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Full text of "Byte Magazine Volume 08 Number 03 - Mass Storage (RESCAN)"

Vol. 8, No. 3 
$2.95 in USA 
nada/£2.10 in U.K. 
Publication 





How to buy a computer 
by the numbers. 



Introducing the Cromemco 
C-10 Personal Computer. 
0nly$1785, including soft- 
ware, and you get more pro- 
fessional features and per- 
formance for the price than 
with any other personal com- 
puter on the market. We've 
got the numbers to prove it. 

The C-10 starts with a 
high-resolution 12" CRT that 
displays 25 lines with a full 
80 characters on each line. 
Inside is a high-speed Z-80A 
microprocessorand 64K 
bytes of on-board memory. 
Then there's a detached, 
easy-to-use keyboard and a 
5 l A" disk drive with an excep- 
tionally large 390K capacity. 
That's the C-10, and you won't 
find another ready-to-use 



f 



personal computer that of- 
fers you more. 

But hardware can't work 
a lone. That's why every C-10 
includes software— word 
processing, financial spread 
sheet, investment planning 
and BASIC. Hard-working, 
CP/M R -based software that 
meets your everyday needs. 
Software that could cost over 
$1000 somewhere else. FREE 
with the C-10. There's really 
nothing else to buy. 

But the C-10's numbers 
tell only part of the story. 
What they don't say is that 
Cromemco is already known 
for some of the most reliable 
business and scientific com-, 
puters in the industry. And 
now for the first time, this 



technology is available in a 
personal computer. 

One last number. Call 
800 538-8157x929 for the 

name of your nearest 
Cromemco dealer, or to re- 
quest literature. In California 
call 800 672-3470x929. 
Or write Cromemco, Inc., 280 
Bernardo Avenue, P.O. Box 
7400, Mountain View, CA 
94039. In Europe, write ;-. : 
Cromemco A/S, Vesterbro 
gade 1C, 1620 Copenhagen, 
Denmark. 

CP/M R is a registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 
All Cromemco products are serviced by TRW. 




Cromemco 

Tomorrow's computers today 



Circle 127 on Inquiry card. 




MULTIPROCESSING/INTELLIGENT I/O 




A EXPANDABLE I/O BUS ^ 


/ C-BUS 


> 


LJL_JL_JC 


~~] 1 1 



I/O INTERFACES 



COLOR GRAPHICS 







jV\ 







11MBYTE 




EXTENSIVE 


COLOR 


FLOPPY DISK 


HARD DISK 


JOYSTICK 


SOFTWARE 


MONITORS 


DRIVES 


DRIVE 


CONSOLE 


SUPPORT 



What Cromemco computer card 
capability can do for you 



The above diagram shows in a func- 
tional way one of the most complete 
lines of computer cards in the industry. 

Look it over carefully. It could be well 
worth your while. 

These are all cards that plug into our 
S-100 bus microcomputers. 

You can also assemble them into a 
custom system in convenient Cromemco 
card cages. 

MULTI-PROCESSING AND 
INTELLIGENT I/O 

The range of capabilities and versatility 
you can draw upon is enormous. 

In processors, for example, you have a 
choice of CPU's including our extremely 
useful new I/O Processor. This can be 
used as a satellite processor to do off-line 
processing, multi-processing, and to form 
intelligent I/O. It opens the door to a 
whole new group of applications and 
tasks. Ask us about it. 

HIGH RESOLUTION 
COLOR GRAPHICS 

Again, you can have beautiful high- 
resolution color graphics with our color 
graphics interface. You can select from 
over 4000 colors and have a picture with 
a resolution at least equal to quality 
broadcast-TV pictures. 




You have an unprecedented selection 
of memory including our unusual 48K 
and 16K two-port RAMs which allow 
high-speed color graphics. 

LOTS OF STORAGE 

These days you often want lots of disk 
storage. So you can select from our disk 
controller card which will operate our 5" 
and 8" floppy disk drives (up to 1.2 
megabytes). Or select our WDI interface 
to operate our 11-megabyte hard disk 
drives. 

POWERFUL SOFTWARE AND 
PERIPHERAL SUPPORT 

There's much more yet you can do 
with our cards. And, of course, there's an 
easy way to put them to work in our 8-, 
12-, and 21 -slot card cages. Our PS8 
power supply makes it simple to get the 
system into operation. 

Finally, Cromemco offers you the 
strongest software support in the industry 



Q Cromemco '" 
I n c o r p o r at e d 
280 BERNARDO AVE., MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA 94040 
Tomorrow's computers today 

Circle 128 on inquiry card. 



with languages like FORTRAN, C, 
COBOL, ASSEMBLER, LISP, BASIC and 
others. There is also a wide choice from 
independent vendors. 

To top it all off, you can draw from a 
substantial array of peripherals: ter- 
minals, printers, color monitors and disk 
drives. 

There is even more capability than 
we're able to describe here. 

NOW AT HALL-MARK 
ANDKIERULFF 

For your convenience Cromemco 
products are now available at Hail-Mark 
Electronics and Kierulff Electronics. Con- 
tact these national distributors for im- 
mediate product delivery. 

CROMEMCOCOMPUTER CARDS 
• PROCESSORS — 4 MHz Z-80 A CPU, single card 
computer, I/O processor • MEMORY — upto64K 
including special 48K and 1 6K two-port RAMS and 
our very well known BYTESAVERS® with PROM 
programming capability • HIGH RESOLUTION 
COLOR GRAPHICS — our SDI offers up to 754 x 
482 pixel resolution. • GENERAL PURPOSE IN- 
TERFACES— QUADART four-channel serial com- 
munications, TU-ART two-channel parallel and 
two-channel serial, 8PIO 8-port parallel, 4PIO 
4-port isolated parallel, D+ 7 A 7-channel D/A and 
A/D converter, printer interface, floppy disk con- 
troller with RS-232 interface and system 
diagnostics, wire-wrap andextendercardsforyour 
development work. 



(415)964-7400 



In The Queue 



BITE 



Volume 8, Number 3 



March 1 983 



Features 

26 Build the ECM-103, an Originate/Answer 

Modem by Steve Garcia / The Texas Instruments 
TMS99532 forms the heart of a Bell- 1 03-compatible 
modem. 

34 The Enhanced VIC-20, Part 2: Adding a 
3K-Byte Memory Board by Joel Swank / Supplement the 
VIC-20's standard 5K bytes of RAM and eliminate those 
annoying "out-of-memory" messages. 

44 A User's View of COMDEX by Jerry Pournelle / 

An impressionistic report of one of the largest gatherings of 
computer dealers and manufacturers. 

56 The Promise of Perpendicular Magnetic 

Recording by Clark E. Johnson Jr. / As the Japanese 
seem to have realized already, PMR represents the next 
level of recording technology. 

68 New Developments In Floppy Disks by Tom 

Moran / New advances in floppy-disk-drive technology 
spurs intense competition. 

86 Optical-Memory Media by Edward Rothchild / 

Some background on how optical disks work, who makes 
them, and how much data they can hold. 

110 Will Removable Hard Disks Replace the 
Floppy? by Larry Sarisky / Improved data-storage 
technologies may eventually eliminate floppy disks. 

122 The Winchester Odyssey, From Manufacturer 
to User by Jim Toreson / A look at drives, OEMs, and the 
cost of doing business. 

1 30 Building a Hard-Disk Interface for an S-100 
Bus System, Part 1 : Introduction by Andrew C. Cruce 
and Scott A. Alexander / The first in a series of articles on 
interfacing a Winchester disk drive to an S-100 bus CP/M 
microcomputer. 

152 NAPLPS: A New Standard for Text and 
Graphics, Part 2: Basic Features by Jim Fleming / How 

to encode text and simple graphics elements in a standard 
and efficient manner. 

218 User's Column: Sage In Bloom, Zeke II, CBIOS 
Traps, Language Debate Continues by Jerry Pournelle / 

The consummate computer user tackles his new writing 
machine. 

262 A Faster Binary Search by Dr. L. E. Larson / An 

important technique results in faster-running applications 
programs and shorter response times. 

295 Data Collection with a Microcomputer by Dr. 

Mahlon G. Kelly / Using a TRS-80 Model I for environ- 
mental research saves time and money. 

310 Build This Memory, Part 1 : How to Construct 
a Low-Cost Memory with 4116 Memory Devices by 

Cameron Spitzer / Take advantage of the low price of the 
4 1 1 6-type memory. 



331a Peek Into the IBM PC by Tim Field / An 

assembly-language program enables an Epson printer to 
display all 256 characters used by the IBM PC. 

389 Keywords In a Fuzzy Context by Thomas A. 
Smith / CBASIC programs for bibliographic search tell you 
the degree to which various articles meet your 
requirements. 

418 ROTERP: An Interpretive Language for Robot 
Control by Gary Liming / High-level languages may help 
bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and the home 
experimenter's robot. 

436 Using SOUND Arguments for HIgh-Preclslon 
RTTY by Scott Persson / How to generate radioteletype 
audio frequencies from an Atari 800. 

453 Binary-Format Number Storage on the Apple II 
Disk by David Eyes / A machine-language routine to read 
and write binary data to a text file. 



Reviews 

1 90 MP/M II by Stephen Schmitt 

247, 248, 251 BYTE Game Grid: Project Nebula by 

Keith Carlson; Legionnaire by Gregg Williams; Omega 

Race for the VIC-20 by Stanley J. Wszola 

256 Quickcode by Adam B. Green 

282 Hayes's Stack Smartmodem by Norman C. McEntire 



Nucleus 



14 

22 

307, 



380, 

474 

478, 

484 

487 

490 

491 

492 

497 

557 

558 

559 



Editorial: The Software Revolution: Where Will We 

Store All Those Programs? 

Letters 

BYTE's Bugs 

450 Programming Quickies: Add Dimensions to Your 

BASIC; Computing Telescope Parameters with the 

OSI Superboard \\ 

462 System Notes: Circles and Ellipses on the Apple 

\\; Adding a Trace to North Star BASIC 

Event Queue 

486 BYTE's Bits 

Software Received 

Ask BYTE 

Books Received 

Clubs and Newsletters 

BYTELINES 

What's New? 

Unclassified Ads 

BOMB, BOMB Results 

Reader Service 




Page 26 



Page 44 



Page 152 



Page 247 



HS 



Managing Editor 

Mark Haas 

Technical Editors 

Gregg Williams. Senior Editor; 

Richard S. Shuford, Curtis P. Feigel, 

Arthur Little, Stanley Wszola, 

Pamela Clark. Richard Malloy; 

Phillip Lemmons. West Coast Editor; Steve 

Garcia. Mark Dahmke, Consulting Editors; 

Jon Swanson, Drafting Editor 

Copy Editors 

Beverly Cronin, Chief; 

Faith Hanson. Warren Williamson. Anthony J. 

Lockwood, Hilary Selby Polk, Elizabeth Kepner, 

Nancy Hayes. Cathryn Baskin, Tom McMillan; 

Margaret Cook, Junior Copy Editor 

Assistants 

Faith Kluntz. Beverly Jackson, Lisa Jo Steiner 

Production 

David R. Anderson, Assoc. Director; 

Patrice Scribner. Jan Muller, Virginia Reardon; 

Sherry McCarthy, Chief Typographer; 

Debi Fredericks, Donna Sweeney, Valerie Horn 

Advertising 

Deborah Porter, Supervisor; 
Marion Carlson, Rob Hannings, Vicki 
Reynolds, Cathy A. R. Drew, Lisa Wozmak; 
Patricia Akerley, Reader Service Coordinator; 
Wai Chiu Li, Advertising/Production 
Coordinator; Linda J. Sweeney 

Circulation 

Gregory Spitzfaden, Manager; 
Andrew Jackson, Asst. Manager; 
Agnes E. Perry, Barbara Varnum, Louise 
Menegus, Jennifer Price, Sheila A. Bamford; 
James Bingham, Dealer Sales; Deborah J. 
Cadwell, Asst; Linda Ryan 
Marketing Communications 

Horace T. Howland, Director; 
Wilbur S. Watson, Coordinator; 
Timothy W. Taussig, Graphic Arts Manager; 
Michele P. Verville, Research Manager 

Controller's Office 

Kenneth A. King, Asst. Controller; 
Mary E. Fluhr, Acct. & D/P Mgr.; Karen 
Burgess,' Jeanne Cilley, Linda Fluhr, Vicki 
Bennett, L. Bradley Browne, Vern Rockwell 

Business Manager 

Daniel Rodrigues 

Traffic 

N. Scott Gagnon, Manager; 
Scott Jackson. Kathleen Reckart 

Receptionist 

Jeanann Waters 

Publishers 

Virginia Londoner, Gordon R. Williamson; 
John E. Hayes, Associate Publisher; 
Cheryl A. Hurd, Publisher's Assistant 



Officers of McGraw-Hill Publications Com- 
pany: Paul F. McPherson, President; Executive 
Vice President; Gene W. Simpson; Senior Vice 
President-Editorial; Ralph R. Schulz; Vice 
Presidents: Kemp Anderson, Business Systems 
Development; Shel F. Asen, Manufacturing; 
Harry L. Brown, Special Markets; James E. 
Hackett, Controller; Eric B. Herr, Planning and 
Development; H. John Sweger, Jr., Marketing. 

Officers of the Corporation: Harold W. 
McGraw Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive 
Officer; Joseph L. Dionne, President and Chief 
Operating Officer; Robert N. Landes, Senior Vice 
President and Secretary; Ralph J. Webb, 
Treasurer. 




In This Issue 

Sophisticated new operating systems and multitasking software promise to 
alter significantly the way we use personal computers. Because of the large 
memory requirements of the new software, we're sure to see changes for the 
better in the nature of external storage devices. New technologies for mass 
storage will become even more critical as the software revolution continues to 
escalate. As Robert Tinney's cover suggests, personal computers will need a 
large quantity of high-speed mass storage to hold all the software and other 
data that we'll generate. Our theme articles address the latest developments 
in mass storage. Clark E. Johnson Jr. discusses "The Promise of Perpendicular 
Magnetic Recording," Tom Moran looks at "New Developments in Floppy 
Disks," Edward Rothchild writes about "Optical-Memory Media," Larry 
Sarisky explores the question "Will Removable Hard Disks Replace the Flop- 
py?" Jim Toreson concentrates on "The Winchester Odyssey," and in the first 
of a three-part series Andrew C Cruce and Scott A. Alexander discuss 
"Building a Hard-Disk Interface for an S-100 Bus System." Plus we have part 2 
of "NAPLPS, A New Standard for Text and Graphics," the second installment 
in the VIC-20 series, "Adding a 3K-Byte Memory Board," a review of MP/M II 
from Digital Research, and BYTE's Game Grid. Steve Garcia tells you how to 
"Build the ECM-103, an Originate/Answer Modem," and more. 



BYTE is published monthly by McGraw-Hill. Inc. with offices at 70 Main St, Peterborough NH 03458, phone 
(603) 924-9281. Office hours. Mon-Thur 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Friday 8:30 AM - Noon, Eastern Time. Address 
subscriptions, change of address, USPS Form 3579, and fulfillment questions to BYTE Subscriptions, POB 590, 
Martinsville NJ 08836. Second class postage paid a: Peterborough, N,H. 03458 and additional mailing offices. 
USPS Publication No. 528890 |ISSN 0360-5280). Postage Paid at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Registration number 932 1 . 
Subscriptions are $21 for one year, $38 for two years, and $55 for three years in the USA and its possessions. In 
Canada and Mexico, S23 for one year, $42 for two years, $61 for three years. $53 for one year air delivery to 
Europe. $37 surface delivery elsewhere. Air delivery to selected areas at additional rates upon request. Single copy 
price is $2.95 in the USA and its possessions. $3.50 in Canada and Mexico, $4.50 in Europe, and $5.00 
elsewhere. Foreign subscriptions and sales should be remitted in United States funds drawn on a US bank. Printed 
in United States of America. 

Address all editorial correspondence to the editor at BYTE. POB 372, Hancock NH 03449. Unacceptable 
manuscripts will be returned if accompanied by sufficient first class postage. Not responsible for lost manuscripts or 
photos. Opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of BYTE. Entire contents copyright © 1983 
by BYTE Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Where necessary, permission is granted by the copyright owner for 
libraries and others registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to photocopy any article herein for the 
base fee of $ 1 .00 per copy of the article or item plus 25 cents per page. Payment should be sent directly to the 
CCC, 2 1 Congress St, Salem MA 1 970. Copying done for other than personal or internal reference use without 
the permission of McGraw-Hill is prohibited. Requests for special permission or bulk orders should be addressed to 
the publisher. 

BYTE® is available in microform from University Microfilms International, 300 N Zeeb Rd, Dept PR. Ann 
Arbor Ml 4B106 USA or IB Bedford Row, Dept PR, London WCl R 4EJ England. 

Subscription questions or problems should be addressed to: 
BYTE Subscriber Service 

P.O. Box 328 
Hancock, NH 03449 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 









The system builder's best choice 
for color graphics is a CS5000 
color system from SCION. Its basic 
component is MicroAngelo®, the 
single board graphics display 
computer that has revolutionized 
monochrome display capability 
with low cost 512x480 pixel 
graphics resolution and 40 line 
by 85 character text capacity. 
When MioroAngelo boards are combined, they create 
high resolution color graphics that have a unique ad- 
vantage. The displayed image is a combination of 
transparencies. So you can add, modify or delete 
images by transparency rather than as an entire image. 

SCION'S Series CS5000 builds an imase with up to 8 bit 
planes, each senerated by a MicroAnselo board. You 
select the assisnment of those bit planes to transpar- 
encies. Each transparency can display 2 n -1 colors where 
n is the number of bit planes it uses.. .2 bit planes would 
make a three color transparency, 8 bit planes would 
make a 255 color transparency. Once each transparency 
has been defined, your host can work with it inde- 
pendently, senerating and modifying its graphics and 
text without interacting with the others. The indepen- 
dent transparencies are combined by the Color Mixer 
board which also assigns one of 16.8 million possible 
colors to each color of each transparency. 



Vburcomputer talks to the SCION 
Color System in SCREENWARE™, 
SCION'S high level display firm- 
ware language. SCREENWARE 
commands are used by the com- 
puter in each MicroAngelo bit 
plane to generate graphics and 
text primitives. User interface is 
made simple with prompted sys- 
tem set-up using SCION's ColorPak. 

MicroAngelo based color graphics systems are easy to 
use. Just plug the boards into your Multibus or S-100 
host. Or use the freestanding workstation configuration 
with its RS-232 interface. In each case, you get high reso- 
lution color graphics for such a low price you can't 
afford to design your own. 

Think SCION for your graphics display needs. 
Think MicroAngelo. Call us at (703) 476-6100. 

System shown is a Model CS5050S. 
*A trademark of Intel Corp. 

CUDN 

if the image is important. 

12310 Pinecrest Rd./Reston, VA 22091 
(703) 476-6100 TWX: 710-833-0684 



For S-100 circle 476 on inquiry card, For Multibus circle 477 on inquiry card. 



Circle 146 on Inquiry card. 



MILESTONE® 
WHEN TIME IS MONEY 




As a project manager, you know 
the value of meticulous plan- 
ning. Oversights and miscalcu- 
lations can cost you crucial 
time and money. 

Milestone is a project manage- 
ment and time scheduling pro- 
gram. It is a powerful "critical 
path" program for planning and 
analyzing virtually any project, 
from a cost estimate for a con- 
struction project to a schedule 
for installing a computer sys- 
tem. The applicationsare unlim- 
ited. 

Milestone uses PERT, Perfor- 
mance Evaluation and Review 
Technique, and CPM, Critical 
Path Method, to plan a project, 
yet Milestone is one of the easi- 
est software packages to use. 

The Milestone user can change 
a variable and instantly Mile- 
stone will display the effect on 
the entire project. For instance, 
the estimated completion date 
of a particular time-crucial task 
may be changed. All schedul- 
ing, manpower costs and asso- 
ciated reports will be re-tabu- 
lated. 

TIME IS MONEY. SAVE BOTH 
WITH MILESTONE. 

The price is $295. CP/M® and CP/M-86™ ver- 
sions require 64K and 128K RAM respec- 
tively. Manual alone Is $30. 

For more information see your local compu- 
ter dealer or contact Digital Marketing 
directly. 

SOFTIE 
SOFTWARE 
DIGIMLAMRKETING 

DIGITAL /MARKETING'" 




DIGITAL MARKETING CORPORATION 

26 70 CHERRY LANE ■ WALNUT CREEK • CALIFORNIA • 94596 
(415) 938 2880 • Telex 1 7-1 852 (DIGMKTG WNCK) 

Deote* lf>auirt*» Invited Oealen outr.oe California call 
(S01) U2.08AJ inside California coll (445) 938-2883 

Milestone is a registered trademark of Organic 

Software. 

CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research, 

Inc. 

CP/M-86 is a trademark of Digital Research. Inc. 



Editorial 



The Software 
Revolution 

Where Will We Store 
All Those Programs? 

Phil Lemmons, West Coast Editor 



Two advances in hardware — the 16-bit microprocessor with its great 
memory-addressing range and the 64K-bit dynamic RAM (random-access, 
read/write memory) — have paved the way for a software revolution. The Lisa 
software from Apple, and soon the Visi On operating environment from 
Visicorp and a new generation of software from Microsoft, will transform the 
way we use computers and the way we think about our jobs. But just as hard- 
ware advances made possible a revolution in software, the exciting new soft- 
ware demands an improvement in hardware, specifically, in mass storage. The 
memory-intensive operating systems and integrated applications programs 
that are emerging today will make unprecedented demands on the mass 
storage of personal computers. Not only will personal computers need a lot of 
mass storage to run the new software effectively, they will also need high- 
speed mass storage that is faster than today's floppy disks. 

You might think that the current low prices of RAM would reduce the need 
for speed in mass storage. The computer could read the operating system and 
applications program from floppy disk into RAM once, at the beginning of a 
session, and thereafter execution would proceed at the lightning speed of RAM 
itself. But consider how big the new operating systems and applications pro- 
grams will be. Even if new personal computers have 256K bytes of RAM, they 
will not be able to accommodate at one time both a desktop-manager 
operating system and more than one sophisticated applications program. The 
resident portion of Lisa's operating system approaches a quarter of a 
megabyte, and its sophisticated applications programs are almost as large. 
Even though Lisa has a half megabyte of RAM as standard equipment, the 
operating system has to use virtual memory. Virtual memory means treating 
part of mass storage as if it is part of RAM. Since a major limiting factor in the 
speed of software that uses virtual memory is the speed of input/ output of 
mass-storage devices, systems like Lisa will require high-speed mass storage 
for effective operation. Otherwise we will see computer users tapping their feet 
while waiting for their expensive personal computers to read in the next chunk 
of beautiful software. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 342 on inquiry card. 




We've Got More Than A 
Fond Attachment For Your 

ATARI 

We've Got A Disk Drive For $488. 

Percom Data Corporation believes your Atari* home computer is more than just 
fun and games. We believe you should be able to get a single-density, floppy-disk- 
system for your Atari 400 or 800 at a price that will take you into the future without 
knocking you into the next galaxy. 

Percom Data has been manufacturing disk-drive systems, and other accessories 
for personal computers since the mid-1970's and is the industry standard to 
follow when it comes to data separation and system compatibility. 

The Percom Data AT-88 combines Percom Data quality and reliability at a price 
that is not a budget-buster. 

The Percom Data AT-88 offers 88 Kbytes (formatted) in single-density, with plug- 
in ease of attachment to your Atari. The AT-88 has integral power supply, "no- 
patch" to Atari DOS and critical constant speed regulation. 

Take advantage of this low introductory price of $488 by calling Percom Data now 
to get more information, or the name of an authorized dealer nearby. Call toll-free 

1-800-527-1222 



PEtiSOM DATA 



CORPORATION 

Expanding Your Peripheral Vision 



DRIVES • NETWORKS • SOFTWARE 



11220 Pagemiil Road Dallas, Texas 75243 (214) 340-7081 
1-800-527-1222 



•Atari 400/800 is a trademark o 



Editorial. 



Hard Disks for the Masses? 

The point of this argument is not to debunk the new 
software. On the contrary: the revolution in software can 
extend the power of computing to millions of people as 
well as making life more enjoyable for current microcom- 
puter users. If the software revolution is to make 
microcomputing a true mass phenomenon, however, 
there must first be a reduction in the price of high-speed 
mass-storage hardware. Lower prices for Winchester 
hard disks would be an ideal solution. Making hard disks 
standard equipment on 16-bit computers would help 
bring down the cost of the disk drive somewhat. And 
because hard disks operate up to 20 times faster than 
floppy disks, the delays required to read in software 
would cease to be a problem. In the office, hard disks will 
no doubt be the standard answer to the new software's 
need for high-speed mass storage. 

But hard disks are likely to remain too expensive to 
become standard equipment outside the office. Prices 
have plunged in the last three years, but hard-disk 
systems still cost at least $1500. More often the prices are 
closer to $2500. (See "The Winchester Odyssey," page 
122, about why hard disks that cost $600 in quantity at 
the factory cost much more by the time they're integrated 
into hard-disk systems.) The mechanics required to rotate 
the disk at very high speed while the magnetic head floats 
microns above the disk are not simple and the manufac- 
turing process cannot get much less expensive. 

The only remaining area for significant cost savings in 
hard disks is the controller. Several companies are reduc- 
ing Winchester controllers to single chips or small chip 
sets. Western Digital Corporation has a series of Win- 
chester controller boards based on its own LSI (large- 
scale-integration) chips. The Western Digital WD1001 
board cost $245 last year. The WD1002 cost $195 at the 
end of 1982. The company plans to introduce the 
WD1003 at $175 this summer, and the WD1004 at $150 in 
the fall. In other words, Western Digital's advances can 
squeeze about $100 out of the cost of hard-disk systems 
by the end of the year. 

National Semiconductor will introduce a four-chip 
Winchester-disk controller this summer. The DP8464 
disk pulse detector, the DP8460 MFM data separator, the 
DP8462 MFM data encoder, and the DP8466 disk data 
controller together make up a sophisticated, high- 
performance controller capable of handling multiuser 
and multitasking operations. Single-user systems will not 
require the entire chip set; in fact, the National Semicon- 
ductor chips needed for a hard-disk controller in a typical 
personal computer will cost less than $100. 

Adaptec, a start-up firm (1625 McCarthy Blvd., 
Milpitas, C A 95035), also is offering its own Winchester 
controller chip set and boards based on the chips. 
Adaptec's products are based on five chips in the 
ACS-500 series. The complete chip set required for high- 
performance, multiuser and multitasking systems costs 



$190 in quantity. The Adaptec product of most interest to 
personal computer users is the single-chip controller 
called the Winchester Controller Chip. This chip costs 
only $75 in large quantities. NEC, too, has announced a 
single-chip Winchester controller at less than $100. 

As with the Western Digital boards, these other LSI 
controllers will reduce Winchester prices for single-user 
systems by about $100. That is a significant saving, but 
even a saving of $200 would probably not induce manu- 
facturers of personal computers to make Winchester 
disks standard equipment. Replacing one floppy disk 
with a Winchester disk would add at least $1000 to a 
computer's list price, and probably more. Manufacturers 
seem reluctant to raise list prices that much. And yet, 
keeping the hard disk optional prevents the kind of 
volume savings that would come with making the hard 
disk standard equipment. Thus, hard disks remain more 
expensive than they really have to be and add $1500 to 
$2500 to system costs. 

If hard disks will remain too expensive to host the soft- 
ware revolution in personal computers, where will we 
put the friendly new operating systems and applications 
programs? 

Solving a Read-Only Problem 

Businesses and individuals who need to write and read 
large amounts of data at high speed will have no choice 
but to use hard disks. But we don't need to write and 
rewrite the new operating systems and applications pro- 
grams; we only need to read them into RAM time and 
again every day and to update them on disk every few 
months. Most people's requirements for writing data are 
not so great as to require hard disks. Few of us generate 
enough data each day to overflow an ordinary floppy, 
much less the new high-capacity floppies (see "New 
Developments in Floppy Disks," page 68). 

Is an inexpensive form of ROM (read-only memory) on 
the horizon? NEC's new 1-megabit semiconductor ROMs 
are remarkable bargains at something more than $40 per 
megabit, but the real requirements of the new operating 
systems and a set of applications programs may approach 
a megabyte. That would require more than $320 worth of 
ROMs. Moreover, software updates and bug-fixes would 
pose major problems. Software houses, computer manu- 
facturers, and computer dealers could not be expected to 
swallow the cost of replacing the ROMs. Erasable and re- 
programmable ROMs and the equipment needed to pro- 
gram them would be prohibitively expensive. 

The Laser Card from Drexler 

Fortunately, a new form of read-only mass storage, the 
Drexon Laser Card (from Drexler Technology Corp., 
2557 Charleston Rd., Mountain View, C A 94043) is just 
coming to market (see photo 1). The size of a credit card, 
the Laser Card has a storage capacity of 2 megabytes. 
With 1 megabit or 125K bytes prerecorded, Laser Cards 



8 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



DISCOVER THE DYSAN DIFFERENCE 



Dysan 

Software Duplication: 



It's your name on the package label 
And your company's reputation on 
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Doesn't it make sense to protect the 
time, money and talent invested in 
your software with the finest and most 
complete software duplication ser- 
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Quality Software Deserves 
the Quality Media. 

Dysan's software duplication ser- 
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production. Not only is your program 
copied unerringly onto the finest me- 
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it's also copied on proprietary equip- 
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sively for Dysan. Plus Dysan offers you 
the widest variety of support services 
available — from software protection to 
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Isn't it time you discovered the 
Dysan difference? For more informa- 
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Circle 159 on Inquiry card. 



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5201 Patrick Henry Drive 
Santa Clara, CA 95050 
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(408) 988-3472 

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Editorial. 




Photo 1: The Drexon Laser Card. This card can store 2 million 
bytes of data. The small object resting on the card's recording 
stripe is the semiconductor diode laser required to write data on 
the stripe. Either a diode laser or a photodetector array can read 
the data. 



will cost about $1.50 each; with the full 2 megabytes en- 
coded, the cost will remain less than $6. At that price, the 
Laser Card will be less expensive to distribute than 
today's floppy disks. It will not present a barrier to fre- 
quent software updates. Indeed, software houses will be 
able to distribute updates in the same mass mailings that 
banks use to distribute new credit cards. 

The name Laser Card is somewhat frightening because 
lasers are expensive. But lasers are required only to write 
data on these cards; an array of inexpensive photode- 
tectors can read the data. In fact, the equipment required 
to read data from a Laser Card at a rate of 125K bytes per 
second will cost less than $100. The read rate has no in- 
trinsic limit. To increase the rate to that of hard disks, 
manufacturers can just add more of the inexpensive 
photodetectors to the array. The cost of laser writing 
equipment, estimated at about $500, will not deter com- 
puter manufacturers or software houses. For very high- 
volume high-speed writing operations, such as printing 
100,000 Laser Card copies of a piece of software, photo- 
lithographic processes will be more economical than 
lasers. 

New peripheral technology usually requires expensive 
redesign of existing equipment, but the Laser Card seems 
to escape that problem. The reading equipment is com- 
pact and will not require significant changes in the hous- 
ings of today's personal computers. The most conspicu- 
ous sign of the Laser Card's presence, in fact, will be a 
slot in the side or the front of the computer. The size of 
the slot is like that found on automatic teller machines. 

The Laser Card has another feature that will appeal to 
software houses and program authors: every vendor can 
encode optical data at a different level of reflectivity. For 
this and other reasons, software piracy will be more dif- 
ficult with Laser Cards than it is with magnetic storage. 

One of the features that will appeal most to manufac- 



turers and computer users is that Laser Cards do not wear 
out as floppy disks do; in fact, Laser Cards show no signs 
of wear at all. Futhermore, Drexon coatings — the record- 
ing material used on the Laser Cards — are resistant to 
damage from bending and are invulnerable to magnetic 
hazards. (For more information about the Laser Card and 
the nature of its recording medium, see "Optical Memory 
Media," page 86.) The reading equipment itself is ex- 
pected to require much less maintenance than a floppy- 
disk drive does. 

To encourage use of the Laser Card, Drexler is licens- 
ing the technology needed to read and write the cards. 
For a one-time fee, companies can purchase information 
on read/write equipment design, gain the use of patents 
for read/write equipment without paying royalties, and 
acquire the right to distribute Laser Cards to end users. 
Toshiba is the first announced licensee. Others may be 
announced by the cover date of this issue. Drexler intends 
to be the principal supplier of the cards but will license a 
second manufacturer. Drexler is now capable of making 
100,000 cards per day. 

The Laser Card has many possible applications besides 
the one that now looks most important: serving as the 
read-only medium for large operating systems and appli- 
cations programs that comprise the software revolution. 
Dictionaries and other large reference books could be en- 
coded compactly, especially when the Laser Card's ca- 
pacity goes up to 10 megabytes, as Drexler expects. The 
compactness and reliability of the card and the reading 
equipment also seem to suit the Laser Card ideally for use 
in portable computers. When computer users leave their 
home or office, they will not have to leave behind the 
software to which they're sure to become addicted. With 
all the software in a Laser Card, the need for read/ 
write/rewrite data storage in the portable computer may 
be reduced to a single microfloppy disk or bubble-mem- 
ory cartridge. While Laser Cards will find many uses in 
the office, they are likely to coexist there with hard disks 
and floppy disks. The read/write capabilities of magnetic 
storage will remain indispensable for most business ap- 
plications. 

The coming availability of inexpensive 10-megabyte 
read-only mass storage, in the form of the Laser Card, 
will no doubt broaden the application of the microcom- 
puter in ways unforeseen. One of the delights of watching 
the microcomputer industry is that each round of pro- 
gress feeds on the next in a combination of synergism and 
serendipity. Just as 16-bit microprocessors and 64K-bit (8 
of these chips make up 64K bytes) RAMs made possible 
today's software revolution, and the software revolution 
demands new mass-storage technology and finds the 
Laser Card ready, so this new mass-storage technology 
will feed the software revolution. What software will this 
new technology make possible? What new hardware will 
that new software demand? Something is bound to turn 
up.B 



10 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 224 on inquiry card. 




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personable microcomputer-SuperBrain II.™ 

What's a personable computer? It's a computer with 
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you out of business. But most importantly, it's a computer 
you can put to use right out of the box. That's because 
SuperBrain II™ boasts the industry standard CP/M* 
operating software. So whatever your business 
application, SuperBrain N can handle it. There are literally 
hundreds of ready-to-run business applications available 
"off-the-shelf: 

Unlike many microcomputers, the SuperBrain II™ is time- 
tested and field-proven. It's built and backed by a 
company that's been around as long as the industry itself. 
A company you can count on for product support and 
customer satisfaction. 

•Registered trademark of Digital Research. 
tMicrosolt is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 



STANDARD FEATURES 

• Dual 5 1 /4" disk drives 

• 350K/750K/1.5 MB disk capacities 

• 64K RAM 

• Twin Z80A microprocessors 

• An easy-to-read 12-inch non-glare screen 

• An 18-key numeric keypad 

• 10 MB disk expansion capability COptional) 

• Microsoftf Basic 

When you think about it-price, performance, and the 
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ASHTON TATE 

dBASE II $529.00 

BOTTOM LINE STRATEGIST 279.00 

C. ITOH 

PROWRITER PARALLEL $489.00 

PROWRITER SERIAL 639.00 

F-10 55 1799.00 

F-1 PARALLEL 1 399.00 

MO SERIAL 1449.00 

CRAPPLER INTERFACE 140.50 

PROWRITER II 789.00 

TRACTOR FOR F10 229.00 

CALIFORNIA COMPUTER SYSTEMS 
ASYNCHRONOUS INTERFACE ..$129.00 

SYNCHRONOUS INTERFACE 149.00 

CALENDAR CLOCK 105.00 

RS232 INTERFACE 124.00 

PROGRAMMABLE TIMER (for apple) 99.00 
COMSHARE TARGET MARKETING 

PLANNER CALC $79.00 

TARGET FINANCIAL MODELING . . 249.00 
CONTINENTAL SOFTWARE 
HOME ACCOUNTANT FOR APPLE $69.00 
HOME ACCOUNTANT FOR IBM ... 1 29.00 
DICTRONICS, INC. 
RANDOM HS. ELE. THESAURUS. $129.00 
PROOF READER 50.00 

NORTH AMERICAN BUSINESS SYSTEMS 

THE ANSWER $249.00 

NEC 

NEC 3550 LOP $2149.00 

OASIS 

WORDPLUS $149.00 

PEACHTREE 

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE $375.00 

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE 375.00 

GENERAL LEDGER 375.00 

INVENTORY 375.00 

PAYROLL 187.50 

SALES INVOICING 375.00 

PERFECT SOFTWARE 

PERFECT CALC $139.00 

PERFECT FILER 279.00 

PERFECT SPELLER 139.00 

PERFECT WRITER 239.00 

QUADRAM 
128K MEMORY EXPANSION. . . . $380.00 

192K MEMORY EXPANSION 475.00 

64K MEMORY EXPANSION 280.00 

64K MEMORY UPGRADE 129.00 

DUAL PORT EXPANSION KIT 49.00 

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MICROFAZER POWER SUPPLY ....17.00 

OUADBOARD 64K 499.00 

OUADBOARD 128K 649.00 

OUADBOARD 192K 749.00 

OUADBOARD 256K 829.00 

RANA 

CONTROLLER FOR ELITE I $99.00 

RANA ELITE 1 379.00 

RANA ELITE II 559.00 

RANA ELITE III 729.00 

SMITH-CORONA 

SMITH-CORONA TP-1 $599.00 

SORCIM 

PASCAL M $131.25 

SUPERCALC BY SORCIM 209.00 

SPELLGUARD 189.00 

SUPERSOFT 

ADA $269.00 

DIAGNOSTICS I 65.50 

DIAGNOSTICS II 84.00 

DISK DOCTOR BY SUPERSOFT 84.00 

FORTRAN 279.00 

PESONAL DATABASE 99.00 

SCRATCHPAD 259.00 

STACKWORKS FORTH 149.00 

STATSGRAPHS 169.00 

C COMPILER 175.00 

SSS FORTRAN IV 218.75 

SUPER M LIST 65.00 

TERM 1 131.00 

TERM II 150.00 

TEXT FORMATTING 75.00 

UTILITIES I . UTILITIES II 52.50 



EAGLE 

MONEY DECISIONS $119.00 

FORCE II 

MATH* $99.00 

FOX & GELLER 

dUTIL $68.00 

OUICKSCREEN FOR dBASE II 1 29.00 

OUICKCODE FOR dBASE II 249.00 

INTEGRAL DATA SYSTEMS 
IDS MICROPRISM 480 PRINTER. $599.00 

IDS PRISM 132 PRINTER 1199.00 

IDS PRISM 80 PRINTER 879.00 

INTERACTIVE STRUCTURES 

PKASSO 145.00 

INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE, INC. 

TIM III $369.00 

GRAPHMAGIC 69.00 

MATHEMAGIC 79.00 

INFORMATION UNLIMITED SYSTEMS 

EASYFILER $349.00 

EASYSPELLER 159.00 

EASYWRITER II 279.00 

MAXELL 
FD-1 Or FH-1-32 8 "SINGLE SIDED. . . . $41.50 

FD-2 8" DOUBLE SIDED 48.95 

MD-1 0rMH-1 5 1 /V' SINGLE SIDED.... 31. 25 
MD-2 or MH-2 SVa" double sided . . . 47.10 



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CALCSTAR $99.00 

DATASTAR 194.00 

DATASTAR 199.00 

MAILMERGE 139.00 

SPELLSTAR 174.00 

SUPERSORT 1 1 74.00 

SUPERSORT II 1 74.00 

WORDSTAR 279.00 

WORDSTAR/ MAILMERGE 369.00 

WORDSTAR TRAINING GUIDE 11.25 

MICROSOFT 

128K RAM FOR IBM PC $599.00 

ALDS 105.00 

BASIC 80 COMPILER 299.00 

BASIC 80 INTERPRETER 279.00 

BASIC COMPILER FOR APPLE II ..315.00 

1 28K RAMCARD 599.00 

192K RAMCARD 699.00 

256K RAMCARD 799.00 

64K RAMCARD 399.00 

64K RAMCHIPS 175.00 

TIME MANAGER 119.00 

TYPING TUTOR 23.00 

MICROSOFT Z80 PREMIUM PACK 619.75 

MICROSOFT Z80 SOFTCARD 279.00 

muLISP/ muSTAR 169.00 

MULTIPLAN 229.00 

muSIMP/muMATH 199.00 

TASC APPLESOFT COMPILER .... 149.00 




Micropros 

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T/ MAKER III $249.00 

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VIDEX KEYBOARD ENHANCER . . . 105.00 
VIDEX VIDEOTERM FOR APPLE II. 299.00 

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DESKTOP PLAN IBM 228.00 

VISICALC 184.00 

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VISICALC BUSINESS FORECASTING 89.00 

VISIDEX 184.00 

VISIFILE APPLE II 184.00 

VISIFILE IBM 228.00 

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Circle 282 on inquiry card YOUI* MlCrO*COlfipU tCf PeOple 



Letters 



Misleading Advertising 

I read with great interest an advertise- 
ment for the AMI IIH — h Computer, 
manufactured by Apollo Computer Com- 
pany of Taiwan and distributed by Orien- 
tal Investments Limited of Switzerland 
(November 1982 BYTE, page 332). The 
computer is advertised as being "Apple II 
Plus Compatible" and appears nearly 
identical in its physical characteristics to 
the Apple II. The terms of sale for the 
computer, which is offered at an enor- 
mous price reduction over the usual dis- 
counted cost of an Apple II, require pre- 
payment by money order or by certified 
check. 

Because of recent articles concerning 
the potential infringement of copyrights 
owned by Apple, I contacted the U.S. 
Customs Service in Washington [(202) 
566-5765] to inquire on the legality of im- 
porting the AMI II 4- 4- . I was told that all 
Apple II "look-alikes," specifically includ- 
ing those manufactured by Apollo Com- 
pany, will be seized by Customs upon im- 
port. 

In my opinion your magazine has done 
a great disservice to your readers in carry- 
ing the ad for the AMI II 4- 4- Computer. I 
hope that not many of your readers have 
responded to this alluring ad and sent 
in their prepayments only to have their 
purchased equipment impounded at the 
border. 

Richard L. Merriam 
7 Thoreau Rd. 
Lexington, MA 02173 

As is true of most publications, BYTE 
periodically receives complaints from one 
advertiser (or individual) about the activi- 
ties of another advertiser. As is also true 
of all magazines, it is quite impossible for 
us to act as judge and jury and arbitrate 
commercial disputes between advertisers. 
In addition to other problems, the cost of 
the technical and legal expertise that we 
would have to hire would put our maga- 
zine out of the price range of most of our 
readers and advertisers alike. 

Is there nothing, then, that a magazine 
like BYTE can or should do? Of course 
there is. Every advertisement from a new 
advertiser is reviewed both by an editor 
and a publisher in an attempt to spot 
problems and potential reader rip-offs 
before they occur. While this is not fool- 
proof, we are pleased that we have headed 



off several problems before they found 
their way into print. 

The other step we can take is to adhere 
rigorously to the rulings of government 
tribunals or agencies, who, after all, are 
the appropriate ones to respond to dis- 
putes between advertisers. Unfortunately, 
unless the prevailing advertiser or the 
tribunal itself thinks to inform us of a rul- 
ing, there is no automatic way we receive 
this information. Thus, it was somewhat 
fortuitous that we received a copy of a 
Customs Department Newsletter men- 
tioning the importation ban against some 
Apple II "look-alikes." As soon as we 
received that notice, the ad in question 
was removed from all issues not yet 
printed. . . . Gordon R. Williamson 



Language Flexibility 

Jerry Pournelle's exposure of the high 
priests of computer software is long over- 
due (see "User's Column," October 1982 
BYTE, page 254). 

Since the microcomputer revolution 
began, these high priests have stood by 
their "cure-all" languages and have had a 
put-down attitude toward us poor slobs 
using "nonstructured" code (anything 
with a GOTO statement). Fact is, it's 
easier to defend a familiar language than 
to tread on unfamiliar territory by trying 
to learn another. 

Let's get with it, gang! Every language 
on the market has its share of strengths 
and weaknesses. Just as a wood craftsman 
requires a variety of special tools to do the 
job right, the professional programmer 
needs to understand which software 
"tools" are available to get the job done. 
There is no "best" programming language, 
but given any particular problem, there 
are several languages that will do the job 
quite well. 

The software engineer needs to be able 
to select which language is suitable for the 
task at hand. That might involve breaking 
down a project into modules written in 
BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and assem- 
bly language to capitalize on the strong 
points of each language. I admire Digital 
Research, Microsoft, and others for tak- 
ing steps in this direction to allow the pro- 
grammer to "link" modules written in dif- 
ferent languages into a single program. 

The hardware side of the computer rev- 
olution is leaps and bounds ahead of, and 
being held back by, the software develop- 



ment side. It's high time that we move 
software development from the mystical 
black art of the '60s into the rapidly 
changing environment of the '80s. The 
high priest stuck holding onto ALGOL/ 
Pascal/FORTRAN/whatever as the cure- 
all language will be much like the elec- 
trical engineer of the '50s left holding a 
vacuum tube. 

Robert S. Walden, President 
XL Computer Products 
POB805 
Mesa, AZ 85202 



Almost a Tlnkerer's Dream 

I just had to write and compliment you 
on the November 1982 BYTE. I am an 
electrical engineer and a hardware hacker 
from way back, and I was about ready to 
let my subscription to BYTE lapse. While 
hardware hackers are a dying breed, I had 
begun to think that we were entirely for- 
gotten. I realize that there aren't many 
left, but there are probably more of us 
than there are disabled microcomputer 
users (see the September 1982 BYTE on 
"Computers and the Disabled") or artist 
microcomputer users (July 1982 BYTE, 
"Computers in the Arts and Sciences") or 
even microcomputer users that program 
in Logo (August 1982 BYTE, "Logo"). 
While these are probably worthy causes 
to devote an issue of BYTE to, it seemed 
that the tinkerers were entirely left out. 
And then came the November 1982 issue. 
While not quite a tinkerer's dream, it is in 
the general direction of one. Steve 
Ciarcia's "Build the Circuit Cellar MPX-16 
Computer System, Part 2" (page 7S), Phil 
Lemmons's informative article "Victor 
Victorious: The Victor 9000 Computer" 
(page 216), a vector-graphics construction 
article (Billy Garrett's "Microvec: The 
Other Type of Video Display," page 508), 
and even Phil Lemmons's "An Interview 
with Chuck Peddle" (page 256) were all 
interesting. No long, boring articles about 
why this DBMS (database management 
system) is better than that (for a home 
computer?), no articles on a language that 
needs five full-time programmers and a 
mainframe computer to maintain it, and 
no one telling me to rush right out and 
plunk down $4000 for the latest do-every- 
thing-but-change-the-baby gizmo. 

While I am not advising that you 
change the editorial direction of BYTE, I 



14 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 





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To put your 

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Versatility comes from industry compatible inter- 
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Block graphics and pin graphics secure 
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Circle 486 on inquiry card. 



235 Main Dunstable Road PD. Box 828 Nashua, N.H. 03061 
Phone: (603) 883-4157. 

Europe: S-10545 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: (8) 7386000. 



Letters, 



am glad to see some articles of interest to 
people other than full-time data process- 
ing managers or game addicts. And 
besides, the November issue did not have 
one mention (that I could find) that "the 
uses of a computer are limited only by 
your imagination." If I ever see that trite, 
overworked, meaningless phrase in print 
again, I think that I will go into a 
homicidal rage. 

Oh yes, tell Jerry Pournelle that I enjoy 
his "User's Column." And his books are 
okay, too. 

Stuart Ball 

1101 Dover St. NE 

Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 



For the Record 

In the November 1982 BYTE, an er- 
roneous reference was made in Peter 
Sdrensen's article "Tronic Imagery" (page 
48). 

On page 56 (in the paragraph continu- 
ing from page 55), Michael Fremer, music 
and sound design supervisor for Iron, 
was referred to as the sound effects 
creator. 

As the actual sound effects creator for 
Iron, I would like this point clarified. 

Frank Serafine 

Serafine FX 

1861 South Bundy Dr. 

West Los Angeles, CA 90025 



What Did He Say? 

BYTE magazine is used by a cross- 
section of people representing many dif- 
ferent levels of involvement with the ap- 
plications of computers. To serve and to 
maintain its readership, the magazine 
offers access to knowledge and access to 
tools. 

While access to knowledge is also 
catered to by the book market, access to 
tools is provided almost exclusively by 
periodical publications of this type, some 
with self -serving and others with public- 
serving interests. In this context, the word 
tool can be taken in its global meaning of 
"what is instrumental in the realization of 
something." 

The more useful BYTE magazine be- 
comes at providing both types of access, 
the more likely it is to become itself a tool 
and be used as such by its readers. Of all 
needs presented to the editors of the 



magazine by the readers, the key demand 
will always be for more usefulness, hence 
for more useful access. End of loop. 
The editor's job: define "access." 
The reader's job: define "useful." 
I am right now working on my own list 
of wishes. Readers, to your pens! 

Laurent Dube 

Green Island 

POB 3670 

Prince Rupert, British Columbia 

Canada V8J 3W8 



The Myth 
off Computer Literacy 

Yes, computer literacy is really a myth. 
There is no such thing. Many articles have 
been written decrying the lack of com- 
puter literacy in our society. Thousands 
of books and junior college courses have 
been devoted to this subject, but it really 
doesn't exist. Why not? Because com- 
puters are not literate. In fact, computer 
operators need not be literate either (al- 
though knowing how to read is advan- 
tageous). 

Like telephones, computers are ma- 
chines and are quite easy to operate. You 
just turn them on and follow the instruc- 
tions as they appear on the screen. You 
don't hear about telephone literacy. Com- 
puters are the same thing. No problem. 

A properly functioning computer with 
user-friendly software is a pleasure. 
Where we get into trouble is when we 
have software or hardware that malfunc- 
tions. Just like the early telephones, which 
had a lot of hardware and software prob- 
lems, computers (still in their evolution- 
ary infancy) have often given us interest- 
ing moments. As time goes on, this will 
straighten out and become a rare annoy- 
ance, as is now the case with the tele- 
phone. 

So why all the baloney about computer 
literacy? It is due to the desire of our news 
and education industries to increase their 
power. The news media tell us we are 
dumb, stupid, and will fall behind or 
lose a job if we are computer illiterate. 
This makes many people nervous and 
they buy more books, papers, and maga- 
zines in an effort to catch up. Educational 
institutions, suffering from the exit of all 
those baby-boom people, need more 
bodies to maintain income and justify 
their share of tax revenues. 

Certainly we need programmers and 
systems analysts who must be well 



trained in computer technology, just as all 
telephone repairmen and installers must 
be trained for their trade. But for the rest 
of us consumers, all we do is turn the 
computer on and use it, just like the tele- 
phone, and that requires very little "liter- 
acy." 

What we really need is to be digital- 
watch literate. I have a 45-function, $29 
wrist watch with 4 buttons and I cannot 
make it stop beeping. . . , 

E. J. Neiburger DDS 
Dental Computer Newsletter 
1000 North Ave. 
Waukegan, IL 60085 



An Ounce 
off Preventive Maintenance 

We second Mr. Brady's motion (No- 
vember 1982 BYTE, 'letters," page 19) re- 
questing more BYTE articles concerning 
maintenance and repair. 

Computers may sometimes be astonish- 
ing in their capabilities but they're still 
machines, and machines break— some 
more frequently than others and some 
more mysteriously. 

Of course, thorough and regular main- 
tenance can help cut down on the number 
of breakdowns, but when the machine 
does go on the blink there's no reason why 
it can't be up and running quickly. To en- 
sure a minimum of downtime, every com- 
puter owner should establish a relation- 
ship with a reliable and efficient mainte- 
nance organization before any repairs are 
needed. 

In the world of microcomputers, the 
most likely and most reliable source of 
service is the computer distributor or 
dealer. In short, the person you buy it 
from. It is naive to expect prompt service 
from hardware makers. They are in the 
business of manufacturing, not servicing, 
microcomputers. 

So it behooves the microcomputer 
buyer to compare service capabilities as 
well as prices when shopping for a system. 
In fact, service should be a more crucial 
factor than price in the decision because 
the few dollars saved by buying from a 
mail-order house with no maintenance 
service will cost you dearly as time goes 
by and equipment fails. 

In order to evaluate the maintenance 
capabilities of computer dealers and to 
make sure you'll get prompt service if and 
when you need it, make sure they meet 
the following criteria. 



16 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



f 









IF MetaCard DOESN'T IMPROVE 

YOUR WORKING CONDITIONS 

WE'LL GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK. 



It's almost three in the morning. 
You knew just one more line of code 
and your program would be finished. 
That was seven hours ago. It's hard 
work developing good software. Writing 
it on the Apple II is no exception. 
Although we can't promise to get you 
to bed by eleven o'clock, we can make 
your job a lot easier. 

When we developed MetaCard, a 
co-processor system for the Apple II, we 
designed in 128K bytes of on-board 
memory with parity. Enough memory to 
run the most powerful development tools 
available. We included memory expansion 
capabilities beyond 128K. 

And we made sure it could run all three 
operating systems for the IBM PC. MetaCard 
does more than make your job easier, it opens 
up new development areas. If you want to create 
or run more powerful applications software for 
the Apple, or for the IBM PC or other 
8086/88-based systems, you should have a 
MetaCard in your Apple. MetaCard supports the 
most popular development languages available 
for MS-DOS, CP/M-86 and UCSD p-System 
Version IV Languages like Pascal, C, COBOL, 




FORTRAN, BASIC and almost all others operate 
at peak performance. MetaCard enables you to 
continue to use most of the popular peripherals 
for your Apple II, plus all of your existing 
software. And with many best selling 
applications for the IBM PC available soon, you 
can use your Apple in new and developing areas. 
MetaCard uses the Intel 8088 processor and 
operates at a full 5 Mhz. And MetaCard's 
real-time clock, external power supply, parity 
checking RAM, and power-up ROM diagnostics 
give you the features and reliability you demand. 



Satisfaction Guaranteed 

We know you'll still work through the night. 
But if MetaCard doesn't improve your 
working conditions, return it within 
30 days, and we'll send your money 
back. No questions asked. 
MetaCard, complete with 
J documentation, MS-DOS and UCSD 
f p-System (CP/M-86 optional) and power 
f supply, is available in both 64 and 128K 
} configurations, priced at $980 and $1,150 
respectively. The MetaCard System Operating 
Manual is available for only $25. 

For more information write us today, 
Metamorphic Systems, Inc., 8950 Villa La 
Jolla Drive, Suite 1200, La Jolla, CA 92037. 
Or call us today to orderyours at 

800/228-8088 

In California call 619/457-3870. 

MetaCard is a trademark of Metamorphic Systems, Inc., Apple — Apple 
Computer Inc., Intel 8088 — Intel Corporation, CP'M-86 — Digital Research 
Corporation, MS-DOS — Microsoft, UCSD p-System — University of California, 
IBM PC— IBM. 

Circle 265 on inquiry card. 

MetaCard 



Letters • 



Proximity: Common sense tells you 
that you'll get better service from a com- 
pany close by than one far away. Also 
keep in mind that shipping charges are 
usually the responsibility of the customer. 

Longevity: We've been living in the age 
of computers long enough that you 
needn't deal with a company that doesn't 
have a substantial track record. (For in- 
stance, Tristar has been in business over 
10 years.) Unless there's something very 
special about the company, don't deal 



with a brand-new business. The computer 
industry has seen too many casualties, 
and one thing you want is a company that 
will be around tomorrow. 

Legitimacy: It's easy to get into the 
computer business today. Deal with a real 
business, not an answering service. Ask 
for references. 

Adequate stock of replacement parts: 
Ask if the company has an inventory of 
replacement parts. Having the necessary 
parts on hand can mean the difference be- 



Excellence 
Acknowledged. 




Some people demand the best. 

Superior quality at superiorvalue identifies 
the "best" products, and the best in Apple In- 
compatible drives is the Micro-Sci line of 5V4 " 
floppy disk drives and subsystems. 

Business people needing storage, reliability 
and fast access have been impressed with 
Micro-Sci's A40 system since we introduced it 
back in 1979. For a lower list price than the 
Apple Disk H®'s, the A40 offers 20Kb more 
capacity, faster access time and greater 
data reliability. 

The Micro-Sci A70 drive combines quick 
access and high reliability with a full 286Kb 
storage capability. 

The newest member 
of Micro-Sci's Apple II- 
compatible family, the A2, is a 
direct replacement for the Disk II 



//-SCI 



featuring total compatibility at a lower cost. Better 
still, you can mix our A2 drive and controller with 
their drive and controller for complete freedom of 
interchangeabilily. 

And Micro-Sci's controller includes operating 
features like jumper-selectable 3.2 and 3.3 DOS. 
Give yourself the privilege. 
Micro-Sci delivers the most in quality, 
reliability and performance. So when you 
consider additional drives or a disk subsystem 
for your Apple II, indulge yourself in the Micro- 
Sci alternative. 

See our complete product line today at 
a dealer near you. 

(SPECIAL NOTE TO APPLE III 9 
USERS; Micro-Sci also offers a full 
range of Apple Ill-compatible 
drives. Ask your local dealer 
for details.) 



MICRO-SCI 

Micro-Sci is a Division of Standun Controls, Inc. 

2158 SOUTH HATHAWAY STREET • SANTA ANA, C ALIFORNI A92705 ■ 714/662-2801 • TELEX: 910-346-6739 

International Dealer Inquiries ... IMC International Markets Corp. Telephone: 714/730-0963 • Telex: 277782-ROBY UR 

* Apple, Apple II, Apple III and Disk II are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. 



18 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 276 on Inquiry card. 



tween hours and weeks of downtime. 

Tools and space for in-house repair: In 
order to provide good maintenance, ade- 
quate money must be allotted for a repair 
shop and sophisticated tools. Make sure 
that your dealer has done so. 

Trained people: Any reputable manu- 
facturer runs training sessions to teach 
people how to repair their equipment. 
Make sure one of your dealer's employees 
has gone to that school. 

Computer downtime means money and 
inconvenience and sometimes even hard- 
ship for anyone whose computer opera- 
tions are essential. For those reasons, all 
computer owners should be well versed in 
their equipment's proper care and feeding 
and should have a top-notch maintenance 
organization on call to fix things if they 
start going bad. 

Pete Morley 

Tristar Data Systems 

Cherry Hill Industrial Center 

2 Keystone Ave. 

Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 



Victor Club 

Phil Lemmons's article "Victor Vic- 
torious: The Victor 9000 Computer" 
(November 1982 BYTE, page 216) was in- 
deed impressive. 

The Andrews Group is heavily in- 
volved in the development end of 
CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/ 
computer-aided management) software 
for the Victor 9000 coupled with Houston 
Instrument plotters and digitizers. 

Over the last six months of develop- 
ment work we have had tremendous sup- 
port from the Victor Software Group in 
Chicago. We feel at this point, however, 
there should be some central point for in- 
formation exchange for the Victor. 

To this end we have set up the Victor 
User's Club and for the present time we 
will use the offices of the Andrews Group 
and its facilities. 

The club will be for the free exchange of 
information and will publish a monthly 
newsletter pertaining to new develop- 
ments and software ideas. The yearly fee 
is $35, which will cover publishing and 
mailing expenses. 

Mark W. Andrews 
The Andrews Group 
310 SW 2nd St. 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 

Circle 484 for dealers. 
Circle 485 for end users. — * 




IBC MIDDI CADET 1 



ALTOS ™ ACS 8000-10 



Maximum Users 
Disk Storage 
Memory 
CPU Speed 

Benchmark (Elapsed time 

List Price 



9 

20 MB 

256 KB J 

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1:44 Minutes* 

$7495.00 



Maximum Users 
Disk Storage 
Memory 
CPU Speed 

Benchmark (Elapsed time) 

List Price 



4 

10MB 

208 KB 

4 MHz 

5:03 Minutes* 

$7995.00 



The IBC MIDDI Cadet is better, faster and less expensive than the ALTOS ACS-8000-10 and 
others. That's why we call it the heavyweight performer. 

Because the MIDDI is completely software compatible with ALTOS, ONYX™, Dynabyte™ and 
others using CP/M™ 2.2, MP/M™ II or OASIS™, you can transport your applications software to the 
MIDDI without modification. So why not take the benchmark test yourself. 

If you are an OEM, system integrator, multiple end user, or dealer for any of our competitors, 

send a copy of your application program to IBC. We will run your software on the MIDDI without 

modification and give you the elapsed time in minutes. You be the judge. If it really is faster 

than your current hardware and it is , then you owe it to yourself and your customers to switch to 

IBC. 

So remember! When you want a heavyweight performer at a low price, contact — — 

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(213)882-9007 TELEX NO, 215349 (801)621-2294 



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Upgradeable to 512 K Bytes 



ems Iric . DYNABYTE is a trademark 



Letters 



The Real Bottleneck 

I take exception to a term which I fear is 
becoming widely accepted. I have recently 
seen it in BYTE and other publications. 
This term is Von Neumann bottleneck. 

The term is used because the concept of 
the stored program computer as we know 
it today is largely due to the work of John 
Von Neumann (1903-1957) in the early 
'40s and because in this concept instruc- 
tions are fetched and executed in a strictly 
linear fashion. 

I disagree with the popular use of the 
phrase for several reasons. First, in his in- 
novative work this genius broke the bot- 
tleneck of the day, which was the com- 
mon narrowmindedness that thought of 
computers in terms of single-use or hard- 
to-modif y dedicated systems. 

Second, the term contains the pejora- 
tive connotation that if it were not for 
Von Neumann this bottleneck would not 
exist today. It certainly would because it 
is related to hardware technology more 
than to anything else. 

Third, if Von Neumann had lived 
longer, the state of computer theory 



would most likely be far more advanced 
than it is. Doubtless his theoretical con- 
tributions would have gone well beyond 
the advances in hardware that we have 
seen over the years, particularly in regard 
to the capability of true multi- and 
parallel-processing. So if there is a Von 
Neumann bottleneck, it is in the loss that 
the world of mathematics and computers 
suffered in his early death. 

The contributions Von Neumann made 
to mathematics are well known, from the 
founding of the theory of games, with its 
wide-reaching applications in areas like 
weather research and economics, to his 
work in set theory and theoretical physics 
and his work in the logical design of elec- 
tronic computers and a general theory of 
automata. These contributions, along 
with the many anecdotes still told today 
about the intellectual powers of the man, 
attest to his true genius in many areas of 
mathematics and computing theory. I 
strongly protest the use of the term I have 
been discussing— it is a manifest injustice 
to connect the name Von Neumann with 
this pseudo-problem. 

In a constructive vein, may I make two 



suggestions. First, that this phenomenon 
be more aptly named. Terms like unipro- 
cessing bottleneck, linear-processng bot- 
tleneck or sequential-processing bot- 
tleneck come to mind, but I will not 
presume to coin the definitive phrase here. 
Second, may I suggest the following 
definition of the term Von Neumann bot- 
tleneck: the fact that more than 95 percent 
of all people have less than 5 percent of 
the ability of John Von Neumann. 

Philip Mahler 

Instructor of Mathematics 

Middlesex Community College 

Springs Rd. 

Bedford, MA 01730 



The Meaning of Oppression 

Just to set the record straight: I am the 
source of the "RESIST THE DRAFT" mes- 
sage that Dr. Kallend discovered assem- 
bled into Apple Logo (see the December 
1982 BYTE "Letters" column, page 18). 
Neither Apple Computer Inc. (which dis- 




wmmsmm 



The Most Promising Duet 
For An Orchestra* 

Our duet is perfect for a single user system. 
The same duet performs even better in a multi-user orchestra 




MCM*80: 

S-100 Single Board 
Computer ■ Single 
or multi processor 
capability ■ Pro- 
grammable master 
or slave selection 

■ Redundant pro- 
cessor manipulation 

■ 4MHz Z80A or 
6MHz Z80B CPU ■ 
64K RAM and 2K EPROM with monitor 

■ 2 serial, 2 parallel, 4 timer 
ports ■ Bi-directional inter- 
processor channel ■ Dual 
mode serial ports interface ■ 
Multi-layer PCB construction. 

£495 Circle 228 on inquiry card. 




DCM*80: S-100 Disk Controller 

Module ■ 8" and/or SVi" floppy disk 

controller ■ SASI (ANSI, SCSI) hard disk 

host adapter ■ Single and double density, 

single and double side Software 

implementation on CP/M 1 

2.2 and TurboDOS! 

1 TM of Digital Research, Inc. 
1 TM of Software 2000, Inc. 

$345. 






JC SYSTEMS 

1075 Hiawatha Ct, 
Fremont, CA 94538 
(415) 657-4215 



SSESES3ES 



897 N.W. Grant Ave. • Corvallis, Oregon 97330 • 503/758-0521 



T 



TWFTTn 



Expanding Horizons in 
Text Display 

Videoterm increases your Apple ][® display to a full 

capacity 80 columns. Proofreading text problems are 

a thing of the past. With Videoterm your text is 

displayed in upper and lower case characters with true 

I descenders utilizing a 7 by 9 character matrix. The 

time-tested Videoterm is compatible with most word 
processors and is available with alternate character 
fonts. Once you've explored the advantages of 
Videoterm, you'll discover a whole new world for you 
and your Apple ][. 
Suggested retail price: $345.00 



^feS- 




■ 



ACCESSORIES 



Videoterm Utilities Disc includes: 
•Graphics Template System 
•Font Editor 
•Mid-Res Graphics 
•Applesoft Read Screen Utility 
•Top & Bottom Scrolling 
•Pascal Vidpatch 

Suggested price 237.00 




Videoterm 

Character Set 

EPROMs ™' T 

•French •N. European 

• German 'Russian 

• Inverse 'Spanish 
•Katakana [Japanese] *Super & Subscript 
•Math & Greek Symbols Suggested price 
•Norsk $29.00 each. 



Dvorak EPRQM [Enhancer]— $29. 00 
Lower Case Chip [Rev 7 & up]— $29.00 



SOFT VIDEO SWITCH 




The Soft Video Switch is an automatic ver- 
sion of the popular Switchplate. It knows 
whether it should display 40 or 80 columns 
or Apple graphics. It does the tedious work 
of switching video-out signals so you don't 
have to. The Soft Video Switch can be con- 
trolled by software. May be used with any 
Videoterm with Firmware 2.0 or greater. 
The single wire shift mod is also supported. 
Package price is 9535.00. 



Circle 443 on Inquiry card. 



ENHANCER ][ 




The Enhancer ][ features a typeahead buf- 
fer. Your keyboard has upper and lower 
case, and will auto repeat any key held 
down. A single keystroke can become a 
word or an entire sentence. Controlled by a 
powerful microprocessor, Enhancer ][ 
allows you to re-map your keyboard or add 
specialized features. Changing a chip 
creates a totally different keyboard. 
Enhancer ][ Utilities Disc included. 

Suggested retail price $1 49.00. 



videx is a trademark of videx, \ncJ 

~ i jt Mi 



Apple ][ is a registered trademark of Apple-Computer Inc. 



PRINTER 
OPTIMIZER 




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* 64k to 256k spooling buffer 

* adapts different brands -can 
mix Serial and Parallel 

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* pushbutton automated access to 
your printer's various type 
styles and printing modes 

* several ways to PAUSE printing 

* access any character, graphic 
design or printer "trick" from 
any program at any time 

* special features for use as 
a MODEM buffer 



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Letters 

tributes the product) nor Logo Computer 
Systems (which manufactures it) knew of 
its inclusion. 

Dr. Kallend sees "an early start on 
1984" in the dissemination of the message 
(which he regards as subversive) "into so 
many of our schools." This view is aston- 
ishingly upside down. In the nightmare 
world of George Orwell's novel 1984, the 
expression of "subversive" ideas was all 
but wiped out; thus was obedience to 
government authority assured. It's hard to 
imagine a clearer antithesis to the type of 
oppression depicted in 1984 than en- 
couraging defiance of the draft, in schools 
and elsewhere. Dr. Kallend seems to be 
telling us that resistance is oppression. 

Gary L. Drescher 

NE43-743 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Cambridge, MA 02139 

A Language Is Born 

November 1982 saw continued discus- 
sion of the QWERTY versus Dvorak key- 
boards in the "Letters" section of BYTE 
(page 16). I am a touch-typist, and al- 
though I did not relish the prospect of 
learning to type all over again, the bene- 
fits from Dvorak's "simpler keyboard" in- 
trigued me. 

As with many microcomputers, the key- 
board on my Osborne is not redefinable. 
This meant that I couldn't implement 
Dvorak's layout without first replacing 
my ROM. However, I found a solution: 
rather than redefining the keyboard into 
Dvorak's structure, I chose to redefine the 
alphabet. If the word to be typed is 
"letter" I mentally encode it and type the 
"Dvorak-English" word "pokkdo." "Dear 
Sir" becomes "Hdao :so" and "Having a 
wonderful time." equates to the seemingly 
nonsensical "Ja.gly a ,slhdotfp kgmdq." 

I find that I have sufficient time to think 
of (or read) what I wish to type, convert 
its spelling into Dvorak-English, and still 
retain the speed of a true Dvorak key- 
board. The one problem, that other peo- 
ple cannot read my text until it is 
decrypted, does not significantly subtract 
from the value I have gained. However, it 
is my intention to seek the removal of 
even this irritation. Dvorak-English as a 
second language, perhaps taught along- 
side French and Spanish in public schools, 
would do the trick. 

Chris Rudek 

5975 Newman Court, #4 

Sacramento, CA 95819 



Warranty Pirates 



I thoroughly enjoy Jerry Pournelle's ar- 
ticles and find them informative and 
entertaining. However, I would like to 
take a good-natured poke at one of his 
commentaries in the November 1982 
BYTE "User's Column" (page 394) regard- 
ing the warranty and license information 
included with the Soft-Link evaluation 
copy of Colortrol that Mr. Pournelle con- 
sidered reviewing. 

If Mr. Pournelle will reread the warran- 
ty and license information that he signed 
when he began running CP/M on his sys- 
tem, he will find that Soft-Link, as many 
other software vendors have done, has 
merely used wording similar to that used 
by Digital Research. These vendors ap- 
parently feel there's no point in arguing 
with success. Digital Research has a suc- 
cessful software package, has not been 
sued out of business, and has successfully 
sued against pirates, while other software 
companies have difficulty coming up with 
anything else as simple and as protective. 
In other words, most software houses 
have "pirated" Digital Research's warran- 
ty and license format, probably for good 
reason, and Soft-Link shouldn't be taken 
to task for doing the same. 

Actually, most software houses are 
willing to be less restrictive in practice, 
but with suits being brought for almost 
any reason, valid and otherwise, and with 
such suits being expensive to defend, with 
little or no compensation for the winning 
defense, software houses will probably 
continue to use similar wording in war- 
ranties and licenses, if for no other reason 
than to avoid attorney fees rather than re- 
sponsibility. 

R. David Otten, Owner/President 
Signature Software Systems Inc. 
5602 Stouder Place NW 
Pickerington, OH 43147 ■ 



BYTE's Bugs 



MARC This Correction 

In the textbox on the MARC operating 
system that accompanied Christopher O. 
Kern's article "Microshell and Unica: 
Unix-Style Enhancements for CP/M," an 
incorrect telephone number was listed for 
Vortex Technology. (See the December 
1982 BYTE, page 206.) The correct num- 
ber is (213) 645-7200. ■ 



22 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 







BOXED IN THE CORNER 
BY YOUR SMALL 
BUSINESS COMPUTER? 



The trouble with many of today's better known 
small business computers is they box you into a single 
user system. So after your big initial investment you 
still have a single user system. You always will. 

Now there's the Ze^s 4 from OSM Computers. The 
Ze\ss 4 is the first multi-user, multi-processor micro at 
single user prices. The Ze^s 4 is less than one cubic foot 
and weighs 24.6 pounds. 

Yet it's like four separate, powerful small business 
computers in one. It allows up to four users to share 
a common data base or work independently. Each has 
his own CPU, 64K of RAM and I/O ports. That means 
greater operator independence, more processor power 
and greater reliability. 

You needn't worry about running out of storage 
capacity either. The Ze^s 4 comes with a built-in hard 
disk, so users share up to 19MB of storage, about twice as 
much as most other multi-user systems. 

You'll enjoy maximum flexibility in software appli- 
cations too, because Ze/is 4's MUSE operating system 
runs programs compatible with CP/M. Plus MUSE 
provides extensive file management functions typically 
found only on mini computers. 

Here's another big advantage: The Ze/iS 4 is 



designed for low maintenance, low down-time. Its four 
modules snap in and out with a few minutes work. 
So if repairs are ever needed, modules are simply 
replaced through OSM's limited warranty program. 

Maybe the best thing is that you can buy the 
powerful and expandable Ze^s 4 for $4,595 ($6,595 fully 
configured for four users). 

The Ze^s 4 from OSM, the latest in a family of 
powerful, multi-user small business computers. It's the 
little box that lets you grow without boxing you in. 

To find out more, 
call (800) 538-5120 
or (415) 961-8680 in 
California or write to 
OSM Computer Cor- 
poration, 665 Clyde 
Avenue, Mountain 
View, CA 94043. 




Computers. Your power to expand. 

CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research Inc. 

Zeps 4 and MUSE are trademarks of OSM Computer Corporation. 

© 1983 OSM Computers. 

Circle 329 on Inquiry card. 



ARE YOU STILL LETTING 

YOUR PRINTER 

TIE UP YOUR COMPUTER? 



While your printer is running, your 
computer is tied up. You can't use 
it for processing, computing, data 
entry. Nothing. All you can do is 
twiddle your thumbs until the 
program is finished. 
Pretty ridiculous. 

MICROBUFFER ALLOWS YOU 

TO PRINT AND PROCESS 

SIMULTANEOUSLY. 

You just dump your printing data 
directly to Microbuffer, whoosh!, 
and continue processing. 
No waiting. 

Microbuffer accepts data as fast 
as your computer can send it. 
It stores the data in its own 
memory buffer then takes control 
of the printer. 

It's that easy. 

THERE IS A MICROBUFFER 

FOR ANY COMPUTER/PRINTER 

COMBINATION. 

Whatever your system, there is a 
specific Microbuffer designed to 
accommodate it. 

FOR APPLE II COMPUTERS, 
Mircobuffer II features on-board 
firmware for text formatting and 
advanced graphics dump routines. 
Both serial and parllel versions 
have a power-efficient low- 
consumption design. Special 
functions include Basic listing 
formatter, self-test, buffer zap, and 



transparent and maintain modes. 
The 16K model is priced at $259 
and the 32K, at $299. 

FOR EPSON PRINTERS, Microbuffer/ E 
comes in two serial versions — 
8K or 16K (upgradable to 32K) — 
and two parallel versions — 16K 
or 32K (upgradable to 64K). The 
serial buffer supports both hard- 
ware handshaking and XON-XOFF 
software handshaking at baud 
rates up to 19,200. Both interfaces 
are compatible with standard Epson 
commands, including GRAFTRAX-80 
and GRAFTRAX-80 + . Prices range 
from $159 to $279. 

ALL OTHER COMPUTER/ PRINTER 
COMBINATIONS can be untied by 
the stand-alone Microbuffer In-line. 

The serial stand-alone will 
support different input and output 
baud rates and different hand- 
shake protocol. Both serial and 
parallel versions are available in a 
32K model at $299 or 64K for 
$349. Either can be user-upgraded 
to a total of 256K with 64K add-ons 
— just $179 each. 

SIMPLE TO INSTALL 

Microbuffer II is slot-independent. 
It slips directly inside the Apple II 
in any slot except zero. 

Microbuffer/ E mounts easily 
inside the existing auxiliary slot 
directly inside the Epson printer. 

The stand-alone Microbuffer is 



installed in-line between virtually 
any computer and any printer. 

MICROBUFFER FROM 
PRACTICAL PERIPHERALS. 

So what are you waiting for? Write 
to us for more information or ask 
your dealer for a demonstration. 

When you see how much 
freedom Microbuffer will allow, 
you'll understand why it's so silly 
to be without one. 

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31245 LA BAYA DRIVE 
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA 91362 
(213) 991-8200 





FREES COMPUTERS 



Circle 350 on inquiry card. 



Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar 



Build the ECM-103, 
an Originate /Answer Modem 

The Texas Instruments TMS99532 component 
forms the heart of a Bell-103-compatible modem. 



Steve Ciarcia 

POB 582 

Glastonbury, CT 06033 



Back in the August 1980 BYTE, I 
presented an article on how to build 
an originate-only modem for under 
$50 (see reference 2). It must have 
been the right project at the right 
time; I know that several thousand of 
you ordered the kit version. Since 
then, however, technology has ad- 
vanced. The degree of functionality 
that took about a hundred com- 
ponents and a fair amount of con- 
struction complexity in 1980 can now 
be obtained with less effort and can 
offer even better performance. The 
limited originate-only design from 
2Vi years ago may not be adequate 
for all applications. I believe a new 
design is warranted. 

This month's project is the con- 
struction of a reliable and versatile 
300-bps (bit-per-second) data-com- 
munication device called the Circuit 
Cellar ECM-103 modem (see photo 
1). It requires no calibration or 
critical adjustments, uses only 30 
components, and operates in both 
originate and answer modes. I think 
you'll be intrigued with its simplicity. 



Copyright © 1 983 by Steven A. Ciarcia. 
All rights reserved. 



Let's begin with a quick review of 
modems and data-communication 
techniques. 

What Is a Modem? 

The word modem is a contraction 
of the two words modulator and de- 
modulator. The modem converts dig- 
ital signals from the computer into 
analog signals, which can be trans- 
mitted via a telephone line. Various 
techniques can be employed in this 
conversion. 

Modems are generally categorized 
by the speed at which they transmit 
data. The data-transmission rates are 
properly expressed in bits per second 
(bps), although you often hear the 
term baud used. Strictly speaking, 
"baud" measures the number of tran- 
sitions in state of the communication 
link, rather than the amount of data 
represented by these transitions. A 
single change of state may in some 
cases represent multiple data bits, and 
therefore the data rate may not equal 
the baud rate. The difference can be 
important. 

Modems are commonly divided in- 
to four categories, based on their 
speed of transmission. The low-speed 
modems are those operating at speeds 



from to 600 bps. The medium-speed 
modems operate from 1200 to 2400 
bps. From about 3600 bps to around 
16,000 bps are a group of modems 
generally called high-speed, but still 
higher in speed are the wide-band 
modems, which work at speeds from 
19,200 bps on up. 

The higher the data rate, the 
greater the price of the modem. Most 
low-speed (300-bps) modems are 
generally under $200, while most 
1200-bps units are in the $700 to 
$1000 range. Low- and medium-speed 
modems generally use voice-grade 
telephone lines, but the higher-speed 
units require dedicated communica- 
tion-grade lines. And as the speed of 
data communication increases, the 
techniques required to ensure error- 
free reception become, by necessity, 
more sophisticated. 

How Modems Work 

The process of translating digital 
information into a form that can be 
sent through telephone lines is called 
modulation. Current practices in- 
clude several techniques. 

Low-speed modems generally em- 
ploy a technique called frequency-shift 
keying (FSK), which uses two distinct 



26 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 1: Prototype of the Circuit Cellar ECM-103 300-bps modem. The TMS99532 is the chip on the left next to the crystal 
The circuit can be directly attached to the telephone lines through a DAA or acoustically coupled through the coupler shown in 
photo 3. 



tones of different frequency to repre- 
sent logic 1 and 0. Data is sent by the 
modem's alternately transmitting the 
two frequencies (i.e., shifting the fre- 
quency of its transmitted carrier 
tone). The amount of information 
that can be sent using FSK in a given 
interval of time is limited by the fre- 
quency bandwidth of the telephone 
line: a transmitted data bit must con- 
sist of at least the number of cycles of 
a 1 or tone required for the receiver 
to recognize it, and the number of 
cycles of the transmitted tone taking 
place in a time interval is the same 
thing as its frequency. The frequen- 
cies used cannot exceed the capability 
of the line. 

Higher-speed modems use more 
complex and sophisticated transmis- 
sion techniques, all of which to some 
extent modulate not only the frequen- 
cies of the tones but their phase, and 
possibly amplitude, as well. These 



phase-shift keying (PSK) methods 
permit more compact data encoding, 
with more information transmitted in 
less time, by making a single change 
in the state of the physical communi- 
cation link communicate more than 
one data bit. (In such a technique, the 
data rate differs from the baud rate; 
see reference 1.) 

The most popular variation of PSK 
is called quadrature amplitude modu- 
lation, or QAM. Widely used in 1200- 
bps modems, QAM employs both 
amplitude and phase modulation to 
encode 2 bits of data in every state 
transition (see reference 4). 

The chief drawback of any PSK 
technique is the sophistication re- 
quired in the decoding mechanism of 
the receiving modem, which must 
sort out the information-bearing 
phase and amplitude variations in the 
received signal from the meaningless 
phase and amplitude distortions in- 



duced in the signal by the communi- 
cation link. 

Because this article is about build- 
ing a low-speed modem, Til save the 
discussion of these more sophisticated 
encoding techniques for a more ap- 
propriate time in the future. 

How an FSK Modem Works 

In computer communication via 
modems, one of the two modems in- 
volved is called the originating 
modem because the communication 
link is established beginning with it. 
The other modem is called the 
answering modem. In the archetypal 
case, the originating modem is 
associated with a video-display ter- 
minal, and the answering modem is 
connected to a remote host computer. 

In frequency-shift-keyed communi- 
cation, a modem is said to operate in 
either originate or answer mode. Each 
of these modes has its own unique set 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 27 




Photo 2: Inside view of prototype modem. Box contains modem circuit (upper 
left), coupler, and power supply (lower right). 



GAIN 




LOW- BANDPASS 
RECEIVE FILTER 



LOGIC LOGIC! 




HIGH-BANDPASS 
RECEIVE FILTER 



LOGICO L0GIC1 



2100 




FREQUENCY RESPONSE 
OF TELEPHONE NETWORK 



300 1070 

*2100Hz -CCITT V. 25 ANSWER TONE 



1270 2025 

FREQUENCY (Hi) 



1115 



Figure 1: Frequency spectrum used by low-speed Bell-10 3-compatible modems for data 
communication over voice-grade telephone lines. For full-duplex operation, two 
distinct passbands are used, one for data passing in each direction. The modulation 
technique used is phase-continuous frequency -shift keying. 



of tone frequencies to indicate 1 and 
0. (From the previous discussion of 
FSK, you will recall that the transmis- 
sion of one tone at a given frequency 
signifies a logic 1 and that a tone at a 
certain other frequency signifies a 
logic 0.) Use of two sets of tones 
allows full-duplex communication, in 
which information moves in both di- 
rections at once over a single pair of 
wires. 

The modem operating in originate 
mode transmits using the originate set 
of tones (1070 Hz for a and 1270 Hz 
for a 1). The modem operating in 
answer mode transmits using the 
answer tones (2025 Hz for a and 
2225 Hz for a 1). In receiving, each 
modem listens for the tones being 
used by the other modem. The logic-1 
frequency is sometimes called the 
mark tone, and the logic-0 frequency 
is then called the space tone. Figure 1 
shows the telephone-line passband 
and the relationship of the two sets of 
tones. 

Almost universally, if you are dial- 
ing a large computer network, your 
terminal is considered the originating 
terminal, and therefore your modem 
need only operate in originate mode. 
A modem that can do only this is 
called an "originate-only" modem. If 
you wish your equipment to be able 
to answer calls from an originate- 
mode modem, you need a modem ca- 
pable of operating in answer mode. 

If the other party is willing and able 
to establish the link but still use 
answer frequencies, you could receive 
calls on an originate-only modem. 
(The choice of which modem uses 
which mode is arbitrary as long as 
they don't both try to use the same 












TMS99532 






MICROPHONE 








TTL/RS-232C 
CONVERTER 


AMPLIFIER 




















SPEAKER 






RS-232C/TTL 
CONVERTER 


AMPLIFIER 























SERIAL 
) COMPUTER 
INTERFACE 



Figure 2: Block diagram of the Circuit Cellar ECM-103 modem, which is designed around the Texas Instruments TMS99532 integrated 
circuit. 



28 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



mode.) So owning an originate-only 
modem doesn't put you at a major 
disadvantage, but a unit that can 
operate in both modes, an originate/ 
answer modem, is more flexible. The 
ECM-103 presented for construction 
here is such an originate/answer 
modem. 

Design of the ECM-103 

The Circuit Cellar ECM-103 300-bps 
modem is built around the Texas In- 
struments TMS99532 FSK modem 
chip, which allows the modem to 
achieve a new plateau of elegance and 
reliability. The ECM-103 uses signifi- 
cantly fewer components than most 
modems presently available and is 
simple enough for the casual hobbyist 
to assemble (see photo 2). I've ar- 
ranged for The Micromint to produce 
a kit for building the ECM-103. 

Completely crystal-controlled, the 
ECM-103 requires no calibration or 
adjustments. Although designed for 
acoustical coupling to a telephone 



handset, the modem also lends itself 
to direct telephone-line connection 
through an FCC- (Federal Communi- 
cations Commission-) registered pro- 
tective circuit, a so-called DAA (data- 
access arrangement). A 600-ohm 
matching transformer for connection 
to the DAA is available in the parts 
list. The ECM-103 is connected to its 
associated computer or video termi- 
nal (its data-terminal equipment) 
through an RS-232C-compatible in- 
terface. 

Figure 2 is a block diagram of the 
ECM-103. The distinctive modem 
functions are all contained in the 
TMS99532; the other parts of the cir- 
cuit serve to interface the TMS99532 
to either the acoustic coupler or the 
computer. 

Figure 3 is the schematic diagram of 



the ECM-103. The four integrated cir- 
cuits in the modem work as follows. 
IC1 is the TMS99532. Component 
IC2 (an MC1458) is a dual operation- 
al amplifier (op amp). One half of it 
amplifies the signals received from 
the microphone next to the handset's 
earpiece, while the other half am- 
plifies the FSK output from the 
TMS99532 to drive a speaker under 
the telephone mouthpiece. IC3 (an 
MC1488) and IC4 (an MC1489) serve 
chiefly as level-shifters to convert the 
digital circuitry's TTL (transistor- 
transistor logic) voltages to the 
±12-V (volt) levels required for RS- 
232C communication. One section of 
IC3 is used to drive the carrier-detect 
LED (light-emitting diode). Switch 
SWl selects the answer or originate 
operating mode. 



Number 


Type 


+ 5 V 


GND 


-12 


V 


+ 12 V 


-5 V 


IC1 


TMS99532 


5 


18 






14 


11 


IC2 


MC1458 






4 




8 




IC3 


MC1488 


14 


7 










IC4 


MC1489 




7 


1 




14 





+ 12V 



Jl 

RS-232C | C 4 

CONNECTOR MC1489 



"ORIG" N/C 



TRANSMITTED 
DATA I 



SE> £X 



ft? ANSWER 



RECEIVED ^— I L7^~[ I 1 

DUT <JJ -A * 1 5 f" 



ACOUSTIC 
COUPLER 



DATA 01 



CARRIER 
DETECT 



<U 

GROUND rr> — i 

N/C* NO CONNECTION 



<D 



IC3 
MC1488 



jr 



LEDl 
TIL-220 

-96- 




CARRIER 
DETECT" 



HIGH-IMPEDANCE 

CERAMIC 

MICROPHONE 



m 



Figure 3: Schematic diagram of the ECM-103. Four voltages are required to power the unit; no power-supply components are shown 
in this figure. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 29 



(4a) 



ANALOG L OOPBA CK ENABLE 

CARRIER-DETECT INDICATION 

CARRIER-DETECT- TIMING 

RECEIVED DATA OUTPUT 

(+5V) 

4.032-MHz OSCILLATOR OUTPUT 



CRYSTAL CONNECTIONS 
ANSWER-TONE ENABLE 



ALB [ 

DCD[ 

TM6 [ 

RCVD[ 

v C cC 

OSCOUT [ 
XTAL2[ 
XTAL1 

ATE 



1 18 ] VSS (GROUND) 

2 17 ] EXl EXTERNAL TONE INPUT 

3 16 ] TXA ANALOG TRANSMISSION OUTPUT 

4 15]RCVA RECEIVED ANALOG INPUT 

5 14 ]V D D <+12V) 

6 13 ] SQT TRANSMISSION SQUELCH 

7 1 2 ] A / ANSWER / ORIGIN A TE SEL ECT 

8 11 3 V BB f-M 

9 10 ] XMTD TRANSMITTED DATA 
TMS99532 



(4b) 



TMG 
DCD • 



CARRIER 
DETECTION 



AGC 



RCVD •*- 



XTAL1 

XTAL2 

OSCOUT 

XMTD ■ 



DEMODULATOR 



,. 








OSCILLATOR 


* 









MODULATOR 



MULTIPLEXER 



BANDPASS 
FILTER 



BANDPASS 
FILTER 



MULTIPLEXER 



ANTIALIASING 

LOW-PASS 

FILTER 



ANTIALIASING 

LOW-PASS 

FILTER 



EXl 



I 1 
TXA 



Figure 4: Pinout specification (a) and functional block diagram (b) of the TMS99532 modem chip. 



Not shown in the schematic is the 
four-voltage power supply. The 
TMS99532 requires three voltages: 
+ 5 V, -5 V, and + 12 V, while an 
additional — 12-V supply is required 
by the MCL458 and MC1488. An ex- 
ternal three-voltage power supply can 
be used if an onboard voltage con- 
verter ( — 12 V to — 5 V) is installed in 
the modem. (This approach was 
taken in the kit version, which re- 
quires the input of only + 5 V, + 12 V, 
and —12 V for operation.) 

Figure 4 shows a pinout specifica- 
tion and block diagram of the 
TMS99532 modem chip. The LSI 
(large-scale integration) NMOS (neg- 
ative-channel metal-oxide semicon- 
ductor) technology of the TMS99532 
enables it to contain all the necessary 
modulation, demodulation, and fil- 
tering circuitry required to form the 
heart of a modem. Its use eliminates 
many standard discrete components, 



reducing the size and increasing the 
reliability of modem designs. 

The transmit FSK-modulator sec- 
tion is phase-continuous, that is, the 
phase of the transmitted signal re- 
mains constant during a frequency 
shift. The mark (logic 1) and space 

The TMS99532 uses a 
4.032-MHz crystal to 

generate the four 

reference frequencies 

used by the digital 

filters. 

(logic 0) frequencies are derived from 
the clock circuit. Whether the answer 
or originate frequencies are transmit- 
ted is determined by the logic level on 
the A/O select line (pin 12). The fre- 
quency shifting of the output is con- 
trolled by the data arriving through 



the XMTD line (pin 10). The modula- 
tor's output, bandpass-filtered to 
eliminate noise, makes its way to the 
outside world via the TXA line (pin 
16). 

The demodulator includes two 
stages of filtration: two primary anti- 
aliasing filters, each of which feeds 
two secondary narrow-bandpass digi- 
tal filters centered on the particular 
mark and space frequencies. One pri- 
mary filter is centered on 1170 Hz (to 
pass received originate-mode tones) 
and the other on 2125 Hz (allowing 
answer-mode tones to pass). 

The TMS99532 uses a 4.032-MHz 
crystal to generate the four reference 
frequencies (both sets of mark and 
space tones) used by the digital filters. 
In either operating mode, one set is 
used to sample the analog input 
signals (from the chip's RCVA input, 
pin 15) through a switched capacitor- 
filter network, while the other set 



30 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



generates the carrier signals in the 
transmit modulator. 

In the receiving process, the out- 
puts of the digital mark and space 
filters are full-wave rectified and their 
levels are compared. If the signal 
coming from the mark filter is greater 
in amplitude than the space filter's 
amplitude, the received data is inter- 
preted as a logic 1 (or vice versa). The 
input from the microphone is at- 
tached to the RCVA input (pin 15), 
and the demodulated data comes out 
on the RCVD output line (pin 4). 

The TMS99532 has a carrier-detect 
function that allows separate time- 
out intervals for acquisition and loss 
of signal. For a valid carrier-detect 
signal to be generated, the TMS99532 
must receive a mark signal of detect- 
ible amplitude during the interval 
selected as the carrier-detect turn-on 
time. After a mark-state carrier has 
been detected, the signal must fall 
below the carrier-detect turn-off 
threshold for a predetermined turn- 
off interval before the Data Carrier 
Detect output (pin 2) indicates loss of 
signal. The turn-on and turn-off times 
are preset by the connection of a 
resistor/capacitor combination to the 
TMG input (pin 3). In designing the 
ECM-103, I chose a 10-megohm resis- 
tor and. a 0.01-microfarad capacitor 
to provide a turn-on carrier-detect in- 
terval of approximately 75 ms (milli- 
seconds) and a turn-off time of ap- 
proximately 25 ms. 

Acoustic-Coupler Interface 

The easiest and simplest way of 
making the physical connection from 
the ECM-103 modem to the telephone 
line is to use an acoustic coupler. This 
apparatus is in essence just a speaker 
and a microphone that "talk" through 
a standard telephone handset. While 
direct connection to the telephone 
lines has technical advantages, 
acoustic coupling is convenient and 
does not require FCC approval. 

