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Full text of "Byte Magazine Volume 08 Number 06 - 16-Bit Designs (RESCAN)"

JUNE 1983 Vol. 8, No. 6 

$2.95 in USA 

$3.50 in Oanada/£2.10 in U.K. 

A McGraw-Hill Publication 







Apple Computer Inc., 20525 Mariani Avenue, Cupertino, California 95014 



For the authorized Apple dealer nearest you, call 800"538-9696 (800*662-9238 in California.) 



Fruitful Connections. 



There are more people in more 
places making more accessories 
and peripherals for Apples than 
for any other personal computer 
in the world. 

Thanks to those people — 
in hundreds of independent 
companies— you can make the 
humblest 1978 Apple II turn tricks 
that are still on IBM's Wish List 
for 1984. 

But now were coming out with 
our very own line of peripherals 
and accessories for Apple® Personal 
Computers. 

For two very good reasons. 

First, compatibility. We've 
created a totally kluge-free family 
of products designed to take full 
advantage of all the advantages 
built into every Apple. 

Second, service and support. 




Now the same kindly dealer who 
keeps your Apple PC in the pink 
can do the same competent job 
for your Apple hard-disk and your 
Apple daisywheel printer. 

So if you're looking to expand 
the capabilities of your Apple II 
or III, remember: 

Now you can add Apples to 
Apples. 



Gutenberg would be proud 

Old Faithful Silentype® has now been joined by New Faithfuls, the 
Apple Dot Matrix Printer and the Apple Letter Quality Printer. 

So now, whatever your budget and your 
needs, you can hook your Apple to a printer 
that's specifically designed to take advan- 
^^ ^ tage of all the features built into your 

^\ ^&P4***^ l||||)|lll Apple. With no compromises. 
\k \m JpiL The 7x9 Apple Dot Matrix 

^j^lgjl^^^jp?- — " Printer is redefining 'correspondence 

-— - quality" with exceptional legibility. 
With 144x160 dots per square inch, it can 
also create high resolution graphics. 

The Apple Letter Quality Printer, 
. : which gets the words out about 33% 
^| faster than other daisywheel printers 
in its price range, also offers graphics 
capabilities. See your authorized 
Apple dealer for more information and 
demonstrations. Because, unfortunately, all 
the news fit to print simply doesrit fit. 




©1983 Apple Computer Inc. 



Ajoytobehold 

The new Apple Joystick II is 
the ultimate hand control device 
for the Apple II. 

Why is it such a joy to use? 

With two firing buttons, its 
the first ambidextrous joystick — 
just as comfortable for lefties 
as righties. 

Of course, it gives you 360° 
cursor control (not just 8-way like 
some game-oriented devices) and 
full X/Y coordinate control. 

And the Joystick II contains 
high-quality components and 
switches tested to over 1,000,000 
life cycles. 

Which makes it a thing of 
beauty. And a joystick forever. 




i 






the creek 
widiout 
paddle? 



OrL 
the duni 

Wh; 
be hapj 
has fin; 
paddl 
bliste 
blister$ ! 

Apl 
game 
one reo 

Peopi 
excited ai 
hard. 

So we 
rugged 
to 3,000,001 
them for h 
the firing 
side for 

Soyo' 



in space? Or down in 
ons? 

ver your games, you 11 
to know that someone 
ly come out with game 
uilt to hold up under 
fire. Without giving you 

e Hand Controller II 
dies were designed with 
discovery in mind: 
laying games get 
can squeeze very, very 



Wb; 



.de the cases extra 
sed switches tested 
life cycles. We shaped 
ing hands and placed 
Itton on the right rear 
imum comfort. 
1 never miss a shot. 



A storehouse of knowledge. 



If you work with so much data 
or so many programs that you find 
yourself shuffling diskettes con- 
stantly, you should take a look at 
Apples ProFile™ the personal 
mass storage system for 
the Apple III Personal 
Computer. 

This W4nchester-based 
5-megabyte hard disk 
can handle as much data 
as 35 floppies. Even more 
important for some, it 
can access that data 
about 10-times faster 
than a standard floppy 
drive. 

So now your Apple 
III can handle jobs once 
reserved for computers 
costing thousands 



and reliability, you need only store 
one word of wisdom: 
Apple. 



more. 



As for quality 




Launching pad for numeric data. 



Good tidings for crunchers of 
numerous numbers: 

Apple now offers a numeric 
keypad that's electronically and 
aesthetically compatible 
with the Apple II 
Personal Computer. ' 
So you can enter 
numeric data 
faster than 
ever before. 

The Apple 
Numeric Key- 
pad II has 
a standard 
calculator- 
style layout. 
Appropriate, 




because unlike some other key- 
pads, it can actually function as a 
calculator. 

The four function keys to the 
left of the numeric pad should be 
of special interest 
to people who use 
VisiCalc? Because 
they let you zip 
around your 
work sheet more 
easily than ever, 
adding and 
deleting entries. 

With one 
hand tied be- 
hind your 
back. 



VisiCalc is a registered trademark of VisiCorp. Inc. 



Circle 22 on inquiry card. 



In The Queue 



BITE 



Volume 8, Number 6 




Page 1 28 




Themes 

52 16-Blt Designs by Phil Lemmons / Powerful 16-bit microprocessors coupled with 
greater memory capacity and advanced memory-management techniques promise to 
elevate the micro to new levels of power and speed. And the winners are the users. 
In our theme articles you'll read about what's new in the 16-bit arena. 

54 Sunrise Systems by Bruce Roberts / This Texas-based startup company produces 
portable 8- and 16-bit microcomputer systems that are labeled and marketed by OEMs. 

74 The Gavllan Mobile Computer by Phil Lemmons / Lightweight, powerful, and 
portable, this battery-powered 1 6-bit computer can go anywhere. And its optional printer 
fits in a standard-size briefcase right along with the computer. 

96 Digital's Professional 300 Series by Wesley Melling / Owning a 325 or 350 
is almost like having a personal minicomputer. They both share the PDP- 1 1 instruction 
set and memory management and provide about 90 percent of the throughput of a 
PDP- 11/24. 

104 A DEC on Every Desk? by John J. Snyder / A look at Digital Equipment Cor- 
poration's representatives in the microcomputer world. 

110 Tight Squeeze: The HP Series 200 Model 1 6 by John Monahan / How Hewlett 
Packard crammed a powerful 16-bit microcomputer into one square foot of desk space. 

1 28 Texas Instruments' 99/2 Basic Computer by Harry Littlejohn and Mark Jander 

/ Software compatible with the 99/4A, this 1 6-bit. less-than-S 1 00 machine makes a good 
home computer. 

1 38 Implementing Minicomputer Capabilities In a Desktop Microcomputer by 

Colin Nayler I Multiple users, Xenix, and local-area networks characterize the Altos 586. 

1 50 A Machine for All Processors: The Fujitsu Model 16s by Wayne Cling- 

ingsmith / Its plug-in processors allow the Model 1 6s to run a variety of operating systems 
and applications programs. 

1 68 The Pronto Series 1 6 by Skip Hansen / An explanation of the design philosophy 
behind this business-oriented lntel-80186 based microcomputer. 

1 88 A Sleek Import: The Docutel/Ollvettl M20 by Sergio Mello-Grand / A per- 
sonal computer that marches to the beat of a different drummer— the 28000. 

1 94 Modular Architecture by Sudha Kavuru / Some insights into designing a modular 
computer around the IBM Personal Computer. 

208 Digital Research's DR Logo by Gary Kildall and David Thornburg / This user- 
friendly language comes of age. 

230 An Inside Look at MS-DOS by Tim Paterson / The history of and design deci- 
sions behind MS-DOS. how it works, and where it's going. 

2 56 BYTE West Coast: A Guided Tour of Vlsl On by Phil Lemmons / Visicorp's 
Bill Coleman discusses in detail the development, workings, and operation of Visi On, 
the company's new operating environment. 



Page 150 



BYTE is published monthly by McGraw-Hill, Inc.. with offices at 70 Main St. Peterborough NH 03458. phone 
(603J 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 0B836. Second class postage paid at Peterborough, NH. 0345B and additional mailing offices. 
USPS Publication No. 52BB90 (ISSN 0360-5 280J. Postage Paid at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Registration number 932 1 . 
Subscriptions are S2 1 for one year. S38 for two years, and S 55 for three years in the USA and its possessions. In 
Canada and Mexico. S23 for one year. S42 for two years. $6! for three years. S53 for one year air delivery to 



Features 

35 Use ADPCM for Highly Intelligible Speech Synthesis by Steve Garcia I In- 
tegrated circuits from Oki Semiconductor compress digitized speech data efficiently. 

282 NEC PC-8201 by Stan Wszola / Yet another portable computer vies for a place 
in the executive briefcase. 

306 The User Goes to the Falre by Jerry Pournelle / Our redoubtable critic reports 
on his journey from Chaos Manor to the Eighth West Coast Computer Faire. 

339 Design Philosophy Behind Motorola's MC68000, Part 3: Advanced Instruc- 
tions by Thomas W. Starnes / Special MC68000 instructions allow programmers to write 
complicated code quickly and compactly. 

352 The Bazerles Cylinder by Rinaldo F. Prisco / How to create ciphertext using 
methods based on the Bazeries Cylinder's time-proven cryptographic principles. 

387 AVL Trees by W. D. Maurer / Introducing a scheme for searching and updating 
sorted data efficiently. 

395 Build a Simple Light Pen for the Apple II by David J. Lilja / Avoid corrfplex 
hardware by using software strategically. 

41 1 User's Column: Zenith Z-100, Epson QX-10, Software Licensing, and the 
Software Piracy Problem by Jerry Pournelle / Our intrepid columnist shoots from the 
hip and takes a little flak. 

450 The 8086— An Architecture for the Future, Part 1: Introduction and 
Glossary by Stephen A. Heywood / The advanced 8086 microprocessor overcomes 
the limitations of previous designs. 

Reviews 

288 HMS3264 EPROM Programmer by Marvin L. De Jong / This program package 
lets an Apple \\ handle the programming tasks for a variety of software-development tasks. 

298 Electrohome Supercolor Board and Color Monitor by Jon N. Swanson / A 
color-graphics display system for the Apple II. 



Nucleus 



4 Editorial: High-Tech MornW Act 

7 MICROBYTES 
TO Letters 
364 Programming Quickies: Novel Methods 
of Integer Multiplication and Division 
379 Technical Forum: Random Numbers 
from an All-Digital Generator 
446 Book Review: 6502 Assembly-Language 
Subroutines 



Cover painting by Roger Landesmark 



458 Clubs and Newsletters 

462 Ask BYTE 

466 Software Received 

470 Event Queue 

479 Books Received 

482 What's New? 

541 Unclassified Ads 

542 BOMB. BOMB Results 

543 Reader Service 




Page 208 




Page 35 



Europe. 17.100 yen for one year surface delivery to Japan. $37 surface delivery elsewhere. Air delivery to 
selected areas at additional rates upon request. Single copy price is S 2.95 in the USA and its possessions v S3.50 in 
Canada and Mexico. S 4. 50 in Europe, and S5.00 elsewhere. Foreign subscriptions and sales should be remitted in 
United States funds drawn on a US bank. Printed in United States of America. 



Subscription questions or problems should be addressed to: 
BYTE Subscriber Service, P.O. Box 328, Hancock, NH 03449 




Editor In Chief 

Lawrence J. Curran 
Managing Editor 

Pamela A. Clark 
Senior Editor 

Gregg Williams 

Technical Editors 

R/chard S. Shuford. Curtis P. Feigel, 
Stanley Wszola. Arthur A. Little. 
Richard Malloy, Bruce Roberts; 
Philip Lemmons. West Coast Editor; 
Steve Ciarcia. 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.; Margaret Cook, Junior Copy 

Editor 

Assistants 

Faith Kluntz, Beverly Jackson, Lisa Jo Steiner 

Production 

David R. Anderson, Assoc. Director; 
Jan Muller, Virginia Reardon, Michael J. 
Lonsky; Sherry McCarthy. Chief Typographer; 
Debi Fredericks, Donna Sweeney, Valerie Horn 

Advertising 

Deborah Porter. Supervisor; 
Marion Carlson, Rob Hannings, Cathy A. R. 
Drew, Lisa Wozmak, Jeanne Cilley. Jeanna 
Reenstierna; 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. 

Cadwel/. Asst; Linda Ryan 

Marketing Communications 

Horace T. Howland, Director; 

Vicki Reynolds. Coordinator, 

Timothy W. Taussig. Graphic Arts Manager; 

Michele P. Verville. Research Manager 

Business Manager 

Daniel Rodrigues 

Controller's Office 

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

Traffic 

N. Scott Gagnon, Manager; 
Scott Jackson. Brian Higgins 

Receptionist 

Jeanann Waters 
Personnel/Office Manager 
Cheryl A. Hurd 
Publisher 



m 



Gene W. Simpson; 
John E. Hayes. 

Associate Publisher/Production Director; 
Doris R. Gamble. Publisher's Assistant 

Officers of McGraw-Hill Publications Com- 
pany: John G. Wrede. President; Executive Vice 
President: Paul F. McPherson; 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.' 



Editorial 



High-Tech Morrill Act 



Lawrence J. Curran, Editor in Chief 



The U.S. Senate has begun deliberations on a bill that would create a highly 
desirable partnership whose goal is the revitalization of high-technology 
education in this country. The bill, S.631, would join the federal government, 
state governments, and educational institutions with high-tech companies in 
an effort to ensure that the human resources required for this nation to com- 
pete in worldwide high-tech markets will be available. Sen. Paul Tsongas (D., 
Mass.) is the primary sponsor of the initiative, which he calls ''the high- 
technology Morrill Act." 

The Morrill Act established the federal land-grant college system in 1862 
and is credited with revolutionizing U.S. agriculture education and, eventual- 
ly, agricultural production. It helped foster an industrialization that led to 
global agricultural leadership for the U.S., a position we still maintain. Sen. 
Tsongas' bill could do the same for high-tech education by providing $500 
million per year over five years. Half the money would come from the federal 
government, state governments would be asked to contribute 30 percent, and 
industry 20 percent. We heartily support this legislation, and urge you to sup- 
port it by contacting your representatives. 

Among other things, the money would be used to establish computer 
literacy programs in elementary and secondary schools; make the teaching of 
math, science, and engineering more attractive as a career; modernize univer- 
sity lab equipment and establish university research and education centers; ex- 
pand technician training programs at community colleges; and develop pro- 
grams to teach the management of technological innovation. 

The education grants established by the bill would be administered by the 
director of the National Science Foundation, who would be authorized to 
establish an advisory committee representing industry, education, state 
government, professional societies, and labor organizations. We think that 
such an advisory committee can be effective, but we also believe it's critical 
that it receive strong direction from high-tech industries that compete globally 
so that it is responsive to real-world competitive considerations. 

Sen. Tsongas is to be commended for his astuteness in seeking counsel from 
people who should be especially well qualified to understand global competi- 
tion and education in high-technology industries. Those assisting with the 
legislation include the authors of a recent book that we think is an enlightening 
contribution to the literature: Ray Stata, president of Analog Devices Inc., 
Norwood, Massachusetts; and James Botkin and Dan Dimancescu, con- 
sultants in high technology from Cambridge, Massachusetts. The book is 
Global Stakes, The Future of High Technology in America (written with John 
McClellan. Ballinger Publishing Co., Cambridge, MA, 1982). 

It's time that this nation started to deal more effectively with global competi- 
tion. Through its emphasis on education, S.631 seeks to keep U.S. high-tech 
industry on the leading edge. Education is the long-fallow ground that must be 
fertilized so that the engineers, scientists, and technicians it produces are 
prepared for ever more formidable competition in future decades. ■ 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



How to buy a computer 
by the numbers. 




Introducingthe Cromemco C-10 Per- 
sonal Computer. Only $1785, including 
software, and you get more profes- 
sional features and performance for the 
price than with any other personal 
computer on the market. We've got the 
numbers to prove it. 

The C-10 starts with a high-resolu- 
tion 12" CRTthatdisplays25 lines with 
a full 80 characters on each line. Inside 
is a high-speed Z-80A microprocessor 
and 64K bytes of on-board memory. 
Then there's a detached, easy-to-use 
keyboard and a b l A" disk drive with an 
exceptionally large 390K capacity. 
That's the C-10, and you won't find 
another ready-to-use personal com- 
puter that offers you more. 

But hardware can't work alone. 
That's why every C-10 includes software 
—word processing, financial spread 
sheet, investment planningand BASIC. 
JHard-working, CP/M R -based software 
at meets your everyday needs. Soft- 
ware that could cost over $1000 some- 




where 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 
computers 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 request 
literature. In California 
call 800 672-3470 x929. Or write 
Cromemco, Inc., 280 Bernardo 
Avenue, P.O. Box 7400, Mountain 
View, CA 94039. In Europe, write 
Cromemco A/S, Vesterbrogade 1C, 
1620 Copenhagen, Denmark. 

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




Cromemco 

Tomorrow's computers today 

Circle 102 on inquiry card. 










W g£S$sMS-DOS, 
withSEEQUA 5 heJBM 



EXPANDABLE mserial 

Chameleon^ tan , 

riMonal senui y 



^ZSOAsoeware: 
d erCP/M. _ MI - 



even use 



in our 



ore inc. 



■ludea 



The following are registered trademarks: 

CP/14-50 — Digital Research Inc. 

MS-DOS— Microsoft 

PC-DOS— IBM 

Perfect Writei — Perfect Software 

Perfect Caic — Perfect Software 

MBasic — Microsoft 



resolution' 



Cham 



We'll 



closes 



i dealer- 



-^ttSB ^. 




SEEQ UA 

COMPUTER 



CORPORATION 

209 West Street 
Annapolis, MD 21401 
(301)268-6650 
(800) 638-6066 



MICROBYTES 






Staff-written highlights of late developments in the microcomputer industry. 

OPERATING SYSTEMS BATTLE LINES INVOLVE IBM. DEC, AMERICAN BELL 

International Business Machines, Digital Equipment Corporation, and American Bell will make separate 
moves that together could reshape the world of microcomputer operating systems. IBM is believed ready 
to make available more operating systems for the IBM PC and may emphasize for the business market an 
operating system other than PC-DOS. One account says that IBM sees the need for a multitasking 
operating system with more flexible data structures. Another account says IBM is developing its own 
operating system for the IBM PC to be compatible with the CPIX version of Unix that runs on the IBM 
Series 1 . IBM's alternate channels marketing department has also arranged for CDI in Bellevue, WA, to in- 
stall the Pick operating system on the PC late this year. A Microsoft spokesman, however, says,"We have 
a long-term relationship with IBM and have solid plans involving PC-DOS." 

Microsoft has strengthened its position elsewhere by reaching a large OEM agreement with American 
Bell. At least some of American Bell's computers will run Microsoft's Multi-Tool application programs and 
some version of the Unix operating system. Other American Bell microcomputers, however, will run well- 
known application programs from a variety of major software houses. Meanwhile, Digital Equipment Cor- 
poration is working closely with Digital Research and Visicorp. DEC's low-end microcomputers such as the 
Rainbow 1 00 will run Concurrent CP/M-86 and Visicorp's Visi On operating environment. 

DIGITAL RESEARCH INTRODUCES PERSONAL BASIC AND MARKETS LANGUAGES FOR IBM PC-DOS 

Digital Research has introduced Personal BASIC, an interpretive BASIC designed to compete with Micro- 
soft BASIC but to sell for only $1 50, compared to MBASIC's $350, and at OEM prices far below that. 
Personal BASIC checks syntax as statements are entered and reports syntax errors before the program is 
run. It has advanced error trapping, informative error messages, and debugging aids such as statement- 
number tracing, variable tracing, and breakpoints with single-step operation. Version 1 .0 of Personal 
BASIC runs source code written in Microsoft BASIC or IBM PC BASIC except for PC BASIC'S graphics 
commands. Version 2.0 will support fully integrated graphics statements through the GSX implementation 
of the graphics kernel standard. 

Digital Research's Language Division has broadened its marketing strategy and is selling all DR lan- 
guages in versions to run under IBM PC-DOS. These include CBASIC-86, CB-86, Pascal/MT + -86, 
PL/l-86, C-8086, Microfocus COBOL, and the programming aids Display Manager and Access Manager. 
CB-80 and CB-86 have been enhanced to include some graphics support. Digital Research says its lan- 
guages will provide portability of applications programs across microprocessors and operating systems. 

SYOIS SYSTEM INTEGRATES VOICE AND VISI WORD 

Sydis Inc., a startup company in San Jose, CA, has introduced the Voicestation System, a 68000-based 
system with desktop-manager software that incorporates the functions of a personal computer, a tele- 
phone, a dictating machine, a card file, and a calendar. Each terminal has its own 68008 microprocessor, 
1 28K bytes of graphics RAM, and 832 by 608 resolution. The combination of voice input, mouse, and 
programmable-function keys may greatly reduce or eliminate the need for many users to have a keyboard. 
While the Sydis system does not provide voice recognition, it does provide voice memos and voice an- 
notation of text documents generated with Visicorp's Visiword. The central Sydis Information Processor 
uses multiple 68000s and manages a shared 160-megabyte hard disk. Price of a 1 6-user system is less 
than $7000 per user. 

MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES MULT/TOOL WORD, MOUSE 

Microsoft has introduced Multi-Tool Word, the second of the company's planned series of productivity 
tools. Developed under the guidance of Charles Simonyi, formerly of Xerox PARC, Multi-Tool Word pro- 
vides sophisticated printer support and text-editing. Use of the new Microsoft mouse for the IBM Personal 
Computer is optional. The two-button mouse and three programs that demonstrate its use cost $1 95. 

SOFTOFF/CE TO OFFER IBM PC INTEGRATED SOFTWARE 

The Softoffice Co., San Rafael, CA, is developing both networking and stand-alone versions of an inte- 
grated software system for the IBM PC. President Bruce Van Natta describes the product, also called Soft- 
office, as an object-oriented structure and says it will provide fully integrated applications, electronic mail, 
and videotex, all accessible through a pictorial desktop manager for professional and administrative users. 

4 Circle 344 on inquiry Card. June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 7 



MICROBYTES. 



OCTAGON B02B6 SUPPORTS THREE OPERATING SYSTEMS SIMULTANEOUSLY 

Octagon Computer Systems will announce the first 80286/Z80-based dual-processor multiuser system at 
PC '83 in San Francisco June 17. Software will allow users to run PC-DOS, Concurrent CP/M-86, and 
CP/M-80 applications software at the same time on different terminals. The system's standard equipment 
includes a 5 1 /4-inch IBM-PC-format floppy disk, an 8-inch floppy disk, and a 5%-inch Winchester hard disk. 
As a result, the system supports convenient transfer of files between the two sizes. Other hardware 
features include up to 4 megabytes of onboard memory, 8 high-speed serial ports, 8 video-display con- 
trollers, 6 parallel ports, 64K bytes of PROM, and a calendar/clock with battery backup. The system, in- 
cluding the 1 5-megabyte formatted hard disk, is priced at $8750. 

PFSiWRITE COMING THIS MONTH FROM SOFTWARE PUBLISHING 

PFS:WRITE, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get word processor, will be available this month for $140. 
Developed by Software Publishing for the IBM PC, PFS:WRITE works with PFS:File to do mailing lists and 
can print data tables from PFS:Report, bar charts from PFS:Graph, and spreadsheets from Visicalc. 

MICROPRO IMPROVES WORDSTAR AND INTRODUCES PLANSTAR, STARBURSl STARINDEX 

Micropro International, San Rafael, CA, recently announced three new products and an updated version of 
Wordstar. Wordstar (3.30) for the IBM PC has user-definable function keys, faster screen updating 
through memory-mapped video, a new install program, and support for color displays. 

Planstar, a financial modeling tool that runs on PC-DOS or any microcomputer with CP/M version 2.2 or 
later, includes bar charts and line graphs and can build large multidimensional models and consolidate 
worksheets. With Starburst, users create menus for their own office "script" to link Micropro or other pro- 
grams and automate a series of tasks. Starburst performs repeat sequences and conditional logic. The pro- 
gram runs on CP/M version 2.0 or later, an Apple with a CP/M board, PC-DOS 2.0, MS-DOS, and 
CP/M-86. Starindex works with any version of Wordstar to create alphabetized indexes with subentries 
and a four-level table of contents. 

ASHTONTATE INTRODUCES FRIDAY 

Ashton-Tate of Culver City, CA, publisher of dBASE II, is offering a new user-friendly personal filing 
system called Friday that permits adding, deleting, and changing of fields and creating and changing of 
files from anywhere in the system. Every screen display shows a reference to a related section in the 
user's manual. Data from Friday and dBASE II can be combined. Friday costs $295 and is available now. 

SHARP ENTERS PORTABLE COMPUTER MARKET 

Sharp Electronics has introduced the Super Portable Computer, an IBM-PC data-compatible unit. The 
SPC has a flip-up liquid-crystal display providing 8 lines by 80 characters and a full-size keyboard. It 
uses the 8088 microprocessor and comes with 1 28K bytes of CMOS RAM expandable to 256K bytes, 
MS-DOS and BASIC in ROM, and two slots for ROM cartridges (64K to 1 28K bytes), RAM cartridges 
(64K bytes), or bubble memory cartridges (1 28K bytes). The unit is powered by rechargeable batteries. 
The SPC is expected to be bundled with word-processing, electronic spreadsheet, communications, and 
executive planner programs. Suggested retail price for the SPC with one bubble memory cartridge will 
be in the $2495 to $2995 range. 

NANOBYTES 

American Bell may market Apple computers through its 461 Phone Center stores. . . . The Hewlett- 
Packard 85B and 86B are the first micros to have built-in semiconductor virtual disks as standard equip- 
ment. . . . Quarterdeck of Santa Monica, CA, showed a desktop manager that integrates existing PC-DOS 
and CP/M-86 applications programs. . . . Schuchardt Software Systems will offer applications-oriented 
database-modeling systems that "take advantage of recently developed artificial-intelligence techniques to 
simplify the user/machine interface," according to Frederick H. Schuchardt, president and founder of the 
new San Rafael, CA, company. A software hotline service will be available by subscription to end users, 
dealers, and OEMs. Schuchardt was formerly president of Micropro's World Trade division and before that 
managed applications development for the American Airlines Sabre System. . . . Fujitsu's $2400 1 -mega- 
byte RAM board for its Micro 1 6s uses 256K-bit RAM chips. . . . 3Com Corp. has reached agreement 
with 25 retail stores to distribute the company's Ether/Series Ethernet products. Businessland and 
independent Computerland stores are among those handling the 3Com products. 3Com reports selling 
1 000 Etherlinks for the IBM Personal Computer since the beginning of 1 983. 

8 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc Circle 299 on inquiry card.^^ 



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Letters 



Vox Popull 



The recent issue on standards missed an 
important new trend in the standards- 
making process. It is all the more signifi- 
cant because it is the result of the pro- 
liferation of microcomputers, where the 
BYTE readership is strongest. The trend is 
the democratization of standards. 

Ten years ago the ANSI (American Na- 
tional Standards Institute) rule for a 
balanced representation of committee 
members between users, implementers, 
and general-interest members was easily 
satisfied from the large corporations will- 
ing to ante up the high membership fees 
required by CBEMA because only large 
companies could afford computers. 

With the advent of microcomputers this 
is no longer true. Consider Chuck Card's 
new working group for a standard floppy- 
disk format. To be a member of this com- 
mittee costs you $150 per year for three to 
five years, plus travel and lodging costs 
four times a year to the other side of the 
country. For a large company with a 
vested interest, this is not too much. But 
users like you and me cannot afford $1000 
or so each year for this kind of activity. 
The result is that ANSI activities are going 
to be increasingly biased away from the 
users toward the manufacturers. Note 
that CBEMA (the official secretariat) 
stands for Computer and Business Equip- 
ment Manufacturers' Association, which 
is hardly likely to encourage participation 
of independent users. 

But I mentioned a new trend; it is 
developing within the IEEE Computer 
Society. The Computer Society, through 
the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Elec- 
tronics Engineers), is a member of ANSI, 
and thus a full-fledged standards-making 
body. But there is no $150 membership 
fee, and many of the active working 
groups stay in one place so that there is a 
possibility for participation by users. 
True, a committee meeting in Silicon 
Valley is still out of the budget for East 
Coast participants, but at least West 
Coast participants are not locked out also . 
Furthermore, the Microprocessor Stan- 
dards Committee rules permit member- 
ship by correspondence, so everyone has 
the opportunity to have a say in the for- 
mation of these far-reaching standards. 
Finally, unlike the traditional ANSI pro- 
cedures, the Microprocessor Standards 
Committee has a policy of publishing full 
drafts for public review and comment in 



widely read trade journals, so you can see 
what is going on and have the opportuni- 
ty to participate. 

As with any new trend, there are reac- 
tionary forces. Even within the Computer 
Society there are those who want to in- 
hibit the democratization by squelching 
publication or insisting on peripatetic 
meeting places. You, the readers of BYTE, 
can put in your vote for democracy. Write 
ANSI and/or the Governing Board of the 
Computer Society and demand to be a 
part of the standards process. Insist on 
public review of work in process (i.e., 
publication of drafts) and working groups 
that stay in one place long enough to per- 
mit the participation of unfunded users 
like you. Remind them of the success of 
IEEE-696 (S-100 bus) and the soon-to-be 
standard P754 (Binary Floating Point) that 
benefited from this open process. Your 
voice counts. 

Some organizations to write to are the 
American National Standards Institute 
(1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018), 
the IEEE Computer Society (POB 80452, 
Worldway Postal Center, Los Angeles, 
CA 90080), and the Microprocessor Stan- 
dards Committee, Michael Smolin, Chair 
(Synertek Inc. MS61, POB 552, Santa 
Clara, CA 95051). 

Please don't everybody write to me ex- 
pecting replies. I am another unfunded 
user trying to get some work done to pay 
the bills. 

Tom Pittman 

POB 6539 

San Jose, CA 95150 



Another Standards 
Organization 

The February articles on standards were 
excellent. Richard S. Shuford's editorial, 
"Standards, The Love/Hate Relationship" 
(page 6), and especially his analysis of 
forces hindering standardization were 
right on target. 

Your readers may be interested in a 
standards organization that was not men- 
tioned in the issue, ASTM Committee 
E-31 on computerized systems. ASTM 
(American Society for Testing and 
Materials) was founded in 1898. It is the 
oldest voluntary consensus standards 
organization in the United States. It is also 
among the most prolific, with over 6500 
separate standards in the 64- volume An- 



10 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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■ etters 

nual Book of ASTM Standards. ASTM 
was one of the four organizations that, in 
1918, founded what has become the 
American National Standards Institute. 

Committee E-31 on computerized 
systems was organized in 1970. E-31's 
standards focus on the needs of people 
who use computerized systems. (A com- 
puterized system is one in which a digital 
computer is a significant part.) There are 
draft or approved standards for com- 
puterizing clinical laboratories, manufac- 
turing operations, hospital pharmacies, 
and scientific laboratories, as well as more 
general standards to guide any com- 
puterization project. A standard specifica- 
tion for software documentation is now in 
the final stages of approval. 

All meetings of Committee E-31 and its 
subcommittees are open. Anyone is 
welcome who wants to learn, to par- 
ticipate, and to join in the work of 
developing standards. Many of us learned 
a good deal of what we know about com- 
puterized systems with Committee E-31. 
We are all still learning. 

People can contact me for more infor- 
mation or they can write directly to 
ASTM at 1916 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 
19103. 

Peter E. Schilling, Chairman 

ASTM Committee E-31 on Computerized 

Systems 
Aluminum Company of America 
Alcoa Technical Center 
Alcoa Center, PA 15069 



More on the Proposed 
ANSI BASIC Standard 

Ronald Anderson's 'The Proposed 
ANSI BASIC Standard" (February, page 
194) raised some questions to which I 
would like to respond. 

First, it should be pointed out that the 
ANSI (American National Standards In- 
stitute) public review period is indeed 
open to the public; any interested party 
may submit comments directly to 
ANSI/X3 committee (X3 Secretariat, 
CBEMA, 311 First St., NW, Washington, 
DC 20001). It is also possible to channel 
these comments through the Association 
for Computing Machinery (ACM). 

The standard is organized in the form of 
a core specification plus some in- 
dependently optional modules (e.g., real- 
time and graphics). This was done to pro- 
vide standardization for a given well- 
demarcated functional area without forc- 



ing it on all implementations. In the case 
of real-time operations, for instance, there 
is widespread use and implementation, 
and so the need for standardization exists. 
At the same time, it doesn't seem 
reasonable to require all vendors to imple- 
ment this rather ambitious module 
because their users may have no need of 
it. 

The article implied that the standard 
did not provide data typing. In fact, the 
standard does specify a DECLARE state- 
ment for the typing of variables. Variables 
need not be declared explicitly, but they 
are still typed, according to the usual 
BASIC convention of a trailing dollar sign 
for strings and no such dollar sign for 
numerics. Assignments and comparisons 
between incompatible types are not al- 
lowed. Furthermore, the standard even 
guarantees type-checking for I/O (in- 
put/output) to so-called INTERNAL files; 
no other language of which I am aware 
provides this protection. 

Finally, I take exception to the state- 
ment that "the new standard appears to be 
more loosely defined than most other 
language standards." This certainly was 
not the intention nor, I believe, the result 
of X3j2's efforts. There are indeed a 
number of instances in which a result is 
explicitly implementation-defined; such is 
the case in all language standards. But I 
believe the clarity of the specification 
compares favorably with that of other re- 
cent and proposed standards, e.g., for 
FORTRAN, Pascal, or Ada. X3J2 would 
certainly welcome hearing about any 
specific aspect of the standard that is 
vague or ambiguous and will, I'm sure, do 
its best to remedy such lapses. 

John V. Cugini 

Programming Languages Group 

Data Management and Programming 

Languages Division 
United States Department of Commerce 
National Bureau of Standards 
Washington, DC 20234 



Standard Priorities 

Thank you for the informative articles 
on standards in February. However, I 
was wondering if there is a standards 
committee on documentation. If there is 
anything the computer industry needs to- 
day it is a set of standards for documenta- 
tion. Much of the software and hardware 
produced today is of good quality, yet the 
documentation is so poor that these pro- 



14 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE June 1983 15 



Letters. 



ducts are under-used or not used at all. 
My word-processor program, for exam- 
ple, does not have an index. A book of 
over 100 pages without an index is all but 
ludicrous, not to mention the fact that one 
page of the table of contents is missing. If 
standards for documentation are de- 
veloped, they should include both a table 
of contents and an index for each volume 
of the document. 

Most of the standards dealt with by the 
articles in your February issue seem to be 
long overdue and should be implemented. 
Yet, somehow I feel that some of these 
standards may become too restrictive and 
burdensome, such as the proposed floppy- 
disk-format standard. Even more critical 
is that program languages such as BASIC, 
Pascal, COBOL, and others undergo fur- 
ther needed standardization. Take, for ex- 
ample, Visicalc. It can be used with 
relative ease on any of the computers for 
which it is designed, provided users have 
the appropriate copy of Visicalc for each 
computer they wish to use. Visicalc is not 
a program language; yet its virtue of com- 
mands that are similar if not identical for 
the various computers for which it is 
designed should be the goal for program- 



language standardization. Standardiza- 
tion of program languages is much more 
important than the standardization of 
floppy-disk formatting or of operating 
systems. 

John H. A. Deal 

RFD 2, Box 77 

Malta Bend, MO 65339 



Lisa Feedback 

Like everyone else, I awaited with great 
anticipation Gregg Williams' in-depth 
review of Apple's new Lisa machine 
(February, page 33). However, upon com- 
pleting the article, I found myself wishing 
that the author had provided more search- 
ing analysis and less parroting of the 
manufacturer's promotional fog and 
vague promises. 

As a longtime admirer of Apple's cor- 
porate verve, I've hoped that the Lisa 
would provide the transfusion of fresh 
blood necessary to keep the company 
from otherwise inevitable crushing under 
the IBM juggernaut. From the article, I'm 
not sure this is the case. Maybe Williams 




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just missed some fundamental points, but 
I'm sure that the corporate purchasing 
agents who will be making searching 
evaluations of this very expensive 
machine will not miss such points as 
these: 

The microprocessor: The 68000 is more 
or less current state-of-the-art, but what's 
the point if the multiuser, multitasking, 
networked operating systems aren't in 
place? Trying to separate promises from 
deliverable hardware, it seems that quite a 
bit of such support has yet to be im- 
plemented. 

Drives: What's so "revolutionary" 
about an 860K-byte variable speed drive? 
Chuck Peddle put 1.2-megabyte variable- 
speed drives (double-sided version) in the 
Sirius I (Victor 9000) two years ago. 

Display: It's hard to tell from the 
photos, but the display seems to be just 
black on white or pale blue. If so, it may 
be a serious mistake. While such a display 
may be necessary for logic implementa- 
tion of the desktop-with-icons metaphor, 
it sacrifices the utility and pizazz of the 
full-color graphics rapidly becoming in- 
dustry standard with Apple's competi- 
tion. And black on white is just hopeless 
for long-term word processing; even ex- 
ecutives must sometimes draft long 
reports. 

Input Devices: People doing any serious 
spreadsheet work will surely long for cur- 
sor movement keys and curse the need to 
remove hands from the keyboard to use 
the mouse. The mouse itself seems 
pointless; why replace a device you're 
afraid the executive is afraid of (the 
keyboard) with another unfamiliar 
device? If Apple was seriously interested 
in the psychology involved it would have 
given said executive a light pen. 

Software-Bundle Concept: Certainly 
Apple must be applauded for its will- 
ingness to take the software-bundle con- 
cept to new heights. However, I wonder 
whether in some areas it goes too far. For 
example, while the desktop-with-icons 
metaphor may be useful, were I a Fortune 
500 company vice-president, I would be 
mortally insulted that a designer felt my 
computer had to show me a picture of a 
wastebasket to direct me to the delete-file 
function. Such offensive condescension 
shows up throughout the design, even in 
the hardware (e.g., labeling the disk 
release button "Disk Request"). 

The individual programs seem well 
thought out, except for the word pro- 
cessor. If this machine is really aimed at 
executives, it probably ought to trade 



16 June 1983 © BYTE PubHcations Inc 



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Letters. 



some of the sophisticated manipulation 
and formatting for a spelling check (they 
probably aren't much as typists), gram- 
mar checker (they want their reports to be 
readable and articulate), style manual, 
and thesaurus. They'll want to be able to 
creat sharp, lucid drafts; they'll expect 
their stenographers to take care of format- 
ting and printing with the right margins 
and other details. 

Image: I'd hoped (apparently in vain) 
that Apple finally understood how badly 
its cutesy, whimsical image hurts its 



chances of executive-suite penetration. 
This image crops up in too many ways in 
the Lisa: the Apple (control) key, the 
mouse, and on and on. Please, guys, the 
next time you're in the executive-suite 
waiting room, flip through the magazines 
on the table. You'll find Fortune, 
Barron's, Forbes, etc., but certainly not 
Nibble. There's a lesson there. 

Price: $10,000 is ludicrous. Most 
customers may feel that with existing 
competitive hardware and other software 
bundles that will reach the market before 



Soup to Nuts. 




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the Lisa, they can get good enough perfor- 
mance. Why pay $2000 to $3000 more to 
be condescended to by a machine? And it 
becomes hopelessly worse if Apple goes 
through with the imbecility of locking 
machine and software together with elec- 
tronic serial numbers. What company in 
its right mind is going to spend $4000 
many times over for repetitive bundles of 
software? Times are gettin' hard, boys. 
Money's gettin' scarce, in case you didn't 
realize it already. It would be far more 
sensible to license the package to a net- 
work of stations. 

Don't get me wrong. I vigorously ap- 
plaud the effort, initiative, and obviously 
deep consideration that Apple has given 
to the Lisa. I really hope it succeeds. My 
remarks are not a debunking diatribe, but' 
an earnest effort to point out that there 
are still some significant bugs in a general- 
ly pretty snazzy machine. 

Del Palmieri 

3 Maple Ridge 

Ballston Lake, NY 12019 

Thank you for your comments on the 
Lisa system and my review of it. I think 
you summed it up when you said that the 
Lisa is the result of "effort, " initiative, and 
obviously deep consideration. " Of course, 
no project of such complexity can satisfy 
everyone, and many of your criticisms are 
valid personal objections. I particularly 
agree with you that the $10,000 price is 
regrettably high (although I would not 
call it ludicrous) and that the capabilities 
of Lisa Write do not mesh well with 
Apple's intended audience of corporate 
executives. I also thank you for pointing 
out that the Victor 9000 (as it's called in 
the U.S.) disk drives do outperform the 
Lisa's; I was dead wrong on that, although 
I still think that other aspects of the drives 
(like the redundant directory and the Disk 
Request button) are very valuable. 

At this point, however, we part com- 
pany. Your opinions as a potential Lisa 
customer have the utmost validity but 
may not be widely shared. For example, I 
don't think that most people are "mortally 
insulted" by icons that give them visual 
clues about the machine's operation, nor 
do I think they find a Disk Request but- 
ton, which keeps them from taking a disk 
out and losing data, to be "offensive con- 
descension. " You imply that Apple's use 
of the mouse is perhaps not the best point- 
ing device for the typewriter-shy ex- 
ecutive; maybe so, but Apple spent a lot 
of money on research that caused them to 



18 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Letters. 



choose a mouse over light pens and other 
input devices. Such research also recom- 
mended a black-text-on-white-back- 
ground video display, which you call 
"hopeless for long-term word processing, " 

Finally, you make several misleading 
statements. You say that the Lisa is at 
fault for not having color graphics, which 
are "rapidly becoming industry 
standard." This is simply not the case. 
Machines like the IBM Personal Com- 
puter and the Texas Instruments Profes- 
sional Computer have color, but most 
business software does not make routine 
use of it. The reason for this is simple: 
software vendors, attempting to maintain 
product portability to other computers, 
shy away from implementation-depen- 
dent features like color graphics. Also, the 
"imbecility of locking machine and soft- 
ware together" does not exist because the 
Lisa is sold only with legal copies of its 
software. The idea of Apple licensing the 
software to a network of Lisa machines 
does have merit and is a good compromise 
between paying for each copy and pirat- 
ing multiple copies from one legal one. 

I agree with you that "there are still 



some significant bugs" in this "pretty 
snazzy machine," but I think that Apple 
(or other companies) will iron them out as 
the price of such technology decreases and 
more variations of it become available to 
suit more peoples needs. As it turns out, 
you are not alone in your dissatisfaction, 
as you will see from the next 
letter. . . . G. W. 

I read 'The Lisa Computer System" by 
Gregg Williams and "An Interview with 
Wayne Rosing, Bruce Daniels, and Larry 
Tesler" by Chris Morgan, Gregg 
Williams, and Phil Lemmons (February, 
pages 33 and 90) with hopes that I would 
learn some of the shortcomings of the 
Lisa. Instead, these articles, like so many 
others, read like they were written by 
Apple's marketing department. 

I have not set eyes on a Lisa, but from 
what I know about the Star and the 
Worm (remember the Worm that was go- 
ing to eat the Apple?), and from what I 
have read about the Lisa, I do not think 
that the Lisa will be the success that the 
media have presented. 

I dislike being negative because the Lisa 



does have many marvelous features, 
which were well presented in your article. 
However, I think the mistakes made in 
designing the Lisa and its predecessors 
should be pointed out by someone. 

Mistake jjfl: The philosophy that com- 
puter designers know what users need is 
arrogant and usually wrong. Every com- 
puter user has different desires and needs. 
The Apple II successfully caters to this 
market by allowing users to select a 
machine configuration to meet basic start- 
up requirements. Users can later purchase 
additional hardware and software from 
numerous sources. Users can also 
customize their machines or software, at- 
taching all sorts of devices and making all 
kinds of modifications to both hardware 
and software. 

It appears there is one configuration of 
hardware and software available to 
potential Lisa users. The Lisa software has 
six application programs for what appear 
to be basically word-processing applica- 
tions. The graphics are excellent, but what 
if I am offended by the garbage-can con- 
cept? How do I change the graphics sym- 



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* 




22 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



bols to ones I prefer7 How do I change the 
commands to ones I like? 

What language was this all written in 
anyway, and why isn't it available to the 
user? These questions and their answers 
are missing from all the articles I've read 
about the Lisa and imply to me that its 
designers do not believe purchasers of the 
machine should modify what they have 
bought. 

Mistake #2: The mouse. The mouse is 
an inexpensive graphics input device that 
is beloved by graduates of Stanford's 
computer science program. It has been 
around for about 15 years in a variety of 
forms. The Lisa's designers have im- 
proved upon the mouse by reducing the 
number of buttons on it to one. Whether 
they have removed the other problems 
with the mouse — poor reliability, inter- 
mittent behavior, and inability to move in 
a natural direction — remains to be seen. 

The poor reliability and the intermittent 
behavior both result from the fact that 
mice get dirty rolling around on a table. 
Dirt gets into the potentiometers, which 
then have "bad spots" and eventually do 
not work at all. A bad spot is a spot on the 



display which you cannot point to. You 
can work around this by lifting the mouse 
and moving it so the bad spot moves too, 
but this rapidly becomes annoying. 

The unnatural direction results from 
two wheels mounted perpendicularly to 
each other. To move diagonally, you need 
to move along the x-axis and then the 
y-axis rather than along a diagonal as you 
can with a joystick. 

Because I have no experience with Lisa's 
mouse, these comments may be unfair. 
My experience is based on Star's mouse, 
which had these problems. Gregg 
Williams' article only pointed out the but- 
ton improvement, so I assume the rest re- 
mains the same. 

Mistake #3: The disk. Why the 
designers of Lisa needed a nonstandard 
disk package is beyond me. This will 
make the disks far more expensive with no 
great improvement in performance. That 
is, there is no great improvement in the 
amount of information being stored or in 
the speed of access. The reliability claim is 
nice, but in terms of reliability, floppy 
disks are not a weak link in a system. If 
anything, the mechanics of the disk need 



looking at, not the recording technique. 
The method of storing two directories is a 
good redundancy technique that can be 
done in standard packages. 

Mistake #4: Performance. This is a dif- 
ficult issue to evaluate by reading glowing 
articles about the Lisa. This is mostly a 
worry because of the size of the programs 
mentioned in the article and because of 
the lack of a display processor, not because 
of the chip chosen for the Lisa. I have seen 
old PDP-8 word processors with a tiny 
memory outperform 16-bit word pro- 
cessors with large memories, so it is a mat- 
ter of software, not hardware. 

If I were to check a Lisa, I would type in 
a page of text. Then I would block copy 
the page to create 2 pages of text, then 
block copy the 2 pages to create 4 pages 
and so forth until I had 128 pages. This 
would require only seven block copies 
and should be done relatively fast if the 
machine performs well. I would then go to 
page 50 and cut out a paragraph and in- 
sert it in page 1. I have done this on a 
variety of word processors. Some will not 
even allow a small number of block 
copies. 



Spoken Here. . . 



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CompuPro, a Godbout Company, 
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June 1 983 © BYTE Publications Inc 23 



Letters. 



We will be seeing more small computers 
that use the Motorola 68000. I hope we 
will someday see one that shares Apple's 
original philosophy of letting users decide 
what they need. 

Sabina Saib 
1500 Holiday Hill 
Goleta, CA 93117 

Thank you for raising concerns that I 
have not heard elsewhere. You bring up 
some important points: why doesn't the 
Lisa allow you a choice of ways to do 
things? Is the mouse reliable enough and 
easy enough to use? Why did Apple 
choose an expensive, nonstandard floppy 
disk? Will the computer be responsive 
enough when dealing with large, "real- 
world" tasks? Let me respond to each of 
these in turn. 

You say that the Lisa does not have the 
protean nature of the Apple II. That opin- 
ion is not quite fair to the Lisa computer; 
after all, it does have three expansion slots 
for extra hardware, and Apple will be 
releasing a "programmer's toolkit" that 
will allow third-party vendors to create 



whatever software they feel is best. Aren't 
these the very features you applaud the 
Apple II for? I grant that you will never 
have the wide variety of hardware and 
software add-ons for the Lisa that you 
have for the Apple II, but that is because 
of three factors. First, the Lisa doesn't 
need them— many Apple II add-ons cor- 
rect deficiencies in that computer's design. 
Second, nobody has had time yet to 
develop new software and hardware for 
the Lisa. (Remember, when the Apple II 
was first introduced, nothing was 
available for it, either.) Third, the Lisa is a 
more expensive machine that will not sell 
as widely as the Apple II; this will 
significantly influence the number of ven- 
dors who will consider creating products 
for it. 

Your criticism about the Lisa coming in 
only one configuration is certainly a valid 
one. Probably the only customization you 
will be able to do is what Apple allows 
you to do; the software is written in 68000 
machine language and is too complex to 
be modified by the user. The Lisa com- 
puter is the first of an entirely new kind of 
computer. The computers that follow it 



will improve on the first design; if people 
like you convince the designers that they 
must include more customization to 
satisfy the potential user, they will prob- 
ably do so. 

I think your fears about possible 
unreliability in the mouse pointing device 
are unfounded. Of the many details I 
didn't have time to put in my product 
description of the Lisa (please note that the 
article was a description, not a review), 
one was that Apple designed a new kind 
of mouse that is meant to be cleaned by 
the user. The design also isolates the roll- 
ing ball from the decoding mechanism as 
much as possible so that dust and eraser 
shavings entering the mouse have little ef- 
fect on the performance of the device. 
Also, the mouse I tested rolled equally 
well in all directions; I did not have any 
difficulty making diagonal movements 
with it. 

I agree with you that the Lisa floppy 
disks will be more expensive than similar 
disks because of their nonstandard design. 
However, I disagree with your opinion 
that software enhancements such as 
redundant directories "can be done in 



...And Here. 



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MASSACHUSETTS 

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OREGON 

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UNITED KINGDOM 

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CompuPro, a Godbout Company, 
Box 2355, Oakland Airport, CA 94614 



24 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Letters. 



standard packages. " The place to put such 
enhancements is in the operating system, 
so they will be there regardless of the opin- 
ions of individual software designers 
who will either reinvent the wheel and 
charge you for it or leave it out. Redun- 
dant directories take up relatively little 
space and will save you a lot of grief if 
they are ever needed; other operating 
system designers would do well to follow 
Apples example. 

I like your word-processor test and will 
keep it in mind for future evaluations. 
However, I'm not sure you can fault the 
Lisa for not having a dedicated video- 
display processor. As I said on page 43 of 
the description, ". . . according to the 
designers, the use of a dedicated hardware 
graphics chip would limit itself and slow 
down the system. . . ."It would be hard 
to check this point directly, so we will 
have to rely on the technical explanation 
given by the Lisa designers on page 106 of 
the February BYTE. 

I hope you find some merit in my opin- 
ions. Thank you for writing; the quality 
of future microcomputers will, I think, be 
influenced by discussions such as 
ours. . . . G. W. 



A Slight Improvement 

It was ironic that the reviews of the two 
new Apple products, the Lisa and the 
Apple He, both appeared in the same issue 
(February, pages 33 and 68). It was hard 
for me to believe that both computers are 
made by the same company. In the case of 
the Lisa, it sounds like Apple did a 
superior job of design and implementa- 
tion. The modular approach displayed by 
both the hardware and software 
demonstrates a mature, serious product. 

On the other hand, the Apple He seems 
like only a slight improvement over the 
engineering hodge-podge that was the 
Apple II. For example, checking a game- 
paddle port to see if a shift key is pressed, 
pressing Control-R (unless between 
quotes) to restrict the keyboard to upper- 
case, and the presence of numerous seem- 
ingly incompatible graphic modes (to 
name a few) make me feel that the Apple 
He isn't much of an improvement. Actual- 
ly, the whole thing contributes to my 
suspicion that the Apple II's primary 
reason for success was its being at the 
right place at the right time. The design 
errors (or perhaps oversights) in the Apple 
II were serious enough to make the inven- 



26 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 82 on Inquiry card. 



tors of replacement processor cards, 80 
column boards, and the like rich. While 
there's no doubt that the Apple He is an 
attempt to rectify some of the most 
serious difficulties, further repackaging 
and advertising hype don't contribute to a 
solution. 

Jon Forrest, Computer System Manager 
Physics Department 
University of California 
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 



Monte Carlo Fix 

Roger C. Millikan's article 'The Magic 
of the Monte Carlo Method" (February, 
page 371) leaves out a very important in- 
gredient in the program for finding the 
area under a curve. The author should 
have made it clear that the given program 
will work only for functions that are 
evaluated in an area of one square unit (as 
was the example). For all other examples 
line 2115 of listing 2 should be changed to: 

2115 PRINT" the integral is ";A*U/N 

where A is the area over which the func- 
tion is being evaluated. This must be done 
because U/N is an approximation of the 
ratio of the area under the curve to the 
total area A. For example, to find the area 
under the example curve Y = X*X when X 
varies from to 2, the value of A would 
be 8 because the area over which the func- 
tion is being evaluated is a rectangle of 
width 2 (X varies from to 2) and length 4 
(Y varies from to 4). Of course, the cor- 
responding RND functions must also be 
changed . 

1 believe this added bit of information 
would make the program much easier for 
the average user to adapt to his or her ap- 
plication. 

Ronald W. Guffin 
Box 1111 
Bethel, AK 99559 



Alternatives to 
the Monte Carlo Method 

I agree with Roger C. Millikan that the 
Monte Carlo Method is an important 
statistical tool (February, page 371). That 
said, I object to a number of suggestions 
in his article. 

It should be clearly understood that the 
Monte Carlo method is a shotgun tech- 



nique, one that tends to converge slowly 
compared to methods derived analytically 
from the specific parameters of the prob- 
lem in question. It is also a statistical 
technique, meaning that any Monte Carlo 
simulation should generate a sample stan- 
dard deviation and/or a distribution 
histogram where feasible. Clearly both 
results should have been generated in the 
problem of the staggering drunk. 

Millikan's example of finding the area 
under a parabola is as badly chosen as 
possible — rather like demonstrating recur- 
sion through the use of the factorial func- 
tion. Any textbook on numerical methods 
is full of simple techniques to find areas 
under curves — a process known as 
numerical integration or numerical 
quadrature. Simpson's Rule, for example, 
would converge more rapidly in almost 
every case and would have a lower 
margin of error. 

Finally, Millikan's area example does 
not even converge properly, probably 
because of a lack of refinement in assign- 
ing areas to points where the point is on 
the curve or is very close to it. 

In any case, there is no point in using a 
random-number generator where you are 
going to use as many as 10,000 trials. It 
would be simpler to cover the unit square 
with 10,000 evenly spaced points. 

William J. Sohn 
293 Crest Dr. 
Tarrytown, NY 10591 



Apple-Cat Changes 

When I read James A. Pope's review of 
the Apple-Cat II (January, page 110) my 
initial reaction was akin to that of a 
parent listening intently to a guidance 
counselor's evaluation of a precocious 
child. I adored the overall favorable find- 
ings and wanted to interrupt with a rebut- 
tal every time a negative comment was 
made. 

However, after carefully rereading 
Pope's article, I must admit it is both fair 
in its evaluation and constructive in its 
recommendations. In fact, most of the 
changes he suggested for the Apple-Cat II 
have already been included in the product 
available today. 

Let me get specific. The review is based 
on an early version of our software (Corn- 
Ware II 3.2), which was current through 
mid-1982. Since then we have updated the 
software three times and revised the docu- 



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June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 27 



MICRO 



If you guessed that a Practical 
Peripherals Microbuffer™ 
printer buffer saves time, 
you're right. For the way it 
works, this inexpensive prod- 
uct is the most practical addi- 
tion to your microcomputer 
system ever. 

With Microbuffer, you 
don't have to wait for your 
printer to finish before you 
resume using your computer. 

Data is received and 
stored at fast speeds, then 
released from Microbuffer's 
memory to your printer. 

This is called buffer- 
ing. The more you print, the 
more productive it makes your 
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Depending on the ver- 
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fering capacities range from a 
useful 8K of random access 
memory — big enough for 
8,000 characters of storage — 
up to a very large 256K — 
enough for 256,000 characters 
of storage. 




28 BYTE June 1983 




Practical Peripherals 
makes stand-alone Micro- 
buffers for any computer and 
printer combination, including 
add-on units especially for 
Apple II computer and/or 
Epson printers. 

Each has different fea- 
tures like graphics dumps and 
text formatting besides its 
buffering capabilities. You can 
choose one that's just right for 
your system. 

Best of all, they're built 
to last and work exactly like 
they're supposed to. 

If you're still guessing 
whether you can afford to have 
one, talk with any computer 
dealer. That's the best way to 
find out how practical a 
Practical Peripherals 
Microbuffer is. 



PHACTKAL 



Practical Peripherals, Inc. 

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Circle 306 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 29 



Letters. 



mentation. For example, the review's "At 
a Glance" box designates the software as 
DOS 3.2. Since June of last year the sys- 
tem has been formatted in the more wide- 
ly used DOS 3.3 system. The "At a 
Glance" box also indicates that the Apple- 
Cat II is designed for the Apple II Plus. 
This could be misleading because the sys- 
tem is engineered for the Apple II as well. 
Pope wasn't thrilled by our documenta- 
tion. Frankly, neither were we. We've 
published a new owner's manual and 
Corn-Ware II operating instructions book- 



let. We've done our best in this new 
literature to state instructions and descrip- 
tions clearly, to organize the content in 
the most logical manner and to represent 
exactly what is included with the unit and 
what are optional features or equipment. 
With regard to optional equipment, Pope 
felt that the expansion module should 
have been part of the basic system rather 
than a $39 add-on. Here we disagree. The 
expansion module provides for features 
not all customers want or need, par- 
ticularly to start up. To include it in the 




Lnliii Eiie Z-80. Sill DistPilitei Precessiig. 

$475.00 



Memory transfer rates of 517Kbytes/second, 
direct memory access, memory mapping and 
host to slave requests via interrupt control make 
the CPS-MX fast. And easy to integrate. Fully 
compatible withTURBOdos™, Intercontinental 
Micro System's slaves are available in four 
versions: synchronous or asynchronous serial 
port, 4Mhz or 6Mhz. The choice is yours. The 
CPS-MX also allows the bus master to utilize 
slave memory at the user's discretion. The slave 
then acts as a 64K RAM card. 

The CPS-MX is also easy to integrate with 
Intercontinental full line of S100 products: 
CPZ-48000 SBC , 
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A complete line of personality boards allow 
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don't take up any S-100 bus space. 

Best of all is the price. The CPS-MX starts at 
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you have been paying for products that may not 
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Call Intercontinental Micro Systems today. 

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basic system would force customers to 
pay for something they might not use. 

The table of Com- Ware II features used 
in the article is accurate but outdated. Our 
newest revision (5.0) includes an addi- 
tional four functions. All Apple-Cat II 
buyers are given the opportunity to ob- 
tain each new Com- Ware revision free of 
charge. They just send us their old disk 
and we send them an updated one. 

The article listed a number of expansion 
capabilities and conjectured that they 
would probably all be available by the 
time the January BYTE was out. These are 
available now, including the tape recorder 
output. One note of clarification: Nova- 
tion is not developing a speech synthesizer 
card. 

The article states, 'Novation has just 
recently developed an EPROM that will 
allow you to access the Apple-Cat II from 
the BASIC environment." Pope is refer- 
ring to our firmware ROM chip. Because 
he mentions the ROM chip earlier in the 
review, it might appear to some that the 
ROM and the EPROM chips are different. 
They are not. The firmware ROM allows 
access to the Apple-Cat II from BASIC, 
features the same commands as those used 
for the Hayes Micromodem, and is com- 
patible with many of the programs writ- 
ten for the Micromodem. 

Agnes A. Nagy 

Vice President- Administration 

Novation Inc. 

18664 Oxnard St. 

Tarzana, CA 91356 



Sieve Corrections 

After seeing "Eratosthenes Revisted" in 
the January BYTE, I wrote a version of the 
Sieve of Eratosthenes in CRAY-IS 
assembly language. My program performs 
one repetition of the Sieve in exactly 385.7 
microseconds. This program makes good 
use of both the scalar- and the vector- 
processing capabilities of the CRAY-IS. It 
breaks the Sieve into four steps, as given 
below. The timing (in microseconds) for 
each step is interesting: initializing the flag 
array, 111.3; unflagging multiples of 
primes, 156.9; counting the number of 
primes found, 117.1; and searching for the 
last prime found, 0.4. The times total 
385.7. 

Of this 385.7 microseconds, the 
CRAY-lS's memory is fully occupied for 
at least 361.375 microseconds. Thus, at 



30 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE June 1983 31 



Letters. 




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best, the program could be improved by 
only a few percent. I believe it is unlikely 
that more than one or two microseconds 
of processing time could actually be 
eliminated. 

For 10 repetitions of the Sieve, multiply 
by 10 and add 1.275 microseconds for 
loop counting, giving 3859 microseconds. 
This number is about one-half the fastest 
time reported in the article, and returns 
the CR AY-IS to its rightful position as the 
world's fastest computer. 

David S. Dodson 
3824 South 255th Place 
Kent, WA 98032 

I have just seen Jim Gilbreath and Gary 
Gilbreath's article, "Eratosthenes Revisit- 
ed: Once More Through the Sieve" (Janu- 
ary, page 283). 

I was dismayed to find that my contri- 
butions for the Prime 300 computer and 
the PRIMOS operating system were print- 
ed incorrectly. The numbers printed were 
per iteration. They have not been "ad- 
justed for . . . 10 iterations." Also the 
times for BASIC and COBOL are re- 
versed. My contributions to table 1, ad- 
justed, should read: assembly language, 
4.5; FORTRAN, 7.8; FORTH (RLM), 
104.0; BASIC, 504.0; and COBOL, 
6707.0. 

This gives PRIME 300 COBOL the 
dubious distinction of being the slowest 
computer/language combination in the 
article. 

Richard L. Maurer 

National Life and Accident Insurance 

Company 
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Nashville, TN 37250 ■ 



BYTE's Bits 



Z100 

Software Directory 
Being Compiled 

Zenith Data Systems is compiling a 
directory of available software for its 
Z100 desktop computer. The Z100, a dual 
16/32-bit computer, uses Digital 
Research's CP/M as its 8-bit operating 
system. Z-DOS, marketed by Microsoft 
as MS-DOS, is used for 16-bit processing. 
Software vendors with ZIOO-compatible 
packages are asked to contact Victoria M. 
Lerner, Zenith Data Systems Corp., 1900 
North Austin Ave., Chicago, IL 60639. ■ 

4 Circle 374 on inquiry card. 



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Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar 



Use ADPCM for Highly 
Intelligible Speech Synthesis 

Some new integrated circuits from Oki Semiconductor 
compress digitized speech data efficiently. 



Steve Ciarcia 

POB 582 

Glastonbury, CT 06033 



During the past few years I have 
presented four different computer 
speech-synthesizer projects (see refer- 
ences). With each article I have tried 
to present the latest technology and 
describe successively more cost-effec- 
tive synthesis methods. This month 
I'd like to describe a new variation on 
digitized speech that uses adaptive 
differential pulse-code modulation. 

What Is Digitized Speech? 

Computers communicate in a 
digital language, but the language of 
humans is analog. If computers are to 
speak as we do, this obvious barrier 
must be overcome. Fortunately for 
us, a number of techniques have been 
devised to allow a computer to syn- 
thesize a human voice, some of them 
quite effective. 

Some synthesized voices employ 
electronic circuitry to simulate the 
throat and vocal tract, but the purest 
form of machine-generated speech is 
simply a digital recording of an actual 
human voice, using digital circuitry 
to mimic the action of a tape record- 



Special thanks to Bill Curlew for his software 
expertise. 



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




Photo 1: You use a microphone to 
record words in high-intelligibility 
ADPCM speech synthesis. The 
stored vocabulary retains the inflec- 
tion, accents, and intonation of the 
human speaker. If you need your 
computer to speak a low-pitched, 
mid-Connecticut drawl, let me 
know. 



er. For example, in most parts of the 
United States you can dial a tele- 
phone number and hear a recorded 
voice saying something like, 'The 
number you have reached has been 
changed. The new number is 
924-9281." The voice is distinctly 
human in quality, highly intelligible, 
and machine-generated — an excellent 
example of digitized speech. Al- 



though it uses a lot of memory, digi- 
tized speech is the most intelligible 
machine-generated speech currently 
possible. 

The basic concepts of producing 
stored digital speech are fairly simple. 
The process begins with data acquisi- 
tion. A voice waveform can be 
treated like any other fluctuating 
voltage input; the computer can 
record the waveform by periodically 
taking a sample of the signal's voltage 
through an analog-to-digital (A/D) 
converter and storing it as a binary 
value. (The number of samples 
needed per second depends upon the 
frequency of the input signal.) Once 
the samples have been stored, the 
computer can recreate the original 
waveform by sequentially sending the 
stored values to a digital-to-analog 
(D/A) converter at the same rate as 
the original sampling. 

Pulse-Code Modulation 

A common method of representing 
continuous analog values in digital 
form is pulse-code modulation, or 
PCM. In PCM, distinct binary repre- 
sentations (pulse codes) are chosen 
for a finite number of points along the 
continuum of possible states. When- 
ever the value is being measured and 
it falls between two encoded points, 
the code for the closer point is used. 



Circle 184 on Inquiry card. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 35 



SOURCE 

AUDIO 

WAVEFORM 



ANALYSIS 



^— * 



LOW -PASS 
FILTER 



SAMPLE 

AND 

HOLD 



ANALOG-TO- 
DIGITAL 
CONVERTER 



DIGITAL 
PCM CODE 

101 

100 

000 - - - 



SYNTHESIS 



PCM CODES 

101 

100- -- — 

ooi--- 



DIGITAL- 
TO- 

ANALOG 
CONVERTER 



LOW -PASS 

FILTER 



REPRODUCED 

AUDIO 

WAVEFORM 



1/u. 



Figure 1: Functional block diagram of a digitized speech-reproduction system that 
employs pulse-code modulation. 



111...1 



TIME 




ooo... o 



SCALE 



TO: SAMPLING PERIOD = l/f SAM p|_E 



Figure 2: Waveform sampling by pulse-code modulation (PCM). The interval between 
samples is TO; the sampling frequency is the reciprocal of the interval. Each sample of 
PCM data consists of N bits; the leftmost is the most significant bit and the rightmost is 
the least significant bit. 



(This process is called quantization: 
the dividing of the range of values of 
a wave into subranges, each of which 
is represented by an assigned value.) 
A series of these pulse codes can be 
transmitted in a pulse train, resulting 
in a pulse-code modulated signal. 

Because the samples of digitized 
speech referred to above are stored in 
the form of digital pulses, the stored 
speech waveform can be thought of 
as an example of pulse-code modula- 
tion. Figure 1 shows a block diagram 
of a speech synthesizer that 
reproduces speech stored in pulse- 
code-modulated form. 

Sampling Rates and 
Other Messy Stuff 

The sampling rate you use in re- 
cording any signal must be chosen 
with awareness of a theoretical limit 
called the Nyquist interval. At the 
very minimum, the sampling rate 
must be at least twice the highest fre- 



quency found in the input signal. 
With an input bandwidth of 2 kHz 
(kilohertz), adequate for intelligible 
speech, the sampling frequency 
would have to be at least 4 kHz. 

This rule holds strictly true only 
when an ideal low-pass filter is used 
on the output of the D/A converter. 

The ear is sensitive, and 

too coarse a 

reproduction will sound 

unnatural or even 

unintelligible. 

In real equipment, sampling rates of 3 
or 4 times the input bandwidth are 
sometimes necessary. So for speech 
reproduction, a sampling rate around 
6 or 8 kHz is good. (Optical digitized- 
music recordings, which are just now 
coming to market, use 16-bit A/D 
conversion at a 50-kHz sample rate to 
achieve high fidelity. The resulting 



data rate is 800,000 bps- bits per sec- 
ond.) 

Other technical limitations crop 
up. Once you have determined the 
sampling rate, you must consider the 
resolution of the analog-to-digital 
converter. A/D converters operate in 
discrete steps (quanta) rather than 
continuous levels, as shown in figure 
2. If a 4-bit A/D converter is used, 
then only 16 values are available to 
define the signal. Any reading could 
potentially be in error by ±1/16, or 
about 6 percent. A 12-bit converter, 
which has 4096 potential levels, 
would have a possible quantization 
error of only 0.02 percent. 

Achieving Fidelity 

In dealing with analog voice sig- 
nals, we must accurately reproduce 
the input signal for it to be under- 
stood. The ear is sensitive, and too 
coarse a reproduction will sound un- 
natural or even unintelligible. 

A direct relationship exists between 
the PCM data rate and reproduced 
speech quality. Let's consider a case 
in which we have an 8-kHz sampling 
rate. If we use 12-bit A/D conver- 
sion, then the data rate (in bits per 
second) is found using the following 
equation: 

bit rate = sample rate X conversion 

bits 
= 8000 Hz X 12 bits 
= 96,000 bits/second 

Using standard PCM on a voice 
signal with a 4-kHz bandwidth would 
require a 96,000-bps data rate. The 
average personal computer could 
store only about 8 seconds of speech 
in its 64K-byte memory. 

The data rate can be reduced some- 
what by using an 8-bit A/D converter 
rather than a 12-bit unit. The raw 
data rate now becomes 8000 X 8 or 
64,000 bps. (This reduces the signal- 
to-noise ratio from 66 to 42 dB 
(decibels), but the sound quality is 
more than adequate for experimenta- 
tion. For commercial applications, 
however, I recommend a 12-bit con- 
verter.) 



Delta Modulation 

The pulse-code 



modulation we 



36 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



have been examining uses no data 
compression. In playback, the data 
bits representing the absolute values 
of each successive signal sample are 
sent to a full-resolution D/A con- 
verter and reproduced at the same 
rate at which they were recorded: 
96,000 bps in, 96,000 bps out. The 
circuit can operate with no assump- 
tions made about the signal it is to 
process. 

On the other hand, voice wave- 
forms contain much redundant data. 
Long periods of silence are inter- 
spersed with sounds that vary in pitch 
slowly. If you take some time to 
analyze the A/D samples, you will 
notice that the changes are, for the 
most part, gradual and that the varia- 
tions in the signal between adjacent 
samples are a limited portion of the 
full dynamic range. 

One method of reducing the data 
rate used in PCM voice reproduction 
is called delta modulation. This pro- 
cess assumes that the input signal's 
waveform has a fairly uniform and 
predictable slope (rate of rising and 
falling). Rather than storing an 8- or 
12-bit quantity for each sample, a 
delta modulator stores only a single 
bit. When the computer samples the 
input signal from the A/D converter, 
it compares the current reading to the 
preceding sample. If amplitude of the 
new sample is greater, then the com- 
puter stores a bit value of 1. Con- 
versely, if the new sample is less, then 
a will be stored. Figure 3 shows how 
this works. Reproduction of the 
waveform is accomplished by sending 
the stored bits in sequence to the out- 
put, where their values are inte- 
grated. 

But, like other techniques, delta 
modulation has limitations, one of 
them the familiar sampling-rate re- 
striction. Because only a single bit 
changes between samples, the rate at 
which samples are taken must be suf- 
ficiently fast that no significant infor- 
mation is lost from the input signal. 
Furthermore, if the slope of the input 
waveform varies a lot, the repro- 
duced waveform may be audibly dis- 
torted. So using delta modulation 
may not reduce the data rate much, 
although there are many different 
variant schemes, and it's difficult to 



(3a) 



SOURCE 
WAVEFORM 



/ 



Aa 



A^ 



REPRODUCED 
WAVEFORM 



!\ 



Aa: 



QUANTIZATION 
VALUE (FIXED) 



TO 



TIME 



Figure 3a: Waveform sampling by delta modulation. Each sample of the source 
waveform is tested to see if its amplitude is higher or lower (within the resolution of a 
fixed quantization value Ar—delta-r) than that of the previous sample. If the amplitude 
is higher, the single-bit delta-modulated encoding value is set to 1; if lower, the en- 
coding value is set to 0. 



(3b) 



s 



/ 



SOURCE / 
WAVEFORM / 



REPRODUCED 
WAVEFORM 



\br 



SLOPE OVERLOAD 



— „^ 



GRANULAR 



Figure 3b: Two potential problems occurring in delta modulation. When the source 
waveform changes too rapidly, the fixed quantization value may be too small to express 
the full change in the input; this slope overload causes a compliance error. Or when 
there is little change in the input waveform (at the extreme, a DC signal), vertical deflec- 
tion in the quantization value results in granular noise in the output. 



Competing Digitizing Methods 

By the time you read this, you may 
have heard the results of a standardiza- 
tion proceeding that put two of the 
speech-digitizing methods discussed 
here in competition. (See reference 7.) 

American Telephone and Telegraph 
(AT & T), in the throes of beginning 
its divestiture of its 22 local Bell operat- 
ing companies (BOCs), submitted a 
proposal to the CCITT (Comite Con- 
sultatif International Telephonique et 
Telegraphique) to standardize a certain 
form of adaptive differential pulse- 
code modulation as the worldwide 
preferred method of digitizing voice 
telephone signals for long-distance 
transmission. The proposed CCITT 
scheme uses a 4-bit sampling size with 
an 8-kHz sampling rate, for a 
32,000-bps overall data rate. This 
would be a change from the two dif- 
ferent 64,000-bps digitizing systems 



now in use. 



A competing digitizing scheme, de- 
veloped by Satellite Business Systems 
(SBS—a company jointly owned by 
IBM, Comsat, and Aetna Life & 
Casualty), employs delta modulation: 
1-bit samples taken at a rate of 32 kHz, 
arriving at the same 32,000-bps data 
rate by a completely different route. 

Standards published by the CCITT 
are called "recommendations, "but they 
are quite strictly followed in most 
regions of the globe. 

Telecommunication experts outside 
of AT & T have expressed concerns 
that the local BOCs and the indepen- 
dent long-distance common carriers 
will face both financial and technical 
problems in upgrading equipment to 
interface with the proposed CCITT 
32,000-bps ADPCM circuits. At this 
writing, it is not known when AT & T 
will begin installing the new 
system. . . . R. S. S. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 37 



predict which is optimal in a given 
situation. 

The most effective application of 
delta modulation that I have ob- 
served is the technique developed by 
Dr. Forest Moser at the University of 
California and implemented in the 
National Semiconductor Digitalker 
voice-synthesis chip set (see reference 
1). However, while the Digitalker's 
process is definitely a variant of delta 
modulation, the data-compression 
and zero-phase-encoding algorithms 
that produce the stored bit patterns 
take hours of processing per word; 
it's very difficult for you to program 
your own custom vocabulary. 

Differential PCM 

We can actually reduce the amount 
of data stored for reproduction of 
speech by using a concept related to 
delta modulation as follows. When 
the speech waveform is being sam- 
pled, for each sample a value is stored 
that represents the amplitude dif- 
ference between samples. This 
scheme, called differential pulse-code 
modulation, or DPCM, allows more 
that a single bit of difference between 
stored samples, accommodating more 
variation in the input waveform 
before severe distortion sets in. The 
DPCM value can be expressed as a 
fraction of the allowed input range or 
the absolute difference between 
samples (see figure 4). 



DPCM exhibits some of the same 
limitations as simple delta modula- 
tion but to a lesser degree. Only when 
the difference between samples is 
greater than the maximum DPCM- 
encoding value will distortion (called 
a compliance error) occur. Then the 
only solution is to reduce the input 
bandwidth or raise the sampling fre- 
quency. 



ADPCM Is a specialized 

form of PCM that 

offers significantly 

Improved Intelligibility 

at lower data rates. 



Adaptive Differential PCM 

The real breakthrough in digitized 
speech is the technique known as 
adaptive differential pulse-code mod- 
ulation (ADPCM), a specialized form 
of PCM that offers significantly im- 
proved intelligibility at lower data 
rates. This system was devised to 
overcome the defects of the delta- 
modulation techniques described thus 
far while still reducing the overall 
data rate and improving the output's 
compliance with the source wave- 
form. 

ADPCM improves upon DPCM by 
dynamically varying the quantization 
between samples depending upon 




A,; (111----) 

A,;*] 1110----) 

A„-l (100----) 



>PCM CODE 



A^=A^-A /7 . 1 ^-AiL 
A/- 



A/7 + 1 = A/7 + ]- A/; — 



A/7 + 1 



A/-: QUANTIZATION VALUE 
(FIXED) 



-— 101 (DPCM VALUE) 
— 001 (DPCM VALUE) 



Figure 4: Differential pulse-code modulation (DPCM) is an attempt to reduce the 
amount of data stored or transmitted, as compared with regular PCM. For each sample, 
the difference between the previous PCM code and the current code is expressed in 
terms of a fixed quantization value Ar (delta-r), which must be chosen with attention to 
the characteristics of the source waveform. If too large or small a quantization value is 
used, compliance errors occur. 



their rate of change while maintaining 
a low bit rate, condensing 12-bit 
PCM samples into only 3 or 4 bits. 
(The variations in the quantization 
value are regulated with regard to the 
characteristic complex sine waves 
that occur in voice. The technique is 
therefore not applicable to other 
kinds of signals, such as square 
waves.) 

In ADPCM, each sample's encod- 
ing is derived by a complicated proce- 
dure that includes the following steps: 
a PCM-value differential dn is ob- 
tained by subtracting the previous 
PCM-code value from the current 
value; the quantization value An 
(delta-n) is obtained by multiplying 
the previous quantization value times 
a coefficient times the absolute value 
of the previous PCM-code value; the 
PCM-value differential is then ex- 
pressed in terms of the quantization 
value and encoded in four bits, as 
shown in figure 5. 

Build an ADPCM Speech 
Analyzer /Synthesizer 

The Oki Semiconductor Corpora- 
tion produces a number of integrated 
circuits (ICs) that perform ADPCM 
encoding and decoding. Of these, the 
MSM5218RS and the MSM5205RS 
are worthy of attention. The 5218 is 
designed to perform both storing and 
reproducing of digitized speech, while 
the 5205 provides only the reproduc- 
ing function. Using these CMOS 
(complementary metal-oxide semi- 
conductor) components, we can put 
together a cost-effective speech-syn- 
thesis system that produces highly in- 
telligible output and yet makes effi- 
cient use of memory. 

Figure 6 on page 40 is the block 
diagram of the MSM5218RS IC. It is 
designed to work with 12-bit analog- 
to-digital converters and contains 
both an ADPCM analyzer and syn- 
thesizer. An internal 10-bit D/A con- 
verter is provided to reconstruct the 
waveform where direct analog output 
is wanted, or the decoded PCM data 
may be routed to an external D/A 
converter. 

The schematic in figure 7 on pages 
42 and 43 diagrams a speech- 
synthesis circuit built around this 
chip (see photo 2 on page 41). In the 



38 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



(5a) 



X n IS THE PCM CODE VALUE 

X n IS THE REPRODUCED PCM CODE VALUE 

dn IS THE DIFFERENTIAL (PCM-CODE VALUE) 

A/7 IS THE QUANTIZATION VALUE 

L n IS THE ADPCM CODE VALUE 

M IS A COEFFICIENT 



A/7 +1 



Z./7+1 SETTING 



INPUT WAVEFORM 




QUANTIZATION 
ERROR 



sCfn + 2 



n-\ 



/7*1 




TIME- 



Figure 5: Adaptive differential pulse-code 
modulation (ADPCM) improves upon 
DPCM by dynamically varying the quan- 
tization between samples, depending 
upon their rate of change, while maintain- 
ing a low bit rate, condensing 12-bit PCM 
samples into only 3 or 4 bits. 

In ADPCM, each sample's encoding is 
derived by a procedure that includes the 
following steps. A PCM-value differential 
dn is obtained by subtracting the previous 
PCM-code value from the current value. 
The quantization value An (delta-n) is ob- 
tained by multiplying the previous quan- 
tization value times a coefficient times the 
absolute value of the previous PCM-code 
value. The PCM-value differential is then 
expressed in terms of the quantization 
value and encoded in four bits. The 
mathematical relations are shown here in 
figure 5a, whereas figure 5b shows a 
typical encoded waveform. 



dn*X n -X n - l 
A/7=A/7"1 XM (|/./7-i|) 



(5b) 



circuit, a low-cost 8-bit A/D con- 
verter is used in place of a higher- 
resolution, more costly 12-bit con- 
verter. The Oki MSM5204RS 8-bit 
CMOS A/D converter, employed 
here, uses a successive-capacitor- 
ladder conversion system. It also in- 
corporates a sample-and-hold stage 
that enables direct input of rapidly 
changing analog signals. An external 
clock signal provides timing for the 
chip; the clock's frequency is not 
critical and can be anywhere from 
450 to 500 kHz. 

The frequency bandwidth of the 
signal input to the A/D converter is 
limited by an active low-pass filter, 
IC2, an Oki ALP-2 filter with a 
1.7-kHz cutoff frequency. Attenua- 
tion is 18 dB per octave above the cut- 
off frequency. (Although frequencies 
up to 4 kHz can theoretically be cap- 
tured with an 8-kHz sample rate, in 
this application the lower cutoff fre- 
quency gives better-sounding repro- 
duction.) 

A/D Conversion in Operation 

Data conversion is started when 
the S * CON (start conversion) line 
(pin 13) o f the MSM5218 forces the 
write line (WR), pin 15) on the 5204 



(STEP SIZES DEPEND ON PREVIOUS DATA) 




...010 - 



• 001 - 



..000 



T5 T6 SAMPLE TIMES 



0101 0011 0000 1111 1000 1101 



TYPICAL ADPCM 
4-BIT CODES 



1101 



SIG 



ADPCM CODE STRUCTURE 



N BIT-^ ^— VALU 



E BITS 



SIGN 
BIT 


VALUE 
BITS 


COMMENTS 


1 
1 
1 






000 
100 
HI 

000 
100 

111 


MINIMUM EXCURSION "^ 

MEDIUM EXCURSION ^fp^CTION 

MAXIMUM EXCURSION J 

MINIMUM EXCURSION ^ 

MEDIUM EXCURSION \ J!?^!™!., 
( DIRECTION 
MAXIMUM EXCURSION J 



J une 1983 © B YTE Publication* Inc 39 



A/D converter into a low state. After 
con versio n is complete, the A/D read 
line (RD), pin 14) is brought low to 
latch the data onto the 5204's output 
lines. At a clock rate of 450 kHz, the 
5204 completes the 8-bit conversion 
in approximately 73 microseconds. 

The digital representation of the in- 
put data from the 5204 is fed into a 
CD4014 serial-to-parallel converter 
(IC9) for transposition into the serial 
format required by the MSM5218's 
input. Because we are using an 8-bit 
converter and the MSM5218 expects 
12-bit input, the four remaining low- 
order bits are clocked in as zeros by 
the CD4024 counter (IC7) and sec- 
tions of the quad NAND gate (IC6). 
These components provide four extra 
SICK (serial input OR clock) pulses 
with zero-logic-level data. 

Selectable Parameters 

The MSM5218 can analyze or syn- 
thesize ADPCM speech using a vari- 
able sampling rate. Three internal 
preset VCLOCK rates can be selected, 
or an externally supplied signal up to 
384 kHz can be used. The logic levels 
on the 5218's pins Si and S2 define 
the VCLOCK reference in both 
analysis and synthesis modes, as 
shown in the lower right corner of 
figure 7. The host computer, or any 
other external hardware, synchro- 
nizes itself with the 5218 by monitor- 
ing the state and transition timing of 
the VCLOCK signal (pin 1). 

In addition to selecting the 
VCLOCK rate, you can choose en- 
coding of the ADPCM data in either 3 
or 4 bits, depending upon the logic 
level on the 4B/3B line (pin 7). A 
logic 1 selects 4-bit ADPCM values. 

Data Transfer and Rates 

In the dual-function MSM5218, the 
data lines DO through D3 are bidirec- 
tional and used either for output of 
analyzed ADPCM data (for storage) 
or for input to the speech-synthesizer 
circuitry. In the analysis mode (with 
pin 6 held high), the current encoded 
ADPCM value is available on DO 
through D3 at the occurrence of the 
rising edge of VCLOCK. If you have 
set Si and S2 for 8 kHz and 4B/3B for 
4-bit data, the resulting bit rate is cal- 
culated as follows: 



MSM5218 INTERNAL BLOCK DIAGRAM 



r _ 



"~i 



BIN/TOCl 



MSB 



12-BIT 
SFR 

(s IN /p 0UT } 



LSB 
SI 



12 



ADPCM 

ANALYSIS 

STAGE 



SI-CK I 
AD-SI | 
S~C0N I 



XT I 
XT 



SlL 
S2|- 



TIMING 

AND 
CONTROL 



-*|D3 

-^Dl 
-*(D0 

f 

H4B/3B 
HA NA /SYN 



ADPCM 

SYNTHESIS 

STAGE 



V-CKp- 



I L I 



10-BIT 

D/A 

CONVERTER 




MSB/SO 



12-BIT 
SFR 

( p IN' s 0UT> 



ISO-CK 



Tl T2 



SFR-SHIFT REGISTER 



S 1N /P 



OUT 



-SERIAL IN/ PARALLEL OUT 



Figure 6: Functional block diagram of the Oki Semiconductor MSM5218RS ADPCM 
integrated circuit. 



8000 X 4 bits = 32,000 bps 

Remember that we originally calcu- 
lated that a rate of 96,000 bps would 
be needed to reproduce speech with 
this same fidelity. (Here we used an 
8-bit A/D converter for economy; the 
bit rate would be the same for a 12-bit 
converter.) 

With a slight sacrifice in fidelity, 
the bit rate can be reduced further. By 
selecting the 4-kHz sample rate and 
3-bit ADPCM codes, a 12,000 bps 
rate is achieved. 

This may still sound like a lot of 
data, especially when you compare it 
to phoneme and LPC (linear-predic- 
tive coding) speech synthesizers like 
the Votrax SC-01A and the Digitalk- 
er, which by comparison use data 
rates of 70 to 1000 bps. The differ- 
ence, of course, is speech quality and 
intelligibility. A phoneme or LPC 
synthesizer generates its own sounds 
and forms them into words. An 
ADPCM synthesizer, on the other 
hand, retains the inflection and in- 



tonation of the original human voice. 
With ADPCM, as with an analog re- 
cording, it's possible to have a voice 
output that reproduces the regional 
accents of the human speaker. 

The circuit of figure 7 can be used 
as both an analyzer and a synthesizer. 
Both subsystems function concurrent- 
ly when the MSM5218 is in the 
analysis mode; the results, the recon- 
structed waveform, can be heard in 
real time (delayed by 3 VCLOCK 
periods). In figure 7, this output is 
smoothed by a low-pass filter and ex- 
ternally amplified to drive a speaker. 

Use of the ADPCM Circuit 

As I said at the beginning, the pur- 
pose of this project is to create intel- 
ligible machine-generated speech. 
With the circuit of figure 7 connected 
to a Z80-based computer, and using 
the LOAD routine in the program of 
listing 1 (the algorithm shown in the 
flowchart of figure 8), you can 
analyze and store 10 seconds of 
speech (or 20 seconds at the 4-kHz 



40 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 2: Prototype of the speech analysis and synthesis circuit of figure 7, built around the Oki Semiconductor MSM5218RS 
integrated circuit. The empty IC socket is used for ribbon-cable connection to the host computer. 



sample rate). The program simply 
turns on the synthesizer by lowering 
the reset line and then observing 
VCLOCK. At every negative-going 
transition it reads a 4-bit ADPCM 
nybble (there are 2 nybbles per byte) 
and stores it in a memory-resident 
table. 

For experimental purposes I set this 
table to occupy a rather large region 
of user memory (40K bytes). For most 
practical applications, you might 
prefer to store segments of speech on 
disk and load them into memory in 
smaller increments. 

Once some speech has been stored, 
you can play it back using the DUMP 
routine from listing 1 (whose algo- 
rithm appears in figure 9). With the 
MSM5218 set to the synthesis mode, 
the ADPCM codes are sequentially 
loaded on each rising edge of 
VCLOCK. 



If you want to store some speech 
permanently and then play it back in 
a dedicated application (as an annun- 
ciator, for instance), you won't need 
the analysis part of the circuit after 
the ADPCM codes have been stored. 

One significant aspect 

of ADPCM speech 

synthesis is the ease of 

producing a custom 

vocabulary. 

For such cases you may wish to use 
the synthesize-only circuit of figure 
10, which uses the 18-pin MSM5205RS 
ADPCM-synthesis chip instead of the 
dual-function 24-pin 5218 (see photo 
3 on page 48). The 5205's synthesis 
capabilities are equal in every way to 
thoses of the 5218, but the 5205 saves 
the expense and complication of the 



analysis section. The resulting 2-chip 
circuit, the parts of which cost less 
than $15, can be easily manufactured 
for a variety of applications. 

I was pleasantly surprised at the 
fidelity using ADPCM at 32,000 bps. 
It was still more intelligible than the 
majority of current synthesis tech- 
niques even at 12,000 bps. While test- 
ing the software I attached the input 
of the analysis unit to an FM radio. 
Even when using the 1.7-kHz filters, I 
was surprised how good even music 
sounded. 

Summary of ADPCM Synthesis 

Probably the most significant 
aspects of ADPCM speech synthesis 
are the simplicity of the hardware and 
the ease of producing a custom vo- 
cabulary. You don't have to send a 
word list and recording tape to a 
manufacturer and wait for the com- 

Text continued on page 48: 
June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 41 



5V 
A 



10 M F 



AUDIO 
INPUT 

"1 



ft? 



1M 



1M 




10/*F 
TANTALUM 



> L -M1 ± r— 

4 ici | 470K 

7 MC1458 i 






/?7 



+ 5V 



v cc 

IC2 

IN ALP-2 OUT 

2kHz 

LOW-PASS FILTER 

GND 



IC3 
CD4069 



T 



11 



IC4 
CD4 013 



CLK Q 

R 



Id 



12 



+ 5V 
A 



14 



10 



r^ 



v cc 



IC4 
CD4013 



CLK Q 

GND R 



T 



A 



1M 
-WV- 



+ 5V 



450kHz 
CRYSTAL 



;220pF 




;220pF 



13 



14 



16 



10 



m 



18 



INT 



V R V CC 
D7 
D6 
D5 
D4 
D3 
D2 
Dl 
DO 



IC8 

MSM5204 
8-BIT A/D 



RD 
CS 
GND 
GND 



CLK IN 



J^U 



15 



17 



m 



Figure 7: An ADPCM speech analysis and synthesis (storage and reproduction) circuit built around the Oki MSM5218R5 chip. A 
low-cost 8-bit A/D converter is used in place of a higher '-resolution and more costly 12-bit converter. The Oki MSM5204RS 8-bit 
CMOS A/D converter, used in this circuit, contains a successive-capacitor-ladder conversion system. It also incorporates a sample- 



42 June 1983 © BYTE Publication* Inc 



TTL INPUT INTERFACE 
Dl D2 D3 



VCLOCK 



S-CON 

Tl DAS V SS 



11 



16 



elC6 
CD4011 



15 




RESET 







12 



rn 




20K .»- \\± 

volume !*« — }r~ 



CONTROL 



/77 



-5V 



10/iF 
TANTALUM 



i 



V CC 

IC11 
N ALP-2 

2kHz 
LOW-PASS FILTER 

GND 



OUT 



T 



10/xF 



SI 


S2 


SAMPLING FREQUENCY 








4kHz 





1 


6kHz 


1 





8kHz 


1 


1 


EXTERNAL 



♦ BIDIRECTIONAL DATA BUS 
FOR EXPLANATION SEE TEXT 




-o 



AUDIO OUT 



r> 



and-hold stage that enables direct input of rapidly changing analog signals. An external clock signal provides timing for the chip; the 
clock's frequency is not critical and can be anywhere from 450 to 500 kHz. 

The frequency bandwidth of the signal input to the A/D converter is limited by an active low-pass filter, 1C2, an Oki ALP-2 filter 
with a 1. 7-kHz cutoff frequency and attenuation of 18 dB per octave above the cutoff frequency. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 43 




INITIALIZE 
BUFFER START 
AND END 
POINTERS 



ENABLE 

ADPCM 

CHIP 



INPUT 
NYBBLE 



SAVE IN 
■C REG 



INPUT 
NYBBLE 



COMBINE SAVED 
+ CURRENT 
NYBBLE 



WRITE BYTE 
TO DATA 
BUFFER 



STEP TO NEXT 
DATA BUFFER 
LOCATION 




f RETURN J 



Listing 1: Z80 assembler program to control the speech-synthesis circuit of figure 7. 



Figure 8: Algorithm of the LOAD routine 
in the program of listing 1. Used with the 
circuit of figure 7 ', LOAD takes analog 
voice signals from a microphone or other 
source and stores them in ADPCM-en- 
coded form in user memory. 





00010 ; 










00020 j 


THESE 


ROUTINES ARE USED 


TO ALLOW A Z-80 




00030 ; 


BASED 


MICRO TO LOAD AND 


DUMP THE 4 BIT 




00040 } 


NYBBL.ES CREATED BY THE 


OKI ADPCM CHIP. 




000 50 ; 










00060 


ONE I/O PORT IS USED FOR BOTH INPUT AND 




00070 


OUTPUT. THE BIT MAP FOR 


THE PORT IS AS 




00030 


FOLLOWS : 






00090 










00100 










00110 


1 B7 


B6 B5 B4 B3 B2 B1 BO 




00120 




ft 


ft » * 




00130 




D3 D2 D1 DO 




00140 










00150 




• CLOCK ON INPUT, RESET 




00160 




ON 


OUTPUT 




00170 










00180 


I ft 


* » UNUSED 






00190 










00200 










00210 


; SINCE 


THE MASTER CLOCK 


OF THE OKI CHIP IS 




00220 


; USED 


BY THIS PROGRAM, ANY OF THE CLOCK 




00230 


; RATES 


MAY BE SELECTED WITHOUT MODIFYING 




00240 


; THIS 


CODE. 






00250 










00260 


; AT 8KHZ, YOU WILL, FILL 


4K BYTES PER SECOND. 




00270 










00280 








4000 


00290 




ORG 4000H 


START AT 4000H 3M D/G CPU. 


4000 


00300 


u,OAD 


EQU $ 




4000 F5 


00310 




PUSH AF ; 


SAVE ANY REGS 


4001 C5 


00320 




PUSH BC ; 


THAT I WILL CLOBBER 


4002 E5 


00330 




PUSH HL ; 


DURING THE ROUTINE 


4003 2641 


00340 




LD H.41H ; 


BUFFER STARTS AT 


4005 2£00 


00350 




LD L.OOH 


4100H 


4007 06DF 


00360 
00370 
00 380 




LD B,0DFH j 


AND ENDS AT DFOOH 


4009 3E00 


00390 




LD A,00H ; 


PICK UP 0. 


400B D311 


00400 
00410 


r 


OUT (11H),A 


AND TURN OFF RESET TO ADPCM 


400D CD2740 


00420 


-03P1 


CALL NIN ; 


BIT UP NYBBLE FR0:*i ADPCM 


4010 07 


00430 




RLCA 


PUT THE 


4011 07 


00440 




RLCA ; 


NYBBLE AT THE 


4012 07 


00450 




RLCA ; 


TOP OF THE 


4013 07 


00460 




RLCA 


REGISTER- 


H0 14 4F 


00470 




LD C,A ; 


AND SAVE IN THE C REG 


4015 CD2740 


00430 




CALL NIN 


PICK UP ANOTHER NYBBLE 


4018 B1 


00490 




OR C 


COMBINE WITH SAVED NYBBLE 


4019 77 


00500 




LD (HL),A 


AND SAVE IN THE BUFFER 


401A 23 


00510 




INC HL ; 


STEP TO NEXT LOCATION 


401B 73 


00520 




LD A,B 


PICK UP END POINTER 


401C BC 


00530 




CP H 


ARE WE AT THE END ? 


401D 20EE 


00540 




JR NZ,L03P1 


NO, DO ANOTHER 


40 1F 3EFF 


00550 




LD A,0FFH 


YES, PICK UP ALL 1'S 


4021 D311 


00560 




OUT (11H),A 


AND RESET THE ADPCM 


4023 E1 


00570 




POP HL 


[ RECOVER THE 


4024 C1 


00530 




POP BC 


; SAVED REGISTERS 


4025 F1 


00590 




POP AF 


WE SCRAMBLED 


4026 C9 


00600 
00610 
00620 
00630 




RET 


\ AND RETURN TO THE CALL.ER- 


4027 


00640 


NIN 


EQU $ 




4027 DB11 


00650 


INHIW 


IN A,(11H) 


; PICK UP INPUT FROM ADPCM 


4029 CB67 


00660 




BIT 4, A 


; CHECK FOR A 1 ON THE CLOCK 


402B 23FA 


00670 




JR Z, INHIW 


; WAIT FOR ONE TO COME 


402D DB11 


00630 


INLOW 


IN A,(11H) 


; PICK UP INPUT FROM ADPCM 


402F CB67 


00690 




BIT 4, A 


; CHECK FOR A ON THE CLOCK 


4031 28FA 


00700 
00710 




JR Z, INLOW 


; WAIT FOR ONE TO COME 




00720 


I WHEN A 1 TO ) TRANSIT 


ION HAS OCCURRED, THE DATA 




00730 


; IN 


THE A REG IS THE N 


YB3LE WE WANT TO STORE- 




007 40 








4033 E60F 


00750 




AND OFH 


; MASK OFF THE HI BITS 



Listing 1 continued on page 46 



44 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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Circle 402 on Inquiry card. 



