANTIC Interview 268 - Steve Gerber, VP of International New Product Development

ANTIC Fred Thorlin interview

ANTIC Dale Yocum interview

ANTIC Interview 78 - Manny Gerard, The Man Who Fired Nolan

ANTIC Episode 62 - Incognito and 40 Years of Atari 8-Bits

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:  Kevin hobnobs with Atari celebrities at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Brad and Randy find out they’re podcast hosts #2 and #3, respectively, and together we cover all the Atari news that’s fit to print. 

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz 

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com 

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari News 

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube Videos Since Last Show

New at Archive.org

Listener Feedback

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender. 

ANTIC Special Episode — Atari 800 series computers: 40 years

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

ANTIC Special Episode — Atari 800 series computers: 40 years

This is Antic, the Atari 8-bit podcast. I'm Kevin Savetz. On Saturday, October 19, 2019 I had the privilege of taking part in a panel at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. The session was titled "Atari 800 series computers: 40 years." The panelists were Joe Decuir, one of the hardware designers of the Atari 400 and 800; David Crane, who was one of the developers of the Atari's operating system before he famously left Atari to co-found Activision; and myself.

The session was attended by roughly 50 people. There were some difficulties getting Joe's computer to throw its video to the projector, and you can hear some fussing with that in the recording before it gets resolved. I had a great time participating in this panel celebrating the Atari 800's 40th birthday.

Joe Decuir's slide deck for this panel

Joe Decuir 1977 Engineering Notebook

Joe Decuir 1978 Engineering Notebook

ANTIC Episode 61 - Fujiama, Ahl Collection, and Bill Lange

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:  Kevin comes back from Fujiama with a report and Bill Lange joins us to talk about the David Ahl Collection that he acquired.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz 

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com 

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari News 

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube Videos Since Last Show

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 372 - Andrew and John Lenz: Atari Still in Use

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Andrew and John Lenz: Atari Still in Productive Use in Store

It’s very difficult these days to find vintage computers still in productive use out in the wild.  Andrew and John Lenz have an Atari 8-bit still in use, at the time of this interview, in the picture framing department at Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz, CA, a store that sells art materials and custom framing services.  The Atari computer has over 200,000 hours of operational time. (That's on and in use!) Running a program written in BASIC by Andrew in the mid-1980s. According to Andrew, it boots from a floppy every morning without fail.

Store Web Site - http://www.Lenzarts.com

ANTIC Episode 60 - Podificating

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:  We try to catch up after being on hiatus for 2 months by bringing you all the Atari news we could find and we learn a new word in the process.

READY!

Recurring Links 

Floppy Days Podcast 

AtariArchives.org 

AtariMagazines.com 

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 

New Atari books scans at archive.org 

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 

ANTIC Facebook Page 

AHCS 

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz 

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com 

 

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari News 

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube Videos Since Last Show

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 371 - John Anderson: Rally Speedway and Arex

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

John Anderson: Rally Speedway and Arex

John Anderson worked at Adventure International, where he coded several games: Eliminator, Rear Guard, and Sea Dragon for the Apple II, then Rally Speedway and Arex for the Atari 8-bits.

This interview took place on May 22, 2019. In it, we discuss Scott Adams and Russ Wetmore,  both of whom I have previously interviewed.

List of John's games at Atarimania

 

ANTIC Episode 59 - Atari Computer Roundtable 2.0

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: We have a special round table episode with Nir Dary, Darren Doyle, Roland Wassenburg, Thomas Cherryhomes joining the usual hosts of ANTIC where we discuss what everyone is up to in the Atari 8-bit world, including the latest shows (VCFSE and VCFE).  It’s an Atari mega-show!

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

Links Mentioned in Show:

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 370 - Roy Goldman, Daisy Dot

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Roy Goldman, Daisy-Dot
 
Roy Goldman was the creator of Daisy-Dot, a typesetting program for the Atari 8-bit computers which he published from about 1987-1990. There were three versions of Daisy-Dot, the original plus Daisy-Dot II and Daisy-Dot III. The earliest version was freeware, and later versions asked for payment for access to special features.
 
This interview took place on May 11, 2019. After we talked, Roy sent me scans of memorabilia from that time, see the links below for those.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Episode 58 - Show Fever

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: Kevin regales us with his exploits in the 10-Line BASIC Contest, we discuss the renewed efforts to show off Midi-Maze on the Atari 8-bits, and the entire staff prepares to be involved in several great shows this year ...

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari News

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube Videos Since Last Show

New at Archive.org

Commercial

  • tweet from Andrew Borman, Digital Games Curator at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY: “We're underway with our U-Matic digitization project at @museumofplay. Check out this clip from Atari's First Decade celebration! We are dialing in some settings and comparing to some of the previously digitized footage” - https://twitter.com/Borman18/status/1100143648476487680

Feedback

End of Show Music

  • The Czech composer Adam J. Sporka published this week "For Ember", album with 18 chiptune songs composed using an Atari 800XL computer.