Construction of a serviceable 
acoustic coupler is really quite sim- 
ple; I described the process with 
detailed photographs in my previous 
modem article (reference 2). You need 
only common, easy-to-f ind materials 
and a modicum of dexterity to assem- 
ble the device. 




Photo 3: Acoustic modem components. Consists of a high impedance ceramic 
microphone, 8-ohm speaker, and 2 rubber cushions. Because it makes no physical 
connection to the telephone line, no FCC certification is required. 



If you prefer the professional look 
in your projects and want to guaran- 
tee top performance, I recommend 
the acoustic-coupler kit available 
from The Micromint. It uses rubber 
cushions specially designed for a tight 
fit on the telephone handset and a 



A 300-bps modem can 

neatly serve most 

needs for everyday 

data communication. 



ceramic microphone specifically 
designed for use in modems (see 
photos 3 and 4). Interestingly 
enough, as I was working on the 
ECM-103, the folks at The Micromint 
informed me that they had received a 
large order for acoustic-coupler parts 



from Texas Instruments itself, where 
someone was apparently also proto- 
typing a number of TMS99532 proj- 
ects. 

In Conclusion 

Today, the need for one computer 
to be able to talk to other computers 
is apparent without much explana- 
tion. The proliferation of automatic 
bulletin-board systems, timesharing 
services, and business data services 
dependent upon data communication 
has touched most computer users. 

For the average casual computer 
user or experimenter, a 300-bps Bell- 
103-compatible modem is generally 
adequate and is considered standard 
equipment. The prices of 1200-bps 
units are still very high, but I expect 
that they will eventually come down, 
and as a consequence more people 
will begin to use 1200-bps modems. 
(As soon as it becomes cost-effective, 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 31 




Photo 4: Finished modem prototype 



there will be a Circuit Cellar project 
to build a 1200-bps modem.) But for 
now, a 300-bps modem can neatly 
serve most needs for everyday data 
communication. 

The ECM-103 uses the latest LSI 
technology and is a considerable im- 
provement over previous designs. Be- 
cause it is crystal-controlled and uses 
no external filtering or frequency-set- 
point components, it offers substan- 
tially improved performance and 
long-term reliability. The TMS99532 
is a relatively new chip and as such is 
very expensive. Because of this, I 
have limited the complexity of the 
ECM-103 so that even with the other 
components it is still economical to 
build. 

Next Month: 

After you've built the modem, 
you'll need to connect it to your com- 
puter or terminal. In April, well look 
at a "break-out box, " a diagnostic aid 
for making RS-232C connections 
work. ■ 



To receive a complete list of Garcia 's 
Circuit Cellar project kits available from the 
Micromint. circle 100 on the reader service 
'"luiry card at the back of the magazine. 



References 

Bingham, John. "Understanding Modula- 
tion Methods." EDN, July 16, 1982, page 
352. 

Ciarcia, Steve. "A Build-lt-Yourself 
Modem for Under $50." August 1980 
BYTE, page 22. 

Parsons, Ronald G. "An Answer/Originate 
Modem." June 1980 BYTE, page 24. 
Skjellum, Anthony, and Richard S. 
Shuford. Letter and Reply: "In Search of 
Faster Modems." June 1982 BYTE, page 
42. 



magazine. 



Editor's Note: Steve often refers to previous 
Circuit Cellar articles as reference material for 
each month's current article. Most of the past 
articles are available in reprint books from 
BYTE Books, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 
POB 400, Hightstown, NJ 08520. 

Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar, Volume I contains 
the articles that appeared in BYTE from 
September 1 977 through November 1 978. Ciar- 
cia's Circuit Cellar, Volume II contains the ar- 
ticles from December 1978 through June 1980. 
Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar, Volume III contains 
the articles that were published from July 1980 
through December 1981. 



The following items are available from: 

The Micromint Inc. 
561 Willow Ave. 
Cedarhurst, NY 11516 
(800) 645-3479 (for orders) 
(516) 374-6793 (for information) 

1. ECM-103 modem kit: Comes com- 
plete with all components, printed- 
circuit board, RS-232C and power con- 
nectors, TMS99532 chip, and assembly 
manual. Requires acoustic coupler and 
power supply, not included. 

Complete kit $60 

2. Acoustic-coupler kit: Includes 2 
rubber cushions, a 2-inch 8-ohm speak- 
er, and a 2-inch ceramic microphone. 

Complete kit $18 



3. 600-ohm matching transformer for 
connecting to a DAA in direct-connect 
applications $9 

4. Universal three-voltage power- 
supply kit (size: 2.1 by 4.5 inches) Pro- 
vides + 5 V at 300 mA, +12 V at 50 
mA, -12 V at 50 mA. 

Complete kit $27 

All print ed-circuit boards are solder- 
masked and silk-screened and include a 
users manual. 

Prices include shipping and handling 
charges in the continental U.S.; please 
add $10 for orders from anywhere else. 

Residents of New York State please 
include 7 percent sales tax. 



32 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






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All the computers in the world won't help you without smart 
software, That's why were showing some of the best software 
products you can buy/ from solid, innovative companies. They're 
shown here together because they're all CP/M compatible. CP/M is 
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The logo, tagline and CP/M are either trademarks or 
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The Enhanced VIC-20 

Part 2: Adding a 3K-Byte Memory Board 



Joel Swank 
12550 SW Colony #3 
Beaverton, OR 97005 



OUT OF MEMORY is one of the most annoying error 
messages you can get. It usually happens just when 
you've almost finished writing that essential program. 
This article, the second in the Enhanced VIC-20 series, 
will show you how to prevent this problem by adding 
more memory to your microcomputer. 

Essentially, the addition of memory fills a "gap" in the 
VIC's memory. The memory circuit is relatively simple, 
but building the board demands a certain amount of ex- 
perience with electronic components. 

As supplied by Commodore, the VIC-20 comes with 
5K bytes of programmable RAM (random-access read/ 
write memory) which is logically divided into two sec- 
tions. One kilobyte (four pages) is located at the low end 
of the VIC memory space spanning addresses 0-1023 
($0-$3FF hexadecimal). This block of memory is used by 
the VIC control program (called the KERNAL) and is not 
available to BASIC programs. The 6502 microprocessor, 
which controls the VIC, requires that page zero (0-255 or 
$0-$FF) be used for direct-page machine instructions and 
that page one (256-511 or $100-$1FF) be used for the 
hardware stack. The KERNAL program uses pages two 
and three (512-1023 or $200-$3FF) to store such impor- 
tant VIC data as vectors, current color, and the screen 
buffer location. The keyboard input buffer and the tape 
buffer are also located there. Almost all of the first IK 
bytes of memory are dedicated to some use. 

The other 4K bytes of memory on the standard VIC are 
located at 4096-8191 ($1000-$1FFF). This RAM, which is 
used to hold the BASIC program and variables and the 
screen buffer, has a special use. It can be accessed by the 
6560 video interface chip (hence VIC). The 6560 is the in- 

Editor's Note 

The VIC-20 is one of the new breed of low-cost computers that offer a 
surprising amount of computing power for the money. But its low cost 
also means that it lacks some of the features we've come to take for 
granted. In this series of articles, author Joel Swank will "enhance" the 
VIC-20 and in so doing increase the utility of this very interesting com- 
puter. . .S.J.W. 



tegrated circuit (IC) in the VIC that creates the color im- 
ages that are sent to the screen. Special circuitry allows 
both the microprocessor and the video interface chip to 
access this 4K-byte block of RAM. It is the only RAM in 
the system that can contain the screen buffer and alter- 
nate character sets. This block of RAM must occupy a 
4K-byte boundary. That's why it's located at 4096 
($1000) instead of 1024 ($400), leaving a 3K-byte gap in 
RAM at 1024-4095 ($400-$FFF). Filling this memory gap 
with RAM will expand the VIC's memory to 8K bytes. 
Commodore offers two memory cartridges that fill this 
gap: the 3K-byte Memory Expander and the Super 
Expander. 

The KERNAL program checks for the presence of 
RAM at 1024 ($400) during power-up initialization. If 
RAM is present, it is used by BASIC. BASIC will then 
display the message 6655 BYTES FREE instead of the nor- 
mal 3583 BYTES FREE. That makes available 3072 more 
bytes for BASIC programs and variables. It also moves 
the start of BASIC to 1024 ($400), which frees the RAM 
in the special video block for use with special characters 
and lets you use full high-resolution graphics. (See the 
VIC users manual for information on high-resolution 
graphics.) The VIC LOAD command automatically 
relocates BASIC programs when they are loaded, so any 
programs you save on a 5K-byte VIC will also work on 
an 8K-byte VIC. 

Design 

A 3K-byte RAM board must be connected to the VIC 
via the expansion connector slot in the right rear of the 
case. Inside this slot is a standard 44-pin card-edge con- 
nector with contacts on 0.156-inch centers. This connec- 
tor will accept a standard industry card-edge plug. Com- 
modore cartridges consist of a printed circuit (PC) board 
to which a plastic case is bolted. The case helps to guide 
the edge of the PC board into the connector. You can also 
insert a board without a case if you carefully align the 
board and the connector. 



34 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 239 on inquiry card. 



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This detached, low-profile keyboard is plug-compatible with the existing 
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'Apple II is a registered trademark of AppJe_.Qamputer, Inc. 



VIC Expansion-bus Pin Assignments 




Pin # Use 


Pin# 


Use 


1 GND 


A 


GND 


2 CDO 


B 


CAO 


3 CD1 


C 


CA1 


4 CD2 


D 


CA2 


5 CD3 


E 


CA3 


6 CD4 


F 


CA4 


7 CD5 


H 


CA5 


8 CD6 


J 


CA6 


9 CD7 


K 
L 
M 
N 
P 
R 
S 
T 


CA7 

CA8 

CA9 

CA10 

CA11 

CA12 

CA13 

1702 


10 BLK1 


1 1 BLK2 


12 BLK3 


13 BLK5 


14 RAMI 


15 RAM2 


16 RAM3 


17 VR/W 


U 


1703 


18 CR/W 


V 


S02 


19 IRQ" 

20 NC 


w 

X 


NMf 


RESET 


21 +5VDC 


Y 


NC 


22 GND 


z 


GND 


Table 1: VIC expansion-bus pin assignments 
nomenclature in the VIC users manual 


using the 





VIC Expansion-bus Select L 


nes 


Signal 


Space 


Addresses 


Intended Use 


BLK1 


8K 


$2000-$3FFF 


RAM EXPANSION 


BLK2 


8K 


$4000-$5FFF 


RAM EXPANSION 


BLK3 


8K 


$6000-$7FFF 


RAM EXPANSION 


BLK5 


8K 
1K 
1K 
1K 


$A000-$BFFF 
$400-$7FF 
$800-$BFF 
$C00-$FFF 


ROM CARTRIDGE 
RAM EXPANSION 
RAM EXPANSION 
RAM EXPANSION 


RAMI 


RAM2 


RAM3 


1702 


1K 


$9800-$9BFF 


I/O EXPANSION 


1703 


1K 


$9C00-$9FFF 


I/O EXPANSION 


Table 2: 


VIC expansion-bus external select lines, their ad- 


dress ranges and intended 


use. 





Page 150 of the VIC users manual shows the signals on 
each pin of this connector. Table 1 lists the pin numbers 
and their signals. The 6502 microprocessor uses these 
signals, which are collectively called a bus, to com- 
municate with all parts of the system. The memory- 
expansion port is not the entire 6502 bus because the two 
high-order address lines are missing. But all standard 
6502 control and data lines are present, along with nine 



select lines. A select line exists for each unused block of 
the VIC address space. Table 2 shows the select lines and 
their corresponding address ranges. (Note that there is an 
error on page 150 of the users manual. The two select 
lines 1/02 and 1/03 (pins T and U), like all the other 
select lines, are negative logic signals. They should be 
shown with a line or bar over them.) 

Figure 1 shows the schematic for a 3K-byte RAM board 
that will plug into the VIC expansion bus. Implementing 
a 3K-byte RAM board is very simple because no external 
decoding of the address lines is needed. The VIC provides 
a select line for each IK bytes of RAM in the range 
1024-4095 ($400-$FFF). 

I chose 2114 static RAM ICs for my board, the same 
parts used for VIC's 5K bytes of memory. Each 2114 con- 
tains 4K bits organized as IK of half bytes or nybbles. 
Each IK bytes of RAM require a pair of 2114s. One 2114 
contains the high-order nybble of each byte, and the 
other contains the low-order nybble. Six 2114s are need- 
ed for 3K bytes of RAM. Each pair is selected by one of 
the RAM select lines. 

Construction 

Although the logic of the 3K-byte board is simple, con- 
structing it is more complicated. The pin numbers shown 
in both the VIC users manual and table 1 do not use the 
standard industry nomenclature for the 44-pin card-edge 
connector. It's actually a mirror image of the industry 
standard. If you buy a plugboard or a connector whose 
pins are marked, they won't match the VIC pin numbers. 
(I almost wired my board wrong before I realized that.) I 
guess Commodore used this numbering scheme to be con- 
sistent with the rest of the connectors on the back of 'the 
VIC. Table 3 lists the VIC pin assignments in standard 
nomenclature. 

The dimensions of the expansion-interface slot also 
present a problem. A PC board plugged into the VIC ex- 
pansion connector has only 1/8-inch clearance below and 
5/8-inch clearance above the edges of the slot. This 
clearance is no problem if you're using an etched printed- 
circuit board, but most people who build their own 
boards use one of the wire-wrapping methods of con- 
struction. Wire wrapping requires space below the board 
for wrap posts and wires. 

To work around the physical constraints, I built my 
board upside-down. That is, I built the board so that it 
would plug into the VIC with the components facing 
down and the wire- wrap pins facing up. To make the 
scheme work, I had to leave the first 2Vz inches of the 
board bare, which brings all components and wiring out- 
side the VIC case (see photo 1). The 5/8-inch clearance 
above leaves room to install wires to bring the signals out 
to the components. It looks a little strange, but it works 
well. It also means you have to use a third pin-assignment 
nomenclature. Table 4 shows the VIC upside-down bus 
pin assignments. 

Once you have the pin assignment nomenclature 
down, constructing the board is fairly straightforward. I 
have used Vector Electronic Company's Slit-N-Wrap 



36 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 352 on inquiry card. 



High Resolution RGB Color Monitor 
Designed for the IBM Personal Computer 



FEATURES 

□ 80 characters x 25 lines 

D 690 dots horizontal resolution 

D 16 colors 

D .31 mm dot pitch tube 

□ non-glare, black matrix 

□ plugs directly to IBM PC, cable 
supplied 

□ FCC Class B Approved 



Princeton Graphic Systems' new 
HX-1 2 high resolution color moni- 
tor is designed with an NEC.31 mm 
dot pitch CRT to give you up to 690 
dots horizontal resolution. You 
need not compromise the display 
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rated at less than the 640 horizon- 
tal dots generated by your IBM PC. 
The PGS HX-1 2 delivers 1 6 super 
colors, 80 characters x 25 lines. It 
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today. Get the PGS HX-1 2 and 
discover for yourself how well it 
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E> 
E> 

E> 






CDO 
CD1 



CD3 
CD4 



CDS 
CD6 



CD7 



+ 5V 



l£> 

{£> 



CAO 



CA1 



CA2 



CA3 



CA4 



CA5 



CA6 



CA7 






CA8 



CA9 



VR/W 






RAMI 



RAM2 



RAM3 



+ 5V o 
A 



18 



16 



15 



10 



13 



14 



+ 5V o 



DO Dl D2 D3 

vcc 

A0 

Al 

A2 

2114 
A3 

A4 

A5 

A6 

A7 

A8 

A9 

R/W 

GND CS 



10 



11 



12 



14 



+ 5V o 
A 



DO Dl D2 D3 

vcc 

A0 

Al 

A2 

2114 
A3 

A4 

A5 

A6 

A7 

A8 

A9 

R/W 

GND CS 



15 



12 



+ 5V o 
A 



DO Dl D2 D3 

vcc 

A0 

Al 

A2 

2114 
A3 

A4 

A5 

A6 

A7 

A8 

A9 

R/W 

GND CS 



15 



14 



+ 5V 

A 



DO Dl D2 D3 

vcc 

A0 

Al 

A2 

2114 
A3 

A4 

A5 

A6 

A7 

A8 

A9 

R/W 

GND CS 



15 



13 



14 



+ 5V <-> 
A 



DO Dl D2 D3 

vcc 

A0 
Al 

A2 

2114 
A3 

A4 

A5 

A6 

A7 

A8 

A9 

R/W 

GND CS 



14 



DO Dl D2 D3 

vcc 

A0 

Al 

A2 

2114 
A3 

A4 

A5 

A6 

A7 

A8 

A9 

R/W 

GND CS 



Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the VIC 3K-byte RAM board. The connector numbers on the left match the VIC expansion-bus 
pinouts shown in both table 1 and the users manual. 




Photo 1: A 3K-byte RAM board for the V1C-20 computer. This 
view shows the component side of the board and the parts 
layout. The circuit wiring, done with wirewrap technique, is on 
the opposite side, 



method of construction for years with good results. Stan- 
dard wire wrapping or the newer Just Wrap method from 
OK Machine and Tool Corp. should also produce good 
results. A variety of distributors sell wire-wrap sockets 
and individual wrap posts. I wrap all connections except 
the power and ground connections. For those I use point- 
to-point soldering so that I can use heavier gauge wire 
than the 28-gauge required for the Slit-N-Wrap method. 
It's a good policy to put a 10-/iF electrolytic capacitor 
across the power and ground lines near the edge connec- 
tor and to put a 0.1-/J ceramic-disk bypass capacitor 
next to each IC on the board from the power-supply line 
to ground. Whichever construction method and pin 
nomenclature you use, it's a good idea to mark the board 
and the VIC so that you never insert the board backward. 

Testing 

When you plug the 3K-byte RAM board into the VIC 
and turn it on, you should see the message 6655 BYTES 
FREE. If you don't, there's an error on the board. The 
VIC does a memory test at power-up. If it detects an er- 
ror, it fills the screen with a random pattern of characters 
and colors and refuses further communication. Even if 
you get the proper message, you can't be sure that the 



38 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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VIC Expansion-bus Standard Nomenclature 


Pin# Use" 


Pin# Use 


1 GND 


A GND 


2 + 5VDC 

3 NC 


B NC 


C RESET 


4 IRQ" 


D NMT 


5 CR/W 


E S02 


6 VR/W 


F 1703 
H 1702 
J CA13 
K CA12 
L CA11 
M CA10 
N CA9 
P CA8 


7 RAM3 


8 RAM2 


9 RAMI 


10 BLK5 


1 1 BLK3 


12 BLK2 


13 BLK1 


14 CD7 


R CA7 


15 CD6 


S CA6 


16 CD5 


T CA5 


17 CD4 


U CA4 


18 CD3 


V CA3 


19 CD2 


W CA2 


20 CD1 


X CA1 


21 CDO 


Y CAO 


22 GND 


Z GND 


Table 3: VIC expansion-bus pin assignments using standard 
industry nomenclature. Most numbered plugboards use this 
nomenclature. 



memory is working properly because the VIC's memory 
tegt is not thorough. 

The next step is to load and run a BASIC program to 
see if it works. If it does, there's a good chance that the 
memory is okay. If you have any problems, there are a 
few things you should check. Look for broken wires and 
poor solder joints. Check all connections for proper pin 
numbers. Be sure not to pull wires tight across adjacent 
pins. Wrap posts have sharp corners that can pierce in- 



VIC Expansion-bus Upside-down Nomenclature 


Pin# Use 


Pin# Use 


1 GND 


A GND 


2 CAO 


B CDO 


3 CA1 


C CD1 


4 CA2 


D CD2 


5 CA3 


E CD3 


6 CA4 


F CD4 


7 CA5 


H CD5 


8 CA6 


J CD6 


9 CA7 


K CD7 


10 CA8 


L BLK1 


11 CA9 


M BLK2 


12 CA10 


N BLK3 


13 CA11 

14 CA12 

15 CA13 

16 1702 


P BLK5 


R RAMI 


S RAM2 


T RAM3 


17 1703 


U VR/W 


18 S02 


V CR/W 


19 NMT 


W IRQ" 
X NC 


20 RESET 


21 NC 


Y + 5VDC 


22 GND 


Z GND 


Table 4: VIC expansion-bus pin assignments using upside- 


down nomenclature. This is how the signals would appear on 


a standard numbered board when they are inserted upside- 


down into the VIC. 



sulation. Try reseating the ICs in their sockets. As a last 
resort, try replacing the ICs one at a time, with spares 
you know to be good. 

The most difficult part of expanding the VIC was figur- 
ing out the pin-assignment nomenclature and how to 
work around the board's physical limitations. After solv- 
ing those problems, I was able to add 3K bytes of RAM 
for about $30 in parts and four hours of construction 
time . ■ 





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40 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 421 on Inquiry card. 



Circle 442 on Inquiry card. - 






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Wc just made 

owning an Atari computer 

a lot more logical. 







Introducing the Rana 1000 disk drive. It's a whole new game for Atari computers. 




This two digit LED readout 
displays a code that tells you 
everything you need to know. 



This beeping button tells you 
your write protect feature is 
keeping your information safe. 



When Rana Systems introduced the Elite 
Series of Apple® compatible disk drives, we didn't 
know what a tremendous impact they would make. 
It turned out to be a line so outstanding in perfor- 
mance, styling, capacity and price, that it instan- 
taneously made us a major force in the market. 
Well, needless to say, the response was so great 
that we were forced to create the same highly ad- 
vanced disk drive for Atari® A disk drive that when 
coupled with Atari's computer, could perform 
everything from accounting, financial planning, 
and stock charting, to word processing, business 
management, and letting you write your own pro- 
grams. Plus, we made it simple enough for a child 
to use, for learning anything from the alphabet to 
a foreign language. 

Working with a diskette 
versus playing with a cassette. 

Let's face it. The only reason Atari made a 
cassette option to their computer was to make it 
affordable. But now you don't have to settle for less. 
Because now you can get a diskette for your Atari 
computer which outperforms their cassette and 
costs 1 /3 less than their disk drive. With Atari's cas- 
sette you only get half the functions of a com- 
puter compared to what our floppy disk can give 
you. Their cassette is not only limited in the soft- 
ware available, but it also takes 20 times longer to 
get the information you need. And Rana's disk 



The remaining buttons beep 
when touched, and provide 
readouts on density storage, 
error status, and drive number. 



This button beeps when you 
touch it, and the LED readout 
tells you what track you're on. 



drive offers twice the storage capacity of either 
their cassette or disk drive. 

Why even stylewise our new low profile design 
not only looks 100 times more spectacular, but it 
occupies 3 times less space. And our new Rana 
1000 also gives you a piece of its mind every time 
you use it, because our disk drive gives you informa- 
tion as well as takes it. And we think that says a lot. 

The disk drive 
that has all the answers. 

Rana offers you a myriad of features Atari 
couldn't even conceive of. Like five electronic func- 
tions on the front panel that actually beep and give 
you a LED readout when touched. Our disk drive 
tells you what track you're on, and what density 
and how much information you're storing. It lets 
you switch from a single density of 90,000 letters to 
a double density of 1 80,000 letters, on a single 
diskette. And, we have a write protect feature which 
protects your diskette from being erased. In fact, 
no other disk drive can offer you that. 

As you can see, it was easy to build a disk 
drive superior to Atari's. Because for every reason 
you buy a disk drive, Rana has superior technology 

The Rana 1000 disk drive. It brings your Atari 
computer to a higher level of sophistication for a 
price one third lower than Atari's. So your choice 
shouldn't even be a matter of logic. 

Just common sense. 



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Always a step ahead of the originals. 




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Available at all participating Computerland stores and other fine computer dealers. 

* Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. ©Atari is a registered trademark of Atari, Inc., a Warner Communications Company. See us at the West Coast Computer Show. 

Circle 374 on inquiry card. 



A User's View of COMDEX 

The Industry Begins to Mature 



COMDEX is a big show put on 
mostly by manufacturers for dealers, 
and dealers definitely ought to at- 
tend. Users are another matter. 
COMDEX isn't set up for users, and 
paradoxically, there's too much to 
see. The most recent COMDEX, held 
in December in Las Vegas, had over a 
thousand exhibits and more than 
40,000 attendees. 

For all that, COMDEX is impor- 
tant. It's here that suppliers convince 
dealers they should handle their hard- 
ware and software products. Because 
everyone wants to be first with new 
technology, a lot of new develop- 
ments are announced and shown at 
COMDEX. Some are the products of 
mature technologies, some are pro- 
totypes, and some are half-baked 
schemes that aren't going anywhere. 
For computer journalists, COMDEX 
is a good place to pick up background 
material. 

My first impression of COMDEX 
was lines. Lines for taxis at the air- 
port; a long and inexplicable check-in 
line at the Imperial Palace hotel; a 



About the Author 

Jerry Pournelle is a former aerospace engineer 
and current science-fiction writer who loves to 
play with computers. 



Jerry Pournelle 

c/o BYTE Publications 

POB 372 

Hancock, NH 03449 



line for a taxi to the Convention 
Center; long lines for badges; and 
long lines for taxis to get back to my 
hotel when the day was nearly over. 
As working press I didn't have to 
stand in the badge line, but that was 
the only one I missed. 

My second feeling was dismay: 
there's no way to cover a thousand 
exhibits in three days, nor is it much 
easier to characterize an entire in- 
dustry in a few sentences. (The Com- 
puter Dealer, a show newspaper pub- 
lished daily, ran to 168 pages I) Con- 
sequently this report will be highly 
personal. I saw as much as I could. 
I've consulted experts when possible. 
Still, there's much I missed, and if I've 
overlooked something significant, I 
can only apologize. 

One more warning: this is a show 
report. It is, therefore, much more 
impressionistic than my User's Col- 
umn. I can describe what I saw, and 
what I thought about it; but I am not 
making recommendations and won't 
until I can use some of this new stuff. 

I can remember when the micro- 
computer industry consisted of little 
more than MITS kits and some home- 
brew machines; one had to be a deter- 
mined hobbyist, or at least have a 
pioneer spirit, to become involved in 
"this crazy new game" back then. 



Now there are hundreds of computers 
and thousands of programs. As the 
market expands, vendors hope to sell 
to less sophisticated users. Thus have 
grown up the "system packagers," 
who combine hardware, software, 
and "teaching aids." I saw evidence of 
advances in hardware, software, and 
materials designed to show beginners 
how to use the stuff. 

Hardware 

The most significant hardware I 
saw was the Syquest "removable 
media Winchester." This is a 100-mm 
hard-disk drive that comes in a pack- 
age half the height of a thin 5V4-inch 
floppy disk and has a removable disk 
cartridge called the Q-Pak. Each car- 
tridge holds 5 megabytes formatted. 
The drives have the same pinouts, 
timing, etc. as a standard 5V4-inch 
Winchester and work with standard 
Winchester controllers, power sup- 
plies, and interfaces. 

The Syquest drives sell for $800 
each; the Q-Paks are $50. A few sys- 
tems at the show already made use of 
Syquests; these typically sold a two- 
drive system with power supply and 
controller for $2500, about half again 
what you pay for a pair of 8-inch 
double-sided double-density floppies. 
Tecmar is offering a single-drive sys- 



44 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 1: Neighbors at COMDEX 
Honeywell and Apple Computer. 




Photo 2: A sight we all thought we'd 
never see. A "foreigner" at the IBM dis- 
play booth. IBM now makes equipment 
that can be used by Apple computers. 



Photo 3: COMDEX is a wonderful place 
to meet people (left to right): Compupro 
President Mark Garetz; Tony Pietsch of 
Proteus Engineering (who builds and 
maintains all my computers); and 
BYTE's West Coast Editor Phil 
Lemmons. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 45 




WF Your computer's telephone. 

* r%#" | j 

f//////////m/%/ //M ' 




W///////0 W///M 



Whether they're getting the jump on 
the latest stock reports or waging galac- 
tic wars in the middle of the night, more 
and more personal computer users are 
communicating. With each other. With 
offices. With networks, utilities and mail 
services all over the country. 




And Hayes is providing the commun- 
ications link: A first-rate telecomputing 
system that combines an intelligent RS-2 3 2 
connect modem with a sophisticated, 
easy-to-use communications program. 

The Smartmodem 300. Think of it 
as your computer's telephone. Just plug 
it into any phone jack, and the Smart- 
modem 300 sends messages to and from 



your personal computer, at 300 bits 
per second, over ordinary phone lines. 
Goodbye isolation. Hello world. 

Your modem is the one peripheral that 
makes your computer a computer system . 
So it's only natural that you'd want the 
best modem for your money. (One that 
comes with a limited 2-year warranty.) 
The Smartmodem 300 is a wise choice. 
Far superior to acoustic coupler modems, 
which connect to the telephone receiver. 
And it's so easy to use. 

It dials, answers and disconnects 
calls automatically, operating with 
rotary dials, Touch-Tone* and key-set 
systems. Plus it works at full or naif 
duplex, which simply means that 
connecting to a time-sharing system, 
while it is a big deal, is no big deal to do. 

Indicator lights let you see 
what your Smartmodem is 
doing, while an audio speaker 
lets you hear it. (Is the remote 
system down, or was the 
line just busy? This way. you'll know.) 

Now all tnese extras aren't absolutely 
necessary. We could have gotten by 
without them. But at Hayes, we're not 
satisfied with just "getting by." That's 



why we made the Smartmodem 300 so- 
well, smart, You can even program it. 
In fact we've provided one for you. 

Announcing Smartcom II.™ The 
communications program designed by 
Hayes specifically for the Smartmodem. 
If ever there was friendly software, the 
Smartcom II is it! 

The first time out. you'll be creating 
messages, sending them, printing them 
and storing them to disk. Simultaneously. 

Likewise, when you're on the receiv- 
ing end. Only you really don't need to 
be, With Smartcom II and your Smart- 
modem 300, your computer does it all. 
completely unattended! That's especially 
helpful if you're sending work from 
home to the office, or vice versa. 

But it's just part of the story. For instance . 
before you communicate with another 
system, you need to "set up" your 
computer to match the way the remote 
system transmits data. With Smartcom 
II. you do this only once, the first time. 
After that, the information (called para- 
meters) is stored in a directory on the 
Smartcom II. Calling or answering a sys- 
tem listed in the directory requires just 
a few quick keystrokes. 

You can store lengthy log-on sequences 
~ the same way. 
Press one key. and 
the Smartcom II 
automatically exe- 
cutes a whole string of numbers to connect 
you to a utility or information service. 

And if you need it, there's always 
"help" Even while you're on-line, the 
screen will display explanations about a 



Hayes 



46 BYTE March 1983 




prompt, message or parameter that will 
get you on your way in no time. 

Smartcom II also provides a directory 
of the files stored on your disk. You can 
create, display, list, name, re-name or 
erase any File right from the Smartcom II 
screen. 




And now Smartcom II is available for 
the IBM PC**and Xerox S20-IIT- 

Like all our products, Smartcom II 
and the Smartmodem 300 are backed 
by excellent documentation and full 
support from us to your dealer. 

So see him today. Link up to the excit- 
ing world of telecomputing. Get a tele- 
phone for your computer. 

Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. 
5923 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross, 
Georgia 30092. 404/449-8791- 

Smartcom II is a. trademark of Hayes Microcomputer 

Products. Inc. 

'Trademark of American Telephone and Telegraph 

"IBM is a registered trademark of International Business 

Machines. Corp. 

jXerox 820-11 is a trademark of Xerox Corporation 

D19S3 Hayes Microcomputer Products. Inc. 

Sold only in the U.S.A. 



Circle 196 on inquiry card. 



tern with controller for the IBM Per- 
sonal Computer for $1795. 

The second significant trend in disk 
technology was to microfloppy disks. 
Tandon, Tabor, Shugart, Sony, and 
others were pushing these "shirt- 
pocket" disks. I saw two sizes, 3V4 
and 3V2 inches; each has vocal de- 
fenders. I'm told, however, that a 
number of major manufacturers are 
getting together to try to agree on a 
standard size and format, and I hope 
they do. 

A third trend in disk technology is 
the "enormous minifloppy." I saw 
several demonstrations of 2-mega- 
byte double-sided double-density 
5V4-inch floppy disks. 

Add to this the incremental devel- 
opments in the standard nonremov- 
able Winchester hard disks — up to 40 
megabytes formatted on a drive that 
costs no more than a 5-megabyte 
drive cost a year or two ago — and 
you can see that system designers 
have some decisions to make. Bill 
Godbout of Compupro went about 
looking at all the new disk systems in 
hopes of getting some clues as to what 
the future standards will be. So did 
George Morrow of Morrow Designs, 
and I'm sure they weren't alone. 

I don't know what conclusions they 
came to. I can offer the opinion of 
Tony Pietsch of Proteus Engineering, 
the computer engineer who devel- 
oped my system and who tries very 
hard to stay current with the state of 
the art. 

"Flat prediction," Tony said. 
"Within two years, both 8-inch and 
5V4-inch disk systems will be obsolete 
and after that they'll rapidly die out. I 
don't know exactly what will replace 
them, but it will be a combination of 
hard disks and shirt-pocket floppies." 

Tony thinks the Syquest removable 
Winchester is an excellent idea, but 
he'd prefer to see the technology 
develop a bit before recommending 
the system to end users. Bill Godbout 
had the same view. Compupro will 
test the concept thoroughly before in- 
corporating it into systems. The com- 
pany is also working with shirt- 
pocket disks, and it has multimega- 
byte 5V4-inch systems working. 

The explosion in computer tech- 
nology continues. Some companies, 



like Altos, are moving to erase the 
distinction between the "big" mini- 
computer and the microcomputer. 
Altos President David Jackson is 
proud of his new single-board 
machines that offer all the power of a 
DEC PDP-11 for well under $20,000. 
Meanwhile, Compupro's Bill God- 
bout showed a whole line of expand- 
able S-100 equipment, including a 
working processor board based on 
the 68000 chip, another built on the 
8086 with optional "math chip" 
aboard, and two prototypes based, 
respectively, on the National Semi- 
conductor 16-bit external, 32-bit in- 
ternal 16032, and Intel's iAPX 286. 

Tony Pietsch put it this way: "The 
16032 is going to be a big machine. 
The internal chip architecture makes 
it equivalent in power to the IBM 
System 360 or 370. For that matter, it 
will be trivial to get it working like a 
LISP Machine." The IBM 370 is, as 
Tony says, big; the LISP Machine 
was developed at the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, primarily by 
Marvin Minsky, and is very impor- 
tant in artificial-intelligence studies. It 
looks as if machines equivalent to 
both will be available at S-100 prices 
within a year. 

We also have the 68000 machines. 
Fortune was out in force. So was 
Sage. Both had working systems and 
an expanding line of software. 

The 8088 chips were not neglected 
either. Eagle Computers, with an IBM 
Personal Computer work-alike, at- 
tracted a lot of attention. My favorite 
of those, though, is the Zenith Z-100, 
which has an S-100 bus and runs PC 
programs without making you en- 
dure the PC's maldesigned keyboard. 

There was also the Basis, a Euro- 
pean machine (but which features an 
American-style keyboard) that has 
both a 6502 chip and a Z80. I was 
much impressed by the Basis, and I'd 
advise anyone contemplating an 
Apple acquisition to look it over first. 

And on, and on. . . 

Portables 

There are so many portable ma- 
chines now that I can't keep track of 
them. It seems a new one springs up 
every week, and all the manufac- 
turers of portables are trying to build 

March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 47 



dealer and repair networks to service 
them. 

There are flat-screen systems based 
on liquid-crystal displays, portable 
versions of the IBM Personal Com- 
puter, machines with plastic cases 
and machines with metal cases, ma- 
chines with tiny screens and machines 
with larger screens. Not only can't I 
keep up with them, I can't even list 
them all. 

Meanwhile, the "old" portables 
continue to improve. There's new 
software for the Kaypro. There's a 
new carrying case, a very nice new 
screen display, and new software for 
the Otrona. The Osborne 1 has both 
double-density disks and an 80-char- 
acter screen as an option. As well it 
has the most impressive package of 
software and "learning tools" I've 
seen for any entry-level computer. 

A few of the new ones I saw: the 
Hyperion, a somewhat portable IBM 
PC work-alike; the Zorba, a 
Z80-based machine that looks a bit 
like someone crossed the Osborne 
with the Kaypro and kept many of 



the best features of both; and 
Teleram's new true portable, which 
uses a liquid-crystal display and can 
run for several hours on its batteries. 
Anyone looking for a computer 
ought to look seriously at the port- 
ables. 

Software 

The exciting news in software is a 
new language by Niklaus Wirth, the 
creator of Pascal. The language is 
called Modula 2 and was first imple- 
mented on the Apple; we now have it 
for our Sage 68000 computer. Modula 
2, from Volition Systems (POB 1236, 
Del Mar, CA 92014) has many simi- 
larities to Pascal, and Volition Sys- 
tems says that with its learning pack- 
age a Pascal programmer can learn 
Modula 2 in a few days. 

As implied by the name, Modula 2 
is a modular language; each module is 
a collection of declarations that can 
be put together to make very struc- 
tured and readable programs. I'm 
much looking forward to playing 
with it on our Sage. 



Another interesting development 
came from Peachtree Software: it has 
developed a voice synthesizer that 
takes considerably less memory (or 
disk space) to store significant mes- 
sages, and it sounds human, complete 
with inflections and emphases. Peach- 
tree is using it to develop human- 
machine interfaces; this could become 
very significant. 

The other big news was Digital 
Research's GSX graphics-support 
package, Visi On from Visicorp, and 
Lotus's 1-2-3. These three companies 
all had dealers clustered at their 
booths. Unfortunately, I ran out of 
time and had no chance to see them. 

In addition to the new software, 
there were a lot of hefty im- 
provements. A score of companies 
have database management pro- 
grams; everyone wants to cut into the 
dBASE II sales. Altos President David 
Jackson told me he saw at least six 
database management programs that 
Altos wants to evaluate, and I noticed 
that Bill Godbout's people were col- 
lecting information too. 



Did You Hear the One About the 

Computer That Talks? 



It's no joke. 



With the ECHO speech synthesizer from 
Street Electronics whatever you type on the 
keyboard, your computer can say. The ECHO'S 
text-to-speech system gives your computer an 
unlimited vocabulary while using a minimum of 
memory. And now a diskette of fixed, natural 
sounding words is available to enhance the 
ECHO It's voice output. 



Nearly 400 language rules are contained in the ECHO'S text- 
to-speech algorithm. These rules enable the computer to 
pronounce most correctly spelled words. When in the text-to- 
speech mode the user can select any of 63 different pitch levels, 
and have words spoken either monotonically or with intonation 
by using simple control character sequences. The rate of speech 
can be fast or slow; words can be spoken in their entirety or 
spelled letter by letter. The ECHOs also pronounce punctuation 
and numbers. Words can be encoded using phonemes and 
diphthongs when the text-to-speech or fixed vocabulary is not 
required. 

Applications are unlimited, ranging from phone answering, 
educational and training programs, to games and aiding the sight 
and speech impaired. The ECHO is a complete stand alone unit 
which is compatible with most any computer; it sells for $299.95. 
The ECHO ][, which plugs into the Apple ][, is priced at $149.95. 



Street Electronics Corporation 

1140 Mark Avenue, Carpinteria, CA 93013 
Telephone (805) 684-4593 



n 



48 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Call toll free for demonstration (800) 221-0339 

Circle 404 on Inquiry card. 



With ASCOM . . . 




personal computer communication 

has never been this easy. 



That's why Big 8 accounting firms and 
Fortune 500 companies use ASCOM. 

ASCOM is an interactive microcom- 
puter telecommunications program for 
timesharing and data transfers. It is 
easy to use because it employs menus, 
simple commands and features an on- 
line help facility. 

A typical use of ASCOM is to access 
a data base to retrieve data for storage 
and analysis on your microcomputer. It 
can also be used to transmit program 
files to another machine running 
ASCOM. This can be done locally 
through direct connection, or over 
, telephone lines by using a modem. 

ASCOM works on IBM PC, MS-DOS, 
CP/M-86, and CP/M-80 compatible 
micros. 



WESTICO 



25 Van Zant Street • Norwalk, CT 06855 
(203) 853-6880 • Telex 643-788 

Dial up our 24-Hour Computer Hotline for 
300 baud modems: (203) 853-0816 

D Please send me an ASCOM program & 

documentation: $175.00 * 
D The ASCOM documentation only: $30.00 * 
D FREE: Catalog of over 250 available programs. 

C.O.D. Visa MasterCard . . 



Card No. 
Model of Micro. 
Name. 



Company . 
Address _ 
City 



_Exp_ 



_5V4" 8" 



.Tel: 



_St._ 



-Zip_ 



(*Plus $3.00 shipping and handling in N. America. Ct. 
residents add 7 1 /2% sales tax.) 

ASCOM is a trademark of Dynamic Microprocessor 
Associates. CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research 
©Copyright 1983 Westico, Inc. A WA + 2 



ASCOM features: 

• Works with modems or by direct con- 
nection at speeds from 110 to 19,200 
baud, 

• Transfers both text and program files 
between computers. 

. Protocols to synchronize large file 

transfers. 
. Remote mode permits control of 

another micro running ASCOM. 

• Automatic processing with com- 
mand files. 

. Commands for displaying directories 
and files. 

To order ASCOM, call or write today: 

WESTICO 

The Software Express Service 

25 Van Zant Street • Norwalk, CT 06855 
(203) 853-6880 • Telex 643-788 




^s-^ 



UNIX, 

with change. 

Idris is a trademark of Whitesmiths, Ltd. /UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories. 



Put off by the UNIX price tag and licensing restrictions? If you are, 
take a closer look at Idris. 

Idris gives you all the power of UNIX at a fraction of the cost— 
and they're highly compatible— even pin-for-pin in some cases. 
Upfront expenses are much lower, you only pay for the parts you 
ship, and the end-user licenses can be transferable. 

What's more, we wrote Idris ourselves— from the ground up— 
so you'll have fewer licensing hassles. We wrote it almost entirely 
in C, for maximum portability across a wide range of processors. 
And we kept it small. 

Idris can run comfortably where UNIX can't even fit: On an 
MC68000 with no memory management hardware, for example. 
On a bank-switched 8080 or Z80. Or on any LSI-11 or PDP-11 with 
memory management. A very big Idris plus. 

Find out how you can put Idris to work in your favorite con- 
figuration today.. Write Whitesmiths, Ltd., 97 Lowell Road, Concord, 
MA 01742. Or call (617) 369-8499, TLX 951708 SOFTWARE CNCM. 

With Idris, you pocket the change. 

Whitesmiths, Ltd. 

Crafting SoftwareTbols fa- your Trade. 

Distributors: Australia, Fawnray Ply. Ltd. P.O.B. 224 Murstville NSW 2220 (612) 570-6100 
Japan, Advanced Data Controls, Corp., Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (03) 263-0383 
United Kingdom, Real Time Systems, Newcastle upon Tyne 0632 733131 



Spreadsheet programs were also 
popular. Sorcim announced a num- 
ber of improvements in Supercalc, as 
well as a new programming editor. 
There must have been 20 other spread- 
sheets and derivatives. Every one of 
them claims one or another unique 
feature, and without thorough tests 
and reviews there's no way I can tell 
them apart. 

There's now software for almost 
any "standard" machine and operat- 
ing system. CP/M and the 8-bit Z80 
and 8085 are still the most commonly 
written for, but their popularity is be- 
ing strongly challenged by the IBM 
Personal Computer and its work- 
alikes. Because CP/M-86 is just com- 
ing out in a final and usable form — I 
saw it running only at Godbout's 
Compupro booth, although doubtless 
other exhibitors had it going — it's a 
bit early to tell how it will fare in 
competition with MS-DOS. 

Package Deals 

A lot of "business computers" are 
available. Some come from original 
manufacturers, but many are systems 
put together from other people's 
machines. Typically, there's a pack- 
age deal of software and hardware, 
along with introductory materials 
and manuals. 

Some of these packages are pretty 
good; but it is my impression that the 
best hardware has not yet got 
together with the best software, and 
neither has been put into a package 
with the best introductory and teach- 
ing materials combined with an ex- 
tensive dealer and service network. 
This doesn't mean that there aren't 
some pretty good packages available. 

The Altos line, for example, is 
quite good. It has reasonable to ex- 
cellent software, decent introductory 
manuals, reliable and handsome 
hardware, and support from a very 
good dealer network. The Altos can 
be configured to work with Ethernet 
and other communications networks. 
On the other hand, the Altos is a 
single-board computer. It's not easily 
expanded or upgraded. What you 
buy is what you'll have for a while, 
unless you trade it in on an entire new 
system. For many buyers that's good 
enough. 



50 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 456 on inquiry card. 



Now Our Family Tree Is Complete 




Knssm wtsfsau mmm mssmm wmsm 







p^shbi 



SBC-1 (Above) A multiprocessing 
slave board computer with Z-80 CPU 
(4 or 6 MHz), 2 serial ports, 2 parallel 
ports, and up to 128K RAM. Provides 
unique 2K FIFO buffering for system 
block data transfers. When used with 
TurboDOS or MDZ/OS the results are 
phenomenal! 



Systemaster® (Right) The ultimate one 
board computer; use it as a complete 
single-user system or as the "master" 
in a multi-processing network 
environment. Complete with Z- 80A 
CPU, 2 serial and 2 parallel ports, 
floppy controller, DMA, real 
time clock, and Teletek's 
advanced CP/M BIOS. Also 
supports MP/M-II, MDZ/OS, 
and TurboDOS. 




;.sS; 



E3S 



HD/CTC (Left) A hard disk and 
cartridge tape controller combined 
together on one board ! A Z-80 CPU 
(4 or 6 MHz); 16K ROM, and up to 8K 
RAM provide intelligence required to 
relieve disk I/O burden from host 
system CPU. Round out your 
multiprocessing system with an 
integrated mass storage/backup 
controller. 



FELETEK 

9767F Business Park Drive 
Sacramento, CA 95827 
(916) 361-1777 
Telex #4991834 
Answer back-Teletek 



Circle422on inquiry card. 



Your Single Source Family of S-100 Products. 



) Teletek 1983 



BYTE March 1983 51 



What if you want 
more assurance 
your valuable data 
wont fade away? 




Re y on SYNCOM 
diskettes with Ectype -.^ 
coating. Balanced coercivity means 
long-lasting signal life. 



Syncom diskettes assure excellent 
archival performance in the 
following ways. 

First, with calibrated coercivity -a 
precisely balanced blend of milled 
ferrous oxides that allows Ectype® 
coating to respond fully to "write" 
signals, for strong, permanent 
data retention. 

Then, a burnished coating surface to 
boost both signal strength and 
packing density. 

Carbon additives drain away static 
charge before it can alter data. 



And, finally, every Syncom diskette 
is write/read-back certified to be 
100% error free. 

To see which Syncom diskette will 
replace the one you're using now, 
send for our free "Flexi-Finder" 
selection guide - and the name of 
the supplier nearest you. 



Balanced coercivity 
of Ectype® coating 
allows write current 
to saturate fully. 



Syncom, Box 130, Mitchell, SD 57301 . 
800-843-9862; 605-996-8200. 




SYNCOM 

Manufacturer of a full line of flexible media 



The Altos is the top end of the 
microcomputer line, and total pack- 
age costs tend to be high (although 
low compared to the minicomputers 
the Altos can replace). At the low 
end, the O sborne 1 is an excellent 
total package. I'm impressed with 
both the software and the introduc- 
tory materials that come with the ma- 
chine; I'm even more impressed with 
the dealer and service network that 
Osborne has built. 

I didn't see any other total pack- 
ages as impressive as those; but that 
was at COMDEX. I also saw hard- 
ware firms out looking at packaging. 
Compupro, Otrona, Zenith, Non- 
Linear Systems (Kaypro), Altos, and 
Morrow Designs were all buying 
rights to software, hiring writers, and 
building up their dealer networks. 
(I'm sure many others were also; 
these are the ones I talked to myself.) 

The Bottom Line 

Tony Pietsch, who knows what to 
look for, thought the most significant 
thing about this year's COMDEX was 
that of a dozen new terminals and 
small computers, just about every 
one of them offers ANSI-Standard 
X-3. 64-1979. That, he explains, is 
standard ASCII, which specifies how 
computers ought to communicate 
with each other and what the control 
characters ought to mean. This is 
what the big boys in mini- and main- 
frame computers conform to. 

This trend is significant because it 
means that the microcomputer in- 
dustry is moving that much closer to 
maturity. We now have microcom- 
puters that can hook into the com- 
munications networks used by the 
very large business systems, and that 
trend is strengthened by the adoption 
of ANSI (American National Stan- 
dards Institute) standards for com- 
munications. Microcomputers cost 
only a fraction of what the business 
community usually expects to pay. 
We've established a trend toward de- 
cent software at reasonable prices. 
New and better manuals, instruc- 
tional materials, and training systems 
are being developed all the time. 

Put it all together and there's no 
limit to the future of the microcom- 
puter industry. ■ 



52 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 408 on inquiry card. 



Invest $129.95 in Zttog's 
Peripherals Kit and get what you 
paid for out of the 68000. 




So, you picked the 68000 for 
your new design only to dis- 
cover the manufacturer doesn't 
offer all the peripherals you 
need to back it up. What now? 
Order Zilog's handy new 
Z8500 Peripherals Evaluation 
Kit today to help bring your 
designs to reality. Only Zilog 
has the peripherals and fore- 
sight to develop this unique kit. 
And only Zilog can make you 
this special offer. 

You get the most advanced 
peripheral chips available 
to enhance the performance of 
your 68000 CPU in addition 
to interface applications notes 
and complete documentation— 
all for $129.95! 

Zilog peripherals feature 



68000-compatible interrupts 
and software programmable 
operating modes to increase 
system performance and flexi- 
bility. All you supply is the 
68000. You get faster answers, 
too. Follow the kit's easy 
instructions, and you can have 
results in a matter of hours, 
not weeks. 

The Z8500 Peripherals 
Evaluation Kit. The peripherals 
you need for the 68000 that 
you can't get from the manu- 
facturer. Kits are in stock at all 
Zilog distributors. For the 
phone number of the distributor 
nearest you, or for additional 
free information on the Z8500 
peripherals call Zilog TOLL 
FREE (800) 272-6560. 



Z8530SCC 

• One Megabit/second data transfer 
rate 

> Two full-duplex channels 
* Asynchronous and synchronous 
data communications modes 
Z8030FIO 

• 128-byte asynch bidirectional 
FIFO buffer 

• Mailbox registers 

• Pattern recognition logic 
Z8536CIO 

Three I/O ports 

Four handshake modes 

Three independent 16-bit 

counter/timers 



Pioneering the MicroworUL 

An af 11 Hate of E)JQON Corporation 



Our huge inventory will 
save you time. And money. 

Chances are, we have just what you want right in our warehouse. 
So we can ship it out right now. At the right price. 



16K RAM KITS 13.95 

Setof 8 NEC 4116 200ns. Guaranteed one year. 
FOR IBM-PC, set ol 9 15.75 

DISKETTES 

ALPHA DISKS... 21.95 

Single sided, certified Double Density 40 Tracks, 
with Hub- ring. Box of 10. Guaranteed one year. 

SCOTCH 3M 

S.S.D.DEN 40 TRK 23.50 

D.S.D.DEN 40 TRK 36.50 

VERBATIM DATALIFE 

MD 525-01, 10, 16 26.50 

MD 550-01, 10, 16 44.50 

MD 557-01, 10. 16 45.60 

MD 577-01, 10. 16 34.80 

FD 32 or 34-9000 36.00 

FD32 or 34-8000 45.60 

FD 34-4001 4B.60 

DISKETTE STORAGE 

5'/<" PLASTIC LIBRARY CASE 2.50 

8" PLASTIC LIBRARY CASE 3.50 

PLASTIC STORAGE BINDER w/ Inserts.. ..9.95 
PROTECTOR 5W (50 Disk Capacity).. ..21. 95 

PROTECTOR 8" (50 Disk Capacity) 24.95 

DISK BANK 574" 5.95 

DISK BANK 8" 6.95 

NEC PERSONAL 
COMPUTERS 

Call Alpha Byte tor our low NEC prices. 

ALTOS COMPUTER 
SYSTEMS 

Call Alpha Byte tor our low Altos prices. 

ATARI COMPUTERS 

SIGNALMAN MODEM 85.00 

ATARI 800 659.00 

ATARI 400 (16K) $CALL 

ATARI 810 DISK DRIVE 445.00 

ATARI 850 INTERFACE 169.00 

ATARI 410 PROGRAM RECORDER 75,00 

EPSON CABLE.. 35.00 

MEMORY MODULE (16K) 89.95 

JOYSTICK CONTROLLER 10.00 

PADDLE CONTROLLERS 17.50 

STAR RAIDERS 32.00 

MISSILE COMMAND 32.00 

ASTERIODS ....32.00 

PACMAN 32.00 

CENTIPEDE 32.00 

PERCOM DISK DRIVE 684.00 

See Apple-Atari Software. 

INTEC PERIPHERALS 
RAM MODULES 

48K FOR ATARI 400 145.00 

32K FOR ATARI 800 67.00 

PRINTERS 

ANADEX WP 6000 P & S 2814.00 

ANADEX 9501A 1390.00 



STAR MICRONICS GEMINI 10 $CALL 

RIBBONS FOR MX-80 8.95 

RIBBONS FOR MX-100 24.00 

C-ITOH F-10 40 CPS PARALLEL 1390.00 

C-ITOH F-10 40 CPS SERIAL 1390.00 

C-ITOH PROWRITER PARALLEL 469.00 

C-ITOH PROWRITER SERIAL 590.00 

C-ITOH PROWRITER II PARALLEL 715.00 

C-ITOH PROWRITER II SERIAL 767.00 

EPSON MX-80 W/GRAFTRAX PLUS $CALL 

NEW'. EPSON FX-80 $CALL 

EPSON MX-100 W/GRAFTRAX PLUS....SCALL 

EPSON GRAFTRAX PLUS 60.00 

COMREX CR-1 PARALLEL 839.00 

COMREX CR-1 SERIAL 859.00 

COMREX TRACTOR FEED 109.00 

IDS PRISM 80 859.00 

IDS PRISM 80 W/ COLOR/OPTIONS. ..1599.00 

NEC 8023A 485.00 

NEC SPINWRITER 3530 P. RO 1995.00 

NEC SPINWRITER 7710 S. RO 2545.00 

NEC SPINWRITER 7730 P. RO 2545.00 

NEC SPINWRITER 7700 D SELLUM... .2795.00 

NEC SPINWRITER 3500 SELL&M 2295.00 

OKIDATA MICROLINE 80 389.00 

OKIDATA MICRDLINE 82A 460.00 

OKIDATA MICRDLINE 83A 700.00 

OKIDATA MICROLINE 84 1170.00 

OKIGRAPH 82 49,95 

OKIGRAPH 83 49.95 

MICROBUFFER IN-LINE 32K 299.00 

MICROBUFFER IN-LINE 64K 349.00 

MICROBUFFER 64K EXPANSION MOD. .179.00 

BOOKS 

THE CUSTOM APPLE 24.95 

BASIC BETTER & FASTER DEMO DISK... 18.00 

THE CUSTOM TRS-80 24.95 

MICROSOFT BASIC FASTER & BETTER, .24.95 

CUSTOM l/D MACHINE LANGUAGE 24.95 

TRS-80 DISK & MYSTERIES 16.95 

MICROSOFT BASIC & DECODED 24.95 

APPLE HARDWARE 

OUENTIN APPLEMATE DRIVE 269.00 

SUPER CLOCK II 129.00 

VERSA WRITER DIGITIZER 259.00 

ABT APPLE KEYPAD 119.00 

SOFTCARD PREMIUM SYSTEM 569.00 

MICROSOFT Z-80 SOFTCARD 249.00 

MICROSOFT RAMCARD 79.00 

VIDEX 80x24 VIDEO CARD 260.00 

VIDEX KEYBOARD ENHANCER II 129.00 

VIDEX FUNCTION STRIP 74.00 

M & R SUPERTERM 80x24 VIDEO BD..315.00 

M & R COOLING FAN 44.95 

M & R UNIVERSAL MOD 54.95 

T/G JOYSTICK 44.95 

T/G PADDLE 29.95 

T/G SELECT-A-PORT 54.95 

T/G TRACKBALL 47.50 

KRAFT JOYSTICK 4B.00 

VERSA E-Z PORT 21.95 

THE MILL-PASCAL SPEED UP 270.00 

PROMETHEUS VERSACARD 165.00 

MICROBUFFER lit 16K W/GRAPHICS... 259.00 
MICROBUFFER lit 32K W/GRAPHICS...299.00 

SUPERFAN II 62.00 

SUPERFAN II W/ZENER 84.50 

RANA CONTROLLER 104.00 

RANA DRIVE ELITE 1 335.00 

SNAPSHOT 119.00 



GRAPPLER+ 145.00 

7710A ASYNCHRON. SER. INTERFACE. 149.00 
7712A SYNCHRON. SER. INTERFACE. ..159.00 

7742A CALENDAR CLOCK 99.00 

772BA CENTRONICS INTERFACE 105.00 

VISTA VISION 80-80 COL CARD 259.00 

VISTA B" DISK DRIVE CONTROLLER.. .549.00 

MONITORS 

USI AMBER 12" 160.00 

NEC 12" GREEN MONITOR 169.00 

NEC 12" COLOR MONITOR 399.00 

BMC GREEN MONITOR 89.00 

AMDEK COLOR 1 365.00 

AMDEK RGB COLOR II 774.00 

AMDEK RGB INTERFACE 169.00 

TAXAN RGB 359.00 

TAXAN 12" AMBER 125.00 

MOUNTAIN 
HARDWARE 

CPS MULTIFUNCTION BOARD 154.00 

ROMPLUS W/ KEYBOARD FILTER 165.00 

ROMPLUS W/0 KEYBOARD FILTER 125.00 

KEYBOARD FILTER ROM..... 49.00 

COPYROM 49.00 

MUSIC SYSTEM 369.00 

ROMWRITER 149.00 

EXPANSION CHASSIS 580.00 

RAMPLUS 32K 160.00 

S-100 HARDWARE 

CALIFORNIA 
COMPUTER SYSTEMS 

2200A MAINFRAME 459.00 

2065C 64K DYNAMIC RAM 539.00 

2422 DISK CONT. & CP/M® 359.00 

2710 4 SERIAL I/O 279.00 

271B 2 SERIAL / 2 PARALLEL I/O 289.00 

2720 4 PARLLEL I/O 219.00 

2810 Z-80 CPU 259.00 

COMREX 

"THE TIMEPIECE" S-100 CLOCK 125.00 

MODEMS 

NOVATION J-CAT 125.00 

NOVATION SMARTCAT 212 499.00 

NOVATION SMARTCAT 209.00 

NOVATION D-CAT (1200 Baud) 619.00 

NOVATION APPLE-CAT (300 Baud) 310.00 

NOVATION APPLE-CAT (1200 Baud) 605.00 

UDS 212 LP (1200 Baud) 429.00 

UDS 103 JLP AUTO ANS 209.00 

HAYES MICROMODEM II 289.00 

MICROMODEM W/ TERMINAL PKG 309.00 

HAYES 100 MODEM (S-100) 325.00 

HAYES SMART MODEM (300 Baud).... 227.00 
HAYES SMART MODEM (1200 Baud). ..540.00 

HAYES CHRONOGRAPH 199.00 

SIGNALMAN MODEM W /RS-232C 85.00 

TERMINALS 

TELEVIDEO 925C 810.00 

ADDS-VIEWPOINT 599.00 

HAZELTINE ESPRIT 510.00 

VISUAL-50 GREEN 690.00 



TRS-80 MOD I 
HARDWARE 

PERCOM DATA SEPARATOR 27.00 

PERCOM DOUBLER II W /DOS 3.4 159.00 

4 DRIVE CONTROLLER P/S 259.00 

TANDON 40 TRK DISK DRIVE W/P.S...2B9.00 

LNW DOUBLER W/DOSPLUS 3.3 138.00 

LNW 5/B DOUBLER W/DOSPLUS 3.4.. .181 .00 

IBM HARDWARE 

SEATTLE 64K RAM + 355.00 

OUADBOARD 64K 430.00 

64K MEMORY UPGRADE 80.00 

ALPHA BYTE IBM MEMORY 
EXPANSION BOARDS 

256K W /RS-232C 349.00 

256K W /RS-232C & SUPERCALC 529.00 

512K W/RS-232C 579.00 

512K W /RS-232C & SUPERCALC 749.00 

IBM DISK DRIVES 

Alpha Byte's add-on drive kits for the IBM-PC — 
each kit includes installation instructions. 
1 Tandon TM100-1 Single head 40 trk. 195.00 
1 Tandon TM100-2 Double head 40 trk. 262.50 
OUENTIN DOUBLE HEAD 40 TRK 289.00 

HARD DISK 
DRIVE SPECIAL 

MEDIA DISTRIBUTORS 

5 V*" Winchester, cabinet, P.S. controller, 
assembled and tested. Attaches to your Z-80 CPU 
system in minutes. Runs on Northstar, Heath/ 
Zenith. TRS-80 Mod II, Apple w/ CP/M® . CCS 
and others. Hardware must be Z-80 /CPM- 
system. The included self-installing software at- 
taches to your CP/M® system. 6-month warran- 
ty. No effect on your present floppy disk system. 
Includes all cables and installation instructions. 

10 MEGABYTES 2370.00 

20 MEGABYTES 3180.00 

ISOLATORS 

ISO-1 3-SOCKET 49.95 

ISO-2 6-SOCKET .....49.95 

BARE DRIVES 

TANDON 5V4 INCH 

100-1 SINGLE HEAD 40 TRK 195.00 

100-2 DUAL HEAD 40 TRK 262.50 

100-3 SINGLE HEAD 80 TRK 250.00 

100-4 DUAL HEAD 80 TRK 369.00 

TANDON THINLINE 8 INCH 

848-1 SINGLE SIDE 379.00 

848-2 DUAL SIDE 490.00 

MICROSOFT 

APPLE 

FORTRAN* 150.00 

BASIC COMPILER*..... 296.00 

COBOL* 550.00 



CP/M is a reg. trademark of Digital Research. 'Requires Z-80 Softcard |Reg. trademark of Micro Pro Internation I Corp. ^Trademark of Practical Peripherals. Inc. "'Trademark of Software Dimensions, Inc. 



Z-80 SOFTCARD 249.00 

RAMCARD 79.00 

TYPING TUTOR II 17.95 

OLYMPIC DECATHLON 24.95 

TASC APPLESOFT COMPILER 125.00 

ALDS. 95.00 

MULTIPLAN NATIVE OR CP/M.... 209.00 

TIME MANAGER 117.00 

MICRO PRO 

APPLE CP/M® 

WORDSTARS 279.00 

SUPERSORT'f 179.00 

MAILMERGE*t... 174.00 

DATASTAR't 207.00 

SPELLSTAR't 174.00 

CALCSTAR't 109.00 

CP/M® SOFTWARE 

We carry CP/M" 5 software in all popular disk 
formats. Call for availability and price. Most soft- 
ware also available on IBM. 

THE WORD PLUS 117.00 

d BASE II 429.00 

OUICKCODE 230.00 

DUTIL 91.00 

SUPERCALC 189.00 

SPELLGUARD 230.00 

P&TCP/M* MOD 2 & 16 TRS-80.... 175.00 

PASCAL Z 349.00 

PASCAL/M Z-80 OR 8080 295.00 

CONDOR 1 579.00 

CONDOR II 849.00 

DIGITAL RESEARCH 

MAC 82.00 

ZSID 92.00 

PASCAL MT+ W/ SSP 429.00 

PL/ 1-80 439.00 

C BASIC 2 109.00 

SUPERSOFT 

DIAGNOSTIC 1 69.00 

DIAGNOSTIC II 89.00 

'C'COMPILER 179.00 

UTILITIES 1 59.00 

UTILITIES II 59.00 

RATFOR.... 89.00 

FORTRAN 239.00 

DISK DOCTOR 78.00 

MICROPRO 

WORDSTAR 279.00 

SUPERSORT 179.00 

MAILMERGE.. 174.00 

DATASTAR 207.00 

SPELLSTAR 174.00 

CALCSTAR 109.00 

MICROSOFT 

MULTIPLAN 209.00 

BASIC 80 249.00 

BASIC COMPILER 299.00 

FORTRAN 80 359.00 

COBOL 80 585.00 

MACRO 80 156.00 

mu MATH/mu SIMP 200.00 

mu LISP/mu STAR 165.00 

IBM SOFTWARE 

VOLKSWRITER V 1.2 145.00 

WRITE ON 90.00 

EASYWRtTER II 247.00 

EASY SPELLER 149.00 

EASY FILE 285.00 

HOME ACCOUNTANT* 105.00 

FIRST CLASS MAIL 85.00 

SUPERCALC .....179.00 

WORDSTAR 279.00 

MAILMERGE 174.00 

DATASTAR 207.00 

SPELLSTAR ...174.00 

SUPERSORT 179.00 

d BASE II 429.00 

SPELLGUARO 145.00 

CALCSTAR 199.00 

THE WORD PLUS 117.00 

T.I.M 379.00 

JFORMAT 39.00 

MOVE IT 109.00 

THE TAX MANAGER 188.00 

VISICALC / 256K 189.00 

VISITREND / VISIPLOT 235.00 

VISIDEX 192.00 



VISIFILE 249.00 

VISISCHEDULE 229.00 

VERSA WRITER GRAPHICS TABLETS. ...270.00 

CONCURRENT CP/M* 86 315.00 

GRAPHICS HARD COPY SYSTEM 19.50 

Call for additional IBM software prices. 



TRS-80 SOFTWARE 

NEWDOS/80 2.0 MOD I. Ill 139.00 

LAZY WRITER MOD I, II 165.00 

PROSOFT NEWSCRIPT MOD I, III w/labels109.00 
SPECIAL DELIVERY MOD I. Ill 119.00 



WORD PROCESSOR SPECIAL 

(Limited Quantities) 

FRANKLIN ACE C.ITOH 8510 795.00 

1000 1395 -°° NEC HI RES GREEN 285.00 

F D^K N DR.VE A W/ CON™. 539.00 SC0TCH 3M DISKETTES .. 44.00 

ACE WRITER STORAGE BOX 2.50 

WORD PROCESSOR 129.00 

MICROBUFFER II 32K. . . .299.00 SgASfT 

Now $2392 

This system may be modified to your needs. Call for special price quote. 



IBM GAME SOFTWARE 

ZORK I, ll ( III 28.00 

STARCROSS 28.00 

DEADLINE 35.00 

GALAXY 19.50 

MIDWAY CAMPAIGN 17.00 

THE WARP FACTOR 31.16 

LOST COLONY 23.36 

CONQUEST 23.36 

GALACTIC ATTACK 25.00 

APPLE PANIC 23.61 

TEMPLE OF ASPHAI 34.95 

CROSSFIRE 24.95 

FROGGER 27.26 

M'SOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR .....38.95 

If you don't see the software you want, call. Our 
software stock is constantly expanding. 

APPLE SOFTWARE 

MAGIC WINDOW II 117.00 

MAGIC WINDOW 79.00 

MAGIC WORDS 59.00 

MAGIC MAILER 59.00 

DB MASTER 169.00 

DB MASTER UTILITY PACK I OR II 69.00 

DATA CAPTURE 4.0/80 59.95 

PFS: GRAPH 89.95 

PFS: (NEW) PERSONAL FILING SYSTEM. 85.00 

PFS: REPORT 79.00 

Z-TERM*... 89.95 

Z-TERM PRO*.. 129.95 

ASCII EXPRESS PRO 98.00 

EASY WRITER-PRO 136.00 

EASY MAILER-PRO 117.00 

A-STAT COMP. STATISTICS PKG 99.00 

BEAGLE BROTHERS UTILITY CITY 23.00 

APPLE MECHANIC 23.00 

TIP DESK #1 15.95 

BEAGLE BAG 23.00 

SUPER TEXT 40/56/77 97.50 

LISA 2.5 59.95 

TRANSCEND II 115.00 

SCREENWRITER II 99.00 

DICTIONARY 79.00 

GENERAL MANAGER 179.00 

CONTINENTAL SOFTWARE 

G/L 165.00 

A/R..... 165.00 

A/P 165.00 

PAYROLL 165.00 

PROPERTY MGMT 325.00 

THE HOME ACCOUNTANT 59.95 

F.C.M. w/form letter 75.00 

VISICORP 

DESKTOP PLAN II 189.00 

VISIPLOT 158.00 

VISITRENO/VISIPLOT 229.00 

VISIOEX 189.00 

VISITERM 79.00 

VISICALC 189.00 

VISIFILES 189.00 

VISISCHEDULE 229.00 



X-TRA SPECIAL DELIVERY MOO l.lll... .199.00 

TRACKCESS MOD 1 24.95 

OMNITERM SMART TERM. MOO I, III 89.95 

MICROSOFT BASIC COMP. FOR MOD I.. 165. 00 
LOOS 5.1 MOD UN 119.00 

TRS-80 GAMES 

SUPERNOVA 17.95 

ROBOT ATTACK 17.95 

MISSILE ATTACK 18.95 

STAR FIGHTER 24.95 

Call for more TRS-80 games. 

APPLE & ATARI GAMES 

Spinnaker in stock, call for prices. 
BRODERBUND 

APPLE PANIC... 23.61 

MIDNIGHT MAGIC 27.26 

CHOPLIFTER 27.20 

AUTOMATED SIMULATIONS 

INVASION ORION 20.95 

STAR WARRIOR 31.35 

CRUSH.CRUMBLE AND CHOMP 24.95 

TEMPLE OF APSHAI 31.35 

HELLFIRE WARRIOR 31.35 

RESCUE AT RIGEL 23.36 

ON-LINE SYSTEMS 

WIZARD AND PRINCESS 27.26 

SOFT PORN ADVENTURE 23.36 

THRESHOLD 31.16 

JAW BREAKER 23.36 

CROSSFIRE 24.95 

ULYSSES & GOLDEN FLEECE 25.95 

FROGGER 24.50 

INFOCOM 

ZORK I J 1 . 1 1 1 28.00 

STARCROSS 28.00 

DEADLINE 35.00 

EDU-WARE 

COMPU-READ 24.95 

COMPU-MATH FRACTIONS 34.95 

COMPU-MATH DECIMALS 34.95 

MORE GREAT APPLE 
GAMES 

DARK CRYSTAL 31.61 

TUBEWAY 27.26 

ARCADE MACHINE 32.95 

TUES. MORNING QUARTERBACK 25.95 

THE SPACE VIKINGS 38.50 

COMPUTER QUARTERBACK 31.16 

SEA FOX 24.00 

THE SHATTERED ALLIANCE 49.95 

POOL 1.5 27.26 

ULTIMA 31.16 

RASTER BLASTER 23.36 

FLIGHT SIMULATOR 26.61 

INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX 25.95 

SARGON II 28.95 



PINBALL SUBLOGIC 24.50 

SNACK ATTACK 23.36 

BUDGECO PINBALL CONST. SET 31.61 

THIEF 24.95 

THE WARP FACTOR 31.16 

COSMO MISSION 23.36 

WIZARDRY 37.95 

NIGHT OF DIAMONDS 27.26 

STARBLAZER..... 24.95 

CRISIS MOUNTAIN 26.32 

SIRIUS SOFTWARE 

SPACE EGGS 23.36 

GORGON 31.16 

SNEAKERS 23.36 

PHANTOMS FIVE 22.00 

BANDITS 25.00 

EDU-WARE 

PERCEPTION PKG 19.95 

COMPU-MATH: ARITHMETIC 39.95 

COMPU-SPELL (REO. DATA DISK) 24.95 

COMPU-SPELL DATA DISKS 4-8. ea 17.95 

RENDEZVOUS 28.50 

ON-LINE SYSTEMS 

ULTIMA II 42.00 

MISSILE DEFENSE 27.26 

PEST PATROL 23.36 

TIME ZONE 77.96 

CRANSTON MANOR 25.95 

CANNON BALL BLITZ 25.95 

MUSE SOFTWARE 

ROBOT WARS 32.95 

THREE MILE ISLAND 31.61 

A.B.M 19.46 



To order or for 
information call 

In NewYxk: 
(212)509-1923 

InLosAngetes: 
(213)706-0333 
In Dallas: 
(214)744-4251 

By Modem: 
(213)991-J60^ 

'"call our modem line 

I FOR WEEKLY SPECIALS. 
I ' 




IPUTER 
PRODUCTS 

31245 LA BAYA DRIVE 
WESTLAKE VILLAGE. CA 91362 

Circle 14 on inquiry card. 



We guarantee everything we sell for 30 days — no returns after 30 days. Defective software will be replaced free, but another software returns are subject to 15% restocking fee and must be accompanied by RMA slip. No 
returns on game software, unless defective. We accept VISA and MasterCard on all orders: COO orders, up to S300. Shipping charges: S3 for all prepaid orders, actual shipping charges for non- prepaids; S3 for COD orders 
under 25lbs. ($6 for over) plus a $4 surcharge: add 15% for foreign, FPO and APO orders. Calif, add 6% sales tax. in L.A. County add 6'/?%. Prices quoted are for stock on hand and are subject to change without notice. 



The Promise of Perpendicular 
Magnetic Recording 

As the Japanese seem to have realized already, 

perpendicular magnetic recording represents 

the next level of recording technology. 

Clark E. Johnson Jr. 
Vertimag Systems Corp. 

815 14th Ave. SE 
Minneapolis, MN 55414 



Of the several new mass-storage 
technologies that promise greatly in- 
creased data densities, perpendicular 
magnetic recording is the one most 
likely to enjoy early widespread use. 
Perpendicular-magnetic-recording 
technology, even in its infancy, 
promises a tenfold improvement over 
conventional recording. 

The key to the new method lies in 
magnetizing the tape or disk surface 
material at right angles, i.e., at angles 
perpendicular to the surface. In con- 
trast, conventional longitudinal 
recording creates magnetized zones 
along the surface. With perpendicular 
recording, higher recording densities 
now squeeze the width rather than 
the length of these magnetized 
regions. 

Conventional Recording 

The digital Is and Os of a com- 
puter's binary language are recorded 
by magnetizing discrete regions of the 
magnetic material, usually an oxide 
of iron, that coats the surface of a 



About the Author 

Clark E. Johnson Jr. is the president of Ver- 
timag Systems Corporation, a company that 
was formed specifically to commercialize 
perpendicular magnetic recording. He began 
his involvement with magnetic-recording 
research and development with the 3M Com- 
pany in the 1950s. 



recording tape or disk. You can think 
of each computer bit (1 or 0) as a tiny 
permanent magnet within this mag- 
netizable surface layer. 

In conventional recording technol- 
ogy, the tiny permanent magnets rep- 
resenting digital Is might be recorded 
north-pole-first along the length of 
the recording track, while digital 0s 
would be recorded south-pole-first 
along the same track. Because the 
playback heads can detect only tran- 
sitions, the process of reading the 
recorded data actually involves de- 
tecting the change in polarity: a 
north-to-south transition may be ar- 
bitrarily defined as a digital 1, and 
a south-to-north change will then 
become a digital 0. The magnetized 
zones lie lengthwise, or end to end, 
along the recording track in conven- 
tional longitudinal recording. 

A nine-track digital tape recorder 
will encode Is and 0s in nine parallel 
rows or tracks along the length of the 
tape, with each track containing up to 
6250 magnetic changes (called flux 
changes) per inch. The most ad- 
vanced magnetic memories can re- 
cord the equivalent of 15,000 "tiny 
permanent magnets" per inch of re- 
cording track. Winchester disk mem- 
ories, using the most advanced head- 
positioning mechanisms, create up to 
1000 circular recording tracks per 
inch of disk radius. Such advanced 
Winchester memories have storage 



capacities as high as 1.6 X 10 9 bits 
per disk. 

The Limiting Factor 

What' limits recording density and 
therefore memory capacity? That is, 
what sets a ceiling on the number of 
tiny permanent magnets that can be 
created in each inch of the recording 
medium's magnetic coating? What 
are the sources of data-reading error 
that prohibit an indefinite increase in 
magnets-per-inch recording density? 
Computer memories must sustain 
error-free operation in the region of 1 
bit in 10 12 bits. Otherwise, computer 
systems would provide unexpected 
payroll bonuses and guide astronauts 
to Hoboken instead of the moon. 

The stronger the recording equip- 
ment can make each tiny magnet that 
it creates in the medium's magnetic 
layer, the more accurately the equip- 
ment's read head will determine 
whether a magnet represents a 1 or a 
0. Memory-system designers try to 
create circumstances that will sustain 
magnet strength as recording density 
(bit s per inch) increases. 

From basic research on magnetism, 
it has long been understood that a 
permanent magnet should be long 
and thin; its length should be several 
times greater than its thickness. If for 
some reason a magnet must be short- 
ened, then the magnet's thickness 
must be proportionately reduced in 



56 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 319 on Inquiry card. 



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order to maintain the magnet's 
strength. This need to make the 
magnet long relative to its "waistline" 
dimension stems from the self-demag- 
netization properties of all permanent 
magnets. The north and south poles 
tend to neutralize each other, with a 
net reduction in the magnet's overall 
effectiveness and resulting external 
field. Keeping the poles far apart and 
the ratio of length to thickness high 
reduces this self-demagnetization ef- 
fect. The length-to-thickness ratio 
suffers as longitudinal recording's 
data density increases. 

An examination of the factors de- 
termining the dimensions of these 
longitudinally recorded magnets will 
show why increased density adverse- 
ly affects the magnet's length-to- 
thickness ratio. Because they are re- 
corded end to end along the magnetic 
track, their length must decrease as 
recording density rises. One dimen- 
sion of the "waistline" is fixed, being 
set by the thickness of the tape or 
disk's magnetic coating. The other is 
determined by the across-the-track 



width of the recording head. 

Therefore, to maximize the mag- 
net's length-to-width ratio, recording- 
head designers strive to produce very 
narrow tracks, while manufacturers 
of tape and disk media offer products 
with remarkably thin magnetic 
layers. Both endeavors are aimed at 
creating magnetized regions with 
very narrow waistlines so that the 
reduced magnet length at high den- 
sities still preserves a reasonable 
length-to-thickness ratio. 

At densities above 15,000 magnets 
per inch, however, even these tactics 
reach a point of diminishing returns. 
Thinner coatings mean less magnetic 
material, hence weaker electrical out- 
put signals. Recording experts suggest 
that conventional longitudinal-re- 
cording technology has already 
pushed lineal recording density close 
to its ultimate ceiling. The only di- 
mension left open to improvement in 
raising memory capacity within this 
technology is the number of tracks 
per inch. Currently, the most ad- 
vanced head-positioning servomech- 




ftWR ,TtR 



DAISY WHEEL 
PRINTER 




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anism can advance the head in incre- 
ments of only 1/1000 of an inch, pro- 
ducing 1000 tracks per inch of disk 
diameter. It should ultimately be pos- 
sible, however, to record 10,000 
magnetic zones per inch and, there- 
fore, something approaching 10,000 
tracks per inch. That would yield a 
tenfold gain in memory capacity 
without need for further gains in 
along-the-track recording density. 
Improved head-positioning mechan- 
isms will doubtlessly raise the tracks- 
per-inch figure in the years ahead but 
perpendicular recording affords the 
possibility of major gains not only in 
tracks per inch but especially in bits 
per inch along each track. 

Perpendicular Recording 

Since conventional longitudinal- 
recording technology leads to in- 
creased self-demagnetization of the 
tiny recorded magnets as density is 
increased, is there some alternative 
approach that sidesteps the problem? 
The obvious way is to reorient the 
tiny magnets within the magnetizable 
layer on each disk or tape, so that 
their length-to-thickness ratio no 
longer deteriorates at higher densi- 
ties. While conventional recording re- 
duces the length dimension of the 
end-to-end magnets, perpendicular 
recording puts the squeeze on width 
rather than length at higher densities. 
The magnetized zones are turned 90 
degrees, so that instead of lying along 
the tape's surface, the length dimen- 
sion of the zone now stands vertical- 
ly, perpendicular to the surface of the 
disk or tape. You might say that the 
magnets are recorded "into" the 
magnetic material rather than along 
it. Magnet length is now determined 
by the depth of the layer of magnetic 
material. One of the width dimen- 
sions is still set by recording-track 
width and the other by bits per inch 
along the track. 

Consequently, raising the record- 
ing density no longer worsens the de- 
magnetizing effect. In fact, the op- 
posite is true. Because the recorded 
magnetic zones are perpendicular to 
the disk or tape surface, higher densi- 
ties now squeeze their waistline di- 
mensions, rather than their length. 
The length-to-thickness ratio steadily 



58 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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CORR 



Technology 

longitudinal 
recording 



perpendicular 
recording 

laser (optical) 
recording 



64K-bit RAM 



Versatility 
read and write 

read and write 
read only 



Lineal Density 

15,000 flux 
reversals per inch 



100,000 flux 
reversals per inch 

25,000 impressions 
per inch 



read and write NA 



Areal Density 

165 x 10 a flux 

reversals per 
square inch 

10 10 flux reversals 
per square inch 

6.25 x 10 B 
impressions per 
square inch 

10 a bits 

per square inch 



Table 1: A comparison of the theoretical performance of four memory technologies. 
Perpendicular magnetics offers both read and write capabilities and the highest areal 
densities. The 64K-bit RAM is, of course, volatile and is included here only to put 
the density of the other technologies in perspective. 



improves as recording density is 
raised, and we have a condition, rare 
in science, in which pushing technol- 
ogy to higher limits actually enhances 
the phenomenon being pushed. 

Even though perpendicular-record- 
ing technology has yet to emerge 
from the research laboratory, scien- 
tists confidently predict that densities 
of 100,000 bits per inch will rapidly 
be realized in commercial hardware. 
Indeed, some experiments already 
suggest that a 440,000-bit-per-inch 
density will be possible. Further im- 
provements will be made in the years 
ahead, with an ultimate limit set by 
phenomena — perhaps at the atomic 
level — totally different from the self- 
demagnetization that limits the densi- 
ty attainable with longitudinal-re- 
cording technology. 

Areal Comparison with 
Other Technologies 

Recording media and technologies 
are best compared on the basis of bits 
per square inch rather than bits per 
inch. This is because you can increase 
memory capacity by raising both re- 
cording density and the number of 
recording tracks. Thus, areal compar- 
isons take both sources of improve- 
ment into account. On this basis, per- 
pendicular recording offers close to 
an immediate hundredfold improve- 
ment, at 10 10 (100,000 X 100,000) 
bits per square inch, over longitudi- 
nal recording's 10 8 (10,000 X 10,000) 
bits per square inch. True, these 
figures represent recording densities 



that may be attainable in the future 
rather than what can be achieved 
with today's hardware, but they pro- 
vide a useful basis for comparison. 

Laser Recording 

Laser memory techniques enjoy a 
''good press," probably owing to their 
space-age novelty. There are physical 
limitations, however, to the potential 
data densities achieved by laser tech- 
nology. Diffraction phenomena limit 
physical dimensions to about 1 
micron when visible light is used. 
(The same limitation crops up in geo- 
metries of semiconductor layout.) Be- 
cause 1 micron is 1 millionth of a 
meter, and a meter is roughly 40 
inches, this limiting resolution works 
out to 40/10 6 . At best, therefore, 
based on visible-light wavelengths, 
laser recording can achieve a max- 
imum density of 10V40 or 25,000 bits 
per inch. That compares to 100,000 
magnets per inch for perpendicular 
recording, which also has no compar- 
able fundamental barrier to much 
higher densities. In terms of areal 
density, laser technology might attain 
a maximum of 25,000 X 25,000 or 
6.25 X 10 9 bits per square inch. 

64K-bit RAM 

The uses of RAM (random-access 
read/write memory) are, of course, 
different from those of nonvolatile 
memory devices such as floppy disks. 
It is worth noting, however, that the 
theoretical data density of perpen- 
dicular magnetic recording exceeds 



the density of today's RAM. A 64K- 
bit RAM chip measures about one- 
quarter inch on each side. Therefore, 
it would be theoretically feasible to 
produce 16 such 64K-bit RAMs from 
a square inch of silicon. Thus, using 
the same hypothetical areal basis for 
comparison, the memory chip offers 
a density of 16 X 64,000 or 1024 X 
10 6 bits per square inch, much lower 
than laser or magnetic technology. 

Table 1 presents a brief comparison 
of the performance of four recording 
technologies as to versatility, lineal 
density, and areal density. 

The Problem of Media 

for Perpendicular Recording 

The limiting factor in the develop- 
ment of perpendicular recording tech- 
nology has been finding a magnetic 
material that lends itself to this re- 
cording process. Today's answer is an 
alloy of chromium and cobalt, which 
is placed on the recording medium's 
surface in the form of hexagonal 
crystals that can support magnetiza- 
tion perpendicularly. In other words, 
the CrCo crystal's magnetizable axis 
lies at right angles to the medium sur- 
face and parallel to its crystallo- 
graphic "C" axis. 

The process of depositing the CrCo 
crystals is very sophisticated, involv- 
ing the same sputtering techniques 
that are used in manufacturing semi- 
conductor integrated circuits. (Using 
sputtering techniques, manufacturers 
coat a surface by putting it in a 
vacuum chamber that has a cathode 
consisting of the substance to be used 
as a coating. When the cathode is 
bombarded by positive ions, atoms of 
the coating substance are transferred 
uniformly to the surface being 
coated.) This sputtering technology 
needs to be modified in order to deal 
with the requirement to coat acres of 
substrate rapidly and economically 
and realize reproducible results. 
While these techniques are being 
developed and undoubtedly will be 
commercialized, such mass produc- 
tion equipment and techniques do not 
exist at the moment. It will probably 
be a year to 18 months before produc- 
tion equipment becomes available to 
fabricate media in commerical quan- 
tities. The development of perpendic- 



60 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 







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ular-recording technology may be 
media-limited for as many as 10 years 
due to cost. 

The first floppy disks for perpen- 
dicular recording will probably cost 
about $20 each, compared with $5 to 
$10 for conventional disks. In the 
future, fresh materials and fresh pro- 
cesses for placing the material on the 
medium will cut costs. These fresh 
approaches should lead to an econo- 
mical way to place the CrCo alloy, or 
some alternative material, on record- 
ing tape as well as disk. 

Hardware and Applications 

Floppy disks are expected to be the 
first commercial memory products to 
exploit the new perpendicular record- 
ing technology. They will offer 3 to 5 
times the capacity of today's longi- 
tudinal floppy-disk systems and will 
be priced 30 to 70 percent higher. 
Later designs will push down the cost 
per bit even more. Vertimag Systems 
Corporation has demonstrated a" pro- 
totype floppy-disk system that oper- 
ates at 36,000 flux reversals per inch 



and provides 5 megabytes of total 
storage capacity. The system will 
eventually sell for around $500, with 
production expected to begin in 1984. 

Following the market acceptance of 
floppy-disk memories based on per- 
pendicular recording, a number of 
manufacturers are likely to launch 
hard-disk data-storage systems that 
challenge present Winchester sys- 
tems. Because the Winchester disk is 
sealed in a clean-air environment, it 
lends itself to the meticulous mech- 
anical engineering necessary to in- 
crease the number of tracks per inch 
and also to the control of the "flying 
height" of the head relative to the 
magnetic recording surface. 

The potent combination of more 
tracks and perpendicular recording's 
tenfold increase in bits per track will 
give designers the headroom to con- 
tinue product evolution through the 
rest of this century. To date, 5V4-inch 
Winchesters can accommodate more 
than 10 megabytes per disk. Memory 
designers have doubled capacity 
every two to three years for the past 




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25 years, and perpendicular recording 
provides the technological advance 
that can be expected to maintain this 
rate of progress for many years to 
come. 

Digital Audio/Video Market 

Current techniques for the digital 
recording of music consume memory 
capacity at a prodigious rate, and 
digital video applications consume 
recording surface area in amounts 
that are orders of magnitude greater 
than audio. This may serve as an in- 
centive to put perpendicular record- 
ing to work in the digital audio/video 
market. 

Digital-recording techniques first 
convert what the microphone "hears" 
into the binary language of com- 
puters. This is done by taking many 
instantaneous samples of the micro- 
phone's electrical output signal and 
converting these samples into their 
digital equivalents. It is these 
samples, which provide a digital 
replica of the original music, that are 
recorded for future playback. 

To preserve music fidelity, it is nec- 
essary to take many "instantaneous" 
samples. Typically, the microphone's 
electrical output is sampled approxi- 
mately 50,000 times per second. 
Moreover, because music spans a 
very wide range of loudness, from the 
nearly inaudible to the deafening, 
each of the 50,000 samples must be 
represented by a sizable digital word 
to accommodate the full dynamic 
range. The music industry has chosen 
to include 16 bits to allow a 
64,000 : 1 range of loudness as the 
standard word "size" for music 
digitizing. Consequently, each of the 
samples taken 50,000 times per sec- 
ond produces 16 bits of digital infor- 
mation to be recorded for subsequent 
playback. 

Any magnetic memory systems de- 
signed to handle digital audio appli- 
cations must therefore accept data at 
the rate of 800,000 bits per second 
(50,000 X 16 = 800,000 bits per sec- 
ond). A conventional longitudinal-re- 
cording system capable of a 10,000- 
bit-per-inch recording density would 
therefore consume 80 (800,000/ 
10,000) inches of tape per second. 
Perpendicular recording, at the prom- 



62 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 117 on inquiry card. 



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ised 100,000 bits per inch, would cut 
this profligate use of tape down to 8 
inches per second. Future digital- 
signal manipulation and compression 
will probably condense the amount of 
music data that must be recorded to 
preserve music fidelity. For example, 
it might be possible to develop tech- 
niques for recording only the changes 
in the music rather than, for example, 
continuing to record all data for notes 
that persist unchanged for substantial 
fractions of a second. Why record all 
800,000 bits of data for a soprano 
who sustains the same note for an en- 
tire second? Such digital trickery, 
coupled with perpendicular record- 
ing's storage density, should put true 
digital music in the home in much less 
than a decade. 

The Future Development 
of Perpendicular Recording 

The new perpendicular-recording 
technology is being developed mainly 
by an alliance of Japanese industry 
and universities. In America, only the 
Magnetics Research Laboratory at the 



University of Minnesota operates at 
the forefront of this new science. 

Reports from Japan provide evi- 
dence of perpendicular recording at 
440,000 bits per inch. At this early 
stage of research, such density is 
probably accompanied by error rates 
that would be prohibitive in commer- 
cial applications. However, digital 
music recording is less critical in 
regard to data error, so such densities 
would represent another major step 
toward commercialization of digital 
audio systems. At a 440,000-bit-per- 
inch density, tape consumption for 
digital music would drop to around 2 
inches per second. If the data can be 
distributed over several parallel tape 
tracks, tape consumption will be re- 
duced even further. 

The Japanese have a massive effort 
going on in perpendicular recording. 
On March 11 and 12, 1982, in Sendai, 
Japan, the first International Sym- 
posium on Perpendicular Recording 
was sponsored by Tohoku University 
and organized by the inventor of 
perpendicular recording, Professor 



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Iwasaki. Some 320 people attended, 
and 23 papers were given at this 
meeting. Twenty of the papers were 
by Japanese authors; three by U.S. 
authors, all of them with. Vertimag 
Systems Corporation. Only seven 
non-Japanese people participated: 
three from Vertimag and four from 
the rest of the world. 

Virtually every well-known Japan- 
ese electronics company is working 
on perpendicular recording. We 
estimate that at least 400 researchers 
are working in Japanese universities 
and companies on perpendicular 
recording technology. The companies 
include, but certainly are not limited 
to, Hitachi, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Nippon 
Electric Company (NEC), NTT, 
Sony, Matsushita, and a number of 
smaller companies. The recent 
Toshiba announcement of a 3V2-inch 
perpendicularly oriented floppy-disk 
system is a case in point. While this 
product is still two years or so from 
production, it represents Japan's level 
of achievement in this area. 

Initially, the Japanese activity will 
probably be aimed at the consumer 
electronics industry because the Jap- 
anese dominate this area. 

Ironically, many of the research 
managers of the Japanese companies 
were graduate students and post- 
graduate fellows under Professor Jack 
Judy, director of the Magnetics 
Research Laboratory at the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota and one of Ver- 
timag's founders. These graduate stu- 
dents, whose tuition and expenses 
were completely paid by their com- 
panies, are now the leaders of the 
Japanese technical thrust in perpen- 
dicular recording. This certainly does 
not speak well of the ability and 
awareness of American industrial 
management. 

Once a medium is available and the 
technology of perpendicular record- 
ing is well understood and dissemi- 
nated, there will be an urgent move- 
ment toward perpendicular-record- 
ing-based data-storage systems. Since 
"smaller is better," we may expect to 
see a continuing movement toward 
smaller drives, even more compact 
than the new 3Vi- and 3V2-inch drives, 
perhaps down to something as tiny as 
a 1-inch floppy-disk system. ■ 



64 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 460 on Inquiry card. 





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BYTE March 1983 



65 




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New Developments 
in Floppy Disks 

The marketplace for microfloppies is heating up. 



Tom Moran 

3895 22nd St. 

