ANTIC Interview 287 – George White, Founder of Koala Technologies

George White, Founder of Koala Technologies
George White was the founder of Koala Technologies, the company that made the KoalaPad. KoalaPad was a touch tablet, versions were available for the Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64, Apple II, and the IBM PC. A version for the TRS-80 Color Computer was also available, sold as the TRS-80 Touch Pad.
This interview took place on May 20, 2017. If you want to see George and my chat, a video version of this interview is available, check the show notes at AtariPodcast.com for that link. I also interviewed KoalaPad inventor David Thornburg, whom we talk about in this interview. David’s interview will be published next.
“I regret the fact that I wasn’t more forceful in staying true to my original reason for starting the company which was to make mice.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 287 – George White, Founder of Koala Technologies

      

ANTIC Interview 286 – William Leslie, OmniTrend Universe

William Leslie – OmniTrend Universe

William Bill Leslie was one of the authors of Omnitrend’s Universe; a science fiction space trading and combat game. The first version was programmed in valFORTH on an Atari 800, based on a board game created by Bill. It was Omnitrend’s first game and was released in 1983. There were versions of Universe for the Atari 8-bit, Apple II and IBM computers.

Bill was also involved in the development of the sequels Universe 2 and Universe 3, and of Breach, a turn-based tactical squad combat game.

This interview took place on Jan. 7, 2017.

Links:

Source:: ANTIC Interview 286 – William Leslie, OmniTrend Universe

      

ANTIC Interview 285 – Jay Balakrishnan, HESWare

Jay Balakrishnan, HESWare

Welcome to an interview-only episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast. My name is Randy Kindig. Jay Balakrishnan bought his first Commodore PET in 1978, which spurred him to found Human Engineered Software (HES or HESWare) in 1980. HESWare got its start on the Commodore PET but later moved into many other platforms. They developed or sold software for C64, Vic-20, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Atari ST, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Dragon, TI-99, DOS and others. Many Llamasoft games, through an alliance with Jeff Minter, were published in the US by HESWare. For the Atari 8-bit, they published games like Pastfinder, River Raid, Decathlon, Space Shuttle, Attack of the Mutant Camels, Gridrunner.

By early 1984 InfoWorld estimated that HES was tied with Broderbund as the world’s tenth-largest microcomputer-software company and largest entertainment-software company.

In early 1984 they made their biggest splash when they acquired the services of Leonard Nimoy as spokesman.

This interview took place on November 20, 2016.

Links:

Source:: ANTIC Interview 285 – Jay Balakrishnan, HESWare

      

ANTIC Interview 284 – Art Walsh, Dynacomp and Artworx

Art Walsh, Dynacomp and Artworx
Art Walsh was co-founder of Dynacomp, an early software publisher that created software for many platforms, including many educational and game titles for the Atari 8-bit computer. He later founder Artworx, a software publisher that produced titles including Bridge, Cranston Manor Adventure, Gwendolyn, Hazard Run, Hotel Alien, and Strip Poker.
This interview took place on May 26, 2017. In it we discuss Jerry White, whom I previously interviewed.
Teaser quote: “Why is bridge selling when most card players play poker? … Doug McFarland … blurted out … ‘I bet if we had strip poker instead of poker, it would sell. … We all kind of said ‘That’s it!'”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 284 – Art Walsh, Dynacomp and Artworx

      

ANTIC Interview 283 – Kathleen Pitta, De Re Atari

Kathleen Pitta, De Re Atari
Kathleen Marinell worked at Atari in 1981 or so — she was Kathleen Pitta at that time. She is one of the contributors to De Re Atari, A Guide to Effective Programming, which was serialized by Byte Magazine in 1981 through 1982, and published by Atari Program Exchange in 1982. Kathleen is credited with Appendix E, which is about the GTIA chip.
This interview took place on May 25, 2017.
“I’m very logical, so the logic of computer languages — I was fascinated by that. But the technology .. it changed to fast.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 283 – Kathleen Pitta, De Re Atari

      

ANTIC Interview 282 – Matthew Householder, Atari and EPYX

Matthew Householder, Atari and EPYX
Matthew Householder worked at Atari from 1983 through 1985. There he ported Moon Patrol to the ColecoVision for AtariSoft. Later he worked on the Atari 520ST, where he wrote the line-draw/polygon graphics primitives for the ST port of the GEM operating system. Next he worked at EPYX, from 1985 through 1988, where he produced/created/designed many games including: Winter Games, World Games, Championship Wrestling, California Games, and Sub Battle Simulator.
This interview took place on April 25, 2017.
“And she said, ‘Hey! You guys should do a game with skateboarding in it.’ And it was like a light, an epiphany. Oh yeah, skateboarding. Of course.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 282 – Matthew Householder, Atari and EPYX