Created by Dayner/Hall, Inc., Winter Park, Florida 



Listing 1 continued: 








4035 C9 


00760 
00770 ; 
00730 ; 
00790 
00300 
00310 
00820 
00330 




RET ; 


AND RETURN TO CALLER 


4035 


00340 I 


)UM? 


EQU $ 




4036 F5 


00350 




PUSH AF ; 


SAVE THE RE3S 


4037 C5 


00860 




PUSH BC J 


JUST LIKE 


4038 E5 


00370 




PUSH H'„ ; 


BEFORE 


4039 2641 


00330 




uD H,41H ; 


SET UP START 


4038 2E00 


00390 




r -D u.OH ; 


ADDRESS OF BUFFER 


403D 06DF 


00900 




uD B,ODFH ; 


SET UP END TOO 


403F 3E00 


00910 




LD A,OOH ; 


PICK UP ALL O'S 


4041 D311 


00920 
00930 
00940 


> 


OUT (11H),A ; 


AND TURN OFF RESET TO ADPCrt 


4043 7E 


00950 


-00P2 


LD A,(HL) J 


PICK UP STORED DATA BfTfi 


4044 E6F0 


00950 




AND OFOH 


; ISOLATE THE UPPER N/B^LE 


4046 07 


00970 




RLCA ; 


AND StfINQ 


4047 07 


00930 




RLCA 


IT TO 


4048 07 


00990 




RLCA 


THE LOWER 


4049 07 


01000 




RLCA ; 


NfBBLE 


404A CD6040 


01010 




CALL Nour 


WRITE THE NfB&LE TO THE ADPCrt 


404D 7E 


01020 




LD A,(HL) 


PICK UP THE BfTfi AGAIN 


404 E E60F 


01030 




AND OFH 


LOWER NIBBLE THIS TIME 


4050 CD6040 


01040 




CALL NOUT 


; WRITE IT TO THE ADPCrt 


4053 23 


01050 




INC HL 


STEP TO NEXT BUFFER POSITION 


4054 78 


01060 




LD A,B 


; PICK UP END OF BUFFER POINTER 


4055 BC 


01070 




CP H 


I ARE WE THERE fET ? 


4056 20EB 


01030 




JR NZ.L00P2 


j NO, DO SOME rtORE 


4053 3EFF 


01090 




LD A,OFFH 


j PICK UP ALL 1'S 


405A D311 


01100 




OUT (11H),A 


; TURN ON RESET TO ADPCrt 


405C E1 


01110 




POP HL 


; RECOVER THE 


405D C1 


01120 




POP BC 


; RE3S THAT WE 


405E F1 


01130 




POP AF 


; HAVE CLOBBERED 


405F C9 


01140 
01150 
01160 
01170 


» 


RET 


; AND RETURN TO CALLER 


4060 


01180 


Nour 


EQU $ 




4060 4F 


01190 




LD C,A 


; SAVE A FOR LATER 


4061 DB11 


01200 


CLOW 


IN A,C11H) 


; PICK UP ADPCrt B/r£ 


4063 CB67 


01210 




BIT 4, A 


; TEST FOR BIT 


4065 20FA 


01220 




JR NZ,OLOW 


; WAIT FOR ONE TO COrtE 


4067 DB11 


01230 


3HIW 


IN A,(11H) 


; PICK UP ADPCrt flfTE 


4069 CB67 


01240 




BIT 4,A 


; TEST FOR 1 BIT 


406B 28FA 


01250 
01260 




JR Z.OHIW 


; WAIT FOR ONE TO COrtE 




01270 


■ WHEN 


TO 1 TRANSITION 


IS DETECTED, WE PUT OUR DATA 




01280 


; our 


TO THE ADPCrt. 






01290 








406D 79 


01300 




LD A,C 


; RECOVER THE SAVED DATA 


406E D311 


01310 




OUT (11H),A 


; WRITE TO THE ADPCrt 


4070 C9 


01320 
01330 
01340 
01350 
01360 




RET 


; AND GO BACK TO CALLER 




01370 


; END 


UTINES 




01380 










01390 








0000 


01400 




END 




00000 TOTAL 


ERRORS 








DUrtP 4036 00340 








INHIrf 4027 00650 


00670 






IN^Orf 402D 


00630 


00700 






'.OAD 4000 


00300 








L00P1 400D 


00420 


00540 






'.00P2 4043 


00950 


01030 






NIN 4027 00640 


00420 


00430 




MOLJr 4060 


01130 


01010 


01040 




OHIrf 4067 


01230 


01250 






XOrf 4061 


01200 


01220 







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46 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 346 on Inquiry card. 



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f START J 



SAVE 
REGISTERS 



INITIALIZE 
BUFFER START 
AND END 
POINTERS 



ENABLE 
ADPCM 
CHIP 



WRITE TO 
ADPCM 



STEP TO NEXT 
DATA BUFFER 
LOCATION 



GET BYTE 
FROM BUFFER 



ISOLATE 

UPPER 

NYBBLE 




RESTORE 
REGS 



[ RETURN J 



WRITE TO 
ADPCM 



GET BYTE 
FROM BUFFER 



ISOLATE 

LOWER 

NYBBLE 



Figure 9: Algorithm of the DUMP routine from listing 1. This routine takes the stored 
ADPCM-encoded speech from memory and causes the circuit of figure 7 to reconstruct 
the voice waveforms. 



Text continued from page 41 
pany to spend days doing a Fourier 
analysis of the tape. To produce a 
ROM (read-only memory) containing 
your custom vocabulary, you can use 
merely a microphone and a simple 
LOAD /DUMP routine. It may re- 
quire 4 to 5 times more memory space 
than other high-intelligibility speech- 
synthesis schemes, but the price of 
that memory is minuscule compared 
to the cost of producing vocabularies 
for the other schemes. 

Future Applications of ADPCM 

We've looked at ADPCM here only 



as it relates to voice synthesis, but in 
actuality, the possible applications of 
ADPCM to speech recognition 
prompted my initial interest. 

The first phase of any speech- 
recognition technique is digitizing the 
waveforms and getting them into the 
computer for analysis, compression, 
and comparison. My previous article 
on voiceprints (reference 5) demon- 
strated the large quantity of hardware 
necessary to merely condition the 
waveform for traditional speech- 
recognition methods. With ADPCM 
and these Oki chips, we have an inex- 




Photo 3: Prototype of the synthe- 
size-only circuit of figure 10, built 
around the MSM5205RS chip. 



pensive (under $30) circuit for digitiz- 
ing voice waveforms and presenting 
them to a computer in a form that it 
can digest. 

Even though 1500 to 4000 bytes of 
raw data per second of speech stream 
into the computer, the data thus 
recorded should be unique for each 
individual word. Speech recognition 
could be accomplished by brute-force 
comparison of all the data, or 
perhaps there exists some applicable 
compression algorithm that might 
reduce one second of data to 200 
bytes or so. The final compacted data 
would not be for reconstruction of 
the original waveform but rather 
stored as a signature of the input 
word (derived from an ADPCM code 
table) for use in comparison. 

We have accomplished the first 
step and now have means to place the 
ADPCM codes in memory. In the 
course of the next few months I will 
be experimenting with various com- 
pression and comparison techniques 
in hope of developing a practical 
speech-recognition project. But if by 
chance you happen upon the solution 
to the problem overnight, let me 
know. 



Next Month: 

A four-channel real-time appliance 
controller using a TMSlOOO-series 
4-bit microprocessor. ■ 



48 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




RESET | > <► 



VCLOCK<^ \ 



7. / / / 



SW1 



RESET 



UUU'„ 



3B/4B SI 



/77 



Figure 10: ^4 voice-reproduction circuit built around the Oki MSM5205RS speech-synthesis chip. This circuit is useful in applications 
where you need a fairly inexpensive means of reproducing a custom vocabulary. You can store your vocabulary with the circuit of 
figure 7, and load the encoded speech into this simple circuit for output. 



References 
Ciarcia, Steve. "Build a Low-Cost Speech 
Synthesizer Interface." June 1981 BYTE 
page 46. 

Ciarcia, Steve. "Build the Microvox Text 
to-Speech Synthesizer." Part 1 
September 1982 BYTE, page 64; Part 2 
October 1982 BYTE, page 40. 
Ciarcia, Steve. "Build an Unlimited 
Vocabulary Speech Synthesizer 
September 1981 BYTE, page 38. 
Ciarcia, Steve. "Talk to Me: Add a Voice to 
Your Computer for $35." June 1978 
BYTE, page 142. 

Ciarcia, Steve. "Use Voiceprints to 
Speech." March 1982 BYTE, 



3. 



Analyze 
page 50, 
General 
Speech 



Explanation of Oki ADPCM 
Synthesis LSI (MSM5205RS). 
Tokyo: Oki Electric Ltd., 1982. 
Mier, Edwin E. "Competitors Fear 
AT&T's New $1 Billion Scheme." Data 
Communications, December 1982, page 
39. 



Editor's Note: Steve often refers to previous 
Circuit Cellar articles as reference material for 
each month 's current article. Most of these past 
articles are available in reprint books from 
BYTE Books, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 
POB 400, Hightstown, NJ 08250. 

Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar, Volume I covers ar- 
ticles that appeared in BYTE from September 
1977 through November 1978. Ciarcia's Circuit 
Cellar, Volume II contains articles from 
December 1978 through June 1980. Ciarcia's 
Circuit Cellar, Volume III contains the articles 
that were published from July 1980 through 
December 1981. 



Digitalker is a trademark of National Semi- 
conductor Corporation. 




For those of you who would like to con- 
struct an ADPCM analyzer /synthesizer, 
the chips are readily available from Oki 
Semiconductor Corporation as part of an 
experimenter's kit. 

Included are: 

• Oki MSM5218 analyzer /synthesizer 

• Oki MSM5205 synthesizer 

• Oki MSM5204 8-bit A/D converter 
•384-kHz ceramic resonator 

• Oki MSM5128-15 CMOS 2K by 8-bit 
static RAMs (eight) 

• ALP-2 hybrid 1.7 -kHz filter 

• ALP-4 hybrid 3.4-kHz filter 

The package is called the Real-Voice 
Application Kit. It sells for $89 post- 
paid (check or money order only — no 
CODs or company purchase orders) 
and can be ordered from: 

Oki Semiconductor, Inc. 

1333 Lawrence Expressway, Suite 401 

Santa Clara, CA 95051 

telephone: (408) 984-4842 

TWX: (910) 338-0508 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 49 



If you want it fast, 
call us first. 

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



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2710 4 SERIAL I/O 279.00 

2719 2 SERIAL / 2 PARALLEL I/O 289.00 

2720 4 PARLLEL I/O 219.00 

2810 Z-80 CPU 259.00 

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 

UOS 212 LP (1200 Baud) 429.00 

UOS 103 JLP AUTO ANS 209.00 

HAYES MICROMOOEM It 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 

HAZELTINE ESPRIT 1 510.00 

VISUAL-50 GREEN 690.00 

TELEVIDEO 910 630.00 

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 



TANOON 40 TRK DISK DRIVE W/P.S.. .289.00 
LNW 5/8 DOUBLER W/OOSPLUS 3.4... 181.00 
LNW EXPANSION INTERFACE 350.00 

IBM HARDWARE 

SEATTLE 64K RAM + 355.00 

OUADBOARD 64K CALL 

64K MEMORY UPGRADE 80.00 

APPARAT COMBO BOARD 175.00 

AST CALL 

MICROSOFT 64K 278.00 

T/G JOYSTICK 47.95 

T/G TRACKBALL. 47.95 

HERCULES GRAPHICS CARD 546.00 

TECHMAR 5 MB HARD DRIVE 2394.00 

CORONA 5 MB WINCHESTER 1790.00 

KRAFT JOYSTICK 48.00 

Oavong Systems, Inc. Call for prices and stock. 

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. 
Tandon TM100-1 Single head 40 irk. ...195.00 
Tandon TM100-2 Double head 40 trk . . .262.50 
Tandon TM55-2 Vi Height 262.50 

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 THINLINE8 INCH 

848-1 SINGLE SIDE 379.00 

848-2 DUAL SIDE 490.00 

MICRO PRO 

APPLE CP/M® 

WORDSTAR*! 279.00 

SUPERSORT't 179.00 

MAILMERGE't- 174.00 

OATASTAR'1 207.00 

SPELLSTAR't 174.00 

CALCSTAR't 10900 

MICROSOFT 

APPLE 

FORTRAN* 150.00 

BASIC COMPILER* 299.00 

COBOL* 550.00 

Z-80 SOFTCARD 249.00 

RAMCARO 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 

PREMIUM PAK 517.00 



CP/M is a reg. trademark of Digital Research. 'Requires Z-80 Softcard. tReg. trademark of Micro Pro International Corp. {Trademark of Practical Peripherals. Inc. 



"Trademark ol Software Dimensions. Inc. 



IBM SOFTWARE 

LOTUS 1.2.3 397.00 

MULTIPLAN 209.00 

IWFOSTAR 279.00 

H0WARO SOFT TAX PREP 209.00 

VOLKSWRITER V 1.2 145.00 

WRITE ON 90 00 

EASYWRITER li 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 

OATASTAR 207.00 

SPELLSTAR 174.00 

SUPERSORT 179.00 

d BASE II 429.00 

THE WORD PLUS 117.00 

T.I.M. Ill 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 

VERSAFORM 312.00 

CONCURRENT CP/M* 86 315.00 

GRAPHICS HARD COPY SYSTEM 19.50 

PFS: FILE 97.50 

PFS: GRAPH 97.50 

PFS: REPORT !. .97.50 

BENCHMARK 388.70 

Call for additional IBM software prices. 



IBM GAME SOFTWARE 

ZORK I, II, III 28.00 

WIZARDRY 46.76 

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*S0FT FLIGHT SIMULATOR 38.95 

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



APPLE SOFTWARE 

HOWARD SOFT TAX PREP 189.00 

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 

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 

TAX ADVANTAGE 4500 

VISICORP 

DESKTOP PLAN II 189 00 

VISIPLOT 158.00 

VISITREND/VISIPLOT 229 00 

VISIOEX 169.00 

VISITERM 79.00 

VISICALC 189.00 



TRS-80 SOFTWARE 

NEWDOS/80 2.0 MOD I. Ill 139.00 

LAZY WRITER MOO I. II 165.00 

PROSOFT NEWSCRIPT MOO I. Ill w/labels109.00 

SPECIAL DELIVERY MOD I. Ill 119.00 

X-TRA SPECIAL DELIVERY MOO UN. ...199. 00 

TRACKCESS MOO 1 24.95 

OMNITERM SMART TERM. MOO I.I 1 89, 3d 

MICROSOFT BASIC COMP FOR MOD I. .165.00 
LDOS 5.1 MOO I. Ill 119.00 



1983 Word Rocessor Special 



FRANKLIN ACE 

1000 1395.00 

FRANKLIN ACE SYSTEM 

DISK DRIVE W/ CONT. . . .539.00 

ACE WRITER 

WORD PROCESSOR 129.00 



EPSON MX-80 645.00 

B.M.C. GREEN 129.00 

SCOTCH 3M DISKETTES. 44.00 

APPLE TO EPSON 
INTERFACES CABLE.. 



.129.00 
J3QW 



Now $1983 



* * FRANKLIN 1200 CALL * * 

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



VISIFILES..... 189.00 

VISISCHEDULE 229.00 

CP/M® SOFTWARE 

Wp. carry CP/M® software in all popular disk 
formats — Northstar. Televideo, and Heath/Zenith 
formatted programs in stock 1 Call for availability 
and price. Most software 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 1 349.00 

PASCAL/M Z-80 OR 8080 295.00 

DIGITAL RESEARCH 

MAC 82.00 

ZSIO 92.00 

PASCAL MT+ W/ SSP 429.00 

PL/ 1-80 439.00 

C BASIC 2 109.00 

SUPERSOFT 

DIAGNOSTIC II 89.00 

'C'COMPILER 179.00 

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 

TRS-80 GAMES 

Specify MOD I or III 

DEADLINE 38.00 

STARCROSS 31.16 

FROGGER 16.45 

FLITE SIMULATOR 28.31 

Call for more TRS-80 games. 



APPLE & ATARI GAMES 

ZAXXON 31.16 

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. II. Ill 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 44.38 

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 

MASK OF THE SUN 31.16 

A.E 23.72 

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 

EVOLUTION 33.80 

SIRIUS SOFTWARE 

space eggs 23.36 

gobgqn :■ •: 

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 OlSK) 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 

LUNAR LEEPER 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 Chicago: 

(312)464-1236 

lnNew\bfk: 

(212)509-1923 

InLosAngetes-. 

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

(2»)99M6Q^ 

^CALL OUR MODEM LINE . 
I FOR WEEKLY SPECIALS. 

L_ ' 




IPUTER 
PRODUCTS 

31245 LA BAYA DRIVE 
WESTLAKE VILLAGE. CA 91362 

* For all your computer product 
needs, come visit us at our 
new California store. 



Satisfaction Assurance — Your satisfaction is assured by our 30 day moneyback guarantee on all hardware products we sell. No refunds after 30 days. All manufacturers' warranties are honored by manufacturers Defective 
software will be replaced free during the first 30 days, however, no refunds or exchanges on software. Proof of purchase required. All returns must be authorized in advance. How To Order — All orders must be paid prior 
to shipment. Order by phone or by mail. Use Visa, M/C. check or COD. COD limit $300. Shipping charges: Visa. M/C orders = actual shipping costs. Prepaid orders add $3 (under 25lbs.) or $6 (over 25lbs.) COD's use 
prepaid rates and add $4 surcharge. Foreign , FPO and APO orders add 15% of order total. Calif, orders add 6% sales tax, L. A. County add 67j% sales tax. Prices quoted are subject to product availability and may change without notice. 



Circle 14 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 51 




1 6-BIT 



The state of the art in micropro- 
cessor technology has advanced a 
great deal in just one year. New 
applications programs and systems 
software designed specifically for 
1 6-bit microcomputers make this 
new group of machines perform in a 
way that's all but impossible for 
8-bit micros. Last year the theoreti- 
cal advantages of 1 6-bit micropro- 
cessors were clear but using re- 
vamped 8-bit software made their 
performance disappointing. The 
1 6-bit world is just opening up. 

In this issue we look at several 
new 1 6-bit micros, both portable 
and desktop models; a popular 
1 6-bit operating system; a new 
1 6-bit language; and a 1 6-bit 
operating environment for applica- 
tions programs. 

I'll begin with the Sunrise. This 
new machine has three micropro- 
cessors, with an 8088 as its main 
processor. It's an office computer 
that is portable in two different 
senses: the entire computer will fit 
in an attache case, but the keyboard 
is also a separable, very light, 
battery-powered computer with its 
own 8-bit processor and liquid- 



crystal display. 

A good-looking machine, the 
Gavilan portable combines the com- 
puting power of an Intel 8088 
microprocessor with a software ar- 
chitecture that an 8-bit processor 
could not support. The hardware is 
at least a year ahead of its time. 
Gavilan designers have packaged 
336K bytes of RAM, a bit-mapped 8 
by 66 liquid-crystal display, and 
320K bytes of disk storage in a 
machine less than a foot square and 
only 2.7 inches thick. 

The DEC Professional 350 is a 
single-chip microcomputer version 
of a 1 6-bit Digital Equipment Corp. 
minicomputer— an arrangement that 
brings minicomputer software and 
processing power into the micro- 
computer world. With the telephone 
management option, this computer 
offers advanced voice and data 
features. 

The Hewlett-Packard Series 200 
Model 16 uses HP's own 16-bit 
BASIC and reveals the great compu- 
tational power of its microprocessor 
unhampered by an 8-bit language. 
The Series 200 Model 1 6 also rep- 
resents a milestone in concentrated 




52 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



DESIGNS 



computing power. In a remarkably 
small box (233 square inches), the 
computer holds up to three quarters 
of a megabyte of RAM, which gives 
the 68000 processor plenty of 
room in which to work. 

The 1 6-bit Texas Instruments 
99/2 costs less than $100, and at 
that price is the world's best bargain 
in computing power. It is an ex- 
cellent home computer for students 
who use the Tl 99/4A in school. 
Software for the 99/2 will also run 
on the older 99/4A. 

The Altos 586 uses a 10-MHz 
8086 as its central processor and 
Intel's companion 16-bit input/out- 
put processor, the 8089, as an in- 
telligent disk controller. A Z80 
manages the system's serial ports. 
Together, the three processors 
create a high-performance six-to- 
ten-user system in a compact desk- 
top unit. 

The Fujitsu Micro 16s has five 
microprocessors in its standard con- 
figuration, with an 8086 as the 
main processor and a Motorola 
6809 managing the display. Fujitsu 
also offers optional 68000 and 
Z8000 processor boards, giving 



buyers a choice of today's three 
most popular 16-bit micropro- 
cessors. Fujitsu is the first company 
to install Concurrent CP/M on its 
own microcomputer, providing a 
degree of multitasking impossible in 
an 8-bit processor. 

The Pronto Series 1 6 uses the In- 
tel 80186 and an unusual physical 
architecture to minimize the desk 
space that it occupies. The 801 86, 
which incorporates the functions of 
20 to 30 chips in addition to the 
processor itself, can be used to 
create a very compact yet powerful 
machine. 

The Docutel/Olivetti M20 uses 
the Zilog Z8001 microprocessor 
and its own Professional Computer 
Operating System. The M20's 
underrated Zilog 1 6-bit chip pro- 
vides a unique ability to redefine 
some internal 1 6-bit registers as 
8-bit, 32-bit, or even 64-bit. 

The Sritek processors and 
memory boards for the IBM Personal 
Computer turn that popular machine 
into a powerful, 8-MHz Xenix 
system capable of supporting 
several users. Buyers can choose 
the Motorola 68000, the National 



Semiconductor 1 6032, or the Intel 
8086 or 80286 to be the heart of 
the PC. 

1 6-Bit Software 

Gary Kildall and David Thornburg 
describe DR Logo, Digital 
Research's 1 6-bit version of a 
language already popular in the 8-bit 
world. 

Tim Paterson, who wrote the 
original version of MS-DOS while at 
Seattle Computer, explains the 
workings of this 1 6-bit operating 
system in great detail. 

In an interview with BYTE, Bill 
Coleman of Visicorp provides a 
close look at the Visi On operating 
environment and the applications 
programs that will run under it. 

A Year's Progress 

Microcomputer technology is 
moving ahead fast and furiously. 
What's next? By June 1984, 
256K-bit RAMs will be common- 
place, 1 6-bit software will be in full 
flower, and even more powerful 
microprocessors will begin to ap- 
pear in products. 

— Phil Lemmons 




June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 53 



Sunrise Systems 

A Texas computer company produces a system 
to be custom-tailored by OEMs. 



Bruce Roberts 
Technical Editor 



Down in Texas the good ol' boys 
make good ol' computers. North of 
Dallas the Silicon Ranch stretches for 
miles in Texas's answer to 
California's Silicon Valley and 
Massachusetts' Route 128. Striking, 
futuristic buildings and industrial 
parks house many high-technology 
start-ups funded with venture capital 
as free-flowing as Texas crude oil. 
One of these companies is Sunrise 
Systems Inc. 

After looking at the numerous ex- 
isting computer systems, the lack of 
shelf space and dealers, and the costs 
of service and support staffs, Sunrise 
Systems decided to take a different 



approach in bringing its computers to 
market. Sunrise would design and 
produce computers, but let other 
companies worry about selling and 
servicing them. As an original equip- 
ment manufacturer (OEM) supplier, 
Sunrise set out to design a system that 
could be easily customized to the par- 
ticular needs of an individual vendor. 
The "Swiss Army" business computer 
that resulted has a little something for 
everyone but manages versatility in a 
practical, commonsense way. The 
most distinctive characteristic of the 
C8/16 system is the wealth of ap- 
plications programs included with it. 
When you turn on the system, your 




Photo 1: The C8/16 computer system from Sunrise Systems. The KP-C8 keyboard pro- 
cessor in the foreground with a 40-character by 6-line LCD is a prototype with six func- 
tion keys instead of 10. The microcassette tape recorder is on the right side of the unit, 
above the speaker grill. The ROM pack on the left plugs into the side of the keyboard 
by the display. The FP-8/16 flat pack in the rear has two half-height 5V*-inch disk 
drives and a P-4/4 color graphics printer. 



program choices are shown immed- 
iately on the screen: an appointment 
calendar, a four-function calculator, a 
speaker telephone and auto dialer, a 
tape recorder for dictation, a teletype 
terminal, a typewriter /electronic note 
taker, Microsoft BASIC, and more. It 
sounds like a general-purpose 
business machine and it is. 

The C8/16 system from Sunrise 
Systems (see photo 1) consists of a 
portable computer with a 
40-character by 6-line or 80-character 
by 3-line liquid-crystal display (LCD) 
that can be connected to a main 
system unit complete with disk drives 
and both 8- and 16-bit 
microprocessors. The portable por- 
tion, called the KP-C8 keyboard pro- 
cessor, has an 8-bit CMOS (com- 
plementary metal-oxide semiconduc- 
tor) NSC800A microprocessor and 
can be battery powered. The 
microprocessor is National Semicon- 
ductor's low-power version of the 
Zilog Z80 that can run all the popular 
CP/M software. This unit is loaded 
with features, including a 
microcassette drive for voice and 
digital storage, an integral high-speed 
modem, a real-time clock, serial and 
parallel input/output (I/O), televi- 
sion and color-monitor outputs, 
telephone and data links, 64K bytes 
of dynamic random access read/write 
memory (RAM), and 16K bytes of 
CMOS static RAM (expandable to 
64K bytes) for battery-powered use. 
All of the built-in programs just men- 
tioned are stored in the 32K bytes of 
read-only memory (ROM). The 
keyboard processor with all these 
abilities weighs less than 5 pounds. 

The main system unit, or FP-8/16 



54 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



flat pack, is designed to stay in the of- 
fice and has a 16-bit 8088 and an 8-bit 
Z80A microprocessor. The list of 
standard features includes 128K bytes 
of RAM (expandable to 512K bytes), 
two 5V4-inch disk drives that store 
160K or 320K bytes in an IBM PC- 
compatible format, a 300- to 
1200-bit-per-second (bps) modem, 
serial and parallel ports, RGB (red- 
green-blue) color-monitor output, an 
external disk-drive connector, and 
telephone and data input/output. 
This unit is the heavy portion, and it 
weighs a manageable 15 pounds. 

Marketing the Sunrise System 

Sunrise is orienting this system 
toward professionals and managers 
with limited computer experience. 
The designers think the middle 
managers of business have been ig- 
nored by the computer industry or 
presented with computers that are not 
very easy to use. Sunrise is aiming for 
the over-35, first-time computer user, 
with sales representatives, managers, 
and business professionals at the 
center of the marketing efforts. 

The main criteria for business com- 
puters as Sunrise sees it are reliability, 
service availability, general-purpose 
multiple functions, simplicity, price, 
and portability, in about that order. 

The concept of an office in a brief- 
case should appeal to many business 
people on the go. The lightness of the 
keyboard processor will also be ap- 
preciated. The C8/16's improved 
communications give rise to an ex- 
tended office; salespeople can call in 
orders from the field and receive price 
updates in return, or people can take 
the portable unit home and access in- 
formation back at the office in the flat 
pack unit. 

The Keyboard Processor Software 

The terminology and focus for this 
computer system are different from 
those of most existing microcom- 
puters. With this system, you push 
buttons; you don't type keystrokes. 
The advanced programs in cartridge 



Photos © Bob Lukeman, Southern Lights 
Studio Inc., 1983. 




Photo 2: The Xerox 1800 portable computer is a custom version of the C8/16 com- 
puter system from Sunrise Systems. Note that the Xerox model uses the 
80-character by 3-line LCD. The briefcase is optional. 



The Xerox 1800 Portable 
Computer 

From the folks who brought you the 
Memory-writer, Xerox's answer to the 
IBM Selectric typewriter, we now have 
the Xerox 1800 portable computer. All 
five of the founders of Sunrise Systems 
worked at Xerox previously, so it 
should not be a surprise that Xerox will 
be among the first customers relabeling 
and marketing the Sunrise system. In 
fact, Xerox gave rise to Sunrise 
Systems by looking for an outside sup- 
plier to redefine initial Xerox designs 
and produce an integrated, portable 
business computer. Thus, Sunrise 
Systems was formed in June 1982 
and in October began producing the 
first prototypes of the computer. 



Xerox handles all marketing, ser- 
vice, and support for its version of the 
Sunrise. Sunrise designs and manufac- 
tures the units for Xerox to its 
specifications. 

The Xerox 1800 portable computer 
uses the 80-character by 3-line liquid- 
crystal display (LCD) version of the 
keyboard processor, and the case 
design, layout, and colors are unique, 
but most of the other specifications re- 
main the same. Xerox is offering its 
own cathode-ray tube (CRT) terminal 
as an option. 

The estimated prices are $2000 for 
the keyboard processor and $4000 for 
the keyboard, printer, and the flat 
pack together. 



form aren't called software; they are 
applications packs, similar to video 
game cartridges. 

For example, to simplify the 
system, Sunrise uses the built-in 
microcassette drive, a tutorial ROM 
pack, and the LCD display to in- 
troduce the computer to the first-time 
user. A tutorial audio cassette gives a 
brief overview of the computer and 
walks you through all the different 
programs and functions. The user's 



manual has been kept concise and 
very short, 30 pages. Realizing that 
most people don't read manuals but 
just start using the machine, Sunrise 
made the manual short and simple 
with a style similar to the two-level 
approach of the menus on the screen. 
After being selected from the menu of 
programs, each program presents a 
menu of its options. The nesting of 
the programs doesn't get any more 
complicated than that on the screen. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 55 



At a Glance 

Name 

C8/I6 Computer System 



Manufacturer 

Sunrise Systems Inc. 
2209 Midway Rd. 
Carrolltown, TX 75006 



Components 

KP-C8 keyboard processor 
Size: 1 6 inches wide, 9 inches deep, 2 inches high 
Weight: 4.5 pounds 

Electrical needs: rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries or I 10 VAC adapter 
Processor: 2.5-MHz National Semiconductor NSC800A (CMOS version of Z80J 
Memory: 32K bytes of system ROM, I6K bytes of CMOS RAM, 64K bytes of dynamic 

RAM, 64K-byte ROM packs with applications, 64K bytes of CMOS RAM optional 
Keyboard: standard typewriter-style keyboard with 63 keys, 10 function keys, and 4 

cursor-control keys 
Display: 40-character by 6-line or 80-character by 3-line liquid-crystal display with 

graphics capability (240 by 64 or 479 by 24 dot matrix). Television output: 

40-character by 24-line text. 256 by 1 92 pixel bit-mapped graphics with 1 5 colors; 

software-labeled function keys 
Standard: built-in direct-connect modem. 300 or 1 200 bps; real-time clock; 

microcassette tape recorder, with 512K bytes of digital data or 1 5 minutes of analog 

voice; input/output ports: RS-232C serial. Centronics parallel, RGB monitor, television 

RF modulator, telephone, data link, and external microphone/speaker; built-in 

speaker; power-on self-test of components; cartridge slot for ROM packs 
Software: calendar, calculator, speakerphone and auto dialer, tape recorder/dictation, 

teletypewriter terminal, typewriter/note taker. Microsoft BASIC 
FP-8/16 flat pack 
Size: 1 8 inches wide. 1 2 inches deep, 3 A inch high 
Weight: 1 5 pounds 
Electrical needs: 1 10 VAC 

Processors: 4.77-MHz Intel 8088 and 3.58-MHz Zilog Z80 
Memory: I28K bytes of dynamic RAM. expandable to 512K bytes 
Disk drives: two 5/4 -inch floppy-disk drives, I60K or 320K bytes each 
Display: RGB or 8/W monitor output: 80-character by 25-line or 40-character by 

25-line text; 1 60-by-200-pixel 16-color, 320-by-200-pixel 4-color, or 640-by-200-pixel 

B/W bit-mapped graphics. 
Standard: built-in direct-connect modem. 300 or 1200 bps; real-time clock; input/output 

ports: RS-232C serial, Centronics parallel. RGB or 8/W monitor, telephone, data link. 

power, internal printer port, and memory expansion 
Software: CP/M-80, CP/M-86. and MS-DOS operating systems 
EB-SS expansion box 
Size; 1 8 inches wide. 1 2 inches deep, 3 A inch high 
Electrical needs: 1 10 VAC 

Disk drives: two 5/4 -inch single-sided floppy-disk drives, I60K bytes each 
Standard: disk-drive controller; data-link input/output port 
Software: CP/M-80 operating system 
P-4/4 color graphics printer 
Size: Vh inches wide, fits into flat pack unit 
Standard: 4-color text and graphics printer, roll paper; installs in the flat pack unit or 

the expansion box 

Typical System Price 

Approximately S2000 for the keyboard processor, and $4000 for the complete C8/I6 
system with keyboard processor, flat pack, and color graphics printer. 



Software ergonomics guided the 
layout of the 10 function keys for the 
applications built into the system 
ROM. Certain functions are assigned 
to a key and remain consistent 
throughout the different programs. 
One example is the quit function 
(software-labeled EXIT) on the 
rightmost function key. 

The software labels for the function 
keys appear across the bottom of the 
screen, showing what each key does 
when pressed. Initially, the labels 
provide a main menu of what ap- 
plications are available on the com- 
puter. When you choose an applica- 
tion, the labels across the screen 
change to reflect the new meaning of 
the function keys under that pro- 
gram. The menus are never nested 
more than two deep. 

The basic functions in the Sunrise 
keyboard-processor firmware are 
calendar, calculator, loading other 
software from a ROM pack or disk, 
speakerphone and auto dialer, tape 
recorder, teletypewriter terminal, 
typewriter/note taker, Microsoft 
BASIC, time and date, and setup. All 
functions work in the battery- 
powered (portable) mode except for 
the typewriter (print mode), terminal, 
and telephone, which require full 
power for operating I/O devices. 

The calendar holds as many as 250 
entries (limited to 10K bytes of 
CMOS memory), more than enough 
for a week's appointments. Each 
40-character entry is automatically 
stored in CMOS memory. Entries can 
be added, changed, or deleted, with 
three entries visible on the LCD 
screen and more on an external 
monitor. Alarms may be set for each 
event that will sound if the system is 
on. 

The four-function calculator is sim- 
ple and straightforward, with a 
memory and the ability to use 
variables. The basic math functions 
and three memories are provided. If a 
printer is attached to the system, the 
results may be printed as well as 
displayed on the LCD screen. 

A ROM pack function allows other 
software to be loaded and run from 
ROM packs that plug into the 
keyboard unit. Similarly, a link func- 
tion allows software to be loaded and 

Text continued on page 60: 



56 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 







QUADCHROME " BYQUADRAM " 
DOESN'T DRAW THE LINE AT COLOR GRAPHICS 



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With a monitor that gives 
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You'll find this .31 mm dot 
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On top of that, the WY300 gives you a 
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run from a floppy disk when the flat 
pack unit or expansion box is at- 
tached. 

The telephone program has options 
for a speaker telephone (using the 
keyboard's speaker), an answering 
machine, an auto dialer that can 
redial the last number, manual dial- 
ing, call answering, hanging up, hold, 
volume controls, and a directory of 
phone numbers. The telephone 
answering machine uses the cassette 
to answer the phone and play a 
recording, gives a tone, records a 
message, and then resets for the next 
call. The telephone directory can hold 
30 entries for your most frequently 
called numbers. Each number can be 
dialed with a single key command 
that is as many as 30 characters long. 
This will fit an alternate long-distance 
service number and access code. The 
telephone dialer can automatically 
strip off the area code when calling 
local numbers. 

In tape recorder mode, you can use 
the keyboard processor as a dictation 
machine with all the functions of a 
portable audio-cassette recorder. The 



function keys provide rewind, find (a 
tape block name), fast forward, stop 
(the tape), play, volume up, volume 
down, record, pause, and exit (to 
return to the main menu) capabilities. 

The terminal program lets you use 
the keyboard as a dumb terminal to 
send and receive data over the 
telephone line. The software permits 
either automatic or manual dialing of 
a remote computer as well as deter- 
mination by you of the settings for 
duplex modes and parity. The inter- 
nal modem handles communications 
at 300 bps (Bell 103 compatible) or at 
1200 bps (Bell 202 compatible). When 
the keyboard is connected to the flat 
pack, data transfer takes place at the 
higher rate. The time of connection 
and length of the call are displayed 
with the help of the real-time clock. 

The typewriter function expects a 
printer to be attached to the system 
for printer output after each character 
is typed, after each carriage return, or 
upon command. You can specify 
margin and tab settings. Before the 
characters are sent out to the printer, 
the output can be edited. All the nor- 



mal typewriter characters are 
available, but underlining and 
boldface are not supported. 

The note-taking mode uses 10,000 
characters of the nonvolatile CMOS 
memory, which you can save as a file 
on the cassette before continuing to 
enter another note. The program 
prompts you as the memory fills up. 
Files may be entered, edited, deleted, 
printed (in the full power mode), 
saved to the tape, or retrieved from 
the tape. You provide the file name 
for the document, and the system 
keeps track of the time and date it 
was created, as well as the last date 
that it was revised. 

The setup program lets you change 
many of the default values for the 
system. You can suppress the soft- 
ware labels at the bottom of the 
screen if you want a larger window 
area, or if you are familiar with the 
functions and don't need to be 
reminded. 

The cassette drive turned out to be 
a better storage device than was an- 
ticipated. You can store as many as 
512K bytes of digital information on 



Continuous CHECKS, 

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60 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 274 on inquiry card. 





Tallgrass Technologies 









TALLGRASS AND YOUR IBM® PC 

Tallgrass Technologies is the industry leader in 
Winchester HardFile™ and streaming tape subsystems 
for the IBM® PC and related computers. Fortune 500 
corporations, banks, governmental agencies, and 
small businesses throughout the world depend on 
Tallgrass HardFile subsystems for their mass storage 
and backup requirements. 

Tallgrass offers formatted capacities from 6.25 Mb to 
70 Mb with integral streaming tape back-up. Our pro- 
prietary disk/ tape controller with integral 10K track 



our DMA host interface, offers high performance pre- 
viously unavailable with 5Vi* disk systems. 



WHAT ABOUT DATA INTEGRITY? 

Tallgrass offers backup on ANSI standard Vk" tape 
cartridges, instead of the usual floppies, video cas- 
settes, or low-capacity removable Winchester devices. 
The Tallgrass 12.5 Mb formatted HardFile can back 
itself up on a $39.95 data cartridge in less than 
10 minutes! 



TALLGRASS IS UNSURPASSED 

We've done our homework in engineering and build- 
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performance and convenient backup for the most 
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requirements. 

From $2,995 U.S. including integral tape back-up. 
Available from COMPUTERLAND® and other 
participating computer dealers. 

Exclusive Canadian Distribute r Exclusive European Distributor 
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M 1 1 1 1 » Corporation 

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Telex: 215406 TBYT UR 



a microcassette. The cassette can be 
used to provide backup storage for 
data and programs on the Sunrise 
system. When used as a dictation 
machine, the Sunrise will store 15 
minutes of speech on each side of the 
tape. 

The software follows the same 
''open architecture" concept that the 
hardware does. The machine can be 
custom configured by putting 
together the appropriate existing 
modules along with specialized ac- 
counting, financial, or insurance pro- 
grams that a customer would like in- 
cluded. Putting the programs into 
system ROM and setting up the 
menus and function keys should be 
fairly easy for Sunrise. 

Software Expandability 

More sophisticated programs can 
be used by plugging in the ROM car- 
tridges (ROM packs) or loading disk- 
based software from the flat pack or a 
disk expansion box. The ROM packs 
contain as many as 64K bytes of 
memory, leaving room for larger pro- 
grams like the Suncalc electronic 



spreadsheet, expanded calculator and 
calendar programs, and maybe even 
games. Games? Why not? Virtually 
every business computer has some 
games. The new electronic office 
worker should be allowed a little levi- 
ty. All work and no play makes the 
Sunrise a dull computer. 

An integrated office-function pack 

More sophisticated 

programs are possible 

by using ROM packs or 

loading software 

from the flat pack. 

has extended versions of the phone, 
calendar, and text/note-taker pro- 
grams. This may be expanded into an 
integrated word-processor, spread- 
sheet:, database, and graphics pro- 
gram, too, given the current 
popularity of the 1-2-3 and Context 
MBA all-in-one programs. 

ROM packs can be used to address 
vertical markets without creating new 
versions of the machine. A program 
that helps keep track of field sales by 



outside salesmen is near the top of the 
list for applications to be put into 
ROM packs. 

Sunrise systems plans to produce a 
graphics pack designed to utilize the 
keyboard's 80-character by 3-line 
LCD with its bit-mapped graphics. 
The keyboard system will support the 
CP/M graphics system extension 
(GSX) and its utilities for the 479 by 
24 dot display. Most graphics for this 
display thus far have been limited to 
games. 

The management of files or lists of 
information with a database manager 
is another likely candidate for a ROM 
pack program. This capability would 
let you organize the type of informa- 
tion and how it is stored in, for exam- 
ple, a mailing list. 

An IBM 3270-series terminal 
emulator is a logical choice for an ad- 
ditional program that will handle 
communications with corporate 
mainframes. Many data-processing 
managers are getting more involved 
in microcomputer access to company 
information and insisting on 3270 
communications protocols. This op- 



PICK A 




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We're offering you our SB-80 system in either 5 1/4" or 8" 
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with a full size (12" diagonal) non-glare tiltable green 
screen with 24 lines by 80 character format. Its multi- 
character set offers blinking cursor, underlining, reverse 
video, and half and zero intensity. The movable, detach- 
able keyboard has a numeric pad with cursor control and 
function keys. 



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62 June 1983 © byte Publications inc Circle 63 on Inquiry card. 




The Professional's Editor for 
Program Development 
Word Processing 
Source CodeTranslations 



Widely acclaimed as an editor, VEDIT has 
evolved to be much more. Only VEDIT offers 
the combination of a versatile full screen 
editor integrated with a powerful command 
language. For the first time you'll be able to 
perform complex, yet useful, text manip- 
ulations that are virtually impossible with 
other editors or word processors. Plus, its 
customizability and hardware support 
ensure that VEDIT will be perfectly matched 
to your individual needs and to any 
microcomputer you are ever likely to own. 

With two modes of operation, VEDIT never 
compromises its speed or ease of use for its 
power and sophistication. As one reviewer 
(Bradford Thompson, BYTE) Wrote: 'If this 
review gives you an appetite for simplicity 
while editing, then VEDIT is well worth 
considering.' Its command language, based 
on TECO, is virtually a text oriented 
programming language, allowing command 
macros to be created, loaded and saved on 
disk. Yet its simplicity allows even a novice to 
perform tasks beyond the capabilities of any 
word processor. 



VEDIT cuts programming time in half - with 
multiple file handling, macro capability and 
special features for Pascal, PL/1, 'C, Cobol, 
Assembler and other languages. And it can 
help with source code translations (example 
Z1LOG to/from INTEL translator macros are 
included). A complete line of translators will 
be available by the year's end. 

Word processing is a snap with word wrap, 
paragraph and print functions. Command 
macros free you from tedious search/ re- 
place operations. Hundreds of search/re- 
place on dozens of files can be performed by 
VEDIT without waiting or intervening. 

VEDIT easily configures to your favorite key- 
board layout. Use any function or cursor 
keys you wish. It optimally supports nearly 
every 8080, Z80 and 8086 computer. 

Go ahead and expect a lot from VEDIT. Its 
performance and our support will satisfy 
your most exacting needs. 

To order, please specify your 8080, Z80 or 
8086 microcomputer, operating system and 
disk format. 



COMPARE VEDITS FEATURES 



IBM PC Displaywriter Zenith Z100 and Z89°NEC APC°DEC Rainbow and VT180 ° Televideo 802 

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VEDIT - Disk and Manual 

8080, Z80 or IBM PC $150 

CP/M-86 or MSDOS $195 

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True Full Screen Editing 
Horizontal scrolling 
Edit files one disk in length 
Automatic Disk Buffering 
Compact (only 16K) and Fast 
Display of line and column # 
Set/Goto text markers 
'Undo* key to restore line 
Automatic Indent/Undent 
Adjustable Tab positions 
Repeat function key 
Text Move and Copy 
10 Scratchpad Buffers 
Load/Save buffers on disk 
Powerful command macros 
Directory display 
Edit additional (small) 
files simultaneously 
Insert another disk file 
Unlimited file handling 
Recovery from 'Full Disk' 
Change disks while editing 
Word wrap, format paragraph 
Simple Printing 
1 50 page indexed manual 
Startup command file 
Menu driven installation 
Program CRT function keys 
Support newest CRT terminals 
Support smart CRT functions 
Flexible Memory Mapped support 
Customizable keyboard layout 








CP/M and MP/M are registered trademarks erf Digital Research Inc. Apple II is a registered trademark, 
of Apple Computer, Inc. MS-DOS and Softcard are trademarks of Microsoft "TRS-80 is a trademark 
of Tandy Corporation. IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines. 



CompuView 



PRODUCTS, INC. 



Circle 95 on inquiry card. 



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Circle 326 on inquiry card. 



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tion would allow the Sunrise to in- 
teract directly with the mainframe in- 
stead of just uploading and massaging 
information. This disk-based pro- 
gram would require the use of the flat 
pack with its disk drives. The 3270 
program would turn the keyboard 
and flat pack units into a 3270 look- 
alike terminal. The keyboard pro- 
cessor would talk to the flat pack, 
which would send information on to 
the mainframe computer. 

The flat pack provides the disk 
drives and microprocessors that 
enable the C8/16 system to run the 
CP/M-80, CP/M-86, or MS-DOS 
operating systems and their 
numerous business programs. The 
programs can be used as they are with 
an 80-character by 25-line external 
monitor. To fit the smaller LCD- 
screen formats, however, they will 
probably need to be modified. A ver- 
sion of BASIC for the 8088 
microprocessor is available in a ROM 
pack. 

The KP-C8 Keyboard Processor 

The KP-C8 keyboard processor has 
a standard typewriter-style 
keyboard, as its name implies. 
Sunrise kept the keyboard simple so 
that novice computer users would not 
be intimidated or overwhelmed by an 
array of keys and functions (like the 
IBM Personal Computer keyboard). 
With the exception of the Shift Code, 
all of the 63 keys automatically repeat 
after being held down for Vi of a sec- 
ond. The 10 function keys are in- 
tegrated into all the software modules 
and reduce the number of dedicated 
function keys. They are not labeled 
on the keyboard; their functions are 
controlled by the software and iden- 
tified by labels that appear on the 
bottom row of the LCD screen. The 
cursor (arrow) keys can be used alone 
or with the Code and Shift keys to 
move the cursor one character, to the 
edges of the display, or to the begin- 
ning or end of a file, or to scroll the 
display up and down. 

The receptivity of the business 
market to LCDs seems to be good. 
Sunrise Systems is currently offering 
a 40-character by 6-line or an 
80-character by 3-line display on the 
keyboard processors. Sunrise uses 



only bit-mapped LCDs (429 by 24 
dots on the 80 by 3 display) to get 
limited LCD graphics capabilities. 
The labels across the bottom of the 
screen for the 10 function keys pro- 
vide one example of this. The 
brightness and contrast of the liquid- 
crystal display are adjustable through 
software as part of the setup pro- 
gram. 

The 8-bit NSC800A micro- 
processor runs at 2.5 MHz in either a 
batter-powered or full-power mode. 
This low-power CMOS Z80 work- 
alike is conservatively rated to run 
for two hours off the batteries. Ten 
hours seems to be a more realistic 
estimate. A low-power indicator 
warns you if the batteries are low. 
When you turn the power on, the 
system performs its own diagnostics 
and checks out the various com- 
ponents. 

The keyboard processor can switch 
between as many as four 64K-byte 
banks of memory. The first bank of 
memory contains the 32K bytes of 
system, extended system, and iden- 
tification ROMs and 16K bytes of 
battery-powered CMOS RAM. 
Theoretically, you can use a full 64K 
bytes of CMOS memory instead of 
just the 16K bytes supplied with the 
system, but you probably won't need 
to. The system seems to get along fine 
with its current setup. The design will 
accommodate the new 8K by 8 
CMOS static RAMs. These RAMs 
will provide four times the current 
CMOS memory capacity. 

The second bank of memory allows 
for as many as 64K bytes of expan- 
sion memory in each ROM pack. The 
system switches from internal 
memory to the external memory in 
the ROM cartridges as if the memory 
chips on the printed-circuit board had 
been replaced by the ROM chips. 

The third bank of main system 
memory uses the 64K bytes of 
dynamic RAM in the full-power 
mode. A fourth bank of auxiliary 
RAM will allow for future system ex- 
pansion of 64K bytes of CMOS 
RAM. 

The Sunrise system has three 
methods of getting software into the 
computer's memory. A program can 
be part of the 32K bytes of system 



64 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



CP/M givesyou a new world of PC power 




...fora new low price 



Now, for just $60, you can have the world's most popular 
operating system for your IBM® PC. Only $60 for instant 
access to the largest collection of applications software in 
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ware programs for every business and educational need. 

New highs in productivity. 

New enhanced CP/M-86® comes with print spooling, an 

exclusive feature that increases the work power of your 

IBM PC like no other operating system can. With print 

spooling you can print documents and run applications 

programs at the same time. And, for the ultimate in 

efficiency, all CP/M-86 programs are upward-compatible 

to Concurrent CP/M™ 1 the productivity breakthrough 

that lets your PC run as many as four different 

programs simultaneously! 
New high-performance graphics. 
Another unique advantage of enhanced 
CP/M-86 is GSX™ the new graphics 
extension that allows CP/M to operate 



This lets you choose from a growing array of exciting, 
sophisticated graphics applications packages which run 
under the widely-accepted GSX standard. 
Great high-level languages. 

For programming under CP/M, Digital Research offers 
the most complete selection of professional-quality 
languages and utilities for the IBM PC: CBASIC® and 
CBASIC Compiler,™ Pascal/MT + ,™ CIS™ and Level 
II COBOL,™ "C PL/I, DR Logo™ and more. 
High time to buy! 

Before now, you'd pay $250 for CP/M-86 and another 
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| reach of any budget! You'll find this enhanced 

CP/M-86 value in The CP/M Library,™ a selection 
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the latest graphics hardware devices. The best of everything in software. Pacific Grove, CA 93950. 

IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines, Corp. CIS and Level IJ COBOL are trademarks of Micro Focus, Ltd. The logo and tagline, CP/M, 
CP/M-86, Concurrent CP/M, GSX, CBASIC, CBASIC Compiler, Pascal/MT+, DR Logo and The CP/M Library are either trademarks or registered trademarks 
of Digital Research Inc. © 1983, Digital Research Inc. 

Circle 126 on inquiry card. 



ROM inside the keyboard processor, 
it can be loaded by plugging in a 
ROM pack, or it can be loaded from 
an external floppy disk into system 
memory (RAM). The operating 
systems, computer languages, and 
application programs are available in 
several combinations of these forms. 

All of the keyboard features work 
in the full-power mode of operation. 
Under battery power only the 
microprocessor, 16K bytes of CMOS 
RAM, internal ROM, liquid-crystal 
display, keyboard, ROM packs, and 
tape drive features may be used. 

If you look at the back of either 
unit, you will be greeted by connec- 
tors of every sort. The I/O ports on 
the back of the keyboard include data 
in and out, telephone in and out, RS- 
232C serial I/O, parallel I/O, televi- 
sion output, external monitor output, 
and auxiliary speaker/microphone 
I/O. The data port attaches the 
keyboard processor to the flat pack 
or expansion box with a high-speed 
data-packet link, but it does not use a 
full synchronous data-link control 
(SDLC) protocol. The two telephone 



jacks enable you to connect a 
telephone device to the computer 
along with the keyboard unit. 

The keyboard processor can be 
hooked up to a television via the 
radio frequency (RF) modulator con- 
nector, with 40 characters by 24 lines 
of text in an alphanumeric mode and 
256 by 192 pixels with 15 colors in a 
bit-mapped graphics mode. These 
display modes are provided by a 
Texas Instruments 9918 chip, com- 
plete with sprite graphics capabilities 
that are not yet used by the com- 
puter. 

The keyboard also has a TI 76489 
sound-generator chip that can pro- 
duce three independent musical 
voices and one voice of noise. This 
could give the Sunrise computer 
musical abilities equal to the best of 
the low-cost color computers like the 
Commodore 64. At this time, the 
company is not actively supporting 
this feature. 

The underside of the keyboard pro- 
cessor presents a graphic description 
of the system layout and cable inter- 
connections. Once you begin to con- 



nect the keyboard processor to other 
system units, the mobility can be 
hampered by the cables attached to 
the back. In your office you will prob- 
ably want to have the power plug- 
ged in, a data link or telephone cable 
connected to the flat pack unit, and 
possibly a cable hooked up to a 
printer. All those cables coming out 
the back of the keyboard make it 
more cumbersome to hold in your lap 
or to move around the room. 

FP-8/16 Flat Pack Features 

The flat pack unit is designed to 
make it easy and comfortable to 
move up to floppy disk and network- 
ing capabilities. The flat pack ex- 
pands the keyboard processor's 
capabilities with the floppy disk's 
faster data storage and retrieval, the 
downloading of programs and data, a 
hard copy or disk "message server," 
IBM PC-compatible disk formats, 
and dual processors that can run both 
the CP/M and MS-DOS operating 
systems with their numerous pro- 
grams. The flat pack can also func- 
tion as a computer using the 



Graphics Plus 





GRAPHICS-PLUS is a field installable enhancement board for 
the popular Zenith 1 Z19 video terminal adding many power- 
ful features found only on terminals costing much more. 
GRAPHICS-PLUS provides Tektronix 2 4010 compatible vector 
drawing graphics, VT100 3 compatible 80 and 132 column 
display formats, off-screen scrolling memory, program- 
mable function keys, "Plain English" menu -driven Set-up 
mode, and a host of other enhancements. Installation can be 
accomplished within 15 minutes using only a screwdriver, 



GRAPHICS-PLUS 

an enhancement 

For Z19 Terminals 

from 

Northwest Digital Systems 

Tektronix 2 4010 Compatible Graphics 
512 Horiz by 250 Vert Resolution 
80/132 Col and 24/49 Line Text Displays 
Seven Page Off-Screen Text Memory 
» Menu-driven "Plain English" Set-up Mode 
! 16 Programmable Keys- 128 Chars Each 
Optional Hardcopy Port 
^ Simple Field Installation 1 ™ Zenim 



1 TM Zenith 

2 TM Tektronix 

3 TM DEC 



GP- 1 9 Upgrade for Z 1 9 Terminal 
Z1 9 Terminal With GP- 1 9 Installed 



$ 1495 



Northwest Digital Systems 
P.O. Box 15288, Seattle, WA 981 15 (206) 362-6937 



66 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 283 on inquiry card. 






1 



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05 -= <D 



coOOOQliQ 



Hank: Here's the report you've been 
waiting for, Hope you put your system 
on automatic and didn't wait up. 



To all reps: Price changes on follow- 
ing items effective immediately: 
' k 10-lllA. 10-114A; 10-AL. 



m 




Hake that, bud. (And retaliate fast. 
I know phone rates are low now, 
but game's cutting into sack time.) 




*y 




Your computer's telephone. 




Wouldn't it be great if, somehow, you /////0 
could connect your computer to your 
accountant's, down the street? To the 
IBM** PC at the branch office, upstate? 
Or to your favorite chess challenger, 
across country? 




With a telecomputing system by 
Hayes, you can. 

Quickly Easily And for the price of 
a phone call. 

Hayes Smartmodem. Think of it as 
your computer's telephone. Hayes 
Smartmodem 300, and the faster 
Smartmodem 1200, work with any 
computer with an RS-232 I/O port. 
They allow you to communicate, 



over ordinary phone lines, all 
across America. 

But any modem will send and 
receive data. 

Smartmodems also dial, answer 
and disconnect calls. Automatically 
Without going through the telephone 
receiver, making them far superior 
to acoustic coupler modems. 
Choose your speed; choose your 
price. The lower-priced Smartmodem 
300 is ideal for local data swaps 
and communicates at 300 bps. 
For longer distance and larger 
volumes. Smartmodem 1200 
communicates at 1200 bps or up 
to 300 bps, with a built-in selector 
that automatically detects trans- 
mission speeds. 

Both work with rotary dials, 
Touch-Tone* and key-set 
systems; connect to most 
timesharing systems; and 
feature an audio speaker. 

Either Smartmodem is a perfect 
match for many different computers. 
And if you have an IBM PC, Hayes 
also provides the perfect communi- 
cations software. 



Smartcom II™ We spent a lot of time 
developing our software, so you can 
spend less time using it. Smartcom II 
prompts you in the simple steps required 
to create, send, receive, display list, 
name and re-name files. It even receives 
data completely unattended— especially 
helpful wnen you're sending work from 
home to office, or vice versa. 

And if you need it, there's always 
"help!' One of several special functions 
assigned to IBM function keys, this 
feature explains prompts, messages, 
etc. to make communicating extra easy. 

With Smartcom II, it is. The program 
remembers communication parameters 
for 26 different remote systems. Just 
punch a key, you're all set. 

You can treat dial-up and log-on 
sequences the same way In fact, Smart- 
com II comes with codes already set up 
for four popular information services. 
COMPUSERVE®DIALOG'S KNOWLEDGE 
INDEX™ DOW JONES NEWS/RETRIEVAL® 
SERVICE, and THE SOURCES AMERICAS 
INFORMATION UTILITY.™ Procedures 
for obtaining an account with each of the 
services are included in the Smartcom II 
manual. But that's not all. 

Special offers for Smartcom II 

owners! Dow Tones 
News/Retrieval 
Service has a special 
introductory offer for 
Smartcom II owners. By calling a toll- 
free number, they receive a free 
password and one free hour of service 
anytime after 6:01 p.m., local time. 

You'll also be entitled to a valuable 



^^ m ^ Special offers 

QD Hayes 



68 BYTE June 1983 




subscription offer for THE SOURCE. 
Smartcom II owners who subscribe to 
THE SOURCE will receive one free 
hour of daytime service. 

Like all our products, Smartcom II 
and both Hayes Smartmodems are 
backed ,.a by excellent 




documentation and full support from 
us to your dealer. 

So see him today. Break out of 
isolation. Get a telephone for your 
desktop computer. 

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

Smartcom II is a trademark of Hayes Microcomputer 

Products. Inc. 

*TM American Telephone and Telegraph 

* "IBM is a registered trademark or International Business 

Machines. Corp. 
© 1983 Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. 
Sold only in the U.S.A. 

COMPUSERVE INFORMATION SERVICE is a registered 
trademark of CompuServe, Incorporated, an H & R Block 



KNOWLEDGE INDEX is a service mark of DIALOG 

Information Services. Inc. 

DOW JONES NEWS/RETRIEVAL is a registered trademark of 

Dow Jones S. Company, Inc. 

THE SOURCE and AMERICA'S INFORMATION UTILITY are 

service marks of Source Telecomputing, a subsidiary of The 

Reader's Digest Association, Inc. 



Circle 169 on inquiry card. 



keyboard processor as a display ter- 
minal. 

A 16-bit 8088 microprocessor con- 
trols the flat pack unit, making larger 
program workspaces possible because 
the 8088 can address 1 megabyte of 
memory. The Z80A microprocessor 
enables this dual-processor system to 
run all the CP/M-80 software. Disk- 
based software on the flat pack can be 
loaded into the keyboard processor 
and run, or the keyboard unit can act 
as a display for the flat pack. ROM 
packs can also be plugged into the flat 
pack. 

For the flat pack the possible con- 
nections include telephone in, 
telephone out, data in, data out, ex- 
ternal monitor output, serial I/O,, 
parallel I/O, external disk, and 
power. The reset button and power 
switch are also on the back of the flat 
pack unit. A real-time clock with bat- 
tery backup uses an LED display that 
shows through the little window on 
the front of the flat pack to indicate 
the power is on. 

The built-in modem can transfer 
data at 300 bps (Bell 103-compatible) 
or 1200 bps (Bell 202-compatible) 
through the telephone connectors. 
The data connectors are the other half 
of the high-speed data-packet link to 
the keyboard processor, which passes 
blocks (packets) of information back 
and forth. The video output can 
display 80 or 40 characters by 25 
lines of text; it can display, with 
bit-mapped graphics, a 160 by 200 
dot array in 16 colors, a 320 by 200 
dot array in 4 colors, or a 640 by 200 
dot array in black and white, all on 
an external black and white or RGB 
monitor. 

Part of Sunrise's concept of a com- 
puter system is that the main process- 
ing unit with the disk drives doesn't 
need to be on someone's desk. The 
flat pack can easily be on a credenza 
or table in the office, accessible by a 
cable or telephone link to the 
keyboard processor. This approach 
allows a flat pack unit to be shared 
between several keyboard processors 
that call the flat pack up at different 
times. Two keyboard processors can 
also be continuously sharing one flat 
pack in a local area network arrange- 
ment. Using a printer, the flat pack 






can act as a hard-copy 'message 
server," or by putting data on the 
disk, it can act as a disk message 
server. Sunrise is planning on adding 
an Ethernet interface later. 

Options and Extensions 

You can get the keyboard pro- 
cessor without the microcassette tape 
drive if you like, but it seems to pro- 
vide several useful features that 
justify including it in a typical 
system. The flat pack can be con- 
sidered an upgrade option too; the 
alternative is the EB-SS expansion 
box with just the floppy-disk drives 
and a disk controller. This would 
provide a minimal expansion unit for 
a single keyboard processor. 

The P-4/4 color graphics printer 
fits into the left rear corner of the flat 
pack and uses an internal printer 
port. Only 4V2 inches wide, it prints 
text and graphics in four colors on a 
roll of paper. 

A portable letter-quality printer 
that can handle multiple copies 
should be available soon. The low- 
profile printer uses 8 V2 -inch- wide 
paper, is only 2 inches high by 4 
inches deep, and prints as fast as 80 
characters per second. 

One insurance salesman says he 
could increase his closings by 100 per- 
cent with hard-copy printouts of con- 
tracts at the client's office. Real estate 
agents, insurance salespeople, and 
auditors could use the printer to leave 
copies of calculations and agreements 
with their customers. The ability to 
make multiply-copy impressions is 
important because many business 
forms have multiple layers. 

Sunrise is offering an optional 
briefcase into which the keyboard 
and flat pack units fit in two compart- 
ments. The briefcase splits apart be- 
tween the compartments to offer a 
smaller carrying case for just the 
keyboard processor. 

Battery-powered disks are also 
now possible. It might not be long 
before the disks and a printer could 
be put together into a portable unit 
that fits into a briefcase. 

Sunrise is planning to offer 80-char- 
acter by 6-line displays by the fourth 
quarter of 1983. You can have a 
display as large as 80 characters by 8 

June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 69 



lines without any change to the archi- 
tecture of the computer. Laboratories 
such as Thompson-CFF Corporation 
have produced 40-character by 
24-line displays, but they need to be 
more reliable. Eighty-character by 
24-line LCDs may be economically 
competitive with other types of 
displays by the end of 1984. 

Sunrise does not currently offer a 
cathode-ray tube (CRT) terminal 
with the common 80-character by 
24-line format, although represen- 
tatives did demonstrate one in their 
office with multicolor high-resolution 
graphics. Customers can get larger 
conventional displays now, but 
Sunrise will not sell the larger LCD 
screens or plasma displays until they 
come down in price. 

Summary 

Several configurations of the 
Sunrise computer system are possible 
due to the dynamic architecture of the 
C8/16 system. The system has been 
designed to be as flexible as possible 
and will accommodate future 



developments when advanced chips 
become inexpensive. The engineers at 
Sunrise have an ambitious goal of 
outperforming the product specifica- 
tions, so many capabilities are 
understated or conservative. A hard- 
disk drive interface and bit-mapped 
color graphics have already been put 
in the system. 

The specifications for the computer 
are updated every 3 to 4 months. The 
use of modular blocks of hardware 
that can be easily modified for 
customers makes this easy. The 
keyboard processor, for example, is 
made of seven blocks that can be 
powered up or down separately to 
conserve energy in the battery- 
powered mode. The software also 
follows this modular approach, giv- 
ing customers a choice of which pro- 
grams or functions are built into the 
keyboard unit. The system could 
easily be a dedicated financial or ac- 
counting processor. 

But Sunrise will be facing stiff com- 
petition from lower-cost battery- 
powered portable computers like the 



TRS-80 Model 100 with similar ap- 
plications. The Epson QX-10 also of- 
fers an easy-to-use package of in- 
tegrated programs, called Valdocs 
(valuable documents), in a stay-at- 
home computer. However, the Epson 
HX-20 portable computer is limited in 
its business capabilities when com- 
pared to the Sunrise keyboard pro- 
cessor. 

One way of viewing the Sunrise 
system is as a vastly improved ver- 
sion of the Sony Typecorder for the 
same price. All of the components of 
the Sunrise C8/16 computer system 
have feature-rich hardware and a 
flexibility of operation not that com- 
mon in personal computers. Sunrise 
Systems has modest plans for its first 
year; it will be happy selling about 
20,000 machines. End users will be 
getting an excellent deal, a custom 
computer for less than the price of an 
IBM Personal Computer. The 
specifications of the customer come 
first at Sunrise. Perhaps this is the 
dawning of a new age of dedicated 
computers. ■ 



Mmyam industries, inc. 



In Texas Orders 

Questions & Answers 

1-713-392-0747 



22511 Katy Freeway 
Katy (Houston) Texas 77450 



To Order 
1-800-231-3680 
800-231-3681 



SAVE BIG DOLLARS ON ALL TRS-80 HARDWARE & SOFTWARE 

TRS-80® BY RADIO SHACK. Brand new in cartons delivered. Save state sales tax. Texas residents add only 5% sales tax. 
OpenMon.-Fri. 9-6, Sat. 9-1. We pay freight and insurance. Come by and see us. Call us for a reference in or near your city. 
Ref: Farmers State Bank, Brookshire, Texas. 



WE OFFER ON 
REQUEST 

Federal Express (Overnight Delivery) 

Houston Intercontinental 

Airport Delivery (Same Day) 

U.P.S. BLUE (Every Day) 

References from people who have 
bought computers from us probably in 
your city. We have thousands of 
satisfied customers. WE WILL NOT BE 
UNDERSOLD! 



ED McMANUS 




No Tax on Out of Texas Shipments! 



10% 15% 

OR MORE 

Telex 77-4132 (FleksHou) 

? TRS-80 is a Registered Trademark of Tandy Corp 



WE ALWAYS 
OFFER 

We accept Master Card, VISA, 
and American Express. 

We usa Direct Freight Lines. No 
long waits. 

We always £ay the freight and 
insurance 

Toll free order number 

Our capability to go to tha giant 
TRS-80 Computer warehouse 5 
hours away, in Ft. Worth, Texas, 
to keep you in stock. 

JOE McMANUS 



VISA 



70 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 235 on inquiry card. 



ZERO TO MULTIPLAN 

5.2 MINUTES. 




FINANCE OR ACCOUNTING WORKSHEETS FAST. 




Gentlemen, start your 
computers. 



Time: 



Select budget 
intervals. 



Time: 0.5 



Enter sales 
revenue. 



Time: 1.0 



Enter selling 
expenses. 



Time: 1.5 




Your sales budget an the 
Multiplan electronic 
worksheet- in record time. 



Time: 5.2 



First, Microsoft created 
the Multiplan interactive 
electronic worksheet, to 
help you analyze yourbusi- 
ness problems and explore 
possible solutions. Without 
1 asking you to become a 
computer expert. 

Now we've added the 
Multi-Tool™ budget and 
financial expert systems. 

They can help design 



and build financial or 
accounting worksheets 
tailored to your specific 
needs. In minutes. 

You won't have to worry 
about developing formulas 
or formatting screens to 
build your Multiplan work- 
sheets. Because the expert 
systems literally do it for you. 

For example, the Multi- 
Tool Budget expert system 
creates seven inter- 
related 



Multiplan Worksheets for a 
total budget planning and 
control environment. 

What's more, each system 
is developed by experts: 
business professionals and 
leading authorities in 
finance and accounting. 
Youll benefit from their 
knowledge immediately, 
through the powerful work- 
sheets each Multi-Tool 
expert system builds for 
you. And with the 
sophisticated 
tutorial manuals 
that accompany 
each system. Each 
manual provides 
in-depth informa- 
tion about both the 
design of the work- 
sheets and the 
areas of finance 
and accounting 
they cover. 




The result: a tailored 
electronic worksheet that 
helps you make high quality 
decisions. 

That's just what you'd 
expect from Microsoft. The 
people who let you con- 
centrate on your business 
rather than on your 
computer. 

Ask your computer dealer 
to let you test drive the new 
Multi-Tool expert systems. 
Better tools that help you 
put your business in first 
place. 



THE MULTI-TOOL EXPERT 
SYSTEMS. A POWERFUL 
ADDITION TO THE MULTIPLAN 
ELECTRONIC WORKSHEET. 

Available now: 

The Multi-Tool Budget 

expert system. 

The Multi-Tool Financial 

Statement expert system. 



BETTER TOOLS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS 

MICROSOFT 

Microsoft is a registered trademark, and Multi-Tool 
Multiplan and the Microsoft logo are trademarks 
of Microsoft Corporation, 




Quark introduces 

A deceptively simple solution 
to your word processing dilemma. 



If you're serious about word processing on 
your Apple*lle, you may be bewildered by the 
sheer number of programs available. And a 
tad perplexed by their claims and promises. 
After all, a glamorous package that says "easy 
to use," may not even be easy to open. 

The dilemma is real. And Quark is happy to 
provide the solution. 

A proven program for serious 
word processing. 

Quark's new Word Juggler lie turns your 
computer into a dedicated word processor. 
You get the extraordinary ease of use, sophis- 
ticated capabilities and straightforward docu- 
mentation that make our original Word Juggler 
a best seller on the Apple III. 

For example, there's virtually nothing to 
memorize. Because principal editing functions 
are identified on a unique keyboard template 



— and nineteen, easy-to-install, replacement 
keycaps. 

Changing keys is quick and simple, too. Just 
slide our special keycap remover over the key 

— twist — and pull. Your new keycaps can be 
in place in less than two minutes. 

A flexible tool to increase your 
productivity. 

But don't be. deceived by Word JuggleF He's 
disarming simplicity. The program packs the 
powerful features you need to quickly perform 
the most complex editing tasks. 

Characters, words, even entire paragraphs 
can be deleted with a single keystroke. There 
are search and replace keys. Block move and 
copy keys. And you always have instant con- 
trol over page length, margins and any other 
formatting parameters. 

Document display and print out are easy, 
also. One keystroke displays your document 
on the screen. Another prints it. And whether 





Word Juggler Me. 



you need to print only specific pages, multiple 
copies, or even documents too large to fit in 
memory, Word Juggler He can easily accom- 
modate you. 

A clever way to foil Mr. Murphy. 

Even the best of us occasionally forgets 
when "i" does not come before "e" — and 
even the most agile fingers can press the wrong 
key. So you should also give serious consider- 
ation to Quark's new Lexicheck® He — a spell- 
ing checker with a highly compressed, 50,000 
word dictionary. 

Accessed from within the word processor, 
this program lets you virtually eliminate typo- 
graphical errors and common misspellings. 
Lexicheck lie will scan your document at up to 
8,000 wpm — then highlight, in context, the 
first occurrence of any word it does not 
recognize. 

If the word is correct, as in the case of in- 
dustry jargon or abbreviations, you can simply 
add it to your personal dictionary. If the word is 
actually misspelled, you can swiftly correct it. 



'Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 

Qua k, Word Juggler and Lexicheck are trademarks of Quark, Incorporated, Denver, Colorado. 



A lot more. 

These are only some of the ways Word 
Juggler lie and Lexicheck lie can help solve 
your word processing dilemma. Your Quark 
dealer has even more details, as well as com- 
plete information on our line of office automa- 
tion tools for the Apple III. 

Ask for a demonstration today. 




Quark 

■^^■M^MH INCORPORATED 

Office Automation Tools 

2525 West Evans Avenue 
Suite 220 
Denver, CO 80219 

Word Juggler lie $239. sug. U.S. retail price 
Lexicheck Me $129. sug. U.S. retail price 

Circle 323 on inquiry card. 



Product Description 




The 

Gavilan 
Mobile 
Computer 



Phil Lemmons 

West Coast Editor 

BYTE/McGraw-Hill, 4th Floor 

425 Battery St. 

San Francisco, CA 94111 



The Gavilan portable computer is a traveling profes- 
sional's dream come true. Lightweight and powerful, this 
new 16-bit computer promises to redefine industry stan- 
dards for truly portable micros. 

Weighing only 9 pounds and measuring 11.4 by 11.4 
by 2.7 inches, the Gavilan, along with its optional 
4-pound printer, fits comfortably in a standard-size at- 
tache case. Yet this battery-powered machine has up to 
208K bytes of RAM, a built-in 320K-byte 3-inch disk 
drive, an 8-line by 66-character bit-mapped liquid-crystal 
display that flips up from its resting place on the key- 
board, a full-size keyboard with numeric pad, and a 
touch panel that's used as a pointing device. 



The Gavilan is expected to sell for $3995 when volume 
deliveries begin late in the third quarter of this year. For 
an additional $1000 you can get the 50-character-per- 
second dot-matrix printer that clips onto the back of the 
computer. 

The touch panel, a potential rival to the mouse for 
nonkeyboard input, lets you manipulate integrated appli- 
cations programs by pointing at objects on the screen, 
selecting objects to act on, and choosing an action from 
menus that appear on demand. Much like Lisa's operat- 
ing system, the Gavilan's uses a desktop manager with 
pictorial symbols for applications, file "drawers," file 
"folders" in the drawers, and "documents" in the folders. 
Symbols indicate which files are open and which pro- 
grams are available and running at any time. The 
Gavilan saves the "state of the desktop" in battery- 
backed RAM when the system is turned off, then restores 
the desktop when the machine is turned back on. 

A New Standard for Portables 

Until now, portable computer users have had to choose 
between battery-powered machines that are easy to carry 
but much less useful than desktop computers, and larger 
machines that are useful but heavy and dependent on 



74 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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 millisecondslincl. 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 1982 by Cybernetics Inc. All rights reserved. 

Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. 



m isixeis 



.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 

i n 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 -80 & -86), 
OASIS 6 , PCDOS, and UNIX 7 . Inquire for specific details and 
prices. 

iraaemanXS OT. t Cybernetics, inc 2 . RyarvMcFarland Corp 3 Micro Business Sort*are '"« 

4 Minicomputer Business Applications Inc 5 Ogitat ftaaarch. inc 6 Pnase One Systems Inc 7 Bell Laboratories 

8041 NEWMAN AVE., SUITE 208 

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA 92647 

714/848-1922 



IS- 
IS 



At a Glance 



Name 

Gavilan 

Manufacturer 

Gavilan Computer Corporation 
240 East Hacienda 
Campbell, CA 95008 
(408) 379-8005 

Price 

S3995 for main unit, including one disk drive, liquid-crystal display, 
modem, serial port, recharging external power supply, printer port, 
communications port, disk controller, 48K of ROM, 64K of RAM, 
connector for second disk drive and additional memory, Gavilan 
Office Pack (4 applications), MBASIC and MS-DOS 2.0. carrying 
case. Optional printer approximately S 1 000: optional second disk 
drive, S695; with additional 64K RAM, $975; with I28K of RAM, 
SI 245. 



Components 

Size: 

Weight: 

Processor: 

Memory: 



width 1 1 .4 inches; depth 1 1 .4 inches; 

height 2.7 inches 

9 pounds 

Intel 8088 1 6-bit microprocessor 

80K bytes of RAM, including 48K bytes for 

operating system and 32K bytes for user 

data. Up to four 32K-byte plug-in capsules 

with applications software in battery-backed 

CMOS RAM. Optional external 1 28K bytes 

of RAM. Total maximum memory of 336K 

bytes 

8-line by 66-character LCD; optional 24 by 

80 video monitor 

integral full typewriter keyboard with 

numeric pad 

touch panel that allows fingertip to serve as 

a pointer device and to select various 

commands built into the panel, such as 

Help, View, and Select 

integral 3-inch, 320K-byte floppy disk; a 

second drive (same size as printer) that 

connects by cable to the main unit is 

optional 

up to four 32K-byte RAM capsules 

300-bps built-in direct-connect modem; 

telephone jack for modem; interface for 

optional printer, disk drive, and expansion 

memory; RS-232C port for transmission up 

to 9600 bps; jack for video output; jack for 

external power supply 

integral rechargeable nickel-cadmium battery 

pack containing 10 half-D cell batteries; AC 

adapter that plugs into standard AC outlet 

and recharges batteries in approximately 

one hour if system is not in use 



Software 

MS-DOS and MBASIC are standard. Supercalc, Superwriter, PFS File 
and PFS Report are available for a total price of S425. The Gavilan 
Office Pack (4 applications) and operating system will be available 
by September. 

Optional Printer 

4-pound thermal-transfer printer that clips onto back of main 
computer unit; I 1 .4 by 4.9 by 3.0 inches. Prints at 50 characters 
per second and will print up to 6000 characters per charge of 
battery unit. Other options: 32K-byte RAM capsules; second 
320K-byte, 3-inch floppy disk with 1 28K bytes of RAM in same 
housing; acoustic modem; 24-line by 80-character video montior; 
adapter for power from vehicle cigarette lighter. 



Display: 
Keyboard: 
Nonkeyboard input: 

Storage: 



Expansion: 
Input/output: 



Power supply: 



plug-in power. Both users and designers of portables 
have faced trade-offs— to get true portability they've had 
to sacrifice usefulness. Intended for the traveling profes- 
sional, the Gavilan combines the best of both worlds. 

John Banning, chief of Gavilan's software development 
team, explains the company's design approach: "The per- 
son who is moving around in the field is often a profes- 
sional but not a computer professional. He or she needs a 
computer that is easy to learn and easy to use. The travel- 
ing professional is likely to be in an environment where 
there's no support for a computer." Gavilan designers 
thus concluded that a portable computer must offer 
more, not less, than a stationary desktop system. "From 
that point of view," Banning says, "the software really 
drives what's going on." 

Demands on Hardware 

Friendly software requires a lot of memory and a 16-bit 
microprocessor to manage it. Gavilan chose Intel's 8088, 
running at 5 MHz, as the central processing unit, for 
several reasons. First, its 8-bit data bus would save 
precious board space. According to John Zepecki, 
Gavilan's director of hardware engineering, fitting 
everything onto the board was the hardest part of the 
project. "Also, the second generation of industry- 
standard software for personal computers of this size is 
really growing up around the 8086/8088 architecture," 
explains Banning. MS-DOS software will be available for 
the Gavilan. 

Minimizing the use of power was another challenge. 
Apart from the central processor and the Western Digital 
disk-drive controller chip, the Gavilan uses CMOS (com- 
plementary metal-oxide semiconductor) technology. 
Power is turned off frequently to limit the power con- 
sumption of the disk controller and the central processor. 
Whenever the 3-inch Hitachi disk drive is not in use, both 
the drive and its electronics are turned off. The 8088 shuts 
down the Western Digital WD 1797 disk controller and 
saves information about its state. Whenever the operat- 
ing system has no task scheduled for the central pro- 
cessor, the 8088 is turned off. In that case, the 8088 first 
saves its own state in battery-backed RAM, then disables 
the memory-write lines, and finally turns itself off. When 
power is restored to the 8088, it resets in one of several 
ways depending on what information was previously 
saved. 

The rest of the machine uses high-speed CMOS logic, 
has 32K bytes of 8-bit wide CMOS static RAM (random- 
access read/write memory) and 48K bytes of 8-bit wide 
CMOS ROM (read-only memory). A single gate array 
controls either the liquid-crystal display (LCD) ora 24 by 
80 video monitor. An 80C51 CMOS UART (universal 
asynchronous receiver/ transmitter) manages the key- 
board, the touch pad, and the asynchronous communica- 
tions port. 

Of the 80K bytes of memory contained in the Gavilan 
main unit, the 32K bytes of RAM are used for data 
storage and the 48K bytes of ROM for the operating-sys- 
tem and user-interface firmware. Up to four additional 



76 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



If you stick with timesharing after 
reading this ad,you haven't 
read this ad. 



Typically, financial planning 
on a timesharing service runs $2,000 
a month and more. Month after 
month after month. 

And it doesn't take a spread- 
sheet to figure that as a $24,000- 
a-year-af ter-year expense. 

The incredibly cheap alternative. 

The Financial Planner™ from Ashton-Tate 
can stop this cash drain once and for all. 

You pay $700 — one time — for the Planner. 
And handle your financial planning quickly, easily 
and completely on your microcomputer. 

Without having to share your time or your 
money with anyone. 

A forecaster's dream come true. 

The Financial Planner has enough depth to 
solve the most complex business problems you can 
foresee, yet can be used almost intuitively. 

The Planner automatically performs calcula- 
tions on individual items, rows, columns and entire 
models. Understands conditional logic. Solves 
simultaneous equations. Computes Present Value 
and Internal Rate of Return. Reads and writes 
dBASE II™ files. And much, much more. 

But you use abbreviated names, not mysteri- 
ous formulas. And you communicate with the 
computer in the English-like vocabulary of FPL™ 
(Financial Planning Language), so you can easily 
set up your budgeting and evaluation models. 

Editing and report-writing are an integral part 
of the package, and you can preview results on 
the screen, then produce presentation-quality 
financial reports directly. 

And when you have your models and reports 
just right, you can automate them so even your 
President can run them. 

With the Planner, you produce P & L forecasts 
and financial consolidations in minutes. Explore 

Circle 30 on inquiry card. 




"what if" alternatives. Analyze new business 
ventures and mergers. Plan real estate acquisition 
and development. And fine tune operations until 
you reach the financial objectives you've set. 

It's one of the most comprehensive business 
tools available on any computer. All for a frac- 
tion of what youVe been spending on timesharing 
services to do the same things. 

For the ardent skeptics. 

It may sound too good to be true, but you 
can check out the Financial Planner with no 
financial risk. 

Run through a hands-on demo at your nearest 
computer or software store. Then take a package 
home and use it for 30 days on your IBM PC or 
CP/M microcomputer. If it's not everything we 
said it was, just return it and you'll get your 
money back. 

For the name of your nearest dealer, contact 
Ashton-Tate at 10150 West Jefferson _* 
Boulevard, Culver City, CA 1 lie 

™ 3 ?™ f T r yet ' ca " (213) Financial 

204-5570 today. -q| 

Time's a-wasting. 1 13111161* 



ASHTON-TATE 



CP/M is a trademark d Digital Research 



©Ashton-Tate 1983 

BYTE June 1983 77 



Gavilan's History 



Gavilan Computer Corporation of Campbell, California, 
was founded in February 1982 under the name Cosmos Com- 
puter Corporation. The company chose that name because it 
believed it suggested "OS" for operating system and 
"CMOS" for the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor 
technology around which the company wished to build a 
portable computer with an advanced operating system. But 
to assure better trademark protection in world markets the 
company changed its name to Gavilan Computer Corpora- 
tion in March 1983. 

Manny Fernandez, Gavilan's president and chief executive 
officer, is a former president ofZilog Inc. Gavilan is a private 
corporation and has obtained substantial capital from a 
group of venture-capital investors that includes New Enter- 
prise Associates, San Francisco; Smith Barney Venture Cor- 
poration, New York; Abingworth Ltd., London, England; 
Associated Venture Investors, Menlo Park, California; 
Genesis, Los Gatos, California; and Robertson, Colman, 
Stephens & Woodman, San Francisco. 



Gavilan recently moved into a 30, 000-square-foot building 
in Campbell and has arranged to move later into a 
250, 000-square-foot building to be built in an industrial park 
in San Jose, adjacent to Campbell. 

The software staff has grown from an original 12 to 18 by 
March 1983. John Banning, chief of Gavilan s software 
development team, is a former director of software and ar- 
chitecture at Zilog. Working under him are two former Ap- 
ple programmers, three alumni of the Xerox Palo Alto 
Research Center, and others from Hewlett-Packard, 
Tandem, and Tektronix. The hardware staff includes four 
electrical engineers and three mechanical engineers. John 
Zepecki, the hardware director, is a former vice-president of 
systems engineering for Magnuson Computer Systems. 

Gavilan announced in April that IMCOSS, a major Ger- 
man company in the computer industry, has signed a con- 
tract as an OEM of the Gavilan. As well, Gavilan has signed 
other major OEM and end-user agreements. 



RAM or EPROM (erasable programmable read-only 
memory) capsules can be plugged into the top rear left of 
the main unit. The capsules can contain either applica- 
tions programs or user workspace. If the capsules contain 
RAM, lithium batteries in the capsule are used to save the 
contents of memory for as long as a year. Another 128K 
bytes of RAM can be supplied in a small module along 
with an optional second microfloppy disk drive. The in- 
terface connections for managing both the drive and the 
memory are standard equipment and are located on the 
back of the main unit. 

The liquid-crystal display was chosen for considera- 
tions of space and power. A full-size 24 by 80 video dis- 
play is optional and plugs into a standard equipment jack 
on the right side of the machine. The telephone jack for 
the modem and the jack for the external power supply are 
in the same area. 

The internal power supply consists of 10 half-D cell 
nickel-cadmium DC batteries. Seven are arranged paral- 
lel to the long dimension of the display and three are 
perpendicular to that dimension. The Gavilan will run off 
the batteries for eight hours. An AC adapter is standard 
equipment and provides power for either operating the 
machine or recharging the batteries. The adapter can 
restore the batteries to 80 percent of capacity in one hour. 

Other standard hardware includes an RS-232C serial 
interface for communications at up to 9600 bits per sec- 
ond (bps) and a built-in 300-bps direct-connect modem, 
for which the telephone jack is provided as noted earlier. 

The 4-pound optional printer contains its own batteries 
and can print up to 60,000 characters per charge. The 
printer operates by thermal transfer of ink from a ribbon 
and can print on regular letterhead or thermal paper. A 
platen feeds sheets to the printing mechanism. The 
printer plugs directly, into the system input/output bus 



through a connector on the back of the main unit. Some 
of the lines on that connector can be cabled to the op- 
tional second disk drive to manage expansion RAM of up 
to 128K bytes housed in the drive. The optional outboard 
RAM and four capsules that plug into the main unit can 
increase system RAM to a maximum of 336K bytes. 

Other options are an acoustic modem and an adapter 
for using a car cigarette lighter as a power source. 

Gavilan Software 

Gavilan will supply its own built-in operating system, 
capsules containing Gavilan's own generic applications 
programs, development software to enable OEMs to 
write programs for specific applications, and MS-DOS 
for running software developed for the broader personal 
computer market. The Gavilan's multitasking operating 
system supports print spooling and background commu- 
nications. 

The software is novel in several ways. For one, the user 
interface actually controls the software. Another major 
innovation is the degree of integration of the applica- 
tions, supported by underlying data structures. The 
Create command, available to the user in all applications, 
can create elements in one application that we think of as 
belonging exclusively in another application. In the mid- 
dle of text, for example, Create can embed a spreadsheet 
cell. A formula determines the value in the cell. The cell 
can have a name, such as "annual revenues," and when 
there is a change in the values from which the annual 
revenues are calculated, a corresponding change is 
automatically made in the text. 

The Built-in Software 

The built-in software corresponds in some respects to a 
conventional operating system and occupies the first 48K 



78 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Hitachi takes 

a big stride toward 

the smaller footprint. 




Over 22 leading American and 
Japanese makers have agreed on 
a unified 3" compact floppy disk 
format for powerful reasons. 
These 3" floppies have 5 1/4" 
floppy capacity — 500 kilobytes 
— but are far more compact. A 
3" floppy fits in the shirt pocket. 
Or standard mailing envelope. 

Equally important, the drive 
now has a smaller footprint than 
ever before. It's quite light. 
And portable. 

And new 3" compact 
floppy disks surpass any 
other format when it comes 
to protecting valuable 
data. The case is hard. You 
^ cannot bend the 3" floppy so data 
isn't destroyed. The dust-sealing and 
fingerprint-proof shutter opens automa- 
tically after insertion in the drive. 

Hitachi is the first manufacturer to offer 
you quality drives for the 3" revolution. Hitachi has 
resources, experience and technological expertise second 
to none. Over one-quarter million Hitachi drives will be rolling 
off our quality-controlled lines this year. Wouldn't it be wise to 
have Hitachi dependability behind your products? 

Specifications: Storage capacity unformatted: 500 K bytes. Total no. of tracks: 80. 
Recording density: 8,946 bpi. Track density: 100 tpi. Transfer rate: 250 K bits/sec. Track- 
to-track positioning time: 3 ms/track. Dimensions (W x D x H) mm: 90 x 40 x 150. 
Wt.: 0.68kg. 

HFD305D:double sided drive. HFD305S: single side drive with same specs if a double 
sided floppy is inserted again for the second side. 



m 



Floppy disk marked E7-l can be used with this floppy disk drive. 



3" Compact Floppy Disk Drive hfd3os 



HITACHI 



For further information: 

Mr. Takao Ichiki, Mid-Western Regional Office, Hitachi Sales Corporation of America, 1400 Morse Ave., Elk Grove Village, ILL. 60007 Phone: (312) 593-1550 Fax: (312) 593-2436 

Mr. T. Kodera, New Jersey Office, Hitachi America, Ltd. 59 Route 17, Allendale, N.J. 07401' Phone: (201) 825-8000 Fax: (201) 825-4781 



Circle 1 74 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 79 





»erU £6. IMJ 






H«-. Q«OrO* P. J-Jna* 






S^>i» Broadly 








*t33 




Photo 1: Pressing Gavilan's touch panel activates a wide array 
of functions. Moving your fingertip across the unlabeled central 
area gives you control of the pointer. Pressing any of the other 
areas will perform the function indicated. 



bytes of the 80K bytes of RAM built into the Gavilan's 
main unit. Into those 48K bytes are packed the operating 
system kernel, the FORTH-like interpreter, the human- 
interface software, and the data-structuring software. 

Gavilan chose to use an interpreted operating system 
to minimize use of memory and developed its own ex- 
tended dialect of FORTH for use as the interpreter. John 
Banning says that use of sophisticated compiler technol- 
ogy enables the Gavilan interpreter to generate very com- 
pact code. The extensions of FORTH make programs in 
the language easier to document and maintain. Banning 
describes FORTH as "a language that can be efficiently 
interpreted and in which programs can be performance- 
tuned by taking little pieces of a program and recoding 
them in assembly language." Gavilan started tests in 
March to determine which parts of the software to recode 
for faster operation. 

The Gavilan file system stores ''documents" and in- 
dexed data structures. "Documents" are files that the 
human-interface software can display and manipulate us- 
ing the various human-interface commands. The indexed 
data structures form the basis of operations such as the 
personal filing system and record processing systems. 



The human-interface software controls all interaction 
with the user. Applications software communicates with 
the human interface through the data-structuring soft- 
ware. 

The data-structuring software holds documents, which 
are sequences of elements where an element is any of the 
things that can be shown on the display and manipulated 
by the human interface. This underlying data structure 
permits mixing many different kinds of elements in one 
document and is responsible for the remarkable degree of 
integration in the Gavilan applications software. Accord- 
ing to Banning, the data structures were the hardest part 
of the software development. "The worst thing was figur- 
ing out not only what these data structures would be, but 
what was the interface between these structures and the 
human interface. In other words, what was the interface 
between the data structures and an application 
program?" 

Gavilan's main approach to application programming 
is one in which each element in a document has associ- 
ated with it an "element manager." The element manager 
is a piece of software that implements a number of stan- 
dard actions that the human interface knows about, such 
as "display yourself, a selection has been made." This is 
reminiscent of Smalltalk and other object-oriented lan- 
guages in which data objects include both data and infor- 
mation about how the data can be manipulated. 

"Every element that's held in the data structuring soft- 
ware has a tag on it, and there's a translation mechanism 
of what you get from that tag to a particular element 
manager," Banning explains. 'When the human interface 
decides what part of the document to display, depending 
on what the user has been doing, the interface calls down 
to the data-structuring software and says, 'display this 
particular element.' The structuring software decides 
which application, which element manager, is associated 
with that element, and invokes that element manager to 
do that particular operation — moving data, changing 
properties, displaying yourself, setting up a selection, 
things like that. There is a standard list of operations that 
each element manager has to define. The element 
managers are inside the plug-in RAM capsules; all the ele- 
ment managers that go with one application are in a 
single capsule. Once you have the word-processing cap- 
sule, for example, your Gavilan can read documents that 
contain textual elements." 

Banning stresses that the operating system "puts the 
user in charge of what's going on. The human interface is 
the user's representative in the software world." 

The User Interface 

When you open the Gavilan by flipping up the display, 
it shows a view of a desktop. The desktop shows file 
drawers, file folders, or whatever documents you have 
open on your desk. Drawers contain folders and folders 
contain documents. The degree of indentation on the dis- 
play indicates what contains what. 

The desktop also shows symbols for various 
capabilities that you can invoke, such as an appointment 



80 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



- 




The new NCI implementation of the 
p-Sy stem. For IBM personal computers 
and compatibles. 

NCI now makes the UCSD p-System run W2 
to 5 times faster on the IBM Personal Computer, 
including the new XT and RX models and 
compatibles like Columbia, Compaq, Corona, 
Colby, Dot, Hyperion and Victor 9000. This 
speed is possible only with our new interpreter. 
NCI includes more features for your PC, 

NCI offers a wide range of software and 
hardware support that lets you tailor the 
p-System to your needs, including: 
D HARD DISK SUPPORTcompatible with most 
hard disk suppliers, including IBM Personal 
Computer XT, Davong, Corvus-Systems and 



Tallgrass Technologies. 

□ AUTOMATIC RAMdisk SUPPORT (up to 
512 K) stores files for much faster access. 

□ PRINT BUFFER (up to 64K) eliminates 
printing bottlenecks. 

□ 8087 SUPPORT speeds numeric and graphics 
applications. 

D GRAPHICS SUPPORT with much faster 
Turtlegraphics software or Tektronix emulation 
for business and scientific applications. 

□ COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT LIBRARY 
links computers across continents. 

□ NCI CUSTOMER SERVICE- we're there 
when you need us to support the most reliable 
p-System ever developed for the IBM PC. 



Circle 278 on inquiry card. 

IBM, IBM XTand IBM RX are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. 



For all the advantages of the NCI version 
of the UCSD p-System call or write: 

Network Consulting Inc. 

Discovery Park, Suite 110-3700 Gilmore Way 
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5G 4M1. (604) 430-3466 



NAME. 



COMPANY. 
ADDRESS. 

CITY 

ZIP. 



_ STATE_ 




Portability. Reliability. Speed, ^m V ^gpr Mi 
UCSD p-System is a trademark of the Regents of the University of California 










Photo 2: The Gavilan desktop view summarizes the state of the system. Here the arrow is pointing to floppy-disk drive 1, and the 
command "Open file drawer on floppy 1" is highlighted. When you tap the touch pad (not shown), the operating system opens the 
file drawer (a metaphor for the floppy disk) on the disk. 




Photo 3: After the file drawer is opened, the screen displays the three file folders in the drawer, Each folder's name is preceded by a 
bar that indicates one level of nesting within the drawer, by a + sign that indicates the folder is closed, and by the symbol for a file 
folder. The + sign preceding the folder "A-L Client File" is highlighted because the pointer is on it. If you touch the pad now, the 
operating system will open the file folder and change the + sign to the open box that symbolizes an open folder. 




Photo 4; The A-L Client File is now open, and three files are shown inside it. Each of these three files is preceded by two bars, which 
indicate the level of nesting with the file drawer, and by the + sign that indicates a closed file. The operating system will open the Al 
Jones file, now highlighted, if you tap the touch pad. 




Photo 5: The Al Jones file is now open and the display shows its contents: an insurance folder and a folder of letters, The pointer is 
on the "Letter of 3 Aug. '82, " which you can open by tapping the touch pad. 



82 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



IS THIS LEVEL OF RELIABILITY 
REALLY NECESSARY? 

ACCUTRACK 




)\SK5 













K\& 



0* 



0^ 



c^ 5 




■ 



^mi DISKS 



f3«- 



^ 



<€ 



<<? 






NP 



If you've ever lost data due to a 
faulty disk, you know how impor- 
tant reliability can be. 

That's why Accutrack disks are 
critically certified at 2-3 times the 
error threshold of your system. 
Why they're precision fabricated for 
higher signal quality, longer life and 
less head wear. And why we take 
such extra steps as testing single- 
density mini disks at double-density 
levels. So you don't have to worry 
about the reliability of your media. 



Accutrack disks. OEMs have 
specified them for years. You can 
trust them for your data. Call toll- 
free (800 225-8715) for your nearest 
dealer. 



ACCUTRACK 

Dennison KYBE Corporation 

82 Calvary Street, Waltham, Mass. 02254 
Tel. (617) 899-0012; Telex 94-0179 
Outside Mass. call toll free (800) 225-871 5 
Offices & representatives worldwide 

Circle 1 18 on inquiry card. 



K 


V 



Dealers: Give your customers a 
choice— Accutrack's OEM perform- 
ance as well as your heavily adver- 
tised brand. We have the industry's 
only complete line of disks, cas- 
settes and mag cards, including 
virtually all special formats. 
If you want a quality line, small 
minimums, the ability to mix 
and match, private labeling, 
fast delivery and great price, call 
today. Find out how responsive a 
media supplier can be. 



