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March 17, 2008 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Dadhacker started his game programming career, like many people, by making a freeware knockoff of a popular arcade game. This got the attention of Atari, who hired him to do the official conversion of Donkey Kong, then Super Pac-Man. After the crash of 1983, he survived a round of layoffs, and was pushed into the development of the Atari ST along with a group of programmers and executives from Commodore.
posted by CrunchyFrog (18 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Zaxxon, a stupid and repetitive scrolling shooter.
Blasphemy!

Donkey Kong — it was loud, pointless and annoying.

And again!

A fun read regardless. Thanks for the link.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:47 AM on March 17, 2008


And by "official conversion" you mean:

No listings, no talking to the engineers, no design documents, nothing. In fact, we had to buy our own copy of the arcade machine and simply get good at the game (which was why I was playing it at the hotel — our copy of the game hadn’t even been delivered yet).

Oof. Pretty cool story.
posted by DU at 8:50 AM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


He also developed one of the most awesome memory storage systems ever. Very cool website.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:12 AM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love it.
posted by GuyZero at 10:04 AM on March 17, 2008


Ah, MetaFilter - a genuine "best of the web" post? Three comments. More axe-grindy Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy wanking? 34 and climbing.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 10:04 AM on March 17, 2008


Brilliant - favourited for the commute home, as these are some lengthy posts! Thanks for posting.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2008


Ah, MetaFilter - a genuine "best of the web" post? Three comments. More axe-grindy Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy wanking? 34 and climbing.

I suppose we could fill this entry with 34 "wow, this guy is really cool" posts, providing you the comforting metrics you seek to validate Landon's inherent brilliance, which many other high-traffic sites have already stated in many ways.
posted by jscott at 10:19 AM on March 17, 2008


The very idea that you have to provide a link to the ST's history is just proof that all you people need to Get Off My Lawn, before I get the hose.

And I find it amazing he's complaining about using an ASM cartridge. I had to load mine off of tape! Both ways! In the snow!
posted by Orb2069 at 10:33 AM on March 17, 2008


Comments aren't a score.

Favourites are a score.
posted by GuyZero at 10:38 AM on March 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Zaxxon.... I loved that game, right up to that part that I could never get past and always frustrated me and I couldn't just jump on the internet and figure it out and AHHHH..

Does anyone know where to download/play zaxxon online?
posted by inigo2 at 10:52 AM on March 17, 2008


You know, as an Amiga zealot, I always thought the ST was a tossed-together piece of shit. I had no idea how right I was.

It did have two really nice features: the monochrome monitor, which was awesome, and the built-in MIDI. The high-res monochrome ST monitor was just outstanding for doing desktop publishing work, and because of that, the really good DTP programs were all on it and the Mac for a long time. And musicians everywhere used the ST for ages. I wouldn't be shocked if some still do.

But it's good to get confirmation of my opinion that the ST was, overall, crap. :)
posted by Malor at 1:09 PM on March 17, 2008


musicians everywhere used the ST for ages. I wouldn't be shocked if some still do.

I saw a documentary recently with Norman Cook showing off his home studio which was, of course, filled with racks and racks of mutated looking crap and expensive synths and keyboards with endless wires linking them together. The really scary thing was at the centre of it was an old Mega ST or Falcon tying them all together with a vast cable dongle hanging out of its arse. When they asked why he was using such an old computer to do all the MIDI controlling he just said it did what needed it to do, it worked every time he turned it on, and he knew the interface completely. It was like, you know in the original incredibly boring Star Trek movie with the big cloud of highly evolved nano machines all heading to earth and at the middle of the multi-AU cloud there's this battered old Voyager probe running it all? It was just like that, only running TOS and GEM.
posted by meehawl at 2:25 PM on March 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Surely the majority of Metafilter users have seen this link on 100 other blogs. Sometimes I think Metafilter is a mirror of Boingboing or Kottke.
posted by jedro at 3:03 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I think Metafilter is a mirror of Boingboing or Kottke.

We are using a web, not a bike chain. You can link to things from more than one place.
posted by tracert at 3:29 PM on March 17, 2008


We are using a web, not a bike chain. You can link to things from more than one place.

Yes, but there was a time when Metafilter actually provided some original links, now it's getting increasingly rare.
posted by jedro at 3:36 PM on March 17, 2008


Dearest Jedro, Metafilter is you.
posted by VulcanMike at 5:52 PM on March 17, 2008


That's my hacker hubby. I love him. (And hopefully this is the only entirely self-serving comment I ever make on MeFi.)
posted by girlhacker at 10:09 PM on March 17, 2008


Good stories. Thanks.
posted by jouke at 12:40 PM on March 18, 2008


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