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

Bruce Frumker: APX Memory Match, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Bruce Frumker is author of Memory Match, a memory game that was published by Atari Program Exchange. It was first available in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog. As part of his job at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Bruce created interactive, laser-disc based exhibits that used Atari 8-bit computers. He wrote an article about that project, "An Atari-based Interactive Laser Videodisc System", which appeared in the March 1989 issue of A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazine. Bruce was also co-founder of the Atari Computer Enthusiasts of Cleveland.

This interview took place on September 15, 2016.

"...Sounds really Rube Goldberg, but the thing worked and it produced a series of exhibits that visitors enjoyed ... all controlled by the Atari."

Memory Match in the winter 1982-1983 APX catalog

Memory Match at AtariMania

Bruce's Laserdisc article in A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing

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

Steve Panak, Game Reviewer

Steve Panak was a prolific writer of Atari computer game reviews. He wrote the Panak Strikes! column in A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazine, and also wrote reviews for Antic magazine and ST-Log magazine.

This interview took place on November 28, 2016.

"Companies were just sending me games to review there at the end, so I was just getting buried in games."

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

Bev and Bryan Wilkinson, Optimized Systems Software

Bev and Bryan Wilkinson were part of Optimized Systems Software, the company that brought DOS XL, Mac/65, Action!, BASIC XL, BASIC XE, and other products to Atari computer users. 

Bill Wilkinson was founder of OSS. Bev was his wife, and Bryan his son. I interviewed Bill in December, 2014, and he died in November 2015. As a small family-owned business, Bev and Bryan were involved with the day-to-day running of the company. 

This interview took place on September 25, 2016 in my dining room in Portland, Oregon. 

"And Bill would carry these tomes, books to the bathroom with him, and he'd read these books in the bathroom. I said 'Why are you doing that in the bathroom?' He said, 'It's the only room in the house that has a lock on the door.'"

Photos, brochures, and art from OSS:

Complete collection of Bill Wilkinson articles:

Bill Wilkinson interview

Steven Lawrow interview

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

Dale Lemke, Compu-Cable Systems

Dale Lemke is founder of Compu-Cable Systems, a company that created the SpectraView and SpectraView II Graphic Generator Cartridge, information display systems for use by television stations and cable companies, which ran on Atari 8-bit computers. 

The company is still in business: today it is called Display Systems International, it specializes in character generators and television program listings.

This interview took place October 18, 2016.

"We had an Atari in Trump's Castle in New Jersey for a while ... We had an Atari in Museum of History in Chicago — they were using it with their ticket kiosks."

YouTube demo of SpectraView II cart:

AtariAge discussions of SpectraView II:  1   2

Display Systems International: http:/

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

Paul Berker: Adventure in Time and Birth of the Phoenix

Paul Berker was a programmer for Phoenix Software, where he coded Birth of the Phoenix and Adventure In Time, which were both released for the Apple II and Atari 8-bit computers; and Queen of Phobos, which was released on the Apple II only. 

This interview took place on September 30, 2016. After the interview, Paul sent me several floppy disks with the Apple II and Atari source code for Birth of the Phoenix and Adventure In Time. 

"Got an advance of like $2,000, and spent it all just acquiring an Atari 800 with two floppy drives..."

Source code courtesy of Paul

Video version of this interview:

AtariMania's list of Phoenix Software games

Gaming After 40 Walkthough of Birth of The Phoenix

Paul's web site:

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

Charles Clinton

Charles Clinton was a contractor who worked on AtariLab, which was developed at Swarthmore College. 

This interview took place on August 14, 2016 at Vintage Computer Festival West XI. In it, we discuss Priscilla Laws, whom I previously interviewed.

Priscilla Laws interview

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

Paula Polley, Copywriter

Paula Polley started at Atari in 1982, where she worked as a copywriter. She wrote marketing for product boxes and wrote for Atari Connection magazine.

This interview took place on August 14, 2016 at Vintage Computer Festival West XI.

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

Carl Moser and JR Hall, Eastern House Software

Carl Moser and JR Hall were founders of Eastern House Software, the company that created several products for Atari 8-bit users, including Monkey Wrench and Monkey Wrench II, and the KISS word processor. They also created the MAE assembler/software development system, which was available for Commodore PET, Apple //, Atari 8-bit, and other computers.

This interview took place on October 17, 2016.

Teaser quote: (Carl) "JR and I would work — we was working at AT&T a regular day, then we'd probably work 'til 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, then get up, go to work the next morning."

Universal 6502 Memory Test in issue 1 of Compute! magazine

Eastern House Software Advertisement

Eastern House Software - product catalog

Eastern House Software - dealer brochure

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

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page


What we’ve been up to


New at

Bill’s Modern Segment


Direct download: 37ANTIC_2016_11_ABBUC_RetroChallenge_Crownland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Rodnay Zaks, Founder of Sybex Books

Rodnay Zaks was the founder of computer book publisher Sybex Books, and is author of many classic computer programming books, including 6502 Applications (1979), Programming the 6502, Advanced 6502 Programming, and 6502 Games. He also wrote or co-wrote Programming the Z80, Programming the 6809, Your First Apple II Program, Programming the Apple II in Assembly Language, and other books.

This interview took place on October 14, 2016.

Rodnay on Wikipedia:

Teaser quotes:

"The first 5,000 books sold out, mail order, within a few days. So it was clear that there was more interest than we anticipated."

"She said, 'There is a computer in this machine?' I said 'Yes.' And she went out screaming and never returned."

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