Photo 6: Now the letter is open and its beginning is displayed. The pointer can be maneuvered for editing. You can get a list of 
editing commands by pressing the Menu area of the touch pad. 



Photo 7: A menu of commands has popped up over the letter, and the Zoom command is highlighted. The line above the menu 
always displays a brief description of the highlighted command. The Zoom command gives you a distant view of the document, 
which will be shown condensed. 



Photo 8: When the Zoom command is in effect, the pointer is replaced by a frame that encloses the part of the document that is 
displayed full-sized on the screen. This helps orient the user and gives a preview of the appearance of the entire letter. 



Photo 9: The user has moved the frame to another section of the letter. When you tap the touch pad, the selected paragraphs will be 
displayed. 

84 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




The QX-10. 
No ad can do it justice. 

Epson. 



There's an awful lot of computer hype these days. And we 
think it's time for a little old-fashioned honesty. 

So we're going to give you a few solid reasons why — even if 
you look at nothing else — you should go to your dealer and 
take a close look at the new Epson QX-10. 
Anybody can use it. 

What makes the QX-10 the most remarkably usable computer 
to date is a unique software system called VALDOCS, cou- 
pled with a new keyboard design called HASCI. VALDOCS 
reduces the time it takes to master the QX-10 from hours to 
minutes by displaying exactly what your options are, while 
the straightforward, detachable HASCI keyboard places all 
the most-used functions right in front of you, grouped logic- 
ally and labeled in plain English. 
You may never buy software again. 

VALDOCS may be all the software you'll ever need. Right out 
of the box it's a sophisticated word processor; an information 
indexer for easy access to f ties; an electronic mail system; a calcula- 



tor; an appointment book and notepad; and a high resolution busi- 
ness graph drawing system, 
A little price tag. 

Mere words are not enough. To fully appreciate the powers of 
this machine, you must experience it for yourself. So visit 
your dealer and see what it can do. And if that doesn't sell 

you, the comfortable price 
tag will. It sells for under 
$3000. And that's no hype. 




EPSON 

EPSON AMERICA, INC. 

COMPUTER PRODUCTS DIVISION 



Call (800) 421-5426 for the Epson dealer in your area. 



Circle 146 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 85 




Photo 10: Here are the new paragraphs. Note the use of bold and italic characters. (The camera angle obscures the last line of the 
eight-line display.) 




Photo 11: By pressing the View area of the touch pad, you can return to the desktop. The desktop now shows that the file drawer 
and the letter of August 3 are open. When you return to the letter, you'll return to where you were when you pressed the View area of 
the touch pad. 




Photo 12: You're ready to create a new file folder. The vertical bar after "foe Baker" indicates an insertion point. If you create a file 
folder now, it'll be inserted between "foe Baker" and "Reggie Davis. " 




Photo 13: If you're unsure about how to use a command you can always press Help. The Flip command at the lower left of the Help 
area can be selected to toggle the display between the help menu and the work area about which help is sought. 



66 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




" What if... 



I want it faster?" 



Now you can speed up your 
VisiCalc® (and almost everything 
else your Apple® II does) with the 
Accelerator II. Just plug in one 
board, and watch your models re- 
calculate in less than a third of the 
usual time! Data bases, Applesoft, 
Pascal, etc. (even Apple Invaders) 
run about 3.6 times faster with the 
Accelerator II. 




The Accelerator II is designed for 
the Apple II and II Plus. The Accler- 
ator HE will be available soon for the 
Apple HE. The Accelerator boards 
are based on a fast 6502 processor 
with its own memory and built-in, 
high speed Language Card. The 
fast 6502 runs in parallel with the 
Apple's standard 6502. It's like put- 
ting an extra, faster Apple inside 
youroriginal Apple. 

For even more VisiCalc power, 
add a Saturn RAM Board and the 
VC-Expand software to get more 
memory, FAST SAVE/FAST LOAD, 
and VARIABLE COLUMN WIDTH. 

Seeyour local computer dealeror 
contact Saturn Systems for more 



details. In Europe, contact Pete and 
Pam Computers, New Hall Hey 
Road, Lancashire, UK; Telephone 
706-227-011, Telex 635740 PET 
PAMG 

VisiCalc is a registered trademark of VisiCorp. Apple is a 
registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 
The VisiCalc expansion software (VC-Expand, etc.) is writ- 
ten for Saturn by Micro Solutions, Inc. 



P.O. Box 8050 
3990 Varsity Drive 
Ann Arbor, Ml 48107 
1 (313) 973-8422 



INC. 



Circle 341 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 87 




Photo 14: The Gavilan's help text for the Create command. 




Photo 15: By pressing the Cancel area on the touch pad, you can return from the Help display to the desktop. The Create command 
is still active and you have a choice of creating a new file folder or document. The pointer is on file folder, and by tapping the touch 
pad, you can create a new folder. 



calendar, different kinds of communication methods, the 
ability to switch over to video display from the LCD 
display, and so on. From anywhere in the system, you 
can always get back to the desktop by pressing the View 
button on the touch panel (see photo 1 on page 80). 

The touch panel has nine labeled areas. In addition to 
the View area, there are Help, Select, Extend, Menu, 
Scroll, Scroll Again, Scroll Back, and Cancel. 

The tenth and central area of the touch panel lets you 
control the pointer, or cursor, by moving your fingertip 
across the touch panel in the desired direction. The move- 
ment of the pointer is independent of where you put your 
finger down in this central area of the touch panel; the 
pointer follows the direction of your finger's motion. As 
you move the pointer over the symbol for an action, that 
symbol is highlighted. Then you invoke the action by 
tapping the touch pad. 

You select an object for the action by moving the 
pointer over a character and then tapping the Select area 
with your fingertip. The character is highlighted to show 
that you can now work on it. To select a whole word, tap 
twice. Three taps select a sentence, four a paragraph. 
Another way to select larger units of data is to tap once to 
highlight the first character, then tap the Extend area of 
the touch panel, then move the pointer to the other end of 
the desired data and tap the Select area again. To insert 
something new, you move the cursor between two char- 
acters, and a vertical insertion bar appears. Then you 
type in the new information. 

To get a list of your choices, you tap Menu. If you need 



assistance, you tap the Help area; the feedback depends 
on the context. The help information tries to answer the 
four most likely questions: What just happened? Where 
am I? What am I looking at? What can I do next? 

While the Help command is in effect, an area at the 
lower left of the LCD shows the word "Flip." If you move 
the pointer onto that word and tap the touch panel, you 
can flip back and forth from help text to the data that you 
were trying to work on. Because Flip remains high- 
lighted, you have to tap only once to toggle from help 
text to data. 

The Scroll, Scroll Back, and Scroll Again areas of the 
touch panel move your view to different areas of the 
data. The Cancel command terminates Help, Select, 
Menu, and so on. 

Touching the Menu area of the panel always brings the 
standard menu. This contains 10 fundamental commands 
arranged on the display in 2 columns: 



Delete 


Find 


Props 


Move 


Open 


Create 


Copy 


Zoom 


Undo 


Print 



Props, or "properties," lets you change the display output 
from LCD to video, or, in word processing, the para- 
graph formatting, or, in the spreadsheet, the column 
widths. Delete, as its name implies, deletes what has been 
selected. Similarly, Undo nullifies your last action and is 



68 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



"More documentation? 
Go to a book store." 



"Training? Call a 
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BYTE June 1983 89 



actually implemented in the file system, which is returned 
to a previous state. 

Zoom makes the information on the display appear 
farther away. In combination with the Scroll command 
on the touch panel, Zoom lets you maneuver rapidly 
around a large document. 

Create lets you generate a paragraph, document, 
spreadsheet, section heading, chapter of a document, 
form for data entry, or cell in a spreadsheet. 

A sequence using Create might go like this. You select 
Create and are given the options — files, folders, spread- 
sheets, section headings, chapters, forms, or cells. If you 
select file folder, you are taken to the desktop, where you 
are asked to type in the name of the file alongside a newly 
displayed folder symbol. Then you go back to the Create 
menu, where you select document. That takes you back 
to the desktop, where you enter the name of the docu- 
ment. You open the document by selecting it and tapping 
the touch panel or by pressing the Menu area of the touch 
panel and using the Open command. You then produce 
the document, creating whatever kinds of elements you 
need. 

From the standard menu, you can go to another menu 
more specific to the context. What defines the context is 
not the application program you're using, but the kind of 
data you selected in the document. This interpretation 
occurs because each document can include spreadsheets 
and word processing and other kinds of elements. 

The menu's Move and Copy commands, as their names 



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suggest, move or copy information both within the same 
document and from one document to another. You first 
select the data to copy or move. If the desired destination 
is in a different document, you press the View area of the 
touch panel, which takes you to the desktop. There you 
can select any document or program and go look at a 
document, then get the standard menu and select Move 
or Copy to transfer the selected block of data. There is no 
formal procedure for moving data from one application 
to another because the documents consist of data 
elements. Thus, as long as your capsules contain the right 
element manager, you can use different types of elements 
in any application. 

The files on the desktop display are preceded by either 
a plus symbol, which indicates the file is closed, or an 
open box, which indicates the file is open. You change the 
files by moving the pointer over one of those two sym- 
bols and tapping the touch panel. Once you've opened 
the file, you can examine it. The Zoom command gives 
you a "map" of the whole document. 

Then the Scroll commands let you find a particular 
area of the document. Pressing the Scroll area of the 
touch panel causes a frame to appear on the screen, 
which represents a window. You can then move the 
frame over the part of the document that you want to see 
next by moving your finger on the touch pad. When the 
frame surrounds the data you want to see next, you tap 
the pad and that selected area displays at closer range. 

Once you've used a Scroll operation, you can repeat it 
or reverse it by pressing the Scroll Again and Scroll Back 
areas of the touch panel. Find lets you search for a string. 
Print is self-explanatory. 

Gavilan Applications Software 

Gavilan is developing its own word processor, spread- 
sheet, "portable secretary," communications and mail 
system, and forms control software. (As of March, the 
word processor was in an advanced stage of development 
and the other applications were in earlier stages.) 

The word processor includes global search and replace, 
the Move and Copy commands described earlier, and 
will support multiple fonts and page and paragraph for- 
matting. The spreadsheet will handle the usual financial 
calculations in the familiar format. The portable 
secretary will provide a "to do" list, appointment 
scheduling, a "tickler" reminder file, time recording, ex- 
pense reporting, travel routes and schedules as well as 
reports of calls and other activities. The communications 
software will provide access to databases, company com- 
puters, and electronic mail. The forms system will permit 
designing forms in which some fields are prompts, some 
are for data entry, and others result from calculations 
done on data-entry fields. 

Languages and Development System 

Gavilan plans to sell BASIC and Pascal to run under 
MS-DOS. The company will also sell a development sys- 
tem that permits outside programmers to develop appli- 
cations software in the UCSD Pascal p-System. The re- 



90 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 314 on inquiry card. 




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suiting programs will be able to take advantage of the 
standard Gavilan user-interface software and interpreter. 
The development system will consist of the UCSD 
p-System, a 'capsule builder/' and a "message builder." 
The capsule builder takes Pascal code and organizes it in 
such a way that it can work with the Gavilan user-inter- 
face software and data-structuring software. The pro- 
gram can then be loaded into one of the RAM capsules 
that plug into the four slots at the left rear of the machine. 
Another development tool called the "message builder" 
receives all of the program-message text that will be used 
to interact with the user, from the level of individual 
words in menus up to paragraphs of help information. 
The message builder compacts the messages by compress- 
ing individual characters and by assigning unique codes 
to commonly occurring phrases. 

Market Impact 

Successful and timely completion of the Gavilan pro- 
ject may influence several important trends in microcom- 
puting. The use of the touch panel as a pointing device 
may challenge the popularity of the mouse as a nonkey- 
board input device. A successful touch panel requires 
sophisticated algorithms to interpret the movements of 
the user's fingertip across the panel. In March, Gavilan 
had two different algorithms working, the more recent 
one much more efficient than its predecessor. Once the 
algorithm is perfected to give the on-screen pointer in- 
stantaneous and extremely precise response, the touch 



panel would seem to be a more natural pointing device 
than the mouse. People are accustomed to pointing with 
the fingertip, not the palm. 

More important, the Gavilan mobile computer pro- 
mises to set new industry standards not only for truly 
portable computers, but also for integration of applica- 
tions software. The use of elements and element 
managers may achieve such a high degree of integration 
as to make the traditional concept of applications pro- 
grams obsolete. 

Beta-test deliveries of the MS-DOS version of the 
Gavilan start this month. The proprietary operating sys- 
tem and applications software begin alpha tests at 
Gavilan in August and beta tests by selected outside users 
in September. In early March, the Gavilan user interface 
appeared almost complete, the word processor included 
everything but printing and pagination, and the spread- 
sheet and other applications were in earlier stages of 
development. 

Portables as useful and light as the Gavilan will prob- 
ably lead even more people to use computers in their 
offices. One reason not to buy a desktop computer today 
is that you must work with paper while traveling; when 
you return to the office, you have to type your handwrit- 
ten notes into the computer. That is precisely the kind of 
duplication of effort that computers should eliminate, 
and the Gavilan portable computer is doing just that 
while simultaneously moving the whole industry for- 
ward. ■ 



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Like the craftsman's seal on a fine 
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UNIX is a trademark of Boll Laboratories-. IDRIS is a trademark of Whitesmiths, Ltd. 

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BYTE June 1983 93 



On -stop communications. One- 
^iastallation. Smartmodem - 
3gD0B apd Smartcom II sSftw^ji 
'ible now. 



Thanks to Smartcom II companion 
" j. software, telecomputing is a 
freeze. You'll be creating files 
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Need important information from the 
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'"' Your computer's telephone. 



Hayes is still leading the way with 
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Whether you're receiving updates 
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Smai-tmodeml200B. Your com- 
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it is. A telephone that allows your 
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nary phone lines at up to 1200 bits per 




W////////J 




second. For speedy, economical trans- 
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103 type modem. And it's the one 
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Our single board Smartmodem 1200B 
can be installed by your computer 
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Smartmodem 1200B 
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1200 baud modems, Smartmodem 
1200B operates at full or half duplex, 
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For those who enjoy designing their 
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Smartcom II companion software. 
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And when you're on the receiving 
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But that's just part of Smartcom II's 
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Without your even JJ 
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A complete plug-in communications 
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Smartmodem 1200B. (Includes 
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you need to "set up" your computer to 
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do this only once. After that, para- 
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system listed in the directory requires 
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You can store lengthy log-on sequences 
the same way. Press one key, and 
Smartcom II automatically connects 
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And if you need it, there : s always 
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Smartcom II also provides a directory 
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Like all our products, Smartcom II 
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Smartcom 11 is a registered trademark of Hayes Microcomputer 

Products, Inc. 

*IBM is a registered trademark of International Business 

Machines Corp. 

"TM of American Telephone and Telegraph. 

©1983 Hayes Microcomputer Products. Inc. 

Sold only in the U.S.A. Circle 168 on inquiry card. 




Requires an IBM PC with mini- 
mum 96K bytes of memory; 
IBM DOS 1.10 or 1.00; one disk 
drive and SO-column display. No 
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Digital's Professional 300 Series 

A Minicomputer Goes Micro 







Photo 1: The Professional 300 Series includes both the Model 325 and the Model 350, the only differences being the number of avail- 
able slots and the option of a Winchester hard disk. 



Microcomputer architecture must 
complement the work habits of the 
people who use computers as tools. 
Most managers and office workers 
perform various tasks in a given day 
and often switch quickly from one to 
another. People who work as part of 
a team spend a considerable amount 
of time communicating with one 
another. Digital Equipment Corpora- 
tion designers took these factors into 
account in creating the Professional 
300 Series. They decided that new 
machines must be able to perform 
several tasks at once, apply the same 
user interface to each task, com- 
municate efficiently, and, as an added 
bonus, use the same software as 
Digital's popular minicomputers. 

The Professional 300 Series consists 



Wesley Melling 
Professional Product Manager. 
Digital Equipment Corporation 

4 Mount Royal Ave. 

Marlboro, MA 01752 

of two models that differ only in 
storage capability and slot space. The 
325 has one dual floppy-disk drive 
and three option slots and can be 
upgraded to a 350 model, which has 
an optional Winchester hard disk and 
three additional slots. 

These personal computers are real- 
ly desktop-sized versions of the 
PDP-11, one of Digital's popular 
minicomputers. Both models share 
the PDP-11 instruction set and mem- 
ory management and provide the user 
with about 90 percent of the through- 



put of a PDP-11/24. Both have an 
operating system based on Digital's 
RSX-11M+. For the user, this means 
that software applications developed 
for more than 500,000 installed 
PDP-11 and VAX systems are candi- 
dates for easy migration to a desktop 
personal computer. 

Three major components — the sys- 
tem unit, the monitor, and the key- 
board — comprise the Professional 
300 system (see photo 1). The system 
unit contains the processor, memory 
options, power supply, and mass 
storage in a case that measures 23V4 
by 14% by 6Vz inches. The main logic 
module contains the F-ll central pro- 
cessing unit, a chip set equivalent to a 
PDP-ll/23-Plus (see photo 2). Its in- 
struction set includes 87 instructions 



96 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



and eight addressing modes of either 
16-bit words or 8-bit bytes. Although 
the system works with 16-bit ad- 
dresses, providing for 64K bytes of 
logical address space, the Memory 
Management Unit (MMU) constructs 
22-bit addresses that allow up to 4 
megabytes of RAM (random-access 
read/ write memory). 

Two memory modules totaling 
256K bytes of RAM connect to the 
main system logic module with 40-pin 
connectors without occupying an op- 
tion slot (see photo 3). The standard 
configuration also includes 16K bytes 
of ROM (read-only memory) and 
32K bytes of RAM for bit-map con- 
trol. Options requiring extra memory 
include the necessary additional 
RAM on the option module. A non- 
volatile clock and RAM use a 
rechargeable nickel cadmium battery 
to maintain the time and date even 
when the system power is turned off. 
Each Professional System also in- 
cludes a unique 47-bit identification 
ROM that is readable from software 
and can be used for either system 
verification or as part of a piracy- 
protection scheme. 

A 208-watt power supply that 
comes with an integral fan handles a 
Professional 350 equipped with all 
available options. The disk-drive 
units are easily accessible from the 
front of the chassis. Both Professional 
Series systems come with an RX50 
dual-disk subsystem that is capable of 
storing up to 800K bytes of formatted 
data in fixed-length blocks on two 
5V4-inch floppy disks. This sub- 
system includes a separate single- 
board controller module and exten- 
sive internal self-testing and 
diagnostic firmware. An optional 
5-megabyte Winchester disk is 
available for the 350 model. The 350's 
module cage contains six slots for the 
addition of peripherals. In the stan- 
dard configuration, one slot is oc- 
cupied by the floppy-disk controller 
and another is taken by the video 
controller. The back panel of the 
system unit enclosure has connectors 
for a serial printer port, the video 
monitor port, an RS-232C/423A 
serial-communications port, AC 
power, the telephone-management 
interface, and a 16-pin Ethernet plug. 




Photo 2: The F-ll chip set provides users with the power of a minicomputer in a 
microprocessor-based desktop computer. 




Photo 3: By using daughter boards for additional memory, the designers were able to 
avoid occupying an expansion slot. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 97 



Circle 193 on inquiry card. 



Main/Frames 




Phase/80 Desk + Mainframe 

Write or call for our 

brochure which includes our 

application note: 

"Building Computers — 

A Recipe" 

INrEGMND 

8620 Roosevelt Ave.-Visatia.CA 93291 

209/651-1203 

We accept Bank Americard /Visa 

and MasterCharge 



TELEPHONE - 
VOICE UNIT - 



1 

" 1 I 

_J_L 



2 TELEPHONE 
LINES 



TELEPHONE LINE 
INTERFACE 



VIDEO 
DISPLAY 



WINCHESTER 
DRIVE 



TELEPHONE 
MANAGEMENT 
CONTROLLER 



EXTENDED 
BIT-MAP 
OPTION 



BIT-MAP 
VIDEO 



DUAL 
DISK 
DRIVE 



WINCHESTER 
CONTROLLER 



DISK 
CONTROLLER 



ZY 



\z 



BOOT 
ROM 
16KB 



NON 

VOLATILE 

RAM 



DATE/TIME 
CLOCK 



INTERNAL BUS 



256KB 
MEMORY 



COMM 
INTERFACE 



KEYBOARD 
INTERFACE 



PRINTER 
INTERFACE 



Figure 1: A block diagram of the Professional 350 system. 



The Professional's designers as- 
sumed that managers and office 
workers rarely work alone. Instead, 
they spend their time communicating 
with others and accessing data from 
larger computers, activities that re- 
quire powerful and concurrent com- 
munications facilities. The standard 
communications port on the Profes- 
sional handles asynchronous or syn- 
chronous communications. By using 
available software, the system 
manages VT102, VT125, 3276 BSC, 
3276 SNA, ancl 3780 communica- 
tions. Other communications facil- 
ities are available as options. A real- 
time interface module provides an 
IEEE-488 bus interface, two EIA RS- 
232C-compatible asynchronous ports 
that are programmable from 50 to 
9600 bps, and a 24-bit bidirectional 
parallel port. An Ethernet connection 
is also provided at the rear of the 
system unit, although currently that 
connection is supported by neither an 
option card nor software. 

A 12-inch monochrome monitor 
and a 13-inch color monitor are 
available for the Professional Series. 
The standard monochrome video 
controller provides full bit-mapped 
graphics with 32K bytes of memory 
on the board, supporting a 960 by 240 
pixel (picture element) display. An 



extended bit-mapped option provides 
memory for two additional bit planes 
as well as RGB (red-green-blue) con- 
trol for the color monitor. Both 
monitors are designed to be as small 
as possible to keep the computer 
system's footprint — the size of the 
surface it occupies — as unobtrusive as 
possible. 

The keyboard was designed to 
meet three major criteria: it must con- 
form to international standards, ac- 
commodate Digital's multinational 
character set, and provide user-de- 
fined function keys. Using these cri- 
teria and basing their work on 
ergonomic studies, the designers pro- 
vided 105 keys and separated them 
into four logical groups. A main typ- 
ing array of 57 keys conforms to the 
international touch-typist layout. Im- 
mediately to the right of the main 
keyboard are the editing pad and the 
cursor-control keys. The most com- 
monly used editing keys — Find, In- 
sert, Remove, Select, Next Screen, 
and Last Screen — are located just to 
the right of the main array. The cur- 
sor controls are arranged in an in- 
verted T, the most efficient configura- 
tion for touch-typists. To the right of 
the cursor controls is an 18-key 
numeric pad that makes it possible to 
enter large amounts of numeric data 



98 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 4: The use of graphic error messages is another example of the designers' goal of 
reducing the confusion and complexity often associated with computers. 



quickly. The pad layout is compatible 
with all existing software dependent 
on Digital's VT100 keypad arrange- 
ment. Across the top of the keyboard 
is a row of 20 function keys. Applica- 
tions programmers can program all 
but four of these keys. Digital's 
designers also provided a special win- 
dowed area at the top of the key- 
board for key labels. Digital did ex- 
tensive tests with computer novices to 
help ensure that the functions of the 
keys are obvious from their labels. 

User Interface 

Digital made a concerted effort on 
the design of the user interface for this 
family of personal computers. In all 
aspects, from installation and 
maintenance features to the operating 
system, the designers anticipated pro- 
spective users' habits and needs. A 
novice user can install the hardware, 
the operating system, and application 
software and do minor maintenance 
without technical help. The system 
components assemble quickly. For 
example, you simply connect the 
keyboard to the monitor with a cable, 
connect the monitor to the system 
unit in the same way, plug the power 
cord on the system unit, insert the 
Winchester disk, plug into an AC 
power outlet, and hit the switch. The 
option cards were designed with zero- 
insertion-force connectors and install 
on a system bus designed to eliminate 
the need for switches and jumpers. 

The Professional's CTI system bus 



has many notable features. Like the 
older LSI-11 bus, the Professional's 
system bus has 22-bit addressing and 
multiplexes addresses and data by 
combining 16-bit data signals with 
the 22-bit address signals on 22 signal 
lines. Each option module installed 
on the bus generates two different 
hardware-interrupt signals with an 
associated register indicating the 
memory location of the interrupt- 
handling routine associated with this 
signal. The design of the interrupt- 
handling hardware makes the inter- 
rupt priority independent of the slot 
position. 

When the user installs a module, an 
option-present signal alerts the main 
system logic module. Because each 
option contains identification infor- 
mation in ROM, the system easily 
locates and identifies all installed op- 
tions. Each bus slot has a fixed 
address, and an option card assumes 
the address of the slot it occupies. 
And except for the hard disk and the 
floppy-disk controllers, any option 
card works in any slot. 

The installation of the operating 
system is equally simple. A series of 
copies from floppy disk to hard disk 
with software prompts guide the 
way. Application programs use a 
similarly simple procedure under con- 
trol of an automatic installation utili- 
ty. The Professional 350 also offers 
diagnostics both in ROM and on disk 
that run every time the system boots. 
The diagnostics for the main system 



logic run first and are followed by a 
segment that detects which options 
are installed. Then diagnostics on 
each module transfer to RAM to be 
run by the central processing unit. 
Error messages take advantage of the 
machine's bit-mapped graphics by 
drawing a picture of the system and 
highlighting the failing component in 
reverse video (see photo 4). All the 
system's modules can be replaced and 
can be removed either with fingers or 
a ballpoint pen. These features reflect 
Digital's belief that a user who has to 
call a technician soon becomes con- 
vinced that the computer is complex 
and difficult to use. 

Software Availability 

Digital's design goals are further 
evident in the company's three- 
pronged software effort: the Profes- 
sional Operating System (P/OS), the 
Professional Developer's Toolkit, and 
third-party application programs. 

The operating system is derived 
from Digital's RSX-11M + , an event- 
driven multitasking software system. 
The design team regarded multitask- 
ing capabilities as mandatory. As the 
personal computer becomes an in- 
tegral part of the professional's work- 
ing patterns, the designers reasoned, 
the machine must function in the 
same manner as its user, which means 
working at multiple tasks. 

Throughout the design process, the 
goal of a consistent user interface was 
cardinal. Today, some operating sys- 
tems force users to have as many dif- 
ferent interfaces as they have applica- 
tion packages. Digital believed that a 
continual proliferation of interfaces 
would impose a major constraint on 
the perceived usefulness of personal 
computers. P/OS removes that con- 
straint by making it simple for pro- 
grammers to work with a consistent 
user interface that controls every ap- 
plication on the system. The com- 
bination of multitasking, the user in- 
terface, and published standards, 
tools, and guides for application is a 
design that responds to the needs of 
the Professional's market. 

In the initial release of the operat- 
ing system, a single menu-tree struc- 
ture, help-message handler, error- 
message handler, and a common file 



June 1983 © BYTE Publication* Inc 99 



SYSTEM UNIT 



TELEPHONE MANAGEMENT ^ CARD CAGE 

OPTION MODULE * 



SPEAKER- 
MICROPHONE 




Figure 2: The Telephone Management System incorporates voice and data communica- 
tion through telephone connections. 



Application 


Product; Company 


Word processing 


Prose, Prose Plus; Digital Equipment 


Calendar/tickler 


Executive Desk Set; Cortex 


Spreadsheet 


Advanced Visicalc; Visicorp 


Graph 


Visiplot/Visitrend; Visicorp. Corgraph; Cortex 


Decision support 


MAPS; Ross Systems 


Project management 


micro/MAPPS; Structural Programming Inc. 


Data management 


Visifile; Visicorp. NPL; Desktop Software 


Statistics 


SPSS; SPSS Inc. 


Table 1: Professional Series users have access to these application software 


packages, which incorporate the consistent user interface. 



structure characterize the user inter- 
face. While the hardware architecture 
makes it possible to take advantage of 
windowing and various cursor-posi- 
tioning schemes such as mice or bit 
pads, the software design team felt 
that the first priority should be estab- 
lishing a consistent interface. The 
other options will evolve as users de- 
mand them. 

For an example of how the user in- 
terface works, consider what happens 



when you want to use a new applica- 
tion package on the Professional sys- 
tem. First you insert the disk and call 
the automatic application installation 
utility, which copies the program into 
the program library. At the same 
time, the utility copies the error 
messages into the appropriate library, 
puts text in the help library, inte- 
grates the application's menu into the 
menu tree, and places the name of the 
application package in the main 



menu. During this process you can 
also rename that application program 
or position it at a particular place in 
the menu tree. All of the application 
programs Digital developed use this 
same installation approach. One ad- 
vantage of a consistent user interface 
is that you can get online help at any 
time simply by pressing the Help key. 
Other P/OS features include a file- 
structure protocol identical to that on 
PDP-11 and VAX systems, which 
makes file transfers between the Pro- 
fessional and those systems much 
easier. A set of file services, print ser- 
vices, disk utilities, and a memo 
editor called PROSE are included 
with the operating system. The 
designers also furnish an interactive 
BASIC interpreter, PRO/BASIC, to 
meet the user's everyday program- 
ming requirements. PRO/BASIC is a 
compatible subset of Digital's BASIC- 
Plus-2 and VAX-11 BASIC, the only 
exception being that the PRO/BASIC 
has additional graphics commands. 
Features of the language include 31 
character variable names, extended 
IF. . .THEN. . .ELSE statements, 
single and double precision, program 
chaining, and online help. 

Development Tools 

For special applications that re- 
quire the user to design custom soft- 
ware, Digital has provided the Pro- 
fessional Developer's Toolkit. This 
package of tools lets a programmer 
use the power and resources of a VAX 
or PDP-11 minicomputer to write 
programs for the Professional Series 
microcomputers. The Toolkit supports 
seven languages (see box on page 102) 
and contains programming utilities 
RMS (Record Management System), 
FMS (Forms Management System), 
and CGL (Core Graphics Library). 

In a typical development scenario 
on the Professional, a programmer 
enters and edits source code using 
PROSE. Then the programmer uses 
the communications utilities provided 
with the Toolkit and takes advantage 
of the identical file structure pro- 
tocols to pass the source code to a 
larger PDP-11 or VAX system. The 
minicomputer compiles the code and 
transmits the result back to the Pro- 
fessional system, where the program- 



100 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 345 on Inquiry card. 



IN 1982, THP COMPETITION 
WAS BUSY TRYING TO COPY THE 



They say a moving target is harder to hit. Well, 
we've been moving very fast recently. Last year 
we introduced the FIRST and, until now, the 



S-100 microcomputers, with unparalleled price 
and performance, the SemiDisk I. The original. 
Naturally, we had imitators. But nobody 
managed to duplicate SemiDisk's features, 
let alone improve on the idea. And now 
the original is even better: only $1495 for 
512 Kbytes, including the sophisticated 
SemiSpool print-spooler software system (only 
$2350 for 1 Mbyte). Far better performance for 
much less money. 



, juldn't stop there. So we 
designed the S-100 SemiDisk II. It includes 
powerful features, such as storage capacity of 
up to 2 Mbytes per board, 8 Mbyte total disk size, 
automatic power-fail check and battery backup 
provision, and on-board hardware parity checking 
for exceedingly fast operation. Features the 
competition can only wish they could offer. And at 
$1795 for 512K ($2650 fori Mbyte), it still costs less 
than inferior imitations. 

Twice as fast as the SemiDisk I, SemiDisk II runs 
wide circles around hard disks, and blows floppies 
off thfi road. Needless to sav. it leaves the 



competition crawling in the dust. So if you want the 
benefit of truly extraordinary computer 
performance, you'll find it in the SemiDisk II. 

Make no mistake about it, SemiDisk II is the fastest, 
• highest density, easiest to use, most compatible, 
most cost-effective microcomputer disk emulator 
ever built. And considering the SemiDisk I, that's 
really saying something. 

SemiDisk 

It's the disk the others are trying to copy. 



SemiDisk Systems, Inc. 

P.O. Box GG Beaverton, OR 97075 (503)642-3100 

Call 503-646-5510 for CBBS 7NW, a Semi Disk-equipped computer bulletin board. 
SemiDisk trademark of SemiDisk Systems, Inc. Copyright c 1983 SemiDisk Systems, Inc. 




The Professional Developer s Toolkit supports these languages: 



BASIC-Plus-2 is an extended BASIC 
compiler that offers structured pro- 
gramming constructs; access to 
global variables, functions, and 
constants; and support for implicit 
or explicit data types. 

FORTRAN 77 is an extended imple- 
mentation of the ANSI (American 
National Standards Institute) subset 
Fortran-77 standard (X3.9-1978). 
Professional Tool Kit FOR- 
TRAN-77 contains many of the full- 
set language features and extensions 
not included in the standard. Full- 
language features include double- 



precision and complex data types, 
intrinsic functions, exponentiation 
forms, format editor descriptors, 
and generalized DO loop param- 
eters. 

COBOL 81 is based on the 1974 ANSI 

COBOL Standard (X3. 23-1974) 
and includes some of the features 
planned for the next standard. 

DIBOL allows for the use of P/OS 
system services while maintaining 
many of the standard DIBOL fea- 
tures found on VAX/VMS, 
RSTS/E, CTS-300, and CTS-310. 



Professional Macro Assembler 

Pascal is a true optimizing compiler 
with an extended implementation of 
the Pascal language. The extensions 
assist the application programmer 
in accessing P/OS system services 
and simplify application design. Ex- 
tensions include ISAM (indexed 
sequential-access method), sepa- 
rately compiled procedures, sets of 
up to 256 elements, 31 character 
identifiers, FIND and LOCATE I/O 
procedures, and an OTHERWISE 
clause for the CASE statement. 

C (available from Whitesmiths Ltd.) 



mer uses an interactive debugger to 
refine the program. Later, the pro- 
grammer uses the frame-development 
tools to create menus and error mes- 
sages for the program. Additionally, 
an application-builder program 
creates floppy-disk copies for 
distribution. Finally, the programmer 
may develop algorithms that use the 
identification number located in 
ROM to combat software piracy. 

A Toolkit style guide helps pro- 
grammers maintain the consistency of 
the user interface. For example, ex- 
ecution of a command should be in- 
itiated by pressing the DO key rather 
than Enter or Return. Digital's design 
goal is that end users will get some 
applications programs from Digital, 
some from their own programming 
staff, and some from third-party ven- 
dors, but all the programs will look 
and act as if they came from the same 
programmer. Already, Professional 
Series users have access to software 
that has been developed with the con- 
sistent user interface (see table 1). 
Much of this application software is 
also available for both the Profes- 
sional and Digital's larger systems, 
and the common file structure pro- 
vides an easy migration path to 
established minicomputer software. 

Telephone Management 

In another example of designing a 
personal computer around the work 
habits of the user, Digital introduced 
a Telephone Management System 

102 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



(TMS) option (see figure 2). A poten- 
tial user of the Professional system 
probably spends at least 20 percent of 
the day on the telephone. That time 
can be made more productive by 
using TMS, which lets the computer 
maintain a personal directory of 
numbers, dial calls, log and file 
messages, and answer the phone 
when necessary. Additionally, TMS 
can provide facilities for dictation 
and transcription. Perhaps most im- 
pressive is that the TMS hardware 
will support composite documents, 
which combine text, graphics, and 
voice — which are necessary com- 
ponents of the automated office. 

The TMS has three components: a 
controller board that fits into the 
option-card cage of the system unit, 
an attachment plate that goes on the 
rear of the system unit, and an ac- 
cessory box designed to resemble the 
keyboard. The controller board con- 
tains most of the TMS logic, includ- 
ing the modems, DTMF transceiver, 
tone-detection circuitry, and Codec, 
a voice encoding and decoding chip. 

Bell Laboratories' 103J/212A 
equivalent modems provide the user 
with 300- or 1200-bps (bit-per-sec- 
ond) data communication over stan- 
dard telephone lines, and Touch- 
Tone signals can be transmitted with 
the DTMF transceiver. The tone- 
detection circuitry detects dial, busy, 
and ring-back tones. Analog voice 
signals from the telephone line or 
voice unit are converted into digital 



signals by the Codec circuitry. These 
signals can then be stored on the Pro- 
fessional's Winchester disk, on a file 
server, or on a larger system. The 
process also reverses to reconstruct 
analog signals from transmission on 
the phone line or voice unit. A CVSD 
(continuously variable slope delta 
modulation) 32K-bps encoding 
scheme maintains high-quality voice 
playback. 

A plug-in attachment on the back 
of the system provides modular-jack 
connections for two telephone lines, 
allowing the user simultaneous voice 
and data connections. Additionally, 
this attachment provides the neces- 
sary connections for the user's tele- 
phone and the optional voice unit, 
which contains a full telephone dial 
pad, conference phone buttons, and 
dictating-machine control keys. The 
unit also has a speaker and a micro- 
phone. 

The TMS hardware operates 
through a standard handset or an ex- 
ternal speaker. In combination with 
an optional communication-services 
software package, the user can main- 
tain a personal calling directory and 
automatically invoke dialing of either 
voice or data calls. The communica- 
tions software also provides for 
VT102 and VT125 terminal emula- 
tion using the TMS modems and per- 
mits file transfer between other Pro- 
fessionals as well as to RSX and VMS 
systems. The hardware's potential, 
however, still remains to be reached, 
Text continued on page 106 




PCnet is the first local area network designed specifically for 
the IBM Personal Computer. It consists of the necessary hardware 
and software to set up a powerful, yet cost effective local area 
network for the IBM PC. While others make claims, PCnet is a 
local area network proven to be successful by hundreds of 
installations in IBM Personal Computers. 

Circle 3 on inquiry card. 



ASTR€S€fiRCH INC 

2372 Morse Avenue, Irvine, CA 92714 

Telephone (714) 540-1333 

Call or write for immediate response. 



L 



AST& PCnet Hardware: 

CSMA/CD LAN 

technique 

7000 feet max. 

distance 

Low cost CATV 

Coaxial cable as 

medium for tran- 

mission 

1 Megabit per second 

transmission 

Optional Mainframe 

connection {eg., 

AST-SNA; AST-5251; 

AST-3780 etc.) 



AST& PCnetSoftware: 

Disk Sharing 

Unlike other networks, 



PCnet does not 
demandexpansive file 
server or proprietary 
hard disk systems for 
disk sharing. Almost 
any PC-DOS compa- 
tible hard disk includ- 
ing IBM's can be used 
for disk sharing 

I File locking 
Provides locking to 
common data files so 
that common files are 
onlyaccessed by one 
user at a time 

i PC Sharing (Multi- 
tasking) Allows user 
on 1 PC to run com- 
mand on another PC 
in the same network 



as if the command h 
been entered on that 
PC's keyboard 

• Printer Sharing 
Allows PCs to share 
printers installed in 
other PCs. j 

AST & PCnet Future [ 

Products: ' 

• Universal File Server [ 

• Gateway } 

Other AST Products 

• I/O Plus II , 

• MegaPlus f 

• ComboPfus 

• PlusModem j 

• Etc.... 



a trademark of Orchid Technology, Inc. IBM is a registered trademark 




A DEC on Every Desk? 




The VT 180 




The Rainbow 100 




The DECmate II 




John J. Snyder, Ph.D. 

POB 6046 

Boulder, CO 80306 



The Micro/PDP-11 



Digital Equipment Corporation has 
developed an entire line of microcom- 
puters to meet the needs of a variety of 
users. In addition to the Professional 
Series, the following machines are 
available: 

•The VT180, an 8-bit microcomputer 
based on the CP/M operating system 
and floppy-disk drives 
•The Rainbow 100, a dual-processor 
8-bit and 16-bit microcomputer based 
on CP/M, CP/M-86, and MS-DOS 
operating systems with an optional 
hard disk 

•The DECmate II, a 12-bit microcom- 
puter with an optional hard disk; com- 
patible with Digital's vintage line of 
workhorse PDP-8 minicomputers 
•The Micro/ PDP-11, a 16-bit multi- 
user microcomputer with a built-in 
hard disk, abo compatible with Digital's 
line of PDP-11 minicomputers; runs six 
of the PDP-11 operating systems (see 
table 1 for a comparison of the Digital 
lineup). 

The VT180 

The VT180 Personal Computing 
Terminal is Digital's entry-level micro- 
computer and has been available since 
early last year. Actually, the name 
VT180 is an unofficial designation for 
the combination of a standard VT100 
terminal with the VT18X option. Al- 
though the VT100 is a "smart" ter- 
minal, it is not user programmable in 
terms of applications software. The 
VT18X option for the VT100 terminal 
consists of two circuit boards that fit 
inside the terminal and a pair of 
5 l A-inch floppy-disk drives in a 
separate low-profile enclosure. 

The resulting VT180 contains a stan- 
dard Z80 microprocessor running at 2 
MHz with 64K bytes of RAM 
(random-access read/write memory). 



Each floppy disk has 180K bytes of 
storage, and the system can access up 
to four drives in two enclosures. 

The Rainbow 100 

The Rainbow 100 is a dual-processor 
model featuring both the 8-bit Z80 and 
the 16-bit 8088 microprocessor chips. 
This machine's distinctive appearance 
is highlighted by the long, very thin, 
detached keyboard and a video display 
in a truncated pyramid barely larger 
than the monitor tube itself. 

The unit also has an overgrown at- 
tache case, which doesn't always ap- 
pear in the ads. The system unit con- 
tains the processors, memory, disk 
drives, power supply, and slots for 
three option cards in a case that 
measures 19 by 14.3 by 6.6 inches. The 
unit can be mounted horizontally on a 
desktop or, even better, vertically on a 
floor stand to save valuable desktop 
space. 

The Rainbow 100 uses Digital's spe- 
cial CP/M 86/80 operating system. This 
system automatically senses whether 
an application program has been writ- 
ten in CP/M-80 (for the 8-bit Z80) or 
in CP/M-86 (for the 16-bit 8088) and 
then executes the program on the ap- 
propriate microprocessor. MS-DOS, 
from Microsoft, will also be available 
and will offer the possibility of running 
software developed for the IBM Per- 
sonal Computer. 

The standard Rainbow 100 starts 
with 64K bytes of main memory, ex- 
pandable to 256K bytes. The dual 
floppy-disk drive stores 400K bytes on 
each disk and uses one spindle motor 
to spin both disks. And the size of this 
package is identical to a standard 
single-disk drive. A second dual-disk 
drive as well as a 5-megabyte Win- 
chester hard-disk drive may be in- 
stalled in a separate cabinet. Color and 
bit-mapped video graphics options are 
also available. 

The DECmate II 

The DECmate II resembles the Rain- 



104 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Specification 


VT180 


Rainbow 100 


DECmate II 


Professional 325 


Professional 350 


MICRO/PDP-11 


Word size 


8-bit 


8-bit and 16-bit 


12-bit 


16-bit 


16-bit 


16-bit 


Processor 


Z80 


Z80 and 8088 


DEC 6120 


LSI-11/23-Plus 


LSI-11/23 Plus 


LSI-11/23-Plus 


Main memory (bytes) 














Standard 


64K 


64 K 


96K (64K words) 


256K 


256K 


256K 


Maximum 


64 K 


256K 


96K (64K words) 


512K 


1 megabyte 


4 megabytes 


Operating system(s) 


CP/M 


CP/M-86/80 


WPS-8, 


P/OS (from RSX- 


P/OS (from RSX- 


CTS-300, DSM-11, 






(combined 8- 


COS-310 


11M-Plus) 


11M-Plus) 


RSTS/E, RSX-11S, 






and 16-bit 








RSX11-M, RSX11-M- 






CP/M), 








Plus, RT-11, Unix*, 






MS-DOS 








others 






(16-bit) 










Optional coprocessor 


— 


— 


Z80 


Z80 


Z80 


— 


Private memory 


— 


— 


64K 


64K 


64K 


— 


Operating system 


— 


— 


CP/M 


CP/M 


CP/M 


— 


Expansion slots 


— 


3 


3 


1 


4 


6 (dual LSI-11 cards) 


5 1 /4-inch floppy disks 














Number (std-max) 


2-4 


2-4 


2-4 


2-4 


2-4 


2 


Storage per disk 


180K bytes 


400K bytes 


267K words 


400K bytes 


400K bytes 


400K bytes 


Maximum storage 


720K bytes 


1.6 megabytes 


1.1 megabyte 
words 


1 .6 megabytes 


1.6 megabytes 


1 .6 megabytes 


8-inch floppy disks 














Number (std-max) 


— 


— 


0-2 


— 


— 


— 


Storage per disk 


— 


— 


128K words 


— 


— 


— 


Maximum storage 


— 


— 


256K words 


— 


— 


— 


5 1 /4-inch Winchester 














disk 














Availability 


— 


optional 


optional 


(must upgrade 


optional 


standard 


Storage 


— 


5.0 megabytes 


5.0 megabytes 


to 350) 


5.0 megabytes 


10.0 megabytes 


Ports 














Serial** 


2 


2 


2 


2 


2-3 


6 


External disk 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


1 


Graphics 














Colors 


— 


16 or 4 from 8 


4 from 8 


8 from 256 


8 from 256 


(via optional graphics 


Resolution 


80 by 24 


320 by 240 or 


320 by 240 


960 by 240 


960 by 240 


terminal and 


(characters) 




800 by 240 








software) 


Prices 














Base 


$1795 
(plus VT 100 
terminal) 


$3495 


$3745 


$3995 


$4995 


$10,225 (without any 
terminals) 


5-megabyte 


— 


$4200 


$4000 


(upgrade to 350) 


$3500 


(10-megabyte 


Winchester 












Winchester standard) 


CP/M module 
*Unix and others are 


available fron 


i software house 


$495 
s 


$695 


$695 





**One serial port is for a printer and a second is for data communications with modem control. 
Table 1: An overview of six microcomputers from Digital Equipment Corporation. 



bow 100 but is a very unique micro- 
computer in its own right. It uses 
Digital's proprietary 12-bit 6120 micro- 
processor, which executes the instruc- 
tion set of the PDP-8 minicomputer 
family. The operating systems are 
Digital's WPS-8 Word Processing Sys- 
tem and COS-310 Commercial Operat- 
ing System, featuring DIBOL (Digital's 
Business-Oriented Language, similar to 



COBOL). With the addition of a Z80 
microprocessor on a circuit card, the 
DECmate II can also run a CP/M pro- 
gram while the 6120 processor runs 
another application. 

Like the Rainbow, the DECmate II 
comes with a dual-disk drive that 
stores 400K bytes on each 5 J A-inch 
floppy disk. Another dual-disk drive 
may be installed in the main cabinet. In 



separate enclosures, a 5-megabyte 
Winchester hard disk and a pair of 
8-inch DEC-compatible (RX02) floppy- 
disk drives may be included in the 
system. The 8-inch drive controller 
permits direct transfer of information 
to and from the earlier DECmate I 
machines. A graphics option of four 

Text box continued on page 106 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 105 



Text box continued: 

simultaneous colors is also available. 

With the standard DECmate 11 screen, 

the colors appear as different shades of 

gray. A color monitor will soon be 

available. 

The MICRO/PDP-11 

The MICRO/PDP-11 is basically a 
more powerful multiuser version of the 
Professional 350 with 6 serial lines, 
each of which supports a terminal, 
printer, or communication link. 

The basic system comes with 256K 
bytes of main memory and an 
operating system license but without a 
terminal. Initially, Digital's popular 
VT100 series terminals are available 
for use with the system. Any of the 
Digital microcomputers mentioned 
above, with or without their own Win- 
chester disks, can also be used as ter- 
minals. 

Because the MICRO/PDP-11 will be 
serving as many as six users, it comes 
with a larger-capacity 10-megabyte 
Winchester hard disk. Along with the 
greater disk-storage capacity, the 
system can support up to 4 megabytes 
of main memory with its PDP 11/23 
Plus processor. Again, a dual-disk 
drive is included (400K bytes of storage 
on each SVt-inch floppy disk). 

The MICRO/PDP-11 supports 
Digital's standard 16-bit PDP-11 
minicomputer operating systems: 
CTS-300, DSM-11, RSTS, RSX-llS, 
RSX11-M, RSX-11-M-Plus, and 
RT-11. Unix and other operating 



systems are available from software 
houses. 

Digital also supplies several high- 
level language compilers including 
BASIC, COBOL, DIBOL, FORTRAN, 
MACRO, and Pascal. Virtually any 
available PDP-11 minicomputer soft- 
ware can be run on the 
MICRO/PDP-11. 

The system cabinet for the 
MICRO/PDP-11 is somewhat larger 
than that for the Professional 350, so it 
can accommodate the larger-capacity 
10-megabyte disk, larger power sup- 
ply, and additional card slots for 
memory and other options. The 
backplane has slots for as many as 6 
dual LSI-11 option cards. A wide 
variety of specialized options for the 
LSI-11 bus are available from Digital 
and other vendors. The unit measures 
27 by 21Vi by 6 inches. It can be 
mounted either vertically on a floor 
stand or horizontally. A rack mount 
kit is also available. 

The CP/M Option Module consists 
of a Zilog Z80 microprocessor with 
64K bytes of memory onboard. Includ- 
ed with the unit is a floppy disk con- 
taining the CP/M operating system. 
This option is available only for the 
DECmate II and the Professional 
Series, which do not come with a built- 
in Z80 processor. With the CP/M Op- 
tion Module installed, the Z80 can run 
any of the popular CP/M software 
while the microcomputer's main pro- 
cessor is busy working on something 
else. 



Text continued from page 102: 

and the Professional's design ensures 
additional uses. The following appli- 
cations can be expected in the near 
future: 



• Dictation: A dictation wand can be 
obtained as an accessory for the voice 
unit. Using the wand, a manager will 
be able to dictate text, which can be 



converted to digital signals and trans- 
mitted across Ethernet to a secretary's 
Professional Series system. 

• Transcription: Using the earphone 
and foot pedal, which are available as 
accessories for the voice unit, a 
secretary can transcribe the dictated 
text. 

• Voice annotation on text: Text be- 
ing read from the video screen will be 
annotated simply by positioning the 
cursor where the comment is to oc- 
cur. When the Comment key on the 
voice unit is depressed and the com- 
ment has been dictated, it will be con- 
verted from analog to digital signals 
and imbedded in the text. The tech- 
nique can, of course, be used to edit 
text prepared by a typist. 

• Voice messaging: The Telephone 
Management System, with proper ap- 
plication programming, will be able 
to accept and digitize voice messages. 
This ability permits the caller to dic- 
tate a message that can be appended 
to a text header prepared by the 
secretary. Under proper program 
control, the TMS system can alter- 
nately provide a complete telephone 
answering service. 

Conclusion 

The Digital Professional Series 
family was designed to meet the needs 
of the modern business organization. 
Whether the need is for desktop com- 
puting power, personal computer 
clusters, or system-to-system commu- 
nications, the 325 and the 350 offer 
functionality with ease of use. 
Perhaps most important is the Profes- 
sional's ability to expand capabilities 
within a consistent user interfaces 



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106 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 68 on inquiry card. 




Amdek's new business system 
meets your graphic needs 



Amdek's Business System is designed to allow your 
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THE SYSTEM 

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Amdek Model — DXY Plotter 

Amdek Multiple Adapter Interface Board 

SOFTWARE 

BPS Business Graphics™ 

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Amplot II Plotter — Automatic, 6 Pens 
Amdisk III — 3 " Microfloppy Disk Drive System 



The system is designed to save you time and money, and to 
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Here's how it works: The computer's data appears on the 
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It's easy to use — the system interfaces with the most popu- 
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Now you can make sophisticated graphic presentations to 
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Easy to stick-on, tuck-in, put anywhere you want. 
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J-Cat does it automatically. 
$149* 





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103 Smart-Cat (300 BAUD, full duplex) $249* 
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Cat is a registered trademark of Novation. VisiCalc is a trademark of Personal Software, Inc. 
CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research Inc. Apple is a registered trademark of Apple 
Computer Inc. 'Suggested retail Cjrc | e 2 &g n inquiry card. 




Tight Squeeze 

The HP Series 200 Model 16 

How Hewlett-Packard crammed a powerful 16-bit 
microcomputer into a square foot of desk space. 



Although Motorola's powerful 68000 
microprocessor may be fairly new to 
many people in the personal computer 
field, Hewlett-Packard has been using 
this processor in its desktop computers 
since 1981. Not only was HP one of the 
first large manufacturers to adopt the 



John Monahan 

Desktop Computer Division 

Hewlett-Packard 

3404 East Harmony Rd. 

Fort Collins, CO 80525 

68000, but last November, the com- 
pany released its fourth 68000-based 
machine, the Series 200 Model 16 (see 
photo 1). 

The Model 16 is intended to be a lion 
packaged as a house cat. In addition to 
its 16-/32-bit microprocessor running 



at a clock rate of 8 MHz, this machine 
offers an RS-232C interface, an HP-IB 
(Hewlett-Packard Interface Bus, IEEE 
488) interface, 128K to 512K bytes of 
volatile memory or RAM (random- 
access read/write memory) with 
provisions for up to 4 megabytes, a 




Photo 1: The Hewlett-Packard Series 200 Model 16 microcomputer (formerly the HP 9816). Even with the optional dual microfloppy-disk 
drive (3Vi-inch disks), the unit is extremely compact. 



110 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 2: The Hewlett-Packard Series 200 family. From left to right, the Model 16, the Model 26, and the Model 36. Each of these machines 
shares a common architecture based on the 68000 microprocessor. The Model 26, introduced in June 1981, is designed for computer-aided 
testing applications. The Model 36, introduced in January 1982, has a high graphics resolution for use as a computer-aided design worksta- 
tion. 



9-inch display with 400- by 300-pixel 
graphics resolution, a variety of mass- 
storage options (from 3Vi-inch floppy 
to 64-megabyte hard disks), and a large 
library of software already available. 
And thanks to an intricately designed 
printed-circuit board and Sony's new 
3V2-inch floppy-disk format, the Model 
16 is probably the smallest desktop 
machine around. 

To understand what the Model 16 
does, it's important to know how it 
came about. The Model 16, originally 
known as the HP 9816, is the third 
member of the Series 200 family (see 
photo 2). First came the Model 26 (or 
HP 9826), which is primarily a rack- 
mountable, testing and data acquisition 
machine with several backplane slots 
(eight compared to the Model 16's 
two). Then came the Model 36 (or HP 
9836), which has extensive graphics 
capabilities and two built-in floppy- 
disk drives. This unit is intended for 
engineers and scientists who design and 
analyze at their desks or laboratory 
benches. 

The Model 16 was designed to per- 
form all the technical tasks of the 26 
and 36 and to be software-transport- 
able with them and with HP's 32-bit 
workstations in the HP 9000 computer 
family. The Model 16, however, is 
packaged and priced as a personal 
computer for more general use. The 
basic unit, with 128K bytes of memory 



and no disk drives, is $3985. Because its 
16-bit architecture greatly increases the 
speed of software packages such as 
Context MBA and Visicalc, the Model 
16 is now finding its way into business 
applications as well as the analytical 
applications that have been HP's tradi- 
tional market. 

Ill now relate how HP came to select 
the 68000 microprocessor for its line of 
16-bit microcomputers and implement 
it in Series 200 machines. I'll also dis- 
cuss the Model 16 itself, including its 
growth potential, hardware packaging, 
and peripheral compatibility. 

The First Step 

In 1979, HP's Desktop Computer 
Division in Fort Collins, Colorado, 
conducted a study to determine which 
microprocessor should be used in a new 
test/control computer, the HP 9826, 
which would later become known as 
the Model 26. 

According to Sandy Chumbley, then 
research and development manager for 
the Model 26, 'There were two pri- 
mary factors that led to the 68000. 
First, we had a design objective to 
develop a product with two times the 
performance of the machine it was to 
replace [the HP 9825]. 

"Second, we were designing a pretty 
sophisticated software system and be- 
lieved that the 68000 was a better fit for 
what we were trying to accomplish." 



In May 1979, when HP started look- 
ing at the 68000, the company already 
had a Model 26 design and a fair- 
ly good prototype based on the Intel 
8086 processor. However, it became 
apparent to software engineers that the 
8086 would not meet performance ex- 
pectations because its address space 
was segmented into 64K-byte blocks 
and provided only 1 megabyte of total 
address space. 

"We were design-centered around 
the BASIC interpreter," Chumbley 
says, "so we did some extensive analy- 
sis on the 68000, the 8086, and an HP- 
built processor. The 68000 turned out 
to be faster than either one by a factor 
of 1.5 to 2.0." Also, the 68000, with its 
24-bit address bus, offered a 16-mega- 
byte linear address space that made 
coding much easier. And like the 8086, 
it provided memory-mapped I/O (in- 
put/output). This meant that memory 
or I/O cards plugged into the back- 
plane could be mixed and matched 
without special instructions or signals. 

Other advantages engineers saw in 
the 68000 were its 16-bit external data 
bus; its 32-bit internal data bus; its 
instruction set with 14 addressing 
modes and 5 main data types; its 
8-MHz clock rate; and its 17 registers, 
each containing 32 bits (in addition to a 
32-bit program counter and a 16-bit 
status register). Motorola's enhance- 
ment program for the 68000 chip was 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 111 









Victor 9000 




TRS-80 


Mode! 16 


Model 16 


IBM PC 


BASIC-86, 5.21, 


Apple II Plus 


Modelll 


Benchmark Integer 


Real 


MS-DOS 1.0 


MS-DOS 1.2 


Applesoft Model II Basic 


empty DO loop 0.34 


0.82 


6.43 


7.7 


6.66 


7.98 


division 3.12 


3.61 


23.8 


21.8 


29.0 


19.4 


subroutine jump 1.02 


1.50 


12.4 


16.9 


13.9 


17.1 


substring 1 .96 


2.55 


23.0 


24.6 


32.3 


24.8 


prime number program 13.27 


18.64 


190.0 


197.0 


241.0 


189.0 


disk write 70.0 


— 


32.0 


50.3 


175.0 


— 


disk read 40.3 




22.9 


21.3 


217.0 




Table 1: BASIC language benchmark results. All times are given in seconds 


The benchmark 


programs employed 


are the same as those 


used in previous BYTE articles (see January 1982, page 54, 


and November 1982, page 246). Benchmarks for the Model 16 were run with 


looping variables in both real and integer formats for comparison. Data for machines other than the Model 16 is 


from the November 


1982 issue of BYTE. Note that with the large memory of the Model 16, disk write and read operations could be improved to about 6 sec- 


onds by using two 32K-byte character strings. 













another plus. In the future, Series 200 
products will be able to evolve as the 
main processor family does. 

To illustrate the power of the 68000 
processor, we have compared the 
Model 16 with several other personal 
computers (see table 1). For the com- 
parison we used a series of BASIC 
benchmark programs and results that 
appeared in the November 1982 BYTE 
(page 246). 

The Footprint Feat 

For all its power, the Model 16 takes 
up about as much desk space as an "in" 
basket (see table 2). Its "footprint" is 1.7 
square feet. HP also supplies a 
"garage," to be placed under the unit, 
for the keyboard. When the keyboard 
is "parked" in this garage, the Model 
16's footprint is 1 square foot exactly. 

To ensure that the Model 16 would 
have such a small footprint, HP decid- 
ed to package the Model 16 in the same 
case as the HP 2382 terminal. But de- 
spite this small size, the computer's 
architecture could not be compro- 
mised, nor could costs be increased. 

"We looked at a number of alterna- 
tive architecture implementa- 
tions," says Joe DeWeese, then project 
manager for the Model 16's hardware, 
"and decided that one main board con- 
taining the majority of the functionality 
was the best solution in terms of cost, 
reliability, and serviceability." 

This decision posed some real chal- 



lenges for the man chosen to design the 
microprocessor board, Lyle Frey. 
'There was a lot of interplay in the 
selection of parts and, to some extent, 
the function of the board," Frey says. 
"Many of the features were negotiated 
by what would fit," he adds. "In fact, 
many of the parts for the original board 
didn't fit, so they were implemented 
differently." 

Packaging requirements further 
complicated the board's design. For 
instance, the case for the HP 2382 
terminal offered no provisions for 
physically supporting processor boards 



Computer 

HP Series 200 Model 16 
IBM Personal Computer 
Victor 9000 
Apple III 



Footprint 
(square inches) 

238 
420 
310 
361 



Table 2: Footprint comparisons. The 
Model 16' s footprint is an incredible 238 
square inches (1.7 square feet), which 
makes it a little over half the size of the 
IBM Personal Computer. To make the 
footprint even smaller, a keyboard 
"garage" is available to allow you to 
"park" your keyboard underneath the 
system when not in use. This brings the 
footprint down to 144 square inches (1 
square foot). 



vertically (the 2382 was designed for 
horizontal boards). This was remedied 
by installing two horizontal boards and 
plugging the vertical boards into them. 

Cooling problems were solved by 
using the processor and video-display 
boards to direct the air flow of the 
cooling fan. Also, cut-outs were de- 
signed into the boards so that air could 
flow through them. After considerable 
testing, a board arrangement was 
devised that directed the air in a 
U-shaped pattern — an air plenum— 
so that there was less than a 15-degree 
Celsius internal rise in temperature 
under worst-case conditions. 

The result of our work was an eight- 
layer circuit board for the main 
processor, with special integrated 
circuits that allow a chip density 
equivalent to two ordinary integrated- 
circuit chips per square inch, making it 
perhaps the densest board in any per- 
sonal computer today. It slides out of 
the Model 16 without requiring the re- 
moval of other boards. Furthermore, 
it's totally operational with just a 2-pin 
power connector (5 volts and ground). 
Photo 3 shows the 9-inch by 10.3-inch 
board with its 125 special-purpose inte- 
grated circuits. 

"What's impressive about the 
design," says Frey, "is not so much high 
technology as the fact that we stayed 
within PC [printed-circuit] board de- 
sign rules and manufacturing tech- 
niques shown to be reliable and still 



112 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 86 on Inquiry card. 




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ROM 



KEYBOARD 
CONTROLLER 



INTERNAL 
HP-IB 



INTERNAL 
RS-232C 



POWER 
SUPPLY 



KEYBOARD 



Figure 1: Block diagram of the Model 16 hardware system. 



HP-IB = HEWLETT-PACKARD INTERFACE BUS 



packed everything on such a small 
board." 

Figure 3 shows the processor board's 
layout. It contains the entire central 
processor system, plus 128K or 256K 
bytes of RAM, an RS-232C interface, 
an HP-IB (IEEE 488) interface, the key- 
board processor, connections for other 
boards, and either 16K or 48K bytes of 
bootstrap code in ROM (read-only 
memory). 

Getting the Boot 

The bootstrap ROM performs two 
major tasks to ensure quality and flexi- 
bility. Task one is the testing of all 
hardware when the Model 16 is 
switched on. The results of this self -test 
are displayed on the video screen. If a 
noncritical resource has failed, the 
bootstrap ROM allows you to decide 
whether you want to continue opera- 



tion. The ROM further tests and re- 
ports the status of all I/O or memory 
cards plugged into the rear expansion 
slots. 

The second function the boot ROM 
performs automatically is to search all 
mass-storage devices connected to the 
Model 16 and to load the operating 
system that has been given the highest 
priority. Thus, you can store operating 
systems on any of several supported 
mass-storage devices. These devices 
include ROMs, floppy disks, Winches- 
ter disks, and disks on HP's Shared 
Resource Management network. Press- 
ing any key on the keyboard during 
power-up signals the bootstrap ROM 
to list all operating systems available, 
so you can decide which one to load. 

Assuring Quality 

Once the packaging problems were 



solved, the final six months of develop- 
ment were spent building pilot produc- 
tion units for later evaluation in HP's 
STRIFE (stress and life) program. The 
idea behind STRIFE is to force failures 
by pushing products beyond "the edge 
of the envelope," as test pilots say. 

In addition to the extensive environ- 
mental tests that HP performs, 3 of the 
20 prototype Model 16s were subjected 
to simultaneous temperature, humid- 
ity, and power cycling conditions far 
beyond their specified tolerances. De- 
sign and component flaws that 
appeared -even once in a single machine 
were analyzed and corrected in all 20. 
This method of failure acceleration 
uncovered about 20 problems that were 
solved before the Model 16 was re- 
leased to production. Also, before 
public introduction, some Model 16s 
were placed in an office environment in 



114 June 1903 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Plot 

your next meeting 

yourself. 

Read how 2 pens can become 
your best presentation tools. 



Introducing the New Personal 
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The 7470A helps you 
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Quicker understanding. 

Data, when visualized graphically, becomes information 
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the communicating for you. 
Quickly. Logically. And with 
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Fast and pretty. 

The 7470A gives you high plotting speed with excellent 
line quality ... faster than any competitive small plotter. 
On top of all that, it comes in an attractive design 
package that looks nice on your desk. And it does it 
for only $1,575. (U.S.A. domestic suggested retail price.) 





Count on it. 

The 7470A is built the Hewlett- 
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engineered with only a few parts, none 
of which require adjustment. And with 
customized integrated circuits 
that ensure reliability. 

Pen pals. 

The HP 7470A has 
two single-pen stables. 
Simple pen changes give you 
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coordinated colors. Pens are automatic- 
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An option you'll want, too. 

For only $95, you can also get a 17057 Overhead 
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Start plotting your next presentation today. 
Clip and mail the coupon below. Now. 

Mail the coupon below and we'll send you — absolutely 
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Then... stop in at your nearest Hewlett-Packard 
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own applause-winning presentations. 

When performance must be measured by results 



m 



HEWLETT 
PACKARD 



Seeing is believing. Send me a sample plot, an overhead transparency, and more detailed information. 
I Name Title 

I 

City, State & Zip , 

Phone Number ( ) 

I My computer is 
Send to: Hewlett-Packard, 16399 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127 -Attn: Nancy Carter 11203 BT6 



Company . 
Address _ 



Circle 173 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 115 



HEXADECIMAL 
ADDRESS 



1 


- lbM-l 

9M 
8M 

MBYTES 


RAM 




TEST/MONITOR 


MEG/ 


EXTERNAL I/O 




6M 






INTERNAL I/O 




4M 






SYSTEM ROM 




48K 





1 


BOOT ROM 



900000 
800000 



600000 



003FFF 



Figure 2: Memory map for the Model 16. 




Photo 3: One of the most tightly packed boards in the microcomputer industry. The main 
processor board of the Model 16 is only 9 by 10.3 inches but contains 125 special integrated 
circuit chips, the equivalent of 185 normal (14- to 18-pin) chips. The result is a chip density 
equivalent to approximately 2 chips per square inch. 



order to detect any flaws that might 
occur in a more normal situation. 

Decentralized Processing 

Figure 1 describes the Model 16's 
internal architecture. All system 
resources are memory-mapped within 
the 16-megabyte address space of the 
68000. This address map provides 
room for 7 megabytes of RAM in 
addition to all of the internal and 
external I/O subsystems (figure 2). 
Both internal and external RAM areas 



are made up of 64K-bit dynamic RAM 
chips. 

In addition to the powerful 68000 
processor, which was highlighted 
earlier, there are three more processors 
and LSI (large-scale intergration) 
controllers inside the Model 16. This 
multiprocessor architecture allows 
decentralized processing, freeing the 
68000 for system and processing tasks. 
Three processors provide this decen- 
tralized processing: 

Motorola 6845: The Model 16's 



9-inch video display is controlled by a 
Motorola 6845 CRT controller. This 
chip has access to the character (alpha- 
numeric) and graphics buffers con- 
tained in the 68000's address space, and 
thus display refreshing is performed 
independently of the 68000. The alpha- 
numeric display information is stored 
in a separate RAM area as character 
codes and is displayed through a ROM 
routine containing the dot patterns for 
all 256 characters in the Model 16's 
repertoire. 



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CP/M -«*- 

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(415) 324-9114 TWX: 910-370-7457 
Hamilton Avenue, Suite 2, Palo Alto, Calif. 94301 



116 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 388 on inquiry card. 





S-100 Mbrld News 



MACROTECH International Corporation 



22133 Cohasset Street, Canoga Park, California 91303 • 213-887-5737 




Image achieved by DGS' CAT 1600 Series 
color video graphic workstation. Picture 
courtesy of Digital Graphic Systems, Inc. 
See story below. 

GRAPHICS: 

NOW MAX IMIZED 

CANOGA PARK-March 30, 1983-The 
decreasing costs and increasing density of 
memory made possible the present boom in 
digital graphics. Graphic systems designers 
are now able to take another major step with 
the introduction of MAX-M, a one megabyte 
memory board for SI 983. As large size sys- 
tem memory and multi-megabyte Virtual 
Disk, MAX-M opens up major new low cost 
implementations. 

Wayne Maw, Director 
of R&D for RGB Dynam- 
ics, Salt Lake City, Utah, 
reports, "My application 
is dependent on speed. 
With the Macrotech dy- 
namic board, I have the 
needed speed" The RGB 
system is a Z80-based, 
high resolution color directory system for 
shopping malls, due for April release. 

Empirical Research Group of Kent, Wash- 
ington, creates a state-of-the-art high 
resolution color video graphics system by 
integrating their fast 68000 computer, Macro- 
tech system memory, and the color video 
image processor from Digital Graphic Sys- 
tems, Inc., Palo Alto, California. Radcliffe 
Goddard of Digital Graphics states, "High 
speed image processing requires large system 
memory to provide instantaneous display 
frame paging'.' 

The demand for MAX-M by the graphics 
industry was nearly instantaneous following 
the initial Macrotech announcement. M 




MAX-256K to 1M 
S-100 Memory 



CANOGA PARK-March 30, 1983-Mike 
Pelkey, Macrotech International president, to- 
day released details of the revolutionary 
MAX line of S-100 memory boards. Pelkey 
stated: "IEEE-696 now has a new standard 
for dynamic memory. The MAX product line 
offers 256K to 1M, at a price that ranges down 
to less than S0.00023 per bit'.' Pelkey contin- 
ued, "The MI product line now includes our 
ultra fast (70 ns) 128K static memory, with 
battery backup capability, plus the 150 ns 
dynamic memories— in every 128K step from 
256K through 1M (1024K) bytes, and add-on 
kits to permit field upgrade of sizes;' 

The extreme density of the MAX family is 
made possible through the use of proprietary 
PALs (programmable array logic). Also stated 
as available for add-on to any size MAX is 



PRICE INDEX 


SIZE 


P/N 


PRICE 


Static Memory 128K 






1 28-ST 


$1232 


Dynamic Memory 256K 


MAX-256 


$1108 


24-bit 384K 


MAX-384 


1292 


Addressing 512K 


MAX-512 


1647 


768K 


MAX-768 


1815 


896K 


MAX-896 


1899 


1M 


MAX-M 


1983 


With 16-bit M 3 Addressing c 


ption.add $91 


FROM/TO 


P/N 


PRICE 


Upgrade Kits 256K/384K 


MKT-2/3 


$ 192 


256K/512K 


MKT-2/5 


692 


256K/768K 
256K/896K 


MKT-2/7 


876 


MKT-2/8 


967 


256K/1M 


MKT-2/M 


1060 


384K/512K 


MKT-3/5 


600 


384K/768K 


MKT-3/7 


784 


384K/896K 


MKT-3/8 


876 


384K/1M 


MKT-3/M 


968 


512K/768K 


MKT-5/7 


284 


512K/896K 


MKT-5/8 


376 


512K/1M 


MKT-5/M 


468 


768K/896K 


MKT-7/8 


192 


768K/1M 


MKT-7/M 


284 


896K/1M 


MKT-8/M 


192 


M 3 option 


MKT-M3 


121 


Software (provided o n 8 " disk) 




Virtual Disk for MP/M !l* and CP/M 2.2 




CP/M 3.0* Bios modules, 






CP/M memory tests 




$ 25 


Manuals (sold separately) 






1 28/ST 




$ 15 


MAX Technical Manual 




15 



Macrotech's popular M 3 memory mapping 
architecture. M 3 permits the 16-bit address 
space of an 8-bit processor to be dynamically 
mapped in 4K pages into as much as 16 mega- 
bytes of physical memory. 

Parity error detection and 8/16 bit data 
transfer capabilities are provided as standard 
on the MAX series memory board. M 



Software for M3 
Available 



BURBANK-March 30, 
1983-"M3 bank switch- 
ing for 8-bit processors 
is much more useful with 
the new creative systems 
programs',' states Dan 
West of Westcom Sys- 
tems Inc. MP/M II* disk 
intensive applications 
are greatly improved with the new Virtual 
Disk routines now available through Macro- 
tech OEM's and dealers for their M 3 mem- 
ory boards. 

Westcom Systems, as the software consult- 
ing firm for Macrotech, has also provided sub- 
routine listings to easily incorporate M 3 
mapping into the new CP/M 3.0* (CP/M 
Plus*) Bios module. The advantages of CP/M 
3.0* with disk buffering, hashed directories, 
and user program expansion go hand in hand 
with Macrotech's flexible "bank switched" 
memory capabilities. 




All Macrotech software and manuals 
are available through Dan West's 
CompuServe account #70250,102. 

Leave comments/questions as E-Mail. 



These new techniques can combine the 
above features with custom needs of the 
future, such as printer buffering, multi-page 
display and memory-intensive graphics dis- 
plays. 

The software listings are included in the 
Macrotech memory board manuals and are 
optionally available on 8" diskettes. M 



*CP/M 3.0. CP/M Plus, and MP/M II are registered trademarks of Digital Research Inc. 

Circle 227 on inquiry card. 



RS-232C 



SWITCHES 



1 2 3 



REFRESH 
AND 
RAM 
TIMING 



INTERFACE 
SELECT 



HP-IB 



KEYBOARD 
CONTROLLER 



4-PIN 
INTERFACE 



DATA 

AND 

ADDRESS 

BUS 

DRIVERS 



CPU 



MEMORY 
TIMING 



CPU SUPPORT 



HP-IB = HEWLETT-PACKARD INTERFACE BUS 



Figure 3: The layout of the main processor board of the Model 16. 



The graphics information is also 
stored in a separate RAM area. It is 
combined with the alphanumeric image 
into the video pattern. The alpha- 
numeric and graphics video can be 
switched on or off independently or 
displayed simultaneously. 

Intel 8041: User input to the system 
is provided by the detached keyboard 
or by HP's rotary control knob. When 
a key is pressed, the Intel 8041 
microprocessor generates an interrupt 
to the 68000. This information is 
transferred to the 68000 only as needed, 
so the processor does not have to 
monitor or poll the keyboard. 

The rotary control knob is an 
analog-like input device that generates 
120 pulses per revolution. In practice it 
is more efficient than a keyboard, espe- 
cially for repetitive tasks like moving a 
cursor through an electronic 
spreadsheet. 

Texas Instruments 9914: Both RS- 
232C and HP-IB interfaces come stan- 
dard in the Model 16. (HP-IB is the 
industry model for the IEEE Standard 
488-1978.) The Texas Instruments 9914 
chip provides controller/ talker/listener 



functions for increased I/O perfor- 
mance. 

With the 9914 chip, data transfer 
rates on the HP-IB range up to 60K 
bytes per second. These rates can be 
increased fivefold to over 300K bytes 
per second when HP's DMA (direct 
memory access) controller card is used. 
With DMA, data can be transferred 
directly to or from an interface or the 
system memory, independently of the 
68000, at a rate that is limited only by 
the memory itself. 

The Twivel 

What HP calls the Twivel is not a 
new dance, but a device designed to 
make the Model 16 easier to use. The 
Twivel (for tilt and swivel) is a carriage 
that holds the Model 16 so that you can 
tilt the display screen up or down, left 
or right. 

The Microfloppy 

The Model 16 was further designed 
to sit atop the HP 9121 floppy-disk 
drive that's built around the Sony 
3V2-inch microfloppy disk. Interesting- 
ly, the microfloppy holds as much data 



on one side as one of HP's 5V4-inch 
floppy-disks holds on two. 

The reason for this is density. HP 
engineers packed 7100 bits per inch on 
the Sony disk, compared with the 5100 
to 5400 on the 5V4-inch disk. More- 
over, the Sony disk runs at 135 tracks 
per inch; the larger disk runs at 48 
tracks per inch. The Sony disk has 70 
tracks per side, and the 5V4-inch disk 
has 35 tracks on each side (for a total of 
70). The bit density on the Sony disk 
allowed HP engineers to get the same 
number of sectors on it as are on the 
5V4-inch disk. Thus, because the 
number of tracks and number of 
sectors are equal for both disks, 
capacity is the same. 

The 9121 spins at 600 revolutions 
per minute (rpm), which provides 
much better performance than a 5V&- 
inch disk spinning at 300 rpm. The 
other differences are that the 9121 is 20 
percent less expensive than HP 
5V4-inch drives ($1775 versus '$2230) 
because no double buffering is re- 
quired, and it is half the size of the 
5V4-inch drives. 

Another contribution of the 9121 is 
its unique disk monitor. The 9121 
constantly monitors disk use and tells 
you when it's time to replace a disk. 

The 3V2-inch disk is made to the re- 
liable. It's encased in a hard polymer 
jacket and has a sliding protective 
cover for the read/ write opening. This 
makes it much less susceptible to dam- 
age from mishandling than the 5V4-inch 
disks. 

Software 

As I mentioned earlier, the 68000 
was chosen over the Intel 8086 pri- 
marily for software reasons. HP's next 
logical step was to make sure that a 
diversity of software was available 
when the Model 16 was introduced. 

To marshall resources inside and 
outside Hewlett-Packard, a software 
attack team (SWAT) was formed. 
"This marshalling of applications 
resources, with visits to independent 
software vendors, was one of the most 
fun parts of the program," says Gilbert 
Sandberg, then research and develop- 
ment section manager for the Model 
16 project. 

"The applications available at 
introduction and those continually 



118 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




S-100 STATIC MEMORY 
BREAKTHROUGH 

i ~ ' 

Finally, you can buy state-of-the-art 
S-100/IEEE 696 static memory for your 
computer at an unprecedented savings. 

Memory Merchant's memory 
boards provide the advanced features, 
quality and reliability you need for the 
kind of operational performance 
demanded by new high-speed 
processors. 

Completely Assembled. 

These memory boards are not kits, 
nor skeletons — but top-quality, high- 
performance memories that are shipped 
to you completely assembled, burned-in, 
socketed, tested and insured with one of 
the industry's best warranties. 

Superior Design & Quality. 

Memory Merchant's boards are 
created by a designer, well known for his 
proven ability in advanced, cost-efficient 
memory design. Innovative circuitry 
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and incredible versatility. 

Only first-quality components are 
used throughout, and each board is 
rigorously tested to assure perfect and 
dependable performance. 

No Risk Trial. 

We are so convinced that you will 
be absolutely delighted with our boards 
that we extend a no-risk trial offer. After 
purchasing one of our boards, you may 
return it (intact) for any reason within 15 
days after shipment and we will refund 
the purchase price (less shipping). 



NEW S-100 PRODUCTS COMING 
SOON: 

* DUAL8/16BITCPUBOARD 

* 128K8/16 BIT STATIC RAM 

* 256K 8/16 BIT DYNAMIC RAM 




FULL TWO-YEAR 
WARRA NTY- 

' 



48K PARTIALLY POPULATED $519. 
32K PARTIALLY POPULATED $409. 

' I 

64K RAM, MODEL MM65K16S 

• 64K X 8-bit 

• Speed in excess of 6 MHz 

• Uses 150ns 16K(2Kx 8) static RAMS 

• Ultra-low power (435 Ma. max. — 
loaded with 64K) 

• Bank Select and Extended Addressing 

• A 2K window which can be placed 
anywhere in the 64K memory map 

• Four independently addressable 16K 
blocks organized as: 

— Two independent 32K banks or 

— One 64K Extended Address Page or 

— One 48K and one 16K bank for use 
in MP/M 1 (option) 

• Each 32K bank responds 
independently to phantom 

• 2716 (5V) EPROMS may replace any or 
all of the RAM 

• Field-proven operation in CROMEMCO 
CROMIX* andCDOS*. 

• Compatible with latest IEEE 696 
systems such as Northstar, CompuPro, 
Morrow, IMS, IMSAI front panel, Altair 
and many others. 

OEM and DEALER Inquiries invited. 



r 



1 



/jillTlemonp M 
iWrncrchant 

14666 Doolittle Drive 

San Leandro, CA 94577 

(415)483-1008 

Circle 245 on inquiry card. 



: 



The reliability of our boards, 
through quality-controlled production and 
proven performance, has enabled us to 
extend our warranty to a full two years. 
That's standard with us, not an option. 
This includes a 6-month exchange 
program for defective units. 

Shipped direct from stock. 

All Memory Merchant's boards are 
shipped direct from stock, normally 
within 48 hours of receipt of your order. 
Call us at (415) 483-1008 and we may be 
able to ship the same day. 

16K RAM, Model 
MM16K14 




16Kx8Bit 16K STATIC RAM $169. 

Bank Select & Extended Addressing 
Four independently addressable 4K 

blocks 
One 4K segment equipped with 1 K 

windows 
Uses field-proven 2114 (1 K x 4) RAMS 
Low Power (less than 1 .2 Amps) 
Runs on any S-100 8080, 4 MHz Z-80 or 

5 MHz 8085 system. 

Prices, terms, specifications subject to 
change without notice. 

*Cromix and CDOS are trademarks of CROMEMCO. 
1 MP/M is a trademark of Digital Research 




Photo 4: The Model 16 was designed for business as well as technical applications. Here the 
Context MBA software package takes advantage of the Model 16 s graphics capability. 



being added are the results of this 
effort/' says Sandberg. One of the 
newer packages is Context MBA (from 
Context Management Systems), which 
integrates an electronic spreadsheet, 
word processing, graphics, data com- 
munications, and a database (see photo 
4). Visicalc, graphics presentations, 
forecasting, and project management 
are also offered. Technical software 
ranges from digital-filter design to 
numerical analysis, statistics, AC- 
circuit analysis, and linear systems 
analysis. Dozens of other programs 
are available from independent ven- 
dors. (Table 3 is a partial listing of 
software available for the Model 16.) 



Operating-system software and pro- 
gramming languages are key elements 
in the Model 16's power and perfor- 
mance. Two HP-developed operating 
systems/ languages are currently avail- 
able for the Model 16: Pro-BASIC and 
Pascal. Additional languages and oper- 
ating systems are available from third 
parties or are under development by 
HP (see table 4). 

HP's Pro-BASIC has a number of 
powerful features and is very fast (see 
the text box on page 124). 

The Model 16's Pascal uses a true 
compiler rather than a p-code interpret- 
er. This results in a much faster execu- 
tion speed. This Pascal is also compat- 



ible with UCSD Pascal and has power- 
ful graphics and I/O libraries, a full 
68000 assembler, and systems pro- 
gramming extensions. 

Growth 

Compatibility is a family trait within 
Series 200. Starting with the Model 16, 
it's possible to move up to the Model 
26, Model 36, or even the 32-bit HP 
9000 because software is highly trans- 
portable among these computers. This, 
however, represents just part of the 
Model 16's potential. The personal 
computer can also act as an intelligent 
terminal or be connected to HP's 
Shared Resource Management (SRM) 
network. 

Series 200 Terminal Emulator soft- 
ware enables the Model 16 to respond 
like an intelligent terminal for trans- 
ferring ASCII (American National 
Standard Code for Information Inter- 
change) files to or from a host main- 
frame. 

SRM permits up to 68 Series 200 
computers in any combination (includ- 
ing the HP 9835, 9845, and HP 9000 
computers) to share files and peripher- 
als. The computers are connected via 
twisted-pair cables to a Model 26, 
which controls the network. The 
maximum cable length allowed is 60 
meters between computers and 240 
meters end to end. Consider a hypo- 
thetical SRM network: design engineers 
using the Model 36 and an HP 9000 
computer can share the same specifica- 
tions or diagrams from a graphics 
library; two Model 26s could be 
loading the same program simulta- 
neously from a shared disk, or one 
computer could be logging data while 
the other analyzes it. 

With this system, the Model 16 could 
easily be used for software develop- 
ment where everyone on the network 
has a current copy of the source code. 
Or the Model 16 could be used for 
planning because a master file of 
schedules can be updated by anyone in 
the group. Each user has a private 
directory where sensitive files can be 
protected from destruction or unau- 
thorized access. Users can even leave 
electronic messages or charts for each 
other. 

One of the design objectives for the 
SRM network is transparency; the 



120 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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 



puter communication 
his never been this easy. 



VVESTICO 



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 

□ Please send me an ASCOM program & 
documentation: $175.00 * 

□ The ASCOM documentation only: $30.00* 

□ FREE: Catalog of over 250 available programs. 

C.O.D. Visa MasterCard 

Card No. _Exp 



Model of Micro_ 

Name 

Company 

Address 

City 



5 V4* -8" 



.Tel:. 



_St._ 



-Zip- 



('Plus $3.00 shipping and handling in N. America. Ct. 
residents add 7V2% sales tax.) 

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

VVESTICO 

The Software Express Service 

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



Circle 34 on Inquiry card. 

Less 

for lour 
Money 

If you do word processing on 
your personal computer, you 
probably know that there are 
many programs for sale to help 
you with your spelling. But the 
biggest spelling error you'll ever 
make is paying too much for your 
spelling correction software. The 
Random House Proof Reader 
gives you less for your money - 
less trouble, that is, and fewer 
spelling errors. The Random 
House ProofReader is based on 
the world famous Random House 
Dictionary. It contains up to 
80,000 words, depending on 
your disk capacity. You can add 
new words with the touch of a 
key. It shows you the error and 
the sentence it's in. It instantly 
suggests corrections. It even re- 
checks your corrections. And it 
costs half as much as other 
programs with far less power. The 
Random House ProofReader is 
compatible with all CP/M 2.2®, 
MS-DOS® and IBM Personal 
Computer® systems. 







*"■■ 




The ^™, 
Random^ j 

House 
ProofReader 

$50 

For orders or information, see your 
local dealer or call 505-281-3371. 
Master card and VISA accepted. Or write 
Random House ProofReader, Box 339-;B, 
Tijeras, NM 87059. Please enclose $50 
and specify your computer model, 
disk size and memory. 

Random House and the House design are registered 
trademarks of Random House, Inc. CP/M is a regis- 
tered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. IBM and IBM 
Personal Computer are registered trademarks of 
International Business Machines, Inc. MS-DOS is a 
registered trademark of Microsoft, Inc. 

122 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Application Software 


Distributor 


Price 


Context MBA 


Context Management 
Suite 101 

23864 Hawthorne Blvd. 
Torrance, CA 90505 


$795 


Visicalc 


Hewlett-Packard dealers 


$250 


Master Word Processor 


University Software 
RFD#1, Box 6 
Fitchville, CT 06334 


$475 


Protrastar (WP) 


Protracoa 

1134 Aster Ave., Suite K 

Sunnyvale, CA 94086 


$500 


Forecasting 


Hewlett-Packard dealers 


$500 


Graphics Presentation 


Hewlett-Packard dealers 


$750 


Table 3: A partial list of application software currently available for the Model 16. More 
than 27 other programs are available from Hewlett-Packard or independent vendors. 



Operating System or Language 



Price 



Pro-BASIC 


$355 (on disk) 


HP Standard Pascal 


$1515 


FORTRAN 


— 


Assembly language 


(included in Pascal) 


Multiforth 


— 


CP/M-68K 


— 


C 


— 


HP-UX (Unix-based operating system) 


— 


HPL (APL) 


$355 



Table 4: Operating systems and languages for the Model 16. An asterisk (*) indicates 
that the product is presently under development. FORTRAN will be available from IEM 
Inc., POB 1818, Fort Collins, CO 80522. Unix is a trademark of the Bell System. 



same mass-storage commands are used 
to talk to a network disk that are used 
to talk to a personal disk. To access an 
SRM disk, for example, you simply 
change one line of code in a BASIC 
program. That is, the mass-storage 
specifier in the MASS STORAGE IS 
command is changed from :HP8290X 
to : REMOTE. From here on, all mass- 
storage commands, such as ENTER or 
OUTPUT, have access to files on the 
SRM disk. 

Expandability 

Directly related to the Model 16's 
growth potential is the number of pe- 



ripherals and instruments that can con- 
nect to it on the two backplane ports. 
The first port is a 24-pin HP-IB 
connector. A variety of HP peripherals, 
including disks, printers, plotters, and 
the 9111A graphics tablet, are inter- 
faced via this port. See table 5 for a 
partial list of supported peripherals. 

Of course, HP has been known for 
its scientific and technical instruments 
for many years, and hundreds of these 
instruments can be quickly connected 
to the HP-IB port. 

The second port on the back of the 
Model 16 is a data communications in- 
terface. This 50-pin connector can be 



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BYTE June 1983 123 



Over the last 10 years, Hewlett- 
Packard's Desktop Computer Division 
(DCD) and Engineering Systems Divi- 
sion (E5D) have added capabilities to 
HP's version of BASIC to a point 
where its name requires some distin- 
guishing adjective. Hence, Series 200 
computers, including the Model 16, 
and HP's 9000 family of 32-bit 
computers use what HP calls Pro- 
BASIC. 

According to Martin Nielsen, a 
computer scientist at DCD, Pro- 
B ASIC's "power and features make it 
as good or better than languages like 
Pascal or FORTRAN." 

What has HP added to BASIC that 
extends its capabilities? First, Pro- 
BASIC provides more than 200 oper- 
ators, functions, and statements — 
four times what ANSI BASIC 
offers— plus 20 general-purpose I/O 
(input/ output) statements and 14 
special HP-IB (IEEE Standard 
488-1978) statements for controlling 
instruments and peripherals. 

For instance, interrupts and the 
overhead processing they involve are 
performed automatically. This per- 
mits transparent control of input or 
output instructions to an HP-IB 
device or file. 

For computer-aided design applica- 
tions, matrix extensions permit the 
designer to invert a matrix with one 
statement: MAT A =INV (B). 

Similarly, operations like finding 
matrix determinants and performing 
element -by -element multiplication, 
subtraction, division, or addition, 
plus mixed and scalar/matrix opera- 
tions, are also performed with single 
statements. 

For the programmer, one of Pro- 
BASIC's notable advantages is a com- 



HP's Pro-BASIC 

plete set of program constructs. The 
LOOP . . . EXIT, REPEAT . . . 
UNTIL, and WHILE statements are 
what Nielsen calls "flexible looping 
constructs," which, unlike a 
FOR . . . NEXT statement, enable you 
to exit a loop on different conditions 
that are not sequential. 

REPEAT . . . UNTIL repeats state- 
ments in a structured loop until the ex- 
pression following UNTIL is true. The 
WHILE statement repeats a structured 
loop as long as its expression is true. 
LOOP . . . EXIT repeats statements in 
a structured loop as long as the EXIT 
expression is false. Further, you can 
have multiple exit points within the 
loop. 

Another powerful Pro-BASIC state- 
ment is designed to eliminate crossing 
GOTOs, or what Nielsen calls 
"spaghetti code. " IF . . . THEN and 
IF. . . THEN . . . ELSE . . . END IF 
provide conditional branching or exe- 
cution of one or more statements de- 
pending on whether the specified con- 
dition is true or false. 

Pro-BASIC also makes branching 
more efficient. In most BASIC sys- 
tems, n-way branching can be per- 
formed only if the value X is an integer 
(e.g., ON X GOTO 1102, 1470, 2655). 
Pro-BASIC provides a SELECT state- 
ment, allowing it to branch on strings 
as well as numbers. Those numbers 
need not be integers. 

With Pro-BASIC a programmer can 
use the statement SELECT X, CASE 1, 
CASE 47, CASE 92 to 117; in other 
words, a whole range for each case 
may be specified. If, then, X happens to 
be 1, CASE 1 is executed; if X is 47, 
then CASE 47 is executed, and so on. 
Moreover, an ELSE statement will 
execute CASE ELSE ifX happens to be 



other than 1 or 47 and does not occur 
from 92 to 117. 

Subprograms in Pro-BASIC are just 
like procedures in Pascal and sub- 
routines in FORTRAN in that they 
provide separate, independent environ- 
ments functioning as "little black 
boxes" that do one job each. Variables, 
for instance, may be used in one sub- 
program without being confused with 
variables of the same name in another 
subprogram. Moreover, parameters, 
even optional parameters, can be 
passed in, allowing the subprogram to 
default the ones that are not passed in. 

Pro-BASIC subprograms are recur- 
sive; they can call themselves. This is 
useful in data structures, where trees 
that define other trees are set up, and 
for array sorting, polynomial evalua- 
tions, and the like. 

Another feature of Pro-BASIC is in- 
terrupt branching. A large number of 
events can be established to cause 
branches in the program. 

Many BASICs, especially in the 
microcomputer class, are fairly limited 
in their editing capabilities. Pro-BASIC 
allows indentation for easy reading, 
cross-referencing for documentation 
(broken down by main program and 
subprogram), plus key words like 
FIND and CHANGE for searching and 
replacing. 

The use of Pro-BASIC has also 
spread to HP 1000 minicomputers in 
addition to the HP 9835, 9845, Series 
200, and HP 9000 lines. As Nielsen 
says, "It's an excellent language for 
first-time users to learn, yet it provides 
the features that allow the experienced 
programmer to really squeeze the most 
from the power of the machine. " 



hooked directly to data communica- 
tions devices or data terminal equip- 
ment via an adapter cable that termin- 
ates in a standard RS-232C-compatible 
DB-25 connector. 

Also on the back of the Model 16 are 
two other I/O slots located under a 
removable protective cover. These 
provide external access to the 68000 
address, data, and control buses. 

The top slot is used to add RAM or 
ROM cards or a DMA controller. A 
RAM card provides 256K bytes of 



additional memory. ROM cards pro- 
vides up to 512K bytes of storage for 
languages such as HP's Pro-BASIC. 
The lower slot accepts these cards 
plus a number of I/O cards. The I/O 
cards permit you to expand the 
system to include a second HP-IB or 
RS-232C port, a BCD (binary-coded 
decimal) interface, a programmable 
data-communications interface card, a 
color video (RGB — red-green-blue) 
card, or a general-purpose input/ out- 
put (GPIO) interface card. 



For still more flexibility, HP offers 
the HP 9888A I/O Expander. It pro- 
vides 15 additional I/O slots, which 
allow you to expand the system to over 
4 megabytes of RAM or add up to 8 
more interface cards. 

Summary 

Motorola's 68000 microprocessor is 
an important element in HP's Series 
200 computers. The processor can meet 
the performance objectives HP has set 
for these computers, and future en- 



124 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 178 on inquiry card. 





Product 






Device 


Number 


Description 


Price 


floppy disks 


9121S 


3 1 /2-inch single floppy-disk drive 


$1200 




9121D 


3V2-inch dual floppy-disk drive 


$1775 




82902M 


5V4-inch single floppy-disk drive 


$1520 




8290 1M 


5 14 -inch dual floppy-disk drive 


$2230 




9895A 


8-inch dual floppy-disk drive 


$5910 


hard disks 


9 133 A 


4.6-megabyte Winchester plus 








3 1 /2-inch floppy 


$4260 




9 134 A 


4.6-megabyte Winchester 


$3500 




9135A 


4.6-megabyte Winchester plus 








5 V* -inch floppy 


$4760 




9134B 


8.2-megabyte Winchester 


$4360 




9133B 


38.2-megabyte Winchester plus 








3 1 /2-inch floppy 


$5160 




7908P 


1 6 Vi -megabyte disk/tape drive 


$11,130 




7911P 


28.1 -megabyte disk/tape drive 


$14,800 




791 2P 


65.6-megabyte disk/tape drive 


$17,350 


printers 


82905B 


serial impact printer 


$795 




2602A 


letter-quality daisy-wheel printer 


$2100 




267 1G 


serial thermal graphics printer 


$1540 


plotters 


7470A 


"A" size two-pen plotter 


$1575 




9872C 


"B" size eight-pen plotter 


$5860 


bit pad 


9111A 


graphics tablet 


$2275 


Table 5: A partial list 


of peripherals supported by the Model 16. 





hancements for the 68000 mean that 
these computers will also be enhanced. 
Further power is provided by three co- 
processors in the Model 16's decentral- 
ized processing scheme. 

For all its power, the Model 16 re- 
mains a personal computer. Its small 
footprint, made possible by its eight- 
layer processor board with a chip den- 
sity equivalent to two 14- to 18-pin 
integrated circuits per square inch, 
enables the computer to fit easily on a 
desk. Other features, such as the rotary 
control knob, user-definable keys, and 
the Twivel help make the Model 16 
easy to use. 

The Model 16 was designed to be 
affordable. The basic unit with 128K 
bytes of RAM sells for $3985, without 
disks. An enhanced unit with 512K 
bytes of RAM and a ROM-based Pro- 
BASIC interpreter costs $5550. The HP 
9121D dual floppy-disk drive, which 
fits neatly under the Model 16 and uses 
3V2-inch disks (270K bytes per disk), 
costs $1775. 

The Model 16 was built to be reli- 



able. Environmental and STRIFE test- 
ing assure a very low failure rate prior 
to delivery, even for early production 
models. 

The Model 16 was designed with a 
wide growth path. Software is inter- 
changeable with that of the other Series 
200 computers, as well as with the HP 
9845 and the 32-bit HP 9000 com- 
puters. HP's Shared Resource Manage- 
ment network allows files and disks to 
be shared among groups of users. 

More than 30 different peripherals 
and over 200 instruments easily con- 
nect to the Model 16 over its HP-IB in- 
terface. An RS-232C interface is also 
built-in for increased flexibility. Other 
available interfaces include binary- 
coded decimal, data communications, 
color video, and a general-purpose 
card. 

A variety of HP and third-party soft- 
ware is available for technical and 
management applications. 

