Retrocomputing podcast about the Atari 8-bit line of personal computers


IOS Atari Emulation Guide





October 2015
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hosts: Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz, Brad Arnold
twitter: @AtariPodcast

On this episode of ANTIC the atari 8-bit podcast: we learn about new software and hardware for the Atari. We learn about marketing. We learn that we’re . . .


Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge


What we’ve been up to

Eight Bit Fix - Paul Westphal

Northwest Retro Computing and Video Game Club

“Interesting Times” Podcast with Joe Streckert

VCF Midwest

Suburban Chicago ATarians (SCAT)

“Atari Inc: Business is Fun" at Amazon

Atari Book site

Dungeon Hunt



New version of Atari++ and new BASIC++ by thorfdbg on AtariAge

Sprint 1 Ported to the Atari 800XL by Norbert Kehrer

New game called AtariNet from slor (James Wilkinson)

Episodes 5 and 6 of XE-Lent Arcade Games by Kieran Hawkin, arcade conversions for the 8-bits:

Part 5 (Q-Bert, Millipede, Donkey Kong)

Part 6 (Super Breakout, Lode Runner)

Chicken Lips Radio Commodore Podcast with Earl Evans and Todd George

Atari Lynx Game by Game Podcast

Electric Dreams BBS Podcast

PROC Atari Shop

Ultimate Cart pre-orders - electrotrains

The Atari GUI OS Brings Point And Click Goodness To An Old Platform (TechCrunch)

link to interview (Episode 15) with Jonathan Halliday

This Atari-Themed Music Video Is An 8-Bit Adventure We Can Get Behind (YouTube Video)

IMA turns car into giant ‘Pole Position’ video game:

article at Indy Star

article at Mashable

Retrochallenge 2015/07

ABBUC 2015 Update!

SIO2BT now ready for pre-order

Portland Retro Gaming Expo October 17-18 in Portland OR

AtariXLBox allows emulating the Atari 800 and 800XL computers and 5200 console on Xbox (Microsoft) systems

Kevin on Atari Wiki for his contributions to preserving Atari 8-bit history


New at

Magatari Magazine V1N9

Gray Chang's Claim Jumper Development Notebook

Atari Employee Headcount Report Program

Stuff kevin uploaded

ANTIC Podcast Collection at


Bill’s Modern Segment

Tempest Xtreem Homepage

Purchase Tempest Xtreem from Video61

Tempest Xtreem demoware version (including download) at AtariMania

Video of Tempest Xtreem demoware version at YouTube

ANTIC Interview Episode 17: Sal Esquivel

ANTIC Interview Episode 9: Lance Ringquist (Video61)

"An ox looks at Tempest" video at YouTube (Tempest Xtreem review begins at 34:45)

Tempest 2000 at Wikipedia

Tempest at Wikipedia

Delta Space Arena (2015) at Video61

Venture (2012) at Video61


Of the Month



AtariAge thread on Contiki - user

video of configuring Contiki, bringing up the web browser, searching on Google for 'atari' and finally surfing to the Dragon Cart website




Load Error Party Invitation by LAMERS (end of show music)

Direct download: 26ANTIC_2015_10_hardware_software__marketing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Harold Lee, Home Pong Designer and the Man Who Hired Jay Miner

In 1974 an engineer by the name of Harold Lee had become burnt out from his work designing arcade game boards and he quit and left Atari.  No sooner had he left then he would receive a call from Allan Alcorn.   Al asked Harold a question - "Could Pong be put on a chip?"  Harold said it could be done and suddenly he found himself now hired back at Atari as an outside consultant.  Harold and Al worked on the design and the chip was finished in the latter half of 1974.  It was, at the time, the highest performing chip used in a consumer product.  Harold was kind enough to talk about his experiences working for and with Atari and the fact that he was the one who hired the legendary Jay Miner into Atari.

This interview took place on April 25, 2015.


