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Full text of "Byte Magazine Volume 08 Number 11: Inside the IBM PC"

the small systems j ournal 

INSIDE THE IBM PCL 

Hundreds of Peripheral Boards 
Big Blue Goes Jap 
The Compatibilj 



ER 1983 Vol. 8, Ho. 11 

;3.50 in USA 

in Canada/£2.10 in U.K. 

Publication 

0360-5280 



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dfated/Portabl 



»Inside Apple 

JL* ~~3tT~ Vol. l. No. 3 




Apple's new 

Monitor IL 

A sight for 

sore eyes. 

If you've been using aTV as 
a monitor, perhaps you can get 
a friend to read this for you: 

Apple s brand new Monitor 
II will improve your vision. 

It features all the latest 
ergonomic improvements in 
monitor technology 

For example: 

Studies have shown that 
the leading cause of eye fatigue 
for computer users is lack of 
contrast between the displayed 
characters and their background. 

So we designed the Monitor 
II around a high contrast green 
phosphor CRT that provides an 
extremely dark background. 
That means you can read text 
at a lower brightness. And 
that means you can be more 
productive — working longer 
and more comfortably. 

Toward that same end, we 
also gave Monitor II a tilt screen. 
So you can angle it perfectly for 
your working position, without 
scooting your chair around or 
sitting on phone books. 

And we made that screen 
antireflective to reduce glare 
from ambient light. 

Monitor II also features 
a high bandwidth video 
amplifier and a high tolerance 
linearity circuit. The former 
keeps characters from smearing 



on the screen and eliminates the 
annoying 'ghosts' left by a fast 
moving cursor. The latter keeps 
characters crisp, legible and 
prevents "keystoning" right up 
to the edges of the display. Both 
add up to superior display of 
80-column text and extremely 



accurate graphics. 

Designed as the perfect 
system partner for the Apple" He 
Personal Computer, Monitor II 
requires no monitor stand. Its a 
perfect fit, aesthetically as well 
as technically. So its pleasing to 
the eye even when its turned 
off. See for yourself. 

At your local authorized 
Apple dealer. 




Screen tilts for 
best working position 



Antireflective screen 



Interior of CRT is etched to reduce 
glare and improve aispness. 



Fits perfectly atop the Apple lie. 



Now Apple 
plots color. 

Since color graphics are 
becoming ever more important 
in business, we ve been hearing 
more and more calls for a color 
plotter as reliable as an Apple. 

Here it is: 

Apple s new Color Plotter 
can generate all kinds of presen- 
tation graphics, engineering 
drawings or anything else you 
have to illustrate in up to eight 
brilliant colors. 

And it can perform its art on 
any size paper up to 11" x 17" 
Or, with optional transparency 
pens, it can draw right on 
transparent film for overhead 
projection. 

Measuring just 4-8"H x 16"W 
x 12"D, it's the smallest four- 
color, wide bed color plotter you 
can buy — about half the size 
of conventional flatbed 
plotters. So it takes up 
less space on your 
desk and can easily be 



High tolerance 
linearity circuit. 





moved to someone else's desk. 

There are two color plotter 
accessory kits to choose from 
to assure a perfect marriage with 
your Apple II or He, or Apple III. 

Each kit comes with eight 
color pens — red, blue, green, 
black, burnt orange, gold, violet 
and brown. Plus a starter 
package of plotter paper. Plus 
all the manuals, documentation 
and cables appropriate to 



your particular kind of Apple, 
So you can get up and coloring 
right away. 

Apple also offers a complete 
selection of 24 different pen 
packages — so you can choose 
whatever colors you need in a 
variety of widths for a variety of 
applications and media types. 

As you might expect, all of 
the above is available at many 
of our authorized Apple dealers. 



Carry on with AppleCare 
Carry-In Service. , 



No matter how long you Ve 
owned your Apple system, 
you can now get a long term 
service contract at a very 
reasonable cost. 

AppleCare Carry-In Service 
is a service plan that will 
cover most Apple-branded 
components in your system 
for one full year. 

It covers an unlimited 
number of repairs and is 
honored by over 1500 authorized 
Apple dealers nationwide. 

Apple-trained technicians 
assure you of the highest quality 
service, fast — in most cases less 
than 24 hours. 




AppleCare 
Carry- In Service is ideal 
for anyone who needs to 
know ahead of time the cost of 
maintenance for their system. 
So check out the details — 
you'll find its the lowest cost 
health plan an Apple can have. 



Apple Computer Inc., 20525 Mariani Ave., Cupertino, Calif. 95014. For the authorized dealer nearest you, call (800) 538-9696. © 1983 Apple Computer Inc. 



AppleCare is a service mark of Apple Computer Inc. 



Circle 30 on inquiry card. 



In The Queue 



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Page 78 




Columns 

36 Build the H-Com Handicapped Communicator by Steve Garcia / The Intel 8748 
is the basis for a scanning communicator that users can control with just one switch. 

52 BYTE West Coast: California Hardware by Barbara Robertson / A look at four 
new products, from a portable computer to bubble-memory boards. 

65 User's Column: The Latest from Chaos Manor by Jerry Pournelle / This month's 
potpourri begins with a discussion of disk formats. 

Themes 

76 Inside the IBM PC by Gregg Williams / IBM's famed Personal Computer spawned 
the largest group of third-party vendors the microcomputer industry has ever seen and 
single-handedly enabled microcomputers to assume a greater percentage of the world's 
computational tasks. This month's theme articles explore the ubiquitous machine from 
a^wide variety of angles. 

78 IBM PCs Do the Unexpected by Steven S. Ross / The IBM PC can conquer a 
fascinating array of scientific, business, and educational tasks. 

88 IBM's Estridge by Lawrence J. Curran and Richard S. Shuford / In an interview 
with BYTE's editors, the president of IBM's Entry Systems Division talks about standards, 
the PC's simplicity, and a desire not to be different. 

99 Enhancing Screen Displays for the IBM PC by Tim Field / With a program called 
Screen, you can take full advantage of the capabilities of both monochrome and color 
displays and adapt them to your own needs. 

121 POKEing Around in the IBM PC, Part 1: Accessing System and Hardware 
Facilities by Hugh R. Howson / How to use BASIC'S PEEK and POKE commands to 
realize the speed and flexibility of machine-language code without sacrificing the conve- 
nience of a high-level language. 

135 Could 1,000,000 IBM PC Users Be Wrong? by Frank Gens and Chris Chris- 
tiansen / Everyone knows the IBM PC has had a profound effect on the personal com- 
puter market. But what direction will it take in the future? 

144 Big Blue Goes Japanese by Richard Willis / The capabilities of IBM Japan's new 
5550 Multistation will make it a formidable competitor in the red-hot Japanese market. 

168 Expanding on the IBM PC by Mark J. Welch / A survey of expansion boards 
including 17 fact-filled tables. 

188 Installable Device Drivers for PC-DOS 2.0 by Tim Field / A look at the impor- 
tance of device drivers and how they work with the PC. 

199 A Communications Package for the IBM PC by Richard Moore and Michael 
Geary / How one company's communications software package evolved as a result of 
user feedback. 

211 A Graphics Editor for the IBM PC by Charles B. Duff / A graphics editor called 
GLYPHE makes drawing with the PC's graphics characters fun as well as efficient. 

232 Comparing the IBM PC and the Tl PC by Bobbi Bullard / They may look alike, 
but each of these computers has its own special features. 

247 Technical Aspects of IBM PC Compatibility by Charlie Montague, Dave Howse, 
Bob Mikkelsen, Don Rein, and Dick Mathews / The IBM PC's success paved the way 
for IBM PC-compatible computers. But it takes more than an 8088 board to create a plug- 
compatible machine. The authors explain why. 

254 The Making of the IBM PC by Brian Camenker / The success of the 70-year-old 
International Business Machines Corporation can be explained in one word: marketing. 

257 Concurrent CP/M by Joe Guzaitis / This operating system efficiently uses com- 
puter and operator resources. 



Page 52 



BYTE is published monthly by McGraw-Hill Inc., with offices at 70 Main St., Peterborough, NH 03458, phone 
(603) 924-9281 . Office hours: Mon— Thur8:30 AM — 4:30 PM, Friday 8:30 AM — Noon, Eastern Time. Address 
subscriptions to BYTE Subscriptions, POB 590, Martinsville, NJ 08836. Address changes of address, USPS Form 
3579, and fulfillment questions to BYTE Subscriptions, POB 596, Martinsville, NJ 08836. Second-class postage 
paid at Peterborough, NH 03458 and additional mailing offices. USPS Publication No. 528890 (ISBN 0360-5280). 
Postage paid at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Registration number 932 1. Subscriptions are 52 I for one year. 538 for two 
years, and S55 for three years in the USA and its possessions. In Canada and Mexico, 523 for one year, S42 



November 1983 



272 The IBM PC Meets Ethernet by Larry Birenbaum / By adopting Ethernet 
technology IBM PCs can share peripherals and information 

285 MS-DOS 2.0: An Enhanced 16-bit Operating System by Chris Larson / The 

most recent version of Microsoft's popular single-user operating system offers installable 
device drivers, Xenix compatibility, and background tasking. 

Reviews 

294 The IBM PC XT and DOS 2.0 by Rowland Archer Jr. / With the XT. IBM took 
a conservative developmental step; PC-DOS 2.0, on the other hand, took more of a leap. 

308 The Corona PC by Rich Ma Hoy / Compatible with the IBM PC, the Corona PC 
features an 8088 microprocessor, 128K bytes of memory a high-quality display and the 
Multimate word-processing program. 

328 A Look at the HP Series 200 Model 16 by Berry Kercheval / Hewlett-Packard's 
68000-based microcomputer offers a lot of power in a small package. 

352 Three Generations of Business Charts for the IBM PC by Jack Bishop / Reviews 
of Graphics Generator from Robert J. Brady Co., Chartmaster from Decision Resources, 
and Business Graphics from Business and Professional Software Inc. 

370 A Versatile IBM PC Word Tool: Sorclm's Superwrlter by Richard S. Shuford / A 

powerful and easy-to-use word-processing program, Superwriter provides many functions 
that are useful in a business environment. 

Features 

394 Japan and the Fifth Generation by Phil Lemmons / A look at Japan's efforts 
to develop artificial intelligence. 

402 Speech Images on the IBM PC by A J. Cote Jr. / With an experimental speech- 
input card, the IBM PC can plot sounds that can prove useful as speech aids for the deaf. 

410 Lmodem: A Small Remote-Communication Program by David D. Clark / Writ- 
ten in the BDS version of the C programming language, the Lmodem program provides 
terminal emulation, text capture, and transfer of files. 

430 The Software Tools: Unix Capabilities on Non-Unix Systems by Deborah K. 
Scherrer, Philip H. Scherrer, Thomas H. Strong, and Samuel J. Penny / This package 
includes utility programs, a command interpreter, and a large programming library 

449 Double the Apple II s Color Choices by Robert H. Sturges Jr. / How to get your 
Apple II to provide a wide selection of colors without sacrificing resolution. 

467 A Character Editor for the IBM PC by Raymond A. Diedrichs / A BASIC pro- 
gram called Font lets you substitute custom symbols for a portion of the computer's stan- 
dard character set. 

560 Statistical Programs for Microcomputers by Peter A. Lachenbruch / Test the 
accuracy of statistical microcomputer software with these tools. 

Nucleus 



4 


Editorial: Growth vs. Quality 


596 


Ask BYTE 


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MICROBYTES 


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Software Received 


12 


Letters 


622 


Event Queue 


481, 


502, 518, 524, 552 


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Books Received 




Programming Quickies 


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What's New? 


487, 


494, 507 Technical Forums 


717 


Unclassified 


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538, 544 Book Reviews 


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BYTE's Ongoing Monitor Box 


575 


User to User 




and BOMB Results 


591 


Clubs and Newsletters 


719 


Reader's Service 



Cover painting by Robert Tinney 



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in the United States of America. 

Subscription questions or problems shouid be addressed to: 

BYTE Subscriber Service, POB 328, Hancock, NH 03449 





Page 328 




Page 370 




Page 394 



EUI 

the small systems j ournal 

Editor In Chief: Lawrence J. Curran 
Managing Editor: Pamela A. Clark 
Senior Technical Editors: Gregg Williams, 
Richard Malloy 

Technical Editors: Richard S. Shuford, Arthur A. 
Little, Stanley Wszola, Bruce Roberts, Gene 
Smarte; Anthony J. Lockwood, New Products 
Editor; Steve Garcia, Consulting Editor; Mark 
Welch, Staff Writer; Alan Easton, Drafting Editor. 
West Coast Editors: Philip Lemmons, Bureau 
Chief; Barbara Robertson, Technical Editor; Donna 
Osgood, Assistant Editor. McGraw-Hill, 425 
Battery Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 
(415) 362-4600 

Copy Editors: Nancy Hayes, Chief; Warren 
Williamson, Elizabeth Kepner, Joan V. Roy, 
Dennis E. Barker, Anne L. Fischer, Bud Sadler; 
Margaret Cook, Junior Copy Editor 
Assistants: Faith Kluntz, Beverly Jackson, Lisa Jo 
Steiner, Jeanann Waters, Peggy Dunham 

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, Quality Control Manager; Linda J. 
Sweeney, Advertising/Production Coordinator 
Advertising Sales: J. Peter Huestis, Sales 
Manager; Sandra Foster, Administrative Assistant 
Circulation: Gregory Spitzfaden, Director; 
Andrew Jackson, Subscriptions Manager; Barbara 
Varnum, Asst. Manager; Agnes E. Perry, Louise 
Menegus, Jennifer Price, Jane Varnum, Phil 
Dechert, Mary Emerson; James Bingham, Single- 
Copy Sales Manager; Deborah J. Cadwell, Asst. 
Manager; Carol Aho, Linda Turner 
Marketing Communications: Horace T. 
Howland, Director; Vicki Reynolds, Coordinator; 
Timothy W. Taussig, Graphics Arts Manager; 
Michele P. Verville, Research Manager 

Business Manager: Daniel Rodrigues 

Controller's Office: Kenneth A. King, Asst. 

Controller, Mary E. Fluhr, Acct. & DIP Mgr.; 

Karen Burgess, Linda Fluhr, Vicki Bennett, Vern 

Rockwell, Lyda Clark, Janet Pritchard, JoAnn 

Walter, Julie Ferry 

Traffic: N. Scott Gagnon, Manager; Brian 

Higgins, Cynthia Damato 

Receptionist: Linda Ryan 

Personnel/Office Manager: Cheryl A. Hurd 

Associate Publisher/Production Director: John 

E. Hayes 

Publisher: Gene W. Simpson; 

Doris R. Gamble, Publisher's Assistant 

Editorial and Business Office: 70 Main Street, 
Peterborough, New Hampshire 0345B 
(603) 924-92BI 

Officers of McGraw-Hill Publications Company: 
President: John G. Wrede; Executive Vice Presidents: 
Paul F. McPherson, Operations; Walter D. Serwatka, 
Finance & Services. Senior Vice President-Editorial: 
Ralph R. Schulz. Senior Vice President Publishers: 
Harry L. Brown, David J. McGrath, James R. Pierce, 
Gene W. Simpson, John E. Slater. Vice President 
Publishers: Charlton H. Calhoun III, Richard H. Larsen, 
John W. Patten. Vice Presidents: Kemp Anderson, 
Business Systems Development; Shel F. Asen, 
Manufacturing; Michael K. Hehir, Controller; Eric B. 
Herr, Planning and Development; H. John Sweger, 
Jr., Marketing. 



Editorial 



Growth vs. Quality 



Lawrence }. Curran, Editor in Chief 

The exploding market for personal computers has created tremendous pros- 
pects for growth in revenues and profits for suppliers of both systems and 
software. But as companies race to satisfy a seemingly insatiable demand 
for small systems, there's a growing risk that they may cut corners in their 
quality-assurance programs. Never before has the admonition of caveat emptor 
been more appropriate than it is today in the personal computer business. 

For their part, hardware and software suppliers should constantly evaluate 
existing quality-assurance procedures. One major supplier to do so recently 
is Hewlett-Packard Co. An article by John A. Young, the company's presi- 
dent and chief executive officer, on the Wall Street Journals editorial page out- 
lined the program Hewlett-Packard undertook to analyze its methods for 
achieving product quality. Some surprising results flowed from that analysis. 

For example, Young notes that Hewlett-Packard had previously believed— 
erroneously— that the "f ind-it-and-f ix-it" method of ensuring quality was suf- 
ficient. Upon close examination, however, the company discovered that as 
much as 25 percent of its manufacturing assets were tied up in solving quality 
problems— a situation that increased production costs and product prices. 

Young relates that after learning of the high cost of quality assurance, man- 
agement decided that a bold and highly visible program was required to alter 
Hewlett-Packard's approach to quality assurance, even though "with above- 
average quality standards already established, it would be difficult to ask 
for better results." Nevertheless, Hewlett-Packard set out to improve quality 
standards with a program that included establishing a tenfold reduction in 
product failure rates in the 1980s, selecting a team of key people in the com- 
pany to "champion the quality cause" and spread their gospel throughout 
the company, and sending several team members to Japan "to see what kinds 
of approaches worked well there." 

The study team's most significant finding in Japan, Young notes, was that 
Japanese companies achieved impressive quality and low-cost manufactur- 
ing by following the simple principle of "doing it right the first time." 

There are other elements in the Hewlett-Packard quality-assurance pro- 
gram, but that simple axiom is its most fundamental building block. The 
program is only a third of the way toward the goal of a tenfold reduction 
in product failure rates, but early results are convincing. At one division, 
service and repair costs for desktop computers were reduced by 35 percent 
through improved design and manufacturing. Further, the drive for quality 
has helped cut company-wide inventory over three years by an amount equal 
to about $200 million. 

Other computer and software suppliers who want to maintain standards 
of quality as pressure builds to push products out the door should stop to 
determine whether their quality-assurance methods are founded on the prin- 
ciple of doing it right the first time.B 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



How to buy a computer 
by the numbers. 




Introducing the 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" CRT that displays 25 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 514" disk drive with an 
exceptionally large 390K capacity. 
That's the C-10, and you won't find 
anotherready-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 planning and BASIC. 
Hard-working, CP/M R - based software 
at meets your everyday needs. Soft- 
ware that could cost over $1000 some- 




W* gg§k *** 



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 nameofyour 
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 Cromemcoproducts areserviced by TRW. 




Cromemco 

Tomorrow's computers today 

Circle 120 on inquiry card. 








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F ™ SCION 






■■^■atawaaal ^««l>fl 







Brilliant! 



'ere's another brilliant idea from the makers of the 



popular MicroAngelo® graphics board — the 

sac 



Hi 
SCION PC 640. 
Whether you're a systems developer or an end- 
user, this solidly -designed color graphics board is 
your best choice for high -resolution color graphics on 
the IBM PC, as well as many PC-compatibles. 



Here's why: 



• 640 x 480 x 16 out of 4096 colors 

• Memory -mapped for very high speed operation 

1 Over 60 2- D drawing primitives, accessible from Basic, 
Fortran, C, Pascal or Assembler 
■ High-level software packages available for painting, 




business gra- 
phics, CAD and 
slide production 

For more infor- 
mation on why 
the PC 640 may 
be a brilliant idea 
for you, please 

contact Jim Mather at (703) 476-6100, TWX: 710-833-0684, 
or write: SCION Corporation, 12310 Pinecrest Road, Reston, 
Virginia 22091. 



The PC640 Professional Color™ board delivers 
superior resolution at 640 x 480, and the simulta- 
neous use of 16 out of 4096 colors. 




BYTE November 1983 



Circle 408 on inquiry card. 



MICROBYTES 



Staff-written highlights of late developments in the microcomputer industry 

NEW IBM-COMPATIBLE AND MS DOS COMPUTERS WILL FLOOD COMDEX 

Several computer manufacturers are developing 1 6-bit MS-DOS computers, most of which will be formal- 
ly announced at COMDEX, an industry trade show, scheduled for November 28 to December 2 in Las 
Vegas. Leading Edge Products, Canton, MA, which announced its word processor for the IBM Personal 
Computer several months ago, plans to unveil a complete line of IBM-compatible hardware and software, 
including a computer it says is more IBM-compatible than the Compaq portable computer. 

Leading Edge says its computer's 8088 microprocessor will run at 7.16 MHz, 50 percent faster than 
the IBM PC, which runs at 4.77 MHz. The Leading Edge Personal Computer also will have seven expan- 
sion slots, two more than the IBM PC. With a clock, parallel and serial ports, 1 28K bytes of RAM, a 
monitor, and word-processing software, the Leading Edge computer will list for about 40 percent less 
than a comparably equipped IBM PC. 

Olivetti plans to announce the M18 computer, which is based on Corona Data Systems' Personal Com- 
puter, uses an 8088 microprocessor, and runs MS-DOS. With 128K bytes of RAM, serial and parallel 
ports, one 5 1 /4-inch disk drive, four expansion slots, and a high-resolution monitor, the M1 8 will sell for 
$2595. A hard-disk version will be $4495. Olivetti is working on two portable computers— notebook-size 
and transportable— for possible introduction in early 1984. 

Three new MS-DOS portable computers are scheduled for announcement at COMDEX. Eagle Computer, 
Los Gatos, CA, is working on an 8088-based IBM-compatible portable with a 10-megabyte hard disk. 
With a 9-inch display, serial and parallel ports, four expansion slots, 1 28K bytes of RAM, and both the 
CP/M-86 and MS-DOS operating systems, it will be priced at between $4000 and $4500. 

STM Electronics, Menlo Park, CA, is preparing an 80186-based MS-DOS portable with a liquid-crystal 
display, a built-in 40-column printer, a modem, two 5 1 /4-inch disk drives, and bundled software for a 
target price of $2500. Panasonic, Secaucus, NJ, is developing an 8088-based portable with a built-in 
thermal printer. 

Jonos Ltd., Anaheim, CA, will sell an 80188 processor board to enable its Z80-based portable com- 
puter to run MS-DOS and CP/M-86 software. The 801 88 combines the 8088 microprocessor and related 
peripheral chips in a single chip. 

Burroughs Corp., Detroit, Ml, is making an 8086-based computer to be marketed as an ergonomic in- 
telligent terminal. With two 5 1 /4-inch disk drives, MS-DOS, and 256K bytes of RAM, the ET-2000 lists for 
$3795. 

TWO NEW INTEGRATED SOFTWARE PACKAGES JOIN A CROWDED MARKET 

Ovation Technologies, Canton, MA, has announced Ovation Software, a new integrated software package 
for the IBM Personal Computer that combines spreadsheet, word-processing, graphics, database- 
management, and communications capabilities. The package will be able to read from and write to files 
from existing software packages such as 1-2-3, Visicalc, Wordstar, and dBase II. 

Ovation Software will include templates for common word-processing and spreadsheet applications, and 
users may define macros to perform any series of commands. It will require an IBM PC with 256K bytes 
of RAM and either two floppy disks or one floppy and one hard disk. The package, which Ovation will 
market as an enhancement of Lotus's 1-2-3 and Visicorp's Visi On, will sell for between $695 and $895 
in early 1984. 

Fox & Geller Inc., Elmwood Park, NJ, has announced Oz, a "financial-management system" for the IBM 
PC. Oz features three-dimensional viewing of data, allowing users to view budget information, for exam- 
ple, in charts by department and month, line item and month, or line item and department. The package, 
which also features graphics capabilities and variance analysis, enables managers to locate and explain 
budget changes. Oz will sell for less than $500. 

MODULA RESEARCH INSTITUTE OFFERS A $40 MODULA-2 COMPILER FOR THE IBM PC 

The Modula Research Institute, Provo, UT, has announced a full Modula-2 compiler for the IBM Personal 
Computer for $40. The four-pass compiler generates intermediate M-code, similar to the p-code used by 
Pascal compilers. MRI, a nonprofit organization, will sell the source code for the compiler for $160 and 
plans to offer a native-code (machine-language) generator later this year. MRI has versions of the compiler 
for the 68000 and PDP-1 1 as well. 

November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 7 



MICROBYTES, 



COMPUTER-AIDED DRAFTING SYSTEM UNVEILED FOR IBM PC XT 

United Networking Systems, Houston, TX, has unveiled a series of computer-aided drafting programs for 
the IBM Personal Computer XT. A "Pro 100" package for $595 is designed for drafting departments and 
professionals, while a $395 "Academic" version is aimed at colleges and technical schools. A starter ver- 
sion is available for $95. United Networking Systems also offers a complete hardware and software 
system for drafting service centers for $50,000 to $100,000. 

SEAGATE PROPOSES A HIGH CAPACITY HARD-DISK INTERFACE STANDARD 

Seagate Technology, Scotts Valley, CA, maker of 5 1 /4-inch Winchester hard-disk drives, proposed a new 
interface standard for high-performance, high-capacity small Winchester drives. Three other hard-disk 
manufacturers— Tandon, Priam, and Atasi— said they would support the proposed ST412HP standard, 
and Adaptec Inc. and Western Digital Corp. planned to develop controllers for the standard. Seagate also 
announced it would begin making and selling disk controllers based on the SCSI interface standard. 

DATAPRO RELEASES RESULTS OF SURVEY OF COMPUTER USERS 

Datapro Research Corp., Delran, NJ, has announced the results of a survey filled out by 5615 personal 
computer users who read BYTE and Popular Computing magazines. Among systems, the Apple II Plus 
was the most popular (1 7 percent), with the IBM Personal Computer in second place (16 percent), edging 
out Radio Shack's Model III (15 percent). The Osborne 1 was the fifth most popular computer, after the 
Apple lie. Only 1 5 percent of the respondents had computers more than two years old, and 56 percent 
had owned their computers less than one year. 

Among software packages, Datapro noted that Wordstar, Visicalc, and dBase II still held the leads for 
word processing, spreadsheet, and database management, respectively, although each program received a 
relatively low rating from users. Datapro suggested that these packages may have become popular 
because they were the first, rather than the best, in their application areas. Datapro will sell the survey 
results for $25. 

NANOBYTES 

Coleco Industries Inc., Hartford, CT, has obtained exclusive rights to market home computer and video- 
game versions of Dragon's Lair, a popular arcade game that uses a laser disk to store high-resolution 
animation. Coleco also announced a joint venture with AT&T to develop an interactive game and enter- 
tainment service using existing phone lines, a special modem, and a home computer or video-game 
system. . . . DMA Systems Corp., Goleta, CA, has announced a removable 5 1 /4-inch Winchester cartridge 
disk drive to sell for $500 in OEM quantities. The half-high DMA-360 will have a storage capacity of 7.5 
megabytes and measure only 1% by 5% by 8 inches. . . . Apple dealers will give free "tool kit" software 
to owners of Apple's $175 Apple Logo programming language. The tool kit includes utilities, sample pro- 
grams, and documentation. . . . Digital Equipment Corp., Maynard, MA, announced a hard-disk version of 
the Rainbow 100. Intended to compete with IBM's PC XT, it will sell for $6295. Digital's Professional 
350 computer is now available in a coin-operated version, with a printer, for use in colleges and 
libraries. . . . Apple has dropped the price of its Lisa computer from $9995 to $8190, which includes six 
applications software programs. The Lisa will also be available without software for $6995. . . . IBM of- 
ficially withdrew its 4-inch disk system from the market in mid-September, leaving three sizes in the sub- 
5 1 /2-inch marketplace: 3-, 3 1 /4-, and 3V2-inch disks. In another product area, IBM announced an ex- 
perimental 5 1 2K-byte dynamic RAM chip. . . . Radio Shack has unveiled a transportable version of the 
TRS-80 Model 4. The 26-pound Model 4P includes a 9-inch display, two 5 1 /4-inch disk drives, 64K bytes 
of RAM, and a parallel printer port for $1799. . . . LQ Corp., Meriden, CT, has introduced a $595 sheet 
feeder for printers, including versions for the NEC 3500 and 2050, the Daisywriter, and the C. Itoh F10. 
The company will add new versions soon. . . . Televideo Corp., Sunnyvale, CA, announced a graphics 
program using Digital Research's CP/M and GSX graphics extension. Teledraw is an interactive drawing 
system for the Televideo TS-803 and TS-1603 computers, compatible with Epson printers and Hewlett- 
Packard plotters. The package, which requires Televideo's Supermouse, will sell for $295. .. . The 
Department of Commerce is accepting nominations through November 31 for the new National Medal of 
Technology, which is to be awarded to "innovators in technology" who develop new products or pro- 
cesses. Instructions and nomination forms are available from the Assistant Secretary for Productivity, 
Technology and Innovation, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. 

8 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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A computer will make you more 
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The COMPAQ™ Portable is a combi- 
nation of 20th-century electronics and 
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personal computing better. Here's why. 

Works in more places 

You don't do all your thinking in one 
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The COMPAQ Portable has all the 
capabilities of a large desktop com- 
puter. But now those capabilities can 
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You can move it from office to office 
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puter? A computer that works for you 
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Works with the 
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The most important 
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it run?" And that's one 
more reason for choosing 
the COMPAQPortable. 
The COMPAQ Porta- 
ble runs more programs 



The COMPAQ Portable was 
designed to fit under a stand- 
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■ 'JP^^" The unique alu- 

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than any other portable. In fact, it runs 
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because it runs all the popular pro- 
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Planning, problem-solving, and 
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own programs. 

So, you get portabil- 
ity and you don't give 



up problem-solving power. The combi- 
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sonal computer on the market today. 

Works better because 
it's easy to read 

The display screen of the COMPAQ 
Portable measures nine inches diago- 
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characters on a line so tasks like word 
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acters are big enough to read even if 
you're leaning back in your chair. 
The display shows both high- resolution 
graphics and 
easy-to-read, 
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One screen 




There are hundreds 

of useful programs for t 

COMPAQ Portable because it runs 

all the popular programs writtenforthe IBM. 

for all the information. With some 
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IBM, you can have either the graphics 
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displays. 

Incidentally, computer prices are 
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play of the COMPAQPortable is built 
in, of course. 

Add-on options make it work 
the way you work 

Inside the COMPAQPortable are three 
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pansion boards fit those slots and give 
the COMPAQPortable new powers. 



Just like the programs, expansion 
boards designed for the IBM work with 
the COMPAQ Portable, so there are 
dozens available right now. With them, 
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Want to check a stock price? Or look 
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Information Service? One expansion 
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trollers for computer games or increase 
memory capacity. Still others let you 
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Inside the 

w COMPAQ For- 

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Works better because 
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Portable doesn't just mean smaller. Por- 
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The COMPAQ Portable was built to 
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To test internal components, the 
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gram. After impacts on each side, there 
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Computers are for getting rid of wor- 
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Designed to help you 
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The COMPAQ Portable was designed 
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Software 

□ Runs all the popular programs 
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Memory 

□ 128K bytes RAM 

□ Expandable to 640K bytes 
Storage 

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Display 

□ 9-inch (diagonal) monochrome 
screen 

D 25 lines by 80 characters 

□ Upper- and lowercase, high- 
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D High-resolution graphics 
Expansion board slots 

□ Three IBM PC-compatible slots 
Interfaces 

□ Parallel printer interface 

D RGB color monitor interface 

□ Composite video monitor interface 

□ TV RF modulator interface 
D Communications interface 

optional 
Physical specifications 
D Totally self-contained and 

portable 

□ 20"W x 8Vz"H x 16"D 



The keyboard is detached so it can fit 
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Letters 



Views on BYTE Content 

In the June BYTE, you gave us 13 
"theme" articles on 16-bit designs. These 
included a report on the DEC Professional 
300 written by a DEC product manager; a 
piece on the TI 99/2 written by two 
representatives of Texas Instruments; an 
article about the Pronto Series 16 by a 
vice-president of that company; and four 
other articles, all penned by staff members 
of the companies supplying the products. 

I, for one, do not buy BYTE to read PR 
material disguised as objective reviews. 

Mike Lewis 

48 Willoughby Rd. 

London N.W.3. 

England 

As a (fairly) longtime reader of BYTE, I 
have mixed feelings about the recent shift 
in editorial policy that seems to have 
taken place. For the past several months, 
a large portion of the articles have been 
descriptions of products written by the 
people who developed (and/or sell) that 
product. While these articles have been 
well done for the most part, I am con- 
cerned that BYTE may lose its position as 
a source of trustworthy information 
about "small systems." I don't want to see 
BYTE become another Mini-Micro Sys- 
tems, serving primarily as a mouthpiece 
for companies that provide the magazine's 
advertising revenue. 

A small but telling example of the type 
of distortion that can creep into articles 
such as these appears in Stephen Hey- 
wood's article "The 8086 — An Architec- 
ture for the Future" (June, page 450) 
where he proclaims that the 8086 can ad- 
dress "1,048,576 bytes of memory. . . 
more than 16 times the memory capacity 
of an 8-bit microprocessor." Granted, this 
incorrect use of "more than" is rather 
trivial and harmless hype, but I have 
always believed that there was no place 
for hype in BYTE (excluding the ads, of 
course!). More important, one must 
wonder whether articles such as this, with 
their underlying motivation to "sell," are 
concealing more serious errors. 

Don't get me wrong: if the developer of 
a product can provide uniquely valuable 
insights, then by all means take advantage 
of this. I think Tim Paterson's "An Inside 
Look at MS-DOS" (June, page 230) is an 
excellent case in point. But, whenever 
possible, please try to seek out alternative 



reviewers, or perhaps you could make a 
point of providing a "counterpoint" arti- 
cle, or box, for each "in-house" article 
that you print. 

I suppose that the series of articles from 
Motorola on the 68000 and Intel on the 
8086 serve to counterbalance each other 
to some extent, but, in addition, a com- 
parative article written by an outsider 
would be helpful to weigh the various 
merits of these two processors. 

Christopher J. Kapilla 
Cybernetic Systems 
1109 Edward Terrace 
St. Louis, MO 63117 



We share your concern about product- 
related articles written by the companies 
making the products, and we hope that 
our judicious use of such articles does not 
damage our reputation with our readers. 
We carefully select such articles from a 
much larger group of articles offered to 
us, and we try in both the selection and 
editing of such manuscripts to make sure 
that the information content is high and 
the promotional content is low. 

In all cases, we prefer to have a review 
by an independent reviewer over one 
from the manufacturer (in fact, we are do- 
ing independent reviews for some of the 
products profiled in the June issue) . There 
are, however, some good reasons for go- 
ing with articles from the manufacturers. 
First, as you mention, who is more 
qualified than the designers to contribute 
significant insights about a product? A 
second reason is timeliness: because of the 
ratio of qualified reviewers to important 
machines (perhaps 1 to 10) and the dif- 
ficulty of obtaining prerelease copies of 
new machines, a full product review often 
comes out six months later than a com- 
pany-supplied article discussing the design 
of the machines. Always we face a choice 
of providing readers with some informa- 
tion or no information at all. 

Your point on providing counterpart 
articles is a good one, and we do that 
whenever we can. For example, we had 
company-supplied articles about the Na- 
tional Semiconductor NS16000, the Intel 
8086, and the Motorola 68000 in our April 
and Tune issues. Strictly speaking, these 
are not counterpoint articles, but they 
give coverage to three important chip 
families. This was the best we could do 
under the circumstances. 



12 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 





In November, 

We're Gonna Blow 

Your Socks Off. 

In November, Intertec will take the 
wraps off the smallest, smartest, fastest, 
most powerful business computer anyone 
can buy. 

Come December, we suspect most 
everyone in this industry will be walking 
around barefoot 

So no matter what your requirements 
for business computers are, or if you're 
simply in need of a free pair of socks, write 
on your letterhead to: Intertec, Depf'B," 
2300 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 
29210. Limited sock quantities available. 

intertec. 



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Letters . 



In conclusion, we publish company- 
written articles only when we feel that the 
information contained in them is impor- 
tant and useful to you, the reader. We edit 
out the "hype" wherever we find it and 
continue to commission independent re- 
views, but we also must trust you to read 
these articles with a discriminating eye 
and to judge a product based on the qual- 
ity of the manufacturer's arguments in 
presenting its viewpoint. 

A Lament from 
"Down Under" 

The article by Gregg Williams on the 
Lisa Computer System (February, page 
33) was fascinating. 

However, reading the article also left 
me feeling rather sad. Gregg Williams hit 
the nail on the head with his comment: 
"The history of microcomputing has been 
exciting so far because it has enabled in- 
dividuals working in their spare time to 
make significant contributions to the state 
of the art. . . . The days of the successful 
entrepreneur/programmer are probably 
gone." I believe that the fascination and 
attraction of microcomputers to individ- 
uals has been the opportunity to indulge 
in creative and mentally stimulating ac- 
tivity, which is unfortunately lacking for 
most people at work and at home. Lisa 
and her successors will probably destroy 
that opportunity in areas that many BYTE 
readers are currently involved in. 

Recall how the staple fare of electronics 
magazines some years ago was construc- 
tional articles on radios and hi-fi stereo 
systems. The mass production of these 
and their reasonable selling price has 
destroyed them as topics for electronics 
magazines, except for reviews of commer- 
cial units. Microcomputer magazines such 
as BYTE are already following the same 
path. Over the past couple of years many 
more pages have been devoted to reviews 
of commercial systems and software. 

Mass production and standardization 
of microcomputer hardware and software 
are to be applauded in making computers 
accessible to the masses. However, it will 
mean that microcomputer design and con- 
struction, the writing of systems software, 
language implementations, and applica- 
tions such as word processors, etc., will 
no longer be fertile ground for those seek- 
ing creative and mentally stimulating ac- 
tivity. Perhaps this is good, as it shifts the 
emphasis away from the computer itself 
to more creative applications where the 
ideas of the individual are still needed to 



provide the concepts that will advance the 
state of the art. 

David L. Craig 
2 Bridle St. 
Mansfield, 4122 
Queensland, Australia 

Gregg Williams replies: 

Thank you for your kind words about 
my Lisa article. In turn, I think that your 
letter has also hit the nail on the head. We 
are no longer in a hobbyist/ homebrew in- 
dustry; we are in a consumer industry 
where you can (and are likely to) buy the 
hardware and software you want. Al- 
though it follows that BYTE reflects that 
change, we are still speaking to the hob- 
byist vart of our readership. Steve Giar- 
cia's hardware construction articles 
always place high in our BOMB reader- 
ship popularity contest. John Smith's 
"Public Key Cryptography" article in the 
January issue placed second in that 
month's BOMB, and a two-part article by 
Richard Fobes, "Program Your Own Text 
Editor" (September and October 1982), 
won fifth place in the BOMB both 
months. These articles indicate both our 
and our readers' interest in seeing such ar- 
ticles published, and I assure you we will 
continue to do so. 

As for the importance of the lone pro- 
grammer, I have two thoughts. First, most 
(but not all) applications software will be 
designed and executed by more than one 
person. In contrast, most (but not all) 
game software can be designed by one 
person — this, I feel, is cause for rejoicing. 
However, my second point is this: today, 
all software, game or otherwise, requires a 
staff of people doing marketing, verifica- 
tion, documentation, and other tasks to 
make a product successful. So my original 
premise still stands: the days of the suc- 
cessful (individual) entrepreneur /pro- 
grammer are probably gone. 

In Praise of Public-Domain 
Software 

In February BYTE's Bits (page 127), you 
mentioned the "large amount of public- 
domain software available" for the Apple. 
I purchased the software mentioned in 
that article, Dr. Cat's Grafix Disk, and I 
found it to be tremendous. My hat is off 
to the author, David Shapiro. 

My question is: does there exist a source 
for more of this "free" software? If so, I'd 
like to contact this group. Please provide 
more reviews of, and information about, 



14 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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Letters ^^— — ^^^— 

public-domain software in future issues. I 
congratulate you on advertising these 
sources. It must be a little like biting the 
hand that feeds you to add this to your 
magazine. 

John H. DeRosa 
150 Birchwood Rd. 
Lake Marion, IL 60110 

Not at all, John; no advertiser is biting 
our hand over such listings. Their prod- 
ucts give good value for the money — in- 
cluding such things as documentation, 
professionally tested software, and 
customer support, things you don't get 
with public-domain software (sometimes 
called "freeware"). We would like to men- 
tion more public-domain software and 
will print recommendations that you send 
us. 

As for getting more public-domain soft- 
ware, you should find the nearest Apple 
users group and join it; most have librar- 
ies of public-domain software available to 
members at moderate cost. If you don't 
have a users group nearby, A.P.P.L.E. 
(Apple Pugetsound Program Library Ex- 
change) is a nationwide users group that 
offers a variety of commercial and public- 
domain software. The group also pub- 
lishes an excellent Apple magazine, Call- 
A.P.P.L.E. Contact A.P.P.L.E. at 21246 
68th Ave. S., Kent, WA 98032 (206) 
872-2245) for membership information. If 
you're a CP/M use?; SIG/M, jointly sponsored 
by Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey 
and the New York Amateur Computer Club, 
distributes public-domain CP/M software; 
their address is SIG/M, Box 97, Iselin, NJ 
08830. 



8086 Controversy 

After reading Stephen Heywood's arti- 
cle, "The 8086— An Architecture for the 
Future" (June, page 450), I am compelled 
to respond. I would like to title this letter 
"The 8086— An Architecture for the 
PAST." 

I cannot argue with Mr. Heywood's jus- 
tifications for the existence of the 8086; it 
is obvious that the 8080, a processor with 
only 64K bytes of memory, no hardware 
multiply/divide, and only 8-bit opera- 
tions was insufficient in the burgeoning 
microprocessor marketplace. Unfortu- 
nately, Intel chose to continue worship- 
ping that false god of marketing, upward 
compatibility. Rather than breaking away 
from the 4004/4040/8008/8080/8085 
ancestry to produce a truly modern 



16 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 353 on inquiry card. 






■w&'-» 



:m 



■ii: 



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"We bought an 

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because no other 
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Sue Kardas 

Director of Career Training 

Burlington Area Vocational-Technical Center 



"When the Burlington Area Vocational- 
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for student training, we considered many 
multi-user systems, but in demo after demo 
there was too much of a user delay, 

Then IBC contacted us, and offered to 
demonstrate the Middi Cadet's multi- user 
capabilities-we were skeptical, but we gave 
it a try, 

First, the Middi Cadet ran 9 users doing word 
processing without any delays. As a second 
test, we had the Middi operating 3 terminals 
each on word processing, accounting and 
BASIC programming. Again, no user delay. 
This was the multi-user, multi-tasking system 
we had been looking for. 

With the Middi Cadet, we got a higher speed 
Z80B processor, a very fast hard disk drive 
and enough memory to do the job (51 2K 
Bytes). 

On top of that, we felt that we got a very 
good price from an excellent vendor. Our 
system was delivered and installed two 
weeks later. Since then we've been so pleas- 
ed with the Middi that we're planning to buy 
another. With two systems providing 18 sta- 
tions we will be equipped to offer training in 
all aspects of information processing." 




The Middi Cadet is a 10 user system that in- 
cludes a 6MH Z , Z80B CPU; 256 to 512K Bytes 
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For more information on the Middi Cadet, 
see your local IBC dealer. 

To locate the dealer nearest you, call or 
write: 



OUTSIDE THE USA 



WITHIN THE USA 



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Fall '83 



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BYTE November 1983 



17 



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20 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 18 on inquiry card 



Letters 

machine, it chose to merely stretch the 
venerable old 8080 into a 16-bit machine 
with a few extra registers. This incestuous 
dedication to purity of bloodline has just 
as damaging an effect in the microproces- 
sor world as it does among humans. 

Keeping upward compatibility in mind, 
Intel carefully embedded the ancient 8080 
register set into the "new" machine. Also 
in keeping with the 8080 tradition, each of 
these new registers has a special purpose, 
instead of creating a good set of general- 
purpose registers. If the "general" registers 
were truly general, there would be no 
such thing as a "data group" or a "pointer 
and index group." 

Instead of a 64K-byte memory, Intel 
chose to implement a fixed number of 
segments (four), each of a fixed size (64K 
bytes, of course). The only ways these 
segments can be of other than 64K-byte 
size is either through very careful pro- 
gramming or physically missing memory. 
Segmented memory is an excellent idea, 
but a very limited set of fixed-size 
segments is not. 

Due to the complete lack of hardware- 
memory protection and privileged in- 
structions, it is impossible to implement 
an operating system for this machine that 
has even the slightest hope of keeping dif- 
ferent tasks from interfering with each 
other. A more modern processor would 
provide for this. 

I would like to point out that Intel has 
historically been the first manufacturer in 
the industry to bring out new sizes of 
microprocessors: perhaps, someday, it 
will make one I'd like to use. 

Paul Hoefling 
Software Engineer 
7095 SW Oleson Rd. 
Portland, OR 97223 

Stephen Heywood replies: 

You have raised a lot of points in your 
letter that I will attempt to address in- 
dividually. 

First of all, the 8086 is not upwardly 
compatible with the 8080 microprocessor. 
Yes, there is software available to convert 
the 8080 source code to make it run on the 
8086. The registers may even look the 
same on these processors. But that is 
where the similarity ends. The 8086 took 
the modern approach of using segments 
instead of linear addressing, having ad- 
dressing modes that support the program- 
mer's needs, and support for compilers 
with its registers and instructions. 

When you begin writing software for an 

Circle 172 on inquiry card. » 



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Letters 

application, one of the first things that 
you do is set down the ground rules for 
your application. You may be dedicating 
the registers to perform a particular func- 
tion within your application as well as 
having some general-purpose functions to 
perform. Part of your software develop- 
ment might be done in a high-level 
language. If you are writing assembly-lan- 
guage routines to be called from that com- 
piled language, you have to know the 
compiler's rules for register use. Also, you 
want this final application to take the 
smallest possible space. The instruction 
set in the 8086 is designed to place as 
much information in 1 byte as possible to 
save coding space. To do this, some in- 
structions require that certain registers 
contain the proper information. The 8086 
would then require fewer bits to define an 
instruction and allow you to have instruc- 
tions that would take only 1 byte of 
memory space. The registers and the in- 
struction set have been designed for the 
compilers so that they can produce com- 
pact code. This makes it a lot easier to add 
your assembly-language procedure 
because you don't have to worry about 
things such as which register is pointing at 
the stack. If you want general-purpose 
operations, then the general-purpose 
registers are just that for the more com- 
monly used arithmetic and logical instruc- 
tions (such as ADD, SUB, AND, OR, 
etc.). 

Most programming consists of code to 
be executed, data variables, a stack for 
saving information, and possibly an extra 
data area for additional data storage. You 
can execute only one piece of code at a 
time, but your application may consist of 
several pieces of code located throughout 
the memory. You can go to one of these 
other code segments by simply changing 
the code segment register to point to the 
new segment and begin execution from 
there. To accomplish this, you would use 
interrupts and the far jumps and calls. 
Multiple data segments can be supported 
by changing the data segment register to 
point to the new data. Therefore, the 
fixed numbers of four segment registers 
are all the segment registers you need at 
one time. 

The maximum length of a segment is 
64K bytes, but they are by no means fixed 
to that length. Most assemblers' and com- 
pilers' outputs will have segments that will 
be smaller than that. As these final seg- 
ments are placed contiguously in mem- 
ory, the segment register, which must be 
on a paragraph boundary with the least 

4 Circle 42 on inquiry card. 



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Letters -^^^^^-^^^^— 

significant 4 bits equal to 0, will point to 
the beginning of the segment, and the off- 
set will be the first byte or word in that 
segment. These segments do not have to 
have their own 64K-byte space to reside 
in. 

The beginnings of memory protection 
are in the 8086 with its segmented ar- 
chitecture. This is a step toward future 
microprocessors. This same architecture, 
for example, is taken one step farther to 
include hardware-memory protection 
with privileged instructions in the 80286 
microprocessor. The 80286 keeps the 
same concepts of the 8086 but expands the 
segmentation by including descriptors to 
describe these segments more fully as to 
their length, type, access rights, and other 
properties. 



No More JETSET 

My article "JETSET" won an award in 
BYTE's 1982 Games Contest and was sub- 
sequently published in the November 
1982 BYTE. The article mentioned that 
readers could obtain a copy of the pro- 
gram, a flight simulator for the TRS-80 
Model II, by sending $8.00 and a blank 
disk. 

Please be advised that I discontinued 
this service several months ago. Readers 
from the U.S. and abroad are still sending 
me disks and requests for copies of 
JETSET — often for the wrong computer. 
Perhaps this message will spare others the 
inconvenience of having their material 
returned to them unopened. 

For interested readers, I've designed an 
enhanced and fully programmable version 
of the flight simulator for the IBM Per- 
sonal Computer. This model is named 
CADET. To obtain more information 
about the IBM PC version, please contact 
me directly at my home address in 
Princeton, or write to Avell Inc., POB 
6051, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. 

Eugene Szymanski 
693 Rosedale Rd. 
Princeton, NJ 08540 



It's Not That Simple 

In his letter "A More Powerful Pencil" 
(August, page 26) Mr. Yriart made some 
good points but did not hit the nail on the 
head about the use of turnkey systems — 
that is, not if he's ever operated a Radio 
Shack TRS-80 Model I with interface and 
disk drives. 



24 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 366 on inquiry card. 



Circle 457 on inquiry card. • 



Inthe Hard Disk Jungle 
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"Oasis Systems' software - unquestionably the 
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• Hyphenates words automatically. 

• Solves crosswords, puzzles, and anagrams. 

• Works with almost any CP/M®, CP/M-86® 
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Wand (PeachText), Spellbinder, Perfect 
Writer, Select, Final Word, Volkswriter, . . . 
and more!). 



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Circle 335 on inquiry card. 



CP/M and CP/M-86 are registered trademarks of Digital Research, Inc. 



Dealers contact: 

SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTORS 

1-800-252-4024 (in California) 
1-800-421-0814 (outside California) 



Letters 



This computer requires that, besides 
knowing how to turn it on and follow the 
prompts, you become thoroughly familiar 
with all the TRSDOS utilities, commands, 
error messages, and some disk BASIC, 
too. In my opinion, this type of knowl- 
edge is a valid form of computer literacy, 
though not to be confused with actual 
programming. 

With a Model 1, the idea of being able 
to just turn it on and load and run a pro- 
gram is strictly a pie-in-the-sky idea that 
rarely was the case in my 4-year battle 
with that machine! 

Helmut Vies 

Box 416 

Rockland, ME 04841 



Requests for Help 

For an anthology, I welcome contribu- 
tions of humor in the sciences, historic 
and contemporary, especially computer- 
related science. The ordinary man's dis- 
quiet about computers has sometimes 



been expressed in contrived jokes that 
bring the resented superiority of the ex- 
pert down to earth. How are jokes chang- 
ing with the spread of personal microcom- 
puters? 

Contributions can be anecdotes, bio- 
graphical notes, witty accounts, cartoons, 
parodies, verse, self-deception, and 
hoaxes. Especially sought are items that, 
while humorous, also have value in the 
history of a science, providing insight into 
changing attitudes or illuminating per- 
sonalities. Please fully identify the sources 
of contributions. 

Dr. Robert L Weber 
Pennsylvania State University 
Physics Department 
104 Davey Laboratory 
University Park, PA 16802 

I am looking for a public-domain or 
moderately priced (under $150) commer- 
cial screen-oriented program editor that is 
compatible with Apple CP/M and the 
Videx Videoterm 80-column display 
board (ED just doesn't cut the mustard). It 
must have comprehensive editing fea- 




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tures. If such a program exists, please 
notify me. If not, I will try to write one 
myself — a task I do not look forward tol 

Chris Campbell 

2843 Harmony PI. 

La Crescenta, CA 91214 

I am a newcomer to computing and 
have been reading BYTE regularly, and I 
thought perhaps you could put me in 
touch with readers with the same interests 
or problems as myself who would be will- 
ing to assist me. 

I have acquired a previously owned 
Zenith-89 with three disk drives (5V4-inch 
single-sided single-density hard sector) 
and CP/M. 

My special interests/problems are: 
•BASIC-E: this is a public-domain com- 
piler and interpreter that I have recently 
obtained. The documentation that I have 
is sketchy and I need to locate a BASIC-E 
users manual or other documentation for 
BASIC-E that will allow me to better 
understand this language. 
•COBOL: I am a neophyte COBOL pro- 
grammer and I would like to communi- 
cate with someone who has implemented 
COBOL on a microcomputer, particularly 
the Z-89. I would be interested in an 
evaluation of the Nevada COBOL that I 
have seen advertised. 
•IDS-460 printer: I would like to hear 
from someone who is using or has used 
this particular printer. I am especially in- 
terested in learning how to use the graph- 
ics capability of the IDS-460. 

Wm. F. Fowler 
4014 Hillwood Court 
Beltsville, MD 20705 



More on Using Computers 
in Aircraft 

I must take issue with Alexander Raue's 
statement that "the operation of portable 
electronic devices aboard a commercial 
aircraft or an aircraft flying under instru- 
ment conditions is prohibited by law." 
(Letters, July, page 10). He makes 
reference to Federal Aviation Regulations, 
section 91.19. It is a pity he did not quote 
the next two sentences of that regulation, 
which state, in part, that "the air carrier 
or commercial operator of the aircraft on 
which the particular device is to be used" 
may determine that the "portable elec- 
tronic device. . . will not cause in- 
terference with the navigation or com- 



28 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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Letters —————— 

munication system of the aircraft. ..." 
Upon such determination by the air car- 
rier, operation of the portable electronic 
device is permitted. 

Most portable computers bear a label 
indicating that they are "certified to com- 
ply with Class B limits, part 15 of the FCC 
rules." The Class B requirement limits the 
permissible field strength at 3 meters to 
well under a millivolt per meter, depend- 
ing on the frequency. This requirement, 
which has been in effect for about two 
years, has been and will be a help to 
airlines in deciding which pieces of equip- 
ment may be operated aboard the aircraft. 

It bears noting that nearly all airlines 
permit use of handheld calculators. Many 
calculators now in use were manufactured 
before the Class B rules went into effect 
and emit radio-frequency energy at far 
higher levels than those permitted by the 
Class B rules for computing devices. 

Carl Oppedahl 
Kreindler & Kreindler 
99 Park Ave. 
New York, NY 10016 

Alexander Raue replies: 

My principle concern was not with 
isolated, individual units in good working 
order, but rather with the cumulative 
emissions of multiple units and/ or the ex- 
cessive emissions radiated by those units 
which are, for one reason or another, in 
less than perfect condition. 

Part 15, Subpart / of the FCC Rules and 
Regulations sets electromagnetic in- 
terference standards for individual devices 
or systems tested pursuant to procedures 
outlined in Section 15.840. These pro- 
cedures test a sample unit for compliance 
with the following emission standards for 
Class B computing devices: 







Field 


Frequency 


Distance 


Strength 


(MHz) 


(m) 


(liV/m) 


30-88 


3 


100 


88-216 


3 


150 


216-1000 


3 


200 



These standards were designed to mini- 
mize the possibility of radio interference 
in a normal environment. They do not 
pretend to be a safety standard to deter- 
mine the suitability of certificated equip- 
ment for use aboard aircraft. Class B stan- 
dards regulate emissions between 30 and 
1000 MHz. Unfortunately, airborne 
navigation equipment relies on signals 
that range between 10.2 kHz and 5250 




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Letters 



MHz. This is a considerably broader spec- 
trum than is addressed in Part 15. 

Furthermore, Class B standards specif- 
ically do not address the problems of the 
cumulative EMI of multiple units or pro- 
vide for units in less than perfect working 
order due to manufacturing defects, use, 
abuse, or subsequent modification. Por- 
table units, by their very nature, will be 
subjected to considerable abuse by the 
user which can result in emissions in ex- 
cess of Part 15 standards. 

In the never-ending war for passengers, 
the airlines may decide to allow personal 
computers. Already, in the effort to lure 
the all-important "business-class" 
traveler, they "allow" considerable viola- 
tion of the law with regard to carry-on 
luggage. The next time you fly, take a 
good look at what is stuffed in the com- 
partments above your head. Then take a 
look at the legal limits set by the manufac- 
turer and the FAA for your safety. If the 
compartments pop open from the strain in 
the take-off roll, imagine what they will 
do in any form of accident. 

Officially, the airlines say it is against 
their policy to allow these violations; in 
practice, they do nothing but encourage 
them. 

In the end, carry-on luggage won't 
cause a major accident. The same cannot 
be said for equipment that causes naviga- 
tional jamming. 



In Defense of 
APL 

Jerry Pournelle remarked that APL was 
great "as a quick calculator" but he could 
not imagine APL being used for large pro- 
grams ("The User Goes to the Faire," June, 
page 306). Many people at companies like 
IBM, Xerox, Mobil, Upjohn, and others 
have come to a quite different conclusion 
after actually using APL for large-scale 
systems. APL may look strange at first, 
but so does anything else, and APL is not 
hard to learn or teach. 

If the many APL operators are thought 
of as macros or subroutines, APL is struc- 
turally similar to other powerful program- 
ming languages. For people with some 
mathematics background, many of these 
APL operators are already familiar sym- 
bols; for those without a mathematics 
background, I believe APL symbols are 
no more foreign or hard to learn than 
their alternative idioms. For example, 
how many times does a person have to 
code a quick or sync sort before he is 

32 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



familiar enough with its coding to think of 
it as an elementary idiom? In APL a sort 
consists of (C) t MAT, where C is an op- 
tional alternate collating sequence, 1 is the 
ascending sort operator, (t would be a 
descending sort), and MAT is an alpha or 
numeric vector or matrix to sort. Other 
high-level languages have similar capabili- 
ties but are generally less succinct. 

Because of its power, APL can reduce 
the total code required for a system by a 
factor of 10 or more; this speeds the 
coding and actually makes support easier 
(would you rather look through 10 or 100 
pages of code for a bug or enhancement 
change?). Because the language is inter- 
pretive, each APL operation within each 
line of code can be (and often is for com- 
plex computations) tested while coding; 
thus, development time is greatly 
shortened. Finally, APL can be very effi- 
cient even with the overhead of inter- 
pretation (for example, the Sieve bench- 
mark, which is possibly the worst case for 
APL because of its iterative method). 

Over the last 14 years I have pro- 
grammed systems in many languages (a 
few different assembly languages, BASIC, 
several levels of FORTRAN, PL/I, 
COBOL, many packages, etc.). None of 
these languages has given me the power, 
speed, or flexibility of the APL. Having 
this experience, I cannot imagine how I, 
or others, endured large-scale system de- 
velopment with primitive tools such as 
BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, and other 
such languages. APL is not perfect, but it 
is one of the languages that I believe is 
heading down the right road to improved 
productivity. As an unknown author put 
it: "Life is too short to spend it coding do- 
loops." 

Michael C. Rowe, PhD 
The Upjohn Company 
7000 Portage Rd. 
Kalamazoo, MI 49001 ■ 



BYTE's Bugs 



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Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar 



Build the H-Com 
Handicapped Communicator 



During an engineering assignment 
a few years ago I went to meet a man 
we'll call Dave, the owner of a small 
development company and its chief 
designer. As I sat in the lobby waiting 
to see him, I couldn't help but notice 



by Steve Ciarcia 

the many plaques, patents, citations, 
and honors bestowed on the com- 
pany "Surely," I thought, "to possess 
such impressive credentials, the 
manager of this company must be a 
real dynamo." I pictured him barking 



orders and moving at a furious pace, 
carrying a memocorder in one hand 
and a wireless phone in the other, be- 
ing pursued by a cadre of support 
personnel. How else could anyone 
accomplish so much? 




Photo 1: The H-Com scanning communicator, a kind of keyboard simulator, can be used to send text directly to a printer, such as the Radio 
Shack CGP-U5 shown here, or to a text-to-speech synthesizer, such as the Intex Talker, in this fully configured system. Using the serial-output 
commands and phrase mode, the H-Com can transmit words and sentences from a prestored vocabulary. 



36 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



The Intel 8748 self-contained microprocessor forms the heart 

of a scanning communicator 



I don't now remember what we dis- 
cussed at that first meeting. I only 
remember my shock at discovering 
that this super executive was a quad- 
riplegic, suffering from a degenera- 
tive disease of the nervous system 
that left him with no fine motor con- 
trol, virtually paralyzed. 

During our meeting Dave used a 
one-switch scanning communicator, 
a sophisticated machine that enabled 
him to type on an electric typewriter. 
A scanning communicator presents a 
display of alphabetic, numeric, and 
punctuation characters. Under or 
beside each character is a lamp in- 
dicator. The device illuminates the 
lamp for one character (or group of 
characters) in a sequence. By biting 
down on a mouth switch at the right 
instant, Dave could cause the in- 
dicated character to be typed. The 
machine also stores a vocabulary of 
frequently used words and phrases. 
In later conversations with other staff 
members I learned that Dave often 
wrote entire design proposals using 
this technique. 

Dave's body was frail, but he had 
one of the sharpest minds I've ever 
met. I've since given up dealing in 
stereotypes. 

My purpose in relating this ex- 
perience to you is not to solicit your 
sympathy but rather to inform you 
how technology has helped one man 
compensate for physical limitation. 
This meeting left me with a profound 
appreciation for the value of commu- 
nication and the important role that 
electronics can play in aiding dis- 
abled people. 

While it would be hard to duplicate 
the sophistication of the scanning 
communicator that Dave used, tech- 
nology has advanced to a state where 
we can reproduce certain of its 
primary functions at minimal ex- 
pense. In view of this, I decided to 
present a project that can serve both 
as an example of an application for 
the Intel 8748 single-chip microcom- 
puter and as a demonstration of the 
potential benefits of technology. 



Build the H-Com 

This month's Circuit Cellar proj- 
ect is called H-Com, which stands for 
"handicapped communicator." It's in- 
tended to do the same job as a nor- 
mal computer keyboard, but using 
only one "key," a single user-input 
point hereinafter referred to as the 
switch. Because there is only one 
switch in the H-Com, its user need 
control only one muscle to actuate it. 
Any kind of normally open momen- 
tary-closure switching contacts will 
work. An eye-blink detector would 
work, or the system could even use 
the biofeedback detector I wrote 
about in a previous Circuit Cellar ar- 
ticle (see reference 4). 

The H-Com has three outputs: two 
RS-232C ports and one audible horn. 
The RS-232C output ports can be 
turned on or off and the data rate set 
by user input. For serial communica- 
tion, the full ASCII (American Na- 
tional Standard Code for Information 
Interchange) character set, including 
all control characters, can be gen- 
erated. The horn can be used to beep 
out seven different patterns, intend- 
ed principally for obtaining the atten- 
tion of other people nearby. 

The H-Com terminal has a pre- 
stored vocabulary of words and com- 
plete sentences that can be trans- 
mitted upon receipt of a single com- 
mand. These canned transmissions 
can take the form of ASCII-encoded 
text sent to a voice synthesizer (such 
as the one discussed in reference 3) 
or control codes sent to an autodial- 
ing telephone (or modem) that direct- 
ly links the user to help in an 
emergency. And the H-Com is de- 
signed with eventual expansion in 
mind. All of these design criteria re- 
quire that the H-Com contain one of 
the devices we've used so often late- 
ly in high-performance electronic 
equipment— a microprocessor. 

The microprocessors you're prob- 
ably most familiar with are the gen- 
eral-purpose Z80, 6502, and 8088. But 
these chips are designed to be used 
in relatively large digital systems; 



other less well known micropro- 
cessors have been built to be easier 
and cheaper to use in simple control 
applications. 

The Intel 8748 

One of Intel Corporation's product 
lines is a set of VLSI (very large-scale 
integration) chips— containing pro- 
cessor, memory, and support-logic 
circuitry— of which the flagship prod- 
uct is the 8048. The 8048 features 
mask-programmed ROM (read-only 
memory), which is good for applica- 
tions that require thousands of the 
chips to be installed in identical 
pieces of equipment, such as the key- 
boards of IBM Personal Computers. 
But small-scale experimentation can 
more practically use its cousin, the 
8748, which sports on-chip EPROM 
(erasable programmable ROM). 
Figure 1 is a functional block diagram 
of the Intel 8748 single-chip 8-bit 
microcomputer, which is shown in 
photo 2. 

The resident program memory in 
the 8048 consists of 1024 (IK) words 
8 bits wide (in other words, the 
memory is IK bytes), which are ad- 
dressed in random-access fashion by 
the program counter. In the 8748 this 
memory consists of EPROM, which 
allows the processor's program to be 
loaded in the system designer's work- 
shop rather than at the factory. To 
burn the program into the 8748's 
EPROM, external circuitry must ac- 
tivate the program mode, apply and 
latch an address, apply data, and 
pulse the chip's program line. Each 
word of memory is verified im- 
mediately after it has been burned. 
The entire EPROM contents can be 
erased by exposing the 8748 to ultra- 
violet light (see reference 2). 

The 8748 contains 64 eight-bit reg- 
isters, called the resident data memory, 

Materials pertaining to the 8748 are re- 
printed courtesy of Intel Corporation. 



Copyright © 1983 Steven A. Garcia. All rights 
reserved. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 37 




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Figure 1: /4 functional block diagram of the Intel 8748 self-contained microprocessor. 



38 November. 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




Photo 2: Shown in this photomicrograph, Intel Corporation's 8748 microprocessor is largely self-sufficient, containing its own EPROM, 
scratchpad RAM, and I/O circuitry. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 39 



The Intel 

8048/8748 
Instruction Set 

The processor contains the basic data- 
manipulation functions and can be divid- 
ed into fourmajor functional sections: the 
arithmetic/logic unit (ALU), the ac- 
cumulator, the carry flag, and the instruc- 
tion decoder. 

In a typical operation, data stored in the 
accumulator is combined in the ALU with 
data from another source on the internal 
bus (such as a register or I/O port), and 
the result is stored in the accumulator or 
another register. The ALU accepts 8-bit 
data words from one or two sources and 
generates an 8-bit result under control of 
the instruction decoder. The ALU can per- 
form the following functions: 

•add with or without carry 
•AND, OR, exclusive OR 

• increment /decrement 
•bit complement 

• rotate left, right 

•swap nybbles in accumulator 
•decimal adjust accumulator (BCD) 

One machine instruction makes very ef- 
ficient use of the working registers as 
program-loop counters: the DJNZ (decre- 
ment, jump if not zero) instruction allows 
the program to decrement and test the 
register in a single instruction. 



which can be used as scratchpad 
RAM (random-access read/write 
memory). The first eight locations in 
this array (numbered through 7) are 
designated as special-purpose "work- 
ing" registers and are directly ad- 
dressed by several instructions. All 64 
locations are indirectly addressable 
through either of the two RAM- 
pointer registers, registers and 1. 
Because the first eight registers are 
more easily addressed, they are 
typically used to store frequently ac- 
cessed data or intermediate results. 
The text box above discusses the 
8748 , s instruction set. 

The 8748 has 27 I/O (input/output) 
signal lines. Twenty-four of these 
lines are grouped into three I/O ports 
of eight lines each; these can be used 
for input, for output, or bidirectional- 



ly. The remaining three lines are 
single-bit "test" inputs, which can 
alter program flow when tested by 
conditional-jump instructions. 

I/O ports 1 and 2 are each 8 bits 
wide and have identical character- 
istics. The lines of these ports are 
called quasibidirectional because they 
employ a special output-circuit struc- 
ture that allows each line to serve as 
an input, an output, or both, even 
though the outputs are statically 
latched (that is, data written to these 
ports for output remains unchanged 
until new data is loaded into them). 
However, when used as input ports, 
these lines are nonlatching; this re- 
quires the external circuitry to keep 
the levels for each transferred byte 
valid until the 8748 reads the byte by 
an input instruction. The I/O ports 
are fully compatible with TTL 
(transistor-transistor logic); the out- 
puts will drive one standard TTL 
load. 

The third I/O port is called the bus 
port. It is also an 8-bit port, but it is 
truly bidirectional, having associated 
input and output strobe signals. If 
bidirectional operation is not needed, 
the bus port can serve as either a 
statically latched output port or a 
nonlatching input port. However, in- 
put and output lines on this port can- 
not be mixed. In some modes of 
operation, the bus port is used to ad- 
dress external memory. 

In static-port operation, data is 
written and latched using the 8748's 
OUTL instruction; data is input using 
the INS instruction. The INS and 
OUTL instructions g enera te p ulses 
on the corresponding RD and WR 
output strobe lines; however, in the 
static-port mode these signals are 
generally not used. In bidirectional- 
port operation, the MOVX instruc- 
tions are used to read and write to 
the port. A write to the port gener- 
ates a pulse on the WR output line, 
and output data becomes valid at the 
trailing edge of the pulse. Reading 
the p ort generates a pulse on the 
RD output line; input data must be 
valid at the trailing edge of the RD 
pulse. When not being written or 
read, the bus-port lines are in a high- 
impedance state. 

The 8748 also contains a counter/ 



timer register intended for use in 
enumerating external events and gen- 
erating accurate time delays without 
placing an extra burden on the pro- 
cessor. This 8-bit binary up counter 
can be preset and read with two 
MOV processor instructions, which 
transfer the contents of the ac- 
cumulator to the counter, and vice 
versa. The contents of the counter are 
not cleared by a processor reset; they 
can be initialized solely by the MOV 
instructions. Counting is stopped 
either by a processor reset or when 
a STOP TCNT instruction is executed. 
After counting has stopped, it can be 
restarted for use as a timer by a 
START T instruction or as an event 
counter by a START CNT instruction. 
Once started, the counter is con- 
tinually incremented, overflowing to 
zero when its maximum value (hexa- 
decimal FF) is reached but continu- 
ing its count until stopped by a STOP 
TCNT instruction or processor reset. 
The 8748 contains all necessary cir- 
cuitry for generating timing signals, 
with the exception that a frequency 
reference, which can be a crystal, in- 
ductor, or external clock pulse, must 
be connected. The on-board oscillator 
is a high-gain series-resonant circuit 
with a frequency range of 1 to 6 MHz. 
A crystal or inductor connected be- 
tween the 8748's pinouts XI and X2 
provides the feedback and phase 
shift required for oscillation. A 
6.144-MHz crystal allows easy deriva- 
tion of all standard serial-communi- 
cation frequencies. 

Implementation of the H-Com 

The H-Com consists of a small case 
with a character grid of 64 elements 
arranged into 8 horizontal rows and 
8 vertical columns (see photo 3). Each 
element is the equivalent of a key- 
board key. 

The characters are arranged in the 
array such that the ones most fre- 
quently used are clustered in the up- 
per left, the position reached most 
quickly during the scanning process. 
The least used characters (special 
punctuation) are placed at the end of 
the scan in the lower right. The right- 
most (eighth) column is used to con- 
trol the H-Com's operation rather 
than transmit characters. A practiced 



40 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




Photo 3: The H-Com's character display contains 8 rows and 8 columns of characters and control functions, numbered from top to bottom 
and from left to right. The intersecting lines of red LEDs are used in scanning the row and column positions, while the yellow LEDs along 
the right edge indicate which mode is in use. 



user can select and transmit charac- 
ters with relative ease and surprising 
speed. 

Each of the 8 rows and 8 columns 
has a corresponding selection in- 
dicator, a total of 16 red LEDs 
(light-emitting diodes). The scanning 
operation proceeds as follows. The 
LEDs for the 8 rows are lighted in- 
dividually in sequence from top to 
bottom: first row, second row, third 
row, and so on to the eighth row, 
then back to the first row and repeat. 
The row scan continues until the H- 
Com senses that the switch is closed, 
indicating that the user has made a 
selection of the row for which the 
LED is lit. The H-Com program 
stores the selected row number and 
proceeds to the column scan. In this 
second phase of selection, each of the 
column LEDs is lit in succession from 
left to right. Once again, the user 
closes the switch during the interval 
in which the LED is lit that corres- 



ponds to the column containing the 
desired character. 

When both a row and a column 
have been selected, the micropro- 
cessor looks in a table to find the 
character associated with the row and 
column position (x and y coordinates, 
if you will). The character or function 
assigned to the position may vary ac- 
cording to the major mode of opera- 
tion selected. If the character is in the 
printable set, the H-Com transmits it 
through either or both RS-232C 
ports. 

H-Com Modes 

The rightmost column, as I men- 
tioned, is used for controlling the H- 
Com, mostly for shifting its six 
modes of operation. Beside each 
mode square is a yellow LED, which 
is lighted when the corresponding 
mode is in use. When the H-Com is 
powered up, it starts out in the All- 
Caps mode, in which it will transmit 



only the main character set consisting 
of uppercase A through Z, numerals 
through 9, and commonly used 
punctuation. Separate modes gen- 
erate lowercase characters, braces, 
ASCII control characters, and special 
functions. 

For example, to send a Control-C, 
you first select the control-characters 
mode (by closing the switch first dur- 
ing the row-4 interval and then in the 
column-8 interval), and then select 
the particular character ("C") with the 
next row/column scan. Immediately 
after sending the Control-C character, 
the H-Com reverts to the All-Caps 
mode. One of the modes even lets 
you transmit lengthy prestored 
messages by selecting a two-character 
mnemonic key. Let's look at the six 
H-Com modes: 

All Caps: This is the default mode. 
All characters are converted to upper- 
case (capital letters) before being sent. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 41 




Photo 4: The prototype of the H-Com circuit, viewed from the rear to show the integrated circuits. The light-emitting diodes are mounted 
on the other side. 



One Cap: This mode, when 
selected, sends the first character 
after its invocation as uppercase, and 
then all subsequent characters as 
lowercase. This is useful for capitaliz- 
ing words because normally only the 
first letter is uppercase. 

Lowercaseiln this mode, characters 
are sent out lowercase. 

Control Characters: This mode is 
used to generate the control codes. It 
acts much like One Cap except that 
it converts the next character selected 
to its control equivalent for transmis- 
sion. Because the Escape control code 
is treated as a normal character, you 
need not use the Control Characters 
mode to generate it. The control 
codes normally used for cursor con- 
trol are accessed by Control-8, -4, -6, 
and -2. Also, seldom used punctua- 
tion is generated in this mode, not in 
one of the caps modes. 



Phrase: This mode is used to gen- 
erate sequences of many characters to 
form complete words, sentences, etc. 
The text strings are stored serially in 
a type-2716 EPROM, each phrase 
tagged with a mnemonic key. For the 
H-Com to transmit the sequence, you 
select the Phrase mode, the 
characters of the mnemonic key, and 
then the space character. When the 
H-Com has detected the scan selec- 
tion of a space while in Phrase mode, 
the 8748 takes the key and looks 
through the EPROM until it finds the 
corresponding text string; it then 
sends the string exactly as if the let- 
ters were being selected one at a time. 
If there is no phrase associated with 
the entered key, the H-Com beeps 
the horn and returns the mode to All 
Caps or Lowercase, whichever was 
last selected. The internal storage for- 
mat for the EPROM is shown in list- 



ing 1, a simplified example. Normal- 
ly this listing would be several pages 
long and contain hundreds of words. 

Local: This mode is used for tasks 
that don't involve sending characters. 
The first three rows of the character 
array do nothing in Local mode. 

The fourth row in the array controls 
the horn. The dot and dash symbols 
in the squares indicate the beep pat- 
terns, which superficially resemble 
Morse code. To sound a pattern of 
three short honks, for example, you 
select Local mode, then the H key, 
which causes three short beeps to be 
emitted. Each letter of the fourth row 
beeps a different pattern. 

In Local mode, the fifth row selects 
the operating parameters for serial 
port A. The first position in the row, 
labeled Backspace/ A = 110, sets port A 
to communicate at 110 bps (bits per 
second). The second position, 



42 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



7/A = 300, sets port A to 300 bps, the 
third position to 600 bps, the fourth 
to 1200 bps, and the fifth (labeled 
*/A = OFF) turns the port off. To turn 
port A on, you select the data rate 
desired (if you want it off, select Local 
and then */A = OFF). The sixth row 
controls port B in the same manner. 
The seventh and eighth rows con- 
trol the scanning rate of the row- and 
column-select LEDs. The seventh- 
row, first-column position sets the 
slowest rate, and each succeeding 
column sets a rate faster by a factor 
that increases geometrically. 

H-Com Hardware 

Shown in the schematic diagram of 
figure 2, the circuitry of the H-Com 
can be divided into seven sections: 
the power supply, the RS-232C 
drivers, the microprocessor, the LED 
decoder/drivers, the phrase-lookup 
EPROM, the horn-tone generator, 
and the input switch. The prototype 
circuit board is shown in photo 4. 

The H-Com draws about 300 mA 
(milliamps) at 12 V (volts). Current 
could be drawn from a motorized 
wheelchair's battery, a separate bat- 
tery pack, or a 110-V AC-powered 
supply. If a 12-V supply is chosen, the 
currently available Radio Shack 
CGP-115 printer can be used as a con- 
venient portable display device. The 
+ 12-V potential is reduced to +5 V 
through a type-7805 voltage regulator 
to power the logic circuitry. 

IC1, a type-556 dual-timer chip, 
serves two purposes. It produces an 
audio signal at pin 9 to sound the 
horn and generates a second AC sig- 
nal used as input to a charge-pump- 
ing circuit to produce a - 9-V supply 
for the RS-232C transmitter section. 

The horn signal, the direct output 
of IC1, drives a loudspeaker, which 
generates a sound low enough in fre- 
quency and loud enough to be heard 
by someone in an adjacent room. 
(Solid-state piezoelectric transducers, 
while efficient and compatible with 
TTL circuits, are not loud enough or 
low enough.) A series resistor (about 
100 ohms) keeps the volume at a 
comfortable yet noticeable level. 
Sounding of the horn is controlled by 
an output bit on the 8748. 

User inputs to the H-Com are 



handled through the 8748's Tl test in- 
put. This line is one of three input 
pins (TO and INT are the others) that 
allow conditional program branches 
without using I/O instructions of the 
type that load the accumulator from 
the input port. Because Tl is to be 
connected to a mechanical switch, a 
debouncing integrator (resistor/ca- 
pacitor combination) and a Schmitt 
trigger (IC6) smooth out its transi- 
tions. 

Control of the H-Com functions is 
handled through the three parallel 
ports. Four bits of port 1 are reserved 
for serial communication. (The four 
remaining bits could be programmed 
to provide more ports if necessary.) 
With the data rates and character 
framing generated by software, each 



The only 
unconventional part of 

the circuitry is the 
phrase-memory section. 



port transmits independently at data 
rates from 110 to 1200 bps. When the 
H-Com is first turned on, the pro- 
gram sets port 1 to 600 bps to be com- 
patible with the CGP-115 printer. IC8 
and IC9 are the familiar MC1488 and 
MC1489 RS-232C driver and receiver 
chips. The -9-V supply mentioned 
earlier is used in the 1488. These 
devices were chosen primarily for 
simplicity; they could be replaced 
with a couple of transistors if you 
wanted to reduce the number of 
integrated-circuit packages. 

Port 2 drives the LED display. The 
high-order 4 bits of port 2 are con- 
nected to a 4- to 16-line decoder 
driver, IC2, which produces the row/ 
column scanning action. Depending 
upon the 4-bit value appearing at 
IC2's input, one of the 16 LEDs will 
be lit. As the count is incremented, 
the next LED in the row or column 
lights up, and scanning takes place. 

The low-order 3 bits of port 2 are 
connected to a 3- to 8-line decoder/ 
driver, IC3. Functioning in a manner 
similar to IC2, this circuit drives the 
yellow LEDs that indicate what mode 



the H-Com is in. The remaining bit 
of port 2 controls the horn. 

The program for the 8748 single- 
chip microcomputer, IC9, is stored in 
the on-chip IK- by 8-bit EPROM. 

The only unconventional part of 
the circuitry is the phrase-memory 
section. The signals to address this 
memory are not generated by the 
processor, as is commonly the case. 
Instead, they are generated by two 
8-bit binary counters (IC5 and IC7). 

Initially, the counters are cleared 
(reset ) by a low-level signal on the 
WR (pin 10) line of the 8748 (IC9), 
under the direction of a bus-port 
write instruction. When the pro- 
cessor needs to look up a phrase 
from the memory, it reads the bus 
port. After each such read instruc- 
tio n, an active-low pulse appears on 
the RD line, increasing the value in 
the counters by 1. When you request 
transmission of a stored phrase, the 
8748 clears these address counters 
and begins reading at the beginning 
of the 2716 EPROM. The 8748 keeps 
reading and incrementing the 
counters until it finds a match to the 
phrase key. 

This circuit, although not common- 
ly seen, requires few chips and uses 
a relatively simple searching 
algorithm. Also, because the counters 
produce 16 address bits, -up to 64K 
bytes of text storage can be easily ac- 
commodated. In fact, simply chang- 
ing the type-2716 EPROM to a 
type-27128 would add 14K characters. 
But even with as many as 64K char- 
acters of stored phrases, the search 
would take less than one second. 

Words and phrases are stored in 
the EPROM as ASCII character 
strings preceded by one or more 
mnemonic key characters that iden- 
tify the particular word or phrase. As 
you can tell from listing 1, the 
mnemonic key is stored first in the 
EPROM, followed by a space charac- 
ter (hexadecimal 20), followed by the 
word or phrase (any length), and 
concluded by a null character (hexa- 
decimal 00). Phrase storage could 
also be used to remind you how to 
operate certain features, with a help 
message triggered simply by setting 
Phrase mode and then selecting H, 
P, and a space on successive scans. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 43 



Number 


Type 


+ 5 V 


GND 


-9 V +12 V 


IC1 


LM556 




7 


14 


IC2 


74154 


24 


12 




IC3 


74L5138 


16 


8 




IC4 


2716 


24 


12 




IC5 


74LS393 


14 


7 




i IC6 


74LS14 


14 


7 




IC7 


74LS393 


14 


7 




IC8 


MC1488 




7 


1 14 


IC9 


MC1489 


14 


7 




IC10 


8748 


40, 26 


20 





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6.144MHz 



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MC1488 

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MC1489 



32 



31 



30 



29 



27 



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IC10 
8748 



P17 
P16 
P15 
P14 



P13 
P12 
Pll 

P10 



P27 
P26 
P25 
P24 



P23 
P22 

P21 
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DB4 
DB3 
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37 



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20 



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lll^^U 



Figure 2: The schematic diagram of the H-Com. The external EPROM (IC4, a 2716) is used for storage of mnemonically keyed phrases; 
addresses for the EPROM are generated by the two binary counters IC6 and IC7. 



H-Com Software 

The source code of the control pro- 
gram stored in the 8748's memory is 
shown in listing 2. The program is 



structured to deal with one quirk of 
the 8748's instruction set, its eight- 
level fixed-size stack. When the stack 
pointer is incremented beyond 7, it 



"wraps around" to 0, reusing its 
memory area and subsequently limit- 
ing the programs to no more than 
eight levels of subroutine nesting. 



44 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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DISCHARGE 



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GND 



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tmouf A? m , m — 






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r 




SPEAKER 



ADDITIONAL 
EPROM MEMORY 



A12 A13 A14 A15 
i. J i J 



13 11 10 9 



1QA 1QB 1QC 1QD 2A 2QA 2QB 2QC 2QD 



IC7 
74LS393 



CLEAR1 CLEAR2 



12 



N/C = NO CONNECTION 



However, at any point in the pro- 
gram, control can branch to a second 
point without having to clean up the 
contents of the stack. The H-Com 



control program uses this feature. 

But the jump (branching) pro- 
cedure is odd, too. Conditional 
jumps are restricted to within the 



256-byte page of memory containing 
the jump instruction. This character- 
istic is not particularly convenient, 
but it can be circumvented by condi- 

Text continued on page 50 

November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 45 



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November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 49 



Text continued from page 45: 
tionally jumping to an uncondi- 
tional-jump instruction (which is not 
so restricted). Unconditional jumps 
include normal direct jumps to any 
place in program memory and 
several types of indirect jumps within 
the page. (For an extreme example of 
this technique, look at location hex- 
adecimal 0237 in listing 2, where the 
mode switching occurs. Here, 
subroutine KBIN is called, with the 
calling routine expecting control to 
return with the character-selection 
code held in register 5. But if you ac- 
tuate the switch to select a mode, 
such as the Phrase mode, the sub- 
routine calculates where to continue 
execution and simply jumps there. 
Structured programming hasn't 
made much progress on the 8748.) 

The H-Com program is arranged in 
three sections, plus a lookup table. 
These four modules fit conveniently 
in the 8748's four pages of program 
memory. The first page (page 0) is 
where the code for all the various 
modes of operation reside; each code 
section considers itself the main 
routine and calls the other sections 
as subroutines. The first section of 
code sets up the major modes (All 
Caps, Phrase, etc.) 

The second section (page 1) is the 
text-transmission section. It sends the 
contents of register 5 out to one or 
both RS-232C channels, according to 
which are active at the time. It sends 
the data at the most recently selected 
data rate or at the default data rate set 
up by code in the first page. If the H- 
Com "hangs up" waiting for a device- 
ready status that never comes, you 
can resume the active scanning mode 
by pressing the switch. 

The third section (page 2) is the 
scanning subroutine. As we've seen, 
it scans the rows and then columns 
until you make a selection. When in 
the column scan, you can return to 
the row scan by pressing the switch 
twice instead of once. If any position 
in the first seven columns is selected, 
this subroutine returns to the calling 
routine with the element position (not 
an ASCII value) in register R5. The 
calling routine must either convert 
this into a character or take some ap- 
propriate action (e.g., beeping the 
horn). If a position in the eighth 



(mode-select) column of the array is 
selected, this subroutine disregards 
the normal subroutine return and 
jumps to the appropriate mode 
routine. 

The first half of page 3 of program 
memory is the character-lookup 
table. Its layout corresponds to the 
character-display arrangement, 
which serves to minimize access 
time. If you would prefer some other 
"keyboard" layout, merely change 
this table. 

The H-Com program does not 
make use of the 8748's interrupts, in- 
terval timer, or alternate registers R0 
through R3. These have been re- 
served for customization of the 
system to an individual user. The 
alternate register set R4 through R7 
is used for phrase-key storage, and 
keys longer than three characters use 
the high end of scratchpad memory. 
Other than this, the memory above 
the alternate registers is unused. 

The software for this project was 
written by Ralph McElroy. To encour- 
age use and further development of 
the H-Com and similar devices, we 
are placing the software in the public 
domain. 

Parting Thoughts 

This project has been on my mind 
for some time. Its subject matter was 
suggested by my meeting with Dave, 
but I'm doing it now because of the 
recent increase in the number of let- 
ters I've received describing how dis- 
abled individuals are being helped by 
the speech synthesizers I've 
presented in these articles. 

I can guarantee that I'll continue to 
investigate speech-related topics, but 
specific projects like this one will re- 
quire some reader feedback and sug- 
gestions. Fd like to hear your com- 
ments and suggestions. If there is 
sufficient interest in the H-Com, I 
may make arrangements for it to be 
manufactured commercially. For in- 
formation on its availability, contact 
Intex Micro Systems Corporation, 725 
South Adams Rd., Suite L8, Birming- 
ham, MI 48011, telephone (313) 
540-7601. 

If you want to see how a research 
group at Tufts University approached 
the same problem, you can read an 



article in the September 1982 issue of 
BYTE (reference 5); that issue also 
contained a number of articles on 
computer applications to help dis- 
abled people. 

Next Month: 

There are dark clouds on the horizon. 
Thunder is rumbling through the hills 
of central Connecticut. . . . I'm getting 
worried. So next month well look at what 
happens when electronic devices are hit 
by high voltages and discuss how to pre- 
vent it.m 

Editor's Note: Steve often refers to previous Cir- 
cuit Cellar articles as reference material for each 
month's current article. Many of these past articles 
are available in reprint books from BYTE Books, 
McGraw-Hill Book Company, POB 400, Hights- 
town, N] 08250. 

Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar, Volume I covers articles 
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 articles from July 1980 through December 
1981. 

Special thanks to Ralph McElroy for his 
contributions to this project. 

References 

1. Baker, Bruce. "Minspeak." BYTE, September 
1982, page 186. 

2. Ciarcia, Steve. "Build an Intelligent EPROM 
Programmer." BYTE, October 1981, page 36. 

3. Ciarcia, Steve. "Build the Microvox Text-to- 
Speech Synthesizer." Part 1, BYTE, Sep- 
tember 1982, page 64. Part 2, BYTE, October 
1982, page 40. 

4. Ciarcia, Steve. "Mind Over Matter: Add Bio- 
feedback Input to Your Computer." BYTE, 
June 1979, page 49. 

5. Demasco, Patrick, and Richard Foulds. 'A 
New Horizon for Nonvocal Communication 
Devices." BYTE, September 1982, page 166. 

6. Schwejda, Paul, and Gregg Vanderheiden. 
"Adaptive-Firmware Card for the Apple II." 
BYTE, September 1982, page 276. 

Steve Ciarcia (POB 582, Glastonbury, CT 
06033) is an electronics engineer and computer 
consultant with experience in process control, 
digital design, nuclear instrumentation, prod- 
uct development, and marketing. In addition 
to writing for BYTE, he has published several 
books. 



To receive a complete list of Ciarcia's 
Circuit Cellar project kits available from 
the Micromint, circle 1 00 on the reader 
service inquiry card at the back of the 
magazine. 



50 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Teletek's 
New Combo 
Could Make 
You A Hero! 



TheSBC-ll could be just the 
right ingredient for your latest 
concoction. The newest member 
of Teletek's family of multi-user, 
multi-processing S-100 products, 
the SBC-II essentially combines, 
or "sandwiches" two Teletek 
SBC-I's into one board. The SBC- 
II provides the capability to sup- 
port two users from one standard 
size IEEE-696/S-1 00 sl'ave board. 

The SBC-II maintains full 
performance for each user with 
an independent CPU (Z80A or 
Z80B), 64K RAM, Serial I/O, and 
FIFO communications port to 
the system master. The system 
integrator benefits by getting 
complete support for two users 
for the price of one board. 

TurboDOS and MDZ 
operating systems will support 
combinations of SBC-I's and 
SBC-ll's offering system design 
efficiency and flexibility never 
before possible. 

If you're hungry for value 
and efficiency, order an SBC-II 
from Teletek. You'll love every 
byte. 





4600 Pell Drive 
Sacramento, CA 95838 
(916) 920-4600 
Telex 4991834 TELETEK 
Dealer inquiries invited. 

© Teletek 1983 

Circle 465 on inquiry card. 



BYTE West Coast 



California Hardware 



New products deliver specialized functions 

by Barbara Robertson 

77ns month BYTE West Coast looks at three products from the Silicon Valley: Convergent Technologies' new portable computer 
called the Workslate, Inters BPK70-4 Bubble Storage Subsystem, and the Cygnet Communications Cosystem; and one from 
Southern California: bubble-memory boards for the IBM Personal Computer from Helix Laboratories. 



