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The Atari interview discussion thread

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#751 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:15 PM

I thought that too when I heard it, but I bet he meant 4gb. 4mb would be too small for multiple scanned newsletters. Very good interview. My favorite interviews are with people still in the Atari scene.

#752 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2017 12:34 PM

 

Nadav bought an Atari computer with his bar mitzvah money, and published one program for it. Today he's a rabbi. Super interesting guy.

 

Nadav Caine, Mathematic-Tac-Toe

 

 

Nadav emailed me last week to tell me he had found the disks for Quote Blaster. the unpublished educational game that talked about in our interview. His intention was that it would be published by APX, but APX closed up shop before he was done.

 

One of the disks is dated November 1984.The disk images are attached, and some screenshots. There are several versions of the game across two disks. It looks to me like it started life as Quote Blaster, then he renamed it to Tribunal. I don't think I would hurt Nadav's feelings here by saying that it's not a great game. :)

 

Attached File  QuoteBlaster.atr   90.02KB   28 downloads

Attached File  QuoteCommand.atr   90.02KB   30 downloads

Screenshot 2017-04-01 11.06.43.png Screenshot 2017-04-01 11.07.25.png Screenshot 2017-04-01 11.08.03.png Screenshot 2017-04-01 11.10.42.png Screenshot 2017-04-01 11.13.53.png Screenshot 2017-04-01 11.14.30.png



#753 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 5, 2017 1:51 PM

Chris Byrne, Intern at Atari Ireland

 
Chris Byrne was an intern at Atari Ireland in 1982, where he programmed a quality lot tracking system on the Atari 800, and on the IBM System/38.


#754 everklear OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 5, 2017 4:51 PM

I thought that too when I heard it, but I bet he meant 4gb. 4mb would be too small for multiple scanned newsletters. Very good interview. My favorite interviews are with people still in the Atari scene.

That would make more sense. ;-)

 

Of course even 4GB isn't a high bar for anywhere with a reasonably modern infrastructure. (Now if they are all on dial-up ... )



#755 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 7:32 AM

Stan Ockers died yesterday, May 1 2017, after his struggle with cancer. (His son Jim told me.)

 

—Kevin

 

 

Stan Ockers, public domain game programmer

 
Stan Ockers started on the KIM-1 single board computer, where was was co-author of The First Book of KIM with Jim Butterfield. He later got an Atari 400, and became a prolific author of public domain programs which were distributed by users groups and in Antic magazine. His game credits include Chicken, Frog, and Bats, all of which were published in early issues of Antic magazines. Some of his programs were also published in Page 6 magazine. 
 
This interview took place on March 10, 2016.
 
Teaser quote:
 
"I put in like, I figured, something like about 40 hours to write a program before I was satisfied to get rid of it. Or, got sick of it."

 



#756 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 9:05 AM

Stan Ockers died yesterday, May 1 2017, after his struggle with cancer. (His son Jim told me.)

 

—Kevin

 

I often wonder if we will ever see a cure for cancer?  Lost a lot of family to it,



#757 mytekcontrols ONLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 3:32 PM

I often wonder if we will ever see a cure for cancer?  Lost a lot of family to it,

 

I think it's only a matter of time: DNA Nanobots Set To Seek and Destroy Cancer Cells In Human Trial

 

I lost my Dad to a very rare form of Lymphoma 2 years ago and it was a difficult thing for our family to go through and see happen to someone we loved. So I do understand what Stan Ockers family must have gone through as well, and they have my deepest sympathies. But it does look promising that a cure will be found maybe in my lifetime, and if it is robotic in nature that would be very cool.

 

- Michael



#758 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 3:34 PM

There has been advances made in the treatment of certain types of cancer - but it still remains a lottery whether your particular form is treatable or curable.  (Even then it's another lottery whether you would fall into another sub group of whether it is treatable or not?) As usual with illnesses etc - if it is caught/known in it's earliest stage - it could be treatable.  And if you can survive long enough - a cure may eventually turn up in time - or not?

 

Harvey



#759 ilaskey OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 9:09 AM

I often wonder if we will ever see a cure for cancer?  Lost a lot of family to it,

Trouble is, Cancer isn't a single thing. Each form has it's own issues, causes, solutions etc. so we're slowly chipping away, moving more from the "fatal" to "improved lifespan" to "cure". It's not a single cure, it's hundreds of cures that are being worked on, one for each type.



#760 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 5:53 PM

It would be as important to know the cause for certain types of cancer too.  That of Leukemia particularly.  A friend died of this at age 35 - and I do wonder if doing a lot of arc welding had something to do with it or not?  That it may have to do with his work environment?

We know of how people working in X-ray are suppose to have adequate protection for them - but I wonder if the protection for arc welders is enough or not?