All in all, the HP Series 200 Model 16 
is indeed a lion packaged as a 
housecat.H 



DOUBLE 

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□ Six expansion slots plus power supply 

□ No special addressing, part of PC 
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D Compatible with all PC expansion 

cards 
D No noise — no fan 

An expansion chassis is a must for any- 
one who needs to go behind the PC's 
minimum configuration. Simply plug the 
I-Bus Six-Pac Expansion Chassis into one 
slot of your PC — and you've doubled 
your expansion slots from five to a total 
of ten. There's no special addressing or 
software required. Cards plugged into the 
Six-Pac perform exactly as if they were 
in the main system unit. 

And there's plenty of power, too, be- 
cause chances are your PC will run out of 
power before it runs out of slots. The Six- 
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slots, with negligible power drawn from 
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It's only $695, including 18" shielded 
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June 1983 © E&TE Publications Inc 125 



YouVe looking 




as easy to use as 




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CP/M is a reg slered trademark of Digital Research. CP/M-86 is a trademark of Digital Research, MS DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. IBM is a registered trademark of 

International Business Machines Corporation, c 1983Sorcim Corporation. 



Texas Instruments' 99/2 
Basic Computer 

A look at the design process from concept to prototype 



Designing a new low-cost com- 
puter system is a delicate balancing 
act. Your system must satisfy the 
needs of your market, respond to the 
challenges presented by your com- 
petitors, and still be profitable to 
build and market. In designing the 
new Texas Instruments 99/2 Basic 
Computer, we managed to achieve all 
of the above requirements in only 
four and a half months, which may 
be record time for a new system. 

The TI-99/2 was developed to 
compete directly with such low-cost 
computers as the Sinclair ZX81 and 
the Timex/Sinclair 1000. The tremen- 
dous demand for computers that sell 
for less than $100 demonstrated a 
growing need for a low-cost com- 
puter-literacy product for both 
children and adults. Our primary 
goal as designers of the TI-99/2 was 
to build a home computer that would 
enable people of all ages to take part 
in the computer revolution around 
them. It would also be used as a 
learning computer for students from 
grade school through college. 

To satisfy consumers' needs, a low- 
cost computer must function beyond 
the computer-literacy stage; only 
then can it enable novices to improve 
their newly developed skills, through 
activities such as personal record 
keeping, education aids, and even 
mind-challenging games. Further- 
more, the computer must be capable 
of growing with individuals who 
want to develop more advanced skills 



Harry Littlejohn and Mark Jander 

Texas Instruments Inc. 

Consumer Products Group 

POB 10508, MS 5849 

Lubbock, TX 79048 




\-&k^£k 




Photo 1: The Texas Instruments Basic 
Computer 99/2 is designed to compete 
directly with low-priced computers such 
as the Timex/Sinclair 1000. BASIC pro- 
grams written on the 99/2 can run on the 
TI-99/4A, but the reverse is not true. 

or applications. 

Texas Instruments set what we con- 
sidered to be very aggressive goals in 
the design and manufacture of the 
TI-99/2. In this article we'll discuss 
those goals and how we met and 
sometimes, in our opinion, surpassed 
them in the course of the four and a 
half months between the initial con- 
cept and the completion of working 
prototypes for the January 1983 Con- 
sumer Electronics Show (see photo 1). 

Design Requirements 

We believed a major portion of our 
market would be first-time computer 
buyers looking for a minimal invest- 
ment in the world of computers. We 
kept the price lpw, hoping that those 
who decided computer programming 
was not for them would not regret the 
expense. Our basic assumption about 



these potential buyers was that they 
would base their purchase decisions 
on price, not features. Computing 
power, expandability, and the avail- 
ability of peripherals would be a 
relative measure for choosing from 
among several computers in the same 
price range. 

We felt strongly that the first-time 
buyer must not be intimidated by the 
product. The console, we decided, 
must be simple, and the keyboard 
must be no more complicated than a 
typewriter keyboard. A cluttered 
keyboard, with multiple-function 
keys — and, therefore, multiple 
legends— would generate an immed- 
iate "I'll never learn to use that'' at- 
titude. In addition, we thought the 
computer should be sufficiently sim- 
ple to operate and self-contained 
enough to ensure ease of use. 

Once the beginner starts to develop 
computer skills, the computer needs 
peripherals that make new applica- 
tions accessible. An economical pro- 
gram and data-storage unit was nec- 
essary, as were preprogrammed ap- 
plication software packages to in- 
crease the computer's utility. We 
decided that the system would also 
need a low-cost printer for listings 
and as a way of keeping track of pro- 
gram output. In addition, the system 
needed to handle the memory expan- 
sion that becomes necessary as pro- 
gramming expertise increases. 

For computer owners who progress 
to more advanced applications, a 



128 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



range of more sophisticated periph- 
erals is necessary. We saw a need for 
communications or networking de- 
vices; high-density, fast-access mass 
storage; and printer/plotter-type 
peripherals to provide a very power- 
ful but low-cost computer system (see 
photo 2). Growth beyond these levels 
of sophistication would probably en- 
tail buying a computer with greater 
capabilities. 

To ease the upward migration to 
more sophisticated computers, we 
decided to make our computer part of 
an integrated product line based on 
the 99/4A. Integrating the computer 
with other TI products would enable 
us to provide compatible software 
and peripherals for other members of 
the TI Home Computer Family. Pro- 
gramming techniques and computer 
programs developed on a low-cost 
machine could be used on the more 
advanced machine without being 
rewritten. Peripherals for the new 
machine would then be compatible 
with the more expensive console, and 
none of the equipment and program- 
ming exchanges would become 
obsolete. 

Having identified these require- 
ments, we selected the following 
characteristics for the TI-99/2: 

1) a computer system for less than 
$100 that consists of a console, an 
external AC adapter for power, 
and a minimum of 2K bytes of 
RAM (random-access read/write 




Photo 2: Peripherals for the 99/2. The 
line of low-cost peripherals includes, from 
top to bottom: the HX-1000 printer /plot- 
ter, the HX-2000 Wafertape Digital Drive 
tape unit, and the HX-3000 RS-232C inter- 
face. 

memory) and 16K bytes of ROM 
(read-only memory) 

2) a built-in, two-channel black-and- 
white RF modulator (channels 3/4) 
for connecting the system to a 
standard TV (use of black and 
white was necessary to achieve 
cost goals) 

3) a built-in interface for a standard 
audio-cassette recorder to provide 
economical mass-storage capabil- 
ity. Only audio in/out would be 
supported by the system. Cost 
would not allow support of motor 
control 

4) a built-in Hex-bus interface to pro- 
vide compatibility with the line of 
low-cost peripherals 

5) an operating system that would be 
a subset of TI-BASIC as used on 
the TI-99/4A Home Computer 
console. Thus the software written 



on the 99/2 would be upward com- 
patible with the 99/4A. For cost 
reasons, the 99/2 would not use 
the Graphics Read-Only Memory 
(GROM) programming language 
of the 99/4A and, therefore, 
99/4A command cartridges would 
not be compatible with the 99/2. 
Software compatibility would be 
provided by BASIC programs 
stored on cassette 

6) no sound, color, or joystick 
capability would be supported, 
again because of cost constraints 

7) the full system bus structure would 
be available at an expansion port 
on the rear of the console. This 
would facilitate memory-expand- 
ing Solid State Software cartridges 
(not 4A compatible) or any other 
future system expansion 

8) a nonintimidating, 48-key type- 
writer-like keyboard with only 
two legends per key top. Layout 
and functionality of the keyboard 
would match that of the 99/4A. To 
achieve the goal of two legends per 
key, lowercase letters would not be 
supported. 

To enhance user acceptance and 
utility of the keyboard, we needed a 
raised key that provided tactile feed- 
back as it was pressed. But we also 
needed the economy of a Mylar key 
material. Our mechanical design 
team came up with a keyboard sys- 
tem that provided both advantages: 
using a Mylar key matrix under an 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 129 




Photo 3: The main circuit board of the 99/2 contains the TMS9995 microprocessor, video controller chip, I/O controller chip, two 
static RAMs (4K bytes), three ROMs (the final version will have one 32K-byte ROM), a two-channel RF modulator, and the 5-volt 
DC regulator with heat sink. 



"elastomeric" key-top assembly. The 
elastomeric system provides 48 raised 
keys in a single molded sheet, an ar- 
rangement that takes advantage of 
the elastomeric properties of the 
material. Depressing the key actuates 
the Mylar underneath. 

Internal Architecture 

We decided to use the new high- 
speed TMS9995 microprocessor that 
runs at 10.7 MHz, a standard crystal 
frequency. We chose the TMS9995 
over the TMS9900 because it requires 
fewer external control components 
and less circuit-board space due to its 
smaller package (see photo 3). 



The 99/2 uses a standard address/ 
data bus system. By using a 16-bit 
microprocessor and DMA (direct 
memory access) video processing, 
we attained a high-speed system per- 
formance. Initially, the system had 
only 2K bytes of RAM. But when we 
expanded the system from 16K bytes 
of ROM to 32K bytes of ROM to 
allow the software to run a full file- 
management system without a plug- 
in module, we decided our overhead 
use of RAM was too high. We added 
2K bytes of RAM to carry the 
overhead of the system BASIC and 
still give us a reasonable amount of 
space for the program. 



The total RAM in the computer is 
actually 4.2K bytes, including the 256 
bytes of scratch-pad memory in the 
TMS9995 microprocessor. That 
scratch-pad memory helps improve 
the speed of the system. The 32K-byte 
ROM has a physical address space of 
24K bytes, and the last 8K bytes of 
ROM are bank switched to preserve a 
32K-byte expansion-port capability 
(see figure 1). 

The expansion port has all system 
control address and data bus signals 
available. This allows expansion with 
RAM, ROM, or I/O (input/ output) 
cartridges. The 32K-byte expansion 
address space can be configured in 



130 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




TM 



SUPER 



^ 



r 



TIMES 

FASTER THAN 



dBASE II 



TM 



If you bought your computer to save time, then you 
need SUPER, the most powerful database system you 
can use. Power is a combination of speed, ease of use 
and versatility. SUPER has them all. 

FAST - To demonstrate SUPER'S speed, ISA retained a 
professional dBASE programmer to benchmark SUPER 
vs. the acknowledged leader. A simple mailing list 
application was chosen to minimize dBASE 
programming cost. The results: 



Task 


SUPER Time 


dBASE II Time 


Set up/Program 


5:20 min. 


12:18:00 hrs. 


Input 100 records 


50:29 min. 


1:27:50 hrs. 


Sort & Print Labels 


6:41 min. 


4:18min. 


Totals 


1:02:30 hrs. 


13:50:08 hrs. 



Notice that SUPER was faster at every task where your 
time is involved— and saving your time is probably the 
whole reason you bought a computer. 

EASY TO USE - SUPER won because of its ease of 
use. Since it is menu-driven, office personnel can easily 
learn to use SUPER to set up their own applications, 
speeding and simplifying dozens of tasks without the 
need of programmer support. 

VERSATILE - SUPER, unlike other business 
programs, doesn't dictate how to run your business. 
With SUPER the computer does what you want, when 
you want, the way you want it. SUPER may be the only 
business program you'll ever need. It can handle 
customer files, payables, receivables, depreciation, 
appointments, cost accounting, time charges, 
commissions, inventory, manufacturing control, and 
even matrix accounting systems! 

SUPER PERFORMANCE AT A SUPER PRICE - 

That SUPER beats the $700 dBASE program may 
surprise you, but in terms of price vs. performance 
SUPER has no competitors. Among its features are: 
production input, data compression, multiple databases 
on line, transaction posting, file reformating, stored 
arithmetic files, flexible report formats, hierarchical sort 
and multi-disk files for up to 131, 068 records. It can 
select by ranges, sub-strings, and field comparisons. It 
interfaces to word processors such as WordStar™, 
SuperSCRIPTSIT™, Model 11/16 SCRIPTSIT™, and 
NEWSCRIPT™. In fact SUPER has so many features that 

Circle 191 on inquiry card. 



it takes a six-page product description to cover them all. 
Write or call and we'll send you one. 

SUPER is available for TRS-80™ Models I & III under 
NEWDOS™, LDOS™, and DOSPLUS; for TRS-80 Models 
II, III and 16 under TRSDOS™; and CP/M™ systems. 

Prices: TRS-80 and Osborne versions $250.00 

Other CP/M versions $295.00 

Manual (Price applicable to purchase) $ 25.00 

Now available for the IBM PC $250.00 

MasterCard and VISA accepted. 



OTHER SOFTWARE 

• ManageMint™: A PERT/CPM project 
management system compatible with SUPER. It 
includes scheduling, resource and financial 
management modules. 

• Sales Planning and Data Extraction System: 
Improves hit rates while cutting costs. 

• Small, economical program packages for 
accounting, business and office applications as 
well as utilities. 

Write for Catalogue 




Institute For Scientific Analysis, Inc. 

SOFTWARE FOR HARD USE 



Dept B-3 Institute for Scientific Analysis, Inc. 
P.O. Box 7186 Wilmington, DE 19803 (215) 358-3735 

ORDERS ONLY 
800-441-7680 EXT. 501 

Trade mark owners: dBASEII-Ashton-Tate. SCRIPTSIT, SuperSCRlPTSIT, TRSDOS, 
and TRS-80-Tandy Corp. NEWDOS/80-Apparat. Inc. WordStar-MicroPro Intl. Corp. 
NEWSCRIPT-PROSOFT. LDOS-Logical Systems. Inc. CP/M-Digital Research. 

BYTE June 1983 131 



TMS9995 

16-BIT 

NMOS 

MICROPROCESSOR 



SYSTEM 

RAM 

4K BYTES 



SYSTEM 

ROM 

32K BYTES 



VIDEO- 
DISPLAY 
CONTROLLER 




RF 
MODULATOR 



It "1 



KEYBOARD 



HEX-BUS 



VIDEO 
OUTPUT 



CASSETTE 
INTERFACE 



Figure 1: Internal architecture of the TI-99/2. 



8K-byte increments of memory with 
ROM building up at the low end of 
the expansion address space and 
RAM building down from the high 
end of the expansion address space. 

The system contains two gate ar- 
rays; one controls the video display, 
and the other handles I/O functions. 
Gate arrays are a low-cost method of 
designing custom ICs (integrated cir- 
cuits). Starting with an array of logic 
elements on an IC, the manufacturer 
simply designs a mask to connect the 
elements in the final metalization pro- 
cedure. To change the logic on a chip, 
you simply change the mask. 

The video-display controller is a 
DMA processor that shares RAM and 
ROM with the microprocessor. The 
shared-memory structure improves 
the ability to effectively update and 
scroll the video display, thus allowing 
more time to be allotted to the central 
processing unit. 

The I/O controller handles the 
Hex-bus interface, cassette interface, 
keyboard, I/O, clock generation, 
system reset, and RAM/ROM chip- 
select generation. This gate array 
allows higher system integration and 
therefore lowers the cost of the 
system. 

The 99/2's BASIC language is ar- 
chitecturally different from the 
BASIC used in the 99/4A. To the user 
it appears the same, but to meet our 
goal of cost reduction we had to 
redesign the internal modules. For ex- 



ample, the RAM and ROM are in dif- 
ferent places in the 99/2 and 99/4A. 
Still, for the most part the BASIC 
commands produce the same re- 
sponses as the 99/4 A BASIC. In addi- 
tion, the system is faster to execute 
and uses fewer parts. 

We decided to go with Solid State 
Software to meet the need for a plug- 
in module that would allow the user 
to personalize the system through 
configuration software. The user 
could turn the system into a terminal 
emulator, a learning aid, or a game 
machine. 

We didn't want the 

beginning user to have 

to hook up too many 

external parts. 

We built the RF modulator into the 
system to simplify use. We didn't 
want the beginning user to have to 
hook up too many external parts. 

The 99/2 uses a 128-character set. 
Each character is an 8 by 8 dot 
matrix. It takes 8 bytes, or 64 bits, of 
information within the ROM to 
define each character. There are 1024 
bytes of ROM in the system commit- 
ted to screen generation; these are 
unavailable for system BASIC. 

One byte of RAM is required for 
every character location on the screen 
(768 bytes for a 24-character by 
32-line screen display). The central 



processing unit writes a code into 
each of those RAM locations. The 
gate array then reads that code and 
knows which of the 128 characters to 
display on the screen. The video con- 
troller chip and the microprocessor 
share the system in order to keep the 
display from flickering, which can be 
annoying to the first-time user. 

The video controller chip has 
dominant control of the bus system. 
When it wants the bus, it gets it— no 
matter what the central processing 
unit is doing. We designed it that way 
to satisfy the refresh-rate re- 
quirements. The processor can com- 
pute only when the video controller is 
not using the system. The central pro- 
cessing unit can compute only during 
border times, when the electron beam 
is not drawing a trace on the screen, 
such as during the horizontal retrace, 
vertical retrace, and top and bottom 
border times. 

When the screen is full of 
characters, the video controller has 
the bus 90 percent of the time, and the 
central processing unit can be used 
for computing only about 10 percent 
of the time, which slows down the 
computer drastically. To overcome 
this limitation, we designed the video 
controller with enough intelligence to 
know not to tie up the system when 
nothing is displayed on a line. At the 
end of every line that is generated, the 
processor writes what is called a 
blank end-of-line character. The 
video controller responds to this 
character by releasing the bus for the 
rest of that row on the line. 

When the screen is blank, the video 
controller accesses the memory only 
1/768 of the maximum computation 
time available. Because a line of 
BASIC code seldom fills an entire 
screen line, the computing time is 
greatly increased by this feature. If 
we need to compute quickly, the sys- 
tem has the ability to disable the 
video chip; then there are no inter- 
ruptions to computing time. The soft- 
ware controls the screen and can be 
accessed through BASIC. 

BASIC 

To facilitate our computer-literacy 
goals for the 99/2, we provided three 
additional BASIC statements that are 



132 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



not compatible with the 99/4A but 
that do allow the user to develop 
some assembly-language program- 
ming skills. These are the PEEK, 
POKE, and MCHL (machine-lan- 
guage execute) commands that let the 
user read/write directly into mem- 
ory. By using the MCHL command, 
the user can execute an assembly-lan- 
guage program. Most applications on 
the 99/2 will not require the PEEK, 
POKE, and MCHL commands, but 
their availability gives users a chance 
to do assembly-language program- 
ming, even though it is not supported 
by the 99/4A console BASIC. 

The 99/2 users manual explains 
any of the incompatibilities. It is im- 
portant for the user to know these 
when writing a program that uses the 
assembly-language capabilities of the 
99/2. Those instructions will be 
flagged as errors on the 99/4 A. We 
felt that anyone who can program in 
assembly language will understand 
how to change the program to run on 
the 99/4A. Anything written totally 
in BASIC will be compatible. 

System Software 

The system software of the 99/2, 
we decided, would provide power-up 
initiation and system configuration 
definitions and would allow users to 
select operation in BASIC or to use an 
application module that had been 
previously inserted into the expan- 
sion port. We decided to implement a 
subset of the TI-99/4A console 
BASIC to satisfy the upward software 
compatibility users need to migrate to 
another computer system. 

Because of architectural limita- 
tions, the 99/2 does not support 
several features— CALL COLOR, 
CALL SOUND, CALL JOY, CALL 
CHARS, and CALL SCREEN. The 
cost of the additional hardware re- 
quired to support these features 
would have caused us to exceed our 
pricing goals. 

In addition, the system would not 
use the TI-99/4A GROM language 
because of the cost of the hardware 
required to support GROM chips. We 
had to develop a completely new 
BASIC interpreter for the 99/2 that 
was optimized to use the speed ad- 
vantages of our architecture yet pro- 



vide a meaningful subset of TI- 
BASIC. We included a full file-man- 
agement system in the system soft- 
ware to take full advantage of the 
Hex-bus peripheral system. 

Within the time frame we gave our- 
selves, we didn't have sufficient 
resources to develop a complete soft- 
ware system for the 99/2, so we 
decided to go to an independent third 
party for the software generation. We 
needed a group that was willing to 
undertake a task of this magnitude in 



the time allotted. 

We contacted the University of 
Southwestern Louisiana (USL) in 
Lafayette, Louisiana, because its 
computer science department had 
worked with TI before and came 
highly recommended. After we dis- 
cussed our concepts and needs with 
them, the USL team accepted the 
challenge. During the course of the 
four and a half months in which we 
prepared prototypes for the January 
1983 Consumer Electronics Show 




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COMPUTER IC'S COMPLETE LINE 
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Customer Service 
602-863-0759 



Circle 148 on inquiry card. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 133 



(CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, the USL 
team members provided very useful 
feedback on the 99/2 system architec- 
ture. 

Development Schedules 

The entire 99/2 system was con- 
ceived, designed, and developed in 
time to introduce working prototypes 
at the CES show. The full develop- 
ment cycle, from concept through 
production, including qualification 
and certification, was approximately 
eight months long. This achievement 
required the cooperative dedicated ef- 
forts of many TI groups both inside 
and outside the Consumer Group. 

Our Semiconductor Group devel- 
oped two new gate array ICs, from 
layout to working prototypes, in two 
months. Logic design of the gate ar- 
rays was done in Lubbock, Texas, by 
the IC design organization of the Per- 
sonal Computer Division in approx- 
imately one month. 

The mechanical design team of the 
Personal Computer Division designed 
and developed the console, AC 



adapter, cassette/video connections, 
and the keyboard in time to have pro- 
totypes at the CES show, also in 
about four and a half months. Devel- 
opment included implementation of 
advanced assembly techniques to 
allow reduced manufacturing time 
and lower cost. Our Industrial Design 
team provided the styling of the con- 
sole. 

The full development 
cycle, from concept to 

production, was 

approximately eight 

months. 

Other members of the TI Con- 
sumer Group also contributed greatly 
to the successful introduction of the 
TI-99/2. Our packaging design and 
artwork team worked many extra 
hours to provide the appropriate 
packaging material for the unit, while 
our manual-writing staff developed a 
series of four manuals for the 99/2 
that gradually progress in complexity 



to handle the range from novice to 
computer hobbyist. 

Final Thoughts 

The TI-99/2 is not just another 
low-cost, entry-level computer. It is a 
computer system designed for educa- 
tion and personal use. Users will find 
it an inexpensive introduction to 
microcomputers. With the use of 
Solid State Software cartridges such 
as Learn to Program and Learn to 
Program BASIC, individuals and 
schools can easily obtain instruction 
in computer programming. 

By introducing peripherals and in- 
expensive software simultaneously 
with the computer, Texas Instru- 
ments believes this system will grow 
with an individual, inspire confidence 
in the use of computers, and foster 
the continued growth of the computer 
revolution. ■ 

About the Authors 

Harry Littlejohn was program manager and 
project engineer and Mark Jander was project 
design engineer for Texas Instruments' TI-99/2 
design group. 





THIS AD WRITTEN FOR YOU... 

BYTE INDUSTRIES WANTS TO BE YOUR COMPUTER CONNECTION 

Byte Industries is your one STOP shopping place for over 50 lines of 
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134 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 48 on inquiry card. 







RELIANT • EFFICIENT • UPGRADABLE 

CMC 8/16 SuperSystem II 



• TurboDOS*, CP/M** and CP/M-86** operating 
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• All stand-alone models utilize 750K to 19 MB 
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*TurboDOS is registered Trademark of Software 2000 
**CP/M is a registered Trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 



• All 8-bit SuperSystems are easily upgraded to 
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• Generous dealer and OEM discounts 

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• National on-site service in over 1 50 cities 



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Circle 60 on inquiry card. 



WESTKKOORG 

THE SUN D 




RAPHKS WHERE 
ONTSMNEJ 




You'll never see Inf ocom's graphics on 
any computer screen. Because there's 
never been a computer built by man 
that could handle the images we pro- 
duce. And, there never will be. 
We draw our graphics from the limit 
less imagery of your imagination— a 
technology so powerful, it makes 
any picture that's ever come 
out of a screen look like 
graffiti by comparison. 
And nobody knows how 
to unleash your imag- 
ination like Infocom. 
Through our prose, 
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makes you part of 
our stories, in con- 
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and where you go- 
yet unable to pre- 
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course of events. 
You're confronted 
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Take some tough critics' words 
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prose to be such an eye-opener they 
named one of our games their Best 
Adventure of 1983. 

Better still, bring an Infocom game 
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Step up to Infocom. All words. No 
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AndGBbuatoactet fc fl a n d et 







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«> 




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The next dimension. 

Infocom, Inc., 55 Wheeler St., Cambridge, MA 02138 

For your: Apple II, Atari, Commodore 64, CP/M 8' DEC Rainbow, 
DEC RT-11, IBM, NEC APC, NEC PC-8000, Osborne 1, TI Professional, 
TRS-80 Model I, TRS-80 Model III. 



Circle 187 on inquiry card. 



Implementing Minicomputer 

Capabilities in a Desktop 

Microcomputer 

Multiple users, Xenix and local-area networks 
characterize the Altos 586. 



Colin Nayler 

Altos Computer Systems 

2641 Orchard Park Way 

San Jose, CA 95134 



The advent of powerful 16-bit 
microprocessors that support high- 
performance operating systems has 
set the stage for desktop microcom- 
puters in the $8000-to-$12,000 price 
range that perform on a par with the 
much more expensive minicom- 
puters. The 586 from Altos Computer 
Systems is one such machine. It was 
designed to offer a multiuser system 
with the Xenix operating system and 
support for a variety of local-area 
networking (LAN) and communica- 
tions protocols. 

In using the Xenix operating sys- 
tem, a joint development of Altos and 
Microsoft based on Bell Laboratories' 
Unix System III, the 586 is one of the 
first desktop microcomputers to offer 
the sophisticated facilities of Unix 
software. The 586 runs Xenix — as 
well as the MP/M-86, MS-DOS, 
Oasis-16, and Pick operating 
systems — in a stand-alone configura- 
tion, and it also supports LAN and 
communications protocols including 
Ethernet and bisynchronous, and will 
soon support X.25 and IBM's Systems 

Unix is a trademark of Bell Laboratories. 
Xenix is a trademark of Microsoft Corpora- 
tion. 




Photo 1: The new Altos 586 microcom- 
puter offers affordable, fast 16-bit pro- 
cessing to accommodate five users, ex- 
pandable to eight. The 586 uses the Xenix 
operating system and provides integral 
networking capability. 



Network Architecture (SNA) pro- 
tocols. Such communications support 
allows this desktop machine to be a 
mode for corporate-wide office 
automation. 

Although the 586 is designed to 
meet multiuser and multitasking re- 



quirements, it can also be configured 
for single users who require large 
storage capacity or Unix software 
capabilities. The computing power of 
the Intel 8086 processor is enhanced 
for both single and multiple users by 
a design that employs two auxiliary 
I/O (input/output) processors and a 
proprietary memory-management 
scheme, all of which aid the efficient 
use of Xenix. 

Memory Management and Xenix 

Xenix presents problems for any 
8086-based multiuser system because 
the microprocessor lacks certain im- 
portant protection features that mini- 
computers running Unix software 
have, such as individual protection 
for memory contents when more than 
one user resides in memory at the 
same time. To overcome this 
obstacle, Altos's designers developed 
proprietary memory-management 
hardware, built with PAL (program- 
mable arrayed logic) and RAM 
(random-access read/write memory) 
circuitry around the central pro- 
cessor. 

This memory-management system 
enables the central processor to set a 
user-mode bit when the machine runs 



138 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Olympic Sales 



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1541 Disk Drive $369.95 These peripherals 
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BYTE June 1983 139 



an application program. When this 
bit is not set, the system is in system 
mode, which runs the operating sys- 
tem kernel. The memory-manage- 
ment system also disables certain 
operations in user mode, such as I/O 
instructions and memory accessing 
not belonging to a currently active 
user. If a user attempts any of these 
operations, the system issues a non- 
maskable interrupt that clears user 
mode and puts the machine in system 
mode. Without this protection, these 
operations can corrupt the system for 
all users. 

The heart of the memory manage- 
ment system is a 256- by 14-bit logical 
RAM section, into which Xenix 
writes the control bits for as many as 
256 memory segments (pages) of 4K 
bytes each, along with a page-reloca- 
tion value that relates logical and 
physical address space. The control 
bits define legal memory access and 
are read by PALs, which function as 
comparators to detect the execution 
of illegal instructions and alert the 
central processor to prevent illegal 
writes. The relocation value becomes 
part of the physical memory address, 
permitting memory segments to be 
assembled noncontiguously while the 
central processor makes accesses as if 
the memory were a solid block. 

The memory-management system 
thus makes it possible for the 8086 to 
run Xenix efficiently by providing a 
paging system that permits ''scattered 
loading" of processes into logical 
memory: the 4K-byte pages can be 
scattered throughout the 1-megabyte 
logical memory (i.e., mapped any- 
where), eliminating the time-consum- 
ing search for extensive contiguous 
physical memory to load a process. 
Unlike some minicomputers, the 586 
can swap pages of lengthy programs 
back and forth between the scattered 
areas of noncontiguous main memory 
and a swap area on the hard disk. The 
586's intelligent hard-disk controller 
further speeds swapping by writing 
and reading multiple pages in less 
than one revolution, rather than the 
several revolutions required by many 
minicomputers. 

Making Xenix Universal 

Regardless of its processing power, 



disk storage, and communications 
capabilities, however, the 586 would 
not be appropriate for corporate- 
wide office automation without some 
way to make its Xenix operating sys- 
tem amenable to the typical business 
user. To this end, Altos has created a 
"business shell" that presents Xenix's 
capabilities in an easy-to-use menu- 
driven format. 

This Xenix business shell is com- 
patible with virtually any RS-232C 
terminal and is accompanied by 
several integrated applications pro- 
grams for nonprogramming person- 
nel, including an electronic mail 
package developed by Altos, a finan- 
cial planner based on Microsoft's 
Multiplan, the Horizon word-process- 
ing system, a Business Basic III inter- 
preter, a seven-module accounting 
package, and an interactive tutorial. 

A "business shell" 
presents Xenix's 
capabilities in an 

easy-to-use format. 

System programmers can use the 
shell's facilities to customize software 
for end users by modifying menus 
and prompts. The menu system is 
composed of a collection of ASCII 
(American National Standard Code 
for Information Interchange) files 
that may be viewed and modified 
either through the menu development 
portion of the system or directly with 
any text editor. Data is stored almost 
exactly as it will appear, which allows 
precise control over the final screen 
displays. Moreover, the menus and 
prompts themselves are structured 
around the Xenix file system as a con- 
venient mechanism for customizing 
software. 

The shell frees a user from having 
to learn the myriad commands that 
make Xenix a versatile and powerful 
tool, but not an easy one to master. 
The Xenix command "mkdir," for ex- 
ample, creates a new directory; "cat" 
concatenates files and displays them; 
and "rm" removes them. In contrast, 
the 586's Xenix interface offers clear 
menu choices at each stage of a user's 
interaction with the system. When 



additional input is required, the sys- 
tem prompts for it at the bottom of 
the screen. For inexperienced users, 
the 586's business shell provides com- 
plete online assistance, displaying in- 
formation about any menu or selec- 
tion. Sophisticated users can execute 
Xenix commands directly simply by 
prefacing them with "!" or by enter- 
ing the standard Bourne shell or 
C-shell. 

Local Networking 

and Remote Communications 

Xenix capabilities and 16-bit archi- 
tecture in a desktop computer are im- 
pressive, but the range permitted by 
ribbon or RS-232C cable between a 
terminal and the microprocessor is 
not great. A stand-alone multiuser 
system cannot address the processing 
requirements of users on another 
floor or another continent. Sophisti- 
cated networking and communica- 
tions capabilities are required, which 
the 586 solves by offering two LAN* 
configurations and the bisynchro- 
nous, X.25, and SNA communica- 
tions protocols. 

The more modest networking 
scheme is Altos's proprietary RS-422 
twisted-pair LAN software called 
Altos-Net, which is supplied in the 8K 
bytes of ROM (read/only memory) in 
the main board's Z80 processor. 
Based on UNET software from 
3COM, Altos-Net runs at 800 bits per 
second (bps) and uses a bit-oriented 
synchronous data-link control 
(SDLC) protocol to link as many as 
32 Altos 16-bit machines. Implement- 
ing this protocol was greatly sim- 
plified because Altos-Net is not an 
inter-vendor LAN. At the physical 
layer of the seven-layer International 
Standards Organization (ISO) model, 
for example, a single-chip RS-422 
driver can produce a differential 
signal for both the clock and data 
transmissions, each of which is sent 
as a pair of "mirror images" that 
cancel external noise. At the link 
layer, a Zilog communications chip 
functions in a low-level SDLC-like 
mode, offering the speed of a bit- 
oriented, carrier-sense protocol 
without the expense of collision 
detection. Transmission is in packets 
consisting of an opening flag (six "1" 



140 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The Ultimate Spreadsheet for 

CP/M-86, IBM PC DOS, and CP/M 



The Ultimate Spreadsheet? 
YOU BET! 

Packed with more important features and 
performance than any other spreadsheet, Scratchpad 
is perfect for "what if" analyses and financial 
modeling of all kinds. 

The features tell the story: 

Flexible Spreadsheet 

A Scratchpad innovation. Now you can design 
the spreadsheet to fit your application, rather than 
redesigning your application to fit the spreadsheet. 
For example, if you need a worksheet that is 
extremely wide but not very deep, Scratchpad can 
do it. The matrix dimensions are up to you. 

Virtual Memory 

Another Scratchpad innovation. When your 
computer runs out of memory in RAM, your disk 
drives act as a backup memory for additional 
spreadsheet data. (This is something other 
spreadsheet people don't talk about in their ads. 
They can still run out of memory!) 

Scratchpad with a hard disk on the IBM PC, 
for example, allows in excess of 20,000 entries! 
NEVER see those disastrous OUT of MEMORY 
messages again. 

Consolidation 

This lets you combine several spreadsheets, 
adding or averaging the numeric data. It is 
especially useful to businesses that want to 
combine data from several departments, or add or 
average spreadsheets from different months of the 
years. Just another reason why Scratchpad is the 
ultimate spreadsheet. 



These features and many others make 
Scratchpad the most powerful spreadsheet 
available! So, find out why we call Scratchpad the 
Ultimate Spreadsheet. 

Write: Scratchpad Information, SuperSoft, 
Box 1628, Champaign, IL 61820. 

This is what others are saying: 



Small Business Computers, July/August 82 
"In our opinion Scratchpad is an excellent 

business-oriented spreadsheet program, easy to learn, 

easy to use/and well documented." 

InfoWorld, Sept. 6, 82 

"Scratchpad ... [is designed] for users who want 
entry simplicity and fast answers." 

Business Computer Systems, Sept. 82 

"... a new memory innovation from SuperSoft . . . 
ScratchPadfs] virtual memory can accommodate an 
essentially unlimited number of entries by tapping the 
disk drive for secondary memory." 



Available for IBM PC DOS, CP/M-86® and CP/M? 

Scratchpad: $295.00 

(Requires 96K* with PC or MS DOS, 64K* with 
CP/M-86® and 56K with CP/M®) 
Now available for OASIS: call 802-658-5600. 

Japanese Distributor: ASR Corporation International, 
3-23-8, Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 105, Japan. 
Tel. (03)-4375371 Telex: 0242-2723. 
European Distributor: Micro Technology Ltd., 51 The 
Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England TN2 5TH. 
TEL. 0892-45433. Telex: 95441 Micro-G. 
*Additional memory recommended for optimal 

performance of all features. 
CP/M and CP/M-86 are registered trademarks of Digital Research. 

Circle 370 on inquiry card. 



^" , - •> - 




: I ■■ ' 



F/flST/NSOFTWARE TECAWOLOGK P.O.Box 1628 Champaign, IL 61820 (217)359-2112 Telex 270365 



Circle 453 on Inquiry card. 



SAT/GRE 
STUDY SKILLS 

FOR ALL MODELS OF THE 

APPLE II 
Math Skills Pak 

Math 1 - Basic Skills, Algebra, 

Geometry, and Word Problems 

300 Entries - $25 

Math 2 - Same Level as Math 1 with 

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Geometry Constructions and 

Flow Charts. Math 1 is Needed. 

$35 

Math Skills Pak (Both Diskettes) 
$50 

Verbal Skills Pak 

Vocabulary Builder - Over 1600 

Entries with Antonyms and 

Synonyms - $25 

Word Analogy - Over 1200 Entries 
Stored with Hints - $25 

Sentence Completion - Over 300 

Entries of Completion, Correction 

and Construction Formats - $25 

Verbal Skills Pak (All Three 
Diskettes) - $60 



Key Features 
of SEI™ Software: 

• All Diskettes are Date Base 
Systems Complete with Editors 
for Modification or Expansion. 

• Built in Program Documentation 
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804/826-3777 



bits), a station address, data, two 
bytes of cyclic redundancy check 
(CRC), and a closing flag. 

The remaining five layers of the 
ISO model are implemented by the 
UNET software, which offers file 
transfer, virtual terminal capability, 
transmission control protocol, elec- 
tronic mail and internet protocol. 

Ethernet on a Chip 

The 586 is one of the first systems 
to offer Ethernet capabilities on a chip 
for users who need a more expansive, 
higher-performance LAN or who seek 
to implement an industry standard to 
link machines from several vendors. 
Altos expects this protocol to become 
the de facto standard for local-area 
networks because of Ethernet's high 
performance, availability, low cost, 
and acceptance by a rapidly growing 
list of vendors. 

In the 586, the Intel Ethernet chip 
set resides on half of the system's 
communications board, while the 
other half provides either remote syn- 
chronous communications or four ad- 
ditional serial I/O channels. "Ether- 
net on a chip" actually consists of two 
separate chips hardwired together — a 
controller and an encoder/decoder. 
The controller chip is located on the 
system's lone Multibus interface and 
is programmed from the 8086. At the 
opposite end of the board, the en- 
coder/decoder chip connects with the 
half-inch Ethernet transceiver cable 
through an Ethernet port. 

The Ethernet chip replaces a far 
more expensive Ethernet controller 
board from 3COM, which Altos pre- 
viously used in the 586. The chip runs 
the Ethernet protocol and also con- 
tains small numbers of FIFO (f irst-in, 
first-out) registers to buffer the 
packets. Moreover, it has a built-in 
DMA (direct memory access) inter- 
face, which replaces an external 
DMA channel and provides an inter- 
nal I/O port. As a result, the Ethernet 
chip does not need to make two mem- 
ory accesses to manipulate data (one 
to read from memory and one to 
write to I/O, or vice versa); it gets the 
data from memory in a single access. 

The Ethernet chip's intelligence 
rivals that of the central processor in 
certain respects. A user can tell the 



chip what to do by writing a program 
into memory because the chip gets all 
of its instructions directly from 
memory, not from another processor. 
For the same reason, the chip can run 
the Ethernet protocol while remote 
communications protocols are being 
run by their own processor. Were the 
networking and communications pro- 
tocols to share a processor, they 
could not run simultaneously. 

Unlike the Ethernet chip set, the 
serial I/O communications chips on 
the other half of the communications 
board must receive instructions from 
an Intel 80186, which shares the 
board and runs 128K bytes of local 
memory. This extra processor is nec- 
essary because Xenix is not a real- 
time operating system and is thus not 
designed to service communications 
protocols efficiently. 

Each of the board's two serial I/O 
chips supports two channels, and two 
of these four channels support syn- 
chronous communications. Unlike 
the Z80 on the main board, which has 
most of its code in immutable ROM, 
the communications board contains 
only minimal ROM but has a large 
amount of RAM. This makes it an ex- 
cellent candidate for economical com- 
munications software upgrades. 
Augmented versions of X.25, SNA, 
and other protocols can be imple- 
mented simply by loading them onto 
the communications board from a 
disk. Because the 80186 contains 
128K bytes, it will probably be 
several years before a hardware 
upgrade will be needed to accom- 
modate these newer protocols. The 
communications board also contains 
a socket for an optional 212-type 
1200-bps full-duplex modem module. 

More limited comunications capa- 
bilities are standard on the 586 
through its six serial I/O ports. Five 
of these channels can operate in asyn- 
chronous mode at all 15 standard 
data rates between 75 bps and 19,200 
bps. In addition, two external reg- 
isters can be loaded with a 16-bit un- 
signed integer to generate a unique 
rate setting for these channels. Each 
channel has its own programmable 
timer, which allows the channel to 
have its own data rate. The sixth 
channel provides external clocking on 



142 June 1983 © BYTE Publication! Inc 




You Can't Outrun Memories 



No computer can go faster than its 
memory. 

Even the lightning-fast 68000 proces- 
sor can be slowed to a snail's pace by a 
sluggish main memory design, 

For that reason, we designed the 
memory for 1 6-bit SAGE computers to 
keep pace with the 68000. It's a close- 
coupled, straightforward design that 
lets the processor run full bore at 2 
million instructions a second. 

Anything less simply wouldn't be 
state of the art. 

Simple Isn't Always 
Easy. 

To make a mem- 
ory simple is simple. 

But to make a 
simple memory fast 
is difficult. 

And to incorporate it into a 
computer that doesn't cost a fortune is 
next to impossible. That is, unless some 
highly-creative circuit solutions can be 
found. 

And that's precisely how the totally 
unique SAGE memory was born. 

OneMBYTE Of 64KBYTE Devices. 

In keeping with the no-compromise 
spirit of SAGE memory design, we 



naturally use only 64K, dynamic 150- 
nanosecond memories. SAGE IV Com- 
puters can be equipped with a 
megabyte of this type of memory 

And you can specify as few as one 
or as many as f ourbuilt-in Winchesters, 
plus floppy drive. 

What's more, thanks to its exclusive 
memory design, your SAGE computer 
can take data as fast as its floppy disk 




can dish it out. In fact, with 
no need for skewing or inter- 
leaving, the SAGE Computer actu- 
ally lets its floppy run as fast as 
Winchesters do on some machines. 

So when you select a computer fa 
serious development or serious busi- 
ness, remember the importance of 
memory 

For more information and the name 
of your nearest SAGE dealer, call us 
today. 



Sage Computer Technology Corpo- 
rate Office, 4905 Energy Way, Reno, 
Nevada 89502. Phone (702) 322-6868. 
TWX: 9IO-395-6073/SAGE RNO 

Eastern United States 

Sage Computer Technology, 
15 New England Executive Park 
Suite 120, Burlington, MA 01803 
(617)229-6868 

In UK 

TDI LTD, 29 Alma Vale Road, 
Clifton, Bristol BS8-2HL 
Tel: (0272) 742796 
Tx: 444 653 Advice G 

In Germany 

MM Computer, 
GmbH, HallwangerStr. 
59, 8210 Prien 
Tel: 08051/3074 
Tx:525 400mmco-d 

p-System standard, supporting Pascal, 
FORTRAN 77, BASIC and 68000 Micro Assembler. 
CP/M-68K, Hyper-Forth. Modula 2 optional. 
SAGE and SAGE /V are trademarks of 
SAGE Computer Technology. 
© 1983 SAGE Computer Technology all rights 
reserved. 

Circle 338 on inquiry card. 







CERTIFIED ERROR FREE 



T%jii- 



I m*: 



SENTINEL 
IIIIIIIIDISKETTES 



Senlincl Computer Products, Division o( Packaging Industries G 



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SENTINEL® 



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both transmit and receive clocks to 
support synchronous serial devices. 

Architecture of the 586 

A fully loaded 586 contains four 
printed-circuit boards. The main 
board holds the 8086 and 512K bytes 
of memory; a Z80 I/O processor sup- 
porting six serial I/O ports, floppy- 
disk accesses, and an RS-422 LAN 
port; and sundry memory-manage- 
ment components enabling the sys- 
tem to support Xenix. A second 
board holds an intelligent hard-disk 
and tape controller with an Intel 8089 
I/O processor. An optional commu- 
nications board provides an Ethernet 
chip set and processors supporting 
either the bisynchronous, X.25, or 
SNA protocols, or four additional 
serial I/O ports. The fourth board is 
an optional memory-expansion board 
providing an additional 512K bytes of 
RAM. A standard 586, consisting of 
the central processor board with 
512K bytes of RAM, six serial ports, a 
10-megabyte hard-disk drive, a 
1-megabyte floppy-disk drive, and 
Altos-Net, sells for $7990. 

The 586 system multimaster bus is 
electrically identical to the Intel 
Multibus, using the same signals and 
signal timing. This compatibility 
allows the 586 to accommodate the 
standard slotted Multibus interface of 
the communications board. Here the 
physical similarity to Intel's Multibus 
ends, however. Instead of using 
Intel's card cage or backplanes, Altos 
placed the hard-disk controller board 
atop the main board and provided a 
short ribbon connector between the 
two. Because the central processor 
and the Z80-based I/O processor are 
on the same board, they are simply 
hard-wired together. The 512K-byte 
memory expansion board plugs di- 
rectly into the central processor. 

The 10-MHz 8086, which includes 
parity error detection per byte on the 
main memory, can fully direct its 
power to run applications and the 
heart of the operating system, leaving 
the I/O details to the Z80 and the 
8089. The 586 offers superior perfor- 
mance to systems using an unaided 
central processor to handle I/O book- 
keeping duties partly because these 
three processors can run simultane- 

^^— Circle 445 on inquiry card. 



It 



********* 




f 



.Now Available Nationwide! 
iThrough Participating 

!.22jyL p i J JJiM!i^§I c L r ®ij 

While new printers with impressive specifications are introduced on an almost daily basis, only 
time will tell the true quality of the product. Over the past 2 years our customers have continued 
to buy the DS180 printer, not only because of its impressive performance and competitive price, 
but also because of our outstanding track record for product reliability and customer support. 

We have continually improved on the performance of the DS180 by incorporating such 
enhancements as dot addressable graphics, 6 user-selectable print sizes and a 2000 character 
buffer. These features coupled with 180 cps printing, parallel and serial interfaces, adjustable 
tractor feed and over 40 other programmable features, make the DS180 one of the most versa- 
tile matrix printers available today. 

Before you select your next printer, why not take a look at a time-proven performer— the 
Datasouth DS180. 

The DS180 printer is available nationwide through our network of sales/service distributors. 

Circle 113 on inquiry card. 



U3l3fex^liU UjU U computer corporation 

P.O. Box 240947 • Charlotte, NC 28224 • 704/523-8500 
Telex: 6843018 DASOU UW 



mA 



Circle 105 on inquiry card. 



wvwwww* 



HARDWARE /SOFTWARE WHOLESALE! 

Purchase your Hardware and Software directly from an OEM/Systems Integrator. Take advantage of our buying power' We stock a lull line of Board 
Level Components. Software, and Peripherals. Call for your needs. We'll give you the Lowest Prices, and the Technical Support and Know-How we 
are quickly becoming well-known for. Satisfied Customers Nationwide! The Nation's Custom Systems House for Business. Education. Science. 

SOME OF OUR CURRENT SUPER-SPECIALS 



,m dK morrow micro decision 

1DRIVE-$819 2DRIVE-$1149 Z2D$BatVE-$*2SSt 



TESTED! 
MORROW 



!-$499 



MICROSOFT MBASIC • 8" CP/M • $199 • ASHTONTATE dBASE II $459 

MICROPRO WORDSTAR -8 M CP/M- $259 • WYSE lOO TERMINAL- $769 

MITSUBISHI DSDD 8" DRIVES • FULL OR HALF HEIGHT - $449 (the best) 

SIEMENS SSDD 8" DRIVES- $239 • OKIDATA82$419/83$679/84-$1029 



BOARDS/SYSTEMS COMPUPRO 
LIMITEDSPECIAL: SYSTEM 816A- $4395 



CUSTOM BUILT BUSINESS SYSTEMS 
816B-S5595 816C-$7195 



M-DRIVECP/M-128K-S959 • DISK 1 W/CP/M -$489 • M-DRIVE H - $1395 

8085/88 -$319 • 8086/87 -$519 • CPU-Z-$229 • DISK 1 -$369 DISK 2 -$599 

INTERFACER 1 OR 2 - $199 • INTERFACER 3-5 - $449/3-8 - $51 9 • INTERFACER 4 - $279 

RAM17(12MHZ)-$359 • RAM 16 (12 MHZ) -$399 • SYSTEM SUPPORT 1 -$309 

ENCLOSE 2- DESK -$659/RACK- $699 • RAM 21 -$849 • CPU68K-$519 

CP/M-$149 • CP/M86-$259 • MP/M 8-16-$769 • HARD DISKS, CABLES, ETC. -CALLUS! 

SIEMENS DUAL 8" SSDDSUBSYSTEM- $699 MITSUBISHI DUAL 8" DSDD SUBSYSTEM -$1099w/AiiCabiing< 

20 MEG FUJITSU HARD DISK SUBSYSTEM W/DISK 2. BIOS. &ALL CABLING - $3199 

WE ARE THE LARGEST IN THE CUSTOM CONFIGURATION OF COMPLETE STATE-OF-THE-ART S-100 
SYSTEMS, AT PACKAGE PRICING, WITH INTEGRATION, BURN-IN & PROGRAMMING. WE CUSTOM BUILD 
COMPUPRO SYSTEMS/HARD DISK SYSTEMS FOR BUSINESS APPLICATIONS. 



WOW! $$ SPECIALS $$ GOOD THROUGH MONTH END. As supplies last. Rainchecks may be given if possible. Cash Sales Only' 

CUSTOM COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY 

1 CRAFTSMAN COURT, BOX 4160, SED0NA, ARIZONA, 86340 (602) 282-6299 

PRICES & AVAILABILITY SUBJECT TO CHANGE. ALL PRODUCTS NEW. AND CARRY FULL MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTEES. CALL FOR 
CATALOG. FREE TECHNICAL HELP TO ANYONE WE CAN CONFIGURE BOARDS & SOFTWARE FOR YOUR SYSTEM. PLUG- IN & GO. AZ RESIDENTS 
JAPPUCABLESALESTAX CP/M« DIGITAL RESEARCH 






W&sm 



The Model 609 
GPIB Controller. 




We've lowered your 

IEEE-488 
BUS fare. 

When you need an 

IEEE 488/RS-232 

Bus Controller — 

nothing more — get 

just what you need: 

The new Model 609 micro-processor-based controller Is a low- 
cost, industrial grade controller compatible with all instruments 
\ using the IEEE 488 bus. Use it as the controller instead of a more 
/expensive programmable calculator, micro-computer or mini- 
computer. Or use it as the intelligence to create a data collector/ 
logger system. Save on bus fare by investing in the controller that's 
made for the job. 

$995 FOB factory. 

• 4K RAM for program development and data storage. 

■ BASIC language with "Blast" instruction to burn 
EPROMs. 

■ Programs quickly changeable with 4K E PROM 
plug-in cartridges. 

■ Two RS-232 ports interface with data communica- 
tion equipment. 

• "Service request" structure— serial and parallel poll. 

• Transmission or reception of BCD or ASCII 
messages. 

■ 16-bit integer arithmetic. 

• Sturdy yet portable for field use. Less than 
10 pounds. 




PHYSICAL DATA 

Division of Hathaway Corp. 
8089 S.W. Cirrus Dr. 
Beaverton, OR 97005 
Phone (503)644-9014 



ously and more or less independently. 

Although the 8086 and the Z80 are 
on the same board, they perform dif- 
ferent logical functions. The central 
processor performs 8- and 16-bit 
signed and unsigned arithmetic func- 
tions in binary or decimal, including 
multiplication and division, data 
transfers, string operations, and bit 
manipulation. 

With 8K bytes of ROM and 2K 
bytes of RAM, the Z80 handles the 
serial I/O channels for six RS-232C 
ports, sparing the 8086 from charac- 
ter interrupt processing. The Z80 also 
controls a SVi-inch floppy-disk drive, 
containing either a 512K-byte single- 
sided or 1-megabyte double-sided 
disk. As part of its serial I/O duties, 
the Z80 permits asynchronous and 
bisynchronous communications. It 
also supports an RS-422 port for 
Altos's proprietary limited-range 
800,000-bps local-area network, called 
Altos-Net. Finally, the Z80 accesses a 
battery-backed calendar and cldck on 
the main board, eliminating the need 
for the software to ask the time and 
date when the system is turned on 
each day. The Z80 always talks with 
the 8086 through DMA and a pair of 
interrupt lines. 

The 8089 I/O processor, which 
resides with 16K bytes of RAM on the 
hard-disk controller board, also com- 
municates with the 8086 through 
main memory. This controller can 
support two 5Vi-inch hard-disk 
drives— typically the Miniscribe 2012 
or Seagate ST412 — and one 12-mega- 
byte (formatted) start/ stop (funnel) 
tape drive. The controller handles 
seeking, serial data transfers, and 
DMA into system memory. The 8089 
can read a full track in one disk 
revolution, which is important for 
running Xenix. 

Conclusion 

By offering virtually all levels of 
users ready access to the powerful 
features of a minicomputer running 
Unix software, the 586's Xenix busi- 
ness shell provides a capstone for the 
system's networking and communica- 
tions capabilities and marks an im- 
portant step in the direction of 
corporate-wide distributed data pro- 
cessing. ■ 



146 June 1983 © BYTE Publication* Inc 



Circle 303 on inquiry card. 



SUPER BARGAINS 



ACE 1000 COLOR 

COMPUTER! List $1545 

SHARP COMPUTER 249 




I m 



SUPERBRAIN II 

Double Density 1894 

Quad Density 2274 

Super Density SD 2649 

COMPUSTARS 

TO DEALERS CALL & SAVE 

Advanced Micro Digital S-100 Super- 
Quad Single Board Computer. Z80 64K 
RAM, Disk Controller, 
RS-232 Only699 

ALTOS — single and multi-user 

ACS-8000-15D List 5990 

Only 4699 

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.ITOHF10 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 

RAM S-100 64K 449 

Microangelo Video Graphics 715 



AMERICAN SQUARE COMPUTERS is 
organizing a World Wide Association 
of Computer Dealers. Open a Store or 
Start Work Out of Your Home! We 
Charge NO FRANCHISE FEE! (Our 
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MAKING MONEY by HELPING 
PEOPLE to putCOMPUTERS to WORK. 
Write or Phone today. 

Which Computers are Best? . . . Free 

Insured Shipping at Low Rates. 



TELEVIDEO 

Televideo 910+ 518 

Televideo 925 718 

Televideo 950 899 

Televideo Computers Call 

ADDS VIEWPOINT A-1B 469 

ZENITH Z-19 Terminal 649 

Z-89 48K Computer 2119 

Z-90 64KDD 2399 

ZVM-121 ZENITH 

Green Screen monitor 125 

INTERTUBEIII 

or EMULATOR $710 

AMDEK Color Monitor $329 

GODBOUTCOMPUPRO 

Super Sixteen 8085/8088. The fastest 
8-16 bit computer! Runs 8 and 16 bit 
code! 128K Static RAM, 6MHz CPU's 
LIST 3440 SPECIAL 2569 

New: Systems 816/A, B, and C with 

enclosure and drives. 

816/A .... List 5495 .... Only 4395 

SEATTLE pure 16 bit computer is the 
fastest microcomputer by actual test! 
S-100, 128K Static RAM, 8 MHz 8086, 
22 slot Mainframe 

Model #2 List 3785 Only $3028 

#1 as above 

but 64K List 2990 Only $2392 

IBM PC memory made by SEATTLE. 

Now with "Flash Dtsk," . . 192K = 697 
64K = 427 
CALIFORNIA COMPUTER 2210A 

List $1995 Only $1595 

Z80, 64K. I/O, Disk controller + CPM. 

California main frame 484 

SYSTEMS GROUP computers run 
FRIENDLY OASIS Call ....... SAVE 

QUAY COMPUTER 

Two drives + CPM . . $1745 

Four user MPM 208K + 

Hard Disk $5945 

TARBELLS 

Empire I & II have two 8" disk drives. 

The I is single sided, the II is double 

sided. 

FREE Business Software 

Empire I ... List 4888 ... Only 3495 

Corvus Hard Disk ; SAVE 

SSM Video BRD VB3 kit 361 

Spectrum Color ASM 223 



NORTH STAR 

ADVANTAGE 64K Green Phosphor. 
The Best Business Graphics, 2 Disks, 
Serial Port. Options CPM — Business 
programs $2894 



MICRO DECISION 

"A DEAL YOU CANT REFUSE' 1 
64K RAM, Z80, 4MHz, 2 Serial Ports, 
Disk Controller. FREE SOFTWARE: 
CPM — Microsoft BASIC — BaZic 
— Wordstar— Logicalc— Correct-It. 

List Only 

with 1 57T Disk .. $949 ... $1049 
with 2 5'/4" Disks . . 1545 . . . 1400 



We Repair 
Computers 



One hour free 

troubleshooting 

on business 

systems. 




NORTH STAR Horizon 

Powerful North Star BASIC Free 

Superb for Business & Science 

Free Secretary Word Processor 

Horizon Standard is now HRZ-2-64K 

Quad 

Factory Assembled & Tested Only 

Horizon-2-64K-Quad $2894 

Horizon-1-64K-QHD 5 3999 

Horizon RAM 64K 594 

Big Sale on Multi-User 

Time-Sharing SAVE 

North Star Hard Disk 18Mb .... 4295 

English to Basic Translator 75 

Zbasic 2 to 5 times faster! 325 

Secretary Word Processor 69 

Wordstar Word Processor 278 

Floating Point Board 699 

Oasis . 699 

CPM for N*-Extra features 147 

Micro Mike Software CALL 

MICROSTAT $355 

Pascal-80 539 

Extra Precision BASIC 49 

Northword 179 

Infomanager r . 329 

General Ledger .399 

Accounts Receivable 399 

Accounts Payable 399 

Inventory 399 

Order Entry 399 

PROPAC 1299 

DOS + BASIC 5.2 28 

INTEGRAND main frames S-100. Many 
models to choose from 

Only 200 & UP 

MODEMS 

DC HAYES — S-100 $329 

POTOMAC MICRO MAGIC .... 369 

SIGNALMAN 97 

CAT NOVATION 159 

AUTOCAT 215 



Full Time Graduate 
Technician on Duty. 



DECISION I 



"The IBM-360 on theZ-80 & S-100 BUS!" 

Sixteen Programs running simultan- 
eously! Free CPM, Microsoft BASIC. 
andWORDSTARwithcompletesystem' 

DECISION 1 + 65K Static + 

8" Disks DMA 3403 

DECISION 1 +65K Static + 

2 5'/4" Disks 2795 

DECISION 1 + 65K Static + 

5" Disk + 5 Mb Hard Disk 4235 

DECISION 1- 2user 256K Static + 
5" Disk + 5 Mb Hard Disk + 

MICRONIX 5830 

DECISION 1 — Z-80 + I/O + 65K 1915 
DECISION 1 — Rackmount + 20 Mb 

HD - 8" DRV Reg. 6235 

Inventory Sale 5415 

kl^MORROW Hard Disks 
up to 26 MEGABYTES 

HDC-M26 $3333 

HDC-M20 3333 

HDC-M10 2955 

DMA-M5 Reg. 1775 

Inventory Sale 1400 

DMA-M10 2235 

DMA-M16 2795 



MORROW 8" Disk 

Discus 2D + CPM 600K . . Only $834 
Discus 2 + 2 * CPM 1.2 Mb .... 1068 
Add Drives 2D = 599 2 + 2 = 1795 
Discus 2D dual + CPM . . . Only 1384 
Free Microsoft BASIC from MORROW 
with Discus system or hard disk. 

FAST FIGURE — Most powerful 
spread sheet. 5'/." or 8" 99 

Wordstar 278 

All MicroPro Software for IBM, Apple, 
North Star, Morrow, etc. SAVE! CALL 



Call for latest prices & availability 



AMERICAN 




SQUARE. 



919-889-4577 

Circle 1 8 on inquiry card. 



4167KivettDr 




Factory Guarantees We Beat Prices 

COMPUTERS 



Jamestown N.C. 27282 



919-883-1105 

BYTE June 1983 147 



BREAKS h 

Computers for Business, Home Applications Resources Management 






ne, we i» w 

FULL COLOR 
GRAPHICS 

$1,999 



on\V 

nhirs IN 8 COLORS'. 
SOFTWARE PACKA^t ^ ^ SpeH o 






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7aao 5V«" s.s-.°- .' oft/hard. 6.W 2 .65 



, c rtd soWhard 
7440 ^S'd.d.'.so^ard 
7450 5V» ° S ri ' d soWMfd- 
74A0 ^,^7, sotted.- 
7430 8 T~ 



.$4.20 
6.00 
5.55 
7.10 



New 



Brother HR-15 



Letter Quality Printer At 
Will Astound You 



a Price That 
SCALL 



Displayed and sold at our Showroom, 
12210 Michigan Ave., Grand Terrace, CA 



MICRO-DECISION 

by Morrow Designs 




SEC 

P-8800 




Personal Computer System: Just Arrived: 

I All the flexibility one could ask for. in highest per 
formance system 1 Z-80 standard. 8086 16-bit pro 
cessoroptional. ROM Basic (8/t6 bit). Graphic RAM, 
5 1 A and 8' ' floppies Include 3 individually-controlled 
windows, text & graphics. RGB or composite dis- 
play, cassette interface. 

| LIMITED SUPPLY SCALL 



Perfect 

desk-top computer: 
• Z-80, 1 Floppy standard, 2nd optional, Optional 
terminal, or use your own. •CP/Mwith user friendly 
"shell." • WordStar, SpellChecker, Spreadsheet, 
Microsoft Basic-80 & BASIC. List $1195 lo $1790, 
Limited Quantity CALL For Availability. 
NEW: Now with double-sided double-density Flop- 
pies (800 KB storage), and with Data Base Manage- 
ment Software CALL For Availability! 



SEC 

APC 




Extremely sophisticated 
graphics and color display 
(1024x1024 pixel) 16-bit 
(8086!), 128K standard, expandable to 256K. 1-2 8" 
Floppies 1 MEG each (run any CP/M program avail- 
able on 8"). Detachable keyboard. Integral monitor 
(monochrome/color). Extensive software. 

HOI Monochrome, 1 Floppy List $3298 

H02 Monochrome. 2 Floppies List $3998 

H03 Color monitor, 2 Floppies List $4998 

CALL for appointment 



SOFTWARE! SOFTWARE! SOFTWARE/ 

Once again, you can count on unprecedented Value and Service from BHRT- 
Not only Software sales at UNBEATABLE PRICES, but also FREE SOFTWARE CONSULTA- 
TION. To talk with our Consultant, simply call (714) 783-3234 To place an order call our 
toll-free line (800) 845-5555 If we don't have it, we'll tell you where to get if Either way 
you win' 



IBM PC (MS-DOS) 



ATI Power for PC DOS 75 

ATI Power for WordStar 75 

Supercalc 75 

MBASIC 75 

Multiplan 75 

Visicalc 75 

dB Power 75 

EasyFiler 75 

EasyWriter II 75 

Versa Form 389 

BSTAM 200 

Targe! Financial Model 325 

Condoi I Database 295 

Condor III Database 650 

Home Accountant Plus 150 

1st Class Mail 124 

Property Management 495 

Write on 129 

Real Estate Investment 129 

Random House Thesaurus 150 

Money Decisions 199 

ZORK I 39 

ZORK II 39 

ZORK III 39 

Deadline 39 

Star Cioss 39 

PC Text 100 

Window 150 

Wordtrix 34 

Joysticks (Kraft Systems) 69 

SpellBinder 495 

Mince 175 

Final Word 300 

Scribble 175 

Cross Talk 195 

StatPack 495 

The Word Plus 150 

The Personal Investor 145 

RM/COBOL 950 

RM/COBOL Runtime 250 

Job Cost System 495 

File Manager Plus 149 

Advanced Visicalc 400 

VisiWord 375 

VisiSpell 225 

Visicalc 250 

Desktop Plan 300 

VisiOex 250 

VisiTrend/Plot 300 

Business Forecasting Models 100 

Move-ll 150 

Multiplan 275 

CP/M 86 

List 

ATI FOR DB POWER 75 

ATI FOR SUPERCALC 75 

ATI FOR VISICALC 75 

ATI FOR MICROPLAN 75 

ATI FOR MBASIC 75 

ATI FOR WORDSTAR 75 
RANDOM HOUSE THESAURUS 150 

SPELLBINDER 495 

SP/LAW 125 

BENCHMARK 499 

BSTAM 86 200 

MOVE-IT 150 

DBASE II 700 
LEVEL II COBOL 



APPLE 

Games 

Cannon Ball Blitz 

Eggs It 

Frogger 

Kamikaze 

Master Type 

Olympic Decathelon 

Robot Wars 

Zorkl. II & III 

Wizardry 

Serious Stuff: 

PFS: Pers. File System 

PFS: Pers. Rep System 

Eduware (all) 

Visicalc 3.3 

Desktop Plan 3.3 



Your 

Price 

54 

54 

54 

54 

54 

54 

54 

54 

54 

288 

144 

253 

212 

468 

104 

89 

345 

89 

94 

109 

144 

29 

29 

29 

29 

29 

70 

109 

25 

49 

274 

160 

215 

159 

149 

359 

108 

99 

684 

179 

359 

109 

309 

293 

176 

189 

229 

219 

229 

79 

99 

219 



Your 
Price 
54 
54 
54 
54 
54 
54 
109 
269 
90 
359 
149 
99 
469 
1600 1059 



Your 
List Price 



35 
30 
35 
35 
40 
29 
40 
40 
50 

125 
95 

250 
250 



25 
21 
25 
27 
27 
23 
24 
27 
35 

80 

80 

Call 

169 

169 



Advanced Visicalc 

(Apple III) 
Modifiable D/base 
D B Master 

Word Processors: 

Wordstar (reg. CP/M) 
Spellslar 
Mailmerge 
Super Sort 
BONUS PACK 

(Includes Wordstar I 

M/merge) 
Word Handler 



400 315 



80 59 
229 160 



495 
295 
295 
295 
990 



CP/M {Most Formats) 



CPt 

Random House Thesaurus 

dPATCH 

MicroLib File Librarian 

ATI-Power for CP/M 

dB POWER 

Wordstar Power 

SuperCalc Power 

MBASIC Power 

MultiPlan Power 

dBASE II 

Financial Planner 

Bottom Line Strategist 

BSTAM 

Carclbox 

Roots/M 

PlannerCalc 

Target Financial Modeling 

Palantir Word Processing 

FMS-80 

Cilation card file 

Supervyz 

Micro B4 f/CBASIC 

Micro B 4 l/MBASIC. COBOL 

Smart Key 

Smart Print 

OuickScreen f/CBASIC 

MBASIC 

dBASE II 

FMS80 
dGRAPH 
dUTIL 
Ouickcode 

Agri-business Software 
Professional Time Accounting 
SuperFile 
ZORK I 
ZORK II 
ZORK III 
Deadline 
Star Cross 
Mathemagic 
Pascal Z 

Pascal BZ (business version) 
Spellbinder 
Final Word 
Benchmark 
Benchmark maillist 
CIS Cobol 
FORMS 2 
FORTH 79 
CROSSTALK 

ZIP (specify C or M-BASIC) 
ZIP for both C- and M-BASIC 
StatPack 
The Word Plus 
Textwriter III 
Datebook 
Milestone 

Job Files (Project Cost) 
Pearl 1 
Pearl 2 
Pearl 3 

Personal Pearl 
The Quad 
Ouick N Easy Pro 
MailMan 

Quick 'N Easy Generatoi 
CRT FORM 
Encode/Decode 
Diagnostic II 
Term II 
Disk Doctor 
Disk Edit 
Scratchpad 
Move-It 



300 
180 
180 
180 
455 



199 139 



Your 
Price 



150 


109 


150 


109 


195 


129 


295 


195 


75 


54 


75 


54 


75 


54 


75 


54 


75 


54 


75 


54 


700 


459 


700 


499 


400 


289 


200 


144 


245 


174 


195 


137 


99 


74 


325 


254 


425 


309 


995 


599 


250 


169 


150 


90 


260 


209 


260 


209 


60 


46 


35 


28 


149 


123 


295 


217 


99 


84 


295 


214 


3500 


1995 


595 


439 


195 


117 


49 


36 


49 


36 


49 


36 


59 


42 


49 


36 


99 


74 


450 


378 


450 


378 


495 


274 


300 


219 


499 


359 


250 


179 


850 


612 


200 


144 


139 


109 


195 


153 


160 


104 


225 


142 


495 


357 


150 


108 


125 


108 


295 


229 


295 


229 


500 


360 


49 


32 


295 


179 


495 


297 


295 


179 


495 


419 


395 


284 


125 


94 


295 


214 


400 


289 


100 


74 


125 


89 


?00 


144 


100 


72 


100 


74 


295 


209 


125 


94 



PRICE BARRIER 

Technology & Science - NEW 15-DAY EXCHANGE PRIVILEGE i» -terms- Mm) 



SPECIALS OF THE MONTH! 




SNUTH-CORONA 
TP-1: 

AT OUR PRICE, 
NO COMPUTER 
SHOULD BE 
WITHOUT ONE! 

Daisy-wheel letter-quality, interfaces all com- 
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price Mo less than 18 print-wheels— inly 
S6 95 each. List $849 0NLYS&45T 

SPECIAL, ONLY this month 
$50 Rebate from SCM! 
NEW; Tractor for TP-1, 

easy retro-fit $129 




Mannesmann-Tally MT-1601 

No other printer can match all these features: serial AND 
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standard, front-panel programming standard, heavy- 
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MT 160 L: all features of MT-1601 plus LETTER-QUALITY 

nnnting at 50 cps 

Exceptional buy $ CALL!!! 




IBM-PC COMPATIBLE COMPUTERS 



• 




IBM-PC 64K 

two floppies 320K 
color board SCALL 



E2EE 



m 

IBM- COMPATIBLE 
COMPUTER: 




REDUCED 
PRICES! 




COLUMBIA 1600 16-bil 8088. accepts all IBM 
boards, reads & runs all IBM software, but has also 
additional Z-80 processor to run 8-bit C/PM So 
compatible il can even use IBM keyboard 1 128K. 1 
parallel & serial pons standard 8 expansion slots! 
COLUMBIA 1600 pauage. computer as above + 
keyboard + CRT r.oneolier List S3.635 ... S CALL 

NEW: S3.000 worth FREE SOFTWARE included: 

MS-DOS. CP/M-86. Assembler. BASICA. ASYNCH/ 
BISYNCH. Tutor Software. Pcrfecl Writer. Perfect 
Speller. Perlecl Filer S Pcrfecl Calc S CALL for 
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Advanced color graphics under ZiBASIC. "16 
bit (8088) & 8-bit (8085) 128K RAM, expand- 
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Runs most IBM-PC software and CP/M. 
ZF-100 128K RAM 8/16 bit. 1 floppy 
monochrome graphics LIST S3.249 SCALL 

ZF-110 Similar to above, but COLOR 
GRAPHICS, 2 floppies LIS! S3.999 SCALL 

ZF-120 128K RAM. 8/16 bit. 2 floppies, 
monochrome graphics. 

integral display USTS4.099 SCALL 
ZENITH Hard Disk SCALL 



EAGLE 




EAGLE 1600 Fully IBM-compatible, but uses 8086 
processor al 8 MHz (4x laster than IBM-PC) 128K 
RAM. inexpensive upgrade to 512K 8 slots accept 
IBM-PC boards Detached keyboard. 105 keys ('). 24 
user-defined 2 Floppies (780K-1 6M) or 1 Floppy ■ 
haid disk (10M-32M) High-rcsolulion graphics 
(720x352 pixels), color graphics oplional Includes 
MS-DOS. BASIC, wordprocessor, spreadsheet 
List S3995-8995 SCALL 



processor 
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EAGLE-PC Similar to above but 

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All the features of EPSON FT plus backsp.ire. con I 
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TERMINALS 

Yi#tJ M 






ZT-1 



A unique terminal: Connects directly to phone line 
without a modem, and supports communication 
protocol to THE SOURCE, CompuServe. Dow-Jones. 
Can be used also as a local terminal with a RS-232 
adapter. 

List ONLY $495 

DECVT 100 $1375 

DEC VT 102 $1320 

ADDSA1 $529 

OUME 102 $569 

WYSE $799 

TeleVideo 970 $1069 

MONITORS & PLOTTERS: 

AMDEK 12" Amber $159 

AMDEK COLOR II RGB. hi-resolution. 13" $699 

AMOEK COLOR III RGB $382 

ZENITH RGB hiqh-resolution RGB $524 

PGS high-res. 12" RGB $645 

NEC 12" RGB hiqh resolution $ CALL 

INTERFACES & MODEMS, ETC. 
Hayes Modems: 

SmartModem 300 $214 

SmartModem 1200 $523 

MicroModem II $269 

MicroModem 100(S-100) $289 

VENTEL RS-232 Modem $763 

SSM modem; 1200 Baud, autodial/rec. SCALL 

MICROFAZER printer buffer ..$139 

INTERFAZER f/multi-users. up to 8 terminals 

& 2 printers! $239 

TYMAC printer-adapter f/APPLE $89 

GRAPPLER $129 

DOT-MATRIX PRINTERS: 

NEC-8023A (parallel) $459 

Okidata 83A 132 cot. (s/p) $649 

Okidata 84-P 200 cps. & 50 cps $994 

Okidata 92. just released $ CALL 

NEW: Cut Sheet Feeder lor Okidata 84 SCALL 

IDS Microprism: serial and parallel inputs, 
two printing speeds and printing grades: 
Draft/Correspondence $519 

Letter-quality printers: 

Fugitsu80CPSf!) $2289 

NEC 3510 33cps serial $1449 

NEC 3530 same, parallel $1599 

DIABLO 620 25cps. ser $1094 

BROTHER HR-1 S794 

DaisyWriter 2000, 48K buffer! $1023 

TRANSTAR, emulates Diablo, parallel , $699 

TOSHIBA 350, heavy-duty, list S $1649 

OUME NEW SPRINT II 40 cps ... LIST S1681 SCALL 
OLYMPIA ES100KR0 Electronic Type- 
writer/Printer 17.5 CPS, s/p 51150 

TEC Daisywheel 40 CPS, s/p $1389 

TRACTOR lor TEC $259 



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Z-80 based system allocates each user his own 64 K 
RAM partition (other multi-user systems support on- 
ly 48 K partition/user). UNIX-derived operating 
system also emulates CP/M lor broad software com- 
patibility. Included with system: MICRONIX 
Operating System. CP/M. WordStar. Spell-Checker. 
LogiCalc. Microsoft BASIC-80. BAZIC. Personal 
Pearl Data Base. Supports up to 15 users! System 
w/256K RAM. 16 MByle Hard Oisk. 1 5'A Floppy (8" 
optional). Clock. Interrupt Controller & Centronix 
port. Accounting, inventory. Data Base Management 
software optional. List S7395 SCALL 



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A Machine for All Processors 

The Fujitsu Micro 16s 

The Micro 16s, with its plug-in processors, was designed to run 
a large variety of operating systems and applications programs. 



The Fujitsu Micro 16s personal 
business computer (see photo 1) of- 
fers a unique architectural design: in- 
terchangeable microprocessors. It lets 
users choose from among the most 
popular processors available today. 
Eventually, more microprocessors 
will be added to this group, ensuring 
that the Micro 16s will not become 
obsolete. 

The primary advantage, of course, 
is the ability to interchange operating 
systems, which provides the path to a 
wide assortment of applications pro- 
grams. 

Applications Processors 

The main circuit board of the 
Micro 16s does not contain a central 
processor (see photo 2). By pulling 
the central processors off the main 
board and configuring them on plug- 
in boards, the designers of the Micro 
16s have made it possible to use any 
of several Primary Applications Pro- 
cessors. One or two processor boards 
can be plugged into the Micro 16s, 
and either one can be in control of the 
bus, the memory, etc. 

Boards are available now for a 
16-bit processor, the 8086, and the 
Z80A 8-bit processor. In the near 



Wayne Clingingsmith 

Fujitsu Professional Microsystems 

3320 Scott Blvd. 

Santa Clara, CA 95051 

future, boards will be available for 
16-bit processors such as the 68000 
and 80286. 

The 68000 board should be particu- 
larly attractive. It will have an 8-MHz 
clock rate letting it perform 1 million 
instructions per second. And it will be 
capable of running the Unix operating 

The Micro 16s can 

easily adopt whatever 

operating system Is 

currently In style. 

system along with a wealth of appli- 
cations programs that have primarily 
been confined to minicomputers and 
mainframes. 

Flexibility 

Flexibility is the cornerstone of this 
computer's architecture. It confronts 
head-on an issue that is often swept 
under the rug: the finite life span of 
an operating system. Like many 
things, operating systems go in and 
out of style. One sometimes wonders, 
'What is the operating system of the 
day?'' The Micro 16s is the first 
microcomputer to address this prob- 
lem directly. 



For example, a person who owns a 
computer that uses an 8086 micropro- 
cessor with the MS-DOS operating 
system — and who makes a substan- 
tial investment in hardware, soft- 
ware, and peripheral devices — may 
learn that the particular industry in- 
volved has subsequently adopted the 
Unix operating system. Now a 68000, 
a Z8000, or some other chip would be 
needed. 

Micro 16s owners won't lose any 
investment in existing peripheral 
devices. The Micro 16s, because of its 
architecture and its bus system, can 
adopt whatever operating system 
turns out to be au courant. It becomes 
a simple matter to add the ap- 
propriate applications processor 
board and the new software, rather 
than acquiring an entirely new system 
with new peripheral devices and con- 
verting all the old programs. With the 
Micro 16s, the old programs would 
still be usable with the old processor. 

A Look Inside 

Inside the Micro 16s there's a main 
circuit board with a card cage having 
six card slots. A diagram of this is 
shown in figure 1. On this board are 
128K bytes of volatile memory, a 



150 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 1: The Fujitsu Micro 16s personal business computer. 




Photo 2: The main circuit board of the Fujitsu Micro 16s. Two processor boards are 
plugged into the expansion slots. 



dedicated video subprocessor (based 
on the 6809 processor), and 64K bytes 
of additional memory for this pro- 
cessor. Because these memory chips 
have an extremely low failure rate, 
the chips are soldered to the board 
rather than merely plugged in. 

What's more, the Micro 16s has a 
floppy-disk controller, an RS-232C 
serial controller, a Centronics parallel 
controller, a light-pen controller, and 
a 4-channel A/D (analog-to-digital) 
converter all built in. 

It is important to note that all these 
basic I/O (input/output) controllers 



are located on the motherboard. 
They don't take up any of the six 
plug-in slots. 

The applications processors are 
configured on plug-in boards. The 
system, as delivered, comes with both 
an 8086 and a Z80A applications pro- 
cessor board plugged into slots 1 and 
2. The 8086 board has a socket for the 
8087 arithmetic processor and con- 
trollers for DMA (direct memory ac- 
cess). Either or both of the boards can 
be replaced as a user's requirements 
change. 

The package as described so far, in- 



cluding an RGB color monitor, 
CP/M-86, the Wordstar word-pro- 
cessing program, and Super calc 2 , 
retails for $3995. 

Extra Memory 

The first upgrade that one is likely 
to want is Concurrent CP/M-86, 
which offers a single-user/multitask- 
ing operating environment. It enables 
you, with a single keystroke, to 
switch between a spreadsheet, a 
word-processing program, and a 
calendar operation. If the Micro 16s is 
functioning as a terminal in regard to 
a mainframe, you may want to 
switch back and forth to an operation 
running on that remote processor. 
For example, in slot 3 you might add 
the memory necessary to support this 
operating environment. 

Four single-board memory options 
will be available— 128K, 256K, 512K, 
or 1024K bytes. Yes, I said 1024K 
bytes of volatile memory on a single 
board. This will be made possible by 
the new 256K-bit volatile-memory 
chips. 

The 128K-byte memory board will 
have two additional RS-232C ports. 
This is valuable for addressing both a 
serial printer and a modem. Also, if 
you are using the MP/M operating 
system, these extra ports enable other 
users to access your database through 
remote terminals. 

Other Peripheral Devices 

A hard-disk controller will soon be 
available using one slot on the main 
circuit board. Fujitsu will be offering 
a 5-, 10-, and 20-megabyte Win- 
chester disk drive for this computer. 

The remaining two slots (after 
memory and hard-disk controller) 
provide room to add a mix of addi- 
tional peripheral devices. For exam- 
ple, you may want to attach a 
number of terminals to the system. A 
multiport RS-232C controller card 
will soon be available to allow this. 
Under MP/M-86, the Micro 16s 
would be able to run several ter- 
minals and printers at the same time. 

If you have many applications and 
you would like local-area network- 
ing, the Micro 16s will offer two 
choices: Omninet (with a data-trans- 
mission rate of 1 megabit per second) 



June 1983 © BYTE Publication* Inc 151 



APPLICATION PROCESSORS 
(8086. Z80, 6809. ETC.) 



EXTRA MEMORY_ 
(128-1024K) 



HARD -DISK CONTROLLER 
(10-15 MEGABYTE ) 



MULTIPORT COMMUNICATIONS 
LOCAL-AREA NETWORK 




RGB MONITOR 
(640 X 200 X 8) 



COMPOSITE MONITOR 
(B/W OR COLOR) 



Figure 1 : Diagram of the Fujitsu Micro 1 6s computer. Two applications processors (the 8086 and the Z80A) come standard with the unit along with 
an RGB monitor and dual disk drives. The video-graphics subsystem uses a 6809 processor and has its own 64K bytes of memory. Slots 2 through 5 
are identical and can house any combination of cards. 



Operating 
System 


Description 


Available 


Concurrent CP/M-86 


Single-user, multitasking on 8086-based systems 


6/83 


MP/M-86 


Multiuser, multitasking on 8086-based systems 


12/83 


MS-DOS 


Microsoft's version of IBM PC-DOS 


11/83 


GSX 


Graphics system extension 


8/83 


Unix 


68000-based, powerful networking system 


5/84 


Table 1: Additional 


operating systems for the Fujitsu Micro 16s. 





and Ethernet (10 megabits per 
second). 

Omninet allows you to intercon- 
nect several microcomputers. For ex- 
ample, several users could then share 
a hard disk. Ethernet is designed for 
those in high-throughput en- 
vironments, where you may want to 
interface with a DEC computer or 
other mainframe computer systems. 

An IBM 3278 controller board will 



be available to connect the Micro 16s 
to mainframe computers over a coax- 
ial cable at 2.5 megabits per second. 

Operating Systems 

The power and flexibility of the 
Micro 16s rely heavily on a variety of 
operating systems, listed in table 1. 
Many are significant new operating 
systems being made available by 
Digital Research Inc., the developer 



of the popular CP/M operating 
system. 

Concurrent CP/M-86 from Digital 
Research enables you to perform 
multiple tasks, such as entering data 
and printing the hard copy of a letter, 
at the same time. This permits an 
operator to perform other tasks while 
waiting for input or output functions 
to complete. MP/M-86 lets several 
users perform multiple tasks on the 
Micro 16s. MS-DOS enables pro- 
grams developed for the IBM PC to 
operate in the Micro 16s, while Unix 
extends the multiuser, multitasking 
capability of the machine still further, 
including features such as network- 
ing. 

Digital Research's GSX graphics in- 
terface is an extension to the CP/M 
system that provides a universal 
graphics protocol for graphics 
devices. It significantly eases the in- 
terface to the video-terminal sub- 
processor and provides portability 
for CP/M-based programs. 



152 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



BASF QUALIMETRIC ^ 

ATOTALLY NEW DIMENSION OF QUALITY. 







From BASF comes a totally new 
level of excellence in magnetic 
media-the Qualimetric stan- 
dard, a standard so advanced 
that BASF FlexyDisks® are confi- 
dently backed by an extraordi- 
nary new lifetime warranty.* 
The Qualimetric standard is 
maintained without compro- 
mise through every step of BASF 
design, production, inspection, 
and testing... reflecting an 
unwavering BASF commitment 
to media fidelity and durability. 

Our FlexyDisk jacket incorpo- 
rates a unique two-piece liner 
that not only traps damaging 
debris away from the media 
surface, but also ensures pre- 
cise media-to-head alignment. 
The result-certified 100% 
error-free performance, backed 
by BASF's exclusive lifetime 
warranty* 

For information security, 
tomorrow and beyond, look for 
the distinctive BASF package 
with the Qualimetric seal. Call 
800-343-4600 for the name of 
your nearest supplier. 

Circle 38 on inquiry card. 




ENTER TOMORROW ON 

* Contact BASF for warranty deta ifs. © 1982. BASF Systems Corporation, Be ford, MA 



BASF TODAY 



li 

-ASSETS 

SiAcct.s Receivable 

6!Cash 

7 Unso Id Coods 



180.88 185.88 118.25 



-£53,83 58.BB 52.5 
26.25 6.56 27.5. 



Hi %i 

. -235,63 -246,7 
58.88 52.58 55.13 



784.17 698.65 



115.76 121.55 
57.88 
38.39 



199.83 289.82 



786.87 647.23 

jo.BB jOtW 

-272,84 -285,64 

66.78 63.81 



544.88 475.48 



9!Total teats -325 M -123,75 161.56 

18! 

flPflUTBS M MiM ntnfM 

12!Acct«s Payable 1 

13? Storage Cos s 

HiLator L_ 

iSIHatrials 58.88 52.58 55.13 

1A« 



17!Total Liabilities 

IB! 

19IHIBT -1525,83 -537,92 -537.39 

3!Jep. flllownce 188.88 188.88 188.88 

21STwable taoB-i625.ee -1837,32 -*37.8* 

• F6 ForaF8<5£5 

Kidih: 9 Heonj: 73 Last Col/Ro»:025 ? for HELP 



Photo 3: An example of the colors available in the character mode of the Micro 16s. 
Shown is a Supercalc 2 table. 




Photo 4: An example of the color-graphics capability of the Micro 16s. 



Video Display 

The Micro 16s's video display is a 
self-contained video-display terminal 
handling not only video, but also 
keyboard interrupts and I/O process- 
ing. 

Video display is handled by the in- 
dependent video processor that is sent 
high-level commands by the main 
processor. The video processor 
resides on its own bus and does not 
use an expansion slot. By running in 



parallel and not requiring any main 
processor bus cycles, it supplies the 
main system with characters and 
high-resolution graphics without tak- 
ing up user address space. This makes 
it easy for the Micro 16s programmer 
to manage the video display without 
worrying about which operating sys- 
tem or main applications processor 
plug-in board is used. Parallel pro- 
cessing also increases throughput and 
allows the main system to maintain a 



high clock rate because it does not 
have to be synchronized with the 
video display. 

The Micro 16s can display 221 
characters, including the standard 
ASCII (American National Standard 
Code for Information Interchange) 
character set, engineering symbols, 
graphics, and forms graphics (see 
photo 3). Each character can be dis- 
played in one of eight colors, with a 
choice of eight background colors 
(black, blue, red, purple, green, light 
blue, yellow, or white). Two levels of 
intensity are also possible in character 
mode, allowing a total of 16 display- 
able colors. In addition, "blink" and 
"reverse" attributes are available. 

The video display supports the 
ADM 3 terminal mode and uses 
escape sequences for performing cer- 
tain smart terminal functions. These 
include setting video and cursor at- 
tributes and setting and getting cursor 
position. 

The video display also has a graph- 
ics mode that features 640 by 200 pix- 
els, displayable in one of eight colors. 
In addition, the video processor sup- 
ports high-level commands such as to 
draw a line, draw a box, paint, and 
print. Table 2 lists some of the 45 
commands, which also include func- 
tions for a light pen, timer, and dis- 
playable time-of-day clock. 

You can generate a graphics dis- 
play by computing the appropriate 
set of points to be drawn using a 
BASIC program and then passing 
high-level line commands along with 
the necessary parameters to the video 
processor. 

Photo 4 is an example of a complex 
display that can be quickly drawn by 
a BASIC program. The program 
computes the three apexes of a 
triangle and places them, as (x,y) 
coordinate pairs, into an array. A 
video-processor command is then in- 
voked to place the parameters into 
the video terminal's 128-byte inter- 
face buffer. This is usually in the form 
of a line command (see table 2). For 
each line of the triangle, you send the 
code for the line command in the 
following format: command code, 
color code, function code, first coor- 
dinates, second coordinates, and box 
flag. 



154 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



CP/M 

IBM 

APPLE 




WordStar® 

$269 


dBASE II™ 

$489 


SuperCalc™ 

$189 


Multiplan™ 

$199 


Perfect Writer " 

$289 


WordStar® 
MailMerge 

$369 


WordStar® 
dBASE II 

$749 


VisiCalc® 

$189 


SuperWriter 

$249 


InfoStar" 

$299 



A.L.S.™ 




FOX AND GELLER'" 




Z-80 Card 


$129 


Quickcode 


$229 


CP/M Card 


$359 


dUtil 


$ 69 


ASPEN SOFTWARE™ 




dGraph 


$229 


Grammatik 


$ 60 


HOWARDSOFT'" 




Random House Proofreader 


$ 39 


Tax Preparer (Apple) 


$179 


Random House Thesaurus 


$119 


Tax Preparer (IBM) 


$189 


ASHTONTATE'" 




IUS'" 




dBase 11 


$489 


Easywriter II 


$239 


COMPUTING" 




Easyspeller II 


$139 




$119 


Easyliler 


$2b9 


CONTINENTAL SOFTWARE™ 




Financial Management Series 


CALL 


Home Accountant 


CALL 


LEXISOFT™ 




DIGITAL RESEARCH'" 




Spellbinder 


$259 


CBASIC 


$109 


LIFETREE SYSTEMS'" 




CB-80 Compiler 


$379 


Voikswnter 


$145 


PASCAL/MT+ 


$259 


METASOFT'" 




Access Manager 


$225 


Benchmark 


$379 


CBASIC 86 


$149 






PASCAL/MT+ 86 


$299 


MICROLAB'" 




Concurrent CP/M 86 


$259 


Tax Manager 
MICROPRO" 


$179 






Wordstar 


$269 



Wordstar /Mail Merge 

Wordstar/MailMerge/ 

Wordstar /InloStar 

InfoStar 

CalcStar 

DataStar 

SuperSorl 

SpellStar 

ReportStar 

DataStar Update 

MICROSOFT'" 

Softcard 

Ram Card 

Vtdeoterm (Videx'") 

All Three Above 

Multiplan 

Enhancer II (Videx™] 

BASIC 80 

BASIC Compiler 

C080L Compiler 

FORTRAN 80 

Flight Simulator 

MICROSTUF'" 

Crosstalk 



$369 
SpellStar $509 
$549 
$299 
$ 89 
$179 
$149 
$149 
$229 
CALL 

$259 
$ 89 
$269 
$509 
$199 
$119 
$275 
$295 
$549 
$349 
$ 45 

$135 



OASIS'" 




The Word Plus 


$129 


Punctuation and Style 


$109 


ORGANIC" 




Milestone 


$269 


PEACHTREE'"* 




Series 4 PeachPak 




(GL, AR & AP) 


$369 


PERFECT SOFTWARE'" 




Perlect Writer 


$289 


Perfect Speller 


$169 


Perlect Writer /Speller 


$389 


Perlect Calc 


$169 


Perlect Filer 


$279 


All Four Perlect Products 


$749 


PICKLES AND TROUT'" 




CP/M (or TRS Model II 


$169 


CP/M lor TRS Model 16 


$189 


Hard Disk 


CALL 


SILICON VALLEY SYSTEMS" 




Word Handler 


$149 


List Handler 


$129 



SORCIM'" 

SuperCalc 

SuperWriter 

SpellGuard 

TCS-ACCOUNTING'" 

Accounting Package 

(4 Modules) 
GL. AR. AP. PR or Inv.Mgmt. 
VISICORP- 
VisiCalc 
VisiTerm 
VisiDex 
VisiFile 
VisiSchedule 
VisiTrend/Plot 
Business Forecaster 
Desktop Planner 
FLOPPY DISKETTES 

(Boxes ol Ten) 



$189 
$249 
$129 



$289 
$ 99 ea. 

$189 
$ 85 
$189 
$249 
$249 
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$100 
$249 



(SS) 
(DS) 



$ 25 
$ 25 
$ 35 



NOW, PAY LESS, AND GET GREAT SERVICE, TOO! 



If you're looking for rock-bottom prices mud fast, 
personal service, take a close look at HOO-SOFTWARE. 

Because we buy in volume, we're able to sell the 
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sense. But don't take our word for it. Compare prices 
and see for yourself! 

OUR SERVICE CAN'T BE BEAT. 

We take care of you like our business depends on it. 
Because it does. 

When you call 800-SOFTWARE. you get the fastest 
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order is filled the day we get it. And that our unique 



Order Tracking System™ is on the job. keeping tabs on 
your order, every step of the way. 

Our giant inventory one oi the largest in the United 
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Everything's in stock so you don't have to wait. 

Technical support? Business software expertise? We've 
got it and it's the best you'll find anywhere. 

But, put us to the test. Let us prove what we've 
proven to satisfied customers around the world. 

That our prices mn* lower. That our service is better. 
That there really and truly is a difference. 

We look forward to vour call. 



TO ORDER, CALL TOLL-FREE: 

800-227-4587 

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-SOFTWARE) 



□ Purchase orders accepted. 

D Prompt UPS 3 day Blue Label. 

□ Call for shipping charges, free 
tuiutoi*. and other low software 
prices. 

D Now open Mon. Sat. 

□ International and national dealer 
requests welcome. 

□ Quantity discounts a\ailable. 

□ Prices may change. 

c l'i»p>rtghl N(X)-Sut(u;iu- NK.l 

BYTE June 1983 155 



Circle 433 on Inquiry card. 




\0> 



ft®* 



Dl 



*bfc 



Gemini 







All equipment is in factory cartons with manufac- 
turers' warranty. Prices subject to change without 
notice. Most items in stock or shipped as received, 



1 



NATIONWIDE SERVICE. MOST PRODUCTS 

SUPER WAREHOUSE 



P. O. BOX 373 WALUNGFORD. CONNECTICUT 06492 
ORDER LINE ORDER HOURS 

203-265-1223 9:0 ° * M - 5.00 pm-est 

MONDAY-FRIDAY 

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(ONE DOLLAR CREDIT FOR PHONE ORDERS) 



156 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Command Name 

PUT STRING 

PUT CHARACTER BLOCK 2 

GET CURSOR POSITION 

TAB SET 

CHARACTER LINE 

CHARACTER OUT 

GET LIGHT PEN POSITION 

LINE 

CHAIN 

POINT 

PAINT 

SYMBOL 

LINE2 

GET BLOCK1 

PUT BLOCK2 

GRAPHIC CURSOR 

ERASE GRAPHIC VRAM 

DEFINE PF STRING 

GET PF STRING 



Function 

Displays a character string 

Writes characters and attributes to VRAM 

Reads the cursor position 

Sets tab positions 

Draws a character line or box 

Displays a character 

Reads the coordinates indicated by the light pen 

Draws a line or box 

Draws a broken line 

Displays one or more points 

Paints the area inside a boundary 

Displays a character string in a specified location, 

orientation, and size 

Draws a line (for CIRCLE FULL) 

Reads a specified color 

Displays a pattern in a specified color 

Reads specified coordinates 

Erases the graphic VRAMs 

Defines a character string for a program function key 

Reads the string defined for a PF key 



Table 2: Some of the graphics commands used by the video-graphics subsystem of 
the Micro 16s. 



The command code indicates what 
type of command it is; the color code 
selects one of the eight specified col- 
ors; and the function code selects how 
the output video will combine with 
other colors in the same area of the 
screen (foreground, background, OR, 
AND, XOR). The box flag selects a 
choice of a line, a box, or a box filled 
with the indicated color. For exam- 
ple, in photo 4 the line command was 
used and the triangle was rotated. 
Large colored-block areas could have 
been added with only slight changes 
in the line command. This is but one 
example of the power of the video- 
terminal processor. 



A Detailed Look 

Figure 2 is a block diagram show- 
ing the components of the Micro 16s 
in detail. The two slots for the pro- 
cessor boards do not have equal 
priority. Slot 1 is for the master pro- 
cessor. The 8086 and the 68000 pro- 
cessor boards can be inserted into 
these slots. These boards are 
equipped with controllers for DMA 
and a bootstrap-loader program in 
ROM (read-only memory). When the 
system is turned on, the master pro- 
cessor initially has control. 

The master processor that comes 
with the machine uses an Intel /Fujitsu 



16-bit 8086 microprocessor running 
at a clock rate of 8 MHz. As men- 
tioned above, this board contains the 
master clock, driver circuits, a 
4-channel DMA controller, and a 
bootstrap loader. At power-up, the 
loader program also performs power- 
up diagnostics. If a problem is 
detected, an error message is 
displayed to indicate where the prob- 
lem is, and the ROM monitor pro- 
gram takes over to let the operator in- 
vestigate the error in more detail, 
using DMA, input/ output, and disk 
commands. 

In slot 2 of the standard unit is an 
8-bit Z80A microprocessor board. It 
operates at 4 MHz and has memory- 
bank-selection circuitry that enables 
it to address the full 24-bit (16-mega- 
byte) address space of the Micro 16s. 
It also contains an offset register that 
allows its addresses to be offset by 
64K bytes to avoid conflicts with the 
8086 processor. Under the CP/M 2.2 
operating system, all disk accesses are 
performed by the 8086 processor. 

It should be noted that the Micro 
16s does not come with a complete 
CP/M 2.2 system. Instead, the com- 
puter's CP/M-86 system can use the 
Z80A to simulate a CP/M 2.2 en- 
vironment. Thus, all 8-bit CP/M pro- 
grams can be run, but system com- 
ponents such as the 8-bit CP/M 



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Tele video List Discount 

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925 $995 $730 

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Amdek 

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Color-1 $ 499 $345 

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NECSpinwriterRO 

Serial Parallel 771 $3,085 $2,425 

Serial 3510 $1 ,895 $1 ,600 

OkidataSeries SCall 

Toshiba P-1350 $2,195 SCall 

Interface Equipment 

Complete Stock off Options, 

Cables and Accessories. 



