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Syndication

hosts: Randy Kindig, Kevin Savetz, Brad Arnold
email: antic@ataripodcast.com
twitter: @AtariPodcast

Albert Yarusso, Owner AtariAge

 

This is Antic, the Atari 8-bit podcast, and I’m Randy Kindig.  This interview-only episode features someone that many current Atari, vintage gaming, and vintage computer enthusiasts are probably familiar with by the service that he provides to the community, the AtariAge Website.  Albert (or Al) Yarusso is one of the founders and is the current owner of AtariAge.  The Atari 8-bit forum on AtariAge is probably the largest and busiest such forum in existence today, and forums for other Atari machines and for other platforms are popular and continually growing.  Al was kind enough to sit down and give me an hour of his time to discuss a little about himself, how AtariAge came about, his love for Atari computers, and various other topics.  Enjoy!

 

AtariAge is a website devoted to all things Atari. It was founded in 1998 by Alex Bilstein and Albert Yarusso and is well known for selling homebrew software for Atari video game systems, some of which have been included in official video game compilations such as Activision Anthology. The site also houses a discussion forum and a comprehensive, searchable database of Atari video games, including manuals, packaging art, estimated rarity, screenshots, reviews, and other details, as well as an Atari Age magazine archive.

 

Links

Deus  Ex

 

Atari 8-bit Discussion Forum on AtariAge

 

AtariAge Store (homebrews)

 

Carina II BBS Software

 

Star Raiders (Atari 8-bit)

 

Label Design Contests on AtariAge

 

Atari Age Magazine Archive

 

Hardware Hacking Book

 

Game Console Hacking Book

 

Setting up an AtariAge BBS discussion

 

Picture of Ultima I running on 30" monitor

 

Framemeister XRGB

 

Classic Game Fest - July 25-26, 2015

 

Portland Retro Gaming Expo, October 17-18, 2015

 

Vintage Computer Fest

 

Alternate Reality

 

Midi Maze

 

Melody Board

Direct download: Al_Yarusso_AtariAge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

Jon Greer, Business Reporter

 

In this interview, we’ll hear the perspective of an Atari outsider — a newspaper reporter who covered Atari. Jon Greer was a business reporter for the San Jose Mercury News newspaper from 1981 to 1986, and business reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1986 to 1988. As part of his beat, he covered Atari; Chuck E. Cheese; and Catalyst Technologies, Nolan Bushnell’s incubator.

 

This interview took place April 17, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

“Atari was transforming the valley from Dull Engineer Valley to exciting consumer electronics valley.”

 

“I think Jack [Tramiel] had...a very undeserved bad reputation...He was one of the few guys — if anybody, maybe the only one - who knew how to take over this business.”

Direct download: Jon_Greer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

Jess Jessop

 

Jess Jessop was a software engineer at Commodore, writing diagnostics for the Commodore 64. Then at Atari, he started in the test and repair group for the Atari 400 and 800 SALT diagnostic cartridge, then moved to corporate research, Atari's R&D department under Alan Kay, where he was hardware team leader for the Sierra Project, Atari's unfinished laptop product.

 

This interview occurred April 15, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"We brought up an APRANET node there in my cubicle. We played with e-mail at a time when you could send it and it would maybe get there today, maybe weeks from now."

 

"I spec'd out, for two guys, a 600 line a minute band printer with a quietized cover that cost $30,000 in 1980. It went right through. It was delivered next week."

Direct download: Jess_Jessop.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

On this episode of ANTIC the atari 8-bit podcast:

  • We discuss new atari archive sites.

  • Randy tells us all about BASIC XL

  • Kevin delves into the sordid history of DorsETT Educational Systems

  • Bill Kendrick fills us in on  a panoply of stuff, including a brain transplant for your 8-bit.

     

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

 

What we’ve been up to

Jewel-encrusted Atari XL

Alan Watson’s Gold Mine game at AtariMania

New Computing Pioneers Interview Transcript Site

Bob Kahn digitized material at Archive.org

Atari PILOT II

"Inside Atari DOS" by Bill Wilkinson and Compute! Books

"Atari Player/Missile Graphics in BASIC" by Philip C. Seyer

“The VisiCalc Book, Atari Edition” by Donald H. Beil

Podcast Episode of Inverse Atascii about VisiCalc for the Atari

Floppy Days episode on the Atari 400/800, part 3 of 3

SIO2SD

 

Interview Discussion

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

 

