500 episodes

We cover Atari news, reviews, and a special feature each show for the Atari 8-bit line of computers (400/800/XL/XE/XEGS)

ANTIC The Atari 8-bit Podcast Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold

    • News
    • 4.9 • 96 Ratings

We cover Atari news, reviews, and a special feature each show for the Atari 8-bit line of computers (400/800/XL/XE/XEGS)

    ANTIC Episode 78 - The Extremely Elderly Computer Geeks Club

    ANTIC Episode 78 - The Extremely Elderly Computer Geeks Club

    ANTIC Episode 78 -  The Extremely Elderly Computer Geeks Club
    In this episode of ANTIC The Atari 8-Bit Computer Podcast… We discuss lots of new things you can do with your FujiNet, the differences in FujiNet versions, the Old Computer Geeks Club, and other recent Atari news...
    Recurring Links 
    Floppy Days Podcast 
    Kevin’s Book “Terrible Nerd” 
    New Atari books scans at archive.org 
    ANTIC feedback at AtariAge 
    Atari interview discussion thread on AtariAge 
    Interview index: here 
    ANTIC Facebook Page 
    Eaten By a Grue 
    Next Without For 
    What We’ve Been Up To
    Interesting conversation with Mike Albaugh - https://twitter.com/KaySavetz/status/1388206215356829696?s=20  2013 Mike Albaugh interview: https://archive.org/details/MikeAlbaughInterview  Brian Manning - Academy on Computers tapes and newsletters https://archive.org/details/@savetz?query=academy+on+computers TIARA - The Internet Archive Research Assistant - https://github.com/savetz/tiara 
    FujiNet - Astronomy Pic of the Day (APOD) - http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/fujinet-apod/?fbclid=IwAR3gDo6hV8Sgx4fPgcfE-5s0n26Rpe7jD_3O8V-vbAVPbFx5yq2gEzBoLYc by Bill Kendrick  Latest Atari Projects - http://atariprojects.org/  Purchase and Assemble a SpartaDOS X Cartridge (15-30 mins) Explore Demoscene Demos (15-30 mins)  Explore ANALOG Computing Magazine (30-60 mins) Purchase a 3D Printed Case for your SIO2PC (10-15 mins) Michael Darland died - https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-394-michael-darland-microperipheral-corporation-and-sofcast  and John Skruch, Atarisoft: https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-299-john-skruch-atarisoft  https://www.facebook.com/john.skruch  Personalized dust covers for the Atari XL series. - https://atariage.com/forums/topic/320047-personalized-dust-covers-for-the-atari-xl-series/ - nowy80  Dust covers for 1200XL users - https://atariage.com/forums/topic/318555-good-news-for-1200xl-lovers-new-dust-covers - "papa*nannysfunstuff"  Kilobyte Magazine - Jason Worley - https://archive.org/details/@kilobyte_magazine  Atari XE PCB Remake Pre-Order Thread - https://atariage.com/forums/topic/319881-atari-xe-remake-pre-order-thread/  Sokoban 2021 http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=8029  Old Computer Geeks Club (OCGC) - https://www.facebook.com/groups/atari8bitcomputers/permalink/3918610088176468/ - Monthly meeting  Shows
    Upcoming Shows where you might see Atari computers (or Atari people): KansasFest July 23-24 https://www.kansasfest.org ; virtual event VCF West August 7 & 8, 2021: Vintage Computer Festival West , The Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA  VCFSE Aug 20-22 https://gameatl.com/vintage-computing-festival-southeast-8-0-at-sfge/ or http://southernfriedgameroomexpo.com/ , Atlanta, GA VCF Midwest Sep 11-12 http://vcfmw.org/announce , Elmhurst, IL (Chicago) Fujiama Sep. 12-19, Lengenfeld, Germany, http://fujiama.eu/  VCF East October 8, 9, 10, 2021: Vintage Computer Festival East , Wall, NJ Event page created by Chicago Classic Computing - http://chiclassiccomp.org/events.html?fbclid=IwAR3Fm5hf7PCQj0yXBxXvj9J8Mp8GDwD2w1bfD_qktpPOnNYNoQUmN_EpgB8  Event page created by Floppy Days - https://www.facebook.com/VintageComputerShows/  Event page on Vintage Is The New Old - https://vintageisthenewold.com/vintage-is-the-new-old-releases-new-events-calendar/  YouTube videos this month
    Spectrum, Commodore, and Atari emulators for Android - IT Guy in Action - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX9sj8OoK2Y&t=0s  3D rendering of 800, 810 drive, and Amdek monitor by EmuRetro - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCA5UshDfpY  How I built my modern Atari XL computer by GeSpy Build Stuff - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fbeg5dx5CE  Atari 800XL: Sophia 2 DVI video upgrade - by Mr. Lurch’s Thin

