Thu, 1 September 2016
Bard Ermentrout, RAMbrandt
Bard Ermentrout was the creator of the popular Atari graphics program RAMbrandt. Subtitled "The Atari Design Studio," RAMbrandt was released in 1985 by Antic software. Written in ValForth, it supported joystick, keyboard, Koala Pad, and Atari Touch Tablet for input. He also created an add-on Solid Object Module which allowed users to combine mode 9 geometric primitives to make what appeared to be 3D-shaded objects. The predecessor to RAMbrandt was a drawing program called "Paint 10" which was unreleased.
This interview took place on July 25, 2016.
After the interview, Bard sent me a box of floppy disks — which appears to contain the source code for RAMbrandt, some picture disks, and the object module — but so far I have not been able to read any of the disks. It doesn't look good, but I haven't given up hope yet.
If you would like to see this interview as well as hear it, a video from this Skype conversation is available on YouTube and Internet Archive.
"I had some crazy ideas with the Atari 800 to get more colors, one of them which worked but gave you a really bad headache."
Video of this interview at Internet Archive: http://archive.org/details/BardErmentroutRAMbrandt
Video of this interview at YouTube: https://youtu.be/YFU4LaVUrXA
Bard's page at University of Pittsburgh: http://www.mathematics.pitt.edu/person/g-bard-ermentrout
Caramel Knowledge film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VgU6vgi8dQ
Antic magazine review of Rambrandt: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v7n7/ProductReviews.html