Twiggys [was: Re: ka... ching!]

jim stephens jwsmail at
Mon Oct 10 15:21:18 CDT 2016

On 10/10/2016 1:03 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 10/10/2016 11:32 AM, Geoffrey Oltmans wrote:
>> Apologies for saying this, but it almost sounds like to me that you
>> are validating their "no mainframe programmers wanted" stance. ;)
> Not really--it seems to me that a great deal of early work with
> microprocessors was successfully done by mainframe people.
> No, I think that Nolan Bushnell was repulsed by the high level of
> organization in the mainframe business and wanted more of a "bootleg"
> software operation; i.e. not products that would last for years.
> It was a bit ironic, because most of those feeding quarters into the
> racecar game machine at Andy Capp's were, in fact, mainframe people.
> --Chuck
A friend of mine was hired by them and moved up there.  He did the 
following games for the 2600, BERZERK, Mario Bothers, SwordQuest 
(Earthworld), Gravitar, and Elevator Action.

He went from Microdata to Atari.  His background was in assembly and 
basic.  While @ Microdata he wrote an 8080 emulator which would do a 
fair amount which ran in MPL on the 3200 systems we had, so that was 
something that surely helped him @ Atari.  His main work @ Microdata was 
diagnostic writing, as far as the "day" job.

I would say that Microdata with 2000+ employees was certainly a 
"mainframe" sized organization, and that didn't stop them from taking 
him on.

Leaving his name off the post, you can google it, so that he doesn't 
have yet another spam catcher in the archives of this list.

One thing you got on the 2600, was almost nothing to do your programming 
on.  There was the rom with lots of code space, but there was I think 
either 256 or 512 bytes of ram total, and 1/2 of it was owned by the 
"system" such as it was.  Fun environment to code for.  The processor 
was 6502.

If you are talking about the arcade operation here in this thread, that 
was separate from the programming staff for the consoles.

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