ANTIC Interview 396 - Kai and George Esbensen, Micro-Ed Software

42:42
 
Chia sẻ
 

Manage episode 271942483 series 28049
Thông tin tác giả Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, Brad Arnold, Randy Kindig, Kay Savetz, and Brad Arnold được phát hiện bởi Player FM và cộng đồng của chúng tôi - bản quyền thuộc sở hữu của nhà sản xuất (publisher), không thuộc về Player FM, và audio được phát trực tiếp từ máy chủ của họ. Bạn chỉ cần nhấn nút Theo dõi (Subscribe) để nhận thông tin cập nhật từ Player FM, hoặc dán URL feed vào các ứng dụng podcast khác.

Kai and George Esbensen, Micro-Ed Software I first heard about the Micro-Ed software company when a member of the Atari community sent me a batch of educational cassette tapes to digitize. The tapes had titles like Maps and Globes, Punctuation, and Spelling Level E. Intriguingly, the tape labels said "Micro-Ed, creators of more than 2,500 programs, pre-school through adult." 2,500 programs? Why had I never heard of this company? I asked 4AM, a software preservationist specializing in the Apple II — and specializing in little-known educational software — if they had heard of the company. The answer was also no. So I started to research. A two-page advertisement in Compute! magazine issue 4, May 1980, provided my first glimpse into the company: "LOOK at all the MICRO-ED programs for the PET!" The titles listed include Agreement of Subject and Verb; Run on Sentences; Higher, Same, Lower; Word Demons; and (oddly) Usage Boners. Many of the software tapes were sold in packs, for instance $84 for a pack of 12 elementary school programs. $49.95 for a grade's worth of spelling lessons on 7 tapes. An item in the Washington Apple Pi journal, four years later, January 1984, intrigued me: "$10,000 EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE GIVEAWAY. Micro-Ed Incorporated has announced its willingness to donate up to $10,000 worth of software to any school district, Special Education cooperative, or parent group willing to establish a school-to-home lending library. No limit has been established on the number of grants Micro-Ed will make. The donation is not contingent upon the purchase of any Micro-Ed products. ... Thorward Esbensen, Micro-Ed's president, 'envisions the establishment of a free lending library of educational software for families.'" Less than a year later, in November 1984, the Commodore magazine The Transactor (v5n3) wrote that Micro-Ed had donated "more than a half million dollars worth of its instructional programs to school systems" for those free software lending libraries. So. Micro-Ed was established in 1979 by Thorward (Tory) Esbensen. Based in Eden Prairie, MN, the company specialized in low-cost educational software. The software, written in the BASIC programming language, was available for Commodore PET, VIC-20, and Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, TRS-80, and Texas Instruments computers. Micro-Ed's best-known title was perhaps "Trail West," an Oregon Trail-like game. Mr. Esbensen died in 2012. I interviewed two of his sons, both of whom worked with their father at Micro-Ed. First, I talked with Kai Esbensen, the youngest in the family. Kai told me in email: "My siblings had all moved out by the time Micro-Ed was in motion, but I lived it. Helping out with Micro-Ed was my first paid job, in 2nd/3rd grade, and I was still on the payroll helping out through age 22." This interview took place on May 28, 2020. ... Next, I talked with Kai's older brother, George Esbensen, who was a salesman for Micro-Ed, and later was president of Cycle Software Services, a software duplication company that spun off from Micro-Ed. This interview took place on June 3, 2020. Very old Micro-Ed/Thorwald Esbensen web site AtariMania's partial list of Micro-Ed Software for Atari Micro-Ed advertisement in Compute! magazine May 1980 Thorwald Esbensen obituary in StarTribune Thorwald Esbensen obituary in Duluth News Tribune Washington Apple Pi, January 1984 The Transactor v5n3

514 tập