Retrocomputing podcast about the Atari 8-bit line of personal computers
hosts: Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz, Brad Arnold
email: antic@ataripodcast.com
twitter: @AtariPodcast

On this episode of Antic the Atari 8-bit podcast, we venture out into the big scary world — both Randy and I went to VCF SouthEast, and Kevin went to the museum. The winners of the 2016 10-line BASIC programming contest are announced, and Bill Kendrick drops knowledge about the demo scene.

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

What we’ve been up to

Interview Discussion

News

New at Archive.org

Bill’s Modern Segment

Of the Month

 

Direct download: 32ANTIC_2016_04_Into_the_Big_Scary_World.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

Yakov Epelboim: Pushky and Devilator

Yakov Epelboim is a Russian immigrant who published two programs for the Atari 8-bit computers. Pushky (which I learned is the Russian word for "cannons") was published by Atari Program Exchange, and first appeared in the Winter 1982-1983 APX catalog for $22.95. He also wrote Devilator, which he self-published as Zebra Company. Both programs were written in machine language, and both are unusual games, a little off the beaten track from other games of the era. The APX catalog said: "Pushky is in a class by itself in terms of game format. At least, we have nothing else like it at APX."

Yakov is joined in this interview by his wife Olga, who added color commentary and translation help. 

This interview took place February 5, 2016.

Teaser quote:

"Then I did couple more programs, games, and send them to Atari. And they wrote me, 'Everything fine. We will take them, but you should change this and this, add music.' I did everything, send them, but in this time they were bankrupt."

http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-epelboim-yakov_team_374_8_G.html

Direct download: Yakov_Epelboim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

John Palevich: Dandy and Deep Blue C Compiler

John Palevich wrote several programs which were published by Atari Program Exchange: the Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator; Mantis Boot Tape Development System; Deep Blue C Compiler and its source code on a product called Deep Blue Secrets; and Dandy, a graphical dungeon crawl game that is famously the inspiration for the arcade classic, Gauntlet.

He later worked in the advanced projects division at Atari, working on Atari's unfinished Eva computer project, as well as the unfinished AMY music chip and RAINBOW graphics chip.

In this interview we discuss Joel Gluck, whose interview is forthcoming.

This interview took place on November 20, 2015.

"It was a situation where whether you made a good business decision or a bad business decision, more money came in the next quarter."

"Any time a dignitary, any time a rock star came by to tour Atari, they would come and try out the AMY chip."

AtariMania's list of John's software: http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-palevich-john-howard_team_1014_8_G.html

Direct download: John_Palevich.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

Ron Luks, Founder and manager of the Atari Forums on CompuServe

Welcome to this interview-only episode of Antic, The Atari 8-bit computer podcast.  My name is Randy Kindig.  In this show, I’ll be talking with Mr. Ron Luks, a name that you’re probably familiar with if you used your Atari to access the Compuserve Information Service.   Ron was founder and manager of the Atari Forums on CompuServe (SIG*Atari, 8-bit Forum, 16-bit Forum (ST), Atari Developers, Atari Vendors, and others.)  He also wrote articles for some of the Atari magazines (like ANTIC).  I hope you enjoy this interesting glimpse into the online world of Atari back in the 80’s.

I also want to mention that Ron was kind enough to donate an Atari 130XE and a set of cartridges to the show.

This interview was conducted November 18, 2015

Teaser Quotes:

  • “And the owner of the store steered me over to the Atari 800 and it was running Star Raiders, ok, and that was all it took”
  • “So that’s when I decided I’m going to give Compuserve a try and see what it’s like.  I was instantly hooked with the whole online service idea.”
  • “At one time the Atari 8-bit forum was the biggest money-making forum on CompuServe.”

Links:

 

Direct download: Ron_Luks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

John Powers, Atari Director of Software Development

John Powers was co-founder of The Authorship Resource, the company that created all of the software for the CyberVision 2000 computer. From 1980 to 1982 he worked at Atari as Director of Software Development for personal computers. While he was there, he wrote three pieces of software for Atari Program Exchange: Newspaper Route Management Program, Computerized Card File, and Cosmatic Atari Development Package. He was later VP of Research and Development at educational software publisher The Learning Company.

This interview took place on February 2, 2016.