 

Harvey



#761 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 6:49 PM

Depends, I always felt a ventilation system should be built into the face/eye shield system of the helmet..... very easy to do but it still hasn't happened.... I can tell you first hand breathing in solder or welding vapors lead and various gases/fluxes/metallurgical components to very bad health issues....


Edited by _The Doctor__, Thu May 4, 2017 6:51 PM.


#762 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 8:05 PM

Let's not talk of welding.  My grandfather, dad, and I have done many many years of arc welding of some sort.  Grandfather died of cancer, Dad somehow survided stage 4 head & neck cancer as well as surviving 4 strokes.  I try to not think of what lies ahead for me in 20 years.  If I make 65, I'm doing good for this family.



#763 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 4, 2017 9:06 PM

There are so many factors to take into consideration - and a proper study should have been done long ago - or even in more recent times - to recheck exactly what is safe and what isn't?

Something to be considered is - is whether a person is actually sensitive to certain things or not?

 

It reminds of the issue with the quality of air on board passenger jets.  How passengers take it for granted that this is actually safe - but the way the air system works doesn't give you the confidence that it is actually 'clean air'.  And the case of one pilot - who appears to be over sensitive to the air quality - such that he couldn't carry on with his flying career because he got too sick with the quality of the air he was breathing.  A few passengers can notice when the air is not as clean as it should be.

 

Harvey



#764 FifthPlayer ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 5, 2017 9:35 PM

Any chance of getting an interview with Roger Badertscher?  He has been mentioned in several interviews - he was a marketer, and head of the computer division (i.e. the 8-bit machines).  Plus, he went to start Mindset, which was a fascinating computer - reminiscent of the Amiga (large color palette, blitter, genlock capability), but Intel-based and MS-DOS.


Edited by FifthPlayer, Fri May 5, 2017 9:38 PM.


#765 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 5, 2017 9:42 PM

Any chance of getting an interview with Roger Badertscher?  He has been mentioned in several interviews - he was a marketer, and head of the computer division (i.e. the 8-bit machines).  Plus, he went to start Mindset, which was a fascinating computer - reminiscent of the Amiga (large color palette, blitter, genlock capability), but Intel-based and MS-DOS.

 

 

Roger passed on an interview.

 

-Kevin



#766 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 10:59 AM

Bill Bowman, CEO of Spinnaker Software

 
Bill Bowman was co-founder and CEO of Spinnaker Software, one of the first software companies that focused exclusively on educational software. He was at the company from its founding in 1982 through 1987. Spinnaker's software line-up included Snooper Troops, Delta Drawing, FaceMaker, Adventure Creator, In Search of the Most Amazing Thing, KinderComp, and many other titles. In early 1984 InfoWorld called Spinnaker the 16th largest software company in the world, with $10 million in 1983 sales.
 
This interview took place on May 16, 2017.
 
"All of a sudden, one Friday at 6:30, she came through the door with beer and soda pop and lots of snacks, and six children ... Of course it shut down the office completely."
 
Screenshot 2017-05-16 09.15.24.png
 


#767 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 12:03 PM

Tom Eckmann, President of Kyan Software

Tom Eckmann was president and co-founder of Kyan Software. Kyan's flagship product was Kyan Pascal, an implementation of the Pascal programming language which was available for the Apple II, Atari 8-bits, and Commodore 64/128 computers.
 
This interview took place on May 19, 2017.
 
Teaser quote: "We sneered at Turbo Pascal because it was non-compliant, there were all of these un-pure features. ... He [Philippe Kahn] just looks looks at me and goes, 'Nobody gives a damn.'"


#768 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 5:11 PM

Thank you sooooo much Kevin, to restore KP is very important. And big work still to do...



#769 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 23, 2017 8:57 PM

In my research today for more interviews, I learned that Mark Chasin, author of Assembly Language Programming for the Atari Computers, died last year.

 

http://www.legacy.co...x?pid=177414191

 

-Kevin



#770 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 23, 2017 10:37 PM

Braden E. Griffin MD, author of the Griffin’s Lair column in A.N.A.L.O.G. Magazine, died in 1998. He  founded the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UMass Memorial Medical Center



#771 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 24, 2017 10:23 AM

David Ahl and Betsy Ahl, Creative Computing Magazine

 
Dave Ahl was the founder and editor-in-chief of Creating Computing Magazine, which was the first personal computer magazine. Betsy Ahl was editor of the magazine for nearly its entire run. Creative Computing was published starting in November 1974, was acquired by Ziff Davis in 1983, and ceased publication in December 1985. 
 