The album is available on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Deezer, Amazon and SoundCloud. More information on the official page of For Ember - http://kcdsoundtrack.com/for-ember.html

 

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Episode 57 - Atari Pascal

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: Bill Lange joins us as a special guest, and he has lots of Atari Pascal news; we have all the Atari news fit to print, and more shows coming in 2019 than you can shake a stick at ...

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

https://www.facebook.com/groups/181644898539691/permalink/1963165623720934/

Interviews

Atari News

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube Videos Since Last Show

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 369 - Philip Bouchard, The Oregon Trail

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Philip Bouchard - MECC, The Oregon Trail

Philip Bouchard spent over 30 years designing computer software, 18 of which were focused on educational software. He was the principal designer for the Apple II games The Oregon Trail and Number Munchers.

The Oregon Trail is a computer game originally developed in 1971 and produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) in 1974. The original game was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th-century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail.   "The Oregon Trail" is the world's longest-running video game franchise.

This interview took place August 26, 2017.

Links:

ANTIC Episode 56 - Where's Randy!?

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: late-breaking up-to-the-minute Atari news, Randy disappears mid-episode, and we hear what Atari was like in Chile...

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

Interviews

Atari News

Upcoming Shows with Atari Computers

YouTube videos since last show

New at Archive.org

Feedback

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 368 - Stan Gilbert, Tricky Tutorials

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Stan Gilbert, Tricky Tutorials

Hello, and welcome to an interview-only episode of Antic, The Atari 8-bit computer podcast. Stan Gilbert worked for Educational Software (previously known as Santa Cruz Educational Software) in the early 80’s and developed several products in the Tricky Tutorial series for the Atari 8-bit computer line.  He later also worked for Apple.

This interview took place July 29, 2017.

Links:

ANTIC Episode 55 - Have an Atari Little Christmas Time

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this special Holiday episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:

Nir Dary regales us with stories about SilliVenture 2018.  We share Atari gift ideas for yourself or others for Christmas.  Plus, all the Atari 8-bit news we could find...

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari News

  • BAD APPLE demo by MadTeam won 2nd place in the Silly Venture 2018 Atari Rapidus / VBXE Demo competition - BAD APPLE VIDEO.
  • new digital book The A-Z of Atari 8-bit Games: Volume 3 is now available to buy on both Amazon and Kindle Store - Kieren Hawkin

UK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Z-Atari-8-bit-Games-Gaming-ebook/…/

US Link: https://www.amazon.com/Z-Atari-8-bit-Games-Ga…/…/B07KYVVWDM/

YouTube videos since last show

New at Archive.org

Nir Dary - SilliVenture 2018

Atari Christmas Gifts

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Episode 54 - News and More News

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:

What we’ve been up to in the past month PLUS all the Atari 8-bit news we could find...

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com
ANTIC Interview Index - here

What We’ve Been Up To

Recent Interviews

Atari News

YouTube videos since last show

Commercial

Mini-interviews

New at Archive.org

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 367 - George Morrison: Alpha Systems, Atari Software Protection Techniques books

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

George Morrison: Alpha Systems, Atari Software Protection Techniques books
 
George Morrison was founder of Alpha Systems, a company that produced many hardware and software products for the Atari computers, including The Parrot, and audio digitizer; MagniPrint II, a printing utility; and The Impersonator, hardware for copying cartridge-based programs; and other products. He was author of two books — Atari Software Protection Techniques and Advanced Atari Protection Techniques.
 
This interview took place on October 16, 2018. In it, we discuss Ed Stewart and Richard Leinecker, both of whom I have previously interviewed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Episode 53 - Summer Vacation and Atari Party

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:

Bill Lange guest-hosts with us and tells us all about the recent Atari Party East.  We talk about all the traveling and Atari things we did over the summer. Kevin throws in a mini-interview he did.  And, Jeff Fulton reviews Tempest Elite Plus. Plus, all the Atari 8-bit news we could find...

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

Atari News

YouTube videos since last show

Commercial

Mini-interviews

New at Archive.org

Jeff Fulton

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 366 - Bruce Artwick: Flight Simulator II, Night Mission Pinball

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bruce Artwick: Flight Simulator II, Night Mission Pinball
 
Bruce Artwick was co-founder of SubLOGIC, and creator of the best-selling program, Flight Simulator II. FSII was first available for the Apple II, with versions released later for the TRS-80, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, and other platforms. His 1976 master's thesis, A Versatile Computer Generated Dynamic Flight Display, about creating a real-time flight simulator on the PDP-11, provided some of the early research for his flight simulation software. 
 
Bruce was also creator of Night Mission Pinball, a popular pinball game that was available for Apple II, Atari 8-bit, C64, and DOS computers.
 
This interview took place on August 7, 2018.
 
Bruce's article, 3-D Computer Graphics (Kilobaud magazine, October 1977)
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 365 - Jon Williams: Jet Boot Jack, Timeslip

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Jon Williams: Jet Boot Jack, Timeslip
 
Jon Williams created several programs for the Atari 8-bit computers, including Jet Boot Jack, Timeslip, Atari Cassette Enhancer, and Linkword German.
 
This interview took place on August 6, 2018.
 