Teaser quotes:

"Because of the Warner connection, coming from the movie business, I think they were under the impression that with a lot of money, we just hire a lot pf people, we can make this work. And it never quite happened."

"My son had a newspaper route. So I said 'You know, there's a lot better way we can do this. I think we can use the Atari 800 to simplify some of this.'"

Direct download: John_Powers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

Edward Lehmann, Recipe Search 'N Save

Edward Lehmann published one Atari program through Atari Program Exchange: Recipe Search 'N Save, which first appeared in the summer 1982 APX catalog. It won third prize in the Personal Finance & Record Keeping category in that catalog. 

It was APX catalog number 20114, available on diskette, required 32K, and cot $22.95

This interview took place on February 2, 2016.

Teaser quote:

"The thing is, it didn't work all the time, that's what bugged me. I was selling a defective product."

Direct download: Edward_Lehmann.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

Chuck Mullally, Mastermatch

Chuck Mullally published one game through Atari Program Exchange: Mastermatch, game similar to the Mastermind board game. Mastermatch was one of the last APX programs to be released: it was first available in the Winter 1983-1984 APX catalog — the final APX catalog. Chuck told me that the game won a $1000 prize from APX, but the catalog — a sparse 8 pages and much smaller than the previous APX catalogs — doesn’t even mention that.

This interview took place on January 31, 2016.

LINKS

Chuck’s old web page about Mastermatch

Mastermatch in the Winter 1983-1984 APX catalog: https://archive.org/details/APXCatalogWinter1983

Download Mastermatch from AtariArchives.org: http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/showinfo.php?cat=20259

Direct download: Chuck_Mullally.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[1]

Bryon Wilcox, Wilcox Company

On December 12, 2015, I bought an unusual Atari computer on ebay: it appeared to be a typical 800XL, but where the Atari name would have been, there was a sticker that said "GRAPHICS 1 - The Wilcox Company." Another sticker on the bottom of the computer indicated that the company was based in Washougal, Washington.

When I received the computer, I found that it included a hand-made cartridge that contains a message display program. You can enter a few lines of text, plus the time and date, which are then displayed in large letters on the screen. 

I wanted to know more about this computer and the company that created it, so I hunted down Bryon Wilcox. This interview took place on January 27, 2016.

Pictures of the computer and binary dump of the cart: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/248826-dump-of-wilcox-message-display-cart/

Direct download: Bryon_Wilcox.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

John Crane, RPN Calculator Simulator

John Crane published one Atari program, through Atari Program Exchange: RPN Calculator Simulator. The program first appeared in the Spring 1982 APX catalog, where it was awarded second prize in the business and professional applications category. 

John was also one of the founders of the Bay Area Atari Users Group, and did some software evaluation for Atari Program Exchange.

This interview took place on January 31, 2016.

Teaser quote:

"He [Steve Wozniak] introduced all of us to his demonstration about his Apple -- what would become the Apple I. I saw his demonstration and I go, 'Oh, that is very cool.'"

"I had what I used to call the bash and bang test. I'd load up the program on an Atari 800 or 1200 or whatever I happend to have at the time, and as the program was running I would just start pounding on the keys at random, just taking my fists and just banging on the keyboard."

Direct download: John_Crane.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]

Alan Newman: Domination, Tutti Frutti, Hotel Alien

Alan Newman published several programs for the Atari 8-bit computers: Domination, a Hamurabi-style management game, was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the Fall 1981 catalog, where it won first prize in the entertainment category. Next he created Tutti Frutti, an arcade-style game that was published by Adventure International. And Hotel Alien, a graphical adventure game published by Artworx. He also wrote Spy Vs. Spy not the Mad Magazine game published by First Star Software; a word game that was to be published by PDI but didn't get wide release. Alan has sent me that program to archive, so it's now available online for the first time.

This interview took place on February 2, 2016.

Teaser quote:

"I wanted to move to California. I wanted to do this full time. But when I realized how much copying was out there, it became a bad idea."

Spy vs. Spy scans and downloads: https://archive.org/details/SpyVsSpyWordGameAtari

AtariMania's list of Alan's games: http://www.atarimania.com/list_games_atari-400-800-xl-xe-newman-alan-m_team_969_8_G.html

Direct download: Alan_Newman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
Comments[0]