Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari S1:E7 – Playing Together, Side By Side

This episode takes a slightly more personal turn as twin brother hosts Jeff and Steve Fulton tell stories and relive memories of playing together in both analog and digital ways  in the 1970’s. The episode includes an original non-fiction story by Steve Fulton titled “Big Mouse And Little Mouse 1.0”. This episode also features an interview with Jamie Lendino about his book “Adventure: The Atari VCS At The Dawn Of Console Gaming”.  

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Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari S1:E6 – Interfaces are where two worlds collide

Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari S1:E6 – Interfaces are where to worlds collide

The only thing from the 80’s that could rival our love for Atari was our love for punk rock and new wave, and especially, our favorite band: The Alarm.  In 1987 those two things combined in an unexpected way. So unexpected in fact, that we were only able to fully understand impact of those two world’s clashing more than 30 years later.  This episode documents that journey to understanding.

In 1987 we gave up the “Little Blue Desktop ” of Atari 800 DOS for the Little Green Desktop of the Atari 520 ST.  At that exact moment in time, the music industry was changing dramatically from one that used mostly analog recording practices to adding digital instruments and recording methods into the Studio. The ATARI (ubiquitously known without the ST) mostly in studios was the cheapest, most accurate sequencer on the market.

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Time Bandit

Atari Play field – Atari ST games #1 : Michtron.

Note: (This article was originally written by me – Jeff Fulton – in 2009 for the Retrogaming Times online magazine. The article does not show up anywhere in their archives anymore, so to make sure it is not lost forever, i am putting it here again. It might lead to new articles about ST games)
Atari Play field – Atari ST games #1 : Michtron.

This series of articles will specialize in chronicling the history of games for both the Atari 8-bit and ST (as well as STE, TT, and Falcon) line of computers. In this edition we will cover the very early ST game developer, Michtron.  The goal is to eventually cover all of the major and many of the smaller (some forgotten) releases along the way. Where I can find interviews with the developers and original magazine converge I will make sure to at least quote them to give some context to the games. Finally, if possible, I will re-play each game via emulation and discuss how they stack up with my memories, other games on the system, and games of the era in general.

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S1:E5: All Appointments Life (Asteroids Part 2 )

Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari Season 1, Episode 5: All Appointments Life (Asteroids Part 2 )

This is the second episode where we will be covering the game Asteroids in story and discussion form. We have a story from 8bitjeff, and also very nice contributions Shinto, and Jim Fullerton.

The discussion dives into versions of Asteroids (and clones) after the arcade 2600, 5200 and Vectrex. These the Atari 7800, ST, Lynx, and various versions released for more modern hardware.

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S1:E4: Escape To The Asteroids Zone :Part 1

Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari Season 1, Episode 4:  Escape To The Asteroids Zone : Part 1

Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari Season 1, Episode 4: Escape To The Asteroids Zone Part 1.

In Part One of our two-part extravaganza,  we delve into the that game forms the backdrop of The Vertical Blank: Asteroids. We discuss our experiences with  Atari’s best selling coin-op and discover why this game, in particular, means so much to us. This episode includes a story written by Steve Fulton named, appropriately enough, “Escape To The Asteroids Zone”

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S1:E3: Atari Nerd

Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari Season 1, Episode 3:  Atari Nerd

In this episode we dig up one of our first podcasts from December 2008, which is one of the first Atari dedicated podcasts ever recorded.  This low-fi descent into the aughties, complete with bad mics, driving noise, and half-baked ideas is where we began. It’s also a bit prophetic about Atari in 2018.   We also have a couple short nonfiction pieces by Steve Fulton, a collection update from Jeff, and more.

Our next episode will be about the game Asteroids in all forms including sequels and inspired games.  If you have a story about any Asteroids or related game, please send them to or DM them to @Atari_VB_Pod on Twitter.

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S1: E2: “A Hole Burned In my Pocket: Toys R Us And The Atari 7800″.

Into the Vertical Blank: Growing Up Atari. Season 1 Episode 2: “A hole burned In my Pocket: Toys R Us And The Atari 7800″.

What was the “game cage”? What does it mean to “disconnect” while being “connected”? “Can a hole really be burned in your pocket?” In this episode, the brothers focus on the now closing Toys R Us, not with a history, but with some personal stories, a visit to a closing store, a play session of 7800 games, and a discussion of what the Vertical Blank generation or Generation Atari really is.   Includes the non-fiction story “Claw Hammer” written by Steve Fulton © 2018

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S1:E1: All The Scan Lines Have Been Written

Into The Vertical Blank: Growing Up Atari Season 1 Episode 1 – All The Scan Lines Have Been Written

In this, the real premiere episode, the boys pull out all the production stops to bring some much needed levity and interludes to a game playing session and discussion on modern releases for the Atari 8-bit computers.  Games discussed and Played: Stunt Car Racer, Bosconian, Time Pilot, X:8, Crazy cat and more.

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Toys R Us at (up to) 40% Liquidation – treasure hunt

Steve and I took on a field trip to record part of the Into the Vertical Blank: Growing Up Atari podcast, so say goof bye to Toys R Us, and explain what role it played in being an Atari fan in the last 80’st

It was a pretty disappointing sale, but will show up on episode #2 of the podcast (along with a discussion of a ST games, some game play, and an un-boxing of a new shipment of Atari 8bit equipment).

We did find 3 cool “lego-like” items that build into replicas of Breakout, Frogger and Centipede arcade machines.

3 mini lego-like machines

3 mini lego-like machines

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S1:E0: Into The Vertical Blank Podcast: Newbie

8bitrocket’s Into The Vertical Blank, Growing Up Atari  Ep: 0

This is the test episode of the Into The Vertical Blank, Growing Up Atari. In it, 8bit Jeff (Jeff Fulton from tries out and reviews 5 Atari XL/XE Cartridges (probably won’t work on a 400 or 800) that he recently purchased from Video 61.

This is a very extended version of what was originally going to be a short user submitted addition to the Antic Atari 8bit Podcast.

Extra Show notes for’s New Podcast section: (use above and this)

We have decided to expand the focus to all Atari computers and systems, new and old, review new games we collect, talk about all the systems, and the significance they had in our lives and the lives of others, and even talk about them in an historical context wit the backdrop the times they were released, and how they are being used now.

In the podcast #1 and beyond, Steve Fulton (8bitsteve, twin brother to Jeff, also from will join and start experiencing new games and old with Jeff as they discuss all things Atari.

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