I wish I could have made it to VCF East this weekend!

There is a LOT of work going into a database on the back end of this site at the moment.

I think it’s going to be pretty special, but news reporting is suffering as a result. Apologies for any news I miss in the meantime!

XL/XE Podcast – Ghostbusters & Seven Cities of Gold

Adam and Bob are back and discussing some of my favourite games! The guys are laugh out loud funny as usual *Note: not all the language is PG rated* as they reminisce and replay some of the best games on the Atari. This time they cover the iffy politics of Seven Cities of Gold while they enjoy butchering natives, get confused and lost in Hacker (Probably a loose Phlamson Joint) and defeat Mr Stay Puft in Ghostbusters. Download from anywhere good podcasts are brewed.

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Into the Vertical Blank Podcast S2 E1:

The Into the Vertical Blank Podcast is back for a new season (and with a new logo!), this time Jeff and Steve bring their unique podcasting style and banter to focus on the Atari classic “Food Fight” and specifically why it hasn’t appeared on any of the Atari retro game collections and includes an in depth interview with Jonathan Hurd, creator on the Food Fight arcade game for GCC and Atari.

Head on over to 8-Bit Rocket to get the show notes and have a listen, or if you’re a seasoned podcast listener, download and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Renderific, the SVG Renderer

Kevin Savetz has been working on a Renderer for SVG files in Turbo BASIC. In a remarkably short time he has gone from simple lines to the results below.

Starting with simple rectangles, he has gone on to add Circles, Ellipses, Lines, PolyLines, Polygons, Scaling, Paths, Subpaths, Curves and Polybéziers. I’m sure we are all anxiously awaiting the Fill routine.

You can follow along with the progress and offer words of encouragement on Twitter here.

Update: “Renderific” Has been released. There is now a topic for it on AtariAge here

The Atari Accountant

The Atari Accountant series of software was said not to exist. Mentioned only in a few adverts from 1981, some promo materials and a couple of people talking about the 1980 CES where it was announced. This fabled software came in three modules, General Accounting, Accounts Receivable, and Inventory Control each to retail for $500 and required a new double density, twin drive device, also announced at the same show, called the Atari 815 that would cost an additional $1200, an Atari 850 interface module and an Atari 825 printer!

The “Ill Fated” Atari 815

Bill Lange over at ATARI 8-bit Ads did a lot of research into the Atari Accountant at the end of last year, starting with a mention of it in the Atari Bean Counter Ad from September 1980 which is well worth the time required to read it. Bill mentions that only a few copies of this expensive and short lived product are known to exist and that the software has never been archived.

Curt Vendel the famed Atari archivist and founder of the Atari Museum mentioned that he had a copy of the Atari Accountant he found while dumpster diving behind some of Atari’s buildings in Sunnyvale and loaned it to Kevin Savetz who scanned all the documents and with the technical input from experts on AtariAge, archived the disks which sadly had some bad sectors on them. Fortunately there were two copies of the disks and a complete copy was patched together from the dumps.

The Atari Accountant, Minimum System Requirements!

These disks wouldn’t work in any drive except the Atari 815 so DjayBee from AtariAge cracked the protection and produced new images that could be used in any drive.

Roland Wassenberg (luckybuck on AtariAge) has done a painstaking job of collecting all the information together and presenting it on the Atari Wiki, this entry is still growing as more information becomes available.

So there we are. After 38 years and the efforts of an international group of people, the generous donation of extremely rare software, and the careful archiving of same, we now have a working copy of The Atari Accountant, with full documentation, preserved for the future.

I’ve included a link here to a download of the original and patched software and the scanned documentation.