The Pong Story

Direct download: Harold_Lee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

John Schulte and Feridoon Moinian, Dorsett Educational Systems

John Schulte and Feridoon Moinian were both employees at Dorsett Educational Systems, the company that created the Talk And Teach educational cassette tapes which were sold by Atari. Dorsett also sold many more cassette-based classes directly via mail order, for the Atari, TRS-80 Color Computer, and other platforms. Feridoon worked primarily as a programmer, and John was primarily an editor.

As my co-interviewer for this discussion, I invited Thomas Cherryhomes, an expert in the technical aspects of the Talk and Teach system. I interviewed Thomas previously on this podcast, in ANTIC interview 57.

Nearly every educational cassette tape that Dorsett released for the Atari has been digitized, they’ll all available at, there’s a link in the show notes at

This interview took place on June 25, 2015.

Teaser quote:

“He [Loyd Dorsett] would tell them, “Shall we go have lunch now?’ Yes. ‘OK, let’s go downstairs and we’ll have some lunch.’ He’d take them downstairs, and on top of the little five-foot refrigerator was a Styrofoam cup that had 10 Cents written on it. That was 10 cents that you’d do on the honor system to buy a packet of Cup of Soup. ... This is the way he would entertain people because you were stuck out in the middle of nowhere, it was 20 minutes to get to a restaurant. But he would actually pull coins out of his pocket and say ‘My treat.’”


Interview with Thomas Cherryhomes

Dorsett Educational Cassette Tape Archive


Direct download: John_Schulte_Feridoon_Moinian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Peter Rosenthal, Marketing and Strategic Planning

Peter Rosenthal worked at Atari from March 1979 thru the middle of 1983. He joined Atari as a marketing research associate in the consumer division, and served as Vice President of Business Development in the Home Computer Division, then Vice President of Strategic Planning.

After Atari, he moved to marketing and sales at Designware, an educational software startup that published software for the Atari 8-bits and other platforms.

This interview took place on May 18, 2015.

Teaser quote:

“That tension between marketing and engineering is not unique to Atari. I’ve been around now long enough to see lots of other companies and very often when a company’s sales goals aren’t achieved or product reviews are less favorable than one would like, I think generally marketing is the butt of the argument as to why it wasn’t successful.”


Designware software list at AtariMania

Direct download: Peter_Rosenthal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Cathryn Mataga: Shamus, Zeppelin, Mindwheel


Cathryn Mataga wrote several games that were published by Synapse software: Shamus, Shamus Case II, and Zeppelin, then three electronic novels: Brimstone, Essex, and Mindwheel.


In this interview we discuss Ihor Wolosenko, whom I previously interviewed for this podcast.


This interview took place on May 17, 2015.


Teaser quotes:


“These games were pretty hard. It was quite a bit of work, actually, to make a game by yourself. And it was all assembly language. And I was doing all the art and all the stuff. They were pretty involved projects for me, personally.”


“There was a tragic bug in the music driver in all of the Synapse 8-bit titles ... When they went to the new Atari XLs, when they upgraded the operating system, all these games crashed. And they all came back.”



Software at AtariMania

Direct download: Cathryn_Mataga.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

David Burling, Atari in-house counsel


I like interviewing the lawyers, they always know what’s really going on. David Burling was in-house counsel for Atari from 1980 through 1984. His job included distribution contracts, licensing, and manufacturing. He supervised the customs department, intellectual property, and international business transactions. His stint included being general council of the international division, and council for the AtariTel telecommunications products.


This interview took place on May 22, 2015.


Teaser quote:


“Try and dress like I was in the coin-op industry. I wore sort of an open-throated shirt with two buttons undone at the top and an old, wide lapel jacket and jeans, trying to look sort of hip slick, and cool ... and went down to Los Angeles. They sent me to a major coin-operated games retail ... outlet to see if I could buy one of the Asteroids copies that was coming from Japan.”