Workslate 

Monday morning. You plug a tele- 
phone into the Workslate and listen 
to the Dow Jones report on the 
speaker phone while you're getting 
dressed. Nothing earthshaking, so 
you check the Workslate calendar. 
Oops. There's a 10 o'clock marketing 
meeting today. The pricing-analysis 
spreadsheet was prepared last week, 
and a few things have changed since 
then. You use the Workslate's cal- 
culator to try out a couple of pos- 
sibilities, adjust a number in one of 
the spreadsheet cells, and recalculate 
the totals. 

Driving to work. As random 
thoughts cross your mind, you pull 
the Workslate out of your briefcase, 
turn on the recorder, and begin dic- 
tating. No need to worry about turn- 
ing it off. The Workslate does that for 
you if you haven't used it for 5 
minutes. 

At the office. You hand the tape 
with your notes and the new pricing 
data to your secretary, sit down at 
your desk, and once again use Work- 
slate to call Dow Jones. This time, 
though, you read the current stock 
quotes into one window on the dis- 
play and enter the new prices into a 
stock-portfolio worksheet in the other 



window. Because this worksheet is 
set to automatically recalculate, new 
totals appear on the screen while you 
update prices. 

An alarm beeps. The screen 
message tells you to "Sell 50 shares 
of Quicktech." You check the Quick- 
tech cell and remember that you set 
the alarm to beep if the price fell 
below $25. Leaving the worksheet on 
the screen, you disconnect Dow 
Jones, autodial your broker, and give 
him the order over the Workslate's 
speaker phone. 

The alarm beeps again, and this 
time the message reminds you of the 
10 o'clock meeting. You slip the Work- 
slate into your briefcase just as your 
secretary shows up with the trans- 
cribed notes and printout of the pric- 
ing spreadsheet. You're ready. 

The Workslate (see photo 1) is 
small, lightweight, and packed with 
features. A 16-line by 46-character 
LCD (liquid-crystal display), 60-key 
button-style keyboard, 64K bytes of 
ROM (read-only memory), 16K bytes 
of RAM (random-access read/write 
memory), 300-bits-per-second (bps) 
modem with auto-answer and auto- 
dial, microphone, speaker, and a 
microcassette recorder for voice or 
data all fit into a battery-powered 



portable computer about the size of 
this issue of BYTE. Workslate weighs 
in at about 3Vi pounds. 

Driven by Hitachi's 6303 micropro- 
cessor (a CMOS version of the 8-bit 
Motorola 6800) and powered by four 
AA alkaline batteries (or a nickel- 
cadmium pack), the Workslate has 
spreadsheet capabilities that rival 
those of software packages designed 
for desktop computers. It's quick, 
powerful, and sells for $895. You can 
order it now from the American Ex- 
press Christmas catalog and pay for 
it in monthly installments with no in- 
terest charges or shop later this year 
at Computerland or Businessland 
stores. First delivery is scheduled for 
November 17. 

But before you run out and buy a 
Workslate, you should bear one thing 
in mind. One reason Convergent 
Technologies was able to pack so 
much in such a small package is 
because this machine is designed 
specifically for people whose busi- 
ness is numbers rather than words. 
In fact, a group of 50 to 100 potential 
users in this vertical market, in- 
cluding bank managers, body-shop 
owners, construction estimators, and 
data-processing managers actively 
participated in the product's design. 



52 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



At a Glance 

Name 

Workslate 

Manufacturer 

Convergent Technologies Inc. 
Advanced Information Products Division 
2441 Mission College Blvd. 
Santa Clara. CA 95050 
(408) 727-8830 

Uses 

Portable spreadsheet computations, dictation, time management, 
telecommunications 

Dimensions 

8/2 by II by I inch (under 4 pounds) 

Features 

A 16-line by 46-character liquid-crystal display 60-key button 
keyboard with dedicated function keys and numeric keypad, 6303 
microprocessor, 64K bytes of ROM, I6K bytes of RAM, built-in 
microcassette recorder, built-in 300-bps modem with auto-answer 
and auto-dial, clock-calendar, A/C adapter/recharger, modular 
phone jack cable, 9600-bps serial-interface port, and soft case 



Software 

Proprietary operating system, spreadsheet, communications in- 
cluding terminal emulation, ROM templates for calendar, memo 
pad, and phone list. Optional Taskware tapes (templates) range in 
price from 529.95 to $49.95 

Documentation and Customer Support 

Software developers guides; "Teach Me Now" and "Teach Me 
Later" audiotapes, owners manual, exercise workbooks, reference 
guide, and user newsletter; 800 "hot line" number for users; 
return for repair service 

Price 

S895 

Options 

Microprinter: battery-powered portable plotter with four colored 

pens and one roll of 4/2 -inch paper, 7 by 8/2 by l'/z inches, 

under 2 pounds, plugs into serial port: $250 

I/O box with RS-232C and Centronics port: $199 

Nickel-cadmium battery pack: S29.95 

Microprinter pens (four black or one each blue, green, red, and 

black); $3.95 

Microprinter paper (four-pack): $5.95 



Although the software in ROM in- 
cludes the operating system, a 
spreadsheet, time and date manage- 
ment, and communications func- 
tions, from a user's point of view 
there is only one application: a 
spreadsheet. Even the ASCII (Ameri- 
can National Standard Code for In- 
formation Interchange) terminal 
emulator is built into the spread- 
sheet. This is not necessarily a limita- 
tion once you begin thinking of the 
many uses of a spreadsheet program. 

The Workslate comes with three 
spreadsheet application templates 
built into ROM: a calendar, a phone 
list, and a memo pad (for audio or 
text). Ten more templates, called 
Taskware, are available on tapes for 
$49.95 and under. (See table 1.) Keep- 
ing the razor-blade theory of market- 
ing well in mind, Convergent has 
plans for 20 more tapes to be avail- 
able within a year. 

Serious hackers will probably la- 
ment the lack of an available lan- 
guage. All the software was pro- 
grammed in assembly language, no 
BASIC is provided, and the operating 
system is proprietary and confiden- 
tial. The only way to add programs 
to the Workslate is to use the pro- 
gramming capabilities within the 
spreadsheet (see table 2) to design 
new Taskware templates. As for ex- 
pansion possibilities, we weren't able 



to look inside the machine, but we 
were told there are two empty 32K- 
byte ROM slots. 

Writers will probably decide 
against this machine because the key- 
board and the software were ob- 
viously not designed with them in 
mind. But businesspeople, mana- 
gers, note-takers, appointment 



keepers, cost estimators, and a wide 
range of other people will find the 
Workslate very useful. 

Physical Dimensions 

The Workslate fits on your desk or 
in your briefcase as easily as a thick 
pad of paper. It's 8V2 by 11 by 1 inches 
and weighs less than 4 pounds with 




Photo 1: A standard Workslate spreadsheet. White pointer arrows within the dark, inverse- 
video Cell and Row label lines and the block of inverse-video on the selected cell help you keep 
track of where you are. The status line at the top shows the worksheet name, the formula 
for Cell D12, the percentage of remaining memory, and the date and time. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 53 



Personal tax 



Travel 



Sales reporter 



Business tax 



Portfolio analysis 



1040 Form 

Major Schedules (A.B.D.G) 

Forms 2106, 2119, 3903 

Monthly/Quarterly Withholding Analysis 

Expense Reporting 

a. Travel expenses 

b. Client and entertainment expenses 
Traveler's check log 

Itinerary 

Airline miles log 
Foreign-currency converter 
Metric converter 

Account log 

Commission report 

Daily contact report 

Expense report 

Inventory availability and pricing 

Proposals 

Rental/leasing analysis 

Sales forecasting 30/60/90/quarter/year 

Sole proprietor and partnership taxes 

a. Standard forms 

b. Standard schedules 
Personal tax preparation 
FICA 

Quarterly tax estimator 
Tax-alternative calculator 

Dow Jones Reporting Service 

a. Price-drop warning 

b. Auto-dial at Market opening or close 
Annual-report analysis 

Bond analysis 
Cash-flow analysis 
Current-investment analysis 
Industry analysis 
Stock portfolio 
Summary profit report 
Unrealized/realized gains and losses 



Estate planning 



Financial statements 



IRA planning and analysis 
Insurance-requirement analysis 
Life-insurance coverage 
Personal net worth, current/projected 
College-fund planner 
Trust account 

Balance sheets 

Income statements 

Owners-equity statements 

Ratio analysis 

Changes in working capital 

Changes in cash flow 

5-year comparative-income statement 

Fixed assets 

Product cost 

Cash modeling 
Investment analysis 
Selected ratio analysis 
Actual expenses 
Cash disbursements 
Cash receipts 
Currency conversion 
Planned expenses 
Planned versus actual 



Marketing management Advertising-expense analysis 

Advertising response-ratio analysis 

Pricing analysis 

Sales analysis 

Commissions 

Sales forecasting 

Budgets 

Expenses 

Sales-performance ranking 



Cash management 



Loan analysis 



Amortization schedule 
Break-even analysis 
Interest expense 
Loan comparisons 
Personal-financial statement 



Table 1: Works! ate Optional Taskivare. Taskivare is provided on microcassette tape (see photo 3). Prices for the tapes listed range from 
$29.95 to $49.95. 



batteries. The color is dark slate gray 
with button keys in two lighter 
shades of gray (see photos). The dis- 
play is on the left near the top of the 
machine, and a speaker and cassette 
drive are on the right. The built-in 
microphone fits in a barely noticeable 
slit in the front of the machine. On 
the right side are plugs for an exter- 
nal microphone and headset and a 
volume control. Two phone connec- 
tors, the serial port for the optional 
portable plotter (see photo 2), and the 
A/C adapter/recharger connector are 
in the back; the LCD brightness con- 
trol is on the left side. Batteries can 
be replaced by removing a small 
panel on the underside of the 
machine. 



Keyboard 

The calculator-style button keys are 
well spaced and have a nice touch. 
With the help of the 10-key buffer, I 
found I could type very fast. All the 
keys on the keyboard repeat. 

Notice the large diamond-shaped 
pointer control pad between the 
typewriter keys and the numeric key- 
pad. Pressing a ribbed area at the top, 
left, right, or bottom moves the 
pointer between cells in the expected 
direction. Within a cell, data is 
entered by typing and edited by 
backspacing and retyping. However, 
in the edit mode, the pointer-control 
pad can move the cursor across char- 
acters for selective editing. 

Five function keys at the top of the 



keyboard have green labels identify- 
ing them as Calc, Finance, Memo, 
Phone, and Time. Memo, Phone, and 
Time are spreadsheet application 
templates. Calc splits a display into 
two windows, with the lower win- 
dow functioning as a calculator. 
Finance produces sets of software 
keys that help you calculate deprecia- 
tion, loans, and net present value. 
All the software templates have five 
softkeys (called "action keys" in the 
Workslate) at the bottom of the dis- 
play that correspond to the keyboard 
function keys. When no softkeys are 
displayed, a function key calls up its 
labeled function. When softkeys are 
displayed, the corresponding func- 
tion key calls into action a softkey 



54 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



function. However, with the use of 
the green Special key (at the bottom 
of the keyboard), the labeled func- 
tions can always be accessed. 

The photos show that green labels 
are assigned to many keys other than 
the function keys and that green 
characters are next to some of the 
keys. Pressing the Special key along 
with a second key produces the 
result labeled in green next to the sec- 
ond key. 

A row of dedicated keys on the left 
side of the keyboard includes the 
On/Off control and the traditional 
Shift key. The Cancel and Options 
keys work with the software. Cancel 
rescinds a command or returns you 
to a previous layer of softkey func- 
tions; Options calls up three sets of 
softkey commands, including an 
On/Off toggle for the keyboard click. 
(More on these options in the soft- 
ware section.) 

The Worksheet key to the right of 
Options is used to move between 
worksheets. Pressing this key pro- 
duces softkeys labeled with work- 
sheet names. 

The familiar Return (or Enter or 
left-legged arrow) key has been 
moved to the bottom row (to the right 
of the space bar) and relabeled Do It. 

The numeric keypad, to the right 
of the typewriter keyboard, has num- 
bers through 9 and dedicated keys 
for addition, subtraction, multi- 
plication, division, decimal point, 
and calculation (formula or =). A 
variety of other characters often used 
in formulas, such as parentheses, 
brackets, and less-than and greater- 
than signs, appear on the keypad in 
green and can be accessed with help 
from the Special key. 

The numeric keyboard can be re- 
configured as a telephone keypad 
rather than a calculator by using one 
of the Options softkeys, and Con- 
vergent Technologies provides an ap- 
propriate overlay. 

People who make their living with 
typewriter keyboards rather than 
numeric keypads will find this key- 
board inconvenient. A typewriter it 
isn't. The Return key, period, and 
apostrophe, for example, are in the 
wrong places, and there is no right 
Shift key. However, this keyboard 




Photo 2: The Workslate options. The battery-powered plotter can form 40 to 80 characters 
in four colors on a line or print them sideways for extrn-unde spreadsheets. The Metric con- 
verter template on the screen comes on the Travel Taskware tape. 



should be fine for two-finger typists 
and occasional note-takers. 

Display 

The 16-line by 46-character LCD 
was designed by Convergent Tech- 
nologies and built in Japan by a com- 
pany Convergent Technologies won't 
identify (it's neither Sharp nor Ep- 
son). The software uses the top line 
of the display as a status line telling 
you the name of the worksheet, the 
contents of a cell, the percentage of 
memory remaining, and today's date 
. and time. (Remember, there's really 
only one application— you're always 
in a spreadsheet program.) The 
status line may also contain a phone 
icon, an alarm message, and a tape 
counter if appropriate. The bottom 
three lines are used for the softkeys 
(lines 15 and 16) and system 
messages or prompts (line 14). 

The display is easy to read, and 
contrast can be adjusted. With a dis- 
play size of more than half that of a 
desktop monitor, several spreadsheet 
rows and columns can be viewed on 
the screen at once. Scrolling is by line 
or page. 



Microprocessor 

The Workslate uses the Hitachi 
6303 microprocessor, a low-power 
CMOS (complementary metal-oxide 
semiconductor) version of the 8-bit 
Motorola 6800. This central processor 
was chosen for its ability to move 
blocks and its onboard I/O ports. 
Clock speed is 1.228 MHz. 

Memory and Power Supply 

The Workslate comes with 64K 
bytes of ROM and 16K bytes of RAM . 
One spreadsheet with 16K bytes of 
data or up to five spreadsheets with 
a total of 16K bytes of data can be resi- 
dent in RAM. The amount that can 
be stored in RAM depends on actual 
data entered into a spreadsheet, not 
the number of cells in the spread- 
sheet. The 16K bytes of stored data 
could, for example, be in 1000 cells, 
each with 16 bytes, or in 2000 cells, 
each with 8 bytes. RAM memory is 
saved whether the machine is on or 
off. Power can be supplied with four 
AA batteries, an external A/C 
adapter/recharger, or an optional 
nickel-cadmium power pack. One 
backup button battery protects 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



55 



memory for up to two months. Warn- 
ing messages indicate when to replace 
main and backup batteries. The max- 
imum power requirement is 1 watt. 
Standard microcassette tapes pro- 
vide externa] storage for audio and 
digital information. The built-in dual- 
track microcassette recorder from 
Olympus can store 30 minutes of 
audio or 5 worksheets (80K bytes) on 
each side of a tape. Normally, audio 
is stored on one side of a tape and 
digital information on the other. 
Worksheets, however, can have 1 
minute of voice annotation on the 
same side of a tape. Users can listen 
to this recording while worksheet 
data .is being loaded into RAM. A 
typical 16K-byte spreadsheet can be 
loaded into RAM in about 60 sec- 
onds. The transfer rate to tape is 2400 
bps, and data is stored in a density 
of 2560 bits per inch (bpi). 

Communications 

Both voice and data communica- 
tions capabilities were given very 
high priority in the Workslate design. 



The machine comes with a 300-bps 
internal LSI (large-scale integration) 
modem and can dial in Touch-Tone or 
pulse mode. The Workslate comes 
with a phone cable and has two 
phone plugs in the back. Workslates 
can be plugged into a standard 
modular telephone jack or connected 
in series between the wall and a stan- 
dard telephone. 

The Workslate comes 

with a phone cable 

and has two phone 

plugs in the back. 

In data mode, modem/phone func- 
tions include auto-dial, auto-answer, 
manual answer, manual originate, 
acoustic coupler, and data-to-talk 
mode-switching. Voice mode gives 
you auto-dial, auto-answer with 
taped message, manual voice answer, 
speaker phone, call holding, conver- 
sation recording/playback to phone, 
and talk-to-data mode-switching. The 



Workslate can answer the phone and 
play a message tape, but it can't 
record phone messages. Chances are, 
though, you would keep the machine 
with you rather than use it as a tele- 
phone answering machine. 

Communications can be unat- 
tended. Terminal configurations in- 
clude XON/XOFF, DTR/CTS (with an 
optional I/O box), or "no'' hand- 
shake; even, odd, zero, one, binary 
(for receiving 8-bit code) or no pari- 
ty; character echo on or off; and line 
termination with crlf, cr, or If. 
Acoustic coupler, answer-back 
password memory, send/receive 
security, and single-keystroke 
transmission of user-defined strings 
are also available. Worksheets are 
represented in 7-bit ASCII; 8-bit 
codes (such as line drawings) are sent 
masked down to 7 bits and surround- 
ed by tildes. 

The serial port can be used for 
9600-bps direct-connection data 
transfers. An optional I/O (input/out- 
put) box ($199) plugs into this port 
and provides 300-, 1200- , or 9600-bps 



Business 
Scientific 
Data 
Plotting 




"V 



Soft kit # 2 



Data Plotting Software for Micros- This 232 pg book/disk package contains 

1 8 programs in BASIC for processing and plotting data: Histograms, pie charts, 

log plots, regression, statistical analysis, curve fitting, barcharts, stock market 

charts, 3D views of surfaces, data management, applications to science, 

engineering and business. 

Special features include writing text over graphics, automatic scaling and 

axis labeling, automatic replotting when data is changed. 

Book contains program listing in Applesoft BASIC with theory, equations and 

full documentation. Disks contain same programs in Applesoft BASIC or IBMpc 

BASICA. Use the programs as-is or modify and combine for your own special 

applications. 

Please send DBook- $30.50 

QApplesoft Disk- $19.95 
QIBMpc BASICA Disk- $19.95 

Name 

Address 

City/State/Zip . 



D check enclosed 



D visa/mastercard 
expiration date_ 



call (617)934-0445 for faster delivery 
KERN PUBLICATIONS • P.O. Box1029BN • Duxbury, MA 02332 



Applied 
Statistics 
for Micros 




Softkit # 7 

Applied Statistics for Micros- This is a package of professional level 
statistics programs for use in business, science and engineering. Book contains 
program listings in BASIC alongside theory and documentation. Optional disk 
contains same programs in BASIC. 

Book gives clear, easy-to-read tutorial on errors, statistical distributions, 
hypothesis tests, variance, covariance, regression, response surfaces and 
time series. 22 programs calculate normal, chi-square, t and F distributions; 
variance with randomized blocks, Latin squares, factorials, response sur- 
faces. Hi-accuracy multi-linear regression program has data handling and transfor- 
mation Also programs for hypothesis testing, sorting and smoothing. Numerous 
practical applications. 

Assumes no prior knowledge of statistics. Used as a text for years at a leading 
university. 

Please send: DBook- $38 
D IBMpc BASICA Disk- $26 D Applesoft Disk- $26 DCP/M86 Disk- $26 

Name 

Address 

City/State/Zip 



□ check enclosed 



visa/mastercard 
^expiration date_ 



A. 



call (617)934-0445 for faster delivery 
KERN PUBLICATIONS • P.O. Box 1029BN • Duxbury, MA 02332 



56 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 255 on inquiry card. 



communications. Convergent Tech- 
nologies is currently working on soft- 
ware that will run on its other ma- 
chines as well as on the IBM Personal 
Computer to facilitate data transfer 
from Workslate to those machines. 

Printer 

The optional ($250) battery- 
powered portable plotter connects to 
the serial port and plots worksheets 
at a rate of about 8 characters per sec- 
ond. The Microprinter is 7 by 8V2 by 
IV2 inches and weighs less than 3 
pounds with batteries. It's powered 
by four AA alkaline batteries or a 
nickel-cadmium pack, has an A/C re- 
charger, uses roll paper, and comes 
with four colored pens. (Negative 
numbers print in red.) It can print 
40-character lines, 80 characters in 
condensed mode, or 90-degree side- 
ways characters for extra-wide 
spreadsheets. The printer is based on 
the pen mechanism developed by 
Alps, a Japanese corporation, but 
manufactured by Convergent Tech- 
nologies. 



The optional I/O box has RS-232C 
and Centronics ports and can be 
used to connect letter-quality or dot- 
matrix printers to the Workslate. 

Software 

The operating system is pro- 
prietary, multitasking, and invisible 
to the user. Multitasking lets you 
work with spreadsheet data while 
you're on the phone, printing, or 

The operating system 

is proprietary, 

multitasking, and 

invisible to the user. 

loading or saving data. You can create 
your own spreadsheet forms using a 
blank worksheet or start with one of 
the three ROM templates: memo 
pad, phone list, or time/calendar. 

The ROM templates are always 
available through the five function 
keys. If a displayed softkey label 
doesn't correspond to the matching 
function-key label, you just press the 



Special key and then the particular 
function key. 

Each ROM template has its own set 
of softkey functions. Memopad is 
used for audio or text and includes 
record, stop, play, forward, and 
reverse functions for controlling the 
tape. The default column width in 
this template is set at 40 characters for 
note-taking. Text is entered one line 
at a time; there is no word wrap. The 
contents of a cell (one line of text) can 
be moved to an edit line for word- 
processing functions such as insert- 
ing characters. 

The Phone List template controls 
communications. Softkey functions 
include dial, answer, speaker, ter- 
minal, and hang-up on the top level. 
Selecting /y terminar brings up pause, 
send, receive, talk, and hang-up soft- 
keys. The Workslate draw option was 
used in this template to create divi- 
sions between columns. Column A, 
titled Name, is 15 characters wide; 
Column B is a vertical line (draw 
character) 1 character wide; Column 
C, Phone Number, is 13 characters 



Graphics 

for the 

IBMpc 
Apple II 




Softkits #5,6 



This is a spectacular collection of graphics programs for the IBMpc and the 
Apple II or He. It contains more than 60 programs in BASICA. They're listed 
beside theory and equations in a 280 page self-teaching guide. An optional 
program disk is available. 

These programs will show you how to write your own 2D and 3D graphics 
software and they will give you many useful, ready-to-run graphics routines 
to incorporate in your own software. 

Programs are menu driven and modular. They show how to use elementary 
graphics commands and do 2D and 3D translation, rotation, scaling, clipp- 
ing, windowing, hidden line removal, shading, perspective, hi-speed anima- 
tion, with applications" to science, business, engineering and games. 
Adopted as a text in many leading universities. We know you will be pleased. 

Please send: 

□ IBMpc Book- $30.50 DIBMpc BASICA Disk- $21.50 
□ Apple Book- $30.50 □ Applesoft Disk- $21.50 

Name 

Address 

City/State/Zip 



□ check enclosed 



□ visa/mastercard 
expiration date_ 



call (617)934-0445 for faster delivery 
KERN PUBLICATIONS • P.O. Box 1029BN • Duxbury, MA 02332 



Designer 




Softkit it 8 

This is a professional 3 dimensional graphics design program. With Designer 30 
you can interactively create 3D drawings on the screen, rotate in 3 dimen- 
sions, enlarge, view in perspective, store on disk, recall and update. 
Run Designer - a cursor appears on the screen with a set of 3 dimensional 
coordinate axes. Move the cursor around in 3 dimensions identifying node 
points, lines and points defining curves. Curves fit through points using a 
cubic spline algorithm. See your 3D picture being created on the screen. 
X,y,z coordinates are displayed as the cursor moves. Then enlarge, rotate, 
store your 3D picture on disk, recall and modify. 

The picture stored on disk is a text file of node x.y.z coordinates and the 
lines and curves comprising the 3D object. Interface Designer 30 to other pro- 
grams through this disk file. Use Designer ° as a graphics pre-processor for 
your own applications software. 

Designer 30 is supplied on disk in machine language with a user's manual. 
Perfect for CAD/CAM applications. 

Please send □ Apple Deslgner 30 -$85 



□ IBMpc Designer - $85 



Name 

Address 

City/State/Zip . 



□ check enclosed 



□ visa/mastercard 
expiration date_ 



call (617)934-0445 for faster delivery 
y^KERN PUBLICATIONS • P.O. Box1029BN • Duxbury, MA 02332 



Circle 256 on inquiry card. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 57 




Photo 3: The Worksite's calendar is resident in ROM and can be assigned to any Worksheet 
with the Time function key. The user-modifiable template has formulas for a two-week calen- 
dar. Reminder alarms can be set for any appointment. Battery power keeps RAM memory 
active, and a backup battery provides an extra two months of memory protection. 



wide; D is again a vertical line; and 
E, Company, is 10 characters wide. 
The Calendar (or Time) template 
(see photo 3) is designed to hold a 
two-week calendar. Column A is 
used for morning times, B for dates 
and date formulas, C for afternoon 
times, and D for the day of the week. 
Date arithmetic is built-in so that 
when a current date is typed in to cell 
Bl, the Workslate calculates the re- 
maining dates. The sof tkey functions 
are alarm, date, set time, timer, and 
reset. When the "timer" function is 
set, the Workslate tracks the length 
of a phone call. You can then enter 
this time into a client billing spread- 
sheet. 

ROM templates can easily be modi- 
fied by a user and their sof tkey func- 
tions can be assigned to any work- 
sheet. Worksheets can use 128 col- 
umns and 128 rows; however, the 
maximum spreadsheet size is 1000 
cells. Worksheets without ROM 
templates attached can be Standard 
(no softkey labels assigned) or 
Finance (financial formula softkeys 
assigned). Cells can hold words, 
numbers, dates, times, formulas, or 
"draw" characters. 



The depth of the spreadsheet capa- 
bility belies the size of the computer. 
More than 40 formula functions (see 
table 2) are available for any cell, and 
more than 30 editing/formatting op- 
tions can be accessed by pressing the 
Options function key at the bottom 
of the keyboard. 

There are two methods of entering 
formulas. In the interactive mode, the 
system builds formulas such as 
average, minimum, maximum, total, 
and copy cell for you depending on 
the softkey selected. You can enter 
your own formulas in direct entry 
mode. Cell references may be specific 
cells, a number of individual cells, a 
range, or any combination. Relative 
cell references are entered by point- 
ing to a cell. If a relative reference 
changes, the worksheet is auto- 
matically readjusted. 

Options are organized into three 
sets of five, each selected by using the 
function key corresponding to the 
softkey label. Each set of options has 
additional layers of softkey functions. 
Within this structure you can sort col- 
umns of data in ascending or de- 
scending alpha or numeric order; 
copy, move, delete, and format data 



in cells; draw lines and boxes using 
and expanding ASCII characters 
(photo 2); recalculate a worksheet; 
specify printer-pen colors and 
margins; set communications pro- 
tocol and password protection; 
change column width; and create or 
link vertical and horizontal windows. 
The Workslate has no Help func- 
tion. The project team decided at the 
beginning that the software design 
would have to be understandable 
without additional on-screen help. 

Designing the Workslate 

The Worksite's design reflects an 
enormous amount of end-user inter- 
action during development and the 
company's intention from the begin- 
ning to design a machine to do a few 
specific tasks very well. 

Matt Sanders, vice-president and 
general manager of Convergent Tech- 
nologies' new Advanced Information 
Products Division, said the project 
began for him about a year and a half 
ago. At that time, as the sole 
employee of the new division, he was 
charged with developing a computer 
for the low-end market. His first 
responsibility was to develop pro- 
posals for the next generation of 
machines. He began researching the 
project by wandering through corpo- 
rations and from one small "Main 
Street" business to another asking 
people what they were doing with 
their computers. 

It became obvious to him that 
while clerical and administrative peo- 
ple were using word-processing 
functions, managers and proprietors 
were using spreadsheets. In addition, 
this latter group of business profes- 
sionals spent much of its time on the 
telephone and managing its calen- 
dars. While the managers were in- 
terested in communications to larger 
machines and databases, they were 
not at all interested in word process- 
ing. Sanders became convinced that 
an electronic-spreadsheet machine 
with integrated time-management 
and communication functions could 
be designed and targeted specifical- 
ly for this audience. (This decision to 
build hardware and software in 
tandem, starting from the ground up, 
probably accounts for some of the 



58 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Worksite's surprisingly quick pro- 
cessing speed.) 

Sanders's second responsibility 
and what he found the hardest part 
of the project was hiring the project 
team. He said you begin with a vi- 
sion of the team and the machine in 
your mind, but once you begin hir- 
ing people, you find you're complete- 
ly wrong. "You hire the first person 
and suddenly it's not your product, 
it's the two of yours. Then you look 
for the third person. The result is that 
the product gets better and changes 
right in front of your eyes." The Ultra 
team (as the project came to be 
called) is composed of people hired 
away from Savin, Texas Instruments, 
Motorola, Atari, and Hewlett- 
Packard. 

The Ultra team started by taking its 
ideas on the road, testing the Work- 
slate concept with groups of poten- 
tial end users in New York, San Fran- 
cisco, and Chicago. These one-day 
brainstorming sessions evolved into 
an ongoing interaction. Local mem- 
bers of the users group have partici- 
pated on a weekly basis, stopping by 
Convergent Technologies' offices 
nights, weekends, and at lunch time 
to try out the latest software and 
hardware designs. Long-distance 
communications have been kept up 
through newsletters, questionnaires 
("Rate the following 10 functions in 
order of priority"), and exercises 
("Imagine you're a copywriter 
describing this product"). 

Karen Toland, marketing manager 
for Convergent Technologies, acted as 
a liaison between the user groups 
and the software-development team. 
She noted that being able to cite ac- 
tual examples from end users gave 
her additional support when she was 
bargaining for changes with software 
engineers constrained by 64K bytes 
of ROM and aggressive schedules. 
End users were no longer invisible. 
They were in the next office. The 
result of this iterative process is evi- 
dent in the simplicity and depth of 
the software, in labels such as Do It 
assigned to dedicated keyboard func- 
tion keys, the use of softkey labels, 
and the integration of communica- 
tions and time management within 
spreadsheet applications. 



® 

Abs 

ACRS 



Alarm 

And 

Average 

Count 

Date 

Decline 

Delay 
Dial 

FutrValue 

GoTo 

If 

Index 

Int 



IsErr 
Keep 



Line 
LookUp 

Max 

Min 

Mod 
NPV 

Not 

Or 

Payment 

PresValu 

Round 

Send 

Straight 

SumYears 

Total 
WaitFor 
; or - 

/ 

< 
> 

< = 

> = 



Puts dollar sign at beginning of formula result. Does not convert to dollar 
decimal position. 

Specifies cell reference to be absolute, not relative. 

Returns absolute value of argument. Single parameter is numeric value, cell 
reference, or formula. 

Accelerated depreciation. Calculates depreciation value based on number of 
periods, percentage rate, cost, investment-tax-credit percentage, and period 
number. Any value may be cell reference. 

Sets date and time when alarm should activate. Alarm may be set to beep 
when conditions entered in formula are met. 

Returns logical value true if all specified argument values are true. Other- 
wise, returns false. Argument entries must be logical values. 
Calculates numerical mean average of all cells contained in given argument. 
If no numeric cells are in the list, the average is zero. 
Returns number of cells that contain numbers or formulas that evaluate to 
numbers in a specified area. 

Value of cell is equal to current system date when recalculation is performed. 
There are no parameters for this function. 

Declining balance. Indicates specific depreciation value based on number of 
periods, percentage rate, book value, and period number. 
Number of seconds to delay the system from sending information. 
Dials the number supplied. A second parameter determines the nature of the 
call, talk, or data. Default is "talk" if no parameter is supplied. 
Calculates future value in interest calculations based on percentage rate, 
periods, payment, and present value. 
Moves pointer to a specified cell reference. 
Describes logical value, then value, and optional else value. 
Returns value of cell selected by a relative numeric subscript reference 
within a specified range of cells (area and single cell reference). The result is 
the contents of that cell. 

Integer. Returns argument as a whole number. Calculated as nearest whole 
number less than the value entered. 

Returns the logical value true if argument is any of the error values. 
Requires four parameters. First describes where incoming information should 
be stored in a worksheet. The next three describe the exact location of infor- 
mation as it would display in terminal window in terms of beginning line 
number, starting character position, and number of characters per line of the 
area to be kept. 

Replicates a specific character a specific number of times. 
Searches for arguments in first row or column of area reference as table. 
Returns contents of the cell from the last row or column of table. Numeric 
value and range parameters are required. 

Produces largest arithmetic value in area specified. Area may be specified 
by a list or range of cell references. 

Produces the least arithmetic value in area specified. Area may be specified 
by a list or range of cell references. 
Returns remainder of dividend divided by divisor. 

Produces present value of a series of periodic future receipts, given a dis- 
count rate. The two parameters are percentage rate and list. 
Returns the opposite of the logical value argument. 
Returns the logical value true if any value in the list is true. 
Calculates the amount of payments based on periods, percentage rate, pres- 
ent value, and future value. 

Calculates present value in interest calculations based on percentage rate, 
periods, payment, and future value. 
Rounds a value to the number of digits specified. 
Transmits a string of information. Used in sign-on functions. 
Straight-line depreciation calculation based on periods, book value, salvage 
value, and period number. 

Sum of the year's depreciation calculation based on periods, book value, 
salvage value, and period number. 
Calculates the total amount of area specified. 
Waits for a specified string to be sent to the system. 
Pause 
Date 
Time 

Less than 
Greater than 
Equal to 
Not equal to 
Percent 

Less than or equal to 
Greater than or equal to 



Table 2: The Workslate includes more than 40 function formulas that can be used in a 
direct-entry formula mode. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 59 



Trends 

It will be interesting to watch the 
development of portable computing. 
The Workslate machine comes to 
market a short time after the intro- 
duction of the first battery-powered 
portables and points in a direction 
different from that of the full- 
functioned Dynabook concept that 
the Gavilan and Grid portables try to 
approach. The concept of designing 
a machine specifically to handle the 
most important tasks for a particular 
segment of the population could easi- 
ly be carried into other areas. An ob- 
vious choice would be to target a 
machine for people who work with 
words. It wouldn't be a surprise if the 
Workslate team began putting its 
energies into designing a "word" 
slate or perhaps a slate for students, 
doctors, or architects. 

In last month's BYTE West Coast, 
Trip Hawkins of Electronic Arts said 
that one reason he built Electronic 
Arts on the model of individual pro- 
ducers and artists was because the 
framework of large corporations often 



inhibits the quick development of in- 
novative products. Indeed, as you 
look through this month's BYTE, it 
becomes apparent that the only way 
IBM Personal Computer peripheral 
and compatible manufacturers can 
keep their edge is if they can move 
faster than IBM. 

Convergent Technologies, primar- 
ily known as a manufacturer of mul- 
tifunctional workstations for the 
OEM (original equipment manufac- 
turer) market, took a radical, if not 
entirely new, approach when it sent 
Sanders on his mission. The Ultra 
team had the best of both worlds. Its 
members had the advantage of "start- 
up" enthusiasm and corporate finan- 
cial backing. The entire Workslate 
project took little more than a year. 

The fate of the Workslate will be 
due at least in part to the contribu- 
tions from end users drawn into the 
product design early in the project. 
Sanders called the Ultra team a 
"talented group of software engi- 
neers, marketing, human-interface, 
and testing people all working as a 



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team on behalf of the end users." He 
said that a clinical laboratory and 
cognitive psychological approach 
rather than an interactive approach to 
design probably would have resulted 
in a different product— perhaps a 
more efficient one. But Sanders went 
on to say that the company decided 
it was going to have fun. "We did it 
grass roots. We wanted to do it 
interactively." 

If the Workslate is a resounding 
success, it's possible that other com- 
panies will borrow Convergent 
Technologies' idea of small design 
teams working directly with potential 
users to design products specifically 
for vertical markets. 

Intel's BPK70-4 Bubble Storage 
Subsystem 

Whatever direction the portable 
computing field takes, it will un- 
doubtedly be influenced by Intel's re- 
cent announcement of a price drop 
for its BPK70-4 1-megabit (128K-byte) 
Bubble Storage Subsystem. 

Bubble-memory storage falls some- 
where between RAM and disk stor- 
age in application. Like RAM, bub- 
bles offer compact, solid-state read/ 
write memory storage, but they're 
much slower. Bubble memory is six 
times faster than floppy disks with 
one-third the power requirements 
and 1000 times better error rates, and, 
like disks, the memory is nonvolatile. 
But until now, bubble systems have 
been too expensive for wide applica- 
tion such as mass-storage memory. 
As a result, bubble memory has often 
been the forgotten stepsister in the 
microcomputer industry. 

Intel's 1979 price for its bub- 
ble-memory system was a whopping 
$2500. Today's volume price for the 
Bubble Storage Subsystem is $199 (in 
production lots of 5000), and a two- 
step, two-year price-reduction pro- 
gram will drop the tab to a guaran- 
teed $99 (for lots of 25,000) by the 
fourth quarter of 1984. That will mark 
the first time bubble memory will 
cost less than $100. 

With a BPK70-4 system you get 1 
megabit of nonvolatile, solid-state, 
read/write memory and a mean-time- 
between-f ailure rate of 40 years with 
a system operating continuously at a 



60 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 454 on inquiry card. 



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Photo 4: The 4-megabit Helix bubble-memory board plugs into an IBM Personal Computer slot for quiet, nonvolatile mass storage. The 
Helix PCBM is switch-selectable (on-board ROM BIOS bootstraps DOS from the bubble or floppy disk) and is configured as a fixed disk. 



temperature of 55 degrees centigrade. 
Average access time is 40 millisec- 
onds. 

The "subsystem" consists of a 7110 
1-megabit bubble-storage device ac- 
companied by a set of Intel's LSI sup- 
port chips that run the storage unit 
and interface with the micropro- 
cessor. The set includes a 7220-1 con- 
troller, a formatter/sense amplifier, 
current pulse generator, and driver 
circuits. The bubble-memory sub- 
system can operate in parallel for 
faster memory transfer or multi- 
plexed for low power consumption. 
A software program acts as a conduit 
for information between the bubble 
system and the external system. 

An additional controller, the 
7220-4, which supports up to eight 
BPK70-4 Bubble Storage Subsystems, 
can be purchased separately and is 
also being reduced in price. 

The next price step for Intel is a tar- 
geted $150 tab by 1986 for its 7114 
4-megabit bubble system. The 7114 
will be compatible in form and func- 
tion with the 1-megabit kit for easy 
upgrade design paths. By that time, 
a new generation of bubble devices, 
built around the 16-megabit bubble, 
should make its first appearance. 

Because of their high price, reli- 
ability, and immunity to environ- 



mental stresses, bubbles have been 
used primarily for mass storage in 
military, manufacturing, and indus- 
trial applications. They've found 
homes in battlefield command and 
communications terminals, factory- 
floor robots, aircraft navigational sys- 
tems, and numerical control ma- 
chines for machine-tool manufac- 
turers. 

A bubbles 

nonvolatility eliminates 

the need for backup 

batteries and lowers 

the power 

consumption. 

Price reductions to less than $300 
per unit in 1982 have helped bubbles 
move into point-of-sale and banking 
terminals and portable computers, 
notably the Grid Compass (with 3 
megabits of bubble memory) and the 
Teleram. 

Bubble memory has many advan- 
tages over tape and disk storage for 
portable manufacturers and users. A 
bubble's nonvolatility eliminates the 
need for backup batteries used to 
protect RAM memory and lowers the 
power consumption. (The Teleram 
uses power cycling techniques to 



shut off power to the bubble when it 
is not accessed.) With no moving 
parts in the system, problems caused 
by dust, vibration, shock, and wide 
temperature ranges disappear, reduc- 
ing maintenance problems and in- 
creasing reliability. In addition, be- 
cause the system is protected with a 
sleeve of magnetic shielding material, 
it can be used in the vicinity of strong 
magnetic fields without damage. The 
density and compactness of bubble 
systems make 128K bytes of mass 
storage easily possible in a briefcase 
computer, and the absence of disk 
drives reduces a portable's weight. 

Grid's solution to the problem of 
how to load programs into a com- 
puter that (initially) didn't have a disk 
drive was to have Compass owners 
use the built-in modem to load pro- 
grams over telephone lines from a 
Grid central computer. 

Loading programs is not a prob- 
lem, though, when bubbles are used 
in networked office systems. In this 
type of system, bubbles can provide 
a large amount of working storage for 
application programs and data load- 
ed from large . computers into 
workstations that may or may not be 
portable. It's possible that we'll see 
portable workstations plugged into 
an information network during the 



62 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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VEDIT is completely customizable -- it easily 
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VEDIT cuts programming time in 
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1955 Pauline Blvd., Suite 200 



Circle 110 on inquiry card. 



CompuView 

PRODUCTS, INC. 

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103 (313) 996-1299 Telex - 701821 
Orders: P.O. Box 1349, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 

BYTE November 1983 



day and riding home in a briefcase at 
night. 

Helix PCBM 

Helix Laboratories of San Diego, 
California, has announced the first 
bubble-memory board for the IBM 
Personal Computer (photo 4). The 
4-megabit Helix PCBM uses four In- 
tel 7110-4 1-megabit bubble memories 
and offers 512K bytes of nonvolatile, 
high-speed mass storage for the IBM 
PC. Its operation is completely silent 
and several times-faster than a flop- 
py disk. The 4-megabit Helix PCBM 
will retail for $1500, and a 2-megabit 
(256K-byte) board will cost $1000. 
When Intel's price reductions go in- 
to effect in 1984, bubble memory will 
become highly competitive with 
RAM disks— comparable in cost, 
slower, but nonvolatile. 

The Cygnet Communications 
Cosystem 

Cygnet Technologies of Sunnyvale, 
California, introduced the Cygnet 
Communications Cosystem at the 
IBM PC Faire in San Francisco in 
August. The Cosystem (see photo 5) 
takes up a little more space than a 
telephone but provides a much 
greater range of communications. 
The Cosystem is designed to work 
concurrently with a personal com- 
puter—at first release, the IBM PC. 

The Cosystem contains its own Z80 
central processor and 90K bytes of 
RAM, including 64K bytes of battery- 
backed CMOS RAM for storing 
messages. While the user performs 
normal operations on the PC, the Co- 
system will perform background 
communications— automatically re- 
ceiving or sending messages. The 
Cosystem automatically dials tele- 
phone numbers from a directory of 
400 names. If a number is busy, the 
Cosystem will automatically redial it. 
A built-in text editor permits compos- 
ing messages, a calendar/clock pro- 
vides for scheduling appointments 
and receiving automatic reminders, 
and communications management 
provides unattended sending and re- 
ceiving of electronic mail, including 
distribution lists and copies to listed 
parties. Communications software 
emulates 15 common terminals and 




Photo 5: The Cygnet Communications Cosyste?n works with an IBM Personal Computer (and 
some compatibles), extending the PCs communications capability by providing si?7iultaneous 
voice and data cotiviwnications, unattended automatic electronic mail, automated database 
access, and intelligent telephone features. 



supports file transfers and attach- 
ment of data files such as spread- 
sheets to electronic mail. The Cosys- 
tem permits simultaneous spoken 
and textual communications and 
three-way teleconferencing. PBX 
functions are also included. 

With a built-in 1200-bps 212A 
modem, the Cosystem costs $1845. 
With a 300-bps modem, the price is 
$1495. A speaker phone costs an ad- 
ditional $150. 

That's a fairly high price, but when 
you consider all the features that the 
Cygnet Cosystem provides, the price 
seems more reasonable. Its features 
include a telephone, an auto-dial/ 
auto-answer modem, sophisticated 
communications software, concur- 
rent operating system capabilities, a 
data buffer, and PBX (private branch 
exchange) functions. The only other 



feature that you might need is a 
voice-synthesis module that could 
politely tell unwanted callers that you 
were "in a meeting." 

One of the nicest things about the 
Cosystem is that you apparently can 
interrupt work in a program on the 
PC, answer a telephone call (voice or 
data) on the Cosystem, and then 
return automatically to your previous 
place in the program. The Cosystem 
thus offers personal computer 
owners an easy way to move into 
some very sophisticated telephone 
management and electronic commu- 
nications. And all of this is accom- 
plished without tying up the com- 
puter's central processor. ■ 

Barbara Robertson, a West Coast technical editor 
of BYTE, can be reached at McGraw-Hill, 425 Bat- 
ten/ St., San Francisco, CA 94111. 



64 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



User's Column 



The Latest from Chaos Manor 

A discussion of disk formats leads this month's foray into microland 



As Alice said, things flow here so. 
If that's true in microland, it's par- 
ticularly so here at Chaos Manor. We 
try to stay out at the edge of what's 
happening. It's not always easy. One 
thing I've always insisted on is the 
best possible software, particularly 
for operating systems. I hate it when 
systems crash with text in them. 

Alas, it's not easy for users to 
understand what's going on inside 
the operating system. Digital Re- 
search's new CP/M documentation is 
greatly superior to the gibberish it 
used to publish, but the intricacies of 
the CBIOS (customized basic input/ 
output system) can be arcane indeed 
and are usually well beyond me. 

Fortunately, I don't have to know all 
these things. We've had Tony Pietsch. 
The good news is that Bill Godbout 
has put Tony to work doing software 
for Compupro; by the time you read 
this, the standard CBIOS that comes 
with Compupro equipment will be 
what I'm using now. 

That carries a number of pluses. 
For example, you can do amazing 
things to reconfigure your keyboard. 
Terminals operate reliably at 19,200 
bits per second. It's now easy to tell 
the system that you have a "Silicon 
Disk" (see apology below). I can 
operate 5V4-inch as well as 8-inch 
disk drives. Moreover, it's simple to 
change things around. You can do it 
inside the CBIOS, or you can change 
an external Submit program that runs 
automatically on start-up. Either 
works, and it sure makes things con- 
venient. 

The good news is that Tony's 
CBIOS will be standard with Com- 



by Jerry Pournelle 

pupro equipment bought through its 
Systems Centers. It will become the 
standard BIOS for all Compupro 
equipment, including previous stuff. 
Updates will be available for those 
who have older Compupro equip- 
ment. In addition, the company in- 
tends to set up a CBBS (computer- 
ized bulletin board system) to help 
distribute new BIOS ideas, but only 
on the understanding that this sort 
of thing isn't supported by Compu- 
pro itself. 

Things are a bit up in the air on 
this; it's also possible that Workman 
and Associates will distribute a heavi- 
ly supported version of Tony's BIOS 
(Workman will supply the support). 
Watch this column for more details. 
In any event, the CBIOS will come 
complete with source code, and 
you'll need Digital Research's RMAC 
to assemble it. Previous versions had 
to be assembled with Sorcim's ACT 
assembler. 

Let This Be a Lesson to You . . . 

Tony brought over the new CBIOS 
as soon as he's finished testing it. His 
machine is similar to our Golem: an 
8085 Dual Processor with lots of extra 
memory and various other bells and 
whistles. He'd even borrowed my 
5V4-inch disk controller and drives. 

It was simple enough setting it up 
for the Golem, and while he was do- 
ing it he told me of some of the more 
interesting problems he'd run into, 
such as a bug in the disk-controller 
chip that interacted with the disk- 
format routines to cause real quality- 
assurance problems. That, however, 
was all fixed. 



The new CBIOS worked fine. Then 
came the bad news: Tony couldn't 
put the new system into Zeke II, the 
Compupro Z80 1 write with, because 
he hadn't had a Z80 to work with, 
and it would take a couple hours to 
set up and check out. 

There was only one answer to that. 
"Be my guest," I said. After a while 
he got tired of me hanging over his 
shoulder, and I went in to watch The 
A-Team. About midnight all was well, 
we tested everything, and he went 
home. 

I now had a new Systems Master 
Disk for Zeke II. Naturally I wanted 
to transfer a bunch of the programs 
from the old Systems Master over to 
it. Then I'd copy the whole works on- 
to the old Systems Master, archive 
the new disk, and use the old one as 
the working copy. I expect you can 
guess what happened next. 

Late at night. Tired. Through an 
asinine series of mistakes, I managed 
to reformat the new disk. As soon as 
it happened I knew, and despite a 
frantic stab at the Reset button I was 
too late. Frantic call to Tony. 

He hadn't made a copy. 

We shouted "Rule One!" at each 
other a couple of times, then 
laughed, although there wasn't any- 
thing very funny about it. More than 
two hours' work was gone, and Tony 
was leaving town. The result was that 
I had the new system on the Dual 
Processor, and the old one on Zeke 
II, and I had a week to contemplate 
the error of my ways. 

Rule One: Thou Shalt Make A 
Backup Copy Immediately. 

Rule Two: Thou Shalt Not Insert 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 65 



The Only Master In Thy Machine Ex- 
cept For The Purpose Of Making A 
Backup Copy. 

On these two rules hang all the law 
and the profits. 

One Overdue Apology 

As regular readers know, I'm 
enamored of disk emulators— that 
marvelous trick whereby you con- 
vince your computer that a lot of 
memory is really a disk drive. It does 
wonders for spelling checkers, 
speeds up long assemblies, and in 
general makes life a lot easier. Even- 
tually, I suppose, "memory drives" 
will be replaced by hard disks; but at 
the moment they're sufficiently good 
that I've been able to wait while hard- 
disk prices fall (and hard-disk soft- 
ware gets better). 

Comes now the apology. In tracing 
the story of disk emulators, I've 
sometimes mentioned Mr. Peter 
Cheesewright and his Microcosm Re- 
search company in London, but alas, 
I've often forgotten; worse, I've even 
tended to use his product name, Sili- 
con Disk, as if it were a generic name 
for disk emulators. 

That's less than fair. To the best of 
my knowledge, Mr. Cheesewright's 
Silicon Disk was the first disk 
emulator available for microcom- 
puters. I've never used Silicon Disk 
(a great name, that), but I have used 
his Microcache, and I'm quite im- 
pressed; and people I respect tell me 
his Silicon Disk works quite well also. 

I know better, and I'll try not to do 
it again. My apologies. 

Ye Immortal Gods, 
Where Are We? 

Dr. Allan Trimpi and I are working 
on a book. He doesn't have a word 
processor. I, however, wasn't about to 
work with Stone Age tools like type- 
written pages, so I told him I'd lend 
him one of the computers floating 
about Chaos Manor. 

Comes now the problem of select- 
ing a machine. What's needed is an 
easy means of getting his files onto 
disks readable by Zeke II, since I'm 
pretty set in my ways. Of course, that 
ought to be easy. 

Hah. Easy it wasn't. Nobody's ma- 
chines read other people's disk for- 



mats. This situation is plain getting 
out of hand! 

There is some hope in sight, but it's 
limited. A program called Uniform 
comes with the Kaypro II. It will let 
the Kaypro II read, write to, and for- 
mat many single-sided 5V4-inch disk 
formats. However, that presents a 
number of problems even so. 

Example: Dr. Trimpi did much of 
his preliminary work with the Kay- 
pro II. Now we needed to make 
8-inch disks for Zeke II to read. I 
asked my son Alex and his partner 
Barry Workman to help out. If I'd 
known what I was getting them in- 
to, I might not have. 

Step One: the Kaypro II will read 
and write, but not format, 5V4-inch 
disks readable by the Xerox 820 
(which is also Cromemco CDOS- 
compatible). They used Ralph, 
Barry's Lobo Max 80, to format some 
disks in Xerox 820 format. (This step 
is no longer needed; Uniform now 
allows the Kaypro II to format disks 
for the Xerox 820.) 

Step Two: put a system track, and 
PIP, onto each and every one of Dr. 
Trimpi's data disks. Now use PIP to 
transfer all the files from his disks (in 
the left drive) to the Xerox 820-f ormat 
data disk. 

Step Three: put the Xerox 820 disks 
back in Ralph and use PIP to transfer 
to 8-inch IBM single-sided single- 
density disks. These are readable by 
Zeke II. 

So far so good. There's worse . . . 

Oh No! 

We needed the Kaypro II before Dr. 
Trimpi was finished. However, we 
weren't using the Z-100, so we lent 
him that. Only one problem: getting 
his Kaypro II files onto the Z-100. That 
wasn't hard. 

The Z-100 will transfer files from an 
8-inch disk drive; just plug it into the 
8-inch drive connector on the back of 
the Z-100. 

This is easy except for one tricky 
point: when you boot up the Z-100, 
the 8-inch drives must be connected at 
that time. If they aren't— if you boot 
up and then connect the 8-inch 
drives— the Z-100 will never learn that 
the 8-inch drives exist even if you do 
Control-C until you starve. 



Note well: the Z-100 will write to 
Compupro-formatted 8-inch double- 
density disks, but the results are not 
always good. It will reliably write only 
to single-sided single-density IBM- 
format (3740/1) 8-inch disks. On the 
other hand, it will (almost always) 
read double-sided double-density 
disks, Compupro format. If you want 
to be utterly safe, transfer your files 
to single-sided double-density Com- 
pupro-format disks before reading 
them with the Z-100. That always 
works (although, alas, writing to 
them doesn't). 

Late addition: the Z-100 will reliably 
read and write 8-inch single-sided 
disks formatted by the Compupro 
Disk One Controller and the new 
Compupro Format program. You 
must select format 3, 8 tracks by 1024 
bytes, double-density. Other double- 
density formats are not reliably read. 

However: then we got a Kaypro 4, 
which has double-sided 5V4-inch 
disks. We decided to lend that to Dr. 
Trimpi. (Poor chap, he gets to check 
out the new machines.) Now, the 
Kaypro 4 will read Kaypro II disks. 
Just boot up as usual, and put the 
Kaypro II disk in the "B:" drive. All's 
well. 

Alas, he'd done a lot of work on the 
Z-100. We were recalling the Z-100 for 
tests with a new memory board. 
Nothing for it but to transfer his work 
to the Kaypro 4. 

Step One: transfer from Z-100 to 
8-inch disks. Easy. 

Step Two: make Xerox 820 disks on 
the Kaypro II using the Uniform pro- 
gram. 

Step Three: use the Lobo Max 80 
to transfer from 8-inch to the 5V4-inch 
Xerox 820-format disks. 

Step Four: transfer from Xerox for- 
mat to Kaypro II. Alternatively, you 
can boot up the Kaypro 4 as if it were 
a Kaypro II (i.e., using the Kaypro II 
boot disk in your Kaypro 4); this 
makes the Kaypro 4 believe it has 
only single-sided disks. Alas, the 
Kaypro 4 cannot read Xerox 
820-format disks, or indeed any other 
single-sided 5V4-inch disk except the 
Kaypro II— and it cannot run the Uni- 
form program unless you boot it up 
as a II. (Kaypro says it's fixing this 
Real Soon Now.) 



66 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Step Five: remove the Kaypro II- 
format disk from the 4; reboot the 4 
as a 4; use the Kaypro II disk as a data 
disk and use PIP to send the files 
from it to a Kaypro 4 disk. 

Step Six: take a long pull at the 
slivovitz . . . 

Whimper 

There are a few problems with all 
this. As an example, the Xerox 820 
format, which is the common format 
through which these transfers had to 
be made, holds only 80K bytes per 
disk. Because an IBM single-sided 
single-density disk holds 241K bytes, 
it takes quite a few of these transfer 
operations before you're done. Alex 
learned a lot of patience. 

There are also bugs, most of which 
are said to be fixed. 

The original distribution of Uni- 
form from Micro Solutions had a 
menu option to make a Z-100 single- 
sided disk (on the Kaypro II, which, 
recall, is a single-sided-disk ma- 
chine). Alas, it didn't do that. It made 
disks that the Kaypro could read and 
write, but the Z-100 could make no 
sense of them at all. 

This stopped direct transfer from 
the Z-100 to the Kaypro II. The bug 
is now fixed; owners of the old ver- 
sion can send in their original dis- 
tribution disks and receive the up- 
dated version with the bug fixed. 
Those who received Uniform with 
their Kaypro II need not bother: your 
version doesn't even offer the option 
of formatting Z-100 disks. You'll have 
to buy the new Uniform (which has 
15 formats) from Micro Solutions. 

In case you're wondering why we 
didn't use the Z-100 to format Z-100 
disks— I mean, it does seem reason- 
able, doesn't it?— you may be able to 
guess the answer. The Z-100 cannot 
format single-sided disks. It can read 
them. It can write to them. It just 
can't format them. 

You may recall that the Z-100 uses 
disk-controller circuitry very close to 
that of the Compupro Dual Pro- 
cessor—which is identical to the IBM 
PC disk format. Thus, one ought to 
be able to read Z-100 ZDOS disks in 
an IBM PC, and vice versa, and in- 
deed one can. You just can't format 
single-sided disks in a Z-100 (double- 



sided disks are no problem). There is 
one expensive solution: you can get 
an external single-sided 5 % -inch disk 
drive for your Z-100. Otherwise, 
forget thj whole thing. 

Tony tells me there's another solu- 
tion: you can install a switch that 
makes the Z-100 believe one of its 
drives is single-sided. This is way out 
of my department, though, and I 
mention it only for completeness. 

A final note, in case anyone's still 
listening: the Morrow Micro Decision 
will read and write Osborne 1 single- 
density disks. However, if you make 
one with the Lobo, although the 
Osborne will read and write to that 
disk, the Morrow can't. I have no ex- 
planation, and by now I'm beyond 
emotion; I merely report . . . 

Help at Last 

There is a remedy to this, at least 
for me. After considerable persua- 
sion, Tony worked into his new BIOS 
the capability for supporting a whole 
raft of different 5V4-inch disk formats. 
All you need is a 5V4-inch disk-con- 



troller board and a 5V4-inch disk drive 
(plus, of course, a Compupro Dual 
Processor S-100 computer). You can 
then read, write, and format about 65 
percent of all the 5V4-inch disks in ex- 
istence. This includes Otrona, 
Kaypro, Compupro, all flavors of 
Osborne, and Z-100. 

With Tony's new system we can 
painlessly read and transfer not only 
data files but software. 

There is one problem. With 
40-track disk drives— such as the IBM 
PC drives— things are very slow. This 
means you must read off the pro- 
grams onto some other disk, such as 
a hard disk, 8-inch disk, memory 
disk, or, for that matter, even a dif- 
ferent format of 5V4-inch disk, and 
operate them from that; otherwise, 
you pay a severe (factor of two) speed 
penalty. 

It seems a small price to pay. This 
too will be available from Compupro 
about the time you read this. (I have 
it now, so I know it will work; the un- 
certainty is in getting it all into 
production.) 



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Circle 35 on inquiry card. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



67 



Mrs. Pournelle's Dilemma 

Roberta Pournelle has had the 
summer off from her school and has 
decided to write her own book about 
how to teach people to read. She has, 
after all, been teaching incarcerated 
illiterate teenagers for a dozen years 
and has yet to find one she couldn't 
teach. But she thinks she can't write 
and wants me to work on the book 
with her. Fine, says I, only you'll have 
to work with a word processor. 

That was all right by her. 

When Roberta decided to do her 
book, the Epson QX-10 with Valdocs 
was still on my secretary's desk, and 
I was out of town. Valdocs was very 
easy at first, but sufficient problems 
arose to cause her to abandon it. 

She wasn't about to invade my of- 
fice. Query: which machine should 
she use? 

Simple, thought I. Use Adeline, my 
Otrona portable. 

She did. She loved it. Came the 
next weekend, when I was scheduled 
to go make speeches. I packed up 
Adeline. Now what? "Use Zeke," said 
I. But she wouldn't, for fear of break- 
ing something and ruining our live- 
lihood. 

I showed her the Osborne Ex- 
ecutive. There was only one problem. 
Adeline has WRITE, my favorite text 
editor, and she'd learned that; she 
wasn't about to learn a new text 
editor in midstream. 

I solved the problem by setting up 
the Z-100, which does use WRITE, 
and at last count she'd finished some 
30,000 words including 50 lessons. At 
least it's simple enough to transfer 
her files from the Z-100 to Zeke II. I 
merely have to carry the Z-100 from 
one end of the house to the other. 
Once it's physically next to Zeke, 
there's nothing to plugging in the 
8-inch disk drives. I'm sure the exer- 
cise is good for me. 

Back to Dr. Trimpi 

Every now and again I get evidence 
to support my prejudices. 

By now, Allan Trimpi, MD, has 
used just about every machine and 
text editor around. He's had a spell 
using Zeke II while I was out of town. 
He's used Select on the Kaypro II. 
He's used Wordstar on the Kaypro 4 



and the Osborne Executive. He's 
used WRITE on both Adeline the 
Otrona and Zorro the Z-100. He's 
even used Spellbinder on the Eagle 
1600. 

He prefers WRITE, regardless of 
the machine it's on; enough so that 
we've had to go to some lengths to 
make that possible. Of course, he's 
creating text, much as I do, not pro- 
gramming, or doing fancy format- 
ting; but it's one more data point. I 
have yet to meet a creative writer 
who, having given WRITE a fair 
chance, didn't prefer it to the text 
editor now in use. 

Incidentally, Allan also loves the 
Kaypro 4, and the newer hard-disk 
Kaypro 10, both of which now run 
WRITE. 

WRITE Now 

Meanwhile, Tony Pietsch, who 
wrote WRITE more or less to specs 
drawn up by Larry Niven and me, 
has made arrangements to bundle 
WRITE in with some upcoming 
Compupro machines. By the time 
you read this, Compupro's "Shirley" 
(that was Compupro's internal code 
name; as of this afternoon, Bill God- 
bout still didn't know the official 
name of the machine) will come with 
a large array of software that includes 
both WRITE and Sorcinvs Super- 
writer. 

I have also seen a version of WRITE 
with an install program that lets it 
run with a fairly wide variety of ter- 
minals and printers. This will proba- 
bly be distributed through Workman 
and Associates. 

I've seen a lot of text editors. One 
day I'll see one I like better than 
WRITE; certainly I can think of fea- 
tures I want that WRITE doesn't 
have. For example, I'd like a "line" 
count. 

That is: WRITE doesn't have 
"lines." It's text oriented and marks 
the ends of paragraphs, not lines. (I 
can instantly change the on-screen 
format from a width of as low as two 
characters per line to as wide as the 
screen.) However, I sure wish WRITE 
gave me a count of the number of 
paragraph markers. I'd also like a 
command to allow me to jump to a 
particular paragraph; as it is, I have 



to page my way through the text. 
That's easier than it sounds because 
WRITE scrolls so fast, and of course 
I can always use the FIND feature, 
but a "JUMP x PARAGRAPHS" com- 
mand would be useful. 

There are other features I'd like to 
see in a text editor. For example, I'd 
like an internal "desk calculator" and 
a way to embed "variables" into the 
text easily. Tony is keeping track of 
my suggestions; he swears that 
before I find a text editor I like better 
than WRITE, he'll have incorporated 
the new stuff. 

I love it when a plan comes 
together . . . 

More Apple Polish 

We have an updated Applicard for 
the boys' Apple II. This one has 128K 
bytes of memory disk. 

The Applicard, like the Microsoft 
Softcard, plugs into your Apple II 
and makes it think it's a Z80 running 
CP/M— indeed, while the Applicard 
is running, it is a Z80 running CP/M. 
Unlike the Softcard, the Applicard 
has on-board memory, so that your 
Apple becomes a full 64K-byte CP/M 
system. 

The new card with memory disk is 
very easy to install and customize. It 
has some very nice features. Item: it 
reads CP/M into the Apple's memo- 
ry; thus, whenever you do a Con- 
trol-C, it gets that from Apple 
memory. The result is that you can 
insert disks without systems tracks 
and run them (after you've booted 
with the CP/M system master, of 
course). 

Applicard also installs uppercase 
and lowercase. It supports such 
peripherals as a Centronics printer 
card, although there are no ports on 
the Applicard itself. 

We've had only one major problem 
with it. If you have a serial port in 
your system, Applicard will find it 
and initialize it; but, alas, it initializes 
it to "Modem 7 format," which is 8 
data bits, 1 stop bit, and no parity. 
There's no mechanism for changing 
that. Whether that's the problem, or 
something else is, we've been unable 
to get the Apple with Applicard and 
serial port to communicate with other 
machines. 



68 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 52 on inquiry card. 



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However, help is at hand. Alex has 
been on the phone to Winthrop 
Saville of Personal Computer Prod- 
ucts (the Applicard people), and 
they're working on a generalized pro- 
gram to fix the problem. I'm sup- 
posed to get it Real Soon Now, and 
I'll let you know when I do. 

However, I don't want to leave you 
with negative impressions. The new 
Applicard, with its memory disk, 
speeds up Apple CP/M something 
wonderful. 

Unlike the Sof tcard, Applicard lets 
you operate with a full-up Apple. 
This is because it does most of its pro- 
cessing on-board, relegating the Ap- 
ple to a smart terminal with a bit of 
extra memory. The Softcard works 
the Apple more heavily, and since 
full-up Apples are already at the edge 
of reliability, Apples with lots of cards 
plus Softcard often make strange er- 
rors. We haven't noticed those with 
the Applicard. 

The Applicard people also make a 
board that will trick your Apple into 
thinking it's an IBM PC. I don't have 
one yet, but I'm looking forward to 
testing it. 

Word Handler 

The Apple II belongs to Phillip, 15, 
and Richard, 13. For about a year they 
used it only to play games. Lately, 
though, I notice they're using Word 
Handler, which they're really pleased 
with. They're doing their homework 
with the Apple now (but they're also 
still playing Temple of Aphsai and 
other games). Phil is also designing 
his own dungeon. 

I confess I know little about Word 
Handler. However, I can guarantee 
that young computer users can learn 
it without help, because I've yet to tell 
the boys one thing about using it— 
and they're certainly doing their 
homework with it. 

I'm no great fan of the Apple as a 
professional computer because I 
think you can get a lot more for your 
money; but as an all-around machine 
for learning that mysterious skill 
known as "computer literacy," there's 
a lot to be said for it. Besides, you can 
play Crush, Crumble, and Chomp, 
which is still my favorite computer 
game. 



Printmates 

When my mad friend first got me 
into the small-computer business 
way back in the dark ages of the 
seventies, the only letter-quality 
printer was the Diablo Daisy Wheel. 
Later came the NEC Spinwriter. Both 
were impact printers. 

I still have my Diablo 1620. I also 
have an elderly NEC 7710. The Diablo 
has been to the shop two or three 
times and is covered by a service con- 
tract. Amazingly, the NEC 7710 has 
never been out of service except for 
about 15 minutes when the house- 
keeper had inadvertently thrown a 
switch while dusting. 

In those days you simply wouldn't 
consider a dot-matrix printer for pro- 
fessional work. 

That's no longer the case. True: I 
still think professional writers would 
do well to have real letter-quality 
printers, since their output is 
marginally easier to read, and any- 
thing that saves an editor's eyesight 
is a plus for sales; however, really 
good dot-matrix printers have 
become good enough. 

Some are better than good enough. 
The machines from Micro Peripherals 
Inc. ("The Printer People") certainly 
are. We have two, the large Printmate 
150, which usually operates with the 
Z-100, and the smaller Printmate 99. 
Both work exceptionally well. The 150 
has a "Screen Dump" program for 
the Z-100, so that anything you can 
see on the screen, you can get a 
paper copy of. That's neat. 

One important thing about dot- 
matrix printers is that the matrix have 
enough dots. Some of the really 
cheap printers don't, and therefore 
they have no true descenders. De- 
scenders are those letters (g, j, p, q, 
y) that extend below the normal line 
of print. Some printers can't print 
below the line, so that the q looks a 
lot like the figure 9, while the j and 
p are simply ugly. Print without de- 
scenders is surprisingly hard to read, 
at least for me. 

Graphics are an important advan- 
tage dot-matrix printers have over 
letter-quality machines like the 
Diablo. In theory you could, I sup- 
pose, make a daisy-wheel printer do 
crude graphics by programming 



periods and squiggles and other 
simplistic characters, but in fact it's 
very hard to do, and there's almost 
no commercial software to simplify 
the task. 

Finally, dot-matrix printers allow 
you to change typeface and font 
without physically changing the type 
elements; it's all done under software 
control. 

The MPI printers all have these de- 
sirable features. They also come with 
readable documentation, so that it's 
not all that hard to use the advanced 
features. It's also easy to get the paper 
in, change the ribbons, and do all the 
other stuff needed to make full use 
of the machines. 

We've had ours for some time now 
and have experienced no difficulties. 
True, I haven't worked the MPI 
printers as hard as I have the NEC 
Spinwriter, because I'm still old- 
fashioned enough to prefer the letter- 
quality print output of the NEC. 
However, that's changing. I'm setting 
up the Printmate 99 to work with the 
Dual Processor as the primary device 
for program listouts and other stuff 
for internal use. In the next few 
months we'll really bash it about. I 
don't expect any trouble from it. 

John Matlock of MPI tells me the 
company will soon come out with a 
small, very rugged, and very portable 
printer. I'm hoping it will be small 
and rugged enough that I can have 
a fitted case built for it and take it 
with me on trips as checked luggage. 
If it can survive the airport baggage 
smashers, it will be just what I want. 

Where Do We Go From Here? 

A year ago it seemed clear enough: 
systems based on the Intel 8086 chip 
would dominate the market. The 
8086 would be followed by the 1-86, 
then the 2-86, and so forth; each 
upgrade would be able to run the 
previous chip's software. 

The only real rival to the 8086 and 
its successors was the 68000, and it 
had no clear follow-on, no clear path 
to future development. 

I still believe that the 8086 and its 
successors will win out, but the bat- 
tle is going to take longer than I 
thought. The reason is that the suc- 
cessor chips aren't being produced in 



70 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



quantity. For reasons I don't quite 
understand, Intel took some short- 
cuts, resulting in 1-86 chips that ran 
slower than the 8086s do. That's been 
fixed, but the result is that 1-86 chips 
are in very short supply. 

Meanwhile, the 68000 has arrived, 
and people are writing software for 
it. We have the Sage, running both 
UCSD Pascal and CP/M-68K. 
Modula-2, which is so far my favorite 
language, is available for the Sage 
(although only as a p-code generator; 
as I write this, there's still no native 
code compiler). I have a database and 
a text editor for the Sage. 

The Compupro 68000 S-100-bus 
board is also available. This took a bit 
longer to deliver than anyone 
thought, but it's alive and well now. 
I've yet to do any serious com- 
parisons between the Compupro 
68000 and the Sage (this time it's not 
sloth; I had to run a Citizen's Ad- 
visory Council on National Space 
Policy meeting, and it ate more time 
than I thought it would); however, so 
far I've seen no really dramatic dif- 



ferences between the two machines 
when running CP/M-68K. 

It's clear that machines based on 
the 68000 chip are here to stay. More- 
over, a lot of software is being writ- 
ten in the C programming language. 
CP/M-68K thrives on C programs; 
thus, much of what's written in C for 
the IBM PC, and even for Z80 
machines, can, with varying amounts 
of effort, be made to compile and run 
on 68000 systems. 

Even so, I think the future belongs 
to the 8086 family. 

First: the 8086 has IBM behind it. 
Big Blue isn't likely to go away. It's 
clear that IBM has a 1-86 machine 
already designed, and it's a good 
guess that the company is working 
on 2-86 follow-ons. 

Second, Digital Research's Concur- 
rent CP/M-86 (CCP/M) will one day 
catch on. This will be spurred on 
when Digital brings out its already- 
developed PC-DOS emulator— that 
is, a program that will let you run 
MS-DOS software under the CCP/M 
operating system. Much of that IBM 



PC software will be available to any 
8086 computer. 

Third, Logitech has an 8086 native 
code compiler for Modula-2. This 
may not seem like much, but watch: 
in a year there will be a flood of soft- 
ware for 8086 machines written in 
Modula-2. The language is just too 
good to be passed up, and Modula-2 
plus CCP/M is a dynamite package, 
comparable in power to some really 
expensive minicomputer systems. 

Fourth, the portability of C goes 
both ways: if programs written in C 
for the 8086 can be brought over to 
68000 systems, the reverse will be 
true also. 

Finally, the tiger teams are working 
on CP/M-86. The original CP/M-86 
was not a lot more than a translation 
of CP/M-80; the result was that it sure 
was slow. MS-DOS wasn't a heck of 
a lot better. Digital's people- 
including some outsiders— are now 
getting inside CP/M-86 with a view 
to optimizations to use the inherent 
speed and efficiency of the chip. The 
results are likely to be dramatic. 



^&" 






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SYSTEMS 

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Each of CIRCE's 16 users or tasks may utilize Virtual R. A.M. Storage beyond the 
R. A.M. accessible through direct addressing, which may be dynamically allocated 
by the system. 

Supports both the extended IEEE 24-line addressing and new 16-bit 8086,™* 
8088,™*Z8000 ,M * microprocessors as well as the industry-standard 8-bit proces- 
sors such as 8080r*8085, w *6800, w * 6502,™* and Z80 w *-based systems. 

• CIRCE permits extended R.A.M. bank-selection up to sixteen 8 megabyte banks 
in the CIRCE 2.0 Z8000-1 version (sixteen 64K R.A.M. banks for Z80 or other 
8-bit processors). This permits individual programs to be as large as 128 megabytes 
on a Z8000-1 system with extended memory-mapping under the 16-bit version of 
CIRCE, Version 2.0. DMA is possible without wait-states on the first 8 megabytes 
of R. A.M. under the CIRCE 2.0 Z8000-1 version, and the first 64K of R.A.M^ in 
CIRCE 1,5 8-bit versions. The 8086/8088 versions of CIRCE 2.0 allows 1 mega- 
byte of DMA, and 16 megabytes of extended memory-management with 
CIRCE's virtual memory subroutines. 

■ The forthcoming CIRCENET™* system from STRATEGIC SYSTEMS 
CORPORATION will initially allow 1,024 packets of sub-networks (or groups), 
each sub-network comprised of as many as 16 multi-user systems, each system 
containing up to 16 users or tasks. The entire Network will be able to share 
common Network-Resources, white allowing packets to share packet-common 
resources and users to cross-communicate through system priority-queued "links." 
There will be provisions for Inter-Network Cross-Communication and Inter- 
Network Common Resources, and CIRCENET will allow X.25, BiSync, and 
SDLC protocols between users, allowing cross-communication with existing 
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'CIRCE and CIRCENET arc trademarks of Strategic Systems Corporation; CP/M is a trademark of Digital 
Research ot California; CDOS is a trademark of Cromemco, Inc.; 808 5, 8086, 6c 8088 are trademarks of 
Intel Corp.; ZH0 6c ZHOOO are trademarks of Zilog, Inc.; 6502 6c 6800 are trademarks of Motorola, Inc. 



Gable Address: Stratsys 



Circle 442 on inquiry card. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



71 



Items Reviewed 

Applicard 

Personal Computer Products 
16776 Bernardo Center Dr. 
San Diego, CA 92128 
(619) 485-8411 

CBIOS 

Dual Processor 

Compupro 

3506 Breakwater Court 
Hayward, CA 94545 
(415) 786-0909 

Concurrent CP/M-86 2.0 

Digital Research 
160 Central Ave. 
Pacific Grove, C A 93950 
Available from dealers only 

Kaypro II 
Kaypro 4 
Kaypro 10 

Kaypro Corporation 
533 Stevens Ave. 
Solana Beach, CA 92075 
(619) 481-3424 

Modula-2 

Logitech 

165 University Ave. 
Palo Alto, CA 94301 
(415) 326-3885 

Printmate 99 
Printmate 150 

Micro Peripherals Inc. 
4426 South Century Dr. 
Salt Lake City, UT 84107 
(801) 263-3081 

S-100 Memory Board 

Macrotech International Corporation 
20630 Lassen St. 
Chatsworth, CA 91311 
(213) 700-1501 

Silicon Disk 

Microcosm Research 
26 Danbury St. 
London Nl 8JU, 
England 

Uniform 

Micro Solutions 
125 South 4th St. 
De Kalb, IL 60115 
(815) 756-3421 

Word Handler 

Silicon Valley Systems 
1625 El Camino Real 
Belmont, CA 94002 
(415) 593-4344 

WRITE 

Workman and Associates 
112 Marion St. 
Pasadena, CA 91106 
(213) 796-4401 



$375 

$595 with 128K-byte 

RAM extender 



standard 
$695 



$350 



$1595 
$1995 
$2795 



$495 



$995 and up, 
depending on 
features 



$2449 



Not available 



$49.95 



$59.95 



$239 



Help! 

Every time I write about some- 
thing—anything—three things hap- 
pen. One, I carefully look up the 
names of the companies, and their 
addresses, and include them; BYTE's 
editors dutifully verify price and 
availability data, then list the com- 
pany names and addresses in a spe- 
cial boxed feature that's inserted into 
my column. 

Two, someone writes to ask how to 
get more information on the pro- 
grams. Sometimes a lot of people do 
that. 

Three, all these people get mad at 
me when I don't answer their letters. 
I realize that in some cases they've 
read a borrowed magazine and can't 
go look up what they want, and I feel 
a bit guilty; but, alas, I have neither 
the time nor the staff to do the job. 

That's typical problem one. 

Typical problem two: someone 
writes to ask that I analyze his par- 
ticular situation and make recom- 
mendations. He's sure I can help, and 
no one else can. Alas, he's asking for 
several hours of work. 

If I answer those letters, then a lot 
of other letters don't get answered. 
Either way I'm thought unfriendly. 
Besides, I was taught that one ought 
always to answer one's mail; alas, my 
mother never told me what to do 
when it became impossible. 

That kind of problem causes some 
guilt feelings. There's another that 
doesn't: the form letter "requesting 
more information about" some prod- 
uct or another that I've mentioned. 
Unfortunately, word processors make 
it possible to write such letters with- 
out it being obvious that they are 
form letters, so I waste a certain 
amount of time reading them before 
I see what they are and pitch them 
in the circular file. 

Then I worry: maybe it wasn't a 
form letter after all. 

However, though I'm buried in 
mail, I do appreciate all the informa- 
tion I get, and I want to thank all 
those who write. I also apologize for 
not answering every letter I get. 
There's just no way I can do it. Worse, 
the pattern is capricious: some days 
I get to more mail than on others, and 
mail I don't get to on the day it comes 



72 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



in usually settles into piles that the 
housekeeper eventually removes on 
grounds of public health. 

If I didn't answer your letter, it may 
have been because it deserved a bet- 
ter answer than I could give. That's 
an awful thing to have to say, but 
alas, it's all true. 

Coming Up 

Astute readers will by now have 
noticed there's little correlation be- 
tween what I think I'll do "next 
month" and what I actually write 
about. However, I'm told that my 
new IBM PC will indeed arrive in 
about a week; I look forward to play- 
ing with it. 

Another neat toy is Macrotech's 
full-megabyte S-100 Memory Board. 
Mr. McMannis, our research assis- 
tant, had this to say: 

"Finally brings true memory man- 
agement to the microcomputer, with 
on-board memory-map registers, 
each allocating a 4K-byte block just 
like the PDP-lls use. There is also a 
'bank-switched' mode as well as a 
'24-bit' mode so it can be used on 
both newer and older systems." 

We've had Macrotech's board here far 
too long; it's time it got a thorough 
workout. It looks well made. I've a 
mild worry about airflow and heat 
dissipation. We'll see. 

Other stuff I hope to look at in- 
cludes Nevada Pilot, Cache/Q, Digital 
Research's Access Manager, and The 
Stiff Upper Lisp. Having learned my 
lesson about promises, I won't say 
next month; but Real Soon 
Now . . ■ 



Jerry Pournelle welcomes readers' com- 
merits and opinions. Send a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope to Jerry Pournelle, do 
BYTE Publications, POB 372, Hancock, 
NH 03449. Please put your address on the 
letter as well as on the envelope. Due to 
the high volume of letters, Jerry cannot 
guarantee a personal reply. 



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



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BYTE November 1983 75 



Inside the IBM PC 



In 1 977, I was using a computer, the'lBM 51 00. The machine was so 
expensive that my company could hardly afford it, but there it sat on my 
desk. It had BASIC, APL, and a magnetic-tape cartridge, and I was the 
only one using it— hence, it was a personal computer. Little did I know 
that only six years later the world of personal computers would be so dif- 
ferent. 

The introduction of the IBM Personal Computer transformed the com- 
puter industry: it spawned the largest group of third-party vendors the 
microcomputer industry has ever seen, it legitimized personal computers 
to an entire generation of executives, and it single-handedly enabled 
microcomputers to assume a greater percentage of the world's computa- 
tional tasks. At the same time, it can be argued that the effect of IBM's 
preeminent position has not been all positive. Companies jumping on the 
IBM bandwagon to reap some of the profits may be holding back the tech- 
nological innovation that would bring us computers that are more power- 
ful and easier to use. Nevertheless, the world of IBM PC-compatible com- 
puting remains an immense and fascinating one. 

One of the most compelling things about computers is that you can 
change their function by changing the software that drives them. In this 
issue, you can explore the IBM PC through several articles on software 
construction. On a higher level, several theoretical articles explain what 
makes the PC the machine it is. 

Without doubt, the PC continues to influence the microcomputer 
market: the fortunes of many companies ebb and flow with IBM's moves. 
Beginning with an interview with Philip D. Estridge, president of IBM's En- 
try Systems Division, we analyze the PC and its place in the market. 

The amount of activity surrounding the IBM PC is evident in the number 
of companies providing specialized hardware and software for it. In this 
issue, we report on state-of-the-art work being done by Microsoft, Digital 
Research, 3Com, and Small World Communications. 

Several general-interest articles explore the PC in other ways. We have 
special reports on a Japanese IBM PC, expansion boards, and some of the 
more interesting uses people have found for their PCs. 

The IBM PC will undoubtedly continue to influence the microcomputer 
industry. It remains to be seen if the spread of this machine throughout 
the world will provide us with the best of personal computing or, less 
ideally, an adequate but universally accepted standard. —Gregg Williams 



78 IBM PCs Do the Unexpected by 

Steven S. Ross 

88 IBM's Estridge by Lawrence J. 
Curran and Richard S. Shuford 

99 Enhancing Screen Displays for the 
IBM PC by Tim Field 

1 2 1 POKEing Around in the IBM PC, Part 
1 : Accessing System and Hardware 
Facilities by Hugh R. Howson 

1 35 Could 1 ,000,000 IBM PC Users Be 
Wrong? by Frank Gens and Chris 
Christiansen 

144 Big Blue Goes Japanese by Richard 
Willis 

168 Expanding on the IBM PC by Mark J. 

Welch 

188 Installable Device Drivers for PC- 
DOS 2.0 by Tim Field 

1 99 A Communications Package for the 

IBM PC by Richard Moore and 
Michael Geary 

211 A Graphics Editor for the IBM PC by 

Charles B. Duff 

232 Comparing the IBM PC and the Tl 

PC by Bobbi Bullard 

247 Technical Aspects of IBM PC Com- 
patibility by Charlie Montague, Dave 
Howse, Bob Mikkelsen, Don Rein, 
and Dick Mathews 

254 The Making of the IBM PC by Brian 
Camenker 

257 Concurrent CP/M by Joe Guzaitis 

272 The IBM PC Meets Ethernet by Larry 
Birenbaum 

285 MS-DOS 2.0: An Enhanced 16-bit 
Operating System by Chris Larson 



Painting by Robert Tinney 



76 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



IBM PCs 
Do the Unexpected 

Proving that it is indeed a personal computer, the PC performs all 
sorts of unusual tasks; it's even an electronic therapist 



In one of IBM's comical commer- 
cials advertising its Personal Com- 
puter, a Charlie Chaplin look-alike 
stands between two conveyor belts in 
a bakery. As he tries to jam a big cake 
into a little box on one line, disaster 
strikes: the other conveyor belt drops 
cakes all over the floor. 

Could it be that bakeries are actual- 
ly using PCs to avoid such accidents? 
And what other interesting tasks are 
being accomplished by the ubi- 
quitous machine? I called around to 
find out— to PC user groups, to my 
friends who own PCs, and even to 
IBM-computer-user bulletin boards 
(which never seemed to detect that 
it was my Kaypro II doing the talk- 
ing). I even asked a class I addressed 
at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute if 
any of the 120 technical writers 
assembled there had any good leads. 

Well, just about everybody did. 

'Tunny you should ask about 
bakeries," said Joe Rigo of the New 
York City PC Users Group. (He 
'hadn't seen IBM's bakery ad.) "Time 
magazine called and asked if I knew 
of a bakery that might be using a PC 



by Steven S. Ross 

for inventory control, or whatever, for 
use in its cover story on IBM." He 
suggested that I talk instead to Al 
Goldstein, controversial publisher of 
a sex magazine called Screw and of 
Gadget, a fascinating newsletter that 
features mechanical, nonsexual toys 
for adult-age "children." 

A congenial Goldstein said that his 
company has four PCs. "I've had one 

The PC is replacing 

larger computers in 

many imaginative 

applications. 

at home for five months. I haven't 
used it; I'm intimidated by it," he con- 
fessed. "But my 9-year-old son loves 
it." 

And what would Goldstein do 
with the PC, once he overcame his 
computer phobia? "I want an elec- 
tronic schedule, so I can call my office 
and get a copy of my appointments 
and trip itineraries printed out at 
home. I want to do word processing. 



I want to be able to retrieve facts and 
articles quickly. I want to file names 
and addresses of friends. The office 
[already] does use it to keep track of 
airline incentive mileage for bonus 
trips." 

Until he feels comfortable with the 
PC, though, he said, "I feel like I'm 
standing outside a bordello. I can 
guess at the wonders inside, but the 
front door is stuck." 

Fortunately for the PC market, 
however, the door is open for many 
other users, wide enough to push a 
mainframe through. Dr. Haig Kafa- 
f ian of the Washington-based Cyber- 
netics Research Institute, for example, 
has been developing ways of dis- 
abled people to communicate, work, 
and run a household using PCs and 
other computers with standard hard- 
ware and software. Making use of 
standard equipment and programs 
would hold the cost of such an elec- 
tronic aid to a price that many dis- 
abled people could afford. 

Artists such as Paul Ravina and 
John Schnell of New York have pro- 
grammed PCs for complex graphics 



78 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



tasks. The PC can be used to increase 
their productivity as well as their 
creativity. Indeed, PCs are perform- 
ing many scientific, business, and 
educational tasks previously handled 
by much larger machines. 

Emulating the Cray-1 

One researcher, for instance, is 
using the PC to study how energy is 
transferred from the sea to the atmo- 
sphere. "It turns out that bubbles are 
the most important mechanism," 
says Ferren Maclntyre, a physical 
chemist turned oceanographer and 
research professor with the Univer- 
sity of Rhode Island. The number 
and size of bubbles in the ocean can 
be measured two ways— optically, by 
measuring the intensity and color of 
light reflected back from the bubbles, 
and acoustically, by determining 
how much sound energy they 
absorb. 

"Unfortunately, the two methods 
give answers that vary by orders of 
magnitude," says Maclntyre. So, 
with Duncan Blanchard of the State 
University of New York at Albany, 
he set out to learn why, by examin- 
ing the optical properties of bubbles. 

"We borrowed some programs to 
do the calculations from the National 
Center for Atmospheric Research in 
Boulder, Colorado, and ran them on 
the NCAR Cray-1 supercomputer," 
said Maclntyre. Using those pro- 
grams, it took less than a second to 
perform the necessary calculations. 
To avoid the headaches involved in 
writing additional grant proposals 
and working with the NCAR 
through transcontinental phone calls 
from Rhode Island, Maclntyre de- 
cided to rewrite the programs to run 
on his PC. 

He has adapted the programs to let 
him examine how different wave- 
lengths of light interact with the bub- 
bles in different ways, depending on 
the size of the bubble and the angle 
at which an observer looks at the 
reflection (see photo 1). The problem 
is solved by computing the amount 
of scattering separately for horizon- 
tally and vertically polarized light. 
Each function, in turn, is a seeming- 
ly infinite sum of series approxima- 
tions made up of two terms: an 



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18.B(1.B>5B.8 I 3289K (423-399) Pol. 8 



(la) 










Scattered 

Intensity 

vs. 
HaveUnatk/rm 
339 (181 1 

and 
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18.8 uji 
X: 72 to 149 
Illun: 3280X 
Foiariz'a 8 

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Is Peak 5.249 
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(lb) 

Photo 1: Two plots showing the scattering of unpolarized light by an 18-micrometer bubble 
as a function of the wavelength (x-axis) and the viewing angle (y-axis). Photo la is a quick- 
and-dirty plot that represents intensity as a given color. Photo lb, which takes longer to plot, 
produces a true three-dimensional contour plot. 



angular dependence term that equals 
the sum or the difference of the 
derivatives of Legendre polynomials, 
involving trigonometic functions and 
complex fractions; and the sum or 
difference of two Bessel functions, 
each of which is a series with 20 or 
30 terms that include factorials. 
Because the second term does not 



converge properly (that is, it "blows 
up" to infinity once the series goes 
beyond a certain number), Maclntyre 
solves it by backward recur- 
sion—checking the size of the 
final function against the differences 
between successive terms in the 
function. Checking the scattering of 
20 different wavelengths of light at 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 79 



20 different angles for a bubble re- 
quires calculating 5000 terms— each 
of which is a complex fraction. 

Maclntyre can perform those cal- 
culations with the software he wrote 
to run on his PC in MMSFORTH. He 
explains: "I keep hearing that 
FORTH is a lovely language for 
simple-minded work and that it's no 
good to do complex arithmetic. But 
it allows double precision, complex 
numbers, and large arrays. It's also 
20 to 50 times faster than BASIC. 
FORTRAN is clumsy on micros, and 
I just won't use a language like 
Pascal that requires me to write ' = :'; 
I just won't!" 

FORTH had another allure for 
Maclntyre. He is friendly with a 
FORTH vendor. "I went to MIT with 
Dick Miller of Miller Microcomputer 
Service [which supplied MMS- 
FORTH]. It's like having my own 
contract software shop. I call him up 
and say, 'You know, it would be 
great if we could do this, ' and a cou- 
ple of weeks later, we can." 

