ANTIC Interview 143 – Bob Stahl, Atari receiving inspection and software quality

Bob Stahl, Atari receiving inspection and software quality

Bob Stahl worked in the Atari home computer division, where he was the senior technician in the receiving inspection department, doing first article inspection. (He explains what that means in the interview.) He then moved to software quality engineering, testing produced software to make sure it looked right and worked correctly. Later, he was hired by Atari’s coin-op division to do receiving inspection for that company. He also ran an Atari BBS called Modem Magazine.

In this interview we discuss Cassie Mass, whom I previously interviewed. This interview took place on November 1, 2015.

Teaser quotes:

“Biggest problem we had, of course, was the cassette tapes in the early days losing data … Huge dropouts in the data stream, looking at the status signal through an oscilloscope. But we never found out exactly why, and you know that technology went away really quick.”

“I took a 300 baud acoustic modem and a Mr. Microphone on one computer, and a stereo and a 300 baud acoustic modem on another, and we would send files from one corner of the garage to the other using FM frequencies over the airwaves.”

InfoWorld article featuring Bob and Cassie: https://books.google.com/books?id=Dy8EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=%22modem+magazine%22+bbs&source=bl&ots=lXhDHwxCv0&sig=taT6r_bUZyeoUXWMVUqqS9luebo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAWoVChMI2ZiU7MnwyAIVWP1jCh2F_wbW#v=onepage&q=%22modem%20magazine%22%20bbs&f=false

Modem Magazine BBS in Antic magazine: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v3n5/communications.html

Source:: ANTIC Interview 143 – Bob Stahl, Atari receiving inspection and software quality