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#51 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:13 AM

 

I don't have time to listen between now and Saturday. Did he do the 5200 version of RealSports Tennis.  Some of us are trying to figure out if the commercial released version actually will do 4-player [the box says 2]. Dan Kramer states it supported 4-players in the lab back at Atari Inc. So we're gonna try to scrounge up 4 Trak-Ball controllers at the Davis Atari Party this Saturday and see if they work.

 

Has anyone had success in interviewing John Palevich? (sic). He's on LinkedIn. I know I'd love to hear his side of the Dandy/Gauntlet/Dark Chambers stuff, not to mention his thoughts on the AMY chip.

Yes, Sean did both versions of Tennis.

 

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#52 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:31 AM

 

I don't have time to listen between now and Saturday. Did he do the 5200 version of RealSports Tennis.  Some of us are trying to figure out if the commercial released version actually will do 4-player [the box says 2]. Dan Kramer states it supported 4-players in the lab back at Atari Inc. So we're gonna try to scrounge up 4 Trak-Ball controllers at the Davis Atari Party this Saturday and see if they work.

 

Has anyone had success in interviewing John Palevich? (sic). He's on LinkedIn. I know I'd love to hear his side of the Dandy/Gauntlet/Dark Chambers stuff, not to mention his thoughts on the AMY chip.

Thanks, Lynxpro, we'll see if we can find John Palevich.

 

Randy



#53 abbotkinneydude OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:56 AM

Kevin & Randy -

 

I can't thank you enough for those interviews.

 

It's a real trip back in time and the information uncovered is *priceless*.

 

All we need is a Hunter S. Thompson figure from ATARI to conclude the loop (Jacuzzi meetings). ;-)

 

About the "Special message to the ATARI community" question, it's really nice that none of the interviewees (so far) have ever been condescending toward the efforts of the ATARI CLASSIC (cheers Ben Poehland!) community to maintain the platform. Chris Crawford called it the "Volkswagen" but, considering the advancements (upgrades) available to us, we're well already into AUDI territory.

 

Special request for an interview: REGAN CHENG (who did the XL Design). I know the 800 gets a lot of love but, for most Western European users, the 600XL/800XL were their first ATARI computer and our attachment to the XL line is quite deep.

 

Thanks for all the hard work!



#54 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:00 AM

@abbot - thanks. I've got Regan on my list.



#55 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:01 AM

Kevin & Randy -
 
I can't thank you enough for those interviews.
 
It's a real trip back in time and the information uncovered is *priceless*.
 
All we need is a Hunter S. Thompson figure from ATARI to conclude the loop (Jacuzzi meetings). ;-)
 
About the "Special message to the ATARI community" question, it's really nice that none of the interviewees (so far) have ever been condescending toward the efforts of the ATARI CLASSIC (cheers Ben Poehland!) community to maintain the platform. Chris Crawford called it the "Volkswagen" but, considering the advancements (upgrades) available to us, we're well already into AUDI territory.
 
Special request for an interview: REGAN CHENG (who did the XL Design). I know the 800 gets a lot of love but, for most Western European users, the 600XL/800XL were their first ATARI computer and our attachment to the XL line is quite deep.
 
Thanks for all the hard work!


Thank you! I'll see if I can find Regan Cheng

#56 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:46 PM

Thanks, Lynxpro, we'll see if we can find John Palevich.

 

Randy

 

https://www.linkedin...vich/4b/b92/667

 

:)

 

Against my better judgment - because I needed sleep - I started listening to Jerry Jessop's interview. Was able to listen to about 40 minutes of it before crashing out last night. Excellent stuff!  

 

John Skruch (sic) would be a fascinating interview considering he's one of the few Inc staff who stayed on with Corp(se) all the way to the end and was probably the last person to turn out the lights.

 

I wonder if Bob Brodie is still alive. He could probably spend a good 15 minutes talking about how he tried to unsuccessfully convince the Lynx developers and project managers into licensing MIDI Maze for the Lynx long before BPS pulled the rug out from under them [BPS seemed pretty adept at doing that to both Corp(se) and Atari Games; probably helped that they were willing to serve as Nintendo's proxy at their beckon call].

 

Let's see…Owen Rubin, Joe Decuir, and Dan Kramer all are very active in the Atari Museum Facebook group. You'd probably need 5 episodes for Dan since he has so many stories to tell.


Edited by Lynxpro, Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:59 PM.