 

ANTIC Interview 364 -Carlos Reyes: Quick Menu, Rent Wars

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Carlos Reyes: Quick Menu, Rent Wars
 
Carlos Reyes wrote the game Rent Wars for the Atari 8-bit computers for First Star Software, which was never officially released but found its way onto the Internet years later. He also wrote Quick Menu, a 384-byte program that would display a menu of programs on a floppy disk and let the user choose one to run. The program was designed to fit into a floppy's three boot sectors, so it didn't eat into any of the usable space on the disk. The program was a popular interface to distribute disks of pirated programs, but most people didn't know that Carlos was the author — there was no room for his name in the tiny program. Carlos has found the source code and released it into the public domain. 
 
This interview took place on August 3, 2018. In it, we discuss Jerry White, Fernando Herrera, and Bill Wilkinson, whom I have previously interviewed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 363 - Greg Gibbons, Automated Library II

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Greg Gibbons, Automated Library II 
 
Greg Gibbons was the creator of Automated Library II, software for running school libraries, which was available for the Atari 8-bit and Apple II computers.
 
There's an article about the software in the April 1985 issue of American Libraries:
 
“The Automated Library II is a bar-code circulation system that runs on the Atari line of microcomputers. The program, designed for school libraries circulating 30 to 500 items per day, checks books in and out, compiles overdue lists, and prints class records and daily circulation summaries by Dewey Decimal numbers.
 
Software developer Gregory Gibbons studied the day-to-day activities of a junior high school librarian and then designed a system to automate as much of the repetitious work as possible. The program was extensively tested in a Los Angeles school for over a year before its release.
 
All inputs are prompted with simple English. The system is so easy to use that the test library used students to perform most of the operations.
 
The program produces bar codes for the books in the library and student-ID bar codes, which are entered into the computer and attached to books and student IDs. … If the student is authorized to check out books the computer will make a short beep and print ‘OK to check out books’ on the screen. If the student is on the overdue list, the computer makes a different noise to alert the staff.
 
At the end of the day, the librarian instructs the computer to perform a daily update, which incorporates all transactions into the database. The update takes about 15 minutes per 1,000 students, and automatically generates a new overdue list that can be printed at any time.
 
The program works best with 200 to 3,000 students, although a larger number of students will simply cause the program to take a little longer to update each day.
 
The Automated Library II runs on the Atari 800, 800XL, and 1200XL computers…The system costs $700, including the light wand.”
 
This interview took place on May 24, 2018.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 362 - Tom Snyder, educational software

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Tom Snyder, educational software
 
Tom Snyder was the founder of Computer Learning Connection, which was later renamed to Tom Snyder Productions, a company that created many educational software titles for the school and home computer markets.
 
The company's home software included Agent USA and Bannercatch (published by Scholastic,) Halley Project (published by Mindscape,) Run For the Money (published by Scarborough Systems,) and In Search of the Most Amazing Thing
(published by Spinnaker.) Snooper Troops I and II, both published by Spinnaker, were the first educational software to make the industry's bestseller list. The company made many more software products that it sold directly to schools, including Decisions Decisions and The Other Side.
 
This interview took place on July 2, 2018.
 
"I think my favorite memories of all the programs I designed was sitting in bars with a legal pad writing the design out, you know, long before you write code. It was all on paper ... And the longer you can wait before you start programming, the better off you are."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 361 - Bob Ertl, REWRITE Word Processor

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bob Ertl, REWRITE Word Processor
 
In 1987, Bob Ertl’s master's thesis was titled "Narrowing the Gap Between the Word Processing Needs of Teachers and the Capabilities of Word Processors for Atari 8-bit Computers." As part of that project, he created a word processor for the Atari computers, aimed at the needs of math teachers. The word processor is called REWRITE and was never widely available. It was only used by a handful of teachers.
 
Bob has released two versions of the word processor in ATR format, along with the Mac/65 source code and the manual. I scanned his thesis. All of this is available at Internet Archive.
 
This interview took place on July 10, 2018.
 
"My wife would help me with this. The way she would help me is she was patient enough to let me explain what my assembly language code was supposed to do. So I had to say it clearly enough for her to be able to follow it, and in doing so I was often able to find the errors that I was looking for."
 
 

ANTIC Interview 360 - Ed Meyer, physical chemistry experiments with Atari computers

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Ed Meyer, physical chemistry experiments with Atari computers
 
In the 1990s, Ed Meyer was a professor at DePaul University in Chicago, where he taught physical chemistry. In August 1990, The Journal of Chemical Education published his article, "An Inexpensive Computer Station for Undergraduate Laboratories Using the Atari 800XL" in which Ed showed how to interface the Atari controller ports with a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter chip to do chemistry experiments. (The article includes schematics and code in assembly language and BASIC.)
 
