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

Thomas Renbarger, Dorsett Educational Systems

Thomas Renbarger worked at Dorsett Educational Systems from 1978 through 1980, where he converted audio and filmstrip based educational programs to computer graphics and text for the TRS-80 and Atari 400 and 800 computers.

This interview took place April 21, 2015.

Teaser quote:

“Smart, nerdy people might be interested in something just because it says it’s educational, but most of the programs and stuff that was written was pretty — not totally remedial — but it was pretty introductory educational stuff.”

Direct download: Thomas_Renbarger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT

Ted Richards, Atari Connection Magazine


Ted Richards was Editor In Chief of Atari Connection magazine, Atari’s in-house computer magazine; and was Marketing Communications Manager for Atari Home Computers, where he worked on print and package design, from 1981 to 1984.


This interview took place on April 19, 2015.




Atari Connection Magazine scans


40 Year Old Hippie Brings The Computer Age Home


Ted Richards’ web site


Teaser Quotes:


“Antic was a competing magazine, so to speak, at the time. I forget the editor’s name, he was quite a guy. . . [Jim] Capparell. He was always meeting with Atari executives, trying to persuade them to shut down our magazine.”

“So when the Tramiels came in, they confronted him and they asked him ‘Who are you?’ And Arnold says ‘Who are you?!’ And they said ‘Him we like. He stays.’”

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

Peter Liepa, Boulder Dash


Peter Liepa was co-creator and programmer of Boulder Dash and Boulder Dash 2 for the Atari computers. Boulder Dash was published by First Star Software in 1984 and is regarded as a seminal game for the Atari 8-bit machines.


This interview took place on June 16, 2015


Teaser quotes:

“I sat there playing these games and the idea of ‘I can do this’ or ‘I can build one of these’ welled up in my head.”


“All of the pleasure of this project was in developing the game. I got very little pleasure out of the business aspect of it.”



Peter's web site

2005 interview with Peter

2011 interview with Peter

10-line BASIC Boulderdash clone

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

Steve Mayer, Atari 400/800 Designer


Hello and welcome to an interview-only episode of Antic, the Atari 8-bit computer podcast. Today I’m honored to be interviewing someone who was involved in the original design of the Atari 400 & 800 computers, Mr. Steve Mayer.  Steve worked with Joe Decuir (whom I interviewed in an earlier episode), Jay Miner, and others on the Candy & Colleen project and that’s our main focus for this interview.  However, Steve also was involved in much more, including involvement in the creation of Cyan Engineering, later known as the Grass Valley Think Tank and was involved in the creation and design of the 2600.


This was recorded on April 18, 2015.

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

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

  • We offer a library’s worth of geeky reading material, and - -  did we just start a book club?

  • Randy delves into another programming language

  • We talk about a couple of competitions that will give you something to do through these summer months

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

Kevins Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge


What we’ve been up to

Ready Player One

Southern Fried Gameroom Expo

Dorsett digitizing

Wayne Green FOIA Request Response

Stuff Kevin has scanned


Interview Discussion

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge



Ancient Atari classics to be reworked as 'graphic novels'

ATARI GAMER Limited Printed Edition OUT NOW

New book from Evan Koblentz - "Abacus to Smartphone, The evolution of mobile and portable computers"

Pixels Movie

AspeQt ported to Android - greblus on AtariAge

AspeQt forked as "RespeQt"

posted by electrotrains on AtariAge - In development - SD card based Multicart

ABBUC Software Competition 2015

Video Series WUDSN IDE

Peter Dell on ANTIC, Interview 27

Atari making money again!

RetroChallenge 2015/07

New game Ramp Rage

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


New at

Official Hint Book for Scott Adams adventures 1-12

GDC 2015: Howard Scott Warshaw - "Classic Game Postmortem: Yars' Revenge"

3 Centro Atari newsletters in Portuguese from Chile

Atari 822 Operators Manual

Atari 400 Home Computer 48K RAM Expansion Kit Installation Instructions

Atari 820 Printer Field Service Manual

Atari CX 5200 Retail Demonstrator Field Service Manual


Feature - Turbo BASIC XL


Atari 8-bit Pages with original Turbo BASIC articles (German)

