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gautry

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About gautry

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    Space Invader
  1. gautry

    Taxman

    Damn, if only we had the Internet in 1981, I could have sold a lot more software! G
  2. gautry

    Taxman

    That appears to be an adapter to the Apple Iic connector.
  3. gautry

    Taxman

    Thanks for reminding me it was called "Tom Lander" after my best buddy from Junior High School!
  4. gautry

    Taxman

    Honestly it was NOT buggy. It wasn't great, but it ran fine. I'm afraid your copy is corrupted or something else is wrong.
  5. gautry

    Taxman

    Unfortunately no. There was only one chip (7400 series) let me see if I can remember what it was or how to wire it. Essentially we sent signal out the enunciator port to the chip telling it which of the 4 inputs to accept as a button press at that moment. It was 30 years ago . . . Unfortunately the device I have is sealed with epoxy. It could only work with software written for it and there wasn't much. Supertaxman and a really great game we did called Vindicator, which was a bit like Robotron. Really incredibly fast for the 1mhz 8 bit CPU. Our distribution died at that time as BIG organizations piled into the market with massive marketing budgets and very few people got to see it. A couple of other small game companies supported the device, but I don't recall which games.
  6. gautry

    Taxman

    The disk was dual formatted with a copy protected boot sector, but still catalogable. I believe you needed 3.3
  7. gautry

    Taxman

    We were so frustrated by the Apple Joystick that we developed an adapter with encoding hardware to allow an Atari style 9pin arcade (4 switch) joystick to plug into the Apple II 16 pin DIP connector. Playing Taxman with a WICO joystick was actually really nice.
  8. gautry

    HAL LABS

    Stuff from HAL Labs, an early 1980s software developer.
  9. gautry

    Taxman

    Indeed we were fans of the Fab Four during the "Beatlemania" days. No problem with the pirate copy. Copy away with our permission. I remember that when I met my wife, her dad insisted on showing me his computer because he thought we could bond over that and he had pirated copies of several of our titles. You know, I think the bonus game, named "HAL Lander" was moved onto the front in later editions. If you've got the disk just CATALOG it and see. It wasn't that great, honestly, but it did use the Apple Joystick nicely. Fitzgerald has promised to send me a disk, if I can get my Apple IIgs cranked up, and read the thing and figure out how to transfer the file I'll post it somewhere. Sounds unlikely!
  10. gautry

    Taxman

    Sorry I'm late to the thread. If anyone is still paying attention, I was the founder of HAL Labs. Brian Fitzgerald and I developed Taxman while in high school and as undergrads living in a trailer on campus at UC Irvine 1980-1981. I take exception with any criticisms here. It was a nearly perfect copy of Pacman, far better than the other Apple clones and Atari produced versions for other platforms. Brian's bit mapping algorithms were way faster and far smoother (see Broderbund's Snoggle for instance) and the AI on our ghosts was damn good. We even replicated minor things like being able to pass through a ghost on rare occasions (1/255 collisions). Some people hate the keyboard controls, but the Apple's potentiometer based joystick, while great for flight simulators, was terrible for maze games which should be restricted to a four switch movement. Indeed Atari did threaten lawsuits and then turned around and bought the product from us after Jerry Pournelle wrote a nice column about our situation in Byte. I modified the title screen to say PACMAN in a sort of yellow by quickly flipping hires screens between a green and red version (Apple II hires had no yellow). I wrote the "bonus game" which was on the back side of the disk. It was a mediocre hi-res lunar land simulator written in AppleSoft Basic. Oddly, even I don't have an original copy. If anyone has one I'd love to hear from them. - Greg Autry
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