Direct download: David_Burling.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Marty Payson, Warner, Office of the President


Hi, everyone, and welcome to another in the long-standing series of interviews being published for Antic, the Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast.  I’m Randy Kindig and this interview is a follow-up to the recent interview that we published with Manny Gerard of Warner Communications, the company that bought Atari in 1976.  This time the interview is with Marty Payson, also of Warner Communications.  Marty began with Warner in 1970, became executive vice president and general counsel in 1982, and in 1987 became a member of the Office of the President for Warner.  He was with Warner during the Atari days, up to 1984 when it was sold to the Tramiels, and was still involved with Atari for some time after that, as you will hear.  Marty was not as intimately involved with Atari as was Manny Gerard, but nonetheless I hope you find his perspective from the Warner side interesting.


This interview was conducted on August 17, 2015.


Teaser Quotes


“The problem with it was, it was uncontrolled growth.  And, I’m not pointing a finger at either Atari or Warner.  I think it was a combination of both.”


“It began a point that Warner was going to have to take control of Atari.  It was out of control.”




1987 Los Angeles Times Article on the Appointment of Marty to the Warner Office of the President


1992 Los Angeles Times Article on the Resignation of Marty

Direct download: Marty_Payson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

John Constantine, General Accounting Manager


John Constantine was General Accounting Manager in Atari's Consumer Division from 1978-1981, then became Executive Director until he left the company in 1984.


This interview took place May 14, 2015.


Teaser quote:


"One of your clerks sent a package Federal Express — across the street — in the headquarters in Sunnyvale"

Direct download: John_Constantine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Manny Gerard, The Man Who Fired Nolan


For this interview, we’re getting a different perspective of the Atari/Warner relationship, this time from the Warner side.  (Emanual) Manny Gerard was a member of the Office of the President for Warner during the Atari days from 1976, when they acquired Atari, to 1984 when it was sold to the Tramiels.  He in fact was the key person in the decision for Warner to acquire Atari.  As you will hear in the interview, he was also the man who ousted Nolan Bushnell from Atari.  We get Manny’s perspective on Atari from Warner’s view, on the decision to bring out the computer line, and much more.  I think you’ll appreciate Manny’s honesty and his sense of humor.


This interview took place on August 9, 2015.


Teaser Quotes


“I can remember saying this to Nolan, over and over again: You cannot run the company by divine right of kings, Nolan”


It feels to me like the computer’s problem at Atari was that it was; it lived in the shadow of the game systems, because they were so bloody successful.”


“I mean I think the early Apples were good computers but I don’t think they were better than the Atari computers by any considerable margin and they may not even been as good, but we sure got out-marketed.”


“Manny Gerard, the guy who fired me at Atari!  Everybody looks up; who is this guy?  And I said, yeah, Nolan, and the guy who made you a millionaire.”




New York Times 1984 article on Manny leaving Warner


HI-RES Vol. 1, No. 1 / November 1983 Article on Atari History


Manny Gerard - Thoughts on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - YouTube

Direct download: Manny_Gerard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tandy Trower, Atari product manager


Tandy Trower started at Atari evaluating software titles, then moved on to the position of product manager, managing new titles including Missile Command, Asteroids, and the port of Microsoft BASIC for the Atari. Then, he left Atari for Microsoft, where — once again, he managed Microsoft BASIC for the Atari. Tandy also wrote the Character Set Editor program which was sold by Atari Program Exchange.


This interview took place May 13, 2015.


Teaser quotes:


“The Atari executives were so impressed with Bill [Gates] at the time that they flew up in their corporate jet to Seattle and offered to try to acquire Microsoft. But Bill and Paul [Allen] were not interested in selling at all at that time.”


“If you had a title, you had to make sure there was an engineer who was available and interested in doing it. So if you couldn’t talk an engineer into writing it — unless you were going to write it yourself. Except for me, there were very few people in the marketing department that could write their own code.”

Direct download: Tandy_Trower.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT