Lee Konowe, American Software Club Lee Konowe was founder of American Software Club, a mail-order software company. American Software Club sold software for CP/M, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80, Apple II, IBM PC, Commodore 64, and other platforms. It started out with a sort of Columbia House “software of the month” model, where you automatically received a “choice of the month” software package each month — which you could keep and pay for, or return at no cost. Later the company switched to a more traditional mail order catalog model. The company was founded around June 1981. In an article about software clubs in InfoWorld magazine, the company said it had about 2,000 members by the end of its first month. By February 1983 it claimed 10,000 members, and by September of that year had 15,000 members. This interview took place on June 7 2017 for me, and June 8 for Lee in New Zealand. “>A video version of this interview is also available. “Very quickly it occurred to me that there was a need to put people who were producing software together with people who were consuming it.” American Software Club ad in H&E Computrpnics magazine, 1982 (page 11) American Software Club ad in A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing magazine, 1983 American Software Club ad in PC Magazine, 1983 1981 InfoWorld article about software clubs
Patricia Mitchell, Thorn EMI Patricia Mitchell started at Thorn EMI in 1981. She worked in the home computer software division, evaluating software that had been submitted by programmers. Thorn EMI published many games for the Atari 8-bit computers, including River Rescue, Carnival Massacre, Orc Attack, Kickback, Submarine Commander, Computer War, and Jumbo Jet Pilot. Later she worked at Virgin Games. This interview took place on April 27, 2017. In it, we talk a little about about Steve Green. Steve bought Patricia’s old Atari computer on eBay, which included pre-production versions of five Thorn EMI games. Steve made ROM dumps of those games and uploaded them to Internet Archive. “>A video version of this interview is available. “One of the most embarrassing things for the management at the time was they turned down a game that was submitted that was called Elite … It was the first 3-D graphics that were rendered in wireframe.” Steve Green’s ROM dumps: River Rescue Pre-Production Orc Attack Pre-Production Major League Hockey Pre-Production Computer War Pre-Production Carnival Massacre Pre-Production
James Burton, APX Drawit James Burton published one program for the Atari 8-bit computers: Drawit, a graphics utility that was published by Atari Program Exchange. It first appeared in the summer 1983 APX catalog, where it was awarded first prize in the personal development category. This interview took place on August 24, 2017. “Many hours. Many, many hours. Late at night, don;t want to go to sleep. Just plugging at the computer.” Drawit in the summer 1983 APX catalog Download Drawit from AtariMania
Lance Leventhal, Author of Assembly Language Books Lance Leventhal wrote 25 computer books, spanning 1978 through 1992. His books include 6502 Assembly Language Programming, 6502 Assembly Language Subroutines, Z80 Assembly Language Programming, Z80 Assembly Language Subroutines, 6800 Assembly Language Programming, 6809 Assembly Language Programming, and Why Do You Need a Personal Computer? This interview took place on August 25, 2017. “Be careful about avoiding sidetracks. Don’t go down them. There’s always things you’d like to say and things you’d like to talk about. But they’re not central to your topic and you’ve got to be brutal about not saying them.” Scans of many of Lance’s books at Internet Archive
In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Computer Podcast: Mike Maginnis of the Open Apple and Drop III Inches podcasts joins the Antic crew and starts a computer war, Nir Dary tells us about disk drive upgrades, we catch up with Curt Vendel about his projects including the 2nd Atari history book, and more Atari news than you can possibly imagine!