Maclntyre has experienced one 
problem with FORTH, though. It is 
set up for four-digit hexadecimal ad- 
dresses, but he needed to access 
more memory, so the software was 
modified to put his large arrays at the 
top of 64K. (His PC has 128K bytes, 
two single-sided floppy-disk drives, 
and two monitors— one color and the 
other monochrome. MMSFORTH is 
its own operating system and formats 



the floppies for about 195K bytes 
each instead of the "standard" 160K 
bytes.) 

What the Cray had accomplished 
in well under a second, it took the PC 
9V2 hours to do— until Maclntyre in- 
stalled an 8087 coprocessor chip last 
April. "Although the 8087 arrived 
with no software documentation and 
only enough hardware documenta- 
tion to tell me how to stick it into the 
board, it took only two days to make 
the conversion," he said. One reason 
that conversion went well is that 
FORTH allows slow-running sections 
of code to be lifted out and replaced 
with machine-language instructions 
without disturbing the rest of the 
program. 

"When I got the chip, I ran some 
simple benchmarks and wasn't too 
excited," Maclntyre said. "Addition 
speed was only doubled, calculations 
of logarithms went just 30 times 
faster. My real program, however, is 
computation-bound. By reducing 
memory seeks and other loop over- 
heads, I got a 115-fold speedup." 
Routine computation time on the PC 
is now five minutes, seven seconds— 
a quite respectable 1000 times slower 
than the speedy Cray-1. 

And what does Maclntyre get after 
five minutes? Easily interpreted col- 
or diagrams displayed on the color 
monitor. He has also learned that 
existing optical counting methods 
miss the small bubbles and thus ac- 



count for much of the difference be- 
tween optical and acoustical account- 
ing. 

Just What the Doctor Ordered 

Maclntyre isn't the only one sub- 
stituting BASIC with another lan- 
guage for use on a microcomputer. 
Bill Noel of Physicians Practice Man- 
agement in Indianapolis says that 
firm has developed software com- 
piled on COBOL for medical prac- 
tices. Designed to run on an IBM PC 
with a minimum of 128K bytes and 
a 10- or 20-megabyte hard disk, the 
package handles billing, accounts re- 
ceivable, patient records, and clinical 
data. Through a 1200-bps (bits per se- 
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tral computer to transmit insurance 
claims automatically. Noel uses the 
Microsoft version of COBOL, pack- 
aged for the IBM PC and running on 
MS-DOS. 

"We've been a timesharing vendor 
since 1978, but we saw our market in 
danger of disappearing, so we got 
onto the micro bandwagon," Noel 
said. "The PC does everything our 
Data General C350 does, but only for 
one user at a time." The firm assem- 
bled the C350 system over several 
years, at a cost of roughly $150,000. 

Why COBOL? "When we got into 
the timesharing business originally, 
we bought a standard package writ- 
ten in BASIC for the mini " said Noel. 
"It was a nightmare. After a while, it 



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BYTE November 1983 81 




Photo 2: Two actors play the roles of interviewer and interviewee for an instructional video- 
tape on presenting oneself at an interview. Professor Adkins plans to transfer such videotapes 
to a videodisc, which will then be controlled by an IBM PC and related software. 



was completely unmaintainable. Pro- 
grammers get carried away with the 
things they can do in BASIC, while 
COBOL leads them down a more 
structured path." 

COBOL also handles large files 
more easily than most BASICs 
would. 'We can search easily by 
fields, rather than with the hashing 
routines developed for floppy-disk- 
based systems/' Noel said. "A two- or 
three-person practice has 10,000 or 
12,000 charts a year. To be useful, the 
files all have to be in the same place." 

And, of course, COBOL allows 
code that is wordy enough to be 
almost self-documenting. It's com- 
mon to find statements using full- 
length data names (e.g., "Patient 
Name = PATIENT NAME") instead of 
assigning string variables with sym- 
bolic designations. 

"The only problems came up when 
we looked for off-the-shelf packages 
because there are so few for COBOL 
on a micro/ said Noel. "For example, 
we couldn't talk directly to the asynch 
port directly out of COBOL. So we 
got someone to write an interface in 
assembler for a few hundred dollars." 

The firm is making the software 
package (actually 120 separate, linked 
COBOL programs totaling more than 
5 megabytes) available to doctors this 



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"Internal-medicine practices or car- 
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erate their cash flow enough to pay 
for the whole thing in two or three 
weeks." 

An Electronic Therapist? 

Sam just can't control himself in an 
argument. Even a minor disagree- 
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quickly escalates into an all-out 
shouting match where reasoning is 
impossible. 

Fortunately, Professor Win Adkins, 
founder of the Institute for Life 
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ty's Teachers College in New York, 
has developed multimedia learning 
materials that can help Sam and 
other "underdeveloped" adults han- 
dle the stresses of everyday situations 
(see photo 2). 

About 500,000 people in 30 states 



have participated in groups that view 
Adkins-inspired videocassettes deal- 
ing with such matters as quick 
tempers and overcoming the fear of 
changing jobs. Unlike conventional 
on-the-couch therapy, these materials 
are not meant to delve into a person's 
overall environment— family back- 
ground, education, finances, and so 
forth. Instead, they emphasize 
changing a person's outlook and tim- 
ing. The aim is to promote an alter- 
native, a more responsible reaction to 
a given kind of stress. 

The sessions are now offered by 
300 nonprofit organizations, in- 
cluding community hospitals, 
women's counseling centers, and 
adult-education centers. These orga- 
nizations typically commit $10,000 for 
the equipment and training needed 
to run the institute's courses. Staff 
salaries are extra. 

"Our goal now is to use the com- 
puter to make the process more in- 
teractive, more flexible," says Adkins. 
"The people would see dramatic vi- 
gnettes depicting some aspect of the 
problem they are seeking help with." 

Adkins plans to link the PC to a 
videodisc player, so that people like 
Sam can view a dramatic scene, such 
as the beginning of a family fight. 
They then choose which course of ac- 
tion they would take under the same 
situation. The videodisc will im- 
mediately show the consequences in 
a new scene. Each choice will lead ir- 
revocably down a path to the next 
choice, then the next and the next, in 
almost endless variety. 

"I like the computer because it lets 
people rate their performance, too," 
says Adkins. "They could rate their 
actions against a norm and not 
simply an abstraction or a personal 
feeling. After all, what is normaP. And 
we can arrange for the computer to 
provide many possible outcomes for 
a given behavior pattern, depending 
on the circumstances. That's just like 
real life. It's acceptable to people in 
the program because there can be 
more than one model of effective be- 
havior in any situation." 

Because his program lets users 
observe many models, it should, he 
says, "allay fears that technology will 
limit the soaring human spirit." In- 



82 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 







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PURCHASING AGENT 

matches lowest prices! 



COMPUTERS 

Alpha Micro CALL 

Alios 5-15D. MP/M $2,100 

Alios 580-10 4.199 

Altos 586-10 5.650 

Alios 586-30 7.114 

Alios 586-14/40 8.270 

Altos 8000-10 5,444 

Alios 8000-12 6.499 

Altos 8600-14 7.750 
Compupro Godbouf 

Sys.8l6A* 4.000 

Sys. 816A" 3,850 

Sys.816ARAM2r 4.075 

Sys.816ARAM2V 3.925 

Sys.816BRAM16" 5,038 

Sys. 816CRAM21* 6.632 

Sys.816CRAM21*« 6,470 

Sys. 816DRAM2V 10.324 

Sys.816D RAM 21" 10,052 

81608 RAM 17" 6.471 

816 16 RAM 21 ** 10.052 

81668KRAM21* 6.632 

GiffordSys.321* 8.866 
'Completely Assembled 
"Unassembled Components 



1,100 

500 
234 
788 
500 
2.990 



M-OrlveH 

CPU 68 K 

CPU Z. 6 Mhz 

RAM 21, 128K. 12 Mhz 

Disk 2. Hard Disk Contr. 

Pragmatic 20 meg. 

Prag matic 40 meg. 4,686 

Col urn bia 1 600-1 , 2-320K 2.282 

Columbia 1600-4. 1 2 meg. 3.522 

Columbia portable 2.320 

Corona desktop. 2-320K 2.437 
Corona desktop, hard disk 3.495 

Corona portable, 2-320K 2,387 

Eagle II 1.575 

Eagle 1620 2,999 

Eagle 1630 4,699 

Eagle PC-1 2.320 

Eagle PC-2 2.699 

Eagle PC-XL 3.448 

Fortune CALL 

Molecular SM 8 10 meg. 4.648 

Morrow Micro D. MD-2* 880 

Morrow Micro D, MD-3* 1,130 

•wMerminal, add 455 
Morrowriter 



COMPUTERS 

NECAPCWPS1 4.534 

NECAPC-WPS2 5.013 

NECAPC-WPS4 5.622 

NEC8801A, 64K 947 

NEC8831A.2-320K 868 

NECB881A.28" 1.575 
Northstar Advantage 

w/Dual Floppies 2.160 

w/5meg. 3.249 

w/15 meg. 4.315 

8/16 upgrade 349 

Onyx 8001 MU 20. 256K 10,454 

Onyx 8002 MU 20. 512K 14.338 

Onyx C5002A. 256K. 14M. 9.022 

Pied Piper 995 

PMC Mlcromate 101 888 

Sage IV. Low Profile 3.466 

SagelVw/18meg. 6.268 

Sanyo 1250 2,433 

Sanyo 4000 2,677 
Seattle Gazelle, hard disk 5.970 

Televideo TS-802 2.525 

Tetevideo TS-803 2,027 

Vector 4-20 3.637 

Victor 9000 S.S. 2,874 
Victor 9000 D.S., hard disk 4,850 

Zenith ZF-100-21 2,245 

Zenith ZW- 110-32 4,261 



HARD DISKS 

Cameo 

Chatsworth 4200 

Corvus,6meg..w/olntf. 

Cyquest 

Davong, 5 meg. Univ. 

Morrow 20 meg., w/conlr. 

NECAPCIOmeg. 

Pragmatic 10meg. 

Santa ClaraSys. 10 meg. 

Tallgrass Tech. 6 meg. 

Trantor5meg. 



CALL 
3.340 
1.629 
1,391 
1.395 
3.650 
2,172 
2.445 
1.970 
1.781 
1.211 



MW1-MP100 

MW1-MP200 

MW1-MP300 

MW2-MP100 

MW2-MP200 

MW2-MP3O0 
NECAPC-H01 
NECAPC-H02 
NECAPC-H03 
NEC APC-H12 

Color Graphics board 



1.856 
2.243 
2.441 
2.321 
2,596 
2.786 
2.088 
2.544 
2.999 

618 



IBM PERIPHERALS 

Hayes 1200 B Modem 449 

Kentronics 5 150 Keyboard 189 
Plantronics Color Plus CALL 
Quadlink 549 



MODEMS 

Hayes 1200 499 

US Robotics Auto212A 479 

US Robotics Password 349 



MONITORS 

Amdek 300 G Hi-Res 
Amdek300 A Hi-Res 
Amedk310A 
AmdekRGBII 
BMC12"Green 
NEC 1201 
NEC 1203 
NEC 1205 
NEC 1260 
NEC1410RGB 
Princeton RGB 
Quadram Quadchrome 
Sanyo 12" G Hi-Res 
Taxan 12 "Amber 
Taxan RGB3 
US1 12 "Amber 

PRINTERS 

Anadex9501 

Anadex9620 

Anadex9625A 

AnadexWPGOOO 

Brother, parallel. daisy 

C.ltoh8510Prol.par. 

C.ltohB600 

C. ltohF-10,40cps. 

C. ltohF-10,55cps. 

C.ltohC-1-300.300lpm. 

Daisywriter2000.48K 

DatasouthDS-180 

Diablo 620. 25 cps., daisy 

Diablo 630 

Epson FX-80 

Epson FX-100 

Epson MX-80FT 

Epson MX-100 

Florida DataOSP-130 

GE (General Electric) 

Gemini 10 

Gemini 15 

Gorilla Banana 

IDS Prism 132all options 

NEC2010 

NEC3510 

NEC7710 

NEC 8023 

Okidata80 

Okidata82A 

Okidata83A 

Okidata84P 

Okidala84S 

Okidala92P 

Okidata92S 

Okidata93P 

Okidata93S 

Okidata2350P 

Okidata2350S 

Okidata24l0 

Qantex 6000 P 

Qantex7020 

Qantex 7030 

Qantex 7040 



130 
145 
165 
450 
85 
154 
611 
162 
115 
780 
485 
510 
181 
125 
499 
155 



1,300 

1,399 

1.515 

2.599 

695 

379 

1.017 

1,050 

1.425 

4.295 

1.150 

1.150 

875 

1,710 

564 

750 

475 

657 

3,700 

CALL 

309 

454 

199 

1,395 

995 

1,365 

1,900 

499 

317 

359 

575 

960 

1.060 

445 

527 

738 

820 

2,095 

2.195 

2,323 

1,086 

1.235 

1,548 

1.703 



PRINTERS 

Qume11/40w/int. 
Tally 160L,w/tractor 
Tally 180L.w/tractor 
Texas lnstr.T1810basic 
Texas lnstr.T1810LQ 
ToshibaP1350, parallel 
Toshiba P-1350. serial 
Transtar 130 
Translar140 
Translar315color 

PLOTTERS 

Amdek.XY 
Houston Instr., DMP29 
Houston lnslr.,DMP40 
Houston Instr., DMP42 
Houston Instr., Hi-Pad 
Strobe M 100 
Sweet P 

TERMINALS 

AddsViewoint A1 
Adds Viewpoint A3 + 
Ampex Dialogue 80 amber 
Ann Arbor Ambassador 
C. Iloh 80A 
C.ltoh101E 
HazellineEsprit I 
HazeltineEspritll 
Lear Siegler ADM 3A 
Quadram MX700 
QumeQVT102A 
QumeQVT102G 
Televideo925 
Televideo 950 
Televideo 970 
Visual 330G 
WyseWY-100 
WyseWY-200 
WyseWY-300 
Zenith Z-29 

ACCOUNTING 
SOFTWARE 

Altos Accountant 
CYM A, each module 
Graham Dorian, ea. mod. 
MBSI. each module 
Micro Computer 

Consultants, ea. mod. 
Microtax 

OpenSystems.ea. mod. 
Structured Systems, 

each module 
Systems Plus 

DATABASE 
SOFTWARE 

Condor III 
DBase II 



1.395 

569 

784 

1.240 

1.789 

1,499 

1,499 

693 

1.199 

549 



592 
1,778 
740 
2.321 
763 
461 
573 



445 

499 

720 

1.355 

1.016 

1,278 

478 

540 

511 

CALL 

542 

538 

715 

905 

1.015 

932 

680 

1.020 

1.020 

635 



1.899 
345 
420 
455 

450 

CALL 

568 

735 
345 



437 
450 



F.O.B. shipping point. Prices subject to change without notice. 



B-83-11 



The Purchasing Agent Philosophy, Part 4: 

• First select the specific software programs you need, then select the 

computer to run them. 




THE 

PURCHASING 
AGENT, INC. 

574 Weddell Drive, Suite 5 
Sunnyvale, CA 94089 

(408) 744-0646 

Open Monday thru Friday, 8-5 PST 



stead, the opposite is true, he says— 
the computer allows lessons to mimic 
the rich variety of everyday human 
experience. Furthermore, Adkins 
says, "We can greatly improve the ef- 
ficiency of learning in this soft field 
of 'coping/ and, by automating the 
delivery, we can lower costs and im- 
prove availability." 

At first, Adkins said, adults will use 
their computer/therapists in the 
home or at the sponsoring institu- 
tion, while occasionally getting 
together in groups to explore the 
norms. Eventually, the machines will 
be sufficiently inexpensive so that the 
institution will have to supply only 
the software— most adults will al- 
ready own the hardware. 

'There's a big 'if' in all this, 
though," Adkins says. "It all has to be 
designed right. Human experience is 
complex." 

Adkins doesn't expect to have a 
complete system up and running for 
another two years or so. But his suc- 
cessful pioneering work with video- 
tape suggests that he will succeed 
with computer-accessed videodiscs 
as well. 

Why did Adkins choose the PC? 
"Simple. I knew I had to get educated 
about computers, the same way I 
taught myself how to produce slides 
and videotape vignettes. So I went 
out and bought the best." 

As for me, I never did find a bakery 
using a PC. I'm sure there's at least 
one, though. Bakeries, with their 
perishable products and their high 
energy consumption, have long been 
leaders in computerization for inven- 
tory control and energy conservation. 

In fact, the very first commercial 
computer in Great Britain was the 
Leo I, designed and built by a Lon- 
don-area baked-goods distributor, 
the Lyons Organization, in the late 
1940s for near-real-time daily inven- 
tory control. Leo I handled data for 
more than 200 bake shops yet had 
only a fraction of the power of an IBM 
PC.B 

Steve Ross, a New York-based writer and consul- 
tant living temporarily in Honolulu, holds degrees 
in physics and journalism. He first learned to pro- 
gram on an IBM 1620 twenty years ago. His mail- 
ing address is 120 Irving St., Leonia, N] 07605. 



84 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 376 on inquiry card. 



w «n//g" Your Apple's telephone. 




'Thanks for the prompt reply. Sure 
was a lot faster than waiting for 
the mail!" 



A complete plug-in communications 
system for Apple® computers. From 
Hayes, the established telecomputing 
leader: the simple but sophisticated 
Micromodem He™ plug-in board 
modem and its companion software, 
Smartcom I.™ Everything you need to 
expand the world of your Apple II, lie, 
II Plus and Apple III. In one, convenient 
communications package. 

With Micromodem He and Smartcom I, 
you can access data bases, bulletin 
boards, and the varied resources of infor- 
mation services. Plan your travel itinerary 
via computer, including flight numbers, 
hotel and rental car reservations. Retrieve 
and analyze daily stock and options prices 
Work at home and send reports to your 
office. You can even do your gift shopping 
by computer! 

Micromodem He. Think of it as your 
Apple's telephone. It allows your com- 
puter to communicate with any Bell-103 
type modem over ordinary telephone 
lines, at 110 or 300 bits per second. 
Micromodem He installs easily in an 
expansion slot, and requires no outside 
power source. It connects directly to 
either a single or multiline modular 
phone jack, to perform both Touch-Tone® 
and pulse dialing. 

Micromodem He dials, answers and dis- 
connects calls automatically. And, unlike 
some modems, it operates in full or half 
duplex, for compatibility withmost time- 
sharing systems. 

A built-in speaker lets you monitor your 



"Gary: The pedigrees for next 
week's auction are as follows./. 




Micromodem lie 
Smartcom I 




d) 



calls when dialing. That way, you'll 
know if a line is busy. With Smartcom I, 
Micromodem He automatically redials 
your last number 

Discover how Micromodem He can 
help maximize the capabilities of your 
Apple. While Smartcom I software will 
minimize your efforts. 

Smartcom I companion software. 
For effortless communications. 
Whether you're a newcomer 
to personal computing or a sea- 
soned professional, you'll appreciate 
the ease and speed with which you can 
perform any communications function. 
Thanks to Smartcom I! 

Let Smartcom I guide you through a few 
easy-to-answer questions to tailor the 
program to your particular needs. Then 
you're ready to go! 

Make a selection from the Smartcom I 
menu to manage your communications, 
files or printer. Program prompts guide you 
along the way. And menu selections let 



"Attn. Prod., Sales, Purch.: Recom- 
mend 50% blue, 30% red screen for 
closest match'/ 



you easily make a call, end a call, or answer 
a call. When you' re on the receiving end, 
your Micromodem He answers automat- 
ically, even if you're not there! 

Convenient! And so is the Smart- 
com I memory for phone numbers. 
Smartcom I stores three of your most 
frequently called telephone numbers 
and one prefix. Plus, it also remem- 
bers the last number dialed. 

Smartcom I also provides a direc- 
tory of the files stored on your disk. 
And lets you create, list, name, send, 
receive, print or erase files right from 
its menu. 

Smartcom I is as versatile as you need it 
to be. It accepts DOS 3- 3. Pascal, CP/M™ 
3.0 or CP/M Plus™ operating systems. 
And accommodates up to six disk drives 
and several printer interface cards. 
Like all our products, Smartcom I and 

Micromodem He are backed 

Uo% JAO" k v excellent documentation 

FlaySS and full support. Including a 

two-year limited warranty 

on Micromodem lie and a 90-day warranty 

on Smartcom I! 

See your dealer today. Then plug into 
the exciting world of telecomputing. 

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

FCC approved in U.S.A. 

\< 1QS 3 Hayes Microcomputer Products. Inc. 

Micromodem lie and Smartcom I are trademarks of Hayes 

Microcomputer Products, Inc. Apple Computer is a registered 

trademark of Apple Computer. Inc. Touch-Tone is a registered trademark 

of American Telephone and Telegraph. CP/M is a trademark of Digital 

Research. Inc. CP/M Plus is a trademark of Advanced Logic Systems. 

Circle 209 on inquiry card. 




Displays and hard copy output courtesy of ISSCO, SAS/GRAPH ,U -SAS Institute Inc., Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc. and GDS-Applied Research of Cambridge. 
CPJM-86 is a registered trademark o( Digital Research, Inc. Copyright ' 1983, Tektronix, Inc. All rights reserved. #UNO-220 
VT100 is a registered trademark ol Digital Equipment Corporation 



TEK 



GRAPHICS DESKTOP 
PRODUCTS 



THE GRAPHICS 
STANDARD 



Powerful text editing. 
High-speed graphics. Color copies. 
The new desktop family from 




VT100 text editing and 
PLOT 10 color graphics 
are now packaged as 
basic desktop units and 
priced from $3995 
complete. 

Tek's new 4100 Series 
desktop terminals answer 
a range of resolution, 
screen size, color palette 
and local intelligence 
needs. All three feature 
outstanding 60 Hz non- 
interlaced displays and 
rapid 16-bit graphic pro- 
cessing speeds. 




As simulated, Tek's 60 Hz 
refresh rate and bright phos- 
phors result in a flicker-free 
image with perceivably better 
definition than that provided 
by 30 Hz terminals quoting 
greater pixel densities. 

Standard capabilities 
include 38.4K baud com- 
munications; easy color 
selection from the key- 
board; 4096 x 4096 ad- 
dressable display space; 
a separate display sur- 
face for alphanumerics or 
communications dialog; 
and compatibility with 
ANSI X3.64 screen edi- 
tors, including DEC 
VT100 extensions. 



Each offers 
an uncondi- 
tional, one- 
year on-site 
warranty. Tek 
Warranty-Plus 
extends this 
coverage two 
additional 
years at mini- 
mal cost. 

For less than $1,600, 
you can add Tek's com- 
pact, plug-compatible 
4695 Color Graphics 
Copier. With a palette of 
up to 125 shades, the 4695 
lets you reproduce graphic 
and alphanumeric displays 
on report-size paper or 
transparency film at the 
push of a button. 



4105 


4107 


4109 


Display Size 330mm (13") 


330mm (13") 


483mm (19") 


Displayable Colors 
Graphics 8 
Alphanumeric 8 


16 
8 


16 
8 


Palette 64 


64 


4.096 


Resolution 480x360 


640x480 


640x480 


Segment Memory 


128K Bytes 


256K Bytes 


Price $3,995 


$6,950 


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Warranty-Plus $195 


$295 


$395 



r.c 


~} 


isl'' '° -v* ' 



All 4100 Series terminals 
feature programmable 
keyboards with innovative 
Joydisk for convenient 
graphics input. 

At any time, you 
can plug into Tek's new 
4170 Local Graphics 
Processing unit. The 

CP/M-86-based4170 



provides up to 886K RAM 
for standalone program- 
ming and pre- or post- 
processing — to help you 
conserve host power 
while you build upon a 
central data base. 

Factor in compatibility 
with Tek PLOT 10 soft- 
ware and 4110 Series 
terminals, and you'll 
discover the first 
desktop graphics that 
you can't outgrow. Call 
your Tek Sales Engineer 
for a demonstration. 
For the number, or for 
literature, contact: 

U.S.A., Asia, Australia, 
Central & South America, 
Japan 

Tektronix, Inc. 
RO. Box 4828 
Portland, OR 97208 
Phone: 800/547-1512 
Oregon only: 800/452-1877 

Europe, Africa, Middle East 

Tektronix Europe B.V. 
Postbox 827 
1180 AVAmstelveen 
The Netherlands 
Telex: 18312—18328 

Canada 

Tektronix Canada Inc. 
PO. Box 6500 
Barrie, Ontario L4M 4V3 
Phone: 705/737-2700 



Tfektronix 

COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE 



IBM's 
Estridge 

The president of IBM's 

Entry Systems Division 

talks about standards, the PCs 

simplicity, and a desire not to be different 

by Lawrence J. Curran and Richard S. Shuford 



The desire to offer a system that would 
appeal to experimenters who would be 
able to add value easily was one of the 
motivations that guided designers at In- 
ternational Business Machines (IBM) 
Corporation when it undertook develop- 
ment of the IBM Personal Computer (PC) 
in 1980. Philip D. Estridge, president of 
the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca 
Raton, Florida, explained that desire to 
develop what is called an "open system" 
to BYTE editors in a recent interview. 

IBM wanted to provide a simple system 
that offered customers the ability to ex- 
periment with very little effort, Estridge 
says. He adds that the idea for a system 
that customers could easily apply as they 
saw fit had been implemented by other 
personal computer manufacturers. 

Simplicity was a key consideration in 
the IBM PC design, but counterbalancing 
simplicity was the need for a product that 
had durability as well as enough capaci- 
ty and power to grow. The latter con- 



siderations immediately led to the selec- 
tion of a 16-bit processor, says Estridge, 
who notes that the Intel 8088 was a par- 
ticularly fortuitous choice: "It happened 
to be there when we needed it to introduce 
the power of a 16-bit computer and keep 
the affordability of the 8-bit I/O [in- 
put/output] architecture." Estridge ex- 
plains that the 8-bit I/O architecture 
makes it simple for users to add equip- 
ment to the IBM PC "without doing a 
lot of work or spending a lot of money" 
because the 8-bit interfaces are easy for 
hobbyists and third-party add-on manu- 
facturers to understand. 

Estridge would not discuss unit ship- 
ments or dollar sales of the IBM PC, and 
he would not talk about future IBM prod- 
uct plans or competitive products when 
he spoke with Richard S. Shuford, 
BYTE's special projects editor, and 
Lawrence ]. Curran, editor in chief. 
BYTE's questions are in boldface and 
Estridge's answers are in lightface. 



Did you consider what impact the 
IBM PC would make in terms of 
establishing standards? 

When we first conceived the idea for 
the personal computer in 1980, we 
talked about IBM being in a special 
position to establish standards, but 
we decided that we didn't want to in- 
troduce standards. We tried to do 
everything we could to understand 
the existing infrastructure and pro- 
pensities [in personal computers] 
across the board— in marketing, dis- 
tribution techniques, pricing, cus- 
tomer alternatives, software sup- 
pliers, hardware add-on suppliers, 
and peripheral manufacturers. We 
tried to fit into what has become a 
very exciting, well-structured, and 
well-working business. We firmly be- 
lieved that being different was the 
most incorrect thing we could do. We 
reached that conclusion because we 
thought personal computer usage 
would grow far beyond any bounds 
anybody could see back in 1980. Our 
judgment was that no single software 
supplier or single hardware add-on 
manufacturer could provide the total- 
ity of function that customers would 
want. We didn't think we were intro- 
ducing standards. We were trying to 
discover what was there and then 
build a machine, a marketing 
strategy, and distribution plan that fit 
what had been pioneered and estab- 
lished by others in machines, soft- 
ware, and marketing channels. 
There is a 3.9-inch disk drive in the 
IBM family that is not the same size 
as some of the more popular drives 
that are becoming de facto stan- 
dards; is that of concern to IBM? 
I can only tell you what we're doing 
in the personal computer group. 
There are many activities within IBM. 
Each has its own goals, and I 
wouldn't comment on what they're 
doing. But when we were develop- 
ing the product in 1980 and 1981, 
alternative disk sizes were emerg- 
ing— 3V2-inch, 3.9-inch, and 5V4-inch. 
But then you look at the tremendous 
number of people who manufacture 
the 5V4-inch media, the number who 
have equipment that produces the 
reproduced programs, and the num- 
ber of customers who have the 
media, and you have to conclude that 



88 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



This One Decision 

Saved our Business and Grossed 

over $ 1,000,000. in Sales 



In 1979, our recreational manufacturing business was booming. 
And we had developed a new product that looked like a real 
winner. The new product was extremely important, in that it 
appeared to be the answer to a seasonality problem associated 
with our other product lines. 

By early summer, our order book was bulging. It reallylooked as 
if our off-season sales and production problems were over. Then 
just as quickly the roof fell in. Gas shortages devastated the 
recreational vehicle market overnight. And our order book for 
over two million dollars worth of the new product disintegrated. 

Faced with a fall and winter of virtually no sales, many thousands 
of dollars of unneeded parts and excess production staff, I had no 
choice but to shut down the production lines. And if a solution to 
our problem couldn t be found, the business itself was in jeopardy. 







A life saving decision 

I spent many sleepless nights 

trying to come up with a solution to 

this nightmarish situation. Then I 

remembered a course I had taken 

in decision analysis. I spent the rest 

of that night reviewing course 

material and other books I had 

bought on the subject. The next 

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BYTE November 1983 



91 



developed something called the user 
shell interface for MS-DOS 2.0, and 
we don't seem to have that in IBM's 
2.0. We have a command-prompt line 
that is much the same as it was. 
PC-DOS and MS-DOS are two dif- 
ferent products; you can buy either 
one. 

Is IBM happy using the com- 
mand-line scheme of having people 
type things in? 

Microsoft has helped us enormous- 
ly with PC-DOS, but it's our product. 
Microsoft has its own product. Al- 
though they are very similar— and 
I'm not trying to telegraph any- 
thing—I don't know how they're go- 
ing to be in the future. All I can tell 
you is that our product works, it's 
fairly simple, and we're happy with 
it. 

Are you satisfied with the language 
compilers and interpreters that are 
available for the IBM PC? 
If you're talking about the ones under 
the IBM logo, we've had very good 
response, and we're pleased with 
everything except the FORTRAN 
compiler. The performance of the 
FORTRAN compiler is not what we 
think it ought to be. We've told our 
customers that we're trying to work 
on the problems. Whether or not we 
can do anything about them remains 
to be learned, although there are a 
tremendous number of satisfied 
FORTRAN compiler users. 
As greater amounts of memory 
become more common, do you fore- 
see that another version of a BASIC 
interpreter will allow easier use of 
all that memory than the current 
BASIC interpreter does? 
I don't know whether we'll do that or 
not. It was obvious from day one that 
the machine had more memory than 
the Microsoft BASIC interpreter 
could use. We decided not to change 
the interpreter right from the begin- 
ning. I think it's been a good deci- 
sion. The BASIC interpreter is essen- 
tially bug-free. To go back in and 
make it handle bigger address spaces 
would essentially mean a rewrite that 
would expose us to introducing error 
into the code. That flies in the face of 
the novice user's learning the BASIC 
language for something very simple. 
We traded quality for the additional 



capacity of the interpreter. I would 
make that same choice today. I think 
of the BASIC interpreter as an answer 
to a lot of things except big, compli- 
cated programs. If you need a lot of 
address space to solve the applica- 
tion, you should use languages that 
are designed for those kinds of prob- 
lems. It doesn't bother me that BASIC 
handles programs that fit into only 
64K bytes. We have moved the 
code— service routines and operating 
systems— out of the 64K-byte 
user-program space into the other ad- 
dress spaces so that the use of 64K 
is more efficient. 

Are there any gaps in the lineup of 
software that IBM offers for the 
machine that make you uncomfort- 
able? 

No, because we went into this with 
the idea that we can't do everything. 
We tried to create a machine, some 
software offerings, and a set of busi- 
ness practices that made it easy for 
others to participate. 
Are you happy with Easy writer 1.1? 
Yes, I like it. People seem to like it. 
Have you used it yourself? 
Yes. I also tried to use Easywriter 1.0 
and had the same experience every- 
body else had. There is almost no 
product [that runs] on the machine 
that we have produced that I haven't 
used. 

Have you backed up the contents of 
a hard-disk drive? Are you satisfied 
with that procedure? 
Let's go back to the 5V4-inch disk dis- 
cussion. You can put only so many 
bytes on a 5V4-inch disk, and that in- 
troduces some disk handling. I don't 
have any other way to do it. 
Do you think the industry will even- 
tually solve the problem? 
I don't know that it's a problem. 
When the machine first came out, 
people asked, 'Aren't you upset that 
there is more memory than there is 
disk capacity on the machine so you 
can't dump your memory to disk?" 
The answer is no. It has never been 
a problem. It's a theoretical problem. 
If you insist that you must read the 
entire contents of your file when you 
do a backup, there will be a delay in 
handling disks, but people are 
smarter than that. They don't dump 
the entire contents of their file; they 



only dump the stuff they're really 
concerned about. Most applications 
build transaction files; they have to 
dump only transactions. If they take 
the time to recreate the file, they'd 
have a problem. 

It's my understanding that the PC 
and the PC XT have recently been in- 
troduced in Europe and elsewhere 
overseas. Do you think that IBM will 
be coming out with some software 
packages that will be specifically for 
the international market? 
I don't want to speculate on that. 
Why did it take so long to bring out 
the Intel 8087 coprocessor? 
We wanted it to work. 
Are you saying there were troubles 
with it? 
Sure. 

Is that why you now get a matched 
set of an 8088 and an 8087? 
The newer 8088s have slightly dif- 
ferent characteristics that result in 
better performance of the 8087 
coprocessor. By shipping both pro- 
cessors we know the customer will 
get the best possible performance 
from the 8087. 

Do you foresee the extra power that 
you now get with the 8087 being an 
extra selling point, or do you think 
that the casual user won't care? 
I think for the casual user to feel the 
effects of the power of that device, 
some support and programming 
would be required to be available on 
the machine that are not there today. 
The people who are going to get it 
and benefit from it are the people 
who will write programs with the 
device in mind, and there are a lot of 
people like that, but I don't think it's 
the general population. 
So you see that as being kind of an 
extra turbocharger that the drag-rac- 
ing set will like? 

Yes, the ones who'll need it will love 
it. 

Sometimes IBM makes product 
changes that some people can't see 
the reasons for. Why has IBM 
stopped doing knock-out panels in 
the back of the machine? 
Because they produced quality prob- 
lems, and we wanted to produce a 
machine with no defects. They fell 
out during shipping and handling. 
So it was a shipping annoyance? 



92 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




Estridge: an eye toward experimenters. 



you don't need to take on the extra 
burden of introducing a disruptive 
medium, no matter how good it is. 
None of the disk alternatives offered 
enough of an advantage to warrant 
that kind of disruption. [IBM with- 
drew this drive from the market in Sep- 
tember.] 

What were the software considera- 
tions that resulted from your desire 
to "fit in" with the PC? 



Let's take BASIC as an example. IBM 
has an excellent BASIC— it's well 
received, runs fast on mainframe 
computers, and it's a lot more func- 
tional than microcomputer BASICs 
were in 1980. But the number of users 
was infinitesimal compared to the 
number of Microsoft BASIC users. 
Microsoft BASIC had hundreds of 
thousands of users around the 
world. How are you going to argue 



with that? Many who wrote about 
the IBM PC at the beginning said that 
there was nothing technologically 
new in this machine. That was the 
best news we could have had; we ac- 
tually had done what we had set out 
to do. 

Did you try to discipline yourselves 
not to stretch the state of the art with 
the PC? 

Yes. For example, you can handle a 
higher-performance I/O device with 
a 16-bit I/O channel than you can 
with an 8-bit I/O channel. Having an 
8-bit I/O channel inherently limits the 
performance of the main processor 
because you have to move twice as 
many bits per operation. But that was 
a trade-off we chose to make to fit in- 
to what was already there. It wasn't 
too difficult a trade-off to make 
because there were no programs— 
and there are still few— that demand 
a higher performance processor than 
most that are out there. 
Do you have a profile of your typical 
customer or user? 
I don't think we have a typical user 
because the machine is so communal 
that typical doesn't have meaning, ex- 
cept for the fact that more and more 
people are discovering that they have 
needs that can be answered rather 
nicely by a personal computer. And 
they are in all walks of life— all the 
way from very young children to very 
elderly people— in every profession. 
Is there a typical minimum con- 
figuration emerging? 
I don't know. We've forced that 
answer somewhat because we build 
the machines that are most frequent- 
ly ordered. We build four or five con- 
figured systems to make it easy for 
the dealer to put the systems together 
so that the work is done partly by us 
and partly by the dealer. We know 
that there are a lot of people building 
complete machines starting with a 
very rudimentary form of our prod- 
uct. 

You say that you don't have a typical 
user, but is there a set of typical user 
characteristics that you have to deal 
with? For instance, do you find peo- 
ple who don't want to type on the 
machine because of the keyboard? 
Yes, we find those reactions, but not 
quite the way you said it. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



89 



Human Factors in the IBM PC 



The placement of certain keys in the key- 
board of the IBM PC has been widely criti- 
cized, but Philip D. Estridge cites prior 
IBM experience in building typewriter's as 
being helpful in designing the PC key- 
board. He points out further that various 
human-factors considerations are reflected 
in the overall PC design that he says make 
the machine comfortable to use. 

The keyboard can be tilted, for example, 
to assume a flat-surface angle or a tilted- 
up angle. Estridge says both are standard 
angles that make users feel comfortable. 
"We don't know why people feel comfortable 
with one of those two angles," Estridge 
says, '"but we've learned from building 
typewriters that these are the two popular 
angles for wrists." 

He also cites studies of eye-pupil dilation 
that influenced the PCs design. He says 
these studies have shown that there's a 
direct relationship between pupil dilation 
and fatigue; the more a user's pupil dilates, 



the more fatigued he may become. 

"If you can cut down on contrast changes 
as people use the equipment, you reduce 
the likelihood of frequent pupil dilation." 

How has that principle been applied to 
the IBM PC? Estridge explains it this way: 
"Imagine that the center of the machine 
is a high-contrast area and the outside of 
the machine— the background— is a 
low-contrast area. The machine has grades 
of contrast as you move from the screen 
outward. Its highest contrast is on the dis- 
play tube. Immediately around the tube is 
a lower-contrast border, and then the 
cabinet curls round to form an even lower- 
contrast frame. 

"The eye then progresses from seeing 
dark gray to light gray to medium white, 
and, beyond that, essentially a noise back- 
ground. As the eye moves across those 
boundaries, it doesn't experience much con- 
trast change, and the viewer doesn't get 
tired." 



Some people are upset about the 
placement of the left-hand Shift key 
and the Return key. 

I wasn't thrilled with the placement 
of those keys, either. But every place 
you pick to put them is not a good 
place for somebody, and it's a large 
enough group of somebodies so that 
there's no consensus. The left-hand 
Shift key is located where it is 
because we wanted to have the char- 
acter-typing keys inside the control 
keys. That means that the arrange- 
ment with the one extra key, instead 
of being the Shift key with the char- 
acter on the outside, is just the 
reverse. I have since gone back and 
looked at a lot of keyboards and 
found that a lot of them are just like 
ours— with one more key on the bot- 
tom. They may not have the same 
character in that position, but there 
is one more key along the bottom. It's 
not much of a problem in the long 
run. Fortunately, people adjust; in 
fact, if we were to change it now we 
would be in hot water. 
Why are the function keys in two 
rows on the left rather than across 



the top? 

We didn't want to put them across 
the top because we wanted to have 
a template there in case some appli- 
cations needed a template across the 
top of the keyboard. That's the reason 
for that little ridge— to keep the 
template from falling down on the 
keys. The ridge is also there to use as 
a book prop. 

Did you look at the international 
keyboard standards? 
That's what's on the board; that's 
why there are symbols on the keys. 
Is there anything different that you 
would do to the keyboard now that 
it's been out a while? 
No. I'm not saying we would never 
come out with another keyboard 
that's different, but I don't have any 
regrets about the keyboard. 
Are you familiar with the mice that 
are creeping around in the world? 
Yes. That's a perfect example of the 
kind of experimentation that you 
would expect to go on. 
Have you ever used a mouse? 
Yes. 
Do you like it? 



It was just another way to do things. 
It didn't strike me one way or 
another. 

Are you comfortable with the key- 
board? 

Yes. More than two million personal 
computers [from all suppliers] were 
shipped in the United States last 
year. Predictions for the future are 
more grandiose. They must not be 
very hard to use. When you look at 
the age levels of people using the 
machine— both the very young and 
the very old— and when you look at 
the backgrounds of the individuals, 
you have to conclude that the com- 
puters must be pretty darn easy to 
use, or else you would never have 
gotten that far. 

Can we talk about specific software? 
Sure, as long as it's ours. 
The biggest software change that's 
happening is the upgrade to the 2.0 
version of DOS; are there delays in 
shipment of the product? 
Initially, yes. 
Why is there a delay? 
We guessed wrong on how many 
people would order the PC from day 
one. We thought there would be less 
demand than there is, so we had to 
catch up, and we passed that point. 
Some people are complaining that 
there are problems with the 2.0 ver- 
sion and incompatibilities with the 
previous 1.1 version. Do you see that 
as a major problem? 
There are some differences in the 
products, most notably in memory 
utilization. The 2.0 product is larger. 
If you had a program that barely fit 
in 64K bytes with version 1.1, it's 
almost certain that it doesn't fit if you 
move the program to 2.0. We haven't 
heard any significant unhappiness 
with customers or with the software 
suppliers, and that level of incom- 
patibility is one that's understandable 
as you enrich your product. 
Will IBM sell 1.1 indefinitely? 
I won't speculate about our plans, but 
it's not a good idea to mistreat cus- 
tomers. We will do what our cus- 
tomers need us to do. If that means 
keeping 1.1, we will do it. If all the 
customers move to 2.0, it will be 
uneconomical to keep 1.1, but I don't 
know which way it will go. 
We understand that Microsoft had 



90 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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A defect is a defect— it doesn't mat- 
ter if it's a corner crushing on the 
cardboard box you ship it in or the 
machine not functioning at all. It's ex- 
actly the same for all defects. And 
when you start out with that mental- 
ity, if you have a defect, you ask not 
only how to fix it but also what is the 
source of this problem, and how do 
we eliminate the source? In that par- 
ticular situation we eliminated it by 
not having it. We couldn't sense that 
there were a lot of people who 
needed it. 

Back to the design of the case. Did 
you consider trying to go for a 
smaller footprint for the machine, 
possibly by trying things like stack- 
ing the motherboard on top of the 
disk drive? 

It was the smallest footprint we could 
figure out. We wanted to have the 
machine work in a wide range of en- 
vironments: heat, temperature, 
humidity, and electrical interference. 
When you start considering all this, 
you can't make it as small as you 
would physically make it because of 



the electrical characteristics. We have 
what we think is a balance. The more 
closely you put it together, the more 
difficult it is for somebody to add 
something to it; you get hard-to- 
manage mechanical assemblies. That 
makes putting it together and taking 
it apart hard and error-prone, or you 
create fittings that are not generally 
available, so other people can't get 
the equipment they need to build an 
add-on piece of hardware. 
You've talked a lot about designing 
the machine to make it easy for peo- 
ple to use— to experiment with the 
machine, to add to it. Were you 
thinking more of dealers than ex- 
perimenters or hobbyists? 
First, we knew that dealers would 
have to provide warranty service. We 
tried to design the machine mechan- 
ically and electrically so that it was 
simple to understand and work with. 
We chose electronic components so 
that there would be commonly avail- 
able parts, with the serviceman at the 
bench in the store in mind. Our goal 
was to make the machine as easy for 



him to use as for a customer, because 
he's a customer too. If we burden him 
with high-technology complexities- 
tools and equipment that are un- 
familiar, hard to get, or expensive, 
parts that are in limited supply or 
available only from IBM— these 
things would make the machine dif- 
ficult to service. 

The new IBM color monitor is cer- 
tainly appreciated, but are you satis- 
fied with the display quality you get 
with the color display adapter? 
Yes. I think it's a good balance be- 
tween price and function. 
Did you consider making a special 
color monitor that used higher fre- 
quencies? 

Yes, but then you have to buy more 
memory that fits on the color adapter 
card. It raises the price. We think the 
granularity, number of colors, and 
number of memory bits on the card 
strike a good balance between defini- 
tion, function, and price. 
Do you think we will be seeing more 
applications that use graphics— that 
graphics will be a dominant segment 



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Theft is a threat to software development. 

of the market? 

Yes. I think the old saying that a pic- 
ture is worth a thousand words is 
true. 

Do you see color as a practical tool 
now in business graphics, or simp- 
ly a nice feature to have? 
I think that color is going to change 
over the next short period— maybe a 
couple of years— from being some- 
thing we think about as an interest- 
ing curiosity to something we won't 
know how to get along without. It 
will be that dramatic a change. Look 
at color TV. You're using more senses, 
and it's probably well proven that the 
more senses you involve, the more 
likely you'll get the message through. 
If you don't think color is important, 
turn it off the next time you watch a 
football game and see how you like 
it. It's a feature that is going to quick- 
ly find use in all applications, not just 
in business. 

Were you disappointed that so many 
users were not getting the color dis- 
play adapter for a while? 
I wouldn't say that so many were not 
getting it. 

There was a study that said 90 per- 
cent of the people were using just 
the monochrome display. 
I'm not going to comment on some- 
body else's study. I know how many 
are buying it. 



Most IBM software seems to allow 
users to make a limited number of 
copies. Do you have any thoughts 
about copy protection? 

Do I ever. It's wrong to copy-protect 
programs. The only reason anybody 
does it is because there are thieves 
who steal your product. That's 
wrong, too. There ought to be some 
way to stop that without creating 
products that are unusable. 
What do you think of having serial 
numbers in the hardware match to 
the software? 

None of those techniques work. 
There is no one who has a technique 
for protecting against copying code 
that works in all environments— hard 
disks, communications, local-area 
networks, single-user, easy-to-use, or 
hard-to-use. I guarantee that what- 
ever scheme you come up with will 
take less time to break than to think 
of it. I think theft is also a threat to 
software development. It's going to 
dry up the software. It's incredibly 
difficult to write software, and peo- 
ple are going to stop doing it if they 
can't get a legitimate return for their 
efforts. 

Are you satisfied with the market 
success of operating systems other 
than PC-DOS— CP/M-86 and the 
UCSD Pascal p-System? 
We came out with three operating 



systems because we couldn't figure 
out where the propensity would be; 
we wanted customers to decide that. 
Why were CP/M-86 and UCSD 
Pascal so much more expensive than 
PC-DOS? 

You'd have to talk to Softech Micro- 
systems, which did the research. 
Was the price determined by Softech 
Microsystems' licensing agreements 
with you? 
Yes. 

What do you think about Digital 
Research's recent moves to cut the 
price? 

You'd have to talk to them. 
Have you looked at any of the up- 
and-coming languages, such as 
Logo? 

We've announced Logo for our ma- 
chine, to be available in the fourth 
quarter. 

Do you think that's a good package? 
I think it's terrific. What we have on 
our machine is really dazzling. It's 
been a lot of fun to experiment while 
we were developing it. I don't know 
how to project its popularity, but I've 
had a lot of fun with it. 
Why did you decide to put Logo on 
the machine? 

Because people in the education in- 
dustry said they needed it. 
Have you used it yourself? 
I use everything we're producing. 
Do you have a machine in your 
office and at home? 
Yes, to both. I prepare letters at home. 
I have some bookkeeping informa- 
tion. We have a few investments that 
I like to pretend I can manage. I play 
games. I use it as a way to see every 
package we're developing and plan- 
ning to introduce. 
Do you use non-IBM software? 
All the time. 

Do you care to say which? 
No, but I get my hands on as much 
of it as I can and see what it looks 
like. 

Do you think other people are devel- 
oping good software? 
Absolutely. They sure are. 
Are you pleased that a certain sub- 
culture is growing up around your 
machine? 

I love it. I think we're in an era in 
which the public has adopted per- 
sonal computing in the same way it 



96 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



adopted the automobile. People want 
to know everything they can about it. 
That era will probably pass, but that 
curiosity is almost sensational right 
now, and I think it's good. 
Can we expect to see the same kind 
of shakeout that happened in auto- 
mobiles? 

Logic tells you that it has to happen. 
But logic also predicted the industry 
wouldn't sell one and a half million 
personal computers until 1985, and 
the industry surpassed that last year. 
So who knows what's going to 
happen? 

Has IBM been surprised at the suc- 
cess of the PC? 

I think the world's been surprised by 
the success, but not just about the 
IBM machine; I'm talking about per- 
sonal computing as a phenomenon. 
All the industry reports you could 
find in 1980 projected one and a half 
million in unit sales [of personal com- 
puters] in 1985. You could have called 
Future Computing or Dataquest or 
anyone else and they would have told 
you much the same thing. We don't 
have a crystal ball that is better 
calibrated than anybody else's. 
It seems that you have the same 
problem — forecasting — that most 
people have in this explosive mar- 
ket; it's an imprecise art. 
It's not that you can't predict what 
will happen in those areas that you 
understand. The problem lies in the 
very thing that makes this product 
family popular— its application to 
completely unknown uses. That's ex- 
citing, but it's also the very thing that 
makes the business totally unpredic- 
table. [See "The Perils of Fore- 
casting."] 

Are customers for larger IBM com- 
puters moving to buy PCs as well? 
They're doing it in great numbers. 
Will that fundamentally change any- 
thing in your relationship with those 
customers? 

I think we're providing them with the 
solution that they want, and that's 
what they expect of IBM, so I don't 
think that's a fundamental change. 
Is the existence of so many dis- 
tributed personal computers going 
to change data processing as we 
know it? 
No, but I think it will involve a lot of 



The Perils of Forecasting 



IBM's Estridge explains how his divi- 
sion's forecasting procedure works in the 
following manner. 

Each quarter', IBM asks everyone who 
is selling the PC, including IBM's direct 
sales force and dealers, for a projection of 
purchases for two periods: the next quarter 
and the three quarters following it. In Oc- 
tober 1982, for example, the division asked 
customers how many systems they expected 
to buy for the period from January through 
March, 1983. "We're kind of asking for a 
commitment," Estridge says of the process, 
"although no contractual penalty is at- 
tached to it." 

Then IBM asked these customers what 
they expect to buy for March through 
December, 1983. "We do that every single 
quarter by product. It's pretty boring, but 
we do it with all the people who sell our 
products," Estridge says. 

When customers returned in January of 
this year', ostensibly to talk about their 



system needs for April 1983 and beyond, 
they wanted to talk about January through 
March all over again. They doubled their 
orders for that first quarter. "They told us 
that they'd given us the wrong numbers, 
and the numbers were low by a factor of 
two since October 1982," Estridge says. 
"Then the same darn thing happened 
again in March, when we were supposed 
to be talking about July thrvugh September. 
We can only handle so many factors of 
two," Estridge says. "We've upped our pro- 
duction rate three times this year; produc- 
tion is very high. We're extremely pleased 
that we can build a quality product at that 
rate, but it's not enough. The demand is 
increasing at a very fast rate, and we're do- 
ing everything we can to stay with that 
demand. But if the demand keeps on go- 
ing at these rates," Estridge warns, "at 
some point there won't be any more parts. 
We're not there yet, but we can see where 
it is from here." 



people who aren't now involved. 
Can you characterize sales of the per- 
sonal computer through different 
distribution channels? 

I could, but I don't want to: That in- 
formation is important to us in run- 
ning our business, but not important 
to anyone else. 

We have heard that some IBM direct- 
sales people inadvertently have 
undercut a dealer's price. 
I think you could hear the other side 
just as easily. For every story you can 
tell me about a dealer feeling that he 
lost a sale to an IBM direct salesman, 
I can tell you about a salesman who 
thinks he lost a sale to a dealer, so we 
probably have it about right. I think 
there's another phenomenon that's 
new in this equation, and it may be 
particularly unique to IBM personal 
computers. Every other IBM product 
prior to the personal computer was 
available only through IBM sales- 
men. IBM customers were never 
faced with the question of support 
versus product because they both 
came via the same organization. Now 
the customer can distinguish support 
of the product. That's an adjustment 
that all of the distribution channels 
are going through. The customer 



now has to participate in a two-step 
decision: determining what product 
he wants and from whom to buy it. 
We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we 
didn't ask about a "Peanut" machine 
or any extension to this product line. 
Call the Wall Street Journal. They're the 
only ones I know of who have writ- 
ten about the Peanut. 
How about "Popcorn?" 
They've written about that, too. I 
think it's fascinating that they de- 
cided to get into product design. 
Did they seem well informed? 
I have no idea. 
Well, we had to try. 

Estridge finally alluded to the inevit- 
ability of follow-up products in summing 
up his thoughts about the IBM PC. He 
characterizes the PC as having enough 
horsepower and capacity to have a long 
life cycle: "It's an affordable product, 
there's a lot of software for it, it's easy to 
use, and it can be extended. I'm comfort- 
able that it will be around for a long time, 
and it will probably be extended. It would 
be silly not to follow it up. More impor- 
tant, I think customers expect IBM to 
follow it up."m 

Lawrence J. Curran is BYTE's editor in chief. 
Richard S. Shu ford is special projects editor. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



97 



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Enhancing Screen Displays 
for the IBM PC 

This program takes full advantage of the PCs color and 

monochrome monitors 



You can purchase the IBM Personal 
Computer (PC) with either a mono- 
chrome or a color display, or you can 
use both monitors on one system. 
This article briefly compares the 
features of both displays and demon- 
strates how you can use a program 
called Screen to take full advantage 
of both monitors' capabilities and 
simultaneously adapt them to your 
own needs. This set of easy-to-use 
enhancements is implemented as a 
short resident routine that is trans- 
parent to applications programs and 
the DOS (disk operating system). 

The two displays offered with the 
IBM PC and the new PC XT can be 
used in any of three configurations. 
A system can, for example, be out- 
fitted with the IBM monochrome 
monitor that provides green charac- 
ters on a black background with ex- 
cellent resolution. Or you can choose 
the IBM color monitor adapter that 
provides color and graphics capabil- 
ities; its characters, however, aren't as 
well defined as those on the mono- 
chrome display. The most advan- 
tageous configuration, though, is to 
set up both monitors on one system, 
making each available for a wide 
range of needs. Regardless of which 
arrangement you choose, comfort 
should be a major factor in your deci- 
sion because prolonged use of a 
difficult-to-read display can cause 
such problems as eyestrain and 
irritability. 

Both displays are limited in terms 
of user friendliness. Systems set up 



by Tim Field 

with the color monitor would be 
more useful if operators could easily 
change the foreground and back- 
ground colors for text display. The in- 
ability to change colors limits the user 
to black-and-white text combinations 
or the whim of the programmers 
who designed a particular applica- 
tions program. The ability to change 
colors, on the other hand, provides 
welcome variety and can relieve the 
eyestrain that often results from ex- 
tended use. 

Such flexibility would also enable 
you to adjust the color scheme to the 
display's environment. A soft 

Using the monochrome 

monitor for reference, 

you can create graphics 

on the color display. 

scheme, such as yellow on black, 
would be easy to read at night, 
whereas a bright setup, such as white 
on blue, would be pleasant for a sun- 
lit room. Changing the screen's col- 
ors also makes it possible to enjoy a 
three-color display for applications 
programs that take advantage of the 
PC's highlighting capabilities. 

A choice of display schemes for the 
monochrome display— the standard 
video combination of green charac- 
ters on a black background and 
reverse video, black characters on 
green, affords the same advantages 
as those offered by the color moni- 
tor—reduced eyestrain, the ability to 



match the display to the operating 
environment, and the opportunity to 
work with personal preferences. 

A system that incorporates both 
color and monochrome monitors 
could allow you to alternate between 
two display types, thus doubling the 
flexibility you have using individual 
monitors. For example, you could 
edit a program using the mono- 
chrome display and then switch to 
the color display for graphics output. 
Or you could take advantage of a 
type of dual-windowing capability, 
setting up one screen to display text 
or graphics and switching to the 
other to perform another task, refer- 
ring to the contents of the first screen 
for guidance. 

The Screen program presented 
here makes the PC's displays easier 
to use for both textual and graphics 
applications by supplying these en- 
hanced capabilities. Indeed, PC-DOS 
2.0 does provide limited capability to 
switch from a monochrome to a col- 
or monitor using the MODE com- 
mand; however, it requires that the 
computer be under direct DOS con- 
trol to make the switch. This means 
any applications program you might 
be running must be terminated to 
take advantage of this capability. 
Using Screen, however, you can 
switch monitors at almost any time, 
even while the PC is running an ap- 
plications program. Another advan- 
tage is that it's easy to use— you don't 
need technical expertise to enhance 
the displays' operations. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 99 



FUNCTIONS 

INCREMENT FOREGROUND COLOR* 
(ALTERNATE BETWEEN STANDARD 
AND REVERSE VIDEO ON 
MONOCHROME MONITOR.) 



INCREMENT BACKGROUND COLOR*. 
(ALTERNATE BETWEEN STANDARD 
AND REVERSE VIDEO ON 
MONOCHROME MONITOR.) 



ALTERNATE BETWEEN 40- AND 
80-COLUMN MODE. (VALID FOR 
COLOR ADAPTER ONLY.) 



keys Listing 1: A screen-enhancement program for the IBM PC. 






000A 



PAGE 64,132 

TITLE SCREEN - IBM Display Enhanceaent. Copyright 1983 Tin Field 
.RADIX 10 
******************************************************************** 

Define interrupt vectors for both keyboard interrupt 16H and 
screen interrupt 10H. Both in sequent 0. 
i 
I******************************************************************** 



KEYVECT SEGMENT AT 
ORG 16H*4 
KEYINT LABEL DWORD 
KEYVECT ENDS 



J Define KEYBOARD interrupt vector 



SWITCH BETWEEN COLOR AND 
MONOCHROME MONITORS. 




0040 
0040 
0040 



SCRVECT SEGMENT AT 
ORG 10H*4 
SCRINT LABEL DWORD 
SCRVECT ENDS 



Define SCREEN interrupt vector 



REPAINT THE SCREEN WITH 
CURRENT ATTRIBUTES. 




;mmmt#m*»******m*m*#********m« ******* ttt#*ftttf ******** 

S 

I Define constants 



******************************************************************** 



NOTE-. THE COLOR SEQUENCE IS AS FOLLOWS: 
BLACK, BLUE. GREEN, CYAN, RED, 
MAGENTA. YELLOW, WHITE, BLACK. ETC. 

Figure 1: Implement one of Screen's five func- 
tions by pressing the Alt key and the key as- 
signed to the display change you want to 
make. 



Design Goals 

My initial design goals for Screen 
included specific criteria. First, the 
program must be easy to use, provid- 
ing its functions at virtually any time, 
without requiring the user to load 
and run a special program to execute 
every function. Second, the enhance- 
ments must not interfere with the 
normal workings of the PC; that is, 
Screen should not obstruct the com- 
puter's operation. 

The program provided in listing 1 
attains these goals. When you first 
run Screen, it sets itself up to work 
as though it were an internal part of 
the DOS. It works automatically with 
most applications programs that use 
standard DOS and BIOS (basic in- 
put/output system) screen and key- 
board device handlers. 

You initiate the program by merely 
running it once after you power up 
the PC or execute a system reset. (You 
can also set up an AUTOEXEC.BAT 
file to automatically invoke Screen on 
system start-up. Consult the section 
on batch files in the DOS manual.) 
When first executed, Screen initial- 

Text continued on page 110 



= 0007 
= 0410 
= 000F 
= 0007 
= 0003 



0100 



0100 



0100 E9 0300 R 

0103 90 

0104 46 43 50 21 



0108 


6800 


010A 


6A00 


010C 


6C00 


010E 


6E00 


0110 


nm 


0112 


011A R 


0114 


012A R 


0116 


011A R 


0118 


70 


0119 


FF 



0000 0000 

0002 0000 



0006 0000 



BH_VAL EQU 07h j Standard BfcH attribute sent to lonitor 

EQUIPJLAS EQU 410h ; Area in RAH that contains EQUIPMENT status 

CHKJODE EQU 15 ; Screen interrupt function to check lode 

H0N0_H0DE EQU 7 ; Screen lode of 7 indicates ■onochroie 

C0L0R_ADPT EQU 3 ; Modes froa to 3 are non-graphics color 



******************************************************************** 

Start code area 
******************************************************************** 



CODE SEGMENT PARA 
ASSUME CS:C0DE 

ORG 100h J Start code at offset 100h froi starting segient. 
j (This leaves rood for DOS's work area 

KEY PROC FAR 

START: 

; Initialization code... used only once, on systea startup 

JMP INIT CODE j Call initialization routine 

EVEN 

VALIDCHK DB 'FCP!' ; used by INSTALL to check for valid SCREEN pgi 

;fmmf#tmmm»fm*mtttttt#tftt*ttttm**ttttttttttttttftt*t 

J 

j Define storage areas and data structures 

! 

;Mmtmftftttfttfmtmmft**ftfttmtt*ftmttftttff*t*f*ftfttt*t*tft* 

; Define keystroke scan codes for the five SCREEN functions 



FOREJNC DH 6800h 
BACKJNC DH 6A00h 
C80_4~0 DH 6C00h 
COL JON DH 6E00h 
REPAINT DM 7000h 



; Foreground increment 

J Background increment 

; 80x25 to 40x25 flip-flop key 

; COLOR/MONO flip-flop key 

; Repaint screen using current iode 



CUR_M0DE DM COL80JREA ; Initialize starting *ode 
MONO JET DM MONOJREA ; Pointer to nonochrone area 
COLOR JET DH COLB0JREA ; Pointer to 'active' color area 



SCRN ATTR DB 70h 
SCRN MODE DB 255 



; Current screen attribute 
j Saves current screen iode 



; Define structure used to contain infomation about 40 and I 
; coluin color nodes as well as icnochroie iode. 



S STRUC 

CORNER DH 

BF DH 

EQUIP DH 

MODE DM 

S ENDS 



; Defines COL/ROW count of characters for aonitor 

; Colors of FORE and BACK 

; Equipment setting 

i AX value for setting iode of lonitor 

Listing 1 continued on page 102 



100 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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We'll show you why 
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ViSiWord 


S249 


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$ 28 


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WordStar $269 


Perteci Wnler 


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CB 80 Compiler 


S379 


WordStar Mail Merge $369 
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S359 


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CP M86 


$49 


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8" 


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lorTRS) 

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WRITE: 
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940 D wight Way, Stc. 14 
Berkeley. CA 94710 
CA residents 
add sales tax. 



{ 



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TO ORDER, CALL TOLL-FREE: 800-227-4587 

or 415-644-3611 



□ Purchase orders accepted. 

I'lcaM 1 call us in advance 
D Prompt IPS .1 da> Blue Label, 
D Call lor shipping charges. Irw 

t umh >a. and other low software 

prices. 
D 'vow open Mon. Sat. 
G International and national dealer 

requests v.clcome. 
D Ouanni> discounts available. 
D Prices max change. 



Circle 3 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 



101 



Circle 152 on inquiry card 

a 



m 
M 

m 
m 




LOWEST IBM/PC 
SOFTWARE PRICES 



tfiiS 



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(<« 



¥ [ 

m 

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¥ 

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hi 
2 A 

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We hereby certify that your purchase 1 
from Discount Software represents 
the lowest price sold anywhere. If ! 
you find a lower price on what you 
purchased within 30 days, send the 
ad and we'll refund the difference. 



SAVE 10% MORE... CALL NOW! 



DISCOUNT PRICE ] 

Lotus 1-2-3 $316 I 

WORD PROCESSING 

Multi-Tool Word & Mouse $399 

Wordstar $289 

Spellstar $199 i 

Mailmerge $179 

Wordstar Professional $549 

Easywriter II $299 ! 

Easyspeller II $159 i 

Select/Superspell $496 j 

Write On $115 j 

Spellguard $189 

Spellbinder $349 

Final Word $264 

Wordex $159 

Edix $159 

Volkswriter $179 

LANGUAGES & UTILITIES 

Crosstalk $139 

Move-it $129 

BSTAMorBSTMS $149 

Pascal MT+ Compiler (only) $496 

CBasic 86 $294 

XLT86 $135 

MBasic (MSDOS) $265 

MBasic Compiler (MSDOS) $299 

Cobol (MSDOS) $599 

Pascal (MSDOS) $399 

Fortran (MSDOS) $299 

CP+ $175 

X" (MSDOS) $399 

OTHER GOODIES 

Mouse $189 

Joystick $49 

64 K Memory Card $339 

256 K Memory Card $549 

SuperCalcll $265 

VisiCalc $219 

Visitrend/Plot $259 

Visidex $219 

Easyfiler $359 

Mathemagic $95 

dBASEII Call $4?? 

Friday! $265 

Statpak $449 

Optimizer $174 

Desktop Plan $259 

Sales Pro $539 j 

Market Analyst $445 I 

All Games Less 15% I 

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BT1183 

Please add $3.50 Postage and Handling for 
each item. Cal residents add 6.5% Sales Tax. 
UPS Blue Label is an additional $3.50 per item. 
C.O.D. $3.00 extra. Call forovemight delivery. 
Prices subject to change without notice. All 
terms subject to availability. Outside Conti- 
nental U.S. Add $10.00 plus Air Parcel Post. 

ORDER TOLL-FREE 
VIA VISA OR MASTERCARD: 

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or 1 213-837-5141 Calif: 1 800 252-4092 Eg 
6520 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028 t^k 



j j WBHSM SOFTWARE"] 

102 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Listing 1 continued: 



011A 5019 

011C 0107 

01 IE 0020 

0120 ^003 

0122 2B19 

0124 0107 

0126 0010 

0128 0091 

012A 5019 

012C 0007 

012E 0030 

0130 0017 



0132 
0132 EA 



0137 



0137 FB 



0138 


80 FC M 


013B 


75 F5 


013D 


IE 


013E 


53 


013F 


51 


0140 


52 


0141 


06 


0142 


57 


0143 


BC CB 


0145 


BE DB 


0147 




0147 


9C 


0148 


BB 0133 R 


014B 


FF IF 


014D 


8B IE 0112 R 


0151 


38 06 010E R 


0155 


75 25 


0157 


3B IE 0114 R 


015B 


74 0D 


015D 


B3 3E 0114 R 00 


0162 


74 14 


0164 


8B IE 0114 R 


0169 


E8 0B 


016A 




016A 


B3 3E 0116 R 00 


016F 


74 07 


0171 


8B IE 0116 R 


0175 




0175 


E8 0201 R 


0178 




017B 


B4 00 


017A 


EB CB 


017C 




017C 


50 


017D 


53 


017E 


B4 0F 


0180 


CD 10 


0182 


5B 


0183 


3C 03 



; Now, set up three screen structures with default conditions 
COLB0_AREA S <5019h,0107h,20h,3> ; 80x25, White FORE, Blue BACK 

COL40_AREA S <2819h,0107h,10h,l> ; 40x25, Brown FORE, Black BACK 

M0N0_AREA S <5019h,0007h,30h,7> ; Monochroie, reverse video 



5 NOTE: The standard BIOS ROM KEYBOARD interrupt routine is 

i executed as a subroutine (using CALL DWORD PTR) if 

J the interrupt Mas invoked to return a keystroke. Any 

f other execution of KEYBOARDJO can be called as a 

i siaple inline FAR JMP instruction. NOTE: The CALL 

! instruction (see just after INT_LOOP label below) uses 

i the address stored here at KEY CALL to KEYBOARD. 10. 

KEY„CALL : 

DB 0EAH ; Far JMP address to KEYBOARD interrupt 

DM 0,0 ; 

ft****************************************************************** 

Procedure KEYRTNE - Intercepts keyboard interrupt and deter- 
mines if the keystroke is one of the five SCREEN ones. 

************ ******* ** ** ********************************************* 



KEY rtne: 




ASSUME DS:CODE 




STI ; 


Turn on interrupts 


CMP AH f ; 


CALL as subroutine if keyfetch 


JNE KEY_CALL ; 


Juip to KEYBOARDJO if not 


PUSH DS ; 


Save DS and BX froi destruction 


PUSH BX ; 




PUSH CX 




PUSH DX 




PUSH ES 




PUSH DI 




MOV BX,CS ; 


Move CS segnent into DS 


MOV DS.BX ; 




INT loop: 




pushf ; 


IBM keyboard proc expects interrupt call 


MOV BX, OFFSET KEY CALL+1 ; 


Get address to ROM code for keyboard 


CALL DWORD PTR [BX] 1 


Call keyboard routine 


MOV BX,CUR_MODE 5 


Get current »ode address 


CMP AX, COL MON ; 


See if COLOR(->MONO flip-flop key 


JNE TEST_FORE 


Exit if not 


; Otherwise, flip-flop screen node 




CMP BX,MOMO_SET 


Are we looking at aonochroie? 


JE SET COLOR ; 


Swap in color if yes 


CMP MONO_SET,0 


See if »onochroie lonitor enabled 


JE NEXT KEY 5 


Ignore couand if not 


MOV BX,MONO_SET 


Othernise set up aonochroiB 


JMP SHORT DO_CHS i 




SET COLOR: 




CMP COLOR SET,0 ; 


See if COLOR aonitor enabled 


JE NEXT KEY 


Skip if not 


MOV BX,COLOR_SET ; 


Set up for color 


DO chg: 




CALL SCREEN_CHG 


Iipleient screen change 


NEXT KEY: 




MOV AH, ; 


Set up to fetch keystroke 


JMP INTJ.OOP 


Fetch next key input 


TEST FORE: 




PUSH AX 


Save registers. 


PUSH BX 


See if in GRAPHICS lode 


MOV AH,CHK_MODE 




INT 10H 




POP BX 


Restore BX register 


CMP AL,COLOR_ADPT 


If between and 3, not graf 



Listing 1 continued on page 104 



A Little Bug Can Do A Lot Of Damage. 




It looks so little, but it eats so much 
—just like the contamination on your 
computer } s disk drive head. It may 
not seem like much, but all it takes 
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gone, it's gone forever. 

That's why you need Perfect Data. 
The Perfect Data Disk Drive Head 
Cleaning Kit eliminates problem- 
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The Perfect Data Disk Drive Head 
Cleaning Kit cleans single or dual- 
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®C0INMI7MI '83 



PerfectData's patented wet/ dry 
method is the cleaning method 
recommended by most leading 
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manufacturers. 

The Disk Drive Head Cleaning 
Kit is just part of a whole family of 
PerfectData Computer Care 
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computer and your data in perfect 
shape. So don't let a bug eat holes in 
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Chatsworth, CA 91311. 



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°erfectData is the new name of Innovative Computer Products— the leader in computer care since 1976. 




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VT is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation 

Dasher is a trademark of Data General Corporation 



Listing 1 continued: 








0165 7E 08 


JLE 


NOTJRAF 




0187 3C 07 


CMP 


AL.HONO hode 


Nonochroie lode 


0169 7D 04 


J6E 


NOTJRAF 




0166 56 


POP 


AX 


Restore stack 


01BC EB 6C 90 


J HP 


DONE 


If Color-6raphics ■ode, do not 
change todes. 


018F 


N0T_6RAF: 






018F 58 


POP 


AX 


Restore AX 


0190 38 06 0108 R 


CHP 


AX,FOREJNC 


Is this key to increment FORE? 


0194 75 16 


JNE 


TEST JACK 5 


Skip if not 


0196 3B IE 0116 R 


CMP 


BX, COLOR JET 


See if currently using color 


019A 75 2D 


JNE 


BKJLOP j 


If not, go deal with BM 


019C BB 47 02 


MOV 


AX,[BX].BF 


Sets BACK in AL, FORE in AH 


019F 


EQ_FQRE: 






019F FE C0 


INC 


AL 


Increaent FOREGROUND color 


01A1 24 07 


AND 


AL, 7 


Keep it within bounds 


01A3 3A C4 


CMP 


AL,AH 


See if sale as background 


01A5 74 FB 


JE 


EQJORE 


Increment again if yes 


01A7 89 47 02 


MOV 


[BX].BF,AX 


Save back to structure 


01AA EB C9 


JHP 


DOJHG 


Redraw screen 


01AC 


TEST JACK 






01AC 3B 06 MA R 


CMP 


AX, BACK INC 


Is this key to increaent BACK? 


01B0 75 21 


JNE 


TEST REPAINT 


Skip if not 


0JB2 3B IE 0116 R 


CMP 


BX, COLOR SET ; 


See if currently using color 


0166 75 11 


JNE 


BWJLOP 


If not, go deal with B&W 


01B8 BB 47 02 


MOV 


AX,IBX3.BF ; 


6ets BACK in AL, FORE in AH 


01BB 


eb.back: 






01BB FE C4 


INC 


AH 


Increment BACKGROUND color 


01BD 80 E4 07 


AND 


AH, 7 


Keep it within bounds 


01C0 3A E9 


CHP 


AH.AL 


see if saie as foreground 


01C2 74 F7 


JE 


EBJACK 


Increment again if yes 


01C4 69 47 02 


MOV 


[BX].BF,AX 


Save back to structure 


01C7 EB AC 


JHP 


D0JH6 


Redraw screen 


01C9 


bhjlop: 


! Flip-flop BfcW ■onitor 




01C9 BB 47 02 


MOV 


AXJBXJ.BF 


BACK in AH, FORE in AL 


01CC B6 E0 


XCH6AH.AL 


Swap 


01CE 89 47 02 


MOV 


rBXLBF.AX 


restore 


01D1 EB A2 


JMP 


DO JHG ; 


Repaint screen 


01D3 


test_repaint: 




01D3 3B 06 0110 R 


CHP 


AX, REPAINT ; 


Is this key to repaint screen? 


01D7 74 9C 


JE 


D0JH6 


If yes, repaint 


01D9 


TEST_80_40: 




01D9 3B 06 010C R 


CHP 


AX,CB0_40 i 


Is the B0-40 flop key pressed? 


01DD 75 IB 


JNE 


DONE 


Exit if not 


01DF 81 FB 0122 R 


CHP 


BX, OFFSET COL40 AREA 


Is current pointer area 40x25? 


01E3 75 05 


JNE 


TSTB0 


Skip if not 


01E5 BB 011A R 


HOV 


BX, OFFSET COL80JREA ; 


Otherwise, flip to B0x25 


01E8 EB 09 


JMP 


SHORT SAVEJOL 


Save to COLOR JET 


01EA 


TSTB0: 






01EA Bl FB 011A R 


CHP 


BX, OFFSET COLB0JREA j 


Is current B0x25 color? 


01EE 75 88 


JNE 


NEXT_KEY 


Ignore key if not 


01F0 BB 0122 R 


HOV 


BX, OFFSET COL40JREA i 




01F3 


save_col: 






01F3 B9 IE 0116 R 


HOV 


COLOR JET, BX 


Save to COLOR JET 


01F7 E9 016A R 


JHP 


SETJOLOR 


Iotplenent 


01FA 


DONE: 






01FA 5F 


POP 


Dl 




01FB 07 


POP 


ES 




01FC 5A 


POP 


DX 




01FD 59 


POP 


CX 




01FE 5B 


POP 


BX 




01FF IF 


POP 


DS 




0200 CF 


IRET 




Return frot interrupt 


0201 


KEY ENDP 


i Done with lain routine f! 





0201 



*t*it*mtmtttttttttmttfttttt*H*Hmft*m*m*tt*fttt#*tt**t«#ttttmtt 

SCREEN JHG - Changes current lonitor screen iode 

Inputs: BX points to current tonitor structure 

tftttttttttftftttMt**mtttttt*mmt«#***m**ft*mtt«tt*4tftmtftt*ttm*t« 

SCREEN JHG PROC NEAR 

Listing 1 continued on page 106 



104 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



IBM put everything 
intheXT...except backup 




New From CORVUS. The IBM Mirror 
Card permits the connection of your IBM 
XT or PC to a low-cost video cassette 
recorder for storing of up to 73 MB of 
information. 

User Proven Using field-proven 
technology which has been perfected as 
backup for CORVUS Winchester disk sys- 
tems, the IBM Mirror Card plugs directly 
into a peripheral slot of your XT or PC. It 
permits you to store the entire contents 
of your internal or external IBM Hard 
Disk on a standard video cassette in 
approximately 15 minutes. 

Proven Safe The Mirror's sophisti- 
cated patented features include a built-in 
error detection system to assure the ac- 
curacy of your stored data. Complete soft-^^ 
ware is included to save, restore, verify w* ; 
and archive your valuable information. 



Compatible Output The IBM Mir- 
ror accommodates NTSC, SECAM or PAL 
formats for Beta or VHS Video Cassette 
recorders. 

The Best News At $495, plus your 
low-cost VCR, purchased separately, it's 
the simplest and most inexpensive solu- 
tion around. (P.S. When you're not using 
your VCR to store data, you can still use 
it to watch video tapes!) 

So if you're ready to have everything 
in your XT . . . including Back-up, contact 
CORVUS for the name of your nearest 
dealer. 



*• 



^CORVUS SYSTEMS 

2029 OToole Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131 
Telephone (408) 946-7700 



IBM, IBM PC, IBM XT are trademarks of IBM Corporation. Corvus, 
Corvus Systems, Mirror® (patent 4,380,047) , are trademarks or 
registered trademarks of Corvus Systems, Inc. 

Circle 116 on inquiry card. 




TOLL FREE ORDER -1-800-421-3135 
TECHNICAL INFO — (602) 842-1133 
Call for programs not listed. We will try to 
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- MOST DISK FORMATS AVAILABLE - 

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+Extra diskette withDBaseAccounting, Mail 
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ACCOUNTING 



#TCS»Equivalent of Peachtree»Specially 
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Hayes Smartcom Program $80 



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Quadram Micro Fazer Print Buffer 64K Call 

' Hayes 1 200B Modem $450 

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MPI 320K D/S D/D Drives Call 

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64 K Ram Board Expandable to 256K$1 50 

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Microsoft Flight Simulator 

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CP/M 86 for IBM PC . 



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CIS Cobol 86 $595 

Palcal MT+86 W/Spp $450 

TOLL FREE ORDER - 1-800-421-3135 

TERMS: Prices include 3% cash discount. Add 3% for 
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AZ orders +6% sales tax. Prices subject to change. 

WAREHOUSE SOFTWARE 

4935 West Glendale Ave., Suite 12 

Glendale, AZ 85301 



Listing 1 continued: 



0201 


B8 0000 


0204 


8E C0 


0206 


26: Al 0410 


020A 


24 CF 


020C 


0B 47 04 


020F 


26: A3 0410 


0213 


89 IE 0112 R 


0217 


8B 57 02 


021A 


Bl 04 


021C 


D2 E6 


021E 


0A F2 


0220 


88 36 0118 R 


0224 


8B 47 06 


0227 


3A 06 0119 R 


022B 


74 05 


022D 


A2 0119 R 


0230 


CD 10 



0232 

0232 

0235 
0236 



EB 0236 R 
C3 



0236 

0236 
023A 
023C 
023D 
023E 
0241 
0243 
0245 
0247 
0249 
024A 
0243 
024B 
024D 
0250 
0252 

0254 
0256 
025B 
0259 
025B 
025E 



81 FB 0114 R 

74 0F 

50 

53 

8B 5F 02 

8A DF 

B7 00 

B4 0B 

CD 10 

5B 

58 

8B 07 
A3 02BE R 
B4 0F 
CD If 

B4 03 

CD 10 

52 

33 D2 

B9 0001 

8A IE 0118 R 



0262 

0262 B4 02 

0264 CD 10 

0266 B4 08 

0268 CD 10 



026A 


60 E4 88 


026D 


80 E3 77 


0270 


0A DC 


0272 


B4 09 


0274 


CD 10 


0276 


FE C2 


027B 


3A 16 02BF R 


027C 


7E E4 


027E 


32 D2 


0280 


FE C6 


0282 


3A 36 028E R 


0286 


7E DA 


0288 


5A 


0289 


B4 02 



MOV AX,0 


; Get segient address to EQUIP_FLAG 


MOV ES,AX 


5 in RAH leiory 


MOV AX,ES:EQUIP_FLA6 


; Set set of EQUIP flags 


AND AL,0CFh 


; Get rid of current lonitor flag 


OR AX, [BX]. EQUIP 


; Set up neM lonitor flag 


MOV ESlEQUIP FLAG,AX 


; Save back in RAM 


MOV CUR_MODE,BX 


; Indicate neM iode 


; No*, set up attribute for 


foreground and background 


NOV DX,[BX].BF 


; Set both FORE and BACK in DX 


MOV CL, 4 


5 Shift count 


SHL DH,CL 


; Shift BACK into upper nibble 


OR DH,DL 


; love FORE into IoMer nibble 


NOV SCRN_ATTR,DH 


; Save results 


; See if Me need to reset lonitor (snitching to neM lonitor?) 


MOV AX, [BX]. MODE 


; Get iode 


CMP AL,SCRN_HODE 


; Coipare with current iode 


JE SET ATTR 


; Skip if sane 


MOV SCRN MODE,AL 


; Otherwise, save current aode 


INT 10h 


; And reset to new lonitor 



set_attr: 

; Change attributes of current screen 
CALL CH ATTR 5 Changes attributes 

RET 
SCREEN_CHG ENDP 

mffffffffffff*fmmftffft»ttftffff«ftt**iftfftfftftfftft**ftff*fttttfrtttftf* 

CHATTR - Repains active screen so that every character on 
current screen is displayed with the new attributes 

Inputs : BX points to current aonitor structure 

mftfmm*imff**ffftttfftHtft*f*ftfmt»ftft*ftf*«tfttttfft*m**fmt«tttt 



CH_ATTR PROC 
; See 

cup 

JE 

PUSH 
PUSH 
MOV 
MOV 
MOV 
MOV 
INT 
POP 
POP 
NOJORDER: 
MOV 
MOV 
MOV 
INT 
; BH 
MOV 
INT 
PUSH 
XOR 
MOV 
MOV 

REPJUTR: 
MOV 
INT 
MOV 
INT 
; AH 
AND 
AND 
OR 
MOV 
INT 
INC 
CMP 
JLE 
XOR 
INC 
CMP 
JLE 



NEAR 
if Me need to draw in border for color iode 



BX, OFFSET MONO JET 

NO.BDRDER 

AX 

BX 

BX, [BX3.BF 

BL, BH 

BH,0 

AH, 11 

10H 

BX 

AX 

AX, [BX]. CORNER ; 

CORNR,AX ; 

AH,CHKJ10DE ; 

10h J 
contains active page 

AH, 3 5 

10h ; 

DX ; 

DX,DX ; 

cx,l ; 

BL.SCRN ATTR ; 



AH, 2 
10h 
AH, 8 
10h 



In Color? 

Do not Morry about border if not 

Save registers 

Get background color in BL 

Select border coloring 
Interface to Set Color Palette 
Execute screen interrupt 
Restore registers 



Set COL and RON for current 
Save in teiporary 
Get page nuiber 



Save current cursor posn 

Save position on stack 
Load DX Mith 
Set up replication count 
Set current attribute 



Set cursor position 



Read next character 



contains current character attribute 



AH,88h 

BL,77h 

BL,AH 

AH, 9 

lfh 

DL 

DL.TCOL 

REP_ATTR 

DL,DL 

DH 

DH,TROW 

REP ATTR 



Get intensity bit 
Hake sure attribute intensity off 
Coibine to get current attribute 
Write out char with new attribute 



Are Me done Mith this coluirt? 



POP DX 
MOV AH, 2 



; Otherwise zero out DL 

; Hove to next row 

; Done with screen? 

I Loop until done 

; Restore original cursor position 

i 

Listing 1 continued on page 108 



106 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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Sales and Marketing by The MARKETING 
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" ^ — TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 

^^^n^^^^^^V FORMERLY SATURN SYSTEMS OF MICHIGAN 



IBM P C and X T are registered trademarks o f International 
Business Machines Corp. 

TITAN, PSEUDO-DISK, PSEUDO-PRINT, WHATIME, and 
HARDISK are trademarks of Titan Technologies. Inc. 

108 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Listing 


1 continued: 




028B CD 


10 


INT tlh i 


028D C3 




RET 


028E 




CORNR LABEL WORD 


02BE 00 




TROH DB ; Temporary store for ROW 


02BF 00 




TCOL DB 5 teip store for COL 


0290 




CH_ATTR ENDP 



02B1 
02B1 EA 

02B2 0000 %m 

02B6 



;**ttttfttttttttftHtt*ftmtfttt*ftftttftttfttttt*«#tttttHtttttfttt*ttftt*tttttt 

! 

i SCRJTNE - Replaces SCREEN interrupt so that it can intercept 

; BlrH character writes and change attributes 

i 

;tmtmti*ttttmtfHttft#Htfmmfmt#»ttmtmtftm»*HttHtttt*»f** 



0290 




SCR_RTNE PROC NEAR 








ASSUME DSICODE 


0291 


FB 




STI 


0291 


IE 




PUSH DS 


0292 


0E 




PUSH CS 


0293 


IF 




POP DS 


0294 


80 FC 06 




CHP AH, 6 


0297 


7C 17 




JL NORNAL_SCR 


0299 


80 FC 07 




CMP AH, 7 


029C 


7F 06 




J6 N0T_SCR0LL 


029E 




SCROLL 




029E 


EB 0286 R 




CALL 6ET_CH 


02A1 


EB 0D 90 




JMP NORMAL JCR 


02A4 




NOTJCROLL: 


02A4 


80 FC 09 




CMP AH, 9 


02A7 


75 07 




JNE NORMAL_SCR 


02A9 


B6 FB 




XCH6 BH,BL 


02AB 


EB 02B6 R 




CALL 6ET_CH 


02AE 


B6 FB 




KCH6 BH,B~L 


02B0 




norhal_scr: 


02B0 


IF 




POP DS 



; Save Data Segient register 

; Move CS segient into DS 

! 

J Spot SCROLL UP and SCROLL DOWN calls 



For scrolling, update attribute 
Now, execute scroll 



; Check for 'WRITE ATTRIBUTE/CHAR' c»d 

; Send out any other coeiand as norial 

; Get attribute in BL 

; Update attribute for coitand 

; Move attribute back to BH for cid 



; Restore DS segment register 

NOTE: We are now ready to invoke the BIOS screen interrupt. 

Since the ROM code includes an IRET interrupt return call, 
all Me need to do is to jusp to the start of the ROM code 
and all Mill be Mell. Since the initialization code set 
up the address to the screen interrupt code below, Me can 
set up a forced juip to that address, 



JHP SCR: 



DB 0EAH 

DW 0,0 

SCR RTNE ENDP 



Address to SCREEN interrupt 

Force a FAR JMP but do not set up dest- 
ination address at assembly tile. 
(INIT routine Mill set this address) 



;fttftftt*ttftfftH*ttiHtmttfttfttftfttfttftt*tttfftttt**ttttttmt*tt*ttfttttttm 

i 6ET_CH - Subroutine replaces B&W character with current replaceient 

i attributes and alloMs for Intensity bit setting 

I 

; INPUTS : BH contains attribute to be ■odified 

! 
;mttttmttttfttmmtttttttt«#ttttttttt«fttf«ftmttttftt*tttt*t*tttt*fttf*t 



02B6 




6ET_CH PROC NEAR 




02B6 


BB 3E 02CE R 




MOV 


SAVECH,BH ! 


Save character 


02BA 


80 E7 77 




AND 


BH,77h ! 


Reiove intensity and blink bits 


02BD 


B0 FF 07 




CMP 


BH.BW.VAL ! 


See if currently defined B4W value 


02CU 


BA 3E 02CE R 




MOV 


BH, SAVECH ! 


Otherwise, lodify to current attri 


02C4 


75 07 




JNE 


OUT ; 


Exit if not 


02C6 


B0 E7 BB 




AND 


BH,B8h ; 


Get rid of B&W part 


02C9 


0A 3E 0118 R 




OR 


*H,SCRN_ATTP 


; Move in current attribute part 


02CD 




out: 








02CD 


C3 




RET 


i 


done 


02CE 


30 




SAVECH DB 1 


Temporary character store 


ei'CF 




6ET_CH ENDP 







02CF 



LASTONE: ; All code after this label is freed to DOS use after 
i initialization of the prograi. 

;m<tttmttfftttt*tttttfttttttttttttitttttttt*tttttf*ttttttt#f ************ 



INIT_CODE - Code to load and initialize the SCREEN prograi... 
sets up DOS to keep all code before 'LASTONE 1 
safe froi overlaying during systea operation. 



label 



Listing 1 continued on page 110 



COHERENT™ IS SUPERIOR TO UNIX* 

AND IT'S AVAILABLE TODAY 

ON THE IBM PC. 



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Mark 

Williams 

Company 



COHERENT is a trademark of Mark Williams Company. 

♦UNIX is as trademark of Bell Laboratories. Circle 509 on inquiry card. 



Circle 476 on inquiry card. 




Only Titan's Neptune™ pro- 
vides Apple lie users with 
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and up to 192K memory- 
all in just one slot. 

Now, Titan's exclusive Neptune 
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Additionally Titan's VC-EXPAND/ 
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Let us help you expand your 
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(313)973-8422. 

Sales and Marketing by The 
MARKETING RESOURCE GROUP, 
Costa Mesa, CA. 



ra Titan 

— ^» TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 

<^^^^M^^^^HV FORMERLY SATURN SYSTEMS F MICHIGAN 



Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 
VisiCalc is a registered trademark of VisiCorp, Inc. 
CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 
VC-EXPAND software is written by Micro Solutions, Inc. 
Neptune and PSEUDO-DISK are trademarks of Titan 
Technologies, Inc. 

110 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Listing 1 continued: 


! 








