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Guide to the Muñoz Family’s Atari Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Family Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Access Terms

  • Overview

    Call Number: M2010
    Title: Muñoz Family’s Atari Collection
    Dates: circa 1980-1987
    Physical Description: 11 Linear feet
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36-48 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/spc.
    Repository: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives.
    Stanford University Libraries.
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: specialcollections@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information


    This collection was given by the Muñoz family to Stanford University, Special Collections in 2012.
    Gift of Ricardo and Pat Muñoz, 2012. Accession MSS.2012-277

    Information about Access

    The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Ownership & Copyright

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/spc/using-collections/permission-publish.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Cite As

    [identification of item], Muñoz Family's Atari Collection (M2010). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Processing Notes

    This collection is fully processed using traditional archival methods and theory to describe the materials at the series, box, folder and, in most cases, the item level.

    Associated Materials

    Stephen M. Cabrinety Collection in the History of Microcomputing, circa 1975-1995, M0997.

    Family Biography

    This collection is representative of early home computing in the 1980s. Software and hardware manufacturers created products for nontechnical users who wished to use computing for entertainment (i.e. gaming) and practical uses in the home (i.e. personal finances and education).This collection is representative of early home computing in the 1980s. Software and hardware manufacturers created products for nontechnical users who wished to use computing for entertainment (i.e. gaming) and practical uses in the home (i.e. personal finances and education).
    Edited narrative statement submitted by the Muñoz Family:
    Ricardo F. Muñoz was born in Perú on April 30, 1950. He grew up in the town of Chosica until age 10, when his parents Luis Alberto Muñoz and Clara Luz Valdivia de Muñoz immigrated with their three children to the United States. On April 16, 1961, Ricardo arrived in San Francisco's Mission District. He did his undergraduate work at Stanford from 1968 to 1972, obtaining his bachelor's degree in psychology. His senior thesis advisor was Albert Bandura. He went on to get his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon in 1977. Returning to the bay area, he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco on September 6th, 1977. Based at San Francisco General Hospital, a teaching hospital located in the Mission District where he grew up, he served as Chief Psychologist for 26 years and as Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Program for 20 years. He founded the Latino Mental Health Research Program in 1992 and the Internet World Health Research Center in 2004. In 2012, he transitioned to Emeritus Professor at UCSF, and accepted a faculty position at Palo Alto University to establish i4Health, the Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health. As part of this move, he also became Clinical Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.
    Ricardo married Pat Marine Muñoz on March 31, 1979. She was born August 8, 1952 in Iowa City, and lived in Nichols and Lone Tree until leaving Iowa for college in 1972. She attend Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon, and then obtained her bachelor's degree in 1977 from the Lila Acheson Wallace School of Community Service and Public Affairs at the University of Oregon, where she met Ricardo in 1975. She obtained her M.S.W. from the University of Washington in 1979. She worked as a medical social worker at French Hospital in San Francisco until their first child was born. Once their son and daughter started grammar school at St. Elizabeth, Pat worked as a kindergarten aide there until 2007. She then obtained a certificate in library technology and began working as a volunteer at the Sutro Branch of the California State Library (now located at San Francisco State University) and at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture in Golden Gate Park.
    Their son, Rodrigo Alberto Muñoz, was born September 25, 1982. He attended Stanford from 2001 to 2005, obtaining his bachelor's degree in psychology, with a minor in religious studies. He has worked as a portal monitor at Stanford's Green Library since his graduation. He married Stephanie Grace Dee on February 18, 2012 at Stanford's Memorial Church. His wife attended Stanford from 2000 to 2005, obtaining a bachelor's degree in symbolic systems and a master's in computer science. Stephanie worked at VMware from 2005 to 2013 before leaving to join Radiant Entertainment, a start-up in Silicon Valley.
    Pat and Ricardo's daughter, Aubrey Elizabeth Luz Muñoz, was born October 11, 1985. She attended Stanford from 2004 to 2009, obtaining her dual bachelor's degree in psychology and Spanish, and then her master's degree in sociology. After graduating, she was invited back to the Stanford University Libraries' Human Resources Department where she had worked as a student. In 2014, having moved back to San Francisco, Aubrey joined Lumos Labs, creators of the online brain-training program "Lumosity."
    In 2005, during Aubrey's first and Rodrigo's and Stephanie's final year of college, Ricardo arranged to have a sabbatical in the Department of Psychology at Stanford. All four of them enrolled in a course taught by Albert Bandura, who said that while the children of former students had taken his classes before, he had never had both parent and children present at the same time. The novel occasion was commemorated by an article in the July/August 2005 issue of Stanford Magazine: https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=34143
    The family has fond memories of Stanford and hopes their Atari 800-XL computer hardware and software collection will serve as a tool for those wishing to experience the early stages of computer development. They also hope that Stanford students will have fun with the collection.
    When originally released, these games cost between $5 and $50 each. However, Ricardo Muñoz found a warehouse store in Berkeley where he was able to pick them up at a discount. He bought several there, but the bulk were acquired when the establishment went out of business, with many offering games for $2 to $5 each. Unable to resist, Muñoz came home with boxes of software. Some of the games didn't run properly, but they came with a guarantee from the publisher that they would be replaced if they failed to “boot.” Pat Muñoz spent a lot of time mailing off the defective games, and eventually received the working copies that now reside at Stanford.

