Sun, 8 January 2017
Dan Corona, Atari Engineering Manager
Dan Corona was Atari employee #9 — staring in 1972, where he remained until the Tramiel takeover in 1984. Dan was Engineering Manager, and worked in many divisions: coin-op, pinball, handheld games, and consumer.
This interview took place on November 29, 2016.
Teaser quote: "It pretty much killed the company. You know, you can't continue building the same thing over and over again and not create anything new."
Fri, 6 January 2017
Steve Ahlstrom: SynFile+ and PaperClip
Steve Ahlstrom was half of The 4th Works, with Dan Moore. Together they programmed SynFile+, which was published by Synapse; and PaperClip, published by Batteries Included. The team also created BackTalk, a telecommunications program; and Sherlock, a disk sector editor utility.
This interview took place on October 4, 2016.
Teaser quote: "What's weird is, every now and then -- and this is, what, 40 years later -- I still get a random e-mail asking me for support for Sherlock or for SynFile, which is kind of strange."
Inverse ATASCII on SynFile+: https://inverseatascii.info/2014/12/16/s1e6-synapse-synfile/
Mon, 2 January 2017
Ben Smith, Atari sales and service
This interview is part of the set of interviews we’ve done where we talk to many of the people still out there providing hardware, software, and/or support for our favorite computer. This interview is with Ben Smith, of Bravo Sierra Computers. As you will hear during the interview, Ben has been in the business of selling, servicing and supporting Atari items for about 32 years as of the recording of this episode. I hope you find this interview interesting and let Ben know that you appreciate all he has done and continues to do for the Atari community.
This interview took place on March 26, 2016.
Wed, 28 December 2016
Wynn Smith, Mosaic Electronics
Wynn Smith was co-founder of Mosaic Electronics, a company that produced memory upgrade cards for the Atari 400 and 800 computers, as well as the Commodore 64 and VIC-20. He started at Tektronix, where be wrote code for the OEM graphics division at the age of 17. After Mosaic, he worked on memory upgrades for Intel.
This interview took place on December 27, 2016.
"It became obvious to me that if you put the wrong boards in the wrong order, not only do they not work, but there's a danger of blowing out some chips."
VintageTEK Tektronix museum: http://www.vintagetek.org
Tue, 20 December 2016
In this episode of Antic the Atari 8-bit podcast...
What we’ve been up to
Holiday Gift Guide
New at Archive.org
Nir Dary Segment - SilliVenture 2016
Direct download: 38ANTIC_2016_12_Christmas_Buying_Guide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST
Fri, 2 December 2016
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."
Tue, 29 November 2016
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."
Sat, 26 November 2016
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: https://archive.org/details/OptimizedSystemsSoftware
Complete collection of Bill Wilkinson articles: https://archive.org/details/BillWilkinsonArticles
Wed, 23 November 2016
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cAlaGUoYNI
Display Systems International: http:/www.displaysystemsintl.com
Sat, 19 November 2016
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..."
Video version of this interview: https://youtu.be/0kXWKV1mpiY
Paul's web site: http://slasherworld.com