From the article:
 
"The kind of “interfacing” that has been emphasized in
chemical education thus far in this country has been largely
limited to using the “game paddle inputs” of a home com-
puter, which allows the connection of any device that looks
like a variable resistor to the computer. This approach has
served admirably as an introduction to the power and versa-
tility of inexpensive home computers as data collectors and
handlers but suffers from significant disadvantages. The
most obvious is the limitation to 8 bits of information; one
would like to be able to obtain better precision than this
provides (at half scale we can expect roughly 1% reproduc-
ibility). Another is the requirement that the resistance of the
transducer used be consistent with that of the game paddle it
replaces.
 
It is possible, without spending inordinate sums of money,
to convert one of these home computers into a research-
grade instrument with a resolution of 1 bit in 4096, if one
knows a little about digital electronics. This article describes
an interface for the Atari 800XL computer based on a 12-bit
analogue-to-digital converter (ADC). We have incorporated
six of them into “computer stations” in our upper track
freshman laboratory. In general, the variables in question
(e.g., temperature vs. time for coffee cup calorimeter experi-
ments, pH vs. volume titrant) are plotted in real time on the
monitor screen, and after collection of the data, a hard copy
of the plot is produced on a printer, along with a table of the
data. We use similar stations in our physical chemistry lab-
oratory, where more sophisticated curve-fitting routines are
included."
 
This interview took place on July 9, 2018.
 
"Once the thing is able to read a DC voltage, you have all kinds of opportunities. ... I mean the most obvious one is to use a pH meter to do acid-base titrations."
 
 

ANTIC Interview 359 - John Harris, APX Can’t Quit

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

John Harris, APX Can’t Quit
 
John Harris published one program for the Atari computer: Can't Quit, a game that was published by Atari Program Exchange. Can't Quit first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog. It was the only program published by this John Harris — although he has the same name as the John Harris who created Jawbreaker (whom I previously interviewed.)
 
This interview took place on July 5, 2018.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 358 - David Young, Omnimon

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

David Young, Omnimon
 
David Young was the creator of Omnimon, the popular hardware monitor/debugger for the Atari 8-bit computers. His other products included DiskScan, a floppy disk utility; Supermon, the predecessor to Omnimon; Omnicom, a terminal program; and Omniview, an 80 column E: handler. 
 
This interview took place on June 11, 2018. In it, we discuss Wes Newell, whom I previously interviewed. 
 
"The IBM PC came out. I looked at it really hard. ... And I thought, 'You know, I really should develop products for this guy.' But it was just such a ugly beast."
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 357 - Rockie "RJ" Morgan, APX Piano Tuner

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Rockie "RJ" Morgan, APX Piano Tuner
 
Rockie “RJ" Morgan published one program through Atari Program Exchange: Piano Tuner, which first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog.
 
This interview took place on June 5, 2018.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 356 - Michael McInerney, physics experiments with Atari computers

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Michael McInerney, physics experiments with Atari computers 
 
In the 1980s, Michael McInerney was a professor in the physics department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, when he wrote several journal articles about how to control experiments and gather data using Atari computers. 
 
The articles included Interfacing the Atari Microcomputer in the Science Laboratory, which appeared in the spring 1983 issue of Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching; Game Port Physics - Introductory Experiments in Linear Dynamics, which appeared in the spring 1984 issue; and Computer-Aided Experiments with the Damped Harmonic Oscillator, which appeared in the October 1985 issue of American Journal of Physics.
 
This interview took place on May 21, 2018.
 
"The reviewers refused to believe I could do it which such cheap equipment. ... They said it wasn't possible to do it."
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 355 - Norm Draper, Draper Pascal

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Norm Draper, Draper Pascal
 
Norm Draper was the creator of Draper Pascal, a version of the Pascal programming language for the Atari 8-bit computers. Draper Pascal started as a commercial program sold directly though advertisements in computer magazines, then later became shareware.
 
This interview took place on July 3, 2018.
 
"I offered club members to pay them for every bug they would find in my software. I'd pay them $3. ... There were a few. I didn't have to pay out that much money at all, really."
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 354 -Brooke Alderson, Atari TV Commercials

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Brooke Alderson, Atari TV Commercials
 
Brooke Alderson was an actor in the 1980s and 1990s: she appeared in several television shows including Murder, She Wrote and Family Ties; and is perhaps best known for her role as Aunt Corene in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. She also appeared in many TV commercials. She did a 30-second spot for Atari home computers, and was featured on Atari's in-store point-of-purchase laserdisc.
 
In the commercial, Brooke played the part of a mom who is teased by her teenage daughter for not knowing the states and capitals. By the end of the commercial, having learned from her Atari 400 computer, she can quickly and correctly name the capitals.
 
On the Electronic Retail Information Center (E.R.I.C.) laserdisc, Brooke also played the part of a mom who extolls the virtues of Atari's educational software, with an emphasis on Scram, the nuclear power plant simulation; and My First Alphabet, software for teaching letters and numbers to small children.
 
This interview took place on July 2, 2018.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 353 - Dennis Koble: APX Avalanche, Imagic

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dennis Koble: APX Avalanche, Imagic
 
Dennis Koble was an early Atari employee, where we would become manager of the computer and consumer divisions. He designed Atari's "Touch Me" handheld electronic game. He also wrote three programs that were published by Atari Program Exchange: Avalanche, an adaption of the coin-op game which he also created; and the text adventure games Chinese Puzzle and Sultan's Palace. 
 
