Corey Ostman Remembers the VIC-20
- from an interview conducted by Rick Melick on November 18, 1996

>In his interview, Jimmy Huey described you to be (at the time) a 16 year-old whiz kid. Perhaps you could describe for us your role at Interesting Software, and some of the computer experiences that led up to it.

All of us met through our use of the Ohio Scientific personal computer. I had both an OSI C1P and an OSI C4P. Jim Lin, Hal Lafferty, Jimmy Huey, myself and my mom were all involved in Interesting Software. It was run out of my living room as a mail order business, specializing in OSI, VIC-20 and CBM-64 software. For the most part, the products were games, but I also wrote an operating system for the CBM-64 that gave the machine many of the same features as the Apple II DOS.

I became involved with computers in the 8th grade. We had an Apple II, a couple of programmable HP calculators, and the ability to send punch cards to a mainframe that would compile and run FORTAN programs. At that time, I couldn't afford an Apple II, but I could afford an OSI C1P (which was around $700 at the time). I first learned FORT , then BASIC, then 6502 assembly code. I was hooked.

>I had an opportunity to speak to your wife in an earlier e-mail message, and she said that you two had met on the Internet and recently got married. What else have you been up to since Interesting Software?

Since Interesting Software, I graduated from UC Irvine [ with a mechanical engineering degree -- computer science would have been too boring ;-) ]. I worked for Hughes Aircraft in the flight simulators division for five years and then moved to SYSECA Inc. where I am a Senior Scientist, working on advanced prototyping of software technologies.

>How did your work at Interesting Software help you in your career today?

The knowledge of how to start a company from scratch has been useful in assisting my wife in starting her own company. Beyond that, of course, I've been involved with software ever since.

>In some of the games published by TRONIX appears the word "Dragonfly" in the title screen. Would you describe what this means?

My best recollection is that "Dragonfly" refers to programs authored by Interesting Software folks. I believe that Jimmy Huey's games and my own probably have "Dragonfly" on them. Could you verify this and let me know? I dug through some old sales literature, but couldn't confirm this hypothesis.

>Does the VIC-20 hold a special place for you, or is it no more/less significant than the computer you have on your desk right now?

The VIC-20 does hold a special place for me because it was the first platform for which I published commercial software. The machine had a lot of elegant things going for it, both from a hardware architecture as well as an underlying software base.

>What do you think of the VIC-20 emulators, and the effort to preserve the memory of the VIC-20 for future generations of historical computer enthusiasts?

The emulators are quite cool. I've always been intrigued with emulators ever since one of my colleagues wrote an Apple II emulator for the SGI Indy. Of course, it ran the software (in emulation) about 10 times faster than the original 1 MHz 6502!

- Corey

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