      

ANTIC Interview 281 – Amy Chen: Touch Typing, Amoeba Debugger, De Re Atari

Amy Chen: Touch Typing, Amoeba Debugger, De Re Atari
Amy Liu was an progammer at Atari. Her name was Amy Chen at the time. She wrote Touch Typing, which was released by Atari on cassette in 1980; an unreleased game called Aligator; and Amoeba, a debugger utility that was used internally at Atari to create assembly language games.
This interview took place on May 2, 2017. It in, we talk about Paul Laughton and Lane Winner, and Chris Crawford, whom I previously interviewed.
Teaser quote: “Well actually now I come to think of it, assembly language is easier than C++. … C++ is a total different concept.”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 281 – Amy Chen: Touch Typing, Amoeba Debugger, De Re Atari

      

ANTIC Episode 43 – Corporate Wars

In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast, Randy and Kevin spar over where the ANTIC corporate headquarters should be, Kevin steps out on the Atari 8 bit and makes us proud in the 10-liner BASIC contest, and Nir Dary brings us the scoop on Wopniak 2017. Plus all the Atari news we could find this month.

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

News

New at Archive.org

Nir Dary Segment – Wapniak 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 43 – Corporate Wars

      

ANTIC Interview 280 – David and Betsy Ahl, Creative Computing Magazine

David Ahl and Betsy Ahl, Creative Computing Magazine
Dave Ahl was the founder and editor-in-chief of Creating Computing Magazine, which was the first personal computer magazine. Betsy Ahl was editor of the magazine for nearly its entire run. Creative Computing was published starting in November 1974, was acquired by Ziff Davis in 1983, and ceased publication in December 1985.
In addition to Creative Computing, Dave and Betsy published a variety of other magazines including Sync (dedicated to the Timex Sinclair computers) and Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games Magazine. They also released a record album — First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival (1979), a board game called Computer Rage, and software for a variety of platforms under the Creative Computing Software label. Dave was author of BASIC Computer Games, the first million-selling computer book; plus its sequel, more BASIC Computer Games, and many other early computer books.
After Creative Computing, Dave was editor of Atari Explorer magazine for five years and he started Atarian magazine in 1989. Later, he published Military Vehicles magazine.
This interview took place on April 3 and 4, 2013, when I was doing research for a book about the first personal computer magazines. Although I’ve decided not to write the book, I am publishing the interviews that I did for them. The other major interview was with Wayne Green: there’s a link to that interview in the show notes.
The first part of the interview took place in the bar at the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon. (There’s some ambient background noise and music — remember, this recording was meant to be my notes for a book, so a little background noise wasn’t an issue.) The second part of the interview was recorded in my dining room, a much quieter atmosphere.
The day before this was recorded, Dave and Betsy attended a grand opening get-together of tech luminaries at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington. This event is mentioned several times during the interview.
A full transcript of this interview is available at ComputingPioneers.com. Also, there are many links to related articles, interviews, and magazine scans in the show notes at AtariPodcast.com.
Teaser quote: “When I started Creative Computing, I mean there weren’t even personal computers at that point. I was convinced, I guess, that they would come about. I had no idea that it would be three months later that the Altair came about.”
Outro music: Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, played on an RCA COSMAC by Joe Welsbecker on the First Philadelphia Computer Music Festival record (1979.)

Source:: ANTIC Interview 280 – David and Betsy Ahl, Creative Computing Magazine

      

ANTIC Interview 279 – Tom Eckmann, Kyan Software

Tom Eckmann, President of Kyan Software
Tom Eckmann was president and co-founder of Kyan Software. Kyan’s flagship product was Kyan Pascal, an implementation of the Pascal programming language which was available for the Apple II, Atari 8-bits, and Commodore 64/128 computers.
This interview took place on May 19, 2017.
Teaser quote: “We sneered at Turbo Pascal because it was non-compliant, there were all of these un-pure features. … He [Philippe Kahn] just looks looks at me and goes, ‘Nobody gives a damn.'”

Source:: ANTIC Interview 279 – Tom Eckmann, Kyan Software