GRAPPLER + APPLE INTERFACE $175 

BUFFERBOARD $175 

CCS APPLE SERIAL Interface & Cable . .$150 

SIGNALMAN MODEM $Call 

HAYES MICROMODEM II $300 

COMPLETE STOCK OF EPSON 

ACCESSORIES $Call 

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Ask about the Brother HR-15 V Odll 



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158 BYTE June 1983 



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 IPs 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 It, which plugs into the Apple It, is 
priced at $149.95. 

Contact us about the ECHO/PC for the IBM Personal Computer. 



JA Street Electronics Corporation 

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

Call toll free for demonstration (800) 221-0339 

Circle 364 on inquiry card. 



SLOT 1 



SLOT 2 



8086 

(8087 SOCKET ) 



4- CHANNEL 

DMA CONTROLLER 



ROM 8K 

BOOT-LOADER 

DIAGNOSTICS 



2 80 A 



USER RAM 
128K 



FREQUENCY/TIME 
GENERATOR 6840 



4-CHANNEL 

ANALOG 

INTERFACE 



RS-232C 
INTERFACE 



300-19.2Kbps 



CENTRONICS- 
PRINTER 
INTERFACE 



5 1/4 inch 
FLOPPY DISKS 



MINIFLOPPY 

DISK 

CONTROLLER 




-e- 


-e- 





EXPANSION 
MODULE 



SOUND 



<l 



SPEAKER 



VIDEO- 
PROCESSOR 
INTERFACE 



6809 
PROCESSOR 



VIDEO FIRMWARE 
ROM 10K 



CHARACTER 
ROM 2K 



WORK 
RAM 2K 



KEYBOARD 

INTERFACE 



VIDEO-CHARACTER 
+ ATTRIBUTE 
RAM 4K 



VIDEO- 
GRAPHIC RAM 
48KB 



CRT 
INTERFACE 



CRT CONTROLLER 
6845 



POWER 
SUPPLY 



r^ 



JOYSTICK. ETC. 



^i ^^ COMMUNICATION 
S^ (^ (ASYNC/SYNC) 




PRINTER 



RS-232C 

IEEE-488 

HARD DISK / 8 inch FLOPPY 

RAM, ETC. 



KEYBOARD 



RGB 
VIDEO 



COMPOSITE 
VIDEO 



-(^^ LIGHT 



PEN 



Figure 2: A block diagram of the Micro 16s system. The 8086 processor is plugged into slot 1 and the Z80A into slot 2. 



assembler have been left out. 

In order to accommodate the 
various processor boards, the main 
circuit board has a data bus unique to 
Fujitsu. The bus contains 130 pins on 
a positive-contact connector, ensur- 
ing high reliability. All the various 
control lines run to each of the expan- 
sion slots, including lines for inter- 
rupts, DMA-bus-requests, signals to 
refresh the dynamic RAM (random- 



access read/write memory) chips, 
system clocks, 16 bits of data, and 24 
bits of address information. All the 
expansion slots have both maskable 
and nonmaskable interrupts available 
for use by expansion cards. 

Slot 1, which is occupied by the 
master processor, has two extra con- 
trol lines that go to control logic cir- 
cuits on the main board rather than 
running the extent of the bus. These 



are the HREQA (halt-request A) and 
HACKA (halt-acknowledge A) 
signals. 

Figure 3 is a simplified diagram 
showing how control is transferred 
from one processor to the other. 
'Tlip-flop R" is set during power- 
on/reset, thereby clearing a halt- 
request line to CPU-A and enabling a 
halt-request to CPU-B. CPU-A then 
takes control of the bus and the boot- 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 159 



Circle 431 on Inquiry card. 



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FROM DIGITAL DIMENSIONS 



OKIDATA 

ML-80..80 COL, 80 CPS $317 

ML-82A..80 COL, 120 CPS $395 

'ML-83A..136 COL, 120 CPS $639 

'ML-84..PARALLEL, 136 COL, 200 CPS ..$969 
♦ML-84..SERIAL, 136 COL, 200 CPS $1,083 

"ML-92..80 COL., 

160 CPS PARALLEL $509 

VML-93..136COL, 

160 CPS PARALLEL $832 

SERIAL INTERFACE FOR ML92&ML93... $99 

PACEMARK 2410..350 CPS CALL 

PACEMARK 2350..SERIAL, 350 CPS CALL 

'Includes TRACTOR FEED 

"lnc.,OKIGR APH '" DOT ADDRESSABLE GRAPHICS 

SEIKOSHA 
DOT MATRIX, PARALLEL 50 CPS PLUS 
GRAPHICS $269 

IDS 

PRISM 80..3.4K & 200 Sprint $1,036 

Inc. sheet feed, color & graphics $1,429 

PRISM 132..3.4K & 200 Sprint $1,195 

Inc. sheet feed, color & graphics $1,591 

MICROPRISM 480 $569 

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GEMINI-10..100 CPS, 2.3K BUFFER $329 

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Starwnler F-10..40 CPS $1,425 

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SMITH CORONA 

TP-I..12CPS $649 

MODEMS 

Hayes 300 Baud Smart Modem $21 9 

Hayes 1200 Baud Smart Modem $515 

NOVATION, ANCHOR AUTOMATION AND 
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MONITORS 

AMDEK Color I $309 

AMDEK Color II $609 

NEC JB1201 Green $169 

FOR THE IBM P.C. 

NEC Spinwriter 3550..33CPS $1 ,990 

Quadram Quadboard w/64K $469 

Quadram Quadboard W/128K $519 

Quadram Quadboard W/192K $609 

Quadram Quadboard W/256K $699 

Monte Carlo Card 64K.. $429 

E-Z COLOR BOARD 

For the Apple II or Apple II Plus. 

Includes demo software and 

E-Z COLOR SUPER EDITOR $199 

S-1 00 Systems $279 

TRS-80 $239 

INTEX TALKER text-lo-speech synthesizer. 

Serial and parallel interlace included $280 



DIGITAL DIMENSIONS 

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loader ROM program on that pro- 
cessor card starts its diagnostics and 
proceeds to load the operating sys- 
tem. Control of the bus can be trans- 
ferred from one processor to the other 
under program control by setting or 
resetting a flip-flop. When this is 
done, a halt-request coinmand is 
issued to the operating processor, 
which then completes its instruction, 
halts, issues a halt-acknowledge 
signal, and drops off the bus. The in- 
active processor then synchronously 
uses this acknowledge to end its 
previous halt state and regain control 
of the bus. It will later relinquish con- 
trol over the bus if the procedure is 
repeated. This allows an orderly 
transfer of control. 

The 5y4-inch floppy-disk controller 
can handle up to four drives. Because 
it plugs directly into the mother- 
board, it does not use any of the ex- 
pansion slots. 

The Micro 16s comes with two 
5V4-inch double-sided double-density 
disks that provide 320K bytes of for- 
matted storage each. The disk- 
controller chip is a Fujitsu (MB8877) 
version of the Western Digital 1793 
floppy-disk controller. 

The Micro 16s comes with 128K 
bytes of volatile parity-checking 
memory on Fujitsu MB8265 64K-bit 
dynamic-RAM chips on the mother- 
board. These RAMs can be refreshed 
using either pin 1 or the RAS refresh 
signal, which is controlled by the 
main processor on the bus. This com- 
bination assures easy interfacing with 
additional main processor cards (such 
as the 68000) that will be supported 
by Fujitsu. Additional RAM, up to 1 
megabyte per slot, can be added using 
the expansion bus slots. 

The printer interface is a standard 
Centronics 36-pin parallel interface. 
The RS-232C interface has a 
software-programmable data-rate 
generator and uses the Intel 8251A 
USART (universal synchronous/ 
asynchronous receiver/transmitter) 
enabling both asynchronous and syn- 
chronous serial communications. 
Data rates from 300 to 19,200 bps 
(bits per second), asynchronous, and 
to 64,000 bps, synchronous, are 
available. 

The speaker interface uses the 6840 



timer chip connected to an audio 
amplifier to allow a full range of 
tones to be generated. The analog in- 
terface uses a Fujitsu MB4052, 8-bit, 
4-channel, multiplexed, A/D con- 
verter. It delivers analog-to-digital 
conversion to a main applications 
processor in 5 milliseconds (ms). 

The keyboard interface converts 
serial information from the keyboard 
into parallel data. Under software 
control, interrupts are directed to 
either the main processor or the video 
processor to handle keyboard inputs. 

The keyboard uses a Fujitsu single- 
chip (MB88401), 4-bit microprocessor 
to scan the matrix and serialize the 
key-closure data. The keyboard data 
is then sent serially to the keyboard 
interface on the motherboard. Also, a 
built-in self-check function, a char- 
acter-code table, and a key-matrix 
table are programmed into the 4-bit 
microprocessor. The low-profile 
detachable keyboard has a total of 98 
keys with cylindrically sculptured 
key tops laid out in typewriter ar- 
rangement. 

The power supply is designed to 
meet the power requirements for the 
standard system and allow for future 
expansion. It is even capable of sup- 
porting a Fujitsu 5V4-inch 5-, 10-, or 
20-megabyte Winchester hard-disk 
drive in place of one of the 5 a /4-inch 
floppy-disk drives, along with a full 
megabyte of volatile memory. 

The lower portion of figure 2 out- 
lines the video-terminal section. This 
section is a completely independent 
video terminal. It has a 68B09E 
(2-MHz) processor as its controller 
and 10K bytes of video firmware con- 
tained in ROM. This firmware pro- 
gram operates on the high-level com- 
mands and the data sent from the 
main processor to control the char- 
acter and graphics modes of the 
Micro 16s. The character data is 
stored in 2K bytes of Fujitsu MB8128 
static RAM, along with 2K bytes of 
character-attribute RAM. A 6845 
video-controller chip is used in con- 
junction with the character-attribute 
RAM, along with 2K bytes of charac- 
ter-generating ROM. This combina- 
tion of components provides a color 
terminal running at internal bus 
speeds. 



160 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 393 on Inquiry card.- 



101* 





Dedicated to quali' 



precision. 



nonitors including green and amber. 
iltra-high resolution monochrome, plus W 



| 



H 





$TAXAI\ also offers the 410-80. 80 column and 
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^TAXy^kM monitors stand alone. 

See vour local ;#T<AX.A\ dealer, or call us for details! 






I * 



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TSK Electronics Corporation 
18005 Cortney Court 
City of Industry, CA 91748 
(213) 810-1291 

Circle 393 on inquiry card. 



The 68B09 processor also controls 
48K bytes of dynamic RAM that pro- 
vide a 640- by 200-pixel graphic dis- 
play terminal. Each pixel, which can 
be displayed in one of eight colors, is 
supported by the high-level com- 



mands discussed earlier, and soon it 
will be supported by Digital 
Research's GSX-86 graphics-system 
extension for the CP/M family of 
operating systems. 
The video section has two output 



CPU-A BOARD 



FLIP-FLOP 



STATUS O- 



INTERNAL CLOCK 



^> 



HREO A 



CPU-B BOARD 




STATUS O 



HREO B 



HACK B 



MAIN BOARD 



<JU 



SWITCHING FLAG 




Figure 3: A simplified diagram showing how control is transferred from one processor 
to another. The control flip-flop on the main board can be set under program control. 
When this happens, a halt-request signal is sent to the operating processor, which then 
sends a halt-acknowledge (HACK) signal, which then gives the other processor control. 
The HREQA, HACK A, HREQB, and HACKB signals are on the Fujitsu 130-pin bus. 
CPU-A refers to the processor in slot 1; CPU-B, the processor in slot 2. 



MAIN 
SYSTEM 



HALT 



BUSY 



ABORT 



ATTENTION 



ATTENTION 
REGISTER 
(4 BYTES) 



A. ACK 



c 



C 



3 



COMMUNICATION 
BUFFER 
(128 BYTES) 



C 







DISPLAY 
SUBSYSTEM 



Figure 4: A diagram illustrating how information is exchanged between the main 
system and the video-graphics subsystem. A large part of the information transfer is 
done through the 128-byte RAM known as the communication buffer. For faster 
transfers of small amounts of information, the 4-byte attention registers can be used. 



162 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



interfaces available for the user: a 
high-quality RGB color output that 
supports two levels of intensity in 
character mode, and a composite 
video output with eight levels of gray 
scale for black-and-white monitors or 
eight colors on lower-quality color 
monitors. 

Though a color monitor is standard 
with the Micro 16s, switches located 
on the motherboard control the 
polarity of the horizontal and vertical 
synchronization pulses to allow easy 
interfacing with the various RGB col- 
or monitors on the market. 

A light-pen input interfaces 
through the 6845 video controller to 
the 68B09 processor. It is supported 
by high-level commands for easy pro- 
gram interfacing to the applications 
programs. 

The method of passing data from 
the main processor bus to the video- 
terminal processor bus is accom- 
plished via the 128-byte RAM com- 
mon to both processors, a set of at- 
tention registers, and some control 
lines (see figure 4). The four attention 
registers were designed using a Fujitsu 
gate array. Three of these registers 
allow data to pass from the main pro- 
cessor to the video processor so that it 
can be asynchronously read or writ- 
ten. The video processor can also in- 
terrupt the main processor. Such in- 
terrupts can be generated, for exam- 
ple, by the interval clock timer or one 
of the function keys. 

The main processor issues com- 
mands to the video-terminal pro- 
cessor through the 128-byte common 
RAM. After receiving this command, 
the video processor sends a busy 
signal to the main processor. The 
main processor then does not read or 
write to the remaining common RAM 
area until the busy signal is removed. 

This prevents both processors from 
accessing the 128 bytes of RAM at the 
same time. The main processor can 
stop the video processor with an in- 
terrupt at any time should it become 
necessary to stop an operation in pro- 
cess. This gives it master control over 
the common RAM section. 

Accessing common memory is inef- 
ficient when the data quantity is 
small: the video processor must send 
an attention interrupt that a corn- 
Circle 132 on Inquiry card.^^ 



Presenting Hyperion™, the world's 
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developed for the busy professional. 




\ 



Hyperion is bright. Communicating 
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Hyperion has the same processor, 
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Hyperion is the rising star in personal 
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r i 



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Standard Features 


Processor . 


Intel 8088 


| Software . . 


MS DOS 


Advanced Basic (Microsoft) 


Advanced User Interface* 




Memory . . . 


256K User Ram* 


| Drives 


. 5 1 /4 M , 320K bytes, IBM compatible 
...Virtual Ram Disk fUD to 160K) 








Display System / Non-giare amoer 

Graphics - IBM PC compatible 

Full 80 x 25 character format 

Auto screen off for Drolonaed life 






| SertalPort. 


RS232C* 


RS423' 




| Parallel Port 


.... Centronics/IBM compatible 



Other Features .... Time and date clock with 
battery back-up* 

Additional video output for external 

monitor' 



'These extras worth over $1000. 




T 



U.3" 
(28.8 cm) 



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Optional Extras 

Drive Additional 5 1 /4" 320K drive 

Communication IN:TOUCH telephone 

management system 

Built in 300 baud modem (103J) 

Direct connect 

Acoustic Cups Uses internal modem 

Expansion Chassis .... 5 or 10 MB of hard disk 

Up to 7 slots for IBM 

compatible cards 

attractive 
accessc 

yperion 

yperion 

. . Word 

f Vlsl Calc Is a trademark of Vlslcorp 
f Word Star is a trademark of Mlcropro 
International Corp. 

*Data Base II is a trademark of Ashton Tate 
t Multiplan Is a trademark of Microsoft Corp. 
*123 is a trademark of Lotus Development Corp. 

T 

8.8" 

(22.3 cm) 



Carrying Case .... 


Attractive case with 

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Multiplane 


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Any disk-operating system which works on the 
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The system monitor ROM included in the Starter 
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These test programs not only allow easy debug- 
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The EXPLORER 88-PC STARTER KIT includes a 
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connector and complete assembly/test instruc- 
tions. All you need is a soldering iron, solder, a 
power supply, and a standard RS232 terminal 
(Netronics has 2 low-cost ones to choose from). 

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+ 10.00 p4i 
□ {wired & tested, add $100.00) 
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+ 1.00 p&i. 
Use your own terminal with the EXPLORER 88-PC 
or, if you plan to expand it to be fully IBM com- 
patible, we offer our IBM compatible keyboard 
and an IBM compatible color graphics board 
(only available wired and tested). 



16 Bit EXPLORER 88-PC Kit 
Accepts All IBM Peripherals. 

D IBM compatible keyboard. ..$299. 95 

+ 10.00 p&i. 
D IBM compatible color board. ..$299.95 

+ 10.00 p&i. 
D Additional ROM required. ..$35. 00. 

Set your own pace! Invest and learn, at the rate 
YOU want! Add to your EXPLORER 88-PC: 
Deluxe heavy-duty steel cabinet that houses 
either two 5 , V floppies or a 5VV hard disk 
with one floopy. This cabinet features a 
brush-finish front panel and a wood-grained 
sleeve. 

□ EXPLORER 88-PC Cabinet...$199.95 
+ 18.00 p&i. 

A heavy-duty open frame power supply 
with fan that can be used in your own cabi 
net or installed into the Netronics cabinet is 
available as follows: 

□ 10 amp power supply for system + 2 flop- 
pies. ..$149,95 + 8.00 p&i. 

□ As above + extra power for 1 hard disk... 
$169.95 + 8.00 p&i. 

□IBM compatible disk controller board. Con- 
trols four 5%" floppy drives (w/2 drive 
cable). Available wired and tested only... 
$250.00 + 8.00 p&i. 

□ Monitors and BIOS source listings: available 
on either disk or hard copy at $35.00. 
Please specify format and system required. 

□ INTEL 8086/S088 user manual.. .515. 00 
+ 1.50 p&i. 

□ THE 8086 BOOK by RECTOR & ALEX... 
$16.00 + 1.50 p&i. 



1 



PPj 



□ Special IBM compatible system: with key- 
board, color graphics board, floppy disk 
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IBM compatible hard disks, built-in modern 

board, eprom burner, print buffer system plus 

more will be available shortly. 



Over 100 EXCLUSIVE Products and Kits- 
including the 'Speak Easy' universal voice 
synthesizer, a Diagnostic card with built-in 
logic probe for the IBM-PC, terminals, moni- 
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coming catalog. It's yours FREE if you check 



For Canadian orders 
please double the amount 
of p&i shown. IBM-PC is a 
registered trademark of 
IBM Corporation. 




"p&i" stands for "postage and insurance". 



CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-243-7428 for Charge Card Orders. 
In Conn., call 203-354-9375, Conn. res. add sales tax. 

TO ORDER BY MAIL, CHECK BOXES FOR PRODUCTS DESIRED AND MAIL ENTIRE AD TO: 

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mand that was sent to the video pro- 
cessor has been completed. Then the 
main processor must read the 
resulting data and status. To increase 
efficiency, another method can be 
used to transfer data. Separate atten- 
tion registers are provided through 
which processing data and status in- 
formation can be passed. 

Data Storage 

The Micro 16s lets you select from 
a powerful assortment of disk-storage 
subsystems. Currently, the Micro 16s 
comes with two 5Vi-inch double- 
sided double-density floppy-disk 
drives. The floppy-disk controller 
provides addressing for four such 
drives. 

Additional controllers are available 
for 8-inch floppy-disk drives and 
Winchester hard-disk drives. 

Fujitsu provides an optional 
freestanding dual-drive double-sided 
double-density 8-inch floppy-disk 
subsystem. This subsystem allows up 
to 1.2 megabytes of data per drive. 

Fujitsu also offers 5Vi-inch Win- 
chester drives in 5-, 10-, and 
20-megabyte capacities. 

Summary 

The Micro 16s was designed to be a 
versatile package of hardware and 
software in a professional business 
system. Its unique bus architecture 
and integrated high-resolution 
graphics subsystem, coupled with the 
wide variety of applications pro- 
cessors, operating systems, memory 
expansion, and hard-disk options, of- 
fer the business user the growth and 
flexibility necessary to cope with 
ever-changing application re- 
quirements. ■ 



The Fujitsu Micro 16s personal 
business computer is marketed in the 
U. S. by Fujitsu Microelectronics, Pro- 
fessional Microsystems Division, Santa 
Clara, C A. 



About the Author 

Wayne Clingingsmith has 12 years of ex- 
perience in LSI, component, applications, and 
systems design. Currently the hardware 
systems manager for Fujitsu's Professional 
Microsystems Division, he has a bachelor's 
degree from San Jose State University in elec- 
trical engineering. 



164 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






H^gp 




Microsoft, the 
people who set the 
standard for software, 
have done it again with the 
Microsoft® Mouse. 

Our expertise in both hardware and 
software has gone into the develop- 
ment of the Microsoft Mouse. Now 
you can plug in the most exciting 
computer product of the year and 
put it to work. 

The Mouse lets you move the 
cursor freely and naturally then 
execute commands at 
the push of a button. 

The Microsoft Mouse is a 
complete system. It comes 
with an on-screen tutorial, a 
practice application, and the 
Multi-Tool™ Notepad, a mouse-based 
text editor, so you can begin 
using the Mouse right away. And 
for application developers, the 
Mouse includes a programmable 



interface 

driver to give 

your application 

program complete 

control over the Mouse's 

operation. 

That's the kind of support you'd expect 
from Microsoft. After all, we were the 
world's first microcomputer software 
company. Today, more than a million 
microcomputers are running Micro- 
soft languages, operating systems, 
application programs, and hardware- 
software combinations. 

You can get the Micro- 
soft Mouse in dedi- 
^ cated versions for the 
[ IBM.-PC. PC XT, and 
I in a version for MS™- 
I DOS machines with 
m serial interfaces, 
including the IBM- 
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supports all 
versions of 
MS-DOS, 
including ver- 
sion 2.0. Ask your 
Microsoft dealer 
for a demonstration 
of the Microsoft Mouse 
a whole new standard. 

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^ MICROSOFT: 






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up Clock Calendar (std.) • SuperDrive™ (std.) 
• SuperSpool™ (std.) • Ideal for Concurrent 
CP/M, MBA, VISI Series software packages. 



ConnectALr 

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_) j\ 2372 Morse Avenue 

ILiss:! Irvine, Calif. 92714 

R€S€RRCHINC (714)5401333 

Dealer inquiries Welcome 

Circle 434 on inquiry card. 




The Pronto Series 16 

The design of a new business-oriented microcomputer 
based on the Intel 80186 microprocessor. 



The challenge of developing a new 
business microcomputer is to produce 
a machine that is better than its com- 
petition. In designing the new Pronto 
Series 16 microcomputer we aimed to 
meet that challenge by concentrating 
on three vital areas: speed, storage 
capability, and ergonomics. 

The new 80186 microprocessor 
chip makes the Pronto Series 16 run 
very fast. The Pronto comes with two 
5V4-inch floppy-disk drives, each 
capable of storing 800K bytes of data. 
For even more storage, a Syquest 
5-megabyte removable disk cartridge 
is available as an option. As for 
ergonomics, the Series 16's relatively 
small size, the arrangement of its 
components, and the design of its 
keyboard and display allow the 
machine to fit unobtrusively into 
your work space. 

In establishing our design goals, we 



Skip Hansen 

Pronto Computers Inc. 

3170 Kashiwa St. 

Torrance, CA 90505 



decided that our machine would be 
aimed at a specific audience: the in- 
dividual user in a modern business 
office, an environment where the 
benefits of desktop computing would 
be most readily apparent. And our 
machine would come as a complete 
package. Some options, such as ex- 
panded memory and graphics, would 
be available, of course, for particular- 
ly demanding applications. 

The result of our designs is a small 
16-bit desktop computer based on the 
Intel 80186 microprocessor and 
Microsoft's MS-DOS 2.0 operating 
system. Its standard features include 
128K bytes of volatile memory or 
RAM (random-access read/write 



memory), a high-capacity floppy- 
disk drive, a high-resolution mono- 
chrome monitor, communications in- 
terfaces (serial and parallel), and a 
bundle of software, including a word 
processor, a spreadsheet calculator, a 
database manager, and a graphics 
program. The complete package will 
sell for approximately $3000. 

I will now describe the various 
components of the Pronto Series 16 
system and explain the reasons for 
their selection. In every case, compo- 
nent selection has been made on the 
basis of how well that component can 
perform its particular job. 

The Processor 

To decide on our hardware we first 
considered software. Our goal was to 
have a machine that could go right to 
work in the average office; therefore, 
the essential software for this 



168 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 1: The keyboard of the Pronto Series 16. 



machine should be immediately avail- 
able. 

It would then seem logical to 
choose an 8-bit processor because a 
large library of software has already 
been established in past years for 
8-bit computers. But on the other 
hand, the library of 16-bit material is 
growing every day, and it is unques- 
tionably the trend of the future. And 
given the fact that a 16-bit machine 
has a greater capacity in terms of 
computational power and memory, 
we decided to use a 16-bit processor, 
confident that most of the essential 
software required for most business 
operations would be available, and 
that much of the new software to be 
produced for tomorrow's market will 
be for 16-bit systems. 

Having committed ourselves to a 
16-bit processor, we had to settle on a 
particular 16-bit family. Because we 
wanted a substantial software base 
for our system at the time of its in- 
troduction, our choice was limited to 
families already accepted in the mar- 
ketplace. Many processors with good 
technical merits have not found great 
public acceptance, which results in a 
poor software base. Such processors 
were ruled out, and only three pro- 
cessor families remained: the Intel 
8086, the Motorola 68000, and the 
Digital Equipment Corporation 
LSI-11. 



The LSI-11 is the oldest of the 
three, having descended from the 
very successful DEC PDP-11 family. 
Consequently, it has a great software 
base. However, this software, with a 
few notable exceptions, is not aimed 
at the small-business user with a desk- 
top machine. Another drawback of 
the LSI-11 is its relatively high cost in 
comparison with the 8086 and 68000 
families. 

The Intel family is descended from 
the very successful 8080 /Z80 family 
of 8-bit processors, and much of the 
initial software support for the new 
8086 family was derived by using an 
Intel assembly-language conversion 
program that allowed existing 8080 
programs to be converted for the 
8086. The Intel 8086 family was the 
first single-chip 16-bit microprocessor 
to achieve general acceptance in the 
marketplace. 

The Motorola 68000 processor is 
generally viewed as having a more 
elegant architecture than the Intel 
family, but the 68000's later release 
has resulted in a great lag in software 
availability, particularly for the small 
business market. 

We finally chose the Intel 8086 
family of processors primarily 
because of the existing and potential 
software support. But within the Intel 
family there are four processors from 
which to choose, each with its own 



advantages and disadvantages: 

•the 8086, Intel's original 16-bit chip, 
which has full 16-bit external and in- 
ternal data buses 

•the 8088, a downgrade of the 8086 
with a 8-bit external bus (i.e., data is 
sent in and out of the processor 8 bits 
at a time rather than 16 bits at a 
time). This chip is less expensive and 
uses the same software 
•the 80186, an enhancement of the 
original 8086, which features in- 
creased performance at a given clock 
rate and an extended instruction set; 
it has a higher level of integration, 
allowing many peripheral devices to 
be included on the processor 
•the 80188, an enhancement of the 
8088 that retains the 8-bit external 
data bus 

Because one of our primary design 
goals was high performance, we 
opted for the full 16-bit external bus, 
eliminating the 8088 and 80188 as 
possibilities. We then selected the 
80186 as our processor, even though 
it is more expensive than the 8086. 
The 80186, however, includes many 
necessary peripheral functions right 
on the chip. Because functions such as 
direct memory access (DMA), inter- 
rupts, timers, wait-state logic, and 
chip-select functions would have to 
be provided in our design anyway, 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 169 




ABBREVIATIONS! 

S.R. SHIFT REGISTER 

DRVRS— DRIVERS 
RVCRS— RECEIVERS 

PRLL PARALLEL 

PRNTR— PRINTER 

KBD KEYBOARD 

DFRNTL-DIFFERENTIAL 
CTRL CONTROL 



Figure 1: A block diagram of the Pronto Series 16. 



the 80186 is actually a more cost- 
effective approach. 

One advantage of the 80186 pro- 
cessor is that we can implement MS- 
DOS version 2.0 on it and thereby 
gain access to the wealth of software 
available for that operating system. 

System Memory 

Having selected a 16-bit processor 
for its greater processing power, we 
realized that the more sophisticated 
programs possible with such a pro- 
cessor would require more memory 
resources than is the norm with 8-bit 
machines. We felt that 128K bytes of 
RAM would be adequate for typical 
business applications. However, a 
number of applications may require 
increased memory size, up to 256K 
bytes, and for demanding applica- 
tions, such as multitasking, it is im- 
portant that the full memory poten- 
tial of the 80186 (one megabyte) be 
available. 

We elected to design our main 
memory using 64K-bit dynamic RAM 
chips because we felt that this was the 



most cost-effective way of imple- 
menting our chosen memory size. 
Our standard machine would come 
with 128K bytes of memory, and an 
additional 128K bytes could be ob- 
tained by adding memory chips. For 
further expansion, a 768K-byte 
memory board could be added to 
populate the 80186's full memory 
space. 

Memory Speed 

Another advantage of the Intel 
80186 is that its memory-speed re- 
quirements are much less stringent 
than competing processors. In other 
words, you may use more economical 
memory components with the 80186 
while still achieving full speed. The 
80186 can run at full speed at 8 MHz 
even when provided with memory 
that has an access time as high as 311 
nanoseconds (ns). By comparison, 
the Zilog Z80, running at a clock 
speed of 4 MHz, requires memory 
with an access time no greater than 
265 ns. 

The most economical 64K-bit RAM 



chips in most manufacturers' product 
lines have an access time of 200 ns, 
which is more than ample to allow 
the 80186 to run at a clock rate of 
8 MHz. 

Memory Reliability 

For a computer intended primarily 
for business use, memory integrity is 
vital. A recent case of a man owed 
$20 who received a check for 
$400,020 illustrates what can result 
from a single bit error in computer 
memory. Although the reliability of 
the 64K-bit RAM chips has been dem- 
onstrated to be excellent, there is 
always the slight chance of a memory 
error. We deemed it unacceptable to 
allow errors to go undetected. Com- 
puter users must be confident of their 
system's integrity. 

System reliability can be verified in 
two ways: parity error detection and 
error checking and correction (ECC). 
With parity error detection, the extra 
memory chips needed to store parity 
bits add to the system's cost. Because 
the 80186 is byte-addressable, it is 



170 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Introducing 
SooperSpooler V Little Brother 



Who knows spoolers better than 
Consolink?*We pioneered this industry 
with our revolutionary SooperSpooler, 
the Intelligent Printer Interface . 
Now meet the newest family addition: 
MicroSpooler™ 
especially designed and engineered for 
those who need cost-effective solutions 
to their spooler requirements without 
sacrificing quality and sophistication. 

No More Waiting on the Printer 

The new MicroSpooler stores data and 
then feeds it to a printer as fast as the 
printer can handle it. 

That means no down time: in a 
matter of seconds, your computer is free 
for the next job without waiting 
for the printer to finish the last job. 






Quality, Reliability, Flexibility 

As with the SooperSpooler, the new 
MicroSpoolers are the product of the 
highest engineering standards to insure 
trouble-free operation. Now Consolink 
offers a complete line of stand-alone 
spoolers that can be installed in-line 
between virtually any printer and 
any computer. 

Easy to install. Easy to use. Easy on 
the budget. 

Features include: 

■ 16K Memory: User or factory 
expandable to 32K or 64K 

■ Multiple Copy Function 

■ Status Readout: Tells you how much 
data is stored or how many copies 
are left to run 

■ Pause Function: To let you change 
paper, make adjustments 

■ Self-Test Routine: Performs a 
comprehensive check of most 
internal functions and memory 

■ Internal Power Supply: No bulky 
plug adapters 

■ Vertical Mount Configuration: 
Saves desktop space 

■ Plug-in connections to most 
computer combinations 




■ Independently Selectable Baud Rates 
on Serial Ports 

■ One Year Limited Warranty** 

■ Thirty-Day Money Back 
Guarantee** 

■ Four Models: Any Combination of 
Parallel or Serial I/O 

■ $199 for 16K parallel to parallel 
unit with an internal power supply 

And When You Need the Very 
Best... 

Remember SooperSpooler, the 
Intelligent Printer Interface with a 
remarkable range of software 
controlled features and formatting 
capabilities. 

See our new MicroSpoolers at 
quality dealers everywhere. For 
immediate answers to your questions, 
call Toll Free 800-525-6705 

Spoolers by Consolink— 
Now you have an Intelligent 
Choice. 

CONSOLINK 

CORPORATION 

Circle 96 on inquiry card. 




SooperSpooler 

INTEUIGEBI PRIMER INTERFACE 



© 



PAGE 




Without MicroSpooler 
21 Minutes 

CPU time for 20 pagest 
80 CPS Bidirectional 



With MicroSpooler 
16 Seconds 

CPU time for 20 pagest 



For immediate answers to your questions, call Toll Free: 800-525-6705 

Consolink Corporation, 1840 Industrial Circle, Dept. MLI-200 Longmont, CO 80501 (303)652-2014 

* Formerly Compulink Corporation *60 lines per page, random line lengths, 40 char/line. 

♦^Consult your dealer or Consolink for details Assumes CPU can output text at a minimum of 3000 char /sec. 




KDaki Acquisition and Instrumentation Systems intej 



lb automate your lab— 



Exciting new capabilities can blossom in your lab— when 
you automate it with the DAISI family of data acquisition 
peripherals for your Apple Computer. 
DAISI interfaces, from Interactive Structures, turn your econom- 
ical Apple into a personal electronic lab assistant. DAISI prod- 
ucts are designed to read instruments and sensors, control 
temperature and pressure . . . with reliability and precision. 
Here's a rundown on some DAISI interfaces 
AM 3, 12-Bit Analog Input System— $550 

■ 16 input channels ■ 20 microseconds conversion time. 
AI02, 8-Bit Analog Input System-$299 

■ 16 input channels ■ 70 microseconds conversion time. 
AO03, 8-Bit Analog Output System- $195- $437 

■ up to 8 independent channels ■ range and offset adjustable. 
DI09, Digital Interface with Timers— $330 

■ timing and interrupt capability ■ direct connection to BCD 
digits, switches, relays. 

Don't settle for garden variety equipment for your laboratory 
applications. Get the best— at a great price. Pick a DAISI! 



«s 



Call us for the DAISI dealer near you. 



Interactive Structures Inc. 

146 Montgomery Ave. 
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 
(215)667-1713 



All DAISI interfaces come 
complete with cable, in- 
structional diskette and 
comprehensive manual. 



necessary to add 1 parity bit for each 
byte, rather than 1 bit for a whole 
16-bit word. 

Adding ECC capability greatly in- 
creases the cost of the memory sub- 
system. Depending on the number of 
bits in error that the correction cir- 
cuitry is designed to rectify, the cost 
of the circuitry can exceed the cost of 
the memory itself. Because memory 
errors should be rare, we decided that 
a better price/performance ratio 
would be achieved using simple pari- 
ty error detection rather than elabo- 
rate and expensive ECC circuitry. 
When the detection circuitry finds a 
memory fault it issues a nonmaskable 
interrupt to the 80186 that causes the 
operating system to report the mem- 
ory malfunction to the user. 

To further ensure reliability and 
confidence in the system, the soft- 
ware provides a memory test on 
power-up to determine if the memory 
is functioning properly. 

Refreshing the Memory 

Maintaining the dynamic mem- 
ory's high performance requires 
careful attention to its refresh cir- 
cuitry. Each dynamic memory cell 
needs to be refreshed or recharged 
periodically. We elected to use burst- 
refresh rather than distributed-refresh 
circuitry to minimize time lost to pro- 
cessor arbitration. We have achieved 
a very low memory overhead of 3 
percent for the refresh operation, 
roughly half of the typical figure. 
Also, by implementing the dynamic 
RAM controller using standard TTL 
(transistor-transistor logic) parts in- 
stead of an LSI (large-scale integra- 
tion) memory controller, we were 
able to minimize the total memory 
cost. 

Read-Only Memory 

Our design choices for the ROM 
(read-only memory), like those for 
the main system memory, were in- 
fluenced by the considerations of size, 
speed, and component selection. 
Because we wanted to offer complete 
systems with disk storage, we chose 
not to constrain ourselves with the re- 
quirement of a large ROM size to ac- 
commodate a BASIC interpreter. 
Therefore, the only software that we 



172 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 196 on inquiry card. 




Now you can buy a QUAD function IBM PC board 
without having to buy more memory. 



MegaPlus™ and l/O-Plus 2 rM are the ulti- 
mate add-on products you will need to 
expand your IBM PC and XT. Which board 
you decide on depends on where you are 
headed. To take full advantage of your IBM 
PC and XT beyond 256k, you will want to 
expand with the MegaPlus™. It's features 
include two asynchronous ports, clock/cal- 
endar, printer port, and up to 512k of 
memory expansion. Ah! You say you already 
have all the memory you need? The I/O 
Plus2™givesyouallthefeaturesof Mega- 
Plus™ tooperate your printers, plotters and 
modems, set your time and date automat- 
ically with the clock/calendar, without 
adding memory. Alsoa special game adapter 
is available, but more about that later. Both 
boards include SuperDrive™ disk emulation 
and SuperSpool™ print buffer software. 

MEGA WITH MEMORY 

The MegaPlus™ has three functions stan- 
dard: Parity checked and fully socketed 
memory up to 256k in 64k increments; 
clock/calendar with battery back-up for 
automatic loading of time and date when 
the computer is turned on; and an asyn- 
chronous communication port (RS232C 
serial) which can be used as COM1 or 
COM2, (DTE for a printer, or DCE f or a 
modem). Optional is a 100% IBM compatible 
parallel printer port, and a second asyn- 
chronous port for another $35 each. The 
MegaPak™ option plugs onto your Mega- 
Plus™ "piggyback" style to give you 512k 
of additional memory. Now you can create 
disk drives in memory up to 360k, set aside 
plenty of space for print spooling, and still 
have memory for your biggest programs. 

I/O-PLUS 2 WITHOUT MEMORY 

The l/O-Plus 2™ comes standard with a 
clip-on battery powered clock/calendar, 
and asynchronous communication port 
(RS232C serial). Optional is a second asyn- 
chronous port (DTE for a printer, or DCEfor 
a modem), a parallel printer adapter, and 
the best game paddle adapter on the market. 
What's so special about our game adapter? 
Not only is it an IBM standard game port, 
but itcan also use lowcost, widely available 
Apple compatible paddles and joysticks. If 
your memory needs are satisfied, for less 
than the price of most single function 
boards, l/0-Plus2™givesyouallthe input 
and output ports you might need. 



FREE SOFTWARE 

SuperDrive™ disk emulation software cre- 
ates "disk drives" in memory which access 
your programs at the speed of RAM memory. 
SuperSpooler™ print buffer software allows 
the memory to accept data as fast as the 
computer can send it and frees your com- 
puter for more productive work. Some man- 
ufacturers sell hardware print buffers that 
do only this for hundreds of dollars. Super- 
Spooler™ eliminates the need for these 
slot robbing products. Both of these power- 
ful pieces of software can be used with any 
expansion memory for your IBM PC or XT. 

CHEAP SOFTWARE TOO 

What good isgreat hardware withoutsome 
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- 
sheet programs, SUPERCALC, for just $1 59, 
or SUPERWRITER for $239. If you are 
looking for data base management you can 
get dBASE II by Ashton-Tate for $419, 

WHY BUY IT FROM US? 

Beca use we provide the service and support 
most companies just talk about. Each board 
is fully tested and burned in prior to ship- 
ment. 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 prom- 
ise? If you still are not convinced, and want 
to compare prices, remember we don't 
charge extra for credit cards, shipping, or 
COD fees. We think the ultimate testimony 
to our goodservice and high quality is that 
one of our largest customers is none other 
than IBMI If you still want to buy elsewhere, 
ask any competitor if they will face the acid 
test. 

THE ACID TEST 
Qubie' (say que-bee-A) gives you a 30 day 
satisfaction guarantee on all board pur- 
chases. If you are not completely satisfied 
we will refund the entire cost of your 
purchase as well as pay the postage to 
return it. If you can get one of our competi- 
tors to give you the same guarantee, buy 
any other board you think compares and 
return the one you don't like. We're not 
worried because we know which one you 



will keep. We also offer a one year parts 
and labor warranty. An additional one year 
extended warranty is available for $50. 
TO ORDER BY MAIL SEND: 
— your name and shipping address 
— board type, size, and options requested 
—daytime phone number 
— California residentsadd 6% sales tax 
—company check or credit card number 
with expiration date (personal checks 
take 18 days to clear) 



VISA' 



W' 



TO ORDER BY PHONE: 

In California (805) 482-9829 
Outside California 

TOLL FREE (800) 821 -4479 

PRICES: 
l/O-Plus 2™ with Clock/calendar, a- 
synchronous communication adapter, 
SuperDrive™ and SuperSpool™ - $ 1 29 

MegaPlus™ with memory, clock, async, 
SuperSpool™ and SuperSpool™ soft- 
ware; 64k $289 

128k $339 256k $439 
192k $389 512k $788 

OPTIONS: 

Parallel Printer Port $35 

Second Async Port $35 

Game Adapter (l/O-Plus 2 only) $35 

MegaPak™ with 256k of memory $349 

Cable to parallel printer $35 

Cable to modem or serial printer $25 

Memory Diagnostics Program $10 

SUPERWRITER by Sorcim $239 

SUPERCALC II by Sorcim $159 

dBASE II by Ashton-Tate $41 9 

SHIPMENT 

Wepay UPS surface charges. UPS 2 day 
air service $5 extra. Credit card or bank 
check orders shipped next day. 

QUBIE' 
DISTRIBUTING 

4809 Calle Alto 
Camarillo, CA 93010 

European Inquiries: 
129 Magdalen Rd., 
London, SW18, England 
Phone |01|870-8899 



Circle 422 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 173 



have included within ROM is the 
power-on self-test and the disk boot- 
strap routines. We chose the 2764 
chips for our ROM because they are 
projected to be the most cost-effective 
device for our requirements. Lower- 
density ROM chips are attractively 
priced now, but we feel their price 
will start climbing shortly as produc- 
tion shifts away from obsolete 
devices. The selection of 2764 gives us 
a total ROM space of 16K bytes with 
only two chips. For any unforeseen 
future needs we have provided two 
additional sockets and jumpers for 
27128 chips, allowing an ultimate 
ROM expansion to 64K bytes. These 
selected chips have access times of 
450 ns, and so the 80186 must insert 
wait states. However, because the 
ROM is only used during the first few 
seconds each day as the system is first 
awakened, we felt the slight perfor- 
mance penalty was justified. 

Floppy Disks 

We believe that the amount of desk 
space a system occupies is a crucial 
consideration. In designing the Pron- 



to Series 16 we decided to separate 
the system components that required 
frequent access from the space-con- 
suming system electronics that don't 
require the operator's attention. This 
allows us to reduce the desktop area 
covered by our system to the space 
needed for bare essentials, namely, 
the keyboard, the disk drives, and the 
monitor. 

We achieved this by adding buffer- 
ing to the floppy-disk drives and 
bringing all of the data lines down on 
a twisted-pair cable (using a differen- 
tial RS-422 line). This keeps the cross- 
talk interference down so that the 
cable can be lengthened without 
creating problems. The cable has 
substantial shielding to protect it 
from interference caused by nearby 
electronics and to keep it, in turn, 
from radiating interference to tele- 
vision sets, radios, etc. 

For our floppy-disk system we 
selected the established 5 l A -inch for- 
mat. We avoided some of the latest- 
technology drives because standards, 
even with regard to size, have not yet 
emerged and several suffer from 



media-availability problems. Addi- 
tionally, we desired compatibility 
with the older systems to ensure an 
ample software base. To keep the sys- 
tem's volume to a minimum we opted 
for half -height rather than full-height 
drives. 

We have achieved improved 
floppy-disk storage capacity in two 
ways while maintaining compatibility 
with older systems. First, we use a 
96-tpi (track per inch) drive, which 
allows 80 tracks per side, rather than 
the older 48-tpi spacing with 40 tracks 
per side. Second, double-sided drives 
are standard on our system, rather 
than an extra-cost option. Also, the 
Series 16 system supports both 
double-density and single-track den- 
sity. The fact that the 96-tpi drive is 
exactly twice the track density of the 
older drives allows the controller to 
read older 48-tpi disks by skipping 
the odd-numbered tracks. Thus, the 
machine is able to read and write 
disks in the IBM Personal Computer 
format. 

We selected the recently introduced 
Western Digital 2797 disk controller, 



HDHLRB Rutomotss Lab Instruments 




• Interactive Microware's general-purpose ADALAB® data ac- 
quisition and control system interfaces with virtually any lab in- 
strument using a recorder or meter, including GC and HPLC sys- 
tems, spectrophotometers, pH meters, process control apparatus, 
thermocouples, etc. 

• Lab Data Manager® software facilitates single or multi- 
channel acquisition, storage, display and chart recorder style out- 
put of lab instrument data. IMI QUICKI/O software operates within 
easy-to-use BASIC! 

• Thousands of scientists currently use IMI software and/or 
ADALAB products worldwide! 

*Price includes 48K APPLEt 11+ CPU, disk drive with controller, 
12 "monitor, dot matrix printer with interface, IMI ADALAB® inter- 
face Card. tTrademark of Apple Computer. Inc. 

IMI'S ADALAB INTERFACE 
CARD IS AVAILABLE 
SEPARATELY FOR ONLY $495 

(Includes 1 2-bit A/D, 1 2-bit D/A, Sdigital sense inputs, 8 
digital control outputs. 32-bit real-time clock, two 1 6-bit 
timers plus QUICKI/O data acquisition software.) 

INTERACTIVE MICROWARE, INC. 

P.O. Box 771, Dept. 3 

State College, PA 16801 (814) 238-8294 





KIT:$299 ONLY! 

KIT does not Include power supply nor chassis. 



ENGINEERS: eprom development system 

Deluxe model for an economy price, $495 ONLY! 

simulates EPROM from RAM, 

\, tests new codes before burning 

a EPROM. accomodates direct 

code loading, examines RAM 

locations in both directions, 

copies EPROMs, diagnoses 

problems, supports a DEBUGGER, 

saves BASIC program In EPROM. 

enables the user to build, 

trouble-shoot, analyze, 

evaluate the microprocessor 

and emulates-programs the 

EPROMs. 

A PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE 
to an expensive in-clrcuit emulator. 

EDUCATORS: 

SINGLE BOARD 

MICRO COMPUTER 

TRAINING SYSTEMS: 

YES-5 (Z80 CPU ) 

YES-6 (MC 6800) 

•YES-7 (8088 CPU) 

•YES-8 (MC68000) 

Memory Board 

Emulator Adaptors 

Personality Modules 

•YES-7 & YES-8 will be available 4th Qt. '83. 
2758. 2716. 2516. 2732, 2532, 2764, 2564. 27128. 25128 (with memory ex- 
tension board). TINY BASIC and DEBUGGER are available for YES-5. 
Intel Hex Format, CP/M Dump Format and User Programmable Format. 

Yang Electronic Systems, Inc. 

307 Compton Avenue, Laurel. Maryland 20707 

(301) 776-0076 Telex: 469362 




174 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 195 on Inquiry card. 



Circle 426 on inquiry card. 




ATARI DOES MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE TO 
GIVE YOU TWO HELPFUL KINDS OF SERVICE. 
LOCAL. LONG DISTANCE. 



Qgl 



if**' 



HOfy naa of your ATARI system is avail* 

~fOR INFORMATION CALL" 
AUTHORIZED SERVICE 



1467 S, M 
°if W 'STV I 



*g£_ 







/fyocz need someone to fix your ATARI® Video Game or Home Computer, you'll find the best 
place is also the closest. We have over 1,600 ATARI SERVICE™ Centers coast to coast; just look in 
the Yellow Pages under Video Games or Computers . 

And if you have any kind of question about your ATARI Home Computer-how to do 
something new with it, how to debug one of your own programs, what kind of peripherals are 
best-call the ATARI Help Line. Our toll-free number is 1-800-538-8543: 

A ATARI SERVICE, we take care of you. 
As well as your ATARI system. 





MiMKI dClf VIUC 

FACTORY AUTHORIZED NETWORK 



A, 



atari" CALIFORNIA: 1-800-672-1404 

Circle 35 on inquiry card. 



WE ANSWER YOUR CALL FOR HELR 

© 1983 Atari, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ©*A Warner Communications Company 



BYTE June 1983 175 



Circle 123 on inquiry card. 



FOR INTER-COMPUTER DAT 
TRANSFER, YOU NEED 

"PORT authority:' 

It's yours with the TLC-1: the three-port solid state data 
switch. Say good-bye, at last, to the inefficiencies and limitations 
of the electrical-contact switch. Thanks to the remarkable 
TLC-1: the solid state data switch with three independent 
RS232 ports. Repeat. .. three independent ports. 

Because of this unique design, the TLC-1 resolves all 
configurations of switching among any three units. . . 
computers, modems and printers. This means 63 possible 
connection configurations - using any combination of DCE 
and DTE equipment-with all received and transmitted data 
independently switched. That's "port authority"! 

And it's accomplished with very simple controls. Just three 
buttons and six status lights. You need no special software. 

Moreover, because it processes every function with solid state 
switching, the TLC-1 participates in each connection while the 
power is on. So there's no switching 
noise, no junk data, no glitch of any 
kind. Just incomparable data 
transfer. And for $245.00, 
that's an awful lot of power. 





To order, or request more information, 
please write or call: 





WON 
THE PIUCE WAR 

In every battle, we came up the victors. Not only in price, 
but in service and support as well. 

Call to order |-QOO"257"52l7 

(in NJ 609-424-4700) 

We carry: WfifflWIR 



Intertec Data Systems 
Corvus Concept 
Corvus Hard Disk 
C. Itoh Printers 
Victor 9000 



TriStar Data Systems 
2 Keystone Avenue 
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 
609-424-4700 
215-629-1289 



a descendant of the industry-standard 
Western Digital 1791 that includes an 
on-chip phase-lock loop data sepa- 
rator. This eliminates the need for ex- 
ternal analog circuitry. The floppy- 
disk controller is interfaced to our 
system using one of the DMA chan- 
nels provided by the 80186. Interfac- 
ing the disk using DMA instead of the 
usual processor-controlled I/O (in- 
put/output) allows the system to be 
used in a multitasking environment 
and makes it possible for more so- 
phisticated software to overlap disk 
activity with processor activity to 
achieve a greater overall throughput. 

Hard Disks 

Designing the optional hard-disk 
subsystem for the Series 16 involved 
another key design decision. One 
possibility was the commonly avail- 
able 5V4-inch, fixed-media Win- 
chester drive. Certainly the prolifera- 
tion of that drive demonstrates its 
technical soundness. However, one 
major disadvantage of this approach 
is that the media is fixed and you 
can't simply purchase additional 
media to provide increased storage 
capacity when your needs grow. For 
the Pronto Series 16 we selected the 
recently introduced Syquest 100- 
millimeter, 5-megabyte removable- 
media Winchester drive. This drive is 
the same size as the 5 2 /4-inch floppy- 
disk drive and allows you to mount 
either the removable Winchesters or 
the floppy-disk drives as system 
needs dictate. The option of having 
either a single floppy and a single 
hard disk or a pair of hard disks 
alleviates the problem of Winchester- 
disk backup. Using dual hard-disk 
drives of identical capacity with re- 
movable media, you will have little 
trouble backing up your original data 
cartridge onto an archive cartridge in 
a short period of time. 

The design of the hard-disk con- 
troller is an art in itself. We chose to 
leave the design of the critical error 
checking and correction circuitry and 
the data-separation circuitry to 
specialists and selected a ready-made 
controller. This controller makes 
good use of the available custom LSI 
technology to produce a cost-effec- 
tive product. We interfaced the hard- 



176 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 392 on inquiry card. 



Circle 307 on inquiry card.- 




When you visit your dealer and 
compare the Princeton IBM-compat- 
ible HX-12 side-by-side with the IBM 
color monitor, your eyes will see the 
difference. 

The HX-1 2 gives you higher resolu- 
tion and finer dot pitch (.31 mm) than 
the IBM 5153s medium resolution 
(.43mm) fdr a cleaner, sharper image. 

Compare our full range of colors 
and our crisp whites without red 
bleed. You'll also see a difference in 



our non-glare screen— a feature your 
eyes wil! really appreciate in a long 
work session. 

The Princeton HX-12 comes with a 
cable that plugs directly into the IBM 
PC, ready to burst forth into 16 
superb colors. All at a suggested retail 
price ($695) that's a pleasure for sore 
eyes and overworked budgets. 

Apple lie users: call us to learn 
how you, too, can now enjoy the vis- 
ible superiority of the Princeton 

HX-12. 



Ask your local dealer for a demon 
stration and let your eyes decide. Or 
call us at 800-221-1490 for more infor- 
mation and the name of your nearest 
dealer. 

if you're ready to move up to 
color, graduate to the Princeton 
HX-12. it's right at the head of its class. 



ion- 




DON'T COMPROM 



Princeton 

Graphic 

Systems 

1101- 1 state Road Princeton New Jersey 08540 
609 683-1660 TLX:6857009 PCS Prin. 
800-221-1490 




: OURSi :31« mm dot'pitchi 80 column text. : : THEIRS: ; 43 mm dot pitch, 80 column text 





y//////MWS 






disk controller to our processor using 
processor-controlled data transfers. 
This may seem to contradict our 
statements about the merits of a 
DMA interface; however, because the 
80186 is a markedly powerful pro- 
cessor, the I/O-to-memory Move in- 
struction executes at the full bus 
bandwidth, 4 megabytes per second. 
As a result, DMA would not improve 
the performance of the system. The 
key here lies in the difference between 
the Winchester and the floppy disk. 



The Winchester controller has a buf- 
fer that can accommodate the data 
for a full sector. When the processor 
begins the transfer, all of the informa- 
tion is available in the buffer and 
ready to be transferred at full bus 
speed. In contrast, the floppy-disk 
controller transfers 1 byte every 32 
microseconds; that's much slower 
than the processor's speed. For this 
reason the floppy-disk controller can 
use the DMA transfer to its best ad- 
vantage. Because the 80186 provides 



How ToTurn Good Ideas 
Into Good Documents. 



Unique Writing 
Spreadsheet 

FirstDraff is a 
writing tool that 
handles text much 
as a spreadsheet 
handles numbers. 
Working with your word 
processor, it speeds and 
enhances the writing pro- 
cess helping you create 
better documents, faster. 
And, when your document 
is complete, it builds a 
table of contents and 
index. 

A Document Data Base 

DocuMentor 7 " 
(optional) helps 
you create writing 
templates for 
standard docu 
ments. It's a 
sophisticated 
document 



Articles 

Lectures 

Form Letters 

Legal Documents 

Engineering Specs 

Procedures 

Proposals 

Manuals 

Reports 

Novels 

Plans 

Etc. 




management 
system that helps 
you organize and 
assemble boiler- 
plate in data base 
fashion. Ifs a true 
productivity booster. 

Use It Risk-Free For 
30 Days! 

The best way to evaluate 
software is to use it. Buy it 
today, use it for 30 days, 
and if you're not convinced 
you need it, return it for a 
full refund. 

FirstDraft $195. With 
DocuMentor Option $390 

MasterCard/VISA 
accepted. 
See your dealer 
or call 
(303)471-9875. 

833 W. Colorado Ave. 
Colorado Springs, 
Colorado 80905 



If you write with a personal computer, you need 

FirstDraft™: The Writing Spreadsheet™ and 
DocuMentor™: The Document Data Base Manager 



PromptDoc 

We invented Computer-Assisted Writing 



® 



for two DMA channels, the second 
channel has been reserved for a future 
network controller. 

Security 

We considered using several com- 
ponents in the system design to ob- 
tain a high level of security. In the 
past, software-based security schemes 
have been used to prevent unauthor- 
ized access to systems and their data. 
In many cases, an unauthorized sys- 
tem user can employ low-level soft- 
ware tools to read or corrupt data 
protected in this way. But, by incor- 
porating system-access passwords in 
nonvolatile memory, we have mini- 
mized this problem. 

The first step was to incorporate 
electronically erasable read-only 
memory (EEROM). We selected the 
NMC-9306 EEROM for our system 
because its capacity is well matched 
to our needs. A further advantage is 
that the 9306 is a bit serial device with 
a fairly obscure programming meth- 
od. This is an added obstacle for the 
potential intruder to overcome. 

Another function of the EEROM is 
to record a network identification 
number assigned at the factory. This 
is a unique 24-bit number designed so 
that, when the computer is hooked up 
to a future network system, there will 
be no problem assigning nodes within 
that system: 

Removable Winchesters also add to 
the system's security. Besides being 
able to run several multimegabyte ap- 
plications on the system separately, 
you can remove sensitive data from 
the machine and store it in a secure 
area away from the desktop system. 
No fixed Winchester scheme can 
guarantee the same level of protec- 
tion. 

General-Purpose 
Communication Ports 

We began the Series 16's I/O sub- 
system design with an analysis of 
typical user needs. Most if not all 
business applications require a 
printer, and many applications re- 
quire serial interfaces for such periph- 
erals as modems and plotters. The 
vast majority of printers use either a 
Centronics-compatible parallel port 
or the industry-standard RS-232C 



178 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 316 on inquiry card. 



/ i 




f 




U 






You come first. 

With NEC's PC-8800 personal computer, you don't have to ask yourself which comes first, the 
hardware or the software. 

It's designed to be uncompromising in both areas. So you come first. In the office or at home. 

The hardware givesyou your choice of 8-bit or 16-bit processor, SV\" or 8" disk drive, 
high-speed dot matrix or letter-quality printer, and standard green or 
high-resolution color monitor. 

The software includes advanced, user-friendly programs for all types of banking, 
accounting, and business management. Plus free * WordStar® 
word processing and MailMerge ® Multiplan™ 
spread sheet, BASIC (two versions), and CP/Mf 

You come first again with NEC's high-quality 
graphics and ultra-high reliability. 

The PC-8800 from NEC Home Electronics. 
It puts you first. So you can break out of your 
shell and grow. 

NEC 

NEC Home Electronics IU.S.A.), Inc. 
Personal Computer Division 

1401 Estes Avenue 

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 

NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan 

•With purchase of complete system. 

Circle 275 on Inquiry card. 







&&*. 



p ■> 




tefi 1 




& 



This Programming professional deserves a 
lot more from his personal computer. 



He's earned it. As a seasoned professional, 
he's learned to master some of the world's 
most advanced programming tools. Tools 
specially designed to meet the everyday 
demands of programming experts. 

But as the owner of a personal com- 
puter, he's come to expect less. Less 
performance. Less sophistication. And less 
flexibility. 

Why should programming a 
personal computer be any different? 

Prior to the announcement of micro/ 
SPF™ development software, experienced 
programmers felt programming a personal 
computer was a lot like playing with a toy. 
You couldn't take it seriously. 

But today, there's micro/SPF™ a solution 
to elementary program editing tools now 
offered with most micro-computers. 

With micro/SPF™ you get the same 
procedures and commands experienced 
programmers are accustomed to using at 
work. By mimicking features found in 

180 BYTE June 1983 



standard SPF software, micro/SPF™ 
provides all the sophisticated utilities pro- 
gramming professionals expect. 

Programming experts can take 
advantage of skins they've spent 
years perfecting. 

Now, for the first time, mainframe soft- 
ware is available for personal computers. 
SPF screens are fully reproduced in logical 
sequence and each screen is formatted 
identical to those found in the SPF system. 

In addition, micro/SPF™ comes equipped 
with the same primary and line commands, 
tutorial messages and program editor 
(with program function keys) experienced 
programmers are used to. 

Programming professionals who've 
spent years perfecting the art of writing 
sophisticated code deserve to work with 
state-of-the-art tools, not toys. Find out 
how micro/SPF™ can help you do work- 
compatible programming on your 
personal computer today! 



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DISPLAY SOURCE DaT.A 

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PH/SER 



PHASER SYSTEMS, INC 24 CALIFORNIA STREET 
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111 {415)434-3990 

Circle 302 on inquiry card. 



serial interface. We decided to pro- 
vide both types of interface. 

The parallel port uses standard 
TTL components. We did not select 
the usual MOS (metal-oxide semicon- 
ductor) parallel-port peripheral chips 
for the system because they would 
have required TTL buffering before 
driving the possibly long printer 
cable. Instead, we chose the 74S374 
chip, which can perform the I/O port 
function and buffering in a single 
package. We provided an interrupt 
from the parallel handshaking to 
allow real-time support of the printer 
in multitasking applications and to 
provide a printer-spooler capability. 

The serial port is based on an Intel 
8251A universal synchronous/asyn- 
chronous receiver/transmitter chip 
(USART). We selected this time- 
proven device instead of a more so- 
phisticated serial communications 
controller chip because it provides the 
functions required without support- 
ing unnecessary and costly bit- 
oriented modes. One reason for the 
great cost-effectiveness of the 8251A 
lies in its lack of an on-chip data-rate 
generator. In the Pronto Series 16 sys- 
tem this is not a problem because the 
80186 processor includes three on- 
chip timers that may be pressed into 
service to provide data-rate genera- 
tion with software-programmable 
data rates for 50 to 9600 bits per 
second. 

Our system keyboard communi- 
cates with the processor over a serial 
line and is interfaced to the system 
using the receive half of a serial port. 
Two full serial ports are available for 
use with other industry-standard 
serial devices. To support multitask- 
ing, serial ports are fully supported 
by interrupts. 

The Clock/Calendar Function 

We feel a clock and calendar are 
absolute necessities in a small busi- 
ness machine. Our requirements for a 
clock system were as follows: battery 
life of one year or longer; hardware 
support of year, day, and month in- 
formation; and continuously avail- 
able time. Several otherwise-accept- 
able clock chips did not support year 
information, but supported tenths-of- 
a-second data instead. A few chips re- 



quire up to 2 milliseconds to update 
the time after a clock tick, during 
which time the processor may not ac- 
cess the time information. 

The chip we selected, the 
MSM5832, meets all of our require- 
ments. Software for the system pro- 
tects the integrity of the information 
in the clock/calendar and requires a 
system password in order to change 
the time and date. 

The Display 

Because we intended our computer 
to accommodate already existing 
software, we were somewhat con- 
strained in the design of the mono- 
chrome display. Nevertheless, in 
significant areas we were able to im- 
prove the display while still maintain- 
ing software compatibility. First, we 
replaced the character-generator 
ROM that normally defines the char- 
acter set of a system with a RAM- 
based character generator to provide 
a programmable character set. This 
allows programmers to customize the 
character fonts for individual applica- 
tions, such as those requiring foreign 
language characters or mathematical 
symbols. [The monochrome monitor 
for the Pronto Series 16 can display 
25 lines of 80 characters. Each char- 
acter is composed of an 8- by 12-pixel 
map inside a 9- by 14-pixel area. 
. . . R. M.] 

Second, we improved the way the 
processor accesses the display mem- 
ory. In many displays, when the pro- 
cessor accesses the display memory, a 
glitch (a disruption of the screen) 
occurs. To avoid glitches, many 
manufacturers require the processor 
to wait for the horizontal or vertical 
retrace interval before accessing the 
screen. This wastes a tremendous 
amount of time. 

In the Pronto Series 16 we in- 
creased the speed of the display mem- 
ory so that we are able to perform 
two access cycles within a 562-ns 
character time. During the first cycle 
of 250 ns the screen memory is read 
for the display, and during the second 
cycle of 312 ns the processor has ac- 
cess to the screen without any glit- 
ching. As a result, the processor has to 
wait a maximum of only 562 ns in- 
stead of a maximum of 50 microsec- 

Circle 276 on Inquiry card. $ 




Forever 
amber! 



NEC's new amber monitor is so easy 
on your eyes, you'll feel you could 
look at it forever. 

The JB-1205MA is a professional-quality 
computer monitor that gives you 80 char- 
acters by 25 lines of sharp, clear text. Its 
ideal for word processing and other 
work-intensive business applications. 
And if s amber, the color shown to be 
easiest on human eyesight. 

Designed for use with NEC computers, 
the JB-1205MA is also easily adaptable 
for use with Apple,® Osborne^ and most 
other popular computers. See it at your 
authorized NEC Home Electronics Dealer. 

Compare these specs with your 
present monitor: 



12-inch diagonal screen 



80-character, 25-line display 
8x8 dots, Smhz video bandwidth 
1 .0-watt audio output 



Productivity at your fingertips 



NEC 



NEC Home Electronics (U.S-A.J, Inc. 
Personal Computer Division 

HOT Estes Avenue 

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 

(312)228-5900 

NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan 



incubation complete 







A Third Generation is Born 






(Pictured above) 



A Z80 based microcomputer board with memory and I /0 functions 

• Fully complies with IEEE 696 standard 

•4/6/8MHZZ80A/B/H* 

• Supports CP/M® PIUS 

• Operates as bus master/slave for multi-user, multi-processor architecture. 

• 64K on board memory, dual ported, parity checked 

• 2 serial ports, 1 full SASI port 

• All I/O drivers on board 

• Memory management 

• Full 24 bit address capability 

• 3-16 bit CTC's 



i 










ExpandORAM IV— Random access memory board 
utilizing 64K or 256K NMOS RAM chips 

• Fully compiles with IEEE 696 Standard 

• 256K capacity with 64K chips 

• 1024K capacity with 256K chips 

• Error checking and correction (2 bit detection, 1 bit correction) 

• On board refresh 

• Supports both 8 and 16 bit data transfers 

• 24 bit addressing 

SD300— A new series of compact yet expandable S-100 
microcomputers. 

• Compact size approximately 4" x 14" x 17" 

• 6 Slot motherboard 

• Rugged metal enclosure 

• Supports up to 5 users 

OEM Version: Designed for ease of Integration and maximum flexibility 

• Z80 CPU 

• 256K RAM 

• versaf loppy II with free CP/M Plus™ 

DlSCless Version: An ideal high performancesystemfor disk Intensive 
applications. Eliminates disk waltstatesf or spread sheets, spelling checkers, 
and network operation, utilizes SDSystems RAMDisc and ROMDisc modules. 



VF W-S: A single board controller for floppy and 
Winchester disk drives: 

• Fully complies with IEEE 696 standard • Free copy of 
CP/M Plus™ included • Up to 4 floppies and three Win- 
chester drives may be controlled by VFW-3 • Data 
transfers to and from board under DMA or programm- 
ed I/O control • Supports 24 bit address space. 

CP/M PIUS™:hlgh performance single user 
operating system. 

• CP/M® 2.2. compatible— no modification! • When 
used with SDSystems 256K memory board speeds are 
up to 7 times faster than CP/ M® 2.2. • High perfor- 
mance file system • mp/m® ii file password protec- 
tion • Time and date stamps on files • Support for 1 to 
16 banks of RAM • Support for 1 to 16 drives of up to 
512 MB each • Easy to use system utilities with help 
facility • Powerful batch facility • Sophisticated pro- 
grammer utilities. 



RAMDISC 256: a solid state disk emulator that 
greatly Increases system performance by eliminating 
disk waits In disk Intensive applications. Excellent for 
spreadsheets, spelling checkers and software 
development. 

• 256K capacity • 1 mb total bus capacity • CP/M® 2.2, 
plus™ compatible • I/O port addresses user selec- 
table • Storage locations addressed by on board 20 bit 
counter • On board refresh. 

ROMDISC 128: An eprom board that replaces a 
floppy disk drive for the purposes of booting CP/M® 
and loading application programs. 

• Provides non volatile, permanent storage of pro- 
grams and data • Utilizes 2732 or 2764 EPROMS, (16 
max) • 128K capacity per board • 512K system capacity 

• Use with SDSystems RAMDisc to configure a stand 
alone or network discless system • CP/M Plus™ 
available in eproms • Serial port provided. 



CP/M® 2.2 and CP/M Plus™ are registered trademarkes of Digital Research, Inc. *Z80 product of Zilog Corp. 

10111 Miller Road ■ Dallas, Texas • (214) 340-03C 

A Syntech Company Circle 343 on Inaulrv card. 



SDSystems 



onds for the horizontal retrace inter- 
val. This low-overhead design yields 
a significant speed advantage in ap- 
plications that require considerable 
access to the screen for things like 
character inserts and deletions in 
word-processing programs. 

Our primary requirement for the 
system monitor was low operator 
fatigue. It is well known that screen 
flicker and blurred characters com- 
bined with improper phosphor color 
are leading contributors to operator 
fatigue. To minimize fatigue we 
selected a monitor with high band- 
width for sharp character definition, 
an antiglare coating for reduced 
reflection, and a long-persistence 
green phosphor to eliminate flicker 
and reduce eye strain. 

Ergonomics 

We have taken three notable steps 
to ensure that the Pronto Series 16 is a 
pleasant co-worker. I mentioned 
earlier that one of our major concerns 
is the desk space required by the sys- 
tem, and that by removing the system 
electronics from those components 
that require frequent operator access, 
we were able to reduce the desktop 
area covered by the system to the 
space occupied by the keyboard, the 
disk drives, and the monitor. The 
result of this modular approach is 
that the "footprint" of the system, the 
area it occupies on table or desk, is 
230 square inches, significantly less 
than any competitive system on the 
market. 

All of the components that do not 
require access by the operator are 
placed in a system box. While we 
believe that the system box is best 
located away from the work space, 
we designed the enclosure to be func- 
tional and attractive on a desktop as 
well. A clip on top of the system box 
allows the front surface of the unit to 
serve as a copy stand. 

Unlike many others, the Series 16 
monitor swivels in a wide horizontal 
arc and tilts to allow you to adjust the 
monitor's angle to suit your taste and 
eye level. For additional convenience, 
we have oriented the disk drives at an 
angle so that the face of the drive is 
perpendicular to your line of sight. 
This makes it easier to insert or 



remove disks. An added advantage of 
this orientation is that it reduces the 
footprint of the system even further 
by allowing the keyboard to nestle 
under the ledge formed by the disk 
drives. 

The Keyboard 

In order to minimize the time 
needed to get familiar with our 
system, we selected a keyboard 
layout fairly close to that of the IBM 
Selectric typewriter, with which most 
office workers are familiar. There 
are, of course, additional keys 
around the periphery of the keyboard 
for the enhanced capability of the 
computer, such as editing keys, cur- 
sor controls, and function keys (see 
photo 1 on page 169). 

Our keyboard has a low profile 
and an adjustment mechanism to 
allow you to select from three dif- 
ferent heights. Because it uses ca- I 
pacitive switches, the keyboard re- 
quires very little effort to operate and 
is very quiet. However, if you prefer 
audio response to your keystrokes, 
you can choose to have adjustable 
acoustic feedback provided from the 
system's speaker. We selected a stan- 
dard coiled telephone cord and 
modular jack for the connection be- 
tween the keyboard and the system. 
The modular jack presents a low 
visual profile for the inserted connec- 
tor, which is at the front right-hand 
side of the desktop unit. Many ma- 
chines have the keyboard connector 
on the back of the machine, but when 
the keyboard connector is on the 
front, near the normal location of the 
keyboard, the keyboard can be easily 
extended up to 6 feet from the system 
unit. 

The Caps Lock key and the Numer- 
ic key (which turns the cursor* control 
keys into a numeric keypad) have an 
electronic latching mechanism and 
include an LED (light-emitting diode) 
to indicate if they are activated or 
deactivated. 

The Expansion Bus 

In any computer system design, the 
selection of the bus structure is a 
critical issue. Initally, we considered 
using a structure that would be com- 
patible with existing expansion cards 

Circle 277 on Inquiry card. » 



Read the 
fine print. 



Improve the output of your present 
system with a dot-matrix printer 
from NEC. 

For good-looking copy in a hurry, it's 
hard to beat NEC's hard-working 
Pt-8023A.This is a bi-directional 120 
CPS, 80-column printer that can operate 
in a compressed-print mode to yield 132 
columns. Special 2K buffer holds a page 
of data, so the unit can print while you're 
typing in something else. Compatible 
with a wide range of computers, from 
Apple" to Zenith".* 

Compare these features with your 
present printer: 

tractor and friction feed 

Complete ASCII characters plus 
Greek, math, and graphic 
characters 

Elite, pica, compressed print, 
proportional spacing, subscript 
and superscript 



Standard parallel Centronics 
interface, serial optional 

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 



NEC 



NEC Home Electronics (U.S.A.), Inc. 
Personal Computer Division 

1401 Estes Avenue 

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 

(312)228-5900 

NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan 



designed for older 8088-based designs 
by providing an overflow connector 
to pick up the additional 8 bits of the 
80186's 16-bit external bus. However, 
the high performance of the 80186 
would be lost on several of the popu- 
lar cards. 

To avoid potential incompatibility, 
we elected to take a different route. 
We investigated several of the pop- 
ular 16-bit industrial bus formats, but 
we were not satisfied with the size of 
the cards; we would have to split the 
system card (the only card in the 
minimum system) into two cards, a 
costly limitation. Even with the high 
level of integrated circuitry used on 
the system card we still have 160 
chips in the design (see figure 1 on 
page 170). We selected a size of I4V2 
by 11 inches for our card, and we 
squeezed the entire system onto a 
double-sided card (see photo 2). This 
fairly large card size, combined with 
the 5-slot motherboard in which it 
resides, allows us to expand the sys- 
tem to include high-resolution color 
graphics, a full megabyte of memory, 
and a network interface card with one 
slot to spare, in a total size of 15.4 
inches high by 6.3 inches wide by 11 
inches deep. 

As should be the case with any 
high-performance system, the 
motherboard is shielded and ter- 
minated. The short width of the 
motherboard (4V2 inches) further 
reduces the possibility of noise. The 
total bus bandwidth is 4 megabytes 
per second. 

The Color Graphics Option 

We felt the color graphics option of 
the Pronto Series 16 should measure 
up to the high performance that the 
rest of the system provides. The reso- 
lution we selected is unusually high 
for a general-purpose system: 640 by 
480 pixels with 8 simultaneous colors 
(see photo 3). We selected the vertical 
resolution (480) based on the highest 
possible resolution with the standard 
15. 75-kHz scan monitor. The horizon- 
tal resolution was selected to generate 
a square pixel based on the 4:3 aspect 
ratio of the color tube. The resulting 
video frequency is 13.33 MHz. 

We based the graphics design on 
the newly introduced NEC 7220 




Photo 2: The graphics adapter of the 
Pronto Series 16 leaning against the 
system housing, and large main system 
card. 



Kp 


18 




K^Rfe^W^^Hi^. 


Hi 






^j^j^^ifeB/fl 



Photo 3: An example of the graphics 
possible with the color-graphics option of 
the Pronto Series 16. 

graphics-display controller (GDC) 
because not only does the 7220 sup- 
port the required resolution, but it 
contains hardware support for draw- 
ing basic graphic primitives, in- 
cluding lines, arcs, rectangles, and 
characters, and further supports very 
high performance area fills. The sys- 
tem provides the user with a vector- 
drawing rate of up to 400,000 pixels 
per second and an area-fill rate of up 
to 6,400,000 pixels per second. An- 
other powerful feature of the graphics 
board is that it provides hardware- 
based panning along both axes and 
has the ability to zoom from 1 to 16 
times normal size. 

We added a RAM-based color table 
(which allows you to use 8 out of a 
possible 16 colors) and included an 
address line from a flash oscillator to 
allow individual pixels to be pro- 
grammed to flash automatically or to 
alternate between two colors. The 
color table also provides animation 
capability by allowing alternating bit 
planes to be modified and displayed, 
making complex image transforma- 
tions appear to be instantaneous. 



To fulfill this high-resolution 
display's screen memory requirement 
of 113K bytes, we selected the same 
64K-bit dynamic memory chips 
chosen for the system's main mem- 
ory. Sixteen chips provide a graphics 
memory size of 128K bytes. This 
memory is isolated from the main 
processor bus by the GDC, so it does 
not affect the main processor. The 
three bit planes are contained in the 
same physical memory. The memory 
is cycled three times during one dis- 
play cycle to read each bit plane. 

When the graphics option is 
selected, the format in alphanumeric 
mode is 80 characters by 24 lines with 
a 7- by 9-dot matrix. The alpha char- 
acters may be positioned anywhere 
on the screen, limited only by pixel 
boundaries, and may be aligned at a 
45-degree angle from either axis. 

Summary 

As I mentioned earlier, bringing 
out a new business microcomputer is 
quite a challenge. It must do more 
than any of its competitors, and it 
must do it at a reasonable price. 
Although the real test of a product is 
in the marketplace, I believe that the 
Pronto Series 16 computer, which 
combines the new Intel 80186 micro- 
processor with the MS-DOS 2.0 oper- 
ating system, floppy-disk drives, 128K 
bytes of RAM, a high-resolution 
monitor, communications interfaces, 
and a bundle of applications soft- 
ware, has met this challenge. ■ 



Sales and Service 

for the Pronto Series 16 

Pronto Computers is setting up a 
dealer network to market the Series 16, 
This network will include approxi- 
mately 200 dealers and should be fully 
established by the fourth quarter of 
1983. 

Service for these machines will be 
provided by the dealers and by a third 
party that has not yet been named. 
You can obtain more information from 
Pronto Computers Inc., 3170 Kashiwa 
St., Torrance, CA 90505; (800) 
634-6400. In California and outside 
continental U.S. call (213) 539-6400. 



About the Author 

Skip Hansen is vice-president of engineering 
for Pronto Computers Inc. 



184 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






Transtar 315 

Color Printer for only $599 



suggested 
retail price 



• New technology four-hammer print head 

• Unique diagonal ribbon provides simpler and more reliable operation 

• Prints 7 colors plus more than 30 shades 

• All colors and shades are printed in a single pass of the print head 

• Built by Seikosha, the oldest manufacturing company of the 

famous Seiko group — providing precision products since 1892 . 



Transtar • BoxC-96975 Bellevue, Washington 98009 



Circle 390 on Inquiry card. 




'A' 




corona 

Personal 
Hard Disk 10 



Now you can move your IBM PC 1 from the fast 
lane into the jet stream. With the Personal 
Hard Disk™ from Corona. 




More power to you. 

The Corona Personal Hard Disk really revs up 
your IBM PC, with none of the floppy bottlenecks, 
headaches and hassles. 

You get 5 to 10 megabytes of storage. 

Speeds up to ten times faster than floppy 
disc drives. 

The high reliability of a hard disk. 

In an easy add-on external package, or a con- 
venient internal plug-in. 



Lightning strikes twice. 

If that's not enough, you also get a lot of the 
features of the Corona PC, our own 16-bit desktop 
and portable personal computer. 

Like free RAM "disk! Just define blocks 



of main memory as a disk and load your programs, 
then run them at incredible microsecond speeds. 

Like disk partitioning that supports several 
operating systems at the same time, so MS-DOS? 
CP/M-86 3 and Pascal are all right there when you 
need them. 

Like simple menu operation that makes your PC 
friendlier than you would have believed possible. 
Small directories. Automatic backup. And much more. 



All backed by Corona's exclusive DataGuard™ 
and FailSafe™ data protection systems for maximum 
reliability 

So if you're hungry for 
power and your IBM 

just can't keep 
you fulfilled, get your 
hands on the Personal Hard Disk from Corona. 

It'll set you free. 

The Personal Hard Disk is available in internal 
and external, 5 and 10 megabyte versions. For the 
name of your nearest Corona dealer Just call us toll- 
free at 800-621-6746. Or write Corona Data Systems, 
31324 Via Colinas,Westlake Village, CA 91361. 
(213) 991-1144. 



CO 




FEEL THE POWER. 



Circle 98 on inquiry card. 

©Corona Data Systems, 1983. 1. tm IBM Coip. 
2. tm Microsoft. 3. tm Digital Research. 



The Docutel/Olivetti M20 

A Sleek Import 



Sergio Mello-Grand 

811 Haverhill Dr. 

Sunnyvale, CA 94087 




A personal computer that marches to the beat 
of a different drummer — the Z8000. 



188 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The Docutel /Olivetti M20 is the 
maverick of the second-generation 
personal computers. It has no func- 
tion keys, an "unfashionable" micro- 
processor, and a 16-bit disk operating 
system that is incompatible with the 
rest of the micro world. A closer look 
at this machine, the company's initial 
foray into the microcomputer mar- 
ket, may shed some light on the rea- 
soning that went into its intriguing 
design. 

Olivetti is an industry giant in the 
office products arena, a market that 
has been changing rapidly 
since digital electronics in- 
vaded the business world. 
Not to be left behind, Oli- 
vetti aggressively convert- 
ed its product line from 
electromechanical to elec- 
tronic operation. The 
company's products 
ranged from intelligent 
typewriters and dedicated 
word processors to mini- 
computers, peripherals, 
and networks; a com- 
puter/workstation was an 
obvious addition. So in 
1979, Olivetti's Cali- 
fornia-based Cupertino 
Advanced Technology 
Center began the design of 
the M20. The system was officially 
announced in the spring of 1982, and 
more than 50,000 units are estimated 
to have been shipped in its first year. 
Manufactured in Italy, the M20 is 
distributed in the United States by 
Docutel/Olivetti. 

The M20 is based on the Z8001, 
Zilog's 16-bit microprocessor, and it 
runs a proprietary operating system 
called PCOS (Professional Computer 
Operating System). Although there is 
a rationale for taking such a nonstan- 
dard route, the reality is that software 
vendors have little use for the exotic. 
In a marketplace in which the IBM 
Personal Computer has become a de 
facto standard, the M20 suffers as a 
result of its uniqueness. In response to 
its compatibility problem, Olivetti 
has developed a coprocessor board 
based on the Intel 8086 chip, which 
offers the M20 owner access to soft- 
ware running under MS-DOS and 
CP/M-86. 



System Overview 

The M20 hardware is divided into 
two parts: the central unit and the 
video unit (see photo 3). The central 
unit houses the processor board, the 
keyboard, and the disk drives. This 
represents another interesting depar- 
ture from the current industry trend 
toward detachable, low-profile key- 
boards. 

Even more remarkable in an in- 
dustry that deems function keys 
essential is the M20's apparent lack of 
general-purpose, user-definable func- 




Photo 1: The M20's color graphics capability. 



tion keys. Apparently the designers 
believe that an overcrowded key- 
board will confuse the user and slow 
down user input. Once again, the 
manufacturer has hedged its bets: al- 
though the M20 has no discrete func- 
tion keys, it is capable of providing 
alternate functions for some of its 
standard keys. Furthermore, two 
auxiliary keys can be redefined using 
an operating system utility. 

Special functions are invoked by 
two color-coded keys. When either 
the orange key, Command, or the 
light-blue key, Control, is pressed 
along with another key, it creates a 
new output that can be assigned a 
logical function. Although the use of 
compound keys is hardly new, 
Olivetti has added one interesting 
twist to identifying key functions. 
Above the top row of numeric keys is 
a channel designed to hold a plastic 
strip that identifies the two additional 
user-defined functions for those keys. 



These strips, colored orange and light 
blue, match the correspondingly col- 
ored Command and Control keys, a 
scheme that effectively offers you 24 
user-definable function keys. 

The Delete, Tab, and Backspace 
keys are also conspicuous by their 
absence. But this deficiency is also 
surmountable. Two keys, marked Si 
and S2, were apparently added in 
order to maintain keyboard com- 
patibility with Olivetti's previous 
business systems. The default func- 
tions of Si and S2 are equivalent to 
Return. If you don't need 
three Return keys, an op- 
erating system utility 
called Change Key lets 
you redefine the functions 
of these auxiliary keys. 
Typically, you would re- 
define Si as Delete (or 
Backspace) and S2 as Tab. 
Change Key lets you de- 
fine any of the 252 unique 
ASCII (American Nation- 
al Standard Code for In- 
formation Interchange) 
codes that can be gener- 
ated from the M20's key- 
board. 

The alpha keys also 
double up their functions 
for prospective program- 
mers. On the front of the keys are 26 
BASIC statements that can be input 
by compound keying, as with the nu- 
meric keys. On the right of the key- 
board is a 16-key numeric keypad 
that features the numbers 0-9 and 00 
as well as the four arithmetic func- 
tions (addition, subtraction, multipli- 
cation, and division). This keypad 
also doubles as the cursor controls. 

The Processor Board 

Inside the central unit, a large 
motherboard holds the electronic 
components of the system (see photo 
2). There are two reasons for the am- 
ple size of this board. First, a true 
16-bit microprocessor requires addi- 
tional data and address lines as well 
as "wider" memory (16-bit rather 
than 8-bit), which means more 
discrete chips. Second, the M20 in- 
cludes all of the peripheral control 
functions on the board rather than 
use the add-on expansion boards. The 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 189 








Photo 2: The large motherboard (approximately 13 by 18 inches). 



standard M20 offers 128K bytes of 
RAM (random-access read/write 
memory), a parallel interface, a serial 
interface, a floppy-disk controller, 
and high-resolution graphics (black 
and white or color). 

The heart of the motherboard is its 
microprocessor, a Z8001 that runs at 
4 MHz. The Z8000 family offers an 
extremely advanced instruction set 
and the unique capability of redefin- 
ing some of its internal 16-bit registers 
as 8-, 32-, or even 64-bit registers. 
This flexibility enables the Z8000 to 
carry out complex 32-bit arithmetic 
as well as perform compact byte-size 
operations. 

The Z8001 is capable of addressing 
as many as 8 megabytes of memory in 
64K-byte segments. The designers 
chose to limit the M20 to 16 of these 
segments, for a total (theoretical) 
memory of 1 megabyte. It is worth 
noting, however, that currently the 
system can be expanded only from its 
standard 128K bytes to 512K bytes 
because the expansion memory 
boards are limited to 128K bytes 
each. Presumably, when denser 
(256K-byte) memory boards become 
available, the M20 will be able to ex- 
pand to its full megabyte capability. 

Mass Storage 

Initially, the standard M20 came 
with dual 5V4-inch floppy-disk drives 



with an unformatted storage capacity 
of 320K bytes (or 286K bytes for- 
matted). Recently, Docutel/Olivetti 
introduced 160K-byte and 640K-byte 
drives in order to provide a broader 
range of system configurations; these 
can read programs or data from the 
original 320K-byte disk format, a fea- 
ture that simplifies software distribu- 
tion. The 640K-byte drive is par- 
ticularly appropriate for backing up 
files from the optional hard-disk unit. 
The 5V4-inch Winchester hard-disk 
drive can replace one floppy-disk 
drive in the central unit. This three- 
platter disk offers 9.2 megabytes of 
formatted storage and requires a sep- 
arate add-on controller board. This 
board is inserted into one of the two 
I/O (input/output) expansion slots 
on the motherboard. 

I/O Expansion 

In addition to the hard-disk con- 
troller card, other optional cards can 
be mounted in the I/O expansion 
slots. Docutel/Olivetti offers both an 
IEEE-488 parallel interface that can 
daisy-chain up to 14 peripherals and a 
twin serial-interface card that can be 
configured as twin RS-232C ports, as 
twin 20-milliamp (mA) current-loop 
ports, or as one RS-232C interface 
and one 20-mA current-loop interface. 
Remember that these interfaces are in 
addition to the standard RS-232C 



serial port and the Centronics- 
compatible parallel port provided 
with the system. 

Docutel/Olivetti is reported to be 
developing a local area network 
based on the Corvus Omninet CSMA 
(carrier-sense, multiple access) archi- 
tecture. By the time that this article is 
published, a network may be avail- 
able to connect several M20s together 
to share such resources as hard disks 
and high-speed printers. 

Both color and black-and-white 
versions of the video unit are avail- 
able. The video unit sits atop the cen- 
tral unit on a pedestal that adjusts to 
the user in three ways. The unit can 
tilt vertically, rotate horizontally, or 
move to either side of the central unit. 
It also has an antiglare screen to 
reduce eyestrain. 

Both monochrome and color units 
have the same text and graphics char- 
acteristics and are completely soft- 
ware compatible. In text as well as 
graphics modes, the screen displays a 
high-resolution bit map of 512 pixels 
(horizontal) by 256 pixels (vertical). 
Unlike other systems that use a tradi- 
tional character generator for text, 
the M20 creates text characters as it 
would graphics characters — pixel 
(picture element) by pixel. This ap- 
proach allows users to modify the 
existing character fonts and has led to 
the development of several inter- 
national character sets, including 
kanji and Arabic. In normal text 
mode, two display formats are avail- 
able: 16 lines of 64 characters or 25 
lines of 80 characters. 

The system's extraordinary graphic 
capability emerges when you use the 
color display (see photo 1). An M20 
with two additional memory boards 
(either the 32K-byte or the 
128K-byte) can display eight colors 
simultaneously. With only one addi- 
tional memory board, the M20 dis- 
plays four colors simultaneously 
from a palette of eight. If you have a 
monochrome display, the colors are 
displayed as different shades of gray. 

PCOS Operating System 

By adopting the Z8001 instead of 
the more common 8088/8086, de- 
signers of the Docutel/Olivetti could 
not use off-the-shelf operating sys- 



190 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



terns such as MS-DOS or CP/M-86, 
so they developed PCOS, a pro- 
prietary operating system. Essential- 
ly, PCOS is a single-user, single- 
tasking operating system. Like 
CP/M, PCOS is built on a nucleus 
and a set of resident commands that is 
enriched with a set of transient com- 
mands. When the computer boots up, 
the nucleus and the resident-com- 
mands module are loaded into RAM; 
together, they take up more than 20K 
bytes of memory. Also, 16K bytes of 
RAM are reserved for the screen 
memory; thus, of the original 128K 
bytes of RAM, about 90K bytes re- 
main. 

PCOS has some advanced features 
worthy of mention. First, it can be 
custom-made, so you can change 
transient commands into resident 
commands and easily modify the 
PCOS to ''remember" such changes. 
To explain these features properly, 
we must define the terms "permanent 
memory" and "user memory." 

Permanent memory is that portion 
of RAM in which you can store infor- 
mation that will not be overwritten or 
erased until the system is reset. User 
memory is that portion of RAM that's 
left over for program and data stor- 
age; this area can and will be over- 
written in the course of using the 
system. The division between perma- 
nent and user memory is only logical; 
no physical boundary exists between 
the two. 

For frequently used transient com- 
mands, you could spend much of 
your time waiting for disk accesses. 
Moreover, the system disk containing 
those commands must always be 
mounted on the drive. To avoid these 
problems, the PLOAD command 
transfers a transient command into 
permanent memory. Such a com- 
mand will be executed immediately 
upon being called. Naturally, the 
more commands you transfer, the less 
user memory remains. 

When you turn off the system or 
reset it, the previously transferred 
commands will be lost. To avoid a 
series of PLOADs every time the 
system is booted, the command 
PSAVE lets you create a personalized 
version of PCOS. Once you have per- 
formed a PLOAD on the commands 




Photo 3: The M20 with its cover removed. Note the modular construction. 



you want resident (and have re- 
assigned function-key values, etc.), 
you save a customized version of the 
operating system by using the utility 
PSAVE. 

Memory Usage 

In addition to flexibility, PCOS is 
unique in that its memory-segmenta- 
tion design features dynamic alloca- 
tion of memory — a concept that has 
been passed down from mainframes 
and minicomputers. PCOS (version 
2.0) allows the software developer to 
use all of the available system mem- 
ory without any difficulties created 
by the boundaries between the 
64K-byte segments. 

What this means to the program- 
mer is that Pascal and Z8000 assem- 
bly-language code do not necessarily 
reside in contiguous memory. That's 
because the compiler and the assem- 
bler generate an intermediate z-code 
that is processed by the linker, which 
remaps the code in an effort to op- 
timize memory usage. 

The drawback to this scheme is 
that you don't know where your code 
resides within memory. Some pro- 
grammers, accustomed to direct ac- 
cess to memory to perform software 
tricks, won't appreciate the PCOS 
dynamic-allocation feature. As 
always, when the M20 creates an 
obstacle, it offers you some software 



wizardry to bypass it. The PCOS 
utility DCONFIG gives you a mem- 
ory map showing where the various 
pieces of code are located, so you 
can find all the memory pointers you 
need. 

BASIC 

Obviously, the PCOS memory 
management cannot override the 
addressing limits of Microsoft 
BASIC. All computers using this 
popular BASIC are limited to 64K 
bytes. Because the M20 has no BASIC 
ROM (read-only memory), the whole 
interpreter (37K bytes) is loaded into 
RAM. Without memory manage- 
ment, you would have had only 20 to 
25K bytes of user memory available. 
Even with memory management, the 
stock 128K-byte system has only 
about 40K bytes of usable BASIC 
memory. The serious BASIC user 
needs 32K bytes more RAM. 

The M20's Extended BASIC fea- 
tures excellent graphics, control of 
the IEEE-488 interface, program 
segmentation by using the CHAIN 
and COMMON commands, and the 
ability to call and execute object 
code routines and PCOS commands. 

The graphics statements take full 
advantage of the bit-mapped screen 
and let you manage multiple win- 
dows. You can also draw points, 
lines, boxes, circles, and ellipses. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 191 



Windows 

The integrated bit-mapped ap- 
proach lets you use multiple (up to 
16) windows, each with its own at- 
tributes. Each window can display 
both alphanumerics and graphics and 
can scroll independently of other win- 
dows. These windows can be created 
either through PCOS calls or BASIC 
instructions. Although windows may 
not overlap and do not support multi- 
tasking, they have some interesting 
properties. Among these are auto- 
matic word wrap and graphics scal- 
ing, in which drawings automatically 
shrink to fit within previously defined 
windows. 

Data Security 

PCOS offers three varieties of data 
security. The first makes it possible to 
protect a BASIC program against list- 
ing, editing, or copying. The second 
lets you define a volume password 
that is thereafter required to enable 
that volume. The third password pro- 
tects your individual files. 

Finally, PCOS provides support 



for the serial (RS-232C) and parallel 
(Centronics-compatible and IEEE- 
488) interfaces. It also includes a real- 
time clock feature in two formats, 
hours:minutes:seconds and day/ 
month/year. 

The uniqueness of 

PCOS places the M20 

out of the software 

mainstream as 

compared to machines 

that run MS-DOS and 

CP/M-86. 



Coda 

The uniqueness of PCOS places the 
M20 out of the software mainstream 
as compared to machines that run 
MS-DOS and CP/M-86. Further- 
more, the choice of the Z8001 limits 
the portability of software packages 
from other 16-bit personal com- 
puters. 

Although Docutel /Olivetti has 



adopted Microsoft BASIC (which 
should encourage the transfer of 
BASIC programs) and has acquired 
and developed some good application 
packages such as Multiplan and Data 
Factory Plus, its nonstandard hard- 
ware/software environment repre- 
sents the most serious limitation to 
the M20's prospective sales. For this 
reason, Docutel/Olivetti just intro- 
duced its Alternate Processor Board 
(APB 1086), which is based on an 
8-MHz 8086. This board, designed by 
Tecmar, gives the M20 access to MS- 
DOS and CP/M-86 software and 
makes the system ''data compatible" 
with the IBM Personal Computer. 

In the near future, you can expect a 
new release of PCOS, the UCSD 
p-System, and CP/M-8000 to be run- 
ning on this elegant, but slightly puz- 
zling, import. ■ 



About the Author 

Sergio Mello-Grand is a Silicon Valley-based 
editor for the Italian technical magazines Bit 
and Informatica Oggi. 





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 n 

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

Circle 203 on inquiry card. 



DCM*80: S- 100 Disk Controller 

Module ■ 8" and/or 5Va" floppy disk 

controller SASI (ANSI, SCSI) hard disk 

host adapter Single and double density, 

single and double side Software 

implementation on CP/AA' 

2.2 and TurboDOS? 




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



$345. 



JC SYSTEMS 

469 Valley Way 
Milpitas, CA 95035 
408-945-0318 
TWX#910-381-7041 




Arcade Excitement for You* 
Atari® Home Computer - 

Midway's GORF 

"Faithful to the arcade 
version. " —Book of 
Atari Software 1983 
• In the dark reaches of 
hyperspace, confront the 
fierce Gorfian Empire. Battle 
Gorfs, Droids, Lasers and 
Subquark Torpedoes in your attempt to 
survive. Multi-screen action for one or two 
players. ROM Cartridge or 24K disk. 



WHY/"' 




Midway's 
WIZARD OF WOR 

"An action-packed 
shoot-em-up; an outstanding 
job. "—Book of A tari 
Software 1983 

Battle hideous and deadly 
creatures of doom. Survive the 
changing mazes and defeat the fiendish Wizard of 
Wor. Multiple screens, simultaneous one or two- 
player action. ROM Cartridge or 32K disk. 



ill 



' . .. 



>,\ 



BjM!la?s 



DELUXE INVADERS 

"By far the best Space Invaders 
.. program ever released for a personal 
I computer."— Electronic Games 

Be warned! The Invaders have broken 

arcade boundaries to bring their 

awesome challenge to your home 

computer. The better your defense, the 

more fierce their assault. Nine difficulty levels. One or 

two-player action. ROM Cartridge or 16K disk. 







ANTI-SUB PATROL 

NEW! Tactical Search and Destroy Mission 
Anti-Sub Patrol puts you in command of a / 
squadron of sub-hunting destroyer escorts. * 
7 Your mission— rid the seas of two subs whose 
fct^3^ sin 9 |e 9<>ai is to blast you from the waters. 
Stand by for suspense! 32K disk, 24K cassette. 







COMING SOON FOR EVEN MORE FUN: Da Fuzz™, Lifespan™ 
Rockball™, Eyes™, and Castle Hassle. 

