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The Atari interview discussion thread

podcasts interviews

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#901 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:03 PM

Darts and Sub Commander are fantastic.

 

I'd love to hear an interview with Colin Hume, who also worked @ Thorn EMI, especially for his code for Computer War...he crammed one HELL of a game into 4K (it's an 8K cart, but only half of it is used), especially the display tricks used...i'd kill for that.

 

-Thom

 

 

He was super easy to find. I've asked him for an interview. 

 

-Kevin



#902 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:33 AM

Just offering Kevin an ongoing "THANK YOU" for all these wonderful interviews, easily one of the best threads on here and so interesting..

 

Thank you for your time and work...

 

Paul..



#903 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 2, 2018 9:38 AM

Rawson Stovall, The Vid Kid newspaper column

 
As you no doubt gleaned from the clips of his appearances on CBS Morning News and The Tonight Show, Rawson Stovall was only a child when he started writing a syndicated newspaper column in which he reviewed computer games and home video games. The column, called Vid Kid, appeared in 20 newspapers around the United States. He was in fact the first nationally syndicated reviewer of video games in the country.
 
He is author of The Vid Kid's Book of Home Video Games — a compilation of his reviews — which was published in 1984, when Rawson was 12 years old. 
 
This interview took place on January 23, 2018.


#904 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:11 AM

Jerry Horanoff, Carina BBS Software

 
Jerry Horanoff was the creator of the Carina bulletin board system software for the Atari 8-bit computers, and later, Carina II. 
 
The October 1986 issue of ANTIC Magazine wrote: "This expandable, module-based bulletin board software package is written in understandable BASIC and includes XMODEM upload/download transfer protocol, message editor with word processor-like functions and a total of 44 commands, including 17 sysop functions. It operates at 300, 1200 or 2400 baud and works with most DOSs and BASICs."
 
Jerry also created Ultramon, a disassembler. Later he worked at ICD and Commodore. 
 
This interview took place on January 25, 2018.

Edited by Savetz, Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:12 AM.


#905 Albert ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:31 PM

Jerry Horanoff was the creator of the Carina bulletin board system software for the Atari 8-bit computers, and later, Carina II. 

 

Just finished listening to the interview, glad you had a chance to chat with him!  We used to talk fairly often back in the Carina II days.  He really did a terrific job with Carina II, it was powerful, quite flexible, and easy to modify and add to.  I had a blast running a Carina II BBS (for several years) and writing software for the system, including the game RoboWar II that he briefly mentioned.  Those were fun times.  :) 

 

 ..Al



#906 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:45 PM

 

Jerry Horanoff, Carina BBS Software

 

 

 

I learned a great deal from that piece of software. It practically begged for modification... and I modified as much as I could fit in memory... and then a little bit more. Looking forward to hearing this!



#907 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:24 AM

 

I learned a great deal from that piece of software. It practically begged for modification... and I modified as much as I could fit in memory... and then a little bit more. Looking forward to hearing this!

 

After hearing the interview, I think it was probably Carnival that I had most of my experience with.

 

I also wanted to agree with him on BBS Express and I'd throw Oasis into the same bucket as well. Those assembler-based pieces of software were pretty rock solid, fast, and reliable. But they were for the people who had a fair amount of money but weren't interested in creating any kind of customized destination. At the time, I called it "a war of the look-alikes" because, in my area, Oasis was extremely popular, and all the Oasis boards looked and acted completely alike. It really sucked the creativity/exploration/wonder of visiting BBS systems.

 

I do remember seeing the functionality he described with Carina, though. It had a cool I/O route which made the OS believe that whatever was coming in from the modem was a local keyboard input, and any text going out to the screen was also sent to the modem. So you could write a normal program which uses PRINT statements to write to the screen, and you could accept normal input as if the user was sitting right there.

 

That was totally awesome because it made programming telecommunications software super-easy. The downside, from what I saw, is that if/when a user was able to break out of your software (due to a hardware fault, bug, or whatever), they got access to the BASIC interpreter to do whatever they wanted. They could literally type anything on your machine. So it made your BBS potentially vulnerable. I'll assume that he eventually found a way to mitigate that.

 

I'm going to have to look over a copy of Carina to make sure.



#908 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:40 PM

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.'"

Just got a copy of Space Knights. 

 

http://www.atarimani...-books_1_8.html

 

And here is the disk that goes with the book:  http://www.atarimani...ights_4835.html

 

Allan



#909 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 3, 2018 2:01 PM

Douglas Wilder, Ultimate Renumber Utility

http://ataripodcast....enumber-utility

 
Douglas Wilder published one program though Atari Program Exchange, Ultimate Renumber Utility, which he co-wrote with his father, Justin Wilder. It first appeared in the winter 1981 APX catalog, but was featured in the catalog for less than a year: in the winter 1982 catalog, it was replaced by BASIC/XA, which did renumbering as well as other functions for programmers.
 
This interview took place on January 26, 2018.
 
Teaser quote: "So we got enough money off the sales of that through APX that it paid for both my father's computer and mine."


#910 Alfred OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 8:28 PM

Do you need some special software to listen to these podcasts, because they don't work at all with Firefox.



