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#776 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:38 AM

Jay Balakrishnan, HESWare

http://ataripodcast....rishnan-hesware

 

Jay Balakrishnan bought his first Commodore PET in 1978, which spurred him to found Human Engineered Software (HES or HESWare) in 1980.  HESWare got its start on the Commodore PET but later moved into many other platforms.  They developed or sold software for C64, Vic-20, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Atari ST, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Dragon, TI-99, DOS and others.  Many Llamasoft games, through an alliance with Jeff Minter, were published in the US by HESWare.  For the Atari 8-bit, they published games like Pastfinder, River Raid, Decathlon, Space Shuttle, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Gridrunner.

 

By early 1984 InfoWorld estimated that HES was tied with Broderbund as the world's tenth-largest microcomputer-software company and largest entertainment-software company.

 

In early 1984 they made their biggest splash when they acquired the services of Leonard Nimoy as spokesman.

 

This interview took place on November 20, 2016.


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


#777 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:41 PM

Sorry, the William Leslie link was wrong.  This is the correct one:

http://ataripodcast....itrend-universe



#778 Allan ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:38 PM

Jay Balakrishnan, HESWare

http://ataripodcast....rishnan-hesware

 

Jay Balakrishnan bought his first Commodore PET in 1978, which spurred him to found Human Engineered Software (HES or HESWare) in 1980.  HESWare got its start on the Commodore PET but later moved into many other platforms.  They developed or sold software for C64, Vic-20, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Atari ST, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Dragon, TI-99, DOS and others.  Many Llamasoft games, through an alliance with Jeff Minter, were published in the US by HESWare.  For the Atari 8-bit, they published games like Pastfinder, River Raid, Decathlon, Space Shuttle, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Gridrunner.

 

By early 1984 InfoWorld estimated that HES was tied with Broderbund as the world's tenth-largest microcomputer-software company and largest entertainment-software company.

 

In early 1984 they made their biggest splash when they acquired the services of Leonard Nimoy as spokesman.

 

This interview took place on November 20, 2016.

Hopefully Jay can scan or let you scan some of the stuff he was talking about. Great interview.

 

Allan



#779 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:50 AM

Hopefully Jay can scan or let you scan some of the stuff he was talking about. Great interview.

 

Allan

Actually, Allan, Jay did follow up and sent me scans of everything he had.  I posted all on the ANTIC Facebook page and am in the process of uploading them to archive.org.  Cool stuff!



#780 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:51 AM

George White, Founder of Koala Technologies

 

George White was the founder of Koala Technologies, the company that made the KoalaPad. KoalaPad was a touch tablet, versions were available for the Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64, Apple II, and the IBM PC. A version for the TRS-80 Color Computer was also available, sold as the TRS-80 Touch Pad.

 
This interview took place on May 20, 2017. If you want to see George and my chat, a video version of this interview is available, check the show notes at AtariPodcast.com for that link. I also interviewed KoalaPad inventor David Thornburg, whom we talk about in this interview. David's interview will be published next.
 
"I regret the fact that I wasn't more forceful in staying true to my original reason for starting the company which was to make mice."
 

Audio: http://ataripodcast....la-technologies

Video: 



#781 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:01 AM

David Thornburg, Koalapad inventor

 
David Thornburg invented the KoalaPad, a touch tablet that was available for the Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64, Apple II, and the IBM PC. A version for the TRS-80 Color Computer was also available, sold as the TRS-80 Touch Pad. He is also the author of The KoalaPad Book, which was published in 1984.
 
This interview took place on May 22, 2017. In it, we discuss George White, the founder of Koala Technologies, whom I previously interviewed.
 
Teaser quote: "You know how to take things apart. Good for you. But you've never built anything in your entire life. You have no idea what it's like to invent something that has generated livelihood for hundreds of people, and is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people."
 
Video: 


#782 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:09 AM

Dan Hale, EasyGrader

 
Dan Hale published one program for the Atari 8-bit computers: EasyGrader, which first appeared in the fall 1982 APX catalog. 
 
This interview took place on May 30, 2017.
 
And with that, interviews with half of the 159 Atari Program Exchange programmers have been published.


#783 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:33 AM

A listener question: 
 
Great interviews you guys are doing. Amazing. I just listened to the David Thornburg interview. I was wondering if maybe you could ask him through email if he knew why the Atari Touch Tablet was so similar to the Koala Pad considering Koala invented the technology. Plus the same guys who wrote the Koala pad software did the software for the Touch Tablet. Maybe Koala designed the Touch Tablet for Atari?
 

 

Which I forwarded to David, who said:

 

Dear Kevin,

 
The Atari branded tablet was stolen from us.  Never got to court.
 
