ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Experiment Successful! Two More GET LAMP Interviews —

So the initial experiment with Chuck Benton turns out to have been pretty successful – the resulting video is clear, clean, well-mic’d, and provides you pretty much all the relevant statements on the subject of GET LAMP-related ideas. Someone mentioned a cut-off here and there, and unfortunately it’s been too many years to know why I might have done that, but it would never have been to avoid having a clip with something unusual/terrible – it would have been that he stopped and moved onto a new subject.

There is video noise reduction going on, and this slows the whole rendering process absolutely dramatically – it takes something like 4-6 hours for the system to render a 15-20 minute set of clips. As it is, with me in Australia and doing other things, making my machine do this via a VNC connection has very little personal pain of my main machine being tied up, so I’ve moving ahead with whatever are low-hanging fruit.

Therefore, I’m happy to point you to two more interviews uploaded:

Warren Robinett was the creator of Adventure for the Atari 2600, and in doing so, he pioneered all sorts of advances in gameplay for videogames. After a year or two, we finally got things working and we did a very short interview in San Jose – almost all of this material is on the DVD in either the main movie or in a couple bonus features I put him in. In fact, it was so short I remember us finishing and him going “Really? That’s it?” – but that was all I needed and I wasn’t going to grill him on random Atari history in this context. I was just pleased to get what we got.

John Romero contacted me about being in GET LAMP, because he’d done contractor work in his early days as a programmer, and one of those contract jobs was Infocom. I ended up giving him not too much notice, on a Sunday, and he personally let me into the building where he was working and we did the interview just before I drove at top speed to catch a flight out of California.  There’s all this bullshit around this guy from the people whose contribution to gaming was to ensure Frito-Lay stayed in business, but I have now interacted with him multiple times both with this film and elsewhere and he is a fantastic dude, open and generous and informed.

I’ll have more interviews up soon – right now I’m rendering Scott Adams, and the machine has told me it will take 26 hours. Good thing I don’t have to be there! With Scott Adams’ being done, I’ll create a GET LAMP interview collection on and you can keep track of that.

Hooray for history!

Categorised as: computer history | documentary

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  1. Michael says:

    Why have you chosen to join us in Australia in the middle of Winter? Are you mad? I know in particular our Sydney Winters are very mild, but all the same, you won’t be able to jump in the water down in Bondi!
    But you can still enjoy a few *real* beers while you’re here anyway.

    • Jason Scott says:

      My rule is if you have f’in palm trees you don’t really have winters. If surprised stray cats greet the morning frozen solid, you have winters. I’ve been adoring my time in Sydney, hit a lot of the sights, and never wear a sweater, much less a jacket. Looking forward to what Melbourne and NZ hold next.

  2. […] obsessive-archivist colleague Jason Scott released the full interview with John Romero which he conducted for his “GET LAMP” […]

  3. Rubes says:

    Hooray for Jason, too. I mean, let’s be serious.