Sat, 28 May 2016
In this episode of Antic the Atari 8-bit podcast, we are joined by Rob McMullen to discuss hacking on Jumpman, we explore several new hardware projects and new games. And we jump in the time machine to visit computer clubs in the 1980s.
What we’ve been up to
New at Archive.org
Bill’s Modern Segment
Thu, 26 May 2016
Wes Horlacher, Magic Melody Box
Wes Horlacher published one program in Atari Program Exchange: Magic Melody Box. Magic Melody Box first appeared in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded second prize in the education category. It was also published as Boîte à Musique by Atari France.
"These machines aren't just for accounting and computation and mathematics. We can do creative things. Let's see what we can do with these machines to actually inspire the least thing you would expect from a deterministic machine like this: how can it inspire a human being to create?"
This interview took place on February 15, 2016.
Review in Antic magazine: http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue42/gamesgrowup.php
Tue, 24 May 2016
Steve Smith, ANTIC chip
Steve Smith was an engineering technician at Atari from 1977 until 1979, where he worked on the development of the Atari 400 and 800 computers. He was one of the technicians who designed the ANTIC and CTIA chips.
In this interview, we discuss Liza Loop, whom I previously interviewed.
This interview took place on February 9, 2016.
"...Huge roomful of 1 MhZ but not 1.1 MhZ devices. So that's what they put in the peripherals, was 6507 that they had surplus lying around."
"The first chips came into the lab, and I was plugging in the CTIA, the first one. Completely untested. And I dropped it and it broke in half."
Sun, 22 May 2016
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Category:Interview Index -- posted at: 10:25am EDT
Sun, 22 May 2016
Clyde Spencer: Stereo 3-D Graphics and Isopleth Map Making
Clyde Spencer published two programs through Atari Program Exchange: Stereo 3-D Graphics Package and Isopleth Map-Making Package. Stereo 3-D Graphics Package was first available in the winter 1982 APX catalog, and Map-Making in the Spring 1982 catalog. Clyde was also co-founder of the Bay Area Atari Users Group, and wrote some reviews for Antic magazine.
This interview took place on March 1, 2016. In it, we discuss Liza Loop and John Crane, both of whom I previously interviewed.
"I actually withdrew my teacher's retirement money out to help fund the startup on that. ... About a year or two into that project, Atari went bankrupt. ... I was left with an orphan then at that point in time."
Fri, 20 May 2016
Robert Waldman, Financial Asset Managment System
Robert Waldman wrote Financial Asset Managment System, which was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the Fall 1981 APX catalog, where it won second prize in the personal finance and record keeping category.
As explained in my interview, Robert submitted a program called Atari 800 Olympic Gamebook System to Atari Program Exchange but it was not accepted or released. Robert sent me his only copy of the never-before-published Olympic Game Book System software, which was lost in the mail. He scanned the manual and a small part of the program listing, which I've uploaded to archive.org (you'll find a link in the show notes at AtariPodcast.com). But it appears that the complete program is gone forever.
This interview took place on February 8, 2016.
"I remember writing long BASIC programs. I would come home from work and then stay up all night coding."
Wed, 18 May 2016
Tod Frye, Asteroids
Hi, there! Welcome to the next in the series of Atari-related interviews being produced by Antic, the Atari 8-bit computer podcast. My name is Randy Kindig and I’ll be leading this interview. Most notably, while working at Atari, Tod Frye developed the 400/800 version of Asteroids and the 2600 version of Pac-Man, converting them from the coin-op version. He has many other games to his credit. He later worked for Axlon, Nolan Bushnell’s company.
This interview was conducted on January 3, 2016.
Mon, 16 May 2016
Ursula Wolz, early computing and education
Ursula Wolz was thinking about computers and education in the early days of personal computing. She worked on Apple ][ games for Children's Television Workshop, consulted for Atari Research on their endeavors in educational software, and taught Logo to some of the first students who learned it.
This interview took place on February 12, 2016
"It was one of the first games that was completely graphical ... Because the kids using it might not be able to read the text, we did everything through gestures."
Ursula's site: https://sites.google.com/site/theimpatientcoder/
Sat, 14 May 2016
Owen Rubin: Major Havoc, Space Duel
Owen Rubin worked in Atari's coin-op division from 1976 to 1984 — he is best known for his programming work there on Major Havoc, Space Duel, and Battlezone. He also served as a go-between between the arcade division and the consumer division, where the Atari home computers were created. After that, he was a game designer at Nolan Bushnell's Bally Sente.
In this interview, we discuss Ed Rotberg, whom I previously interviewed. This interview contains some coarse language.
It took place on February 12, 2016.
"And I lost it. I just completely lost it with him ... and I slammed the listings down on his desk, basically clearing his desk of just about everything else, and I said, 'Do it yourself, I quit.'"
"I find MAME both very cool that you can see it, and very sad that you don't get the right feel."
"We really wanted coin-op games to be about a 90-second experience. Up to a couple minutes if you got good at it."
Owen's web site: http://www.orubin.com
Owen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/orubin
Ed Rotberg interview: http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-72-ed-rotberg-rotberg-synthesizer
Thu, 12 May 2016
Randy Glover, Jumpman
Randy Glover is the creator of one of the best games for the Atari computers, Jumpman, which was published by EPYX. He also created the sequel, Jumpman Junior, and programmed the swimming competition portion of Summer Games. Randy ported Jumpman to the Commodore 64 and created another C64 game, Lunar Outpost.
This interview took place on May 7, 2016. I am joined on this interview by Rob McMullen, host of the Player/Missile Podcast, who has been working to reverse engineer Jumpman using the Omnivore binary editor that he created.
For more background on EPYX, you might enjoy Antic’s interviews with Jon Freeman, co-founder of EPYX; and Michael Katz, the CEO of EPYX — he oversaw the development of Jumpman, Pitstop, and Summer Games.
"My guy ran around in this environment purely based on his collision with the environment. I like to think that made him more interesting, more spontaneous. He wasn't pretty -- he was just a little stick man -- but he ran around with a certain flair and he reacted to the environment."
The Digital Antiquarian - From Automated Simulations to Epyx: http://www.filfre.net/2013/08/from-automated-simulations-to-epyx/
Jon Freeman interview: http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-70-jon-freeman-freefall-associates
Michael Katz interview: http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-24-the-atari-8-bit-podcast-michael-katz
Player/Missile podcast: http://www.playermissile.com
Omnivore, the Atari 8-bit Binary Editor: http://playermissile.com/omnivore/
AtariMania's list of Randy's games: http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-glover-randy_team_472_8_G.html
Jumpman hacking thread on AtariAge: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/252267-jumpman-hacking/