VZ ALiVE

A couple of VZ-ALiVE Interviews.


Interview with a Retro-Geek.
VZ-ALiVE interviews Guy Thomason.


[VZ-A] What's your preferred handle?
[-GT-] Guy if you know me, or intertek if I want to sound smart or you don't believe Guy is a real name

[VZ-A] Do you work in the computer field? In programming?
[-GT-] I work as an analyst/programmer for IBM

[VZ-A] Sounds like a good job. How long have you been interested in computers?
[-GT-] Since about age 13 when I went to the schools computer lab and saw an Apple II (that's about 16 years ago now)

[VZ-A] Around the same time as myself.. What languages do you program in and which do you prefer?
[-GT-] Basic, C, 80x86, Z80, Cobol, Natural, Pascal and dabbled in a few others. I prefer C because you can do a lot with it.

[VZ-A] I'm starting to like C myself.. What motivated you to create the VZ 'Em emulator?
[-GT-] - The VZ was my first and still favourite computer
- Every other old computer had an emulator except the vz
- I still used the vz300 but didn't like the crappy keyboard
- It's an interesting project/hobby
- I wanted to preserve all the old software & games

[VZ-A]
Great! When did you start programming VZ 'Em?
[-GT-] Originally around 1998 but I blew up my computer when I tried to upgrade it myself. I started again in May 1999 and got the sucker working in July.

[VZ-A] I blew my VZ-200 up when playing with a paperclip and the Expansion port. Believe me.. they dont mix =:)
What computer spec and programs do you use to write VZ 'EM?

[-GT-] Most of the work was done on a Pentium 233 notebook. I used turbo C++ v3.0 for dos

[VZ-A]
Okay.. What are your future plans for VZ 'Em?
[-GT-] Keep improving it, fixing the bugs, writing new vz software etc. I can't ever see myself getting sick of it - it's too much fun.

[VZ-A] I feel the same way myself. Where do you see (or hope to see) the VZ in a few years time?
[-GT-] Hopefully a lot more old users will get involved. I'd also like to get a full parts list and try to build one like I see other people doing with old computers. The VZ still has so much potential

[VZ-A] How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?
[-GT-] I'd rather talk about nipples

[VZ-A] Wouldn't we all =;) ... Thanks for chatting with me.


Interview with a Retro-Geek.
VZ-ALiVE interviews Juergen Buchmueller.


[VZ-A] What's your preferred handle?
[-JB-] My handle? I guess you mean nick name here!? It's pullmoll, which is similiar to the name of a brand of sweets in Germany. They're with herbs and are supposed to help if you cough all the time :)

[VZ-A] Sounds like something I could do with right now. How long have you been interested in computers?
[-JB-] Since I first saw one (actually only the terminal). IIRC my very first experience was with a PDPxy on a visitors day in the Max Planck Institut for radio astronomy in Bonn, Germany. I played a text adventure 'The ride after Laramy' and also vaporized dozens of Klingon ships with laser + torpedos being captain Kirk ;) I was about 12-13 then, so this is..umm..23 years ago.

[VZ-A] Quite a while then.. What computers have you helped add support for in MESS?
[-JB-] In (almost) chronlogical order: TRS-80, Colour Genie, Atari 800 / 5200, KIM-1, PC-XT, Laser/VZ, Microbee, ZX80/ZX81 (unfinished). Recently I didn't do new drivers - lack of time ;)

[VZ-A] Not a bad list, I've used some of them myself. What games/other programs have you written?
[-JB-] I mostly wrote games for Colour Genie, back in 1982 to 1984. Not much on other machines. I always was more the 'tool man' ;) A few game titles I remember are: Hektik, Andromeda, Baeng-Baeng, Ballo(o)n, Chopper, Crazy Painter, Poker, Saug (Suck :), Synthi and Zalaga.

[VZ-A] Juergen "The Tool Man" Buchmeuller.. What languages do you program in and which do you prefer?
[-JB-] a) any b) C and clones with similiar syntax

[VZ-A] How did you become involved in Retro-Computing?
[-JB-] It started all after I ruined my old machinesm by heavy usage and fiddling too much with the hardware and i/o ports :) When I couldn't get replacement parts for the Video Genie 3003 (= System80) and my Colour Genie anymore, I started writing a Z80 emulation in x86 assembly language. I still have an old trs80 emulator of mine lying around somewhere. It worked on a 12MHz 286, which was my machine when I wrote it. Much later I became aware of the internet and soon stumbled across MAME. Of course was interested in how they emulated the Z80. I followed the development for about a year and I then sent in some bugfixes and extensions for the Z80 core and was soon added to the developers list.

[VZ-A] Nothing stirs innovation like a dead PC. Which is your favourite Retro-Computer? And Why?
[-JB-] It's still the TRS-80 because a) it is _the_ Z80 machine and Z80 is my 2nd language ;) I wrote most games on the Colour Genie using a hex editor. b) it has simple hardware / video and the games had thus to be intelligent and appealing to attract people. c) it was the most widely spread of the very early homecomputers, I think even more than the PET. Maybe Apple // was close, but I didn't really like the limited 6502 instruction set.

[VZ-A] I actually programmed more technical Assembly on 6502 (C=64) than Z80 (VZ-300). What are your future plans in regards to Retro-Computing / Programming / MESS etc ?
[-JB-] I'm currently working on a (big) database to allow searching through info for all the emulated and not yet emulated games. With MAME now having 2293 drivers and about 1500 more (partially unknown) ROM sets being dumped + available, it's about time to try to organize and cross reference it all. Otherwise I'm always looking into what is needed. I did some discrete sound emulations for MAME drivers and might do more if somebody asks me to do so :)

[VZ-A] Wow! Huge job there. What is your favourite Retro-Game? (Defense Command, perhaps? =;)
[-JB-] Defense Command was one of the better games, yes. But the game I played most on the TRS-80 was Star Fighter (stfig1). You could say it was something like a very early version of Elite. I still remember the key combinations for 'combat mode'. C: combat beam on B: beacon on T: identify target 1: slow motion I also liked Dancing Demon and Android Nim because of the graphics.

[VZ-A] Why do men have nipples?
[-JB-] Because they're an invention of nature which was derived from the womens physics. Men are good for one thing - you know which one ;) Simply put: men are a bastardization of women. Or maybe the nipples are just a good joke of God to give us something to discuss about. You decide :)

[VZ-A] Anything else you would like to add..
[-JB-] Love, peace and understanding. Don't do to anybody what you don't want to happen to you.
Cheers
Juergen


[VZ-A] Thank you .. and good night.


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