ANTIC Interview 298 – Tom Hunt, Closer to Home BBS

Tom Hunt, Closer to Home BBS Tom Hunt ran an Atari BBS called Closer to Home for 28 years. He also created a variety of utilities for the Atari 8-bit computers, including M.T.O.S. (Multi-Tasking Operating System), and The Armorizer (a file corruption detector). He created several languages including Atari implementations of the Brainfork and Mouse programming languages, and forks of Atari BASIC and Turbo BASIC with various feature additions. He also built a system for porting Inform 5 and Z-Code text adventures to the Atari platform. This interview took place on August 5, 2017. “Just as soon as one caller would get off another one would come on. We had so much going on, before the Internet we had worldwide networking — we had message bases, emails, and file mail going around the world to Christchurch, New Zealand and everything. It was just great!” Tom Hunt Atari memories document

Source:: ANTIC Interview 298 – Tom Hunt, Closer to Home BBS

      

ANTIC Interview 297 – Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, John Weisgberber, Antic magazine games

Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, John Weisgberber, Antic magazine games Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, and John Weisgberber are childhood friends who published three games in Antic magazine: Kooky’s Quest was published in the February 1985 issue; Overflow in July 1985; and Robot Dungeon was the “disk bonus” in the November 1985 issue. They also wrote several other games in Atari BASIC — some of which they submitted to Compute! and A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazines – that went unpublished. Fast forward to August 2017, when the three posted on the AtariAge forum: “We are now releasing all of these games to the Public Domain … These are not new games, but they are new to the Atari 8-Bit community. Many of these games really pushed the envelope at the time for what could be done in Atari BASIC, including bi-directional smooth scrolling, assembly language subroutines, parallax scrolling, cut scenes, attract modes, display-list tricks, interleaved-displays, etc.” In addition to releasing their games — some for the first time — the group wrote a new article describing how they got together as a team to write these programs, along with game instructions and development notes. I wanted to find out more, so we got together for a four-way interview over Skype. If you want to see our talking heads, there’s a “>video version of this interview. This interview took place on August 4, 2017. The first voice you’ll hear after mine is Robert Anschuetz. Teaser quotes: “It was just a small little corner of the page that says ‘Disk Bonus — Robot Dungeon’. We didn’t subscribe to the disk bonus of Antic. So luckily we saw that or else we never would have known it was published.” “One thing about this experience of working together on these games, it’s very multi-disciplinary, and it’s all about collaboration.” “>Video of this interview Anschuetz/Weisgberber games and article

Source:: ANTIC Interview 297 – Robert Anschuetz, Eric Anschuetz, John Weisgberber, Antic magazine games

      

ANTIC Interview 296 – Stan Osborne, Atari Design Research

Stan Osborne, Atari Design Research Stan Osborne was a freelance software engineer in Atari’s Design Research department from 1981 through 1984. He also worked on projects for coin-op and home computing departments. He created micro-kernels, proof of concepts, proto-applications and device drivers. There are two versions of this interview: the podcast version is about an hour shorter. The extended version is at the Internet Archive, and includes a lot more of Stan’s education, jobs, and history before he was at Atari. This interview took place on May 16, 2017, with a short additional segment added on August 4. “I was being paid to do whatever I wanted to, if I had time. When you’re a freelance independant contractor, you set the clock schedule for when you’re going to be there and what you’re gonna go. I could visit anybody, anywhere on the Atari campuses.” Extended version of this interview

Source:: ANTIC Interview 296 – Stan Osborne, Atari Design Research

      

ANTIC Interview 295 – Harry Stewart, Pilot and WSFN

Harry Stewart, Pilot and WSFN Harry Stewart was a contractor for Atari from August 1978 through October 1983. He contributed to the operating system design and the manuals for the Atari 400 and 800; created the Atari implementation of the WSFN language (which was released in the first Atari Program Exchange catalog, summer 1981). He worked on Atari’s PILOT programming language and the unreleased sequel, Super PILOT (also known as Summer Camp PILOT.) Harry saved an enormous amount of material: source code, memos, notes, and more. He scanned some of it, I scanned some of it, and it’s online at the Internet Archive at the AtariAge forums. This interview took place on June 29, 2017. “You debugged in your head. It wasn’t sitting at the machine single-stepping and doing breakpoints. If you had a problem, you thought it out. Why is this happening? … Working on the hardware only as necessary.” Misc. scans from Harry Extended WSFN in the summer 1981 APX catalog Atari PILOT II, source code, discussion Atari PILOT: source code, discussion, Internal Specification, External Specification Extended WSFN manual, and draft version. Source code, discussion WSFN: An Introduction

Source:: ANTIC Interview 295 – Harry Stewart, Pilot and WSFN

      

ANTIC Interview 294 – Carol Shaw, Atari and Activision

Carol Shaw, Atari and Activision Carol Shaw was a software engineer at Atari from August 1978 though 1980. She programmed for the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit computers. She programmed on 3-D Tic Tac Toe for the Atari 800 and 2600; and the math application Calculator. She worked on Video Checkers, Othello, and Super Breakout for the 2600. She also co-wrote the Atari BASIC Reference Manual. Carol joined Activision in 1982, where she created the hit game River Raid, which she programmed for the 2600 then ported to the Atari 8-bit computers, and Happy Trails for the Intellivision. This interview took place on June 29, 2017. “Originally it was going to be a boat going up a river, but my boat was kind of boring looking … How about an airplane going up a river? We’ll have it kind of a canyon or something like that.” Colleen Calculator Atari Calculator Cartridge Specification Colleen Floating Point Routines Atari BASIC BNF – Backus–Naur Form Benj Edwards’ 2011 interview with Carol

Source:: ANTIC Interview 294 – Carol Shaw, Atari and Activision

      

ANTIC Episode 44 – Hackin’ The Atari

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: Kevin hacks the heck out of the Atari 8-bits, we’re back on the interview bandwagon, Josh Renaud tells us about ATASCII animations, and Nir Dary gives us the scoop on the Outline Demo Party.

