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The Atari interview discussion thread

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#801 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:13 AM

Tom Hunt, Closer to Home BBS

 
Tom Hunt ran an Atari BBS called Closer to Home for 28 years. He also created a variety of utilities for the Atari 8-bit computers, including M.T.O.S. (Multi-Tasking Operating System), and The Armorizer (a file corruption detector). He created several languages including Atari implementations of the Brainfork and Mouse programming languages, and forks of Atari BASIC and Turbo BASIC with various feature additions. He also built a system for porting Inform 5 and Z-Code text adventures to the Atari platform.
 
This interview took place on August 5, 2017.
 
"Just as soon as one caller would get off another one would come on. We had so much going on, before the Internet we had worldwide networking — we had message bases, emails, and file mail going around the world to Christchurch, New Zealand and everything. It was just great!"


#802 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:00 PM

John Skruch, Atarisoft

 
John Skruch worked at Atari from 1982, under Warner Communications, all through the Tramiel era, until 1998 when the company was owned by JTS.
 
During that time, he was operations manager for Atarisoft, the arm of Atari that produced software for competing computer systems; software product manager for the 8-bit computer line; and director of licensing. He was involved wth the design and development of the XM301 modem, and the Atari Lynx game system.
 
This interview took place on March 18, 2017.
 
"Atari was bleeding. We used to kid that there was a guy who would go up on the roof every day at noon and toss a million dollars off the roof, and come back inside."


#803 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 11:50 AM

Our 300th interview episode.

 

Lance Leventhal, Author of Assembly Language Books

 
Lance Leventhal wrote 25 computer books, spanning 1978 through 1992. His books include  6502 Assembly Language Programming, 6502 Assembly Language Subroutines, Z80 Assembly Language Programming, Z80 Assembly Language Subroutines, 6800 Assembly Language Programming, 6809 Assembly Language Programming, and Why Do You Need a Personal Computer?
 
This interview took place on August 25, 2017.
 
"Be careful about avoiding sidetracks. Don't go down them. There's always things you'd like to say and things you'd like to talk about. But they're not central to your topic and you've got to be brutal about not saying them."


#804 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:34 AM

James Burton, APX Drawit

 
 
James Burton published one program for the Atari 8-bit computers: Drawit, a graphics utility that was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded first prize in the personal development category.  
 
This interview took place on August 24, 2017.
 
"Many hours. Many, many hours. Late at night, don't want to go to sleep. Just plugging at the computer."


#805 ClausB ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:49 AM

Thank you, Lance, for teaching me 6502 in 1981.

#806 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:26 AM

Patricia Mitchell, Thorn EMI
 
Patricia Mitchell started at Thorn EMI in 1981.  She worked in the home computer software division, evaluating software that had been submitted by programmers. 
 
Thorn EMI published many games for the Atari 8-bit computers, including River Rescue, Carnival Massacre, Orc Attack, Kickback, Submarine Commander, Computer War, and Jumbo Jet Pilot.
 
Later she worked at Virgin Games.
 
This interview took place on April 27, 2017.
 
In it, we talk a little about about Steve Green. Steve bought Patricia's old Atari computer on eBay, which included pre-production versions of five Thorn EMI games. Steve made ROM dumps of those games and uploaded them to Internet Archive. 
 
"One of the most embarrassing things for the management at the time was they turned down a game that was submitted that was called Elite ... It was the first 3-D graphics that were rendered in wireframe."
Patricia Mitchell started at Thorn EMI in 1981.  She worked in the home computer software division, evaluating software that had been submitted by programmers. 
 
Video version of the interview:

Edited by Savetz, Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:27 AM.


#807 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:21 AM

 

 

In it, we talk a little about about Steve Green. Steve bought Patricia's old Atari computer on eBay, which included pre-production versions of five Thorn EMI games. Steve made ROM dumps of those games and uploaded them to Internet Archive. 

 

This is news to me.  Do you have a link to that?



#808 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:50 AM

 

This is news to me.  Do you have a link to that?

 

 

As always, check the show notes for links. ANTIC Interview 302 - Patricia Mitchell, Thorn EMI



#809 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:11 AM

Lee Konowe, American Software Club

 
Lee Konowe was founder of American Software Club, a mail-order software company. American Software Club sold software for CP/M, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80, Apple II, IBM PC, Commodore 64, and other platforms. It started out with a sort of Columbia House "software of the month" model, where you automatically received a "choice of the month" software package each month — which you could keep and pay for, or return at no cost. Later the company switched to a more traditional mail order catalog model.
 
The company was founded around June 1981. In an article about software clubs in InfoWorld magazine, the company said it had about 2,000 members by the end of its first month. By February 1983 it claimed 10,000 members, and by September of that year had 15,000 members.
 
This interview took place on June 7 2017 for me, and June 8 for Lee in New Zealand.
 
 
Video version:


#810 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Yesterday, 9:30 AM

Hal Glicksman, Datamost

 
Hal Glicksman was head of the book division at Datamost.
 
In two years from 1982 to 1984, Datamost was one of largest publishers of computer books. In 1983 alone, Datamost published over 40 titles and shipped 100,000 books per month. Their Atari books included Atari Roots, Kids and the Atari, ABCs of Atari Computers, and The Elementary Atari. Hal himself wrote The Musical Atari, Games Ataris Play, and The Musical Commodore. 
 
Datamost also published software: the company's Atari software titles included Cohen's Towers, Cosmic Tunnels, Jet Boot Jack, Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory, and The
Tail of Beta Lyrae.
 
This interview took place on April 7, 2017 for me; April 8 for him in France.
 
"It was a second career for me. I was the oldest person there, older than the boss by 10 years, almost. And for me to be able to get in with all these young people and learn — I mean, I wasn't as fast as any of them but, just to hold up my own."
 
Video:






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