Vintage computing Podcast for all types of retrocomputers
host: Randy Kindig
email: floppydays@gmail.com
twitter: @floppydays
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/floppydays/
on iTunes and Stitcher Radio (www.stitcher.com)
part of the Throwback Network (throwbacknetwork.net)

Interview with Michael Tomczyk, Vic-20 Commando Team Leader at Commodore

Welcome to the Floppy Days Podcasts, where old computers are the best computers and new old computers are even better.  Last month, I covered the history of the Vic-20 computer with the help of Neil Harris, Brian Bagnall, and Michael Tomczyk.  Although I used some audio clips from each of those gentlemen to walk through the history timeline, I actually have a full-blown interview with each that I want to share with you over the span of three episodes.  For this episode, I will be publishing the interview with Michael Tomczyk.  Michael was with Commodore for some time, was an assistant to none other than Jack Tramiel, and was the leader of the team known as the Vic Commando Team.  He was happy to talk about his time at Commodore and turned out to be a very interesting interview and a great guy with which to talk.

Before we get to that, I do have a few housekeeping items to cover, such as a few new acquisitions, some brief news, and a bit of feedback.

Links Mentioned in the Show:

New Acquisitions

News

References

Direct download: 70FloppyDays_2017_02_Michael_Tomczyk_Interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT
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The Commodore Vic-20 - History, with Brian Bagnall, Michael Tomczyk, and Neil Harris

Welcome to episode 69 of the Floppy Days Podcast, where our computers may be old, but that’s why we love them.

In the vintage computer timeline, we are in 1980.  The next computer I want to discuss that debuted that year is the Commodore Vic-20.  The Vic-20 is significant because it was the first color computer to sell for less than $300, at a time when other home computers with color graphics were 2 to 4 times that amount.  It also was the first home computer of any type to sell over 1 million units.

In this first episode about the Vic-20, I want to cover the history of this machine: why it was developed, some of the stories around its development, what happened after its release, and when it was canceled.  To that end, I contacted some notable persons that were involved with the roll-out and support of the Vic-20, as well as a person who was involved in documenting Commodore’s history.  The first person I contacted was Michael Tomczyk, who was an assistant to Jack Tramiel at Commodore and who led the so-called “Vic Commando Team”.  Michael was intimately involved in the marketing and support of the Vic.  In addition, a key member of his team, Neil Harris, agreed to help with this episode as well.  And, finally, I talked with Brian Bagnall, who you might recognize as the author of “Commodore: A Company on the Edge”.  This is an amazing line up of people who are very familiar with the Vic-20 and its history and I’m very lucky to have been able to get their assistance with telling its story.

Before we jump into that, I will cover a few new vintage computer items I’ve acquired, cover a bit of news, and cover a bit of feedback I’ve received.

Links Mentioned in the Show:

New Acquisitions

News

Feedback

References

Direct download: 69FloppyDays_2017_01_Commodore_Vic-20_History.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT
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Interview with Bill Kemper, HP Employee and HP Series 80 Software Engineer

Hello, again, and welcome to episode 68 of the Floppy Days Podcast.  This will be a fairly short, interview-only show.  As a final piece of the recent series of podcasts on the HP Series 80 family of machines, I was able to sit down and talk with Mr. William Kemper.  Bill worked directly on software for the HP Series 80 and later was the manager of software engineering for the line until it was canceled.  He then continued on for some time with HP until the merger with Compaq around 2002.  In the interview, we discuss Everett Kaser, who worked for Bill, and who was one of my co-hosts for the HP Series 80 podcasts.

Links Mentioned in the Show:

HP Series 80 Forum at groups.io - https://groups.io/g/hpseries80

Direct download: 68FloppyDays_2017_01_Bill_Kemper_interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT
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