He was at Atari for about 4 1/2 years before leaving to co-found the video game publisher Imagic. There, he was perhaps best known for creating "Atlantis" for the Atari 2600 (which we don't actually talk about in this interview.)
 
This interview took place on May 15, 2018. A video version of this interview is available.
 
"We had to show our best stuff. And we wanted to show technological tricks that we figured the Activision guys hadn't seen before. I don't know if they felt that rivalry toward us at that point, but it became a rivalry a little later, it really did." 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 352 - Joe Hellesen: Deluxe Invaders, Pac Man, PQ: The Party Quiz Game

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Joe Hellesen: Deluxe Invaders, Pac Man, PQ: The Party Quiz Game

Joe Hellesen programmed the Atari 8-bit versions of Deluxe Invaders (published by Roklan), and Pac Man (published by Atari,) Gyruss (published by Parker Brothers), and Mickey in the Great Outdoors (published by Disney.) He also coded PQ: The Party Quiz Game (for SunCom.)
 
This interview took place on April 14, 2018.
 
 
 

ANTIC Episode 52 - Atari Computer Roundtable

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Atari Computer Roundtable

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:

We got some of the biggest names of the current Atari computer community on a live, international conference call to ask: what’s happening in your Atari 8-bit world? Guests Thom Cherryholmes, Ethan Johnson, Joe Decuir, Simon Wells, Curt Vendel, Jeff Fulton, Nir Dary, and Roland Wassenberg. The conversation went in amazing and unexpected directions.

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

Roundtable Discussion

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 351 - Stephen Romejko: APX Melt-Down, Moon Marauder

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Stephen Romejko: APX Melt-Down, Moon Marauder
 
Stephen Romejko published two games through Atari Program Exchange: Melt-Down and Moon Marauder. Melt-Down was first available in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog. Moon Marauder was first available in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it won third prize in the consumer category.
 
This interview took place on April 14, 2018.
 
"Melt-Down was causing some special issues ... Apparently the American Nuclear Society took offense to it. ... 'People would develop harmful misconceptions and phobias about the peaceful use of nuclear power.'"
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 350 - Allan Moose, Atari Assembly Language Programmer's Guide

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Allan Moose, Atari Assembly Language Programmer's Guide
 
Allan Moose was co-author of the book Atari Assembly Language Programmer's Guide, which was published by Weber Systems in 1986. He wrote the book with his wife and writing partner, Marian Lorenz. She passed away in 1992. The two also wrote many articles for Antic and A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazines.  Their articles included many about display list interrupts and vertical blank interrupts, and pretty mathematical graphics routines. 
 
This interview took place on May 12, 2018.
 
"...pretty much a joint, cooperative effort in writing articles. Sometimes I would have an idea and would sketch something out. Other times Marian would have an idea."
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Episode 51 - 5 Year Anniversary and Windows-Only Dealy-Bob

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast:  In this five-year anniversary episode of ANTIC, we reminisce back to show #1 all those years ago, our friend Nir Dary tells us all about Atari Invasion, Jeff Fulton of the Into the Vertical Blank Podcast gives us a game review of Star Island, plus all the Atari 8-bit news that we could find.  Happy 5-Year Anniversary to us!

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue  

Donate to Ted Nelson project at: https://paypal.me/Savetz

TEH: Tech Enthusiast Hour - https://tehpodcast.com

What We’ve Been Up To

Interview Discussion

News

YouTube videos this month

New at Archive.Org

Nir’s Segment - Atari Invasion Party Netherlands 2018

Jeff Fulton’s Segment - Star Island Game Review

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

ANTIC Interview 349 - Larry Breakwell, Toronto Atari Programmers Society

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Larry Breakwell, Toronto Atari Programmers Society

Larry Breakwell was founder of the Toronto West Atari Computer Support Group, then president of the Toronto Atari Programmers Society, which was the largest Atari user group in Canada.

He adapted the Atari version of the book "Academy on Computers Hands-On Atari 400/800 Beginner's Manual" from a version of the book focused on the Commodore PET. These beginners manuals were part of the Academy on Computers, a self-directed learning activity based on "Bits and Bytes", a television program produced by the TVOntario network.

This interview took place on May 10, 2018.

Academy on Computers Hands-On Atari 400/800 Beginner’s Manual

ANTIC Interview 348 - Mike Sandau, Atari-CB Radio Hacking

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Mike Sandau, Atari-CB Radio Hacking
 
In the mid-1980s, Mike Sandau and his friend connected their Atari 8-bit computers to their citizens band radios to create a small radio-telephone computer network. Their "DIALOG" project combined the radio hardware with custom software (first in Atari BASIC, then later in Action!) to allow chatting, broadcasting messages, and binary file transfers over the air.
 
Mike has uploaded the software, source code, and screenshots to the Internet Archive, and placed it in the public domain. 
 
This interview took place on April 26, 2018.
 
