Tim's Atari MIDI World

The 30 Ataris of the JosTosBond


[Photo: Jos' head]While pondering what to write about for this month's column, I received an e-mail from Atari-MIDI forum member Jos Vlietstra (who we know affectionately as "JosTosBond"... and don't ask!) with an attachment of several pictures of his classroom in Dordrecht, the oldest town of Holland from which he teaches music education. This seemed like a perfect topic for this month as it displays no less than 30 Atari computers!

Jos uses Atari computers to teach music notation as well as basic music composition. When asked about the notation program he uses as well as his "story" on his 30 Ataris, he responded with the following:

The music notation program is written in Dutch and made by a Dutch music teacher. When a pupil makes a mistake, this program begins with a short or long help lecture, after which the pupil won't make this mistake again.

I also have a notation program which works with the keyboard keys. When a pupil waits too long, they get a nasty sound and the program remembers this mistake and repeats the note which was given the wrong name!

I also use XANADU, the Israeli rhythm program, a Music Memory with all kinds of music pics and Cubase-Lite with a specially made blues scheme. For text I use "Tempus" editor, which I translated into Dutch with the help of the famous Disk Doctor. 

Of course children also want to play on Atari computers. The all-time favourite is "Ballerburg", a monochrome game in which you have to shoot cannons at the enemy's castle. Pupils love it! (And asked me for a copy for their PCs .This is possible with TOSBox and "Ballerburg" on one floppy disk!)

[Photo: Class 1]

[Photo: Class 2]

[Photo: Class 3]

The situation you see in these pics has been realized recently for a month! Now I've got 30 1040STs and 30 SM124s all installed in just one half of the classroom! Before this ideal formation, I had about 20 STs just placed on tables, with cables all around the floor. In Holland we have an organization which controls dangerous electrical situations in buildings, and they advised me and the school to get rid of these loose cables and make a proper solution. Well, for about $ 850 this problem was solved last summer.

This school is situated in Dordrecht, the oldest town of Holland (1100 after Christ) and is named Titus Brandsma college. Titus Brandsma was a priest, who was killed by the Germans in WWII.

[Photo: Jos playing sax]Jos Vlietstra has been a long time member of the Atari-MIDI forum and has contributed  quite a few programs to the archive at TAMW as well as helping out many members on the forum. Besides being a music teacher he is also an excellent musician playing keyboards as well as wind instruments (saxophone) and plays professionally as a jazz musician. He recently completed a project of progressive rock with his former band called "Symphony" and released a CD. Information on his web site (see link section).

We are thankful for people like Jos who continue to use Atari computers in the education field, even in this modern day of 2002!

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MyAtari magazine - Feature #7, October 2002

Copyright 2002 MyAtari magazine