What we’ve been up to
- VCF Midwest – http://vcfmw.org/
- SDrive2 – http://atariage.com/forums/topic/262509-sdrive-arm-preorder/page-1
- Atari, Inc.: Business is Fun – https://www.amazon.com/Atari-Inc-Business-Curt-Vendel/dp/0985597402
- “You Have Died of Dysentery: The creation of The Oregon Trail – the iconic educational game of the 1980s” e-book by R. Philip Bouchard – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B8JMKMC
- “Art of Atari Poster Collection” by Tim Lapetino – https://www.amazon.com/Art-Atari-Poster-Collection-Lapetino/dp/1524103020
- Kfest — simon sez – “>https://
- Apple II Family Feud – “>https://
- Jason Worley transcribed Dan Horn interview – https://computingpioneers.com/index.php/Dan_Horn
- Atari 1450XLD pictures posted by Curt Vendel – https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagecomputerclub/permalink/1882817098418314/
- Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari – 120523/229705301″>https://120523/229705301
- Radiokomputer, the Polish program broadcasting Atari games by radio – http://atariteca.blogspot.pe/2017/08/radiokomputer-el-programa-polaco-que.html
- “Atari Photo Sauce” – http://www.4-traders.com/ATARI-2168735/news/Atari-Trademark-Application-for-ATARI-PHOTO-SAUCE-Filed-by-Atari-24749858/
- Atari sues Nestle, says Kit Kat video game ad violates Breakout …
- Atari themed skins for Raspberry Pi cases – https://www.facebook.com/groups/181644898539691/permalink/1401735433197292/ , https://www.redbubble.com/people/choccyhobnob
- Games for Atari: 1977 to 1995 kickstarter
- Atari 400 RAM-Card 48/52 KB & external OS-ROM – http://atariage.com/forums/topic/267042-new-hardware-atari-400-ram-card-4852-kb-external-os-rom/
- New WINE port of Altirra – http://atariage.com/forums/topic/256928-altirra-28-wine-port-for-macos-sierra/?view=getnewpost
- Atari 800XL computer with a cell phone via Bluetooth wireless – http://atariteca.blogspot.com/2017/08/video-computadora-atari-800xl-con.html
- XC-1411 monitor on ebay – https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=XC-1411&LH_Complete=1&rt=nc&_trksid=p2045573.m1684
- details of the six games of ABBUC 2017 – http://atariteca.blogspot.com/2017/08/atari-imagenes-y-detalles-de-los-seis.html
- Upcoming Shows where you might see Atari computers (or Atari people):
- OldComp Party #3 – Sep 8-10, 2017 – (Czech Republic)
- VCFMW – Sept. 9-10, Elk Grove Village, IL – http://vcfmw.org/
- PRGE http://www.retrogamingexpo.com Oct 20-22
- ByteFest 2017 Oct 13-15, 2017 – http://www.bytefest.org/english-info2/ (Prague, Czech Republic)
- Vintage computer fest Seattle Feb 10-11 2018, Living Computers: Museum + Labs – http://vcfed.org/wp/2017/07/07/vintage-computer-festival-pacific-northwest/
YouTube videos this month
- HOW TO: Atari 800 & Atari 5200 EmulationStation –
- A graphical and themeable emulator front-end that allows you to access all your favorite games in one place, even without a keyboard!
- EmulationStation performs well even on low-powered devices like the famous mini-computer Raspberry Pi.
- EmulationStation is the front-end of the popular RetroPie Project, which comes pre-configured with emulators for over 30 different platforms.
- Amazing Atari 8 bit Art – Part 3 – – Kieren Hawken – This video features 100 more amazing pieces of pixel art from the Atari 8-bit range of computers.
- WAR ROOM game for Atari 8-bit computers – Abbuc software contest 2017 – – WAR ROOM for Atari 8-bit computers by Rob Schlortt and Eric Henneke.
- Atari 600xl modding 64KB, RGB Output, 4 different OS, recap – – Klaus Wolf
- We Are Still Fighting For Transitions… by Desire, 2017 | Atari 8 bit Demo –
- Atari XL/XE+VBXE demo released at Nordlicht 2017
- Atari 65XE – 1MB RAM Upgrade – Ultimate 1MB Revised 2K14 From Lotharek – – GadgetUK164 – Retro Gaming Repairs & Mods
- NPR How I Built This – Atari & Chuck E. Cheese’s: Nolan Bushnell – – Before he turned 40, Nolan Bushnell founded two brands that permanently shaped the way Americans amuse themselves: the iconic video game system Atari, and the frenetic family restaurant Chuck E. Cheese’s.
End of Show Music
- Sam Sings – We Will Rock You – http://atariage.com/forums/blog/572/entry-14044-sam-raaks-yuw/
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Source:: ANTIC Episode 45 – Open Atari
John Skruch, Atarisoft John Skruch worked at Atari from 1982, under Warner Communications, all through the Tramiel era, until 1998 when the company was owned by JTS. During that time, he was operations manager for Atarisoft, the arm of Atari that produced software for competing computer systems; software product manager for the 8-bit computer line; and director of licensing. He was involved wth the design and development of the XM301 modem, and the Atari Lynx game system. This interview took place on March 18, 2017. “Atari was bleeding. We used to kid that there was a guy who would go up on the roof every day at noon and toss a million dollars off the roof, and come back inside.”
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
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
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
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