Home/BOING/BOING #4/Interview of Apollo Team Last update: 2024-02-25
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You undoubtedly know the Apollo Team, which created the "Vampire" product line and its dedicated ApolloOS system. But you probably don't know all the members of the team and even less the role of each one. The team agreed to tell BOING readers a bit more, thanks to them!

The interview was initially published in BOING French magazine issue #4 (june, 2022). Please note that you can read the first part of the interview here

BigGun Gunnar von Boehn aka BigGun
My journey with Amiga started with an Amiga 1000, when I was 14 years old. I loved this brilliant piece of technology from day one. From that moment, school took a back seat, and I wanted to become a game developer for Commodore. When Commodore went bankrupt my quest to revive the Amiga began.

Today I am enjoying, with a great team of "crazy" computer nerds, the dream of giving the 68K the well deserved status back - this is the best Job ever!
Christophe Hoehne aka Ceaich Ceaich
As a hardware and FPGA developer I worked in a team with Gunnar at IBM since 2008. He introduced me to the world of AMIGA and I got involved in the NATAMI project and 68050 CPU. During lunch at work, Gunnar and I decided to implement the Apollo core 68080, so I implemented the FPU, the chip controller to interface the AMIGA in V1, V2 and V4 and designed and debugged the CPU together with Gunnar. The first "bring up" of the Apollo core with the V1 was together with Gunnar and Jens. As the Apollo core evolved from V1 to V2, we saw that we need more FPGA space. This is why I designed the schematic and printed circuit board in KiCad for the V4 Standalone, the FIREBIRD for an A500, and the ICEDRAKE for A1200, on my todo is now the Kraken for A4000.
Flype Phillipe Carpentier aka Flype
I am big Amiga fan and enjoy coding in Assembly on the nice 68K CPU. In the Apollo-Team I have added many several tools, many test cases and also maintain the Super-AGA drivers.
John aka Meeku Meeku
I am a long time Amiga fan and assembler coder. I am helping the team with coding test cases for the new 3D instructions of the 68080 CPU and I am helping to improve RIVA, I also made some graphics for one of Arnes games.
TuKo Renaud Schweingruber aka TuKo
My name is Renaud Schweingruber, 39, sales director in an IT services company in French-speaking Switzerland. Besides the Amiga, I have different passions like cars, horse riding, diving, my wife and party with friends (naked or not).

I became interested in the Vampire project following the organization of the OufParty in Martigny organized by Benoît "AmigaOuf" Wiblé where he demonstrated to me the Vampire V1. I had already found it bluffing at that time.

Having subsequently learned of the launch of the Vampire V2, I contacted the team to see if I could help them on various aspects. I had a huge desire to follow this project and I thought I could bring my two cents to it.

Very knowledgeable in their fields but busy coding and soldering, they needed testers and were fishing on certain business aspects that were not their priorities. So I tried to help the team on certain points: set up a website that presents the product in a modern way (previously www.apollo-accelerators.com), offer collaborative tools for development and more generally act as an intermediary in terms of communication with other players in the Amiga world. I also helped speed up certain purchasing and component sourcing processes through my IT contacts. Today, I'm more involved into core release lifecycle.
Crom Manuel Jesus aka Crom
I help the team out with graphics, specifically logos and packaging. I first became aware of the Apollo Team way back in the NATAMI days when I became obsessed with following the progress of that project and did a quick logo and sent it to the team who gladly adopted the logo for the NATAMI project. Years later I was happy to discover the team was working on VAMPIRE so I quickly started making logos and graphics for that project and became a team member. I used Amiga for my day job in the toy industry for through products such as Lightwave 3D and the Video Toaster from NewTek. I have amassed a nice Amiga collection that I used to help test Apollo Accelerators and post videos to my You Tube Channel.
Stéphane Pitteloud aka Guibrush Guibrush
My name is Stéphane Pitteloud. I'm 45 years old, I live in Switzerland and I'm a collector of old computers. I'm particularly interested in the Amiga, because I have always found this machine fascinating and ahead of its time. That's why there are always at least two Amiga's plugged in on my desk. After a short period with some NG system, which did not convince me, I came back to the Amiga classic with a blizzard 060. But it was still slow. My expectations of speed were fulfilled when I received my Vampire 600, which transformed my vision of the Amiga classic. That's when I joined the team.

