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The Atari interview discussion thread

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#1 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:09 AM

Hey all. I'm starting this thread hoping to make a place to announce and discuss interviews with Atari people. This is sort of happening a little in various threads but it might be nice to wrangle it into a cohesive place.

 

I do a lot of interviews for the ANTIC podcast, and Randy does many, and Rob at Player/Missile, and Wade at Inverse ATASCII has done one or two. Perhaps this thread can help you find interesting interviews that you might not have listened to otherwise.



#2 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:12 AM

I'll start by noting three of the most recent interviews on ANTIC:

 

Peter Dell, WUDSN and THE!CART Studio

Peter Dell, also known as JAC! on AtariAge.  Peter is the developer of the outstanding WUDSN product for developing Atari 8-bit software and also is the developer of another product called THE!CART Studio, which is used to put software onto the flash cartridge product known as THE!CART.  Peter is doing some amazing work for the Atari 8-bits and I hope you enjoy this interview.
  
W. Sean Hennessy - game programmer
W. Sean Hennessy worked in the Consumer Electronics Division at Atari from April 1982 through March 1984 where he developed Realsports Tennis for the Atari 800 and 5200, and created the version of Centipede for the Atari 5200, and Pengo for the Atari 800 and 5200. He also worked at The Software Machine, a company that was working to create edutainment software for the Atari and other platforms.
 
Scott Adams - Adventure International
Scott Adams is probably best known for his line of text adventures for early personal computers -- including AdventureLand, Pirate Adventure, Mystery Fun House, and many others. He was also the founder of Adventure International, the company that brought Atari users myraid programs, including Preppie!, Rally Speedway, Whomper Stomper, and lots of others. The company also released countless programs for TRS-80, Commodore, Apple ][, and other platforms.


#3 playermissile OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:04 AM

I just interviewed Chuck Bueche in the last episode of Player/Missile:

 

http://playermissile...cast/ep010.html

 

He was a founder of Origin Systems and ported a number of games from the Apple ][ to the Atari, including Ultima 2 and Ultima 3.



#4 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:46 PM

Gotta say, Kevin, you and Randy at ANTIC have been hitting the ball out of the park with the cool interviews these last couple months. Catching up on podcasts last week, I REALLY enjoyed your interviews with Scott Adams, Alan Watson and Michael Katz  as well as Rob's with Chuck Bueche. 

 

The Atari podcasting scene is really great these days, and these interviews, as well as the very off-the-beaten-trail subject matter Wade has chosen for Inverse ATASCII, are big reasons why.  Great jobs all around, guys. 



#5 Ripdubski OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:50 PM

Inverse ATASCII - http://inverseatascii.info

 

Season 1 Epsiode 2 - LJK, Letter Perfect

Interview with LJK Enterprises founder and chief programmer Ken Leonhardi.  LJK produced such titles as Letter Perfect, Data Perfect, Spell Perfect, and Edit 6502.

 

 

Good idea Kevin!


Edited by Ripdubski, Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:52 PM.


#6 Paul Westphal OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:05 PM

I'm still waiting for the Alan Alda interview. LOL

#7 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:16 PM

Listened to the Sean Hennessy interview. Fantastic. It was disappointing to learn that he had to shrink down Realsports Tennis. It's still a fun game. I think there is a easter egg in this one as well. I'll have to see if I can spot one in Pengo. Nice to learn about others that were involved in making his two games. The 2600 Dune game sounded interesting. I wish he had more info on it. It would have been cool to at least know what the game was going to be like.

 

Great interview with Peter Dell. We always apprieciate his hard work.

 

A+ as always guys.

 

Allan



#8 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:47 PM

I generally never listen to podcasts but this I may have to give a go! Thanks for the heads up...



#9 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:02 PM

@Paul - I actually tried again with Alda - no joy.

 

@Allan - Re: Dune - yeah. I showed Hennessy the screenshot at http://www.atariprot...else's attempt.



#10 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 5:24 AM

Well,

 

how about an interview with early Basic programmers on the A8, like a) Stan Ockers or b) J.D. Casten and what they were doing later on (or what they are doing today) - assuming they are still alive ?!?



#11 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 7:00 AM

Kevin has done an interview with J.D Casten.  I don't recall which Antic episode but you can find it if interested.  Actually, J.D. was unable to do audio so I read his reply.

 

Thanks for the suggestion of Stan Ockers.  I'll see if I can find him.

 

Randy



#12 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 8:13 AM

Fantastic idea.It'd be superb to have 1 on-going thread with links etc to all the podcasts, communoity interviews etc etc with all the Atari 'people' that have been done, by so many different people/places.

 

As it stands everything is often spread to the 4 winds and people might miss out on some superb podcasts/articles with interviews with etc.....



#13 Subby OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 2:31 PM

Then I guess this is the place to announce that I am in the process of editing my interview with Alam Alda.
It should be up soon.

#14 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 3:02 PM

Then I guess this is the place to announce that I am in the process of editing my interview with Alam Alda.
It should be up soon.

Hmm, Brad, this wouldn't have anything to do with what day it is today, would it?



#15 JAC! OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 3:09 PM

Just listened to my own interview episode. Man that's weired - amazing how many thing I got wrong :-).  Fun fact: My first Atari was an Atari 800 XL , not an Atari 800 as said there. But since I didn't know by that time that there even was an actual "Atari 800" I tend to call the "Atari 800 XL" instead "Atari 800" until today.


Edited by JAC!, Wed Apr 1, 2015 3:09 PM.


#16 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 3:27 PM

Just listened to my own interview episode. Man that's weired - amazing how many thing I got wrong :-).  Fun fact: My first Atari was an Atari 800 XL , not an Atari 800 as said there. But since I didn't know by that time that there even was an actual "Atari 800" I tend to call the "Atari 800 XL" instead "Atari 800" until today.

Oh, Peter, hi!  I'm glad you found the interview.  I can't recall if I informed you that it had been published.

 

Thanks again for doing the interview!  You got me excited about trying to do more with WUDSN.  I really, really want to spend time learning how to use it and write a small program.



#17 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 3:37 PM

Dune has such a weird history. Gary and Bruce had the original idea, but they never actually programmed anything. The rom we have was reconstructed from code found in Peter Niday's mainframe directory in a folder called War, but he didn't recognize it. I had no idea that Sean was working on a version (I haven't listened to the podcast, got any more info?). It's all a big mess.

Keep in mind that the game we have probably doesn't look like what the programmer saw. There was no data for the room structure so we created a simple maze to 'fill it in'. We have no idea what the rooms would have really looked like.

#18 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 1, 2015 5:10 PM

Today's episode was one of the best yet, despite the lack of interviews. I've been listening since the beginning and had no idea it was an Apple // podcast! Thanks for Carring^h^h^h^h^h^h^h "Kevin" for making that plain, finally. Whew!

 

Oh, and I listened to the interview with Peter, too. Great content, Randy, and thank you Peter for the time and all the details on your Atari work.


Edited by DrVenkman, Wed Apr 1, 2015 5:12 PM.


#19 bbking67 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 2, 2015 11:10 AM

Yes for some reason the Apple II episode just cuts off after 2 minutes for me...

 

:-)



#20 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 3, 2015 10:59 PM

Rich Pasco, FREDDIE chip
 
Rich Pasco was Manager of VLSI Development where he worked on the FREDDIE memory management chip used in the Atari XL and XE series computers. He worked at Atari from November 1982 through May 1983. He lobbied management to create some products for the Atari 8-bit line -- including a mouse and an 80+ column display system -- which were not developed. Prior to his time at Atari, he was a member of the research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
 
Kevin's comments: although he didn't remember much technical stuff about FREDDIE, Rich did have plenty of great stories about inside workings at Atari and products that could have been, and the really stupid reasons they didn't come to light.


#21 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 6, 2015 1:57 PM

David Cramer - Western Design Center

ANTIC Interview 29 - David Cramer - Western Design Center

 

David Cramer is the VP of Business Development at Western Design Center, the company that still, today, manufacturers and sells the 6502 chip, the CPU that's at the heart of the Atari 800, Apple ][, Commodore 64, and many other classic computers. In fact, the 6502 is used in many modern applications like pacemakers, and it's also available in development kits for hobbyists, as David explains.

 

Also: GrumpyOldGames.com did a (text) interview with David Fox (Rescue on Fractals): http://www.grumpyold...-fox-interview/



#22 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 6, 2015 2:19 PM

David Cramer - Western Design Center

ANTIC Interview 29 - David Cramer - Western Design Center

 

David Cramer is the VP of Business Development at Western Design Center, the company that still, today, manufacturers and sells the 6502 chip, the CPU that's at the heart of the Atari 800, Apple ][, Commodore 64, and many other classic computers. In fact, the 6502 is used in many modern applications like pacemakers, and it's also available in development kits for hobbyists, as David explains.

 

Also: GrumpyOldGames.com did a (text) interview with David Fox (Rescue on Fractals): http://www.grumpyold...-fox-interview/

I  have an audio interview with David Fox already recorded that will air on Antic later this month.

 

Randy



#23 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 6, 2015 3:13 PM

Please ask Landon Dyer (Donkey Kong, Super Pac Man), he's on FB ;)



#24 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 6, 2015 3:15 PM

@Level42 — Yessir. I'm on it.



#25 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 6, 2015 5:07 PM

Great interviews as usual, guys. You're knocking it out of the park in terms of getting interesting people to talk to you. :)

 

As far as getting an interview with Landon, I REALLY hope he'll do it. His blog is a cornucopia of stuff about the heyday of Atari, Inc. in the computer games group, and the early days of Corp. and the ST. He probably has HOURS worth of stuff on both incarnations of Atari, and it's not like he was a one-trick pony either. From his blog, his career after Atari has been eventful as well: Apple (during the Jobs Interregnum), some start-ups of the DotCom era, Microsoft, Valve ... 

He really ought to write a book.


Edited by DrVenkman, Mon Apr 6, 2015 5:07 PM.






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