DIALOG screenshots, software, and source code: https://archive.org/details/about_201803

ANTIC Interview 347 - Charlie Kulas: Musical Pilot, UpN Down

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Charlie Kulas: Musical Pilot, UpN Down
 
Charlie Kulas published Musical Pilot, an educational game, through Atari Program Exchange. Musical Pilot first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded third prize in the Learning category. He later worked at McT (AKA Microcomputer Technologies), a company that was contracted to program games by Sega. There he programmed the game UpN Down for the Atari 8-bit computers.
 
This interview took place on April 20, 2018.
 
Musical Pilot in the fall 1983 APX catalog:
 
 
 
 
 
How to Build a Working Digital Computer Out of Paperclips: https://www.evilmadscientist.com/2013/paperclip/

ANTIC Interview 346 - Youth Advisory Board: Yoon Park

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Yoon Park
 
This is the sixth in a series of episodes featuring interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. This time, I got to talk with Yoon Park.
 
In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, including Yoon.
 
Before these interviews, I like to read from an old newspaper or magazine article that mentioned or quoted the Youth Advisory Board member, to give a sense of who that person was then before we hear from them today. All I can guess about Yoon of 1982 was that he was shy. Of the twenty Youth Advisory Board members, Yoon was never quoted or mentioned in the articles that I could find.
 
This interview took place on May 17, 2018.

ANTIC Interview 345 - Youth Advisory Board: Musa Mustafa

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Musa Mustafa
 
This is the fifth in a series of episodes featuring interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. If you're just joining us: In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting 20 kids, aged 14 though 18, from around the U.S. to share their opinions about computers, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. 
 
This is an interview with Musa Mustafa, who was one of those kids. 
 
A March 25, 1983 article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel by Loretta Noffsinger said:
 
"Computers without keyboards, toys that come to life at the sound of a child's voice and programs that shoulder the chores of thank-you letters — that's what the whiz kids see in the future. They envision a computer disguised within a toy to tell youngsters about the workings of the universe and others 'far beyond man’s imagination.' And Atari is listening to them."
 
Later in the article, Noffsinger wrote: "Musa Mustafa, 15, says he hopes to design an astronomy program to chart the location of stars and planets at specific times ‘so that I can easily track them down in a telescope.' The Walnut sophomore, who will skip his junior year at Rowland High School, also envisions computers designing computers. This year, they're helping him make a movie about the 1984 Olympics. A combination of computer animation and film, the endeavor will 'open a new category' in the Los Angeles International Film Exposition this spring, he says."
 
My interview with Musa took place on April 26, 2018. In it, we discuss Ted Kahn, whom I previously interviewed. 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 344 - Youth Advisory Board: Robert Allbritton

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Robert Allbritton
 
This is the fourth episode in a series of interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. Robert Allbritton was one of the 20 kids who, in 1983, were accepted into the Youth Advisory Board, a group of teenagers who were able to take a trip to Atari's headquarters in California, enjoy free 1200XL computers, and he even got to work at Atari's booth at the Consumer Electronics Show.
 
Robert was, and still is, friends with John Dickerson, another Youth Advisory Board member, whom I previously interviewed.
 
 
This interview took place on April 24, 2018.
 

ANTIC Interview 343 - Youth Advisory Board: John Dickerson

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: John Dickerson
 
This is the third episode in a series of interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. A quick recap: In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting 20 teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions about computers and video games, test software, and promote Atari's computers at events. The group consisted of kids aged 14 through 18, mostly regular kids, some computer geeks, and a couple of celebrities.
 
This interview is with John Dickerson, who was one of the computer geeks.
 
There was an article about the Youth Advisory Board in the March 1984 issue of Enter magazine, with a quote from John:
 
"'We were an added dimension to what they already do,' says 14-year-old John Dickerson. 'Atari's problem is that they don't get close enough to the consumer. We'll bring them a lot closer. But, so far, we haven’t found out which of our decisions they really listened to.'"
 
 
This interview took place on April 16, 2018.
 
If you were a member of the Atari Youth Advisory board, I'd love to hear from you: email antic@ataripodcast.com.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 342 - Youth Advisory Board: Anneke Wyman

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Anneke Wyman
 
This is the second episode in a series of interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. 
 
In 1982-1983, Atari invited 20 kids, aged 14-18, to be on its new Youth Advisory Board. Atari was looking for well-rounded, computer-literate kids, with equal representation of sexes and a mix of ethnic groups. Anneke Wyman (now Anneke Wyman de Boer) was one of those kids.
 
A wire service article about the Youth Advisory Board, by Kathy Holub, ran in several newspapers around March 25, 1983. Here's an excerpt from that story:
 
"The fat world of corporate perks isn't just for executives anymore. On Sunday, 14-year-old Anneke Wyman of New York flew to San Francisco on a prepaid plane ticket to dine out on pizza and attend her first corporate board meeting. ...
 
"As members of Atari Inc.’s new Youth Advisory Board, they got the sort of pampering reserved for top corporate clients, including a private movie screening, a tour of San Francisco and all the food they could eat.
 