Since then, I help testing the different products, I help writing manuals, I answer users' questions, and I'm the official poll supplier of the team, because it is well known that everything could be solved with a good poll (well, sometimes :).
arne Arne von Boehn aka arne
I am Arne, I am 14 years old and I am Gunnars son. I got to know the Amiga directly after my birth :-) and I like it so much! In the beginning it was all about the great games and my job was testing them. Step by step my dad showed me the great possibilities the 68K and the Amiga have. Today I start with some coding for little demos and games. This is next to playing football my main hobby.
Pedro Cotter aka cotter cotter
I am a passionate Amiga fan and I try to help the Team with testing each release carefully and also work for the ApolloOS Distro. Some may know my ApolloOS Kids Distro which I made to make the Amiga again easy to use for Kids and to show them the joy of Amiga games and programs.
DeepSubMicron Jens Kuenzer aka DeepSubMicron
I am a microprocessor developer and met Gunnar at work at IBM during lunchtime. At that time I already stored away my Amiga 2000 and moved on. We developed the NATAMI 050 together, this was a predecessor of the Apollo core 080. For Vampire "bring up" I bought a A600 and also my A2000 is running again. Today I am involved in some smaller changes of the core and the PCB. So the hardware side is my world.
Claudio aka Cgugl Cgugl
I am a passionate Amiga fan from Italy and I help the Team with beta testingwhatever is needed. I support the team discussions with qualified arguments and a pinch of humor which sometimes is needed ? I also work for the ApolloOS distro and help to polish it day by day. And I am for sure the Team champion in playing DeluxeGalaga.
Arczi Arthur aka Arczi
My nick name is arczi I am a Amiga fan since 1993, I try to help revive Amiga by porting many games to Amiga, and help testing cores.
Kenji Irie aka Quetzal Quetzal
I live in Newseeland and work in Software and hardware Research and Development. In the Apollo-Team I'm coding/producing Jake and Peppy with QSEC team, and assisting Arczi with optimization in some of his amazing Amiga game ports. Also developing the V4 Ultimate Expansion board, which is on target to be released in early 2022.
Neoman Andre Wösten aka Neoman
Currently my 2 kids need most of my time, but in former times I improved the Milky Tracker to take advantage of the great 16 bit audio Super AGA hardware channel.
Morten aka Morton Morton
My name is Morten, from Norway, I joined the Apollo Team in August 2020. In the team I write test code, some "sample code" bits, and do some debugging. By day I work as a software developer.
Miri Mirjam Wagner aka Miri
I am Gunnar's spouse, I stand by Gunnar's side and support him as best I can.

My main job is to run the Apollo Computer Shop, so I sell the great products of the Apollo Team and give support to the users. Furthermore I organize the computer fairs and public appearances of the Team. So all in all I am a lucky part of the Amiga Revival.
Thomas Hirsch aka thinel thinel
With Gunnar, Jens and Christophe I am one of the main founding members of the Team. We started with the NATAMI Project in 2011 with my reimplementation of the AGA chipset. My time for the Project today is limited, but I help to solve problems and give support for the PCB design.
WillemDrijver Willem Drijver aka WillemDrijver
My name is Willem Drijver, born on 21th of June 1968 in the Netherlands. I am married to my highschool girlfriend and we have two kids that just have left the nest. During my study of Information Sciences due to the lack of available compute power (we had to reserve time on mainframe for programming) I got interested in the new world of 68K microprocessors. We are talking about the year 1986 and the Amiga and Atari computers were not easy to get a hold of. So together with some fellow students we bought Atari and Amiga products direct from the source and I ended up started a home computer retail company which over more than three decades grew into a mid-size ICT company specialised in Healthcare Information Technology (med-tech). I am recently retired to spent more time with my wife, on my hobbies and in supporting our two kids in the start of their adult life.

My interest in Apollo was inevitable at the moment I started a recollection of all the retro game and computer stuff I owned or used. My Amiga 1000 is my all-time favorite and after research into the available options of Reviving Amiga there was only one solution: Apollo Vampire. So I ended up buying several V2's and was blown away by the performance and the unlocking of the future potential in my dear old Amiga 1000, 500 and 1200. As soon as the V4 arrived I was very eager to see if a Stand Alone could capture my heartand it did big time. Before I knew I was fooling around like in the old days trying to get everything running on the V4 from Amiga OS 1.3, 3.1, 3.9, 3.2 to Coffin, AmiKit, EmuTOS and soon after that also the dedicated ApolloOS. Just for my own fun I started building a framework to host all these different OS-es in one multi-boot setup and this was the birth of Apollo BootLoader, in short ApolloBoot (formerly known as Vampire BootLoader / VBL). During this time I already was in good contact with the very nice team members who helped me to improve ApolloBoot and this eventually lead to an invite from the Apollo Team to join their forces.

