Seattle, Washington — June 19, 2017 — Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and Robert Clardy are proud to announce the immediate availability of his autobiography Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software.
Cyber Jack chronicles Robert Clardy’s adventures throughout his self-made career as a computer programmer. He shares business advice, humorous stories, and insightful experiences of creating and expanding Synergistic Software – a company best-known for popular computer games for the Apple II, Atari, IBM PC, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, and Mac. During the past 37 years of programming and publishing software, Clardy either wrote, designed, or directed the development of over 400 published programs. He changed the way users related to their computers and the games that they played. For example, Dungeon Campaign released in 1978 was the first graphical RPG adventure. While he enjoyed creating and publishing software, Clardy made sure to have fun along the way while revolutionizing the computer industry…
Robert Clardy says, “When Brian Wiser and Bill Martens approached me about sharing the history of Synergistic Software, I was only mildly interested. I have a life-long habit of moving on from each experience, looking forward to what might come next, rather than dwelling on the past. Fortunately, they persuaded me to share some stories from my years in the computer game business. I had a blast recalling the excitement of that time, as new computers were released, and eager programmers strove to turn each new piece of hardware into something that could educate, entertain, and revolutionize the productivity of its new owners. I met and worked with hundreds of brilliant collaborators during those years, sharing the triumphs of our new ventures, and the pain of losing some great talents and equally great businesses along the way. I hope you will enjoy my memories of the passion of those early days of the computer revolution. It was a turbulent time and the joyful chaos we shared is something everyone should experience sometime in their life.”
Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software is available through the A.P.P.L.E. bookstore with production and fulfillment by Lulu.com.
Synergistic Software: The Early Games is available through the A.P.P.L.E. bookstore with production and fulfillment by Lulu.com. Disk images for these games can be downloaded here.
• 200 pages of Synergistic Software development history, business and personal advice, and fun adventures complete with photos.
• Written by Robert C. Clardy, the founder of Synergistic Software.
• Clardy has been a computer game developer and programmer for home desktop computers and video game machines during the entire lifespan that those devices have existed – from the late 1970s through the 1990s and beyond. He has programmed, developed or designed over 400 software titles.
- Chapters Include: Focusing on Imaginary Computers: Not Growing Up During the IT Revolution, The “Rocket Scientist”, The Lone Programmer: Struggling to Create an Electronic Dungeon Master, Taking a Sabbatical, A.P.P.L.E. – A Gaggle of Geeks, The Greater Apple Community, Becoming a Software Publisher: Not Just Games Now, Moving the Home Office into a Real Office, Synergistic Office Rules, Becoming a Manager: Where’s the Gel When You Need It?, Tricks of the Trade: Getting the Most from the Hardware, The Greater Apple Community – Part 2, The Move to Contract Programming: Working with Attila the Hun, Contracting in the Wilderness, The Mastertronic Years, Testing and Testers, The Struggle to Just Play a Game, The Studio Life – A Team of Teams: Joining with Sierra On-Line, A Hiatus from My Sabbatical, A Software Life Away from Gaming, Navigating the Murky Waters of Partnerships, Other Ad-ventures Away from the Computer, Becoming a Cyber Jack, and Software Credits.
Robert C. Clardy has been a computer game developer and programmer for home desktop computers and video game machines during the entire lifespan that those devices have existed – over 20 years from the late 1970s through the 1990s and beyond. His experiences encompass birth pains, growth pains, triumphs, failures of the industry, and the many businesses that sprang up and thrived or died during those years. In 1979, Robert quit his stable and secure-career job with Boeing Aerospace, founded Synergistic Software, and devoted his life to writing software for the Apple II as well as other new home desktop computers as they appeared. Robert wrote adventure games first, but later, the search for change encouraged him to also write utility, business, and educational software. Synergistic’s computer software development included systems such as the Apple II, Apple IIGS, Atari 800, Atari ST, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Macintosh, and the IBM PC, along with video game systems such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
Synergistic Software was well-known for their variety of games, including: Dungeon Campaign, Wilderness Campaign, Bolo, Crisis Mountain, Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure, Apventure to Atlantis, Microbe, and many others. Beyond Synergistic’s own published games, Robert adapted, produced, and programmed noteworthy computer titles published by other companies such as: Aargh, New York Warriors, Sidewinder, Thexder, War In Middle Earth, Spirit of Excalibur, Conan: The Cimmerian, and many others. Memorable arcade game adaptations include: Donkey Kong Jr., Jungle Hunt, Pole Position, and Pitstop II. He produced software not only for his own company, but also for other major publishers such as Atari, Activision, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Epyx, Sierra On-Line, Mindscape, Sony Imageworks, Time Warner, and Virgin Games.
That pursuit of new experiences colored the rest of Robert’s life as well, as he sought out personal adventures in the real world. While never the most extreme at anything he tried, Robert has always been comfortable with where he was, what he did, and the sheer exuberance that comes from trying new things and finding he truly loved every minute of it. If there is a motto for his life, it would have to be, “That was fun, what’s next?”
Brian Wiser — Producer of books, films, games, and events, as well as an Apple consultant, historian and archivist. Designer, editor, and co-producer of dozens of books including: Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From The Computing Revolution, Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Graphically Speaking: Enhanced Edition, What’s Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition, and The WOZPAK Special Edition – an important Apple II historical book with Steve Wozniak’s restored original, technical handwritten notes. Producer/Director of the documentary film “Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity“, his Browncoat Cruise convention with Firefly cast, and an extra in the movie “Serenity.” Co-producer of Beagle Bros and Applied Engineering websites, the retro iOS game Structris, and co-producer/writer for CallAPPLE.org and Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine. Brian is also the author of The Etch-a-Sketch and Other Fun Programs.
Bill Martens — Apple historian and enthusiast, programmer, President of Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and co-producer of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine, and books like: Cyber Jack, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints, The WOZPAK Special Edition, and What’s Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition. Bill also co-produced and co-programmed the retro iOS game Structris. Bill is the author of ApPilot/W1, Beyond Quest, The Anatomy of an EAMON, and multiple EAMon adventure games. He is a systems engineer specializing in office infrastructures and has been programming since 1976. And he is the production editor for the A.P.P.L.E. website CallAPPLE.org, writes science fiction novels in his spare time, and is a retired semi-pro football player.
Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) has been a global Apple user group since 1978, with membership peaking near 50,000 in 1985. Offering many services, A.P.P.L.E. is also a book publisher and game developer, and has produced dozens of new book titles since 2013 and over 100 Apple software titles.
A.P.P.L.E. published the The WOZPAK Special Edition – a detailed book containing Steve Wozniak’s restored handwritten notes and printouts about his Apple II computer, as well as forewords from Steve Wozniak and other Apple legends. They also publish books such as: Graphically Speaking: Enhanced Edition by Mark Pelczarski, Tome of Copy Protection, Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From the Computing Revolution by Mike Harvey, What’s Where in The Apple: Enhanced Edition, The Colossal Computer Cartoon Book: Enhanced Edition by David H. Ahl, A.P.P.L.E. 1978 and 1979 magazine Compendiums, and the retro iOS game Structris.
Press Information is available at: www.callapple.org/press