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

Thomas Hudson, Atari sales trainer

Thomas Hudson was a trainer for Atari, where he taught computer store owners and others about the Atari 8-bit computer line, and attended trade shows to show off Atari's computer products. Later he became a product manager for three products: light pen, touch tablet, and mouse. 

In this interview we discuss Andrew Soderberg, whom I previously interviewed.

This interview took place on January 21, 2016.

Teaser quotes:

"And one was this little device that you plugged into the thing, and you moved it around to control the cursor. And he said "I don't know what this mouse thing is, but nobody is ever going to use a mouse on a computer.'"

"He called me up at work, and in the unmistakable voice said, 'Tom, this is Alan Alda. I've run into a little problem, and I think you're the only person that can help me. ... I've got a bunch of friends coming over tonight, I wanted to show this program off to them...'"


Tom's web site:

Tom Swift fan fiction:

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

Roger Hector, Atari’s Advanced Products Group

Roger Hector started at Atari back in 1976.  As a creative designer, he was originally hired by Pete Takaishi (Industrial Design Manager), before working in the Art Department, and then finally for Al Alcorn.  He managed Atari's Advanced Products Group and helped create the Cosmos system before leaving to co-found Videa with Howard Delman and Ed Rotberg.

This interview took place September 17, 2015.

Teaser Quotes:

  • “There’s a LOT of interesting stories!”
  • “There was an old saying around there, somewhat cynical, but they said ‘hey, we could make money faster than we can piss it away’”
  • “I think Atari was a place that deserved your fandom.”


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

Bob C., Software Pirate

Bob C. was an Atari software pirate in New York who went by the moniker The Missing Link.

This interview took place on January 19, 2016.

Teaser quotes:

"It's all I wanted to do. I skipped going on vacation with my parents because I wouldn't be able to dial into these bulletin boards and see what was going on and leave messages to my friends. It just got, got like a drug."

"Sometimes I say, 'Jesus, that ate up a lost of my life, what the hell was I thinking?' But, they were such fun times."

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

Peter Langston, LucasArts

Peter Langston was a founding employee at the game development company LucasArts, part of the team that created the Atari 8-bit games Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus. Peter composed Song Of The Grid, the memorable theme to Ballblazer. He also created the classic mainframe game Empire, and Oracle, the precursor to the Usenet Oracle (now called Internet Oracle.) Check his web site at for an interesting collection of papers, scans of LucasArts articles, and related material.

This interview took place on January 16, 2016.

Teaser quotes:

"I remember at one point, some magazine said that LucasFilm has the ... best computer graphics in the game industry. And Alvy Ray Smith said that the games industry had the worst computer graphics that LucasFilm had ever done."


Peter's Web site:

Internet Oracle:

Empire on Wikipedia:

Peter Langston on Wikipedia:

David Fox interview:

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

Tom Harker, ICD

Tom Harker was co-founder of ICD, a company that created many popular add-ons for the Atari 8-bit computers including P:R: Connection, U.S. Doubler, and SpartaDOS. Later, they created several upgrades for the Atari ST and Amiga computers, and the CatBox networking hardware for the Atari Jaguar.

According to a 1987 article in Antic magazine, "Tom Harker started ICD in his basement in Rockford, Illinois, with Mike Gustafson, who then lived in Minneapolis. The company was incorporated in 1984, with Harker as president and Gustafson as vice president in charge of development."

This interview took place on January 19, 2016.

Teaser quote:

“It started out, when we did the U.S. Doublers, I was assembling all of those myself and we were baking them in our oven. We potted them in epoxy so people wouldn’t copy it. ... I remember baking them to cure the epoxy in my oven. My wife loved it.”


Tom’s ICD memorial site:

Antic Magazine article about ICD:

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