Warmest regards,
 
David


#784 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 1, 2017 12:28 PM

Gary Koffler, VP at Datasoft and Datamost

 
Gary Koffler was VP at two publishers: Datasoft and Datamost. He was VP Software at Datasoft in 1980–1981. Datasoft published many Atari computer games, including Canyon Climber, Clowns and Balloons, Pacific Coast Highway, Sands of Egypt, and Zaxxon. At Datasoft, Gary managed creation of the AtariWriter word processor under contract for Atari.
 
Next, Gary was VP Software and Talent at Datamost from 1982–1984. Datamost published Atari games including Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory, Tail of Beta Lyrae, Cohen's Towers, and Super Bunny. Datamost also published many books for the Atari computer, including Atari Roots, Kids and the Atari, The Elementary Atari, and Games Ataris Play.
 
This interview took place on April 4, 2017.
 
Teaser quote: "I didn't program ... I basically programmed programmers because I realized early on that if I wanted to have anything that was going to appear on these machines that I wanted to have appear on them, I was going to have to work with artists and programmers and musicians and animators."


#785 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 4, 2017 3:35 PM

Robert Veline, Astro Pyrotechnics

 
The July/August 1987 issue of ST-Log magazine has an article by Matthew Stern called "Atari Sets Off Fireworks!" It features an interview with Robert Veline of Astro Pryrotechnics, a California-based fireworks company.
 
I found Robert — who is still in the pyrotechnics industry today — to get more of the story. This interview took place on June 2, 2017.
 
After our interview, Robert sent me pictures of his Atari-based firing box -- as well as all of the software for running it, the assembly language source code, Old Mother Hubbard's GCHIP Cook Book, his fireworks simulation software, and more.
 
Teaser quote: "We did have one or two shows where you plugged the box in and turned it on -- and it was a 10-second show."


#786 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:52 AM

Merl Miller, dilithium Press

 
Merl Miller was co-founder of dilithium Press, a publisher of computer books that was in business from 1977 through 1986. Merl was co-author of Computers for People (with Jerry Willis), a book that heavily features Atari 8-bit computers; and Things to Do With Your Atari Computer (with Jerry Willis and Nancy Morrice) as well as several other books about other types of personal computers. dilithium Press also published An Atari for Kids, An Atari in the Classroom, 32 BASIC Programs For the Atari Computer, Peanut Butter and Jelly Guide to Computers, and is perhaps best known for Computers for Everybody.
 
This interview took place on June 26, 2017.
 
Teaser quote: "When I worked for Prentice Hall, when I worked for West Publishing, when I started my own company, I never forgot that: a good book is one that sells."


#787 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:20 PM

Hey Kevin keep them coming I have 2 weeks of decorating to get through! Today listened to the long David & Betsy Ahl one - really fascinating  :thumbsup:  We must be due a new regular Antic one soon ;) What I like about these and not so many others is you can easily download them to listen to.

 

Anyone recommend any other podcasts?



#788 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:37 PM

Hey Kevin keep them coming I have 2 weeks of decorating to get through! Today listened to the long David & Betsy Ahl one - really fascinating  :thumbsup:  We must be due a new regular Antic one soon ;) What I like about these and not so many others is you can easily download them to listen to.
 
Anyone recommend any other podcasts?



Hi. Actually we have recorded the next Antic and I'm editing it now.

I hope you enjoyed the Jay Balakrishnan (HESware) interview too. It's a long one.

Randy

#789 rkindig OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:37 PM

Oh and I can recommend Floppy Days floppydays.com :)

#790 AtariGeezer ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:08 PM

 

Richard Watts, Macrotronics

 
Richard Watts was a programmer at Macrotronics, a company that was primarily focused on the RM-1000 radio modem, hardware that connected amateur radio receivers to personal computers. The company also created Morse Code Tutor, programmed by Richard, which was published by Atari Program Exchange and first appeared in winter 1982-1983 APX catalog.  Morse Code Tutor cost $22.95 and was APX catalog number 20092. Macrotronics did contract work for APX as well, including fixes to Caverns of Mars prior to its release. The company also released a parallel print interface, which allowed a parallel printer to be connected to the Atari 400 and 800 through joystick ports 3 and 4, eliminating the need for an Atari 850 interface.
 
This interview took place on July 28, 2016.
 
"You couldn't afford any of the inefficiencies of a higher-level language. Basically what you're writing is a software UART, so that you're taking the signal, and you're detecting a dit from a dah, you're looking at the spacing of all of that and you're trying to ignore noise."