#911 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 9:12 PM

Do you need some special software to listen to these podcasts, because they don't work at all with Firefox.

 

 

It should work fine in any browser, no special software needed. The vast majority of people don't listen in their browser; they listen using a podcast app on their phone.

 

Kevin



#912 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 5, 2018 4:17 PM

your firefox probably needs script blocker to allow the website, html5 player, and cdn.jsdeliver.net

make sure all are enabled in your firefox addons/scriptblocker



#913 InfoMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 5, 2018 4:20 PM

If you have an Android device, you can listen to it with a free app I made called Retro Atari Podcasts:

 

https://play.google....app460787&hl=en



#914 Alfred OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 5, 2018 5:21 PM

your firefox probably needs script blocker to allow the website, html5 player, and cdn.jsdeliver.net

make sure all are enabled in your firefox addons/scriptblocker

 

I disabled everything and it just doesn't work under Firefox. Doesn't work under Safari or IE either. It will work using Edge on a W10 system though.



#915 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 5, 2018 6:15 PM

it works on all versions of firefox I use for XP on up... 46 to quantum



#916 Alfred OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 5, 2018 6:27 PM

it works on all versions of firefox I use for XP on up... 46 to quantum

 

Well this machine has 43 on it. Other ones have 18 or 34.



#917 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2018 10:50 AM

oh my, time for some portable installs, wow. I think quantum is #56 or so now... what are you running these on?



#918 Alfred OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2018 11:01 AM

oh my, time for some portable installs, wow. I think quantum is #56 or so now... what are you running these on?

 

i7-7700K, i7-2700k, i5-2500k, q9300. Just ordered an i7-8700k, guess that one can have something newer. They're all Win7 xcept the 7700, it's a W10.


Edited by Alfred, Tue Mar 6, 2018 11:01 AM.


#919 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2018 11:04 AM

shouldn't be any problem installing multiple instances as standalone, portable, for the different versions you might want today... give it a look over on the mozilla site.



#920 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2018 8:44 PM

William "Ted" Farmer, Eastern Front (1941) Scenarios

 
Ted Farmer created one product for the Atari 8-bit computers, with an unwieldy name: “Eastern Front (1941) Scenarios For 1942, 1943, 1944". The disk of add-on scenarios for Eastern Front 1941 first appeared in the fall 1983 APX catalog, alongside Chris Crawford's Eastern Front (1941) scenario editor, the program that Ted used to create the scenarios.
 
This interview took place on January 27, 2018.
 
Teaser quote: "Some time later, I got a message on my telephone answering machine, and it was from Chris [Crawford]. It was very short. He said, 'Stop working on the article, and I can't tell you why.'"


#921 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 6, 2018 10:53 PM

ANTIC Special Episode — Bits & Bytes

http://ataripodcast....-bits-and-bytes

 

I interviewed three people who helped create Bits & Bytes, a 1983 educational musical theater show teaching about computers.  First, Michael Bigelow Dixon, co-author of the play; Diane King, the composer; and Laura Leyva, the actress who played the roll of Happy.



#922 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 6, 2018 11:05 PM

 

 

It should work fine in any browser, no special software needed. The vast majority of people don't listen in their browser; they listen using a podcast app on their phone.

 

Kevin

 

Related to this: YouTube uploads of the podcasts would be *majorly* appreciated.  It's the one unified playback method I can use across multiple devices that lets me listen pretty much anywhere - particularly in the car, via Bluetooth from my phone.



#923 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 6, 2018 11:16 PM

 

Related to this: YouTube uploads of the podcasts would be *majorly* appreciated.  It's the one unified playback method I can use across multiple devices that lets me listen pretty much anywhere - particularly in the car, via Bluetooth from my phone.

 

 

Request noted, but realistically that's not going to happen. A podcast app does the job for 99.9% of listeners.  

 

Kevin



#924 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2018 11:24 AM

Dave Comstock: E.T. Phone Home!, Superman III, Cloak & Dagger

 
Dave Comstock worked at Atari from 1980 through 1984, first as a software and hardware tester, then as a programmer. Dave worked on three games for the Atari 8-bit computers: E.T. Phone Home!, Superman III, and Cloak and Dagger.
 
This interview took place on November 8, 2017.

 

Did any unique software or hardware come out of your interview with Dave Comstock?

I noticed he mentions at 31 minutes into Part 1 that Atari had a special cartridge version

of DDT, available to Atari employees only, that ran on an 800. He mentioned that it was

one of the few things he took with him when he left, because it was a necessity for some

things he had done. So, it sounds like he may still have this. Was he ever asked about

dumping this cartridge? Seems like a great thing to have archived. I know I'd love to have

a copy of it.



#925 Savetz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 7, 2018 1:57 PM

Good question. I will ask him. 

 

 

Did any unique software or hardware come out of your interview with Dave Comstock?

I noticed he mentions at 31 minutes into Part 1 that Atari had a special cartridge version

of DDT, available to Atari employees only, that ran on an 800. He mentioned that it was

one of the few things he took with him when he left, because it was a necessity for some

things he had done. So, it sounds like he may still have this. Was he ever asked about

dumping this cartridge? Seems like a great thing to have archived. I know I'd love to have

a copy of it.







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