News

How To Turn Your Whole Car Into A Video Game Simulator by Jason Torchinsky

Pix from Atari Party 2015

Classic Gamefest July 25, 26 Austin, TX

VCF Midwest 10 August 29-30, 2015, Elk Grove Village, IL

Portland Retro Gaming expo October 17-18 in Portland OR

Maury Markowitz Wikipedia article on the Atari Sierra

New issue of Pro(c) magazine - issue #6

Ft. Apocalypse on GitHub

Ft. Apocalypse Twitter

Steve Hales Twitter

AtariAge Thread on Modified Version of Silent Service

Download: SILENT SERVICE mod

Delta Space Arena on cartridge

More on Delta Space Arena

Project to Port Prince of Persia to Atari

Atari 8-bit software preservation project

Atari XL Basic Listings  - in german - collection of type-in listings from magazines and books

New podcast on the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer - The CoCo Crew Podcast

 

New at Archive.org

Newsletters

Compuserve Computer Room Operations Training Manual

a javascript based Apple //GS emulator

Stuff Kevin has uploaded from Bob Kahn and other sources

 

Feature [K] Dorsett Educational Systems and Lloyd Dorsett

Dorsett’s letter in Antic

Dorsett’s letter in A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing

Thomas Cherryhomes’ demonstration of his edutape creation tool

 

Bill’s Modern Segment

"Project Veronica" thread at AtariAge Forums

Post at "Vintage is the New Old" (based on a post at the Spanish "Atariteca" blog), including a side-by-side demo of "rotator"

Altirra website

Lotharek's Lair: SIO2PC

Atari Party 2015

"World 1-1" documentary film

Sal "kjmann" Esquivel (ANTIC interview ep. 17)

Mike Albaugh (ANTIC ep. 6)

Dan Trak-ball man Kramer (5200 Super Podcast ep. 3)

Jerry Jessop (ANTIC interview ep. 30)

"Transform the Gotek Floppy Emulator into an Amiga Floppy emulator"

"ACA 500 Accelerator" for Amiga 500 (Sal Esquivel)

"Tank" in Action!

atr2unix by Preston Crow

Internet Archive's Software Library: Atari Computer

atr_txt_dump extractor for Kevin Savetz / Internet Archive

Rob McMullen's "ATRCopy" on github

"Space Wall" Work-in-Progress video

The Atari 5200 Super Podcast ep. 1: "The Pac(k) Ins!"

Atari 2600 Game by Game podcast, ep. 100: "AX-018 Pitfall!"

 

Hardware of the Month - IDE Plus 2, Rev.D HDD Interface for Atari XL/XE computers

eBay listing

Description at Atari8

ideplus manual

 

Software/Website of the Month - SpartaDOS X

SpartaDOS X Upgrade Project

AtariAge thread

 

Programming Languages - BASIC A+, BASIC XL & BASIC XE

Wikipedia

BASIC A+ at AtariMania

BASIC XL at AtariMania

BASIC XL Toolkit at AtariMania

BASIC XE at AtariMania

BASIC XE Extension Disk at AtariMania

BASIC XE Article ANTIC VOL. 4, NO. 9 / JANUARY 1986

 

Feedback

Ed Rotberg, wrote a magazine article

YouTube video showing a demo program that Rotberg created

 

Direct download: 23ANTIC_2015_06_Dorsett_Veronica_BASIC_XL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35 PM
Comments[2]

Thomas Cherryhomes

 

Thomas Cherryhomes recently deciphered the Educational System Master Cartridge and decoded the “talk and teach” system used by Dorsett Educational Systems. He has created a C library called eduendcode which allows people to create new lessons using that format. Thomas and I are currently working to digitize and archive 46 sets of Dorsett courses.

 

To hear some background about Dorsett Educational Systems and their educational cassettes, listen to my feature about that topic in episode 23 of ANTIC.

 

This interview occurred on June 2, 2015.

 

Links

All About Cassette Tapes - Atari document

 

Strong Bad Email #45, if he used an Atari 800

 

Complete set of archived Dorsett Educational Systems cassette tapes

 

Teaser quotes:

 

“I decided on a whim to approach Joe Decuir. Joe wrote me back about five minutes later. ‘Hello Tom. I am very impressed with your research and your findings.’”

 

“If you want to make your own tape formats on the Atari, go right ahead. You can bit-bang the POKEY to do whatever the hell you want.”

Direct download: Thomas_Cherryhomes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

Pab Sungenis, developer

 

Hi, I’m Randy Kindig and this is an interview-only episode of Antic, The Atari 8-bit computer podcast.  Our guest for this show is Pab Sungenis, a long-time (and current) developer for the Atari 8-bits.  A long time ago, Pab wrote a popular piece of bulletin board software called AtariLink BBS.  He also developed an off-line mail reader.  He was also more recently involved briefly with enhancements to the SpartaDOS alternative DOS, arguably one of the best DOS’s ever developed for the Atari 8-bit.  His current project is an exciting one where he is working to develop a new programming language to target the Atari 8-bits.  I hope you enjoy this.