Ask for Roklan Software at leading software dealers nationwide. 




' 3335 N. Arlington Heights Road 
Arlington Heights, IL 60004 

ATARI is a registered trademark of Atari, Inc. Gorf ™ and Wizard of Wor™ are trademarks of Bally/Midway Mfg. Co. Da Fuzz 
Rockball™ and Eyes™ are trademarks of Techstar, Inc. Lifespan™ Is a trademark of Admacab iam-Flyghts of Fancle, Inc. 

Circle 333 on inquiry card> |"^\ 




■ 






Modular Architecture 

Designing a modular computer around the IBM PC 



Sudha Kavuru 

Sritek Inc. 

10230 Brecksville Rd. 

Cleveland, OH 44141 



IBM's Personal Computer 
(PC) has become a de facto 
standard for the personal com- 
puting industry. As the range 
of its applications programs 
expands, more performance in 
terms of powerful system soft- 
ware, multitasking and multi- 
user capabilities, and raw 
throughput will be required of 
the PC. Unfortunately, the 
IBM PC is limited by its 8088 
microprocessor. As designed, 
the PC can neither adequately 
nor efficiently support the ad- 
vanced and commercially suc- 
cessful multiuser operating 
systems such as Unix and 
RM/COS. These applications 
require a more powerful pro- 
cessor and a memory manage- 
ment scheme available in the 
advanced microprocessors. 
The combination of these facts 
prompted our design of a 
modular computer: a com- 
puter system using IBM's PC 
as a base but incorporating a 
variety of processors and 
memory options (see photo 1). 




The Void 

The 16- and 32-bit micro- 
processors have ushered in a 
new era in the design of commercial 
and engineering workstations. 
Recently introduced products show a 
definite trend toward systems con- 
figured around Intel's 8086-family of 
processors and Motorola's 68000. Na- 



Photo 1: The Sritek modular expansion system for the 
IBM Personal Computer. The center circuit card is the 
Versacard, a 256K-byte dual-ported memory card that 
fits in a single slot of the IBM's expansion bus. Above it 
are a RAM Module (left), with an additional 256K bytes 
of memory, and a 68000 Microcard. Below the Versa- 
card is a Z80 Microcard and an 8086 Microcard. 



tional Semiconductor's introduction 
of the 16032 microprocessor has 
created considerable enthusiasm 
among designers of computer 
systems. 

The availability of this exciting 



hardware is paralleled by un- 
precedented software develop- 
ment. A recent survey in- 
dicates that more than 90 per- 
cent of software development 
efforts in the microcomputer 
industry are targeted toward 
16- and 32-bit processors. The 
time is ripe for the 16-bit 
microprocessor marketplace 
to explode. 

Designing with Modular 
Architecture 

Because in a computer the 
cost of the processor is a small 
percentage of the cost of the 
total system, we decided that 
it would be most cost-effective 
to upgrade the processor, 
maintaining the rest of the 
PC — with its software, periph- 
erals, and memory — as a one- 
time investment. This protects 
the user's investment in the PC 
and allows upgrading accord- 
ing to the user's needs. 

Our goals were to allow 
maximum flexibility yet re- 
quire the user to do a mini- 
mum of problem solving. 
Thus, if users required higher 
performance than is normally 
available from a PC, they 
could choose a higher-performance 
processor from the Intel family (i.e., 
the 8086 or the 80286) and run their 
existing software with no modifica- 
tions. In this way, money and time 
already spent on software would not 



194 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




10 °"r family 9rca,a ''*6o n 



A Colorful Introduction to 
Computers 



Here's a fun and educational coloring book 
to introduce your home computer to the 
youngest members of your family. The 
Magic Machine explores the excitement and 
wonder of computers from a young child's 
point of view. Theodore Cohen's story, writ- 
ten for beginning readers, answers many of 
the basic questions children ask about the 
magic machines that are coming into our 
homes in ever-growing numbers, and 
Jacqueline Bray's line drawings capture the 
vivid and often funny images that arise from 
the inquisitive minds of children as they 
seek to understand the world around them. 
Packaged complete with its own set of 
crayons, The Magic Machine will help 
children appreciate computers even before 
they are old enough to begin using them. 



Order Now Directly from BYTE The Magic Machine $2.00 

Prepayment Required 




BYTE/McGraw Hill 
70 Main St 
Peterborough, N.H. 03458 



A COLORING 
BOOK 

§By Theodore J. Cohen and Jacqueline H. Bray 

tew 




(lb) 



IBM PERSONAL COMPUTER 
(USED AS I/O PROCESSOR) 



PRINTER 



KEYBOARD 



DISPLAY 



INTEL 8088 
MICROPROCESSOR- 
BASED SYSTEM 



C 



MAIN PROCESSING UNIT 

IN A SINGLE SLOT OF IBM PC 



RAM MODULE 

256-K BYTE EXPANSION 

MEMORY WITH PARITY 



ry 



16-BIT-WIDE EXPANSION 
MEMORY BUS 



IBM PC I/O CHANNEL, 
8-BIT BUS 



DISK DRIVES 



\ 



J 



3 



PC VERSACARD 

SUPPORT 

CIRCUITRY 



SRIBUS 
16-BIT BUS 



PC MICROCARD 
PROCESSOR 



V 



I 



Figure 1: Architecture and mechanical arrangement of the Versacard. The extra mem- 
ory and the additional processor plug into the Versacard (figure la), so that the whole 
unit requires only one IBM expansion slot. The architecture of the complete system, in- 
cluding the IBM PC, is shown in figure lb. 



be wasted. 

On the other hand, we felt users 
who upgraded to another incompati- 
ble processor (i.e., the Motorola 
68000 or the National Semiconductor 
16032, etc.) should not be limited to 
software written only for those 
machines while their computer sys- 
tems still had the original Intel 8088 
processor intact. We had in mind 
making available a wealth of time- 
tested software, such as CP/M-80, 
Unix, RM/COS, the UCSD p-Sys- 
tem, and others, while allowing pro- 
grams that normally execute under 



IBM DOS to continue to run as 
special tasks. For example, consider 
Wordstar under Unix: though Word- 
star actually runs on the 8088, this 
fact should be transparent to the Unix 
user. 

Besides offering performance im- 
provements and software compatibil- 
ity, we decided that the ability to 
handle multiple users and multiple 
tasks is essential. It is particularly im- 
portant in commercial applications in 
which sharing of databases is com- 
mon. Further, any multiuser system 
must be.efficient, reliable, and secure. 



We felt the product should be con- 
venient to install in any IBM PC and 
able to accommodate all possible 
add-on devices for the PC. The sys- 
tem should be able to use Unix, or 
any other operating system associ- 
ated with the expanded processor, 
with all of the PC's facilities and with- 
out any modification to the hardware 
or software. This applies equally to 
local area networks, hard-disk drives, 
graphic terminals, and any other I/O 
(input/output) devices made to work 
with the PC. 

And finally, we decided to consider 
the IBM DOS floppy-disk format as 
the standard format for software dis- 
tribution, independent of the pro- 
cessor and the operating system. This 
encourages much-needed standard- 
ization in the personal computer in- 
dustry and the exchange of informa- 
tion among users. 

System Details 

To meet the criterion of flexibility, 
we chose a building-block approach 
that would allow us to interchange 
processors at will, without having to 
redesign the complete computer. The 
system can be divided into four main 
units (or modules, see figure 1), each 
of which performs a specific function: 

• I/O Processor: the IBM Personal 
Computer, the framework on which 
the system is built. It provides for all 
the physical needs of the system (elec- 
trical power, cooling, a cabinet, etc.) 
and is also the system's interface to 
the rest of the world. The PC's pro- 
cessor handles I/O between the user 
and the system, and between the sys- 
tem and other peripherals. 

•The Versacard: a single-circuit card 
designed to fit in the PC's expansion 
slots. This card hosts the RAM 
(random-access read/write memory) 
Module, which is a dual-ported ex- 
pansion memory, and the additional 
processor module (called a 
Microcard), and provides the support 
circuitry necessary to interface the 
two to the PC's bus. This card is re- 
quired in order to use the processor 
Microcards. 

• Microcard: contains any one of the 
processors previously mentioned and 
the necessary support circuitry to 



196 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Video Monitors 

AMDEK 300 12" hires green. . , . 145" 

AMDEK300A 12"amber 169" 

AMDEK Color I Plus 13" color . .329" 

AMDEK Color II hi-res RGB 649" 

AMDEK Color Ulmed-res RGB . .379" 

BMC 12AU 12" hires green 99" 

COM REX 5600 12" hi-res amber . 179" 

COMREX 6500 13" color 299" 

NEC 1201M 12" hi-res green .... 159" 
NEC 1212M 12" composite color 319" 
NEC 1203H 12" RGB for IBM PC 679" 

NEC 1260 12" green 110" 

PRINCETON 12" RGB CALL 

TAXAN Vision 1 12" mid-res RGB .329" 
TAXAN Vision 3 12" hi-res RGB .499" 

TAXAN 12" hi-res amber 149" 

US1 12" Amber display 169" 

ZENITH 12" hi-res green 110" 




Kay pro 

The anytimeanywhere computer. In- 
cludes CP/M, CBASIC, a spreadsheet 
and wordprocessing software. 

PLEASE CALL FOR MORE DETAILS. 




OSBORNE I 

New! Includes double-density drives, 
and soltware; CP/M, WordStar. 
MailMerge, SuperCalc, CBASIC & 
MBASIC. 
PLEASE CALL FOR OUR PRICE. 




Sweet-P Graphic Plotter 

A simple to operate plotter which 
easily intefaces to the PC using a 
Centronics parallel port. Complete 
with software, set of pens, paper and 
operators manual. List Price $795.00 
Special Offer 559" 

Diskettes 

Buy 10° foronl 

3M Scotch ^ _ - J n c 
5% SS/DD $21 9 9 
diskettes ** 

3M Scotch 5 V* SS/DO Box of 10 . . 25" 
3M Scotch 5 V. DS/0D Box ot 1 . . 35" 
Verbatim 5% SS/DD Box of 10 . . .29" 
Head Cleaning Diskette 5 V, 27" 



||| MicroPro 

WordStar 329" 

Random House Thesaurus .... .129" 
MailMerge e . ^» n _ 

SBS? Only S 169 9 .f 

Call for special package deal pricing, 



Popular Software 

dBASE II (MS-DOS or CP/M 86} . . 449" 
LOTUS 1-2-3 Please call for details. 

PC Tutor by Comprehensive 69" 

Home Accountant Plus 119" 

T.I.M. Ill by Innovative , 339" 

Easy Writer II 239" 

Crosstalk by MicroStuf 149" 

ConcurrentCP/M Digital Research Call 
Peachtree GUAR/AP Series 4 Pak .399" 

SuperCalc by Sorcim 199" 

SuperWriter by Sorcim 269" 

Versaform 269" 

VolksWriter by LjfeUee 139" 




^ VlSlCORP' 

VisiCalc 
S-I7995 

. s 229 9 i 



Only 



VisiFile 

VisiTrend/Plot nnh/ 
VislSchedule unt * 
VislWord(req. 128K) 




MICROSOFT 

Microsoft Multi-Plan 179" 

Flight Simulator 39" 



m^k^il^m 




COMPUTER 



PROD UCTS 




COMMODORE 64 

CALL FOR 

NEW SPECIAL 

PRICE 

COMMODORE 1541 Disk Drive .329" 

Datasette program recorder 65" 

DATA 20 Z-80 & 80 column pac . . 229" 
CARDCO Centronics interface. . .79" 

Toll. Text Processor 35" 

Spritemasler 35" 

Microsystem RS-232 interface . . . 59" 

APPLE Emulator 99" 

We carry a complete line of ac- 
cessories and software lor the Com- 
modore. Please call. 




ATARI 1200XL 
Only $679 

ATARI 800 with 4BK 499" 

ATARI 810 Disk Drive 429" 

ATARI LIGHT PEN by Symtec . . 129" 

Alien Voice Box 129" 

File Manager Plus data base . . . .79" 

We carry much more for Atari ...Call 

JijRt Defender — Dig Dug 
«jR»DonkeyKong — Galaxian 
>j|^ Pac Man — Centipede 
Qix — Star Raiders 
Missile Command — Miner 2049 
YOUR CHOICE Only $39" ea. 




♦ corona 

IBM PC COMPATIBLE 
DESKTOP COMPUTER 

128K. dual 320K disk drives, 9" 
display, serial & parallel ports, and 
MS-DOS. 

Please call or write for more details. 

IBM PC COMPATIBLE 
PORTABLE - PORTABLE 

128K dual 320K disk drives, 9" 
display, serial & parallel ports, and 
MS-DOS. 

Please call or write for more details. 




Modems 

Hayes Smartmodem 300. ..... .219 11 

Hayes Smartmodem 1200 519 11 

Novation J-Cat 0-300 baud 125" 

Anchor Mark 1 300 baud 94 r 

Anchor Mark VIII 300/1200 baud . 339 ,! 

RIXON PC212A{IBM PC) 379" 

CACTUS Technology {IBM PC) . 299 ,; 



§* SATISFACTION GUARANTEED fE 

j-£ We will accept the return of most items within 15 days £fe 

g§ > of your receipt of the merchandise. At your request we r^p 

^-^ will repair, exchange, or issue a prompt refund. SJ^ 

Sr^ Understandably, software is not returnable. Please call ^£ 

^^ for more details. fe^ 

To order please send money order or cashier's check. Personal checks 3 weeks 10 clear. Prices reflect 2% cash discount 
We accepl VISA. MasterCard. American Express. Diners Club and Carte Blanche. Shipping, handling & insurance 
charges: add 3% ol merchandise total (min S5.00). California residents add 6% sales tax. Foreign customers please call or 
wnle. Prices and availability subject to change without notice Ait equipment ts new and warranted by the manufacturer. 




EPSON FX-80 

160 cps 10" carriage, 2K buffer 
Epson FX-80 Tractor 39.95 

Epson FX-100 pi efl . B 

GEMINI 10 
GEMINI 15 




OKIDATA ML92 

160 cps, 10" carriage, 80 columns 

on,» s 499 95 

Tractor for ML92 59" 

OKIDATA 93 869" 

OKIDATA 82A with tractor 459" 

OKIDATA 84 A par. wAractor 999" 




TRANSTAR 315 Color Printer 

Prints 7 colors plus more than 30 
shades, all In a single pass of the 
print head. And it's buill by Seiko. 



Only 



$54995 




Letter Quality Printers 

C. ITOH F-10 Starwriter 40 cps .1359" 
C. ITOH F-10 Starwriter 55 cps . 1649" 
Daisywriter 40 cps w/1CK bulfer1249" 
NEC 3510 33 cps RS-232 serial .1449" 
NEC 3530 33 cps parallel 1589" 




NEC 3550 Sprinwriter 
for IBM PC 

s 1995 00 



Only 



t's Here! 



Apple Me 

Please call for prices on Apple lie 
system packages and other ac- 
cessories. 

Call for Lowest Price. 




Apple Disk Drives 

Fourth Dimension 
c c\* drive w/controller 

S V- om y s 299 95 

Fourth Dimension 249" 

MicroSci A2 299" 

MicroSci A2 with controller .... 369" 

RanaElitel 289" 

Rana Elite I w/controller 389" 

Corona 5 megabyte hard disk . . 1895" 



FRANKLIN ACE 1000 & 1200 

Apple II compatible computer — 64K, 
upper/lower case, and more! 

PLEASE CALL FOR DETAILS 
System packages at special prices. 




Apple II Accessories 

ALF 9 voice music card 1 59" 

16K Ram Card 59" 

Grappler Plus 129" 

PKASO interface 135" 

Wizard 80 column card 189" 

GRAPPLER Butterboard 16K . . .139" 

LDHayes 

MicroModem II by Hayes 269" 

Videx 80 column card 239" 

Enhancer II 119" 

ULTRATERM 128x48 Video card 339" 

MICROSOFT 

MICROSOFT PREMIUM 
SYSTEM 

Includes: 2-80 SoftCard, 16K Ram- 
Card, Videx Videoterm. Softswitch. & 
CP/M User Guide by Adam Osborne. 
Lis, 755.00^ Qn|y 

*$> $459 95 

Z-80 SoftCard b y Microsoft 239" 

16K RamCardbyMicroSolt 69" 




IBM Personal Computer 

Includes 64K, 2 DD/DS 320K drives, 
keyboard, color video card, & MS- 
DOS. 
PLEASE CALL FOR SYSTEM PRICES. 



K::^KS 




Columbia MPC 
IBM PC compatible system 

Includes 128K, 2 DS/DD 320K drives 
keyboard, video card. MS-DOS & 
CP/M 86 software. Monitor not includ- 
ed. 
PLEASE CALL FOR SYSTEM PRICES. 




IBM PC 

ACCESSORIES 

Quadram Quadboard 



64K 



Only 



$28995 



128K 359" 192K 429" 256K 499" 

512K QuadBoard 

64K .299" 256K .489" 512K .749" 



MegaPlus 

64Kwithserial & clock 349" 

128K 429" 192K 499" 256K 549" 

64K with parallel & serial 419" 

128K 489" 192K 559" 256K 629" 

MegaPak option (256K) for 

512K total 329" 

ComboPlus 

64K with serial, parallel & clock . 349" 
128K .419" 192K .489" 256K .559" 

I/O Plus 

Serial, parallel, clock, and game 
adapter port 269" 

j^Apparatlnc. 

ComboCard with parallel printer port, 
Asyncronous communications / 
RS-232 port, and clock/calendar 169" 
RS-232 cable for combo card 29" 

Monte Carlo Card 

64K .449" 128K .529" 256K .649" 

IBM PC Disk Drives 

5 megabyte internal drive & p/s 1529" 
10 megabyte internal drive & p/s .1879** 
For external drive model add $300" 
Call for prices on Davong and Rana 
drives. 

Tandon TM 100-2 OS/DD 269" 

Trak DS/DD 500K 40 track drive . 269" 
Trak 4 drive floppy controller . . . 149" 
Trak 5 megabyte 5V/' hard disk .799" 

PC Mouse 249" 

Big Blue Z-80 Card 469" 

Nine4164 200ns Ram Chips 69" 




National Computers Spring 1983 collection of State-of- 
the-Art computer merchandise is available now. You'll 
find hundreds of products, including computers, 
printers, video monitors, modems, and accessories for 
the Apple II, IBM PC, and CP/M systems, all at the great 
prices you expect from us. It includes dozens of illustra- 
tions and some very informative comparison charts. For 
your copy send $1.00, which we will credit to your next 
order. _ , 

Circle 1 on inquiry card. 



T o rd L e F ™!800-854-6654| 



master charge 1 



NATIONAL COMPUTER PRODUCTS 

8338 Center Drive, la Mesa, CA 92041-3791 ™«**>* 

Information on products, and order Inquiries eal (619) 460-6502 Calif, Alaska, ft Hawaii Call (619) 698-8088 



H 



DEALERS, WE BUY EXCESS STOCK, PLEASE CALL OR WRITE^ 



VIC-20 



COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE 



(a real computer at the price of a toy) | 



89. 



00 



(when you buy 6 programs) 

You get the Commodore VIC-20 computer for only 
$89.00 when you buy 6 tape programs on sale for 
only $59.00. These 6 programs list for $100.00 to 
$132.00. You can choose one of three packs: 6 
games pack, 6 home finance pack, or 6 small 
business pack. The VIC-20 computer includes a full 
size 66 key typewriter professional keyboard, color 
command keys, upper/lower case, full screen editor, 
16K level II microsoft basic, color, sound and 
music, real time, floating point decimal, easy to 
read self teaching instruction book, connects to any 
TV, includes console case. 

33K COMMODORE VIC $159.00 
with 2ft tinwt more pow#r 

You get the VIC-20 computer plus we expand the 
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41 K COMMODORE VIC $1 99.00 
with 4 tlnwt more power 



49K COMMODORE VIC $249.00 
with 6 tlmot more power 



40-80 COLUMN BOARD $99. 

A fantastic price breakthrough for VIO20 owners on 
this most wanted accessory!! "Now you can get 40 
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8K RAM memory. 



TRACTION FRICTION PRINTER $279.00 

Comstar F/T deluxe line printer, prints 8%x11 full 
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40, 66, 80, 132 columns. Impact dot matrix, bi- direc- 
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60K MEMORY EXPANDER $69.00 

Sixslot — Switch selectable — Reset button — Rib- 
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VOICE SYNTHESIZER $79.00 

Makes your VIC-20 talk, VOTRAX based plus 
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SALE 



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Commodore 64 Computer 



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(personal & business) 


$4900 


Programmers Helper 


$5900 


Programming Reference guide 


$1895 


Basic Tutor 


$1995 


Typing Tutof 


$1995 



(more power than Apple 1 1 at half the price) 
WE HAVE THE LOWEST PRICES - CALL US! 

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\/l/^OA PERSONAL ^^^ 
■ V \K*£\J COMPUTER ■ 


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80 column BOARD 

1 60 characters per line on the screen at one time, in- 
] eludes word processing pack (list $89.00), complete I 
I data base pack (list $89 00). Electronic spreadsheet! 
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We have over 300 Programs for 
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You pay only $397.00 when you order the power- 
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best prices and best service. 

PROFESSIONAL WORDPROCESSING 
PACKAGE 

This wordprocessor is specially designed for the 
Commodore-64 utilizing the latest techniques. 
Allows powerful text editing capabilities without 
long hours of orientation or training. Complete cur 
sor and insert/delete key controls are used. Block 
movement and/or duplication, line insertion and/or 
deletion, automatic centering, margin settings, tab 
settings, copy, disk or tape handling, and all printer 
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output to the printer. List $89.00. Sale $69.00 

COMPLETE DATABASE PACKAGE 

A user friendly data base system that makes in- 
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change, delete, and search for data. Print the in- 
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combined with the word processor pack you have a 
powerful merge program that allows custom 
documents and personalized mailing lists. List 
$89.00. Sale $69.00 

COMPLETE ACCOUNTING PACKAGE 
(Home or Small Business) 

This general ledger program Is perfect for small 
business as well as home. It utilizes a double entry 
bookkeeping system. You only need enter one tran- 
saction and the computer will handle the other. All 
accounts are user defineable and will build for 1 
year, resulting in a file of all transactions by ac- 
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a current month's transactions can be viewed at any 
time (99 accounts 187 entries per month). With this 
accounting program you will be able to monitor 
your financial growth, as well as your expenses. List 
$59.00. Sale $49.00 

COMMODORE-64 PROGRAMMERS 
REFERENCE GUIDE 

This Is the In-depth guide that goes into the heart 
of the 64. All aspects of the basic and machine 
language are covered. (A must for anyone wishing 
to program the Commodore-64). Sale $16.95. 



• LOWEST PRICES • 15 DAY FREE TRIAL • 90 DAY FREE REPLACEMENT WARRANTY 
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ENTERPRIZES ( WE LOVE 0UR customers) 

BOX 550, BARRINGTON, ILLINOIS 60010 
Phone 312/382-5244 to order 



198 BYTE June 1983 



Circle 317 on Inquiry card. 



FLOATING-POINT 
COPROCESSOR 
(EXCEPT Z80, 68000) 
8086 -* 8087 
80286 -*• 80287 
16032 -* 16081 



<^> 



h 



PROCESSOR 
Z80B 
8086 
80286 
68000 
16032 



MEMORY- 
MANAGEMENT 
UNIT (MMU) 
(EXCEPT Z80) 
80286 -^ ON CHIP 
68000 -*• DISCRETE 
16032 -+ 16082 



c=> 



ADDRESS 







DATA BLOCK 



CD 



c 



CLOCK 

AND 

MEMORY REFRESH 



o 



CONTROL 



c 



o 



Figure 2: Architecture of the Microcard. 



communicate with the Versacard. Its 
function is to execute the operating 
system and the user's applications 
programs. The Microcard does not 
directly interact with the I/O devices 
installed in the PC but employs the 
PC for that purpose. 
• RAM Module: a simple circuit card 
containing 256K bytes of memory 
that may be installed on the Versa- 
card for a total of 512K bytes. 



A Microcard typically consists of 
the following: processor, data block, 
multiprocessor-control block, clock- 
and-memory refresh, MMU (mem- 
ory-management unit), and floating- 
point coprocessors (see figure 2). The 
memory refresh circuitry provides the 
refresh timing to the Versacard 
memory when it is under Microcard 
control. The clock circuitry syn- 
chronizes all activity on the Micro- 



card. The multiprocessor-control 
block comprises the communication 
registers necessary for dual-port con- 
trol; this enables both the Microcard's 
and the PC's processors to access the 
Versacard memory without conten- 
tion. The data block consists of a few 
simple buffers. 

In short, the Microcard is a module 
that contains the "personality" of the 
system; replacing this module alters 
the essence of the system. There are 
five versions of Microcard currently 
available: The Z80 Microcard is the 
simplest and has neither an MMU nor 
a floating-point unit. The 8086 
Microcard has an 8087 floating-point 
processor, within which is a simple 
memory-mapping scheme. The 68000 
Microcard has a sophisticated paged 
MMU to support advanced multiuser 
and multitasking operating systems. 
Both the 80286 Microcard and the 
16032 Microcard have advanced 
MMU and floating-point hardware 
support. 

When the processor residing on the 
Microcard seeks an I/O transaction, 
it must create a message block in the 
shared memory. The block contains 
the I/O command and the ap- 
propriate parameters to direct the 
transfer of information between the 
processors. When the Microcard 
issues an I/O command, the PC is 
alerted by way of an interrupt; the 
message block is read by the PC, and 
the appropriate I/O process is in- 



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MACRO-80C DISK BASED EDITOR/ ASSEMBLER 

This is a powerful macroassembler, screen oriented editor and machine language 
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compatible disk with extensive documentation. Price: $99.95 



MICROTEXT COMMUNICATIONS 

Make your computer an intelligent printing terminal with off-line storage 1 Use 
Microtext for timesharing interactions, printing what is received as it is received 
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PI80C PARALLEL PRINTER INTERFACE 

Use a parallel printer with your Color Computer! Serial-Parallel converter plugs into 
the serial port and allows use of Centronics-compatible printers You supply the 
printer cable. Price: $69.95 



THE MICRO WORKS COLOR FORTH 

Color Forth is easier to learn than assembly language, executes in less time than 
Basic and is faster to program in than Basic. Rompack comes with 112-page 
manual containing glossary of system-specific words, full standard FIG glossary 
and complete source. A fascinating language designed for the Color Computer! 
Price: $109.95 

SDS-80C SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM 

SDS-80C is a Rompack containing a complete editor, assembler and monitor. It 
allows the user to write, assemble and debug assembly language programs with 
no reloading, object patching or other hassles. Supports full 6809 instruction set. 
Price: $89.95 

80C DISASSEMBLER 

Runs on the Color Computer and generates your own source listing of the Basic 
interpreter ROM. Documentation includes useful ROM entry points, complete 
memory map. I/O hardware details and more. Cassette requires 16K system. 
Price: $49.95 



GAMES: Star Blaster • Pac Attack • Berserk • Cave Hunter • Starfire • Astro Blast • Starship Chameleon • 
Adventure: Black Sanctum • Adventure: Calixto Island • 



THE 



Also Available: Machine Language Monitor □ Books □ Memory Upgrade Kits 
Parts and Services Call or write for more information 



mmum 

^SU©^j^ P.O. BOX 1110 DEL MAR, CA92014 



California Residents add 6% Tax 

Master Charge/Visa and 

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619-942-2400 



Circle 257 on inquiry card. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 199 



Circle 391 on inquiry card 







VERBA INTERFACING! 



2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1 

SEKON Computer is now selling Interface cards for Apple lie 
and SEKON 64 at half price. Listing at only $278, you will 
receive a Z80 card and an 80-Column Card so you can start 
using thousands of CP/M or Turbo-DOS applications. At 
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itiated. Likewise, the PC creates a 
message block in the memory and 
alerts the Microcard via an interrupt 
in order to transfer information. 

All I/O transactions are performed 
in blocks in such a way that the I/O 
delay is considerably reduced; to the 
Microcard, all I/O devices appear as 
fast devices, and all transactions occur 
at memory transfer rates. This reduces 
interrupt overhead on the Microcard. 
This concurrent processing arrange- 
ment increases the overall system per- 
formance. 

Memory Management 

In a multiuser system, the pro- 
cessor appears to attend to several 
users simultaneously, though, in 
reality, the processor's attention is be- 
ing switched between the users 
several times a second. In order for 
this to be possible, each user's pro- 
gram must be in a form that can 
reside at any physical address and 
still run. This gives the operating sys- 
tem the freedom to determine where 
the program should be stored. The 
relocation facility in an MMU pro- 
vides address translation by mapping 
the logical addresses into physical ad- 
dresses, so that programs may be 
written as though they will be loaded 
starting at location 0, even though 
they may end up scattered through- 
out various portions of memory. The 
MMU is totally transparent to the 
user programs, and the processor ap- 
pears as an exclusive resource to each 
user. 

A memory management scheme is 
available for the 68000, 80286, and 
16032 Microcards. The MMU on the 
68000 uses a paging scheme and has 
the facility to handle 16 simultaneous 
processes or users. The MMU on the 
80286 Microcard is incorporated on 
the processor itself, and no special 
hardware scheme is needed. The pro- 
cessor provides a segmented virtual 
memory with four-level hierarchical 
memory protection. The 16032 
Microcard has a 16082 MMU, which 
is a VLSIC (very large scale integrated 
circuit) that uses a demand-paged 
virtual-memory scheme. These three 
Microcards support any multiuser 
and multitasking operating system, as 
they are functional replications of the 



200 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 162 on Inquiry card. 



r i^ 



:<i 





FT 

M 



orld apart 



mw\ 



UBUflL 






1 





TW 






VISUAL EMULATION CAPABILITY 



VISUAL 50/55 are low cost smart terminals. The VISUAL 50 emulates 
DEC VF52*, Lear Siegler ADM3A" Hazeltine Esprit" and ADDS Viewpoint* 
VISUAL 55 emulates the same plus Hazeltine 1500/1510 and VISUAL 200/210. 



VISUAL100 is 100% compatible With the DEC VTTO0® and also emulates 
theVTSZ 



VISUAL 300/330 are versatile terminakthat can be easily customized. 

The VISUAL a00 emulates the DEG VftOO and VT52. VISUAL 330 emulates 
the DEC VT52, ADM3A, Hazeltine 1500 and Data General D200. 



VISUAL 500/550 are low cost, high resolution graphic terminals with 
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VISUAL terminals feature extended ergonomics including tilt and swivel 
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VISUAL has earned for itself an exclusive place . . . a solitary 
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JTFlrM 



See for yourself 



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Telephone (617) 851-5000. Telex 951-539 



Circle 411 on inquiry card. 



MMU schemes available on minicom- 
puters and mainframes. 

I/O Architecture 

Typical business application pro- 
grams are limited more by I/O than 
by computation. In an office environ- 
ment, it is important that the system's 
I/O performance be worthy of the 
processor's power. A multiuser sys- 
tem with four users, all actively per- 
forming screen-oriented editing, 
probably generates an interrupt ap- 
proximately every 400 microseconds 
(fLs). Servicing these interrupts would 



put a tremendous burden on a single 
processor, and very little processor 
time would be left for data process- 
ing. Such a system would have 
limited commercial appeal. 

Minicomputers and mainframes 
have overcome this limitation by us- 
ing special block-buffered I/O pro- 
cessors. In our modular system, the 
IBM PC takes over the I/O load, con- 
currently processing I/O tasks, while 
the Microcard processor takes care of 
operating-system and user business. 

Mass-storage devices present a dif- 
ferent type of problem: compared to 




JDa Vinci in the 15th century was fascinated with 
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The V1200's onboard processor and unique ServoTrac 1 '' System 
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Kef ore V1200 you had. on one hand the exotic, expensive hard disks 
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The VlstaPak cartridges hold 6MB of formatted data each. The 
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the large hard-disk drives used with 
minicomputers and mainframe sys- 
tems, the 5Vi-inch Winchester drives 
likely to be found on IBM PCs are 
generally slow. In a multiuser system, 
disk accesses are frequent (especially 
in Unix, with its hierarchical disk 
directories); therefore, program 
swapping and file transfers degrade 
performance. The problem of slow 
hard-disk drives can be handled by a 
cache-memory scheme. The cache 
memory decreases apparent disk- 
access time by keeping frequently ac- 
cessed disk sectors in memory. 

The IBM PC, functioning as an I/O 
processor, can significantly reduce 
the I/O burden on the Microcard pro- 
cessor by handling I/O-device inter- 
rupts and providing buffering. Print- 
ing a large file, for example, can con- 
sume enormous amounts of processor 
time, so a print-spooling mechanism 
is provided. 

I/O Processor Software 

The I/O Processor Monitor is a 
multitasking, interrupt-driven pro- 
gram, resident in the PC, that serves 
all I/O requests (see figure 3). The 
processor communicates via a well- 
defined data structure that is indepen- 
dent of the processor and operating 
system being used. The Monitor soft- 
ware is easily configurable, and the 
user can readily alter system 
parameters or add new device- 
specific routines without having to 
rewrite a lot of software. 

The request types are character 
output, spooled-block output, 
unspooled-block output, character 
input, block input, and device status 
checks. All character-type I/O re- 
quests are for serial devices, and all 
block-type I/O requests are generally 
for mass-storage devices and network 
communications. Special-request 
types are assigned for setting proto- 
cols for serial devices, covering such 
things as data rate, number of bits per 
word, and number of stop bits. Other 
types include direct access to mass 
storage devices for device-formatting 
purposes and user-defined request 
types, which enable access to 
operating-system calls and user- 
installed hardware. 

An internal polling loop in the I/O 



202 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 410 on inquiry card. 



Computer OEMs: 
Now's the time to 
team with Altos. 










As an OEM, you're aware there's a lot of 16-bit computers 
on the market But what you may not be aware of are the 
many advantages to doing business with ALTOS® Computer 
Systems. Here's just a few: 

Altos currently offers the broadest range of cost- 
effective, single and multi-user 8086- and 68000- 
based computer systems. 

Altos supports the most popular commercial 
operating systems (XENIX'S/UNIX,™ MP/M-86, TU 
MS™-DOS. OASIS-16, PICK, RM/COS,™ and UNIX 
System III™) plus most high-level languages. 

Altos microcomputers can run more existing appli- 
cations software than any other computer in the 
world. 

Altos offers a large selection of utilities and 
compilers for converting existing Z80™ and mini- 
computer applications, such as those written in 
DEC'S® DIBOL.™ 

Altos provides full communications support; both 
local networking and remote communications. 

Altos provides the widest range of SW and 8" 
storage options, including floppy. Winchester disk 
and mag tape backup. 

Since 1977, Altos has delivered more than 35,000 
multi-user systems and peripherals to satisfied 
customers throughout the world. 



Altos backs its computers with responsive, world- 
wide service and support. (Customer Service 
Division of TRW. Inc. in the U.S.) 

If you're an OEM looking to remain on top, now's the time 
to team with Altos. Call, write or clip the coupon today. 



□ 
□ 
□ 



Please send me more information on Altos' single 
and multi-user 8086- and 68000-based computer 
systems. 

My application is 



Please have an Altos representative contact me. 
Name Title 



Company . 
Address _ 



City/State/Zip . 
Phone ( 



Mail to: Altos Computer Systems, Attn: Marketing Services, BT-6 
2641 Orchard Park Way. San Jose. CA 95134. Telex 470642 ALTO Ul 

800-538-7872 (In Calif., 800-662-6265) 

ULCO&l 

COMPUTER SYSTEMS 

Packed with more value for OEMs 



ALTOS is a registered trademark of Altos Computer Systems. 6086 Is a product of Intel Corporation. 68000 Is a product of Motorola. Inc. Z80ls a trademark and product of Zilog. Inc. XENIX and MS are trademarks of 
Microsoft Corporation. XENIX is a microcomputer Implementation of the UNIX operating system. UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories. RM/COS Is a trademark of Ryan -McFar land, Inc. MP/M-86 Is a trademark of 
Digital Research. Inc. OASIS-A6 Is a product of Phase One Systems. Inc. PICK Is a product of Pick a Associates and Pick Computer Works. DEC Is a registered trademark and DIBOL Is a trademark of Digital Equipment 
Corporation. UNIX System HI Is a trademark of Western Electric. 

01983 Altos Computer Systems 

Circle 17 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 203 



OPERATING SYSTEM 
(UNIX, RM/COS, ETC.) 



IOP INTERFACE 



MICROCARD 
IBM PC 



REQUEST 
HANDLER 
TABLE 



INTERRUPT 

HANDLER 




REQUEST 
HANDLERS 



CHARACTER 
BUFFERS 




REQUEST QUEUES 



DEVICE-SPECIFIC 
ROUTINES 



Figure 3: Flow diagram of the I/O Processor software. 



Processor Monitor is controlled by a 
programmable timer set to 60 Hz. 
Whenever there is a block I /O in prog- 
ress, this polling loop attends to 
character input or output. This 
concurrent processing scheme is used 
to improve I/O response. When an 
I/O task is finished, the Monitor will 
normally interrupt the Microcard 
processor; but if the Microcard is 
processing some critical section of a 
program, the I/O Processor keeps the 
message block number in a separate 
queue and interrupts the Microcard at 
a later time. The polling loop is used 
to keep track of this also. This feature 
not only prevents a "deadly embrace" 



condition (when two processors ac- 
cess the same resource at the same 
time) but also enhances overall sys- 
tem performance. 

Final Remarks 

The 8-bit microcomputer industry 
has had little success in creating a 
market for multiuser systems. Multi- 
user operating systems (such as 
MP/M from Digital Research and 
Oasis from Phase One) suffer when 
they are limited by 8-bit micropro- 
cessor architecture. The 64K-byte ad- 
dress limitation, lack of memory 
management, and limited processing 
capability are just some of the factors 



that have prevented the 8-bit 
microprocessors from making a dent 
in the multiuser market. 

The Unix operating system has 
emerged as a de facto standard for 
16-bit multiuser and multitasking 
systems. The elegant design and su- 
preme flexibility offered by Unix pro- 
vides individuals with a powerful 
single-user system and a lot of ad- 
vanced application software. Unix, 
with its multitasking, electronic mail, 
and networking capabilities, also 
seems ideal for office automation ap- 
plications. Other operating systems, 
like the 16-bit MP/M and RM/COS, 
offer efficient multitasking and 
multiuser facilities. But this ad- 
vanced operating system software 
demands a sophisticated architecture. 
Critical elements in these systems are 
memory management and carefully 
designed I/O processing. The IBM 
PC, and the hard-disk-based IBM XT, 
properly enhanced, can set the trend 
in high-performance, cost-effective 
personal computer systems. ■ 



About the Author 

Sudha Kavuru is president of Sritek Inc. 



Design Credits 

The following members of the Sritek 
engineering staff were primarily responsible for 
the product design and implementation: 
Madhav S. Kavuru, formerly of IBM, for prod- 
uct definition and system design; lead engineer 
Jim Bias and Jeff Centanni, for the hardware 
design; Neal Somos and Scott Fluhrer, for the 
design and implementation of the systems soft- 
ware; and Mike Kapolka, for the mechanical 
and print ed-circuit board design. 



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8"SS/DD $4095 $2495 

8 f 'DS/DD $4895 $2795* 

tOMbHard $7695 $3595 U 
'with Tandon Drives 

microNNEST 

Box 545, 1 700 Front Street 
Fqrt Benton, MT 59442 
CALL COLLECT TO ORDER: 
(406) 622-5651 9-5 MST.-M-F.. 
.VISA. MC. CK.Mb, CibtJ, Add 3%torVSSA W MC A&3S 



820-11 FEATURES: 4MHz. Z80A, CP/M BASED, 64K RAM, 12* HI RES SCREEN (24 x 80), DD DISK CONTROLLER, THIN LINE 
GRAPHICS, ENHANCED SCREEN FEATURES (HI INTENSITY, REVERSE VIDEO, FLASHING CHARACTERS), TONE 
GENERATOR, 2 RS-232PORTS, TWO PARALLEL PORTS, ALSO BOOTS AS INTELLIGENTTERMINAL. 
8088Co-Processor, 128kRAM $499 820 Double DensilyKit $249 5MBHardDtsk-exp.to20MB $1995 

256k Co-Processor $799 820-II Extended DD (670k,'stde) $99 32k Printer Buffer $250 

256k Co-Processor + CP/M-86 $999 Amber or Green CRT replacement $99 Hayes Smartmodem $229 

MSDOS Call Parallel Printer Cable $49 Anti-Static Floor Mat $ 25 



820/820 II OPTION PKG I SAVE 10% 

• Z80BCPU SPEEDUP -to 5MHz (or 820 $149 

• Z80C CPU SPEEDUP -to 6MHz lor 820 II S189 

• DISPIAYRISER- Elevates 5*. Steel Construction S 29 

• ACRYLIC GREEN SCREEN - Molded to fit CRT S 19 

• ANTI-GLARESCREEN - Nylon. stretchesoverCRT $ 29 

• SYSTEM DUST COVERS • (3) (8* slightly higher) S 29 
$229 for 820, $265 tor 820 II 



OPTION PACKAGE II Save 10% 

• INCLUDES ALL1HE OPT. PKG. I PLUS- 

• 1 Diskettes (DS & 8* slightly higher) 5 25 

• Surge Protected Multiple Outlet Strip $ 29 

• Enter Key for Numeric Keypad S 1 9 

• Cooling Fan -lilsin display/processor $ 35 

• Disk DiiveHead Cleaning Kil - 5* or 8" . $ 25 
$349 for 820, $385 tor 820-11 



Xerox 25 cps Daisy $1198 Wordstar 

. Xerox 40 cp» Daisy $2095 Mutttpton 

Oume Sprint it + S40 $1305 d BASED 



$299 OkIM92 $ 529 DEALER 

$219 M93 $ 919 INQUIRIES 

$459 KS4 $1049 WELCOME! 



204 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 256 on Inquiry card. 



OGKY MTN. MICRO, INC, 



HIGH TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS & SERVICE FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY 

•*** MILE-HIGH SAVER *••* 



IBM-PC HARDWARE 



QUADRAM CORPORATION 
QUADCHROME RGB Color Monitor 
THE High Resolution Monitor for your 
IBM-PC 1 00° o IBM Compatible Includes 
cable 690 by 480 Res 16 colors CALL 
QUADBOARD Mullrfunclion Board 
Full expandability from 64K to 256K 
Parallel Printer Port 

Asynchronous RS232 Serial Modem Port 
Programmable Clock Calendar 
RAM Disk Drive (software) 

64K slarts al S299 00 

MICflOFAZER Printer Spooler 
Print Buffering from 8K to 512K 
Any Printer/ Computer Combination 
Why watt on your printer'' 
Prices (w/ power supply) start at $139 00 
SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY 
ST206 Half-Height Hard'Disk Drive 
Proven Performance 1 1 .000 MTBF 
5. 10 & 15 Meg available 
Shipped wilh DTC Controller 

OUTSTANDING VALUE CALL 

CORONA DATASYSTEMSHardDiSks CALL 
DAVONG Hard Disk Drive. 5.10.15 meg CALL 
OUME'S SUPERIOR HALF-HEIGHT 320K 
DRIVE — OumeTrak 142 features Ceramic 
R/W Head. Advanced Steel Band Head 
Positioner & 4 Drive Daisy Cham 

capability CALL 

TANDON TM 100-2 320K Drive . . . S249.00 



TANDON SUM-LINE TM50-2 ..... CALL 

TEAC HALF-HEIGHT FD55 CALL 

STB SYSTEMS "SUPER RIO" CARD 

The TRUL Y ultimate IBM add-on 
Eight* Functions on one card 

• 64-256K (786K w opl ' PiggyBack card) 

• Clock/calendar • Game Port 

• Printer Bulfer • RAM disk 

Simply The Best CALL 

COLUMBIA DATA SYSTEMS 

Enhanced IBM Alternative 

IBM Hardware & Software compatabihty 
m a Multi-User 16 Bit computer 128K 
two serial ports, one parallel port and 8 expan- 
sion slots. Runs MS-DOS. CP/M 86 or, 
MP/M86. OASIS-16 MS-DOS "Super- 
Pak metudes Macro-Assembler, 
Diagnostics. Basica w>'colorgraphics 
PLUS Perfect Writer. Speller. Caic and 
File. Fasl Graph & Space Com- 
manders CALL 

KEY TRONIC, INC. 

Enhanced Word Processing Keyboard 
Model KB-5150 

Familiar key placement for touch- 
typists Key legends instead of 
obscure symbols S199 00 

QUADRAM CORP. Newly A valla We 
OUADCOLOR I IBM Color Card . . CALL 

OUADCOLOR II 640 by 200 CALL 

QUADCOLOR III 640 by 400 CALL 



IBM-PC SOFTWARE 



BUSINESS 

APPLIED SOFT. TECH., Versatorm $319.00 
ASHTON TATE, dBase II 

Requires PC-DOS & 128K $469 00 

CONTINENTAL, Home Accountant S 1 4 00 

DENVER SOFTWARE, EASy S549.00 

EAGLE SOFT., Money Decisions . S 145 00 

CONTINENTAL, Home Accounlanl $109 00 
HOWARD SOFT, 

Real Eslale Analyzer II S189.00 

INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE 

T.I.M. Ill Req Graphics Card .... S369.00 

LOTUS, 1 2 3, Req 128K & DSDisk S369 00 

MICROPRO, Wordstar (CP/M) CALL 

MICROSOFT, Mulliplan S1 99.00 

PEACHTREE, GL/AR/AP Peachpak S409 00 

SORCIM, SuperCalc S220 00 

SuperWnler S294 00 

VISICORP, Visicalc256K S199 00 

Visidex S19900 

Visitrend/Visiptot $232.00 



PERSONAL SOFTWARE/HARDWARE 

AVALON HILL, Midway Campaign . 51 6 00 

Compuler Slocks and Bonds S17 00 

BRODERBUND, Apple Panic S21 95 

CENTRAL POINT, Copy II PC S35.00 

EPYX, Temple of Apshai S29.00 

FUNTASTIC, Snack Allack II S29.00 

INFOCOM, Deadline S37.00 

Starcross , $29.00 

Zork I. II. Ill ■■ $29.00 

INNOVATIVE DESIGNS. Pool 1 5 . S25 00 

MICROSOFT, Flighl Simulator S39.00 

SIERRA ON-LINE, Ulysses $26 00 

Crossfire S23 00 

SIRIUS, Gorgon $29 00 

SPINNAKER, Snooper Troops 1 or 2 S35.00 

Slory Machine or Face Maker S26.00 

M & R ENTERPRISES, Super Mod . S55.00 

TAG, Joyslicks $45.00 

Trak Ball S47 00 

TECH, Adam & Eve Paddles S29 00 



QUME half-he,ght 320K DISK DRIVE 



QUMETRAK 142 DS/DD + 

OUIET 
$249.00 CERAMIC R/W HEAD « 

**•*••*•**••••**••**• 



-X- IBM COMPATIBLE 
? HIGH RELIABILITY 
M PUT TWO IN ONE SLOT! 



APPLE/FRANKLIN HARDWARE 

FRANKLIN ACE'S -THE APPLE II+/IIE ALTERNATIVES 



ACE 1000 (64K) 

Upper & Lower Case 

Automatic Key Repeal N0 W WITH COLOR! 

Numeric Keypad 

Larger power supply with fan 

Cali for Special package price 

MICRO-SCI A2 Disk Drive S 249 00 

RANA SYSTEMS — ELITE SERIES 

300% Fasler lhan Disk II 

Elilel (up to 163K) S 28900 

Ehle II & III . ■ CALL 

Use w Fourth Dim Cont Card . S 55 00 

VISTA COMPUTER CO. INC. 

PRESENTS THE V1 200: 

Removable mass storage for your Apple' 
6 meg (tormatled) per 5 disc cartridge. 
Comes complete w drive, cable, control- 
ler, softvyare and one 6 meg Vistapak 
cartridge All for only $1195 00 

RAM EXPANSION 

Davong (16K) S 49 00 

Microsoft (16K) S 7500 

Microtek (BAM 16K) $ 7300 

80 COLUMN CARDS 

ALS, Smarlerm II CALL 

Vldex, Ultralerm NEW CALL 

Videolerm ComboPkg , . . S 265 00 
VtoU, Vtson 80 S 23900 

PRINTER INTERFACES/BUFFERS 

Microtek, RV61 1 C par S 6300 

Apple Dumpling 16K S 160 00 

Orange Micro, Grapples S 11 9 00 

CALL FOR LOW APPLE 



ACE 1200 (128K) 

Move over HE: 

Has everything the 1000 has plus: 

Z80 Card for CP/M & 80 columns 

Buifl-m drive, built-in color 

Serial and parallel interface CALL 

PRINTER INTERFACES/BUFFERS (CONT) 

P.P. Microbuffer II S209 00 

QUADRAM Microfazer See IBM 

VIDEX PSIO Dual Function Card 

Modem and Printer Ports Si 6900 

MISCELLANEOUS 
ALF PRODUCTS, INC. 8088 Processor 

Powe ful " IBM " chip on a card , . CALL 

Kensington, System Saver S 72 00 

Kraft, Joystick S 46 00 

Paddles S 32 00 

M & R Enterprises 

Super Mod Universal ......... S 5500 

Supr Fan S 38 00, 

Microsoft 

ZSOwilhCP/M S245.00 

Softcard Premium Pack S49500 

Soflcard Plus (Franklmi S44500 

T & G Products 

Joyslick S 42.00 

Game Paddles , S 2800 

Select-a-port :" S 4200 

Trak- Ball S 47 00 

Vldex, Enhancer II $119 00 

Funclion Slnp S 6200 

Enhancer. Rev. 6 S 99 00 

SOFTWARE PRICES! 



HIGH TECH OF THE MONTH 

RB ROBOT CORP. PRESENTS: 

RB5X — THE PROGRAMMABLE ROBOT 

Touch the Future: RB5X will respond toyour commands and can learn from its mistakes. (And 
Ihen let you sludy how it learned whal it did 1 Features 8K of memocy {Expandable), INS8073 
microprocessor, four expansion slots, sonar and tactile sensors RB5X was designed as a 
modular, expandable robot to which you can add future options developed either by RB Robot 

Corp. or by you! $1 495.00 

CALL OR WRITE FOR BROCHURE AND SPECS. 



PRINTERS 

DOT MATRIX 
C-ITOH 

Prownler I — par CALL 

Prowriter II — par CALL 

EPSON 

FX-80 CALL 

IDS, Prism & Microprism CALL 

OKIDATA 

82A S 419 00 

83A $ 689.00 

84 par S1 055.00 

92 par S 540.00 

93 par CALL 

STAR MICRONICS 

Gemini 10 CALL 

QANTEX 

7030 (Dot Leller Oualily) S1 695 0C 

LETTER QUALITY 

BROTHER HR-I $ 884.00 

BYTEWRITER (W/KEYBOARD'J S 599.00 

C-ITOH 

Starwriter F -1 0-40 par $1 354.00 

7710. 7730 S2291 .00 

3550 IBM plug-in $1 899.00 

COLOR INK JET 
CANON A1210 7 color 30 shades $ 635.00 



AMDEK, 



MONITORS 



300 Amber ., $159.00 

300 Green S155.00 

3 1 0.A. G-IBM including cable S 1 7900 

Color I composile CALL 

Color II RGB (IBM compatible) $744.00 

BMC, Green Med Res S 88.00 

NEC, 1 201 Hi-Res .. Green ,.......« 5:169.00 

1 201 Color (composile) $32900 

1203 RGB (IBM compatible) ..... S659.00 

QUADRAM RGB QUADCHROME (IBM) $59900 

TAXAN, Amber S129.00 

Green Si 1 9.00 

USI, Amber Hi-Res S155.00 

ZENITH, Green Med Res , Si 1 8.00 

DISKETTES & STORAGE 

ELEPHANT, 10 each 5^ SS/DD $ 1995 

1 each 5', DS/DD $ 34.95 

MAXELL, 10 each 5'* SS/DD CALL 

10 each 5*4 DS/DD CALL 

1 each 5' ., SS/DD $ 25.95 

10 each 5', DS/DD $ 36.95 

1 2 each 5^ SS/DD S 1 9 95 

LIBRARY CASE, 5'. S 2.50 

DISK BANK, 5S interlock & swivel S 5.50 

DISK FILE, S* Elephant Trunk' S 21 .95 

ATLANTIC COMPUTER FURNITURE: Entire line at Huge 
Savings. CALL for price & specs. 



VERBATIM, 
ZIMAG, 



COMMODORE 64 

"ADVANCED COMPUTING" AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE" 

Features 64K. Super graphics & music. Direct conne.ct to your 
color TV. Add optional 280 for CP/M business software . CALL 
Disk Drives & all other peripherals CALL 

NEC APC 

Advanced Personal Computer. Standard 128K RAM-expands to 
256K 1 Megabyte storage per disk. Available with two on-board 
drives Excellenl delached keyboard wilh keypad. 22 
programmable function keys Superior Resolution: 640 x 475 
Call for system quote. 

MODEMS 

ANCHOR AUTOMATION 

Signalman Mark 1 . . . S 83.00 

HAYES 

Smanmodem 300 S21 1 .00 

Smanmodem 1 200 CALL 

Micromodem II S275 00 

NOVATION 

CAT (Acoustic) .. $153 00 

D-CAT :.„.... $168.00 

J-CAT S123.00 

Auto Cal $219 00 

Apple Cat ll S273.00 

212 Module (1200 baud opt for Apple Cal It) S354.00 

212 Apple Cal ll (1200 baud) S626.00 

UDS, 21 2LP 1200 baud $429.00 



Rocky Mountain Micro, Inc. 

MAIL ORDERS: 10890 E. 47th Ave. 



NATIONAL 

ORDER 

DESK: 



1-800-862-7819 



.Denver, Colorado 80239 | N COLORADO CALL: 303-371-2430 



TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 

• All prices reflect a 2Vi% cash discount. 

• Personal checks (allow 10 days to clear). VISA, MasterCard, wire transfers, include telephone number. 

• COD orders accepted — $300 maximum — $10 surcharge • All products factory sealed with manufacturer's warranty. 

• PO's accepted Irom qualified customers • Approval needed on'all returns. • 10% restocking charge unless defective, 

• olus shipping • All Colorado residents add 3"?% sales tax. City and County of Oenver residents additional 3% sales tax. 

• Shipping Costs: $2.50 minimum; 2% UPS Ground; UPS Blue Label — rate quoted at time of order. 

• Alf prices subject to change without notice • Lease/financing available. 

• Export orders accepted from foreign dealers. Contact F, L. Kleinberg & Co.: TWX 910-940-2517, 

• Telephone Order Desk Hours: 8 AM to 6 PM. Monday through Friday; 10 AM to 4 PM. Saturday. Mountain Standard Time. CIRCLE 332 ON INQUIRY CARD FOR COMPLETE 'LINE CARD' 



YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR 

BEST ADVERTISING! 
WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL 



Circle 332 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 205 



"DEALERS^ 

WE BUY 

EXCESS 

.INVENTORIES^ 






Computer Exchange — The Supply Center for the IBM-PC or XT 



SOFTWARE 



BUSINESS 



for the 
IBM-PC or XT 







LIST 


OUR 






PRICE 


PRICE 


ASHTOK-TATE.dBasell.requiresCP M-86& 128K 




S 700 


$439 


(Base II. requires PC-DOS & 128K 




S.700 


$439 


TheFinanrialPtanner 


NEW! 


S700 


$439 


-■■■:■. dBase SI User's Guide by Software Banc 




S 30 


S 20 


APPLIEDSOFTWARETECHNOLOGY, Versaform 


NEW! 


S389 


$265 


CONTINENTAL, The Home Accountant Plus 




S 150 


$112 


FCM Ring. Cataloging. Mailing) 




S 125 


5 85 


Properly Management 


NEW! 


S495 


$329 


DATAMOST, Reai E slatelnvestmentProgram 


NEW! 


S 130 


$ B9 


Wnte-On 




S 130 


$89 


EAGLESOFTWARE.Money Decisions 


NEW! 


S 150 


$129 


HOWARDSOFT RealEstateAna yzer II 




S250 


$189 


INFORMATION UNLIMITED, Easywriter II {a WPS) 




S350 


$259 


Easy speller(88K Words) 




S 175 


$129 


EasylilerlaDBMS) 




S 400 


$299 


INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE, T 1 M lllfa DBMS) 




S495 


$369 


• INSOFT. Dala Design(apo werlul easyto use DBMS) 


NEW! 


S225 


$169 


ISM.MatheMagic 




S 90 


$69 


LOTUS. 1-2-3 




S495 


$329 


MlCROCRAFT.RequiresCP M-66 








Legal Billing & Time Keeping— Verdict 




S995 


$469 


Professional Billing & Time Keeping— Bilikeeper 




S995 


$4W 


• MICROLAB. The Tax Manager 




S 250 


$189 


MICROPRO, WordStar ' plus free WordStar Trairwig Manual 


S 495 


$269 


MadMerge* 




S 250 


$129 


SpellStaT 




$250 


$129 


3Pak Word & Mail& Spell, above 3 




S845 


$449 


2Pak. WordStar- tSpellStar* * 




S845 


$349 


InfoStar 


NEW! 


S495 


$269 


Report Star" 


NEW! 


S 350 


$199 


MICROSOFT. Mutttplan, in MSDOS 




S 275 


$199 


NORTNAMERIC ANBUS SYSTEM, The Answer 




$ 250 


$169 


PBL CORPORATION. Personal Investor 


NEW! 


S 145 


$ 99 


PEACHTREESOFTWARE.PeachPak4(GL.AR&AP) 




S 595 


$395 


PERFECTSOFTWARE.PerleclWriler * 




S389 


$219 


Perlecl Speller "• 




$ 189 


$129 


SElECTWFO.Setect(aWPS) 




S595 


$339 


SOFTWARE PUBLISHING. PFS: File 


NEW! 


S 140 


$95 


PFS:Repor1 


NEW! 


S 125 


$85 


SORC»lSA,SuperCalc 




S295 


$199 


SuperWritet 




S395 


$269 


Spellguard 




S 195 


$129 


STC. The Creator 


NEW! 


S 300 


$195 


SYHAPSE. File Manager 
SYNERGISTIC, Data Reporter 


NEW! 


S 150 


$99 


NEW! 


S250 


$169 


• VlSlCORP,Vis!Calc'256K 




S 250 


$179 


VisiDex orVisiSchedule, each 




S 250 


$199 


.;...:,■, VisiTrend Plot : 




S 300 


$219 


. VisiFile or Desktop Plan 1, each 




S 300 


$239 


UTILITY 



1983 CE SOFTWARE AWARD: 

'Copy I f PC by Central Point Software is the best CE software buy of 1983. It will copy 
more copy protected software and faster than any other backup system. Unlike other 
copers it makes an exact duplicate of your original and tt does 1 00% verification of copy. 
Documentation is excellent." 
• CENTRAL POINT. Copy II PC Backupand Utility NEW. $ 40 $35 

ComX Fastrak '* . RAM Disk emulator and printer spooler program.-. ■■ ■ ■ 
Works onany PC DOS version or RAM Card. 
Menu Driven. NEW! $ 100 



DIGITAL RESEARCH, Concurrent CPM-86 5 350 

CBASIC86 S 200 

CPM86 $ 60 

HAYES. HayesTerminaiProgram $ 100 

Smarlcomll 

MJCROCOM.Microterminal S 100 

MICROSTUF. Crosstab S 195 

NOflELLDATA.SystemBadcup S 50 

NORTON, Norton Utiles. 1 4 powerful programs, 3disks S 80 



HOME & EDUCAT ONAL 



EPYX'Autonuted Simulations. Temple of Apshai S 40 

OiiBarons NEW! $ 100 

BRODERBUND.ApptePanic S 30 

CONTINENTAL, The Home Accountant Plus $ 150 

• DATAMOST, PigPenorSpaceStr ike, each $ 30 
DAVTOSON. The Speed Reader $ 75 
INFOCOM, Deadline $ 50 

ZorklorZofkllorZorklll.each $ 40 

• INSOFT, WordTrix NEW! $ 35 

QuoTrix NEW! S 35 

MfCROSOn.FfigMSmu!atOT(by Sub-Logic) NEW! S 50 

8lERRAON-UNE,Go!f Challenge NEW! $ 25 

Utysses&TheGolden Fleece S 35 

PBLCORP., Personallnvestor S 145 

SENTiENT, Cyborg NEW! $ 35 

SBWS.ConquestorCailoArms.eacIt $ 30 

SIR-TECH.W^afdry.Sceneoo#1 $ 60 

SPINNAKER, Snooper Troops. #1or#2,each $ 45 

Story Machine or FaceMaker.each S 35 

STRATEGIC, The Warp Factor S 40 



$29 
$75 
$22 
$112 
$ 22 
$55 
$39 
$ 29 
$29 
$29 
$35 
$ 18 
$25 
$99 
$25 
$23 
$40 
$35 
$25 
S 30 



Portland, Owjon Cash & Carry Outlet, 11507-0 S.W. Pacific Highway, Tairac* Shop- 

ptng Center, Portland, Oregon. Over-the-counter aaiesonry. On 99W between Route 
21 7 and Interstate $. Open Monday through Saturday 10-5. Call 245-1020. 



• MeansaBESTbuy 



AD #970 



IBM is a trademark of ISM Corporation. 

IBM-PC 

System Includes 
Two 320K Disk Drives 

90 Day Warranty By Us 

Call For Details And 
Configurations 




HARDWARE £&„» 

LIST OUR 
MEMORY CHIP KITS, 64KarJdonloyourmerr^_ca/ds9chips 



2 PONS, le stedandtxjf ned-in.90-day warranty. $ 150 

Combo Plus.64Kw.asyncpara&ctock cat $ 395 

Above Combo Plus. 128K. SP C $ 495 

AboveComboPius,192K,SP/C S 595 

AboveComboPlus.256K,S/P/C $ 695 



^ * v and printer spooler software. 2 Year Warranty 
CURTIS, PC Pedestal " for Display on PC 

9 Foot Cable tor IBM Keyboard (extends 3' to 9') 
Ft iH/"*D^C^\ET 64K RAM Card w/Pariry 
MIOKWaV/H l28KRAMCardw/Panty 
256K RAM Card w/Parity 

■*■ " ' Monte Carfo64KFiveFunction (to 1000K) 

VJtki.JU Big Blue. Z80 CPU plus five functions 

(jU^UnnrJ corporation 

Quadboard64K, expandable to 256K, 4 function board 
Quadboard 128K, expandable to 256K, 4 function board 
Guadboard 192K, expandable to 256K, 4 (unction board 
k Qgadboard256K,fourfunctionboard 
Quad 51 2 -^ ^64K plus serial port 
Quad 512*, 256K plus serial port 
Ouad 51 2 + . 51 2K plus serial port 
Microfazer, w.'Copy, Pan'Par, 8K, #MP8wPowerSupply 
Microfazer, w/Copy, Par.-Par.64K, #MP64 w'Power Supply 
Microfazer, w;Copy, ParvPar, 128K, #MP1 28 w/Power Supply 
Microfazer, Snap-on, 8K, Par/Par, Epson, #ME8, w/Power Supply 
Microfazer, Snap-on, 64K, Par/Par, Epson, #ME64, w/Pwr. Supply 
AH Microfazers are expandable (w. copy to 51 2K} (Snap-on to 64K) 

Tecmar inc. ALUr0NEBMd m 



$675 
$ 60 
S 50 
$350 
$525 
$875 



$ 49 
S 295 
$375 
$ 455 
$525 



$259 
$ 65 
$ 35 
$250 
$380 
$625 



S 625 $ 395 
S 595 $ 449 



TG PRODUCTS Joystick 



ALLin ONE Board. 128K 
ALL in ONE Board, 256K 



$395 
$465 
$525 
$595 
$325 
$550 
S895 
'$ 159 
$229 
$445 
$159 



$389 
$469 



$295 
$345 
$385 
$425 
$275 
$440 
$675 
$119 
$235 
$345 
$145 
$235 

$299 
$349 
$439 
$ 49 



DRIVES 



AMDEK. 3" Dual Floppy Drive, 500K, PC Compatible 

Control Data or lane 

DISK DRIVES, Double Sided 360K'320K, Same as now supplied 



with IBM-PC & XT. Tested, bumed-in. With 
installation instructions. 90 day warranty by us. 



1 each $ 529 
2ormore $ 529 



DAVONG 



INTERNAL Hard Disk, 5-6MB Si 995 

(ailw/oPowerSupply 10-12MB $2395 

andw/controller 15-19MB $2795 

Card.elc. 21-27MB $3295 

32-40MB $3995 

DSlPowerSupply(forolderPC) S 200 

Tape Backup Unit 

Other Davong HD Products i n Slock 

MAYNARD. Floppy DnveControiBoard.Jorup to 4 drives. $ 195 

same wilh Serial Port $ 325 

samewithParallelPort $ 275 



$ 239 
$229 

$1395 
$1595 
$1995 
$2599 
$3199 
$ 159 
Call 
Call 
$ 165 
$235 
$205 



PRINTERS AND ACCESSORIES 


EPSON MXorFX PRINTERS 


CALL CALL 


NEC, Dot Matrix, 8023 Printer FT 


S 695 S 495 


•STAR MICRONICS,9x9DotMa!rix,100cps,2.3K,Gemini 10" 


S 499 $ 349 


9x9DotMatnx. 1 0Ocps. 2.3K. Gemini 15" 


S 649 $ 469 


ANADEX.DP8000 Dot Matrix. 120cps. Serial & Cent. Para. 1 F 


Special S 995 $ 495 


IBM-PC loEpson or Star Micronics Cable 


$ 60 $ 35 


Apple Interface and Cable for Epson or Gemini 


S 95 $ 59 


Grappler + byOrangeMicro.specifyprinler 


S 165 S 119 


Apple Graphics Dump Program 


S 15 $ 9 


MICROTEK.AppleDumplingGX.Graphicslnlerlace&Cable 


S 249 $ 169 


AppleDumplmg 64. Buffered64KSpooler&Cable 
LETTER QUALITY -DAISYWHEELPRINTERS 


S 349 S 239 




COMREXComriler CR-1 . 1 / F , 200 wpm 


S1199 S845 


Comriter Tractor FeedlorCR- 1 


S 118 S 99 


SMITH-CORONA, TPI Printer specify senator parallel 1 F 


$899 $579 


TPITractorFeed 


S 149 $ 129 


SUPPLIES: Tractor Feed Paper. Ribbons, Heads. Oume Daisy Wheels and Ribbons. 



8"CP/M-80 



BUSINESS & SYSTEM SOFTWARE - PARTIAL LIST, CALL 

LIST OUR 



ASHTON-TATE, dBase II 

dBase II User'sGuideby Software Banc 
INFOCOM.Zork lorZorkllorZorklllor Starcross.each 
MICROCRAFT. Legal Billing& Time Keeping- Verdict 

Prof-Biffing &Time Keeping -Bilikeeper 
MICROPRO, WordStar*plus freeWordStarTraining Manual 

MailMerge - " 

SpellStar'" 

3 Pak, Word & Mail & Spell, 3 above 

2Pak, WordStar'" + MailMerge'" + WSTrainingManual 



PRICE PRICE 
$ 700 $ 439 



InfoStar 
ReporlStar 

MICROSOFT 



Muftiplan 

Fortran 80 

BASlCCompiler 

COBOL-80 

BASIC-BO 

muLisp'muStar-8G 

M-Sort-80 

Edit-80 

Macro-80 

PEACHTREE. Magic Wand 

Series 4GL,ARorAP, each 

Series8GL,AR,APorlnvorPay,each 



NEW! S 495 
NEW! $ 350 
S 275 



$ 20 
$ 39 
$ 469 
$469 
$269 
$ 129 
$ 129 
$445 
$345 
$269 
$199 
$199 
$500 $325 
$ 395 $ 295 



S 30 
$ 50 
$995 
S995 
$495 
$250 
$250 
$845 
$645 



$750 
S350 
$200 
$ 195 
$ 120 
$200 
$500 



$545 
$275 
$ 145 
$ 145 
$ 80 
$ 145 
$ 195 



$ 600 $ 395 
$ 750 $ 495 



MONITORS 



PRINCETON. RGB Hi Res 

NEC, 12 Gre-n Mode JB1201M 

1 2" Color, Composite, ModelJCl212M 

TAXAN, RGB Vision I 380 Lines 

SANYO, 9" Green, Model DM51 09 

12" Green, Model DM8112CX 
13"Color, Composite.Model DM6013 

ZENITH, 12"Green,ModelZVM121 

AMDEK, 12"Green,#300 
12"Amber,#300A 
13" Color I. Composite 

13"Color II. RGB. Hi Res (Ap. II. Itl & IBM-PC) 
13" Color III, RGB, Commercial. (Ap. II, III) 
DVM, Color II or III to Apple II Interface 



S 795 $ 639 

S 249 $ 159 

S450 $349 

S 399 S 339 

S 200 $ 139 

S 260 $ 199 

$470 $349 

$ 150 $ 99 

$ 200 $ 159 

S 210 $ 159 

$ 449 $ 359 

S899 $799 

$ 569 S 469 

S 199 $ 175 



MODEMS 



AXLON. Datalink 1 000 Hand Hefd Communications Tenninal 
HAYES, Micromodem II (forthe Apple II) 

IBM or Apple Terminal Program! or Micromodem II 

Stock Chronograph (RS-232) 

StockSmartmodem( RS-232) 

Smarlmodem 1200 (RS-232) 

Micromodem 100(S-100bus) 
IBM-PCloModemCable 
MICROCOM, Micro Courier for Apple II 

Micro Telegram for Apple II 
NOVATtON.ApptecatllModem 

212 Apple Cat 
SIGNALMAN, Modem MKI (RS-232) 
SSM.Transcend 1 for Apple II Data Comm. 
ModemCard forthe Apple II 



$ 399 
$379 
$ 100 
$249 



$299 
$275 
$ 65 

$ 



S 289 $ 225 

S699 $535 

$ 399 $ 275 

$ 39 $ 29 

$ 250 $ 125 

$ 250 $ 125 

S 389 $ 269 

S 725 $ 599 

S 99 $ 79 

$ 89 $ 69 

S 299 $ 259 



^CORVOS SYSTEMS 

* 6 Meg Hard Disk, w/o Interlace $2395 $1895 

. . 11 Meg Hard Disk, w/o Interface $3195 $2695 

* 20Meg Hard Disk, w/o Interface S4195 $3495 

IBM-PC Interlace (IBM DOS), Manual & Cable $ 300 S 239 

Mirror built in for easy backup $ 790 $ 595 

Apple Interlace, Manual & Cable $300 $239 

Omni Disk Server for Apple II (Special) $ 990 $495 
Other Interfaces, Omni-Net, Constellation, Mirror. All in Stock 



Ea 



HP 75C PortableComputer, 48K, load to 168K $ 995 $ 795 

H/P7470AGraphics Plotter S1550 $1195 

H/P4tCCalculalor S 195 $ 149 

H/P41CVCalculalorwilh2.2KMemory S 275 $ 219 
Full line of H/P75C and HP41 accessories and software, Call. 



DISKETTES 



CONTROL DATA CORPORATION Certified Top of the Line Diskettes. 

CDC,100each,5-1/4 1 withnng l SS,DD,48T(Apple,BM.etc.) $ 550 

10 each, 5-1/4, with ring, SS.DD.48T (Apple, IBM, etc.). $ 55 

1 each, 5-1/4,withring. DS, DO, 48T (IBM, H'P.etc.) S 75 

DYSAN, 10 each, 5-1/4, SS.DD.48T (Apple, IBM, H/P, etc.) S 69 

10each,5-1/4,DS,DD.48T(IBM,H'P,etc.) S 89 

MAXELL, 10each.5-1/4,MD-1.SS,SDorSS.DD S 55 

GENERIK™ DISKETTES 

With jackets, no labels, produced by a top of Ihe line manufacturer. 90 daywarranty by us. 

100eachSS,SD $ 415 $ 130 

1000eachSS,SD $3200 $1000 

100eachSS,DD $ 626 $ 160 

lOOOeachSS.DD $4550 $1200 



$199 
$ 25 
$ 39 
$ 

$ 49 
$ 35 



Anncnmi^ lur-nnu ATinu Aim Teniae. All Mall: P.O. Box 23068, Portland, OR97223, Include telephone number. 
ORDERING INFUHMAIIUN AND TERMS: All items usually in stock. We immediately honor Cashiers Checks, Money Orders, Fortune 1000 Checks and 
Government Checks. Personal or Company Checks allow 20 dayslo clear. No. C.O.D. Add 3% for VISAorMC. Add 3% for shipping, insurance and handling (SI&H) wilh $5 minimum. 
UPS ground is standard so add 3%moref or UPS Blue with S10 minimum. Add 12% total for SI&H for US Postal, APOor FPOwith St 5 minimum. For Hawaii, Alaska and Canada, UPS is in 
some areas only, all others are Postal so call, write, or specify Postal. Foreign orders except Canada f or S.I&H add 18% or $25 minimum except for monitors add 30% or$50 mi nimum. 
Prices subject to change and typo errors, so call to verify. All goods are new, include warranty and are guaranteed to work. Due to our low prices. ALL SALES ARE FINAL Call before re- 
luming goods for repair or replacement. Orders received with insuf f icienl S.I&H charges will be refunded. ORDER DESK HOURS 8 to 6 PST, Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 Satur- 
day. 1 P.M. here is 4 P.M. in New York. 

OUR REFERENCES: Wehave been a computerdealer since 1978 and in mail order since 1980. Banks: 1st Interstate Bank, (503) 643-4678. We belong to theChamberol 
Commerce (503) 644-0123, or call Dunn and Bradstreet if you are a subscriber. Computer Exchange is a division of OTech Group, Inc. 
Fastrak" andGenerik" are trademarks of ComX Coiporation. 



206 BYTE June 1983 




;. \ ;>* 






LOW PRICES TO PROFESSIONALS WHO KNOW WHAT THEY WANT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT. 

apple iiviie supply center 



DEALERS^ 

WE BUY 

EXCESS 

.INVENTORIES^ 




HARDWARE 



APPLEHe64K,40COLUMN $1,175 

APPLEIIe128K,B0COLUMN $1,395 

APPLEIIe, STARTER SYSTEM BY APPLE (System A) 

64K and 80 column 

1 Disk I! with controller 

Apple Monitor III 

Monitor Stand $1,750 

APPLE lie STARTER SYSTEM BY COMPUTER EXCHANGE 
(SYSTEM B] Includes 64K/80 Col. Card by Apple or ComX. 

128K and 80 column 

1 Micro-Sci Drive with controller 

Filer, Utility and DOS 3.3 Diskette 

Sanyo 9* Green Monitor 

RF Modulator (forcolorTV) 

Game Paddles 

Game with color graphics and sound $1,875 
WARRANTY is 100% Parts & Labor for 90 days by us on all above. 
To substitute or delete drive on System B, subtract $245 and 

add drive price. 
Toadd Micro-Sci A2 Drive to above, add $245. 
To substitute or delete monitor on System B, subtract $130 and add 
othermonitor price (System M), 



for Apple II 



RAM EXPANSION 



DISK DRIVES for 
APPLE 11+ /lie 



A2.5-1/4". 143KDisk Drive 
ControHerCardforA2 Drive 
A40, 5-1/4". 160K KskDrive 
A70.5-1.'4"*,286KDisk Drive 
Controller for A40 o r A70 
Filer. Disk Ulility Software 



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PRICE PRICE 
S 479 S 259 



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S 20 



S 79 
$ 339 

$399 
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mOTii Sofe.S'l^KDtskDrive 



SIlHeighl 
Duel. 5". Double Sided.320K 

HalfHeighl 
Quartet. 5", 2 Duels Side by Side 

or Standard Cabinet 
Controller Card 
V1 000 Dual 8", Std. Format 

wiConlroller, Complete 



$ 300 $ 249 
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S 715 
$ 89 



$2195 



V1200,5",6MBD«skPackSyslem $1549 

TCyi/" 1 1«KDiskDrive,t/2High $379 

I CMLf Controller Card. $ 89 



&P. SOFTWARE. Filer, Utility and DOS 3.3 $ 20 $ 15 



$ 575 
$ 75 



$1495 
$1199 



$ 279 
$ 69 





LIST 


OUR 




PRICE 


PRICE 


ComX, for lie. 80 col. 64K Adder 


$ 295 


$145 


• Apple, RAM Card, 2 Yr.Wly. 


16K S 179 


S 39 


* Microsoft, RAMCard 


16K $ 100 


S 79 


■k Saturn Systems, RAM Card 


32K $ 249 


$169 


RAM Card 


64K S 425 


S319 


RAM Card 


128K $ 599 


$459 


• Axlon RAM Disk System 


320K $1395 


$995 


VIDEO CARDS 


•ALS.Smarlermll 


$ 179 


$139 


Dirt Cheap Video. 64 col. 


S 89 


$69 


ComX. lorlle.80col.64K Adder 


S 295 


$145 


Videx.VideotermSOcol. 


S345 


$229 


UlraTerm 


S379 


$299 


Soft Video Switch 


S 35 


$?5 


Enhanced! 


S 149 


S99 


FunctionSlrip 


S 79 


S59 


UltraTerm 


S 379 


$279 


Full Videx Une. Call. Upto35%off. 




Vista. VisionSO 


S289 


$199 



SOFTWARE 

on disk for Apple II/II + /HE 



BUSINESS 



MISCELLANEOUS 



ALS. The CPM Card $ 399 

Z-Card S 169 

Colorll S 179 

ASTAR.RF Modulator $ 35 

CCS.Seriallnteiface7710A S 150 

Dan Paymar, Lower Case Chip $ 50 

Don'tAsk,DAO003SA.Mouth $ 125 

• Eastside, Wild Card, copier $ 130 
Kensington, System Saver S 90 
Kraft.Joyslick(Apll/ll+) S 65 

Paddle (Apll/ll+) $ 50 

M&R.SupRfan $ 50 

• Microsoft. ZSOSof (card S 345 

Soflcard Premium Pack $ 695 

Z80SoftcardPlus $645 
MicroTek, Dumpling 64, Buffered 

64KSpooler $ 349 

• Orange Micro, Grappter Plus $ 165 
Practical Peripherals. 

MBS8K Serial (Epson) $ 159 

MBP16KPara(cpson) S 159 

Microbuller i 1 1 6K. (specify) $ 259 

Microbullerll32K. (specify) $ 299 

• PCPI. Appli-Card. 1 4 features. 

4Mhz $ 295 

6Mhz $ 375 

RH Electronics. Super Fan II S 75 

• Saturn Systems, Accelerator II $ 599 
SSM.A10 II. Serial/Para Interface S 225 
TGProducts.Game Paddies (II+) S 40 

Joystick (11+) S 60 

Selecl-A-Port(ll + ) " S 60 

TrakBall(ll + ) $ 65 

Videx, PSSO. Para Ser Interface S 229 

WICO. Trackball (AplMk) S 80 



S299 
$129 
$139 
$ 25 
$129 
$ 39 
$85 
$99 
$69 
$ 49 
$39 
$ 39 
$245 
$495 
$459 

$239 
$119 

$129 
$129 
$209 
$229 

$235 
$275 
$59 
$449 
$169 
$ 29 
$45 
$45 
$ 44 
$169 
$ 55 





LIST 


OUR 




PRICE 


PRICE 


Apple Computer, Inc. 






Apple Writer II 


$ 150 


$119 


ApptePascal 


S 250 


$199 


50%off other Apple Inc. software 




Call 


Applied Soft Tech „ VersaForm 


S389 


$265 


Arlsci. MagicWindow II 


NEW! S 150 


$99 


Ashton-Tate, dBase II (CPM) 


S700 


$439 


Financial Planner 


S700 


$419 


User's Guide by Software Banc 


S 30 


$20 


Broderbund.BankSt. Writer 


$ 70 


$ 47 


Continental, GL.AR.AP or PR ea 


S 250 


$169 


1st Class Mail 


S 75 


$ 49 


Home Accountant 


$ 75 


$49 


FCM (FILE, CAT, MAIL) 


S 100 


$ 68 


Hayden. Pie Writer (Specif y brd.) 


S 170 


$99 


Howard Soft, 






Real Estate Analyzer II 


S 195 


$129 


TaxPreparer 


S 225 


$149 


Info. Unlim., Easywriter (PRO) 


S 175 


$119 


L JK. Letler Perfect w, Mail Merge 


$ 150 


$ 99 


• MicroCraft,(Z80Card). 






Professional Billkeeper 


S 995 


$469 


Verdict, (Legal Billing) 


S 995 


$469 


• MicroLab.Tax Manager 


$ 180 


$119 


Micro Pro. (all CP/M) 






InfoStar'" 


$ 495 


$335 


Report Star" 


$ 350 


$199 


WordStar' + Training Manual 


S495 


$269 


MailMerge'" 


$ 250 


$129 


SpeMStar" 


$250 


$129 


3Pak,Word + Mail + Spell.3above 


S845 


$449 


WordStar' + MailMerge" 2Pak 


S645 


$349 


DataStar'" 


$295 


$159 


Microsoft. Multi-Plan (CP/M) 


S275 


$199 


Multi-Plan (Apple DOS) 


$275 


$199 


On-Line. Screenwriter II 


S 130 


$89 


The Dictionary 


NEW! $ 100 


$69 


General Manager II 


NEW S230 


$155 


Osbome/CP.Sof t. (Disk and Book) 






Some Common Basic Programs 
75 Business. Statistics and Math 










programs for the Apple II 


S 100 


$49 


Practical Basic Programs 






40 more very valuable programs 






beyond "SomeComBas Prog" 


S 100 


$49 


Peachtree, Requires CPM & MBasic. 


40 columns. 




Series 40 GL&AR SAP. all 3 


S595 


$395 


Series 40 Inv. or Pay., each 


$ 400 


$275 


Series9 Text & Spell & Mail all3 


S 595 


$395 


Perfect, Perfect Writer 


S495 


$219 


Perlecl Speller 


S295 


$129 


Perfect Writer Speller 2 Pak 


S695 


$299 


Perfect Filer 


S595 


$259 



Quality,GBSw3gen.(aDBMS) 
Sensible, Sens.Speller.specify 
• Silcon Valley, Word Handler 
Sof./Sys.. Executive Secretary 

Executive Speller 
System Plus./Software Dimensions 
Arxtg. Plus.General Ledger 
Acclg.Plus,GL,APandAR 
Acctg. Plus, above - 1 - Inventory 
Software Publishing, PFS: File 
PFS: Report 
PFS:Graph 
Southeastern/Jala Capture, call to specify. 
Stoneware. DB Master 

DBUlililylorll 
Videx, 
Applewriter II preboot disk 
Visicalc 80 col. preboot disk 
Visica!c80col.lo176Kdisk 
VideotermUtilitiesDisk 
VisiCorp/Personal Software. 
Visicalc3.3 
VisiFileorVisiDex.each 



UT L TY & DEVELOPMENT 



LIST 
PRICE 
S 650 
S 125 
S 250 
S250 
S 75 

S425 
S995 
$1395 
S 125 
S 125 
S 125 

$ 229 



S250 
S250 



Beagle. Utility City 
DOS Boss 
Apple Mechanic 
Central Point Software 
Filer. DOS Utility 
• Copy II Plus(bil copier) 
Epson, Graphics Dump 
Insoft.GraFORTH by Paul Lulus 
Microsoft, 
A.LD.S. 
BASlCCompiter 
CobolSO 
Fortran 80 
TASC Compiler 
A- Omega.Locksmith(bitcopier) 
Penguin, Comp. Grphcs. Sys. 
Graphics Magician 
Phoenix, Zoom Grafix 
Quality. Bag of Tricks 
Saturn Systems, VC-Expand 

VCExpand80 
Sensible.BackitUp.(bitcopier) 



S 30 
S 24 



NEW' 
NEW! 



S 125 
S395 
S 750 
S 195 
$ 175 
S 100 
S 70 
S 60 
S 40 
S 40 
S 100 
S 125 
S 60 



HOME & EDUCATION 



Broderbund, Choplifler 
BudgeCo, Pinball Constr. Set 
Continental, Home Accountant 
Datamost.AztecorZaxxon.each 
Infocom.Zork lorll, each 

Deadline 
Lightning, Masleitype 
Micro Lab, Miner 2049er 
Muse.CaslleWollenstein 
Sierra'On-Line, Ultima II 

Soflporn(XRaled) 
Sir-Tech, Wizardry 
Sub Logic. Flight Simul. 



OTHER BRANDS AND PROGRAMS IN STOCK. CALL. 



THE WORLD'S LARGEST COMPUTER MAIL ORDER FIRM 

Computer Exchange 

ALL MAIL: P.O. Box 23068, Portland, OR 97223 * 

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OUR 
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• OVERSTOCK SPECIALS • 

FOR APPLE till + /lie 

• ComX,16KRAMCard.2Yr.Wairanty S 179 $39 

Mountain, CPSMuIti function S 239 $ 119 

Microsoft, 16KRAMCard $ 100 $ 89 

Saturn Systems, 32K RAM Card S 249 $169 

M&R.SupRtermBOcol. S 375 S 199 

Videx, Videoterm.SOcolumncard S 345 $ 229 

CCS,Seriallnle!face77t0A S 150 $ 129 

CalenderClock7424A S 120 $ 95 

MicroCom. Micro Courier S 250 $ 125 

MiooTelegram $ 250 S 125 

Anadex.OP800O, Dot Matrix Printer S 995 $ 495 

ALS, Synergizer + Supercalc - Condor S 749 $ 499 



SYSCOM 2 



Syscom2,64K (Apple Ik Compatible) S 869 $ 6S9 

Syscom 2. 64KS1arterSystem (same as 
Apple He System 8aboveexcepl 
64K,40columns) S1810 $1195 

Note: Substitutions and deletions same as System B apply. 
Syscom 2 is soltware and hardware compatible to 
the Apple IK 



AXLON 



The Leader in Atari Add-ons 



Rampower 128K System (800) 
Rampower48K Module (for 400) 
Rampower32K(400or800) 
Ramscan Diagnostic Diskette 



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Hot Line For Information 
OnYourOrder 

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Circle 446 for IBM Peripherals. Circle 447 for Apple. Circle 448 for all others. 



BYTE June 1983 207 



Digital Research's DR Logo 

A user-friendly language comes of age. 



Gary Kildall 

Digital Research Inc. 

POB 579 

Pacific Grove, CA 93950 

David Thornburg 

Innovision 

POB 1317 

Los Altos, CA 94022 



Logo for personal computers has been heralded by 
some as the beginning of a revolution in computer 
languages that promises to be as far reaching as the in- 
troduction of the personal computer itself. Yet many 
people think that Logo is ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ m 
not much more than a 
graphics language for 
children. Adding to this 
confusion is the fact that 
some commercial im- 
plementations of Logo are 
weak (somewhat akin to a 
version of English that ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^™ 
contained no adjectives). Because of the confusion sur- 
rounding Logo itself, the appearance of a sophisticated 
version of this language on a professional microcomputer 
such as the IBM Personal Computer might be expected to 
raise some eyebrows. The development of a powerful 
Logo for 16-bit computers such as the IBM PC can change 
our way of thinking about programming. 

In this article we will show what makes Logo truly 
powerful, what it can be used for, and how Digital 
Research's DR Logo, with its powerful language, large 
workspace, and complete program-development envi- 
ronment, sets a new benchmark by which to measure the 



DR Logo Incorporates the list- 
processing capabilities of LISP with 

a syntax that can be learned by 

children. And Logo and LISP share 

other powerful features, too. 



properties of useful computer languages. 

To help you understand the power of Logo, we'll give 
you some background about the earlier language LISP. 
LISP, developed more than 20 years ago by John 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ McCarthy, is overwhelm- 

ingly the language of 
choice for researchers in 
the field of artificial in- 
telligence. Unlike many 
other languages, LISP lets 
users perform operations 
on several data types, in- 
cluding numbers, words, 
and lists. A list can consist of a collection of words, 
numbers, or lists themselves. Because the names of LISP 
primitives or procedures are also words, one can write 
LISP programs that automatically generate other LISP 
programs. It is the ability to manipulate this type of data 
that gives LISP its name (LISt Processing). 

LISP has been used to explore topics as diverse as im- 
age processing, the analysis of natural language, the com- 
puter solution of certain types of "intelligence" tests, and 
theorem proving. More mundane programs in LISP (such 
as word processors) have also been created. Viewed from 
any angle, it is a powerhouse of a language. 



208 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Some people drive 

fine German machines to work. 

Some people drive them once they arrive. 



The tradition of high quality, high performance German 
craftsmanship and engineering is legend. And while we most 
often see that tradition in action on America's streets and 
highways, it is in America's business offices that its future 
holds the most promise. 

The BASIS 108 is the proof. 

This powerful small business computer passes higher- 
priced competitors with ease. Its dual 
processors —for CP/M® and Apple II® 
compatibility — open up the largest 
library of microcomputer software 
and plug-in peripherals available today 
This unique combination also provides 
compatibility with other popular languages, including 
Pascal™ and LOGO.™ 

The detached keyboard is a work of art and practicality. 
Lightweight and low profile, it features a full one-meter cord 
for comfortable operation on your desk— or your lap. There's 
a full 128-key ASCII character set. Fifteen user-definable 
function keys that can provide access to 60 distinct functions. 
A nine-key cursor control block. And a convenient eighteen- 
key numeric pad. For special applications, you can also 
custom map the keyboard with a simple exchange of ROMs. 

And there's more. RGB and composite NTSC or PAL 
video. Keyboard-selectable 80-or 40 -column display. 




High resolution color graphics. Parallel and serial printer 
interfaces. Easily accessible outboard I/O connectors. Six 
Apple Il-compatible card slots for peripherals expansion. 
Even a two-inch alarm or music speaker. 

The BASIS chassis is cast aluminum, eliminating heat 
and RFI interference problems. And there's plenty of room 
for internal expansion to include hard disk drives and 
other peripherals. 

The BASIS 108. Microcomputing's "Best Of Both Worlds!' 
German craftsmanship and American business savvy. 
CP/M-based business computing and Apple II-based personal 
computing. High performance and surprisingly low cost. 
The BASIS 108. A computing machine fi nely tuned to handle 
the fast tracks of business today. Call your BASIS dealer for 
a test drive. Or call toll free in the U.S. (800) 222-0626. 




5435 Scotts Valley Drive 
Scotts Valley, CA 95066 
(408)438-5804 TWX: 910-598-4512 



CP/M® i s a registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. Apple 1 1 ® is a registered trademark o f Apple Computer, Inc. Pascal™ i s a trademark o ft h e Regents of 
the University of California at San Diego. LOGO™ is a trademark of Logo Computer Systems, Inc. 

Circle 39 on inquiry card. 



Nodes, Bytes, and Bits 



The popularity of personal computers has brought new 
words into our vocabulary, such as bits and bytes (that 
describe storage capacity). With the introduction of list- 
processing languages like Logo, yet another term to describe 
units of memory has been added— the node. In Logo ter- 
minology you operate with a workspace that holds a certain 
number of nodes. Like bits and bytes, you want as many 
nodes in your Logo workspace as possible because your pro- 
grams and data values are built from workspace nodes. 
Because nodes are themselves made up from a fixed number 
of bytes for any particular Logo interpreter, the exact 
number of nodes you have depends upon the brand of your 
computer and its memory size. 

When you write procedures, enter data values, and run 
Logo programs, you use nodes from your workspace. Some 
of these nodes are used permanently, perhaps to store a por- 
tion of your Logo program. Others are used to keep track of 
a temporary value, then later discarded when not of any use. 

When you run out of nodes, Logo automatically searches 
your workspace for temporary nodes that have been discard- 
ed. This "garbage collection* reclaims nodes so that Logo can 
continue operating. If no nodes are reclaimed, Logo stops 
and tells you about the situation so that you can erase some 
of your permanent procedures or data values. 

Eight-bit computers generally store fewer nodes than 
16-bit computers because the Logo interpreter and 
workspace must coexist in the same 64K-byte memory area. 
Logo for the 8-bit Apple II computer gives you about 2800 
nodes to work with. 

Sixteen-bit computers, however, let you operate with 
more nodes because the memory size is not limited to 64K 
bytes, as long as you're willing to invest in more memory 
boards. An 8086- or 8088-based computer, such as the IBM 



PC, can potentially address up to 1 megabyte of main 
memory, giving you more than 100,000 nodes. 

For the first-time Logo user, a 2800-node workspace is 
large enough to write simple procedures, work with turtle 
graphics, and learn the basics of list processing. When you 
become serious about your Logo programming, your re- 
quirements will increase because of the complexity of the 
procedures you write and the amount of data you want ac- 
tive in your workspace. 

Now your local computer salesperson has one more term 
to confuse you. If the computer doesn't have enough bits and 
bytes for you, he'll throw in some nodes at no extra 
charge. 



'[«■ b[c d]] 



cp-cp-cp 



GB-mzi 



Figure 1: The list containing the two atoms "a and "b and 
the list [c d] is shown above in its node representation. Each 
node consists of two 2-byte fields that can be used as data or 
pointers to more data. 



DR Logo incorporates the list-processing capabilities of 
LISP with a syntax that can be learned by children. More 
than the utility (and beauty and simplicity) of turtle 
graphics, it is this list-processing capacity that gives it so 
much power. 

Other important characteristics are shared by Logo 
and LISP. Among these is the ability to extend the 
language through the creation of procedures that are 
treated just as if they were part of the language itself. As 
with some FORTH devotees, many Logo enthusiasts see 
themselves as not writing programs, but as creating new 
''words'' in Logo tailored to the solution of their par- 
ticular programming task. While this may appear to be a 
subtle distinction, it has a tremendous effect on program- 
ming style. This style affected the design of Digital 
Research's Logo in several ways, especially in the debug- 
ging and procedure-management tools. 

The Power of DR Logo 

Before showing what Logo procedures look like, we 
will list a few of the characteristics of DR Logo. To pro- 
vide maximum power to the user, we designed the first 



implementation of DR Logo for the 16-bit IBM Personal 
Computer. The use of a 16-bit processor greatly increased 
the amount of workspace available to the user and also 
yielded a modest speed improvement over 8-bit versions 
of the language. A DR Logo user with 192K bytes of 
RAM (random-access read/write memory) has about 
10,000 nodes available for use. (See the text box above.) 
For comparison, an Apple II user running Apple Logo has 
only about 2800 free nodes to work with. It goes without 
saying that sophisticated applications require com- 
parably more workspace than simple ones, and it was im- 
portant to its designers that DR Logo be able to handle 
sophisticated applications. 

In addition to list processing and turtle graphics 
primitives, DR Logo can work with integers (30 bits long 
plus a sign) and both single-precision and double- 
precision floating-point numbers. A full set of 
transcendental functions (log, square root, etc.) allows 
this language to be used for scientific programs as well. 

DR Logo is a superset of Apple Logo and more than 
just a language. A complete programming environment, 
it includes its own operating system, program editor, 



210 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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• indicates new item 

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Apple ll-ESTART£R'SYSTEM $1715o 

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Franklin ACE 1000 with color $985» 

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NEC APC H02- green/2 drives $3050o 

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Osborne Double Density $1735o 

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Syscom II - Apple II Plus Emulator - not a #@? kit $595o 



PRINTERS 

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Graphic Printer- 50cps, 5x7 matrix, sprocket $199o 

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Okidata - uses standard spool type ribbons 

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BYTE June 1983 211 



debugger, and a set of workspace-management tools 
designed to speed the successful implementation of even 
the most convoluted artificial-intelligence program. 

The graphics system is designed to use either the color 
monitor alone or to use the color monitor for turtle 
graphics or mixed text/graphics applications and the 
monochrome monitor for procedure editing, debugging, 
and pure text programs. The color display uses the 320- 
by 200-pixel medium-resolution mode and supports 16 
background colors (eight colors that are either bright or 
dim). It also supports two foreground color sets of four 
colors each. 

A Brief Glimpse at Logo Procedures 

Before describing the editor and workspace- 
management tools, we will examine what a Logo pro- 
cedure looks like by illustrating the creation and 
manipulation of a list. A list in Logo is a collection of 
words, numbers, or lists that are enclosed in square 
brackets. Each item in the list is separated by a space. For 
example, [cow horse sheep snake] is a list; so is [1 1 2 
3 5 8]. The first list consists of the words cow, horse, 
sheep, and snake; the second list consists of the first six 
numbers of the Fibonacci series. A more complex list 
would be [car [dump truck] airplane [railroad engine]], 
in which two of the elements are words (car and airplane) 
and two elements are lists of two words each ([dump 
truck] and [railroad engine]). Also, a list can have one 



word in it ([yellow]) or even be empty ([]). 

In common with other computer languages, Logo 
allows values to be assigned to names. For example, you 
can assign a list to a name with the make command, e.g. : 

make "friends [Pam Roy Pat George] 

The quotation mark is used by Logo to indicate that 
friends is a word, a variable name in this case, and not a 
command. If we tell Logo to 

print ."friends 

we will see 

Pam Roy Pat George 

on the screen. The colon in front of friends lets Logo 
know that we want to see what is bound to the variable 
rather than the variable name itself. If we had entered 



print "friends 



we would have seen 



on the screen instead. 



friends 



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212 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 144 on Inquiry card. 




for a complete selection of microcomputer hardware, software and accessories. 



