ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

A Quick Recommendation: Dad Hacker —

Sometimes I find someone weblogging who in fact is holding some very unique knowledge. One of the recent such discoveries made aware to me by a gabillion links is that of Dad Hacker, the weblog of Landon Dyer. Landon worked for Atari and later Apple and a bunch of other concerns, but for the moment it’s his very occasional entries about working at Atari and on Atari projects that’s holding my interest. His weblog goes back six years and is of a wide variety of subjects, so it’s not like he just started down this road.

Like my own little site, one specific post has gotten a lot of attention, and fans have now clung on awaiting further similar pearls to arrive. In his case, it’s Donkey Kong and Me, which is worth the price of admission and much much more. It brings to mind some of the stories of Sinistar, but this narrative of Dyer’s is very personal and very technically specific as he works through his project.

Before you particularly strong-memoried folks jump down his throat, this is about the Atari 8-bit version, not the Atari 2600 version. Just so we’re all clear here.

If you browse through his back archives, very little is about his days of Atari, but the few that are more than make up for it. I hope he continues to dig deeper. Until then, enjoy the handful of worthwhile essays of someone on the ground in the hand-hacking of a classic work.

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  1. Josh Renaud says:

    I also recently found his weblog because of the Donkey Kong post. As a big Atarian, I was really pleased to read his detailed stories.

    He writes not only about the 8-bit line, but also about his work on the team that brought the Atari ST to market so quickly in the mid-1980s after Jack Tramiel bought the company. Great stuff.

  2. Chris says:

    A comment on Dad Hacker’s blog post had a link to this:

    “The documentary provides an enticing look into a world many of us dreamed about and some went on to join. The characters that made up the engineering teams of Atari in the early 80’s found their way into our living rooms through the games that inspired and entertained us all. Their labors produced a touchstone to which we may refer and a commonality that we will all share for the rest of our days. Once Upon Atari contains a portion of all of our history, so how can we not investigate that history further?..”