;tffffftttfHttfttffftff«fftffttf«f«tttfff**t#tf*f*fHH«fffffftftHftft*ffftf 


02CF 


53 43 52 45 45 4E 


COPYRT: DB 'SCREEN Version 1.20 Copyright 19B3 Til Field', 13, 10, T 




20 20 56 65 72 73 








69 6F 6E 20 31 2E 








32 30 20 20 43 6F 








70 79 72 69 67 6B 








74 20 31 39 3B 33 








20 54 69 6D 20 46 








69 65 6C 64 0D 0A 
24 






03M 




INIT_C0DE PROC NEAR 

1 Initialize KEYBOARD intercept code 








ASSUME es:keyvect 


'VECTORS' is interrupt segient 


0301 


BB — ~ R 


MOV AX,KEYVECT 


Get address to interrupt vector 


8303 


BE C0 


MOV ES,AX 


Save in ES 


0305 


26: A I 0058 R 


MOV AX,ES:KEYINT 


Get address to interrupt rtne 


0309 


BB 0133 R 


MOV BX, OFFSET KEY.CALL+I 


Address to place tD save vector 


030C 


B9 07 


MOV [BX3,AX 


Save interrupt address 


030E 


26: Al 005A R 


MOV AX,ES:KEYINT[23 


Get interrupt segient for rtne 


0312 


B9 47 02 


MOV [0X+2],AX 


Save it too 


0315 


26: C7 06 005B R 0137 R 


MOV ESIKEYINT, OFFSET KEYJTNE 


Now, replace with Dun address 


031C 


8C C8 


MOV AX,CS 


Save segient in interrupt vector 


031E 


26: A3 005A R 


MOV ES:KEYINT[2J,AX 

; Initialize SCREEN intercept code 








ASSUME ES'.SCRVECT 


; 'VECTORS' is interrupt segient % 


0322 


BB R 


MOV AX,SCRVECT 


Get address to interrupt vector 


0325 


BE C0 


MOV ES,AX 


; Save in ES 


0327 


26: Al 0040 R 


MOV AX,ES:SCRINT 


Get address to interrupt rtne 


032B 


BB 02B2 R 


MOV BX, OFFSET JHPJCR+1 


; Address to place to save vector 


032E 


B9 07 


MOV [BX],AX 


Save interrupt address 


0330 


26: Al 0042 R 


MOV AX,ES:SCRINH2] 


; Get interrupt segient for rtne 


0334 


B9 47 02 


MOV [BX+2],AX 


Save it too 


0337 


26: C7 06 0040 R 0290 R 


MOV ES:SCRINT,OFFSET SCR JUNE 


; Nom, replace with own address 


033E 


BC CB 


MOV AX,CS 


Save segient in interrupt vector 


0340 


26: A3 0042 R 


MOV ES:SCR1NT[23,AX 
5 Initialize screen 




0344 


8B IE 0112 R 


MOV &X,CUR_M0DE 


; Set up initial iode 


0346 


E8 0201 R 


CALL SCREEN_CH6 


; Initialize 






; Now, print out acknowledgement to 


user lonitor and exit 


034B 


8C C8 


MOV AX,CS 


; Set up segeent to this routine 


034D 


BE DB 


MOV DS,AX 


i 


034F 


BA 02CF R 


MOV DX, OFFSET COPYRT 


; Now, print out copyright aessage 


0352 


B4 09 


MOV AH,9 


» DOS function to print string 


0354 


CD 21 


INT 21h 


; Execute function interrupt 


0356 


BA 02CF R 


MOV DX, OFFSET LASTONE 


; Save all code up to "LASTONE" label 


0359 


CD 27 


INT 27H 


; No return needed. 


035B 




INIT_CODE ENDP 




035B 




CODE ENDS 
END START 





Text continued from page 100 

izes the system display(s) according 
to the system's preset state. 

Screen then uses DOS to become 
resident in the system. When you 
subsequently execute other programs 
and DOS functions, Screen is not 
disturbed. It remains in the PC's 
RAM (random-access read/write 
memory), waiting for you to request 
one of its functions. 

Screen Functions 

You invoke each Screen function 
via one combined-keystroke entry. 
Figure 1 illustrates the use of the five 
functions. 

You enter the keystrokes by holding 



down the Alt key and simultaneously 
pressing the specified function key. 
As soon as Screen detects these key- 
strokes, it implements the function 
requested. 

The first two functions that are 
listed, <AltFl> and < Alt F3>, in- 
crement or change the color of the 
foreground and background on a col- 
or monitor's screen. Eight colors are 
available for either area: black, blue, 
green, cyan, red, magenta, yellow, 
and white. When you invoke either 
of these two functions, the fore- 
ground or background changes from 
its present color to the next one in 
this list. The list wraps around so that 




PA NTH** 




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the color choice after white goes back 
to black. The foreground or back- 
ground of the display is actually "re- 
painted" with whatever color is 
requested. 

If you could choose the same col- 
ors for the foreground and back- 
ground, the text display would be in- 
visible. Thus, Screen does not fulfill 
such a request. Consequently, 56 col- 
or combinations are available for the 
foreground/background scheme of 
the PC color display. If you are using 
the monochrome monitor and invoke 
either of these functions, the display 
merely flips from reverse to normal 
video, or vice versa. 

The <Alt F7> keystroke permits 
you to alternate between the color 
and monochome monitors, making 
either one active. For example, if all 
text and output is going to the color 
monitor, pressing <Alt F7> leaves 
that monitor unchanged and clears 
the monochrome monitor, making it 
active. Subsequent output then goes 
to the monochrome screen. Pressing 
< Alt F7> again reverses the process, 
reactivating the color monitor. 



The <Alt F9> keystroke causes 
the active screen to be repainted with 
the currently specified attributes. 
This feature is needed after running 
certain DOS commands or applica- 
tions programs that reset the screen 
to black and white. The DOS MODE 
command is an example. 

Screen's Operation 

The Screen program found in 
listing 1 is a 600-byte assembly-lan- 

Screen consists of three 

functional blocks: 

program initialization, 

screen interception, 

and keyboard 

interception. 

guage program designed to take ad- 
vantage of the PC's f lexible-interrupt 
structure. It consists of three func- 
tional blocks: program initialization, 
screen interception, and keyboard in- 
terception. The program's initializa- 
tion portion is found in the 




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112 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 250 on inquiry card. 



INIT CODE subroutine. This rou- 
tine serves three purposes: initiating 
execution of both the screen- and 
keyboard-intercept code, setting up 
the system display(s) in the default 
mode, and telling DOS that Screen 
is to remain resident in RAM. 

The two interception blocks per- 
form the operations the program 
supports. The screen-interception 
segments actually intercept text char- 
acters as they are sent to either the 
color or monochrome screen and 
make the necessary alterations on 
their "attributes." (A character at- 
tribute specifies things about that 
character, such as color, and whether 
it is to be blinking or underlined.) 
Likewise, the keyboard-interception 
feature intercepts keystrokes received 
from the keyboard, watching for and 
executing Screen's five function key- 
strokes. The keyboard- and screen- 
intercept blocks are independent pro- 
cesses that share data structures and 
variables. The structures define the 
current state of the display. 

The screen-intercept block consists 
of the SCR_RTNE and GET_CH 
subroutines in listing 1. This code in- 
tercepts any screen interrupts meant 
for the IBM BIOS screen handler (see 
"The IBM PC Screen Interrupt" on 
page 196) and checks to see whether 
text is being sent to one of the 
screens. 

If text is being sent, SCR_RTNE 
examines the text-character attribute 
to see if it specifies a black-and-white 
character. If so, the attribute is re- 
placed with the current Screen attri- 
bute for that display. For example, if 
Screen is currently displaying text 
with a white character on a blue 
background, any black-and-white 
text attribute is replaced with the 
white-on-blue attribute. The text 
character is then sent on to the BIOS 
screen driver for printing on the 
display. 

The keyboard-intercept code in- 
cludes the listing 1 subroutines 
KEY_RTNE, SCREEN_CHG, and 
CH AI1K. The purpose of the func- 
tional block of code made up of these 
subroutines is to intercept any ROM 
(read-only memory) BIOS keyboard 
interrupts (see "The IBM PC Key- 
board Interrupt" on page 114). 

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The IBM PC Screen Interrupt 



The IBM PC uses a memory-mapped ap- 
proach to support adapters for the mono- 
chrome and color/graphics monitors, re- 
serving two separate chunks of its 1-mega- 
byte memory for the adapter's. In text mode, 
the contents of each byte in those memory 
areas specify one character displayed on the 
screen. The monochrome adapter contains 
4K bytes of RAM and begins at address 
BOOOO hexadecimal. (All addresses to 
follow are hexadecimal.) The color/graph- 
ics card contains 16K bytes of RAM, begin- 
ning at B8000. 

The obvious method of writing text to 
either monitor is by merely writing the ap- 
propriate ASCII (American National Stan- 
dard Code for Information Interchange) 
values in one monitor's memory space. For 
example, if you move the value 65 to mem- 
ory location B800:0000, the character "A' 
appears on the upper-left corner of the 
screen. This method of writing text can be 
extremely efficient, especially given the 
ability of the 8088 processor to do block 
moves, allowing you to write character 
strings to one of the displays using a single 
machine instruction. 

If the PCs designers had simply left to 
each applications program the job of using 
this memory -mapped structure for access- 
ing the displays, a number of problems 
would have occurred. For example, how 
does a program know which of the two 
monitors to write to? For that matter, how 
can the program determine whether the 
system has both monitors? (While this is 
easily determined, do we really want every 
program to have to embed the code needed 
to find out?) And what about the graphics 
capabilities of the color adapter; must each 
program check whether the display is in 
text mode or graphics mode? 

This memory-mapped approach to writ- 
ing text requires a hardware-specific solu- 
tion. All programs written for the PC 
using this technique require that the mem- 



ory-map space of both adapters remains un- 
changed. Furthermore, the specific hard- 
ware of the adapters must not change so 
that current display modes and other vital 
information can be determined from the 
display chips themselves. 

Fortunately, the PC provides an alter- 
native for interfacing to the display screens. 
The ROM BIOS code contains an inter- 
rupt handler called VIDEO— 10 (INT 10), 
which performs a number of screen tasks 
for DOS and other application programs. 

This interrupt handler provides an in- 
terface between programs and both dis- 
plays, and the interface knows of only one 
active display at any given time. If the color 
monitor is currently active, then all out- 
put sent to VIDEO 10 is sent on the col- 
or screen; likewise, if the monochrome 
monitor is active, all output is sent there. 
If the system has only one display, that one 
is always active. 

The VIDEO 10 interrupt handler pro- 
vides numerous screen-oriented functions, 
including: 



• selecting the active monitor 

• setting the mode of the color monitor 
(i.e., 40 by 25 characters vs. 80 by 25 char- 
acters and color vs. black and white) 

• setting and reading the cursor position 
of the active monitor 

• reading the light-pen position of the color 
monitor 

• selecting the active display page of the 
color monitor 

•scrolling the active page up or down 

• reading/writing a character and attribute 
(the attribute of a character describes such 
features as color, underlining, etc.) 

• performing simple graphics operations 
on the color monitor (for example, setting 
a color palette, read/write dot, etc.) 
•checking the current mode of the active 
display 



Using the VIDEO_IO Interrupt 

Screen intercepts any interrupt meant for 
VIDEO 10. In other words, when a pro- 
cess executes the INT 10 instruction, 
SCR— RTNE gets control of the PC. 

SCR RTNE checks to see whether the 

operation being requested of VIDEO 10 

is a text-character write operation. If it's 
not, SCR— RTNE immediately executes 
VIDEO-JO. The result is that 
SCR— RTNE does not affect the PCs 
operation (except for the slight time delay 
required to determine what SCR^RTNE 
should do). 

If, however, the operation requested is 
a text-character write operation, 
SCR— RTNE must act. It tests the at- 
tribute of the character being written, and 
if it determines that the attribute indicates 
a black-and-white character is being sent 
to VIDEO— 10, then SCR— RTNE simp- 
ly replaces the black-and-white attribute 
with the attribute that is currently active 
in BASIC (white on blue, for example). 

The character with the new attribute is 
then sent on to VIDEO— IO, and the 
result is a screen display of a different col- 
or. SCR RTNE is careful not to change 

any other parts of the character attribute. 
For example, if the attribute signifies that 
the character is to be highlighted, this 
highlighting is not changed; the displayed 
character is highlighted in color. 

Note what happens if you run Screen 
and then execute a program that uses the 
memory-mapped text output. Because text 
output does not come through 

VIDEO 10, Screen never intercepts the 

characters. As a result, Screen has no ef- 
fect on programs that use this technique 
for screen display. 



KEY_J*TNE, upon intercepting an 
interrupt, uses the BIOS keyboard 
handler to fetch the next keystroke, 
which is examined to see if it is one 
of the five keystrokes that invoke a 
Screen function. 

If it is indeed a Screen function call, 
KEY_RTNE handles the request. 
The keystroke is then discarded, and 



the BIOS keyboard handler is used 
to fetch the next keystroke. 

KEY_RTNE changes the data that 
the keyboard- and screen-intercept 
blocks share to reflect any change in 
state. When you invoke one of the 
Screen functions (by entering the ap- 
propriate keystroke), KEY_RTNE 
changes the visible current state of 



the display(s) and then reflects the 
new state in the shared data. 

SCR RTNE changes only the at- 
tributes of text characters being sent 
to the display. The shared data speci- 
fies which attributes are to be used 
as well as the monitor to which text 
is to be sent. 

The data structures and variables 



114 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



shared by the subroutines 
KEY_RTNE and SCR^RTNE are 
defined in listing 1. The basic struc- 
ture is "S STRUC and specifies the 
current state of each monitor. This 
structure is used three times— to 
define the states of the monochrome 
monitor (MONO_AREA), the 
80-column color monitor 
(COL80_AREA), and the 40-column 
color monitor (COM0_AREA). 

Program Flexibility 

Note in listing 1 the five variables 
FORE_INC, BACK_INC, C80_40, 
COL_MON, and REPAINT. These 
variables contain the character codes 
for the keystrokes <Alt Fl> to 
<Alt F9>, which are assigned to 
the five Screen functions. 

By making these character-code 
variables, Screen makes it easy to 

Screen's start-up state 
is a white-on-blue 

scheme in an 
80-column mode. 

reassign the functions to any key- 
strokes you want to use. For example, 
if one of your applications programs 
requires the use of the <Alt Fl> 
keystroke, you can reassign the 
INCREMENT FOREGROUND oper- 
ation to another key by replacing the 
<Alt Fl> character code in 
FORE_INC. 

Another feature that provides flex- 
ibility is the default or start-up state; 
as set up in listing 1, Screen initially 
uses a white-on-blue scheme with 
the color monitor in 80-column 
mode. You can change the default 
state by altering the appropriate vari- 
able at the front of the program list- 
ing. 

Changes in Screen can be made by 
using either the DOS Debug utility 
or a program specifically designed for 
this purpose. For example, I use a 
menu-driven program called Install 
that allows safe and simple modifica- 
tion of Screen's keystrokes and 
default conditions. 

Intercepting Interrupts 

The initialization of Screen by 
INIT CODE must perform two vital 



The IBM PC 
Keyboard Interrupt 



The IBM PC actually uses two keyboard 
interrupts and associated ROM BIOS 
handlers. The first is KB^LNT (INT 9). 
This routine communicates with the key- 
board's 8048 processor to convert scan 
codes received from the keyboard into char- 
acter codes. These character codes are then 
placed in a keystroke buffer. 

The transformation from scan to char- 
acter code is quite complex. The state of 
such keys as the shift, Caps Lock, Alt, or 
Ctrl keys affects the resulting character 

code. In addition, KB INT checks for 

special key combinations, such as the Ctrl- 
Alt-Del system-reset key combination and 
the status of the Print Screen functions and 
responds to them appropriately. (See 
"Using IBM's Marvelous Keyboard," May 
1983 BYTE, page 402, for more informa- 
tion.) 

The second keyboard interrupt, KEY- 
BOARD_iO, is INT 16 hexadecimal. Its 
main function is to check the keystroke buf- 
fer (being filled by KB^NT) and wait un- 
til a key is pressed. The next keystroke is 
returned to the process invoking this in- 
terrupt. (KEYBOARD_lO can also be 
used to check the status of the keystroke 
buffer and return notice if some character 
is available.) 

The general flow of operations is as fol- 
lows: the 8048 processor on the keyboard 
notices when a key is pressed and sends an 
appropriate scan code to the computer. 



KB INT receives this scan code and con- 
verts it to the appropriate character code, 
which it places in the keystroke buffer. 

Subsequently, when a process (such as 
DOS or BASIC or some applications pro- 
gram) wants to fetch a keystroke, it executes 
an INT 16, invoking KEYBOARD_IO. 
KEYBOARD_JO checks the keystroke 
buffer until it finds a character code. The 
code is removed from the buffer and sent 
to the calling process. 

Screen's keyboard intercept routine 
KEY_JiTNE uses the KEYBOARD ^10 
interrupt handler. KEY^RTNE is set up 
to receive control any time a process re- 
quests an INT 16, thus intercepting the 
keyboard interrupt. 

When it receives control, KEY_RTNE 

immediately executes KEYBOARD 10 as 

a subroutine, regaining control when 
KEYBOARD_lO returns with a key- 
stroke. KEY RTNE then compares the 

keystroke returned with those that are 
assigned to the five Screen functions. 

If a match is not found, KEY_RTNE 
returns from the interrupt, sending the 
keystroke it received from KEY- 
BOARD 10 back to the originating pro- 
cess. However, if KEY RTNE finds a 

match, the appropriate Screen function is 
executed, the matching keystroke is dis- 
carded, and KEY _RTNE again calls KEY- 
BOARD _JO to fetch another keystroke 
from the keyboard. 



tasks. First, it must set up 
KEY_RTNE and SCR_RTNE to in- 
tercept the appropriate keyboard and 
screen interrupts. Second, it must 
supply those two subroutines with 
the addresses of the ROM interrupt 
handlers they replace so that Screen 
can use the ROM code. 

The PC's interrupt structure makes 
it fairly simple to replace an interrupt- 
handler routine with one of your 
own design. (See "A Peek into the 
IBM PC/' March 1983 BYTE, page 331, 
for a general discussion of this inter- 
rupt structure.) 

INIT_CODE gets the addresses to 
the ROM interrupt handlers by look- 
ing into the appropriate slots in the 



interrupt vector table. These ad- 
dresses are saved in storage areas in 

Screen for later use by KEY RTNE 

and SCR_J*TNE. INIT_CODE then 

moves the addresses of KEY RTNE 

and SCR_RTNE into the interrupt 
vector table so they can intercept the 
appropriate interrupts. 

It is interesting to look at how 
KEY_RTNE and SCR_RTNE use 
the saved addresses of the BIOS 
ROM keyboard- and screen-interrupt 
handlers. Two techniques are used 
to interface with the ROM code. The 
first technique executes the ROM 
code as a subroutine, allowing the 
caller to regain control after the ROM 
code has been completed. The sec- 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. U5 







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ond technique simply " jumps' ' to 
the ROM code as if it were in-line 
code, permitting the ROM code to 
return directly to the interrupts 
origin. 

For KEY_RTNE to examine the 
keystroke returned by the ROM key- 
board interrupt handler, it must re- 
gain control when the ROM code is 
finished. It takes control by executing 
the ROM keyboard interrupt handler 
as a subroutine, using the standard 
CALL instruction. 

When invoked as a subroutine, the 
interrupt handler executes and, 
when finished, returns via an IRET 
(interrupt return) instruction. 
KEY RTNE must therefore perform 

The keyboard- and 

screen-intercept blocks 

share data structures 

and variables. 

a PUSHF (push flags) operation im- 
mediately prior to the FAR CALL 
subroutine call in order to account for 
the automatic POPF (pop flags) that 
the IRET does. 

SCR RTNE completes its function 

of mapping a black-and-white text 
character into the appropriate char- 
acter attribute before it executes the 
ROM screen-interrupt handler. Be- 
cause SCR RTNE need not regain 

control after the ROM code is fin- 
ished, it can execute the ROM code 
as if it is in-line code, using a FAR 
JMP instruction. The IRET operation 
in the ROM code then returns direct- 
ly to the origin of the interrupts 



The Screen program discussed in this ar- 
ticle is available assembled and ready to run 
on a standard IBM single-sided floppy 
disk, using PC-DOS 1.0, 1.10, or 2.0. Also 
included is the Install program referred to 
in this article and a nontechnical users 
guide. For pricing information, contact 
Field Computer Products, 909 North San 
Antonio Rd„ Los Altos, CA 94022. Or 
phone (415) 949-3457. 



Tim Field (Field Computer Products, 909 N. San 
Antonio Rd., Los Altos, CA 94022) is a software 
engineer and technical writer. He is the coauthor 
of Your IBM PC & XT from Osborne! McGraw- 
Hill, due to be published this month. 



116 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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BYTE November 1983 



117 




TKiSolver does for equations 
what word processing did for 
words. The first thing you should 
know about the TKiSolver™ program is 
that it is not a spreadsheet. Instead, it 
does something completely unheard 
of (until now] -it turns your personal 
computer into a voracious equation 
processor. 

The next thing you should know is 
that if the TKiSolver program can't 
make life with your personal computer 
easier (and pay for itself], even if you 
use it only 15 minutes a week, you are 
a very rare person. 

And finally, you should know ex- 
actly what equation processing is, 
and how it works. If you keep reading 
this, you will. 

Equation processing with 
TKiSolver, or problem solving 
made easy. The best way to under- 
stand what the TKiSolver program is, 
is to understand what it does. The 
following simple example is designed 
to do just that. If you're still a little in 
the dark after reading it, stop in at 
your local computer store for a very 
enlightening hands-on demonstration. 

Begin by setting up your problem. 
The TKiSolver program lets you do it 
quickly, easily, and naturally. For ex- 
ample, a car costs $9785. What would 
be the monthly payment on a three- 
year loan if the down payment is 25% 
and the interest rate is 15%? 
STEP 1. Formulate the necessary 
equations to solve your problem and 
enter them on the "Rule Sheet" simply 



(lr) Rule: "CAR LOAN 



St Input 



,; = = = = := VARIABLE SHEET ------ 

Name Output Unit 

price dollars 

down 2446.25 dollars 

loan 7338.75 dollars 
dp percent 

payment 254.46618 dollars 
i percent 

term (/ears 

======= RULE SHEET ======= 



price-down=loan 

down/pr ice=dp 

payment = loan«( i/( l-( 1+i ) A -termJ ) 



by typing them in las in the screen 
photo). For example: "price-down = 
loan." 

STEP 2. Enter your known values the 
same way on the "Variable Sheet." For 
example: "9785" for price. You may 
also enter units and comments, if you 
want* 

STEP 3. Type the action command 
("I" on your keyboard) to solve the 
problem. 

STEP 4. TKiSolver displays the an- 
swer: the monthly payment is $254.40. 
Backsolving, the heart of 
TKiSolver* Now that you've defined 



price of car 

down payment 

bank loan 

down payment percentage 

monthly payment 

interest rate 

term of loan 



the problem and solved it, TK'Solver's 
unique backsolving ability also lets 
you think "backwards" to solve for any 
variable, regardless of its position in 
the equation. For example, if you can 
only afford a monthly payment of 
$200, you can re-solve the problem in 
terms of that constraint. The TKiSolver 
program will solve the problem, dis- 
playing your choice of a higher down 
payment, a longer loan term, or a 
lesser interest rate. This unique back- 
solving capability forms the basis of 
TKISolver's remarkably flexible prob- 
lem-solving ability. 



118 BYTE November 1983 




Also, as you can see from the 
example on the screen, TKISolver 
deals not only with single variables, 
but with entire equations and sets of 
simultaneous equations. It also deals 
with much more complicated problems 
than this one. How complicated? 
That's up to you. What kinds of prob- 
lems? That's up to you, too, but pop- 
ular applications include finance, 
engineering, science, design, and 
education. 

Other extremely useful and 
interesting things TKISolver 
does. Aside from its basic problem- 
solving abilities, theTKISolver program 
performs a number of pretty fancy 
tricks. Like: Iterative Solving; in which 
TKISolver performs successive approx- 
imations of an answer when con- 
fronted with equations that cannot be 
solved directly,! like exp Ix) = 2 - x • y 
and sin Ix • y)= 3 - x - y). Like: List 
Solving; in which TKISolver attacks 
complete lists of input values and 
solves them all, allowing you to exam- 
ine numerous alternative solutions, and 
pick the one you like best. Like: Tables 
and Graphs; using the values you pro- 
duced with the List Solver, the TKISolver 
program will automatically produce ta- 
bles and graphs of your data. You can 
look at your formatted output on the 
screen or send it to your printer with 
a single keystroke. And like: Automatic 



Unit Conversion; in which TKISolver 
lets you formulate problems in one unit 
of measurement, and display answers 
in another. Very convenient what with 
all this talk about going metric. 

The TKISolver program also pro- 
vides a wide variety of specialized 
business and mathematical functions 
like trig and log and net present 
value. 

Then, there's TKISolver's on-screen 
Help facility that provides information 
on commands and features any time 
you want it. Just type "?" and a topic 
name. 

And of course the TKISolver pro- 
gram combines all these features in 
one integrated program. 
TKISolverPacks make problem- 
solving a picnic. TKISolverPack™ 
application packages are specially 
developed by experts in specific fields. 
Each package contains a diskette with 
about a dozen models that include 
the necessary equations, values, and 
tables for solving a particular problem. 
The models are usable as-is or you 
can easily modify them. 

TKISolverPack application pack- 
ages available from Software Arts 
include Financial Management, 
Mechanical Engineering, Building 
Design and Construction, and Intro- 
ductory Science. Additional TKISolver- 
Packs are on the way from Software 



Arts, McGraw-Hill, and others. 
We know you're out there. No 

matter who you are, or what you do, 
if it involves using equations, the 
TKISolver program is an indispensable 
tool for you. 

So, visit your local computer store 
today, and see TKISolver in action. 
You'll be amazed at how much faster 
and more effectively you'll be able to 
work when you discover the power of 
equation processing with the TKISolver 
program. 



4& 






Software Arts 

The inventors of VisiCalc® 

27 Mica Lane, Wellesley, Massachusetts 02181 
617/237-4000 



*You can easily define appropriate unit conversions on the unit sheet. 

TK, TK!, TKISolver, TKISolverPack, The Problem Cruncher, the stylized ! and the slogan "NOW YOU DON'T HAVE TO THINK LIKE A COMPUTER TO USE ONE!" 

are trademarks or registered trademarks of Software Arts, Inc. SATN, TKISATN and DIF are trademarks or registered trademarks of Software Arts Products Corp. 

Software Arts "is a trademark of Software Arts, Inc. and Software Arts Products Corp. The TKISolver program and the TKISolverPack applications packages are 

products of Software Arts, Inc. which is solely responsible for their contents. VisiCalc is a registered trademark of VisiCorp. 

Copyright © 1983 Soflware Arts, Inc. All rights reserved p/n 100-092 p 8/83 



Circle 427 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 



119 




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POKEing Around in the 

IBM PC 

Part 1: Accessing System and Hardware 

Facilities 



This two-part series demonstrates 
how you can use BASIC'S PEEK and 
POKE commands to realize the 
speed and flexibility of machine-lan- 
guage code without sacrificing the 
convenience of a high-level language. 
Several short, general-purpose ma- 
chine-language subroutines that 
allow BASIC programs access to the 
IBM Personal Computer's (PC's) sys- 
tem and hardware facilities illustrate 
the techniques involved. To lay the 
groundwork for the more detailed 
programming examples to be pre- 
sented in Part 2 (next month), we will 
take a look now, in Part 1, at the PC's 
BIOS (basic input/output system) 
and registers in the PC's central pro- 
cessor. 

The PEEK and POKE Commands 

BASIC'S PEEK and POKE functions 
form the magic window that gives us 
access to the PC's main memory. It's 
well worth investigating these func- 
tions in order to take advantage of the 
PC's modular systems software and 



by Hugh R. Howson 

to access some of the 8088 processor's 
powerful commands. 

The PEEK and POKE commands 
operate as follows: the statement 

X = PEEK(n) 

assigns to the variable X the value 
stored in memory location n; similar- 
ly, the statement 

POKE n,m 

places the m into main mem- 
ory at the location specified by n. 

This description requires one 
minor clarification because of the 
method the 8088 uses to determine 
the absolute, or effective, memory 
address. The absolute address on 
which an instruction operates actual- 
ly consists of two components: a seg- 
ment address and an offset address, 
each 2 bytes (or 16 bits) long. The n 
is the offset address, used in the 
PEEK and POKE instructions; the 
DEF SEG statement can be used to 



Segment Address Bits 
Offset Address Bits 
Absolute Memory Address 



1000100010001000 

1000100010001000 
10010001000100001000 



Table 1: The relationship between segment and offset address bits. The segment address 
bits are shifted left four bits relative to the offset address bits; then the segment and offset 
addresses are added to yield the absolute memory address. This technique permits an ab- 
solute address space of more than one million locations. 



define the segment address. If no 
segment address is defined, then that 
of the BASIC program is assumed. 
Table 1 illustrates how an absolute 
memory address is formed from the 
segment and offset addresses. The 
segment address bits are shifted left 
4 bit positions (equivalent to multi- 
plying by 16) relative to the offset ad- 
dress bits. And then the two address 
components are added to yield the 
20-bit absolute address, a format that 
permits an absolute address space of 
more than one million locations. 
Note that each segment address de- 
fines a 64K-byte address space, but 
one segment's address space may 
overlap another's, so segment ad- 
dresses can assume any value that 
can be represented by the 16 bits of 
the segment address register. 

Manipulating Data on Screen 

These PEEK, POKE, and address 
concepts can be illustrated by a short 
program that scrolls up all data on a 
PC video display. Assuming use of 
the 80-column monochrome display 
adapter, all data displayed on the 
screen is stored in memory starting 
at segment address hexadecimal 
B000, offset address 0000 (all ad- 
dresses to follow are hexadecimal). 
Each displayed character is represent- 
ed by 2 single-byte memory loca- 
tions: one location contains the byte 
specifying the characters and the sec- 
ond location stores the character's at- 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 121 



Listing 1: A BASIC program that shifts the 
PCs screen up one line at a time. 

10 DEF SEG = &HB000 

20 FOR ROW = TO 23 

30 CURRENTROWFIRSTBYTE = ROW 

* 160 
40 ROWBELOWFIRSTBYTE = 

CURRENTROWFIRSTBYTE + 160 
50 FOR BYTE = TO 159 
60 BYTEBELOW = 

PEEK(ROWBELOWFIRSTBYTE + 
BYTE) 
70 POKE (CURRENTROWFIRSTBYTE 

+ BYTE), BYTEBELOW 
80 NEXT BYTE 
90 NEXT ROW 

tribute byte (which indicates such 
conditions as a flashing character, 
reverse video, etc.). Therefore, a total 
of 160 bytes of memory are used for 
each 80-column line. 

To move all text up one line, a pro- 
gram must move the 80-character 
per-row, 2-byte-per-character dis- 
play a single byte at a time. For ex- 
ample, to move the left-hand charac- 
ter of the second row up to the first 
row, a program can use PEEK at the 
second-row, left-hand-character byte 
and then use POKE to move its value 
into the location corresponding to the 
left-hand character of the first row. 
The program in listing 1 accom- 
plishes this task for the top 23 lines 
of the screen display, leaving the last 
line unchanged. 

Listing 1 illustrates the convenience 
with which the segment address, 
B000, can be used to define the seg- 
ment of memory dedicated to the 
screen, and it demonstrates how you 
can easily manipulate screen data 
using a BASIC program. However, if 
you actually run this program, you'll 
find that it's quite slow. That's one 
reason for investigating the BIOS, 
which can accomplish the same task 
with much greater speed and less 
effort. 

Basic Input/Output System 

The PC's BIOS is a set of subrou- 
tines stored in ROM that provides a 
standard interface between the user 
and all of the different input/output 
devices that may be attached to the 
system, including the screen, key- 
board, printer, disk drives, and com- 
munications adapter. Each BIOS sub- 
routine can be activated by a user in- 



terrupt. Each subroutine can perform 
several operations, which are selected 
by placing appropriate values in the 
8088's registers before the interrupt 
occurs. The PC's documentation in- 
cludes a complete listing of the BIOS 
subroutines. You do not need to be 
an assembly-language programmer 
to learn how to use them; each one 
is well documented. The comments 
at the beginning of each subroutine 
describe all actions that the subrou- 
tine performs and explain what 
values must be transferred between 
the user's program and the BIOS 
subroutine through the 8088's 
registers. 

As a typical example, the com- 
ments at the beginning of the BIOS's 
video-I/O subroutine (included in 
Appendix A of the PC's Technical 
Reference manual) indicate that this 
subroutine can scroll any section of 
the screen up or down a certain num- 
ber of lines. In addition, the com- 
ments indicate that it can perform 
such functions as placing the charac- 
ter at a specific location on the screen, 
determining the location of the cur- 
sor, and moving the cursor. The com- 
ments further indicate the param- 
eters that the user must specify to 
select a desired action. 

Table 2 summarizes the PC's BIOS 
functions and parameters; this table 
should prove more useful after you 
read the 8088's register descriptions 
later in this article. 

The advantage of using the BIOS 
subroutines is that they include the 
logic to identify the physical charac- 
teristics of an active device. For exam- 
ple, the screen-manipulation (video- 
I/O) BIOS subroutine determines 
whether the screen is in text or 
graphics mode and whether the 
screen width is 40 or 80 characters, 
thus removing the burden of passing 
a lot of redundant information to the 
system. All of the subroutines have 
a similar structure, so if you learn 
how to use one, you can apply the 
same approach to others. 

How can we use a BASIC program 
to access the BIOS video-I/O subrou- 
tine for our screen-scrolling task? 
Let's say that we would like to scroll 
a window on the screen up five lines 
and that the window starts at row 0, 



column and ends at row 15, column 
30. To pass these parameters to the 
BIOS, they must be placed in the ap- 
propriate registers defined in table 2. 
All of these registers are discussed 
later in this article, but for this screen- 
scrolling task we are concerned only 
with the four accumulator, or gener- 
al, registers, AX, BX, CX, and DX. 

Each of these registers consists of 
two bytes. When both bytes are taken 
together as one 16-bit word, then the 
X suffix in AX, BX, etc., is used. Each 
byte may also be treated separately, 
in which case the bytes are referred 
to as low byte or high byte, or more 
simply as AL and AH, BL and BH, 
and so on. Figure 1 illustrates this 
register configuration and the other 
8088 registers discussed later in this 
article. 

Now, to specify the screen-scrolling 
task, the table 2 entries shown in 
bold type indicate that we must load 
parameter values into these registers 
as follows: 

AH (scroll direction: 6 = up, 

7 = down) =06 

AL (number of lines) =05 

BH (blank-line attribute, 

normal = 7) =07 

BL (not used for this task) 
CH (starting row) =00 

CL (starting column) =00 

DH (ending row, 15 

decimal = OF) (hexadecimal) = OF 
DL (ending column, 30 

decimal = IE) (hexadecimal) = IE 

These values can be loaded into the 
registers by a short subroutine writ- 
ten in machine language, which can 
be called when required from a 
BASIC program. The subroutine then 
initiates the necessary interrupt to ac- 
tivate the video-I/O BIOS, which 
completes the defined task. 

A Screen-Scrolling Program 

The following four machine-lan- 
guage instructions can move values 
into the AX, BX, CX, and DX reg- 
isters: 

B8, low byte, high byte (AX register) 
BB, low byte, high byte (BX register) 
B9, low byte, high byte (CX register) 
BA, low byte, high byte (DX register) 



122 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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DEVICE AND FUNCTION 


AH 


OTHER INPUT PARAMETERS 


RESULTS RETURNED 


VIDEO l/O-lnterrupt 10 




[text mode] 




set mode 





AL - mode value ( (0 = 40 by 25 B/W; 
[text mode] 

1 = 40 by 25 col; 

2 = 80 by 25 B/W; ? 

3 = 80 by 25 col; 
[graphics mode] 

4 = 320 by 200 B/W; 

5 = 320 by 200 col; 6 = 640 by 200 B/W) 




set cursor type 


1 


CH - bits 0-4, cursor start line 
CL bits 0-4, end line 




set cursor position 


2 


DH - row (starting at 0) 
DL - column (starting at 0) 
BH - page number 




read cursor position 


3 


BH - page number 


DH - row; DL - column 






(must be for graphics modes) 


CH.CL - cursor mode 


read light-pen position 


4 


BH - page number 


AH - status (0 = switch not down; 1 = valid 

value) 

DH.DL - row and column 

CH - raster line (0-199) 

BX - pixel column (0-319, 639) 


select active display page 


5 


AL - new page value (text modes) 




scroll active page up 


6 


AL - number of lines blank at bottom 

(0=blank window) 
CH,DL - row, column of upper left scroll 
corner 

DH,DL - row, column of lower right corner 
BH - attribute to be used on blank line 




scroll active page down 


7 


as above 




read attribute/character 


8 


BH - display page (text modes) 


AH - attribute of character 
AL - character read 


write character and attribute 


9 


AL - character to write 

BH - display page (text modes) 

BL - attribute or color 

CX - character repeat count 




write character (only) 


10 


BH - display page 
AL - character to write 
CX - count of times to repeat 
(max 1 row in graphics) 




set color palette 


11 


BH - color ID being set 
BL - color value to be used 




write dot (pixel) 


12 


AL - color value 
DX - row number 
CX - column number 




read dot (pixel) 


13 


DX - row number 
CX - column number 


AL - dot value read 


teletypewriter emulation 


14 


AL - character to write 

BH - display page in alpha mode 

BL - foreground color 




get current video state 


15 




AH - number of character columns 

AL - current mode 

BH - active display page 


DISK SYSTEM-lnterrupt 13 








reset disk system 





AL - parameters for initialization 


CY: = successful, 1 = failed 


get status from last 








operation 


1 


— 


CY: = successful, 1 = failed 
AL - system status 


read sectors into memory 


2 


AL - number of sectors 


CY: = successful, 1= failed 






DH - head #; DL - drive # 


AH - operation status (0 = 






CH - track #; CL - sector # 


successful) 






ES and BX - segment and offset addresses of 


AL - number of sectors actually read 






data buffer 




write sectors onto disk 


3 


same as for read 


same as for read 


verify the desired sectors 


4 


same as for read 


same as for read 


format the desired track 


5 


same as for read 

The data buffer pointed at by ES, BX must 
contain four bytes for each sector, contain- 
ing:track #, head #, sector #, bytes/sector 
(where 00= 128, 01 =256, 02 = 512, 


same as for read 






03 = 1024) 


Table 2 continued on page 126 


Table 2: Basic input /output system 


(BIOS) functions. Those entries shown in boldface 


type apply to the screen-scrolling example 


described in the text. This information was condensed from Appendix A of the Technical Reference manual. 



124 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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Table 2 continued: 








DEVICE AND FUNCTION 


AH 


OTHER INPUT PARAMETERS 


RESULTS RETURNED 


RS-232C l/O-lnterrupt 14 








initialize all parameters 





AL - parameters 
DX - select card 


AX - status 


send character 


1 


AL - character to send (preserved) 
DX - select card 


AH - status 


receive character 


2 


DX - select card 


AH - status 

AL - character received 


check status of port 


3 


- 


AX - status 


CASSETTE l/O-lnterrupt 15 








turn cassette motor on 









turn cassette motor off 


1 






read from cassette 


2 


CX - count of bytes to read 


CY: 0= no error, 1 = error 


(in 256-byte blocks) 




ES.BX - pointer to data buffer 


AH - error type for CY= 1 
ES,BX - point to last byte + 1 
DX - count of bytes actually read 


write blocks to cassette 


3 


same as above 


same as above 


KEYBOARD l/O-lnterrupt 16 








read next ASCII character 







AH - scan code 
AL - character value 


check if character 


1 




Z(flag): = code available, 1 = no code 


available 






AX -code, if Z = 


return current shift status 


2 




AL - status 


PRINTER-lnterrupt 17 








print character 





AL - character to be printed 
DX - printer to be used (0 to 3) 


AH - status: 1 = unsuccessful 


initialize printer port 


1 


DX - printer to be initialized 


AH - status 


get printer status 


2 


DX - printer 


AH - status 



Each of these statements consists of 
an instruction plus two data bytes. 
Each instruction— B8, BB, B9, and 
BA— is a "load immediate data" in- 
struction, meaning that the two bytes 
immediately following it are treated 
as data to be moved into the appro- 
priate register. For example, the in- 
struction B8 takes the two bytes im- 
mediately following it in memory 
and moves them directly into the AX 
register. Note that the first data byte 
is loaded into the low part of the AX 
register, AL, and that the second byte 
is loaded in the high part of the 
register, AH. The other three instruc- 
tions operate in exactly the same way 
but apply to other registers. 

We can thus use these four instruc- 
tions to load the specific values re- 
quired for our screen-scrolling exam- 
ple into the 8088's registers. The fol- 
lowing statement, for example, loads 
the desired values into the AX reg- 
ister: 

B8,05,06 

This statement places the number of 
lines to scroll, 5, in AL, and the direc- 
tion code, 6 for up, in AH. The re- 
maining registers are loaded with the 



following statements: 

BB,00,07 (for BX) 
B9,00,00 (for CX) 
BA,1E,0F (for DX) 

Once we have loaded the values in- 
to the registers, we need to initiate an 
interrupt, advising the system to 
transfer control to the appropriate 
BIOS subroutine. This step requires 
the 2-byte machine instruction 

CD,10 

The first byte, CD, is the interrupt in- 
struction that instructs the 8088 to 
look up a table of interrupt addresses 
to find the address of its next instruc- 
tion. The second byte, 10, points to 
the entry in the interrupt table where 
the address is to be found. The value 
10 refers to the video-I/O subroutine 
of the BIOS, as table 2 shows in the 
first bold subheading. 

After the BIOS has completed the 
task specif ied by the values placed in 
the registers, it returns control to the 
machine-language subroutine that 
initiated the interrupt. That subrou- 
tine, in turn, requires a final instruc- 
tion to return control to the BASIC 



program that called it. This instruc- 
tion is the single byte CB, which com- 
pletes the machine-language subrou- 
tine. So we can now turn our atten- 
tion to loading and calling the sub- 
routine from a BASIC program. 

Using the Machine-Language 
Subroutine 

We will use the approach discussed 
in Appendix C, "Machine Language 
Subroutines" of the IBM BASIC 
manual for loading and calling the 
subroutine. First, we must make 
space available for our machine-lan- 
guage program in memory, to ensure 
that it does not become embedded in 
the BASIC program. Normally, when 
the BASIC interpreter is being used, 
it is spread over all of the available 
memory space not used for systems 
programs, as illustrated in figure 2a, 
allowing no secure location in which 
to place the machine-language sub- 
routine. To overcome this problem we 
can use the BASIC statement 

CLEAR , &H8000 

as the first statement of the BASIC 
program. This command instructs 
the interpreter to confine the amount 



126 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 






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GENERAL 
REGISTERS 



AH 


AL 


BH 


BL 


CH 


CL 


DH 


DL 



(2a) 



INDEX 
REGISTERS 



STACK POINTER 



BASE POINTER 



SOURCE INDEX 



DESTINATION INDEX 



SEGMENT 
REGISTERS 



PROGRAM COUNTER 



STATUS FLAGS 



CODE SEGMENT 



DATA SEGMENT 



STACK SEGMENT 



EXTRA SEGMENT 



BX 
CX 

DX 

SP 
BP 

SI 
Dl 

CS 
DS 

ss 

ES 



Figure 1: The 8088 processor's registers. 



of memory space used for the BASIC 
program to 8000 (or 32K decimal) 
contiguous bytes of memory. The 
result of the &H8000 command is il- 
lustrated in figure 2b. The space avail- 
able for the BASIC program is 
squeezed down to 32K bytes after the 
system programs, which require ap- 
proximately 28K bytes, using a total 
of about 60K bytes of memory. The 
remaining 4K bytes at the top of 
memory are free for any other use 
and thus can hold our machine-lan- 
guage subroutine. (While this 4K- 
byte section is far more space than we 
require, it keeps the mathematics 
simple.) This free memory space can 
be addressed most easily by using 
the segment address 0F00, so that the 
addresses seem to start at 0000. 

Once the memory space is al- 
located, loading the machine-lan- 
guage routine from BASIC is straight- 
forward. As listing 2a illustrates, a 
loop can be used to read in each byte 
of the subroutine from a data state- 
ment. POKE places it directly into 
memory. Loading the machine-lan- 
guage subroutine is performed once, 
at the start of the program. Also, the 
subroutine must be given a variable 



64K 


BASIC 
PROGRAM 


28K 


DEBUG 
(6K) 


22K 


BASIC 

INTERPRETER 

(10K) 


12K 


DOS 
(12K) 



(2b) 



64K 


FREE (4K) 


60K 


BASIC 

PROGRAM 

(32K) 


28K 


DEBUG^\ 
(6K) 


22K 


BASIC 

INTERPRETER 

(10K) 


12K 


DOS 
(12K) 



(a) NORMAL SPACE ALLOCATION 



(b) EFFECT OF CLEAR, a H8000 



Figure 2: Memory space allocation, showing the normal allocation (a) and the effect of 
the CLEAR, &H8000 (hexadecimal), statement (b). 



name, so we have chosen SCREEN- 
SUB. It is assigned the value 0. This 
value represents the offset address 
within the segment of free memory 
where the first instruction of the sub- 
routine is located. To initiate action of 
the subroutine, and through it the 
BIOS, the following two statements 
are required: 

DEFSEG = &H0F00 
CALL SCREENSUB 

The action taken by the BIOS can 
be controlled by inserting different 
values for subroutine parameters, 
using a POKE, before calling the sub- 
routine. To make this task easier, and 
to lessen the burden of remembering 
the technical details of the subrou- 
tine, variables can be defined and 
assigned the appropriate offset ad- 
dresses or action codes as illustrated 
in listing 2b. Revised values can then 
be entered prior to calling the subrou- 
tine, as the following example illus- 
trates: 

DEF SEG = &H0F00 

POKE SCREENACTIONCODE, 

SCROLLDOWN 
POKE SCREENLINECODE, 8 
CALL SCREENSUB 

Debugging the Program 

After the BASIC code that inserts 
the machine-language subroutine in- 
to memory has been written, it is a 
wise precaution to examine the sub- 
routine to ensure that it does, in fact, 
represent the desired machine in- 



structions. PC-DOS provides a de- 
bugging program, which is an ex- 
cellent tool for both examining the 
subroutine and observing its opera- 
tion, instruction by instruction. This 
may be done as follows: 

1. Boot the PC-DOS and invoke the 
DEBUG facility with the following 
response to the system prompt: 

A > DEBUG BASICA.COM 

This statement invokes the 
DEBUG facility and instructs 
debug to load the BASIC inter- 
preter as the program to be 
debugged. 

2. Respond to the DEBUG prompt 
with: 

-G 

This character instructs DEBUG to 
"go" and run the BASIC inter- 
preter. 

3. Load your program as usual with 
BASIC and edit the program to in- 
sert a STOP statement after the 
machine language is poked into 
memory. Then run your program 
so that it places the subroutine in- 
to memory and then stops. 

4. Terminate BASIC by entering: 

SYSTEM 

This command returns control 
back to DEBUG. 

5. Ask DEBUG to give a listing of the 



128 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




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Listing 2a: Loading the subroutine into 
memory. 

900 DEF SEG = &H0F00 

902 FOR I = TO 14 

904 READ J 

906 POKE I, J 

908 NEXT I 

910 DATA &HBB,&H05,&H06 

912 DATA &HBB,&H00,&H07 

914 DATA &HB9,&H00,&H00 

916 DATA &HBA,&H1E,&H0F 

918 DATA &HCD,&H10 

920 DATA &HCB 

922 SCREENSUB = 



Listing 2b: Declaring constant values. 

930 DIRECTION - 2 

932 NUMBEROFLINES = 1 

934 BLANKATTRIBUTE = 5 

936 STARTROW = 8 

938 STARTCOL = 7 

940 ENDROW = 11 

942 ENDCOL = 10 

944 SCROLLUP = 6 

946 SCROLLDOWN = 7 



Listing 3: "Unassembled" listing of the 
machine-language subroutine loaded by the 
listing 2 BASIC statements. 

-u 0F00:0000 
0F00:0000 B80506 
0F00:0003 BB0000 
0F00:0006 B90000 
0F00:0009 BA1EOF 
0F00:000C CD10 
0F00:000E CB 



MOV AX,0605 

MOV BX,0007 

MOV CX,0000 

MOV DX,0F1E 

INT 10 

RET L 



machine-language program with 
the command: 

-U 0F00:0000 

This statement is the request to 
"unassemble" the machine-lan- 
guage instructions starting at 
memory segment 0F00, offset 0000, 
where the machine-language in- 
structions have been placed. 

The resulting listing gives the ma- 
chine instructions and the equivalent 
assembly-language statements. Even 
if you are not an experienced assem- 
bly-language programmer, you 
should be able to examine this listing 
and to check that the subroutine is 
correctly represented. The subrou- 
tine developed above is illustrated in 
listing 3. 

You can also use DEBUG to ob- 
serve (or trace) the step-by-step ex- 



ecution of a machine-language sub- 
routine, examining each transfer of 
values into and out of registers. As 
before, start with DOS to debug the 
program BASICA.COM. This time, to 
start BASIC use the command G fol- 
lowed by the memory address of the 
first machine-language instruction: 

-G 0F00:0000 

The effect of this command is that 
the DEBUG program inserts an inter- 
rupt instruction, CC, referred to as a 
breakpoint, at memory location 
0F00:0000. When this instruction is 
then encountered during program 
execution, control is transferred back 
to debug by the interrupt. DEBUG 
then displays the register contents at 
the time of the interrupt and permits 
you to then trace the execution, in- 
struction by instruction, from that 
point forward through the subrou- 
tine. This breakpoint function (a 
special debugging pseudoinstruction 
that stops execution), however, does 
not quite work when we use the 
POKE command in a machine-lan- 
guage program, as is the case with 
our screen-scrolling program. 

The reason the breakpoint function 
doesn't work in this case is obvious 
(with a little reflection). After DEBUG 
places the CC instruction in memory 
and starts execution of BASIC and 
then your own program, your pro- 
gram will use POKE to substitute the 
first machine instruction in place of 
the breakpoint instruction. So the 
breakpoint disappears! This problem 
can easily be solved, fortunately, by 
including as the first instruction of 
your machine-language program the 
breakpoint command CC to trigger 
the DEBUG interrupt. Then, after 
you are satisfied that the subroutine 
works correctly, you can remove this 
instruction for normal operation. 

This completes the introduction of 
the PC's BIOS and the development 
of a machine-language-interface sub- 
routine to access the BIOS— specifi- 
cally, the BIOS video-I/O functions— 
from a BASIC program. While it's not 
essential that you involve yourself in 
all of the technical details of debug- 
ging and tracing the operation of the 
subroutine, these details do provide 



a useful way of becoming familiar 
with the operation of the PC. In Part 
2 we will extend the preceding pro- 
gram to provide a general interface 
with the BIOS so that you will be able 
to control all the I/O devices. First, 
however, let's review all of the BIOS 
subroutines and all of the 8088's 
registers to provide the necessary 
technical background. 

Summary of BIOS Functions 

The BIOS functions and the pa- 
rameters for each function are sum- 
marized in table 2. These functions 
provide interfaces to the following 
devices: the communication port, the 
keyboard, the disk drives, the printer, 
video devices (both text and graph- 
ics), and the cassette. 

Each of these subroutines is ac- 
tivated by an interrupt with an inter- 
rupt number (shown in table 2 beside 
the function name) to identify the 
routine desired. Each subroutine can 
perform several different operations, 
such as read a disk, write data to the 
disk, format a track, etc., selected by 
parameter values contained in the 
8088's registers. Results from the 
operations, such as device status or 
data values, are returned through the 
same registers. Therefore, an inter- 
face subroutine that transfers values 
between a BASIC program and all of 
the registers can serve as a general- 
purpose access to the BIOS. 

8088 Registers 

Before developing our program, 
let's examine all of the 8088's registers, 
illustrated in figure 1. There are three 
groups of four registers, as illus- 
trated. The four general registers, 
AX, BX, CX, and DX, which we've 
already considered, may be used to 
store or manipulate data or ad- 
dresses. The four index registers nor- 
mally contain offset addresses to 
point to memory locations of data to 
be acted on. The four segment regis- 
ters contain segment addresses that 
are used in conjunction with the off- 
set addresses to define the absolute 
memory address. 

There are two additional registers. 
The program counter contains the 
offset address of the next instruction 
to be executed. The status, or flags, 



130 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



THE BUFFER DID IT. 



Who Stole The 1500 Letters 
From The Computer? 

Let's just say you've got to 
send a letter to 1500 different 
people. Would you like to 
spend 22.5 hours* or 
60 seconds of 



<aA 



$$ 



f 






v To*°V 



1» 



*> 



& 



& 



# 



* 



computer 
time? 

With 
a garden- 
variety 
buffer, the 
computer has 
to mix, merge 
and send 1500 

addresses and 1500 letters to the 
buffer. Trouble is, most buffers 
only store about 32 letters. So after 
32 letters, the computer's down 
until the printer's done. Altogether, 

you're talking 22.5 hours. 

In the case of our new (not to 
mention amazing) 

** thereto ShuffleBuffer, 

^iings f Zf° nutb - is 60 

fclfeveii ^ JSGapU -^pm seconds 
«*>*,*.. you, ^ovem >w Hat. 

* l<r °"~ Just give 

ShuffleBuffer one form letter and 
your address list, and it takes care 
of the mixing, the merging, and the 
printing. But that's not all 
ShuffleBuffer' s stolen from the 
computer. Oh, no. 

Who Changed and 
Rearranged The Facts? 

Again, ShuffleBuffer's 
the culprit. You want 
to move para- 
graph #1 
down 
where 
#3 is? 
Want 
to add a 
chart or 
picture? No 

problem. No mystery, either. Any 
buffer can give you FIFO, basic 
first-in, first-out printing. And some 



i 



9 



d* 




buffers offer By-Pass; the ability to 

interrupt long jobs for short ones. 

But only ShuffleBuffer has what we 

call Random Access Printing — the 

brains to move stored information 

around on its way to the printer. 

Something only a computer could 

do before. Comes in especially 

handy if you do lots of printing. 

Or lengthy manuscripts. 

Or voluminous green 

and white spread ^ e ^ 

sheets. And by the 

way, ShuffleBuffer ^ 

does store up to 

128K of information 

and gives you a 

By-Pass mode, too. . v**» 

And Who Spilled The 
Beans 239 Times? 

Most buffers can't 
tell the printer to 
duplicate. If they can, 
they only offer a 
start/stop switch, 
which means you're 
the one who has to 
count to 239. Turn 
your back on your 
buffer, and your 
printer might shoot out 
a room full of copies. 
ShuffleBuffer, however, 
does control quantity. 
Tell it the amount, and 
it counts the copies. 
By itself. 

So, What's The Catch? 

There isn't any 
Sleuth 
around. 
You won't 
find another 
buffer that's as slick a 
character as this one. 
You also won't find one that's 
friendly with any parallel or serial 
computer/printer combination. 
This is the world's only universal 
buffer. 
With a brain. 



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ova** 5 



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The Buffer with a Brain 



Interactive Structures Inc. 
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Circle 232 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 



131 



yam • ArrtJi • i'KAINHJLIIN • USUUKJME • KAYPRO • 




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Eagle 1620 3995 

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> 

o 



register indicates the system status 
(as described under the R (register) 
command in the DEBUG section of 
the PC-DOS manual). 

The determination of absolute ad- 
dresses is based on a standard rela- 
tionship between the segment regis- 
ters and the other registers, although 
this relationship can be overridden at 
any time by a program. The code- 
segment register (CS), in conjunction 
with the program counter (PC), 
defines the program-instruction area 
of memory. The data-segment regis- 
ter (DS) is used to define the segment 
of memory where data values are 
stored and is typically used with any 
of the accumulators, if they contain 
offset address values, or with the 
source index register (SI). The stack- 
segment register (SS) is used to 
define a segment in which to main- 
tain a stack (which may contain 
return addresses for subroutines, 
iteration loops, etc.), and the top of 
the stack is pointed to by the stack 
pointer register (SP). The base 
pointer register (BP) is typically used 
to point to a specific entry in the stack 
also using the stack-segment register. 

Finally, the extra-segment (ES) 
register is used in conjunction with 
the destination-index register (DI) to 
point to the destination addresses for 
moving data from any location in 
memory. The powerful MOV (move) 
instruction uses this destination ad- 
dress in conjunction with a source 
address provided by the data-seg- 
ment register and the source index. 
MOV also enables bytes to be moved 
between any two locations in the 
main memory space. We will be 
using this instruction for a subroutine 
presented in Part 2. 

While the machine instructions for 
these registers are for the most part 
straightforward, note that it is not 
possible to move data values directly 
into the segment registers. Instead, 
one approach, which we will use 
next month in Part 2, is to first move 
data into the AX register and then 
move the data from there to the seg- 
ment register. ■ 

Hugh R. Howson, PhD, CA is on the faculty of 
Management at McGill University (1001 Sherbrooke 
St. n Montreal, PQ Canada H3A 1G5J. 

4 Circle 108 on inquiry card. 




Fill in the blanks. 




quadboard" 
byquadram: 
now available 

WITH NO RAM 
INSTALLED. 



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Plus there's QuadMaster Software, too. 
With QuadRAM Drive. The program that 
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that let you store and retrieve important 
information fast 



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And remember, Quadboard still comes fully- 
socketed. For memory expansion in 64K 
increments. So whenever you're ready, 
simply plug in the desired number of 
chipsf or up to 256K additional RAM. 

Versatility Dependability. Quality. Quadboard 
by Quadram. Still the first and only board 
your IBM PC, PC II. or PC XT may ever need. 

Z9S (Socketed with no RAM installed) 
Available at retail computer stores 
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QUADRAM 

CORPORATION 




4355 International Blvd./Norcross, Ga. 30093 

(404) 923-6666/TWX 810-766-4915 (QUADRAM NCRS) 

Circle 377 on inquiry card. 

© Copyright 1983 Quadram Corporation 
All rights reserved 



FiIHlHiilH! HiklldJillIH^fiMt 



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Could 1,000,000 IBM PC Users 

Be Wrong? 



IBM, the PC, and the Future 

by Frank Gens and Chris Christiansen 



In the early 1900s, IBM, then called 
the Computing-Tabulating-Recording 
Company (CTR), leaped from obscu- 
rity by automating the US census 
with a device known as the Tabulat- 
ing Machine. In 1983, IBM appears 
poised to make another quantum 
leap by automating everyone from 
Fortune 500 executives to grade- 
school children. The vehicle for this 
revolution? The great-great-grand- 
child of the original CTR Tabulating 
Machine— the IBM Personal 
Computer. 

Should IBM begin shipments of the 
Peanut this fall, the company will 
have shipped nearly 1 million of its 
Personal Computers (PCs) to large 
corporations, small businesses, pro- 
fessional offices, schools, and home 
users by the end of 1983. This is an 
impressive feat for a company that 
was not present in the personal com- 
puter market until a little over two 
years ago. 

In this article we'll look at why the 
PC enjoys such wide market accep- 
tance, the PC's profound effect on 
both "Big Blue" itself and the per- 
sonal computer market as a whole, 
and the directions in which IBM will 
push its fastest growing product. 

The PC's Impact on IBM 

IBM's view of the PC has gone 
through a number of changes over 
the past three years. The PC was 



probably originally developed as a 
defensive product meant to keep 
other microcomputer suppliers from 
infiltrating IBM's large accounts. 
And, of course, it was intended as an 
experimental vehicle into new 
markets. 

As the PC actually began to make 
a substantial contribution to the com- 
pany's bottom line, the corporate 
office began to take notice. The 
potential strategic utility of the PC 
was studied, and IBM concluded that 
by encouraging proliferation of the 
PC in large corporate accounts, it 
could stimulate a grass-roots demand 
for its large computer systems 
through increased demands for com- 
munications networking, database 
access, and the necessary support. 
IBM decided to bring the PC into the 
mainstream of its product lines as the 
foundation upon which to build its 
advanced workstations/terminals. 

On August 1, 1983, IBM formed a 
new manufacturing and develop- 
ment division— the Entry Systems 
Division (ESD), headquartered in 
Boca Raton, Florida. The division is 
responsible for a number of worksta- 
tion products, including the PC and 
the PC XT. 

Perhaps the most significant thing 
about IBM's formation of ESD is that 
it indicates just how pivotal a product 
IBM now considers the PC. ESD, 
essentially run by former PC product- 



management personnel, has respon- 
sibility for products formerly in IBM's 
Systems Products and Communica- 
tions Products divisions. This makes 
it clear that the PC is assuming a 
position of importance in the cor- 
poration that may soon be second 
only to IBM's mainframe line. 

Because the success of the PC thus 
far has been mainly a result of user 
enthusiasm, the formation of ESD 
raises an important question: how 
much more dominating a product in 
the personal computer market will 
the PC be with top-to-bottom cor- 
porate muscle behind it? 

What's So Great About the PC? 

For the past two years an ongoing 
debate has been taking place among 
personal computer users, vendors, 
industry analysts, and myriad others 
over the technical merits of the PC. 
These debates usually revolve around 
such issues as performance of the 
8088 versus other microprocessors 
such as the Motorola 68000 or Intel's 
own 8086; the merits of MS-DOS ver- 
sus CP/M-86, the UCSD p-System, 
Unix, C, and others; and the extent 
of special capabilities such as high- 
resolution color graphics. 

The controversy surrounding these 
issues grows larger with the seeming- 
ly daily entry of new microcomputer 
vendors into the market with ma- 
chines and operating systems that 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 135 



NORTH AMERICAN DESKTOP COMPUTER 
SHIPMENTS BY SELECTED VENDORS 



2.0 

1.9 

1.8 

1.7 

1.6 

1.5 

1.4 

1.3 

1.2 

1.1 

1.0 

.9 

.8 

.7 

.6 

.5 

.4 

.3 

.2 

.1 



YEAR 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 

402,000 622.000 1.094,000 2.333.000 3,957.000 5.541.000 7.871,000 

TOTAL UNIT SHIPMENTS 

Figure 1: This figure depicts the North American shipments of business-oriented desktop 
systems costing between $1000 and $10,000. While Tandy (Radio Shack) was an early leader 
in the personal computer market, it was eclipsed by Apple, whose market position is now 
threatened by IBM. 



THIS FIGURE CHARTS ONLY SHIPMENTS OF 






BUSINESS-ORIENTED DESKTOP COMPUTERS 






COSTING 


BETWEEN $ 


1000 AND $ 


10.000 






- 








IBM / 




- 








^/apple 


y 


■ 








*** 










^ TANDY/ 








^ 


RADIO SHACK 


- 


_^^^^ 


V^^ 


*0» 






^s??^-~~~ 












^■"""^ 













reportedly take greater advantage of 
recent technological advances than 
the PC. 

The Real Battle: Market 
Acceptance 

The great irony, however, is that as 
the debate raged on through 1983, 
IBM quietly, but surely, began taking 
its position as the second leading 
vendor, number one being Apple 
Computer, in the over-$1000 market 
and is poised to take the leading spot 
in the home-oriented under-$1000 
market. (See figure 1.) 

In spite of the debate about the 
PC's technical merits, there can be no 
doubt that its market accomplish- 
ments are nothing short of spec- 
tacular. Since its introduction in 
September 1981, the PC has: 

• taken IBM from a percent share 
to number three in the market with 
an 18.8 percent share of 1982 
shipments; by this year's end, it is ex- 
pected that IBM will have attained 
the number two position with a 26 
percent share 



• established MS-DOS as the lead- 
ing operating system for 16-bit per- 
sonal computers 

• established the Intel 8088/8086 
microprocessor family as a personal 
computer industry standard 

• garnered almost unparalleled sup- 
port from third-party software and 
hardware vendors 

• stimulated tremendous growth in 
the personal computer market— the 
corporate personal computer market 
has grown threefold from 1981 
through 1983 

• prodded other minicomputer and 
mainframe vendors— including Digi- 
tal Equipment Corporation, Data 
General, Wang, Burroughs, and 
other companies— to enter the market 

• revolutionized IBM's— and the in- 
dustry's—view of personal com- 
puters; personal computers have 
taken on strategic importance for IBM 
and other large information system 
vendors 

• changed many users' views of per- 
sonal computers from novelties/toys 
to integral pieces in the corporate in- 
formation system. 



Technological Elegance: An 
Apparent Irrelevance 

The PC's track record provides a 
dramatic demonstration that techno- 
logical elegance and a leading price/ 
performance position is almost irrele- 
vant to market success. Indeed, our 
research indicates that the most im- 
portant factors in the acceptance of 
any personal computer by end users 
are vendor recognition, applications 
software availability (vendor and 
third-party), a reputation for product 
reliability and support, moderately 
competitive pricing, and an assur- 
ance that the vendor won't disappear 
in the impending personal computer 
market shakeout. 

For the novice personal computer 
buyer who craves a security blanket, 
vendor recognition, reputation, and 
stability are the most critical factors. 
For the experienced personal com- 
puter buyer, software and third-party 
hardware support are major pur- 
chase incentives. Moveover, these 
factors are also major selection 
criteria for personal computer 
retailers, who account for roughly 
two-thirds of all PC sales. With well 
over 150 personal computer manufac- 
turers currently in the market and 
retailers providing shelf space for an 
average of only five or six products, 
satisfying retailers' selection criteria 
becomes at least as important as 
satisfying end users. 

Our research indicates that with 
retailers, as with end users, technical 
characteristics play a relatively minor 
role in personal computer selection. 
Key selection criteria for retailers in- 
clude support (documentation, train- 
ing, service), margins and quantity 
discount schedules, and end-user 
preferences. 

The PC as a Market Standard 

IBM's success in the volatile per- 
sonal computer market clearly shows 
that "me-too" technology is not a 
detriment to market acceptance and 
may in fact aid in market acceptance. 
The reason? Standards. 

The PC has provided third-party 
vendors with stable, de facto stan- 
dards upon which to design applica- 
tions software and hardware en- 
hancements, and the activity that the 



136 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




Welcome, 

IBM, to 

personal 

computing 



Willi Lht announcement of 
the IBM 5100 system m a 
press release dated Sepl. 9, 
1975, personal computing 
gains an entry from the 
jndustiy's p induct ion and 
service giant , IBM. The IBM 
5100 is being marketed 
primal ily as a problem so/vet 
lor industrial, commerci.il 
and professional people 
with I he result that it is a 
very professionaf package at a 
premium price. But you will 
gel ,\ lot of function when 
you buy one ol these 
computet s and you'll be 
able to call upon IBM's 
longstanding reputation lor 
good service and customer 
handholdiiig, the points 
which have led to the 
commendable success ol IBM 
as a computer company. 

What IBM engineeis have 
done is to design a 50 
lb- package of interactive 
personal computing which 
includes ihe following major 
features as standard ilems: 

• System sol I war e is 
built-in. wiih access to 
BASIC and/or API 
depending upon options 
purchased, these language* 
and the necessary monitor 
programs are hardwired into 
a read only memory. 

• A video screen is built-in, 
with up lo 1024 characters 
displayed in a 16-line by 
64-chaiactcf format. 

90 




• An i nl ei active keyboard is 
standard, including the 
usual text entry section its 
well as' a separate calculator 
St#le keypad. The keyboard 
has special function coding 
for all the APL and BASIC 
syntax elements. 

• User memory staits aj 
I6K bytes in ihe minimum 
configuration and can be 
expanded to 64 K bytes 
(65,536). 

• A magnetic tape cartridge 
storage device is standard. 
This is built into the unit, 
and becomes the primary 
method of storing user d.ila 
and programs. It is also used 
to load IBM supplied 
programming packages. The 
cartridges for ibis device 
hold up to 204,000 
characters of information. 



You gel all this fund ion 
and , prolessionalism from 
IBM by p. lying a high price. 
This machine is not intended 
lo be a toy, although it would 
make an wxcellent one. 1 1 is 
intended as a production tool 
lor people who picscntly use 
time sh.n ing terminals, 
programmable calculators or 
other peisonal computers in 
daily work. Prices mentioned 
in the press release are; 

• I8M 5100, processor . . . 
$8975 to $19,975, 
depending upon user 
memory (I6K, 32K.48K ot 
64X pyles) and language 
(APL oi BASIC or both) 
options. 

• iBM 5103 printer . ,. 
$3,675 purchases An 80 cps 
l32*eolumn dot matrix line 
printer. 




• IBM 5106 Auxiliary (ape 
unit ... $2,300 purchases 
tin additional tape cartridge 
drive lo augment the 
functions of the built-in 
drive, 

• "Problem Solvei Libraiy" 
software is available! toi a 
one time rental of $500 
including a wide range ol 
utility and applications 
software with interactive 
user sequences. 

Miscellaneous features ,ilso 
available for the machine 
include a "! V monitor output, 
the external I/O adaptoi used 
with Ihe 5103 and 5106 
devices, a communications 
adaptoi which makes ihe 
5100 emulate an IBM 2741 
c o m in u n i c a lions terminal, 
and a currying case. 

As an IBM engineered 
pioduct, you can expect a 
solidly built computer. II you 
aie a business or pmfessional 
person needing a high quality 
c a I c u I a t i o n a I a n d 
programming tool, then you 
should investigate the 5100 as 
an item of capital equipment 

which you can incidentally 
use to program numerous 
BASIC games when you're 
not using it lor business. Bui 
it your sole inlerest in the 
machine is as a luxuiy toy, 
you have to be moderately 
well off lo purchase the IBM 
5 100 at its present pi ice. ■ 



And we were there: BYTE's first mention of an IBM personal computer appeared in the December 1975 issue. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 137 



PC has stimulated in the third-party 
world has been spectacular. For ex- 
ample, we estimate that approximate- 
ly 10 new PC products from both IBM 
and third-party vendors are an- 
nounced daily. IBM estimated that, 
as of mid-1983, at least 3000 hardware 
and software products from 2500 
vendors were available for the PC, 
compared with 1250 products in 
mid-1982. And this number is ex- 
pected to grow to more than 6000 by 
the end of 1984. 

We've also estimated that approx- 
imately 2000 applications packages 
run under the IBM operating system, 
PC-DOS, which is actually Micro- 
soft's MS-DOS in disguise. When 
compared to an estimated 3000 Ap- 
ple, 3000 Tandy, 5000 CP/M, and 2000 
other applications running under 
various other operating systems, the 
MS-DOS application library is small. 
But it is important to note that MS- 
DOS has been in common use for 
only two years, and software "hits" 
such as Lotus Development Corpora- 
tions^ 1-2-3 are developed primarily 
for MS-DOS environments. (These 
figures are for nongame applica- 
tions.) 

In other words, MS-DOS is cur- 
rently the fastest growing of the 
leading operating systems. We expect 
that by late 1984 or early 1985, MS- 
DOS will have the largest library of 
applications. 

Helping or Hindering? 

How does the PC affect the per- 
sonal computer industry? IBM's 
stimulation of third-party hardware 
and software development exerts a 
stabilizing influence on the personal 
computer market. But is this stabili- 
zation good or bad for the industry 
at large? Will de facto standardization 
around the PC architecture limit the 
development of new alternative de- 
signs? In five years, will the personal 
computer market be saddled with an 
aging and nearly obsolete standard 
architecture, much as the mainframe 
market is tied to IBM's S/370 archi- 
tecture? 

Clearly, the PC stimulated software 
development for the MS-DOS oper- 
ating system. Moreover, IBM's de 
facto standards provided the stable 



(2a) 



15 
14 
13 
12 
11 
5 10 



1983 MARKETS FOR IBM PC FAMILY 






IBM 
"PEANUT" 






IBM 

DISPLAY-WRITER 
FOR HIGH-END 
WORD-PROCESSING 



IBM "PEANUT" 
SYSTEMS AS A LOW- 
END WORD-PRO- 
CESSING SYSTEM 



W 

■%*— 



£ 



IBM 

DATAMASTER 

S/23 



IBM 
PC 

XT 



IBM PC 
SYSTEMS 



BASE CONFIGURA- 
TION 






# 



IBM 

PC 

XT 



IBM PC 
SYSTEMS 






IBM 

PC 

XT 



IBM PC 
SYSTEMS 



Figure 2: Markets for the IBM PC and family in (a) 1983 and (b) 1986. Based on the IBM 
PC, this broad line of products will not be limited to the 8088/8086 chips from Intel but could 
include microprocessors from Motorola, National Semiconductor, and Harris. 



environment necessary for the cost- 
ly development of products such as 
1-2-3, Visicorp's Visi On, and Quarter- 
deck's DesQ, along with many other 
unannounced products. On the other 
hand, many software developers 
decided against working with oper- 
ating systems such as the UCSD p- 
System, Pick, Oasis, TurboDOS, 
Unix, and others. In some cases, 
these operating systems offer features 
superior to MS-DOS, but they are not 
blessed with IBM's sanction and/or a 
competitive pricing structure. 

IBM's effect in other personal com- 
puter marketplaces is also am- 
bivalent. The evolution of a de facto 
standard based on Intel's 8088 micro- 
processor and Microsoft's MS-DOS 
operating system created an all-new 
generation of plug-compatible ma- 
chines/manufacturers. Companies 
such as Compaq, Columbia, Corona, 
Eagle, Gavilan, Texas Instruments, 
Tandy, and reportedly even Apple 
have products or will focus products 
on these standards to take advantage 
of IBM's constrained production and 
deficiencies in the PC's hardware 
(such as a lack of monochrome 
graphics and the PC's awkward key- 
board). 

However, while IBM created a new 



IBM-compatible market for many 
small personal computer vendors, it 
also destroyed the market for some 
older machines. Traditional vendors 
such as North Star, Cromemco, Vec- 
tor Graphic, and others are seeing 
their customers lured away by IBM 
and the IBM compatibles. While 
many of these vendors offer 8088- or 
even 68000-based machines, they are 
having a rough time competing for 
shelf space and users' attention in the 
face of advertising blitzes from IBM 
and its growing legions of compati- 
ble vendors. 

Even third-party hardware vendors 
such as Tecmar and AST— which ex- 
ist primarily to supply peripherals 
and enhancements for the PC— find 
IBM's presence in the personal com- 
puter market a mixed blessing. While 
IBM takes its time providing en- 
hancements such as expansion slots, 
hard disks, and the like, third-party 
vendors thrive by filling the gaps in 
IBM's products. However, history 
shows that once third-party vendors 
pioneer and successfully market a 
new product or enhancement, IBM 
eventually— and inevitably— offers 
similar products. Memory boards, 
communication devices, color 
monitors, and hard disks are all good 



138 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



(2b) 



1986 MARKETS FOR THE IBM PC FAMILY 




10 



O 
O 

X 



1 - 



IBM 
"PEANUT" 



IBM PC 
IN A 

DISPLAYWRITER 
CONFIGURATION 



IBM "PEANUT" 
AS A LOW-END 
WORD-PROCESSING 
SYSTEM 



IBM PC XTH 
MULTIUSER 
VERSION (S23 
REPLACEMENT 
WITH MC68000) 



IBM PC XT 
SINGLE USER 
VERSION 



IBM PC 

FULLY CONFIGURED 

SYSTEM 



BASE SYSTEM 



IBM PC XTH 
(MC68000-BASED 
PC CAPABLE OF 
RUNNING MAIN- 
FRAME SOFTWARE) 



TRANSPORTABLE 
IBM PC 
"POPCORN" 



NOTEBOOK-SIZED 
IBM PC (HARRIS 
CMOS 8086) 



"INTELLIGENT" 
IBM PC XT II 
(ARTIFICIAL 
INTELLIGENCE 
SOFTWARE) 



IBM PC-BASED 
"SMART" 
TERMINAL 
PHONE 



"MODULAR" 
IBM PC XTH 
CAPABLE OF 
ACCEPTING 
MC68020 
NS16032 
INTEL432 
INTEL386 



examples of this strategy. 

The key to surviving as a third- 
party hardware supplier for the PC 
is continually keeping one step ahead 
of IBM. For example, a vendor pro- 
ducing hard disks or color monitors 
for the PC must continue to an- 
ticipate (or, better, stimulate) demand 
for other new hardware enhance- 
ments once IBM decides to offer 
those products itself. Such areas cur- 
rently include mouse cursor controls, 
monochrome graphics boards, and 
high-resolution color graphics 
boards. 

Future Directions for the PC 

IBM has stated that the PC's 
modular architecture is designed to 
last five years— the standard de- 
preciation period for office-automa- 
tion equipment. This means several 
things: 

First, IBM will stick with the PC's 



present 8088/8086-based architecture 
until at least 1986. For low-end prod- 
ucts, the Intel 8088 will remain the 
processor of choice, but high-end 
models will offer Intel's 80186 and 
80286 along with optional boards 
based on Motorola's 68000 and pos- 
sibly National Semiconductor's 
NS16032. Figure 2 shows how the PC 
markets are expected to develop. 

IBM will incorporate new tech- 
nological developments through the 
modular addition of hardware, 
primarily through the use of copro- 
cessors. For example, IBM will prob- 
ably offer Intel's 80370 chip to en- 
hance text processing by displaying 
66 lines on a standard monitor. IBM 
has also mentioned Intel's 80270 chip 
to upgrade the PC's graphics capabil- 
ity. (You should remember that while 
the graphics chips from Texas Instru- 
ments and NEC may offer superior 
features, IBM owns a reported 13 



percent share of Intel.) Because IBM 
does not intend to offer a full-page 
display or very high-resolution 
graphics, these areas represent real 
opportunities for third-party 
vendors. 

The recent announcement of a 
math coprocessor, Intel's 8087, is the 
first implementation of IBM's strategy 
to use the PC as a "chassis" for multi- 
ple microprocessors/coprocessors. 
Still other chips such as Intel's 8089 
(which fits into the same slot as the 
8087) will increase the PC's speed by 
handling I/O (input/output) process- 
ing. The most exciting development, 
however, will come when a 68000 
board from IBM is announced for the 
PC and the PC XT. 

While that seems a contradiction of 
previous statements concerning 
IBM's commitment to Intel and the 
8088/8086 architecture, it isn't really. 
IBM already sells a 68000-based prod- 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 139 



uct, the CS 9000. Developed by the 
IBM Laboratory Instruments divi- 
sion, the 9000 was recently offered to 
qualified value-added remarketers 
(VARs) and Hamilton-Avnet, an in- 
dustrial distributor. In addition to 
high-level graphics and many other 
advanced features, this machine runs 
under a proprietary multiuser oper- 
ating system similar to Bell Lab- 
oratories' Unix. Through VARs, this 
machine will be adapted to run Unix 
Version V and will be sold through 
retailers and systems houses (with 
IBM's blessing) as an alternative to 
Fortune Systems' 32:16, Digital 
Equipment Corporation's Profes- 
sional Series and the Micro PDP-11, 



Data General's recently announced 
Desktop Generation Series, and 
Honeywell's Microsystem 6/10. 

IBM took a beating in the minicom- 
puter market several years ago, and 
revenge may be on its mind in the 
"super" microcomputer market. 
IBM's tacit endorsement of Unix fur- 
ther opens up this market to software 
developers, especially with the prob- 
able emphasis on Unix Version V and 
the agreement among Bell Laborator- 
ies and three prominent chip 
vendors— Intel, Motorola, and Na- 
tional Semiconductor. We believe that 
IBM may eventually offer an 
MC-68000-based board for the PC 
and future high-end PC models. 



Much like other personal computers 
that feature two or more different 
microprocessors (such as the Radio 
Shack Model 16 with a Z80 and an 
MC-68000), the PC will be able to run 
8088/8086 or MC-68000 modes. 

Furthermore, we believe that IBM 
will eventually offer an S/370 board 
that will run IBM mainframe soft- 
ware, most likely under the VM oper- 
ating system. In fact, IBM already has 
implemented portions of the S/370 
instruction set on MC-68000s. 

New Models 

Within the next six months, we ex- 
pect IBM to introduce several new 
members of the PC family. By the 



INTRODUCING 

The first software program 



Sign-Master is an exciting new 
program that for the first time lets 
you transform ordinary-looking 
presentations, proposals and 
special reports into dynamic, 
colorful word charts. Before 
Sign-Master, it required a 



graphic artist or dedicated 
graphics processor to create im- 
pressive word charts, both time- 
consuming and more costly op- 
tions. Now, with Sign-Master's 
amazing flexibility, you can pro- 
duce presentation-quality word 



charts on paper or acetate in six 
different type styles and in 1 6 dif- 
ferent sizes — a real break- 
through when you consider that 
over 65% of all presentations 
consist of word-only formats. 
(When graphs are indicated to 




time you read this, IBM finally 
should have plunged into the home 
personal computer market with the 
long-awaited "Peanut." The Peanut 
will cost $600 to $700 (base price), be 
transportable (weigh in the 10-pound 
range), and offer some compatibility 
with the PC and the PC XT. 

This winter, IBM will introduce a 
high-end member of the PC family— 
the PC-3. The PC-3 will be priced be- 
tween $7000 and $9000, be based on 
an Intel 8086-class chip (perhaps the 
80286), and will functionally displace 
the IBM Datamaster. We expect that 
by the end of 1983, IBM will intro- 
duce a $2000 to $3000 portable per- 
sonal computer. 



Beyond these near-term product 
announcements, you can make a fair- 
ly good guess at what other personal 
computer products IBM is planning 
to introduce over the next 12 to 18 
months by looking at the recent 
organizational changes within the 
company. In addition to the PC, the 
other products assigned to the new 
Entry Systems Division read like a list 
of products ripe for replacement by 
the PC or PC family members. These 
products include the Displaywriter, 
the Datamaster, and the 5280 Data 
Entry System. Each of these will be 
functionally replaced by PC follow- 
ons that are 8086-based and offer 
greater flexibility, particularly in 



regard to keyboard selection. 

Another product included in the 
new division is the 5520, essentially 
a shared-logic word processor. The 
5520 (or its successor) will play a key 
role as a cluster controller for IBM's 
PC products, especially in office en- 
vironments. ■ 



Frank Gens and Chris Christiansen are senior 
analysts for the Boston-based Yankee Group (89 
Broad St., 14th Floor, Boston, MA 02110), a market- 
research and consulting firm specializing in infor- 
mation processing and telecommunications. Mr. 
Gens is editor of Impact: IBM, the in-house IBM- 
watch publication. Mr. Christiansen specializes in 
desktop hardware and software for the Yankee 
Communicator. 



SIGN-MASTER!" 

to bring word charts to life! 



highlight your data, ideas and 
conclusions, our Chart-Master™ 
graphics software is available to 
do the job.) 

Sign-Master can also be used 
to create effective instruction 
materials, bulletin board an- 



nouncements and direct mail 
pieces that demand attention. 
To generate real impact, Sign- 
Master word charts can be as col- 
orful as you like, depending on the 
plotter you use. And you can be 
as creative as you like by capital- 




izing or italicizing a single charac- 
ter, a single word, or an entire line 
at the touch of a button. In addi- 
tion, margins can be justified left, 
right or centered. 

Best of all, Sign-Master's on- 
line instructions, power and vari- 
ety of options make you a "Sign 
Master" without special training. 

Sign-Master — the first soft- 
ware program that brings word 
charts to life. 

Sign-Master supports a wide 
variety of plotters from IBM, Pana- 
sonic, Hewlett-Packard, Houston 
Instruments, Yokogawa, Strobe, 
Amdek and many others, for use 
with IBM PC, PCXT and other 
compatible computers. 

The retail price of Sign-Master 
is $245.00. For a complete infor- 
mation kit and name of your near- 
est dealer, contact: 

Decision Resources, Inc. 
25 Sylvan Road S. 
Westport,CT 06880 
(203)222-1974. 

Sign-Master and Chart-Master are trademarks of 
Decision Resources, Inc. 

Circle 137 on inquiry card. 

DecisionResources, Inc. 

Software Designed for Decision Makers 






tr 




Introducing 

the new Tl 855. It's 

two of the best printers 

weVe ever made. 



Now Texas Instruments gives 
you the performance of two 
printers for the price of one: the 
TI OMNI 800* Model 855 Micro- 
printer for personal computers. 

Draft* and letteivquality print. 

Other printers give you either 
draft-quality or letter-quality 
print. But with the 855, you can 
print a rough-draft report, press a 
button and create a letter-perfect, 
presentation-quality proposal. 
With sharp characters, clear 
underlining and complete descend- 
ers. So you won't have to watch 
your p's and q's. 

Personal computer software 
and hardware compatibility. 

Anything you can do with word 
processing software, you can print 
with the 855. Without changing 
software or hardware. The TI 855 
is compatible with virtually all 
software and every major personal 
computer. That's time-saving, 
money-saving convenience! 

Easy-to-use font modules. 

Our exclusive font modules are 



twice as nice as daisy wheels — 
cleaner, more durable, and a 
whole lot easier to change. Just 
snap them in. You don't even 
have to turn your printer off. 

Use up to three typefaces 
at once. 

For example: Begin printing a 
letter in a courier typeface; touch 
a button and change to italic 
type. Switch again and highlight 
the points you want to emphasize. 
You get 24 type variations in any 
font style. 

And, you get two types of 
paper-feeding. So you can load 
your printer as easily as a type- 
writer, or get precision printing on 
tractor forms. Use duplicate 
forms, letterhead, bond . . . you 
name it. The 855 isn't picky. 

Fastest paper^throughput ever. 

Result: Instead of tying up your 
computer, the 855 keeps doing its 
job while your computer's free to 
help you do yours. 

TI reliability. 

Just ask the major airlines. The 



855 is built with the same 
reliability as the TI 810 — the 
printer that's been turning out 
your travel tickets for years. 

Twice the value. 

The 855 gives you all the per- 
formance of a daisy wheel printer 
for roughly half the price. Or 
twice the performance of a rough- 
draft quality printer for a frac- 
tion more. 

But, if draft-quality is all you 
need, try the TI 850 printer. 
Same superior 855 features, with- 
out the letter-quality print. 

So whether you need a draft- 
quality printer, a letter-quality 
printer or both, see your nearest 
authorized TI dealer. Or write 
Texas Instruments Inc., P. O. Box 
402430, Dept. DPF-072BY, 
Dallas, TX 75240. Or call 
toll-free: 1-800-527-3500. 



■* 



Texas 
Instruments 

Creating useful products 
and services for you. 



Copyright © 1983 Texas Instruments * Trademark of Texas Instruments 



291429 



BYTE November 1983 143 



BIG 
BLUE 

GOES 
JAPANESE 




by Richard Willis 

Visitors to this year's National 
Computer Conference (NCC) in 
Anaheim were met with a kaleido- 
scope of new products out to exploit 
the microcomputer boom from every 
conceivable angle. But one product 
bound to have an enormous impact 
in its marketplace, a product with the 
IBM label, was tucked in a small 
niche of the Microsoft booth. A num- 
ber of fiberglass pavilions were added 
in the Convention Center parking lot 
to accommodate all the NCC ex- 
hibitors, and an unusual May heat 
wave turned the unventilated shells 
into high-tech saunas. One sales rep 

144 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



cut the legs off his wool suit slacks, 
and many of the electronic marvels 
fizzled out in the heat. But IBM 
Japan's new 5550 Multistation was 
plugging along, quietly displaying a 
Japanese-language version of Multi- 
plan developed by Microsoft for the 
machine. Although the system had 
been announced in Japan in mid- 
March, this was the first opportuni- 
ty to get a good look at the hardware. 
And a pretty impressive look it was. 
The 5550 system is not available in 
the US as of this writing. Little about 
it has been published in English. But 
if IBM Japan's extraordinarily broad 



plans for marketing the machine in 
Japan are any clue, we may soon see 
a similar machine here in America. 
The original IBM PC was released in- 
to a somewhat vaguely defined mar- 
ket, somewhere between hobbyists 
and small businessmen. Online com- 
munications capability was not a ma- 
jor selling point in early product 
literature. After 18 months and 
delivery of 300,000 units, there is no 
longer any doubt about who buys 
PCs and why. Small businesses do 
their bookkeeping and correspon- 
dence with PCs, and Merrill Lynch 
has ordered one for every broker 




(Illustration © 1983 by Michael Nakayama.) 



(12,000) in the company. IBM has 
legitimized the personal computer for 
business applications and catalyzed 
a multibillion-dollar market. 

The real question now is where 
IBM goes from here. There is con- 
siderable speculation about the com- 
pany's downscale plans, its move in- 
to the true home-computer market 
with the machine code-named 'Tea- 
nut." But there is also a considerable 
gulf above the PC. The company's re- 
cently announced small business 
computer, the System/36, is priced in 
the $25,000-to-over-$100,000 range, 
with a per-user cost for a small 



system (say, four user terminals) of 
over $10,000 (the per-user cost drops 
with larger systems). And there is 
currently a strong demand from cus- 
tomers to put a reasonable amount of 
computing power at each worksta- 
tion rather than running terminals 
(even intelligent terminals) from an 
expensive central processor. The 
company's Datamaster and Display- 
writer systems are not designed for 
low-level networking (i.e., network- 
ing without a large central main- 
frame) or distributed database 
systems. And IBM does not support 
these capabilities in its PC. 



The 5550 is just the product to meet 
these demands. Many desktop com- 
puter makers have taken to calling 
their products "workstations," but the 
5550 is a true workstation. It is 
designed from the ground up to pro- 
vide an easily accessible software en- 
vironment for three major business 
applications: word processing; com- 
putation (spreadsheet, accounting, 
and the like); and online terminal 
communications. The machine packs 
a significant amount of computing 
power for the price: an 8086 micro- 
processor running at 8 MHz; 256 to 
512K bytes of main RAM (random- 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 145 



access read/write memory); up to 
three 640K-byte floppy-disk drives, or 
one floppy disk and an 8.1-megabyte 
hard disk; 1024 by 768 dot graphics 
(with the large-format monochrome 
display); and fully supported com- 
munications interfaces. And the 
price: complete systems with soft- 
ware range from $5200 for a mini- 
mum configuration (256K-byte RAM, 
low-resolution character generation, 
two floppy disks, DOS, BASIC, 
word-processing software) to $10,000 
for a top-of-the-line model (512K-byte 
RAM, hard and floppy disks, com- 
munications interface, software). 
Although these numbers are en- 
hanced somewhat by the current 
overvaluation of the dollar with 



respect to the yen, they are clearly in 
the right ballpark for distributed of- 
fice automation systems. The System/ 
36 may be able to compete cost-wise 
in large network applications, but the 
5550's powerful stand-alone capabil- 
ities make it an almost unbeatable 
bargain. The 5550 may well be the 
harbinger of workstations to come in 
the American market. Of course, this 
is mostly conjecture; IBM keeps its 
plans guarded in deafening silence. 
The most distinctive features of the 
5550 Multistation will most certainly 
not show up in the US; this machine 
offers unprecedented power in han- 
dling the Japanese language, includ- 
ing its thousands of pictographic kanji 
characters. Japanese computers have 



long been limited to using kana, the 
Japanese phonetic alphabet (see the 
text box on the kana keyboard on page 
150), which is seriously handicapped 
in ordinary textual applications. The 
5550, however, actually analyzes the 
semantics of a sentence and decides 
which kanji to insert for each word 
typed in kana. The operator merely 
supervises the process and clarifies 
any misunderstood words. In the 
past year or two, some Japanese 
stand-alone word processors and 
small computers have offered similar 
semiautomatic kana-to-kanji conver- 
sion. But the capability of this 
machine to provide high-perform- 
ance word processing, as well as 
communications and personal com- 



IBM Japan: A Chronicle of Shifting PC Strategy 



The following is a translation by Richard 
Willis of an article that appeared in Nik- 
kei Computer, May 30, 1983, pages 
54-55. 

