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New Atari book projects, need your input

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I'm starting work on new classic computing books, and would like your input and help.

 

1. Best of Antic Magazine

While I was interviewing Jim Capparell for the Atari podcast (AtariPodcast.com) I got permission to create a book reprinting selected articles from Antic magazine. My vision is to make a book with articles that remain relevant to today's Atari users. I can probably explain it best by telling what will not be in the book: type-in programs, reviews, tutorials on programming in BASIC. I DO want it to include things like interviews that ran in the magazine (e.g. Scott Adams, Nolan Bushnell, etc.) and things about computing itself -- for instance, Atari and the 1984 Olympics, a Harvard Confernece on video games, Lucasfilm's collaboration with Atari.

 

So with that in mind, I'd like to know if people are interested in this book. ebook or paper? I'd also like to get a few people to help select the articles that will be included. I've started a first pass. The list is already getting long, and will need to be culled.

 

2. The First Computer Magazines

Project two is a history of the first computer magazines. I plan to focus on Creative Computing, Byte, and Kilobaud. I've already done extensive interviews with publishers and have more planned.

 

I am looking for people with stories about those magazines -- in your role as a reader, subscriber, advertiser, writer, whatever. If you have memories about Creative Computing, the early years of Byte, or Kilobaud, let me know.

 

3. 8-Bit Computing Stories

This project is the most nebulous in my mind -- I'm less confident about it than the other two but want to see what people think. After reading my book Terrible Nerd, many folks have told me that my stories remind them of their stories growing up with 8-bit computers. So -- I'm thinking of a book of collected true stories about computing's early days: the best stories of the things people created, the people they met, the challenges they faced with computers in the 70s and 80s. For instance, from Terrible Nerd: the story of how I stole my first computer, or my love affair with the Atari 800. I've already told those stories -- this book would be YOUR stories. This could end up being just Atari stories, or 8-bit in general, not sure.

 

So those are my projects. Let me know what you think.

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I'm starting work on new classic computing books, and would like your input and help.

 

1. Best of Antic Magazine

While I was interviewing Jim Capparell for the Atari podcast (AtariPodcast.com) I got permission to create a book reprinting selected articles from Antic magazine. My vision is to make a book with articles that remain relevant to today's Atari users. I can probably explain it best by telling what will not be in the book: type-in programs, reviews, tutorials on programming in BASIC. I DO want it to include things like interviews that ran in the magazine (e.g. Scott Adams, Nolan Bushnell, etc.) and things about computing itself -- for instance, Atari and the 1984 Olympics, a Harvard Confernece on video games, Lucasfilm's collaboration with Atari.

 

So with that in mind, I'd like to know if people are interested in this book. ebook or paper? I'd also like to get a few people to help select the articles that will be included. I've started a first pass. The list is already getting long, and will need to be culled.

 

2. The First Computer Magazines

Project two is a history of the first computer magazines. I plan to focus on Creative Computing, Byte, and Kilobaud. I've already done extensive interviews with publishers and have more planned.

 

I am looking for people with stories about those magazines -- in your role as a reader, subscriber, advertiser, writer, whatever. If you have memories about Creative Computing, the early years of Byte, or Kilobaud, let me know.

 

3. 8-Bit Computing Stories

This project is the most nebulous in my mind -- I'm less confident about it than the other two but want to see what people think. After reading my book Terrible Nerd, many folks have told me that my stories remind them of their stories growing up with 8-bit computers. So -- I'm thinking of a book of collected true stories about computing's early days: the best stories of the things people created, the people they met, the challenges they faced with computers in the 70s and 80s. For instance, from Terrible Nerd: the story of how I stole my first computer, or my love affair with the Atari 800. I've already told those stories -- this book would be YOUR stories. This could end up being just Atari stories, or 8-bit in general, not sure.

 

So those are my projects. Let me know what you think.

There are some field service manuals. But they don't explain how the computer works. I know that there is a crystal clock and that its' cycles

are basic to chip functioning. I'm not even sure of that last sentence. I'd like to know how computers work in general, I know there are

bits and bytes, but, I guess, the electronics engineering in them. I believe such knowledge would help in repairing them, how to track down

problems with an oscilloscope. I have an oscilloscope and can get wave forms on it, but don't understand what those waveforms mean.

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I'm starting work on new classic computing books, and would like your input and help.

 

1. Best of Antic Magazine

While I was interviewing Jim Capparell for the Atari podcast (AtariPodcast.com) I got permission to create a book reprinting selected articles from Antic magazine. My vision is to make a book with articles that remain relevant to today's Atari users. I can probably explain it best by telling what will not be in the book: type-in programs, reviews, tutorials on programming in BASIC. I DO want it to include things like interviews that ran in the magazine (e.g. Scott Adams, Nolan Bushnell, etc.) and things about computing itself -- for instance, Atari and the 1984 Olympics, a Harvard Confernece on video games, Lucasfilm's collaboration with Atari.