    • 58 min
    ANTIC Interview 417 - Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

    ANTIC Interview 417 - Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow

    ANTIC Interview 417 - Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow
    Interviews and research by Kay Savetz

    Imagine this. It's 1983 or 1984. You're drudging through yet another day of middle school or high school. But today, there's a surprise, a break from the monotony. The teacher tells your class to put away their stuff and go to the gym, or the cafeteria, or the auditorium. Today, there will be an assembly.

    As you and your class -- and all the other classes -- get settled in the uncomfortable folding chairs, or the bleachers, or even the floor, you take in the scene: two large projection screens. Some speakers and audio equipment you haven't seen before. One of your peers is getting ready to run a spotlight. Then, this enthusiastic person -- older than you but really not by much -- explains why you're here. Today, at this assembly, you're going to learn about computers.

    The lights go down, the spotlight comes up on that energetic host, and you realize this is a different sort of school assembly than you've seen before. Two projectors come on, lighting those two big screens -- it's a synchronized wide-screen movie. The presenter -- that not-much-older-than-you person -- talks to the screens, interacting with the movie and talking to the audience too. It's kind of corny, but your peers seem interested so you keep watching.

    The show discusses the basics of computer operation, and how computers work differently than the human brain. There's a scene where the computers talk in voices like people. There's a section about robots, and a part where Suzanne Ciani shows how she makes music using computers. It touches on computer art, and the social implications of computers in the world.

    40 minutes later, the show is over, and it's back to class. You learned a few things about computers, and talk about the assembly with your friends at lunch. Maybe you'll ask your parents for a computer for your birthday.

    This scenario played out more or less exactly that way for more than a million middle school and high school students in 1983 and 1984. The assembly was called "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" and it was financed by Atari.

    According to a 1983 article in InfoWorld: "Atari has a fleet of ... people traveling around the country giving the Atari multimedia presentation 'Expressway to Tomorrow' to a minimum of 500 people per performance at high-school assemblies."

    (Full disclosure, the article claimed "Atari has a fleet of 700 people" putting on the show, but I can't believe that number is accurate. More likely the number was closer to 7.)

    The traveling show would visit 2,000 schools in 1983, and was booked a year in advance. With the required minimum attendance of 500 students per show, that's a million kids. More than a million kids saw this assembly. that year.

    The September 1983 issue of Personal Computing magazine said: "Since January 1983, nine separate touring units have crisscrossed the United States, presenting the show to nearly 1,400 public and private schools — a total of 1.2 million students to date. Touring begins again this September after the summer break, and will run through December 1984." In reality, I believe the show ended by mid-1984.

    According to that article: "The show is a lively one, with the host on stage for the entire presentation. Several film projectors are going at once, filling two huge screens with fast-moving shots. Music is constant throughout. The host is busy either talking to the audience or interacting with characters on screen.  ...The program aims to give people [a] feeling of comfort about computing. The show focuses on the many applications of computers today, from storing recipes to teaching a language, to tutoring."

    What survives of this show today? Not much that I know about so far. We don't have the film or the script. Audio tapes were available to help the

    • 2 hr 4 min
    ANTIC Interview 416 - Bob Evans, Capital Children's Museum administrator

    ANTIC Interview 416 - Bob Evans, Capital Children's Museum administrator

    Bob Evans, Capital Children's Museum administrator

    This is the fourth in our series of interviews about the Atari computers at the Capital Children's Museum.

    Bob Evans wore many hats at the museum: he was director of special exhibits, where he worked on the museum's exhibit on the history of human communication, which used several computers, both public-facing and behind the scenes. He was administrator of Superboots, the museum's software publishing lab -- it published the computer art program PAINT! but no other software. Bob was administrator of The Future Center, the museum's public computer lab, and administrator of the museum's summer computer camp for disadvantaged youth.

    This interview took place on April 22, 2021.