IBM Japan's personal computer ac- 
tivities can be traced back seven years 
to the announcement of the IBM 5100 
system in May 1976. The 5100 was a 
complete, integrated desktop system 
and included a 5-inch black-and-white 
display, a 3M-type cartridge-tape 
drive, and an APL keyboard. With this 
machine, IBM was aiming at the scien- 
tific and technical computation 
market, as well as small-scale mea- 
surement-and-control systems. An 
IEEE-488 parallel interface and an 
RS-232C serial interface were in- 
cluded. 

The 5100 was also intended to func- 
tion as an APL or BASIC language ter- 
minal with IBM's larger mainframes. 
Therefore, an APL interpreter and a 
BASIC interpreter were chosen as the 
system's resident languages. For gen- 
erating graphs and diagrams, a library 
of APL graphics routines was includ- 
ed in the 5100's software library, with 
a wire dot-matrix printer performing 
the function of a printer/plotter. 

In reexamining the 5100 in light of 
the current state of the art, several 
weaknesses stand out. The screen was 
quite small, there was no capability to 
use floppy disks, and the price was 
quite high, nearly 3 million yen 
[Translator's note: about $10,000 at 1976 



exchange rates]. Having pointed out 
these shortcomings, we nonetheless 
can see many similarities between the 
5100 and current PCs. Although the 
5100 was not necessarily a commercial 
success, it should be said that it was 
a remarkable technological feat for an 
APL interpreter running on such a 
small machine to perform with suffi- 
cient speed to be of practical use. 

In January of 1978, IBM announced 
the 5100's successor, the 5110. Its main 
differences from the 5100 were that it 
supported floppy-disk drives and used 
BASIC as its standard language, with 
APL as an option. Apart from these 
and a few other details, the fundamen- 
tal configuration was the same as the 
5100. Since that time, IBM has upgrad- 
ed the machine's capabilities by sell- 
ing a simple program-generator lan- 
guage called BRADS. 

By this time, IBM had reached a 
turning point in its PC strategy. It had 
been expected that the APL capabili- 
ties of IBM's PC would be a major 
selling point, but instead, IBM began 
to modify its product line so that it 
would appear directly competitive, 
function for function, with American 
Hewlett-Packard's series of personal 
computers, which supported BASIC. 
This transformation should probably 
be viewed as a response to demands 
from the marketplace as well. Prior to 
this time, IBM's PC strategy seemed to 
be linked to their strategy of vigorously 
promoting the dissemination of APL. 



However, since the introduction of the 
5100, the number of APL users had not 
grown to the extent forecast by IBM. 
The principal reason for this is 
generally felt to be the difficulty posed 
by APL's complex syntax. It is probably 
accurate to say that, faced with the 
strong demand for the BASIC lan- 
guage in the PC market at that time, 
IBM had no choice but to change its 
course. 

IBM 5550: A Significant 
Departure from Past Practice 

After the 5110, the complexion of 
IBM's PC changed, with subsequent 
machines displaying less of an orien- 
tation toward engineering applications 
and more toward business. The 5110's 
successor, the 5120, announced in 
February of 1980, was tailored almost 
entirely to business applications. 
Among other things, the IEEE-488 in- 
terface was dropped, and ISAM (in- 
dexed sequential-access method) file 
support was implemented. Before 
long, hardly anyone considered using 
the 5120 or its successor, the 
System/23, for engineering applica- 
tions. The System/23 was given the 
model designation 5322, indicating 
that it was not considered to be a part 
of the 5100 product line. In looking at 
all this, one can see IBM's original PC 
strategy fading from the market, along 
with the 5110, and disappearing alto- 
gether with the introduction of the 
5120. The 5120 was given a larger 



146 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



puting functions, in an under-$10,000 
package will make it a formidable 
competitor in the red-hot Japanese 
market. 

Not surprisingly, the other players 
in that market have started taking 
their shots at the giant. The 5550 
system is not without its flaws. The 
word-processing software and the 
conventional computational software 
run under two different, incompati- 
ble operating systems. Even the char- 
acter codes used by these two oper- 
ating systems are different— one is 
based on EBCDIC (extended binary- 
coded-decimal interchange code), the 
other is the Japanese standard 
code— thus file sharing is currently 
not possible. The color display offers 



9-inch screen, and its overall con- 
figuration resembled the System/23 
rather than the 5110. 

There would seem to be little or no 
relation between the recently an- 
nounced IBM 5550 and the 5100 or 
System/23 product lines. [Translator's 
note: the model number of the Amer- 
ican PC is 5150.] The 5100's distin- 
guishing feature was its APL orienta- 
tion, while the System/23 was an office 
computer. With the 5550, though, IBM 
is aiming at the so-called workstation 
concept. The user need not have any 
special programming skill in order to 
tap the capabilities built into the 
machine; the three software functions 
provided by IBM (as touted in the 
company's "one machine, three roles" 
slogan) can be mastered with little 
difficulty. 

IBM's main operating system for this 
machine is Japanese Language DOS, 
developed by the American company 
Microsoft. Since IBM's expertise in 
software has been a major selling point 
of its computers, it is quite a departure 
for it to have relied on an outside com- 
pany in this case. However, even IBM 
Japan now admits quite frankly that it 
is changing course. "The era of rely- 
ing solely on in-house software devel- 
opment has ended." It should prob- 
ably be noted that this comment was 
limited to the world of general-pur- 
pose, microprocessor-based personal 
computers. In the PC field, even 
mighty IBM is subject to this handicap. 



very good resolution (360 horizontal 
by 512 vertical addressable pixels), 
but only four colors are available in 
graphics mode (eight in character 
mode). These and other shortcom- 
ings are not escaping the notice of 
other Japanese computer manufac- 
turers, who are working with altru- 
istic fervor to inform the public. 

But no one is betting heavily 
against the 5550's success. After less 
than six months on the market, it has 
already begun to spawn the same 
sort of mini-industry that has grown 
up around the American PC. A cou- 
ple of independent magazines about 
the 5550 have premiered, and in- 
dependent sales organizations are 
lining up to offer systems integration 
and programming support for the 
new machine. Several Japanese 
manufacturers will benefit as well. 
With the PC, IBM broke with tradi- 
tion by procuring a number of major 
components from outside sources- 
chips from Intel, the system board 
assembled by SCI Systems Inc., 
drives from Tandon and MPI, and 
printers from Epson. IBM Japan is 
following suit. The 5550's system 
unit, including disk drives, is built by 
Matsushita Electric (makers of Pana- 
sonic equipment), the printer by Oki 
Electric (Okidata), and the keyboard 
by Alps (a major manufacturer of 
electromechanical devices). The cur- 
rent production rate of 2000/month is 
still fairly low, but that will un- 
doubtedly change as the machine 
starts getting out into public view. 
There is much to be impressed with 
in the 5550 Multistation. Let's start 
with a fairly detailed look at the 
hardware. 

Dissecting the Hardware 

The physical configuration of the 
5550 reflects the current emphasis on 
ergonomic design for workstations 
(see photo 1). The main system box 
is proportioned to fit to one side of 
the operator, thus enabling the 
display screen to be mounted in a 
lower, more comfortable position. 
The keyboard profile is the same as 
the original PCs, but the detached 
unit was made somewhat wider to 
accommodate 50 percent more keys. 
IBM also offers an adjustable, split- 



level desk and a tilt/swivel display 
mount to allow the user to set up the 
workstation to his or her own liking. 
This is all in marked contrast to the 
PC, which does not exactly blend in 
with a working desktop 
environment. 

Examining the main system unit 
(model number 5551), the first thing 
that strikes someone with an elec- 
tronics background is the quality and 
density of the packaging. The 
original PC, even with disk and 
display controllers and the inevitable 
multifunction expansion board, is 
wide open by comparison. Three 
densely packed circuit boards, a 
switching-mode power supply, up to 
three 5V4-inch floppy-disk drives (or 
one floppy disk and an 8.1-megabyte 
hard disk), and a five-slot expansion 
cage are mounted within the system 
unit case (slightly over 10 inches wide 
by 12 inches high by 16 inches deep). 
In overall construction, the inside 
looks more like a high-quality test in- 
strument than a PC. 

The system processing functions 
are spread over three 9- by 12-inch 
circuit boards: a microprocessor/ 
memory board, a disk controller/ 
clock board, and a video RAM board. 
There are two buses in the system 
unit, a main system bus (120 pins, 
1-inch pitch), and a disk control bus 
(86 pins, .1-inch pitch). All three 
boards plug into the system bus, but 
only the disk controller board picks 
up the disk bus. The system bus is 
extended into the expansion cage by 
means of a full-width flex-circuit 
jumper cable, which has to perform 
some minor gymnastics to mate the 
horizontally mounted main mother- 
board to the vertically mounted ex- 
pansion cage backplane. The disk 
control bus and the power harness 
are also carried on flex-circuits; with 
the exception of the two leads from 
the lithium battery that sustains the 
real-time clock, there is not a wire to 
be seen in the package. 

The microprocessor/memory board 
is a multilayer board of extremely 
high density containing an Intel 
i8086-2 16-bit microprocessor running 
at 8 MHz. Though both the i8088 
used in IBM's American PC and the 
8086 used here are 16-bit processors 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 147 




Photo 1: The IBM 5550 Multistation. (Photo courtesy of IBM.) 



(i.e., their internal registers and arith- 
metic/logic units operate on 16-bit 
words), the 8088 has only an 8-bit 
system bus and must perform mem- 
ory and I/O (input/output) opera- 
tions a half-word at a time. The 8086 
has a full 16-bit system bus that 
allows a substantial increase in 
speed, especially with programs that 
involve frequent branching or I/O 
operations. This is even more impor- 
tant in the case of Japanese-character 
I/O because 2 bytes of data are re- 
quired to represent each kanji char- 
acter in the standard Japanese digital 
code (see the text box "The Japanese 
Answer to ASCII" on page 156). The 
full-width system bus plus the higher 
clock rate (8 MHz versus 4.77 MHz 
for the PC's 8088) give the 5550 as 
much as two or three times the pro- 
cessor instruction rate of the PC, 
depending on the instruction being 
executed. Of course, your mileage 
may differ; overall system perfor- 
mance also depends on the amount 
of system overhead the processor has 
to perform and the efficiency of the 
software. The Japanese computer 
magazine Oh!55 ran benchmark pro- 
grams on the 5550, the PC, and 
several competing Japanese models. 
For a 3000-sample Simpson's rule in- 
tegration of y = sin(x), the 5550 run- 
ning its BASIC interpreter under 



Japanese Language DOS was about 
1.75 times faster than the PC running 
BASIC under MS-DOS 1.1. A 50-ele- 
ment bubble sort ran over twice as 
fast on the 5550 (and, not surprising- 
ly, 36 times as fast with 5550 com- 
piled Pascal). Some other results of 
these benchmark tests will be quoted 
later on. 

The 5550, like the PC, has an emp- 
ty position designated for an i8087 
numeric data coprocessor. There's no 
socket installed, so presumably the 
upgrade is intended to be done at the 
factory or service center. IBM Japan 
makes no mention of the 8087 in its 
literature; again like the PC, any IBM 
support of the 8087 is "somewhere 
downstream, maybe." However, sev- 
eral Japanese computer magazines 
have reported the existence of the 
empty chip position, so there will un- 
doubtedly be a number of indepen- 
dent houses offering upgrade 
packages. 

The 8086 is supported by 16K bytes 
of bootstrap and self -diagnostic rou- 
tines in ROM (read-only memory). 
Unlike the PC, which uses 8K bytes 
of ROM BIOS (basic I/O system) and 
32K bytes of ROM BASIC, the 5550's 
BIOS and BASIC must be loaded 
from disk. The BIOS handles the in- 
terfaces with keyboard, display con- 
troller, (including character-font 



cache management), disk controller, 
and printer. 

Other inhabitants of the micropro- 
cessor/memory board include an 
i8237 DMA (direct-memory access) 
controller, an i8253 programmable 
timer, an i8259 interrupt controller, 
and an i8284 clock generator, the 
same complement of support chips 
used in the PC. Memory consists of 
thirty-six 4164-type 64K-bit dynamic 
RAMS, providing a total of 256K 
bytes of on-board memory plus pari- 
ty. As if all that weren't enough, the 
board is encrusted with 102 (yes, 102!) 
small- and medium-scale Schottky 
TTL (transistor-transistor logic) chips 
(TI's), for a total chip count of 146, not 
including resistor networks, caps, 
crystal, printer and keyboard connec- 
tors, test panel, and so forth. This is 
one packed board. 

By comparison, the PC has slight- 
ly fewer than 100 chips installed on 
roughly the same amount of real 
estate, and that's with a full bank of 
16K-bit RAMs. It appears, among 
other things, that the I/O functions 
handled in the PC by the i8255 pro- 
grammable peripheral interface have 
here been executed in random logic. 
There are no custom arrays in 
evidence. It will be interesting to see 
what kind of field failure rate IBM ex- 
periences on such a complex board. 
However, because the microproces- 
sor/memory function is contained on 
a pluggable unit instead of on a 
motherboard, maintenance and 
upgrading should be relatively easy. 

The second of the big boards in the 
5550 is the disk controller card. The 
first version of this board is some- 
what less congested, with "only" 
three LSI (large-scale integration), 51 
support Schottky chips, and one 
hybrid (vs. one LSI, 25 TTL, and 4 
hybrids on the PC's disk-controller 
card). The controller chip used is the 
NEC ^PD765, and a Hitachi HA-16632 
VFO chip handles data separation. 
IBM has begun to supply the 5550 
with a universal disk-controller card 
that includes a Winchester interface, 
even if no hard disk is ordered. With 
this board installed, the system's disk 
complement can be upgraded at any 
time. 

The unit can accommodate one, 



148 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



THE THINGS COMPUTER USERS 







A whole host of natural and 
human disasters can shut your 
electric power down at any time. 

And lost power can cause your 
personal computer serious trouble. 
Big blocks of data can be garbled 
and wiped right off your discs. 
Your computer's main memory can 
go blank and sensitive electronic 
components can even be damaged 

Protect your data and your 
business profits from the power 
line with Elgar's Uninterruptible 



Power Systems. Our desktop-size 
UPS monitors power from the line 
and when it fails, a battery back-up 
takes over and runs your com- 
puter long enough for you to shut 
your system down safely. 

So don't leave your data 
unprotected another day. For 
more information or to order, 
call Elgar toll-free 800-227- 
3800, Ext. 7006. Major credit 
cards are welcome.To receive 



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for handling and write Elgar, 
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ELGAR SAVES THE DATA 




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Circle 175 on inquiry card. 




two, or three of the narrow-profile 
double-sided double-density, 80- 
track floppies, although the heavy 
dependence of the system on font 
libraries severely limits the capabili- 
ties of a single disk system. The use 
of high-density 5 V4-inch floppy disks 
instead of 8-inch disks is somewhat 
surprising given the strong business 
orientation of the system. The IBM 
8-inch format is still the most widely 
accepted standard among current 
Japanese business computers. By go- 
ing with the smaller floppy disks, 
IBM may have been aiming to reach 
more of the individual personal- 
computer enthusiasts, while at the 



same time not putting too much 
pressure on its own System/34 and 
System/36 small-business computers; 
the new machine gives these more 
expensive systems a run for their 
money. In fact, IBM Japan has taken 
to using the term "Very Small 
Business Computer" (VSBC) to 
characterize the new product line. 

The system can also be configured 
with one hard disk and one floppy 
disk, but IBM is not scheduled to 
start shipping hard disks until De- 
cember. The disks simply plug in 
from the front of the cabinet; there 
are no harnesses to wrestle with (see 
figure 1). Thus, there should be quite 



a bit of competition, both in capacity 
and in price, with IBM's 10-megabyte 
(8.1 megabytes "available to user") 
unit, which adds about $2200 to the 
system price. 

The video RAM board, another 
tightly packed module, includes a 
6845-type video controller, a pair of 
6116-type 2K by 8-bit CMOS (com- 
plementary metal-oxide semiconduc- 
tor) RAM buffers used by the con- 
troller, up to 256K bytes of video 
RAM in the form of 4164-type 
dynamic RAMS, a hybrid clock gen- 
erator, and 110 TTL support chips— 
again, a total of 146 chips. The func- 
tion of this module will be described 



The Japanese Kana Keyboard 



The Japanese are fortunate to have 
a phonetic alphabet, or syllabary, in 
which to write their language; they are 
not limited, as the Chinese are, to a 
purely pictographic writing system. 
This Japanese alphabet is called the 
kana syllabary. There are 46 different 
kana characters, each expressing a sim- 
ple sound such as "oh" or "ku" or 
"shi." You can immediately see that a 
word like Yokohama would be written 
with four kana, yo-ko-ha-ma. With the 
addition of diacritical marks (used like 
the tilde in Spanish) and subscripted 
characters, slightly more than a hun- 
dred different kana forms, one for each 
possible syllable in the Japanese 
language, can be constructed. 



You might ask why the Japanese 
continue to struggle with thousands of 
kanji (pictographic) characters when 
they have the phonetic writing system 
available. The answer lies in the scar- 
city of syllables in Japanese. A 
hundred-odd syllables isn't much to 
work with in building an entire vocab- 
ulary. Of course, if you are willing to 
accept very long words, there are plen- 
ty of unambiguous combinations that 
can be created. But the Japanese 
already have the problem of long verb 
conjugation endings; they prefer to 
keep the roots of nouns and verbs fair- 
ly short, usually about two syllables. 
The result is that there are thousands 
of synonyms in Japanese; almost any 



word you name has at least one or two 
synonyms, and some have a dozen. 
Not surprisingly, this can cause all 
sorts of problems in communication. 
The native listener can usually tell 
from the context which meaning is in- 
tended, but it is very common for a 
speaker to have to go back and clarify 
certain words in a conversation. This 
situation would not be acceptable in 
written communication; in print you 
must be able to convey information 
clearly and unambiguously. Thus, the 
Japanese must continue to use the kan- 
ji, each of which carries a specific root 
meaning, to put their language on 
paper. 
There is no reason, however, why 



A, 

(n) 


(wa) 


6 
(ra) 


(ya) 


(ma) 


it 
(ha) 


(na) 


(ta) 


(sa) 


(ka) 


35 
(a) 






"J 
(ri) 




(mi) 


o 

(hi) 


(ni) 


5 
(chi) 


U 
(shi) 


* 
(ki) 


Li 
CO 






3 
(ru) 


(yu) 


(mu) 


/3\ 
(fu) 


(nu) 


(tsu) 


r 

(su) 


< 

(ku) 


(u) 






ft 
(re) 




* 
(me) 


(he) 


(ne) 


T 
(te) 


it 
(se) 


l-t 
(ke) 


(e) 




(wo) 


5 
(ro) 


(yo) 


(mo) 


(ho) 


CD 
(no) 


t 

(to) 


(so) 


(M 


33 
(o) 



The traditional arrangement of 'Japanese kana (in this case the hiragana set) into a matrix of vowel and consonant sounds. 



150 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



in detail later. 

The switching-mode power supply, 
also a pluggable module, slides into 
the base of the cabinet and mates 
with the flex circuit power harness 
through a beefy connector. The fact 
that the boards, drives, and power 
supply are all replaceable modules 
shows the strong emphasis IBM put 
on reliability and maintainability in 
designing the system. Actually, the 
best feature of the power supply is 
that the switch is mounted to be ac- 
cessible at the front of the system 
unit. Total power dissipation in the 
package is rated at approximately 230 
watts, so the logic and drives prob- 



ably use about 140 to 180 watts. A fan 
in the power-supply module cools 
the entire chassis. 

An optional five-slot expansion 
cage holds the optional memory and 
interface boards. The cage's back- 
plane board plugs into a connector 
bearing the main system bus; the 
whole cage can be added or replaced 
in the field. There are four optional 
boards currently available. Up to two 
memory-expansion boards of 128K 
bytes each can be added, for a max- 
imum system memory capacity of 
512K bytes. These memory modules 
go for about $375, which is a bargain 
compared to IBM's prices for PC ex- 



pansion memory. (But then, who 
buys their PC expansion memory 
from IBM?) Communications adapt- 
ers available include an asynchro- 
nous serial adapter (RS-232C) and a 
BSC/SDLC (Binary Synchronous 
Communication/Synchronous Data 
Link Control) adapter. Extensive soft- 
ware support is being readied for the 
latter interface, including a 3270 Kanji 
Terminal emulator, a package to sup- 
port the BSC3741 protocols, and 
another package for the 3770 RJE 
(remote job entry) terminal protocol. 
IBM is vigorously promoting its net- 
working and communications cap- 
abilities, hoping to convince a 



documents cannot be entered into the 
computer in kana and then be con- 
verted to kanji, as long as the author 
supervises the conversion. So the 
Japanese have established two stan- 
dard keyboard arrangements for the 
kana. The first arrangement, shown at 
left, is based on the 1000-year-old ar- 
rangement of the kana called the go-ju- 
on-zu, or "50-sound chart." You can see 
there is a logical pattern to this way of 
arranging syllables. In fact, the 
Japanese tend to view their syllabary 
more as a matrix than as a linear 
alphabet, so this is the most natural 
way of arranging the keys. 

However, it's very difficult to touch- 
type on five rows of keys, thus the go- 
ju-on-zu style of keyboard is only 
available as an option on a few com- 
puters. The Japanese instead have 
adopted a version of the Western 
QWERTY keyboard, with the 46 kana 
plus supplementary marks spread 



over all four rows of keys (see below). 
Although most people don't touch- 
type the fourth row of the QWERTY 
keyboard too well, it's still easier to use 
a four-row keyboard than a five-row. 
You can observe that there is at least 
a suggestion of the original matrix of 
sounds preserved in this standard 
layout (even the QWERTY arrange- 
ment is not totally randomized). A few 
of the lesser used characters have been 
relegated to the top row or to the ex- 
treme right, but most of the fourth row 
characters get plenty of use. This is the 
keyboard you will see most • often 
in Japan. 

You may also have noticed that the 
Japanese characters in these two ex- 
amples are not the same. The Japanese 
actually have two complete sets of 
kana, the hiragana shown in the first ex- 
ample, and the katakana in the second. 
These two character sets have much 
different roles in Japanese writing, but 



for all intents and purposes they are 
precise parallels of each other. The 
only difference is that a few subscript- 
able characters have been added to 
katakana to help approximate some of 
the foreign words that can't be sound- 
ed intelligibly with Japanese syllables. 
Most Japanese computer keyboards 
are labeled in katakana; the IBM 5550 
offers the QWERTY-style keyboard in 
either hiragana or katakana, with 
hiragana being the standard for 
Japanese-language word processing. 
This style of Japanese keyboard has at 
least two shift functions— one to 
switch to the other kana set, and one 
to switch to the roman alphabet. The 
Japanese in their writing make exten- 
sive use of Western names, acronyms, 
numbers, and even slang, so they 
must be able to access our alphabet as 
well as their own. 



I 2 
1 (nu) 



7 
(fu) 



* y 

3 (a) 



$ 
4 



(u) 



% x 

5 (e) 



6 (o) 



7 (ya) 



( 3. 

8 (yu) 



) 3 

9 (yo) 



0(wa) 



7J\ 

(ho) 



- 'X 

(he) 



I — 



Q (ta) 



T 

W(te) 



A (chi) 



(i) 



S (to) 



R(su) 



D(shi) 



T(ka) 



A 
F(ha) 



Y (n) 



G (ki) 



U (na) 



5 
H(M 



I (ni) 



"7 
J (ma) 



(ra) 



J 
K (no) 



r -tz 

P (se) 



U 
(ri) 



@ 



j b 
; (re) 



[ 



: (ke) 



J A 
](mu) 



J 







v 

Z(tsu) 



-9- 
X(sa) 



V 
C (so) 



V (hi) 



Z) 

B Cko) 



N(mi) 



M(mo) 



< * 
, (ne) 



> )V 
. (ru) 



? * 
/(me) 



D 
\ (ro) 



ft 



Japanese katakana arranged on a QWERTY-style keyboard. The phonetic reading of each character is included for reference only. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 151 



mpu/memory board 

video cntl board 

disk cntl board 



PLUG -IN 5±" 



FLOPPY DISK 
DRIVE 




EXPANSION 
CAGE 

POWER 
SUPPLY 

DISK BUS 
BACKPANEL 



Figure 1: Exploded view of the IBM 5550 system unit. Five option boards may be installed 
in the expansion cage. A hard-disk drive may be substituted for the two right-most floppy- 
disk drives. (Figure courtesy of IBM.) 



number of its major users to install 
5550s in place of the 3270 or other 
networks they now operate. In such 
applications, IBM Japan seems to 
hold a clear advantage over its 
Japanese competitors. 

The heavy emphasis on system 
networking applications is perhaps 
the clearest hint that we may see a 
similarly targeted machine for the US 
market before long. Independent 
Japanese computer journals and 
IBM's Japanese publications are 
reporting an extensive array of 
system configurations for which IBM 
is touting the new machine or for 
which it is preparing support. 
Although the Japanese still lag 
behind the US in data networking, at 
least in terms of installed base, they 
are putting a much greater national 
priority on data-communications 
facilities and will probably lead the 
world in this pivotal technology 
within a few years. IBM's Japanese 
subsidiary clearly intends to play a 
major role in this development. 



The Keyboard Runneth Over 

The most vociferously criticized 
feature of IBM's American PC is its 
keyboard— with good reason. IBM 
says its preliminary market studies 
showed that people encountering 
computers for the first time tend to 
be intimidated by large arrays of 
obscure function keys. So a simple, 
uncluttered keyboard layout was 
adopted; unfortunately, this layout 
manages to intimidate any typist who 
ever grew up with the Selectric. Even 
a novice quickly comes to curse the 
miniscule Shift and Return keys, the 
unlighted shift locks, and the 2 by 5 
vertical array of function keys clever- 
ly prompted by a 1 by 10 horizontal 
array of screen labels. IBM has shown 
little sympathy regarding these com- 
plaints. In fact, the company now 
says that the PC-style keyboard will 
become the standard on new genera- 
tions of Display writer and small of- 
fice computer products. Pity the poor 
secretaries. 

By contrast, the 5550's keyboard 



(designated 5556) is anything but 
austere, as can be seen in figure 2. If 
anything, the pendulum has swung 
to the other extreme. With 124 keys, 
compared to the PC's 83, it weighs in 
with one of the most complex key- 
boards of any small computer, Japa- 
nese or otherwise. Some of the typ- 
ing keys represent up to four dif- 
ferent characters, and there are addi- 
tional legends on the front of many 
keys. Given the multifunction char- 
acter of the machine, it's hard to see 
how the keyboard could be signifi- 
cantly simplified. Changeable key 
overlays seem like an excellent idea, 
but machines using them haven't 
been overly successful in the market. 
And menu-driven software is great 
for a novice but tends to slow down 
an experienced operator. Besides, a 
complex-looking keyboard may not 
be as much of an impediment in the 
hard-charging technology culture of 
Japan. 

Many of the typing complaints 
noted above have in fact been alleviat- 
ed in this new layout. IBM has 
followed the JIS (Japanese Industrial 
Standard) kana keyboard layout (see 
the text box on page 150), which has 
nice large Shift and Return keys and 
no annoying symbol key intruding 
between the Z and the Shift. The 
shift locks aren't lighted, but the soft- 
ware displays the shift status— 
hiragana, katakana, roman, roman 
caps lock— on the top or bottom line 
of the display. The normal space bar 
has been split into five keys: a space, 
two kana-to-kanji conversion control 
keys, and two shifts. This is a little 
awkward for typing text in roman, 
but Japanese text does not use spaces 
between words, thus it is not a 
significant problem. 

To the right of the typing keys is a 
block of word-processing function 
keys, quite similar to the Wang for- 
mat used by many American small 
computers (except IBM's): cursor con- 
trol cross, three page-flipping keys, 
Insert, Delete, Copy, and Move. Far- 
ther right is a 10-key pad with Enter 
and math function keys. 

Unfortunately, the organization of 
the remaining 34 keys is based more 
on geometrical symmetry than on 
logical categories. The key block at 



152 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 406 on inquiry card. 



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A VAILABLE ON IBM PC, AND MANY OTHER MS-DOS COMPUTERS. 



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BREAK 


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HALF SIZE 

CHAR 


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FULL SIZE 


ADO TO 
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DIFF 
READING 


NUMBER 


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CTRL 


raiiil 






PRINT 
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SCROLL 
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CURSOR 
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ALT CSR 




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PASTE 


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ALL CANDIDATES 





IBM 5550 

MULTISTATION 

KEYBOARD 

Figure 2: The layout of the 5550 system keyboard, with translations of the legends of the function keys. The keys marked in blue are dedicated 
to word-processing operations. 



the left includes system-control func- 
tions such as Cntl, Quit, Break, and 
Cancel, plus some keys to initiate 
half -size or double-size character en- 
try, a key to flag characters used in 
proper names (a real problem in Jap- 
anese), and some additional kana-to- 
kanji conversion control keys. 

The same mix of functions is evi- 
dent in the three blocks of control 
keys arrayed along the top of the 
keyboard. Format-control keys and 
other word-processing function keys 
are color-coded and arrayed in the 
lower row of 12 keys; communica- 
tions and other miscellaneous keys 
reside in the upper row. But there is 
not the strong logical subgrouping 
there should be in a keyboard of such 
complexity. Keyboard designers must 
learn to make geometry and logic 
work together, rather than choosing 
one over the other. Perhaps the best 
example of a well-balanced keyboard 
is the HASCI (human applications 
standard computer interface) key- 
board on the Epson QX-10 (see the 



October, November, and December 
1982 BYTE). However, the IBM key- 
board has many more functions to 
control, and the Epson is highly 
menu-oriented; the keyboard design 
challenge is yet to be mastered. 

The feel of the 5550 keyboard is 
quite different from the mechanical 
break-over of the PC's keyboard. The 
new key touch is better suited to fast 
typing. The system speaker, mounted 
in the keyboard housing, gives an 
audible click at each key make. The 
volume of the click is adjustable. This 
is an excellent approach to keyboard 
feedback. 

Like the PC, the 5550's keyboard 
connects to the system unit via a 
coiled cord. An internal microproces- 
sor in the keyboard module scans the 
keys and sends key make/break infor- 
mation to the main processor in a 
serial format. The housing is of the 
same configuration as the PC's but is 
3 inches wider. 

IBM is offering three keyboard op- 
tions with the 5550. The standard key 



layout is best suited for word-pro- 
cessing and personal-computing 
functions. One optional layout is 
available with four key legends 
altered for use with 3270 emulation 
software. IBM has shown a third 
keyboard, one with 125 keys, that is 
quite different from the standard 
layout and is designed to look like the 
keyboard of the 3270 Kanji Terminal. 

Of Kanji Fonts and Printer Dots 
and Pixel RAM and Screens 

The system used for handling the 
display screen and printer is surely 
the most interesting aspect of this 
machine. The Japanese kanji 
characters are much more complex 
than any Western alphabet and 
therefore need more pixels to portray 
them intelligibly. The American PC's 
monochrome display adapter gener- 
ates roman characters of exceptional 
quality with a 7- by 11-pixel matrix (in 
a 9 by 14 space). By comparison, kanji 
characters displayed in a 16- by 
16-pixel matrix are passable at best 



154 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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BYTE November 1983 



155 



The Japanese Answer to ASCII 



Most Westerners can only be awed 
at the complexity of written language 
in the Orient. The pictographic/ideo- 
graphic writing system that originated 
in China more than 2500 years ago in- 
volves thousands of intricately stroked 
characters. Although some simplifica- 
tion has been achieved in this century, 
the system still presents a formidable 
obstacle to communication, especial- 
ly in the current electronic age. Most 
of the difficulties that have arisen in 
processing these languages by com- 
puter involve the entry of text into the 
machine and the display and printout 
of results. How do you design a 
keyboard to handle 2000 to 3000 dif- 
ferent characters? What about a 
Chinese "selectric" typeball? 

Fortunately, once the purely 
mechanical obstacles of input and out- 
put have been overcome, data can be 
dealt with in a routine way. A com- 
puter doesn't care what character set 
its Is and 0s represent as long as all 
the humans involved agree on a stan- 
dard code. In Japan, as in America, 
there are two such standards: IBM's 
and everyone else's. In the US, IBM's 
EBCDIC (extended binary-coded-dec- 
imal interchange code), which evolved 
from punch-card formats (remember 
keypunch?), is used in all IBM com- 
puters down to and including the 
System/34 and Displaywriter. Most 
computers from other companies, as 
well as IBM's PC, use ASCII to repre- 
sent character data. ASCII is also the 
standard for intercomputer com- 
munication. Because there are only 
128 (or 256) possible codes involved, 
it is little trouble for IBM's computers 
to convert to ASCII when communi- 
cating with the outside world; thus the 
dual standard does not cause any 
serious problems. 

In Japan, though, there are a lot 
more characters to worry about. The 
Japan Standards Association, Japan's 
counterpart to ANSI (American Na- 
tional Standards Institute), has iden- 
tified 3418 Japanese kanji characters as 
"primary kanji/' and another 3384 as 



"secondary kanji." To put this in 
perspective, a Japanese student is ex- 
pected to know 881 kanji by the end of 
the sixth grade and 2000 by the time 
he graduates from high school. A fair- 
ly literate college graduate is able to 
read about 3400 characters. By using 
these characters individually, or by 
combining two (or occasionally three) 
different characters, the tens of 
thousands of Japanese words can be 
represented. Secondary kanji include 
obsolete or historical kanji, characters 
used only in proper names, and so 
forth. 

In addition to the kanji, there are two 
sets of kana characters (which act as a 
sort of phonetic "alphabet" for Japa- 
nese), plus Arabic numbers, Roman, 
Greek, and Cyrillic alphabets, and 
graphics symbols represented in the 
JIS standard, a total of 453 non-kanji 
characters. Because the Japanese had 
to go to 2 bytes per character anyway, 
they figured they might as well 
establish a code for every character 
that might ever be needed. Actually, 
only 7 bits of each byte are used for 
coding; the eighth bit is reserved for 
parity. There are 2 14 or 16,384 possible 
codes that can be handled by the JIS 
format; of these, slightly more than 
half are used for actual characters, and 
the rest are reserved for control codes. 
A small segment of the JIS primary 
kanji code is shown at right. 

IBM's kanji code, an "extension" of 
EBCDIC (like Texas is an extension of 
El Paso), actually predates the JIS 
code. IBM made an extensive commit- 
ment to the Japanese market in the six- 
ties, back when Japanese electronic 
producers were still concentrating on 
stereos and TVs. An enormous 
amount of effort was expended over 
the years to develop Japanese-lan- 
guage interfacing capability for IBM's 
mainframes. Consequently, the IBM 
3270 Kanji Terminal is still the standard 
online terminal in Japan. For more 
than a decade, IBM's Tokyo Scientific 
Center has been conducting research 
into Japanese-language programming 



systems for small computers. The 
5550's word-processing software, 
which features semantic-sensitive 
kana-to-kanji conversion and utilizes 
EBCDIC-coded kanji characters, is a 
product of this research. 

On the other hand, software 
developed for the 5550 by outside 
sources typically uses a variant of the 
JIS kanji code. This variant code differs 
from the JIS code only in that charac- 
ters and control codes have been sep- 
arated into different sectors. Micro- 
soft's Japanese-language version of 
Multiplan and other 5550 software use 
this variant, and it has been adopted 
by virtually every Japanese microcom- 
puter maker as a standard for personal 
computers. Thus there are two dis- 
similar data codes used in 5550 system 
software, a rather disturbing schizo- 
phrenia with symptoms that include 
the incapability to share data files be- 
tween personal-computing and 
word-processing functions. IBM Japan 
is not currently offering a utility to con- 
vert between these two data en- 
vironments. This incompatibility has 
been blown into a major issue by IBM's 
competitors and other critics. Many 
commentators have expressed serious 
doubts about the viability of the 
system on the basis of its disjointed 
data and file formats. In Japanese 
business etiquette, saying "I have 
serious doubts about your approach" 
is tantamount to saying "You must be 
out of your mind." IBM Japan will 
probably have to address this file- 
conversion problem eventually. 

The fact that the characters of the 
Japanese language need a multibyte 
code for representation in a computer 
points up the importance of the 16-bit 
microprocessor "threshold" to the 
Japanese. Now that powerful, inex- 
pensive 16-bit systems are entering the 
market, the Japanese will be aole, for 
the first time, to interact with personal 
computers in their native language. 
The current small-computer "software 
gap" between the U S and Japan may 
get a lot narrower in the near future. 



but certainly not as intelligible as 
even 5- by 7-pixel roman characters. 
IBM's 5550 offers 16- by 16-pixel kanji 
with its 12-inch monochrome and 
14-inch color displays, and 24- by 



24-pixel kanji with its 15-inch 
monochrome display. The 24 by 24 
representation is pretty good; 
Japanese characters are traditionally 
produced by strokes of a small brush 



pen, so the slight f uzziness in a 24 by 
24 digitization gives the characters a 
somewhat quaint, arguably pleasing 
appearance. 
However, even a 16- by 16-pixel 



156 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




















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Examples of Japanese digital kanji codes. At left is a chart of the JIS primary kanji code chart. At right is an excerpt from a 475-page 
code book that IBM provides with the system. Beside each kanji are (from left) a character sequence number, the JIS kanji code, the EBCDIC- 
based IBM code, and the Japanese microcomputer code convention. Notice that the third kanji listed in the table has a JIS code of 2708. 
If you look at row 27, column 8 of the chart, you will find that same character. The characters in the chart are arranged phonetically. 
(Chart courtesy of IBM.) 



matrix for the 3418 JIS primary kanji 
(see "The Japanese Answer to ASCII" 
on page 156) would take up more 
than 109K bytes of ROM— that's four- 
teen 2764s. The 24 by 24 font would 



eat up forty-two 2764s. Some Japa- 
nese small computers do use ROM 
font storage, and the Japanese have 
put a high priority on developing 
very dense ROMs (a half-megabit 



ROM is close to production). How- 
ever, the 5550 keeps the character 
fonts on floppy disk and brings 
whichever fonts are needed into a 
cache buffer that occupies all or part 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



157 



of the video RAM. The same disk- 
based fonts are used for both the 
display and the printer. Thus, if you 
buy the small monochrome or the 
color display, you must settle for a 16- 
by 16-dot printout; with the 15-inch 
monochrome display, you can have 
24- by 24-pixel kanji on both the 
screen and the printer. 

The display adapter card provides 
256K bytes of video RAM. How this 
RAM is utilized depends on the 
operational mode. In character mode, 
the entire video RAM is used for the 
kanji font cache. A separate 2K-byte 
RAM is used as a character buffer, 



and another for an attribute buffer. In 
character mode, the screen can 
display 25 lines of 40 kanji or full- 
width kana, or 25 lines of 80 roman 
characters or condensed kana. (Ac- 
tually, it's 25 by 41 and 25 by 82 with 
a dead position at the lower right of 
the screen, but most operational pro- 
grams use only 40/80 columns.) Be- 
cause the kanji are physically twice as 
wide on the screen as the alpha- 
numeric characters and require a 
16-bit instead of an 8-bit code to 
designate them, there is a rather 
tricky one-to-one correspondence 
maintained between the contents of 




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display prompts user with the system messages. A 
keypad option is available lor standalone editing. An 
impressive range of devices are programmed (as stan- 
dard leature). 



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the character buffer and the contents 
of the screen. 

When an operating program wants 
to write a kanji on the screen, the 
BIOS first checks to see if the 
necessary font is already contained in 
the font cache buffer; if not, it is load- 
ed from disk. Then the appropriate 
location of the character buffer, either 
1 or 2 bytes, is loaded with a code 
that points, via a table of vectors, to 
the location in the font cache at 
which the desired font is stored. Any 
video attributes (such as underline, 
blink, reverse video, and one of eight 
colors in the case of a color monitor) 
are loaded into the corresponding 
location of the attribute buffer. This 
novel combination of a character buf- 
fer containing references to code font 
locations (rather than the actual 
character codes like ASCII) and a 
large font cache play the same role as 
a normal character buffer and font 
ROM would in a conventional video 
display. The CRT (cathode-ray tube) 
controller chip accesses the character 
buffer one position at a time, the font 
address is referenced, and the pixel 
pattern is fetched and pipelined for 
display. The display refresh rate is ap- 
proximately 72 to 76 interlaced half- 
frames per second (it varies with 
display model and mode). This re- 
fresh rate corresponds to a pixel rate 
of about 40 MHz for the 15-inch 
display. 

The juggling of character fonts in 
the video RAM is also a little tricky 
but will not normally require a great 
deal of disk access. Perhaps half of 
the characters on a typical page of 
Japanese text will be one of the 100 
or so kana, and over three-fourths of 
the remainder will be from a group 
of 1000 or so heavily used kanji. 
Slightly more than 2000 different 
fonts can be stored in the font cache; 
if the most common characters are 
brought in at the beginning, only a 
handful will need to be added along 
the way. Of course, because all typ- 
ing is done initially in kana, the 
screen responds to the typist's input 
immediately. Only the kana-to-kanji 
conversion process may be delayed 
by disk access. 

In graphics mode, the operation is 
somewhat different. The first third of 

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the video RAM is used as a screen 
bitmap, and the remainder for the 
font cache. (In character mode, the 
kanji fonts and surrounding blank 
spaces (24 by 24 pixels in a 26 by 29 
box) are loosely packed into 128 bytes 
per character. In graphics mode, the 
fonts are tightly packed into 72 bytes. 
Thus, even though the bitmap uses 
the first third of the video RAM in 
graphics mode, the remainder can 
still hold more than 2000 character 
fonts.) The graphics programs per- 
form the normal dot-addressable 
graphics operations within the bit- 
map and can fetch character fonts 
from the cache, alter their size or 
orientation, and deposit them in the 
map as desired. For color graphics, 
the system used is very similar to the 
original PC's. The horizontal resolu- 
tion is halved, from 720 by 512 to 360 
by 512, and two contiguous bits in the 
bitmap are used to control each ad- 
dressable dot, which allows four col- 
ors to be displayed. One of these col- 
ors is the background, so you actually 
get only three active colors. However, 



you do have a choice of what those 
colors are. 

Although the 5550 strikes an ex- 
cellent balance among its many capa- 
bilities, it is not really a strong 
graphics machine in comparison to 
more specialized systems. Though its 
resolution is very high for mono- 
chrome, and above average for color, 
the use of the 6845 controller chip 
and processor-controlled bitmap 
graphics severely limits its speed for 
certain types of operations. In the 
previously mentioned benchmark 
tests, the NEC-9801, another 
8086-based personal computer, com- 
pleted an 1100-line star, programmed 
in BASIC, in just 6 seconds, com- 
pared to almost 2 minutes for the 
5550. In most other respects, the 9801 
was comparable to the 5550 within a 
factor of about 1.5 either way. The 
NEC machine uses that company's 
/iPD7220 graphics controller chip, one 
of the hottest on the market; the chip 
has hardware line generation and 
other state-of-the-art features. By go- 
ing with the tried-and-true 6845, the 




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same controller used in the American 
PC, IBM passed up a lot of graphics 
power it could have tapped for ap- 
plications such as CAD (computer- 
aided design), opting instead for bet- 
ter character-handling performance. 
For the majority of office-oriented 
graphics applications, however, the 
system is more than adequate. 

The printer used with the 5550 
system is a very dense wire dot- 
matrix type made by Oki Electric. 
The unit is configured much dif- 
ferently from Okidata's American- 
market printers. Their top-of-the-line 
Pacemark 2410 produces some of the 
best correspondence-quality print of 
any dot-matrix machine; it uses a 
nine-magnet print head and gener- 
ates a 17- by 9-dot matrix by taking 
two passes at each line, displacing 
the paper a half dot between passes. 
By contrast, both the 16- by 16-dot 
and 24- by 24-dot character matrixes 
generated by the 5550's printers 
(designated 5553-A01 and 5553-B01, 
respectively) are created in a single 
pass. These printers have full- 
resolution printheads, using 18 or 24 
magnets. The print wires are skewed 
so that the tiny dots (11 mil and 8 mil, 
respectively) overlap slightly. 

The print pattern is determined by 
dot information sent to the printer by 
the system unit. The printed charac- 
ter font is the same as the displayed 
font; there is no internal character 
generation in the printer. As a result, 
the printer can produce an extensive 
range of styles limited only by the 
software. The word-processing soft- 
ware, for example, supports half- 
width, normal, and double-width 
printing of roman characters and kana 
and normal and double-width print- 
ing of kanji. And because the pixel 
matrix is square, it is simple to rotate 
the characters to print Japanese text 
in the traditional fashion, vertical col- 
umns proceeding from right to left. 
The printer also supports the same 
dot-addressable graphics utilities 
used for display-screen graphics. 
Some examples of the 24- by 24-dot 
characters display and printout are 
shown in figure 3. The print speed is 
60 kanji characters per second for the 
16- by 16-dot printer and 40 kanji per 
second for the 24- by 24-dot version. 



160 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 213 on inquiry card. 




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Figure 3: Examples of the 5550 system 's displays and printouts. At upper left is an example of textual material displayed on a screen by 
the Japanese-language word-processing function. At upper right is a screen display from Microsoft's Japanese version of Multiplan. Below 
are examples of horizontal and vertical printout modes. All examples were produced in the 24- by 24-bit font. (Material courtesy of IBM.) 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 161 



Circle 503 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 Proof Reader 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. 



m 




the 
hando m 




r 



The 

Random 
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. 

162 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Product 


Price 


Availability 


5551 System Unit, 256K-byte RAM, one 640K-byte 5V4-inch 






floppy disk: 






with 16- by 16-dot characters, for monochrome display 


$2560 


now 


with 24- by 24-dot characters, for monochrome display 


$3230 


now 


with 16- by 16-dot characters, for color display 


$2605 


now 


5551 System Unit, 256K-byte RAM, one 8.1-megabyte hard disk, 






one 640K-byte 5 1 /4-inch floppy disk: 






with 16- by 16-dot characters, for monochrome display 


$4745 


12/83 


with 24- by 24-dot characters, for monochrome display 


$5415 


12/83 


with 16- by 16-dot characters, for color display 


$4790 


12/83 


System unit options: 






board cage 


$125 


now 


128K-byte memory expansion board 


$375 


now 


additional 640K-byte 5 1 A-inch floppy-disk drive 


$417 


now 


SDLC/BSC communications adapter 


$417 


now 


asynchronous communications adapter 


$250 


now 


magnetic stripe reader adapter 


$313 


now 


5553 Printer: 






for 16- by 16-dot characters and dot-addressable graphics 


$1120 


now 


for 24- by 24-dot characters and dot-addressable graphics 


$1313 


now 


5557 Printer: 






heavy-duty printer for multipart forms 


$5625 


12/83 


5555 Display: 






12-inch monochrome for 16- by 16-dot characters 


$250 


now 


15-inch monochrome for 24- by 24-dot characters 


$605 


now 


14-inch color for 16- by 16-dot characters 


$915 


12/83 


5556 Keyboard (three versions available): 






Japanese-language word processing and personal computing 


$200 


now 


Japanese-language word processing and 3270 emulation 


$200 


now 


3270 katakana keyboard format 


$200 


now 


Japanese-Language Business/Personal Computing Software: 






Japanese-Language DOS/Basic lnterpreter/Font-16 (16- by 






16-dot) (JIS primary kanji) 


$125 


now 


Same as above, with Font-24 (24- by 24-dot) 


$125 


now 


Font-16 for IBM supplementary characters and JIS secondary 






kanji 


$83 


now 


Font-24 for IBM supplementary characters and JIS secondary 






kanji 


$83 


now 


Macro-Assembler 


$125 


now 


BASIC compiler 


$250 


now 


COBOL compiler 


$625 


now 


FORTRAN compiler 


$333 


now 


Pascal compiler 


$250 


now 


Multiplan 


$166 


now 


Multitool Chart 


$166 


12/83 


Multitool File 


$208 


12/83 


Sort/Merge program 


$208 


now 


BSC 3741 communications utility 


$158 


now 


SNA/SDLC 3770 RJE utility 


$125 


now 


Japanese-Language Word-Processing Software: 






Document program 


$417 


now 


Dictionary/Font-16 (extended character set) 


$105 


now 


Dictionary/Font-24 (basic character set) 


$105 


now 


Font-24 (extended character set) 


$83 


now 


Japanese-Language Online Terminal Software: 






3270 kanji emulation/Font-16 (extended character set) 


$250 


now ! 


3270 kanji emulation/Font-24 (extended character set) 


$250 


now 


Table 1: A price list. The 5550 is not yet available in the US, thus no US prices are quoted 


by IBM. The numbers listed in this table and quoted in the text i 


ire direct 


conversions 


from the Japanese price list, using an exchange rate of 240 yen to the dollar. Because it 


is widely agreed that the yen is currently undervalued with respect 


to the dollar by about 


20 percent, the numbers above should probably be increased somewhat to get 


an accurate 


picture of the system's real cost to the potential Japanese customer 







Circle 375 on inquiry card. 




Time for your computer to make the telephone con- 
nection - with an intelligent, full 21 2 A 300/1200 
baud modem - with a real time clock/calendar - 
and with the capability to expand into a com- 
plete telecommunications system. It's time for 
PRO-MODEM 1 200. Much more than just a phone 
modem. 

When you're on-line, time is money. PRO-MODEM 
telecommunication systems help you save. By 
monitoring the duration and cost of your phone 
calls. And by sending and receiving messages, 
unattended, at preset times when the rates are 
lower. . .with or without your computer. 

Compare the $495 PRO-MODEM 1 200 with any other 
modem on the market. For example, you'd have to 
buy both the Hayes Smartmodem 1200 plus their 
Chronograph for about $950 to get a modem with 
time base. 

PRO-MODEM 1200 is easy to use. A convenient 
"Help" command displays the Menu of operating 
command choices for quick reference whenever 
there's a question about what to do next. Extensive 
internal and remote self-diagnostics assure that the 
system is operating properly. Some of the other 
standard features include Auto Answer, Touch 
Tone and Pulse Dialing, and Programmable Intelli- 
gent Dialing. 



mMSr 



PRO-MODEM does more. It lets you build a full tele- 
communications system with features like Auto 
Dialer, Incoming and Outgoing Message Buffering, 
Business/Personal Phone Directory, Program- 
mable Operating Instructions, a 12-Characfer 
Alpha-Numeric Time and Message Display, and 
versatile PRO-COM Software. PRO-MODEM com- 
mands are Hayes compatible so you can use most 
existing telecommunications software without 
modification. 

There's much more to the PRO-MODEM story. See 
your local dealer for complete details. He'll show 
you how to save time. And money. 

Prometheus Products, Inc., 45277 Fremont Blvd., 
Fremont CA 94538, (415) 490-2370 








■ 



The Software 

The 5550 comes to market with an 
extensive repertoire of IBM-spon- 
sored software. First and foremost are 
the packages that support the work- 
station task environments (word- 
processing and communications-ter- 
minal functions). The powerful 
word-processing software, developed 
by IBM, costs $525 to $600 for the 
Bunsho (Document) program and 
font libraries and gives the machine 
capabilities comparable to IBM's 
American Display writer system. The 
communications adapter and the 
three programs to support it (3270 
Kanji Terminal emulator, BSC3741 
communications utility, and 3770 RJE 
utility) will be available soon. The 
word-processing program and the 
kanji terminal emulator run under a 
special dedicated operating system 
developed by IBM and resident on 
the program disks. 

The personal-computing functions, 
the BSC3741 utility, and the 3770 RJE 
utility run under Japanese Language 



DOS, Microsoft's Japanese version of 
MS-DOS. Several general applica- 
tions packages and programming 
languages developed by Microsoft are 
available, including Multiplan 
spreadsheet; Multitool Chart and 
Multitool File are slated for Decem- 
ber. (Interestingly, IBM has priced the 
Japanese version of Multiplan $100 
less than the English version.) Inter- 
preter BASIC, 8086 Macro-Assembler, 
FORTRAN, and Pascal are available 
now, and BASIC and COBOL com- 
pilers were scheduled for October 
release. The existing literature does 
not mention any specific applications 
software, such as accounting pack- 
ages, that might be offered by IBM 
later on. But Ashton-Tate has devel- 
oped a version of dBASE II for the 
5550, and there is a file communicator 
called D-COM that enables the 5550 
to exchange data with other popular 
Japanese microcomputers. And if the 
American PC is any precedent, the 
market should soon be flooded with 
5550 software. ■ 



Bibliography 

1. "IBM 5550 Multistation Design Fundamen- 
tals," Access, May/June 1983, pages 1-10. (An 
IBM Japan publication.) 

2. "Opening Up the Business-oriented PC 
Market?" Nikkei Personal Computing, April 
5, 1983, pages 108-113. 

3. "Sophisticated, Multifunction PCs Appear on 
the Scene" Nikkei Computer, May 30, 1983, 
pages 49-65. 

4. IBM Business Personal Computer. Tokyo: 
Computer Age Co., 1983. 

5. The IBM 5550, A New Analysis. Tokyo: 
Dempa Publishing Co., 1983. 

6. Oh!55. Tokyo: Japan Soft Bank Co., 1983. 
(All of the above publications are in Japanese.) 

Richard Willis (POB F, Goleta, CA 93116) heads 
a small consulting firm specializing in electronic 
systems for production test and control applications. 
He received his MSEE from Caltech in 1973 and 
has been studying Japanese at the University of 
California, Santa Barbara. He is a member of the 
Computer and Automated Systems Association of 
the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. 



Acknowledgment 

The author would like to thank personnel at 
Microsoft for their technical assistance in prepara- 
tion of this article. 



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BYTE November 1983 165 




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166 BYTE November 1983 








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Circle 354 for Apple Products. Circle 355 for IBM Products. 



BYTE November 1983 



167 



Expanding on the PC 

A survey of expansion boards for the IBM Personal Computer 



Both the IBM Personal Computer 
and PC compatibles offer many fea- 
tures computer users want, but no 
one system can please everybody. 
Rather than try to predict which fea- 
tures most users will want and in- 
clude those under the basic machine 
price, the PC and many PC com- 
patibles include expansion slots. The 
result is a lower price for the basic 
machine plus greater flexibility for 
users who want to customize con- 
figurations to meet their needs. 

Expansion slots, made famous by 
the Apple II, let you install 
printed-circuit boards to perform 
functions not provided by the com- 
puter's standard hardware. 

Some of the add-on boards— disk- 
drive controllers, memory-expansion 
boards, and printer and communica- 
tions interfaces— appeal to large 
numbers of computer buyers. Other 
boards— for prototyping, program- 
ming EPROMs (erasable program- 
mable read-only memory chips), or 
converting analog signals for storage 
by the computer— target a much 
smaller percentage of PC and 
PC-compatible owners. Still, with 
these machines fast approaching the 



by Mark J. Welch 

mark of 1 million units sold, a small 
percentage represents a very large 
number of users. Obviously, a sub- 
stantial market for expansion boards, 
including dozens with distinct func- 
tions, exists. 

Tables on the following pages pro- 
vide detailed information about ex- 
pansion boards produced by 107 dif- 
ferent manufacturers. The tables 
organize the boards by their func- 
tions and list entries in alphabetical 
order by manufacturer within each 
category. (The exception is table 17, 
which lists miscellaneous boards 
alphabetically by function.) A sepa- 
rate listing of manufacturers' ad- 
dresses begins on page 178. 

Some expansion boards defy a 
simple description or are so unlike 
other boards that we couldn't in- 
clude them in our survey listing. For 
example, Quadram Corp. offers a 
unique expansion board that enables 
the IBM Personal Computer to 
emulate an Apple computer. The 
$680 Quadlink board includes a 6502 
processor and 64K bytes of RAM and 
can run most Apple II or II Plus soft- 
ware. According to Quadram, users 
can run programs concurrently in 



Apple and IBM modes, switching be- 
tween the two at any time. 

Quadlink won't run software writ- 
ten exclusively for the Apple He or 
software that uses a "half-track" 
copy-protect scheme, but it will run 
most other Apple software, includ- 
ing high-resolution graphics. Quad- 
link includes a game port that can be 
used in either IBM or Apple mode 
and can access other ports and 
expansion boards in the IBM PC. 

The Futurex Encryptor, from Jones 
Futurex Inc., is a data-encryption 
board. The board encrypts, or trans- 
lates, data into special codes that can 
be translated only by the Encryptor 
board. Data can thus be hidden from 
unauthorized users or can be trans- 
mitted to another IBM PC equipped 
with the board without risk of eaves- 
dropping. Five versions of the En- 
cryptor, ranging from $300 to $600, 
are available for the IBM PC. 



Modular Expansion Boards 

Two expansion-board suppliers let 
you choose any combination of fea- 
tures and upgrade already pur- 
chased boards by selling modular ex- 



168 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



pansion boards. The boards plug in- 
to a standard expansion slot, and 
modules that perform particular 
functions then plug into the boards. 
Maynard Electronics' Sandstar 
Multifunction card, with room for up 
to six modules, costs $110. The Sand- 
star Memory card, with room for up 
to 576K bytes of RAM (random- 
access read/write memory) and three 
modules, sells for $230. The Sandstar 
Disk Controller Card, for $265, in- 
cludes either two 5V4-inch and two 



8-inch disk-drive controllers or four 
5V4-inch controllers, plus room for 
three modules. A clock/calendar 
module costs $85 more. Other avail- 
able modules are a parallel port ($75), 
a serial port ($105), and a game 
adapter ($60). 

Arby's Combination Board costs 
$110 and can be expanded with a $90 
clock/calendar module, a $105 serial- 
port module, and a $75 parallel-port 
module, allowing up to six modules 
in all. 



Take time to consider what you 
want from your IBM PC, and then 
carefully research the available prod- 
ucts to determine which ones best 
meet your requirements. The infor- 
mation given here should get you 
started. With luck, you may find that 
the PC of your dreams is just an ex- 
pansion board away.H 

Mark ]. Welch is a BYTE staff writer. He can 
be reached at 70 Main St., Peterborough, NH 
03458. 



A Key to the Tables 



Because the tables accompanying this ar- 
ticle cover a number of boards and their 
characteristics, some items are necessarily 
abbreviated. The following explanations of 
column headings and comments are there- 
fore provided to help you get the most in- 
formation from the tables. 

AID Lines: How many analog-to- 
digital conversion lines are on the board, 
if any? 

Board Name: Some expansion boards 
may have more than one name, while 
others may use the same name for several 
variations of the same board. 

Clock: A clock/ calendar with battery 
backup is on the board. 

D/A Lines: How many digital-to- 
analog conversion lines are on the board, 
if any? 

Digital I/O Lines: // the board can be 
used for special input/output functions, 
how many single-bit lines can be con- 
nected? These I/O lines can be used to 



transfer single-bit (on or off) information 
or to transmit or receive bytes of informa- 
tion in parallel. 

E/EPROM Capability: The board can 
be used to program EPROMs or 
EEPROMs. 

Game Port: A standard game controller 
port is included. 

IEEE-488 Interface Included: A stan- 
dard IEEE-488 port— also known as a 
GPIB (general-purpose interface bus) 
port— is included. 

Manufacturer's Name: Addresses are 
in a separate list beginning on page 178. 

Modem Included: A modem is in- 
cluded on the board. 

N.A.: Information was not available. 

Parallel Ports: How many standard 
Centronics-type parallel printer ports are 
there on the board, if any? 

Price: Manufacturer's suggested retail 
price for the board with the options and 
memory indicated. Although prices are 
listed for boards with 64K, 128K, 192K, 



256K, 512K, and 1024K bytes of memory, 
some boards are available in other con- 
figurations (usually multiples of 64K). 

Print Spooler: Software is included 
permitting part of the memory to be used 
as a print buffer. 

Prototyping: The board can be used to 
design and revise prototype versions of an 
expansion board. This is use ful for creating 
boards with features not available from any 
company or for trying sample layouts of 
a board you plan to mass-produce and sell 

Prototype Size: The size of the expan- 
sion board, usually about 13 by 4 inches. 
Some boards are smaller to save money or 
to fit into the PC XT's smaller slots. 

RAM Disk: Software is included (at no 
extra charge) permitting the extra memory 
to be used as if it were a disk drive. 

Serial Ports: How many RS-232C 
serial interface ports (for printers, modems, 
and other communications uses) are in- 
cluded on the board? 



Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Serial 
Port 


Parallel 
Port 


Price 


Comments 


Automated Business Machines 


CP/M-80 Adapter 






$545 




Byad 


DS2 


1 




$760 


CP/M included 


Byad 


DS1 






$660 


CP/M included 


California Computer Systems 


Z/Plus 


1 




$875 


CP/M 2.2 included; with 192K bytes, $995 


Gateway Communications 


PC-LNIM 






$595 


allows CP/M or networking 


Microdisk 


1-DOS 






$850 


allows CP/M to run under PC-DOS; has print- 
spooler capability 


Microlog 


Baby Blue 






$600 


has RAM-disk capability 


Personal Data Systems 


Pack-Z80 


1 




$450 




Quality Computer Services 


Big Blue 


1 


1 


$595 


has a clock 


Table 1: Z80 coprocessors (all include 64K bytes of RAM). The Z80 replaces the PCs standard 8088 processor as the central processor, 
letting you use both CP/M-80 software, which runs on the Z80, and standard IBM PC software, which runs on the 8088. Be sure 
to find out whether buying a particular board gets you the CP/M operating system or merely lets you use CPIM-based software. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 169 



Manufacturer 

AST Research 

Alpha Byte Computer Products 

Apparat 

Applied Business Computer 

Apstek 

Arby 

Automated Business Machines 

Bitstream 

Chintronics 

Computer Technology 

Innovations 
Datamac Computer Systems 
Davong Systems 
Daystar Systems 
Hammond Computer Products 
Hammond Computer Products 
IDE Associates 
IBM 

Intermedia Systems 
Macrolink 

Maynard Electronics 
Memory Technologies 
Micro Express 
Micro Match 
Micro Network 
Micro Synergy 
Microlog 
Microsoft 
Microtek 
PC 2 

Professional Data Systems 
Pure Data 
Quadram 
RGB Systems 
RGB Systems 
Raytronics 
STB Systems 
Semidisk System 
Semidisk System 
Sigma Designs 
Sigma Designs 
Tecmar 
Tecmar 
Tecmar 
VR Data Corp. 
Vista Computer 
Wesper Microsystems 
Zobek 

Personal Data Systems 
Tall Tree Systems 
Super Computer 



Board Name 

MP Series Memory Expansion 
Memory Expansion 
Memory Card 
Mega Board AI-1512 
AIM-256 

Expansion Memory 
Memory Expansion Modules 
Memory Boards 
M-192 Memory 
IRM Memory Boards 

DM Memory Expansion Boards 

DSI Memory Boards 

UltraRAM 

PC/RAM Stack 

PC/RAM Pack 

IDEA Memory Card 

32K Memory Expansion 

Memory Expansion Modules 

Memory Board 

MEM Memory Expansion Modules 

Versa-RAM 

Memory Boards 

MM64 Memory Expansion Boards 

High Density Memory 

Pro Series RAM 

L'il Red RAM Plus 

RAMCard 

HAL Series 

MEM Memory Boards 

Memory Boards 

Memory Expansion RAM Card 

Memory Expansion Board 

Mile RAM 

Error-Correcting RAM 

Fleximem 

I 64/192 

Semidisk I 

Semidisk II 

Memory Boards 

SDI64 

RAM/ROM Board 

Forget-Me-Not CMOS 

Dynamic Memory 

IBM PC RAM 

Maxicard 

Wizard PC Memory Card 

Memory Board 

Pack-RAM 

JRAM 

Supermemory 



RAM 
Disk 



Print OK-byte 32K-byte 64K-byte 128K-byte 
Spooler Price Price Price Price 



$295 



$395 



$199 
$230 

$129 






$210 
$259 



$195 



$325 



$189 




$295 


$385 


$269 


$339 


$295 




$329 




$169 


$229 


$199 


$299 


$395 


$590 


$265 


$408 


$495 




$245 


$320 


$375 


$475 


$305 


$410 


$339 


$419 


$299 


$450 


$145 


$200 


$275 


$350 


$249 


$299 


$495 


$695 


$299 





$229 



$189 

$275 
$650 



$294 



$289 



$720 







$295 


$445 






$150 




$195 


$995 










$289 


$369 


$699 




$799 


$899 






$349 


$449 


$250 




$322 


$545 






$225 



$295 



$335 



Table 2: Memory boards. Although most IBM PCs contain 64K bytes of RAM, many popular applications programs require more 
memory. The solution comes from memory-expansion boards available with 64K to 1024K bytes (1 megabyte) of RAM, usually in 
multiples of 64K. 



170 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



192K-byte 256K-byte 384K-byte 512K-byte 1024K-byte 
Price Price Price Price Price Comments 



$495 



$595 
$345 



$475 $565 

$409 $479 

$745 



$745 



$579 



$925 



$289 
$259 
$399 

$785 
$552 



$385 



$575 
$510 
$499 

$255 

$425 
$349 
$895 



$425 
$790 
$999 

$470 



$349 

$449 

$980 
$696 
$695 

$995 
$445 

$299 
$675 
$615 
$579 
$750 
$305 

$525 
$399 
$1095 
$799 

$499 
$529 

$860 



$895 
$1195 



$739 $899 



$400 



$825 



$799 



error-correcting capability 
EPROM capability 
error-correcting capability 









$1495 


$2350 










$1795 


$2650 




$595 


$695 


' \.i ;v W3- 




i 


EPROM capability 
battery backup 


$439 


$489 










$999 










error-correcting capability 


$549 


$649 


$849 


$1049 






$695 


$845 
$335 










$445 




• 


$800 




EPROM capability 




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 its amber, the color shown to be 
easiest on human eyesight. 

Designed for use with NEC computers, 
the JB- 120 5 MA 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, 8mhz video bandwidth 



1 .0-watt audio output 



Productivity at your fingertips 



NEC 



Circle 326 on Inquiry card. 



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 









8-inch-disk 


5 1 /4-inch-disk 




Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Price 


Interface 


Interface 


Comments 


Arby 


Disk Adapter 


$275 




• 




Arby 


Disk Adapter 


$395 


• 




includes parallel port 


Computer Technology Innovations 


IC5/8C 


$175 


• 






Maynard Electronics 


Floppy Drive Controller 


$275 






includes parallel port 


Maynard Electronics 


Floppy Drive Controller 


$285 






includes serial port 


Paso Com 


Professional IV Series 


$495 


• 




also includes hard-disk interface 


Sigma Designs 


Disk Drive Adapter 


$265 






includes clock 


Tecmar 


Floppy 5/8 Adapter 


$495 


• 






Vista Computer 


Disk Master 


$299 


• 




also includes 3 1 /2-inch-disk interface 


Table 3: Disk-drive controllers. 


// you use a disk drive, 


you need 


a disk-drive controller. 











Serial 


Parallel 




Manufacturer 


Board Name 




Ports 


Ports Price 


Comments 


Control Systems 


Serial/Parallel Interface 




2 


2 $300 


4 PROM sockets 


Jack Strick & Associates 


Parallel/Serial Controller 




1 


1 $225 




Paso Com 


Professional III Series 




1 


1 $495 




Paso Com 


Professional II Series 




1 


$159 


has game port and clock 


Tecmar 


Scribe Tender 




2 


1 $195 




Tecmar 


2nd Mate 




2 


2 $295 




Tecmar 


Scribe Master 




3 


$495 


24 digital I/O lines 


Table 4: Multiple interface 


boards such as these offer 


both 


parallel 


and serial ports (see tables 6 and 13). 



Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Memory 
(bytes) 


Parallel 
Ports 


Color 


Price 


Comments 


California Computer Systems 


Supervision 


N.A. 






$800 


132 by 44 text format on 
monochrome display 


Conographic 


Cono Color 


128K 




• 


$895 


16 colors in 640- by 
400-pixel format 


Control Systems 


Artist 1 


512K 




• 


$3195 


1024- by 1024-pixel format 


Control Systems 


Artist II 


512K 
64K 




• 


$1595 
$499 


640 by 400 pixels 

replaces IBM board; 720 
by 348 pixels 


Hercules Computer Technology 


Graphics Card 


IBM 


Color/Graphics Adapter 


N.A. 




• 


$244 




Orchid Technology 


MGA Graphics Controller 


64K 






$395 


requires IBM monochrome 
card; 720 by 350 pixels 


Plantronics 


Colorplus 


N.A. 


i 


• 


$475 


320 by 200 pixels in 16 
colors; 640 by 200 pixels 
in 4 colors 


Quadram 


Quadcolor 


32K 
N.A. 




• 
• 


$295 
$1595 


16 colors, 640 by 200 
pixels 

16 colors, 640 by 480 
pixels 


Scion 


PC640 Professional Color Graphics 


Syntec 


Professional Graphics Generator 


N.A. 




• 


$7000 


overlays; 512 by 512 
pixels, 16 colors 


Tecmar 


Graphics Master 


128K 




• 


$695 


up to 720 by 700 pixels 


USI Computer Products 


Multi Display Card 


32K 




• 


$449 




Table 5: Advanced graphics boards allow higher resolution or color 


graphics for the IBM PC; some boards include special software or 


allow use of a light pen or other special input devices. Currently, few software programs 
color provided by these boards. Until that situation changes, you may have to buy software from 


make use of the high-resolution graphics or 
the graphics-board vendor or write it yourself. 



172 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 







Parallel 


Manufacturer 




Board Name Ports Price 


Control Systems 




Parallel Interface Adapter 1 $105 


GM Enterprises 




Parallel I/O Adapter 1 $149 


IBM 




Printer Adapter 1 $150 


Quadram 




IPIC 1 $110 


Super Computer 




Parallel Printer 1 $75 


Table 6: Parallel boards. Parallel (or "Centronics-compatible") ports enable the IBM PC 


to interface with 


one or 


perhaps several parallel printers. 



Manufacturer 

Apparat 

Quadram 

Tecmar 



Board Name 

Clock/Calendar 
Chronograph 
Time Master 



Price 

$99 

$110 
$135 



Table 7: Clocks with battery backup. These enable the PC to keep continuous track of 
the date and time and are helpful for sending electronic mail and for automatically insert- 
ing the date in a form letter. 



Manufacturer 


Board Name 


(bytes 


Apparat 


Print Spooler 


64K 


Periphex 


l-Queue 


64K 


Super Computer 


Superbuffer 


64K 


Wesper Microsystems 


Wizard-Spooler S/P 


16K 


Wesper Microsystems 


Wizard-Spooler P 


16K 



Memory Serial Parallel 

(bytes) Clock Ports Ports Price 



1 


$319 




$495 




$395 


1 


$349 


1 


$289 



Table 8: Print-spooler boards combine printer ports and memory to provide a buffer (or 
spooler) that stores in a section of memory data that is to be printed. This lets the PC 
continue with other work while the printer is still printing. The boards listed here can 
only be used as buffers. Boards that include software for print spooling are listed in tables 
2, 24, and 15. 



Manufacturer 


Board Name 




Price 


Prototype Size 

(inches) 


AST Research 


WW-68 Wire-wrap Card 


$75 


N.A. 


Advanced Computer Products 


Prototype Card 




$69 


13.2 by 4 


Apparat 


Prototype Card 




$29.95 


8.1 by 3.9 


Automated Business Machines 
GM Enterprises 


Development Card 
Prototype Board 




$49 
$25 


N.A. 
8.1 by 3.9 


IBM 


Prototype Card 




$45 


N.A. 


Micro Match 


MM 77-1 Prototyping 


Board 


$45 


N.A. 


Sigma Designs 


SDI Miniproto 




$25 


N.A. 


Sigma Designs 


SDI Proto 




$45 


N.A. 


Super Computer 


Prototyping Board 




$45 


N.A. 


Tecmar 


Protozoa 




$45 


42 square 


Vector Electronic 


Universal Wiring 




$24.26 
to $39 


13.2 by 4.2 


Table 9: Prototype boards help 


you create your own 


specialized IBM PC board. 






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 
PC-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 



Circle 327 on Inquiry card. 



NEC Home Electronics (U.S.A. ), Inc. 
Personal Computer Division 

T401 Estes Avenue 

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 

(312) 228-5900 

NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan 






ERG/68000 

MINI-SYSTEMS 

D Full IEEE 696/S100 compatibility 

HARDWARE OPTIONS 

□ 8MHz, 10MHz or 12MHz 68000 
CPU 

D Memory Management 

D Multiple Port Intelligent I/O 

D 64K or 128K STATIC RAM 

(70 nsec) 
D 256K/512K or 1MB Dynamic 

RAM, with full parity (150 nsec) 
□' 5 1 /4 M - 8" D/D, D/S floppy disk 

drives 
D 5MB-40MB hard disk drives 

□ Full DMA Disk Interface 
D SMD Disk Interface 

D 1 /t" tape streamer 

D 10 to 20 slot backplane 

□ 20 or 30A amp power supply 
D Desk top or Rack mount 

cabinets 

SOFTWARE OPTIONS 

D 68KFORTH 1 systems language 
with MACRO assembler and 
META compiler, Multi-user, 
Multi-Tasking 

□ Fast Floating Point package 
D Motorola's MACSBUG 

D IDRIS 5 Operating System with 
C, PASCAL, FORTRAN 77, 
68K-BASIC 1 , CIS COBOL 4 , 
RDBMS 

D UNIX 2 Sys III C, etc. 

D CP/M-68K 3 O/S with C, 
Assembler, 68K-BASIC 1 , 
68KFORTH 1 , Z80 EMULATOR 1 , 
APL 

D VED68K 1 Screen Editor 

Trademark 1 ERG, Inc. 
2 BELL LABS 'Digital Research 
4 Mlcro Focus 'Whitesmiths 

30 day delivery 
with valid Purchase Order 

OEM prices available 

For CPU, Integrated Card Sets 

or Systems. 







Empirical Research Group, Inc. 

P.O. Box 1176 

Milton, WA 98354 

206-631-4855 



Manufacturer 


Memory Parallel 
Board Name (bytes) Ports 


Price 


Digital 
I/O lines 


GM Enterprises 


ParlePC Speech Synthesizer N.A. 1 


$199 


24 


Street Electronics 


Echo PC Speech Synthesizer 16K 


$225 




Tecmar 


Speech Master N.A. 


$395 




Table 10: Speech synthesizers. If you want your PC to talk back to you, then a speech- 
synthesizer board is the answer. Some boards include speakers, but some don't. 



Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Price 


Apparat 

Super Computer 

Tecmar 


PROM Blaster 

Superblaster 

E + EEPROM Programmer/Reader 


$129 
$225 
$495 


Table 11: EPROM and EEPROM programming boards make it easier to program 
and electrically erasable programmable ROMs. 


erasable 



Manufacturer 




Board Name 




Price 


Prototyping 


AST Research 




Extender 




$55 




Advanced Computer Products 




Extender Card 




$40 




Micro Match 




MM39-1 Extender 




$35 




Personal Computer Products 




Card Extender 




$50 




Tecmar 




Extender Card 




$80 


• 


Vector Electronic 




3690-22 Extender 




$22.35 




Table 12: Extenders. When 


'esting 


a homemade expansion board, an 


extender board is 


a handy option. It effectively 


'lifts' 


' a card slot above the PC 


's case by plugging into an 


expansion slot and providing 


an identical connector on 


top. 











Serial 




Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Ports 


Price 


AST Research 


CC-232 Advanced Communication 


2 


$295 


Computer Technology Innovations 


ISCDA-0 


2 


$125 


Control Systems 


4 Serial I/O Ports 


4 


$395 


Control Systems 


Hostess Multiuser Host A 


8 


$795 


Datamac Computer Systems 


DMS-1 


1 


$139 


Datamac Computer Systems 


DMS-2 


2 


$199 


IBM 


Asynchronous Communication Adapter 


1 


$120 


PC2 


COMM-1 


1 


$85 


PC^ 


COMM-1 


2 


$115 


Personal Systems Technology 


Asynchronous Communication Ports 


2 


$165 


Personal Systems Technology 


Asynchronous Communication Ports 


1 


$125 


Quadram 


RS-232C Asynchronous Adapter 


1 ' 


$110 


Zen/Tek 


Dual COM Card 


2 


$120 


Zen/Tek 


Z-COM Card 


1 


$100 


Zobek 


2SP 


2 


$165 


Table 13: Serial boards. A serial 


interface permits communication to a modem, a printer, 


or another computer. Serial ports 


are also known as RS-232C or asynchronous ports. (For 


boards offering both serial and parallel ports, see table 4.) 







174 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



BASF Q(JALIMETRIC™FLEXYDISKS @ 

BUILT FOR ETERNITY- WARRANTED FOR A LIFETIME. 



BASF Qualimetric FlexyDisks® offer 
you more. ..an extraordinary new 
lifetime warranty* The BASF Quali- 
metric standard is a dramatic new 
international standard of quality in 
magnetic media. ..insurance that 
your most vital information will be 
secure for tomorrow when you enter 
it on BASF FlexyDisks today. 

We can offer this warranty with 
complete confidence because the 
Qualimetric standard reflects a con- 
tinuing BASF commitment to perfec- 
tion... a process which begins with 
materials selection and inspection, 
and continues through coating, pol- 
ishing, lubricating, testing, and 
100% error-free certification. Built 
into our Flexy Disk jacket is a unique 
two-piece liner. This BASF feature 
traps damaging debris away from 
the media surface, and creates extra 
space in the head access area, insur- 
ing optimum media-to-head align- 
ment. The result is a lifetime of 
outstanding performance. 

When your information must 
be secure for the future, look for 
the distinctive BASF package with 
the Qualimetric seal. Call 800-343- 
4600 for the name of your nearest 
supplier. 



Circle 44 on inquiry card. 



i 








ENTER TOMORROW ON BASF TODAY 



* Contact BASF for warranty details. © 1982, BASF Systems Corporation, Bedford, MA 



Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Print Serial 
Spooler Clock Ports 


Parallel Game OK-byte 
Ports Port Price 


AST Research 


Combo Plus 


• • 1 


1 


AST Research 


Megaplus II 


• • 1 




AST Research 


Six Pack Plus 


• • 1 


1 


Anatron 


Multifunction RAM 


• • 2 


1 


Amdek 


Multiple Adapter Interface 


• • 2 


1 


Applied Business Computer 


Mega A + 


1 


Apstek 


AIC-256 


• 1 


1 $299 


Chrislin Industries 


CI-PCM + 






Computer Technology Innovations 


IMF-APGC 


• 1 


1 • 


Computer Technology Innovations 


ISC5A 






Datamac Computer Systems 


Combo Board 




Davong Systems 


ASYNC + RAM 


2 




Daystar Systems 


Ultra55 


• 2 


1 • 


Easitech 


Easiboard II 


• • 2 


1 $350 


Easitech 


Easiboard 


• • 1 


1 $325 


IDE Associates 


IDEA Plus 


• • 1 


1 


Indigo Data Systems 


PC Multipak 


• • 1 


$297 


Intermedia Systems 


Memory Expansion Module 


2 




MK Research 


RAM Card with RS-232C 


1 


$179 


Maynard Electronics 


Memory Board with Serial Ports 


2 


$370 


Memory Technologies 


Versa-RAM Plus II 






Memory Technologies 


Versa-RAM Plus II 


• • 1 




Memory Technologies 


Versa-RAM Plus II 






Memory Technologies 


Versa-RAM Plus 


• 2 


1 $299 


Memory Technologies 


Versa-RAM Plus II 


• • 1 




Micro Network 


Combination Memory Board 


• 1 




Micro Synergy 


Pro Series 5 


• 1 


1 • $395 


Micro Synergy 


Pro Series 3 


1 


1 $275 


Microcomputer Business Industries 


Monte Carlo GT 


• 1 


1 • 


Microcomputer Business Industries 


Monte Carlo Quatro 


• 1 


-| 


Microcomputer Business International 


MegaRAM 


2 




Microtek 


HAL (parallel and serial ports) 


• 1 




Microtek 


Tele-buffer PC 


• • 




Paso Com 


Professional 1 Series 


1 




Personal Data Systems 
Personal Systems Technology 


Pack-RAM + Combo Card 


• 1 




Time-Spectrum 


• 1 




Quadram 


QuadRAM 512 + 


1 




Quadram 


Quadboard 


• 1 




Quadram 


Quadboard II 


• 2 




Raytronics 


RAMPLUS Multifunction 


• 1 


1 $319 


STB Systems 


RIO Plus 


• • 1 


1 • 


STB Systems 


RIO 


• 1 


1 • 


STB Systems 


Super RIO 


• • 2 


1 • 


Seattle Computer 


RAM + 


1 


$220 


Seattle Computer 


RAM + 3 with Memory 


• 1 


1 $320 


Sigma Designs 


System Support + Memory 


• 1 


1 • $295 


Sigma Designs 


System Support Card Stack 


1 




Starware 


Tenley Board 






Tava 


Trump Card 


1 


• 


Tecmar 


1st Mate 


• 1 


1 $319 


Universal Micro 


Clock/Memory 






vista Computer 


Multicard 


• 1 


1 


Zen/Tek 


Memory 


• 1 


1 


Table 14: Multifunction boards with memory. By combining many capabilities, these boards help you get the most use from the PCs 
five expansion slots. (For multifunction boards without memory, see table 15.) 



176 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 





64K-byte 
Price 


128K-byte 
Price 


192K-byte 
Price 


256K-byte 
Price 


384K-byte 
Price 


512K-byte 
Price 


Comments 




$395 


$495 


$595 


$695 










$395 


$495 


$595 


$695 


$970 


$1090 


game, parallel, and extra serial ports $50 each 




$395 


$495 


$595 


$695 


$895 




game port $50 extra 




$395 


$799 




$595 






includes monochrome adapter 




$325 


$415 


$505 


$595 










$369 


$439 


$509 


$579 










$445 


$495 


$545 


$595 




$795 


includes memory battery backup 




$495 


$585 


$675 


$750 










$265 


$355 


$445 


$520 




.. . ! ... -ife'.r 






$550 
















$385 


$580 


$736 


$892 
$595 


$795 




EPROM capability 




$420 






$620 










$395 






$595 










$395 


$470 


$530 


$595 


■ 






$365 


$432 


$499 


$565 
$749 




$1095 






$99 










$579 






$465 


$570 
$509 


$680 
$589 


$785 
$669 


• 








$429 




$479 


$559 


$639 


$719 










$455 


$535 


$615 


$695 










$369 


$439 


$509 


$579 










$455 


$535 


$615 


$695 










$475 


$550 


$625 


$695 


$645 




modem included 




$360 


$445 


$520 


$595 










$425 


$505 


$575 


$645 










$375 
$300 
$499 
$699 


$440 


$510 


$575 
$500 
$999 
$1199 






auto-dial/auto-answer programmable modem 




$295 


$375 


$455 


$535 










$495 


$615 


$735 


$855 










$395 


$485 


$575 


$665 


$930 


$1100 


extra serial port and/or parallel port optional 




$325 






$550 




$895 






$395 
$395 






$595 
$595 






■ 




$389 
$475 


$459 


$529 


$599 
$739 


$899 




• , "1 i: l;;bi=:!.,.. 

includes hard-disk interface 




$395 




$572 


$659 






includes hard-disk interface 




$475 




$649 


$739 




$1336 


includes hard-disk interface 




$295 


$370 


$445 


$520 










$395 


$470 


$545 


$620 










$575 
$195 
$445 






$875 
$595 

$499 




$699 


• 




$389 


$469 


$539 


$589 










$398 


$488 


$578 


$668 










$399 


$499 


$599 


$699 










$395 


$485 


$575 


$665 




$1025 


available with extra serial port instead of parallel port 

^ 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 177 



Manufacturers 


' Addresses 






Advanced Computer Products 


Apparat Inc. 


Automated Business Machines Inc. 


1310B East Edinger Ave. 


4401 South Tamarac Pkivy. 


29352 Avocet Ln. 




Santa Ana, CA 92705 


Denver, CO 80237 


South Laguna, CA 92677 




(714) 558-8813 


(303) 741-1778 


(714) 859-6531 




ALL Computers Inc. 


Applied Business Computer Co. 


Bitstream Inc. 




110 Bloor St. W, Suite 501 


330 East Orangethorpe Ave., Suite C 


POB 809 




Toronto, Ontario, 


Placentia, CA 92670 


Loxahatchee, FL 33470 




Canada M5S 2W7 


(714) 993-1101 


(305) 798-0025 




(416) 960-0111 










Apstek Inc. 


Byad Inc. 




Alpha Byte Computer Products 


2636 Walnut Hill Ln., Suite 335 


101 Liong Dr. 




31245 La Baya Dr. 


Dallas, TX 75229 


Barrington, IL 60010 




Westlake Village, CA 91362 


(214) 357-5288 


(312) 539-4922 




(213) 706-0333 










Arby Corp. 


Cactus Technology Inc. 




Amdek Corp. 


1617 A Massachusetts Ave. 


3024 North 33rd Dr. 




2201 Lively Blvd. 


Cambridge, MA 02138 


Phoenix, AZ 85017 




Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 


(617) 864-5058 


(602) 269-2440 




(312) 364-1180 










AST Research Inc. 


California Computer Systems 




Anatron 


2372 Morse Ave. 


250 Caribbean Dr. 




202 West Bennett St. 


Irvine, CA 92714 


Sunnyvale, CA 94086 




Saline, MI 48176 


(714) 540-1333 


(408) 734-5811 




(800) 521-0521, (313) 429-2678 








RAM Print 


Serial Parallel . Game 




Manufacturer 


Board Name Disk Spooler Clock 


Ports Ports Port 


Price 


AST Research 


I/O Plus II • • • 


1 


$165 


Apparat 


Combo Card • 


1 1 


$189 


Applied Business Computer 


I/O A+ • • • 


2 1 


$225 


Apstek 


SIC-1 • 


1 


$149 


Apstek 


PIC-1 • 


1 


$149 


Automated Business Machines 


Omni-board • 


2 1 • 


$485 


Easitech 


Easistart • • • 


1 


$350 


M & R Enterprises 


Sup'r Access I 


7 


$695 


Maynard Electronics 


Floppy Controller 




$195 


Micro Network 


Combination Peripheral 


1 


$400 


Personal Data Systems 


Pack-Combo • 


1 1 


$245 


Personal Data Systems 


Pack-Combo • 


1 


$175 


Personal Systems Technology 


Timeport • 


1 1 


$225 


Personal Systems Technology 


Uniport • 




$155 


RGB Systems 


Three in One Board 


2 • 


$289 


STB Systems 


Super I/O • • • 


1 1 • 


$249 


STB Systems 


STB I/O • 


2 1 • 


$279 


Seattle Computer 


RAM +3 • 


1 1 


$210 


Tecmar 


Lab Master • 


3 


$995 


Vista Computer 


PC Clock I/O • 


1 1 


$210 


Vista Computer 


PC Master • 


2 1 • 


$449 


Vista Computer 


PC Expander • 


2 1 • 


$349 


Vista Computer 


PC Extender • 


2 1 


$249 


Vista Computer 


PC Extender Plus • 


1 1 • 


$299 


Vista Computer 


PC Extender + Voice • 


2 1 • 


$399 


Ziatech 


ZT1488 GPIB Controller • 




$485 



Table 15: Multifunction boards without memory. (For multifunction boards with memory, see table 14.) 



178 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Cermetek Microelectronics Inc. 
1308 Borregas Ave. 
Sunnyvale, CA 94089 
(408) 734-8150 

Chintronics Co. 
19 Longmeadow Rd. 
Chelmsford, MA 01824 
(617) 256-7862 

Chrislin Industries Inc. 
31352 Via Colinas 
Westlake Village, CA 91362 
(213) 991-2254 

Computer Technology Innovations 
965 West Maude Ave. 
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 
(408) 245-4256 

Conographic Corp. 
2268 Golden Circle 
Newport Beach, CA 92660 
(714) 642-6778 



Control Systems 
2855 Anthony In. 
Minneapolis, MN 55418 
(612) 789-2421 

Datamac Computer Systems 
680 Almanor Ave. 
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 
(408) 735-0323 

Data Translation 
100 Locke Dr. 
Marlborough, MA 01752 
(617) 481-3700 

Davong Systems Inc. 
217 Humboldt Court 
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 
(408) 734-4900 

Daystar Systems Inc. 
10511 Church Rd., Suite A 
Dallas, TX 75238-9990 
(214) 341-8136 



Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. 
5963 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. 
Norcross, GA 30092 
(404) 449-8791 

Hercules Computer Technology 
2550 Ninth St., Suite 210 
Berkeley, CA 94547 
(415) 654-2476 

IBM Corp. System Products Division 

POB 1328 

Boca Raton, FL 33432 

(800) 447-4700 

IDE Associates 
7 Oak Park Dr. 
Bedford, MA 01803 
(617) 275-4430 

Indigo Data Systems Inc. 

100 East Nasa Road One, Suite 107 

Webster, TX 77598 

(713) 488-8186 





Easitech Corp. 

2215 Perimeter Park, Suite 22 


Information Technologies Inc. 
7850 East Evans Rd. 






Atlanta, GA 30341 


Scottsdale, AZ 85260 


Comments 


(404) 452-7576 


(602) 998-1033 


game, parallel, or extra serial ports, $50 each 








Flagstaff Engineering 


Intelligent Technologies International 




2820 West Darken 


Corp. 


fits small slots of PC XT version 


Flagstaff, AZ 86001 
(602) 774-5188 


151 University Ave. 
Palo Alto, CA 94301 


fits small slots of PC XT version 


Force Technology Corp. 


(415) 328-2411 


monochrome adapter 


POB 20955, Almaden Valley Sta. 


