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Note: Some of the information on this page is inaccurate. Go here for the full story.

In February 2003 I was sent this by an individual who wishes to remain anonymous:

> Digger's creator is a chap named Robert J. Sleath.
> Rob was a fellow countryman of yours who came to
> Canada with his family, I believe at the age of 14 or
> so.  He lived on and off in Burlington, Ontario and
> was educated as an Electronic Technologist.  His
> hobbies included Amateur Radio, high fidelity sound
> systems and hand building computers I.C. by I.C.  You
> see this was in the mid '70's when even Apples and
> Commodore PET's where not available.  Rob is one of
> the most intelligent individuals I have known.
> Rob worked for a Canadian federal dept. called the
> Canadian Inland Waters Institute now known as The
> National Water Research Institute
> (http://www.nwri.ca) located in Burlington, where h
> helped build and service various monitoring and
> measuring equipment used in surveying rivers and
> lakes.  During the summer months, he would join a
> surveying team to service their equipment as they went
> on field site visits lasting most of the summer.  On
> one of these trips he met Jo-Anne who was working at
> the small community restaurant where he was based.
> They moved in together back at Burlington after that
> summer.  After the following summer, both tired of
> field trips to the middle of nowhere each summer so
> Rob left his job and worked at an computer store as a
> service tech. where Jo-Anne had a sales position.
> During this time (around '80 or '81)  Rob experimented
> with the idea of writing software commercially. After
> owning a PET and an APPLE and a Radio Shack Colour
> computer, Rob settled on a new IBM PC.  It was also
> around this time that they were married, Nov '81 or
> '82.
> Windmill Software was born shortly afterwards.  It
> would be about a year before any titles were
> published.  I remember the living room in their
> apartment becoming a software lab.  Rob was the
> programmer for majority of the games.  Ray did assist
> in producing the music content and some of the
> modules.  I don't believe Jo-Anne ever wrote code, but
> I'm sure she assisted in the debugging stages which
> explains why she excels at Digger. Around '83 they
> moved into their first home about the same time as
> Digger was produced.  I remember that on some of the
> games an artist with a digitizing table was used to
> produce some of the game's artwork.
> Unfortunately your info on the licence plates is
> fictitious.  Rob had a personalized plate with JX on
> it.  That was due to a deal with IBM in providing
> software for export in to Japan for an Japanese
> version of the PC jr called the JX.  The initial deal
> paid for, among other things, a new BMW hence the
> licence plate. Unfortuately the JX never took off. I
> know that Jo-Anne never had a personalized plate.  As
> for the dogs, their first dog, Byte, was around when
> most of the game software was produced and that's his
> dog hair you've got, while Chippy was acquired much,
> much later.  The shift from games to PM software was
> due to the losses in revenue due to piracy.  Most
> gamers as yourself (I'm just as guilty) trade copies
> of games so that a new release would only sell for a
> few short months but would grow in popularity without
> any repayment to the creator.  Business software on
> the other hand required training and support, so less
> the likelihood for piracy.
> There were a few games that never made out to the
> light of day.  One that I loved was a game where two
> triangular ships orbited around a star.  Gravity would
> pull you into the star so you had to keep thrusting
> away from it.  Also you had to try to shoot your
> opponent with projectiles that would curve due to the
> gravitational force.  If you left the screen, you
> would wraparound to the other side.  It was crude in
> some ways but because of the head to head factor and
> the gravitational effects I found it really
> challenging.

> Sorry if I've got a
> few errors in the chronological order of events but it
> was a while ago.