    Scope and Contents

    Collection consists of an Atari 800XL home computer, color monitor and complete set of peripherals, as well as an “Andy” Robot. The collection also includes 127 consumer software titles published between 1980 and 1987.
    The Atari 800XL is an 8-bit machine produced in 1983. The CPU was built into a console that included a keyboard, a cartridge slot for programs, and peripheral ports (using daisy chain technology) for disk drives, printers, and a monitor.
    The current machine was purchased in 1983 in San Francisco. It was the first home computer bought by the Muñoz family.
    The computer was bought with the display monitor included in the collection, joysticks and paddle controllers, two floppy drives, and a dot-matrix printer (not included). Later acquisitions included a cassette drive for loading programs, a KoalaPad for graphic interface, and several other peripherals, including an Andy Robot. The latter had three wheels, plus simple light, sound, and touch sensors, and could be programmed using BASIC. It connected to the CPU via a cable plugged into a joystick port. Long extension cables allowed the robot to maneuver in a fairly large floor area, and are included in the collection.
    Games is the largest category, and includes cartridge-based games, floppy-disk games, and a few games on cassette tapes. Some of the family’s favorites include:
    Spy Hunter: Gun down “spies” from your car or boat while avoiding being run off the road or bombed from above. For those who wish the chase scenes in a Bond movie would just go on forever. Can be played by one or two players, since the first joystick controls the steering and the second launches special weapons found along the way.
    Rescue on Fractalus: This game used fractals to depict the shifting terrain of an unearthly planet. Look for the alien who appears at the end of some of the rescues. He scared the heck out of the Muñoz children!
    Ball Blazer: Great two-player game! The object is to guide the ball past your opponent’s goal while controlling a personal gliding contraption within a playing court.
    Orbit - A Trip to the Moon: This advanced game involved calculating the trajectory of a spaceship from the earth to the moon. If the player successfully placed the spaceship in lunar orbit, a second stage allowed the player to activate a moon lander and attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface. Very challenging game.
    In Search of the Most Amazing Thing: Explore an alien world via hot-air balloon while searching for “the most amazing thing.” A complete novella was included in the box, which Rodrigo found as interesting as the game itself. One of the features was a “sleep” routine which forced the player to stop adventuring after a while, so their character could get some rest. Whether this was intended to make the game more realistic or as a way to help children control how long they played is unclear. However, since the game was written in BASIC, Ricardo realized he could read – and edit – its code. After he reprogrammed it to reduce the sleeping time to zero, his hack allowed them to continue playing to their hearts' content.
    Several “Sesame Street” educational games, including Letter-Go-Round and Astro Grover
    Productivity software:
    Visicalc: One of the first popular spreadsheets, a predecessor of Microsoft Excel. This program was also available on IBM PCs and other platforms.
    Letter Perfect: A word processing program, similar to Word Perfect and, again, one of the predecessors of Microsoft Word.
    Graphic software:
    KoalaPad: Graphic tablet interface which, with its accompanying software package KoalaPainter, allowed the creation of digital pictures.

    Access Terms

    Atari, Inc..
    Atari 800 (Computer)
    Video games--Equipment and supplies.
    Video games--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
    Video games.