The Atari 400/800 and OSS

Around the time I was finishing up Apple DOS, Atari approached Shepardson Microsystems with a proposal to write a Basic Interpreter for a new home computer they were creating. Little did I know at the time that this overture would start me down a path that would lead to the writing of two books, the founding of a new company, employment at Atari and the start of a very satisfying career as a software engineering manager.

The story of the birth of the Atari 400/800 and OSS is best told by Bill Wilkinson in the introductory chapter of our book, Inside Atari DOS (Compute! Books, ISBN 0-942386-02-7).

Later Bill, my wife Kathleen and I collaborated on another book, The Atari Basic Source Book (Compute! Books, ISBN 0-942386-15-9). This book provides the actual source listing for the Atari Basic and provides a detailed description of each of the code routines.

One final note: Kathleen single handedly wrote the code for the Atari Assembler/Editor cartridge.

A picture of Kathleen and Bill (to the right of Kathleen, back to camera) at the OSS public debut at the West Coast Computer Faire in March, 1981. An interesting side not here is that the company with the booth next to us at the 1982 West Coast Computer Fair was Logitech for whom I have been Director of Software Engineering since 1990. Logitech, a new start up company, was showing its curious new product, a computer mouse. In April, 1996, Logitech celebrated the building of it 100 millionth mouse.