In addition to Creative Computing, Dave and Betsy published a variety of other magazines including Sync (dedicated to the Timex Sinclair computers) and Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games Magazine. They also released a record album -- First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival (1979), a board game called Computer Rage, and software for a variety of platforms under the Creative Computing Software label. Dave was author of BASIC Computer Games, the first million-selling computer book; plus its sequel, more BASIC Computer Games, and many other early computer books.
 
After Creative Computing, Dave was editor of Atari Explorer magazine for five years and he started Atarian magazine in 1989. Later, he published Military Vehicles magazine. 
 
This interview took place on April 3 and 4, 2013, 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 for them. The other major interview was with Wayne Green: there's a link to that interview in the show notes. 
 
The first part of the interview took place in the bar at the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon. (There's some ambient background noise and music — remember, this recording was meant to be my notes for a book, so a little background noise wasn't an issue.) The second part of the interview was recorded in my dining room, a much quieter atmosphere.
 
The day before this was recorded, Dave and Betsy attended a grand opening get-together of tech luminaries at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington. This event is mentioned several times during the interview. 
 
A full transcript of this interview is available at ComputingPioneers.com. Also, there are many links to related articles, interviews, and magazine scans in the show notes at AtariPodcast.com.
 
Teaser quote: "When I started Creative Computing, I mean there weren't even personal computers at that point. I was convinced, I guess, that they would come about. I had no idea that it would be three months later that the Altair came about."
 
Outro music: Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, played on an RCA COSMAC by Joe Welsbecker on the First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival record (1979.)
 


#772 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 8:21 AM

Amy Chen: Touch Typing, Amoeba Debugger, De Re Atari

 
Amy Liu was an progammer at Atari. Her name was Amy Chen at the time. She wrote Touch Typing, which was released by Atari on cassette in 1980; an unreleased game called Aligator; and Amoeba, a debugger utility that was used internally at Atari to create assembly language games.
 
This interview took place on May 2, 2017. It in, we talk about Paul Laughton and Lane Winner, and Chris Crawford, whom I previously interviewed. 
 
Teaser quote: "Well actually now I come to think of it, assembly language is easier than C++. ... C++ is a total different concept.”


#773 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 11:35 AM

Matthew Householder, Atari and EPYX

 
Matthew Householder worked at Atari from 1983 through 1985. There he ported Moon Patrol to the ColecoVision for AtariSoft. Later he worked on the Atari 520ST, where he wrote the line-draw/polygon graphics primitives for the ST port of the GEM operating system. Next he worked at EPYX, from 1985 through 1988, where he produced/created/designed many games including: Winter Games, World Games, Championship Wrestling, California Games, and Sub Battle Simulator. 
 
This interview took place on April 25, 2017.
 
"And she said, 'Hey! You guys should do a game with skateboarding in it.' And it was like a light, an epiphany. Oh yeah, skateboarding. Of course."
 
Kathleen Pitta, De Re Atari
 
Kathleen Marinell worked at Atari in 1981 or so -- she was Kathleen Pitta at that time. She is one of the contributors to De Re Atari, A Guide to Effective Programming, which was serialized by Byte Magazine in 1981 through 1982, and published by Atari Program Exchange in 1982. Kathleen is credited with Appendix E, which is about the GTIA chip.
 
This interview took place on May 25, 2017.
 
"I'm very logical, so the logic of computer languages -- I was fascinated by that. But the technology .. it changed to fast."


#774 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:22 AM

Art Walsh, Dynacomp and Artworx

 
Art Walsh was co-founder of Dynacomp, an early software publisher that created software for many platforms, including many educational and game titles for the Atari 8-bit computer. He later founded Artworx, a software publisher that produced titles including Bridge, Cranston Manor Adventure, Gwendolyn, Hazard Run, Hotel Alien, and Strip Poker.
 
This interview took place on May 26, 2017. In it we discuss Jerry White, whom I previously interviewed.
 
Teaser quote: "Why is bridge selling when most card players play poker? ... Doug McFarland ... blurted out ...  'I bet if we had strip poker instead of poker, it would sell. ... We all kind of said 'That's it!'"
 
mxqRNZC.png

Edited by Savetz, Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:24 AM.


#775 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:36 AM

William Leslie, OmniTrend Universe

http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-286-william-leslie-omnitrend-universe 

 

William Bill Leslie was one of the authors of Omnitrend's Universe; a science fiction space trading and combat game.  The first version was programmed in valFORTH on an Atari 800, based on a board game created by Bill. It was Omnitrend's first game and was released in 1983. There were versions of Universe for the Atari 8-bit, Apple II and IBM computers.

 

Bill was also involved in the development of the sequels Universe 2 and Universe 3, and of Breach, a turn-based tactical squad combat game.

 

This interview took place on Jan. 7, 2017.


Edited by rkindig, Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:38 AM.






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