San Francisco, CA 94114 



The most popular method of re- 
cording and storing data for micro- 
computer systems is the ubiquitous 
floppy-disk drive, particularly in its 
5V4-inch incarnation. The floppy disk 
offers inexpensive archival storage 
and is the medium for many widely 
available software packages. To sur- 
vive in this large and robust market, 
manufacturers of floppy-disk drives 
are constantly trying to improve the 
price, capacity, size, and perfor- 
mance of their products. 

Some companies are pursuing new 
technologies while others are relying 
on enhancements of proven methods. 
Those who are working with new 
technologies feel that their innovative 
methods are necessary to maintain 
the constant increase of data storage 
capacity that has occurred up to now. 
Proven methods appeal to companies 
that feel that advances can be made 
without the risks inherent in using 
less well known procedures. 

Three different technologies that 

About the Author 

Tom Moran is a freelance technical writer 
living in San Francisco. He has written several 
articles for Electronics magazine. 



are most likely to influence floppy- 
disk products for computer systems 
and electronic typewriters are perpen- 
dicular magnetic recording (also 
called vertical recording, or VR), Ber- 
noulli technology, and the exciting 
but muddied world of sub-5V4-inch 
floppy disks. 

Perpendicular magnetic recording 
(PMR) is expected to increase the 
storage capacity of disk drives by re- 
aligning the magnetic material on the 
disk surface to achieve a higher den- 
sity of bits per inch on a disk. Ber- 
noulli technology is a noncontact 
method of recording data in which 
the read/write head flies in close 
proximity to the surface of the disk. 
This, in combination with other tech- 
niques, enables a floppy disk rotating 
at 1500 rpm (revolutions per minute) 
to perform very much like a Win- 
chester hard-disk drive. 

"Aflopalypse" Now 

The term "three-ring circus" 
doesn't adequately describe the ef- 
forts on the part of manufacturers to 
make smaller floppy-disk drives for 
lighter, more portable systems (see 
photo 1). A number of companies are 



now making or are about to make 
3-inch, 3 a /4-inch, and at least three 
different, incompatible 3Vi-inch 
floppy-disk-drive systems. The situa- 
tion is like a tag-team wrestling match 
with six teams jumping into the ring 
at once. Each team is fighting for a 
different design. Alliances between 
the teams have been made and 
broken. However, everyone in the 
contest is striving for the same objec- 
tive — to have a product with the 
prestigious and lucrative title of "In- 
dustry Standard" for the sub-5V4-inch 
market. 

Previously, every disk-drive stan- 
dard has ultimately been decided by 
the marketplace and never by a com- 
mittee. The advantage of being the 
first drive maker to ship significant 
quantities of a sub-5V4-inch floppy 
disk belongs to Sony, which makes a 
drive called the OA-D30V that stores 
437K bytes on a 3 x /2-inch metal hub 
disk within a hard plastic cartridge. 
But an alliance of 19 companies has 
gone before the ANSI (American Na- 
tional Standards Institute) X3B8 
Committee advocating substantially 
different specifications from those of 
the Sony microfloppy disk. The 



68 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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loosely knit alliance, re- 
ferring to itself as the 
Microfloppy Standards 
Committee, includes 
media makers Verbatim 
Corporation, BASF Sys- 
tems Corporation, Xidex, 
Brown Disc, Memorex, 
and Dennison Kybe Cor- 
poration, and drive 
makers Shugart Associ- 
ates Inc., Micro Periph- 
erals Inc. (MPI), Olivetti 
Peripheral Equipment, 
Luctor Corporation, and 
the Remex Division of the 
Ex-Cell-O Corporation. 

The Microfloppy Stan- 
dards Committee invited 
Sony and the 3-inch- 
drive advocates, Hitachi, 
Matsushita, and Maxell 
Corporation of America, 
to make technical presen- 
tations to the committee, 
which they did. General agreement 
was reached on the need for a floppy- 
disk drive with disks small enough to 
fit into a shirt pocket. Everyone at- 
tending the meeting also thought that 
a hard shell would be preferable to 
the standard vinyl floppy-disk jacket. 
However, the Hitachi/Matsushita/ 
Maxell group thought that the drive 
should be as small as possible, while 
the Microfloppy Standards Commit- 
tee preferred not to push the tech- 
nology, opting instead for the larger 
3y2-inch standard it considers more 
reliable. 

Amdek Corporation of Elk Grove 
Village, Illinois, is marketing the 
Hitachi /Matsushita /Maxell-type 
drive. Amdek is offering two of the 
3-inch drives as a unit with a total 
unformatted capacity of 1 megabyte. 
The unit is compatible with the 
5V4-inch industry-standard format 
and became available for end users in 
December 1982. The suggested retail 
price of the Amdisk-3 Micro-Floppy- 
disk Cartridge system is $799 for the 
two-drive unit and cables if an addi- 
tional controller card is not required. 
Presently Amdek expects to have 
controller cards for the Apple II and 
III and IBM PC. 

Micro Peripherals Inc. introduced 
its model 301F 3-inch design at 




Photo 1: 'The Incredible Shrinking Floppy-Disk Drive." The 
Tandon TM35 3Vi-inch microfloppy-disk drive is shown in com- 
parison with standard and half-height 8- and 5 l A-inch drives. 
Although occupying far less volume, the microfloppy has seven- 
eighths of the data storage capacity of the 5 l A-inch drives and more 
than one-half of the capacity of the 8-inch drives. 



COMDEX. It was the first American 
firm to manufacture and market a 
3-inch drive and endorse the Hitachi/ 
Matsushita /Maxell standard. Its 
drive has a capacity of 250K (unfor- 
matted) bytes per side with a "flippy" 
feature enabling both sides to be used 
for data storage. The drive features a 
band-type head positioner to achieve 
a 3-ms (millisecond) track-to-track 



Sony and the 

Microfloppy Standards 

Committee disagreed 

on many points, 

including the preferred 

disk rotation rate. 



seek time and uses standard 5V4-inch 
specifications such as 300-rpm rota- 
tion, 40 tps, 100 tpi, and a 250K-bit- 
per-second transfer rate. Disks are 
provided by Maxell, TDK, and 
others. 

Sony and the Microfloppy Stan- 
dards Committee disagreed on many 
particulars. The most important is the 
committee's wish to make 3V2-inch 
drives that are plug-compatible with 
standard 5V4-inch drives so that de- 
signers can use standard controllers 



and users can run stan- 
dard software, thus keep- 
ing redesign costs to a 
minimum. 

Sony stuck by its 
600-rpm disk-rotation 
rate, while the committee 
chose 300 rpm, Sony's 
argument for the faster 
rotation is that, on 
smaller drives, the inner- 
most tracks pass under 
the read/write head too 
slowly and the data- 
transfer rate is impaired. 
The committee says that 
the slower rotation it pro- 
poses will keep the data 
rate compatible with 
5V4~inch drives and that 
the high speed Sony ad- 
vocates would generate 
too much heat, causing 
reliability problems due 
to expansion and con- 
traction of the disks during use. 
Again for reasons of compatibility 
with extant 5V4-inch drives, the com- 
mittee opted to widen the read/write 
window to allow more tracks without 
greater track density, recommending 
40 or 80 tracks per side (tps) on either 
one or both sides of the disk. Current- 
ly, the highest capacity in this format 
would be 1 megabyte of unformatted 
storage. 

Most of the physical dimensions of 
the standard suggested by the Micro- 
floppy Standards Committee are the 
same as those of the Sony drive. 
However, the medium used by Sony 
is nominally 580 oersteds, 100 micro- 
inches thick, while the committee's 
standard would use a medium of 650 
oersteds, 40 to 50 microinches thick. 
[Editor's note: An oersted is a unit of 
magnetic resistance used to quantify 
the performance of magnetic media. ] 
Members of the committee say that 
Sony's medium is unique, but a 
number of companies, including 
some that are not members of the 
committee, are developing new media 
similar to that specified by the com- 
mittee. Although the committee 
agrees with Sony's use of hard-shell 
cases for the media, it wants to add 
further protection in the form of an 
automatic shutter that will open the 



70 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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72 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 





head-access window when the disk is 
inserted into the drive and close it 
when the disk is removed. 

The major backers of the Micro- 
floppy Standards Committee are 
Shugart and Verbatim, which expect 
to have limited production quantities 
of drives and media available early in 
the third quarter of 1983. Industry 
analysts believe that 4 million sub- 
5V4-inch drives will be produced by 
all manufacturers in 1983. According 
to Malcolm Northrup, president of 
Verbatim, in a few years shipments of 
all sub-5V4-inch systems may grow as 
large as 151 million units. 

Two years from now Toshiba Cor- 
poration of Tokyo expects to be in 
production of its recently announced 
PMR 3V2-inch 3-megabyte floppy- 
disk drive. Although a lot of develop- 
ment is left to be done, the company 
clearly hopes to get a jump on com- 
petitors by announcing its new tech- 
nology now. The drive's hard plastic 
cartridge with autoshutter contains a 
75-micron-thick polyester disk that is 
sputter-coated on both sides with a 
0.5-micron layer of cobalt chromium. 
The cartridge is 90 by 92 by 3 mm. 
The recording density will be 50,000 
bits per inch (bpi) at 144 tracks per 
inch (tpi) compared to 5500 bpi at 48 
tpi for conventional longitudinal data 
recording. This is 7 or 8 times the 
density of most longitudinal record- 
ing. The entire drive measures only 
100 by 130 by 40 mm. 

In the 3V4-inch corner, two drop- 
outs from the Microfloppy Standards 
Committee who submitted their own 
proposal to the X3B8 committee, 
drive-maker Tabor and disk-maker 
Dysan, have recently been joined by 
Seagate Technology, which will 
become a second source for Tabor 
drives. 

Tabor calls its 3V4-inch floppy-disk 
drive the Model TC 500 Drivette and 
says it's the first in a family of drives 
with different capacities. The single- 
sided drive uses a soft vinyl jacket 
and records in either FM or MFM 
(frequency modulation or modified 
frequency modulation) on 80 tracks 
at a density of 140 tpi. When record- 
ing is in FM, the bit density is 4625 
bpi, and when in MFM, it is 9250 bpi. 
Data transfer is 250K bits per second 



Circle 102 on inquiry card. 



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STARTED USING STRONG 

LANGUAGE. 




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Apple Logo encourages 
you to break problems into 
small steps, and then shows 
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automatic. 




It does all this interactively. 
For instance, if you accidentally 
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Circle 487 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 73 




Photo 2: The Tandon TM35-2 microfloppy-disk drive, which is compatible with standard 5 l A-inch drive controllers, has a rigid car- 
tridge enclosing the magnetic medium. 



(FM). The 1.625- by 4- by 5.5-inch 
drive weighs 1.6 pounds and records 
250K bytes (unformatted) per disk in 
FM and 500K bytes in MFM. The 
company, started in January 1982, is 
based in Westford, Massachusetts. 
Some units were in early evaluation 
in December, and volume production 
started in January of this year. 

According to Tabor, Seagate had 
previously agreed to make drives in 
the Sony format but decided not to 
when Sony would let it assemble only 
Sony components instead of making 
complete drives. Another problem 
was that Seagate thought that double- 
sided versions of the Sony drive 
would be unstable. However, Sony 
can take some comfort from a 
$30-million contract with Hewlett- 
Packard for drives to be integrated 
into HP's systems. Hewlett-Packard 
has indicated that it chose the Sony 
system because it is already in pro- 
duction and that HP will support the 
Sony system as the standard. 

Another disk-drive manufacturer, 
Tandon Corporation, has recently in- 
troduced its TM35 Microline 3V2-inch 



microfloppy in two models (see photo 
2). The TM35-2 is compatible with 
the standard 5V4-inch interface, and 
the TM35-4 is compatible with the 
Sony OA-D30V microfloppy's inter- 
face, software, and disks, but it 
records data on both sides of its disk. 
Both models of the TM35 store 875K 
bytes using both sides of the disk. The 
TM35-4 has an average access time of 
70 ms, and the TM35-2, 100 ms. The 
devices measure 1% by 4 by 6V2 
inches. The TM35-4 records 7610 bpi 
at 135 tpi and 70 tps, while the 
TM35-2 records 3617/7610 bpi, 135 
tpi, and 40 tps. The two models have 
an onboard Intel 8084 microprocessor 
to control spindle speed and head 
positioning, and a brushless direct- 
drive DC motor. Tandon is using the 
Sony-type disks for the drives and 
says that an automatic shutter is 
available for the rigid cartridge. 

Tandon says that it's not hedging 
bets, just providing products for dif- 
ferent markets. According to Tandon 
representative Al Erickson, Sony and 
Hewlett-Packard will be putting 
Sony-type drives into instruments 



and new office equipment that have 
nothing to do with the 5 V* -inch-drive 
market. Tandon expects there will be 
more than one market and more than 
one application for both of these 
drive forms. In fact, Tandon with- 
drew from the standards committee 
because president Jugi Tandon felt 
that market acceptance will deter- 
mine the standard as it has done 
before. The company planned to 
deliver evaluation units in the first 
quarter of 1983 with high-volume 
production following later in the 
year. In large OEM (original-equip- 
ment-manufacturer) quantities, the 
TM35s will cost $200 to $250 each. 

Many companies don't seem ter- 
ribly worried about the eventual out- 
come in the sub-5V4-inch market. 
Most express confidence that the 
standards they are backing will do 
well and add that, even if the market 
goes against them, it won't take them 
more than six months to a year to 
retool to meet the new demand. 

Even if the magnetic dust clears up 
tomorrow and one microfloppy-drive 
format emerges victorious, it will still 



74 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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have an inherent problem. The stan- 
dard microfloppy-to-be may well be 
compatible with 5V4-inch controllers 
and software, but incompatibility 
between the 3Vi-inch microfloppies 
and 5V4-inch floppy disks will be ax- 
iomatic. 

Perpendicular Magnetic 
Recording 

Although a lot of room still exists 
to increase track densities and thus 
capacity, the limitations of conven- 



tional recording techniques are begin- 
ning to be reached, and perpendi- 
cular, or vertical, magnetic recording 
seems a likely next step (see also 'The 
Promise of Perpendicular Magnetic 
Recording" by Clark E. Johnson Jr., 
page 56). In media in use now, the 
magnetic particles are laid end to end 
along the direction of the media's 
tracks. PMR "stacks" the magnets 
side by side vertically. This not only 
increases the number of bits that can 
be stored in the same space, it reduces 



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day-in and day-out. 

Check the menu for the printer that meets your exact needs. 
Why go with the computer manufacturer's combo plate when the same 
money will let you buy Intoscribe, a la carte? 

Your favorite computer dealer or systems specialist will be delighted to arrange a 
demonstration for you. Or contact the matrix d': Intoscribe, 2720 South Croddy Way, 
Santa Ana, California 92704, USA, Phone (714) 641-8595, Telex 692422. 

PRINT WITH INFOSCRIBE 



the self-demagnetizing effect, which 
lessens as the length-to-thickness 
ratio of a magnet decreases. One way 
to keep a favorable length-to- 
thickness ratio is to decrease the 
thickness of the medium by develop- 
ing a thin-film disk. Unfortunately, 
although thin-film disks have been 
used in well-functioning prototypes 
many times, no one has been able to 
produce them economically and 
reliably in large quantities. In the 
words of one industry observer, 
"thin-film media have been just 
around the corner for nine years, and 
they're still not here. Something tells 
me they never will be." 

Because PMR records the bits 
"into" the medium rather than along 
it, the length is determined by the 
thickness of the substrate. And, as 
density increases along the track, the 
length-to-thickness ratio is actually 
improved, so that the self-demag- 
netizing effect approaches zero. 
However, this does not mean that 
there are no problems with this 
technology. In the past, prominent 
industry analysts have expressed 
skepticism about the possibility of 
recording vertically, saying that 
recording takes place not vertically or 
horizontally but somewhere in be- 
tween. In fact, the greatest need in 
working with PMR is to find a 
medium substrate that can be ver- 
tically oriented in a consistent pattern 
on the disk's surface. 

The best substrate candidate so far 
seems to be cobalt chromium, which 
can be deposited in hexagonal 
crystals on the disk's surface under 
carefully controlled conditions. The 
best method found so far for coating 
disks is vacuum sputtering, which, 
although slow, has been extensively 
perfected by the semiconductor in- 
dustry, which uses sputtering to coat 
silicon wafers. 

Vertimag Systems Corporation of 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, expects to 
start production of a 5V4-inch floppy- 
disk drive using PMR in 1984. Al- 
ready demonstrated in prototype, its 
system will provide 5 megabytes of 
storage in a form compatible with the 
SA400 standard from Shugart. In 
fact, the drive will use Shugart's me- 



76 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 210 on Inquiry card. 



Circle 435 on Inquiry card. • 



the monitor 
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a complete 

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Our monitors are in use around the 

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dealer, or call us for details. 



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City of Industry, CA 91748 
(213) 810-1291 



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chanical components and Vertimag's 
own cobalt-chromium-sputtered 
disks. Data will be stored at 96 tpi, 
and up to 36,000 bpi will be recorded 
on the inner tracks using a form of 
MFM. According to Clark E. Johnson 
Jr., president of Vertimag, the drive 
will have a data transfer rate of 1.7 
megabits per second and will sell for 
less than $500 in OEM quantities. 

Flying with 
Bernoulli Technology 

Another company that's using in- 
novative techniques is Iomega Cor- 
poration of Ogden, Utah, which is 
making a 10-megabyte 8-inch floppy- 
disk drive, the Alpha 10, using Ber- 
noulli technology. With this tech- 
nique, founded on principles dis- 
covered 200 years ago by Swiss 
physicist Daniel Bernoulli, the head 
"flies" less than 10 microinches above 
the surface of the medium. The drive 
uses a large flat surface called the Ber- 
noulli plate that is positioned 0.005 
inch from the disk, which spins at 
1500 rpm. The spinning of the disk 
creates an airflow moving from the 
middle of the disk radially outward to 
its circumference. This lowers the air 
pressure and pulls the medium evenly 
toward the Bernoulli plate. A hole in 
the plate allows the medium to be ac- 
cessed by the read/write head, which 
is hydrodynamically mounted. The 
airflow ensures that the disk is reli- 
ably positioned and that it does not 
touch the plate. This noncontact ar- 
rangement means less wear and 
greater reliability than is normally 
found, for example, in Winchester 
hard-disk drives. In fact, Iomega says 
that its 8-inch floppy disk has 
reliability advantages over Win- 
chesters because the design of the 
head assembly causes contaminants 
to be flushed out of the system away 
from the read/write area and because 
the airflow cushion damps shock and 
vibration of the disk and read /write 
head configuration, resulting in less 
chance of head crashes. Because the 
head and disk are brought together 
by the Bernoulli effect, not by 
springs, any shock to the system will 
act to decouple them, thus avoiding a 
collision and resulting in a soft data 
error instead of a catastrophic failure. 



When the passing contaminant has 
cleared the area, the head and disk 
recouple. 

Because the system's compliance is 
in the disk itself, no gimbal arrange- 
ment is necessary for the arm and 
read/write head. In fact, the drive has 
only two moving parts, the rotary 
head actuator and the spindle motor. 

The Alpha 10 has a closed-loop 
embedded servomechanism in each 
track, allowing 300 tpi recording. The 
present bit density is 24,000 bpi using 
run-length-limited code, and Iomega 
is looking closely at the possibility of 
increasing that with PMR. Data is 
transferred at 1.13 megabytes per sec- 
ond. Production of the Alpha 10 
started in September 1982. Mean- 
while, Iomega is working on a 
5V4-inch drive called the Beta 5 that 
uses the same technology. The new 
drive will store 5 megabytes of for- 
matted data, and the disk will rotate 
at 1964 rpm. The Beta 5 will use 434 
tpi and 17,000 bpi and have a stan- 
dard (Winchester) data-transfer rate 
of 5 megabits per second. Iomega 
says that the Bournelli technology 
translates well to a smaller size 
because smaller disks are easier to 
stabilize. Both the 5 V^ -inch drive and 
the Alpha 10 use the industry- 
standard disk interface. 

Although Iomega is currently the 
only manufacturer shipping Bernoulli 
drives, the company believes Ber- 
noulli technology is the way of the 
future because of its inherent advan- 
tages of a cheap medium, Winchester- 
like performance and' capacity, and 
extreme simplicity of design. Second 
sources of the Alpha 10 are expected 
to be announced soon, and Iomega 
says that IBM and others are working 
on similar systems. . 

High Capacity 

with Proven Technology 

Drivetec Inc., of San Jose, Califor- 
nia, founded by Herb Thompson, one 
of the founders of Shugart Associ- 
ates, is a company that believes in 
fine-tuning proven technology. The 
year-old company's first product, an- 
nounced in November 1982, is called 
the Drivetec 320 Superminifloppy 
and offers 3.33 megabytes of unfor- 
matted storage in a half-height 



78 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






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Introducing . . . 

The IS PipeLine™ Random Access Printing Buffer. 

Insert pictures, graphics or spread-sheet data into reports. Duplicate 
form letters— automatically changing addresses on each. Now, all 
your programs can work together to produce printed output. 

For the first time ever, here is a buffer that not only frees your fast com- 
puter from your slow printer but also allows you to rearrange, compose 
and copy your data on its way to the printer. 

■ Random Access Printing— stores paragraphs or pictures for printing 
in any order— any number of times. 

■ FIFO Printing— conventional first-in first-out operation. 

■ Compression of data for efficient utilization of memory space. 

■ Ability to interrupt long-term buffer operations for straight-thru short- 
term printing. 

■ Simple Erase feature to clear buffer. 

■ Automatic duplication capability. 

■ Easily expandable, by you, from 8K Bytes to 128K Bytes. 

The IS PipeLine is Universal— it works with any parallel (Centronics* — 
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The IS PipeLine is a self-contained unit with operating manual, cables 
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Circle 220 on inquiry card. The IS Pipeline™ Random Access Printing Buffer is patent pending. 



5y4-inch drive. The 
Drivetec 320 has a pro- 
prietary track-following 
embedded servo system 
that allows recording of 
192 tpi, and its linear 
recording density is ap- 
proximately 9908 bpi 
(see photo 3). A two- 
stepper system uses one 
stepper for large head 
movements and another 
for fine adjustments, so 
that the two recording 
heads can be moved in 
200-microinch incre- 
ments. The medium is a 
special preformatted 
50-microinch-thick oxide 
coating on a platter that 
allows much higher bit densities and 
track densities than conventional 
100-microinch-thick media. The drive 
has an onboard microprocessor, a 
brushless DC motor, and buffered 
track seek and is designed to be 
downward compatible with 48-tpi 
disks. Data is transferred at 500K bits 
per second. 

Drivetec expects to ship evaluation 
units in the first quarter of 1983, with 
manufacturing start-up scheduled for 
the second quarter. The Drivetec 320 
will cost less than $325 each in OEM 
quantities of 1000. 

Drivetec'sHerb Thompson believes 
that long-term trends will be the fine 
tuning of established technologies. "I 
built the first floppy disk at IBM in 
1967," he says, "and it really hasn't 
changed a bit since then, except that 
performance has dramatically in- 
creased. It still has a long way to go, 
of course, but I don't want to argue 
with success. Why should I go off and 
start up with thin-film heads and ex- 
otic media when the chances of fail- 
ure are so high?" Thompson goes on 
to say that PMR is another buzzword 
like thin-film heads and bubble mem- 
ories. "I wouldn't hold my breath 
waiting for vertical recording because 
it requires thin-film heads and they're 
not cost-effective and I don't see them 
becoming so." He also doesn't think 
that cobalt chromium substrates will 
be the medium of the future unless 
there's a major breakthrough. "I saw 




Photo 3: Drivetec 320 Supermini] 'loppy. Based on established 
technology, the Drivetec offers 3 megabytes of storage in a half- 
height 5 l A-inch drive. 



plated media 20 years ago; IBM's 
done a huge amount of research on 
them and threw them out. I wouldn't 
risk my company on anything less 
than proven technology." 

Half -Height Floppy Disks 

Tandon, Shugart, and Qume are 
now offering half -height 5V4-inch 
floppy-disk drives, the form that is 
the most serious threat to micro- 
floppies in the portable, low-cost, 
and small-computer-systems mar- 

Specially formulated 
disks from Verbatim 
Corporation will be 

used by Apple 
Computer and Amlyn 

in new drives. 

kets. Shugart is producing two 
models, the SA455 and the SA465. 
The SA455 uses 48 tpi and stores 
250K or 500K bytes, while the SA465 
has a 500K-byte single-density and 
1-megabyte double-density capacity 
with 96 tpi (all unformatted). Both 
double-sided drives are compatible 
with the standard floppy-disk inter- 
face and, like other half-height 
drives, use brushless direct-drive DC 
motors that reduce the size of the 
drives by eliminating belts, pulleys, 
and bearings used with AC motors. 
Evaluation-model shipping was due 



in the fourth quarter of 
1982, with volume pro- 
duction to follow in the 
first quarter of 1983. In 
quantities of 5000, the 
SA455 is priced at $160 
and the SA465 at $195. 
Average access time is 
about 94 ms, and data- 
transfer rate is 125K or 
250K bits per second de- 
pending on whether 
single or dual density is 
used. 

Tandon's half-height 
5V4-inch drive is offered 
in two versions, one 
costing $100, and the 
other, a mechanism-only 
version, is $50 in very 
large OEM quantities. The TM50 uses 
double-density single-sided recording 
and 48 tpi to store 250K bytes in a 
5.75- by 1.625- by 8-inch package. 
Average access time is 267 ms. 

Qume's half -height 5V4-inch drive 
offering is the Qumetrak 142, a 
double-sided 48-tpi drive that stores 
500K bytes unformatted. Its average 
access time is 175 ms. High- volume 
OEM prices are expected to be less 
than $150 each. 

NEC has introduced a half -height 
8-inch floppy-disk drive, the FD 
1165, with storage capacity of 1.6 
megabytes using double density and 
both sides of the disk. The FD 1165 is 
priced at $525 each for quantities of 
100; in quantities of 300 the cost is 
$395 each. 

Super Disks 

Specially formulated disks from 
Verbatim Corporation will be used in 
new drives from Apple Computer 
and Amlyn. The disks will have a 
50-microinch coating of cobalt- 
impregnated gamma iron oxide with 
a magnetic resistance of 625 oersteds 
instead of the standard 300 oersteds 
and will have a 17-year warranty. 
Apple will use the disks in two new 
full-sized drives, the Apple Unifile 
and the Apple Duofile. The Unifile 
will store 871K bytes formatted on 
62.5 tpi at 10,000 bpi. The Duofile 
will contain 1.7 megabytes format- 
ted. The Apple drives are designed 



80 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Chairman of the Boards 



*GEW^ 



"*W* 






y " ^i 






£ -1 






iUrftw" 1 ' 






I/O Ports . 



Z-80A CPU, 
Floppy Disk Controller, 
64K of Memory, Serial & Parallel 
all on a SINGLE S-100 BOARD! 






Advanced Digital is the leader in 
S-100 single board computers. Our 
attention to quality workmanship, 
our outstanding performance 
and proven reliability have made 
our SUPER QUAD "computer 
on a board" number one. 

Now SUPER QUAD® has been 
elected "Chairman of the Boards" 
in the expanding Multi- 
Processing marketplace. SUPER 
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and takes charge of many 
SUPER-SLAVE® processor boards. 

SUPER QUAD is so complete, 
it actually replaces the traditional 
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only $875.00. 




Look at these features: 

• IEEE S-100 Standard 

• Z-80A CPU 

• 64K of Bank Select Memory as 
well as extended addressing 

• Double density floppy disk 
controller. Both 8" or 5-1/4" Disk 
Drives 

• 2 serial & 2 parallel I/O ports 
(RS-232 and intelligent hard 
disk interface). 

• 2K or 4K of monitor EPROM 

• Runs with CP/M®, MP/M® and 
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Ask about our new HDC-1001 
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• One year warranty. 

• Free copy of bios disk. 

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t Copyright 1981 Advanced Digital Corp 



Circle 413 on Inquiry card. 







~' 



H 



WNVWW^VW^^' 



vuw^vww^^ 






^J^CO^NS-N!** 3 ** 




innovators in 
Winchester 



ffiSMSiJ 



Tallgrass Technologies presents a 
family of Winchester HardFiles and 
removable cartridge media that 
has set the industry standard on 
performance and reliability. With 
integral lat&e backup and format- 
ted capacities from 6.25 Mb to 20 
Mb, Tallgrass has a Hard File to 
answer the most serious data 
management problems. 

Let Tallgrass introduce you to our 
family of Winchester subsystems 
and watch your personal compu- 
ter transform into a powerful data 
processing system. 

From $3095.00 suggested retail 
including integral backup. 

Tallgrass 
Technologies 

Corporation 

9207 Cody, Overland park, Kansas 66214 
(913) 492-6002 

Available from COMPUTERLAND and 
other participating dealers. 




for the Apple III and for backup of 
the 5-megabyte Profile Winchester 
disk drive. The rigid jacket of the 
Verbatim disk will resist heat distor- 
tion up to 160 degrees F. 

Multicartridge Drives 

The Amlyn drive belongs to the 
multicartridge drive category. It uses 
five-disk Mini Pack cartridges, each 
storing 1.6 megabytes of unformatted 
data on one side using 170 tpi at 9500 
bpi and 154 tracks. The unformatted 
capacity of each cartridge will be 8 
megabytes, and the user will be able 
to remove one or all of the five 
SVi-inch disks at will. 

Another drive that uses multiple 
disks is the Mega-Mate, made by 
Mega-Data Computer Products Inc. 
of Overland Park, Kansas. The 
Mega-Mate contains an interchange- 
able 40-disk magazine that stores 5 
formatted megabytes on one side of 
all the disks. The magazine can be 
reversed to provide an additional 
5-megabyte capacity. The drive itself 
is priced at $695, and additional 
magazines are $70. 



Conclusion 

The current revolution in data- 
storage technology poses an interest- 
ing problem for end users. On one 
hand, the size reduction and in- 
creased storage of the new microflop- 
pies offers several advantages to 
small-computer-system designers. 
Drives could be incorporated into a 
handier, less conspicuous area on a 
computer. Two microfloppies could, 
for example, be placed underneath a 
standard-sized keyboard. 

On the other hand, with the pro- 
liferation of different formats and 
data-storage technologies, end users 
could find themselves stuck with an 
orphan disk-drive system. And the 
subsequent lack of inexpensive media 
and support could become very ex- 
pensive. 

Although microfloppies and im- 
proved data-storage technologies will 
have their market, there is a simpler 
method for increasing the transport- 
ability and convenience of existing 
SVi-inch floppy disks. Just have all 
the shirt makers agree upon a stan- 
dard 5% -inch pocket. ■ 



BYTE's Bugs 



Gremlins Gobble 
Up- Arrows 

It looks like gremlins have struck 
once again. This time they invaded 
the program listing in "High-Speed 
Pascal Text File I/O" by K. Brook 
Richan and James S. Rosenvall 
(January 1983 BYTE, page 454). The 
program listing for FASTIODEMO 
(listing 1) should have up-arrows in 
several places but, unfortunately, 
doesn't. Anyone interested in obtain- 
ing a copy of the corrected listing 
may do so by sending a legal-size self- 
addressed envelope with $0.37 U.S. 
postage to: 

Pascal Listing 

Attn: Ms. Lisa Steiner 

BYTE 

POB 372 

Hancock, NH 03449 

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for 
delivery. ■ 



82 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




You cant buy an S- 
hard disk system for 



•it 





5 MEGABYTES. 



5 MEGABYTES, PLUS 



$3,995 $4,400 



That's the full price for the complete 
Decision T computer. Including an S-100, 
(IEEE-696) 14-slot motherboard, 64K 
of RAM, DMA floppy and hard disk con- 
trollers, a 5 Megabyte hard disk, a 200 K 
floppy disk drive, one parallel and 
three serial ports. Plus, CP/M® 2.2 and 
Microsoft® BASIC-80. 



For another $405, you double your floppy 
capacity to 400K. And, you get over 
$1,200 worth of applications software: 
WordStar,® Correct-It™ spelling checker, 
the LogiCalc™ spreadsheet, and the 
Personal PEARL™ relational data base 
manager 

NOW, MULTI-USER. For an addi- 
tional $1,995, you get a package that 



allows you to add two more 
users to your system. Which 
makes the Decision I the lowest 
priced multi-user, multi-tasking system 
you can buy. The package adds an 
additional 192Kof RAM, plus Micronix,™ 
Morrow's UN IX™-like operating system. 
The OS includes a CP/M emulator which 
allows you to use CP/M software in a 
multi-user environment. 
BUY IT YOUR WAY Single user or 
multi-user/multi-tasking. Or; buy a 
single user system now and expand it later: 
No matter how you buy it, you can't 
buy more performance for less. 



MORROW DESIGNS H 

MORROW DESIGNS □ 600 McCormick St. □ San Leandro, CA94577O(415)430-1970 



WordStar is a registered trademark of MicroPro, Inc., CP/Misa 

registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 

Decision I, Micronix. and Correct-It, are trademarks of Morrow 

Designs 



Personal PEARL is a trademark of Relational Systems, Inc. 
UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories, Inc. 
LogiCalc is a trademark of Software Products International 
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation 



Circle 295 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 83 



Introducing the portable computer 

for professionals on the move. 

Hewlett-Packard's new HP-75. 



A decade ago, we introduced the world's 
first scientific pocket calculator and rendered 
the time-honored slide rule obsolete. 

Now we're introducing the HP-75 portable 
computer. And if press reaction is any indi- 
cation, history is about to repeat itself. 

As small as a book. As 
powerful as a personal. 

Desktop-computer power in a handsome 
26-ounce package. That's the HP-75. It's just 
10 inches by 5 inches by l l A inches. 

But don't let the compactness fool you. 
Inside its rugged case lies a 48K-byte, ROM- 
based operating system. With a comprehen- 
sive, 147-command instruction set that helps 
you write hard-working, memory-efficient 
BASIC programs. 




Plug-in ROM ports let you add up to three 
32K-byte software modules— modules that 
solve tough problems without sacrificing 
user memory 

And that user memory gives you up to 
24K bytes of program and data storage. 

It all adds up. A fully loaded HP-75 is a 
168K-byte computing powerhouse in 
calculator clothing. 

Want more? A built-in magnetic card 
reader provides a convenient, inexpensive 
way to store and retrieve programs or data. 

The HP-75's typewriter-like keyboard 
means rapid, accurate entry of text or data. 
And when we say you can touch type on it, 
we mean you can touch type on it. 

Those keys, by the way, can be redefined 
with your favorite commands or programs. 
Up to 196 unique key combinations in all. 

Immediate, convenient access 

to your most frequently used 

programs. 

Thanks to the HP-75's multiple-file 



structure, programs, data and text can be 
named, simultaneously stored in memory, 
and programmed to interact with each other. 
Add continuous memory, and you've got 
a computer that's designed to solve problems 
on the go. Simply load your favorite files 
and enjoy immediate access to any or all of 
them. The files are retained in memory until 
you decide to delete them— even when the 
machine is turned off. 

Time and appointments to keep 
you on schedule. 

The TIME key brings to display the day of 
the week, date and time to the nearest second. 

The APPOINTMENT feature reminds 
you— an hour from now or a year from now — 
of things you have to do. You can have a 
silent message on the display, any one of six 
alarms, or a combination of both. 

Even if the machine is turned off, it will 
"wake up" and alert you of an appointment. 
Or it will execute programs or control periph- 
erals according to predetermined schedules. 

In an environmental test, for instance, 
where readings are taken every half hour, 
the HP-75 can make sure its owner gets the 
weekend off. 

Software tailored to solve your 
specific problems. 

HP-75 software is now available in areas 
such as math, engineering, finance, and statis- 
tics. With spreadsheet analysis* on the way. 

Our plug-in math module* for instance, 
solves polynomial roots, evaluates integrals, 
and performs finite Fourier transforms. 

With our text-formatter module** you'll 
compose memos, letters, and short documents 
virtually anywhere; then print them out 
when you return to your home or office. 

In addition, our third-party software 
program assures you of ever-expanding 
software variety. 

If you're a volume purchaser or OEM, 
give us a call. We can help you create custom 
HP-75 systems with special plug-in modules, 
magnetic cards, digital cassettes, and key- 
board overlays. 

Peripherals for a total 
computing package. 

The HP-75 is equipped with the Hewlett- 
Packard Interface Loop, giving you a choice 
of 15 peripherals. [And that choice is 
expanding. The HP-75 can work simultane- 
ously with up to 30.) 

In a battery-powered briefcase system 
weighing about seven pounds, you might 
have the 2 4 -character printer, digital cassette 
drive and acoustic modem*** 

A desktop system might include the 80- 
column impact printer, full-color graphics 
plotter, and 12-inch video monitor. 

And the HP-75 can "talk to" other 
computers, peripherals, and instruments 
with our HP-IB (IEEE-488)** RS-232*and 



GPIO interfaces. 

In summary, the HP-75 is the heart of an 
extremely versatile system, in addition to its 
stand-alone capabilities. 




Manuals to make sure you get 
the most from your machine. 

Chock-full of examples and helpful hints, 
our owner's manual will get you up and 
running in short order. And it's organized to 
help you access the information you need 
to get on with the job at hand. 

A supplementary reference guide provides 
a concise summary of the computer's 
operating protocol and instruction set. 

The value you're looking for. 

What is the price of all this power in this 
compact package? $995**** A lot less than 
you might pay for a personal computer you 
can't take with you. 

See the HP-75 today. It's the smart choice 
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For the authorized HP dealer or HP sales 
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^Available May 1,1983. 
** Available March 1, 1983. 
***Call our toll-free number for availability. 
***Suggested retail price. May vary outside 
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Circle 200 on Inquiry card. 



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HEWLETT 
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Optical-Memory Media 

How optical disks work, who makes them, 
and how much data they can hold. 



Laser videodisks and players have 
been commercially available for over 
five years, but the commercial use of 
this technology for storage of digital 
data has been delayed. Although 
building optical mass-storage drives 
is not a trivial exercise, perfecting and 
fabricating the optical media has 
proved to be an even more difficult 
task. Nevertheless, it appears likely 
that a variety of American, Euro- 
pean, and Japanese firms will present 
prototype optical-memory systems 
and media at computer and micro- 
graphics trade shows this spring, with 
"beta testing" (initial user tests) oc- 
curring by year-end. Commercial 
availability finally seems to be at 
hand. 

I'll now try to describe the com- 
position and performance character- 
istics of the various types of noneras- 
able optical-memory media that will 
most likely be used with the first- 
generation optical drives, and I'll in- 
dicate possible directions in which the 



About the Author 

Edward 5. Rothchild is a consultant and 
publisher of the Optical Memory Newsletter 
Including Interactive Videodisks. 



Edward Rothchild 

Optical Memory Newsletter 

POB 14817, 

San Francisco, CA 94114 

industry can be expected to move as 
the second-generation drives and 
erasable media are introduced toward 
the end of the 1980s. 

Lack of Disk Standards 

Just as a wide variety of magnetic 
disk drives and media have been de- 
signed for different applications, per- 
formance characteristics, and price, 
so, too, a wide range of optical drives 
and media will eventually be avail- 
able. Unfortunately, the optical- 
recording community has made little 
movement to agree on standards for 
the infant industry. Recent meetings 
have not even been able to agree on 
the size of the center hole in the disk, 
let alone the disk's composition, 
diameter, thickness, or performance. 
Every manufacturer is trying to posi- 
tion its product to become the de 
facto standard. 

Disks are being made now in 
12- and 14-inch diameters, with 8-, 
5V4-, 3-, and possibly 2-inch disks 
likely in the near future for use in 
small computers. Media for both the 
current least-capacity and greatest- 
capacity systems are rectangular 
cards or slides, and some firms are 
offering experimental optical reel-to- 
reel tapes and cassettes for a variety 



of applications, large and small. 

The most important reasons for the 
delay in introduction of optical re- 
cording technology are problems 
with the stability, archivability (shelf 
life), data integrity, and producibility 
of the media themselves. No one 
knows for sure just which material or 
combination of materials will gain ac- 
ceptance in the marketplace. Many 
major computer companies planning 
to introduce optical media are hedg- 
ing their bets by developing several 
different types. 

Starting an Industry 

No one wants the optical-memory 
industry to suffer the embarrassing 
fiasco (and lawsuits) experienced by 
those firms trying to commercialize 
video tape for document storage and 
retrieval in the 1960s. Before any sig- 
nificant part of the computer-user 
community can be expected to trans- 
fer existing records or store new data 
on a new medium/that medium must 
be reliable and widely perceived to be 
so. 

The first generation of optical 
mass-storage devices will be based 
almost exclusively on lasers writing 
data by distorting thin metal films. In 
some systems, the laser burns holes in 



86 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The CONCEPT AVT 



&u 



Because VT100 users 
deserve more than just 

VT100 compatibility. 




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DISTRIBUTORSHIP INQUIRIES INVITED. 



%HB 



the thin metal film; this process is 
called ablation. In other processes be- 
ing developed by 3M Company and 
France's Thomson-CSF, bubbles or 
blisters are raised by lasers. In still 
others, a phase change in the index of 
reflectivity is created without either 
ablating or blistering the thin metal 
film's surface. 

Regardless of which technique is 
used, the pattern of holes, bubbles, or 
marks in the medium surface causes 
the read-back laser beam to be 
deflected at specific intervals, thus 
reproducing the original binary bit 
pattern. The size or position of the 
hole, blister, of mark relative to its 
neighbors may also be used to encode 
binary information onto the medium. 

Tellurium-Based Media 

To date, over 70 percent of the 
research into materials for optical- 
memory media has concentrated on a 
rare nonmetallic element, tellurium, 
which resembles sulfur and selenium 
in chemical properties. Although 



tellurium is sometimes found native 
in white crystals, it is usually found 
alloyed with other elements. The 
chief reason for this is that pure 
tellurium oxidizes rapidly when in 
contact with moisture. Tellurium is 
somewhat toxic (and gives workers in 
contact with it a bad case of body 
odor). Researchers, nevertheless, 
have concentrated on finding ways to 
prevent tellurium from oxidizing, 
such as by overcoating it, encap- 
sulating it, building bilayered, 
trilayered, or Philips' Air-Sandwich 
structures, or alloying it with more 
stable elements such as selenium or 
arsenic. 

Tellurium has been favored pri- 
marily because of its low melting 
point (450 °C) and high sensitivity. 
However, much optical-media re- 
search in recent years has concen- 
trated on finding viable alternatives 
to tellurium. Among these are silver 
halide and gold/platinum alloys. 
Tellurium has its champions as well 
as detractors; most systems to be 



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commercially tested this year will use 
tellurium or one of these alternatives. 
Firms that already have or are plan- 
ning to show tellurium-based optical- 
media products in 1983 include Con- 
trol Data Corporation (CDC), Fujit- 
su, Hitachi, Matsushita, Omex, 
Philips, RCA, Storage Technology, 
Toshiba, and Xerox. 

Japanese Optical-Memory Media 

Japanese-developed media lean 
heavily toward tellurium alloys, in- 
cluding tellurium suboxide, tel- 
lurium/carbon alloy, and tellurium/ 
copper alloy. Toshiba and 3M have 
been showing Toshiba's DF-2100 
(tellurium/carbon alloy medium) 
document-storage system at com- 
puter and micrographics shows for 
over a year. Toshiba claims a 40-year 
archival life for its medium. 

Matsushita, under the Panasonic 
label, has been showing prototype 
DRAW (direct-read-after-write) still- 
frame analog video recorders using 
diode lasers; they are able to store 
15,000 images on one side of an 
8-inch tellurium suboxide disk. 
Digital DRAW recorders are expected 
from Matsushita shortly, and Fujitsu 
is expected to use a tellurium/copper 
alloy in its high-end optical recording 
medium. 

Other Media 

Gold/platinum alloy optical media 
are being developed by the French 
firm Thomson-CSF in cooperation 
with the Optimem project in Xerox's 
Shugart Division. Silver halide is the 
metal used in the only optical 
medium now commercially available, 
Drexler Technology Corporation's 
Drexon. Kodak is quite far along in 
development of a polymer/dye 
binder optical medium that uses no 
thin metal film. 

Desired Characteristics 

Regardless of the materials used, 
optical media should have the follow- 
ing general characteristics: long-term 
archival storage ability, high absorp- 
tivity at the recording wavelength, 
low writing energy, low manufactur- 
ing cost, high signal-to-noise ratio, 
good hole- (or bubble- or mark-) 
forming characteristics, low thermal 



88 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 369 on Inquiry card. . 




Q U A S a R 



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The Quasar HHC is actually a desktop computer 
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Portable Computer Systems 



For HHC system tailored to your specific application contact System House/OEM: 

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conductivity, and, preferably, a 
manufacturing process free of toxic 
substances. 

Erasable Reusable Media 

Originally, optical media's lack of 
erasability was considered by many 
to be a shortcoming. However, more 
recent thought has recognized that for 
most applications it is not desirable 
that optical media be erasable. This is 
because optical media will occupy a 
different place in the memory hierar- 
chy than most magnetic media and 
will be preferred for archival and 
massive data-collection jobs where 
there is more need to preserve the in- 
formation than to erase and update it. 

Because optical media typically 
contain up to 100 times the storage 
capacity of the same size magnetic 
media, they provide storage at a 
small fraction of the cost per user- 
byte for magnetic media. Optical 
media in systems to be shown this 
year range in capacity from IV* to 4 
gigabytes (a gigabyte is 1024 mega- 
bytes). Being able to erase and reuse 



an optical disk is not an economic 
consideration as it is with more ex- 
pensive magnetic disks. Far more im- 
portant than erasability is the conve- 
nience of removing optical disks and 
their much longer life in an archive; 
one need not rerecord optical disks 
every two to three years. 

Erasable vs. Nonerasable Media 

With the luxury of so much storage 
space available, many computer 
scientists feel that rather than erase 
data on optical disks, it is preferable 
merely to put a disabling code in each 
obsolete data sector with a pointer to 
updated information. Thus, if an 
audit trail must be done to find out 
how an answer was constructed, the 
original data will not have been 
obliterated. 

Nevertheless, erasability would 
definitely be desirable in some ap- 
plications, and research organizations 
around the world are increasing their 
efforts to identify the best techniques 
for achieving erasable and reusable 
optical media. Laboratory experi- 



ments have offered encouraging re- 
sults, and commercial availability can 
be expected around 1986, at which 
time optical media can be expected to 
seriously affect magnetic media sales. 
Until then, optical media will comple- 
ment rather than compete with mag- 
netic media. The storage media most 
likely to be hurt by optical media in 
the near term are reel-to-reel mag- 
netic tape and microfiche for archival 
data and document storage. 

A variety of approaches to eras- 
ability are being tested in labora- 
tories. Dr. Alan Bell, now with IBM's 
Research Laboratories in San Jose, 
California, described the state-of-the- 
art thinking on the subject in the 
March/ April 1982 issue of Optical 
Memory Newsletter, and he conclud- 
ed that recent developments in the 
U.S. and Japan in magneto-optic 
materials using encapsulated trilayer 
structures now look more promising 
for erasability than they did in the 
1970s when phase changes were 
caused by using amorphous semicon- 
ductors that recorded at one 



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FOR ANOTHER $12.50, YOU CAN 
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A lot of business people 
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Because they 
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can help. 

LIST is the first publica 
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It contains articles by 




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© 1983 Redgate Publishing Company, Vero Beach. FL. All rights reserved. 
90 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



industry, operating system 
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LIST is sold at leading 
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The Software Reso rceBook 
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The MultiMode Printer with 
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"Flexibility" means instantaneous call up of any of this trend- 
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temperature and erased at another. 

Robert McFarlane of North Ameri- 
can Philips Laboratories predicts that 
reversible media are three to five 
years away; magneto-optics will 
probably be developed first, especial- 
ly by Matsushita and Hitachi in 
Japan, and phase-change erasable 
techniques will be less likely. Philips 
has published very little about its 
reversible-media research. 

This, however, is not the unani- 
mous view; Edward LaBudde, general 
manager of Burroughs' optical re- 
cording program, sees amorphous-to- 
crystalline phase transition as the 
most promising technique. Despite 
heavy work in magneto-optics by the 
Japanese as well as Xerox and IBM, 
LaBudde doubts that the contrast and 
signal-to-noise ratio will be sufficient 
for most applications. Burroughs is 
not concentrating much effort on re- 
versible media now. Compared with 
the problems in perfecting erasable 
media, developing nonerasable media 
seems trivial. 



Error Rates 

Corrected BERs (bit error rates) 
satisfactory to both the mainframe 
computer and micrographics indus- 
tries seem to have been attained 
within the past year. However, it is 
necessary to link discussion of the 
BER with each application, taking 
into account the seriousness of an 
error versus the cost of correcting it. 
Although magnetic media for main- 
frame data applications have cor- 
rected (or "hard") BERs of 1 in 10 13 , 
not all magnetic media require it; 
floppy disks typically have a cor- 
rected BER of 1 in 10 9 . For document- 
storage applications, where images 
rather than digital data are recorded, 
a corrected BER of 1 in 10 6 is more 
than adequate. An error in that range 
will show up as a tiny black speck on 
a high-resolution image. 

Typically the "raw" (uncorrected) 
BER of optical media is 1 in 10 6 . New 
techniques in ED AC (error detection 
and correction) codes bring the un- 
corrected user BER up to 1 in 10 13 but 



require from 10 to 50 percent of the 
disk's total capacity to do so. The 
most dramatic breakthrough in 
EDAC is from Storage Technology 
Corporation (STC), which claims 
corrected BER of 1 in 10 13 with 
overhead of only 20 to 30 percent of 
the disk's capacity while leaving users 
with a 4-gigabyte capacity on one 
side of a 14-inch tellurium-based 
multilayer disk. 

Data Transfer Rates 

Burroughs and STC are develop- 
ing 14-inch disks for high-end, 
sophisticated mainframe applica- 
tions, but not all optical memory 
systems will be used with main- 
frames. Most optical-memory drives 
and media will be sought by the mid- 
range and low-end of the market for 
use with minicomputers and micro- 
computers for both digital data and 
office automation applications. The 
capacity of the first-generation disks 
will typically be 1 to 2 gigabytes; the 
disks and drives will be much less ex- 



Clrcle 313 on Inquiry card. 



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Title 

Company 

Address 

City State- 
Zip Phone 



We Scout Out 
The Best Buys. 

THE PURCHASING AGENT is your computer buying company. 
We negotiate the purchase of millions of dollars of hardware and software 
at the best prices each year. Our buying power gives you more hardware 
and software for your money. Our fee is 25% of what we save you off list price. 
By participating in the savings, we share a common goal —to save you money. 

Call us for your price on any product not listed. All prices shown 
include our fee. 



COMPUTERS 




IBM Personal comp. 


CALL 






Amdek Color III term. 


429 


Alpha Micro 1000 VW 


$5,960 


AST 11% OFF 


Alpha Micro 1030 


12,047 


Baby Blue 


530 


Alpha Micro 1051 


17,634 


Davong5 meg. H.D 


1,569 


AlspaAC1-2/SS 


2,320 


Diablo630API 


1,825 


Altos 8000-10 


5,850 


NEC 3550 


1,920 


Altos 8600-10 


7,586 


Seattle boards 


CALL 


AltosSeries5-15D 


2,100 


& all IBM peripherals 


CALL 


Altos Series 5-5D 


3,999 


Micromation 


CALL 


Apple Computers 


CALL 


Molecular 


CALL 


California Computer 




Morrow Micro Decisions 


CALL 


Systems 300-1 A 


4,414 


NEC 16 bit APC system 


CALL 


Columbia Data 


CALL 


NEC800064KPCsys. 


2,266 


Compupro Godbout™ 




NorthStar Advantage 


2,669 


Sys 816/A* 


4,200 


NorthStarAdv. H.D. 5 


4,395 


Sys 816/B* 


5,360 


Onyx 5001 MU-6 


7,350 


Sys 816/C* 


6,880 


Onyx 8000 MU-10 


7,900 


Ram21.128K 


807 


Sage 


3,200 


Disk II H.D. Contr 


586 


Sanyo 1000 


1,540 


Morrow 20 meg H.D. 


2,990 


Seattle System 2 


3,251 


'Assembled and tested 


TelevideoTS-802 


2,600 


Cromemco System 1 


2,946 


TelevideoTS-802H 


4,450 


Cromemco System 2 


3,400 


TelevideoTS-806 


5.200 


Cromemco 68000 




Vector 2600 


3,895 


System 1 


4,395 


Vector 3005 


5,495 


Dynabyte 26% OFF 


Vector 4 


CALL 


Eagle II 


2,350 


Victor 


CALL 


Eagle 1600 


5,420 


Zenith 100 22% OFF 



PRINTERS 

Brother, parallel, daisy 910 

C.ltoh, F-10, daisy 1,350 

Daisywriter 2000 1,099 

Diablo 620. dsy 25 cps 990 

Diablo630, daisy 2,050 

IDS Prism 132 all options 1,430 

NEC 3510 CALL 

NEC 7710 RO 2.325 

NEC/Sellum1,16K,trac. 2,595 

Qume9 45 full panel 1,799 

Qume 9/55 full panel 2,180 

Qume11 35 CALL 

Smith Corona TP-1, daisy 681 

Tally CALL 

Texas Instr. Tl 810 1,240 

OTHER PERIPHERALS 

Amdek Color II term 694 

Ventel 212 + modem 765 

CorvuslOmeg. H.D. 2,995 

Houston Instr DMP-29 1.549 

Houston Instr. DMP-40 775 

Morrow 20 meg. H.D. 3,650 

SOFTWARE 

Call for prices on all your 
software needs. 



Mastercard, VISA at 3% handling fee. Prices subject to change without notice Minimum fee $150 

EXPORT SERVICES AVAILABLE. 

We are agents for overseas computer dealers and distributors. 
INTERNATIONAL TELEX 470851 

On The Frontier of High Technology and Value. 



THE 

PURCHASING 

AGENT 

1635 School Street 
Moraga, CA 94556 

Call Toll Free 
800-227-2288 
In Californ 
(415) 376 





March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 363 on Inquiry card. 



pensive than the high-capacity, high- 
performance systems designed for 
mainframe environments. Burroughs' 
medium will handle transfer rates of 
12 million bps (bits per second); 
STC's will handle 24 million bps. The 
medium being jointly developed by 
Control Data and Philips for mid- 
range office automation jobs handles 
5 million bps. 

Optical Media Costs 

What will optical media cost? Most 
manufacturers predict that within a 
year 1- to 2-gigabyte disks will sell to 
end users for about $150; 2- to 4-giga- 
byte disks will cost $200 to $300 in- 
itially. STC foresees a cost of $100 to 
$150 for its 4-gigabyte disk by 1985. 
By the end of the decade, when yields 
should make it possible to build 
millions of disks annually, most 
optical-media developers see user 
costs dropping to $15 for a noneras- 
able disk. 

Assuming that high yields have 
been achieved, STC spokesmen feel 
that by 1990 the cost of putting down 
a bit on optical media will have 
dropped to the equivalent of putting a 
bit down on paper, or around 15 
cents per megabyte. 

A market-research study offered 
for sale by Rothchild Consultants 
predicts that in 1986 erasable media 
would cost a premium of 50 percent 
over nonerasable disks, dropping to a 
25 percent premium by 1990, when 
they should capture 40 percent of the 
optical-disk market. 

Ease of Handling 

Ease of handling is one of the 
strongest arguments in favor of op- 
tical disks over magnetic media. Al- 
though most optical-media develop- 
ers now favor encapsulating their 
disks in protective overcoats or car- 
tridges, all optical media are remov- 
able from the drive, unlike most high- 
capacity magnetic disks. Further- 
more, the optical disks are much less 
susceptible to being damaged by heat 
or humidity, and neither fingerprints 
nor magnetic fields can affect optical 
disks. 

Their ease of handling makes it 
possible to develop automatic disk- 
changing mechanisms (similar to 
jukeboxes) for optical disks. The 

Circle 461 on inquiry card. — ► 






INCREASE 

YOUR PRODUCTIVITY 

WITH OUR WORD 

PROCESSING KEYBOARD 

FOR THE IBM PC. 



We improved the keyboard and added some features 
to make your keyboard more "finger friendly". 







• Left hand SHIFT key properly placed. 

• lighted Indicators on: 

CAPS LOCK key, NUMERAL LOCK key 

• RETURN key In standard typewriter position. 

• ENTER key next to ten key pad for adding machine like 
data entry. 

• Sculptured key tops with "finger homing" position on: 
F, J, and 5 key of the ten key pad. 

From the design of the case to colors of the keys, to the 
plug on the cable, the keyboard Is 100% IBM compatible. 
This keyboard Is the most productive way you will ever 
spend S199. 

30 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE 

We are so sure you will like this keyboard we will give 
you 30 days of use to be sure. If you are not completely 
satisfied return ft for a full refund Including freight. 






TO ORDER BY MAIL SEND: 

—quantity desired @ $199 each, 
—your name and shipping address 
— daytime phone number 
—add $5 for UPS 2 day air service 
—California residents add $11.94 sales tax. 
—Company check or credit card and expiry date. 
(Personal checks take 18 days to clear) 

TO ORDER BY PHONE: 

In California (805) 482-9829 

Outside California Toll Free (800) 821-4479 

Dealer Inquiries Invited 



QUBIE' 
DISTRIBUTING 



European Inquiries: 
129 Magdalene Rd. 
London, SW18 
870-8899 



4809 Calle Alto 
Camarlllo, CA 93010 



Make 




The Qume SPRINT 11 PLUS, is the new stan 
dard of quality for professional, letter-perfect 
daisywheel printing. And for just $1776, 
you can have it for your personal or desk- 
top computer. It comes complete with a 
Qume Connection interface module to fit 
popular computers from IBM, Radio Shack, 

Commodore, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, North B 
Star and many others. Its 96-character daisywheel 
delivers letter-quality text at a steady 40 cps. And 

Our new 

SPRINT 11 PLUS, 
fits every computer. 

$1776. i 




ction. 

with an average of 5,500 trouble-free hours 
(3 years typical use) between maintenance, 
the SPRINT 11 PLUS is unmatched in 
reliability. Qume quality is the choice of 
sophisticated, professional users. At $1776, 
there's no reason for you to settle for any- 
thing less. Make the Qume Connection by 
calling one of our authorized distributors. 
Or write Qume, 2350 Qume Drive, 
San Jose, California 95131. 

Qume, 

i ▼ A Subsidiary of ITT 







w 



^Efc^ 



Abacus Data Services 

(416) 677-9555 Ontario 

Anacomp 

(213) 51 6-7480 CA 

(206) 641-4990 WA 

(206) 881-1113 WA 

(509) 624-1308 WA 

(800) 426-6244 Outside WA 

Anthem Systems 

(415) 342-9182 CA 

Audio Visual Services 

(713)659-1111 TX 

(800) 392-7770 TX Only 

Bohllg and Associates 

(612)922-7011 MN 

Butler Associates 

(203) 653-7158 CT 

(617) 964-5270 MA 

Byte Industries 

(800) 972-5948 CA Only 

(800) 227-2070 OutsideCA 

C&G Distributors, Inc. 

(513) 435-4340 OH 

(800) 245-1084 Outside OH 
(412) 366-5056 PA 

(800) 245-1084 Outside PA 
D. J. Carlyle Corp. 

(213) 277-4562 CA 
(714) 640-0355 CA 

(415) 254-9550 CA 
(808) 531-5136 HI 

(312) 975-1500 IL 
(201) 780-0802 N J 

(214) 458-0^88 TX 

(713) 530-4980 TX 
Computer Martof N.J. 

(201) 283-0600 NJ 
Computermax Corp. 
(505) 883-0048 AZ 
(602) 997-8900 AZ 
(303) 773-1169 CA 
(904) 878-4121 FL 
(404) 458-6500 GA 
(704)542-0091 NC 
(512) 654-4711 TX 
Datamex Ltd. 

(613) 224-1391 Ontario 

(416) 781-9135 Ontario 
(514)481-1116 Quebec 
(604)684-8625 Vancouver 
Data Systems Marketing 
(602) 833-0061 AZ 

(916) 891-8358 CA 

(714) 540-231 2 CA 
(209) 237-8577 CA 
(213) 344-7097 CA 
(213) 641-2050 CA 
(415)941-0240CA 
(213) 796-2562 CA 
(213) 796-2631 CA 
(714) 560-9222 CA 

(213) 344-7097 CA 
(303) 371-4140 CA 
(303) 694-1 71 OCA 

(313) 254-2830 Ml 
(406)586-1511 MT 
(603)673-0765 NH 
(505)294-1531 NM 
(503) 641-2469 OR 
(412) 486-2676 PA 

(214) 960-1604 TX 

(713) 789-0803 TX 

(801) 292-6666 UT 
(206) 575-8123 WA 
Datatech Systems, Ltd. 
(403) 483-3947 Alberta 
(416)255-9351 Ontario 
(604) 765-7781 Victoria 
DataTechnology Industries 

(415) 638-1206 CA 
(910) 366-2072 (TWX) 
Data Terminal Mart 
(403)270-3737 Alberta 

(403) 420-1755 Alberta 
(604) 872-8482 B.C. 

(902) 469-3782 NovaScotia 

(416) 495-2001 Ontario 
(416) 677-0184 Ontario 
(613) 729-5196 Ontario 
(416) 245-4780 Ontario 

(514) 288-1555 Quebec 
Equipment Resources 

(404) 995-0313 GA 
(901) 794-4635 TN 
General Electric 
(205) 479-6547 AL 
(602) 278-8515 AZ 

(714) 231-0309 CA 
(415) 436-9260 CA 
(203) 628-9638 CT 

(202) 737-6211 DC 
(305) 921-0169 FL 
(904) 751-0615 FL 
(305) 904-7723 FL 
(404) 452-4913 G A 
(404) 452-4919 G A 
(219) 933-4500 I L 
(217)424-8495 I L 
(312) 780-2994 IL 
(812)473-6161 IN 
(317) 241-9330 IN 
(219)933-4500 IN 
(319) 285-7501 IA 
(502)452-3311 KY 
(301) 332-4710 MD 
(617) 938-1920 MA 
(800) 343-4411 MA 
(612) 522-4396 MN 
(816) 231-6362 MO 

(314) 993-0537 MO 
(201) 227-7900 N J 
(609) 488-0244 N J 



(716) 876-1200 NY 
(201) 227-7900 NY 
(518) 385-4888 NY 
(704)525-3011 NC 
(513) 874-8512 OH 
(216)441-6111 OH 

(503) 221-5095 OR 
(901) 527-3709 TN 

(214) 243-1106 TX 
(713) 672-3575 TX 
(801) 973-2253 UT 
Gentry and Associates 
(205) 534-9771 AL 
(305) 791-8405 FL 
(305)859-7450 FL 
(813) 886-0720 FL 
(404) 998-2829 GA 
(504)367-3975 LA 
(919) 227-3639 NC 
(803) 772-6876 SC 
(901) 358-8629 TN 
(615) 977-0282 TN 
Inland Associates 
(913) 764-7977 KS 

Inter ACT Computer Systems 
(305) 331-7117 FL 
(404) 953-8213 GA 
(704) 254-1949 NC 
(704) 552-7502 NC 
(919) 275-3305 NC 
(919) 876-6379 NC 
Manchester Electronics 
(800) 342-1382 CT 
MicroAmerica 
(800)421-1485CA 
(800) 262-4212 CA 
(617) 431-7660 MA Only 
(800) 343-4411 Outside MA 
(800) 527-3261 OutsideTX 

(800) 442-5847 TX Only 
Micro Computers 

of New Orleans 

(504) 885-5883 LA 

Natl. Computer Syndicate 

(312) 459-6400 I L 

Pac. Mountain States Corp. 

(213) 989-611 3 CA 
PAR Associates 
(602) 243-4267 AZ 
(303) 371-4140 CA 

(801) 292-8145 UT 
Pioneer Electronics 
(205) 837-9300 AL 
(305) 859-3600 FL 
(305) 771-7520 FL 
(404)448-1711 GA 
(301)948-0710 MD 
(919) 273-4441 NC 

(215) 674-4000 PA 
Pioneer Std. Electronics 

(312) 437-9680 IL 
(317) 849-7300 IN 

(313) 525-1800 Ml 
(612) 935-5444 MN 

(216) 587-3600 OH 
(513) 236-9900 OH 
(412) 782-2300 PA 
(512)835-4000TX 

(214) 386-7300 TX 
(713) 988-5555 TX 
Schweber 

(205) 882-2200 AL 
(213) 999-4702 CA 

(213) 537-4321 CA 
(916) 929-9732 CA 
(408) 496-0200 CA 
(203) 792-3500 CT 
(305) 331-7117 FL 
(305) 927-0511 FL 
(404) 449-9170 GA 
(312) 364-3750 IL 
(319) 373-1417 IA 
(301)840-5900 MD 
(617) 275-5100 MA 
(313)525-8100 Ml 
(612) 941-5280 MN 
(201) 227-7880 NJ 
(716)424-2222 NY 
(516) 334-7474 NY 
(216) 464-2970 OH 
(513) 439-1800 OH 
(918) 622-8000 OK 

(215) 441-0600 PA 
(412) 782-1600 PA 
(512) 458-8253 TX 

(214) 661-5010 TX 

(713) 784-3600TX 

(414) 784-9020 Wl 

Tek Aids Industries Inc. 

(312) 870-7400 IL 
(512)835-9518TX 
Terminal Rentals, Inc. 
(602) 258-4466 AZ 
(213) 637-3413 CA 

(714) 235-9268 CA 

(415) 956-4821 CA 
(408) 292-9915 CA 
(714)832-2414 CA 
Terminals Unlimited 
(800)336-0423 
(800) 572-0164 VA 
(703) 237-8666 VA 
Unico 

(512) 451-0251 TX 

Victor Electronics 

(617) 481-4010 MA 
Western N.Y. Computer 
(716) 381-4120 NY 
2M Corporation 

(201) 625-8100 NJ 



Qume 

▼ A Subsidiary of ITT 

Circle 370 on inquiry card. 




Photo 1: The Drexon family of optical disks. Disks are available in 12-inch and 4. 7-inch 
sizes, with or without the clear protective cover plate. Near the center of one of the 
smaller disks is a semiconductor-diode laser used for recording and reading optical 
disks. The larger disks have a capacity of 1250 megabytes per side, while the 4.7 -inch 
disks can store 200 megabytes per side. Disks are recorded with 0.8-micron to 
1.0-micron holes burned into their reflective surface. (Photo by Victor Budnik.) 



most ambitious design is one STC has 
for a 500-disk IBM-compatible device 
which, with 4-gigabyte capacity per 
disk, gives users online access in sec- 
onds to 2 terabytes (2 million mega- 
bytes)! 

Drexler's Drexon Medium 

The first company to offer optical 
recording media on a commercial 
basis is Drexler Technology Corpora- 
tion of Mountain View, California. 
One of the world's largest suppliers of 
photomasks and chemicals used in 
the fabrication of semiconductors, 
Drexler has patented a technique 
whereby spherical (reflective) and 
filamentary (absorptive) particles of 
silver halide are embedded in a col- 
loidal polymer matrix ("gelatin") to 
form the recording medium. 

Tradenamed Drexon II, the 
medium is a double-layer configura- 
tion of a crust containing silver halide 
particles and an insulating underlayer 
devoid of the metal. A diode laser 
heats the medium so that the silver 
halide particles absorb the laser 
energy. As the temperature rises to 



about 200 °C, the polymer film melts 
and creates spots of low reflectivity in 
a field of high reflectivity. 

An increasing variety of disk sizes 
is being offered. Photo 1 shows 
12-inch (30 cm) and 4.7-inch (12 cm) 
Drexon disks with and without clear 
protective overcoats. Also shown is a 
semiconductor-diode laser used for 
writing and reading data. Using 
0.8- to 1.0-micron- wide holes, 12-inch 
Drexon disks hold 1.25 gigabytes per 
side, whereas 4.7-inch disks contain 
200 megabytes per side. Although 
holes as small as 0.4 micron have 
been recorded, Drexler recommends 
0.7-micron pits. 

Drexler has avoided two problems 
associated with using silver halide for 
optical DRAW media: processing and 
graininess. Usually graininess results 
in intrinsic noise because the particle 
size prevents obtaining the sharp- 
edged pit definition needed in high- 
density optical recording. 

Furthermore, because the laser 
melts the gelatin rather than the 
silver, lower-powered compact diode 
lasers can be used, rather than the 

March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 97 




Photo 2: Recorded surface of Drexon II material as photographed by a scanning elec- 
tron microscope at 2500-power magnification. The holes vary in size between 3 and 5 
microns and were recorded with a 3-mW laser pulsed for a duration of 75, 150, and 300 
microseconds. Holes recorded in Drexon II are well defined and have lipless rims 
because the material shrinks when heated. These characteristics improve the signal-to- 
noise ratio and permit data to be encoded by varying hole lengths and spacings. 




800-523-7900 

>Vtvart,= ~i 







CHAZ&fi 



Photo 3: A common credit card could use the Drexon laser -recorded stripe. The stripe 
on the back of this card has a capacity of 1.6 million bits and is not susceptible to 
erasure by stray magnetic fields. A card this size completely covered on both sides could 
store 40 million bits. (Photo by Victor Budnik.) 



bulkier gas lasers. When production 
of 12-inch disks reaches 100,000 an- 
nually, Drexler expects the cost to 
drop to about $40 each. 

On Drexon II disks the laser 
records a unit of data as a well- 
defined hole with a lipless rim, which 
Drexler says improves the signal-to- 
noise ratio and permits data encoding 
by varying the hole lengths and spac- 
ings between holes. The laser shrinks 
the gelatin in the medium, leaving the 
lipless rims, rather than throwing up 
craters around the pit as happens in 
other ablative techniques. The scan- 
ning electron microscope photo at 
2500-power magnification (photo 2) 
shows 3-micron and 5-micron holes 
recorded at 3 milliwatts (mW) of laser 
power for a duration of 75, 150, and 
300 microseconds. 

In addition to disks, Drexler is now 
offering its medium in reel-to-reel op- 
tical tape, cassettes, and cards. The 
Drexon Laser Card has attracted con- 
siderable attention for its ability to 
deliver high-density storage in a con- 
veniently small and inexpensive pack- 
age the size of a credit card. Photo 3 
shows a bank credit card with a stripe 
of Drexon instead of the typical 
magnetic stripe on the back. Using 
10-micron holes, the stripe yields 
200K bytes. If both sides of the card 
were fully covered by Drexon record- 
ed with 5-micron holes, storage capa- 
city would be 5 megabytes. The card 
has interested manufacturers world- 
wide for a variety of applications. 

SRI International is developing 
four types of equipment for Drexler 
to demonstrate Laser Card technol- 
ogy to potential licensees: a microbar 
reader for security access applica- 
tions, a spot reader for read-only 
software applications, a read/write 
machine for spots useful as an output 
device, and a debit card machine. Re- 
cently, Toshiba took the first license 
to use Laser Card equipment, prob- 
ably for personal computer applica- 
tions. Drexler estimates that a Laser 
Card small-computer database-entry 
device containing 3 megabits would 
cost $2. Drexler expects to soon have 
other licensees for its technology. 

The Philips Air-Sandwich 

Philips began research on optical- 



98 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Which do you think is the 
more sophisticated computer? 

Epson. 



The big differences between the Epson HX-20 Notebook 
Computer (on the left) and the Apple Computer (on the 
right) are: 1) the HX-20 doesn't need a power cord, 2) the 
HX-20 weighs only about four pounds, and 3) the HX-20 
costs a lot less money. 

The Epson HX-20 Notebook Computer has a full-size 
keyboard, a built-in LCD screen, a built-in printer, 48K of 
combined RAM and ROM memory, and an internal power 
supply that will keep it running for over 50 hours. So you can 
do computing and word processing virtually anyplace you 
happen to be. Whereas, with the Apple Computer, you can 
only go as far as an extension cord will take you. 

And on the HX-20, you get communications interfaces, 
upper and lower case letters, five program areas, a full 68 
keys including an integrated numeric key pad, an internal 
clock/calendar, and the screen and printer. Standard. On 
the Apple, you pay something extra for each feature — if you 

Circle 177 on Inquiry card. 



can get them at all. 
All of which makes the take-it-anywhere HX-20 perfect 

for business executives, salespeople, students, kids — 

anyone who's looking for an affordable, practical way into 

computing. 
Portable. Powerful. Affordable. Sophisticated. The extra- 
ordinary HX-20 Notebook 
Computer. Find out just how 
extraordinary. Call (800) 
421-5426, in California (213) 
539-9140 for your nearest 
Epson computer dealer. 




EPSON 

EPSON AMERICA, INC. 



BYTE March 1983 



99 



INFORMATION 
LAYERS 



ANNULAR SPACER- 



^-2t\z^//A^//Azz-zx 



CAVI 



tA 



PROTECTIVE COVER- 
ANO SUBSTRATE 



Figure 1: Cross section of the Philips Air- 
Sandwich disk. The cavity is 20 mm thick 
and is filled with very clean air; each of 
the plastic substrates is 1.1 mm thick, 
while the thin-film tellurium recording 
surface is 300 angstroms thick (an 
angstrom is one 10-billionth of a meter). 



storage media in Holland in 1972 and 
since 1975 has been aiming its prod- 
ucts at mid-range applications in both 
office automation and digital data 
processing. 

North American Philips manufac- 
tures a 12-inch double-sided disk. A 
unique feature of Philips' media is the 
Air-Sandwich, shown in cross section 
in figure 1, which functions as a mini- 



ature clean room. The 20-millimeter 
(mm) cavity holds very clean air. The 
substrate is 1.1 mm thick, and the 
tellurium-alloy recording layer is 300 
angstroms, for a total disk thickness 
of 2.5 mm. 

It's possible to burn 0.7-micron 
holes in Air-Sandwich disks, as 
shown magnified about 40,000 times 
by a scanning electron microscope in 
photo 4. Track pitch is 2 microns, ca- 
pacity is 1V4 gigabytes per surface, 
for a total of 2 X 10 10 bits per disk. 
Errors are corrected to 1 in 10 9 bits, 
with 40 to 50 percent overhead for 
formatting and error detection and 
correction. The disk can provide a 
corrected BER of 1 in 10 12 at the ex- 
pense of capacity. Raw BER is 1 in 
10 6 . 

North American Philips uses plas- 
tic substrates, whereas N.V. Philips 
in Holland uses glass for its version of 
the Air-Sandwich. Philips and Con- 
trol Data Corporation, in a joint ven- 
ture for development of disks and 



drives, will probably use plastic sub- 
strates, even though the Dutch prefer 
the more expensive glass approach. A 
North American Philips spokesman 
indicated that both versions may be 
produced until the market selects one 
or the other. A CDC spokesman 
thinks that glass substrates will be 
used on the first disks. Even though 
the plastic transpires water, the 
tellurium alloy will still allow 
archival life of 10 years according to 
accelerated life tests. 

North American Philips has devel- 
oped a cartridge that is necessary 
only for very high density recording 
requiring holes smaller than 0.7 
micron; the cartridge will not be used 
with lower-density, lower-cost Air- 
Sandwich applications. For high- 
density optical recording, the funda- 
mental limit in capacity is the resolu- 
tion of the medium itself. Philips 
thinks that 0.3 or 0.4 micron rep- 
resents the smallest recordable hole, 
which will be very ragged, making 




Photo 4: Recorded surface of a Philips Air-Sandwich optical disk. In this photo, taken by a scanning electron microscope, the 
0. 7 -micron holes are magnified 40,000 times. The Philips disk has a capacity of 1.25 gigabytes per side. See figure 1 for a cross section 
of the Air-Sandwich disk. 



100 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 379 on Inquiry card. 



OIERE'S A CONCERTO IN YOUR COMPUTER 














fflN 


V 



V 




COMPU-MUSIC 




. . . And a waltz, a blues song, ^ 

a rhapsody, and a whole lotta 

rock n roll. In fact, your computer >~ b 

can now play any kind of music, 

thanks to the new Roland 

Compu-Music. 

Roland, the world's leading pro- 
ducer of synthesizers and 
electronic musical instruments, 
has put its years of music 
programming experience into a 
high performance computer/ 
music synthesizer system 
that can easily be used by 
anyone— from the computer- 
user with a musical background 
to the programmer with a 
song in his heart. 

The Roland Compu-Music 

does for music what the 

word processor has 

done for words. The 

Compu-Music 

software allows your computer to write, 

program, change and store musical 

compositions of up to eight voices, 

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Photo 5: Recorded surface of a Burroughs Corporation optical disk. This photo was 
taken by an optical microscope at 800-power magnification and clearly shows the tracks 
of 0.6-micron holes. Capacity of the 14-inch disk is 2 gigabytes per side. 



retrieval without errors very difficult. 
Capacities of 10 12 bits per disk will re- 
quire 14-inch disks. 

Philips writes on its disks with 
diode lasers, generally in spiral pat- 
terns, and may possibly use Hitachi 
diode lasers for writing up to 5 
million bps, but the disks are read 
with helium/neon gas lasers. Transfer 
rates over 5 million bps will require 
selected diode lasers, which are not 
yet widely available, or argon gas 
lasers. Reading requires about 2 mW 
of power. N.V. Philips in Holland 
finds that diode lasers that both read 
and write at 2 million bps are sufficient 
for office automation applications. 
North American Philips disks are not 
pregrooved, whereas the Dutch disks 
are, simplifying the recording process 
but lowering capacity. 

Burroughs' Process 

The Burroughs medium operates 
differently from the ablative hole- 
burning technique used by Philips 
and Drexler and the bubble-raising 
technique of 3M and Thomson-CSF. 
In the Burroughs system, laser power 
heats up the metal-film surface and 
causes an irreversible phase change of 
the index of refraction and the extinc- 
tion coefficient (n and k, 
respectively). The refractive index is 
described by a complex number. The 
real part (n) describes the velocity of 
light going through the material and 



the imaginary part (k) describes the 
rate of absorption. Metals have very 
high k because light is absorbed very 
rapidly, as opposed to glass, which 
has a low k. 

Although Burroughs' medium em- 
ployes n and k phase change, it is not 
the standard crystal-to-amorphous 
reaction. Thus the film does not move 
very much, as in ablative techniques, 
and is compatible with a contact 
overcoat approach because no rims 
are created around the pits. It also re- 
quires much lower laser power. Using 
off-the-shelf helium/neon lasers, 
track pitch is 1.7 microns and average 
spot size is 0.6 micron. Most of the 
testing has been with 10- to 15-mW 
incident laser write power with 42- 
nanosecond (ns) exposure times. 
Medium threshold is described as 4 
mW to 6 mW, with demonstrated 
read power of under 1 mW. Photo 5, 
taken with an optical microscope at 
800-power magnification, shows 
data, track, and sector information 
written on the Burroughs medium. 

The trilayer medium, with 2-giga- 
byte capacity, is manufactured from 
a standard 14-inch Winchester-disk 
platter spin-coated with plastic to 
smooth its surface. The subsequent 
layers, composed of an aluminum (or 
other metal) reflector, dielectric 
spacer, and absorber layer, together 
are a few thousand angstroms thick. 
The overcoat is 0. 007-inch, thick 



102 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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enough to keep dust particles out of 
focus and thin enough to control the 
thickness tolerances. This medium 
contains no tellurium, but Burroughs 
has not divulged the materials used. 
The disk will be factory formatted 
with address and sector information 
and will contain 600 sectors per track. 

Burroughs is designing a high- 
performance disk with a signal-to- 
noise ratio of 30 decibels for broad- 
band applications able to be trans- 
ported across the country and rugged 
enough to be washed in case of severe 
contamination. To prevent that nec- 
essity, the 0.125-inch-thick disk will 
be encased in a 15-inch-square, 
0.5-inch-thick cartridge (not her- 
metically sealed). 

Edward LaBudde of Burroughs be- 
lieves that this medium can achieve 1 
in 10 12 corrected BER after a projected 
10-year lifetime. The raw BER is 1 in 
10 6 ; 50 percent of the total 4-gigabyte 
disk capacity is used for error detec- 
tion and correction, formatting, and 
addressing. However, Burroughs says 
its approach is capable of producing 



no uncorrectable errors when the disk 
is new. 

Kodak's Approach 

Kodak started developing a poly- 
mer/dye binder bilayer medium using 
two laser wavelengths, whereby 
colored dyes in a plastic material over 
a reflective material are written on in 
the infrared part of the spectrum (800 
to 850 nanometers) and read in the 
red part (633 nanometers). The 
medium can now be both written and 
read in the infrared for system de- 
signers wishing to keep to a single 
laser wavelength, but Kodak recom- 
mends a two- wavelength approach. 
Capacity on two-wavelength- 
approach Kodak disks is 5.6 gigabytes 
per 12-inch disk side. Data can be 
written at 3 million bps with a 
0.8-micron pit length and 1.67-micron 
pitch. 

Packing Densities 

How dense will the packing on op- 
tical disks become by the end of the 
century? Burroughs is already work- 




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ing near the diffraction limit and 
believes that packing density will 
probably not increase significantly 
until electron-beam or other exotic 
technologies are commercialized. 
Packing density is not the primary 
emphasis at Burroughs. The price/ 
performance ratio and reliability are 
more important when compared with 
magnetic technologies. 

STC foresees the possibility to in- 
crease optical-disk packing density to 
1 trillion bytes per square inch by the 
year 2000 by recording in various 
colors and using filters to read just the 
desired data. Other researchers go 
even further, estimating the possibili- 
ty of building disks containing 10 21 
bits. 

Future Materials 

Although I have indicated that 
almost all first-generation media will 
employ thin metal films in the record- 
ing layer, some industry researchers 
say that polymer/ dye binders offer 
advantages in ease and cost of manu- 
facture over thin metal films and may 
become the preferred material before 
the end of this decade. This view has 
raised strong controversy, however. 
Dr. Bell of IBM points out that 
polymer/dye binders have advan- 
tages and disadvantages when com- 
pared with thin metal films, adding 
that the issue is complex and it is not 
yet clear that polymer/dye binders 
will be the wave of the future. 

Edward LaBudde of Burroughs 
says that polymer/dye binders will 
not be the trend; thin-film will remain 
the preferred medium until something 
better comes along. Thin-film tech- 
nology is widespread and will invite 
many people to work on its prob- 
lems. The enormous capital invest- 
ment necessary to develop a totally 
new medium like polymer/dye 
binders may be outweighed by the 
sheer numbers of people involved in 
''mainstream" media. 

In addition, LaBudde sees no in- 
herent advantage to dye-based op- 
tical disks and believes thin metal 
films should be cheaper to make, 
even in a small operation, than poly- 
mer/dye binders because the latter re- 
quire a much heavier outlay for 
capital equipment, such as a web 



104 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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press, than thin-film. This point, 
however, is not universally agreed 
upon. Once this equipment is amort- 
ized, polymers do indeed offer a 
cheaper method of putting down a 
data-storage medium and easier pro- 
duction techniques, and unlike 
tellurium, the most commonly en- 
countered thin-metal medium, they 
are nontoxic. 

The main champions of the poly- 
mer/dye binder medium are Kodak 
and other major film producers, who 
can take advantage of already in- 
stalled web coating equipment used 
to process Kodacolor and similar 
films; the same machinery can be 
used to make optical disks to keep the 
equipment running at full capacity. 
The web coating process, however, 
employs a flexible substrate rather 
than the rigid substrate used on other 
optical disks, leading some experts to 
speculate that polymer-based media 
might eventually find their way onto 
the market late in the decade as the 
low-cost 3- to 5-inch optical floppy 
disks predicted by many observers. 

A wide variety of other potential 
optical-media materials are being 
reported on at scientific conferences. 
Some of the more exotic include 
diazo, photochromies, amorphous 
semiconductors, spectral-hole burn- 
ing in crystals, surface texturing, cop- 
per sulfate in glass, and frequency do- 
main storage. 

Copper Sulfate in Glass: 
Archival Master Disks? 

Copper sulfate in glass, researched 
at Xerox's Advanced Development 
Laboratory in El Segundo, Califor- 
nia, has implications for both optical 
disks and videodisks. The process 
yields a disk that should be absolutely 
archival, perhaps lasting thousands 
of years. The technique involves 
using copper ion-exchanged glass, 
which is simple and cheap to pro- 
duce. 

An optically absorbing region is 
formed extending up to 8 microns 
into the Pyrex 7740 glass surface, 
forming a monolithic structure. The 
glass is immersed in molten copper 
salt at 550 °C for between 15 seconds 
and 6 hours. The sodium out-diffuses 
and the copper in-diffuses. Focused 



laser light causes localized perturba- 
tions on the surface, appearing as 
raised hemispherical bumps, rather 
than hollow bubbles. A density of 10 8 
bumps per centimeter squared has 
been achieved. 

Although the bump-forming mech- 
anism is not understood, the medium 
has great promise to be used as an op- 
tical disk or videodisk master because 
no encapsulation is needed for the 
bumps. However, a 150-mW argon 
laser is needed, calling for about 10 

OHSq has strong 

optical absorption 

extending into the 

infrared. 

times the laser power required with 
other media. Writing is at 488 
nanometers, with reading done either 
with an argon laser with reduced 
power, or a helium/neon laser. 

IBM Studies Hydroxy Squarylium 

IBM is looking at many different 
materials for optical media. Some of 
the more promising research the firm 
has disclosed relates to organic dyes. 
One of the most interesting of these is 
hydroxy squarylium (OHSq), which 
has a melting point of 360°C, com- 
pared to tellurium's 450 °C, but re- 
quires 60 percent higher laser power 
for writing and reading than tellu- 
rium. 

OHSq appeals to researchers 
because it has strong optical absorp- 
tion extending into the infrared, ex- 
cellent thermal and optical stability, 
and can be either solvent coated or 
evaporated in preparing disks, offer- 
ing substantial cost savings. OHSq 
disks were subjected to 10 million 
readouts before a 10 percent degrada- 
tion in data occurred, more than ade- 
quate stability for digital data storage 
applications. 

Cryogenic 

Frequency Domain Storage 

An even more esoteric optical- 
media research project at IBM con- 
cerns the frequency-domain-storage 
approach, the most important feature 
of which is that up to 1000 data bits 
can be stored in frequency space at 



each spatial location, so that a fixed 
media/scanning read/write spot 
system can yield extremely high data 
rates and packing densities. Despite 
the lack of threshold exhibited by 
photochemical hole-burning materi- 
als, IBM reports that up to 10 million 
read cycles were possible on relative- 
ly low-sensitivity media while main- 
taining a signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 
1. The technique provides for reversi- 
ble media but requires that the system 
be kept at cryogenic temperatures: 4 
kelvins, close to absolute zero. 

Surface Texturing 

Bell Laboratories has done con- 
siderable work using reactive ion 
etching to microscopically texture the 
surface of optical media to produce 
submicron-sized columns and cones. 
Although they have formed textured 
surfaces in metals, semiconductors, 
and insulators, germanium and sili- 
con have produced the best results. 
The textured surface is not reflective. 
When hit with 10 mW of laser power, 
the structures are melted away, leav- 
ing a spot 100 times as reflective as 
before. The technique produces no 
debris or rims around the recorded 
spots. Bell Labs finds the technique 
much more stable and permanent 
than systems using tellurium, and it 
may be possible to use the disk as a 
master to replicate copies. 

Looking Ahead 

Where is all this leading? Little 
about the composition of optical 
media will matter to most users; the 
media, along with system hardware 
and software, will have to be trans- 
parent to the user in order to gain 
wide acceptance. Research is moving 
quite rapidly in the optical-media 
field, and only time will tell if this 
most promising technology will catch 
on with the computing public, or 
whether it will be cast aside as some 
other promising technologies have 
been in the recent past. Fortunately, 
most of us dedicated to informing the 
industry and public about develop- 
ments in optical recording technology 
believe predictions are realistic that 
by 1990, most digital and image data 
will be stored on low-cost, remov- 
able, high-density optical media. ■ 



106 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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$1995 
$1995 
$2495 
$2995 
$ 195 

$ 350 
$ 525 
$ 875 



$149 
$249 
$ 65 
$ 35 
$45 
$1495 
$1495 
$1895 
$2295 
$165 

$259 
$395 
$659 



MICROSOFT 

VXN-.J., Big Blue 

^QUADRAMcogpopaion 

Quadboard. 64K. expandable to 256K, 4 junction boaid $ 595 

Quadboard. 128K. expandable to256K. 4 (unction board $ 775 

Quadboard. 192K, expandable to 256K. 4 lunction board $ 895 

4. Quadboard. 256K. lour function board $ 995 

Microfazer, w/Copy. Par/Par. 8K, HMP8 $ 159 

Microfazer. w/Copy, Par/Par, 64K, #MP64 $ 299 

Microfazer, w/Copy. Par/Par. 128K. KMP128 $ 445 

Microlazer, Snap-on, 8K, Par/Par, Epson, HMEB. w/PSI $ 159 

Microfazer, Snap-on, 64K, Par/Par, Epson. «ME64, w/PSI $ 299 
All Microfazers are expandable (w/copy to 512K) (Snap-on to 64K). 

TG PRODUCTS. Joystick $ 65 

xEDEx*oby *ue 

Control Data OR landon 

DISK DRIVES. Double Sided 320K. Same as now 

supplied with IBM— PC. Tested, burned-in and with 1 each $ 650 $249 

installation instructions. 90 day warranty by us. 2 or more $ 650 $239 



$ 595 $449 



$435 
$565 
$635 
$670 
$119 
$235 
$345 
$145 
$235 

$ 49 



64ft plus 

CP/M-80 operation 
$ 600 $399 



PRINTERS AND ACCESSORIES 



EPSON. CALL 

Jf NEC. Dol Matrix. 8023 Printer F/T $ 695 

STAR MiCRONICS. 9x9 DotMatrix,10Ocps.2.3K.Geminil0 N $ 499 

9x9 Dot Matrix, lOOcps, 2.3K. Gemini 15" $ 649 

ANADEX. DP8000 Dot Matrix, 120cps, Serial & Cent. Para.l/F $ 995 
EPSON. 

IBM-PC to Epson or Star Micronics $ 60 

Apple Interlace and Cable for Epson $ 95 

Grappler* by Orange Micro, specify printer $ 165 

Apple Graphics Dump Program $ 15 

APPLE COMPUTER INC.. Silentype Printer lor Apple II $ 395 
LETTER QUALITY - DAISY WHEEL PRINTERS: 
OLYMPIA, ES-100. Printer/Typewriter, complete with serial 

interlacing to the Apple II or IBM-PC $1735 $1295 

COMREX. Comriter CR1. RS232 Serial l/F. 200 wpm $1199 $845 

Comriter Tractor Feed for CR-1 $ 1 18 $ 99 

SUPPLIES: Tractor Feed Paper, Ribbons. Heads, Qume Daisy Wheels & Ribbons. 



CALL 
$525 
$385 
$495 
$495 

% 45 
$ 59 
$119 
$ 9 
$335 



8" CP/M-80 

BUSINESS & SYSTEM SOFTWARE 

* ASHTON-TATE dBase II 

COM SHARE TARGET. Target PlannerCalc 
Masterplanner 

PlannerCalc Applications Pkg. 
PlannerCatc Combo Pkg. 
INFOCOM. Deadline 

Zork I or Zork II or Zork III or Starcross, each 
ISM. MatheMagic 

MICROCRAFT. Legal Billing & Time Keeping 
"k Prof. Billing & Time Keeping — Billkeeper 

MICROPRO. WordStar® plus free WordStar Training Manual 
MailMerge™ 
SpellStar m 
3 Pak, Word & Mail & Spell. 3 above 

NEW! 



InfoStar 
ReportStar 



NEW 



Multiplan 
Fortran 80 
BASIC Compiler 
COBOL-80 
BASIC-80 

muLisp/muStar-80 
M-Sort-80 
Edit 80 
Macro-80 
OASIS. The Word Plus (45,000 word verification) 
PEACHTREE. Magic Wand 

Series 4 GL, AR, AP or Inventory, each 
Series 8 GL, AR, AP, Inv. or Pay. each 
Series 9 Peach Text 
Series 9 Spelling Proofreader 
Series 9 Calc. Mail List or Telecomm.. each 
PERFECT SOFTWARE, Perfect Writer T M 
Perfect Speller 1 M 
Perfect Filer 



LIST 
PRICE 
$ 700 
$ 99 
$ 325 
$ 50 
$ 125 
$ 60 
$ 50 
$ 100 
$ 750 
$ 750 
$ 495 
$ 250 
$ 250 
$ 845 
$ 495 
$ 350 
$ 275 
$ 500 
$ 395 
$ 750 
$ 350 
$ 200 
$ 195 
$ 120 
$ 200 
$ 150 
$ 500 
$ 600 
$ 750 
$ 500 
$ 300 
$ 375 
$ 389 
$ 189 
$ 289 



OUR 
PRICE 
$419 
$ 39 
$225 
$ 40 
$ 65 
$ 45 
$ 39 
$ 75 
$395 
$395 
$249 
$ 79 
Call 
Call 
$335 
$235 
$199 
$325 
$295 
$545 
$275 
$145 
$145 
$ 80 
$145 
Call 
$195 
$395 
$495 
$330 
$195 
$245 
$239 
$119 
$179 



MONITORS 



NEC. 12" Green 

12" Color, Composite 

SANYO, 9" B&W 
9" Green 
12" Green 

13" Color. Composite 
13" Color RGB 

ZENITH. 12" Green 

AMDEK. 12" Green #300 

13" Color I, Composite 

13" Color II. RGB. Hi Res. (Ap. II, III & IBM-PC) 

13" Color III, RGB, Commercial. (Ap. II, III) 

DVM. Color II or III to Apple II Interface 

Note: Color II and III come with cable lor IBM-PC. 