Apple/Franklin 



Hayes Smartmodem, Serial 
Card, Dow Jones Analyzer 
— or — Mlcromodem & 
Dow Jones Analyzer 
Reg. 779 NOW $619 

ASHTON-TATE 
D-Base II $ 450 

ASPEN SOFTWARE 

Grammatik $ 60 

Proofreader 42 

CDEX 

*Visicalc Training . . . .$ 45 

CHARLES MANN 

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Teacher Plus 32 

Medical II 879 

Class Scheduling ... 299 

CONTINENTAL SOFTWARE 

Home Accountant ... $ 65 

DOW JONES 

Market Analyzer . . . .$279 
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Microscope 569 

HOWARD SOFTWARE 

Real Estate Analyzer . . $ 145 

KRELLCO.Logo $ 75 

Abelson Book 15 

LINK SYSTEMS 

Datafax $Call 

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Cobol-80 $ 550 

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OMEGA 

Locksmith $ 79 

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Series 40 

G/L, A/R, A/Pea. . . . 225 

Inventory 225 



Series 9 

Peachcalc 279 

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PENGUIN SOFTWARE 

Complete Graphics ..$57 
Graphics Magician ... 48 

SYSTEMS PLUS (Z80 req.) 
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TERRAPIN Logo $135 

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Visicalc $185 

Visischedule 225 

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ISM Mathemagic .... $ 80 

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LJK Edit 6502 82 

On-Line Screen Writer II 95 
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' D-Base II $ 450 

SOFTWAREBANC 

D-Base User's Guide 
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COMPUVIEW 

V-Edit8080Z80,IBMPC$130 
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Pascal Mt + W/SP . . .$389 

MAC 85 

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Trans 86 115 

Act 155 

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Coprocessors 88 card . $ 795 

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color 1399 

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BYTE June 1983 213 



Logo, Turtles/ and Kids 



Anyone who has watched the personal computer industry 
for the past few years has probably seen the evolution of cer- 
tain myths regarding computer languages. Many devotees of 
BASIC, for example, claim that it is the optimal choice for 
the home user because of its nearly universal adoption as the 
default language for personal computers. The fact that 
BASIC was the only high-level language that was readily 
available in compact form in the late 1970s is not considered 
to be relevant by many users. Fortunately, the recent 
availability of other languages on personal computers (Logo, 
Pascal, FORTH, and PILOT, to name but a few) has afford- 
ed programmers other choices. But some of these languages 
have myths of their own. 

In the case of Logo, the common myth is that it is a turtle 
graphics language designed to be used exclusively by 
children. As evidence in support of this myth, one is pointed 
to Seymour Papert's book Mindstorms. It is true that Papert 
devotes the bulk of his book to the use of turtle graphics as a 
powerful programming and discovery tool for children, and 
that he stresses the accessibility of Logo to the young and in- 
experienced. 

The problem with the Logo myth is that it suggests that 



Logo is exclusively for children's use. As with many myths, 
the reality of the situation is quite different. First, it is true 
that Logo supports turtle graphics. In this regard it is similar 
to some versions of Pascal, PILOT, and FORTH. Note also 
that, while turtle graphics is accessible to children, it also has 
applications of value to advanced programmers as well 
Anyone who doubts this would benefit from reading Turtle 
Geometry by Abelson and diSessa or Discovering Apple 
Logo by Thornburg. 

The point is that Logo is no more a "kid's" language than is 
English. Yes, English is the language of "Mary Had a Little 
Lamb," but it is also the language of Moby Dick and Shake- 
speare s sonnets. 

At its base, Logo is a symbol-manipulation language in the 
finest sense of the word. Rooted in the artificial-intelligence 
language LISP, Logo allows the user to extend its 
vocabulary, to use recursion, and to manipulate various 
types of data in ways that are nearly impossible with 
languages like BASIC. 

It would be a shame if the myth of Logo kept serious pro- 
grammers from exploring a language whose foundation goes 
to the heart of computer science itself. 



You can take lists apart in Logo with commands such 
as first, butfirst, last, and butlast. For example, if we 
enter 



to rotate :list 

output sentence butfirst : list first : list 

end 



print first '.friends 
the screen will show 

Pam 
The command 



print butfirst :friends 



prints 



This procedure accepts a list (denoted by the local 
variable name :list) and makes a new list starting with all 
but the first word and then appending the first word to 
the end of the list. The sentence primitive (or native in- 
struction) is used to assemble a list from two parts. The 
output command passes the new list back out of the pro- 
cedure to any procedure that used rotate, or to the com- 
mand level. 

Once defined, Logo procedures are treated just as if 
they were part of the language's native vocabulary. For 
example, if you were to enter 



Roy Pat George 



print rotate -.friends 



Now that we know a little about lists, let's explore Logo's 
extensibility by creating a new command in the language. 
Suppose you did a lot of work with lists and you found 
that you would like to rotate a list by moving its first ele- 
ment to the rear end and pushing everything else up 
front. We can create a word (e.g., rotate) to do this for 
us. If we had such a procedure, we could make a rotated 
version of friends by entering 

make "neworder rotate :friends 

Because Logo doesn't have a primitive called rotate, we 
can create a procedure with this name that looks like the 
following: 



the list 



Roy Pat George Pam 



would appear on the screen. 

Logo's ability to manipulate lists by taking them apart, 
adding to them, examining their contents, and altering 
their order is central to the use of Logo in the creation of 
knowledge-based programs. For an excellent introduc- 
tion to the use of lists in the creation of a knowledge 
"tree" that "sprouts" new nodes as the program gets 
"smarter," you should read Harold Abelson's discussion 
of the program animals in his book Apple Logo. 

In addition to the ability to perform list processing and 



214 June 1983 © BYTE Publication* Inc 




AND 



IBM PC 



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Circle 427 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 215 



arithmetic, DR Logo also supports an excellent turtle 
graphics environment. While much has been written 
about turtle graphics, especially on its use with children 
(see the text box on page 214), it is important to understand 
that turtle graphics is of tremendous value to expert pro- 
grammers as well. The power of this graphics environ- 
ment comes through its description of the shape of an ob- 
ject as a series of incremental steps that create it. Once a 
procedure describing an object has been written, the ob- 
ject can be displayed at any screen location, orientation, 
and size without having to tamper with the basic descrip- 
tion. For example, the procedure 




Photo 1: An example of turtle graphics with DR Logo. 




Photo 2: Multiple text windows in the debugging mode, with 
the trace function turned on. The upper left window is the Logo 
interpreter where you enter Logo commands. The debug win- 
dow in the upper right displays information on the current pro- 
gram that is running. Output from the program and input that it 
requests are handled by the program window at the bottom. 
The trace function follows the program as it runs, showing the 
level at which a procedure is called, the name of the procedure, 
and the values of variables as they are defined. The island pro- 
cedure being traced has two inputs: a list and a number. This 
shows up as level 1 in the debug window. The gosper sub- 
procedure is called and begins to execute at level 2 with its 
variables, size and limit. The gosper subprocedure is recursive 
and calls a copy of itself that begins executing at level 3. 



to square :size 

repeat 4 [forward :size right 90] 

end 

can be used to create a square at any screen position, 
angular orientation, or size. To draw a square at a given 
place, you first instruct the turtle (a cursor that has both 
position and orientation) to move to a specific x-y coor- 
dinate and heading (angle). Next you type square 50, for 
instance, to create a square with sides 50 units long. This 
property of turtle graphics procedures, coupled with 
Logo's capacity to run recursive programs, has allowed 
the easy exploration of geometrical shapes and their 
properties. See photo 1 for an example of turtle graphics. 

Programming Tools 

DR Logo provides many tools to assist the program- 
mer. While smaller Logo systems can adequately survive 
with a rudimentary procedure editor, larger Logo en- 
vironments benefit from some of the extra tools that 
make program analysis and debugging less tedious. DR 
Logo's procedure editor allows the use of both uppercase 
and lowercase letters for programs and data. Two 
primitives, uppercase and lowercase, allow the conver- 
sion of a word from one case to the other. Also, pro- 
cedure listings can be indented to make decision branches 
and nesting easier to see. While not essential to the crea- 
tion of good programs, such formatted listings are easier 
to read. 

While Logo's syntax generally makes procedures easy 
to read, it is valuable to have comments appended to cer- 
tain program lines. This ability is provided in DR Logo, 
along with the ability to strip these comments from pro- 
cedures with the nof ormat primitive if more workspace is 
needed. If the name or syntax of a Logo primitive or 
editing command is forgotten, online help is available. 

Once procedures are created, DR Logo has several 
primitives that help show how procedures interact with 
each other. This is especially important for those Logo 
enthusiasts who experiment with several coexisting ver- 
sions of procedures before settling on the final choices. 
Most versions of Logo will print the names of resident 
procedures on receiving the pots command (print out 
titles). If, in DR Logo, you enter potl, the workspace will 
be examined for all top-level procedures (those not called 
by other procedures) and their names will be displayed 
on the screen. If you enter pocall followed by the name of 
a procedure, DR Logo will examine the calling structure 
of the named procedure and print the names of the pro- 
cedures used by the one mentioned, as well as the names 
of the procedures used by these secondary procedures, 
and so on until the calling sequence is complete. This 
gives a great deal of information on the internal organiza- 
tion of the Logo workspace. If, on the other hand, you 
enter poref followed by a procedure name, all the pro- 
cedures that reference this name will be found and 
displayed. 

Many Logo programmers create procedures in a 
haphazard sequence. Because a listing of multiple pro- 



216 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



cedures follows the sequence in which they were entered, 
large listings can be hard to assimilate. By using the DR 
Logo follow command, procedures can be resequenced in 
any order, thus allowing large listings to be more easily 
scanned. 

Once you are ready to try a Logo program, DR Logo 
provides additional tools to assist in debugging. One of 
these tools allows the text screen to be split into windows 
corresponding to the command level, a user I/O (in- 
put/output) port, and the debugger (see photo 2). The 
trace command traces the procedure and displays what is 
happening and at what level the procedure is relative to 
the top (command) level. Because a single recursive pro- 
cedure (that calls a copy of itself) may oscillate through 
many levels, knowing the level at which an error occurs 
is helpful when fixing the fault. The command watch 
allows single-step execution of a procedure with the abili- 
ty to change values and see the effect of each statement. 
See photo 3 for an example of the watch function. 

The use of multiple text windows in debugging is only 
one application for this powerful tool. The development 
of good window-management tools can, by itself, in- 
crease the simplicity, flexibility, and power of this pro- 
gramming environment. 

Applying DR Logo in Education 

Perhaps because of its historic use as a discovery tool 
for children (and because of the typically small 
workspace found with most implementations), Logo is 
not generally perceived as an applications language. It is 
anticipated that DR Logo will prove to be an exception in 
this regard. 

The educational applications for Logo have typically 
focused on the use of turtle graphics. The beauty of turtle 
graphics is that children simultaneously acquire skills in 
programming, geometry, and art. Many children who 
are "turned off" by math have discovered it to be an ex- 
citing field through their exploration with turtle graphics. 
Furthermore, it has been found that once a child uses 
Logo to discover new ways of thinking about mathemat- 
ics, this new way of thinking continues to produce 
beneficial results — even if the child is no longer exposed 
to Logo. 

In the physical sciences, Logo can be used to construct 
microworlds in which bodies obey different natural laws, 
such as gravitation. By exploring these artificial 
microworlds, children can develop better intuitions 
about the properties of their own corner of the universe. 
(See "Designing Computer-Based Microworlds" by R. W. 
Lawler on page 138 of the August 1982 BYTE devoted to 
Logo.) 

Given Logo's powerful list-processing capability, one 
would expect it to be of value in the language arts as well. 
To pick one simple example, suppose a child created 
several lists called nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, 
etc., and assigned appropriate words to each list. The 
word order in each list can be randomized with the shuf- 
fle command, and a random sentence can be constructed 
by assembling words from each list in a syntactically 



fitfcwl 

In m(a«l, pr (Think of «» sulail. ! nil)' try to pott 11 ay "klny «,ttattloaa1f 


Think of an aal*al. 1 will try to fttett tt »y tiki at imttw 

In «nta«l, cfcoott.hr inch iknoulcAft 

In cfaeoie. tauten, If ( uorlp :no*t ) (ttttt :no*a ttopl 

la cbooi*. kr**cfci ■»ht "ratponia atk.yat.ar.ao ( futstloa taaja ) 

In quoit inn, on flnt :no4o 

In aak.yat.or.no, *r : juts t lot 

tot* It bark 

In a»k.yct.or.no, tuko " input reailltt 


no 

In atk.ytt.or.M* 

Uol 

In atk.yat.or.no, 

In «ik, ytt.or.no, 


if : Input b tyoa) (op [yot]) : Input 

If : Input s [yot) lop (yotlJ 
U : Input « (no) top (toll . 


|» 


Mll2f7/tl|K:2*:4al 



Photo 3: The watch function lets you interact with a program 
line by line as opposed to the trace function that runs con- 
tinuously. The animal procedure is being run while the watch 
function is on. (The question mark on the first line is the Logo 
prompt.) The name of the current procedure being called is 
given at the beginning of each line. This is followed by a line 
from the procedure that is about to be executed. You can hit the 
return key to execute that line or you can type in a Logo com- 
mand to display values that the procedure is using. Program in- 
put and output occur separately on their own lines. 



valid order. Legitimate nonsense sentences can be 
automatically generated in this fashion (e.g., No yellow 
toad smells tall people.) while bringing the child to look 
at and solve the structure of English. 

The educational value of this program can be seen on 
several levels. First, if the child creates the lists of words, 
a misplaced word will show up as a misplaced part of 
speech. Having a verb appear when a noun is expected 
results in an obviously invalid sentence structure. The 
result is a self-reinforcing mechanism for learning the 
parts of speech. Second, the student can learn to identify 
valid sentence forms without sample words (sort of the 
reversal of the traditional parsing process). This helps to 
cement sentence structure concepts as well. Finally, the 
student learns some of the challenges awaiting those who 
want to create natural-language interfaces between peo- 
ple and computers. 

DR Logo in Business 

While Logo is not usually thought of as a language for 
business applications, DR Logo has several characteris- 
tics that may change this perception. The creation of an 
interactive illustration generator using an inexpensive 
graphics tablet is quite easy in DR Logo. Photo 4 shows a 
possible display of business graphics, and listing 1 is the 
program that produced it. 

In addition to business graphics, the list-processing 
capability of DR Logo makes it suitable for database 
management. In fact, one might envision incorporating 
some of the results of research in natural-language 
understanding to generate a query system that responds 
to questions such as: "If we increase our salaries by 10 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 217 




Photo 4: An example of business graphics possible with DR 
Logo. The program that produces this picture is in listing 1. 



percent this year and increase our sales b y 2 percent next 
month, what will our profit be in the fourth quarter?" 

There is no question that many business applications 
will be found for DR Logo, but it is premature to set 
limits on the scope of these applications. 

DR Logo in Artificial Intelligence 

There has been much talk lately about knowledge- 
based or "expert" systems. The noble efforts of personal 
computer software experts notwithstanding, sophisticat- 
ed microcomputer programs that can adapt to various 
queries are few and far between. The major reason for 
this is the inadequacy of most computer languages for 
dealing with the types of data and operations natural to 
adaptive systems. Because of DR Logo's close connection 
with LISP, we expect to see artificial-intelligence tech- 
niques appearing in personal computer software rather 
than being limited to university and large industrial 
research centers as they have in the past. 

This movement is valuable for several reasons. First, it 
will help to demystify artificial-intelligence research. Sec- 
ond, it will result in the application of advances in ar- 
tificial intelligence to the development of practical pro- 
grams. To pick one example, suppose you had a com- 
puter program (called car repair) that allowed the follow- 
ing dialogue: 

User: I hear noises when I steer the car. 

Computer: Do you think the problem is in your 
steering mechanism? 

User: Yes, I think so. 

Computer: Do you have power steering? 

User: Yes. 

Computer: Is the noise loudest when you turn the 
steering wheel? 



User: Yes, but I hear it when the car is idling too. 

Computer: You should check the level of your 
steering fluid before proceeding. Do you know 
how to do that? 

User: Yes. 

Computer: Fine. Check the fluid level. If it is low, 
fill the reservoir and see if the problem is fixed, 
otherwise we will continue to explore other 
causes. 

Programs that allow this type of interaction can be used 
for many diagnostic applications and might be far more 
valuable applications for home computers than 
checkbook balancers or recipe files. 

Domestic applications for artificial intelligence repre- 
sent a sleeping giant. The list-processing capability and 
large workspace of DR Logo will allow this giant to be 
awakened and will enable the creation of a whole new 
class of applications software. 

DR Logo is the first of a new family of languages that 
promises not only to change our programming style, but 
to alter the way we think about computing itself. ■ 



About the Authors 

David Thornburg is an author and lecturer who has been actively in- 
volved in the development and support of user-friendly programming 
environments. His most recent book, Discovering Apple Logo, shows 
how Logo can be used to explore the art and patterns of nature, 

Gary Kildall is the president of Digital Research Inc. He is active in 
research and was the developer of CP/M, Digital Research's version of 
PL/I, and DR Logo. 



References 



Logo: 



1. Abelson, Harold. Apple Logo. Hightstown, NJ: BYTE/McGraw- 
Hill, 1982. 

2. Abelson, Harold and Andrea diSessa. Turtle Geometry: The 
Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics. Cambridge, 
MA: MIT Press, 1981. 

3. BYTE. August 1982. 

4. Papert, Seymour. Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Power- 
ful Ideas. New York: Basic Books, 1980. 

5. Thornburg, David. Discovering Apple Logo: An Invitation to the 
Art and Pattern of Nature. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1983. 

Artificial Intelligence: 

1. Bundy, A., ed. Artificial Intelligence: An Introductory Course. 
New York: North Holland, 1978. 

2. Winston, Patrick. Artificial Intelligence. Reading, MA: Addison- 
Wesley, 1977. 

LISP: 

1. BYTE. August 1979. 

2. McCarthy, John et al. LISP 1.5 Programmers Manual. Cam- 
bridge, MA: MIT Press, 1965. 

3. Winston, Patrick and Berthold Horn. LISP. Reading, MA: 
Addison-Wesley, 1981. 



218 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Versaform VS1 $350 



IBM PC, 16 BIT 8;' 
DISPLAYWRITER 



"WORD PROCESSING" 

Wordstar $289 

Spellstar $199 

Mailmerge $199 

Easy writer $314 

Easyspeller $159 

Select/Superspell $535 

Write On $116 

Spellguard $189 

Textwriterlll $189 

Spellbinder $349 

Final Word $270 

"LANGUAGES & UTILITIES" 

Crosstalk $174 

Move-it $129 

BSTAM or BSTMS $149 

Pascal MT+ /86, SPP $679 

CBasic 86 $294 

Act 86 $157 

Trans 86 $ 1 1 5 

XLT86 $135 

MBasic (MSDOS) $329 

MBasic Compiler (MSDOS). .$329 

Both $629 

CBasic Compiler (MSDOS). . .$495 

Cobol (MSDOS) $649 

Pascal (MSDOS) $429 



Fortran (MSDOS) $429 

"C" (MSDOS) $429 

CP/M 86 $239 

"OTHER GOODIES" 

Lotus 1-2-3 $329 

SuperCalc $269 

VisiCalc $219 

Visiplot/trend $259 

Visidex $219 

Easyf iler $359 

Mathemagic $95 

dBase II Call 4?? 

Condor Q & R, Others Call 

Statpak $449 

Optimizer $174 

Desktop Plan $259 



FORMATS AVAILABLE.* 



8"single density 
8"OSI 
Superbrain 

Micropolis/Vector Graphic 
NorthStar Horizon 
NorthStar Advantage 
Osborne 
Heath/Zenith 
Cromemco 
Televideo 
Xerox 820 
Dynabyte 

Hewlett-Packard 125 
NEC 
Eagle 
Apple ll/lll 
Otrona 

TRS-80 Model l/ll/lll 
DEC VT-180 
Altos 
CP/M-86 
IBM PC 

*New formats added weekly. Call for 
information. 




Free With Purchase 



Complete Software 
Buyer's Guide 
($5.00 value) 

Filled with facts and 
usable advice about 
scores and scores of 
software programs from 1 
? accounting and business 
systems to word processing 
and utilities. 



f Exclusive Service 
'"Hotline" 

| Our reputation for cour- 
teous and knowledgeable 
service has resulted in calls 
It from people who never 
lit purchased our products. 
Now a separate "hotline" is 
available to customers only. 




Confidential | 

Software 

BargainGrams 

Regular notices of insider's 
bargains not available to 
the general public. 



ORDER TOLL-FREE 

VIA VISA OR 

MASTERCARD: 



SOFTWARE 



1800 421-4003 

Calif: 1 800 252-4092 

6520 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028 



DISCOUNT SOFTWARE 

Outside Continental U.S.— add $10 plus Air 
Parcel Post. Add $3.50 postage and handling 
per each item. California residents add 6W% 
sales tax. Allow 2 weeks on checks. C.O.D. $3.00 
extra. Prices subject to change without notice. 
All items subject to availability. *Mfr. trade- 
mark. Blue Label $3.00 additional per item. 
CP/M is a registered trademark of DIGITAL 
RESEARCH, INC. 




Listing 1: A DR Logo business-graphics program. See photo 4 for an example of the screen display. Note the indentation and embed- 
ded comments possible with DR Logo. 

to graphics 

; A sample business graphics program for bar graphs 

make "screen. height 198 

make "yfactor .25 

make "z factor .575 

make "zdeg 22.5 

make "xrain -139 

make "xmax 139 

make "ymin -79 

make "ymax 119 

make "return char 13 

get . request 

end 

to get. request 

(local "reply "h.or.v "s.or.o "2. or. 3) 

cleartext 

make "reply prompt [Horizontal or vertical bars (h or v)] "char 

if : reply = "h 

[make "h.or.v "h] 

[make "h.or.v "v] 
if : reply = : return 

[stop] 
make "reply prompt [Solid or open bars (s or o)] "char 
if : reply = "s 

[make "s.or.o "s] 

[make "s.or.o "o] 
if : reply = : return 

[stop] 
make "reply prompt [2 or 3 dimensional (2 or 3)] "char 
if : reply - 2 

[make "2. or. 3 2] 

[make "2. or. 3 3] 
if : reply = : return 

[stop] 
make : reply prompt [Values to be graphed] "list 
if "reply - [] 

[stop] 
bar . graph : h . or . v : s . or . o : 2 . or . 3 : reply 
get . request 
end 

to prompt :text :type 
local "reply 
(type :text ": char 32) 
if :type = "char 

[make "reply readchar print : reply output : reply] 

[output readlist] 
end 

to bar . graph : h . or . v : s . or . o : 2 . or . 3 : values 

cleartext 

(local "max. value "min. value "origin "width "depth "axis "reply 

"graph. width "graph. height "proc "spacing) 
if emptyp : values 

[stop] 
make "max. value o 

Listing 1 continued on page 224 
222 June 1983 © byte Publications inc Circle 360 on Inquiry card.— » 



Don't let prici 

of owning a 

Adding a printer to your computer makes 
sense. But deciding which printer to add can be 
tricky. Do you settle for a printer with limited 
functions and an inexpensive price tag or buy a 
more versatile printer that costs more than your 
computer? Neither choice makes sense. 

Here's a refreshing option— the new, compact * 
STX-80 printer from Star Micronics. It's the under I 
$200 printer that's whisper-quiet, prints 60 cps I 
and is ready to run with most popular personal 
computers. j 

The STX-80 has deluxe features you would 



get in the way 
ality printer. 

expect in higher priced models. It prints a full 80 
columns of crisp, attractive characters with true 
descenders, foreign language characters and 
special symbols. It offers both finely detailed dot- 
addressable graphics and block graphics. 
And, of course, the STX-80 comes with Star 
. Micronics' 180 day warranty (90 days on the 
print element). 

The STX-80 thermal printer from Star 
j» Micronics. It combines high performance with 
^ a very low price. So now, there is nothing in 
the way of owning a quality printer. 



'Manufacturer's suggested retail price 




mic ron ic i • i nc 
THE POWER BEHIND THE PRINTED WORD. 

Computer Peripherals Division, 1120 Empire Central Place, 
Suite 216, Dallas, TX 75247 (214) 631-8560 




The new STX-80 printer 
for only $199f 



Listing 1 continued: 

make "min. value 999999999 
if :h.or.v = "h 

[make "origin list :xrain :ymax make "graph. height : screen. width 

make "graph. width : screen. height make "axis 90] 
if :h.or.v = "v 

[make "origin list :xmin :ymin make "graph. height : screen. height 

make "graph. width : screen. width make "axis 0] 
if : 2 .or .3 = 2 

[make "spacing (: graph . width / count : values) * :yf actor] 

[make "spacing (: graph . width / count :values) * :zfactor] 
if :2.or .3 = 2 

[make ": width (: graph. width / count : values) * (1 - :yf actor)] 

[make ": width (: graph . width / count : values) * (1 - :zf actor)] 
make "depth : width * :zf actor 
minmax : values 

make "values scale : values : graph. height * .8 / : max. value 
cleanup 

penup setpos : origin pendown 
if :h.or.v = "h 

[line [] list : screen. width ycor] 

[line [] list xcor : screen. height] 
penup setpos : origin pendown 

draw. bars :axis : width : spacing :2.or.3 : values 
splitscreen 
setcursor [0 23] 
type [Return to continue] 
make "reply readchar 
end 

to minmax : list 
if emptyp : list 

[stop] 
if first :list > : max. value 

[make "max. value first :list] 
if first :list < : min. value 

[make "min. value first :list] 
minmax butf irst : list 
end 

to scale :list : factor 
if emptyp : list 
[output []] 
output sentence (: factor * first :list) scale butf irst :list : factor 
end 

to cleanup 

hideturtle 

setbg 6 

penup 

home 

clean 

pendown 

end 

to draw. bars :axis : width : spacing :2.or.3 : values 

if emptyp rvalues 

[stop] 
setheading axis 
draw. 1. bar :s.or.o :2.or.3 first : values : width : depth szdeg 

Listing 1 continued on page 226 
224 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 





"Tlfc Home Computet; 
This is the one? 



A lot of computers offer a lot. Only one 
in its price range offers the most. The Tl 
Home Computer. 

Better to begin with. Anyone can start 
right away with our Solid State Software™ 
Command Cartridges. Dozens of programs 
are available in home management, educa- 
tion and entertainment. 

Easy to expand. Our Peripheral Expan- 
sion System gives you plug-in cards for 
memory expansion, P-Code capabilities, a 
disk drive controller and the RS232 Inter- 
face. You can also add a modem, speech 



synthesizer, disk drive and 80 column dot 
matrix printer, 

Programming flexibility. TI BASIC is 
built into the Home Computer. But it can 
also handle TI Extended BASIC, UCSD 
Pascal* Version I V.0, TI LOGO II, TMS 
9900 Assembly Language and TI PILOT 
Programs can be stored in the optional 
Mini Memory Command Cartridge. 

High-Tech specs. 16-bit microprocessor, 
16K bytes RAM (expandable to 52 K). 
26Kbytes internalROM, upto30Kbytes 
external ROM. 3 simultaneous tones from 



110 HZ to 40,000 HZ. High resolution video. 
U. & I.e. Single line overlay for 2nd function. 
Control & function keys. 16 color graphics 
with 4 modes <Sl sprites. 

Sound impressive? Compare a TI Home 
Computer with the competition and really 
be impressed. You won't even 
need a computer to tell you this 
is the one. ^^ 

Texas 
Instruments 






© 1982 Texas Instruments 



"UCSD Pascal is a trademark of the Regents of the University of California 



Listing 1 continued: 

setheading :axis + 90 

forward : spacing + : width 

draw. bars :axis : width : spacing :2.or.3 butfirst : values 

end 

to draw. 1. bar :s.or.o :2.or.3* : he ight .: width : depth :zdeg 

(local "origin "direction) 

make "origin pos 

make "direction heading 

if :s.or.o = "o 

[make "proc "open. bar] 

[make "proc "solid. bar] 
run (list :proc : he ight : width) 
if 2 .or. 3=2 

[stop] 
forward : height 
right 90 - :zdeg 
forward : depth 
right : zdeg 
forward : width 
right 180 - :zdeg 
forward : depth 
back : depth 
left 90 - :zdeg 
forward : height 
right 90 - :zdeg 
forward : depth 

penup setpos : origin pendown 
setheading : direction 
end 

to open. bar : height : width 

repeat 2 [forward : height right 90 forward : width right 90] 

end 

to line :posl :pos2 

if not emptyp :posl 

[penup setpos :posl pendown] 
make "posl pos 
setheading towards :pos2 
forward sqrt sum 

sq ( ( first :posl ) - ( first :pos2 ) ) 

sq ((last :posl) - (last :pos2)) 
end 

to sq :num 

output :num * :num 

end 

to solid. bar : height : width 

( local "course "origin ) 

make "course heading 

make "origin pos 

repeat : width / 2 [forward : height right 90 forward 1 right 90 

forward : height left 90 penup forward 1 pendown left 90] 
if remainder : width 2=1 

[ forward : height ] 
penup setpos : origin pendown 
setheading : course 
end 

226 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



System Saver 

The most important peripheral for your Apple II and He. 



!!f 




t 










For Line Surge Suppression 

The SYSTEM SAVER provides es- 
sential protection to hardware and 
data from dangerous power surges 
and spikes. 




T 



SYSTEM SAVER 
APPLE II 



J 



By connecting the Apple II 
power input through the SYSTEM 
SAVER, power is controlled in two 
ways: 1) Dangerous voltage spikes 
are clipped off at a safe 130 Volts 
RMS/175 Volts dc level. 2) High fre- 
quency noise is smoothed out be- 
fore reaching the Apple II . A PI type 
filter attenuates common mode 
noise signals by a minimum of 
30 dB from 600 khz to 20 mhz, with 
a maximum attenuation of 50 dB. 



For Cooling 

As soon as you add 80 columns or 
more memory to your Apple II you 
need SYSTEM SAVER. 

Today's advanced peripheral 
cards generate more heat. In addi- 
tion, the cards block any natural air 
flow through the Apple II creating 
high temperature conditions that 
substantially reduce the life of the 
cards and the computer itself. 



For Operating Efficiency 

SYSTEM SAVER contains two 
switched power outlets. As shown 
in the diagram, the SYSTEM 
SAVER efficiently organizes your 
system so that one convenient, 
front mounted 
power switch 
controls SYSTEM 
SAVER, Apple E, 
monitor and printer. 



Available in 220/240 Volt 50 Hz 



°f 




SYSTEM SAVER provides cor- 
rect cooling. An efficient, quiet fan 
draws fresh air across the mother 
board, over the power supply and 
out the side ventilation slots. 



The heavy duty switch has a 
pilot light to alert when system is 
on .You '11 never use the Apple power 
switch again! 



Easy Installation 



Just clips on. 
No mounting or 
hardware required. 
Color matched 
to Apple E. 




PATENT PENDING 



Compatible with Apple Stand 




$89.95 at your local dealer or order direct 
by phone or mail. 

For phone or mail orders include $2.50 for 
handling. New York State residents add sales 
tax. VISA and MASTERCARD accepted. 
Dealer inquiries invited. Circle 211 on inquiry card. 

Kensington Microware Ltd. 

919 Third Avenue, New York NY 10022 

(212) 486-7707 Telex: 236200 KEN UR 

?m KENSINGTON 
»»■ MICROWARE 




00m 





y 




If your printer uses your Apple 

more than you do, 

you need The Btifferboard. 



If your Apple is locked into the "PRINT" 
mode so much that you've taken up soli- 
taire to kill the boredom, you need a 
buffer. And if your computer is the Apple 
II or III, the only buffer for you is The 
Bufferboard. Expandable to 64K of stor- 
age, The Bufferboard stores an instantane- 
ous bucketful of print data from your 
computer. Then it feeds the data to your 
printer at its own printing rate. Your Apple 
is set free from driving your printer and is 
ready for more data from you. 



or expensive power supplies are needed 
because The Bufferboard fits right into 
your Apple — and docks onto your existing 
printer interface. The result is convenient 





Take your existing interface— 
and buffer it! 

Only The Bufferboard has a simple 
Interface-Docking System. No bulky boxes 



and economical buffering of most popu- 
lar printer interfaces, including the 
Grappler + ™ interface, Epson interface, 
and Apple printer interface. Thirty sec- 
onds and a single hook-up are all you need 
to end the printer waiting game forever. 

Up to 20 letter-size pages 
stored at a time. 

The Bufferboard comes standard with 
16K, and is expandable to 32K or 64K of 
buffering capacity with the addition of 




memory chips. This "bucket" will hold up 
to 20 pages of a print job, allowing you 
freedom to use your Apple. 

The Bufferboard — designed 
exclusively for the Apple Computer. 

Specifications: 

• Versions for Grappler -l- interface, Epson 
interface, Apple interface, and other popu- 
lar printer interfaces • 16K buffer standard 

• Upgradeable to 32K or 64K • Automatic 
memory configuration • Automatic self 
test • Includes interface docking cable. 

The Bufferboard is made by Orange 
Micro, Inc.; the same people who brought 
you the popular Grappler -l- printer inter- 
face. Both the Grappler + and The 
Bufferboard are now available at your 
local Apple dealer. 



jjgOrange micro 

1400 N. Lakeview, Anaheim, C A 92807 
U.S.A. (714) 779-2772 
TELEX: 183511 CSMA 



.The 




Apple is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. 

Epson is a registered trademark of Epson America, Inc. 



For Apples and Printers 



Circle 289 on inquiry card. 
©Orange Micro, Inc. 1983. 




><>. 



PTUR 



COMPLETELY REDESIGNED. 
NOW,THEGRAPPLER + . 
The original Grappler was the first 
graphics interface to give you hi-res 
screen dumps from your keyboard. 
The new Grappler + adds flexibility 
with on-board printer selection and 
23 different commands for text and 
graphics. Exclusive Dual Hi-Res 
Graphics allow a side-by-side printout 
of graphics pages land 2. 

TheGrappler+ is compatible with the 
Apple II, II + , lie and III* computers. 
Its extensive printer menu has been 
expanded to include the Apple Dot 
Matrix, Okidata 84 and Star Gemini, 
along with most popular printers. 
In addition, the IDS Grappler* is 
currently available with color 
capability, including color graphics 
screen dumps. 

UP TO 64K BUFFER OPTION 
An optional Bufferboard can now be 
added to all existing Grappler and 
Grappler + interfaces. See your Apple 
Dealer for details. 

* Requires additional software driver. 
© Orange Micro, Inc. 1983 




ACTUAL APPLE II PRINTOUT USING GRAPPLER AND EPSON MX100 

WithThe. 

Grappler + 

I Printer Interface 




Circle 290 on inquiry card. 
Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 



NOW AVAILABLE 
THE BUFFERED 
GRAPPLER + 

The best of both worlds. . .the 
Buffered Grappler + 

All of the popular Grappler + 
features with the time-saving 
benefits of a printer buffer. 

•16K of Buffer 

• Expandable to 64K 

• Interfaces with all popular dot 
matrix printers 

Make the most of your Apple and 
printer, with the Grappler + or the 
Buffered Grappler + . 



Orange Micro 

^ inc. 



1400 N. Lakeview Ave., 

Anaheim, CA 92807 U.S.A. 

(714) 779-2772 Telex: 183511 CSMA 

Foreign Dealer Inquiries Welcome 



An Inside Look at MS-DOS 

The design decisions behind the popular operating system 



The purpose of a personal com- 
puter operating system is to provide 
the user with basic control of the 
machine. A less obvious function is to 
furnish the user with a high-level, 
machine-independent interface for 
application programs, so that those 
programs can run on two dissimilar 
machines, despite the differences in 
their peripheral hardware. Having 
designed an 8086 microprocessor card 
for the S-100 bus and not finding an 
appropriate disk operating system on 
the market, Seattle Computer Prod- 
ucts set about designing MS-DOS. 
Today MS-DOS is the most widely 
used disk operating system for per- 
sonal computers based on Intel's 8086 
and 8088 microprocessors. 

MS-DOS Design Criteria 

The primary design requirement of 
MS-DOS was CP/M-80 translation 
compatibility, meaning that, if an 
8080 or Z80 program for CP/M were 
translated for the 8086 according to 
Intel's published rules, that program 
would execute properly under MS- 
DOS. Making CP/M-80 translation 
compatibility a requirement served to 
promote rapid development of 8086 
software, which, naturally, Seattle 
Computer was interested in. There 
was partial success: those software 
developers who chose to translate 
their CP/M-80 programs found that 
they did indeed run under MS-DOS, 



Tim Paterson 

Seattle Computer Products 

1114 Industry Dr. 

Seattle, WA 98188 

often on the first try. Unfortunately, 
many of the software developers 
Seattle Computer talked to in the 
earlier days preferred to simply ig- 
nore MS-DOS. Until the IBM Per- 
sonal Computer was announced, 
these developers felt that CP/M-86 
would be the operating system of 
8086/8088 computers. 

Other concerns crucial to the 
design of MS-DOS were speed and ef- 
ficiency. Efficiency primarily means 
making as much disk space as possi- 
ble available for storing data by mini- 
mizing waste and overhead. The 
problem of speed was attacked three 
ways: by minimizing the number of 
disk transfers, making the needed 
disk transfers happen as quickly as 
possible, and reducing the DOS's 
"compute time," considered overhead 
by an application program. The en- 
tire file structure and disk interface 
were developed for the greatest speed 
and efficiency. 

The last design requirement was 
that MS-DOS be written in assembly 
language. While this characteristic 
does help meet the need for speed and 
efficiency, the reason for including it 
is much more basic. The only 8086 
software-development tools available 
to Seattle Computer at that time were 
an assembler that ran on the Z80 
under CP/M and a monitor/de- 
bugger that fit into a 2K-byte 
EPROM (erasable programmable 



read-only memory). Both of these 
tools had been developed in house. 

MS-DOS Organization 

The core of MS-DOS is a device- 
independent input/output (I/O) han- 
dler, represented on a system disk by 
the hidden file MSDOS.SYS. It ac- 
cepts requests from application pro- 
grams to do high-level I/O, such as 
sequential or random access of named 
disk files, or communication with 
character devices such as the console. 
The handler processes these requests 
and converts them to a very low level 
form that can be handled by the I/O 
system. Because MSDOS.SYS is 
hardware independent, it is nearly 
identical in all MS-DOS versions pro- 
vided by manufacturers with their 
equipment. Its relative location in 
memory is shown in figure 1. 

The I/O system is totally device 
dependent and is represented on the 
disk by the hidden file IO.SYS. It is 
normally written by hardware manu- 
facturers (who know their equipment 
best, anyway) with the notable excep- 
tion of IBM, whose I/O system was 
written to IBM's specifications by 
Microsoft. The tasks required of the 
I/O system, such as outputting a 
single byte to a character device or 
reading a contiguous group of 
physical disk sectors into memory, 
are as simple as possible. 

The command processor furnishes 



230 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 122 on Inquiry card- 



1 




Before you buy a printer 
look at the fine print. 



There's a big difference in printers, and the proof 
is right before your eyes. 

This is an actual printout from Digital's Letterprinter 100. 
As you can see, it's good enough to send out to customers. 

But that's not all the Letterprinter 100 can do. 
Suppose, for instance, you're in a hurry. 

Just push a button and you can print out a whole page of : draft copy 
in less thaw ten seconds. 

There are other fine points. You can see how the Letterprinter 
100 can print multiple typefaces. It can also print in BOLD, 
c3.o-ci.1d2. e — w:Lc±t:hL and condensed . And do all these styles 
automatically, without stopping. And with its wide range of graphics 
capabilities, you can even draw your own conclusions. 










You simply can't find a more versatile printer than the 
Letterprinter 100. And it's just one of a family of printers we offer 
for Digital's personal computers and video terminals. Including 
a daisy-wheel printer, the LQP02, and a low-cost Personal Printer, 
the LA50, that still make you look good on paper. 

So now that you've read the fine print, see our fine printers. 
Cttl l Jl- 8QQ ~PIGIT AL / evasion 7QQ , for the distributor near you. 
Or write Digital Equipment Corporation, Terminals Product Group, 
2 Mt. Royal Avenue ,UP01 -5 , Marlboro, Ma. 01752. 




the standard interface between the 
user and MS-DOS and is contained in 
the visible file COMMAND.COM. 
The processor's purpose is to accept 
commands from the console, figure 
out what they mean, and execute the 
correct sequence of functions to get 
the job done. It is really just an or- 
dinary application program that does 
its work using only the standard MS- 
DOS function requests. In fact, it can 
be replaced by any other program 
that provides the needed user inter- 
face. 

There are, however, two special 
features of the COMMAND file. 
First, it sets up all basic error trapping 
for either hard-disk errors or the Con- 
trol-C abort command. MSDOS.SYS 
provides no default error handling 
but simply traps through a vector 
that must have been previously set. 
Setting the trap vector and providing 
a suitable error response is up to 
COMMAND (or whatever program 
might be used to replace it). 

The second special feature is that 
COMMAND splits itself into two 
pieces, called the resident and tran- 



TRANSIENT 



PROGRAM MEMORY 



COMMAND RESIDENT 



MS-DOS 



I/O SYSTEM 



INTERRUPT VECTORS 



-TOP OF MEMORY 



00400 
00000 



Figure 1: Map of memory areas as as- 
signed by MS-DOS. 



sient sections. The resident, which 
sits just above MS-DOS in low 
memory, is the essential code and in- 



cludes error trapping, batch-file pro- 
cessing, and reloading of the tran- 
sient. The transient interprets user 
commands; it resides at the high end 
of memory where it can be overlaid 
with any applications program (some 
of which need as much memory as 
they can get). This feature is of 
limited value in systems with large 
main memory, and it need not be im- 
itated by programs used as a replace- 
ment for COMMAND. 

COMMAND provides both a use- 
ful set of built-in commands and the 
ability to execute program files 
located on the disk. Any file ending 
with the extensions .COM, .EXE, or 
.BAT can be executed by COM- 
MAND simply by typing the first 
part of the file name (without exten- 
sion). You can normally enter 
parameters for these programs on the 
command line, as with any of the 
built-in commands. Overall, the ef- 
fect is to give you a command set that 
can be extended almost without limit 
just by adding the command as a pro- 
gram file on the disk. 

The three different extensions 



MODEMS/CRTS/PRINTERS/SWITCHES/MICRO COMPUTERS/ CABLES 



PRODUCT DESCRIPTION 



UDS 103LP, 300 bps, Modem 145 

UDS 202LP, 1 200 bps, Half Duplex Modem 195 

UDS 212LP, 1200 bps, Full Duplex (212A) Modem 445 
U.S. Robotics Auto Dial 212A. 300/1200 Full Duplex Modem 599 

Incomm Auto Dial 212A. 300/1200 Full Duplex Modem 599 

Cermetec Auto Dial 212A, 300/1200 Full Duplex Modem 595 

Microband Auto Dial 212A. 300/1200 Fuli Duplex Modem 695 

Rixon Intelligent Modem, 300/1200 (10 Number) 495 

Rixon PC 212A (IBM PC Modem Card) 300/1200 495 

Incomm Multi Dial 300/1200 (10 Number) 795 

U.S. Robotics Password 300/1200 (Auto Dial) Modem 495 

U.S. Robotics Courier, Osborne, 300/1200 Modem 518 

U.S. RoboticsS-100,300/1200Auto Dial Modem 495 



Visual 50 CRT 

Freedom 100 CRT, w/20 F, keys & Editing 

Incomm Remote Station l,w/lntegrated3U0/1200 Modem 



Epson MX80/Graftrax + 

Epson MX80 FT/Graf trax + 

Epson MXIOO/Graftrax + 

Epson FX 80 

Star Micronics Gemini 10 

Star Micronics Gemini 15 

AJ Letter Quality Printer, 30 CPS (KSR) 



Incomm AB Switch, 8 Pin 
Incomm AB Switch, 25 Pin 
Incomm ABC Switch, 25 Pin 



IDS Breakout Box (Blue Box) 
Incomm Breakout Box (Bob) 



Epson, HX-20-AA 
Epson QX-10/256K 
Zenith Z-100 



U.S. Robotics Telpac 

Rixon PC Com 1 (IBM PC Software) 



695 
595 
1295 



650 
700 
900 
750 
399 
649 
1450 



120 
159 
198 



159 
150 



795 
2995 
4000 



79 
69 



140 
120 



T-7MM. 7 Pin, 4 Wire, Telephone Cable (Modular Plugs) 10 

S-975, Modular Double Adapter 7 

EIA 9/5, RS 232. 9 Pin Cable, 5 FT MM/FF/MF 15 

ElA 25/5, RS 232, 25 Pin Cable, 25 FT MM/FF/MF 22 

EIA 50/5, Centronics Parallel Cable, 5 FT (36 Pin) 30 

MC 0050/10, Centronics 10 Ft. MM Cable, 36 Pin (10 FT) 38 

7010/5, IBM PC Printer Cable w/36 Pin 40 

8010/5 Apple II Printer Cable w/36 Pin 27 

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ZX FORTH 



Simplicity of BASIC with the speed 
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A complete implementation of the FORTH language for 
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into a "word processor". The basic unit is the WORD — 
the programmer uses existing WORDS to define his 
own which can then be used in further definitions. This 
makes program development much faster than other 
languages. FORTH is an interactive compiled language 
that expands the capabilities of your own ZX81/TS1000. 
Programs run up to 10 times faster than BASIC. The 
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232 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 452 on Inquiry card. 



Circle 451 on inquiry card. 



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allowed on program files represent 
different internal file formats. 

• .COM files are pure binary pro- 
grams that will run in any 8086 mem- 
ory segment; in order for this to be 
possible, the program and data would 
ordinarily have to be entirely in one 
64K-byte segment. 

• .EXE files include a header with 
relocation information so that the 
program may use any number of seg- 
ments; all intersegment references are 
adjusted at load time to account for 
the actual load segment. 

• .BAT (batch) files are text files with 
commands to be executed in sequence 
by COMMAND. 

File Structure 

Disks are always divided up into 
tracks and sectors, as shown in figure 
2. To access any particular block of 
data, the program first moves to the 
correct track, then has you wait while 
the spinning disk moves the correct 
sector under the head. 

A somewhat more abstract view of 
disks was taken in developing MS- 
DOS. MS-DOS views the disk, not in 
terms of tracks and sectors, but as a 
continuous array of n logical sectors, 
numbered from to n— 1. Figure 2 
shows the usual method of number- 
ing the logical sectors. Logical sector 
is the first sector of the outermost 
track; the rest of the track (and the 
next, etc.) is numbered sequentially. 
Logical sector n — 1 is the last sector 
on the innermost track. 

The mapping of logical sectors to 
physical track and sector is done by 
the hardware-dependent I/O System 
and is completely transparent to the 



SECTOR 1 



SECTOR 8 



SECTOR 7 




SECTOR 6 



SECTOR 3 



SECTOR 



Figure 2: Placement of disk sectors in IBM Personal Computer (single-sided) format. 



MS-DOS file system. Any other 
method may be used, and MS-DOS 
wouldn't know the difference. Hav- 
ing a standard mapping, however, is 
essential for interchanging disks be- 
tween computer systems with dif- 
ferent peripheral hardware. 

As shown in table 1, the MS-DOS 
file system divides the linear array of 
logical sectors into four groups. The 
first of these is the reserved area, 
whose purpose is to hold the boot- 



strap loader. Because the loader is 
usually very simple, only one sector 
is normally reserved. 

The FAT (file allocation table), a 
map of how space is distributed 
among all files on the disk, comes 
next. Because it is so important, two 
copies are usually kept side by side. If 
one copy cannot be read because of a 
failure in the medium, the second will 
be used. 

The directory follows the FAT. 



Logical 

Sector 

Numbers 


Use 





Reserved for bootstrap 
loader 


1—6 
7—12 


FAT 1 1 file allocation 
FAT 2 J tables (FATs) 


13—29 


Directory 


30—2001 


Data 


Table 1: Map of disk areas on an 


8-inch single- 
py disk. 


■sided, single-density flop- 



BYTE 
LOCATION 



16 



24 



NAME 



EXTENSION 



ATTRI- 
BUTES 



ZEROS 



POINTER 
TO FAT 



ZEROS 



TIME 



SIZE IN BYTES 



Figure 3: Arrangement of bytes in disk directory entry. 



234 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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Logical 

Sector 

Numbers 

30—33 

34—37 
38—41 
42—45 



1998—2001 



Allocation Unit 
Number 



2 (first allocation 

unit) 
3 

4 
5 



494 



Table 2: Allocation unit numbering for 
the 8-inch single-density format. To 
compute the logical sector number of 
the first sector in an allocation unit, 
you use the following equation: sector 
number = 4 X allocation unit number 
+ 22. 



FILE DATA( 



PARTIALLY 
UNUSED 
SECTOR 



COMPLETELY 
UNUSED < 
SECTORS 



LOGICAL 

SECTOR 

NUMBER 



38 
39 
40 
41 



42 
43 
44 
45 



46 
47 
48 
49 



ALLOCATION 
UNIT 4 



ALLOCATION 
UNIT 5 



ALLOCATION 
UNIT 6 



Figure 4: Assignment of logical sectors to 
allocation units. Note that, 4n the file 
shown, more than two sectors are wasted 
because they are in an unused part of the 
last allocation unit. 



Each file on the disk has one 32-byte 
entry in the directory, which includes 
the file name, size, date and time of 
last write, and special attributes. Each 
entry also has a pointer to a place in 
the FAT that tells where to find the 
data in the file. Figure 3 shows the 
layout of a directory entry. 

The rest of the disk is the data area. 
It is divided into many small, equal- 
sized areas called allocation units. 
Each unit may have 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 



64, or 128 logical sectors, but the 
number is fixed for a given disk for- 
mat. Allocation units are numbered 
sequentially. The numbering starts 
with 2; the first two numbers, and 
1, are reserved. Table 2 shows this 
numbering system applied to the 
8-inch single-density disk format. 

The allocation unit is the smallest 
unit of space MS-DOS can keep track 
of. The amount of space used on the 
disk for each file is some whole num- 
ber of allocation units. Even if the file 
is only 1 byte long, an entire unit will 
be dedicated to it. 

For example, the standard format 
for 8-inch single-density disks uses 
four 128-byte sectors per allocation 
unit. When a new file is first created, 
no space is allocated, but an entry is 
made in the directory. Then when the 
first byte is written to the file, one 
allocation unit (four sectors) is as- 
signed to the file from the available 
free space. As each succeeding byte is 
written, the size of the file is kept up- 
dated to the exact byte, but no more 
space is allocated until those first four 
sectors are completely full. Then to 
write 1 byte more than those four sec- 
tors worth, another four-sector allo- 
cation unit is taken from free space 
and assigned to the file. 

When writing stops, the last alloca- 
tion unit will be filled by some ran- 
dom amount of data (figure 4). The 
unused space in the last allocation 
unit is wasted and can never be used 
as long as the file remains unchanged 
on the disk. This wasted space is 
called internal fragmentation, 
because it is part of the space 
allocated to the file but is an unusable 
fragment. On the average, the last 
allocation unit (regardless of size) will 
be half filled and, .therefore, half 
wasted. Because each file wastes an 
average of one-half an allocation 
unit, the total amount of space 
wasted on a disk due to internal frag- 
mentation is the number of files times 
one-half the allocation unit size. 

The phenomenon called external 
fragmentation occurs when a piece of 
data space is unallocated yet remains 
unused because it is too small. This 
cannot happen in the MS-DOS file 
system because MS-DOS does not re- 
quire files to be allocated contiguous- 



ly. It is, however, present in more 
primitive systems, such as the UCSD 
p-System. 

It would certainly seem desirable to 
minimize internal fragmentation by 
making the allocation unit as small as 
possible — always one sector, for ex- 
ample. However, for any given disk 
size, the smaller the unit, the more 
there must be. Keeping track of all 
those units can get to be a problem. 
Specifically, the amount of space re- 
quired in the file allocation table 
would be quite large if there were too 
many small allocation units. For 
every unit, 1.5 bytes are required in 
the FAT; there are normally two 
FATs on the disk, each of which is 
rounded up to a whole number of sec- 
tors. 

Now take a standard 8-inch single- 
density floppy disk that has 2002 sec- 
tors of 128 bytes. To minimize inter- 
nal fragmentation, choose the small- 
est possible allocation-unit size of one 
sector. Two thousand allocation units 
will require 3000 bytes (24 sectors) 
per FAT, or 48 sectors for two FATs. 
If the average file size is 16K bytes 
(128 sectors), the disk will be full 
when there are 16 files on it. Waste 
due to internal fragmentation would 
be 

16 files X 64 bytes per file = 
1024 bytes (8 sectors) 

Far more space is occupied by the 
FATs on the disk than is wasted by 
internal fragmentation! 

To provide maximum usable data 
space on the disk, both internal frag- 
mentation and FAT size must be con- 
sidered because both consume data 
area. The standard MS-DOS format 
for 8-inch single-density disks strikes 
a balance by using four sectors per 
allocation unit. Two sectors per unit 
would have been just as good (assum- 
ing a 16K-byte average file size), but 
there is another factor that always 
favors smaller FATs and larger allo- 
cation units: the entire FAT is kept in 
main memory at all times. 

The file allocation table contains all 
information regarding which alloca- 
tion units are part of which file. Thus 
by keeping it in main memory, any 
file can be accessed either sequentially 



236 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Powerful CP/M Software. 

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Now only *29h95 each! 



NEVADA 

COBOL 

was $199.95 now only $29.95. 

When we introduced Nevada COBOL in 1979, it was loaded with 
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statements in 32K RAM, 4000 statements in 48K, etc. 

D It's based upon the ANSI-74 standards with level 2 features such 
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□ You can distribute your object programs royalty FREE! 

D You get a diskette, 153-page manual with lots of examples and 16 
complete COBOL source code programs. 

Also available: COBOL Application Packages, Book 1 $9.95 



NEVADA 

PILOT 

was $149.95 now only $29.95. 

□ Perfect for industrial training, office training, drill and testing, 
virtually all programmed instruction, word puzzle games, and data 
entry facilitated by prompts. 

□ John Starkweather, Ph.D., the inventor of the PILOT language, 
has added many new features to Nevada PILOT. There are com- 
mands to drive optional equipment such as Video Tape Recorders. 
There's a built-in full-screen text editor, and much more. 

□ Meets all PILOT-73 standards for full compatibility with older 
versions. 

□ You get a diskette, 114-page manual and ten useful sample 
programs. 

□ See Review in Microcomputing, January 1983, page 158. 



NEVADA 



FORTRAN 

was $199.95 now only $29.95. 

□ Based on ANSI-66 standards with some 1977 level features. 

□ IF . . THEN . . ELSE constructs. 

D A very nice TRACE style debugging. 

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□ You get a diskette, 174 pages of Documentation and five sample 
programs. Requires 48K RAM. 



NEVADA 

EDIT 



was $119.95 now only $29.95. 

□ High quality text editing for micros! 

D A character-oriented full-screen video displaytext editor designed 
specifically to create COBOL, BASIC and FORTRAN programs. 

□ Completely customizable tab stops, default file type, keyboard 
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□ The diskette comes with an easy to read manual. 



To make our software available to even more micro users, we've slashed our prices. 
What's more, we're offering a money back guarantee. If for any reason you're not 
completely satisfied, just return the package— in good condition with the sealed 
diskette unopened— within 30 days and we'll refund your money completely. 

This is a limited time offer, so orderyours today! 

Shipping/handling fees. Add $4.00 for first package and $2.00 each additional 
package. OVERSEAS Add $15.00 for first package and $5.00 each additional pack- 
age. Checks must be in U.S. funds and drawn on a U.S. bank! 

Trademarks: CP/M, Digital Research; TRS-80, Tandy Corp.; TeleVideo, TeleVideo 
Systems, Inc.; Apple ll, Apple Computer Inc.; Osborne 1, Osborne Computer Corp.; 
Xerox 820, Xerox Corp.; Kaypro, Non-Linear Sys.; Heath/Zenith, Heath Co.; IBM, 
International Business Machine, Corp. © 1983 Ellis Computing. 

MAIL TODAY! To: Ellis Computing 
3917 Noriega St. 
San Francisco, CA 94122 
(415) 753-0186 



o 



ELLIS COMPUTING 



The CP/M-80 Operating Systems and 32K RAM are required. 

Indicate diskette format: 

8" □ SSSD (Standard IBM 3740 format) 



5Va" D Apple CP/M 

□ North Star DD 

□ TRS-80 Mod I (4200 hex) 
D Heath, Hard Sector 

□ Micropolis Mod II 

□ Xerox 820 (Kaypro) 



□ Osborne 

□ North Star SD 

D TRS-80 Mod l/Mapper 

□ Heath, Soft Sector 

□ Superbrain DD DOS 3.X 
(512 byte sectors) 

□ TeleVideo 



Indicate software packages: D COBOL □ PILOT 

□ FORTRAN DEDIT 



Send my order for 



packages @ $29.95 each Total 



COBOL Applications Package @ $9.95 each Total 



□ Check enclosed 

D MasterCard □ VISA 
# 



InCAaddsalestax 
Shipping/handling 



TOTAL 
. Exp. Date ^____ 



Signature 
Ship to: 
Name 



Street . 



City/St/Zip 
Country 



BYTE June 1983 237 



(5a) 


F 
/ 

reservedTo 

ENTRIES^l 
2 
3 
4 

*5 

6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 


•ILE 

\LLOCATION 

rABLE 


DIRECTORY 


-1 




ENTRY 


-1 






7 




9 


1 


•m 1 


1 5 .| 


-1 


1 


6 


•— 




3 














8 




-1 




10 


" 1 




-1 






22 











(5b) 

FF FF FF 07 90 00 FF 6F 
00 03 80 00 FF AF 00 FF 
6F 01 

Figure 5: Finding data via the directory 
and the file allocation table. Figure 5a 
shows how pointers are used to direct the 
operating system to the sequential parts of 
a file. The data stored in the sample file- 
allocation table is displayed in hexadeci- 
mal in figure 5b. 



or randomly without going to disk 
except for the data access itself. 
Schemes used in other operating sys- 
tems (including CP/M and Unix) may 
require one or more disk reads simply 
to find out where the data is, par- 
ticularly with a random access. In an 
application such as a database in- 
quiry, where frequent random access 
is the rule, this can easily make a 2 to 
1 difference in performance. 

How the FAT Works 

The directory entry for each file 
has one allocation unit number in it: 
the number of the first unit in the file. 
If, as in the previous example, an 
allocation unit consists of four sectors 
of 128 bytes each, then just by look- 
ing at the directory you know where 
to find the first 512 bytes of the file. If 
the file is larger than this, you go to 
the FAT. 

The FAT is a one-dimensional ar- 
ray of allocation unit numbers. As 
with any array, a given element is 
found with a numeric index. The 
numbers used as indexes into the FAT 



are also allocation unit numbers. 
Think of the FAT as a map, or trans- 
lation table, that takes an allocation 
unit number as input and returns a 
different allocation unit number as 
output. The input can be any unit 
that is part of a file; the number 
returned is the next sequential unit of 
that file. 

Let's look at the example in figure 
5a. Suppose that the directory entry 
for a file specifies allocation unit 
number 5 as the first of the file. This 
locates the first four logical sectors 
(512 bytes). To find the next alloca- 
tion unit of the file, look at entry 5 in 
the file allocation table. The 6 there 
tells you two things: first, the next 
four logical sectors of the file are in 
allocation unit number 6; and second, 
to find the unit after that, look at 
FAT entry number 6. 

This process is repeated as you 
locate each allocation unit in the file. 
After number 6 comes number 3, then 
number 9, then number 10. In each 
case, the allocation unit number 
returned by the FAT tells you both 



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238 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 304 on inquiry card. 




*-■■■■-.._.. r _ ii , — * 

i:Vl 












POINT ... The 

Houston Instrument DMP-41 
plotter meets the needs of the 
serious or professional user, 
yet it's easy to operate. 

POINT . . . C/D size 
format, comprehensive front- 
panel controls and sophisti- 
cated firmware are all taK 
lored to the needs of 
the surveyor, drafter, 
oceanographer, geophysicist 
and land developer ... to 
name but a few. You can gen- 
erate superior architectural 
elevations, contour maps, 
circuit-board layouts and 
assembly drawings quickly 
and accurately on bond, 
vellum or synthetic media. 



POINT. . .The DMP-41 
is configured to work with 
micros and minis, and has 
the capacity to take advantage 
of a mainframe's increased 
capability. RS-232-C 
interfacing is standard, 
with alternate protocols avail- 
able. The DMP-41 is easy to 
live with, adhering to FCC 
Class B requirements. (JL list- d 
ing pending. 

POINT . . . Minutely 
defined step size and high- 
resolution logic — combined 
with robust drives and opti- 
mized pen ballistics enable 
you to create plots of high pre- 
cision and surpassing quality. 



POINT ... The 

Houston Instrument 
DMP-41 is one of your 
most cost effective 
considerations.* 

For the name, ad- 
dress and phone 
number of your near- 
est distributor, write 
Houston Instrument, 
8500 Cameron 
Road, Austin, Texas 
78753. Phone 
512-835-0900, or 
800-531-5205 if outside 
Texas. In Europe contact 
Bausch & Lomb Belgium NV, 
Rochesterlaan 6, 8240 Gistel, 
Belgium. Tel 059-27-74-45, 
tlx 846-81339. 



BAUSCH & LOMB ▼ 

Houston instrument division 

♦suggested CIS retail $2,995 
Circle 40 on inquiry card. 





J 



w^ 



The Chaplin character licensed by Bubbles, Inc., S.A. 



Congratulations. We published your program. 






The envelope, please. 
There's an acceptance letter inside. And a 
check that could have your name on it. (If we 
select your program, that is.) 
But remember. 
We pick our winners carefully. 

Because the software we publish for 
the IBM Personal Computer has to be 
good enough to complement 
IBM Personal Computer hardware. 
(See the box at right.) 

Like our hardware, this software 
should be simple to use. Friendly. 
Fast. And written to help satisfy the 
needs of the individual. 

Our Personal Editor is a perfect 
example. A versatile text file editor, 
it not only helps the user save time, 
but lets him easily self-tailor a task 
with definable function keys. And 
it sets a standard of excellence. 

Of course, every person will use the 
IBM Personal Computer differently. 
That's why we plan on publishing 
many different programs. 

Entertainment programs. 
And educational programs. And 
business programs. And 
personal productivity 



programs. And graphics. And games. 

And more. 

We'll also consider software written by 
programmers^ programmers. For example, 
the BASIC Program Development System, 
Professional Editor and Diskette Librarian 
I 1 

I IBM PERSONAL COMPUTER SPECIFICATIONS 



| User Memory 

64K-640Kb\tes 
i Microprocessor 

16-bit, 8088 
I Auxiliary Memory 
I 2 optional internal 
i diskette drives, SW 

l60KB/l80KB»ir 
I 320KB/360KB 

per diskette 
I Keyboard 
| 83 keys, 6 ft. cord 

attaches to 

system unit 
| 10 function keys 
i 10-key numeric pad 
■ Diagnostics 
I Power-on j self testing 
I Parity checking 



Display Screens 

Color or monochrome 
High-resolution 
80 characters x 25 lines 
Upper and lower case 
Operating Systems 
DOS, UCSD p-Svs tern, 

CP/M-86t 
Languages 
BASIC, Pascal. FORTRAN, 

MACRO Assembler, 

COBOL 
Printer 
AJl -points-addressable 

graphics capability 
Bidirectional 
80 characters/second 
18 character styles 
9x9 character matrix 



Permanent Memory 

(ROM) 40K bytes 

Color/Graphics 

7c'.\Y mode: 

16 colors 

256 characters and 

symbols in ROM 
Graphics mode: 
4-color resolution: 

320h x 200v 
Black & white resolution: 

640h x 200v 
Simultaneous graphics & 

text capability 

Communications 

RS-232-C interface 
SDLC, Asynchronous, 

Bisynchronous protocols 
Up to 9600 bits per second 





are high-quality, full-function tools that 
were submitted by authors like you and 
subsequently published by us. 

Now you might have the chance to win. 

Who knows? Y>u could open the mailbox 
and find one of the envelopes shown here. 

For information on how to submit your 
program, if completed and running, write: 
IBM Personal Computer External Submissions, 
Dept. 765 PC, Armonk, 
New York 10504. === =• 



The IBM Personal Computer 
A tool for modern times 



Circle 180 on inquiry card. 



For more information on where to buy the JBM Personal Computer, call 800-447-4700. In Alaska or Hawaii, 800-447-0890. 



Circle 56 on inquiry card. 



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where the data is (i.e., in which unit) 
and where to look in the FAT for the 
next allocation unit number. 

If you followed the example all the 
way through, you should have no- 
ticed that entry 10 in the FAT con- 
tains a —1. This, as you might have 
guessed, is the end-of-file mark. Allo- 
cation unit number 10 is last in the 
file, so its entry contains this special 
flag. (Another special value in the 
FAT is 0, which marks a free alloca- 
tion unit.) 

Now you know that this file oc- 
cupies five allocation units, numbers 
5, 6, 3, 9, and 10 in order. The file 
could be extended by finding any free 
unit, say 27, putting its number in en- 
try 10 (where the —1 is now), and 
marking it with the —1 for end of file. 
That is, entry 10 in the FAT will con- 
tain 27, and entry 27 will contain —1. 
This demonstrates how you can ex- 
tend any file at will and that you can 
use any free space on the disk when 
needed, without regard to its physical 
location. 

If you ever want to look at a real 
FAT, there's one more thing you'll 
need to know. Each FAT entry is 12 
bits (1.5 bytes) long. These entries are 
packed together, so two of them fit in 
3 bytes. From a programming view- 
point, you would look up an entry in 
the FAT this way: Multiply the entry 
number by lVi, truncating it to an in- 
teger if necessary. Fetch the 16-bit 
word at that location in the FAT. If 
the original entry number was odd 
(so that truncation was necessary in 
the first step), shift the word right 4 
bits; the lowest 12 bits of the word is 
the contents of the FAT entry. Read- 
ing a FAT from a hexadecimal dump 
isn't nearly as simplel Figure 5b 
shows the hexadecimal version of the 
sample FAT I've been using. 

File System in Action 

To put all this in perspective, you 
need to look at how MS-DOS handles 
a file-transfer request from an appli- 
cation program. With MS-DOS, ap- 
plication programs treat files as if 
they were divided into logical rec- 
ords. The size of the logical record is 
entirely dependent on the application 
and may range from 1 byte to 65,535 
bytes. It is not a permanent feature of 



242 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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(6a) 



byte position 1200 
^ytH 
sector 



= 9, remainder 48 



Therefore, first byte to transfer is sector 9, byte 48 

128 - 48 = 80 bytes to transfer in first sector 
1200 - 80 = 1120 bytes left after first sector 

1120 bytes Q . . ~~ 
r— i = 8, remainder 96 

128 » 
sector 



Therefore, transfer 8 whole sectors, then 96 bytes of last sector 



(6b) 



9 sectors 



sectors 



= 2, remainder 1 



allocation unit 
Therefore, first sector to transfer is allocation unit 2, sector 1. 

Figure 6: Calculating physical byte-level operations from logical definitions. The pro- 
cess outlined in figure 6a shows how the amount of data is calculated in physical terms. 
The actual position of data on the disk is computed in figure 6b. 



a file but in fact may vary from one 
file-transfer request to the next. The 
logical record size currently being 
used is passed to MS-DOS for each 
transfer made. It is, of course, com- 
pletely independent of the physical 
sector size the disk uses. 

To read a file, an application pro- 
gram passes to MS-DOS the size of a 
logical record, the first logical record 
to read, and the number of sequential 
logical records to read. Let's follow 
an example of how MS-DOS uses this 
information. Assume the application 
program is using 80-byte records and 
is set up to read a file 15 records at a 
time. Let's pick things up on its sec- 
ond read, that is, after it has already 
taken the first 15 records and is about 
to read the second 15. The request 
will be for an 80-byte record, the first 
record is number 15, and you want to 
read 15 records. Now pretend you're 
MS-DOS and analyze this request. 

You immediately convert the re- 
quest into byte-level operations. First 
multiply the logical record size by the 
record number, to get the byte posi- 
tion to start reading (80 X 15 = 
1200). Then multiply the record size 
by the number of records, to get the 



number of bytes to transfer (also 
1200). 

Next, these numbers must be put in 
terms of physical disk sectors. This 
requires some divisions and subtrac- 
tions involving the physical sector 
size and results in the breakdown of 
the transfer into three distinct pieces: 

(1) the position in the file of the first 
physical sector and the first byte 
within that sector to be transferred, 

(2) the number of whole sectors to 
transfer after the first (partial) sector, 
and (3) the number of bytes of the last 
(partial) sector to be transferred. The 
calculations and their results are 
shown in figure 6a. It is quite com- 
mon for one or two of these pieces to 
be of length 0, in which case some of 
the following steps are not per- 
formed. 

At this point, there is still no hint as 
to where the data will actually be 
found on the disk. You know that 
you want the tenth sector of the file 
(sector 9 because you start counting 
with 0), but you're not yet ready to 
check with the FAT to see where it is. 
The sector position in the file must be 
broken into two new numbers: the 
allocation unit position in the file and 



the sector within the allocation unit. 
For this example with single-density 
8-inch disks (four sectors per alloca- 
tion unit), this would be the third unit 
from the start of the file and the sec- 
ond sector within the unit (figure 6b). 

What you need to do now is skip 
through the FAT to the third alloca- 
tion unit in the file. If your file is the 
same one shown in figure 5, then 
from the directory entry you learn 
that the first unit is number 5. Look- 
ing at entry 5 of the FAT, you see the 
second unit is number 6. And finally, 
from entry 6 of the FAT, you find the 
third unit of the file, number 3. Table 
2 reminds you that allocation unit 
number 3 is made up of physical sec- 
tors 34, 35, 36, and 37; therefore, 
physical sector 35 is what you are 
looking for. 

Now the disk reads begin. Physical 
sector 35, only part of which is need- 
ed, is read into the single buffer kept 
in MS-DOS solely for this purpose. 
Then that part of the sector that is 
needed is moved as a block into the 
place requested by the application 
program. 

Next, the whole sectors are read. 
MS-DOS looks ahead in the FAT to 
see if the allocation units to be trans- 
ferred are consecutive. If so, they are 
combined into a single multiple- 
sector I/O system transfer request, 
which allows the I/O system to op- 
timize the transfer. This is the pri- 
mary reason why MS-DOS disks do 
not ordinarily use any form of sector 
interleaving: a well- written I/O sys- 
tem will be able to transfer con- 
secutive disk sectors if told to do it in 
a single request. The overhead of 
making the request, however, would 
often be too great to transfer con- 
secutive sectors if it were done on a 
sector-by-sector basis. 

Back to the example. MS-DOS will 
request that the I/O system read sec- 
tors 36 and 37 directly into the mem- 
ory location called for by the applica- 
tion. Then, noting that allocation 
units 9 and 10 are consecutive, the 
corresponding sectors 58, 59, 60, and 
61 from unit 9 and sectors 62 and 63 
from unit 10 will be read by the I/O 
system in a single request. This com- 
pletes the transfer of the eight whole 
sectors. 



244 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Known variously as Seattle Com- 
puter 86-DOS, IBM Personal Com- 
puter DOS, and Zenith Z-DOS, MS- 
DOS was developed by Seattle Com- 
puter Products for its 8086-based com- 
puter system. The MS-DOS history is 
intertwined with the general develop- 
ment of software for 8086-based com- 
puters. 

In May 1979, Seattle Computer 
made the first prototype of its 8086 
microprocessor card for the S-100 bus. 
There were brief discussions with 
Digital Research about using one of 
Seattle Computer's prototypes to aid in 
developing CP/M-86, which was to be 
ready "soon. " Although Seattle Com- 
puter was considering using CP/M-86 
when it became available (expected no 
later than the end of 1979), there were 
only two working prototypes of the 
8086 processor card, and it was felt 
that both were needed in house. There- 
fore, there wasn't one free for Digital 
Research. 

Microsoft had already started a 
strong 8086 software-development 
program. The firm was ready to try the 
8086 version of Stand-Alone Disk 
BASIC, which is a version of its BASIC 
interpreter with a built-in operating 
system. During the last two weeks of 
May 1979, this BASIC was made com- 
pletely functional using the hardware 



A Short History of MS-DOS 

that Seattle Computer provided for 
Microsoft. Seattle Computer Products 
displayed the complete package (8086 
running disk BASIC) in New York the 
first week of June at the 1979 National 
Computer Conference. (This was the 
first-ever public display of an 8086 
BASIC and of an 8086 processor card 
for the S-100 bus.) 

Seattle Computer shipped its first 
8086 cards in November 1979, with 
Stand-Alone Disk BASIC as the only 
software to run on it. The months 
rolled by, and CP/M-86 was nowhere 
in sight. Finally, in April 1980, Seat- 
tle decided to create its own DOS. This 
decision resulted just as much from 
concern about CP/M's shortcomings 
as from the urgent need for a general- 
purpose operating system. 

The first versions of the operating 
system, called QDOS 0.10, were 
shipped in August 1980. QDOS stood 
for Quick and Dirty Operating System 
because it was thrown together in such 
a hurry (two man-months), but it 
worked surprisingly well. It had all the 
basic utilities for assembly-language 
development except an editor. One 
week later, Seattle Computer had 
created an operating system with an 
editor, an absurdity known as EDLIN 
(editor of lines). A primitive line- 
oriented system, it was supposed to 



last less than six months. (Unfortunate- 
ly, it has lasted much longer than that 
as part MS-DOS.) 

In the last few days of 1980, a new 
version of the DOS was released, now 
known as 86-DOS version 0.3. Seattle 
Computer passed this new version on 
to Microsoft, which had bought non- 
exclusive rights to market 86-DOS and 
had one customer for it at the time. 
Also about this time, Digital Research 
released the first copies of CP/M-86. In 
April 1981, Seattle Computer Products 
released 86-DOS version 1.00, which 
was very similar to the versions of MS- 
DOS that are widely distributed today. 

In July 1981, Microsoft bought all 
rights to the DOS from Seattle Com- 
puter, and the name MS-DOS was 
adopted. Shortly afterward, IBM an- 
nounced the Personal Computer, using 
as its operating system what was essen- 
tially Seattle Computer's 86-DOS 1.14. 
Microsoft has been continuously im- 
proving the DOS, providing version 
1.24 to IBM (as IBM's version 1.1) with 
MS-DOS version 1.25 as the general 
release to all MS-DOS customers in 
March 1982. Now version 2.0, released 
in February 1983, has just been an- 
nounced with IBM's new XT com- 
puter. 



To finish the job, sector number 64 
is read into the internal MS-DOS sec- 
tor buffer. Its first 96 bytes are moved 
to the application program's area. 

The Sector Buffer 

This example shows the internal 
MS-DOS sector buffer being used in a 
very simple way. In reality, MS-DOS 
would normally perform the disk 
read in the example more efficiently 
than described here due to its opti- 
mized buffer handling. By keeping 
track of the contents of the buffer, 
disk accesses are minimized. The 
resulting speed improvement can be 
dramatic particularly when the re- 
quested transfer size is small (a frac- 
tion of a sector). 

In the example, I assumed the ap- 
plication program was sequentially 
reading 15-record chunks (at 80 bytes 
per record) and had already com- 



pleted the first such read. This would 
mean that sector 35 (the first one read 
in this example) would already be in 
the sector buffer because its first 48 
bytes were needed for the previous 



The presence of only 
one sector buffer in MS- 
DOS is a design 
inadequacy that is 
difficult to defend. 



read. MS-DOS would not reread this 
sector but instead would simply copy 
the remaining 80 bytes into the area 
designated by the application. 

Likewise, when the application is 
ready to read the third chunk of the 
file, MS-DOS will find sector 64 
already in the sector buffer. The last 



32 bytes of the sector will be moved 
into place without a disk read. 

For its own internal simplicity, MS- 
DOS has only one sector buffer. Be- 
tween the 15-record reads, should the 
application request some other trans- 
fer that requires use of the buffer, 
then the buffer contents will be 
changed, and these optimizations are 
not possible. In this particular case, in 
which most of the disk transfer does 
not need the buffer, there will be very 
little difference in speed either way. 
Let's look at a different case where 
this optimization is practically essen- 
tial. 

Suppose the application wishes to 
write a file sequentially, one 16-byte 
record at a time. When the first 
record is written, MS-DOS simply 
copies the 16 bytes into the first part 
of the sector buffer. As each of the 
next seven records is written, it too 



246 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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is just copied into the appropriate 
position in the sector buffer. Again 
with a 128-byte sector of an 8-inch 
single-density format, the sector buf- 
fer would be full at this point. Upon 
attempting to write the ninth record, 
MS-DOS would find it needs to put 
the record in a different sector from 
the one currently in the buffer. The 
current buffer contents are marked 
"dirty," meaning they must be writ- 
ten to disk rather than discarded. MS- 
DOS does this and then moves the 
ninth 16-byte record into the buffer. 

Note that MS-DOS did not write 
the sector buffer automatically after 
128 bytes had been written to it. This 
is because the DOS has no notion of a 
sequential file: every disk transfer has 
an explicitly specified record position 
and record size. Thus, it does not 
think of the buffer as "full" — for all it 
knows, the application program 
might back up and write the first 16 
bytes over again. So the data is simp- 
ly kept in the buffer until the file is 
closed or until the buffer is needed for 
something else. 

Another optimization was taking 
place here that may have gone un- 
noticed. MS-DOS is always aware of 
the exact size of its files, and the 
assumption in the previous example 
was that this file was being newly 
written. Had it already existed, MS- 
DOS would have been forced to pre- 
read each sector into the sector buffer 
before copying any records into it. 
This is essential in case the program 
does random writes, intending to 
change only selected portions of the 
file. When the file is being extended 
(as in this case), the preread is not 
performed. 

The possible outcome of this ap- 
proach to buffer handling is that 
when the application program re- 
quests a write and is told it was suc- 
cessfully completed, the data may, in 
fact, not yet be written to the disk. 
The alternative approach is called 
buffer write-through, in which the 
data in the sector buffer would be 
written to disk each time the applica- 
tion requested a write. This would 
mean, in the example, eight rewrites 
of the same sector before moving on 
to the next, requiring a minimum of 
1.2 seconds to write just 128 bytes! As 



250 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE June 1983 251 



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the logical record size gets smaller, 
the time required to write becomes 
greater. 

The presence of only one buffer 
does bring about the definite possibil- 
ity of buffer "thrashing.'' Take the ex- 
ample of an application such as a 
compiler that will alternately read a 
small amount from one file and write 
a little bit to another. If both the 
reads and writes consist of a single 
16-byte record, then the following se- 
quence will be performed for each 
pair of records: 

• read input file, get record from buf- 
fer 

• read output file, put record into 
buffer 

•write output file 

For each record pair, three disk trans- 
fers are required. The result would be 
unbearably slow. The presence of 
only one sector buffer in MS-DOS is 
a design inadequacy that is difficult to 
defend (but it does help keep the DOS 
small). The practical solution is for 
applications that must access more 
than one file at a time to provide their 
own internal buffering. By requesting 
transfers that are at least half as big as 
the sector size, thrashing can be sub- 
stantially reduced. 

MS-DOS 2.0 

Microsoft has now made available 
MS-DOS version 2.0 to all OEM (ori- 
ginal equipment manufacturer) cus- 
tomers of previous versions. The 10 
months put into version 2.0 by the 
MS-DOS team probably exceeds the 
total effort behind the previous 1.25 
release, including the original devel- 
opment at Seattle Computer Prod- 
ucts. While the changes have been 
substantial, the basic structure is still 
recognizable. I have been discussing 
the DOS at such a low level that most 
of what I've talked about applies 
directly to version 2.0 as well. Here 
are the three main differences, along 
with my personal comment as 
original author of the DOS. I was not 
involved in the MS-DOS 2.0 project. 

MS-DOS 2.0 allows multiple-sec- 
tor buffers. The number is deter- 
mined by a configuration file when 
the DOS is loaded. It can be easily ad- 



justed to the user's needs: for exam- 
ple, to accommodate more buffers to 
prevent thrashing (this is the ideal 
solution to the buffer thrashing prob- 
lem previously discussed) and fewer 
buffers to make more system memory 
available. 

The new MS-DOS does not keep 
the file allocation tables in memory at 
all times. Instead, the tables share the 
use of the sector buffers along with 
partial-sector data transfers. This 
means that at any one time, all, part, 
or none of a FAT may be in memory. 
The buffer-handling algorithms will 
presumably keep often-used sectors 
in memory, and this applies to in- 
dividual sectors of the FAT as well. 
This change in the DOS goes com- 
pletely against my original design 
principles. Memory is getting cheaper 
all the time, so dedicating a few thou- 
sand bytes to the FATs should be 
completely painless. Now we're back 
to doing disk reads just to find out 
where the data is. In the case of a ran- 
dom access to a large fragmented file 
(for example, when accessing a data- 
base that fills half of a small Winches- 
ter disk), it is possible that several 
sectors of the FAT would need to be 
visited, in random order, to find the 
needed allocation unit. 

While MS-DOS retains the original 
fixed-size main directory, it now can 
have files as subdirectories. This 
hierarchical (tree-structured) direc- 
tory system may be extended to any 
depth. This approach is nearly essen- 
tial for users to keep track of all the 
files that might be on a hard disk. 

MS-DOS version 2.0 is, on the 
whole, a substantial upgrade of the 
previous releases. The three preced- 
ing paragraphs are intended only to 
point out the way the 2.0 file struc- 
ture differs from the file structure I've 
discussed, not to give you a complete 
product description. ■ 



About the Author 

Tim Pater son worked for Seattle Computer 
Products on the design of its 8086 computer 
system and the operating system now called 
MS-DOS. He then worked for Microsoft for 
about a year. Since returning to Seattle Com- 
puter Products as director of engineering, he 
has been prinarily involved with new hard- 
ware development. 



252 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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And no\^ InfoStar" 

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BYTE West Coast 



A Guided Tour of Visi On 



William T. Coleman, a group 
manager at Visicorp, is responsible 
for Visi On and the applications pro- 
grams that run under it. He started 
work on the Visi On project soon 
after joining Visicorp less than three 
years ago. Prior to that he served as a 
consultant for Visicorp. 

He has also been a department 
manager at GTE, where he managed 
development of minicomputer and 
microcomputer systems that auto- 
mated the use of analog equipment to 
collect, analyze, and disseminate in- 
formation. Before that, he worked at 
the artificial-intelligence lab at Stan- 
ford University, where he did grad- 
uate work. A graduate of the Air 
Force Academy, Coleman served in 
the Air Force as a programmer at the 
Satellite Test Center. 

Bill Coleman talked with BYTEs 
West Coast Editor Phil Lemmons in 
March at Visicorps headquarters in 
San Jose, California. Lemmons ques- 
tions are in bold; Coleman's 
responses follow in lightface. 

When did you decide to do applica- 
tions software that uses mice? 

The original decision wasn't neces- 
sarily to involve mice. It was to 
develop an environment in which 
users could run applications pro- 
grams. We started in the first quarter 
of 1981. We came up with three 
overall requirements for a system that 



Phil Lemmons 

West Coast Editor 

Byte/McGraw-Hill, 4th Floor 

425 Battery St. 

San Francisco, CA 94111 

we wanted to develop, and those re- 
quirements were the appearance of 
multiple product activation . . . 
What does that mean? 
To give the users the impression of 
actually having multiple applications 
programs available to them at any 
time. Users were to believe that they 
could use and interact with multiple 
products very generally. We were 
seeking the appearance of multiple- 
product interaction as opposed to ac- 
tual multiprocessing. 
So you're not "timesharing" the cen- 
tral processing unit? 
In reality, when you get down to the 
depths of what we've done, there is a 
concurrent operating system. That's 
what the Visi On layer of Visi On is. 
The Visi On layer keeps the mouse up 
to date all the time, keeps one ap- 
plication program running, always 
keeps interacting with one program, 
or one activity, as we call it, and can 
also do background processing for 
handling output devices, whether 
they're printers or plotters or com- 
munication lines. 

So while it is in some sense multi- 
tasking, it's riot a multiprocessing en- 
vironment, meaning that you can ac- 



tually tell one program to start com- 
puting here and immediately switch 
to another one and watch the first 
program computing while you're in- 
teracting with the second. You can do 
that only in the context of output pro- 
cessing of the background. 
What were the other two require- 
ments for your system? 
The second requirement was ease of 
learning and use, which we called 
"ELU," and the third requirement was 
simple transfer of data between prod- 
ucts. That meant not a procedure- 
oriented transfer. In brief, we wanted 
users to be able to have multiple pro- 
grams on the screen at one time, ease 
of learning and use, and simple 
transfer of data from one program to 
another. 

From that we've developed a whole 
series of objectives. The key ones 
were that programs be installable. 
That differs from Smalltalk, which 
lacks a concept of programs or prod- 
ucts and uses a concept of objects. 
Objects make up classes, and the class 
provides a set of methods that tell 
what will happen to an object in the 
class when an object receives 
messages. You can increase the 
methods in a class. There are also ob- 
jects that are communications be- 
tween classes and subclasses, and it's 
the class and subclass that have a 
method, etc. But our products had to 
be installable. (See "The Smalltalk-80 



256 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



System/' August 1981, page 
36.) 

We also wanted to live with 
the vendor-supplied operating 
system. We wanted our 
system to be portable across a series 
of machines, portable to many per- 
sonal computers. We wanted the 
system to have a consistent user inter- 
face. And a series of other objectives 
don't come to mind at the moment. 

Basically we've gone through four 
development phases. Phase one was 
specification of the system and devel- 
opment of the human factors — those 
were two separate projects that we 
happened to call Quasar and Nova. 
During the specification of the system 
we decided to develop four different 
external product specifications so that 
we could approach the problem from 
four different angles, and we ap- 
proached it from as wide and diverse 
a set of angles as we could. We devel- 
oped all four. One was a Smalltalk 
system, one resembled a Xerox Star 
system, one was a virtual-terminal 
system, and one was a split-screen 
system. We developed about 15 or 20 
pages of specifications for each of the 
four different approaches. 

The second project was human fac- 
tors, and for that we built two 
models. One was a model of the user, 
and the second was a model of the 
product. We wanted to answer the 
question, What should a product 




William T. Coleman 



look like conceptually to the user? 
And from those two models we devel- 
oped a set of interactions between the 
user and the product model. 

We drew on all of Visicorp's ex- 
perience in customer support and on 
problems we had with building pre- 
vious products. From that we derived 
two things. One was a set of prin- 
ciples of design that are applied to the 
system. Their names might sound a 
little funny. There are 16 of them. 
They're things like the principle of 
display inertia, the principle of the il- 
lusion of direct manipulation, the 
principle of guidedness, etc. We said, 
okay, these are the principles upon 
which we want to build systems from 
now on. 

Could I get a list of those principles? 
It's a proprietary document. I just 
want to mention it because we've 
been going through phase one of the 
development of Visi On, and this was 
part of phase one. 

Next we said, okay, now we have 
these principles of design and we have 
this user and this product; now let's 
classify the interactions between the 
user and the product. So we devel- 
oped the concept of what we called 
BITs, (basic interaction techniques). 



We specified 16 of these; they 
are basically the atoms of the 
interaction of human factors 
in the system. Each BIT encap- 
sulates and specifies one kind 
of interaction between the user and 
the system. There's a menu BIT, an 
error BIT, a forms BIT, a list BIT, a 
sound BIT, a BIT for giving confirma- 
tion, etc. The BITs are the smallest 
atoms of things that we want to use 
consistently in any product. 

At the end of phase one, we did a 
review and we came out of it with an 
overview of our external product 
specification. That consisted of a 
drawing and a set of descriptions of 
the functions. If I showed you that to- 
day, you'd see that what we had in 
the mid-summer of 1981 looks very 
much like the system we have now. 
So there weren't any major reversals 
of course? 

Well, no. There was quite a bit of 
tuning because we evaluated each of 
the four designs and said what we 
liked and didn't like about each. We 
tried to put the best things into one 
system, guided by our principles of 
design. 

Did you come to a time when you 
had to make trade-offs between func- 
tions in the programs and ease of use? 
That's what the whole month of July 
and August was, until we came out 
with this specification. That was the 
end of the first phase. 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 257 



The second phase was a prototype 
phase, and we actually built the 
system from scratch. We built the 
front end of the system as fast as we 
could on an Apple III and got it work- 
ing on an Apple III, just the front end. 
You could actually interact with most 
of the commands that are on the 
global menu line. Only about five 
people were working on this project 
full-time then, and we brought it up 
and got it working. We had to modify 
the motherboard of the Apple to use 
160K bytes of memory, and we had 
to use an Apple II with a graphics 
tablet over an RS-232C line to 
simulate the mouse, but we actually 
got it so you could play with it and 
simulate using the mouse and open 
windows and frame them and things 
like that. 

At the end of the prototype phase, 
in November 1981, we entered phase 
three. We went through a three- 
month period in which we analyzed 
and respecified the system. We 
changed a fair number of things in the 
system at that time and began build- 
ing it at the end of the first quarter of 
last year. 

Phase four, what we're in right 
now, is the development phase. I 
made a big point of the human factors 
throughout. This is a very layered ar- 
chitecture, as required by our needs 
for portability and compatibility with 
an operating system. In the upper 
layer, we not only have all of the 
calls — the Visi Ops, we call them — 
the operations that you would expect 
if you were using a very high level 
windowing system, but we also have 
the BITs. The BITs are actually imple- 
mented in the upper layer. When 
someone is developing a program for 
Visi On, he or she calls something 
named "menu" and just passes it a 
bunch of the data structures, and all 
the interaction is taken care of. So 
when we say if you've learned to use 
one product, you've learned to use 
them all, the location of the BITs 
means that's true. The programmer 
still has to design the actual algo- 
rithms for all the interaction, of 
course. 

That's the history of Visi On's 
development. We're in the process of 
finishing the coding in some areas of 



Visi On and developing the products, 
the applications programs. They are 
in different stages of testing and 
quality assurance so that we can get 
Visi On out this summer. 
Are you producing two sets of all the 
applications programs, one to go into 
Visi On and one to go outside? 
Yes. Every product under Visi On 
and under my group is being devel- 
oped from scratch to work with Visi 
On and to take optimal advantage of 
the use of the mouse in the environ- 
ment, and they'll all be introduced for 
Visi On. They'll be much upgraded 
from our current products. We hope 
we've learned something in the last 
four years about where we have defi- 
ciencies. 

We're in the process of 

finishing and coding in 

some areas of Visi On 

so we can get it out 

this summer. 

Will Visiword be very different from 
the demonstration that I saw a few 
months ago? It looked easy to use. 

From an appearance point of view, it 
won't be very different. I think it's 
much easier to use with the mouse 
added to it, to begin with, and we've 
done some restructuring to take ad- 
vantage of the features. For example, 
it will let you put pictures and graphs 
into the document anywhere, and it 
doesn't just bring the pixel representa- 
tion in, it brings in the line represen- 
tation of the actual drawing and 
draws it to scale. You know, there are 
a fair number of upgrades for things 
like that. But as far as when you 
physically see the interface and use 
the rulers and whatever, there won't 
be a lot of changes. There are a cou- 
ple of other upgrades that it's a little 
premature to talk about. 

The User Interface 

What, in general, are you aiming for 

in the human interface? 

We were looking for something that 
was intuitive to use, very guided, and 
consistent across all products. What 
we ended up having to do in all of the 
definitions of BITs was to try to break 



down the interaction to its lowest 
possible common denominator and 
determine what's appropriate. 

Consistency and intuitiveness are 
very important. We also wanted to 
provide very obvious ways to do 
things but not necessarily provide 
multiple ways to do the same thing. 
We developed a motto early on that 
'Two is much, much greater than 
one." The motto means that any time 
you offer somebody two ways of do- 
ing a task, he has to decide which 
way to do it. That becomes an 
n-factorial problem — 2 times 2 times 
2 to the second power, etc. In design- 
ing products we believe that there are 
so many ways of doing things that 
people get afraid to try anything. 
They don't know at a given time just 
what using this key or doing some 
other specific action will do. 

On the other hand, in certain in- 
stances we didn't want to restrict the 
product to be able to use only the 
mouse or to require the user to do 
something only in an arcane and dif- 
ficult manner. 

The human factors involved in 
product design is probably the most 
underrated issue. Everybody claims 
to have ease of learning and use. Not 
everybody is qualified to design a 
product, but everybody in the world 
is qualified to say whether they like 
or don't like some aspect of using the 
product. The hardest issue is not nec- 
essarily coming up with something 
that's good, but finding an approach 
that everyone involved agrees is the 
best. There have been deep philo- 
sophical issues here as in other com- 
panies in the valley for years. 
About the number of buttons on a 
mouse, for example? 
We really haven't had a problem with 
the number of buttons on a mouse, 
but about what special keys to allow. 

I should go into my mouse diatribe 
here for a minute. We specifically 
decided that we wanted only one but- 
ton on the mouse for selection, and 
that's all we have. A two-button 
mouse is confusing, because you 
don't know when to use one and 
when to use the other. The only 
reason for our second button is that 
we didn't like to have lots of little 
modes that you have to look at to 



258 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



DataVul— _„ 

Here's What They're Saying About Us 

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"The problem seems to be that at $149. 'how can it be good'? Take it from a programmer, it beats those 
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After experimenting with and using 10 to 20 microprocessor based databases over the last few years, I 
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Roseville Computer Store Roseville, Michigan 




Automatic Screen Design (ASD): This 
feature permits you to specify the design 
of a form (which may be multi-page) that 
you wish to use for data entry and data 
viewing. You simply layout a screen mask 
and within seconds, without any 
programming, a data entry program can 
be generated. 



See DataVu™ at your local 
software dealer. We also 
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can dial in and try most of the 
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more information. 

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P.O. Box 221 
Garden City, NY 11530 

(516) 294-8104 

Circle 385 on inquiry card. 



Automatic Menu GeneratiomThis feature 
permits you to design your own menus in 
which each option in the menu may invoke 
an executable program or abatch file. You 
simply layout the menu pages, and within 
seconds, without any programming, your 
menu program can be generated. This 
allows you to construct user-friendly 
menu-driven packages. 




Report Generation: Reports generated 
from your data base(s) that become 
routine and have enduring value may be 
specified by you in detailed format to the 
Report Generation feature. It is designed 
to retrieve information from the data base 
with simple statements and perform 
arithmetic operations. 




Relational Data Base Management: 

Having established data base(s) through 
use of the ASD feature, you may use the 
Relational Data Base Management feature 
to manipulateandretrievethesedata. This 
feature supplies 12 commands and four 
utility programs to support activities like 
Select, Sort, Index, Join, Reformat, and so 
on. 



All This. . . 

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soon. 

CP/M is a registered TM of Digital Research, Inc. 

* If you want to impress your boss, or 
your friends, we'll gladly charge you 
$700. for this software package. 

BYTE June 1983 259 



determine how you scroll and how 
you move the window around. You 
know, if you push on this part of the 
window or you push here, one thing 
happens, and if you push twice the 
program does this, and so on. Those 
things are all nonstandard. Apple just 
came out with a one-button mouse. 
The trouble is there are so many 
modes on the mouse that you don't 
know whether you hold down the 
button or release it or whatever. 

You just click our mouse, and 
that's the only thing you'll ever do. 
On the other hand, there's a scrolling 
button, and any time you want to 
scroll, you push that down, and the 
direction you move the mouse is the 
direction it will scroll; the farther you 
move it the faster it will scroll, so you 
have direct control of scrolling. The 
metaphor is that of a sheet of paper 
on the table; you're just pushing the 
paper in different directions. 

The concept of our mouse came 
from part of our product model, 
which started with the model of a 
typewriter. The model said that there 



are keys on a typewriter, and each 
key does only one thing. It either 
deposits text on the paper or it reposi- 
tions where you're going to deposit 
text in some way or another. When 
you extrapolate that to a computer 
keyboard— to a monitor instead of 
paper — you now have two dimen- 
sions, and you have some intelligence 
behind the keyboard. So we have 
keys that deposit things on the screen, 
position the cursor, and actually per- 
form functions. 

When you go further than that, 
you have problems. Because there 
aren't enough keys to do all the func- 
tions, each programmer and the func- 
tions in his program decide what the 
keys will do. So, first, you end up 
with the same key doing different 
things in the program, depending on 
the context or the mode, as Xerox is 
fond of saying. That's a barrier for 
the user, who asks, "Oh, what hap- 
pens if I do this?" 

Second, when you go from one 
program to another, the keys inevit- 
ably do different things, so there's a 



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barrier for the user in learning dif- 
ferent programs. We wanted keys to 
do one of two things: either drop text 
on the screen or do a single other 
function, and to do it the same way in 
every program. That's the basic con- 
cept, and we've had to violate it very 
little. That means function keys aren't 
portable from one machine to the 
next. You don't see those on the Lisa 
and you don't see those used on our 
machine, but it really does limit what 
you can do with keys. 
But you have a Delete key and. . . 
Yes, we have a small subset of 
keys— the cursor keys, Delete key, 
Backspace key, etc. — that always 
work the same way whenever you hit 
them.There's only one function for 
those keys, the same in every prod- 
uct. 

Visi On's Data Structures 
Let's look at another issue in integra- 
tion, transfer of data. Can you say 
anything about Visi On's data struc- 
tures? 

It might be easier to give you an over- 
view of the architecture, but I'll try to 
explain. At the lowest level of Visi On 
we use the native file structures. And 
they must also read and write and 
open and close MS-DOS files. Above 
that we built something we call an ar- 
chive, for storing all the data. Inter- 
nally we also call it an object store; 
it's where we store all our data 
objects. 