Intermedia Systems 


includes 1200-bps modem 


San Jose, CA 95160 


10601 South DeAnza Blvd. 


includes 5 1 /4-inch-disk interface 


(408) 268-3359 


Cupertino, CA 95014 


includes S'A-inch and hard-disk interfaces 


Gateway Communications Inc. 


(408) 996-0900 




16782 Red Hill Ave. 


Jones Futurex Inc. 


extra serial port, $50; EPROM capability 


Irvine, CA 92714 
(714) 261-0762 

Giltronix Inc. 


9700 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite G 
Fair Oaks, CA 95628 
(916) 966-6836 


includes hard-disk interface 


3780 Fabian Way 


Lifeboat Associates 


includes hard-disk interface 


Palo Alto, CA 94303 


1651 Third Ave. 




(415) 493-1300 


New York, NY 10028 


16 A/D lines, 2 D/A lines, 24 digital I/O lines 


GM Enterprises Inc. 


(212) 860-0300 


includes speech synthesizer, hard-disk interface 


485 East Granville Ave. 


Macrolink Inc. 




Roselle, IL 60172 


1150 East Stanford Court 




(312) 893-1171 


Anaheim, CA 92805 

(800) 854-3332, (714) 634-8080 


includes speech synthesizer 


Hammond Computer Products Inc. 
3800 Crossbend PI. 




includes IEEE-488 interface 


Piano, TX 75023 






(214) 596-0130 


Manufacturers' Addresses continued on page 180 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



179 







Serial 


Parallel 






Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Ports 


Ports 


Price 


Comments 


Automated Business Machines 


Telephone Receptionist Adapter 






$995 


auto-dial/auto-answer, 300/1200 
bps, speech synthesizer 


Cactus Technology 


PC-COM-300 






$349 




Cermetek Microelectronics 


Info-Mate 21 2A PC 






$495 


auto-dial/auto-answer, 300/1200 bps 


Hayes Microcomputer 


Smartmodem 1200B 






$599 




Products 












Micro Network 


Advanced Communications Board 






$895 




Microlog 


Baby Talk 


1 


1 


$895 


includes Z80 coprocessor, 64K 
bytes, clock 


Microperipheral 


PConnection 


1 




$279 


auto-dial/auto-answer, speaker, 
clock 


Pacific Coast Peripherals 


Communication Utility 


1 


1 


$349 




SSM Microcomputer Products 


PC Modemcard 






$349 


300 bps, $549 for 300/1200 bps 


Tecmar 


3rd Mate 


1 


2 


$445 




Tecmar 


Modem 1200 






$695 


300/1200 bps 


Tecmar 


Modem 300 






$295 


300 bps 


Intelligent Technologies 


PC Express 


1 




$895 




Table 16: Integral-modem boards, like separate-unit modems, permit 


use of standard telephone 


lines for computer communications. Although 


the integral unit takes up one 


PC expansion slot, it requires no 


additional RS-232C port, cables, 


or desk space. 



Manufacturers' Addresses continued: 



Maynard Electronics 

400 East Semoran Blvd., Suite 207 . 

Casselberry, FL 32707 

(305) 331-6402 

■ Memory Technologies Inc. 
4343 Grand Prix Dr. 
POB 508 

Logansport, IN 46947 
(800) 348-3377, (219) 722-1454 

Microcomputer Business Industries 

Corp. 
1019 8th St. 
Golden, CO 80401 
(303) 279-8438 

Microcomputer Business International 

POB 16115 

Irvine, CA 92713 

(714) 553-0133, (714) 727-0202 

Microdisk 

1422 Industrial Way 
POB 1377 

Gardnerville, NV 89410 
(702) 782-8105 

Micro Express 
23392 Devonshire Dr. 
Eltore, CA 92630 
(714) 859-7575 



Micro Interface Inc. 

3111 South Valley View Blvd. §1-101 

las Vegas, NV 89102 

(702) 871-3263 

Microlog Inc. 
222 Route 59 
Suffern, NY 10901 
(914) 368-0353 

Micro Match 
10049 Commerce Ave. 
Tujunga, CA 91042 
(213) 353-5929 

Micro Network Corp. 
511 Uth Ave., Suite 429 
Minneapolis, MN 55415 
(612) 333-4303 

Microperipheral Corp. 
2643 151st Place NE 
Redmond, WA 98052 
(206) 881-7544 

Microsoft Corp. 
10700 Northup Way 
Bellevue, WA 98004 
(206) 828-8080 

Micro Synergy 
187 Ulmerton Rd. 
largo, PI 33544 
(813) 535-6655 



Microtek Inc. 

4750 Viewridge Ave. 

San Diego, CA 92123 

(800) 854-1081, (619) 569-0900 

Microware 
POB 79 

Kingston, MA 02364 
(617) 746-7341 

MK Research 

17842 Irvine Blvd., Suite 122 

Justin, CA 92680 

(714) 731-5201 

Mountain Computer 
300 El Pueblo Rd. 
Scotts Valley, CA 95066 
(408) 438-6650 

M & R Enterprises 
910 George St. 
Santa Clara, CA 95050 
(408) 980-0160 

National Instruments 

12109 Technology Blvd. 

Austin, TX 78727 

(800) 531-5066, (512) 250-9119 

Orchid Technology 
47790 Westinghouse Dr. 
Fremont, CA 94539 
(415) 490-8586 

Manufacturers' Addresses continued on page 182 



180 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Sleeves of Ty vekf 

protect your data investment 

better than paper. 

Here's why: 




ft*Vk 



> 



a 5 




1. TYVEK* spunbonded 
olefin has more than twice 
the strength of good quality 
paper. 

2. TYVEK does not lint. 

3. TYVEK is smooth and 
nonabrasive. 

4. TYVEK is chemically 
clean . . . has a neutral pH. 

5. TYVEK reduces static 
problems. 

6. TYVEK is unaffected by 
water. 

With TYVEK, you don't 
have to compromise on any 
important sleeve criteria. 
You get it all. That's why 
TYVEK is still the best way to 
protect your diskettes. 

For more information, 
write: Du Pont Company 
Room X401 33, Wilmington, 
DE 19898. 

*DuPont registered trademark. 
DuPont makes TYVEK, not sleeves. 




*BG USWTftTMOfF 



Circle 160 on inquiry card. 



Manufacturers' Addresses continued: 




Symtec 

15933 West 8 Mile 

Detroit, MI 48235 


Pacific Coast Peripherals 


Raytronics 


(313) 272-2950 


3480 Granada Ave., Suite 224 


4901 Morena Blvd., Bldg. 900 




Santa Clara, CA 95051 


San Diego, CA 92117 


Tall Tree Systems 


(408) 247-1720 


(800) 854-1085, (619) 270-4000 


1036 Los Altos Ave. 
Los Altos, CA 94022 


Paso Com 


RGB Systems 


(415) 941-5500 


POB 2603 


3375 Woodward Ave. 




Mission Viejo, CA 92690 


Santa Clara, CA 94050 


Tava Corp. 


(714) 552-0130 


(408) 748-0400 


1711 Corinthian Way, Suite 1011 
Newport Beach, CA 92660 


PC 2 


Scion Corp. 


(714) 261-0200 


595 Testoria Ave. 


12310 Pinecrest Rd. 




Sunnyvale, CA 94086 


Reston, VA 22091 


Tecmar Inc. 


(408) 735-0323 


(703) 476-6100 


6225 Cochran Rd. 
Cleveland, OH 44139 


Periphex Inc. 
149 Palmer Rd. 


Seattle Computer 


(216) 349-0600 


Southbury, CT 06488 


1114 Industry Dr. 
Seattle, WA 98188 


Universal Micro Inc. 


(800) 221-0732, (203) 264-7937 


(800) 426-8936, (206) 575-1830 


6302 Odana Rd. 
Madison, WI 53719 


Personal Computer Products 


Semidisk System 
POB GG 
Beaverton, OR 97075 


(608) 274-6100 


1400 Coleman Ave., Suite C-18 




Santa Clara, CA 95050 


USI Computer Products 


(408) 988-0164 


(503) 642-3100 


71 Park Ln. 
Brisbane, CA 94005 


Personal Data Systems Inc. 
1110 Wrigley Way 


Sigma Designs Inc. 
3866 Eastwood Circle 


(415) 468-4900 


Milpitas, CA 95035 


POB 3765 


Vector Electronic Co. Inc. 


(408) 262-7880 


Santa Clara, CA 95055 


12460 Gladstone Ave. 


Personal Systems Technology Inc. 


(408) 496-0536 


Sylmar, CA 91342 
(213) 365-9661 


15801 Rockfield, Suite A 
Irvine, CA 92714 


SSM Microcomputer Products Inc. 




2190 Paragon Dr. 


Vista Computer Co. Inc. 


Plantronics Division 


San Jose, CA 95131 
(408) 946-7400 


1317 East Edinger 
Santa Clara, CA 92705 


Frederick Electronics 




(714) 953-0523 


7630 Hayward Rd. 


Starware 




POB 502 


1701 K Street NW, Suite 800 


VR Data Corp. 


Frederick, MD 21701-0502 


Washington, DC 20006 


777 Henderson Blvd., N-6 


(301) 662-5901 


(202) 466-7351 


Folcraft, PA 19032 

(800) 345-8102, (215) 461-5300 


Professional Data Systems Inc. 
2630 Walnut Ave., Suite H 
Tustin, CA 92680 
(800) 854-8428, (714) 730-7207 


STB Systems Inc. 

1701 North Greenville, Suite 703 

Richardson, TX 75075 

(214) 234-8750 


Wesper Microsystems 

14321 My ford Rd. 

Tustin, CA 92680 

(800) 854-8737, (714) 730-6250 


Pure Data Ltd. 






950 Denison St., Unit 17 


Street Electronics Corp. 


Zen/Tek Corp. 


Markham, Ontario, 


1140 Mark Ave. 


455 Whitepine Dr. 


Canada L3R 3K5 


Carpinteria, CA 93013 


Salt Lake City, UT 84107 


(416) 498-1616 


(805) 684-4593 


(801) 263-3925 


Quadram Corp. 


Jack Strick & Associates 


Ziatech Corp. 


4355 International Blvd. 


949 South Southlake Dr. 


3433 Roberts Ln. 


Norcross, GA 30093 


Hollywood, FL 33019 


San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 


(404) 923-6666 


(305) 925-7004 


(805) 541-0488 


Quality Computer Services 


Super Computer Inc. 


Zobek 


178 Main St. 


1710 East Newport Circle, Suite P 


7343 J. Ronson Rd. 


Metuchen, NJ 08840 


Santa Ana, CA 92705 


San Diego, C A 92111 


(800) 631-5944, (201) 548-2135 


(714) 540-1880 


(714) 571-6971 



182 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Look, Ma, no hands! 



^PRINT \ 
FINANCIAL 




If you don't type, you've prob- 
ably longed for the day when 
you could simply talk to your 
computer. It's here. 
Your voice can set you free. 
With the Voice Input Module 
from VMC, you can "train" your 
Apple II, He,® or Franklin® to per- 
form as many as 80 different 
spoken commands, in unlim- 
ited subsets, with near-perfect 
recognition. 



So where you used to type 
7P return — "A CO return N39 
return" you can just say "print." 
Command performance. 
The Voice Input Module works 
parallel to the keyboard with all 
existing applications software. 
So you can type if you need to, 
or do anything from electronic 
spread sheets to word pro- 
cessing to games with voice 
control alone. Either way, you'll 



increase your productivity and 
have fun doing it. 

Demand a demonstration. 

You won't believe it until you 
see it. So see the Voice Input 
Module at your nearby com- 
puter store today. 

And find out how little you'll 
miss typing. 



Apple II and He are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, 
Inc. ■ Franklin is a registered trademark of Franklin 
Computer, Inc. 



WIIWI 



YOUR VOICE CAN SET YOU FREE. 

VOICE MACHINE COMMUNICATIONS 




1000 South Grand Avenue ■ Santa Ana, California 92705 ■ Telephone (714) 541-0454 for the dealer nearest you. 
Circle 499 on inquiry card. BYTE November 1983 



183 



Board Type 


Manufacturer 


Board Name 


Price 


Comments 


analog/digital interface 


Data Translation 


DT2801 


$1195 


16 A/D.2 D/A, 16 digital I/O 
lines; clock 


analog/digital interface 


Data Translation 


DT2805 


$1295 


16 A/D.2 D/A, 16 digital I/O 
lines; clock 


BSR X1 interface 


Automated Business Machines 


BSR-X10 Adapter 


$215 




BSR X10 interface 


Tecmar 


Device Master 


$245 


includes clock 


bus analyzer 


Personal Computer Products 


Bus Analyzer 


$295 




communications 


Information Technologies 


Linkup 


$795 


auto-dial/auto-answer 
(no modem); includes two 
serial ports 


communications 


Personal Data Systems 


Pack-Comm 


$495 




communications coprocessor 


Personal Systems Technology 


DCPI-88 Communications Processor 


$695 


includes 8088, 64K bytes, 
two serial ports 


controller/sensor 


Tecmar 


Distance Tender 


$495 


allows sensors to measure 
distance 


digital/analog interface 


Tecmar 


DADIO 


$395 


4 D/A, 24 digital I/O lines 


digital/analog interface 


Tecmar 


Lab Tender 


$495 


32 A/D.16 D/A.24 digital I/O 
lines 


digital I/O 


Tecmar 


Base Board 


$345 
$395 


96 digital I/O lines 

provides 3278-terminal 
emulation 


emulator 


Personal Systems Technology 


3278-Coax 


game controller 


IBM 


Game Control Adapter 


$55 




GPIB/IEEE-488 interface 


National Instruments 


GPIB-PC 


$385 


includes IEEE-488 interface 


hard-disk interface 
modular multifunction 


Tecmar 


Winchester Share System Adapter 


$395 
$110 


allows four PCs to share 
one hard disk 


Arby 


Combination Board 


motor controller 


Tecmar 


Stepper Motor Controller 


$495 


CY512 interface; includes 
four serial ports 


network interface 


Davong Systems 


Multilink Network Card 


$595 


compatible with ARCNET 
and Xerox network 
protocols 


network interface 


Orchid Technology 


PC-net Adapter Card 
Ethernet Link 


$695 
$950 


requires 128K bytes 


network interface 


Tecmar 


PAL programmer 


Force Technology 


PAL Programmer 


$995 


programs 20- to 24-pin PAL 
chips 


speech digitizer 


Mountain Computer 


Supertalker II 


$350 


includes 32K bytes 


speech recording/playback 


Flagstaff Engineering 


Voice Connection 


$179 


digitize message, playback, 
auto-dial/auto-answer 


VCR controller 


Tecmar 


VCR Controller 


$495 


controls videocassette 
recorder 


video digitizer 


Tecmar 


Video Van Gogh 


$345 


digitizes video-camera 
output 


voice digitizer 


Tecmar 


Ethernet Companion 


$695 




voice recognition 


Tecmar 


Voice Recognition 


$995 


software included, 200-word 
vocabulary; 8K-byte RAM 


Table 17: Miscellaneous boards. 









184 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



PENMD 



around a 
keyboard 



iTiP 



mouse. 




Here are just a few ways PENPAD® 
can be used: 




SuJ Qa3 ! : . li'.i i j'i «i" . 

US CQ3 nTT-iVfF-gr— 
EB CES 1 1 1 IIBIMTtgl 


TZEBi Cl'lT-ff, 










C " J 11. out of ^ioe£L* EJl ' IX] LLmjJ 


-•— ;_7'\ 


- ; I ■.*_;■ 


— - • -, 


— 1 3 v i : 



ORDER ENTRY 



STABILITY OF THE 0EN2EWE RIMS 


OH. 

i n i- 


2Hi 


HC LB 




1. 5 - cyc&HEXAPiErte 


CATtiyST 


1 I 

V 


* 




tycWHE'XANf 


*H c -W.4 




ErPECTCp: 
2 x (-Z6.6) * 


-57.2. 




CONTROLS AT THE 
TOUCH OF A PEN 



(CAPITAL GAiNS CHART 



SCIENTIFIC 
EQUATIONS 



\97a \9?9 1980 Y?0\ 1982. 

INDUSTRIAL AND 
BUSINESS GRAPHICS 



Only PENPAD® allows you to perform the functions of a keyboard, 
mouse and graphics tablet with a single, friendly means of input— 
a pen. 

Only PENPAD® has Dynamic Character Recognition which converts 
your own handwriting into characters and displays them on the screen as 
if they were typed on a keyboard. 

Only PENPAD® lets you compose text and graphics on the screen 
simultaneously. It combines the freehand capability of a multi-color high 
resolution graphics tablet with Dynamic Character Recognition and 
enables you to switch between text and freehand modes instantly. 

Only PENPAD® puts the cursor in your hand at the point of your pen. 
Write anywhere or touch user-programmable function areas on the tablet. 
You can design function areas in any size or location on the pao and 
point to objects and icons at the touch of a pen. 

Not only can PENPAD® draw circles around a keyboard and a mouse, 
it also lets you enter text by handprinting, select your own commands, 
use objects and icons, and sketch out rough ideas... all with one hand tied 
behind your back. 

• PENPAD® works with most popular PC's like IBM, Apple, Wang, DEC, Seiko, and others. 

• Software product developers call for special opportunities. 



Pencept, Inc. 39 Green Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02154 □ Telephone: (617) 893-6390 



Circle 357 on inquiry card. 



w 



SAVE 
THIS AD 
IT IS YOUR 
CATALOG 

AM) CHANGES MONTHLY 






gcippkz supply center 

HARDWARE for Apple II/II+ /He 



SOFTWARE 



OVERSTOCK SPECIALS 

WHILE THEY LAST 





LIST 


OUR 


FOR APPLE 11/11+ /lie pru 


PRICE 


• ALS Synergizer - Scale - Condor (11 - 1 


S 749 


S199 


• Axlon. 320KRAM DiskSystem ( - ore) 


S1000 


S650 


•CCS. Serial Interface 771 OA (Set Baud) 


S 150 


S99 


•ComX. 16K RAM Card. Wr. Wty.. for II- 


S 179 


$39 


Microsofl 16K RAMCard for 1 1 - 


S 100 


S 69 


Saturn Systems.32K RAM Card for 1 1 - 


S 249 


$169 


64KRAMCardtorll- 


S 425 


S299 


128KRAMCardtorll- 


S 599 


S399 


Silicon Valley. Word Handler 


S 250 


$ 39 


• List Handler 


S 90 


$35 


Videx. Videoterm. 80 column cardfor ll^ 


S 345 


$229 


DISK DRIVES for 




APPLE ll+/lle 




• CENTRAL PL. Filer. Ulility & Apple DOS 


S 20 


S 15 


• IHJJI A2,143KDiskDrive 
IZM^aX A2ControllerCard 


S 479 


$ 219 


S 100 


$ 79 


mic«O-sc*A40.160K. Drive 


S 449 


S 299 


•A70.286K.Drive 


S599 


S299 


A40 A70Controller 


S 100 


$ 79 


Rana Elite i,i63K,40tk 


S 379 


S249 


Ehte2.326K.80TK 


S 649 


$ 399 


M^ Etite3,652K,160TK 
B^ EliteConkoller 


S 849 


$499 


S 145 


$ 84 


^^^B * 143K Drive. 1 2 H oh 


S 379 


$ 259 


raSflTH Controller Card. 


S 89 


S 69 



•ALS,Smartennll(+ore) 


$ 179 


$139 


ComX, 80coi./64KAdder (tie) 


$ 295 


$145 


Videx, Videoterm80col.(+ ore) 


$345 


$229 


• U!traTenn(+ore) 


$379 


$279 


Soft Video Switch (II + ) 


S 35 


$25 


Enhancer II (II +) 


$ 149 


$99 


FunctionStriip(ll+) 


$ 79 


$59 


We Have Full Videx Line. Call. Up to 35% oft. 


Vista, Vision 80 


$ 289 


$199 


MISCELLANEOUS 


ALS,TheCP/MCardV3.0( + ore) 


S399 


$299 


Z-Card (+ ore) 


$ 169 


$129 


Color ll(+ ore) 


$ 179 


$139 


ASTAR,RFModulator,louseTV 


$ 35 


$25 


• CCS, Serial Interface 7710 A 


S 150 


$99 


• Central Point.AlasteCaid (copier. + ore 


S 130 


$99 


Eastskte, Wild Card (copier, + ore) 


$ 130 


$99 


Kensington, System Saver 


S 90 


$65 


KeyTronic. KB200keyboard(M+) 


S298 


$219 


• Koala, Graphics Pad 


$ 125 


$8b 


Market Microscope 


S 700 


$525 


Kratl.Joysbck (Apll/ll + ) 


$ 65 


$49 


Paddte(Apll/ll+) 


$ 50 


$39 


M&R,SupRfan(4ore) 


$ 50 


$39 


•Microsoft, Z80 Softcard ( + ore) 


$345 


$235 


Z80SoftcardPlus(+ore) 


$645 


$459 


Soltcard Premium Pack (II+ 


$ 695 


$495 


SoftcardPremiumPack(lte) 


$ 495 


$395 


Micro Tek, Dumpling 64, Buffer 


$349 


$269 


• Orange Micro. Grapp!erPlus(eor -t- ) 


$ 175 


$119 


16K Buffer Boar dforGrappler + 


$ 175 


$119 


Buffered Grappler + . 16K 


$245 


$179 


2ChipKitforabovefor64K 


S 28 


$ 19 


Paymar,LowerCaseChip(ll +) 


$ 50 


$ 39 


Practical Peripherals. 






MBP He 64K Par. (Epson Internal) ( +/e) 


$ 279 


$209 


MBSIIe32KSer.(Epsonlntemal)(+/e) 


$ 219 


$169 


Microbufferlt+,l6K,(+ore) 






Par/Ser(speciry) 


$ 259 


$199 


Microbuffe r 1 1 + , 64 K . ( + ore) 






Par/Ser (specify) 


$ 349 


$259 


• PCPI,Appli-Card, 1 4 features 6Mhz 


$375 


$2/5 


RH Electronics, Super Fan II 


$ 75 


$59 


• Saturn Systems, Accelerator II 


$ 599 


$449 


SSM.A10 II. Senal/Para Interface 


$225 


$169 


TG Products, Game Paddles (II + ) 


$ 40 


$29 


Joystick(lt+) 


S 60 


$45 


Select-A-Port(ll + ) 


$ 60 


$ 45 


TrakBall(ll + ) 


S 65 


$ 44 


Videx, PSIO, Para'Ser Interface 


S229 


$169 




■■■■I # Electronics by ComX 

^/S 7i4 DiskPak V1200. 6MBBackupSys. S1549 $1049 
•V1000Dual8".Std. Format S2195 $ 995 



VIDEO CARDS 



APPLE lie 128K, 80 COLUMN $1,295 

APPLE lie, STARTER SYS. B Y APPLE(Sy s. A) 

64K and 80 column 
Disk 1 1 with controller 
Apple Monitor III 

Monitor Stand $1,650 

APPLEIIeSTARTERSYSTEMBY 
CONROY-LA POINTE [SYSTEM B] 
128K and 80 column 
1 Micro-Sci Drive with controller 
Filer, Utility and DOS 3.3 Disketle 
Zenith 12" Green Monitor 
RF Modulator (for color TV) 
Game Paddles 

Game w/color graphics and sound 
20 Blank Diskettes $1,650 

WARRANTY: 

Limited wananty is 100% Pails & Labor for 90 days by us. 



RAM EXPANSION 



LIST OUR 

PRICE PRICE 

• ComX,torlle,80col./64KAdderCard $295 $109 

• ComX, RAMCard, 1 Yr.Wly.(ll + ) 16K S 179 $39 

• ALS,ADDRam(ll+) 16K $ 100 $59 
•Microsoft, RAMCard(tl+) 16K S 100 $ 69 
•SaturnSystems,RAMCard(ll+) 32K $ 249 $169 

RAMCard(ll+) 64K S 425 $299 

RAMCard (II+J128K S 599 $399 

• Axlon RAM Disk System (+ ore)320K S1000 $650 



BUSINESS 



Applied Soft Tech.. VersaForm $ 389 $259 

Artsci.MagicWmdowll NEW' S 150 $ 99 

Ashton-Tate.dBasell(ReqCPM80) S 700 $395 

Financial Planner (ReqCPM 80) S 700 $395 

Fnday(RequiresCPMBO) S 295 $199 

BPISystems.GLAR.AP.PRorlNV.each S 395 $295 



S 70 S 47 

$ 250 $165 

S 75 $ 49 

S 100 S 68 

S 350 $275 

$ 300 $235 

S 295 $185 

$ 295 $185 

S 99 $ 66 



$ 225 $149 
S 150 $ 99 



S 995 $469 
$ 180 $119 



Broderbund.Bank StreetWriter 
Continental, GL.AR.APorPRea 

HomeAccountant 

FCM 
Dow Jones, Market Analyzer 

Market Manager 
Fox & Geller, Ouickcode (tordBase II) 

dGraph(tordBasell) 

dUtitity(tordBasell) 
Hayden.Pie Wnter(Speciry 80col. board) $ ISO $ 99 
Howard Soft, Real Estate Analyzer II S 195 $129 

TaxPreparer 
L JK, Letter Perfect w Mail Merge 

• Micro Craft, (requires Z80 CP M-Card) 

Verdict orBillkeeper 
Micro Lab. Tax Manager 
Micro Pro, (all require Z80-CP M Card) 

• WordStarwApplicard&CP M SPECIAL S 495 $325 
WordStar 1 - Training Manual SPECIAL S 495 $239 
MailMerge " SPECIAL S 250 $129 
SpellStar" SPECIAL S 250 $129 

• WordStarProtessional,4Pak SPECIAL S 895 $429 
Microsoft. Mutb-Plan(CPM or Apple DOS) S 275 $199 

Hnancial. Muibtool (CP Mot DOS) S 100 $75 

Budget,Multitool(CPMorDOS) S 150 $115 

Osborne'C.P. Soft. (Disk and Book) (Stat . Bus. & Math) 

SomeCommonBasicPrograms(75eacti) S 100 $ 49 

PracticalBasic Programs (40each) S 100 $49 

Peachtree, Requires CP M & MBasic, 40 columns. 

Series40GL&AR&AP,all3 S 595 $365 

Series40 Inv.or Payroll, each S 400 $275 

Series9Texl&Spell&Mail.all3 S 595 $395 

Perfect.PerfectWriter 

Perfect Speller 

PerfectWriler Speller 2 Pak 

PerfectFiler 

Ouark.Word Juggler (He) 

Lexicheck I le (use w Juggler) 

Sensible.Sens. Speller, specify 80 Col. Brd S 125 $85 

Sierra/On-Line. ScreenWriterll S 130 S 89 

The Dictionary NEW! S 100 $ 69 

General Manager I NEW! S 230 $155 

•Silcon Valley .WordHandler S 250 $ 39 

• List Handler S 90 $ 35 
Sof.Sys., Executive Secretary S 250 $169 

Executive Speller S 75 $ 55 



S 495 $149 

S 295 $ 99 

S 695 $199 

S 595 $259 

S 239 $179 

S 149 $ 99 



on disk for Apple ll/ll+/lle 



BUSINESS 



Software Publishing, PFS: File S 125 S 84 

(specity * ore) PFS:Report s 125 $84 

PFS:Graph S 125 $ 84 

Stoneware. DB Master Version 4 S 229 $229 

DBUt tytortl S 99 S 69 

Videx. Apptewriter 1 1 preboot disk S 20 S 15 

Visicalc80col.prebootdisk S 50 $ 39 

VisiCorp/Personal Software. 

Visicalc3.3 S 250 $169 

Visicalc Enhanced (lie) NEW S 250 $169 

VisiFileor VisiDex. each $ 250 $169 



UTILITY & SYSTEM 



Beagle.UtnityCity 
DOSBoss 
Apple Mechanic 
Central Point.Filer. DOS3.3 andUtihty 
• Copy 1 1 Plus ( bitcopier) 

Einstein. Compiler, for ApplesoftBASlC 
Epson, GraphicsDump 
Insolt.G raFORTH byPaul Lutus 
Microsoft, A.L.D.S. 
CobolBO 
FortranSO 

Complete Line in Stock 
•Omega. Locksmith (bitcopier) 
Penguin. Comp. Grphcs Sys. NE 1 
Graphics Magician NE' 

Phoenix, Zoom Grafix 
Ouality Bagof Tncks 
Saturn Systems. VC-Expand 

VC-Expand80 
Sensible, Back itUp. (bitcopier) 



NEW 



S 129 

S 15 

S 75 

S 125 

S 750 

S 195 

S 100 

S 70 

S 60 

S 40 

S 40 

S 100 

S 125 

S 60 



$ 22 

$ 18 
$ 22 

$ 15 
S35 
$85 
$ 9 
$59 
$75 



$75 
$53 
$41 
$34 
$29 
$49 
$69 
$49 



HOME & EDUCATIONAL 



Broderbund.Choplifler 
BudgeCo. Pinball Constr. Set 
•Continental. Home Accountant 
Datamost AztecorZaxxon.each 
Edu-Ware. (Large Inventory) 
Einstein. MemoiyTramer 
Hayden. Sargon II (Chess) 
Infocom. Zork I, ll.or lll.or Siarcross, each 
Lightning. Masteriype 
Micro Lab. Miner 2049er 
Sierra On-Line, Ultima II 
Sir-Tech. Wizardry 
Spinnaker. Kmdercomp 
Sub Logic. Flight Simulation 

Pinball 
Terrapin, Logo 
OTHER BRANDS AND PROGRAMS IN 



S 35 
S 40 
S 75 
S 40 
Call 
Call 



S 26 

$27 
$49 
$27 
Catl 
Calt 
$29 
$27 
$27 
$27 
$40 
$39 
S 20 
$25 
S 25 
S 150 $ 99 
STOCK, CALL. 



DISKETTES 

CDC, 100 each, SS,DD,48T(Apple, IBM) S 550 $179 

10each,SS,DD,48T(Apple,IBM) S 55 $ 19 

100each,OS,DD,48T.(IBM,HP) $ 750 $ 295 

10each,DS,DD,48T(IBM,H'P) $ 75 

DYSAN, 10each.(Apple,elc.) S 69 

10each,48T(IBM,K/P,etc.) S 89 

MAXELL, 10each,MD-1,SS,DD $ 55 

10each,MD2-D,DSDD % 75 

VERBATIM, 10 each, Verex.SSSD $ 40 

10each.MD525-0t.SSSD $ 49 

10each,DD34,DSDD $ 84 

10each.Optima.DSDD S 121 

GENERIK'" DISKETTES-AS LOW AS$1 

1 00 eachSS,SD,35Trac*(Apple, Atan) S 415 $ 130 

1 000 eacriSS.SD, 35Track(Apple. Atari) S4150 $ 995 

100eachDS,DD,40Track(IBM,H/P) S 626 $ 170 

1000eachDS,DD,40Track(IBM,H/P) S6260 $1400 

W/jackets, no labels, top quality. 90 day limited wananfy by us. 





MONITORS"" 



ACCESSORIES 



•AMDEK, 1?'Green, #300G 

• 1?' Amber, #300A 

• 12"Amber.310AforlBM-PC 

• l3"Colorl, Composite 

• 13"Colorll.RGB,HiRes 

• 13 Color lll,RGB.(Ap II. IK) 
DVM CoortlorltlloApplell F 

NEC,12"Green,ModelJB1201M 
l2"Color. Composite, JC1215M 
12"Color, RGB, IBM ModeiJC 1203 
PRINCETON, RGBHiRes,HX-12 
•OUAORAM, Quadchrome 1 2" RGBCoior 
Ouadrscreenir,968x512 
SAN YO,9"Green.Model DM5109 

1?Green,ModelDM8112CX 
ZENfTH, 12"Green, Model ZVM121 



$ 200 $ 135 

$ 210 $ 149 

$ 230 $ 159 

S 379 $ 289 

$ 529 $ 439 

$ 479 $ 399 

$ 199 $ 175 

S 249 $ 159 

$400 $299 

$699 $ 569 

$795 $539 

S 795 $ 499 

S1995 $1595 

S 200 $ 139 

$ 260 $ 199 

$ 150 $ 89 



MODEMS 



GENERIK™ 
DISKETTES 

SSSD $1.00 Each 
DSDD $1.40 Each 



CDC 
SSSD $1.79 Each 

Minimum order quantities apply. See above. Money 
back guarantee is by COMX Corporation not us. 



AND 

ACCESSORIES 

ANCHOR,SignaJmanMKIModem(RS232) S 99 

HAYES, IBM-PC Smartmodem 1200 B S 599 

IBM-PC Smartcom 1 1 Software S 119 

StackChronograph(RS-232) S 249 

Stack Smartmodem 300 (RS-232) S 289 

Smartmodem 12O0 (RS-232) $699 

MicromodemlOO(S-lOObus) 

Micromodem II (fortheApptelt) 

AppleTerminalProgram 

IBM-PCtoModemCable 

NOVATION,Apptec3tllModem,300BAUO $ 389 

212 Apple Cat, 1200BAUD $725 

Cal 

D-Cat 

J-Cat 

212 Auto Cal 
SmartCal103£l2 
Apple Catll 
212AppJeCat 
SSM, Transcend t forAppiellDataComm. 
ModemCanjforlhe Apple II 
Transmodem 1 200 ( 1 1 0300/1 200) 



S 399 
$ 379 
$ 100 
S 39 



S 189 
S 199 
$ 149 
S695 
S 595 
S389 
$ 725 
S 89 
$299 
$695 



$ 75 
$439 
$ 89 
S 189 
$225 
$ 535 
$ 275 
$275 
$ 65 
$ 29 
$ 269 
$ 599 
$ 139 
$ 159 
$ 109 
$ 579 
$ 435 
$ 269 
$ 595 
S 69 
$ 259 
$ 559 



PRINTERS ACCESSORIES 
DOT MATRIX PRINTERS: 

EPSON,MX80FT,80CPS,w.Graftrax + $745 $485 

FX80.CPS Call 

MX100F.T,80CPS,wGrartrax+ $ 995 $639 

FX100.CPS Catl 

ApptellGraphicsDumpProgram $ 15 $ 9 

GraltraxPlus,MX80orMX100 $ 95 $ 79 

LEADING EDGE, Gorilla Banana S 250 $ 209 

OKIDATA,82A,80cot..120cps.Para. $ 549 $ 448 

83A.132coL.120cps.Para. $899 $699 

92,160CPS,80Col.,Para. $699 $559 

93,160CPS,136Col..Para. $1249 $969 

ORANGE MICRO. Grappler +. for Apple $165 $119 

PRAC.,Microbuffertn-Line64K,Para: $ 349 $ 259 

Mjcrobuffer In-Line 64K Serial $ 349 $ 259 

•STARMICRO..Gemini10"X,120cps,2.3K Z 499 $ 289 

Gemini 15". 100cps.2.3K $ 649 $ 389 

Germ15"X.lQ0cps,2.3K Call Call 

IBM-PCtoEpsonor St arMicronics Cable $ 60 $ 35 

Apple If andCabteforEpsonorGemini $ 95 $ 59 

LETTER QUALITY- DAISY WHEEL PRINTERS: 

JUKI.6100. 17cps.80Col.. Parallel $ 700 $ 539 

NEC.3550IBMParallel,33cps,136Col. S2350 $1995 

•TTX, 13 cps, Para. &Ser, Pin & Friction $649 $499 

SUPPLIES: Tractor Feed Paper, Ribbons, Daisy Wheels. 



PLOTTERS 



ENTER COMPUTER. Sweet-P $ 795 $ 595 

AMDEK.OXY-l00.10"xl4".Para $749 $599 

Amplottt.10"x14".6cotof.&P $1299 $999 



CORVUS?^ 

Wfthoutlnterface 20 Meg 

IBM-PC InteitaceManualfi CableKit 

Mirrorbuillmforeasybackup 
Appletnterlace, Manua I & CableKit 



$2395 $1895 

S3195 $2695 

S4195 $3495 

$ 300 $ 239 

$ 790 $ 595 

$ 300 $ 239 



Other Inieriaces, Omni-Net, Constellation. Mirror, Aft in Stock 



A 

.ATARI. 



fbrihe ATARI 

RANA 1000 Drive, 320K $449 $369 

KOALA, Graph.cs Pad $100 $ 75 



ADncDiur iLirrmn a Timi a un Tcnuc A " Maii: p0 - Box 23068 > Portlan(l > 0R 97223 - Include telephone number. 
UHUtHINb INrUKMA I IUN ANU I trlMo! All items usually in stock. We immediately honor Cashiers Checks, Money Orders, Fortune lOOOChecksand 
Government Checks. Personal or Company Checks allow 20 days to clear. No. C.O.D. Prices reflect a 3% cash discount so ADD 3% to above prices for VISA or MC. For U.S. Mainland, 
add 3% for shipping, insurance and handling (SI&H) by UPS with $5 minimum f or SI&H. UPSground is standard so add3% moreforUPS Blue with $10 minimum for SI&H. Add 1 2% total 
lor SI&H for US Postal, APO or FPO with Si 5 minimum for SI&H. For Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. UPS is in some areas only, all others are Postal so call, write, or speofy Postal. Foreign 
orders except Canada for S.I&H add 1 8% or $25 minimum for SI&H except for monitors add 30% or $50 minimum tor SI&H. Prices subject lo change and typo errors, so calt to verify. All 
goods are new. include warranty and are guaranteed to work. Due to our low prices, ALL SALES ARE FIN AL. Catl before returning goods for repair or replacement. Orders received with 
insufficient S.I&H charges will be refunded. ORDER DESK HOURS 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. PST. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 Saturday. 6 A.M. here is 9 A.M. in New York. 
OUR REFERENCES." We have been in computers and electronics since 1958, a computer dealer since 1979 and in mail order since 1980. Banks: 1st Interstate Bank, 
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Installable Device Drivers for 

PC-DOS 2.0 

The latest version of the IBM PC's DOS 
provides support for device drivers 



Support for device drivers is one of 
the most significant new features pro- 
vided by Microsoft's PC-DOS 2.0. In 
addition to other significant improve- 
ments over earlier versions, this re- 
lease incorporates powerful new 
commands into the DOS as well as 
BASIC. In this article I'll define a de- 
vice driver, explain its importance, and 
show how it works with the IBM PC. 

The DOS (disk operating system) 
enhancements visible to the average 
user represent only the tip of the 
iceberg; much of the real power add- 
ed to PC-DOS can be appreciated on- 
ly by hardware and software design- 
ers. As those designers take advan- 
tage of PC-DOS 2.0's flexibility, we 
can expect to see new products that 
will work only with this and subse- 
quent versions. These products will 
provide a major impetus for the 
average IBM PC user to abandon 
earlier versions of PC-DOS in favor 
of the latest release. 

Devices and Drivers 

A device is merely a piece of equip- 
ment that attaches to a computer. 
Some examples are printers, floppy- 
and hard-disk drives, monitors, and 
keyboards. You can even simulate 
devices; a RAM disk, for instance, 
appears to the PC as a disk drive, but 
it is actually a special program run- 
ning in the computer's RAM 
(random-access read/write memory) 
that simulates the operation of a 
floppy-disk drive. 

An interface is used to attach a 
device to the PC. The interface can be 
a standard type, such as an RS-232C 



by Tim Field 

or parallel port, or you can use one 
designed to work with a particular 
device, such as a keyboard. Either 
type of interface provides the 
necessary electronics to allow the PC 
and a device to communicate. 

So far, so good. You know you 
need a device and an interface to plug 
it into the PC, but that combination 
is not sufficient. You must also pro- 
vide the PC with the software re- 
quired to "talk" with the device; that 
is, to perform input and output (I/O) 
operations on it. 

Each device requires special signal 
and timing schemes to allow the PC's 
processor to communicate with it. 
Applications programs running on 
the computer don't provide such soft- 
ware routines, which can sometimes 
be quite complex; these programs 
must be able to perform specific 
tasks, though, such as sending a 
character to the modem or reading 
the sector of a particular address on 
drive A. What is needed, then, is a 
set of general-purpose software 
routines that match the high-level 
needs of applications programs with 
the low-level requirements of the 
hardware interfaces. These software 
interfaces are called device drivers. 

It is one of the main tasks of the 
operating system to provide the sup- 
port that applications programs need 
to use the devices attached to the 
computer system. Thus, the respon- 
sibility for supplying and supporting 
device drivers falls in the realm of 
DOS functions. 

One device driver that comes with 
the PC is the parallel-printer driver. 



That code is stored in the system's 
ROM (read-only memory) and inter- 
faces system software with the 
parallel interface port. 

A program running on the PC does 
not get involved with how characters 
are printed out; it's the printer's 
responsibility to actually print out 
text characters. A program requests 
that a string of characters be printed 
out, and the printer device driver 
handles that request, receiving 
characters from a program and con- 
verting them into the Is and 0s that 
the parallel interface card requires. 
The interface then takes these binary 
values and converts them into ap- 
propriate electrical signals, which are 
sent to the printer through cabling. 
The printer converts these signals 
back into characters, which are then 
printed out. 

Without the device driver, each 
software program that required the 
use of the printer would have to pro- 
vide the appropriate signals for the 
parallel adapter. But because most 
programs require the use of many 
devices (usually at least a keyboard, 
monitor, disk drive, and printer), 
general-purpose device drivers prove 
most efficient; they supply the 
highest level of software support 
possible. 

The internal activities of device 
drivers are invisible to applications 
programs. Yet when you run an ap- 
plications program or a DOS com- 
mand, the device drivers work with 
that program to accomplish the re- 
quested task. The device-driver con- 
cept provides an additional benefit: 



188 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



it helps make programs device-inde- 
pendent. In other words, the driver 
ensures that the program need not 
get involved with a particular device's 
idiosyncrasies; it works directly with 
the device-driver interface. 

For example, the signals and tim- 
ing schemes required to communi- 
cate with a floppy-disk drive differ 
from those required for a fixed-disk 
drive. A high-level device interface, 
however, permits an applications 
program to read or write to either 
type of drive identically. 

Device Drivers in PC-DOS 2.0 

The IBM PC provides two levels of 
device drivers. At the low end is the 
BIOS (basic input/output system) 
ROM (read-only memory) interface, 
which makes a set of simple device 
interfaces available to assembly- 
language programs. The PC-DOS in- 
terface, however, provides device 
drivers of a somewhat higher level. 
The DOS contains a set of functions 
that enables a program to access a 
number of useful operations, in- 
cluding the device operations. The 
DOS device drivers (or device func- 
tions) actually use the BIOS drivers 
to accomplish portions of their work. 
The DOS drivers' higher level pro- 
vides them with greater flexibility 
than those in BIOS. 

Using earlier versions of PC-DOS, 
applications programmers had to 
specially rig (or "kludge") device 
drivers to work with the DOS. This 
was often accomplished at the BIOS 
interface level. And although the 
drivers worked, they were not stan- 
dard ones, nor were they easy to 
implement. 

PC-DOS 2.0, however, permits pro- 
grammers to create installable device 
drivers at the DOS-interface level in 
a standard way. These new drivers 
can either define a new device type 
to be used on the PC or replace an 
old device driver. For example, a 
device driver can be added to sup- 
port an intelligent pen plotter, or the 
PC's standard keyboard device driver 
can be replaced by a new driver that 
looks for input not only from the 
keyboard but also from a mouse 
device. 

Normally written in assembly Ian- 



c 



POWER ON 



Dd 



CTRL-ALT-DEL 
SYSTEM RESET 



EXECUTE DIAGNOS- 
TICS TO TEST 
PC's HARDWARE 



) 



DOS "BOOTS" UP- 
LOADS AND 
EXECUTES IBM BIO, 
IBM DOS. AND 
COMMAND 
SYSTEM FILES 



L_ 



IS THERE A 
"CONFIG.SYS" 
FILE ON THE 
SYSTEM DISK I 



I 




1 



EXECUTE SYSTEM 
CONFIGURATION 
ROUTINE {SEE 
FIG. 2) 



IS THERE AN 
"AUTOEXEC.BAT 
FILE ON THE 
SYSTEM DISK 



I 



YES 













Tno 




EXECUTE ALL 
COMMANDS FOUND 
IN AUTOEXEC.BAT 


PROMPT USER FOR 
DATE AND TIME 










' 


\ 

















' DOS IS RUNNING.N 

DISPLAY SYSTEM 

PROMPT AND WAIT 

^OR USER INPUT/ 



Figure 1: This flowchart outlines the tasks the DOS performs before it issues the system 
prompt and waits for user input. 



guage, an installable device driver is 
assembled and linked into a COM 
file. It makes its corresponding device 
available to any program using the 
standard DOS function calls. You in- 
stall a device driver in PC-DOS by 
copying the COM file onto the 
system disk and creating a special file 
called CONFIG.SYS, which is mere- 
ly a text file (created using Edlin or 
a text editor) into which you add the 
command line: 

DEVICE = driver.COM 

(where the word "driver" is replaced 
by the name of the device driver). 
You must complete this process for 
each device driver you install. 

The installation process is then ac- 
complished at system start-up. When 
the PC is turned on, or whenever a 



system reset is issued (via the Ctrl- 
Alt-Del key sequence), PC-DOS per- 
forms a number of tasks before it 
issues the system prompt and waits 
for user input. One of those tasks is 
to configure the system as instructed 
through the CONFIG.SYS file, which 
includes installing any specified 
device drivers. Figure 1 outlines these 
activities. For a more detailed discus- 
sion of the inner workings of device 
drivers and their installation process, 
see "A Peek into PC-DOS Device 
Drivers" on page 190. 

Device Categories 

The types of devices that the PC 
recognizes fall into two categories: 
character devices and block devices. 

A character device performs input 
and output in a serial manner— char- 
acter by character. For example, a 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 189 



A Peek into DOS 
Device Drivers 

Let's take a look at the implementation 
of device drivers in PC-DOS 2.0. As 
discussed in the main text, the PC uses two 
types of devices: character and block. The 
device-driver format is structured in such 
a way that the same approach is used for 
either type of device. 

An assembly-language program designed 
to work as a device driver consists of three 



f START J 



user-defined parts: a device header, a 
strategy routine, and an interrupt routine. 

The Device Header 

The device header is an 18-byte block 
found at the beginning of a device driver. 
This header is used by the DOS to install 
and identify a particular driver. The header 
is broken into the following five 
components: 

Next Device Header Field (4 bytes): 
This is a pointer (offset followed by seg- 
ment) used by the DOS to make a linked 
list of all of the installed device drivers. 
Both offset and segment addresses must be 



1 ANY MORE TEXT , 

J.INES IN |_ 

. CONFIGSYS I 
FILE 




READ IN FILE 
SPECIFIED BY 
"DEVfCE=" 
COMMAND LINE 



LINK THE DEVICE 
HEADER TO THE 
FRONT OF DOS 
DEVICE QUEUE 



BUILD 

REQUEST BLOCK 
TO "IN IT" 
DEVICE DRIVER 




INVOKE DEVICE 
DRIVER STRATEGY 
ROUTINE (PASS 
ADDRESS TO 
REQUEST BLOCK) 



INVOKE 

DEVICE DRIVER 
INTERRUPT ROUTINE 
(RECEIVE "END-OF- 
DRIVER" ADDRESS) 



MARK 

"END-OF-DRIVER" 
ADDRESS INTERNALLY 
TO PREVENT 
OVERLAY 



Figure 2: A summary of the steps PC-DOS takes to install device drivers. 



set to -I by the assembler (unless you have 
more than one device driver in the file, in 
which case the pointers of each device 
header in the file should be set up in a 
linked list at assembly time, and the last 
driver in the list should be set to -1). 

Device Attribute (2 bytes): This group 
of bits defines the type of device and some 
special attributes about that device. For ex- 
ample, one bit specifies whether it is a 
character or block device. Other bits in- 
dicate current clock device, current stan- 
dard input device, and standard output 
device. (Standard input is generally the 
keyboard, standard output is the screen 
display. See the section on redirection of 
standard input lout put in the PC-DOS 
manual for more information.) 

Device Strategy Pointer (2 bytes): 
This is an offset into the device-driver seg- 
ment to the strategy routine. 

Device Interrupt Pointer (2 bytes): 
This is an offset into the device-driver seg- 
ment to the interrupt routine. 

Device Name Field (8 bytes): This 
field contains the device name for a 
character device. For a block device, the first 
byte of the field contains a count of the 
number of devices supported by the driver 
and the remaining 7 bytes are not used. 

The Strategy Routine 

When the DOS receives a request for a 
device operation, it looks through its list 
of device drivers, searching for the driver 
specified by the request. When a match is 
found (i.e., when the device name matches 
the requested device), the DOS invokes 
that driver's strategy routine at the ad- 
dress found in the device header. 

With PC-DOS 2.0, the strategy routine 
doesn't play a very important role. It sim- 
ply queues up a device request and returns 
to the DOS. In future versions of the DOS, 
however, it could assist in such operations 
as priority-queued multitasking or time- 
sharing situations. 

Interrupt Routine 

Upon receiving control back from the 
strategy routine, the DOS invokes the 
driver's interrupt routine. This routine 
provides all of the functionality for the 
driver— the code to execute the device- 
driver operations. 

Because there are many different tasks 
a device driver might perform for a given 
device, a standard mechanism is needed for 
the DOS to specify to any device the com- 
mand to be executed. This mechanism takes 
the form of a request header. 



190 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




POINTER TO NEXT 
DEVICE HEADER 



ATTRIBUTES 



CHARACTER 
DEVICE 



POINTER TO DEVICE 
STRATEGY ROUTINE 



POINTER TO DEVICE 
INTERRUPT ROUTINE 



DEVICE NAME-. PRN 



,\W\^\\\V:^S^ 



DEVICE STRATEGY CODE 



DEVICE INTERRUPT CODE 



BLOCK 
DEVICE 



DEVICE UNIT FIELD: 
1 (SINGLE UNIT) 



\v^\v\- • '- -v^> 



• • • — »■ 


-1 (LAST DEVICE 
IN QUEUE) 








CHARACTER 
DEVICE 










i 














X 














DEVICE NAME: PLOTTER 




;A\^xn\ x ; : \- \ < 















Figure 3: Examples of several device drivers installed in DOS. 



A request header is a block of memory 
that the DOS sets up. A pointer to this 
header is passed to the device driver in the 
ES:BX register pairs during the strategy- 
routine call. The strategy routine saves this 
address. 

When the interrupt routine receives con- 
trol, it fetches the saved address to the re- 
quest header and uses the contents of the 
header to determine the operation it is to 
perform. The request header contains the 
following data: 

Request-Header Length (1 byte). 

Unit Code (1 byte): This byte specifies 
the subunit (for block devices only) that the 
requested operation should use. 

Command Code (1 byte): This gives 
a value specifying the operation to be 
performed. 

Status (2 bytes): This is a word set aside 
to allow the device driver to return the 
status of the operation to the DOS. A 
status word can indicate an "ERROR" 



(returning an 8-bit error code with the er- 
ror indication), "BUSY" (used by an ex- 
plicit status-function request), or "DONE" 
(which has no functional use in PC-DOS 
2.0 but appears to be set aside for future 
uses such as multitasking or perhaps even 
multiprocessing). 

DOS Reserved Area (8 bytes). 

Data Area (variable length): This seg- 
ment contains any data appropriate to the 
operation. 

Figure 2 outlines the PC-DOS procedure 
for installing device drivers. You specify 
which devices to install by including in the 
CONFIG.SYS file the command " DE- 
VICE =device. COM" (replacing "device" 
with the device-driver filename) for each 
driver. Because CONFIG.SYS can contain 
other system-configuration commands, 
figure 2 includes a check for DEVICE= 
requests. 

The DOS loads each device driver from 
the system disk into memory, adds it to the 



front of its list of device drivers, and ex- 
ecutes the driver's INIT command. INIT 
will return to the DOS an end-of-driver 
address (actually the end of the device- 
driver code plus 1 byte). The DOS then 
reserves the area before this address, being 
careful not to overlay any other programs 
on the device driver. 

Figure 3 shows the structure of multi- 
ple device drivers installed in PC-DOS; 
three drivers are portrayed. The first is a 
character device named PRN, which acts 
as the standard printer device. The second 
is a block device and thus is unnamed. The 
third is a character device called PLOT- 
TER. Notice that the length of different 
device drivers can vary. 

If the DOS installs yet another device 
driver in the scheme shown in figure 3, it 
will be placed in front of PRN. If it, too, 
is a character device with the name PRN, 
it effectively replaces the older one. Thus, 
any characters sent to PRN will use the 
first driver in the list with that name. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 191 



Command 


Function Character 


Block 


Code 


Requested Devices 


Devices 





INIT • 


• 


1 


MEDIA CHECK 


• 


2 


BUILD BPB 


• 


3 


IOCTL INPUT • 


• 


4 


INPUT (read) • 


• 


5 


NON DESTRUCTIVE INPUT NO WAIT • 




6 


INPUT STATUS • 




7 


INPUT FLUSH • 




8 


OUTPUT (write) • 


• 


9 


OUTPUT WITH VERIFY • 


• 


10 


OUTPUT STATUS • 




11 


OUTPUT FLUSH • 




12 


IOCTL OUTPUT • 


• 


Table 1: A list 


of device request codes, indicating whether they are used with character 


or block devices or both. 





Device Commands 

There are 13 specific device operations 
(see table 1) that may be requested of a 
device driver in PC-DOS 2.0. Some of 
these are valid with both block and 
character devices; some are used only by 
one or the other. 

The DOS requests a particular command 
by placing the appropriate command code 
into the request header. It is efficient for 
a device driver to set up a separate routine 
for each of the 13 operations using single 
entry and exit points to the drive?'. A stan- 
dard jump table can be used to determine 
which routine to execute. (A jump table 
contains the entry addresses for each 
routine. The command code found in the 
header is used to index into the table and 
get the correct address.) 

Each command is briefly described below. 
Refer to chapter 14 of the PC Disk 
Operating System manual (Boca Raton, 
FL: IBM Corporation, 1983) for more in- 
formation on these functions. It is helpful 
to look over the listing of the RAM drive 
at the end of chapter 14 to see how such 



things as the device header and jump table 
can be implemented. The device commands 
are: 

INIT— This routine is executed once 
after system start-up. It allows the device 
driver to install itself and perform any 
necessary initialization tasks— including 
initializing devices, returning the driver's 
ending address to the DOS (so that the 
DOS knows where it is safe to load other 
programs without overwriting the driver), 
and returning an initial device status in 
the request header. 

MEDIA CHECK (Block devices only): 
This command checks to see if the media 
(e.g., disk) has been changed. 

BUILD BPB (Block devices only): The 
BPB (BIOS parameter block) is a 13-byte 
chunk of memory that describes the block 
device. It contains device-specific data such 
as number of bytes per sector and sectors 
per unit. The BPB is returned to the DOS. 

IOCTL INPUT/OUTPUT: IOCTL 
(input/output control) is a mechanism 
that lets the DOS determine and change 



the status of a device (not the status of the 
device driver). For example, DOS might 
use IOCTL INPUT to determine the lines- 
per-inch setting of an intelligent printer 
and then change this with an IOCTL 
OUTPUT command. 

INPUT: This command reads the data 
from the specified device (at a given address 
for block devices) and returns it to the 
DOS. 

NON DESTRUCTIVE INPUT NO 
WAIT (Character devices only): This 
allows the DOS to check for data waiting 
to be read. For example, the DOS can use 
the command to check the keyboard buffer 
to see if any keys have been pressed. If the 
keyboard buffer is empty, a normal INPUT 
command to the keyboard will wait until 
a key is pressed. Sometimes it is desirable 
for a program to check first and ensure that 
it will not have to wait. 

INPUT/OUTPUT STATUS (Charac- 
ter devices only): This command returns 
the status of the specified device. 

INPUT/OUTPUT FLUSH (Character 
devices only): This terminates all pending 
device requests. For example, it might clear 
the keyboard buffer on an INPUT FLUSH 
or a printer buffer on an OUTPUT 
FLUSH. 

OUTPUT: This command writes the 
data to the device (at the given address for 
block devices). 

OUTPUT WITH VERIFY: This 
writes data to the device and then verifies 
that the operation has worked correctly. 

The device-driver mechanism is a 
straightfonuard implementation that is suf- 
ficiently general to support a large variety 
of devices. Several of its features hint at 
powerful things to come in later versions 
of PC-DOS. By using such a standard 
mechanism, the DOS gives users the 
capability to develop products now that will 
be easily integrated into future versions. 



printer is a character device through 
which a string of characters is printed 
out; the printer device driver is called 
once for each character. 

Character devices are given specific 
names. The standard ones have pre- 
defined names, such as CON (the 
system console, which uses the key- 
board for input and the display 
screen for output), AUX and COM1 
(the auxiliary communications port 
through which you can attach serial 
printers and modems), and PRN or 
LPT1 (the parallel-printer port). You 



can assign a new character device to 
a driver by giving that device the 
name of the device it is replacing. To 
attach a new character device to the 
PC, you give it a unique name. 

A special character device, 
CLOCKS, can be defined to allow in- 
tegration of a real-time clock into the 
PC for TIME and DATE operations. 
CLOCKS provides a standard mech- 
anism for integrating a battery-back- 
up clock chip, contained on many 
multifunction boards, into the 
system. 



The other type of device, the block 
device, is a mass-storage unit, such 
as a floppy, hard, or RAM disk. In- 
stead of accomplishing data I/O one 
character at a time, a block device 
passes whole chunks (or blocks) of 
data in one shot. Usually, each block 
contains one disk sector (512 bytes) 
of data. 

Unlike character devices, block 
devices are not specifically named. 
Instead, they are mapped via the 
drive letters (A, B, C, etc.) PC-DOS 
maps a new block device by internal- 



192 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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ly assigning it the next available drive 
letter and automatically maps a 
block-device operation to the ap- 
propriate device driver, which can 
support multiple devices of the same 
type. 

For example, suppose you have two 
floppy-disk drives, A and B, and a 
fixed disk, C, and you want to add 
two RAM disks. You do so by defin- 
ing one block-device driver with sup- 
port for two disks. The DOS will use 
this device driver to initialize and add 
two RAM disks, D and E. Then when 
a program attempts to read or write 
to either D or E, the DOS will execute 
the device driver to perform the re- 
quested task. 

DOS Support for Device Drivers 

As mentioned earlier, PC-DOS 
automatically provides the necessary 
support for newly installed device 
drivers. When an applications pro- 
gram requests any DOS operation on 
a given device via a DOS I/O func- 
tion call, the DOS determines which 
device driver is required and invokes 
it to perform the requested task. 

Earlier versions of PC-DOS inter- 
nal function calls also support 2.0's 
installable device drivers. An applica- 
tions program designed with PC- 
DOS 1.1, for example, uses a function 
call to the DOS to invoke a disk-read 
operation. Under PC-DOS 2.0, the 
disk-read operation supports the 
device driver. You can thus run the 
applications program on the PC with 
a newly installed device without 
modifying the program. In fact, the 
program will not sense the change. 

To remember all its device drivers, 
PC-DOS uses a linked list. At system 
start-up, as the DOS installs a new 
driver specified in the CONFIG.SYS 
file, it adds that device to the top of 
its list. When it later receives a re- 
quest for a device I/O function, it 
starts at the head of the device list 
and searches through it for the device 
whose name matches the I/O re- 
quest, then invokes the first device 
driver that matches the name re- 
quested. This technique allows you 
to replace any existing character 
devices by giving your device driver 
the same name as the device to be 
replaced. 



194 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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BYTE November 1983 



195 



Two Sample Device Drivers 



With the purchase of PC-DOS 2.0, you 
receive two device drivers. One is a char- 
acter-device driver that enhances the 
capabilities of both your display and key- 
board. The other is a block-device driver 
with a RAM disk for use with the PC. I 
will briefly describe each of these drivers 
and then look at the glaring problems each 
reveals about PC-DOS 2.0. 

A New Console Driver 

The PC-DOS 2.0 disk includes a file 
called AN SI. SYS, a character-device driver 
that replaces the standard console device 
(CON:) and enhances the capabilities of 
the display and keyboard. You can set up 
DOS to use this driver simply by creating 
a CONFIG.SYS file using Edlin and 
adding the line DEVICE=ANSI.SYS. 

ANSI.SYS establishes the American Na- 
tional Standards Institute (ANSI) standard 
terminal-control sequences that allow ap- 
plications to be moved between various ter- 
minals and personal computers. Any 
system using this standard will support the 
same console-control sequences. 

This console device driver provides two 
basic capabilities. First, it allows you to 
reassign the meaning of any key on the 
keyboard, including using a single key to 
replace a string of keys. Second, it gives 
you direct cursor and attribute control of 
your display screen. It permits you, for ex- 
ample, to specify where on the screen the 
cursor is to move to. 

The ANSI.SYS control commands are 
issued via the standard DOS screen and 
keyboard function calls 1, 2, 6, and 9. 
Basically, you first send a special sequence 
of characters to the screen or keyboard func- 
tions. These characters are then interpreted 



by the ANSI.SYS device drive?', and the ap- 
propriate action is taken. 

The IBM RAM Disk 

In chapter 14 ("Installable Device 
Drivers") of the PC-DOS manual, IBM 
supplies an assembly-language listing of a 
block-device-driver implementation of a 
RAM disk. The listing can be typed in, as- 
sembled, and used with PC-DOS 2.0 as 
a single-sided, nine-sector -per -track (180K- 
byte) simulated disk drive. 

IBM's main purpose in including the 
RAM-disk listing was for demonstration 
purposes. The code and comments help you 
to get a better feel for how a device driver 
is actually implemented. Furthermore, it 
provides a nice frame for setting up the code 
for your own drivers. 

Note that this RAM driver is not found 
on the DOS disk. IBM left it up to you 
to enter and assemble the program. If you 
do not have an assemble?', you can use 
Debug to set up the file. This task is very 
tedious at best. 

Problems, Problems, Problems 

These two device drivers do more than 
demonstrate the potential of installable 
device drivers, however. They also display 
some of the chaos found in PC-DOS 2.0— a 
most unfortunate and distressing situation. 
These two programs should be Microsoft's 
showcase, where it displays how well 
device drivers work. Instead, the programs 
spotlight some of the inconsistencies found 
in the latest version of the DOS. 

ANSI.SYS pinpoints the most glaring 
deficiency of the whole device-driver setup 
on the PC; BASIC apparently does not use 
the standard DOS character functions and 



thus will not work with user -installed 
character-device drivers. (BASIC does, 
however, work with user-installed block- 
device drivers). The character I/O opera- 
tions of BASIC (the screen, keyboard, 
printer, auxiliary port, etc.) normally use 
the lower-level BIOS ROM (read-only 
memory) device interfaces instead of the 
DOS function calls, thus nullifying any 
user-installed character device. 

For example, ANSI.SYS can be used to 
replace the standard console device to allow 
you to assign any keystroke sequence to any 
key on the PC. The most obvious use of 
this feature is to assign commonly used 
strings of keystrokes to the function keys 
to make it easier to use an applications pro- 
gram. If that program is written in BASIC, 
however, the DOS console driver is by- 
passed and ANSI.SYS is useless. 

The RAM-disk device driver demon- 
strates a less harmful yet still frustrating 
problem. At first the program seems to 
work beautifully. The DOS correctly in- 
stalls the simulated drive, and you can use 
DIR to get a directo?y of the simulated disk. 
COPY works to move files from a floppy 
or fixed disk to the RAM drive, and 
COMP lets you compare them. Even 
BASIC uses the standard DOS function 
calls for block device I/O; you can thus use 
the RAM drive for reading and storing 
data and programs. 

However, for some reason, the DISK- 
COPY and DISKCOMP commands do not 
work. Both indicate an "invalid drive" er- 
ror and then halt. No methods I tried were 
able to coax the two DOS commands to 
perform with the RAM disk. 

While these problems are not major 
catastrophes, they do indicate carelessness 
on the part of IBM and Microsoft for let- 
ting them through their quality-control 
checks. It appears that there will be limita- 
tions with user-created device drivers in 
this version of PC-DOS that may prevent 
the concept from being exploited to the 
fullest extent. However, easy fixes to this 
situation could be quickly forthcoming. 



Conclusion 

The device-driver capability of PC- 
DOS 2.0 gives it significantly more 
power than previous versions. This 
feature, along with some other 
special enhancements, should do 
much to spur the development of 
more powerful hardware and soft- 
ware options for the IBM PC. 

All is not well with PC-DOS, 
however. As the discussion in the text 



box 'Two Sample Device Drivers" 
(above) illustrates, the current im- 
plementation is suffering from some 
nontrivial problems. Note, though, 
that PC-DOS is in transition, quick- 
ly evolving from a system with 
limited capabilities to one with a flex- 
ible and powerful Unix-like structure. 
Each step forward will likely present 
a problem here and there, but the 
power of its enhancements far out- 



weighs the troublesome areas. I look 
forward to the next revision of PC- 
DOS, fully expecting solutions to cur- 
rent problems, additional goodies, 
and, undoubtedly, some difficulties 
with its new features. ■ 



Tim Field, a software engineer and technical 
writer; works for Field Computer Products (909 
North San Antonio Rd., Los Altos, CA 94022). 



196 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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DISTRIBUTED WORLDWIDE 

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Circle 225 on inquiry card. 




The Rixon PC212A... 
The Perfect Modem 
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The Rixon® PC212A offers you the only 300/1200 BPS full duplex card! 
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The PC212A eliminates the need for an asynchronous communications 
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all interactive commands is i 

stored in modem memory for | 

instant screen display. Just a 
few of the internal features 
are auto/manual dialing from 
the keyboard, auto dial the 
next number if the first 
number is busy and instant 
redial once or until answered. 
In the event of power disrup- 
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addition, the PC212A is compatible 
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grams written for the Hayes 
Smartmodem™**such as 
CROSSTALK.™ +Also available 
for use with the PC212A is the 

Rixon PC COM I,™ * a communications software pro- 
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I operates with or replaces the need for the IBM 
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PC212A $499. 

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SANGAMO WESTON 



* IBM is a registered trademark of the 
International Business Machine Corp. 

** Hayes Smartmodem is a product of 
the Hayes Stack TSI series, a 
registered trademark of Hayes 
Microcomputer Products Inc. 

+ CROSSTALK is a trademark of 
Microstuf Inc. 

# PC COM 1 is a trademark of 
Rixon Inc. 

& The Source is a servicemark of 
Source Telecomputing Corp. 



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Circle 394 on inquiry card. 





3043A © RIXON INC. 1983 



A Communications Package 
for the IBM PC 

With a little help from our friends, the Transend PC software 
evolved through several iterative design stages 

by Richard K. Moore and Michael Geary 

such as The Source or Dialog 



In the process of creating a commu- 
nications software package at Small 
World Communications Inc., we dis- 
covered that a good package was the 
result of many factors. To us, the most 
surprising of these factors was the 
iterative product-development cycle 
that begins with design, continues 
with evaluation by users, and starts 
over again with a redesign based on 
user feedback. By letting our friends 
try out each intermediate version that 
resulted from such a cycle, we 
pruned those ideas that didn't work 
and expanded the ones people 
seemed comfortable with. 

The result of our efforts is a product 
that was not so much designed as it 
was allowed to evolve. Called Tran- 
send PC (published under a licens- 
ing agreement by Transend Corpora- 
tion of San Jose, California), it runs 
on the IBM Personal Computer (PC), 
a machine for which powerful, ver- 
satile code can be written. Many 
users would agree that most com- 
mercial software falls short of such a 
high performance level. This article 
describes the design decisions that 



resulted in a powerful product de- 
signed with ease of use in mind. 

The Choice of Features 

Our first step was to discover 
which communications functions 
personal computer owners needed 
most. To get this information, we 
looked at the products available on 

By trying out each 

intermediate version, 

Transend PC was not 

so much designed as it 

was allowed to evolve. 

the market, but we learned more by 
asking users what they wanted to do 
and by looking at the experience of 
research centers such as Xerox PARC 
(Palo Alto Research Center). There 
seemed to be three distinct needs: 

• the ability to send and receive 
short, informal messages (electronic 
mail) 

•the ability to send and receive disk 
files 

• the ability to access teleser vices 



But these functional requirements 
were only the tip of the iceberg. As 
we examined typical communications 
scenarios, we found that the actual 
communications process is the least 
of the user's worries. For example, 
with electronic mail, most of the 
user's time is spent with the local 
management of messages: creating, 
reading, editing, printing, filing, and 
retrieving them. In addition, for each 
person or service users wish to com- 
municate with, they need to deal 
with such troublesome details as 
phone numbers, data rates, log-in 
codes, protocols, user IDs, and so on. 

Our conclusion was that electronic 
mail should be the central focus in 
the product design. We wanted man- 
agers, secretaries, and clerks to feel 
comfortable using this communica- 
tions device, even if they had no 
other occasion to use a personal com- 
puter. Our problem then became one 
of selecting a metaphor that would 
express the function of electronic 
mail. 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



199 



Open Basket 

Label Basket 

Print Summary 

Print Basket 




Exit from Transend 



a Terminal 
Send/Receive Mail 



Transend PC (tm) 
TEST Uersion 1.8 



Press a function key or use | 



| keys to select a basket 



IN 



J L 

b l 



ADDRESS BOOK 



SENT OK 



Jeff 



Mike 



Fred 



Bill « Liz 



L 



J L 

J L 

J L 

J L 



Spec Changes 



Schedule 



Protocols 



SERUICES 



WASTE 



L 



YOUR PC 



Byte Article 



Tutorial 



Figure 1 : Based on a desktop metaphor, Transend PC includes in, out, and sent baskets; phone 
numbers and access information reside in the services and address-book baskets. The waste- 
basket retains a copy of recently discarded messages. The lower 16 baskets serve as a simple 
filing system for electronic messages, which can be moved between baskets at will; printing 
and duplicating require only a single keystroke. (Editor's note: The figures accompanying 
this article are screen dumps from a monochrome display.) 



The Choice of Metaphors 

In Visicorp's popular Visicalc pack- 
age, the metaphor is simply a piece 
of ledger paper. That idea is strong 
enough to express the program's 
functionality while at the same time 
being simple and familiar to the in- 
tended audience. We, too, wanted a 
metaphor appropriate to our focus 
that was as powerful, yet as simple 
and familiar. 

As did Apple with Lisa and Xerox 
with Star, we chose the desktop as 
our central metaphor. On our desk- 
top is a collection of baskets in which 
the user can place messages and 
forms (figure 1). The forms describe 
the communications parameters for 
the people and services of interest to 
the user. We found this metaphor ex- 
tremely powerful: the in-basket, out- 
basket, and wastebasket are im- 
mediately familiar and help establish 
the reality of the metaphor for the 
user. We introduced other baskets to 
provide needed system functions, 
and a number of nondedicated 
baskets are available so that users can 
create their own filing systems for 
messages. 

We made a commitment to our- 
selves that we would maintain the 
chosen metaphor with dogged con- 
sistency. We wanted our users to 
believe that they really were working 



with paper and baskets and to en- 
courage them to try unfamiliar tasks 
without fear. We wanted the illusion 
to be so reliable that users would 
have a clear expectation of the results 
of their actions, based on their real- 
world experience with paper and 
containers. 



Our problem became 
one of selecting a 

metaphor appropriate 
to electronic mail. 

The Choice of Machines 

When we began work on this proj- 
ect, the IBM PC had just been intro- 
duced and had not much force in the 
marketplace. We were considering 
doing communications-package ver- 
sions for the Apple II or for CP/M, 
and when we began work on an ini- 
tial prototype, an IBM PC was loaned 
to us by a friend. He had an educated 
hunch that this machine was to have 
an immense impact on the market 
and wanted to be sure we were get- 
ting on the bandwagon. 

We had no way of knowing how 
correct his prediction would turn out 
to be, but our experience with the PC 
was favorable from the start. We 
found it a superb development vehi- 



cle that incorporated several lessons 
from earlier machines. The large 
memory capacity, the elaborate key- 
board, and the extensive mono- 
chrome character set all contributed 
to an environment in which we had 
the freedom to effectively communi- 
cate our metaphor to the user. Most 
important, however, was IBM's deci- 
sion (borrowed from Apple) to offer 
"open system architecture." Opening 
up the machine to third-party hard- 
ware and software vendors is what 
made the product an instant hit 
within the industry and with cus- 
tomers. 

Taking Advantage of the PC's 
Architecture 

With so much machine at our dis- 
posal, we had to decide which fea- 
tures were appropriate to our needs. 
We decided early, for example, to ig- 
nore the possibilities of color and bit- 
mapped graphics and develop in- 
stead the potential of the mono- 
chrome graphics set. We chose this 
route for three reasons: text mode is 
much faster than graphics mode, the 
monochrome screen's appearance is 
more attractive than IBM's graphics 
display, and a text-mode version can 
run on all installed machines. We 
have been very happy with this 
choice and have found the character 
graphics capabilities sufficient for our 
needs. 

The PC keyboard is both a blessing 
and a curse. The large number of 
keys provides many ways to invoke 
commands, support scrolling, and 
permit optimized data-entry— such 
amplitude is a blessing to the user-in- 
terface designer. But the curse is on 
the first-time user who must navigate 
the sea of keys: he needs to dis- 
tinguish among four left-pointing- 
arrow keys, to remember whether he 
pressed one of the three Lock keys, 
and to remember the meaning of the 
10 function keys. We set out to 
simplify the keyboard through ap- 
propriate use of graphics on the 
screen. 

In the top region of each of our 
screens is a control panel (figure 2). 
The left part of the control panel 
shows a map of the 10 function keys 
together with the menu of the cur- 



200 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



$ 150 
CHRISTMAS 

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BYTE November 1983 201 



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Software patch for BASICA 
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COMPACT 



Menu dri\ 
software t 



RGB Division 
Frontier 

» Technologies 
Corporation 



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>0. Box 11 238 
kee.WI 53211 










Transend PC (tm) 
TEST Uersion 1.0 


Revise List 

Test Interpreter 

Print Message 

<- Delete Word 


*F1 F2-» 
<-F3 F4* 
€-F5 F6-» 
«-F7 FB-» 
«-F9 FIB 


Save Message 
Restore Original 
Insert H 

Delete Word -» 








Grey Q deletes errors; HffiEl U2J Q Q EHJ1 EEH scroll 



Subject: [Word-Processor Design 



] 



11S1MPLE APPROACH 

•RThe goal is to be as easy to use as a typewriter. Informal messages 
don't need multiple columns, footnotes, pagination control or font-change 
commands, so we don't need lots of comands or control characters. 



^SUPPORT FOR LOCK KEiYS 



Figure 2: The large rectangle at the top of the screen, bounded above and below by double 
lines, is the user control panel The control panel furnishes the tools and information the user 
needs to manipulate the desktop environment. The control panels top portion maps the 10 
function keys onto a menu of available commands; the lower control-panel line suggests ac- 
tions appropriate to the current state of the desktop. 



rently available commands. The func- 
tion-key map is laid out in two ver- 
tical columns, exactly mimicking the 
keyboard. This layout lets the user 
tap a key after a quick glance at the 
control panel, without slowing down 
to say, "I want option three . . . let's 
see, where is F3?" The right part of 
the control panel has space for three 
rectangles, which can display Shift 
Lock, Num (Numeric) Lock, and 
Scroll Lock so that the user always 
knows the state of those functions. 
As a final touch, references to keys in 
our help messages use graphics 
whenever possible. 

After continuous refining, we have 
perfected these screen aids to the 
point that first-time users of Transend 
PC have very little trouble using the 
keyboard. 

Users Know What They Want 

Having analyzed the machine and 
chosen the metaphor, we thought the 
project would then proceed accord- 
ing to the classic paradigm: analyze 
the problem, design a solution, and 
implement the design. 

We dutifully proceeded to outline 
which commands would be needed 
on each screen and what mechanism 
the user would employ to select 
operands for the commands. When 
we had our prototype running, we 
sat a friend down at the machine and 
asked her to try to use it. First she 



asked, "What do I do now?" We said, 
"Choose a function key, of course." 
The pattern continued— at each step 
her assumptions and interpretations 
were different than we had planned. 

Then we let another friend try the 
system, hoping that the first person 
was atypical. No such luck. We 
learned that each person very quick- 
ly creates an idea of what the ma- 
chine is trying to do. Wherever two 
interpretations of the screen are 
possible, the user draws the wrong 
one (or, more often, invents a third). 
We wanted the user to adapt to our 
metaphor, so we had to make the 
metaphor totally clear and unam- 
biguous at every step. 

This goal turned out to be very 
costly to pursue. At each stage of re- 
finement, the ambiguities uncovered 
were more subtle— maintaining the 
user illusion took an ever greater 
sleight of screen. 

How Many Screens? 

As the user interface began to take 
shape, the first issue was how many 
different screens to have and how 
much information to put on each 
one. In many menu-driven software 
products, the labyrinth of screens is 
so formidable that "Where am I?" and 
"How do I get back to where I was?" 
are the usual questions asked by the 
inexperienced user. In an attempt to 
keep the user out of such traps, we 



202 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 189 on inquiry card. 



Select 


a message to 


view, then hit RfTff5Bl!T3 ; 


isaa 


cancels 












In Touch (tm) 
Uersion 0B 




«-Fl F2+ Show Message 
<-F3 F4+H 

<-F5 F6->B 

F8+B 

*-F9 F10H 













'J L 



J L 



1 r Richard -1 r UP tests -1 



Out 



1 1- Jims test -1 r Test Name -1 r Jeff L. 1 r Gossip -1 



r Sent OK -1 r Not Sent -. r IT info i r i r Waste 



From: 


TRAINING SYNERGY3 


SUBJECT 

a test message 


SENT -n 
05mar83 


1 To: 


sunergu3 


a test message 


B5mar83« 


From: 


TRAINING SYNERGY3 


this system 


27feb83 






In basket 


3 messages 



Figure 3: This early screen version got the cold shoulder from users. The help line at the 
top was universally ignored. The open basket at the bottom was not seen as a blow-up of the 
selected basket, but rather as a different basket. Users never knew what to expect from the 
scroll keys. The crowded screen also had the effect of limiting the number of baskets and messages 
that could be displayed. 











Transend PC (tm) 
TEST Uersion 1.8 


Show Message 

Add a Message 

Print Message 

Copy Message 

Move Message 


*F1 F2+ 
«-F3 F4-> 
«-F5 F6-> 
«-F7 F8-> 
«-F9 F10 


™ 








UseH or D^ e y t° select a message,' then 


press a 


'unction key 



rp 




SUBJECT 


SENT -n 


To: 


Mike Geary 


Word-Processor Design 




To: 


Jeff Luther 


Using W/C error diking 




To: 


Mike Geary 


Use of Protocols 




To: 


Mike Geary 


Update Byte Article 




X To: 


Richard Moore 


Notes on Protocols 


II 


To: 


Mike Geary 


Support of DOS 2.0 




To: 


Fred Krefetz 


Accessing New Services 




To: 


Richard Moore 


Avoiding Graphics Snow 




To: 


Mike Geary 


Conversion to C 








lilliTl basket 


9 messages 



Figure 4: By devoting an entire screen to the display of a basket's contents, we could show 
more messages than we could using the figure 3 screen. Moreover, we could si?7iplify scrolling 
for the user. 



packed as much information as pos- 
sible into our screens. 

In figure 3, you can see an early at- 
tempt at a main screen. Below the 
control panel each of the baskets is 
shown, with an expanded view of 
the selected basket. The expanded 
view shows a scrollable list of the 
messages in that basket. This screen 
seems to make a lot of sense. Users 
can look at the contents of one basket 
without losing the global context. 
Users, however, were confused by 
the clutter of images, and they 
couldn't predict what the effect of 



using the scroll arrows would be. 
Sometimes the arrows would select 
a basket; at other times they would 
cause the message list to scroll. 

In response to user confusion, we 
replaced the main screen with the 
two screens in figures 1 and 4. The 
two-screen approach did reduce con- 
fusion, and users learned their way 
around each of these screens more 
quickly. The transition between the 
screens now became the point of con- 
fusion. The OPEN BASKET com- 
mand would cause the array of 
baskets to be replaced by a blown-up 



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November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



203 



Circle 505 on inquiry card. 



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STATI- . 



. Z1P_ 



TELEPHONE . 



(5a) 



Open Basket <-Fl F2-> 

<-F3 F4+ 

*F5 P6+ 

f-F? F8-* 

«-F9 FIB 



Transend PC (tm) 
TEST Uersion 1.0 



Just a moment please 



(5b) 









Transend PC ( tm ) 
TEST Uersion l.B 




«-Fl F2-» Show Desktop 
<-F3 F4+H 
<-F5 F6*B 
*F7 F8-B 
<-F9 Fie| 










Just a moment please . . . 



Figure 5: Simple outline animation provides continuity between the screens in figures 1 and 
4. Compare this screen to figure Is, and note how this kind of animation, captured here suc- 
cessively in parts a and b, makes a basket appear to grow. 



view of the selected basket. One of 
our friends tried this and com- 
mented, "Well, what do we have 
now?" We pointed out that the 
blown-up basket came from his 
selected basket, and he said, "Oh, of 
course." But others who test-drove 
the system had the same initial con- 
fusion when the screen changed. We 
were in a quandary— the combined 
screen was too cluttered, and the 
separate screens seemed uncon- 
nected. Could we build a bridge be- 
tween the two screens? 

Animation with Character 
Graphics 

What we wanted was some way to 
make the screen transition easier for 
the user to understand. We looked 
again at our metaphor. In real life, a 
basket can appear to get bigger (or 
come closer) only by passing through 
intermediate sizes (or distances). But 



animation, popular on bit-mapped 
screens, was impractical on a charac- 
ter-oriented screen— or so we had 
assumed. We experimented a little 
and found that simple outline anima- 
tion was both practical and effective. 
We introduced an animated sequence 
to show the basket opening out from 
the desktop array, as shown in figure 
5. Not only did this simple animation 
remove the confusion, but our 
friends responded with actual plea- 
sure at our fidelity to the metaphor. 
Could a productivity-oriented soft- 
ware package actually be fun to use? 
Transend PC seemed to have edged 
beyond being merely nonhostile into 
the realm of being truly friendly. 

Simple animation was so success- 
ful in solving the open-basket prob- 
lem that we couldn't avoid the impli- 
cation that this kind of animation 
should be used wherever a screen 
transition needed clarification. There 



204 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Software Automation, Inc. Quietly Introduces 

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dBase II is a trademark of Ashton-Tate. 
Circle 429 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 205 



Circle 6 on inquiry card. 



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Modem Hotline (Anytin 

619-268-4488 



ITT TELEX 4992217 
BB6B CLAIREMONT MESA BLVO 
SAN OIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92123 









Transend PC ( tm ) 
TEST Uersion 1.0 




Revise List «-Fl F2-* 




■<-F3 F4-> 
■^F5 F6-* 
■*F7 F8-* 
■<-F9 F10 








Use il or El to select a name, then h i t H^T» • ;M'J ; RS3 cancels 



From: 1 
To: 4= 
Attach: 
Subject: [ 



7 entries in Address Book 

Name Service 



\=> 



Bill & Liz 
Fred Krefetz 



Gregg Will tarns 



Jeff Luther 

Mike Geary 

PCUG Bulletin Board 

Richard Moore 



Transend PC 
OnTyme 



The Source 



OnTyme 
OnTyme 
Other host 
OnTyme 



Figure 6: The Transend PC address book contains an entry for each electronic correspondent. 









Transend PC (tm) 


Revise Entry 


«-Fl F2-» 


Show Basket 




«-F3 F4* 


Discard Entry 


TEST Uersion 1.8 


Print Entry 


«-F5 F6-> 






Look Above 


«-F7 F8-> 






Look Below 


<-F9 F10 












IYM3 BH Q Q EH! BED scroll text for viewing 



ADDRESS BOOK 

This form describes a person or computer that you communicate with. 

Name: Fred Krefetz (to send messages "To") 

Where do we reach this person or computer: 

On an elect ronic mail service: 

The Source 

Direct dial to: 

Another PC using Transend/PC 

Another PC using a different communications program 



Figure 7: An example of an address-book form. 



were many such transitions, and 
handling each one of them was long 
and tedious work. Sometimes, wait- 
ing for a compilation in the middle 
of the night, we had to ask ourselves 
whether we were in charge of the 
user interface or if it was leading us 
by the nose. As refinement con- 
tinued, even slighter user annoy- 
ances came to our attention. 

Reassuring Sounds 

Often, users couldn't tell whether 
their commands were being pro- 
cessed, if they were supposed to hit 
another function key, or whether the 
program had received their most re- 
cent request. We found that a few 
judiciously placed beeps and chirps 
let users know that the machine was 
listening and, indeed, was respond- 



ing. Our biggest surprise was that we 
didn't get any feedback from friends 
after sound was introduced. We 
thought they would say, "Oh, how 
neat, you're using sound." But they 
were so accustomed to sound from 
computer games that they proceeded 
merrily along, knowing the computer 
was following them, not conscious of 
why they were so sure. 

The Help Line 

Even though we made each part of 
the system as easily understandable 
as we could, we found that a prompt, 
or help line, was needed on the 
screen at all times. We put the help 
line at the most prominent place on 
the screen— the very top. Unfor- 
tunately, users didn't notice it. We 
had to keep reminding them to look 



206 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 296 on inquiry card. 



I 



Introducing the capability the world has 
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TRS-80* UNIX™ and CP/M'* based 
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The Dimension 68000 Professional 
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contains the microprocessors found in all 
of today's popular personal computers. 
And a dramatic innovation creates the 
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merely by plugging in the software. 

Add to this the incredible power of a 
32 bit MC68000 microprocessor with up 
to 16 megabytes of random access 
memory. 

Dimension. At about the same price 
as the IBM • PC, it's obviously the best 
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tion ask your dealer or call us at "(214) 
630-2562 for the name of your nearest 
dealer. 

dimension 



\ 



A product of Micro Craft Corporation 
4747 living Blvd.. Suite 241 

Dallas. Texas 75247. .* 1983 






r jr v _r r r r r j - j t t 



%' 



d h- V - 3 



w ■ r^m k ■; 



• t 




\ 



Apple is a registered trademark o[' Ap 
re g isle red trademark of Radio Shaek, 
Digital Research Corporation. 



mputer. Inc.: IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation: TRS-SO is a 
y Corporation company: UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories, Inc.; CP/M is a registered trademark of 



FOR TRS-80 MODELS 1 , 3 & 4 
IBM PC, XT, AND COMPAQ 



The MMSFORTH 

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Compare. 

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communications, general 
ledger and more, all with 
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If you recognize the difference 
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MILLER MICROCOMPUTER SERVICES 

61 Lake Shore Road, Natick, MA 01760 

<61 7) 653-6136 

Circle 317 on inquiry card. 



Revise List «-Fl F2-» 
«-F3 F4-» 
«-F5 F6* 
*F? F8-» 
«-F9 F18 



Transend PC (tm) 
TEST Uersion 1.0 



Use Q or Q to select DOS file, then h i t piftEEEMlifB ; [^Q cancels 



From: 
To: 



Gregg Will iams 



Attach: 4= 
Subject: t 



23 DOS files 
Fi lename. Ext 
HIDEF .PAS 
KEYBOARD. PAS 
LISTIT .BAT 
L0DEF 
MACHINE 



on drive B". 



.PAS 
.ASM 



Chars 
2525 

16144 
174 

11474 
7746 



Date 
lljul83 

7jul83 
10jul83 
12jul83 

2jul83 



Time 
18:l7p 

8:44 P 
11: 17a 

1:23a 
10:02p 



MACLIB .ASM 2921 19jun83 1:21a 



PAS4TH 

PASLIB 

SCRASM 

SCREEN 

SETUP 

TEST 



.ASM 
.TXT 
.ASM 
.PAS 
.PAS 
.PAS 



4234 20jun83 

4739 28may83 

2754 30mar83 

13474 10jul83 

4679 7jul83 

727 7jul83 



10:59p 

10:04a 

l:19 P 

10:37p 

8:46p 

8:46p 



Figure 8: When mail is being sent between PCs, disk files can be sent along as attachments. 



at the top of the screen. We finally 
moved the help line to the bottom of 
the control panel. The user's eye is 
then forced to cross over the help line 
when moving from the function-key 
menu to the main screen. 

Transend PC Features 

The result of Transend PCs itera- 
tive design process is a product that 
fills a wide range of communications 
needs. Consider, for example, some 
of its message-exchange capabilities. 
Its address book (figure 6) contains 
an entry for each correspondent. 
When you're ready to send a mes- 
sage, you simply pick the names you 
want from a list of entries— Transend 
PC automatically copies them into its 
message header. When the message 
is later transmitted, the full address- 
book entry is used to route messages 
to their destination. 

The forms within the address book 
are of variable length, depending on 
how the correspondent is to be 
reached (figure 7). For someone who 
has a mailbox on an electronic-mail 
service, you need only supply the 
mailbox name (ID). To dial direct, you 
must supply the phone number and 
the characteristics of the modem you 
are dialing. 

When mail is being sent directly 
between PCs, any disk file can be 
sent along as an attachment to the 
message (figure 8). Both the message 
and the file are sent with a protocol 
that eliminates data errors. Files are 
attached to messages via the same 



kind of lookup window used for 
address-book access. In Transend 
PC, we have tried to minimize the 
number of user-interface concepts by 
applying each technique in as many 
contexts as possible. 

A Continuing Process 

We expect that the process of ex- 
tending and refining the product and 
its user interface will continue even 
after its initial publication. For exam- 
ple, future plans include porting the 
product to other popular machines 
(so that diverse machines can easily 
communicate with one another) and 
integrating it with local-area net- 
works and in-house mainframes. 
And, relative to product refinements, 
it will be only after groups of people 
are using Transend PC to communi- 
cate with each other daily that the 
next level of subtle concerns will 
emerge. Fortunately, our software 
base is flexible— having bent under 
the wind of so many changes, it 
seems to accept new requirements 
without snapping. ■ 



Richard K. Moore worked at Xerox PARC and 
Tymshare and participated in the development of 
Xerox's Star and Apple's Lisa before cofounding 
Small World Communications (10311 S. DeAnza 
Blvd., Suite 4, Cupertino, CA 95014) with Michael 
Geary. 

Michael Geary was an employee and later a con- 
sultant to Tymshare before cofounding Small World 
Communications. He is the principal designer of the 
Transend PC and is experienced in the use ofmini- 
and microcomputers to access communications and 
mainframe services. 