"What did they do to deserve all this? They can’t figure it out. 'It's almost a fantasy,' Anneke said, giggling. 'I had a three-minute interview calling from a pay phone at school. The dime ran out and I thought, well, I’ll never hear from them again. A few weeks later, they told me I was in. Now I'm sort of nervous.'
 
"The video game market, once monopolized by Atari, has become as fiercely competitive as the home computer and educational software markets, and Atari hopes the kids can keep the company on the right track on all fronts...The 20 young board members are expected to keep Atari in touch with its market. ...
 
"Anneke has danced in about 60 performances of The Nutcracker Suite with the New York City Ballet and can write computer programs in four languages. Her career? 'I don’t know yet,’ she said. 'But I'm much better in math and science.'"
 
This interview took place on April 5, 2018. A video version of this interview is also available.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 341 - Youth Advisory Board: Kerrie Holton and Tina Bartschat

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Youth Advisory Board: Kerrie Holton and Tina Bartschat
 
This is the first in a series of episodes featuring interviews with the kids of Atari's Youth Advisory Board. 
 
In 1983, Atari formed a Youth Advisory Board, selecting 20 teenagers from around the United States to share their opinions, test new software, and promote Atari's computers at trade shows.
 
The group consisted primarily of regular kids - some computer geeks, but most well-rounded teenagers. The group also included a couple of celebrities: Todd Bridges, the actor who played Willis in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes; and Matthew Labyorteaux, the actor who played Albert on the show Little House on the Prairie, then Richie Adler on the adventure show Whiz Kids.
 
The first (and I believe only) meeting of the Youth Advisory Board took place in March 1983 at Atari's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. Was Atari genuinely doing in-depth market research into the opinions of teenagers? Or was the Youth Advisory Board a publicity stunt? Maybe it was a little of both. Either way, the idea is fascinating, and I wanted to ask the board members to share their memories of that time.
 
In this episode are my first two interviews with Youth Advisory Board kids: Kerrie Holton (now Kerrie Holton-Tainter) and Tina Bartschat (now Tina Volker.)
 
There's an article about Kerrie in the October 1983 issue of Family Computing (the first issue of that magazine) by Bethany Kandel. Titled "When Kerrie Holton Talks, Atari Listens", it features a great photo of Kerrie at her desk, sporting a tie and fedora, with a telephone handset in one hand and a cigar in the other, looking for all the world like a business mogul or 1920's mobster. On her desk there's an Atari 1200XL computer, floppy drive, printer, plus a frilly doll and Snoopy plush toy. Here's an excerpt:
 
"While other seniors were busy bragging about which college they'd been accepted to, Kerrie had something else to show off—she'd been chosen to serve on the Youth Advisory Board of Atari, one of the best-known video game and computer companies in the country.
 
Plenty of high school students have sat in study hall daydreaming about a V.I.P. tour of the inner sanctums of Atari, Inc.; Kerrie is one of the few who've been there. She took a private tour last spring, and was included in meetings with top officials, and discussions of Atari's confidential plans for software and hardware development."
 
..."Atari brought her to the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago earlier this year, and this fall will fly her to a special meeting to 'brainstorm' with the other 19 members of the YAB.""
 
..."Travel isn’t the only benefit of being a YAB member. Kerrie’s received an Atari 1200XL to review software, and a modem, so she can telegraph her latest opinions and recommendations to other YAB members and Atari's elders. 'When we say something, Atari jumps,' says Kerrie.
 
“'It's great fun having someone listen to your opinions for a change, especially when adults are always telling us what to do. Now we get to tell them.'”
 
[Interview with Kerrie]
 
Next, my interview with Tina Vokler.
 
There's an article about Tina in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper, dated June 16 1983, by Jan Ackerman. It features a photo of Tina typing on her Atari 1200XL, with an Atari joystick prominently in the foreground. 
 
"Sixteen-year-old Tina Bartschat of Upper St. Claie is multilingual. The pert, blond-haired teenager learned to speak German while growing up near Hanover, Germany, where she lived until age 10. She knows other languages, too, languages with such strange names as Basic, Pilot and Assembler, all machine languages.
 
"These are the languages of the computer age, languages that are Greek to anyone who doesn’t know a word processor from a printer.
 
...“'Basic is an all-purpose language,' she explains, leading the way to the Atari 1200XL computer in her bedroom. It comes equipped with printer, a taping system, a screen and a word processor.
 
"Atari gave the system to Tina after she was picked to serve on a newly created Atari Youth Advisory Board, a select group of 21 computer-astute teen-agers from across the country, who will advise the computer and video games giant about how to cater to young consumers.
 
Tina is the only teenager from Pennsylvania selected to the elite group, which held its first meeting in Sunnyvale, California March. Besides a free trip to the West Coast, she also was given an Atari system, worth more than $1,500.
 
"She was recommended for the program by Mr. Saunders, a calculus and computer science teacher. She credits Saunders and Dr. John DeBlassio, a math and computer science teacher at her high school, with helping to sharpen her computer skills.
 
[Interview with Tina]
 
The interview with Kerrie Holton-Tainter took place on November 17, 2017. (A video version of that interview is also available.) The interview with Tina Volker took place on January 27, 2018.
 