The object store is three layers 
deep. On the top is the volume layer, 
in the middle is the object layer, and 
on the bottom is the files layer. From 
a programmer's point of view, he's 
actually manipulating all three of 
these layers to manage a hierarchical 
file structure. The reason for volumes 
is obvious: we want to go across 
volumes that can be on Winchester 
disks or on remote file servers or 
whatever. 

The idea of objects is not so ob- 
vious, but the idea is that users will be 
manipulating objects. They'll think 
they're manipulating a spreadsheet, 
but a spreadsheet may be multiple 
files. You may have one file that's the 
formulas, and so on. Users want to 
know only about the composite ob- 
ject. I don't ever want to show them a 



260 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 359 on Inquiry card. 





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BYTE June 1983 261 







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whole bunch of DOS files with arcane 
8-character names with 3-byte trailers 
on them. I want to show them a name 
in the context and the way it's defined 
in the context of the kind of product. 

Now, above this, the volume layer 
knows about password protection/ 
encryption, so a user can password 
protect/encrypt, and the object layer 
knows about file types. We have mul- 
tiple file types, but I won't go into 
them. 

Simply, we have multiple file 
types, there is a layer called the object 
store in which all the data is stored, 
and all transfers are done through 
Visi On. Products don't have to do 
anything about transfers or conver- 
sion of data. What happens when the 
user selects Transfer and points at a 
source object to transfer, be it a block 
of data in the middle of a Visicalc 
spreadsheet or some abstraction of 
that— like pointing at the name of a 
Visicalc spreadsheet— is that Visi On 
will transfer the whole spreadsheet. 
Or if you're pointing at two column 
headers, Visi On will transfer all the 
columns between those two points, 
something obvious like that. 

Once the user points at that and 
points at the destination location, 
Visi On takes over. First, it actually 
queries the product: "In the context in* 
which data was pointed at, what 
types of data can you pass?" And the 
program or product will say, "I can 
pass type X, X, and X." And then Visi 
On will query the destination product 
the same way and do a match. 

Then Visi On will actually physically 
transfer the highest-order pairing, 
meaning that the higher the order, the 
more context is transferred with it. 
The highest-order data type actually 
is called "owned," and that means the 
data will probably be transferable 
only to another instance of the same 
product. For a spreadsheet that will 
have all the formulas underneath it, 
all the formatting information, col- 
umn widths, the whole nine yards. 
But if you're transferring that into a 
word processor that doesn't know 
anything about calculating formulas, 
all it's going to want is enough data to 
know whether it's character, 
numeric, and what the precision is. 

That gives you some idea of how 



262 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 120 on inquiry card. 



the transfer actually takes place. 
Therefore, as far as the product is 
concerned, transfer is a general pro- 
cess. All the product has to do is res- 
pond, "I can give you this and this/' 
and then when the other product 
says, "Okay, give it to me/' that 
passes the data. Visi Gn takes care of 
everything else. 

And the objects you described are like 
the objects in Smalltalk — they carry 
some information about how they 
can be handled? 

An object in Smalltalk basically is a 
message, yes, that carries with it 
something that says what can be done 
to it. Visi On objects are not that 
complex. They're objects . . . yes, 
they do have context of what their 
formatting is, but they aren't 
Smalltalk objects. We just call them 
an object store. The lowest level of 
the system is an object-oriented 
system, though. 

Visi On's Architecture 
Could you talk about Visi On's ar- 
chitecture? 

Sure, I don't have any problem with 
that. Visi On basically is composed of 
three levels. The lowest layer is called 
the Visihost. That's the machine- 
dependent code. At completion time, 
it will be approximately 35K bytes of 
code, of which two-thirds is C and 
one-third is assembly language. Now, 
the Visihost and the host operating 
system in the first version of Visi On, 
which is for MS-DOS 2.0, must 
always be resident. So you're talking 
about 50K bytes that must always be 
resident. That's the base system. 

Visihost is an object-oriented 
operating system, and it's composed 
of 10 object types. A better descrip- 
tion would be abstract data types. 
The objects or types include things 
like file device, keyboard, sound- 
maker, raster, segments, ports, etc. 
But what they actually implement is a 
layer above which is the Visihost in- 
terface. The Visihost interface is 
machine independent and provides 
the services that are required by Visi 
On itself. 

Visihost uses the concept of objects 
to implement above it what look to 
the user like a lot of concurrently pro- 
cessing activities. You can establish 



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lead-impregnated acrylic. 

It is identical to the 
material used as windows 
by nuclear power plants and 
hospital x-ray facilities 
to block radiation and protect 
personnel. And, even though 
Eye-Guard screen shields 
contain 30% lead (by weight), 
they are completely 
transparent. 

Whether your eye-fatigue is 
caused by glare, radiation, 
or both, from your computer 
terminal, Eye-Guard will 
give your eyes relief. 

Eye-Guard is the only 
anti-glare shield on the 
market made with lead. It's 
the only product that can 
make that claim. 

It is so effective at 
reducing eye-fatigue and 

"Attaches to computer terminal with convenient Velcro tabs. 



FOR CREDIT CARD ORDERS. 

CALL (800) 



eliminating the possibility 
of damage to your eyes from 
computer generated radiation 
that it's sold with a 100% 
money-back guarantee 
of satisfaction. 

If your eye-fatigue isn't 
absolutely eliminated in the 
first 30 days, we'll buy back 
the Eye-Guard Leaded Screen 
Shield for the fulj purchase 
pricre 

Order your Eye-Guard Leaded 
Acrylic Ahfrularie Radiation 
Shield today WxllVa" 
or 10"x 13," complete with 
velcro fastener&lor easy 
attachment to most monitor 
screens, $129.3©. 

Eye-Guard Leaded Acrylic 
Radiation Shields (without 
anti-glare filter), $119.95. 

Dealer inquiries invited. 



221-7070 

IN NEW YORK STATE, 
CALL (212) 980-6876 



Mail to: 
Langley-St Clair Instrumentation Systems, Inc. 
132 W. 24th St, NewYork, NY 10011 

Please ship the following EyeGuard Leaded 
Acrylic Radiation Shields: 

9V*"x1 1 W and/or 10"xl3" with 

anti-glare filter @ $129.95 $ 

9W xl 1 W and/or 10" xl3" without 

anti-glare filter @ $ 1 1 9.95 $ 

Total number ordered 

Ship Regular CJPS D CJPS Blue Label D 
Parcel Post □ Overseas D 

Add $4.00 each for shipping and handling. 
Add $10.00 for shipping overseas, parcel 
post or CJPS Blue Label. 
Add sales tax where applicable. 

Charge to my MasterCard D Visa D 

Mo Expires 




My check for $ . 
costs enclosed. 

Ship to: 



including shipping 



MAME 



ADDRESS 



r "~\ 



STATE 






Lcl Pig iGy - St. C I cl i r Instmmentatiott Systems, Inc. 
132 W. 24th St., NewYork, MY 10011 



Circle 437 on inquiry card. 



HIGH RESOLUTION GRAPHICS 

FOR SUPERBRAIN, COMPUSTAR, Z-89 & TRS-80 MODEL II. 

XCEL™ HARDWARE: A retrofit package for graphics display with 512 x 240 
resolution. TRS-80 Mod. II, $595. All others, $895. 

XCEL™ SOFTWARE: Operates under CPM™ and is compatible with Basic, 
Fortran, Cobol, PLI and Pascal. 

SYMBOL GENERATOR- $175 

Alternate character sets with bold face, 90° 
rotation, circles, quadrants, vectors, rec- 
tangles and area fills. 

GRAPH PLOTTER- $175 

Line, graph, histogram, bar graph and 
scatter plot with automatic annotation 
of axes scaling. 

3-D GENERATOR- $345 

Creating, editing and viewing 
"wireframe" objects from any 
angle with scaling zoom and 
graphics editor. 

SURFACE 
PLOTTER- $395 

True perspective view 
with hidden line 
removal. 




GRAPHICS 
TERMINAL- $395 

Configures computer as a 
low cost graphics 
terminal. 





"NEW SCREEN PRINTER-$65 

Allows hard copy printout on most dot 
matrix printers. 

SAVE UP TO $950 ON PACKAGE PRICE OFFERS! 

^^^ FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL (213) 320-6604 

ZTPAMAXTEKjINC. 2908 Oregon Court,Torrance, CA 90503 
Available in Europe from Micronex Ltd., Chew Magna, England 3042 (STD 027-589 3042) 

■• - ■■ -.: -■- re : h«Jemart T 3 na-, Cefp • Supertvam (laoer*** rmertei d.im Systems 



Haw to make 
dBase II" work magic. 
Ifs a snap 
with Autocode: 

Finally the first practical application of artificial intelligence in 
personal computer software. Autocode 1 is a powerful program 
generator for dBASE II. No prior knowledge of programming required. 

«©([« n 



• Automatic menus & sub menus 

• Automatic data entry screens 

• Automatic data entry routines 

• String, numeric, date & 
calculated fields 

• Automatic multiple reports 




• Automatic programs in dBASE II 
code with interactive screens 

<• No prior knowledge of dBASE II 
required 

• CP/M & MS DOS operating systems 

• Handy pocket size manual 

• Average learning time only 4 hours 



STEMMOS LTD. 

666 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 



Just send the following to address above today 

i Your diskette format & hardware m • Your name & complete address 

i How many Autocodes you want at S200 each* • A check or money order. 

ORDER TOLL FREE 800-227-1617 (Ext. 417] IN CA CALL 800-772-3545 (Ext. 417) 



Credit cord buyers may substitute theircord number and expiration 
dote for the check, Or call us toll free «nd save the trip to the moil box. 



US Address 666 Howard St. San Francisco CA 94105/ U.K. Address 344 Kensington High Street. London W14 
Tel: (415) 777-3800 Dea|er |nquines (nvjfed Tel: 01 602 6242 

'In C«lif«rnia odd 6% sales tax 



dBASE If- Ashton r«te 



Autocode 1"' Siemmos I fd 



instances of the objects by just send- 
ing messages to them on a Smalltalk 
message-class type interface. You end 
up with a process ID or an object ID, 
which is very similar to a concept in 
Smalltalk. 

The whole concept here is that 
everything is machine dependent, and 
the whole virtual machine upon 
which Visi On rests is isolated. Above 
that sits Visi On itself; internally we 
call it the Visi On Operating System, 
VOS. 

The Visi On Operating System 

Visi On, or VOS, is an activity to 
Visihost, as are all products — appli- 
cations programs. As far as Visihost 
is concerned, everything that sits 
above it is an activity to it. What's 
special about VOS to Visihost is two 
unique capabilities. First, VOS is the 
only activity that actually does direct 
Visihost calls. All other calls come 
through VOS itself. In other words, 
VOS does a pass-through, so a prod- 
uct thinks it's doing all calls to VOS. 
Second, VOS is the only activity that 
communicates with the user, meaning 
the only activity that directly receives 
keystrokes and mouse points. So the 
VOS is a very key activity; it's the 
one that sits in the middle of every- 
thing. It's the one that is really the 
concurrent operating system. 

Now, what VOS implements is all 
of the Visiops, the basic operations 
for reading and writing the files and 
all the things you'd expect an operat- 
ing system to do. Included in that is 
also all of the device layer. That is a 
layer in itself, because we have not 
only developed this archive, but also 
a Graphics Kernel Standard (GKS) 
Virtual Device Interface. And we ex- 
tended that to include alpha text, so 
it's not just the GKS. We can handle, 
from the same interface, total device- 
independent printing to output 
devices. 

The other thing that Visi On im- 
plements directly is the BITs, which a 
product merely calls and says, "Do it, 
and here's what I need,'' and then Visi 
On handles the whole thing. Visi On 
will even replace its screen, its part of 
the window, and then put back the 
initial contents when it's done. 

Something else that looks to a 



264 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 362 on inquiry card. 



The new COMPAQ Portable Computer. 
IBM compatibility to go. 



E 



I imple, isn't it? The COMPAQ™ 
Portable Computer can do 

lwhat 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 corn- 




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™ is a trademark of Corvus Systems. 

Apple* is a registered trademark of Apple Computer. Inc. 

COMPACT is a trademark of COMPAQ Computer 

Corporation. 




Ill 



■ i H-nH-r-H-nr. 

. ■ i r r. i i i i i i ri r 
i f r f i i j i i i ii 
7 r r i i i r l. l i i r~ 

»1 ■ ~~±*» 




comPAa 



■^■^■■■■■^MHHBr PORTABLE COMPUTER 

The mOSt Computer yOU Can Carry Circle 71 on inquiry card. 



product as if it's part of Visi On is a 
series of activities which are really 
separate. That series includes the files 
window, the workspace window, the 
scripts window, and the services win- 
dow. Even though they might appear 
to be part of Visi On, they really sit 
on top of Visi On and use the services 
that happen to . . . 
Just as applications do? 
Just as applications do. 
So all the applications go to these 
same services? 

All the applications use these ser- 
vices, but they do so through Visi 
On. What you have above Visi On or 
VOS itself is an interface we call the 
Visimachine interface. That is all of 
the calls that you need as a product 
designer to use all of the facilities pro- 
vided by Visi On. 
This is the virtual machine? 
For product designers, this is the vir- 
tual machine. 

What's the relation to Visihost? 
It's much more extended than 
Visihost. The whole idea of this ar- 
chitecture is that of nested abstract 
machines. The concept originated 



with Edsger Dijkstra back in his THE 
(Technische Hochschule Eindhoven) 
operating system in the early 1960s. 
You have a low-level machine that 
implements all the very very basic 
functionality, and that's Visihost. 
That does the reading and writing of 
basic files. But the archive does a lot 
more— and that's in Visi On. It will 
do your basic device puts and 
gets— whatever it takes to read and 
write to a device — but it doesn't 
know anything about this whole vir- 
tual device interface above it. You 
have to have a driver that knows in 
between the two. 

So what you have is a very low- 
level machine that provides just bas- 
ically a virtual memory machine. 
That's very important. All these 
products run in the pseudovirtual 
memory that we developed in soft- 
ware. You have this low-level ma- 
chine, and above that is Visi On 
itself, which is much higher level ser- 
vices for products, and it's machine 
independent. We've nested the great- 
est amount of coding in the smallest 
possible area. 



The Visimachine spec is the specifi- 
cation for all of these high-level ser- 
vices: the Visiops, the BITs, and all of 
the higher-level functions that Visi 
On provides through the services 
windows. For a product sitting on top 
of the Visimachine, it is as if the prod- 
uct is running all by itself in its own 
virtual machine, in its own virtual 
memory, so it has as much memory 
as it wants, and all the product is do- 
ing is communicating with Visi On. 

The theory of the interface comes 
from Brinch Hansen's concept of con- 
current processes, which he calls 
"communicating sequential pro- 
cesses." What it means to us is that as 
far as calls are concerned, the 
Visimachine and the activity interface 
look to each other like two big pro- 
grams with dual entry points. 

Every call that Visi On makes — 
remember, Visi On is the only thing 
that gets a keystroke or listens to the 
user — every time the user does some- 
thing that causes an input to the prod- 
uct, Visi On says to the product, 
"Here, do this," and then Visi On's 
blocked for I/O (input/output). 



Make 



your 



micro wor 



k like 



a mainrrame. 



fi 



First, neatly tape the "370" label onto 
your IBM Personal Computer. 

Now slip a dBASE II™ disk into 
your main drive. 

That's it: your IBM PC is now ready to 
run a relational database system, the kind 
IBM put on their mainframes last year. 

And you're ready with more data 
handling power than you would have 
dreamed possible before dBASE II. 

With a word or two, you create data- 
bases, append new data, update, modify 
and replace fields, records and entire 
databases. Display any information, 
report months worth of data in minutes 
and zip through input screens and 
output forms. 

You can use it interactively for 
answers right now. Or save your instruc- 
tions and repeat everything with two 
words: do Manhours, do Project X, do 
whatever has to be done. 

To try dBASE II free for 30 days, 
drop by your local computer store. 
Or if they're sold out, call us at (213) 
204-5570. If you don't like it, you get 
your money back. 

But if you do that, you'll have to 
remove the label. Because nothing short 
of a mainframe works like dBASE II. 




^^^i AshtonTate 

^m ff !2^3 1 © 1Q82 AshtonTate 

^^^^» ^W **^^ \ CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research 




266 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 31 on inquiry card. 



NEW TARBELL 5-INCH 
HARD DISK SYSTEMS 



tarb eU Q 




Tarbell now offers you a line of 5-inch hard disk 
systems with amazingly low cost per megabyte. 
The systems come in 5, 10 or 16 megabyte format- 
ted configurations. 

Each system includes: 5-inch disk drive, 8-inch 
metal frame with 5-volt and 12-volt regulators, 



hard disk controller and cable, CP/M 2.2 for Tarbell 
floppy and hard disk, and documentation. 

Features include data transfer rate of 5 mega- 
bits per second and average seek time of 120 mil- 
liseconds. 



LESS COST PER MBYTE 

5 Mbyte hard disk subsystem $2095 

10 Mbyte hard disk subsystem $2265 

16 Mbyte hard disk subsystem $2375 

Cabinet including power supply $200 



EMPIRE COMPUTER SERIES ALSO NOW OFFERS 

5-INCH HARD DISKS. T(1 , , , , , h 

The Empire series of computers are now available with 
5-inch hard disk systems in the 5, 10 or 16 megabyte versions. 

All Empire computers can be purchased as multi-user sys- 
tems offering additional ports for 4 CRTs and 2 printers, and 
including 256K main memory. 



950 Dovlen Place, Suite B 
Carson, California 90746 
(213)538-4251 



Manufacturers of computers, components and software. 

BYTE June 1983 267 





CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research 
Circle 372 on inquiry card. 



CompuShack 



® 




Special 
of the 
Month! 



IBM PC- COMPLETE LINE 

IBM 

PC System includes 64K IBM-PC with 
320KB Floppy Disk Drive, Controller. 
Color Graphics Card, Monochrome 

Monitor. All for only $ 2599.00 

LOTUS 1-2-3 SOFTWARE ■ ■ $459 

TAVA CORP. PRODUCTS 

TRUMPCARD 

A unique memory card with 256K Ram 
Game I/O and Serial I/O .... $499.00 
TRUMP CARD II 

Serial I/O and 512K fully populated 
memory card $699.00 





TRUMP CARD V 

Features Parallel and Serial I/O. Game I/O 
and a Clock/Calendar with battery 
back-up. A fully populated 256K memoiy 

board $599.00 

PERSYST 

Time Spectrum, Four Function Card 64K 

Ram. Clock Calendar. Parallel Port Serial 

Port $399.00 

QUADRAM 

Quad Board - 256K, Parallel Port, Serial 

I/O. Clock Calendar with battery backup 

$599.00 

512K Ram with Serial I/O . . . $799.00 
AST RESEARCH 

Combo Plus- 256K. Parallel & Serial 
Port. Clock Calendar W/Bat. back-up. 

Superdrive. Superspool $499.00 

Mega Plus- 512K, Parallel & Serial Port. 
Clock Calendar W/Bat. back-up $999.00 
MAYNARD ELECTRONICS 

Floppy Disk Controller $179.00 

Floppy Disk Controller w/Parallel 

Port $229.00 

Floppy Disk Controller w/Serial 

Port $239.00 

HERCULES GRAPHICS CARD 
This card gives you 720x350 
graphics $499.00 

"IBM is a registered trademark of IBM Corporation 



BIG BLUE 

Dual I/O ports, dual processing. Serial port. 
Parallel port. 5 MHZ, ZBO B, 64K, Hard 
disk interface. Clock/Calendar, lets you run 
existing CP/M® software. 
List $589 Ours $479 

DISK DRIVES 

For IBM PC 

Tandon 100-2 $249 

Teac 55-B Slimline 320KB $279 

Shugart SA-455 Slimline 320KB $259 

OTHER PRODUCTS FOR IBM 

MODULE CONVERSIONS FOR 
YOUR IBM-PC 




80286 
16032 
UNIX/XENIX 

Visit our Stores for more detallsl 



FLOPPY DISK DRIVES 

SHUGART 

SA400SS/SD $169.00 

SA450DS/DD $239.00 

SAB00/80I SS/SD $365.00 

SA850/851 DS/DD $459.00 





TANDON 

TM-100-1 SS/DD $189.00 

TM-1 00-2 DS/DD $249.00 

TM- 100-4 DS/DD $359.00 

TM-848-1 SS/DD $425.00 

TM-848-2 DS/DD $499.00 

SIEMENS 

FDD 100-5 $159.00 

FDD 200-5 $199.00 

QUME 

DT-5 DS/DD $269.00 

DT-8 DS/DD $469.00 

"APPLE iS a registered trademark of Apple Computers, (nc 



HARD DISK SYSTEMS FOR IBM 
AND APPLE 

DATAMAC 

6MB $1395.00 

12MB $1595.00 

18MB $1995.00 

Complete subsystem with software, 
cables and power supply. 

DAVONG FOR IBM 

Internal External 

5MB $1495 $1695 

10MB $1795 $1995 

15MB $2295 $2495 

21MB $2595 $2795 

32MB $2995 $3195 



ZZTZ PRINTERS 




EPSON 

FX-80 FT w/Graftrax Plus $599 

FX-100 FT w/Graftrax Plus $799 

MX-80 FT w/Graftrax Plus $499 

MX- 100 FT w/Graftrax Plus .... $699 

STAR MICRONICS 

Gemini 10 CALL 

Gemini 15 CALL 

SMITH CORONA ffgff 

TP-1 parallel $579.00 

TP-1 serial $579.00 

C-ITOH 

GX-1 00 (50 CPS Dot Matrix) . $249.00 

8510 $469.00 

1550 (15") $699.00 

F-10 (40 CPS. Letter Qual.) $1395.00 
F-10 (55 CPS. Letter Qual.) $1695.00 

NEC 
SPINWRITER 

NEC 

7710-1 . . . $1995 3510 . . $1395 
77J5-I . . . $2195 3515 .... $1395 

7730-1 . . . $1995 3530 $1595 

7720-1 . . . $2595 3550 .... $1895 
7725-1 . . . $2595 PC8023A . $ 495 

OKI DATA 

82A $429.00 

83A $699.00 

84 AP parallel $999.00 

84AS serial $1099.00 

92A $525.00 

93A $999.00 



*CP/M and CP/M86 are registered trademarks of Digital 
Research. Inc 




268 BYTE June 1983 



WE'VE MOVED 

TO BIGGER FACILITIES 

TO SERVE YOU BETTER 

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW PHONE 



(714) 261-1000 

Sales and Service: Business & Home Computers 

PRICES AND AVAILABILITY SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE 




TAVA PRINTERS 
BY DIABLO 

620 [125 CPS) S899.00 

630 [CALL] $2395.00 

ANADEX PRINTERS 
DP9500A 

1 50 CPS. Dot Matrix 1 32 Col $ 1 395.00 
DP9501 Same as (DP9500A) 

W/Graphics $1495.00 

DP9620 

200 CPS $1495.00 

IDS PRISM 

Prism 132 (8 & W) $1395.00 

BROTHER bfOUlSf 

HR-1 A parallel ". $769.00 

HR-1 A serial $869.00 

Tractor feed option $135.00 

MONITORS 




AVAILABLE [All Models) CALL 

AMDEK MONITORS 

Color I $359.00 

Color II $699.00 

Color III $399.00 

300A $199.00 

310A $239.00 

PRINCETON GRAPHIC SYSTEMS 

His Res. Color $599.00 

TELEVIDEO 

910 $699.00 

925 $799.00 

950 $999.00 

SINCLAIR/TIMEX PRODUCTS 

MEMOTECH PRODUCTS 

16K Memopack $ 59.00 

32K Memopack $ 99.00 

64K Memopack $169.00 

Memopack High Res. Graphics 

$139.00 
Memopack Centronics parallel Inter- 
face $139.00 

EPSON QX-10 

Z-80 CPU, w/64K Ram Video Graphics 
Processor 12" monitor and many more 

features CALL 

HX-20 

Notebook Computer CALL 



'DATA DRIVE. APPLETTE I. APPLETTE 2. and TRUMP 
CARD are registered trademarks of TAV/A Corporation 



EPD PRODUCTS 

Lemon Surge Protector $49.95 

Lime Surge Protector $79.95 

Peach Surge Protector $89.95 

Orange Surge Protector .... $ 1 29.95 
Plum Surge Protector $48.95 



apple 



® 




Apple He 64K Complete System, 80 
Column Card, One Disk Drive w/Con- 
troller. Monitor. Stand, plus 20 diskettes 

$1995.00 

Apple 11+ Compatible Computer 
System W/48K of memory. One "Data 
Drive" disk drive, Controller card, 12" 
green screen Hi-Resolution Monitor. All 
Cables are included for a Compushack 
price of $999.00 

OTHER PRODUCTS 
FOR APPLE 

Special of the Month! 

TAVA CORP. $ 2 59 

DATA DRIVE® 




100% Compatible Disk drive for 
APPLE fl + and APPLE lie. Runs DOS, 
CPM®. Pascal software. 
Suggested retail price $399.00 

Z80 card CP/M® included . . . $159.00 

80 column card $179.00 

Disk drive controller card W/ 

diagnostics software $99.00 

Disk drive controller $79.00 



HAYES MICROCOMPUTER 
PRODUCTS 

Micromodem II 300 baud . . . $299.95 
Smartmodem 1200 baud full 

duplex $529.95 

KAYPRO II COMPUTER SYSTEM 

64K Ram. Perfect Writer, Perfect Filer, 
Perfect Speller, Perfect Calc, S-Basic, 
CP/M®version 2.2, two disk drives, 9" 
(green) monitor, RS232 interface, Parallel 
Printer interface $1699.00 

DEC Rainbow 100 

Keybaord, CPU. Z-80/8088. 64K, Serial 
RS232 Port, Two X-400KB Disk Drives, 
Monitor, CP/M86®/80 Software, Printer 
and cable $3495.00 

DECMATE II 

Complete System, Keyboard. CPU, 64K 
Words Ram. two 400 KB disk drives, 
monochrome monitor, operating sys- 
tem List $4500.00 

DEC PROFESSIONAL 300 

Complete System, Keyboard, CPU, 256 KB 
Ram, two 400 KB disk drives, mono- 
chrome monitor, operating system 
Under $5000.00 



CALL YOUR LOCAL 
COMPUSHACK DEALERS: 



GompuShagm 



California 


Tusun 


|714J 730-7227 




San Ramon 


(415)838-2233 




Glendale 


(213) 340-7000 




La Mirada 


(213) 947-9505 




Pasadena 


(213) 792-8889 




San Fernando Valley (213J 906-7000 




San Jose 


(408) 973-1444 




Irvine 


(714) 261-1000 




Walnut Creek 


(415) 945-8011 




West L A 


(213) 906-7306 




Woodland Hills 


(213) 888-0030 


Colorado 


Denver 


(303) 422-4545 


Idaho 


Twin Falls 


* 


Illinois 


Chicago 


(312) 964-4612 


Montana 


Great Falls 


* 




Missoula 


(406) 721-1811 


New York 


New York 


(800) 228-5525 




Rochester 


(716] 924-2544 




Rome 


(315) 336-0266 


Texas 


Austin 


(512) 258-1062 


Washington 


Richland 


* 




Spokane 


* 


Wisconsin 


Verona 


(608) 845-7110 


Canada 


Toronto 


(416) 593-8974 


U.K. 


London 


01-935-0480 



1EALL FOR NUMBER 



ALL FLOPPIES REPAIRED QUICKLY AT LOW COST 
16861 ARMSTRONG, IRVINE, CA 92714 
HEADQUARTERS/TELEX: 181667— ANSWER BACK: COMPDSHACK IRIN 



Circle 310 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 269 




Sample screen displays of Visi On windows. 

270 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



You'll see the hour-glass come up; 
Visi On can't do anything. The prod- 
uct will execute whatever processing 
it has to do and will say to Visi On, 
"Here, here's your response." Then 
Visi On will come to life, and the 
product is blocked. That's the com- 
municating sequential processor. 

The real idea of making this into a 
concurrent process is that as far as 
Visi On is concerned, it has a lot of 
those products or processes going on, 
and in its tightest inner loop, Visi On 
is also keeping track of the mouse and 
keeping this background printer 
printing or whatever happens to be 
going on. 

The Programs under Visi On 

At the top end, you have the ap- 
plications activities themselves. 
They're programs that have been de- 
veloped for this high-level operating 
system, running in their own 
memory, using these very high level 
calls. When these programs are com- 
piled, they have this large header file 
that you have to include at compile 
time. This header has all the defini- 
tions of all those calls and all the 
definitions of all the data types and so 
on, so that now all you have to do is 
develop your routines underneath 
that. It's a fairly complex architec- 
ture. 

You're doing this all in C, you say, or 
two-thirds in C? 

VOS is about 100K bytes of C, plus 
about 20K bytes of data. . . 
It's compiled C, 100K bytes? 
Yes, this is really 100K bytes of object 
code, but it's from C. Plus about 20K 
bytes of data space. Visi On itself and 
the products are all in virtual 
memory, so only a part of that has to 
be resident at any one time. 
Visi On requires 256K bytes of RAM? 
256K minimum. With MS-DOS 2.0, 
that only leaves us about 230K bytes 
to use, and we're going to need 
between 128K and 150K bytes to 
efficiently run multiple activities. In 
reality, our concept of virtual 
memory means you could run in less 
memory, but not with high perfor- 
mance, and if the system isn't very in- 
teractive, you lose everything. We 
did a lot of testing when we were go- 
ing through our prototyping phase, 



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and there is a threshold under which, 
if the system doesn't respond fast 
enough, you just may as well not 
have the system at all. 
It doesn't look as if having a lot of 
memory will be a problem in most 
systems for much longer. 
That's one of our hopes. A significant 
part of this system is the virtual 
memory, which is quite a bit of work 
for us to implement. The virtual 
memory requires that, at least early 
on, all of the programming develop- 
ment will have to be done in C. We 
have to use our linker because we've 
created a concept of segments of 
memory that can be paged in and out. 
It's obviously not real virtual 
memory because we don't have hard- 
ware support to do virtual pages. But 
a segment looks like a virtual object 
page in Smalltalk with what they're 
trying to do, which says that a seg- 
ment is more like an overlay than it is 
a page. It includes a whole bunch of 
objects that should be run together. 
As far as we're concerned, a segment 
can be of adjustable size. You can 
have both code segments and data 
segments. Data can be swapped in 
and out and paged as well. 
Everything will be in virtual memory, 
of course, but only so much will be 
resident at any one time. The whole 
memory manager is down in 
Visihost. 

Complicating this, of course, is the 
need for all the code to be position in- 
dependent. That's one of the things 
we had to do with our linker. Every- 
thing can be relocated to any posi- 
tion. Another complication in this ar- 
chitecture is that we have to contend 
with the segmented architecture of 
the 8086 family and those chips' idea 
of long calls (outside a 64K-byte seg- 
ment) and short calls (within a 
64K-byte segment). We have to 
straighten up all of those calls at load 
time and at run time. But the memory 
management does work rather effi- 
ciently. 



Porting Visi On 

You wanted to talk about how we 
port the system. The concept is a two- 
phase portation, where we actually 
do the portation of Visi On to any 



new architecture. To us, a new ar- 
chitecture is a combination of any 
change in operating system or any 
change in the central processing unit. 
That's the major portation, when the 
Visihost has to be rewritten. Visihost 
is actually assembly language. So we 
will have different versions of it. In- 
itially we have one for the 8086/8088, 
80186 family with MS-DOS. The new 
one we're intending is a 68000 ver- 
sion, probably with Unix, maybe 
with MS-DOS as well, but we will ex- 
tend those versions. That's number 
one. We'll do that work in-house. 

Let me back up. The second part of 
the portation is the target conversion, 
where we actually take the adapta- 
tion for one processor and one 
operating system and put it on a 
specific target machine. We configure 
it to the bit map of the screen, to any 
calls that are different for the key- 
board, any changes in how they han- 
dle fonts, and so on. We do allow 
loadable fonts. 

What we do on the second part of 
the portation is sort of like doing 
your BIOS (basic input/output 
system) for CP/M, but we're going to 
provide to the OEM (original equip- 
ment manufacturer) the source for the 
Visihost, a specification, and a test 
program to assure that all the calls 
work. And the idea is that the OEM 
would do that part of the conversion. 
It could target to its machine. There 
will be small changes. If its mouse is 
different from our mouse, it will have 
to change a driver to take advantage 
of that, and so on. 
You've talked about MS-DOS so far, 
and not CP/M-86. Your announce- 
ment said you were going to do Visi 
On for that as well. 
We do intend to do it for CP/M-86. 
But not until the second version. 
What about CP/M-68K or the other 
Digital Research operating systems? 
We do intend to do it across CP/M 
lines. The number one objective is to 
get one version out late this summer. 
We have announced on DEC, we 
have announced on TI, and there'll be 
other announcements coming. 



More on Applications Programs 
Can you talk a little more about the 



applications programs themselves? 
Are they being managed as a separate 
project? 

Well, they're all managed as separate 
projects, but they're all under my 
group. Right now, we intend to 
release all five — one product for each 
of the five applications that we con- 
sider major: spreadsheet, word pro- 
cessing, business graphics, database, 
and communications. Most of those 
five programs will be released right at 
ship time or within a few weeks of the 
Visi On system itself. 

They're being developed totally in- 
dependently. I mean they'll be 
developed as independent projects, 
from scratch. They're being designed 
to take full advantage of the system 
and all the utilities provided by the 
system. And they are significantly 
upgraded in features and functions 
above our stand-alone product line. 
We hope we've learned quite a bit 
about what our competition has 
taught us and what the marketplace 
has taught us. 

I will tell you that one of the major 
things we're trying to do is adapt to 
our conception of human factors — 
context, guidedness, the principle of 
direct manipulation where users 
directly manage the data and receive 
immediate responses to their actions. 
We think that's very important. 
Visicalc was the first product out that 
let users do that. They could build 
very complex models by building 
them one number at a time and seeing 
that something was right or wrong 
and changing it and actually not have 
to go through a series of steps to 
rebuild it. We think that's important 
throughout all the products. Users 
don't want to have to learn some 
pseudoprogramming technique to get 
to an ending, to go through lots of 
steps and not necessarily see if 
something is right or wrong. So we're 
making a heavy effort on that. 

As a matter of fact, we not only 
have this Visimachine specification 
and a lot of tools to go with it, but 
our human factors project — the Nova 
project, which still has resources 
devoted to it — produced a manual we 
call the Designer's Guide to Well- 
Behaved Products. That not only 
details the whys and wherefores of 



272 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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our product model and our user 
model and all the principles of design, 
but goes through all the usages and all 
the BITs. It also explains all of the 
functionality of Visi On, how to use it 
and why to use it, and the preferable 
and less preferable things to do with 
it. We're designing right to that guide. 
It's been an evolutionary document 
over two years. 

There could be a trade-off between 
consistency in the user interface and 
tailoring each program to a specific 
application. How have you resolved 
that? 

There absolutely is a conflict, and 
resolving it is an ongoing process. We 
have an evaluation lab set up and we 
try to mock up and evaluate things. 
Each product has a working team that 
includes marketing, technical writing, 
and development that works out the 
issues. Then we have a weekly meet- 
ing of what we call the Quasar prod- 
uct working group — Quasar was our 
original name for this product. There 
we actually confront issues as they 
become problems and attempt to 
come up with some solutions. Any- 
thing that can't be done at that level 
comes up to my level, and we work it 
out between the director of product 
marketing and me. And as I said, it is 
not something that is easy. Where 
you might find 80 percent of the 
things easy, the last 20 percent affect 
the other 80 percent anyway, so you 
end up having to revise it and revise 
it. And you have to have voices that 
speak all sides of the problem, and 
you have to be able to interact with 
that and evaluate it. 
So it's case by case. . . there's no 
other way? 

At this point it is. We set up our 
overall principles of design and we 
actually held hard and fast from 
January 1982 until the end of that 
year, trying to design as well as we 
could without any violations of the 
principles. We made one mid-course 
correction, an update of the guide in 
the fall of last year, and now that 
we're in the end throes of trying to in- 
teract with these products, to get 
them up, we're finding things that are 
bothersome, and so now we're at the 
point where it really is a case-by-case 
basis. 



Are you trying this out on naive 
users? How do you test it? 
Internally so far. 
On people you've hired? 
People we hire, but we brought in 
some naive users from the outside, 
and beyond that we do intend to do a 
significant beta testing of it, but that 
will be later on. We don't want to do 
it until enough things are stable that 
people can really. . . if the system 
gets in the way of using it, it doesn't 
matter whether it gets in the way 
because it's not complete or it has a 
bug or it isn't good. 
Can you say more about installing 
applications? 

As far as users are concerned, all 
they'll do is use this services window 
and select the Install button. This is 
how we install them today in our 
development environment. The win- 
dow will prompt users to insert the 
floppy disk. Once users have done 
that and confirmed it, the code will 
actually be read onto the Winchester 
disk itself. 

Basically, the loader will set up all 
the appropriate addresses in each seg- 



ment. So all the segments are initial- 
ized and loaded on the disk. Then all 
of the appropriate indexes and over- 
view pages are updated. An item is 
added to the services window in- 
dicating that this product is now in- 
stalled; there is an overview table for 
what is available in the help files. The 
help files are loaded from this disk in- 
to the Winchester disk. The help win- 
dow's overview will show that there's 
a new series of things here. 
Copy Protection in the Mouse 

Finally, the serial number of the 
machine is appropriately encrypted 
and stored on the floppy disk itself, 
so at that point you can use that pro- 
gram. You can load it on the Win- 
chester disk as many times as you 
want or on as many Winchesters as 
you want. The program will run only 
for the appropriate serial number, 
which for us happens to be in the 
mouse. Anywhere you take your 
mouse, you can run that program. 
How will you adapt Visi On to run 
with different printers? How much of 
that are you going to do? Or will you 
let the computer manufacturers do 




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June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 275 



Coleman on the Future of Microcomputer Software 



Looking at the next generation of soft- 
ware beyond Visi On, and I know 
that's very far to look ahead, when do 
you think voice will become a factor in 
the user interface? When do you expect 
to have to deal with that? 
Voice input . . . in some ways I guess 
you can consider it a factor today. 
Because of TI's announcement of the 
Professional Computer? 
Well, because there are several things 
that can take very limited amounts of 
voice but not a general function. I 
think we're going to see much further 
integration over the next 10 years. 
Where will the integration increase? 
In the underlying data structures, so 
that you really do have common data. 
Each program understands all the con- 
text at some level or another of every 
other program's data. 
What stands in the way of that now? 
Basically a definition of the underlying 
data base. It's a broad subject, not just 
to understand that something is of a 
certain type, numeric and alpha and so 
on, but also to understand all the 
semantics and all the metadata that go 
with that type, that say, for example, 
that this program is a spreadsheet and 
therefore it has the following kinds of 
information as far as formulas and 
recalculation orders; or the program is 
a word processor and therefore it 
understands all the semantics about 
justification and margining and the 
rest. 

If you look ahead somehow, if you 
could develop an underlying context 
that understood all of that, there's no 
reason why the tools that go on top of 
it can't be— boy, am I talking ahead — 
much smarter than such tools are to- 
day. Therefore you really can do what 
the l-2-3s and Context MB As are try- 
ing to do: make one product that does 
everything. What MBA and 1-2-3 do is 
integrate some functions very prob- 



lematically and nonextensibly. But if 
you had something that could under- 
stand all of this kind of structure then, 
you really would approach Smalltalk's 
objective. You would have lots of 
classes and subclasses of data that 
understand all the manipulations that 
are done on them, and all you would 
have to do would be little processes to 
change that. Therefore you really 
could be just typing along and in the 
middle of your text have a spreadsheet, 
which will recalculate any time and 
will understand any time you make a 
change in this model over here that this 
document must be updated the next 
time you look at it or print it out. 
Those things are obviously an exten- 
sion of where we are trying to go with 
Visi On, but they aren't here now. 

Voice input and the next levels 
above that could be much more highly 
interactive. The problem with voice in- 
put is that you've got to deal with the 
office, and in many offices you can't 
do a lot of talking. The real technical 
problem, of course, is just getting the 
computer to understand voice. 

That's sort of coupled with knowl- 
edge-based systems as well. If you start 
looking at the concepts of artificial in- 
telligence, somewhere along the way 
we're going to start seeing voice input 
in inference processing, and use of ar- 
tificial intelligence will work its way in- 
to these systems. But I see a highly 
usable system like that as about 10 
years away. You are going to see 
special cases of that all the way along. 
After all, we've seen special cases of 
windowing systems for 15 years. 
When do you think the features of ex- 
pert systems will begin to appear? 
You're just asking my personal opi- 
nion? 
Yes. 

In the next couple of years, you're go- 
ing to see people coming out with ex- 



pert systems that have some utility. I 
don't think you're going to see the 
Visicalc of expert systems for five to 
seven years— that is, an expert system 
that is so conceptually easy to use that 
it will be generally adapted by a large 
group of people. The expert systems 
that come out sooner will be special- 
purpose, will involve special training, 
and will do a very small segment of a 
problem. But we aren't close enough 
there in the technology. That's just my 
opinion. 

What about progress in languages? Do 
you think that we're going to see 
languages that incorporate features 
like the new applications? Is Smalltalk 
going to become popular? Do you 
think people will ever program with 
languages? Will languages reach the 
necessary stage of ease of use, or do 
you think that's just fantasy? 
/ don't think that people will generally 
write programs in the sense we're talk- 
ing about writing programs today 
because I don't think many people easi- 
ly think at the level of logic it takes to 
do a program. Even concepts of itera- 
tion are hard for people to understand. 
I do think that people will be able to 
develop programs by interacting with 
systems that are being developed now, 
maybe inference processing systems. 

But I don't think people will sit 
down and learn languages even as sim- 
ple as BASIC or Smalltalk to do much 
programming on a general basis. The 
potential world market for the com- 
puter/personal computer/desktop 
workstation is an inverted pyramid — 
this is an Apple model, by the way — 
and we've seen only the first couple of 
percent of the tip of that pyramid. To 
get farther into the pyramid, you have 
to get farther and farther from the ac- 
tual need for people to understand 
computers and programming. 



that for the printers they sell? 

The manufacturers can do them, and 
we'll have at least 10 printer drivers 
available when we first ship Visi On. 
You see, to develop a driver with 
enough capability to handle the GKS, 
we're talking about drivers that are 
about 8K to 15K bytes. The first year 



we'll support probably three to four 
plotters and a whole line of printers. 
But the idea is that these drivers are 
very sophisticated, because they have 
to interpret calls in context to what 
kind of device is attached to the other 
end and make the appropriate trade- 
off. If the device doesn't allow super- 



scripting or subscripting, the driver 
won't do it. But we will be providing 
a lot of drivers and there will definite- 
ly be information to write drivers. 
Fortunately, it turns out that a lot of 
the manufacturers are already signing 
up to develop or have developed and 
will provide GKS drivers. Digital 



276 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Research is already part of that. 

One of the concepts of Visi On is to 
get people, c nee they've learned to 
use the system — which is very easy to 
learn to use — to a state of no longer 
having to pay attention to the use of 
the software tool, but only to solving 
the problem. The system should not 
distract people from the problem. No 
one is turning on the system in order 
to run Visi On or to run a spreadsheet 
under Visi On, or a word processor, 
graphics, whatever. People will turn 
the system on because they have a 
goal to get something done by the end 
of the day. Visi On is nothing more 
than a toolkit. We want to make sure 
that users can learn how to use it, not 
be afraid of it, get in and work quick, 
and get out. Users should not be con- 
cerned about where they're getting 
their data from. It should be possible 
in the future for users just to ask for 
some data and not worry about 
whether the data comes from a re- 
mote system over a telephone line, or 
from a local system, or from their 
buddy's personal computer. 

The scripts capability is another 
important aspect of ease of use. It's a 
learn mode. It has a window that you 
can interact with. You can stop that 
learn mode at any time and tell the 
system to accept a variable. You open 
a scripts window and say, "learn." 
Then the system prompts you for a 
name, you type in the name, and that 
will be the name of a script. Maybe 
you go through a consolidation of 
three modeh and you combine data 
and you're loading models, etc. As 
you're going through that, you might 
tell the system — by reaching up and 
pointing into the middle of the scripts 
window — that something there is a 
variable. 

When you replay that script, let's 
say once a month, you want to con- 
solidate your East Coast, West Coast, 
and international sales plans. So once 
a month you can call up the script 
and go through it and it will stop at 
different points and you can type in 
specific items, and then the system 
will use the script to do the rest all by 
itself and print it out. The system has 
learned from you, and it has let you 
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CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 



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Product Description 



NEC PC-8201 Portable Computer 

A new contender with Tandy's Model 100 



Stan Wszola 
Technical Editor 



With its PC-8201, Nippon Electric Company has in- 
troduced another contender in the fight for a place in the 
executive briefcase. Scheduled to be released in the U.S. 
this summer, the PC-8201 (see photo 1) is expected to 
compete directly with Tandy's new Model 100. Among 
other similarities, both machines use the 80C85 micro- 
processor, a low-power CMOS (complementary metal- 
oxide semiconductor) version of the 8085 running at 
2.4576 MHz. But, and this is an important difference, the 
PC-8201's 16K bytes of CMOS RAM (random-access 
read/write memory) can be expanded to 64K bytes inter- 
nally. And the machine can accept an optional 32K-byte 
CMOS RAM cartridge. The list price converted into U.S 
dollars is about $675 at the time of this writing. 

The 8201's 32K bytes of CMOS ROM (read-only 
memory) contain the operating system, Microsoft 
BASIC, a simple text-editing program, and a telecom- 
munications program. As with the RAM, the internal 
ROM can be expanded to 64K bytes, and NEC provides 
an optional 64K-byte ROM cartridge. 

Looking at the rear of this machine (see photo 2), you 
can see that NEC tried to include connections for all 
necessary options. An interface for a cassette tape 
recorder, a Centronics-type parallel printer port, an RS- 
232C serial port, an interface for an optional bar-code 
reader, and connectors for as yet unannounced RAM 
modules and a floppy-disk drive are all there. Additional- 
ly, the reset switch, the memory-protection switch, and 
power input jack were squeezed in. On the right side of 
the case, you'll find the power on/ off switch and an ad- 
justment for the display's viewing angle. 

Battery-powered and light (about 3.8 pounds), the 
8201 uses four alkaline AA batteries, a rechargeable 
nickel-cadmium battery pack, or an AC adapter. It's 
housed in a red, white, or silver case that's 11.8 inches 
wide by 8.4 inches deep by 1.3 to 2.4 inches high, just 
slightly larger and approximately three times as thick as 
the copy of BYTE you're now holding. 




Photo 1: The NEC PC-8201 Portable Computer features a 
40-character by 8-line LCD, software in ROM, and your choice 
of a red, white, or silver case. 

Display 

The liquid-crystal display (LCD) has 8 lines of 40 
characters with each character comprising a 6 by 8 matrix 
(see photo 1). The 8201 can display the full 128-character 
set of the American National Standard Code for Informa- 
tion Interchange (ASCII), the Japanese katakana 
character set, and 61 user-definable characters. 

The 8201 display is the minimum practical size; 
anything smaller (e.g., Epson HX-20) becomes too dif- 
ficult to work with. Even in the simplest writing task, you 
need to see a certain amount of text. This amount may 
vary, according to individual preferences or the type of 
material you are working on. While the 8 by 40 display is 
adequate for writing or programming, it is too small for 
use with tabular information or spreadsheet programs. 

The display, suffering from the same faults that plague 
all devices using LCDs, is visible only at an ideal viewing 
angle of about 60 degrees. A bright light or sunlight 
obscures the display because of the reflections on the 



282 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 2: Rear view of the NEC PC-8201. From left to right are the AC power input jack, memory-protection switch, reset switch, and 
connectors for the floppy-disk controller (not yet released), memory-expansion modules, and bar-code reader. The Centronics-type 
parallel printer port is located above the RS-232C serial port, which is next to the cassette tape input /out put port. An optional RAM 
cartridge is shown plugged into the side of the computer. 



cover. LCDs can't be easily used in low-light conditions 
because they function by reflecting ambient light rather 
than by producing a lighted display as does a standard 
video monitor. For most office use, however, the 8201's 
display is effective and poses no problems when used 
under average lighting conditions. If necessary, the con- 
trast can be adjusted using a control on the right side of 
the case. 

Keyboard 

Surprisingly, the 8201 has a very usable keyboard for 
such a small package. It has 55 keys in the popular 
Selectric-style layout (see photo 3) and five program- 
mable function keys, initially defined for use with the 
text-editing and telecommunications programs. The four 
triangular-shaped cursor-control keys form a square on 
the right side of the keyboard, an excellent arrangement. 

Two special keys, Paste/Insert and Delete/Backspace, 
provide text-editing functions. As its name implies, the 
first inserts characters in text or a program. A Shift-Paste 
inserts the contents of a Paste buffer (more on this later) 
into the text or program at the cursor location. The 
Delete key deletes the previously entered character and 
Shift-Delete deletes a character indicated by the cursor. A 
third special key, Stop, generates a Control-C and halts 
program operation. 

Admittedly, the keyboard is a little cramped for my 
fingers, but the tactile response is fine. The only an- 
noyance was with the confusing combination of 
English /katakana legends on the keytops. The American 
version of the computer will have only the English letters 
on the keytops. 

Memory 

NEC provided the 8201 with an impressive capacity for 
memory expansion. The evaluation unit had 32K bytes of 
ROM (standard) and 32K bytes of RAM, both of which 
could be expanded with optional memory modules. With 



the addition of both internal and external RAM, the 8201 
gives you a total of 96K bytes. The ROM can also be in- 
creased internally to 64K bytes and, with plug-in car- 
tridges, to 128K bytes. 

Managing that amount of memory presents an in- 
teresting problem, which NEC solved by giving the 8201 
a BANK command. A programmer can specify which 
32K bank of both RAM and ROM the processor must 
look at. This method enables the 8201 to store very large 
programs in memory with enough memory left over to 
use other programs. 

The plug-in cartridges offer you an alternative to pro- 
gram storage on floppy disks. Because the cartridges in- 
clude battery power for the CMOS RAM, you could load 
a program into a cartridge, remove the cartridge, and 
plug in a different cartridge in order to use or store other 
programs. This is hardly an inexpensive solution, but it is 
convenient and portable. 

Although the 8201 manual does not mention what pro- 
grams will be available to fill 128K bytes of ROM, the 
needs of the market suggest a simple electronic spread- 
sheet and executive software such as a daily appointment 
record and phone/address records. Software developers 
have the opportunity to develop custom ROM cartridge 
programs. 

Software 

A characteristic feature of most microcomputers is the 
required loading of software through cassette recorders 
and floppy-disk drives. The NEC PC-8201 is a true por- 
table because it eliminates this dependence on peripherals 
by having programs in ROM or saved in RAM. 

When the 8201 switches on, the operating system's 
main menu appears, showing the date, the time, a direc- 
tory of all programs in memory, and which bank of 
memory is being accessed. In the directory, extensions in- 
dicate the type of information in the file. Text files use the 
extension DO for document, BASIC programs have the 



June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 283 




Photo 3: Screen display and keyboard layout of the PC-8201. 
Note that the keytop legends show both English characters and 
Japanese katakana characters. The special-function keys are 
labeled by the last line of the display. 

BA extension, and machine-language files use CO. You 
can identify applications programs such as BASIC, TEXT, 
and TELCOM by the lack of an extension. The bottom 
line of this initial display presents labels for the special- 
function keys and indicates the amount of free memory. 
(The similarity between the display of the 8201 in photo 3 
and the Tandy Model 100's shouldn't be surprising 
because Microsoft designed the software for both 
systems.) 

The user interface makes ease of use as strong an asset 
as portability with this computer. To choose a program 
to run or a file to edit, you simply position the cursor 
over the file name and press the return key. With a BA 
file extension, the system enters BASIC, and with DO, 
the text editor is invoked. Even machine-language pro- 
grams with a specific execution address run automatically 
if selected from the menu. Another simplifying feature is 
available when you finish any application program or 
file. Just by typing "MENU," you close the files and 



At a Glance 




Name 


Dimensions 


NEC PC-8201 Portable 


J 1.8 inches wide by 8.4 


Computer 


inches deep by 1 .3 to 2.4 




inches high 


Use 




Portable general-purpose 


Weight 


computer 


3.8 pounds 


Manufacturer 


Software 


NEC Home Electronics 


Microsoft BASIC, telecom- 


(U.S.A.) Inc. 


munications program, and 


Personal Computer Division 


text-editing program in ROM 


140! EstesAve. 




Elk Grove, IL 60007 


Audience 


(312) 228-5900 


Anyone needing a portable 




computer for telecommunica- 


Price 


tions, word processing, and 


Approximately S675 (de- 


general-purpose applications 


pending on exchange rates) 





return to the menu display. 

One bundled application, TEXT, is a simple editing 
program for text or BASIC files and will probably be the 
most used program. To invoke the TEXT program, you 
choose the program from the main menu, select a docu- 
ment file that automatically invokes the editor, or use 
the EDIT command while in BASIC to edit a program. 

The special-function keys make the TEXT program 
especially easy to use. For example, you search for text 
strings with FIND, locate the next occurrence of the string 
with NEXT, select text to be cut or copied with SELECT, 
and transfer copy to a Paste buffer with either CUT or 
COPY. 

A safety feature prevents you from typing over 
previously entered copy. Whenever you want to insert 
text, you must first press the Insert key. The Paste buffer 
lets you put all or part of your text into a buffer with the 
COPY or CUT commands. Then, with the PASTE com- 
mand, you reinsert that copy elsewhere in the text. An 



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added benefit of the Paste buffer is that it saves any 
entered text. With a little bit of effort, you can combine 
this benefit with the FIND and NEXT commands to per- 
form operations similar to search and replace operations 
found in more powerful text-editing programs. 

The same easy-to-use features of TEXT are in the 
TELCOM program, a fairly simple telecommunications 
program. Designed primarily to access online databases 
or information services (The Source, CompuServe, Dow 
Jones, etc.) or to exchange programs between two com- 
puters, it uses the special-function keys and Escape/ 
character key sequences to control the program's 
operation. A two-page memory buffer, totaling 16 lines, 
lets you halt the display in order to refer to previously 
received information. You can set the program for half- 
or full-duplex operation and "echo" the screen display to 
a printer. 

The UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD commands transfer 
files through the RS-232C port. The telecommunications 
program asks for the name of the file to send or receive, 
performs the operation, indicates the task's completion, 
and finally asks if you want to disconnect. With the 
STAT command, the 8201 provides a simple method of 
setting the data rate, parity, bit length, stop bits, and 
XON/XOFF sequence. 

BASIC 

The implementation of Microsoft's BASIC ensures an 
easy transference of programs to the 8201 without costly 
translation. Additionally, this interpreted BASIC in- 
cludes the statements and functions needed to write 
almost any type of program. By integrating BASIC with 
the TEXT program, you get two editing methods — a line- 
oriented program or the character-oriented TEXT pro- 
gram. 

Peripherals 

Several related peripherals are due to be released with 
the computer. Of most interest are the floppy-disk con- 
troller (PC-8233) and disk drives. Apparently, the con- 
troller regulates several different types of drives (PC- 
8031-1W, PC-8031-2W, and PC-80S31), one of which is 
probably some version of the 3V2-inch microfloppy. 
Another useful peripheral is the PC-8240 video monitor 
adapter, which enables you to connect the 8201 to a 
video monitor. 

Peripherals in the planning stage include an intelligent 
telephone, an acoustic coupler modem, and a bar-code 
reader. 

Summary 

With the portable computer market becoming crowded 
with contenders, more functions are being squeezed into 
smaller packages. The 8201 takes its place as a transition 
machine designed to determine just what features people 
want in a portable computer. 

Overall, it looks as if NEC has developed an effective 
integrated package of hardware and software useful to 
anyone with a need for a computer to go.B 



286 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 383 on Inquiry card. 



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 pfuvides convenient one key opera- 
tion for single copy or multicopy 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 19.2K 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 2 1 
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 1 0. 





PAGE REPRINT 



B^nBB 




mmamm 

Function keys extend the useful com- 
mands to more than 10, including: hex- 
dump, memory test, lemote loading, etc. 

Independant PAUSE and HOLD con 
trols to suspend transmission and recep 
tion, 



8 easy-to-operate membrane key switches. 



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, MorthStar, Altos, 
Xerox, Heath, Zenith, NEC, DEC, etc., with RS-232 serial, Hardware Handshaking, or Centionics 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 
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ANGEL, The Intelligent Buffer, features: 

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• Single, Multiple and Continuous Copy 
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EXPIRATION DATE 



BYTE June 1983 287 



Hardware Review 



HMS3264 EPROM Programmer 



Marvin L. De Jong 

Department of Mathematics-Physics 

The School of the Ozarks 

Point Lookout, MO 65726 



Photo 1: The HMS3264 programmer card for the Apple II. 



The HMS3264 EPROM 
(erasable programmable 
read-only memory) pro- 
grammer package lets an 
Apple II computer handle 
the programming tasks for 
a broad range of software- 
development tasks. The 
Hollister Microsystems 
product (see photo 1) in- 
cludes the peripheral card, a 
DOS 3.3 disk with the 
necessary software to pro- 
gram an EPROM, and a 
manual. This peripheral 
package lets you program 
Intel-compatible EPROMs, 
including the 2716, 2732, 
2732A, 2764, and 27128. 

(Note that the Texas Instruments' TMS2716 is not com- 
patible with the Intel 2716, whereas the TMS2516 is com- 
patible with the Intel 2716.) 

The Hardware 

Mounted on the HMS3264 EPROM programmer card 
are three Textool ZIF (zero insertion force) sockets with 
gold-plated contacts. Each socket, marked to indicate the 
type of EPROM device it is designed to hold, contains a 
lever that removes the force of its contacts on the pins of 
the installed EPROM, allowing an EPROM to be inserted 
in the socket with no effort. You push the lever down to 
hold the EPROM in place during programming. When 
you raise the lever, the EPROM can be easily removed 
without prying or damage to its pins. 

Many EPROM programmers use plug-in "personality 
modules" to handle a variety of EPROM types, but the 
HMS3264 card has all the programming sockets on 
board. Software is used to identify the EPROM type and 
modify the programming parameters when necessary. 
These features eliminate the need for jumper wires and 
personality modules, which are easily misplaced or lost. 




EPROMs can be inserted 
or removed from the 
EPROM programmer while 
the HMS3264 card is in- 
stalled in an Apple II 
peripheral-card slot and 
power to the Apple II is 
turned on. Two switches on 
the card control power to 
the Textool sockets. One 
switch controls the 5-V 
(volt) power supply that is 
required to read an 
EPROM. The other switch 
controls the programming 
voltage that is applied to 
the EPROM during the pro- 
gramming process. Setting 
the latter switch, called the 
write switch, in its off or "protect" position prevents the 
occurrence of an undesirable Write. A red LED (light- 
emitting diode) indicates the status of the EPROM power 
switch; a yellow LED indicates a programming voltage 
being applied to an EPROM. Two on-board DC-to-DC 
converters provide the 21 V and 25 V required to pro- 
gram the EPROMs. 

In order to insert or remove EPROMs, you must first 
remove the cover of the Apple II. Moreover, to prevent 
harm to your fingers, other circuit boards in the Apple II, 
or both, you must isolate the HMS3264 card with empty 
peripheral-card slots. 

I found it convenient to install the EPROM program- 
mer card in slot 3, leaving one blank slot on the left next 
to the printer-interface card and two blank slots between 
the EPROM programmer card and the disk-drive con- 
troller. Furthermore, be aware that a small but finite 
probability exists that you will drop an EPROM chip 
while attempting to insert or remove it from the EPROM 
programmer. In addition, a corresponding probability 
exists, guaranteed by Murphy's Law, that the EPROM 
will fall and produce a short circuit, smoke, and perhaps 



288 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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DEVELOPMENT HARDWARE/SOFTWARE 
GTEK MODEL 7128 EPROM PROGRAMMER 




Microprocessor based intelligence for ease of 
use and interface. You send the data, the 
7128 takes care of the rest. 
RS-232 interface and ASCII data formats 
make the 7128 compatible with virtually 
any computer with an RS-232 serial inter- 
face port. 

Auto-select baud rate. 
Use with or without handshaking. 
Bidirectional Xon/Xoff supported. 
CTS/DTR supported. 
Devices supported as of DEC 82. 
NMOS NMOS CMOS EEPROM MPU'S 
2758 2508 27C16 5213 8748 

2716 2516 27C32 5213H 8748H 

2732 2532 C6716 X2816 8749 
2732A 2564 27C64 48016 8741 
2764 68766 I2816A 8742 

27128 8755 8751 

27256 

Read pin compatible ROMS also. 
Automatic use of proper program voltage 
based on type selected. 
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sonality modules required. 

(40 pin devices require adapter) 
INTEL, Motorola and MCS-86, Hex formats. 
Split facility for 16 bit data-paths. Read, pro- 
gram, and formatted list commands also. 
Interupt driven type ahead, program and 
verify real time while sending data. 
Program single byte, block, or whole eprom. 
Intelligent diagnostics discern between 
eprom which is bad and one which merely 
needs erasing. 



Gtek 



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• Susy light indicates when power is being ap- 
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• Complete with TEXTOOL zero insertion 
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• High Performance/Cost ratio. 

• •• Model 7128 PRICES389.00 ••• 

MODEL 7128 SOCKET ADAPTERS 
MODEL 481 allows programming of 8748, 
8749, 8741. 8742 single chip processors. 
Price $98.00 

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Price $174.00 
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Price $135.00 
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7128. Supports 24 pin parts thru 32K only. 
Upgradable to full 7128 capacity. 

Price $289.00 

Non-expandable, very low cost models avail- 
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MODEL 7128-L1 for 2716 only $179.00 
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Also available from stock: 

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AvocetSystemsCross Assemblers $200.00 - 

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Programmable Devices call 

Complete development systems . $3240.00 

Post Office Box 289 

Wav eland, Mississippi 39576 

(601) 467-8048 



At a Glance 




Name 


Software 


HMS3264 EPROM pro- 


Single DOS 3.3 copyable 


grammer for the Apple II 


disk handles all EPROM pro- 


computer 


gramming tasks, including 




editing, saving, and moving 


Manufacturer 


binary files before they afe 


Hollister Microsystems Inc. 


burned in the EPROM 


I 455 Airport Blvd. 




San Jose, CA 95! 10 


Documentation 


(408) 293-3900 


A 25-page manual includes 




detailed instructions for using 


Price 


both the hardware and the 


$395 


software 


Computer 


Audience 


Apple II of Apple II Plus with 


Apple II owners who use 


Applesoft BASIC, 48K bytes 


their computer as a develop- 


of user memory, and Apple 


ment system, manufacturers 


II disk drive and controller 


of controllers who require a 




production EPROM program- 


Hardware 


mer, and hobbyists who 


Single-circuit board for 


wish to program their own 


peripheral-card slots I 


EPROMs 


through 7; no other circuits 




Of personality modules are 




required; it programs Intel- 




compatible 27 1 6, 2732, 




2732A, 2764, and 27 1 28 




EPROMs 





damage to components on the main logic board of the 
Apple II. However, a reasonably alert person can avoid 
these difficulties. 

A third switch on the HMS3264 board is called the 
CFFF switch. The EPROM programmer uses the hexa- 
decimal C800 through CFFF block of memory that the 
Apple II reserves for expansion ROM. The Apple II 
Reference Manual suggests that each peripheral card 
using this space should contain a flip-flop that disables its 
on-board ROM whenever location hexadecimal CFFF is 
referenced. This component prevents several ROMs from 
competing for the data bus with uncertain and 
undesirable side effects. 

With the CFFF switch in its Norm position, the 
HMS3264 board becomes disabled when location hexa- 
decimal CFFF is referenced with a read or write instruc- 
tion. However, if you want to program all the locations 
in a 2716, you need to disable this feature in order to pro- 
gram location hexadecimal CFFF. In that case, place the 
CFFF switch in its Write position. Then make sure that 
other cards are not competing for control of the data bus 
by removing the cards that use the hexadecimal C800 
through CFFF ROM space. 

Of course, these details are mentioned in the manual. 
The intent here is to describe various aspects of the 
HMS3264 EPROM programmer so that you get a feeling 
for its features and qualities. For example, it is likely that 
an inexpensive programmer board would omit the CFFF 
feature. The HMS3264 is not an inexpensive board, and 
no shortcuts were taken in its design. All its ICs (in- 



290 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 165 on inquiry card. 



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be next years 
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Circle 160 on inquiry card. 



BYTE June 1983 291 



********* HMS3264 EPROM SYSTEM *****V0.2 

(C) COPYRIGHT 1982 
HOLLISTER MICROSYSTEMS — AMW 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

..MOW LOADING HMS3264 BINARY PROGRAM.. 

********* HMS3264 EPROM SYSTEM *****V0.2 
EPROM TYPE.. UNDEFINED 
EPROM START. 0000 
EPROM END. . .???? 
WORK START. .0000 

SLOT . . . 



SELECT SLOT 



ENTER SLOT NUMBER (1-7) 



============== EPROM TYPE === 

ENTER EPROM TYPE (1-5) 

1) 2716 SINGLE VOLTAGE ONLY 

2) 2732 INTEL COMPATIBLE 

3) 2732A INTEL COMPATIBLE 

4) 2764 INTEL COMPATIBLE 

5) 27128 INTEL COMPATIBLE 



2716 SINGLE VOLTAGE ONLY 

Figure 1: Printed output from the software supplied with the 
HMS3264. 



********* HMS3264 EPROM SYSTEM *****V0.2 
EPROM TYPE.. 2716 SINGLE VOLTAGE ONLY 
EPROM START. 0000 
EPROM END. . .07FF 
WORK START. .0000 

SLOT. . .3 



MAIN MENU 



0. 
1. 
2. 
3. 
4. 
5. 
6. 
7. 



A. 
C. 



LOAD & BURN SINGLE BINARY FILE 
BURN FROM WORKSPACE TO EPROM 
LOAD BINARY FILE TO WORKSPACE 
SAVE WORKSPACE TO FILE 
COPY EPROM TO WORKSPACE 
COMPUTE WORKSPACE CHECKSUM 
COMPARE WORKSPACE TO EPROM 
DISPLAY EPROM/WORKSPACE 



EDIT WORKSPACE 

EPROM TYPE 
CALIBRATE 

SELECT-- 



B. 
D. 



EXIT 

SELECT SLOT 
CLEAR WORKSPACE 



Figure 2: The main software menu of the HMS3264. 



tegrated circuits) are socketed; you do not have to ruin 
the board in order to replace an IC. 

The lack of unusual components in the analog cir- 
cuitry, namely the DC-to-DC converters, means that a 
failure here is easy to correct. Each of the 11 74LS-series 
ICs has its own bypass capacitor. Obviously, careful at- 
tention was paid to the location of the power bus, ensur- 
ing noise-free and consistent operation. You are even 
provided with a location for a spare 16-pin DIP (dual- 
inline pin) socket, which might be used with jumper wires 
to program a special EPROM. 

The Software 

The floppy disk provided with the HMS3264 contains 
software, partly in BASIC and partly in machine code, 
for performing the various functions. To illustrate some 
of the software, the output of the program was directed 
to a printer, and the results are reproduced in figure 1. 
Note that the first task is to select the slot number. Any 
peripheral-card slot number except is acceptable. Next, 
you choose the type of EPROM you intend to program. 
In this application, I chose to program a 2716. The soft- 
ware confirms the choice, as shown in the last line of 
figure 1. After selecting the EPROM, you are presented 
with the main menu, as illustrated in figure 2. 

The software uses a block of memory in the Apple II, 
called the workspace, to load, store, and edit the binary 
files that will be read from, or burned in, the EPROM. 

The workspace starts at location hexadecimal 4000 in 
the RAM (random-access read/write memory) address 
space of the Apple II and extends upward as far as 
necessary for the particular EPROM being programmed. 
For instance, a type-2716 EPROM requires 2K bytes of 
RAM extending from location hexadecimal 4000 through 
47FF; a type-27128 EPROM requires 16K bytes of mem- 
ory extending from location 4000 through 7FFF. But to 
ease the translation to the EPROM, the workspace is 
identified by addresses hexadecimal 0000 and upward, 
even though the binary information is stored in locations 
4000 and upward. For example, if you are dealing with a 
type-2716 EPROM, its 2K bytes of memory are identified 
both in the EPROM and in the workspace by addresses 
0000 through 07FF. At the other extreme, the memory 
locations in a type-27128 EPROM are identified in the 
EPROM and in the workspace by addresses 0000 through 
3FFF. Because a programmed type-2716 EPROM was 
available, I placed it in the 2716's socket on the EPROM 
programmer card and selected option four from the menu 
(copy EPROM to workspace). 

After selecting an option, you are given a chance to 
return to the main menu before proceeding. The software 
then asks you to identify the starting address, default 
value = 0000, and the ending address, default value = 
07FF, of the portion of the EPROM you wish to copy into 
the workspace. (I selected the default values because I 
wanted to copy the entire EPROM into the workspace.) 
You are next asked to identify the address in the work- 
space where you wish to begin copying the EPROM's 
contents. (I chose the default value, which is hexadecimal 



292 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



0000.) The software then prompts you to turn on the 
EPROM power switch. 

Upon switch activation, the EPROM's contents were 
copied into the workspace, but I received an error 
message. The software calculates a checksum for both the 
EPROM and the workspace to make sure that the copy 
program executed successfully. The error message puz- 
zled me until I realized that the CFFF switch was in its 
Norm position; in this switch position, the software does 
not copy location hexadecimal CFFF in the EPROM into 
location hexadecimal 07FF in the workspace. Placing the 
CFFF switch in the Write position (no pun intended) 
allowed all the EPROM's contents to copy correctly into 
the workspace. 

This procedure was the only one where a note in the 
documentation might have prevented a problem. Other- 
wise, the documentation is excellent. Each program in the 
menu is carefully explained in the manual, and the 
prompts on the video monitor make operation of the 
various programs idiot-proof. 

After copying an EPROM to familiarize myself with 
the style of the software, I decided to do some program- 
ming. First, I selected item number two in the main menu. 
This program allows reading a binary file from a disk and 
storing the file anywhere in the workspace. You input the 
address in the workspace where you want the binary file 
to begin. After the file is loaded, you return to the main 
menu. 

Next, I selected item number one in the menu. Here, 
you are asked to enter the EPROM addresses where you 
want to start and end programming. These addresses 
have default values, but you would probably want to 
enter the appropriate values for the binary file you are 
burning into the EPROM. You also input the workspace 
address where the binary file starts. This address would 
have a default value corresponding to the binary file just 
loaded into the workspace. Having done this, I was 
almost ready to operate. 

Before starting, the Apple II will query whether you 
wish to suppress audio. During programming, the soft- 
ware causes the speaker to emit a series of audible clicks 
that can be eliminated by a positive response to this ques- 
tion. You are also reminded to set the switches properly. 
Finally, you have a last chance to abort and return to the 
main menu or to go ahead. 

To keep going, you press the * key. An estimate of the 
time needed to accomplish the task next appears on the 
screen, and then programming begins. Each EPROM 
address appears on the screen as the programming con- 
tinues. After each byte is programmed, it is compared 
with the corresponding byte in the workspace. Program- 
ming stops if this test fails; otherwise, it proceeds until 
the entire binary file has been burned into the EPROM. 
Finally, programming returns to the main menu. 

Item number zero in the menu is a combination of item 
numbers one and two. The other items in the menu are 
not covered in this discussion. Their functions are ob- 
vious from their names, and the manual describes the 
operation of each program in detail. With the exception 

Circle 15 on inquiry card. — 



Vbu'll never have a better reason 
to begin shopping by mail: 

IBM RAM 
BOARDS 

256K 

WITH AN RS-232C INTERFACE 

$349 

$529 WITH SUPERCALC 

512K 

WITH AN RS-232C INTERFACE 

$579 

$749 WITH SUPERCALC 



Our fully-populated memory 
boards include parity checking 
and a standard RS-232C interface. 
They are compatible with all IBM 
software. 

This is a rare opportunity to 
save a great deal of money 
without sacrificing quality. These 
boards meet the highest standards 
of design, materials and manufac- 
turing available — at any price. 
They are completely guaranteed 
for two years. 

Alpha Byte also carries the finest 
in IBM software, such as: 
Lotus 1,2,3 

D BASE II 

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engneenpg 
a compter 



A practical approach to constructing 
an operational compiler... 

Engineering a 
Compiler: 
VAX-11 Code 
Generation and 
Optimization 

by Patricia Anklam, David Cutler, Roger Heinen, Jr., 
ana M. Donald MacLaren, all of Digital Equipment 
Corporation 

With an emphasis on authentic engineering pro- 
cesses, this book offers a step-by-step description of 
the development of a production-quality compiler 
with a code generator capable of highly optimized 
object code for multiple source languages. Specifically, 
it details the practical experiences of the programming 
team that developed a PL/I General Purpose subset 
compiler for Digital Equipment Corporation's VAX 
machines. 

Engineering a Compiler focuses primarily on the 
lesser known aspect of compiler design-the back end 
code generation phases. More than half the book is 
devoted to optimization-global optimization, tree re- 
ductions, register allocation, and peephole optimiz- 
ation. The programming team's solutions to common 
problems of compiler design provide useful informa- 
tion to anyone undertaking a similar venture with 
other equipment. 

The book begins by providing background informa- 
tion on the VAX code generator, the PL/I compiler, 
and the design team's approach to bootstrapping an 
existing PL/I compiler to produce code for VAX ma- 
chines. Following chapters discuss specific aspects of 
the compiler design, such as the requirements for con- 
structing Table-Building Language source programs, 
the symbol table and the structure of the trees, the In- 
termediate Language, Write Tree, the engineering and 
evolution of the optimizer, examples of VAX code gen- 
eration, and the software engineering tools the team 
found most useful. Numerous PL/I and C program ex- 
amples, a glossary, and over 80 figures and tables are 
included. 

Return to: Digital Press Order Fulfillment 
Digital Equipment Corporation 
12-A Esquire Road, Billerica, MA 01862 

Please send me copies of Engineering a Compiler *($24.00). Postage and 

handling free when your order is prepaid by check or charge card. Ten percent 
discount when ordering two or more copies. Prices subject to change without no- 
tice. Make checks payable to Digital Equipment Corporation. 



D Check included. 
D MasterCard. 

< hargeCard Acc't No._ 

I xpiration Date 



a visa. 

a Purchase Order (attach P.O.). 



. Telephone , 



\uthorized Signature 



Name . 



Company /School. 
Address 

City 



_ State 



. Zip 



SDSDDSD 



of item number nine (Exit), the successful completion of 
each routine returns you to the main menu. Program- 
ming an EPROM thus becomes a smooth operation with 
minimal chance for error. In fact, the software permits 
novice computer users to easily handle the EPROM pro- 
gramming tasks on a production-line basis. 

You can tell from this review that I am favorably im- 
pressed with the hardware, software, and manual. I 
recommend this package to anyone who is programming 
EPROMs. If you want to change any features, you can 
easily modify the BASIC software for your own purposes 
by making a listing. The machine-language subroutine 
might be more difficult to modify, but it can be located, 
disassembled, studied, and modified if you wish. The 
EPROMs that can be programmed are all 5-V devices; 
that is, they can be used as ROM when powered by one 
5-V supply. (The 2716 EPROM provides 16K bits of 
memory in a 2K by 8-bit format; that is, it has 2K bytes 
of memory. The 2732 stores 4K bytes of information, the 
2764 stores 8K bytes, and the 27128 stores 16K bytes.) 

One important criticism of the documentation is that it 
does not include a circuit diagram. For example, if you 
want to use the card as an EPROM card in the Apple II's 
hexadecimal C800 through CFFF ROM space, it might be 
possible to discover how the type-2716 EPROM is 
switched into this part of the address space. Also, it 
would be useful to know the bank-switching techniques 
used to access larger EPROMs. With additional docu- 
mentation, the card could perform a secondary function 
as a regular EPROM card. However, this deficiency in 
the documentation should not be regarded as serious. ■ 

About the Author 

Marvin L. De Jong is the author of two microcomputer books, Pro- 
gramming and Interfacing the 6502 and Apple II Assembly Language. 
He teaches mathematics and physics at The School of the Ozarks in 
Point Lookout, Missouri. 



BYTE's Bits 



New York to Host 

World Computer 

Chess Championship 

New York will be the host 
city for the Fourth World 
Computer Chess Champion- 
ship. This match, held during 
the annual conference of the 
Association for Computing 
Machinery (ACM), will pit 
the reigning champion, Belle, 
against challengers from 
England, Germany, the So- 
viet Union, and the United 
States. Belle will square off 
against Cray Blitz, Nuchess, 
and Chaos, which finished 
second, third, and fourth in 



performance rating versus 
opponent's strength behind 
Belle last October at the 
ACM's Thirteenth North 
American Chess Champion- 
ship. Play in this five-round 
tournament is expected to ap- 
proach the master level. 

The ACM's annual confer- 
ence will be held in the 
Sheraton Center on October 
22 to 25. Anyone interested 
in further information may 
write to Professor Monroe 
Newborn, School of Com- 
puter Science, McGill Univer- 
sity, 805 Sherbrooke St. W, 
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, 
Canada. ■ 



294 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 125 on Inquiry card. 



Circle 159 on Inquiry card- 



IBM + GENIE = Solution 

5.25" Fixed /Removable Winchester Cartridge Drive Systems 
For The IBM Personal Computer/Compatibles 






' The Genie Cartridge Drive 

A revolutionary new 10 Megabyte Hard Disk Drive that in- 
cludes a 5 Megabyte removable hard disk cartridge. The car- 
tridge drive system simply plugs Into your computer, and In- 
cludes all necessary software and hardware. Genie Drives 
are compatible with most popular software, and each car- 
tridge replaces over 30 double-density floppy disks. 

• 5.25" Removable Cartridge 

(Propositi ANSI Standard). Imagine, 5 Megabytes in the 
y palm of your hand. These small Winchester cartridges are 

only .75 inches thick and 5.50 inches square. The disk itself 
is completely sealed from the outside and all its hazards by 
a sliding door that opens only once the cartridge is firmly 
seated inside the drive. 

of on line storage # Genic ' s Solution To Personal 
file sizes to 5 megabytes Computer Mass Storage Problems 

BACK-UP 5 MEGABYTES IN TWO MINUTES U P untiI now ' P** 18 with serlous mass stora 9 e applica- 
^ADXDinz-c .mtcdAu aki^caqiTitv tions have had no realistic means of conveniently maintaln- 

U AH 1 HI LKab I N I hHUHANta tAbl LI I Y , ng their |arge data bas0S due to tne cost of storage media 

GUARANTEED and the expense and inefficiencies of doing back-ups. The 

Genie systems approach solves such typical storage prob- 
lems by allowing both high capacity Fixed Drives and 5 Megabyte Re- 
movable Cartridge Drives to be intermixed on the same computer 
system. This provides the ultimate storage solution because of the new 
ease of doing back-ups, along with ability to maintain several large data 
I bases on removable cartridges, eliminating the need to tie up expensive 
disk drives over a single data base application. With Genie Drives, the 
combinations are unlimited. Flexibility and versatility were key **- 
considerations. A user can configure up to eight of our Drive Prod 
^ any combination to derive a storage solution for just about any 

_ application Imaginable. With Genie, your personal 

computer can now take on tasks that 
had only been possi 
main 



5 MEGABYTES OF ON-LINE 

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CP/M-86 and Concurrent CP/M-86 is a registered trademark 

of Digital Research. 
IBM is a registered trademark of IBM Corporation. 
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UCSD P System is a registered trademark of the Regents of 

the University of California San Diego. 
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Ethernet is a registered trademark of Xerox Corporation. 



TALK ABOUT USER FRIENDLY. . . . 
3Com Ethershare™ Compatible (Ethernet Standard) 



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• Choice of volume sizes 

• Give your virtual volumes 16 character 
names 

• Assign command allows you to assign 8 
virtual drives on line at any one time 

• Show command allows instantaneous 
viewing of ail virtual drives on line 

• Help command displays syntax for all 
new commands 

• User can back up to or from any model 
Genie Drive 



• File sizes 5-20 megabytes, dependent 
upon drive type. 

• Automatic recovery system 

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using only one slot in your IBM PC 

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The Persyst Time Spectrum. 
It's the most powerful and 
expandable multi-function 
PC board you can buy. 

A Persyst Time Spectrum™ 
multi-function board can make 
any personal computer work 
better. 

Whether you own an IBM PC or 
XT. Or the IBM compatible 
Compaq or Columbia. 

There's even a Time Spectrum 
board for the Texas Instruments 
PC. 

With Time Spectrum, you can 
combine up to six powerful 
functions— plus two advanced 
software programs— on just one 
board. And get performance and 
features like nothing else. 

For the IBM PC, Compaq and 
Columbia, maximum capability 
in minimum space. 

For example, Time Spectrum is 
the only multi-function board that 
lets you expand your IBM PC from 
64Kupto512KRAM.Adda 
calendar clock. Add as many as 
two RS-232 asynchronous 
communications ports, or two 
synchronous and one 
asynchronous communications 
port. Plus print spooling and as 
much as 320K of RAM disk 
memory 

Up to four I/O ports— in just 
one slot. 

How did we do it? 



With the Cliff hanger ™ A unique, 
RFI-shielded connector system 
that solves the problem of 
tying two or more I/O ports to 
peripheral equipment like a 
printer or modem, without 
consuming two or more slots. 

And only Persyst has it. 




The Time Spectrum Cliffhanger.™ 
So ingenious, it's patented. 

Whafs more, expansion 
functions can be plugged right 
onto the Time Spectrum board. 
Or added with Versapak™ 
piggyback modules. So you can 
add exactly the capability you 
need, when you need it. 

Extra flexible expansion for the 
IBM XT. 

For the IBM XT, Time Spectrum 
not only delivers exceptional one- 
board expansion capability, but 
extra flexibility, too. 

First, we designed Time 
Spectrum so you can add the 
RAM you want without having to 
fill the memory rows on the XT 
mother board. 



And with Time Spectrum plug- 
in expandability, you can continue 
to add functions as you add 
requirements. 

Start with basic memory and a 
calendar clock. Then add another 
asynchronous communications 
port. Parallel printer port. 
Additional memory. Or any 
combination of functions. 

With Persyst, the choice is 
yours. 

And now, one-slot capability for 
your Texas Instruments PC. 

Now there's even a Time 
Spectrum multi-function board for 
your Tl PC. With it, you can add 
up to 512K RAM, two serial ports, 
calendar clock and light pen 
port— capability to handle even 
the most complex and difficult 
computing functions. 

And still only consumeone slot. 

The Persyst Time Spectrum 
board. 

Maximum expandability now. 
And quality and versatility so you 
can keep on expanding later. 

See your IBM or Tl PC dealer 
and insist on Persyst. 



Persyst Products, Personal 
Systems Technology, Inc., 
15801 Rockfield Blvd., Suite A, 
Irvine, CA 92714. Telephone: 
(714) 859-8871. TWX: 467864. 
Circle 300 on inquiry card. 



Expandability from 64K 
upto512K RAM enables 
your PC to handle the 
most complex tasks. 



RAM and communications 
expansion modules are 
easily snapped onto the 
Time Spectrum. 



Optional features are Double-face wipe sockets 

socketed on the board, for with beryllium copper 

maximum flexibility in contacts hold component 

expansion. leads firmly in place. 



Calendar clock. It comes 
with a five year, 
rechargeable battery 




Connect a modem 
through a serial 
communications port 
and you can link your 
PC to the world of 
telecommunications. 



THE TIME SPECTRUM BY PERSYST 



Hardware Review 



Electrohome Supercolor Board 
and Color Monitor 



Jon N. Swanson 
Drafting Editor 



Electrohome's Supercolor Board is a video interface 
that enables the Apple II to drive a professional color 
video monitor. The board sends three separate signals 
that directly control the amount of red, green, and blue 
seen on the monitor's screen. Without the board, the 
three signals would be combined with several others into 
a single composite video signal that a TV receiver must 
decode. The Supercolor Board eliminates these combin- 




Photo 1: The Electrohome high-resolution monitor and Super- 
color Board. 



ing and decoding steps, thus producing an extremely 
clean high-resolution display. 

Background 

The normal video signal output by the Apple II, re- 
ferred to as composite video, is a mixture of image and 
"sync" (synchronization) signals. This signal is designed 
for use with a normal television set via an RF (radio- 
frequency) modulator (a device that converts the signal 
so that it may be received on a television channel) or with 
a composite-video monitor. Unfortunately, some signal 
components and resolution are lost in this process. 

A conventional digital RGB (red-green-blue) video in- 
terface, which turns any or all of the three color guns in 
the monitor's picture tube fully on or fully off, offers 
some improvement over composite video. Only eight col- 
ors can be produced by a digital interface, however, 
because tints and shades require intermediate levels of the 
three colors. An analog interface like the Supercolor 
Board, on the other hand, can turn on the guns at varying 
intensities and produce many different colors. 

Hardware 

The Supercolor Board uses 22 ICs (integrated circuits) 
that draw 365 mA from the Apple's + 5-V power supply. 
All ICs are socketed on the double-sided, glass-epoxy cir- 
cuit board, and the edge connector is gold-plated. Two 
cables are provided, one to connect to an RGB monitor, 



298 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



INTRODUCING 1-2-S 

H1L 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 pro- 
gram 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 j — -~"Vr" \ "V 

management, — . ^ fegSm I 




41 functions and 66 commands. And if 
you include data base and graphing com- 
mands, it actually has 110! 

In addition, 1-2-3 is up to 50 times as 
fast as established spreadsheets. With all 
the features you've ever seen on spread- 
sheets. 1-2-3 also gives you the capability 
to develop customized applications (with 
26 macro keys) and lets you perform 
*~N _^^ repetitive tasks automat- 



spreadsheet and 
graphing func- 
tions reside in \ l — - — ' J ^^W^ 

memory simul- " s ^-(D S^ 

taneouslyyoucan £)q j^i 

go from retrieval to spread- p :C r^^\ 
sheet calculation to graphing \\',]Sfj,\ 
instantly, just by pressing a Uc^-S^ 
few keys. So now you can » 
experiment and recalculate 
and look at data in an endless 



[giuws n 



w 






b^„ 



\ 



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 spreadsheet, 
you'd want it because it has the largest 
workspace on the market (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 opera- 
tors, 28 functions and 32 spreadsheet- 
related commands. 1-2-3 has 15 operators, 

Circle 222 on inquiry card. 



(o 



icalfy with one key- 
stroke. If 1-2-3 were 
just a spreadsheet, it 
would be a very pow- 
erful tool. But its much, 
much more. 
The information manage- 
ment function. 

Add to 1-2-3 s spread- 
sheet a selective information 
management function, and 
the power curve rises at an 
awesome rate. Particularly 
since 1-2-3's information 
S management capability 
reads files from other 
programs such as Word- 
Star, 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 infor- 
mation management features include 
sorting with primary and secondary 
keys. Retrieval using up to 32 criteria. 
1-2-3 performs statistical functions such 
as mean, count, standard deviation and 
variance. It can produce histograms on 
part or all of the data base. 1-2-3 also 



Spreadsheet, graphing, 
information management 'all-in-one 



allows for the maintenance of multiple 
data bases and multiple criteria. 
The graphing function. 

1-2-3 enables you to create graphs 
of up to six variables using information 
already on the spreadsheet. And have it 
on screen in less than two seconds! Once 
you've made a graph, three keystrokes 
will display it in a different form. If data 
on the spreadsheet changes, you can dis- 
play a revised graph with one keystroke. 
This instant relationship of one format to 
another opens up a whole new applica- 
tion area. For the first time graphics can 
be used as a "what if" thinking tool! 

For a full demonstration of 1-2-3's 
remarkable power, visit your nearby 1-2-3 
dealer: For his name ana address, call 
1-800-343-5414 (in Mass. call 617-492-7171). 

Lotus Development Corporation, 
55 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. 




1-2-3 and Lotus are trademarks of Lotus 
Development Corporation. All rights reserved. 
WordStar is a registered trademark of MicroPro Inc. 
VisiCalc is a registered trademark ofVisiCorp. 
dBase II is a registered trademark of Ashton-Tate. 



BYTE June 1983 299 



Circle 5 on inquiry card. 




NEW COMPUTER VIDEO TERMINALS! 
Hazeltine 1420 
List:$1200 
Our Price: S450.00 

(Dealer Inquires Welcome) 



80 x 24 High Resolution Screen 

Upper/Lower Case Characters 

Reverse Video (Blink or Blank) 

Numeric Keypad with 9 Programmable Function Keys and Cursor 

Control Pad 

On Screen Editing with Wrap Around 

75-9600 Baud Rate 

STD RS-232 Connector 

Lighlweight/Compact/Single Unit 

TWO Year Factory Warranty'" 



iiTfflMrai 



CENTRONICS HIGH SPEED DOT MATRIX PRINTERS 

List: $4800 

Our Price: $1 99.00 

linute) 



• 1 65 Characters per second ( 1 920 words per r 
Features « 2"' to 1 5' Adjustable Tractor Peed 

• 132 Columns Expanded Print S Multistrike Highlighting 

• 9 x 7 Matrix with "End of Line " Seeking Carriage Return 

• Commercial Quality Heavy Duty Steel Construction 

• 30 Day Money Back Guarantee 

• Optional Lower Case Character Sets with Graphics Available 

• Compatible with Centronics Parallel Outputs iTRS-80. Apple. 
IBM-PC. Franklin Ace. Osborne. Atari. TI-99. Commodore 64. 
Vic-20, and More ) 

• Refurbished Unitf, with all Electionics Aligned 

C Itoh Prownter {120 Cps. Corresp Mode. Graphics) . . . $439.00 
C Itoh Starwriter F-10 (40 Cps Letter Quality) • $1299.00 
Seiko Dot Matrix Printers(80Columns,2' - 1 "Width Graphics) ■ $239 00 
Franklin Ace 1200(1 28K. Disk Drive 80Columns.CP/M)-$1699.00 

Write For Free Price List. 

ACE. Systems, 106 E. Broad St. Bethlehem, Pa. 18018 
(215) 348-8250 • 867-5066 

MC - ADD 3% 



BYTEK's SECOND GENERATION 

UNIVERSAL (E)PROM 

PROGRAMMER-SYSTEM 15 



Features: 
'Bipolar PROMS. 

• Micros - (8748 & 8749) 

* I/O - 6 baud rates, 13 formats including 
Intel lee, Textron ix and Motorola. 

»EPROMs, {2708 -27128) 

» Gang option - programs eight at once. 

» Remote control option. 




PROGRAMS 

OVER 250 

DEVICE TYPES 



FUNCTIONS: CRC . RAM 

DISPLAY DEVICE DATA LOAD DATA 



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COMPARE FIELDS 
FILL MEMORY FIELD 
BLOCK MOVE 
DIAGNOSTICS 
and more. 



COMPUTER SYSTEMS CORP 

Delray Beach, FL 33444 (305)272-2051 



At a Glance 

Name 

Electrohome Supercolor Board and high-resolution RGB monitor 

Use 

RGB color monitor interface for the Apple \\ 



Manufacturer 

Electrohome Limited 
809 Wellington St. 
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 4J6 
Canada 

(519) 744-71 11 



Tech Plus Inc. 
35 Marsh Rd. 
Needham, MA 02 1 92 



Price 

Low-resolution monitor, $550; high-resolution, $950; Supercolor 
Board, $249 

Dimensions 

Supercolor Board: 7 3 A by 2 3 A inches; ECM Monitor: 18 by 13 by 
15/2 inches deep; screen: 13 inches (diagonal measure) 

Features 

Apple hardware board, RGB analog monitor, connecting cables, 
software contained on a 5/4 -inch disk, users manual 

Capabilities 

Display of 256 colors of pure white text with color, compatible 
with existing and future Apple II software 

Hardware Required 

Apple \\ with 48K bytes of memory; must use slot 7 

Audience 

Any Apple II owner 

Warranty 

One year, limited, for board and monitor 



the other to obtain two signals from other parts of the 
Apple via a four-pin Molex plug and a component clip. 
The board must be installed in slot 7 on the Apple II 
motherboard because that is the only slot that provides 
the sync signal from the Apple's video circuitry. 

Unlike some other video boards that use extra memory 
in the Apple, the Supercolor Board uses only the memory 
assigned to slot 7 and thus does not interfere with normal 
Apple II functions. The board adds 16 new memory loca- 
tions to the Apple II, from decimal 50944 through 50959. 
The contents of these locations determine the values of 
low-resolution graphics colors through 15 and high-res- 
olution colors through 7. These contents can be altered 
by using the Colorset program provided in the software 
package. 

The Supercolor Board was developed in Canada by 
Electrohome. (Tech Plus Inc. is now licensed to sell Elec- 
trohome products in the United States.) The board comes 
with a seven-pin male DIN-type connector wired for use 
with Electrohome RGB analog monitors. Although the 
board will work with any RGB monitor, it offers 256 col- 
ors only on analog-input RGB monitors. 

The Electrohome ECM 1302-2 high-resolution RGB 
monitor has a 13-inch black-matrix color CRT (cathode- 



300 June 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 49 on inquiry card. 



Smallware 




Our software is making a name for itself. 



Smallware. Thafs what we've named our unique soft- 
ware designed for microcomputers. Smallware offers 
much more than ordinary software: high quality, custom- 
er support and a complete product line. You can buy 
software anywhere. But for the special features of 
Smallware, The Small Computer Company is your one 
and only source. 

The Small Computer Company is known to many as the 
company who developed the filing system software 
Profile® II, Profile Plus and Profile III Plus for Radio 
Shack; and filePro™ our CP/M® version. 

Now, whether you're a microcomputer end-user, dealer 
or manufacturer, you can order our Smallware directly 
from us. 

Here are just some of the enhancements we offer to 
Model III users: 

PROSORT: If you need to select records for a report by more 
than two criteria (income, zip code, purchases, etc.) Prosort lets 
you use up to sixteen. Once selected, the records can be sorted 
by up to five criteria (zip code, within state, by last name). 
Prosort also offers substantially greater sorting capacity. . . $150 



FORMS: If you prepare forms that require several lines of data, 
from invoices to shipping instructions, Forms is invaluable. It 
allows you to print individual forms (up to 13" x 11") with 
graphics, trademarks, logos, underlining, subscript and 
superscript functions $125 

ARCHIVE: Lets you maintain up-to-the-minute, clean files by 
removing inactive records and transferring them to a pre-deter- 
mined list or file; split an existing data base into any number of 
specialized files; free substantial disk storage space $150 

PROPACK™ A tool that lets BASIC programmers more easily 
customize Profile systems. The resulting programs are shorter, 
easier to write and faster running. Propack also gives the BASIC 
program indexed access to Profile data $75 

For Model II, 12 and 16 users, there's Quikback™with Format, 
Display, Transfer, 8 Line Reports With Math, Math Upgrade for 
Profile Forms, Math 64, Propack and more. 

The Small Computer Company does more than create 
award-winning Smallware. Our commitment to the 
customer extends to custom design as well as system 
consultation. 

For further information, call (212) 398-9290. To order, ask 
for Ms. Price. 




Circle 351 on inquiry card. 



The Small Computer Company, Inc. 

230 West 41st Street, Suite 1200, New York, New York 10036 

Smallware. Propack, Quikback and filePro are trademarks of The Small Computer Company, Inc. 
CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. Profile is a registered trademark of Radio Shack. 




Integrated H . 

Just plug it into your 

and RUN YOUR BUSINESS! 



THE BUSINESS MANAGER™ 



Integrated Accounting System: 



GENERAL LEDGER 



ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE 



The Information Manager 



includes: 

Project Manager™ 

Personnel Manager™ 

Appointment Manager ™ 

Report Manager™ 

MicroRIM™RDMS 

Wordstar™ 

Spellstar™ 

Mailmerge™ 



BILLING 



INVENTORY 



ACCOUNTS PAYABLE 



PAYROLL 



WORD PROCESSOR - WORDSTAR™ 



SPELLING CHECKER -SPELLSTAR™ 



FILE MANAGEMENT - MAILMERGE™ 



Electronic Spreadsheet - REPORT MANAGER™ 
i Application generator+ 3-dimensional spreadsheet w/graphics 



Relational Database Management System ™ 

MicroRIM™ (True mainframe capabilities) 



APPOINTMENT MANAGER™ 

Executive's Time Scheduler 



PERSONNEL MANAGER™ 

Human Resource Management 



PROJECT MANAGER™-Time Based Project Scheduler 

(Creates PERT & GANTT Charts) 



The best and most complete business program package 
on the market . . . providing all the software and storage 
you ever wanted. 

* All software pre-installed on 10MB or 15MB hard disk and 
ready to run. No more diskettes and tedious paper work 

* High speed operation 

* All programs self -prompting and menu driven 

* Self-explanatory . . . easy to use 

* All software and hardware fully guaranteed and supported 



APPLE* 



VER 
AVAIL. 
SOOi 



Dealer 

Inquiries 

Invited 

Contact your 
local dealer 



: JiUUL^JlUIUL±t- 



1420 E. Edinger Ave., Suite 115, Santa Ana, CA 92705 

;\;.\f f4J'Ovw"www9 Circle 46 on inquiry card. 

IBM is a Reg. tr