S^e &ttf/utffm /BAfP&MomeCoJHptffoi •«• 



Take a close look at the new 
Sanyo MBC 550 and MBC 
555 Computers — The IBM- 
PC Look Alike, Work Alike 
That Coat Only One Third 
As Much. 

Because they use the 
MS/DOS operating system, 
the de-facto standard for 
IBM-PC compatibility, over 
80% of the IBM software 
runs without modification. 
Because of the long list of 
exceptional features below, 
The Sanyo MBC 500 and 
MBC 555 are the only 
responsible alternatives to 
the unreasonably high cost 
of the IBM-PC. 

SANYO 



Exceptional Features 
Standard on the MBC 550 

• Powerful 16 bit 8088 CPU 

• The same CPU as used In the 
IBM-PC 

• 128K User Memory (Expandable to 
256K) 

• 160K Single Disk Drive 

• High-Quality, Full Featured, Low 
Profile Detached Keyboard 

• Full 80 Column Display with Color 
Graphics 

• A must for Spread Sheets & Word 
Processing 

• MS/DOS Operating System 
Included 

• Sanyo BASIC Included 

• Centronics (parallel) Printer Port 

• Speaker • Joystick Port 

• Diagnostics 

• Includes: Calc Star Spread Sheet, 
Word Star and EZ Writer One 
Word Processing Software 



Sanyo MBC 550 
128K — Single Disk 

Your Cost 



$ 



999.95 



Includes $1000.00 
Software Free 



Special System Packages 

Single Drive Computer with 
Monitor and Printer 

• MBC 550 Computer with 128K 
memory 

• 12" Green Monitor 

• Epson RX-80 Printer 

Your Cost 

s 1,399 95 



Sanyo MBC 555 
128K — Dual Disk 

Your Cost 



$ 



1,399°° 

Includes $1500.00 
Software Free 



Dual Drive 256K System with 
Monitor and Printer 

• MBC 555 Computer with 256K 
memory 

• 12" Green Monitor 

• Epson RX-80 Printer 

Your Coat 

M.999 95 



Special Software 

Enhancement 

With the purchase of a MBC 555 

Dual Drive Computer, your free 

software package Is enhanced by 

the addtlon of your choice of SmartPacks: 



SmartPack 1 

• Mailmerge 

• Spell star 

• Infostar 



SmartPack 2 

• Easy Filer 
• Easy Planner 
• Easy Mailer 



COMMODORE EXECUTIVE 64 
Briefcase Type Portable Color 

64K Dynamic RAM memory • 65 central processor (6502 pro- 
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in 170K single disk drive. 2 disk option • External video port 
(color. LUM, composite output) ■ Full upper/lower case 
keyboard • Commodore serial bus. • External bus. (C-64 com- 
patible) • C-64 full compatibility • Size; 5" H x 14 1/2" W x 14 
V2" D • Detachable keyboard ■ IEEE-488 interface • 40-column 
x 25-llne display w/16 colors | graphics • Music 1 sound 
capabilities 

With single disk drive 

... Your Cost: $7QQ95 
With dual disk drives ■ **** 
.... Your Cost: $QQQ 95 



Additional Expansion Options 

• 126K Memory Expansion (256K 
total) 

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with Double Sided Drives 

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Drives for 1.2Mb on line 

• 8Mb Winchester Hard Disk 



COMMODORE 64 

Commodore 1701 Color Monitor 
14" screen-big screen, high quality- 
direct connect to 64 & VIC 20 

Your LOW Cost:$269.95 




All systems are expected to 
be supply limited, so place 
your order now to be 
assured of prompt delivery. 



Commodore 1525E Printer 
Quality dot matrix, direct 
connect to Com. 64 & VlC-20. 
No interface necessary. 
Your LOW Cost:$269.95 
Commodore 1541 Disk Drive 
High quality at low cost, direct 
connect to Com. 64 & VlC-20 
Your LOW Cost:$299.95 




Commodore Datasette 
Includes interface & cable, 
yL for use with Com. 64 & 
^ VlC-20. Your Cost: S69.95 
Commodore C1600 Modem 
The best deal in the country for 
a modem-Your LOW Cost:S69.95 



Commodore Software Package (30 programs) 

only $12.95 with the purchase of one of these packages: 

COMMODORE64 $ 189 

COMMODORE 64 Computer -only $189.95" ""*' ^ ** 

"when purchiwd with iny of thtw ihree pickagei. 



95* 



COMMODORE 64 

with the purchase of 
1 1541 Disk Drive 
1 1525E Printer 

ALL FOR 



S189.95 J 



HEWLETT 
PACKARD 



HP-75C Computer $699.95 

8K module 164.95 

7470A opt 003 print/plotter 1 199.00 
Call for math pac, surveying pac.text 
formatter & VisiCalc for HP-75C 
HP IOC Scientific ale 59.95 

HP-11C Scientific ale 76.9D 

HP-12C Fiiunciilalc 99.95 

HP-15C Scientific ale 99.95 

HP 16C Prog.«« wwn.eilc 99.95 
HP 97 Prog.tcien.w/print 595.00 



HP41C ftoe. calculitor 
HP41CV Pros, calculator 
Optical wind 
Prinltf foi 41CV 
C«rdrMdfiior41C/CV 
HP 121 S3 A V.dto inUrfte* 
HP II lyitt man hand 
II inttriact module 
Diftllcatj»nidi!¥t 
Thnmilelontr/printti 
Extended function mem. mod 
Extended memory module 
TimrmOdul* 

Memory module lor 41 C/CV 
Quad memory module for 41C 



161.15 

71115 
10415 
799.15 
159.95 
259.95 

104.95 
379.95 
379.K 
1495 
MIS 
(415 
24.95 



Accessories & Upgrades Your Cost 

FDD 1655 Second 160K Disk Drive 399.95 

MBC 64K 64K Memory Expansion 120.00 

MBC 128K 128K Memory Expansion 240.00 

MBC 232 RS-232C Serial Interface 100.00 

MBC BMHD 8MB Winchester Hard Disk . 2,495.00 



ROiMAR II only 




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THE ONLY APPLE ][ COMPATIBLE 
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FEATURES: 

• DUAL PROCESSOR 6502 MAIN CPU Z-80 
CO-PROCESSOR 

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• 4K ROM USES DISK DRIVE TO BOOr CP/M, 
APPLESOFT. FORTRAN, FORTH, COBOL. 
INTEGER BASIC, AND OTHER STANDARD 
LANGUAGES 

• HARDWARE PLUG-IN CARDS AVAILABLE 
TO SUPPORT OTHER OPERATING 
SYSTEMS 

• STANDARD SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY 
WITH FAN INSTALLED 

• STANDARD QWERTY KEYBOARD HAS 72 
KEYS WITH NUMERIC PAD. FUNCTION 
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FRANKLIN PRODUCTS 

ACE 1000 

ACE 1200 w/disk drive /controller 

Vista disk drive w/controller 

Vista drive only 

ACE Top (5) 

ACE 80 CPU card 

ACE display card 

ACE dual interface 

ACE 10 shielded drive cable 

ACE I/O ext cable (5' parallel) 

ACE I/O ext cable (S* Serial) 



749.95 
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269.95 
199.95 
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39.95 
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DUAL DISK PACKAGE 

• Romar II - 64K 

Dual Processor Computer 

• Vista Controller Card 

• 2 Vista Disk Drives 



YOUR COST 

ONLY 
$00095 



DISK. MONITOR. 
80COLUMN SYSTEM 

• Romar 11 - 64K 

Dual Processor Computer 

• Vista Controller Card 

• Single Vista Disk Drive 

• 80 Column Display Card 

• 12" Green Monitor 



YOUR COST 
ONLY 

$QQQ95 



DISK. MONITOR, 80 COLUMN SYSTEM 
W/PRINTER 

• Romar II - 64 K 

Dual Processor Computer 

• Vista Controller Card 

• Single Vista Disk Drive 

• 80 Column Display Card 
■ 12" Green Monitor 

• RX80 or Gemini 10X Printer 



YOUR COST 

S 1289 9S 



DRIVE. MONITOR, 

80 COLUMN SYSTEM WITH 

LETTER QUALITY PRINTER 

• Romar II - 64K 

Dual Processor Computer 

• Vista Controller Card 

• Single Vista Disk Drive 

• 80 Column Display Card YOUR COST 

• 12" Green Monitor $ -» COA95 

• Letter Quality Piinter ^ "* 



s 1589 9 



COMMODORE 64 

with the purchase of 
1 1541 Disk Drive 
1 1701 14" color monitor 
ALL FOR 




Texas Instruments 
Home Computer 



COMMODORE 64 $189.95 

with the purchase of 
1 1541 Disk Drive $299.95 

1 1526 Fast printer-includes $349.95 
IFC/cable direct connect to 64 
ALL FOR $839.85 



Tl 99/4A including the 
Tl rebate '(you pay u 



$ 99 



95' 




The only 16K COLOR computer 
under S100-16 bit-MST' 
Purchase of TI-99/4A includes One Year Full 
Warranty & 2VS hrs class from Tl-also New 
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COMMODORE 4040 Dual Disk Drive 
Dual Disk Drive for the 64 & other models 
340KB each-total storage 640KB 
Come & try them-they're GREAT! 
Retail:$1 295.00 Y/C!$589.95 

30 Programs for less than $30! 
Commodore Software Package $29.95 



NEW Impact Dot Matrix Primer by "Fidelity" 
direct connect to VIC 20/Com. 64. 30 cps 
ribbon cartridge, inc. adapter. Uses VU" plain 

tape-does graphici! Y/C:$99.95 (90 day warranty) 



0ATA 20 Accessories 

Z-80 card For Commodore 64 $269.95 

80 column card For Commodore 64 169.95 

• 40 column card For VlC-20 99.95 

40 column cird w/8K mem built-in for VIC 20 139.95 

. Video Peck 64K For VICZO 329.95 

"F REE wrth the purchite at each of the above (*) 
products -Word Master /word processing software, 
Mailing Lirt ioftwire & Telecommunication] software. 



owmpic sales compAny 



P.O. Box 74545 21 6 S. Oxford Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90004 
Phone (213) 739-1130 Cable "0LYRAV" LSA Telex:67 34 77 



FRANKLIN 

FRANKLIN ACE 1 000 - \N 
APPLE COMPATIBLE! 
64K with many more 
features than Apple! Upper/ 
lower case, typewriter-style keyboard, VisiCalc keys. 
Built-in fan, 12-key numeric pad & much more! 

SPECIAL PACKAGE: 

ACE 1000 computer (64K of RAM) 

Disk drive w/controller 

80 column card 

Ace Calc - Spread sheet 

Ace Writer - word processing software 

12" green monitor 

Epson printer or Star Gemini 1 0X 

(Dot matrix printer, current model) 

$1 00 worth of software for Apple (retail $) 

Sugg. retail:$2895.00 Y/C:$1699.00 

Package Two:Same as Special Package, 
but with second Vista Disk Drive-Y/C:$1 898.00 
Package Three: Same as One & Two, but with 
letter quality printer, instead of dot matrix: 
w/Diablo 620 2629.00 
w/SCMTPI 2238.00 
w/Olivetti Praxis 41 2069.00 
w/Brother 50 2069.00 
w/C.ltoh F10 2749.00 



SPECIAL OFFER TO ACCREDITED SCH00LS- 
on Commodore Executive 64. SANYO MBC 550, 
& Franklin ACE 1000 & 120ti-Buy 10 systems- 
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BYTE November 1983 



209 




iiijtji^ ' '",'yi! 



Six things you can do 
with your obsolete floppies. 



Floppies were fine in their day. 
But they just don't make sense 
with the professional desktop 
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The DMA 360 protects your 
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The DMA 360 packs 7.5 
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to achieve an equal capacity. 



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A Graphics Editor for the 

IBM PC 

Glyphe makes drawing with the PCs graphics characters 

productive and enjoyable 



One of the most attractive features 
of the IBM Personal Computer (PC) 
is its complete graphics character set. 
The computer's designers made a 
wise decision in assigning a graphics 
character to virtually every code not 
used by the standard set of printing 
ASCII (American National Standard 
Code for Information Interchange) 
characters. Unfortunately, they pro- 
vided no convenient means of gen- 
erating these characters from the 
keyboard or printing them. Glyphe, 
a graphics editor, simplifies use of the 
PC's extensive graphics capabilities. 

The problem of printing the graph- 
ics characters has been addressed by 
developers of printer-driver replace- 
ments for the PC (see Tim Field's ar- 
ticle, "A Peek into the IBM PC," 
March 1983 BYTE, page 331). Gener- 
ating graphics from the computer's 
keyboard, however, involves at best 
hitting the Ctrl key and another key; 
or at worst, using a four-key com- 
bination involving the Alt key and 
the number pad. This constraint is 
intolerable if you're in the midst of a 
creative project and can't remember 



by Charles B. Duff 

the key combinations you need. 

I discovered this drawback when I 
first tried to use the PC to create 
flowcharts and diagrams. I hoped to 
produce an image on the machine, 
store it on disk, and later build a new 
image by editing the original rather 
than starting over. I also wanted to 
use an existing word processor rather 
than burden the world (and my 
brain) with yet another homemade 
editor. So I fired up Wordstar and 
entered a sequence that in BASIC 
would have generated a graphics 
symbol. Nothing happened. Because 
Wordstar uses the high-order bits in 
some characters as an internal for- 
matting flag, it accepts only ASCII 
codes lower than 128. Most of the 
PC's graphics, however, occupy the 
codes from 128 and above and have 
the high-order bit turned on. 

Thus, I was confronted with the 
prospect of having to write an editor 
in BASIC before I could use that 
wonderful graphics set that includes 
algebraic, foreign-language, and 
block graphics as well as useful sym- 
bols for screen formatting and creat- 



ing charts and tables. After a little ex- 
amination, however, the problem 
didn't seem too discouraging. 

The PC's BASIC environment, 
which was created by Microsoft, pro- 
vides the most powerful integral 
screen-mode editing feature I have 
ever used. Keys are used to move the 
cursor to a point in a listing where a 
change is required, and the change 
is made over old text. Although many 
of the keys on the PC's keyboard are 
intended for use in full-screen edit- 
ing, they are not fully exploited in the 
BASIC editor. Cursor-control codes 
that enable a program to detect the 
use of cursor keys and update the 
cursor's position on the display are 
provided, however, making the task 
of writing a screen editor for the PC 
simpler than it would be for other 
systems. 

Glyphe is the result of my attempt 
to make drawing with the PC's 
graphics characters fun as well as ef- 
ficient. The editor has seen plenty of 
use in a production environment and 
benefits from an iterative redesign 
based on user comments. The pro- 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



211 



SCN$ (0 ) 
(1) 



(n) 
(n+1) 
(n+2) 



(n +23) 



SCN$ir\+LINES-l) 







•^ 


1' 




1 

2 

3 ■ 

24 











START OF VIRTUAL SCREEN 
CURSOR COLUMN CP = POS(O) 

START OF DISPLAYED SCREEN 
SCNUM = n 

CSRLIN =3 

ABSOLUTE INDEX INTO SCW$ : 

SC^SCNUM + CSRL IN -1 

BOTTOM OF DISPLAYED SCREEN 



LINES =88 END OF BUFFER 



GLYPHE SCREEN VARIABLES 



SCN% VIRTUAL SCREEN BUFFER 

LINES MAXIMUM NUMBER OF LINES IN SCN$ 

SCNUM INDEX OF FIRST DISPLAYED LINE INTO SCN$ 

SC INDEX OF CURSOR LINE INTO SCN$ = CSRLIN +SCNUM -1 

CP CURRENT CURSOR COLUMN = POS (0) 

Figure 1: With this screen-handling information, you can always know the location of the 
cursor in the screen buffer. 



gram for this graphics editor is pro- 
vided in listing 1 on page 220. 

I set four goals to guide Glyphe's 
design: 

1. The PC's keyboard must be used 
as fully and logically as possible to 
provide maximum function with 
minimal keystrokes. 

2. Use of the editor should be sim- 
ple enough to learn in an hour or 
less. 

3. The software design should be 
modular to promote easy modifica- 
tion and adaptation to user needs. 

4. Glyphe should be easy and effi- 
cient to employ for a variety of 
graphics tasks including creation of 
flowcharts, tables, graphs, and use of 
algebraic symbols. 

Functional Design 

The following list comprises my set 
of the minimum functions a useful 
editor must have. 

•four cursor movement keys 

•the most useful graphics characters 

for a given application available via 

one keystroke 

•modeless character insert and 

delete 



•frame scrolling (16 lines at a time) 
•line copy and move 

• a "memory key" that reenters the 
last character typed 

•indicators of the line and column of 
the cursor's location 
•single-keystroke access to frequent- 
ly used primitives, such as boxes and 
diamonds in a flowcharting applica- 
tion 

•the capability of saving work to 
disk 

• the capability of abandoning edit 
(with verification) 

• the capability to print during 
editing 

•a "graphics mode" in which all keys 

produce graphics instead of ASCII 

characters 

•full use of the PC's user function 

keys 

These features would maximize 
utility while minimizing program- 
ming time and complexity. For in- 
stance, single-keystroke primitives 
provide a much higher payoff for the 
work involved than a block-move 
function would. Of course, an exten- 
sible design would allow such a func- 
tion to be added later if it proved 
worthwhile. 



File Design and Data Structures 

My first step was choosing a file 
structure that would support perma- 
nent disk storage of edit files. 
Random-access files have certain ad- 
vantages over those accessed sequen- 
tially, but they are somewhat more 
complex to use. Performance is bet- 
ter using random access, particular- 
ly when you want to retrieve a given 
record, because you can access files 
without reading through all the 
previous records. Access by record 
number would permit an extension 
of Glyphe to include reading or 
writing sections of files by line 
number ranges. I decided to use 
random-access files with 80-byte 
records as Glyphe's method of per- 
manent storage. This format provides 
good results with the DOS TYPE 
command when you must view an 
image file without using the editor, 
for example, setting up a batch file to 
do printing. 

Designing an editor screen buffer 
can be a complex task if you attempt 
to optimize use of memory and/or in- 
sert time. Optimizing memory gen- 
erally involves a method of space 
compression, such as replacing a 
string of blank spaces with a byte that 
indicates the number of spaces. An 
even more efficient method involves 
text-compression algorithms. 

Optimizing line-insert time is best 
accomplished by minimizing the 
amount of text that must physically 
be moved in the buffer. The best way 
to do this is to store lines in a linked 
list, which means storing each line in 
a fixed location in the buffer and 
keeping its address in another set of 
variables. When the order of lines 
changes, the address variables, or 
pointers, are merely updated to 
reflect the new order. This procedure 
is much more efficient than actually 
moving the text. 

Accomplishing either of these tech- 
niques for optimizing use of the buf- 
fer in BASIC is less than straightfor- 
ward and hardly necessary if you are 
dealing with a small number of lines. 
Because my goal was to make the 
program as simple as possible, I 
elected to keep the size of the image 
file relatively small: graphics applica- 



212 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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Apple is a trademark of Apple Computers Inc. IBM is a trademark of IBM Corp. 





SPELLING 
CHECKER 


i 






































READ 




CHECK 




WRITE 



Figure 2: This diagram is an example of a "source, transform, sink" problem structure. The 
main module calls the three subordinates in order from left to right, repeating the process 
until the input is exhausted. 



tions aren't likely to require a very 
large file anyway. The buffer can then 
be an exact image of the screen as it 
would appear at any point in the file, 
which simplifies the entire program. 
Using the following screen-han- 
dling information (detailed in figure 
1), you can always determine the cur- 
sor's position in the screen buffer: 

•the correspondence between the 

first line in the screen and the screen 

buffer 

•the current cursor column (1-80) 

•the current cursor line (1-24) 

•the maximum number of lines in 

the buffer 

In addition to the basic screen- 
handling data structures, I defined 
string arrays that would hold the 
graphics primitives that the applica- 
tion required. BOX$, DIAM$, and 
CR1$ define a process box, a decision 
diamond, and a screen symbol, re- 
spectively. A brief subroutine could 
then be written to appropriately copy 
each type of primitive to the screen 
buffer. 

Another data structure is the string 
buffer PIK$. I needed a means of 
moving and copying lines and 
developed the functions Pick and 
Drop. Pick provides a nondestructive 
copy of the line the cursor is currently 
on into a buffer. By moving the cur- 
sor and hitting the Drop key, you can 
then drop (insert) the buffer 
anywhere. It remains intact and can 
therefore be dropped any number of 
times. This feature is extremely 
useful when you're building tables or 
charts, which tend to involve many 
similar lines stacked on top of each 
other. Pick and Drop, together with 
Line Delete, provide a flexible yet 
simple function set. 



A Modular Software Design 

The purpose of using modular 
design is to minimize maintenance 
and extension activities— the most 
costly portions of a program's life cy- 
cle. To the extent that such a design 
makes a program more comprehen- 
sible and error-free, it also reduces 
the effort required to support these 
inevitable activities. One of the most 
significant factors in making a soft- 
ware product comprehensible is the 
way it is partitioned; that is, how ef- 
fectively it is divided into less com- 
plex parts. Our minds deal with com- 
plexity by creating hierarchical struc- 
tures into which new information can 
be placed, thus enabling a complex 
set of facts to be grouped under, and 
replaced at some level, by a single 
piece of information. Modular design 
attempts to exploit this tendency by 
setting up in a system explicit hierar- 
chies that the mind can assimilate 
more easily than it can an unstruc- 
tured list of details. 

The goal of such design is to create 
a set of modules that exhibits four 
basic characteristics: (1) Each module 
ideally performs one function ap- 
propriate to the level of the decom- 
position, providing what is known as 
functional integrity, (2) each module 
is minimally coupled via external 
data structures to other modules. Up- 
date access to a given datum should 
therefore be restricted to as few 
modules as possible. In languages 
with a local variable concept, such as 
C or Pascal, this criterion is much 
easier to enforce than in BASIC 
because all BASIC variables are global 
(accessible to any routine by name), 
(3) the size of a module should be 
roughly a printed page or less, de- 
pending on the program's complex- 
ity, and (4) within the module, the 



flow of control should be confined to 
the patterns that comprise a struc- 
tured-programming approach: se- 
quence, decision, and iteration. Min- 
imizing the number and obscurity of 
control paths within the module 
enhances a user's ability to under- 
stand the program. 

Glyphe's Program Structure 

In order to make Glyphe easily ex- 
tensible, I applied modular-design 
techniques to its structure. Small 
modules with high functional integri- 
ty prove inherently more adaptable 
to other uses. In some cases, though, 
the modules in Glyphe seemed too 
small; because subroutine linkage 
slows down the computer, the effort 
to minimize module size must be 
balanced by also restricting the 
number of subroutines. But I 
planned to compile the code anyway 
and felt that the calling overhead was 
justified by the benefits of restricting 
module size. 

Another essential feature of good 
software design is that the structure 
of the code should map the structure 
of the problem it is solving. This does 
not mean that a program that tracks 
elephant mating patterns should con- 
tain big modules that bump into each 
other a lot. Rather, this method is 
based on an abstraction of problems 
into broad classes amenable to a com- 
mon method of analysis. 

Consider the following situation, 
which illustrates this structuring 
technique. You decide to write a pro- 
gram to read documents you have 
created, check them against a dic- 
tionary, and mark misspelled words. 
This problem (outlined in figure 2) is 
a repetitive execution of three se- 
quential steps: read the next word, 
check its spelling, and write an in- 
dication of whether it is right or 
wrong. A system designer might 
term this a "source, transform, sink" 
kind of problem, which is a fancy 
way of saying that this procedure in- 
volves taking something in, trans- 
forming it into something else, and 
then placing it somewhere. Most 
problems lend themselves to this 
type of treatment. 

Consider a very different kind of 
problem. Suppose you are bored 



214 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



1 



1HE WY-50. 



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A NEW GENERATION OF 



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GRAMMAR 
PROCESSOR 



READ 



DISPATCH 



PROCESS 
A NOUN 



PROCESS 
A VERB 



PROCESS 

AN 

ADJECTIVE 



PROCESS 
AN ADVERB 



PROCESS 

A 

PREPOSITION 



Figure 3: An example of transactional processing. The program takes different paths for each 
type of input data. 



GLYPHE 



I N IT 



READ 



EDIT 



COORD 
DISPLAY 



GET 
CHAR 



EXIT 



ERROR 



DISPATCH 
COMMAND 



INS /DEL 
CHAR 



DROP 



INS /DEL 

LINE 



DISPLAY 

LINE 



DISPLAY 
CHAR 



WRITE 
FILE 



PICK 



P6 UP 
PG DN 



DISPLAY 
CURS DN 



PRIMITIVES 



DISPLAY 
SCREEN 



CURSOR 
CONTROL 



t 



PRINT 
BUFFER 



DISPLAY 
CURS DN 



Figure 4: The hierarchy of Glyphe modules. 

with your spelling checker and want 
it to act on each word differently, 
depending on whether the word is a 
noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or 
preposition. The spelling program 
you were using was process-driven: 
it performed one particular process 
(checking spelling) for each word. 
Your new program, however, is data- 
driven: it bases the type of process- 
ing it does on the data it reads. A 
transactional problem of this sort 
does not operate sequentially. In- 
stead, it is characterized by a dis- 
patcher that calls one of several serv- 
ice tasks, depending on the transac- 
tion indicated by the input- data (see 
figure 3). 

An editor typically demonstrates 
both of these structural patterns. At 
the highest level, it consists of these 
sequential modules: read a file, 
modify the file's information (edit), 
and write the file. (Although this 



outline oversimplifies the actual pro- 
cess of file-handling, it does describe 
the high-level function of an editor.) 
Figure 4 illustrates the decomposi- 
tion of the edit module into subordi- 
nates—the first point at which the 
program structure becomes transac- 
tional. The edit module calls a 
routine to get a character and then 
must decide whether the input is a 
printable character (ASCII/graphics) 
or a command character, such as a 
function key. If the character is a com- 
mand, it gets passed to a dispatcher 
that determines its validity, calls the 
proper subroutines to service it, and 
then returns to get another character 
from the keyboard (see figure 5). A 
few routines are called by more than 
one command service routine; Dis- 
play Line is an example. Making 
these functions modular usually 
results in a very compact and easily 
understood service routine and 



216 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



QUBIE' 




Why pay more for a 1 200 ba 
21 2A Modem for your I 



Flip the pages. You see PC modem cards with 
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on Rotary dial lines (pulse dialing) or on tone 
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DISTRIBUTING 

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(805) 987-9741 



UNSHIFTED 



SHIFTED 



CONTROL 



r n 

i — 



2 
4 
6 
8 
10 



11 
13 
15 
17 
19 



IL 


DL 


Drop 


Pick 


BOX 


DIAM 


Save 


SBOX 


■ 


+ 



12 
14 
16 
18 
20 



21 
23 
25 
27 
29 



CRT 


Rep 


Gmod 

















22 
24 
26 
28 
30 



IL 
DL 
Drop 
Pick 
BOX 
DIAM 
SBOX 
CRT 
Rep 
Gmod 



INSERT LINE AT CURSOR POSITION 

DELETE LINE AT CURSOR POSITION 

INSERT THE CONTENTS OF THE PICK BUFFER AT CURSOR 

MAKE THE CURRENT LINE THE PICK BUFFER 

GENERATE A FLOWCHART PROCESS BOX 

GENERATE A FLOWCHART DECISION DIAMOND 

GENERATE A SMALL BOX 

GENERATE A SCREEN SYMBOL 

REPEAT THE LAST CHARACTER ENTERED 

TOGGLE GRAPHICS/NORMAL MODE 



Pg Up 

Pg Dn 

Ins 

Del 

Home 

shift PrtSc 

Ctrl-PrtSc 

arrows 

Esc 

End 



OTHER EDITING KEYS 

MOVE 16 LINES TOWARD TOP OF FILE 
MOVE 16 LINES TOWARD BOTTOM OF FILE 
INSERT A SPACE IN THE CURRENT LINE (NO 
DELETE A CHARACTER FROM THE CURRENT 
MOVE TO UPPER LEFT CORNER OF SCREEN 
PRINT THE CURRENT SCREEN 
PRINT THE ENTIRE BUFFER 
MOVE THE CURSOR 

EXITS 6LYPHE WITHOUT SAVING WORK 
WRITES TO DISK AND LEAVES GLYPHE 



WRAP) 
LINE 



Figure 5: An explanation of how function and editing keys are used in Glyphe. 



facilitates adding new routines 
because most of the necessary house- 
keeping can be done via calls to 
previously defined modules. 

Program Logic 

The logic of Glyphe can best be 
understood by dividing the Glyphe 
code (listing 1) into the following 
sections: 

1. initialization and file open 
(lines 2-570) 

2. keyboard read and dispatcher 
(lines 610-1530) 

3. file save, exit to DOS 
(lines 1550-1710) 

4. command service subroutines 
(lines 1730-5070) 

5. error handler 
(lines 0000-20040) 



1. Initialization and file open: The DE- 
FINT statement in line 10 is used to 
improve performance and space uti- 
lization because Glyphe does not 
need floating-point variables. Error 
trapping is set up to avoid dropping 
into DOS in the event of a printer 
timeout, and the arrays are defined 
and initialized. COORD$ is a coor- 
dinate line that is always displayed 
on the 25th line as a reference for the 
slave cursor, which always indicates 
the current cursor column. Distinc- 
tive graphics mark five- and 10-col- 
umn intervals as well as screen 
center. The primitives BOX$, CRT$, 
and DIAM$ are loaded with the pro- 
per graphics characters in lines 
170-344, then the screen is cleared 
and prompts are issued for the input 
and output files. If an input file is 



specified, it is opened as a random 
file with a record length of 80 bytes. 
Many editors permit a user to read 
parts of files for inclusion in another 
file, write parts of the edited file to 
other files, and perform these func- 
tions at any time in the editing pro- 
cess. I looked at several file-handling 
schemes in other editors and decided 
that the most powerful facility they 
shared was the capability to provide 
independent input and output file 
specifications. With this feature, you 
can either edit an existing file in place 
or use it as a template for a new file 
that possesses characteristics of the 
original one. In a graphics editor, this 
capability is particularly important. 
For example, you could create a 
graphics template for a status report 
on a project, then use the template 



218 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Introducing a sensible solution 
to the problems of dBASE IE 





dBASE II 


The Sensible Solution 


Records Per File 


65,535 


999,999 


Maximum Record Size 


1,024 bytes 


1,536 bytes 


Fields Per Record 


32 


384 


Key Fields Per File 


7 


10 


Number of Files 
Simultaneously Accessible 


2 


10 


Number of Screens Per Program 


Limited by 
system memory 


Limited only by 
system storage 


Data Dictionary 


No 


Yes 



We don't mean to debase dBASE II, but if 
you're looking for a data base manager that's long 
on features, dBASE II can come up a little short. 

For instance, a single dBASE II record can only 
contain 32 fields. And when you need to share 
information between one file and another; you can 
only access two at a time. 

So, as good as dBASE II is, its limitations can 
quickly paint you into an electronic corner 

And that's why we created The Sensible Solution. 

Finally 
A sensational relational 

Along with all the usual things you expect 
from a data base manager, The Sensible Solution lets 
you handle the kind of tough assignments that 
dBASE II can't: 

You can design data files with more than 300 
variables. You can create reports using 10 different 
files at once. You can even set up file locking for 
multi-user computers. 



Ready to get down to business. 

A data base manager without ready-to-run 
application programs is hardly worth the disk it's 
copied on. 

So, along with The Sensible Solution, you can 
also add The Sensible Solution Bookkeeper™ or 
Sensible Management™ our complete one-entry 
accounting and management system. 

They're both affordable. Business-tested. And 
supplied with source code so you can make your 
own modifications. 

A sensible trial offer 

When you purchase The Sensible Solution, 
we'll send along a special trial disk that lets you create 
forms and enter a limited number of records. 
If, after 30 days, you're not satisfied, just return the 
unopened master system disk for a full refund. 

So why not take us up on our trial offer? You've 
got nothing to lose. 

Except the problems of dBASE II. 



The Sensible Solution 

To order, write or call: O'Hanlon Computer Systems, 11058 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98004 USA, 

Phone (206) 454-2261. Prices; The Sensible Solution -$695, Sensible Solution Bookkeeper-$495, Sensible 

Management— $895. In Washington, add 7.9% state tax. VISA, Mastercard and dealer inquiries welcome. 

dBASE II is a registered trademark, of AshtonTate. Sensible Solution, SensibleS«lution Bookkeeper and SensibleSolution Management are trademarks of O'Hanlon Computer Systems, Inc. 

Circle 334 on inquiry card. byte November 1983 219 



Circle 513 on inquiry card. 



WHERE TO 

SELL YOUR 

PROGRAMS 



1984 

PROG /SER'S 
MARKET 



mputer software pumsl 
freelsKer 
• wbattbeyneed 



Edited by Brad M. McGehee 

1984 Programmer's Market is 
a brand new directory featuring 
500 + listings of software and 
arcade game publishers, plus com- 
puter magazines who buy free- 
lance computer programs. Each 
listing gives contact name, address, 
submission requirements, pay rates, 
and tips from the buyers to help 
you target your efforts. 

You'll also find five articles on 
how to sell your programs -how to: 

• prepare a query letter and 
proposal package for 
submission 

• write user manuals to 
accompany your software 

• document your program 

• write user-friendly software 

• write game programs that 
will sell 

1984 Programmer's Market 
gives you complete details -at 
an affordable price -to sell your 
computer programs to the right 
publisher! 300pages/$1 6.95, paper 

Available at bookstores 
everywhere ... or ORDER YOUR COPY 
TODAY WITH THIS COUPON 



YES! Please send me _ 



. copy(s) of 



1984 Programmer's Market @ $16.95 
ea, plus SI .50 postage & handling 
for one book, 50C for ea. add'l book. 
(Ohio residents add sales tax.) 
□ Payment a Please charge my: 
enclosed □ Visa □ Mastercard 



Acct. # 

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Name 

Address 

City 

State 



. Exp. Date _ 



-Zip. 



9933 Alliance Road 
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 



Listing 1: Glyphe, a character graphics editor for the IBM Personal Computer. 



REM 
REM 



GLYPHE - a character graphics editor for the IBM PC 

4 REM * Requirements - one disk drive, monochrome or 

5 REM * color display. A modified printer driver is 

6 REM * needed to print the PC's character graphics. 

7 REM * Author - Charles B. Duff 03/06/83 

8 REM ============================================ 

10 DEFINT A-Z:ON ERROR GOTO 20000 
30 FOR 1=1 TO 10: KEY I , " " : NEXT 
50 KEY OFF 
70 DIM SCN$(88) 

90 PIK*=SPACE$<80) ' pick buffer 

100 T0F$=CHR$<12) :LPIB$=CHR$(27>+"0":LPI6$=CHR$(27)+"2" ' codes for MX-80 

110 DIM DIAM$(10> ,B0X$(5) ,CRT$<6) ,SB0X$(4) ' diamond, box and screen figures 



Turn off function key definitions 
Erase 25th line key help display 



150 COORD$=" • • 
.. «6* •••«••« <7 

170 DIAM$<1) 

190 DIAM$<2) 

210 DIAM$<3> 

230 DIAM$(4) 

250 DIAM$<5> 

270 DIAM$(6) 

290 DIAM$<7) 

310 DIAM$(B) 

330 DIAM$(9> 

340 NU$=CHR$<0> 
344 

346 LINES=88 ' 



• 1 • 



► ♦ 3 ♦ 



"+CHR*(127>+" 



A" 
/ V 



V 
V 



>" 



\ 



/" 



/ 



:B0X$<1)= 
:B0X$(2)= 
:B0X$<3>= 
:B0X$(4)= 
:B0X$(5)= 
:CRT$<1)= 
:CRT$<2>= 



1 I I 



:SB0X$<1>=" r- 
:SB0X$<2)=" I 
:SB0X$<3>=" I 
:SB0X$(4)=" <- 



' display the first 
home and turn on the cursor 
print slave cursor in 25th line 
get a character 
if function or special key 



\ /" :CRT$<3)=" I I 
Y" :CRT$<4>=" II II 

CRT* (5)=" II II 

CRT$(6)= 
max lines in editor: 88= 1 printed page at 8 lpi 

370 REM * Prompt for files and enter main edit loop 
390 REM ====================================== 

400 CLS:PRINT " GLYPHE (c) Copyright 1983, Charles B. Duff" 

404 PRINT:PRINT: 

410 FILES:PRINT:PRINT: INPUT "Input Image file": IMS 

430 INPUT "Output image f i 1 e " ; 0M$: CLS 

440 IF 0M*="" THEN OM$=IM$: IF 0M$="" THEN CLOSE: END ' output defaults to in 

450 IF IM*="" THEN 570 ' if no entry don't open input file 

470 OPEN IMS AS #1 LEN=80: IF LOF ( 1 ) =0 THEN CLOSE: GOTO 570 ' open input 

490 FIELD #1,80 AS IL* ' 80-char text field 

510 FOR LIN=1 TO LINES ' fill buffer 

530 GET ttl,LIN:SCN$<LIN>=IL$ 

550 NEXT LIN 

570 GM0DE=FALSE:SC0LD=1:SCNUM=1:G0SUB 1730 ' display the first page 

590 LOCATE 1,1,1 

610 GOSUB 2270 

630 A$=INKEY$: IF A$="" THEN 630 

650 IF LEN(A$>=2 THEN 710 

660 IF A$=CHR$<27) THEN GOSUB 3690: GOTO 610 

670 IF A$=CHR$<13) AND CSRLIN=24 THEN GOSUB 3470: GOTO 610 ' scroll 

680 IF A$=CHR$(9) AND POS(0)<72 THEN LOCATE CSRL I N , POS (0) +8: GOTO 610 

690 GOSUB 3770:PRINT A*; : 0A$=A$: GOTO 610 ' update buf f er ,d i spl ay and loop 

710 AV=ASC(MID*(A*,2,1) )• ' get ascii value of 2nd char 

712 REM ============================================ 

730 IF AV<71 THEN 1120 ELSE IF (AV>83 AND AV<115) THEN 1320 ' if function key 

750 ON AV-70 GOTO 810,830,870,610,930,610,950,610,1550,970,1090,1050,1010 

790 GOTO 610 

810 LOCATE 1,1: GOTO 610 ' home 

830 IF CSRLIN>1 THEN LOCATE CSRL IN- 1 , POS (0 ): GOTO 610 ' up arrow 

850 GOTO 610 

870 SCOLD=SCNUM: IF SCNUMM6 THEN SCNUM=SCNUM- 16 ELSE SCNUM=1 ' Pg Up 

890 GOSUB 1730:GOTO 610 ' display new page 

930 PRINT CHR$(29) ; : GOTO 610 ' left arrow 

950 PRINT CHR$(2B) ; : GOTO 610 ' right arrow 

970 IF CSRLIN<24 THEN LOCATE CSRLIN+1 , POS (0) : GOTO 610 ' down arrow 

990 GOTO 610 

1010 GOSUB 2370: GOSUB 2550 ' delete a character 

1030 GOTO 610 

1050 GOSUB 2690: GOSUB 2550 ' insert char 

1070 GOTO 610 

1090 SCOLD=SCNUM: IF SCNUM<L INES-38 THEN SCNUM=SCNUM+16 ELSE SCNUM=L INES-23 

1110 GOSUB 1730: GOTO 610 ' Pg Dn - display new page 

1120 IF AV<59 THEN 610 ' this section handles Fl-10 

1130 ON AV-58 GOTO 1140,1160,1180,1200,1220,1240,1260,1280,1300,1310 

1132 GOTO 610 

1140 A$=" r ": GOTO 690 ' FC 1-10 are graphics characters 

1160 A*='S":GOTO 690 ' for building tables, graphs, etc 

1180 A$=" l":GOTO 690 

1200 A$ = "-i ":GOTO 690 

1220 A$=" | ":GOTO 690 

1240 A$="-":GOTO 690 

1260 A$ = " f-":GOTO 690 

1280 A$ = "-| ":GOTO 690 

1300 A$="J-":GOTO 690 

1310 A$ = "-r":GOTO 690 

1314 REM ================================================= 

1320* IF AV>93 THEN 1480 ' this section handles Fll-20 

1322 ON AV-83 GOTO 1328,1330,1350,1370,1390,1410,1430,1450,1460,1470 

1328 INSLIN=CSRLIN+SCNUM-1: GOSUB 3210: SCN$ ( INSL IN) =SPACE$ (80 ): GOSUB 389£:G0T0 61 

' i nsert 1 i ne 

1330 GOSUB 3310: GOSUB 3890: GOTO 610 ' delete line 

1350 GOSUB 3090: GOTO 610 ' drop 

1370 GOSUB 2930: GOTO 610 ' pick 

1390 GOSUB 4010: GOTO 610 ' box 

1410 gosub 4210: goto 610 ' diamona Listing 1 continued on page 222 



220 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



YOU WANTED TO BE THE BOSS. 



/ 



i 






YOUR BANKER WANTS THE LATEST MONTHLY INCOME STATEMENTS, 
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Today, even the greatest entrepreneur can feel 
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WITH THE BOSS, YOU'RE THE BOSS AGAIN. 

Business and computer experts agree the key 
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To be competitive today means handling large 
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The Boss Business Software Products are com- 
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The Boss Business Software Products are com- 
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THE BOSS IS NOW COMPATIBLE WITH IBM-PC 



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THE BOSS BUSINESS SOFTWARE PRODUCTS 



Circle 43 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 



221 



to create a complete report every 
week. The approach I used in 
Glyphe was to prompt at program 
start-up for input and output files. If 
the user responds to the input 
prompt with a carriage return (CR), 
presumably no input open is 
needed, and the buffer is initially 
blank. A response of CR to the out- 
put prompt implies that the same file 
will be used for both purposes, and 
such a response to both prompts 
ends the program. After this initial 
session, no further file specification 
is permitted. Any SAVE command 
will result in the current contents of 
the screen buffer being written to the 
output file. This arrangement is flex- 
ible and simple to implement. 

Next, the screen is cleared, and the 
input file is read. The first 24 lines of 
the file are displayed with a call to 
2270, the screen-display primitive. 
The cursor is turned on and placed 
in the upper left-hand corner of the 
screen with a LOCATE 1,1,1 state- 
ment, and the edit session is ready 
to begin. 

2. Keyboard read and dispatcher: Line 
630 polls the keyboard with INKEY$ 
to determine whether a key has been 
pressed, then loops if it hasn't. 
Distinguishing printable characters 
from function keys and special keys 
is made easier by the way INKEY$ is 
implemented. All of the keys on the 
PC with special functions, such as Pg 
Up, Home, and the function keys, 
cause INKEY$ to return with a string 
length of 2. The first character in the 
string is null, and the second in- 
dicates which key was pressed. Line 
650 thus determines whether the 
keyboard input is a printable charac- 
ter; if it is not, the character is sent 
to line 710 to be processed as a possi- 
ble command. If the character is 
printable, two checks must be made 
before it can be printed: ESC is used 
as a quit-without-save command; it 
causes a prompt to this effect to be 
issued. A carriage return causes a 
single-line scroll when issued on the 
24th line. If these checks fail, the 
character is printed, the slave cursor 
is updated, and another character is 
read. 

If the input was a possible com- 
mand rather than a printable charac- 



Listing 1 continued: 

1430 GOSUB 1570: GOTO 610 save to disk 

1450 GOSUB 5200: GOTO 61W small box 

1460 A*="l":GO"IG 690 

1470 A*="+":GOTO 690 

1472 REM ================================================= 

14S0 IF AV>103 THEN 1520 ' this section handles F21-30 

1484 ON AV-93 GOTO 1490,1500,1510 ' room for expansion 

1486 GOTO 610 

1490 GOSUB 4510: GOTO 610 ' crt screen fiqure 

1500 A*=OA*: GOTO 650 ' F22 remembers last key pressed 

1510 GMODE= NOT GMODE:GOTO 610 ' toqgle graphics mode 

1518 REM ========================================== 

1520 IF AV=114 THEN GOSUB 5000:GOTO 610 ' Ctrl-Prt Sc 

1530 GOTO 610 

1550 GOSUB 1570: COLOR 7,0:CLS:END ' End was pressed - save and exit 

1570 OPEN OM* AS #2 LEN=80 ' write image to disk 

1590 FIELD #2,80 AS OL* ' open random output file reel =80 

1610 FOR LIN=1 TO LINES 

1630 LSET OL*=SCN*(LIN) 

1650 PUT #2,LIN 

1670 NEXT LIN 

1690 CLOSE 2: RETURN 

1710 END 

1712 REM ************************************ 

1720 REM * Begin subroutine code 

1730 REM ==================================== 

1750 REM * Display screen given by SCNUM 
1770 REM ==================================== 

1790 CF-POS (0) : CL=CSRLIN pickup cursor column and line 

1810 CLS:GOSUB 2190 

1830 FOR SCL=1 TO 23 

1850 LOCATE SCL , 1 , : PR INT SCN* < SCNUM+SCL- 1 ) ; 

1870 NEXT SCL 

1890 LOCATE 24,1: PRINT MI D* (SCN* (SCNUM+23) , 1 , 79) ; 

1910 LOCATE CL,CP,1: RETURN restore cursor and return 

2130 REM ========================================== 

2150 REM * Print coordinates on the 25th line 

2170 REM ========================================== 

2190 LOCATE 25,1: PRINT COORD*; 
2210 RETURN 

2250 REM * Print slave cursor at current column, and current line indicator 

2290 NCP=POS<0) :NL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 25 , CP , : PR INT M ID* (COORB* , CP , 1 ) ; 

2310 IF NCP<80 THEN LOCATE 25 , NCP , : COLOR 8, 7: PR I NT CHR*<127); 

2330 LOCATE 25,1:PRINT USING "##"; NL+SCNUM- 1 ;: COLOR 7,0 

2350 LOCATE NL , NCP , 1 : CF-NCP: RETURN 

2370 REM ===================================== 

2390 REM * Delete a character from the current line 
2410 REM ===================================== 

2430 SC=SCNUM+CSRL IN- 1: CF-POS (0) 

2470 SCN*(SC)=LEFT*<SCN*<SC) , CP- 1 ) +RI GHT* ( SCN* (SO ,80-CP>+" " 

2530 RETURN 

2550 REM =================================== 

2570 REM * Print the current line from screen buffer 
2590 REM =================================== 

2610 CP=POS<0) :CL=CSRLIN 

2630 SC=SCNUM+CL-1:IF CL=24 THEN 2670 

2650 LOCATE CL , 1 ,0 : FRINT SCN* (SO ;: LOCATE CL , CP , 1 : RETURN 

2670 LOCATE 24,1,0:PRINT M ID* ( SCN* ( SC ), 1 , 79) ;: LOCATE CL , CP , 1 : RETURN 

2690 REM ===================================== 

2710 REM * Insert a spaCe in current line 
2730 REM ===================================== 

2750 SC=SCNUM+CSRLIN-1 :CF-POS<0) 

2790 SCN*(SC) =LEFT* ( SCN* (SC) ,CP-1)+" " +M I D* ( SCN* ( SC ) ,CP,80-CP> 

2870 RETURN 

2890 REM ====================================== 

2910 REM * Pick a line from SCN* to the pick buffer 
2930 REM ====================================== 

3 010 PIK*=SCN*(CSRLIN+SCNUM-1) 

3030 RETURN 

3050 REM ======================================= 

3070 REM * Drop a line to the screen (insert) 
3090 REM ======================================= 

3110 SC=CSRLIN+SCNUM-1: IF SOLINES THEN RETURN 

3130 INSLIN=SC: GOSUB 3210 

3150 SCN* (SC)=P IK*: GOSUB 3830: RETURN 

3190 REM * Move lines down in sen* for insert 

3210 REM ======================================= 

3230 FOR LIN=LINES TO INSLIN+1 STEP -1 

3250 SCN* (LIN)=SCN*(LIN-1) 

3270 NEXT LIN 

3290 RETURN 

3310 REM ======================================= 

3330 REM * Delete a line from the screen 

3350 REM ======================================= 

3370 SC=CSRLIN+SCNUM-1 

3390 FOR LIN=SC TO LINES-1 

3410 SCN* <LIN) x =SCN*(LIN+l) 

3430 NEXT LIN 

3450 SCN* (LINES) =SPACE* (80) : RETURN 

3470 REM ======================================= 

3490 REM * Handle a scroll from a CR on line 24 

3510 REM ======================================= 

3590 IF SCNUM >LINES-24 THEN LOCATE 24 , 1 , 1 : RETURN 

3610 PRINT A*;: LOCATE 24, 1,0: PR I NT M ID* ( SCN* ( SCNUM+24 ) , 1 , 79 ) ; 

3630 SCNUM=SCNUM+1: GOSUB 2270: LOCATE 24 , I , 1 : RETURN 

3450 rem =================================== Listing 1 continued on page 224 



222 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 





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Listing 1 continued: 

3470 REM * ESC to quit without save 

3690 REM =================================== 

3700 CP=POS (0) : CL=CSRLIN save cursor position 

37 10 LOCATE 25 , 1 : INPUT: "Qui t without saving (Y/N)";ANS* 
3730 IF ANS*="Y" OR ANS*="y" THEN CLS:END 
3750 GOSUB 2170: LOCATE CL,CP: RETURN 

3780 REM * Update buffer with character entered, and 

37S4 REM * handle a scroll if at 24,80 and not bevond 

3736 REM * the end of the screen buffer. Add 127 to code if Graphics mode. 

3^89 AV=ASC (A*) : IF GMCJDE AND AV: ,13 AND AV032 AND AV .. 1 27 THFN A*»CHR* vAV+ L 2~" 

3791? IF A*< CHR* (13) THEN MID* ( SCN* i SCNUM+CSRL IN-1 > , f-'OS ^Q) , 1 > = A* 

3B00 IF CSRLINC2 4 OR POS <0) - 80 THEN RETURN 

3804 IF SCNUM>LINES-24 THEN RETURN 

3806 SCNUM=SCNUM+ 1 : RETURN 

3 810 RETURN 

3850 REM * Print screen -from current line down 

3870 REM ===================================== 

3890 CP=POS<0) :CL=CSRLIN: 

3910 FOR LIN=CL TO 23 

3930 LOCATE LIN, 1: PRINT SCN* ( SCNUM+L IN- 1 ) ; 

3950 NEXT LIN 

3970 LOCATE 24,1: PRINT M I D* (SCN* < SCNUM+23) , 1 , 79) ; 

3990 LOCATE CL,CP: RETURN 

4010 REM ======================================= 

4030 REM * Print a box with top center at cursor 

4050 REM ======================================= 

4070 SC=SCNUM+CSRLIN-1: 

4090 IF POS(0)< (LEN (BOX* (1) )/2)+l THEN RETURN 

4110 CF-POS <0>- (LEN (BOX* (1) )/2) 

4130 FOR LIN=1 TO 5: IF SC+LIN-1 =LINES+1 THEN 4190 

4150 MID*(SCN*(SC+LIN-1) , CP ,LEN (BOX* ( 1 ) ) )=BOX*(LIN) 

4170 NEXT LIN 

4190 GOSUB 3870: RETURN 

4210 REM ======================================== 

4230 REM * Print a diamond with top at cursor 

4250 REM ======================================== 

4270 SC=SCNUM+CSRLIN-1 

4290 IF POS(0XLEN(DIAM*(5) ) /2 THEN RETURN 

4310 CF-POS (0) - (LEN (DI AM* (5) ) /2) 

4330 FOR LIN=1 TO 9: IF SC+L IN-1=LINES+1 THEN 4390 

4350 MID*(SCN*(SC+LIN-1) , CP , LEN ( D I AM* (5 ) ) )=DIAM*(LIN) 

4370 NEXT LIN 

4390 GOSUB 3870: RETURN 

4510 REM ======================================= 

4530 REM * Print a crt screen with top center at cursor 

4570 SC=SCNUM+CSRLIN-1 

4590 IF POS(0)< (LEN ( CRT* (1 ))/2)+l THEN RETURN 

4610 CP=POS(0) - (LEN(CRT*(1 ) ) /2) 

4630 FOR LIN=1 TO 6: IF SC+L IN-1=LINES+1 THEN 4690 

4650 MID*(SCN*(SC+LIN-1) , CP , LEN ( CRT* ( 1 ) ) )=CRT*(LIN) 

4670 NEXT LIN 

4690 GOSUB 3870: RETURN 

5010 REM * Print the contents o-f the screen buffer 

5020 REM * on the printer 

5030 REM ====================================== 

5032 LPRINT LPI8*+T0F*; ' (MX) set 8 lpi , top of form 

5040 FOR LIN=1 TO LINES 

5044 IF INK'EY*="" THEN 5050 

5046 CF-POS (0) :CL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 25,1: INPUT; "Quit printing (Y/N)";ANS* 

5048 GOSUB 2170:LOCATE CL,CF':IF ANS*="Y" OR ANS*="v" THEN 5070 

5050 LPRINT SCN*(LIN>; 

5060 NEXT LIN 

5070 LPRINT LPI6*; ' RESTORE 6 LPI 

5080 RETURN 

5200 REM ======================================= 

5220 REM * Print a small box with top center at cursor 
5240 REM ======================================= 

5280 SC=SCNUM+CSRLIN-1 

5300 IF POS(0)< (LEN(SBOX*(l) ) /2)+l THEN RETURN ' check if off screen 

5320 CF-POS (0)- (LEN (SBOX*U )) /2) ' center it 

5340 FOR LIN=1 TO 4: IF SC+LI N-1=LINES+1 THEN 4690 

5360 MID*(SCN*(SC+LIN-1) , CP , LEN ( SBOX* ( 1 ) ) )=SBOX*(LIN) ' store in sen* 

5380 NEXT LIN 

5400 GOSUB 3870: RETURN 

20000 REM ===================================== 

20010 REM * Error handler 

20020 REM ===================================== 

20030 IF ERL <> 5050 THEN 20200 

20040 CF-POS (0) :CL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 25, 1 : INPUT; "Pri nter error - quit printing (Y/N 

) ";ANS* 

20050 GOSUB 2170:LOCATE CL,CP:IF ANS*="Y" OR ANS*="y" THEN RESUME 5080 

20060 RESUME 5050 

20200 IF ERLO470 THEN 20400 ' input open errors 

20220 CP=POS(0) :CL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 25 , 1 : I NPUT; " I nput open error - abort (Y/N)";AN 

S* 

20230 GOSUB 2170:LOCATE CL,CF':IF ANS*="Y" OR ANS* = "y" THEN RESUME 570 

20240 RESUME 470 

20400 IF ERLO530 THEN 20600 ' input read errors 

20420 CF'=F'OS(0) :CL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 25 , 1 : I NPUT; " I nput read error - abort (Y/N> " ; AN 

S* 

20430 GOSUB 2170:LOCATE CL,CP:IF ANS*="Y" OR ANS*="y" THEN RESUME 570 

Listing 1 continued on page 226 



224 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




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BYTE November 1983 225 



Listing 1 continued: 



20440 
20600 
20620 
NS* 
20630 
20640 
20800 
20820 
20830 
i 20840 
2090C3 



RESUME 530 
IF ERLO1570 THEN 20800 
CF-POS (0) : CL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 



output open errors 
25, 1 : INPUT; "Output open error 



abort (Y/N) ' 



GOSUB 2170:LOCATE CL,CP:IF ANS*="Y" OR ANS*="y" THEN RESUME 1690 

RESUME 1570 
IF ERLO1650 THEN 20900 ' output write errors 

CP=POS(0) :CL=CSRLIN: LOCATE 25 , 1 : INPUT; " Write error - abort (Y/N)" : ANS* 

GOSUB 2170: LOCATE CL,CP:IF ANS$="Y" OR ANS$="y" THEN RESUME 1690 

RESUME 1650 
ON ERROR GOTO 



ter, lines 710-750 decide whether the 
key was a function key or a special- 
purpose key, which is done because 
these groups are each assigned con- 
tiguous ranges and can be dispatched 
most easily with independent com- 
puted GOTOs. Line 750 handles the 
range from 71 through 83 (for special- 
purpose keys), and function keys are 
sent to line 1130. Most processing for 
the various special-purpose keys, 
such as Ins and Del, is accomplished 
with subroutine calls rather than in- 
line code in order to keep the dis- 
patcher as small and simple as possi- 
ble (a further encouragement to ex- 
tensibility). Pg Up and Pg Dn scroll 
the screen 16 lines unless it's near the 
top or bottom of the buffer. The cur- 



sor control keys, which come in as 
two-character INKEY$ sequences, 
cause Glyphe to generate one of four 
codes that produce cursor control 
when sent to the display These 
codes cause the cursor to wrap 
around when it's near the vertical 
screen borders; Glyphe simply sends 
the code and then finds out with 
CSRLIN and POS where the cursor 
ended up. Why, you might ask, don't 
the cursor keys just generate these 
codes directly? They were probably 
given two-character sequences 
because not every application will 
use them for cursor control, and this 
method makes them easily distin- 
guishable as special-function keys. 
Or, perhaps, someone was just lazy. 



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Function keys 1-10 display the 
graphics characters that form lines 
and boxes. I tried using the KEY 
statement to directly assign graphics 
to these keys, but a bug in the PC 
monitor code turns off the eighth bit 
on strings assigned to function keys, 
which makes the graphics come out 
as ASCII characters. The four box cor- 
ners are arranged logically as the top 
four keys. Function keys 11-20 per- 
form most of the remaining edit func- 
tions, such as insert and delete line, 
drop and pick, and save to disk. The 
box and diamond primitives are also 
in this group. Incidentally, the 
characters used in the diamond prim- 
itive are translated by my printer 
driver to graphics that differ from 
those displayed on the PC's screen 
because the PC has no characters ap- 
propriate for a diamond figure. 
PR256 provides the ability to define 
custom characters for Epson's MX/FX 
Series printers. 

Only three keys in the F21-30 group 
are used. The screen primitive is 
assigned to F21, and F22 is a "mem- 
ory key" that always repeats the last 
character entered. This setup can be 
useful if you discover a graphics char- 
acter you want to use again yet can't 
remember how you originally pro- 
duced it. Also, if you have just 
entered one of the clumsy Alt se- 
quences, this key can repeat the se- 
quence with one stroke. F23 toggles 
the graphics mode, in which all the 
normal keys produce graphics sym- 
bols. This is done by simply adding 
127 to the normal ASCII value of the 
key, putting that key into the graphics 
set. The resulting arrangement of 
symbols is less than optimal but easy 
to implement. The four combinations 
of mode keys that produce keyboard 
graphics are shown in figure 6. 

3. File save, exit to DOS: Lines 
1570-1690 save the buffer contents to 
the disk file previously specified as 
the output file. This procedure can be 
performed at any time with F17 (Shift 
F7). The normal exit is at line 1520, 
in response to the End key. The Buf- 
fer Write routine is called, the screen 
color is set back to normal, and the 
screen is cleared before the program 
ends. 

4. Command service subroutines: The 



226 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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BYTE November 1983 



227 



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subroutine library that does most of 
the work in Glyphe starts with line 
1712. Several routines are used by the 
others as utilities: Display Screen 
displays the 24-line section of the buf- 
fer starting with SCNUM for Pg Up 
and Pg Dn. Print Coordinates re- 
freshes the 25th line after a clear- 
screen operation. Print Slave Cursor 
updates the 25th-line information by 



providing current cursor position. 
Print Current Line refreshes the cur- 
sor's line from the buffer, and Print 
Screen from Current Line refreshes 
the display after a line insert or delete 
operation (because lines above the 
cursor do not change). 

The Update Buffer routine is called 
whenever a printable character is 
entered, placing the character in the 



SIBHQQQQQSQBQ 

123456 7830- = 

]00000Q0000Q0 

BQWERTYUIOPC3 

000000000000 
sVoVoVo 0V0 



GRAPHICS MODE - UNSHIFTED 



000000000000 

1234567890- = 

O00000000HB00 

B QWERTY UIOPC: 

000000000000 

ASDFGHJKL;' 

00000000000H 



1 Shf 1 1 r | 






1 1 * 





GRAPHICS MODE- SHIFTED 



O0O0OO0OOO0OE 



12 3 4 5 6 7 



00000000000D0 

tab qwertyuiopl: 

000000000000 

A s D F G H J o K L o 



\ZXCVBNM 



GRAPHICS MODE- CONTROL 



\ZXCVBNM 



NORMAL MODE - CONTROL 



Figure 6: Graphics can be generated in four different Glyphe keyboard modes. 



Shf Prt 



000000000000000 
00 H 

TAB QWERTYU I P C 3 

000000000000 

ASDFGHJKL'-. 

0000000000000 



228 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




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National Computers Winter 1983 collection of State- 
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Circle 1 on inquiry card 




METHOD FOR EVALUATING 



/ 



l n sin n x (dx) 



EVEN 



1 -3.5 



(n-1) t 



2-4-6 



n 2 




ODD 



2-4-6 



(n-1) 



1.3.5 



WRITE 
THE 

RESULT 



Figure 7: This flowchart was prepared using Glyphe. 



buffer before it is displayed. Thus, 
the screen and the buffer are always 
current. This routine also acts as a 
filter during graphics mode, mapping 
each alphanumeric character to a 
graphics character. 

One final routine that deserves 
mention is the Print Buffer subrou- 
tine at line 5000, called whenever 
Ctrl-PrtSc is hit. A formfeed character 
(TOF$) is sent to the printer, followed 
by a sequence that sets the printer at 
8 lines per inch (LPI8$). The printer 
is set at this format because those 
graphics symbols that span the full 
width or length of the character and 
connect on the display will not con- 
nect on a printer set at 6 lines per 
inch. The parameters in Glyphe are 
set up to work with Epson printers; 
if you have a different type of printer 
or don't want form ejection, you can 
change them accordingly. Printing 
can be interrupted at any time by hit- 
ting a key; the routine polls INKEY$ 
after printing each line. The Esc key 
can be used to exit Glyphe without 
saving to disk and is protected by a 
prompt to avoid catastrophe. 

5. Error handler: Printer and disk er- 
rors are possible during execution of 
Glyphe. When either occurs, the user 



is prompted to abort or retry the 
operation. 

Enhancing Glyphe 

No two users of Glyphe will have 
the same expectations of what it 
should do for them (figure 7 provides 
one example). To adapt it to your 
special needs, you'll have to be 
creative. I did the groundwork, 
which I hope will encourage you to 
modify the program for your appli- 
cations. 

Here are some suggestions. You 
might want to set up a key to gener- 
ate a string of keystrokes while 
editing. This capability could be 
added to Glyphe, or you could pur- 
chase a package that would do it (for 
example, Keynote, from Advanced 
Software Interface, 2655 Campus Dr., 
Suite 260, San Mateo, CA 94403. It 
costs $99.95). This feature would add 
incredible power and flexibility to 
Glyphe and allow dynamic definition 
of primitives and macro-like se- 
quences. Another nice feature would 
be column-insert and -delete com- 
mands, which are a real lif esaver for 
work with tables. You can easily ex- 
pand the buffer capacity of Glyphe 
by changing the LINES variable and 



the DIM SCN$ statement in line 70; 
this modification would probably be 
limited only by memory size. With a 
large buffer, a GOTO PAGE n com- 
mand would be another asset. 

Any number of other editing fea- 
tures, such as erase line, search for 
string, and set table tabs, could be 
easily added. And adding primitives 
and functions only requires placing 
new entries in the computed GOTO 
lists that point to the new routines, 
then returning to line 610 (690 if A$ 
must be printed). My only caveat: 
before you dive in, consider what 
changes provide the greatest capabil- 
ity for the least effort, and make sure 
your modifications support the clean, 
modular structure of the program so 
that you can easily add new features 
when your needs change. Have 
funiB 

Charles B. Duff manages a line of educational and 
recreational software for Kriya Systems Inc. 

An extended version of Glyphe is available from 
the author on a PC-DOS disk for $25. It includes 
a small character font editor for defining custom 
characters on Epson printers. Address orders and 
inquiries to Charles B. Duff in care of Kriya Systems 
Inc., 505 North Lakeshore Dr., Suite 5510, Qticago, 
IL 60611. 



230 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



THIS IS ALL 
IT TAKES 
TO RUN 
OUR HARD DISK. 




Compatibility. A lot of 
manufacturers talk about it. Mostly, 
compatibility is defined as 
something that almost works like 
the original. Our hard disk sub- 
system for the IBM PC runs on 2.0 
without modifications, patches or 
use of device drivers. Just boot 2.0 
and run. 

And we haven't cut back on 
reliability either, the Apparat hard 
disk uses the Xebec controller and 
connects via a host interface 
module to one of the slots in your 
PC. The HIM also contains an RS- 
232 serial async port for use with a 



mouse, modem, etc. Even with 
compatibility and reliability built in, 
we've managed to provide some 
very competitive pricing. The 10, 15 
and 26 megabyte drives are priced 
at $2,295, $2,695 and $3,395 
respectively. 

When you use a multifunction 
RAM Card, such as the Apparat 
Combo II (with up to 512K of RAM, 
RS232, parallel printer, clock 
calendar, and game adapter) along 
with the HIM, floppy disk controller 
and CRT monitor adapter cards in 
your PC, you still have one slot 
available for future expansion. 



If you're considering a fixed disk 
for your IBM PC, look at all the 
systems available. Look for 
compatibility. Look for reliability. 
Look for value. We think you'll pick 
ours. 

For more information or to order 
yours call 800/525-7674 or write 
Apparat, Inc., 4401 S. Tamarac 
Parkway, Denver, CO 80237, 
303/741-1778. Dealer inquiries 
invited. 



IBM PC is a registered trademark of International 

Business Machine Corp. 

Price and specifications subject to change without 

notice. 




Apparat ,lnc. 



Circle 29 on inquiry card. 



Comparing the 
IBM PC and the TI PC 

Although the two computers look 
similar, each has its own special features 

by Bobbi Bullard 



. 



u n r« >■■ re h ,,. rg | no [ ,„ | na 




1 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 - => 1 E?*a 9 


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Photo 1: 77ie 77 PC (top) and IBM PC (bottom) keyboards. Notice the larger number of keys on the TI PC keyboard (photo by Randy Bullard). 

232 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



A year and a half after the intro- 
duction of the IBM Personal Com- 
puter (PC), Texas Instruments 
entered the market with the TI Pro- 
fessional Computer. Obviously de- 
signed to compete with IBM's ma- 
chine, the Professional Computer 
resembles the IBM PC in many ways 
and even provides some useful fea- 
tures that the IBM PC doesn't offer. 
However, because IBM's Personal 
Computer is firmly entrenched as the 
16-bit microcomputer standard, com- 
puters that are not compatible with 
it, including the TI PC, will face a 
struggle in the marketplace. 

Physical Appearance 

Based on its physical character- 
istics, TI's computer appears to be 
another in a line of IBM clones. The 
IBM PC and the TI PC both measure 
about 6 inches high and a little less 
than 20 inches wide. Each has two 
disk drives inset in the front of its 
cabinet on the right and vents on the 
left. Detachable keyboards connect to 
the main unit via coiled cords, and 
both units sport separate cathode-ray 
tubes. Green screens and color moni- 
tors are available for both. Aside from 
the TI PC's color, which is slightly 
pinker than the IBM PC's beige, and 
TI's enlarged keyboard, the com- 
puters are strikingly similar. 

The keyboards are their greatest 
physical difference. TI's keyboard is 
considerably larger, supporting more 
keys than does IBM's keyboard (see 
photo 1). The IBM PC uses the same 
keyboard IBM has used for years 
with various older and larger com- 
puters. The IBM keyboard, however, 
is far from perfect. For example, 
numeric-keypad keys double as cur- 
sor keys, which complicates any 
function that requires movement 
around the screen and numeric in- 
put. Placement of the return key has 
been criticized by users; the key is on 
the far side of the seldom-used squig- 
gle key known as a tilde, instead of 
next to the quotation mark, where it 
is most easily reached. Anyone who 
learned to type on anything besides 
the IBM PC will find that the tilde is 
unnecessary and out of place. More- 
over, because no lights indicate when 
the Num Lock and Caps Lock keys 



have been pressed, problems may 
arise. For example, a user can press 
an arrow key to move a cursor and 
instead produce numbers on the 
screen. The Caps Lock key causes 
similar headaches. 

The people at TI, however, didn't 
make these errors when designing 
their keyboard. The typewriter sec- 
tion of the Professional Computer's 
keyboard follows the configuration of 
an IBM Selectric's keyboard (didn't 
the designers at IBM have access to 
this keyboard?). TI's key arrangement 
is also comfortable to use: cursor keys 
are separate from the numeric key- 
pad, which provides numerous 
amenities. The numeric keypad has 
its own Enter key (which works the 
way the return key does), a tab and a 
space key, and keys for the numeric 
operands *, +, and =. The TI PC 
supports 12 function keys, as op- 
posed to the IBM's 10. The extra func- 
tion keys are seldom supported with 
software, though, because most of 
the programs provided were con- 
verted from software for the IBM PC. 
But it's nice to know they're available 
should you need them. 

The feel of the two keyboards is 



A Typical Slot 
Configuration for the TI PC 

1 192K-byte memory board and asyn- 
chronous/synchronous card 

2 video-controller card (graphics board 
can clip on) 

3 
4 
5 

Disk controller is built in and parallel 
printer is attached to built-in parallel port 

A Typical Slot 

Configuration for the IBM PC 



Disk-controller board 
Monochrome adapter and parallel- 
printer port 
Asynchronous/synchronous card 



IBM PC with Green Screen 
and Color Monitor 



Disk-controller board 
Monochrome adapter and parallel- 
printer port 

Asynchronous/synchronous card 
Color-graphics adapter 



Table 1: The IBM PC and the TI PC dif- 
fer in the way their expansion slots are 
used. 



also different. TI's uses a tactile-feed- 
back system that feels light to the fin- 
gertips. It offers no resistance until 
the finger is halfway down, then the 
key lightly engages. Ergonomic re- 
search has shown that typing speed 
can be improved as much as 3 or 4 
percent on this type of keyboard. The 
IBM keys, on the other hand, have a 
definite spring and click and produce 
a fair amount of noise. Users who are 
dedicated to the IBM computer are 
convinced that TI's keys are too light 
to the touch. But most people with 
access to both machines prefer the 
touch on the TI keyboard, and cer- 
tainly no one has criticized TI's place- 
ment of keys. 

Hardware 

TI had the advantage of seeing 
IBM's design and the opportunity to 
improve on it before going into pro- 
duction, and in many respects it did 
just that. However, in setting up the 
motherboard, TI failed to match IBM. 
IBM's newest release uses 4164 chips, 
providing 256K bytes of memory on 
the motherboard alone. TI, which 
has access to a wide array of chips 
from its own manufacturing facilities, 
instead incorporates 4116 chips in the 
Professional Computer, limiting 
motherboard memory to 64K bytes. 

However, TI made more econom- 
ical use of expansion slots than IBM 
did, as illustrated in table 1. IBM's slot 
design is not highly functional. In its 
aim to cater to all potential buyers, 
from the home user to the business 
professional, IBM included nothing 
in the basic computer configuration— 
everything must be added on. Al- 
though this configuration allows ver- 
satility, it also causes the expansion 
slots to fill up quickly. Using only 
IBM equipment (as opposed to third- 
party manufacturer's products), the 
slots are soon filled. One of the five 
slots is used for a disk-controller 
board, one for a green-screen/ 
parallel-interface board, and one for 
the video controller. If additional 
memory is needed (more than the 
256K bytes that can plug into the 
motherboard), another slot accom- 
modates a memory board. And still 
another slot is for asynchronous/ 
serial communications. However, 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 233 



j 




1 
■ 


Bft^^^B^-'rM- :i M: -rBv^'M-Vl^^B 


• 

1 • 






/ ■/, 




■ ••-•■■ , h v nj - - i i i- 

Photo 2: Compare the TI and IBM video displays. Although the TI display is easier to read, it looks faded when compared to the IBM 
display. The contrast and brightness controls were adjusted on both screens to give the best picture (photo by Randy Bullard). 



third-party boards are available from 
other manufacturers that combine 
ports, memory, and other functions. 
In 1981, Seattle offered a memory/ 
asynchronous board and Quadram 
introduced the first four-function 
board— with memory, a clock, a 
parallel port, and a serial port. These 
boards can help overcome the con- 
gestion problem in the IBM expan- 
sion slots. 

The XT, IBM's newest offering on 
the PC market, is configured dif- 
ferently. It has an internal 10-mega- 
byte hard-disk drive and comes with 
a serial port. Inside, it sports eight 
slots that are narrower than the slots 
on the IBM PC. This difference has 
limited manufacturers of peripherals 
somewhat but provides the XT with 
versatility the IBM PC lacks. The XT's 
slots, however, like the IBM PC's, are 
not economically arranged. One slot 
goes to a video board, one is for the 
hard-disk controller, and another 
handles the serial-port board. The 
slot for the serial-port board has dif- 
ferent pinouts then do the other slots, 
so the serial board cannot be re- 
moved and replaced with a third- 
party manufacturer's multifunction 
board, thus limiting users options. If 
a color monitor for creating graphics 
and a green screen for producing text 
are added, two more expansion slots 



are filled; a video-controller board is 
required for each monitor. 

For use of expansion slots, TI walks 
away with the honors. By labeling its 
computer a professional computer in- 
stead of a personal computer, TI 
made certain assumptions. For exam- 
ple, the company expects users to 
employ disk drives with its PC in- 
stead of cassette tapes. For this 
reason, TI included a disk drive and 
disk controller in the computer and 
thus freed an expansion slot from 
use. A built-in parallel port makes it 
unnecessary to use a slot for a paral- 
lel printer. Moreover, TI's green 
screen and color monitor run off the 
same board. And because the graph- 
ics board clips onto the video board, 
the two can share a slot. This makes 
it harder for third-party hardware 
manufacturers to make competitive 
color boards. (TI's color board is 
exceptional.) 

Though the TI PC is advertised as 
providing five expansion slots, it ac- 
tually has six; one of the slots has two 
plugs. Two small boards can be at- 
tached to it, one at each end. This 
configuration provides one of the 
boards access to a port at the back of 
the computer. The other board would 
have to be one that doesn't need an 
outlet— for example, a memory-ex- 
pansion board. 



Hard-Disk Drives 

Both TI and IBM offer internal 
hard-disk drives. You can purchase 
the TI computer with one or two 
floppy disks and decide later to up- 
grade to a hard disk. But you must 
decide when you buy an IBM PC 
whether you require hard-disk stor- 
age; you cannot add hard-disk capa- 
bility later. You could use another 
manufacturer's equipment on the 
IBM PC; however, you might en- 
counter memory-address problems. 
Only the XT version comes with a 
hard disk. 

The original TI hard disk stored 
only 5 megabytes. In an age when 
microcomputers are carrying a 
greater amount of the computer work 
load, 5 megabytes falls short. The 
IBM XT, however, has a 10-megabyte 
hard-disk drive and can connect to an 
expansion chassis to provide addi- 
tional hard-disk storage. TI now has 
a 10-megabyte hard disk, but no DOS 
2.0 is available for it, and DOS 1.1 
cannot sector the hard disk or create 
directory volumes, making this disk's 
directory unwieldy. 

The TI and the IBM units both 
come in a variety of configurations. 
TI, however, makes more peripherals 
than IBM does. The Dallas-based 
firm, for example, offers an internal 
modem with rates of 300 or 300/1200 



234 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



WHAT'S 
THE 

DIFFERENCE 

between Optimal Software's dBASE interpreter 
and Ashton Tate's dBASE II™? 




$400 



in u s not t he only difference. Our manuals 
arerr: le. We have a few bells and whistles that 
dBASE ; II™ doesn't .'We provide a full year's free up- 
. dates. . .That's the big difference. 



Dealer inquiries "welcome: v-V; .■;/■■ 
Distributed by P rog rarri mJn g '■ Inter nation at ''■['■■'■''} - 
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dCLONE is a trademark »f Optimal Software. 



v» ^ £^ m Unconditional 

ty£&& 30 day money 

back guarantee. 



Circle 372 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 235 



Vector Interrupt Listing 






Description 


Tl 


IBM 


Divide by zero 








Single-step trap 


1 


1 


Nonmaskable interrupt 


2 


2 


Break (single-byte interrupt) 


3 


3 


Overflow trap 


4 


4 


Print screen 


5 


5E 


Time of day 


8 


4E 


Keyboard 


9 


n.l. 


Keyboard mapping vector 


n.l. 


5B 


Keyboard program pause key vector 


n.l. 


5C 


Keyboard program break key vector 


1B* 


5D 


*(l_isted in IBM as user-supplied routine) 






Keyboard queueing vector 


n.l. 


5F 


Disk interface 


E 


4D 


Video 


10 


49 


Communications 


14 


n.l. 


Table 2: A partial listing of interrupt vectors for the two 


computers. Using such a list, 


you could place an IBM- or Tl-specific module at the begim 


ling ofyourassetiibly-language 


program to set up variable names for the vectors and thus make the 


remaining code com- 


patible. (n.l. stands for "not listed.") 







bits per second (bps); IBM has left 
the task of making peripherals to 
other manufacturers. 

Screens 

In its most obvious departure from 
the IBM design, TI chose not to sup- 
port separate green-screen and color- 
screen boards. IBM offers a slow 
green-phosphor screen on a green 
monitor board; TI provides a green 
screen that runs off the same board 
as the color screen. TI's color board 
has higher resolution, a higher hori- 
zontal-scan rate, and less scatter than 
the IBM's color board and screen do. 
When a green screen is plugged into 
the IBM's color-monitor board, TI's 
screen is much clearer and easier to 
read. However, when TI's screen is 
placed beside an IBM green screen 
plugged into its own board, TI's 
screen looks faded (see photo 2). TI's 
screen appears to shimmer if it's 
placed within a few feet of an IBM 
screen, yet it doesn't shimmer 
around other computers and other 
computers don't experience this 
problem around the IBM PC. The 
cause of the shimmer is not ap- 
parent—it could be inadequate 
shielding on IBM's computer, inade- 
quate shielding on TI's unit, or just 
poor grounding on the TI PC. 

TI's bright color screen is clear and 
easy to read. It provides very high 
resolution— 720 x 300 pixels (picture 



elements)— and its eight colors are 
vivid and distinct. Indeed, this 
screen has been compared favorably 
to CAD (computer-aided design) 
computers costing tens of thousands 
of dollars more than the TI PC. By 
comparison, the IBM PC has a reso- 
lution limit of 640 x 200 pixels and 
supports only four colors in this 
mode. 

TI's color screen provides a super- 
ior scan rate. While the IBM PC's 
horizontal scan rate is around 15.4 
kHz, TI's is 19.2 kHz. Although it 
provides better resolution and clari- 
ty, TI's board, though RGB (red- 
green-blue), does not have a standard 
output, and versatility is limited 
because large projection screens re- 
quire alteration before they can be 
used. 

TFs Voice-Recognition Interface 

TI has touted its voice-recognition 
interface, and although this option 
may at first seem to be just a publicity 
gimmick, it does have some usable 
features. The interface has two char- 
acteristics. The first is that it permits 
the computer to recognize words. 
This feature attacks one intimidating 
aspect of computer use: dependence 
on the keyboard. Instead, a user 
speaks into a microphone that plugs 
into the RS-232C port. The computer 
recognizes about 100 words, even if 
they are embedded in sentences. It 



analyzes the voice of a user who 
speaks the requested words into the 
microphone four times and uses an 
average to produce a voice template. 
The other advantage of the voice- 
recognition interface is that it permits 
the computer to store sound on disk, 
making the machine an intelligent 
telephone-answering device that can 
play different messages at different 
times. 

Software Comparisons 

It's unfortunate for software pro- 
grammers and users that the TI and 
IBM machines are not compatible; 
software for the IBM PC (except for 
some BASIC programs) will not run 
on the TI PC, even though the two 
share the same type of microproces- 
sor (the 8088). The reason? Their ad- 
dresses and methods of numbering 
DOS BIOS (basic input/output sys- 
tem) calls are different (see table 2). 
The DOS BIOS calls perform the 
same functions on the two com- 
puters. For instance, "Print Screen" 
is a 5 on the IBM and 5E on the TI. 
This difference could be handled by 
assigning the DOS BIOS call num- 
bers to a variable. Each PC would 
then require an initialization module 
that assigned correct numbers to the 
variable names. 

Screen-handling techniques for the 
two computers also differ. For exam- 
ple, the IBM PC includes an attribute 
byte (display attributes include such 
characteristics as reverse video and 
blinking characters) that directly 
follows each character byte in the dis- 
play buffer. With the TI PC, however, 
attributes are set via a separate latch, 
located at a different address in mem- 
ory and not directly adjoining the 
character byte. 

The green screen's video buffer on 
the IBM starts at the address B000 
hexadecimal, and the color screen's 
video buffer begins at 8000 hexa- 
decimal. TI's video buffer begins at 
DE000 hexadecimal, and the attribute 
latch is at DF800 hexadecimal. 

Both computers set aside memory 
for the screen, yet the addresses for 
each are different. The IBM PC has 
an address of B000 hexadecimal or 
8000 hexadecimal with 16K bytes of 
dynamic RAM. The last bytes are not 



236 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Pi 

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M SOFTWARE 




Circle 151 on inquiry card. 



BYTE November 1983 



actually used on the screen but are 
set aside for the screen as a hidden 
buffer. The TI computer, on the other 
hand, has the same amount of mem- 
ory set aside, but as it places a 
character on the screen, it fills the 
memory buffer, and after the bottom 
of the screen is reached, text appears 
at the top, overwriting what was 
there. TI says this feature is meant to 
help scrolling, but software develop- 
ers who have used these addresses 
as a hidden buffer say it forces them 
to rewrite code when transferring 
software from the IBM to the TI PC. 

Compatibility in BASIC 

Because both the TI and the IBM 
use MBASIC, many people expected 
that the two computers would be 
compatible. In fact, when BASIC pro- 
grams written on the IBM were tried 
on the TI PC, many ran straight from 
one to the other. But, in some cases, 
odd things happened to the cursor; 
for instance, sometimes it disap- 
peared. When cursor keys were 
needed, though, the TI PC's Fll and 
F12 keys could be used to control the 



horizontal motion of the cursor. 

Most scan codes are the same for 
TI's MBASIC and IBM's version, PC 
BASIC, and the codes for the cursor 
key immediately follow the code for 
function keys on both computers, but 
because the TI PC has two extra func- 
tion keys, its cursor-key scan codes 
begin two numbers higher. 

The disappearing cursor on the TI 
is a result of the ineffective LOCATE 
command in TI's BASIC. The two 
computers' operating manuals say 
that their LOCATE commands 
should work the same way— 
"LOCATE x,y" should place a cursor 
at point x,y on the screen. However, 
on the TI PC, LOCATE used in con- 
junction with an INKEY statement 
causes the cursor to disappear. A 
PRINT statement immediately 
following LOCATE brings the cursor 
up at point x,y + 1. And if you need 
a cursor on a screen full of text, TI's 
BASIC requires that you reprint what 
is already on the screen. One soft- 
ware developer solved this problem 
by printing a line under the location 
where the user is being directed. Pro- 



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during such a character (which actu- 
ally has to be printed in two pieces, 
with a left and a right underline) is 
certainly more involved than using a 
functioning LOCATE command. 

The only other differences between 
TI's MBASIC and the IBM PC BASIC 
involve their color statements. The 
IBM PC has three parameters on the 
color statement that control fore- 
ground, background, and border col- 
ors. Each available color has an 
assigned number (which is docu- 
mented in the BASIC manual). To 
control the blinking attribute, the 
number 16 must be added to the 
number for the chosen color. The col- 
or statement on the TI computer has 
four parameters. The fourth is an at- 
tribute code. 

The IBM PC includes 48K bytes of 
ROM (read-only memory), which 
contains much of its BASIC. To pro- 
vide similar capability, the TI PC 
employs extra code in RAM. TTs 
MBASIC thus needs a minimum of 
128K bytes of memory to run, while 
the IBM 1.1 BASIC requires only 48K 
bytes. Once running, however, the 
two versions are similar. Many IBM 
BASIC programs will run on the TI 
with no alterations. 

Programmers working in BASIC 
can easily convert their IBM pro- 
grams for use on the TI PC using one 
of two methods. They can write a 
simple conversion program that will 
seek all LOCATE commands, and 
COLOR and INKEY statements, or 
they can use a text editor with a 
Search and Replace function. 

Peachtree Software has taken ad- 
vantage of the compatibility of the 
disk formats for the IBM PC, the TI 
PC, and two other computers by 
manufacturing one disk to run on all 
four computers. The programs, 
Peachtree 5000 and the Series 8 
Accounting programs, are sold with 
a configurator disk that sets up a 
screen interpreter for each computer. 
Because of the video buffers in the TI 
and IBM PCs, the interpreter does 
not have to be called upon often, so 
the screen handling doesn't take 
much time. The attribute latch, or the 
second 8 bits of the character in the 
video buffer, must also be set up, and 
the configurator must address a few 



238 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 293 on inquiry card. 



Its graphic system makes brilliant 
color more affordable. 





T I f ? » » i • « ■ i T^ 
* r i f i i i • « ■ ■ 



J 




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Company- 



Now everyone can have the advantage of a full-color r 

graphics system at a very affordable price. 

The Canon AS-100 microcomputer gives you a choice of 27 
high resolution colors. Plus, its quiet color ink jet printer 
generates clean, crisp, impressive copies. 

And it isn't just the AS-100's vivid color that dazzles. It has a 
powerful, fast 16-bit microprocessor with standard 128K RAM. 

A choice of storage capacity that includes 5V4-inch mini or 
8-inch floppy disks, with hard disk drive also available. 

Operating systems CP/M-86* or MS-DOS* that accept a 
wide range of software programs, including WordStar*" (word 
processing), CalcStar** (spreadsheet) and InfoStar** (data base 
management). 

Even a choice of color or monochrome green display unit. 

All of which make it the perfect tool for business and 
professional needs. 

The new Canon AS-100. It's so smart, it makes life simple. I 

*CIVM -86 is a trademark of Digital Research. 'MS-DOS is a trademark of Microsoft. * *WordStar, CalcStar and InfoStar are trademarks of MicroPro. 

Circle 64 on inquiry card. 



B 11/83 



Canon U.S.A., Inc. 

Systems Division 

One Canon Plaza, Lake Success, NY 11042 

Please send me more information about the Canon 
AS-100 Microcomputer. 

Name 

(Please print) 



(Zip) 



IMk me ( 



Canon 

So smart, it makes life simple. 



BYTE November 1983 239 



THE SUPERB QUALITY 

OF THIS PRIZE 

CHAROONNAY IS 

ANOTHER MILESTONE 
ACHIEVEMENT. 



While the grapes struggled to grow and mature, the vintners were 

| struggling with a problem of 
J their own. 

The problem was When? 
When to pick. When to crush. 
I When to test. When to taste. When 
I to bottle. When to age. When to ship. 
And when to wait. 
And each variable affected 
I the cost and release date of 
I what promised to be their prize 
| Chardonnay 

Fortunately they used 
Milestone Project Management 
Software. 

Milestone told them when. 
| And helped the vintners manage 
the project right down to the day 
| when they savored their first glass. 

You can savor the rewards 
of Milestone whatever field you're 
in — banking, building, retailing, 
| manufacturing. 

Milestone plans the lifetime 
of your project, and streamlines 
its schedule, by analyzing its 
J "critical path!' Milestone finds 
I which activities are crucial, pre- 
pares cost estimates, keeps track of 
J progress, makes trade-offs, and 
recomputes the project schedule 
[ when anything changes. 

Milestone's price? Just S295. 
About what you'd expect to 
pay for a few bottles of Chardonnay. 
Prize Chardonnay that is. 

For more information about 
Milestone, call 

TOLL-FREE 800-826-2222. 

Or write to: 
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2363 Boulevard Circle, 
Walnut Creek, CA 94595 
(415) 947-1000/Telex 17-1852 




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DIGITAL MARKETING 



other differences, but in general, the 
programs require little alteration to 
run on both the IBM and TI 
machines. 

Benchmark Tests 

Run-time speed is an important 
consideration when comparing com- 
puters, and matching the IBM PC 
against the TI PC produced interest- 
ing results. Tests conducted in the 
past used disks formatted for the IBM 
PC. Although the TI and the IBM can 
read each other's formats, their for- 
mats are different, and a program on 
an IBM-formatted disk runs more 
slowly on the TI PC than the same 
program on a Tl-formatted disk. 
Consequently, these test results 
showed the TI to be considerably 
slower than the IBM. In our testing, 
however, we used only disks for- 
matted for each respective machine. 

To compare run times, we used a 
program called Cope from Antech of 
Roswell, Georgia. Cope is an elec- 
tronic-spreadsheet program with 
trend analysis and goal seeking 
(which involves circular or reiterative 
references) built in. Each sheet con- 
structs a BASIC program to solve the 
problems created on the spreadsheet. 
The program is available in a com- 
piled version for the IBM PC, but 
Antech developers are waiting for 
Microsoft to fix the bugs in the TI's 
BASIC compiler before it compiles a 
version for the TI PC. The testing 
done on interpretive BASIC pro- 
grams produces results in measur- 
able numbers rather than milli- 
seconds. 

The first test used a program that 
read a screen full of information from 
disk in a disk-seek action and dis- 
played it on the screen in a formatted 
fashion. The average time on the IBM 
PC was 21 and 30/100 seconds. The 
TI PC took an average of 19 and 
26/100 seconds— demonstrating a 10 
percent edge over the IBM machine. 

The second test used a cost-justifi- 
cation model that reads data off a 
disk, performs calculations with the 
four major math functions, and 
writes results back to disk. The 
results showed dramatic differences, 
giving the TI PC a 30 percent advan- 
tage. The average time on the TI was 



Circle 147 on inquiry card. 




THE HARD PART IS MAKING SURE 
THEYSTAYTHATWAY. 






DISKS 
COME 



A disk is built with certain safeguards. That's why most disk makers 
offer guarantees that the product you receive comes to you error free. 
We at Memtek Products are concerned that the minidisk remains 
error free. Every time you use it. After exposure to dust, cigarette 
smoke, fingerprints, even wear caused by your computer. And so, we 
have built safeguards around the disk, as well. 



Memtek Products' latest innovation... 
acknowledgment of a real world 
beyond the laboratory. 

