Analog Computing Magazine July 1986: “RAMcopy!”

I took a stroll over to The Mothership this afternoon and found that she was down for unknown reasons. Thinking that my FireFox bookmarks might be corrupted due to the recent upgrade, I googled The Blogmocracy and clicked that link. No dice.

Instead I found an amusing blast from the past by Robert Stacy McCain in 2012. Down in the comments, “Jacobus” posted a link to this:

The last phrase in that self-description says a lot.

So 33-year-old Magical Jazzy played with Chicago in 1986? News to me, so I searched the BRC Archives. He never once mentioned the band, and he’s not listed anywhere in their lineups. Go figger.

That’s our boy!

Charles F. Johnson, by using some as yet undiscovered laws of nature, has managed to find the time to be both a professional musician and a professional programmer. In his musical career, he has played with such artists as Chicago, George Duke, Al Jarreau and Stanley Clarke. His programming accomplishments include Mouse-Ka-Mania, Desk Manager, ARC Shell and, along with his partner, John Eidsvoog, G + Plus and MultiDesk. He and John are the owners of CodeHead software.

The pic and caption are from a July 1989 article in ST-Log,  a  tech magazine published by Atari. More articles by our buddy here.

[h/t Beed]

“Sherman, Set the Wayback Machine to 1987.”

Could this be original artwork from our favorite former jazz musician? Our sources say yes. This was originally published by Atari Magazines, in the April 1988 issue of ST-Log:


Replace the arrow cursor with any shape you desire… and animate it too!

by Charles F. Johnson

Charles F. Johnson is a professional musician and, now, a semi-professional computer programmer/reviewer/author. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Patty and Spike, the world’s most intelligent (and gluttonous) cat. Charles is a SYSOP on the Analog Publishing Atari SIG on Delphi; his user name is CFJ.

How would you like to be able to change the shape of the GEM mouse cursor, customize it with a sophisticated editor, and install the new mouse cursor as the GEM default in place of that omnipresent arrow? Would you like to run your favorite GEM programs with your custom mouse in spite of their (and GEM’s) best efforts to reset it to the arrow? And what if I threw in the ability to have mice in two colors in medium and low resolution? Then, for the piéce de résistance, how about if I let you animate those customized mice—up to thirty-two frames, each with its own color information? If all this sounds like fun, read on… Mouse-Ka-Mania is for you!


Introducing “Mouse-Ka-Mania!” This was an Atari program designed to do away with the old boring cursor arrow and allow users to design and animate their own. It was an early character mapping application with no real purpose except to amuse fellow geeks. Still, it’s interesting to remember how much computer technology has changed since then.

The name of the application was obviously a rip on Disney’s “Mouseketeers,” but that’s immaterial to this thread. Note the copyright upper right: Little Green Footballs.

This is not intended to be a Charles Bashing Post, just a curiosity to illustrate where computer graphics were 23 years ago, and the talents of a 34 year old married guy with a cat and a suspected affinity for amphetamines known on the street as Speeders, Brown & Clears, and Little Green Footballs.