My primary role in the Apollo Team is the Apollo BootLoader product which is an official Apollo product and part of our 2-Year Roadmap and the corresponding Quarterly Release Schedule. Within the team I help in organising this Roadmap to shift our focus more to a higher quality and broader end-user experience of our products. Together with a lot of the team members I have frequent contact with users on the Apollo Team Discord for support, exchange of ideas and for joining in on all the fun in our community. I also host the #nederlands channel.
Dr. Procton Stefano aka Dr. Procton
My first Amiga was the A500 (after being a C64 user), then I switched to Intel PC with DOS and Win. After a couple of years I regretted my choice so I bought an A1200 HD when Escom start production again. I loved my A 1200 and turbo charged with a Blizzard 030 IV it was my main computer for the end of the nineties, and I continued to watch Amiga forums and play with Amiga emulators even after stopped to use the a1200. Never get appealed from AmigaNG systems but the day I saw the Natami web page I start dreaming again. Then come the vampire. I bought an A600 just to be able to vampirize it. Vampire was a blast!

Then the day Apollo team announced availability of the V1200 and v4 standalone I bought both of them the same day and since this time I am addicted.

My role in the team is that of the lazy member, eheh.. But I run the Italian vampire forum and put out some videos on my youtube channel, I keep an eye to the apollo forum request and try to help users, so I think I can be described kinda of a community guy.
Tim Noyce aka Tim Tim
I'm an avid computer geek/nerd who grew up during the start of the computer revolution, born in 1958. I've been a huge Amiga fan since before I bought my first system, an A500, in the USA. I've been a part of the general Amiga community for quite a while, and was amazed at what it could and can still do given the limitations of the era it was designed. In August of 2020, I received my V4 Standalone, which continues to be a source of joy every day. I've not been officially part of the team for all that long, but had been offering help and support in Discord prior to the official invitation. I've always felt that community involvement is extremely important, and that the vision of the Apollo Team is one I should support the best. I also help with testing of V4 cores and ApolloOS images prior to them being announced to the community at large, along with other miscellaneous things I can do to help it move forward. I currently work full time during the week. I spend time around the edges, and a fair bit of time during the weekend whenever I can. I enjoy talking with the community members, getting a feel for where they live, what their connection to the Amiga is, and answer the questions I can to help them along the way.
RonnyBeck Aron Scott aka RonnyBeck
I am Rony Beck. By day I am Linux C/C++ developer by day but by night I emerge from my coffin as an avid Vampire fanatic. All of my Amigas are vampirized but I spend most of my time on the V4. The Vampire cards is the reason I came back to the Amiga scene. After being away from the platform for almost 20 years, I was thrilled and inspired by what Gunnar and the Team had done. The Vampire (and the follow up accelerators) really filled the void that Commodore left behind, even after so many years. And I am in constant awe of what the guys on this project do. The accelerators, the CPU, ApolloOS...it is pretty impressive what the project has achieved. It is a lot of fun and, to be frank, a privilege to be a part of all this. My role in the project is to help maintain the Apollo Teams fork of AROS as well as contribute bug fixes. I also wrote Vnet, a high performance network copy tool for getting files to and from your Amiga. When I am not coding, I am testing the Vampire hardware in various configurations to see how far it can be pushed. I have a soft spot for my Amiga 1200. I have a very demanding day job but at the end of a hard day's work, it is really rewarding to sit down in front of my Vampire powered Amiga and enjoys some demos or do a little recreational coding. This is computing at its most elegant.
Banter Bartek aka Banter
I'm Bartek, my role depends on the situation ;-) Most of the time it is making graphics for some of the team games, I work on the website design and other various tasks, that help the team.
Juan Double aka Juan 007 Juan 007
I am long time Amiga fan and Amiga demo coder. Some might know my PC-engine emulator for Amiga. In the team I try to support the revival of the Amiga with finding and fixing bugs and improve ApolloOS.
skipp Przemek Tkaczyk aka skipp
I became a fan and user of Amiga computers somewhere in the mid '90s (although my love for the machine is even older). Since then I mostly dedicated myself to being a part of the Demoscene - as a graphic artist and Composer in groups like Potion and Nah-Kolor - some of you may know me for my soundtrack and soundengine in "Planet Potion", among others. I became involved with Apollo Team not long after I got my first Vampire V600, which was around the summer of 2016. From the moment I joined I'm trying to make myself as useful as I possibly can, being mainly the core/chipset tester, focusing on the Demoscene and making sure all these nice AGA demos and intros run flawlessly.
Nicolas Benezan aka Bene Bene
I am an Amiga user since the very first hour. In the old days I did develop various hardware for the Amiga, like the Amiga link network card. Also I am a founding member of the Amiga Modula Oberon Klub (AMOK). Today I own a solder house and all the new Apollo cards (Standalone, Firebird, Icedrake,) are produced in my company. I know Gunnar since over 30 years, we have experienced many things together and we did always share the maximum passion for the Amiga.

When you ask Gunnar about the Team he is very pleased and said: " I am so proud that we have all this: talented coders, brilliant graphic and web designer, passionate Amigans or simply smart and cool guys who help in our Team. It is a crazy mixture from school kids to university Professors. I am really thankful ...and somehow this is my family.

The Apollo Team The team

Photos published courtesy of Apollo Team

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