 

Kevin,  can you contact Richard Watts and see if he still has a disk, cartridge or ROM for the RM 1000 Radio Modem?

I just picked one up on eBay ;-)


Edited by AtariGeezer, Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:40 PM.


#791 Xebec OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:19 AM

Hi All!  I just finally got a chance to listen to the Bill Mensch "6502 chip" episode (Interview #96) and wanted to say this was outstanding!

 

I have followed chip manufacturing tech since the mid-90s so it was extremely interesting hearing about the early stuff including the voltage differences, and how the development of the 6502 also coincided with the development of a unique manufacturing process..

 

The business discussions on why no 32-bit 6502 and so-on made perfect sense.  Bill (and friends) found a niche that worked for their needs.  The marketing discussions on the 8088 and 68000 were also insightful, and I'd love to hear some more detail in the future about the BBC discussions with Bill and team on the 6502 follow-ups..  

 

Thanks Bill and ANTIC for recording this for us! 



#792 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:00 AM

Carol Shaw, Atari and Activision

 
Carol Shaw was a software engineer at Atari from August 1978 though 1980. She programmed for the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit computers. She programmed on 3-D Tic Tac Toe for the Atari 800 and 2600; and the math application Calculator. She worked on Video Checkers, Othello, and Super Breakout for the 2600. She also co-wrote the Atari BASIC Reference Manual. Carol joined Activision in 1982, where she created the hit game River Raid, which she programmed for the 2600 then ported to the Atari 8-bit computers, and Happy Trails for the Intellivision.
 
This interview took place on June 29, 2017.
 
"Originally it was going to be a boat going up a river, but my boat was kind of boring looking ... How about an airplane going up a river? We'll have it kind of a canyon or something like that."


#793 ivop OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:38 AM

I recently listened to some of your podcasts (Mensch, Zdybel, Koala guys, and a few more) and must say I very much enjoy your interviews! Makes walking through nature and around large patches of water so much more pleasant ;)

 

I wonder though why you beep out certain words. Especially if the connection wasn't that good to begin with, sentences are getting hard to mentally paste together if there are beeps in it.

 

Another thing, how does one properly pronounce Atari? I have heard anything from Ah-Tah-Ree to Uh-Toh-Ree and variations in between :) Maybe that's something for another thread...



#794 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 2, 2017 9:09 AM

Harry Stewart, Pilot and WSFN

 
Harry Stewart was a contractor for Atari from August 1978 through October 1983. He contributed to the operating system design and the manuals for the Atari 400 and 800; created the Atari implementation of the WSFN language (which was released in the first Atari Program Exchange catalog, summer 1981). He worked on Atari's PILOT programming language and the unreleased sequel, Super PILOT (also known as Summer Camp PILOT.)
 
Harry saved an enormous amount of material: source code, memos, notes, and more. He scanned some of it, I scanned some of it, and it's online at the Internet Archive at the AtariAge forums. 
 
This interview took place on June 29, 2017.
 
"You debugged in your head. It wasn't sitting at the machine single-stepping and doing breakpoints. If you had a problem, you thought it out. Why is this happening? ... Working on the hardware only as necessary."


#795 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 2, 2017 12:07 PM

 

Carol Shaw, Atari and Activision

 
Carol Shaw was a software engineer at Atari from August 1978 though 1980. She programmed for the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit computers. She programmed on 3-D Tic Tac Toe for the Atari 800 and 2600; and the math application Calculator. She worked on Video Checkers, Othello, and Super Breakout for the 2600. She also co-wrote the Atari BASIC Reference Manual. Carol joined Activision in 1982, where she created the hit game River Raid, which she programmed for the 2600 then ported to the Atari 8-bit computers, and Happy Trails for the Intellivision.
 
This interview took place on June 29, 2017.
 
"Originally it was going to be a boat going up a river, but my boat was kind of boring looking ... How about an airplane going up a river? We'll have it kind of a canyon or something like that."

 

Can't wait for all her papers & source archives to be released!!



#796 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 6, 2017 3:33 PM

Stan Osborne, Atari Design Research

podcast version (about an hour): http://ataripodcast....design-research
extended version (about two hours): 
 
Stan Osborne was a freelance software engineer in Atari's Design Research department from 1981 through 1984. He also worked on projects for coin-op and home computing departments. He created micro-kernels, proof of concepts, proto-applications and device drivers.
 
There are two versions of this interview: the podcast version is about an hour shorter. The extended version is at the Internet Archive, and includes a lot more of Stan's education, jobs, and history before he was at Atari. 
 
This interview took place on May 16, 2017, with a short additional segment added on August 4.
 