 

So with that in mind, I'd like to know if people are interested in this book. ebook or paper? I'd also like to get a few people to help select the articles that will be included. I've started a first pass. The list is already getting long, and will need to be culled.

 

2. The First Computer Magazines

Project two is a history of the first computer magazines. I plan to focus on Creative Computing, Byte, and Kilobaud. I've already done extensive interviews with publishers and have more planned.

 

I am looking for people with stories about those magazines -- in your role as a reader, subscriber, advertiser, writer, whatever. If you have memories about Creative Computing, the early years of Byte, or Kilobaud, let me know.

 

3. 8-Bit Computing Stories

This project is the most nebulous in my mind -- I'm less confident about it than the other two but want to see what people think. After reading my book Terrible Nerd, many folks have told me that my stories remind them of their stories growing up with 8-bit computers. So -- I'm thinking of a book of collected true stories about computing's early days: the best stories of the things people created, the people they met, the challenges they faced with computers in the 70s and 80s. For instance, from Terrible Nerd: the story of how I stole my first computer, or my love affair with the Atari 800. I've already told those stories -- this book would be YOUR stories. This could end up being just Atari stories, or 8-bit in general, not sure.

 

So those are my projects. Let me know what you think.

 

Kevin,

 

I'd say I'm interested in all of those things in 1, 3, 2 order of preference. By the way, I have two copies of your book (Terrible Nerd) but I have not had a chance to read it yet. Look forward to it this winter.

 

John

Edited by Fres

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I thoroughly enjoyed 'Terrible Nerd' and look forward to reading any other books you put out that focus on 8-bit computers. The order you listed the projects is actually the order of interest I have.

 

For the magazine project (#2) I would love it to encompass some of the UK Atari magazines, but I know that might be tricky.

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...By the way, I have two copies of your book (Terrible Nerd) but I have not had a chance to read it yet. Look forward to it this winter.

 

John

 

Fres, I thought I was the only one who collected things in pairs ;-)

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I'd be interested in a book, however I'm quite space concious nowadays, so if it could be a small book rather than a larger one, that'd be good. I'm not a fan of electronic books personally.

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For the magazine project (#2) I would love it to encompass some of the UK Atari magazines, but I know that might be tricky.

 

Uk based Atari User and Page 6 were both in their own right top of their class in Europe, would be a shame to miss these out.

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Mr Savetz, Interesting project you have there, an Idea though...since Atari Users are very International (i.e. they exist outside the US as well) and since very few retailers outside the US bothered stocking US computing or Atari related magagines, very few Atari owners/users outside the US would have heard of those magazines

 

One idea could be that you also mention Atari and computing magazines that included Atari articles that were available outside the US, like PCW, Computer Shopper, C&VG etc as well as the Atari specific ones like Atari user and Page 6 (as well as Euro equivalents)

Edited by carmel_andrews

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It would be 1, 3, 2 for me and I second those who want more than Antic and the US mags covered. As for 1, whether I'd buy it would depend a lot on how much of it is from Antic mags I don't have already. Maybe you want to look at 'best of Analog' as well?

 

I do like the proposal of 'how the Atari ticks' as well and should think that an updated spiral-bound reprint of Mapping the Atari would find buyers as well (at least judging by EBay prices).

 

 

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It is a wonderful idea, and I look forward to the results. For me Atari is relevant in the modern context, as an 8 bit learning machine. many of those who started on 8bit are industry leaders today. That phenomena that was accidental then, is on purpose now...people purposely learn 6502 assembler because its a relatively simple assembler and a good place to start. Also, a hardware project on an 8bit is a good place to learn hardware hacking.

 

Anyway, I may be wrong, but I noticed specifically you mentioned that there wont be basic tutorials...why mention it if no interest? It seems that the statement was meant to head off expected interest....why do that?

 

For me the most interest would be a book about Atari in the modern context as a learning machine, 6502 assembler or fpga intoduction , or other hardware hacking. But Ill definately keep an eye put for reviews of any of those other books as well.

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I think Kevin was just pointing out that it would focus more on the stories and interview side of the magazines, rather than the technical stuff. I mean there are lots of Basic programming books and tutorials out there. At least that was just how I read it :)

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Hello orpheuswaking

 

At least that was just how I read it :)

That's also how I read it. And where I lost interest. :-(

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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Thanks for the input and ideas. Here's an omnibus reply:


> But they don't explain how the computer works./ how the Atari ticks


No, these projects don't do that - just not the book I'm interested in writing.


> For the magazine project (#2) I would love it to encompass some of the UK Atari magazines


I should have been clearer that project #2, about the first computer magazines, isn't really an Atari project, it's more about classic computing in general. It will be about the very first computer magazines -- not just generally about early computer magazines. So Page 6, ANALOG, Antic, etc etc don't fit into the project I envision.