$ 249 
$ 450 
$ 190 
$ 200 
$ 260 
$ 470 
$ 995 
$ 150 
$ 200 
$ 449 
$ 899 
$ 569 
$ 199 



$159 
$349 
$149 
$139 
$199 
$349 
$795 
$119 
$159 
$359 
$799 
$469 
$175 



MODEMS AND 
TELE COMMUNICATIONS TERMINAL 

HAYES. Micromodem II (tor the Apple II) $ 379 $275 

Apple Terminal Program for Micromodem II $ 99 $ 69 

MICROCOM. Micro Courier lor Apple II $ 250 $125 

Micro Telegram for Apple II $ 250 $125 

SSM. Transcend 1 lor Apple II Data Comm. $89 $69 

NOVATION. Apptecat II Modem $ 389 $269 

212 Apple Cat $ 725 $599 

HAYES, Stock Chronograph (RS-232) $ 249 $189 

Stock Smartmodem (RS-232) $ 289 $225 

Smartmodem 1200 (RS-232) $ 699 $535 

Micromodem 100 (S-100 bus) % 399 $275 

SIGNALMAN. Modem MKI (RS-232) $ 99 $ 79 

IBM-PC to Modem Cable $ 39 $ 29 

AXLON. Datalink 1000 Hand Held Communications Terminal $ 399 $325 



**CORVUS SYSTEMS 

* 6 Meg Hard Disk, w/o interface $2995 $1895 

* * 11 Meg Hard Disk, w/o interface $4795 $2695 

20 Meg Hard Disk, w/o interface $5795 $3495 

IBM PC Interface (IBM DOS), Manual & Cable 5 $ 300 $239 

Mirror built in for easy backup $ 790 $595 

Apple Interlace, Manual & Cable 5 $ 300 $239 

Omni Disk Server for Apple II (Special) $ 990 $495 

Omni Transporter Card Apple II (Special) $ 495 $275 

Dmni Junction Box Set (Special) $ 39 $25 
Other Interfaces, OmniNet. Constellation. Mirror. All in Stock. 



m 



H/P 7470A Graphics Plotter $1550 $1195 

H/P 4 1C Calculator $ 195 $149 

H/P 41CV Calculator with 2.2K Memory $ 275 $219 
Full 41 accessory and software in stock. Call. 



Portland. OR Cash & Carry Outlet. 11507-D SW Pacific Hwy.. Terrace Shop- 
ping Center, Portland. OR. Over-the-counter safes only. On 99W between Rte. 
217 and Interstate 5. Open M-F 10-6. Sat. 10-3. Call 245-1020. 



ORDERING INFORMATION AND TERMS: All items iusually mstock.'We immediately honor Cashiers Checks, Money Orders, Fortune 1000 
Checks and Government Checks. Personal or Company Checks allow 20 days to clear. No C.O.D. Add 3% for VISA or MC. Include telephone number. Add 3% for shipping, 
insurance and handling (S.I&H) with $5 minimum. UPS ground is standard so add 3% more for UPS Blue with $10 minimum. Add 12% total for S.I&H lor US Postal, APO or FPO 
with $15 minimum. For Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. UPS is in someareasonly, all others are Postal so call, write, or specify PO. Foreign orders except Canada for S.I&H add 18% 
or $25 minimum except for monitors add 30% or $50 minimum. Prices subject to change and typo errors, so call to verify. All goods are new. include factory warranty and 
are guaranteed to work. Due to our low prices, all salesarefinal. Call before returmnggoods for repair or replacement. Orders received with insufficent S.I&H charges will 
be relunded. ORDER DESK HOURS 8 to 6 PST M-F and 10 to 4 Sat. 1 PM here is 4 PM in NY. 

nno nrrrnriur»rc We have been a computer dealer since 1978 and in mail order since 1980. Banks: First interstate Bank. (503) 776-5620 and Jefferson 
UUK KbrbKblMUboi StaleBank, (503) 773-5333. We belong to the Chamber of Commerce. (503) 772-6293. or call Dun & Bradstreet if you are a subscriber. 
Computer Exchange is a division of O'Tech Group, Inc. 



Professionals 



.M. 



<i f THEY WANT ANT) KNOW HOW TO USE IT. 



Manufactured g] b^ & Howell by wipplG Computer 

Exclusively for l = y ^^* 

CALL US ON THE APPLE HE 



The B&H Apple 11+ differs from tht 
Apple Apple IK only in that it is in 
black hammertone color and its 
warranty is longer. 
Warranty: Factory warranty is by 
Bell and Howell (not by Apple) and 
is one year parts plus90 day labor 
Warranty service available at Bell 
and Howell service centers or 
return to Computer Exchange. 



B&H APPLE 11 + 

64K (4BK+0UR 16K CARD) 

Disk, Micro Sci A2 w/3.3 Controller 

Disk, Micro Sci A2 Only 



LIST OUR 

PRICE PRICE 

$1725 $1150 

$ 579 $ 378 

$ 479 $ 299 



cippkzii/n+/iiE 

supply center 



HARDWARE 

for Apple II 





B&H APPLE 11+ 

64K STARTER SYSTEM r f '$1,595 

r SAVE$ 834 

• 48K B&H APPLE 11+ 

• ComXI6K RAM Card. 2 Year Warranty 

• Micro Sci A2 Disk Drive with 3.3 Controller 

• Central Point Filer, Apple 11+ 3.3 DDS plus many 
utility programs 

• Sanyo 9" Green Monitor 

• Rf Modulator (for color TV) 

• Game Paddles 

• Game with Color Graphics and Sound 



I FORTHEAPPLEII/IKHI 
DIRECT SUBSTITUTES 
MICRO-SCI for APPLE DRIVES 
Micro-Sci A2 drives and/or controllers are direct plug 
compatible substitutes for Apple drives and controllers. 
LIST OUR 
PRICE PRICE 
For Appie II 

A2.5U". 143KDisk Drive $479 $299 

Controller Card for A2 Drive $ 100 $ 79 

A40, 5'V, 160K Disk Drive $ 449 $339 

A70. 5'r, 286K Disk Drive $ 599 $459 

Controller for A40 or A70 $ 100 $ 79 

Filer, Disk Utility Software $ 20 $ 15 



LIST OUR 

PRICE PRICE 

* RAM EXPANSION: 

* ComX RAM Card 16K $ 179 $ 49 

* ALS. ADDRam 16K $ 149 $ 79 
m Microsoft. RAMCard 16K $ 100 $ 89 
m. Saturn Systems. RAM Card 32K $ 249 $169 

RAM Card 64K $ 425 $319 

Axlon. RAM Card 128K $ 475 $375 

RAM Disk System 320K $1395 $995 

80 COLUMN VIDEO CARDS: 

4 ALS. Smarterm II $ 179 $139 

Dirt Cheap Video $ 89 $ 69 

Color II % 179 $139 

Videx. Videoterm $ 345 $229 

Vista, Vision 80 $ 395 $199 

MISCELLANEOUS: 

ALS. The CP/M Card $ 399 $299 

ZCard $ 169 $129 

16K ADDRam Special $ 149 $ 79 

Synergizer w/S'calc + Condor $749 $529 

Axlon. 320K RAM Disk System $1395 $995 

ASTAR. RF Modulator $ 35 $ 25 

CCS. Serial Interface 7710A $150 $129 

Other CCS Cards in stock Call Call 

Dan Paymar, Lower Case Chips $ 50 $39 

Don't Ask, DAO-003 S A Mouth $ 125 $ 85 

4 Eastside. Wild Card, copier $130 $99 

Kensington. System Saver $ 90 $ 69 

Kraft. Joystick $ 65 $ 49 

Paddle $ 50 $ 39 

M&R. Sup R fan $ 50 $ 39 

* Microsoft. Z80 Softcard $ 345 $245 
if Softcard Premium Pack$ 695 $495 

Z80 Softcard Plus $ 645 $459 

16K RAMCard $ 100 $ 89 

Mountain. CPS Multifunction Card$ 239 $199 

Orange Micro, Grappler Plus $ 165 $119 

Practical Peripherals. 

MBS 8K Serial (Epson) $ 159 $129 

MBP16K Para (Epson) $ 159 $129 

Microbulfer II 16K. (specify) $ 259 $209 

Microbuffer II 32K. (specify) $ 299 $229 

* PCPI. Appli Card. 14 features. 

6 Mhz $ 595 $435 

RH Electronics. Super Fan II $ 75 $ 59 

SSM.AlOll.Serial/Para.lnterfaceS 225 $169 

TG Products. Game Paddles $ 40 $ 29 

Joystick $ 60 $ 45 

SelectA-Port $ 60 $ 45 

* Videx. Videoterm 80 col. $ 345 $229 

Soft Video Switch $ 35 $ 25 

Enhancer II $ 149 $ 99 

Function Strip $ 79 $ 59 

PSI0. Para/Ser Interface $ 229 $169 

Full Videx Line. Call. Up to 35% off. 

WICO. Trackball $ 80 $ 55 











LIST 


OUR 










PRICE 


PRICE 


CrYCTTIfH TI 


)T2 






Budgeco, Raster Blaster $ 29 


$ 22 


jUr 1 WAr 


[h 


LIST 


OUR 


4- Continental. Home Accountant $ 75 


$49 


on disk for Apple II/II+/IIE 


PRICE 
Perfect, Perfect Writer $ 389 


PRICE 
$239 


Datamost, Snack Attack $ 30 
Datasoft.CanyonClimber New! $ 30 


$ 24 

$ 23 






Perfect Speller $ 189 


$119 


Edu-Ware, Several in stock Call 


Call 






Perfect Filer $ 289 
Quality. GBS w/3 gen. (a DBMS) $ 650 
Sensible. Sens. Speller, specify $ 125 


$179 
$475 
$ 85 


Auto. Simulations, 

Introductory 3-Pack $ 50 
Hayden, Sargon II (Chess) $ 35 




BUSINESS 


$ 35 


LIST 
PRICE 


OUR 
PRICE 


$ 29 


^ Silcon Valley. Word Handler $ 250 


$139 


Infocom. Deadline $ 50 


$ 38 


Sof./Sys., Executive Secretary $ 250 


$169 


Jf Insoft, Electric Duet by Lutus $ 30 


$ 25 


Apple Computer. Inc. 




Executive Speller $ 75 


$ 55 


Zargs New' $ 35 


$ 27 


The Controller GL. AR. AP $ 625 


$299 


* Solidus. Stockfile $ 600 


$350 


Spider Raid New! $ 30 


$ 24 


Apple Fortran $ 200 


$159 


Stockseller $ 700 


$450 


Lightning. Mastertype $ 40 


$ 29 


How to 1 (Educational) $ 50 


$ 25 


Systems Plus 




Microsoft, Olympic Decathlon $ 30 


$ 24 


Apple Logo $ 175 


$149 


Acctg. Plus, General Ledger $ 425 


$295 


Typing Tutor II $ 25 


$ 15 


50% off other Apple Inc. software 


Call 


Acctg. Plus. GL, AP and A/R $ 995 


$595 


Muse, Robot War $ 40 


$ 29 


Applied Soft Tech.. VersaForm $389 


$265 


Acctg. Plus, above + Inventory $1395 


$775 


Castle Wolfenstein $ 30 


$ 23 


Artsci, MagicWindow II New! $ 150 


$ 99 


Software Publishing, PFS II $ 125 


$ 85 


On-Line. Frogger New! $ 35 
Ultima II $ 55 


$ 25 


AshtonTate. dBase II (CP/M) $ 700 


$439 


Report $ 95 


$ 65 


$ 40 


Continental, GL, AR, AP or PR. ea. $ 250 


$169 


Graph $ 125 


i 85 


Softporn (X Rated) $ 30 
Piccadilly. Warp Destroyer $ 30 
Sirius, Gorgon $ 40 
Sir-Tec. Wizardry $ 50 
Knight of Diamonds. New! $ 35 
Sub Logic, Flight Simulator $ 34 
Pinball $ 30 


$ 22 
$ 23 
$ 29 
$ 39 
$ 26 
$ 25 
$ 23 


1st Class Mail $ 75 
Home Accountant $ 75 


$ 49 
$ 49 


Southeastern Data Capture, call to soecifv 
STC, The Creator NEW! $ 200 


$139 


Hayden. Pie Writer (Specify brd.) $ 170 


$ 99 


Stoneware. DB Master $ 229 


$155 


<fc High Tech., Job Cost System $ 750 
Info Master $ 189 
Howard Soft, 


$350 
$119 


DB Utility 1 or II $ 99 
Videx. 
-+C Applewriter II preboot disk $ 20 


$ 69 
$ 15 


Real Estate Analyzer II $ 195 


$129 


Visicalc to 64K preboot disk % 50 


$ 39 


Strategic. Southern Command $ 60 
OTHER BRANDS IN STOCK. CALL. 


$ 45 


Tax Preparer $ 150 


$ 99 


Viscalc to 176K preboot disk $ 90 


S 69 




Info. Unlim., Easywriter (PRO) $ 175 
-y. ISA, Spellguard (CP/M) $295 


$119 
$ 99 


VisiCorp/Personal Software, 
* Visicalc 3.3 $ 250 


$179 










UK, Letter Perfect w/MailMerge $ 150 


$ 99 


VisiDex Special! $ 250 


$150 


WHILE THEY LAST 




* Micro Craft, (CP/M) 

Professional Biflkeeper $ 750 

Legal Billing & Timekeeping $ 750 

Micro Lab, Invoice Factory $ 200 


$395 
$395 
$ 99 


VisiFile $ 250 


$179 


• OVERSTOCK SPECIALS • 

FOR APPLE 11/11+ 


UTILITY & DEVELOPMENT 


Beagle, Utility City $ 30 


$ 22 


ComX 16K RAM Card, 2 Yr. Warranty $ 1 79 


$49 


Tax Manager $ 150 


$ 99 


DOS Boss $ 24 


$ 18 


Microsoft 16K RAMCard $ 195 


$ 89 


Micro Pro. (all CP/M) 




Apple Mechanic New! $ 30 


$ 22 


Saturn Systems, 32K RAM Card $ 249 


$169 


WordStar* ^Training Manual $ 495 


$199 


Central Point Software 




AtS Synergizer Pack, 




MailMerge™' $ 250 


S 69 


* Filer. DOS Utility $ 20 


$ 15 


Supercalc plus Condor Jr. $ 749 


$529 


SpellStar™ $ 250 


Call 


jy. Copy II Plus (bit copier) $ 40 


$ 35 


Videx Videoterm, 80 column card $ 345 


$229 


SPECIAL! All 3 above $ 895 


Call 


Epson, Graphics Dump $ 15 


$ 9 


CCS. Serial Interface 7710A $ 150 


$129 


Data Star™- $295 


Call 


Insoft, 




Centronics Interface 7728 S 110 


$ 85 


Microsoft. Multi-Plan (CP/M) $ 275 


$175 


GraFORTH by Paul Lulus $ 75 


$ 59 


Calender Clock 7424A $ 120 


$ 95 


Multi-Plan (DOS 3.3) New! $ 275 


$175 


TransFORTH II by Paul Lutus $ 125 
Microsoft, 


$ 99 


Centronics Interface 7720B $ 120 


$95 


Muse, Super Text 40/80 $ 175 


$129 








Super Text40/56/70 New! $ 125 
Jf On-Line, Screenwriter II $ 130 


$ 95 
$ 89 


A.L.D.S. $ 125 
BASIC Compiler $ 395 


$ 75 

$299 


This Month t)U /O VI 1 While They Last 


The Dictionary New! % 100 


$ 69 


Cobol 80 $ 750 


$559 


VIC 20 and VIC 20 Hardware and Software 




GeneralManagerllNew! $ 230 


$155 


Fortran 80 $ 195 


$149 


ATARI, 400 and 800 Peripherals and Software 


Dsborne/C.P. Soft. (Disk and Book) 




TASC Compiler $ 175 


$159 


REC. 8001 Hardware and Software 




jf- Some Common Basic Programs. 




.*£ Omega, Locksmith (bit copier) $ 100 


$ 75 


XEROX 820 Computer System, with Drives 




75 Business. Statistics and Math 




Penguin, Comp.GraphicsSys. New! % 70 


$ 53 


Moniter and CP/M, was$3,695,now$l,495 


programs for the Apple II $ 100 


$ 49 


Graphics Magician Newlj 60 


$41 


ANADEX. DP8000, Dot Matrix Printer, $495 




*f Practical Basic Programs 




Phoenix. Zoom Grafix $ 40 


$ 29 


A A LU N The Leader in Atari Add o 




40 more very valuable programs 




Quality. Bag of Tricks New! $ 40 


$ 29 


rs 


beyond "Some Com BasicProg" $ 100 

Peachtree. Requires CP/M and MBASIC. 
Specify Videoterm or 40 columns. 
Series 40 GL & AR & AP. all 3 $ 595 


$ 49 

$3$: 


Sensible, Back It Up, (bit copier) $ 60 


$ 49 


M Rampower 128K System 
■ ^ {for the Atari 800) $ 475 
VI^ Rampower 48K Module 
ZJLXi { for400 > 5 185 
ATARI Rampower 32K 


$350 
$135 


HOME & EDUCATION 


Broderbund, 
Apple Panic $ 30 


$ 21 


Series 40 Inv. or Pay., ea. $ 400 
Series9Text&Spell&Mail.all3 $ 595 
Series 80 GL&AR&AP, Videx $ 595 


$275 
$395 
$395 


Arcade Machine $ 45 
Choplifter New! $ 35 
Many others 


$ 40 
$ 26 
Call 


(for the Atari 400 or 800) S 120 $ 89 
Free with above 3: Ramscan, Diagnostic Diskette. 



Ad #962 



THE WORLD'S LARGEST COMPUTER MAILORDER FIRM 



Computer Exchange 

ALL MAIL: P.O. Box 23068, Portland, OR 97005 

SHOWROOM AT 11507D SW PACIFIC HWY., PORTLAND, OR, OPEN M-F 10-6 



ORDERDESK TOLL FREE 

(800) 547-1289 

All Other Orders Including Oregon: 772-3256 



Circle 470 for IBM Peripherals Circle 471 for Apple Circle 472 for all others 



Will Removable Hard Disks 
Replace the Floppy? 

Improved data-storage technologies may eventually 

eliminate floppy disks. 



Larry Sarisky 

Syquest Technology 

47923 Warm Springs Blvd. 

Fremont, CA 94539 



The floppy-disk drive has been the 
method of choice for data storage for 
several years now. But like all de 
facto standards, its dominance is be- 
ing challenged, in this case by the 
development of a new storage 
medium — the removable hard-disk 
cartridge. 

The cartridge appears to offer all 
the advantages of the floppy disk as 
well as increased storage capacity and 
access speed. But before describing 
this new method of data storage, let's 
take a look at how and why floppy 
disks were developed. 

When IBM introduced the 
System/360 computers, their low- 
level microcode programs were 

About the Author 

Larry Sarisky is the vice-president of sales and 
marketing for Syquest Technology. He has 
more than 12 years' experience in marketing 
data-storage products. 



stored in read-only memory (ROM). 
By the time the IBM 370 was 
developed, however, semiconductor 
technology had advanced so far that 
microcode storage could be im- 
plemented in semiconductor 
memory. This memory was volatile, 



Newer microprocessors 

can make use of 

virtual storage only 

with the faster access 

speeds offered by hard 

disks. 



so a microcode loading-and-storage 
device was necessary. Magnetic tape 
was considered, but the need for 
loading diagnostic programs as well 
as microcode presented a problem. So 
in 1973, IBM developed a cheap disk 



and drive that provided the random- 
access speed needed for diagnostic- 
program loading. This low-cost, flex- 
ible disk gave IBM an economical 
random-access program-loading 
device. And once such a device was 
available, it was easy to add a write 
capability for data storage. Semicon- 
ductor technology and the IBM 370 
had set the stage for the floppy disk, 
the data-storage medium that helped 
launch the small-computer revolu- 
tion. 

The revolution, however, was 
spearheaded not by IBM but by in- 
dependent manufacturers of floppy 
disks such as Shugart Associates and 
Memorex, who saw the value of low- 
cost, random-access storage for 
smaller computers. By 1975, 27 in- 
dependent suppliers were producing 
8-inch floppy-disk drives. 

The new medium for storage 
offered potent advantages. As 



110 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



UP TO BETTER 
PERFORMANCE! 



NEW PRODUCTS 

(qty. 1-3 prices) 

STD801 and 811 Card Cages 

Black anodized aluminum card cages, with mother- 
board and card retainer bar for use in high vibration 
areas. Specify bottom mount (801) or back mount 
(81 1). $225 (8 slot motherboard), $265 (1 2 slots), 
$305 (16 slots). 

STD 881 "NEMA 1 2" Computer 
Enclosure 

Intended for unfriendly industrial environments. 
Splash-proof (oil and dust tight) box includes 8 slot 
motherboard, card cage, card retainer bar, switching 
power supply ( + 5V @ 6A, +12V @ 1A, -12V 

V2A),115V AC input. $595. Options: 12 and 16 slot 
motherboards, stainless steel enclosure, EMI/RFI 
shielding. Call for quote on options. 

S-1 OO/IEEE 696 ZIF Extender Board 

(#ZB-1) 

Zero Insertion Force greatly simplifies board testing 
and substitution. 3000+ insertion/extraction cycles. 
Includes fuses on + 8V and ± 16V lines, ground post, 
41 x 17 hole kluge area (0.1" grid), and power-to-board 
switch with LED indicator. $159 



STD BUS 
COMPONENTS 

(qty. 1-3 prices) 



STD 001. Flat cable terminated 
prototyping board. $49 
STD 002. Dual 18 edge connector 
terminated prototyping board. $54 
STD 003- Terminal block terminated prototyping board. $59 
STD 101. Extender board, 8.4" long. $59 
STD 201. 8 channel TRIAC (4A/117V) output board. $229 
STD 211.8 channel opto-isolated line voltage input board. $194 
STD 221. 8 channel SPST reed relay output board. $169 
STD 231 . 8 channel low voltage isolated input board. $194 
STD MBD*. 8 slot ($135) or 16 slot ($175) high speed motherboard. 
STD 16K RAM*. 16K X 8 static memory card. $325 
STD CPU Z*. 4 MHz Z80 CPU board with serial I/O and sockets for 8K of RAM/ROM. $335 

Circle 299 on inquiry card. 

For more information, call Mullen Computer Products at (415) 783-2866 
or write MCP Inc., Box 6214, Hayward, CA 94544. 

"OEM products manufactured by CompuPro division of Godbout Electronics; distributed via MCP Inc., a Godbout affiliate. 








Photo 1: A size comparison of the 3. 9-inch removable hard-disk cartridge drive with 
standard 5 l A- and 8-inch floppy-disk drives. The cartridge drive is 1.625 by 4.8 by 8 
inches. 



Business Week reported in a May 17, 
1976, article, "Each standard disk 
(floppy) has the data-storage capacity 
of 3000 punched cards. The disks are 
also reusable, easier to store and 
mail, and inexpensive." The article 
also predicted that "a new market 
segment is opening up thanks to the 
development of the cheapest of com- 
puters — the microprocessor or com- 
puter-on-a-chip." 
As these prophetic words were 



written, Shugart Associates was 
developing a lower-cost SVWnch 
flexible-disk drive. It was this drive 
that signaled the decline of cassette 
tape. The 5V4-inch floppy-disk drives 
and media cost less than comparable 
cassette-based storage. They offered 
an average access time of about half a 
second compared to the cassette's 20 
seconds. And their error rate was two 
orders of magnitude better than that 
of cassettes. 



The Winchester Disk 

While lower-cost 5V4-inch floppy 
disks gained most of the attention in 
1976, Memorex saw another IBM- 
developed storage technology that 
could be used in small computers. Its 
Model 601 hard disk was the first 
small Winchester system to be 
available from a source other than 
IBM. By protecting the read/write 
heads and disk platters in a sealed en- 
vironment, the Winchester could 
deliver higher data-storage capacities, 
faster access, and greater reliability at 
a lower cost per byte. While the 601's 
disk diameter was a hefty 14 inches, 
successive Winchester-technology 
disk drives reduced it to 8 inches and 
then 5Vi inches. 

The history of disk storage has 
been a tale of increasing compactness. 
The first 14-inch Winchester-type 
drives paralleled established storage- 
module devices. The 8-inch Win- 
chester followed the 8-inch floppy 
disk. The 5V4-inch drive was com- 
patible in size with its corresponding 



It's not Magic, it's NEC. 



NEC distributors 
pull miraclek out of 
a thimble. 

NEC Spinwriters." Their supernatural reliability 
and versatility have made them the world's most 
popular letter-quality printers. Here are some of the 
miracles they can perform for you. 

The Spinwriters' rapidly growing catalog of print 
thimbles give you incredible versatility, One NEC 
thimble can print in 35 different languages. Another 
has complete technical and mathematical symbols. 
Another a full scientific symbol font, The thimbles 
snap in and out in seconds. And they each last for 
more than 30 million impressions. 

Of all printer companies/on/y NEC designs and 
manufactures its own comprehensive family of 
forms handlers. We've got eight of them, enough to 
handle any form you can conjure up. They're all user- 
changeable, too. 

Spinwriters have remarkable reliability, more 
than two years between failures in normal usage. 
And they need no preventive maintenance or 





routine lubrication. Ever. With only 3 major 
spares, mean time to repair is only 
15 minutes. 

The NEC Spinwriters. Reliable, quiet, 
compact flexible and easy to use. 
For more information on NEC Spin- 
writers, or to find out how to become 
an NEC distributor yourself, contact the 
authorized NEC distributor nearest you. 

Spinwriter is a trademark of 
Nippon Electric Co.. Ltd. 

NEC 

NEC Information Systems, Inc. 



floppy disk. And, finally, the 
3.9-inch hard-disk cartridge (see 
photo 1) parallels the newer 
"microfloppies." 

The Need for Better Disks 

The development of 16-bit pro- 
cessors, more complex operating 
systems, and multiuser, multitasking 
configurations has increased the need 
for hard-disk capacity, reliability, 
and speed. Newer processors can 
make use of virtual storage only with 
the faster access speeds of hard disks. 
Operating systems such as Unix 
have a large assortment of utilities 
that won't fit on a floppy. To perform 
multiple tasks for multiple users, 
systems required the capacity and ac- 
cess speed available only from hard 
disks. 

Microcomputer applications are 
becoming far more sophisticated. A 
business accounting system can re- 
quire a box of 10 floppy disks. A 
high-resolution digitizing camera 
may need more than a megabyte of 
data storage for a single picture. 



Database-management systems, com- 
puter graphics, English-language- 
based programming, extensive menus, 
and broad-based application packages 
all require faster access to a larger 
amount of data than a single floppy 
disk can hold. 



If a fixed disk crashes, 

it can be replaced only 

by a factory technician. 



The Limitations of Fixed Disks 

While fixed-disk Winchester drives 
are suitable for many applications, 
they present severe integration prob- 
lems for smaller computer systems 
that now use one or two 5V4-inch 
floppy-disk drives. The 14-inch drive 
is simply too big and too heavy to be 
integrated into many existing 
systems. It also requires a more 
sophisticated interface and both AC 
and DC power-supply voltages. 

The smaller 5V4- and 8-inch Win- 



chester drives have proved to be more 
practical for small systems, but they 
are no panacea. Although they're 
smaller than the 14-inch drives, they 
still may be too large for some 
systems. Why? Because most systems 
have required both removable and 
fixed media. If the current system has 
been designed for one or two 5V4-inch 
floppy disks, there may not be room 
to add a fixed-disk drive. 

The user must also worry about the 
possibility of a fixed-disk failure. If 
the fixed disk crashes, it can be 
replaced only by a trained technician. 
Even worse, data may be lost forever. 
For this reason, most users back up 
important programs and files on flop- 
py disks or tape. Unfortunately, the 
floppy disk is often inadequate for 
backup. Small Winchester drives 
have capacities that range from 5 to 
80 megabytes. Backing up that much 
storage on floppy disks is inconve- 
nient and slow. And although tape 
can be used for backup, it lacks the 
random access, reliability, and ser- 
viceability of disk storage. 




ALABAMA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

(205) 883-8660 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

(205) 837-8700 
Huntsville, AL 

ALASKA 

Transalaska Data Sys., Inc. 

Anchorage, AK 
(907) 276-5616 

ARIZONA 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

602) 243-6601 

International Data Systems 
(602) 231-0888 
Phoenix, AZ 

The Phoenix Group, Inc. 
Tempe, AZ 
(602) 894-9247 

Spirit Electronics 

Scottsdafe, AZ 
(602) 998-1533 



CALIFORNIA 

Byle Industries 
(415) 783-8272 
ComputerLand Corp. 

(415) 487-5000 
Hayward, CA 

Consolidated Data Terminals 

Oakland, CA 

(415) 638-1222 

Data Systems Marketing 

San Diego. CA 

(619) 560-9222 

Eakins Associates, Inc. 

Mountain View. CA 

(415) 969-4533 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

Tustin, CA 

(714) 832-9920 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

Sunnyvale, CA 

(408) 245-9291 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

Reseda, CA 

(213) 708-2055 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

San Diego, CA 

(619) 560-5133 

Emerson Enterprises 

San Ramon, CA 

(415) 837-8728 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Sunnyvale, CA 

(408) 773-9990 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

San Diego, CA 

(619) 268-1201 

Leasametrlc 

Foster City, CA 

(415) 574-4441 



Leasametrlc 

Culver City, CA 
(213) 670-0461 
Micro Business World 
Tarzana, CA 
(213) 996-2252 

RC Data, Inc. 

San Jose, CA 
(408) 946-3800 
Renaissance Tech. Corp. 
Concord, CA 
(415) 676-5757 
Terminal Rentals, Inc. 
Tustin, CA 
(714) 832-2414 

Terminal Rentals, Inc. 

San Jose, CA 

(408) 292-9915 

United States Data Systems 

San Mateo, CA 

(415) 572-6600 

Vltek 

San Marcos, CA 

(714) 744-8305 

Waybern Corp. 

Garden Grove, CA 

(714) 554-4520 

Western Mlcrotechnology 

Cupertino, CA 

(408) 725-1662 

COLORADO 

Acorn Data Products 

Englewood, CO 

(303) 779-6644 

Data Design & Development 

(303) 296-3807 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

(303) 934-3111 

Denver, CO 

FLORIDA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Orlando. FL 
(305) 425-5505 



W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Fort Lauderdale, FL 

(305) 776-4800 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Melbourne, FL 

(305) 723-0766 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Tampa, FL 

(813) 985-0394 

Cain ABultman, Inc. 

Jacksonville, FL 

(904) 356-4812 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Fort Lauderdale, FL 

(305) 971-9280 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Orlando, FL 

(305) 855-4020 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

St. Petersburg, FL 

(813) 576-8691 

GEORGIA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Atlanta. GA 

(404)455-1035 

Digital Solutions, Inc. 

Marietta, GA 

(404) 955-4488 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Norcross. GA 

(404) 447-8000 

HAWAII 

Gray Associates 

Kailua, HI 
(808) 261-3751 

ILLINOIS 

Dytec/Central, Inc. 

Arlington Heights. IL 
(312) 394-3380 
Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 
Bensenville, IL 
(312) 860-3800 




Photo 2: Syquest Technology SQ-306 removable-cartridge hard-disk drive. The car- 
tridge (shown at left) is inserted into the drive unit, shown with its top cover and drive 
door removed. 



In spite of these limitations, small 
hard-disk drives have become the 
hottest products in data storage. 
Almost every computer manufacturer 
now offers Winchester hard-disk 
storage, as either a standard system 
component or an option. Why, then, 
are floppy disks still needed? Because, 
until recently, they enjoyed two 
critical advantages over hard disks: 
they were removable and cheap. 



The Hard-Disk Cartridge 

Floppy disks can no longer in- 
herently claim those advantages over 
hard disks, following the develop- 
ment of a new generation of 
removable, pocket-sized hard-disk 
cartridges and drives such as the Sy- 
quest SQ-306. Cartridges can be 
replaced when they're full, and, like 
floppy disks, they can be transported 
from one computer to another (see 



photo 2). [Editor's Note: The Syquest 
removable-cartridge hard-disk drive 
is not a Winchester drive because the 
read/write heads are not permanently 
sealed with the disk, as is the case in 
true Winchester technology . . . 
R. S. S.] 

But not all hard-disk cartridges can 
compete with the floppy disk. Car- 
tridge drives are now available in 
three sizes: 3.9, SVa, and 8 inches. All 
three sizes share the same basic tech- 
nology, but their prices differ sig- 
nificantly. Eight-inch cartridge drives 
cost $1500 or more. The smaller 
5V4-inch drives cost more than $1000. 
The still smaller 3.9-inch drives cost 
less than $800. Smaller cartridges also 
cost less. The 8-inch cartridge can 
cost more than $100, the 5V4-inch 
about $50, and the 3.9-inch about 
$35. 

Although all three sizes are gaining 
acceptance, many industry analysts 
believe that only the 3.9-inch hard- 
disk cartridge is inexpensive enough 
to compete with floppy-disk drives 



Information Systems, Inc. 

Arlington Heights, IL 
(312) 228-5480 
Kaltronlcs 
Northbrook, IL 
(312) 291-1220 
Nablh's, Inc. 
Evanston, IL 
(312)869-6140 
Tek-Aids Industries, Inc. 
ArlingtonHeights, IL 
(312) 870-7400 

INDIANA 

Dy tec/Central, Inc. 
Indianapolis, IN 
(317)247-1316 
General Microcomputer 
South Bend. IN 
(219) 277-4972 

Graham Etec. Supply, Inc. 

Indianapolis, IN 
(317) 634-8202 



n 



Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 

Car met. IN 
(317) 844-0102 

IOWA 

Dytec/Central, Inc. 

(319) 363-9377 

KANSAS 

Hail-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Lenexa, KS 
(913) 888-4747 
Inland Associates, Inc. 

Olathe, KS 
(913) 764-7977 



LOUISIANA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Mandeville, LA 
(504) 626-9701 

MARYLAND 

Bartlett Associates, Inc. 

Bethesda, MD 
(301) 656-3061 
Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Baltimore. MD 
(301) 796-9300 

M/A-Com Alanthus 

(301) 770-1150 

Micro Distributors, Inc. 

(800) 638-6621 
Rockville, MD 
TheZamoiskiCo. 
Baltimore, MD 
(301) 644-2900 

MASSACHUSETTS 

Bartlett Associates, Inc. 
Framingham, MA 
(617) 879-7530 

The Computer Store, Inc. 

Sudbury, MA 
(617) 879-3700 
Continental Resources, Inc. 
Bedford. MA 
(617) 275-0850 
CPU Computer Corp. 
Charlestown, MA 
(617) 242-3350 



Microamerica Dlstr. Co., Inc. 

Needfiam, MA 
(617) 449-5807 
Simsim, Inc. 
Natick, MA 
(617) 655-6415 

MICHIGAN 

General Data Company, Inc. 

Brighton, Ml 
(313) 227-3046 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Farmington Hills, Ml 
(313) 477-7586 
WKM Associates, Inc. 
Madison Heights, Ml 

(313) 588-2300 

MINNESOTA 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Bloomington, MN 

(612) 854-3223 

Inland Associates, Inc. 

Minneapolis, MN 

(612) 379-5354 

Kaltronics Distributing, Inc. 

St. Paul, MN 

(612) 293-0385 

Team Central, Inc. 

Minneapolis, MN 

(612) 623-3850 

Tele-Terminals, Inc. 

Brooklyn Park, MN 

(612) 536-6000 

MISSOURI 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Maryland Heights, MO 

(314) 291-5350 



Inland Associates, Inc. 

St. Louis, MO 

(314) 391-6901 

NEW JERSEY 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Cherry Hill, NJ 

(609) 424-7300 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Fairfield, NJ 

(201) 575-4415 

Logon, Inc. 

Haekensack, NJ 

(201) 646-9222 

TransNet Corporation 

Union. NJ 

(201) 688-7800 

WPPeriph. 4 Supply Co., I 

Matawan, NJ 
(201) 946-4995 

NEW YORK 

Arrow Electronics 

Farmingdale, NY 
(516) 694-6800 
Bartlett Associates, Inc. 
White Plains, NY 
(914) 949-6476 

The Computer Factory 

New York, NY 

(212) 687-5000 

Erin Computer Distr. Corp. 

Farmingdale, NY 

(516) 293-4114 

Ossmann Computer Tech., 

East Syracuse, NY 

(315) 437-6666 
Ossmann Computer Tech., 
Rochester, NY 
(716) 473-5720 

Ossmann Computer Tech., Inc. 
Vestal, NY 
(607) 785-9947 



and media. The drive costs only 
slightly more than a floppy-disk 
drive. The cost of a cartridge is com- 
parable to the cost of a box of 10 flop- 
py disks. 

This comparison is even more 
favorable in terms of cost per byte 
because the hard-disk cartridge sup- 
plies far more capacity per unit. 
While floppy disks can hold up to 1 
megabyte of storage before format- 
ting, the 3.9-inch hard disk has an un- 
formatted capacity of 6.38 mega- 
bytes. Not only does it carry from 6 
to 15 times more data than a floppy 
disk, it carries it more safely, sealed 
in a protective cartridge. 

While floppy-disk technology has 
matured and offers few opportunities 
for enhancement, small hard disks are 
at the beginning of their product- 
technology cycle and will have their 
data storage capacity increased again 
and again. The cost per megabyte of 
storage is dropping rapidly. 

Like audio- and video-tape cas- 
settes, hard-disk cartridges will be 
available in a variety of capacities. 



Syquest, for example, is already 
developing a cartridge, compatible in 
size with existing cartridges, that will 
double capacity to 12.76 megabytes. 

Regardless of capacity, these car- 
tridges deliver better performance 
than floppy disks. Their average ac- 
cess time is 75 milliseconds, or from 
1.5 to 3 times faster than floppy 
disks. The data-transfer rate is even 
more impressive. In one second, the 
cartridge drive can transfer 5 
megabits, compared to the 5Vi-inch 
disk's Va of a megabit. That's 20 times 
faster. 

Cartridge models provide better in- 
terchangeability between drives than 
floppy disks. The cartridge is de- 
signed to provide for a minimum of 
10,000 insertion/ removal cycles (see 
figure 1). A closed-loop embedded 
digital servomechanism ensures car- 
tridge interchangeability while allow- 
ing variable sectoring. The embedded 
servo information is recorded on the 
disk and provides the sector-mark 
signals and timing information for all 
read/write operations. 



The digital servo system locks the 
read/write heads over the centerline 
of the appropriate recording track. 
More practical than conventional 
track-following systems, the digital 
servo leaves both surfaces free for 
data and provides flexibility in sector 
formatting. This enables system 
builders to define the number of bytes 
per sector to match any format re- 
quirement. 

The digital servo, helped by on- 
board microprocessor control and a 
microstepping head positioner, also 
speeds data access and improves ac- 
curacy. The microstepping positioner 
steps in increments of 0.9 degrees 
rather than the conventional 1.8 
degrees. The drive's microprocessor 
reads servo information, corrects for 
track alignment, and adjusts the step- 
per within 100 microinches, all at 60 
times a second. 

The 3.9-inch disk drives mount 
almost anywhere — under a keyboard 
or in a terminal. Two hard-disk 
drives can occupy one conventional 
5V4-inch floppy space. The drives are 



WORTH CAROLINA 

W,A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Durham, NC 

(919) 683-1580 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Raleigh, NC 
(919} 832-4465 

OHIO 



Fc 
(4 



, Inc. 



General Data Co., 

Cincinnati, OH 
(513) 851-2585 
General Data Co., Inc. 
Lakewood. OH 
(216) 228-8833 

eneral Data Co., Inc. 
Fostoria, OH 
(419) 435-1191 
Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 
Highland Heights, OH 
(216) 473-2907 
Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 
Westerville, OH 
(614) 891-4555 
Midwest Microcomputer 
Defiance, OH 
(419) 782-1115 
WKM Associates 
Cleveland, OH 
(216) 524-5930 
National Instr. Dlstr. Inc. 
Dayton, OH 
(513) 435-4503 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Fairview Park, OH 
(216) 779-9660 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Englewood, OH 
(513) 836-0951 

OKLAHOMA 

Data Applications Corp. 

(918) 250-8686 



Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 
(918) 665-3200 
Tulsa. OK 

OREGON 

Mlcroware Distributing 

Aloha, OR 
(503) 642-7679 

PENNSYLVANIA 

Barllett Associates, Inc. 

Norristown, PA 
(215) 666-7100 
General Data Company 
Pittsburgh, PA 
(412) 788-4800 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Monroeville, PA 
(412) 372-3340 
WKM Associates 
Pittsburgh, PA 
(412) 892-2953 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

WA. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Columbia. SC 
(803) 798-8070 

TENNESSEE 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 
Oak Ridge, TN 
(615) 482-5761 

TEXAS 

Data Applications 

Addison, TX 
(214) 931-1100 
Data Applications 
Houston, TX 
(713) 686-8413 



Data Applications 

San Antonio, TX 

(512) 732-7176 

D&B Data Systems 

Piano, TX 

(214) 422-7910 

D&B Data Systems 

Houston, TX 

(713) 463-7561 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Dallas, TX 

(214) 343-5000 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Austin, TX 

(512) 258-8848 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Houston, TX 

(713) 781-6100 

Southern Micro Distributors 

Irving, TX 

(214) 258-6636 

UTAH 

Acorn Data Products 
Salt Lake City, UT 
(801) 973-7958 

VIRGINIA 

Nine Associates 

Fairfax, VA 
(703) 273-1803 

Terminals Unlimited 

Falls Church, VA 
(703) 237-8666 



WASHINGTON 

Micro Technology, Inc. 

Tacoma, WA 
(206) 272-3347 

Sigma Distributing 

Bellevue, WA 
(206) 454-6307 

WISCONSIN 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Oak Creek, Wl 
(414) 761-3000 



stc 

NEC Information Systems, Inc. 

Circle 309 on inquiry card. 




HEADS RETRACT 
TO TRACK 000 FOR 
CARTRIDGE INSERTION 



GRAPHITE, 4 /itn. 
MAGNETIC FILM, 3/J.in. 

ELECTROLESS NICKEL, 
800 /tin. 

-ALUMINUM SUBSTRATE 
DISK CROSS SECTION 




AIR FILTER 



INSERTION CHANNEL 




DOOR SLIDES TO LEFT 
FOR HEAD ACCESS 



TABS 

(NOT VISIBLE) 

PREVENT INCORRECT 

INSERTION 

MAGNETIC HUB 



DRIVE DOOR- 
REGISTRATION DIAMETER- 



ABYRINTH SEAL 
^*- -WR1TE-PROTECT TAB 



Figure 1: As a cartridge is inserted into the hard-disk drive, the cartridge door slides 
open to allow access to the read/write heads, which were previously retracted to track 
000. The disk is seated onto the drive spindle by a metal scroll on the cartridge (not visi- 
ble in the figure) and then secured by a magnetic hub. Tabs on the drive base ensure that 
the cartridge is inserted correctly and that the cartridge door is open. A cross section of 
the hard disk illustrates the layers of materials on the disk (not drawn to scale). 



only 1.625 inches high, 4.8 inches 
wide, and 8 inches deep. Their rugged 
design enables them to be used in 
portable systems. 

Easy Integration 

The 3.9-inch cartridge has the same 
pinouts, timing, data-transfer rates, 
and track/sector formatting as 
industry-standard 5V4-inch fixed-disk 
Winchester drives. This compatibility 
allows the use of standard Winchester 
controllers and interfacing pro- 
cedures, as well as standard 5V4-inch 
floppy-disk DC power supplies. 

Convenience 

Convenience of use is an important 
factor in the success of the cartridge. 
The 3.9-inch cartridge is a more con- 
venient size than 8-inch floppy disks 
or larger cartridges. Just under 4 
inches in length and width and less 
than Vz inch high, it fits in a coat 
pocket, purse, or briefcase. Its 



"unbendable" case is easy to handle 
and safer to mail. 

Perhaps more important is the con- 
venience of direct access to more 
data. The user can retrieve data from 
a larger online database without in- 



The thin-film-plating 

technique used on 

3.9-inch hard disks 

eliminates the need for 

an initial purge cycle, 

which with 

conventional disks can 

take several minutes. 



serting and removing many floppy 
disks. This is especially important in 
such applications as accounting, in- 
ventory control, database searches, 
and so on. 



Thin-Film Plating 

The 3.9-inch hard-disk cartridge 
can store more data more reliably and 
in less room because it uses thin-film 
plating for the magnetic data- 
recording layer. While conventional 
Winchester technology must seal the 
disks away from dust, smoke, and 
other contaminants, the cartridge's 
graphite-coated thin-film metallic 
alloy needs less protection. This thin- 
film plating, with a lubricating 
coating that shields against dirt, 
allows denser packing of data and 
protects the disk from "head crashes." 

This plating also eliminates the 
need for an initializing purge cycle. 
Users do not have to suffer the in- 
convenience of long waits before 
beginning operation. (With conven- 
tional hard disks, filtered air is first 
blown over the surface of the disk to 
remove any possible contaminants. 
This purge cycle can take several 
minutes.) The thin-film recording 
medium provides greater data densi- 
ty, a more consistent recording sur- 
face, better magnetic resolution, less 
susceptibility to contamination, and 
greater durability than the conven- 
tional ferric-oxide recording medium. 

Let's take a closer look at these ad- 
vantages. Thin-film technology in- 
creases data density. It increases 
storage capacity beyond the current 
limitations of the standard Win- 
chester or floppy disk. While the con- 
ventional medium at 20 to 30 micro- 
inches of thickness has a maximum 
density of only 8000 flux reversals per 
inch, thin film is an order of 
magnitude thinner and can store 
more than 20,000 flux reversals per 
inch. This means simply that thin film 
can increase data density by 2.5 
times. Thin film maintains a more 
consistent recording surface. The 
conventional medium is limited by its 
uneven thickness and a soft surface 
that can be damaged in the event of a 
head crash. 

Thin film offers higher resolution 
Expressed as a percentage, the typical 
disk recording medium has a resolu- 
tion of 65 percent. In contrast, the 
metal-film medium has a resolution 
of 80 percent. (Resolution is defined 
as the read-back voltage ratio of a 
signal recorded at twice the normal 



116 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Before you bet your software 
business on an OS, look who's 
betting on MS-DOS and XENIX. 



A waiting market. If you write and sell 16-bit 
software, MStm-DOS and XENIX™ give you the 
largest installed base. In fact over fifty 16-bit 
manufacturers offer their microcomputers with 
MS-DOS or XENIX. IBM, Victor Altos, Wang, Radio 
Shack, Zenith and Intel, to name just a few. And 
the list is growing. That means there's a ready 
and expanding market for your 16-bit applications 
software. 

The UNIX™ connection. XENIX is the multi- 
user, multi-tasking, UNIX-derived operating system 
for 16-bit microcomputers. MS-DOS 2.0 is 
Microsoft's single-user OS. MS-DOS and XENIX 
share hierarchical file structure and I/O redi- 
rection, including simple piping. MS-DOS 2.0 also 
provides XENIX-compatible system calls. That 
means there's a migration path for programs written 
to run under MS-DOS and XENIX. What's more, 
both MS-DOS and XENIX are supported by 
Microsoft® languages. Which means you can look 
to a single supplier for total support 

Comprehensive support. Microsoft offers you 
a full product support program. Excellent doc- 
umentation. Plus continual enhancements to both 
languages and operating systems. Your appli- 
cations programs can even be listed in Microsoft's 
growing Source Directory of 16-bit applications 
packages. Contact us for current software 
offerings and vendors. 

Leadership. Microsoft led the 
world into the 8-bit micro- 
computer market- 
place with 




the first BASIC for microcomputers. Now, we're 
leading it into the 16-bit market with single and 
multi-user operating systems. Fully supported by 
Microsoft 

Bet the winner. If you're writing and marketing 
software in the 16-bit marketplace, MS-DOS 
and XENIX are setting the standard. In fact, they're 
the standard operating systems for the world's 
largest selling 16-bit microcomputer systems. 
Which means your market is already there... and 

growing. Contact us for complete information, 
efore you bet your software on an operating sys- 
tem, look where your market is betting. 

BETTER TOOLS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS 

MICROSOFT 



m 



MICROSOFT CORPORATION 

10700 NORTHUP WAY 

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON 98004 



Microsoft is a registered trademark, 

and MS, XENIX and the Microsoft 

logo are trademarks of Microsoft 

Corporation 

UNIX is a trademark of Bell 

Laboratories 



^ 



'%£• 



%%%&> 



Xfct^lX 



^ 



K5&* 



recording frequency versus the nor- 
mal recording-frequency signal.) 

Thin film is more durable. 
Durability, expressed in terms of sen- 
sitivity to head impact, is another 
critical factor. Soft oxide coatings are 
no match for a read/write head. 
When a head crashes (contacts the 
disk's surface), oxide particles are 
dislodged. These particles can lead to 
still more crashes or surface damage. 

Although it's not as hard as a 
read/write head, metal film is 1000 
times harder than an oxide layer. This 
greater degree of hardness is 
measured by the Mohs test, which 
scales degrees of hardness from 1 to 
10. Each increasing degree on the 
scale represents an order of 
magnitude increase. A typical 
read/write head has a Mohs number 
of 7. The conventional medium has a 
Mohs number of 2.0 to 2.5. Metal 
film has a hardness of 5.0 to 5.5. 

Thin film is less susceptible to con- 
tamination. With the conventional 
medium, dust particles are attracted 



and captured by the fluid lubricant 
used over the ferric-oxide layer. This 
presents operating problems, 
especially for oxide media used in 
Winchester-type disk drives with 
low-flying heads. In such drives, a 
purge cycle of one to two minutes is 
required. 

Some manufacturers of thin-film 
disks add a layer of graphite, quartz, 
or sapphire above the metal magnetic 
layer. Depending on the loading force 
of the heads used with the disk drive, 
the protective layer can range be- 
tween 0.025 micron and 0.1 micron. 
(The heavier the loading force, the 
thicker the protective layer.) 
Microdisk of Fremont, California, a 
sister company to Syquest, adds a 
0.1-micron graphite overcoat. The 
dry lubricant affords extra protection 
against head crashes and seals the 
metal substrate to prevent corrosion. 

Summary 

Floppy disks and drives still cost 
less than their nonflexible cartridge 



counterparts, but the cost per byte is 
comparable. The removable-car- 
tridge user gains online access to 
more data, faster access speed, 
greater drive reliability, and better 
data integrity. These advantages will 
become even more affordable as 
hard-disk technology and volume 
production improve. Users who buy 
a single cartridge rather than a box of 
floppy disks will get more for their 
money. They will have the best of 
both worlds — the high capacity, per- 
formance, and reliability of a fixed 
rigid disk as well as the removability 
and low cost of a floppy disk. 

The 3.9-inch hard-disk cartridge 
with thin-film plating offers the 
floppy-disk user a better storage 
medium at a competitive price. I 
predict that just as the floppy disk re- 
placed the punched card and the 
cassette, so will the cartridge replace 
the floppy. The cartridge's better 
cost/performance ratio and con- 
venience for the user will make the 
floppy disk obsolete. ■ 



Circle 438 on inquiry card. 








• 300/1200 Baud— Bell 103/113/212 compatible 

• Auto dial — Hayes Smartmodem compatible 

• Full or Half Duplex 

• Audio Monitor signals busy line, no-answer, etc. 

Our newest modem does all this with 3 LSI chips 
—about one seventh of the usual integrated 
circuits Its simplicity, an achievement of 
advanced micro-processor design, promises 
two major benefits The first is outstanding reli- 
ability—that stands to reason. The second is a 
cost low enough to inspire skepticism. Be skep- 
tical; shrewd comparisons may save you 
$100 or more. 

Intelligent design also makes this modem uncom- 
monly easy to use. Lights and switches let you 
test and correct installations without technical 
experience— including some that require 
special interfaces or rewiring with most modems 

The shrewd modem, If it's not at your dealer's yet, 
write or call for complete specifications 

'Suggested list for model 212AAuto Dial, including 
RS232 interface, RJtlC phone jack and two year 
limited warranty. 



V'# 



M 



U.S. ROBOTICS INC. 



lt£?3 WEST WASHINGTON. CHICAGO. ILLINOIS BOO 
13I2) /33-0497 



The 100mm Winchester. 

Removable. Half Size. 

Half Price. Full Performance. 



It's here. Winchester capacity and performance at half the size, 
half the price. And yes, available in removable or fixed disc drives. 

The SyQuest 100mm (3.9") SQ306 packs five megabytes 
(formatted) in half the height of a 5V4" Winchester. And when 
the Q-Pak™ cartridge is full, just slip in another one. It's the best 
of both worlds— the reliability of Winchester with the transporta- 
bility of removable cartridges. 

A better drive. 

SyQuest drives give you a better fit. Mount SyQuest drives 
almost anywhere. Under a keyboard. In your terminal. Fit two in 
one minifloppy space. SyQuest drives are only 1.625 inches high, 
4.8 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. 

Easy integration. The SQ306 has the same pin-outs, timing, 
data transfer rates, and track/sector formatting as industry- 
standard 5V/' Winchester drives. Use standard Winchester 
controllers and interfacing procedures, standard minifloppy DC 
power supplies. 

Better price/performance. SyQuest delivers five megabytes 
with proven Winchester heads, positioning, brushless motors and 
air filtration. Buffered seek reduces average seek time to 75 
msec. But the cost is half of comparable 5 1 //' Winchesters. 



» Fits. , fM 




Q-Pak™ — a better cartridge. 

Better reliability. Closed-loop servo with imbedded digital 
servo (DigiLok™ ) ensures cartridge interchangeability while allow- 
ing variable sectoring. Chromaflux™ graphite coated thin film 
metallic alloy discs protect against contamination. No long purge 
cycle required. 

Available now. 

SyQuest is shipping. In 1983 we will deliver more than 
250,000 drives. Second sources will be available. So order your 
evaluation units today. For more product information, circle our 
readers' service number. For delivery and pricing information, write 
or call Larry Sarisky, SyQuest Technology. 

Circle 409 on inquiry card. 




B SyQuest 



47923 Warm Springs Bl?d. Fremont, California 94538 

415/490-7511 TWX 910-381-7027 

Distributed by Hamilton/Avnet (213) 615-3915 






Drawattentiontoyourself. 

(Write a program for the IBM Personal Computer.) 



Let your imagination take wing. 

Think charts. Graphs. Shapes. Images. 

Use originality, creativity and color in programs 
that entertain. Educate. Organize. Analyze. And 
programs that get down to business. 

Maybe you've written software like that. Or 
perhaps you're thinking about it. 

If so, consider this. 

\bu could draw attention to yourself by writing 
programs for the IBM Personal Computer on the 
IBM Personal Computer. Because all our advanced 
features (see the box at right) make it faster and easier 
to do so. 

Enhanced BASIC already in ROM, for example, 
has graphics commands already built in. 

And if you write a program using our Advanced 
BASIC, you'll find the DRAW command 
particularly appealing. It's virtually a separate 
graphics language within a larger language. 

Put your visual together with any of the 128 
characters and symbols in ROM for a simultaneous, 
text-and-graphics mix. 

Have musical accompaniment as well. 

It's easy, because BASIC controls the built-in 
speaker with a single command. 

Utilize the ten, programmable 
function keys. Try F3 to paint. 
F4 for lines. F5 for circles. Or 
F6 for boxes. 



IBM PERSONAL COMPUTER SPECIFICATIONS 


User Memory 


Display Screen 


Permanent Memory 


16K-512K bytes* 


High-resolution* 


(ROM) 40 bytes* 


Microprocessor 


80 characters x 25 lines 


Color/Graphics 


16 bit, 8088* 


Upper and lowercase 


Thdmode: 


Auxiliary Memory 

2 optional internal 
diskette drives, 5!4" 


Green phosphor screen* 


16 colors* 


Operating Systems 


256 characters and 


DOS, UCSD p-System, 


symbols in ROM* 


160K bytes or 320K 


CP/M-86t 


Graphics mode: 


bytes per diskette 


Languages 


4-color resolution: 


Keyboard 

83 keys, 6 ft. cord 


BASIC, Pascal, FORTRAN, 


320h x 200v* 


MACRO Assembler, 


Black & white resolution: 


attaches to 


COBOL 


640hx200v* 


system unit* 


Printer 


Simultaneous graphics & 


10 function keys* 


All-points-addressable 


text capability* 


10-key numeric pad 


graphics capability 


Communications 


Tactile feedback* 


Bidirectional* 


RS-232-C interface 


Diagnostics 


80 characters/second 


Asynchronous or SDLC 


Power-on self testing* 


18 character styles 


protocols 


Parity checking* 


9x9 character matrix* 


Up to 9600 bits per second 


•ADVANCED FEATURES FOR PERSONAL COMPUTERS 




Remember that these function keys make your 
program more "friendly" to the user and, therefore, 
more appealing to us. 

In fact, if you're interested in licensing your 
software, we could be interested in publishing it. 

We could also be interested even if it runs on 
another computer. If we select your software, we'll 
ask you to adapt it to our system. 

So if you think your software is close to 
picture perfect, consider sending it in. 

For information on how to submit 
your completed program, write: 
IBM Personal Computer, 
External Submissions, Dept. 765 PC, 
Armonk, New York 10504. T^%=* 



The IBM Personal Computer 
A tool for modern times 



For more information on where to buy the IBM Personal Computer, call 800-447-4700. In Alaska or Hawaii, 800-447-0890. 

tUCSD p-System is a trademark of the Regents of the University of Calif ornia. CP/M-86 is a trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 

Circle 205 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 



121 



The Winchester Odyssey 

From Manufacturer to User 

A look at drives, OEMs, and the cost of doing business. 



Looking at the advertisements for 
5V4-inch Winchester drives, the first 
thing you notice is the substantial dif- 
ference between the original equip- 
ment manufacturer (OEM) prices and 
the retail prices. What happens to a 
5-megabyte drive between the manu- 
facturer's shipping dock and the dis- 
play floor to cause a price increase 
from $600 to $3000? 

Perhaps the primary reason for the 
price difference is that the drives 
advertised for the OEMs are by no 
means complete and ready to use. It's 
no accident of advertising photo- 
graphy that you see the drive's in- 
terior workings in beautiful detail. 
The photographer was not hindered 
by a cabinet or controller board 
because neither of those items is part 
of the deal at this stage. Another 
missing item is the power supply. 
Before you can use this drive, the 
OEM must make these additions. The 
controller poses a particularly dif- 



About the Author 

Jim Toreson is the president, chairman of the 
board, and chief executive officer of Xebec, a 
manufacturer of disk-drive controllers. 



Jim Toreson 

Xebec 

432 Lakeside Dr. 

Sunnyvale, CA 94086 



ficult problem for the OEM because 
the original Winchester design omits 
the data separator, and therefore each 
OEM must tackle that job. 

The high-speed data transfer in 
Winchesters requires a data separa- 
tor, which takes the data stored on 
disk in one-channel modified frequen- 
cy modulation (MFM) code and sepa- 
rates it into the clock and data chan- 
nels that the host computer uses in 
non-return-to-zero code (NRZ). (See 
the text box on page 126 for a descrip- 
tion of the process.) The design of the 
separator becomes a complex task be- 
cause of the number of different 
drives and operating systems in exis- 
tence. This challenge to the OEM's 
creativity translates into considerable 
expense. 

Even after the controller, power 
supply, cables, and cabinet become 
part of the product, the OEM still has 
hurdles to overcome before the drive 
appears on your desk. Meeting the 
UL (Underwriters Laboratory) and 
FCC (Federal Communications Com- 
mission) testing requirements calls for 
additional work. The OEM also pro- 
vides operating-system software, 
documentation, and customer sup- 
port after the sale. After determining 



the cost of each of these steps, the 
OEM adds a sales markup to the total 
and you now have a $3000 drive. 

Many of these same expenses apply 
to OEMs who simply act as whole- 
salers for another manufacturer's 
drives. They must test and therefore 
pay for an entire system. To the re- 
sulting overhead OEMs then add 
their general and administrative costs 
and their own markup when calculat- 
ing a drive's final price. They send the 
drives to a distributor, who also adds 
a markup. If we examine the details 
of this process by looking at an OEM 
in action, the reasons for the price dif- 
ference are more apparent. 

Xebec of Sunnyvale, California, 
produces two Winchester drives, the 
Xebec/Apple kit and the UP-9705 
Universal Winchester Mass Storage 
Subsystem. Both drives are function- 
ally identical and use a single-board 
large-scale integration (LSI) control- 
ler with automatic error detection 
and correction, a universal command 
set, onboard sector buffer, Shugart 
Associates Standard Interface (SASI), 
and a data transfer rate of 1 megabyte 
per second. The company charges 
$1299 for the Xebec/ Apple kit and 
$1995 for the UP-9705. As I explain 



122 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The IMS Family 



IMS Computer products not only fulfill the requirements network with a conservative functional overlap of the 

of stand alone applications, they are designed to be cost system above and below in the Family Tree, 

effective, intelligent nodes in a total network environ- Jhe IMS family is growing rapidly-keeping pace with 

ment! Each product fulfills a particular requiremenWof the technology and the ever increasing needs of industry. 

Vr * * 






* * 





■~ 









k ' * 





PPi»?&ffcpL|ftf*P?*fMlfft 



The Ever Expanding IMS Product Line 




O 5000SX systems computer; SI 00 based archival node to which six user 
terminals may be connected, each with its own processor and memory. 
© 8000SX systems computer; SI 00 based archival node with dual floppy, 
Winchester and tape back up capability. Six user terminals may be 
supported, each with its own processor and memory. 
O 5000IS stand alone intelligent node, SI 00 based. May support up to four 

users, with up to 25 MByte Winchester with dual floppies. 
© 8000S large system computer. SI 00 based. Can support up to 16 users 
with large disk and tape back up capability. 

^n © Stand-alone intelligent CRT with high resolution 
monitor and removable typist keyboard. 
© Exoanded CRT to be used as Intelligent Note Processor. 
Includes Micro Processor, 64K of memory and four serial 
ports— two of which are to be used to connect into high 
speed network communication. 
© Portable cartridge tape back up. Stores 17.5 MBytes 
of data. Operates in start/stop or streamer modes. 



For complete information and specifications 
plus the location of your nearby IMS 
International dealer, call or write today! 
(714) 978-6966 or (702) 883-7611 

2800 Lockheed Way 
Carson City NV 89701 

Telex: 910-395-6051 
INTERNATIONAL 

We Build Computers As If Your Business 
Depended On Them. 




Circle 207 on Inquiry card. 



the differences in these two products, 
you'll see how OEMs charge back for 
their costs. 

Xebec calls the UP-9705 'universal'' 
because its design incorporates host 
adapter cards to allow you to operate 
it with a variety of microcomputers. 
(For an overview of the link between 
drive and computer, see "Building a 
Hard-Disk Interface for an S-100 Bus 
System" by Andrew C. Cruce and 
Scott A. Alexander on page 130 of 
this issue.) Currently these include 
products from Apple and IBM, along 
with S-100 bus, Multibus, and Q-bus 
compatible computers. The advan- 
tage of this approach is that it lets the 
OEM or dealer supply drives for a 
variety of computers simply by stock- 
ing a sufficient number of these 
universal drives and the adapter cards 
for each system. The advantage for 
the user is that once a Winchester 
system is bought, it can be made com- 
patible with several systems just by 
purchasing adapter cards. The design 
can save money for both the dealer 
and the user in the long run. 



To provide this flexibility, Xebec 
buys each type of computer and hires 
a programmer already familiar with 
that computer's operating system to 
design the adapter card. The comple- 
tion of the design and the ensuing 
production of the card does not mean 
an end to the company's use of the 
system and the programmer. To keep 
pace with software corrections and 
enhancements, Xebec retains both. 

The central concept of the 
Xebec/ Apple kit is to reduce the ex- 
penses of software support. Although 
the components in the two drives are 
identical, Xebec offers this kit with 
only an Apple II adapter card sup- 
porting DOS, CP/M, or Pascal. This 
difference saves the company and the 
end user money. 

One expense common to both 
drives occurs during inspection for 
hard and soft errors at the OEM's 
facility. Because the bit error rate (or 
BER, a function of the average num- 
ber of bits transferred before an error 
occurs) is a crucial test, drives must 
be thoroughly use-tested before the 



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a full line of Board Level Components, Software, and Peripherals for all the Popular Machines in use today. These include: 
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company passes them. The drives 
must average 1 bit error or less for 
every million bits transferred, and it 
is apparent that checking this with a 
statistical sample large enough to en- 
sure validity would be very time con- 
suming. For example, at 5 megabytes 
per second, such a sample would re- 
quire nearly three hours of continu- 
ous read time for just one data track, 
not including seek and head-settling 
time. At that rate, complete testing of 
a typical drive would take more than 
1600 hours or nearly 70 days. Xebec, 
however,^ uses phase margin analysis 
to reduce the testing time to under 
two minutes on one data track and to 
48 hours on the entire drive (see the 
text box on page 128 for a descrip- 
tion). This analysis system reduces 
the company's overhead for this stage 
of the process, and the cost to the end 
user is also somewhat less than it 
would be if the drives were tested 
conventionally. 

In terms of packaging, the Xebec/ 
Apple kit and the UP-9705 differ 
greatly. The latter uses a compact, 
custom-made 115-volt/230-volt 
power supply, FCC- and UL-approved 
shielded connectors, and a custom- 
designed cabinet. Not only are the 
materials costly, but these drives are 
fully assembled. The kit, on the other 
hand, has a power supply (same volt- 
age, but not custom-made), cables, a 
crude cabinet that is packed in a box 
with the drive, controller, adapter 
card, accompanying software, and 
some instructions for assembly. Not 
only does the company avoid paying 
wages to an assembler, it also saves 
money in completely bypassing FCC 
and UL testing. Certification by these 
agencies is not possible and therefore 
not necessary for any device shipped 
in component parts. The cost of test- 
ing, engineering, and producing the 
additional shielded cables, connec- 
tors, and sheet-metal parts required 
for FCC and UL certification adds 
considerably to the price you pay for 
a packaged subsystem. 

The biggest difference between the 
package and the kit is the company's 
definition of support for each. The 
end user pays less for the kit because 
it is shipped directly from the factory 
and thus avoids the entire distri- 



124 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 132 on inquiry card. 



THE COMPLETE COMPUTERL 

$4995. 



Our all-in-one BMC//" 800 computer 
is easier for dealers to sell, customers to 
buy, and OEMs to use in their systems 
because everything is integrated into 
a 20-inch wide single desk top unit: 
computer; keyboard, color graphics, 
disk drives - even a dot matrix printer! 

That's why the BMC zY800 is the 
complete computer. The total system. 
Study the call-outs and you'll see why. 



And that's just the tip of the iceberg. 
Our 8-bit CPU provides CP/M standard 
with MP/M with CP/NET as an option. 
Or you can upgrade to a 16 bit CPU 
which offers IBM PC compatible MS 
DOS* CP/M 86* and much more. 



Add to this, custom software, 
nationwide service and attractive lease 
flooring and you have a real winner - 
built by a billion dollar company that's 
been around for over 100 years. 



14. Dual 500 Kbyte floppies. 

Dual 500 Kbyte floppies & 16 Mbyte 
hard disk (optional & integrated). 
Dual 500 Kbyte floppies & dual 6.3 
Mbyte removable cartridge disks 
(optional & integrated) 



1. 640 x 200 pixel-address- 
able CRT with full color 
graphics. Also available in 
monochrome (8 shades) 



2. 30 programmable 
softkeys 




3. Full ASCII keyboard 



4. Internal expansion slots. 
Built-in calendar clock. 
4 MHz Z 80 A microprocessor. 
Upto256KRAM 



5. 120 cps bi-directional dot 
matrix printer with 80-132 
columns 



"CP/M and CP/NET are 
trademarks of Digital Research 
Distributed in Canada 
by Canada Computer 
(416) 677-7972 



7. Screen dump anytime 

8. ROM cartridge programming 

©BMC 
1900 Avenue of the Stars, Centi 



13. 4 I/O slots for 
expansion 

12. RS-232Cport 

11. 3 accessory ports 

10. Line print key 

9. Full numeric keypad 



BMC SYSTEMS INC. 



1900 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, CA 90067 
(213) 557-9002 • 1-800-BMC-8003 

Circle 59 on Inquiry card. 



M F M 
READ DATA 






\ 







1 





1 


1 







NRZ DATA 


1 
1 

1 
1 
1 
1 




1 
I 

1 
1 
1 
1 




(7) 


1 
1 
1 
1 


1 

1 

1 
1 


1 
1 

1 


1 

1 

1 
1 




NRZ CLOCK V-/ | 














L 



MFM read data is phase locked to the PLL clock. The rising edge of data is in phase with the rising edge of clock. 

The PLL clock generates the data window. 

If the MFM data pulse occurs in the zero half of the data cell, the NRZ data is zero (0). If the MFM data pulse occurs in the one half of 

the data cell, the NRZ data is one (1). 

If no MFM data pulse occurs, the NRZ data is zero. 

The NRZ clock is a constant-frequency clock generated from the PLL clock. On the rising edge of the NRZ clock, the state of the NRZ 

data line determines if the data bit is a one or a zero. 

The NRZ data line changes states only on the trailing edge of the NRZ clock. 



Figure 1: Typical MFM-to-NRZ data recovery. For further information refer to chapter 5 of Computer Storage Systems and 
Technology by Richard E. Matick (Wiley-Inter science, 1977). 



The Data Separator: A Necessary Expense 



When 5 l A-inch Winchester disk 
drive manufacturers decided to omit 
the data separator from their devices, 
the responsibility for that important 
piece of design fell to the designers of 
controllers. Let's now take a look at 
the role of the data separator in hard- 
disk data storage. 

Bit-shifting during data separation 
can seriously affect the read/write ac- 
curacy or bit error rate (BER) of a Win- 
chester drive that has been integrated 
with its controller. When data is mag- 
netically stored on the recording sur- 
face of the drive, it is translated from 
the host computer's non-return-to-zero 
(NRZ) code into modified frequency 
modulation (MFM) code. The data 
separator compresses the two channels 
of information that make up the NRZ 
code, data and clock, into one channel 
encoding both. This process is neces- 
sary because a magnetic disk stores 
data as a series of bar magnets along 
individual tracks in the substrate, thus 
leaving only a data channel available. 



When data is transferred from the 
disk back to the host computer, the 
read /write head reads transitions from 
one magnetic polarity to another. This 
series of pulses must be separated into 
the original data and clock channels. 
The clock is a series of cells with a 
square voltage peak, found before and 
after the window area. This area is 
where the read/write head measures 
data voltage to determine if the bit is a 
one or a zero. It is understandably dif- 
ficult to match the two channels per- 
fectly against each other at five million 
cycles per second. However, this is ex- 
actly what must be done if the data is 
to be read. (See figure 1.) 

Because floppy disks transfer data at 
a much lower rate, a much larger 
amount of time is available to transfer 
each bit. With the increase in time 
comes an increase in the size of the 
window, and thus the system has a 
greater margin for error. Then con- 
sider what happens when the entire cell 
gets down to the 200-nano second 



range, as is the case with Winchester 
drives. The slightest mismatch of the 
two channels means that the bits liter- 
ally go out the data window and the 
data is unreadable. 

The Xebec controller solves this pro- 
blem by using a phase-locked loop 
(PLL) system that locks onto the MFM 
data pulses and recovers the bit timing 
from the disk by first picking off the 
data transitions and converting them 
into a voltage. Then a voltage con- 
troller oscillator uses that voltage to 
generate a clock frequency that direct- 
ly correlates to the data transfer rate. 
Because the clock is customized to fit 
the data, variations in the speed of 
movement of the data can be accom- 
modated. 

It should be obvious from this brief 
account that the design of the data 
separator is no small task, and for this 
reason it contributes considerably to 
the end cost of a disk drive subsystem. 



126 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



m Iff ■ |J|| 

VDUAL presents economic elegance and 
high performance in a low-cost terminal. 




$695 li 



FEATU 


RE COMPARISON CHART 


FEATURE 


VISUAL 
50 


Hazeltine 
Esprit 


ADDS 
Viewpoint 


Lear 
Siegler 
ADM-5 


TeleVideo* 
910 


Tilt and Swivel 


YES 


NO 


NO 


HO 




Detached Keyboard 


YES 


NO 


YES 


NO 


NO 


N-Key Rollover 


YES 


NO 


YES 


NO 


NO 


Audible Key Click 


YES 


YES 


NO 


NO 


NO 


Menu Set-Up Mode 


YES 


NO 


NO 


NO 


NO 


Status Line 


YES 


NO 


NO 


;:o 


NO 


Full 5 Attribute Selection 


YES 


NO 


NO 


NO 


YES 


Smooth Scroll 


YES 


NO 


NO 


NO 


NO 


Line Drawing Character Set 


YES 


NO 


NO 


NO 


NO 


Block Mode 


YES 


YES 


NO 


NO 


YES 


Insert/Delete Line 


YES 


YES 


NO 


NO 


YES 


Bi-Directional Aux Port 


YES 


YES 


NO 


YES 


NO 


Columnar Tabbing 


YES 


YES 


NO 


NO 


YES 


Independent RCV/TX Rates 


YES 


NO 


NO 


NO 


NO 


Answerback User 
Programmable 


YES 


NO 


NO 


OPT. 


NO 



The VISUAL 50 represents a new 
approach in low cost terminals. Although it 
costs drastically less, it offers the features you expect 

from the high priced units. 

For example, the VISUAL 50 enclosure is econom- 
ically designed in light weight plastic and can easily be 
swiveled and tilted for maximum operator comfort. A detached 
keyboard, smooth scroll, large 7 x 9 dot matrix characters and 
non-glare screen are a few of the many human engineering 
features normally offered only on much higher priced terminals. 

Another distinctive feature of the VISUAL 50 is its emulation 
capability. VISUAL 50 is eode-for-code compatible with the 
Hazeltine Esprit,™ ADDS Viewpoint,™ Lear Siegler ADM-3A™ 
and DEC VT-52." Menu driven set-up modes in non-volatile 
memory allow easy selection of terminal parameters. 

And you're not limited to mere emulation. As the chart shows, 
the VISUAL 50 has features and versatility the older, less power- 
ful low cost terminals simply cannot match. 

The price of the VISUAL 50? Only $695 list. Call or write for 
full details on the latest in the industry's finest line of video 
terminals. 

Service available in principal cities through Sorbus Service, 
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Telephone (617) 851-5000. Telex 951-539 



Circle 445 on Inquiry card. 



butor/dealer network and its mark- 
ups. The kit comes with a standard 
90-day warranty, and the user must 
return defective drives to the factory, 
where they are repaired and returned 
within 30 days. With the package, the 
user can opt for a maintenance con- 
tract that provides a replacement 
drive within 24 hours if a drive needs 
repair. Additionally, the buyer of the 
UP-9705 can take advantage of com- 
pany-provided training, full docu- 
mentation, manuals, and a phone ser- 



vice for questions. Direct sales staff 
and after-sale support are two other 
services that Xebec provides for the 
packaged system. 

To keep the expenses of the kit to a 
minimum, Xebec is experimenting 
with a variety of low-cost support ac- 
tivities. A newsletter will provide kit 
owners with a place to exchange in- 
formation, ideas, and solutions to 
problems. Company representatives 
will attend Apple trade shows not to 
answer questions but to encourage kit 




The 

Microcomputer 

Maze 



The 

Pragmatic 

Solution 



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companies promising solutions to industrial and scientific problems, 

SOLUTION: since 1978 Pragmatic has integrated systems based on a 
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RESULT: a solution that solves your problem NOW and anticipates your 
future computing requirements. 

The Pragmatic solution runs CP/M, CP/M 86, 26, and MP/M compatible 
software. All systems include Wordstar™ for word processing, 
SuperCalc-86™ for business and financial planning and Ashton-Thte's 
dBase II™ for data base management. 

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owners to form users' groups. Where 
the kit is concerned, Xebec's goal is to 
avoid answering questions on the 
phone, debugging applications pro- 
grams, and holding the hands of inex- 
perienced users. If the company can 
avoid providing that support, the kit 
remains a less costly alternative for 
hobbyists and others who eschew the 
frills. 

As you can see, the cost of pro- 
viding the end user with a functioning 
drive is a factor of the cost incurred 
by the OEM. In our case, we have 
chosen to provide our customers with 
two options: a bare-bones kit with lit- 
tle in the way of after-sale support, 
and an assembled and tested package 
with several support services includ- 
ed. Which product the user buys will 
depend on his needs. The price dif- 
ference is substantial but is an ac- 
curate reflection of the differences in 
our costs for producing the two 
systems. ■ 



Testing the Bit Error Rate 

The difficulty facing anyone who 
wants to test a Winchester drive is that 
the bit error rate (BER) is so low that it 
is hard to determine what a valid sta- 
tistical sample size should be, Xebec 
uses a technique called phase margin 
analysis to handle this problem. 

The size of the data window and the 
position of the data in the window are 
important factors in the BER. Phase 
margin analysis artificially reduces the 
width of the data window and then 
counts the number of bits that fall out- 
side this boundary. With this ap- 
proach, the BER climbs enough to 
make analysis of the drives reliability 
easier and faster. The increased BER 
gives us a sample of significant events 
statistically large enough to make ac- 
curate predictions about the drives 
reliability. 

By using this method, we measure 
both actual errors and near misses. We 
don't attempt to predict the BER from 
analog measurements of signal-to- 
noise ratio or from maximum peak 
shift. Our experience shows that the 
artificially high BERs correlate reliably 
with actual BE Rs when the drive is in 
actual operation. By using this system, 
we also reduce the time needed to testa 
Winchester disk subsystem from 70 
days to 48 hours. 



128 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 351 on inquiry card. 




<r o 



•VJ? 



"i 



It I I $ I 7 I I I i I 



© 



■ 



WOW! 



Look what Saturn Systems 
has come up with! A multi- 
function board for the IBM PC 
with everything but the kitchen 
sink. No need to clutter up all your 
slots with assorted boards — this 
one does it all! You get: 

1. 64K bytes of RAM, with expan- 
sion sockets for up to 576K 

2. Hard disk interface (SASI host 
adapter) 

3. Two serial ports (COM1 and 
COM2) 

4. Real time calendar/clock with 
battery back-up 

5. Parallel printer port (LPT1, 
LPT2, or LPT3) 



And, assoonasyou open the 
box you'll find everything you 
need to put your board to work 
immediately. Saturn's software 
packages include: 

1. Print spooler to letyou keep 
using the computer while the 
printer is running. 

2. Hard disk support for current 
level of PCDOS. 

3. PSEUDO-DISK™ software to 
simulate a very fast disk drive 
(even faster than a hard disk!) 

4. Real time clock support, so you 
never have to type in the date 
and time. 



All this for only $795! Get the 
most out of your IBM PC. Ask for 
the Saturn multi-function board at 
your local dealer. (Larger memory 
models also available. )*64K internal 
RAM and 1 disk drive required. 



P.O. Box 8050 

Ann Arbor, Ml 48107 

(313) 973-8422 



INC. 



Circle 488 on inquiry card. 



Building a Hard-Disk Interface 
for an S-100 Bus System 

Part 1: Introduction 

How a Winchester disk drive 

and disk controller work, and what is needed to connect them 

to the S-100 bus and the CP/M operating system. 



The development and availability 
of inexpensive, high-performance 
Winchester-technology disk drives 
offers us the opportunity to vastly ex- 
pand the capability of micropro- 
cessor-based systems. The fact that 
these disk systems are both inex- 
pensive and intrinsically highly reli- 
able makes them extremely attractive 
as add-on devices for existing sys- 
tems. Over the past several months 
we at ASC Associates have designed 
and constructed 5y4-inch Winchester 
disk subsystems for several micropro- 
cessor systems. In this and two subse- 



About the Authors 

Andrew Cruce has a Ph.D. in Aeronautical 
Engineering and has recently received an S.M. 
degree in management as a Sloan Fellow at 
MIT. Scott Alexander has an M.S. in Electrical 
Engineering. Both have extensive design and 
implementation experience with small com- 
puters and are full partners in the firm of ASC 
Associates, which markets the hardware 
described in this series of articles. 



Andrew C. Cruce and Scott A. Alexander 

ASC Associates Inc. 

POB 615 

Lexington Park, MD 20653 

quent articles we will describe in 
detail all the hardware and software 
necessary to integrate a standard, 
commercially available Winchester 
disk with an existing S-100-bus, 
CP/M-based computer system. 



In terms of speed 

Increase, a hard disk 

Is to a floppy disk 

roughly what a 

floppy disk Is to 

a cassette tape. 

This month we'll review the general 
background information required to 
understand the following articles. 
Next month we'll explain the design 
steps required to interface the disk 
hardware with the system. In part 3 
we will cover the software necessary 
to make CP/M aware that the disk is 
on the system, and we will describe 



the initial integration and debugging 
process. We intend that at the conclu- 
sion of this series you will have suffi- 
cient background information to be 
able to construct and integrate the 
disk system described in these articles 
with an S-100, CP/M-based com- 
puter system. 

Why a Winchester? 

The first question you might ask is 
why go to all the trouble of putting a 
Winchester disk on a microprocessor 
system in the first place. The answer 
is twofold: increased storage capacity 
and speed. Current state-of-the-art 
5V4-inch floppy-disk-drive systems are 
limited to about 1 megabyte of stor- 
age per drive. The smallest Winches- 
ter systems, SVi-inch drives, can to- 
day store over 10 megabytes per 
drive, and these storage capacities are 
only the beginning. The development 
of newer-technology thin-film read/ 
write heads is expected to increase 
capacity by factors of four and more 



130 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



WHY A FORMS 

PROCESSING 

DATABASE? 



% 



? c *fe 



***°&8£* 



Wtgi 



^ T ^^^ E CLAm 



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The solution has arrived. VersaForm 
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THE IDEAL WAY TO USE 
A COMPUTER 

Just about any form in your office can 
provide a familiar and easily mastered 
interface to a personal computer. Simply 
copy aformtothecomputerscreen and 
you're set. 



BUILD YOUR DATABASE WITH ANY 
OF THESE FORMS 

• Bill of Materials 

• Client Billing 

• Freight Documentation 

• Insertion Orders 

• Insurance Claims 

• Inventory Ledgers 

• Invoices 

• Job Estimates 

• Medical Records 

• Personnel Histories 

• ProjectScheduling 

• Purchase Orders 



that does decimal alignment, tax calcula- 
tions, subtotals, payments, running 
balances, and allows you to make changes 
at any time. Ordinary databases simply 
can't doit. 

All these features and more are yours 
with VersaForm. A spectacularly useful 
print formatting capability enhances 
professional forms management. The 
magic of print formatting is the ability 
to producefrom a single form in your 
database, several completely different 
printed forms. For example, from a patient 
record you can produce a history chart, 
an insurance claim, a statement and 
standard dunning notice. 



Unlike any other system, VersaForm 
gets you started on a computer, working 
the way you're working now . . . you can 
even use your existing paper forms. 

UNIQUELY DESIGNED TO 
YOUR OFFICE REQUIREMENTS 

Most forms have two parts. The form 
heading contains information that appears 
only once on each form, like customer 
name or project number. The transaction 
region, below, has a variable number of 
lineitementrieswhich might contain 
quantities, descriptions, unit costs and 
extensions. These entries require a system 





EVERYDAY BUSINESS FORMS 

DEMAND A TWO-LEVEL RECORD 

STRUCTURE... 

ONLY VERSAFORM HAS IT. 




''NAME MICH"A£L . MOON . . . DATE. 8-31-82 . ,^ 

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ADDRESS 72D . SOUTH . B ST SUITE .3. 
CITY SAN MATEO . . ST . CA . , ZIP , 94401 


HEADING 


LN QTY Sl5<# DESCRIPTION UNITS EXT 

01 001 0110 APPLE II 1539.00 1539,00 

02 001 0020 DISKII W/CT 695.00 695.00 

03 001 V 0230 DISKII 595.00 595,00 

04 001 0030 16KRAM 99.00 99.00 

05 001 0050 12INMONT 2Z5\00 225.00 
W 0,15 0025 MINI FLOP 5.QO 75.00 
07 0O1 ■; 0001 VERSAJORM. 389.00 389.00 ,■ 

SUBTOTAL 3fi.1B.00 
TAX 217.08 
l TOTAL 3635.08 j 


LINE 
ITEMS 









MANAGEMENT REPORTS IN 
A HURRY 

The real power of a forms processing 
database is evident with VersaForm's 
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totalled. There's no complicated format to 
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i 



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Dealer and OEM inquiries invited 



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I n just minutes, a detail or summary 
report is automatically produced. What's 
more, you can run the report again and 
again without having to re-enter the 
instructions. 

APPLE 11////, HARD DISK, 
IBM PC DATABASE? 

VersaForm supports both floppy and 
hard disk sub-systems. You can swap 
data files between different systems 
through a hard disk-based network. From 
remote locations data disks can be consol- 
idated into company-wide reports. 

OPEN-ENDED SYSTEM. 

For special requirements, an optional 
OEM Pascal Interface provides sophisti- 
cated users and software developers with 
powerful VersaForm tools, allowing direct 
access to the B-tree indexed database. 
System integrators can add value by 
creating templates and writing custom 
interfaces. 

Users say VersaForm is the most power- 
ful and easy to use system around. That's 
because it's more than just a database; it's 
a true Business Form Processor. 







# 



Circle 30 on inquiry card. 



sf & 



BYTE March 1983 131 



in the next several years. 

The other advantage of a Winches- 
ter disk drive is its rapid operation. In 
terms of speed, a hard disk is to a 
floppy disk roughly what a floppy 
disk is to a cassette tape. For a Win- 
chester disk system, maximum seek 
times (maximum time to find data on 
the disk) are on the order of 150 to 
200 milliseconds (ms) rather than the 
several seconds associated with many 
floppy-disk systems. Also, once the 
data is located, it is transferred at 5 
million bits per second, which is 
much faster than existing floppy-disk 
systems. At these rates a Winchester 
system can access data anywhere on 
the disk and load 64K bytes of infor- 
mation in under 1 second. The low 
access times, high data-transfer rates, 
and large storage capacities of Win- 
chester drives allow us to realize the 
full processing power that is inherent 
in current microprocessor systems. 
Winchester drives open new vistas for 
such applications as large inventory 
systems, database management sys- 
tems, and data analysis applications. 



What Is a Winchester? 

The term Winchester comes not 
from an inventor's name, but from 
the code name IBM assigned to the 
development of the Model 3340 disk 
memory, which was introduced in 
1973. The industry as a whole has 
borrowed the Winchester name and 
now generally uses it to describe any 
disk drive using similar technology. 
The key element of the Winchester 
technology is that the head-to-disk 
assembly (HDA) is sealed from out- 
side air and the disk is generally non- 
removable. 

In some ways, the Winchester tech- 
nology is similar to conventional 
hard-disk drives. As with conven- 
tional hard disks, the read/write head 
floats over the recording medium on 
an air cushion that keeps the head 
from contacting the disk. In the case 
of the Winchester, however, the 
sealed and extremely clean environ- 
ment of the HDA permits the disk de- 
signer to ''fly" the read/write head 
closer to the disk surface. In typical 
removable-media hard-disk systems, 



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the read/write head flies 60 to 70 
microinches above the disk surface. 
The limitation on the distance the 
head flies above the disk is based on 
the minimum distance the head can 
fly safely above the disk and not risk 
contact with dust or any other con- 
taminant on the disk. Any contact of 
this type causes the head to stop fly- 
ing and crash on the disk surface. 
Such a crash normally ruins the read/ 
write head and the surface of the disk 
medium, results in a complete loss of 
data, and necessitates an expensive 
repair job. Sealing the HDA in a Win- 
chester drive provides a substantially 
cleaner environment than that of re- 
movable-media disks and allows the 
designer to fly the head about 20 
microinches over the disk surface. 
This lower head altitude provides 
higher magnetic flux densities at the 
recording surface and thus higher re- 
cording densities on the disk. 

During read/write/seek opera- 
tions, the Winchester head flies above 
the surface of the disk on an air bear- 
ing, supported by carefully balanced 
aerodynamic forces. As the disk 
starts or stops, the head takes off or 
lands in a silicone-lubricated landing 
area. When the disk is not spinning, 
the head rests on and actually con- 
tacts the landing zone on the disk. 

Winchester drives have a number 
of advantages over conventional 
hard-disk drives. First, they are very 
low cost both in absolute terms and in 
terms of cost per bit of storage capaci- 
ty. In addition, the sealed environ- 
ment of the HDA produces extremely 
high reliability with MBTF (mean 
time between failure) figures quoted 
in excess of 8000 hours. Winchester 
disk drives also require no preventive 
maintenance such as changing air 
filters or cleaning and aligning heads. 
This is of particular importance to 
owners of small, inexpensive com- 
puter systems who wish to have the 
capability associated with removable- 
media hard disks without the atten- 
dant maintenance hassles and ex- 
pense. The primary disadvantage 
comes from the fact that the storage 
medium (the actual disk platter) is not 
removable. This prevents us from 
backing up data files in the conven- 



132 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 75 on inquiry card. 



UNSIISKABLE PRICES 

One Hull of a Deal 



SYSCOM II 

Faithful to the Core 

$725 




COMPUTERS 

Apple— New models. New prices .... SCALL 

Atari 80048K $535 

Chamellon. Compac. Columbia 

(PC emulators) SCALL 

Commodore 64 Ask lor Packagell 

Franklin ACE 1000 S955 

IBM PC-MANY SYSTEM 

CONFIGURATIONS SCALL 

Kaypro— portable. 9" CRT. 2 drives. 

soltware $1695 

Osborne Double Density $1725 

Slimline S-100: Z-80. CP/M. 64K. 2 MByte 

drives Under $2000 

Syscom II— Apple II Plus emulator $725 

Syscom II PKG: 48K. Drive w/Controller. 

12" Hires Green CRT. Z-80 Card. 

80 Column Video Card. 16K RAM 

Card $1650 

FOR APPLE & FRANKLIN 

ALSZ-Card .'. $215 

Corvus all items .... $BIG DISCOUNT 

dBase II (requires CP/M) $395 

Z-80 Card— Applied engineering 

1-9pcs $175 

10+ pes $155 

Universities, clubs, and dealers welcome. 
Fourlh-D — parallel interlace, cable ..... $49 
Grappler ♦ (parallel, cable. 

graphics) $135 

Hayes Mfcromodem II $275 

Microtek Dumpling OX— graphics. 

Oto64Kbuffer $135 

■ Extra RAM-16K sets $20 

Hayes Mlcromodem II $275 

Rana Elite I $285 

Rana Elite II — double $455 

Rana Elite III— quad $585 

8" drive. 2MByte Floppy System .... $1695 
Omnlvlslon 80column. with soltware . . .$165 
Prometheus Expand-a-Ram. up to 

128K $195 

Videx Vldeoterm 80 column $245 

Visicalc 3.3 $179 

Vista Quartet (2 drives, thin. 640K. 

controller) $655 

" Vislon-80 $219 

" V 1200. 8MB removable cartridge .. $1325 

" 6MB extra cartridge $75 

VR Data 5MB Hard Disk with error 

correction $1575 

_ FOR IBM PC 

There is no market more competitive than IBM- 
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ASTRESEARCH CARDS NOW INCLUDE SPOOLER 
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AST ComboPlus 64K with Parallel. Serial. 

Clock $375 

AST MegaPlus 64K. expandable to 512K. 

SPC $435 

Corona 5MB Hard Disk $1495 

Parallel cable $35 

Serial cable $32 

RAM sets. 64k with parity $65 

Tandon TM 100-2 drive— with installation 

notes $237 

TANDON DRIVES 

TM-100-2-5- f /r DOUBLE SIDED $237 

TM-50-2-5-V/ THIN DOUBLE SIDED (STACKS 

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TM-648-2-8" DOUBLE SIDED/DOUBLE 

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CUSTOMERS: GET A S50 REBATE FOR BUYING 
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Suggested List S595 

Amdek 300G 12" green $145 

Amdek 300A amber $160 

Amdek 310G for IBM $170 

Amdek310A amber $180 

Amdek Color I $325 

Amdek Color II $685 

BMC 12" Green $89 

Dynax 12" green. 20MHz $129 

Dynax 12"amber.20MHz $145 

JCS RGB 111 (630 lines. 16 colors. PC cable) SOEMO REBATE 

Taxan/JCS 12" green $135 

Taxan/JCS RGB-1 $345 

fV , STAR MICRONICS 
\ GEMIN1 10 
S365 

Mr 



PRINTERS 

Epson MX-BOFT— w/Graphtrax Plus $485 

Epson MX-100— w/Graphtrax Plus $645 

Brother/Comrex— 17 cps Daisy $745 

F-10 Starwriter— emulates Diablo $1190 

IDS Microprlsm llOcps, 80 column, graphics $529 

IDS Prism 80 $850 

IDS Prism 132 . . $1025 

NEC 771D-1 $2065 

NEC 77301 lor IBM PC /. $2D95 

Okidata uses standard spool type ribbons 

u82A— 8D column. 12Dcps $395 

u83A— 132 column. 120cps S660 

u84AP— 200cps. 132 column, parallel $935 

u92A— ]60cps. 80 column $525 

Prowrlter/PMC— 80 column. 120cps. proportional $435 

Prowrlter 11—132 column. 120cps $655 

STAR MICRONICS Runs Epson soltware. lOOcps. l/t. graphics. 
Uses spool ribbons— a likely savings of $I00>. 

