Apr 17, 2020
Gabriel Baum: Atari Conversational French and
Gabriel Baum worked at Thorn EMI, where he managed the project to create two early language learning programs that were published by Atari: Conversational French and Conversational Spanish. (Atari's language learning series would also include Conversational German — Gabriel started that, but left Thorn EMI before that project was finished — and Conversational Italian.)
After Thorn EMI, Gabriel moved to Mattel where he became one of the "Blue Sky Rangers," creating Intellivision games. If you'd like to hear more about that, Paul Nurminen interviewed him about that time in episode 37 of The Intellivisionaries podcast.
For a deep dive into the Atari Conversational French software, listen to season 5, episode 1 of the Inverse ATASCII podcast. You can download the software and audio for all of the conversational language series from AtariWiki.
This interview took place on March 31, 2020. In it, Gabriel mis-remembers a bit of the technical capabilities of the Atari cassette drive, which was a lot less sophisticated than he recalls. If you'd like to read the technical details of how the Atari 410 and 1010 program recorders worked, check out Appendix C of De Re Atari.
Conversational language series at AtariWiki
Inverse ATASCII podcast covers Atari Conversational French
Gabriel interview on the Intellivisionaries podcast
De Re Atari on the Atari cassette capabilities