> I noticed specifically you mentioned that there wont be basic tutorials...why mention it if no interest?

>It seems that the statement was meant to head off expected interest....why do that?


I'm sure there is interest in that sort of book by some, and that's fine -- but it's not the project I'm interested in taking on right now.


> Maybe you want to look at 'best of Analog' as well?


That could make a great companion to the Antic book, but one thing at a time.


> I think Kevin was just pointing out that it would focus more on the stories and interview side of the magazines,

> rather than the technical stuff. I mean there are lots of Basic programming books and tutorials out there


Right.


-Kevin

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I'm starting work on new classic computing books, and would like your input and help.

 

1. Best of Antic Magazine

While I was interviewing Jim Capparell for the Atari podcast (AtariPodcast.com) I got permission to create a book reprinting selected articles from Antic magazine. My vision is to make a book with articles that remain relevant to today's Atari users. I can probably explain it best by telling what will not be in the book: type-in programs, reviews, tutorials on programming in BASIC. I DO want it to include things like interviews that ran in the magazine (e.g. Scott Adams, Nolan Bushnell, etc.) and things about computing itself -- for instance, Atari and the 1984 Olympics, a Harvard Confernece on video games, Lucasfilm's collaboration with Atari.

 

So with that in mind, I'd like to know if people are interested in this book. ebook or paper? I'd also like to get a few people to help select the articles that will be included. I've started a first pass. The list is already getting long, and will need to be culled.

 

2. The First Computer Magazines

Project two is a history of the first computer magazines. I plan to focus on Creative Computing, Byte, and Kilobaud. I've already done extensive interviews with publishers and have more planned.

 

I am looking for people with stories about those magazines -- in your role as a reader, subscriber, advertiser, writer, whatever. If you have memories about Creative Computing, the early years of Byte, or Kilobaud, let me know.

 

3. 8-Bit Computing Stories

This project is the most nebulous in my mind -- I'm less confident about it than the other two but want to see what people think. After reading my book Terrible Nerd, many folks have told me that my stories remind them of their stories growing up with 8-bit computers. So -- I'm thinking of a book of collected true stories about computing's early days: the best stories of the things people created, the people they met, the challenges they faced with computers in the 70s and 80s. For instance, from Terrible Nerd: the story of how I stole my first computer, or my love affair with the Atari 800. I've already told those stories -- this book would be YOUR stories. This could end up being just Atari stories, or 8-bit in general, not sure.

 

So those are my projects. Let me know what you think.

 

In my narrow mind, no book about BYTE would be compete without an interview with Jerry Pournelle. His column was the first thing I read in each issue as it reflected the regular user and his trials and tribulations with new technology.

 

 

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/

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I do like the proposal of 'how the Atari ticks' as well and should think that an updated spiral-bound reprint of Mapping the Atari would find buyers as well (at least judging by EBay prices).

 

Not to sidetrack Kevin's thread, but maybe Ian could put it up on one of those print as you buy sites. Then the proceeds could go to the right party.

 

Kevin, I would be interested in the Best of ... book for sure. Any chance you could maybe find some of the original authors and see if they would like to maybe add to the article, or provide some extra comments now that they have some hindsight (if that's even relevant to the articles you have in mind)?

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Well let's see, time for an update.

 

1. Best of Antic. In 2013 when I started this thread I asked Jim Capparell of Antic magazine about the best of, and he was OK with the idea. I started compiling a list of contenders for the best articles, and ... well, didn't finish that. I was arranging them into categories like history, tech, reviews, etc. Then the ANTIC podcast started taking up more of my time. I've never really abandoned the idea, but I did set it aside. It's more than a one-person job, and part of me feels that with all issues being available on archive.org and atarimagazines.com, maybe it's really not that important in the big scheme of things. If people really do want this book, we could probably do it with a small team of volunteers.

 

@idavis — I do like your "author updates" idea for an Antic book. Not sure how feasible it is, but it's a fun idea.

 

2. The First Computer Magazines. I started writing this, didn't get far, and realized that I don't want to write a another book. I did interview Dave Ahl, Betsy Staples, and Wayne Green, and those interviews will be made public. If someone else wants to write a book partially based on the interviews, good for them.

 

3. 8-Bit Computing Stories. This became the ANTIC podcast interviews.

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I like to mention that there was a type in BASIC listing in Byte for Atari 400/800 computers which is a redefined character set editor in Antic mode E - the most often used mode for videogames. This was the only such program I came across - which I used all the time for designing landscapes in Laser Hawk and Hawkquest. Compute! published Superfont - but it had no Antic E support.

 

Something else I like to mention - is about the demise of ANALOG and how it failed to pay out to the prize winners of its programming contest it held. They should have at least sent out a letter of apology to those 'winners' as to why they couldn't pay out. It's no doubt due to the financial difficulty of the magazine at that time - but still, they should have said something instead of remaining silent all this time.

 

Harvey

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