READY!

Recurring Links

Floppy Days Podcast

AtariArchives.org

AtariMagazines.com

Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd”

New Atari books scans at archive.org

ANTIC feedback at AtariAge

Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge

ANTIC Facebook Page

AHCS

Eaten By a Grue

What we’ve been up to

Interviews

News

Nir Dary videos this month

YouTube videos this month (not Nir Dary) – 552 using the search term “Atari 800”

New at Archive.org

Nir Dary Segment – Outline Demo Party 2017

Possible side effects of listening to the Antic podcast include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous; mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation; increased appetite, weight changes; insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; dry mouth, intense hate of Commodore, and Amiga lust. Certain conditions apply. Offer good for those with approved credit. Member FDIC. An equal housing lender.

Source:: ANTIC Episode 44 – Hackin’ The Atari

      

ANTIC Interview 293 – Merl Miller, dilithium Press

Merl Miller, dilithium Press
Merl Miller was co-founder of dilithium Press, a publisher of computer books that was in business from 1977 through 1986. Merl was co-author of Computers for People (with Jerry Willis), a book that heavily features Atari 8-bit computers; and Things to Do With Your Atari Computer (with Jerry Willis and Nancy Morrice) as well as several other books about other types of personal computers. dilithium Press also published An Atari for Kids, An Atari in the Classroom, 32 BASIC Programs For the Atari Computer, Peanut Butter and Jelly Guide to Computers, and is perhaps best known for Computers for Everybody.
This interview took place on June 26, 2017.
Teaser quote: “When I worked for Prentice Hall, when I worked for West Publishing, when I started my own company, I never forgot that: a good book is one that sells.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 293 – Merl Miller, dilithium Press

      

ANTIC Interview 292 – Claus Buchholz & Lance Ward, ACE-80

Claus Buchholz and Lance Ward, ACE-80

Hello. Welcome to an interview-only episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast. I am Randy Kindig. In 1985, Claus Buchholz and Lance Ward released the ACE-80 and ACE-80XL cartridges, which gave 80-column text capability to the Atari 800 and XL computers, respectively. These were released through their newly-formed company, Amiable Computer Products. Claus also developed a 256K upgrade for the Atari 800XL and wrote an article on converting Atari computer programs to the 5200.

This interview took place on April 8, 2017.

Links:

Source:: ANTIC Interview 292 – Claus Buchholz & Lance Ward, ACE-80

      

ANTIC Interview 291 – Robert Veline, Astro Pyrotechnics

Robert Veline, Astro Pyrotechnics

The July/August 1987 issue of ST-Log magazine has an article by Matthew Stern called “Atari Sets Off Fireworks!” It features an interview with Robert Veline of Astro Pryrotechnics, a California-based fireworks company. I’ll read some snippets from the article. …
I found Robert — who is still in the pyrotechnics industry today — to get more of the story. This interview took place on June 2, 2017.
Thanks to Wade at the 1632 Atari ST PodcaST for pointing me to the article in ST-Log magazine.
After our interview, Robert sent me pictures of his Atari-based firing box — as well as all of the software for running it, the assembly language source code, Old Mother Hubbard’s GCHIP Cook Book, his fireworks simulation software, and more.
Teaser quote: “We did have one or two shows where you plugged the box in and turned it on — and it was a 10-second show.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 291 – Robert Veline, Astro Pyrotechnics

      

ANTIC Interview 290 – Gary Koffler, VP at Datasoft and Datamost

Gary Koffler, VP at Datasoft and Datamost
Gary Koffler was VP at two publishers: Datasoft and Datamost. He was VP Software at Datasoft in 1980–1981. Datasoft published many Atari computer games, including Canyon Climber, Clowns and Balloons, Pacific Coast Highway, Sands of Egypt, and Zaxxon. At Datasoft, Gary managed creation of the AtariWriter word processor under contract for Atari.
Next, Gary was VP Software and Talent at Datamost from 1982–1984. Datamost published Atari games including Mr. Robot and His Robot Factory, Tail of Beta Lyrae, Cohen’s Towers, and Super Bunny. Datamost also published many books for the Atari computer, including Atari Roots, Kids and the Atari, The Elementary Atari, and Games Ataris Play.
This interview took place on April 4, 2017.
Teaser quote: “I didn’t program … I basically programmed programmers because I realized early on that if I wanted to have anything that was going to appear on these machines that I wanted to have appear on them, I was going to have to work with artists and programmers and musicians and animators.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 290 – Gary Koffler, VP at Datasoft and Datamost