If you were a member of the Atari Youth Advisory board, I'd love to hear from you: email antic@ataripodcast.com.
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 340 - Hal Segal, Association of Time-Sharing Users

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Hal Segal, Association of Time-Sharing Users
 
Hal Segal was founder and president of the Association of Time-Sharing Users, and the Association of Small Computer Users, and several other groups dedicated to early computer systems. The Association of Time-Sharing Users was formed in 1974: it published a newsletter, which Hal wrote, as well as directories of terminals, applications, database management systems, and so on. Group members held meetings in various cities around the United States.
 
Hal is also author of the books How to Select Your Small Computer Without Frustration and How to Manage Your Small Computer Without Frustration, which were published in 1982 and 1983 by Prentice-Hall.
 
This interview took place January 9, 2018. A video version of this interview is also available.
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 339 - Steve Englehart, Atari Advanced Games Group

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Steve Englehart, Atari Advanced Games Group
 
Steve Englehart worked in the Advanced Games Group of Atari, where he developed ideas for new computer games. He was the designer of E.T. Phone Home!, Final Legacy, and Garfield for the Atari 8-bit machines, and worked on several unfinished games. He wrote the manual for Eastern Front: 1941.
 
This interview took place on November 17, 2017. A video version of this interview is available.
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 338 - Jack Smyth, The Learning Company and Add-On Software

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Jack Smyth, The Learning Company and Add-On Software
 
Jack Smyth was the first CEO of The Learning Company, the educational software publisher best known for Reader Rabbit and Rocky's Boots. He was also involved with Add-On Software, a company that sold CP/M software for several computer platforms, including the Atari 8-bit line. The company built a hardware card, for use with the Atari 1090XL peripheral expansion box, that would have added CP/M functionality to Atari computers. That device was never sold, or at least was not widely available. 
 
This interview took place on March 8, 2018. After the interview, Jack sent me anl Add-On Software CP/M catalog (primarily focused on the Apple II) which I have scanned and uploaded to Internet Archive. 
 
Teaser quote: "I took my 5-year-old daughter with me to see how my daughter liked the software. ... Well my daughter loved it, and so I bought the company."
 
 
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 337 - Bryan Talbot, APX Cartoonist

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Bryan Talbot, APX Cartoonist
 
Bryan Talbot published one program for the Atari computer: Cartoonist, which was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded first prize in the systems/telecommunications category.
 
This interview took place on December 8, 2017.
 
"I was just trying to contemplate what to do, and finally — I'd been going to all the missionary classes and I did the thing that they taught us to do. I just knelt down on the floor and I grabbed my 810 drive, and I prayed that God would fix my drive."
 
 

ANTIC Interview 336 - Dwight Johnson, Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Dwight Johnson, Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts
 
Dwight Johnson was founder of Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts, a users group based in Waukegan, IL. He started the group in April 1983. The group still exists today as a general PC computer users group, and is now called Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts.
 
This interview took place on April 12, 2018.
 

ANTIC Interview 335 - Colin Hume, Computer War

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Colin Hume, Computer War
 
Colin Hume worked at Thorn EMI for about a year, where he programmed one game for the Atari 8-bit computers: Computer War. Computer War was based on the 1983 movie War Games.
 
Thomas Cherryhomes joined us to ask Colin some questions of his own.
 
This interview took place on April 12, 2018.
 
"Of course it was so totally different. There was no specification, no one ever checked through your code. There was no documentation. There was no maintenance."
 
 

ANTIC Interview 334 - Matthew McGinley, Elite Personal Accountant

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Matthew McGinley, Elite Personal Accountant
 
Matthew McGinley was the creator and publisher of Elite Personal Accountant, financial management software for the Atari computer. He released it in mid-1985 after working on it for several years.
 
The review of Elite Personal Accountant by Stephen Roquemore in Antic magazine said, "This new program from a small company has just about every capability built into it that anyone could dream up. And the manual is one of the finest I have ever encountered. ... Elite Personal Accountant will handle 79 categories divided into income, expense, asset, and liability groups. As many as nine credit cards are handled separately, but counted as liabilities. There are 17 different transaction codes available. The reporting capabilities go well beyond the competition, with an option that allows you (within limits) to design your own reports."
 
I found Matthew through an eBay listing, where he is selling the source code disks, printouts, and development notes.
 
This interview took place on April 10, 2018.
 
"Being stuck on certain routines that would give me an error, and I knew there must have been a simple answer. So I'd be going off to sleep, and I'd wake up two hours later. My mind was — ah, that's it! "
 
 
 

ANTIC Interview 333 - Cynde Moya, Collections Manager at Living Computers: Museum + Labs

por Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

Cynde Moya, Collections Manager at Living Computers: Museum + Labs
 
Cynde Moya is Collections Manager at Living Computers: Museum + Labs. Located in Seattle, Washington, Living Computers is a computer museum that provides hands-on experiences using computers ranging from micros to mainframes. (Last time I was there, there was a Xerox Alto, an Apple I, and yes, an Atari 400 with a number of game carts, plus big iron like a Con