Gemini 10—80 column. 2k expandable buffer $365 

Gemini 15— 132 column $475 

ATARI 

Atari80048K $535 

Microtek 32k RAM (AT 400/800} — list $139 $105 

PercomRFD40-Sl (176K) — list $699 $545 

" RFD44-S1 (352K) — list $845 $685 

810 Disk $450 

830 Modem $159 

850Printer Interface $165 

Printer cable $35 

Serial cable $35 





S-IOOO THINLINE MAINFRAME 

+ 6 slot motherboard, cage + Power for S-100 
and 2 thinllne 8" drives + Fan. EMI f filer, con- 
nector cutouts + 12" wide * 19" deep *9.8" high 
1-4 pes . . . $475 5-9 pes . . . $450 
10+ $425 

CABLES 

Kaypro cabte. printer — 511 $35 

Osborne printer, parallel— 5lt $35 

Osborne serial, modem— 511 $35 

8" floppy. 6 ft. 50 conductor, for 2 

drives $35 

Also see Apple. IBM. and Atari 

SIERRA DATA SCIENCES 

• S-100 cards for single and multi-user 
systems • Multi-usersyslems need one mas- 
ter, one additional slave per user and TurboOOS 
software • Complete systems with drives and 
CRT terminal are available. 
Z-80 4MHz Master (64K/2serial/fioppy 

controller/hard disk port— 

SBC-100 $655 

Z-80 4MHz Slave (2 serial/2 parallei/64K/ 

EPROM programmer)— SBC-IOOS . . . $565 
4-Port serial communication board— 

ZSIO/4 $235 

RS-232 Multiplexor board- 
SOS MUX $235 

Hard disk interface for Micropolis— 

SOS-HOI-M $129 

CP/M for Master with BIOS— 

CPM/BIOS $150 

Turbo-Dos for Master with Slaves— 

TURBOOOS $645 

MODEMS 

Anchor Automation— FREE SOURCE 

subscription WORTH $100 

Markl.300baud ., $95 

Mark II. 300 baud. Atari $95 

Mark III. 300 baud. Tl $115 

Mark V. 300 baud. Osborne $115 

Mark VI. 300 baud. IBM PC $235 

Mark VII. 300 baud, auto 

answer/dial $135 

Mark VIII. 1200/300 baud, auto 

answer/dial $435 

9 Volt DC Adapter $10 

Hayes Smartmodem 300 $215 

Smartmodem 1200 $515 

Novation Apple-cat II $269 

212 Apple-cat $595 

D-cat $179 

Auto-cat $215 

212 Auto-cat $585 



ALPHA SOFTWARE 

Software for IBM PC and Apple II 
We recommend this software. The documenta- 
tion Is excellent, and the prices are compara- 
tively very low. 

DATA BASE MANAGER-PC $229 

MAILING UST-PC $85 

TYPEFACES-PC $105 

TYPEFACES-APPLE $105 

APPLE-IBM CONNECTION— transfers files 
between $175 



QUME DRIVES 



0T242.8"thin.dsdd $485 

DT842. 8" std. dsdd $495 

DT542. 5Vr. dsdd. 48 Ipi $295 

DT592. 5V«". dsdd. 96 tpi $385 

S-IOOO THINLINE COMPUTER 
SYSTEM 

• Z-804MHZ.64K.CP/M • 2 Thlnline drives. 
8". 2MByte • Mainframe • Add any standard 
video terminal and printer 

NOT $3500 NOT $2500 JUST $1895 

ADD-ON DRIVES FOR 
ZENITH Z-100 COMPUTERS 

• 2 Thinline 8" drives, double sided. 2MByte 

• Thinline cabinet, vertical, power supply, fan. 
cable 

Just plug It in $1175 

COMPUPRO (Godbout) 

Co-Processor 8086/8087 8 MHz $615 

Dual Processor 8085/8088 6MHz $385 

Disk 1. Floppy Controller $490 

RAM 17. 64K CMOS. 12MHz $515 

RAM 21. 128K Static. 12MHz S1 155 

M-Orive. 128K $1150 

S-100 Mainframe. 20 slot, rack $795 

S-100 Mainframe. 20 slot, desk $735 

System Support 1. 1/0 . . , $335 

Interfaces 3. 8 serial $615 

WABASH DISKETTES 

5'/T. Single Sided. Double Density with Hub 

Ring 
5 boxes $l7.50/box 

EPSON RIBBONS 

MX-80 black $25/3pcs. 

MX-10 black $39/3pcs. 

TELEVIDEO TERMINALS 

Extra Memory Pages (kit) INCLUOED— 
No Charge 

TVl925-w/2nd page $745 

TVI950-w/2nd. 3rd. 4th page $945 

MEMORY IC's 

416464K Dynamic 200ns $7.25 

4164 64K Dynamic 150ns $7.95 

4116 16K Dynamic 200ns $2.00 

2716 Eprom $4.00 

2732 Eprom $6.50 

6116 2K*8 Static RAM. 200ns $5.00 

6116M50ns $5.50 




Verify prices by phone. Add 2% for Visa or 
Mastercard. Add 6'/z% tax on California 
orders. Shipping is extra except within the 
Continental US on prepaid orders. S3 sur- 
charge on orders under S25. 

IRONSIDES 

COMFUTERCOKP 

(213) 344-3563 

(800) 528-9537 

18546 Sherman Way, 

Suite #110, 

Reseda, C4 91335 

Circle 226 on Inquiry card. 



CP/M 



PROCESSOR 



OTHER 
PERIPHERALS 



WINCHESTER 
DRIVE 






DISK 1 


NTERFACE 


DISK 
CONTROLLER 






SASI INTERFACE 


HOST 

COMPUTER 

ADAPTER 






S-100 


INTERFACE 





S-100 BUS 



Figure 1: A block diagram showing how a Winchester disk drive can be interfaced with 
an 5-100-bus computer system. 



tional way (that is, by making and 
storing an exact copy of the disk to be 
backed up). However, this problem 
can be overcome in systems that have 
a floppy disk in addition to the Win- 
chester drive. If you are willing to 
take the trouble, important files can 
be periodically backed up on floppy 
disks and saved in the event that a 
Winchester disk malfunctions. This 
may not be as convenient as standard 
backup procedures, but it can pro- 
vide a large measure of data security. 

Which Winchester? 

During the design process of our 
system we first had to decide which of 
the available Winchester disk systems 
we should use. Currently, Winchester 
disks are available from a variety of 
manufacturers with disk platters in 
different sizes, the most common be- 
ing 14-, 8-, and 5V4-inch diameters. 
We evaluated these three options by 
examining the requirements of a typi- 
cal microcomputer user. As storage 
densities have gone up, the 14-inch 
systems have grown to the point 
where they can store a staggering 
amount of data at a relatively low 
cost. Currently, 14-inch systems have 
storage capacities in the multiple hun- 
dreds of megabytes. Although this 
leads to a very attractive cost per bit 
of storage capacity, it also leads to a 
relatively high absolute cost for 



microprocessor applications. In our 
opinion this level of capacity far ex- 
ceeds the requirements of the typical 
microcomputer user. To a certain ex- 
tent, the same logic also applies to the 
8-inch drive systems. They are too 
big and too expensive for the highly 
price-sensitive microcomputer mar- 
ket. As a result, we homed in on the 
more recently available 5V4-inch 
drives as the best alternative. They 
are relatively inexpensive and are cur- 
rently available in models that can 
store over 10 megabytes of data. Ad- 
ditionally, expected technology im- 
provements in the near future will in- 
crease this storage capacity to over 40 
megabytes. Thus the 5V4-inch format 
will not only satisfy most of today's 
requirements but also will provide a 
large potential for growth. 

In addition to price and storage 
capacity there are a number of other 
features of the 5V4-inch drives that 
make them particularly attractive. 
One asset is a standardized drive in- 
terface that allows complete flexibili- 
ty in switching from one manufac- 
turer's drive to another in a com- 
pleted system. This also allows com- 
panies to build standardized control- 
ler boards, which greatly ease the sys- 
tem integration problem. The major 
advantages of the 5V4-inch Win- 
chester drive for microprocessor 
system applications are: 



1. low cost 

2. large storage capacity 

3. rapid access time 

4. high reliability 

5. no need for preventive mainte- 
nance 

6. common interfaces 

7. small and compact size 

8. low power requirements and low 
heat generation 

9. availability from multiple vendors 
with standard interfaces 



The Interface Problem 

The block diagram in figure 1 
presents a common approach to inter- 
facing a Winchester disk with an 
existing computer system. The exist- 
ing system contains a micropro- 
cessor, memory, and one or more 
peripherals that are all running under 
control of the CP/M operating sys- 
tem. All this hardware is plugged into 
and communicates via the S-100 bus. 
To add the Winchester system, the 
designer must provide an HCA (host 
computer adapter) that allows com- 
munication between the existing 
system bus and the disk controller. In 
addition, there must be a disk con- 
troller that accepts commands from 
the system via the HCA and in turn 
commands the Winchester disk to 
perform the desired functions. Final- 
ly, the designer must add software to 
the CP/M system to receive disk I/O 
(input/ output) requests from applica- 
tion programs, such as "read a file" or 
"write a file," and translate these re- 
quests into commands for the HCA. 

Now we'll discuss each of the 
elements in the Winchester system in 
more detail, concentrating on the 
operation of each element as well as 
the interfaces between the various 
elements. 

The Disk and Disk Interface 

A Winchester disk is similar to any 
other disk system in terms of opera- 
tion and organization. The disk can 
be considered to be composed of con- 
centric tracks of recorded informa- 
tion. Each track is further subdivided 
into sectors. A typical 5V4-inch Win- 
chester drive system may contain up- 
wards of 40,000 individual sectors, 



134 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



V %"* 



REFINED LUBRICANT 



ill 

7 



You can wait for industry standards 

to mandate improved performance. 

Or you can have it now on Maxell. 

The Gold Standard. 



What distinguishes a Maxell floppy disk? 
Improvements great and small achieved in a 
decade of innovation. We developed 
unique, uniform crystals to assure dense 
oxide packing, Intensified the calendering 
process to minimize the need for abrasive 
burnishing, Created an improved binder 
and lubricant. And a new jacket 
design that leaves industry standards 
in our wake. 

It would require photomicrographs 
to make some of these improvements f 
observable. On the job, the advan- 
tages become obvious. Resolution 
enhanced by 20% creates a cleaner 



signal output. And guarantees the read/write 
accuracy in double-density applications. New 
jacket construction, heat-resistant to 
140°F / extends disk use without risk of 
mistracking. In effect durability is re- 
defined. And in accelerated tests 
_, against the most respected names 
in the industry, Maxell sustained 
the highest and most consistent 
output over time. 

We applaud industry standards 

that aspire to dropout-free, 

reliable disk performance, 

The Gold Standard expresses 

a higher aim: perfection. 




maxell 

its worth rr 



Computer Products Division, Maxell Corporation of America, 60 Oxford Drive, Moonachie, N J. 07074 201-440-8020 

Circle 260 on Inquiry card. 



5 1/4- INCH 
WINCHESTER 



TO 
CONTROLLER 



TO 
POWER ( 
SUPPLY 





DRIVE SELECT (4 LINES) 




Jl 
CONNECTOR 




HEAD SELECT (3 LINES) 






STEP 






DIRECTION 






TRACK OOO 






SEEK COMPLETE 




INDEX 




READY 




OFF TRACK (OPTION) 




WRITE GATE 






WRITE FAULT 






MFM WRITE DATA 






J2 
CONNECTOR 




MFM READ DATA 






DRIVE SELECTED 






+ 5V 






J3 
CONNECTOR 




+5V RETURN 






+ 12V 






+12V RETURN 






FRAME GROUND 






J4 
CONNECTOR 









Figure 2: The standard 5 l A-inch Winchester disk-drive interface. 



each containing its own sector 
address information and data-storage 
space. As the following discussion 
will show, the operation of a Win- 
chester disk is very similar to that of a 
standard floppy disk. The major dif- 
ference is the speed of operation and 
the amount of data that a Winchester 
can hold. The speed of operation also 
requires that we use a dedicated hard- 
ware disk controller rather than have 
the controller functions performed by 
software as in a floppy-disk system. 
Figure 2 illustrates the standard 
5V4-inch Winchester disk drive inter- 
face, which connects the disk drive to 
the disk controller. Signals in this in- 
terface are of three basic types. The 
first type provides power required for 
disk operation, in this case + 12 and 
+5 volts DC. Signals of the second 
type are data signals that transfer 
data between the disk and the con- 
troller. The data is transmitted serial- 
ly at a 5-megabit-per-second rate in 
MFM (modified frequency modula- 
tion) format. The last type of signals 
are signals for control purposes that 



Now, here's a printer for you. 




The Silver-Reed EXP550 

Electronic Bi-directional, 

Daisy Wheel Printer. 



The new Silver-Reed EXP550 is 
one of the finest machines for 
the money on the market today. 
For starters, the EXP550 offers 
carrier feed in units of 1/120 
inch and forward/reverse paper 
feed in units of 1/48 inch. 
Other features include: 16 CPS 
Shannon text • Subscript • 
Superscript • Bold • 17 inch 
paper capacity • 10, 12, 15, 
PS pitch • and much more. 
The EXP550 will provide 
you with letter quality printing 
at a cost that will amaze you. 
For more information, call 
(800) 4214191 and ask for 
printer sales division. 



9 



SIIVEP-REED 

SILVER- REED AMERICA, INC. 

8665 Hayden Place, Culver City, CA 90230 

[213] 837-6104, Outside of California [800)421-4191. 



OEM & DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES WELCOME. 



136 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 393 on inquiry card. 



GTCO DIGITIZERS 



II 



m 



NUMBER ONE 



We Ye the largest producer of electro- 
magnetic digitizers. So we can deliver 
field proven tablets in the quantity you 
need . . . when you need them. 

Our Digi-Pad family uses new technology 
to provide unique digitizer features. 

PRESSURE PEN 

The pressure sensing pen option gives 
the operator a more natural input . . . 
perfect for the artist. 

4D 

The 4D option provides another indepen- 
dent variable proportional to stylus tilt 
and direction . . . like a joy stick. 

SELF DIAGNOSTICS 
A 4-tone alarm reports test results for all 
components including the tablet grid . . . 
insuring digitizer integrity. 

Every Digi-Pad is compatible. So when 
you develop your software and interface 
around our smallest and least expensive 
Digi-Pad (under $1000), you can inter- 
change any other size Digi-Pad without 
redesign. Digi-Pad is also compliant with 
U.L., FCC and many other standards. 

Give your system an edge. Choose the 
number one digitizer from GTCO. 
Call us at (301 ) 279-9550 today. 

n] GTCO Corporation 

£J 1055 First St./Rockviile, MD 20850 
(301) 279-9550 Telex 898471 




|||l| 



i!f !! 




1 



i 

i 




Circle 193 on inquiry card. 



ROTATION 




Figure 3: Reading a sector on a hard disk. In figure 3a the read/write headmoves to the 
proper track. In 3b the read/write head is positioned and waiting for the index pulse. 
When the index position passes under the read/write head (3c) , the disk controller starts 
reading the first sector on the selected track and continues to read until the desired sec- 
tor is reached. In figure 3d the desired sector is under the read/write head and the con- 
troller begins transferring data. 



allow selection of a particular drive, 
stepping of the read/write head in the 
selected drive, and control of other 
primitive disk functions. 

Probably the easiest way to under- 
stand disk operation is to go through 
the steps involved in seeking and 
reading data on a particular sector of 
the disk. In our case, these are the 
functions performed by the con- 
troller. As the first step in the process, 
the controller moves the read/write 
head to the track containing the 
desired segment by sending control 
signals to the disk drive. When the 
read/write head is on the proper 
track, the controller then waits for a 
specific portion of the disk called the 
index position to pass under the head. 
This index position provides orienta- 



tion information which identifies the 
start of a track. The controller then 
begins reading the serial data coming 
from the disk, looking at the sector- 
address information for each sector 
until it locates the address indicating 
the desired sector. The data im- 
mediately following this address is 
then captured and the read is com- 
pleted. This sequence of events is 
shown diagrammatically in figure 3. 

A disk- write operation is per- 
formed similarly. The same sequence 
of events occurs until the controller 
locates the proper sector. At this 
point, instead of reading data from 
the disk, the controller sends new 
data to the disk for recording. 

The final point to be covered is 
how the sector-address information is 



put on the disk in the first place. This 
process is called formatting. When a 
disk is formatted, the controller starts 
on track and, following the index 
position, writes the sector-address in- 
formation for the first sector on the 
disk. It then fills the data area follow- 
ing the first address with nulls or 
other characters to reserve the data 
space for future use. As soon as it has 
filled the area, the controller begins 
the process over again for the next 
sector, writing the sector-address in- 
formation and then reserving the data 
area. This process continues until all 
the sectors on the first track of the 
disk are formatted. The controller 
then steps the read/write head to the 
next track and repeats the process 
until it has formatted all the sectors 
on all the tracks. 

Formatting is typically performed 
only once because creating the sector 
addresses and reserving the data areas 
would destroy any previously stored 
information on the disk. When for- 
matting, we generally have to define 
the size of the data area associated 
with each sector. The size of this area 
affects the total number of sectors on 
the disk and thus the fraction of the 
available disk space that the sector- 
address information occupies. Typi- 
cally, these data areas are set up to 
hold either 256 or 512 bytes of infor- 
mation, although special applications 
could require different allocations for 
optimum storage efficiency. For our 
case we will restrict consideration to 
the 256- or 512-byte cases. 

Because of the need for formatting 
(i.e., placing sector-address informa- 
tion on the disk) manufacturers quote 
two storage-capacity measures for 
disk systems. The unformatted num- 
ber refers to the total amount of data 
that can be stored on the disk. The 
formatted number refers to the total 
amount of data space that is available 
on the disk after it has been format- 
ted. In general, the latter measure is 
of more importance to disk users. 

The Controller 

and Controller Interfaces 

Working backward from the disk 
drive toward the S-100 bus, the next 
device in the disk-drive subsystem is 
the disk controller. We just discussed 



138 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



text continued on page 142 



computers 
wholesale 



315472 3055 

Box91Brewerton,N.Y. 13029 



Circle 1 14 on inquiry card. 



rcra 



-SYSTEMS- 

I ALTOS 20% OFF LIST 

ACS-8000-2 $2649 

ACS-8000-10 6195 

ACS-8000-12 7189 

ACS-8000-14 8790 

ACS-8000-15 3739 

I MTU-1 2000 

MTU 2 2000 

I Series 5-15D 2285 

I Series 5-5D 4275 

ATARI 

800 (48K) $659 

400 (16K) 259 

810 Disk Drive 449 

850 Interface 169 

CROMEMCO 

CS-0 $1035 

CS-1 3195 

CS-1H 5595 

CS-2 3755 

CS-3 5595 

ZPU 315 

64KZ 585 

TuArt 249 

16FDC 475 

The complete CROMEMCO line is available. 

J INTERTEC 

I Superbrain II Jr $1969 

Superbrain II QD 2349 

Superbrain II SD 2650 

MORROW DESIGN 

I Decision I $1335 

Micro Decision w/Terminal 

1 Drive Call 

2 Drives Call 

| Discus 2D 830 

Dual Discus 2D 1385 

Call us for prices on the full MORROW line. 

NORTHSTAR 

| Advantage $2895 

Horizon 2Q-64K 2655 

HD18Mg. Disk 3879 

G CP/M® for Advantage 119 

We carry the complete North Star line— Call! 

TELEVIDEO 

TS-801 $2650 

802 2755 

| 802H 4755 

ZENITH 

I Z-89-80 CP/M® or H/DOS $2075 

I Z-89-82 CP/M® or H/DOS 2115 

Z-90-80 CP/M®or H/DOS 2115 

Z-90-82 CP/M®or H/DOS 2299 



Advertised prices reflect a cash discount on 
prepaid orders only. Most items are in stock 
for immediate delivery in factory sealed cart- 
Lons with full factory warrantees. 



-TERMINALS- 

HAZELTINE 

Esprit 429 

Esprit II 515 

Esprit III 715 

1420 589 

1500 845 

1520 1350 

Executive 80-20 Save! 975 

INTERTEC 

Intertubelll 725 

SOROC Call! 

TELEVIDEO 

910 $559 

912 659 

920 719 

925 719 

950 899 

X-tra Page Memory 80 

WYSE 

100 $749 

100. 2 Page 799 

ZENITH 

Z-19 $639 

ZT-1 549 

-PRINTERS- 

ANADEX 

DP9500 $1290 

2K Buffer 80 

9501 1290 

9620 1475 

CENTRONICS 

704-9Ser $1519 

704-11 Par 1569 

730-1 Ser Save! 299 

730-3 Ser 479 

737-1 Par 689 

C.ITOH 

Prpwriter 8510A Par $425 

Prowriter 8510A Ser 595 

Starwriter F10 Par 1370 

Starwriter F10 Ser 1370 

Printmaster F10 Par 1785 

Printmaster F10 Ser 1785 

C.ITOH Starwriter FIO-Tractor, 200 
Prowriter II Call 

DIABLO 

620RO25CPS $1275 

630RO4OCPS 1949 

Tractor, (for 630 only) 275 

EPSON 

MX-80 $440 

MX-80FT 520 

MX-100 715 

Serial RS232 w/2K 120 



INTEGRAL DATA SYSTEMS 

Prism 80 Basic. $750 

Prism 132 Basic 1075 

Prism80 Package 1299 

Prism 132 Package 1465 

Prism 80 All but color 1065 

Prism 132 All but color 1260 

Paper Tiger 445G 599 

Micro Prism 639 

NEC 

3510 $1515 

3515 1540 

3530 1650 

7710 2295 

7715 2395 

8023 465 

OKI DATA 

80 $300 

82A 395 

83A 639 

84S 1020 

84P 989 

Tractor for 80/82A 50 

SMITH-CORONA TP 1. . . . $629 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS 

TI-810 Basic $1289 

TI-810VCO/Full 1549 

TI-820 RO Basic 1545 

TI-820 KSR Package 1739 

-MONITORS- 

AMDEK 

100G 141 

Color 1 310 

Color II 649 

Colorlll 419 

300G 149 

BMC 

Green Phos $99 

SANYO 

9"Green Phos $159 

12"Green Phos 209 

13"Color 439 

ZENITH 

Z-121 115 

-HARD DISKS- 

CORVUS 

5MB $2555 

10MB 3995 

20MB 4795 

* Please specify what type of computer used 
Mirror Backup 629 

MAEZON 

5Mg $2235 

10 Mg 2760 

15 Mg 3020 

CP/M®-S100 75 



-MODEMS- 
HAYES 

Micro Modem 100 $279 

Micro Modem II 279 

Smartmodem 300 215 

Smartmodem 1200 520 

Chronograph 199 

NOVATION 

4102D $269 

D-Cat 145 

Apple Cat II 310 

Nov-212 1200 Baud 549 

SIGNALMAN 

MKI $79 

MK II 79 

MK IV 135 

MKVII 125 

-SOFTWARE- 
ASHTONTATE 

D Base II $593 

COMPU-View 

V-Edit 125 

MICROAP 

Select III 155 

Selector IV 245 

Selector V 455 

Glector 245 

MICAH 

CP/M^.X..... 225 

Expand 85 

MICROPRO 

Supersort I 165 

Supersort II 155 

WordStar 295 

Mailmerge 115 

DataStar 245 

CalcStar 225 

MICROSOFT 

Z-80 Soft Card 295 

Apple 16K RAM Card 165 

Edit80 85 

Macro 80 165 

Basic 80 275 

Bascom 305 

Fortran 80 335 

Cobol 80 565 

Softcard Premimum Pack. 625 

MICRO TECH CALL 

SORCIM 

Supercalc 225 

BLANK DISKS-Call for prices 
-MEMOREX, MAXELL, 
SCOTCH. VERBATIM- 

If you can't find what you 
need listed here, just call for 
the best prices on the items 
you require. 

N.Y. residents, add appropriate sales tax. 
Shipping is not included (unless otherwise 
stated) C.O.D.s require a 25% deposit. All 
prices and offers may be changed or with- 
drawn without notice. 



•■; 




mm 



PTUR 









COMPLETELY REDESIGNED. 
NOW, THE GRAPPLER + . 

The original Grappler was the first 
graphics interface to give you hi-res 
screen dumps from your keyboard. 
The new Grappler + with Dual Hi-Res 
Graphics adds flexibility with a 
side-by-side graphics printout of 
page 1 and page 2. 

The Grappler + can now be used 
with the Apple® Dot Matrix, 
the Okidata 84, and is Apple III 
compatibles addition, the IDS 
Grappler + is currently available 
with color capability, including 
color graphics screen dumps. 

UP TO 64K BUFFER OPTION 
An optional Buf f erboard can now 
be added to all existing Grappler 
and Grappler + interfaces. See 
your Apple Dealer for details. 

* Requires additional software driver. 

* Requires graphics upgrade. 

© Orange Micro, Inc. 1982 




ACTUAL APPLE II PRINTOUT USING GRAPPLER AND EPSON MX100 

WithThe 

Grappler + 

Printer Interface 




Circle 322 on inquiry card. 

CPM is a registered trademarkof Digital Research, Inc. 
Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 



THE GRAPPLER + FEATURES: 

• Dual Hi-Res Graphics • Printer 
Selector Dip Switch • Apple III 
Compatible* • Graphics Screen 
Dump • Inverse Graphics • 
Emphasized Graphics • Double Size 
Picture • 90° Rotation • Center 
Graphics • Chart Recorder Mode 

• Block Graphics • Bell Control 

• Skip-over-perf • Left and Right 
Margins • Variable Line Length 

• Text Screen Dumps • also works 
with Pascal and CPM. 

THE GRAPPLER + INTERFACES 
WITH THE FOLLOWING PRINTERS: 

• Anadex • Apple Dot Matrix 

• Centronics 122 • C. Itoh ProWriter 

• Epson MX-70,MX-80**, 
MX-80F/T**, MX-100 • IDS 460, 560, 
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SASI/V 
DATAC \ 

PORT ^ 



SASlf 
CONTROL < \ 
PORT l^ 1 - 



A 



SASI 
INTERFACE 



SERIALI2ER /DESERIALIZER 
ERROR CODE GENERATION 
AND CHECKING 



INTERNAL CONTROLLER BUS 



8-BIT 
PROCESSOR 



SECTOR 
BUFFER 



DISK CONTROL 

DISCRETES 

INTERFACE 



MFM DATA 
"TO DISK 



DISCRETE CONTROL 
SIGNALS TO DISK 



Figure 4: A block diagram of the disk controller. 



the signals that the controller uses to 
access particular sectors on the disk. 
Now we'll discuss how these signals 
are generated and, in general, how a 
controller operates. 

The controllers we will address are 
characteristically known as "smart" 
controllers. This means that they 
have some internal processing capa- 
bility and use this capability to per- 
form many of the interfacing chores 
with the disk without intervention 
from the host computer. The speed of 
the Winchester disk drive necessitates 
a dedicated controller to effectively 
handle all disk control and timing. 
Figure 4 presents a conceptual block 
diagram of this type of controller. 
The disk-drive interface, which we 
have already discussed, is on the 
right, and the interface to the HCA is 
on the left. A common interface be- 
tween the controller and the HCA is 
based on that developed by Shugart 
Associates, known as the Shugart 
Associates System Interface (SASI). 
As shown, the SASI consists of two 
8-bit connections. One set of 8 bits is 
for data and the other is for control 
signals. The control signals are split, 
with 5 bits used for controller-to- 
HCA signals and 3 bits for HCA-to- 
controller signals. 

Internally, the controller is a bus- 
structured device with an 8-bit pro- 



cessor, a sector buffer, a serial- 
izer/deserializer, the disk interface, 
and the SASI interface connected to 
the internal bus. Again, the easiest 
way to understand the operation of 
the controller is to go through a 
typical sequence of operations. In this 
case, the controller will perform a 
read operation from a particular sec- 
tor of the disk. The process starts 
when the host computer, using the 
HCA, generates a Select signal on the 
SASI interface. This alerts the con- 
troller that a command sequence will 
be coming in over the 8-bit data port. 
Through a series of handshakes, a 
command sequence consisting of 6 
bytes of data is passed through the 
data port of the SASI. These 6 bytes 
contain the command to be executed 
by the controller — in this case, read 
data — and the sector address of the 
data to be read. 

With this information, the con- 
troller begins to execute the requested 
command using its internal pro- 
cessor. It sends commands to the disk 
to move the read/write head to the 
track that contains the desired sector. 
Once the head arrives at the right 
track, it waits for the index pulse and 
then starts reading the data coming 
from the disk to find the appropriate 
sector. The 8-bit processor reads the 
data from the disk after it has gone 



through the serializer/ deserializer. 
The deserializer portion of this device 
receives the MFM data directly from 
the disk, performs error checking and 
error correction on the data, and then 
passes the data to the 8-bit processor 
(via the internal controller bus) in 
parallel byte format. Once the con- 
troller locates the desired sector, it 
transfers the data from the disk into 
the sector buffer. This buffer is essen- 
tially a RAM (random-access read/ 
write memory) chip that is used to 
store the information retrieved from 
the disk until it is requested by the 
host processor. The controller in- 
forms the host system, through the 
SASI port, when it has completed the 
data transfer. At this point the host 
can read the retrieved data out of the 
controller and take any appropriate 
action with it. 

A write operation is performed in a 
similar manner. In this case, the host 
sends the Select command and the 
6-byte command sequence to the con- 
troller that tells it to write data to a 
particular sector. The host then sends 
the controller the data to be written 
into the particular sector. The con- 
troller accepts this data and places it 
in the sector buffer. It then initiates 
the series of actions to find the sector 
to which the data is to be written. 
When the controller locates this sec- 



142 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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tor, it passes the data from the sector 
buffer through the serializer, which 
adds error detection and correction 
bits to the data, and then sends the 
result to the disk in serial MFM form. 
In addition to the read and write 
functions, a smart controller can per- 
form a number of other functions, in- 
cluding formatting the disk, refor- 
matting a particular track on a disk, 
and a variety of built-in test and loop- 
back test functions. These functions 
are initiated exactly like the read and 



write functions but with a different 
set of commands passed to the con- 
troller. 

The Host Computer Adapter 

The last piece of hardware required 
to complete the Winchester system in- 
terface is the host computer adapter 
(HCA). As figure 1 indicates, this 
adapter allows communication be- 
tween the host computer S-100 bus 
and the SASI on the controller. A 
number of options are available in de- 



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signing an HCA, but basically they 
boil down to the degree of intelligence 
that is to be incorporated into the 
HCA. In more simple designs, the 
HCA consists of only a couple of out- 
put ports on the S-100 bus with the 
proper address-decode logic. In this 
case, the two output ports on the 
S-100 bus correspond to the two 8-bit 
ports of the SASI interface, and the 
HCA is essentially a buffer device. 
The disk-driver software then manip- 
ulates these two ports to perform any 
required function exactly as if the 
controller were part of the system. 

More complex designs would allow 
the HCA to perform some of the 
functions that would be performed by 
the host computer in the simpler de- 
sign. Again, an example will best il- 
lustrate the process. Assume that a 
host system wishes to transfer a sec- 
tor of 256 bytes from the host system 
to the disk. In the case of the simple 
HCA design, the driver software 
would be informed by the operating 
system of this required transfer and 
then would send the proper com- 
mands to the controller to initiate the 
transfer process. In addition, the 
driver software would sequentially 
fetch each of the 256 bytes of data to 
be transferred from the host memory 
and pass it through the SASI data 
port to the controller. 

An alternate, more complex design 
of the HCA would eliminate much of 
this processing burden from the host 
system's processor. If the HCA were 
given DMA (direct memory access) 
capability, all the host processor 
would have to do would be to tell the 
HCA what sector to read or write to, 
where in host memory the data trans- 
fer was to begin, and how many bytes 
of data to transfer. The HCA would 
then take over the entire process of 
fetching the data from host memory 
and passing it to the controller and 
would simply inform the host proces- 
sor when the process was complete. 

As the description implies, pro- 
viding the HCA with DMA capability 
increases the total system perfor- 
mance by reducing the load on the 
host processor. This increased perfor- 
mance carries with it a penalty in 
terms of increased cost and complexi- 
ty of the HCA. In the design of our 



144 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 77 on inquiry card. 




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ORIGINAL 
JMP TABLE 



BDOS CCP 















FLOPPY 
BIOS 




FLOPPY 
BIOS 




* 










































NEW WINCHESTER 
BIOS a JMP TABLE 



BDOS CCP 



CP/M PRIOR TO 
RECONFIGURATION 



CP/M AFTER 
RECONFIGURATION 



Figure 5: A block diagram showing how the BIOS for the Winchester disk drive is in- 
serted into the CP/M operating system. 



system, we considered this trade-off 
carefully. In next month's article on 
the hardware design, we will go 
through these trade-offs in detail and 
describe what system we chose and 
the reason for that choice. 

Variations 

Up to now, we have described a 
general Winchester interface system 
that consists of a drive, a controller, 



and an HC A. Any given system must 
contain all these components. How- 
ever, there is considerable latitude in 
how these components are packaged. 
One common packaging strategy is to 
put the controller and HCA functions 
on the same board. In this configura- 
tion, a single board plugs into the 
S-100 bus and a ribbon cable connects 
this board to the disk. In another 
strategy, the HCA is plugged into the 




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146 



This space contributed as a public service. 

March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



S-100 bus and a ribbon cable connects 
the HCA to the controller and anoth- 
er ribbon cable connects the con- 
troller to the disk. This second con- 
figuration is likely to be more com- 
mon because it allows builders of 
controllers to build one controller 
card that is applicable to many 
systems. In fact, as you will see next 
month, this is the configuration we 
chose. 

In the previous discussions, we 
have not mentioned the possibility of 
adding multiple Winchester drives to 
a system. This is certainly possible 
and can be done with very little 
design effort. In most cases, the in- 
cremental cost of the second drive 
amounts to only the cost of the drive 
itself and the interconnection hard- 
ware. We will cover this option in 
detail next month when we discuss 
the specifics of the hardware im- 
plementation we chose and the par- 
ticular controller hardware. 

Operating System 
Considerations 

The final step in integrating a Win- 
chester disk into an existing S-100 
CP/M-based system is to somehow 
make the CP/M operating system 
aware that the disk is part of the 
system. This is done by expanding the 
existing CP/M BIOS (basic input/ 
output system) to include the new 
disk. The existing BIOS contains all 
the software necessary to run the cur- 
rent peripherals on the system. The 
modification we need would keep 
these existing routines and add the 
necessary routines to communicate 
with the new Winchester disk drive. 
The simplified memory map of CP/M 
both before and after the required 
modification, presented in figure 5, 
shows how this can be done. At the 
top of the existing BIOS is a jump 
table that points to the various 
primitive disk functions for an exist- 
ing system. These functions include 
set track, set sector, select disk, read 
sector, write sector, etc. In order to 
add these functions for the new disk, 
the CP/M system is moved using the 
MOVECPM utility, and a new jump 
table is installed that points to the 
new disk routines. This new code, in 
addition to performing the required 



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BYTE March 1983 147 



disk functions, keeps track of which 
disk is selected. If the Winchester is 
the selected disk, then these new 
routines perform any requested func- 
tions. On the other hand, if another 
disk or peripheral is selected, say the 
existing floppy disk, then the com- 
mands are passed directly to the old 
BIOS routines for that system. In this 
way, with a minimum of difficulty, 
the disk primitive routines for the 
new disk can be included in the 
CP/M system. We will cover the de- 
tails of the BIOS routines for the Win- 
chester system as well as the pro- 
cedures for reconfiguring the existing 
system in part 3. 

Summary 

So far we have covered, in a gen- 
eral way, all the components required 
to interface a Winchester disk with an 
existing S-100, CP/M-based system. 
You should now have a fairly com- 
plete understanding of what a Win- 
chester disk is, how it operates, and 
what some of the differences are be- 
tween Winchester disks. In addition, 



you should now have a general grasp 
of the 5V4-inch drive interface, the 
Shugart Associates Standard Inter- 
face, the functions of a smart con- 
troller, and the host computer 
adapter. In parts 2 and 3 we will 
cover a specific example of the inter- 
facing process in detail, using com- 
mercially available equipment: next 
month we will describe the hardware 
including the HCA, the controller, 
and a disk power supply; and in the 
final article we will describe the soft- 
ware aspects of writing new BIOS 
routines for CP/M and reconfiguring 
the system to include the new Win- 
chester disk drive. 

These articles will cover only the 
details of interfacing with S-100 
CP/M-based systems. For interfacing 
with other computers and operating 
systems, however, the procedure is 
much the same. First, an HCA must 
be designed to allow communication 
between the host computer and the 
disk controller. Then the equivalent 
of the CP/M BIOS must be found in 
the operating system used, and new 



code must be generated to include the 
Winchester disk system. Depending 
on the availability of documentation 
on the hardware and operating sys- 
tem, this may or may not be an easy 
task. Hopefully, this series will pro- 
vide a reference point from which to 
proceed. ■ 



The Winchester disk drive subsys- 
tem described in this series of articles is 
available as a completely assembled 
unit from ASC Associates of Lexington 
Park, Maryland. In addition to the 
S-100 version discussed, versions are 
also available for TRS-80 and Apple 
computers. The disk-drive systems for 
these computers use the same drive and 
controller hardware as the S-100 ver- 
sion but use a different host computer 
adapter and interface software. Until a 
nationwide dealer distribution net- 
work is established, these systems will 
be available by mail order for $1995. 
To order or obtain further informa- 
tion, write to ASC Associates Inc., 
FOB 615, Lexington Park, MD 20653, 
or phone (301) 863-6784. 



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COMPUTER 
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(619) 579-0330 

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EL CAJON, CA. 92021 






■' 



The Panasonic portable computer 

We've improved the way 



■ THE i» 

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Telecomputin g 2™— It lets you telecommunicate with your data base. You can establish 
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remote stations. Access timesharing services and store data in a large computer's mass storage. 
You can also upload and download program data. 







• 






with a wide range of new software, 
you solve problems. 



Portaflex —A master program that allows you to create solutions for applications, such as: 

o Inventory Control —Analysis and control of inventory while you're on the job. 

° Order Entry— A customized system for any sales order entry. It offers you productivity, and the 
advantage of faster order entry. 

n Field Service — Retrieve, diagnose, and analyze your field service data wherever you are in the field. 

n Auditing and Accounting —Custom auditing and accounting, anywhere you are in the field. 

n Estimating — Versatility for flexible bidding and estimating at your job site. 

Software Development Tools for the Customizer — Create your own custom programs and burn 
them into your EPROM so your program is recorded in nonvolatile form. 

Simply take a desk top microcomputer* insert the software development discs, create your own 
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♦Presently offered for Apple II Plus. 



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The Panasonic portable computer offers 6502 
microprocessor (1 MHz) technology. 

a It offers 4K or 8K internal nonvolatile RAM 

□ 48K internal ROM 

□ Built-in Ni-Cad rechargeable battery pack 

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a 8K or 16K RAM memory expansion packs 

□ X-Y, four-color plotter (up to 80 characters per line) 

□ TV adapter (32 characters X 16 lines with color 
and graphics) 



The Panasonic portable computer. It's improved the way you solve problems. Because we believe 
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The portable computer from Panasonic. We've improved the way you solve problems. 

Link Panasonic. It's changing the way the world uses computers. 







Please send me more information. 

Panasonic Company, Hand-Held Computers 
One Panasonic Way, Secaucus, New Jersey 07094 



Name (PLEASE PRINT) . 
Title & Company 



Dealer Inquiries Invited 



v\ Type of Business 

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tauu )\ ^ 

uuu i City 

Phone Number ( 



I 
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Circle 339 on Inquiry card. 



NAPLPS: A New Standard 
for Text and Graphics 

Part 2: Basic Features 

How to encode text and simple graphics elements 
in a standard and efficient manner. 



Last month in part 1 of this series 
we introduced the North American 
Presentation-Level-Protocol Syntax 
(NAPLPS, or ''nap-lips"), which is an 
ASCII-like standard that can be used 
to facilitate the interchange of both 
textual and graphical information. 
The graphical information is encoded 
in a very portable and resolution- 
independent form, which can be dis- 
played on a large number of suitably 
equipped display terminals, printers, 
or plotters. 

This month the basic features and 
specific coding formats of NAPLPS 
are introduced. The emphasis will be 
on the set of Picture-Description In- 
structions (PDIs), around which most 
of the important features of NAPLPS 
revolve. 



A Picture Is Worth 284 Bytes 

The easiest way to explain the 
detailed coding formats of NAPLPS is 
to use the simple picture (or frame) 
shown in figure 1 (on page 164), 
which illustrates many of the basic 



About the Author 

Jim Fleming was a member of the original 
small group of engineers at Bell Laboratories 
who developed PLP (Presentation-Level Proto- 
col). PLP was later standardized as NAPLPS 
by the ANSI X3L2.1 committee. He is now an 
independent consultant specializing in interac- 
tive computing systems. 



152 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Jim Fleming 
Unir Corporation 

Suite 106 

5987 East 71st St. 

Indianapolis, IN 46220 



NAPLPS features. Listing 1 (pages 
154-163) is an annotated version of 
the NAPLPS codes used to produce 
this picture. As you can see, although 
the annotated listing is quite long, the 
actual coding consists of only 284 
bytes. 

For the sake of simplicity, this pic- 
ture was created using the 7-bit form 
of NAPLPS. As you may remember 
from last month, NAPLPS can use 
either 7 or 8 bits. If we had used the 
8-bit form, the coding would be even 
shorter. 

Op Codes and Operands 

As can be seen in listing 1, a 
Picture-Description Instruction usual- 
ly consists of an op code and an 
operand. The op code specifies a par- 
ticular function; the optional 
operand(s) specify the data needed by 
the function. Figure 2 (on page 166) il- 
lustrates the general op code/ operand 
structure used in NAPLPS. 

In NAPLPS it is very easy to dis- 
tinguish between the op codes and the 
operands. As can be seen, bit 6 is a 
for an op code and a 1 for an 
operand. This distinction allows us to 
have variable-length operands, as 
long as each operand byte has bit 6 
set to a 1. Another nice feature is that 
if the PDIs are presented in octal form 
as in listing 1, it is easy to distinguish 
the operands from the op codes. Oc- 
tal codes with a first digit of (e.g., 



045) are op codes, while a first digit of 
1 (e.g., 154) indicates an operand. 

Bit 5 will always be a 1 for an op 
code. This distinguishes op codes 
from the standard control codes in 
the CO set. The lower 5 bits of an op- 
code byte are used to indicate the par- 
ticular function. These 5 bits accom- 
modate 32 op codes, which are shown 
in figure 3. Most of these op codes 
will be covered in this article. 

The operand bytes shown in figure 
3 all have bit 6 set to 1. The lower 6 
bits (bits through 5) are thus avail- 
able to encode data, the format of 
which is dependent on the op code 
preceding the data. 

The 6 bits available in each 
operand byte can be formatted in a 
variety of ways. Figure 4 illustrates 
the four standard operand-encoding 
formats used in NAPLPS. 

The fixed format for operand en- 
coding is the simplest and most flexi- 
ble. (Isn't it interesting that something 
''fixed" can be "flexible"?) Fixed- 
format operands are used for small 
bit fields (6 bits or less) and often con- 
tain a few suboperands. For example, 
in the Text op code (see figure 7), a 
fixed operand is used to encode the 
Text Rotation (2 bits: 0, 90, 180, or 
270 degrees), Character Path (2 bits: 
Right, Left, Up, or Down), and Char- 
acter Spacing (2 bits: 1, 1.25, 1.5, or 
Proportional). The fixed-format 
operands are used in most of the 

Text continued on page 164 



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ERG/68000 

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206-631-4855 



Listing 1: An annotated listing ofNAPLPS codes used to produce the designs in figure 1. 
Note that each byte is given in its octal form. This makes it easy to distinguish op codes 
(first digit = 0) from operands (first digit = 1). Coordinates are described in terms of 
both their fractional form and their equivalent form for a 256 by 256 screen. For exam- 
ple, in lines 11-13 the coordinates (0.375,0.25) are equivalent to (96,64) on a 256 by 256 
grid. The notation (dx,dy) refers to coordinates relative to the present drawing point. 



Byte Octal symbolic 

No. Form Form Description 



Get ready for graphics ( 7 Bit Mode ) 
SO Select Gl ( PDI Graphics ) 

Set color to BLUE 



016 



2 074 

3 111 



4 040 

5 120 



8 


043 


9 


100 


10 


067 


11 


111 


12 


140 


13 


100 


14 


110 


15 


140 


16 


100 


17 


110 


18 


102 


19 


100 


20 


106 


21 


106 


22 


100 


23 


140 


24 


100 


25 


100 


26 


100 


27 


106 


28 


107 



29 



100 



SET Set Color 
BLU X100B00B 

Draw the sky by clearing 

the screen to the current color (BLUE) 

RES Reset 

Clear screen to current color 





. 


Change color to GREEN 




• 


for the grass 


6 


074 


SET Set Color 


7 


144 


GRN X1G00G00 



Make sure polygons are not highlighted 
or textured 

TEX Texture 

Solid areas, lines and no highlight 

Draw the grass 

SPF Set Polygon Filled 

■ (X,y) = ( .375, .25) => (96,64) 



(dx,dy) = (+.375,+.0) => (+96,+0) 



- (dx,dy) = (+.25, +.0625) => (+64, +16) 



- (dx,dy) = (+.0,-.3125) => (+0,-80) 



(dx,dy) = (-1.0, +.0) => (-256, +0) 



- (dx,dy) = (+.0,+. 21484375) => (+0,+55) 



Listing 1 continued on page 156 



154 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



«&s 




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ZIP MBASIC. CBASIC $129 

Real Estate Analysis $ 1 1 6 



APPLE II® 



BRODERBUND 

G/L (with A/P) $444 

Payroll $355 

INFO UNLIMITED® 

Easy Writer (Prof) $155 

Datadex $129 

EasyMailer (Prof) $134 

Other less 15% 

MICROSOFT* 

^ Softcard (Z-80 CP/M) $239 

Fortran. $179 

Cobol $499 

Tasc $139 

s Premium Package $549 

• RAM Card $129 

MICROPRO® 

^Wordstar $199 

MailMerge S 99 

Wordstar/MailMerge $349 

SuperSort I $159 

Spellstar $129 

CalcStar $175 

DataStar $265 

VISICORP® 

• Visicalc3.3...... $189 

Desktop/Plan II $219 

Visiterin $ 90 

Visidex. $219 

Visiplot $180 

Visitrend/Visiplot $259 

Visifile $219 

Visischedule $259 

PEACHTREE® 

G/L. A/R. A/R Pay or 

Inventory (each) $224 

Peach Pack P40 $795 

SOFTWARE DIMENSIONS, INC. 

Accounting Plus II, 
G/L.AR.ARor 

Inventory (each) $385 

(Needs G/L to run) 

OTHER GOODIES 

Super-Text II $127 



,COME 
WATER. 



Data Factory $134 

DB Master. $184 

Versaform VS1 $350 

VH1 $445 



16-BIT SOFTWARE 



WORD PROCESSING 

IBM PC 
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• Spellstar $175 

Mailmerge $109 

Easywriter $314 

Easyspeller $159 

Select/Superspell $535 

Write On $116 

Spellguard 

(also available for 

8" 8086 systems) $229 

SPLaw 

(for Spellguard) $115 

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BSTAM $149 

BSTMS $149 

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MP/M86 .$585 

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Easyfiler $359 

Mathemagic S 89 

CP/M Power S 65 

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Condor 20Q $175 

Condor 20R $265 

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Optimizer $174 

Desktop Plan II $219 

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Many others available for use 
with the "Baby Blue Board®" 
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SuperCalc $269 

CP/M Power $ 65 



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8" OSI 

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Micropolis/Vector Graphic 

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Hewlett-Packard 125 

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IBM PC 



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Outside Continental U.S.— add $10 plus Air Parcel Post • Add $3.50 postage and handling per each item 

• California residents add 6J4%sales tax- Allow 2 weeks on checks. COD. $3.00 extra- Pricessubjecttochange 

without notice. All items subject to availability • ® — Mfgs. Trademark. Blue Label $3.00 additional per item. 

CP/M is a registered trademark of DIGITAL RESEARCH. INC. 

THE DISCOUNT SOFTWARE GROUP 

6520Selma Ave. Suite 309 - Los Angeles, Ca. 90028 • {213) 837-5141 

Int'lTELEX 499-0446 DISCSOFT LSA • USATELEX 194-634 (Attn: 499-0446) 
TWX 910-321-3597 (Attn: 499-0446) 

Circle 152 on Inquiry card. 



Circle 347 on inquiry card. 



P&T CP/M @ 2 is 
GROWING a 



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Start with a Model II floppy system and 
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Special note: P&T hard disk systems 
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Write for more details. 

PrepaidVISA, M/C, orCODordersaccepted. 
All prices FOBGoleta and subject tochange. 
CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital 
Research. TRS-80 is a trademark of Tandy Corp. 



PICKLES T)ICKLE< 
& TROUT 



P.O. BOX 1206 

GOLETA, CA 93116 

(805) 685-4641 



"fSoiff 



Listing 1 continued: 



30 


152 




} " (dx,d^ 


31 


140 




} 




• 


Change 


to RED 


32 


074 


SET 


Set Color 


33 


122 


RED 


X10R00R0 



34 
35 



36 
37 
38 
39 

40 
41 
42 
43 



44 
45 
46 
47 

48 
49 

50 
51 
52 
53 

54 
55 
56 



57 
58 
59 
60 



62 
63 
64 
65 
66 



67 



68 
69 



043 
104 



044 
110 
127 
104 

061 
100 
174 
100 



045 
170 
104 
140 

074 
100 

065 
100 
141 
107 

107 
146 
101 



045 
107 
125 
144 



110 
157 
165 
163 
145 



016 



074 
155 



(+.171875,+. 0625) => (+44, +16) 



Make sure highlighting is on 
TEX Texture 

Draw the house 



SPA 



FJEF 



Point Set Absolute 

} 

} - (X,y) = ( .3125, .234375) => (80,60) 



Rectangle Filled 

} 
} 
} 



(dx,dy) = (+.21875, +.125) => (+56, +32) 



Draw the roof 



SPR 



SET 
BLK 



POF 



Point Set Relative 

} 
} 
} 



(dx,dy) = (-.234375, +.125) => (-60, +32) 



Set Color 



Polygon Filled 



(dx,dy) = ( + . 125, + . 05859375 ) => (+32, +15) 



(dx,dy) = (+.125, -.0625) => (+32,-16) 



Label the "House" 



SPR 



SI 

"House' 

H 
o 
u 
s 
e 



Point Set Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = (+.078125, -.078125) => (+20,-20) 

} 

Select GO (ASCII Text) 



Back to graphics 

SO Select Gl (PDI Graphics) 

Set color to CYAN (Light Blue) 



SET 
CYN 



Set Color 
X1G0BG0B 



Label "BIRDS" before drawing them 



Listing 1 continued on page 159 



156 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



CP/M 



APPLE 




WordStar® 

$299 


dBASE II ™ 

$489 


SuperCalc™ 

$189 


Multiplan™ 

$199 


Perfect Writer " 

$199 


WordStar® 
MailMerge" 

$429 


WordStar® 
dBASE II 

$749 


VisiCalc® 

$189 


SuperWriter" 

$249 


InfoStar" 

$299 



ASPEN SOFTWARE™ 

Grammatik $ 60 

Random House Proofreader S 39 
Random House Thesaurus $119 

Univ. of Chicago Manual 



Financial Management 
Series 



CALL 



of Style 
ASHTONTATE™ 

dBase II 


$119 
$489 


CONTINENTAL SOFTWARE™ 

Home Accountant 


CALL 


DIGITAL RESEARCH™ 

CBASIC 


$ 99 


FOX AND GELLER™ 

Quickcode 
dUtil 


$229 
$ 69 



MICROPRO® 

WordStar $289 

MailMerge $149 

WordStar/ MailMerge $389 

WordStar/MailMcrge/SpcllStar $529 



IUS™ 

Easy writer 11 
Easyspeller 1 1 
Easyfiler 



$239 
$139 
$269 



WordStar/ InfoStar 

InfoStar 

CalcStar 

DataStar 

SuperSort 

SpellStar 

ReportStar 

DataStar Update 

MICROSOFT™ 

Multiplan 

Softcard 

Ram Card 

All Three Above 

Videoterm (Videx™) 



$549 
$299 
$ 89 
$179 
$149 
$149 
$229 
CALL 

$199 
$259 
$ 89 
$509 
$269 



Enhancer II (Videx™) 


$119 


SILICON VALLEY SYSTEMS™ 




Basic 80 


$275 


Word Handler 


$149 


Basic Compiler 


$295 


List Handler 


$129 


MICROSTUF™ 




SOFTWARE PUBLISHING™ 




Crosstalk 


$135 


PFS: File 


CALL 


PERFECT SOFTWARE™ 




Other Products 


CALL 


Perfect Writer 


$199 


SORCIM™ 




Perfect Speller 


$129 


SuperCalc 


$189 


Perfect Writer/Speller 


$309 


SuperWriter 


$249 


Perfect Calc 


$139 


SpellGuard 


$129 


Perfect File 


$249 


TCS ACCOUNTING™ 




All Four Perfect Products 


$649 


General Ledger 


$ 99 


PICKLES AND TROUT™ 




Accounts Payable 


$ 99 


CP/M forTRS Model II 


$169 


Accounts Receivable 


$ 99 


CP/M for TRS Model 16 


$189 


Payroll 


S 99 


Hard Disk 


CALL 


All Four Above 


$289 


OASIS™ 




Inventory Management 


$ 99 


The Word Plus 


$129 


VISICORP® 




Punctuation and Style 


$109 


VisiCalc 


$189 






All Other VisiCorp Products 


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NOW, PAY LESS, AND GET GREAT SERVICE, TOO! 



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TO ORDER, CALL TOLL-FREE: 

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In California, 800-622-0678 
or 415-644-3611 

C A residents add sales tax. 

OR WRITE: 
800-SOFTWARE, INC. 

3120 Telegraph Avenue, 
Berkeley, CA 94705 

Circle 2 on Inquiry card. 



AOO- SOFT WARE) 



■TOR? 



□ Purchase orders accepted 

□ Prompt UPS 3 day Blue Label 
service 

□ Call for shipping charges and our 
other low software prices. 

□ Now open Monday through 
Saturday. 

□ Dealer and quantity discounts 
available. 

□ Prices may change. 

©Copyright WJO-Snttware I9R1 

BYTE March 1983 157 



SUPER BARGAINS 



ACE 1000 COLOR 

COMPUTER! List $1545 

SHARP COMPUTER 249 
















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SUPERBRAIN II 

Double Density 1894 

Quad Density 2274 

Super Density SD 2649 

COMPUSTARS 

TO DEALERS CALL & SAVE 

Advanced Micro Digital S-100 Super- 
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RAM, Disk Controller, 
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ACS-8000-15D List 5990 

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ATARI 400 289 

800 655 

PRINTERS 

OKIDATA82A 489 

CENTRONICS 739-1 499 

IDS PRISM 80 743 

EPSON MX-80 FT 547 

MX-80 459 

MX-100 749 

ANADEX9501A 

Silent Scribe 1345 

NEC #3510 Letter Quality 1623 

C. ITOH F10 Letter Quality .... 1399 
Smith Corona TP-1 595 

TRAXX 5V4" Add-on Drives 249 

Memory Merchant 16K static ... 159 
Central Data RAM S-100 64K ... 299 
Systems Group 

RAMS-10064K 449 

Microangelo Video Graphics 715 



AMERICANSQUARECOMPUTERSis 
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Z-89 48K Computer 2119 

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G reen Screen monitor 125 

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or EMULATOR $710 

AMDEK Color Monitor $329 

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FREE Business Software 

Empire I . . . List 4888 . . . Only 3495 

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SSM Video BRD VB3 kit 361 

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ADVANTAGE 64K Green Phosphor. 
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with 1 57." Disk .. I $949 ... $1049 
with 2 5 %" Disks ..1545 ... 1400 




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Powerful North Star BASIC Free 

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Horizon Standard is now HRZ-2-64K 

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MICROSTAT $355 

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Order Entry 399 

PROPAC 1299 

DOS + BASIC 5.2 28 

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Only 200 & UP 

MODEMS 

DC HAYES — S-100 $329 

POTOMAC MICRO MAGIC ....369 

SIGNALMAN 97 

CAT NOVATION 159 

AUTOCAT 215 



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Technician on Duty. 



DECISION I 



"The IBM-360 on theZ-80 & S-100 BUS!" 

Sixteen Programs running simultan- 
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HD -8" DRV Reg. 6235 

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MORROW Hard Disks 
up to 26 MEGABYTES 

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DMA-M16 2795 

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with Discus system or hard disk. 

FAST FIGURE — Most powerful 
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99 

Wordstar 278 

All MicroPro Software for IBM, Apple, 
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Call for latest prices & availability 



AMERICAN 




ISQUARE 



919-889-4577 

158 BYTE March 1983 



4167KivettDr 




Factory Guarantees 



We Beat Prices 



COMPUTERS 



Jamestown N.C. 27282 



919-883-1105 
Circle 22 on Inquiry card. 



Listing 1 continued: 



70 044 SPA Point Set Absolute 

71 102 } 

72 150 } - (X,y) = ( .15625, .52734375) => (40,135) 

73 107 } 

74 017 SI Select GO (ASCII Text) 

"BIRDS" 



75 


102 


B 


76 


111 


I 


77 


122 


R 


78 


104 


D 


79 


123 


S 



80 016 



81 


057 


82 


101 


83 


167 


84 


120 


85 


107 


86 


107 


87 


144 


88 


107 


89 


107 


90 


124 


91 


055 


92 


100 


93 


100 


94 


124 


95 


100 


96 


100 


97 


166 


98 


043 


99 


100 


100 


045 


101 


100 


102 


111 


103 


112 


104 


055 


105 


107 


106 


107 


107 


144 


108 


107 


109 


107 


110 


124 


111 


055 


112 


100 


113 


100 


114 


124 


115 


100 


116 


100 


117 


166 



Back to Graphics 
SO Select Gl ( PDI Graphics ) 
Draw bird with black wing tips 
SAF Set Arc Filled 

" (X,y) = ( .1953125, .46875) => (50,120) 

- (dx,dy) = (+.015625, -.015625) => (+4,-4) 

- (dx,dy) = (+.0078125, -.015625) => (+2,-4) 

ARF Arc Filled 

- (dx,dy) = ( + .0078125, + .015625) => ( +2 , +4 ) 

- (dx,dy) = ( + .0234375, + .0234375) => ( +6 , +6 ) 

Draw bird without black wing tips 
TEX Texture 

SPR Point Set Relative 

- (dx,dy) = (+.03515625, +.0390625) => (+9, +10) 



ARF 



ARF 



Arc Filled 

- (dx,dy) - (+.015625, -.015625) => (+4,-4) 

- (dx,dy) - (+.0078125, -.015625) => (+2,-4) 

Arc Filled 

- (dx,dy) = (+.0078125, +.015625) => (+2, +4) 

- (dx,dy) = ( + .0234375, + .0234375) => ( +6 , +6 ) 

Listing 1 continued on page 161 
Circle 303 on inquiry card. » 




Get the 

total 

picture. 



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NEC's JC-1203 gives you the highest 
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Compare these specs with your present 
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12-inch diagonal screen 



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ii&^- 



1 



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IT'S INCREDIBLE 

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No matter how you look at it, 
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Also included are CP/M 2.2, 
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Yes, I know a good deal when I see one. 
Send me the KAYPRO 10. My: □ check for 
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AE valid thru. 

VISA, MC expires 

Name 



Address _ 

City 

State/Zip . 

Signature 



I. 



CONTINUUM. 21006 Devonshire St., 
Chatsworth, California 91311. (213) 998-8766 



(800) 624-3089 outside ca 



(800)624-3090 inside ca 



Circle 120 on Inquiry card. 



Listing 1 continued: 



118 
119 
120 

121 
122 

123 
124 
125 
126 

127 
128 
129 

130 
131 
132 
133 

134 
135 
136 

137 
138 
139 
140 

141 
142 
143 

144 
145 
146 
147 

148 
149 
150 

151 
152 
153 
154 

155 
156 
157 

158 
159 
160 



161 
162 
163 
164 



044 
122 
160 

074 
177 

055 
170 
170 
146 

100 
110 
133 

055 
100 
110 
107 

107 
107 
165 

055 
100 
121 
111 

107 
105 
104 

055 
177 
157 
133 

170 
150 
173 

065 
100 
101 
171 

100 
110 
164 

107 
126 

115 



045 
170 
142 
124 



165 017 



166 
167 



103 
114 



Draw Cloud 

SPA Point Set Absolute 

} 

} " (X,y) = (.6875,-5) => (176,128) 

SET Set Color 
WHT X1GRBGPB 

ARF Arc Filled 

- (dx,dy) = (-. 015625,+. 0234375 ) => (-4, +6) 

- (dx,dy) = (+.04296875, +.01171875) => (+11, +3) 



ARF 



ARF 



POF 



Arc Filled 

- (dx,dy) = (+. 03125,+. 02734375 ) => (+8, +7) 

- (dx,dy) = (+.0234375, -.01171875) => (+6,-3) 

Arc Filled 

- (dx,dy) = (+. 06640625,+. 03515625 ) => (+17, +9) 

- (dx,dy) = (+0. 0,-. 078125 ) => (+0,-20) 

Arc Filled 

■ (dx,dy) = (-.08203125, -.01953125) => (-21,-5) 

■ (dx,dy) = (-.06640625, + .01171875) => (-\l,+3) 

Polygon Filled 

- (dx,dy) = (+.02734375, +.03515625) => (+7, +9) 

- (dx,dy) = (+. 0546875,+. 015625 ) => (+14, +4) 

- (dx,dy) = (+.06640625, -.04296875) => (+17,-11) 



Label "CLOUD" 

SPR Point Set Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = (-.1171875, +.078125) => (-30, +20) 

} 
SI Select GO (ASCII Text) 
"CLOUD" 



C 
L 




Get the 
picture 

that's worth 
more than 
a thousand 
words. 



Make your present system easier to 
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NEC's JB-1260 combines good looks and 
high quality with a very attractive price. 
Special dark bulb goes extra easy on 
your eyes. Use with Apple" II, Apple II+, 
Apple III* Osborne," and many others, 
including NEC's own PC-8800, PC-8000, 
and NEC TREK (PC-6000). 

Compare these specs with your 
present monitor: 

12-inch diagonal screen 

8x8 dots 

1 5mHz video bandwidth 



80-character, 25-line display 
90-degree deflection 
600 f H| x 230 (V) lines 



Listing 1 continued on page 162 
Circle 304 on inquiry card. » 




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Model HS-2900 

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Computer 
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$488.00 

• Z80 • ROM/RAM total 10KB •IEEE-488 I/F (TMS9914) 

• RS-232C I/F (8251) • Parallel 6ports (8255) • + 5Vonly 




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Listing 1 continued: 



168 
169 
170 



171 



172 
173 



117 
125 
104 



016 



074 
155 



174 


045 


175 


107 


176 


104 


177 


152 


178 


043 


179 


102 


180 


051 


181 


177 


182 


165 


183 


164 


184 


045 


185 


100 


186 


122 


167 


142 


188 


043 


189 


101 


190 


051 


191 


177 


192 


165 


193 


164 


194 


043 


195 


100 


196 


045 


197 


100 


198 


122 


199 


147 


200 


051 


201 


177 


202 


165 


203 


164 


204 


045 


205 


100 


206 


122 


207 


140 



Back again 

SO Select Gl ( PDI Graphics ) 

Set color to CYAN again for the rain 



SET 



Set Color 
XIGOBGOB 



Draw Rain using various textured lines 

SPR Point Set Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = (+.01953125,-. 1171875) => (+5,-30) 

} 

TEX Texture 

} 

LIR Line Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = (-.0390625,-. 078125) => (-10,-20) 

} 

SPR Point Set Relative 

) 

} - (dx,dy) = (+.078125, +.0703125) => (+20, +18) 

} 

TEX Texture 
} 

LIR Line Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = (-.0390625, -.078125) => (-10,-20) 

) 

TEX Texture 
} 

SPR Point Set Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = ( + . 078125, + . 08984375 ) => (+20, +23) 

} 

LIR Line Relative 

} 

} - (dx,dy) = (-.0390625, -.078125) => (-10,-20) 

} 

SPR Point Set Relative 

} 

) - (dx,dy) = (+.078125, +.0625) => (+20, +16) 

} 
Label the "RAIN" vertically 



208 


042 


TXT 


Text 


209 


114 




Char Path Down 


210 


017 


SI 
"RAIN" 


Select GO (ASC 


211 


122 


R 




212 


101 


A 




213 


111 


I 




214 


116 


N 





Back to Graphics 



162 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Listing 1 conti 


nued: 




215 016 


SO 


Select Gl (PDI 




Reset 


to normal text 


216 042 


TXT 


Text 


217 100 




Char Path Right 



218 
219 



220 
221 
222 
223 

224 
225 
226 
227 

228 
229 
230 

231 
232 
233 

234 
235 
236 

237 
238 
239 



240 
241 
242 
243 

244 



245 
246 
247 
248 

249 



074 
100 



044 
100 
100 
100 

065 
120 
106 
102 

100 
121 
146 

100 
120 
140 

177 
155 
166 

167 
142 
162 



044 
120 
102 
104 

017 



122 
117 
101 
104 

016 



50 


042 


51 


100 


52 


100 


53 


100 


54 


112 


55 


144 



256 


044 


257 


112 


258 


105 


259 


107 



Set color to BLACK 

( actually transparent ) 



SET 
TRN 



Set Color 
X1000000 



Draw the road 

SPA Point Set Absolute 

■ (x,y) = (0.0,0.0) => (0,0) 



POF 



Polygon Filled 

- (dx,dy) = (+.5 ,+.1953125) => (+128 ,+50) 

- (dx,dy) = (+.078125,+. 0546875) => (+20, +14) 

- (dx,dy) = (+. 078125,+. 0) => (+20, +0) 

- (dx,dy) = (-.0703125,-. 0703125) => (-18,-18) 

- (dx,dy) = (-.3515625, -.1796875) => (-90,-46) 




Label the "ROAD" 



SPA 



Point Set Absolute 

} 

} - (X,y) = ( .5, .078125) => (128,20) 



Select GO (ASCII Text) 



SI 

"ROAD" 

R 

A 
D 

SO Select Gl ( PDI Graphics ) 

Change Size of text 

TXT Text 



- (dx,dy) = (+.046875, +.078125) => (+12, +20) 



Draw BLACK "Figure 1" 
as base for drop shadow 



SPA Point Set Absolute 

) 

} ~ ( X /Y) = ( .25, .6859375 ) => (64,175) 

} 



Improve the output of your present 
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from NEC. 

For good-looking copy in a hurry, it's 
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columns. Special 2K buffer holds a page 
of data, so the unit can print while you're 
typing in something else. Corrfpatible 
with a wide range of computers, from 
Apple" to Zenith"*. 

Compare these features with your 
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Tractor and friction feed 



Complete ASCII characters plus 
Greek, math, and graphic 
characters 



Elite, pica, compressed print, 
proportional spacing, subscript 
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Standard parallel Centronics 
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Prints clear original and up to three 
copies simultaneously 

*Special cables may be necessary. 
Contact your local NEC Home 
Electronics dealer 




Productivity at your fingertips 



virr 



Listing 1 continued on page 164 
Circle 305 on inquiry card. » 



NEC Home Electronics (U.S.A.}, Inc. 
Personai Computer Division 

1401 Estes Avenue 

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 

(312)228-5900 

Nippon Electric Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan 



Listing 1 continued: 

260 017 SI Select GO (ASCII Text) 
"Figure 1" 



261 


106 


F 


262 


151 


i 


263 


147 


g 


264 


165 


u 


265 


162 


r 


266 


145 


e 


267 


040 


space 


268 


061 


1 



269 



016 



Finish drop shadowing with yellow over black 
SO Select Gl ( PDI Graphics ) 



270 
271 


074 
166 


SET 
YEL 


Set Color 
X1GR0GR0 






272 
273 
274 
275 


044 
102 
176 
170 


SPA 


Point set Absolute 

) 

} " (x,y) = ( .24609375, 

} 


.6875) 


=> (63,176) 



276 



277 
278 
279 
280 
281 
282 
283 
284 



017 



106 
151 
147 
165 
162 
145 
040 
061 



SI Select GO (ASCII Text) 

"Figure 1" 

F 
i 

g 

u 
r 
e 
space 

1 



The end 



Text is still large and 
YELLOW is the current color 




Figure 1: A simple picture produced by the NAPLPS codes in listing 1. (Photo courtesy 
of the Unir Corporation.) 



Text continued from page 152: 

''control-oriented" NAPLPS func- 
tions. 

The single-value format is used 
when a common integer is needed. 
This format is used when specifying 
color indexes and blink rates (in 
tenths of a second). The single-value 
format is encoded using 1 to 4 bytes, 
each containing 6 bits of data. In the 
default mode, 1 byte is used, thus 
allowing numbers in the range to 63 
to be encoded. In the maximum mode 
(4 bytes or 24 bits), numbers from 
to 16,777,215 can be specified. 

The most common format in 
NAPLPS is the multivalue operand. 
The multivalue-operand format has 
two coordinate forms and a color 
form, as shown in figure 4. 

The coordinate forms are used to 
encode (x,y) or (x,y,z) coordinate 
locations in the unit screen. In the 
two-dimensional mode, each 6-bit 
operand contains 3 bits of x and 3 bits 
of y. Multivalue operands are nor- 
mally encoded in 3 bytes. Therefore, 
9 bits of resolution are encoded for 
each coordinate. The 9 bits allow for 
a sign bit and 8 data bits, which 
results in coordinates suitable for a 
256 by 256 resolution display. 

NAPLPS supports multivalue 
operands up to 8 bytes. The 8 bytes 
each contain 6 data bits. Therefore, 
48 bits are available to be split be- 
tween the coordinates. In two-dimen- 
sional mode the 24 bits available for 
each coordinate can support displays 
with a resolution of 8 million by 8 
million points! This exceeds the 
resolution of most media, including a 
page in this magazine. 

The multivalue-operand format is 
also used for color specification. 
Various amounts of green, red, and 
blue are specified using this multibyte 
format. Each 6-bit data item contains 
2 bits of each color. The colors are in- 
terlaced as shown in figure 4, with 
green being first and thus least likely 
to be truncated. This takes advantage 
of the fact that the human eye is more 
responsive to green than it is to red 
and blue. 

The 8-byte multivalue-operand for- 
mat will again yield 48 bits of color 
information that results in 
280,000,000,000,000 colors. With the 
maximum display resolution and the 



164 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The ultimate under $1000 printing machine. 







^ Q ^ 1983 1984 



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7 6 5 4 3 2 10 




Fl nECD; E T ri*i°i : : ! : : Do, 






ixhi : : : : : i 


> OPERANDS 




lx|*l : : : : : i 




LAST BfTE 1 y 1 ! I ' • ' T T 1 
RPCFIVFP ! 1 1 i i i i ± J 


f 0- OP CODE 
^ 1- OPERAND 





Figure 2: The general structure for op 
codes and operands of the Picture- 
Description Instructions (PDIs) in 
NAPLPS. 



maximum color resolution, NAPLPS 
can support displays with 2 96 bits of 
display memory! At today's memory 
prices, such a display would cost $750 
billion billion billion dollars. (No 
wonder semiconductor companies are 
interested in NAPLPS.) 

The final operand format is the 
string operand. This format is used 
when a long string of bits is needed 
that may require hundreds or 
thousands of bytes to encode. This 
format is used when sending high- 
resolution pictures and for encoding 
compressed chain-coded images. 
These techniques will be discussed in 
part 3 of this series. 

The operand/op code encoding 
structure of NAPLPS allows a variety 
of formats and subf ormats. Many of 
the op codes contain one or more of 
the operand types. For example, the 
Text op code, which will be described 
in detail later on, is followed by two 
fixed-format operands and a multi- 
value operand. The total number of 
operand bytes for this op code is 
variable, but the first 2 bytes will 
always be interpreted as fixed-format 
bytes and the remaining bytes will be 
considered as part of a multivalue 
format. Because of the variable- 
length nature of the operand encod- 
ing in NAPLPS, operands can be 
truncated and/or omitted with a con- 
sistent result dependent on the op 
code active at the time. 

Picture-Description Instructions 

The Picture-Description Instruc- 
tions (PDIs) are used to encode 




Figure 3: The complete set of Picture-Description Instruction op codes in NAPLPS. 



graphics images in NAPLPS. Codes 
from the PDI G-set and the ASCII- 
like text set can be intermixed on the 
same frame. Most of the common 
PDIs have been used to encode the 



described here with references to the 
coding in listing 1. 



Reset 

The 



Reset PDI is illustrated in 



image in figure 1. These PDIs are figure 5. It is used to clear the screen 



166 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



text continued on page 1 70 




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Apple II ts a trademark of Apple Computer 



Circle 25 on Inquiry card. 




Apparat, Inc. 



^ 



It's the same old 
Apple II. 







For years, people have been 
trying to build a better Apple* II. 

It finally happened. 

Meet the Apple He, an 
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most impressive machine. 

The "e" means enhanced. 
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A standard memory of 64K 
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A new, improved keyboard, 
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Improved peripheral ports. 
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that go with an Apple Personal 
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. 






Except for the font, 
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Self-diagnostics. That's a 
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Plus an even more reliable 
design. Achieved by reducing 
the number of components — 
which is to say, the number of 
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And bear in mind, the He 
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So visit any of our over 1300 



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Like the original, its rather 
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Circle 26 on inquiry card. 

Call (800) 538*9696 for the location of the authorized Apple dealer nearest you, or for information regarding corporate purchases through our National Account Program. 
In California (800) 662-9238. Or write Apple Computer Inc.. Advertising and Promotion Dept., 20525 Mariani Ave.. Cupertino. CA 95014. ©1983 Apple Computer Inc. 






JL 



MSB 



XI 



SI 



rxTrr^ 



1-4 
' BYTES 



2-BIT OPERAND 

3-BIT OPERAND 

■ 1-BtT OPERAND 



L- LSB 



a) FIXED 



b) SINGLE -VALUE 



2 DIMENSIONS 



Ixhl 


— i — i — 

X 


V 1 




Nil 


X 


V 





3 


DIMENSIONS 


F 


|i 


\i 1 i M I 




IT" 


h 


I'lllil 



c) MULTIVALUE 



COLOR 


|X|1|G|H|B|G|R|B| 




|x|i|g|rJb|g|r|b| 



1-8 
BYTES 



XI 



i i — i — i i 



nnr 



T 1 1 1 1— 



1-N 
' BYTES 



d) STRING 



Figure 4: The various formats for the operands of the PDls in NAPLPS. 



and initialize various attributes. Two 
fixed-format operand bytes contain 
nine suboperands. The second 
operand byte can be omitted when 
those operations are not needed. If 
both operand bytes are omitted, a 
complete Reset is performed. 

The screen is cleared based on the 
value in bits 4 to 6 of the first operand 
byte. The eight combinations are 
shown in figure 5. In the example 
frame (line 4), the screen is cleared 
once to establish the blue sky. The 
fixed-format operand (octal 120 at 
line 5) indicates that the screen should 
be cleared to the current in-use color 
(in this case, blue). Note that the sec- 
ond fixed-format operand byte is 
omitted. The op code at line 6 in- 
dicates that the previous operation 
and op code have ended. 

Domain 

The Domain PDI is used primarily 
to control the size of data operands 
for subsequent PDIs. As shown in 
figure 6, the Domain PDI is made up 



of a fixed-format operand followed 
by a multibyte operand. The fixed- 
format operand controls the size of 
single-value operands and multivalue 
operands as well as the dimensionali- 
ty of coordinates. 

The multivalue operand is used to 
control the size of the logical drawing 
point. 

Text 

The Text PDI controls attributes 
related to text and "text-like" sym- 
bols. As discussed in part 1, text sym- 
bols are unique in the sense that they 
are rectangular templates that contain 
a figure. When a text symbol is re- 
quested, the proper template is posi- 
tioned at the current drawing point, 
the template is scaled as specified by 
the text size, and the drawing is per- 
formed. 

Figure 7 illustrates the Text PDI 
and operands. Two fixed-format 
operand bytes contain six sub- 
operands. Each of the suboperands 
has four possible values. As can be 



RESET 

7 6 5 4 3 2 10 
OP CODE (2/0) | X | | 1 | | | | | | 



OPERAND (SEE BELOW) X1B.B.BC.CD 



OPERAND (SEE BELOW ) X 1 R M X U F T 



B B B Color 

No action 

1 Physical display area to 
nominal black 

1 Physical display area to cur- 
rent drawing color 

1 1 Border area to nominal black 

1 Border area to current drawing 

color 

1 1 Physical display area and 

border area to current drawing 
color 

1 1 Physical display area to cur- 
rent drawing color and border 
area to nominal black 

1 1 1 Physical display area and 

border area to nominal black 

C C Color mode 

No action 

1 Select color mode 0, set color 

map to default colors, and set the 
in-use drawing color to white 

1 Select color mode 1 and set color 

map to default colors. If this is ex- 
ecuted while in color mode 0, it 
has the same effect as "11." 
1 1 Select color mode 1, set color 

map to default colors, and set the 
in-use drawing color to white 

Miscellaneous Resets 

D Domain 

T Text 

F Blink 

U Unprotected (User) 

Fields 

X Texture 

M Macro PDIs 

R DRCS 



Figure 5: The operand structure for the 
Reset instruction. 



seen, these suboperands control at- 
tributes such as rotation, spacing, 
and cursor style. 

The multivalue operand following 
the two fixed-format operands is used 
to specify the size and orientation of 
the text template. The size is ex- 
pressed in terms of relative coor- 
dinates, which we will indicate by the 
notation (dx,dy). This is to 
distinguish relative coordinates from 
absolute coordinates (x,y) that refer 



170 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Circle 73 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 171 



DOMAIN 

7 6 5 4 3 2 10 
OP CODE (2/1) |x|0|l|0|0|o|oll| 



OPERAND (see below) |x|l IdJM.M.mIs.S | 



LOGICAL 
PEL 
SIZE 



BE ■ ■ I ■ ■ I 
EB , I I ■ ■ I 

d x d y 



MMM 





1 

1 

1 

1 
1 
1 1 



ss 

00 

1 

1 

1 1 



Dimensionality 

two-dimensional 
three-dimensional 

Length of Multivalue 
Operands (Bytes) 

1 

2 

3 (default) 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

Length of Single-Value 
Operands (Bytes) 

1 (default) 

2 

3 

4 



Figure 6: The operand structure for the 
Domain instruction. The Logical Pel Size 
can be thought of as the size of the draw- 
ing pen. 

to specific points on the unit screen. 

In the example frame, text is used 
to label the objects as well as the en- 
tire figure. Most of the text is encoded 
in the standard manner and therefore 
no Text PDI is needed. The first Text 
PDI appears in line 208 and is used to 
change the Character Path from left- 
to-right to down. This allows the 
word "RAIN" (lines 211-214) to be 
sent without repositioning the draw- 
ing point. 

Note that the second fixed-format 
operand and the multivalue size 
operand are omitted because only the 
Character Path is being changed. 
Also note that because the Character 
Path is being changed, the other two 
suboperands in that byte (Interchar- 
acter Spacing and Rotation) have to 
be restated or "refreshed." It is as- 
sumed that the NAPLPS code gen- 



TEXT 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 



OP CODE (2/2) |x|0[l|0[0|0|l|0| 



OPERAND (see below) | X ] 1 | I , I | P , P | R , R | 
OPERAND (see below) |x|l |c ,C|M,M| S,s| 



CHARACTER 

FIELD 

SIZE 



[xM 



dy 



I lntercharacter Spacing 

1 (default value) 

1 1.25 

1.5 

1 Proportional spacing 

P Character Path 

Right (default) 

1 Left 

Up 

1 Down 

R Rotation 

(default) 

1 90 

180 

1 270 



C C Cursor Style 

Underscore (default) 

1 Block 

1 Cross-hair 
1 1 Custom 

M M Move Attribute 

Move together (default) 

1 Cursor leads 

1 Drawing point leads 

1 1 Moving independently 

S S Interrow Spacing 



1 (default) 

1.25 

1.5 

2 



Figure 7: The operand structure for the 
Text instruction. 



erator will always have knowledge of 
the current settings of these 
suboperands so that such a refresh is 
easy to do. 

The Text PDI is used again in lines 
250-255. The size of the text is 
changed to label the figure. The 
Character Path is also set to left-to- 
right. The (dx.dy) of ( + 0.046875, 



TEXTURE 

7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


OP CODE (2/3) | X | | 1 | | | | 1 |l | 


OPERAND ( see below ) |x|i|p,P,p|h|l.l| 


r , 


\VV\ , , 1 , , 1 

MASK SIZE < : 


1 |x|i| . . 1 . . 1 


d x d y 

P P P Texture Pattern 

Solid (default pattern) 
1 Vertical hatching 
1 Horizontal hatching 

1 1 Vertical and horizontal 

crosshatching 

1 Mask A 
1 1 Mask B 
1 1 Mask C 
1 1 1 Mask D 

H Highlight 

Off 

1 On 

L L Line Texture 

Solid (default) 

1 Dotted 

1 Dashed 

1 1 Dotted-dashed 



Figure 8: The operand structure for the 
Texture instruction. 



+ 0.078125) results in a character 
twice as big in both dimensions as the 
default characters. If you want to find 
out how many of these characters 
could fit on a line, you could divide 
1.0 by 0.046875, which results in 21.3 
characters per line. 

It should be noted that no other 
Text PDIs appear after the one in line 
250. At the end of the frame, the text 
size is still large. When the next frame 
is sent, the text size should be 
changed back to its default state. This 
is typically done with a global Reset 
at the beginning of the frame. 

Texture 

The Texture PDI applies to the tex- 
turing of filled areas and lines (see 
figure 8). Line texturing can be set so 
that dotted, dashed, or dotted-dashed 
lines will be drawn instead of the nor- 



172 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



LET THE "ANGEL" DO THE 
WAITING 



Two RS-232C Connectors for serial in 

put and output 



6 Leds to indicate power, transmission 
and reception status, buffer activities, 
page number, etc. 

SKIP and REPRINT provide independant 
page controls to reprint portions of • 
documentation. 

40 Pin Expansion Bus available for 
future expansion 

COPY provide convenient one key opera- 
tion for single copy or multi-copy of text" 

3 externally accessible Dip Switches for 
baudrate, device type, and parallel and 
serial selections. Selections can be made^ 
without losing buffer 



Connect an "ANGEL" between your com- 
puter and your printer, and let the "ANGEL" 
do the waiting .... 

Your valuable computer spends 95% of its 
time waiting for the printer to catch up... and 
while the computer waits, the payroll con- 
tinues. 

The computer sends data to the "ANGEL" 
at speeds up to 1 9. 2K baud. The "ANGEL" 
stores data and sends it to the printer at a 
speed the printer can handle, and your com- 
puter is free to continue working without in- 
terruption. 

A USER WRITES: 
"1 tried the "ANGEL" with my Altos 
system connected to an Epson MX-100, 
both set at 9600 baud. Without the 
"ANGEL" it takes 30 minutes to print 210 
doctors' requisition forms. With the 
"ANGEL" installed, my computer is free 
after 90 seconds." 
With "ANGEL'S" self diagnostics and 
memory test, the entire system thoroughly 
checks itself every time you power up. 
PAGE REPRINT is another unique feature. 
EXAMPLE: You are printing a 32 page 
report, and the paper jams at page 1 1 . 
Reset the printer to the top of the form, 
press PAGE REPRINT, and resume printing 
at the top of page 1 1 . Want to restart two 
pages back? Press PAGE REPRINT twice, 
and you resume at page 10. 






Function keys extend the useful com- 
mands to more than 10. including: hex- 
dump, memory test, remote loading, etc. 

Independant PAUSE and HOLD con- 
trols to suspend transmission and recep- 
tion. 



Two 20 Pin Edge Connectors for parallel 
input and output 



"ANGEL" is compatible with almost all Micro-Computers, including IBM, Apple, TRS-80, Vector Graphic, NorthStar, Altos, 
Xerox, Heath, Zenith, NEC, DEC, etc., with RS-232 serial, Hardware Handshaking, or Centronics compatible parallel interface. 
The manufacturer reserves the right to change the product specification. 



...And think of these other possibilities: 
HEX DUMP. Display or printout every bit 
of data your computer sends out to the 
printer in an easy-to-read Hexidecimal and 
ASCII format. A must for your programmer. 
Pause and Hold for real time programs. 
Page skip for selective printing. What a 
waste to print the entire documentation if 
you only need part of it. 
Simple external switch settings, let the 
"ANGEL" accept either RS-232 serial or 
Centronics parallel data and can output 
either/or in any combination, 
(S-S,S-P,P-S,P-P). The "ANGEL" is com- 
patible with almost all Micro-Computers, 
and can be installed by anyone in minutes. 
Switches are clearly marked for ease of 
operation, and a concise, USER FRIENDLY 
operator reference card is included with 
each unit. 
The "ANGEL" has a full one year limited warranty. 

THE "ANGEL" WILL NEVER KEEP YOCJ 
WATTING! 



The chart shown here illustrates the features 
of the "ANGEL" compared to other buffer 
devices. When compared with the 
"ANGEL", the others just don't measure up. 
Sorry guys. 



Feature 


ANGEL 


MfCRO- 
F ZEJJ • • 


5POOU64 


MICRO 
BUFFER 

IM.LIMe 


SPOOLER 
SERIAL • • 


Price 


295.00 


330.00 


319.00 
w/o serial 


349.00 


603.00 


Memoiy Size 


64K 


64K 


64K 


64K 


62K 


Max Baud Rate 


19.2K 


? 


N/A 


19.2K 


? 


SerialParallel 


Yes 


• 


Mo 


* 




Parallel-Serial 


Yes 


• 


Mo 


* 


* 


Parallel-Parallel 


Yes 


* 


Yes 


• 


• 


Serial-Serial 


Yes 


Yes 


Mo 


Yes 


Yes 


Copy 


Yes 


•■■'- 


Mo 


Yes 


Mo 


Reset/Clear 


Yes 


Yes 


Mo 


Yes 


Yes 


Pause/Hold 


Yes 


Mo 


Mo 


Yes 


Mo 


Paqe Skip 


Yes 


Mo 


Mo 


Mo 


Mo 


Page Reprint 


Yes 


Mo 


Mo 


Mo 


Mo 


Continuous Copy 


Yes 


■) 


Mo 


-> 


Mo 


Self-Diagnostics 


Yes 


■> 


■> 


■) 


? 


Hex-Dump 


Yes 


Mo 


Mo 


Mo 


Mo 



• Can only be configurated for one of the four Modes: 
••Information based on available specifications 
manufacturer's advertisement as of December. 1 982 

Micro-Fazer TM of Quadram Corp. 

Sooper Spooler TM of Compulink Corp. 



r 







KnBHHHPr x rt \ !"• 

PAGE REPRINT HEX DUMP 

LigO Research, Inc. • 396 E. 1 59th St. • Harvey, IL 60426 • 1-312-331-8797 • In Canada 1-416-859-0370 

Circle 246 on Inquiry card. 



TO ORDER: 

CALL TOLL FKEE 1-800-323-3304 
OR SEND CHECK OR MONEY 
ORDER TO LIGO RESEARCH 

Please rush me ( ) "ANGEL(S)" @ 

$295.00 each 

Sub total 

1L oml°y IS Add 6% U.S. sales tax 

Delivery charge $4-00 

TOTAL 

Charge my ( ) VISA ( ) MASTERCARD 

MY ACCT. H IS 

EXPIRATION DATE 



BYTE March 1983 



173 



POINT 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

|x|o|i|o|o|i|o|o| 

|X|1|0. . 1 .~1 



POINT SET (ABSOLUTE) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

|x|o|i|o|o|i|i|ol 

l*M° . I . . 1 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

Ixlola lololi loTTi 

l»l'l*. ■ I ■ .1 

1x1 'U^JLJP 

dx d y 

POINT SET (RELATIVE ) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

Ixlolilololilihl 



[HE 



-J I I I l_ 



* y 

POINT DRAW (ABSOLUTE ) 



IxliU. . I . .1 

|x|1 UlJLjJ 

dx dy 

POINT DRAW (RELATIVE) 



Figure 9: The Point instructions in NAPLPS. Point Set merely moves the "drawing 
point" to the desired position. Point Draw actually draws a point at that position. Coor- 
dinates can be either absolute (x,y) or relative (dx,dy). The first bit of each coordinate is 
a sign bit. The remaining bits are encoded as fixed-point binary numbers, with the 
"binary point" assumed to be just to the right of the sign bit. 



mal solid line. A variety of area tex- 
tures can be selected so that large ob- 
jects can have recognizable interiors. 
The area textures can be chosen from 
a "stock" set of patterns or "program- 
mable" patterns can be used. 

A "cartoon-like" highlighting 
feature is included. When enabled, 
filled areas are highlighted (usually in 



black) to accent the edges. This is 
especially useful in low-resolution 
video-display systems that have trou- 
ble making rapid color changes. 

The Texture PDI is used several 
times in the example frame (lines 8, 
34, 98, 178, 188, and 194). The 
highlighting is turned off for the grass 
and on for the house. The 



highlighting is also used on the left 
bird to add a little diversity. The line 
textures are demonstrated in creating 
the rain (lines 171-203). 

Outlined Drawings 

The majority of drawings are 
created using the basic primitives 
Point, Line, Arc, Rectangle, and 
Polygon. All these primitives are sup- 
ported in NAPLPS with each one 
having several forms. 

Points 

Points can be drawn on the unit 
screen in a variety of ways. As shown 
in figure 9, four Point PDIs are pro- 
vided. Two of these commands are 
used to actually draw points (Point 
Draw), while the other two merely 
position the drawing point prior to 
drawing text or graphics (Point Set). 
The coordinates for both Point Draw 
and Point Set can be expressed in 
either absolute or relative terms. 

At this point (no pun intended), it 
is probably useful to distinguish be- 
tween the drawing point and the cur- 
sor. The drawing point is the imagi- 
nary pen point or brush tip that is 
used to draw graphics on the screen. 
The cursor is the typical block or 
underscore that marks the position 
where the next text entry will be 
made. The drawing point and cursor 
usually "track" each other, but this is 
not required. In other words, the cur- 



Johnny's Function Keys Can't Read 

Or write. Or move a paragraph. Johnny is not a programmer, so his function keys are nonfunctional. 




I BJ ChANqER™ 



For Johnny, and everyone else who wants the convenience of 
function keys, help is here. Keychanger™ replaces 
cumbersome multi-stroke control characters with individual 
function keys, thus saving keystrokes and time. No more 
"control P-S" -- simply press the assigned function key. You 
may choose from four ready-made sets of functions, or create 
custom function keys with the aid of on-screen guidance. You 
can change instantly from one set of functions to another. 

Keychanger™ is CP/M compatible and presently supports 
Wordstar® , dBase II™, and BASIC (other selected programs 
are coming soon). To start your function keys working, send 
$29.95 to Computer Publishing Co., 1945 N. Fine #101, 
Fresno, CA 93727. For VISA/Mastercard orders, call 209-453- 

0777. Wordstar is a registered trademark of MicroPro; dBase II is a trademark of Ashton-Tate. 

Supplied in many popular diskette formats. Compatible with virtually all 
terminals having function keys. California residents addsales tax. 



174 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 11 on Inquiry card. 







® 



n 

Purolator 

armored 



M2dIs I M2dIs 

vTDK fjtffSK 

© I © 

M2Dxls •«« M2DX>S WH 






TDK Floppy Disks. 
Invaluable security for irreplaceable information. 

Today, more and more companies are relying on convenient floppy disks to record, 
store and safeguard information. Irreplaceable information which is vital to their business 
interests. It is precisely the value placed on this information that makes the floppy disk an 
invaluable tool for storage and security. And this is where TDK floppy disks become invalu- 
able to you. TDK floppy disks are guaranteed 1 00% error-free at the time of manufacture 
and certified for double-density encoding. Furthermore, each track of every TDK floppy 
■____i__~..r« disk is tested to exceed industry standards . . . including 

those of IBM, Shugart, ANSI, ECM A, ISO and JIS. Once you 
insert a quality TDK floppy disk into your computer system, 
you're guaranteed highly reliable, ultra smooth perform- 
ance. This is due to TDK's proprietary disk-burnishing tech- 
nique that provides optimum head-to-disk contact. 