#57 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:23 AM

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.

 

If I haven't said it here already, I have mad respect for Mr. Dyer.  In my opinion, he's one of the many reasons why the ST should be considered a "real" Atari product. Sure, the hardware was done mainly by ex-Commodore people but the OS and GUI were the soul of the system and Mr. Dyer was responsible for a lot of the good things about TOS/GEM. I know which 16-bit era GUI I preferred, and it wasn't the Amiga Workbench.

 

It was interesting hearing Jerry Jessop mention how he fixed 520STs and upgraded the RAM. That made me want to ask if Atari Corp contracted with him on such work or if it was his own private work possibly from users group members he knew 

 

 



#58 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:50 AM

Victor Cross, Atari copywriter

http://ataripodcast....tari-copywriter

 

Victor Cross was a freelance copywriter for Atari from 1982 through 1984. He wrote many press releases and product announcements for Atari 2600 and 5200 games. He also wrote the documentation for the Atari 5200 Baseball game; plus various catalog copy for Atari.  He also wrote game manuals for LucasArts, Spectrum Holobyte, Br0derbund, and other software companies.

 

Victor lent me his collection of Atari news releases that he wrote, which I scanned and uploaded here: https://archive.org/...0_News_Releases

 

This interview was conducted March 5, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"For me, this was kind of like my big break... it was a huge blessing for me, really."

 

"I did play the game, and I kept killing E.T.. ... He kept dying on me. He'd literally have little crosses over his eyes. And I was going my god, nobody's going to like this."



#59 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 4, 2015 3:41 AM

Some feedback! The Antic episodes are now getting drowned under the mass of interview editions (which are all good of course) - perhaps the web site could have a way to list each separately as people may miss them ;)



#60 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 6, 2015 9:57 AM

Doug Carlston, Broderbund CEO

ANTIC Interview 40 - Doug Carlston, Br0derbund

 

Doug Carlston was co-founder and CEO of the software publisher Broderbund.

 

Broderbund published many hits across several platforms, including Bank Street Writer, Print Shop, A.E., Choplifter, Lode Runner, Karateka, Spelunker, David's Midnight Magic, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.

 

This interview occurred March 5, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"So we thought it'd be funny to call it Br0derbund and put a slash through the O. Caused all kinds of grief."

 

"There was a competition between us and a number of other companies like Sierra Online and Sirius Software to see how many [products] we could get on the best seller list at the same time. I think maybe the best we ever did was something like 6 products out of 30."

 

"It was kind of a game: we had very talented engineers in-house who loved to try to put copy protection on, and sometimes carried it to unfortunate lengths."

 

"I drove across the country and back over 5 weeks and sold about $15,000 worth of software, and often ended up staying at the homes of the people who owned the little computer stores. I would just look up a name of a computer store in every town I went through and zigzag across the country."



#61 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 9, 2015 1:52 PM

Ron Bieber, SmartDOS

http://ataripodcast....bieber-smartdos

 

Ron Bieber was involved with the creation and marketing of SmartDOS, an alternative DOS that was bundled with disk drives from Rana and Astra, and also sold by Sears stores. SmartDOS'swas the first disk operating system to be "Density Smart" — automatically changing between the disk drive's density modes depending on the disk used.

 

This interview took place on March 4 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"So I decided that instead of trying to sell the program, I want to be paid for every single floppy disk drive that a manufacturer makes."

 

"It was designed for sort of a moment in time, and the goal was not to keep evolving it as new hardware became available. It was to fulfill the need at that time."



#62 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 13, 2015 8:31 AM

Steve Carden, RealDOS

http://ataripodcast....-carden-realdos

 

Steve Carden maintains RealDOS, a free, command-line DOS that's multiplexer capable, and still being actively maintained to work with modern hardware.  He also works on a variety of hardware products, some of which are available to Atari hobbyists, and some of which aren't. Steve also helped take over maintenance of BBS Express from Keith Ledbetter.

 

This interview took place February 27, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"Just the fact that we have an Atari, that was never designed to be on the Internet, OK? -- NEVER designed to be on the Internet -- on the Internet."

 

"Anybody who has an XE keyboard, sooner or later is going to have a keyboard failure. At least that's been my run-in with them."



