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Re: [cosmacelf] Interviewing Quest's founder

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  • Andrew Wasson
    I too am interested in the interview. My questions are more of a business nature. I m interested in knowing about how they became Quest. How many people were
    Message 1 of 13 , May 16, 2013
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      I too am interested in the interview. 

      My questions are more of a business nature. 

      • I'm interested in knowing about how they became Quest.
      • How many people were involved. 
      • Who were the pioneers/visionaries and what became of them. 
      • What were their goals in entering the computer field. I'm sure it looked promising at that time but I imagine it was also full of uncertainty. 
      • I wonder why they chose the 1802 rather than one of the other chips that were available. 
      • Did they have a strategic plan, was their market always intended to be experimenters, hobbyists, education or were they looking to do something for consumers and industry?

      That's the sort of stuff I'm interested in.


      On 2013-05-16, at 2:41 PM, Mark Graybill <saundby@...> wrote:


      Personally, I'm very interested in an interview as you describe. The problem is that I'm not coming up with much in the way of specific questions because there's a lot of basic stuff I don't know.

      I became aware of the Netronics Elf II about the time it was available. I got one of those in the summer of 1977. However, I didn't find out about the Super Elf until much later, from the viewpoint of the computers I owned. By the time I found out about the Super Elf, I'd already moved heavily into Z-80s (several homebrews and an S-100 system) and a friend had just talked me into buying my first 6502-based system (a Vic-20) and I'd started building cards for it.

      So I'm not aware of what was available when, and that would color a lot of my questions. Basically I wonder what hard-earned experience and 20/20 hindsight has added to his views on what he did with his business at the time, whether there's anything he'd do different. Different audience, better marketing, a change of CPU, refocusing the platform from being a build-it-up desktop computer to something like a small, low power portable system that gives more of the desktop computer experience than the 65C02 or CMOS Z-80 systems did (which also remained fairly marginal market-wise, aside from the TRS and RS portables.)

      Also, I'm interested in hearing his reflections on the high points of the experience. What were the exciting moments, when everything looked really great, while running the business? Things like getting the core system out the door, or adding a really neat new peripheral, or reaching a new audience and watching the orders come, or seeing a customer use the system in a really neat application.

      Is there a basic history of Quest that I can look up somewhere?

      Also, we were talking about a Netronics Elf III here a while ago. I see we've got so-so scans of the PCB artwork for the Quest Super Elf boards. Maybe we can touch up (or redraw) _these_ into some Gerber files and make up some boards? Since we're just looking to communally come up with new boards for ourselves, non-commercially, I presume that would be OK? And maybe we can release the files as Open Hardware?

      I don't suppose the original artwork is still kicking around anywhere. ;)

      Mark Graybill---------------------------------------------------------------
      Electronics, Books, Video Games, etc.

      On May 14, 2013, at 5:31 PM, Steve Gemeny wrote:


      So all this activity related to Quest reminded me of one of the discussions I had with Roger... that of him telling some of the story of those days.

      He seemed willing but unmotivated at that time. I had this crazy idea - how cool would it be if the original editor of QuestData was willing to interview Roger Pitkin, his former boss and founder of Quest...

      Bill Haslacher has responded favorably, but wonders "what questions would be asked and who would be the audience?"

      So I'll put it to the group.

      If there seems to be enough interest from within the group (or in a wider community) and a sufficient number of candidate questions, I'll email roger to broker the deal.

      Lets start by collecting some questions for the founder of an electronic company in Silicon Valley in the days when Bill and Woz were just playing with Blue Boxes. A company that may have had a hand in setting a lot of folks like us on the paths we've been so lucky to have found...


      Sent by my large thumbs via tiny soft

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