    ANTIC Interview 391 - Tracy Frey, Atari Birthday Girl
    ANTIC Interview 410 - Ann Lewin-Benham, Director of Capital Children's Museum

    ANTIC Interview 415 - Peter Hirshberg, CCM computer center director

    • 32 min
    ANTIC Interview 415 - Peter Hirshberg, Capital Children's Museum

    ANTIC Interview 415 - Peter Hirshberg, Capital Children's Museum

    Peter Hirshberg, Capital Children's Museum

    Peter Hirshberg was curator of the communications wing of the Capital Children's Museum in the early 1980s, where he helped build The Future Center, the computer lab outfitted with Atari 800 computers; and museum exhibits, some of which were computer controlled.

    This interview took place on April 12, 2021. In it, we discuss Ann Lewin-Benham, director of the museum; and Guy Nouri, from the Superboots lab, both of whom I previously interviewed.

    Compu-tots and Other Joys of Museum Life by Peter Hirshberg, Instructional Innovator, Sept 1981

    ANTIC Interview 410 - Ann Lewin-Benham, Director of Capital Children's Museum

    ANTIC Interview 407 - Guy Nouri, Interactive Picture Systems

    Finding Home Computer Uses, NY Times article by Andrew Pollack

    Gray Area art and technology center

    This interview on YouTube

    • 1 hr 12 min
    ANTIC Interview 414 - Bob Puff, Computer Software Services

    ANTIC Interview 414 - Bob Puff, Computer Software Services

    Bob Puff, Computer Software Services

    Bob Puff is owner of Computer Software Services, a company that began creating hardware and software for the Atari 8-bit computers in 1982. Bob became president of the company in 1991. He designed a bevy of hardware products for the Atari computers, including The Black Box, a hard drive host adapter; The Multiplexer, a networking system; the UltraSpeed Plus operating system upgrade; upgrades for the XF551 floppy drive; the Super-E Burner EPROM burner; and others. He also created a number of popular utility programs, including the BobTerm terminal program; Disk Communicator, to convert boot disks to a single compressed file for transfer over modem; and MYDOS version 4.53; among other software.

    This interview took place on April 27, 2021.

    Computer Software Services legacy site

    1993 Computer Software Services catalog scan

    ANTIC Interview 393 - Charles Marslett, MYDOS and FastChip

    • 46 min
    ANTIC Interview 413 - Valerie (Atkinson) Manfull, Atari Game Research Group

    ANTIC Interview 413 - Valerie (Atkinson) Manfull, Atari Game Research Group

    Valerie (Atkinson) Manfull, Atari Game Research Group

    Valerie Atkinson was a member of Atari's Game Research Group. Now named Valerie Manfull, she was on the team that designed and programmed the game Excalibur, along with Chris Crawford and Larry Summers. Excalibur was published by Atari Program Exchange in fall 1983. She is also one of the programmes of Ballsong, along with Douglas Crockford. Ballsong is a music and graphics demo program released by Atari, in which a ball bounces on the screen in response to an improvised tune. She was one of the programmers, with Ann Marion, of TV Fishtank, a demonstration of an artificially intelligent fish. (It's unclear if the fishtank program was released anywhere, though it apparently was shown at the 1984 SIGgraph conference.)

    This interview took place on April 22, 2021.

    ANTIC Episode 4 - Chris Crawford

    ANTIC Interview 240 - Douglas Crockford

    TV Fishtank at SIGgraph

    Jim Leiterman describes TV Fishtank

    Chris Crawford describes the development of Excalibur in The Art of Computer Game Design

    Excalibur announced in Atari Program Exchange, fall 1983

    Excalibur review in Atari Connection

    Excalibur at AtariMania

    Video of Ballsong

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 Ratings

TwoThumbBob ,

Get your 8 bit out of the closet

The podcast is a joy to listen to. I learn new things every show and relive great memories. I put my 130xe away years ago because floppies and hardware were getting scarce. I will be setting it back up now that I know about all the new hardware that makes this wonderful machine useful again. Thanks guys, will be a longtime listener.

gyachts ,

Love reliving my old 8-bit days

Love the show, got a late start and found it after I started building up my 8-bit Atari computer collection again. I really enjoy the review and interviews.

Dneedham ,

Thoroughly enjoyable

I'm binge listening to all of the episodes now. Great show and brings back a lot of fond memories of my 800xl. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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