TDK floppy disks are available in 5V4 and 8-inch sizes in 
the most popular formats. Each disk comes in its own pro- 
tective Tyvek-type envelope. For a copy of our brochure, 
"Some Straight Talk About Floppy Disks," write to: TDK Elec- 
tronics Corp., Computer Products Marketing Dept., 12 Harbor 
Park Drive, Port Washington, NY 1 1050, or call 516-625-0100. 




&TDK 




i 

■■.£ 



I)o/[i'.i '.-.HI / DoubW Oir.it? 






M2DX1S 96TPI 



OTDK 



©1982 TDK Electronics Corp. 

Circle 417 on Inquiry card. 



The heart of your system. 



BYTE March 1983 



175 



LINE 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

|x|o|i|o|i|oToTo1 

hh i , ; i , , i 

x y 

LINE (ABSOLUTE ) 

7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

|x|o|i|o|i|o|i[o1 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

Ix|o|i|o|i|o|o|i| 



an 



t— I 



dx dy 

LINE (RELATIVE ) 



miT^r 



HH 



: 



l»|i|o. . i . . I 



0n 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


|X|0|l|0|l|0|l|l| 




ixino. . i . . i 


*, 


|x|i| . . 1 . . 1 


x y 


|X|1| . . 1 . . 1 




|x|i|±. . 1 . . 1 



n 



SET 6 LI NE (ABSOLUTE ) 



dy 



SET 6 LINE (RELATIVE ) 



Figure 10: The Line instructions. The Set & Line instructions move the drawing point to 
a new position and draw a line from that position. The Line instructions draw a line 
from the present drawing point. 



IF TOUR COMPUTERS IMPORTANT TO YOU 

Proteait! 

Without SAFEWARE,™ you could be uninsured. For as little as 
$35 a year, SAFEWARE provides complete protection for all 
hardware, media and purchased software. Both business and 
home application. Call toll free today for more information or 
immediate protection. Columbia National General Agency, 88 E. 
Broad, Columbus, Ohio 43215. (In Ohio call 1-800-848-2112) 



1-800-848-0598 




sor can be positioned on the screen 
and the drawing point can be moved 
independently. 

The example frame uses the "Set" 
forms of the Point PDIs, but not the 
"Draw" forms. Line 36 is an example 
of a Set Point Absolute op code. This 
op code is used to position the draw- 
ing point to a specific place on the 
screen regardless of where the draw- 
ing point is currently located. This is 
in preparation for drawing the house. 

Line 44 is an example of a Set Point 
Relative op code. This op code is 
followed by a {dx,dy) operand that 
specifies a distance to move from the 
current position. This move is made 
in preparation for drawing the roof. 
Note that the relative form of the op 
code is useful because the roof should 
always be "tied" to the house. If a 
specific (absolute) screen coordinate 
had been specified, the roof would be 
fixed at a certain location. In this ex- 
ample, if the initial coordinate (lines 
37-39) is changed, the roof will move 
with the house. 

Lines 

Lines are used in almost every 
graphics display. Four forms of the 
Line PDI are provided, as shown in 
figure 10. The major difference in the 
four op codes is that two of them 
draw a line from the present drawing 
point and the other two draw from a 
new set point. Also, two of the op 
codes involve relative positions and 
two involve absolute positions. 

Lines are used to create the rain in 
the example frame. The relative form 
of the Line PDIs is used in lines 180, 
190, and 200. As mentioned, the lines 
are drawn using the current texture 
setting. 

Arcs 

The Arc PDIs are extremely power- 
ful, but may be confusing to the 
casual observer. Most people can 
eventually be convinced that only 
one circular arc can be drawn 
through three points if two of the 
points are known to form the end- 
points. In NAPLPS the three points 
on the arc are specified rather than 
the center and radius. The three 
points are specified just like other 
points in the unit screen. 



176 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 83 on inquiry card. 



text continued on page 180 



Mr. Dow and Mr. Jones 

introduce 

Dow Jones Software™ 




Jones: "Mr. Dow, look what they're selling in that new store 

down the street: Dow Jones Software. You haven't gotten 
us into ladies' fashions, have you?" 

Dow: "No, Mr. Jones. That's a computer store, and our software 
products allow investors and business professionals to use 
a personal computer like this one here to easily manage 
financial information." 

Jones: "Just what can our software do?" 



Dow: "In a nutshell, Jones, with a personal computer, a tele- 
phone, a modem and Dow Jones Software, you can easily 
perform complex analyses on the information available 
from our information service, Dow Jones News/Retrieval®." 

Jones: "You mean all those calculations I've been doing by hand 
I could do in a fraction of the time with this software? 
That's great!" 

Dow: "It is, Mr. Jones. Just like The Wall Street Journal, 
Dow Jones Software is a resource you can bank on!" 



Available nationwide from these fine computer dealers . . . 



ALASKA 
ANCHORAGE 
Abacus North 

511 West 4th Ave. 
(907)276-7443 
Rainbow Technics 
4301 North Star 
(907) 278-3923 
The Software Store 
4600 Business Park Blvd. 
(907) 694-3044 

ARIZONA 
PHOENIX 

Computerland ol Phoenix 
3152 E. Camelback Road 
(602) 956-5727 

CALIFORNIA 

ANAHEIM 

Powers Computer Center 

1295 N. Euclid St. 
(714) 778-6021 
ARCADIA 
Love Computers 
7 East Foothill 
(213)447-0721 

BAKERSFIELD 
ComputerBasics 

5600 California Ave. 
(805) 834-561 1 



BREA 
ComputerCity 

2700 E. Imperial Highway 

(714)996-0800 

Computique 

1080E. Imperial Highway 

(714) 990-6600 

ELTORO 

Wabash Apple Computer 

SuiteC&D 

23720 El Toro Road 

(714) 768-3236 

ENCINO 

The Software Source 

17905 Ventura Boulevard 

(213)705-4445 



CAMARILLO 
Crawford Data Systems 

350 N. Lantana Ave., #561 

(805)484-4159 

COSTA MESA 

Computer City 

3941 S. Bristol 

(714) 549-7749 

Piatt Music/May Company 

3333 S. Bristol 

(714)546-9321 

FAIRFIELD 

Mark Anthony Computer 

19721 N.Texas 
(707) 426-4600 



HUNTINGTON BEACH 
Gateway Computer Center 

15201 Springdale 

(714) 895-3931 

TheSoftware Store 

16562 Gothard St. 

(714)842-0460 

Sun Computers 

17671 Beach Blvd. 

(714)848-5574 

IRVINE 

Learning Shack 

17981-J Sky Park Circle 

(714) 966-6631 

V.I.P. 

14775 Jeffrey Road, J 

(714)752-6341 



LA MESA 
Computerland 

7200 Parkway Drive 

(619) 464-5656 

LAWNDALE 

Computer Stop 

16811 Hawthorne Blvd. 

(213)371-4010 

Computique 

1611 Hawthorne Blvd. 

(213)370-5795 

LONG BEACH 

AVidd Electronics 

2210 Bellflower Blvd. 

(213) 598-0444 



continued on next page 



Dow Jones Software 



...Bank on it. 



Dow Jones Software Dow Jones Software Dow Jones Software 



LOSALAMITOS 

Amis Desktop Computers 

10512 Los Vaqueros Circle 

(714) 952-4122 

LOS ANGELES 

Compusystems (Downtown) 

1050 West 6th Street 

(213) 975-1220 

Computerland 

10600W. Pico Blvd. 

(213) 559-3353 

Computique 

11986 Wilshire Blvd. 

(213)820-0423 

Computique 

3285 Wilshire Blvd. 

(213)385-7777 

Computique 

435 West 7th Street 

(213)629-0121 

LOS GATOS 

Idea Computer 

301 N.Santa Cruz Ave. 

(408)354-1210 

MODESTO 

Computerware 

1031 15th Street 

(209) 578-9739 

OAKLAND 

Softwaire Centre Int'l. 

5269 Broadway 

(415)428-9333 

ORANGE 

Computer City 

1904 Tustin Ave. 

(714) 974-3082 

PALO ALTO 

Mission Computers 

550 University Ave. 

(415) 326-9689 

Softwaire Centre Int'l. 

477 University Avenue 

(415)327-0520 

PASADENA 

Computique 

260 S.Lake Ave. 

(213) 795-3007 

The Softwaire Centre 

548 S. Lake Avenue 

(213) 793-4443 

RIVERSIDE 

Computer Kingdom 

5225Canyon Crest Dr., #30 

(714)787-1142 

ROCKLIN 

AudioVideo Computer Center 

3111 Sunset Blvd. 

(916) 988-6024 

SACRAMENTO 

Capitol Computer System 

1771 Tribute Road 

(916) 483-7298 

SANTA ANA 
Computique 

3211 South Harbor Blvd. 

(714)549-7373 

Softwaire Centre Int'l. 

3821 S. Bristol 

(714)641-0332 

SANTA BARBARA 

Computer Plaza 

3313A State Street 

(805) 687-9391 

SANTA MONICA 

The Computer Store 

820 Broadway 

(213)451-0713 

SAN DIEGO 

Computer City 

4603 Mission Bay Drive 

(619) 270-3100 

The Computer Merchant 

5107 ElCajohn Blvd. 

(619) 583-3963 

Softwaire Centre Int'l 

4170 Convoy St. 

(619)576-1424 

Software Only 

8199Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 

(619) 569-1666 

Wabash Apple 

4636 Convoy Street 

(619)576-1604 

SAN FRANCISCO 

Apex Information Systems, Inc. 

#1A Russian Hill Place 

(415) 885-1633 

Computer Connection 

214 California Street 

(415) 781-0200 



Quest Computer Store 

710 Montgomery Street 

(415) 982-3753 

Software Center 

4720GearyBlvd. 

(415)751-2231 

SAN JOSE 

Businessland, Inc. 

3610 Stevens Creek Blvd. 

(408) 554-9292 

TARZANA 

Computique 

18665 Ventura Blvd. 

(213) 705-7507 

VENTURA 

Computerland 

3875 Telegraph, Suite E 

(805)656-7711 

WEST LOS ANGELES 

The Software Spot 

1977 Santa Monica Blvd. 

(213)477-7561 

WOODLAND HILLS 

Software Etc. 

19973 Ventura Blvd. 

(213)702-8918 

COLORADO 

AURORA 

Compushop 

3102 S. Parker Road 

(303) 337-5885 

Micro Computer Center 

Suite F, 2680 S. Havana 

(303)751-0811 

BOULDER 

Computer Connection 

Suite 101, 1600 38th Street 

(303) 449-8282 

DENVER 

CW Electronics 

800 Lincoln Street 

(303) 832-1 1 1 1 

Idex Micro Systems 

999 18th Street, Suite 225 

(303) 293-2299 

ENGLEWOOD 

Computers Etc., Inc. 

8923 E. Union Ave. 

(303) 779-5256 

FT. COLLINS 

Rocky Mountain Computers 

2601 S. Lemay,#24 

(303) 223-4000 

CONNECTICUT 
WETHERSFIELD 
Computer Resources, Inc. 

683 Silas Deane Highway 
(203) 563-9000 

WESTPORT 
Computerworks 

1439 Post Road East 
Liberty Plaza 
(203) 255-9096 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 
TheComputerStore 

1990 K Street 
(202) 466-3367 

FLORIDA 

FT. LAUDERDALE 

The Computer Works 

6221 N. Federal Highway 
(305)491-8600 
NORTH PALM BEACH 
Computer Center of the 
Palm Beaches 
751 NorthlakeBlvd. 
(305) 848-3801 

GEORGIA 
ATLANTA 
Compushop of Georgia 

The Prado 
5600RoswellRoad 
(404) 252-961 1 
ComputerCenter, Inc. 

3623 Interstate 85 North 
(404) 457-8465 

HAWAII 

HILO 

The Computer Store 

291 KeaweStreet 

(808) 969-1 166 

HONOLULU 

Computer Market of Hawaii 

578AlaMoanaBlvd. 
(808)521-7312 



Memory Lane Computers 

841 Bishop St. 
(808) 526-3232 

IDAHO 

LEWISTON 

B & I Computer System 

1824-B Main Street 
(208)746-5980 
Team Electronics 
1920- 19th Avenue 
(208) 746-0086 

ILLINOIS 

AURORA 

Farnsworth Computer Center 

1891 N. Farnsworth Avenue 

(312)851-3888 

BUFFALO GROVE 

Compushop 

1363 W. Dundee Road 

(312) 577-0600 

CHICAGO 

Chicago Computer Company 

222 West Adams, Suite 245 

(312) 372-7360 

Compushop 

180 N. Wacker 

(312)726-7190 

Computers Plus 

5050 N. Cumberland Ave. 

(312) 452-0066 

Systems Source 

131 W.Madison 

(312) 726-7879 

DEERFIELD 

Video Etc. 

465 Lake Cook Road 

(312) 498-9669 

EVANSTON 

Nabih's 

515 Davis St. 

(312)869-6140 

LAKE FOREST 

Lake Shore Computers 

1000 N. Western Avenue 

(312)234-1002 

MIDLOTHIAN 

Compushop 

14403 S.Cicero Ave. 

(312)396-1020 

NILES 

Computerland 

9511 N. Milwaukee Avenue 

(312) 967-1714 

NORTHBROOK 

Northbrook Computers 

4113 Dundee Road 

(312)480-9190 

OAKBROOK TERRACE 
Oakbrook Computer 

17 West 426 -22nd Street 

(312)941-9005 

ORLAND PARK 

Micro Age Computer Store 

8752 W. 159th St. 

(312)349-8080 

Video Etc. 

9107 W. 151st Street 

(312) 460-8980 

PEORIA 

Wallace Micro Mart 

2619 N. University 

(309) 685-7876 

VILLA PARK 

Farnsworth Computer Center 

383 E. North Avenue 

(312)833-7100 

INDIANA 
INDIANAPOLIS 
Microage Computer Store 

8615 Allisonville Road 
(317)849-5161 

LOUISIANA 
BATON ROUGE 
The Computer Place 

5500 Florida Blvd. 

(504)926-4630 

SHREVEPORT 

Micro Business Systems 

3823 Gilbert 
(318) 226-8848 

MAINE 
AUBURN 
Software Centers 

95 Spring Street 
(207) 784-4330 



MARYLAND 
BETHESDA 
Bethesda Computers 

8020 Norfolk Avenue 

(301)657-1992 

CUMBERLAND 

Miller & Miller 

49 North Centre Street 

(301)777-1000 

EASTON 

The Computer Shop 

10West Dover Street 

(301)995-1816 

LAUREL 

The Communications Center 

9624 Ft. Meade Road 

(301)953-9535 

SALISBURY 

The Computer Shop 

112 West Market Street 

(301) 543-8200 

MASSACHUSETTS 
BURLINGTON 
Computer City 

Vinebrook Plaza 

(617)273-3146 

CAMBRIDGE 

Harvest Computers 

118A Magazine Street 

(617) 547-3289 

Tech Computer Store 

199 Alewif e Brook Parkway 

(617) 497-0395 

CHARLESTOWN 

Computer City 

420 Rutherford Avenue 

(617) 242-3350 

DANVERS 

Computer City 

151 Endicott Street 

(617)774-7118 

NEEDHAM 

New England Electronics (NEECO) 

679 Highland Ave. 

(617)449-1760 

WATERTOWN 

Micro Source Financial 

23 Elm Street 

(617)924-5500 

WORCHESTER 

Computer City 

16 Front St 

(617) 755-5464 

MICHIGAN 
ANN ARBOR 
Complete Computer Center 

413 East Huron 
(313)994-6344 

BIRMINGHAM 
SIMTEC 

41 1 4 W. Maple 

(313) 855-3990 

FARMINGTON HILLS 

Computer Connection 

38437 Grand River 

(313)477-4470 

GRAND BLANC 

Computer Contact 

3017 E. Hill Road 

(313) 694-3740 

GROSS POINTE 

Computerland 

22000 Greater Mack Ave. 

(313) 772-6540 

KALAMAZOO 

Computer Room 

455 W. Michigan Ave. 

(616)343-4634 

LIVONIA 

Computer Horizons 

37099Six Mile Road 

(313)464-6502 

SAGINAW 

The Computer Mart 

3580 Bay Road 

(517) 790-1360 

SOUTHFIELD 

Spectrum Computers 

26618 Southfield Road 

(313) 559-5252 

TROY 

Computer Mart 

1824 W. Maple Road 

(313)649-0910 

Rainbow Computer 

819 East Big Beaver Road 

(313) 528-3535 



WESTBLOOMFIELD 
Retail ComputerCenter 

4381 Orchard Lake Rd. 
(313)855-4220 

MINNESOTA 
BLOOMINGTON 
The Software Centry 

Southtown Center 
Penn Ave. South I-494 
(612)881-4514 
BURNSVILLE 
Computer Professionals 
14322 Burnhaven Drive 
(612)435-8060 

MISSISSIPPI 
JACKSON 
Programs Unlimited 

4030 Metro Drive 
(601)969-6705 

MISSOURI 
KANSAS CITY 
Computer ASP, Inc. 

7115 N.W.Barry Road 

(816)741-8013 

ST. CHARLES 

United Computer Center 

4033S,Cloverleaf 

(314)928-1266 

ST. LOUIS 

Computer Station 

11610 Page Service Drive 

(314)432-7019 

Forsythe Computers 

11445 Olive Street 

(314) 567-0450 

NEBRASKA 

LINCOLN 

Micro Technologies 

8200 N, 66th St. 
(402) 488-4543 
OMAHA 

Software Source 
8610 Cass Street 
(402) 397-4958 

NEVADA 
LAS VEGAS 
Century 23 

4530 Meadows Lane, #C1 

(702)870-1534 

Home Computers 

1775 E. Tropicana 

(702) 798-1022 

RENO 

A+ Computers/Byte Shopof Reno 

4804 Kietzke Lane 

(702) 826-8080 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

HANOVER 

Chips MicroCenter 

3 South Street 

(603)643-5413 

NASHUA 

Computer Mart of New Hampshire 

170 Main Street 

(603) 883-2386 

SALEM 

Computertown 

304 South Broadway 

(603)893-8812 

NEW JERSEY 
PRINCETON 
Clancy Paul 

Princeton Shopping Center 

N. Harrison St. 

(609) 683-0060 

STANHOPE 

Computer Universe 

23 Route 206 

(201)347-7892 

NEW YORK 
JERICHO 
Programs Unlimited 

1 25 S. Service Road 

(516)997-8668 

NEW HYDE PARK 

Berliner Computer Center 

102 Jericho Turnpike 

(516) 775-4700 

NEW YORK 

Computer Factory, Inc. 

485 Lexington Avenue 

(212) 687-5000 

Datel Systems Corp. 

1 21 1 Avenue of the Americas 

(212)921-0110 



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Future Data 

95 Trinity Place 

(212) 732-3905 

Macy's Department Store 

Herald Square 

(212) 560-4491 

McGraw Hill Bookstore 

1221 Avenue of the Americas 

(212)997-4100 

Representative Systems 

718 Broadway 

(212)477-3061 

SYRACUSE 

Omnlf ax Computer Stores 

3216 Eric Blvd. East 

(315) 446-1284 

YONKERS 

Investment Software Concepts 

295 Jessamine Avenue 

(914)476-1280 

NORTH CAROLINA 
GREENSBORO 
ByteShopof Greensboro 

218 N. Elm Street 
(919) 275-2983 
RALEIGH 

Computer Solutions 
2840 S.Wilmington St. 
(919)755-1779 
WINSTON-SALEM 
Computer South 
8013 Silas Creek 
(919) 748-8001 

OHIO 

BAYVILLAGE 
Norlhcoast Computer 

640 Dover Center Rd. 

(216) 835-4345 

CANTON 

Computerland 

4106 Belden Village St., N.W. 

(216)493-7786 

CINCINNATI 

Abacus Computer Store 

225 E. Sixth Street 

(513)421-5900 

The Future Now 

7336 Kenwood Road 

(513) 791-4700 

CLEVELAND 

Computerland 

2070 E. 9th St. 

(216)621-7262 

COLUMBUS 

ADS Systems 

642 W. Broad St. 

(614) 224-8823 

Mlcroage Computer Store 

2591 Hamilton Road 

(614) 868-1550 

Micro Electronics, Inc. 

LaneAve. Shopping Center 

1555 W. Lane Avenue 

(614)481-8041 

GRANVILLE 

Strictly Software 

1670 Columbus Road 

(614) 587-2938 

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS 

Computerland 

1300Som Center Road 

(216)461-1200 



MENTOR 

Cleveland Computer Co. 

7673 Mentor Avenue 

(216)946-1722 

NORTH OLMSTEAD 

Computerland 

4579 Great Northern Blvd. 

(216)777-1433 

TOLEDO 

Abacus II Micro Computers 

1417 Bernath Parkway 

(419)865-1009 

Abacus II Micro Computers 

4751 Monroe Street 

(419)471-0082 

The High Tech Systems 

4543 Monroe St. 

(419)472-1170 

YOUNGSTOWN 

Computerland 

813 Boardman Poland Rd. 

(216) 758-7569 

OKLAHOMA 
OKLAHOMA CITY 
Computer Connections 

12314 N. May Avenue 

(405) 755-9220 

TULSA 

Computer Connections 

8125A East 51st St. 

(51st & Memorial) 

(918) 663-6342 

OREGON 
BEAVERTON 
Byte Shop 

3482S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd. 

(503) 644-2686 

EUGENE 

Computer Solutions, Inc. 

175 Silver Lane 

(503) 689-9677 

GRANTS PASS 

Team Electronics 

530 N.E. "E" Street 

(503) 479-8723 

PENDLETON 

F& H Sound 

338SouthMain 

(503) 276-3772 

PORTLAND 

American Datastar Systems 

430 N.E. Glisan 

(503)238-4605 

Byte Shop 

625 S.W. 10th Avenue 

(503)223-3496 

Computerland 

327 S.W. Morrison 

(503)295-1928 

Stereo Distributors, Inc. 

955 N.E. Union Ave. 

{503)232-0915 

SALEM 

Computerland 

980 Lancaster Drive, N.E. 

(503)371-7070 

Computer Specialties, Inc. 

3390 S. Commercial 

(503) 399-0534 

Team Electronics 

395 Liberty N.E. 

(503)371-7406 



TIGARD 
Computerland 

12020 S.W. Main Street 
(503)620-6170 

PENNSYLVANIA 
ALTOONA 
Mace Electronics 

3225Pleasant Valley Blvd. 

(814)942-5031 

DOYLESTOWN 

Solution Computer Center 

33 North Main Street 

(215)345-4411 

ERIE 

Mace Electronics 

2631 W. Eighth Street 

(814)838-3511 

GREENSBURG 

Chariot Computers 

245 S. Main St. 

(412)838-9560 

PITTSBURGH 

Business Equipment Sales 

5284 Steubenville Pike 

(412)923-2533 

Computer Workshop 

3848William Penn Highway 

(412)823-6722 

Pittsburgh ComputerStore 

612 Smithfield Street 

(412)391-8050 

The Computer House 

1000 Greentree Road 

(412)921-1333 

TEXAS 
ARLINGTON 
Computer Port 

2142 N.Collins 

(817)469-1502 

BELLAIRE 

Compushop 

5315Bissonnet 

(713)661-2008 

DALLAS 

COMPCO 

Suite 108 

5519 Arapaho Road 

(214)386-6578 

ComputerWares 

Suite 106 

12300 Inwood 

(214)960-0800 

SIMTEC 

12801 Midway 

(214)484-3311 

EL PASO 

RTR Software 

444 Executive Center Blvd. 

(915) 544-4397 

FORT WORTH 

Compushop 

6353 Camp Bowie Blvd. 

Ridglea Plaza 

(817)738-4442 

Computer Co-op 

3465 Bluebonnet Circle 
(817)926-7331 
Computer Wares 
4670S. Hulen 
(817) 346-0446 



HOUSTON 
Compushop 

815 Milam 

(713)227-1523 

Computercraft, Inc. 

5050 FM 1960 West 

(713) 583-2032 

Computercraft, Inc. 

10165 Katy Freeway 

(713)827-1744 

Computercraft, Inc. 

2709 Chimney Road 

(713) 840-9762 

Computercraft, Inc. 

3233 Fondren 

(713)977-0664 

Computercraft, Inc. 

1958 West Gray 

(713)522-3130 

Computercraft, Inc. 

2200 Southwest Freeway 

Suite 150 

(713) 527-8088 

Computercraft Software Store 

2723Chimney Rock 

(713)552-0880 

Computercraft Software Store 

2200 Southwest Freeway 

(713)521-3050 

Computer Galleries 

2493 S. Braeswood 

(713)661-0055 

Computer Galleries 

11538 Northwest Freeway 

(713)956-0900 

Computronlx 

1536 Willowbrook Mall 

(713)890-5832 

Computer General Store 

5085Westheimer 

Galleria II #3590 

(713)627-0455 

SIMTEC 

1990 E. Post Oak Blvd. 

(713)850-9797 

Software Center of Houston 

2200 Southwest Freeway 

(713)521-3050 

IRVING 

Compushop 

Las Colinas Towers IV 

125 Carpenter Freeway 

(214)556-2166 

Computer Wares 

2209 Story Road 

(214) 258-0080 

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS 

Compushop 

8214 Bedford-Euless Road 

(214)498-8106 

PLANO 

Compushop 

3100 Independence Parkway 

(214)867-4595 

Computer Wares 

1915 Central Expressway 

Suite 130 

(214) 422-5584 

SAN ANTONIO 

Computer Shop 

5011 Walzem Road 

(512)657-7034 



VICTORIA 

Computer Command Corp. 

708 E. Goodwin 
(512)573-4305 

UTAH 

SALT LAKE CITY 

Mnemonics 

141 East200South 

(801)521-2168 

Personal Business Computers 

1879 S. Main Street 

(801)486-4839 

VIRGINIA 
ALEXANDRIA 
Computers Plus 

6120 Franconia Road 

(703)922-7850 

Universal Computers 

1710 Fern Street 

(703)379-0367 

RESTON 

Universal Computers 

2355-G Hunters Woods Pla2a 

(703)620-6160 

WASHINGTON 

BELLEVUE 

Bixby's Sight & Sound Center 

11919 N.E. 8th 

(206)454-5770 

Online Computer Centers 

13710 N.E. 20th Street 

(206)644-2080 

Swan Computer Store 

1034 116th Ave., N.E. 

(206) 454-6272 

ELLENSBURG 

Computer Craft 

115 East 8th St. 

(509)925-3755 

LACEY 

Stolz's Computers 

4106 Pacific Avenue, S.E. 

(206) 459-9595 

SEATTLE 

Compu Lab 

735N.NorthlakeWay 

(206)633-5020 

Computer Shop Business Center 

11057 8th Ave., N.E. 

(206) 367-4747 

SPOKANE 

Bits-Bytes-Nibbles, Inc. 

209 Northtown Shopping Center 

(509)487-1601 

Microspace 

S. 114 Madison 

(509)624-3344 

WISCONSIN 

MILWAUKEE 

North Shore Computers 

5261 N. Port Washington Rd. 

(414)963-9700 

WAUSAU 

Oryx Software 

205 Scott St. 
(715)848-2322 

INTERNATIONAL 
SWITZERLAND 
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ARC 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


|X|0|1|0|1|1|0|0| 




|X|1|±. . 1 . . 1 




l*lil . . I . . 1 


dx, dyj 


UUIt. . 1 . . 1 




|x|i| , . 1 . . 1 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 



dx 2 dy 2 

ARC (OUTLINED) 



|x|o| 


1|0|1|1|0|1| 




Ixlil 


i, . 1 . , 1 


, 


|x|i| , , 1 . , 1 


dXj dy, 


|x|i| 


i. . 1 . . 1 




l*M , , 1 , . 1 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


|X|0|1|0|1|1|1|0| 




Ixhlo. . 1 . . 1 




1*111 . . 1 , , 1 


x y 


Ix|i|±. . 1 . . 1 




Ixlxl . . 1 . . 1 


dx : dyj 


Ixlilt. . 1 . . 1 




|x|l| , , 1 . . 1 



dx 2 dy 2 

ARC (FILLED ) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

Ixlolilolilililfl 



Ixhlo. ■ I 



Ixhl , , I 



|x|H±. , I 



IxUI ■ . I 



IxliU. ■ I 



dx 2 dy 2 
SET S ARC (OUTLINED) 



Ixlil . ■ I , I 

dx 2 dy 2 

SET S ARC (FILLED ) 



Figure 11: The Arc instructions. 




Figure 12: A diagram showing how the cloud in figure 1 was constructed from four filled 
arcs and a filled polygon. 



Four forms of the Arc PDIs are in- 
cluded in NAPLPS, as shown in 
figure 11. Two of the forms allow 
arcs to be filled so that solid areas 
with curved edges can be created. 

Arcs are used in the example frame 
to create the birds and the cloud. As 
shown in figure 12, the cloud is made 
up of four arcs and a polygon. The 
area between each arc and a line (or 
chord) connecting the endpoints of 
the arc is filled by the Arc (Filled) 
command. The Polygon (Filled) com- 
mand fills the middle area. 

Circles are a subset of the more 
general arc. If only two points are 
specified (instead of three), those 
points are assumed to form endpoints 
of a diameter of a circle. Circles can 
also be encoded using three points in 
the normal arc format, but the start- 
ing and ending points must be equal 
for a circle to be drawn. 

A "hook" has been provided in 
NAPLPS so that it might eventually 
support complex curves or splines. 
These curves cannot be described by 
using simple arcs of circles. But if 
more than three points are specified 
for an arc, it should be possible to 
draw a smooth curve connecting the 
points. Until algorithms are devel- 
oped that can efficiently draw a 
spline, lines can be used to connect 
the points. 

Rectangles 

Both filled and outlined rectangles 
are supported by NAPLPS. The four 
forms of the Rectangle PDI are shown 
in figure 13. Rectangles are described 
by specifying the opposite corner in 
terms of relative (dx,dy) coordinates. 
Negative values for dx or dy can be 
used to produce rectangles in various 
directions from the current drawing 
point. 

One difference that should be 
noted with Rectangles is the final 
destination of the drawing point. 
Most drawing commands cause the 
drawing point to be left at the last 
point involved in the figure. In the 
case of the Rectangle, only the x coor- 
dinate is modified so that the drawing 
point moves horizontally. This 
allows for histograms or bar charts to 
be generated in an efficient manner. 

A Rectangle is used to generate the 



180 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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RECTANGLE 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


|x|o|i|i|o|o|o|o| 




Ixhl'. . I , , I 




|x|i| . , 1 , , 1 



dy 



RECTANGLE (OUTLINED) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


|x|o|i|i|o|o|i|o| 




Ixlilo. . I . . I 




Ixhl . , I . , I 


x y 


Ixlili. , I . . I 




l*M . . I . . 1 



dy 



SET ft RECTANGLE (OUTLINED) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


|X|0|1|1|0|0|0|1| 




Ixlili. , I , . I 




hhl ,!,, 



dy 



RECTANGLE (FILLED) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 

Ixlolililolohlil 




Ixlilo. , I . , I 


' 


Ixhl . . I . , I 


x y 


Ixlili. . 1 . , 1 




l*hl , , 1 , , 1 



dy 



SET 8 RECTANGLE (FILLED) 



Figure 13: The Rectangle instructions. Note that only one point is required to define a 
rectangle. 



house in the example frame. The op 
code at line 40 could have been a Set 
Rectangle Filled with the data from 
lines 37-39 moved into the operation. 
This would eliminate the need for the 
Point Set Absolute op code at line 36. 
Both encodings would yield the same 
result. 

Polygons 

The irregular Polygon is a very 
useful feature in NAPLPS. Many ob- 
jects can be broken down into 
multisided irregular objects. These 
objects can be encoded using the end- 
points of the lines forming the sides. 

Four forms of the Polygon op code 
are available, as shown in figure 14. 
The outlined polygons do not offer 
much more than an efficient way to 
send a lot of lines. It should be noted 
that the last line in a polygon is not 
explicitly sent. The polygon is auto- 
matically "closed" by an edge con- 
necting the last point sent and the 
starting point. 

The filled polygons offer the ability 
to define an entire object disregarding 



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less than 1/3* the price of Apple™ or IBM™ 
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Computer— compact in price and size, but 
not in power. See it soon at your Texas 
Instruments retailer. 

Creating useful products tL m m 
and services for you. W\* w 

Texas 
Instruments 

Copyright © 1983 Texas Instruments 

Circle 425 on inquiry card. 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


| x 1 | 1 | 1 | | 1 | | | 




Mill. . 1 . . 1 




MH , , 1 . . 1 


d *i d yi 


IXIlli. , 1 . . 1 




l"M , . 1 . , 1 



POLYGON (OUTLINED ) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


| X | | 1 | 1 | | 1 | 1 | | 




Ml|0, , 1 . , 1 




|x|i| . . I . . 1 


x y 


|X|1|±. , 1 . . 1 




Ixlll . . 1 . . 1 


dxj dyj 


Ixhli. . i . . i 




Ixlll . . 1 . . 1 



dx n dy n 

SET S POLYGON (OUTLINED) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 10 


[ X | o 1 1 |l J J 1 1 | 1 | 




|x|i|'. . 1 . . 1 




Mil . . 1 . . 1 


ItX] dyj 


IXUli, . 1 , , 1 




|x|i| , , 1 , . 1 



dx n dy n 

POLYGON (FILLED ) 



7 6 5 4 3 2 1 


| X | ] 1 | x |oli |l |l | 




|x|i|o, , | , , | 




Ixlll , . , I , , I 


x y 


|x|i|±, 1 . . 1 




|x|i| 1 . . 1 


dxj dyj 


|x|l|±.. , I . , I 


• t 


|X|1| . , 1 . . 1 



dx n dy n 

SET S POLYGON (FILLED ) 



Figure 14: The Polygon instructions. Any number of points can be used to define the 
polygon. 



what may be "under' 7 the object. Pic- 
tures can be built up in the same man- 
ner that kids create pictures using 
construction paper. 

In the example frame, the largest 
polygon is the grass (lines 10-31). 
When the house is drawn on top of 
the grass, a piece of the polygon is 
covered. Likewise, when the road is 
drawn (lines 220-239), more of the 
grass is covered. If the grass had been 
drawn last, part of the house and the 
entire road would not be seen. 

The polygon that is used to fill the 
center of the cloud (lines 151-160) can 
be derived directly from the arcs that 



surround it. As shown in figure 12, 
the {dx f dy) values for the polygon 
end up being the sum of the (dx,dy) 
values for the three points that de- 
scribe the arc. 

Other PDIs 

Several other PDIs are available in 
NAPLPS. Some of them allow com- 
pressed encoding of high-resolution 
images and detailed line drawings. 
PDIs are included that allow "logical" 
areas on the screen to be specified for 
user input. Timed waits and blinking 
capabilities are also part of NAPLPS, 
but will not be discussed here. 



SET COLOR 

7 6 5 4 3 2 10 



OP CODE (3/12) | X | | 1 J 1 | 1 | 1 | Q | Q | 



COLOR VALUE 



M'l ■ ■ I ■ .1 

G R B ; G R B 

I'M . . i ■ ■ i 

G R B G R B 



Figure 15: The Set Color instruction. This 
instruction defines the color with which 
all succeeding characters or graphics 
designs will be drawn. 



Color Control 

Color control in NAPLPS ranges 
from primitive, static color defini- 
tions to exotic color mapping and 
animation. Here I shall describe only 
the primitive color-control capabil- 
ities of NAPLPS. 

The basic color-control capability 
of NAPLPS allows a color to be ex- 
pressed as relative amounts of red, 
green, and blue. The "resolution" of 
the color specification can vary just 
as with coordinates (see figure 15). A 
display device is expected to display 
the "closest" color that is available. 

For simple display devices, 4 to 6 
bits of color specification are usually 
sufficient to select every available col- 
or (unless color maps are available). 
These color-specification bits are 
usually encoded in a truncated 
multivalued-operand byte. The first 
color specification in the sample 
frame appears in lines 2 and 3. The 
Set Color PDI is an op code and is 
followed by a data byte that specifies 
three units of blue, zero units of red, 
and zero units of green. The resulting 
color of the sky is a "very blue" blue. 

When a color is specified, it be- 
comes the "current in-use color." 
Anything drawn after the Set Color 
will be drawn in the new color. Note 
that after the sky is created, the green 
grass color is specified in lines 6 and 
7. If this was not there, the grass 
would be drawn in blue and would 
not be visible. 

Changing Character Sets 

If you have been carefully decoding 
the information in listing 1, you have 



184 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Do any QUAD function 
expansion boards measure up 



This may really be the only board you need 
to expand your IBM personal computer. 
We've now added the most wanted feature 
on a quad function board: two asynchronous 
ports along with memory, clock/calendar, 
and parallel printer port. And unlike most 
big memory boards, you don't have to 
sacrifice multiple functions to get 
51 2k of add-on memory in a single 
slot. 

THE BASICS 
The main board has three functions 
standard: Parity checked and fully 
socketed memory up to 256k in 
64k increments, clock/calendar 
with battery back-up, asynchronous 
communication port (RS232C ser- 
ial) which can be used as COM1 or 
COM2, (DCE for a printer, or DTE PWJB 
for a modem). Optional is a 100% 
IBM compatible parallel printer port, 
and a second async port for another $50 
each. Also included are: SuperDrive™ disk 
emulation and SuperSpooler™ printer buf- 
fer software. 

NO CORNERS CUT 
We didn't lower the quality to give you all 
this. The board is a four layer design with 
solder masking, silk screened locations, 
and gold plated edge connectors. Compo- 
nents are premium grade and meet or 
exceed IBM specifications. Each board is 
burned in and tested prior to shipment. 
CLOCK/CALENDAR 
& CLIP-ON BATTERY 
Ourclock is poweredbya simple $4 lithium 
watch battery available atyourcornerdrug 
store. It is clipped on, not soldered like 
some other clock boards. How useful is a 
battery warranty that requires you to send 
your board to the manufacturer to replace 
it? We send you a diskette with a program 
that sets the time and date when you turn 
on your computer. Now your programs will 
always have the correct time and date on 
them without you ever having to think 
about it. (Just which version ofthat program 
you were writing is the latest one?) 
MEGAPAK OF MEMORY 
The picture in the inset showsthe optional 
256k MegaPak™ board mounted "piggy- 
back"on the main board. This expandability 
feature gives those who need it 512k of 
add-on memory in a single slot. Now you 
can create disk drives in memory up to 



320k, set aside plenty of space for print 
spooling, and still have plenty of memory 
for your biggest programs. An exclusive 
design allows the memory to be split at two 
memory addresses to take full advantage of 
the memory disk feature of concurrent 
CP/M™. 




FREE SOFTWARE 

The disk emulation software creates "disk 
drives" in memory which accessyour pro- 
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print spooler allows the memory to accept 
data as fast as the computer can send it and 
frees your computer for more productive 
work. Some manufacturers sell hardware 
printer buffers that do only this for hundreds 
of dollars. SuperSpooler™ eliminates the 
need for these slot robbing products. 

CHEAP SOFTWARE TOO 
What good is great hardware without some 
great software to use it with? We offer 
some terrific prices on some of the popular 
programs you will want to use your board 
with. How about the cream of the spread- 
sheetprograms, SUPERCALC, for just $1 76. 
Or maybe dBASE II by Ashton-Tate for just 
$469. 

WHY BUY IT FROM US? 
Because we provide the service and support 
most companies just talk about. We realize 
how integral this board is to the use of your 
computer. What good is a warranty if it 
takes weeks for repairs to be made? We 
offer 48 hour turnaround or a replacement 
board on all warranty repairs. Do you hear 
anyone else making this promise? If you 
still are not convinced, and want to compare 
prices, remember we don't charge extra for 
credit cards, shipping, or COD fees. If you 
still want to buy elsewhere, ask them if 
they will face the acid test. 



IBM PC 

to MegaPlus? 

THE ACID TEST 

Qubie say ( Q- B -A ) gives you a 30 day 
satisfaction guarantee on all board pur- 
chases. If you are not completely satisfied 
we will refund the entire amount of your 
purchase. If you can get any of our com- 
petitors to give you the same guarantee, 
buy any other board you think compares 
and return the one you don't like. We know 
which one you will keep. One year parts 
and labor warranty included. 

TO ORDER BYMAILSEND 

— Your name and shipping address 
—Memory size, and options requested 
— Software and cables needed 
— Daytime phone number 
—California residents add 6% sales tax 
—Company check or credit card number 

with expiration date (personal checks 

take 18 days to clear) 



TO ORDER BY PHONE 

In California (805) 482-9829 

Outside California (800) 821-4479 

PRICES: 64k $359 192k $499 
128k $429 256k $569 
512k $968 

(Includes async, memory, clock, Super- 
Drive™, SuperSpooler™) 
OPTIONS: 

Parallel Printer Port $50 

Second Async Port $50 

MegaPak™ with 256k of memory $399 
Cable to parallel printer $35 

Cable to modem or serial printer $25 
Memory Diagnostics Program $10 

SUPERCALC by SORCIM $176 

dBASE II by Ashton-Tate $469 

SHIPMENT 

We pay UPS surface charges. UPS 2 day 
air service $5 extra. Credit card or bank 
check orders shipped next day. 

QUBIE' 
DISTRIBUTING 

4809 Calle AJto 
Camarlllo, CA 93010 

European Inquiries: 129 Magdalene Rd. 
London, SW18 
870-8899 

Circle 462 on inquiry card. 



STATISTICS SO EASY, 
LIKE MAGIC. 




At last, there's a sophisticated statistics 
package that's easy to learn and simple to 
use: speedSTAT 1. 

With extensive statistical analysis capabili- 
ties — including a capacity of over 10,000 
data points and more than 30 different sta- 
tistical measures^speedSTAT 1 islthe 
next major tool in your software collection. 
It multiplies your capabilities . . . with some 
pretty magical results. 

If you've relied on large computers for your 
statistical needs in the past, you'll appreci- 



professional statistical 
analysis system for 
Apple® computers 

ate the convenience and affordability of 
speedSTAT 1 . And even if you don't have 
much experience with computers or 
statistics, speedSTAT 1 will make your 
computer do the work, so you're free to 
think about the results. 

Of course speedSTAT has a lot more up its 
sleeve. You can learn the details at your 
Apple dealer. Or call Toll Free 800/543- 
1 350 (in Ohio call collect: 51 3/891 -5044) 
and we'll send you more information. 

SpeedSTAT is a trademark of SoftCorp International, Inc. 
Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 



n;i?E,m»KEU 



m 229 Huber Village Boulevard 

Westerville, Ohio 43081 



Circle 396 on Inquiry card. 



probably come across a few SO and 
SI codes (octal 016 and 017). These 
codes are used to indicate a change in 
the character sets or G-sets that are to 
be used. In the 7-bit mode of 
NAPLPS, only one character set can 
be used at a time. The SO code 
specifies that the set of PDIs should 
be used, and the SI code specifies that 
the Text character set should be used. 

You have also probably noticed 
that the high-order bit of all the codes 
has not been used. The reason for this 
of course is that we have been using 
the 7-bit mode of NAPLPS. If the 
8-bit mode were desired, a simple 
conversion can be made. Each time 
an SO is found it should be removed, 
and all bytes following that code 
should have their high bit set to 1. 
When an SI is encountered, it should 
also be removed and the bytes that 
follow should have a high bit equal to 
0. The result would be that all 
graphics-related codes would be in 
the form 1XXXXXXX. All text-related 
codes would have the form 0XXXXX- 
XX. 

In the 8-bit mode of NAPLPS, the 
14 SI and SO bytes could be re- 
moved, which would allow the figure 
to be stored in only 270 bytes. This 
may not seem like a big savings, but 
for large national databases with 
thousands of frames, every byte 
counts. There would also be a payoff 
in transmission time. At 30 characters 
per second, those 14 bytes might 
represent almost Vi second, which 
adds up as a user interacts with a 
system. 



33MB?:-'! 



Next Month 

In part 3 of this series, I will cover 
some of the more advanced topics in 
NAPLPS, including Incremental 
Lines, Macros, Dynamically Indefin- 
able Character Sets, and Fields. 

This series of articles should give 
the reader a very good overview of 
this coding system. But as was men- 
tioned last month, anyone seriously 
interested in working with NAPLPS 
should obtain a copy of the complete 
specifications for $18 from X3 
Secretariat, CBEMA, 311 First St., 
NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 
7 37 -8888. ■ 



Working with the wrong software is like 
questioning a fish. 

Unproductive. 



But now there VDigiSoft. We 
help you choose the micro- 
software that's right for you. 

You can't go wrong with DigiSoft. 
We've taken all the surprises out of 
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we don't stop there. You get plenty of 
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we guarantee your full satisfaction, 

Call Toll-Free 800/328-2777 

You'll get lots of help from our well- 
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answer your questions, off er solutions 
and present several alternatives. 
DigiSoft has a comprehensive software 
inventory, tested and evaluated for top 
quality and performance. We've labeled 
our programs I, II and III, so you can 
select the features best-suited to your 
needs and budget. 



Limited Introductory Offer* 20% 
Of£DMS TM II,andDCalc™II 

DMS is a totally relational database 
management program that can be part of 
an integrated financial system. It's 
compatible with a number of other 
DigiSoft programs including DCalc II, 
an electronic spreadsheet. Both can be 
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advantage of this special DigiSoft price. 

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee 

Try our software in your own office, on 
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To order, or request more information, 
call or send in the coupon today. Visa 
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*Offer expires 4/15/83. 



Dial 



D Please rush DDMS II ®> $259.95 (reg. $324.95) 
□ DCalc II @ $199.95 (reg. $249.95) 

□ Check enclosed. 

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Send more information about these DigiSoft 

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□ I/C III □ DCalc II □ DCalc III □ Medical III 

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Name 



Title 



Company 



Computer Type 



Address 



City State Zip 

Mail to: DigiSoft, 10901 Red Circle Drive, 
Mpls., MN 55343 CaIl800/328-2777 



c 




Circle 144 on inquiry card. 







I 







WF^l J 




/ k'l ' 




P ^'N^ 




ffi^ ■ 


n 






'^•••---~. - 




1 "* ■ 


f 


■ 







1 TO 16 USERS TO GO 



Altos multi-user 8086 or 68000 -based 

networking computers are chosen by more 

OEMs and Fortune 1000 companies. Here's why. . . 



ALTOS® 16-bit computer 
systems do more for more users. 
They give you more power. More 
features. And more reliability. For 
less money. 

You get a choice of 8086 or 
68000-based family processors, 
memory management to one MB 
of RAM, an intelligent Z80™ I/O 
and disk controller, plus up to 160 
megabytes of fast Winchester 
storage. 

A single Altos computer can 
serve up to 16 users. And every 
Altos 16-bit computer gives you 



INTER-ALTOS 
LOCAL NETWORK 



Series 586, ACS8600 and ACS68000 
20-160 MByte Winchester 
1-16 USERS with 
ALTOS-NET 




ETHERNET 



Series 586. ACS8600 and ACS68000 
20-160 MByte Winchester 
1-16 USERS with 
ALTOS-NET/UNEr" 



REMOTE COMMUNICATIONS 



Series 586. ACS8600 and ACS68000 
20-160 MByte Winchester 
1-16 USERS with 
ALTOS-NET/UNET 

2780/3780 
3270 
X.25 
SNA/SDLC 





added features like Multibus™ 
interfacing, real time clock, power 
fail detection and comprehensive 
diagnostics. 

But that's just the beginning. 
Link multiple Altos' together and 
communicate in the office of the 
future today. Serve hundreds of 
users with full Ethernet™ and 
ALTOS-NET™ hardware and soft- 
ware support. And save money 
with fewer interconnects. 

In addition, Altos supports 
remote communications protocols 
such as 2780/3780, 3270, X.25, 
and SNA/SDLC. 

Altos has all the 16-bit soft- 
ware you need, too. With popular 
operating systems like XENIX™ / 
UNIX™ (with a user-friendly "busi- 
ness command menu interface"), 
CP/M-86,™ MP/M-86,™ 0ASIS-16, 
MS™-D0Sand PICK for 8086-based 
systems; plus UN IX System III™ 
and RM/COS™ for 68000-based 
systems. 



Altos also has high-level lan- 
guages (BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL 
and PASCAL), and applications 
software (ABS/86 and ABS/68 for 
general accounting, word process- 
ing and financial planning). 

Since 1977, Altos has delivered 
more than 30,000 highly reliable, 
fully socketed, proven single board 
microcomputers and peripherals 
built for business. 

If you've been looking to go 
with a more powerful computer 
that can serve from 1 to 16 users 
for less money, call or write 
us today. 

Altos Computer Systems 
2360 Bering Drive 
San Jose, CA 95131 
(408) 946-6700 
Telex 171562 ALTOS SN J 
or 470642 ALTO Ul 



Packed with 
fresh ideas 
for business 




COMPUTER SYSTEMS 



800-538-7872 

(In Calif. 800-662-6265) 

Circle 18 on Inquiry card. 



ALTOS is a registered trademark and ALTOS-NET is a trademark of Altos Computer Systems. Ethernet is a trademark of Xerox Corporation. CP/M-86 and MP/M-86 are trademarks of Digital Research, Inc. 
MS and XENIXare trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. XENIX is a microcomputer Implementation of the UNIX operating system. UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories. UNIX System III is a trade- 
mark of Western Electric. RM/COS is a trademark of Ryan-McFarland. Inc. OASIS- 16 is a product of Phase One Systems. Inc. PICK is a product of Pick & Associates and Pick Computer Works. 
Multibus is a trademark and 8086 is a product of Intel Corporation. 68000 is a product of Motorola. Inc. UNET is a trademark of 3Com Corp. Z80 is a trademark and product of Zilog. Inc. 
c 1982 Altos Computer Systems. 



Software Review 



MP/M II 

The Multiuser, Multiprogramming 
Version of CP/M 



MP/M II, the revised version of the 
Multiprogramming Monitor for 
Microcomputers from Digital 
Research, is a powerful combination 
of valuable operating-system features 
that could become a dominant force 
in the advanced microcomputer 
market. 

The operating system offers you 
significant advantages over conven- 
tional single-user, single-job systems: 
it makes more effective use of im- 
proved microprocessor technology, 
has a broader scope of applications, 
offers better programming and devel- 
opment facilities, and will even in- 
crease throughput for your system. 
The operating system supports real- 
time processing, timesharing, multi- 
programming, and multitasking. 
MP/M II even provides capabilities 
for memory management, interrupt 
handling, extended file operations, 
system security, and sequential pro- 
cess management that are usually 
found only on larger systems. 

Compatibility with CP/M software 
is assured because CP/M file struc- 



About the Author 

Stephen Schmitt has worked for Hewlett- 
Packard and taught at Michigan Technological 
University. He is now doing a review of a ver- 
sion of the Ada programming language for 
microcomputers. 



Stephen Schmitt 
2892 Sandhill Rd. 
Mason, MI 48854 



tures, system calls, and command 
processing are all supported by 
MP/M II. All programming lan- 
guages and software tools for CP/M 
should run on MP/M with little or no 
modification. Thus the available 
repertoire of CP/M applications and 
the large number of high-level 
languages that CP/M supports 
should provide MP/M II with a sub- 
stantial supply of software. 

Systems other than MP/M II are 
competing for prominence in the ex- 
panding microcomputer field. Unix 
or Unix-like systems and Oasis-16 
from Phase One Systems are among 
its chief competitors. Currently, how- 
ever, no clear consensus exists in the 
market for rating the various sys- 
tems. In fact, many leading computer 
manufacturers are offering several 
operating systems as options to lure 
customers. 

In this review, I will describe the 
MP/M II system and its operation, 
outline an application of the system, 
and analyze its feasibility for general 
microcomputer operation. Some of 
the concepts Til touch on require a 
rudimentary background in operat- 
ing-system fundamentals and a gen- 
eral knowledge of CP/M and related 
software. I've included a list of 
reference materials that will acquaint 
you with any unfamiliar subjects. 



Overview 

Briefly, MP/M II can be described 
as a multiple-user version of CP/M 
with enhanced processing capabili- 
ties. Each terminal presents its user 
with a CP/M-like environment that 
can manage more than one task at a 
time. The timesharing capability of 
MP/M II makes it seem as if the 
system is running several programs at 
once, thus allowing more than one 
user to operate the microcomputer at 
a time. This ability to run programs 
concurrently improves performance 
by using system resources more effi- 
ciently. Programs waiting for slow 
I/O (input/output) devices such as 
printers do not consume central pro- 
cessor processing time. Unlike some 
other timesharing systems, MP/M 
permits all active processes to reside 
in memory and thus a large amount 
of disk swapping is avoided. All this 
is handled by a real-time kernel pro- 
gram in MP/M II that supervises 
timesharing, handles requests as they 
happen, sets priorities for resource 
allocation, and coordinates the 
layered interrupt structure. 

MP/M uses a simple file-system 
design that allows the user to access a 
broad class of mass-storage devices. 
The user also has access to very large 
RAM (random-access read/write 
memory) areas, even in 8-bit pro- 



190 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The new COMPAQ Portable Computer. 
IBM compatibility to go. 



s 



J imple, isn't it? The COMPAQ™ 
Portable Computer can do 

Iwhat the IBM® Personal 
Computer does. To go. 

It runs all the popular pro- 
grams written for the IBM. It 
works with the same printers and 
other peripherals. It even accepts 
the same optional expansion elec- 
tronics that give it additional 
capabilities and functionality. 

There's really only one big dif- 
ference. The COMPAQ Computer 
is designed to travel. 

Carry the COMPAQ Comput- 
er from office to office. Carry it 
home on the weekend. Or take it 
on business trips. 

If you're a consultant, take it 
to your client's office. 

If you use a portable type- 
writer, you can use the 
COMPAQ Computer as a 
portable word processor 
instead. 

If your company 
already uses the 
IBM Personal 
Computer, add 
the COMPAQ 



you'd probably need to buy an 
additional display screen because 
the built-in screen is too small for 
certain tasks, like word process- 
ing. The COMPAQ Computer's 
display screen is nine inches diag- 
onally, big enough for any job, and 
it shows a full 80 characters across. 
And the built-in display offers 
high-resolution graphics and text 
characters on the same screen. 

The bottom line is this. The 
COMPAQ Computer is the first 
uncompromising portable 
computer. It delivers 
all the advantages 
of porta 
bility 



In the standard configuration, 
the COMPAQ Computer has three 
open slots for functional expan- 
sion electronics as your needs 
and applications grow. It accepts 
standard network and commu- 
nications interfaces including 
ETHERNET™ and OMNINET™. 

If you're considering a per- 
sonal computer, there's a new 
question you need to ask your- 
self. Why buy a com- 




^^g^^ Portable as a 

mobile unit that 
can use the same pro- 
grams, the same data disks, and 
even the same user manuals. 

There are more programs 
available for the COMPAQ Com- 
puter than for any other portable. 
More, in fact, than for most non- 
portables. You can buy them in 
hundreds of computer stores 
nationwide, and they run as is, 
right off the shelf. 

With most other portables 



without trad- 
ing off any com- 
puting power capability. 
And what do those advantages 
cost? 

Nothing. 

The COMPAQ Por- 
table sells for hundreds 
less than a compara- 
bly equipped IBM or 
APPLE® III. Standard 
features include 128K 
bytes of internal memory 
and a 320K-byte disk drive, 
both of which are extra-cost 
options on the IBM. Memory 
and additional disk drive up- 
grades are available options to 
double those capacities. 



puter that 

isn't portable? 

For more 

information on 

the COMPAQ 

Portable Computer 

and the location of the 

Authorized Dealer nearest 

you, write us. COMPAQ 

Computer Corporation, 12330 

Perry Road, Houston, Texas 

77070. Or call 1-800-231-9966. 



© 1983 COMPAQ Computer Corporation 

IBM* is a registered trademark of International Business 

Machines Corporation. 

ETHERNET'* is a trademark of Xerox Corporation. 

OMNINET 1 " is a trademark of Corvus Systems. 

Apple* is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 

COMPACT* is a trademark of COMPAQComputer 

Corporation 




f.W Ml- T I I I I I I ! 1 1 I T " 

t/:f^'''r".'-'' J ' J ''' 1 '',^ 




comPAa 



wmm^^^^mmm^^^^^^^m portable computer 

The most Computer you Can Carry. Circle 500 on inquiry card. 



cessor systems. File improvements 
such as separate user file areas, 
security options, and time-stamping 
features extend the standard CP/M 
file structure. 

Fortunately, all enhancements of 
MP/M over CP/M are totally trans- 
parent to CP/M application soft- 
ware. Potential applications for 
MP/M II include office automation, 
real-time process control, advanced 
personal computers, information 
management, and software-devel- 
opment systems. 



Two Versions 

MP/M II is currently available for 
two popular microprocessor families: 
the 8080 family and the 8086 family. 
The 8086 version, MP/M-86, differs 
in memory management, code file 
structure, and its ability to support 
shared-code segments. Fortunately, 
these variations seldom affect user 
software. You can run the same pro- 
gram written in a high-level lan- 
guage such as CBASIC on both 
systems easily. Digital Research also 
supports programming tools for 



Feature 


Purpose 


Multitasking 


Several processes (tasks) can be executed concurrently. Any 
console can initiate multiple tasks. Each task is memory 
resident. 


Task Priority 


Tasks are assigned a ranking factor to ensure that critical 
tasks receive processor time. 


Queuing System 


Process communication 
Synchronization 
Mutual exclusion 


Interrupts and Timing 


Real-time control 

System clock 

Program scheduling 

Timesharing 

I/O device handling 

Delay and timing functions 


Network Capability 


Compatible with CP/NET (local area network). Enables 
resource sharing with other microcomputers. 


Multiple-Console 
Environment 


16 terminals or other character I/O devices can be 
simultaneously supported. 


Multiple Printers 


Spooling and access to several printers is now possible. 
Printers can vary in type and speed (maximum printers: 16). 


Reentrant Code 


Shared code allowed. Only one copy of code segment 
necessary for multiple invocations of a process. (MP/M-86: 
user programs and RSPs. MP/M-80: RSPs only.) 


Memory Management 


Memory-management technique is dependent upon 
microprocessor family. Memory protection is also sup- 
ported (hardware-dependent). 

8080 family: 

Bank-switching system 

400K bytes total physical memory limit 

Maximum number of banks: 8 

8086 family: 

Partition model technique 
Automatic allocation/deallocation 
Memory fragmentation recovery algorithm 
1 megabyte total physical memory limit 


File Password Protection 


File locking to prevent unwanted concurrent access 
Shared-access methods for multiple users 
Security 


Time Stamping 


File creation or updating and accessing data are maintained 
to enhance file management. 


Record Locking and 
Sharing 


Individual records can be exclusively owned or shared in file- 
processing applications. ., 


Increased Mass Storage 


A maximum of 16 logical disk drives with a total capacity of 8 
gigabytes of online storage. (Maximum file size: 32 
megabytes. Maximum drive size: 512 megabytes.) 


Table 1: A summary of the features of MP/M 11. These capabilities greatly expand 
the power of the standard CP/M 2.2 operating system. 



transporting assembly code from 
8080 to 8086 machines. To avoid con- 
fusion, I will discuss only the 8080 
version of MP/M II in this article. 

Features 

The multitasking aspects of MP/M 
II significantly enrich the basic CP/M 
operating-system model, even though 
the user interface and the function of 
software utilities are virtually iden- 
tical to CP/M. Extensions can be 
divided into three subject areas: pro- 
cess management, resource sharing, 
and file-system improvements. Table 
1 summarizes these additional 
capabilities. 

The command structure and sys- 
tem-entry points of MP/M II are a 
superset of those for CP/M. Old 
commands are virtually unchanged. 
This upward compatibility with 
CP/M was a prime objective in the 
design of MP/M. Also, many of the 
objections raised against CP/M and 
previous versions of MP/M have 
been addressed by MP/M II. Some 
rough spots still remain, however. 

System Design and Operation 

MP/M II is organized using a 
hierarchical approach. Figure 1 
details the basic structure of the sys- 
tem and shows the relationships of 
the various system components. The 
layered structure permits successive 
levels of increasingly sophisticated 
functions. A component of one layer 
is logically dependent upon one or 
more underlying layer components. 
For instance, the user interface 
employs the TMP (terminal message 
process) to relay console data and the 
CLI (command line interpreter) to 
process user requests. TMP receives 
data from the console queues, which 
are in turn supplied with character in- 
put by a physical handler in the XIOS 
(extended input/output system). Ac- 
cess across more than one layer is per- 
mitted (e.g., direct XIOS calls) but 
not recommended. 

MP/M II is also divided into 
modules, and the layers do not 
always correspond to these modules. 
They are grouped according to func- 
tion and are distributed as separate 
software components. Briefly, the 
system modules are as follows: 



192 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE March 1983 



193 



FUNCTION 



XIOS 


• I/O Primitives 

• Hardware Initialization 

• Hardware Control 


XDOS 


BDOS 


• Multiprogramming 

• Real-time support 

• Process management 

• Resource sharing 

• Protection 


• CP/M functions 
File primitives 
Device control 


OS ENTRY 
POINTS 


QUEUES 


SYSTEM DATA 
TABLES 


• Devices 

• File system 
•Task primitives 

• Flags 

• System control 


• Synchronize 

• Communication 

• System lists 

• Ports 

• Buffers 


• Configuration Data 

• User Data 


CLI 


TMP 


SPOOL 


RSP 


User Task 


System Task 


User Interface 


Application 


System Utility 



LEVEL 



HARDWARE 

CONTROL 

LEVEL 



OS LEVEL 



INTERFACE 
LEVEL 



PROCESS 
LEVEL 

USER/PRO- 
GRAM 
LEVEL 



Figure 1: A logical representation of the MP/M II system. Functional capabilities are 
divided into successive layers of increasing sophistication. 



BDOS (basic disk operating sys- 
tem) is an upward-compatible version 
of the single-user CP/M BDOS. It 
supports standard CP/M BDOS calls 
and adds extensions for multiple con- 
sole and printer support. File-system 
enhancements are also included. 

XDOS (extended disk operating 
system) contains the real-time pro- 
gram nucleus that monitors processes 
and manages system resources. This 
module supports the multipro- 
gramming and memory-management 
capabilities of MP/M II. Included 
with it are the TMP and CLI for pro- 
cessing console input. The XDOS also 
contains other functions accessible by 
user programs. 

XIOS, like the CP/M BIOS, pro- 
vides the low-level hardware- 
dependent routines. This part of 
MP/M II must be customized for 
every computer system. By encap- 
sulating the system-dependent func- 
tions, MP/M II can be hosted by 
various hardware implementations. 
Functions include console drivers, 
printer drivers, mass-storage 
primitives, hardware-initialization 



code, physical interrupt handlers, 
memory-management primitives 
(e.g., bank select), timing, and other 
I/O routines. 

System Data Tables is a group of 
miscellaneous data tables containing 
global system parameters, informa- 
tion sets pertaining to each user, 
system stacks, active file lists, and 
system queues. 

RSP (resident system program) and 
OS (operating system) processes in- 
clude code, data, and process descrip- 
tors for system tasks. OS processes 
are differentiated from RSPs in that 
they must be included with MP/M II 
and are not system options. 

System Parameter Area is a com- 
mon memory area for communica- 
tion between executing programs and 
the operating system. It occupies low 
memory (0-100 hexadecimal) and is 
compatible with the CP/M memory 
organization. 

Memory layout plays a key role in 
the analysis of MP/M II's operation 
and programming. Figure 2 shows 
how memory is organized. Bank 
switching increases effective system 



At a Glance 

Name 

MP/M \\ (8080) 
MP/M-86 (8086) 

Type 

Microcomputer operating system 

Version 

2.1 (May 1982) 

Manufacturer 

Digital Research Inc. 
POB 579 

Pacific Grove, CA 93950 
(408) 649-3896 

Price 

MP/M II: S450 
MP/M-86: S650 

Format 

CP/M single-density 8-inch floppy disk; 
5/4 -inch floppy-disk versions also 
available 

Language 

Digital Research PL/I and 8080 or 8086 
assembler 

Computer 

8080-, Z80-, 8085-, 8086-, or 8088-based 
system with a minimum of 32K bytes of 
RAM 

Documentation 

5 softbound books (8/2 by 1 1 inches): 
Users Guide, 1 76 pages; Programmer's 
Guide, 226 pages; System Guide, 1 6 1 
pages; Link-80 Manual (for linker pro- 
gram, 8080 family only); RMAC 
Language Manual (for 8080 family) 

Audience 

Operating-system enthusiasts, CP/M 
users, microcomputer OEMs (original 
equipment manufacturers), hobbyists 



memory capacity. The total physical 
memory is divided into blocks termed 
banks (usually 48K bytes). The 
system can switch a portion of the 
logical address space from one 
physical bank to another. Thus, even 
though the 8080 family of central pro- 
cessors can address only 64K bytes 
directly, multiple memory banks can 
be placed into the logical 64K-byte ad- 
dress space, thus increasing memory 
size and multiprogramming capabili- 
ties. Part of the operating system is 
stored in a portion of memory that's 
always active (i.e., never switched). 
Make sure you don't confuse 



194 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



SuperSof t FORTRAN 

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p. 44, Oct. 25, 1982. (While the differential 
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programs, we feel it is a good indication of the 
quality of our compiler.) Results are as follows: 
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In its first release SuperSoft FORTRAN 
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8. Full 8087 support— available as option 
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CP/M and CP/M-86 are registered trademarks of 
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Top of 








Memory 

Top of 

Banked 

Memory 


MP/M II OS 
(Common) 










Segment 
MP/M Extension 




Relocatable 
Segment 


• • • 




Start of 

Program 

Segments 


TPA 


Relocatable 
Segment 

TPA 


TPA 


100H 
OH 


System Parameter 
Area 


System Parameter 
Area 


System Parameter 
Area 


BankO 






Bank 1 
Tnn nf Memnrv 




BankN 






System Data 
Tables and Stacks 




MP/M II 

OS 

(Common) 


Resident BDOS 




Resident XDOS 






RSPs 






1 


Low Common (usually C000H) 




Banked BDOS 






Banked XDOS 




Segment 


Console tables, 
Files locks, and 
Sys. processes 








Detailed view < 
BankO high 
memory 


Df 


End of Segment (program limit) 



Figure 2: (Top) MP/M II memory organization for the 8080 family of microprocessors. 
Note the flexibility for partitioning banks into segments. Transient-program area (TPA) 
segments are for CP/M programs. (Bottom) This figure details both the common seg- 
ment that includes the MP/M II OS and segment 0. Note that in MP/M systems without 
memory banking, the banked versions of XIOS, BDOS, and XDOS are not required, 
which saves memory space. 



space of each bank. Memory manage- 
ment is done automatically. Pro- 
grams are assigned to segments using 
a best-fit policy. 

Operation 

Operating MP/M II is straightfor- 
ward, especially if you have a good 
understanding of the fundamentals of 
CP/M (see references on CP/M). 
MP/M II can be loaded by a boot 
routine from mass storage or it can be 
initiated by executing a special CP/M 
utility. Once the system is initialized, 
every terminal console displays a 
sign-on message and the standard sys- 
tem prompt. The console works very 
much like a single-user CP/M system. 
The system prompt differs from 
CP/M in its inclusion of a user num- 
ber identifier; for example, "0A>" 
where is the user number and A is 
the default drive. User numbers iden- 
tify the file area associated with each 
console. 

As in CP/M, a command is noth- 
ing more than an order to load and 
execute a user-written or system-sup- 
plied program file. The uniform 
strategy achieves both simplicity and 
flexibility (i.e., you can define your 
own commands or change the names 
of system utilities supplied with 
MP/M II). 

Installation and System 
Generation 

MP/M II software is designed for 
adaptation to a broad range of micro- 
computer hardware environments. 
Hardware independence with MP/M 
II is attempted through a fourfold 
strategy: 



memory banks with memory seg- 
ments. Memory segments are parti- 
tions of memory where program code 
can be loaded. A memory bank may 
have several segments. Transient pro- 
grams must be loaded into segments 
for execution. For example, CP/M 
COM files must be loaded into the 
transient-program area (TPA) in low 
memory. Page-relocatable programs 
(PRLs) can run in any partition. 

The common area, which is used 
by all banks, is located in the upper 
part of logical memory and contains 
the operating-system software. Seg- 



ment is a special partition reserved 
for system modules and RSPs. The 
division between the common area 
and segment defines the top of 
banked memory. In banked MP/M II 
systems, XDOS, BDOS, and XIOS 
are broken into common modules 
and segment modules. Buffers, 
queues, process descriptors, and 
operating-system entry points must 
be kept in the common area. File 
functions and higher-level operations 
that are accessed through system en- 
try points can reside in segment and 
need not occupy the logical address 



• MP/M II is written in a transport- 
able high-level language. 

• Hardware-dependent functions are 
encapsulated in a user-defined inter- 
face module (XIOS). 

• Mass-storage functions are table- 
driven to simplify mapping physical 
disk systems to MP/M II's logical file 
system. 

•A system-generation utility is pro- 
vided to allow the user to specify the 
operating environment structure. 

The majority of MP/M II is written 
in a PL/I dialect. In order to imple- 



196 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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ment MP/M on the different micro- 
processor systems, the designers had 
to modify the PL/I compiler so that it 
could emit specific machine codes. 

Central to the portability strategy 
is the hardware-interface module 
XIOS. The module is a superset of the 
functions defined for CP/M's BIOS 
(basic input/output system). Opera- 
tions found in the XIOS include inter- 
faces to printers, disk systems, ter- 
minals, and other system-specific 
devices. Physical interrupt handlers, 
system timers, and memory-manage- 
ment functions are also defined. 

The peripherals attached to MP/M 
II can be serviced via two methods: 
interrupts and polling. Polling is pro- 
vided for low-speed I/O, debugging, 
and multiple-device processing for 
systems that lack interrupt facilities. 

The XIOS is either written by a 
manufacturer distributing MP/M II 
with its computer system or it can be 
customized by an end user. Digital 
Research provides you with a 
skeleton XIOS module along with 
sample implementations for a few 



systems (e.g., Altos Computer Sys- 
tems). The documentation for gen- 
erating XIOS routines is clear and 
specific. XIOS is composed of ap- 
proximately 25 functions and usually 
requires 5K to 6K bytes of code in- 
cluding buffer space. 

Attributes of the mass-storage sys- 
tem easily map onto the logical file 
structure by use of parameter tables, 
which are called Disk Definition 
Tables. These tables define the 
characteristics of a particular disk 
system. Generation of the tables is 
done automatically by an MP/M 
utility. Disk systems ranging from 
simple floppy disks to the new 
Winchester-technology disks are ef- 
fectively supported. Digital Research 
also supplies a disk blocking/de- 
blocking procedure for increasing 
mass-storage performance. Blocking, 
a technique designed to improve ac- 
cess properties, allows a portion of 
disk storage to reside in main 
memory. 

Integration of MP/M II software 
into a custom operating system is per- 



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198 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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formed by the system-generation util- 
ity GENSYS. The system-generation 
process consists of (1) specifying sys- 
tem options, (2) collecting optional 
and required code segments into a 
single code file, and (3) layout of 
memory segments. Customizing the 
operating system enables you to fine- 
tune system performance, better 
match applications, and increase the 
software's overall flexibility. 

The SYSGEN utility is simple, 
small, and easy to understand. It pro- 
vides the minimum set of options nec- 
essary for flexible system design but 
doesn't bog down programmers with 
extraneous specifications. For the 
most part, the generation process 
facilitates the integration of host-com- 
puter hardware with the MP/M II 
operating-system software. 

I found that developing MP/M II 
XIOS and configuring the software 
for my specific needs were not too dif- 
ficult. Most problems resulted from 
misunderstanding hardware opera- 
tion. The documentation on develop- 
ing XIOS occupies an entire manual. 
The material should be carefully 
covered to minimize problems. I 
recommend implementing CP/M as 
the first step in creating an MP/M II 
system. Without CP/M, the genera- 
tion procedure is not well document- 
ed and requires more effort. 

Programming 

Programming MP/M II software is 
a more difficult task than that for 
CP/M. In addition to the extra sys- 
tem functions offered by MP/M II, 
the multitasking features add an 
order of complexity. But with this 
extra sophistication you get a more 
powerful tool, and more work is 
possible per unit of computing equip- 
ment with shared access. 

Processes and Data Structures 

A process is an active program seg- 
ment ready for execution in memory. 
MP/M II controls processes through 
a data structure termed a process 
descriptor. Process descriptors con- 
tain such information as process 
name, priority, status, device associa- 
tions, file environment, and links to 
other processes in system queues. 
Process descriptors are created at the 

Text continued on page 202 




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time the program is invoked by a sys- 
tem command. 

MP/M II supervises the execution 
and resource allocation for various 
tasks in its role as a task coordinator. 
Task scheduling is done on a priority 
basis. Each task has an associated 
static priority. The scheduling 
algorithm selects the task with the 
highest priority as the one to execute 
next. In case of a tie, tasks are 
scheduled using a "round-robin" tech- 
nique. Tasks with the same priority 
receive an equal share of the central- 
processor resource. Timesharing is 
facilitated by the fact that most 
CP/M and MP/M programs are 
assigned equal priorities. MP/M II 
permits 256 priority levels. 

Queues and queue management 
play an important role in the design 
and function of the operating system. 
The basic function of the queue is to 
support the multitasking environ- 
ment. A first-in, first-out pipeline 
transports data safely between pro- 
cesses. And queue data structures are 
maintained by the system. These act 



as "message files." Like files, they can 
be created, purged, opened, closed, 
read, or written. 

Three types of queues are defined 
for MP/M II: mutual-exclusion 
queues, circular queues, and linked- 
list queues. With a mutual-exclusion 
queue, a process has sole rights to the 
associated resource. For example, list- 
ing to a printer requires a printer 
mutual-exclusion queue. When a pro- 
cess is writing to the printer, it owns 
the resource and blocks interference 
from other programs. This prevents 
undesirable accidents such as inter- 
mixing two source listings. The other 
two queue types perform the same 
function but differ in physical 
representation. Circular queues, 
which store messages in array struc- 
tures, are employed when message 
size is between and 2 bytes. Linked- 
list queues support messages longer 
than 2 bytes but have a considerably 
slower access time. Circular and 
linked queues are used for passing 
data between processes. Data 
messages can range from simple 



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sions to sophisticated synchroniza- 
tion information between real-time 
tasks. 

The File System 

MP/M II's file system is an exten- 
sively enhanced revision of the file 
system used by CP/M and old ver- 
sions of MP/M. Changes to the file 
structure are completely upward 
compatible. Mass storage is orga- 
nized as a collection of logical drives. 
A drive may be a single mass-storage 
device like a floppy disk or a compo- 
nent of a large mass-storage 
peripheral. The system supports up to 
16 drives that are identified as devices 
"A" through "P." Each drive is divid- 
ed into two areas: a directory region 
and a data region. Files are grouped 
into 16 user areas in the directory. 
Files registered under a particular user 
number are usually accessible only by 
a user with the matching system user 
number. Data space for deleted files is 
automatically recovered, thereby 
eliminating the need for user packing. 

Specifying a file in a command line 
differs from the CP/M convention in 
that a password may have to be in- 
cluded: 

[drive:]filename[.type][;password] 

where drive = A-P, type has a maxi- 
mum of 3 characters, and filename 
and password have a maximum of 8 
characters. If a file is password pro- 
tected, it can be referenced only with 
the proper password or with the 
default-system password. MP/M II 
supports three levels of protection: 
read protection, write protection, and 
deletion protection. Password protec- 
tion can be turned on or off for the 
entire system. 

Another file-protection measure 
permits you to open files in either a 
locked or a shared mode. A locked 
file can be accessed by only one pro- 
cess at a time. Shared files can be 
referenced by several processes 
simultaneously. Files opened in the 
shared mode can have records of the 
file locked to an individual program. 
Record locking is an important at- 
tribute for many applications. For ex- 
ample, database systems often re- 



202 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYrE March 1983 



203 



File System Extensions 


System Control 


Record locking 


Multiple-printer control 


File locking/Shared access 


Access console via terminal/message 


Error-processing level 


process (TMP) 


Password management 


Access RSP (resident system program) 


Parse MP/M II file name 


Send CLI (command line interpreter) a 


Access disk label 


command line 




Access system data table 


System Clock Interface 


Process Management 


Set time and date 


Run highest-priority task 


Return time and date 


Terminate task 


Delay program 


Create task 


Schedule program 


Set task priority level 


Queue Operations 


Memory Management 


Read/Write to queue 


Request memory segment 


(conditional/unconditional) 


Free memory segment 


Create, Purge, and Open 


Request CP/M transient-program area 




(TPA) segment 


Table 2: MP/M 11 BDOS functions not 


found in CP/M. Programmers can access a 


powerful set of new system functions. 





quire this capability. Files can also be 
designated "read-only"; thus several 
programs can read the file but cannot 
update the contents. 

Time stamping attaches additional 
information to file-directory entries 
by indicating the times when a file 
was created (or updated) and last ac- 
cessed. Even disk drives can have 
labels showing time stamp, name, 
and status information. This is a very 
important feature designed to give 
better support for business applica- 
tions and software-maintenance pro- 
cedures. 

These additions to the CP/M file 
definition scheme have significantly 
improved file processing. A broad 
range of information-management 
applications are now feasible with 
these enhancements. But although 
both sequential and random-file I/O 
are present, the lack of ISAM (in- 
dexed sequential-access method), 
VSAM (virtual storage-access 
method), B-tree, or other direct-access 
methods is a notable weak link in the 
file system. 

The User Environment 
and Command Structure 

As mentioned earlier, the formats 
for MP/M commands are almost 
identical to those for CP/M com- 



mands. The only differences are the 
new MP/M commands that were not 
supported in CP/M. 

For the most part, commands are 
simple and easy to use. One draw- 
back of the command structure, 
however, is that you can't put mul- 
tiple commands on a single input line. 
The MP/M II command-batching 
facility (SUBMIT) is also relatively 
primitive. Batching is a mechanism 
for processing groups of commands 
in a data file. The SUBMIT utility 
lacks such convenient features as 
parameter input, data prompting, or 
conditional command execution. 

Like CP/M, MP/M II monitors 
special-character keyboard input. 
These control-character commands 
are used for line editing and device 
I/O management. MP/M II defines 
an additional character command: 
"D." This command detaches the cur- 
rently executing process from the 
console or reattaches detached pro- 
grams waiting to communicate with 
the console device. When you detach 
all of your programs, the console 
returns to the system command input 
state. 

System error messages have been 
extended and improved over previous 
versions of the operating system. 
More information is given and 



several new classes of errors are 
reported. System function call errors 
give you more detail. Command en- 
try errors provide supplementary in- 
formation relating to new system 
features. However, I still find the 
error-reporting system shallow and 
incomplete. A more uniform ap- 
proach to handling the several error 
sources should be adopted. Error 
messages need to be more meaningful 
and explanatory. A help facility for 
users would aid in error understand- 
ing and improve the overall quality of 
the user interface. Though the simple 
nature of the user interface is a big 
plus, MP/M II is often difficult for 
nontechnical people to comprehend. 

System Functions 

A collection of system entry points 
enables your programs to access a 
powerful set of primitives. Under 
CP/M, programs could make use of 
BDOS functions that primarily dealt 
with device I/O and file manage- 
ment. In MP/M II, system interface 
routines have been added to exploit 
multitasking capabilities and exten- 
sions to the file system. These new 
routines are defined in table 2. 

System Utilities 

System utilities directly interact 
with the system or provide access to 
system functions. Utilities can be sub- 
divided into four groups: program- 
ming aids, system-generation pro- 
grams, a file manager, and system 
interface routines. Because utilities 
are nothing more than file-resident 
programs, they can be modified or 
replaced in accordance with applica- 
tion requirements. Some programs 
correspond to the transient or built-in 
commands of CP/M. Table 3 lists 
M/PM utilities and briefly outlines 
their functions. 

Multitasking 

A real-time multitasking kernel 
located in the XDOS module manages 
program execution. Multitasking 
enables you to support many active 
tasks simultaneously. Although tasks 
may seem to operate in parallel, only 
one process really uses the central 
processor at a given time. The 
operating system maintains a list of 



204 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Foreword by 
Douglas Hofstadter 



INVERSIONS 

a catalog of calligraphic cartwheels 
by Scott Kim 



Backword by 
Jef Raskin 




/\ 




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The text includes the visual 
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are basic to these images. The 
author also draws parallels to 



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related exercises in percep- 
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Utility 


Application 


New for 




Name 


Group 


MP/M? 


Description 


ABORT 


Interface 


Yes 


Aborts process specified in command line. 1 suggest this utility be designated as an RSP to 
ensure that it can run when all memory segments are in use. 


ATTACH 


Interface 


Yes 


Binds a process to the console at which it was started. Console I/O to the process is again 
permitted. 


ASM 


Programming 


No 


Central-processor assembler. 


CONSOLE 


Interface 


Yes 


Lists console number of terminal. 


DDT 


Programming 


No 


CP/M interactive debugging program. 


DIR 


File 


No 


Displays disk directory information. Lists only CP/M-compatible data. 


DSKRESET 


Interface 


No 


Reinitializes disk drives. 


DUMP 


File 


No 


Displays contents of specified file in hexadecimal format. 


ED 


Programming 
and File 


No 


Line-oriented text editor. 


ERA 


File 


No 


Erases file entry from directory. 


ERAQ 


File 


Yes 


Same as ERA except that it prompts you for confirmation before erasing. Some systems 
rename ERAQ to ERA to provide users with more protection. 


GENHEX 


File 


No 


Changes .COM file to .HEX file. 


GENMOD 


File 


Yes 


Converts .HEX file to .PRL format. .HEX file must be 2 concatenated. .HEX files offset by 
100 hexadecimal. 


GENSYS 


Generation 


Yes 


Performs MP/M II system generation. 


LIB 


Programming 


Yes 


Creates library files from set of relocatable files (.REL). 


LINK 


Programming 


Yes 


Linkage editor for binding .REL files. 


LOAD 


File 


No 


Creates .COM file from .HEX file. 


t MPMLDR 


Generation 


Yes 


Loads MP/M II operating system and starts execution. 


MPMSTAT 


Interface 


Yes 


Displays up-to-date status of system environment. 


PIP 


File 


No 


File/device data-transfer routine. 


PRINTER 


Interface 


Yes 


Displays or selects active printer for console. 


PRLCOM 


File 


Yes 


Converts .PRL file to .COM format. 


RDT 


Programming 


Yes 


Memory segment relocatable version of DDT. 


REN 


File 


No 


Changes file name. 


RMAC 


Programming 


Yes 


Relocatable macro assembler for central processor. 


SCHED 


Interface 


Yes 


Schedules a program to start execution at a specific time and date. 


SDIR 


File 


Yes 


Extended file/directory information-list utility. Allows you to view time stamps, file attributes, 
etc., across multiple drives. 


SET 


File 


Yes 


Sets file options. 


SHOW 


File 


No 


Displays disk-drive status and protection levels. 


SPOOL 


File 


Yes 


Primitive file-spooling program. CP/M also has a spooling utility. 


STAT 


File 


No 


CP/M-compatible utility used to display or modify disk/file status. 


STOPSPL 


File 


No 


Terminates active spooling. 


SUBMIT 


Interface 


No 


Command-batching facility. 


TOD 


Interface 


Yes 


Sets/displays current time and date. Valid only for systems with clock. 


TYPE 


File 


No 


Displays file contents in ASCII format. 


USER 


Interface 


No 


Sets/displays active user number. 


XREF 


Programming 


Yes 


RMAC cross-reference listing program. 


Table 3: System utility programs supplied with MP/M II. 



active processes, each of which may 
be in one of several states — ready-to- 
run, waiting on resource, terminated, 
waiting for flag (logical interrupt), 
and so on. The number of memory 
partitions limits how many programs 
can run concurrently. Although idle 
programs are not swapped to disk to 
free up memory, that doesn't limit the 
number of tasks that can be per- 
formed because several tasks can 
reside in a single program. 

In terms of speed, Digital Research 
claims that a single-console MP/M II 
system compares in performance to 
CP/M 2.2. The overhead required for 
dispatching ranges from 7 to 15 per- 
cent. When multiple tasks are run- 
ning, dispatching overhead may in- 

206 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



crease. I/O-bound processes are not 
degraded severely unless they are 
competing for the same resources. 
Priority and timesharing ensure fair 
distribution of the central-processor 
resource. 

Resource Sharing 

Resource sharing is realized 
through MP/M II's queue system. 
Devices that must be used exclusively 
by a given task — printers or the mass- 
storage system, for instance — are ac- 
cessed via a mutual-exclusion queue. 
Printing requests require sequential 
processing, and disk access is provid- 
ed to only one program at a time. 
Even systems incorporating multiple- 
disk controllers handle file requests 



sequentially. Reentrant RSPs such as 
the command line interpreter (CLI) 
are also obtained via queue opera- 
tions. The CLI services those routines 
that have placed a message in its asso- 
ciated queue, CLIQ (command line 
interpreter queue). 

Memory is allocated based on the 
list of memory partitions specified 
during system generation. Processes 
hold memory resources until they ter- 
minate or are aborted. The central 
processor is shared through a special- 
ized queue, the process-ready list, 
which enables you to set the priorities 
of each task element. Deadlock detec- 
tion and prevention measures are not 
fully supported by the operating 
system. 

Text continued on page 210 



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* registered trademark of Digital Research 
** registered trademark of IBM 

^B Star Computer Systems, Inc. 

20600 Gramercy Place 
Torrance, California 90501 
(213) 538-2511 

Circle 401 on Inquiry card. 



How to mak 
work like a 




First, neatly cut out the "370" label. 

Now, when nobody's looking, non- 
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"IBM" as if it really belonged there. 

Then wait for your chance and quickly 
slip a dBASE II™ disk into 
your main drive. 
That's it. 

Your IBM Personal 
Computer is now ready to 
run a relational database 
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And you're ready with more data han- 
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possible before dBASE II. 

You'll wonder how you managed without it. 

You'll find that dBASE II, because it's a 
relational database management system (DBMS), 
starts where file handling programs leave off. 

dBASE II handles multiple databases 
and simplifies everything from accounting to 
department staffing to monitoring rainfall on 
the Upper Volta. 

With a word or two, you CREATE data- 
bases, APPEND new data instantly, UPDATE, 
MODIFY and REPLACE fields, records and 
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in minutes with the built-in REPORT. Do sub- 
field and multi-field searches, then DISPLAY 
some or all of the data for any condition you 
want to apply. 

And you've just begun to tap the power 
of dBASE II. 

Easy to look at, easy to use. 

Input screens and output forms couldn't 
be easier— just "paint" your format on the CRT 
and what you see is what you ; ll get. 




You can do automatic calculations on 
fields, records and databases, accurate to 10 digits. 

And you can use dBASE II interactively 
for answers right now. Or save your instruc- 
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Use dBASE II to help make your choice: 

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Instead of just poring over a manual, run 
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©1982 Ashton-Tate 

CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research 



Central Processors Currently Supported 


CPU 


Maker 


Bits 


8080 


Intel 


8 


8085 


Intel 


8 


Z80 


Zilog 


8 


Z108 


Zilog 


8 


8086 


Intel 


16 


8088 


Intel 


8/16 


1 iAPX-186 


Intel 


16 


iAPX-286 


Intel 


16 


Potential CPU Support (projected) 


CPU 


Maker 


Bits 


Z8000 


Zilog 


16 


M68000 


Motorola 


16 


iAPX-432 


Intel 


32 


Table 4: Central 


processors 


supported 


by MP/M II. 







Application Example: Modem 
Service Routine 

You are probably wondering at this 
point how all the new features and 
options can be applied to real pro- 
gramming situations. I'll sketch a sim- 
ple real-life application that will high- 
light the capabilities of MP/M II. 
This program is only qualitatively 
described, but it offers you an insight 
into system programming and opera- 
tion. Specifically, this example 
defines a program that handles 
modem access to an MP/M system. 

A handy computer-system feature 
is the capability to call the computer 
from a remote terminal by telephone. 
Instead of having primitive I/O 
routines handle the operation in the 
XIOS, you might prefer to use an RSP 
that monitors an auto-answer modem 
and initiates communication. The 
process should perform the following 
functions: answering the phone, ini- 
tializing communication handshak- 
ing (e.g., setting the DTR for the RS- 
232C serial port), checking for access 
authorization, recording the event in 
a log, finishing up, and waiting for 
the next call. The design process for 
such a program would be as follows: 

• Write the program as an RSP. 
MP/M II will put the program in the 
ready list and begin its execution at 
system start-up. 



• Add an interrupt handler to detect 
the asynchronous event of the call. 
Assume the serial port has the ability 
to cause an interrupt when the call 
comes in. The handler may be in the 
XIOS or RSP depending on hardware 
flexibility for adding interrupt code. 
The handler's sole function is to set a 
system flag. 

• The RSP suspends itself while wait- 
ing for the call flag to be set. When 
set, the process is activated. The pro- 
cess should have a priority higher 
than normal application programs so 
that the call will not be missed during 
periods of high activity. 

• Once activated, the RSP should 
clear the call flag. It then establishes 
communication with the modem by 
attaching the console representing the 
modem port. Once the communica- 
tion link is set, the process sends a 
message to the console and waits for 
the password. The RSP may loop 
until a correct password is entered or 
terminate if an illegal ID code is 
entered. 

• When the process accepts the user, 
it can send a log-in message to a 
queue attached to an accounting pro- 
gram or write a message in a file. The 
program releases (detaches) the con- 
sole so that the TMP associated with 
the console can start normal MP/M II 
interaction with the modem terminal. 

Perhaps programs such as the 
above will become available as 
MP/M utilities. 

Hardware Specifications 

MP/M II's design is relatively in- 
dependent of the underlying com- 
puter hardware organization. Of 
course, the concept has practical 
limitations, but the MP/M II system 
has to date been implemented on a 
fairly large set of microprocessors 
(see table 4). And Digital Research is 
expanding the number of processors 
MP/M supports, with much em- 
phasis being placed on 16- and 32-bit 
microprocessors. Memory systems 
can range from simple structures to 
virtual schema, banking, and page- 
mapped systems. Indeed, the new 
Zilog Z108 chip, a Z80-compatible 
microprocessor with on-chip memory 
management, would be an ideal 
MP/M environment. The mass- 



storage system is also quite flexible. 
Several mass-storage technologies 
with varying access properties are 
adaptable to the MP/M II file inter- 
face. Of course, terminals, printers, 
and other character I/O devices are 
necessary components of a complete 
system. 

Internal Hardware 

The minimal memory requirement 
for MP/M II is 32K bytes of RAM. 
Many valuable CP/M programs need 
a larger memory space than this, 
however, so I recommend at least 
56K to 64K bytes. Banked or register- 
mapped memory that allows a 
physical address space greater than 
64K is also highly recommended, 
especially in a multiuser environ- 
ment. A good rule of thumb is 32K 
per extra user, but the more memory 
you have, the better. 

Two other hardware components 
are critical for MP/M II systems: a 
clock/timer circuit and com- 
munications-interface hardware. 
Timer circuits are used for tracking 
time of day and generating interrupts 
for timesharing. The suggested "tick 
frequency" is between 50 Hz and 100 
Hz. A Zilog CTC chip exemplifies a 
good selection for this application 
because of its adjustable frequency 
and interrupt-generating capabilities. 
Both serial and parallel I/O chips are 
valuable system components. Serial 
communications are necessary for 
terminals, printers, tape systems, 
EPROM programmers, and many 
other serial devices. Parallel ports can 
be used for Centronics interface 
printers and digital signal processing. 
In addition to these system 
peripherals, you might allocate a few 
extra ports for expansion and occa- 
sional communication functions. 

Although a general interrupt sys- 
tem offers the best system perfor- 
mance, MP/M II can operate without 
interrupts by using a polling 
mechanism. But if a polling 
mechanism is used, system through- 
put declines and user programs must 
make dispatch requests to share 
resources. The type of interrupt 
schema is not critical because the 
operating system translates real inter- 
rupts into logical interrupts or flags. 



210 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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BYTE March 1983 



211 



Mass-Storage Requirements 

A variety of disk systems can be 
employed, ranging from SVi-inch 
floppy disks to high-capacity hard 
disks. Also included are RAM 
memories that simulate high-speed 
drives. Because hardware-dependent 
functions are isolated in the XIOS and 
configurable attribute tables are used, 
customizing is easy. I suggest that any 
mass-storage system include an IBM 
3740-compatible (8-inch) floppy sys- 
tem because it's the most popular 
software distribution format. For 
systems with several users, a hard- 
disk system is best. File bottlenecks 
usually result if floppy-based systems 
are accessed by too many people at 
the same time. Many disk systems are 
available for MP/M II applications. 
Most offer the necessary software for 
generating XIOS disk functions. 

Other Peripherals 

Systems may have an assortment 
of associated peripherals. Video-dis- 
play terminals are expected for con- 
sole devices. "Dumb terminals" with 



minimal cursor features are adequate 
for most program environments. 
Other serial devices such as teletypes, 
card readers, paper-tape punches, 
and so on can be connected as 
specialized console devices. 

