Fri, 2 December 2016
Bruce Frumker: APX Memory Match, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Bruce Frumker is author of Memory Match, a memory game that was published by Atari Program Exchange. It was first available in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog. As part of his job at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Bruce created interactive, laser-disc based exhibits that used Atari 8-bit computers. He wrote an article about that project, "An Atari-based Interactive Laser Videodisc System", which appeared in the March 1989 issue of A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazine. Bruce was also co-founder of the Atari Computer Enthusiasts of Cleveland.
This interview took place on September 15, 2016.
"...Sounds really Rube Goldberg, but the thing worked and it produced a series of exhibits that visitors enjoyed ... all controlled by the Atari."
Tue, 29 November 2016
Steve Panak, Game Reviewer
Steve Panak was a prolific writer of Atari computer game reviews. He wrote the Panak Strikes! column in A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazine, and also wrote reviews for Antic magazine and ST-Log magazine.
This interview took place on November 28, 2016.
"Companies were just sending me games to review there at the end, so I was just getting buried in games."
Sat, 26 November 2016
Bev and Bryan Wilkinson, Optimized Systems Software
Bev and Bryan Wilkinson were part of Optimized Systems Software, the company that brought DOS XL, Mac/65, Action!, BASIC XL, BASIC XE, and other products to Atari computer users.
Bill Wilkinson was founder of OSS. Bev was his wife, and Bryan his son. I interviewed Bill in December, 2014, and he died in November 2015. As a small family-owned business, Bev and Bryan were involved with the day-to-day running of the company.
This interview took place on September 25, 2016 in my dining room in Portland, Oregon.
"And Bill would carry these tomes, books to the bathroom with him, and he'd read these books in the bathroom. I said 'Why are you doing that in the bathroom?' He said, 'It's the only room in the house that has a lock on the door.'"
Photos, brochures, and art from OSS: https://archive.org/details/OptimizedSystemsSoftware
Complete collection of Bill Wilkinson articles: https://archive.org/details/BillWilkinsonArticles
Wed, 23 November 2016
Dale Lemke, Compu-Cable Systems
Dale Lemke is founder of Compu-Cable Systems, a company that created the SpectraView and SpectraView II Graphic Generator Cartridge, information display systems for use by television stations and cable companies, which ran on Atari 8-bit computers.
The company is still in business: today it is called Display Systems International, it specializes in character generators and television program listings.
This interview took place October 18, 2016.
"We had an Atari in Trump's Castle in New Jersey for a while ... We had an Atari in Museum of History in Chicago — they were using it with their ticket kiosks."
YouTube demo of SpectraView II cart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cAlaGUoYNI
Display Systems International: http:/www.displaysystemsintl.com
Sat, 19 November 2016
Paul Berker: Adventure in Time and Birth of the Phoenix
Paul Berker was a programmer for Phoenix Software, where he coded Birth of the Phoenix and Adventure In Time, which were both released for the Apple II and Atari 8-bit computers; and Queen of Phobos, which was released on the Apple II only.
This interview took place on September 30, 2016. After the interview, Paul sent me several floppy disks with the Apple II and Atari source code for Birth of the Phoenix and Adventure In Time.
"Got an advance of like $2,000, and spent it all just acquiring an Atari 800 with two floppy drives..."
Video version of this interview: https://youtu.be/0kXWKV1mpiY
Paul's web site: http://slasherworld.com
Sat, 12 November 2016
Charles Clinton was a contractor who worked on AtariLab, which was developed at Swarthmore College.
This interview took place on August 14, 2016 at Vintage Computer Festival West XI. In it, we discuss Priscilla Laws, whom I previously interviewed.
Thu, 10 November 2016
Paula Polley, Copywriter
Paula Polley started at Atari in 1982, where she worked as a copywriter. She wrote marketing for product boxes and wrote for Atari Connection magazine.
This interview took place on August 14, 2016 at Vintage Computer Festival West XI.
Tue, 8 November 2016
Carl Moser and JR Hall, Eastern House Software
Carl Moser and JR Hall were founders of Eastern House Software, the company that created several products for Atari 8-bit users, including Monkey Wrench and Monkey Wrench II, and the KISS word processor. They also created the MAE assembler/software development system, which was available for Commodore PET, Apple //, Atari 8-bit, and other computers.
This interview took place on October 17, 2016.
Teaser quote: (Carl) "JR and I would work — we was working at AT&T a regular day, then we'd probably work 'til 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, then get up, go to work the next morning."
Sat, 5 November 2016
What we’ve been up to
New at Archive.org
Bill’s Modern Segment
Direct download: 37ANTIC_2016_11_ABBUC_RetroChallenge_Crownland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10pm EST
Thu, 3 November 2016
Rodnay Zaks, Founder of Sybex Books
Rodnay Zaks was the founder of computer book publisher Sybex Books, and is author of many classic computer programming books, including 6502 Applications (1979), Programming the 6502, Advanced 6502 Programming, and 6502 Games. He also wrote or co-wrote Programming the Z80, Programming the 6809, Your First Apple II Program, Programming the Apple II in Assembly Language, and other books.
This interview took place on October 14, 2016.
Rodnay on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodnay_Zaks
"The first 5,000 books sold out, mail order, within a few days. So it was clear that there was more interest than we anticipated."
"She said, 'There is a computer in this machine?' I said 'Yes.' And she went out screaming and never returned."