 

Teaser Quotes:

“I kinda got into the habit of: if you need it, write it.”

 

“It surprised me when my hacks of Keith's (Ledbetter) programs started finding their way onto Compuserve.”

 

“What if you took Action! and you added object-oriented programming?”

 

Links:

Pab Sungenis Website

 

Blog

 

grumpy cat for 2600 at YouTube

 

grumpy cat blog

 

thread for new Accomplish language on AtariAge

Direct download: Pab_Sungenis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

John-Michael Battaglia

 

John-Michael Battaglia worked as a copywriter at Atari for about a year from 1981 through 1982, writing manuals and box copy for Atari 2600 and 5200 video games. He wrote the manuals for Atari 5200 Football, Space Dungeon, WaterWorld, Phoenix, and Adventure. He later worked at Catalyst, Nolan Bushnell’s incubator for technology startups.

 

This interview took place March 2, 2015.

 

LINKS

John-Michael's web site

 

Digital Press interview with John-Michael

 

Teaser quotes:

 

“Debacle, yes. Debacle is quite the right word. That was probably my proudest moment.”

 

“I think of my first day I probably sent e-mails to my friends saying: you’ll never believe where I am now. I’m playing video games and getting paid for it.”

 

“It was another one of those instances where a writer could actually have input into the game design, provided the game designer was open to that kind of feedback.”

Direct download: John-Michael_Battaglia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

Steve Molyneux, German Software Development Manager

 

Steve Molyneux was Atari’s Software Development Manager in Hamburg, Germany from 1981 through 1984. He was responsible for the European side of Atari Program Exchange, and launching games at European trade shows.

 

Parts of this interview discuss adult situations, and are not appropriate for children.

 

This interview occurred on April 13, 2015

 

LINK

2008 photos of Atari Europe HQ

 

Teaser quotes:

 

“...In sort of private helicopters up to this chalet. I mean the amount of money that they spent when we had Warner money. . .”

 

“Castle Wolfenstein? That was definitely a no-no in Germany. I mean, that was just something you couldn’t talk about, you just couldn’t sell.”

Direct download: Steve_Molyneux.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

Fred D'Ignazio, prolific writer

 

Fred D'Ignazio wrote more than 20 computer books, including Atari in Wonderland and The Atari Playground. He hosted four television shows about computers and robots, and was the "gadget guru" on Good Morning America. He was an associate editor and columnist for Compute! magazine, where he wrote the columns World Inside The Computer and On The Road With Fred D'Ignazio.

 

This interview was conducted April 10, 2015.

 

Teaser quotes:

 

"Katie and the Computer, my advance was $300. And I had to split it with my illustrator."

 

"You know Nolan Bushnell, right? ... He'd put his arm around me and say, 'Fred, How's it goin' in the world of the ankle biters and the little people?'"

 

"You could hear a pin drop after my speech. There was just this embarrassed silence, like

'Who the freaking heck is this joker they hired to speak at our convention?'"

 

LINKS

 

Fred reads to us

 

Fred Demonstrates the Amiga on Tom York’s Morning Show

 

Fred’s videos and articles

 

Fred’s articles in Compute! magazine

 

Contact Fred: fred.dignazio@gmail.com

Direct download: Fred_DIgnazio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

Cassie Maas, Atari Marketing and Tech Support

 

Cassie Maas started at Atari as a sales order processing clerk; then as a member of the marketing team, she evaluated new product ideas; then she worked in technical support, where she was the high-end technical support for word processing, and managed a BBS for user groups. She contributed to the 1984 book "InfoWorld's Essential Guide to Atari" and wrote for Antic magazine and Infoworld.

 

This interview occurred on April 6 and April 14 2015. Check the show notes atAtariPodcast.com to see the letter to Spencer Villwock that we discuss, plus links to her Atari writing.

 

Links

http://i.imgur.comCassie's letter to Spenserp5IW6MC.jpg

 

InfoWorld's Essential Guide to Atari

 

Cassie's articles in Antic magazine

 

Teaser quotes:

 

“I was really excited about the computer and I said, ‘Do you think I could get a job there?’ He laughed and snorted... Within a year I not only had a job at Atari, I had his job.”

 

“I’m not accepting your resignation. You’re going to be laid off like everybody else, on Friday, with a severance package!”

 

“That place was a fiasco. That place was just - woah! Money was being spent willy-nilly on all kinds of crazy things. People were sleeping with each other. People were cheating on their spouses. I mean, just crazy, crazy stuff went on.”

“So inside I’m totally freaking out, I’m this young kid, I don’t know, am I in really serious trouble? Am I breaking the law?”

Direct download: Cassie_Maas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM
Comments[0]

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