#63 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2015 7:58 AM

David Heller, Dr. C. Wacko

http://ataripodcast....ller-dr-c-wacko

 

David Heller may be better known to Atari users by his pen name - Dr. C. Wacko. As Dr. Wacko, David wrote the books "Dr. C. Wacko's Miracle Guide to Designing and Programing Your Own Atari Computer Arcade Games" and "Dr. C. Wacko Presents Atari BASIC" as well as similar books for other platforms. He also wrote the book "Free Software For Your Atari" (and similar books for other platforms) and Space Knights, a unique product that was a novella that included related Atari games on disk. He also wrote for The Atari Connection magazine.

 

This interview took place April 20, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"I think they sold well over 100,000 copies of that book. And they were very successful."

 

"A young engineer came up to me... and he says, 'You know, I am a professional software engineer now because I got so excited about writing software from your Dr. Wacko books.'"



#64 Ely OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2015 11:00 AM

Kevin will you quit it with all these Interviews, I can't keep up!!

 

Seriously though, they are great, there's just not enough hours in my life to fit them in.


Edited by Ely, Fri May 15, 2015 11:00 AM.


#65 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 17, 2015 12:26 PM

Joe Decuir, Atari 400/800 Designer

http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-44-joe-decuir-atari-400800-designer

 

Hello, and welcome to another interview edition of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast.  I am Randy Kindig.  I am extremely honored to bring to you today an interview with one of the true pioneers of the personal computer, one of the primary designers of the Atari 400 & 800, Mr. Joe Decuir.  Joe worked closely with Jay Miner, Steve Mayer and others to design a computer in the days when personal computers were just in their infancy.  Joe shares with us the thoughts and reasoning that went into the design of the 400 & 800 and thus brings all of us a little closer to being a part of an amazing time in computer history.  Please enjoy!

 

Teaser Quotes:

 

“we wanted to build the next great game system and we wanted to build a computer”

 

“we were designing for home users not office people”

 

“We don't get to have slots; that drove us crazy”

 

“In retrospect, I wish we had built an 800-series machine with one built-in disk drive that was right on the bus”



#66 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2015 8:11 AM

Of course this was a great interview. I'm really looking forward to Joe's book.

 

Allan



#67 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 19, 2015 11:36 AM

Jason Scott, Internet Archive

 
Jason Scott is a digital historian and documentary filmmaker who for several years has worked for the Internet Archive, a nonprofit that has worked to save as much online - and offline - culture as possible. He is also known to attend the occasional vintage computer festival, so as luck would have it, ANTIC and Jason were in the same festival at the same time, and we interviewed him on May 2, 2015 on stage at Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 3.0.


#68 popmilo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 20, 2015 8:24 AM

Joe Decuir interview is awesome ! Enjoyed listening. Thanks guys once more !



#69 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 9:03 AM

Nicholas Lefevre, Attorney for Commodore and Atari

http://ataripodcast....commodore-atari

 

Nicholas Lefevre was in-house counsel for Commodore under Jack Tramiel during the time of the Commodore 64, then in-house counsel for Atari after Jack Tramiel bought it.

 

This interview took place April 10, 2015.

 

Kevin's notes: A particularly good one for insider tales about working with Jack Tramiel at both companies.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"Particularly with Jack Tramiel, he was willing to give you enough rope to hang yourself. He was not a micromanager."

 

"At one point I think we had 160 or so collection lawsuits against us in the initial Atari years."

 

"I think really happily back on my Commodore times, less so on the Atari ones."

 

"When you made a computer, made it cheap, shipped it out, and sold it, that was perfect for Jack."



#70 JAC! OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 4:39 PM

The teaser quotes (written & audio) are a very good thing.

Completed the Liza Loop interview this week. Made me feel once more like "if i was born some years earlier and had been part of that era". But hey, I'l still part of the other era :-)

Also hearing about Dr. C. Wacko was nice tonight. I had printed out one of this books quite a while ago, I think because it was mentioned on ANTIC.

The character and drawings are really funny and entertaining. Not many computer books I remember that carry these two attributes.

So it's one of the about 10 actually printed books I own (and have read - I don't like reading books in my spare time because I spent all day reading stuff at work).



#71 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 7:16 PM

Really enjoying these interviews, guys! Fantastic work you're doing. The Joe DeCuir interview was great - I'm glad to know Joe is still active in the computer industry, and his humanitarian work seems to really give him great personal satisfaction. 

 

My favorite of the more recent interviews is - perhaps surprisingly - Nick Lefevre. To an "Atari kid" like me, it was interesting to get some insight from a guy who stated with Jack at Commodore and then moved to re-join him at Atari. His story of trying to enforce noncompete provisions and such against the now ex-Commodore guys while he was still AT Commodore, months before he re-joined them all at the new Atari Corp., was full of irony and illustrates all the intricacies and ironies that helped draw me myself to the law once upon a time. 



#72 ACML OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 8:36 PM

 

 

Joe Decuir, Atari 400/800 Designer

http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-44-joe-decuir-atari-400800-designer

 

Hello, and welcome to another interview edition of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast.  I am Randy Kindig.  I am extremely honored to bring to you today an interview with one of the true pioneers of the personal computer, one of the primary designers of the Atari 400 & 800, Mr. Joe Decuir.  Joe worked closely with Jay Miner, Steve Mayer and others to design a computer in the days when personal computers were just in their infancy.  Joe shares with us the thoughts and reasoning that went into the design of the 400 & 800 and thus brings all of us a little closer to being a part of an amazing time in computer history.  Please enjoy!

 

Teaser Quotes:

 

“we wanted to build the next great game system and we wanted to build a computer”

 

“we were designing for home users not office people”

 

“We don't get to have slots; that drove us crazy”

 

“In retrospect, I wish we had built an 800-series machine with one built-in disk drive that was right on the bus”

 

rkindig,

       Awesome interview with Joe.  The only interview I can think of that would have been equal would have been with Jay Miner.  If at all possible, can you ask the following:

1)  Did you use the Apple II as a metric when designing the 800? They are very different, but was that the reference to beat?

2)  Did Hi Toro really want Atari to launch the Amiga?

3)  Besides yourself and Jay, who made up the core 800 team (hardware and OS)?

4)  Did you ever encounter either of the two Steve's (Jobs & Wozniak)?  If so, did you ever compare/debate the 800 vs Apple II?

 

Keep them coming.  These are great interviews!

 

 


Edited by ACML, Thu May 21, 2015 8:37 PM.


#73 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 8:53 PM

Of course this was a great interview. I'm really looking forward to Joe's book.

 

Allan

Me too!  It really sounds like it will be a great technical history of the Atari computer line.

 

Randy



#74 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 8:55 PM

Joe Decuir interview is awesome ! Enjoyed listening. Thanks guys once more !

Thank you, sir.  It was one my favorite interviews to do, simply because I was talking with one of the primary designers of the Atari computer line!  Joe is a great guy and I really hope he can get out his book.

 

Randy



#75 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 21, 2015 8:59 PM

 

 

 

Joe Decuir, Atari 400/800 Designer

http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-44-joe-decuir-atari-400800-designer

 

Hello, and welcome to another interview edition of Antic, the Atari 8-bit Podcast.  I am Randy Kindig.  I am extremely honored to bring to you today an interview with one of the true pioneers of the personal computer, one of the primary designers of the Atari 400 & 800, Mr. Joe Decuir.  Joe worked closely with Jay Miner, Steve Mayer and others to design a computer in the days when personal computers were just in their infancy.  Joe shares with us the thoughts and reasoning that went into the design of the 400 & 800 and thus brings all of us a little closer to being a part of an amazing time in computer history.  Please enjoy!

 

Teaser Quotes:

 

“we wanted to build the next great game system and we wanted to build a computer”

 

“we were designing for home users not office people”

 

“We don't get to have slots; that drove us crazy”

 

“In retrospect, I wish we had built an 800-series machine with one built-in disk drive that was right on the bus”

 

rkindig,

       Awesome interview with Joe.  The only interview I can think of that would have been equal would have been with Jay Miner.  If at all possible, can you ask the following:

1)  Did you use the Apple II as a metric when designing the 800? They are very different, but was that the reference to beat?

2)  Did Hi Toro really want Atari to launch the Amiga?

3)  Besides yourself and Jay, who made up the core 800 team (hardware and OS)?

4)  Did you ever encounter either of the two Steve's (Jobs & Wozniak)?  If so, did you ever compare/debate the 800 vs Apple II?

 

Keep them coming.  These are great interviews!

 

 

 

Thank you, ACML!  I will pass on your questions to Joe.  He's a great guy and will likely respond.

 

I believe I asked Joe about Jobs in the interview.  Maybe I'm thinking of one of the other designers I talked to (Steve Mayer or Ron Milner).

 

Randy







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