"I was being paid to do whatever I wanted to, if I had time. When you're a freelance independant contractor, you set the clock schedule for when you're going to be there and what you're gonna go. I could visit anybody, anywhere on the Atari campuses." 


#797 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 6, 2017 9:58 PM

Can't wait for all her papers & source archives to be released!!

 

 

I've been in contact with The Strong museum, where Carol donated her material.

 

One can check out there in person at their New York facility. They'll even scan material for a fee. But the Use of Collections Materials Agreement, the museum "cannot authorize users to publish scans of materials from The Strong’s collection either in print or online. Scans are for personal and research use only."  So I would not be able to put material obtained from The Strong online at Internet Archive or AtariAge. This is dissapointing to me.

 

FYI, here's the list of what Carol donated to The Strong:

 

As listed from Carol's own inventory doc:

Material from time employed at Atari 1978-1980:
-11” x 15” fan-fold line printer paper:
·         Polo source code listing (for Atari 2600) 12/6/78;
·         Stella Qubic source code listing (3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, for Atari 2600) 1/12/79;
·         Colleen Qubic source code listing (3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, for Atari 800) 11/21/79;
·         VCS Checkers Instructions (for Atari 2600) 5/15/1980;
·         VCS Checkers Rev. B source code listing (for Atari 2600) 6/3/80;
·         Atari 800 Checkers display source code listing (not released) 3/31/80;
·         Atari Calculator Cartridge Function Summary (for Atari 800) 5/25/79;
·         Atari 400/800 Calculator Cartridge User’s Manual by Carol Shaw 9/24/79;
·         Colleen Calculator source code listing (for Atari 800) 7/16/80;
·         Basic BNF (for Atari 800) 3/27/80;
·         VCS Super Breakout display only by C. Shaw source code listing (Atari 2600) 15-Jul-80
-Manila file folders containing notes and reference materials: Polo, Qubic (3-D Tic-Tac-Toe), Checkers, Calculator
-“Atari Personal Computer Systems Software Catalog” ©1980 C016187 Rev. 1
 
Material from time employed at Activision 1982-1984:
-11” x 15” fan-fold line printer paper:
·         Atari 2600 VCS River Raid source code listing 10-Feb-83;
·         5200/800 River Raid source code listing 22-Sep-83;
·         Happy Trails for Mattel Intellivision source code listing 13-Jan-83
-3/4” videotape of TV commercial: J. Walter Thompson/S.F., Activision/River Raid, “Red Alert”, :30, 12/13/82
-3/4” videotape of TV commercial: AME Inc, Activision, “Legend of Happy Trails Rev. 1”, 0:30, 05-12-83
-DVD copied from above two videotapes in 2008
-River Raid 8 1/8” x 11 5/8” ad in German
-River Raid poster in German
-“Activision River Raiders” patch
-Color slide taken by Ralph Merkle “Carol w/Atari 800” Apr 81


#798 Kyle22 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 6, 2017 10:22 PM

Maybe an anonymous torrenter will be so kind...



#799 Atari_Ace OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 7, 2017 8:17 AM

·         Atari 800 Checkers display source code listing (not released) 3/31/80;

 

This one was published in the hardware manual.  I OCR'd it earlier this year, and have been using it as my Avatar picture.

Attached Files



#800 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:37 AM

Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, John Weisgberber, Antic magazine games

 
Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, and John Weisgberber are childhood friends who published three games in Antic magazine: Kooky's Quest was published in the February 1985 issue; Overflow in July 1985; and Robot Dungeon was the "disk bonus" in the November 1985 issue. They also wrote several other games in Atari BASIC — some of which they submitted to Compute! and A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazines - that went unpublished.
 
Fast forward to August 2017, when the three posted on the AtariAge forum: "We are now releasing all of these games to the Public Domain ...  These are not new games, but they are new to the Atari 8-Bit community. Many of these games really pushed the envelope at the time for what could be done in Atari BASIC, including bi-directional smooth scrolling, assembly language subroutines, parallax scrolling, cut scenes, attract modes, display-list tricks, interleaved-displays, etc."
 
In addition to releasing their games — some for the first time — the group wrote a new article describing how they got together as a team to write these programs, along with game instructions and development notes.
 
I wanted to find out more, so we got together for a four-way interview over Skype.
 
This interview took place on August 4, 2017.
 
Teaser quotes:
"It was just a small little corner of the page that says 'Disk Bonus — Robot Dungeon'. We didn't subscribe to the disk bonus of Antic. So luckily we saw that or else we never would have known it was published."
 
“One thing about this experience of working together on these games, it's very multi-disciplinary, and it's all about collaboration."
 
 
Video: 






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