Thu, 9 June 2016
Rob Zdybel, Star Trek, Missile Command, Bug Hunt
Rob Zdybel was a long-time employee at Atari, having worked there from 1979 to 1996, when the Tramiels left. Rob has a long line of credits including Pigs in Space, Real Sports Football, Stellar Track and Star Trek for the Atari 400/800, SOS for the Atari 2600, Missile Command for the Atari 5200, and Bug Hunt for the Atari XE. He also designed the system BIOS for the Atari 5200.
Rob mentions the SYLVIA game system in the interview, although he couldn’t remember the name of the system at the time. It was the machine that was supposed to come between the 2600 and the 5200 and which Doug Neubauer worked on.
Niles Strohl and Doug Neubauer are both mentioned in the interview, both of which I’m working to get interviews.
Please note that this interview does have some profanity.
This interview took place on January 17, 2016.
PRGE 2013 - Bob Smith, Rob Zdybel, Joe Decuir - Portland Retro Gaming Expo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmqzybUe9m4
“Once Upon Atari” - http://www.onceuponatari.com/
Tue, 7 June 2016
Lane Winner: Graph-It, XEP-80, De Re Atari
Lane Winner was an Atari employee for about a decade: he worked in the software development support group, as a programmer, and as an engineer. He is the author of Atari's Graph-It, contributor to De Re Atari, and designer of the XEP-80 80-column peripheral. Lane wrote several early releases for Atari Program Exchange: BASIC Cross-Reference Utility, BASIC Renumber Utility, and Variable Changer.
This interview took place April 20, 2016.
"OK, Lane. When you get your ... head and your heart together, you can be useful, and help the company out and help other people out."
Sun, 5 June 2016
Dave Menconi, Atari Customer Service and User Group Support
Dave Menconi started at Atari in 1982 doing customer support for the Atari computers. Later he moved to the marketing group, where he helped support the Atari users groups. Dave wrote the program "Dancin' Man" for Antic magazine, and wrote several articles for Atari Connection magazine.
In this interview, we discuss Chris Crawford, Ted Richards, and Mike Albaugh, whom I previously interviewed. This interview took place on April 19, 2016.
"...A light bulb went on above my head. That, it's one thing to know how to program but it's a much harder thing to know what to do with the skills that you have."
"He identified what the problem was and proposed a fix, and they fixed the product. And then afterwards, I remember him saying, 'And don't ever come back.'"
Dave featured in "User Group Support" article in Antic: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v1n2/insideatari.html
Dancin' Man: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v2n3/startingline.html
Fri, 3 June 2016
Stan Ockers, public domain game programmer
Stan Ockers started on the KIM-1 single board computer, where was was co-author of The First Book of KIM with Jim Butterfield. He later got an Atari 400, and became a prolific author of public domain programs which were distributed by users groups and in Antic magazine. His game credits include Chicken, Frog, and Bats, all of which were published in early issues of Antic magazines. Some of his programs were also published in Page 6 magazine.
This interview took place on March 10, 2016.
"I put in like, I figured, something like about 40 hours to write a program before I was satisfied to get rid of it. Or, got sick of it."
Wed, 1 June 2016
Harry Guiremand, SynChron
Harry Guiremand wrote SynChron, a calendar application, which was published by Synapse Software in 1983.
This interview took place on April 15, 2016.
Thanks to Wade at the Inverse ASASCII podcast for his research and suggestions. You can hear Wade's thorough review and walkthrough of SynChron at the Inverse ATASCII podcast.
"I had a password system where if you didn't guess the password correctly, you had to wait a little bit longer each time you missed it. Somebody who was trying to break the password with brute force method would end up having to wait days and days for the next chance to make a guess."