Page 6  - DS#20 - Turbo Basic Support

Page 6 - DS#105 - Turbo BASIC Programmer’s Kit

Page 6 - DS#6 - Turbo BASIC/Turbo Compiler

AtariAge discussion of Turbo BASIC

Turbo BASIC Expanded Documentation by Ron Fetzer

How to Compile Turbo BASIC Programs Video (English/Polish) by Bronislav Tyf Haluza

ATR image of Turbo-Basic 1.5 and 1.4

Extended TBXL (download)


Bill’s Modern Segment

Wikipedia article on 1986 "The Great Escape" video game

Atari 8-bit port of “The Great Escape” - thread at AtariAge forums

cc65 homepage

Poker Solitaire CC65

Original Action! “Gem Drop” game for Atari

C port for Windows, Mac, Linux ("Gem Drop X")

Floppy Days #41, Jason Scott, "Every Computer in Your Browser"


Hardware of the Month

Edladdin controllers


Website of the Month

Atari 8-bit Forever


End of Show Music

Boulder Dash Theme

Direct download: 24ANTIC_2015_07_book_club_Turbo_BASIC_XL_competitions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Rebecca Heineman, Racing Destruction Set and Mindshadow


Rebecca Heineman was the keynote speaker at Kansasfest 2015, where she told all sorts of amazing stories about her Apple II development work. She developed Tass Times in Tonetown, Bard's Tale III, Borrowed Time, Battle Chess, Crystal Quest, and many other games for many platforms. She ported Racing Destruction Set and Mindshadow to the Atari 8-bit machines. She won the National Space Invaders Championship, sponsored by Atari, in November, 1980.


I also recommend listening to her KansasFest 2015 keynote, link below.


This interview was recorded July 17, 2015 at KansasFest.



KansasFest 2015 - Burger Becky Keynote


Rebecca Heineman's twitter


Rebecca Heineman web site


KansasFest web site

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

Bill Bartlett, Product Support Manager


Bill Bartlett worked at Atari from 1981 through 1984, where he was a product support manager for the Atari home computer division, also did user group support. He also wrote the Diskette Mailing List program which was sold by Atari Program Exchange.


This interview took place on April 16 2015, in person at a supermarket deli in the Portland Oregon area. I apologize for the background noise; recording in this situation is not a mistake I will make again.




"Stonewall Bartlett" article


Diskette Mailing List


Atari Christmas Video


Teaser quote:


“Alan Alda became the spokesman for Atari, and was doing all the TV commercials. He was actually interested in the product set. They sent him all the products. So I was his contact for tech support, me personally. I never talked to him but I talked to his assistants. . . ‘Mr. Alda is on line one!’"

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

Bill Crooks, Atari Video Production Lab


Bill Crooks worked in the coin-op division of Atari, where he facilitated the production of Atari games’ multi-million dollar television production facility, and worked on the FireFox laserdisc arcade game.


In this interview we talk briefly about Cassie Maas whom I have previously interviewed.


This interview took place on April 17 2015.


“We had Clint Eastwood’s Lear jet standing by to get us there at the last minute, and we just kept telling them, ‘It will be ready for the show.’ And meanwhile we’re thinking ‘How will this ever be ready for the show? It doesn’t even work in the shop.”

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

Ron and Lynn Marcuse, productivity applications


Ron and Lynn Marcuse, also known as RLM Microsystems, are the husband-and-wife team who created many applications for the Atari 8-bit computers, including Weekly Planner, Home Inventory, Data Management System, Diskette Librarian, and Utility Diskette II, which were all released by Atari Program Exchange. Weekly Planner was later reworked and became Timewise, which was released as an Atari product. They also created medical and dental office software for MMG Micro Software.


Thanks to Wade of Inverse ATASCII for his help in research and writing questions for this interview. Wade has reviewed several of the Marcuse applications on his podcast - for those.


This interview took place on May 14, 2015.




Compute! magazine articles by Ron and Lynn


Teaser quotes:


“When what’s his name, the guy who started Atari [Nolan Bushnell] it was more open. In other words, the people there were friendly, it was fun working with them, it was fun writing stuff for them. It was fun flying out there, you know? It was fun. But eventually, it became a business, I think. And then the fun stops.”


“Hey, the damn thing paid for a Porsche and a BMW.”

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

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.



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: 3:00am EDT