MP/M II does not directly support a 
magnetic-tape backup system, but 
tape systems controlled by an applica- 
tion program or integrated with some 
of the newer Winchester disks are 
common alternatives. Other equip- 
ment such as graphics terminals, 
modems, synchronous communica- 
tion interfaces, and plotters must be 
operated via custom-written utilities. 

Evaluation 

Digital Research operating-systems 
software has been a dominant force in 
the microprocessor industry. With 
MP/M II, Digital Research hopes to 
solidify its position in the 8-bit mar- 
ket and set the trend for 16-bit micro- 
computers. 

The goal for the MP/M II designers 
was to extend the CP/M model to a 
multiuser environment without losing 



compatibility with CP/M. The sys- 
tem is simple, easy to understand, 
and consistent. Real-time processing 
adds a valuable programming dimen- 
sion. Hardware independence is 
another important attribute. Table- 
driven disk logic, the encapsulation 
of hardware-dependent functions, 
and good supporting documentation 
are all effective solutions to a com- 
plex problem. The well-defined set of 
operating-system interface functions 
is complete and plays an essential role 
in software portability. And MP/M 
II's queue system is excellent. Coor- 
dination of multiple resources is effi- 
ciently handled in a single logical 
mechanism. The queue model is sim- 
ple, but it effectively supports process 
interaction without sacrificing perfor- 
mance. The resulting system is 
neither awkward nor superficial. 

The file-system design and user 
interface are vital aspects of any 
operating system. In MP/M II, the 
file structure is an improved version 
of that of CP/M. The additional 
descriptive information, protection, 



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Disk with Manual Manual Only 

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Programable $875 

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The Boss Fin. Ace. System $1 750 

BYROM SOFTWARE 

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CAXTON 

Cardbox $225 

COMPUTER CONTROL 

'Fabs(B-Tree) $140/35 

Ultrasoft $140/35 



CONDOR COMPUTER 

Condor I $255/50 

Condor II , $515/55 

Condor II $795/55 

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CP/M 

2.2 Intel MDS-800 $149 

Northstar (Horizon) $149 

Micropolis $169 

TRS Model II $159 

CB-80 $429/45 

PL1-80 $429/50 

CBasic2 $ 98 

BT-80 $190 

8" only 

RMAC, Linklib, XREF $190 

Display Manager $350 

Access Manager $279 

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FMS80 $775 

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* Mini Model $429/50 

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Quickcode $225 

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Time Accounting $499/50 

General Subroutine $269/50 

Application Utilities $439/50 

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Superfile $155 

PASCAL LANGUAGE 

Pascal Z $349/40 

Pascal MT+ V5.5 $429/40 

Compiler $316/25 

SPPOnly $165/15 

KEY BITS 

Wordsearch $1 79/50 

String 80 $ 84 

String 80 (Source) $279 

LEXISOFT 

"Spellbinder $349/55 

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Final Word $255 

MICRO AP 

Selector IV $249 

Selector V $449/50 

MICRO TAX 

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MICROSOFT 

Basic-80 $279 

Basic Compiler $319 

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Macro-80 •. .$154 

MuSimp/muMath $224 

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Inventory 399 

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for P8 Version add $11 9 

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Order Entry $699 

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RM/Cobol $650 

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Pascal/M 86/88 $449/40 

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•Trans 86 $119/25 



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SOUTHERN COMPUTERS 

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STRUCTURED SYSTEMS GROUP 

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SUPERSOFT 

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•Fortran w/RATFOR $289/35 

•C Compiler $175/20 

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•Disk Doctor $ 84/20 

•Term I $129/25 

Term II $169/25 

Scratchpad $210 

Dataview $165 

Stats Graph $165 

Combination of above 3 $495 

Z8000 Xassembler $449/35 

WHITESMITHS 

C Compiler $700/40 

Pascal (incl C) $900/45 

IBM PERSONAL COMPUTER 

Wordstar3.2 $295/60 

Mailmerge $1 50/25 

Supercalc $229/NA 

Visicalc (256K) $229/NA 

Optimizer $200/NA 

SupersoftC -CP/M86 $500/NA 

Peachtree3 Pak GL, AP, AR $595 

Final Word $265 

Condor I, II, III CALL 

Statpak $439 

BSTAM $149 

Move-It $129 

Easy Writer II $315 

Easy Speller. $155 

Easy Filer (dBase mgr.) $335 

Spellbinder $355/49 

Concurrent CPM 86 $335 

Pascal MT& 86 $360 

SPP86 $180 

AMCobol $800 

APPLE II DOS 

Word Handler II $155 

Listhandler $ 85 

Broderbund Software 

General Ledger (w/A/P) $435 

Payroll $325 

Professional Easy writer $155 



Available for Apple with Softcard 



212 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 187 on inquiry card. 



and file-sharing attributes that are 
provided are very useful. However, a 
hierarchical structure similar to Unix 
would vastly improve the organiza- 
tion of file information. And file- 
access methods for data processing 
are notably absent. As for the user 
interface, it is simple and understand- 
able. Error processing is good, but it 
could be much better. A help utility, 
input correction, and multiple com- 
mand lines are necessary improve- 
ments. 

Documentation 

Documentation for MP/M II 
departs from the old standard for 
microprocessor literature; it is clear, 
concise, and informative. The 
manuals are well organized and make 
it easy for you to locate key ideas. 
Numerous examples and a straight- 
forward format help you to under- 
stand difficult concepts. Three 
manuals are included: a Users Guide, 
a Programmer's Guide, and a System 
Guide. Each contains a separate sum- 
mary, table of contents, index, and 
(except for the System Guide) 
glossary. Print quality is only fair. I 
found few errors and typographical 
mistakes. 

Each manual addresses a different 
MP/M II user audience: the general 
applications user, the system pro- 
grammer, and the system manager or 
architect. The Users Guide describes 



program operation and the user inter- 
face, the Programmer's Guide ex- 
plains system structure and program- 
ming guidelines, and the System 
Guide outlines procedures to custom- 
ize MP/M II for your own hardware. 
In addition to these three system 
manuals, documentation for the 

Although MP/M II 

systems can support 

up to 16 consoles, 6 to 

8 active users is 

probably a more 

realistic number. 

linker program (LINK) and the 
relocatable macro assembler (RMAC) 
also comes with the MP/M package. 

Performance 

System performance under load is 
reasonable because of low system 
overhead and faster microcomputer 
components. MP/M II's efficiency 
can be attributed to its compact code 
size (15K bytes) and a manageable 
system-function set. A single-user 
MP/M II system is 7 percent faster 
than a CP/M 2.2 system. Unlike 
CP/M, MP/M II does not reload part 
of the operating system after com- 
mand calls, so it saves disk-access 
time. 

A major bottleneck with multiple- 



user MP/M II is the mass-storage sys- 
tem. To maintain file integrity, only 
one task at a time can access the file 
system. Thus high disk I/O activity 
substantially degrades performance, 
especially if requests come two or 
three at a time. Because of the disk- 
intensive nature of program develop- 
ment and business applications, a 
hard disk is advisable for systems 
with more than two users. Floppy 
systems are too slow to handle the 
traffic involved in loading com- 
mands, running word processors, 
compiling several programs, and so 
on. A blocking /deblocking algorithm 
can improve disk response; however, 
the size of available main memory is 
reduced by the size of the disk buffer 
that would be involved. 

If there are a large number of users, 
a few concessions must be made. As 
the number of terminals increases, 
data-transmission rates decrease and 
buffering methods become necessary. 
Slow data-transmission rates could be 
improved by a more sophisticated 
spooling system. Although MP/M II 
systems can support up to 16 con- 
soles, 6 to 8 active users is probably a 
more realistic number. 

Scope 

Multitasking real-time control and 
process management are necessary 
for most industrial and scientific com- 
puting jobs. Monitoring a home, con- 




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March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 213 



trolling a small plant operation, or 
simple robotics are potential MP/M 
II applications. The interrupt facility 
in conjunction with queue operations 
facilitates the handling of asyn- 
chronous processing and ordering of 
priority requests. The small overhead 
imposed by the operating system 
makes real-time programming feasi- 
ble. 

Several MP/M II features will help 
those users who are involved in pro- 
gram development. The file-stamping 
option, for example, is a useful con- 
cept for keeping track of an evolving 
source code. A large set of applica- 
tions can be conveniently addressed 
by the large selection of programming 
languages available for CP/M. In 
particular, some language processors 
like Pascal/MT + support a program- 
development system similar in con- 
cept to the Ada run-time environ- 
ment. Companies making CP/M 
compilers are modifying their systems 
to incorporate the novel features of 
MP/M II (e.g., record locking and 
shared access). Word processors, file 



utilities, and debuggers streamline the 
programming process. For large pro- 
grams, MP/M II supports chaining of 
programs. Overlay linkers are also 
available for CP/M-compatible soft- 
ware. Well-defined system functions 
and a small operating-system 
"nucleus" form a flexible base for 
building complex programs. 

MP/M II would also make a viable 
office-automation system. CP/M 
database systems, word processing, 
accounting programs, inventory sys- 
tems, and so on are offered by a 
variety of software firms. Multiple- 
user capability coupled with CP/M 
information and planning software 
provide the necessary features. The 
ability to support networking further 
enhances MP/M II's position in this 
market. 

Conclusions 

MP/M II offers features and pro- 
cessing power comparable to many 
large computer operating systems. 
Three of these features — multitask- 
ing, real-time programming, and net- 



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working — address a class of useful 
applications that range from efficient 
multiple-device control to full-scale 
distributed processing. Task manage- 
ment and communication is effective- 
ly handled with the queuing system. 
The user interface and enhanced file 
system make it much easier to use 
general-application programs. 

The operating system is well 
designed, but it lacks some features 
that are necessary for some commer- 
cial requirements. File-system 
organization and access methods are 
not adequate for information man- 
agement. Also, although security, 
user accounting, and man-machine 
interfacing are significant issues in a 
business data-processing environ- 
ment, MP/M II, like other micropro- 
cessor operating systems, does not 
fully address them. 

Several operating systems that 
have been designed for the latest 
microcomputer technology have im- 
pressive capabilities. Whether the 
MP/M II operating system is the best 
of these is debatable. I do not intend 
to make such a claim. Instead, I 
would point out two critical factors 
by which to judge microprocessor 
operating systems: hardware in- 
dependence and the availability of 
software applications. A universal 
operating system must provide a 
standard interface, independent of a 
computer's word size and com- 
ponents. More important, an exten- 
sive software base is mandatory for a 
useful system. MP/M II is founded on 
these premises and should prove to be 
a leading microprocessor operating 
system. ■ 



References 

1. Mark Dahmke, "Introduction to Multipro- 
gramming," BYTE, September 1979, p. 
20. 

2. Thorn Hogan, "Osborne CP/M User 
Guide." Berkeley, CA: Osborne/McGraw- 
Hill, 1981. 

3. Kenneth J. Johnson, "Microcomputer 
Timesharing," BYTE, April 1979, p. 224. 

4. Gary Kildall, "CP/M: A Family of 8- and 
16-bit Operating Systems," BYTE, June 
1981, pp. 216-232. 

5. Steve North, "The CP/M Disk Operating 
System," Creative Computing, Novem- 
ber/December 1978, pp. 52-53. 

6. Allan C. Shaw, "Logical Design of 
Operating Systems." Englewood Cliffs, 
NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974. 



214 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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User's Column 



Sage in Bloom, Zeke II, 

CBIOS Traps, Language 

Debate Continues 

The consummate computer user tackles his new writing 
machine, and other tales from Chaos Manor. 



Jerry Pournelle 

c/o BYTE Publications 

POB 372 

Hancock, NH 03449 



I have three pages of notes on what 
I should write about this month, and 
if I finish the list I'll double BYTE's 
already amazing thickness — and still 
not be caught up with either hard- 
ware developments or the flood of 
useful software that's pouring out for 
microcomputers. There was a time 
when I could pretend to be, if not 
familiar with, at least aware of nearly 
everything going on in the microcom- 
puter world. No longer. I hear about 
many developments, for which I 
thank my numerous correspondents, 
but there's no way anyone can keep 
up with the explosion. 

Meanwhile, we have two new 
systems at Chaos Manor: a new 
writing machine and a Sage II that 
runs UCSD Pascal for the fastest time 
yet in my benchmark. 

I can't keep up, but what the hell, it 
can't hurt to try . . . 

The Sage in Bloom 

I first saw the Sage 68000-based 
machine at the 1982 West Coast 



Computer Faire. Then at Wescon/ 
Mini/Micro I saw another and got to 
talking with Sage's president, Rod 
Coleman. 

About a week ago our Sage ar- 
rived. I'll be writing a lot about it as 
time goes on. 

My first impression is that I love it. 
The Sage is a working machine. Mine 
has a half megabyte of memory (some 
of which can be configured to be run 
as "RAM disk," that is, as a 
memory simulation of a disk, exactly 
like the Compupro M-Drive or 
Semidisk Systems' Semidisk). It has 
two double-sided double-density 
5V4-inch disk drives; those disk 
drives, I must confess, are part of the 
reason I'm changing my mind about 
small disks, because we've been 
working the dickens out of the Sage 
and we haven't had a disk glitch (or 
any other kind of glitch for that 
matter). 

It's a handsome machine. It is also 
quite small; the whole thing — disk 
drives, power supply, computer, and 



all — takes up considerably less space 
than one of the Compupro boxes, and 
in fact is smaller than the Televideo 
925 terminal that came with the Sage. 

The Sage can be that small in part 
because it uses what's known as a 
switching power supply rather than 
the brute-force transformer, rectifier, 
and filter system in the Compupro. 
Switching power supplies rectify the 
110-volt AC immediately, then they 
use electronic switching to eliminate 
the bulky low-frequency transform- 
ers of conventional power supplies. 
They are a lot more efficient than the 
old-fashioned kind; they're also 
trickier to design and use. 

While the Sage is really lovely 
hardware, there is a small problem: 
the operating system is UCSD Pascal. 

For many that's not a bug, it's a 
feature. Heaven knows, UCSD Pascal 
has its champions, including my 
friend Carl Helmers, the founding 
editor of BYTE. The UCSD system 
(now marketed by Softech Microsys- 
tems) is a completely integrated 



218 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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package containing the Pascal com- 
piler, a text editor, disk-file system, 
and a bunch of utilities to format and 
copy disks and such like. One nice 
feature of the system is that when you 
try to compile a Pascal program, as 
the compiler finds your errors, it 
shows them to you in the editor; you 
can fix them on the spot and go on, or 
wait to see more. This takes a lot of 
the sting out of Pascal. 

The system is fast, too. It compiles 
Pascal programs with lightning 
speed. The programs are compiled to 
the UCSD Pascal p-code, which is an 
intermediate code that must be inter- 
preted at run-time. It is not machine 
code, but the 68000 chip is so fast that 
this turns out not to be a handicap 
either. 

My 20 by 20 matrix benchmark 
program (see the October 1982 BYTE) 
ran in 8.9 seconds on the Sage; the 
best time on the 8085/8088 dual pro- 
cessor was 19.2 seconds when com- 
piled by Pascal MT + (which com- 
piles to machine language). 

That's fast. 

The other drawback to the Sage is 



that the documents assume you know 
more than I do. Not a lot more; just 
more. Fortunately, there's a brief 
cookbook example of how to make 
copies of disks; I was able to back up 
the Sage operating system before try- 
ing to experiment, which is just as 
well. However, after that admirable 
step-by-step tutorial on formatting 
and duplicating disks, the documents 
lapse off into "documentese," with 
few to no examples and a nonlogical 
order of presentation. 

Rod Coleman tells me that by the 
time you read this the Sage will prob- 
ably have other operating systems, 
including some kind of CP/M. I hope 
so. Meanwhile, you can get from 
Softech a program called Xenofile 
that will translate CP/M text files in- 
to the UCSD format, so you can 
salvage ASCII (American National 
Standard Code for Information Inter- 
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for use on the Sage if you like. Prob- 
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Sage, get Introduction to the UCSD 
p-System by Charles W. Grant and 
Jon Butah. Published by Sybex, it 
contains a really detailed tutorial in- 
troduction. I wish I'd had the book 
when I first got the Sage; it would 
have saved a lot of time. Given that 
book, you can get a fairly good 
understanding of the UCSD system in 
a reasonable time. You may not like 
the system, but at least you'll know 
how to use it. Flash: the Grant and 
Butah book now comes standard with 
the Sage computer. 

We've sent the Sage off to a mad 
programmer associate of Alex's; he's 
putting it through strenuous tests, as 
well as writing considerable software 
for it. Much more on the Sage in later 
columns. 

Alas, Poor Ezekial 

We sent Ezekial, my old friend who 
happened to be a Cromemco Z-2, off 
to the organ banks; he has officially 
become spare parts for Larry Niven's 
machine. Like the wonderful one- 
horse shay, everything went at once. 
The final problem was the disk 
system. Zeke used old iCOM disks, 
the kind that had Percom drives with 
the controller on two boards in the 
box with the drives and their power 
supply; and they became unreliable. 
Spare parts are unobtainable: 
although those drives were the very 
best available when we got them, 
they're now from the Dark Ages. To 
update them would cost more than 
new Compupros, and they'd still be 
slow with very limited storage. 

Zeke's bus is too slow, and his old 
Industrial Micro Systems memory 
uses too much power. The bottom 
line, alas, is that it just wasn't worth 
fixing him up. Nor Singh swears he's 
going to get him running so that I can 
donate him to the Los Angeles 
Science Fantasy Society. The LASFS 
already owns Altair, the first Niven 
machine. (That's a little embarrass- 
ing, because Altair Niven was of- 
ficially accepted as a member of the 
club.) 

There's another possibility. Dan 
MacLean's widow donated Alice, 
Dan's old IMSAI, to the LASFS, and 
Nor Singh has been hired to get Alice 
running for the club; it may be that 



220 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 103 on inquiry card. 



Zeke and Alice (who shamelessly car- 
ried on a long-distance affair for 
years) may yet be united into a single 
working entity . , . 

Zeke II 

Ezekial has departed, but I have 
consolation: as Nor Singh arrived to 
remove Zeke, Tony Pietsch delivered 
Zeke II, which is a state-of-the-art 
writing machine. That, of course, is 
the point of all this. I get lots of letters 
asking my recommendation for "the 
ideal word processor." My answer 
usually is, "That depends." However, 
I've seen nothing better than Zeke II 
for creative writing. 

First: my "ideal" writing system is a 
computer, not a dedicated word pro- 
cessor. True, some excellent 
dedicated word processors are on the 
market, and it's a lot easier to learn to 
use them than it is to learn to write 
with a full microcomputer. However, 
in my judgment, the saving is il- 
lusory: it doesn't take that much 
longer to learn to use a real computer; 
and then you can tap the power of the 
software explosion. Most dedicated 
word processors leave you at the mer- 
cy of one company: you get only the 
software it thinks you should have. 
Consequently, I recommend CP/M 
systems. 

Second, iron is expensive but 
silicon is cheap: new computer 
boards are invented all the time. Get 
a good S-100 bus system and you can 
take advantage of the dozens — per- 
haps hundreds — of firms developing 
new capabilities for it. 

Third, deal with reliable companies 
with a good track record. 

In keeping with these views, Zeke 
II consists of a Compupro S-100 bus 
and power supply. My friend Bill 
Grieb continues to swear by the In- 
tegrand box that has bus, power sup- 
ply, disk power supply, and disk 
drives all built into a handsome 
wood-grain cabinet — and perhaps 
he's right. I can only say that the 
Compupro box has never disap- 
pointed me. It's built like a Mack 
truck, with .2 farads (none of this 
microfarad stuff I) of power filtration. 
The only disadvantage is that it's big, 
but I don't mind that. The large size 
helps keep the components cool. 



Inside the box is a Compupro 
6-MHz Z80 central processing unit, 
64K bytes of memory (Compupro 
RAM-17), an Interfacer 4, and the 
Compupro Disk-1 disk controller. 
That drives a pair of Compupro 
8-inch double-sided double-density 
drives at 1.2 megabytes per disk. The 
Interfacer 4 plus the new CBIOS 
(customized basic input/output 
system — the thing that tells CP/M 
about your particular hardware) 
written by Tony Pietsch allows a 
number of ways to talk to the system. 



Tony's CBIOS is now available from 
Compupro. 

The CBIOS allows you to use 
either 5Va- or 8-inch disks. The Com- 
pupro controller supports either. It 
does not run both at once; if you 
want both on the same system, you 
will need two different controllers. 
That, however, is no problem: the 
Compupro box and CBIOS can han- 
dle the situation, so that you can 
transfer files from 8-inch to 5V4-inch 
and vice versa. 

Some disk controllers will run both 



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March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 221 



8- and 5V4-inch disk drives; I once 
asked Bill Godbout why his wouldn't. 

"I don't make Muntz TVs, either/' 
he told me. 

Interpreted that means that it's 
tricky enough running at the speeds 
his direct-memory-access (I'll explain 
DMA below) systems use without 
trying to play games. Bill Godbout 
once told me, "If the error rate is 
measurable, it's too high." His stuff is 
designed to that philosophy. 

I still prefer 8-inch disk drives, 
although not as adamantly as I did 



last year. The 5V4-inch systems are 
getting more reliable, and running 
double sided and double density they 
hold quite a bit of information. I do 
not believe the small disks are as 
reliable as the 8-inch, but many peo- 
ple for whom I have respect say 
they're reliable enough, so my 
preference is probably pure prejudice; 
unfortunate, but there it is. 

I can also hang a normal terminal 
on the system, and indeed the same 
Televideo 950 that drives the Com- 
pupro 8085/8088 dual processor can 




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run Zeke II. That, however, is not the 
normal mode, because we've set up 
Zeke II mostly as a writing machine. 
When he's powered up, he comes up 
in WRITE, my text editor; and when 
he's in WRITE mode, he talks to me 
through an Ithaca IA-1100 memory- 
mapped video board. (Memory- 
mapped video displays directly 
what's in a segment of memory; I 
tried to explain it in the November 
1982 BYTE.) 

Tony has modified the Ithaca 
board to be "write-only memory"; 
that is, you can't read the board's 
memory, you see only what's 
displayed on the monitor screen. The 
board is addressed to the top IK bytes 
of memory, and thus overlaps the 
RAM-17, but they can't interfere with 
each other. 

We took the video chips out of 
Ezekial and put them in the Ithaca 
board, so that the display on my big 
Hitachi 15-inch screen is identical to 
the old Zeke. I continue to use 16 
lines of 64 characters to avoid 
eyestrain. Also, I'm used to it: after 
all, a standard manuscript has 
60-character lines. A page is usually 
25 or 26 lines, so I don't see a whole 
page at once; but I've noticed an 
unexpected benefit. Having only 16 
lines on a screen tends to make me 
shorten my (usually too long) 
paragraphs. 

We wanted to put in a 24 by 80 
"write-only memory" board, but we 
couldn't find one that would work at 
6 MHz and had a nice (i.e., stable, 
legible, etc.) display; if anyone knows 
of such a beast for the S-100 system, 
I'd appreciate the information. 

Another really nice thing about 
Zeke II is the keyboard, which comes 
from an Archive computer. The Ar- 
chive, incidentally, is the machine 
Dr. Arthur C. Clarke settled on. His 
is named Archie. He got an Archive 
in part because he could get service 
for it in Sri Lanka. I'm sure, though, 
that he fell in love with the keyboard, 
and if I had to buy an Archive to get 
this keyboard I probably would. As it 
happens, Tony was able to obtain 
three or four of them. 

The Archive has great key feel, a 
good nonelectronic "click," and a 
really nice (Selectric-style) key 



222 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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layout. The entire ASCII character 
set is on board along with arrows on 
the left side and a numeric key pad on 
the right. 

There aren't any extraneous keys in 
odd places; and a lot of special- 
purpose keys are put up where you 
can get at them without their being in 
the way. The special-purpose keys 
are really nice in that they make 
characters with the eighth bit set, so 
that we can make use of not only the 
entire range of control characters, but 
also more than a dozen additional 
one-stroke commands. 

The Archive comes with a printed 
strip that translates the special- 
function keys into Wordstar com- 
mands, and I suppose the Archive 
machine itself takes advantage of 
those. Because I don't use Wordstar, I 
had some work to do. Figuring out 
how to make good use of those keys 
was instructive; more below. 

The bottom line is that callous as it 
may seem, I don't really miss Zeke. 
This new keyboard is fast and conve- 
nient, and the Compupro disk drives 
are so much faster than the old 
iCOMs that I find myself saving my 
text far more often. Scrolling is 
smooth and lightning quick. 

I do hope that Nor Singh can make 
Zeke work again; he's still better than 
half the junk I see out on the market, 
and it would be nice if others could 
get some good from him. Meanwhile, 
Zeke II is as close to being the "ideal" 
writing machine as I've ever worked 
with. 

There are a few possible im- 
provements. For one, there's no hard 
disk; but that's merely a matter of 
time. Tony has one and is refur- 
bishing the software right now. A 
hard disk isn't strictly necessary 
anyway; with a DMA disk controller 
and double-density disks, saving 
your text doesn't take very long; and 
for a writing machine, safety is the 
number one goal, meaning that you 
want the machine to make it easy to 
save early and often. (That's one ma- 
jor advantage of the MIT EMACS 
full-screen editor and its descendants: 
it can be set to automagically save 
text even if you don't think of it.) 

DMA and high density speed up 
floppy-disk operations something 



wonderful. Direct memory access is 
literally just that: the disk controller 
has an on-board microprocessor that 
can get at your system's memory 
without going through the regular 
processor; that lets it do a faster job 
of getting stuff from memory and 
putting it on disk or vice versa. 

Whether or not there's a hard disk, 
the ideal writing machine will need 
fast and reliable floppies. I don't feel 
really safe until my text is saved on a 
disk and the disk has been removed 
from the machine. 



What do you do if you 

have several serial 

output devices but 

only one RS-232C 

output port? Enter the 
T-Switch. 



A second limitation to Zeke II is 
there's no RAM disk, i.e., memory 
that's set up like a disk for fast access. 
RAM disks are nice for checking 
spelling (as well as compiling and 
other computer operations). Of 
course, if you have a hard disk you 
might not want a RAM disk too. 

I do have Semidisk on my dual- 
processor machine, and that would 
work fine in Zeke II; but Compupro 
has announced that it's coming out 
with an M-Drive that will work with 
the Z80, and since almost everything 
else in Zeke II is Compupro, I thought 
I'd wait for Compupro's system. 
More on M-Drive and Semidisk 
below. 

Finally, the Z80 makes for a vanilla 
system; more advanced stuff is 
available. We have here an ex- 
perimental board from Compupro 
that runs at 12 MHz. That's fast! 
However, for a writing machine you 
don't really need that much speed, 
and the Z80 chip has been around 
long enough to have a track record. 
Zeke II is as near the state of the art as 
I'd now recommend for a system 
devoted mostly to text handling. 

Terminal Switching 

For a while it looked as if I'd be up 
to my clavicle in keyboards. 



Although it's possible to make Zeke II 
run with the 16 by 64 screen as his 
normal console (as well as when he's 
running the text editor), there are 
good reasons to want a 24 by 80 
screen when you do programming. 
At the same time, I have the 
Televideo 950 nearby because that 
machine does nearly all our develop- 
ment work and is also useful for 
checking spelling and the like. 

I sure didn't want a second terminal 
for Zeke II, so I solved the problem 
with a T-Switch from Inmac. I sup- 
pose that requires a bit of explana- 
tion. 

Computers talk to the outside 
world in two basic ways: serial and 
parallel. 

Parallel communication sends all 
the data bits of a single character at 
the same time. Parallel communica- 
tion is inherently faster than serial; 
but it requires many wires (in an 8-bit 
machine at least 10 and generally 
many more). Parallel, which is often 
electrically noisy, is usually more 
subject to errors induced by stray 
radio noise. 

As an example, MacLean used 
parallel ports to connect his keyboard 
to Alice the IMSAI, and when he 
began he used a flat ribbon cable. He 
got a lot of extraneous garbage into 
his computer. Eventually he con- 
verted to a round shielded cable and 
most of the errors vanished. 

Centronics printers and other such 
devices generally use parallel com- 
munication. The distance they can be 
from the computer is limited — 15 feet 
maximum. 

With serial communication the bits 
are sent one after another; an 8-bit 
character thus takes at least 10 times 
as long to send in serial as it would in 
parallel. (That's not strictly true, but 
we'll ignore the fine details.) 

Your computer has I/O (input/out- 
put) ports built in as part of its basic 
structure. Those ports are parallel 
ports; it takes special hardware to 
convert from parallel to serial. Serial 
signals can be sent farther, however, 
with less noise and interference. Most 
letter-quality printers, like the 
Diablo, and all telephone or modem 
communications use the serial 
method. 



224 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Check The Chart 
Before You Choose 
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Available operating system software includes single 
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MP/M 86* or OASIS-16®, with XENIX® available soon, 
providing users with a host of compatible software pack- 
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are also available, including BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, 
PASCAL and MACRO Assembler. 

Our standard 1 6-Bit 8088 hardware configuration pro- 
vides 128K RAM with parity, two RS-232 serial ports, 
Centronics parallel printer port, interrupt and DMA con- 
trollers, dual floppy disks with 640K storage, Winchester 
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So, when you need to grow, why gamble and hassle 
with independent third party hardware and operating 
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'•#••'' '// 



MAIN FEATURES 


CDP-MPC 


IBM-PC* 


OTHERS 


Microprocessor 


16-Bit 8088 
8-Bit Z-80 (Opt) 


16-Bit 8088 


? 


USER Memory 


128K-1 Mbytes 


16K-256 Kbytes 


? 


IBM-PC Compatible 
Expansions Slots Beyond 
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? 


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Storage 


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? 


OPTIONAL OPERATING SYSTEMS (Suppc 


MS-DOS (PC-DOS) 


Yes 


Yes 


? 


CP/M 86 


Yes 


Yes 


? 


MP/M 86 


Yes 


- 


? 


OASIS-16 


Yes 


— 


? 


XENIX 


Soon 


- 


? 


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RS-232 Communications 


Yes 


Yes 


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Yes 


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'For comparison purposes, typical professional configurations con- 
sist of 16-Bit 8088 Processor, 128K RAM with Parity, Dual 320K 5-inch 
Floppies. DMA and Interrupt Controller. Dual RS-232 Serial Ports, 
Centronics Parallel Port and Dumb Computer Terminal or Equivalent. 
Columbia Data Products also supports CP/M 80* with an optionally 
available Z-80 CP/M Expansion Board. 
'As advertised in BYTE Magazine, August 1982. 



COLUMBIA 



DATA PRODUCTS, INC. 



Home Office: 

8990 Route 108 
Columbia, MD 21045 
Telephone 301-992-3400 
TWX 710-862-1891 



West Coast: 

3901 MacArthur Blvd. 
Suite 211 

Newport Beach, CA 92663 
Telephone 714-752-5245 
Telex 277778 



Europe: 

P.O. Box 11 18 
450 Moenchengladbach 1 
West Germany 
Telephone 02161-33159 
Telex 852452 



IBM Is the trademark of International Business Machines. CP/M and MP/M are trademarks of Digital Research. OASIS Is the trademark of Phase One. MS-DOS and XENIX are 
trademarks of MICROSOFT. 



There's more than one serial 
system, but by far the most popular 
in the microcomputer world is called 
RS-232C. In theory there's an RS- 
232C standard; in practice that's 
almost true but not quite. However, 
it's true enough for T-Switches to 
work. 

Suppose you have several serial 
output devices — say a printer and a 
modem for communications — and 
only one RS-232C output port on 
your computer. Enter the T-Switch, 
which lets you connect both to the 
port and switch between them. Ob- 
viously only one is active at any 
given time. It's true you could ac- 
complish the same result by physical- 
ly plugging and unplugging cables, 
but that's hard on the cables as well as 
darned inconvenient. 

I'd only seen the T-Switch in adver- 
tisements, but it seemed a good idea; 
meanwhile, Inmac sent me a catalog 
of its equipment for microcomputers. 
I've ordered stuff from Inmac before; 
although its equipment is high-priced, 
its service is speedy and reliable. 



Anyway, I bought a T-Switch, and 
the result is that the Televideo 950 
can run both Zeke II and the dual- 
processor machine. Actually, things 
are better than that: Tony has in- 
geniously set up the BIOS so that 
even after exiting from WRITE the 
Archive keyboard is active. There- 
fore, I can run Zeke II on the 
Televideo 950 terminal but continue 
to type on my splendid Archive 
board. 
I love it. 

Changing the CBIOS 

The CP/M operating system has to 
be told about your hardware. That's 
done through a beast known as the 
CBIOS. CP/M, as modified by the 
CBIOS, resides on tracks and 1 of 
your floppy disk and is read in when 
the system is powered up. This is 
known as "cold booting" the system. 
Once CP/M is in memory, it can read 
in other files. 

In the early days you couldn't do 
many fancy tricks with the CP/M 
CBIOS because there just wasn't 



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room for a big program on two disk 
tracks. Now, however, with double- 
sided double-density disk systems, 
there's acres of space, and, if you 
have the source code to your CBIOS, 
there are all kinds of nifty things you 
might want to do. Tony does a lot of 
them in the CBIOS he put together 
for the Compupro systems. 

In my case, I wanted to make use of 
those special keys on the Archive 
keyboard. 

The usual microcomputer accepts 
only 7-bit characters from the 
keyboard. This is no problem because 
few keyboards can do anything with 
the eighth bit. As a practical matter, 
then, we are limited to 128 (2 7 ) unique 
characters in our communications 
with machines. Of these, the first 31, 
plus character 127 (delete), are re- 
served as "control" characters. These 
include Control-H, which is 
backspace; Control-M, which is car- 
riage return; and others, as well as the 
less familiar ones like Control- 
backslash. 

Most microcomputers do not 
display control characters; they've 
been programmed to treat them as 
orders to be executed rather than 
something to show to the operator. 
Thus, character 7, Control-G, rings 
the bell, but it doesn't print anything. 

Some programs, particularly text 
editors for word processing, have a 
lot of commands. You might want to 
move the cursor around; jump to the 
end of the text; save the text; display 
helpful information; delete words, 
lines, and characters; and such like. 
The problem, then, is how to com- 
municate your wishes to the com- 
puter. 

If you want to be really elegant 
about it, you can put extra keys on 
the keyboard and label them "Delete 
Word" or "Find" or whatever. This is 
fine for the first 32 commands; then 
what do you do? Each special key has 
to send something, and if you want to 
use the entire ASCII character set in- 
cluding curly braces and squiggle and 
such like, then you're stuck. After 
you run out of control characters, 
you can't have just one keystroke per 
command. 

Various programs use different 
ways around this. Some go to "com- 



226 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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mand modes" and use ordinary letters 
(K for kill and such like) while in the 
special mode. Electric Pencil did this: 
one control command put you in a 
special disk-operations command 
table, another into a print command 
table. WRITE follows this precedent, 
as does Select. 

Others use 'escape sequences": the 
computer intercepts the special 
character Control-], called "Escape," 
and interprets the next thing it sees as 
a command. 

Wordstar does both: that is, you go 
Escape, then K, and you are in a 
special command block. Perfect 
Writer and the various EMACS-like 
editors do the same. 

One problem with all this is that as 
the number of commands increases 
they get harder to remember. Worse, 
though, it's distracting for creative 
writers, and many (including me) 
don't like it. Indeed, I like multistroke 
text commands (as opposed to disk 
and print operations) so little that I'd 
rather not have them than use Word- 
star and its relatives. I'll admit, 
however, that if there were dedicated 
keys that accomplished the results 



quickly, I'd opt for more editing com- 
mands than I have at present. Ob- 
viously, then, what's needed is a way 
to send many more unique com- 
mands from the keyboard. 

One way to do that is to have pro- 
grammable keys that send sequences. 
The Otrona Attache computer does 
something like that. You can program 
the Televideo 950 to do it. Tony has a 
version of WRITE that works with 
the Heath/Zenith Z-19 terminal and 
makes use of the escape-sequence 
arrow and other special-function 
keys. 

Another way is to make a 
keyboard that sets the eighth bit. If 
you could do that, you'd have up to 
128 additional "control characters." 

The Archive keyboard has a 
number of special keys that set the 
eighth bit. However, because CP/M 
wasn't designed to support 8-bit 
characters, the CBIOS in nearly every 
CP/M system resets that bit to 
before the program ever gets a chance 
to see it. Tony's CBIOS was no excep- 
tion, but with a difference: he left a 
place in the source code where you 
can intercept what's coming from the 



console and do whatever you like 
with it. 

Now the version of WRITE that I 
have doesn't accept eighth-bit com- 
mands, so even if my BIOS would 
pass them through I couldn't use 
them. On the other hand, I want to 
use the arrows, the Home key, the 
Delete Word key, and such like; 
they're easier to remember than con- 
trol characters. 

The permanent solution to that 
problem is to change my editor so 
that it accepts eighth-bit characters; 
that's being done. Meanwhile, a tem- 
porary solution is to intercept those 
special characters and interpret them. 
That is: the normal command to 
move the cursor up in WRITE is 
Control-W. The up-arrow key on the 
Archive keyboard makes the 
equivalent of Control-K but with the 
eighth bit set (decimal 139, or hexa- 
decimal 8B). I need something that 
sees that hexadecimal 8B, intercepts 
it, and sends character number 23 
(hexadecimal 17), which is Control- 
W, to the text editor. That will cause 
the editor to lift the cursor one line 
when I hit the up-arrow key. 



228 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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That can be done. The interception 
takes place between the keyboard and 
CP/M as part of the Get Console In- 
put routine that's programmed into 
the CBIOS. It requires assembly- 
language programming, something I 
haven't done in a year or so, but it 
was all very easy: compare the in- 
coming character with 128 (which is 
delete plus one); if there's a carry, 
meaning that the character is smaller 
than 128, continue as before. If 
there's no carry, meaning that the in- 
coming character is 128 or larger, go 
to a special table, look up what I've 
got, see what I want sent instead of 
that, put it in the A register, and once 
again go on as before. 

You then have to assemble this 
with CP/M's RMAC (relocatable 
code macro assembler), patch it into 
the BIOS, and use the CP/M 
SYSGEN function to put the new ver- 
sion onto tracks and 1 of the 
WRITE system master disk. After 
that, any time I do a cold boot with 
that disk in the A drive, the intei- 
preter is operating. 

Obviously there can be more than 
one of these interpreter systems. For 



example, Micropro's Wordmaster, 
which we use for programming, 
wants Control-K as the up-cursor 
command. It was a trivial job to 
change the table in the CBIOS and 
have a new Wordmaster system 
master. Cold boot that, and the up- 
arrow key sends a Control-K. Of 
course, I have to remember not only 
to change system master disks, but to 
reset the computer when I change 
from using WRITE to using Word- 
master. The CP/M ''warm boot" 
command (Control-C) won't do the 
job; warm booting causes CP/M to 
refresh its disk directories, but it 
doesn't read in the system track 
again. 

I realize this is complex. It's impor- 
tant for several reasons. First, unless 
you buy your system — CP/M — from 
an outfit that gives you the source 
code to your CBIOS, you won't be 
able to do anything like that; and 
while there's no temptation to play 
about like that when you first get a 
machine, it's surprising how quickly 
the urge can come upon you. After 
all, I swore to Tony and my mad 
friend that I would never, never be in- 



terested in understanding operating 
systems and all that arcane stuff that 
goes on inside the machine . . . 

Second, it shows just how com- 
plicated things can be just to get some 
convenient features. This is the ap- 
peal of the dedicated word processor: 
they've set up all this for you and put 
the dedicated keys on the console. All 
you have to do is read the labels. I 
agree that's tempting, too. The prob- 
lems come after you've learned your 
system and you want to do things 
that weren't designed into the 
dedicated machine. 

Third, there's a way out: fully 
reprogrammable keyboards. I'm told 
that the IBM keyboard is that way, 
which is why Jim Baen's Magic 
Keyboard program can reassign the 
various misplaced keys. I'm also told 
that the new Lobo Max-80's keyboard 
is completely under software control, 
so much so that it has to read in an 
assignment file when it does a cold 
boot. The Otrona Attache keyboard 
is much like that as well. Alas, neither 
IBM nor Otrona has given us the soft- 
ware and documentation to allow 
complete reassignment of keys. I 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 229 



don't know whether Lobo intends to 
or not. 

I wish everyone would, though. 
Then we could have truly customized 
text-editor programs. 

MorN? 

Mucking about with the CBIOS 
gave me the opportunity to check the 
timing on both the M-Drive and 
N-Drive. As most of you know, these 
are two similar schemes for fooling 
your computer into thinking that a 
big block of memory is a disk; pro- 
grams read and write on the "memory 
disk" rather than an actual disk 
device. This is very fast. Unless you 
have a battery backup, it is also very 
temporary. 

My Compupro 8085/8088 dual 
processor has both M-Drive (several 
of the new Compupro superfast 
RAM-21 boards) and N-Drive 
(Semidisk). Both have advantages: 
the M-Drive memory is available as 
regular memory when I run the 
machine as an 8088 (for instance with 
CP/M-86), but M-Drive can work 
only with the dual processor and a 
direct-memory-access disk controller. 
The Semidisk memory is not avail- 
able for any purpose other than as a 
pseudodisk, but Semidisk will work 
with any S-100 bus machine (and ver- 
sions are available for the IBM Per- 
sonal Computer and the TRS-80 
Model II also). 

Whatever their relative advan- 
tages, they're nearly equal on speed. I 
used the RMAC assembler to assem- 
ble my CBIOS on M-Drive, then on 
N-Drive. The source code is 72K 
bytes long. Much of it is comments; 
Tony believes in well-annotated 
code. Still in all, it's a big enough job 
for a fair test. To make sure there 
were lots of disk operations, I had the 
assembler write both .PRN (printing) 
file and .SYM (symbol tables) onto 
the logged disk. The .PRN file is well 
over 100K bytes long. 

It assembled in one minute and 
nine seconds on M-Drive and one 
minute and eleven seconds on 
N-Drive. This is as near to equal as 
makes no never mind. For com- 
parison I then did the same job on the 
B-Drive. That took 2:49, more than 
twice as long. 



M-Drive and N-Drive are also 
about equal in speed when used for 
spelling checking. I now have a new 
version of The Word Plus that runs 
fine with either M-Drive or N-Drive; 
and because of the pseudodisk 
speeds, it's practical to use The 
Word's Lookup feature routinely. 



Now I have been 

accused of being a 

"typical academic 

snob/' 

Lookup is a search through the dic- 
tionary for words similar to your 
misspelling; with normal disks, the 
computer's search takes about as long 
as it would for me to look up the 
word in Words Most Often Mis- 
spelled, but it's really nice with 
pseudodisks. 

More Benchmarks 

My "Benchmark of Sorts" as 
reported in the October 1982 BYTE 
must have been reasonably popular; 
at least it drew a lot of mail, almost 
all favorable. The program fills two 
20 by 20 matrices, multiplies them, 
and sums all the elements in the 
answer, using REAL variables. 
(Someone wrote to tell me I needn't 
have used reals, because integers 
would do. Of course that's true, but 
the point of the benchmark was to 
test ability to handle real numbers.) 

John Aro of Caspar, Wyoming, 
used the matrix benchmark programs 
on a North Star Horizon Z80A (4 
MHz); for the 20 by 20 matrices, he 
got two minutes and eight seconds 
(2:08) with North Star BASIC and 
1:52 with FPBASIC; 1:10 with JRT 
(p-code) Pascal; 2:01 with CBASIC; 
and 0:24.6 with CB-80. These times 
seem reasonably comparable to those 
I got. 

Using FORTRAN, Harold Conrad 
of Taber, Alberta, Canada, got a time 
of 39.3 seconds for the 20 by 20 case 
on a 2-MHz 8080A. This is again 
comparable but slightly faster than 
the MT + time obtained on my 8085. 

Another letter was from Professor 
Roger Kirchner of Carleton College in 
Northfield, Minnesota (where the 



James and Dalton boys came to 
grief). Professor Kirchner ran my 
benchmark program on his TI-99, 
using the TI-99/4A p-code Pascal 
compiler. 

His time for the 20 by 20 was 75.7 
seconds. By comparison, Pascal M, 
which also uses p-code, did the same 
program in 59 seconds on my Com- 
pupro dual processor. (And see 
above, 8.9 seconds for the Sage 
68000.) 

Professor Kirchner, incidentally, 
argues in favor of Logo as the begin- 
ner's language of choice. 

More Things My 
Postman Brings Me 

This column generates a lot of 
mail. Most is favorable. I brood too 
much about the unfavorable mail, 
but there's not much to be done about 
that tendency; I don't know any 
writer who doesn't ignore 30 good let- 
ters to worry excessively about one 
poison-pen epistle. 

Sometimes, though, I just don't 
know what to do, as for example with 
the pair of letters I got concerning 
Edsger Dijkstra's "unpleasant truths" 
(see the October 1982 BYTE). Pro- 
fessor Edward O'Connell Jr. of the 
Psychology Department of Syracuse 
University tells me "BASIC is indeed 
brain damaging," and I was far too 
unkind to Professor Dijkstra, who 
was essentially correct in his observa- 
tions. 

Meanwhile, John S. Harbaugh of 
the Diebold Company says he's been 
programming for 23 years, and that 
"Mr. Pournell [sic] and Professor 
Dijkstra are typical academic snobs"; 
he takes me to task for being too par- 
tial to Pascal and insufficiently ap- 
preciative of BASIC. 

In fairness to Mr. Harbaugh, it 
looks as if he'd read the quotes from 
Dijkstra and skimmed so fast he 
thought I agreed with them. 

Professor O'Connell's letter is 
another matter. I was going to let it 
go, but I've just read it again, and it 
needs a reply. 

He says, "I have been in the field 
since 1959, through FORTRAN, IPL- 
V, COBOL, GATE, PL/I, BASIC, 
APL, and Pascal. The only one of the 
list that I have found teachable is 



230 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 









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Pascal. . . . Diddling about with 
BASIC as a first language leads to in- 
fantile fixations. Pascal can be 
taught, is logical, and demands very 
little more than BASIC initially. (By 
the way, how many times do you 
want to write single-statement pro- 
grams of the form 'PRINT 2*2'?)" 

Now what is one to make of all 
this? According to Professor O'Con- 
nell's letter, he has been teaching for 
18 years that which cannot be taught; 
for I doubt seriously that he has long 
been teaching Pascal. Has he really 
been taking money under false 
pretenses? FORTRAN and COBOL 
are not my favorite languages, but ye 
gods, useful computer programs 
didn't start with Pascal! 

It's certainly possible to rationally 
debate what is the best introductory 
teaching language. It's even possible 
that there is no "best" for all ages; 
that BASIC or Logo is "best" for 
young children, while older students 
might better start with Pascal or even 
LISP. One thing I am certain of is that 
letters that inform me that I am "in- 
fantile, naive, biased, and ignorant" 
are not likely to change my views, 
and I'd have thought a professor of 
psychology would realize that. 

He does say my columns are 
"always interesting" and that he likes 
my reviews of equipment and soft- 
ware. 

The Language Debate Continues 

Mr. Paul A. Sand in defense of 
Pascal says, "Pascal is primarily 
useful for composing large programs. 
Its advantages don't usually show up 
in benchmarks and tutorial texts. A 
good analogy is one I heard from an 
employee of Apple Computer: it is 
very impractical to use a Boeing 747 
to run to the corner grocery store; it's 
equally impractical to walk from 
New Hampshire to California. 
Similarly, it is impractical to use 
Pascal for small programs, and 
BASIC — any version — is often 
hopelessly underpowered for larger 
programs." 

I agree with this except for the final 
sentence, which is ambiguous. If he is 
saying that no version of BASIC is 
useful for large programs, I think he 
may be wrong. 



SPP to the Rescue! 

One of my major dislikes of Pascal 
as it is normally implemented on 
microcomputers — I have no ex- 
perience with it on big machines, and 
anyway that's irrelevant since I'm 
writing for "the Small Systems Jour- 
nal" — is that Pascal tries to make me 
think like a computer. Indeed, Mike 
Lehman put it very well in the manual 
to his Speed Programming Package: 

The Speed Programming Package 
helps the user to remove all "dumb" 
errors prior to compilation. One of 
the limits to productivity is the 
human frustration threshold. One 
must experience first-hand reaching 
the end of a four thousand line source 
compilation only to find that a 
semicolon (or period) was missing to 
fully understand the situation. One 
must then re-edit and recompile only 
to find that it may still be wrong, 
leading to only more and more 
frustration. This tends to lead pro- 
grammers to become extremely 
careful and spend much time 
simulating the compiler in their heads 
to save time when the computer 
should be able to make the produc- 
tion of programs easier, not harder. 

That is precisely the point I have 
been trying to make about Pascal: 
that the implementations I have 
worked with seem well designed to 
drive you to either think like a com- 
puter or go quite mad. Perhaps Pro- 
fessor O'Connell and Mr. Nelson and 
my other detractors never leave out 
semicolons. Perhaps they are correct 
when they condescendingly tell me 
that if I had enough experience I 
wouldn't make syntax errors; but 
perhaps they are not. Mike Lehman 
has far more experience than I do; 
after all, he wrote the Pascal MT + 
compiler, first in UCSD Pascal, then 
inMT + itself. 

I don't want to have to think like a 
computer. I want the computer to 
compute, leaving me to get my own 
work done. I don't much care 
whether my programs meet some out- 
side criterion of "elegance" or even 
"efficiency." ("After all," as Carl 
Helmers says, "if you define 'efficient' 
as 'using least memory,' then the old 
one-letter BASIC variables were effi- 
cient. . . .") I do care that my pro- 
grams are easy to work on at periodic 



234 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 





S 100 Wbrld News 



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Major breakthrough made by 
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CANOGA PARK (Ml)-January 20, 1983-Mike Pelkey, president of Macrotech International 
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CANOGA PARK-January 20, 1983-Macro- 
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intervals. 

Let me praise Lehman's Speed Pro- 
gramming Package. When Mike first 
sent me Pascal MT + , he sent along 
the SPP; but alas, he sent no 
documents for it, and I was never 
able to use it. Every now and again I 
got puzzled letters from readers who 
were using SPP, and who didn't 
understand some of my frustrations 
with Pascal. Why didn't I use SPP? 

Meanwhile, Digital Research was 
redoing the SPP documents, and 
they'd send them along Real Soon 
Now. Eventually they came. 

Put simply, SPP is indispensable. 
It's not wonderful. It could stand 
some improvements. Even so, it's 
vital that if you program in Pascal 
MT + , you must get SPP. 

SPP is a whole package of pro- 
gramming aids, including both 
editing and syntax-checking func- 
tions. As Paul Sand put it in his 
thoughtful letter, many of Pascal's 
deficiencies are disadvantages of 
compilers rather than interpreters; 
compilers are notoriously unfriendly. 



With SPP, though, some of those 
deficiencies are remedied. 

SPP contains a screen-oriented 
editor somewhat similar to Word- 
master. Some changes have been 
made to the Wordmaster command 
structure and not all have been well 
chosen; I particularly miss Word- 
master's little "QP" buffer, and I can't 
understand why Lehman made some 
of his other changes. No matter. You 
can always use Wordmaster to create 
most of your program, then go to 
SPP for the final touches; or, more 
likely, you can simply get used to 
SPP's quirks. 

Incidentally, I'm writing an SPP 
editor CBIOS to enable my Archive 
keyboard to work directly on SPP's 
editor. 

The SPP editor has some of the 
features of the UCSD Pascal editor. It 
aids in indentation, for one thing. 
There's also a ''pretty print" reshuf- 
fler: once your program has been 
created, SPP will automagically 
reformat it with levels of indenta- 
tions. That by itself shows you many 



of your horrible mistakes, such as 
missing END statements. 

Finally, from within SPP you can 
do syntax checking. That goes fast on 
the M-Drive; and when a syntax error 
is detected, SPP puts you 
automatically in the text editor, with 
the cursor where the compiler thinks 
the error was. (The UCSD editor on 
the Sage 68000 system does this also.) 

There are more valuable features to 
SPP. It will check the spelling of your 
variables. If it finds a variable used 
precisely once, that's a pretty good 
candidate for a spelling error. It will 
log source-code modifications. It will 
even run special procedures you write 
yourself. 

In other words, I'm wild about 
SPP, and I think it's high time that 
everyone selling Pascal get busy to 
provide something similar; the effect 
on the national blood pressure will be 
dramatic. 

Database the Easy Way 

If I'm after a quick and easy way to 
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236 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Minimum Data Base because it's sim- 
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long as there aren't more than a hun- 
dred or so records of more than eight 
to ten items per record, MDB is more 
than adequate. 

More complex data storage and 
retrieval requires more sophisticated 
programs. One such I've long recom- 
mended is dBASE II. (I have several 
rivals of dBASE II here, and I hope 
some time to try them; the problem is 
that between MDB and dBASE II 
there's been no need for anything 
else.) 

The only real problem with dBASE 
II is the documentation; getting 
started with it from scratch can be a 
frustrating experience. It's not an im- 
possible task; a number of friends, 
some of whom have zero experience 
with computers, have taken dBASE II 
and created really sophisticated 
record-keeping structures with it with 
no help from anyone. Still, the in- 
troductory documents have not been 
its strongest point. 

Comes now Fox & Geller with its 
Quickcode program; and a good part 
of the problem of getting started with 
dBASE II is solved. The Quickcode 
programs and book will help you get 
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getting the Fox & Geller Quickcode as 
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gramming language. (Many do; it's 
possible to write some very 
sophisticated programs in dBASE II.) 

Keyboard Companion 

One day there appeared via UPS 
five boxes, each about two feet long 
by half that high and wide. The only 
clue as to what they contained were 
the words "Keyboard Companion." 
When we opened them, we found 



238 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



several copies of a device with that 
name. Each was slightly different. 
One was designed for use with a 
TRS-80, another for an Apple, the 
others for more general systems. 

The Keyboard Companion is a 
combination copyholder and tilted 
table. It consists of some metal box- 
like structures to elevate your 
monitor screen and an attractive 
nonmagnetic black Bakelite board 
with an aluminum edge holder at the 
bottom. A plastic line guide/paper 
holder fits onto one edge. The board 
attaches to your screen via Velcro 
strips; the bottom edge can rest on 
your keyboard or alternatively on 
the table that holds the keyboard. 
The result is that you've a table be- 
tween the keyboard and the monitor 
screen for notebooks, program copy, 
notepaper, or anything else you 
might want to be looking at while 
using the keyboard. 

Our Keyboard Companions sat 
unopened for months. Then Barry 
Workman took the TRS-80 away, 
and one of the students remembered 
we had a Companion for it and sent 
that along. Later we got the Apple, 
and out came another. They worked 
out very well; so well that I fished out 
yet another Companion and set it up 
as part of Zeke II's system. The Com- 
panion has proven to be a very useful 
addition to the system, and I am 
beginning to wonder how I got along 
without it for so long. 

When you're designing your com- 
puter setup, it couldn't hurt to look 
into the Keyboard Companion line; 
this might be just what you're looking 
for. They come in 16- and 20-inch 
widths, with screen holders designed 
for most popular monitors. 

New Operating Systems 

As I write this, they're arranging to 
get me a test copy of CP/M 3.0. I've 
just finished speaking with my col- 
league Mark Dahmke, who already 
has it; Mark likes it a lot. It has a 
number of attractive features — in- 
cluding no more Control-C every 
time you change disks. More on that 
next month. 

I'm also eagerly waiting for Tony 
to finish work on the CBIOS for 
CPM-86 to run on the Compupro 

Text continued on page 242 




mm wm mmmi 




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Circle 264 on inquiry card. 




Number One Add-On 



Communications 




Advanced Comm. 
Card (CC- 232) 

• Programmable to com- 
municate in Bisync, SDLC, 
HDLC, and Async protocols. 

• Two Ports of RS 232 



AST products are available from Computerland, 
Entre\ ComputerWIart and selected dealers 
worldwide. 



CO 332 For use with 

AST-378^^mp 

• An IBM 2780/3780 RJ._ 

Emulator • Supports Bisync 

point- to- point communications 

protocol • Allows file transfer 

between Host& IBM PC • Ideal 

for IBM System 34, 38, 4300 

ftST-SNA 

• Emulates IBM 3274 
Model 51 C Control Unit 

• Emulates 3278 Display Sta- 
tion • Emulates 3287 Type 
Printer* Optional 3770 Emula- 
tion • Cluster Controller 
Operation • Protocol Con- 
verter Support 



Async #1- 



-- ,h 



64-256K 
Memory 



'IfnnijTjJin 




K-256KN 
One Clock Calendar 
• One IBM Compatible 
Port(opt.)*OnelBMC< 
ble Parallel Printer (opt. 
Battery Backed- up Clo 
Calendar (opt.) 



Products for 



Multifunction Cords 









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ill] 


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All Multifunction Products include: 

• SuperDrive™ - q Disk Emulator Utility Program 

• SuperSpool ,M - a Printer Buffer Utility Program 

Optional: New Connect fill Connector Mounting Bracket 



Async #1 



Vr~-$"~'v. 



Printer- 
Clock -% 

Battery -| 



Async #2 



64-512K 
(with MegaPak) 



MegaPak' 



I/O Plus 1 

Maximum 6 
Functions (no 
memory) • Clock 
Calendar (std.) 
| • IBM Compatible ' 
Async Port #1 (std.) 
IBM Compatible 
Async Port #1 (opt.) 
J • IBM Printer Port 
i« (opt.) • SuperDrive 
\\ (disk emulator 




Async #1 



\V^,~ Printer 



»:• I LlCil •! J tCi •!•%] 



(print spooler prog.) 



\y|sJ§Bii 




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MegaPlus' 

64K-512K (with MegaPak) • Two IBM 
Compatible Async Ports (1 std., 1 opt.) 

• One IBM Parallel Printer Port (opt.) 

• One Battery Backed- up Clock Calendar 
std.) • Ideal for Concurrent CP/M, MBA, 

circle 3 on inquiry card. VISI Series software packages. 



Connectflll™ 

NEW! AST Proprietory 
Connector Mounting Bracket 
(does not include cables 
shown in illustration) 



I J\ ! 2372 Morse Avenue 
o^"^iiyi- lrvine ' Calif ' 92714 

R€S€ARCHINC (714)540-1333 

Dealer Inquiries Welcome 




THE SBC80A designed for multiprocessor 
/slave or 1/0 processor, has on board 
Z80A-CPU; DI4A; 128K dual ported RAM.no 
wait state, byte/word accessible; Eprom 
sockets up to 32K; 2 RS232; 2 parallel 
ports j Memory Map Prom; 3 counter/ timer; 
floppy controller; hard disk interface; 
math chip AM9511;20 bit Intel Multibus 
21 vectored interrupts; auxiliary power 
input for stand alone. 



INNOVATIVE RESEARCH, INC. 
17071 Kampen Ln, Huntington Bch,CA92647 
714-842-0492. Multibus Intel trademark. 



Circle 501 on inquiry card. 




fbiutx 



SPEECH SYNTHESIZER 
$50 Each 
($40 in 
r hundreds) 

Order in Ones or Thousands 

The SC-01A Speech Synthesizer is a completely 

self-contained solid state device. This single chip 

phonetically synthesizes continuous speech of 

unlimited vocabulary. 

Computer interfaces and text-to-speech algorithms 

also available for product development. 

Micromint is the largest U.S. distributor of the 

SC-01A. Call us (or a price quote. 

Call 1-800-645-3479, in N.Y. 1-516-374-6793 

MICROMINT INC. 

561 Willow Avenue 
Cedarhurst. NY 11516 



Add $2.00 for 
shipping & handling. 




Circle 502 on inquiry card. 



ULTRA-RES GRAPHICS 

N.E.C. UPD7220 GRAPHICS PROCESSOR 

*S-1 00 BUS B&W $995.00* 

-1024 x 1024 PIXEL PLANE 
-Up to 8 VIDEO PLANES 
*S-100 BUS COLOR 1250.00* 

-THREE 512 x 512 PLANES 
-8 COLORS RGE TTL, 2 BD SYSTEM 
♦MULTIBUS 1995.00* 

-THREE 1024 x 1 024 VIDEO 

PLANES 
-SINGLE BOARD 
*IBMPC 995.00* 

-1024 x 1024 PIXEL PLANE 
-UP TO 8 VIDEO PLANES 
SOFTWARE DRIVERS 
HARDWARE ZOOM 1 to 1 6 
SELECTABLE DISPLAY RESOLUTION 
MULTI-GRAPHICS PROCESSORS AVAILABLE 
start at* 

C.S.D. INC. 

PO Box 253 

Sudbury, MA 01776 

617-443-2750 



Items Reviewed 




Keyboard Companion 


TRS-80II $79.50 


PK AY Corporation 


Apple II $77 


POB 11463 


IBM PC $46 


Costa Mesa, CA 92627 




(714) 548-2081 




M-Drive 


128K $1198 


Compupro Systems 


256K $2396 


Oakland Airport, CA 94614-0355 




(415) 562-0636 




Quickcode 


$295 


Fox & Geller 




POB 1053 




Teaneck, NJ 07666 




(201) 837-0142 




Sage II Computer 


$3600 


Sage Computer Technology 




Suite 4 




35 North Edison Way 




Reno, NV 89502 




(702) 322-6868 




Semidisk 


512K $1995 


Semidisk Systems 


1 megabyte $2995 


POB GG 




Beaverton, OR 97075 




(503) 642-3100 




Speed Programming Package 


CP/Mr86 $250 


Digital Research 




POB 579 




Pacific Grove, CA 93950 




(408) 649-3896 




T-Switch 


manual $147 


Inmac 


automatic $395 


2465 Augustine Dr. 




Santa Clara, CA 95051 




(408) 727-1970 




Book Reviewed 




Introduction to the UCSD p-System by Charles W. Grant 


$14.95 


and Jon Butah, Berkeley, CA: Sybex, 1982, 300 pages, 


($1.50 handling) 


(415) 848-8233 





dual processor. CP/M-86 will enable 
the Compupro to run a number of 
programs that run on the IBM Per- 
sonal Computer. On that score, Mark 
Dahmke has it running and says, 
"CP/M-86 makes the IBM PC a 
usable machine." I thought that a bit 
extreme; after all, a lot of people 
think the IBM PC is usable now. I'd 
probably have one if I hadn't become 
so furious over that horrid 



"European-standard" keyboard. 

Mark agreed he'd probably over- 
stated the case but added, "Going 
from MS-DOS to CP/M-86 is very 
much like going from TRS-DOS to 
CP/M. Once you've done it, you can 
never understand how you put up 
with the old system." I'll have to take 
his word for it, but not for long; one 
day I will get a PC, either by getting 
the right kind of S-100 video output 



Circle 503 on Inquiry card. 




BOOKS • with program listings in BASIC 
• theory, equations, full explanation 
of how programs work 



contain same programs as books 
unprotected and copyable 
use as building blocks 
for your own software 



Data Plotting 
Software for Micros 

This Is a system of 18 programs which process and display 
data; pie charts, bar charts, stock market charts, histograms, 
3D views of surfaces, log plots, curve fitting, data manage- 
ment, histograms and statistical analysis. 

Programs are modular, menu driven, written In BASIC, fully 
explained and keyed to theory. Use them as-ls or modify for 
custom applications. 

Programs handle x, x-y, and x-y-z data files. Features include 
automatic scaling, axis marking and numbering, auto replot 
when data changes, and a special program called LABELER 
which places text and symbols over graphics using a moving 
cursor. 

GBook $28.50 DApple disk $1 9.95 DIBMpc disk $1 9.95 



Sinclair Graphics 



This self-teaching guide will show you how to write 2D and 
3D graphics on the Sinclair 1 000. 

Sinclair Graphics Is unique in that the author teaches graphics 
while writing useful and fascinating programs that do charting, 
graphing, games, simulation and computer art. 

The level of mathematics is kept to a minimum yet most 
topics in computer graphics are 1 covered. 

Illustrative programs are applied to business, education, 
science, math and art. The presentation is light and informal 
while cleverly designed to teach graphics fast. 

□ Book $14.95 

Structural Analysis 
Software for Micros 

More than just a collection of stress programs, this package 
contains all the elements commonly found in sophisticated, 
modern CAD systems but on a scale more appropriate for 
micros. 

You will be able to create a finite element mesh on the 
screen of your micro, rotate it in 3 dimensions, and store it on 
disk. Then recall the mesh from disk, recall a file of material 
properties and carry out a 3d truss or frame analysis. 

Nonlinear and large deflection analyses is accomplished by 
an incremental solution strategy. 

Other programs calculate combined stresses, area properties 
and plot deflected shapes of structures. 

All program are modular, menu driven and written in BASIC. 

□ Book S39T.95 □ Apple disk $24.95 □ IBMpc disk $24.95 



Graphic Software 
f or Microcomputers 

This self-teaching guide will show you how to write your own 
2 and 3 dimensional graphic software. It contains 61 fully 
documented programs In BASIC that Illustrate various graphics 
operations and programming techniques. 

Learn how to create 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, translate, 
rotate, scale, stretch, clip, remove hidden lines, shade, create 
perspective views, calculate and plot surface intersections, use 
a tablet to create 3 dimensional shapes and produce animation 
effects. Applications to science, engineering and business. 

Named "the best book available on microcomputer graphics" by 
Creative Computing in Feb, 1 982. 

□Book $21.95 DApple disk $19.95 DIBMpc disk $19.95 
DTRS80 Color Tape $21 .95 



I BMpc Graphics 



This self-teaching guide will show you how to write your own 
2 and 3 dimensional graphic software on the IBMpc. This is a 
special version of the popular Graphic Software for Microcomputers but 
it has been written especially for the IBMpc. 

In addition to the topics covered in Graphic Software, this IBM 
version covers hardware requirements, separating text from 
graphics, and use of the pc's special graphics enhancements. 

All programs are written in BASICA. 

DBook $24 DIBMpc disk $21 



Engineering 
Software for Micros 

This package of 25 programs will show you how to write 
modern CAD software and use your micro for professional 
engineering work. 

Emphasis is on combining computer graphics with engineer- 
ing problem solving. Programs are included to interactively 
create engineering drawings, store them on disk, recall, up- 
date, merge, add physical properties and rotate in 3 dimen- 
sions. Other programs operate on drawings and perform matrix 
operations, Fourier analysis (spectra displayed graphically), 
mechanisms simulation, and optimization. 

All programs are menu driven, written in BASIC and fully 
documented and keyed to theory and equations. 

DBook $28.50 DApple disk $19.95 DIBMpc disk $19.95 



To order, send check drawn on US bank, money order In US funds, Visa or Mastercard number with expiration date to KERN 
PUBLICATIONS, 1 90 Duck Hill Road, P.O. Box 1 029B, Duxbury, Massachusetts 02332. Add $2 per book 4th class postage 
in US and Canada, $4 1 st class or UPS in US; $4.50 1 st class Canada; $ 1 2 air Europe and Central America; $ 1 8 air elsewhere. 

Call (617)934-0445 for faster delivery. 



KEPvM 

?H?iLlO\TlON3 



Circle 238 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 



243 



board for the Compupro; or by get- 
ting a Heath/Zenith Z-100, which 
seems to be a complete PC work- 
alike; or by getting the PC itself and 
installing Jim Baen's Magic Keyboard 
reprogrammer. I have too many 
friends who are too happy with the 
PC for me to be a holdout forever. 

Getting the PC won't solve my real 
problem, which was rather succinctly 
put by Professor Ben Singer of the 
University of Western Ontario. Pro- 
fessor Singer writes, "I am still look- 
ing for a metaprogram — one thing 
that you turn on — a giant file cum 
program that you can write with, 
retrieve, make notes, rewrite, find old 
things, but without menus, without 
leaving disks and programs and all of 
that." 

I know precisely what he means: 
I'm looking for that program too. 
Right now we have text editors, 
databases, calculator programs, 
filecard programs, scratchnote pro- 
grams, things to hold telephone 
numbers, spelling programs, etc., but 
they don't really work together. A 
few, like Wordstar with Spellstar and 
Datastar, try to work together, but 
they aren't really what we're looking 
for. 

A possible approach is multitask- 
ing. I've never thought highly of 
multiuser operating systems for 
microcomputers; the computers are 
cheap enough that I think the goal 
ought to be one user, one processor. 
However, that doesn't mean the pro- 
cessor can't be doing more than one 
thing at a time. After all, while it's 
waiting for me to type in more text, it 
can be checking the spelling of the 



text I've already written or doing 
something useful like that. In theory, 
that would be fine; in practice, I 
suspect it would have side effects suf- 
ficiently distracting that I'd never use 
the capability. 

On the other hand, I would greatly 
love to be able to access a desk 
calculator, retrieve telephone 
numbers and disk catalog informa- 
tion, see my calendar, and make log 
entries right from within my text 
editor without having to save my text 
and load a new program. I've even 
made notes on what I'd like such a 
program (or operating system) to do, 
and I've given it the name Executive 
Secretary. I'm told it wouldn't be all 
that difficult to write; that I can add 
some memory, and with a little hard 
work Executive Secretary can be 
made to run. 

I'll believe it when I see it. That 
may not be as long as I think. Tony 
has a whole mess of stuff from Com- 
pupro and has been making 
mysterious noises about new 
upgrades to the operating system; 
while I keep hearing rumors of similar 
activities elsewhere in computerland. 
After all, Compupro already has its 
MPM-8/16 multitasking multiuser 
system, and although it's not quite 
what I want it's a step in the right 
direction. My own bet is that by the 
time the West Coast Computer Faire 
comes along in 1984 someone will 
have my Executive Secretary. I sure 
hope so. 

Pascal Prime Project 

The Pascal Prime Project men- 
tioned last time continues. This is an 



attempt to get major compiler writers 
and publishers to agree on a set of 
"standard" extensions that fix Pascal's 
major defects. Carl Helmers will 
become chairman of the actual 
meeting to be held during the West 
Coast Computer Faire. We've heard 
from nearly all the major compiler 
writers and publishers, and they'll be 
there. Just how much agreement we'll 
get on Pascal extensions is still more 
guesswork than knowledge, but most 
of the compiler people seem anxious 
to cooperate. 

Meanwhile, I've got a copy of 
Niklaus Wirth's report on Modula-2, 
his candidate for the language to 
remedy Pascal's defects and take its 
place. I haven't had a chance to study 
the book yet, but I don't think there's 
a Modula-2 compiler running on any 
system I'm likely to have; until I can 
run Modula-2, then, I'll continue to 
work on fixing Pascal. Last-minute 
flash: we now have Modula-2 work- 
ing on the Sage. I like it a lot. 

The Pascal Prime meeting will be 
open to the public; the structure will 
be a panel discussion of the invited 
participants, after which we'll take 
suggestions and questions from the 
floor. Since we don't have a lot of 
time, and we do hope to get some 
agreement on required Pascal exten- 
sions, we hope the questions and 
comments can be both relevant and 
short. And this column has gone on 
long enough. Next month, I hope, we 
can look at some equipment using 
8087 "math" chips, plus lots more on 
the Sage and the new Lobo Max-80, 
and perhaps the new Epson QX-10 
machine. ■ 



• INTRO SPECIAL* 
BASIS 108 Computer 

w/choice of drives 
with controller Call 

Micro Sci or Fourth 
w/64K or 128K completely 
assembled, tested and 
configured 

• SPECIAL* MICROSOFT 
PREMIUM SYSTEM $599 

• DISKETTE SPECIALS* 
Maxell MD-1 (Box of 10) $ 32 
Maxell 8" (Box of 10) $ 41 

MONITORS 

NEC Hi-Res 12" Green $129 
NEC RGB 12" Color 

Sanyo Monitors Call 

Amdek Monitors Call 

Electrohome Call 

USI Amber $169 

Televideo Terminals Call 

COMMUNICATIONS 

Hayes Micromodem II $275 
Hayes Smart Modem $235 

Hayes Modem 1200 Call 

Microcom 



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INC. 



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1400 GRANT AVE. / NOVATO, CALIFORNIA 94947 
IMMEDIATE DELIVERY 



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415-892-7139 



BUY COMPUTERS FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO USE THEM. 

SERVICES AVAILABLE: SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS • HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS 

COMPUTER SECURITY • TELECOMMUNICATIONS • BUSINESS- SCHOOLS 

CONSULTATION SERVICES. 

Ask about out clients. All equipment tested prior to shipment. 

If you don't see it, please ask us. 



APPLE PERIPHERALS 

Thunderclock $125 

Mountain Computer Prod. Call 



Videx Products 
Microsoft Products 
Corvus Products 
TG Joysticks/Paddles 
ABT Keypads 



for 
Best 
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Call 
$ 99 



System Saver Fan 
Saturn Systems 
Axlon Products 
FourthDimension 
Micro Sci Drives 
16-Bit Apple Card 
SVA Products 
Peachtree Software 



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Call 

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Minimum order SlOO Cashiers checks and money 
orders accepted Add 3% lor VISA or MC Add 3% 
' r shipping/insurance/handling. UPS. No COD. 



to clear All products wilhlull manufacturer's war- 
ranty, laclory sealed Calil resldenlsadd 6% sales 
lax Bank wires & P 0, s accepled. Retail prices 
may vary 

Apple is a registered Irademarkol Apple Computer 
Inc All brand names are registered trademarks 



PRINTERS & INTERFACES 
NEC 8023 
NEC Spinwriter 
Okidata Microline 
IDS & C. Itoh 
Anadex Products \ 

CCS Interface Cards | Call 
Qume and Diablo I for 

EPSON w/Graftrax Plus ( Best 
Micro Buffer II I Prices 

Grappler / 

IBM Software and 
- Peripherals 
Techmar STB Products 
Atari Software 



COMPUTER SYSTEMS 

ALTOS Computers 
ATARI 400 & 800 
Basis 108 Computers 
NEC PC8000 Computers 
Sanyo Computers 
T.I. Home Computer 
Xerox 820-II Computers 

APPLE BUSINESS SOFTWARE 

Versaform $299 

SupercalcCP/M $210 

DB Master VER 3 $169 
The Last One 

Format II $275 
ProEasywriterCombo 1 



Accounting Plus 
INVOICE PLUS 
FMS-80, 81,82 
dBASE II 

VISICORP Software 
MICRO PRO 
Wordstar 
Supersort 
Mail Merge 
Data Star 
Spell Star 
Calc Star 



[Call 
for 
Best 
Prices 



244 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 84 on Inquiry card. 




THE MICRO COMPUTER BUSINESS 

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financing, The mistakes you must avoid, How to hire and manage employees, Incorporation ( when, and how to do it cheaply ), Surviving bad times, Record 
Keeping, how to estimate your market before you start. Use multiple locations to maximize profits, how to promote and stay steps ahead of the competi- 
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TRACK 

THE SPACE SHUTTLE 

ON AN APPLE? 

YES. WITH MICROSPEED! 



At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, NASA 
scientists have discovered the power of MicroSPEED. 
Using this remarkable hardware/software system with 
an Apple II, they produced a continuous graphic 
display of the Columbia's position relative to the earth 
during the second Shuttle mission. This enabled the 
JPL team to accurately follow the spacecraft in real 
time, and to precisely control its powerful sensors at 
critical points along the flight path. 
Surprised that such a demanding project is possible 
on the Apple? So were JPL's engineers, and many 
others who have discovered . . . 



THE MICROSPEED DIFFERENCE This extraordinary 

Language System exploits the real potential of the 
microcomputer for the first time. The difference 
between MicroSPEED and other programming 
languages is that with MicroSPEED, there is virtually 
no limit to what you can achieve. It may well be the 
ultimate language for the Apple II and III (and soon 
the IBM Personal Computer). MicroSPEED literally 
combines the performance of a minicomputer with an 



exhaustive set of user-friendly capabilities: hardware 
math processing, fast hi-res graphics and text, turtle 
graphics, print formating, two text editors, unlimited 
data types, and incredible FORTH extensibility — all 
at speeds up to 100 times faster than Basic. 

USER-FRIENDLY, EASY-TO-LEARN Starting with 
simple commands that are comfortable even for non- 
programmers, MicroSPEED extends and builds, 
allowing you to create your own tailored application 
languages. The capability of your computer will grow 
exponentially, as you work in an active partnership 
with the machine, exploring and developing new 
problem-solving facilities — creating, correcting, 
refining your increasingly powerful system. 




DEMANDING JOBS AT LOW COST MicroSPEED 
has been put to the test in fields as diverse as medicine, 
the stock market, oceanography, and the arts. In even 
the most challenging applications, MicroSPEED 
users have been unanimous in their praise of the 
System and manual. Typical comments are: 

". . . we are more than pleased with MicroSPEED . . . I 
can't imagine using BA SIC on any future applications. " 

Roger Guevremont, National Research Council of Canada. 

"I continue to marvel at its versatility and power. " 
Carl R. Schramm, USCG Base, Kodiak, Alaska. 

"Great! . . . A joy to use. " 

Henry Harris, Mission Design Manager 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

"If you plan to use a personal computer for any 
demanding task, then we built MicroSPEED for you. " 

Sam Cottrell, President of Applied Analytics. 



MicroSPEED requires the Apple Computer with single disk. Micro- 
SPEED II includes 2 MHz math processor. MicroSPEED II + includes 
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(301)420-0700 



J 60 Page Manual, $15.00 
.Detailed Information 



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APPLE IS A TRADEMARK OF APPLE COMPUTER. INC. 



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BYTE GAME GRID 






Project Nebula 



Keith Carlson 

43 McDill Rd. 

Bedford, MA 01730 



In light of the enor- 
mous popularity of video 
games, it's not unusual 
that imitations of the 
most popular ones 
should spring up. After 
all, consumers spend $10 
billion a year on video 
arcades, and manufac- 
turers want a slice of the 
pie. So naturally I ex- 
pected Project Nebula to 
be Radio Shack's version 
of Atari's blockbuster, 
Star Raiders. Not so. 
The two games have 
similarities, but after a 
thorough investigation I 
found that Project 
Nebula's differences in 
terms of rules and play 
make it a true original. 

Actually, Project Nebula for the TRS-80 Color Com- 
puter includes four games. Each game offers you 10 levels 
that increase in difficulty. Target practice is the first 
game, and you'll need it. The joystick control is sluggish 
and difficult to use in the beginning, and practice will 
help you get comfortable using it. Whether the unusual 
feel of the joystick was intentional or not, it detracts from 
the game. Target practice will also introduce you to the 
short-range sensors (both front and rear views) in the 
lower corners of the screen. In my initial experience with 
this practice, I discovered one of Project Nebula's most 
interesting aspects: the program maintains depth of field. 




Photo 1: The forward view from 
upper section of the screen. Two 
your energy bolts (diagonal lines 
torn are your instruments showing 



In other words, if you 
have two enemy ships in 
your sights, you can 
only shoot the one in 
front. The second ship 
becomes vulnerable only 
when it is closer to you 
than the leftover debris 
from the enemy you just 
exploded. And the best 
part is that you gain all 
of this wonderful ex- 
perience under the most 
ideal conditions; you can 
shoot the Zykons, but 
they can't shoot backl 

Once you master the 
joysticks and the range 
sensors, you're ready for 
game two. It, too, is tar- 
get practice, but with a 
big difference: now the 
Zykons are shooting at you. But don't fret too much; 
your ship is still safe. When you get a direct hit from an 
enemy bolt, the screen briefly fills with red @ signs, and 
the game continues. During this game, your other 
joystick is activated and it controls the forward speed of 
your craft. That feature isn't particularly useful in the 
first two games, but it becomes quite significant in subse- 
quent games when you have to dock and refuel. 

In the third game, you apply what you've been practic- 
ing. Now you have an entire quadrant to patrol, and with 
a press of the Z key, you view a multicolored map. To 
travel between sectors, you choose a sector and, by press- 



your scout vessel is shown in the 
Zykon craft have dodged one of 
converging in center). At the hot- 
direction, energy units, and score. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 247 



BYTE GAME GRID 



At a Glance 




Name 

Project Nebula 


Language 

6809 machine language 


Type 

Game 

Manufacturer 


Computer Needed 

TRS-80 Color Computer 
(any configuration) 


Tandy Corporation 

1 Tandy Plaza 

Fort Worth, TX 76102 


Additional Equipment 

Two joysticks 




Documentation 


Price 

S39.95 


8-page manual 




Audience 


Author 

Robert Arnstein 


Arcade game players and 
Star Wars fans 


Format 




ROM cartridge 





ing the H key, off you go into "hyperspace." When you 
move in hyperspace from one sector to another, the 
graphics resemble those in Star Wars. You will travel in 
hyperspace often. Every time the Zykons zap your ship, 
you lose energy units. To refuel, you must travel to a sec- 
tor with a base, dock your ship, and get recharged. 

Docking can be tricky. If you forget to reduce your 
speed at the right time, you will overshoot the base. You 
must set the ship's horizontal and vertical directions 
within a certain range, increase your speed until the base 
is in sight, and then decrease your speed to a specified 
point. When you are close enough to the base, you will 
receive a new power pack. Instructions for this procedure 
are included with the game, and with a little practice 
docking almost becomes easy. 



The fourth and final game of the series pulls out all of 
the stops. Not only do you lose energy units when your 
ship is hit, but the accumulated hits begin to take their 
toll on your vessel. The type and level of damage the hits 
inflict remains unpredictable. You must remember to 
check the damage status report, which is displayed to the 
right of the quadrant map. When it's time for repairs, you 
must travel to a base. 

At this point, finding a base can present quite a chal- 
lenge. If your long-range sensors are damaged, you'll still 
be able to display the quadrant map, but the sectors will 
be randomly filled, making it impossible for you to tell 
which sector contains what; in my opinion, false infor- 
mation is more frustrating than no information at all. If 
you didn't memorize which sector has your home base, 
your only recourse is to conduct a costly sector-by-sector 
search, consuming large amounts of time and fuel. Try- 
ing to use damaged warp engines lands you in a random 
sector, no matter where you want to go. I find this more 
maddening than nonfunctional warp engines. 

A few relatively minor things about Project Nebula 
bother me. Its terrible sound effects grated on my nerves 
and detracted from my ability to enjoy the game. As soon 
as I turned off the white noise, I had a much better time. 
Another quibble concerns the strategy for winning. If 
you're cautious, it's practically impossible to lose. An in- 
exhaustible supply of bases for fuel and repair keep you 
from serious trouble, provided you memorize the loca- 
tion of your base. My last objection concerns the ending 
of the game. When you manage to eliminate every last 
Zykon, all you get is a mere congratulations. A rating 
based on the number of times you refueled combined 
with your score would be more gratifying. These prob- 
lems, however, are trivial compared to Project Nebula's 
overall enjoyability.B 



Legionnaire 



Gregg Williams 
Senior Editor 



I have always had an extreme dislike for any game that 
reminds me of a legal contract. I've never liked war 
games for that reason. The rules always have the length, 
clarity, conciseness, and type size of the average in- 
surance policy. I have also never been able to deal with 
war game maps (which are often the size of movie 
posters) and the number of playing pieces (anywhere 
from fifty to hundreds of units); I much prefer the 
playability of simple game mechanisms to complex ones. 



Because of all this, I've never been comfortable with war 
games, even though I've spent considerable hours playing 
them. 

Avalon Hill's Legionnaire changes all that. The name 
of the game is misleading (for most people, it conjures up 
images of American Legion veterans trying to get to the 
Saturday night banquet alive) and the cover art is poor, 
but those are the only flaws in the presentation of an 
otherwise perfect solitaire game. 



248 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Legionnaire is the most recent game by Atari's Chris 
Crawford, easily the most innovative and talented person 
working on the Atari 400/800 computer today. Though 
his previous game, Eastern Front, solves many of the 
problems of war games, it retains several features that 
don't suit me — only one scenario with over 50 pieces on 
each side, a playing time of several hours, and a complex- 
ity that intimidates rather than challenges me. (Dyed-in- 
the-wool war gamers don't have these problems with the 
game, but I'm sure many feel as I do. I'm happy to report 
that Chris is working on an enhanced version of Eastern 
Front that has, among other things, various levels of 
complexity.) 

Legionnaire is Crawford's latest war game, and many 
of its features improve on Eastern Front. For example, 
you can play games of varying complexity and length 
(the shortest is perhaps 10 minutes), you command be- 
tween one and ten units, the computer automatically 
takes care of the enormous amount of calculation and 
record-keeping that conventional war games require, 
and — best of all — the game takes place in real time. 

In Legionnaire, you are Caesar, and you command a 
force of between one and nine Roman legions. You play 
on a scrolling topographical map several screens high and 
wide (see photo 1), and your task is to defeat two bar- 
barian tribes (played by the computer) that are challeng- 
ing your power. When the game starts, you are asked 
how many legions you want to play with. You can 
choose a force of between one and ten legions, the first of 
which represents Caesar. (As the number of units you 
possess increases, you receive successively weaker units; 
the game is easier with smaller forces. Choose five units 
the first time you play.) You then choose one of twelve 
barbarian infantry tribes (listed in order of increasing 
strength and skill) and one of twelve barbarian cavalry 
tribes. Because each tribe is the same size as your force, 
you are always outnumbered by two to one. Your force 
and the two barbarian groups are placed randomly on the 
map, and the game is ready to begin. 

When you press the Start button on the Atari key- 
board, the barbarian units begin to move toward you. 
This is a very unsettling sight, especially compared with 
Eastern Front, in which you had conventional game turns 
and combat takes place only when you are ready. Not so 
in Legionnaire — the game is in real time and you have no 
time to spare. You use the joystick and a hollow-square 
cursor to give each unit up to eight orders, and each unit 
begins moving as soon as you have finished. The amount 
of time you need to execute these orders depends on the 
type of unit, its current characteristics, and the terrain; of 
course, cavalry units are faster than infantry units, but 
infantry units are stronger and harder to destroy. In 
general, units move once every 4 to 30 seconds, which 
gives you an idea of the pace of the game. The Caesar 




Photo la-c: Legionnaire in action. In this sequence, the cursor 
(yellow box) moves to the top edge of the screen (la and lb). 
When it needs to move further up, the background scrolls down 
(1c). You can see this by noting the locations of Caesar (the 
eagle-shaped pink unit) in each photo. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 249 



BYTE GAME GRID 



At a Glance 






Name 


Author 




Legionnaire 


Chris Crawford 




Type 






Arcade-style real-time military-strategy game 


Language 

6502 machine language 




Manufacturer 






Avalon Hill Microcomputer Games Inc. 


Documentation 




45 1 7 Harford Rd. 


A 20-page manual with game instructions, strategy, an 


analysis of 


Baltimore, MD 2 1 2 1 4 


Roman and barbarian units, and some relevant history 




Price 


Audience 




S35 


Game players 




Computer 






Atari 400 or 800 with cassette recorder, joy sticks, and I6K bytes 






of memory 







unit is both strong and fast, but it has a special liability: if 
you lose it, you lose the game. When enemy units are ad- 
jacent and trying to occupy the same square, they begin 
to fight each other. Depending on the circumstances, a 
unit may retreat and/ or lose men and swords; if it loses 
all of its swords, the unit dies and is removed from play. 

The current status of each unit is indicated by the 
number of unwounded men in that unit and a number 
that reflects their combat strength at the moment due to 
fatigue and circumstances. In addition, the behavior of 
each Roman legion and each barbarian tribe is influenced 
by its overall temperament, which is described in the 
rulebook for Legionnaire. Such subtle information is of 
interest to only the experienced Legionnaire player, but it 
can mean the difference between defeat and victory when 
you are playing against the toughest opponents. 

Of course, there is a lot of strategy to Legionnaire. 
Beginners should take the Roman troops to the top of the 
nearest hill and wait for the attack; that way the tired 
barbarians will have to walk uphill to attack rested 
Romans. You should also keep the cavalry units from be- 
ing "pinned"; they should be free to execute a flank (side) 
or rear attack. See "More Legionnaire Tactics" for more 
information; you may want to play the game for a while 
before reading this box. 

Conclusions 

Legionnaire is a wonderful game that, for me, com- 
bines the graphics and movement of arcade games with 
the depth of strategy games. It also performs the valuable 
service of making the war game accessible to people who 
don't like the complexity and tedium of paper-and-card- 
board war games. I also like the large number of grada- 
tions (in both playing time and skill level) it offers; 



Legionnaire has 1,440 variations (10 troop sizes times 12 
cavalry opponents times 12 infantry opponents). Looking 
up combat results in a table (the procedure in most war 
games) has always struck me as a method of combat reso- 
lution that gives the players too much information on 
how combat is decided; seeing only the results of a battle, 
in real time, gives me a better simulation of war-making. 
Legionnaire has taught me more about military strategy 
and tactics than all the war games I've played to date. 

Avalon Hill should be congratulated on such a strong 
game that extends its leadership in the war-gaming field 
to the microcomputer arena. I only wish that Avalon Hill 
had given Chris Crawford more prominent credit — if 
they don't know it by now, Chris's name sells games, and 
Legionnaire is just one example why. ■ 



More Legionnaire Tactics 

• One tactic for winning Legionnaire is to send one of your 
cavalry units toward the slower barbarian infantry units. If 
you are careful, you can get the infantry units to chase your 
cavalry, thus drawing them away from your main group. The 
remaining units (mostly infantry) can usually overcome the 
isolated barbarian cavalry; once that's done, use your cavalry 
to draw the barbarian infantry back to your main group. It 
will take some practice to use this tactic successfully. 

• // you simply can't give your orders fast enough during a 
fierce battle, an undocumented feature of this game is to hit 
the Option key once (hitting it twice ends the game with your 
surrender). The game pauses (as with the Select key), but 
here you can give your units orders. Hit the Start key to con- 
tinue the game. This is, strictly speaking, cheating, and it 
should be used only when necessary. However, the Huns 
(the most powerful barbarian cavalry) are impossible to 
beat, I'm told, so any method of winning is permitted here. 



250 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Omega Race for the VIC-20 



Stanley J. Wszola 
Technical Editor 



It isn't easy converting a well-known arcade game to 
the smaller screen and coarser graphics of a micro- 
computer. Invariably, the microcomputer display doesn't 
look as nice and the game's action isn't as fast as the ar- 
cade version. So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw 
Omega Race for the first time. The version for the Com- 
modore VIC-20 is fast paced, has colorful graphics, and 
features good sound effects. 

The game is relatively unchanged from the original 
Bally Midway version. At the start you are shown the 
race course, a rectangular-shaped field with a smaller rec- 
tangle in its middle. The smaller rectangle displays the 
number of ships you have left, your current score, and 
the previous high score. Populating the larger rectangle 
are a number of space mines and android-controlled 
ships. Each ship or mine is worth a certain number of 
points (see table 1). The object of the game is to 
maneuver your ship around the large rectangle and 
destroy the various space mines and android ships in 
your path. 

The course is bounded on all sides by energy fields. If 
any ship hits the fields, it will bounce off like a billiard 
ball. The behavior of the ships can be used to your ad- 
vantage in maneuvering around the course. 

There are three varieties of android ships, each with its 
own behavior. The Death ships look and act like whirling 
dervishes as they careen around the course laying mines, 
firing wildly, and attempting to crash into your ship. 
They are the most dangerous of all because their seeming- 
ly random behavior makes them difficult to destroy. The 
Command ships, which move at a slower pace, are more 
deliberate in their firing and mine laying. They can be 
outgunned and outmaneuvered. The Droid ships are 
slower still, so they present a tempting target. 

All the ships share one interesting characteristic: they 
can evolve into more advanced ships. A Droid ship can 
turn into a Command ship and a Command ship can 
become a Death ship. This metamorphosis usually occurs 
at the most inconvenient moment. 

All of the action on the screen is accompanied by ap- 
propriate sound effects. The sounds of laser fire, ex- 
ploding ships, and the victory fanfare at the end of a suc- 
cessful session add an interesting dimension to the game 
and reinforce its similarity to the arcade version. 



Object 


Point Value 


Photon Mine 


350 


Vapor Mine 


500 


Droid Ship 


1000 


Command Ship 


1500 


Death Ship 


2500 



5000 bonus points are awarded for each Droid force you destroy. 
You receive an additional ship for each 40,000 points you score. 

Table 1: Point values for mines and android ships. 



At a Glance 

Name 

Omega Race 

Type 

One-player arcade-style game 

Manufacturer 

Commodore Business Machines Inc. 
487 Devon Park Dr. 
Wayne, PA 19087 
(215) 687-9750 

Price 

S39.95 

Format 

Plug-in ROM cartridge 

Language 

6502 assembly language 

Computer Needed 

Commodore VIC-20 with game paddle or joystick 

Documentation 

A one-page instruction sheet 

Audience 

Arcade-game players of a\\ ages 



Game Controls 

You can control your ship by means of a game paddle 
or joystick. Using the joystick, you can fire your ship's 
engines by pushing forward. Pushing the stick right or 
left turns the ship clockwise or counterclockwise, respec- 
tively. The button will fire your laser cannon. If you use 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 251 



BYTE GAME GRID 




Photo 1: An Omega Race game display. The game is played on 
a course bounded on all sides by energy fields. Your ship, at the 
left of the course, must destroy the Droid ships, the circular ob- 
jects, and the mines (the single and double triangles). 



Key 


Function 


F1 


Starts game, joystick, 3 ships 


F2 


Starts game, joystick, 5 ships 


F3 


Starts game, paddle, 3 ships 


F4 


Starts game, paddle, 5 ships 


F5 


Selects screen color, 8 choices 


F7 


Selects ship color, 8 choices 


Table 2: Game controls. The special function keys are used 


to select the various game options. 



a paddle, continuously holding down the Fire button will 
fire your engines. Rotating the paddle turns the ship left 
or right. Tapping the Fire button fires your laser. 



