Toni Baker

Y'know, other stuff, Sinclair related.
KenD
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Toni Baker

Post by KenD » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:29 pm

I've asked this before, in another time, in another place, but let's see if this more ... refined crowd can answer something that's been puzzling me for years :)

Do we all remember Toni Baker, author of the seminal Mastering Machine Code on your ZX Spectrum, byline on many articles in YS, ZX Computing and all round machine code expert. They disappeared off the face of the earth (hopefully not literally) in the mid-80's, unlike many Speccy authors who would pop up on the Amiga/ST and later the internet.

So: prolific author, great writing style, obviously knew the Sinclair line inside out.

The big question is: bird or bloke? Seriously, I've never seen any photos, or anything in any articles he/she wrote to give away his/her gender. Was this a rare example of the Spectrum Sisterhood, or just a guy who's parents fancied drawing attention to themselves? Or, was it just a pen name (a la Lloyd Mangram) for some staff writers somewhere?
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PeterJ
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by PeterJ » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:34 pm

Hi Ken,

That's a great question!

I believe Toni is a lady.

http://www.verycomputer.com/57_e9bbb22ce8174cef_1.htm

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Ralf
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by Ralf » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:39 pm

Very mysterious person from early years of Spectrum. That's all I know for sure ;)

A similar case is William Tang - man who wrote Horace games and later disappeared.
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Nomad
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by Nomad » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:15 am

Mysterious person, just by accident I was browsing a book (Machine Code Sprites and Graphics for the ZX Spectrum by John Durst (1984) and came across a plug for a user group and magazine. (at the start of the book the page before chapter 1)

MicroArts - MIA but check out the details.
https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... 6&id=11893

What is interesting is that the postal address he gives you is for a Miss Toni Baker. As the user group was for Machine code programming I think its safe to assume it has to be her.
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Nomad
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by Nomad » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:46 am

Following up on William Tang, the Wikipedia page said he had a serious medical incident during 1985 and ceased developing games after that. Can't imagine what kind of work environment would have triggered that in the poor bloke.

From the Crash article that Wikipedia is talking about...
...Steve joined Melbourne House full-time. His first project will bring a murmur of recognition from Spectrum veterans — it was Horace to the Rescue. Unluckily this missing episode from the life of the small, blue hero was never completed because the project leader suffered a collapsed lung.
http://www.crashonline.org.uk/39/taylor.htm
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gasman
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by gasman » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:56 pm

I have an acquaintance who apparently knew Toni Baker in the 80s, and I can offer the following nuggets of information (with the disclaimer that I have no evidence to back any of this up, so take them how you will)...

* Yes, Toni is a woman, and contrary to certain rumours, not transgender.
* Toni Baker was a pseudonym, specifically chosen to avoid standing out as female in professional circles - for much the same reason that JK Rowling is known by her initials, you might say.
* She's a very private individual, and wouldn't welcome her real identity being 'outed', however keen we are to know what she's up to these days :-(
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1024MAK
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:00 pm

gasman wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:56 pm
* Yes, Toni is a woman, and contrary to certain rumours, not transgender.
The speculation about transgender almost certainly comes about due to some early print runs of Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81 with the author as "Tony Baker". In later editions, the author was "Toni Baker".
More on this here.

But if the author wishes to remain private, let's let this subject rest.

Mark
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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:12 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:00 pm
But if the author wishes to remain private, let's let this subject rest.
Oh, come on. Surely she wouldn’t mind if a few dozen strange men appeared on her front porch one day with a bottle of champaign just to express their appreciation of her work.
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

C.Born
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by C.Born » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:36 pm

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:12 pm
1024MAK wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:00 pm
But if the author wishes to remain private, let's let this subject rest.
Oh, come on. Surely she wouldn’t mind if a few dozen strange men appeared on her front porch one day with a bottle of champaign just to express their appreciation of her work.
Well, use the code to make a fantastic game would be more alike, i supose.
We COULD link all the code written by TB and make "The TB Library of Everything"
who ever used the RAMDISC ???
thats the last chapter of "streams&channels"
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you could try www.cborn.nl/zxfiles

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R-Tape
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Re: Toni Baker

Post by R-Tape » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:47 pm

Sorry guys, but surely these should be the last words in this thread?
gasman wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:56 pm
* She's a very private individual, and wouldn't welcome her real identity being 'outed', however keen we are to know what she's up to these days :-(
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