The hub ring. Designed to prevent our minidisks from jam- 
ming in your machine. Rigid. Durable. Reinforced. 
The coating. A critically-controlled coating of high-energy 
magnetic oxide particles that covers the disk's surface, which is then 
micro-polished to improve head to disk contact, preventing 
dropouts, lowering head abrasion. 

The lubrication system. A constant lubricant protects both the 
disk surface and the drive head from wear. 
The sleeve. Comes with a soft liner that protects the disk while 
gently cleaning the surface, i 




The guarantee. 

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retrieve data due to a 
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IBM PC with 
IBM Components 


TI PC 


64K-byte computer with two 
320K-byte disk drives 


$2633 




Monochrome display 


$345 




Disk drive 


$220 




Monochrome display and 
printer-adapter card 


$335 




Total 


$3533 


$2695 (comes with all of 
these features standard) 


Extra memory card with 
64K bytes 


(not necessary on IBM; you 
can plug up to 256K bytes 
on motherboard) 


$300 


64K bytes of chips 


$165 


$165 


Color-graphics card 


$244 


$350 


Color display 


$680 


$695 


Asynchronous card 


$120 


$225 


MS DOS 1.1 


$40 (includes BASIC) 


$40 (BASIC separate) 


MS DOS 2.0 


$60 


not available yet 


10-megabyte hard disk for 
upgrade 


available only with 
expansion chassis 


$2300 


Expansion chassis with 
10-megabyte hard disk 
and eight expansion slots 


$3390 


not available 


Table 3: Price comparisons fc 


>r the IBM PC and TI PC. 





2 minutes, 21 seconds; the average 
time for the IBM was 3 minutes, 26 
seconds. 

In formatting, however, the TI com- 
puter didn't fare as well. The TI for- 
mat operation took an average of 1 
minute, 10 seconds, while the IBM 
PC finished in only 39 seconds. 

Available Software 

For the prospective purchaser, soft- 
ware as well as speed is an important 
consideration. Regardless of its hard- 
ware features, a computer is only as 
good as the software that runs on it. 

Because TI made its computer 
available to major software pro- 
ducers, the TI PC runs many of the 
best-selling programs. When it was 
introduced, the TI PC could run pro- 
grams such as dBASE II, Wordstar, 
Supercalc, Multiplan, and Easy writer 
II. Some were sold under TFs name 



brand, some through independent 
publishers. TI made only a limited 
number of computers available for 
software-development, and only 
large-scale software companies were 
provided with a free computer. 

Although converting IBM PC soft- 
ware for use on the TI PC is not dif- 
ficult, it is time consuming. Most in- 
dependent software authors with 
limited funds are waiting to see if the 
TI PC will take a large share of the 
market before purchasing or borrow- 
ing a computer to produce programs 
for it. Currently, more software is 
available for the IBM than there is for 
the TI PC. 

Prices 

TI competes with IBM by offering 
the Professional Computer at a lower 
price than IBM charges for its PC. For 
comparably equipped models 



(stocked with only their respective 
manufacturers 7 equipment), a TI PC 
costs almost a thousand dollars less 
than an IBM machine. Shortly after 
TI introduced its PC with a price 
lower than that of the IBM, IBM re- 
duced its price. TI countered with an 
offer of free memory and later 
dropped its price again. However, TI 
does not as yet offer the option of 
buying third-party hardware, which 
can reduce the cost of a complete sys- 
tem. TFs options, such as extra mem- 
ory, are as overpriced as the ones 
offered by IBM. Table 3 shows prices 
for comparably equipped models. 

Summary 

Deciding whether to buy the TI PC 
or the IBM PC boils down to use. If 
you know your needs and can meet 
them with existing software, and if 
you don't need a hard-disk drive im- 
mediately, you will do well to choose 
the TI PC. It is reasonably priced, 
runs commonly used software pro- 
grams, and has a superior keyboard. 
It also runs faster than the IBM PC 
and can be upgraded for a hard-disk 
drive. By the time you need a hard- 
disk drive, the TI PC's 10-megabyte 
drive will probably have been re- 
leased and DOS 2.0 will be available 
for hard disks. 

On the other hand, you should 
choose the IBM PC if you currently 
need a hard-disk drive, if you need 
one of the thousands of programs 
available for the IBM but not for the 
TI PC, or if you don't know what 
your future needs will be and you 
want to leave yourself open for the 
newest, most innovative software 
and hardware. 

There is no guarantee that IBM's 
software or hardware will be usable 
with TI PCs. Although the Profes- 
sional Computer is a serviceable, 
nicely designed machine, whether TI 
can gain a market share, considering 
IBM's position in the market, remains 
to be seen.B 

Bobbi Bullard currently writes a column for Com- 
puter Retails and is manager of Computer Head- 
Quarters, 333 Peters St., Atlanta, GA 30313. 



Editor's Note: 

The December 1983 BYTE will contain a for- 
mal System Review of the Texas Instruments 
Professional Computer. 



242 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Before You Read Another 
Mail-Order Ad, Take Five 



IGet Service Before You Buy. 
We tried a little experiment once. You should 
too. Call all the mail order houses. Ask about 
one product (we used the ProWriter), and see 
what happens. We found that 80% of the time you'll get 
price, delivery date and then a pregnant pause awaiting 
your order. That's it. 

On THE BOTTOM LINE s Technical Line you'll get 
answers. We've put together a technical sales staff second 
to none, a staff with the experience and knowledge you 
need to help select computer hardware. You'll get straight 
talk, because we don't have commissioned salespeople 
who must sell. And we know our products. We don't 
advertise half of the products available to us because we 
don't know them well enough. Which means you'll know 
even less about them before you buy. 

2 Stop Paying Extra. 
Try as you might, you'll be hard-pressed to find 
a mail order company that doesn't tack on 
1-4% for credit cards, an additional 2% for 
shipping or some fee somewhere on top of their "cash 
prices." We think that's lousy. Period. 

When you see a price in our ad, or if you call our Toll- 
Free Order Line, you'll get one price. No 2% for shipping. 
No 3% for MasterCharge (4% for American Express!). We 
accept all major credit cards with a smile. And we never 
rake the privilege of charging your account until your 
purchase has been shipped from our warehouse. 

3 We' re Authorized 
Meaning we've been approved by the 
manufacturers to sell their products. If you 
don't think that makes a difference, try getting 
some warranty work done once you've bought from an 
unauthorized dealer. You're stuck in a Catch-22. "Take it 
to your dealer," says the factory, but the "dealer" washed 
his hands of you the day t'rnt box was shipped. "It's got 
the manufacturer's warranty," he'll tell you, "so you deal 
with them." 

It's called the Grey Market. And if you fall victim, 
you've only yourself to blame. 



4 Let's Get Technical 
Nothing's perfect, and we both know you may 
need service. So we've sent our technicians to 
school. They've been trained to do factory- 
authorized warranty and post-warranty repairs on C. Itoh, 
Epson, Okidata, Smith-Corona and Star-Micronics 
printers and the Franklin Ace 1000. And they've got the 
diplomas to prove it. 

But school's not out yet. We're expanding our technical 
department even further, to include all the printers, 
modems and monitors we sell. If your purchase does have 
to go to the factory, we watch over it (we've dropped two 
product lines because the factory repairs took two 
months). At THE BOTTOM LINE we honor all the 
warranties, and even offer extended warranties on our 
own, so no matter what you buy, you're covered. 

5 Professional Mail-Order 
The Direct Marketing Association is a 
professional organization that rides herd on the 
business practices of mail-order marketers. 
THE BOTTOM LINE is proud to be a member. We subscribe 
to the DMA's guidelines for responsible advertising, 
billing, customer service and after-sale 
support. We urge you to look for the 
DMA symbol whenever you shop by 
mail, and use their Action Line 
(212-689-4977) should you encounter any trouble with a 
mail-order marketer, computer or otherwise. We think 
this organization deserves both business and consumer 
support. 

Take five again, and turn the page for a 

listing of our products, and if you don't 

see what you want, give us a call... 

we can probably get it for you 

Technical Sales Desk: 

(603) 881-9855 
Toil-Free Order Desk 

(800) 343-0726 




ALS* AMDEK • AN ADEX • AST* C ITOH • COMREX • COLUMBIA DATA • DIABLO • DC HAYES* EAGLE COMPUTER* EPSON* FRANKLIN COMPUTER 

IDS* INTERACTIVE STRUCTURES* KENSINGTON* MANNESMAN TALLY* MAYNARD ELECTRONICS* MICROSOFT* MICROTEK 

MOUNTAIN COMPUTER* NEC • OKIDATA • OTRON A • PRINCETON GRAPHICS* QUADR AM • QUME • QCS* RAN A SYSTEMS • SATURN/TITAN 

STAR MICRONICS* TANDON • TECMAR* TOSHIBA • USI • US ROBOTICS 

HIGH TECHNOLOGY AT AFFORDABLE PRICES 

THE BOTTOM LINE 

IMILFORD, NH 03055-0423 □ TELEPHONE (603) 881-98551 



BYTE November 1983 243 



Plain talk about printers... 



Dot Matrix Printers 

There've been some big changes in 
IBM PC printer compatability. 
Okidata's new Plug-n-Play ROMs 
(see below) make a Microline 92 or 
93 fully compatible with PC screen 
graphics. We expect that other 
printer manufacturers will offer 
similar upgrades shortly. 

EPSON 



FX, RX&MX 




TheFX-80(160cps) has a 
correspondence font, 1 0, 1 2 & 1 7 
cpi, italics, double-strike/width/ 
emphasis & dot graphics, plus a 2K 
buffer. Friction & pin feed is 
standard; the adjustable tractor is 
optional & cost extra. The FX-100 is 
the 1 36 column version & includes 
the adjustable tractor. 

The RX-80 & RX-80 F/T (1 00 cps) 
are upgraded versions of the MX 
Series. 

RX-80 $389.88 

RX-80 F/T $499.88 

MX-1 00 $669.88 

FX-80 $569.88 

FX-80 Tractor $39.88 

FX-100 $749.88 

C. ITOH 



Prowriter 




C. Itoh's Prowriter has speed (1 20 
cps), a buffer ( 1 .5K), 1 0, 1 2, & 16 cpi 
(plus a proportional font with 
correspondance quality) and dot 
graphics (160x-144 dpi). One of our 
biggest sellers. The Prowriter 2 
has the same specs, but in a 1 36 
column format. 

Prowriter $399.88 

Prowriter 2 $71 9.88 

STAR MICRON ICS 

Gemini 10X/15 
Delta 10/15 




The Gemini 10X(1 20 cps) 
features 1 0, 1 2, 1 7 cpi, italics, a 
correspondance font, 1 20 x 1 44 dpi 
graphics matrix & a 1 K buffer. The 
Qemini 1 0X comes with friction/ 
tractor feed & uses plain spool 
ribbons. The Qemini 15 is the 1 32 



column version, & it has a propor- 
tional font. 

Star's Delta 10 features both 
parallel and serial interfaces, 160 
cps print speed, an 8K buffer, plus 
the standard fonts (1 0, 1 2 & 1 7 cpi), 
dot graphics, friction/tractor feed 
and spool ribbons. The Delta 15 is a 
136 column version. 

Gemini 1 0X $309.88 

Gemini 15 $459.88 

Delta 10 $529.88 

Delta 15 $CALL 

OK I DATA 

Microline Series 




The Microline 92 (80 col) & 93 
(132 col) are ideal for word pro- 
cessing. They offer a 1 60 cps draft 
mode, a 40 cps correspondance 
mode, 1 0, 1 2 & 1 7 cpi (w/double- 
width), pin/friction feed (tractor is 
optional on the 92) & dot-address- 
able graphics (120x1 44). Cen- 
tronics parallel interface is standard; 
the serial (RS-232C) interface is 
optional. 

A new PROM called PC Plug-n- 
Play turns a 92 or a 93 into an IBM 
printer, withfull screen dump 
capabilities. You will sacrafice a few 
features (like 1 2 cpi) but the PROMs 
areworth it if totalcompatibility is 
your goal. 

The Microline 82A (80 col) & 83A 
(132 col) are data crunchers, period. 
They print 1 20 cps, at 1 & 1 6 cpi (5/ 
8 double-width). Dot-addressable 
graphics are optional. 
The Microline 84 (1 32 col) is the 
Step 2 version, featuring 200 cps at 
1 0, 1 2, & 1 7 cpi (w/double-width), all 
with a correspondance mode & dot 
addressable graphics. Parallel or 
serial (RS-232C) interfaces 
available. 

Microline 82A $389.88 

82A/92 Tractor $59.88 

Roll Paper Holder $49.88 

Microline 83A $599.88 

82A/83A Okigraph 1 

Graphics ROM $49.88 

Microline 92 $459.88 

Microline 93 $759.88 

92/93 IBM-PC Plug-n-Play 

Graphics ROM $49.88 

92/93 RS-232C Interface. . . $99.88 

Microline 84 $1024.88 

W/RS-232C Interface .... $1 1 39.88 

DIABLO 

Series 32 

Diablo has now entered the dot 
matrix printer market, and their new 
Series 32 (150 cps) looks very 
promising. It features 1 32 column, 
with 1 or 1 6 cpi, plus a near-letter 
quality font. It has all the sub/super- 
scripting features you'd expect, plus 
both dot & block graphics. We can't 
tell from the spec sheet, but we 
assume the Series 32 is Diablo 
compatible. 
Series 32 $CALL 



MANNESMANN TALLY 

MT-160 L 
MT-180 L 
Spirit 




The MT-1 60 L ( 1 60 cps) is a sharp 
printer. The 1 0, 1 2, 1 7 & 20 cpi, plus 
correspondance font, makes the 
MT-160 L very versatile. It has both 
parallel & serial (RS-232C) 
interfaces, and the menu-driven 
installation from the control panel is 
easy to use. Friction and adjustable 
tractor feed are standard issue. The 
MT-180 L is the 1 36 column 
version. 

The Spirit (80 cps) is Tally's new, 
low cost draft printer. It has 1 0, 1 2 & 
17 cpi fonts, friction & adjustable 
tractor feed, and a unique square- 
wire printhead that makes even draft 
printing a pleasure. 

MT-160 L $679.88 

MT-1 80 L $849.88 

MT-Spirit $329.88 

Other Dot Matrix 
Printers, 

Anadex 

DP-9501 $1439.88 

DP-9620 $1539.88 

DP-9625 $1689.88 

WP-6000 $2279.88 

IDS 

Prism 80 $1 079.88 

w/4-color $1439.88 

Prism 132 $1239.88 

w/4-color $1 669.88 

MicroPrism $569.88 

Inforunner 

Riteman $349.88 

Letter-Quality Printers 

The new, low-speed letter-quality 
printers are making quality afforable. 
And the high-speed models are 
coming down in price too. Still, get a 
dot matrix printer for drafts & as a 
backup. 

C. ITOH 

StarWriter 
PrintMaster 




The C. Itoh StarWriter (40 cps) 
offers top speed at a good price. It 
uses Diablo code, wheels & ribbons, 
10 or 12 pitch, 6, 8& 1/48" line 
space, plus 1 /1 20" horizontal 
spacing— ideal for proportional 
modes. We've found the Star- 
Writer exceptionally reliable. 

The Printmaster has the same 
specifications, but prints at 55 cps. 

Starwriter Parallel $1 21 9.88 

Printmaster Parallel $1569.88 



SILVER REED 



EXP-550/500 




The Silver Reed EXP-550 (1 7 cps) 
is a 1 32 column letter-quality printer 
with 1 0, 1 2 or 1 5 pitch, sub/super- 
script, underlining and true Diablo 
1610 emulation making it compat- 
ible with most word processing 
software. It's friction fed, and it 
features a page injector; an optional 
tractor is also available. 

The EXP-500 ( 1 2 cps) is a 1 00 
column letter-quality printer with the 
same specs as the EXP-550, but 
slower and without page inject or a 
tractor. 

EXP-550 (Parallel) $699.88 

EXP-550 Tractor $1 39.88 

EXP-500 (Parallel) $469.88 

NEC 

Spinwriters 

The new 2000 Series are slower (20 
cps), but they've retained all the 
qaulity of the 3500/7700 Series. 
Uses the same thimbles & ribbons. 

201 0/2030 $1 049.88 

2050 $1199.88 

3530 $1759.88 

3550 $2009.88 

77 1 0/7730 $2289.88 

SMITH-CORONA 

TP-1 
Messenqer 





The Memory Correct III Mes- 
senger (the full name) is ideal for 
the home or small office. It combines 
the features of an electric typewriter 
and a letter-quality printer. It 
features 12 cps, 3 pitches (10, 12 & 
1 5), variable line spacing, 1 0.5" 
writing line, backspacing & auto- 
correction. It comes complete with 
parallel/serial interface. 

The TP-1 has fixed pitch (1 or 1 2 
cpi) & underlining, but cannot sub/ 
suprscript. The tractor feed is 
optional. (Specify 10 or 1 2 cpi when 
you order.) 
Memory Correct Mi 

Messenger $629.88 

TP-1 $459.88 

TP Tractor $1 39.88 

Other Letter Quality 
Printers, 

Comrex 

CR-1 $849.88 

CR-2 $509.88 

Diablo 

620 (RS-232C) $999.88 

630 (PC) $1979.88 

Qume 

Sprint 11+ $1 539.88 



244 BYTE November 1983 



Circle 55 on inquiry card. 



Monitors 



USI 



Pi Monitors 




The Pi-3's 20MHz bandwidth and 
sharp, clear phosphor make it our 
favorite. Comes in 9 or 1 2", & in 
green. 

Pi-3 (12" amber) $189.88 

Pi-4 (9" amber) $1 59.88 

NEC 



JB1205M 



A close second to the USI Pi 
Series. 18-20Mhz bandwidth and a 
crisp, clear amber display (or green). 
JB1 205M-A (1 2" amber). . . $1 79.88 
JB1201 M (12" green) $1 79.88 

PRINCETON GRAPHICS 



HX-12 




^.i.. 



.—■ 



mmi 



The HX-12 is one of the highest 
resolution RGBs available. 16 colors 
(using NEC's tube), 690 dots by 240 
lines (480 non-interlaced) & 15MHz 
bandwidth. The case is identical to 
IBM's, & it comes with its own cable. 
PGS HX-12 $499.88 



QUADRAM 



QuadChrome 

The QuadChrome has the same 
spec's as the HX-12. Same price too. 
QuadChrome $809.88 



QUADRAM 



QuadColor 

Supports RGB or composite 
display, up to 480 non-interlaced 
RGB output 
QuadColor $CALL 

USR 



MultiDisplay 

Supports 32K graphics, with 
composite, RGB, PC monochrome 
display and a parallel port 
MultiDisplay $399.88 

TMCMAR 

Graphics Master 

192KforRGB or composite display, 
supporting 480 non-interlaced RGB 
output. 
Graphics Master $879.88 



COLUMBIA 



DATA PRODUCTS, INC. 



COIT1PUTER 



We are now offering both the Columbia MPC and the 
Eagle PC-2 to our customers. These machines are IBM-PC 
compatible, with 1 28K RAM on board, two 320K disk 
drives, one parallel port, two RS-232C ports and bundled 
software packages. 

The Eagle PC-2 includes MS-DOS, CP/M 86, plus Eagle- 
Writer and EagleCalc. The Eagle PC-2 also includes a 
monochrome monitor, with a resolution equal to the PC 
monitor. The PC-2's ideal for first-time users. It's easy to 
learn & easy to use. 

The Columbia MPC includes MS-DOS, CP/M 86, BASICA, 
Perfect Writer/Speller/Calc/Filer, Home Accountant Plus, 
Fast Graphs, Asynch Communications, a Macro Assembler, 
plus numerous utilities. This system is for more sophisticated 
users who have a PC at work and want a system at home or 
in a remote location. 

Please call (603) 881-9855 for further specifications, price 
and delivery. 



Modems 



DC HAYES 

Smart modems 

The Smartmodems are originate/ 
answer, auto dial/answer, full/half 
duplex modems. There are two 
external modems (300 & 300/1 200 
baud) & the 1 200B (300/1 200 
internal for the PC). Modular phone 
cable & power supply included. (RS- 
232C cable is optional). 
"Stack" Smartmodems 

300 baud $219.88 

300/1 200 baud $539.88 

1 200B w/Softcom II $459.88 

US ROBOTICS 

Password 

The Password is an originate/ 
answer type modem. 0-300 & 1 200 
baud capability with auto dial/ 
answer, auto mode/ speed select, 
full/half duplex (local echo),audio 
phone line monitor. Comes with an 
RS-232C cable (specify male or 
female DB-25), power supply & 
modular telephone cable. 
Password $379.88 

STANDARD MICROSYSTEMS 

M-Term $79.88 

Peripherals 

AST RESEARCH 

MegaPlus II 

The MegaPlus has one RS-232C 
port, a parallel port, a clock & up to 
256K RAM. An optional game and 
second serial port are also available. 
Comes with SuperDrive/Spooler 
software. 

The MegaPak is a 1 28K or 256K 
piggy-back card that attaches to the 
MegaPlus & gives you additional 
memory to 256K. 

64K MegaPlus $309.88 

256K MegaPlus $509.88 

128K MegaPak $329.88 

256K MegaPak $329.88 

RS-232C Port $49.88 

Game Port $49.88 



AST RESEARCH 

SixPak Plus 

The Sixpak holds upto384K on 
the board. Added to a 256K 
motherboard, you've got 640K, the 
maximum addressable memory. 
Sixpak has an RS-232C port, 
parallel port, clock & SuperDrive/ 
Spooler software. An optional game 
port is also available. 

64K Sixpak $289.88 

256K SixPak $469.88 

384K SixPak $659.88 

Game Port $49.88 

AST I/O Plus II 

The I/O Plus II has one parallel 
port, one RS-232C port, one game 
port & a clock. A second RS-232C 
port is optional. 

I/0+ $199.88 

ConnectAII $CALL 

RS-232C Port $49.88 

QUADRAM 

Quadboards 




The Quadboard has an RS-232C 
port, a parallel port, a clock & 
memory up to 256K (you can also 
get your Quadboard "naked," with 
no memory installed). QuadSpool/ 
Drive software is included with every 
Quadboard, along with a one-year 
warranty. 

Quadboard OK $21 9.88 

Quadboard 64K $279.88 

Quadboard 256K $429.88 

QUAD 512+ 

Quad 512+s have a single RS- 
232C port on them, and sockets for 
up to 51 2K RAM. QuadSpool/Drive 
software is included. 

Quad 51 2+ (64K) $239.88 

Quad 512+ (256K) $439.88 

Quad 512+ (51 2K) $679.88 

Single Function Cards 

Parallel Card w/cable $89.88 

RS-232C Card $89.88 

Clock/Calendar Card $89.88 



QuadLink 

QuadLink lets you run Apple II/II+ 
software on the PC. It's like an Apple 
computer on one board, with 64K. 
You can use all PC l/O's and color/ 
graphics video. There's no disk 
conversion, no reformatting, and no 
fuss. QuadLink takes up only one 
slot. Specify IBM PC, Columbia MPC 
or Compaq computers when you 
order. 
QuadLink $499.88 

Disk Drives 



TANDON 

Disk Drives 

Tandon's TM-1 00-2, at 320K 
storage, is still holding its own. 
We've used them exclusively for a 
year now and will continue to do so. 
Double-sided $239.88 

MAYNARD ELECTRONICS 

Disk Controller 

Perfect for bare-bones configura- 
tions. Handles two internal floppy 
disk drives (A & B), plus two 
externals. 
MFD Standard $159.88 

Hard Disks 

12Mb Hard Disk $2099.88 

20Mb Hard Disk $2339.88 

26Mb Hard Disk $2509.88 

Hard Disks 
w/Tape Backup 

12Mb Disk/Tape $291 9,88 

20Mb Disk/Tape $3339.88 

PC Interface $130.88 



Information/Orders: 

(603) 881-9855 

Prices/Orders Only: 

(800) 343-0726 



No Hidden Charges: 

We pay UPS ground shipping on 
all our orders, and we never charge 
extra for credit cards. We accept 
CODs ($1 fee per order), payable 
with a certified check, money order 
or cash. We have a $50 minimum 
order. Personal checks are cleared 
in 3 weeks. 

All our equipment is shipped with 
all manufacturer's warranty. We are 
an authorized dealer for all products 
we sell to insure full warranty 
support, & we're authorized for 
warranty work on a number of 
printers. We also offer extended 
warranty plans for most printers. 

Sorry, we cannot accept open POs 
or extend credit/terms at these 
prices. APO and foreign orders are 
not accepted. We prepared this ad in 
September & prices do change, so 
call to verify them. 

Our Computer Showroom, 
located in Amherst, New Hampshire, 
is now open. 



HIGH TECHNOLOGY AT AFFORDABLE PRICES 

THE BOTTOM LINE 




MILFORD, NH 03055-0423 □ TELEPHONE (603) 881-98551 



Now your computer can say anything and say it well. 
Introducing the Votrax Personal Speech System. 



Quite articulate. 



Friendly to humans. 



The unlimited vocabulary Votrax 
Personal Speech System is the most 
sophisticated, low cost voice synthe- 
sizer available today. Its highly 
articulate text-to-speech translator lets 
your computer properly pronounce 
conversational words at least 95% 
of the time. 

For all those 
unusual words and 
proper names, you 
can define an excep- 
tion word table and 
store your own translations. 
And remember, the entirely 
self-contained Votrax PS System 
gets your computer talking 
without using any valuable 
computer memory. 



U 



Built-in versatility. 



Much more than just a voice output 
device, the Votrax PS System lets 
you mix either speech and sound ef- 
fects or speech and music. A pro- 
grammable master clock and 255 
programmable frequencies give you 
unmatched control of speech and 
sound effects. 

The Votrax PS System offers user 
expandable ROM for custom appli- 
cations, user downloadable software 
capability and sound effects 
subroutines for easy user program- 
ming. Its programmable speech rate 
provides more natural rhythm, while 
16 programmable amplitude levels 
give you greater control of word 
emphasis. 

Actual size: 12.2 " x 4.5" x 2.6" 




p- f<Stax 



Designed to look like a printer to 
your computer, the Votrax PS System 
is extremely easy to use. It can be used 
in tandem with your printer without an 
additional interface card. Both serial 
and parallel ports come standard, 
allowing you to connect the Votrax PS 
System to virtually any computer. 
Speech, music and sound effects are 

only a PRINT statement away. 




What to say after "Hello". 

Businesses will appreciate spoken 
data transmission, narration of graphic 
displays and unmanned, oral product 
demonstrations. Spoken verification of 
data input will make computers much 
easier for the blind to use. School chil- 
dren can receive comprehensive 



1/cAcbX' 



The Votrax Personal Speech System 

is covered by a limited warranty. 

Write Votrax for a free copy. 

500 Stephenson Highway, Troy, MI 48084 



computer instruction with voice text- 
books as well as spoken drills and 
testing. And then, late at night, you can 
make those adventure games explode. 

A quick list. 

D Highly articulate Votrax text-to- 
speech translator. 

□ 255 programmable frequencies for 
speech/sound effects. 

n 16 amplitude levels. 
D Simultaneous speech and sound effects 
or speech and music. 

□ 8 octave, 3 note music synthesis. 
D Serial and parallel interface standard. 

□ User programmable master clock. 

□ User defined exception 
word table. 

D User programmable speech 
rate, amplitude and inflection. 
□ User expandable ROM 
for custom applications. 

□ User downloadable 
software capability. 
□ 3,500 character 
input buffer: sub- 
divisible for a printer 
buffer. 

□ Internal speaker and external 
speaker jack. 

D Real time clock and 
8 user defined alarms. 
□ Oral power up and error prompting. 
D X-on/X-off and RTS-CTS handshaking. 

□ Programmable Baud settings (75-9600). 
D Interrupt driven Z-80 microprocessor. 

□ Parallel /Serial interconnect modes. 

□ Proper number string translation: the 
number "1 54" is pronounced "one 
hundred fifty four". 

To order, see your local computer 
retailer or call toll-free 

1-800-521-1350 

Michigan residents, please call 
(3 13) 58 8-0341. MasterCard, VISA or 
personal check accepted. The price is 
$395 plus $4 for delivery. Educational 
discount available. Add sales tax in 
Michigan and California. 

©VOTRAX 1982 



f) 



*«SQfc 



^% ti 



**mi, 



Circle 500 on inquiry card. 




Technical Aspects of IBM 
PC Compatibility 

It takes more than an 8088 board to create a plug-compatible 

machine 



by Charlie Montague, Dave Howse, Bob Mikkelsen, Don 



In late 1981, IBM unveiled the IBM 
Personal Computer (PC), which in- 
cluded features that encouraged 
third-party software and hardware 
vendors to design compatible prod- 
ucts. Unlike IBM's previous com- 
puters, the PC offers an open ar- 
chitecture and system software pro- 
duced by Microsoft. Additionally, the 
company published technical speci- 
fications for the PC's hardware and 
software interfaces in its Technical 
Reference Manual. 

Almost immediately following the 
introduction of the PC, it became ob- 
vious that the economic success of 
the machine, the promise of a large 
applications-software base, and the 
inclusion of the features noted above 
would combine to make the PC an in- 
dustry standard. The opportunity for 
a PC-compatible computer was here. 

To produce a compatible computer 
requires addressing a variety of 
issues that generally fall into two 
major categories: hardware com- 
patibility and software compatibility. 
If both hardware and software prod- 
ucts designed for the PC can run 
without modification on your new 
machine, you have a PC-compatible 
computer. 

Hardware Aspects 

Hardware compatibility divides 
into the areas of system architecture 



and physical interface. The architec- 
ture, or central processor and its I/O 
(input/output) and memory maps, 
obviously is of primary importance to 
the hardware/software interface. 

The architecture of a compatible 
system must be either equivalent to, 
or a superset of, the IBM PC. 
Plug-compatible hardware achieves 
compatibility when the differences in 
implementation techniques remain 



With the introduction 

of the PC, it became 

obvious that IBM had 

established a new 

microcomputer industry 

standard. 



transparent to installed hardware and 
software modules. 

The first step is selection of a micro- 
processor compatible with the 8088. 
While Intel produces a family of 
microprocessors that are compatible 
with the 8088 at a machine-code 
level, important architectural dif- 
ferences affect compatibility at the 
system level. Specifically, these dif- 
ferences include variations in the 
data-bus structure, the hardware- 
interrupt interface, and the ability to 



Rein, and Dick Mathews 

interface to the 8087 numeric-data 
processor. System timing is also an 
important design consideration be- 
cause many factors affect processor 
throughput, and changes to these 
factors often produce unpredictable 
effects. The processor reference-clock 
frequency affects the execution speed 
of the 8088 microprocessor. While 
changing the clock frequency yields 
predictable results with external 
events, a change in the data-bus 
width results in unpredictable 
changes in throughput. Obviously, 
the most compatible microprocessor 
is the 8088. (See the text box "Levels 
of PC Compatibility" on page 248 for 
a detailed description of the architec- 
tural differences and their effects on 
compatibility.) 

Input and Output 

Software modules must interface 
with hardware input and output reg- 
isters. Because IBM released the 
internal register descriptions of the 
PC's I/O system to independent pro- 
grammers, most applications soft- 
ware makes use of them. When you 
design a compatible machine, you 
can include any type of I/O devices 
provided that the command, status, 
and data registers appear exactly the 
same to the software. The processor 
makes decisions based on the status 
registers; a processor will make cor- 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 247 



rect decisions if the status registers 
respond correctly to output com- 
mands. All register and bit addresses 
for both the status and command in- 
formation must therefore correspond 
exactly with those used by the IBM 
PC. 

Higher-level communication or 
data-transfer protocols depend on the 
hardware/software interface, thus re- 
quiring physical compatibility with 
the IBM PC I/O system. Any dif- 
ferences in the I/O devices must be 
transparent to both the software 
modules and to the user. For exam- 
ple, if a software module writes data 
to video memory, its location on the 
display device and its content must 
replicate what would appear on the 
PC. 

Another essential area of com- 
patibility, the floppy-disk drive and 
controller, becomes relatively easy to 
implement. Generally, the disk for- 
mat must be compatible with the 
PC's, which requires a controller 
compatible with the NEC 765 or Intel 
8272. 

The keyboard may be the most 
maligned component of the IBM PC, 
but it is still important for com- 
patibility. Obviously, the software 
and hardware interfaces to the key- 
board must be compatible, but even 
adherence to the layout and ap- 
pearance of the PC's keyboard be- 
comes important because many ap- 
plications programs refer to pictures 
of the IBM keyboard in their docu- 
mentation. Fortunately, a number of 
suppliers of PC-compatible key- 
boards exist. 

The final hardware-compatibility 
consideration takes into account the 
variety of expansion boards available 
for the PC. These add-on peripheral 
boards plug into a 62-pin expansion 
slot and the 8288 bus controller deter- 
mines the electrical characteristics of 
the data transfer in response to status 
information from the 8088. The data 
transfer occurs in 8-bit bytes upon re- 
quests from the 8088 processor and 
the 8237 DMA (direct memory ac- 
cess) controller. Bus signals allow 
synchronization of the transfers by 
either the system-processor board or 
the expansion board. Other inputs to 
the bus connector allow the board to 



Levels of PC Compatibility by Ronnie Ward 



(Editor's note: Future Computing 
has done a large amount of research 
on the effect of the IBM PC on the 
microcomputer marketplace. One of 
its reports, released in the May 31, 
1983, issue of the company's newslet- 
ter, Future Views, analyzes the field of 
IBM PC-compatible computers. The 
following information, excerpted from 
this issue, discusses various levels of 
PC compatibility as it is achieved by 
these machines. . . . G.W.) 

Future Computing divides machines into 
four compatible categories: 



1. Operationally compatible. These 
computers should be able to run the top- 
selling software intended for the IBM PC. 
Their degree of software compatibility can 
be determined by the number of the three 
interface areas implemented (display key- 
board, and sound) and the correctness of 
the implementation. They should be able 
to use add-on boards designed for the IBM 
PC and read and write IBM PC disks 
(single- and double-sided). They provide 
the same user interface for software 
documentation compatibility and useful- 
ness. The machines typically offer com- 
plementary features to the IBM PC. These 
features (which may include portability, 
monochrome display graphics, or a low 
price) attract buyers. Retail stores carry the 
products initially if the IBM PC is unavail- 
able. These products are carried even if the 



IBM PC is sold in the same store. They 
sell well with the IBM PC because of their 
complementary features. They also serve 
as a backup to the store should something 
happen to hinder availability of the IBM 
PC. As shown in table 1, Future Com- 
puting Inc. categorizes several machines as 
operationally compatible. 

2. Functionally compatible. These 
computers cannot run software intended for 
the IBM PC because of significant varia- 
tions in their implementation of the three 
interface areas. Instead, the manufacturer 
or software publisher separately packages 
a different version of the top-selling IBM 
PC programs. This means that they can 
read/ write and process information for 
IBM disks. The machines cannot use IBM 
add-on boards. Due to design differences 
in the three interface areas, they cannot 
move to become operationally compatible 
with the IBM PC. Moreover, the manufac- 
turers of these machines do not want to 
become operationally compatible with the 
IBM PC. These products are positioned to 
sell against the IBM PC. The machines are 
priced competitively and offer functional 
advantages. The functions attract buyers. 
Retail stores carry these products instead 
of the IBM PC, or in addition to the IBM 
PC. Currently, only one machine, the 
Texas Instruments Professional, is con- 
sidered by Future Computing Inc. to have 
the software base to be categorized as func- 
tionally compatible. 

3. Data compatible. These machines do 
not run the top-selling software intended 



request service either by interrupt or 
DMA. Obviously, a compatible sys- 
tem must provide a PC-compatible 
bus interface to allow users access to 
the myriad of peripheral boards on 
the market. (See "Expanding on the 
IBM PC," page 168.) 

Software Compatibility 

To establish software compatibility, 
three major areas were explored: 
ROM (read-only memory) compati- 
bility, MS-DOS compatibility, and 
BASIC compatibility. You must start 
with the firmware located in ROM, 
sometimes referred to as the ROM 
BIOS (basic input/output system) or 
Bootstrap ROM. This software per- 
forms the system checkout and test- 



ing; the initialization of the memory, 
interrupt vectors, I/O, scratchpad, 
and flag values; the BIOS level inter- 
face via interrupt vectors for I/O 
manipulation; and the operating sys- 
tem bootstrap. 

The first function, system checkout 
and testing, is normally not critical to 
any off-the-shelf software. Therefore, 
the degree of compatibility must 
assure only that the components and 
functional elements that are similar 
to the PC's are indeed present and 
tested. The more critical compatibil- 
ity requirements occur with the ini- 
tialization of the memory, interrupt 
vectors, I/O, scratchpad, and flags. 
IBM uses both a format and location 
criteria for the scratchpad and a flag 



248 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



for the IBM PC, nor has the manufacturer 
separately packaged its own version of the 
top IBM PC software. Add-on boards de- 
signed for the IBM PC cannot be used. 
These machines can read or write IBM 
disks (sometimes), but in most cases, 
nothing can be done with the data trans- 
ferred. They can move to become func- 
tionally compatible by releasing their own 
versions of the top-selling IBM programs. 
This would require significant effort on the 
manufacturer's part and close cooperation 
with software vendors. The most likely 
candidate machines to move in the next 
year are the NCR Decision Mate, the 
Wang PC, and the Zenith Z-100. Manufac- 
turers of data-compatible machines do not 
necessarily want to become functionally 
compatible with the IBM PC. These ma- 
chines are sold either in markets where 
they do not compete with the IBM PC, or 
they are positioned to coexist with the IBM 
PC in organizations with multiple personal 
computers. 

4. Incompatible. These machines cannot 
exchange data disks with the IBM PC. 
Even if they could, they do not run the top- 
selling software available on the IBM PC. 
These machines use Intel 16-bit micropro- 
cessors, and some have implemented MS- 
DOS. The manufacturers of these ma- 
chines have chosen not to be compatible at 
any level with the IBM PC. They are posi- 
tioned to be sold in completely different 
markets and are included in Future Com- 
puting's non-IBM compatible forecast, 
which, by the way, is a very large market. 



Operationally 


Functionally 


Data 




Compatible 


Compatible 


Compatible 


Incompatible 


• uses 8088 micro- 


• uses 8088/8086 


• uses 8088/8086 


• uses 8088/8086 


processor 


microprocessor 


microprocessor 


microprocessor 


• runs top IBM PC 


•runs their own 


• may not run top 


• may not run top 


labeled software 


version of top IBM 


IBM programs 


IBM programs 


• uses IBM 


programs 


• cannot use IBM 


• cannot use IBM 


peripheral cards 


•cannot use IBM 


peripheral cards 


peripherals 


• can read/write 


peripheral cards 


• can read and/or 


• cannot read/write 


IBM disks (SSDD 


• can read/write 


write IBM disks 


IBM disks 


and DSDD) 


IBM disks (SSDD 


(SSDD and/or 


• can move to data 


• same user inter- 


and DSDD) 


DSDD) 


compatible 


face for documenta- 


• different user 


• different user 




tion, display, 


interface 


interface 




keyboard, sound 


• cannot move to 


• can move to 






operationally 


functionally 






compatible 


compatible 




Best: 


Tl Professional 


Datamac 1600 


Altos 586 


Columbia Data's 




EAGLE 1600 


CDJ Dot 


MPC 




Hitachi PC 


DEC Rainbow 100 


COMPAQ 




MAD-1 


Durango Poppy 


Better: 




MTI P.E.C. 


PBS 


Corona PC 




NCR Decision Mate 


Fujitsu Micro 16 


Dynalogic 




Olivetti M20 


Gavilan 


Hyperion 




with 8086 card* 


Grid Compass 


Good: 




Pronto Series 16* 


NABU 1600 


Eagle PC 




SORD M343* 


NEC-APC 


Seequa 




Wang PC 


ONYX 2000 


Chameleon 




Zenith Z-100 

*According to prod- 
uct specifications 


SKS Personal 
Computer 

Sumicom 330 

Televideo TS 
1602/3 

Victor 9000 


Table 1: The IBM PC-compatible categories 







region that begins at <Seg> 0040 
hexadecimal : < Offset > 0000 hexa- 
decimal. The ROM BIOS interrupt 
vectors (INT through INT 1FH) 
must be initialized to point to func- 
tions identical to the PC's. 

The ROM BIOS also maintains 
control of the standard low-level 
hardware and peripheral interfacing 
required for I/O manipulation and 
parameter passing. The BIOS is es- 
sentially a collection of routines and 
tables accessible through the soft- 
ware-interrupt feature of the 8088. In 
designing a compatible machine, you 
must derive the functional definition 
of each BIOS entry point by study- 
ing the PC standard and performing 
exhaustive testing. IBM documents 



the input and output parameters of 
each function but no existing docu- 
mentation specifies the resulting sys- 
tem behavior. 

The last major function of the ROM 
BIOS is bootstrapping the operating 
system. Compatible bootstrapping 
requires reading sector #1 (512 bytes) 
on track #0 of head #0 into RAM 
memory at location <Seg> : 
< Offset > 7C00 hexadecimal using 
ROM BIOS INT 13 hexadecimal. 
When this boot sector is in memory, 
control transfers to the boot address 
(0000:7C00). 

MS-DOS and PC-DOS 

Because PC-DOS and MS-DOS 
share the same origins, the quest for 



a compatible operating system isn't 
formidable. To successfully emulate 
PC-DOS, we at Columbia Data Prod- 
ucts (CDP) provided a second BIOS 
and modified the MS-DOS source 
code. MS-DOS requires its own BIOS 
to provide a well-defined interface 
between the operating system and 
the hardware and peripherals. On 
the PC or a compatible, however, the 
PC/MS-DOS BIOS uses the ROM 
BIOS and its existing low-level 
drivers. Therefore, the machine- 
independent part of MS-DOS resides 
in RAM with the tailored MS-DOS 
BIOS. The resulting operating system 
behaves like PC-DOS. Because the 
same level of documentation is not 
made available for the PC-DOS BIOS 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 249 



as is for the ROM BIOS, you must 
resort to information from Microsoft's 
documentation and exhaustive test- 
ing for defining the tailored MS-DOS 
BIOS. The BIOS and the DOS reside 
in the memory area from < Seg > 0: 

< Offset > 600 hexadecimal to 

< Offset > 2E00 hexadecimal. 
Even the size of MS-DOS becomes 

an important compatibility con- 
sideration. Most applications-soft- 
ware packages provide instructions 
for the initial program setup. Often, 
the setup procedure requires that you 
copy the operating system to the 
system-tracks portion of the program 
disk to make it bootable. If a compati- 
ble DOS is larger than PC-DOS, this 
procedure would overwrite data on 
the program disk. Therefore, the 
maximum disk BIOS size is 2K bytes. 
In general, the Columbia Data 
Products implementation of MS- 
DOS 1.25 supports all PC-DOS func- 
tion calls and performs all re- 
quired actions. Furthermore, we in- 
corporated software handshaking on 
Serial Communications Device #0 via 
<XON - XOFF> . Other extra func- 



tions include the redirection of 
parallel-printer data (nongraphics) to 
Serial Communications Device #0 and 
the inclusion of RAM-disk capability. 

A BASIC interpreter (GW BASIC) 
from Microsoft, renamed BASICA for 
compatibility reasons, is compatible 
with IBM's Advanced-Disk BASIC. In 
IBM's implementation of BASIC, part 
of the interpreter resides in ROM, 
always available. Because of the high 
cost of fixing ROM bugs as well as the 
degree of difficulty in making GW 
BASIC compatible with BASICA, 
CDP chose to implement BASIC en- 
tirely in RAM. 

Tailoring GW BASIC for compati- 
bility involves purchasing and modi- 
fying Microsoft's sources as well as 
implementing a third BIOS. This task 
poses particularly difficult problems 
because most details of IBM's im- 
plementation can be determined only 
through testing. Most of the com- 
patibility problems caused by having 
RAM-based BASICA instead of 
ROM-based BASICA can be over- 
come by simulating the IBM PC's en- 
vironment. You accomplish this by 



loading different parts of the BASIC 
in different locations in RAM. A 
problem occurs, however, in that GW 
BASIC requires larger disk space than 
IBM's BASICA because part of IBM's 
BASIC already resides in ROM. 
When a software vendor's installation 
instructions include copying BASICA 
to the program disk, a RAM-based 
BASICA may not fit. Another related 
problem involves direct calls to the 
IBM BASIC ROM. Some software de- 
velopers use routines and entry 
points located in IBM's BASIC ROM 
interpreter, making direct calls func- 
tional parts of software. These pro- 
grams, needless to say, will not run 
on our (or any other) PC-compatible 
machine. 

Testing for Compatibility 

While product testing plays an im- 
portant part in any product develop- 
ment program, it takes on new di- 
mensions and increased importance 
when compatibility is involved. Be- 
sides assuring product quality and 
design feasibility, testing provides a 
yardstick for measuring the level of 



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250 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



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252 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 297 on inquiry card 



compatibility with the IBM PC. The 
result to someone who buys our 
computer is that the software and 
hardware solutions offered for the 
IBM PC can be used on ours as well. 
The goal for this compatibility test- 
ing is simple— test everything. When 
priorities must be set, the hot- 
test-selling products are tested first. 
However, all commercially available 
products must eventually be tested. 

Additions and Enhancements 

If features are going to be added to 
a configuration, they must not affect 
compatibility. New features must not 
interfere in any way with existing or 
optional system components. Addi- 
tional expansion slots, an external 
reset switch, a combination mono- 
chrome/color graphics board, a faster 
power-on sequence, and a ROM 
monitor with diagnostics and debug- 
ger cannot affect compatibility. In ad- 
dition, compatibility cannot be sacri- 
fied when software is bundled with 
the system. Nor can it be sacrified 
when features that are optional on 
the IBM PC are made standard on the 
compatible computer. 

Summary 

Many important issues confront 
any manufacturer of a PC-compatible 
product. Even though IBM published 
the hardware and software interfaces 
for the PC, it is not a trivial task to 
build a compatible computer. Not 
only must all the hardware issues be 
addressed (IBM's Technical Reference 
Manual is neither complete nor total- 
ly accurate), but also all software 
issues, including DOS, DOS utilities, 
BASIC, and ROM-based software, 
must be addressed. In addition, with 
the introduction of the XT, IBM pro- 
vides another subtly different stan- 
dard to emulate. As IBM extends its 
PC product line, it will undoubtedly 
set new standards that all manufac- 
turers of IBM-compatible products 
will be forced to emulate. ■ 

This article was written by staffers at Columbia 
Data Products Inc. (9150 Rumsey Rd., Columbia, 
MD 21045): Charlie Montague, director of technical 
services; Dave Hawse, hardware desigJi manager; 
Bob Mikkelsen, program office manager; Don Rein, 
software engineering manager; and Dick Mathews, 
vice-president of planning and development. 



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The Making of the IBM PC 

IBM sat back and watched the microcomputer market develop before 

jumping in and dominating the race 

by Brian Camenker 



Back in 1914, a banker persuaded 
three companies to combine and 
form the Computer-Tabulating- 
Recording Corporation. Thomas Wat- 
son Sr. was hired as the general 
manager; he renamed the company 
International Business Machines 
(IBM) in 1924, after starting a suc- 
cessful branch in Canada. 

The world's number-one computer 
company now owns 11,000 patents 
and spent $3 billion on research and 
development last year. But IBM's 
70-year success story can be ex- 
plained in one word: marketing. 
Nobody does it better. This fascinat- 
ing company is an example of institu- 
tionalized excellence. It has never had 
a layoff (even during the Great 
Depression), never failed to make a 
profit and grow internally, and, in its 
domestic operations, has never been 
unionized. 

If you are one of the few who have 
been around computers from their 
beginnings, you may have found 
IBM's jump into the personal com- 
puter world something of a deja-vu. 
Many people think that IBM was the 
first producer of commercial com- 
puters; however, a company called 
Remington Rand introduced the 



UNIVAC in 1951. IBM entered the 
market a full year later with a less 
advanced model, but within five 
years Big Blue's market share was 85 
percent. 
For one reason or another, when 



During a year of six- 

and seven-day work 

weeks, one IBM 

tradition after another 

was broken. 



the minicomputer market appeared 
in the late 1960s and early 1970s, IBM 
failed to move into it, leaving the gap 
open for upstarts like Digital Equip- 
ment Corporation and Data General 
to make it big. Therefore, in the late 
1970s, people were wondering if IBM 
would jump into microcomputers or 
let this open market slip by, too. 

However, a company of 365,000 
people as heavily layered in bureau- 
cracy as IBM does not normally 
sprint along with the changing 
events. But when Apple Computer 
and Radio Shack proved the ex- 
istence of this lucrative new market, 



IBM executives took notice. Time was 
of the essence, though, and IBM 
wondered, says retired chairman 
Frank T. Carey, "How do you make 
an elephant tap dance?" 

Current Chairman John Opel elab- 
orated on the problem, saying, "You 
have to have people free to act, or 
they become dependent. They don't 
have to be told; they have to be al- 
lowed." To remedy that, Opel has 
established separate entities— within 
IBM but emancipated from the 
bureaucracy— called Independent 
Business Units (IBUs). IBM acts as 
the venture capitalist, if you will, to 
these companies- within-the-com- 
pany. Fortune magazine called it 
"How to start your own company 
without leaving IBM," and others 
have recognized it as a low-risk way 
to enter new markets. In the past four 
years 14 IBUs have been chartered. 
Some have prospered, but by far the 
most successful is the Entry Systems 
(Personal Computer) unit. 

In July 1980, Philip D. Estridge, a 
division vice-president, was placed in 
charge of a 12-member team and 
given 12 months to create a com- 
petitive personal computer (see 
"IBM's Estridge," page 88). The team 



254 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 329 on inquiry card. 




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This operating system is stable, friendly 
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looked and listened to what was hap- 
pening in the microcomputer market 
at that time and speculated on what 
future users' needs might be. During 
a year of six- and seven-day work 
weeks, the planners broke many IBM 
traditions— acts that are in many 
cases keys to the PCs present 
success. 

The PC is built around Intel's 16-bit 
8088 microprocessor. Although 8-bit 
computers were the fashion at the 
time, the design team wanted a com- 
puter that was powerful enough to 
"be used without too many changes 
for the next decade or so." Because 
the 8088 is cheaper to use than its 
older brother, the 8086, cost has been 
kept down. 

The PC's open architecture philos- 
ophy was quite a contrast to the tight 
world of mainframes. IBM made all 
the technical specifications available 
to outside companies, opening a 
fountain of compatible software and 
hardware peripherals for the PC In 
the microcomputer world, this serves 
to strengthen a company's market 
position. Even the operating system, 



PC-DOS (IBM's name for MS-DOS), 
is licensed from Microsoft. 

But being in the IBM-peripheral 
business isn't as easy as it would 
seem. When the new version of the 
PC, the XT, came out in March 1983, 
the expansion slots were narrower. 

Many of IBM's peripherals for the 
PC are bought outright from periph- 
eral suppliers and simply given the 
IBM tag and sold through IBM's dis- 
tribution channels with a hefty mark- 
up. Many customers have found that 
they can save hundreds of dollars by 
buying disk drives and memory 
chips directly from the manufacturer. 
Sometimes even computer stores 
stock items labeled both ways. 

Independent Retailing Allowed 

IBM has broken a tradition in mar- 
keting by letting independent re- 
tailers sell PCs. Again, direct selling 
is de rigueur in the mainframe realm, 
but it wouldn't really get the PC out 
to the general public. IBM studied 
Apple's successful methods of setting 
up networks with franchises such as 
Computerland and independents, 



emphasizing dealer support and 
customer education. This allows for 
broad-based distribution to the 
public. IBM also has its own product 
centers that handle PCs. In practice, 
the retailers sometimes find them- 
selves competing with Big Blue for 
corporate customers. In addition, 
IBM's sales reps have a tendency to 
try to persuade customers to buy the 
higher-priced Displaywriter instead 
of PCs, once they're interested. 

We can certainly speculate on 
where the PC may go from here. The 
PC-to-mainframe connection seems 
obvious. And earlier this year IBM 
bought 15 percent of Rolm Corpora- 
tion, a manufacturer of telephone- 
switching networks. Recent invest- 
ments such as this may be seen as 
part of IBM's long-awaited local- 
network scheme. ■ 



Brian Camenker (133 Waban St., Newton, MA 
02158) is a microcomputer consultant specializing 
in the IBM PC. He is a member of the Boston Com- 
puter Society and has done software reviews for its 
IBM PC magazine, PC REPORT. Recently, he and 
friends have fonned a software company. 



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256 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Circle 433 on inquiry card. 



Concurrent CP/M 

By permitting a 16-bit microcomputer to execute several processes 

that seem to occur simultaneously, this operating system 

efficiently uses computer and operator resources 

by Joe Guzaitis 



A growing sentiment at Digital 
Research can be expressed as 

CCP/M : 16 :: CP/M : 8 

that is, Concurrent CP/M is to 16-bit 
microcomputers as CP/M is to 8-bit 
machines. Bold stuff. But not really, 
when you consider that CP/M (con- 
trol program for microcomputers) has 
come to dominate the 8-bit market. 

But what exactly is concurrency, 
the major enhancement of this oper- 
ating system? Concurrency does not 
allow two processes to occur at the 
same time in the same place, but it 
does permit many processes to occur 
sequentially in round-robin fashion 
in infinitesimal time slices, so that 
they seem to occur simultaneously in 
the same place. Therefore, although 
most systems spend a lot of time 
waiting for input from a person or 
process, Concurrent CP/M permits a 
computer to perform a task while 
waiting for input from another 
process. 

Multitasking, multiprogramming, 
and concurrency allow as much of a 
system's resources as possible to per- 
form useful work for as much of its 
operating time as possible. Concur- 
rency increases throughput, which in 
turn results in increased efficiency 
and cost-effectiveness. 

16-bit Advantages 

Concurrent CP/M has the potential 
of stimulating the 16-bit microcom- 
puter market the way Visicalc stimu- 
lated the early 8-bit field— by giving 
the world a powerful example of a 
microcomputer's capabilities. 



Let's face it: 16-bit computers are 
not inherently faster or more versatile 
than 8-bit machines. In fact, an 8-bit 
computer can often run rings around 
a 16-bit machine. In addition, a wider 
variety of applications software is 
available for 8-bit computers than for 
16-bit machines. Why spend the extra 
money for this new technology? 

There are two good reasons. The 
first is memory. Getting an OUT OF 
MEMORY message in the middle of 
a program is a frustrating experience 
that nearly every computer user will 
encounter eventually. But this prob- 
lem isn't insurmountable; there is 
usually a way to work around mem- 
ory limitations. 

A better reason to choose a 16-bit 
machine is concurrency. Its large 
memory requirements make its use 
within an 8-bit architecture imprac- 
tical. Concurrent CP/M takes up as 
much as 90K bytes; 256K bytes are 
actually needed to make it useful. 



How Concurrency Works 

To understand how concurrency is 
possible, we can look at our work 
habits, which resemble a type of con- 
current processing. For example, as 
I sit here at my word processor typ- 
ing away, I break momentarily to jot 
down an appointment on my calen- 
dar, go back to typing, break away 
again to use my calculator, return to 
the keyboard, stop to look up a word 
in the dictionary, then go back to typ- 
ing, all the while waiting for a phone 
call. 

Breaks can be self -generated, such 
as those made to check a word in the 



dictionary, or they can be imposed 
from the outside. We work in an 
interrupt-driven manner, allowing 
phone calls, messages, or fellow 
workers' inquiries to tear us from the 
task at hand. Many users of Concur- 
rent CP/M say that the operating 
system seems like a natural extension 
of the way they work because it 
enables them to switch among tasks 
without losing the thread of any of 
them. 

Because it provides the capability 
for processes to seemingly execute 
simultaneously, Concurrent CP/M in- 
creases processing efficiency much 
the way online processing proved 
more efficient than batch processing. 
In batch processing, similar types of 
data are accumulated over a period 
of time and processed in one run. 
Online processing, on the other 
hand, allows a computer to appear to 
handle many sources of input simul- 
taneously, then usually returns to the 
task's origin. Batch processing works 
serially; online processing allows 
another task to begin before the first 
is completed, and it appears to han- 
dle both processes at the same time. 

Similarly, single-tasking operating 
systems must process sequentially, 
and multitasking systems such as 
Concurrent CP/M rapidly go from 
one process to another, appearing to 
perform many tasks at once. And, 
whereas single-tasking systems left 
the operator idle much of the time, 
waiting for a process to be com- 
pleted, Concurrent CP/M has the 
machine waiting for the operator, 
ready to do more work. Concurrent 
processing involves one user at a 



November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 257 



time, who feeds various types of in- 
put into the processor via several vir- 
tual consoles, whereas online pro- 
cessing provides for many users at 
many consoles, all feeding into a cen- 
tral computer. 

How Concurrency 
Looks to the User 

The concept of virtual consoles 
helps some users understand concur- 
rent processing but confuses others. 
The computer can be thought of as 
having only one actual console (the 
terminal) but several virtual con- 
soles—equivalent consoles that can 
also interact with the central pro- 
cessor. The terminal can monitor one 
process at a time. A concurrent oper- 
ating system allows a user to go from 
one process to another, switching to 
various virtual consoles to monitor 
different processes (see figure 1). 

This procedure is analogous to the 
way a television user can switch from 
one channel to another, sequentially 
viewing several programs. Both the 
television and Concurrent CP/M per- 
mit screen switching. Use of a com- 
puter differs from that of a television, 
though, because a computer allows 
a user to interact with its programs, 
whereas a television does not (we 
will ignore those few cable-TV exper- 
iments that permit user participa- 
tion). 

Another way to think of concur- 
rency is to picture a computer oper- 
ator sitting among several computers, 
each running a different applications 
program. By swiveling around, the 
operator can interact with each appli- 
cation—use the output from one pro- 
cess to inform another, print one let- 
ter while writing another, and com- 
pile one program while editing an- 
other and debugging a third. With 
Concurrent CP/M, swiveling is re- 
placed by a keystroke, which sum- 
mons the program you want to mon- 
itor to the terminal screen. 

Processes and 

Data Modes in CP/M 

In Concurrent CP/M, we talk of 
processes more than programs. In 
this environment, a program is a 
static piece of code, and a process is 
what is executed. Whenever a pro- 



gram is loaded into memory, a pro- 
cess is created that involves code 
from the program, the operating sys- 
tem, and housekeeping data that in- 
dicates, for example, which virtual 
console to use. The operating system 
monitors the process, not the 
program. 

There are two modes in which con- 
sole output generated by a process 
can be handled: dynamic and buf- 
fered. Whatever task you have 
selected to be in the foreground 
directs its output to the console 
screen, and you monitor the virtual 
console assigned to that selected pro- 
cess on the terminal. You must set 
each virtual console to either 
dynamic or buffered mode so that 
the system knows how to handle con- 
sole output in your absence. 

However, a process not being 
monitored on the screen is con- 
sidered to be in the background, and 
its output is not monitored. In 
dynamic mode, when you select a 
virtual console, you do not see the 
procedure as it happened; instead, 
you see the net results. For instance, 
if your word processor was perform- 
ing a search-and-replace procedure in 
a lengthy file, you would return to 
see the strings replaced but would 
have missed the replacements as they 
occurred. 

Output is handled differently in 
buffered mode. To return to our TV 
analogy, buffered mode works as 
though you had a videotape recorder 
connected to a channel you're not 
viewing, recording everything that 
was going on in your absence. When 
you return to that virtual console, it 
replays all the updates that happened 
on that console while you were away 
in the sequence and context in which 
they occurred. 

Depending on the implementation, 
information on which mode you're in 
is usually available on the status line 
at the bottom of the screen. The 
status line also typically tells which 
virtual console is being displayed and 
the name of the process running and 
may also include information such as 
time of day, printer assigned to that 
console, and disk drive in use. As 
you switch screens, the status line 
changes, providing information for 



the next virtual console you want to 
monitor. 

Shared Files 

Another feature that Concurrent 
CP/M provides is a shared-file struc- 
ture. By using BDOS calls pro- 
grams can open files in one of three 
modes: locked, read only, and un- 
locked. Two or more concurrent pro- 
cesses can access the same file; that 
access is controlled by the file-access 
mode. 

The locked mode is the default 
one. In that mode, a file can be 
opened only if no other process has 
that file open already. Once opened 
in locked mode, the file must be 
closed before any other process can 
open, access, or delete it. (An ex- 
tended lock feature allows a process 
to keep the file locked after it's 
closed.) 

If a file was opened in read-only 
mode, no process can write to it, but 
any process can read from it. But if 
a file was opened in unlocked mode, 
it can be read from or written to by 
any process. 

For a process to access either a 
read-only or unlocked file, it must 
open the file in that mode. Record 
locks are also available in unlocked 
file mode to deny access to individual 
records within an otherwise un- 
locked file. 

Advanced Features 

As more software vendors realize 
the power of concurrency, applica- 
tions programs will share common 
data structures that allow the pack- 
ages to work interactively. Shared 
files give us a hint of what's possible. 
Other features that lend themselves 
to the interactive environment Con- 
current CP/M affords are queue man- 
agement and priority setting. 

A queue, a line of items waiting for 
the processor's attention, is a way for 
one concurrent application to com- 
municate with another. In other 
words, a process on one virtual con- 
sole can be made to share data with 
a process on a different virtual con- 
sole. Because queues operate entire- 
ly in RAM (random-access read/write 
memory), they work quickly and 
efficiently. Queues can be created, 



258 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



When critics rate you tops, what do you do for an encore? 




"VISUAL 50 is in a class by itself 
for visual quality; the character set 
is unusually clear and sharp."* 

"The VISUAL 50 is the most prom- 
ising new terminal to come out so 
far, especially in light of its price."* 

"We consider this terminal to be 
one of today's best products in price/ 
performance, its incorporation of 
economically designed features and 
its broad range of functionality. "* * 



Feature Comparison Chart * 


ADDS VISUAL 
Feature 60 50 


TeleVideo Zenith 
925 19 


Wyse 
100 


Style 4 4 


4 3 


5 


Overall Quality 2 5 


3 4 


3 


Keyboard 3 5 


2 4 


2 


Rollover/false keying 5 5 


3 4 


4 


Video Quality 1 5 


4 4 


3 


No. of attributes 5 5 


5 2 


5 


Attribute method 2 5 


2 4 


2 


Suitability for micros 2 5 


3 5 


3 


24 39 


26 30 


27 


List Price $895 695 


995 895 


995 



*MICROSYSTEMS-March 1983 

* THE ERGONOMICS NEWSLETTER- August 1982 




Meet the 
VISUAL 55 



The VISUAL 50, widely acclaimed 
as the best performing low cost 
terminal in the industry, is a 
tough act to follow. But the 
new VISUAL 55 extends 
its predecessor's per- 
formance even further by adding 
12 user-programmable non- 
volatile function keys, extended 
editing features and selectable 
scrolling regions ("split screen"). 

Both the VISUAL 50 and 
VISUAL 55 offer features you 
expect only from the high priced 
units. For example, the enclosure 
is economically designed and 
can be easily swiveled and tilted 
for maximum operator comfort. 
A detached keyboard, smooth 
scroll, large 7 x 9 dot matrix 
characters and non-glare screen 
are only a few of the many human 
engineering features. 

Another distinctive feature of the 
VISUAL 50 and VISUAL 55 is their 




emulation capa 
bility. Both terminals are 
code-for-code compatible with the 
Hazeltine Espirit,™ ADDS View- 
point,® Lear Siegler ADM3A and 
DEC VT52f In addition, the 
VISUAL 55 offers emulations of the 
Hazeltine 1500/1510 and VISUAL 
200/210. Menu-driven set-up modes 
in non-volatile memory allow easy 
selection of terminal parameters. 
And you're not limited to mere 
emulation. Unbiased experts 
rate the combination of features 
offered by the VISUAL 50/55 fam- 
ily significantly more attractive 
than competitive terminals. 



Both VISUAL terminals are 
UL and CSA listed and exceed 
FCC Class A requirements and 
U.S. Government standards for 
X-ray emissions. 

Call or write for full details. 



See for yourself 

Visual Technology Incorporated 

540 Main Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876 

Telephone (617) 851-5000. Telex 951-539 

Circle 497 on inquiry card. 



APPLICATIONS 

PROGRAM 

1 

WORD PROCESSOR 



/"virtual \_ 

^PROCESSOR/ 



DISK 

DRIVE 

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DISK 

DRIVE 

B 



f VIRTUAL V /"" 

V CONSOLE J ^ 



APPLICATIONS 

PROGRAM 

2 

SPREAD SHEET 


— i 








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DATABASE 



APPLICATIONS 

PROGRAM 

4 

MODEM 



< VIRTUAL \_ __AviRTUAL \ 

PROCESSOR^ " \^PROCESSORy~ 



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VIRTUAL 
CONSOLE 



, PHYSICAL 
-*7 CONSOLE 



~\_ _f VIRTUAL A 

J V CONSOLE J 




Figure 1: This diagram illustrates a system where the terminal, or physical console, is monitoring a virtual console running an electronic- 
spreadsheet program. 



opened, closed, and deleted just as 
disk files can, and you can read or 
write to them on a conditional or un- 
conditional basis. The data structures 
of the programs must be compatible, 
however, to allow for queue manage- 
ment. 

Another advanced feature that con- 
currency permits is priority setting. 
Specifically, it allows you to set a 
priority level on each process so that 
important processes are not hindered 
by lesser ones. Because a system's 
processes all share the same central 
processor, they affect each other's 
operation. For instance, if your 
modem is attached to one console 
and is receiving data, you want to en- 
sure that the data is not slowed down 
by work you're performing on an- 
other console. Moreover, because 
data integrity and telephone charges 
are involved, the task receiving the 
data demands top priority. Less im- 
portant tasks can run more slowly. 

To ensure that the more crucial task 
gets preferential handling, you need 
not use such tactics as postponing 
"saves" as you work in your word 
processor or stopping the compiler 
while data is being sent or received. 
The priority-setting capability lets 
you assign the reception of data 



priority over other processes. If the 
modem is using bits-per-second (bps) 
rates above 1200, other processes may 
slow down when the modem is re- 
ceiving or sending data. A lower bps 
rate, however, should cause no 
problem. 

Priority setting will probably be a 
standard feature of applications pack- 
ages designed to run under Concur- 
rent CP/M. Until those packages are 
available, however, it must be accom- 
plished via a system-function call. 

Another advanced capability that is 
also implemented through a system- 
function call is process detachment, 
which allows certain processes that 
need not be monitored, such as print 
spooling, to be detached from a vir- 
tual console and run unattended, 
thus freeing a virtual console for 
other tasks. Concurrent CP/M also 
provides the program logic for other 
features that do not actually reside in 
the operating system. Until they are 
made available in software packages, 
though, the only way to get them is 
to program them yourself. Those 
packages should also encourage soft- 
ware designers to standardize user 
interfaces because when users can 
rapidly switch back and forth among 
programs, the differences between 



software packages can affect operator 
efficiency. 

Additional Benefits 

Because printing can take a great 
deal of time and use little of the pro- 
cessor's power, many people invest in 
a hardware or software spooler, 
which allows printing to operate as 
a background task while another task 
is carried out in the foreground. 

With concurrency, a spooler is un- 
necessary, because the operating sys- 
tem allows you to print a file from 
one virtual console while working on 
several others. Moreover, each virtual 
console can be assigned to a different 
printer, so you can print several files, 
each from a different console, on the 
same or different printers, while 
working with other programs. If two 
files are trying to print a file on the 
same printer, the first to begin print- 
ing "owns" the printer, and the other 
one must wait until the first is fin- 
ished. During that time, all activity 
on the waiting console is suspended. 

Communication is another task for 
which concurrency will prove useful. 
Linking many microcomputers in 
your organization can increase the 
efficiency of each operator because it 
makes available such features as 



260 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



At Last! 

ISbur Final Assembly 

Is Final 



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CLOCK/ W A TCHDOG-RELA Y 

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• day of week, hours, minutes and sec- 
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REQUESTOR 
NODE 



G 



P/M 
ERMINAL 



LETTER- 
QUALITY 
PRINTER 




CONCURRENT 
MICROCOMPUTER 

SERVER AND 

REQUESTOR 

NODE 



> 



CONCURRENT 
H SERVER NODE 
MICROCOMPUTER 




) 



CONCURRENT 
MICROCOMPUTER 



REQUESTOR 
NODE 




Figure 2: CP/Net supports concurrent computers connected in a network as well as other 
CP/M-cot7ipatible machines. 



shared files, shared resources, and 
electronic mail. Figure 2 shows how 
CP/Net and Concurrent CP/M permit 
each computer to share files and 
other resources (such as printers and 
disk drives) with other computers in 
the network. 

The next level of utility is having 
several virtual consoles running the 
same or different programs at the 
same time. Running the same pro- 
grams can be of help to writers or 
reporters, for instance, who may be 
working on several articles or stories 
at the same time. As an idea strikes 
you for story two while you are in the 
middle of story one, merely hit a key 
and type some notes in that story file. 
To non writers, this feature may seem 
unnecessary, but I assure you it is an 
efficient way to work. Flashes of in- 
spiration are best recorded quickly. 

This feature would also be helpful 
to a financial analyst who might have 
several spreadsheets running side by 
side in different currencies and who 
might want to use the same base-line 
data and generate figures in pound, 
franc, mark, and yen denominations. 
By switching screens and entering 
common base-line data, the appro- 
priate currency spreads can be gen- 
erated instantly. 



Theoretical and Realistic Limits 

The number of virtual consoles that 
may someday be supported by a sys- 
tem depends ultimately on the mem- 
ory available. Let's imagine we manu- 
facture computers. Knowing that 
8086/8088 systems provide as much as 
1 megabyte of memory and that Con- 
current CP/M can use as much as 90K 
bytes (supporting four virtual con- 
soles with full-screen buffers), we 
have about 900K bytes to work with. 
By dividing that value by the number 
of applications programs that are to 
run concurrently, we can determine 
how much memory we can use for 
each application program. 

Taking another approach, we could 
divide 900K bytes by an estimated 
average of how much memory each 
application (including files) will re- 
quire to see how many virtual con- 
soles we could expect to have in our 
system. This result is still only a 
rough estimate because the operating 
system must grow when the number 
of virtual consoles increases beyond 
four if additional screen buffers are 
added. 

Sixteen-bit microprocessors other 
than the 8086/8088 have even more 
memory. Motorola's 68000 provides 
up to 16 megabytes of RAM, and the 



262 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




Plug 3,000 new applications 
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Circle 14 on inquiry card. 



VIRTUAL \ 
CONSOLE ) 

J 



(VIRTUAL 
CONSOLE 
1 



VIRTUAL 
CONSOLE 



VIRTUAL 
CONSOLE 




USER NUMBERS 



USER NUMBERS 



Figure 3: Under Concurrent CP/M, each disk drive supports as many as 16 user areas, which 
are numbered through 15. Any virtual console can log on to any disk drive to access pro- 
grams or files. 



80286 from Intel furnishes much 
more than that. Clearly, with such 
abundant memory, tomorrow's ma- 
chines will be able to handle many 
consoles, as well as highly sophisti- 
cated integrated applications pack- 
ages. 

Two to eight virtual consoles will 
probably be offered in the first wave 
of Concurrent CP/M implementa- 
tions. Four will probably be the 
average number. After the first wave, 
manufacturers may find themselves 
in a race to add consoles to get the 
attention of increasingly adept users. 

Concurrent CP/M supports up to 
16 logical disk drives— separate flop- 
py drives or several virtual drives on 
a hard disk or combinations of the 
two. Any virtual console can log on 
to any disk drive to access programs 
or files. 

And as do other Digital Research 
operating systems, each disk drive 
supports as many as 16 user numbers 
(areas), numbered through 15 (see 
figure 3). These areas are partitions 
within the file system's environment 
for grouping files. Files that are to be 
accessed by any or all user numbers 
on the drive are placed in user 
number and given the system attri- 
bute. Otherwise, you must be work- 
ing in the user number to access files 
within it. 



Concurrent CP/M does have some 
limitations. Because disks are fre- 
quently shared by processes on dif- 
ferent virtual consoles, you must be 
careful not to have an open file on a 
disk you're removing. In many 
implementations, you will be able to 
tell this from the status line. 

Occasionally you will come across 
a program that requires a lot of mem- 
ory, Certain spreadsheets, debuggers, 
and assemblers fit into this category. 
If they are loaded first, they could use 
all available memory and prevent you 
from loading other programs. It is 
wise, therefore, to load these last, so 
that they can use only what memory 
is left. 

Certain applications programs 
create temporary files during their 
operation that never appear in the 
directory. For that reason, if you load 
several programs from the same 
drive, they should be loaded in dif- 
ferent user numbers to prevent the 
process on one console from over- 
writing the temporary file of a pro- 
cess on another. 

Concurrency on the IBM PC 

The most popular implementation 
of Concurrent CP/M thus far is on the 
IBM Personal Computer. The PC is 
designed to support four virtual con- 
soles with a minimum 256K bytes. 



Because the PC version of the oper- 
ating system requires 90K bytes (with 
all four screen buffers used), you 
really would not want to run the sys- 
tem with less than 256K bytes. 

A PC running Concurrent CP/M 
requires at least two disk drives. To 
load the system, the boot disk must 
be placed in drive A and a system 
disk in drive B. When the system is 
running, the boot disk is removed 
and applications programs are 
loaded from drive A. On the XT 
hard-disk version of the PC, the sys- 
tem can be automatically booted from 
hard disk when the power is turned 
on. 

The system supports both serial 
and parallel printers, the number of 
which is determined by the number 
of printer cards installed, either in the 
main motherboard or in an expan- 
sion interface. Both color and mono- 
chrome monitors can also be used 
with Concurrent CP/M. 

Other Machines That 
Can Run Concurrent CP/M 

The list of OEMs (original equip- 
ment manufacturers) signed up for 
Concurrent CP/M is a lengthy one 
and is growing longer every day. It in- 
cludes Digital Equipment Corp., 
Texas Instruments, National Cash 
Register, Fujitsu, Nippon Electric, 
Olympia, Eagle, Corona, Com- 
modore, MADD, Vector Graphic, and 
Toshiba. 

Computer systems using Concur- 
rent CP/M may differ; they will prob- 
ably boot differently, support dif- 
ferent subsets of the CCP/M utility 
superset, or have a different status 
line. Most of the initial hardware 
implementations will support two to 
eight virtual consoles, and some 
OEMs will also provide unique hard- 
ware enhancements that will later 
build upon the operating system's in- 
herent power. 

Popular Application 
Combinations 

One of the beauties of concurrency 
is that it becomes more useful as the 
operator becomes more adept. It is 
also immediately useful, even to the 
novice. A typical novice might, for 
example, run only one applications 



264 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



THE EASY CHOICE 




Best Separate Compilation — Best Error Handling — Best Implementation on a Small Computer 

Comments From 1983 LA AdaTEC Compiler Faire 



". . . J ANUS/ Ada encompasses at least 5 times as much 
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InfoWorld 



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Jerry Pournelle, Byte 



Encouragement of this kind deserves a just reward; 
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Our Ada line is available on the following operating 
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Available from the following distributors: 



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Copyright 1983 RR Software 



OFTWARE, INC. 



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(608) 244-6436 

BYTE November 1983 265 



OPTIMIZING C86™ 

is now (8/15/83) in Beta Test. 

Call us to see if it is available now. 

Any customers who purchase the current product will 
be able to upgrade to Optimizing C86 without charge. 

It includes the following improvements from C86 1.33: 

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• Object module format compatible with your OS and Assembler 

• 8087 code inline (faster execution) 

• Option for Assembler output from the compiler 

• Extra functions for MSDOS 2,0 

• New manual has examples for every library function 

Other Notes: 

• ISAM products and products compatible with C86 and with 
OPTIMIZING C86 are available from some of. our customers. Graphics 
and screen manipulation function libraries are available. Ask for a 
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• C_to_dBASE™ is in Beta Test by CI. It is a package to interface C86 
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• A C86 User's Group is being formed. 




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See your local Dealer or Call Computer innovations to 

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Library 
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266 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



OPTIMIZING C86 and C_to 
^dBASE are trademarks of 
Computer Innovations. dBASE 
is a trademark of Ashton-Tate. 



Circle 99 on inquiry card. 



program and use another console to 
run system utilities. It is helpful to a 
beginner to be able to have the disk 
directory on one virtual console and 
the HELP utility on another, so that 
while he learns how to use the sys- 
tem, useful reference tools are always 
on line, only a keystroke away. 

For those who make intense use of 
a particular applications program, it 
can be useful to have several versions 
of that program on the computer at 
one time. Such a setup would permit 
you to jump from one process to 
another without having to save, 
unload, and load another file. 
Managers can thus have several 
department's budgets on line on dif- 
ferent virtual consoles, for instance, 
to permit quick comparisons of the 
impact of a percentage change on 
each. 

More popular applications con- 
figurations will combine programs 
that will be more powerful to a user 
when run concurrently rather than 
serially. Consider the programmer 
who can simultaneously run a de- 
bugger, an editor, and a compiler or 
assembler. As the debugger turns up 
bugs on one virtual console, the pro- 
grammer can switch to another con- 
sole and begin editing the program 
immediately, while on a third console 
the compiler works on a program 
that had been debugged earlier that 
day. After each edit, the programmer 
can then switch back to the first con- 
sole, find the next bug, switch back 
to the editor, and continue in that 
manner until all the required tasks 
are completed. What used to be a 
long tedious linear process thus 
becomes an interactive one, eliminat- 
ing much idle time. 

Similarly, consider the busy project 
manager, who may have a word pro- 
cessor on one virtual console, a 
spreadsheet on another, a database- 
management program on a third, 
and the fourth connected to a 
modem awaiting a call. When the 
data is phoned in, it is stored in a file 
that can be shared by any of the other 
processes. It can be entered into the 
database or used by the spreadsheet 
as input for other projections, which 
may then be entered into the report 
being written on the word processor. 




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The powerful Gifford System 321 
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1922 Republic Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94577 
(415) 895-0798 A division of G&.G Engineering 
I'D LIKE THE WHOLE STORY. 
Please send me your brochure. 

Name Title 



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□ Please have a representative call me. 



By-P 



GIFFORD COMPUTER SYSTEMS □ San Leandro, CA( 4 15) 895-0798 □ San Francisco, CA (415) 391-4570 □ Los Angeles, CA( 213) 477-3921 
D Miami, FL (305) 665-9212 □ Houston, TX (713) 877-1212 D Amherst, NY (716) 833-4758 □ Telex: 704521 □ 



Circle 199 on inquiry card. 




Photo 1: Two examples of dynamic windows, which allow a user to work and monitor several other consoles at the same time. 



Moreover, the data can be made avail- 
able to different processes in a frac- 
tion of the time and by fewer people 
than it would have taken otherwise. 
Consider the secretary who is con- 
nected to a network and has a word 
processor on one virtual console, a 
critical-path schedule on another, 
and an appointment calendar on a 
third. That secretary can receive in- 
put and transmit output to a large 
number of sources efficiently and, 
more important, be more up to date 
each time information is sent out 
than was ever possible before. 

The Future of Concurrency 

Concurrent CP/M is having an im- 
pact on software developers. Inte- 
grated software packages represent 
the first step in the development cy- 
cle of a new generation of software, 
and other enhancements are appear- 
ing. For example, it has already 
become possible to interact with pro- 
cesses on several virtual consoles by 
means of dynamic windowing (see 
photo 1). As you work on one con- 
sole you can use one or more win- 
dows, of whatever size you specify, 
to show you what is going on in real 
time in other consoles. Furthermore, 
you can log on to any console being 
monitored and send input to it. A 
programmer can thus see which bugs 
are turning up on the debugger with- 
out ever having to leave the editor 
and simultaneously see how the 
compiler is running without having 
to log on to its virtual console. 

Similarly, a project manager can 
use dynamic windowing to monitor 



data being received by a modem 
through a window in his word pro- 
cessor without having to switch 
screens. Furthermore, the manager 
can also work on those consoles 
because they are dynamic (i.e., it is 
possible to interact with them). In 
other words, if he presses the func- 
tion key to log on to console 3 and 
has customized the window so that 
he can see enough output, the man- 
ager can work right there without 
switching screens, while also mqni- 
toring several other consoles. It may 
take some effort to customize each 
window to be able to see the crucial 
screen output needed, but the results 
can be impressive. Going back to the 
TV analogy, it's like having a small 
window in the corner of your TV 
screen showing you what's happen- 
ing on the news while you're watch- 
ing MASH. When a commercial 
comes up during MASH, you can 
always switch the big screen to the 
news and put the MASH channel in 
the window to wait for that commer- 
cial to end. 

The hardware implications of con- 
current processing are not as easy to 
speculate about. Because many ma- 
chines handle concurrency well, it 
may be some time before we see 
hardware designed around concur- 
rent processing. However, features 
that are desirable for this environ- 
ment include the hard disk, which 
can alleviate file-storage problems; 
multiple floppy drives, for those who 
want to eliminate shared drives; and 
larger monitor screens to allow addi- 
tional and bigger windows. 



Conclusion 

Three concepts can be used to 
summarize the effects of concur- 
rency: synergy, holism, and heuris- 
tics. Synergy is the total effect of 
separate processes working together. 
It describes the cooperative action 
that single-user Concurrent CP/M 
permits. 

Holism is the tendency in nature to 
produce larger organisms from 
ordered groupings of smaller organ- 
isms. It is exemplified by people ex- 
ploring the manifold possibilities that 
16-bit computing technology repre- 
sents and applying it to their needs. 

Finally, heuristics, the principle of 
discovery as it applies to learning, 
will be practiced as computer users 
and designers discover the capabili- 
ties of concurrency. Concurrent pro- 
cessing will exert a powerful in- 
fluence on the development of hard- 
ware and software and the user in- 
terfaces to both. 

Computer users have become more 
aware of how human thinking differs 
from the way a computer "thinks" 
and are not as easily impressed by 
computers as they once were. Users 
now want enhancements that are ex- 
tensions of the way they work; they 
don't want to be forced to adjust to 
the way a computer works. Concur- 
rency is such an enhancement. It's an 
idea whose time has come.l 

joe Guzaitis is currently a senior technical writer 
at Digital Research Inc., 160 Central Ave., Pacific 
Grove, CA 93950. Prior to joining Digital Research 
he was an editor for CTB/McG raw-Hill in 
Monterey, California and before that a project direc- 
tor with SRA/IBM in Chicago. 



268 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Microsoft languages 

connect your software to 

more 16-bit systems. 



The largest market for 16-bit software. Over 
95% of all 16-bit microcomputers run Microsoft^ 
operating systems, languages, or both. That means 
your programs written in Microsoft languages find 
their market in the largest installed base of 16-bit 
systems. The IBIVU PC, and systems from Wang, 
Zenith, DEC, Victor, Altos, Texas Instruments 
and Radio Shack, to name just a few. And, if you're 
working with Microsoft operating systems and 
languages, you'll find that it's far easier to trans- 
port software between systems. 
A full range of languages. The versatile MS- 
BASIC interpreter and the fast MS-BASIC compiler, 
Microsoft Business BASIC and MS-COBOL for 
business use. MS-FORTRAN for scientific and engi- 
neering applications. Microsoft C, a complete C, 
that provides a productive alternative to assembly 
language. And MS-Pascal, a high-level language 
compiler specifically designed for microprocessor 
system software implementation. All these lan- 
guages are compatible with ANSI or ISO standards. 
A total programming environment. Compatible 
languages. Operating systems. Utilities. Plus 
complete support. All the tools you need 
to write software that sells 
Leadership in micros. 
Microsoft wrote the 
first BASIC 
for the 



first production microcomputer. Since then, we've 
added a full range of 8-bit and 16-bit languages, 
plus the MStw-DOS and XEN IX™ operating systems. 
What's more, we are constantly enhancing both 
languages and operating systems. And we make 
those enhancements available to our customers. 
That means Microsoft programming languages are 
state-of-the-art programming tools. Tools that 
allow your applications programs to reach more 
systems. More effectively. 
More information? See your Microsoft dealer 
for complete information on Microsoft's 16-bit lan- 
guages and operating systems. Or, write for our 
booklet/The Microsoft Language Family." A family 
of tools that give your programs access to the 
largest installed base of 16-bit systems. 

BETTER TOOLS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS 

MICROSOFT 

MICROSOFT CORPORATION 

10700 NORTHUP WAY 

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON 98004 



<fe 



-%>* 



a* 



Q, 



Microsoft is a registered trademark, 
and MS. XENIX and the Microsoft logo are 
trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 












COMPLETE 

DATA COMMUNICATIONS 

SYSTEM NOW AVAILABLE 

AT YOUR NEAREST 

OUTLET 




5W-C S3 



Introducing 

ACCESS**) 





Now for the 
IBM PC 
and others. 



Novation PC1200B™ Modem 

+ 

Crosstalk XVI™ software 

+ 

all accessories* 

Access 1-2-3 is a simple idea. 

It means you can now walk 
into your nearest computer 
outlet, buy one package off 
the shelf and walk out with 
the best fully integrated communications* 
system for your personal computer. 

What we've done is taken the best 1200 Baud modem, 
our PC1200B — plus Crosstalk XVI, the best available 
software — added instructions and whatever else is 
needed for your particular computer — and put them all 
in one box. 

The advantages: 

First, you get a total system. No missing parts. No 
wrong parts, either. You can be sure you have all you 
need and all you need to know. 

Second, it's the best system you can put together. 
Absolutely no compromises. You simply take it home, open 
the box, hook it up, and start up. Your only surprise will 
be how really easy it all works. 

The best modem* 

It's our PC1200B modem in a format to fit your par- 
ticular computer. 

The Large Scale Integrated circuitry is our own 3rd 
and 4th generation design. It's the most advanced tech- 
nology, eliminating all kinds of parts and running better 
and cooler. 

The right sof tware* 

The Crosstalk XVI programmers have 
pulled off a little magic. Without com- 
promising a bit on all the things you want 
and need to do, they've made them all 
easier to do on our PC1200B modem. 

No wonder Crosstalk XVI is recog- 
nized as the best in its field. 






Easy 1-2-3 instructions* 

The new instructions that go 
with the Access 1-2-3 series 
help make your life 
easier, too. You don't 
have to know a byte 
from a baud to get 
going. High-tech talk 
is out. Plain English is in. 

Cables and connectors* 

If your particular computer needs 
a cable and connector, they'll be in the package. No big 
deal, of course — unless you've gone through the frustra- 
tion of piecing together a system with something less 
than expert help. Well, no need to worry here. With 
Access 1-2-3 it doesn't matter who's minding the store. 

The expertise is built in. 

Available now* 

IBM PC, IBM PC XT, 
Columbia Multi-Personal, 
Compaq Portable, Corona 
Portable PC. 



The first models in our Access 1-2-3 series , 
are at your dealers right now. 
Mi More models are being added and we'll 
~ ¥ soon cover all of the important personal 
computers. See your dealer for the latest list. 

And the price* 

Packaging up a sensible system has let us do some- 
thing sensible for the price, too. Entire system — 
only $595. 

Included: CompuServe 

Your Access 1-2-3 system now carries an extra 
bonus — two hours of free demonstration time on one of 
the most extensive and best data banks, CompuServe. A 
nice way for your computer to meet the data world. 

Talk to your dealer today. 

All of the features you want and need* 

• LSI smart modem, 300 or 1200 baud, full duplex, uses just one 
slot on all models. 

• Crosstalk XVI software. 

• Directory for single stroke log-on to 40 separate entries. 

• Auto dial (TouchTone or rotary) , auto log-on, auto answer. 

• Telephone line status, busy detect and automatic redid. 

• Auto monitoring through computer speaker. 

• Captured data to printer, disk or buffer transfer. 

• Disk to disk transfer. 

• Extensive error-checking and automatic retransmission. 

• Display of transmission time for each file with baud rate and 
available disk space. 

• Complete on-line control of stop bits, parity, baud rates, duplex. 

• Modem self -test. 

• Full 2 year warranty. 



ACCESS 1-2-3 by 

Circle 333 on inquiry card. 



Novation 




Novation, Inc. , 20409 Prairie St. , Box 2875 
Chatsworth, C A 91311 • (800) 423-5419 
In California: (213) 996-5060 

Access 1-2-3 and PC1200Bare trademarks of Novation, Inc. 

Crosstalk XVI is a trademark of Microstuf Inc. 



The IBM PC Meets Ethernet 

Adoption of Ethernet technology enables IBM PCs to share 

peripherals and information 

by Larry Birenbaum 




Photo 1: 3Com's Etherlink, consisting of a plug-in board and disk-based software. 

272 November 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 



Local networking, the interconnec- 
tion of computers located within a 
building, provides a unique comput- 
ing synergy whose effectiveness is 
most dramatic in the case of personal 
computers. 

The technology involved in local 
networking of personal computers 
(LNPC) combines the friendliness, 
accessibility, and large software base 
of personal computers with the ex- 
tensibility and cost savings of local 
networking. This article reviews how 
one popular local network, Ethernet, 
was applied to the IBM Personal 
Computer (PC). 

Local Networking of PCs 

Local networking of personal com- 
puters provides three major benefits: 
peripheral sharing, information ac- 
cess, and personal communication. 
The most obvious benefit is perhaps 
peripheral sharing, which, for exam- 
ple, enables networked PCs to share 
printers and high-performance disks. 
Another important example of pe- 
ripheral sharing is extra-network ac- 
cess in the form of shared mainframe 
gateways, such as IBM's 3270 and 
modems. 

The principal motivation for pe- 
ripheral sharing is to distribute the 
cost of expensive or seldom-used pe- 
ripherals among the entire PC com- 
munity. Less recognized, but equal- 
ly important, are ergonomic improve- 
ments—sharing of centralized disks 
and printers that make for smaller 
and quieter workstations. 

The second benefit, information ac- 
cess, enables several networked PCs 
to share common information. Infor- 
mation sharing has a significant im- 
pact on personal productivity not 
only because of the ease and speed 
of access, but also because the infor- 
mation is more timely and up to date. 
And data resident in one place, 
multiply accessed, isn't prone to 
errors of transcription and media 
conversion. 

The most underrated benefit of 
LNPC is personal communication, as 
epitomized by electronic mail. To be 
cost-effective, electronic mail must be 
actively and widely used. Such wide