The special function keys on the VIC-20 are used to 
select various game options (see table 2). You can select 
the background color, ship color, your choice of paddle 
or joystick, and the number of ships per turn. 

Game Strategy 

The fact that your ship will bounce off the energy fields 
surrounding the course can be used to your advantage. A 
good strategy is to position your ship at one end of the 
course. Point the ship straight up or down and fire your 
engines. The ship will bounce off the energy field at the 
top and bottom of the course. You can then pivot your 
ship to fire down the long axis of the course as you slowly 
drift from top to bottom. This gives you a clear shot at 
the approaching Droid ships, yet you can still duck 
around the corner of the small rectangle for cover. 

In evaluating the game, I used a number of different 
brands of joysticks and paddles. I found that the joysticks 
worked best and that the Atari type was the most respon- 
sive. That's because the game is very sensitive to user 
commands. The Atari joystick had just the right feel, 
whereas other more responsive joysticks caused over- 
control problems. 

I did develop one foolhardy method for increasing my 
score: letting the Droid ships evolve into Command 
ships, which are worth more points. However, this 
strategy could backfire because the Command ships also 
evolve into Death ships, which are much harder to hit. 

It's hard to adequately describe Omega Race in words 
alone. Essentially a visual game, it demands concentra- 
tion, fast reflexes, and a lot of body English. The use of 
the special function keys to select screen color, ship color, 
and choice of paddles or joystick is well thought out. This 
feature lets you modify the game according to your taste. 
Overall, Omega Race is a fun game that retains all the 
best characteristics of the arcade version. ■ 




Through the Trap Door 

March 1979— $35 



Breaking the Sound Barrier 

September 1977— $35 



BYTE COVERS 

The prints shown at left are beautiful Collector Edition Byte Covers, 
strictly limited to 750 prints each, and signed and numbered by the 
artist, Robert Tinney. Each print is lSin, x%2 in., and is accompanied 
by its own Certificate of Authenticity, To order, use the coupon below. 
¥isa and MasterCard orders may call 1-5CJ4-272-7266. 



Please send _ 

Trap Door prints ($35),_ 



Through the 



□ Visa 
Card No. _ 
Breaking the Sound Barrier Expires: _ 

prints ($35), or sets of both prints Name: 

($55). I have included $3 per order shipping Address: _ 

and handling ($8 overseas). ctty- 

□ I have enclosed check or money order State: 



□ MasterCard 



_Zip: 



I 

Robert Tinney Graphics • 1 864 N. Pamela Dr. • Baton Rouge, LA 708 15 I 



252 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 480 on inquiry card. 



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Circle 63 on inquiry card. 



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our primary goals, which will enshrine the Monte Carlo 

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Software Review 



Quickcode 

Help arrives for users of dBASE II. 



Adam B. Green 

Sof twarebanc Inc. 

661 Massachusetts Ave. 

Arlington, MA 02174 



Imagine sitting in front of your computer and saying, 
"One accounts receivable program please — and hold the 
invoicing." Well, the state of the art in software hasn't 
reached quite that point yet, but a new breed of program 
generators is certainly working in that direction. One of 
these program generators is Quickcode from Fox & 
Geller, which generates programs to be used with dBASE 
II, the popular database program from Ashton-Tate. 

Incorporating a database, query language, report 
writer, and full programming language into one package, 
dBASE II is an application-development program. It is 
used to perform information-processing tasks ranging 
from simple mailing lists to full accounting systems. The 
dBASE II language handles most of the "dirty work" of 
programming, such as disk-file and screen-handling 
operations. But even though it simplifies the job of 
writing custom programs, you need a general knowledge 
of programming techniques and syntax to make full use 
of the package. 

Quickcode was developed to help two types of dBASE 
II users: businesspeople who lack the required program- 
ming background and consultants under pressure to pro- 
duce programs in as short a time as possible. A Quick- 
code user with little computer background can describe a 
standard application, such as an inventory system, and 
Quickcode will produce a complete set of menu-driven 

About the Author 

Adam B. Green has written a book on dBASE II and teaches dBASE II 
classes around the country. Sof twarebanc is a mail-order software com- 
pany that specializes in business software. 



programs in the dBASE II programming language. These 
programs are clearly written, well documented, and easi- 
ly modified. More knowledgeable users can incorporate 
parts of these programs into their own applications. And 
the programs that are created do not require Quickcode 
to be present when they are running. If changes are re- 
quired, Quickcode can be used to generate slightly dif- 
ferent versions of the same programs. 

I will analyze Quickcode with three criteria in mind: 
how easy it is for the user to describe the desired applica- 
tion, the length of computer time required for programs 
to be generated, and the quality of the generated pro- 
grams. The limitations of Quickcode will also be dis- 
cussed. 

Describing the Application 

How can a computer understand your billing problems 
when the salesperson who sold it to you couldn't? The 
answer is by using a special program. Some programmers 
call this the human interface, and it can be the most 
challenging aspect of writing a program generator. 

One commonly used technique is to engage the user in 
a long, tedious series of questions and answers. Quick- 
code takes an alternate approach of letting the user fill in 
screens and, in effect, "paint a picture" of the application. 

The first step is to use the Quickcode editor, which is 
similar to a limited word processor, to create a data-entry 
form. This screen mask is used for adding, displaying, 
and editing the data in generated programs. If you don't 
find the editor powerful enough, a word processor such 
as Wordstar can be used to create the screen mask. This 



256 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Introducing 

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Interested Distributors, Dealers and OEMs call: (408) 945-0500 

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Because computers really 
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Circle 42 on inquiry card. byte March 1983 257 



IT'S FINALLY HAPPENED! 

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MICROPROCESSOR TRAINING KIT 
WITH EPROM PROGRAMMER 



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PROGRAMMER 
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'£' 27 xx TO 25xx ADAPTER 
j> SPEECH CARD 



At last a microprocessor package designed to give you what you 
want most; combined power and versatility. CAN-80 opens up a whole 
new dimension in the world of microcomputers. 

Whether you are a hobbyist, teacher, student, or just plain like 
to dabble in computers, the CAN-80 is right for you. 

But CAN-80 was also designed with the professional in mind. 
It has a built-in EPROM programmer for 2516, 2716, 2732, 2732A, 
2764-also adaptable for 25xx series. 

Speech processors are of course built-in along with all the other 
features. 

Oh Yes, the CAIM-80 is half the price of the so called competition. 



JPLUS & PLUS CO., LTD. 

USA HANDWELL CORP. 

4962 El Camino Real Ste 1 19 Los Altos, CA. 94022 

Tel: (415)9629265/6 

Telex; 171947 HANDWELL LTOS 

RS PLUS & PLUS CO., LTD. 

3/F, 271, Roosevelt Rd. f Sec. 3, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. 
Cable: "SIGMALTD" Taipei 
Telex: 21 140 SIGMALTD 
Tel: (02) 396-9900 (5 Lines) 

Attention Overseas Buyers Other Than In The U.S. A J 



Attention Overseas Buyers OtherlThan In The U.S. A 
Please make direct contact with our Taiwan Offices. 
Thanks! 



At a Glance 




Name 


Computer System 


Quickcode 


8080. 8085. or Z80 com- 




puter with 48K bytes of 


Type 


usable RAM. a 24 by 80 


Program generator for the 


cursor-addressable terminal. 


dBASE II database language 


1 80K bytes of disk storage. 




and the dBASE \l database 


Manufacturer 


program 


Fox & Geller 




POB 1053 


Documentation 


Teaneck. NJ 07666 


137 pages, perfect bound 


(201)837-0142 






Audience 


Price 


Users of dBASE II who need 


S295 


to produce programs quickly 




and those without any pro- 


Format 


gramming knowledge 


5- or 8-inch floppy disk; can 




use hard disk for storage 




Operating System 




CP/M 2.2. MP/M. Turbodos 





can then be saved on a disk file in a nondocument mode 
(e.g., by using the "N" command in Wordstar), which 
can later be accessed by Quickcode to create the data- 
entry form. 

All variables that will be used in the data-entry form 
(e.g., name and address in a mailing list) are defined in a 
second Quickcode screen. In this screen, the user 
describes each variable in terms of the following at- 
tributes: type of variable, length, default value, mini- 
mum value, and maximum value. The user can designate 
an error message to be displayed if data is entered outside 
the minimum and maximum range. It is also possible to 
specify which variables are to be kept in a dBASE II index 
file. 

A third screen is used to specify which of the 12 possi- 
ble types of programs are to be created (see table 1). The 
dBASE II language encourages the use of small, single- 
function modules, in keeping with the philosophy of 
structured programming. Quickcode follows this practice 
and creates a separate module for each major application 
function, as listed in table 1. 

These three screens allow the user with little or no pro- 
gramming experience to describe an application and ac- 
tually "see' 7 how the finished programs will appear. The 
primary disadvantage is that Quickcode makes certain 
assumptions on several factors, such as the type of menus 
to be used and the overall structure of the application 
system. 

Generating the Code 

This is an area in which Quickcode is far superior to 
other program generators. The user simply presses the 
Escape key, and Quickcode is off and running. For exam- 
ple, if the user wants to create one of every possible type 
of module, up to 34K bytes of dBASE II programs are 
written in less than two minutes, and an empty database 
file can be created at the same time. On my double- 

4 Circle 348 on inquiry card. 




COmWTCR WAR£HOUS£ 



CALL TOLL 

ATARI 

Special 800 System 

800 w/48K, recorder, Pac Man or 

Star Raiders, joysticks Call 

Pac- Man Special 
400 w/16K, 2 joysticks, Pac-Man Call 

1200 Call 

800 (48K) $525 

400 Call 

810 Disk Drive $440 

850 Interface $170 

410 Recorder $75 

830 Modem $155 

16K Memory $60 

32K Memory $75 

PRINTERS 

Anadex 
9620 $1445 

C-ltoh 

F-10-Parallel $1350 

F-10-Serial $1350 

55CPS-Series Call 

8510 Parallel $425 

Computer International 

Daisywriter2000w/16K $1000 

Daisy writer 2000 w/48K $ 1 025 

Comrex 

CR-1-S $800 

CR-1-P $775 

Datasouth 
DS180 $1175 

Diablo 

620 RO wo/Tractors $920 

630 RO wo/Tractors $2050 

630KSR wo/Tractors $2435 

IDS 
Microprism 480 $525 

Epson 
All models Call 

NEC 

PC-8023A $465 

3510 $1375 

3550 $1835 

7710 $2050 

7720 $2425 

Okidata 
All models Call 

PMC 
DMP-85 $410 

Smith-Corona 
TP-1 $650 

StarMicronics 

DP-8480S $300 

DP-8480P $295 

Gemini-10 Call 

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1805/1802 $1455 

MT 1601 w/tractors $630 

MT 1 60L w/tractors $725 

MT180 Call 

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810 Basic $1260 



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Maxell Diskettes 5% ' ' Sector oooj . 


. . . $235 




SOFTWARE 










CP/M IBM 


CP/M 


IBM 




DBase 1 1 


$450 


$450 Sorcim Supercalc 


$225 $225 


WordStar 


$285 


$285 Innovative 




MailMerge 


$125 


$125 Software T.I. M. 


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SpellStar 


$195 


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NA 


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Easywriter II 


NA 


$275 WordStar, MailMerge 




Spellguard 


$225 


$225 Spell Checker 


$445 $445 




PLEASE ADD SS PER SOFTWARE ORDER FOR SHIPPING 





DISK DRIVES 

Percom 

Atari S/D 1st Drive 

Atari S/D 2nd Drive 

Atari D/D 1st Drive 

Atari D/D 2nd Drive 

Rana (Drives for Apple) 

Elite 1 

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Zenith 

12" Green Screen 

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910 

910 Plus 

920 

925 

950 

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Z-19 

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$115 



Video 300 

Color I 


$145 
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Color II 


$645 


Color III 


$390 


BMC 

12" Green 


$85 


13" Color 


$265 


Comrex 

13" Color Composite. . . . 
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$290 
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NEC 

JB 1201 


$155 


JB 1260 


$115 


USI 

9" Amber 


$130 


12" Amber 

MODEMS 

Hayes Smartmodem 


$150 
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Novation 

CAT 


$140 


D-CAT 


$155 


Signalman 

Mark I 


$85 



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WAREHOUSE 



COMPUTERS 

Altos 

ACS 8000-15 

Series 15D 

Series 5-5D 

Eagle 

NEC 

8001 

8012 

8031 

Northstar 

Advantage 

Advantage w/5MB. . . . 

Horizon II 64KQD 

Sanyo 

MBC-1000w/WordStar,CalcStar, 

S-Basic,CPM«> Call 

Above w/2 Drives. Call 

MBC-2000 Call 

Televideo Systems 

TS-802 $2599 

TS-802H $4450 

Zenith 

z-120 Call 

z-110 Call 

COMMODORE 

64 



$3742 
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$730 
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$2800 
$3900 
$2625 



Call 




2222 E. Indian School Rd. 
Phoenix, Arizona 85016 



Order Line: 1-800-528-1054 Other Information: 602-954-6109 

Order Line Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10-5 MST Saturday 9-1 MST 

Prices reflect 3% to 5% cash discount. Product shipped in factory cartons with manufacturer's warranty. Please add $8.00 per order for shipping. 
Prices & availability subject to change without notice. Send cashiers check or money order all other checks will delay shipping two weeks. 



Circle 411 on inquiry card. 




Systems Strategies/Communications Division 

Specialists in Data Communications Software 

225 West 34th Street 

New York, New York 10001 

(212)279-8400 

• Custom software to allow your product to 
interface networks and emulate other vendors 
equipment 

• SNA, X.25, BSC software to communications 
compatible product developers for a more 
timely and cost effective entry into the 
marketplace 

• Softwarethat is utilized by computer and 
terminal manufacturers. Target processors 
have included Zilog Z-80, Z-8000, Intel 8086 

• Close contact with your engineers to adapt our 
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• Software in 'C\ Pascal and Assembler 

• Microcomputer systems development 



A Complete Winchester/Floppy Disk System. 

• Disk controller with 4 ports; supports wide range of drives; 5Va" 
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• Z80 CPU includes 4MHz, 64KRAM, 2 serial I/O, 1 parallel, CTC 

• Supports 10MB streaming tape. CP/AA® and BIOS included. 

• Package price: $1,195.00. 

May be purchased separately, Disk and streaming drives available.' 



SIGEN Corporation 




1800 Wyatt Dr., #6, Santa Clara, CA 95054 
Contact: Allen Hauptman, 408/988-2527 

CP/M is o trademark of Digital Research. 



-T- 



Programs: 

ADD Add records to a data file 

CMD Main menu program for entire system 

ED Edit an existing record 

FAU Store default values into data-entry variables 

GET Search for a record by index value 

GO Create index files for the database 

10 Format information for the data-entry screen 

LBL Print mailing labels from the data file 

OUT Format information for printing a single data record 

RPT Run reports created with dBASE II report writer 

VAL Perform validation of data entered in ADD 

WS Transfer dBASE II data into Wordstar/Mailmerge 
format 



Data Files: 

DBF 
NDX 



Database file for storing information 

Index file for rapid retrieval and organizing data 



Table 1: A list of the various types of program modules that 
can be generated by Quick code in the dBASE II program- 
ming language. 



density 8-inch floppy disks, the generation step is actual- 
ly performed in less time than it takes the CP/M utility 
program PIP to copy the same amount of code from one 
disk to another. Of course, this time might vary depend- 
ing on the hardware used. 

The speed of Quickcode should have a noticeable effect 
on the entire program-development process. The cycle of 
writing, testing, and modifying programs becomes a mat- 
ter of hours rather than days. If you don't like a par- 
ticular screen — or want to add another variable — simply 
start up Quickcode, and within minutes a new version of 
the system is created. 

The Quality of the Programs 

While program quality is often a matter of personal 
taste, some objective measurements are available. The 
factors considered in this review are modularity, stan- 
dard use of variable names, internal documentation, and 
performance. 

Because Quickcode writes all its code as small 
modules, the user can maintain control over the finished 
product by specifying which of these "building blocks" 
should be created. A nonprogrammer could generate a 
set of modules for a completely menu-driven application 
system, while a consultant might prefer to generate only 
a few functions and manually code the rest. To encourage 
the latter practice among professional programmers, Fox 
& Geller does not require any licensing fee for resale of its 
generated code. 

To ensure compatibility among all these modules, 
Quickcode uses standard naming conventions for its vari- 
ables. This allows modules created for separate applica- 
tions to be "hooked" together. For example, an inventory 
system might be added to an accounts receivable system 
created several months before. Use of standard naming 
conventions also simplifies the task of integrating Quick- 



260 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 391 on inquiry card. 



code modules with handwritten code. 

The task of including internal documentation in pro- 
grams is the bane of all programmers. This mechanical 
task has now been taken over by Quickcode. The pro- 
grams it writes all contain detailed comments in English, 
which not only eases the job of modifying the generated 
code, but also assists the less-experienced user in learning 
the dBASE II language. 

Evaluating the performance of any written material 
often becomes the personal judgment of an individual's 
style. Two conflicting styles of programming are in com- 
mon practice. One style involves the use of all possible 
tricks and shortcuts in a language in order to optimize the 
speed of the running programs. Advocates of this method 
(often C and FORTH programmers) call it tight program- 
ming. Critics often refer to it as write-only code, because 
of the difficulty in reading it at a later date. Quickcode 
takes the opposite approach and generates clean, stan- 
dard code. The resulting programs could run faster if 
shortcuts were taken, and some programmers might 
prefer to modify the code to take advantage of a personal 
speedup technique. I prefer a slow program that I can 
later enhance, instead of a fast but cryptic mess. 

One area of performance where Quickcode clearly 
shines is in the elimination of programming bugs. A great 
deal of programming time is usually spent tracking down 
and removing these pesky critters. Because the code is be- 
ing generated from prewritten text stored within the 
Quickcode program, syntax errors and improper use of 
commands are eliminated. 

Overall, I would say that the quality of the programs 
produced by Quickcode is equal to that of a very 
methodical programmer with more than one year's ex- 
perience with dBASE II. 

Documentation 

The 130-page manual that accompanies Quickcode is 
fairly easy to follow. A preliminary tutorial section is 
designed for overly anxious users who need their applica- 
tions finished two weeks before buying the product. This 
is followed by detailed instructions on each section of the 
program. 

Although there is a table of contents, the manual lacks 
an index. I hope that Fox & Geller finds the time to add 
one, even though it might seem to fly in the face of tradi- 
tion. 

The manual also needs more detailed application ex- 
amples. Although the basic operation of Quickcode is 
clearly described, a sample inventory or accounts pay- 
able system would be helpful. 

Limitations 

While I am obviously pleased with most aspects of 
Quickcode, it has some limitations that should be made 
clear. A major weakness is the inability to create pro- 
grams that access more than one data file. Also, some Fox 
& Geller advertisements claim that a complete accounting 
system could be "knocked out in a weekend." Typically, 
accounting systems consist of several modules that share 



data files. For example, a receivable module must be able 
to access the files of an inventory module. And although 
adequate inventory and receivable systems could be writ- 
ten with Quickcode, the necessary integration of the two 
systems would require a fair amount of programming 
knowledge. The other major weakness is the lack of any 
sophisticated report-writing facilities. I hope that Fox & 
Geller will be able to address these limitations in a later 
version. 

Conclusions 

Quickcode is a well-written, easy-to-use program 
generator for the dBASE II programming language, 
which allows the user to describe an application by sim- 
ply filling in screens. 

A large amount of code (more than 30K bytes) can be 
generated in less than two minutes. The code produced is 
modular, easily modified, and runs at an acceptable 
speed. 

The manual included with the program is clearly writ- 
ten, but lacks an index and sufficient application ex- 
amples. The limitations of Quickcode include the inabili- 
ty to access more than one data file and a weakness in the 
report-writing functions. 

The major audiences for Quickcode are dBASE II users 
with little programming background and programmers 
who need to produce large amounts of standard code 
quickly. ■ 




THE FRIENDLY 
COMMUNICATOR 



BRICKER ASSOCIATES 1982 



Circle 349 on Inquiry card. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 261 



A Faster Binary Search 

An important technique results in faster-running applications 
programs and shorter response times. 



Most applications of computer pro- 
cessing involve searching data tables 
of one form or another. The process 
is used in compilers, language inter- 
preters, command processors, assem- 
blers, database processors, and word 
processors. The regularity with which 
table searching is used makes the 
choice of searching techniques vital. 
A reduction in search time usually 
results in faster-running applications 
programs and shorter response times. 



Dr. L. E. Larson 

General Technology Division 

IBM Corporation 

Endicott, NY 13760 

Although many techniques exist 
for- searching tables in storage and on 
external media, the three principal 
ones are linear, series, and binary. 
The linear search examines each item, 
starting with the first, and proceeds 
sequentially. The series search, based 
on a mathematical series such as the 
power series or the Fibonacci series, 
works by subdividing the table of 
data in accordance with successive 
smaller numbers in the series. The 



Glossary 



Field: a part of a record that holds a 
particular kind of data. Examples: 
name field, telephone number field, 
social-security number field, and zip 
code field. 

Hash duplication: the replacement of 
more than one unique original key by 
the same key after hashing. Example: 
in hashing by division, two different 
numbers divided by the same divisor 
may yield different quotients but the 
same remainder, hence the same key. 
Hashing: transforming a key field into 
a more compact and more easily manip- 
ulated form to increase the speed of 
sorting or searching. Example: if the 
social-security number is the original 



key field, a new key might be calcu- 
lated by dividing the social-security 
number in each record by 10,000 and 
using the remainder as the new key. 
Key: the field of a record that is com- 
pared to a test value in order to identi- 
fy or locate a record. Example: if 
records are searched for a name, the 
name field is the key. 
Record: a group of related data items 
that is treated as a unit; when there is 
more than one record, each record 
contains the same type of item at corre- 
sponding positions. Example: a record 
might contain someone's name, tele- 
phone number, social- security num- 
ber, and zip code. 



binary search divides the table of data 
into two parts, rejecting one part and 
repeating the process on the other 
part until the item in question is 
found. ("Hashing" can be used to 
search by address calculation, but it 
sometimes yields the same key for 
more than one different field, which 
often reduces it to one of the three 
principal techniques.) 

A discussion of a method of en- 
hancing the binary search would not 
be complete without some back- 
ground on the binary search itself. 
The binary search is appropriate for 
tables whose entries are in some 
order. Based on the concept of divid- 
ing a large problem into smaller 
parts, this technique involves divid- 
ing a list into two parts of equal size. 
None of the entries in one part meets 
the search criteria value (low), while 
an entry in the other part does meet 
that value (not low). The binary 
search divides the not-low part again, 
and the process of division continues 
until only one entry remains. The re- 
maining entry, of course, matches the 
search item. 

Usually, the midpoint of a table is 
computed by dividing the sum of the 
left and right indexes by two. Initial- 



262 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 420 on inquiry card. . 





FIRST 

FROM 

TECMAR 

NEW 

REMOVABLE 

CARTRIDGE 

WINCHESTER 



Write for now Tec mar Information Kit. 

TECMAR 

Personal Computer Products Division 

23600 Mercantile Road 

Cleveland, Ohio 44122 

Phone 216-464-7410/Tolox 241735 



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Figure 1: A search tree representing the 
binary-search process. The search begins 
at the top with the root node and proceeds 
down the tree to the leaf or terminal 
nodes. This process continues until the 
search argument is found or the table is 
exhausted. 



ly, the left and right indexes are the 
two extremes of the table. Comparing 
the search argument to the table entry 
at the midpoint determines whether 
the right or left index is replaced. The 
process continues until the matching 
entry is found or the table has been 
reduced to an empty state. 

In the quest for enhancement, 
many different techniques exist for 
analyzing the process time of an 
algorithm. In searching, for example, 



the usual technique is to examine the 
number of comparisons required to 
locate an item in a table. Because my 
enhancement of the binary-search 
algorithm involves moving a portion 
of the midpoint-calculation code after 
a comparison is made, the analysis 
that I will present focuses on the num- 
ber of comparisons and the number 
of required iterations of the midpoint- 
calculation code. 

The binary-search process I devised 
is a traversal of an implicitly defined 
binary-search tree that is a complete 
binary tree as well. Like all traversals, 
it begins with the root node and pro- 
ceeds down the tree to the leaf or ter- 
minal node. Figure 1 shows a repre- 
sentation of the search process as a 
search tree. 

In the binary-search process, if it 
takes one unit of time to locate the 
third element in a table of seven 
entries, then the computation time 
necessary to locate the third entry 
does not double until the table is ex- 
panded to 31 entries. In other words, 
the binary search resembles a loga- 



rithmic pattern despite the use of the 
division process. It is this logarithmic 
performance that has led to the false 
conclusion that little can be done to 
improve the binary search. 

A long-standing rule of thumb 
about random access to data files is 
that 80 percent of the activity is con- 
cerned with only 20 percent of the 
file. The implication is that after a 
data argument has been seen, the 
probability of seeing it on the next re- 
quest is 3.25 times that for the total 
random case. 

Files and tables share an important 
characteristic: both can be viewed as 
linear-ordered representations of the 
records to be inspected and retrieved. 
Extending the 80/20 rule to tables, 
then, suggests a means for improving 
the performance of a binary search. 

Analysis of Enhancement 

Figure 2 shows the implicit tree 
used for the enhanced-search process. 
In this example, a prior search re- 
turned the eighth entry of the table (P 
represents the node returned by a 

Text continued on page 268 



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264 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE March 1983 265 



INTRODUCING 1-2-5 

IT'LL HAVE TOUR 

IBM/PC 

JUMPING THROUGH 

HOOPS. 




Meet 1-2-3 - the remarkable new software 
package that puts more raw power at your finger- 
tips than anything yet created for the IBM PC. 1-2-3 
actually combines information management, 
spreadsheet, and graphing in one program that can 
perform all three functions interchangeably and 
instantly at the touch of a key That's power. 

To explain: since 1-2-3's information manage- 
ment, spreadsheet and graphing functions reside 
in memory simultaneously, you can go from 
retrieval to spreadsheet calculation to 
graphing instantly, 
just by pressing a 
few keys. So 




SPltfAOSHEETj 



now you can 
experiment 
and recalcu- 
late and look 
at data in an 
endless variety of 
ways. As fast as your 
mind can think up new possi- 
bilities. There's no lag between 
you and the computer. And that s 
a new kind of power - power 
that's greater than the sum of its 
programs. 

The spreadsheet function. 

If 1-2-3 were just a spread- 
sheet, you'd want it because it has 
the largest workspace on the mar- 
ket (2048 rows by 256 columns). 
To give you a quick idea of 1-2-3's 
spreadsheet capabilities: VisiCalc's 
spreadsheet for the IBM PC offers 15 arithmetic, 
logical and relational operators, 28 functions and 
32 spreadsheet-related commands. 1-2-3 has 15 
operators, 41 functions and 66 commands. And if 
you include data base and graphing commands, it 
actually has 110! 

In addition, 1-2-3 is up to 50 times as fast as es- 
tablished spreadsheets. With all the features you've 
ever seen on spreadsheets. 1-2-3 also gives you the 
capability to develop customized applications 
(with 26 macro keys) and lets you perform repeti- 
tive tasks automatically with one keystroke. If 1-2-3 
were just a spreadsheet, it would be a very power- 
ful tool. But it's much, much more. 

The information management function. 

Add to 1-2-3's spreadsheet a selective informa- 
tion management function, and the power curve 
rises at an awesome rate. Particularly since 1-2-3's 
information management capability reads files 
from other programs such as WordStar, VisiCalc 
and dBase II. So you can accumulate information 



on a limitless variety of topics and extract all 
or pieces of it for instant spreadsheet analysis. 
Unheard of before. Specific 1-2-3 information man- 
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1-2-3 also allows for the maintenance of multiple 
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"^v The graphing function. 
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Ut ' *— J screen in less than two 

/-vTV .^seconds! Once you've 

^p' ^-' ^ made a graph, three keystrokes 
V ^ -, will display it in a different 

\ form. If data on the spreadsheet 



GRAPHS I } 




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For the first time graphics can 
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thinking tool! 

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adds to the personal com- 
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a full demonstration. For his name and address (and 
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Spreadsheet, graphing, 
information management all-in-one. 




© Lotus Development Corporation; 
Cambridge, MA 02138, (617) 492-7171. 
All rights reserved. 

WordStar is a registered trademark of MicroPro Inc. 
VisiCalc is a registered trademark of VisiCorp. 
dBase II is a registered trademark ofAshton-Tate. 
1-2-3 and Lotus are trademarks of Lotus 
Development Corporation. 

Circle 491 on Inquiry card. 




Figure 2: A search tree for the enhanced 
binary search representing a table of 11 
elements. A prior search returned the ele- 
ment shown as node P. The subtrees 
branching down from P represent the 
search paths to be followed after compar- 
ing the search argument with P. Although 
the complete search tree extends to a 
depth of 4, the enhanced binary search 
has two trees to consider: the tree shown 
on the left has a depth of 3, and the one on 
the right has a depth of 2. The reduction 
in depth indicates a reduction in the 
number of iterations required by the 
search. 



Hi) 



2(3) 



2(5) 



3 (8) 



3(11) 



3(H) 



3(17) 



Figure 3: A search tree showing the ac- 
cumulated weight of iterations required to 
inspect every element in a binary search of 
seven elements. Numbers preceding 
parentheses identify the depth; numbers 
within parentheses show the cumulative 
inspections. If each of the seven elements 
is equally likely to match the search argu- 
ment, the binary search would require an 
average of 2.43 inspections to find the 
match. 



prior search). The subtrees to either 
side represent the search path used as 
a result of the first comparison. Al- 
though the table's 11 elements require 
a complete binary-search tree to a 
depth of 4, the enhanced search has 
two trees to consider, one to a depth 
of 2 and the other to a depth of 3. The 
resulting change in depth of the 
search tree translates to a reduction in 
the number of iterations required by 
the search. 

Figure 3 illustrates the depth of 
each node in a full binary-search tree 



Iterations 

by 
Element 

12 3 4 

Case 10 2 12 
Case 2 10 12 
Case 3 12 1 
Case 4 2 12 



Table 1: The number of possible comparisons and possible required iterations of the 
midpoint-calculation code for an enhanced binary search of a table of four elements. 





C( 

1 

1 
2 
2 
3 


Dmparisons 

by 
Element 

2 3 4 


Case 1 
Case 2 
Case 3 
Case 4 


3 2 3 

1 2 3 
3 1 2 

2 3 1 



Table 


Subtables 


SubtableWeight 


Entry 


Left Right 


Left 


Right 


1 


7 





17 


2 


1 6 


1 


14 


3 


2 5 


3 


11 


4 


3 4 


5 


8 


5 


4 3 


8 


5 


6 


5 2 


11 


3 


7 


6 1 


14 


1 


8 


7 


17 





Table 2: A summary 


of the possible cases for ar 


i enhanced binary search of a table of 


eight elements. Assuming that the entry in the left-hand column matches the search 


argument, the next two columns indicate the 


number of si 


ibtables to the left and 


right of the entry. The two right-hand columns show the subtable weights, which 


reflect the number of 


iterations necessary to find the search 


argument in each case. 



and the total number of accesses re- 
quired to inspect every node in the 
tree. A binary search of a table of 
seven elements would require an 
average of 2.43 (17/7) accesses if the 
likelihood for all cases were equal. 

Table 1 illustrates all of the possible 
cases for a table of four elements. The 
left half of the table shows the num- 
ber of comparisons required for each 
element in each configuration. The 
right half of the table shows the num- 
ber of iterations through the mid- 
point-calculation code if the com- 
parison is moved to the beginning of 
the loop and the previous search in- 
formation is used. The average num- 
ber of comparisons in the example 
shown is 2.13 (34/16), but the num- 
ber of iterations is 1.13 (18/16). 
Traditional implementations would 
have required 2.00 iterations of the 
comparison code and the midpoint- 
calculation code. 

Table 2 summarizes "the possible 
cases for a table of eight elements and 
the number of table interrogations re- 



quired to inspect every entry in every 
subtable for every case. The subtable 
"weights" reflect the number of itera- 
tions required in each case. If the 
weights are added and the equal-like- 
lihood assumption is applied, the 
result is an average of 2.84 table ac- 
cesses and 1.84 iterations. 

For a full binary tree of depth D, 
there are 2 {D ' l) nodes at that depth. In 
general, at depth K there are 2 lK ~ l) 
nodes at the level of K in the tree. 
When the tree is full (meaning all 
nodes are present at a level), the 
average number of comparisons (C) 
to locate a node, assuming equal like- 
lihood, is the sum of the levels for 
each node divided by the number of 
nodes. Thus 



c = L 



1(2") 



To extend to the case for the com- 
plete, but not full, binary tree, the 
average becomes 

7(2 / ' 1 )+^(D + l) 



c = L 



N 



268 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE March 1983 269 



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where N is the number of nodes in the 
tree satisfying the relation 

N = 2° + R-l 
The solution for the general case be- 



comes 



r = . (D-1)(2 D ) + R(D + 1) 
U N 



Although the formulas imply a 
method to calculate the average num- 
ber of comparisons as a function of N 
by solving for D and R, the round-off 
errors in the calculations of 
LOG(2,A0 produce incorrect results. 
Thus the best way to calculate the 
average number of comparisons is 
through an iterative process that 
determines the depth of the complete 
tree and adds the remaining weights. 

When information from a prior 
search is available, you compute the 
average number of comparisons by 
examining each possible case, com- 
puting the sum, and dividing by the 
number of cases. Because the table 
has N elements, the number of cases 
is N. For each case in which the equal- 
likelihood assumption applies, there 
is a probability that the argument is 
equal to a prior argument (1/N) and 
not equal ((N — l)/N). Because the 
subtable weights represent the num- 
ber of comparisons for the nodes in 
the subtables, you can simply divide 
the sum by the number of cases 
(N-l). If K is set to 



K = Y, subtable weight r 



the result after simplification is 

2K 

N 2 



C = 1 + 



The number of iterations of the mid- 
point-calculation code is 

N 2 



/ 



The above derivations apply to the 
case of equal likelihood; however, it 
is possible to have the case of never- 
equal likelihood. Changing the prob- 
abilities for the never-equal case pro- 
duces 



C N 



= 1 + 



2K 



N(N-l) 



The number of iterations of the mid- 
point-calculation code is 
2K 

A general formula relating the prob- 
ability of a match with a prior search 
argument (M) and the size of the table 
(N)is 

c = i + 2/ccl-m) 

N(N-l) 

and the number of iterations becomes 

j = 2K(1-M) 
N(N-l) 

The possibility of the 80/20 rule 
applying in an example requires that 
we compute the probability of the oc- 



currence of a duplicate argument. 
The rule divides the members of the 
table into two sets: high activity (H) 
and low activity (L). A duplicate oc- 
currence can exist only if the prior 
and current arguments are members 
of the same set. If X represents the 
prior argument and Y the current 
argument, the probability of duplica- 
tion can be computed by 



P(X = Y)=A*B*C* + D*E*F 



where 



A =P(X = Y\X,Y in H)=l/(0.2iV) 

B = P(X in H)=0.8 

C = P(Y in H) = 0.8 

D = P(X=Y\X,Y in L)=1/(0.8N) 

E=P(X in L) = 0.2 

and 

F=P(Y in L) = 0.2 
The resulting simplifications produce 

P(X = Y)=3.25/N 
and 

P(X*Y) = (N-3.25)/N 
Thus 



Crule — 1' 



2K(N-3.25) 

N 2 (N-1) 



As before, the number of iterations of 
the midpoint-calculation code is 

/ 2/C(N-3 .25) 

* RULE 



N 2 (N-1) 



The results of these equations are 
shown in table 3, which compares a 
pure binary search for tables of dif- 



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March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 271 



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Table 


Binary Search 


Enhanced Search 


80/20 


Size 




Equal 


Never 








Likelihood 


Equal 


Rule 


1.00 


1.00 


0.00 


0.00 


0.00 


2.00 


1.50 


0.50 


1.00 


0.00 


3.00 


1.67 


0.89 


1.33 


0.00 


4.00 


2.00 


1.13 


1.50 


0.28 


5.00 


2.20 


1.36 


1.70 


0.60 


6.00 


2.33 


1.56 


1.87 


0.86 


7.00 


2.43 


1.71 


2.00 


1.07 


8.00 


2.63 


1.84 


2.11 


1.25 


9.00 


2.78 


1.98 


2.22 


1.42 


10.00 


2.90 


2.10 


2.33 


1.58 


30.00 


4.13 


3.44 


3.56 


3.18 


50.00 


4.86 


4.12 


4.20 


3.93 


100.00 


5.80 


5.06 


5.11 


4.95 


300.00 


7.33 


6.59 


6.61 


6.54 


500.00 


8.00 


7.32 


7.34 


7.29 


1000.00 


8.99 


8.31 


8.32 


8.30 


5000.00 


11.36 


10.62 


10.62 


10.62 


0000.00 


12.36 


11.62 


11.62 


11.62 



Table 3: A comparison of the binary search and the enhanced binary search. The 
average number of iterations of the midpoint-calculation code that are required to 
find the search argument are given for different sizes of the table being searched. For 
the enhanced binary search, the number of iterations is given for three different 
assumptions about the table being searched: (1) that each element in the table is 
equally likely to match the search argument, (2) that no two elements in the table are 
equally likely to match the search argument, and (3) that after a data argument has 
been seen, the probability of seeing it again after the next iteration is 3.25 times 
greater than the probability for the random case (the 80/20 rule). 



ferent sizes to the enhanced binary 
search in the cases of equal likeli- 
hood, never-equal likelihood, and the 
80/20 rule. 

While a binary search can be im- 
plemented in many ways, traditional 
implementations require the initial- 
ization of local variables (five PL/I 
statements) followed by a loop com- 
posed of the midpoint calculation 
(five PL/I statements) and a com- 
parison of the search argument with 
an entry in the table (three PL/I state- 
ments). The enhanced search is 
similar in structure, but its midpoint 
calculation follows the comparison. If 
the processor that executes the 
searches requires one instruction 
cycle per PL/I style statement, the 
binary-search time (BT) can be ex- 
pressed as 

BT = 5 + 8C 

and the enhanced-search time (ET) 
can be expressed as 

ET = 5 + 3C + 51 = 8 + 81 



in which C represents the number of 
comparisons and I represents the 
number of iterations needed to satisfy 
the search. 

If in the two preceding equations 
we substitute the number of com- 
parisons and the number of iterations 
indicated in table 3, a comparison of 
the data indicates that the enhanced 
search is usually better than a pure 
binary search. If the tables contain 
approximately 300 entries and an 
equal likelihood applies, the en- 
hanced search results in an advantage 
of approximately 6 percent. A higher 
probability of duplication increases 
the reduction-in-time advantage of 
the enhanced search. If your pro- 
cessor takes a long time to perform a 
divide or shift, the advantage ap- 
proaches 10 percent. 

A Description of the Process 

We can express the process for the 
improved binary search in several 
ways. Table 4 is an example of a deci- 
sion table that represents a looping 
process. The first row of entries 



274 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Circle 449 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 275 





Stub 


Decision Rules 
12 3 4 5 6 


Columns 


Tests 
to be 
performed 


M = 

ARG>=TABARG(M) 
ARG = TABARG(M) 
L<R 


Y N N N N N 

- Y Y Y N N 

- Y N N - - 

- - Y N Y N 


Test results 
that select 
a column 


Data 
trans- 
formations 


L=M + 1 
R = M 

M=(L+R)/2 
M = 


1 

1 
1 2 2 

1 1 


Actions to 
be selected 


Wlien and 
how loop 
terminated 


RETURN(M) 
/* LOOP */ 


XXX 
XXX 


Loop 

termination 

criteria 


Initial 
steps 
required 


SEARCH: PROCEDUREfARG.TABARG.LEFT.RIGHT.M) 
RETURNS(FIXED) 

DCL(ARG 1 TABARG(*) I LEFT,RIGHT,L,R,M)FIXED 

L=LEFT 

R = RIGHT 






Instructions 
for 

terminating 
execution 


/* NO SPECIAL TERMINATIONS */ 
END 






Table 4: A decision table for the enhanced binary search specifying the various actions to be performed under various combina- 
tions of conditions. The labels shown in the gray areas are external to the decision table. The decision table itself is divided both 
horizontally and vertically. The upper part is called the "condition" portion; the lower part, shaded in blue, is the "action" por- 
tion. The left portion of the table, called the "stub," identifies the tests to be performed and the actions to be taken (in this case, 
data transformations) . The right portion is divided into six columns, each of which exprtzses a decision rule. The first row of each 
column shows the condition under which a decision rule applies, and the lower rows show the actions to be performed if those 
conditions are true. For example, if M is not equal to 0, we must select one of columns 2 through 6. Moreover, if ARG is greater 
than or equal to TABARG(M), we can narrow our choice to columns 2 through 4. If L is also less than R, then all columns except 
the third are ruled out. Therefore that column expresses the relevant decision rule. Looking down that column to its action por- 
tion, you can see that two actions are selected: L is to be set equal to M + l, and M is to be set equal to (L + R)/2. All the statements 
in the stub are from the PL/I program shown in listing 1. The variables represent the following: ARG, the search argument (the 
value being searched for); TAB ARG, the function argument (the value at the current midpoint address); M, the midpoint address; 
L, the left (or low) extreme address; R, the right (or high) extreme address. 



describes the tests that have to be per- 
formed for the process to work cor- 
rectly. The next row indicates the 
various data transformations that 
will be applied. The third specifies 
when and how the loop will be ter- 
minated. The fourth row describes 
the initial steps that are required, and 
the fifth row provides instructions for 
terminating the execution process. 
The YN-column entries specify the 



results of the condition tests that must 
be satisfied to select a column. The 
numbers in the column identify the 
actions to be selected and their se- 
quence. The X values select the loop- 
termination criteria. The decision 
table presents, in an abstract manner, 
all of the information that is required 
for a program without requiring a 
unique implementation. 
The programming language used in 



the decision-table stubs is PL/I, but 
converting the statements to APL, 
Pascal, BASIC, or machine codes 
would not be difficult. 

A brief description of the enhanced 
binary-search process provides an 
understanding of the procedure that 
is employed when the searching pro- 
cess uses the prior search results and 
completes the search using the re- 
duced implicit-search tree. For the 



276 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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The Votrax Personal Speech System 

is covered by a limited warranty. 

Write Votrax for a free copy. 

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computer instruction with voice text- 
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1=1 Highly articulate Votrax text-to- 
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D 350 programmable frequencies for 
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□ 64 amplitude levels. 
a Simultaneous speech and sound effects 

or speech and music. 
D 8 octave, 3 note music synthesis. 

□ Serial and parallel interface standard. 
□ User programmable master clock. 

□ User defined exception 
word table. 

□ User programmable speech 
rate, amplitude and inflection. 
D User expandable ROM 

for custom applications. 

□ User downloadable 

software. 
D 3,500 character 
input buffer: sub- 
divisible for a printer 
buffer. 
D Internal speaker and external 
speaker jack. 

□ Real time clock and 
8 user defined alarms. 

□ Oral power up and error prompting. 
D X-on/X-off and RTS-CTS handshaking. 

□ Programmable Baud settings (75-9600). 

□ Interrupt driven Z-80 microprocessor. 

□ Parallel/Serial interconnect modes. 

□ Proper number string translation: the 
number "154" is pronounced "one 
hundred fifty four". 

To order, see your local computer 
retailer or call toll-free 



w 



1-800-521-1350 



Michigan residents, please call 
(313)588-0341. MasterCard, VISA or 
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$395 plus $4 for delivery. Educational 
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© VOTRAX 1982 




* 



Circle 446 on Inquiry card. 



following situations we will assume 
that the table is an ascending linear 
list in an array data structure. The 
calling sequence takes for granted a 
call parameter that contains the prior 
index returned for a prior search of 
the entries in the table. The prior 
index value returned is initialized to 



if there is no prior search data avail- 
able and then updated by the search- 
ing process: 

• If the current index is 0, the mid- 
point address is recalculated for the 
next iteration and the process con- 
tinues. 



Listing 1: A PL/I procedure that carries out an enhanced binary search. The first line 
identifies the procedure and its variables and states that it will return a fixed value. The 
second line declares the variables so the computer can arrange appropriate storage for 
the kind of values that each variable can assume. ARG represents the search argument 
(the value being searched for); TAB ARG, the function argument (the value at the cur- 
rent midpoint address); M, the midpoint address; L, the left (or low) extreme address; 
and R, the right (or high) extreme address. The procedure works by repeatedly setting 
the value of one of the extremes (R or L) to the previous midpoint value and then calcu- 
lating a new midpoint by adding the extremes and dividing by two. Statements between 
"/*" and "*/" are comments. 

SEARCH: PROCEDURE (ARG, TABARG, LEFT , RIGHT ,M) RETURNS (FIXED) ; 
DCL (ARG , TABARG (* ) ,LEFT, RIGHT, L , R,M) FIXED; 
L=LEFT; 
R=RIGHT; 
ENHANCE= ' ' B ; 
DO WHILE (ENHANCE=' 0*B) ; 
IF M=0 THEN 
DO; 

M=(L+R)/2; 
/* LOO? */; 
END; 
ELSE 
DO; 

IF ARG>=TABARG(M) THEN 
DO; 

IF ARG=TABARG(M) THEN 
DO; 

RETURN (M) ; 
END; 
ELSE 
DO; 

IF L<R THEN 
DO; 

L=M+1 ; 
M=(L+R)/2; 
/* LOOP */; 
END; 
ELSE 
DO; 
M=0; 

RETURN (M) ; 
END; 
END; 
END ;. 
ELSE 
DO; 

IF L<R THEN 
DO; 
R=M; 

M=(L+R)/2; 
/* LOOP */; 
END; 
ELSE 
DO; 
M=0; 

RETURN (M) ; 
END; 
END; 
END; 
END; 

/* NO SPECIAL TERMINATIONS */ ; 
END; 



• If the search argument is not less 
than the function argument and the 
low address is less than the high ad- 
dress, the low address is replaced 
with the midpoint-plus-one entry. 
The midpoint address is recalculated 
for the next iteration. 

•If the search argument is equal to 
the function argument in the table, 
the current midpoint is the value 
returned to the calling program. 

• If the search argument is less than 
the function argument in the table 
and the low address is less than the 
high address, then the high address is 
replaced with the midpoint address. 
The midpoint address is recalculated 
for the next iteration. 

•If no entry is found, the current 
midpoint is set to 0. 

• The current midpoint is the value 
returned to the calling program when 
all iterations have been completed. 

The decision table (table 4) illustrates 
how to use the enhanced-search pro- 
cess. One of the many possible imple- 
mentations is illustrated in listing 1. 

Conclusion 

It is clearly possible to improve the 
binary search by examining a table 
entry before doing any computation. 
The time-saving advantage of this 
technique ranges from 2 to 30 percent 
depending on the size of the table and 
the computing system you use. For 
tables containing approximately 300 
entries, there is a 5 to 10 percent ad- 
vantage if the probability of a match 
ranges from (never equal) to 
3.25/300 (the 80/20 rule).B 

References 

1. Barnes, B. H. and Metzner, J. R. Decision 
Table Languages and Systems. New York: 
ACM Monograph Series, Academic Press, 
1977. 

2. Horowitz, E. and Sahni, S. Fundamentals 
of Data Structures. Potomac, MD: Com- 
puter Science Press, 1977. 

3. Horowitz, E. and Sahni, S. Fundamentals 
of Computer Algorithms. Potomac, MD: 
Computer Science Press, 1978. 

4. Maes, R. "On the Representation of Pro- 
gram Structures by Decision Tables: A 
Critical Assessment." Computer Journal, 
January 1977. 

5. Pryes, N. S. "Automatic Generation of 
Computer Programs." Advances in Com- 
puters, Vol. 16, 1977, pp. 57-125. 



278 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 215 on inquiry card. - 



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and some of the most sophisticated 

financial information available are 

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From words to music. CompuServe offers 
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interest groups from hardware enthusiasts to 
computer composers a chance to get 
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Fun and games are expected whenever 
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800-848-8990 

In Ohio call 614-457-8650 
An H&R Block Company 




Circle 94 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 281 



Hardware Review 



Hayes's Stack Smartmodem 

Communicate at 300 or 1200 bps. 



Norman C. McEntire 

POB 21731 
Columbia, SC 29221 




Photo 1: The Smartmodem package includes the modem, a 
modular telephone cable, an AC line adapter, and an excellent 
manual. (Photo by Ed Crabtree.) 



At a Glance 




Name 


Dimensions 


Hayes Stack Smartmodem 


1.5 inches high by 5.5 


300 or Smartmodem 1 200 


inches wide by 9.6 inches 




long 


Use 




Communication ovef normal 


Features 


(voice) telephone lines 


to 300 bps and 1 200 bps 




direct-connect; accepts ASCII 


Manufacturer 


command strings 


Hayes Microcomputer 




Products Inc. 


Hardware needed 


5835 Peachtree Corners E. 


RS-232C port and RS-232C 


Norcross, GA 30092 


cable 


(404) 449-8791 




Price 




Smartmodem 300 S289 




Smartmodem 1 200 S699 





I have always admired the Hayes Microcomputer 
Products' Micromodem II, available as a plug-in board 
for Apple II computers. The Micromodem II has ideal 
features: it can run at 300 bps (bits per second), can be 
connected directly to the telephone line, performs auto- 
dial and auto-answer functions, has excellent documenta- 
tion, and is reasonably priced. Because I own a TRS-80 
Model I, however, I had to sit back and hope that Hayes 
would develop a general-purpose modem for use with 
RS-232C interfaces. 

My hopes came true when Hayes announced its Stack 
Smartmodem. Advertisements claimed that it contained 
all the desirable features mentioned above, including a 
unique feature that allowed the use of ASCII (American 
National Standard Code for Information Interchange) 
character strings to program the device. What's more, it 
was available in two versions: a 300-bps Bell 
103-compatible unit and one that is also 1200-bps Bell 
212A compatible. With my spirits high, I rushed to the 
computer store and purchased the 300-bps model. I have 
not been disappointed. 



First Impressions 

The package contains the Smartmodem, a modular 
telephone cable, an AC line adapter, and the owner's 
manual. These items are shown in photo 1. 

The Smartmodem is attractively styled. Its dimensions 
of 1.5 by 5.5 by 9.6 inches ensure that it takes up little 
space. The design is such that either a regular telephone 
or another Hayes Stack product — such as the Hayes 
Chronograph clock/calendar — can be placed on top of it. 
With a color scheme of gray and black, the Smartmodem 
blends with almost any environment. 



282 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Find great bargains in this list and reap the rewards: immediate availability, 24- hour express delivery, 
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Multiplan- 

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WORDMATE (IBM PC) 
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LANGUAGES/ 
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PL-1 80- Digital 
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WORD PROCESSING/SPELLING 

Wordmate-Softword Systems $ 495 

Wordstar- MicroPro Call For Price 

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Spellbinder- Lexisoft $ 295 

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MODEMS 

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$3 shipping charge on software items. 29c shipping charge on hardware items. 

DATASOURCE 

DATASOURCE SYSTEMS MARKETING CORP 

1660 South Highway 100, Minneapolis, MN 55416 



Circle 139 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 



283 




-.£& 



**&#£** 
&> 



Save money. Your 
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Designed to work with programs from oyer 
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A division of New England Business Service, Inc. 



Symbol Name 

AA Auto Answer 



CD Carrier Detect 



OH Off Hook 



RD Receive Data 



SD Send Data 



TR Terminal Ready 



MR 



Modem Ready 



Use 

When illuminated, signals that 
the Smartmodem is in auto 
answer mode. When the tele- 
phone rings, the AA LED blinks 
at the rate of the ringing signal. 
When this indicator is off, the 
Smartmodem does not auto- 
matically answer. 
Illuminates when the Smart- 
modem detects a carrier from 
a distant modem. 
If the "phone" is off-hook, this 
LED illuminates. The LED is 
always on when the Smart- 
modem is using the telephone 
line. 

This LED blinks while sending 
data or command results from 
the Smartmodem to the RS- 
232C port. 

Blinks while data or commands 
are sent from the terminal to 
the Smartmodem. 
Indicates the status of the RS- 
232C signal DTR (data terminal 
ready), pin 20 of the RS-232C 
connector. As shipped from 
the factory, the DTR signal is 
ignored and TR is always il- 
luminated; setting configura- 
tion switch S1 in the "up" posi- 
tion forces the Smartmodem to 
monitor the DTR signal. 
Indicates the Smartmodem is 
turned on. 



Table 1: Summary of the Smartmodem's status indicators. 



As shown in photo 2a, the front of the Smartmodem 
contains seven LED (light-emitting diode) status in- 
dicators. From left to right, they are: AA (auto-answer 
mode), CD (carrier detect), OH (off hook), RD (receive 
data), SD (send data), TR (terminal ready), and MR 
(modem ready). The LEDs allow the operator to visually 
monitor the operating status of the Smartmodem. The 
operation of each LED is explained in table 1. 

Also at the front, behind the front cover, are eight con- 
figuration switches that determine the power-up setting 
for some of the Smartmodem's operating parameters. 
These switches are explained in table 2. Most of the 
switch settings can be changed under software control. 

Photo 2b shows the back panel. From left to right are 
the power switch, power connector (for the AC line 
adapter), RS-232C connector (for connection to your 
computer system via a user-supplied RS-232C cable), 
telephone connector (for one end of the modular tele- 
phone cable), and the volume-control knob. 

The Smartmodem's RS-232C connector is wired for 
connection to DTE (data terminal equipment), which 



284 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 302 on inquiry card. 



IBM, APPLE and AJARI USERSv 



JffiKf K3 



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Visitrend/Visiplot 

Visidex 

Visifiles 



Mathmagic . 

Graphmagic 
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. Asteroids S27. 

Centipede , S35. 

Pac-Man $35. 

Blackjack S15. 

Caverns of Mars $32. 

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Outlaw/Howitzer .'. ... $19. 

747 Landing Simulator .- $19. 

Eastern Front $23. 

Dog Daze ' $19. 

Reversi II . . .' . . $19. 

Blockbuster . . . S1 5. 

7-Card Stud : . .'. S15. 

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Video Math Flash Cards , $15. 

Letterman . ." : S1 9. 

Wordmaker $19. 

Cubbyholes ; S1 g. 

DISKETTES 

Data Management System S1 9, 

Family Cash Flow . $19, 

Family Budget . , St 9. 

Advanced Music System ... S25. 

Eastern Front : ' S25. 

Supersort . . ..* • $.19. 

Insomnia •„ $19. 

SOFTWARE FOR YOUR APPLE II + 
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Magic Window $79. 

Magic Mailer ■. $49. 

Magic Words , $49. 

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Personal Report System : S65.00 

Graph , S79.00 

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Supercalc S215.00 

STONEWARE 

Stat Pac $69.00 

D B Master S145.00 

D B Utility Pack S69.00 

D B Utility Pack II S69.00 

Graphic Processing 

System Standard .... $49.00 
Graphic Processing 
System Professional . . . S69.00 
SYSTEMS PLUS 

General Ledger $249.00 

GL/AR/AP S599.00 

GL/AP/AR/lnventory .. S699.00 
VISI CORP 

Visifiles S189.00 

Desktop Plan S189.00 

Visiplot , $149.00 

Visidex S189.00 

Visicalc -3.3 $189.00 

Visischedule S219.00 

Business Forecasting 

Model , . $75.00 
Visilink $189.00 



CompuShrck 

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(714) 730-7207 Telex 18-3511 Ans Bck ESMA 



Circle 358 on inquiry card. 



BYTE March 1983 285 



Switch 


Down 


Up 


S1 


Ignores the RS-232C 


Monitors the RS-232C 




DTR signal. 


DTR signal. 


S2 


Responds with number 


Responds with 




result codes. 


ASCII character- 
string result codes. 


S3 


Sends result codes to 


Does not send result 




the terminal. 


codes to the terminal. 


S4 


Does not echo com- 


Echoes command 




mand characters to 


characters to the 




the terminal. 


terminal. 


S5 


Does not automatically 


Automatically 




answer the telephone. 


answers the 
telephone. 


S6 


Does not monitor the 


Monitors the RS-232C 




RS-232C CD (carrier 


CD signal. 




detect) signal. 




S7 


For use with RJ12 and 


For use with RJ11 




RJ13 telephone jacks. 


telephone jacks. 


S8 


Not used. 




Table 2: 


Summary of the Smartmodems configuration 


switches. 


Boldfaced entries are default settings as shipped 


from the factory. All functions can 


be changed under soft- 


ware control. 





DEVELOPMENT HARDWARE/SOFTWARE 
GTEK MODEL 7128 EPROM PROGRAMMER 




Microprocessor based intelligence for ease of 
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7128 takes careof the rest. 
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Auto-select baud rate. 
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Devices supported as of DEC 82. 
NMOS NMOS CMOS EEPROM MPU'S 
2758 2508 27C16 5213 8748 

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gram, and formatted list commands also. 
Interupt driven type ahead, program and 
verify real time while sanding data. 
Program single byte, block, or whole eprom. 
Intelligent diagnostics discern between 
eprom which is bad and one which merely 
needs erasing. 



Gtek 



INC. 



• Verify erasure and compare commands. 

• Busy light indicates when power is being ap- 
plies to program socket. 

• Complete with TEXTOOL zero insertion 
force socket and integral 120 VAC power 
supply. (240 VAC/50HZ available also) 

• High Performance/Cost ratio. 

• •• Model 7128 PRICE $389.00 ••• 

MODEL 7128 SOCKET ADAPTERS 
MODEL 481 allows programming of 8748, 
8749, 8741, 8742 single chip processors. 
Prica $98.00 

MODEL 511 allows programming the 8751. 
Intel's high powered single chip processor. 
Prica $174.00 
MODEL 755 allows programming the 
8755 EPROM/IO chip 

Price $135.00 
MODEL 7128/24 • budget version of the 
7128. Supports 24 pin parts thru 32K only. 
Upgradable to full 7128 capacity. 

Prica $289.00 

Non-expandable, very low cost models avail- 
able for specific devices. 
MODEL 7128-L1 for 2716 only $149.00 
MODEL 7128-L2 for 2732 only $179.00 

Also available from stock: 

Eprom Erasers UVP model DE-4 . . $78.00 

Avocet Systems Cross Assemblers $200.00 

RS-232 Cable Assemblies $25.00 

Programmable Devices call 

Complete development systems . $3240.00 

Post Office Box 289 

Weveland, Mississippi 39576 

(601) 467-8048 




Photo 2: Front and rear views of the Smartmodem. In photo 2a, 
the seven LED status indicators are visible; photo 2b shows the 
power control, power connector, and R5-232C connector. 



works with 99 percent of terminals and RS-232C inter- 
faces; a slight wiring change allows the use of this modem 
with DCE (data communications equipment). The 
volume-control knob allows you to adjust the volume 
level of the audio monitor. 

The power connector is U. L. (Underwriters' Lab- 
oratories) listed at 120 volts (V) AC, 60 Hz, with a 13. 5- V 
AC output. The supplied telephone cable is normally 
connected to an RJll modular telephone jack. Changing 
the setting of configuration switch 7, however, allows the 
use of either an RJ12 or RJ13 telephone jack. 

Documentation for the Smartmodem consists of a 
single owner's manual with fine-quality print. In addi- 
tion, it is a spiral-bound manual; this makes it easy to use 
while sitting at the computer. 

Installing the Smartmodem 

Connection of the Smartmodem is easy. Connect the 
AC line adapter, the telephone cable, and an RS-232C 
cable to their appropriate connectors. In my case, the RS- 
232C cable connects the Smartmodem to the expansion 
interface of a TRS-80 Model I. The expansion interface 



286 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 194 on inquiry card. 



SAGE TECHNICAL BRIEFING 



SYSTEM DESIGN, SAGE IV 



The challenge was to create 
a computer having room for 
a megabyte of RAM, a built-in 
Winchester with floppy backup, 
and the ability to perform 
2,000,000 instructions 
per second. 

A small miracle, in other 
words. 

And small is exactly what it 
turned out to be. In fact, the 
16-bit Sage IV including all of 
the above attributes, takes up 
less than V2 cubic foot. 

What made such a break- 
through possible? System 
design. 

It took the latest in memory 
and processor technology, 
plus Winchester technology 
And it took a highly integrated, 
closely packed, low power, high 
speed design incorporating a 
proprietary bus. 



No wthe Sage IV is ready for 
you. Actually, you can choose 
from three different Sage IV 
models to meetyour exact 
needs— configurations with a 5 
megabyte Winchester plus 640K 
floppy right on up to a combina- 
tion of four fixed or removable 
Winchesters plus one or two 
floppies (200 megabytes of disk 
capacity in all). 

Because of the Sage IV's no- 
compromise system design you 
can load a 16K program in 1/10 
second from Winchester disk. 

What's more, there are over 
1 20 sources for existing popular 
programs for the Sage IV. The 
incredible p-System operating 
system, standard on every Sage 
IV converts software that 
was originally written 
for 8-bit com- 



puters in Pascal, BASIC and 
Fortran. Optionally, CP/M, 
Modula, and Hyper-Forth are 
also available. 

Betteryet, our small miracles 
come with prices to match. 

So give us a call or write today 
for more Sage IV information 
and the name of your nearest 
dealer. 

Sage Computer Technology, 
35 North Edison Way #4, Reno, 
NV 89502 (702) 322-6868. 

In Europe: TDI LTD, 29 Alma 
Vale Road, Clifton, Bristol 
BS8-2HL Tel: (0272) 742796. 




Yv'. : <~3 



Wm 



W&ii?k 



SSbISf 



->:- 



*ttr 










^* - 


■ : 


^W^v 


Mgfl ^M '-' 


^^^^D 




flL-—*' 


T 


. 


MMiiM 

















ASCII 




Command 




String 


Use 


A 


:Answer the telephone immediately. 


A/ 


:Redial the last number. 


Cn 


:Enable/Disable the transmitter carrier. 


t 


:Pause for a given amount of time. 


Ds 


:Dial a number. 


Fn 


:Set half or full duplex. 


Hn 


:Enable or disable switch hook. 


Mn 


•.Enable or disable the audio monitor. 





:Return to the "on-line" state. 


P 


: Enable pulse dial. 


On 


:Enable or disable the return of result codes. 


R 


:Enter answer mode after dialing a number. 


Sr? 


:Read the value of register Sr. 


Sr = n 


:Assign the value n to register Sr. 


\ 


:Return to command state after dialing a 




number. 


T 


:Enable tone dialing. 


Vn 


:Select method of sending result codes. 


Z 


: Perform a software reset. 


Table 3: Summary of the Smartmodem's commands. 



contains the standard TRS-80 RS-232C board. After the 
connections are made, the Smartmodem is ready for use. 

Use of the Smartmodem 

As stated earlier, the Smartmodem can be used with 
any RS-232C interface. I use the standard TRS-80 setup 



with the TERM program. TERM is a Z80 machine- 
language program that transforms the Model I into a 
"dumb" terminal. 

Once the connections are correct and TERM is execut- 
ing, two LEDs on the Smartmodem will light: MR 
(modem ready) and TR (terminal ready). Proper opera- 
tion is assured by typing the following: 

< enter > 
AT < enter > 

(The AT stands for attention.) If all is well, the Smart- 
modem will respond with the ASCII string OK and will 
be ready to accept a command. 

The procedure just described demonstrates the most 
unique feature of the Smartmodem: you can immediately 
communicate with it without writing any special soft- 
ware! Because this modem accepts ASCII strings as com- 
mands, you can sit at your computer or terminal and 
issue one command after another. The Smartmodem 
takes each command and executes it. After each com- 
mand, it responds by sending back one of five possible 
ASCII strings: OK, CONNECT, RING, NO CARRIER, 
or ERROR. 

A brief description of the commands is given in table 3. 
To see how easy it is to operate the Smartmodem, let's try 
some examples. Suppose you want to use the auto-dial 
feature. To dial the number 960-1700, simply type 



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AT D T 960-1700 < enter > 

for tone dialers, or 

AT D P 960-1700 <enter> 

for pulse dialers. After you press < enter > , the Smart- 
modem proceeds to dial the number. After dialing, it 
waits for the other end to answer. When the other end 
answers, it detects the carrier and sends the ASCII string 
CONNECT back to the terminal. If the telephone is not 
answered or if no carrier is detected, the Smartmodem 
sends back the ASCII string NO CONNECT. 

The audio monitor is useful when dialing a number. 
Under normal operation, the audio monitor is enabled in 
the off -hook condition. This allows you to monitor the 
dial tone, ringing, busy tone, and carrier tone. After 
detecting the carrier, the Smartmodem normally disables 
the audio monitor; however, the monitor can be enabled 
or disabled by sending the M command 

AT Mx < enter > 

where x is 0, which means speaker is off; x is 1, which 
means speaker off until carrier detect; or x is 2, which 
means speaker always on. 

Suppose you want the Smartmodem to answer the tele- 
phone on the fourth ring. The ASCII command string is 

AT SO = 4 < enter > 



288 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 361 on Inquiry card. 



Performance Breakthrough 




...the CYBERDRI VE for the IBM Personal Computer 

13.5 or 27 million bytes of disk capacity in a single cabinet with 
an integrated mini-cartridge tape for secure data backup. 



Setting an exciting new microcomputer standard, the 
CYBERDRIVE 1 combines a full package of features. 

It offers new, higher performance levels, with an inte- 
grated business-oriented backup device. 

As the CYBERDRIVE is made available for other systems, 
media transfer is assured regardless of the host hardware or 
Operating System. 

The CYBERDRIVE slashes the seek time dramatic- 
ally— e.g. the usual 5 Megabyte stepper-motor Winchester 
disk offers average seek time typically in the range of 100 to 
200 milliseconds Oncl. head settling). 

With the CYBERDRIVE, the average seek time across 
more than five times as much data is only 33 milliseconds 
(incl. head settling). 

This basic speed, coupled with disk cache buffering and 
a peak transfer rate of 1 million bytes per second, make the 
CYBERDRIVE a performance champ! 

The integrated mini-cartridge tapes used for backup of 
data allow dumping of (for example) 10 million bytes of data 
in about 10 minutes . . . much faster than other tape or floppy 
disk backup techniques. Hardware read-after-write error 
checking is incorporated in the tape device. 



© Copyright 19B2 by Cybernetics Inc. All rights reserved. 

Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. 



m is^sis 



...And don't fail to ask about our superb lineup of .serious 
business software (also offered in CYBERDRIVE format) 
including: 

RM/COBOL 2 compiler-the micro industry standard. 
MBSI 3 RM/COBOL general business applications (derived 

from MCBA 4 minicomputer packages) . . . thousands 

in use . . . money back guarantee . . . source program 

license. 
CRT! 1 from Cybernetics (COBOL Reprogramming Tool!)- 

Program generator for RM/COBOL to ease pro- 
gram development and maintenance ... an 

alternative to a Data Base System. 
CBASIC2 5 & CBASIC86 5 compilers ... for aficionados of a 

useful BASIC. 

The software is available on a variety of industry-standard 
Operating Systems including CP/M 5 -MP/M 5 (both -60 & -86), 
OASIS 6 , PCDOS, and UNIX 7 . Inquire for specific details and 
prices. 

a . y Cybernetics. Inc 2 Ryan-McFariand Corp 3 • Micro Business Software, im. 

4 Min^Ccmpole* Business Applications. Inc 5 • Dtgrtal ftoearch. Inc 6 PTiase One Systems. |nc 7 Bell Laboratories 

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714/848-1922 






This command results in the enabling of the AA (auto- 
answer-mode) LED. When the telephone rings, the AA 
LED blinks off at the rate of the ring. In addition, each 
ring sends the string RING to the terminal. On the fourth 
ring, the Smartmodem answers the telephone and enables 
the carrier signal. If the other modem does not respond in 
a given amount of time (the amount of time is program- 
mable), the Smartmodem hangs up and sends the NO 
CONNECT string to the terminal. 

Many other commands are available. Table 3 shows 
commands to set half or full duplex, to answer or to hang 
up, to redial, and to set the various status registers. In ad- 
dition, you can mix pulse and tone dialing, allowing use 
of the Smartmodem in certain PBX (private-branch- 
exchange) systems that use pulse dialing; after pulse dial- 
ing the PBX access code, tone dialing can be used: 

AT D P9, T960-1700 < enter > 



programmers will find that the high-level commands 
available will simplify their applications programming 
tasks. 

Documentation 

The documentation consists of a single owner's 
manual, but what a manual it is! The manual is extremely 
well organized and easy to read. You can immediately 
use the Smartmodem by reading just the first few chap- 
ters. Indeed, you will probably get the modem operating 
15 minutes after taking it out of the box! The first few 
chapters contain installation and command guidelines, 
while the later chapters contain in-depth information on 
commands and configuration switches. Also, the appen- 
dixes contain information such as RS-232C connections, 
telephone information, an ASCII code table, a block 
diagram, a quick reference card, and a warranty card 
(two-year warranty). 



There is no explicit command for switching between 300 
and 1200 bps; the Smartmodem recognizes the speed 
from your initial command and adjusts itself accordingly, 
even in auto-answer mode. 

Even with the many commands and options that are 
available, the Smartmodem is simple — even fun — to 
operate. The beginner can immediately control it using 
the simple commands; the experienced programmer will 
enjoy learning all the commands and options. Finally, 



Conclusions 

The Hayes Smartmodem is an excellent buy. It is nicely 
styled, has very good documentation, and provides 
dependable operation. Also, the ASCII-string program- 
mability of the Smartmodem gives easy control of its 
numerous features. If you are in the market for an RS- 
232C-compatible modem, certainly give the Hayes 
Smartmodem consideration. After all, "smart" beats 
"dumb" any day. . . . ■ 



The AC" ION Solution For Expanding Businesses... 



The DISCOVERY 500, a fully integrated desktop computer 
with 5 1 /4" hard and floppy diskk supports up to 7 users. It Is 
the ideal, low cost turnkey business system. The full size 
DISCOVERY supports up to 1 3 users with a wide variety of 
disk and tape subsystems. An d remember, all DISCOVERY 
users have their own dedicated memory and 8-bit or 1 6-bit 
CPU, running CP/M-80* or CP/M-86*. Action's own 
multiuser multiprocessor ope rating system, the dpc/os 
makes it easy. 

The dpc/net" low-cost local area networks of multiple 
DISCOVERYs provide the ultimate in performance. Up to 
150 users in 10 DISCOVERY systems can be on-line simul- 
taneously with full resource s haring. For the first time, 
mainframe capability at micro prices. 

*CP/M is a reg. TM of DIGITAL RESEARCH CORP. 



From single-user workstations to multiuser 
Systems & Networks, our 
DISCOVERY MULTIPROCESSOR is 
designed to grow by leaps and bounds. 
No more obsolete hardware 
or software. As your 
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DISCOVERY 
expands 
with you! 



MULTIPROCESSOR 



Av 



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■4 

Dealer, Distributor & OEM inquiries are invited. 
Step into the future.. Take Action Today! Call (213) 793-2440 



On the East Coast: MicroSystems International O (617) 655-9595 

In Canada: CESCO Electronique LTEE O Montreal, Canada O (514) 735-5511 

In Asia: Pacific Tradings Agency Ltd. Hong Kong TWX 75332 PACICHX Tel. 5-440071 



290 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 482 on inquiry card. 



JALntfil 



New Super Expander Plus™ pre-boot 

for Ramex-128 ™ board upgrades any 

Apple II 16-sector VisiCalc™ to look 

like the Advanced Version. 



SUPER EXPANDER PLUS keeps all 
your existing VisiCalc facilities, and 
adds variable column width, global 
formatting of numbers, negative 
numbers in brackets, password 
protection, new format commands, 
tabbed fields, the works. It even 
supports an 80-column card if one 
is present. 

If 136K is enough, you can get all 
these features with just one Ramex-128 
board. But SUPER EXPANDER PLUS 
supports two Ramex-128K cards to 
give you an incredible 255K VisiCalc 
File, and dumps the whole model 
back and forth to floppies in less 
than 40 seconds. 

There's simply no other memory- 
expansion/software combination 





UPil 



that even comes close. All the others 
give you less memory, take longer to 
load and save (as much as fifteen 
minutes longer) , and cost more for 
what you get. You've got to see it to 
believe it. Quick! Call your dealer. 

Ramex-128 card, just $499- 
SUPER EXPANDER PLUS, 
just $125. 

OAAEGA MICROWARE, INC 

222 SO. RIVERSIDE PLAZA 

CHICAGO, IL 60606 

312-648-4844 







Following our long-established Omega MicroWare policy, present Super Expander-40 
and -80 owners may upgrade for the price difference only. Phone our office for details. 

Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. VisiCalc is a registered trademark of VisiCorp, Inc. Super Expander Plus, Ramex-128, and Omega MicroWare are trademarks of Omega MicroWare, Inc. 

© 1983 Omega MicroWare, Inc. 
Circle 321 on inquiry card. BYTE March 1983 



291 



OUR PRICES, SELECTION 

AND SAME-DAY SHIPPING 

MAKE US COMPETITIVE. 



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NEC 8023/TEC M-8510 

Outstanding Graphics, Print 
Quality & Performance 




144 x 160 dots/inch • Proportional spacing 

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• 8 character sizes ■ 5 unique alphabets • Greek 
character set • Graphic symbols • 100 CPS print 
speed • Bi-directional, logic-seeking • Adjustable 
tractors • Single-sheet friction feed • Vertical & 
horizontal tabbing 



SCall 



IDS Prism 80/132 

Affordable Color, Speed 




200 CPS • Bi-directional, logic-seeking • 24 x 9 dot 
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• 80-132 columns ■ Proportional spacing 

• Text justification • Optional color and dot resolu- 
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Prism 80 Base List $1 ,299 

Prism 132 Base List $1,499 



SCall 



The Epson Series 

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Full Line of Epson Accessories 



Smith-Corona TP-1 

Daisy Wheel Printer For Under $900 




Brothers HR-1 Daisy Wheel 

Perfect for quality, 
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Star Micronics 
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Letter quality Standard serial or parallel data 
interface • Drop-in ribbon • 144 WPM • Various 
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Smith-Corona TP-1 List $895 yl/3ll 



• 16 CPS • Prints up to 6 copies • Bi-directional 

• Cloth or carbon quick-change cassette ribbon 

• Quiet, efficient operation for word processing 

Brothers HR-1 

Parallel List $1,100 CPoll 

Serial List$1,200 yl/dll 



120 x 144 dot graphics -100 CPS «2.3K buffer 
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Underlining • Super/subscripts , ^* 
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Gemini 10 
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Price, Performance & Reliability 



Monitors 

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List Discount 

Anadex DP-9501A $1,725 $1300 

Anadex DP-9620A $1 ,845 $1 ,475 

AnadexWP-6000 $3,250 SCall 





List Discount 

910 $ 699 $575 

925 $995 $730 

950 $1195 $945 

970 $1495 $Cail 



Amdek 

Video 300, green List $249 £Pill 

Colorl List$499 yl/dll 

for low 
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Largest Computer Printer Inventory. 



The Grappler*™ 

Apple® Graphics Interface 




• Graphic and text screen dumps • Dual Hi-Res 
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Center graphics • Works with Pascal and CPM® • 
Optional bufferboard available £ ^ — »- 

Grappler + yl #D 

* Requires software driver 

Apple is a registered Trademark of Apple, Inc. 



The Bufferboard™ 

For Apples and Printers 




Take your existing printer interface— and 
buffer it! 

• Versions for Grappler + , Apple interface, Epson 
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The Bufferboard $175 



IDS Microprism 480 

Prints like a daisy, 
priced like a matrix! 




• Correspondence quality in a single pass 

• Dual speed 75, 110cps • Proportional spacing 

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IDS Microprism 480 List $799 



$Call 




The Okidata Series 

Hi-Res or TRS 80 Block Graphics 



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120/200 CPS -9x9 Matrix • Bi-directional, logic- 
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Complete Stock of Options, 
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CCS APPLE SERIAL Interface & Cable . .$150 

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ACCESSORIES $Call 

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Small $ 25 

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Here's How To Order: 

Phone orders are welcome; same-day ship- 
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Circle 324 on inquiry card. 

4501 E. Eisenhower Circle, Anaheim, CA 92807 



Jter Prodi 



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PERIPHERALS 

Here are some of the products BISON 
carries for Apple Computers. 

If you don't see what you want 
here, give us a call. 

Microtek I6K RAM Card for Apple II $65.00 

Microsoft Premium Pack 479.50 

BISON Add-on Disk Drive 260.00 

(IOO°to Apple Compatible) 

Apple Joystick 49.50 

Parallel Printer Card with Cable 71.00 

Kensington System Saver 75.00 

D.C. Hayes Micromodem II 270.00 

Microtek Apple Dumpling GX 118.00 

(also available with buffer) 

Microtek Magnum 80 249.00 

Microsoft Z80 Softcard with CP/M™ 239.00 

Videx Enhancer 119.00 

Videx Function Strip 59.00 

Practical Peripherals 1 /*! 

Microbuffer II, 16K, Parallel 209.00 

Micro'buffer II, 32K, Parallel 239.00 

Microbuffer II, 16K, Serial 209.00 

Microbuffer II, 32K, Serial 259.00 

Microbuffer 8K, Serial 1 25.00 

Microbuffer 1 6K, Parallel 1 25.00 

PRINTERS 

BISON carries all of the major brands of 
printers. If you need help choosing the 
proper printer for your needs, call and talk 
to one of our support technicians. 

NECPC-8023AFric. & Trac. w/Graph. .. $485.00 

Okidata Microline 82A 80 Col. w/Trac 439.00 

Okidata Microline 83A w/Trac, 132 Col 639.00 

Okidata Microline 84P, Parallel £25.00 

Okidata Microline 84S, 200 cps/S 999.00 

Star Micronics Gemini 10 Printer. . . Call For Price 
Star Micronics Gemini 15 Printer. . Best In T0.wn 

C. Itoh Prowriter I, Parallel 485.00 

C. Itoh Prowriter I, Parallel/Serial 575.00 

C. Itoh Prowriter II, Parallel 625.00 

C. Itoh Prowriter II, Parallel/Serial 685.00 

C. Itoh F-10 Starwriter, Parallel 40 cps. . . 1225.00 
C. Itoh F-10 StarwriteV, Serial 40 cps .... 1225.00 
C. Itoh F-10 Printmaster, Par. 55 cps .... 1495.00 
C. Itoh F-10 Printmaster, Serial 55 cps. . . 1495.00 

Comrex Daisy Wheel Printer, Parallel 735.00 

Comrex Daisy Wheel Printer, Serial 785.00 

Comrex Tractor Feed 235.00 

Compatible P2350 by Toshiba 
Letter Quality, Dot Matrix Printer 

with Tractor Feed 1895.00 

Diablo 630 Daisy Wheel Printer 1675.00 

For more information circle reader service #53 



MONITORS 



SANYO 

V2" Green Monitor Model DM21 12 89.00 

DMC 6013 13" Color Monitor 375.00 

VMC 7013 13" RGB Color Monitor 375.00 

AMDEK Monitors 
AMDEK Video 300 

12" Green Phospher Non-Glare 145.00 

AMDEK Color II 

13" Color Mon. RGB IBM/NEC/Apple 645.00 

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NEC 

12" Green Monitor 159.00 

1 3" Color Monitor 325.00 

13" RGB Color Monitor 755.00 

comrex 

6500 13" Color Monitor 289.00 

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TeleVideo TVI-950 Term.— Top-of-Line . . . 875.00 

MICROPRO SOFTWARE 

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OT Products 



QT 6-Slot, Dual 8" Drives . . 
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Data Collection 
with a Microcomputer 

Using a TRS-80 Model I for environmental 
research saves time and money. 



Dr. Mahlon G. Kelly 

Department of Environmental Sciences 

University of Virginia 

Charlottesville, VA 22903 



A friend of mine who lives on the 
edge of a small lake spends every day 
watching the seasons change, study- 
ing the weather, and observing the 
effects of the creatures in the lake. My 
friend is particularly fascinated by the 
chemical, biological, and physical 
processes going on in the little pond, 
and like Thoreau beside Walden the 
fellow resides in a small cabin and has 
little contact with outsiders. Much to 
my advantage as a limnologist (a 
biologist who studies lakes), my 
friend has almost infinite patience as 
an observer and commentator and 
asks only for a continuous supply of 
electrical power and reliable 
maintenance for the various sensors, 
probes, and transducers that monitor 
the lake. My friend, as you may have 
guessed by now, is not a person but 
an old TRS-80 Model I. My 
colleagues and I have found this 
inexpensive computer very useful for 
scientific research. 

As a limnologist, I am interested in 
the conditions that control the rate of 
growth of the microscopic algae 
(phytoplankton) that are suspended 
in lake water. The variables that 



About the Author 

Dr. Kelly, an associate professor of 
environmental science at the University of 
Virginia, is involved in research into the 
character of lakes. 




Photo 1: The tower supports such 
meteorological sensors as anemometers 
and radiometers, and the raft supports 
such sensors in the lake water as oxygen 
and temperature probes. Signal- 
conditioning amplifiers are housed in the 
white box on the raft, and special 
equipment can be set up on the raft as 
well. 

influence their growth include light, 
physical mixing of the water (which is 
related to the temperature variation 
with depth in the water column), and 
available nutrients such as nitrate and 
phosphate. 

The release of oxygen and the 



uptake of carbon by photosynthesis 
reveal the algae's rate of growth. By 
measuring the change of oxygen and 
inorganic carbon concentrations in 
the water, we can estimate the rate of 
photosynthesis. We can then relate 
that rate to various environmental 
factors if we have measurements of 
light, temperature distribution, wind 
velocity, air temperature, relative 
humidity, and precipitation. But 
manually measuring and logging all 
of these variables is time consuming 
and produces only infrequent esti- 
mates of photosynthesis. If we could 
study daily variation by collecting 
data at least every half hour and 
collect that data day after day for 
periods of weeks, months, and 
seasons, we could produce a very 
sophisticated analysis of the factors 
that regulate the ecological quality of 
a lake. 

All of these variables can be 
measured by probes, sensors, and 
other transducers whose output can 
be converted to a voltage. In the past, 
we recorded the voltages on digital 
tape with a data logger. Then we fed 
the tape to a large computer to get 
actual values for light intensity, 
temperature, oxygen concentration, 
and so on, from which it calculated 
the rate of photosynthesis. The catch 
is that data loggers are expensive and 
data processing is tedious. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 295 




Photo 2: The buoys leading to shore support the wires that send analog signals to the 
cabin. The wire for transmitting the signals would have been the most expensive item of 
the whole installation if we had not bought it as military surplus. 

The TRS-80 is housed in the hut along with other equipment for studying the lake. 
The hut is heated and air-conditioned because the graduate students operating the 
equipment argued that the TRS-80 couldn't withstand a wide temperature range. 
Personally, I think the students are more temperature sensitive than the TRS-80 is. 



That's where my friend the TRS-80 
comes in. Our department has a 
16K-byte Model I that includes an 
interface with an analog-to-digital 
(A/D) converter, a multiplexer, and a 
clock. The interface feeds 48 channels 
of data into the computer's bus and 
from there into memory. The A/D 
converter cost about $450 in parts 
and the TRS-80 about $650, making a 
total of $1100 for hardware. The least 
expensive data logger available 
would have cost more than $3000, 
and a specially designed data-logging 
computer to do the same job as the 
TRS-80 would have cost more than 
$10,000. Granted, a more expensive 
computer would have had additional 
capabilities, but we didn't need them. 
And we certainly didn't need the 
additional expense. 

The Data-Acquisition Problem 

Figure 1 shows the general data 
flow we needed for our research. This 
sort of data flow is common in many 
science and engineering applications: 
data is collected from a variety of 
sensors, recorded, and processed, 
then the results are displayed and 
stored. 



In the past, monitoring data from 
the field, which is common in 
meteorological and water-quality 
work, usually involved a "dumb" 
data logger. Figure 2 shows such a 
data flow. In this instance, the data is 
converted to raw digital values that 
are stored at some fixed-time interval 
on magnetic tape. Tapes from the 

A specially designed 
data-logging computer 

to do the same job 

would have cost more 

than 510,000. 

field recorder are then carried to the 
lab and processed through a tape-to- 
tape converter that makes standard 
7- or 9-track tapes compatible with a 
mainframe computer. Then we carry 
these tapes to the computer, where 
the values are converted from 
voltages and transferred to hard disk. 
The data can be examined on a 
video display using an editor to 
eliminate obviously bad values. (Bad 
values are the result of anything from 
birds perching on anemometers to 



fishermen anchoring their boats on 
top of light sensors.) Once corrected, 
the voltage values are then usually 
stored on magnetic tape. The voltages 
are averaged using an appropriate 
scheme to remove spurious noise and 
then converted to true values, such as 
temperature, which are stored as 
another disk file and saved on tape. 
Then that file is processed to convert 
the data into the information needed 
for the research. In our case, rates of 
change of oxygen concentration are 
converted to photosynthetic rates, 
which are expressed as the rate of 
release of oxygen by plants in the 
water. These results are output to 
tape and printed. 

This scheme has several dis- 
advantages. The most obvious 
drawback is that the operator can't 
monitor what a dumb logger is doing. 
And data loggers (even dumb ones) 
are expensive. Moreover, it takes 
time and money to transfer tapes 
from the field to the lab and then to 
the computer, to pick up output 
(tapes and printout) from the 
computer, and so on. And, of course, 
processing time and disk storage on a 
mainframe computer are expensive. 
We needed to make at least five trips 
to and from a computer center and 
five program runs on the mainframe 
for the scheme shown in figure 2. 

Enter the Microcomputer 

Figure 3 shows the same data flow 
mediated by two TRS-80 micro- 
computers. An A/D converter still 
processes the voltage signals, but now 
they go directly to the memory in the 
microcomputer. The signals are then 
converted to voltages (in floating- 
point form), the values are averaged 
by whatever scheme is appropriate, 
and the results are recorded on an 
inexpensive cassette tape. 

The advantages of this method are 
clear. The operator can monitor 
what's happening on a video screen, 
and the voltages can be converted to 
preliminary true values. Out-of -range 
values can also be recognized and 
eliminated. Several steps usually 
done by a mainframe computer are 
now done in real time by the TRS-80 
located in the field. After a few days, 
the tape is removed and taken to 



296 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



another TRS-80 in the lab, where the 
data is transferred to disk. The data is 
then checked and changed with a text 
editor (we use Scripsit), and the 
voltages are converted to real data 
values. Archival data is stored on a 
5V4-inch floppy disk, which is much 
cheaper than a magnetic tape. 

At this point there are two options 
for further data analysis. One is to do 
simple data analysis using the TRS-80 
in the lab. For example, if we only 
need averages of various parameters 
every six hours, they can be cal- 
culated, stored on disk, and printed 
out by the TRS-80. Usually, how- 
ever, the necessary calculations 
would take too much time and mem- 
ory, and the mainframe computer 
would better suit the task. For- 
tunately, several communications 
programs are available for the 
TRS-80 that enable disk files to be 
sent over the phone to other 
computers. Our files are sent to the 
university's computer for further 
processing, and results are returned 
to the TRS-80, where they are stored 
on disk and printed. 

By using the communications 
programs, we eliminated all of the 
trips to the computer center, cut the 
mainframe programs down to one, 
completely eliminated reel-to-reel 
data conversion, and made the 
system easier to use. The special 
hardware and software we needed to 
accomplish our task are described 
below. 



ANALOG INPUT SIGNALS 



1 1 1 


• 


• • 


1 


1 


1 


CONVERSION 


TO 


DIGITAL 


FORMAT 



t 






RAW DATA TAPE 


TAPE STORAGE 





FILE OF ENGINEERING VALUES 




TAPE STORAGE 





EDITING 



STATISTICAL AND OTHER ANALYSES 



1 






FILE OF FINAL VALUES 




TAPE STORAGE 














PRINTOUT 







Figure 1: The data flow used in our research. 



ANALOG INPUT SIGNALS 



* I 1 


••• III 


"DUMB" 


DATA LOGGER 



I 






DIGITAL DATA CARTRIDGE 




STORAGE 





* 






CONVERSION TO 9-TRACK ANSI 
STANDARD TAPE 


STORAGE 





The Hardware 

The A/D unit, designed by Jim 
Demas of the University of Virginia 
Chemistry Department, uses an 
interface from HUH Electronics (a 
company since acquired by 
California Computer Systems) to 
convert signals from the 40-line 
TRS-80 bus to an S-100 bus. The 
HUH interface has three cards: a 
multiplexer, an A/D card, and a 
Wameco RTC-1 clock board. Once 
the clock board is programmed by the 
TRS-80, it controls the multiplexer 
sampling and data transmission to the 
TRS-80. The multiplexer board, also 
designed by a faculty member, uses 
six Analog Devices chips (AD7507s), 
each of which controls eight input 



HARD DISK IN CYBER 172 





1 


SIGNAL 


AVERAGING 



EDITING 



STATISTICAL AND OTHER ANALYSES 



NOTE: 



FINAL VALUES ON HARD DISK 



+ = PROCESSED AT DATA 

COLLECTION SITE. 
# = PROCESSED IN THE LAB. 

*= PROCESSED AT 

MAINFRAME LOCATION. 



t 






CONVERSION TO ENGINEERING 
VALUES ON DISK 


TAPE STORAGE 





TAPE STORAGE 



PRINTOUT 



Figure 2: A typical scientific data flow using a data logger. 



March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 297 



ANALOG INPUT SIGNALS 



CLOCK AND 
CONTROL CIRCUIT 



* * + 



* I * 



MULTIPLEXER 



SEQUENTIAL DIGITAL SIGNALS 



RAM STORAGE 



(50-SECOND UPDATE) 



(" 



* 






AVERAGING 




VIDEO DISPLAY 





CONVERSION TO 
ENGINEERING VALUES 



1 






CASSETTE TAPE 


STORAGE 





TO FLOPPY DISK 



1 






EDITING 


VIDEO DISPLAY 





* 






FLOPPY DISK 




STORAGE 





| ( PHONE LINK) 



CYBER 172 DISK FILE 



NOTE: 



STATISTICAL AND OTHER ANALYSES 



+ = PROCESSED AT DATA 

COLLECTION SITE. 
#= PROCESSED IN THE LAB. 

* = PROCESSED AT 

MAINFRAME LOCATION. 



CYBER 172 DISK FILE 



| ( PHONE LINK) 



TRS-80 DISK FILE 



VIDEO DISPLAY 



STORAGE 



PRINTOUT 



Figure 3: A typical scientific data flow using two microcomputers. 



bytes, initializes and sets up the clock 
board. The second, which uses 154 
bytes, is a driver that receives the 
inputs and places them in their 
memory locations. Those locations 
are then read by the BASIC program 
and the contents are converted into a 
millivolt value that is stored as an 
array variable. We use an x by y 
matrix for the input variables where x 
is the number of channels and y is the 
number of samples taken in the 
interval between outputs to the tape 
recorder. Thus, using a 5-minute 
recording interval and 15 channels, 
data is stored in a 15 by 6 array (5 
channels with 50-second sampling 
results in 6 inputs per channel). 

Normally we average the inputs for 
5 minutes before recording, then 
convert the averages of the input 
voltages to actual variable values 
(e.g., oxygen concentration in 
milligrams per liter or temperature in 
degrees Celsius). The time is also read 
from memory and recorded as 
decimal hours. We could process the 
inputs further by examining, for 
example, rates of change of the 
values. That would require only the 
addition of subroutines to the BASIC 
program. 

When the data is recorded to tape it 
is also placed in memory in an x by 48 
matrix; here, x is the number of input 
channels. This matrix may be 
examined at any time by the 
operator, so if records are made every 
half hour, the previous 24 hours of 
data can be reviewed on the screen. 
Other information can be stored at 
the time of recording for future 
review by the operator. 



signals. The input signals go to an 
ICL 7109, 12-bit A/D converter chip 
and from there via the HUH 
converter as parallel input into the 
TRS-80 bus. The input ranges from 
—4 to +4 volts (adjustable with a 
trimpot) with a resolution and 
accuracy of more than 1 millivolt. 
Each of the 48 channels can be 
examined at an interval of less than 
10 ms (milliseconds), although we 
sample only at 50-second intervals. 
The sampling interval can be 
programmed by the TRS-80. 



Data- Acquisition Software 

Output from each channel is stored 
in 2 bytes of high memory and re- 
freshed at every sampling interval. 
The sampling is interrupt-driven. 
Another 2 bytes are used to store 
output from the clock, which is 
recorded as "elapsed time since start." 
The software is a simple 154-line 
BASIC program that includes two 
machine-language programs that are 
put into a specific high-memory 
location. 

The first program, which uses 36 



Using the System 

The operator needs to know little 
more about the computer than how 
to turn it on and load the program 
from tape; the program is self- 
prompting. First it asks for a header 
message that will be recorded on tape 
and will describe the particulars of 
the experiment. Another prompt asks 
how many channels are being used, 
what the sampling interval should be, 
how often the data should be re- 
corded and what the averaging period 
should be, what the start time is, and 
what variables are being input on 



298 March 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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